The Grieve’s amendment to give Parliament the casting vote on any deal may strengthen the pro-Brexit hand, argues Nic Conner.

I’m not bothered in the slightest by Dominic Grieve’s Amendment 7 of the EU Withdrawal Bill. And before you start, you cannot accuse me of being a ‘remoaner’ who is trying to derail Brexit.

I devoted much of my life to the quest of getting the UK out of the European Union, including the 138 days I worked non-stop as part of the small team at Vote Leave HQ.

I have never worked as long or hard as I did during the referendum. The level of commitment Dom Cummings, the genius leader of the official leave campaign, expected from all of the eighty or so Vote Leave staff was to work 18-hour days without taking a day off including weekends for low wages.

This commitment was the  only way we could overcome the unlimited resources of the EU, UK Government, multinational corporates, all major political parties and Barack Obama during the referendum campaign.

Winning the referendum felt at times like building a castle in the sky. The achievement of securing a referendum in the first place was 42 years of work from hundreds of dedicated patriots.

So does Dominic Grieve’s Amendment undermine our hard-won Brexit? No.

In short, Amendment 7 says that once we reach a deal with the EU, Parliament will vote for it, instead of it being fast tracked by the Henry VIII powers of the Prime Minister.

A meaningful vote on the final deal was something the Government had promised, all Dominic Grieve did was to put it into law, stopping the Government bypassing the Commons with the deal and pass it with a decree of the Prime Minister.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure many of the MP’s who voted for the amendment did so in an attempt to push us towards a second referendum, the “neverendum”, which is of course no more than a remainer fantasy. We will be leaving the EU on the 29th March 2019, which may well be enshrined in law this week.

Realistically, remaine MPs won’t vote against a deal from their beloved EU. Can you imagine Ken Clarke and Chuka Umunna walking into a No lobby? Of course not, as a vote against a deal will most likely mean the UK exits the European Union with a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

On the flipside, Grieve’s Amendment might even see the hand of Brexit MPs strengthened, as the Government will need to satisfy leave MPs with the final deal.

Theresa May can use Amendment 7 to British advantage. May will be able to turn towards Michel Barnier during the negotiations and say that unless the EU gives what Mr. Redwood and Mr. Cash what, then there will be a very real risk of parliament voting against the deal.

The fuss surrounding this deal has been blown out of all proportion by the media. In truth, this is more about shocking mismanagement by the Government in guiding this bill through Parliament. Ministers should have conceded this point and added an amendment in their own wording. The Government will now have to go and do this at Report Stage.

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