Theresa May has lost all authority and must go

Written by Mandy Rhodes on 18 March 2019 in Comment

Brexit has exposed voters to the unpalatable truth that the House of Commons is not a place of all the talents

Image credit: David Anderson

By the middle of last week and sounding like a robot whose batteries were fast running out of juice, it was clear that it wasn’t just her voice that the prime minister was losing.

Her party, her deal and, some would unkindly suggest, her mind; all gone in series of votes and a dogmatic approach to the country’s future that had self-harm written all over it from the beginning but even still she kept advancing with the knife.

Last week, MPs voted for the second time against the deal that Theresa May has spent two and a half years negotiating, renegotiating and then blithely saying she had managed to change even when that was exposed as a sham.

And then her backup plan, that we could just walk away with a no-deal Brexit, which had long been dangled in front of Brussels as our trump card, was also soundly rejected in a free vote which saw four of her own ministers vote against her.

Never mind, she had previously said to rule out a ‘no deal’ would not be possible, ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn for asking for just that. And had time and time again said that a ‘no deal’ would be a catastrophe, by the middle of last week she had capitulated on all of that to leave her MPs unwhipped on a vote that she, as the prime minister of this country, has said could bring us to ruin.

And even on this vote, the farce continued with her managing to somehow even vote against her own motion. It was a sign, if there was one needed, that she had lost all authority and must go.

But still she soldiered on, even in the face of her own ministers, including the Brexit Secretary, voting against a policy that they had only hours before stood up in the parliament to argue for.

David Mundell abstained because on this occasion he could argue that by doing nothing, he was in fact doing something which was, by his logic, supporting his prime minister who did not want a no deal but who had just voted herself not to take it off the table.

And so, the week ended with the PM at last winning a vote but on a motion, she never wanted to put to the House – to extend our departure date from the EU. And on this, her chief whip managed to vote against her.

One of the most damaging aspects of this whole Brexit shambles has been to expose voters to the unpalatable truth that the House of Commons is not a place of all the talents. Indeed, it currently feels like Idiots Central.

And so, the EU has potentially done her job for her. It is understood to have already indicated to the prime minister that she can have the extension but in return she must either soften her deal or hold a second referendum.

That croaking noise coming out of May’s mouth last week was her choking on her own words as she saw control not being taken back but slipping further away.

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