This has been a testing time for our country and our party. We’re nearly there. We’re almost ready to start a new chapter and build that brighter future.
But before we can do that, we have to finish the job in hand. As I say, I don’t tour the bars and engage in the gossip – but I do make time to speak to colleagues, and I have a great team in the whips’ office. I also have two excellent PPSs.
And I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party. I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership – in the second phase of the Brexit negotiations – and I won’t stand in the way of that.
I know some people are worried that if you vote for the withdrawal agreement, I will take that as a mandate to rush on into phase two without the debate we need to have. I won’t – I hear what you are saying.
But we need to get the deal through and deliver Brexit.
I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party.
I ask everyone in this room to back the deal so we can complete our historic duty – to deliver on the decision of the British people and leave the European Union with a smooth and orderly exit.
On or Before May 22
May 22 did not seem to be a promise but I see many Tweets like these.
Some Tories Now on Board
The New York Times reports Theresa May Promises to Step Down if U.K. Parliament Backs Brexit Plan
The Guardian Live Blog reports How May Told Tory MPs She Will Quit Before the Next Phase of Brexit.
Bercow Won't Allow 3rd Vote
Does the Deal Become Better?
I am not sure what El-Erian has in mind but I see this as making the deal passing far more likely. The alternative is an accident (no-Deal Brexit), not something else.
As for "Does the deal get better?"
Clearly not, it doesn't change. However, and this is key, the next prime minister, and it will be a Brexit-Backing PM, will lead further negotiations.
Please recall what I said about parliament not being able to force the PM to do something. With the right PM in place, the UK could threaten to hold payments to the EU if the EU does not negotiate in faith.
There are many things a committed sovereign country can do. May was not committed.
With May out of the way, the next round of negotiations will be much better.
Bercow will look like an ass if he attempts to hold this vote up.
May will find a way to bring this to vote and it will pass by a small margin. Perhaps it takes two more votes or queenly intervention.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock