After voting with Labour on a Finance Bill amendment last night, worth noting that last week, DUP Commons Leader Nigel Dodds did something unprecedented - actually praised Jeremy Corbyn’s response to the Withdrawal Agreement saying he “gets it”... hmmm.
Now, one of the axioms of Westminster politics is that the DUP would never do anything to risk a General Election because they detest idea of giving Corbyn a chance to get to No 10... they have now said repeatedly they don’t fear a GE, and managed to praise Corbyn on something...
That said, they are also good at negotiating - need to show they might have options, but in practice could they really go for an option that could pave way for Mr Corbyn to appoint a NI Secretary who would then have the power to judge if border poll conditions satisfied?
Liked at Treasury, ex regulator/banker. former whip. Backed PM for leadership. Pragmatic Leaver. Believed in mainly democratic case for Leave, thought too many laws made in Europe passed in UK on the nod without proper UK scrutiny.
...in theory his job only lasts for four months because after that we will have left and Dexeu should get disbanded. And he has most incentive to avoid No Deal, as he’ll be responsible for preparedness.
In practice job of actually negotiating UK-EU rel will v much still be there
Other notable is the removal of a potential remainer rebel with the return to Government of Stephen Hammond - sacked as a Tory vice chair after voting for the meaningful vote on a deal he will now vote for as a minister
The Government has appealed to the Supreme Court essentially to stop (after referral from top Scottish court) the ECJ determining this month, before the Withdrawal Deal meaningful vote, whether Article 50 can be unilaterally revoked.
Jacob Rees Mogg asks PM why he shouldn’t ask for her resignation as she has broken promises on CU ECJ
“What my RH friend says & what my RH friend does no longer matches ... so should I not write to my RH friend the member for Altrincham & Sale” (Brady, 1922 Chair, sat behind him)
Female Tory voice in Chamber shouts “what a disgrace”
ERG Brexiter Mark Francois pleads with PM to “recognise the reality of the situation she is in”
Draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, as agreed at negotiators' level on 14 November 2018 | European Commission ec.europa.eu/commission/fil…
EU and Uk will seek to build “a single customs territory”
“Single Customs Territory” between UK and EU until future relationship... this is the backstop.
NEW - on @skynews shortly:
Reliable source tells me Withdrawal Deal text contains
- No unilateral exit from backstop
- Large annexe on level playing field
.... after reporting this on @SkyNews I get a call from a different senior source that this is “spot on” and further that the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has not pulled his punches in confirming in legal advice there is “no unilateral exit” from backstop ...
... furthermore I’m told (and this chimes with excellent Times splash this morning re Weyand) that the future partnership then takes its starting point as the activated backstop - ie UK-wide customs union-style arrangement and level playing field.
Sources confirm no longer a NI specific backstop in the Withdrawal Deal text.
was told a month ago by good EU source there would definitively and unarguably be NI only version of backstop in final text - now categorically told that’s not the case -a win of sorts for UK negotiating team and PM.
How substantive a win it is depends on how much the new single backstop simply integrates NI only solutions into a single package.
That depends on the detail obviously that we should get tomorrow.
Jo Johnson and Gary Lineker at packed “Peoples Vote” Rally with banners such as “Don’t back a bad deal”... Justine Greening also given top reception for saying MPs who have divided the country should be “cast out”...
Caroline Lucas says “we won’t be blackmailed” by no Deal
Jo Johnson: “the future of the Conservative Party will be gravely imperilled if we are associated with this deal... “
Meanwhile Opposition Parties join together to sign letter to PM demanding that Commons has right to make amendments to meaningful vote motion on Brexit Deal in advance of main vote, unlike Raab proposals
Brexiters already queuing up in Lobby to flame the deal @BorisJohnson to our @KateEMcCann
“This is just about as bad as it could poss be... UK remaining in the customs union.. and we haven’t even managed to protect the Union..” if reports right...
Boris Johnson tells @KateEMcCann on @skynews “Govt in Dublin would have more say over governance of N Ireland in some matters than London...Cabinet shd chuck it out” if reports on deal right
This has the air of what the Brexiters did to David Cameron’s renegotiation from February 2016... trying to kill it before it has even landed
Jo Johnson Transport Minister resigns backing Peoples Vote, warning of “disruption, delay and deep damage” to our economy from No Deal AND lack of clarity “con in British people” from PM’s Withdrawal Deal.
Jo Johnson: “I reject this false choice between the PM’s deal and “no deal” chaos. On this most crucial of questions, I believe it is entirely right to go back to the people and ask them to confirm their decision to leave the EU”
Jo Johnson: “if they choose to do that, to give them the final say on whether we leave with the Prime Minister’s deal or without it.
To do anything less will do grave damage to our democracy”.
interesting interview with @YvetteCooperMP - Home Select committee chair - says there is disagreement between Number 10 and HOme Office over Freedom of Movement from March, suggests preps for Article 50 extension now & questions whether HO fit for purpose
heartfelt teary tribute live on air from @YvetteCooperMP after Sophy read out sad news Sir Jeremy Heywood has died from cancer. “Jeremy was a wonderful public servant who did a huge amount to hold Govt together...people wont know how many remarkable things he did to solve crises”
PM’s tribute to Lord Heywood former Cabinet Secretary who has died from cancer aged 56. “He worked tirelessly to serve our country”
PM on growing interest in the Norway model at least temporarily from some in her party: “Norway has a particular relationship with the EU…has things which would not deliver on people voted for”
And then the actual Norwegian PM sounds somewhat down on the Norway then Canada option for the Uk: @erna_solberg - “We would welcome any good cooperation with Britain. But to enter into an organisation which you’re leaving [ie the EEA] is a little bit difficult for rest of us”
... now difficult tho not to imagine Jefferson in the form of the Deep South jazz singer/rap battle participant who sat out the War of independence in Paris from @HamiltonMusical rather than the one on Mount Rushmore
“If we don't get a deal… we would need to take a different approach to the future of Britain's economy... frankly we'd need to have a new budget that set out a different strategy for the future.”
Here’s the quote from the Chancellor on a No Deal budget: #ridge
Chancellor wouldn’t say what would happen in such an emergency No Deal budget, but did tell Sophy tomorrow’s Budget “the turning point” on austerity is predicated on a Deal
“we would take appropriate fiscal measures to protect the economy, to prepare us for the future“ #ridge
Going to Norway this week ... some surprising Brexit voices, who had previously described Norway option as betrayal, fake Brexit etc etc now sniffing around it as a staging post... one wonders if the push for another referendum is changing Commons dynamics telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/…
Can’t see how the PM can pivot to this now having a month ago describing re EEA “That would make a mockery of the referendum we had two years ago.”
And there are some profound practical issues too... as top former EU lawyer explained: tho I suspect that this as a solution basically also requires fixed extension of Article 50, and prob a change at No 10/election maybe for EU to take seriously
What is known as the “Brussels effect” on global regulation - here applied to data/privacy, in pictures. CEO of worlds most valuable company comes to Brussels to praise EU (and so currently UK) privacy protection standards - GDPR, suggests them for the world.