UK PM Johnson confirms Government would pull current deal if voted down today and granted extensions by EU
UK Commons expected to vote Withdrawal Bill "second reading" i.e programme motion and first committee stage
Borish Johnson deal is stuck in UK Parliamentary proceedings and today would be important to at least understand whether the Government has the numbers to pass the deal following the Letwin agreement. According to the FT analysis and crunching some numbers (see Global Markets Review October 18th) it seems the Government might benefit of a tight majority which should be sufficient to pass the deal. Voting projections signal a 320 YES and 315 NO for the deal.
However, even if the deal passes it will be subject to a long progress through parliament. The first challenge for the Government today is represented by the Program Motion where the government spells out the time line that will enable it to get the bill passed by October 31. This may happen today after the second reading. If voted down the Parliament would be in disagreement to approve the deal within the next 10 days. This could result into a disappointment for the Government as MPs are likely to be uncomfortable with passing a deal of this importance with little scrutiny. The program motion is also important in the context of the PM words today, who confirmed to pull the current deal if the EU grants an extension and there is an understanding that the Brexit Bill cannot be approved on time. However, don't forget that we are still awaiting an official response from the EU on the extension request.
Tomorrow key discussion on the proposed amendments will also be very important. So far we acknowledge the inclusion of the following amendments. - Ken Clarke et al on negotiating a customs union - Nick Boles on extending the implementation period - Labour on Parliamentary scrutiny of Joint Committee & disputes - Lib Dems on safeguards for people applying for settled status Amendments on keeping the UK in a customs union with the EU and calling a second referendum are likely to appear and the outcome of the vote will be important. As the chances to pass the second referendum amendment remain limited, there is a significant likelihood that the one on the "all-UK" customs union will pass if DUP supports it. This would substantially be in contradiction to Johnson deal and logically lead the Government to tabling a General Election motion. Which will require in any case a majority.
If you missed the morning briefing from the desk click HERE