Well against all the odds again Frankenstein’s Monster has demonstrated he can do incredible things. A deal finally after all this time, but hang on a sec, didn’t Theresa the Bruce have a deal last October and then it all came tumbling down. This time surely, it’s different, with the backstop gone, all those Tory MPs who wouldn’t vote for it last time out will put their full weight behind it because it is a Brexiteer proposing it this time. But the DUP appear to have rejected it, that means those 10 crucial votes are now going the other way. Added to that, didn’t Frankenstein’s Monster kick 18 MPs out of his party? I’m not sure I can see all of them supporting it. We know Nicola the Big Fish for the SNP and Jo representing the 17.4M Brexiteers for the Liberal Democrats will vote against the deal no matter what. This means the deal’s success will be based on Labour support, but Comrade One doesn’t at the moment look keen. The only benefit for Frankenstein’s Monster is that most of the Labour MPs don’t appear to care what their glorious leader thinks.
At present Frankenstein’s Monster has 288 Tory MPs, for a majority he needs 326. However, with 7 Sinn Fein MPs the majority only needs to be 323, so assuming all of his party support his deal, he needs 35 more MPs to support his deal. There are at present 35 independents, which are made up mostly by MPs kicked out of the Tory party or who have recently left the Tory or Labour party on principles surrounding Brexit. Assuming that not all of these will support him, he needs several Labour MPs to rebel and vote for his deal. In normal circumstances, you would not expect this to be likely, but in the present times, anything could happen.
If he manages to scale the substantial mountain and gets the deal through parliament, then we will move on 31st October to a transitional period until the end of 2020. Although during this time we will not know exactly when or how Customs Clearances will be implemented, we will at least know that at some point during the transitional period they will be required. We would then at least hope that a definite date at some point would be provided as to when we would move to a Customs Clearance requirement. We would then be able to plan our resources accordingly.
The deal appears to provide a best of both worlds scenario for Northern Ireland which would, in theory, remain both in the EU Customs Union, but also remain as part of the UK economy and thus benefit from any trade deals made through the UK with countries external to the EU. This would involve an element of customs control in the Irish Sea, but the exact details are much more detailed.
If however, he does not win the vote we are back in ‘Wild West’ territory with all scenarios still on the table. The EU (or more accurately Jean Claude Junker) has even suggested that they might not grant an extension, which would mean a ‘No Deal’ Brexit if the Deal failed in Parliament. Although the commentators generally consider this to be incredibly unlikely and more of a position of trying to put pressure on the vote in Parliament. I wouldn’t however at the moment rule anything out.
The next couple of weeks are going to be fast and furious, but by the end of them, I expect we will either be out of the EU or heading full speed towards a general election, after which all bets are off.