Jeff Taylor

Jeff Taylor

Will someone please put a large lock on the door to the political crypt containing all those previous party leaders and prime Ministers and just bolt it shut from the outside?

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Yesterday ex-Labour Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, emerged from the political crypt to give us his ludicrously complex answer to the Brexit issue that would have ended up causing more uncertainty and division.

And now Former Tory Prime Minister, John Major, has lurched forward from the gloom with his idea for Theresa May, the head of the UK executive, to stand back and become a mere mediator in the Brexit process, by allowing all MPs to choose freely in a series of indicative votes to point to a way out of the Brexit deadlock.

If she can't find a deal that parliament can accept, Major said, then she should become a facilitator to find out what they would accept.

With the main problem of course being that the majority of the country voted to leave the EU and the majority of our MPs voted and campaigned to stay in the EU. So any solution they collectively come up with would have Remain running through it like a stick of Blackpool Rock.

So to ask those same politicians to now come up with something that works is a ridiculous suggestion.

The people were asked and they have given their verdict - to Leave - full stop.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the only reason these politicians are having so many problems, while tottering from constitutional crisis to constitutional crisis and having to break precedents along the way, is because they refuse point blank to bend thei..

There is much speculation that, because of the Brexit deadlock, the UK could be headed for yet another General Election.

Cue Brenda from Bristol: "You're joking - not another one!?"

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Although Downing Street of course denies any such thing, according to the Sun cabinet insiders are warning that the Prime Minister is 'running out of road'.

The PM's official spokeswoman has emphatically ruled out such an event, but there are reports that the Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill has been discussing possible preparations for a general election with his top mandarins.

And then come further reports that three cabinet ministers have told their constituency parties to get ready for a snap election.

And the Sun quotes one unnamed cabinet source as saying that an election "once unthinkable, is now a very likely option. It’s all everyone’s talking about.”

The thinking appears to be that it would be a Brexit based election (surprise, surprise), with the Tories under Theresa May campaigning on an updated version of her deal, versus a Corbyn Labour proposal of more negotiations dragging on.

But the first hurdle would be to get two thirds of MPs to actually vote for an election. In these politically torrid times there may be many who fear for their futures in the House of Commons and who would be unwilling to face the electorate at this time - especially those on the wrong side of the Brexit argument compared to their own voters.

But going to the country is where the real problems start for them.

First Labour.

Corbyn has said he would follow Brexit through and does ..

Theresa May has had enough of consensus seeking and is back inside her Number Ten Brexit Bunker, reshuffling her Brexit In Name Only cards.

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So, after a short flurry of talking to some opposition MPs, it would appear that Theresa May now has the information required to formulate her Plan B to present to Parliament next Monday the 21st January.

According to the Independent, the PM has had enough of reaching a cross party consensus and is planning to meet with a large number of her own cabinet and then decide whether to stand firm or to compromise.

I reckon her 'Plan B' will be some sort of regurgitation of the current plan with a couple of tweaks with the main message of "I'm off to Brussels to sort this out - again".

She'll then leave them to all their debates and amendments while the clock ticks down and she can apply ever more pressure on MPs in an attempt to get enough of them to accept her rotten Brexit In Name Only (BRINO) deal.

Unless of course the Speaker, John Bercow pulls another flanker to give the House of Commons a precedent-busting procedural route to forming a consensus that is binding on the PM. We shall see!

Moving on, does our Former PM, Gordon Brown, never give up thumping the tub for the EU?

But what he's come up with now is a real pie-in-the-sky, massively complicated scheme, that as far as I can see is designed to wear us down into retaining full EU membership.

First he wants to extend the Article 50 process by one year. Surprise surprise!

Then we'd have a citizen's national assembly in each of England, Wales, Northern Irela..

While Remain MPs draw up plans to thwart the will of their voters and talk of a snap general election swirls around Westminster, news breaks that the Germans do not want the UK to leave the EU.

