EU 1) No extension without either new election or referendum

“Britain will only be granted a Brexit extension by the EU if it agrees to hold a general election or a second referendum, it emerged on Wednesday night. David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, set out the condition during a debate in Brussels. Mr Sassoli revealed he discussed the plans directly with John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, in London on Tuesday. Mr Sassoli told the European Parliament: “I had a fruitful discussion with Speaker Bercow in which I set out my view that any request for an extension should allow the British people to give its views in a referendum or an election.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • UK could be forced to remain for another six months – The Sun
  • Juncker and Barnier still ‘hopeful’ for agreement – FT
  • We can do it with goodwill, says chief negotiator… – The Times
  • …as he urges the Prime Minister to ‘rein in’ aides… – The Guardian
  • …and Verhofstadt brands Johnson a ‘traitor’ – The Sun
  • Hunt hits out at EU for not engaging with Johnson’s proposals – Daily Express
  • Brussels issues ultimatum to the Prime Minister – FT


  • Johnson invites Varadkar to secret location to ‘seal deal’ – Daily Express
  • DUP and Sinn Fein dismiss last-minute EU proposal – Daily Mail
  • Double-majority could leave unionists ‘trapped’ – The Times

>Yesterday: Jamie Greene MSP in Comment: It’s time to set out our positive vision for Scotland outside the EU

EU 2) James Forsyth: There’s no deal… so what now?

“There will be no last-minute deal. The talks between the UK and the EU have effectively broken down. It isn’t that there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s that there’s no tunnel at all. The blame game is now far more advanced than the negotiations. The diplomatic crockery has been smashed even before Boris Johnson and the leaders of the EU27 have arrived in Brussels for this month’s European Council. The question now is whether the talks can ever be resuscitated at a later date —  or if we are in a world where the only options are no Brexit or no deal. The assumption had long been that as the 31 October deadline neared, one side or the other would blink. That the pressure would produce a compromise. Instead, all sides are raising the stakes and hardening their stances.” – The Spectator

  • In a choice between Revoke and No Deal, a clean Brexit will win – Liam Halligan, Daily Telegraph

EU 3) Prime Minister ‘rules out’ no-deal manifesto

“The first signs of a split between Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings have emerged over plans for the Tories to fight the election as a no-deal party. On Monday a senior Downing Street aide, alleged to be Mr Cummings, said in a leaked memo that the Conservatives would campaign to “get Brexit done immediately” if talks with Brussels collapsed. Cabinet ministers and MPs said Mr Johnson has distanced himself from this by saying that he “passionately” wants a deal and has “no intention” of a making no-deal a commitment. It comes amid a mounting rebellion over no-deal. Members of the 80-strong One Nation group of Conservative MPs met the prime minister yesterday afternoon and told him that such a commitment would be unacceptable.” – The Times

  • Inside story of the Downing Street split – Daily Telegraph
  • Threat of revolt by up to 50 MPs – FT
  • Blow to Downing Street team as da Costa goes on maternity leave – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why resignation may be the least bad option for Johnson

EU 4) Hammond urges plan which rules out independent trade deals

“Philip Hammond believes Brexiteers should give up on their dreams of striking free-trade deals around the world after leaving the European Union because of their “very limited” economic value. Setting out his own alternative plan to get Brexit done as talks continued to stall in Brussels, the former chancellor said that the UK should urge the EU to conclude a rapid-fire zero-tariff trade deal with Europe that would do away with the need for a backstop. Mr Hammond – who argued for the UK to remain in a customs union during Theresa May’s government – accepted that his plan, if enacted, would rule out the prospect of the UK independently striking free trade deals.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Bercow held private meetings with senior EU figure – The Times
  • Ex-spy chief warns against cutting security ties – FT
  • Commons to sit on Saturday for the first time since the Falklands – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: A modest proposal. Let’s put Bercow in charge – and scrap democracy altogether.

EU 5) Suella Braverman and Greg Hands: We have laboured to find a middle ground, but the EU won’t compromise

“We have done all this work in good faith, working within the parameters of the Withdrawal Agreement and assuming that the EU is in fact open to Alternative Arrangements, as they have suggested throughout. However, there is one area where we do not see any possibility of compromise unless the EU recognises the UK reality… It currently appears that the EU and Ireland’s position is that the only acceptable Alternative Arrangement to the backstop is one that keeps Northern Ireland in the customs union and single market. If that is the case, then one wonders why developing Alternative Arrangements to the backstop was ever agreed by the EU earlier in the year. Time cannot help us in this – the issue will always be the same no matter how many extensions are granted.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brexit’s legacy for England will be politics as sectarian as Northern Ireland’s – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • In a world of tit-for-tat tariffs, Britain will make a stand for free trade – Liz Truss MP, Daily Telegraph
  • Here’s a long-shot plan to deliver Brexit in 21 days – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Matthew Lesh in Comment: The radical neoliberal programme which can revitalise the Conservatives

