Brexit legal advice what bad things will be revealed in it

That the government don’t want us to see? And will the government also disclose the instructions sent to counsel to advise ? I suspect not .

I doubt it will contain anything new substantively.  I suspect the concern is around the language used and the soundbites it will provide.

The principal drafting on it was done by RoF’s Captain Swing?

A worrying level of interest in how exactly 'good faith' and 'best endeavours' to reach agreement are measured.


If you're measuring it in teaspoons, you're not doing it. 

Whether you are a remainer or an extreme brexiteer it is clearly crazy to bind ourselves to the EU more completely than we are currently bound (losing the unilateral right to cut ties).  No doubt the legal advice will reflect that. 

I assume that they are trying to keep the section about David Icke's lizard friends and their involvement secret.

wait, what is this about losing the right to cut ties with the backstop?


 Britain will be "essentially treated as third country" by Northern ireland

Thanks Clergs.

Apparently over 100 Tory MPs have now confirmed they plan to vote against the deal.

Gloomy reading. Basically you're fvcked unless the EU want to play nice.

But we already knew that.

I tried to read the 6-page summary and got about two lines in before my eyes glazed over

I don't know how you lot read this stuff for a living

the EU seem to be playing nice is the stupid thing

why bring a lawyer to a politicianfight in the first place

it sounds as though there's a plan in the offing to separate out the backstop so it needs separate consent to trigger

I guess he does point a few reasons why the EU might want to play nice, or at least fair. 

Surely this must be a case of "you shall not pass".

"Yours ever,

Geoffry Cox" 

No winking smiley face?



why did Corbyn not mention Brexit and the legal advice at PMQs??

Queenie it's much easier when you're being paid to read it.  I struggle to read legal documents relating to my own affairs because I'm not being paid to read them.

Is it not obvious that the backstop won't end until further agreement so it risks being there in perpetuity?  Dunno what the fuss is about.  If that's too risky for you, fine, don't vote for it.  If that isn't too risky, fine, back it.  No need to get all pissy about it.

True, it has looked like the inevitable outcome for months, given that all sides have utterly failed come up with any real resolution for the NI situation. Now, the best they can do is to feign surprise about the fruits of their collective fecklessness.

why did Corbyn not mention Brexit and the legal advice at PMQs??

Because he's fucking useless.

I think maybe cos he's a secret Brexiteer


Or he thinks Middle England no longer cares about Brexit (which may actually be true tbh)

Then it will serve middle England right if we leave with no deal. I daresay that'll wake them up out of their apathetic stupor. 

I don't really have a problem with it (being a Tory remainer who does not support a second referendum). the draft agreement is okay. I have always also supported if we really have to leave that we stay in the CU too so that's fine with me too.


However let us see if Parliament votes for it.

I honestly don't know how I'd vote if I were an MP.

I think May's deal is bad, but from an economic point of view it's better than no deal, which would genuinely be a disaster. On the other hand, it's nowhere near as good as remaining. Regarding no deal, although I tend to believe the "Project Fear" warnings about how catastrophic it would be in the short, medium and probably long term, I wonder whether a bit of disaster is actually what the country needs right now. A lot of people who voted leave are already screaming betrayal and I can't help but feel like they need to be taught a lesson. They need to see the consequences of what they voted for to realise what happens when you listen to snake oil salesmen. I'm hoping that a positive result to come out of it all would be the complete collapse of both the Tories and Labour, and the birth of a new period of political awareness which paves the way for genuine electoral reform and the end of Tory/Labour dominance and the unfair first past the post system.

But it is easy for me to say people need to be taught a lesson when I won't personally need to live with it. And I wouldn't wish it on my friends or family, or anyone who voted remain really.

Lydia, out of interest, you say you're OK with May's deal, but what do you think should happen next if the deal is defeated? Anyone who thinks a new Tory leader or a Labour government is going to go back to the EU and get something better is living in fairyland.

I wonder whether a bit of disaster is actually what the country needs right now. Strongly agree

A lot of people who voted leave are already screaming betrayal and I can't help but feel like they need to be taught a lesson. Strongly disagree. 

I don't understand the persistence of treating Leave voters as stupid and irrational. It was rational to vote 'leave'  as a way of saying 'for once in forty years listen to us'. It was rational to vote 'leave' as a protest against  years of government lazily accepting tax revenue from the financial services sectors; and lazily assuming that social welfare bribes are an adequate substitute for education, jobs and a sense of purpose, worth, direction and participation. The voters don't need to be taught a lesson, they need a new political dispensation and as you say, a bit of a disaster may be what is needed to make room for that to happen.


