Professor Simon Usherwood fact-checks the six new conditions the Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told MPs the government will accept as an amendment to the Brexit Deal.
Let’s go through these quickly, shall we?
Point 1 is basically already in the Withdrawal Agreement that has been negotiated with the European Union.
Point 2 is impossible, since having the Withdrawal Agreement in effect means that the backstop is automatically implemented in the absence of a future deal.
Point 3 is just meaningless, since the government cannot compel the European Union to accept ‘alternative arrangements’.
Point 4 is impossible, both for reasons on Point 2 and because the Withdrawal Agreement does not provide for further extension of transition (and EU probably can't do it anyway).
The Withdrawal Agreement does allow for a one time only extension of transition up to 2 years (to 2022) but it does not allow for another extension beyond that, which is what I took Swire amendment to cover.
Point 5 is possible, but does not do anything for anything.
And Point 6 is also possible (as long as you have a Northern Ireland Executive to consult), but also does nothing for nothing.
In sum, if some backbenchers are won over by this, then the government should take them along for the ride, although there will be tears before bedtime.🔷
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(This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article, with the author’s consent, with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.)