Af­ter Tues­day

I spent most of the past week in Par­lia­ment – the Bri­tish one.

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

It so hap­pened that be­fore I ever en­tered the Mal­tese Par­lia­ment, I at­tended a sit­ting in the House of Com­mons, when John Ma­jor was prime min­is­ter. This week, as I watched the long and his­toric de­bate on Brexit in the House, I could note the dif­fer­ences be­tween the Mother of Par­lia­ments and our own.

Mem­ber af­ter mem­ber stood up to say his or her piece. There were no in­ter­rup­tions, nor the ‘Point of Order, Mr Speaker’ which our de­bates seem to relish. In­stead there was a cus­tom I had never heard of: this was when­ever a mem­ber in­ter­rupted a speech by ask­ing the speaker to ‘Give way’ and in­vari­ably the speaker stopped and gave way to this mem­ber to have his say.

It was all done very cour­te­ously and with style. Mem­bers called each other not by name but by the name of the con­stituency as the Right Hon­ourable Mem­ber for …..

And the Speaker sat through­out it all – he did not take breaks, nor was he sub­sti­tuted by some­one else. As one mem­ber told him, he must have a blad­der made of steel.

Now as to the sub­stance of the de­bate. It seems very clear that Theresa May’s deal with the Com­mis­sion will be thrown out on Tues­day. May’s gov­ern­ment seems re­signed to this, de­spite send­ing all min­is­ters all over Bri­tain at the week­end to ex­plain the deal. It even tried to in­tro­duce amend­ments to the Deal but the House was not tak­ing it.

The Deal pleases no one, not the Re­main­ers for that is not what they wanted, nor the Brex­i­teers for they say it is a ca­pit­u­la­tion to the EU.

Mem­ber af­ter mem­ber rose and said “I did not get into pol­i­tics to see my con­stituents get­ting poorer”.

A par­tic­u­lar stum­bling block re­garded the bor­der be­tween North­ern Ire­land and Ire­land (Eire) and the pos­si­bil­ity of a back­stop be­ing in­voked which would see North­ern Ire­land come un­der the leg­isla­tive power of the EU and the ECJ. Ideas such as es­tab­lish­ing the fron­tier in mid-sea were dis­carded out o hand,

May has built her ap­peal on the premise that the Deal is bet­ter than no deal and that if the Deal is thrown out, chaos will en­sue – trucks will col­lect at Dover and peo­ple will face long queues at air­ports. Peo­ple are stock­pil­ing as if a war is

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