Friday 16th November 2018.

A quiet day in Westminster after the drama of yesterday. PM May selling her plan on LBC at 8am, placating her Brexiter rebels still in the Cabinet, and appointing individuals to the vacated Cabinet seats. More talk of MPs submitting letters of no-confidence in May. Rumours 5 Cabinet Brexiters are holding talks this weekend to discuss trying to change the draft Withdrawal Agreement,especially with regard to the exit mechanism from the Customs Union. There is an excellent podcast below from David Davis MP and Owen Patterson MP at a trade conference in USA. They are saying that if the May Plan goes ahead that the UK will be totally precluded from doing any meaningful global trade deals.

No10 reshuffle Stephen Barclay is appointed Brexit Secretary with the remit to concentrate on domestic preparedness (rather than final stages of EU negotiation) Amber Rudd is work and pensions secretary.

The UK could go back to the negotiating table. If it chooses this path, it must be clear what it is seeking to obtain. Specific assurances may be possible. Deciding to rethink the whole backstop is not credible:

So what’s the plan for remaining Eurosceptics in Cabinet? Hearing Leadsom, Gove, Fox, Mordaunt & Grayling meeting early next week to unite around several coherent ‘asks’ Leadsom also reaching out to Pizza Club – Truss, Hunt, Cox and Javid. Focus on backstop exit mechanism.

The aim is to change the wording of the backstop exit mechanism to stop it binding UK in customs union indefinitely. There’s genuine optimism it can be done ahead of Brussels summit on Nov 25. If it can’t then they’re going to have difficult decision to make on Commons vote.

Call it good podcast planning or just plain luck, but new Brexit Secretary spoke to Chief Political Correspondent on a few months ago, where he told us it’s a ‘myth’ Brexit will damage the NHS. Take a listen…

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