Richard Murphy: Brexit Yellowhammer Is Wrong, but That Doesn’t Mean We Should Ignore It

Yves here. Even I am suffering a bit of Brexit fatigue. So many momentous things are happing that it’s easy to become desensitized. But some things, like the Yellowhammer “Reasonable Worst Case” document, turn out to be damp squibs. If you’ve been following Brexit, this document’s take isn’t that surprising, although it does have a couple of remarkable dot points on the first page that discuss bilateral deals with individual EU member states as if that were a realistic option. But as Lambert said, it’s unlikely to persuade true Brexit believers.

Oddly, the press seems to be giving much more prominent play to Yellowhammer than to the proroguation or to the Scottish ruling against it. Per the Telegraph:

The MPs who asked a Scottish court to overturn the prorogation of Parliament took on Boris Johnson using a 300 year old law brought in at the time of William of Orange, dubbed the “Scottish Magna Carta”. A band of 76 MPs, Lords and lawyers won an appeal yesterday in Scotland’s Inner Court of Session in Edinburgh, using a case based partly on the Claim of Right Act, passed by the Scottish Parliament in 1689. The law enabled the Scots to forfeit James VII as their king and establish their sovereign right to choose a Government. It now forms a key part of the Scottish constitution and was used by MPs’ lawyers to argue that prorogation is unconstitutional.

Note that the Court of Session did not enjoin the Government’s action.

Recall that the High Court had determined that the decision to prorogue Parliament was purely political and thus outside court purview. By contrast, the court in Edinburgh decided that the Government was “motivated by the improper purpose of stymying parliament.” So the controversy is going to the Supreme Court.

Reader Reality-Based Lawyer was disconcerted by the logic of the High Court decision. By e-mail:

I think Paul Craig is regarded as the doyen of English constitutional law (such as it is), though of course I’m not an English lawyer. Nevertheless, this blog post contains the major points I made to myself while reading the English judgment as to the absolute non-justiciability of the decision to prorogue Parliament: The English decision, as I’m sure you know, is at I think the key paragraph is 41 (following on ¶40):

It is central to Lord Pannick’s submissions that we should explore the facts first, for the purpose of deciding whether there has been a public law error, and then turn to justiciability; and then in the limited sense of deciding whether “caution” should forestall intervention. We are unable to accept that submission. The question of justiciability comes first, both as a matter of logic and of law.

That I think means that justiciability is to be determined without reference to any circumstances or facts whatsoever, which in turn means that the government could prorogue Parliament immediately after an election for the five-year period of the Fixed-term Parliament Act, save for certain purposes such as raising revenues for the government. The shade of Charles II rises! Surely that can’t be right—that wasn’t what the Glorious Revolution of 1688-90 was all about, for it disposed of a monarch because it was unlawful for a Catholic to be a king. Wherever we are, this really is a constitutional crisis for England (Scotland appears to have a different view of its monarch; Northern Ireland’s ruling tomorrow will be interesting).

My reply:

My sense is a lot of the custom that amounts to the British Constitution assumed (just as US law in theory does) a level of good faith and fair dealing that is no longer operative. By any normal Constitutional standard, Theresa May should have resigned at least 4x, on every defeat of the Withdrawal Act + the censure.

Also the Fixed Term Parliaments Act was a horribly drafted piece of legislation and plays a part in the breakdown.

In other words, this is another manifestation of the political breakdown that reader David flagged early on.

As to the main chance, the UK and EU are talking, with the EU hopeful it can get Johnson to accept the so-called “sea border” option and sell Parliament on it as a new deal that gets rid of the hated backstop. But it isn’t clear things have really changed. From the Independent:

There is growing frustration in the European Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters over a lack of concrete proposals coming from London, despite claims from the UK government that talks have been “intensified”. EU officials are alert to the possibility that they may be, in the words of one, being “led up the garden path” by Mr Johnson’s team for the sake of giving the Tory leader an advantage in a coming election. One theory getting a hearing in the Berlaymont is that Mr Johnson wants to keep talks frozen, with the possibility of both a deal and no deal open, because the ambiguity would suit him during an election campaign.

