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No more pretence

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This morning’s guidance that article 50 can be unilaterally revoked – without agreement from the EU27 – from the European Court of Justice’s advocate general is a big moment in the Brexit debate.

Yesterday removed the pretence that we still have a functioning government. Theresa May suffered as many parliamentary defeats in the space of an hour as Gordon Brown did over three years as prime minister, including an historic vote that, for the first time, found a government minister in contempt of parliament.


More important was the amendment out forward by Dominic Grieve, which gave MPs greater opportunity to prevent a no deal Brexit. It does not remove the outcome as a possibility entirely but, following the European Court of Justice’s advice that article 50 can be unilaterally revoked yesterday morning, does make it easier for the vast majority of the Commons who oppose no deal to stop it from happening.


Importantly though, this does not break the Brexit deadlock in parliament. There is still no clear majority for any way forward once May’s withdrawal agreement fails next week – which it will.


The logic of Labour’s policy, as passed at party conference, is clear: push for an election and, failing that, a final say for the public. The People’s Vote campaign is asking people to contact the Labour NEC to ask it uses its influence to ensure Labour sticks to this, starting with a vote of no confidence in the government next week. You can write to the NEC using the template here. 

-Conor Pope, deputy editor

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Conor Pope

is online features editor at Four Four Two Magazine

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