Published:

5 comments

Johnson tells Brussels that MPs can’t block no-deal exit…

“Boris Johnson will tell Angela Merkel today that parliament cannot stop Britain leaving the European Union without a deal on October 31. Amid an intensifying row with Brussels, the prime minister will warn the German chancellor over dinner in Berlin that there will be no Brexit agreement unless the EU backs down and agrees to scrap the Irish backstop. The tough approach comes after Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, highlighted attempts by Remainer Tory MPs to stop a no-deal Brexit during a one-hour call with Mr Johnson on Monday night. Downing Street believes that Brussels is unlikely to enter into negotiations over a new agreement while parliamentary attempts to stop a no-deal exit and potentially bring down Mr Johnson’s government continue.” – The Times

  • Remainer hopes ‘dealt blow’ as polls show public oppose GNU – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Just get on with Brexit’, says former Stronger In chief – Daily Telegraph

Labour:

  • Voters prefer Clarke to Corbyn as caretaker – The Times
  • Two-thirds think Leader of the  Opposition is unsuitable – Daily Mail
  • Labour leader would campaign for Remain over No Deal – The Sun
  • Hannan attacks Corbyn’s u-turn – Daily Express
  • Abbott and McDonnell will campaign for Remain regardless of deal – The Sun

Analysis:

  • Five things we can expect from Johnson’s meeting with Merkel – James Rothwell, Daily Telegraph
  • The Prime Minister should remind the Chancellor of these economic facts – Tom Rees, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Johnson – “If you want a good deal for the UK, you must be ready to come out without one.”

…as he accuses the EU of jeopardising peace in Ulster…

The European Union – not the UK – wants to put up border posts in Northern Ireland after a no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson said on Tuesday night, in a move which could jeopardise peace in the Province. Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, has repeatedly warned that the return of a hard border in Ireland could lead to violence reminiscent of the Troubles-era… Mr Johnson’s warning came as he prepared to fly to Berlin for supper on Wednesday night with German chancellor Angela Merkelfollowed by lunch in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday before he meets with G7 world leaders at the end of the week. Mr Johnson has made the removal of the backstop – which will keep the UK in a customs union and the single market after Brexit until a solution is found to prevent a hard border  – a central part of getting MPs to approve a withdrawal deal to take the UK out of the EU on Oct 31.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson wants ‘temporary deal’ to avoid a border – The Sun
  • Prime Minister insists a solution ‘will be found’ – Daily Mail

More:

  • Visit will not change German position, says Merkel ally – The Guardian
  • EU rejects call to rework deal terms – FT

Comment:

  • Johnson’s goodwill is not enough to avoid a hard border – Senator Neale Richmond, Daily Telegraph

Editorial:

  • The Government is shadow boxing with Brussels – The Times
  • We’re talking to a brick wall – The Sun

>Today:

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: “The backstop is anti-democratic” and “risks weakening…the Belfast Agreement”. Johnson’s letter to Tusk. Full Text.

…and prepares to scale back British engagement ahead of departure

“European Union leaders responded with barely concealed anger yesterday to the prime minister’s demand that they abandon the Irish backstop, accusing Boris Johnson of attempting to bluster his way through to a deal. The increasingly bitter row came as the government announced that British officials would stop attending most EU meetings in ten days’ time in order to concentrate on preparations for Brexit. Civil servants and government ministers will now attend meetings of member states only if Britain has a “significant national interest” in the outcome of the discussions, the Brexit department said… The government cited security, international relations and discussions that “directly affect” UK sovereignty and “financial contributions” as meetings that they would still attend.” – The Times

  • Plan intends to ‘free up officials for Brexit’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Hoey demands that Johnson ‘not waste more time’ on fruitless talks – Daily Express

More:

  • Automatic registration for firms to continue trading after Brexit – The Times
  • Prime Minister says NHS not to be discussed in US trade talks – The Sun

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Yellowhammer’s port warnings aren’t even ‘Project Fear’ – they’re pure slapstick

“The Yellowhammer report excited my interest because it makes extraordinary warnings about ports in a no-deal Brexit, and I happen to have been talking to port officials over the past two weeks. These included the Boulogne-Calais chief and the head of the UK’s biggest port complex on the Humber. My conclusion is that the Yellowhammer section on ports cannot be true. The report may have been dated “August” but the material must be months old, or date back to last year when Theresa May’s shadow government in the Cabinet Office was actively sabotaging no-deal preparations. Note that the government of Gibraltar has already put out a comprehensive rebuttal of the passages related to the Rock.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Juggling Brexit and an election is reckless – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
  • If Johnson can survive September, the EU may rethink – Pieter Cleppe, Daily Telegraph
  • The buildup is making calamity feel inevitable – Rafael Behr, The Guardian
  • Bombastic Boris will betray Britain on Brexit – Anne Widdecombe MEP, Daily Express

