Starmer Demands Talks Move On Despite Labour Voting to Block Progress

Sir Keir Starmer has written to David Davis this afternoon slamming him for failing to get the Brexit talks moved on to the next stage. Starmer is demanding the government “work round the clock to find a resolution to the current situation” and says DD must “recognise the gravity of the situation”. Hang on a minute…

Last week 18 Labour MEPs voted against moving the talks onto the next stage. Labour had the chance to vote for trade talks to begin, yet they voted with the EU and against the UK government position. And Sir Keir is accusing DD of not recognising “the gravity of the situation”? Davis has written back to Starmer:

“You are of course right to raise the importance of enabling the negotiations to move onto discussions about our future relationship. So to that end, I wonder why it is that your party has not taken action against the eighteen Labour MEPs who voted last week to block further talks. I recently wrote to your party leader on this subject, but am awaiting a response. Perhaps you could use this opportunity to clarify your party’s position on the European Parliament resolution passed last week?”

Not sure Sir Keir thought this one through…

Corbyn: I’d Vote Remain Now

But did he vote Remain then?

Barnier: Withdrawal Terms “Nothing to Do” With Future Relations

No progress during this week’s round of negotiations, as was always going to be the case. The EU’s position has always been unreasonable: no trade talks until we agree the bill. Barnier’s claim that agreeing withdrawal terms is “nothing to do” with the future relationship is just wrong. No one can realistically expect us to blindly commit to a sum until discussions about trade at least begin. Interestingly Barnier essentially admitted it is his mandate from the EU27 that has caused the deadlock – he conceded the order not to move talks on is “precise” and when asked directly if he would try to loosen it replied: “I’ll explore the way forward. If there’s necessary will I will explore ways of getting out of this deadlock”. No sign of budging from the EU27 yet…

UPDATE: Judging by who retweeted Henry Newman’s tweet on this point – Christopher Meyer, Chris Lockwood of the Economist and former FCO perm sec Peter Ricketts – Remainers are increasingly coming round to the view that the EU is being unreasonable.

Green: It Would Have Been Better If Remain Had Won

On Channel 4 News First Secretary of State Damian Green made clear he would vote Remain in another referendum and then on Newsnight he said “it would have been” better if Remain had won. You can only deliver Brexit if you believe in Brexit” said the PM in June, though her deputy obviously doesn’t…

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…

Raab: We’re Preparing For No Deal in Private

Raab says preparations for no deal are being done in secret. The Sunday Telegraph reports May has decided to commit billions of pounds to a no deal scenario. Welcome but should have happened a year ago.

Contempt for Two Tory MEPs Who Voted Against British Interests

You may have missed that during the Tory conference over in Brussels the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to postpone the next phase of Brexit talks:

Is of the opinion that in the fourth round of negotiations sufficient progress has not yet been made on citizens’ rights, Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the settlement of the United Kingdom’s financial obligations; calls on the European Council, unless there is a major breakthrough in line with this resolution in all three areas during the fifth negotiation round, to decide at its October meeting to postpone its assessment on whether sufficient progress has been made;

Brexiteers and fellow Tory MEPs are contemptuous of the two that voted with the majority – Julie Girling, MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, Richard Ashworth MEP for the South-East of England. New UKIP leader Henry Bolton is scathing: “Such behaviour might be expected by the Lib Dems but Labour and in particular Richard Ashcroft and Julie Girling, the former Leader and Chief Whip of the Tories in Brussels to have voted against the national interest. This little short of a disgrace.” It is one thing to be a Remoaner, it is of another order altogether for a Tory MEP to vote against Britain’s national interest…

Barnier: Months Before Trade Talks Can Start

Barnier top lines:

  • Welcomes “new dynamic” of May’s Florence speech
  • Says “we have had a constructive week”, “useful”
  • But… “we are not yet there in terms of sufficient progress”
  • It may take “weeks or maybe even months” before EU will agree to trade talks
  • Barnier still insisting ECJ must have “indispensable” role in post-Brexit disputes with EU citizens

A warmer Barnier today, but still tediously intransigent…

Flint: Remainers Aren’t Being Honest About Single Market

Labour’s Caroline Flint says Labour Remainers like Clive Lewis are not being honest and that continued single market membership would not be a real Brexit. Fair play to Caroline, she is one of the few Labour MPs speaking the truth at the moment…

