Brexit: Decision day - sort of

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Decision day - of a sort.

Boris Johnson will today seek to make MPs pick a side.

Are they ready to approve our departure from the EU on his terms or not?

The prime minister was accused of only going through the motions to find a deal.

But at breakneck speed, he did reach an agreement with the other 27 countries.

Yet now he must persuade 319 members on the crowded green benches to walk with him through the lobbies to vote yes.

That sounds a simple choice, but for MPs it is anything but.

The compromises in his deal have found ready opponents among rival parties and some of his allies.

The tribe who seek to stop Brexit happening will not hesitate to block it.

Even some Brexiteers have kept him dangling, still withholding their backing until the last moment.

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Media captionCrunching the numbers as MPs prepare for key Brexit vote

And after three years of chicanery, on Saturday another decision will be put before the Commons - one that gives MPs what sounds like an elegant way to give only qualified approval to his deal, which might have brutal political effect.

The Letwin amendment, which you can read more about here, at best is a mere insurance policy that avoids an accidental departure without a formal agreement.

But by the author Oliver Letwin's own admission, it blurs today's decision.

And at worst, it's seen by government as one more rock cast in the path towards departure, another excuse for reluctant MPs to apply the brakes.

A moment of clarity?

So today may not be a moment of saying the simple yes or no the prime minister craves.

The Commons once more will be asked to pick, between this deal, no deal, or another delay.

But the prime minister will keep, and keep, trying to force a moment of clarity.

Boris Johnson was selected by his party as the man who could drive Brexit to a conclusion.

In just a few hours time we'll have more of a sense of whether that choice was right.

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