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Iain Dale is an LBC presenter, a commentator with CNN and the author/editor of over 30 books.

There seems to be an obsession in certain parts of the media with the dangers of a no-deal scenario. Sky News in particular seem determined to create news on this where none exists. Their breathless reporting that BMW’s Mini factory was going to shut down “at huge cost” for a whole month was a prime example.

It then had to be pointed out to them that BMW did this every year, and the only difference in 2019 was that they had brought it forward. It’s ironic that this overblown, hyped-up rubbish is being printed and broadcast every day when the chances of some sort of deal are increasing by the hour.

Trouble is, it may be a deal that many of us won’t particularly like. The Prime Minister is talking tough but I can see no circumstances now in which she won’t have to compromise even further than Chequers proposed.

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Did you see the Party Political Broadcast on behalf of Theresa May on BBC1 on Monday night, otherwise known as Panorama? Credit to Robbie Gibb for the way it was done. Brilliant pictures and the Prime Minister being given the space and time to explain her approach. It’s the sort of thing that Alastair Campbell would have been proud of in his prime. And I mean that as a compliment.

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On Wednesday, Dominic Raab joined me for an hour-long interview and phone-in. It was one of those hours where we were both on a hiding to nothing – me because everyone assumed I’d give him a soft interview given our shared past as chiefs of staff to David Davis, and him because people assumed he’d just stonewall and say nothing.

You can tell a lot about a politician by how they stand up to a good grilling, and that’s what he got. I had a job to do and I did it. If I thought he hadn’t given a frank answer I went back for more.

He stood up to it with good humour and interacted with the callers well, too. Chequers is not something easily explainable in a five-minute interview so I gave him the chance to put forward his case, but given his own history on Brexit I was constantly querying whether he really believed a word of it.

If you’re going to the conference I’ll be hosting an In Conversation with Dominic Raab at 4.15 on Monday afternoon. I hope you’ll come.

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Each year since 2007, around conference time I have published Top 100 People on the Right and Left lists, along with the Top 50 Liberal Democrats. I haven’t had time to compile the latter two this year, but I will be compiling the Top 100 People on the Right over the weekend.

And I want your help. I’d like your suggestions as to who to include this year, especially new people. Feel free also to suggest who should be rising or falling in the list, or even who should drop out altogether! Email me directly iain@iaindale.com, or leave your comments below. You can see last year’s list here.

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Last Friday, I had an endoscopy to determine whether there were any signs of oesophageal cancer or whether my persistent cough and weight loss was being caused by something else.

I don’t mind admitting that I was incredibly nervous about what the outcome might be. I’m not a hypochondriac, but I know too many people who have died from this type of cancer in recent years. If you don’t get it diagnosed in its early stages, you’re toast.

Well, the good news was that it wasn’t cancer. You can imagine the relief I felt. Instead, it seems I have a hiatus hernia. In order to combat the effects I’ve bene told to change my diet to something “plant-based”. I interpreted this as having to go vegan. Never going to happen, but the changes I have made have had the effect of the cough gradually abating – something I am sure my radio listeners have been very grateful for!

124 comments for: Iain Dale: May talks tough, but climbs down. Chequers was a compromise. Now get ready for more.

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