‘Spartans’ Come Out Batting For Boris’ New Deal

Downing Street will be heaving a sigh of relief this morning as it becomes clear that half the battle over a deal is over, with Brexit stalwarts who voted against May’s deal all three times coming out batting for the Government over Boris’ New Deal. It looks possible that there is a majority in Parliament for Boris’ new proposal, which sets the UK on a credible path to a divergent Canada-style future relationship, a complete contrast to May’s plans of close alignment. The next (harder) step is for the EU to be pragmatic and come on board too, and close this messy chapter in politics…

mdi-timer 3rd October 2019 @ 8:49 am 3rd Oct 2019 @ 8:49 am mdi-comment Comments
Steve Baker on Boris’s New Negotiating Proposals

Steve Baker on Boris’s New Brexit Deal:

“fair and reasonable”

mdi-timer 2nd October 2019 @ 5:55 pm 2nd Oct 2019 @ 5:55 pm mdi-comment Comments
Steve Baker: Confidence Vote Against May “On the Table”

“It’s on the table, there’s no point denying it…”

mdi-timer 1st April 2019 @ 12:47 pm 1st Apr 2019 @ 12:47 pm mdi-comment Comments
ERG Splits On Latest Brexit Vote Overblown

Last night’s Brexit votes were notable less for what they were than the way Tory MPs voted on them. The Government ultimately accepted the new Cooper Amendment F which recommitted them to the timetable for a vote on delaying Brexit that May first offered on Tuesday, imposing a poorly organised three-line whip in favour of the amendment which led to chaos in the voting lobbies. Chris Grayling was spotted in the wrong lobby and the Prime Minister reportedly even had to ask a whip which way to vote…

Despite the confusion, over 100 Tory MPs directly defied the three-line whip to abstain or even vote against the amendment, not a remotely trivial number in itself. However the most interesting subplot that emerged was the split between the 88 MPs who abstained, and the 20 MPs who directly voted against it, including Esther McVey and Bill Cash. Could this be the start of the split between the hard core who will never vote for May’s deal under any circumstances and the group who could come round to it if enough concessions are secured by Geoffrey Cox? Even more significantly, does this signify the minimum number of Tory MPs who would vote for May’s removal in a vote of no confidence if she were to extend Article 50?

ERG sources have played down the significance of the split, the ERG were naturally opposed to the amendment but beyond that were not particularly fussed about whether to vote against it or simply to abstain, given its ultimate lack of significance. Guido also understands that reports of splits emerging between Boris and Rees-Mogg on the one hand and Steve Baker on the other have been much overblown – while Jacob did hint at a slight softening of his position on full-on treaty change to the backstop yesterday, sources close to the three have categorically dismissed reports of any splits emerging between them. Everything still hinges on what, if anything, Cox can bring back from Brussels…

The 20 MPs who voted against the Cooper amendment outright were:

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mdi-timer 28th February 2019 @ 9:05 am 28th Feb 2019 @ 9:05 am mdi-comment Comments
May Keen on Corbyn’s Cop-Out

May’s official response to Corbyn’s soft Brexit offer has not done anything to calm the nerves of jittery Tory MPs, with May adopting a surprisingly conciliatory tone and offering only a lukewarm defence of the benefits of leaving the customs union. May opens the door to offering further commitments on following future EU laws and even says she is happy to “explore” Corbyn’s call to adopt “shared institutions and obligations” of the single market. May again signalling that she would sooner do a deal with the devil than allow ‘no deal’ to happen…

Steve Baker has sarcastically responded “It’s a good thing Corbyn does not realise the PM is already heading into what amounts to the EU Customs Union, or he would have to ask for more unachievable goals”. For a long time May and Corbyn’s positions have been differentiated more by rhetoric than substance, now they really are heading for ever closer union…


mdi-timer 11th February 2019 @ 10:21 am 11th Feb 2019 @ 10:21 am mdi-comment Comments
How Top Tories Responded to Brady’s Victory

Top Tories gave their reaction to last night’s votes on Newsnight – Graham Brady insisted that it was the Commons that had given May a mandate, not himself. A forceful Steve Baker told people to “wake up to the reality” that “that backstop is not getting through the House of Commons, not ever.” Boris reiterated that his support for May’s deal was conditional on the backstop being removed and replaced with alternative arrangements.

Liz Truss added that yesterday’s results were a “significant way forward” that showed that “there is a majority for the PM’s deal plus some changes to the backstop.” The EU have already launched a media blitz to insist it’s not possible but behind the scenes they have no choice but to digest the significance of the result…

Meanwhile on Planet Anna Soubry, it was all “deeply concerning” as she saw her party “drifting over to the right”. Cheer up…

mdi-timer 30th January 2019 @ 10:13 am 30th Jan 2019 @ 10:13 am mdi-comment Comments
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