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Bet you fancy a bit of PMQs and then at least seven relentless hours of parliamentary drudgery, followed by an underwhelming series of votes in which MPs fail to live up to their moment in history, don't you? Well let's do it then.
May starts by calling for restraint between India-Pakistan. As if any country on the earth gives a living fuck what we have to say anymore.
The days we were taken seriously came just before the moment we decided to shoot our legs off and then tell everyone how sensible we were to do so.
Corbyn quite good on the economy., Growth slowest for a decade. Manufacturing already in recession. Honda, Nissan and others announcing plans away from UK.
Corbyn: Economy is terrible. May: Economy is brilliant. Corbyn: Economy is terrible. May: Economy is brilliant.
I can already feel my sense of hope draining away.
You'd get a better standad of debate if you got two Alexas and tried to get them to speak to one another.
May just said: "Manufacturing is not in recession". (12:16 here…). That's not right. The latest ONS figures say there is an "overall growth of negative 0.9% in manufacturing"…
If I'm missing something, perhaps someone can point it out. If not, that seems to be an example of the prime minister misleading the House.
I hear people saying it needs to be two consecutive quarters - but that's precisely what it says: "It was the second consecutive three-month fall for manufacturing." See attached screengrab.
No my bad - being sloppy. It fell in previous quarter, but was not negative growth. See here…
Simply incredible level of cockwombling on the Costa stuff.
So he has now gone from his ministerial position for tabling an amendment the govt is going whip its MPs to support.
When I first heard of that amendment - we broke the story of it last week… - the expectation was that the government would back it.
It was clearly in their interest to do so. It was the morally right thing to do, it made them look good, made the EU look bad, and was already uniting all sides of Tory benches and MPs across the House, so made sense to get in front of it regardless of its view.
Somehow they've gone from that to a home secretary presuming they still support it while a prime minister says it's impossible and then a double reverse-ferret to re-support it, with the minister responsible having to quit anyway.
Remember the good old days when the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing? Now the right hand doesn't even know what its own fingers are up to.
Btw, on May's argument that the EU legally cannot fulfil what the amendment demands. This misrepresents the amendment. It is designed to create a political demand for the Council to give a mandate to separate out citizens' rights…
I'm off to record Remainiacs so will probably miss the Brexit secretary's opening statement. I can barely contain my sadness.
Back in parliament. Terrible gloom. Most news value sucked out of today's events. Dreary debate in Commons. My cells ageing. Rain tomorrow.
Most interesting aspect of what's been discussed so far: Timing of extension.
Govt not being particularly clear on whether it would specify timing of extension in March 14th vote, before going to EU to negotiate it. But the intervention from Boles suggested they would give Commons vote if time offered was different to time requested.
My guess is govt will specify time because they and parliament (wrongly) want the same thing: About three months. So strengthens negotiating position if Europe wants longer.
If extension really is three months, then we're fucked, for reasons outlined here. It'll be May deal or no deal.…
But if Europe demands longer extension, which it might and I hope it will, MPs will be forced to really decide what they hate more: no-deal or participating in European parliament elections.
Hilary Benn talking complete sense in Commons. Norway would limit damage, but PM too inflexible to do it. Extending Article 50 and negotiating future partnership during that time, but same applies.
Bill Cash is making a speech of epic stupidity. Richard Drax intervenes. "My hon friend is making an excellent speech. If we don't have control of our laws, we don't have control of our country. Is that right?"
I swear, these people. Having them talk politics is like asking a caveman to hook up your modem.
Cash looks like a old chair that has been brought partially to life.
Cooper up. "We are back again at our usual fortnightly gathering in which nothing has changed."
Richard Drax basically talking Brexiter fan-fiction. EU don't want us to go, so will not offer a good deal until we're out without a deal. And also simultaneously he and his allies don't want to leave without a deal and to claim otherwise is a lie.
"The behaviour of many in this House are signalling to the EU complete and utter chaos. No unity. Imagine 650 MPs had said we are right behind the people of this country. I would suggest negotiations with the EU would have gone a very different way."
Conspiracy theory, paranoia, deranged hysterical gibberish. "At the mercy! Subjugation! This is madness!"
"The EU must be sitting back thee, the champagne is out, the Chablis has been drunk, the lobsters have been slaughtered. Why? Because they;re looking at the chaos in this place."
The man's a fucking lunatic. I wouldn't put in him charge of a child's playset.
Wouldn't even leave him with the play set, in case he chocked on the small parts.
Grieve: "What we are likely to be doing is offering a halfway house palliative that the majority of members of this House knows is going to be less good than staying in."
"Maybe that's a burden we're going to have to carry because of the referendum result but all I can say, speaking personally, is I find it absolutely unacceptable that I should park every aspect of my own opinion of these options...
