Andrew Gimson’s Commons sketch: Magnanimous Johnson, lover of Europe, establishes himself on the moral high ground
He presented a clear choice between his deal and the people’s wrath.
He presented a clear choice between his deal and the people’s wrath.
“We have today to take a key decision and it’s simple. Do we want to deliver Brexit? Do we want to deliver on the result of the referendum?
“There may be special circumstances for Northern Ireland, but that can only be with the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.”
“Voting for a deal today won’t end Brexit. It won’t deliver certainty and the people should have the final say”
“There is every little appetite among our friends in the EU for this business to be protracted by one extra day.”
On a vote on the deal, our calculation is that the Government will lose by two – though that bypasses abstentions. But such a vote is very unlikely today,
Of course, the amendment must be selected by the Speaker in order to be debated at all. But there’s little doubt that he will do so.
Let the Prime Minister himself have the last word: “The people who bet against Britain are going to lose their shirts.”
You don’t really get closer to unanimous than this in our surveys of Conservative Party members.
The Conservatives gained a seat from Labour in Gravesham. The Conservatives also gained a seat from an independent in North Yorkshire.
There have been compromises on both sides and the DUP says it cannot support the new Withdrawal Agreement. But what’s actually in it and what’s new?
Ronnie Campbell added that “this country is fed up with Parliament…it’s time we got a deal, and got it through.”
Fleet Street’s reaction will please Downing Street.
By reaching a deal in Brussels, the Tory anarchist has exceeded what the official classes and conventional wisdom supposed was possible.
Plus: Sky News troll themselves. How the next Speaker might surprise you. And: Labour moderates are still deluded about their Party’s future.
We will, at long last, be honouring what we promised the British people and we will be taking back control of our laws, our borders and our money.
You may smile; how can this woman take such pride in providing a bin at a bus stop? Well, she does.
“For us in the UK we can deliver a real Brexit that delivers our objectives…and we leave whole and entire on October 31.”
He says again that there is no need for any further prolongation, and that the deal is about people and peace.
The Taoiseach adds that the deal finalised today “creates a unique solution for Northern Ireland”.
Last night’s selection meeting to select a successor to Ken Clarke was hotly contested – I’m told that it went to three full rounds of voting.
“If we have a deal we have a deal. And there is no need for any kind of prolongation. That’s not only the British view that’s my view too.”
“The Prime Minister said “now is the moment for us to get Brexit done” after Britain and the EU came to a last-minute agreement in Brussels on Thursday morning. He made it clear that Saturday’s Commons vote on the deal will represent the final opportunity for Britain to leave the EU with a deal, otherwise a no deal Brexit will go ahead on Oct 31. But he faces a plot by a Remain alliance of opposition MPs and Tory rebels to make the deal conditional on a second referendum. They could table an amendment to Saturday’s so-called “meaningful vote” which would mean that if the deal passed, Brexit would be delayed while the country chose between the Johnson deal and Remain. Mr Johnson will try to get his deal through Parliament without the support of the DUP, which said it “drives a coach and horses” through the Good Friday Agreement. Some Tory hardliners, including Iain Duncan Smith, said they would wait until Saturday morning before making up their minds how to vote. The Prime Minister will return to London on Friday morning to take charge of an intense whipping operation to persuade hardline Brexiteers, Tory rebels and some Labour MPs to back his deal in Saturday’s vote. The Daily Telegraph understands that between 10 and 15 Labour MPs are now prepared to back the deal, to avoid the risk of a no deal Brexit. Their votes would almost certainly be decisive in a result that remains too close to call. If Mr Johnson loses the vote, he will be obliged by law to write to Brussels asking for an extension to Article 50.” – Daily Telegraph
“The 28 Eurosceptic Tory hardliners have not said “no” to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, giving No 10 hope that they will swing behind the prime minister. The group, known as “the Spartans”, had indicated they would take a lead from the Democratic Unionist party, which categorically said it would vote against Johnson’s deal. But several of the Tory hardliners – from Peter Bone to Andrew Bridgen – suggested they were likely to vote for the agreement. It was not unanimous, however, as the European Research Group’s steering committee, made up of senior MPs and former ministers, met on Thursday for a “deep discussion” about the new agreement, which they went through line by line. “There were a lot of mixed views. This vote will cause some agony for some members, but it will be up to each member’s conscience,” said a source. Particular sticking points included the role of the European courts of justice in solving disputes – “Why can’t it be the supreme court?” said one member – and the failure to give the DUP a veto. “We have stood with the DUP for so long that for some members it will be painful to choose,” said another. But even some of the most fervent Brexiters, including Steve Baker and Mark Francois, made positive noises about the settlement, saying there were “limited remaining concerns”. – The Guardian
“Although Labour now backs a second referendum in all circumstances, the party refused to confirm that it would use the historic Saturday sitting to try to impose a “confirmatory” vote condition on the prime minister’s deal getting through parliament. Shortly after the agreement was revealed, Jeremy Corbyn said that it was “an even worse deal than Theresa May’s”, which risks “triggering a race to the bottom on rights and protections: putting food safety at risk, cutting environmental standards and workers’ rights and opening up our NHS to a takeover by US private corporations”. He claimed that the “best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote,” raising expectations that Labour would push for a referendum as soon as possible. However, amid fears that a Commons majority for such a move did not exist, a senior source in the People’s Vote campaign sought to dampen expectations. They said instead that they would not force the issue to a vote in an attempt to maximise their chance of winning rebel Tory MPs round before the end of the month.” – The Times
