Brexit means Brexit. Is ist as simple? Surely not. The draft of the Brexit withdrawal agreement is 599 pages long. I dare say, hardly anyone had an idea in 2016 how many complicated and momentous individual questions had to be solved.
Today we are in a mess. There are 3 options on the table: 1. the actual withdrawal agreement 2. a no deal Brexit 3. Remain. None of these has a majority in parliament.
Amendments to the EU Withdrawal Act have already ensured that if MPs vote against it – as looks highly likely – the government must return to the House of Commons.
Yesterday’s amendment just accelerates that process. If May loses the vote on Tuesday, she will have to hold the ‘plan B’ vote within three sitting days – ie by Monday week.
Now, at most, she will have six days to extract meaningful concessions from Brussels. The passing of the Grieve amendment just now will probably prevent prolonged haggling with the EU about May’s deal, and hasten the moment when the Commons and the government have to contemplate an alternative approach.
Then it could be the time for a cross-party motion. Yesterday’s rebellion by erstwhile Tory loyalists underlined parliament’s determination to take control of the next steps in the Brexit process. An extension of Art 50 seems to be necessary anyway, but it needs agreement of the other EU countries. That will only happen if there is a realistic prospect that a new decision could fundamentally change things. This could be a second referendum.
A Peoples Vote will be the best solution !