The US President, Donald Trump, has thrown a few gallons of ice-cold water all over Theresa May's withdrawal deal.

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Donald Trump said that looking at the deal right now, the UK might not be able to come to a trade deal with the US. And he also said that the agreement sounded like a great deal for the EU.

Theresa May of course pointed to the 26 page aspirational and non-binding political declaration and said that it was very clear that the UK would be able to sign trade deals as it wished.

But of course that would have to wait until we had fully negotiated it and signed it off and were allowed out of the transition phase customs union by the EU first.

And the Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, leapt to his leader's defence and basically said that this was not unexpected and that Trump was just playing the hard negotiator.

But this will, of course, give yet more ammunition to the growing crowd of people who want to see the PM's deal scuppered. Like the former Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, who said it offered the worst of all worlds and he would be voting against it.

With the only argument that her minuscule in number band of supporters can offer as an argument for it is, that if MPs don't vote for it then we're heading for a no-deal WTO exit from the EU.

Which is of course scare-mongering to get the majority of MPs to vote for what they are being told is the best of the only two awful outcomes on offer.

Except that a WTO exit is not the calamitous outcome they are being force-fed doom and gloom about. It is now the far better option, and was probably always going to be the first step that the UK made, in going back out into the world.

But time is fast running out for the Remainers. To get a shift on this in their favour, they need one of two things.

A change in the Tory leadership to someone like Ken Clarke who would, I think, sign up to absolutely anything to get Article 50 revoked and the UK back inside the EU.

Or they need an extension to the Article 50 process to give time for either a new prime minister, whether by Tory vote or by general election, to try and negotiate with the EU again; or to hold their so-called 'people's vote'.

And I've got to say that with every day that passes the chances of any of that happening becomes more and more remote.

But here's a 'what if' scenario.

'What if' the PM's deal was voted down by the MPs in parliament, maybe comprehensively, maybe even twice? 'What if' Theresa May refused to resign? 'What if' she then declared that parliament, having been given two choices, her deal or no-deal had, with their vote, chosen the no-deal Brexit option and that it was now her intention to convey that to the EU and prepare and act accordingly?

She would instantly go from zero to hero in Brexiteers eyes and anyone opposing her would be seen as betraying the will of the people. Just a hopeful thought.

And on the issue of revoking article 50, in an interesting development, the case brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by Scottish politicians to determine whether, in EU law, the UK can unilaterally revoke their Article 50 notification has thrown up some interesting stuff.

Now, the case, which started today, was brought in order to ensure, say the Scottish politicians involved, that our Westminster politicians are fully informed of all the options they have. i.e. to give them the ability to reverse Brexit.

But the UK government is arguing that because it is not government policy to reverse our withdrawal from the bloc then this becomes a hypothetical case. And the ECJ has long been averse to looking at those sorts of cases as it could interfere in domestic politics.

And the UK is being represented by the Advocate General, Lord Keen, who said that judges should rule the case inadmissible as it was being used as ammunition by the anti-Brexiteers.

But if those bringing the case thought they would get any help from the EU, they might have been surprised. As the EU views a member state unilaterally revoking Article 50 as a serious danger to the cohesiveness of the EU itself.

As a seriously interested party in this, the EU also has representation in the case. And lawyers for the EU Council and the EU Commission are arguing that Article 50 could be revoked with the unanimous permission of the other 27 member states of the EU, but not unilaterally.

They also say that a situation where a member state could notify the others under Article 50, then barter for better terms then revoke it unilaterally later would open up a disastrous can of worms, leading to endless uncertainty, where the main victim could well be the European project as a whole.

You can imagine the EU having a handful of countries always in the withdrawal from the EU corridor, while they collude and argue amongst themselves for more goodies.

Where the UK's withdrawal from the EU is concerned I do want the court to either reject their case as inadmissible, or to see this door to unilateral revocation closed off.

But then the more bloody-minded side of me would enjoy seeing the EU in the future carving slices off itself as countries move in and out of withdrawal phases!

The ECJ says it will come to a decision soon but has not yet given a date.

But anyway, those Scottish politicians may end up not being 'saved' by their beloved EU and its wonderful court after all! How sad!

And finally, Boris has said he wants to get involved in this upcoming Brexit deal debate.

"There is no point having a debate with two people who voted Remain & deals that don’t take back control. Any debate must involve someone who believes in Brexit & the British people being fully in control of their laws, rather than giving back control to the EU like the PM's deal." He Tweeted.

That would be fun to watch.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46352463

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-46345287

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