Labour walked into a parliamentary trap if its own making last night by proposing a non-binding motion on the exercise of Article 50. When amended by the government to endorse, but notrequire, the triggering of Article 50 by 31 March the motion did three things.
First, it undermined the Supreme Court case that needs to be properly resolved for the future constitutional assurance that might provide.
Second, it said Labour will impose no conditions precisely because the vote was non binding.
Third, it accepted the claim the government made that Article 50 wil be treated as irreversible, come what may.
The result is that whatever the government gives now Labour has nothing left to ask and whatever the outcome of the negotiation with the EU it has, in effect, agreed to leave. As positions of weakness go it takes some considerable inability to get to one as poor as that.
There was parliamentary opposition yesterday from the SNP, LibDems and Greens. But Labour did, as usual now, choose irrelevance. I think it is sealing its own fate in the process. As the Liberals once died as a party I suspect Labiur is now doing the same and for the same reason: no one can be sure who they represent anymore. The only problem in this occasion is in recognising the heir apparent.