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.
The EU Withdrawal Bill finally finished its parliamentary journey last week. Dr Alice Lilly looks at what else has been happening in Parliament in the past year, and finds the Government’s status as a minority—and Brexit—has significantly curtailed its legislative programme.
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.
On Monday the House of Lords will consider the Commons’ verdict on the amendments it made to the EU Withdrawal Bill. Maddy Thimont Jack says that this will inevitably lead to a second showdown on a ‘meaningful vote’ in the Commons later in the week.