After a fraught five-hour meeting with her Cabinet, Theresa May emerged from No 10 to confirm that the Brexit draft agreement had the support of her Cabinet. Speaking to the press, she said that she believed with her head and her heart that her deal was the best one for the UK, with the only alternatives being no deal or no Brexit. Still, it is still of some concern that the meeting overran by two hours, suggesting that it wasn’t all plain sailing.
In many ways the hard work starts now. The Brexit draft agreement can now be presented to Parliament but it is still in the balance whether it will get through. Tony Blair and Boris Johnson are agreed that May’s plan smacks of capitulation. The actual document is 585 pages long and obviously contains a lot of detail, but there are certainly some controversial aspects. While prominent leavers have said Brexit was all about taking back control, the Brexit draft agreement shows that the UK will spend an absolute minimum of two years under the rule of Brussels without any say on what those rules are.
The European Council president, Donald Tusk, has this morning confirmed that EU summit will be held on 25 November to discuss the deal. As I write these words I see that Dominic Raab has just resigned as Brexit secretary. What an incredible series of events we are seeing! The Northern Ireland Minister, Shailesh Vara, has also resigned. We could be in for a bit of a crazy day.
On the economic data front, UK inflation held steady at 2.4% in October when analysts had been expecting a slight increase to 2.5%. The Germany GDP growth rate for the third quarter of 2018 was very disappointing, while US inflation climbed to 2.5% from 2.3% the previous month.
Today could well be the day that the current government crumbles. What that will do the Brexit negotiations is anybody’s guess, but I daresay Theresa May has her head in her hands right now. She simply cannot catch a break at present.
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