Morning Briefing: 'Polite' Conservative patriots - PM's compromise limits - Northern Ireland doesn't trust May
The Conservative Party Conference looks set to be dominated by the ongoing feud between Theresa May and Boris Johnson, with a side-order of jostling for the leadership by others. This won’t do anything to break the logjam on Brexit. If anything Jeremy Hunt’s comparison yesterday of the EU to the Soviet Union, a comment unworthy of a foreign secretary, will make it even harder to do a deal.
However, apart from all the noise, there is what Dominic Grieve calls a “polite rebellion” from pragmatic Conservatives. They see that the only way out of the mess is a People’s Vote. The former attorney general is joined by former home secretary Amber Rudd, who last week said she would “absolutely” back a People’s Vote over no deal, Cambridgeshire South MP Heidi Allen, and ex-PM John Major. Other strong backbench voices, such as Anna Soubry, have been backing a People’s Vote for months.
These are true patriots not content to bicker while Britain burns. Unlike the Brexit fanatics, these pragmatists are also true conservatives, Hugo Dixon argues for InFacts.
So, Johnson may call May’s Brexit “deranged” while not producing a workable alternative. Tory Brextremists like Peter Bone may even argue that Nigel Farage should have led the Brexit talks. In reality though, Conservatives are joining the People's Vote campaign in ever growing numbers. Taking a pro-business stand comes naturally to members of the party and with business voices warning ever more loudly that we're headed for a bad deal, party members too are finding their voice.
HAVE YOU SIGNED THE PETITION FOR A PEOPLE'S VOTE?
Quote of the day
“Soviets killed, deported, exiled and imprisoned 100 thousands of Latvia’s inhabitants after the illegal occupation in 1940, and ruined lives of three generations, while the EU has brought prosperity, equality, growth, respect.”
Latvia’s ambassador to the UK rebukes Jeremy Hunt’s comparison of the EU to the USSR
Video of the day
WATCH: Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Heath, Thatcher, Major, Cameron and May. Every post-war Conservative PM has prioritised a strong economy. That's why they wanted Britain to lead in Europe.
How far will PM compromise?
With Theresa May refusing to rule out more compromises with the EU on yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show, her Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has today said the willingness to compromise was “not without limits”. He ruled out a customs union, anything that divides Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK and becoming a member of the EEA like Norway.
But if those are the limits, what’s left on the table? Raab didn’t rule out following EU rules on things like social rules and the environment, even if they change after we’ve left the EU and we don’t get a say on them. Nor did he rule out paying money to get access to the EU’s market and projects. More rule-taking and more money probably won’t be enough to get a deal. But if May is also able to fudge Raab’s “limits”, we could yet be heading for a blindfold Brexit where the people are kept in the dark about our future until it is too late.
Audio of the weekend
LISTEN: "Without an agreement, we all end up paying more." Liam Fox admits that crashing out of the EU without a deal will mean price rises & added costs. This is why we need a People's Vote. Sign up for the march HERE.
Northern Ireland doesn’t trust May
The people of Northern Ireland are worried Theresa May will sell them down the river on Brexit. 60% think the prime minister will not honour her promise to keep Northern Ireland exactly the same as the rest of the UK, with no border in the Irish Sea, according to a poll by LucidTalk for The Times. 26% “have their doubts”, while only 12% gave May their full trust. They are right to be worried. The prime minister herself may be adamant that she won’t agree to a sea border. But what if she fudges the issue? She’s also unlikely to stay in post for much longer - and some Brexiters, led by Michael Gove, keep saying that a new prime minister could rip up any deal and start again.
Audio of the weekend 2
If you ordered a bespoke product, you would want to check the spec before you buy. Why shouldn’t we do the same on Brexit. Conservative MP Heidi Allen comes out in support of a People's Vote.
Paris lures our banks
Paris is emerging as the preferred alternative to London as the EU financial trading hub for some of the world’s biggest banks and asset managers, reports the FT. BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase are poised to join Bank of America and Citigroup in shifting their operations, according to people familiar with their thinking. Damaging our financial services sector means less money to spend on public services and fix the big societal issues which caused Brexit divisions in the first place.
Tweet of the day
Dan Seamarks shows why the Conservative Party should support a People's Vote.
More Brexit news…
Nicky Morgan: Why Canada option is just as damaging as ‘no deal’ (Times £)
Observer editorial: The Observer view on the Conservative party conference (Observer)
Christopher Booker: It has only just dawned on the Government that leaving the EU was designed to be difficult (Telegraph £)
Video of the day 2
The latest instalment of the FFS Awards, poking fun at all the Brexit nonsense - from For our Future's Sake.
Today, Friday 28th September
|-||Parliament in recess for conference season|
|-||Conservative Party Autumn Conference (Birmingham)|
|from 10.00||Conservative conference speeches by Dominic Raab, Greg Clark, and Philip Hammond|
|13:00||Conservatives for a People's Vote rally in Birmingham|
|from 14.00||Conservative conference speech by Michael Gove|
Tomorrow, Saturday 29th September
|-||Parliament in recess for conference season|
|-||Conservative Party autumn conference (Birmingham)|
|from 10.00||Conservative conference speech by Sajid Javid|
|13.00||Conservative conference fringe event with Boris Johnson|