Chris Philp – BBC Newsnight – Brexit and the amendment deal


Chris Philp, do you think that she played
them, sort of played a blinder managed to destroy the rebels and is going to walk off
victorious out of all of this? Look, no one’s been hoodwinked and no one’s
had the wool pulled over their eyes. They absolutely think they were.
They don’t actually, if you look at what George Freeman tweeted today, he was at the meeting,
he was part of that remainer group and he says that what’s been delivered this evening
at five o’clock is consistent with what the Prime Minister said.
But Dominic Grieve is the arbiter of this isn’t he?
Look Dominic Grieve is one person, your colleague Nick Walker who was on has been frantically
phoning people this evening trying to get people to say that this doesn’t deliver the
pledge and he’s found one or two people willing to say that, the other twenty people in the
room take a different view, including George Freeman. I’ve spoken to a Number 10 official
who was in the room who has also said explicitly that this deal tabled this evening, which
does make compromises, accurately reflects what was discussed on Tuesday evening, and
it does go further, it gives Parliament extra opportunities to go and ask the Government
to think again and that’s fair and it’s a reasonable compromise.
But it does not give Parliament a meaningful vote, which is the aim of this amendment on
what would happen in a no deal scenario, it’s a take it or leave it, you can have a rubbish
deal or no deal with Parliament having no say we are in a parliamentary democracy. You
cannot have the executive overriding Parliament. Hold on, I’d like to correct that because
that isn’t accurate. If that isn’t accurate correct it, what happens
then? So Parliament first of all can approve or
not approve any deal, if they do that, or if no deal can be reached between the Government
and the EU, then the Government are obliged to make a statement laying out an alternative
plan and then five or seven days after that Parliament can accept or reject the plan and
Parliament can keep on accepting or rejecting the plan until they’re happy and ultimately
if… And then time out and then we’re out
Not at all Exactly it’s a no deal
Hang on a sec, the problem with the proposal by Dominic Grieve on Tuesday which I’d thought
he’d moved away from is that you can’t give 650 MPs the ability to control a negotiation,
650 people cannot negotiate. That’s not what it does it gives Parliament
the opportunity to have some kind of control over the process and the trajectory of where
we’re heading. If there is a situation where we cannot get a good deal and the only alternative
is no deal Parliament must have a say. Well Parliament does have a say, it can have
repeated says. No well it doesn’t have a meaningful say.
Chris Philp, just imagine the scenario where there’s no deal. Okay, by say January the
end of January next year. Let’s suppose and this is not a ridiculous supposition that
500 Members of Parliament think “guys, it’d be much better if we had a soft Brexit than
this no deal and we can get a soft Brexit if we go for something much softer than the
Government has been aiming at.” Parliament cannot impose that on the Government and we
will crash out of the EU without entertaining the option supported by hundreds of MPs.
Look the way our constitution has worked for about 400 years is that the Government negotiates
these kind of treaties, and these kind of deals and Parliament approves them and if
Parliament doesn’t like the way it’s been conducted they can remove the Government.
Right. But it’s also, hang on, hang on, hang on,
let me be clear. But we don’t want to remove the Government
we’ll be in a crisis already. It’s not a real option.
At that point we want to have thought about it in advance and say “if that scenario occurs
there is a process which puts Parliament in control, surely we voted for Parliamentary
Sovereignty and this is the most important vote that we are going to have, and it’s an
important treaty to negotiate. What are you actually scared of Chris Philp?
Are you actually scared of MPs because it seems like.
Hang on a sec It seems like the Government is running scared
of MPs because it thinks if you actually let the MPs have a say, the MPs would say “don’t
do what you’re doing, do something much softer.” Well hang on, we’ve talked already about how
the fact that MPs have a veto over the deal, MPs can make the Government think again and
think again and thinking again and think again, MPs can remove the Government. That is how
our constitution has worked for hundreds of years, but let’s also not lose sight of the
fact that no one in the Government or indeed the opposition, the Commons or Lords wants
to get to a no deal situation, we should be focusing on the European Council in a couple
of weeks’ time. Cabinet discussions on a Customs Agreement, hopefully by October or November,
we’ll have a sensible deal that works for us and works for Europe, that is the outcome
everybody wants, it’s in our interests, it’s also in the Europeans’ interests and that
is what we should be focusing our time and energy on, not these sort of rather arcane
constitutional points. If we hadn’t kept hearing no deal is better
than a bad deal and people are countenancing a no deal, maybe that would be acceptable,
but we are in the unusual position of having an absolute fixed time limit in March 2019
this runs out, so if Parliament keeps going Roz, if you take
We crash out with no deal. Roz, if you take no deal off the table then
we’re over a barrel at the negotiating table, and that’s not acceptable.
We need to leave it there. They are not stupid enough to fall for that.
We need to leave it there.

One thought on “Chris Philp – BBC Newsnight – Brexit and the amendment deal

  1. Seems to me the remainers have their cake and can eat it. If May comes back with a bad deal or no deal then Parliament can vote on it. If she fails, May will make this a vote of confidence and a general election will be called. Parties will fight the General Election on the deal they want. The electorate vote and, in effect, we have a peoples vote. If May loses G.E. then the new party can reopen negotiations with the E.U. to re join. (Chris keeps telling them that this is how our constitution works and they just don't hear it). Remoaner Cakism at it's worst? Or…….do they just want to bind the hands of the government and get the worst possible deal for this country? The Halsham amendment must be thrown out for the good of the country.

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