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This is important for persuading existing MPs to support a "people's vote", but not as important as the attitude of people in Tory held marginal Constituencies Labour would have to win in order to get an overall majority at the next GE - if Corbyn were to get his preferred outcome of another GE.

However, it seems to me that the Fixed Term Act makes it almost impossible for anyone to force an early general election even if the current government cannot obtain a majority for its Brexit deal, or indeed any Brexit deal at all. May could, if she wished, continue in office as a lame duck PM unable to pass critical legislation and consequently allow the UK to drift into a no deal Brexit by default.

If a majority of the Commons oppose this their only recourse to break the logjam would be to pass the final decision back to the people by way of a second referendum. It will take some time before we get to that point, but it seems the logical end point.

If the DUP/hard Brexiteers want to prevent such an outcome (and risk of no Brexit), their only option is to hold their noses and vote for May's deal as the only way of ensuring any sort of Brexit happens at all. Indeed May's strongest argument for her deal is to say that the alternative is a People's vote which might very well lead to no Brexit at all.

Basically, everyone's been boxed in, by accident or design. The EU had an incentive to offer a very poor deal if it still hoped that the UK might change their mind. Failing that they have demonstrated that nothing beats full membership and that any country considering leaving should think carefully about its options. Further, it has stood by an existing small member (Ireland) providing it with a negotiating leverage it could only dream of on its own.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 19th, 2018 at 03:18:57 PM EST
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