17th March 2019
A number of pro-Brexit Members of Parliament may be switching to supporting the current draft withdrawal agreement – the “Deal” – and so will support the government in this week’s “meaningful vote”.
They should be careful.
Since the Deal was published, UK politicians and the media have been preoccupied with the “backstop” arrangements – which are a small part of the published deal and are intended, by definition, not to apply unless necessary.
This preoccupation has been at a cost – very little else of the Deal has been discussed, let alone scrutinised, while Brexiteers have been distracted.
And once the Deal is approved and executed, it will be too late for Brexiteers to change their mind.
For Brexiteers, the sensible course of action would be to seek a long extension, so that the rest of the Deal can be properly assessed.
Otherwise there is a real risk that they will accept the bulk of an agreement just because they can bring themselves to support the government despite a small part of the agreement.
And the Deal, once ratified and executed, has direct legal effect in the UK.
“We did not realise the Deal also included this,” will sound rather pathetic from those MPs who voted for an agreement on one basis without bothering to read and assess the rest of the agreement.
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