My regular viewers will know that I've been saying for some time that Theresa May stands no chance of getting her Withdrawal Agreement treaty ratified in time to prevent the UK being forced to hold EU elections – and the experts have now piped up on this and they agree.


I've been banging on for quite a while about the hoops that Theresa May will have to jump through in order to get the Withdrawal Agreement treaty ratified.

And to avoid EU elections she has to have all this done and dusted by the 22nd May 2019, which is only five weeks away. And MPs are not due to return to Westminster until the 23rd of April and that would only leave them four weeks and a day.

To get the Withdrawal Agreement treaty ratified she has to follow the steps in section 13 of the EU Withdrawal Act 2018.

The first is that the Withdrawal Agreement treaty and the political agreement framework document both have to be approved by the House of Commons on a motion moved by a Minister of the Crown.

The second is that they have to be noted by the House of Lords.

And the third is that a full act of parliament, based on the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, has to be passed.

Then the Withdrawal Agreement treaty can be signed on the international plane with the EU27 member states.

I'll dispense with the second requirement, the House of Lords angle, because that box has already been ticked.

But on the first requirement, Theresa May has failed three times to get either the Withdrawal Agreement on its own, or the Withdrawal Agreement and political declaration, agreed to by MPs in the Commons – in fact she registered a record defeat on that in her first attempt.

And now that the government has called the EU parliament elections, the Remainer MPs will obviously see a chance to keep us in the EU permanently just by continually voting the Withdrawal Agreement down.

And it will also lead to the talks between the Tories and Labour on trying to agree on the political statement part of the equation being extremely difficult if not impossible to conclude.

But the third requirement, that of getting the Withdrawal Agreement Bill into law will throw up all sorts of horrors for the government.

I've said in the past that I thought it would be too high a mountain to climb and now experts are saying exactly that.

The Independent reports that the PM has 'no chance' of getting this lot through in time to stop the EU elections and will take an electoral hammering as a result.

Both the 'Institute for Government' and the 'UK in a Changing Europe' say that getting that bill through would take months. They also point out that these will be open to votes on amendments – and you can imagine what some of those would be, things like second referendums at every turn.

As the article indicates, we could end up with a horrendous pot-mess of an act that is totally unworkable.

And here we have Theresa May trying to fudge it through quickly.

And as to stopping these EU elections, I think it might take an act of parliament to do that. And given the Remain bias in the Houses of Commons and Lords, what do you reckon the outcome to that would be?


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