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EU talks 1) “Incredible Hulk” Johnson confident of EU deal

“Boris Johnson is meeting Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg today for the first time since entering Number 10, which is being seen as a significant moment in the push to find a Brexit resolution. Ahead of the meeting with the European Commission President, the Prime Minister struck a confident tone on reaching a deal. He insisted he thinks “we will get there” and that a “huge amount” of progress is being made. Mr Johnson said: “I will be talking to Jean-Claude about how we’re going to do it. I’m very confident.” He added: “When I got this job, everybody was saying there can be absolutely no change to the withdrawal agreement, the backstop was immutable, the arrangements by which the UK was kept locked in to the EU forever – they said no one could change that.” – Daily Express

  • Johnson: I passionately believe that I can strike an EU deal within weeks – Daily Telegraph
  • And he is closing in on Brexit deal – Daily Telegraph
  • Barclay says deal in within sight – Daily Telegraph
  • And he suggests standstill transition deal – FT
  • PM in with a chance of winning Commons vote – The Sun
Comment
>Today:
>Yesterday:

EU talks 2) Johnson will challenge Juncker to reach deal…

“The PM stunned defiant EU chiefs by likening himself to the angry, green Marvel superhero on Sunday — saying “the madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets”. In their first face-to-face meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, Mr Johnson will ask the EU Commission president to finally open formal negotiations. But downbeat Mr Juncker said on Sunday that he was “not optimistic” any deal could be struck, as Mr Johnson’s plans still fall short. Ahead of their showdown meeting, the PM said on Sunday: “I will commit UK officials and my lead negotiator to work flat out to come up with a new agreement without being trapped into EU laws. “Equally, I will ask President Juncker to say the same to his own team so we can get this done.” The 30-day deadline he agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to come up with a fresh plan to replace the controversial Irish backstop expires this Friday. So far, only technical talks have taken place as Britain fears any firm proposal it puts on the table will be shot down. Instead, with just five weeks to go until the October 31 Brexit deadline, Mr Johnson wants EU leaders to “meet him halfway” and strike a mutual agreement.” – The Sun

  • EU dismay as Johnson compares himself to Hulk – The Guardian

EU talks 3) …And does he have a secret plan to keep Brexit on track?

“It has been reported that the plan is so secret that even members of Mr Johnson’s inner circle have not been briefed on it. Only three advisors have seen the document reported to contain the secret plan, it was claimed last night. According to the Daily Mail, officials believe they have found a loophole in the law passed by rebel MPs to block no deal. The information, however, is thought to be so sensitive that only three of Mr Johnson’s advisors have been briefed on it. The identities of the three advisors has not yet been revealed, but it is thought that the likely trio include Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s right hand-man and coordinator of the Vote Leave campaign, Brexit secretary Steve Barclay and the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox. Opposition parties joined forces two weeks ago to push legislation through in an attempt to prevent a no deal Brexit – effectively binding the Prime Ministers hands. The bill states that if a Brexit deal has not been passed through the Commons by October 19, Mr Johnson must formally write to Brussels asking for an extension, something he has repeatedly insisted he will not do. However, several figures within the law have pointed out some flaws that are apparent in the legislation.” – Daily Express

Cameron’s memoirs, continued: I knew the enormity of the Brexit vote would stay with me, he writes

“I had hoped that on Friday, June 24, I would be making a speech confirming Britain’s new settlement within the European Union, and looking ahead to several more years in office. Instead, Britain was leaving the EU and I was leaving the job I loved. I knew that the enormity of what had happened, and the consequences for our country, would stay with me for the rest of my life, that I would turn them over in my head again and again. But that day my focus was simple. I had to carry on being prime minister, and muster what dignity I could as I set a sensible course for handing over to a successor. The first time I left the confines of Downing Street after the result was to visit Buckingham Palace. The Queen and I discussed what had happened, and I explained why I had decided it was best for the country that I resign. I had already spoken to Michael Gove that morning. I was on autopilot, calmly conceding defeat and offering my congratulations. He sounded more shocked than anyone. He was, many speculated, likely to become Britain’s next chancellor. I had also called Nicola Sturgeon. She was gracious but I knew the SNP would try to exploit the result.” – The Times

  • Brexiteers stung by Cameron hit back at ‘yesterday’s man’ – The Times
  • Cameron says Johnson called Gove ‘a bit cracked’ over leadership betrayal – The Times
  • Patel dismisses Cameron’s claim she was most ‘shocking’ Leave campaigner – Daily Mail
Comment
>Yesterday:

