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

More Johnsons:

  • 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.

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Johnson gets in early doors. May’s proposed deal is “vassal state stuff – utterly unacceptable”

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

>Today: ToryDiary: Raab, Cox, Gove, Fox, Mordaunt – all these Cabinet members, and others, should prepare to resign today

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


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


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