Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A No Deal Brexit Should Lead to a General Election

The ‘concession’ made by David Davis, the Brexit Secretary yesterday, to allow a vote in Parliament on the final deal negotiated by him for our withdrawal from the European Union (EU), is no concession at all. Davis said that any deal he negotiates will be put to a vote on a take it or leave it basis, and leaving it, will mean we crash out of the EU without any deal.  

More than this, if no deal is negotiated in the end, there will be nothing for Parliament to vote on, so that will be that, crashed out without our representatives having even a limited say in this important matter for the country. There will be numerous amendments submitted to the Brexit Bill, aimed at stopping the government in its tracks over the next week or so, but what if the government defeats these amendments?

We should remember that the country was offered the option of ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ at this year’s general election, and it was promptly rejected by the electorate, with the government losing its majority in the House of Commons. 

The government is only kept afloat by its deal with the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) ten MPs, and although the DUP is all for Brexit, the people of Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU at the 2016 referendum. The ten MPs that were elected in this year’s general election, were elected because of the Northern Ireland political situation generally, and was nothing to do with Brexit as such.

For the government to claim that it has any kind of mandate for leaving the EU without a deal, is a perversion of what mandate they do have on the issue. But because the Tory Party have effectively been captured by a minority of its MPs who actually want a no deal Brexit, and probably are backed by a majority of the Tory Party’s aged membership, they appear to be unwiling to make any concessions.

A no deal scenario would presumably mean that a hard border be re-established between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The DUP are keen to avoid this, so there is no guarantee that the DUP will not support some of the amendments to Brexit Bill, in which case the government will be defeated in Parliament.

Then there are the Tory rebel MPs, maybe as many as twenty or so who want to avoid a hard Brexit and reports suggest they will not back the government’s take it or leave it offer. Should the government be defeated over the next week as the debate in Parliament proceeds, the government could well fall. But the other option would be for them to cling on, by withdrawing the Brexit Bill for now and instead pursue a no deal in negotiations. To all intents and purposes this looks like what they have been doing since Article 50 was triggered by Parliament anyway.

This would provide a dilemma for the DUP and for the Tory rebels. Will they just watch the car crash of a hard Brexit in horror, but powerless to stop it? Will they put loyalty to the Tory government above what they think is best for the country? Are they so terrified of a Corbyn led Labour government that they let the government get away with it? If they conclude that the interests of country come first, they will have only one option left.

If we get into the situation where the government is heading for a no deal Brexit, either through incompetence in the negotiation process or by wilful negligence, then the opposition parties should put down a motion of no confidence in the government in the House of Commons. 

The DUP and rebel Tories would need to support the no confidence motion for the government to lose, which in turn would lead to Labour being asked if it can form a government. If after a maximum of two weeks, Labour decides it cannot form a government, then a general election will have to be called.

There is no other way to proceed, if MPs want to avoid the cliff edge Brexit which it appears the government is seriously courting. For rebel Tory MPs particularly, it will be hard to bring down their own government, but this matter is so serious it demands that a stand be made. 


  1. No deal is better than a bad deal & telling the eu that we are willing to take no deal will strengthen our hand to get a better deal.

    1. Anonymous is what your braincells seem to be. Strengthen our hand ? What utter crap. Where did you learn that? Poker school and how to bluff. We have nothing to bluff. All sensible businesses are leaving or left and those left here are having a bad time with increased costs of goods and staff shortages due to EU citizens leaving for places where they actually feel wanted. No deal is shite for everybody. Try reading, watching tv and even listening to mates (if you have any) and you will realise you are talking Tory crap