Tories at War: Cameron Ridicules Boris

Labour MPs cheer the Prime Minister, slap their thighs and gleefully cry “more!” as Dave ridicules a furious Boris, who heckles “rubbish, rubbish” at his leader from the backbenches. Cameron calls Labour “his new friends” and Labour MPs invite him to cross the floor and join them.

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It’s war…

Guido’s MP Referendum List, As Seen on BBC News

Guido’s crowd-sourced list of MPs’ positions on the referendum has received massive interest from punters, pundits, MPs and Tory associations, and today it was used in an in-depth statistical analysis on the BBC One O’Clock News. Read the spreadsheet they are all talking about here

Downing Street Soliciting Big Business Support For Remain

Guido has got hold of a draft letter sent to FTSE 100 bosses by Downing Street business adviser Chris Hopkins yesterday, soliciting support for Dave’s deal. It was due to appear in tomorrow’s Times, but you can read it on Guido today:

From: Chris Hopkins
Sent: 21 February 2016
To: XXXXX

Dear Sirs

We run businesses representing every sector and region of the United Kingdom. Together we employ hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

Following the Prime Minister’s renegotiation, we believe that Britain is better off staying in a reformed European Union. He has secured a commitment from the EU to reduce the burden of regulation, deepen the single market and to sign off crucial international trade deals.

Businesses like ours need unrestricted access to the European market of 500 million people in order to continue to grow, invest and create jobs. We believe that leaving the EU would deter investment and threaten jobs. It would put the economy at risk.

We believe Britain will be stronger, safer and better off remaining a member of the European Union.

Give me a call if you have any issues.

Regards,

Chris

The letter was sent around yesterday, after the new rules limiting what Leave ministers are allowed to do with public resources came into effect. No.10 are unsportingly using the taxpayer-funded civil service machine to campaign for Remain, within the rules…

Boris: Why I’m Backing Leave

BORXIT-RWB

Boris’ Telegraph column is out:

There is only one way to get the change we need, and that is to vote to go, because all EU history shows that they only really listen to a population when it says No. The fundamental problem remains: that they have an ideal that we do not share. They want to create a truly federal union, e pluribus unum, when most British people do not.

It is time to seek a new relationship, in which we manage to extricate ourselves from most of the supranational elements. We will hear a lot in the coming weeks about the risks of this option; the risk to the economy, the risk to the City of London, and so on; and though those risks cannot be entirely dismissed, I think they are likely to be exaggerated. We have heard this kind of thing before, about the decision to opt out of the euro, and the very opposite turned out to be the case…

This is the right moment to have a referendum, because as Europe changes, Britain is changing too. This is a truly great country that is now going places at extraordinary speed. We are the European, if not the world, leaders in so many sectors of the 21st-century economy; not just financial services, but business services, the media, biosciences, universities, the arts, technology of all kinds (of the 40 EU technology companies worth more than $1 billion, 17 are British); and we still have a dizzyingly fertile manufacturing sector.

Now is the time to spearhead the success of those products and services not just in Europe, but in growth markets beyond. This is a moment to be brave, to reach out – not to hug the skirts of Nurse in Brussels, and refer all decisions to someone else.

We have given so much to the world, in ideas and culture, but the most valuable British export and the one for which we are most famous is the one that is now increasingly in question: parliamentary democracy – the way the people express their power.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to vote for real change in Britain’s relations with Europe. This is the only opportunity we will ever have to show that we care about self-rule. A vote to Remain will be taken in Brussels as a green light for more federalism, and for the erosion of democracy.

In the next few weeks, the views of people like me will matter less and less, because the choice belongs to those who are really sovereign – the people of the UK. And in the matter of their own sovereignty the people, by definition, will get it right.

Read the whole thing here.

Top ‘In’ Tory Changes His Mind and Backs Leave

Just four months ago, Nadhim “this blessed plot” Zahawi wrote on ConHome that “divorce” from the EU would be “worse for everyone“. This afternoon he was named by Conservatives for Reform as a Remain supporter. Tonight, he has changed his mind and declared for Leave:

If we leave, we can set about our task of creating an increasingly agile pro-business country, leading the world in innovation and technology while remaining a political and moral power. A country that can change itself and change the world. A country that recognises the greatness we already have, but pushes on to something that is ever greater still. I’m saddened, but on balance the chances of creating the greater Britain I want to see are increased by leaving the EU.

The Boris effect?

Tory MPs Split Down the Middle

Conservatives for Reform, the Europhile Tory group, have announced the names of two dozen or so more Tory MP supporters who were previously undeclared. As expected, there has been a big leap in the number of Tory Remainers in the last 48 hours. Click here to view the entire spreadsheet of MPs.

