Today is the day when Theresa May loses the vote on her Brexit “deal” and is confirmed as the worst Conservative prime minister ever.
Apart from this small piece of Schadenfreude I’m not sure that will be much else to celebrate when the result is declared this evening.
As Brendan O’Neill points out in The Sun, the reason that Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement is going to get voted down is not because Parliament is chock-full of bright, eager, democratically-minded patriots who know a craven capitulation when they see one.
No, the reason May’s deal is going to be voted down is because Parliament is chock-full of Remainers who see “taking down May’s deal as the first step to taking down Brexit itself.”
This is all but unprecedented in British parliamentary history. The constitutional implications of what is happening are deeply troubling, as the Conservative MP Jesse Norman appears to have been one of the few parliamentarians to notice:
Our constitution has evolved a unique combination of flexibility and authority, which has been widely envied and imitated. In general, contrary to various reports, it still works remarkably well. These actions would put that achievement at risk. 15/
— Jesse Norman (@Jesse_Norman) January 14, 2019
(Read the whole of Norman’s thread. It’s excellent and worthy of his late father-in-law, the great English jurist Tom Bingham.)
According to the liberal narrative — the national propaganda line fed to every British schoolchild — Britain’s history has been one of inexorable progress towards parliamentary democracy and away from the unaccountable power of a narrow elite.
Yet here we have the extraordinary spectacle of MPs not just ignoring the clearly-expressed wishes of the electorate they represent, but actually trying to claim that this betrayal is their way of honouring democracy.
Excellent interview w #DominicGrieve on #Today. Reasoned & measured explanation as to why it’s right to vote against PM’s “deal” & take this matter back to voters. Now we know what #Brexit looks like & its consequences @peoplesvote_uk is the only democratic way out of Brexit mess
— Anna Soubry MP (@Anna_Soubry) January 14, 2019
If a Remain-dominated Parliament gets its way — and it looks like it will — you wonder why we bothered writing Magna Carta or fighting the Civil Wars.
Talk of actual Civil War — at least in the bloody form we last experienced in the 17th century — is, of course, overdone.
But I cannot for the life of me see how there can be stability in Britain, so long as the majority of British people want to leave the EU and so long as the minority which represents them in Parliament persists in scorning them and frustrating them.
It really is that simple. Until Britain gets full Brexit, there can never be peace or stability in the realm.