Corbyn Backs “A Lot” of Continued EU Immigration

Corbyn doing his best to come to the aid of imploding Tories this morning…

Mogg and O-Patz Grumbling, IDS and Redwood on Board

The likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Owen Paterson are grumbling about May’s speech – the Mogg articulated their concerns on Newsnight about free movement and ECJ oversight continuing during the transition. Other hard-to-please Brexiter backbenchers are satisfied though, IDS says he can live with the transition so long as it is time-limited and John Redwood has given his backing:

As Guido has said since June, most Tory Brexiters are fine with a transition so long as it is time-limited to two years and the end destination is fully out of all the institutions of the EU. The question that matters is what our future relationship with the EU will look like, at some point May has to give an answer that satisfies Leave voters and Cabinet ministers…

Europeans Pushing Barnier For More Sensible Stance

Two interesting quotes on Newsnight suggesting that at least some Europeans are pushing Barnier and the Commission to take a more reasonable negotiating stance. Geert Bourgeois, the head of the Flemish government, stressed the need for trade talks: “I’ve met twice Barnier. I brought him to Zeebrugge. 45% of the trade of the export from Zeebrugge is to the United Kingdom, so that’s why I do my best to influence all the people, the ambassadors of the surrounding countries, to work together”. Xavier Bertrand, the influential French politician who runs the Hauts-de-France region, says Brussels’ tone should change:

“I know one thing for sure – nobody has the right to punish the UK and the British people. It was a sovereign choice… punishing and looking to punish is a terrible mistake. It would be a bad message to send. It was the will of the people who voted, regardless of the consequences. It would give rise to the feeling that there’s something with more power than the will of the people, or wanting to go against the will of the people. That would be a terrible error.”

The suggestion in today’s papers is that May’s speech will aim to go over the head of Barnier and appeal to the EU27 to break the deadlock. Clearly it is in the interests of EU politicians like the two above to do that. Whether the EU27 can behave reasonably and rationally is another question…

OBR: In 2022 the UK’s Net Weekly Contribution to the EU Will Be £335 Million

In the OBR’s February report there was a table, unnoticed at the time, which includes an OBR forecast on EU budget contributions up to 2021 based on Treasury information. They show the gross contribution soaring to £22.227 billion by 2021/22 – or £427 million per week. If, as Remainers and statisticians insist, we use only the net contribution – subtracting the UK rebate – then even that soars from £13.952 billion in 2016/7, to £17.405 billion in 2021/2. That is a massive 24.7% increase in 5 years…

But most importantly politically, even the net contribution of £17.405 billion works out at some £335 million per week in 2022. So even using the contested Remainer methodology, Boris would basically be right in four years if we don’t leave the EU… 

Stats bods can check the calculation here.

EU Berets at LibDem Conference

Meanwhile down in Bournemouth… yes they really are wearing EU berets. And no idea what this video trailing the new LibDem PPB is about:

Needs a cigarette for the full Herman Cain circa 2012 look

H/T @jhallwood

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…

Rudd: I Don’t Want Boris Managing Brexit

Amber Rudd machines gun Boris on Marr, accusing him of “backseat driving” and sternly insisting “I don’t want him managing the Brexit process“. Never mind that Rudd is an arch-Remainer who is equally ambitious as Boris, she lost the referendum and Boris won it…

UPDATE: That’s not what she used to say…

Dyson: No Deal Brexit Won’t Hurt UK

Dyson: I think Britain is putting forward very positive suggestions and they’re not being reciprocated by the other side. But that doesn’t particularly surprise me and I suspect that we’ll have to leave without a deal and that we’ll have to trade under WTO regulations which frankly are going to hurt the Europeans more than they hurt the British. 

BBC: Would they not hurt your business?

Dyson: Not at all actually, we already pay the WTO tariff into Europe and it hasn’t hurt us at all… It’s quite wrong to call it a single market. It’s a series of different markets with different languages, different marketing required and different laws, and in our case different plugs and different boxes. So we don’t view it as a single market, it’s actually a very highly complex and broken up market… The rest of the world is growing at a far greater rate than Europe so the opportunity is to export to the rest of the world and to capitalise on that.

