Small teacup, big storm?

The agreement hammered out at Chequers last Friday went down like a lead balloon among Tory Brexit supporters. Here is the text of the final statement.  Martin Howe QC, from Lawyers for Britain, produced a briefing which expressed grave concern that it would leave us tied in perpetuity to EU law and forced to accept binding rulings by the European Court of Justice.

The EU laws in question were those relating to goods, their composition, their packaging, how they are tested, etc etc, in order to enable goods to cross the UK/EU border without controls. This does, of course, raise the question as to how aware critics like Mr Howe actually are that many rules governing standards within the Single Market are not actually set by Brussels. The EU merely acts as a conduit for laws originating with global standards bodies to which we would have to be subject regardless of the Brexit model adopted.

Note the word “goods” rather than “trade”. Mrs May’s proposals would have seen the UK essentially remain in the single market for goods but not for services.  This was never going to wash with the EU. as some commentators were warning within hours of the statement being released.

Its pie-in-the-sky nature did not stop a deluge of negative comment. A majority of Conservative Party members regarded it as a bad deal, so said Paul Goodman after conducting a snap poll for Conservative Home.  More ominously, a poll commissioned by Change Britain suggested that a deal along the lines of that proposed by Mrs May would cost the Tories a lot of votes. For example, 32% of voters would be less likely to vote Conservative if the Government agreed a deal which results in UK laws being subject to rulings by EU courts and More than a quarter would be less likely to support the Conservative Party if a deal meant that the EU retained some or substantial control of the UK’s ability to negotiate our own free trade agreements.

Still, if the EU’s spokesmen had acted quickly to reject the deal out of hand, it would have been a storm in a teacup for the Tories, which would have blown over. Simon Coveney, the Irish Republic’s Foreign Minister, said that Michel Barnier would find it “difficult ” to accept the  proposals. It is now quite probable that he won’t have to do so as a crisis has erupted at the very heart of Mrs May’s government. On Sunday night, David Davis resigned. Effectively sidelined by Olly Robbins for many months, the most surprising aspect of Mr Davis’ announcement is that it has taken so long in coming. With him went his deputy Steve Baker. Mrs May reacted speedily and appointed Dominic Raab, a prominent Brexit supporter, to replace Mr Davis. However, within hours of Mr Davis going, Boris Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary.

This means that a small teacup is producing what could turn out to be a considerable storm. Mrs May is due to meet her backbenchers later this evening and especially given her decision to brief Labour and Lib Dem MPs on her Brexit proposals, the mood is likely to be sombre if not angry.

One Labour source said of this meeting, “It’s an opportunity to tell the PM’s chief of staff why the Government has got it so wrong.”  With that, we would agree.  Almost every government publication on the subject of Brexit is, at best muddled.  The fisheries white paper also appeared last week – its publication somewhat overshadowed by the dramatic events following the Chequers meeting.  We will provide some further comment oin this later this week, but suffice it to say it seems very optimistic, ignoring the determination of the EU to preserve its access to our waters and to control the allocation of quota if it gets half a chance.

With events happening so quickly, it is impossible to predict whether Mrs May will face a leadership challenge or indeed whether the Brexit talks will break down. However, we have been saying for some time that a crisis is essential if the disastrous Brexit plans hatched by Mrs May, including the fatally flawed transitional arrangements, are to be jettisoned. At long last, it looks like the crisis has arrived.


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  1. robinReply

    To win A Snap ”Pro-Brexit” Stance Some Supporters Need to Embrace royal Mail being Renationalised & ”british Rail” Something Jeremy Corbyn talks about,but Cannot see Staying in ”A Customs Union” he cannot
    achieve this.
    the Political Parties on Offer Lib-lab-Cons-SNP-PC-Greens All Pro-EU Globalists Corporatists,

    UKIP disorganised &Shuffled out A lot of Loyal members.

    If I stand I will be An Independent as in 2015,2017, (2005 &2010 I was UKIP when there was No backbiting)

    we need Some Positive Publicity to Counter George Soros & Richard Branson Corrupt Moneys?

