One of the laws of Brexit is that every Commons division and Cabinet meeting billed as being a ‘crunch vote’ or ‘crunch talks’ ends up postponing the crunching again, and again and again. This afternoon, Dominic Grieve announced that he would ‘accept the government’s difficulty’ on the matter of a meaningful vote and ‘support it’. He was speaking in the Commons shortly before a division was supposed to be called on this matter, and not long after the government had offered a compromise.
That compromise involved David Davis issuing a Written Ministerial Statement which clarifies that the Speaker can decide whether or not a motion issued by the government using the EU Withdrawal Bill is amendable. Last week, the government had said that it would not be, but now it will. In simple terms, this means that Parliament is getting what the would-be rebels believe is a ‘meaningful vote’, and therefore there will be no rebellion today.
No rebellion today, that is, but certainly not a resolution to the conflict between Prime Minister and Remainers. Or indeed between the Prime Minister and Brexiteers, because this means that Theresa May has not yet had to turn on either of those groups.