My #Remainer’s Diary Day 506: Government ministers contradicted one another on future membership of the customs union.
In Cardiff, Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones, giving evidence to the visiting House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, said that people had interpreted the referendum result according to their own beliefs. “Some will argue that it’s a vote to leave the Customs Union, for a hard Brexit. Others disagree. There’s no evidence either way for what people voted for. How do you interpret a vote for a concept in a way that you believe will get the support of most of the public? …Nobody can possibly know the answer to that question.”
In London, Michel Barnier met David No-Notes for lunch and then had a 20-minute meeting with Theresa May. Afterwards he told the BBC and press: “The only thing I can say, without a customs union and outside the single market, barriers to trade in goods and services are unavoidable. The time has come to make a choice.”
A furore ensued with Conservatives verbally attacking one another.
Anna Soubry MP told BBC Newsnight that the Conservative front bench “is in hock to 35 hard ideological Brexiteers who are not Tories. They are not the Tory party I joined 40 years ago and it is about time Theresa stood up to them and slung ’em out. They have taken down Major, they took down Cameron…”
She went on to say she was not prepared to stay in a party that was taken over by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg. “We simply cannot go on like this any longer. Something is going to have to give…”
Indeed, something is. What will it be? The Conservative Party, the Union, peace, Brexit? All those things?