Stopping Brexit is becoming a desperate game. It’s produced a manic inventiveness which is turning out more constitutional crap than thirty years of Liberal Party conferences.

Only the EU can impose “No Deal” by refusing to admit that Theresa May’s deal is as dead as May, so a new government means a new negotiation. Logically therefore Remainers should cart their flags and whinges off to Brussels. They don’t, because their aim is to weaken Britain’s negotiating position, even though that’s the quickest way get the no-deal they deplore.

Which is why they’re trundling every past Prime Minister out of the museum to denounce Brexit as a disaster greater than any they created. It’s also why they’ve begun a desperate search for devices to lock Boris Johnson into a constitutional straightjacket. When they were in power they didn’t mind that Britain has no constitution because it left them free to do what they wanted. Now that Johnson is boss, they’re inventing a constitution to stop him doing what the people want.

This drags the Queen into politics by asking her to use a power she hasn’t got to eject her no-deal government and install an unelected government of National Unity though they can’t say who’ll run it. Can’t be the leader of the opposition. He’s not reliable. How about Margaret Beckett, a reformed ex Brexiteer? Or young Jo Swinson. She wants to be Prime Minister and won’t need parking for her caravan in Downing St, or much accomodation for her MPs.

They call on Parliament to do a job it hasn’t got, by governing instead of the Government. They think Speaker John Bercow will be Euro-daft enough to get Parliament to delay D Day or reverse the vote to implement Article 50. Or both. The Commons can’t do that but our DIY constitutionalists work by Brussels rules not British. So it can.

Then a confidence vote to stop Johnson, though if it’s passed, the Queen would have to ask Jeremy Corbyn. They don’t want that so there would have to be an election. Labour doesn’t really want that because in its present state it would lose. So it’s now calling for a people’s vote, though it can’t say when. Or what on.

To get out of that, Labour’s now written to the Cabinet Secretary to ask him to tell Johnson not to be naughty. When that doesn’t work (as it won’t) Corbyn will be forced to call a vote, which he’ll lose for the same reason that prevents any Government of National Disunity.

Uniting Remainers is as impossible as getting Donald Trump to shut up. The daring Change Party fell apart in weeks. Ms Lucas’s Ladies Against Leaving Cabinet will never untwist its knickers. So bringing senior politicians together cross party would be like packing pit bulls in a sack. The SNP and Labour are deadly enemies in Scotland and (pace John McDonnell) any attempt to conciliate the SNP weakens Scottish Labour, ruling out any possibility of a Labour national majority. So in a vote the few sensible Labour MPs will abstain. Most will hold their noses and vote. The Tories will pull together, desperate to retain power, which is the point at issue in a confidence vote.

McDonnell will then have to cancel the taxi to take Corbyn to the Palace and Johnson will be free to call an election when and if he wants one. He can even win that. Electors tend to prefer a party with clear policies and an impetus. Only Johnson has both.

That’s why people who’ve denounced austerity for years now claim that turning on the money spiggots as Johnson has done is dangerous lunacy, might help him win where people should be kept miserable so they’ll blame it on Brexit. Everything Johnson has done or proposed, however useful, must be rubbished and Dominic Cummings denounced as a malevolent Machiavelli controlling Johnson’s brain.

All this is played out just when Johnson and the EU are locked in a high stakes game of bluff. So in undermining Johnson to ensure that Britain fails, Remainers weaken Britain and help the EU they’re so keen on, (Let’s Make Europe Great Again) to inflict as much damage as it can on Britain. Not exactly a popular approach in a nation that voted to come out.

They’re doing it because they’re desperate and that makes them anxious to rewrite a constitution we haven’t got. It’s so crazy that I’m writing a new guide “Creating a Constitution to keep the British People in their Box” – should have an enormous sale in Brussels. Perhaps I’ll even beat Dominic Grieve for the Juncker prize: a model of the Brussels boy pissing on the people.

The post Welcome to constitutional wonderland appeared first on BrexitCentral.

According to the latest Hammer House of Horror narrative, Brexit will now apportion doom to schools. Earlier in the month The Observer front page ran with a leaked Whitehall document that warned that educational establishments might run out of food. The reader is left half-pondering a scene involving extras from Lord of the Flies wrestling over a bucket of proscribed turkey twizzlers.

What the article glosses over, however, is that on the slide it shows from the report, all of the issues are either categorised as running from “amber” to “green”, meaning that they are all resolvable within the timeframe or are already addressed.

Once again, serious journalists are caught playing misplaced sensationalism with a document that has been leaked to them in pursuit of a malicious political agenda. The warning signs are clear to anyone who has read the Brexit No Deal preparatory reports; many of those documents state that the primary concern about delivering a smooth Brexit is about avoiding panic – a case of nothing to fear but fear itself.

Indeed, The Observer’s article itself highlighted this: the reason why the document carries a (low) classification marking is implied as being because “communications in this area could spark undue alarm or panic food buying among the general public”. Yet here we are with the newspaper acting as the very agent of alarm. It is hard to think of a more irresponsible act: its only defence might be is that it is encouraging people to panic now rather than choosing to leak the document later.

Or perhaps, more gravely, that as a society in an age of asymmetric and cyber-borne threats, we ought to be seriously reviewing the potential vulnerability of our supply chains to disruption. Brexit planning paradoxically may well be doing us favours here. But that’s not what the journalists spent a moment considering.

It is frankly about time that, after years now of the poison of Project Fear being dripped into the public consciousness, journalists get a grip of what contingency planning documents are for, what they contain, and what they mean. They are designed to stress test the most likely course of events, and contemplate the most dangerous set of circumstances. Simply listing the prospects, however remote, of a set of events happening does not mean that they will happen, especially not all of them at the same time – any more than the (real) existence of a contingency plan in the MoD in the 1960s to respond to alien invasion should prompt us into our cellars today. Indeed, it is the absence of any such thinking or wargaming that would be a concern.

Brexit contingency work consists of a range of categories of preparation. I spent over three months (outside of Government, alas) running an EU Reverse-Accession audit that, in effect, captured over 200 pages of them. We might break them down into the following categories;

