May’s legal advice triggered yet another crisis

Written by Joana Ramiro, LabourList

|AIWA! NO!|Yesterday morning, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer’s team published a series of tweets with snippets of the government’s legal advice on withdrawing from the European Union. And in a series of highlighted passages we can see why.

Northern Ireland would effectively end up as a separate entity to Britain, being the only British region with access to the single market. Meanwhile, negotiations with Brussels would continue “until a superseding agreement” took over from the current agreed protocol.

Starmer himself seemed shocked at the advice from the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, saying: “Having reviewed the Attorney General’s legal advice, it’s obvious why it needed to be placed in the public domain. All week we have been told by government ministers that releasing this information could harm the national interest but the advice contains nothing of the sort.”

He added that having kept the information from parliament ahead of the vote on December 11th was in retrospect “unthinkable”.

The six-page letter from Cox addressed to the Prime Minister outlines how the current deal, built in order to avoid a ‘hard border’ in Ireland, would in fact create a possibly unsolvable state of stalemate in EU-UK diplomacy. Indeed, he writes, it “does not provide for a mechanism that is likely to unable the UK lawfully to exit the UK wide customs union without a subsequent agreement”.

He added: “In the absence of a right of termination, there is a legal risk that the UK might become subject to protracted and repeated rounds of negotiations…

“This remains the case even if parties are still negotiating many years later, and even if parties believe that talks have clearly broken down and there is no prospect of a future relationship agreement. The resolution of such statements would have to be political.”

With the Brexit debate reaching the end of its second day, Theresa May’s confidence is clearly starting to wear off. Rumours of Labour calling for a motion of “no confidence” in the PM if parliament rejects the final deal next week swirled around Westminster. Especially since the move could lead to a new general elections being called on no other than December 25th, i.e. Christmas Day.

LONDON – End Theresa May Era? Tory MP Demands Leadership Challenge So UK Can ‘Play BREXIT Hardball’

Bridgen: Prime Minister Theresa May leading us into another election ‘fills me with dread’. End of Theresa May? Tory MP demands leadership challenge so UK can ‘play Brexit hardball’MAY AFRICA

BREXITEER MP Andrew Bridgen said he “hopes for a leadership challenge” to bring down Theresa May so that Britain can play “hardball” with the European Union in the last phase of Brexit talks.

By AURORA BOSOTTI//Andrew Bridgen admitted to feeling “dread” when thinking about  remaining in power until the next general election as he voiced his hope for a leadership challenge.

Mr Bridgen joined the ranks of May critics after the Prime Minister put forward her latest blueprint, insisting that her election had kept the UK from playing “hardball” with the EU.

Speaking to talkRADIO, the ardent Brexiteer said: “I hope there is a leadership challenge.

“I think we need someone who believes in Brexit to deliver Brexit, it’s clear the EU are playing very hardball and I think we need to play hardball back.”

Mr Bridgen, who already lodged a letter of no confidence at Conservative HQ, argued a change of leadership would help the Government stand its ground as Britain prepares to withdraw from the EU.

He continued: “My letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister is in. If 48 colleagues decide the same, then we will have a vote of confidence in the Prime Minister.

“When you’ve conceded two years of negotiations when you want to stand firm you can understand a level of scepticism on the other side that you’re not going to capitulate again.”

Mr Bridgen revealed that talks with his constituents during recess had highlighted the “dissatisfaction” of Leave voters and he forecasted they will make their unhappiness known to Mrs May during the autumn party conference in Birmingham.

He added: “I spent the last couple of weeks in my constituency, I’ve been delivering some leaflets and speaking to supporters, activists, voters on the ground. There is a deep dissatisfaction with the direction the Government is moving on in Brexit.

Brexit news - Theresa May and Andrew Bridgen
Brexit news: Andrew Bridgen said he “hopes there is a leadership challenge” to oust May (Image: SKY NEWS•ITV)

Theresa May says it is ‘vital’ UK prepares for no deal Brexit

“I can’t see, given Theresa May’s track record, her leading us into another general election. That fills me with some dread, having seen her throw away a 20-point lead in the 2017 general election.”

Negotiators are still publicly insisting they want the deal wrapped up within the next seven weeks but sources say in reality the divorce terms will not be finalised until at least mid-November.

Both sides are fully aware that the closer the talks run to the March 29 Brexit date the greater that Britain will leave without a deal.

If the timeframe is stretched further into December or even January, decisions will have to be made on whether to give ground or walk away.

The two sides remain at loggerheads over how to guarantee there will never be a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but British officials insist they remain “confident” of getting a deal.

Andrew Bridgen admitted to feeling “dread” when thinking about  remaining in power until the next general election as he voiced his hope for a leadership challenge.

Mr Bridgen joined the ranks of May critics after the Prime Minister put forward her latest blueprint, insisting that her election had kept the UK from playing “hardball” with the EU.

Speaking to talkRADIO, the ardent Brexiteer said: “I hope there is a leadership challenge.

“I think we need someone who believes in Brexit to deliver Brexit, it’s clear the EU are playing very hardball and I think we need to play hardball back.”