Thursday 21 March 2019

'Theresa May has decided she is prepared to take Britain out of the EU without a deal'

This story published in the Financial Times a few minutes ago is a huge scoop. Is it true?
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Theresa May made a momentous choice. After a day of acrimonious debate in her cabinet and inner circle, the prime minister decided that she was willing to take Britain out of the EU without a deal.
At Thursday’s European Council meeting in Brussels, EU diplomats wondered whether Mrs May was bluffing, but those close to the prime minister said if she cannot secure her Brexit deal she is determined the UK should embark on a no-deal exit.
Of course she might not be allowed to but if her deal is defeated after a third 'meaningful vote' next week the only choices are leaving with no deal and withdrawing Article 50.

If leaving with no deal goes well, the Conservatives take the credit. If it goes badly Mrs May, if she is still in office, and the government can say it tried its very hardest to avoid  this option, which was forced on them by Labour and by Tory rebels from both the Brexit and Remain wings.

But since this story is now leaking out it becomes harder for her deal to pass the House. The Brexiteers who had swung behind it will now see that no deal is a real possibility and vote against it. 

Though that wise old owl John O'Sullivan thinks the story is a feint to get Remainers to vote for Mrs. May's deal and to distract Brexiteers from moving against her. 

He might have added: and to get the EU maybe to cut her a better deal. 

Were Mr. Corbyn and Labour to vote for Mrs May's deal they could easily prevent leaving with no deal, but only at the cost of betraying Labour's Remainer voters. Why would they put country before party?

The best thing Mrs May can do, if her deal fails a third time, is prorogue Parliament till Monday week and in a bound we are free.

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