Theresa May now faces a pensive week as while she seems to have effectively hog-tied her entire Cabinet into signing their souls away next week she will have to sell the policy to Tory backbenchers. One of those gave a gift to Guido, a leaked briefing paper prepared by a Brexiteering legal expert.
Some of the lowlights. The paper describes the mechanism by which Parliament will allegedly be able to block new EU laws relating to trade as “probably theoretical” as opposed to one that can ever be actually practically used. The ‘Common Rulebook’ part of the Chequers agreement will “severely impair” Britain’s ability to develop an independent trade policy:
In particular, it will prevent us from including Mutual Recognition Agreements for goods in trade treaties and this is likely to destroy the prospect of successfully achieving meaningful agreements with some of the prime candidates such as the USA and Australia.
All of which means no trade deals with the USA or Australia. The document concludes that the proposals amount to a ‘Black Hole Brexit’ leaving Britain as a “vassal state” where it has to follow all the rules laid down by the EU but has no say in their formulation (no MEPs) nor any veto as we will no longer be a member state.
Guido finishes his piece by asking what Brexiteer MPs are going to do about this situation. The answer is currently not a lot. Andrea Jenkyns MP and Jacob Rees Mogg MP have both indicated they are willing to vote against the proposals but both indicated they would wait until after meeting Mrs May next week before making a final decision.
Mrs May will address the Commons on Monday morning and during the evening she will meet the influential 1922 Committee. The White Paper is then due to be published on Thursday and in the interregnum MPs will be offered face time with the PM at Number 10. Some Brexiteers have however already fallen in behind the PM, Andrea Leadsom MP tweeted her support:
It may well be that opposition to the sell-out is limited to the hardcore organised around the Jacob Rees Mogg-led European Reform Group. Given that Labour is not going to support hard-Brexiteers it is therefore highly questionable if opponents of the deal with have the numbers to derail the government. Opposition within the Tory Party is therefore unlikely to prosper and this is where the need comes in for Brexiteers to organise within and support alternative parties such as UKIP.