And even if Johnson is starting to realize being Prime Minister during a no-deal Brexit won’t be any fun, it’s not clear how many degrees of freedom he has. From vlade:

Cummings IMO wants a massive disruption, which he sees as revolutionary opportunity. I believe he’d prefer NI gone and no-deal in the Britain than some sort of fudge to keep things similar to what they are.

If he gets defenestrated, that will open many possibilities. But as long a he controls Johnson, I suspect he’ll do anything to get a no-deal. Of course, we saw how Bolton and Bannon ended, so there’s no guarantee that Cummings lasts the weekend. That said, Farage is still in the wings, so even getting rid of Cummings is not a winning strategy (now that Johnson burned his bridges on the majority, and elections are more or less inevitable).

Finally, back to Yellowhammer. The document says that some fresh foods will be scarce and prices would rise, but that there won’t be shortages:

This translates into “Short restaurants”. The fourth quarter is when restaurants make the most money, and they need that boost to tide them over though the lean winter months. Fast food restaurants are particularly rigid; it takes many months to introduce new menu items, not just for the testing but also to train workers. And how will high end restaurants adapt to limited fresh produce and spices? Put it another way: if a crash-out happens, be sure to go regularly to your local restaurants you like to have a drink to help keep them alive.

By Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and a political economist. He has been described by the Guardian newspaper as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”. He is Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London and Director of Tax Research UK. He is a non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics. He is a member of the Progressive Economy Forum. Originally published at Tax Research UK

The so-called Yellowhammer report is wrong. I can say that with absolute confidence. Every forecast is, and I’ve delivered a lot in my time, always with that caveat attached to them. But in my opinion that does not mean it is not important. That’s precisely its significance.

All it really says with certainty is four things. The first is that we do not know what will happen if we hard-Brexit. The second is that we can be sure that some consequences will be very uncomfortable, at least for a while. The third is that there is no known solution to the Irish border issue, whatever Conservative politicians wish to claim. And the last, and perhaps the most significant, is that whatever happens the uncertainty of Brexit will continue for a considerable time to come: any deal only leads to more negotiation. No deal just makes that next step harder, and potentially more drawn out.

I am not saying that worrying about particular drug supplies does not matter. Or that we should not worry about civil unrest, and so on. Of course those risks need mitigation. But precisely what those risks are does still remain uncertain. The points I make are, in the event of no deal, certain within the parameters I note. And of all these the last is the greatest: there is no end in sight.

And that matters. We have an election coming. This time there will be no avoiding Brexit. In 2017 it could be pretended that it was in the distance. This time it is not. And so it will dominate all campaigns, whatever other issues parties wish to add to the mix. And what voters will need to know is that unless they vote for Article 50 revocation then the nightmare, with which most are utterly fed up, will continue. Precisely for that reason, and whether readers here like it or not, this is why I think the LibDems will do well in England and Wales and the SNP will in Scotland. Both parties have broad bases. And both are offering ways out of the current situation.

The Tories only offer more chaos. The Labour position has logic to it. And at the same time if Fiona Bruce can tear it to shreds – and she did – then so too can anyone else. However logical it is to say that you will negotiate a new deal to put to a referendum, if you then say you will campaign against that deal the conviction that you will bring to the negotiating process has to be in doubt. And that’s the flaw in the Labour logic.

So, both major parties offer more delay, prevarication, and long term uncertainty as their core election offering. And that is not what the country wants.

The nationalists and Alliance vote will rise in Northern Ireland as a result.

The SNP will not sweep Scotland, but they will have a resounding majority there.

And the LibDems will hold many more seats in England and Wales than anyone might have thought possible a couple of years ago.

And Yellowhammer can be used to predict all that. All it says is we’re in a mess. What some parties will be able to offer is a certain way out of that mess. The only way to achieve that is to stay in the EU, and reform it, which I believe possible, because there is no human made institution incapable of being reformed: to claim otherwise is, very politely, to be absurd.

Yellowhammer draws battle lines. And our two main parties are drawing them badly.


  1. Tipster

    Some good points until:

    “The only way to achieve that is to stay in the EU, and reform it, which I believe possible, because there is no human made institution incapable of being reformed: to claim otherwise is, very politely, to be absurd”.
    The process for reform has been outlined here:

    A proposal must emerge from either a national government, the European Parliament, or the European Commission.

