Brexit farce gets more farcical: 5 takeaways from latest UK Government defeat

With only 43 days until Brexit, the deadlock continues and the UK Government descends ever deeper into chaos.

Tonight, the Government was defeated on its EU withdrawal motion which meant to show a stable majority for renegotiating the backstop.

Here are 5 conclusions from the latest developments:

1) The need to extend Article 50 grows ever bigger

The UK Government’s own no-deal impact assessments show that no-deal would be nothing short of a calamity: wrecking our economy, slashing thousands of jobs, and threatening communities.

As the Brexit clock keeps ticking, we must do everything to take no-deal off the table. We must put a handbrake on Brexit.

Extending Article 50 and allowing the people to make a final decision – based on facts, rather than lies on the side of a bus – is the way to do that.

2) The UK Government has no plan and no direction for Brexit

Remember when the Tories were promising “strong and stable?” This seems a far cry from the weakest and most directionless UK Government in living memory.

Theresa May repeatedly keeps asking for more time to renegotiate her Brexit deal, which was rejected by 230 votes last month.

The problem is that she still refuses to compromise and listen to anyone – apart from Brexit extremists in her party – and keeps asking the EU for changes to the backstop, which before the defeat, she herself admitted is not possible.

3) Another defeat, but Theresa May was nowhere to be seen

Theresa May may be in office, but not in power.

She got humiliated with another defeat on a motion that was supposedly neutral, and did not even show up in the chamber to respond.

It is increasingly worrying that she is being held to ransom by the ERG – hard-right Brexit extremists – which appear to wield more power than the Prime Minister herself.

4) Labour don’t want to delay Brexit – they prefer sitting on their hands

Tonight, Labour MPs were whipped to abstain on the SNP’s amendment, which called for an extension of Article 50 to put a handbrake on Brexit.
This revealed that they don’t seem to want to delay Brexit, and allow the clock to run down, causing even more uncertainty and distress.

If Labour choose to end up backing Theresa May’s deal, and act as the midwives to Brexit, they will be just as culpable for the harm it will cause and for every job lost as a result.

5) Scotland’s voice is still being ignored

The Westminster parties seem to be on a mission to cause maximum chaos to Scotland’s economy, and consistently ignore Scotland’s clear wish to remain in the EU.

The SNP has tried to be constructive throughout the Brexit process: we published compromise proposals in late 2016 and we engaged in dialogue with other parties. Unfortunately, the UK Government completely refused to listen.

Scotland has so much to lose from being dragged out of the EU against its will, and we cannot let it happen.