Jeremy Wright Bottles Backstop Commitments

Jeremy Wright doing nothing to help the growing sense that the Government is not serious about negotiating concrete legal changes to the backstop.

Wright refuses to commit to reopening the text of the Withdrawal Agreement – as May promised the Commons – saying “I don’t think it’s the mechanism that matters, it’s the objective.” You might have expected the man who was Attorney General a matter of months ago to be a little bit more concerned about the legal details…

Jeremy Wright Threatens Social Media Companies

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright makes it clear that the Government will be pressing ahead with heavy-handed knee-jerk regulation of social media companies, bolshily insisting “I’m not asking their permission”. Has Gavin Williamson been coaching him on rhetoric?

There is an important debate to be had about the role of social media in society. Whipping up fears about public “safety” and ramming through poorly thought-out regulations is not the way to do it.

McDonnell: Labour Not Ruthless Enough On Anti-Semitism

You don’t say

Brexit Minister Forced to Deny Negotiations Are a “Complete Waste of Time”

You know your negotiations are going well when your Brexit minister has to insist they’re not a “complete waste of time”…

Former Army Chief Accuses Gavin Williamson of Careerism

Fair to say that former head of the army General Lord Dannatt isn’t entirely sold on Gavin Williamson’s posturing as Defence Secretary…

Beckett: Labour Split Would Be “Big Mistake”

Arch-Blairite Margaret Beckett comes out strongly against the possibility of Labour MPs breaking away to form a new party. Labour split over Labour split…

Burnham: Second Referendum “Fraught With Problems”

Andy Burnham squirms around trying to justify his own conflicting positions on a second referendum, coming out broadly against one. With a healthy dose of fudge…

Watson on the Wavertree Bullying of Berger

Tom Watson: “Room for Manoeuvre” on Labour’s Brexit Stance

Government Commits to Bringing Forward EU Motion By 27th February

Liz Truss to Collar Christopher Chope over Blocking FGM Bill

Blair on Labour Anti-Semitism

Sajid: I Am “Totally Against” a Customs Union

Firm line from Sajid against a customs union. It’s a “complete non-starter”…

Sajid: General Election is “Last Thing the Country Needs”

Sajid squashes renewed speculation that a general election could be on the cards this year, whether before or after the UK formally leaves the EU. A politics-weary country is unlikely to look kindly on the party that forces a fifth major vote in six years on them…

Barry Gardiner: I Abhor What’s Gone on in Venezuela

Barry Gardiner says you have “no moral platform” if you don’t speak out against human rights abuses in left-wing countries as well as right-wing countries. He might need to have a word with his party leadership…

Sinn Fein: There Will Be No Hard Border

Even Sinn Fein are saying there won’t be a hard border in Ireland. The “hot air and rhetoric” on the backstop is coming from the EU…

Fox: MPs Who Break Their Promises on Brexit “Deserve” to be Punished by Voters

“Those who get elected on that promise and then don’t follow it through… will have a difficult time with voters the next time. And if that happens then they deserve it…”

Liam Fox: Customs Union Not an Acceptable Price for Backstop Changes

He won’t commit to resigning over it…

Vince Cable Discussing New Third Party With Labour MPs

Vince Cable says he’s been in discussions for months with large groups of Labour MPs (and some Tories) about breaking away to form a new third party, although he’s vague about how it would actually work. Will he be happy playing second fiddle to Chuka?

Hancock: Government Will “Listen Very Carefully” to Calls to Remove Backstop

Matt Hancock has given the clearest public signal yet that the Government is considering getting behind moves to remove the backstop from the deal, provided Bercow calls the appropriate amendments on Tuesday.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Ken Livingstone deployed a corker on TalkRadio this afternoon…
“I joined the Labour Party 50 years ago this month and in all that time I have never heard a single anti-semitic comment.”

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