Dom Raab: “We will do nothing that would draw a customs border down the Red Sea. Irish Sea. Irish Sea.”
Sammy Wilson: “You can draw as many borders down the Red Sea as you want…”
Give him a chance, he’s only been in the job a few days…
Scoop from Patrick O’Flynn: Number 10 has blocked the reappointment of David Davis’ former chief of staff Stewart Jackson as Dominic Raab’s SpAd at Dexeu:
BIG EXCLUSIVE from me (ie I think I’m first with this): Downing Street blocking the reappointment of stout Leaver Stewart Jackson @BrexitStewart as SpAd at DexEU despite Dominic Raab wanting him to carry on. Leavers not welcome in this Government. Shocking stuff.
— Patrick O’Flynn (@oflynnmep) July 10, 2018
Confirmed by Jacko’s wife Sarah O’Grady:
Unfortunately yes. Gutted for Stewie. Backroom boys using the PM’s name. Am sure she doesn’t know. She’d never maliciously put Izzy’s dad out of work. https://t.co/fAThllqRg9
— Sarah O’Grady (@ExpressOGrady) July 10, 2018
This is going down very badly in the Commons tea room. Brexiteers not welcome…
Remainers in the government are now openly briefing that David Davis does not have the balls to resign and will accept an Olly Robbins fudge:
Tory minister predicts David Davis will “keep threatening to resign and not do it”, adding “he likes the limelight too much and backbenches are too crowded with similar people these days”.
— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) June 7, 2018
Cabinet source on David Davis: “I think DD will keep threatening to resign and not doing it. Likes the limelight too much and backbenchs too crowded with similar these days”.
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) June 7, 2018
Govt source: “Can never be sure with DD but have the feeling it’s all for dramatic effect.”
— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) June 7, 2018
Attention too on Steve Baker and Suella Braverman in Dexeu. Hard to see how they can stay without looking ridiculous unless Number 10 climbs down…
Guido hears senior Dexeu mandarin Mike Hatchett is out. Hatchett joined a year ago in an eye-raising hire from Jeremy Corbyn’s office, where he was Jezza’s economics policy chief before apparently becoming “disillusioned”. He has now been placed on gardening leave at Dexeu. Insiders say he did not exactly wow colleagues with his expertise. A Dexeu spokesman says:
“Mike Hatchett works for DExEU as a middle-ranking civil servant. In line with policy, he has informed us that he wishes to take up a new role outside of Government. Under the Government Business Appointment rules we have reached an agreement with Mr Hatchett and placed a series of conditions regarding this appointment, which he and his future employer are aware of, as per the usual protocols of this policy.”
Hatchett previously worked at the Treasury and enjoyed a similar cushy taxpayer-funded departure there as well. Nice short-term work if you can get it…
UPDATE: Hatchett has gone back to Labour to run policy under Andrew Fisher.
Brexit minister Steve Baker reveals he saw the Treasury / Cabinet Office document for the first time this morning, and that David Davis only saw it last night. Despite some pro-Remain journalists claiming it was nothing to do with the Treasury and all the work of DD. Now pretty clear this is civil servants acting against ministers – and voters – and trying to stitch things up in private…
Sir Keir Starmer boarded the outrage bus to the Today programme studios this morning to accuse David Davis of contempt for not releasing unredacted versions of the government’s Brexit impact assessments. Do Labour really think this would help Britain’s negotiating position? They should take a look at how the EU handles such sensitive information on its own side. This is from the European Commission’s “Transparency in EU trade negotiations” document – it makes clear the EU would never release information that could undermine its position during a negotiation.
“A certain level of confidentiality is necessary to protect EU interests and to keep chances for a satisfactory outcome high. When entering into a game, no-one starts by revealing his entire strategy to his counterpart from the outset: this is also the case for the EU.”
Sir Keir says he only wants DExEU to hand the assessments over to the Brexit select committee for them to decide what should be published, and therefore this would not undermine our negotiating position. Well given Hilary Benn’s committee (presumably Seema Malhotra) has leaked DD’s letter to the Mirror before they even discussed it or published it on their website, that doesn’t bode well for the security of information handed to the committee. The Remainers on the committee clearly can’t be trusted not to leak the unredacted documents. Handing them sensitive information would be mad…