Part of the point of Brexit is that we leave the warm embrace of European and European Union politicians who have no clue about us and our system and return to the lighter touch of our domestic peeps, those who do in fact have some vague connection with our situations, desires and hopes. At which point it becomes slightly disconcerting to find that it’s one of the federasts who has the correct diagnosis of the basic Brexit political problem at present. Which is that we can all be against all sorts of things. But to prevent a no deal Brexit requires a positive majority in favour of something else. Which doesn’t in fact exist.
Thus Yvette and all the rest aren’t going to achieve all that much. We’ve pointed this out around here before of course:
Yvette Cooper’s Brexit Bill – But More Time To Do What?
Quite, what is it that can be agreed upon?
That is, she’s still not solved the basic problem which is there is no majority in the Commons – nor in fact anywhere else if we’re honest about it – for the specific deal that should be signed up to. The only majority we’ve in fact got is the one that says Leave even as that has splits in it about how. We’ve just not got a majority in favour of anything more detailed than that.
Today we get Michel Barnier making exactly the same point:
Michel Barnier has warned that the move led by Labour MP Yvette Cooper to block the prime minister from delivering a no-deal Brexit is doomed to fail unless a majority for an alternative agreement is found. The EU’s chief negotiator, in a speech in Brussels, said the “default” for the UK was still crashing out if MPs could not coalesce around a new vision of its future outside the bloc. “There appears to be a majority in the Commons to oppose a no-deal but opposing a no-deal will not stop a no-deal from happening at the end of March”, he said. “To stop ‘no deal’, a positive majority for another solution will need to emerge.”
We’re all against bad things and we can gain a majority against bad things any time we like. It’s always the arguments over what is a good thing and how, precisely, we’ll achieve sugar and spice which causes the disagreements. So it is here.
Now, we here are all in favour of no deal. Crash out, WTO terms, move to unilateral free trade and bugger the rest. She’ll be right. And at least half of that is the current default position. Everyone else’s problem is that there is no positive majority in favour of anything different but exactly such a majority is needed. Diddums, eh?