LibLink: Layla Moran: MPs should not get Christmas off in the middle of this Brexit crisis

MPs should be in Parliament sorting out the Brexit crisis, argues Lib Dem MP Layla Moran in an article for Times Red Box (£). She put up the text on her Facebook page:

It’s time to cancel Christmas. Well, for MPs at least.

I’ve been struggling to put into words my anger and frustration at this clustershambles of a government and this inept official opposition over the past few days.

In the real world outside this Westminster bubble, any company facing such an existential crisis would not allow its executives time off. Let’s not forget that we are less than 100 days away from an event so theoretically cataclysmic in the case of no deal that soldiers have been put on standby to prepare for it.

People understandably expect us to be in the office and sorting things out — Christmas or no Christmas. It is time for MPs to step up and get this national crisis sorted.

Leaving this crisis unresolved until January makes parliament look so inept and out of touch to the voters who rightly expect better. Billions of pounds is being spent by the government on preparing for a no deal and as businesses, the NHS and other public services start to put in place no-deal contingencies, parliament could not look any more out of touch — taking weeks off for Christmas while the fire burns all around us.

Liberal Democrats demand better — by having these debates and the meaningful vote now. If that means we have to vote between Christmas and new year, or even on Christmas Day itself, then so be it.

It is worth saying that claims that the choice is between Theresa May’s deal or no deal are a lie. A no-deal scenario can and will be stopped. We can move to a public vote on the deal at any time and moreover parliament can revoke article 50 if necessary. The government needs to stop trying to hoodwink us into believing that no deal is still on the table.

But to get to that point there are hoops we need to jump through first. Let’s get the inevitable defeat out the way so we can move on and find a way forward.

Let’s get on with the vote of no confidence (if Jeremy ever decides to do some opposing). Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid and the Greens have put down a proper confidence motion compliant with the rules of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. All it takes is for Jeremy to add his signature.

And let’s get back to reality. Mrs May’s deal is, frankly, dead. And there is absolutely no chance that the EU will budge on reopening the agreement. Neither Mrs May nor Mr Corbyn can negotiate a better deal and even if they could, there is no deal better than the one we have inside the EU.

We have 99 days until the supposed exit day. I stand ready to cancel my Christmas and get on with deciding the next steps in sorting out this shameful Brexit mess. Other MPs should join me and the Liberal Democrats to demand the government reschedules the meaningful vote now.

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4 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Dec '18 - 2:41pm

    Layla for a future leader, is one of my rallying cries, but she and we need a holiday from Brexit!

  • Peter Chambers 22nd Dec '18 - 3:18pm

    A good point well made.

    But a full Christmas break and Brexit “emergency” debate days with MPs repeating the same points make it very clear that Parliament is sidelined and has no initiative. With our sovereign Parliament sidelined, talk of Henry VIII powers, the government arguing and losing in the Supreme Court they they had the right to move Article 50, it is starkly clear what is happening to our democracy. The “left out” -and cheesed-off are not only the unemployed in the de-industrialised North, they are most of us.
    As one Tory MP complained to a political correspondent – when the penny finally dropped – “no one is listening in No. 10”.
    I hope that someone is listening in the NHS. I have elderly relatives who need continuing supplies of medicine. I never thought that I would have to think of contingency plans to find backup supplies from abroad. The same goes for many people. Perhaps MPs should return to Westminster and debate how to avoid No-Deal.

  • As a vicar’s daughter Mrs May will know that in normal times some people work on Christmas Day anyway – and these are certainly not normal times! It’s time for MPs to do what they are supposed to be good at – plotting – day and night if need be.

  • I do not think that Parliament is doing anything useful. I watched the outrageous behaviour in the Commons. I know that the Prime Minister is under pressure, but her clowning around helped to set the tone. The MPs are simply wasting time. We need a newly elected commons, elected by a fair voting system, meeting in a new building away from London. We won’t get it of course.
    Meanwhile we will have a last minute deal with Europe, steady decline and an excuse for the rich to continue to exploit the poor.

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