Brexit votes 1) Crucial day for Brexit as Commons votes on Johnson’s timetable

“Boris Johnson faces a crucial vote on his Brexit deal today as MPs decide whether to fast-track it through the Commons in time to leave the European Union on October 31. MPs will start debating legislation implementing the new agreement with the EU after the 110-page withdrawal agreement bill was published for the first time last night and given a first reading. The bill is all but certain to clear its first hurdle today because Labour is set to abstain on a vote on a second reading. A second vote, on whether to approve an express timetable, could derail the prime minister’s Brexit dash. The timetable means that MPs would have less than 24 hours over three days to scrutinise what Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s former chief of staff, admitted was “long and complex” legislation. Ominously for Mr Johnson, the Democratic Unionist Party joined the protests over the timetable as his former allies dug in against his deal. Publication of the details of the bill — which makes clear that European legislation would apply in Britain until at least December next year — risked testing Mr Johnson’s fragile coalition as Brexiteer MPs digested the legal realities of the transition period.” – The Times

  • Rees-Mogg wants to push deal through in three days – The Times
  • Johnson in final push to ram through Brexit deal – The Guardian
  • PM hopes to secure Brexit breakthrough – FT
  • Brexit bill published hours before MPs start to debate it – Daily Mail
  • Rushing it runs risk of storing up trouble – The Times
  • What next for PM’s deal? – The Times
  • Voting forecast points to MPs’ support for deal – FT
  • Scottish court keeps alive pressure on Johnson over Brexit delay – FT
  • Speaker blocks new vote on deal – The Times
  • MEPs shelve vote on deal – The Sun
  • Javid refuses to assess economic dangers of Brexit plan – The Guardian

Brexit votes 2) But opponents plan customs union amendment to derail PM

“Opposition parties have held informal talks about which amendments have the best chance of uniting soft Brexiteers with supporters of a second referendum to defeat the government. They hope that the amendments will scupper the prime minister’s chances of getting the deal approved by the House of Commons at the Withdrawal Agreement Bill’s third reading this week. Attention is understood to be focused on two main areas of the withdrawal legislation, which was finally published by the government last night. The first would be to mandate the prime minister to negotiate a customs union with the EU as part of Britain’s long-term relationship with the bloc. The second would be to give parliament the power to compel Mr Johnson to seek an extension to the transition period if he has not succeeded in negotiating a free trade agreement. Mr Johnson has previously ruled out both options, which are also red lines for the Tory Brexiteers whose support Mr Johnson needs to pass the deal. Senior Liberal Democrat sources said yesterday that their party would be prepared to vote in favour of the customs amendment even though it is against the party’s policy of seeking a second referendum and revoking Brexit.” – The Times

  • Johnson to give MPs a customs union vote after Brexit to see off attempts to thwart deal – Daily Telegraph
  • EU will have the last word on laws even after Brexit – The Times
  • Friction over Northern Ireland trade to Great Britain – The Times
  • Gyimah trounced on Twitter for ‘flip-flop’ Brexit point – Daily Express

Brexit votes 3) And Johnson could scrap his Brexit deal as Remainers plot to wreck it

“Boris Johnson is expected to abandon Brexit legislation in Parliament rather than accept a customs union or second referendum, rebel MPs were warned on Monday night. Ministers are hoping to force Brexit legislation through the Commons by Thursday evening in an attempt to leave the EU by the end of the month. But John Bercow on Monday blocked a government attempt to hold a “clean” yes or no vote on whether MPs back the deal, seen as crucial in building the momentum needed to get it through Parliament in time for an Oct 31 exit. Mr Johnson must now attempt to get his 110-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the Commons and the Lords in the space of a week. However, there are growing doubts as Labour MPs plot to table amendments designed to effectively wreck his plans, including demands for a customs union and a second referendum. However, there are growing doubts as Labour MPs plot to table amendments designed to effectively wreck his plans, including demands for a customs union and a second referendum. If any amendment passes, the Prime Minister is expected to abandon the legislation and accept the need for an extension – and then demand an immediate general election. Remainers are also planning to reject the timetable for pushing the legislation quickly through Parliament, making it “almost impossible” to get the deal ratified by next week’s deadline if successful, say Whitehall sources.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Direct rule will be reintroduced in N Ireland under No Deal – Daily Mail

Brexit votes 4) Baker and Francois: We Eurosceptics have fought for years to live in a free country

“Today, 22 October, is D-9. Within just over a week, if Parliament co-operates, we could finally leave the European Union at Halloween. Contrary to some accounts, the ERG is quite a democratic organisation. Prior to each key vote, the officers have usually given a recommendation, which we have then debated but on the basis that, ultimately, it is up to each individual ERG colleague to look into their hearts and decide what is best for their country. We followed this procedure again last Saturday, when the officers, led by the two of us, recommended approval of the Prime Minister’s deal. While the negotiations were still “in the tunnel” we both set an “acid test” for whatever came out of the talks – did the deal mean that we actually left the European Union, or not? We also established our own negotiating team, to put across our concerns to No 10 during the talks, to avoid a fait accompli. Our team comprised of IDS, as a former party leader, Sir Bill Cash, as our undisputed legal expert and the two of us. During our discussions, we achieved several assurances on the deal, which were subsequently included in the Withdrawal Agreement Implementation Bill (the WAIB) which was published yesterday. ” – Daily Telegraph

Bercow could face historical bullying claims

“John Bercow could face bullying claims going back several years after Parliamentary authorities opened a formal complaints process just 10 days before he quits as Speaker. Any findings against the Speaker could jeopardise his expected elevation to the House of Lords, following the precedent set by other retiring Speakers of the House of Commons to become “cross-bench” independent peers. The Commons authorities said in a statement that “Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme is now open to receive complaints from any member of the parliamentary community, present or former, who wishes to make a complaint about bullying, harassment or sexual harassment, that occurred at any point. The House of Commons has zero tolerance for any form of bullying and harassment”. Tara O’Reilly, founder of the Women in Westminster campaign, said: “It’s good news that the Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme has now been opened to historic cases from pre June 2017 – it’s a step in the right direction but it shouldn’t have taken this long for the progress to be made.” – Daily Telegraph


Blow to Farage as Brexit Party candidate resigns

“One of the Brexit Party’s general election candidates has quit as Nigel Farage’s group continues to split over Boris Johnson’s deal with Brussels. The resignation will boost Conservative hopes that they can see off the party in any forthcoming general election. The Brexit Party played down the development yesterday, saying that the candidate was “one out of 600” selected. However, sources admitted that apparent support for Mr Johnson’s deal from some of the party’s own MEPs had not been “helpful”. The Brexit Party was not even registered with the UK’s elections watchdog at the start of this year but took the most seats in May’s European elections. The party has warned the Tories that it could be their best friend or their worst enemy in a general election. Last week its plans were hampered by the prime minister’s announcement that he had secured a deal with Brussels. In the days since Mr Johnson has received the backing of many of the so-called Spartans, the hardline Eurosceptic MPs who held out three times against Theresa May’s Brexit deal. On Thursday, Lance Forman, a Brexit Party MEP for London, told The Times that Mr Johnson’s deal was “quite positive” and one “we can move forward with”. – The Times

  • Trudeau wins narrow victory to form minority government – The Guardian
  • Northern Ireland parties fail to stop abortion law change – FT
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  • Ministers knew suspect would leave UK after fatal Harry Dunn crash – The Times
  • Julian Assange fails in bid to delay extradition hearing – FT
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