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Brexit In Name Only and a bit of muscle

Brexiteers want the want the Government to show Brussels a bit of muscle. Credit: PA

The Commons Business Statement is not normally a trigger for wild excitement, but when Andrea Leadsom announces that the EU Withdrawal Bill will shortly returning to the Commons, Brexiteers will be very pleased indeed.

“It’s a big win for us” said one Conservative source.

The reason they’re so happy is that they’ve been longing for the Government to show Brussels a bit of muscle before the next European Council in June.

After the Lords subjected the Bill to 15 separate defeats, they want Theresa May to demonstrate to the EU27 that she is willing to, how shall I put it? Take back control.

This means the Government overturning Lords amendments in the Commons. If they can.

The amendment on keeping the UK in some kind of Customs Union will be a key test of Theresa May’s fragile Parliamentary authority. There is a real chance she could lose it.

If she tries to, or has to, stay inside a Customs Union then Brexiteers are muttering darkly about the consequences of "BRINO" - Brexit In Name Only.

In their view BRINO might make it through the Commons, but the problem for Mrs May would begin the day after.

That’s when incensed Brexiteers would be ready to bring her down, mad enough - in both senses - to try to force an election.