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A letter signed by more than two dozen influential politicians including the front runner to replace Angela Merkel, says that should we wish to leave the EU, we will always have friends in Germany and Europe.

It also talks about them missing our black humour and pantomimes as well as our drinking tea and beer and driving on the left hand side of the road.

"Without your great nation, this continent would not be what it is today: a community defined by freedom and prosperity." It says.

And it ends with:

"Britons should know: from the bottom of our hearts, we want them to stay."

All very nice and flattering, but we're not physically going anywhere. The letter seems to miss the point.

When Germany wakes up on the 30th March, the UK will still be in the same place. They can still hop on a ferry or an airplane and come and visit, just as we will go and visit the EU27 as we always have.

99.9% of the Brits they live work and enjoy life with will still be there, doing the same things they did the day before. And the missing 0.1% will mainly consist of UK MEPs one supposes.

We will of course still all be friends and go about our lives as we wish to.

We in the UK will still be drinking beer and tea and driving on the correct side of the road.

The UK can still add greatly to Europe by being a good friend and neighbour.

The only difference is that we are separatin..

The amendment by Dominic Grieve and allowed through by the Speaker, John Bercow, has not forced the anti-Brexit pace in Parliament into a gallop, more like a bit of a trot.

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Now, it seems that the grand plan by the Speaker, John Bercow, and the Tory Remainer and former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has come unstuck, reports Guide Fawkes.

Although Theresa May will be forced to table her new Brexit plan B on Monday the 21st January, because of Grieve's amendment that Bercow broke the rules of precedent to allow MPs to vote through, it appears there is a loophole that the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, has used that allows the debate and vote on it to be delayed until Tuesday the 29th January - another week nearer to Brexit Day.

Now, the PM is, it seems, determined to push her deal through.

Maybe she's using these new inter-party discussions she started last night as a sort of cover to give her something to table next Monday and then let the ticking clock apply pressure on MPs who are terrified of the no deal option that she has hoisted above Downing Street for all to see.

The Remain side does of course know this and understands the repercussions. They may not be as worried about a delay as we would think. They may be thinking that the pressure is being applied the other way, in the belief that no-one would choose to leave without legislation in place. So, if they string it out it long enough they may think that the PM will be forced to go to the EU for an extension to Article 50.

Whereas Theresa May thinks she can cow enough of the Remainer..

Last night, as far as I can see, the Chancellor of the Exchequer took a sledgehammer to not just the government's Brexit strategy, but also to cabinet collective responsibility and to his own government's credibility and left all three smashed to smithereens on the floor.

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While Theresa May's spokesman was saying that "She is determined to deliver on the verdict of the British public and that is to leave the EU on March 29 this year", her chancellor was allegedly briefing eleven business leaders in a telephone call last night that Article 50 could be rescinded and a no deal scenario removed from the table by MPs.

The Telegraph says it has a full transcript of the call, where Hammond refers to a cross party bill put forward by the Conservative MP Nick Boles, which is designed to force the government to extend or even revoke the Article 50 process unless a deal is made with the EU by March the 29th.

And Hammond reportedly said that what the MPs involved want to do is find a way of expressing their view in a binding and effective way and that it was backed by 'some very senior parliamentarians'.

According to reports the Brexit secretary, Stephen Barclay, and the Business secretary, Greg Clark, were also involved in the call.

Further, it is also reported that Hammond said that the government was not in control of this and that he was just telling them what information he had been able to glean.

That just says to me that he's peddling his opinion on hearsay and tittle-tattle.

Hammond is part of the government and crucially ..

While Theresa May bats off today's Labour Party initiated motion of no confidence in her government, Brexit Day ticks ever closer. And is there an anti Gerard Batten and UKIP media blackout in operation?

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The Jeremy Corbyn motion of no confidence in Theresa May's government debate is now well under way. But with the DUP behind her as well as all the ardent Remainers and European Research Group MPs sat on the benches behind her loudly stating that they are Tories first and foremost and will back her in tonight's vote, it is hard to see what this day of debating will achieve.

