May says she will work with Labour to find a scapegoat / break deadlock/kick can down the road (pick your own metaphor)

An extraordinary cabinet meeting today. Robert Peston called it possibly the most important cabinet meeting in 50 years. All ministers’ phones were confiscated and ministers were locked in a cupboard “until the PM had decided what they decided”, (using Peston’s words).

The PM says she is taking action to break the log jam by sitting down with Corbyn to agree a plan. …Either to agree an option to put to MPs or, if none can be agreed, agree a series of options to put to MPs, with the winner (which there probably won’t be) being implemented by the government.

More can kicking? More looking for a scapegoat?

The one thing which appears solid is that May has abandoned any idea of a fourth vote on her deal.

Interestingly, this is actually the second time in this process that May said she would work with the opposition. Not much came of the last attempt. That was around March 23rd when David Liddington sat down with some opposition figures.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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16 Comments

  • May is asking politicians in other parties to step forward and at worst share the blame at worst act as the fall guys. Brexit will end badly, the choice is oppose it or go along with it. If you tagalong no amount of “We did it as a compromise for the good of the country” will wash, you’ll be judged as weak failures (and rightly so).

  • Nom de Plume 2nd Apr '19 - 8:00pm

    With this extension the Tories are edging the country closer to Brexit. If the UK does not take part in the EU elections, Britain might be out of the EU. Hence, the short extension. I don’t know if the Article 50 ruling would still apply if the UK was outside the EU institutions. Not much the LibDems can do about it. I await the EU’s reply to the extension request.

  • Jayne Mansfield 2nd Apr '19 - 8:06pm

    @ frankie,

    Sorry frankie, in my book, the weak failures are those who prefer conflict to compromise.

    As a trained lawyer, Norman Lamb will understand that when there is a dispute, one can either stir the pot with both parties ending up worse off than if they compromised. One side might eventually be able to celebrate what is in effect a Pyrrhic victory.

    I don’t doubt that the best deal is to remain within the EU, but I too have reservations. I did not want an EU that was much the same in 10 years time , nor closer political union. And now I do not want to see society tearing itself apart.

    Common market 2 is a clever name challenging those who voted leave because they were in favour of a common market but did not like the way the EU had evolved and was likely to evolve further. The extremists from both sides wouldn’t like it, but the idea that one can pacify the extremists at both ends of the spectrum ( and I guess you don’t think you are one), is foolish.

    I hope that Mrs May and the leader of the opposition can enter into discussion. But let us hope that, given Mrs May’s behaviour when a previous meeting of supposedly party leaders was arranged, that when Jeremy Corbyn enters the room, TIG don’t jump out from behind the door, blowing paper party horns and shouting ‘look behind you’.

  • Another go next Monday at indicative votes. The leader and Chief Whip need to ensure we vote with heads as well as hearts and at least look Organised and sensible. Tell TIGS to do the same. We cannot afford another shambles.

  • Arnold Kiel 3rd Apr '19 - 6:20am

    May will now take any Brexit that is irreversible and blocks a People’s Vote. Does Corbyn still want the same? It would stabilise the Tories in power until he is 72. As May is set to lose more than 100 of her own votes, the PLP can prevent this, and LibDems should be firmly on their side. Only a reversal of Brexit in a People’s Vote will trigger the snap election Corbyn needs now. All depends now on the length of the extension agreed.

  • Jayne,
    Compromising with what you know is a terrible idea is always a bad move. It never ends well and Brexit is a very bad idea. If you compromise thinking well it is over now, you are going to be in a state of shock when next day they announce “Round 2”. Something you can’t compromise without losing whole pieces of your soul, Brexit is one of those ideas, so bad their is no compromise.

  • frankie 3rd Apr ’19 – 8:20am….

    Refusing to compromise will, in this case, merely end with a ‘no deal’ exit by default; there is no status quo in this instance. If no agreement is reached (and how many goes have there been?) the EU will not give extensions out forever.
    The best outcome could be CM 2.0 and, as things stand, even as a remainer, I’ll settle for that. As for a PV, be very careful; a ‘Remain’ option on the card is by no means certain!

  • Andrew McCaig 3rd Apr '19 - 9:18am

    I have this terrible feeling of deja vue from the last time our Party compromised and broke promises in the “interests of the country”.
    Common Market 2.0 is something I would also accept, but ONLY if it is enshrined in a legally binding withdrawal agreement (not a political declaration that can be torn up by Boris Johnson in September) OR if it us endorsed by a referendum with Remain as an option. Both of these require a long extension. We must not be blackmailed into leaving on May 22nd by the threat of No Deal.

  • Andrew McCaig 3rd Apr '19 - 9:24am

    I think Parliament is sufficiently against no deal that a way will be found to revoke (the legal option Barnier did not mention) rather than go over the cliff. It is a risk of course. I have not checked, but I hope that all the people on here who are advocating compromise to avoid no deal at any cost were also advocating voting for Theresa’s deal, which is also a great deal better than no deal

  • Katharine Pindar 3rd Apr '19 - 9:28am

    Yes, I think Andrew McCaig’s comment at 9.18 is right.

  • Nonconformistradical 3rd Apr '19 - 9:38am

    “not a political declaration that can be torn up by Boris Johnson in September”

    A crucial point. May stands down, Tories elect leader from among BoJo and his kind – and anything previously agreed is then torn up.

  • Denis Loretto 3rd Apr '19 - 1:07pm

    Andrew McCaig says “We must not be blackmailed into leaving on May 22nd by the threat of No Deal.” Yes, but what about the actuality of No Deal if and when it becomes inevitable in the absence of any agreement, which it certainly still could?

  • Expats,
    The problem you have is they may very well vote for Common Market 2 but then come the buts
    First but, the EU might not agree
    Next but, May will soon be gone and the ERG might get their placeman or placewoman in place and then how long do you think Common Market 2 will last.
    There are many other buts, but I think the first two give us enough to ponder on.

    There is an assumption Brexit can be ended by a vote to approve an asspirational final destination, but ( yet another but) that is when as Ivan Roger’s said ” the hard work starts”. Twill not be over for an age, only remain does that, all other options means voting to continue the pain.

  • >Next but, May will soon be gone and the ERG might get their placeman or placewoman in place and then how long do you think Common Market 2 will last.
    If my reading of what the EU were saying yesterday is correct, the Political Declaration, which contains the future relationship aspiration (eg. CM2.0), doesn’t need to be finalized until nearly the end of November. So I suggest for anything (other than no-deal Brexit) to stand a chance of ‘sticking’, it would be unwise to hold a GE before then…

    As for the ERG, fingers crossed that May’s decision to invite J.Corbyn in for talks does split the Conservative party.

  • Peter Hirst 3rd Apr '19 - 6:10pm

    Apportioning blame while the Brexit saga plays out at least releases some of the tension. I think The Conservative Party is responsible as it was it that selected Theresa May to be its leader and implement the result of David Cameron’s ill sighted calling of the independence referendum. It must bear responsibility for putting someone at the helm who is so ill suited to conduct the negotiations.

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