Morning Briefing: March for a People's Vote - no deal, no drugs - Scots revolt
It's almost here! The People's Vote March for the Future this Saturday (that's tomorrow) will see people from every corner of the country and all walks of life demanding their right to have the final say on Brexit.
It's going to be the biggest and loudest demonstration on Brexit yet. We’re expecting numbers to exceed the last march when well over 100,000 came together to demand a People’s Vote in June. This time, more coaches have been booked, more people have signed up and the world will be watching.
And what better time to demand Brexit be handed back to the people, to decide if they're happy with the mess government has made of it? The latest in a long line of crises has been triggered by May’s admission that she wants to extend the post-Brexit transition period - a decision apparently made without the formal agreement of the Cabinet, and one that Downing Street had earlier claimed it was a “categoric lie” to say was being considered.
This latest crunch point is the result of May’s earlier failures; the inability to lay out what she wants, to get her party behind a model, to trigger article 50 with all this up in the air. The overall impression is one of a government staggering from crisis to crisis, carried along more by inertia than any guiding will.
Conservative MPs on all sides are deeply unhappy at the direction of the Brexit negotiations. Anna Soubry described May as “reneging on everything”, as 100 Conservative MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit met to discuss the best way to block a crash-out. Backbench Brexiters are in a mood little short of regicidal, with David Davis “definitely on manoeuvres” and Leave-supporting MPs meeting to discuss triggering a leadership challenge. Nick Boles - a close ally of Michael Gove - also spoke out against the plan. The DUP’s official view is that the decision is a “mad panic” that won’t avoid the EU claiming the need for an Irish border backstop.
There is little in the prospect to please anyone. Extending Article 50 would see us effectively become a vassal state, paying money for the privilege of accepting EU laws with no vote and no voice. But this is not entirely Theresa May’s fault. Despite everything, she is not the problem with Brexit. Brexit is her problem. And the best way out of the “shitshow” - as one Conservative backbencher colourfully described things yesterday - is to give the people the chance to reject this Brexit shambles in a People’s Vote.
Quote of the day
“We are not standing here proposing an extension to the implementation period.”
Theresa May, standing there proposing an extension to the implementation period.
Video of the day
Join Women for People’s Vote at the March for the Future tomorrow! We’ll be holding a mini-rally at 11am to get everyone fired up ahead of the big march. See you on the corner of Deanery Street and Stanhope Gate, just south of the Dorchester Hotel.
No deal, no drugs
New drugs being developed to treat depression and cancer - many just months away from approval for use in Britain - could be delayed indefinitely by Brexit, the Independent reports. If a manufacturer’s license hasn’t been approved by the time Brexit rolls around, then they will have to reapply to the UK regulatory regime unless a deal is struck.
Tweet of the day
Are you on one of the many coaches travelling to London for the People's Vote March? Share stories from your journey on social media!
Scottish Secretary David Mundell has insisted that any extension to the transition period exclude the Common Fisheries Policy - something that may not be legally possible. The Scottish Tories believe that allowing EU fishing boats to plunder the Scottish coast during an extended transition will give the SNP ammunition for the next Holyrood elections, potentially leaving their election chances kippered. If May insists on pushing ahead with her new plan, then she could face resignations in cabinet, and an uprising by the Scottish party.
Video of the day 2
WATCH: A People’s Vote is vital in order that they [the British people] be given the opportunity to reflect, and review how the referendum of 2016 has been altered." Actor Brian Cox on why we need another Referendum.
More Brexit news…
WATCH: "I'm marching because I'm afraid of a hard border in Ireland." Join her this Saturday at the People’s Vote March for the Future to demand a People’s Vote on Brexit. Sign up to join her on Saturday HERE.
Hugo Dixon: Suffragettes, chartists and gay pride did it. Let’s march! (InFacts)
Anne Karpf: Enough of the lazy ageism – don’t blame us ‘greedy oldies’ for Brexit (Guardian)
Will Gore: Brexit and Trump have proved that lies are more attractive than facts (Indpendent)
Kerry McCarthy: Rees-Mogg promises cheap food after Brexit but workers will pay the price (Guardian)
Today, Friday 19th October
|09.30||ONS: Public Sector Finances|
Tomorrow, Saturday 20th October
|12.00||People's Vote march for the future|