Has the PM Really Completed a Brexit Deal?

On hearing that a technical deal had been done for Brexit Jacob Rees-Mogg said that “it is a failure of the government’s negotiation position, it is a failure to deliver on Brexit…”

The news is that the technical deal has been done and the document is over 200 pages long. It is reported that there will be a meeting on Wednesday (14th March 2018) at 2:00 pm with the Cabinet to discuss the proposed technical deal and at the same time ambassadors of the 27 EU countries will also get copies of the deal. It is being speculated that the government will stay in the customs union while they are in the transition period (from 31st March 2019 to the end of 2020).

The Brexit farce continues, quite poignant especially as we near the Christmas pantomime season. Regardless of the deal, does Theresa May have the votes to pass it through parliament and is there likely now to be another general election next year as a result of failing to secure a Brexit agreement and the government spending millions getting ready for a no-deal.

Timing to get the deal agreed is now against the government. They have very little time to sign a Brexit agreement.  It will be interesting to see how many Cabinet ministers (if any) resign after the cabinet meeting. Theresa May has left herself with little room to manoeuvre to get any Brexit deal through parliament or with the EU.

To win the vote she needs 326 MPs to vote for it (currently, there are 650 MPs in Parliament). There are 150 Tory ministers and other MPs working in government who will be obliged to vote for the deal (unless they resign after the details are known). Tory Members like Rees-Mogg and Boris have support in the party, and they can call on about 50 Tory members.  There are currently 317 Tory MPs.

The issue with the Irish border is not clear. The two proposed options (discussed by Tory MPs) are a likely technological solution as used between Canada and the USA (which was extremely expensive, and its use is minimal) or the preferred trusted supplier. Depending on the proposed solution the Democratic Unionist Party can proffer ten votes.

The SNP has 35 MPs who like the Lib Dems 12 MPs will not vote for Brexit.

The Labour party has 257 MPs and are split on their support on Brexit. Only last week Jeremy Corbyn gave an interview to a German newspaper where he stated that Brexit could not be stopped. This comment is not in line with the official Labour Party policy. The Labour party will try to vote against any deal especially if the proposed agreement does not satisfy their six tests.

Although Corbyn would likely vote for the deal as he always wanted to leave Europe, the possibility of bringing the government down followed by a general election that labour has a chance of winning may push him to reject any Brexit deal put forward.

If the 50 Tory MPs do not vote with their government and labour, hold out hope for an election the proposed Brexit deal will not pass through parliament. That will allow MPs to either call for a people’s vote;  ask to revoke Article 50 or have another general election because we will be at an impasse that may trigger a constitutional crisis.

From the start, this whole process has been poorly managed and a mess. Nearing the end, it is still badly managed and an even bigger mess.

* Tahir Maher is the Wednesday editor and a member of the LDV editorial team

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This entry was posted in News and Op-eds.


  • John Marriott 14th Nov '18 - 9:31am

    Do I trust the Tories to strike a deal? Do pigs fly? There used to be a radio comedy programme back in the 1950s called “Ignorance is Bliss”. That just about sums up some of the leading players. Boris Johnson reckons that ALL our laws will be made in Brussels, Dominic Raaaab didn’t know how important the Dover-Calais link was, Karen Bradley didn’t realise that, in Northern Ireland, the Catholics usually voted for Nationalist parties while the Protestants usually voted for Unionist parties.

    Quite frankly, this lot couldn’t organise the proverbial knees up in a brewery. But who could? Don’t worry, folks, the people have spoken! On the other hand, perhaps it MAY be time for them to speak again, before it’s too late.

  • Sue Sutherland 14th Nov '18 - 2:45pm

    Mark Pack has emailed an interesting survey of opinion on Brexit undertaken in October. It indicates that those who voted Leave still believe there will be few ill effects from leaving the EU so I’m afraid we haven’t won the argument yet. Obviously the hard line Leavers aren’t going to be won over but there are lots of people out there who don’t believe economists any more because they didn’t foresee the 2008 crash and they think if that crash didn’t personally affect them very much then neither will Brexit.
    Others are still thinking that everything wrong with our country is because of EU membership and for the EU read Germany bossing us all about.
    It’s great that the campaign for a vote on the terms is growing in strength and influence but we desperately need Vince to keep putting out a succinct message on the economics of Brexit. He foresaw the crash after all so is more trustworthy than other experts.
    We also need to be showing how we can redistribute the wealth EU membership has brought in a much fairer way to fund the services we all need.
    Then we can urge people not to abandon the EU because a few wealthy individuals have misled all of us for their own selfish benefit and give examples of the lies.
    We need to show there will be positive changes for people if we stop Brexit and not a return to the status quo.

  • Those who oppose our membership of the EU have clear messages aimed at the emotions, Things like taking back control, stopping unwanted immigration, being run by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
    Those who are on the other side seem to accept this nonsense and put forward views about there being no other choice except to stay, and how that people do not understand. Oh and of course that we need a people’s vote.
    Where is the enthusiasm for this huge step forward in democracy, An international agreement based on openness with a parliament elected by the people in which all are represented. A system with a clear legal basis. A system which makes international co-operation so much easier, international travel easier, which has increased accountability.
    Unfortunately people have vivid pictures of all the migrants swarming across Europe. The camp at Calais. The arrivals at Munich station. Night after night. Now magically we rarely see them. They are still there of course, but the focus is elsewhere.
    When are we going to have a campaign based on all the positives and fight against the present news management?

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