  1. Personnel: areas such as staff training, numbers, security clearance, contracts and conditions
  2. Deployment: making sure that people are in the right place (sorting out leave, surge postings, temporary accommodation); that assets are in the right place (like vehicles, or fisheries vessels); and that locations are prepped (extra toilets, catering facilities, parking space, perimeter fencing)
  3. Cross-departmental support: for example clarifying the operational chain of command; agreed mission statements; the loan of experts (say, MoD veterinarians, or RMP for route management); or lent comms
  4. Cross-departmental planning: so lead departments are clear about what issues are facing other affected departments (for example again looking at the MoD; Fallen Livestock legislation grievances arising from leaseholders on MoD estates, the extra costs arising from POL rules on oil spillage, or over horse transport regulations), avoiding incoherent policy responses that carry extra new burdens or are incompatible
  5. IT: the physical assets, and running the hard systems (ensuring power supplies to portacabins say, or internet access); checking the broader compatibility of software between key users; ensuring staff familiarity with them; and formally requesting or signing off on access to EU- and UK-held data sets
  6. Jurisdictional cooperation: for example over air traffic control; the Channel Tunnel; and the Dover Strait
  7. Transitional deterrence: including fisheries waters; illegal migration; and smuggled goods
  8. Assurance: including kitemarks; safety; and phytosanitary
  9. Legal: ensuring the continuity of the legal system; the continuity of contracts; clarity over liability and insurance cover; practical enforcement (for example checking boarding and holding rules for Fisheries vessels, or guidance to judges)
  10. Permits and licensing: certifying the current certifiers; and certifying the certificates, whether state-sanctioned or undertaken by chartered or simply recognised institutions – an example here being the Commission having accepted aviation safety certificates
  11. Subsidy and support: financial assistance; state purchaser preference; or accelerated lifting of regulatory burdens the industry has previously complained about, especially where originally considered “out of scope” owing to EU membership
  12. Strategic ambition: starting the wider process of auditing EU red tape and Whitehall gold plating and removing it – best done earlier rather than later to avoid retrenchment.

That’s a lot of things to be covered (especially if you start to think in micromanagement terms). That’s hardly surprising, considering how massively the EU intrudes into our lives, and continues to seep every week. But I’d be far more worried if we had to do it in a real hurry, say in the middle of a massive Eurozone crisis.

This list is a quick one and one might add more. The point, however, is that Whitehall has been involved in a considerable amount of work over the past years assessing how, across the vast circuitry of governance and the wider threads of society, advanced analysis and targeted preparation can avoid or at least mitigate risk and effect.

The worst-case scenario, the ultimate Project Fear nightmare with all those Moher seascapes, has long passed with the EU already declaring it will avoid “cliff edge” issues like by allowing UK lorries to drive onto the continent, and it has not signalled it will enter into a trade war, blockade Britain, or ban the export of medicines and hospital radiological material. Meanwhile, when you dig into them, many of the issues on the UK side can be managed unilaterally by changing process and procedure.

That certainly does not mean that there will be no problems, costs or difficulties; but it does mean that commentators should be more professional about how they report them, and apply due perspective. Otherwise, by fuelling political hysteria and with it encouraging “undue alarm or panic buying”, they will be revelling in the chaos of a masochistic Nerobefehl for which they themselves will be largely responsible.

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The next few weeks will see an outpouring of advice for Boris Johnson. All the commentators who’ve spent the last few weeks denouncing him as a walking disaster, womaniser and serial liar will rush to tell him to redeem himself by doing what they want.

Which makes me, as someone impartially opposed to his politics, who found him good fun and a chance for a new start in our deadlocked nation, feel justified in offering my more friendly advice. Britain’s only human politician who finds himself in a deep hole deserves it.

A new Prime Minister will have a short honeymoon before the carping commentariat get back to grinding their axes. Anyone is better than Theresa, and it will be nice to have a human in charge instead of a badly-programmed robot. The Conservative Party will rally round with its usual mixture of loyalty and and grovelling servility. The electorate will like a new start out of a deadlock which frustrates them.

So use that happy period – the only one you’ll get now that misery has become the national mood – to make a real new start and rally the people. They’re fed up with bickering deadlock and the long rearguard action of the recalcitrant Remainers. They can’t see why nothing has been done about their vote to Leave.

A new Prime Minister and a new Government can’t be doomed to pushing Theresa’s deal for a fourth time. It’s dead, deceased, and inoperable. So it’s right to demand a new negotiation from the EU which they’ll probably refuse, saying Theresa’s is as far as they’ll go. That puts them on the wrong foot.

React by doing the old Macmillan trick: announce the end of austerity, more borrowing and turn the spigots on to boost the economy. Then call an early election. That makes it shit or bust, but the lesson of Gordon Brown is that it’s better than struggling on with no majority and no mandate. A government with a majority of two can’t carry on. You have no alternative.

The Remainers are wrong footed and (for the moment at least) Labour is in a mess which can’t be cleared up quickly. A leader determined on Brexit can undercut Farage’s party, while the Lib Dems are still tainted by the Coalition and their support for the euro. The excitement would delay the onslaught of carping which builds as the honeymoon ends.

Denounce the intransigence of the EU. Show that “No Deal” would be its fault, ask for the nation’s backing for a fair deal, wave the patriotic banner, bash Corbyn and Boris can win. Then go back to the EU with new proposals which should include a promise never to impose a customs border in Northern Ireland, leaving them free to incur the odium if they want to.

Add in a dollop of criticism of the damage agricultural protectionism does to developing countries, a promise of full rights to EU migrants who can support themselves and whatever covert trade deals we’ve been able to arrange against EU rules. Don’t threaten overtly not to pay Theresa’s ransom money – that will only unite them; just keep it covert, indicating that we’ve got to be prosperous to pay up.

That’s a high-risk strategy. But Boris is a risk-taker and what’s the alternative? Only humiliating rejection by a stultifying EU, a long, whimpering failure as the country slumps back into bickering decline and a fun Prime Minister turns pathetic.
Photocredit: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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The clamour against “No Deal” is Remain’s fig leaf. Nothing to do with reality, it’s based on the assumption that an EU, which Remainers love so much and paint as the only force for good in a darkening world, will crucify Britain, try to wreck our economy, try to dictate who our government should be and then blame it on us as a justified punishment for being so naughty as to to want to leave it.

Blair and Brown have joined together for the first time since Granita to warn against it; Tory soon-to-be-ex ministers lament it; Labour, in their role as the New Liberals, denounce it; The Guardian turns its Remainer propaganda loose on it; and Lib Dems quake more at the prospect than they do at global warming, sexism or the fight for PR. Yet it’s permissible to wonder why, since if No Deal happens it won’t be us, but the EU which will produce it, none of this rage is directed at them.

Rampant Remainers aim to tie government’s hand against it. Imagine the effect of that. Everyone entering a negotiation needs that threat in their pack. Without it, we go naked into the conference chamber. Because its 27 members all want something different, the EU can only agree on “no”. Remove the No Deal threat and there’s no incentive for that wobbly, would-be empire, to say anything different. They can just sit there chanting “nein, nein, nein” like a speaking clock stuck at nine o’clock.

Yet if an unacceptable deal which we can’t get through Parliament is all that’s on offer, it means deadlock and “no deal”. The EU would then be insisting that we change our constitutional procedures, get a new government and deny the will of the people, then put all that to another referendum to require the people to change their minds. That’s EU democracy.

To persuade us to enjoy that humiliation the “anti-No Dealers” have launched their third campaign of fear. The first, claiming there’d be huge damage if we voted for Brexit, failed to appear. The second, that leaving would be a disaster, failed to persuade, perhaps because we grew faster and had less unemployment than most of the EU. So now they’ve narrowed the terror down to “No Deal”, though I don’t think that means that any other kind of deal is now acceptable.

