Tag Archives: erg

Just in case you thought the ERG was acting on principle…

So Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris and the rest of the European Research Group of 100 or so Tory backbenchers have been making an almighty fuss about the backstop. They don’t like the part of the EU Withdrawal Agreement that would keep the UK in a temporary customs union in the (highly likely) event of a full trade deal not being agreed by the end of the transition period in December 2020.

It has alway been clear that the EU will, quite rightly, to be honest, not consider any watering down of that commitment. There is no solution to the Irish border problem that doesn’t involve some sort of customs union. It is obvious.

But an article in today’s Mirror suggests that the ERG might give in and vote for May’s deal just to get us out of the EU – on condition that Theresa May goes after the local elections on May 2nd so they have a chance of getting Boris as PM.

Political editor Nigel Nelson suggests:

As things stand at least 20 hardcore ERG backbenchers will not back Mrs May’s deal – either with or without changes to the backstop.

But if they think they can get Boris for PM, it is expected they will back down.

With the ERG on board, and 20 Labour rebels who Mrs May is trying to bribe with cash for their constituencies, the PM will have enough votes to get across the line.

In essence, this doesn’t really change anything because the idea of the ERG caving to get us out has always been a possibility.

But it does give us the chance to reflect on why the deal passing is far from the end of the issue.

As I said the other week, the Deal itself is bloody awful. It kicks so much down the road that we have no idea what sort of economy we will end up with.

Bad as it is, it is a million times worse with an ERG PM driving the trade negotiations. The chance of us welcoming in 2020 (or even before) by jumping off a no deal cliff is high.

But this lot have another agenda. Theresa May is going on about workers’ rights in a bid to appease Labour MPs. Jo Swinson called bullshit on those claims this week.

But the ERG are a whole world of right wing small-state extremism away from even May’s Conservatives. Jacob Rees-Mogg and co praise Singapore, a place where you get 12 weeks maternity leave rather than the 12 months shared parental leave (thanks, Jo), where you only get 2 weeks paid holiday a year and where redundancy protection is not mandatory.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarmatt 21st Mar - 12:40pm
    @Peter Martin I am torn Peter. I wonder whether it would be worth taking the deal, (getting one foot out of the door so to...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 21st Mar - 12:30pm
    I don't know if my opinion would be typical of most Leavers but I'd rather remain in the EU than accept May's deal. The UK...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 21st Mar - 12:07pm
    The concept of the "People's Vote" was not just any vote by any people, but a specific vote on the terms of a Brexit Deal....
  • User AvatarDavid-1 21st Mar - 11:56am
    I'm afraid I don't follow the logic of this article. Surely from the point of the EU the more obvious alternative to "a short prolongation"...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 21st Mar - 11:45am
    For me the second referendum was always about voting on the terms of the deal. It’s a pity it has morphed into a Peoples’ Vote...
  • User AvatarJohn Chandler 21st Mar - 11:26am
    It's okay, I have it on very good authority from Corbyn-worshipping friends that he's still playing the long game and that he will back a...