Newslinks for Friday 20th September 2019

Juncker indicates that deal may be possible…

“Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday that Britain and the EU could agree a new Brexit deal free from the Irish backstop after Boris Johnson formally tabled new proposals in Brussels. In an attempt to begin bridging differences between the two sides, three papers were sent to the European Commission outlining Britain’s draft plans to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. The first outlined Downing Street’s offer to create a single all-Ireland food and agricultural zone with checks on produce at ports on the Irish Sea. In the second, plans were outlined for a surveillance system to prevent goods entering EU markets that did not comply with European standards.” – The Times

  • Johnson ‘to defy Brussels’ deadline’ for publishing his plans – The Sun
  • MPs would have to choose between the Deal, or No Deal – Daily Telegraph
  • Sterling gains on the back of Juncker’s remarks – FT
  • Labour MPs urged not to back a deal – The Guardian
  • Speaker warns Johnson that Benn Act is ‘non-negotiable’ – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • It would be political suicide for Varadkar to back down – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph
  • Downing Street will keep raising the stakes – Joe Moor, Times Red Box

>Today: David Shiels in Comment: Will the DUP move?

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Belief that DUP are softening their position raises hopes of Brexit deal

…as Barclay warns that Brussels isn’t prepared for No Deal

“EU countries are unprepared for Britain leaving the bloc without a deal next month, the Brexit secretary claimed yesterday, as he called for a “creative and flexible” approach to negotiations. Stephen Barclay said that Ireland could suffer shortages of medicines and food while businesses in other EU countries would face significant disruption. He questioned claims by the European Commission that the EU was fully prepared for a chaotic Brexit, warning that there was a difference “between having laws in place and operational preparedness”… Sources close to him insisted that he was not trying to be provocative and that he believed a deal could be struck.” – The Times

  • He says Barnier will be held responsible – The Sun
  • BBC says it needs more time to grill the Prime Minister – The Times

More:

  • Banks move just 1,000 jobs despite exodus fears – The Times
  • Employers ‘not ready’ for Brexit immigration regime – FT
  • Hard Brexit would cut clothes prices, says Next boss – The Times
  • Japan trade accord becomes UK’s post-Brexit priority – FT

Bercow ‘could be given power to recall Parliament’

John Bercow, the Speaker, could be given the power to recall Parliament against Boris Johnson’s wishes if the Prime Minister loses a court case over prorogation and fails to comply. The Supreme Court will announce next week whether the five-week prorogation was illegal, but there was confusion on Thursday over who will recall MPs, and when, if the Government loses the case. There are five possible decisions the court could make, ranging from an acceptance that judges have no right to intervene in prorogation to a ruling that Parliament has not been legally prorogued and is therefore still in session. The Prime Minister indicated in a written submission to the court that he would comply with an order to recall Parliament if the court found against him, but did not specify when it would be recalled.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Miller’s team suggest plan to use Speakers to bypass Johnson – The Times

More:

  • Major compares Johnson to councillors ‘kicking out gypsies’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Ex-Prime Minister is accused of hypocrisy after proroguing himself – The Sun
  • Johnson provides a test for the British constitution – FT

Comment:

  • Ex-premier’s blistering broadside stole the show – Adam Cygan, Daily Telegraph
  • Major should stop trying to derail Brexit – Jonathan Isaby, The Times
  • Our democracy will be richer for the Supreme Court’s ruling – Jack Simson Caird, Times Red Box

Editorial:

  • Unelected judges blocking Brexit is constitutional vandalism – The Sun

>Yesterday: Interviews: Laing, candidate for Speaker: It’s “extraordinary” that whoever holds the office “is totally unaccountable”.

