It’s 585 pages in all. The arbitration section runs from page 281 to page 295. The Northern Ireland protocal covers pages 302 to 311.
WATCH: The Prime Minister says that the Cabinet’s “collective decision” is to agree the draft Brexit deal
But was it unanimous? And if not, what follows? She says the choices were “difficult” and debate “impassioned”.
Interpretation one: its members are talking at length, but there’s no real resistance to the Prime Minister’s draft Brexit plan. Interpretation two: it is running into trouble.
The DUP leader says that “there will be consequences” if the Prime Minister proposes one.
Losing both them and the DUP will send a very strong signal to every Conservative MP about its implications for the Union.
But although the Prime Minister looked calm, Nigel Dodds, parliamentary leader of the DUP, did not.
She dodges a direct question on whether Parliament with have the sovereign right to withdraw unilaterally from any backstop.
Not a lot, yet – but the two fundamental things we do know already provide cause for Eurosceptic concern.
Insisting that our needs are met by the government reduces neigbours to numbers and diminishes our scope for good citizenship.
If Graham Brady suddenly emerges this week to declare that a confidence vote is on, don’t be taken by surprise.
May’s choice today. The possibility of her Government collapsing soon…or the probability of it doing so now
The DUP hates the idea of Corbyn in Downing Street. But it is very hard to imagine it waving the draft deal through.
Calling Conservatives: New public appointments announced. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation – and more.
Further details enclosed.
Raab, Cox, Gove, Fox, Mordaunt – all these Cabinet members, and others, should prepare to resign today
They should first seek to persuade May not to press for a decision, since there will have been no opportunity for full timely study of the text.
Daniel Hannan: May’s deal. It leaves us facing colonial rule from Brussels, of the sort imposed on Bosnia following the Yugoslav war.
Cowardice and lack of vision have brought us to this pass – facing all the costs and obligations of EU membership, but with no voice, no vote and no veto.
Damien Phillips: As Merkel calls for a “real, true” European army, Cabinet members must grasp that this plan threatens our security
Our European partners can be unreliable and, in cases like Romania, dangerously compromised.
Sally-Ann Hart: Becoming a magistrate is a fulfilling way to serve the community – but the number resigning is worrying
Mean gestures like cutting the coffee and biscuits in the retiring room make these committed volunteers feel unappreciated.
Raab, Cox, Gove, Fox, Mordaunt – all these Cabinet members, and others, should resign tomorrow if necessary.
They mustn’t let Downing Street bounce them into agreeing a 500-plus page deal that they won’t have had time to study properly.
Julian Smith says that “it’s a major document – hundreds of pages…the Prime Minister’s been working, day in, day out.”
WATCH: Johnson gets in early doors. May’s proposed deal is “vassal state stuff – utterly unacceptable”
“If you ask me, am I going to vote against it? My answer is yes,” he says, as the DUP and ERG come out fighting.
Various Leavers – and the head of the Remain campaign – predicted such an outcome. Now it seems we’re seeing it happen.
WATCH: Dodds – We told Ministers we will vote with Labour on Brexit legal advice. So they’ve folded rather than lose.
“Our understanding is that the Government is going to abstain, so the motion will be carried.”
Brexit Decision Day 1) May to present deal to Cabinet amidst accusations of ‘betrayal’
“Theresa May will put her future in the hands of senior ministers today as she asks them to sign off a Brexit deal in the face of accusations of betrayal. The prime minister was trying to sell the divorce deal and pact on the future relationship with Europe last night to a reluctant cabinet, which is due to meet at 2pm to agree it. Leave-supporting cabinet ministers were coming under intense pressure to reject the deal as senior Brexiteers and the DUP launched a pre-emptive strike on what they claimed was an abject surrender. Mrs May’s efforts to secure cabinet backing will be further undermined by a leaked diplomatic note seen by The Times spelling out how the EU intends to force Britain to accept a longer-term alignment with its rules. Despite this, she will claim to have won a crucial battle over the so-called backstop, which would come into force after the transition period and before a final deal on the future relationship.” – The Times
- UK and EU hammer out draft divorce – FT
- Customs union membership ‘basis for the future’ – Daily Express
- What the papers say – The Guardian
- Labour MPs told voters want a second referendum – The Times
Brexit Decision Day 2) Johnson gets in early – and flays the proposal as “vassal state stuff”
“Brexiteer MPs Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg have said they will vote down Theresa May’s divorce deal after negotiators reached an agreement in Brussels. A government source confirmed a Brexit agreement was reached between the UK and EU at a “technical level” today. The prime minister will attempt to win over her cabinet in a meeting tomorrow before a “meaningful” vote in the House of Commons. Former foreign secretary Mr Johnson said he would vote against the deal, claiming it was “vassal state stuff”, and urged the cabinet to “chuck it out”. He said he expected the deal to be “pretty much” what had been agreed a few weeks ago. “We are going to stay in the customs union on this deal, we are going to stay effectively in large parts of the single market and that means it’s vassal state stuff,” he told the BBC… He claimed the deal was “making a nonsense of Brexit so I hope the cabinet will do the right thing and I hope they chuck it out”.” – Evening Standard
- Rees-Mogg rallies rebels for Westminster ‘coup’ – The Times
- DUP and Eurosceptics attack deal ‘sight unseen’ – FT
- Rees-Mogg and Campbell agree on ‘humiliating’ bargain – Daily Express
- Public has been duped, says Jo Johnson at rally for new vote – The Guardian
>Today: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: May’s deal. It leaves us facing colonial rule from Brussels, of the sort imposed on Bosnia following the Yugoslav war.
