Labour have sunk efforts to trap us in the Single Market. A compromise should kick the Customs Union can down the road. Which leaves the ‘meaningful’ vote.
Davis may not have got all he wanted on the backstop. But for the second time in a few months, he has nudged May forwards. It is high time she made the most of him.
Brussels struggles to stray from the letter of the rules – and thus insists on treating the UK as an ordinary third party despite our unique security relationship.
Those continuing the Remain campaign represent a minority. The Prime Minister understands that the people have spoken, and that now there is no turning back.
Can we really imagine ministers rejecting Justin Trudeau’s trade deal offer, or one from the American administration, or from Australia and New Zealand?
Despite talk of the negotiations getting bogged down, the French president seems to understand that the process is about politics more than legal complexity.
To listen to some commentators a few weeks ago, you’d have thought it was only EU membership – not shared interests and values – that brings allies together.
It’s imperfect – consider fishing. It’s incomplete. It means kicking cans down the road. But that approach is sensible – and, crucially, it is working, bit by bit.
But “we’re not at the end of the road, and there remains a lot of work to be done on Ireland and Northern Ireland”.
The chairman of the Exiting the EU Committee emphasises that “we haven’t started negotiating on our future economic relationship” with the EU.
Both sides have moved somewhat ahead of next week’s summit. Behind the scenes, Davis has been touring capital cities, while Juncker’s sidekick is enmeshed in scandal.
The message that some send to Brussels – that if the Eurocrats make it all painful enough then we can be bullied into changing our minds – is mistaken but harmful.
That’s unlikely to deter hardcore Remainers from egging Juncker et al on. But will it persuade Labour to stop working with Brussels against the UK negotiating position?
Just as Geldof swearing at fishermen symbolised the referendum divide, negotiations over fish offer an insight into what ‘taking back control’ really means.
From its range of tailor-made trade deals to its habit of allowing Member States to break the rules, Brussels is more flexible than Barnier’s rhetoric might suggest.