Morning briefing: Security - NATO - Malta
Theresa May created a massive smokescreen to hide her failure to make progress on the Brexit talks at the EU summit by accusing fellow leaders of putting lives at risk over Brexit. In terms of domestic propaganda, it was a brilliant ploy, generating splashes in the Times and Express and a front-page headline in the Telegraph.
But such buck-passing won’t do anything to advance the national interest. The other leaders are increasingly exasperated by the prime minister’s time-wasting.
She has spent two years arguing for a cake-and-eat-it deal that was never on the table. As Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says, the other countries have spent that same period telling Britain to come up with something else; we will have to respect the “rules and principles” of the bloc; the EU has red lines too.
It’s not as is the Cabinet even knows what it wants. The prime minister is set to host a meeting at Chequers on July 6th where they will hopefully reach a conclusion on a future customs relationship with the EU. It’s quite difficult to make progress on a deal when one side hasn’t made a demand. The European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, said: “We cannot go on to live with a split cabinet. They have to say what they want and we will respond to that”.
Meanwhile, the Government have got to come up with a solution to the Irish border. Dutch PM Mark Rutte pointed out that the “first, second and third priority now is to solve this issue of the Irish border”.
Incidentally, talking about time-wasting, the government has delayed its White Paper on migration from July to September, according to Politico’s Playbook. But we can at least look forward to a 100-page White Paper on the future relationship in the second week of July followed by another of the prime minister’s “big speeches”, The Sun says.
So what about May’s complaint that Brexit could lead to lessened security cooperation and put lives at risk? Well, if we quit the EU, we face the same dilemma on security as we do on trade: the deeper we want to cooperate, the more we’ll have to follow EU laws, without a vote on them. All the more reason for a People’s Vote on whatever deal is struck.
HAVE YOU SIGNED THE PETITION FOR A PEOPLE'S VOTE? NEXT STOP 200,000!
Quote of the day
“We’re two years telling people it can’t be cherry picking, it can’t be cake and eat it.”
- Taoiseach Leo Varadkar summarises EU27 frustration with Britain’s approach to negotiations
Video of the day
WATCH: Unlike England, it looks like our Brexit negotiators aren't going to make it past the group stage. Time to show the Brexiters the red card and demand a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.
Donald sounds alarm over Donald
Europe should prepare for the break-up of Nato, as a worst-case scenario, the European Council president told the summit last night. “Transatlantic relations are under immense pressure due to the policies of President Trump,” Donald Tusk said. He asked leaders to consider the potential breakdown of the post-war alliance not just the looming trade war with America, according to The Times.
The geopolitical basis of Brexit - burn our bridges with the EU and stride the world arm in arm with America - is totally bankrupt now that Donald Trump is in the White House. That, incidentally, is a new fact we didn’t know about two years ago. Further reason for a People’s Vote.
Graphic of the day
SHARE: Britain's car industry predicts Brexit pile-up.
Tweet of the day
After the BMA backed a People's Vote on the final deal, the Daily Mail decided to lecture Britain's doctors on what the NHS really needs...
Deal of the century? For Adelaide, maybe.
The Brexit press is overjoyed; BAE systems has won a £20 billion contract to build nine new frigates for the Australian navy. Theresa May described the contract as “a perfect illustration” of Britain capitalising on its departure from the EU to build on close relationships with other allies.
Chalking this up as a Brexit triumph is a little hasty, however. In the Sun’s unfortunate choice of words, “Britain beats off Italian and Spanish rivals” to win the contract, the deal was won “in part” because Britain and Australia “already have a close security partnership”, and the ships are set to be built in Adelaide, South Australia.
Tory Brexiter encourages UK firms to move to Malta
Lord Ashcroft, a supporter of the Leave campaign, has written a report encouraging British businesses to set up shop in Malta to deal with the uncertainty caused by Brexit, describing the island as “as superb location for UK companies”.
This is the latest example of Brexiters bailing on Britain like rats leaving a sinking ship. Luke Lythgoe wrote about similar behaviour by Jacob Rees-Mogg, NIgel Lawson and Andy Wigmore for InFacts earlier this month.
More Brexit news…
EU leaders strike deal on migrants (Financial Times)
Article 50 extension may be required to prevent no-deal Brexit, MPs warn Theresa May (Independent)
London fears it will be EU's next capital markets target (Financial Times)
Top Brexit comment
Guy Verhofstadt: Guess who helped the rise of Europe's mini-Trumps? Brexit-poisoned Britain (Guardian)
Philip Stephens: The compelling Tory case for a second Brexit vote (Financial Times)
Today, Friday 29 June
|-||European Council summit|
|09:30||ONS: Business investment in the UK|
|09:30||ONS: Consumer trends analysis|
Tomorrow, Saturday 30 June
|12:00||NHS anniversary rally|