    The Council then discusses the proposal and passes it to the Council of Ministers, comprised of national heads of government.

    The Council of Ministers must then consult the European Parliament, the Commission, and (if the proposal touches on monetary matters) the European Central Bank.

    The Council of Ministers must vote on the proposal, with a simple majority required for it to progress further.

    For any proposals suggesting fundamental change, the President of the European Council must then convene a “Convention”. This must be comprised of representatives from national parliaments, national governments, the European parliament, and the Commission, but the President has total discretion as to how many of each are included.

    The Convention discusses the proposal and develops, by consensus, a draft treaty text.

    An intergovernmental conference convenes to discuss the text.

    If the text is approved, it must be ratified by member-states in accordance with domestic law, e.g. through national parliaments or referendum.


    Indeed no human made institution is incapable of being reformed. However, the barriers to any serious change of the EU treaties formidable and to all intents an purposes practically insurmountable.

    There maybe good reasons to stay in the EU but the idea you can reform it, is for those who believe that pixies live at the bottom of the garden,

    1. vlade

      The EU treaty was changed, most recently Lisbon. Which shows it is posssible in practice, not only technically.

      No-one said it’s easy.

      1. Tipster

        I suppose it depends how you see the Lisbon Treaty.

        The Lisbon Treaty gave the unelected EU Commission greater say over Foreign Policy and Home Affairs.

        The Lisbon Treaty that challenged the principle that sovereign states should have control over these important policy areas.

        The Lisbon Treaty that made the EU an international actor in its own right, separate from, and superior to, its member states.

        The Lisbon Treaty that transformed the EU from what was an international agreement into ‘something’ more like a single state.

        The UK is now unable to use its veto to block future changes in an increasing number of areas, potentially even those areas in which it had negotiated an opt-out.

        And we all know what that sly old fox Jeremy Corbyn thought of the Lisbon Treaty.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’m not sure what point you are trying to make. The Council of Ministers is the ultimate power in the EU, and the implementing ‘agencies’ for policy are sovereign national governments or regions. Are you suggesting that deep constitutional change in the EU should be done without the consent of the Council of Ministers (i.e. the elected heads of state) or the nation states themselves?

      1. Tipster

        Reforming the EU is almost Mission Impossible. Yes, 100/1 bets occasionally come in but it’s not a pool I want fish in.

        There may be some who really wish to reform the EU. But R & R argument is merely used as a sop for left Leave voters, as part of a campaign to stop Brexit.

        1. AMatthey

          What you’re saying is obviously not true, since the EU has been reformed multiple times in its short existence.

          The Treaties are the EU’s constitutional basis. They have been rewritten and changed radically over time. The most important steps were the creation of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union called Treaty of Rome (when the EU was the ECC), effective since 1958; and the Maastricht Treaty, effective since 1993.

          These main treaties have been altered by amending treaties at least once a decade since they each came into force, the latest radical reform being the Treaty of Lisbon which came into force in 2009.

          1. Tipster

            Clearly the EU has developed or ‘reformed’ as you have said.

            The Lisbon Treaty made the EU an international actor in its own right, separate from, and superior to, its member states. It transformed the EU from what was an international agreement into something more like a single state.

            The ECJ gained jurisdiction in a range of areas, including the power to dictate the fundamental rights of all EU citizens, with precedence over long-established national institutions.

            It’s not something I wanted to see and I was never asked about it either.

          2. Clive

            But some Treaty-mandated “reforms” such as the Treaty of Lisbon’s already pretty watered-down stipulations that the Council “take into account” the results of the European Parliament elections just get ignored. von der Leyen didn’t appear on any MEP candidate list that I ever saw, nor was she in any way involved in any of the European Parliament’s block groupings. As a Merkel crony, von der Leyen was notionally part of Merkel’s party which is notionally part of the biggest group in the European Parliament, but it’s a big stretch to call it “taking into account”.

            And getting voted through by the Parliament itself, as otherwise the Council would just foist someone even worse up, ad infinitum, until the Parliament says “enough already, we don’t care any more, appoint who you like” is hardly a shining example of accountability.