People are being told WTO rules would be the end of the world. The government could do more to explain why it isn’t…

Brexit Twitter Sentiment Analysis: Robbo Not Neutral

Data Guido has been hidden away in a dark room, crunching the numbers to see whether our top broadcast journalists really are impartial on Brexit. Yesterday we analysed Robert Peston’s relentlessly negative Twitter feed, categorising his tweets as having either a positive sentiment about Brexit (not many), a negative sentiment about Brexit (82%), or being neutral. Today it’s the turn of the BBC’s Nick Robinson…

  • Robbo has sent 157 tweets about Brexit since 24 June 2016.
  • 3 tweets had a positive sentiment, that’s just 2% of his total tweets.
  • 65 tweets were neutral, that’s 41%.
  • 89 tweets were negative, that is 57% of his total Brexit tweets having a negative sentiment.

You’d surely expect a Beeb man to be neutral, yet only 41% of Robbo’s Brexit tweets have a neutral sentiment. The overwhelming majority of Robbo’s tweets about Brexit – 57% – had a negative sentiment. As you can see above it is the stories and quotes he chooses to report that give the game away – negative quote after negative quote from France, Brussels, George Osborne and other Remainers. By contrast he has sent only three tweets with a positive Brexit sentiment since the referendum. Nothing listeners of the Today programme didn’t know already. Stay tuned for more Brexit Twitter sentiment analysis tomorrow…

Farage to Juncker: “You’ve Learnt Nothing from Brexit”

Nigel’s responses to Juncker are always good value:

“The way you’re treating Hungary and Poland already must remind them of living under the Soviet communists… all I can say is thank God we’re leaving, but you’ve learnt nothing from Brexit, if you’d given Cameron concessions, particularly on immigration, the Brexit vote, I have to admit, would never, ever have happened… If these plans of Mr Juncker’s come to fruition, far from the populist wave being over, I doubt it’s even begun.”

He is right…

Juncker: EU Will Expand and Have Its Own Army

Jean-Claude Juncker has confirmed the EU will pursue a policy of ever-continuing expansion, create its own army, and force constituent countries to open their borders and join the beleaguered Euro in an speech which will only serve to confirm the decision of every Brexit voter.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Local Labour Members Want Jared Deselected Local Labour Members Want Jared Deselected
Last Days at BuzzFeed Last Days at BuzzFeed
Bolton: She Came Round But I Didn’t Sleep With Her Bolton: She Came Round But I Didn’t Sleep With Her
Jared Victim: He Shouldn’t Be Back in Westminster Jared Victim: He Shouldn’t Be Back in Westminster
Sick Jared Back to Work Sick Jared Back to Work
Ann Black Purged by Red Terror Ann Black Purged by Red Terror
Parole Board Admit Processes Breached Parole Board Admit Processes Breached
Paul Mason: Aggressive and Intimidating Paul Mason: Aggressive and Intimidating
James O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral James O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral
O’Mara Hasn’t Helped a Single Constituent in Months O’Mara Hasn’t Helped a Single Constituent in Months
Credit Where Credit’s Due Credit Where Credit’s Due
Osborne on Carillion: Then and Now Osborne on Carillion: Then and Now
Paul Mason’s Column Axed Paul Mason’s Column Axed
Lord Pannick Backs Gauke’s Judicial Review Lord Pannick Backs Gauke’s Judicial Review
“Get On Your Knees, B*tch” Clive Lewis Returns to Labour Frontbench in Reshuffle” “Get On Your Knees, B*tch” Clive Lewis Returns to Labour Frontbench in Reshuffle”
Vulnerable Children’s Data Breached at Labour-Run Leicester City Council Vulnerable Children’s Data Breached at Labour-Run Leicester City Council
Dover Traffic at Record Levels Dover Traffic at Record Levels
10 Times Chris Williamson Wasn’t Sacked 10 Times Chris Williamson Wasn’t Sacked
Watch: Baroness Jenkin Drops C-Bomb in Lords Watch: Baroness Jenkin Drops C-Bomb in Lords
Worboys Victims Formally Ask CPS to Reassess 93 Unprosecuted Cases Worboys Victims Formally Ask CPS to Reassess 93 Unprosecuted Cases