In short, this issue was facing a large back-bench anti-Europe Tory revolt, which considering the rise-and-rise of UKIP – and the looming Rochester bi-election on Nov 20th – was just what Cameron’s government doesn’t need (and considering Milliband’s popularity within his party and the country, Milliband does need!). After heated exchanges the controversial vote was side-stepped by ministers who dropped certain aspects of the bill in order to avoid the vote at the 11th hour; a decision that has led many Tory Eurosceptics to openly criticise their leadership. The upshot here is that coincidently next week the Labour Party has an Opposition Day in the calendar that allows them to set the agenda for a day. Consequently they’ve announced that next week they are to offer MPs a chance to vote on this issue, which may yet cause further embarrassment to Cameron’s government…
As stated this is fascinating example for you on a verity of levels/topics:
• Executive/Parliament relations
• PM/Cabinet control over policy & rebellious back-benchers
• The role, processes and functions of Parliament (including the office of the Speaker)
• The challenge of UKIP and an example of how 3rd parties can effect mainstream parties and governments
… It’s all getting rather heated in some respects – is there an election looming!?