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In a letter to fellow Tory MPs, the former Brexit Secretary, David Davis, puts forward the case for resetting the Brexit talks.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
Saying that the Chequers proposals fail to deliver back control of its own money, laws and borders back to the UK, David Davis says in his letter that there is more available than the binary choice now being offered between a Chequers exit or a WTO exit.
He writes that we should switch to the EU offer on the table, the Canada +++ option "...and deliver an outcome that is good for the UK, acceptable to Parliament, and negotiable with Brussels".
He also reiterated that the President of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker as well as the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Theresa May have all said they would never enforce a hard border in Northern Ireland – so there will be no hard border he said – it's that simple.
Laying out the benefits of Canada +++ he said that it is likely that Chequers will be rejected by the EU anyway, but if we did end up with it then:
"…we will go into the next election with the government having delivered none of the benefits of Brexit, with the country reduced to being a rule-taker from Brussels, and having failed to deliver on a number of promises in the manifesto and in the Lancaster House speech. This will not be a technicality, it will be very obvious to the electorate."
It's not a binary choice, he wrote, there is a third way – Canada plus plus plus.
But all indications are that the PM is not listening.
At the moment Theresa May's government is propped up by the ten Democratic Unionist Party MPs, but they will be prepared to vote against the PM's Budget at the end of this month should any Brexit deal propose treating Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the UK.
"Party leader Arlene Foster has made clear that any Brexit deal in which Northern Ireland is treated separately to the rest of the UK or faces extra checks along the border with Ireland would be unacceptable to her party and that this is a 'blood red line'." Reports Sky News.
Given that statement it is probably wise for the Chancellor, Philip Hammond to have moved the budget date from Wednesday the 31st October 2018 to the Monday before, the 29th October, which is exactly five months before Brexit Day.
As you can imagine the headlines for a UK budget on the same day as Hallowe'en, can't you!
The Hammond House of Horrors.
Count Hammond sucking the blood out of poor taxpayers.
FrankenHammond strikes again.
Sorry, got carried away there.
But back to the fear-mongering of today.
The prospect of grounded flights was once again raised, this time by the Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office, Sir Amyas Morse, who also told a Commons Committee that Whitehall was not moving fast enough towards Brexit.
He said that flights could be grounded if there was no deal and if the UK therefore withheld the £39 billion so-called Brexit divorce payment.
So, as I said yesterday, no deal is now becoming the bad deal – the PM has completely about faced on her no deal is better than a bad deal. She is touting Chequers, a totally hideous deal, as better than no deal and the 'establishment' seems perfectly happy to help her spread the no-deal fear.
Now, there is talk about some Labour MPs siding with the PM if the Brexit deal was soft enough and there would definitely be those on the Tory benches who would do so. And just about every one of our Lord and Ladyships would do so.
Couple this with rumours that the PM is about to sign the UK into a form of customs union with the EU via Chequers, then you can imagine the prospect of that awful Brexit in name only Chequers Brexit proposal actually being accepted by the EU and by both houses of parliament.
And in answer to a question from arch Remainer and Tory MP Ken Clarke about in PMQs getting support from pro-EU MPs from both sides of the Commons, she said:
"We are working for that deal. When we come back with a deal, I would hope that everybody across this whole House will put the national interest first."
And why are they coming out behind it – because they know it is not Brexit – they know it is the best way of keeping the UK as close as possible to the EU. Both economically, but most importantly politically!
Of course they also know that the Brexiteers will be totally incandescent with this, but as they would be outnumbered in Westminster the PM probably thinks she can carry the day.
But, and it's a big but, what about the country? What about the voters?
Do they really think that once this is signed sealed and delivered that everyone will go OK then we'll just have to accept at and it's back to business as normal?
Do they not realise that Brexit will rumble on for years, splitting the country and politics at every turn? Or are they hoping that in time the rumble will die down, the Brexiteers will die off then it's "look out EU here we come – Schengen, Euro, EU army and any taxes you want to charge us too"!
Without a good clean break, all we will have done is rejected the will of the people and embraced the will of the establishment.
We will have displayed a total lack of respect for the voters, we will have proved every Brexiteer right that the EU is based on totally undemocratic foundations.
Remainers will be heartened by these latest developments, probably believing that they have somehow been proved right – all that has been proved is that subterfuge, lying, vested interests and big money works in UK politics and that true democracy, openness and transparency are dirty concepts to be avoided at all costs.
The average ordinary voter will rightly be alarmed at these developments.
I just hope that, Stewart Jackson, the former special adviser to David Davis, is right when he said on Julia Hartley Brewer's talkRadio show that Chequers actually had no hope of getting through the house and said it was up to the cabinet to get her to change tack back towards her original vision.
As a final observation, the Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, asked in PMQs about control of fishing waters post Brexit and asked her to undertake not to trade away rights to fish in UK waters. To which the PM said that the UK would be an 'independent coastal state' controlling access to our waters but she said seeking a fairer share of quotas.
But surely we will be an independent nation controlling its own full Economic Exclusive Zone and allocating quotas in its own right?
So, please let us all know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Thank you for watching.
David Davis tells Tory MPs that the Government should immediately reset its negotiating strategy
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