Yet even this new No Deal phobia isn’t credible. Many of the assumptions on which the claims by the Bank of England and the Treasury are made just aren’t true. Other problems are exaggerated. The assumption is that a malevolent EU will set out to damage us – an odd view from those who love it, and unlikely. There’ll be some disruption but fish gotta swim, planes gotta fly and I gotta get my pills or I die. It’s hardly logical to bash their nearest neighbour and trading partner while doing dirty deals with Russia. The harsher they are to us, the more they damage themselves – and particularly Ireland, just as a European recession looks likely.

It’s true that the pound will fall but that will boost exports and tax imports. We should boost that right now by state aid to industry to seize its opportunity and backing for import substitution. Provide both and any damage from leaving can be countered by a spending boost to end austerity (itself the cause of our weakness), boost the economy, stimulate demand and lower the excessive costs imposed on manufacturing by council tax, water, power and port charges.

In the unlikely event that the EU does try to cripple us, they will be damaging themselves, beginning a Trumpian trade war to defend their protectionist bloc, and holding back trade and developing nations by agricultural protectionism. All that not only goes against the spirit of the age, but adds both to the problems of recession the world is already facing, and to the economic damage imposed by the euro on its own weaker members. 

That doesn’t sound like the fairytale paradise Remainers claim the EU to be. But then I like Europe too much to believe they’ll be that nasty. It’s the Remainers who really want to punish us for voting Brexit. We’ve rejected the views of our establishment and our elite. That’s naughty.

The post If we leave the EU without a deal, it will be the EU’s fault and they will be damaging themselves appeared first on BrexitCentral.

In advance of the arrival of a new leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, we are again seeing the cranking up of the Project Fear machine and the buckets of cold water being dumped on any one or any plan that might dare suggest that we might actually succeed in leaving the EU.

The recent announcement of investment by Jaguar and BMW in electric cars was coupled with dire warnings by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Every day on the Today programme there is another body or person decrying the idea that we might survive a so-called no-deal Brexit. Yesterday we had the privilege of two with both Carolyn Fairbairn of the CBI and our ex-Prime Minister Mr Blair.

We have also had the reheated Project Fear dodgy dossier from the Treasury being given its monthly outing with the Chancellor claiming that a so-called ‘No Deal’ will cost the economy £80 billion. To back him up, the OBR tells us that, in the same event, borrowing will increase by £30 billion. We have of course heard it all before to such an extent that it is becoming a rather cracked record that, based on past form, can be taken with a pretty large pinch of salt.

However, what intrigues me is the motivation of these siren voices and why they put so much effort into trying to deny or subvert the result of the referendum rather than working towards a future outside the EU. Why are they so keen to stay in the EU, which with every passing day can be seen to be ever more of a rotten institution, an undemocratic, unaccountable empire in all but name?

What really motivates the likes of Blair, Brown, Major, Hammond, Gauke and Stewart as they give lip service to the result of the referendum whilst doing everything in their power to frustrate it? Why? What is so wonderful about the EU that they think we should give up our Common Law, our democratic rights, our independence and, above all, our sovereignty? Being charitable, perhaps they are fearful of the unknown and how little Britain can possibly cope without being tied to the EU’s Aunt Ursula. If this really is the case, one wonders how much smaller countries which value their independence, such as Canada, New Zealand and Israel, possibly manage to pursue successful paths in the world.

What many of these same characters cite is the problems that traders such as myself, exporting to every EU country out of more than 120 around the world, are going to have if we leave – and especially if we leave under a so-called No Deal. Yes, the dynamics of trade will adjust to the new circumstances, but the dynamics of international trade have changed enormously since joining the Common Market and continue to change almost daily. We deliver to our customers in our largest market, the United States, on a next-day basis, customs-cleared. To my mind, that is frictionless trade and that is without any sort of Free Trade Agreement. This would have been unthinkable forty-plus years ago, but is made possible by a combination of technology, simplified procedures and organisation.

The trade bodies like the CBI and SMMT spend much time issuing reports, analysis and manifestos all telling us what a disaster Brexit will be for British industry and in particular their sector. Aside from the fact that I can never understand why the CBI, with barely 2,000 members, is given such credibility, why does it not use its efforts to prepare its members to take advantage of the opportunities after Brexit rather than attempting to usurp the result of the 2016 referendum and overinflate any benefits of Remaining?

As to the SMMT, it is an interesting body as it is representing both manufacturers and traders, those making cars in the UK as well as those importing cars into the UK. A change in trading patterns and the advent of tariffs could be very beneficial to those making cars in the UK, enabling them to increase home market share to the cost of those other members who import from the EU.

There is also a convenient conflating of the proposed closure of Honda’s factory in Swindon with Brexit, however the only other factory they have within the EU Customs Union is also being closed, which would seem strange if the decision was Brexit-related. The other points the SMMT fail to ever mention is that we operate a massive trade deficit in cars with the EU and that whilst exports of cars to the rest of the world have increased massively in the last couple of decades, exports to the EU have been virtually stagnant.

The SMMT as an organisation is trying to ride two horses, representing two frequently opposing market areas and in order not to be caught out seeks to attempt to maintain the status quo by pouring cold water on any suggested alternative.

The OBR and Treasury wrap their Remainerism up in the large bill that they say it will cost us to leave and especially in the event of a so-called No Deal. I believe that these costs are considerably higher than they will be in reality, a conclusion I come to because neither organisation seems able to find any upside from leaving the EU and being able to tailor our trade policy to our own requirements. The Treasury forecast does not even appear to take into account the saving to the Exchequer of no longer contributing to the EU.

There will be costs of adjustment, but these will not be unmanageable and they will be non-recurring. On the other hand, potentially we could face massive costs the longer we remain in the EU due to our potential liabilities to the Eurozone in the event of, for example, an Italian default. There are potential future costs whatever we do and we will not know what they are until we have to spend them – but we can through planning minimise the costs of leaving in a way we can never minimise the potential and largely ignored costs of Remaining.

If on a journey you take a wrong turning, are you going to stay on the wrong road to its end rather than get back on to the right road simply because the cost of the fuel required to do so is going to be expensive? Of course not!

The post Project Fear’s incredible No Deal warnings are becoming like a cracked record appeared first on BrexitCentral.

As we have been reflecting over the last few days on the success of the US mission 50 years ago to put man on the moon, it is worth reflecting on John F Kennedy’s role in that, and the role of leadership in bringing change.

JFK was far from a saint, but his ambition and inspiration set the scene for great task-focused independent decision-making and investment and innovation that made the moon landings possible and led to many consumer spin-offs that have underwritten the US economy for the last 40 years.

Without his incantation “We choose to go to the moon, not because it is easy but because it is hard”, and commitment of government effort, Silicon Valley may well not have had the impetus and imprimatur for the ecosystem that encouraged so many different personalities and sources of capital and ideas to pull together to achieve the goal.

Although the world of trade, customs and regulation sounds more prosaic, the effect on UK prospects of doing these things well after we leave the EU, with authority and holistic purpose, could be equally dramatic. To paraphrase JFK, we choose to leave the EU, not because it is easy, or hard, but because our choosing matters.

