Monday, 1 April 2019

Indicative of nothing

Parliament has yet again decided that it cannot decide. But then it It wouldn't matter if parliament had voted in favour of a zeppelin scale inflatable giraffe this evening. Nothing on that voting slip is a substitute for a withdrawal agreement even if that's what some MPs and BBC hacks believe.

Even if it were binding on the government - which is isn't, the political declaration already allows for all of the options presented thus if parliament is unwilling to ratify the withdrawal agreement - which is non amendable - there simply isn't any point in extending. May will be going to Brussels empty handed either way.

The only news, therefore, is that we are nowhere closer to a managed withdrawal and in extra time we still have no more idea of our mode of departure than we did three years ago. For the political anoraks there is the news of Nick Boles's departure from the Tory party, further whittling down the government's authority, but if Twitter is anything to go by, he won't be missed except by middle of the road no mark remainer MPs.

One supposes that it's noteworthy that the non-solution of a customs union came within three votes of passing, meaning it could come before the house a third time but still only as an indicator and still not enough to convince Brussels of anything. It still looks like we are on for leaving without a deal on the 12th unless by some miracle MV4 passes between now and then.

What really matters, though, is the view across the Channel. Nick Gutteridge of The Sun tweets "EU diplomat on indicative votes: ‘We‘re slowly switching off. April 12 is looming large and that’s now our real focus. We had low expectations but had hoped tonight would provide some clarity on a way forward. Yet again no agreement on what HoC wants, only on what it doesn’t.’"

The main story in my view is largely how the media and MP collective's understanding of the issues has regressed from an already weak position. Media coverage is now actively misinforming the public to the point where there is no possibility of coherence from anywhere inside the bubble. If these indicative votes are indicative of anything it is only indicative of the complete disintegration of British politics. But then that is not exactly news. 

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