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PC2: No Deal and Parliamentary Wranglings
The Prime Minister points to his recent negotiating victories as proof that he was right to so boldly threaten no-deal. That argument sadly, doesn't hold up to scrutiny. The EU's true red lines, its substantive commitments to preservation of the single market and the need to preserve the core benefits of the EU to those who pay its costs, remain intact. The concessions the Prime Minister has secured have been secured only by going back on his own prior red lines: his commitment to, for example, take all parts of the UK out of the EU as one has now been well and truly shattered. 

In one breath, the government speaks of "global Britain", "our European friends", all of these slogans that attempt to remake Brexit into some courageous internationalist project. In the next breath, they talk of our European friends as if we are at war with them - all this nonsense about a surrender bill is, I think, the epitome of that. It's quite clear that, to the Croft premiership, there are no friends, only slogans. 
Grant Smith
Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West (2005-present)

Media Unknown, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Fundraiser Extraordinaire 
Previously: Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon; Graham Adiputera; I think I played some dull Labour bloke at one point
Unionist across the country are angry, anxious, and agitated about the Strabane Surrender. From Ruth Davidson to TUV, all spectrum of unionists from hardcore remainers to hardcore leavers oppose the Strabane Surrender, this supposed "deal" divides our union, leaves part of our beautiful union in the EU and frankly is whipping up fire of nationalism in both Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Strabane Surrender is setting up a border between Northern Ireland and rest of the United Kingdom, the same notion all of the Tories including the Prime Minister voted to make it illegal a couple of months ago. When our country voted to leave, we voted to leave as a country, not just parts of it and the Prime Minister is certainly betraying that sentiment. The Prime Minister must abandon this senseless pursuit for a deal and just get on with his job and deliver the Brexit he has promised for.

I am quite concerned that the Prime Minister is so willing to abandon the mantle of unionism in pursuit of a deal. The Strabane Surrender is just Chequers but worse. Boris Johnson and so many other Tories resigned from the cabinet because of the Chequers and now the government is pursuing Chequers that divides our union. Our union is our first and upmost priority, we love our country, our union and our monarchy, these are all core and quintessential parts of our beautiful country. The Prime Minister must abandon his Strabane Surrender, the EU showed that they are not to be reasoned with and will not accept any compromise that is not complete surrender and he must deliver the clean Brexit that was promised to the British people.

I find it sad that when Labour Party can make a more reasonable and solid claim to mantle of unionism than the Conservative and Unionist Party. Conservative Party and William Croft is ripping our union apart in pursuit of a deal with unreasonable Irish, placing a border between Northern Ireland, giving into Irish Republican dreams, fueling fires of nationalism and division in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Brexit Party is dead set against any compromise with the Irish and the Nats that will break integrity of our union and the Strabane Surrender is exactly that. The Prime Minister must show some spine and tell the Irish shove it in someplace proper.
Brigitte Allard MP
Member for Stoke on Trent North
Leader of the Brexit Party

Media Darling/Fundraising Extraordinaire/Maverick/Constituency Darling(awarded by admins)
Passage of the Surrender Bill is on the government and do not let them believe you anything else. They knew it would be an awful bill and restrain their hands, just listen to every single the government has said about this bill. They were right, this is an awful bill and this will restrain our hands. Right now Irish and the EU has the opportunity to reject deals and force UK on the table but we do not. This entire thing is not balanced and this is not a fair negotiation, right now we are negotiating our surrender. People of this country will never forgive the Parliament for passing this bill and will never forgive the government for allowing it to happen. The government could have prorogued the parliament, they could have called an early election, the Prime Minister on at least two occasions these options are not off the table, once on Andrew Neil and once during the Prime Minister's Questions. This is the Prime Minister's quote "I will not make that commitment. Everything is on the table when it comes to ensuring the people's will is done and Britain leaves the EU on March 29". My question to the Prime Minister is, if everything was on the table why didn't he use it, he knew and acknowledges these options and then refuses to use it. Surrender Bill might have been proposed by Caroline Blakesley but it is William Croft who has sealed the deal on it.
Brigitte Allard MP
Member for Stoke on Trent North
Leader of the Brexit Party

