Theresa May is in talks with Corbyn’s Labour Party. The talks hinge upon them agreeing to vote for Theresa May’s negotiated Withdrawal Agreement and thereby ensure sufficient votes in the House of Commons for it to pass. This has been brought about, of course, because the Withdrawal Agreementis a dreadful ‘deal’ and Parliament has rejected it by huge margins three times.
The talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are designed to agree the way forward after the Withdrawal Agreement has passed in the House.
Without the Withdrawal Agreement passing, there is no point musing about what the future trading relationship will be – the Political Declaration – and even less point in tying the Government to whatever is discussed with Corbyn.
Two things have therefore to happen:
Speaker Bercow has to agree for the Withdrawal Agreement to be brought before the House of Commons again (unchanged)
Labour MPs have to vote in sufficient numbers to ensure it passes.
Neither of those things are certain or even likely.
Theresa May has entered into negotiations with Jeremy Corbyn for no guarantee of success and has nuked her own Party in the process. The Conservatives are in meltdown and there is open fury at what she has done.
The Labour Party is not doing particularly well in all this, either. Supporters don’t want them shoring up a failing Tory Government and Labour Brexiteers blame them for delaying our leaving the EU.
Activists from both Parties out canvassing for the local elections in May are encountering a degree of hostility and anger from members of the public the likes of which none of them have ever known. This is not going to end well for either Party.
Perhaps this is old hat for most of us who have long held the belief that the Government’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement is not Brexit and Theresa May’s repeated assurances that we will be leaving the EU are just so much fudge and window dressing.While most of us were enjoying our Boxing Day, John Redwood MP was busy publishing the draft of a leaked letter from a senior civil servant.
Here are a few choice bits to give you a clue where the Government has long been leading us and why May has tried and is still trying, to pull the wool over our eyes.
‘…the Withdrawal Agreement… offers us the best chance to protect all that is best about our current membership whilst fulfilling the letter of the remit to leave the EU on 29 March 2019… (Ministers)… looking for a compromise between Remain and Leave… there must be no damage to jobs and trade…
…no Agreement on offer which duplicates our membership of the Customs Union and single market which also meets the requirements to exit freedom of movement and to leave the EU… possible addition of better trading terms and some agreement on customs once the Withdrawal Agreement is signed… we have allowed plenty of time, with 21 months to be followed by up to a further 2 years… Meanwhile, though we have technically left, all obligations and legal arrangements remain the same.
We have briefed Ministers to stress there might be no Brexit without the Withdrawal Agreement, and to highlight the uncertainties rejecting the Withdrawal Agreement will create… The government has successfully stressed that… a [WTO] Brexit would be “hard” and like falling off a cliff… how many things might change, and how they might change for the worse… a few large multinationals are prepared to forecast problems for supply chains and transport… good that the EU stresses the significance of the Irish border issues.