The government has issued a document that describes the overall legal effect of the draft Withdrawal Agreement.


After pressure from the opposition using the Humble Address procedure, the government has issued a 43 page document called "EU Exit: Legal position on the Withdrawal Agreement".

The Attorney General is due to make a statement on it in the House at 4:30 this afternoon.

And in paragraph four of the introduction it says that the Withdrawal Agreement will need further legislation to implement it.

And as far as I can see, this new legislation – that is already in the pipeline – called the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, will end up needing to ride a coach and horses through the already enacted EU Withdrawal Act, just a Bill Cash recently indicated.

So, if in the very unlikely event that the PM manages to get her deal through parliament's meaningful vote on Tuesday 11th December, she will still have to force another act through in order to make it effective.

It also says that the requirement for both sides to 'act in good faith' is a rule of customary international law, but also that in a dispute over the compliance to act in good faith "It is likely that there would only be a finding of breach where it was supported by clear evidence".

As many others probably did, I jumped to page 30 of the document to see what it said about the Irish border backstop position and here it stressed that, although the backstop could be initiated, it could only be a temporary measure. But how temporary is the real question and that seems to be an open ended and unanswered question.

I will let the clever legal people across the web dig further into this and see what they come up with.

But looking at what I've already said, it seems that the UK can only leave the backstop if a trade deal actually replaces it or the EU can be proved, with clear evidence, to not have been acting in good faith.

And if the real McCoy advice is worse than this sterilised report then the UK would be toast if our MPs sign up to it.

The International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, has announced that the UK has submitted its proposed terms for trade in services with other nations post Brexit to the WTO, that as far as possible mirrors our current obligations, reports Reuters. This is an important step in untangling ourselves from the EU and Liam Fox said in his statement:

"We see this only as a technical exercise that will provide continuity for business and, in future, we will work with other members on an ambitious agenda to liberalise international trade in services even further."

The Governor of the Bank of England is due before the Commons Treasury Select Committee tomorrow morning at 9:15 for an oral evidence session covering the UK's economic relationship with the European Union.

And the Labour Brexiteer MP John Mann who sits on that committee Tweeted out:

"On Tuesday we question the Governor of the Bank of England. It will be a dramatic session. Check in live on the Parliament TV at 9.15. Unlike a lot of the politics boredom, this will be a humdinger."

And finally, the real question we should all be asking is: 'who drafted the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Deal?'

We've had reports of severe arm twisting at Chequers over it, reducing a minister to tears in Cabinet over it, ministers resigning over it, including two Brexit Ministers who should have been at the sharp end of this and now we hear claims that the top civil servant involved, Olly Robbins, privately warned Theresa May in a letter that the Irish Backstop gave no legal guarantee that we could ever leave the proposed EU/UK customs union and was a bad outcome for the country.

So where did this 585 page document and all these awful clauses originate?

If all those people I have mentioned had no hand in it or at the very least were uncomfortable with some of the contents then it was obviously not them that wrote it or chose what to put in it.

And this must be a fundamental question. If top ministers and at least one top civil servant were all unhappy with serious aspects of the deal then that says to me that neither politicians under collective responsibility, nor the civil service were fully engaged with this project. That is to say that the right people were not involved.

But that large tome had to come from somewhere.

This so-called deal is now so tainted as to be poisonous and no MP in their right constitutional mind would give it a fair wind.

As Tory MP, Michael Fabricant Tweeted:

"Even the top civil servant, Olly Robbins, now claims he told the #PM this #Brexit deal is a bad one! How can I vote for this?"

Answer, you can't! But it will be interesting to note who does!

So, please let us all know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thank you for watching.


Comment Here!