Madcap Recap

OK team, today’s going to be a biggie – for the first time ever, Parliament will take control of political process, with the affable (and occasionally laffable) Sir Oliver Letwin at the helm. Between the Lines has explained what might happen today, along with what is being tipped as the frontrunner for a new strategy on Brexit, here.

However, to give you a simple overview as to what on earth is happening today:


  • From 2pm today, Parliament has precedence over government in order to debate and then vote on indicative votes, which should help to find an overall majority out of the Brexit impasse.


  • Exactly what will be voted on will be decided by John Bercow, the Speaker of the House, but the options will probably be most, if not all, of the following:
    • May’s Deal;
    • A deal with a customs union and/or freedom of movement, which Corbyn supports;
    • No-deal;
    • A General Election;
    • A Second Referendum;
    • Revoking Article 50 and outright cancelling Brexit;
    • “A Norway-type deal.”


  • These votes are non-binding, and Theresa May has already warned that she may completely ignore the results of them, but that would lead to absolute carnage and possibly her head being paraded on a spike through Central London.


  • Additionally, it is still unclear if May or Corbyn will whip their MPs to vote for each party’s strategy, i.e. force them vote the way she wants to. For May, this could be disastrous as she has now presided over seventeen ministers resigning over Brexit, and she could well see more leave if she tries to force their hand.
    • She has previously promised to allow a free vote, but as we already know her word has about as much worth as a turd in a shoe.


  • There is also very little chance of a clear strategy being formed today – the votes will likely be spread relatively evenly across the various plans, resulting in no clear majority. Letwin has said that today is more of a means of seeing which way the wind blows rather than creating a definitive answer.
    • More votes will be held next week after debating today’s results, most likely Monday.

Additionally, a single, semi-rotted hand has also just smashed out of the shallow grave of politics. The battered corpse of Theresa May’s deal, MV3, has dug itself out and will probably drag itself back to Parliament for one, last, final (please God let it be final) vote on it tomorrow, regardless of whether or not it is an indicative vote option today.

  • Some prominent Brexiteers like Jacob Rees-Mogg have now stated that they will probably vote for it, as it is now the hardest form of Brexit that is likely to happen… The DUP, however, are saying that they won’t budge, which means that it’ll probably still be defeated (but maybe by quite a small margin).
  • The zombie deal of MV3 will hang over the heads of politicians during the indicative votes debate today… What happens today might even push for more support for May’s deal tomorrow, if it looks as though Brexit might be cancelled or softened until it’s just a big festering pile of democratic sludge, for instance.

It’s going to be a strange old day in Parliament – Between the Lines will try to make sense of it as best we can, so stay tuned for analysis and explanations as things happen!


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