>Yesterday: Virginia Crosbie in Comment: A Conservative victory depends on women voters

Patel says EU criminals could be deported post-Brexit

“Low-level EU criminals face being deported from Britain in a new immigration clampdown after Brexit. PM Boris Johnson has ordered the Home Office to draw up the new powers immediately after the October 31 exit date. The PM and Home Secretary Priti Patel want to prove to voters that freedom of movement will have ended and a central referendum campaign pledge has been delivered on. Border officials will be able to enforce the UK’s much tougher criminality rules affecting the rights of EU citizens here — allowing them to be ejected if they have been sentenced to a year or more in prison.” – The Sun

Comment:

  • Patel makes it harder than ever to be an EU citizen in Britain – Marie le Conte, The Guardian

Prime Minister announces an extra £25 million for hospices

“Watching a loved one die “is one of the hardest things a family will ever experience”, the prime minister said yesterday as he announced an extra £25 million to fund hospices. The government says that the cash is intended to keep hospices and palliative care services open, relieve staff pressures and fund new support such as out-of-hours provision and respite care. Robert Peston, the journalist who is also chairman of Hospice UK, welcomed the announcement but said that the money “will not completely alleviate the serious funding problems facing a swelling number of charitable hospices”.” – The Times

  • It’s time to declare a social care emergency – Anonymous, The Guardian

Wallace to investigate US takeover of British defence contractor

“Fear surrounding the takeover of RAF supplier Cobham by a US company will be looked into by the Defence Secretary. The British firm’s founding family had called for the Government to intervene in the £4billion deal. They argued it was not in “the UK’s national interests”. Lady Nadine Cobham wrote to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace amid growing opposition to the buyout by US private equity firm Advent International. He has now told the family in a letter: “Let me assure you that I will look at your concerns and will at all times bear in mind the security and skills needed to best protect this country.” Lady Cobham said: “We are encouraged that the Defence Secretary understands our concerns about the proposed takeover of Cobham, which threatens UK national security, valuable high-tech jobs and this country’s manufacturing capability.”” – The Sun

  • Forget the naysayers, British tech really is world-leading – Nicky Morgan MP, Daily Telegraph

Violence cut at eight prisons, but Stewart’s target is missed

Rory Stewart’s bid to reduce drugs and violence in 10 of Britain’s worst prisons has failed – but he does not have a job from which he has to resign. The former prisons minister who stood for the Tory leadership pledged a year ago that he would quit if he did not reduce violence and drugs in 10 target jails. The results, to be published on Thursday, will reveal violence has risen in two jails but fallen in eight after the Government spent £10 million on extra measures to improve security and conditions. Mr Stewart quit as International Development Secretary when Boris Johnson won the leadership race so will not have to see through his pledge – and would probably have escaped having moved off the prisons brief.” – Daily Telegraph

MPs call for review of council tax bands to plug local government shortfall

“Council tax bands must be reviewed to help plug the £5billion funding gap local authorities face, MPs say. They are suggesting new categories at the top and bottom of the scale in a “long overdue” overhaul. It comes amid claims public services are at breaking point because of funding cuts, changes to the way cash is raised locally and restrictions on increasing council tax. Clive Betts, who heads the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, urged the Government to “get real”… MPs on the committee are also demanding a review of the council tax system, which they called a “regressive tax disconnected from the true value of properties”.” – Daily Express

  • Khan’s team ‘don’t know’ who would benefit from rent control plans – The Sun

>Yesterday: Local Government: Brexit will lose local government an alibi for red tape

Investor who saved shipyard slams Scottish Government over nationalisation

“The investor who rescued the last civilian shipyard on the river Clyde has denounced the Scottish government’s handling of its collapse, claiming the business was “effectively expropriated” and that ministers’ portrayal of it as requiring saving could deter potential bidders.  In his first public comments since the Scottish government took management control of Ferguson Marine Engineering, Jim McColl, whose Clyde Blowers Capital engineering group rescued the Port Glasgow shipyard in 2014, told the Financial Times he was “absolutely furious” about the move.  The Scottish government took control of Ferguson Marine on Friday in a deal with administrators after the yard collapsed because of the soaring cost of a bitterly disputed contract with a state-owned ferry company.” – FT

News in Brief:

  • No Deal issues are real, and solving them is key to a successful Brexit – Douglas Carswell, CapX
  • Macron could be Boris Johnson’s Brexit saviour – John Keiger, The Spectator
  • Beijing may have already lost Hong Kong for good – Adam Ni, Reaction
  • Is the Prime Minister just another ‘reactionary Keynesian’? – Peter Franklin, UnHerd

5 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 21st August 2019

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.