Customs Can Kicked Down Road at The ’22

No fireworks at the 1922 Committee tonight – instead, yet more fudge. A “very nervous looking” Theresa May grew in confidence as the meeting went on – this was no dramatic showdown. It emerged Nicky Morgan will put her name to a new amendment-in-lieu on the customs “arrangement” (an emergency compromise being drafted by Oliver Letwin), which will also carry the support of senior Brexiters. This will – it is said – also stave off any trouble over the meaningful vote. The amendment will mean the government should avoid defeat on Wednesday and the whole customs battle will – yet again – be kicked down the road…

There were no surprises in May’s speech – Tory MPs became aware of its contents in advance since most of it had been briefed. Guido is told questions were mostly supportive of the PM. IDS spoke to urge party unity. Philip Davies presented the most tricky intervention, urging the PM to make sure Brexit is delivered in a manner true to the referendum. May repeated her lines. Andrea Jenkyns urged more positivity on Brexit in general – a floor-perched Anna Soubry shook her head throughout. Boris was absent. A theatrical display of unity was presented to the waiting press in the corridor – a joint spin-session from top Brexiter Steve Baker and former remainer Robert Buckland showed a united front. Buckland said: “we’ll hang together or we’ll all hang separately”. The proverbial can kicked down the road again…




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Quote of the Day

Andrea Leadsom told BBC Radio 4’s Today

“He’s made his views on Brexit on the record, and the problem with that of course is that the chair’s impartiality is absolutely essential. … He’s made his views known on Brexit… it’s a matter for him but nevertheless it’s a challenge and all colleagues need to form their own view of that.”

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