In fact it will be quite a feat of parliament, for the two main party leaders to each lose a motion within a single twenty four hour period! Wonder if that's another record? Probably a recent one.

But while they're all knocking lumps out of each other, they've forgotten that the people voted to leave the EU and the public is getting extremely tired of all this dragging out of Brexit by the Remainers and just want it done and dusted!

What the government now needs to do is just tell the EU that we're leaving at 11pm on the 29th March 2019 in accordance with both UK and EU law and going to WTO terms.

During the next 72 days we can then get on with identifying any problem areas and see if the EU wants to come to an arrangement to ease any hitches. i.e. get on with a managed no deal Brexit.

What doesn't help here are reports this morning that Andrea Leadsom says Article 50 won't be extended and reports this afternoon saying that Theresa May hasn't ruled it out - all in the same newsp..

After five days of most MPs adding nothing to the meaningless debate, except attempts to re-run the 2016 referendum through scripted speeches, the PM inevitably lost her 'meaningful vote' last night by the heftily meaningful margin of 230 votes.

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Now, after the Grieve amendment that the Speaker broke all the rules to allow, the PM gets until Monday evening next week to come back to the House with her proposals of where we go next.

So she could have kept quiet and see if an opposition party would come up with a vote of no confidence.

But what she actually did was copy the tactic she used so successfully back in December when she won a vote of confidence in her party leadership, which came about because 48 or more of her backbenchers wrote to the chairman of the party's 1922 committee.

That vote was triggered on the 11th December and under Tory party rules the vote could have been held "as soon as possible in the circumstances prevailing". So Mrs May could have timetabled it for maybe a week later.

But what she did do was call it immediately, for the next evening.

This only gave her opponents 24 hours to get their act together.

And she did exactly the same thing last night.

As soon as the vote was announced she stood up and said that if Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence that evening, then the debate and vote would be timetabled for the next day.

She did not wait for Corbyn to marshal his forces and do it at a time of his own choosing, May took charge of the agenda.

This severely limits the opportunities for the opposition to get to a..

The House of Commons will have wasted five days of debating time before Theresa May's Brexit In Name Only (BRINO) deal gets trashed in the meaningful vote tonight.

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Everyone knows that the Prime Minister is going to lose the vote on her deal this evening and probably by a huge margin.

So what we're witnessing in parliament at the moment is a meaningless debate leading up to this so-called meaningful vote.

But if two of the main speakers are anything to go by, that is Tory Remainer Ken Clarke and Ian Blackford of the SNP, this debate is being used as a vehicle to argue for a second referendum or to revoke the Article 50 letter and so reverse Brexit altogether.

None of what these Remainers said was really about achieving what the people wanted i.e Brexit, it was a re-running of the 2016 EU referendum that they lost!

But for me, the fact that the majority of the house is averse to her deal and will vote it down comprehensively, is the right first step. But it's what comes next that should concern all Brexiteers.

Speaking about tonight's vote, the UKIP leader Gerard Batten said in a video that whether the MPs vote for or against Theresa May's deal tonight it will end up as a betrayal of Brexit.

Mr Batten said that it was unlikely that MPs would vote for the Withdrawal Agreement tonight, but if they did it was a betrayal via what I would call concentrated vassalage. But when voting it down they would straight away, of course, be saying it was all a bad idea so let's just stay in the EU.

"This has been an engineered betrayal right from the very start,"..

All Brexit talk is currently concentrating on just how much Theresa May will lose her so-called 'meaningful vote' by tonight.

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Just before she pulled the plug on the last scheduled vote before Christmas, pundits were discussing whether or not it would be a loss of above or below 100 votes and what she should do in each case.

Guess what, just cut and paste those same comments into today's media and you're there.

Except that Theresa May has lost even more credibility in the meantime, by grandly claiming that she's off to Brussels to get legally binding assurances, but came back with a letter of no substance from the presidents of the EU Commission and Council.