Boris Johnson’s ability to reach millions of people makes him the man for our moment. Like JFK, he asks us to take responsibility for what happens, and deliver on the nation’s choice. Give each citizen agency, however big or small, inspire greatness in each individual, and the public good will be elevated.

Boris can unite the country with his optimism, can level with people and inspire them. He can reassure with action but also with words. PM Boris and his Cabinet communicating a positive vision that people respond to would be more than a breath of fresh air. They are the wind needed for our sails.

We need relentless optimism in our presentation of the benefits of a positive working relationship to the EU. Yes we would like to agree various things to make interaction work well when we leave, and we stand ready for such mutually beneficial agreements. The draft Withdrawal Agreement won’t pass though, as it rides roughshod over the independence our people directed, so we may need to come formally to those agreements after we leave.

We want the EU’s wonderful produce. We want to drive their cars. We want to contribute our creativity and commitment to Europe’s defence and its culture. We’d like our people to feel they want these things more, not less.

They should however complement, not constrain, our global and domestic focus that was the cri de coeur of the referendum. If the EU’s wish is to obstruct those things, then we will have to make other arrangements.

It does take two to tango, and the EU and UK need to trust each other. Clarity on what we want and what we will do are the first steps. After all, it is we who have made the move.

So we should accept the offer Donald Tusk made of free trade. We should agree to facilitate trade and cooperation on the island of Ireland without a hard border through the “alternative arrangements” we are working up that look to involve the Good Friday Agreement institutions. We should guarantee citizens’ rights, and talk about an appropriate financial settlement.

If we keep EU-level agreements autonomous and away from Investor State dispute mechanisms and investment provisions, they can be concluded rapidly without need for ratification by each EU Member State.

In any event, we should reciprocate the EU’s unilateral “no deal” contingency measures, which are actually types of deal that already cover for example air services, haulage permits and product acceptances to keep things moving in any scenario.

In the mean time, we should plan trade policy to move rapidly to improve trade conditions with the rest of the world after October 31st. We should prioritise benchmark comprehensive free trade agreements with Australia and Japan, and continued work towards free trade agreements with the US and key states that cover services, procurement and intellectual property intensive industries. Trade partners can make mostly low-tariff access to the UK, offered temporarily to all after October 31st, permanent and better by signing UK free trade agreements.

If Boris is chosen to lead, his Government must move at pace and in scale though, to change the game with respect to things in its power.

It must get behind our farmers with marketing support and tax breaks for local production and environmental stewardship, especially where EU market access or other pressures may be difficult.

It must get the Treasury to review and make forecasts using actual cost figures not unrealistic negative assumptions, and actively mitigate, defray cost of, and communicate business needs for new processes.

It must help EU traders navigate the need for new regulatory declarations and registrations and any related checks, and support business organisations in their efforts to do so.

It must support logistics providers, not just customs brokers and big companies, to facilitate trade by consolidating shipments, driving out costs and taking advantage of simplified procedures. Arrangements for pre-clearance and Transit in premises and logistics hubs and stops must be made, and communicated on the ground with traders and shippers so they will use them ahead of arrival at the Channel ports, to have smooth passage through them and beyond.

It must rapidly invest in people and systems for Border Force and HMRC, in their interfaces with counterpart agencies in the EU and elsewhere, and their resource needs. It must make sure procedural simplifications and mitigations work in the real world of logistics. Ease of use of new processes to manage the differences between jurisdictions should be the primary goal.

It should reduce VAT and excise rates to lowest neighbouring levels to reduce incentives for non-compliance.

The new Government should shock and awe with improvements to business conditions in the UK more generally.

It should introduce lower, flatter, simpler taxes, and proper incentives for hard work. It should raise NIC thresholds that discourage people from earning more. The safety net should be provided not just through general taxation and national insurance, which has become just another tax spent in-year, but also through progressive actual insurance of pooled risk, for example to fund social care.

It should incentivise saving and investment in UK operations that generate local jobs, skills and technologies – incentives similarly applied whether people are employed, self-employed or in corporate or partnership structures. It should make the UK the place of choice for people to keep and invest their capital, by transforming and broadening the capital and investment allowances system and treatment of onshore funds and their owners.

It should stand by sectors and communities which are in transition to different processes and opportunities, and back them with local infrastructure, skills development and incentives.

A relentless “can do” attitude and focus on the goal of making a success of independence, is how we will do this and deliver on people’s ambition.

Our country can do much to make this work – it must – and Boris is the one to lead it.

In return we should ask, as JFK did, what each of us can do for our country, to make it happen.

The post John F Kennedy should inspire a Boris Johnson Government wanting to make a success of British independence appeared first on BrexitCentral.

After last week’s Tory leadership hustings in London, a kipper-wielding Boris Johnson cemented his position as the favourite to succeed Theresa May. He now appears unassailable as the candidate to become our next Prime Minister and his task remains simple – deliver Brexit. Fail, and he will never be forgiven.

Brexiteers will have welcomed the news in the closing stages of the contest that Jeremy Hunt has joined Boris Johnson in declaring the Irish backstop as dead, ruling that even time limits and exit mechanisms would not save it. If a Withdrawal Agreement were to pass Parliament, it is now clear that it must not contain a backstop of any kind. Instead the focus has shifted to so-called ‘Alternative Arrangements’ – something the EU has tried to dismiss out of hand, showing their unwillingness to actually negotiate on an agreement which has not actually been signed off or closed. Both the European Parliament and the British Parliament are yet to pass any form of the Withdrawal Agreement.

While Johnson has managed to bring Hunt in line with his position on the backstop, he is the only candidate to unequivocally pledge to leave the EU on October 31st, come what may. Firstly, he has pledged to attempt to negotiate for a new deal, whilst simultaneously preparing for a No Deal WTO exit. This preparation is of vital importance, because it makes the entire process of Brexit easier and drastically improves the ability of the UK to threaten a walkout. If potential consequences of No Deal can be minimised, then it is a viable option.  

Should any renegotiation bear fruit, a new reformed Brexit deal should be able to pass through Parliament – that’s if Remainers’ claims they simply want ‘a better deal’ are true. However, no one would really be surprised if the Remain-dominated Parliament still refuses to vote for a new and drastically improved deal, flying in the face of public sentiment. If they do, then perhaps proroguing Parliament might appear to be an act in the public’ interest. If MPs refuse to listen to the people who vote them onto their green benches in the Commons, then surely it is the job of the Government to do whatever is necessary in order to follow through on the mandate given in the EU Referendum.

Vitally, Boris Johnson has echoed arguments we at Get Britain Out have made in the past – a WTO Brexit does not mean “No Deal”, it simply means leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement, something which was never discussed as being necessary – even by Remain – throughout the referendum. Instead, we will negotiate a trade deal with the EU after we leave on WTO Terms, and organise many smaller deals on issues such as citizens’ rights, which have already been confirmed by Boris Johnson as safe, should he become Prime Minister.

