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What you have brought us Mrs May, if it has a name, is some... Legally Binding Bollocks!

Charlie MullinsTuesday 12th March 2019
Charlie Mullins

In a scene reminiscent of the Black Adder *episode when Lord Percy attempts to solve Edmund's financial woes with some DIY alchemy, trying to turn base material into gold, Theresa May has returned from Strasbourg with a big pile of green poo, which she has declared to be gold.

Lord Percy Percy : I've done it, my Lord! I've discovered how to turn things into gold! Pure gold!

Blackadder : Now, look, Percy, I don't mean to be pedantic or anything, but the colour of gold... is gold. That's why it's called gold. What YOU have discovered, if it has a name, is some... Green.

In this classic BBC comedy, Black-Adder, played by Rowan Atkinson, has the decency to point out that what Lord Percy had indeed created was a worthless pile of green crap.  Will parliament have the stomach to do the same, and tell the truth, or are we in for another episode of the Emperor's New Clothes? 

In short the huge breakthrough that Theresa May is claiming she made last night is to agree with the EU to try really hard to replace the Irish backstop by the end of 2020, and if that fails to go to arbitration. 

Seems to me that's another way of saying nothing has changed.  We still have a backstop until something better can be dreamed up, whether it be by 'best efforts' or by arbitration.  And remember when you go before a judge you don't always get the result you were looking for!!  Trust me, I know.

I hope that the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has the legal professionalism to make it very clear, or at least clear enough to MPs, that nothing has actually changed here.  I suspect he's in for a difficult day, on one hand trying to give his PM a puncher's chance in tonight's Commons vote, but also to not slap too much lip-stick on the pig. 

What else can I tell you? Hopefully MPs won't fall for it, and tomorrow we'll officially rule out a No-deal, and by Friday we'll have an extension to Article 50. 

Next Stop, a People's Vote.

* BlackaAdder II; Money 1986