We are still waiting for Theresa May to finalise her Irish backstop plan, the one bit of the proposed Brexit withdrawal agreement yet to be agreed, and to put it to the cabinet. Our overnight story with all the latest is here. But in the meantime David Davis, who resigned as Brexit secretary in the summer because he could not support May’s plan, has set out a new strategy for Brexiters. In an interview for Today this morning, he said MPs should vote down May’s Brexit plan to force the EU to make a better offer. Confirming that he would vote against, he told the programme
What would happen if the deal fell apart, which I think at the moment is looking like a probability ... If it was voted down, then they would have to go back to the union once more.
Now, this will be a slightly different atmosphere. Both sides will be staring at no deal.
Now, I don’t think no deal is as frightening as people think. But the government is obviously nervous of it. And the European commission, and all the member states - nearly all the member states - are nervous of it. So I think that will force a very, very different, and actually, I think, rather better deal.
When asked why that would happen, Davis replied:
Because both sides will be under such pressure to get a good deal.
The government does not accept this argument. In the past ministers have argued that the EU would not be willing to reopen the negotiations in the even to parliament voting down a deal, not least because a deal would have to be agreed by the end of the year to allow time for the European parliament to agree it before Brexit happens on 29 March 2019. But whether, in the event of a crisis, there would be some give (Davis’s argument) is a matter of judgment.
I will post more from Davis’s interview shortly.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: The women MPs of the world conference being held in parliament opens.
10am: Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, gives a speech in France. As Patrick Wintour reports, Hunt will attempt to overcome the awkward coincidence of Brexit and the centenary of the Armistice marking the Anglo-French victory in the first world war by claiming relations between the two countries are bigger than Brexit.
10am: Donald Tusk, president of the European council, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European commission, and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, all speak at a European People’s party conference in Helsinki.
As usual, I will also be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to post a summary when I finish at 3pm (earlier than usual because I’ve got a school parents’ evening, I’m afraid. “Evening” is a misnomer.)
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