As the Guardian reports this morning:
The government has suffered a heavy defeat on a crucial Lords vote. Labour said the amendment, which is the seventh Lords defeat for the government on the EU withdrawal bill, would effectively prevent Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal. The cross-party amendment was supported by 19 Tory rebels, winning by a majority of 91.
Ministers have previously warned that should parliament vote down the deal agreed by negotiators, Britain would leave the bloc with no agreement. The amendment, led by former Tory minister Douglas Hogg, would change that scenario, meaning parliament could alter it and ask the government to reopen EU talks.
It is, of course, quite crazy that we have to rely on the Lords to exercise the sound judgement that the Commons withholds out of fear. But equally, with this seventh defeat for the government its task in overturning these amendments in the Commons gets progressively harder.
Already the government has deferred Commons debate on the Brexit Bill to avoid the day when it might have to admit it cannot deliver what it said the referendum meant (but which it did not). And that debate cannot be deferred forever. There is a deadline to meet.
Very clearly there is still no idea how to meet it. Ireland and all related issues remains entirely unresolved. And whilst the government dithers the EU progresses and the Lords make clear there are alternative plans, which do not include the Rees-Mogg favoured ‘crashing out to oblivion’.
I suspect something called Brexit is going to happen because Labour has not got the wit to stand up for the people of this country. But I equally suspect it will not be what Rees-Mogg wants now.
I suppose I should welcome anything that is not what Rees-Mogg wants. But like many in the Lords what I really want is a dose of sanity to prevail. And I fear that may be too much to hope for.