It’s ‘the morning after’, and as predicted yesterday (see here) the TIG Splitters reign supreme in today’s MSM. Even the ‘ISIS Bride’ story is slowly sinking below this tide. News on Brexit? On Ms May’s visit to M Juncker? On the Backstop? Forget about it – it’s TIGs all the way down … But since this will now have an impact on the Brexit votes in the HoC, we do need to take a closer look.
Let me say right at the beginning that I’m not going to talk about what TIGgery means for the body politic in the widest sense – that is worthy of a proper essay on its own. The point to be kept in mind is this: Ms May will ‘bring forward’ her WA to a vote in the HoC on the 26th of February, should the EU ministers agree to it at their meeting in Sharm-el-Sheik in Egypt on Sunday. That’s where the TIGgery comes in – see for example this report about the TIGs formally meeting with the Libdems:
“If the 22 MPs [TIG + Libdems] were to secure an agreement to frustrate Brexit – for example, by demanding another referendum – it could cause huge problems for Theresa May as she attempts to win backing for her deal. […] Sir Vince said: ‘We will hold out the hand of friendship to the Independent MPs with whom we already have a good working relationship. In the short term we will be concentrating on securing a People’s Vote, with an option to stay.’(my bold)
So TIG is not really about ‘destroying the Tory Party’ which is, according to Ms Soubry, in thrall to the ERG and DUP and is now of course a ‘radical, hard-right Party’ according to the BBC and SKY – it is about destroying Brexit by all and any means. While the LibDems have been true Remainers (which is their right), the TIGs were all elected on their Party manifestos of getting us out: turncoats one and all.
But there’s worse – the Tory TIGs are now trying to get more Tory Remainers to join. Up to twenty, with some Labour MPs for good measure are allegedly ‘ready to jump ship’. This is crucial: even if they stay in their Parties, the usual suspects who’ve been putting pressure on Ms May with threats of resignation have now issued an ultimatum. The Express writes:
“Remain Cabinet ministers this week demanded she take no deal off the table by extending Article 50. They told the Prime Minister she must promise to delay Brexit if no deal is agreed upon before the March 29 deadline, or they will join Tory rebels in the vote next week. […] One Tory minister told The Sun: “The Prime Minister has a choice, and that was made clear to her. Either take no deal off the table by extending Article 50 or she will have to sack the lot of us, and still be defeated.” News of the ultimatum came as it emerged the Prime Minister has given up on sealing a new deal in time for the Commons vote.” (my bold)
In their zeal to stop Brexit at all costs, MPs, TIGs and prospective TIGs have now dropped their masks. While they talk about ‘the will of the people’, the fact is that we, the people, our opinions and voices do not matter. This snippet from the paywalled Times – unsurprisingly from the same lot who demand an extension to Article 50 – shows it clearly:
“The Times understands that members of the cabinet want the prime minister to speak out against moves to deselect Conservative MPs. One also urged her to counter the “perception” among pro-EU Tory MPs that she was indulging Eurosceptic backbenchers.”
God forbid that party members deselect the MPs whom they got elected by their hard work and who now betray them! That would make those MPs turn into TIGs! The trend is obvious: stop Brexit, blame the “Hard-Line-Brexiteers” for not caving in, and betray the 17.4 million Brexit voters.
There is however the “Law of Unintended Consequences” which the Remainers disregard at their peril. Allister Heath writes in the paywalled DT:
“They don’t want to be accused of precipitating a general election and a Jeremy Corbyn victory – but one either has the courage of one’s convictions, or one doesn’t. […] The reality is that there are now just 314 Tory MPs and 10 DUP MPs. If and when a handful more Tories quit, or if Sinn Fein, egged on by the Irish government, were to take its seven seats in Parliament, it would be game over for Theresa May. We are therefore closer than ever to a general election: that is what great political realignments and defections necessarily imply. It is not very honest to downplay this. And why not make it explicit that the only real reason for leaving the Tories now is Brexit?” (my bold)
It would be ironic if Ms May would be forced to call a General Election now. Ironic because TIG is not a political party, the TIGs would all have to stand on their own – no party infrastructure to help them. Ironic because Ms May would have to hold the GE next month, which would mean the EU would agree to an extension to Article 50 with all that implies, e.g. the election of new UK members to the EU Parliaments. Ironic because an extension to Article 50 would mean a huge loss of votes for LabCon and the TIGs because we won’t forgive them their betrayal. Ironic also because, since Parliament would be suspended during a GE, we could leave on March 29th with no deal as there won’t be any ‘meaningful votes’ should an extension to Article 50 not be granted by the EU.
As for ‘real’ Brexit news: there aren’t any. Ms May chatted with M Juncker and they agreed that today the Attorney General will talk to M Barnier. That ‘crucial’ meeting in Egypt? Yesterday’s news – not important. What Spain says about Gibraltar being a colony – forget it. But do take note that, in the now usual underhand way when reporting on Brexit, our MSM have been very quiet about the Political Declaration. Do read this excellent analysis in BrexitCentral!
We must stay vigilant while we wait – for that ‘legally binding’ proposal on the Backstop, and for next Tuesday’s ‘meaningful’ vote in the HoC
Tick-tock tick-tock tick-tock …