There are many in Westminster questioning Theresa May’s decision to hold one day of debate, with all of the votes inclusive, on the 15 Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill – and many feeling sure they have the answer to that question. Here are the only possible reasons she is doing it this way:
- She figures Corbyn will either abstain or vote against almost all of the amendments and wants to strike while the iron is hot. A lot of attention has been focused over the last couple of days on Tory rebels, but if Corbyn whips an abstention on all of the amendments, they will all fail, barring some sort of miracle. Just having the shadow cabinet abstain should do the trick. May could have got some intel that this was the case and decided to get rid of the amendments while the Labour leadership were in this frame of mind and while she’s at it, make Corbyn look bad to Remain voters.
- She figures since she is going to lose the ones she is going to lose regardless, she may as well get it over with as quickly as possible, like ripping a plaster off in one, quick go. The hope here is that the upset over this amongst the hardcore Brexiteers will be concentrated and brief, as well as non-lethal to her premiership.
- Like many things done since she moved into Number 10, Mrs May has done this for no discernible, logical reason.
I think number two is the most likely from that list, followed closely by number three. It is even possible she hasn’t factored in just how annoyed many people who might otherwise vote against most or all of the amendments will be by this laughable timetable. It is as if she is goading the rebels on to do their worst. Is that the plan? You see, this is where you can find yourself with Theresa May’s decisions, wondering to the point of insanity which bits of seemingly nonsensical actions are actually part of some sort of master plan.
Anyhow, should be a fun day, the 12th, if you’re into that sort of thing (I think it has been widely established that I am indeed into that sort of thing). Unless, of course, most of the Labour Party are whipped to abstain on everything, even the customs union and meaningful vote amendments, which I will remind you now are actual official Labour policy. Then it will just be depressing.