DUP break with May and join Labour to demand publication of the full legal advice on May’s Brexit deal. Cox statement due tomorrow

“The letter will insist that the Government is in contempt of Parliament for failing to publish the full Brexit legal advice from Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, that underpins Mrs May’s deal, and call for an urgent debate to resolve the constitutional row. Eurosceptics believe that the advice will warn that the UK cannot escape the EU customs union after Brexit. The row could delay the start of a marathon 40-hour debate set over five sitting days on the Brexit deal, starting on Tuesday. One senior Cabinet minister claimed that Mr Bercow “will try to thwart Brexit in any way that he can”. – Sunday Telegraph

  • “The legal advice is very bad, which is why they don’t want anyone to see it.” – Sunday Times
  • If it’s not published, we’ll launch contempt proceedings. “Although I accept the long-standing convention that Cabinet legal advice should be kept confidential, it’s well-established that in exceptional circumstances that convention does not apply. And these are exceptional circumstances.” – Keir Starmer, Sunday Telegraph
  • (Leadsom wants Speaker stripped of responsibilities for MPs’ behaviour – Sunday Telegraph

Meanwhile, Ministers plot alternatives, convinced the Prime Minister’s deal will fall. Plan One: Stay in the Single Market, and join the EEA…

“The link man between the group and ministers is the former cabinet fixer Oliver Letwin. He has worked with Kinnock and the QC George Peretz to make sure their plan is legally watertight. It is likely to have the support of Philip Hammond, David Lidington, Rudd, Gauke and Clark. Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove might also support the move. One of his key Commons allies has been telling people that if May loses the vote, “Michael will have a fully worked out solution if it is needed”. Many are suspicious that Gove harbours leadership ambitions. “Is his solution: Michael Gove?” asked one cabinet colleague.” – Sunday Times

…Plan Two: Stay in the Customs Union, get the Commons to back it

“Senior figures of the government have told the Sunday Express that if MPs throw out the Prime Minister’s deal then the government is likely to put down an amendment that keeps Britain under Brussels rule in its customs union. Sources close to the Prime Minister believe that it will be the only way to “avoid crashing out with no deal” which government insiders say will be “a disaster” because “Britain is simply not ready for it”. The threat comes with opposition in the Commons hardening against the deal ahead of the meaningful vote on 11 December.” – Sunday Express

Other news pickups from the G20 –

  • Lawyer in Asia Bibi case accuses May of cowardice – Sunday Times
  • She backs police cars ramming moped gangs – Mail on Sunday
  • She says she urged Khashoggi killing probe on Saudi Crown Prince – Mail on Sunday

Will they won’t they will they won’t they? Labour inches nearer second referendum

“Starmer received strong support from Watson, Lloyd, and Corbett, with only two shadow cabinet members, Ian Lavery and Richard Burgon, arguing against, according to sources. It is understood that Corbyn, who had previously resisted the idea of a second public vote, did not oppose the strategy, though he stressed the need to focus on defeating May in the forthcoming “meaningful vote”.” – Observer

  • Osamor resigns from Shadow Cabinet in the wake of row over son’s drug conviction – Observer
  • Fresh anti-Semitism storm ‘amid move to silence victims from speaking out’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Labour will have to make a second referendum choice – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer

Janet Daley: May is the author of her own demise

“This whole debacle is now becoming bound up with the personality of the Prime Minister herself. Embattled leaders generally go down fighting and almost never admit – even long after the fact – that their policies were mistaken. But they usually feel obliged (this being a democracy) to defend their position with arguments that are based on a process of reason and conscious thought. What is entirely new is the surreal performance we are now getting from Mrs May. She does not discuss possibilities or critique her opponents’ views. She does not even defend, in the proper sense of the word, her position. Representing what is far and away the most important national decision of our lifetimes, she presents a blank reiteration of mindless formulae in a way that seems positively sinister.” – Sunday Telegraph

Zahawi pushes private school places for children in care

“Nadhim Zahawi, the Children’s minister, said scholarships and bursaries would be made available for disadvantage children from the start of the next academic year.  Ten regional hubs comprising councils, social workers and public schools will be established in the new year to start placing the children with private schools. Independent school bursaries provided jointly by councils and schools on a 40/60 split would be used to pay for their full-time education.” – Sunday Telegraph


> Today:


Farage: Breaking up with UKIP is hard to do

“Ukip’s most famous face has threatened to tear up his membership card after 25 years unless Ukip’s ‘obsessive’ anti-Islam leader Gerard Batten is forced out at a crisis meeting today. Mr Batten has hired Mr Robinson as an adviser on ‘Muslim rape gangs’. And he has vowed to flank him on the march just two days before the crucial Commons vote on Brexit on December 11…He described being pushed to the verge of quitting the party he co-founded as ‘very difficult’ after a quarter of a century, adding: ‘I just think that this would be unrecoverable.’ Mr Farage told The Mail on Sunday he was ‘very down, very, very down, to be honest I’m quite depressed about it really. It’s been a huge part of my life. I was there at the beginning of it.’ Last week Mr Farage boasted to the BBC that he had ‘pretty much single-handedly killed off the BNP’, adding he had always fought to make Ukip ‘a non-racist, non-sectarian party’, but Mr Batten had ‘blown a hole’ in that with his flirtation with Mr Robinson. He said last night: ‘God knows who they have let in.’” – Mail on Sunday

So you think Britain is troubled? France considers state of emergency.

“France will consider imposing a state of emergency to prevent a recurrence of some of the worst civil unrest in more than a decade, a government spokesman said on Sunday, as peaceful protestors were urged to come to the negotiating table…The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has insisted he will “never accept violence” after central Paris saw its worst unrest in a decade on Saturday when thousands of masked protesters fought running battles with police, torched cars, set fires to banks and houses, and burned makeshift barricades on the edges of demonstrations against fuel tax.” – Observer

Sun on Sunday: Honour the memory of George Herbert Walker Bush, the gentleman who steered the world through the end of the Cold War.

“George H.W Bush was more than just an American President — he was a global statesman. Alongside Western allies, none more important than the British, he helped to steer the world through the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the birth of young democracies across Eastern Europe…He was part of a group of world leaders who had the courage of their convictions and a belief in freedom and liberty, both economic and social. The tributes paid to the President from those who worked with him in new, emerging nations show how important that faith was. Politicians today could learn from his steadfast commitment. History will remember him fondly.” – Sun on Sunday Editorial

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – A day to remember him