No.10 Hard-Selling Backstop With Trade Bill Bluster

Guido hears that Number 10 has been telling Cabinet ministers that they must accept the backstop or else rebel MPs will amend the Trade Bill to force the UK to stay in a customs union outright. Not exactly sending out a strong signal that Downing Street believe the merits of the backstop will speak for themselves…

This appears a red herring to Guido for a number of reasons:

As the Labour Lords pointed out, the Government hasn’t even scheduled the Lords Committee stage of the Bill yet, so it will not be making its way back to the Commons any time soon. Any deal will likely be wrapped up long before it does…

Additionally, for all that Downing Street likes to play up the chances of being defeated in the Commons on a customs union, the fact is that every time the Commons has voted on a customs union in the past, there has been a majority against it.

And even if the Government is defeated on a customs union amendment, they can ultimately just drop the Trade Bill – there is nothing so essential in it that needs to be passed into statute right now. The Government has wriggle room on the Trade Bill, not on the backstop…




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Quote of the Day

Dominic Raab wrote in his letter of resignation…

“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”

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