The real problem is the totally divided Tory Party
The speaker, John Bercow, as you’d expect, gets a lot of stick from the right wing press this morning following his ruling yesterday stopping the tabling of the government motion for a third time.
Sure a consequence of it is that it might make Brexit happening a tad less likely and that might be what Mr Bercow himself wants. If he did go wrong, I’d suggest, it was not blocking last week’s vote which also fell foul of the precedent.
Most bodies that I’ve sat on or have been associated with over the years have had rules similar to that which Bercow is trying to enforce. Once something has been decided then you can’t go on repeatedly putting it forward within a specific timescale.
The real problem is that the Conservative Party remains totally divided on the issue of Europe a fault line that has existed for several decades. Whoever had been the Tory leader and prime minister at this point was going to find it very difficult securing the agreement of the Commons particularly given the fact that the party is in a minority.
I don’t think that Mrs May is helped by her rigidity and her apparent lack of ability to sell things. But you have to admire her resilience.
In many ways the developments over the past few months on Brexit have totally justified her decision two years ago to seek to increase the party’s majority by calling an early election. She foresaw then that there weren’t the numbers, given the party splits, to get things through the Commons. The only problem was that when it came to voting in June 2017 she lost seats rather than gained them.
Where do we go from here? My guess is that they’ll be trying to find a way of getting it before the House again in a manner that Bercow will accept. It might just be the fact that because Brexit has appeared in jeopardy over the past 24 hours could make a third vote, if it happens, more likely to produce the outcome that Mrs May seeks.