            Any tougher wording will have to wait for the next Treaty, whenever that appears, if it ever does. I may die before that happens. And I’ve absolutely no input into the process.

            Lest anyone tries to tell me that I can get my “voice heard” and effect a Treaty change, I’d retort that, yes, in theory, I could do just that.

            “All” I’d need to do is get my elected representative to form a national government, then get that government to proffer, via the Head of Government (President or Prime Minister) my policy request to the Council, who would then have to agree either avoiding a veto or getting through Qualified Majority Voting (as applicable), who would then need to convince the Commission to define the wording to go into a bundle of other changes in a draft Treaty (so I’d have to hope nothing else grotty got stuffed into the draft in a “take it all or leave it all” fashion) that then needs to get assented by the European Parliament before finally getting put to national votes which requires all Member States to agree either in national parliaments or referenda. Then I’d need to keep my fingers crossed that the EU would adhere to the Treaty wording and it really would “do what it says on the tin” and not end up being interpreted to mean something else entirely. Oh, and did I mention that this all has to endure several national and EU election cycles, lest — even if everyone is very happy with my little brainwave initially, someone else comes in later and frowns on it?

            To which I can only append that the chances of that all happening at all or even if it does, isn’t in a timescale that isn’t measured in decades, is about the same as my being able to bake a Victoria sandwich that doesn’t stick to the bottom of the baking tray. And that, if it strikes the reader in the same way that it strikes me — as being nothing other than bureaucratic tyranny masquerading as democracy-in-name-only — then that’s because it’s exactly what it is. How do I know? Because I practice the exact same approach when trying to kick some ridiculous idea into the long grass when some nitwit tries to get something I’m not keen on past me where I pretend to work. Sending it through the nine circles of bureaucratic Hell is enough to dissuade most to give up, exasperated.

            1. vlade

              I’d argue that the point of democracy is not to get things done. If you want things to get done, autocracy is the way to go, and always was.

              IMO it is to prevent things being done unless a really large part of the society agrees on them.

              TBH, you may be extra sensitive to what democracy means to you, living under the pretend-democracy of the UK (which should be really called minority-elected-dictatorship – until it’s not).

              1. Clive

                My mother-in-law is in complete agreement — “why can’t people just leave things as they are?”. While it is easy (well, easy for me, anyway) to be sniffyily dismissive of her (as I see it) political naiveté and this attitude, she’s as entitled to this opinion as anyone else is of theirs. She’s a lot more content with her lot than I am with mine and much less perturbed about things than I get, so who’s to say she’s not right?

            2. Mattski

              Yes, and this conversation is something of a red herring, since reforming the EU forms no real part of Farage or Johnson’s–let alone any hard-core nationalist Brexiteer’s–actual agenda. The EU did backflips and contortions for Great Britain and allowed it to keep its own sovereign currency (which would be first on my list of necessary reforms). And got punched in the nose, repeatedly.

              1. Clive

                This isn’t about Farage and the ERG scorched-earth’ers. They’ve been internally consistent in saying that the EU is, in their view, unreformable.

                This is a critiquing of “Remain and Reform” which postulates that it is possible for the U.K. to remain in the EU but smooth off some of the, to the U.K., rough edges. Those, like I, who question the viability of this notion set our stall out above.

                I maintain, for the reasons stated, that Remain and Reform is a non-starter. If you want (the U.K.) to Remain, that’s a perfectly justifiable stance to take. But the EU is a package deal, it is not amenable to this- or that- particular Member State picking and choosing the bits it likes and the bits it doesn’t like. For an individual Member State — or EU citizen — to think they’ve got any much chance of materially changing the EU’s direction and core policies is whistling in the wind.

                And a minor correction, the EU did not cut the U.K. any particular special dispensation for not adopting the euro. Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden — and the United Kingdom are EU members but do not use the euro.

                The Withdrawal Agreement does, though, represent a significant set of compromises accepted by the EU — which does not get the U.K. domestic recognition it deserves.

    3. fajensen

      The insurmountable problem with the UK’s ideas of reforming the EU is fundamentally the same as frustrates the US reforming the middle east: ‘We’ do not want to become ‘You’, Really, ‘we’ don’t, how impossible this idea may seem to ‘you’!

