On the Sunday politics shows this week, MPs were warned Brexit has entered the “emergency zone”. The Tory MP who blocked a bill that would have cracked down on female genital mutilation (FGM) might need to watch his back. And Labour’s splits over anti-Semitism continue to fester.
MPs might not get to vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal until next month, the government confirmed today.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire used his appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning to promise that MPs would get to have their say on the Brexit process before February 27.
But this could be in the form of non-binding votes setting out what MPs want to happen rather than on whether to accept or reject any revised deal the prime minister brings back from Brussels.
The pledge to give MPs another say over what happens next is likely aimed at postponing a rebellion by ministers who are committed to removing the possibility of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal on March 29.
Speaking to Marr, Brokenshire said: “The government will commit that if the meaningful vote, in other words the deal coming back, has not happened by February 27 then we would allow a further motion – votable in parliament – to take place.
“I think that gives that sense of timetable, clarity and purpose on what we are doing with the EU – taking that work forward and our determination to get a deal – but equally knowing that role that parliament very firmly has.”
Over on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Liz Truss refused to rule out resigning from the cabinet if the prime minister shifted position to backing a customs union in order to get a deal through parliament. “I absolutely do not think that should be our policy,” she said.
A customs union is one of the demands made for any deal to get Labour support.
Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth told Ridge Labour would vote in favor of a Brexit deal if the PM accepted its demands.
Also speaking to Sky News, Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI director, warned the country was now in the “emergency zone of Brexit” as exit day draws near.
“We know that businesses are leaving the country, we know that businesses are making plans that will damage communities across the country and just this week we had a new chapter in the unfolding nightmare that the trade deals that the UK businesses enjoy through the European Union will not be ready in time for leaving,” she said.
Sir Christopher Nope
Senior Tories have been falling over themselves to condemn Christopher Chope, the Conservative backbencher who last week blocked an attempt to crack down on female genital mutilation (FGM).
Liz Truss told Sky News this morning his actions were “appalling” and that she would be “looking for him” in the Commons. James Brokenshire said Chope’s actions were “really shocking”.
Anti-Semitism and Labour ‘bullying’
Tom Watson told Marr this morning that a Labour Party branch is being investigated after he accused it of “bullying” their local MP by moving a motion of no confidence in her.
The party’s deputy leader said some members are “trying to drive out” Luciana Berger in the latest row over anti-Semitism within the party.
Liverpool Wavertree Constituency Labour Party (CLP) planned to hold a meeting to discuss two confidence motions which accused her of “continually using the media to criticise” Jeremy Corbyn.
But after a backlash it was called off, with Watson calling on Labour’s General Secretary Jennie Formby to suspend the CLP.