, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
#Brexit thread:

So. Tomorrow the House of Commons will vote on a series of possible amendments to Theresa May's 'Plan B' - or rather the 'plan of action to achieve a Plan B' - which itself officially reads as follows:
The amendment most likely to pass – and therefore the one on which most attention has been paid – is this one from Conservative party chairman Sir Graham Brady. It's effectively an instruction to go back and seek *some unstated other way* to avoid a hard border in Ireland:
Tonight, Theresa May has asked her backbenchers to vote in favour of this amendment. She is basically asking them to tie her hands, so that Brussels will clearly know what it would take to win the Commons' backing for any deal.
This is largely seen as an attempt by May to placate the Eurosceptic backbench ERG group, which has emerged as an influential pro-Brexit caucus, without whose support the Conservative party won't back anything at all. But…
Brady's amendment has only won the favour of No.10 by somehow surmising that the Withdrawal Agreement (i.e. the Brexit deal itself) need not be amended in order for the backstop to be acceptably rejigged. Here's what he said on BBC Radio 4 last night:
But because Brady's amendment only *implicitly* requires the Brexit deal to be renegotiated, and doesn't itself outline what an alternative backstop would be, the ERG will defy Tory HQ and vote against it:
- May wants a clear mandate from the Commons to try and renegotiate the Brexit deal
- Brady offers a craftily fudged amendment which might do so
- May instructs her MPs to back Brady's amendment
- The people she's trying to convince reject it, saying it's not pragmatic enough
Given this backbench rebellion, there remains a prospect that ALL of the two-dozen amendments before the Commons tomorrow will be rejected:
Meaning: After ceding control of the Plan B process to parliament, MPs could tomorrow reject *every proposal on the table* and send Theresa May back to Brussels with no clear instruction at all.

Brexit is in 60 days.
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