Thursday, 10 January 2019

Brexit: and East Devon's MP's amendment as damage limitation

Just before Christmas, Hugo Swire was saying no deal would be better than a bad deal:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and East Devon's MP saying 'we should get on with it'

He has just reaffirmed that this week in the local press:
Hugo Swire | Latest Exmouth News - Exmouth Journal

He has, however, offered a way to make the Prime Minister's 'bad deal' into something 'better:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and East Devon's MP's amendment

However, his colleagues have not responded very warmly:

(8) Robert Peston on Twitter: "Leading Brexiteer @SteveBakerHW on Swire amendment that has been sanctioned by @theresa_may: “This flimsy rubbish will only persuade those who have decided to be persuaded. Most of us have made our decision on the Treaty text, which is what matters.”"

With thanks to the EDW:
Robert Peston partly blames Swire for Brexit chaos! | East Devon Watch

Hugo Swire is also on the front page of today's Financial Times: 

May makes last-ditch Brexit move ahead of key vote

Offer of backstop veto after MPs force government to come up with ‘Plan B’


Theresa May is to offer MPs a veto over the introduction of the so-called Northern Ireland backstop in a last-ditch attempt to limit the scale of an expected heavy House of Commons defeat for her Brexit deal next week. 

Downing Street confirmed the government would next week support an amendment by Tory grandees giving MPs control over the introduction of the Irish backstop, which aims to avoid a hard border through a “temporary” UK/EU customs union. The amendment would require MPs to approve “the commencement of powers implementing the Northern Ireland backstop” or the extension of the transition period, which the EU has agreed could run until December 2022.

It would also require the government to conclude talks on a future trade deal, or find alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border, within one year of the backstop coming into effect.

Although the move appears inflammatory, EU diplomats have indicated they could tolerate the move because it was intended for domestic consumption and would not change Britain’s international treaty obligations.

Mrs May’s allies admitted the move itself would be unlikely to avert a defeat in next week’s vote, but should be seen as part of a wider package. “We continue to be bound by our international obligations,” Downing Street said. The prime minister’s aides argued that if MPs refused to accept the backstop, it would create an unstable political environment and both sides would have no choice but to explore alternative ways — possibly by using new technology — to maintain a soft border.

The amendment, tabled by former Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire, would also require Mrs May to “obtain further assurances from the EU that the Northern Ireland backstop would only be a temporary arrangement”.

The prime minister is planning to make a final appeal to the EU  for “political and legal” guarantees that the backstop is temporary after her expected defeat next Tuesday and before a second vote on her revised deal in late January.

May makes last-ditch Brexit move ahead of key vote | Financial Times

No comments: