In Embarrassing Defeat, Parliament Forces May to Come Up With Plan B in 3 Days

Theresa May lost two votes in Parliament this week, the key one being a move to make her come up with plan B in 3 days.

The Guardian reports Theresa May suffers Commons defeat over Brexit plan B.

Theresa May will be obliged to present MPs with a new Brexit plan within three days if her current proposal is voted down next week, after a procedural amendment to the plan’s progress through the Commons was passed amid chaotic scenes.

The amendment to the business motion for the plan, drawn up by the Conservative former attorney general Dominic Grieve, gives May the deadline to put forward new plans if she loses the vote, as many expect, next Tuesday.

The amendment was passed by 308 votes to 297 following stormy scenes in which a series of Conservative MPs castigated the Speaker, John Bercow, for allowing the amendment.

The Financial Times has an interesting series of video clips on what you need to know about the delayed 'meaningful vote'

May's Plan Shattered

May's plan all along was to run down the clock with a binary choice of her deal or no deal.

The vote changes that.

Proceedurally, Bercow did not have to allow that vote and many Tories were upset that he allowed the vote.

Walls Closing In

For Theresa May, still at odds with Parliament, the Brexit Walls Are Closing In.

Prime Minister Theresa May often puts off critical decisions over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, or Brexit, hoping to wear down opponents through doggedness and determination. But her room to maneuver is rapidly shrinking.

The problem is that Mrs. May does not appear to have a Plan B, except to continue to talk to the European Union and hope that she can cajole more lawmakers to support Plan A.

In desperation, Mrs. May seems to be reaching out to pro-Brexit lawmakers with the opposition Labour Party by dropping hints that the government might accept amendments to her Brexit plan that would protect workers’ rights and the environment. She also made rare calls to two union bosses, though to no avail. And most Labour lawmakers would require a much bigger shift of policy to consider supporting the government, if they are persuadable at all.

Pritchard Gets it Wrong

Telegraph writer Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says a no-deal Brexit is off the table.

That strikes me as silly, because a no-deal Brexit is the default option.

Hard Math

Under Article 50, the UK leaves the EU, by law, on March 29. The only choices are revocation, May's EU agreement, no-deal.

Talk of Norway, Canada, and even a second referendum do not change the hard math.

And May's deal is universally opposed.

No Majority for Anything

Guess what? If no other option gets majority support, then a no-deal Brexit wins.

And bear in mind that any plan B option must be approved by the EU.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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Wow, Mish, you are usually smarter than this, but you have a big blind spot on the Brexit process. In the end, the goal of May and a majority of Parliament is a revocation of the Article 50 notice. This became clear to me the moment May was chosen to be PM. However, the issue has to be carefully threaded so as not to decimate the Tory Party. To that end, May, with the cooperation of the EU, deliberately put together a plan that could not win the support of a majority of Parliament nor a majority of the electorate. This was done so that a second referendum could be sold to the public as a necessary step to "fix" the mess created by May.

Bercow did as he was ordered to do by May and the Remain faction in Parliament, which includes, probably, a majority of even the Tories. The goal is get a referendum that includes 3 choices, not 2- Remain, May Plan Brexit, or No-Deal Brexit. I think they are even audacious enough to not allow a conditional alternate vote, but even if they do, having two Brexit possibles vs Remain will assuredly guarantee Remain wins in either scenario.