There is only one question this morning that needs answering. If I was an MP, which I am not as yet (and with no intention of changing that, as yet) would I vote for or against Johnson’s deal? I am assuming I would as free an agent as Caroline Lucas usually is.
The answer is I would vote against. Of course, that is hardly surprising: I have never yet been convinced of the merit of any leave deal, but in this case that feeling is stronger than usual.
This version of the back stop is particularly bad for Northern Ireland. I think it safe to say that there will be political turmoil there as a result.
It is not good for UK business: the potential level playing field provisions will significantly increase their costs and secure no competitive advantages.
This deal will be an opportunity for worker rights to be savaged.
And environmental protections will, I am sure, be trashed just when we know we need them most.
Nothing sells this deal. And almost every poll in the UK this year says that a majority of people do not want to leave the EU.
Although what will, I am sure, shock the Leavers in the population at large is that because of the transition agreement, which will almost certainly last until the end of 2022, they are really not going to see many changes to the UK on 1 November as a result of what Johnson will do. The Leave media will wholly misrepresent this: expect pictures in the Mail showing lorries flowing through Dover as if this will be a Johnsonian miracle. It won’t be. It will be because the EU works and EU rules will still apply.
And another few billion will have been wasted threatening to disapply them.
So, I would vote against the deal.
And I would commit to a People’s Vote on it. Because nothing else makes sense. Only that can give closure. I would prefer that vote on Saturday: I understand why it may not happen.
In summary: this is something no wise MP would ever have wanted to vote on because no wise government would have ever let this happen.
But we have learned that we do not have wise government in this country anymore.