Now, more than ever, Brexit must be brought to a conclusion. The Labour Party’s recent declaration that it would support Remain in a second referendum threatens to undermine the largest democratic decision ever taken by the British public. The only way Labour and Jeremy Corbyn can win a general election is if Boris Johnson fails to deliver Brexit.

As a staunch Brexiteer and key leader of the Vote Leave campaign, if Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street as our Prime Minister on Wednesday, he must ensure Brexit is delivered – not only for the nation, but also to safeguard the Conservative Party. There will be no second chances. Boris would never be forgiven if he fails to Get Britain Out of the EU on October 31st, as the electorate will ensure an end to his political career. Succeed, and Boris Johnson will never be forgotten.

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Let’s be clear. I’m no supporter of Boris Johnson. I dislike his Tory politics and social priorities and I think his economics are daft. But he is the best hope for Brexit. So let’s offer him some advice for when he becomes Prime Minister (if I can do so without being expelled from the Labour Party).

A new Prime Minister with a new government has the right to demand a new negotiation. Do so, and take a tougher line than trembling Theresa. Get the predictable reply from an EU so amorphous and disorganised it can only say “no”. That inflexible intransigence will be encouraged and defended by clamouring Remainers and the Blair/Mandelson/Lib Dem fifth column in Britain.

Ignoring the fact that their collusion has encouraged the EU to evade any acceptable agreement so far, the Remainers will denounce “No Deal” or “crash out” to undermine our negotiating position and frighten the nation. It ain’t true. Only the EU can produce No Deal by refusing to change its position. They won’t dare to embark on a trade war. It would be damaging to them as well as us, at a time when recession is developing. It’s a little difficult to see a shambling organisation which Remainers tell us is so benign and virtuous, rejecting all the norms of modern trade by setting out to cripple and punish their former partner, for the crime of doing what its people want.

The medicine won’t disappear, flights will arrive almost on time, students will still exchange, travellers visit and nationals from each country will still work in others and trade will go on. Even if there’s no comprehensive treaty, there’ll be a live and let live de facto settlement to allow the EU to get on with its follies, an EU army, trying to make the euro work and dealing with refugees.

Build confidence, use No Deal as a negotiating threat, rouse British anger at their bullying then call an early election. Gordon Brown made the fatal mistake of not calling for a new mandate. You need one and you have a good chance. Labour has divided and disabled itself. The nation wants the impasse ended and is crying out for leadership. The time is ripe. And you can always take the precaution of offering, say, £50 million to the constituency of every Labour MP who votes for your settlement. Several will accept it – I certainly would if I was still there!

My one proviso is that you avoid splitting the Brexit vote by reaching a pact, like the Lib-Lab agreement of 1905 which was brokered by Herbert Gladstone between the Liberals and the new Labour Party to bring Labour in. That would have kept Labour as a minority pressure group, had the Liberals not split. The Brexit Party can’t be treated like lepers now they’re a force.

Theresa’s failure can be a springboard to your success. Feebleness was her metier. Now the country wants someone strong and convincing. After years of misery, bafflement and failure, people want leadership, optimism and a bit of fun – not more misery and fear from the cheerless Remainers.

The Kill Boris campaign waged by the media who once loved him, the liberal intellegentsia and The Guardian has succeeded only in convincing people you’ll provide all that. So boost your prospects further by promising to end austerity with a big boost to spending.

That’s vitally necessary anyway. None of it should go in tax cuts for the rich, they’ve already done well. The greater need is state aid to exporting industry and venture capital for import substitution so we can seize the opportunity to boost exports and replace imports, which the inevitable devaluation (due anyway, so horrendous is our trade deficit) will provide.

Winning will be the start of the first serious negotiations with the EU in which we’ll fight our corner, not lie down like a mat to be walked on. The Northern Irish border remains a problem, but could surely be dealt with by making the whole of Northern Ireland a free port where we won’t impose customs barriers. The Irish can put them up if they want to, but having benefited for years by unfair tax competition they might welcome the competitive advantage of becoming a goods entrepot too, which would allow customless trade both ways.

Good luck. Britain deserves some. Doing what the people want won’t be as tough as the miseryguts fear, the Remainers want and Treasury miscalculates.

The post I’m no Boris Johnson supporter – but the country is crying out for leadership and he’s the best hope for Brexit appeared first on BrexitCentral.

The House of Commons has just voted by 315 votes to 274 (a majority of 41) for a Lords Amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, which could stop the next Prime Minister proroguing Parliament as a way to enable a no-deal Brexit. The amendment, passed in the House of Lords yesterday by 272 votes to 168 (a majority of 104) will require progress reports on restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland to be debated regularly in Parliament in the autumn.

It is a reminder of the parliamentary arithmetic that the new Prime Minister will have to deal with on taking office next week.

315 MPs voted for the Amendment (317 if you include the two tellers), including 17 Conservative rebels (including Margot James, who resigned as a minister to do so), 235 Labour MPs, 34 SNP MPs, 12 Lib Dem MPs, along with MPs from Plaid Cymru, the Independent Group for Change, the Green Party and 10 further Independents.

Meanwhile, 274 MPs voted against the Amendment (276 including two tellers), including 264 Conservatives, 1 Labour MP, all 10 DUP MPs and 1 Independent.

There were no fewer than 30 Conservative MPs abstaining, including a number of serving Cabinet ministers sceptical about a no-deal Brexit, although it is impossible to know from the division lists whether they were deliberate abstentions or if the MPs were on parliamentary business elsewhere or were maybe “paired” with an absent Opposition MP.

Responding to the vote, a Downing Street spokesman said:

“The Prime Minister is obviously disappointed that a number of Ministers failed to vote in this afternoon’s division. No doubt her successor will take this into account when forming their government.”

Below are full lists of which MPs voted for the Amendment, those who did not vote at all and of course the full list of those who voted against the Amendment.





  1. Guto Bebb
  2. Steve Brine
  3. Alistair Burt
  4. Jonathan Djanogly
  5. Justine Greening
  6. Dominic Grieve
  7. Sam Gyimah
  8. Richard Harrington
  9. Margot James
  10. Phillip Lee
  11. Jeremy Lefroy
  12. Oliver Letwin
  13. Paul Masterton
  14. Sarah Newton
  15. Antoinette Sandbach
  16. Keith Simpson
  17. Ed Vaizey


  1. Caroline Lucas


  1. Heidi Allen
  2. Luciana Berger
  3. Nick Boles
  4. Sylvia Hermon
  5. Kelvin Hopkins
  6. Stephen Lloyd
  7. Gavin Shuker
  8. Angela Smith
  9. Sarah Wollaston
  10. John Woodcock