Media Darling/Fundraising Extraordinaire/Maverick/Constituency Darling(awarded by admins)
William Croft repeatedly promised the British people that he would not seek an extension to the March 29th deadline for a no-deal Brexit. He has once again been defeated in Parliament, and has since broken his promise to the British people. If we cannot trust William Croft on his signature issue, how can people across Britain trust him on the many other issues that matter to them - whether its devolution, green energy, or social care? Don't get me wrong, I am happy that the British people have won an extension. But I have no confidence in Mr. Croft's leadership or his Government.
Owain Pugh MP
Plaid Cymru for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Campaigning Guru/Fundraising Extraordinaire/Media Darling/Maverick
The mystifying lack of logic from the opposition continues. Mr. Pugh from Plaid Cymru muses that the Prime Minister broke his promise to the British people. No, the Prime Minister didn't break his promise--Parliament broke its promise to the British People. Parliament voted to let the people have a say in this important issue--and now a coalition is rising that seeks to undo the will of the British people. Instead of supporting the Prime Minister in his goal to achieve a good deal, the opposition has, at every turn, sought to undermine the Prime Minister and the will that the British people expressed in the referendum. This latest victory for the forces against Brexit further achieves their aims of making a good deal impossible, another step toward their ultimate goal of revoking Article 50. 

I have great admiration for those who stand up and say what they truly believe--the few bold MPs in the opposition who say honestly what they want: to undo the will of the British people because "they know better." They are to be commended for their honesty as the rest of the opposition continually does anything it can to prevent a fair deal for Brexit being realized. Perhaps the greatest irony is that the Remainers and Brexit party are united in one thing: they don't want a deal--but for different reasons. The Conservative party is the only party that is fighting for a responsible Brexit that delivers on the will of the British people.
Daniel Brown
Conservative MP for Bosworth
Shadow Home Secretary
Traits: Constituency Appeal (+)/Media Darling (+)/Campaigning Guru (+)/Finite Resources (-)
With each day we see more evidence that the government will never achieve a brexit that will deliver on what was promised to the voters in 2016 or will satisfy the nations and regions of UK, or meet the Red lines of the EU. It is clear parliament cannot deliver on the referendum and with the reality of what a post EU Britain will look like deal or no deal it is now time to return to the British the casting vote. It is clear more than ever we need a referendum, a people's vote not a parliamentary vote to break the deadlock.
Harriet Laski
Green Party Co-Leader
Candidate for Bristol West
Constituency Appeal, Campaigning Guru, Finite Resources
This is one of the largest press cycles in the history of the press cycle system on PolUK and I bitterly regret not marking it midway xD. In more serious news it is a very important one that will most likely provide a serious momentum boost to the race in Brexity-areas which the Tories have been absolutely dominating of late. 

Without further ado our beloved Prime Minister kicked us off this time out to announce he was doing what he said he would. He is laying down the law and announcing that he will try and affirm his right to No Deal in accordance with previous motions, it's a good step that hands him some early momentum. Mr Richland's complaint about the PM stifling debate would have been far stronger if the PM's TTM to force a quick debate and vote hadn't been supported by Labour, and voted in favour of by him. Nerina lays a far stronger approach criticising Mr Croft in terms of wasting the nation's time with his dodgy dealings and self-interested motions. Her follow up is also strong, if a little less so, complaining that Croft wants to unite the 52% rather than everyone. Mr Marshall emphasises the need to get a deal before Greenwood returns us to. that. damned. FTPA. repeal.  Angry There, you made me frown, happy? Blakesley turns up to set out her preferred deal calling for a Customs Union style of deal with the EU before Wodehouse passes judgement on the whole sorry Parliament on behalf of the nation calling (I presume) the opposition childish. Summer commends the PM for doing exactly what he said he would and condemns the opposition for condemning him doing what he said he would before Mr Pugh rounds off the page with a line about how No Deal is not an effective bargaining chip.

Greenwood begins Act 2 by lauding the defeat of... her own leader's PV amendment, as well as the Government's no deal motion. It doesn't help Labour look united but it does give her the Constituency Appeal trait as her constituents take note of her continued efforts to thwart those who would try and block Brexit. Nerina called on the PM to avoid No Deal now that Parliament has put its foot down but the Fantastic Mr Croft (like Mr Fox, get it?) accuses Labour of attempting to block a deal so that they can block HIS deal so that they can block Brexit. Nyland makes an appearance to call on Parliament to keep blocking No Deal as Nerina accuses the PM of lying to the country in a decent 1-2 before being backed up by Levy's interjection arguing that Croft is basically showing contempt for the Parliament Brexit is supposed to champion. Brown's line in response is very punchy accusing Labour of wanting no Brexit at all before Croft follows up with another show of defiance against a Parliament he tacitly accuses of not believing in democracy. This is powerful, punchy, stuff that gets right to the gut and the heart of the issue at play as Nerina and Levy return with some common sense counter arguments that are somewhat less punchy but still quite effective to round out the second page.

