Confirmation comes on taking out the trash day – not that we really needed it – that Dominic Raab and Dexeu will not be negotiating with the EU, Theresa May and Olly Robbins will. Robbins is the de facto Brexit Secretary, Raab is essentially in charge of preparations for Brexit.
In her leadership speech following the referendum in 2016, May vowed to give Dexeu negotiating responsibilities so the negotiations were handled by a Brexiteer. At the time she said:
“I will create a new government department responsible for conducting Britain’s negotiation with the EU and for supporting the rest of Whitehall in its European work. That department will be led by a senior Secretary of State – and I will make sure that the position is taken by a Member of Parliament who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU.”
In reality this promise was never kept. The negotiation / capitulation was handled by a Remainer PM and her Remainer chief civil servant…
Jeremy Hunt has spent the last two years attempting to position himself as the next leader of the Conservative Party. Today he has declared war on Brexiteers, and indeed his government’s own official policy, by ridiculously claiming that Putin is the only winner in the event of a WTO Brexit:
Excellent discussion with German Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas about the unintended geopolitical consequences of No Deal. Only person rejoicing would be Putin…
It shouldn’t be forgotten that in the days after the referendum, Hunt demanded that the UK stays in the single market, seeks a Norway-style ultra-soft Brexit -even softer than the Chequers fudge – and then called for a second referendum on the deal. Hunt wrote at the time:
“The first part of the plan must be clarity that we will remain in the single market… the British Government needs to calm markets and many worried investors and businesses, both locally and internationally, by making it clear that it is an explicit national objective to remain in the single market even as we leave the institutions of the EU… we need to negotiate a deal and put it to the British people, either in a referendum or through the Conservative manifesto at a fresh general election… they need to put a “Norway plus” deal on the table.”
Hunt is a big Remainer, it’s no surprise he wants to undermine Brexiteers and the government’s official position that they could walk away in the event of a bad deal from Brussels. Good luck with the leadership bid.
The sabre-rattling by Irish PM Leo Varadkar that in the event of a no deal Brexit Ireland might block off UK access to Irish airspace is pathetic. Treaties dating back to the beginning of the International Air Services Transit Agreement signed as part of the Chicago Convention in 1944 guarantee the freedom of the skies. This is signed by 133 countries, including the UK and all EU member states. Ireland has been a signatory since 1957.
There is another agreement permitting British aircraft to fly over Ireland which the Irish government chooses not to publicise. The Irish Department of Defence and Department of Foreign Affairs with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) have entered into a bilateral agreement with their British counterparts: the RAF, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Ministry of Defence, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that in the event of a terrorist hijacking, RAF jets would be scrambled to defend Ireland. Neutral Ireland has no supersonic military aircraft capability.
Presumably this bilateral agreement permitting the RAF to conduct armed operations in Irish-controlled airspace in the event of a real-time or envisaged threat of a terrorist-related attack over the skies of Ireland, will not be torn up after Brexit. The Irish are Britain’s kith and kin, it is inconceivable that Brexit Britain would not come to their aid in the event of an Aer Lingus transatlantic flight being hijacked mid-Atlantic. Varadkar is bluffing for domestic consumption.
Yesterday the first “no deal ready” legislation quietly got Royal Assent for a little thing called the Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Act. Whilst sounding very boring, this is very significant as it is the first “no deal ready” bill to become an Act. The Department for Transport is pleased that for once they have arrived ahead of schedule with this Act in place to provide for all kinds of eventualities (in this case relating to cross-border road haulage) in a no deal situation. The word around Whitehall is that Downing Street were not keen to boast about “no deal ready” legislation. This is going to change according to friends of Dominic Raab…
The Act itself is technically the legislative equivalent of “Noel Edmonds” – it provides for a deal and no deal. In a nutshell one key thing it does: at the moment the UK doesn’t require HGV drivers to have permits to drive here. Thus there is no framework in law to issue / enforce permits. If there is a deal the UK will have permits and control the numbers of lorries with the powers to do that. If there is no deal the Act also provides for the powers to do UK permits. Solving transportation regulatory issues is a priority for a clean Brexit. So it begins…
PA have “fact checked” BoJo’s claim this afternoon that “the pound soared” as a result of the Lancaster House speech:
DID POUND 'SOAR' AFTER MAY'S LANCASTER HOUSE SPEECH
AS BORIS JOHNSON TOLD MPS?
POLITICS Brexit Pound
By Ian Jones, Press Association
Boris Johnson told the House of Commons "the pound soared" following
Theresa May's Lancaster House speech - but 24 hours after the
prime minister's statement, sterling had lost value against the dollar.
On the day of the speech, January 17 2017, the pound traded
at 1.24 US dollars.
The following day it had slipped to 1.23 US dollars.
