DUP Is Ready to Reject the Deal - No Bluff: Brexit Update

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Theresa May starts her nationwide tour to sell her Brexit deal. The pound weakened as it looks increasingly tricky for May to get her deal through Parliament in a vote on Dec. 11.

Key Developments:

  • Democratic Unionists say they’re serious about voting down the deal
  • Long-awaited government analysis of Brexit to be published tomorrow
  • Tory Brexiteers turn on May for seeking Labour support
  • Government to stop short of publishing full legal advice, risking backlash

Row over Brexit legal advice flares again (12:30 p.m.)

The debate over whether the MPs will get to see the legal advice over the Brexit deal has flared up again after a Ministry of Justice spokesperson told the House of Lords that the government only planned to publish “a full, reasoned position statement” rather than the full legal advice.

Just two weeks ago, MPs approved a Labour motion requiring the government to publish the full legal statement from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, meaning this won’t go down well.

Brexit Analysis to be Published Wednesday (11:49 a.m.)

It’s going to be a busy week for Brexit number crunchers.

The government will publish its cross-department analysis, covering a range of scenarios, tomorrow afternoon, May’s spokesman James Slack told reporters in London Tuesday. It will come a day before the Bank of England sends its own assessment to Parliament’s Treasury Committee, which has promised to publish the document straight away.

The work has been carried out to inform lawmakers before they decide on whether to reject or accept May’s deal in a decisive vote on Dec. 11.

DUP Isn’t Bluffing, Leader Arlene Foster Says (10:57 a.m.)

Arlene Foster, leader of the Democratic Unionists who prop up May’s minority Conservative administration in Parliament, said it’s “offensive” to suggest that party is bluffing in its opposition to the prime minister’s Brexit plan, or that it may back it in exchange for extra cash for Northern Ireland.

May’s visit to Belfast today will be a “waste of time” if she refuses to listen to calls to drop the backstop, which potentially ties the region to the EU, Foster said in a Bloomberg TV interview from Belfast. “This is about the future of Northern Ireland constitutionally and economically and therefore we will not be supporting the deal in its current format.”

She also appeared to reject the idea that the DUP could back the deal if May agrees to a common rule book between the Britain and EU, which might be enough to avoid barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K. The difficulty is that such political declarations aren’t politically binding, Foster said, unlike the Withdrawal Agreement.

Tories Cry Betrayal as May Seeks Labour Help (9:45 a.m.)

Conservative Brexit-backers aren’t pleased that May is trying to pick off Labour politicians to help get her deal through Parliament. May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell briefed Labour members of Parliament last night in a bid to win them over.

"It is so disappointing that after Gavin Barwell faithfully promised me and many other colleagues that Number 10 would never try to gain Labour MPs support against us as a party, it seems they have gone back on their pledge," Conservative Maria Caulfield said in a statement. "Not least because doing so would destroy the government."

"Number 10 is trying to do what it swore it never would," she said.

Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg said he thinks it’s highly unlikely the deal will be approved, and said the reputations of Brexit-backing politicians depend on them rejecting it.

"You never know until the votes are counted but at the moment it looks extremely unlikely,” he told Talk Radio earlier Tuesday. "The 11th of December is key test. It would be very hard to say you’re a Brexiteer if you vote for this deal.”

As for what comes next, Rees-Mogg sees no prospect of Conservative MPs voting for an early election.

DUP Is Ready to Reject the Deal - No Bluff: Brexit Update

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