Cameron rebuked over Royal revelations

“David Cameron has received an unprecedented rebuke from the Queen for revealing that he asked her to intervene in the Scottish referendum. Buckingham Palace made clear its “displeasure and annoyance” that the former prime minister disclosed details of private conversations with her about sensitive constitutional issues. The speed and public nature of the Palace’s criticism is thought to reflect growing concern in royal circles that the Queen is being dragged into political battles over Brexit and prorogation. There are fears that the confidentiality of the relationship between monarch and prime minister is being undermined at such a volatile time.” – The Times

  • Sturgeon signals that Her Majesty should stay out of future vote – The Guardian
  • Anger mounts as more details are revealed – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • A lazy admission which will do lasting damage to national unity – Matt Kilcoyne, Daily Telegraph
  • Officials at the Palace will be raising eyebrows – Matt Chorley, The Times
  • The Queen relies on her ministers’ discretion – Richard Kay, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: ‘We probably didn’t cut enough’ may be the most important revelation from Cameron’s book

Fraser Nelson: He has unwittingly written a great case for Brexit

“If you voted for Brexit, your optimism might be wavering right now. I can propose just the remedy: David Cameron’s memoir. It is, unintentionally, the most convincing case for Brexit that you will ever read. For The Record was written as political tragedy, a 700-page apology to the nation for the former prime minister’s role in what he regards as a calamity. But it’s also a candid account of how he pursued an idea – that the EU can be reformed – and tested it to (his) destruction. We see him making allies, drafting strategies, threatening and begging – but his story ends in failure. He expected diplomacy, but encountered a bureaucratic Death Star whose hunger for power is matched only by its intransigence. From the former Remainer-in-Chief, it’s quite a story.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cameron knew the EU didn’t matter to voters – James Kirkup, The Times
  • Review: a lost legacy – Chris Patten, FT
  • Suddenly, he seems like a relic – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Rachel Wolf’s column: In defence of Cameron

Farage warns Rees-Mogg over Brexit electoral pact

“Nigel Farage has sent a Brexit warning to Jacob Rees-Mogg urging him to heap pressure on Prime Minister to form an electoral pact with the Brexit Party. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage warned House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg’s his “optimism” Brexit will happen on October 31 was “premature”. He said Mr Rees-Mogg’s claim a vote for the Brexit Party would be “a vote effectively for Jeremy Corbyn” was “nonsense”. His remarks come after Mr Rees-Mogg urged supporters of Mr Farage’s Brexit Party to return to the Tory fold. But Mr Farage insisted a “pact with the Brexit Party is the best solution to the Tories problems”.” – Daily Express

  • What it would take for me to rejoin the Tories – Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Daily Telegraph
  • If 2017 was a Brexit realignment, 2019 will see a Brexit squeeze – Chris Curtis, Times Red Box
  • Tories are learning that Johnson is electoral marmite – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

Whipless rebels claim they could stand as Conservatives after all…

“Brexit rebel MPs expelled by Boris Johnson say they have received new legal advice that will allow them to stand for election as Conservatives again. The 21 MPs were stripped of the Tory whip for backing a bid to delay Brexit under No Deal in a key vote two weeks ago. But the legal advice, drawn up pro-bono by a QC for the group, states that the landmark Commons showdown was not a confidence matter – signalling the prospect of an embarrassing u-turn ebing enforced on Mr Johnson. One of the rebels planning to appeal said: “Our legal advice says a confidence vote is one in which the Government falls if it’s lost. That manifestly didn’t happen, so Boris is on very shaky grounds for what he’s done.”” – The Sun

>Today: Nick Hargrave’s column: As a Tory moderate, I’ve been tempted to give up on Johnson’s party. But here’s why I’m sticking with it.

..as Vaizey retains trade envoy post

“Ed Vaizey is still the prime minister’s trade envoy to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam despite having been expelled from the Conservative Party. Mr Vaizey was one of 21 Tories to lose the whip this month after voting to seize control of the Brexit process from the government. He told The Times that he was due to travel in his official capacity to southeast Asia next week. “I’m looking forward to it,” he said. Despite being kicked out of the party for disloyalty, Mr Vaizey, 51, the MP for Wantage in Oxfordshire, has not been sacked from his unpaid government job by Boris Johnson. He was appointed a trade envoy by Theresa May in September 2017, having served for six years as a culture minister.” – The Times