Davis calls for criminal investigation into Operation Midland

“A criminal investigation into Scotland Yard’s handling of Operation Midland is inevitable after two judges concluded that police misled the courts to get search warrants, an MP said yesterday. David Davis, the former cabinet minister, called on Priti Patel, the home secretary, to ensure that a review examined criminal action and gross misconduct. Harvey Proctor, the former MP who was falsely accused, also urged Ms Patel to hold an investigation. Midland was the Metropolitan Police inquiry into a non-existent paedophile ring prompted by the false claims of Carl Beech, 51, who has been jailed. Howard Riddle, a former senior district judge, said he believed that police applying for search warrants gave him misleading information.” – The Times

London Assembly says Johnson’s response over Arcuri ‘insufficient’

“Boris Johnson has given an “insufficient” response to an inquiry into  his relationship with Jennifer Arcuri, the London Assembly has said. City Hall had given the Prime Minister 14 days to answer its questions over allegations the American entrepreneur received preferential access to trade trips and public funds while he was mayor of London. Mr Johnson responded on Tuesday, with his solicitors asking for the evidence to be kept confidential. Mr Johnson previously accused his “old friends” in the Assembly of “barking up the wrong tree” with their investigation. However the Assembly said it could see “nothing” that “reflects the need for confidentiality” in the submitted papers.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Prime Minister in stand-off with City Hall – FT

Vara and other would-be Speakers distance themselves from Bercow

“The new Speaker of the House of Commons is likely to be less interventionist than the incumbent, John Bercow, candidates vying for the highly coveted position in the UK parliament suggested on Wednesday. At a meeting with journalists in Westminster, many of the nine MPs in the race that will be settled on November 4 sought to distance themselves from Mr Bercow’s approach to handling the Brexit process. Shailesh Vara, a Conservative MP and candidate in the race, said he believed Mr Bercow had “tarnished the role of Speaker with his biasness” during his 10-year tenure and accused him of being a “verbal playground bully”.” – FT

  • Hoyle says Commons as ‘drink and drugs problem’ – The Sun


  • Harman is the continuity candidate – Henry Deedes, Daily Mail

Corbyn to ‘split party’ with bid for election…

“Jeremy Corbyn is set to whip Labour MPs to vote for a general election as soon as an extension to the Brexit deadline has been secured, putting him on a collision course with many in his party who fear it will be crucified at the polls. The Labour leader has twice ordered his MPs to vote down Boris Johnson’s calls for an election for fear that the prime minister could try to use the subsequent closure of parliament to pursue a no-deal Brexit. However, in a speech in Northampton today Mr Corbyn will say that his party is “champing at the bit” to go to the country. He will tell Mr Johnson again that he can have an election, but only after a Brexit delay has been agreed.” – The Times

  • Labour leader warned over election ‘trap’ – FT
  • Opposition to grant poll on November 26 – The Sun


  • Corbyn brands Queen’s Speech a ‘pre-election stunt’ – The Guardian

…as ‘human rights’ group he backed is found to be run by Islamists

“A human rights organisation supported by Jeremy Corbyn has received more than £1 million in charity cash despite being run by self-declared Islamist revolutionaries closely aligned to Iran who say that the West is “the enemy” and Britain a “Stasi state”. Leaders of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), which has been said by Mr Corbyn to represent “all that’s best in Islam”, speak of “apartheid London”, label anti-terrorism laws a “war on Muslims” and condemn English as a “colonial language that will always subjugate you”. The London-based group, given £1.2 million since 2013 by a charity that received £250,000 from the taxpayer via Gift Aid, claims to fight for the oppressed “whosoever they are and whomsoever oppresses them”.” – The Times

Trump will ‘work with’ UK over road death embassy staffer

“President Trump has agreed during a telephone conversation with Boris Johnson to work with Britain to deliver justice to the family of a teenager killed by the wife of an American spy who has claimed diplomatic immunity. Mr Johnson raised the case of Harry Dunn, 19, who was killed in a traffic accident, during a call with the US president last night. America has so far refused to waive diplomatic immunity for Anne Sacoolas. The prime minister told Mr Trump that continuing her immunity was “not acceptable”. Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, the teenager’s parents, were in tears after a meeting with Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, yesterday. They said that they had been let down by the American and British governments.” – The Times

  • But he ‘defends’ diplomat’s wife – Daily Mail

Extinction Rebellion threaten to shut down airport

“Extinction Rebellion is threatening to shut down London City airport for three days from this morning in what it claims will be its biggest action yet. The climate change activist group will attempt to blockade the terminal. Members of the group have been buying plane tickets to try to circumvent restrictions that the airport put in place yesterday requiring passengers to show a boarding pass to gain access to the terminal. The airport is working with the Metropolitan Police, which are understood to be trying to identify the protesters who have bought tickets. Extinction Rebellion called on its supporters to travel from its protest sites in Westminster to the airport to shut it down from 9am.” – The Times

  • Claim that police are running out of cells after arresting 800 protesters – Daily Mail


  • Bankers, not rebels, will save us from climate change – James Kirkup, The Times

News in Brief:

  • Debunking the spurious stats behind ‘austerity kills’ – Guy Dampier, CapX
  • Macron’s Brexit plan – John Lichfield, UnHerd
  • Why a voucher system is the right path for education – Ben Ramanauskas, 1828
  • Tories fret over further election delay – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • WeWork – one of the great corporate disaster morality tales – Maggie Pagano, Reaction