The government ‘won’ the meaningful vote amendment by conceding parts a) and b) of the Dominic Grieve amendment. Those sections say that if there is no deal by November 30 then the Commons must “approve” the “course of action”.
Remainers are briefing out that this means the EU will drag its feet until November 30, by which point parliament takes control of the negotiation, no deal is effectively off the table and the UK position is ultimately watered down to EEA+. If these tweets from two very clued up Brexit journalists prove to be correct, Brexiters have been totally played. We would be heading for the softest of non-Brexits.
Today is potentially seismic. One senior official (very much NOT a Brexiteer): “We have now removed every incentive from EU for doing a deal by the end of November.” What happens after November? Parliament takes over. What does it want? EEA+. Who else wants EEA+? Follow the logic
— Tom McTague (@TomMcTague) June 12, 2018
Looks like MPs have waffled UK into a situation where:
a) No deal is to all intents & purposes dead
b) Leverage against EU virtually non-existent (though they doubted we’d walk)
c) EEA+ appears only way to square this circle
Therefore d) Urgent need for debate on free movement
— James Rothwell (@JamesERothwell) June 12, 2018
Senior Brexiters are adamant they have not been played. They insist they have been assured by whips that the government has not conceded that the Commons will direct negotiations if there is no deal by November 30, contrary to Remainer briefing. They insist all they have conceded is a series of statements. We heard that one before in December.
Both sides think they have won. Obviously they both cannot be right. Tradition would suggest it is the Brexiters who realise a few weeks down the line that they have been screwed. We will find out soon enough…
UPDATE: Some senior Brexiters are now worried they have been done. One says: “If Theresa and Julian have sold us out here they are in real trouble. She reassured us all at the 1922. There is no way she can recover if she has now f*cked us over.”
UPDATE II: A government source attempts to reassure: “Brexiteers have nothing to worry about. While the discussions will now continue, no concession has been made. Brexiteers have not been sold a pup.”
UPDATE III: Dexeu insists: “We have not, and will not, agree to the House of Commons binding the Government’s hands in the negotiations.” That’s not what Remainers thought…