The day of reckoning draws nigh. Certainly in the week commencing 14th January 2019, and probably on Tuesday 15thJanuary, the House of Commons will vote on the Brexit deal negotiated with the EU, and the various amendments that relate to it. How this will pan out is anybody’s guess. It will be a night of high drama and of real significance to our nation.
Some clarity on the backstop from our EU friends between now and then would be good, but I am not holding my breath.
I have learned that few things in politics are ever completely resolved in one go, so probably the outcome will be inconclusive and will not bring this long-running saga to an end. I suspect that none of the amendments will pass and that the deal will fall first time around, possibly by a large margin. This will probably lead to a no-confidence motion the following day tabled by the leader of the opposition, which I would expect to be defeated. All of these predictions may sound confident, but in truth, anything could happen.
So deal defeated, government still in place, what then?
The next move will be for the government to make. It must be tempting for the government to bring back the deal the following week and make it clear that if it is defeated again, we will press on towards a no-deal Brexit and that will be that. This puts the ball back in the court of many MPs of all parties who are terrified of a no-deal Brexit. The only way to avoid no deal, is to support the deal.
This would be a high risk strategy but might just work.
I have learned that nothing is ever as bad as feared or as good as hoped for, so probably whatever the outcome of the Brexit votes, our great country will survive. I remain firmly of the view that the deal is perfectly sensible and honours the 2016 vote without trashing our economy. It takes back control of money, borders and laws, ends the jurisdiction of the ECJ ( European Court of Justice) and takes us out of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) and CFP (Common Fisheries Policy). It will be by 2020 a proper Brexit, but it gives an implementation period of 21 months, time for a new trading relationship to be agreed so that our businesses (which employ 83.5% of all British workers) can plan and adjust.
January is set to be turbulent. Happy New Year!