Look at the chart above, the £ started the day at $1.20. During and in the immediate aftermath of the speech the £ did indeed soar. Closing the London trading day at the $1.24 high. This is a significant move in currency markets.Boris was absolutely correct.
Overnight profit taking does not invalidate his assertion and the £ continued to rise in the following weeks. PA is being less than objective in framing the move as they did.
Good news yesterday that the EU and Japan signed a huge free trade deal on Tuesday that cuts or eliminates tariffs on nearly all goods. A major boost for the global trading system that is under increasing threat from Trumpian protectionism. Trade between the EU and Japan currently stands at €86 billion…
The deal does allow for some regulatory alignment in so much that, for example, car safety and environmental standards will be aligned, Japan will also adopt international labelling standards for textiles and medical products. Something rational brexiteers can live with so long as the regulatory alignment is not restrictive of non-export goods. What the agreement does not require is for Japan to join the customs union or the single market. It does not require the ECJ’s ultimate jurisdiction, instead a mediation panel and the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO will be the arbitration method. This is normal for free trade agreements.
Remainers can’t explain why the UK can’t have a similar deal with the EU. Anyone might think that the EU is just trying to frustrate Brexit…
Remainer Tory MPs agreed a deal to support Theresa May if she pursued “continued economic alignment” with the EU – only to renege on it today with an amendment attempting to keep us in the customs union.
Guido can reveal that on 1 July, key Remainer Stephen Hammond emailed his ‘Conservative Group for Europe’ of hardcore Remain MPs, outlining the terms of a coordinated threat to Number 10. The Remainers agreed that if the Cabinet backed a soft Brexit with “continued economic alignment” plus a backstop arrangement, they would not put down rebel amendments to the Trade and Customs Bill. Number 10 and the Cabinet went through a lot of pain to agree to the Remainers’ demands. Yet today Remain rebels are reneging on the deal and attempting to defeat the government with their customs union amendment.
From: HAMMOND, Stephen Sent: 01 July 2018 To: SANDBACH, Antoinette; SOUBRY, Anna; ALLEN, Heidi; WOLLASTON, Sarah; GRIEVE, Dominic; CLARKE, Kenneth; SUGG, Debbie; MASTERTON, Paul; DJANOGLY, Jonathan; NEILL, Bob; MORGAN, Nicky; VAIZEY, Ed; FREEMAN, George; Tom Tugendhat MP; LEE, Phillip; LEFROY, Jeremy; SPELMAN, Caroline; PAWSEY, Mark; STEVENSON, John; HOLLINRAKE, Kevin; CARTLIDGE, James; CHALK, Alex; HEALD, Oliver Subject: Conservative Group for Europe Meeting on Tuesday
Hi Apologies for the round robin of this email.
Firstly we will have our usual meeting this week at 5 pm on Tuesday , currently scheduled in CR7.
However, more importantly, we have to make the wider voice of Conservatives who want a sensible Brexit and are pro- business heard. Therefore we will probably need to commit to a number of actions this week. I suspect I shall be asking people for help with some different projects.
So as a first task please could everyone make a point to call their Whip to deliver the following message;
The PM has our support if the Cabinet resolves a proposal which not only allows continued economic alignment but that the Cabinet must also agree the Backstop arrangement. The proposal must be one that the EU will say shows progress and are likely to welcome. No more time nor political capital can be spent on foolish Brexiteer schemes.
If the Cabinet can’t agree this then we will force a solution in Trade Bill and the Customs Bill. The only reason a compromise was accepted on meaningful vote was because it delivered what we wanted and we wanted to give the PM the space she asked for at the Council. That Council has now gone and no one should be under any illusion that we will vote against the Government if necessary, as happened in December”.
If anyone has any issue or queries , please do get in touch
Number 10 caved in to all these demands from their ultra-Remainer rebels, pursuing a soft Brexit to get them onside. Even with the ERG amendments yesterday, the government is still heading towards the softest of Brexits and “continued economic alignment”. And still the Remainers are breaking their promise and trying to keep us even closer to the EU. Shows the dishonesty of the Remainers, claiming that the ERG is controlling the government when it is they who have been coordinating threats to force Number 10 into a non-Brexit…
What is the point of the LibDems? Last night Vince Cable and Tim Farron missed the vote on the key Brexit amendment. Cable was at a “confidential meeting” elsewhere and Farron was giving a talk in Dorset about evangelism. If they’d bothered to turn up the government’s majority would have been just one. Vince is briefing out that his absence was “cleared by the party chief whip”, while Faz has told the Guardian “I was authorised to be absent”. Both rather cruelly dumping on Alistair Carmichael for the cock up rather than take responsibility for themselves. Carmichael says sorry:
“Last night I messed up. The government squeaked home by just 3 votes in a key amendment. It should have been 1. I was not expecting a close vote – up until 8pm Labour were planning to abstain which would have meant the vote would be lost by hundreds. In fact several Labour MPs voted with the government- which is why they won. By the time it became apparent that the vote was going to be close – it was too late to get two of our MPs back in time to vote. I’m taking responsibility and redoubling my efforts to stop Brexit.”
