26s27 seconds ago
House of Lords amendment 51, which would have kept us in the EEA, is defeated by 327 to 126. #EUWithdrawalBill
Thankfully that one is out of the way. A few Labour front bench resigned, presumably to vote for this amendment.
Out of the way? You're hopeful. I suspect the divisions and disagreements over Brexit policy are just going to deepen and grow from here on out, on both sides of the house.
And what if the only way May can keep her commitment to no hard Irish Border is to commit to keeping us in the single market and a customs union? Will Corbyn still be arguing against being "rule takers" and oppose? Given businesses will want to comply to EU standards regardless because it's our biggest market, we're going to become rule takers anyway. Being a rule maker is exactly why we wanted to be a member of the EU in the first place.
Sorry not about much but still read regularly and always interested
I think actually I saw some glimmers of light today from Starmer (Corbyn sat next to him throughout the speech) and Benn, Cooper
A large number of Labour pro-EEA MPs said that it is deficient in its present form and needs significant amendment. Starmer says the same thing. The first one want to call it amended EEA and Starmer doesn't. That seems to be the main difference and it seems there is a realisation from both Starmer and Cooper especially that a form of words needs to be found to align the two. Cooper used the reform of the HoL bill as an example where the principles were very similar but differences in approach led to a stalemate
The strength of the EEA treaty is that is exists but it does not cover a number of key areas and these would have to be resolved. There is also the fact that we would be signing a treaty which was negotiated for the benefit of another country and so it will naturally be deficient in some areas. I think the EEA is also politically difficult to sell if we just sign up to it as it is now and that managing to use 'bespoke' and with some reforms (although in practice very similar) would be better
I am also a bit annoyed with the FBPE crowd holding Labour to more account than the Government. Labour are completely justified in saying that if they were negotiating they would go for what they think is best for Britain and look for compromises with the EU where possible. There are opportunities in the Freedom of Movement requirements and some of the concerns Labour have could probably be dealt with in proper negotiations. Labour would have gone (or will go) into this negotiation with a clear agreement on future residence rights, no red lines on the ECJ, a commitment to a CU and to try to stay as close to the current relationship with the internal market as possible. I imagine the EU would find such an approach more palatable and likely to produce some concessions within their desired framework. I still maintain the EU want us to stay close to them and would help a constructive partner to do so. The reason we are getting so little is the shambolic way this is being approached and the hostility of our side.
What Cooper raised was the idea of the EEA as a backstop to prevent us falling over the cliff edge and I think that is closely linked to the Withdrawal Bill and the idea of what would happen if the HoC rejected the deal. I think that has some merit to explore further and it seems that may have already started
The Tories are in a completely different place and it looks like they are more united but at some point someone is either going to have to 'suck it up' or there will be an explosion in their ranks. Labour has its own problems but the tone seems better (Corbyn was quite nice about those PPS and minister who resigned tonight)
The rabid pro-retainers in Labour (and there are only a few and probably using it for other reasons) need to have hard look at what is possible. If they continue to slag off the front bench and not look for compromise on this EEA point they seem wedded to then it will only help the Tories. The front bench needs to listen to. What is a bit galling is that in the immediate aftermath of the referendum Umunna and Smith to name two were quite vociferous in saying Labour had to stop FoM and 'deal with immigration'. I am not sure how they manage to sound so sanctimonious now without any shame or self-awareness
The key people now seem to be Starmer and Cooper.....if they can get the wording right then Labour may have something that can be supported, although the Tory rebels will then let us all down
I think this idea May is going to be able to keep the Tories in the SM and CU is a non-starter. There has been no indication there are enough Tories to support her and she would be subject to a leadership challenge within days if she tried it. The reason why we are in a situation where the can keeps getting kicked down the road is she is lost if she goes too Remain or too Brexit, so the best option is to do nothing for as long as she can.