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Brexit dilemma 1) Johnson “wants to go for an election” as EU considers extension

“Boris Johnson could make a third attempt to trigger a general election as early as today, it is understood. The prime minister is preparing to challenge Jeremy Corbyn to send voters to the polls as soon as another Article 50 extension has been granted by the European Union, a decision that is expected tomorrow. He is likely to lay a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act either tonight or on Monday that would force MPs to decide before the October 31 deadline whether to allow an election. The EU is expected to grant a second extension to the Brexit deadline tomorrow. European leaders are split over the length of any extension, though, with President Macron of France pushing for Britain to be given no more than two additional weeks. Mr Macron is believed to have told Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, that MPs need “a maximum of 15 days” to debate the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and that the new Brexit date should be set at November 15. The French president is concerned that a move by Mr Tusk to give a longer extension until January 31 will take the pressure off parliament and lead to prolonged deadlock without an agreement.” – The Times

  • PM and Corbyn fail to agree new timetable – Daily Telegraph
  • Remainers in one last shot at derailing Boris’ deal – Daily Express
  • Conservative Party at risk of ‘total political collapse’ – Daily Express
  • Farage stakes claim as baddest boy of Brexit by rejecting ‘vassalage’ – The Times
  • Miller unveils fresh Remainer plot to stop Brexit in ‘imminent’ general election – Daily Express
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Brexit dilemma 2) But the Cabinet is divided over going to the country before a dea isl agreed

“Boris Johnson is facing a cabinet split over whether to push for an early election if European leaders offer Britain a three-month Brexit delay. On Tuesday the prime minister threatened to pull his Brexit legislation entirely and call for a snap election if Brussels offers an extension until January 31. However, Julian Smith, the Northern Ireland secretary, Matt Hancock, the health secretary, and Nicky Morgan, the culture secretary, are understood to harbour concerns. They are calling for the prime minister to push his deal through the Commons first during any extension and then go for a snap election. The Times has also been told that Theresa May has raised concerns about an early election before a Brexit deal is over the line. The former prime minister did not respond to requests for comment last night. Other ministers including Sajid Javid, the chancellor, Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the Commons, Priti Patel, the home secretary, and Robert Buckland, justice secretary, want Mr Johnson to push for an election immediately.” – The Times

  • PM faces divide between Downing Street and Cabinet over election – Daily Telegraph
  • And Johnson faces growing Tory revolt over threat to hold General Election before Brexit – The Sun
  • Plus, cabinet split over gambling on pre-Christmas election – The Guardian
  • Nine former Tory MPs given ‘little chance’ of rejoining party – Daily Mail
  • Johnson is ‘too busy’ to be grilled by senior MPs – The Times
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Brexit dilemma 3) And Corbyn is urged to block an election – with Labour split on winter poll…

“Jeremy Corbyn has been urged to block an election until Spring next year, as Labour claimed yesterday it could not trust Boris Johnson over the date of a poll. The Labour leader has been warned he faces a full-scale rebellion if he agrees to a snap poll, after several of his allies insisted they wanted to go to the country before Christmas. It came as the Prime Minister yesterday put the country on an election footing, with Downing Street sources insisting he would “go for a general election” if EU leaders granted a Brexit extension until Jan 31. Mr Corbyn has repeatedly said that he would back an election if a three month delay is granted by Brussels, as set out in the Benn Act, the legislation passed to block no deal. But last night it emerged that scores of Labour MPs had threatened to defy the whip if Mr Corbyn ordered them to vote for an early poll, in a major blow to his authority. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, a senior party insider said that several shadow cabinet ministers had also expressed alarm at recent polls, which show the Tories consistently leading Labour by between 10 and 15 points. “The view that we would not do well in an election is widely shared,” they said.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Labour divided but will back poll if No Deal off table – FT
  • Corbyn warned of revolt if he backs early election plan – The Times
  • Brexit ball in Labour’s court – FT
  • McDonnell opens talks with Treasury on post-election Labour Budget – the i
  • Peer suspended over sex pest allegations – The Times
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Brexit dilemma 4) …As Macron demands new deadline of November 15…

“Emmanuel Macron is set to force an emergency EU summit by insisting that any delay to the October 31 Brexit deadline can last no longer than 15 days. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has told EU leaders to support a three-month “flextension” until 31 January, 2020. The French President’s hardline stance, designed to exert maximum pressure on MPs in London to back the deal, has horrified diplomats in Brussels, who fear the short delay raises the risk of an accidental no deal Brexit. But it will be a boon to Boris Johnson who has called for any Brexit extension to be as short as possible. “We will see if a purely technical extension of a few days is justified, so that the British Parliament can complete its parliamentary procedure,” said Amélie de Montchalin, France’s Europe Minister in Paris on Wednesday. “An extension intended to win time or renegotiate the agreement is excluded,” she said, “We have lost too much time, we have reached an agreement and we must now implement it without delay.” A month-long extension until November 30, a day before the new European Commission is due to take over from Jean-Claude Juncker’s EU executive, is also mooted as possible in Brussels, although that is seen as too short by many member states.” – Daily Telegraph

Brexit dilemma 5) …While December election could bring curtain down on nativity plays

“A December election would have to be run using two versions of Britain’s register of voters, posing unique difficulties for the organisers, ministers have been warned. Returning officers and the Electoral Commission have raised concerns with the Cabinet Office about the logistical problems of a pre-Christmas election, should Boris Johnson succeed in calling one. These include asking schools to reschedule nativity plays to make way for polling stations, hiring outside lighting to illuminate the stations at night as well as drawing up contingency plans to deal with bad winter weather. In particular, they have highlighted changes to the electoral register that are due to come into effect on December 1. Councils are duty-bound to update their electoral registers annually so that they accurately reflect eligible voters in the area. This takes place in the autumn, when elections are not generally scheduled. The Cabinet Office has been told that if Mr Johnson were successful in calling an election next week, local authorities would be left in a bind. They would have to send out polling cards to voters using the old electoral register but would have to run the election using the new register, at the start of December.” – The Times

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Queen’s Speech vote facing chaotic amendments

“A cross-party plot to stop fracking has been hatched by MPs, who will table an amendment to ban the extraction of shale gas during Thursday’s Queen’s Speech vote. Labour MP for Warrington South Faisal Rashid is calling for the practice to stop “with immediate effect”, by tacking his proposed ban on to Boris Johnson’s legislative agenda. The Government is facing a series of disruptive amendments on its Queen’s Speech vote on Thursday, ranging from refunding BBC licence fees to lowering the voting age to 16. The Labour Party are expected to table an amendment calling for a “green industrial revolution to decarbonise the economy and boost economic growth”. Green Party leader Caroline Lucas wants the Commons to back her plans for universal basic income, proportional voting and lowering the voting age to 16. She is also urging the Government to repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 to “restore a publicly provided and administered National Health Service and protect it from future trade agreements”. – Daily Telegraph

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  • Davidson under fire for £50,000 role with lobbying firm- The Scotsman
  • And Davidson’s PR side job condemned as ‘unethical ’- FT
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