By Ben Kerrigan-
The British government’s deep crisis over Brexit is deepening and needs an urgent solution.
Mps signalled to Theresa May’s government that MPs backed calls for it to respond within three working Parliamentary days, a deadline likely to fall on Monday 21 January. The will have to come up with revised plans within three days if Mrs May’s EU withdrawal deal is rejected by MPs next week.
The fresh blow for the PM came as MPs started five days of debate on the withdrawal agreement with the EU, and the framework for future relations, ahead of the meaningful vote next Tuesday. Initial hopes for the government to have 21 days to come up with a “plan B” for Brexit if Mrs May’s deal is voted down have now been dashed. MPs backed calls for it to respond within three working Parliamentary days, a deadline likely to fall on Monday 21 January.
Theresa May lost by 11 votes, with 297 MPs siding with the government and 308 against. Among those voting against were 17 Conservatives, including former ministers Justine Greening, Sam Gyimah and Jo Johnson who want to see another refer.
Crucially, the attempt to block a no deal is mistaken because without an alternative, there will be no deal.
If May’s plan is voted down next week without an alternative, Britain will simply end up crashing out of the EU without a deal. The need for May’s government and Parliamentarian Mps to find an alternative couldn’t be any more urgent that it is now. Labour is hoping to seize the crisis as an opportunity to push for an election, one that could easily lead to a change of power if the British public decide they are fed up of the internal indecision over Brexit. Yet unless an alternative is presented, a change of government may solve nothing except to prolong and perhaps even complicate an already complicated matter.