On the eve of the Parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal brokered by Boris Johnson tomorrow, the Prime Minister received a massive boost with the news that the leading group of Brexit supporting Tory MP’s, the European Research Group will back the deal tomorrow.
The announcement follows the assessment of the so-called ‘Star Chamber’ of legal experts assembled by the ERG led by Sir Bill Cash MP that the agreement respects British sovereignty.
In the most controversial area of the agreement, the 5 and a half year ‘transition period’ during which EU fishing boats will continue to be allowed access to British waters, the detailed assessment did conclude that the Agreement “temporarily limits the exercise of the UK’s sovereign rights over its waters that would apply in the absence of the Agreement”. In regards to the situation of Northern Ireland, it argues that whether the Agreement is passed or not Northern Ireland’s position would not be fundamentally changed as either way it would remain in the Customs Union, Single Market and under the jurisdiction of the European Cout Of Justice.
In conclusion, the assessment says the Agreement “preserves the UK’s sovereignty as a matter of law and fully respects the norms of international sovereign-to-sovereign treaties”. The news will be welcome to the Prime Minister who has suffered recent large-scale rebellions over continuing Covid-19 restrictions from his own backbenches. He can look forward to the Agreement comfortably clearing Parliament tomorrow.