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”spreadsheets/d/1vp6viBi5DA4avMgR2Y8lKrrAUqJp-0zL2LZB6iVD3uU/pubhtml” query=”widget=true&headers=false” /]

There are still over 50 Tory MPs yet to declare, and the party is split right down the middle as things stand. Guido understands a group of MPs from the Fresh Start group will declare for Leave tonight. And then there is Boris…

Top Boris Adviser Hinting Out

Be brave Boris…

READ: Gove Statement in Full

For weeks now I have been wrestling with the most difficult decision of my political life. But taking difficult decisions is what politicians are paid to do. No-one is forced to stand for Parliament, no-one is compelled to become a minister. If you take on those roles, which are great privileges, you also take on big responsibilities.

I was encouraged to stand for Parliament by David Cameron and he has given me the opportunity to serve in what I believe is a great, reforming Government. I think he is an outstanding Prime Minister. There is, as far as I can see, only one significant issue on which we have differed.

And that is the future of the UK in the European Union.

It pains me to have to disagree with the Prime Minister on any issue. My instinct is to support him through good times and bad.

But I cannot duck the choice which the Prime Minister has given every one of us. In a few months time we will all have the opportunity to decide whether Britain should stay in the European Union or leave. I believe our country would be freer, fairer and better off outside the EU. And if, at this moment of decision, I didn’t say what I believe I would not be true to my convictions or my country.

I don’t want to take anything away from the Prime Minister’s dedicated efforts to get a better deal for Britain. He has negotiated with courage and tenacity. But I think Britain would be stronger outside the EU.

Continue reading

How the Cabinet is Voting

Guido gives you how every Cabinet minister (and those attending Cabinet) is voting, as they come in:

Michael Gove – OUT

George Osborne – IN

Theresa May – IN

Sajid Javid – IN

Oliver Letwin – IN

Patrick McLoughlin – IN

Stephen Crabb – IN

Anna Soubry – IN

Nicky Morgan – IN

Jeremy Hunt – IN

Chris Grayling – OUT

Jeremy Wright – IN

Justine Greening – IN

Liz Truss – IN

John Whittingdale – OUT

Priti Patel – OUT

Theresa Villiers – OUT

Iain Duncan Smith – OUT

Greg Hands – IN

Rob Halfon – IN

Matt Hancock – IN

David Mundell – IN

Michael Fallon – IN

Philip Hammond – IN

See Guido’s crowd-sourced spreadsheet of every MP’s position below:

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”spreadsheets/d/1vp6viBi5DA4avMgR2Y8lKrrAUqJp-0zL2LZB6iVD3uU/pubhtml” query=”widget=true&headers=false” /]

Click here to view the entire spreadsheet of MPs.[…]

+ READ MORE +

CONFIRMED: EU Referendum Date 23rd June

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+ READ MORE +

Grassroots Out Supporters Walk Out in Protest at Galloway

Galloway afterwards told Guido that Farage was the person who “convinced me” to join Grassroots Out, after an interview on Russia Today last week, and that he spoke to no one else in the organisation.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Grassroots Campaign to Draft Boris to Lead Leave

 

Inevitably many Tory Brexiteers are calling for Boris to lead Britain out of the EU. There is no doubt that if he were so to do the referendum would be a fascinating proxy for a Tory leadership campaign. Whatever the outcome he would probably as a result stitch up the Tory leadership in a head-to-head with Osborne.[…]

+ READ MORE +

MP Referendum List: Latest Update

Penny Mordaunt is set to campaign to leave the EU, reports the Sunsomething readers of Guido’s MP referendum list already knew. (The Speccie’s list had her down as an Inner.) This morning the BBC are claiming as an exclusive the news that new Tory backbencher Will Quince will vote to Leave.[…]

+ READ MORE +

That No.10 Pantomime in Full

Thursday

8:00pm: No.10 briefing to Lobby: “I would say the going is tough, this could be a long night. Some real outstanding issues to resolve, it’s not clear how we’re going to do that.”

8:20pm: BBC reports No.10 source: “impasse… we thought there might be talk of bridges but still big gaps”, “talks pushed back”

Friday

5:29am: Times reports No.10 downbeat: “problems across the board”

7:50am: No.10 briefing to Lobby: “It’s hard going.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Corbyn: Dave’s Deal “Irrelevant, Theatrical Sideshow”

Jeremy Corbyn tonight confirms Labour’s schizophrenic position on the referendum: he thinks Cameron’s renegotiation is “irrelevant” and a “theatrical sideshow“, yet will blindly campaign to Remain “regardless of the outcome of the talks“. Eurosceptic Jez speaks the truth:

“The negotiations David Cameron is conducting on Britain’s relationship with the European Union are a theatrical sideshow… David Cameron’s misnamed “emergency brake” on migrants’ in-work benefits is largely irrelevant to the problems it is supposed to address.

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Libération: Britain a “Marginalised, Average Power”, “Too Bad” if We Leave

How is Dave’s renegotiation going down on the continent? French newspaper Libération splashes on Britain as a teabag, and they don’t exactly sound like they’ll miss us if we leave: “If it’s ‘yes’, good, if it’s ‘no’, too bad”. They ask: “Would Brexit be that dramatic?”

Inside, their leading article dismisses Britain as “in reality, no more than an average power closely dependent on its former American colony”.[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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