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Johnson presents EU with his demands

“Boris Johnson has told Brussels that the backstop must be scrapped because it is “anti-democratic” and would undermine the peace process in Northern Ireland. In a letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, the prime minister said that the backstop would jeopardise the Good Friday agreement and undermine Britain’s sovereignty. He called for it to be replaced with a commitment to “alternative arrangements” involving the use of technology to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The demand, which comes before meetings Mr Johnson is holding with European leaders this week, will increase concerns that Britain will leave the EU without a deal on October 31. The letter was released by Downing Street shortly after Mr Johnson had an hour-long conversation with Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, who warned that Brussels would not reopen the EU withdrawal agreement, which contains the backstop. The prime minister will meet Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, in Berlin tomorrow and see President Macron of France in Paris on Thursday. On Saturday he will travel to Biarritz for the G7 summit of world leaders.” – The Times

  • The letter in full – The Times
  • He tears up backstop in letter to EU – Daily Telegraph
  • He increases his efforts to ditch backstop – FT
  • He lays down law to EU – Daily Mail
  • He sends EU warning letter – The Sun
  • And he rips up backstop – Daily Express
  • PM will not recall Parliament – The Times
  • EU unconvinced by Johnson’s bid to remove backstop – The Guardian
  • Farage mocks Johnson letter to EU – Daily Express
  • Johnson faces fresh calls to ensure no hard Irish border – Belfast Telegraph
  • Dublin government sources criticise lack of detail in Johnson’s border plans – Irish Times
  • Can Parliament pass a law to stop a No Deal Brexit? – FT
  • Government to launch No Deal PR blitz – FT
Comment
  • EU migrants with criminal record could be banned after Brexit – The Times
  • ‘Reckless’ plan to cut off free movement alarms EU nationals – The Guardian
  • End to free movement under No Deal upsets business – FT

PM prepares to make debut on world stage

“Boris Johnson will make his debut as UK prime minister on the world stage this week, first by travelling to Berlin for talks with chancellor Angela Merkel and also to Paris to meet President Emmanuel Macron, before appearing at the G7 summit of world leaders in south-west France. Senior officials in Downing Street acknowledge it will be a “big week” for Mr Johnson as he presents his vision for the future of Britain. “He will be taking the message of Britain’s new global outlook, a strong stance on the environment and biodiversity. It won’t all be about Brexit, but we’ll be sure to remind people of our accelerated work to leave come what may,” said one Number 10 insider. Mr Johnson will deliver an uncompromising message: ignore the chatter about parliament moving to stop a no-deal Brexit, the UK is leaving on October 31 with or without a deal. Mindful of how MPs undermined his predecessor Theresa May’s negotiating stance on Brexit, the prime minister hopes to leave the EU in no doubt about his determination to leave the bloc. “The key message will be: if you’re watching what’s going on in parliament and think it will stop Brexit and you don’t need to negotiate with us, don’t be mistaken. The prime minister will give a very clear message: we are leaving, we’re gone on October 31,” said a Downing Street official. “Some [leaders] are concluding that Brexit might still be stopped. It won’t.” – FT

  • He meets Macron on Thursday to discuss Brexit – FT
  • He is to confront Macron and Merkel – Daily Express

……….William Hague: Johnson can bring some coherence to the West

“When Boris Johnson arrives at his first G7 summit, in Biarritz this weekend, he will surely reflect on what an odd gathering it is. Recent annual meetings have ended in acrimony. The seating plan will reveal that there are not seven leaders but nine, since the heads of the EU Commission and Council are both permanently invited. Indeed, on this occasion there will be 12 for much of the time, since India, Australia and Spain have all been included, for very good reasons in each case. Most of the world’s media will be focused on whether 12 global leaders can get through 36 hours or so without a diplomatic disaster. Given the laudable themes chosen by the French hosts of fighting inequality, addressing the powers of the big tech companies and promoting biodiversity, can a meaningful communiqué be agreed on these issues with President Trump? Will the new British PM look as if he has any worthwhile relations with President Macron and Chancellor Merkel? Can this group agree on anything about how to handle Iran? In short, there is huge scope for the leadership of the western world to look more divided by the end of the meeting than at the beginning.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today:

Corbyn warns only wealthy can afford hard Brexit

“The Labour leader and his most important lieutenant, John McDonnell, both cast Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans as a divide between the “wealthy” and the rest of the UK. Speaking in the Tory marginal seat of Corby, Northamptonshire, Mr Corbyn said: “Have no doubt, no deal would destroy people’s jobs, push up food prices and open our NHS to takeover by US private corporations. “That’s a price Boris Johnson is willing to pay, as it won’t be him and his wealthy friends paying it, it will be you.” The framing echoed the shadow chancellor’s attack on Mr Johnson and Michael Gove, the minister overseeing no-deal planning. Mr McDonnell said there was “no risk” for them in that outcome. “They are wealthy people — they won’t be bearing the risk,” he told Today on BBC Radio 4. “I’m worried about if there are food price [rises], there are people out there, it’s bad enough — they’re just struggling to get through.” Mr Corbyn’s speech was marred by heckling of the press, forcing him to urge his supporters to let journalists ask questions. One that suggested Mr Corbyn may not have the cross-party support required to lead a caretaker administration was greeted with shouts of “shame” from some Labour activists. Some also shouted down a reporter who asked Mr Corbyn if he would step aside to allow someone else to oversee any caretaker administration.” – The Times

  • He says Labour will do ‘everything possible’ to stop No Deal – FT
  • McDonnell would back Remain over a Labour deal – The Times
  • Labour may stay neutral in second referendum – The Guardian
  • New blow for Labour as poll shows public prefer No Deal to Corbyn as PM – Daily Mail

Comment

>Yesterday:

Family of Zaghari-Ratcliffe criticise Johnson as her conditions worsen

“The husband of a British-Iranian woman being held in Tehran has castigated Boris Johnson for failing to meet the family since taking office, as it emerged that she faces harsh new conditions in prison. The prime minister has yet to arrange a meeting, despite insisting he felt a “deep sense of anguish” over Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case while campaigning for election to No 10. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, criticised Johnson on Monday, after it emerged that tough new rules had been imposed on his wife and her fellow inmates in the notorious Evin prison. Zaghari-Ratcliffe is no longer allowed to call her husband in the UK and has been told she can see her young daughter Gabriella only once a month, rather than every few days. “It is the job of the government to protect people; particularly when the prime minister promised to leave no stone unturned,” Ratcliffe said. “It remains the case that, since he took office, we have not met with him [and have] not been invited to meet with him or the foreign secretary. I thought that if we were an important issue we would have been invited within the first 30 days. It should not take more bad stuff to happen for this to be important enough to resolve.” – The Guardian

Elton John defends Harry and Meghan over private jets

“Sir Elton John has defended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex over their use of private jets, revealing that he had paid for a flight for them and their son Archie to “maintain a high level of much-needed protection”. The singer hit back at what he called “these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character”, after Prince Harry and Meghan faced mounting criticism for reportedly taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, rather than opting for commercial flights, despite speaking out on environmental issues. Buckingham Palace declined to comment. John tweeted that he had made sure the flight was carbon neutral by making the “appropriate contribution” to a carbon footprint fund. “I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week,” he said. “Prince Harry’s mother, Diana Princess of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death. “After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home.” – The Guardian

More
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  • 90,000 children to start school without measles vaccine – The Times
  • Jihadi Jack begs Canada to take him in – The Times
  • Elizabeth Warren gathers momentum for US election – The Times
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