Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
23 October 2018

As the government dodges another Brexit rebellion, no deal looks ever more likely

Conservative opponents of Chequers were set to thwart ban on high-calibre rifles.

By Stephen Bush

For the second Monday night in a row, MPs were left with an unexpectedly free evening after the government pulled the Offensive Weapons Bill – the reason? To head off a rebellion by Conservative opponents of Chequers that would have seen efforts to ban high-calibre rifles thwarted. 

It’s all about trying to force Theresa May to abandon her proposals for Brexit – which is odd, because in the real world, she already has, at least to all intents and purposes. May’s pledges to the Commons yesterday and her position on the backstop mean that unless she makes a further U-Turn, there is no hope or prospect of a Brexit deal and the United Kingdom is heading out without a deal.

Even if she does, there’s no guarantee it will pass: Boris Johnson became the 44th MP to join Stand Up For Brexit, which isn’t the name of the world’s most uninspiring comedy night but a grassroots Conservative campaign to secure a “real” Brexit. Of course, not all 44 MPs will come close to honouring the Stand Up For Brexit pledge but the campaign’s asks are incompatible with any Brexit deal and it is hard to see how enough of the 44 will be persuaded to vote for any deal like May’s for it to pass the House of Commons. 

Which leaves the United Kingdom in the same place it was yesterday: with no clear path to negotiating any deal with the European Union and no new Offensive Weapons Bill either.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
What are the green skills of the future?
A global hub for content producers, gaming and entertainment companies in Abu Dhabi
Insurance: finding sustainable growth in stormy markets