Independent Group for Change

  1. Mike Gapes
  2. Chris Leslie
  3. Joan Ryan
  4. Anna Soubry


  1. Diane Abbott
  2. Debbie Abrahams
  3. Rushanara Ali
  4. Rosena Allin-Khan
  5. Mike Amesbury
  6. Tonia Antoniazzi
  7. Jonathan Ashworth
  8. Adrian Bailey
  9. Kevin Barron
  10. Margaret Beckett
  11. Hilary Benn
  12. Clive Betts
  13. Roberta Blackman-Woods
  14. Paul Blomfield
  15. Tracy Brabin
  16. Ben Bradshaw
  17. Kevin Brennan
  18. Lyn Brown
  19. Nick Brown
  20. Chris Bryant
  21. Karen Buck
  22. Richard Burden
  23. Richard Burgon
  24. Dawn Butler
  25. Liam Byrne
  26. Ruth Cadbury
  27. Alan Campbell
  28. Dan Carden
  29. Sarah Champion
  30. Jenny Chapman
  31. Bambos Charalambous
  32. Ann Clwyd
  33. Vernon Coaker
  34. Julie Cooper
  35. Rosie Cooper
  36. Yvette Cooper
  37. Jeremy Corbyn
  38. Neil Coyle
  39. David Crausby
  40. Mary Creagh
  41. Stella Creasy
  42. Jon Cruddas
  43. John Cryer
  44. Judith Cummings
  45. Alex Cunningham
  46. Jim Cunningham
  47. Janet Daby
  48. Nic Dakin (Teller)
  49. Wayne David
  50. Geraint Davies
  51. Marsha De Cordova
  52. Gloria de Piero
  53. Thangam Debbonaire (Teller)
  54. Emma Dent Coad
  55. Tan Dhesi
  56. Annaliese Dodds
  57. Stephen Doughty
  58. Peter Dowd
  59. David Drew
  60. Jack Dromey
  61. Rosie Duffield
  62. Angela Eagle
  63. Maria Eagle
  64. Clive Efford
  65. Julie Elliott
  66. Louise Ellman
  67. Chris Elmore
  68. Bill Esterson
  69. Christopher Evans
  70. Jim Fitzpatrick
  71. Colleen Fletcher
  72. Caroline Flint
  73. Lisa Forbes
  74. Yvonne Fovargue
  75. Vicky Foxcroft
  76. James Frith
  77. Gill Furniss
  78. Hugh Gaffney
  79. Barry Gardiner
  80. Ruth George
  81. Preet Gill
  82. Mary Glindon
  83. Roger Godsiff
  84. Helen Goodman
  85. Kate Green
  86. Lilian Greenwood
  87. Margaret Greenwood
  88. Nia Griffith
  89. John Grogan
  90. Andrew Gwynne
  91. Louise Haigh
  92. Fabian Hamilton
  93. David Hanson
  94. Emma Hardy
  95. Harriet Harman
  96. Carolyn Harris
  97. Helen Hayes
  98. Sue Hayman
  99. John Healey
  100. Mark Hendrick
  101. Mike Hill
  102. Meg Hillier
  103. Margaret Hodge
  104. Sharon Hodgson
  105. Kate Hollern
  106. George Howarth
  107. Rupa Huq
  108. Imran Hussain
  109. Dan Jarvis
  110. Diana Johnson
  111. Darren Jones
  112. Gerald Jones
  113. Graham Jones
  114. Helen Jones
  115. Kevan Jones
  116. Ruth Jones
  117. Sarah Jones
  118. Susan Elan Jones
  119. Michael Kane
  120. Barbara Keeley
  121. Elizabeth Kendall
  122. Afzal Khan
  123. Gerard Killen
  124. Stephen Kinnock
  125. Peter Kyle
  126. Lesley Laird
  127. David Lammy
  128. Ian Lavery
  129. Karen Lee
  130. Emma Lewell-Buck
  131. Clive Lewis
  132. Tony Lloyd
  133. Rebecca Long-Bailey
  134. Ian Lucas
  135. Holly Lynch
  136. Justin Madders
  137. Khalid Mahmood
  138. Shabana Mahmood
  139. Seema Malhotra
  140. Gordon Marsden
  141. Sandy Martin
  142. Rachael Maskell
  143. Chris Matheson
  144. Steve McCabe
  145. Kerry McCarthy
  146. Siobhain McDonagh
  147. Andy McDonald
  148. John McDonnell
  149. Pat McFadden
  150. Alison McGovern
  151. Liz McInnes
  152. Catherine McKinnell
  153. Jim McMahon
  154. Anna McMorrin
  155. Ian Mearns
  156. Ed Miliband
  157. Madeleine Moon
  158. Jessica Morden
  159. Stephen Morgan
  160. Grahame Morris
  161. Ian Murray
  162. Lisa Nandy
  163. Alex Norris
  164. Melanie Onn
  165. Chi Onwurah
  166. Kate Osamor
  167. Albert Owen
  168. Stephanie Peacock
  169. Teresa Pearce
  170. Matthew Pennycook
  171. Toby Perkins
  172. Jess Phillips
  173. Bridget Phillipson
  174. Laura Pidcock
  175. Jo Platt
  176. Luke Pollard
  177. Stephen Pound
  178. Lucy Powell
  179. Yasmin Qureshi
  180. Faisal Rashid
  181. Angela Rayner
  182. Steve Reed
  183. Christina Rees
  184. Ellie Reeves
  185. Rachel Reeves
  186. Emma Reynolds
  187. Jonathan Reynolds
  188. Marie Rimmer
  189. Geoffrey Robinson
  190. Matt Rodda
  191. Danielle Rowley
  192. Chris Ruane
  193. Naz Shah
  194. Virendra Sharma
  195. Barry Sheerman
  196. Paula Sherriff
  197. Tulip Siddiq
  198. Dennis Skinner
  199. Andy Slaughter
  200. Ruth Smeeth
  201. Cat Smith
  202. Eleanor Smith
  203. Jeff Smith
  204. Laura Smith
  205. Nick Smith
  206. Owen Smith
  207. Karin Smyth
  208. Gareth Snell
  209. Alex Sobel
  210. John Spellar
  211. Keir Starmer
  212. Jo Stevens
  213. Wes Streeting
  214. Graham Stringer
  215. Paul Sweeney
  216. Gareth Thomas
  217. Nick Thomas-Symonds
  218. Emily Thornberry
  219. Stephen Timms
  220. Anna Turley
  221. Karl Turner
  222. Derek Twigg
  223. Liz Twist
  224. Keith Vaz
  225. Valerie Vaz
  226. Thelma Walker
  227. Tom Watson
  228. Catherine West
  229. Matt Western
  230. Alan Whitehead
  231. Martin Whitfield
  232. Paul Williams
  233. Phil Wilson
  234. Mohammad Yasin
  235. Daniel Zeichner

Liberal Democrat

  1. Tom Brake
  2. Vince Cable
  3. Alistair Carmichael
  4. Ed Davey
  5. Tim Farron
  6. Wera Hobhouse
  7. Christine Jardine
  8. Norman Lamb
  9. Layla Moran
  10. Jamie Stone
  11. Jo Swinson
  12. Chuka Umunna

