Friday 30th November 2018,

Not a great deal of news today. Liam Fox, the former champion of UK Global Trade Deals, has now decided,somewhat inexplicably, to support PM May´s Deal. Take a read of Lawyers for Britain below.

How unfettered Global trade deals can be implemented when the UK ieaves any Transition Phase is not at all clear. If the UK is in a Customs Union we can do no Trade Deals in Goods. AND  If the UK negotiates a Trade Deal with the EU, it is likely to prevent the UK having its own independent Trading Policy and ability to make its own decisions on tariffs.

Thus, eg, the UK could slash tariffs on oranges from South Africa, and these would be likely to be cheaper than Spanish Oranges

Perhaps a No Deal Deal would be the best solution, but this would need a new and positive Prime Minister to set a positive agends. We shall see.


: May not ruling out second MPs’ vote on dealTheresa May


I’m supporting amendment – rejecting PM’s Deal, but also opposing No Deal, and making sure Parliament gets to properly debate & vote on the next steps, rather than just leaving it all to the PM.

1/2 I have tabled this amendment this afternoon – with the support of Yvette Cooper, Dominic Grieve, Rachel Reeves, Sarah Wollaston and Meg Hillier – to the Government’s motion on the EU withdrawal agreement. It opposes the deal, rejects a no deal Brexit, .and would enable the House to express its view about what should happen next if the PM’s deal is defeated. It would do this by allowing amendments to be tabled to the motion that the Government would have to put before the Commons under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

Excl: Cabinet ministers weigh up whether to urge PM to abandon meaningful vote on Brexit deal to avoid massive defeat by 200;

The Sun

This quite closely matches the estimate we reported this week by a May loyalist ex-minister. So, No10 have to turn 80% of the current Tory rebels to have any chance

An excellent count of Tory MPs opposing Brexit deal here by ; 64 declared they’ll vote against, 27 probably will, 7 might. If all do, plus DUP, and 20 Labour MPs vote for it, Govt loses by 181.

Conservative Home



In my short interview with the PM, here in Argentina at the G20 summit of leading nations, she told me several things of note.

First she said she would be “very happy to tell President Trump and others that we will have an independent trade policy” – which was a response to my question whether she would tell Trump who is here “to his face” that he was wrong to say her Brexit plan would make it impossible for the US to do a trade deal with the UK.

We will see if she now delivers on that fighting talk.

Second, yet again she offered no plan B at all, for when her deal is voted down by MPs – which is what almost all her MP colleagues expect to happen on 11 December (and see the blog I wrote when I disembarked from the her plane earlier this morning for why her refusal to countenance a backup Brexit plan is so perilous for her).

I could not resist asking her the TINA – “there is no alternative” – question. Sorry. I know it is a cliche. But she did not make the slightest attempt to correct me.

In fact she doubled down on it by attacking Labour for working “to frustrate Brexit”. She alleged that Corbyn’s amendment to her Brexit motion was “to try and stop us from doing what people asked us to do which is leave the European Union”.

Her reworked attack on Labour, which will presumably run all the way to the 11 December vote, is that it would keep us in the EU.

Which is not Labour policy. But it is striking that she now appears to accept that if she cannot deliver her negotiated Brexit, the alternative is staying in the EU – NOT a no-deal Brexit (a number of her Cabinet colleagues are completely explicit that no-deal cannot be an option).

Third, when I asked her whether the latest immigration stats – which show immigration from OUTSIDE the EU rising sharply – meant that even her ambition of a significant drop in immigration numbers after Brexit might well be for the birds, she said:

“I have been very clear I want to bring net migration down to sustainable levels”.

Which may sound bland and uncontroversial. But it may matter that she did not repeat her usual mantra of wanting to bring net migration down to the tens of thousands  Maybe now that she appears to be in a minority of one in her cabinet in clinging to that elusive and much criticised target, she is quietly dropping it.

(Thread) (1/2) ‘It is quite extraordinary for one of the leading trading nations of the world to be a complete rule taker on its trade policy in this way.

(2/2) ‘This one-sided customs union arrangement would destroy the ability of the UK to take advantage of the freedom brought by Brexit to forge a new independent trade policy and would shackle us permanently to being a dependency of the EU.’ – Martin Howe QC, Chairman of LfB.

Fantastic piece by ⁦⁩ in ⁦⁩ which every wavering Conservative MP should read. 


NEW: These Are The Scenarios In Which The EU27 Would Consider Allowing The UK To Extend Article 50 – the UK would need to ask, and the purpose would need to be clear


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