Last night Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, counted 48 letters in his cupboard and let Theresa May know she’d have a leadership challenge this week. This morning he let the world know.
The system for Tories who want rid of their leader is primarily in the hands of MPs. If one-sixth of the Conservative backbenchers have written a letter of no-confidence in their leader to the chair of the 1922 Committee, a vote of no-confidence is called: if the leader wins that vote, they can’t be challenged again for another year: if they lose that vote, there is a leadership election in which the current leader cannot stand, voted on by Tory MPs only until only two candidates are left standing: the Tory membership then gets to vote on the last two candidates.
Tonight, 315 Tory MPs will get to have a second vote to see if they’ve changed their minds since 2016. (Most of them have been arguing that we shouldn’t get to have a second vote to see if we have.)
There are four ways the UK can go from here with regard to Brexit, and all of them are bad. We could go hard Brexit, or no deal – that’s catastrophic. We can accept the deal the EU is still prepared to offer us, soft Brexit, which may be only mildly disastrous but which won’t make anyone, Leaver or Remainer, happy: or the third direction, another EU referendum – which will inevitably stir up trouble, potentially very violent trouble, and there is no guarantee that a second referendum would arrive at the desired result; and time is running out.
The fourth, entirely constitutional option, is for the House of Commons to stop Brexit by a majority of MPs voting to revoke the UK’s invocation of Article 50 and remain in the EU.
Why I think you should contact your MP to ask them to vote against Theresa May’s Article 50 bill – whether your MP is pro or anti Brexit.
Theresa May claimed as Crown Prerogative the right to invoke Article 50 and take the UK out of the EU without consulting Parliament.
The Supreme Court has ruled, as matter of constitutional law, that she’s wrong: Parliament is sovereign, and only Parliament can take the UK out of the EU.
So Theresa May has had written a very short bill which will by Parliamentary vote give her the right to invoke Article 50 without further consultation.
Way to miss the point, Prime Minister.
This is the full text of the bill Theresa May has published today, two days after the Supreme Court ruled she couldn’t just use her Crown prerogatives to invoke Article 50:
Confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.
Filed under Brexit, Politics
“Does anyone know why the UK is leaving the EU?” someone asked.
This was my answer:
From where I’m sitting, the UK is leaving the EU because, in no particular order:
The exit polls look depressing:
- Conservatives: 316
- Labour: 239
- SNP: 58
- LibDem: 10
- UKIP: 2
- Green: 2
- Plaid Cymru: 4
If the DUP get 10 seats, as some polls predicted, the Conservatives would be able to choose between a coalition with the LibDems or a coalition with DUP, whichever they pleased: either would get them to 326, and if so, we are screwed.
The BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 will be holding
three four debates before the general election in May 2015.
One of them, reasonably enough, will be a head-to-head between David Cameron and Ed Miliband.
Another two, also reasonably enough, will include besides the Conservative Prime Minister and the leader of the Labour Party (still predicted to be Labour Prime Minister by a narrow majority), the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the LibDems, Nick Clegg – even though the LibDems appear likely to see their 57 seats drop to 18 after 7th May 2015.
The fourth debate will privilege a minor party above the SNP and the Greens: Nigel Farage, who is not an MP, whose party is still predicted to have no MPs after 7th May 2015, will get to take part in a four-way debate with Cameron, Miliband, and Clegg.
Will UKIP have two MPs in the House of Commons before 2015?
No, I don’t think they will. I don’t think they’re even likely to have one.
Despite Daily Mail fantasies of all white working-class people being racist, UKIP clearly present a threat to the Tory party and thus possible electoral benefit to Labour by splitting the right-wing vote, as I think we will see proved when the Rochester and Strood byelection date comes round.