Friday 18 October 2019 5:50 am

Debate: Does Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal have a high chance of passing in the House of Commons?

Benedict Spence is a freelance writer. He is on Twitter @BenedictSpence
and Richard Angell

Does Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal have a high chance of passing in the House of Commons?

Yes – Benedict Spence is a freelance writer

If MPs have one thing in mind as “Super Saturday” rapidly approaches, it should be this: the public is watching them closely. 

Boris Johnson has miraculously returned from Europe with a deal, and Jean-Claude Juncker has ruled out any further extensions to the Brexit process. It is this deal, or no deal.

After all the commotion from parliamentarians about ruling out the latter, and accusing the government of aiming for a hard Brexit, those MPs face a very tricky choice. Their opposition was framed purely around the notion that a no-deal outcome was bad – and that any deal was preferable. Now they have that deal, they cannot shun it.

To do that would not only undermine everything they have claimed to be working towards – it will lay bare that certain MPs have been acting entirely in bad faith, as many have suspected. 

The public will see this, and will not forget it. It will come back to haunt MPs should it fail, and they will be well aware of this as they vote, giving the Prime Minister’s deal a high chance of success.

No – Richard Angell is editor of the Narrowcast Media Group

Boris Johnson has come back with a Theresa-May-minus deal that pleases even fewer members of parliament than his predecessor’s did.

While this is a massive achievement – no one expected it could get much worse – the Prime Minister’s deal will see little more than the order paper.

For all the PM’s bombastic claims about how great Britain will be after Brexit, this deal is the worst of all worlds, and will do little to sell the UK’s EU exit to Remainer MPs. Lacking DUP support and with defections on his own side, the chances are slim.

Unless there is a shock defection by a few Labour rebels that enables the narrowest of victories, there is only one way this can pass: if Boris backs the Kyle-Wilson amendment, enabling a public vote on his deal.

This would unite the opposition parties, and with government support, the new deal would be put to the public. Boris would have a victory of sorts, and we would have a final decision – either way. But failing that, he doesn’t have a chance.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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