I do not know what has happened but it is wonderful, I think. It is almost, 99% the May Deal, but over 90% of the original Withdrawal Agreement was bland and innocuous anyway. There are problems, substantial problems, at least during the Transition Period. Still, it gets us out of the door.
This was also the day that the PM was meant to write the Benn letter requesting an extension of the exit date, accompanied no doubt by another saying “I don’t actually mean it, chaps”, and it was the day Jean Claude Juncker said an extension was not available. Goodness knows.
It’s been Boris’s night: all the journalists are lauding his achievement – even those who usually hate him (because he is a journalist himself, but a columnist not a newshound). It proves that he was right to Believe in the Bin.
The pundits who said that the EU would never shift are eating their words, although to be fair they have not moved much.
Now it is on to Parliament. As all might predict, Labour are determined to vote against the deal because they would never vote for anything proposed by a Tory government – they who have wailed loudly against the evils of ‘no deal’ will vote for ‘no deal’, and the excuses are telling: Jeremy Corbyn said at the announcement that he would oppose it because it allows deregulation, and allows American companies to invest in Britain. Erm, Jeremy, freedom and investment are actually good things. On QT tonight another identikit angry Labour MPess was saying it is because the deal allows Parliament to reduce working rights. Try playing that on the doorstep of the patriotic working man: we must be subject to a foreign power because our elected Parliament might not do what Jeremy wants. The LibDems, well, they do not work on reason any more, which is a sad come-down from the party of Gladstone. It could be very tight.
As to Ulster, the new Protocol needs careful examination, and another article.
Another question to ask is what happens if the Commons reject the new deal, as they may well do. One suggestion is that the vote will be worded as a binary ‘approve this deal or approve no deal’, but the Speaker may find a way to stop that: he’s creative like that. We still have two weeks to go as well. If it fails it might be brought again with changes to win the DUP over, and with them the Spartans, if they are still fighting Thermopylae against the deal.
If nothing is passed, and that means presumably that Section 13 cannot be repealed either, and it is not deemed to be an approval of no-deal, then can the government hold out for a fortnight to get over the line without another act of parliamentary treason? Maybe, and then Section 13 of the Withdrawal Act is gone and a post-withdrawal agreement can be signed without bothering Parliament. Even Labour might sigh in relief at that, preventing a no-deal exit without their having to dirty their hands.
We shall see soon enough.
- Securing the exit endgame
- Westminster in the exit endgame
- Treason, stupidity, recklessness or hypocrisy?
- The Withdrawal Agreement – a commentary
- The Political Agreement – a commentary
- For the Record by David Cameron
- All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class by Tim Shipman
- Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley
- Brexit: How the Nobodies Beat the Somebodies by Sebastian J. Handley
- Brexit and Ireland: The Dangers, the Opportunities, and the Inside Story of the Irish Response by Tom Connelly
- Beyond Brexit by Vernon Bogdanor
- From Partition to Brexit: The Irish Government and Northern Ireland by Donnacha O Beachain
- Brexit: Its Necessity and Challenge by Tony Kosuge
- Rising Tides: Facing the Challenges of a New Era by Liam Fox
- By Boris Johnson: