Boris and Gove Back PM Statement

Boris and Gove on board at the moment but expect Brexiter backbenchers to oppose the ECJ and new EU rules during the transition. As Guido reported back in June, most Leavers are ok with a two year interim period so long as the end state is a full, clean Brexit outside of all the institutions of the EU. That remains the case tonight…

Gove: Corbyn Backs Death Squads Over Democrats

Michael Gove last night accused Jeremy Corbyn of siding with “death squads” over “democrats” as he slammed Jez over the anti-semitism row which overshadowed Labour conference. Addressing a packed Conservative Friends of Israel reception, Gove said:

“When there’s a chance to express solidarity with the only parliamentary democracy in the Middle East, he [Jeremy Corbyn] says: ‘no’. And why is that on every occasion when Jeremy Corbyn has had the chance to choose between the death squad and the democrat he has declined to stand with the democrat? Why is it? Because Hamas and Hezbollah are his friends but when Labour Friends of Israel meet he ‘cannot be there.'”

The audience shouted “shame”. Gove spoke alongside Eric Pickles and Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev, who was on good form. One of the better fringes…

SpAd Movements: Gove Hires Vote Leaver

Guido hears Michael Gove has signed up Vote Leave alumnus James Starkie as his new media SpAd. Starkie was a soldier of the referendum, he ran regional press for the Leave campaign before joining Portland to work on their Brexit unit. He replaces Lee Cain who has gone to Number 10. Starkie is a true believer, good to see a new SpAd appointed who actually voted Leave…

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Cabinet Brexit Split: Where They Stand

All explained here

Hammond, Heywood, Robbins Pushing For Weak “EEA Light” Deal

The £350 million row is (once again) distracting everyone from the real story. James Forsyth has written a bang on the money blog about the “biggest Cabinet Brexit split” – between “several of the most senior members of the Cabinet” who want an “EEA minus/light” deal, and Boris and Gove who want a CETA/Canada plus model. An EEA minus/light deal means the UK shadows EU regulations and ECJ judgements, tying the UK’s hands and not delivering the Brexit for which Britons voted. A Canada plus deals means the UK shadows some standards but mostly we would be able to forge our own way in the world. This is what is kicking off right now.

Guido understands Boris went bonkers last week when he found out Theresa May was heading towards the EEA light option at her Florence speech. Senior Tory Brexiters say the EEA light model is being pushed by Philip Hammond and Remainer civil servants in the Treasury, the permanently frustrating Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood and Olly Robbins, the DExEU permanent secretary who it was announced this morning is off to Number 10. Dom Cummings, who Tim Shipman revealed yesterday was still in close contact with Boris and Gove, alleges David Davis is sympathetic to the EEA light option. Friends of DD deny that is the case. Boris and Gove are strongly opposed and insist it is the worst of all worlds.

As Open Europe’s Henry Newman, former SpAd to Gove, explains:

“Government needs to debate and decide what sort of country UK ought to be after Brexit: that’s the prior question rather than transition. The Treasury are pushing for us to be in an “EEA minus” arrangement – just outside of the Single Market but bound into a regulatory ERM. EEA minus would mean all the costs of Brexit and few opportunities. We need to be further along the spectrum from Norway/Swiss to Canada.”

EEA minus/light is essentially the Swiss model. When Switzerland sought to end freedom of movement they were threatened with being cut out of single market access and eventually had to climb down and relinquish control of borders. Theresa May should not be promising loads of money on Friday in exchange for a weak Swiss-type deal which does not deliver the Brexit people voted for. Guido believes May wants to do Brexit right, she has certainly shown no sign of wavering so far. She should remember that Boris and Gove won the referendum, not Hammond and Heywood…

Gove’s U-Turn Smells Fishy

Michael Gove’s comment that EU boats will be able fish in UK waters after Brexit has gone down badly with leavers. Reports quoted Gove saying during a visit to Denmark:

“Danish fishermen will still be able to catch large amounts of fish in British waters, even if the British leave the EU… Britain has no fish cutters and production facilities enough to catch all the fish in British waters.” 

If you think that sounds like a fishy excuse, you’re not alone. The cry of “Tory betrayal” is ringing out, UKIP’s fisheries spokesman Mike Hookem says:

“It does not matter a damn that the British fishing industry may not currently have the capacity to process all the fish caught in British waters. This is nothing more than an excuse!”

Gove’s u-turn is particularly galling since he was suggesting the opposite as recently as two weeks ago. He said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:

“When we leave the EU we’ll become an independent coastal state and that means we can then extend control over our waters to 200 miles.”

Guido is no fishing expert, why can’t we just leave the uncaught fish in the sea?

