The vote against Mrs May’s botched Withdrawal Agreement could hardly have been more decisive and it’s staggering to wonder how highly paid, experienced civil servants and the leader of our country, could ever have been sufficiently naïve to believe this deal could command one iota of support.
I am sure that even those who voted in favour, did so only because they weakly feared nothing better could be put on the table and shied away from leaving on WTO terms.
As leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn can do no other than table a no-confidence motion in the face of such a humiliating government defeat, although with the DUP supporting the Conservatives, the government is expected to survive.
So what next? We must start moving forward and prepare to leave on WTO terms – and if there is thought to be any mileage in seeking changes to the worst aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement (though I doubt it knowing the Eurocrats) then go-ahead.
Former Brexit minister Steve Baker sets out in his Better Deal and a Better Future a twin approach of presenting the EU with a legal text of a new EU/UK trade agreement while continuing with all preparations to leave the EU on WTO terms on 29th March - as is legislated for. He gives some detail as to what a Free Trade Plus agreement should include and what WTO preparations should involve. Worth looking at, Mrs May.