“Former Tory MPs last night moved to force Boris Johnson into requesting a Brexit delay even if he succeeds in getting his deal with the EU through the Commons. A number of Conservative rebels expelled for voting to block a no-deal Brexit yesterday indicated that they would back Boris Johnson on what is being billed as Super Saturday, but some are seeking extra time as an insurance policy. The government is confident that 15 to 17 of the 21 MPs kicked out of the party last month will end up backing the deal as the prospect of returning to the Tory fold was dangled before them. Although no promises have been made, Conservative figures suggested that voting for the deal tomorrow would be a “ladder” to returning to the party. Sir Oliver Letwin was among the first to confirm that he would vote for Mr Johnson’s deal, telling the Commons: “The deal, [of] which we’ve admittedly only briefly seen the text, looks admirable, and I shall be supporting it, and indeed voting for the implementation of it in legislation all the way to completion.” However, Sir Oliver also tabled an amendment to the government’s motion that would force Mr Johnson to write to the EU requesting an extension to the Article 50 process until the deal became law. The government hopes the deal will be ratified next week but the rebels are concerned it could take much longer and Britain could crash out by accident on October 31.” – The Times
“Boris Johnson lost his nerve during negotiations with the EU in his desperation to reach a Brexit deal, the Democratic Unionist Party said as it vowed to fight against the agreement. Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s Westminster leader, accused the prime minister of having been “too eager” to get a deal with the EU before his self-imposed deadline of October 31. Without the DUP’s support, Mr Johnson may face an uphill battle to get his deal through the Commons tomorrow. The DUP, Mr Johnson’s partner in government, has only ten MPs but could also carry the votes of several hardline Eurosceptic Conservatives. It will vote against the agreement, which it said was not “beneficial to the economic wellbeing” of Northern Ireland and would undermine the Union. It also said it would continue to fight the deal even if it passes tomorrow’s vote in the Commons. That will “only be the start of a long process to get any withdrawal agreement bill through the House of Commons,” the DUP said.” – The Times
Mr Field, who has held the Cities of London and Westminster seat since 2001, said a “pragmatic and cooperative” approach to politics has been “tested to destruction” by the EU referendum result. In a statement to his local Conservative Association on Thursday, he said: “I had dearly hoped that by the time of the next general election these issues would have been resolved. “However, it is increasingly clear that divisions over Brexit and our future relationship with the EU27 will dominate and define domestic politics for many years to come.” He said his preference for ruling out a no-deal Brexit and his support for revoking Article 50 in order to restart the two-year clock and give negotiations more time put him at odds with Boris Johnson’s government. He continued: “Yet even if the current proposed deal passes – and naturally I shall support it – we must be clear what lies ahead will not be plain sailing. “But having watched many colleagues follow this path in recent torrid months, I have no desire to become a disaffected, dissenting voice from the backbenches, undermining a government under whose colours I have been elected.” – Daily Telegraph
“Boris Johnson’s general election campaign received a boost as he seemed to succeed in splitting Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party over the merits of his deal with Brussels. Mr Farage denounced the agreement as “not Brexit” and said that he would rather see the UK’s exit from the European Union delayed than the accord being implemented. However, one of his MEPs, Lance Forman, described the deal as “quite positive” and one “we can move forward with”. Mr Farage had said that his new party could be the Conservatives’ best friends or their worst enemies in the forthcoming general election and he called on Mr Johnson to agree an electoral “non-aggression” pact. The Brexit Party stands on 11 per cent in the polls, trailing far behind the Conservatives on 37 per cent, but Mr Farage believes that it can do real damage, taking enough votes to potentially deny Mr Johnson’s party seats in certain areas by being strong advocates of a hard Brexit. No 10 insiders, though, argued that taking the UK out of the EU would make the Brexit Party an irrelevance. The split within its ranks will strengthen their argument.” – The Times
“Jeremy Corbyn is facing the prospect of losing another senior Labour MP as friends of Dame Margaret Hodge say she cannot rule out leaving the Labour party over its handling of anti-semitism allegations. The news came after Dame Louise Ellman quit the party after 55 years as a member as she said the Labour leader was “not fit to serve as our prime minister”. Barking MP Dame Margaret is already facing a fight to remain as Labour’s election candidate after the constituency party triggered a reselection vote last month. Dame Margaret declined to comment. But a friend said she could not rule out quitting in the longer term: “At the moment she is staying for sure. She is fighting for her Barking seat.” The friend added: “There are two left now – Ruth Smeeth and Margaret. Ruth will never leave.” Sources close to Ms Smeeth confirmed to the Telegraph that she will stay in the Labour party. Dame Louise said late on Wednesday that under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, “anti-Semitism has become mainstream in the Labour Party, Jewish members have been bullied, abused and driven out”. Dame Louise has served as the MP for Liverpool Riverside since 1997. Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, said: “Louise Ellman has taken a characteristically brave and principled decision.” – Daily Telegraph
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