Plaid Cymru

  1. Jonathan Edwards
  2. Ben Lake
  3. Liz Saville Roberts
  4. Hywel Williams


  1. Hannah Bardell
  2. Mhairi Black
  3. Ian Blackford
  4. Kirsty Blackman
  5. Deidre Brock
  6. Alan Brown
  7. Lisa Cameron
  8. Doug Chapman
  9. Joanna Cherry
  10. Ronnie Cowan
  11. Angela Crawley
  12. Martyn Day
  13. Martin Docherty-Hughes
  14. Marion Fellows
  15. Stephen Gethins
  16. Patricia Gibson
  17. Patrick Grady
  18. Peter Grant
  19. Neil Gray
  20. Drew Hendry
  21. Stewart Hosie
  22. Chris Law
  23. David Linden
  24. Stewart McDonald
  25. Stuart McDonald
  26. John McNally
  27. Carol Monaghan
  28. Gavin Newlands
  29. Brendan O’Hara
  30. Tommy Sheppard
  31. Chris Stephens
  32. Alison Thewliss
  33. Philippa Whitford
  34. Pete Wishart





  1. Richard Benyon
  2. Peter Bottomley
  3. Karen Bradley
  4. Graham Brady
  5. Greg Clark
  6. Ken Clarke
  7. Alan Duncan
  8. Vicky Ford
  9. David Gauke
  10. Cheryl Gillan
  11. Zac Goldsmith
  12. Damian Green
  13. Philip Hammond
  14. Stephen Hammond
  15. John Hayes
  16. Simon Hoare
  17. Jeremy Hunt
  18. Caroline Johnson
  19. Gillian Keegan
  20. Pauline Latham
  21. Huw Merriman
  22. Anne Milton
  23. Bob Neill
  24. Matthew Offord
  25. Victoria Prentis
  26. Nicholas Soames
  27. Caroline Spelman
  28. Rory Stewart
  29. Julian Sturdy
  30. Tom Tugendhat


  1. Frank Field
  2. Ivan Lewis
  3. Jared O’Mara
  4. Chris Williamson

Independent Group for Change

  1. Ann Coffey


  1. Ronnie Campbell
  2. Paul Farrelly
  3. Stephen Hepburn
  4. John Mann
  5. Conor McGinn
  6. Lloyd Russel-Moyle
  7. Mark Tami
  8. Jon Trickett
  9. Stephen Twigg


  1. Angus MacNeil

*Not including the Speaker, John Bercow, and his three deputies (Lindsay Hoyle, Eleanor Laing and Rosie Winterton) who, by convention, do not vote in Commons divisions and the Sinn Fein MPs who have not taken their seats. NB: Absence from the division may be for a number of reasons, such as being ill, on parliamentary business elsewhere, as well as a deliberate abstention. The Brecon and Radnorshire seat is currently vacant pending a by-election.




  1. Nigel Adams
  2. Bim Afolami
  3. Adam Afriyie
  4. Peter Aldous
  5. Lucy Allan
  6. David Amess
  7. Stuart Andrew
  8. Edward Argar
  9. Victoria Atkins
  10. Richard Bacon
  11. Kemi Badenoch
  12. Steve Baker
  13. Harriett Baldwin
  14. Steve Barclay
  15. John Baron
  16. Henry Bellingham
  17. Paul Beresford
  18. Jake Berry
  19. Bob Blackman
  20. Crispin Blunt
  21. Peter Bone
  22. Andrew Bowie
  23. Ben Bradley
  24. Suella Braverman
  25. Jack Brereton
  26. Andrew Bridgen
  27. James Brokenshire
  28. Fiona Bruce
  29. Robert Buckland
  30. Alex Burghart
  31. Conor Burns
  32. Alun Cairns
  33. James Cartlidge
  34. William Cash
  35. Maria Caulfield
  36. Alex Chalk
  37. Rehman Chishti
  38. Christopher Chope
  39. Jo Churchill
  40. Colin Clark
  41. Simon Clarke
  42. James Cleverly
  43. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
  44. Thérèse Coffey
  45. Damian Collins
  46. Alberto Costa
  47. Robert Courts
  48. Geoffrey Cox
  49. Stephen Crabb
  50. Tracey Crouch
  51. David Davies
  52. Glyn Davies
  53. Mims Davies
  54. Philip Davies
  55. David Davis
  56. Caroline Dinenage
  57. Leo Docherty
  58. Michelle Donelan
  59. Nadine Dorries
  60. Steve Double
  61. Oliver Dowden
  62. Jackie Doyle-Price
  63. Richard Drax
  64. James Duddridge
  65. David Duguid
  66. Iain Duncan Smith
  67. Philip Dunne
  68. Michael Ellis
  69. Tobias Ellwood
  70. Charlie Elphicke
  71. George Eustice
  72. Nigel Evans
  73. David Evennett
  74. Michael Fabricant
  75. Michael Fallon
  76. Mark Field
  77. Kevin Foster
  78. Liam Fox
  79. Mark Francois
  80. Lucy Frazer
  81. George Freeman
  82. Mike Freer
  83. Marcus Fysh
  84. Roger Gale
  85. Mark Garnier
  86. Nusrat Ghani
  87. Nick Gibb
  88. John Glen
  89. Robert Goodwill
  90. Michael Gove
  91. Luke Graham
  92. Richard Graham
  93. Bill Grant
  94. Helen Grant
  95. James Gray
  96. Chris Grayling
  97. Chris Green
  98. Andrew Griffiths
  99. Kirstene Hair
  100. Robert Halfon
  101. Luke Hall
  102. Matt Hancock
  103. Greg Hands
  104. Mark Harper
  105. Rebecca Harris
  106. Trudy Harrison
  107. Simon Hart
  108. Oliver Heald
  109. James Heappey
  110. Chris Heaton-Harris
  111. Peter Heaton-Jones
  112. Gordon Henderson
  113. Nick Herbert
  114. Damian Hinds
  115. George Hollingbery
  116. Kevin Hollinrake
  117. Philip Hollobone
  118. Adam Holloway
  119. John Howell
  120. Nigel Huddleston
  121. Eddie Hughes
  122. Nick Hurd
  123. Alister Jack
  124. Sajid Javid
  125. Ranil Jayawardena
  126. Bernard Jenkin
  127. Andrea Jenkyns
  128. Robert Jenrick
  129. Boris Johnson
  130. Gareth Johnson
  131. Jo Johnson
  132. Andrew Jones
  133. David Jones
  134. Marcus Jones
  135. Daniel Kawczynski
  136. Seema Kennedy
  137. Stephen Kerr
  138. Sir Greg Knight
  139. Julian Knight
  140. Kwasi Kwarteng
  141. John Lamont
  142. Mark Lancaster
  143. Andrea Leadsom
  144. Edward Leigh
  145. Andrew Lewer
  146. Brandon Lewis
  147. Julian Lewis
  148. Ian Liddell-Grainger
  149. David Lidington
  150. Julia Lopez
  151. Jack Lopresti
  152. Jonathan Lord
  153. Tim Loughton
  154. Craig Mackinlay
  155. Rachel Maclean
  156. Anne Main
  157. Alan Mak
  158. Kit Malthouse
  159. Scott Mann
  160. Theresa May
  161. Paul Maynard
  162. Patrick McLoughlin
  163. Stephen McPartland
  164. Esther McVey
  165. Mark Menzies
  166. Johnny Mercer
  167. Stephen Metcalfe
  168. Maria Miller
  169. Amanda Milling
  170. Nigel Mills
  171. Andrew Mitchell
  172. Damien Moore
  173. Penny Mordaunt
  174. Nicky Morgan
  175. Anne Marie Morris
  176. David Morris
  177. James Morris
  178. Wendy Morton
  179. David Mundell
  180. Sheryll Murray
  181. Andrew Murrison
  182. Caroline Nokes
  183. Jesse Norman
  184. Neil O’Brien
  185. Guy Opperman
  186. Neil Parish
  187. Priti Patel
  188. Owen Paterson
  189. Mark Pawsey
  190. Mike Penning
  191. John Penrose
  192. Andrew Percy
  193. Claire Perry
  194. Chris Philp
  195. Christopher Pincher
  196. Daniel Poulter
  197. Rebecca Pow
  198. Mark Prisk
  199. Mark Pritchard
  200. Tom Pursglove
  201. Jeremy Quin (Teller)
  202. Will Quince
  203. Dominic Raab
  204. John Redwood
  205. Jacob Rees-Mogg
  206. Laurence Robertson
  207. Mary Robinson
  208. Andrew Rosindell
  209. Douglas Ross
  210. Lee Rowley
  211. Amber Rudd
  212. David Rutley
  213. Paul Scully
  214. Bob Seely
  215. Andrew Selous
  216. Grant Shapps
  217. Alok Sharma
  218. Alec Shelbrooke
  219. Chris Skidmore
  220. Chloe Smith
  221. Henry Smith
  222. Julian Smith
  223. Royston Smith
  224. Mark Spencer (Teller)
  225. Andrew Stephenson
  226. John Stevenson
  227. Bob Stewart
  228. Iain Stewart
  229. Gary Streeter
  230. Mel Stride
  231. Graham Stuart
  232. Rishi Sunak
  233. Desmond Swayne
  234. Hugo Swire
  235. Robert Syms
  236. Derek Thomas
  237. Ross Thomson
  238. Maggie Throup
  239. Kelly Tolhurst
  240. Justin Tomlinson
  241. Michael Tomlinson
  242. Craig Tracey
  243. David Tredinnick
  244. Anne-Marie Trevelyan
  245. Elizabeth Truss
  246. Shailesh Vara
  247. Martin Vickers
  248. Theresa Villiers
  249. Charles Walker
  250. Robin Walker
  251. Ben Wallace
  252. David Warburton
  253. Matt Warman
  254. Giles Watling
  255. Helen Whately
  256. Heather Wheeler
  257. Craig Whittaker
  258. John Whittingdale
  259. Bill Wiggin
  260. Gavin Williamson
  261. Mike Wood
  262. William Wragg
  263. Jeremy Wright
  264. Nadhim Zahawi


