Politics update: Corbyn and May’s rebel problems, meaningful votes on Brexit

Politics update 07.05.2019

Backbenchers rebel against Corbyn for EEA vote

Jeremy Corbyn saw a mass rebellion from dozens of Labour MPs, as they broke ranks to take part in a vote for or against keeping Britain in the European Economic Area. EEA membership is often called the ‘Norway option’, and would keep Britain inside the single market.

In all, 75 backbenchers defied party instructions to abstain and voted for the EEA. A further 15, also defying the party whip, voted against. One frontbencher and five parliamentary aides also resigned from the shadow cabinet ahead of the vote. More Labour rebels were expected, though this reaction from the backbenchers still puts the Labour leader under pressure to address concerns from his remain-leaning party colleagues.

Theresa’s battle

Meanwhile, Theresa May defeated a string of amendments to her flagship Brexit bill, most notably avoiding a  strengthening of Tory rebel Dominic Grieve’s ‘meaningful vote’ amendment first passed in December, which provides MPs some power to challenge a Brexit deal. Grieve did manage to lock the PM into a debate on Wednesday evening, over whether a hard Brexit would be at all possible without parliamentary approval, after the government appeared ready to reject rebels’ demands.


Dominic Grieves

The government is expected to table an amendment today which will provide a compromise on the meaningful vote that will be given to the Commons. Peers will vote on this when it returns to the Lords on Monday.

“Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things”

It’s worth taking a quick look at Donald Trump, attempting to evaluate Kim Jong Un in a discussion with Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Wednesday. Speaking to the president as he was leaving the Singapore denuclearization summit, Baier told the president that the North Korean leader was “a killer. He’s executing people.” The president replied that Kim was a “tough guy. Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have – if you can do that at 27 years old, that’s one in 10,000 could do that.”

When Baier pressed the president saying “But he’s still done some really bad things.”, Trump retorted “Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”


Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that it was “understood” that the agreement between Trump and Kim Jong Un in Singapore – which first indicated that any further sanctions against North Korea would be halted – is conditional on the verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.

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Daniel Cody

Daniel Cody is SEO Editor at the New Statesman, and the creator of No Majesty. He is the host of the podcast Britain on the Rocks.