Maybe "taught a lesson" is a bit harsh, but the reality is that whatever their reasons for voting leave, they will be worse off as a result of Brexit, not better off. Remainers have been saying this until they are blue in the face, but they have chosen to believe the liars and the charlatans instead. It seems the only way they are going to actually believe that Brexit will make them worse off rather than better off is for them to experience it. Unfortunately, everybody else will have to experience it too.

I am not convinced the denizens of, say, Govanhill will be worse off. I think they will be better off. They mostly probably didn't vote, tho.

It was rational to vote 'leave' as a protest against  years of government lazily accepting tax revenue from the financial services sectors; and lazily assuming that social welfare bribes are an adequate substitute for education, jobs and a sense of purpose, worth, direction and participation.

I don't agree it was rational to vote for leaving the EU as a protest against various things that would not be fixed by leaving the EU.

I do agree that the only way [some] leavers will be persuaded that leaving the EU will make them worse off it for them to experience it (although they would probably blame something else) but I don't think we should leave the EU for that reason.

We need parliament to start acting in the best interests of the UK as a whole and retract the A50 notice or grant Ref2 and properly explain the benefits of remaining in the EU.  Then it can start properly addressing the reasons people voted leave.   

I don't actually believe the threats of violence in the streets if we don't leave but if it came to pass I would rather have that short term pain instead of the irreversible catastrophe of leaving the EU (whether on May's deal or otherwise). 

I think people do understand Brexit will make the country worse off, and they don't care

There is a century of evidence from the Soviet Union that there is something in people that makes them want fairness so much that they prefer to equalise down, including if it disimproves their own situation, rather than let someone else have too much more than them. 

Also, can we ne frank, we don't know that it won't be good for the country overall. You all say you "know" but you know what wealthy and powerful people with monumental vested interests feed to the media.

The EU is incredibly corrupt and does not represent member state diversity well. There is a huge inequality of wealth distribution between members.

I am annoyed that some of the things that benefited me will go but, overall, it's wrong to characterise the decision to leave the EU as completely irrational.

Mr RC - I don't think the whole of the UK should be disadvantaged because some people want it to be.


Broadly I agree with Kimmy but I am getting pretty tired of hearing people jeering "project fear, project fear!" If they won't believe the warnings they need to experience it first hand.

These people are putting their faith in the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg. I mean, really, who stupid do you have to be? They are the three little pigs and he is the wolf dressed in wolf's clothing. If it has big ears like a wolf and big eyes like a wolf and a taste for eating little pigs and Red Riding Hood and her granny then it's a fucking wolf.

I also think that there is likely to be civil unrest if we remain and also civil unrest if we leave with no deal, so it's probably inevitable.

British people don't riot unless it's very very hot. There won't be unrest. Everyone will take their medicine.

There is a comment above many Brexiteers accept the country will be economically worse off and they don't care.

I think the emphasis is on country not them individual. When some Brexit voter from some shit hole northern town loses their job because the local Japanese plant has moved then they will care. 

The impact on the individual is the key. When its the country that is someone else. 

There was a Brexit voter on Radio 4 this morning who suggested a 'businessman' should have negotiated the deal like Alan Sugar. It was pointed out to him Alan Sugar is a strong Remainer.




Completely agree with Ray.

I am from a working class background, but I would say my dad was an self educated man. He had been in the army for a while and he was very differential to anyone with a posh accent and it used to infuriate me. It was almost breed into him. I suspect most of the time he was much more intelligent than the so called better he was speaking to.

Private school breeds a certain confidence into you (I wont say arrogance) but also equally for my dads generation he passed a few years back at 88 with not a great formal education that bred in a certain lack of confidence.


When you say "some sort of deal", what do you mean? May's deal is the deal.

the UK has a lot of power (including some literally immoveable infrastructure on which Europe relies - not unlike our reliance on Russian pipelines)

lawyers are terrible for thinking "is now" = "must always be"

all relationships are based on the belief that they can work and there's no reason the nature of the beliefs can't be changed. Objection to (or support for) Brexit is purely ideological for most people.

I think the deal will pass with a stupid "consent clause" for the backstop

Backstop means backstop.

That's not going to change.

TMPM on R4 this morning (in full maybot mode) said that the backstop provisions wouldn't be separated from the deal.

