As I am sure most of the country well knows, Brexit has dominated politics over the last 3 years in Britain. The referendum held on the 23rd June 2016 was a watershed moment in our country’s history, when the electorate decided whether to remain in or leave the EU. Since then, it is no secret that Remainers, who make up the majority of MPs in Parliament, have done everything in their power to stop Brexit from occurring.
It is rare that the details of such Remainer activities are revealed, or at least in such detail, as they were recently in the Daily Mail with regards to Dominic Grieve’s amendment. A meeting between the Speaker of the House, John Bercow, and prominent Remainer Tory MP, Dominic Grieve, was bound to raise eyebrows; especially as such a meeting took place just days before Theresa May’s Brexit deal was voted down. The amendment, approved by 308-297 votes, forced the Prime Minister to lay out a new plan for Brexit if she couldn’t get her deal through Parliament – which of course she did not – within 3 days.
The accusation of ‘collusion’ has been thrown at these two men as a result by some, although the reality is unclear. At the end of the day, the Speaker himself must decide which amendments make it to the House floor; however the timing of such an amendment is highly questionable. What is clear is that the Speaker did ignore the advice of his aide, who holds the title of ‘Clerk of the House’.
Back bench Tory MPs have reacted furiously to the goings-on in Westminster Palace over the last few days, with some even threatening to block Bercow’s peerage, which is traditionally given to all Speakers of the House when they leave the position and retire. But they probably reacted with even more fury when they learnt that Dominic Grieve had introduced two new Bills to the House. The first, named ‘European Union Referendum (Preparation)’, is designed to prepare the nation for a second vote on EU membership. The second Bill is called ‘European Union Referendum’, and would initiate a second referendum, something which Remainers have been increasingly campaigning for since last summer.
Like anything else in Parliament, it is difficult to see how these two Bills will proceed, especially as Jeremy Corbyn seems intent on launching multiple no-confidence votes against Theresa May in a bid to topple her Premiership. What is clear is that the United Kingdom is still scheduled to leave the European Union on the 29th March, and that this timetable is under threat from the House of Lords, the House of Parliament, and anybody who can raise enough money for a judicial review.
The much talked about ‘no-deal Brexit’ scenario is itself now slightly less likely because of Dominic Grieve’s original amendment that I mentioned, although if Theresa May’s new plan fails too it is still possible. As with Ireland and its two successive votes on the Lisbon Treaty, Britain may be about to experience the humiliation of being asked to vote again, in order to achieve the ‘desired’ outcome by the powers that be in Brussels.