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That, I think, will be the next step if the DUP do vote against the deal. Take GB out of the CUSM - and thus out of the backstop agreement, and give it the freedom to conduct its own trade deals - but leave N. Ireland in. I doubt most conservatives care all that much about N. Ireland, and giving the UK the freedom to take its own place in the world might be reason enough to ditch N. Ireland. After all the DUP have also (eventually) signed up to the Good Friday Agreement.

The problem for May is that she doesn't have enough votes to pass that deal even if all Brexiteers vote for it.  She would need to find some more votes from somewhere. The SNP might vote for it if Scotland, too, can stay in the CUSM, but that would mean a hard England/Scotland border and be even more controversial as it really would "break up the UK". The Lib Dems presumably would only vote for it if the resulting changed deal was put to a referendum.

Ultimately, if Parliament can't vote for ANY deal, a second referendum might be the only way of breaking the gridlock. Both May and Corbyn would have to agree that a second referendum is preferable to a no deal Brexit "which no one voted for". A second referendum might also require an A.50 extension unless they get their act together very quickly. Indeed that might be the only circumstance under which an A.50 extension would be agreed. In the meantime, the threat of a second referendum might be the only way to persuade the DUP and Brexiteers to vote for this deal.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 18th, 2018 at 11:31:34 AM EST
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