10 Downing Street (OGL)

10 Downing Street (OGL)

Theresa May is begging the EU for help to get her Merkel authored Withdrawal Agreement through to the law books.


Theresa May has now begged for the help of the European Union in getting her deal through the House of Commons in the form of a public speech in Grimsby.

And the bit in her speech that got tongues wagging was when she said:

"Next week, Members of Parliament in Westminster face a crucial choice. Whether to back the Brexit deal – or to reject it. Back it and the UK will leave the European Union. Reject it and no one knows what will happen. We may not leave the EU for many months. We may leave without the protections that the deal provides. We may never leave at all. The only certainty would be ongoing uncertainty. Months more spent arguing about Brexit, …."

And it's that 'we may not leave at all' bit that has set off the Brexiteer alarm bells.

But the whole thing is a total mess of mixed messages and those mixed messages are aimed at Members of Parliament and those that can influence them in the coming few days before her deal is voted on this Tuesday the 12th march.

So, what is she up to?

She's trying to convince those on the fence that without her deal, whatever happens, there will be more confusion. To the Remainers she's saying that unless they vote for her deal then we'll be out without a deal and at the same time she's dangling the threat of no Brexit in front of the Brexiteers unless they accept her deal.

On the first of those it will be her deal that would be causing the most disruption and uncertainty. It would also severely curtail the powers of parliament itself.

More on that in a minute.

On threatening Remainers with a no deal WTO Brexit, has she forgotten that she is currently offering them a vote next week to take that off the table and extend Article 50 – or is this just a hollow threat?

I mean, giving Remainers even the slightest hope of staying in, however slim, is only going to give them the encouragement to vote her deal down – thank goodness!

And saying to the Brexiteers that Brexit might be off the menu when no deal is currently baked into UK statute law, also sounds a bit hollow. Especially given all her past pronouncements on the issue.

Anyway, instead of trying to analyse all of this right now, the real pressing question that comes first is – do we want Theresa May's deal? Yes or no. We should forget what comes next and concentrate on that one horror.

And the answer is, as far as I'm concerned, a resounding no!

Especially given a report issued today by the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee headed up by Brexiteer Tory MP Bill Cash.

This unanimously agreed report highlights some damning shortcomings in the Withdrawal Agreement – and in its provisional conclusions it says that the government's handling of the negotiations "...have left the Government vulnerable to internal division and therefore undermining its own negotiating position with the EU and potentially compromising the British position under the Withdrawal Agreement itself". i.e. bickering led to a bad agreement.

The 16 member committee also calls on the government to make the results of the Attorney General's negotiations with the EU available to MPs 48 hours before Tuesday's vote – that would mean Sunday afternoon. Then we'll know how material those backstop talks have really been.

And it also urges the government to "…authorise immediately the publication of the draft Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill so that Parliament can assess how the draft Withdrawal Agreement is intended to be enacted, including its effect on the express repeal of the European Communities Act 1972, under section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018".

Now that bit is extremely important. Because before MPs vote for her deal they need to know how that deal will be implemented in UK law.

Especially if it means reversing the Withdrawal Act 2018 repeal of the European Communities Act 1972.

And apart from that being unconscionable to Brexiteers, I have also read that if the ECA 1972, or something like it, is still live when the Withdrawal Agreement itself becomes live, then the Withdrawal Agreement becomes a treaty between the UK and individually with each of the other 27 EU member states with no unilateral get out clause for the UK and thus completely undoable.

Now I don't know how true that is, but why take that huge risk?

In the summary front sheet the committee also says that the report highlights "The extent to which EU law will continue to be imposed on the UK" in the light of all the EU law, which is yet to come into force, that has been passed in the last nearly three years since the 2016 vote.

And this is another really important point and one that the Remainers do not want people thinking about. The EU today is not the same as the EU we voted to leave in 2016. A vote to Remain today would not take us back to the status quo of 2016. We would have to abide by all those new laws, like the setting up the EU army for example.

And this would also apply, if we were to allow our MPs to drag us into Mrs May's awful Withdrawal Agreement!

Here's some more of what the committee says:

"The backstop means that EU law would apply across a range of areas, differentiating Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

"The Committee is concerned about the potential indefinite duration of the backstop, and whether a decision on its termination could ultimately be subject to the jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice."

And some more:

"The Committee highlights the possibility that UK courts could have to consider disapplying domestic laws passed by Parliament if they conflict with the Agreement itself or EU law made applicable to the UK under its provisions.

"The Committee fails to see how this can be squared with repeated commitments made by the Prime Minister and Government Ministers that the UK will in the future control its own laws."

From all of this you can see that agreeing to the Withdrawal Agreement is the potential placing of a UK-destroying, constitutional time-bomb into the heart of UK legislation.

That a so-called Conservative prime minister and her MP lackeys in government would consider this a proper thing to do just beggars belief. In fact it beggars belief that any MP would ever support such a legal instrument – apart from some of those from the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Sinn Fein of course.



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