, 20 tweets, 4 min read
Huge problems storing up for the govt this week:

Plan is to bring MV back tomorrow. Think almost certain not to happen as Speaker will rule out of order as (i) same issue twice (ii) contradicts Letwin amendment which says Brexit related legislation must be agreed first.
There is a common misconception that the govt pulled the vote on Saturday. They did not. They just didn't bring the motion as amended to a division. It went through on the nod. The House decided something. I.e. Letwin, that there is no deal until WAB passes. That is big.
That is why common refrain that Saturday was a "waste of time" or that "they didn't decide anything" is a nonsense.
As a result of that decision, the Speaker has even more justification to refuse the deal coming back. The previous MVs were defeated and the House passed nothing. Yesterday the Commons (when govt walked away from motion) effectively unanimously agreed and 'resolved' the matter.
So that means only route to get the deal through is via the WAB. That is due to take place Tuesday. And that is absolutely fraught with danger. The parliamentary manoeuvres we saw on Saturday will look like a walk in the park compared to the WAB.
It will be amended in every direction. This is why govt wanted to have MV first (same as May's). Establish you have a majority on the deal and hope momentum of that means that coalition of MPs holds throughout the WAB process.
There will be lots of attention paid to the sexiest amendment: a second referendum. But that (prob) still doesn't have enough support. The explosive one is a customs union which probably does and crucially has support from Lab MPs who might back deal but would prefer a CU.
Expect Labour and others to get behind that amendment because it is in effect a massive wrecking amendment to the government's deal. They know Johnson cannot accept it, cannot negotiate it and it would tear the Tory Party apart.
If that happens (and it passes) I don't see any way out for Johnson, other than accepting the reality of the extension and using it to insist on an election where he campaigns for his deal. Tory Party as the Brexit (with a deal) Party.
Basically the govt gave up its best chance of accessing the majority that might well now exist for the deal by not pushing the division on Saturday. Virtually everyone I speak to thinks it was a mistake that they didn't.
DUP votes now in play also means everything (in terms of amendments) even more fluid. As one MP put it to me: "If it was a matrix of options before it’s now galaxy of variables post Letwin."
Other problems abound. There's no guarantee, for example, that the govt even has the votes for a programme motion which would set out when, how and for how long the WAB would be debated. IE they might not even be able to bring the WAB up, or at least, to do so without condition.
Entirely possible MPs try and push programme motion for WAB *beyond* this week, so we can't Brexit by October 31st and def enter extension. So keep eye out for programme motion vote, which is usually a formality but actually a big moment this week. Possibly the biggest.
AND there's the Queen's Speech. Remember that? We were supposed to conclude the votes on it on Monday and Tuesday. But that is all up in the air tomorrow. A vote seems to be planned on Tuesday. Entirely possible govt could lose. First time on a QS since Stanley Baldwin in 1924.
Normally a govt/PM would resign if that happened. It was traditionally a confidence vote. Thanks to the FTPA it no longer is.

But big pressure on Corbyn to table a vote of no confidence if govt does lose. If not then, when?
Seems to me this week (alongside EU's response on duration of extension) will determine if we have an election this year. If it's extension to January and becomes clear govt can't get deal through, election on 5th/12 December most likely.
So erm yeah, hold onto your hats (if you haven’t lost them already). big week.
Just to clarify something: I essentially think we’ve given far too much emphasis to a) the MV and now b) second reading of WAB. Both of those votes could have majorities. But they’re essentially theoretical majorities. They could fall apart when it comes to the amendments on WAB.
Because the coalitions for those majorities, potentially stretching all the way from Bill Cash to potentially someone like Gloria de Piero, are highly unstable.
Written more fully about all of this (and why an election, for the first time might truly stand a chance of resolving things, here:
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