Boris Johnson and European Commission agree on Withdrawal Agreement

…but the Democratic Unionist Party has refused to support it.

From Missy:

Boris Johnson and the European Commission have agreed a Withdrawal Agreement, it now has to be approved by the European Council tomorrow, and then the UK Parliament. The Government have called a Saturday sitting to debate and pass the Withdrawal Agreement, however, reports suggest that the opposition will vote against this sitting, despite going to court to ensure that the prorogation was overruled in order to debate Brexit (which they haven’t done at all).

I haven’t had a chance to read into the details of the deal, but my understanding is that the backstop has been removed and changed to an alternative arrangement keeping Northern Ireland in the Single Market, but not the Customs Union, with the biggest change being that there is reportedly a 4 year time limit which can be extended with permission of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It will be interesting to see what the new Agreement says, and how it compares with May’s deal.

Gezza: “Aljaz tv reporter says the DUP’s not happy with it?”


No-one seems to be apparently. DUP want WTO Brexit so they won’t be happy with anything. However, it is expected the DUP are playing politics but will come around to voting for it.

Apparently Jean Claude Juncker has said no more extensions which nullifies the Benn Act if he is speaking for the EU. The Government motion for Saturday is apparently that a no in this means no deal, this is it for the UK.

Corbyn is also in a difficult position, he is reportedly doing a three line whip to vote against the deal, has said he won’t agree to a General Election until there is an extension, and he wants a second referendum before a General Election on the deal.

On point 1: he heavily criticised Conservatives for removing the whip from those that voted against the Government so either looks weak or a hypocrite.

On point 2: he has not said what he will do if the EU refuse an extension, just continually that he will agree an election when the extension has been agreed to.

On Point 3: he has given mixed messages regarding a second referendum. He is certainly under pressure to have one from his party, and his sudden support seems to be half hearted and in the view that Boris would lose in a referendum.

This seems to be the end of Corbyn, he has not held a consistent or stable position on Brexit for three years, and he gambled that Boris would not get a deal and have to extend and would subsequently be blamed for the delay. It is a gamble that has not paid off.

BBC: New Brexit deal agreed but DUP refuses support

In a statement, the Democratic Unionist Party, which the government relies on for support in key votes, said: “These proposals are not, in our view, beneficial to the economic well-being of Northern Ireland and they undermine the integrity of the Union.”

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  1. Gezza

     /  18th October 2019

    @ Missy

    It would probably be a good thing for the Labour party to dump old sourpuss now. He seems to have no credibility left with all his flip flopping & indecisiveness, forever looking for something to give him an election win but ending up appearing to have no policy on Brexit except to moan about it.

    Boris just did a Q & A session with reporters (shown on Aljaz tv) that was a pretty classic Johnson routine – he didn’t really answer any of their hard questions, just gave broad, optimistic responses & repeated everybody in Britain & the EU were tired of it taking so long & just wanted Brexit to get done & for it all to be over with !

    Although Leo Varadkar was shown saying he that he was very happy with the deal, I gather the draft agreement puts the border in the Irish Sea?

    After the EU’s previously oft-stated flat refusal to consider any changes to the Theresa May deal, Boris can I guess claim some success in just getting a changed deal?

    I’m not sure it’s even a given that the EU Parliament will ratify it, tho?

    • Missy

       /  18th October 2019

      Agree, Labour need to get rid of him, but as long as Momentum have control of the party membership he is there to stay.

      Sounds Classic Boris. I am on my way home so will have a look for that when I get home.

      That is the simple view of the Irish border situation, but I think it is a bit more complicated as it puts NI in both UK and EU single markets, but it won’t be part of the Customs Union. So goods going to UK via NI and vice versa will be deemed to have crossed the border in the Irish Sea. I haven’t read all the detail yet so am not sure exactly how it will work.

      He will be claiming a victory, but apart from May and hardline Remain MPs most people never believed that the EU were that intransigent, and would negotiate and compromise if faced with No Deal. My bet is that despite the Benn Act, Boris’s insistence that the UK was leaving 31 October, and no deviation from that, was more convinced by than May’s insistence on leaving 29 March. I think Boris convinced the EU he would willingly leave with no deal, and that is what convinced them to compromise – and his threat to veto their budget!

      European Parliament don’t have to, the European Council are the ones that do. The EP has very little power, and both them and the Council pretty much rubber stamp what the Commission tells them to. So if the Council accept it tomorrow it will be up to UK Parliament to agree and then ratify via legislation.

      • Duker

         /  18th October 2019

        Juncker has said there will be no extension offered, so either UK parliament votes to agree or they leave with No deal.
        EU Council ( heads of State) has unanimously agreed to latest Deal
        There is now no way round leaving. But it would be foolish to predict what the vote will be on Saturday UK time.
        The public is likely to want it all to end this week as well.
        DUP cant hold up the deal as the main parties are split and the Conservatives are 35 short of a majority with a large group expelled. The DUP 10 votes are neither here nor there.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  19th October 2019

    Telegraph reporting Boris has 320 votes for his deal vs 312 opposed. It will all play out tonight.

    • Gezza

       /  19th October 2019

      Aljazeera tv showing Boris speaking live in the House of Commons now, I presume ahead of the vote…
      9.40 pm

      • Gezza

         /  19th October 2019

        He certainly has a better grasp of the relevant detail than you’d ever hear from Trump.

    • Missy

       /  19th October 2019

      That would be a higher margin than I would have thought if the numbers the Telegraph are predicting are right. I think a few have moved this morning, however, it will come down to Letwin’s Amendment.

      The amendment requires all legislation to be passed before they can say Brexit will happen, meaning that the PM will still have to ask for an extension from the EU if it passes under the terms of the Benn Act, this is to ensure the Government don’t pass the Agreement say they have fulfilled terms of the Benn Act and then somehow manage to get a No Deal Brexit because the legislation wasn’t passed.

      It is believed by some that the actual purpose of the amendment is to get an extension in order to have a referendum and hopefully overturn Brexit, though all signs from the EU are that an extension will not be granted, and nobody calling for an extension can say what they will do if the EU don’t agree to one and they don’t get the Withdrawal Agreement passed and all the legislation is done in time, as the UK will have to leave with no deal.

      The Government have said if the Letwin amendment passes there will be no vote on the Withdrawal Agreement today. Boris is calling their bluff. Labour, Lib Dems, some Tory rebels, and SNP are all expected to support it. The key (as with the Agreement) are in the Labour rebels and the DUP, who are expected to vote against it. Many are saying they expect the amendment to pass, however, I won’t be surprised if it fails by 1 or 2 votes.

      Anyway, back to the Rugby, I will catch up with this after the NZ/Ireland game, (much more important).

  3. Gezza

     /  22nd October 2019

    Aljazeera tv reports that the UK Parliament’s Speaker has refused Bojo’s request to hold a “yes” or “no” vote on his Brexit deal.

    John Bercow said a motion on the deal had been brought before MPs on Saturday, and it would be “repetitive and disorderly” to debate it again. Saturday’s sitting saw MPs vote to withhold approval of Boris Johnson’s deal until it has been passed into law.

    The government said it was disappointed, but would go ahead with introducing the necessary legislation. – BBC


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