Conservative deputy Anna Soubry, one of the voices defending a second referendum in the United Kingdom, says she does not approach the subway platform in case someone pushes her to the road. He has also decided to put on hiking boots to go to Parliament “in case he has to run.” Soubry is not paranoid. The images of Brexit support groups harassing her and calling her Nazi while they do live interviews have set off alarms in a country where politicians and journalists start to live with fear.
The curious thing about Soubry is that he is against the exit of the European Union despite belonging to the Conservative Party – the same one led by Theresa May-. Like her, other Tories want to stop Brexit and even ask for a second referendum. And on the contrary. Some Labor MPs support the Government in tomorrow’s vote. This situation has given rise to a complex political panorama in which several tribes created following the referendum of 2016 converge. The relevant thing is no longer to which party the deputies belong, but what is their position on the Brexit.
The Parliament has 650 deputies and the prime minister needs 320 votes to make sure that the Brexit agreement she signed in November with Brussels goes ahead (the 7 deputies of Sinn Féinn do not attend, the president of the House does not vote and there are some casualties). The question now is from which tribes will come the supports for one or the other side.
Conservatives loyal to May (at least 225 deputies):
Even if it seems so, the prime minister is not alone with Brexit. Some 150 conservative deputies, who work in different government posts (and whose salary depends on May’s continuing as prime minister) will vote in favor of the pact. So will the deputies loyal to the party who do not want to see a Brexit without an agreement, but not a second referendum and even less early elections that Labor could win. One of the most prominent members of this tribe is Damian Green.
Conservatives ultra-Brexit (between 50-80):
The most pro-Brexit group of the Conservative party, led by the flamboyant Jacob Rees-Mogg, has proved very combative and managed to embarrass the May get 48 deputies support a motion of trust, of which the prime minister was successful. The group could rise to 80 deputies, although some could end up supporting May before the fear of another referendum that stops the Brexit.
Pro-EU Conservatives (between 5-10):
Figures such as Justine Green, Anna Soubry and Guto Bebb support a second referendum. It could also be done by “reasonable conservatives,” such as Nicky Morgan or Philip Hammond, Treasury minister. At the moment, they support May’s pact.
Labor with Corbyn (between 240-250):
The leader of the opposition (unenthusiastic of the EU) has asked for the vote against May to force early elections. Many of its deputies would prefer a referendum, but for now they are united in bringing down the prime minister’s agreement.
Labor Rebels (between 5 and 15):
They are convinced of Brexit and will support May in their pact. One of its main leaders is John Mann. Other Labor MPs could also endorse this agreement because most of their voters supported Brexit in the 2016 referendum. This is the case of Caroline Flint.
Other parties (up to 72):
The Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (DUP), May’s partner in the Government, has already announced that its 10 deputies will vote against the agreement. For different reasons, the same could do the 35 Scottish deputies and the 11 representatives of the Liberal Democratic party. May also does not expect the support of two other small parties: the Welshman Cymru, with four deputies, and the Greens, which has a representative.