Clegg Gets Brillo’d

Nick Clegg follows in the footsteps of his old spinner James McGrory and takes a pasting from Andrew Neil on the single market. Brillo’s killer line: “Isn’t it time the LibDems had a rebrand and dropped the Democrat?” Cue Clegg silent death stare…

Vid via @liarpoliticians

Boris Tells Sky: “Your Story Was a Dud”

A big barney on Sky News as Dermot Murnaghan accuses Boris of lying over his free movement comments. Boris hits back by telling Sky their story was

“cooked up… I’m not entirely convinced your reporter talked to those ambassadors… Your story was a dud, it was wrong, it was a load of old baloney… [the journalist] was offered something that was completely untrue, it was nonsense… I’m glad that it’s been corrected.”

Miaow…

Boris Opposes “Large” Post-Brexit EU Contributions

Boris made clear on Marr that he is against “large” payments to the EU in exchange for single market access, stressing the need to take back control of the money we send to Brussels. This will be framed as a split between Boris/Fox on one side and May/Hammond/Davis on the other. Brexiteers should remain calm though. It’s sensible to consider all options for free trade with the EU – Brexit always likely meant we could still pay in on some aspects – just as it’s sensible to oppose sending Brussels exorbitant sums…

Ambassadors Say Sky News Boris Story Untrue

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Italy’s ambassador to London Pasquale Terracciano has gone on the record to the Sunday Telegraph to confirm Boris did not back freedom of movement, contrary to the Sky News report that caused such a stir this week. Terracciano reveals:

“We do not normally comment on discussion we have at EU Ambassadors’ level with members of Government. But since this particular issue has become focus of press speculations, I will tell you that Boris Johnson chose not to speak about the principle of freedom of movement within the EU. He said instead that he had always been favourable in principle to immigration but also added that immigration needed to be controlled.”

So what Boris said was completely consistent with the 10 times he opposed freedom of movement posted by Guido on Thursday. A second ambassador confirms to the Sunday Telegraph:

“My recollection was that he didn’t say anything that was different [from his public stance]. I don’t think I even made any particular note of what he said on that issue because it was simply in line with what I already knew to be Government policy.”

Who’d have thought those four anonymous ambassadors briefing against Boris to friendly Sky News were up to no good? And surely the BBC will give this new development equal prominence too. Awkward one for tonight’s Sky paper review…

BEIS Civil Servants Forced to Embrace Brexit

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Yesterday Guido revealed how civil servants at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy had sent out a press release discussing what will happen “if the UK leaves the EU”. Well, the press release has now been updated to end the uncertainty and make clear there is no “if” about Brexit. Did Downing Street have another word with Sir Humphrey? 

Boris Flat Out Denies Sky News Free Movement Story

Boris could not be clearer on Sky News‘ free movement story, which has led the bulletins as fact all day: “I said no such thing”. Have Sky been had by their anonymous EU sources?

Whitehall Brexit Blooper: “If the UK Leaves the EU”

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Civil servants at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have let slip their belief that Britain might not leave the EU by 2019. In a press release on funding for EU students on courses lasting until the end of 2019, BEIS have said “the funding support will cover the duration of their course, even if the UK leaves the EU”. Since March 2019 will be two years after Article 50 is triggered, surely BEIS meant to saywhen the UK leaves the EU“, notif“. Sir Humphrey is increasingly forgetful lately…

Boris Always Backed Controlled Immigration

Mischievous anonymous EU ambassadors have briefed Sky News that Boris has privately said he supports free movement. Boris strongly denies this and challenges them to prove he said it. Is this another example of the fake news epidemic? Boris has been very clear about his views on free movement…

On November 15 Boris said it was a “myth,” “nonsense” and “bollocks” to say free movement is a founding principles of the EU.

On September 25 Boris said it was “complete baloney” to link free movement with the single market.

On June 26 Boris said people had voted for “control” over immigration.

Boris pledges a tough new Australian-style immigration system after Brexit on June 1.

There is no mention of free movement in Boris’ pro-Remain article.

In his pro-Leave article he bemoaned the “lack of control” on immigration.

In December 2015 Boris called for an opt-out of free movement rules.

In his 2015 conference speech, Boris said“it should be up to this parliament and this country – not Jean Claude Juncker – to decide if too many people are coming here”.

In October 2014 Boris called for quotas of EU migrants.

In January 2014 Boris said he was pro-migration but had a “problem” with free movement.

Unusually for him, Boris has always been consistent on free movement, even well before the referendum. He is pro the benefits of migration but wants control of borders decided by Westminster. Why is that so hard for Remainers to understand? 

Bone Tables “Trigger Article 50” Bill

article-50-bill

Peter Bone has tabled a Bill to implement Theresa May’s promise to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. Awkward… for the government…[…] Read the rest

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Open Britain Condemns EU For “Using People as Pawns”

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Open Britain, the pro-EU continuity Remain campaign, have condemned Brussels for “using people as pawns”. The group organised a letter writing campaign when they thought Theresa May was responsible for uncertainty over the status of EU citizens in Britain and Britons abroad.[…] Read the rest

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Tusk Confirms EU Responsible For Right to Remain Uncertainty

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European Council president Donald Tusk has rejected the UK’s proposal for an early deal to guarantee the status of EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in the EU. Tusk disingenuously writes “we have assumed that one of the main reasons for the vote for Brexit was the rejection of the free movement of people and all the rights it entails”.[…] Read the rest

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Merkel Rejected Right to Remain Deal

Theresa May has been heavily criticised for failing to give an assurance that EU citizens living in the UK will be allowed to stay post-Brexit. She even refused to tell Tory backbencher Alberto Costa that his Italian parents could stay in the country, despite David Davis previously saying he was “100% sure” the situation would be resolved amicably.[…] Read the rest

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Downing Street Brexit Notes Transcribed

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Veteran Downing Street photographer Steve Back has done it again – he’s snapped these notes being carried out of a meeting with Mark Field in Downing Street this afternoon. Someone at the meeting appears to have said we are “loathe” to do a transitional deal, we are “unlikely” to stay in the single market and that our position is to “have cake and eat it“.[…] Read the rest

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May Accepts Supremacy of EU Law on Patents

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In her conference speech Theresa May vowed that Brexit would mean “our laws will be made not in Brussels but in Westminster. The judges interpreting those laws will sit not in Luxembourg but in courts in this country. The authority of EU law in Britain will end”.[…] Read the rest

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Sir Humphrey Keeps Forgetting Brexit Means Brexit

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Shortly after Theresa May became Prime Minister, her team stressed to the overwhelmingly Remain-supporting civil service that Brexit must be at the centre of all decision-making, that there must be no equivocation: we are leaving the EU. Panjandrums were told they must include a commitment to Brexit in all of their “write rounds”, the regular Whitehall memos circulated to ministers, sub-committees, the PM and the Cabinet Secretary.[…] Read the rest

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Vote Leave Alumni Tell May To Spend Brexit Dividend on NHS

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Thirteen leading Leave campaigners including Michael Gove and Gisela Stuart have urged the government to keep Vote Leave’s referendum pledge and spend the Brexit ‘dividend’ on the NHS. Buried in Wednesday’s OBR report was the revelation that Britain will get back an extra £32 billion when we leave the EU, approximately the £250 million per week figure which Vote Leave said was the net amount currently being paid to Brussels.[…] Read the rest

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