Published:

May told to resign to ‘save Brexit’…

“Theresa May is battling to save her premiership this weekend as cabinet ministers warned she may have to fall on her sword to save Brexit. In a final throw of the dice, Philip Hammond will offer Tory MPs a £20bn Brexit “bribe” this week to finally “end austerity” if they support the prime minister’s deal. The chancellor will use his spring statement on the public finances on Wednesday to pledge to pump money into the police, schools and even some tax cuts in a spending review this autumn – but only if parliament votes for a deal. This weekend May’s team was warned by senior Brexiteers that she would get her deal passed only if she offered to resign by June so a new prime minister could lead the second phase of negotiations.” – Sunday Times

  • Prime Minister’s plan leave UK in ‘inescapable’ negotiations – Sunday Telegraph
  • Torrid backstop talks descend into Twitter duel – Sunday Times

Ministers:

  • Hammond has £16bn for Forces, schools, and hospitals if deal passes – Sun on Sunday
  • Leadsom ‘furious’ at EU’s latest proposals – Sunday Express
  • Vote for the deal or risk Brexit being stolen, warns Fox – Sunday Times
  • Ministers preparing to use powers to impose price caps on medicines – Sunday Telegraph
  • Cox must concede to move forward, expert claims – Sunday Express

>Today: ToryDiary: Do you think it looks bad for May next week? If so, it’s even worse than you think. Here’s why.

…as Barclay holds talks with MPs pushing for referendum re-run…

“The cabinet minister in charge of Brexit has held detailed talks with Labour MPs who are championing plans for a second referendum – amid signs of mounting desperation inside Theresa May’s government about what to do if the prime minister’s deal suffers another crushing defeat on Tuesday. Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, called the meeting with Labour’s Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson in Downing Street last Thursday as negotiations with Brussels to resolve the deadlock over the Northern Ireland backstop floundered and ministers privately began to concede that May’s plan could be doomed. Kyle told the Observer on Saturday that Barclay had “remained loyal to government policy”, which is to oppose any second referendum. But the MP for Hove said Barclay talked to him and Wilson for at least 45 minutes and was “fully engaged”.” – The Observer

  • Corbyn condemned for failing to back second vote amendment – Sunday Express
  • Labour leader urged to sack MPs who don’t back second referendum – The Observer

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Next week’s Brexit votes could yet result in the general election nobody wants

…and public support for no-deal departure rises

Support for a no-deal Brexit is growing in the face of the EU’s refusal to help salvage Theresa May’s deal, according to a new poll. A survey by ComRes found that 44 per cent of the public now believe the UK should leave without a deal if Brussels refuses to make any further concessions – a six point rise from January. Less than a third (30 per cent) disagreed. It came as 74 senior Tory activists, including more than 50 association chairman, told Mrs May that Conservative voters “do not fear a no deal exit” and “just want Brexit delivered.” Today, Steve Baker, the senior Brexiteer, and Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s Westminster leader, state that it is now “inevitable” that the “unchanged” deal will be voted down on Tuesday – predicting a three figure defeat. In remarks backed by Nicky Morgan, the pro-Europe former education secretary, they warn of “political calamity” if Brexit is delayed in a vote this week.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • All but two constituencies want their MP to reject the deal – Sunday Times
  • Rees-Mogg warns that deal means UK will never leave the EU – Sunday Express
  • Britain to be hit with £78bn ‘double divorce bill’ if Brexit delayed – Sun on Sunday
  • Obscure group spends £340,000 on no-deal ads – The Observer
  • Study suggests leave voters are ‘less bright’ than Remainers – Sunday Times

Northern Ireland:

  • UUP leader says Province is ‘not a dowry’ for Brussels – Sunday Express
  • Ulster votes reject DUP’s handling of Brexit – Sunday Express

>Yesterday: Book Reviews: The British economy has survived so many crises that it can surely survive Brexit

