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This is now a question of logic as much as parliamentary arithmetic. There currently exists no parliamentary majority for Theresa May’s deal, and no option for striking a new deal. Due to the triggering of article 50, this takes us to a default position of leaving without a deal. Parliament must therefore do something proactive in order to stop that possibility – it is not simply a case of ‘rejecting’ no deal.
But that does not mean that Amber Rudd is necessarily wrong to say that parliament would not allow no deal to happen. From speaking to MPs, it seems to me like the one thing that there could be an active majority for is preventing a no deal Brexit happening. They understand that means doing something.
Not only is this where a ruling on revoking article 50 is important, but it is also why the government’s rhetorical shift to ‘May’s deal or no Brexit’ – also voiced by Rudd this morning – is vital too. Not only does it legitimise no Brexit as an option, it legitimises the process by which we might reach that: namely, a People’s Vote. As unlikely as it may still feel, the other options are nearing logical exhaustion. What else is there?
-Conor Pope, deputy editor
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The Progressive Britain Podcast
A prime minister on the brink, a cabinet in revolt, a Brexit deal in tatters, and no clear plan to guide us out of this mess.
Conor Pope, Alison McGovern and Stephanie Lloyd discuss how the Conservatives have made a mess of their own internal division, and what the withdrawal agreement would really mean for Britain.
Five things to read today
Steve Reed MP: We must let the country take back control — and decide with People’s Vote
Steve Reed, Evening Standard
Steve Bannon’s far-right Europe operation undermined by election laws
Jennifer Rankin and Paul Lewis, Guardian
Jenna Corderoy and Peter Geoghegan, OpenDemocracy
Actually dealing with Labour antisemitism would endanger Jeremy Corbyn’s lifelong dream
Ella Rose, Jewish Chronicle
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