May challenges Corbyn to call a confidence vote

“Theresa May has effectively ­challenged Jeremy Corbyn to call a ­parliamentary vote of no confidence in her Government. The Labour leader tried to force Mrs May to accept a vote of no confidence in her leadership in a purely ­symbolic move. The PM decided to call Mr Corbyn’s bluff after winning the support of both Tory Eurosceptics and the DUP who, while opposed to her deal, were ­unwilling to vote with Labour. Downing Street sources dismissed it as a “silly political stunt” and instead challenged Mr Corbyn to call a full vote of no confidence in the Government. If passed it could lead to the collapse of the ­Government and a general election.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The two leaders are locked in a dance of death – Rachel Sylvester, The Times
  • Shambolic day for Corbyn – Daily Mail
  • Another day of unforced errors from the Labour Leader – Owen Bennett, City AM
  • DUP won’t back Labour – Belfast Telegraph

>Today: Audio: The Moggcast. Why British “fair play” could lead the Queen to send for Corbyn if the Government loses a confidence vote.


Leadership challenge almost happened a day earlier

“The chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers has given a dramatic insight into the machinations that led to last week’s confidence vote in Theresa May. Writing in The House magazine, Sir Graham said that last Tuesday morning a Conservative MP had approached him in a corridor, saying: ‘I’m really sorry Graham, I didn’t want to do this . . . but I just can’t leave it any longer.’ Sir Graham added: ‘A House of Commons envelope travelled from his inside jacket pocket to mine in a matter of seconds. Unseen, the trigger had been pulled.” But the total soon changed again. ‘The door had barely closed when there was a knock on it. Standing there was a Conservative MP who had submitted a letter to me a couple of weeks before. ‘The timing is just bloody awful, I’d like to withdraw my letter,’ they said. Back to 47. It was too early for a large whisky — or even a small one — so I just sat down and shook my head in disbelief.’ ” – The Times

  • Rees-Mogg congratulates the PM on winning Confidence vote – The Sun

Brexit 1) Cabinet considers “no deal” plans

“The cabinet will discuss whether the government should ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit when it meets later this morning…With 101 days left until Brexit and many MPs still opposed to the government’s withdrawal agreement, ministers are due to consider a paper on plans for leaving the EU without a deal. But a no-deal Brexit is also opposed by many MPs. A cross-party group of 60 of them have written to the prime minister, saying it would do ‘unnecessary economic damage’.” – BBC

  • Barclay to set out the details – Daily Telegraph
  • £2 billion for contingency plans – The Guardian
  • Treasury and transport ministry in dispute over cash for ferry charter plan – Financial Times
  • Mordaunt demands talks with the EU on “a smooth and managed glide path to future trading relationships” – Daily Express
  • Cabinet to be given three options – The Times
  • A right wing cult is driving Brexit Britain towards the cliff-edge – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
  • Tory MP checks phone during Sky News interview, in protest at being prevented from speaking – Daily Mail

>Today: Nick Boles on Comment: Demolishing five myths about Norway Plus

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: May must decide at tomorrow’s Cabinet to put no deal planning fully into effect

Brexit 2) Hancock leading the way with preparations

“Health Secretary Matt Hancock struck an upbeat tone about his department’s preparations for a no deal Brexit last night, admitting he was “confident” about the NHS’s ability to cope with an agreement with the EU. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, the senior Minister said it was time for Government to do the “responsible” thing and prepare for no deal. With MPs refusing to support the Prime Minister’s EU withdrawal agreement, chances of a no deal Brexit have increased. Business leaders and economic forecasters have predicted such an outcome would cause “chaos” for the UK.” – Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: No deal planning. Hancock goes early, orders it – and sets an example.

Brexit 3) Mid January promised for the “meaningful vote”

“Theresa May promised to give MPs a vote on her unpopular Brexit deal in the third week of January but immediately faced a showdown with Jeremy Corbyn after the Labour leader tabled a motion of no confidence  in her leadership. The UK prime minister still hopes Brussels can offer “reassurances” to MPs over the terms of Britain’s exit deal before the crucial vote and that over the Christmas break some of her Eurosceptic critics will come to view it as the best deal on offer. Mrs May sought to buy time on Monday by declaring that she would hold the “meaningful vote” on her Brexit deal in the week starting January 14. Last week she postponed the vote after admitting she faced defeat by ‘a significant margin’.” – Financial Times

  • MPs must be given a say on all the alternatives – Frank Field, The Times

Brexit 4) Legal advice “rules out a second referendum”

“The Government has taken secret legal advice on extending Article 50 which it argues effectively rules out a second referendum, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. The advice states that Britain will be legally obliged to take part in European Parliament elections in May of next year if it extends Article 50 and subsequently send British MEPs to Brussels. It warns that there will be a “high risk of a successful legal challenge” if the UK refuses to take part in the elections because doing so will be breaching people’s rights as EU citizens. Ministers who have seen the advice argue that this means that July 2nd, the start of the next five-year session of the European Parliament, is a “hard” deadline for extending Article 50. They say it will take at least a year to complete preparations and hold a second vote, making it technically impossible to have another EU referendum.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Vote Leave chiefs confident they would win again – The Times

Brexit 5) Remainers constitutional arguments for a second referendum are dishonest, says Wallace

“All their pseudo-constitutional arguments are simply frills to conceal a desire to get their own way. Here is a test: if a second referendum is just about “the terms of Brexit”, not an attempt to cancel it, why are they so insistent that Remain must be on the ballot paper? These are people incapable of accepting the outcome of one referendum, despite their promises to do so back when they assumed they would win. Yet we are now supposed to believe they are democrats, who will definitely honour the results this time round, pinky promise. It isn’t surprising that they have chosen such an arrogant brand. Supposedly this re-run would be a “people’s vote”. Except 2016 was a people’s vote: more people than have ever voted for anything or anyone else in the history of British democracy voted to Leave the EU.” – the -i

  • Why I, an avowed Remainer, believe a second referendum would poison politics for a generation – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail
  • Eurocrats get £500 a month pay hike – The Sun
  • Europhile Tories must stop arguing for a second referendum — it’s the demolition of democracy – Leader, The Sun

>Yesterday: WATCH: May slams second referendum Continue to all today’s Newslinks