Artificial restrictions have created huge competitive pressure on places, but lowering standards is not the answer.
Were it not for the backstop, May’s deal would get over the line – with support from an overwhelming majority of Conservatives, including us.
A guarantee of a legally binding change to the backstop, and a more vague promise not to go on and on as leader, both present challenges.
“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”
May wins – but not by enough to break free from her internal opponents. Too strong to fall and too weak to win, she is, if anything, more exposed to them than before.
Sir Graham Brady’s announcement of the voting figures came as an icy shock to the Prime Minister’s supporters.
Andrew Gimson’s Westminster sketch: A carnival in which even the Prime Minister’s inhibitions start to break down
Rumour and counter-rumour fly round the Palace, and those with walk-on parts have a wonderful time.
May’s policy leads inexorably to No Brexit or No Deal. If Tory MPs fear either, they should take a chance on change today.
If nothing else moves you, remember that a win for the Prime Minister will confirm the loss of the DUP. Isn’t that the most likely route to the election you dread?
Our snap survey. Almost two-thirds of Party members want the Prime Minister out now. Over a third back her.
The Prime Minister can take comfort in the decisive break for in her favour from those presented with this forced choice.
Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Conservative MPs do not look nearly as loyal as one would think to listen to them
The Prime Minister saw off the Leader of the Opposition, but her own backbenchers seemed glum and thoughtful.
And her message amounts to warning that the alternatives wouldn’t work, so we might as well plod on as we are. It’s not very convincing.
The challenge is on – and has been rushed forward in timing that helps May. None the less, a simple majority for her might not be enough.
He defended the absent Prime Minister with decency and moderation, but neither Labour nor Conservative MPs were persuaded.
Is she chickening out on Brexit? Or playing chicken with Commons and Party over her deal? Or merely a headless chicken herself – bent on daily survival?
Andrew Gimson’s Commons sketch: May provokes derisive laughter and has exhausted the House’s patience
The Prime Minister looked like a straight actor who is appearing in a Christmas pantomime, in order to become the butt of everyone else’s jokes.