Once again Theresa May has lost a key Brexit vote in the House of Commons.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
In the run up to the main vote, of the three amendments selected by the Speaker, John Bercow, MPs rejected the ones put forward by Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP, while the third one that called for a revocation of Article 50, was pulled by its sponsor, Anna Soubry.
So we were left with the vote on the government's motion that both Remainers and leavers dislike.
Because it give them the choice of either:
backing Theresa May's deal without a no deal Brexit scenario, but with no route to a second referendum or Remaining in the EU.
not backing her deal and keeping no deal on the table, again with no route to a second referendum or Remaining in the EU.
So many Remainers and Brexiteers on the government side of the benches decided to abstain, with the result that those for her motion were 258, and those against 303. A loss by 45 votes.
The PM was not there to hear the vote. Something that Jeremy Corbyn took the opportunity to milk.
And where this leaves her negotiations is anybody's guess!
So another bad day in the office for the PM and all those Tory MPs who continue to support her terrible deal.
Moving on; the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, has taken a pop at the UK by saying we are a weakening and waning country that is "too small to appear on the world stage on its own".
And the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Stef Blok, has Tweeted a picture of what he thinks Brexit looks like – a big blue fluffy monster in a white T-shirt with Brexit in red letters across it – that gets in the way of business!
Now there's a great way of making friends and influencing people in the run up to Brexit.
Now, I realise Rutte and his team are trying to put a marker down as the EU MEP elections approach, but surely he wants a good relationship with the UK going forward.
After all, according to a 2018 ONS report, in 2016 we imported £42.4 billion worth of stuff from the Netherlands, while exporting £31 billion to them. A hefty trade surplus for them.
And on top of that they are desperate to maintain access to UK fishing waters.
So why make statements that could upset one of your best customers? A bit of a 'Ratner moment' maybe?
And just a little snippet to keep us Brexiteers happy.
Tory Brexiteer MP David Davis asked his successor in the job as Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, a question in the house at the start of the afternoon's Brexit debate, about our leaving the EU on the 29th March.
"Given the debate and the dispute about the meaning of the Government's motion today, can you be clear with the house.
"In the event that the European Union does not agree to a deal which is acceptable for this House and Government, we still will be leaving on the 29th March."
And the answer he received from Mr Barclay was quite clear:
"Well I'm very happy to give my Right Honourable friend and predecessor in the role that assurance.
"The position of the cabinet has been agreed. In terms of No Deal, it was agreed in response to the cabinet paper I presented on the 18th December and my Right Honourable friend has repeated on numerous occasions, including again in her statement this week, in terms of her commitment to the timescale."
So that's a yes. We are leaving on the 29th March Whatever!
Interestingly, during the debate, I think it was the SNP MP Angus MacNeil who said that the final choice would end up being between leaving with no deal or revoking Article 50 and we'll have to get our heads around that, he said.
Now, I have to warn people not to bother shopping in Tescos after Brexit because the company's Chairman, John Allan, told ITV's Robert Peston that there will only be spam and canned peaches on offer.
What a great way to start a rush of panic buying of perishable goods that will go off anyway.
Wonder if that would also lead to a short boost in Tesco profits?
Peston asked the Tesco boss what preparations were being made to deal with a no deal Brexit and John Allan replied that they were building long-life goods stocks where they can, but storage of fresh goods was a problem so, he said, "provided we're all happy to live on Spam and canned peaches, all will be well".
A statement that did draw a smile from the interviewer.
So, if you believe all the fear-mongering, there's no point you stocking up on short shelf life goods, because they'll go off. And there's no point stocking up on the stuff you would normally panic buy, because they'll have lots and lots of it on the Tescos shelves to sell to you anyway.
And there are of course other supermarkets too!
And finally, the despite Brexit bit!
The ONS reported yesterday that using the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), the annual rate of inflation dropped from 2.1% in December 2018 to 1.8% in January 2019.
And using the old measure of inflation, the Retail Prices Index (RPI), inflation fell from 2.7% in December 2018 to 2.5% in January 2019.
Now, can anyone remind me what the Remain campaigners told us would happen after a vote to Leave the EU?
— Peston (@itvpeston) February 13, 2019
Heb jij al gecheckt welke gevolgen Brexit voor jou of je bedrijf heeft? Doe de Brexit Impact Scan op https://t.co/eytAlAwphK of kijk op https://t.co/U64nYectmE. Zorg dat Brexit jou niet in de weg zit….of ligt. pic.twitter.com/LWKOLnLPQl
— Stef Blok (@ministerBlok) February 14, 2019
Today I asked my successor as Brexit Secretary @SteveBarclay to confirm that, if the EU are not willing to agree a deal by 29 March, we will be leaving without a deal. He confirmed this is the case. pic.twitter.com/BGqecyUti5
— David Davis (@DavidDavisMP) February 14, 2019