In a last-minute concession late last night, the Government accepted a Labour motion calling for parliamentary discussion over the strategy for leaving the EU before triggering Article 50.
Before being accepted, the motion was amended so as not to specify that there will be a formal vote.
Some Conservative MPs had threatened to vote with Labour on the motion, which is what led to the U-turn by the Government.
It makes me wonder whether Theresa May won the leadership contest on the private understanding that she would lead the country along this path.
After all, she could not have been more provocative than saying that her cabinet would keep their negotiations secret so as not to reveal their hand to Brussels.
This way she gets to have a pubic discussion without her being accused of reneging on her Brexit promise.
So let's see how all this could play out in this unusual year in politics.
Here are some possibilities:
- The discussion before Parliament takes place and it results in a vote of no confidence over the Government's handling of Brexit.
- Consequently, the Government feels itself unable to trigger Article 50.
- An election is called.
- Labour wins and the Labour MPs defy Jeremy Corbyn and vote with Conservative 'Remainers' to reverse Brexit, declaring themselves not bound by the referendum
- Or, the Conservatives win with a Remain majority and reverse Brexit
- Or, the Liberal Democrats surge and gain seats and form a coalition government with Remain Conservatives and reverse Brexit.
And as my wife said... And they all lived happily ever after.