Houses of Parliament (LGT)

Tory and Labour front benchers have been meeting in order to find a way of breaking the parliamentary Brexit logjam.


As I said this morning, the Tory / Labour Brexit battles would be quickly resumed and so it has proved.

The government has a plan that no-one likes and the Labour leadership is trying to insert its own vision of Brexit into the Political declaration, a vision that has already been rejected by the House of Commons.

What they are desperately trying to do is find some form of mashed up compromise that would get a majority vote in the house that they could then push through and get signed up prior to the EU elections on the 23rd to the 26th May, just four weeks and one day away.

And they both acutely aware of the damage this is having to the credibility as well as the local and EU electoral chances of both the two big parties.

The trouble is that the only deal that most MPs and their counterparts in the House of Lords would ever willingly sign up to, is full EU membership.

That's why nothing else flies in Westminster. Well apart from the odd pink elephant or troughing pig, that is.

As I said a few days ago, there is no overlap on the Labour / Conservative Brexit Venn Diagram.

Both the Red and the Blue ideas for Brexit have been thrown out by MPs in the Commons, but May and Corbyn know they will have to deliver on the 2016 Referendum result. And the answer is staring them in the face.

Because, in good news, the Telegraph reports that a survey of businesses from the Bank of England shows that 80% of businesses say they are now ready for a WTO Brexit and that "…the economy is accelerating ahead of the UK's scheduled departure from the EU".

So, this is the time to take the plunge and get us out.

The trouble is that the government and Remain establishment is doing all it can to keep delaying that schedule until they can kill Brexit off.

And in her true form, the Prime Minister is now considering trying to carry her Withdrawal Agreement treaty through parliament by sidestepping a meaningful vote and introducing the essential bill that would make her treaty law in the UK.

This bill, the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, hasn't yet been published and is predicted by many to contain law that would once again place EU law and the ECJ jurisdiction above UK law in order to make any transitional period work. It would in effect have to repeal much of the 2018 Withdrawal Act, that repeals the European Communities Act of 1972.

But of course with the Irish border backstop still hanging over the agreement, the risk is that the transition period could become a permanent customs union, which would be disastrous for UK trade.

But the 2018 Withdrawal Act itself is quite specific.

Before Theresa May can get her Withdrawal Agreement treaty ratified with the EU, both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration have to be agreed by a majority of MPs – and this so far has proven impossible. And then the Withdrawal Agreement Bill has to go through parliament and be enacted by the Queen – that could take several months and, if it is voted down at the second reading it could die right there unless there was a new parliamentary session.

But Theresa May might well find herself out on her ear anyway, if her party's 1922 Committee do decide to change the rules and have a another crack at a vote of no confidence in her.

What I'm fervently hoping for, is that either Robin Tilbrook or Barry Legg win their respective Article 50 Extension challenges in the courts – or even better if they both do.

That would then kill off our EU membership completely. Here's hoping!


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