After setting out six tests for the Brexit white paper, Jill Rutter says it moves a considerable way to clarify the UK’s ideas for the future relationship – but leaves a big question mark over the Irish backstop.
It was a mistake to set up DExEU – and its establishment caused the simmering resentment that erupted in David Davis’s resignation. Jill Rutter says the Cabinet Office should now be given responsibility for negotiations, so DExEU can get on with ensuring Brexit readiness.
With the Chequers deal, the Prime Minister seemed to have convinced her Cabinet to accept some cake was off the table. But even if she makes it through David Davis’ and Steve Baker’s subsequent resignations, she is far from making it through the political minefield of Brexit, says Jill Rutter.
Cabinet ministers will reportedly be offered “the softest of Brexits” when they arrive at Chequers. But, argues Joe Owen, No.10 appears to be assuming the EU will accept the ending of freedom of movement.
If it’s to be worth the wait, the long-promised Brexit white paper needs to give UK negotiators a clear mandate for phase two, rather than more options. Jill Rutter sets out the questions the white paper needs to answer.
Michel Barnier has set out the EU’s red lines in the Brexit negotiations on future policing and judicial arrangements, complaining of British intransigence. But his own position is just as inflexible, and the two sides are worryingly far apart, says Tim Durrant.
The UK’s ‘backstop’ for the Irish border, its version of the insurance policy if every other option fails, contains a vague time limit. While it may initially seem like a victory for the Brexiteers, it leaves three big issues outstanding, argues Tim Durrant.