Ed's Brexit round-up - Chequers special!
6th Jul 2018 / By Ed Barker
After a fairly standard week in politics, Thursday evening witnessed something of an explosion of activity from Number 10, rippling its way around all of Whitehall.
After having met with the German Chancellor, the Prime Minister suggested that the UK would be prepared to enter into full harmonisation on goods with the EU as part of a future relationship with the EU, most notably in food products. The details behind this are expected to be announced more formally in a Government White Paper on trade and customs today, or early next week.
However – it will not have been lost on many that the Prime Minister has assembled her Cabinet for an ‘away day’ at Chequers today in order to thrash out the plans, given the fact that many Brexiteer Ministers are not happy with the seemingly ‘soft’ direction of this Brexit. If the White paper is to follow the above guidelines, then it effectively means that there can be no independent trade deals or free trade agreements with the likes of the USA whilst also having a free and open border with the EU, including in Ireland (£1 in the jar). Part of the reason why Twitter went berserk last night is because these Brexiteer Ministers (Davis, Fox, Gove, Mordaunt and Johnson) had a private (but not really that private) meeting last night to take stock of the fact that the White paper would be going in this direction, and that the PM had shared it with the German Chancellor first. It appears that the PM has given assurances to them that we will still be able to commit to these free trade agreements after all – quite how is beyond me- but it seems to have placated them for now
Needless to say if all of the above is true, it is more likely we are at the ‘fudge’ end of my Brexitometer, as opposed to the ‘serious game plan’ end, but it will be worth seeing what gets agreed, or if we see full scale resignations across the board from Brexiteers. Remember, the UK parliament is far more ‘soft Brexit’ in its persuasion (from all parties) – so there will be decisions to be made from those advocating a more firm ‘leave’ approach.
I just pity them that they will be missing both Quarter final games today, sat inside all day. No doubt the local farmer is cutting barley too, hoping for a cacophony of thunder flies to help matters.