It is looking unlikely which would be a shame in many ways because it is the best Brexit deal we are ever likely to get.
There are alternatives: Crash out of the EU without a deal - a much worse option - or revoke our notice under Article 50 and remain in the EU, which many would consider a good idea but which...
Best answer: It is looking unlikely which would be a shame in many ways because it is the best Brexit deal we are ever likely to get.
There are alternatives: Crash out of the EU without a deal - a much worse option - or revoke our notice under Article 50 and remain in the EU, which many would consider a good idea but which would be contrary to the referendum vote.
Given how the EU has conducted itself, including how it conducted itself in negotiations with David Cameron aimed at preventing this crisis ever happening, the EU has shown itself to be to insular, self-protective, and driven by the political agendas of its virtually unaccountable elite rather than by the will of the people. The UK, despite being the second biggest contributor to EU funds, exercises very little apparent influence.
Much as I favour close relations with our friends in mainland Europe and hope to have friendly relations and trade with them, the conduct and aspirations of the EU do little to recommend it.
The problem is that the EU is the only serious game in town UNLESS the UK really steps up its game, becomes more productive, increases its skill level and stops tolerating so many benefits dependent, unskilled, unproductive people. We can't do that overnight. Meanwhile, our standards of living will drop seriously as will our standing in the world.
I am getting old and will not have to live too long with whatever the outcome of the vote in parliament today. I remain pro-European but with reservations about the direction of the EU. The future of our young people largely revolves about free mobility and skills exchange within the EU. My own inclination remains to stay a member of the EU and to use what little influence we have to make it better.
For this reason, I would not be too disappointed if today's vote goes against the PM's Brexit deal PROVIDED it leads to the withdrawal of the UK's Article 50 notice so we stay in the EU.