I'm astonished she has agreed to this televised debate.  She is hopeless at that sort of thing.

Is the debate going ahead? I thought it had been scrapped because they couldn't agree on.... anything.

The consent clause to the backstop is totally and utterly meaningless. The backstop happens if there is no agreement on frictionless trade, the EU have to agree to that. Parliament's views are irrelevant on that point, so the consent clause is irrelevant.

As stated above 'the BackStop is the BackStop', new programme for the Maybot.


BBC has definitely given up on the idea. Not sure about ITV. It will be the most boring "debate" in history anyway since Corbyn and May are basically the same side and their only disagreement is over whether the deckchairs on the Titanic should be red or blue.

According to the Beeb:

"Philip Hammond accuses Labour of believing in a "magic deal", adding: "the time for trying to have your cake and eat it has passed"."

"Shadow chancellor John McDonnell says the government's Brexit deal is "neither politically or economically acceptable", and "will not unite divisions in the country".

Of Labour's Brexit blueprint, he says: "we would not need a backstop because we would be in a permanent customs union and the single market"."

Actually Phil, if Labour's Brexit plan is that we do remain permanently in the single market and customs union, then that is clearly a proposal that could well be acceptable to the EU if Labour were to win a snap election and try to reopen negotiations. Provided Labour are fully aware of an accept the fact that membership of the single market required continued free movement, this doesn't strike me as a magic, cake-and-unicorns type proposal.

Cookie, with the exception of a small band of determined fighters from across the political spectrum who are restoring a little of my faith in parliament, I would say the vast majority of the House of Commons is utterly out of their depth.

I wish Keir Starmer were leader of the Labour party.

"Provided Labour are fully aware of an accept the fact that membership of the single market required continued free movement, this doesn't strike me as a magic, cake-and-unicorns type proposal."

The problem there being that one of the key factors motivating Labour-voting leavers is an end to free movement. So there's that.


Labour-voting leavers make up an ever-shrinking minority of Labour voters though.

Labour need to come off the fence - say Brexit doesn't work, call for a 2nd refefendum and campaign to remain - yes they will lose a few northern working class votes - but mostly in very safe seats, that will be more than made up for by voters in marginal seats who will hold their nose and vote Labour just to be rid of this Brexit nonsense.

Len McClusky has "warned" Labour against a 2nd ref.  Twat.  

"Labour-voting leavers make up an ever-shrinking minority of Labour voters though."

AFAIK poll numbers regarding support for Brexit have barely shifted since the original vote, so I don't see where this understanding is coming from?


Len McCluskey who was voted for by a narrow majority of union members on a 12% turnout? That Len McCluskey?

yeah, that Len McCluskey. He's still gen sec of the largest trade union, however close the vote. 

just like 52:48 ===> "the will of the people" bollocks.

TBF, the result of the referendum being "the will of the people" is considerably less bollocks on a turnout of 72% than Len McCluskey's claim to represent union members.

There is a century of evidence from the Soviet Union that there is something in people that makes them want fairness so much that they prefer to equalise down

You don't have to look at far back or as far away as the Soviet Union for that.  TMPM sees that sat opposite her every time she's doing PMQs

Interesting LP, but:

"This article is over 3 months old"

"The study was jointly commissioned by Best for Britain, which is campaigning against Brexit, and the anti-racist Hope Not Hate group."

I'm not sure how much confidence to put in that research.

Meanwhile, out today in YouGov:

"Few people have changed their minds since the 2016 referendum. The vast majority of Leave voters prefer either leaving under the terms of the proposed deal or on the basis of no deal, withmore supporting no deal. The vast majority of Remain voters still prefer to Remain, with nearly all of the rest supporting the deal."

Nevertheless, in this study it seems that given a deal/no deal/remain split, remain does indeed win: 

"Because of “vote splitting” between Deal and No Deal, Remain is the plurality winner in the vast majority of constituencies. As we have already noted, this is why simply looking to first preferences is an inadequate way of assessing preferences regarding these three options."






Well there's a few other things to bear in mind. (Acknowledging of course that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".)