      The vast majority of the people in the rest of the EU does not secretly wants to become English, live under the English ‘Common Law’ system or even agrees that the scope of ‘Everything EU’ should be restricted to ‘Markets Only’.

      The European Parliament and the European Commission of course responds to their majorities, whatever the UK insists they should be doing instead.

      At this point in time I think that the only way to defeat Brexit is to let it happen, deal or not, exactly on the 31’st of October as the contract says. Every further extension will only be wasted on useless polemic and keep the singularity, the point where bullshit meets concrete reality, fluid and hidden, meaning that no work will be done on improving any outcomes.

  2. larry

    This is not the full Yellowhammer document, which Leadsom, who is as thick as two short planks and incompetent to boot, has claimed will not be made publicy available because it will upset the public. Really!! I wish I could say that this was unbelievable.

        1. Tony Wright

          Two short planks= very small library.
          A few suggested titles:
          “Referendum Questions to Avoid ” by D Cameron
          “How To Herd Cats” by T May
          “101 Ways to Shoot Yourself in the Foot, The Conoisseurs Ultimate Guide”
          Westminster Unlimited Edition
          “Divide and Rule” by R. Murdoch
          “Divide and Rule” by D.Trump
          “Divide and Rule” by V. Putin
          “The Best Sick Political Jokes of the 21st Century” by N. Farage and J. Corbyn

  3. Clive

    More, for those who (quite understandably if they have) haven’t had enough of the whole thing already, Brexit legal / constitutional pile-ups.

    What happens if Johnson Doesn’t Sign “THE LETTER”

    Northern Ireland court rejects “No Deal” Brexit unlawful claim

    Generally, I’d suggest readers ignore any press / mainstream media coverage and instead rely on sources like in the above post — well-regarded and knowledgeable lawyers in the field of UK constitutional law. Better yet, once the judgements’ Written Reasons are published, read these. The judiciary is increasingly aware that judgements are studied by “amateurs” and while there’s the inevitable legal-ese, they tend, like Miller, to be written in as approachable way as possible, often with an accompanying summary.

    1. David

      I think that’s very good advice. Paul Craig’ argument seems to me as a non-lawyer to be pretty convincing, but there’s perhaps another, more political, way of looking at it as well. In principle, the idea that the length and timing of parliamentary holidays is something that should be justiciable seems bizarre. So the English judges seem to me to be saying that such decisions are of such a type that in principle they are political /administrative decisions for the government to make. Under normal circumstances, it’s hard to see that a decision that the House should rise on Wednesday rather than Thursday matters very much. But the argument is more complex than that. Essentially, such decisions have been regarded as non-justiciable in the past because they have seldom been taken for reasons that were justiciable in principle. But that principle, like many such, turns out to be less a principle than a habit. Now that habit has been broken.

    2. Tipster

      Thanks! Seems very plausible.

      I liked the comment by Patrick McCutcheon.

      One of the joys or not of FPTP is that the Tories could have a sizable majority on as little as 33% of the votes and the Lib Dems could surpass Labour in terms of popular vote and have only a few more seats than they have now.

      1. Realty-Based Lawyer

        Yes, very good (or so I think). In broad agreement with Paul Craig (unsurprisingly), but articulates the principles governing justiciability very clearly. At least, from my perspective as a US lawyer fascinated by this process and hoping that rationality–and the rule of law–will prevail in the end….

      2. Clive

        Yes, it will be absolutely fascinating how the Supreme Court resolves this one. I liked Elliot’s analysing but wondered just how practical it would be in practice. When May agreed to the last extension with the Council, the executive was able to say — entirely correctly under current constitutional understanding — that, in effect, she’d agreed it, the Council had agreed it and, regardless of what Parliament might think about that matter, tough titties, that’s now International Law and therefore binding on the U.K. A Statutory Instrument was brought — and passed — by Parliament to tidy up U.K. domestic law and bring it into line with the new Exit Date, but this wasn’t strictly required. The extension was the extra time added to the transition period and that was that. Supranational Entity Legal Superiority 1 U.K. Law 0.

