Brexit: the past seven days

As the countdown continues to the scheduled date of Brexit on March 29, here’s what been happening over the past week.

How many days to go: 63

Brexit
Brexit

What happened this week: Theresa May returned to the Commons with the outline of her Brexit plan B, which to a lot of people sounded rather like plan A.

MPs started plotting to table amendments to her “neutral motion” with a myriad of aims.

Union leaders including Len McCluskey held talks with the PM in Downing Street, but Jeremy Corbyn still refuses to do so.

Prime Minister’s Questions
Prime Minister’s Questions

What happens next: MPs will vote on the amendments and possibly amendments to amendments on Tuesday evening.

All eyes will be on Speaker John Bercow, who has the power to decide which get put to a vote and which are thrown into the Commons’ waste paper bin.

His choices could ultimately decide whether Britain leaves the EU on March 29.

Good week: Theresa May? With so many moves afoot by MPs to prevent a no-deal Brexit, including delaying leaving beyond March 29, there are reports that some of the more hardline Brexiteers might be prepared to move closer to something resembling her Withdrawal Agreement, with not leaving (temporarily or permanently) as the alternative.

Bad week: People’s Vote supporters. MPs including Labour’s Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna and the Tory Sarah Wollaston were forced to drop plans for an amendment calling for a second referendum.

They blamed a lack of support from the Labour front bench, which has tabled its own, less forthright, amendment.

Quote of the week: “Please don’t listen to the Brexiteers’ madness which asserts that ‘because we have huge plants here we will not move and we will always be here’. They are wrong.” Airbus chief executive Tom Enders’ blunt assessment of the danger a no-deal Brexit poses to manufacturers.

Tweet of the week: “Asking our Polish allies to block any attempts by EU to permit extension of Article 50. For everyone concerned imperative we leave at 11pm in March 29th as planned”. Tory Brexiteer Daniel Kawczynski.

Asking our Polish allies to block any attempts by EU to permit extension of Article 50. For everyone concerned imperative we leave at 11pm in March 29th as planned. https://t.co/WXTxW7E7Ib

— Daniel Kawczynski (@DKShrewsbury) January 22, 2019

Word of the week: Amendment.

More than a dozen amendments have been tabled ahead of Tuesday’s key session by MPs from all sides of the Brexit debate, including pro-EU efforts to block a no-deal Brexit, delay Brexit and support a second referendum.

Brexiteers then tabled amendments to block these aims.