Maitland Political/ AMO Monitor – 6 December 2018

6th December 2018

Driving the Day

BULLETPROOF: MPs will continue to debate the Withdrawal Agreement today. Theresa May is continuing to hold private audiences with MPs to try and convince them not to rebel while MPs with privy council status have been summoned for secret, highly detailed, briefings on how the UK would cope with a no-deal Brexit. Yet the mood of the House does not appear to be shifting. This morning a No.10 aide complains to the Financial Times “the logic bullets are just bouncing off”. There are also suggestions Theresa May could offer rebels a “parliamentary lock” on the backstop – in essence a vote on triggering the backstop if it were needed. This is likely to be rejected by a significant number of rebels as it would involve MPs voting on whether to break international law.

DECLINE AND FALL: Talk is now turning to what Theresa May might do if, as is expected, she loses the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. Certain senior figures in Jeremy Corbyn’s office are convinced a general election is imminent. This may help explain why Jeremy Corbyn chose to focus exclusively on universal credit and poverty at yesterday’s PMQs. Labour could be testing wider messages. While Remainer MPs insist to the Financial Times they will press May into pivoting towards a softer Norway-esq deal. This morning the Telegraph reports the EU could be prepared to offer the UK a short extension to Article 50 if it were needed to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

DELAYED CLASH CRASH? Several papers run with speculation that senior Cabinet ministers are pressing Theresa May to postpone the vote – though it is unclear if she could do this without a vote on the vote.

On Manoeuvres

  • 12.30 and 17.30 – members of the Privy Council are briefed by the civil contingencies secretariat on the potential impacts of leaving the EU without a deal
  • Business Secretary Greg Clark delivers a speech marking a year since the Government’s industrial strategy was published
  • Theresa May will turn on the Downing Street Christmas lights

Reports and Statistics

  • The Science and Technology Committee publishes a report on the economic growth potential of quantum technologies.
  • The House of Commons International Development Committee publishes the Government’s response to its report on sexual exploitation in the aid sector

Highlights from the House of Commons

  • 09.30 Oral Questions: Brexit Questions
  • Business Statement
  • Brexit deal debate (Day 3)

Highlights from the House of Lords

  • Lords debate on the Brexit deal (Day 2)
  • Regret motion debate on the UK leaving the European Atomic Energy