The Withdrawal Agreement bill is on hold while we await instructions from Brussels.

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Last night, MPs in the House of Commons decided to vote for the Boris Johnson Withdrawal Agreement bill.

But they also voted against a tight timetable that could have enabled the UK to leave the EU with a somewhat disappointing deal, but as planned on the 31st of October.

What MPs seem to have done is say, yes we accept the government bill as a rough guide, but we want time to completely re-write it, neuter it, de-Brexitise it and kill it off as we plot our next phase of the reverse Brexit journey.

But the vote to deny the programme motion has left the Withdrawal Bill in 'Limbo'.

From my quick and rough reading of Erskine May and the House of Commons standing orders, this means that there is no automatic way forward for this bill.

I think it may be stuck in limbo until someone (presumably government) takes ownership of it and puts forward another motion for it to proceed.

But, as MPs have decided to slow the progress of the bill down and under EU and UK law we leave the EU in 8 days time, there is little point in going forward with the Withdrawal Agreement bill unless Brussels allows us to by allocating a further Article 50 extension.

So the government is doing the right thing by sitting on the bill while they ramp up their no deal Brexit preparations in case the EU27 hopefully decides they've had enough of us.

So what MPs have brilliantly done, is once again hand to the EU, the reins of power over the future of our country!

Right now, because of the failure of MPs and parliament, the future of the UK is totally in the hands of Brussels Eurocrats and the leaders of 27 other countries!

Our own government and parliament are basically powerless to act without say-so from the EU!

And that is the point that must be rammed home to every voter in the UK.

Oh, how low those Remainer MPs have dragged the UK!

But be in no doubt, that dragging the UK down to enable continued subservience to the EU was always their intent.

And an Article 50 extension will be foisted on us, because the President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, has said the EU will never allow a no deal Brexit from their side so will offer an extension and even if Boris says no – the courts will overrule him.

The only way out is to use the extension to have a General Election and clear out the Remainer dead wood.

But we know that under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, to get a General Election it would take either an unresolved motion of no confidence in the government or 434 MPs to vote for it.

And given the current make up of the House it is hard to see either of those occurring.

I think the government will have to table a motion for a vote on having a general election under the act anyway and see it fail for a third time. Before then tabling a simple motion to pass an Act of Parliament via a one-line bill for a one off early election to bypass the requirements of the Fixed Term Parliament Act.

That way the government would only need one more than half of MPs to get a vote for a general election through instead of the 434 under the Fixed Term parliament Act.

And if we are already in a three month Article 50 extension period by that time, then there is no excuse for MPs to not vote for a general election – nor to add silly amendments to the General Election bill to have second referendums and the like.

Except that I've already heard a rumour that Ken Clarke said he would add an amendment to any such bill to allow 16 and 17 year olds to also vote in it! Sounds to me like he doesn't relish the idea of voter engagement in this process.

But, if those MPs were to vote down another opportunity to hold a general election, but instead try to take control of the Order Paper to force a referendum first …. well, that would take the UK into a full on and open parliamentary coup with huge constitutional ramifications.

But – and I'll re-iterate the point – there's nothing we can do until we know what the EU requires us to do.

Sources:

https://erskinemay.parliament.uk/section/5287/programmed-bills/?highlight=limbo#footnote-link-1

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmstords/0004/so_hc0004_170420.pdf

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