Our ministers have agreed to abstain on the question if they are not happy with the final proposals, while many of our backbench MPs have been so vocal in their opposition to any change that they have no option but to vote against those proposals.
Personally, I would happy to go back to a system of free higher education, but that is because I believe that the university sector has expanded far too much.
So much so that it is in danger of becoming exploitative. Young people are now charged thousands for a piece of paper that no longer means that much. One of the reasons that I took a part-time Masters degree as a mature student was because I felt my first degree was in danger of devaluation by this educational inflation.
If Labour's target of having half of young people taking degrees then the person of average academic ability would have a degree and that piece of paper would be worthless.
I also object to the assumption both that higher education is an industry like any other - Labour gave the game away by asking Lord Browne to lead the inquiry - and that it is justified by its effect on the economy.
Missives from Doktorb puts it well:
The depressing manner in which Uni as a gateway to mega-bucks jobs and economic stability has been accepted without question is perhaps the more vital question. When did education for the good of the mind become unfashionable? It is this question which has been forgotten by almost everyone involved in the debate.I suspect that a few universities will close in the coming years and I will not mourn them. But it is clear that most will stay open and that the current numbers of students will more or less be maintained.
If this is the case then it may well be that the Brown proposals are not so objectionable. Figures accompanying a Telegraph blog post by Neil O'Brien suggest that they would a more progressive system of charging than exists at present.
But that still does not mean that there is an easy way out for the Liberal Democrats.