585 Page Brexit Doc Released, May's Cabinet Approves, Parliament Doubtful

Theresa May survived one challenge today, but it was the easiest one. Now she has to sell the deal to parliament.

The Wall Street Journal reports U.K.’s May Gets Cabinet’s Go-Ahead on Brexit Deal.

> Following a five-hour meeting, Mrs. May’s ministers gave the green light to a plan that would keep the U.K. bound to the EU for many years after the country formally leaves the bloc in March. The prime minister appeared to avoid an immediate revolt by her own ministers, some of whom have openly criticized her Brexit plan.

> However, far tougher battles lie ahead for Mrs. May, as time runs perilously close to the March 29 date of the U.K.’s exit from the bloc. She still must secure approval of the deal in the British Parliament, where she faces open hostility over the plan from both the opposition Labour Party and members of her own Conservative Party.

585 Pages of Legal Gibberish

The WSJ commented the deal "hasn’t been released to the public" but here's the Draft Brexit Proposal.

Deal Denounced

Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP, said her party couldn’t ”support a deal that could break up the United Kingdom.” Meanwhile a clutch of euroskeptic Conservatives also denounced the proposal for keeping the U.K. tied closely to the EU, with Tory lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg branding it “a failure to deliver on Brexit.”

Nigel Farage

51 Tories Won't Back Deal

Brexit Central reports the StandUp4Brexit campaign has the backing of 51 Conservative MPs confident that Theresa May’s deal with the EU will not be implemented.

Deal Math

Theresa May needs the backing of 320 MPs. She has 318 MPs.

Thus, the Tories do not even have a majority. May survives only because of 10 DUP votes.

Assuming there are 51 Brexit supporters who will not back the deal and 10 DUP MPs who will do the same. May will need support of 61 Labour Party MPs.

Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn is against the deal because it's the best way to force a new UK election.

Former Labour MP, Austin Mitchell, Great Grimsby 1977-2015 penned an excellent article We must not pay the EU’s ransom unless and until all outstanding issues are satisfactorily settled.

Now What?

Eurointelligence has some interesting comments on "Now What?"

The 500-page draft agreement must have been one of the first documents in the entire history of the EU that was not immediately leaked to the press.

What we do know is that the negotiators reverted to the old smokes-and-mirrors trick of hiding some of the more controversial bits in obscure language, annexes and protocols. What we know as well is that this is a version of an all-UK backstop.

We remain reluctant to assign numerical probabilities to outcomes, but make the following observations. The chances of parliament approving a deal are not zero. We would not rule out that the EU’s own position will leave at least some of the Remainers conflicted, as well as Tory eurosceptics whose political careers would be jeopardised by early elections. The voting behaviour of MPs could thus very well depend on the opinion polls nearer the time of a vote.

Voting Twice

Our second observation is that the UK parliament might vote twice on the deal - a rejection at first, followed by anelection*, followed by a renewed vote*.

Corbyn's Scheme

The withdrawal agreement itself is not in conflict with Labour’s version of a Brexit, as it would leave open the possibility of a permanent customs union. We doubt strongly that Corbyn would want to call a referendum if he were to become prime minister. He would be in the enviable position to blame the mess on the Tories, cut a deal with the EU, and then move on.

Hard to Assess the Odds

Many Tories would be happy to dump May, but not for socialist, Venezuela-lover Corbyn.

The man is a certified socialist nutcase. Consider this 2015 article British MP Jeremy Corbyn Speaks out for Venezuela.

When we celebrate, and it is a cause for celebration, the achievements of Venezuela, in jobs, in housing, in health, in education, but above all its role in the whole world as a completely different place, then we do that because we recognise what they have achieved.

The Choice

Right now it's difficult to assess the odds. Many of those 51 dedicated Brexit MPs might change their minds if it appears they may be voted out of office.

If support for Labour drops, perhaps they take they chances. Perhaps they vote their conscious on Brexit and let the chips fall wherever.

What's Hidden?

Meanwhile, no one has any idea yet what tricks or traps the EU laid in that document.

The more stuff that's found, the less likely May survives.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (5)
No. 1-4
Kinuachdrach
Kinuachdrach

Really, who cares anymore? As some have observed, the EU is likely to fall apart long before the UK separation process is complete.

The intriguing aspect is that, with respect to its major trading partners, the UK will be going from zero tariff Heaven within the EU to active tariff Hell once outside the EU. Some people would tell us that is a move in the wrong direction.

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock

Editor

"Really, who cares anymore?"

Everyone in UK and EU - Especially German exporters.

JL1
JL1

There was NO vote in the cabinet about this. One minister wanted there to be a recorded vote in the cabinet but May refused.

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock

Editor

"There was NO vote in the cabinet about this. One minister wanted there to be a recorded vote in the cabinet but May refused."

Interesting observation - None of them wanted to admit they are holding their noses