A compromise Brexit plan has emerged overnight in Westminster with the backing of heavyweight Tory Brexiters and remainers, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nicky Morgan. Two factions have thrown their weight behind the unexpected new compromise plan, backed by several ministers, which would involve a redrafting of the backstop and an extension of the transition period until 2021.
The plan is based on a protocol drafted by the former Brexit minister Steve Baker but the initiative has been called the “Malthouse compromise”, after the housing minister Kit Malthouse, who entreated the two warring factions to attempt talks. In a WhatsApp message to Conservative MPs, Morgan said the plan “provides for exit from the EU on time with a new backstop, which would be acceptable indefinitely, but which incentivises us all to reach a new future relationship. It ensures there is no need for a hard border with Ireland.”
In basic terms, the prime minister would renegotiate the backstop element of her Brexit deal to replace it with a free trade agreement with as-yet-unknown technology to avoid customs checks on the Irish border. It would also involve extending the transition period for an extra year until December 2021 to allow more time to agree a new trading relationship.
MPs have been meeting in secret over the past few days to try to agree a plan both sides could support. Other ministers involved in discussing the plan include the health secretary, Stephen Hammond, and the solicitor general, Robert Buckland.
There was an enthusiastic reception to the plan on the Tory MP WhatsApp group on Monday night after the plan leaked. Boris Johnson called it a “breakthrough”, and the health minister Steve Brine messaged the group saying: “Promising. Let’s just do this and move on.” Minister Thérèse Coffey also sent some enthusiastic emojis.
Malthouse Compromise Tweets
The EU is says the technology doesn't work. But what happens if the UK finally comes back with its own take it of leave it demand?
The EU, not the UK will bear the brunt of forcing the UK into a "Hard Brexit"
I back this plan.
Stupidity backfires sooner or later, and I suspect in this case, immediately.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock