The number of Conservative MPs in favour of voting to realise a Clean Brexit on WTO terms (yes, I like those words too - many thanks) is reckoned on Twitter to be over 80, and by the Telegraph to be over 60. Someone has also leaked the Cabinet minutes to the Telegraph - with a number of Cabinet Ministers keen to confirm to the paper that though they haven't resigned, the minutes prove they objected to aspects of the Robbins Treaty.
The Spanish and French are also helping by blackmailing Brussels into enhancing their claims to Gibraltar and British fish respectively. Germany wants to ensure the UK continues to shoulder her defence and security costs, so they don't have to spend their own money. All help in making the Robbins Treaty even less attractive to MPs - for it's our MPs on whom we must now rely.
Make no mistake - this is an international treaty. Once we've agreed it, we're bound by it. Hence Mrs May's indecent haste is forcing it through before the nation realizes the trap to which she is committing us.
AEP has the best tunes this morning;
There is no doubt that the EU weaponised the Irish border to shoehorn the UK into the customs territory, but I strongly suspect that the Cabinet Office, the Treasury, and the Prime Minister were complicit. It enabled the switch from a constitutional Brexit that respected core demand of democratic self-rule to a supply-chain Brexit that serves chiefly the interests of CBI multinationals, the foreign car industry, and EU-linked parts of the traded goods sector. It is not even a workable customs union.
Theresa May told MPs today that they "risk no Brexit at all" if they reject her deal. That is a risk that I am willing to take, for nothing can be worse than foreign legal writ in perpetuity, with no veto. Obviously it would be better to remain in the EU. My preference at this juncture is a no-deal on WTO terms, mindful that Mrs May’s failure to prepare has made this very hard. Global Britain’s report this week is right to argue that the costs of trading on this basis (until free trade deals are negotiated) have been systematically exaggerated by the Treasury and commercial interests talking their own book.
Needless to say, Parliament has set its face against any such action. It will impose a deal that ends its own legislative supremacy. My working assumption is that a bloc of Labour MPs will support Theresa May’s package and push it over the top in December. Britain will then be a legal prisoner until the EU sees fit to release us.AEP is not necessarily right on this last point. With the DUP and 60 - 80 Conservative MPs voting against the deal, it will be up to Labour whether it get through the Commons or not. Corbyn (rightly) hates the EU. Will he now lead sufficient of his MPs in voting against May's poisonous deal, a deal that would prevent Labour from its manifesto State Aid commitments for decades to come?