Would she really try the same trick of saying she's off to Brussels again, or something like it?

Anyway, right on cue, up pops a banker with the dire warning that the UK will be thrown into a 1930s style depression of a social and economic catastrophe should we leave the EU without a deal, or more accurately, if the UK left the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.

And the boss of the CBI says MPs not voting for Theresa May's deal tonight will lead to a national emergency, which would do irreparable harm to the UK economy.

Now, if I remember, this was the sort of talk used about us not joining the euro and if we voted to leave the EU, wasn't it?

I don't think their predictions will sway many MPs to vote for Mrs May's deal, but a couple more might.

Now, some may have missed the language used by the government and the EU over the last few months where they keep repeating that our Prime M..

Still pushing her doomed deal, the PM gave a speech in Stoke-on-Trent this morning where the message is now becoming: it's either my deal or, if not, the more likely outcome is parliamentary paralysis leading to no Brexit.

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The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has changed her mantra from 'her deal or no deal', to 'her deal or no Brexit'.

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She said that there were those in Westminster who would use "every device available to them" in order to "delay, or even stop, Brexit".

Well, I think all of us could have told her that over the last two and a half years - and I also personally include her in that bracket!

In response to her speech, the UKIP leader Gerard Batten said:

"What we are witnessing is the political establishment fighting over their preferred method of stopping Brexit - should it be through Mrs May's surrender document, a General Election or another referendum?

"In their arrogance and contempt for the will of the 17.4 million who voted to leave the European Union, the political establishment have embarrassed the nation in the eyes of the world."

And he went on to say that if you want to leave the EU, there is no choice but to vote for UKIP at every opportunity.

Now, Mrs May will not have made a comment like this in a speech without very careful thought.

Maybe now that she's exhausted all other avenues of support, she's trying a last stab at getting the Brexiteers on board again with the threat that Brexit will be stopped, if they do not support her deal.

But of course all the Remainer MPs will now think 'oh goody' and vote her deal down an..

With just 74 days to go until the UK withdraws from the European Union, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, will spend the next 36 hours of them continuing to flog her dead Brexit deal.

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She is expected to go to the Commons this afternoon at 3.30 pm to make a statement prior to the kick off of day four of the now pointless Withdrawal Agreement debating exercise.

In the meantime she will be hoping for a messenger to arrive from Brussels with a missive held in cleft stick, that says the Irish backstop issue has mysteriously evaporated and all's well with the world.

But the truth is that all she has left is the same tired old claims that somehow her rotten deal is 'Brexit'.

Actually in truth, anything could be 'Brexit' because it depends on who you talk to as to what it means.

For me of course it means the total and unequivocal withdrawal of the UK from the EU, or the shortened version of the Full Withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

And Theresa May's deal represents not one iota of that. It is remain on steroids and every Brexiteer understands that.

The first question to ask yourself is, if the UK was not in the EU would you sign up to Theresa May's deal? And the answer is patently no!

I actually believe Theresa May's deal represents what the EU would regard as the ideal relationship between member state and Eurocrats - for them of course!

As it gives the EU superstate all the power and the member state just does what it's told and hands over whatever dosh is required.

And that gives credence to the belief that her Withdrawal Agreement was mainly, or t..

Jeremy Corbyn has signalled that he is ready to trigger a vote of no confidence in Theresa May's government, should she lose the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal this coming Tuesday.

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While the PM was desperately trying to find support to try and shore up the last vestiges of her deal, the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, told Andrew Marr on the BBC this morning that:

"We will table a vote of no confidence at a time of our choosing but it's going to be soon, don't worry about that."

And the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has been going about telling anyone that will listen that her deal is Brexit and that to reject it would be 'a catastrophic and unforgivable breach of trust'.

But anyone who has taken a look at her proposed deal knows that her deal is not Brexit, in that it does not deliver anything other than a straitjacket and leg-irons with the capital letters E and U stamped all over them.

Her deal also guarantees another two plus years of Brexit wrangling with Brussels, as well as the Leavers and by then 'Rejoiners' being at each others' throats across the house and the country as a whole.

Her deal also guarantees another two plus years of business and economic uncertainty and, if we ever do get to agreeing a deal with the EU which is highly doubtful, there would still be calls for that to be delayed and for more referenda on the issue.

Her deal also guarantees another two plus years of political uncertainty as the Brexit deal arguments continue and more and more domestic legislation gets kicked into the long grass, because our future woul..

There are reports that a cross party group of MPs, including former ministers, is going to try and take control of the parliamentary agenda next week in order to then take control of the Brexit process.

https://www.ukip.org

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This plot is reported to have come to light when the Tory Chief Whip, Julian Smith, overheard it in the Commons cloakroom.

This news is said to have shellshocked the Prime Minister and her top aides.

Normally the government, which is usually formed by the largest party, would decide what business would be debated in parliament.

But back bench MPs are planning to put forward an amendment that would change a rule that has been in force since the 1800s to make sure government ran the agenda, to give motions proposed by backbenchers priority over any put forward by the government.

This would fundamentally change how the UK parliament and indeed our whole democratic process, would function.

To do this they would, of course, need a Speaker of the House that would be amenable to this amendment being put forward for a vote.

And as we've already seen Speaker John Bercow is not averse to rocking the constitutional boat where Brexit is concerned.

He's already broken with centuries of convention by allowing an amendment, put forward by Dominic Grieve last week, that now forces the PM to go back to parliament within three days of losing her 'meaningful vote' due next Tuesday.

Bercow did this claiming that it was his job to give more power and say to back bench MPs, so this next move could get his support and, as others have said, where ..

The Transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has been criticised for saying that if Brexit is blocked, we could be opening the door to extremism.

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Chris Grayling, who campaigned to leave the EU, but is currently supporting Theresa May's Brexit In Name Only so-called deal, told the Daily Mail that:

“This is too important for political game-playing and I urge Conservative MPs who back Brexit and others to back the deal.

“If not, we risk a break with the British tradition of moderate, mainstream politics that goes back to the Restoration in 1660.”

"MPs need to remember that Britain, its people and its traditions are the mother of Parliaments. We ignore that and the will of the people at our peril."

But you have to remember, this is a minister on Theresa May's payroll who is desperate to get the PM's deal through parliament, so he is not talking about Brexit really. He is saying to his fellow MPs sign up to this awful deal to place us in EU vassalage, or face the wrath of the people.

But the truth is that there is now only one way to Brexit and that is the WTO route. All other avenues end with servitude to Brussels. And the majority of the electorate are more than aware of that.

Now, talking to a friend who went to an extremely well attended Brexit meeting in Christchurch this morning, held by the constituency's Brexiteer Tory MP Sir Christopher Chope, I was told that Chope was upbeat about leaving the EU on World Trade Organisation, (WTO) terms and he said that it was the no-deal scaremongering that was undermining the real benefits of the UK leaving the..

You know that Theresa May's deal is dead in the water, when all the news surrounding Brexit is not on how we negotiate with the EU once her Withdrawal Agreement is voted through parliament, but instead the news is dominated by what will happen when her deal gets rejected by possibly the largest voting margin in parliamentary history.

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It's almost forgotten that the House of Commons is currently engaged in a debate on the Withdrawal Agreement that will culminate in the so-called meaningful vote next Tuesday - that is if it still goes ahead on that day.

Now, if the voting was tight, the debate would be all you hear about and as I said at the start, if it was going May's way then we would be hearing about the government's plans for the two plus years of negotiations that would start after the 29th March on how we get to a new trading relationship with the EU.

This Withdrawal Agreement debate in the Commons has already gone on for three days and there is only Monday and Tuesday left. And Theresa May is still swapping letters with the EU Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, in the hope of getting something in writing that she can use to sway the House in her favour.

