Empty podium as ‘grandstanding’ Luxembourg prime minister tries to ambush Johnson at press conference

‘Boris Johnson was ambushed yesterday by the leader of the EU’s second-smallest state who mocked his Brexit strategy after the prime minister withdrew from a press conference to avoid protesters. In an extraordinary break with protocol Xavier Bettel, prime minister of Luxembourg, stood next to an empty lectern and berated Mr Johnson to cheers from anti-Brexit campaigners. He accused his British counterpart of putting “party political gain” over the interests of his citizens and warned that the EU needed “more than words” to strike a new Brexit deal. He ridiculed suggestions that Mr Johnson could defy parliament and refuse to ask for a further Brexit extension, saying: “This would not happen in Luxembourg.” The performance prompted a diplomatic spat that marred the prime minister’s efforts to win support for a new deal. Mr Bettel was accused of “unhelpful grandstanding”. In what appeared to be a deliberate ambush Mr Bettel’s team had refused requests by Downing Street to move a scheduled press conference between the two leaders away from a noisy demonstration.’ – The Times

  • Downing Street points out that the Prime Minister was there to meet Juncker, not Bettel – The Sun
  • Such treatment is yet more evidence of why we must leave – The Sun Says
  • If they aren’t serious about securing a deal, then No Deal will be their responsibility – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • The EU and UK are going to hold daily talks – The Times
  • They just want us to go – The Guardian

>Today: Stephen Booth’s column: Not so long ago, EU leaders hoped Brexit would be stopped. They may now be ready for it to go ahead.


Major will intervene in the Supreme Court hearing on prorogation

‘Sir John Major will this week personally urge the Supreme Court to rule Boris Johnson lied to the Queen about suspending Parliament. In an astonishing move, the line-up for the legal blockbuster yesterday revealed the former Tory PM will make a 20 minute ‘intervention’ in the emergency hearing – which begins today. Sir John Major is expected to take to the stand on the final day of three on Thursday. Furious Brexiteers last night said they were “astonished”. Iain Duncan Smith told The Sun: “All I can say is that his purpose in doing this must be to give the Supreme Court a ready example of hubris. This is the Prime Minister who prorogued Parliament in 1997 during the Cash for Questions saga!” Eleven Supreme Court justices will hear the claim that Boris Johnson acted unlawfully in advising the Queen to suspend Parliament in a bid to thwart attempts to block Brexit.’ – The Sun

  • The court must reconcile conflicting verdicts from Scotland and England – Daily Mail
  • The number of judges shows how significant the hearing is – The Guardian
  • Raab hints that the Benn Bill is ‘flawed’ – The Sun
  • Businesses must stand up for honest judges – Michael Skapinker, FT

>Yesterday: Richard Ekins on Think Tank: Why the Supreme Court should overturn last week’s ruling on prorogation

Cameron speaks of his ‘regret’ and sense of ‘responsibility’ for Brexit

‘David Cameron admitted for the first time last night that he shares responsibility for the Brexit crisis. In his first TV grilling since leaving No10 three years ago, the ex-Tory PM also admitted he is still “haunted” by his gamble. While expressing “regret” for the deep divisions across the country, he had previously insisted the landmark 2016 referendum was “inevitable” because of splits over Europe. Mr Cameron told ITV News’s Tom Bradby: “Do I have regrets? Yes. Am I sorry about the state the country’s got into? Yes. Do I feel I have some responsibility for that? Yes. It was my referendum, my campaign, my decision to try and renegotiate. I accept all of those things and people will have to decide how much blame to put on me.”’ – The Sun


Swinson doubles down on hardline Remain position and compares Johnson to a ‘dictator’

‘With a general election possibly looming Ms Swinson will reiterate that she is a candidate for prime minister and accuse both main parties of vacating the centre ground of politics. Conservatives have accused Ms Swinson, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, of adopting an extreme policy, with her party’s new pledge that a Lib Dem government would cancel Brexit. Last night Sir Ed Davey, the party’s deputy leader, risked more accusations of extremism after saying that many Leave voters “didn’t really care” about leaving the EU…In her speech Ms Swinson will attack Mr Johnson for his decision to suspend parliament and strip the whip from Tory MPs including Mr Gyimah and Sir Nicholas Soames. “There is even now the suggestion that he would break the law and refuse to ask for an extension to Article 50,” she will say. “For someone who proclaims to hate socialist dictators, he’s doing a pretty good impression of one.” She will also criticise the prime minister’s pledge of no-deal planning as “like planning to burn your house down. You might have insurance, but you’re still going to lose all your stuff.”’ – The Times

  • Anti-democratic leader campaigned for a referendum, and now wants to cancel its result – The Sun Says
  • The pledge show she isn’t serious about power – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • She wants to polarise people – The Guardian Leader
  • No longer a democratic party – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • She faces a revolt about the switch from second referendum to revocation – The Times
  • The Lib Dems might push Labour off the fence – Rachel Sylvester, The Times
  • Candidate sacked for saying Tories should be hanged, drawn and quartered – The Times
  • Rees-Mogg notes that he is officially entitled to be beheaded, thank you very much – The Times
  • Umunna lays into Corbyn – Daily Mail
  • Lee says his LGBT views have been misunderstood – The Guardian
  • Clark denies that he is planning to defect – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: LibDem limits

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