The Tory minority Government is at risk of collapse this week if a Progressive Alliance of Labour, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, and just thirteen rogue DUP/Tory MPs pass amendments to today’s Queen’s Speech.
The fragile hold that the Tories have on Parliament, still lacking a concrete DUP deal, means that only a handful of Tories would need to go rogue and either abstain on or vote for any one the amendments in order to topple Theresa May and give Jeremy Corbyn the chance to form a minority government.
The passing of any one of the amendments to the Queen’s Speech would likely trigger a vote of no confidence and further calls for May to step down.
According to The Telegraph, highlights of the amendments which the Opposition will propose include the establishment of a National Economic Development Council, a body to bring together people, business, and public services to lay out a democratic consensus on Brexit bills. This looks set to be a popular cross-party policy, and a strong contender for stealing the Tory MP votes necessary to topple May’s leadership.
A Liberal Democrat amendment will also require the Government to uphold its referendum promise to give an extra £350 million to the NHS every week, a broken promise which has left many Leave voters feeling betrayed and frustrated, and MPs under pressure to deliver to constituents.
Many are also worried whether the Good Friday Agreement will be upheld in the face of the secrecy and desperation of the Tory alliance with the DUP.
The vagueness of the Queen’s Speech, which left out most of the Tory manifesto promises, leaves the platform wide open for the Opposition to propose amendments.
Corbyn has stated today that Labour is “ready and waiting to form a minority government” with their own clear programme and mandate, more than which the Tories have offered voters. It has been noted by many senior Labour figures that the Parliamentary arithmetic today means that each individual MP has an enormous amount of power previously unknown.
"We're ready to form a govt if this govt collapses – we have a clear program" : Jeremy Corbyn pic.twitter.com/q5373FAWnW
— Labour Left Grassroots (@LabGrassroots) June 21, 2017
The Telegraph yesterday also said that a successful amendment “would be a unique situation – they would have to make a decision if the Government was strong enough to continue”. They also claimed that Nick Brown, Labour’s chief whip, met Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat chief whip earlier this week to discuss the plot.
While one Tory MP allegedly told the Telegraph that it would be unlikely for any Tory MPs to support amendments because that would risk Tory collapse, it is clear to bystanders that Tory MPs do not support May’s leadership, with rumours rife of a leadership contest before the year’s end. Such a situation seems increasingly likely now that so many Tory manifesto promises were left out of the Queen’s Speech, betraying voters and MPs alike. In addition, nothing was said about the controversial Trump visit to the UK, casting further aspersions about May’s international priorities in the wake of Brexit, and political negotiating and diplomacy skills.
The debate will begin this afternoon at 14.30, while thousands take part in the #DayOfRage, a protest in the streets of London for justice, democracy, and human rights.