Tory whips prepare for the possibility that Johnson might resign

‘Downing Street has been preparing the ground in case Boris Johnson suddenly resigns. Tory MPs have been receiving calls from the whips’ office, which has been assessing support for the foreign secretary while canvassing views on the prime minister’s speech in Florence. No 10 has been told that Mr Johnson has minimal support among MPs. Tories who backed Remain are generally unimpressed by his interventions but Leave supporters are among the angriest. Many of them have never seen Mr Johnson as a soulmate and worry that he is destabilising the government to the point that he could smooth Jeremy Corbyn’s path to power, putting Brexit in jeopardy.’ – The Times

  • Barnier praises the Florence speech – The Sun
  • EU citizens living in the UK will not have to get ID cards – The Sun
  • Thornberry says the Foreign Secretary should take a paternity test to prove he is the ‘father of Brexit’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: Thornberry’s Labour conference stand-up routine

German election result could delay Brexit talks

‘Political deadlock in Germany is likely to delay the start of Brexit trade talks for several months, senior ministers fear. Downing Street had hoped for Theresa May’s concessions last week to “unlock” negotiations in Brussels and allow talks on a transition deal and a future relationship to begin after a meeting of European leaders next month. However, after Sunday’s divisive German election result, Whitehall now believes that it will be difficult for the EU to quickly agree a joint position. The unexpectedly poor showing for Angela Merkel and her Bavarian allies means she will be mired in talks for months and only able to focus on international issues of the highest priority — which the Brexit talks are not.’ – The Times


>Today: Iain Duncan Smith’s column: Brexit. Why the Government must prepare for no deal now.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Control migrant numbers – or extremists flourish. Germany’s election lesson for May and Corbyn.

Wallace: Both Leavers and Remainers are still struggling to adapt to the outcome of the referendum

‘For a vocal minority of Remain supporters, who got their way on this and other issues for many years, the reality of defeat has proved simply impossible to accept. Rather than adapt to the result, or scrutinise their errors, they’ve jetted off into a twilight zone of EU-themed fancy dress, conspiracy theories, and increasingly unpleasant dismissal of Leave voters as ignorant racists who could help everyone out by simply dying off…The history of Euroscepticism – 40 years of defeat, except for staving off British membership of the Euro – means that Leavers learned long ago to be somewhat suspicious of politicians. That breeds a fatalistic, even paranoid, assumption that Westminster is always about to sell out to Brussels: even having won the war, perhaps we might still lose the peace. Over a year on, Remainers and Leavers are both in some disarray, still struggling to adjust to the referendum result.’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

>Yesterday: WATCH: Davis opens the new round of Brexit talks – “There are no excuses for standing in the way of progress” Continue to all today’s Newslinks