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Brexiter Tories tell Boris Johnson backstop is not only problem with withdrawal agreement
Andrew Sparrow, Groan, Aug 23 2019

Boris Johnson is back in the UK after his trips to Berlin and Paris. Despite the attempts of some in the media to suggest that he has achieved some sort of breakthrough. Take a look at the Daily Express splash and then compare it with the Guardian’s take, which of course is much more reliable, a solution to the Brexit crisis seems no closer than ever.

As The Daily Telegraph is reporting this morning, even if Johnson were to find an alternative to the backstop acceptable to the EU, Tory Brexiters are telling him that that would not be enough to persuade them to vote for the withdrawal agreement because there are other aspects of it that they want to change. David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, told the Telegraph’s Brexit podcast that he had a whole shopping list of desired changes. He said:

I’d argue for contingency on the money. I’d argue for tighter limits, timetable limits, sunset clauses on ECJ and things like that. I’d have a small shopping list. It wouldn’t be a ridiculous one, but one I think that any serious European Parliament and any European Council that wants a deal could go with. If I were doing this for Boris, I would be insistent on is that they make the bill, the £39b, the second half of it, contingent on progress on the future economic partnership.

And Sir Bill Cash told the paper:

You can’t restore self-government as a cut and paste operation and I am sure they understand that, taking parts of the withdrawal agreement. We will be governed for a number of years by the other 27 member states under the existing draft withdrawal agreement … even with the backstop removed.

None of these concerns are new. But it is worth flagging them up as a reminder that the backstop is not the only factor that makes the withdrawal agreement unacceptable to many Brexiter Tories.

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