Cabinet divisions deepen over preparations for no-deal Brexit…

“Cabinet divisions re-emerged yesterday when the Brexit secretary called for planning for no-deal to be stepped up minutes before a colleague said that it should be ruled out in law. Stephen Barclay said MPs should “face facts” and accept that preparations must resume “at pace” if Theresa May’s European Union withdrawal agreement does not pass the Commons in a fortnight. Attitudes to a no-deal Brexit, which two thirds of Conservative members support, according to a poll for The Times, will form a key part of the coming leadership contest. Mr Barclay, who is rarely spoken of as a contender, refused to rule himself out, instead sniping at likely candidates.” – The Times

  • Barclay leads calls for more preparation – Daily Express
  • May makes final push despite growing sense of doom… – FT
  • …as ministers urge her to scrap plans for vote – The Sun
  • New offer has ‘nothing new in it’ – Daily Mail


  • Heseltine faces calls for expulsion – The Times

>Today: Anthony Browne in Comment: Policy Gains from Brexit 1) We need more debate about what to do when we take back control

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Barclay refuses to rule out a leadership bid

…as seven Cabinet ministers threaten to block Johnson…

“Seven Tory Cabinet ministers will today launch a bid to prevent Boris Johnson from leading Britain out of the EU without a deal if he becomes the next leader of the party. In a significant intervention, the 60-strong ‘One Nation Caucus’ of Conservative MPs will publish a ‘declaration of values’ rejecting ‘narrow nationalism’. The group last night said it aimed to ‘shift the Conservative Party towards the centre’. Sources confirmed it would hold hustings during the impending leadership contest and would ‘work to stop any leadership candidate who endorses a ‘Nigel Farage No-Deal Brexit’. The stance is a direct warning to Mr Johnson and other Tory leadership candidates flirting with a No Deal Brexit.” – Daily Mail

  • Leadership hopefuls told to prioritise ‘climate emergency’ – The Guardian


  • A vote for Johnson is a vote to break up the UK – Clare Foges, The Times
  • If I were Corbyn, I’d be praying for Boris – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian

>Today: Nicky Morgan MP’s column: Our country needs One Nation Toryism more than ever. And we will measure leadership candidates against its ideals.


…and Farage issues ultimatum to leadership hopefuls

Nigel Farage has said that he would find it difficult to work with a future Tory leader who has backed Theresa May’s Brexit deal, ruling out a tie-up with Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab. Tory MPs are openly speculating on whether a future Conservative leader would come to a deal over contesting seats if a general election is called to deal with the Brexit impasse in Parliament. On Saturday Conservative MP Crispin Blunt said it was an “unavoidable necessity” that the Tories would have to form “some kind of electoral pact and common platform” with the Brexit Party. However, on a campaign tour of Essex, asked if the next leader would have to drop support for the Withdrawal Agreement to win the Brexit Party’s backing Mr Farage told The Daily Telegraph: “Of course. Absolutely.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brexit Party could win more votes than pro-Remain parties combined… – Daily Telegraph
  • …as it ‘surges to second place’ in Scotland – The Scotsman
  • Farage says licence fee has ‘risen up’ his agenda over BBC bias – Daily Express
  • Brown urges investigation into party’s funding – The Guardian
  • EU will not renegotiate deal with new Prime Minister, Ireland warns – News Letter


  • Back the Brexit Party… before Johnson goes to Downing St – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • Hancock has the skill and appeal to heal a divided party – Harry de Quetteville, Daily Telegraph
  • Victory for Farage would complicate EU appointments – Wolfgang Münchau, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: The Australian Liberals know who their target voters are. The Conservatives don’t seem to have a clue.

Charles Moore: Tory grandees are wrong to brand support for Brexit as ‘extreme’

So when Lord Heseltine and Sir John lay a unique claim to the middle ground, they inadvertently insult millions of people. Leave and Remain can be equally moderate positions. If the Tory Party were led by Brexiteers, it would be no more extreme than it is currently when led by someone who does not know what she thinks: it would simply win a lot more votes. If we are to use this word “extreme” so freely, we could ask Lord Heseltine and Sir John – politely, of course – whether it might not itself be rather extreme to write off the decision of more than half the participating electorate (and about 
70 per cent of their own party) and tell them they cannot have what they voted for.” – Daily Telegraph

  • City doom-mongers will be proven wrong once again – Liam Fox MP, Times Red Box
  • Tories will pay for forgetting their pro-EU voters – John Harris, The Guardian
  • No-deal threat far from over – Caroline Spelman MP and Jack Dromey MP, Times Red Box


  • Europe completely clouds the Tories’ judgement – The Times
  • Nothing is more important than keeping Corbyn from power – The Sun

Labour chairman attacks Party’s deceptive language on second referendum

“Ian Lavery, chairman of the Labour party, has accused senior colleagues in the party of trying to mislead the public by using the phrase “confirmatory ballot” to describe a second referendum. His comments reflect the unease of some top Labour officials about a possible rerun of the 2016 vote. Mr Lavery is one of the party’s most strident opponents of such a move, which he describes as “self harm”. The Labour chairman told the FT that he was “not sure” about why other senior Labour figures had begun to refer to a “confirmatory ballot” — an idea floated by MPs such as Keir Starmer, Brexit spokesman, and deputy leader Tom Watson.” – FT

  • Corbyn ducks question on EU policy seven times on Marr… – The Sun
  • …as he shifts on free movement and a second referendum… – The Times
  • …but defends party’s push for leavers and remainers – The Guardian


  • Umunna: cancel Brexit without a vote – The Sun
  • SNP will push for independence even if Brexit blocked – The Scotsman
  • BBC apologises after Cable curses on-air – The Sun


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