The hon. Gentleman was that busy talking about sizzling sausages and Marxism last week that he did not hear what I had to say. Now, it is not for me to constantly repeat myself—although I know the Tories do it all the time—so I suggest he reads last week’s debate in Hansard.
Luckily, I am pleased to see that even these mendacious measures are not enough to prevent this Government from a slow-motion collapse. The twists and turns continue. If the weekend reports in the media—specifically The Sunday Times—are anything to believe, if this House votes against the deal, No. 10 has a
“dark strategy to twist arms.”
So what is the cunning plan? Well, No. 10 seeks to
“encourage a crash in financial markets after losing a first vote in the hope this stampedes MPs into voting for it a second time”.
This is ordinarily known as extra-parliamentary activity. The fact that the media are actually putting that scuttlebutt into print, however bizarre, simply shows the desperation in No. 10, so it is important that we do tease out the issues, as we will with new clauses 1, 2 and 3, but this situation bears witness to the siege mentality now at pathological—some might even say clinically obsessive—levels in Downing Street.