        But Elliot’s thinking seems to suggest that carte blanche unfettering isn’t permissible. Any agreement in Council which a U.K. Prime Minister might make is susceptible to Judicial Review. Which it might well be. But then, “so what?” — under EU Treaty, the U.K. would still be bound by the agreement reached in the Council.

        Pass the popcorn.

        1. David

          As you say, should be fun. It’s time for the judges to earn their salaries.
          That said, I don’t really think that there should be a problem with decisions taken in the European Council. All the judicial reviews I have ever heard of were concerned with how a government had used its legal powers or administrative capacity in a purely domestic context. The usual question is whether the government behaved unreasonably or irrationally. I suppose it could theoretically be argued that in signing a treaty, for example, the government had behaved irrationally, but that would open the way to the challenge of any international agreement and the end of treaty negotiation as it has always been understood.

  4. The Rev Kev

    Just to add to the insanity, I understand that there was a secret annex to that document about what to do if British society fell apart altogether. A consultant was brought in – the wheelchair-bound Doktor Merkwürdigliebe – who gave a presentation to BoJo and here is an excerpt taken from a secret tape:

    “I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens. It would be quite easy…heh, heh…at the bottom of ah…some of our deeper mineshafts. Peasants would never penetrate a mine some thousands of feet deep, and in a matter of weeks, sufficient improvements in dwelling space could easily be provided.
    It would not be difficult. Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plant life. Animals could be bred and slaughtered. A quick survey would have to be made of all the available mine sites in the country, but I would guess that dwelling space for several hundred thousands of our people could easily be provided.
    Deciding…who stays up and…who goes down would not be necessary. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross-section of necessary skills. Of course, it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition. Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. Ha, ha. But ah, with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present Gross National Product within say, twenty years.
    It would necessitate the abandonment of the so-called monogamous sexual relationship, regrettably. But it is, you know, a sacrifice is required for the future of the British race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious…service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.”

    There was no word if BoJo accepted this proposal or not as last seen he was walking around in a foul mood muttering “Damn Scots!”

  5. David

    Richard Murphy is himself ‘wrong’ to describe the YH document as a ‘forecast ‘ and ‘wrong.’ This is an easy and common error to make, and the main reason why governments hate having contingency plans publicised. Such plans are emphatically not a prediction, but rather a set of assumptions that may turn out to be wrong in the event (and often are) but which are necessary if planning of any kind is to be done.You can’t answer many of the questions that the report addresses by saying ‘don’t know, we’ll see’ because by then it will be too late.
    It’s worth adding also that producing planning assumptions is a highly sensitive thing politically, and in all probability there were assumptions that were thought too controversial by Ministers to be included, in case they leaked. All planning assumptions in the end are a compromise, and turn out to be inaccurate, but they are better than nothing.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Yes. It’s a risk analysis, which is a necessary prerequisite for a risk management plan. (What’s the risk, how likely is it, how severe is it, what options do we have for dealing with it, which ones should we choose, what steps do we need to take, what can’t we do anything about, what are the consequences of those, what other plans need to be adjusted…)

      They are limited, as Taleb likes to point out, by the imagination of the parties concerned and the tendency to assume that things will continue to operate the way they always have. For example, a few years ago who would have predicted that a cult-like movement would spring up around the idea of No Deal Brexit at any cost, and actually manage to install one of its own as Prime Minister?

  6. Summer

    Suffering fatigue?
    300 year old laws, monarchies, prorogations drama….if dragons show up it will be just like Game of Thrones.

  7. DaveH

    Talk is that the only way out now for Johnson is for Parliament to pass something and that in October we might see the DWA come back with a font change or something.

    Were that the plan (something I’d be sceptical on), surely it goes like this:

    * a cross-party amendment is added saying it needs to be subject to a referendum

    *as that is (the first time) the official policy of all parties apart from the Tories and DUP,  the amendment carries with support from some of the former Tories

    *with the amendment carried, Johnson now whips against his own bill, but the same majority for the amendment sees the bill passed

    Have I missed something that means the above isn’t how it would play our? And if not, surely the current talk is nonsense as he would never risk the above so won’t bring any vote on ‘a deal’ to the current Parliament?

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