Johnson to tell EU leaders ‘MPs will not stop Brexit’

The PM will use a two-day trip to the continent to insist the referendum result will not be delayed again beyond October 31. Back-channel conversations are leading European capitals to believe Parliament can stand in the way of the referendum result, government sources say fingers are being pointed at Tory rebels such as Philip Hammond and Dominic Grieve, along with ex-PM Tony Blair speaking to Eurocrats. Senior officials in No10 believe there is likely to be a month of intense negotiations after Westminster’s two-week sitting next month as they realise Brexit cannot be stopped. Mr Johnson has said he wants the EU to get rid of the “anti-democratic” Irish backstop in a new deal. But leaked documents from the German finance ministry say they will reject changes and believe a No Deal exit is “highly likely”. One No10 official insisted that until the EU countries realise the error of their ways they are unlikely to start negotiations “seriously”. Sources insist the EU’s current position could end up being a “historic mistake”. Even if BoJo loses a no¬confidence vote that paves the way for a General Election, he would set the date for after the Brexit date. Mr Johnson is still holding out for a new deal which could be finalised at the two-day EU Council starting on October 17.” – Sun on Sunday

  • And he attacks Philip Hammond for ‘damaging Britain’s interest’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Ministers could be banned from appearing on the Today programme – Mail on Sunday
  • Johnson’s Brexit script is left in a pub – Mail on Sunday
  • Carrie Symonds to meet Queen at barbecue – Sun on Sunday

Bercow ‘plots with MPs’ to stop No Deal

“John Bercow has reportedly held secret talks with MPs plotting to stop Boris Johnson pursuing a no-deal Brexit. The House of Commons Speaker has been “working very closely” with a cross-party group of MPs who are determined to stop the UK crashing out of the European Union without a deal. Bercow promised last week to “fight with every breath in my body” to stop the prime minister suspending parliament to force through a no-deal exit without the consent of MPs. Speaking at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Speaker gave the strongest indication yet that he is prepared to intervene to stop prorogation. A former cabinet minister claims that Bercow has had frequent discussions with MPs as they consider ways to seize control of the parliamentary timetable and pass legislation to block no-deal. “He’s very much part of the discussion,” the Tory MP said. “He has been pretty clear with us that he believes that a decision as momentous as this can only be made with the consent of parliament and that to try to suspend parliament or avoid bringing legislation to parliament in order to take something through against the consent of parliament would be unconstitutional.” – Sunday Times

  • Downing Street slams ‘dishonest’ Tory rebels – Sunday Telegraph
  • Labour and Tory MPs plot ‘radical’ law to stop No Deal – Observer
  • Johnson must fend off wrecking ball from senior Tories to deliver No Deal – Sun on Sunday
  • Humiliating climbdown for anti-No Deal Grieve – Sunday Express
  • New bid to block No Deal could be funded by taxpayers – Mail on Sunday
  • Patel wants borders shut down on 31 October – Mail on Sunday

The 17 Tories who could bring down the PM

“They are the Tory MPs with the power of life or death over Boris Johnson’s premiership – a cabal of anti-No Deal Brexit campaigners that No 10 fears could turf him from office. The Prime Minister’s allies last night launched a bid to ‘smoke out’ the would-be mutineers and stop them backing a no confidence vote in the PM. The list, compiled by Johnson loyalists, reveals 17 potential rebels, including ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond, veteran Europhile Ken Clarke and Brexit critic Dominic Grieve. Tory whips fear that if just seven back a no confidence vote and ten abstain, it would be enough to see the Prime Minister lose. However, the whips hope a handful of ex-Labour and Tory MPs – now Independents – will back the PM. One loyalist said: ‘Unless anti-Brexit colleagues see sense, this will be on a knife edge.’ Last night, some of the ‘rebels’ – including ex-Justice Secretary David Gauke – insisted they would not back a no-confidence motion.” – Mail on Sunday

Whitehall’s secret No Deal preparations leaked

2Britain faces shortages of fuel, food and medicine, a three-month meltdown at its ports, a hard border with Ireland and rising costs in social care in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to an unprecedented leak of government documents that lay bare the gaps in contingency planning. The documents, which set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than worst-case scenarios, have emerged as the UK looks increasingly likely to crash out of the EU without a deal. Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nation’s infrastructure. The file, marked “official-sensitive” — requiring security clearance on a “need to know” basis — is remarkable because it gives the most comprehensive assessment of the UK’s readiness for a no-deal Brexit. It states that the public and businesses remain largely unprepared for no deal and that growing “EU exit fatigue” has hampered contingency planning which has stalled since the UK’s original departure date in March.” – Sunday Times

