Another massive defeat for the PM. Finally can we begin to wind up this awful period in our history?

A free vote on No Deal tomorrow to vanquish the ERG ultras.

On Thursday, a vote to extend Article 50 because there is no other option left for the UK with this Parliament. And that extension needs to be long enough to provision a credible alternative.

How long is long enough?

I disagree with the leader of the Labour Party. A general election first will solve nothing. Firstly, we require a second referendum to see exactly what the will of the people is in 2019. Only another referendum can explicitly clarify the almost total opaqueness of the first vote. I would see to hold that referendum as soon as is practical.

The options ought to simply be:

    No Deal

The government has exhausted time and patience to come up with any negotiated alternative of its own design. Parliament crushed the Prime Minister’s proposal.

Ideally, this second vote would be in May or June. I have no idea where this leaves the EU elections scheduled for the end of that month. But we cannot spend months debating this. I think the public has sufficient understanding, in spite of the best efforts of the ERG, plutocrat-funded think tanks and the right wing press, to assimilate a quick and clean campaign. Hopefully the EU would allow the UK to defer the election of MEPs until such a time as we know if they will be required. That’s another complication no one is talking about.

And then, once the will of the people in 2019 is known, with all the added knowledge and experience that we have about not just *whether* to leave the EU, but also *how* to leave the EU, a General Election as soon as possible after a fresh referendum. The new government would then be expected to implement the result of the second plebiscite with the authority of its mandate.

Having an General Election immediately after the second referendum will make it explicit what the parties are standing for and what the expectation of the electorate is having clarified its preference with regards to how the UK should leave the EU – if indeed we leave at all.

But a General Election should also be about post-Brexit Britain. The country is in a crisis caused by the mayhem of Conservative misrule. Brexiteers are fiddling while the country flounders. That’s why I feel we need a discreet vote on Brexit so we don’t lose the opportunity to reset the direction of policy across all departments.

And if there is any logic left in this world, we won’t see a Conservative government in power again for a generation. Leave or Remain, I deeply hope that last statement is the only certainty in British politics tonight.