Confidence and Certainty
Theresa May has stated that she is ‘confident’ that Parliament will have a vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal. But what does this mean? Firstly, it means that the terms (or at least substantial terms) of our new deal would need to be finalised in advance of March 2019 (when we are due to leave the EU) in order to facilitate such a vote. Secondly, ‘confident’ is not the same as ‘certain’ and so there is an implicit acknowledgement that it may not happen. And what is the purpose of the vote? Firstly, many believe that parliamentary approval of the new deal is necessary to make the terms legal. However, this will not be a renewed vote on whether or not to Brexit, ‘Imagine the hate-filled campaign that would divide this country. I do not think that is a price worth paying,’ says Remainer, William Hague. Instead, a ‘no’ vote by Parliament would reject the proffered deal and result in the UK’s ejection from the EU with no deal. Although there may be scope for a second round of talks during the transition period, it would be either a foolhardy or a tactical politician who leaves the vote until the 11th hour. Which camp do Davis and May fall into?