Brexit Decision Day 3) Will Brexiteer Cabinet Ministers resign?
“The European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs were putting leave-supporting ministers under intense pressure to resign over the plan, with multiple Cabinet ministers thought to be considering their positions. Reports late Tuesday suggested that Mrs May had won the support of five ‘pivotal’ Cabinet ministers – Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary and Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General. However Cabinet sources suggested Mr Raab was ‘unhappy’ with parts of the deal. Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the Commons, Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary and Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Secretary were said to have significant reservations. Ministers were not entrusted to take a copy of the draft deal home with them but instead given access to a secure reading room in the Cabinet Office, which was open until midnight.” – Daily Telegraph
- Mordaunt calls on May to waive collective responsibility – Daily Express
- Who’s likely to stay, who might walk out? – The Times
- Pill may be hard to swallow, however sugared – Daily Telegraph
- May’s deal comes at a high price – FT
- Duncan Smith accuses May of ‘breaking agreed position’ – Daily Express
- Cabinet must reject deal if we’re not freed from the EU – The Sun
Brexit Decision Day 4) Government folds on Brexit deal legal advice vote
“Ministers will publish up to 5,000 pieces of legal advice on the Brexit deal after losing a parliamentary battle. In a bad omen for Theresa May in getting the agreement through the Commons, Brexiteers and the DUP joined with Labour to force the concession. Labour used the niche parliamentary procedure of a “humble address” to force a vote on the Queen requiring ministers to let MPs see “any legal advice in full”. Despite last-ditch concessions from David Lidington, the prime minister’s effective deputy, the DUP made clear that they would vote against the government. In the face of inevitable defeat, Conservative MPs were whipped to abstain, but Labour refused to accept Mr Lidington’s undertakings and proceeded with the motion. It passed without a formal vote as no MPs indicated dissent. Mr Lidington criticised Labour’s demands, saying the motion could theoretically require the release of 5,000 documents.” – The Times
- December 1 deadline for triggering no-deal plans – FT
- ToryDiary: Will the ERG vote against the Government today?
- Video: WATCH: Dodds – We told Ministers we will vote with Labour on Brexit legal advice. So they’ve folded rather than lose.
- Video: WATCH: The Chief Whip – “I’m confident we can get this through Parliament.”
Brexit Decision Day 5) Jacob Rees-Mogg: Brexit has become an issue of trust – and this government has lost it
“Fortunately, it is reported that the Prime Minister has called for the Cabinet to act in the national interest. Now, this patriotic call may be intended to encourage its members to back the Government’s climbdown – the vassalage that is the best our feeble negotiators have been able to achieve. However, the clearer national and democratic interest is to deliver on earlier promises.
Trust in politicians is in short supply. A failure to deliver Brexit would erase the little trust that remains, but a sturdy response would begin to restore it. This may not happen as the Cabinet is selected by the Prime Minister, and is dependent upon her for patronage, but all are answerable to some authority and, ultimately, Mrs May is held to account by Parliament… As this happens, Members must consider their constituents. It is estimated that 406 constituencies voted to Leave, while both the Conservative and Labour parties promised to respect the result of the referendum in their manifestos for the 2017 General Election. The Tories must particularly pay attention to their own manifesto and the promise to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union.” – Daily Telegraph
- Jo Johnson’s stance is dishonest and dangerous – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
- May can’t afford to lose Raab, so he should throw his weight around – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
- Prospect of hard Irish border has been conjured by scaremongers – Kate Hoey, The Sun
- Why is Labour not leading calls for a second vote? – Tony Blair, Times Red Box
- Britain’s conspiracy of silence over the deal – Peter Mandelson, FT
- Henry Newman’s column: A Brexit deal isn’t certain, but it’s within reach – and it could still make it through Parliament
- Gisela Stuart in Comment: The EU referendum gave the political class a chance to mend its ways. So far, it hasn’t.
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