  2. Adam HileyReply

    with Davis and Johnson now gone now is the time to get rid of May now and replace Her with a brexiteer like Jacob Rees Mogg also a immediate exit from the EU & ECHR no more stupid negotiation with French idiot Barnier end Foreign aid spend on the Armed Forces Our creaking infrastructure keep out Corbyn and unfit to Govern Labour

    • StevenReply

      The truth is, Adam, we HAVEN’T been genuinely negociating and the reason for that is pro-EU Remainer Teresa May and her fellow pro-EU goons like Amber Rudd ect NEVER seriously contemplated threatening the EU with NO exit fee, massive tariffs on German cars etc if they didn’t approach the talks in a reasonable fashion. It is us and only us that has been making concession after concession (David Davis also made the elementary mistake of agreeing with the EU’s timetable without them offering us anything) so it isn’t a surprise to see the EU thinking we are just there for the taking. They are walking all over us.

  3. Phil JonesReply

    A complete sell-out. Brexit in name only. You can well see that May and Robbins and his civil service were working on the ‘May-Robbins Sell-out Scheme’ from July 2016, with May ready to spring it at the last second when the UK had only days left before the Big EU Summit and 29 March 2019. David and Boris played for complete naive patsies from the start. Why Leadsom and Gove and Fox don’t realize that they also have been ‘used’ by May and played as patsies to buy time for her and Robbins to finalize their Sell-out Scheme is beyond me; I guess that they have gotten used to the chauffered cars and other perks.

    May is Machiavellian. She is such an actress. Could have upended Emma Thompson if she’d gone to RADA. The Sell-out was always in the works from Day 1 with May — who is trying to make it appear that the Sell-out Scheme has suddenly been developed in the last month or so.

    So the UK will stay an EU province. May’s so-called Red Lines meaningless. She’s just taken us for a long two-year ride to continued serfdom.

    As Boris implied, it’s all been a massive betrayal by the Establishment.

    I’ve been a lifelong Conservative voter but if the Sell-out Scheme proceeds May’s party will never ever again get my vote. And if that means Corbyn, so be it. With the UK continuing as an EU province it won’t matter who is running the show at the provincial parliament at Westminster — since the real power will continue to come from offshore. Someone on high is now looking down on Frau Merkel, blowing her kisses; what he could not accomplish with large armies 75 years ago, she is now accomplishing with ease.

    • StevenReply

      My first ever vote at the age of 18 was for the Tories under John Major. I should have known better with that globalist being in charge of the Conservatives and me being opposed to the Maastrict Treaty which he refused to allow a referendum on. I was soon cured of any propensity to vote Conservative whilst he was PM. Lately, I had thought there was an admittedly small chance of the Tories recognising their Europhillia was a mistake and rectifying the error of Maastrict, the Single European Act of 1986 ect with that in/out referendum on the EU but it appears now that was a forlorn hope.

  4. StevenReply

    Presumably, we will still be paying Value Added Tax (VAT) on various goods under Maybe’s Brexit In Name Only (BINO) whilst not having MEPs ect to represent us? If so, that amounts to an external authority levying taxes upon us without us having representation. It surely takes something for a British government to forget our national history and replicate AT HOME the circumstances which led to the loss of the 13 colonies in North America! An UTTER DISGRACE and COMPLETE SELL-OUT for sure!

  5. ThomasReply

    The whole thing is a joke; the deal completely betrays Tory Brexiteers. Thank goodness for Boris, Davis, the ERG, the Eurosceptic rank-and-file, and the 100 Tories that will vote down the deal. It will never get through Parliament, as Labour, Lib Dems, and SNPs believe it is too hard a Brexit, while Tory Brexiteers believe it is too soft. Even after that, it is doubtful that the EU will agree to such a deal, because it would disrupt the integrity of its system. All this deal accomplishes is to swap our “seat around the table” for the possibilty of future trade deals.

    Sadly, Theresa May’s Tories are the only option available. Politics is all about tactical voting, and at least they have a strong Eurosceptic wing. Labour and the Lib Dems would both deliver a far worse Brexit, and it is pointless voting for any smaller party as they will never get anywhere. Abstaining on a vote is unwise as well; as much as you might dislike the main parties, one of them will still get in whether you vote or not, so you might as well choose the least bad option.

    One way to improve the situation would be for UKIP to come back to the Conservative Party and strengthen the ranks there. Currently, half of Tory MPs support leave; with a stonger Europsceptic wing we could tip the balance in our favour at the next general election if more stood as candidates. This would also provide good conditions for Rees-Mogg to become leader. Of course, the problem is that we are leaving next March, and all this could not be accomplished by then.

