Along with the angry braying and ornate insults that were the soundtrack to Brexit debates this past year in the British Parliament, there was, for better or worse, a certain kind of choreography that kept proceedings on track.

Government ministers gave way to questions from the opposition. The speaker shouted, "Order!" and lawmakers, for a little while at least, lowered their grumbles. Both sides kept showing up.

But that sense of consensus, however stylised or superficial, was blown apart around 2am on Tuesday. In remarkable scenes that flustered even the sotto voce BBC commentators, opposition lawmakers threw themselves at the

Advertisement
Advertisement