  • Stewart to address members at Conservative Party Conference – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Conferences are a window into the weird souls of the political parties

Ministers send ‘Armed Forces Champions’ into job centres

“Armed Forces ‘Champions’ are being parachuted into Job Centres nationwide by Ministers to get more of Britain’s hero veterans back into work. The Sun can reveal the Work and Pensions Secretary has bagged £6million from the Treasury to triple the number of dedicated ‘veterans’ advisors in JobCentres across the country to more than 150. They will each be responsible for helping services personnel and their spouses across a defined region – meaning nationwide coverage across all 640 centres… Therese Coffey said the move was designed to help veterans over the culture shock when they leave the Armed Forces – and get them into a second career.” – The Sun

How the Tories poured millions into hospital where Johnson was buttonholed

“Some dubbed him the ‘Dad who speaks for Britain’. Others dismissed Omar Salem as an opportunistic Labour activist who cynically executed a cheap party-political stunt. Having angrily buttonholed Boris Johnson in a corridor, the enraged father told how his sick child had waited two hours to see a doctor after being admitted to Whipps Cross University Hospital… Yet on a purely factual level, it must be noted that NHS funding increased every year that Johnson’s party has been in government, at a rate that exceeds inflation. So, too, (as we shall see in detail later) has the budget of Whipps Cross Hospital, along with the numbers of doctors, nurses and other frontline staff that it employs to deliver care.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Do voters distrust Johnson on the healthcare? Sure. But Labour is no longer seen as “the party of the NHS”, either.

Khan urges Labour to reject Clause IV revival…

“Labour must not revert to the old version of its Clause Four if it decides to rewrite the totemic section of the party’s constitution, the mayor of London has said. Earlier this week members of Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) decided that they would set up their own working group to consider changes to the document, as long as local activists drop calls to revert to the old version. The previous statement was regarded as a commitment to widespread nationalisation, but it was updated in 1995 by Tony Blair in a significant moment of his New Labour rebranding… A source on the NEC told The Independent they expected the “small working party” to look at “possible revisions not to the old version but one in modern language” with a commitment to equality on matters including sex, race, religion and sexual orientation.” – The Times

  • Talk shows how far adrift the Opposition are – Philip Collins, The Times
  • He might as well promise a full socialist utopia – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Labour must look to its roots protecting working people – Rachel Reeves, Times Red Box

…as Corbyn urged to consider complete block on airport expansion

Labour could end all airport expansion in the UK under radical plans drawn up by party activists to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. The pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum has teamed up with grassroots campaigners to try and pressure Jeremy Corbyn into adopting more drastic measures to slash pollution by the end of the next decade. With the Labour leader declaring climate change one of his top priorities, his supporters hope to push their proposals to a vote at the party’s conference next week in order to make them official policy. Scores of local Labour branches have submitted motions on climate change to the conference, with at least seven calling for an end to the future construction and growth of airports.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Opposition slump to third place in the polls – The Sun

SNP finally abandons controversial ‘Named Persons’ scheme

“John Swinney has refused to apologise to parents and teachers as he finally scrapped the SNP’s Named Persons scheme to assign every child a ‘state guardian’. The Scottish Education Minister said he would repeal the laws after an expert panel he appointed to try and salvage the plan concluded it was unworkable. In a statement to MSPs, he said the authorities would instead use “existing voluntary schemes” to identify vulnerable children in need of support, along with further training and guidance. But he refused an invitation to apologise to parents and teachers, whom the Tories said have endured six years of “endless bureaucracy” as the SNP tried to introduce the policy.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Salem was right – the NHS needs radical reform – Harry Phibbs, CapX
  • The four big questions that the next Israeli government will decide – Dov Waxman, Reaction
  • How Corbyn could get the top job – Peter Franklin, UnHerd
  • Trudeau isn’t a racist, he’s a spoiled rich kid – Stephen Daisley, The Spectator
  • Why we should scrap Universal Credit and replace it with UBI – Ben Ramanauskas, 1828

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