The situation regarding the Tories’ bill for triggering Article 50 is, like everything to do with the EU referendum that the Tories presented to/inflicted upon the British public, an absolutely confusing mess. The situation that Britain faces right now is that, thanks to the case brought against Theresa May’s government by Gina Miller, Parliament has a vote on whether Article 50 is triggered.
As things currently stand, the Tories will trigger Article 50 and Britain will be subjected to what happens after Article 50 is triggered (can’t stress enough how important this is), as decided by the Tories and Parliament will have no further input or oversight. There WILL BE NO WAY, as things stand, to stop what the Tories triggering Article 50 or to stop what they do to Britain in the wake of triggering Article 50. If you need an example of what Britain will be like under the Tories until 2020 then just look at the past week, May giving the NHS away to America and supporting the Trump regime. If you thought ‘Austerity’ was bad and damaging then grip your ankles for what follows if the Tories continue with their ‘plans’ after triggering Article 50.
As things currently stand, if Labour join the other minority parties in Parliament and vote against triggering Article 50 IT WILL NOT STOP Article 50 from being triggered.
Labour have proposed amendments to the Tories’ bill to trigger Article 50 that aim to protect the interests of the British public. The Amendments. Labour’s only current bargaining chip with the Tories is to agree to support the Tories’ bill, in exchange for the amendments. If Labour adopt the position of the minority opposition parties (and some of their own MPs) and oppose the Tories’ bill then there is no reason for the Tories to accept their amendments.
The Tories can reject Labour’s amendments and can pass their bill regardless of how Labour MPs vote but their gamble is then on how their own Conservative MPs will react to the rejection of measures to include Parliament in the process of Britain, post triggering Article 50 and to protect the British public. No guarantee Conservative MPs will rebel in the face of their leadership rejecting the interests of the British public but then the British public will know who to blame for what takes place once the Tories begin the process after they trigger Article 50.
Things can change:
Conservative MPs can rebel and they can make their intention to do so public. If 20 Conservative MPs declare that they will vote against the Tory leadership (possibly because the Tories have rejected the content of Labour’s amendments but, potentially, for other reasons) then that changes the game in hand and will place the Labour leadership in the position of having to decide whether they will still pursue their amendments and supporting the Tory bill to trigger Article 50.
If you are a Remain voter then the above scenario would be your preferred option. We are not in that position. Labour cannot create the above situation but Remain voters (us, the public) can put pressure on Conservative MPs to turn against their current leadership and vote against triggering Article 50.
If you are a Remain voter then turn your frustrations, your anger, your focus, towards Conservative MPs. Only Conservative MPs prepared to rebel against their leadership can stop the triggering of Article 50.
If you are a Leave voter then it is in your best interests for the Tories to accept Labour’s amendments to their bill to trigger Article 50.
Whether you are a Remain or a Leave voter then you should want the Labour’s amendments to the Tories’ bill for triggering Article 50 because they will protect your interests if/when Article 50 is triggered and, importantly, in the years that follow the triggering of Article 50.
Triggering Article 50 is not the ‘end game’, there is a long road between triggering Article 50 and Britain leaving the EU and,as the Tories proved since 2010, they can do a lot of damage to Britain in a very short time. Waiting until 2020 to hold the Tories to account will be too late, they need to be held to account from now until then and, as things currently stand, Parliament only has this current opportunity to extract sufficient concessions to do so.
Some people, mainly people who do not want Article 50 to be triggered because they do not want Britain to leave the EU, want Labour to vote against the Tories’ bill. As things currently stand, there is NO opportunity to defeat the bill and to stop Article 50 from being triggered because the Tories have a majority in Parliament and will vote it through. THERE IS CURRENTLY NO OPPORTUNITY TO STOP ARTICLE 50 FROM BEING TRIGGERED.
Triggering Article 50 is not the same as Britain leaving the EU, it is the start of a very long process and anything can happen during that process. Labour are attempting to gain amendments so that Britain can have oversight over what the Tories are doing and influence in what is being done, whilst adding protections for us, the public. There is no value in and there is nothing to be gained from Labour opposing triggering Article 50, at this current time; the opposite is true.