Cabinet ministers have been invited to read the nearly completed text of the EU withdrawal agreement, say reports.


According to Bloomberg, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, is preparing to get her Cabinet colleagues to back her Brexit plan and has invited them to the Cabinet Office to read the latest and almost completed draft of the withdrawal agreement.

The only thing that is missing from the draft is the final Irish border backstop clause, said one of the six people that Bloomberg talked to.

And it will probably have 'It's either this or Corbyn!' in big red capitals on the front cover.

"Ministers expect another Cabinet meeting to be called within days where May is likely to press them to sign off on her Brexit deal, people familiar with the situation said on Tuesday." Reported Bloomberg.

Now, is it naive of me, or wouldn't you think that the UK government cabinet would, as a whole, be kept constantly right up to date with the Brexit plan and have ongoing access to the latest drafts?

After all, how can they run and plan their own departments if they are in the dark?

Those involved have been told by the PM it seems to get up to speed on everything that's been agreed to so far.

Does this mean that they've been ignoring it all this time? Or that they've been left out of the loop on much of it and are being told what's in it after all the civil servants and Eurocrats have done it to death?

You have to ask yourself what input have they really contributed? Or was it all an Olly Robbins affair from start to finish? How far up the food chain is a cabinet minister really?

Now those cabinet ministers are being lined up as political salespeople to go out to the masses and peddle the deal for all they're worth – especially in those deep blue Tory strongholds where Theresa's future as leader of the Conservative Party could well lie. Wonder if we'll see any ministerial resignations as a result?

And on ministers selling the deal, there's a document doing the rounds that purports to be a Brexit Communications Grid Summary.

But a government spokesman has dismissed it, saying that its childish grammar and spelling should be enough to tell us that it does not represent government thinking.

However, it could be someone else's personal interpretation of an existing Brexit Communications Grid, couldn't it?

Anyway, however genuine it is or is not, it will be interesting to look at it now and again to compare it with what is actually occurring.

The summary itself outlines some dates and events such as speeches to be made by certain people on certain themes on certain dates.

The first of these is an announcement tomorrow by the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab about a 'moment of decisive progress'.

"The narrative is going to be measured success, that this is good for everyone, but won't be all champagne corks popping." It says.

And right at the end it says the evening of the 27th of November is the vote and finishes with:

Historic moment, put your own interests aside, put the country’s interest first and back this deal.”

I've left a link to the document in the descriptions box below the video for you to peruse.

Now, the PM is under pressure from all sides to break with the usual convention and publish the legal advice given to her by the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox QC, relating to any potential post-Brexit Northern Ireland border arrangements.

It is reported that the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove is one of those asking to see the advice along with about eight of his cabinet colleagues.

The Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer has also called for the advice to be published as has the DUP's Westminster Chief Whip, Jeffrey Donaldson.

Keir Starmer also said that he wanted the PM to reflect on these calls for publication before he looked at procedures that could be used to force the government to do so. One of the options that Labour has used before is the 'Humble Address'.

All those involved are of course saying that they need the legal advice so as to inform their decision when it comes to this 'meaningful vote' by MPs, if the deal ever does get back from Brussels in one big enough piece to be a meaningful deal.

But I think the rest of us know that Brexiteers want to use it to show that Chequers is a sham and that we need to go back to the drawing board with Canada plus cubed or leave with no deal. While the Remainers want to use it to try and force a second referendum, an extension to the Article 50 process or at least to increase the length of the currently 21 month transition or implementation phase.

So I see little likelihood of it being released without a fight – why willingly give ammunition to your plentiful opposition.

As an aside here, I would much our rather MPs used a procedure like the 'Humble Address' to demand the full publication of the Iraq War legal guidance that was held back! In fact, we should be asking why that was not done at the time!

And speaking of Tony Blair, during the 2018 Web Summit in Lisbon, Blair declared that he would do everything to stop Brexit. He said it was not a good idea and not in the economic or political interests of the UK.

He also said:

"In today's world, especially with this rising power of China, nations like Britain, Germany, France – European nations, great European nations – we should stay together and stick together because that is the way to preserve our values, retain our influence and advance our interests."

I get it, we should all assimilate into an homogenised lump and open up the borders in order to preserve our 'interests' – you notice he did not mention anything about national identity.

Well, long may he chunter on, every appearance he makes just strengthens the Brexiteers case and support.


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