  1. Gregory Campbell
  2. Nigel Dodds
  3. Jeffrey Donaldson
  4. Paul Girvan
  5. Emma Little Pengelly
  6. Ian Paisley
  7. Gavin Robinson
  8. Jim Shannon
  9. David Simpson
  10. Sammy Wilson


  1. Ian Austin


  1. Kate Hoey

The post Government defeated by a majority of 41 in the Commons on move to prevent prorogation appeared first on BrexitCentral.

Today the Prosperity UK Alternative Arrangements Commission, which I co-chair with Nicky Morgan, has set out its road map to a Brexit deal, by finding a way to supersede the maligned Irish Backstop, while simultaneously ensuring there is no hard border in Ireland and the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement is upheld.

Critically, our Final Report includes two new draft Alternative Arrangements Protocols, produced with the help of the international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. The new Prime Minister, the EU and the Irish Government will now have both the technical material and the legal basis for coming to a Brexit agreement as soon as possible.

The first Protocol, Protocol AB, could be used within the existing Withdrawal Agreement. It incorporates a list of obligations that the UK must satisfy in order to ensure the Backstop would not be triggered. The second, Protocol C, is a stand-alone Protocol that delivers Alternative Arrangements in any other Brexit scenario, such as a Free Trade Agreement or even a No Deal.

There should be confidence that a Brexit deal is now achievable. Adopting Alternative Arrangements to the Backstop, as construed by the Brady Amendment, have already achieved a majority in the House of Commons. The Prosperity UK Commission has taken that vote, and with the help of a team of 23 technical experts, we have turned it into something tangible and workable.

On the EU side, it has already conceded that both sides should seek to find Alternative Arrangements to the Backstop via the Strasbourg Declaration. But it said it would only commence the work after the Withdrawal Agreement came into force.

These Alternative Arrangements can be up and running within three years, with the ability to implement some measures far sooner. They consist of harnessing existing technologies and customs best practice, currently used on borders around the world; they do not rely on futuristic high-tech solutions.

Furthermore, they have been compiled within the boundaries of certain constraints, namely, the supremacy of the Belfast / Good Friday agreement, the preservation of the Common Travel Area, the need for a deliverable and real UK independent trade and regulatory policy, the need to ensure the seamless flow of East-West trade flows and the need to ensure that all proposals can be up and running within two to three years.

Our Alternative Arrangements Commission advocates the maximum possible choice of options for people and traders, respecting the Common Travel Area Agreement. It suggests a multi-tier trusted trader programme for large and medium-sized companies, with exemptions for the smallest companies; no checks at the border and a common Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) zone for the UK and the island of Ireland, but with the right for the UK to diverge and a mechanism to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland can make the choice as to whether to follow the UK divergence or remain aligned to SPS rules in Ireland. In the event this cannot be achieved, SPS checks can be carried out by mobile units away from the border.

As regards implementation, the Commission recommends the creation of two new funds, paid for by the UK, to assist with the implementation of Alternative Arrangements on both sides of the Irish border for small businesses, as well as a capacity building fund to support customs development. It suggests the creation of an independent arbitration panel and a specialist committee to advise on implementation.

The work of the Commission, conducted in good faith, following the failure of government to start this work much earlier, has been entirely focused on delivering solutions that are politically independent and sympathetic and which can ultimately deliver Brexit. This report has not only been based on the work of technical experts, but on feedback from numerous stakeholders on the island of Ireland and in the EU. It should therefore be considered very carefully by all parliamentarians in the House of Commons as well as by the Irish Government and by the EU to ensure that they use this piece of detailed and technical work to present a way forward.

So far, the two contenders for the leadership of the Conservative Party have endorsed our Alternative Arrangements Interim Report. I am now confident that our plan to develop the Alternative Arrangements outlined in our Final Report today can pass in the House of Commons. It is imperative that MPs from across the House come together to read this report and to find a way to implement Brexit so we can all move on to delivering the better country the voters want.

The post The Alternative Arrangements are now codified to replace the Irish backstop in any Brexit scenario appeared first on BrexitCentral.

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