I am a happier man today. The Commons defeat of the Grieve and Cooper amendments yesterday was a slap for the Remainers, and the Brady amendment now passes the negotiating advantage to Britain. Our parliamentary system must be both confusing and frustrating to the unelected officials in Brussels, for whom the decisions of their own puppet parliament are always agreed well in advance of MEPs voting, and there are no surprises in the chamber.
In past weeks Brussels have shrugged their shoulders and pretended to ask 'what the UK wanted'. Well, yesterday made it clear; NO backstop, but otherwise we'll take the deal. It's a clear message both to Brussels and the world; either withdraw this nasty and unnecessary little attempt to fracture the United Kingdom, or put tens of thousands of German auto workers out of work.
Although Brussels may appear united, this far from the case. The artificial backstop bears all the hallmarks of Selmayr, making an attempt to punish the UK. However, it will be the nations of Europe, not the unelected officials of the Berlaymont, who will actually pay the price for no deal - and now we'll see whether they're prepared to take the hit to satisfy little Martin's infantile spite.
It puts Brussels on the back foot, and the UK in the position of being the responsible mature democracy seeking a negotiated solution. A flat refusal from Brussels will not be a good look for the EU.