By the end, even the PM was using the phrase 'People's Vote' in her responses - and admitting 'no Brexit' was on the table.
Theresa May’s statement on Brexit came amid a flood of resignations – the most brutal coming from the Brexit secretary who negotiated the draft agreement itself. Somehow she stood there like Cnut while the waves rolled in.
As Tory MPs passed notes back and forth – and rumours of fresh resignation letters spread – the PM faced a barrage of demands on her own benches to scrap the deal, with Tory MPs calling the deal an ‘abject capitulation’ to the EU.
But level-pegging with the cries of ‘betrayal’ by hardline Tory Brexiteers, the PM also faced demands from all sides of the House to halt Brexit and back a ‘People’s Vote’ on the deal.
As of just after midday, 11 MPs had already called on the PM to hold a so-called People’s Vote: Labour’s Barry Sheerman, Luciana Berger, Peter Kyle, David Lammy, Angela Eagle and Mary Creagh, the Lib Dems’ Vince Cable and Tom Brake, the Tories’ Sarah Wollaston and Justine Greening, and Green MP Caroline Lucas.
Even the PM was using the phrase ‘People’s Vote’ in her responses – and admitting ‘no Brexit’ was on the table.
The People’s Vote campaign say that since the march in London on October 20, more than 120,000 emails, letters and postcards have been sent to MPs across all constituencies.
WATCH: Caroline Lucas MP
This isn’t a parlour game. It’s real people’s real lives.
My question for the Prime Minister pic.twitter.com/SLaF6LEruv
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) November 15, 2018
WATCH: Vince Cable’s demand
As ministers drop like flies and a potentially imminent leadership challenge emerges, some things are at least clear: there will be no majority for May’s proposal in Parliament and we MUST give the people a chance to scrap this mess and REMAIN in the European Union.#PeoplesVote pic.twitter.com/MPVs4EOocX
— Vince Cable (@vincecable) November 15, 2018
Tory MP Justine Greening said that if the deal was in the national interest…why not let the nation decide?
“There are 3 choices ahead of our country now and they are crucial choices, especially for young people.”@JustineGreening is absolutely right – we need a #PeoplesVote on Brexit as young people will have to live with this for the longest. Please RT: https://t.co/qzWgWXdxtW pic.twitter.com/atT8P3G1dn
— People’s Vote UK (@peoplesvote_uk) November 15, 2018
And outside the chamber – Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says a People’s Vote is on the table:
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) November 15, 2018
A YouGov poll conducted overnight showed significant public opposition to the proposed deal, with voters believing:
- By a margin of more than four-to-one (47% to 11%) the economy will be weaker
- By a margin of more than six-to-one (39% to 6%) that the standard of living will be weaker
- By a margin of almost ten-to-one (43% to 4%) that taxes will go up
- By a margin of almost three-to-one (40% to 14%) that the NHS will get worse
- By a margin of more than three-to-one (46% to 15%) that children will be worse off
With Tory backbenchers threatening to call for Theresa May to resign, and the Parliamentary arithmetic making it almost impossible for the deal to get through Parliament, the prospect of either a fresh General Election or a second referendum is starting to look less far-fetched…
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.