Monday 23 July 2018 - People's Vote

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Monday 23 July 2018

Morning briefing: No deal 'snippets' - get on with it! - women's rights at risk

Is the UK stockpiling food in case there’s no Brexit deal? Will the M26 be turned, at least in part, into a lorry park to cope with delays at Dover? Dominic Raab refused to confirm or deny either on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday, calling them “selective snippets” and saying they were “unhelpful”.

Just how many “selective snippets” do we need before the Brexit secretary is honest about the whole, terrible picture of a no-deal Brexit?

Raab also said it was “irresponsible” for the EU to warn that the rights of UK citizens living in the rest of the union would be up in the air if we crash out with no deal. Surely what would be irresponsible is to crash out with no deal.

More unhelpful snippets made the news today:

  • “Civil unrest” within two weeks is part of Amazon’s contingency planning, according to The Times.
  • Food safety controls could be suspended to prevent perishable goods getting delayed at UK borders, reports the i newspaper. A possible side effect of that could be the EU refusing to accept our food exports.
  • Our farming sector could also be seriously hit by any extra tariffs arising from no deal, with warnings that this would be “catastrophic” for Welsh farmers ahead of the Royal Welsh Show this week.

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It’s worth remembering that the government’s own analysis on a no-deal scenario, leaked to the Sunday Times last month, involved food shortages in some parts of the country within two days, hospitals running out of medicine in two weeks, fuel shortages and the Port of Dover collapsing on “day one”. And that was only the second-worst-case scenario.

Other things at risk include the open border in Ireland, the ability of planes to fly between the UK and the rest of Europe, and the rights of EU citizens in the UK - the legal basis for all of which could disappear overnight.

Raab keeps trailing his “technical notices” on no deal, expected to be sent to the public and businesses over the summer. They need to be frank about the chaos Theresa May’s botched Brexit is inviting upon this country.

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Tweet of the day

Great scenes on Saturday as activists across the UK campaigned for a People's Vote. Here's some of the action in Shrewsbury.

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Yes, prime minister - you should get on with it

“The clock is ticking - let’s get on with it,” says Theresa May. That’s rich coming from a prime minister who has been kicking the can on Brexit for months now in a bid to keep her warring party together.

On that she has failed. Boris Johnson tore apart her Chequers plan in his resignation speech in the Commons last week. David Davis, the other big Cabinet quitter, urged the whole Brexit plan to be “reset” in a damning interview in the Sunday Express. On the pro-European wing of the Conservative party, Dominic Grieve has warned of the turmoil in his party.

May hasn’t got the people behind her either. A poll for the Sunday Times revealed only 11% would support her Brexit plan.


Quote of the day

“I mean frankly a second vote has democratic downsides. It has difficulties. But is it morally justified? I think it is. If you look back at the Leave campaign a great many of the promises they made were fantasy promises. We now know they’re not going to be met.”

John Major on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show


Women’s rights at risk

Women’s rights are under threat from Brexit, finds a new report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Brexit could mean any future equality and human rights protections under the EU are not binding in UK law, the report says. Existing rights may also be removed. This could include hard-won employment rights, but also things like funding for women’s services.

If women (or men, for that matter) are concerned that these protections are being put at risk, then they have every right to call for a People’s Vote to make sure the final Brexit deal is one that respects them.


Video of the day

OFOC's Femi Oluwole met a man in Doncaster who said that immigrants (especially Roma) were ruining the village of Hexthorpe, so Femi went to Hexthorpe that same day to ask the locals how they felt...

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Equivalence is not equivalent

The EU has rejected the prime minister’s proposals for how our financial services industry should get access to its market after Brexit, according to the FT. Michel Barnier told ministers from the other 27 countries on Friday that the plan “would violate the principle that access rights to the bloc’s financial services market are a gift from Brussels that can be freely withdrawn.”

The complicated proposals are based on the idea that the EU and UK would work together to try to ensure their financial services regulations are “equivalent” so allowing some access to each other’s markets. They mark a retreat from the government’s previous “mutual recognition” plan - which, in turn, marked a retreat from the current “passporting” arrangement where our vast financial services industry has full access to the EU market.

Financial services produce £72 billion in tax, about one ninth of total government revenue. Brexit will damage this industry, meaning less money for the NHS and other public services.


Tweet of the day 2

David Lammy on the news Jacob Rees-Mogg's investment firm is setting up its second fund in Ireland.

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More Brexit news…

Video of the day 2

It's the latest instalment of the FFS Awards - the hilarious weekly round-up of all the Brexit madness from For Our Future's Sake.

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Top Brexit comment


Looking forward...

Today, Monday 23 July

- Cabinet meets in Gateshead
09:30 ONS: Foreign direct investment
09:30 ONS: Public sector finances
15:00 MPs debate "strengthening the Union" in Commons
15:00 Lords debate Brexit preparations and negotiations
16:15 Council leaders give evidence on Brexit and local government

Tomorrow, Tuesday 24 July

09:45 Services industry leaders give evidence to Brexit committee
14:00 Dominic Raab and Olly Robbins give evidence to Brexit committee
- House rises for summer recess (returns September 4)