Warning that No Deal ‘would push debt to levels last seen in 60s’

“Emergency tax cuts and higher public spending to offset the impact of a no-deal Brexit would send government debt to its highest level in more than half a century, according to Britain’s leading experts on the public finances. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the scale of the government response required to firefight a flatlining economy in the event of a disorderly departure from the EU would come with a hefty price tag for the public purse. In a warning to Boris Johnson as his Brexit plan risked unravelling in the face of stiff opposition at home and abroad, the thinktank said government borrowing was already set to more than double next year regardless of the outcome of negotiations with Brussels. It also said the national debt – the sum total of all borrowing accumulated by the British state – would hit almost 90% of GDP if Britain crashed out of the EU without a deal, its highest level since the mid-1960s. Coming as the prime minister increases funding for healthcare, schools and police, the IFS said a mini-boom in public spending would be followed by another bust because the government would likely struggle to handle the impact of no-deal Brexit, which would shrink the size of the economy and cause debt levels to rise.” – The Guardian

  • Johnson’s spending spree threatens to leave no cash for tax cuts – The Times
  • Red tape bill after No Deal set to top £15bn – FT
  • Text from No 10 reveals negotiations will probably end this week – The Spectator
  • Revealed: EU’s point-by-point rejection of Brexit deal – The Guardian
  • Johnson steps up election preparations as Brexit hopes fade – FT
  • And can he defy law against No Deal? – FT
  • European capitals brand Backstop plan ‘a sham’ – The Sun
  • Parliament and Remain MPs will be blamed for Brexit delay – Daily Telegraph
  • Outrage as British troops risk being forced into EU defence force after Brexit – Daily Express

As campaigners renew court bid to force Article 50 extension

“Anti-Brexit campaigners are to renew their bid for a court order to force Boris Johnson to seek an extension to article 50 if he fails to get a Brexit deal through the Commons next week. The three campaigners – green energy entrepreneur Dale Vince, director of the Good Law Project, Jolyon Maugham QC, and the SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC – lost their first attempt to win a court order against the prime minister on Monday. Lord Pentland, an outer house judge in the court of session in Scotland, ruled the courts had to trust promises made by the UK government last Friday that Johnson would uphold the Benn act’s provisions and not try to undermine them. The European Union (Withdrawal) (No 2) Act, known as the Benn act, requires Johnson to write to the EU asking for an extension until 31 January if he fails to get a Brexit deal agreed at Westminster by 19 October. Pentland refused to grant the three applicants an interdict, or injunction that would force Johnson to obey the act, after the government told the court in writing Johnson accepted “he cannot act so as to prevent the letter requesting the specified extension in the act from being sent”. – The Guardian


And Arcuri insists Johnson ‘never gave me favouritism’

“Jennifer Arcuri claimed during an hour-long interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain that it was “fake news” to claim Mr Johnson, while London mayor, wrote a letter recommending her as chief executive of Tech City, a government-backed body promoting London as a technology hub. She also insisted that Innotech, the conference-organising company she ran, was a deserving recipient of grants from London & Partners, the promotional agency that Mr Johnson, now prime minister, oversaw as mayor. “Boris never, ever gave me favouritism,” Ms Arcuri told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, the interviewers. The claims involving Ms Arcuri have developed into a significant controversy for Mr Johnson after the Greater London Authority referred him for possible investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. The referral mentioned claims that Ms Arcuri and her companies received undue favours when Mr Johnson was mayor between 2008 and 2016. The GLA said she received the right to travel on three trade missions alongside the mayor — to Singapore and Malaysia, New York and Tel Aviv. It also queried sponsorship grants Innotech received from London & Partners, one of £10,000 and another of £1,500.” – FT

  • As well as dodging questions about affair with Johnson, Jan Moir  – Daily Mail

While PM labels Extinction Rebellion protestors as ‘crusties’

“Speaking at the book launch of Charles Moore’s final volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher on Monday evening, Mr Johnson said the former prime minister “took it [climate change] seriously long before Greta Thunberg”. His words came after more than 200 people were arrested as police took a hard line against those who tried to secure themselves to structures to call for the Government to take action on climate change. During his speech the prime minister said: “I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters littering the road.” He added: “I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylayed by importunate nose ringed climate change protesters we remind them that she was also right about greenhouse gases.” One of Britain’s most senior police officers also criticised the actions of Extinction Rebellion protesters as they brought London to a standstill. As footage emerged of one activist wrapping his legs around the head of an officer as he tried to arrest him, Lynne Owens, Director General of the National Crime Agency, spoke out for those on the beat, saying: “They should not have to endure this sort of behaviour.” Meanwhile, John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, expressed his “solidarity” with the group.” – Daily Telegraph


And Allen joins Lib Dems saying 20 One Nation Tories ready to follow

“Heidi Allen told The Independent the Tory Party no longer offered a home for MPs from its centrist tradition, though she admitted she did not know if any would have the “bravery” to jump ship. Boris Johnson’s leadership was doing “irreparable” damage to the party, turning it into a “Ukip or Brexit Party Mk II” dominated by the “bullying” voices of the hard-right Eurosceptic fringe, she said. “The party I joined doesn’t exist any more,” she added. Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson hailed the South Cambridgeshire MP’s move as “fantastic” news and said she was “hopeful” that more pro-Europeans from other parties would come in her wake. In recent weeks, the party has seen its ranks swollen by the arrival of ex-Tories Sarah Wollaston, Sam Gyimah and Phillip Lee as well as Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith and Luciana Berger, previously of Labour. Ms Allen’s arrival brings the Lib Dem tally in the Commons to 19. Ms Swinson said she was “in discussions” with potential switchers and “always hopeful of further defections”, but declined to say whether new recruits were in the pipeline. And Ms Allen, who has been sitting as an independent since quitting Change UK in June, said she was “absolutely” in touch with serving Tory MPs who shared her concerns over the direction the party was taking under Mr Johnson.” – The Independent

Harman: Electing me as speaker would show that women older than 60 aren’t past it

“The veteran Labour MP compared herself to the Queen, Helen Mirren and House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi and says that electing her would send “a powerful message” to women pensioners. Harriet Harman – a former Cabinet minister and deputy Prime Minister – is the most experienced in a field of half a dozen MPs battling for the Speakership, replacing John Bercow who is standing down on October 31. In an interview with The Telegraph, she said: “There is a wealth of wisdom and experience in older women which is overlooked, and it is really a generation that actually knows its capabilities and is not prepared to be told ‘no, we want somebody else’. “Somebody of my age in the [Speaker’s] chair would send an incredibly powerful message to older women in the country that actually they have got the qualities that are needed and that they are not past it because they are past 60. “I am 69. I am miles younger than the Queen or Helen Mirren. I am like a slip of a girl compared to Nancy Pelosi.” – Daily Telegraph

Diplomat crash
  • Johnson will ask Trump to intervene in US diplomat fatal crash case – Daily Telegraph
VIP abuse case
  • Police ‘did their best’ in VIP abuse case – The Times
  • Labour MP suspended over sex harassment claims – Daily Mail
  • Concern raised over deselection of female Labour MPs – The Guardian
  • Crosby’s firm in illegal lobbying inquiry over Johnson link – The Guardian
News in Brief