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Theresa May’s Brexit strategy is brewing trouble within her party

10 April 2019

2:50 AM

10 April 2019

2:50 AM

The Commons has voted by 420 to 110 to approve Theresa May’s decision to ask for an extension to the Article 50 process to the 30th of June. It isn’t a surprise that this motion passed, there is an anti no-deal majority in the Commons, but the 97 Tory votes against and the number of abstentions, including several Cabinet Ministers, highlights how controversial May’s approach is within her own party.

May’s approach would become even more controversial if she agreed to a customs union as part of a deal with Labour, as Liam Fox’s broadside against it showed. The talks between the government and Labour finished for the day earlier and will now not resume until after the European Council. It is hard not to be cynical about this, it does look like the government just wanted these talks to be ongoing when May addresses the European Council tomorrow so that she can say that there is a process under way to try and find what can pass the House.

It seems unlikely that Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May can agree a joint position on Brexit. Doing so would require them both to be prepared to risk splitting their parties and I don’t think they are there.


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