Morning Briefing: A bad deal, full stop - May woos left with rights - Dearlove disingenuous on security
The People’s Vote campaign has today published an authoritative report on everything bad about the government’s Brexit deal. The report, Never mind the Backstop: This is a bad deal, full stop, comes out days ahead of the parliamentary vote on the prime minister’s deal, expected on Tuesday.
The analysis hones in on three fundamental downsides to the deal. First, promises made during the referendum have not been kept - indeed they cannot be kept because they were contradictory. This is not what people voted for. Second, this is a much worse deal than the current deal we have as members of the EU. And third, this vague deal leaves so much up in the air that we’ll be stuck negotiating Brexit for years to come - a “Brexternity” stretching out in front of us.
The document then shows how each of these problems will disrupt so many things: our trade, economy, security, sovereignty, global influence, rights, the NHS and the future of our young people.
Opposition to the deal back in December, before the prime minister pulled her first scheduled vote, was huge. Over 100 Conservative MPs publicly came out against it. And yes, the deal still looks unlikely to pass next week, with Theresa May failing to get any new concessions from the EU.
But there are some who may nevertheless be tempted to give in to the inevitable pressure to support the deal - especially on the false premise that the alternative is no deal. Just yesterday we saw Conservative George Freeman change tack and row in behind the deal - albeit with a “heavy heart” - for precisely this reason.
But the government’s not-so-subtle political blackmail is not the binary choice that is being made out. “No deal” is an empty threat because Parliament is sovereign and MPs have the power, and numbers, to prevent it. The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, effectively admitted as much on the Today programme this morning.
Now is the time for MPs to put our country’s interest first and foremost, especially the future prospects of younger people. They must reject the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement. They can then look at the remaining options. With no majority for any form of Brexit, it will soon become clear that the only way forward is a People’s Vote. Only the people can sort this mess out.
Quote of the Day
“It is abundantly clear that whichever way you cut Brexit there is no deal better than the current deal we have with the EU.”
Anna Soubry, former Conservative business minister and leading supporter of a People’s Vote
Over 160 grassroots events are taking place nationwide at Saturday's Action Day for a People's Vote. Now is the time to get involved. Find a local event near you and help campaign for the future of our country.
PM’s workers’ rights pledge is too little too late
The government is considering backing an amendment by Labour Brexiter John Mann, purporting to give extra protections for workers’ rights and the environment after Brexit. The prime minister has been phoning round trade union bosses in a bid for left-wing support for her deal.
It is too little too late. For starters, the amendment doesn’t actually guarantee any rights that workers and our environment get from the EU. It merely enshrines current EU regulations in UK law and allows MPs to vote on new EU laws which improve rights further after Brexit. A new government could easily tear these laws up.
What’s more, losing EU rights isn’t the only concern for workers. The government’s deal will make the economy smaller than it would have been if we stayed in the EU. That’s bad for jobs and wages. Trade unionists who want to defend workers’ rights and job prospects should back a People’s Vote, giving people the chance to vote for the best deal on the table - staying in the EU.
Tweet of the Day
This from GMB general secretary Tim Roache - one of the trade unionists contacted by the prime minister - shows that plenty in the trade unions movement already know a People's Vote is the only way forward.
If CBI is worried about ‘no deal’, it should back People’s Vote
Parliament must immediately outline its plan to stop us crashing out of the EU with no deal if it rejects the government’s deal, the Confederation of British Industry is to warn today. The business lobby group is right to highlight the dangers of “no deal”. But the only way to stop us going over the abyss will be to hold a People’s Vote with an option to stay in the EU - a conclusion that an increasing number of business leaders have come to. The CBI should adopt that position too if MPs vote down the prime minister’s miserable deal next week. There’s no time left to waste going down blind alleys.
Videos of the Day
WATCH: It's a double video of the day today, both from Channel 4's big Brexit debate with young people. First up is Femi Oluwole from Our Future, Our Choice.
And here's Rania Ramli from For our Future's Sake.
Dearlove disingenuous on national security
Ex MI6 chief Richard Dearlove has written to Conservative associations saying that the government’s Brexit deal is bad for national security. He’s right, but his proposed solution of leaving the EU without any agreement at all would make things even worse.
If we leave, we will almost certainly lose the use of the European Arrest Warrant which allows us to arrest and easily extradite terrorism and serious crime suspects. There is also no long-term guarantee of access to EU security data, accessed thousands of times every day by UK police forces. No one voted to weaken the fight against terrorism or serious crime. This is another reason we need a People’s Vote and the option of keeping all our rights as full members of the EU.
More Brexit news…
Hugo Dixon: Does Corbyn really want to stop us crashing out of the EU? (InFacts)
Harriet Harman: Threats to MPs can’t go on: we need to make sure politicians are not at risk (Times £)
David Allen Green: Outrage at John Bercow is the sound of a constitution working (FT £)
Today, Friday 11th January
|-||'Another Vote Is Possible' convention in London|
|09.30||ONS: GDP, trade, construction figures released|
|PM||Day 3 of debate on government's Brexit deal
Tomorrow, Saturday 12th January
|11.30||People's Vote national day of action, plus People's Vote rally in Sheffield|