Play up and play the game…

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Is Theresa addicted to gambling?

Our political columnist The Rebel explores what is happening behind the scenes as the continuing Brexit chaos which is engulfing the UK Government enters a new and dangerous phase.

The Rebel is a leading political figure close to senior politicians in London as well as Cardiff Bay, and will always give readers the inside track on what is being discussed in the corridors of power. 

The Tories know exactly what they’re doing

This has now become a high-stakes extremely risky game of chance for ‘Torrid Times Theresa’, as she was described to me by one of her own MPs.

In a few hours time the Conservative Government aims to hold yet another vote on her Brexit deal, even though there are no new talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and more Tory Eurosceptics have hardened their positions against it.

So there seems little chance it will succeed.

This will be a ‘stripped down’ version of Theresa’s deal – just the Withdrawal Agreement governing how the UK will leave the EU, while setting aside the political declaration that governs the future relationship.

It is totally understandable

Party managers hope that some MPs from other parties could switch sides if they are not voting on the political declaration, which has been rejected by Labour because it does not say the UK will remain in a customs union.

The UK Government is also contemplating the move in order to secure a longer extension to article 50, as the EU only requires the passing of the withdrawal agreement to move the exit date from April 12 to May 22.

This is serious grown-up politics

I hear that some Labour MPs have even been approached by Tory whips about the plan to split the withdrawal agreement and political declaration.

However, those in the bearded lefty’s party (can we even use that word any more?!) have said they could not vote for leaving the EU without an idea of where the UK was heading in its relationship.

Meanwhile the man who was being touted as Theresa’s temporary replacement at the weekend, her de facto deputy David Lidington, has been busy showing his loyalty.

A stable Government…

He told the British Chambers of Commerce conference in London: “If you believe in delivering the referendum result by leaving the EU with a deal then it is necessary to back the withdrawal agreement”.

“The centre cannot hold” is as valid now as it was when it was written by Yeats exactly 100 years ago.

But let us not forget the chaos inside Labour which has been exposed this week.

There could be a salute for a Boris Johnson Brexit

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, warned MPs that the Tory leadership contest meant it could be “Boris Johnson Brexit, a Jacob Rees-Mogg Brexit, or a Michael Gove Brexit”.

Yet he has his own problems with the bearded lefty.

His contortions as a firm Remainer trying to keep the Labour policy on track are obvious.

Does anybody know what Labour policy is?

Asked on Sunday if Labour would guarantee a public vote if it won a general election, Sir Keir told the BBC: “I would expect our manifesto to build on those commitments, both in relation to the type of deal and a public vote”.

Does the ordinary voter even know what that actually means?!

This whole issue of having a second referendum is a major headache for Labour.

It does not look good for him…

In total, 27 Labour MPs defied the whip on Wednesday night to vote against a second referendum and there have been threats of frontbench resignations over the move.

The bearded one has sent a letter this week to all his MPs in which he acknowledged the motion for a “confirmatory referendum” could be read as “going beyond” party policy.

And don’t forget it has only been just over a month since seven (soon to become eight) MPs in Jezza’s party left to set up The Independent Group.

So it’s all a game really – except the lives of people across the UK are being used as bargaining chips.


Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his remarkable 35-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now! The picture doubles as a cut-and-paste poster!