The Yellowhammer Report
  • ‘This is not Project Fear’ – Sunday Times
  • ‘Expect shortages of fresh food’ – Sunday Times
  • ‘Channel ports logjam could make vaccines go out of date’ – Sunday Times
  • ‘Up to 85% of lorries will not have correct documents’ – Sunday Times
  • Halloween, a nightmare day to leave – Sunday Times
  • Leaked No Deal dossier predicts shortages – Mail on Sunday

Corbyn insists he should still be caretaker PM

“The Labour leader said the electoral process in the last general election needed to be respected, and that it should be the opposition who are invited to form a government if a no-confidence motion in Boris Johnson’s administration succeeds. However, his proposal has been knocked back by the Liberal Democrats and senior pro-Remain Tories who he would need onside to form an emergency government. Conservative former minister Sir Oliver Letwin said he would not be able to support a bid to put Mr Corbyn in Number 10, and that he did not think it was likely that a majority could be formed for the idea. And Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve said that while he would be willing to bring down Mr Johnson’s administration, he did not think the Labour leader was the right person to lead a caretaker government. Mr Corbyn, speaking on a visit to Bolton, was asked if Labour’s Harriet Harman or Tory former chancellor Ken Clarke could be the sort of leader the country needs in a political crisis, as proposed by Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson. He said: ‘What we need is a respect for the electoral process that brought about the results from the last general election. ‘What we need is a government that is prepared to negotiate with the European Union so we don’t have a crash-out on the 31st.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Corbyn pleas with MPs to back him now ‘before it’s too late’ – Observer
  • Public fear Corbyn more than No Deal – Sunday Express

Patel demands crackdown on criminals who assault police officers

“The Home Secretary has demanded a crackdown on criminals assaulting police officers, as new figures showed that the average jail term for the offence is just two months. Writing in The Sunday Telegraph following the “brutal and mindless” killing of PC Andrew Harper, Patel said courts needed to ensure that the law was acting as a sufficient deterrent against attacks on officers. She also announced that that the Government was “accelerating plans” for a new police covenant designed to enshrine protections for officers, and said the Home Office was examining ways to better support the families of those injured or killed by criminals. On Saturday night detectives investigating the death of PC Harper, who married his fiancee, Lissie, just four weeks ago, said he died of “multiple injuries” having been being dragged along a road in Berkshire after responding to a burglary report. They were given more time to question 10 suspects. Ms Patel’s intervention came as figures shows that the average sentence for individuals jailed for the specific offence of assaulting a police officer is just 2.2 months, or less than 9 weeks. The figure has fallen every year since 2007, when the average sentence was 2.8 months – about 11 weeks.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • ‘We’re in bad place,’ says devastated father of PC Andrew Harper – Sunday Telegraph

Jihadi Jack stripped of British citizenship

“Muslim convert Jack Letts, 24, who had held dual UK and Canadian citizenship, declared he was an “enemy of Britain” after travelling from Oxfordshire to Syria at the age of 18 to join the terror group. He has begged to be allowed to return to the UK, insisting he had “no intention” of killing Britons, after he was captured by Kurdish forces in 2017. The Home Office has now stripped Letts of British citizenship, meaning he is the responsibility of the Canadian government, The Mail on Sunday said. It was reportedly one of the last actions of Theresa May’s administration. The decision is understood to have angered officials in Ottawa, prompting fears of a row between Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson when they meet at the G7 summit in France next weekend. Letts, who travelled to the Middle East in 2014, is now among more than 120 dual nationals who have been stripped of their British citizenship since 2016, including Isis bride Shamima Begum.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Raise pension age to 75 says think tank – Sunday Express
  • Full extent of Mountbatten’s role in ‘68 coup against Wilson revealed – Sunday Telegraph
  • Critics slam Lib Dem leader’s plan to not jail as many women – Mail on Sunday
  • Guardian journalist attacked outside pub – Observer
  • Inequality in the north is about far more than race, Kenan Malik – Observer