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Shropshire Star comment: So much for ‘Super Saturday’

Politics | Published:

So much for ‘Super Saturday’.

The day when Parliament had the chance to decide whether we finally get to leave the EU this month has come and gone.

And what did our MPs do? They made yet another decision not to make a decision.

Many will say we should not be surprised. Over the last 12 months it is what this particular batch of politicians have excelled at.

Why decide on something today when you can get it done tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or perhaps never?

Round and round in circles they go, ad infinitum.

Critics will argue the Letwin amendment – ostensibly an assurance to rule out a no-deal Brexit and supported by 322 MPs – was simply an attempt to bring forward the Remainers’ dream of a second referendum.

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With a Brexit deal on the table again, Labour, the Liberals and the Scottish Nationalists seem to be in agreement that leaving the EU will make us poorer, that it will damage communities, hurt industry and wreck the economy. Supporters of Boris Johnson’s deal with the EU will point out that Jeremy Corbyn dismissed the deal before he had even bothered to read it.

It seems clear there is no Brexit deal possible that will satisfy his or any other of the Remainers’ requirements.

The DUP and the so-called Spartans among the Tory ERG want a clean break Brexit – something which will never stand a hope in hell of getting through this or any other Parliament.

For many, though, the repeated rejection of whatever deal is on the table is keeping us locked in a seemingly never-ending cycle of misery and turning this great country into a laughing stock around the globe.

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Few MPs have made any genuine attempts to work out a deal they might actually agree on.

This past weekend, there appeared to be an opportunity to break the deadlock, to take a step back from the chaos and consider the views of constituents and the businesses of this country, many of which are stuck in limbo due to uncertainty over Brexit. Instead, we are back where we started.

So what next? Another series of court cases? Another slew of cleverly worded amendments from Oliver Letwin and Hilary Benn? More endless hours of low-level squabbling masquerading as Parliamentary debate?

The Commons may vote on Mr Johnson’s deal today. Then again, it may not. After more than three years, many people have had enough of this farce, but our politicians were well aware of that before Saturday’s historic parliamentary session.

One thing that is certain is that we are heading towards a general election – if Mr Corbyn finally decides to agree to one – and sadly, it won’t be fought over the economy, health, education and crime.

All of those vital areas of policy will be footnotes in a one-issue poll, characterised by messy, vitriol-filled campaigns that may well end up with a similarly dysfunctional Parliament to the one we have now.

Rather than serve as a solution, it may simply add more fuel to a deepening crisis.

Wake us up when it’s over.

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