Let’s play a game.
It’s called “pick your crisis” and, I promise, it’ll be great fun.
Her supporters, the five-minutes-to-midnighters, are waving banners: “Run Down the Clock!”
They are waiting and waiting until the last possible moment to hold the "meaningful vote"
They have a banner too, a rather long one: “Let Parliament take control, please, for a short period, for limited purposes”.
Their goal is to prevent the PM from running down the clock.
She is currently engaged in destined-to-be-fruitless negotiations with the EU and the Opposition.
In March, she will say (again...): “My deal, no deal or no Brexit”.
And, she seems to think, the later the better
First, the real deadline in the Brexit process is March 21. That’s the next meeting of the European Council.
a. the famous meaningful vote *and*
b. the most important legislation you’ve never heard of: the Withdrawal Agreement Bill
The only thing the U.K. can possibly ask for on March 21 is “more time” to finish the Article 50 process.
And it will have to ask for an extension on March 21.
*Any* of them can ask for *anything* in exchange for their agreement.
Say (and I'm just speculating wildly here), Spain or Ireland.
I also suppose the EU could agree to hold an emergency EUCO.
And the member states could helpfully mull over using their vetoes, possibly publicly, to extract UK concessions.
With a No Deal Brexit perfectly plausible, and just days away, people would stockpile food, medicine, £££s and petrol.
It would be a genuine crisis.
It is where the UK is currently headed.
They want to wrestle control of the parliamentary agenda from the government.
This would upend centuries of tradition, substituting backbench MPs for Her Majesty’s ministers as key decision-makers.
But with the Fixed-term Parliaments Act capable of sustaining an ailing govt in power, the scope for its exploitation has been greatly increased.
Inverting these clear lines of accountability would, again, set a potentially dangerous precedent.
It is fair to say it has not worked out very well.
1. The UK teetering on a precipice in late March, at the mercy of European leaders.
2. The upending of parliamentary executive relations.
You have until February 27 to choose.
(Told you it would be fun)