Vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal boils down to trust in EU and in her

Photo: PA

Now that we’ve got the letter from Tusk and Juncker to Theresa May, MPs have two questions to ask themselves when deciding whether or not to back the PM’s deal tomorrow.

Do they believe the EU is acting in good faith when its leaders say in closely argued text over five pages they have no desire ever to implement the widely hated backstop, and when they set out practical measures that could and should avoid it ever being needed?

And do they think £39bn is a fair sum for the UK to hand over for 21 months of continuity in economic and security arrangements with the EU, but uncertain future economic and security arrangements thereafter?

Every MP will have other concerns and issues about the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.

But the big question for all of them is about what and who they trust - the good intentions of a UK and EU leaders, who won’t be in office for long in any case, or the strict legal meaning of an an international treaty, the Withdrawal Agreement.

In a UK characterised by low and declining trust in almost all important institutions, MPs will probably vote for what would carry the day in a court of law - which is why the PM is still set to lose.