Is there any party in Westminster that isn’t a total shambles?
After finding Vote Leave guilty of breaking electoral law this morning, the Electoral Commission are claiming that officials from the Brexit campaign refused to attend interviews. Yet this email from Louise Edwards, the Tory-hating Electoral Commission boss, to lawyers for the Vote Leave officials says otherwise:
Eh? Which is it? And how on earth can they reasonably find an organisation guilty of breaking the law without hearing their side of the story? Justice – Electoral Commission style…
This was Louise Edwards excuse to Vote Leave boss Dominic Cummings for failing to speak to him, emailed yesterday. Essentially, she is arguing the Electoral Commission only made claims about Vote Leave as a whole so don’t need to speak to the key players involved. Which does not seem to be justice in any sense. Real possibility the Commission could be sued here…
Last week it was Brexiteers who were furious after Theresa May caved into a soft Brexit, this morning it is Remainers who are kicking off after Number 10 accepted the ERG amendments last night. Now Soubry, Morgan, Grieve and co are attempting to keep us in the customs union if we haven’t got a frictionless trade agreement with the EU by January. The reality is Number 10 and parliament cannot allow any further concessions to the Remainers or the EU if the government is to survive.
The remaining few Brexiteers in the Cabinet say they will not stomach any further sellout. Penny Mordaunt and Esther McVey are staying very quiet as they consider their positions. Sources close to Liam Fox and Andrea Leadsom say they will resign if the government makes any further concessions. All of these ministers are privately unhappy with the Chequers plan but currently willing to hold their noses – they say that will change if the EU or Remainers succeed in bouncing Number 10 into any further climbdown. Fox, Leadsom and the remaining Brexiteers in the Cabinet have been weak so far, but they are now at the end of the line...
CCHQ has emailed Tory association chairmen begging them to publicly support Theresa May’s Chequers deal if journalists come asking. The email, sent over the weekend by CCHQ Director General Alan Mabbutt, even suggested a form of words for local party chairmen to use, saying Chequers “delivers fully on the referendum result”. One of those who received the email says it is unprecedented for CCHQ to be issuing verbatim lines to association chairmen like this. Guido has not seen any association chairmen use the line…
Statement to Newspapers and Journalists
We are aware that newspapers and others will try to portray the Party in a bad light. Any responses will almost certainly be filtered to suit their agenda. However, if you do decide that you should respond may we suggest the following? “I support our plan for Brexit as set out by the Prime Minister. It delivers fully on the referendum result, taking back control of our borders, money and laws.”
Good luck with that…
Meanwhile, Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis has also emailed association chairmen offering them a briefing in person with Gavin Barwell in Downing Street, or a conference call with the PM herself.
We would like to offer you, as Chairmen of Conservative Associations across the UK, the chance to hear more about the details of the Government’s plan for Brexit and to ask any questions you might have about it, both for yourselves and on behalf of members in your Associations.
We therefore invite you to sign up to one of the options below:
Briefings in person at 10 Downing Street
Gavin Barwell, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, will be holding two briefing sessions at No. 10 for Association Chairmen on the Brexit plan. If you would like to attend one of these, please email xxxxx specifying which one of the dates below you would like to attend.
1. Tuesday 17th July – 15:45-16:45
2. Wednesday 18th July – 09:30-10:30
Conference call with the Prime Minister
We recognise that not all Association Chairmen will find it practical to attend a briefing in person, so we also invite you to join a conference call with the Prime Minister on Tuesday 17th July at 18:45.
Guido’s sense is that this tweet from Bosworth Conservatives is representative of Tory associations across the country:
Local Members oppose the Chequers Agreement:
As an Association we would urge the Government to look again at this proposal to ensure that the Referendum Result is respected, delivered and seen to be delivered.
Poor Andrea Leadsom is having a total mare. Last night she tweeted this Telegraph article describing Theresa May’s Chequers plan as an “embarrassing climbdown”, which is not very in keeping with Number 10’s new strict enforcement of collective responsibility. She quickly deleted the tweet.
Then she tweeted a strong endorsement of Chequers, criticising her Brexiteer colleagues who oppose the plan as “the herd”. She also got the number of people who voted Leave wrong by 200,000.
Not sure which tweet is more embarrassing for Andrea.
A Mirror/ComRes poll out today shows that twice as many voters want to just leave the EU with no deal – effectively on the same WTO terms that the UK already trades with most of the world – rather than stay entangled with the EU with the Chequers deal.[…] Read the rest