Greenwood opens up Page 3(!) by saying that Parliament are not blocking a deal they are preventing a No Deal Brexit with their extension. Knight accuses the Labour Party of being soft and taking one of our best weapons away, giving them the upper hand. Saxon shows that there is less to fear with a groundbreaking No Deal development ensuring our security isn't a total dumpster fire in the event of a No Deal. Lascelles, at the time in the Tories (I think?), attacks people who call No Deal a good negotiating tactic and calls for a good deal to go through Parliament. Greenwood says the EU has the upper hand in negotiations before leading Labour Brexiteer Newhurn accuses Croft of seeking a "bosses Brexit", a line which would have given him Constituency Appeal if he didn't already have it so instead he gets 2 free XP points independent of any of the other considerations at the end of the marking. Nerina and Blakesley attack the new Northern Ireland protocol. Croft attacks really well saying that whilst others try and block Brexit he has managed to renegotiate the Northern Ireland stuff (the Northern Ireland protocol has not collapsed, only the stuff that came later) before Blakesley rounds on him again for selling out Northern Ireland.

Powell opens up page 4 with a decent enough attack line before being backed up by Greenwood and BlakesleyWodehouse comes out swinging for the Tories saying Croft did the impossible before Newhurn comes out with a cycle comment which is more than 50% tagline (not best practice). Pugh returns to the fray and enters this fight talking about the messaging of Deal and No Deal which owing to what happened ooc I will not be marking. His second comment linked purely to Northern Ireland is fair game and is somewhat effective. Allard arrives and demands a No Deal Brexit offering her 4 MPs up to help him achieve that end before Croft returns to fight back on the "Surrender Bill" which is very effective messaging if unfortunately stolen verbatim from real life (no originality points there). Allard returns to kick his teeth in again to round off page 4.

Page 5 sees the first entry of our Lib Dem friends with Mr Smith accusing the PM of u-turning on his own red lines and his use of sloganeering before Allard just goes to town on everything that Croft has ever tried to achieve. Mr Pugh's attack is very muted because everyone and their mother can see that Croft didn't back down he was forced to by Parliament, a point Mr Brown makes very eloquently in his next address before Ms Laski turns up at the end to call for a People's Vote, which if I remember correctly, was where we began back at the start.

This was a right slog to mark, so many brilliant contributions over the course of at least an hour's marking. The Tories began promisingly but by the end they were taking a battering (probably to be expected when you're the only party with a deal in town to critique) whilst Labour had the exact reverse course. Where Labour were divided and weakened by the PV debate, the debate that evolved from it as Brexit continued was far stronger for them as they were able to get off the back foot and attack a deal which is divisive.

I would like to briefly address the Northern Ireland protocol at this juncture because it is still fair game despite everything that happened on Discord. Irl the Northern Ireland protocol was deeply divisive among Brexiteers (I myself was appalled by the idea in the early days) and it was only when the whole charade had gone on for a good year with no sight of a resolution that public opinion began to turn into a "please God just let this end" kind of mood and accept it. It also took a lot of the Boris effect. Croft, you're good at the game and you won the leadership well, but you're not Boris. This is the issue with going "this is what worked irl", in March of 2019 irl the Boris deal would have crashed and burned because 1. May had all the charisma of a hard boiled potato and 2. People weren't desperate for any solution yet. The people might blame the Irish for the collapse of the deal, but that doesn't mean they approve of the backstop entirely either. It's going to be one of the defining fights of this election.

Anyway back to the partisan stuff. The Brexit Party were excellent at weaponising the above for their own ends and demanding that the PM stand up to those pesky MPs in Parliament, kind of like when Oliver Cromwell won the English Civil War for Parliament and celebrated by sending Parliament home. When Croft failed to do that she was excellent at tearing the deal apart and criticising him for having the temerity to exist it felt like by the end. The Lib Dems, Greens, and Plaid were also noted for their efforts.

The winners of this cycle are the Labour Party and the Brexit Party with a lean towards the latter. XP goes to Croft, Brown, Greenwood, Blakesley, and Newhurn (again).

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