    • StevenReply

      Abstaining is a perfectly rational course of action whilst the Tory Party continues to betray this country as is their traditional stance. If you vote for them they will still think their treason is acceptable when it is isn’t. It is only through more defeats they MIGHT think we should change course. Why should they EVER change their spots if people vote for them regardless of how much they stab people in the back? That is akin to ENDORSING their treason and they would be right to believe that is what the people think if people back them. If they lose then that is THEIR fault. They are an Establishment party so they don’t give a monkey’s about the state of the country provided they can take their turn at the wheel.

    • StevenReply

      My vote is UTTERLY WORTHLESS anyway and ALWAYS HAS BEEN thanks to the archaic and blatantly undemocratic nonsense of First Past The Post. Living as I do in one of the very safest Tory seats in the country where they could have some monkey wearing a blue rosette and they would win the constituency by a landslide that is the reality here. Basically, I have no real power as a voter here to determine the composition of parliament whereas if I lived just ten miles down the road I would have.

      • StevenReply

        The Tories SHOULD have learnt from the defeat Eurofanatic John Major led them to in 1997 (it really takes some doing to nearly destroy one of the world’s oldest political parties propped-up by one of the world’s most undemocratic electoral systems) but they haven’t. Backing them regardless WON’T change them.

        • Jason BReply

          I take it that there has been a lot of unrest among the tories for years over the EU. Folk such as Nigel Farage irrespective of some of his eccentricities (flying a small plane on election day) made them think and David Cameron tried a quick referendum one on us, but Nigel was not hoodwinked. He has been let down by some of his own party silly ones and who do we turn to now. A new tory dedicated brexit leader must be the current answer.

  6. ThomasReply

    I share your dissatisfaction with the electoral system. I wouldn’t say it is undemocratic, but it does not represent the people properly. It is unfair so many people are ignored; Theresa May got the biggest popular vote in decades at the last election, but she ended up with a minority government. Conversely, if Brexit had been carried out like an election, there would have been a majority of 136 pro-Brexit MPS; as nice as that would be for us, that would be unfair for all the Remainers.

    I understand you do not want to endorse the Tories, but sadly, if they lose at the next election, they will not be the only ones that suffer. Labour would be catastrophic for the country and they would devastate the economy.

    • StevenReply

      I would say the current electoral system is ‘democratic’ only in one fairly marginal aspect ie it IS good at representing localities (the ‘constituency link’) with a single MP being accountable to a specific electorate in one geographical seat but apart from that FPTP is utter rubbish and fails at the most important task ie in representing different political parties properly (the basis of modern democratic politics is the party system). I favour Britain adapting the Mixed-Member Proportional system of Germany: BUT with ours having what is called ‘open’ instead of ‘closed’ lists so that people can vote for individual party candidates on the list element instead of having to endorse a party slate. We could also choose not to adopt Germany’s perfect 50/50 ratio of constituency seats to list members which makes theirs highly proportional and having instead a ratio of something like 55% constituencies to 45% list members thereby making it a bit less proportional so that if a single party has a particularly strong movement of opinion towards them they could gain a majority on their own without being forced into a coalition.

      As the last election showed (which you allude to in your post_ FPTP SEVERED the link (it often does this) between the amount of votes a party gained (in this case the Tories INCREASED their votes by a substantial margin of +5% on their previous score) and their party representation in parliament WHICH WENT DOWN and NOT UP!. I would say this shows that FPTP fails even when vary basic elements of a good electoral system are considered.

  7. Jason BReply

    We are reminded, that only 12 days or 8 parliamentary days left to 24 July before the six weeks holiday of MPs. Will anything significantly happen before then? Say, if a leadership challenge is launched just before the recess, would it give an extra six weeks for any pro-clean Brexiteer to gather up the troops?

  8. Adam HileyReply

    time for us British patriots to unite fight this corrupt LibLabCon Banking Big Business and crooked press barons once & for all get rid of these parasites now

  9. Adam HileyReply

    there has for the last 30 years the need to get a revolution against the useless corrupt 3 main parties the civil service the press the Courts Bankers even the so-called monarchy an immediate withdrawal from the EU & ECHR is all that is necessary now rejoin the WTO the EU racket can do sweet FA

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