Ever controversial, when Boris stood up to speak in Parliament, it was clear that desperate Remoaners had other ideas. There were deliberately planned interruptions, and heckling and Mrs. May walked out.
She would have done well to listen, but taking advice has never been her forte, hence the present fiasco. Boris’s great speech is below. Comments from the Sun are here.
My speech to the House of Commons this evening on the proposed agreement:
I can’t believe there is a single member of this House who sincerely believes that this is a good deal for the UK.
You can tell that the government’s hearts are not in it.
You can tell that they know it is a disaster because after two and a half years this deal has done an amazing thing it has brought us together – remainers and leavers in the belief that it is a national humiliation that makes a mockery of Brexit.
There will be no proper free trade deals. We will not take back control of ourlaws and for the government to continue to suggest otherwise is to do violence to the normal meaning of words.
We will give up £39bn for nothing. We will not really be taking back control of our borders.
Not only have we yet to settle the terms on which EU migrants will come to this country but we will be levying EU tariffs at UK ports and sending 80 per cent of the cash to Brussels.
In short we are going to be rules takers. A colony. And out of sheer funk we are ensuring that we will never ever be able to take advantage of the freedoms that we should have won by Brexit.
Under the terms of the backstop we have to stay in the customs union while Northern Ireland – and therefore the rest of the UK – will stay in regulatory alignment unless and until the EU decides to let us go.
And why should they?
By handing over the 39bn we lose all our leverage in the talks. With a £95bn surplus with us in goods alone the EU has absolutely no interest in allowing us to go off and do free trade deals round the world of a kind that might undercut their manufacturers.
When they look at the power they will have over the whole of UK manufacturing – unchecked and unmediated power to legislate for the UK and with no UK representation, do you think they will lightly abandon their advantage and take their foot off our neck?
And they have us in permanent captivity as a reminder to the world of what happens to all those who try to leave the EU. This is a recipe for blackmail and it is open to any member of the EU to name its price for Britain’s right to leave the backstop.
The Spanish will make a play for Gibraltar. The French will be after our fish and our bankers. The Germans may well want some concessions on the free movement of EU nationals – and so it goes on.
The worst of it is that we have not even tried to leave or shown any real interest in choosing a different future. These manacles were forged in Britain by our own negotiators with the express purpose of keeping us locked in the customs union and the single market in defiance of the wishes of the people.
One should be careful about claiming any kind of subterfuge.
But it is very hard to understand how the former Sec of state for DExEU could have been kept in the dark about that crucial addition to paragraph 23 of the political declaration.
It does not change the legal position and they are confident that sometime before March next year the government will come back to this House and that this deal will go through because as everybody will keep saying, there is allegedly no alternative.
The Norway option will be seen for what it is – an even worse solution than that currently proposed the notion of extending Article 50 – delaying the date of Brexit – would be greeted with fury by the electorate and having studied us in detail they do not think we have the resolve to face them down and get significant change they think we have nothing left in our tank that we will take a deal at virtually any price and now is the time therefore to show that they grossly underestimate this country and this House of Commons and our attachment to our liberties.
Because there is another way – and we not should pretend that it will be easy but after two and a half wasted years no option is easy and this is the only option that not only delivers on the will of the people but maintains our self-respect as a country and that is to say what is obvious from this debate and from every poll I have seen, we should go back and say to Brussels that yes, we want a deal if we can get one.
And yes, there is much in this Withdrawal Agreement that we can keep. Notably the work that gives certainty to millions of citizens on either side of the Channel, but we must be clear this house will not accept the backstop and the question of the Irish border is for the future partnership and not the withdrawal agreement and we use that implementation period to negotiate that future partnership, as the government itself envisages.
And by the way we should withhold at least half the £39bn until that negotiation is concluded I believe the EU will sense that the government has found its resolve and will be willing to deal on those terms but in case they are not we must be absolutely emphatic that we are now preparing urgently for the possibility that we will indeed have to leave before we have reached a final agreement.
And yes that will mean a national effort and yes it will mean that we will have to get all our ports ready to make sure goods can flow freely into this country and we will have to make sure that planes can fly and the Treasury will have to use the £39bn to support the economy rather than talking it down but far better to make that effort now and at least to be responsible for our destiny than to agree to give up our right to self-government forever.
Just because of a lack of short term logistical competence and quite frankly the EU will not treat us as a sovereign equal unless and until we are willing to stand up for our own interests and our own future and I tell you this the country is ready for us to take this stand if we have to.
Because they have had enough of being told that we can’t do it, that even the fifth or sixth biggest economy in the world is not strong enough to run itself. And if we fail now it won’t be good enough to say to our fishermen that it was all too difficult to take back control of our fish.
And it won’t be good enough to say to the people of Northern Ireland that after all those promises we accept that they must be treated differently from the rest of the UK. And it won’t be good enough to say to UK businesses and citizens burdened with EU regulation that we can’t control that we could not see an alternative and if colleagues think that it is too disruptive to go now
for the Super Canada option, just you wait till you feel the popular reaction to the betrayal of the referendum.
The tragedy of the last two and half years is that Brexit has been delivered by people who seem to regard it as a disaster to be managed and who see bad news as a vindication of that judgement and actually talk up bad news as a result and in taking that attitude I believe they are badly misunderstanding the instincts of the people of this country who didn’t vote for Brexit out of hate – as the PM’s chief of staff once tweeted but who voted to take back control of our laws because they believe – I think rightly – that if we govern ourselves and legislate in the interests of the UK economy then they have a better chance of good jobs and cheaper food and clothes and a brighter future – all of which are possible under a proper Brexit.
None of which can be delivered under this deal and above all if we vote through this apology for Brexit, we will be showing that we have treated 17.4m people – the highest number ever to vote for a single proposition – with contempt.
This House must understand that when the people of this country voted in June 2016 they voted for change. They did not vote for an endless transition or a thinly disguised version of the status quo.
The people of this country voted for freedom, they voted for independence and for a better Britain and for a country where politicians actually listen to what they have to say and if we try to cheat them now they will not forgive us.