Steve Baker and Nigel Dodds: We must leave on time, and here’s how

“That’s why Malthouse Compromise Plan B is so important. In throwing three safety nets around exit without a Withdrawal Agreement, both wings of opinion have made profound compromises. Colleagues who have embraced EU exit with limited enthusiasm would accept the possibility of leaving without a deal. Eurosceptics would commit to offering billions of pounds in exchange for an Implementation Period whose construction they detest. Of course we would continue to offer Plan A, rescuing the Agreement. But we would go further than that. The third safety net would be to offer to agree a standstill in trading arrangements on current terms in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation, legitimising preferential trading terms by notifying the World Trade Organisation of a temporary free trade agreement under GATT XXIV. There is today no such thing as no deal.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • MPs plotting to seize control from the Government you elected – Steve Baker, Sun on Sunday
  • No second vote can leave ‘no deal’ off the ballot – Jon Cruddas and Nick Lowles, The Observer
  • Whitehall’s plan is to kill Brexit dead – Anon, Sunday Times
  • Brussels hopes Remainer MPs will keep us in – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph
  • By next week it could be no deal, no Brexit, or no May – Tim Shipman and Caroline Wheeler, Sunday Times
  • Brexit is heading to extra time, but to what purpose? – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer

Editorial:

  • Tory rebels must not open the door to a Corbyn revolution – Sunday Times
  • Deal isn’t perfect, but alternatives would be a betrayal – Sun on Sunday
  • MPs should vote down the Agreement – Sunday Telegraph

>Today: Richard Tice in Comment: Stop the betrayal of Brexit. Join us on the March to Leave.

Gauke ‘in retreat’ over short sentences

“David Gauke, the justice secretary, has been forced to water down prison reforms after it emerged that plans to abolish short sentences would see about 4,000 knife-wielding criminals a year avoid jail. Gauke is examining whether to exempt knife attackers from his proposals to ban jail terms of under six months. Downing Street officials expressed concern about the consequences of his attempts to cut the prison population. Ministry of Justice figures show that 59% of all knife criminals in England and Wales received jail terms of six months or less last year – 4,300 offenders. No 10 said this weekend victims “need to know that no option is being taken off the table. It is self-evident that as Britain is facing rising levels of knife crime, the criminal justice system needs at its disposal long and short sentences to combat this scourge. People need to have faith in the criminal justice system.”” – Sunday Times

  • Brits demand all-out blitz on knife killings – Sun on Sunday
  • NHS should help stabbing victims turn lives around, says Hancock – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

  • Our urge to pathologise is destroying personal responsibility – Madeline Grant, Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: Rachel Wolf’s column: How even the perception of a knife crime crisis will make good schools no go zones once again

BMA dispute weighs on Hunt’s leadership hopes

“During his time in office, he was embroiled in a bitter dispute with the British Medical Association over junior doctors’ contracts and his term saw the first full strike in NHS history. In February 2016, a YouGov poll found that Mr Hunt was the most disliked frontline British politician, with 65 percent of respondents saying he was doing a poor job as health secretary. Having been in the post from September 2012 to July 2018, his stint makes him the UK’s longest serving health minister since the NHS was created. Even so, most Conservative MPs see Mr Hunt as having the upper hand in the race for PM due to the trouble Mr Javid, 49, has faced over Britain’s knife crime epidemic… Another government source said both Mr Hunt and Mr Javid “are going for it” while Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab are also said to be working hard to sell themselves.” – Sunday Express

  • Javid branded ‘moral coward’ over Begum baby death – The Observer

Comment:

Corbyn aides intervened to block antisemitism expulsions

“Two of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest aides directly intervened to lift the suspension of an activist accused of anti-semitism, according to leaked emails. Seumas Milne, the Labour leader’s director of strategy and communications, told party officials to reinstate Glyn Secker after two of them had ruled that he be kicked out for joining a Facebook group where members posted messages denying the Holocaust. Milne stepped in after Andrew Murray, another aide to Corbyn who is also the Unite union’s chief of staff, stated that the leader himself was “interested in this one”. Secker was readmitted to the party shortly afterwards. The Sunday Times has also been passed a tape of John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, admitting he is supporting a woman suspended as a Labour candidate over comments about “Zionist sympathies” of a Jewish MP.” – Sunday Times

  • Party should shut down local associations rife with antisemitism, says Hodge – Sunday Express
  • Failure to censure activist mocks ‘zero tolerance’ stance – The Observer
  • Labour leader is ‘poison’, says interfaith expert – Sunday Telegraph
  • Security costs double as abuse of MPs soars – Sunday Times

More:

  • Two Labour MPs could be fined £5k after smoke bombs set off at demo – Sun on Sunday

Comment:

  • Bullying Labour is dashing the hopes of the young – Sarah Baxter, Sunday Times

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