“More Tory MPs prepare to join Lib Dems”…

“ One of the group, Sam Gyimah, who stood to be Tory leader over the summer, joined the Lib Dems on Saturday night. But Sarah Wollaston, another Tory turned Lib Dem MP, said that several more of the 21 Tory rebels had contacted her privately to discuss crossing the floor to her party. Two former chancellors as well as Winston Churchill’s grandson were stripped of the whip in parliament though they remain members of the party. Ms Wollaston said in an interview with The Times: “I know there are several, who I’ve had conversations with, who are seriously considering it, and I hope that they will [join]”. Ms Wollaston described becoming a Lib Dems as like hitting a “wall of love”. She said there was “really nothing” on which she disagreed with the Lib Dems, though there were “nuances”. And she said that she should have left the Tories years ago describing the process as like casting off a “dirty raincoat”. She also had dig at Boris Johnson, echoing the phrase he had used to describe David Cameron, by saying the naughtiest thing she had ever done was “probably be a girly swot”. – The Times

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>Today:
>Yesterday:

…As they vote to ditch Brexit without a second referendum

“The Liberal Democrats will go into the next general election promising to cancel Brexit, after delegates at the party’s annual conference overwhelmingly backed the policy. Although the party has used the slogan “Bollocks to Brexit” the Lib Dems had previously campaigned only for a second referendum. The party’s position is still in favour of that but after yesterday’s vote it will pledge that a majority Lib Dem government would revoke the Article 50 exit process without asking voters. Although the Lib Dems are unlikely to win the next general election, the shift in position is an attempt to outflank Labour as the most overtly pro-Remain party in the campaign. It is a gamble for Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem leader, and yesterday she admitted that it was controversial. The pledge to cancel Brexit risks alienating soft Tory Remain voters comfortable with the idea of a second referendum as a democratic way to stay in the EU. The Lib Dems need to win seats from the Tories as well as from Labour if they want to secure a breakthrough at the next general election.” – The Times

  • Lib Dems pledge to revoke Article 50 – FT
  • Swinson could back Labour government if Corbyn goes – The Times
  • And she refuses to rule out a coalition – Daily Mail
  • Lib Dems plunged into crisis after candidate’s ‘offensive’ Brexit remark – Daily Express
  • Race row overshadows Lib Dem conference – Daily Telegraph
  • Khan’s policing adviser defects to Lib Dems – Daily Mail
Comment
>Yesterday:

Lib Dem member heckles leader saying that she was ‘lying’ about Philip Lee

“The Liberal Democrat member who heckled Jo Swinson at party conference has told BuzzFeed News of her anger at the party’s apparent failure to address concerns over the defection of former Tory MP Phillip Lee. Catherine Finnecy, a councillor in Chelmsford, Essex, shouted that Swinson was a liar as the party leader answered a question in the main conference hall on Sunday about the values of new Lib Dem MPs and whether they had been vetted to the same extent as other candidates. Referring to Lee — whose defection from the Tories sparked a string of resignations among LGBT+ activists — Finnecy heckled that his proposal regarding migrants with HIV had been a “UKIP policy”.” – BuzzFeed

  • Liberal Democrat unease with Philip Lee spills out into the open- New Statesman
>Today:

Trump says he is ‘locked and loaded’ after it’s claimed Iran is behind Saudi oil strikes

“The US President said “we know the culprit” as officials released satellite pics which they say show Iran was behind the strike. Iran has dismissed accusations by the US that it was behind Saturday’s strikes on Saudi oil plants which have cut into global energy supplies. But an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander warned Tehran is “ready for a fully-fledged war”, saying US bases are “within range of our missiles”. Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group has already claimed responsibility for the attacks, that knocked out more than half of Saudi’s oil output. But the US shared new evidence, including satellite photos, which it says proves Iran was to blame. The photos show what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at two Saudi energy facilities, including damage at the heart of the crucial oil processing plant at Abqaiq. Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.” – The Sun

  • Oil prices soar after attacks halve Saudi output – FT
  • Petrol prices set to soar ‘4p per litre’ – The Sun

And finally, The Guardian panics over its heartless editorial attacking Cameron

The Guardian apologises after its editorial was criticised for suggesting David Cameron only suffered “priviliged pain” when his disabled son Ivan died:

“This editorial was amended on 15 September 2019. The original version of this editorial posted online fell far short of our standards. It has now been amended, and we apologise completely.” – The Guardian

– Guardian apologises for David Cameron editorial – BBC News

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