But without substantive change to the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement itself, she will get nowhere.

The handful of MPs she may get onside, are those who think trading away Northern Ireland is a good deal to keep things as close to how they are now as possible.

And of course the Remainers are still plotting on how they can extend Article 50 to give time for a second referendum, or ..

Conservative MP Dominic Grieve is on a mission to force a second EU referendum in the almost certain event that Theresa May's doomed Brexit deal is voted out by MPs next Tuesday.

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Tory MP and former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has now become a bit of a front man for the Remain campaign.

He is the architect of two successful amendments to legislation that has forced the PM to speed up the Brexit process and also ensured that whatever she proposes after her deal is voted down, is amendable and can be debated.

And now he is calling for the time and date that the UK leaves the EU be removed from the Withdrawal Act and for the PM to then approach the EU to extend the Article 50 negotiation phase.

The trouble is, that is not actually possible as far as I can see.

The wording of the 2018 European Union Withdrawal Act means that a Minister of the Crown may amend the Act to ensure that the 'exit day' within it reflects the actual time that the EU treaties no longer apply to the UK.

So, the UK would surely have to negotiate extending Article 50 to another date and time first, and then amend the Withdrawal Act accordingly.

Amending the act itself won't change anything as we have to get the EU to agree first with the unanimous agreement of all EU27 member states and, if just one refuses to oblige, then we will be forced out on exit day by EU law anyway - unless we revoke the Article 50 letter unilaterally before exit day and Remain in the EU. But then the Act would again be wrong as it would have a date for our leaving the EU on it and statute is to be ..

Jeremy Hunt has rocked the Brexit boat by saying basically that the choice for MPs next Tuesday is either to vote for Theresa May's deal or have no Brexit at all, which is at odds with Theresa May's own position of her deal or no deal.

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But leaving the EU at 11pm on 29th March 2019 is currently enshrined in statute and can only be overridden by another statute and without government support that would not happen.

So, when Theresa May's deal is voted down next week then, in order to fulfil the commitment to leave the EU, either another more acceptable deal needs to be quickly struck or more preferably, the government should straight away embark on a managed WTO exit from the European Union.

But Hunt said that it would be 'very unrealistic' to think that MPs would not be able to find a way of stopping a WTO based Brexit and that voting down May's deal could lead to a sort of Brexit paralysis and possibly stop our exit from the EU.

But this 'no Brexit' option that Remain minded politicians keep harping on about is not a democratic option at all.

So, what is he up to?

Is this some sort of low grade attempt to scare the hard Brexiteers into backing May's deal for fear that there is somehow a route to stopping Brexit altogether?

I for one don't think that will gain any traction at all. Those that have read the deal understand full well the implications of it and how it is designed to lock the UK into EU vassalage in perpetuity. They are never going to give the UK away like that, especially as they know the voters are becoming more fully aware of the pos..

The government has given its response to the amendment allowed through yesterday by the Speaker, John Bercow.

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The government response to being forced to go back to the Commons with their next moves should the PM have her proposed Brexit deal voted down, is to limit the debate to on her response to 90 minutes and only allow one amendment.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said that concerning:

"....the motion that would follow from the Grieve amendment, there would only be 90 minutes of debate on the motion is our understanding and only one amendment could be selected."

And the PM's spokesman did say that the government's interpretation of the Grieve amendment could be overturned by the Speaker, if he interpreted it differently.

So, will a Speaker who seems to want to use Brexit to reform the House of Commons rules, continue on the path he followed yesterday and keep driving his coach and horses through parliamentary procedures?

Theresa May herself is continuing the forlorn battle to save her doomed deal, with Downing Street indicating that an amendment put forward by Labour MPs to ensure workers' rights and protect the environment by enshrining EU standards into UK law would be looked at favourably. This might well encourage some Labour MPs into breaking ranks and voting with the government to avoid a no-deal WTO exit from the EU.

