Another day without any movement on Northern Ireland. The PM is set to spend another day having private meetings with eurosceptic backbenchers in an effort to win support, while the notorious ERG agitate amid lacking DUP support.
The big news this morning is that several ministers have been placed on resignation watch, according to The Times and Newsnight, with Steve Baker chief among those in the spotlight. Suella is also being spoken about, though Bloomberg is told she won’t be resigning.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, meanwhile, tells the Conservative Home Moggcast that the PM’s strategy is very similar to that of Theresa May’s.
“I don’t know why so much political capital has been spent on something without getting the DUP and the ERG onside first.
It’s quite surprising because this is very similar to what happened with Theresa May: a story would appear in The Times and Downing Street would say ‘no this isn’t quite right, this isn’t at all right’, and then a week or two would go by and it would turn out to be completely right and they would hope people would just conveniently fall in behind the announced policy. And life doesn’t work like that.
It’s important to get support for it first before you finalise the details and that doesn’t seem to have been done here.”
The ERG are very much on board with the Boris/Suella argument that the PM should press ahead with the NI Protocol Bill, which was started by Boris Johnson who actually had a mandate both from the electorate and the Tory members. James Cleverly is up in front of the 1922 tomorrow evening. Given the anniversary of the Ukraine invasion on Friday, this whole shebang may very well slip into next week at this rate…