On Tuesday 15 January, I voted against the Brexit Bill, contributing to what became the largest defeat for a Government in British history. Theresa May has had a month to garner support for her deal since putting off a meaningful vote in December. That it was still defeated by such a huge margin demonstrates that her proposal is unanimously unpopular. This made it particularly incredibly that in PMQs yesterday, the Prime Minister simply chose to act as if nothing had happened. Any other leader would have stood down at this point and called an election.
The Tory Party is now kept in power only by their inability to face up to their own failings. Tory claims that the Fixed Term Parliaments Act means that it would be improper to call an election show particular delusion. The act was passed in large part to provide stability to the Tory-Lib Dem Coalition, not to provide life-support for a deeply unpopular government. Their mandate was questionable in 2017 when they required propping up by the DUP to form a government; they certainly do not have one now.
In the aftermath of this historic, crushing defeat, Theresa May promised to listen to MPs in finding a way forward. May’s refusal to remove the possibility from No Deal from the table rubbishes the claim that she is open to genuine debate. Despite crushing defeats, she continues to threaten instead of engaging. We cannot accept that.’ Her time in office has been characterised by a controlling, tone-deaf style of leadership. Although now would provide the perfect moment to cross the floor and engage, she continues to cling on to ‘red lines’ created to appease the radical fringe of her own party. This left us with little choice but to vote against her in Wednesday’s vote of no confidence.
Many people are tired of Brexit; it is confusing, divisive and it utterly dominates the national conversation. But is essential that we continue this fight in parliament. The Conservative Party will never work towards a deal which helps workers, makes trade fair or protects the environment. The Labour Party will, and over the coming weeks I will do my best to end this zombie government for good.