And Labour MP John Mann has said that this would make the PM's Brexit deal look more attractive.

But even so, the odds are definitely against the PM getting her deal through the Commons, as reports come in saying that she..

With just 78 days left until the UK leaves the European Union, much of the attention is now on the Speaker, John Bercow.

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After his decision yesterday to allow a usually un-amendable process to be amended by parliament, there have been serious questions about his impartiality on Brexit.

One official is reported as saying:

"I would say it is patently out of order but the Speaker’s word is law. By definition if he says it’s in order, it’s in order.The magic words ‘it’s a decision for the Speaker’ cover all sins."

While another said that it was hard to see from the original motion, as written, that it was amendable.

And it is also reported that the Speaker's decision was in direct conflict with the advice given to him by the Commons Clerk, Sir David Natzler.

But this amendment goes further than just forcing the PM back to parliament in just three days with her plan B, it would also result in MPs being able to wrest control of what is a government function.

And they would do this by amending, and voting on the plan B, whatever it is, as well as coming up with their own proposals and it would all be overseen by the Speaker.

As a result, the Times reports that a cabinet source said that the relationship between the government and Speaker was now 'beyond breaking point, it's broken'.

And Brexiteers believe that the Speaker has now taken it upon himself to personally stop Brexit.

And already, the shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer - an ardent Remainer, is talking about the inevitability of extending the Article 50 process. And further it could be th..

The Speaker of the House of Commons breaks with precedent and the result is a huge defeat for the UK government!

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This afternoon the House of Commons voted by 308 votes to 297, to impose a three day deadline on the PM to come back to the House with a plan B, should her deal be rejected in the so-called meaningful vote next Tuesday evening.

This short deadline came about as a result of an amendment I talked about this morning, put forward by Tory MP and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, to the government business motion that dictates how the actual debate on the Withdrawal Agreement would be conducted.

It is unheard of for the Speaker to allow such a government business motion to be amended in such a manner. But the current Speaker, John Bercow, allowed the amendment through to be put before MPs to vote on, which is unprecedented.

Not only that, there appear to be worries amongst MPs that the Speaker acted against the advice of his own clerks. He was constantly questioned via points of order on this issue, but maintained that he had properly 'consulted' with the right people but that he would not divulge what he was advised or whether it conflicted with his actions, nor he said would he publish any such advice.

Before the vote was taken the Speaker, looking very heated and red, faced a huge deluge of these points of order by Leave and government MPs calling his decision into question and also Remain MPs supporting his judgement and almost dancing in their seats with pleasure at the thought of further hemming the government in.

The Speaker seem..

The UK government was defeated last night when the House of Commons voted by a majority of seven, that is 303 to 297, in support an amendment to the Finance Bill put forward by Yvette Cooper that aims to prevent a no-deal exit from the European Union.

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The vast majority of the opposition benches voted in favour of the amendment as did 20 Tory MPs, which included 17 former ministers and among them were six former cabinet ministers.

The Remain campaigners, who seem to be calling themselves 'anti-no-dealers' at the moment, are hailing this as a great victory, while the Brexiteers are saying it is a storm in a teacup and of little consequence.

And you could say both are correct here.

Technically as a stand alone event, this amendment to the finance bill will cause very few problems for the government.

But the Remainers see this as the start of a period of intense trench warfare as they keep the amendments to upcoming legislation flowing in.

You could say that they are holing to kill off the no deal Brexit, or WTO Brexit, option by bleeding it dry by inflicting a sort of death by a thousand amendments.

And the problem for the Brexiteer MPs is they cannot keep saying that each defeat of this type is minor and inconsequential.

If defeats like this keep coming in, it sends out a message to the country at large as well as other wavering Tory MPs who may be emboldened to join in or even vote their own government down if push came to shove.

And here comes the next Remainer move. The Commons is set to start a full five day debate on Theresa May's deal today..

