And the chances of this deal being signed at the EU Council of bloc leaders, which meets on Thursday and Friday, are still unmeasurable. In this crucial week, all the pressures and politics that have frustrated the process so far will come to bear, and the “landing zone” for a workable deal is like an aircraft carrier in a hurricane. But, on the other hand, there has been a remarkable change on both sides from the pessimistic rhetoric just a week ago. And Number 10 is desperate for a deal. The law as it stands, thanks to the new Benn Act, requires a Brexit extension if no deal can be found. The government blusters in private briefings that its lawyers have found a legal loophole in the Act, but this is much more likely to be a bluff than a ticket to a no-deal Brexit on Halloween. An election is likely to quickly follow. And the government knows that if it fights an election with Britain still in the EU then its Brexiter support base will flock to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which promises Brexit at any cost. Worse, the government fears a new Brexit referendum could precede an election,… Read full this story
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