An evening in which the DUP stopped propping up Theresa May’s majority in parliament during what should have been a rubber-stamping of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s budget saw another major blow to the likelihood of Theresa May winning a House of Commons vote on her Brexit deal.
In an equally embarrassing set back for Theresa May, she was also forced tonight to agree to publish her full economic advice on the impact of her proposed Brexit agreement compared to the economic impact of staying in the EU.
Previously she had agreed to publish the advice, and a comparison with the impact of a no deal Brexit, but not the comparison with remaining in the EU. But facing a motion from over 70 MPs across both sides of the benches including many Conservative rebels she was forced to back down and agree to publish the details before parliament votes on the Brexit agreement.
The impact studies are expected to show that Britain will be worse off in either Brexit scenario than if the country remained in the EU.
The 11 Tory rebels included Jo Johnson, who resigned as Transport Minister, insisting “to present the nation with a choice between two deeply unattractive outcomes, vassalage and chaos, is a failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis.”
Fellow Conservative MP Ken Clarke, who also signed the motion said: “The only way to prevent the current shambles from becoming a serious national crisis will be for parliament to exercise a well-informed and sensible judgment in the national interest when it votes on all the key issues. The procedures of the House of Commons must be followed in order to protect the national interest from any attempts to confine parliamentary sovereignty.”