Published On: Sun, Oct 20th, 2019

Boris smiles as foes sabotaging his big moment cheer – COMMONS SKETCH | Politics | News


These MPs have created a stinking mess for the PM to clear up. But he has no intention of abandoning his plan to take the country out of the EU on October 31.And in a packed and sweltering Commons, he certainly wasn’t going to give his foes the satisfaction of seeing him panic. Instead he folded his arms and smiled. Channelling the spirit of Catherine Tate, he let them know he was not particularly bovvered that, by voting for Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment to withhold approval for his Brexit deal, they had sabotaged what should have been his day of triumph.

“I wish the House to know that I am not daunted or dismayed by this particular result,” he said, exuding the Etonian calmness that drives his detractors to distraction.

Instead, he pledged to press ahead with the Brexit legislation required to take the UK out of the EU at the end of the month. Days and long nights of fevered parliamentary battles await, in which the forces of Leave and Remain will try to outwit each other.

For the members of the public who queued to get a seat in the gallery, this was a day of blockbuster Commons action.

They saw Theresa May, clad in a gleaming white jacket that would be a handy prop in a Persil advertisement, warn that if MPs were not serious about delivering on the referendum result they were guilty of an “egregious confidence trick”.

Michael Gove also spoke with theatrical passion, turning from side to side like a politicised hula dancer, telling MPs the country would feel as if a cloud had been lifted if they voted for a deal.

But there was a sense the real drama wasn’t taking place in the Commons but just outside the chamber in the Prime Minister’s office.

Could Mr Johnson persuade the DUP not to vote for the Letwin amendment? When DUPWestminster leader Nigel Dodds took his seat his expression gave little away. But it wasn’t long before the consequences of the rift between these Ulster MPs and the PM became spectacularly clear.

Boom! The Government was defeated by 322 votes to 306.

If Mr Johnson is to get his Brexit legislation on to the statute book in the days ahead he needs allies whose loyalty will not falter.

That is his real deficit problem.



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Boris smiles as foes sabotaging his big moment cheer – COMMONS SKETCH | Politics | News