Updated 21 March: With both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn in Brussels today, the former blaming everyone apart from herself for the current situation and the latter blaming himself for “confusion” after refusing to stay at a meeting last night because breakaway MP Chuka Umunna was present, the UK is in limbo with a petition to Revoke Article 50 started last night currently at nearly a million signatures. This is an official Parliamentary petition rather than a Change.org type, and Parliament is required to consider debating any that get over 100,000 signatures; the Revoke Article 50 Parliamentary petition is nearly ten times that within less than 12 hours. Its creator, Margaret Anne Georgiadou, says that “The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU.”

A proposal for a second referendum, however, even if debated in Parliament, is unlikely to garner sufficient enthusiasm among MPs however many sign the petition: a clear majority of MPs oppose a “People’s Vote”, with one saying the other day that remaining in the EU now would be like someone demanding a divorce, spending the following two years berating and belittling their former partner, and then announcing “it’s OK dear, I’m not leaving” – hardly a comfortable situation, is the clear point.

It is in fact Theresa May who has mostly used the “will of the people” argument to try to get her deal through Parliament, and indeed on arrival in Brussels she was still saying that the “UK must deliver Brexit for the people”. Many of “the people”, those who comment on social media at least, are furious with her today for trying, as they see it, to pass the buck by refusing to accept any blame at all for what the Solicitor General has called “constitutional chaos”, and for being too rigid and refusing to contemplate any alternatives to her deal. MPs are spitting fire at what they consider to be her accusations of treachery on their part, and Commons Speaker John Bercow has himself defended MPs this lunchtime saying that in fact what they were doing was their job! “None of them is a traitor, all of you are doing your best. I believe passionately in the institution of parliament, in the rights and passions of the members of this house, and their commitment to their duty”, he said.

Jeremy Corbyn himself is coming in for some flak because of his behaviour last night at the Prime Minister’s meeting. His walking out because Umunna was present has been widely condemned as “immature”, and his attempt this morning at alleging it was merely “confusion” will hardly reassure voters who in the near future may be required to choose a new Government with him at the head of the main alternative to the present one.

Meanwhile, France is leading the support for Juncker’s tough line with the UK required to get MV3 through Parliament before any extension will be agreed. What was already looking like an uphill battle has today become nearer to an impossible dream with many of those May needs to support her deal alienated by her comments last night, and even the DUP, whose support appeared to have been secured again (allegedly after a further million Pound bung from the Chancellor), distancing themselves from the deal today.

If MV3 does get voted on, and then fails, it will be for the EU to offer a long extension to see what might be achieved, or for Parliament to decide what it can agree to perhaps by means of indicative votes. If both of these avenues fail, as France’s Macron has said only this lunchtime, it will be No Deal on Friday next week, eight days time.

Source Janet Anscombe: https://www.janetanscombe.com/news/brexit-negotiations-affecting-british-nationals-in-tenerife.html

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