After Boris Johnson waxed lyrical about his Brexit deal in today's Downing Street press conference, it's now over to MPs to give their verdict. During the press conference announcing the terms of the deal agreed between the UK and EU, the Prime Minister confirmed that the government plans to put the deal to a vote on 30 December. MPs have already voiced concerns about the lack of time for proper scrutiny – and the text of the full deal (500 pages plus another 1,000 in annexes) is still to be published. But, despite this, the initial signs are promising for the government.
Prior to finalising the deal this afternoon, the Prime Minister had conversations over the phone with several Brexiteer MPs to brief them on the outline of the deal. While the European Research Group of Leave MPs are reserving their final judgment until they have had time to read the document in full, Johnson is yet to face any serious criticism from within his party. Several Tory MPs from across the various factions have gone public to praise Johnson's efforts. Even Nigel Farage has declared that the war is now over.
Perhaps the easiest group to please are the MPs most keen to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Former minister Caroline Nokes and former Scottish Secretary David Mundell are among those who describe today's announcement as a relief. However, perhaps more importantly to the Prime Minister, Brexiteers are beginning to offer their approval. The sense in Downing Street is that while the UK has given way to a degree on fishing, the deal delivers on the main Vote Leave commitments. Andrea Leadsom and Tim Loughton have voiced their initial approval of the shape of the deal. Many of the 2019 intake have praised Johnson's work on social media.
While the whips will want to avoid a Tory rebellion, however small, they can rest easy that the deal is on course to pass the Commons. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said his party accepts this deal and will vote for it. As a result, something would have to go drastically wrong for the Prime Minister for the deal to be rejected by the Commons.