Things are moving very fast in British politics at the moment, so this article may become redundant quickly. But it looks from here like the following is going to happen: Bercow will disallow MV2 on the Boris Withdrawal Agreement; Johnson will shrug and move the bill that enacts it, the problem with this being it will be amendable; Labour will try and attach a customs union amendment to the bill, meaning any future actual withdrawal from the EU must involve staying in a customs union with the European Union (or at least, this is what I understand the Labour amendment will do from what I’ve read about it).
Although I understand that leaving the EU and remaining in a customs union is very much not Lib Dem policy, I think the Lib Dems should support it if the numbers are there. Again, things are so fluid here, if the Lib Dems figure that the numbers exist for a second referendum, then they should do this and forget about the CU amendment. However, this looks unlikely.
The Lib Dems should vote for the CU amendment for one basic reason: it will probably wreck the WAB and mean the government will probably pull it altogether. This may be the only way now to avoid the WAB passing parliament. The Lib Dems can vote for the CU amendment and then not vote for the WAB, which they would obviously do if it came to it.
There are risks attached to this strategy, of course. By voting for the CU amendment, the Lib Dems could be making it more likely the WAB passes. It could look better with the CU attached. But we’re into what Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, used to call “squeaky bum time”. Risks need to be taken in the hope that they pay off.
Again, events and all of that, and I could be advising the exact opposite an hour from now if things change enough. It’s all that volatile. But supporting the CU amendment could be the only way the Lib Dems have of stopping the WAB from passing.