1. Demographics

Various studies suggest that by early next year the narrow majority for leave would have turned to a narrow majority for remain purely on demographics alone. I am slightly sceptical about this because it assumes that the voters who have since died would mostly have been for leave and the people who have since gained the right to vote would mostly be for remain. I am sure the latter is true, but I am less convinced of the former. Most breakdowns of the referendum results by age tend to lump all the over 65s in together. However, there is some evidence to suggest that the very old were more likely to be for remain, as those who remember war in Europe and life before the EU are less likely to want to throw it all away. (As opposed to the gammon-faced baby boomers who benefited from our membership for their entire working lives but like to say "we" didn't beat the Germans in WWII only to be ruled by them now, despite having been born in 1948.) That said, on the turnout issue, I think that people who didn't vote last time but would vote this time are more likely to be lazy remainers, whereas people who did vote last time and wouldn't vote this time are more likely to be leavers who think there's no point in voting if their choice isn't going to be respected.

2. Traditional "Labour" constituencies

I'm not sure the fact that the Guardian article is over 3 months old has much of a bearing on the point I was making. If anything, Brexit is even more of a shitshow now than it was in August, so if the trend they are reporting is correct, it's probably even more the case now than it was back in the summer. A lot of Labour MPs representing those traditional working class constituencies (for example, in Sunderland) are reporting having received a lot of correspondence from constituents expressing concerns about job security, the rising cost of living and the fact that Brexit doesn't seem to be going as promised. Many of them are reporting receiving a lot of emails asking for a people's vote, and not nearly so many saying we need to leave with no deal.

3. Vote splitting

I know I'm a remoaner, but I think that putting "no deal" on the ballot paper is unconscionable. This shouldn't even be an option. For what it's worth, I don't think it would win, but there's always a risk. And then we really would be fucked. I don't think it should go on the ballot paper for two reasons. Firstly because it poses a completely unacceptable level of risk to various minority groups who aren't numerous enough to carry the result simply by all voting remain en masse (or, worse still, don't have the right to vote at all). I'm talking about the people of Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK, as well as anyone who would simply not be able to do their job overnight, such as pilots and haulage drivers. Secondly, although there are some people who appear to fully understand what no deal would mean and still think it's the right choice, the vast majority clearly do not. A lot of people know it would be messy but don't realise just how messy. And some people - amazingly - think that no deal means we carry on as we are now, rather than life as we know it coming to a grinding halt. It would be utterly irresponsible to put no deal on the ballot paper, so there shouldn't be any issue about vote splitting.

You will not find a stronger remainer than me but even I accept it would be unfair to spilt the brexit vote in a 2nd referendum.  The referendum has to be between deal on table or remain.

I would have assumed that ' no deal' means we stay in the EU 

Apparently quite a few people do think that's what it means.

Bernstein, how can it mean that?  Art 50 has been triggered.

Anyway, even more reason not to have it on the ballot paper!

No deal could and should be on the ballot. It’s a stupid choice but a choice. Also it’s not a no deal it’s in reality a managed no deal. It’s in the interests of both party to have some form of deal. It will be crap deal fir the UK but a deal. People would have accept a hard border in Ireland, the potential for the return of the troubles, a dislocation of the Northern Ireland and Republic economies and the increased chance of a United Ireland. Also the UK economy will tank in the short to medium term. That’s the pay off for the ‘liberation’ of managed no deal. Stupid but a choice. Also if it’s not there the hard brexiteers will cry lack of democratic mandate. Mays deal is politically unworkable. Once voted down it’s dead and should be canned and off the ballot. One could argue for a EEA option, but for me it’s remain being the other binary choice.

Amberman, what the actual fuck are you on about? 

You said under point 3 of your long post above, that no deal should not be in the ballot paper full stop. Why? It’s a stupid choice but a choice. I am a remainder by the way. It should be no deal (well managed no deal) and stay in. Mays deal is unworkable politically. 

I vote stay in and then fight the brexiteers on the street in the resulting riots.

I think it was the words "managed no deal" that got me. There's not really any such thing as a "managed no deal".

I honestly can't find any credible justification for putting no deal on the ballot paper. It obviously wouldn't have got more than 50% of the vote in 2016, and from talking to leavers it's quite clear that the only reason why it might today is because a lot of people are really fucking stupid and (a) have no idea what no deal actually means and will go "project fear!" if you try to tell them, and (b) think it will give the EU a bloody nose for "the way they've treated us".

Having the referendum in the first place was unwise enough but there is absolutely no fucking way we should even contemplate letting these cretins plunge us off the edge of the cliff. Because everything we warned about will happen, and then they will wail and say it's everyone else's fault except theirs.

i've read it twice and can find no reference to where we will legally be able to have our cake and eat it. can you please clarify?