The headline given to my ConservativeHome diary column this week has caused a lot of comment. The comments have mainly been made by people too lazy to read the actual article and who don't realise that the author of a column doesn't write the accompanying headline. 


The content of the article was somewhat different. All I tried to do was point out that if Tory MPs decide not to back Theresa May's deal I think it is almost inevitable that Article 50 will be extended and we will not leave the EU on 29 March. 

Here's what I wrote...

My best guess is that events are going to lead to Article 50 being postponed/extended, which in turn could mean that Brexit never happens. When Conservative MPs weigh up how they are going to vote next Tuesday, one point ought to bear heavily on their minds. if they are Leave supporters. If you vote against the deal, you will be putting any form of Brexit at risk.

For if the Prime Minister’s deal doesn’t pass next week, or whenever it’s brought back afterwards, there seems to be little alternative other than for the Government to request an extension of Article 50, either in preparation for another referendum or some sort of other deal.

We saw the Remain establishment at work on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it’s perfectly clear that the Speaker will leave no stone unturned in helping Remainers in Parliament put every obstacle in the way of Brexit.

Whatever the trials and tribulations No Deal might offer up, these surely couldn’t be worse than this absolute clusterf**k of a parliamentary shambles that Number Ten and the Prime Minister have created.

People have interpreted that as me saying that I too would vote for the deal if I had a chance. Not true. All I was doing, I thought, was pointing out the obvious. Maybe I should have worded it better.

Some time ago I said I would rather remain in the EU than support this deal. I will admit that I do indeed think there's a risk of not leaving on 29 March if a deal is not passed, but I remain of the view that the EU needs to understand the level of opposition to this deal in Parliament. 

So if I were an MP, I would indeed vote against the Deal in the Meaningful vote on Tuesday as a means of putting pressure on the PM and the EU to amend it. If the EU refuses to do so, then I am perfectly content to move on and leave the EU with no deal in place. I do not regard that as an optimum position, but in some ways, an optimum position does not and can never exist.

The EU says it won't shift. That may remain the case, but there are signs from Dublin, Berlin and Brussels that they might well come up with a last minute solution - even though I do not expect that to happen before Tuesday.

What will happen after Tuesday is anyone's guess, but I suspect that an amended version of the 'deal' will come back before Parliament during February or even in early March. Would I support that? I'll tell you when I know the details.