Morning Briefing: 700,000 marched for a People's Vote - May's mutinous moments - Scottish fish
A huge thanks to all 700,000 supporters who marched for a People’s Vote on Saturday - and to everyone who has supported the campaign over the last few months, whether you could make it to London or not.
You can thank the unusually balmy October weather, or the many coaches bringing people from across the country. But we wouldn’t have seen those numbers if the government wasn’t making such a dog’s dinner of Brexit. No Brexit deal can keep the promises made during and since the referendum. The only sensible path is to hand the decision back to the people.
We can’t take a breather just yet. The next few weeks could be the most critical in the entire Brexit process. We still have to assume that the prime minister will cobble together some sort of Brexit deal for Parliament to vote on.
That’s why we’re now asking you to get in touch with your MPs. Parliament is still sovereign - not the prime minister. It is MPs who will be able to reject Theresa May’s miserable deal, and then demand a public vote to settle the Brexit mess.
So write to your MP - whether they’re Conservative, Labour or any other party - and let them know what you want them to do. We’ve got a handy online tool you can use HERE. Even if your MP is already behind us, send them your support to make the case even louder. And ask your friends and family to get in touch with their MPs too.
The momentum is behind our movement - now is the time to push hard for a People’s Vote!
Quote of the day
“The only way we can avoid this total madness and win back our future has to be a People’s Vote.”
Delia Smith addressing crowds at the People’s Vote March for the Future on Saturday
Video of the day
‘May way’? Or the highway?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: it’s going to be a seriously tough week for Theresa May. The Sun mocking her up as Frank Sinatra singing “May Way” on its front cover could actually be the high point.
The prime minister has four uncomfortable moments: today explaining to the Commons what happened (or rather, didn’t happen) at the EU summit last week; a meeting with her rebellious Cabinet tomorrow; a meeting of Tory backbenchers at the 1922 committee on Wednesday, which she may or may not attend; and finally her inner Brexit Cabinet on Thursday.
She has already had two bruising conference calls with various Cabinet ministers over the weekend, according to The Telegraph. Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, is said to have raised significant concerns about both the so-called Irish backstop and May’s proposal to extend the transition.
Threats of a leadership challenge are louder than ever. But the problem is not the prime minister, it’s Brexit itself. Whether May is ousted in the next few days or limps on, all the government’s choices are hopeless, as Hugo Dixon writes for InFacts. Having a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal is the only sensible option.
Tweet of the day
Fishy warnings from Scottish MPs
Another rift is opening between Number 10 and the 13 Scottish Conservative MPs, whose success north of the border in the last general election allowed May to stitch together her slender majority in Parliament. Scottish Tories could vote down a Brexit deal if it included extending the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy beyond 2020, Moray MP Douglas Ross told the BBC. This follows warnings that Scots Tories will also not accept keeping Northern Ireland in a separate regulatory or customs system to the UK on the theory that the Scottish government might demand a similar regime, threatening the Union between Scotland and England.
Video of the day 2
And here's National Union of Students president - and FFS supporter - Shakira Martin hammering the point home on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
Hammond’s magic money tree
If there is a Brexit deal, Philip Hammond will give government departments above-inflation budget increases in next year’s spending review, the Times reports. This is not a sustainable promise. The chancellor is indulging in another version of the mythical “Brexit dividend”. Any form of Brexit will hit the economy - the Treasury’s own analysis has said as much. What’s more, the Brexit uncertainty currently stopping business investment and slowing economic growth will continue even if we get a Brexit divorce deal, because we’ll spend years thrashing out our future relationship with Brussels. All this means less cash than the government would have had in its coffers without Brexit, not more.
More Brexit news…
Editorial: The march for a people’s vote: a step forward (Guardian)
Simon Allison: Leaving the EU goes against everything the Tory Party stands for – they should be the ones opposing Brexit (Independent)
Albert Weale: The ‘will of the people’ is a myth (Times £)
Today, Monday 22nd October
|15:30||Theresa May expected to make statement in Commons on last week's EU summit|
Tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd October
|-||King and queen of the Netherlands to begin state visit to UK|
|09:30||ONS: Young people’s earnings progression and geographic mobility 2012-16|
|10:00||Justice minister evidence to Commons justice committee on no-deal Brexit|
|12:30||Energy minister evidence to the Lords’ EU energy committee on no-deal preparations|
|14:30||Health secretary to give evidence to Commons health committee on no-deal Brexit