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Well, what a mess.
As Yvette Cooper has just astutely pointed out in the Commons chamber, the Prime Minister sent her ministers and spokespeople out this morning to tell the press that this vote would be going ahead – only a few hours later, she stood in front of the Commons and announced that the vote would be pulled.
Before the Prime Minister had even managed to leave the chamber, the speaker of the house threw a wrench in her plans. He outlined the two possible ways that the government would be able to pull the vote – either by asking the house to vote on pulling the vote, or by doing what he called the less democratic of the two options, and pulling the vote without the consent of parliament. The second option would allow the Prime Minister to avoid what may be a messy defeat before she even reaches her primary messy defeat, but after the speaker’s intervention it becomes politically harder for her to do that.
The leader of the opposition’s office will no doubt be facing a sleepless night as they try to work out what their response to this will be, but in my mind there is only really one way forward – put a motion of no confidence to the house, bring down this shambolic government and then implement a People’s Vote, to end this parliamentary chaos and hand sovereignty back to those it should truly belong to – the people.
If you’re a bit confused by everything that’s happened today (and for the last two years) then we’ve got something to help you out. The LabourSay campaign is launching a new WhatsApp broadcast list – the LabourSay Brexit Bulletin. Run by the LabourSay team and a group of people in the know (such as politicians and analysts). We’ll send you a short message whenever something major happens, explaining what has happened, what it means, and what we think about it. Sign up for it now at laboursay.eu/whatsapp
-Joe Cox, digital assistant
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Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse for Theresa May’s government, they are now not only incompetent at governing, but in contempt of parliament. This week on the extra show Progress deputy director Stephanie Lloyd is joined by Matthew Doyle to talk about whether Geoffrey Cox will be sent to the Tower of London, May’s mathematical mistakes and how parliament can use their newfound control to forge a way out of this mess.
Five things to read today
Jeremy Corbyn, your fellow European socialists need you in the EU
George Papandreou and 68 others, Guardian
Government spent £100,000 promoting Brexit deal on Facebook
Jonathon Read, New European
If Theresa May’s Brexit deal is voted down, events will begin to unfold quickly
Lizzy Buchan, Independent
Brexit deal: Theresa May seeks last-minute vote changer
Laura Kuenssberg, BBC
Article 50 ruling shows the ECJ respects sovereignty more than the UK government does
Ian Dunt, Politics Home
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