The Brexit Romour mills are working overtime at the moment with claims that the EU won't renegotiate but other claims that they will negotiate and we're not talking about extending article 50, but we are actually, or are we?

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A quick look around the media today and you get warnings in one source that the EU will not negotiate any more, whereas in another there are claims that they will and even that there are major concessions on the way from the EU.

And while the Brexit secretary says no-one's talking about extending Article 50 because it's not government policy, other sources are claiming that UK officials have started the talks on it and Ireland has already piped up and said it won't stand in the way if the UK wants to extend Article 50.

I think it's safe to say that much of this is probably a lot of post Christmas froth.

But while we're waiting for the winds of clarity to blow this froth away, UK MPs are busying themselves in trying to stop a no-deal Brexit, or more technically correct, stop a WTO Brexit.

And part of this is an amendment to the Finance Bill due to be debated in the Commons this afternoon that plans to put a stop to a no deal World Trade Organisation (WTO) exit from the EU.

Now some are saying that this is just a symbolic gesture and that the only thing it does, is limit tax raising powers in the event of a no-deal, so it doesn't actually in itself prevent a no deal exit. And presumably it could easily be reversed later once we've left on WTO terms to stop the country grinding to a halt anyway.

But I believe it is more than just a symbolic gesture. If the..

The Labour Party could be on the way to whipping its MPs into backing an amendment to the Finance Bill that could block a No-Deal exit from the European Union.

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The Labour Party front bench looks likely to tell its MPs to vote for the amendment to the Finance Bill put forward by Yvette Cooper that would gum up the UK tax works unless we either had a deal with the EU, extended or revoked Article 50 or if parliament specifically voted for a no deal Brexit.

This effectively takes the WTO option out of the equation, if it is voted through.

Also, at the last count 209 MPs have signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling on her to specifically rule out the no-deal or WTO Brexit option.

But in reality, removing bargaining power is a side issue to Remainers. Their real aims are to get rid of Theresa May's deal and simultaneously block the no-deal option.

Remainers would then rush across to Brussels en mass and tell the Eurocrats not to offer an extension to Article 50 under any circumstances and to also block any attempts to negotiate a new deal, or just draw the talks out.

That would leave the government with only one option before the 29th March - that is to revoke the Article 50 letter and reverse Brexit completely. And be in no doubt, that is what this is all about.

Some might say why not just go for another type of deal, Norway or Canada or something.

But who would lead it? Who would negotiate it? And what plan would that be?

There are probably dozens of these plans and iterations of these plans circulating about Westminster, with none of them ha..

After the recent Project Fear assault by Remain politicians, the 'establishment' and the mainstream press on the idea of the UK leaving the EU without a deal - or more technically correct, on World Trade Organisation terms - you would be forgiven for thinking that the World Trade Organisation, or WTO, must be an awful set-up.

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So how come the EU itself operates quite happily under the WTO umbrella?

How come the UK can already trade very successfully around the world on WTO terms with non-EU countries?

And just for the record, the UK is already a member of the WTO in its own right and is up-to-date in paying its membership fee as an individual member state of the WTO. So talk of having to 're-join' the WTO is completely false and misleading.

So it's great to see an informative document issued by Global Britain and Labour Leave that blows the doors off of the anti-Brexit no deal WTO exit fear-mongering that's been splashed across the front pages for the last few months or more.

The authors of this excellent piece of work are former Tory Cabinet Minister Lord Lilley and the General Secretary of labour Leave, Brendan Chilton.

This thirty page document gives us thirty truths about leaving the EU on WTO terms and is a must read for all MPs, all peers of the realm, all journalists and all voters.

It completely dismantles the whole WTO fear mongering in a straight-forward and easy to understand way.

It points out that using the WTO route will allow us to keep £39 billion and spend it how we wish inside the UK.

That it would instantly end a two year plu..

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Created 4 months ago.

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CategoryNews & Politics

Jeff Taylor produces Videos and blog content on Politics.