I attended the Urgent Question on the Brexit discussions yesterday.
The government made clear that they still believe No deal is better than a bad deal. They confirmed to me that they are continuing to plan for a No Deal exit. They need to do this as No Deal is still a possible outcome. They also need to do so as the government will have no capacity to resist a bad deal at the last minute if we are not ready to leave without an Agreement.
The government believes they can secure a good deal. This would embrace a full free trade agreement and various other features of a comprehensive economic partnership. It is important it leaves the UK free to negotiate our own trade deals with the rest of the world, settle our own borders, make our own laws and no longer be under the ECJ. The government states they have not offered any specific sums of money, but have indicated areas where they will consider making ex gratia payments in return for a good deal.
Some contributors to this website want me to write all the time about Brexit and respond daily to the false rumours, stories and comments that abound in this area. I have no intention of doing so. Any likely Agreement is probably a year away. It will only be possible to decide whether the Deal is better than No Deal when we know what it is. The discussions will get very repetitious, and my attitude will not change daily as the news flows. In the meantime I do have other constituency interests to pursue. I will continue to engage on the many matters that do not relate to Brexit that affect the lives of my constituents.
No Deal ticks four of the five boxes of what we want from Brexit. It gives us control of our borders, our laws and our money. It means no special divorce bill. It means we are free to negotiate our own trade agreements around the world. It does not deliver us a free trade agreement with the EU, though later after we have left the EU might want one after all. Any Agreement needs to improve on this to be worthwhile.