Selmayr and Weyand have got much of their way so far. And there’s every chance they will continue to dominate the process.
It’s time for the Government to dust down Plan A Plus and A Better Deal – rather than its own scheme, which is going nowhere.
This morning, despite claims it would never happen, we seem to have a unicorn made flesh – just in time for Christmas.
When I tried to focus these concerns by calling for a vote to see if this deal did indeed have the agreement of Cabinet, opposition crumbled – and my colleagues fell silent.
Were it not for the backstop, May’s deal would get over the line – with support from an overwhelming majority of Conservatives, including us.
Our plan is supported by remainers like me, by leavers such as David Davis and Dominic Raab and, crucially, by the DUP.
The Prime Minister says she told world leaders “we are looking forward to future trade agreements”.
If you want to be sure that Brexit happens, however much you might dislike this plan, there is only one course of action – vote for it.
There is concern in some capitals that the UK can use it to secure privileged access to the Single Market in goods with, over time, a competitive advantage.
“The divisions of the referendum need to be consigned to the past. Now is the time to…lead our country to a future of freedom, success, and prosperity.”
Instead of leaving the Customs Union but retaining chunks of the Single Market – we shall end up staying in the Customs Union but leaving most of the Single Market.
They would plunge into unknown territory that is most likely to lead to our exit being delayed, diluted – or even ditched altogether.
By refusing to consider the option of leaving without a deal, Conservative Ministers are essentially admitting defeat. And we deserve better than a defeatist political class.
A myth has been promulgated that there is no alternative – now exploded by the inclusion of “alternative arrangements” in the Political Declaration.
As a bloc with heightened economic weight, with the UK as a key influence, it would have greater flexibility to negotiate over issues such as immigration and budgetary contributions.