Politics is living through a ‘ratification crisis’, lasting over a period of months when nobody knows who, how or whether the Crown’s Withdrawal Agreement will be ratified or not. The crisis began in December when May pulled her deal out of a Commons ratification vote. It continued on 15 January 2019 when her deal was massively rejected by 230 votes in the Commons.
Such a major defeat should have sunk any government, got May sacked and brought a general election. But Brexit has blown away any ‘normality’. There are two ways out of the ratification crisis – getting ratification by parliament or by the people. May is strongest in parliament and Corbyn has more strength amongst the people. So why would Corbyn tie himself to a contest in parliament instead of taking his ratification case to the people.
If May had any idea about democracy she would logically appeal over the heads of the Commons to the people. She would put her Withdrawal Agreement to a ratification referendum. Will the people back May’s deal and over-rule the Commons? But May is no democrat.
What could be worse than allowing the working class to have a vote? Every Minister of the Crown understands the danger of sub-contracting their powers to the people. Look what happened to Cameron? So May fights by parliamentary manoeuvres. She deploys all the powers of the Crown in secret deals, manipulation, bribery and corruption etc.
By these means May can still emerge triumphant from the current debacle. She has switched tactically to the right after her heavy defeat. The chance of a ‘No Deal’ option has enthused the Tory right. They are so desperate that they fell over themselves to believe the ‘good news’. May was listening ‘seriously’ to them after all! How disappointed or angry will they be?
The next step is for May to run the clock down until one minute to midnight. Then comes some cosmetic changes from her Tory friends in Europe. Next by tacking to the ‘left’ get it through the Commons with the help of Labour MPs without the DUP. Finally is the knockout blow. If her Withdrawal Deal is ratified she will gamble on a triumphant Falklands style general election in June.
A ‘great’ national leader, like Churchill and Thatcher, had saved the country against all the odds. Hitler and Argentinean generals were beaten. Now May can big up as the Iron Lady taking on the German Reich. Meanwhile Corbyn could be further destabilised by demands for a second EU referendum and stepping up the anti-Semitism row or ‘Israel’ as some perceptively see it.
If Corbyn doesn’t’ have an answer to the ratification crisis then he will be defeated. He has tried everything and failed. He called a vote of no confidence. Then he wants a general election. Then he refused to meet May unless no deal is taken off the table. Then he met her anyway and demanded no deal be removed as an option. That did not work either. So he has to take his case on Europe to the country through a ratification referendum.
May has set her face against any referendum. But ‘no’ always means possibly if there is no other way out. Meanwhile there is a wide open goal for Corbyn to shoot at. Even Arsenal wouldn’t miss such an opportunity. He has tried every other tactic to overthrow May’s deal except a ratification referendum. If we have eliminated everything else it’s the only thing left.
Corbyn cannot overthrow May by parliamentary means. He cannot win a vote of no confidence nor take no deal off the table until it is too late. Asking or demanding May abandons her main ‘no deal’ weapon which keeps her afloat is never going to work. Demanding a general election while her Withdrawal Agreement is still alive is a waste of time. May has shown that if she cannot get her deal through parliament she can fight on. But if she cannot get it through a ratification referendum then she is as dead as Cameron.
Corbyn should confound May and all his liberal critics in the Labour Party. He should champion the people’s right to decide on May’s deal by proposing a ratification referendum. He should totally reject any idea of a second repeat-remain referendum. It is the only way we can get to a general election before May gets her deal through the Commons and then fights an election on the ground of her own choosing.