... in order simply to go along with an instruction which is nearly three years old and seems to be running out of steam on every aspect of its characteristics."
Costa up. "The spectre of uncertainty [is] hanging over the heads of five million people. It's right that this House has positively coalesced around a good message.
"That message - not just to the country, to EU citizens - that message is also aimed at Donald Tusk. and the European Council."
He pushed back against May statement earlier saying EU doesn't have the power to conduct an agreement on EU citizens rights. The Council can change the mandate whenever it likes. There is no legal obstacle.
He wants to know exactly what measures govt will take to comply with the amendment. Will the PM write a letter to Tusk? What other measures can or will it take to carve out citizen's rights?
Costa specifically thanks @the3million and @BritishInEurope. Rare that we hear the names of those two groups in the Commons. They have been utterly brilliant throughout this dreadful process.
@the3million @BritishInEurope Caroline Lucas: "It is such an honour to follow the hon member. He has handled this issue so well and he has added so much to the reputation of this place by the way he has dealt with this amendment."
Quite right.
Soubry: "When history records what has happened over the last two and half years it'll not falter to put the blame where it has to be put...
... or fail to observe that one of the most striking features amongst too many hon members in this place has been a breathtaking lack of courage and honesty."
David Lammy: "I've met no member in this House supporting no-deal who has experienced real poverty."
Lee Rowley, otherwise invisible Tory MP, pops up to make a staggeringly foolish argument: "You outsourced this decision in 2016 to the people and you are now trying to in-source erroneously the implementation and it isn't working."
What exactly is it he proposes? How are MPs supposed to outsource "implementation" to the public? Weekly referendums on negotiating postures in real time?
Nope. What he means, whether he realises or not, is that the government gets total control to decide what the "will of the people" is, and parliament stops trying to scrutinise it.
Brilliant from SNP MP Pete Wishart: "I will never support their Brexit. I will not support anything that makes my constituents poorer. I will not support the end of freedom of movement that will decimate businesses in my constituency...
... And I will never ever accept the fact that the rights I enjoyed to live, to work, to love across a continent will be denied to future generations of young people. I will never, ever accept this."
Fuck is that bloke. Oh yeah, it's the Brexit secretary.
Costa intervenes. Says given govt has accepted his amendment, will he confirm PM will write to Tusk, to Council, asking for legal permission for Commission to carve out citizens' rights deal.
Barclay says they will write to "EU institutions" - not entirely clear which one.
He then says it is govt's "expectation that a substantive motion would be amendable". This is important. It means MPs will decide the length of Article 50 extension.
He then tells Cooper the government will stick by its commitments.
She thanks him, then says there are reports online "the leader of the House may have said something different - that we could leave with no deal even if House voted against no deal. Is he aware of that? Barclay says "quite genuinely" he does not.
He has a quick shit on the Labour and SNP amendments.
And now it's division and MPs are off to vote on Corbyn amendment. If this fails, which it will, Labour's official policy will now be to support a second referendum.
Fucking hell this has been dull as fuck.
Corbyn amendment defeated 240 votes to 323.
That's Corbyn's deal gone. Labour policy is now officially and in the present to hold a second referendum.
What does this mean in practice? No-one really knows. According to some, it means a referendum once May's deal was passed, which makes it useless. According to others, it could be as a condition of the deal, or in other eventualities.
That internal war will continue. But look at otherwise unrelated developments today over Williamson: the leadership loyalists are partially in retreat.
Anyway, they;re now voting on amendment K from the SNP, which rules out no-deal "under any
circumstances, and regardless of any exit date". It'll also be defeated, by a heavier margin.
Huh. SNP amendment defeated by 288 to 324.
Much tighter than I thought.
Cooper amendment not moved. Yay.
Costa moves.
No one shouts no so "the Ayes have it". That's it.
Sorry I buggered that up. Cooper is moving her amendment.
Fuck, there's a division.
Bloody Brexiter MP bastards. No reason to do that, you scoundrel scumbags. I am now half an hour further away from my pint.
You absolute fuckers. We were so close.
Sorry, for those worrying this has some sort of serious implication: It is just me expressing my anger that I have to wait longer for beer.
Cooper amendment passes 502 to 20
Not much to say about that really. Govt policy and all that. Although I imagine Cooper will have enjoyed it.
She's been holding May to account for many a year now - previous in the shadow home secretary post. She remains really very good about it.
And with that, May motion passes.
Will have a quick piece on the Costa amendment in a moment.
Costa amendment passes unanimously: The EU should now listen and change position…
Hasn't been much to criticise in EU position for last few years. With the odd exception they've been credible and transparent. But it is time for the 'nothing-is-agreed-until-everything-is-agreed' period to end.
They should respond positively t Costa and the universal endorsement it just got from an otherwise bitterly divided Commons.
Right. Now I'm going to drink. Goodnight all.
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