Morning Briefing: May's backbench 'love in' - Raab's meaningful ploy - Free movement for free movement
Theresa May has survived her encounter with the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs. For all the sound and fury in the lead up to the meeting, the toughest line of questioning was whether Brexit would be delayed if a deal can’t be reached. Brexiter Michael Fabricant described the meeting as a “love in”. So all’s well that ends well.
And yet. The prime minister left the meeting without a plan she can get through her own Cabinet, let alone one approved by her party, or indeed the House of Commons. While the row over the precise form of the Irish border backstop continues, attorney general Geoffrey Cox is reported to have told fellow ministers that it will be impossible to get out of. Hardly words to quell concerns that the UK is being put in a state of “permanent vassalage”, or that the United Kingdom could be broken up.
Not surprisingly, the Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has suggested that preparations for crashing out with no deal could swing into action in just a few weeks. But do we really think that, if taken to the brink, MPs would sit back and let May’s dithering take us over the abyss? It’s hard to see many of her own members allowing that - let alone the members on the other benches.
So if she can’t get a deal Parliament wants, and MPs will reject “no deal” too, the only sensible option will be to turn the choice over to the people, and let them decide in a People's Vote.
Video of the day
WATCH: Everything is impossible until we make it happen. The NHS was once a pipe dream, peace in Northern Ireland was once thought to be impossible. Through campaigning they became possible. If they can happen, so can a People's Vote.
Raab ploy means MPs more likely to reject deal
MPs are “far more likely” to reject a deal if they aren’t first allowed to amend the motion supporting it in the so-called “meaningful vote” at the end of the Brexit talks, Dominic Grieve told the House of Commons Procedure Committee yesterday. The former attorney general was reacting to Dominic Raab’s proposal last week that amendments to the motion should only be heard after there was a vote on the motion itself. “If the government tries to pursue the route they are opting for, it is far more likely that the deal is likely to be rejected,” Grieve said. “You are confronted with an all-or-nothing choice – and you will not be able to go on and talk about anything else until you have rejected the deal.”
Tweet of the day
Free movement for free movement
EU citizens currently in Britain should get a lifelong right to return in exchange for UK nationals currently living in the bloc keeping free movement across all 27 member states post-Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt told MEPs yesterday. The European Parliament’s Brexit representative claimed Theresa May was open to the idea based on his discussions with her last month. Downing Street, however, poured cold water on the proposal.
Quote of the Day
“Mrs May says 95% has been agreed, Michel Barnier says 90% has been agreed… If it is 90% or 95% or 99%, if there is no solution for the Irish border, for our Parliament it is 0% that is agreed at the moment.”
Guy Verhofstadt notes that nothing is settled until everything is settled. To coin a phrase.
More Brexit news…
David Hannay: Time for May to stop playing games with the Irish border (InFacts)
Today, Thursday 25th October
|-||Inner 'Brexit Cabinet' meeting|
|09.30||ONS: GDP estimates|
Tomorrow, Friday 26th October
|-||Resumption of Peter Kyle votes at 16 & 17 debate, 2nd reading (from 11 May)|