Gove: No to Chlorine Chicken

Michael Gove flatly ruled out chlorinated chicken in Brexit Britain’s supermarkets on the Today programme, hours after Liam Fox insisted there was no health issue with US-style chemically washed poultry. Fox is right that this whole row is confected and that the science doesn’t justify the ruffled feathers. Scaremongering by opportunistic Remainers maybe, but regardless of the facts chlorine chicken is always going to be unpopular, will cut through to the public and not help the PR for Brexit. The story should have been shut down days ago, it is distracting from Labour’s student debt row and what should have been a very good week for the Tories…

Green Brexit Means End to MadCAP Waste

Britain’s ‘Green Brexit’ will set the “global gold standard” in environmental policy and protections, Michael Gove pledges today. The Environment Secretary this morning addresses green group WWF, where he will tell his audience:

“Leaving the European Union means leaving the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), leaving the Common Fisheries Policy, taking back control of environmental policy… Indeed, outside the European Union there is scope for Britain not just to set the very highest standards in marine conservation, but to be a global leader in environmental policy across the board…”

Gove will refer to himself as an environmentalist as he outlines the UK’s freedom from the CAP, meaning post-Brexit subsidies can be restricted only to those who meet rigorous standards determined by Britain not Brussels. The CAP, under which the EU allocated funding based on the size of landholdings, led to staggering examples of waste. Last year BBC News revealed £400,000 of taxpayers’ money was being dished out to the Newmarket farm of billionaire Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah al Saud. The prince’s farm is used for breeding racehorses. The CAP also meant nearly £800,000 in taxpayer subsidies being granted to the Mormons. It encouraged a pratice called ‘slipper farming’: farmers simply bought up vast tracts of land to get the subsidies attached to it. Britain’s freedom from this madCAP scheme will make Europe’s farmers green with envy…

Gove: We’re Taking Back Control of Our Waters

Gove & Balls Do Gangnam in an Elevator

Gove Fights Dangerous “Austerity is Over” Narrative

Encouraged by her new chief of staff Gavin Barwell, Theresa May is aggressively pursuing the dangerous narrative that “austerity is over”. Barwell told Newsnight that he lost his seat because public sector workers in his constituency wanted a pay rise. May has apparently accepted this analysis and told Tory wets she will pursue Labour-lite economics to win back Corbyn voters. Hers was already the most economically left-wing Red Tory manifesto since the seventies and it was rejected by the public. By contrast David Cameron won a majority while Labour screamed about spending cuts. The Tories had a 24 point lead before the manifesto was released – it was the dementia tax and the student offer not austerity that lost them their majority. Ending austerity is the wrong inference from May’s failure…

The national debt is nearly £1.9 trillion. It grows at a rate of £5,170 per second. The debt burden is 86% of GDP, more than double what it was pre-2008. Public sector borrowing is £51.7 billion this year – that is government overspending by £1 billion a week. May’s manifesto already kicked the deficit reduction can down the road to 2025, ten years later than George Osborne’s original so-called austerity programme. Young voters chose Corbyn, now May wants to win them back by saddling them and future generations with even more debt.

The only Cabinet minister who so far seems to recognise the recklessness of all this is Michael Gove, who told the Today programme “we need to get on with the job of reducing the deficit so that we do not saddle the next generation with a burden of debt”. The trouble with the government’s “austerity is over” spin is the deficit and debt can’t be spun away. If the gilt market loses confidence interest rates shoot up, as inflation takes off wage demands will spiral and the UK’s own version of Chavez will be installed. CPI has hit a 2.9% high this morning, above expectations. Not a good signal to loosen the fiscal stance and abandon austerity…

Gove on Watson

Michael Gove on Tom Watson:

“Tom believes Rupert Murdoch picks the England cricket 1st 11 and England rugby 1st 15, as well as deciding who’s on Britain’s Got Talent.”

Shouty-Crackers Gove v Gardiner Bunfight

Tetchy Corbynista Barry Gardiner got even more high-pitched than normal when Michael Gove asked him about Corbyn attending a minute’s silence for IRA terrorists. Angry Barry had no answer…

Gove Squirms Over Cameron

New Free Schools Raise Local House Prices

The Centre for Policy Studies has a new report out today about How to Overcome Selection by House Price which deals with the issue raised nearly 20 years ago by the then Labour Education Minister Andrew Adonis: “Comprehensive schools have largely replaced selection by ability with selection by class and house price”. Good state schools are in middle-class areas with high house prices.

Which is why Michael Gove was determined to put free schools, which on average have higher standards, in the most deprived areas. Free schools are deliberately ten times more likely to be in poorer areas.

This has had an interesting side-effect according to a New Schools Network report: the average house price rise since 2011 in areas where a free school has opened is 73% more than in areas where there are no free schools. Guido suggests that highlighting this point might help overcome opposition to free schools more than any arguments about standards and social mobility…

Gove: Where Were You?

Gove on LibDems

Michael Gove on the LibDems:

“It is a tragedy that the party which is called Liberal Democrat is scarcely liberal and now anti-democratic.”

Gove SpAd Henry Newman New Open Europe Director

Guido understands former Michael Gove SpAd Henry Newman has been appointed as the new Director of the Open Europe think tank. He replaces acting directors Raoul Ruparel, who left last year to work for David Davis, and Stephen Booth, who becomes Director of Research. Brainbox Newman is a sound hire, he has a very strong knowledge of Whitehall and is respected in the Lobby. Before advising Gove he worked for Francis Maude at the Cabinet Office during the reform of trade union Pilgrims. Open Europe is drying out, under Newman expect them to embrace leaving the EU and promote a liberal, outwardly-looking Brexit. Congratulations…

Gove on Viagra

Michael Gove to the Commons on Trident:

“The unilateralists opposite complaining today are in the position of eunuchs complaining about the cost of Viagra.”

Gove Defends Trump Interview

Michael Gove is getting some stick for his Trump interview from journalists who could never break a window.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

IDS responds to Juncker’s pints analogy earlier:

“Mr Juncker knows a little bit more about the bar than perhaps many of us do.”

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