If the Brexit amendment votes proved anything, it’s that the Tory party does not serve the best interests of the country, just their own (May goes back to Brussels but EU says: nothing has changed, 30 January). Watching Tory MPs voting, I felt like I was in a parallel world. They essentially voted for a hard Brexit over a soft one even though a hard Brexit will adversely affect the economy. They were too scared to vote to extend article 50 beyond 29 March even though Brexit is a complete mess, but nevertheless backed a non-binding deal to remove a no-deal Brexit from the negotiating table.
The pièce de résistance, however, was voting for Theresa May to renegotiate her deal. She is now going to Brussels demanding legally binding changes to the withdrawal agreement, even though when they were debating this option the EU was refusing to do so! Monty Python would have had a hard job to come up with this type of nonsense.
Now, May claims she will work with members across the house to build a country that will work for everyone. How is that even possible? We all know May doesn’t do consensus and the Tories also don’t do making the country work for the working poor, the disabled, the sick and the vulnerable. They don’t even do it for the middle classes. The only country they are interested in maintaining is one that continues to favour the extremely wealthy over the rest of us.
Chuka Umunna is right: May is being “held hostage” by a hardline faction of Brexiters within her own party, and the votes showed that the Tories were more concerned with keeping their own party unified than serving the best interests of the country. We ought to repay them in kind at the next general election.
• The selfishness of the small minority of Labour MPs who voted with tribal Tories, the ERG and the DUP against the Cooper-Boles amendment is disgraceful. In trying to cling to their jobs by second-guessing leave voters’ intentions in future elections, rather than leading the debate from the front based on their previously declared principles, these cowards have tipped the balance towards a hard Brexit. The ERG must be pissing themselves.
Brits will finally get to taste the rotten fruit of a no-deal Brexit, or the sour reality of Theresa May’s so-called deal. When we do, no matter whether we voted remain or leave, we will wish parliament had been given a chance to come up with a more sensible Brexit after all, and we’ll waste no time in exacting our revenge with the humble pencil at the next election. Dismissed ex-MPs would then have a chance to discuss where it all went wrong with fellow victims of Brexit as they stand together in the dole queue.
• The maths of the voting on the Cooper amendment meant there was much focus on the Labour MPs who chose to represent their leave constituents. Could I suggest the Guardian indulge in some Dacre-style journalism and publish photos, on its front page, of the Tory Brexit ultras whose constituents voted remain?
• Whatever has occurred here – and no one seems to know – make no bones about it, the hardliners ready to ruin Britain for their empire fantasy have won. Westminster did not vote for a no-deal so much as it voted to carry on doing nothing to save Britain. Never mind that Corbyn finally agreed to “talk” about a deal we all know the EU won’t accept. What is the best that can now be said? The corpse is still warm?
• Voting against the “ban no deal” amendment when it’s binding, but in favour of it when it isn’t. What on earth does that mean? We are surely watching the death of something – parliament, political parties, the UK economy – but which will it be?
• How right Rafael Behr is when he says that “it is obvious that Brexit is a disaster, yet still so many MPs observe a taboo against saying that it should be stopped” (May thinks she’s won. But she’ll soon hit Brexit reality, 30 January). I watched almost the whole of the Brexit amendment debate, and what was so depressing was that, for all the high standard of many of the speeches, MPs were still bending over backwards to emphasise that, whatever their objections, they had absolutely no intention of thwarting Brexit. Most of them know in their hearts that Brexit is bad for Britain. As far as I am aware, this is the first time that parliament has persisted in following a course that it knows will damage the country. The honourable course would be to admit that the whole idea of Brexit is a disaster and to call it off. Why won’t MPs do it? They lack the courage to face their voters, and they lack wisdom. They have let the country down badly.
• As an American watching his own country harden on the outside by hollowing out the inside, I am sometimes driven to seek relief by reading the UK edition of the Guardian site. Lately, this pastime has failed to serve as hoped. I feel I am watching the scene in the American satirical western Blazing Saddles where Cleavon Little, as Sheriff Bart – a black sheriff about to be lynched by angry townspeople – draws his pistol and points it at his own head with a desperate pleading expression while saying, “He means it, people, he really means it! Stop him!” The community immediately shifts mood, and discusses ways to save him from himself. This shift is perfect satire. Has the people’s Brexit vote so altered the government’s perception of human nature as to expect a similar shift in the European government to induce it to save an exiting Britain from itself?
Seattle, Washington, US
• So the House of Commons spends a whole day debating the best way of resolving the Brexit impasse and the only thing they can come up with is to send Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate a deal that the EU have said is not negotiable.
It reminds me of the episode of Father Ted where Dougal is stuck on the milk float with the bomb and the priests all get together to decide on the best way of saving him. All they can come up with is to say a mass, even though they have already just said a mass. I think most MPs would struggle to match Dougal’s IQ.
Hove, East Sussex
• Fifty days and counting since Theresa May ducked the vote before Christmas, and Brexit is exactly where it was then. 10 December 2018: “Donald Tusk told Theresa May there will be no further Brexit negotiations.” 29 January 2019: “Tusk would not permit any changes to the deal already agreed.” Are MPs ready, rather sooner than 29 March, to brush up their Shakespeare? “And to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools, The way to dusty death.” It’s getting too late for the struts, the frets, the sound and the fury signifying nothing.
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