And we all know what that means
as Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said the prospects of a deal looked “more positive than they did last week”.
He continued “What’s happening is the Government made some proposals to the European Union and these are being considered and negotiations seem to be taking a serious turn and that’s encouraging. I think it’s always difficult to put specific odds on things, but it certainly looks a lot more positive this week than it did last week. We’ll have to wait and see what the precise details are, naturally in the middle of a negotiation these matters are extremely sensitive as everyone is compromising to some degree and therefore to give negotiations the best chance of succeeding, it’s best to be discreet about them”.
Pushed on whether the PM’s latest Brexit proposals could be similar to the May plan which he previously called “completely cretinous”, he said “We’ll have to find out in a day or two whether I’ll have to eat my words or not – time will tell. There’s a line from Churchill saying that he often had to eat his words and he found it to be a very nourishing diet, and that is something that happens in politics. But it is ultimately a question of trust about the direction of where we are going. I trust Boris Johnson to ensure the relationship the United Kingdom has with the European Union is one where we are not a vassal state”.
And he emphasised that he does not believe the Prime Minister would do anything to undermine the integrity of the UK “The Prime Minister is Minister of the Union and is deeply and personally committed to ensuring the union is robust and prosperous. And I don’t believe the Prime Minister would do anything that undermined the integrity of the UK.
We’ve got to see how the DUP respond to things when we know them as fact, not just speculation. The Prime Minister has made it clear that the United Kingdom will remain a single customs territory and that Northern Ireland will remain within a UK customs union. He’s been explicit about that”.
Rees-Mogg has claimed the Government could use European law to secure a no-deal Brexit if there is no agreement with Brussels. Signalling a potential way around the Benn Act, he said that “it takes two to tango and any extension has to be agreed by the council”. As Lord Owen
has said “On 19th October, on instructions from the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 2) Act 2019, more commonly referred to as the ‘Benn’ Act passed into law on the 9th September, the Prime Minister will be forced to write to the EU asking for an extension under the terms of Article 50. But issuing that letter cannot preclude the executive taking other legal actions to protect UK national interests. A rather neglected part of the full Supreme Court judgment on prorogation in paragraph 55 says remember “always that the actual task of governing is for the executive and not for parliament or the courts”. Extension is a device to delay again a decision. It probably does stop a so-called ‘no deal’ under Article 50 but it need not stop the UK leaving on 31st October”.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister issued the following statement “The Prime Minister updated Cabinet on the current progress being made in ongoing Brexit negotiations, reiterating that a pathway to a deal could be seen but that there is still a significant amount of work to get there and we must remain prepared to leave on October 31st. The Prime Minister said there was a way forward for a deal that could secure all our interests, respect the Good Friday Agreement, get rid of the backstop and get Brexit done by October 31st so we can push on with domestic agenda, investing in our NHS, tackling violent crime, and dealing with the cost of living”.
Perhaps Frau Merkel in Paris to meet Macron knows a thing or two? “With the departure of Great Britain, a potential competitor will of course emerge for us. That is to say, in addition to China and the United States of America, there will be Great Britain as well”…Great Britain? She did not say we are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland…perhaps she meant “until further notice!”.