Monday 29 July 2019 - People's Vote

Monday 29 July 2019

Morning Briefing: Johnson's domestic plans could be crushed by No Deal

New prime minister Boris Johnson is ramping up plans for No Deal but he comes under his first electoral scrutiny on Thursday with the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election. The Liberal Democrats are leading the polls for a seat currently held by Conservative Chris Davies, who was convicted of expenses fraud. A by-election defeat would put more pressure on the wafer-thin majority held by Johnson with the DUP.

As anti-No Deal Conservative Sir Oliver Letwin said on this morning's BBC Today programme, talks are going ahead across Parliament to find a means of blocking No Deal. But ultimately, MPs opposed to No Deal will have to vote for something, and a People's Vote is the only viable and democratic way of resolving this crisis.

Johnson's domestic plans exposed as a sham if he pursues No Deal

Boris Johnson is throwing around billions of pounds of spending pledges as he tries to pretend that his post-Brexit Britain will lead to a land of milk and honey.

But the hugely respected independent Whitehall think tank, the Institute for Government, today reveals it all to be an utter sham. It says  there is “no such thing as a managed no deal” with unprecedented pressure on the UK with Northern Ireland “most acutely affected”.

It adds: “Rather than 'turbo-charging’ the economy, as Johnson has suggested, the government is more likely to be occupied with providing money and support to businesses and industries that have not prepared or are worst affected by a no-deal Brexit – as well as dealing with UK citizens in the EU, and EU citizens here, who have been similarly caught out.”

The warnings come as Vauxhall owners PSA have threatened to close down their Ellesmere Port plant, where the Astra is built, with 1,000 jobs lost, if Brexit damages profitability. It ramps up the fears for the UK’s previously-thriving motor industry with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders saying: “No-deal Brexit is simply not an option.”

The Confederation of British Industry warned the government this morning that neither the UK nor EU are ready for an October 31 No Deal, recommending 200 proposals.

"Although businesses have already spent billions on contingency planning for no deal, they remain hampered by unclear advice, timelines, cost and complexity," the CBI says.

The new government's domestic promises include plans for high-speed rail link between Leeds and Manchester, 20,000 extra police officers and extra money for social care and schools.

Mr Johnson will be in Scotland today but his expected spending announcement has already been dismissed by the SNP as no more than a recycling of old news and any spending pledge has to be contrasted with the damage Brexit is doing - such as the news that Edinburgh may lose a £20 million US circus project.

It is time for Birmingham to be heard

The people of Birmingham are coming out in force to join the clamour to Let Us Be Heard tomorrow. ITV football commentator and People's Vote supporter Clive Tyldesley will front the rally with local Labour MP Jess Phillips and Lord Heseltine among the speakers.

Clive said: "I firmly believe that the goalposts have been moved too far to act on the original result without a confirmatory vote. This is a decision for the future of the UK even more than it is one for the present. We have got to get it right for ourselves and for our children."

For your free tickets, click here.

No Deal rhetoric turbo-charged

It was a full-on media blitz from incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his newly appointed No Deal colleagues over the weekend.

Brexit “by any means necessary”, they cried in unison, with a new daily “war room” to be led by Michael Gove, a £100 million advertising blitz and an extra £1 billion being made available for No Deal preparation by new chancellor Sajid Javid.

Ministers said Mr Johnson is “turbo-charging” plans for No Deal as they ratcheted up the “do or die” by October 31 rhetoric.

Sacked defence minister Tobias Ellwood urged the PM to “step back from the rhetoric” and Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said Mr Johnson had put the UK on a “collision course” with the EU over his negative backstop comments.

There is no mandate for a destructive No Deal and opposition in Parliament - and across the political spectrum - is growing.

It was reported yesterday that Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has held talks with former Conservative chancellor Philip Hammond on how to block No Deal and efforts are underway to set up an anti-No Deal grouping in Parliament to rival the influential European Research Group.

If Johnson does seek to force his destructive Brexit through he will ultimately face a confidence vote. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday on Sky News his party “will do everything to prevent a no-deal Brexit” but that “we will do it at a time of our choosing.”

The Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson defied her party’s leader, saying she would refuse to support No Deal.

It's clear that Brexit must be put to the people. Now is a crucial time to get involved with the People's Vote campaign. Sign up to volunteer today. 

Quote of the Day

“When I was debating against the pro-Brexit side in 2016, I don't remember anybody saying we should crash out of the EU with no arrangements in place to help maintain the vital trade that flows uninterrupted between Britain and the European Union.

“I don't think the Government should pursue a No Deal Brexit and, if it comes to it, I won't support it."

Scottish Conservatives' leader Ruth Davidson defies new prime minister Boris Johnson's push for a destructive No Deal.

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More Brexit news...

Johnson told No Deal will crush domestic plans (Guardian)

Johnson plans Brexit information blitz (HuffPost)

Ruth Davidson tells leader she won't back No Deal (PoliticsHome)

CBI says UK not ready for No Deal (BBC News)

New PM says he will spend but who will pay? (Guardian)


More Brexit comment...

Yasmeen Serhan: A new British PM faces the same old Brexit problem (The Atlantic)

James Kirkup: Johnson has learnt the lessons of Brexit vote (Times)

Sandi Toksvig: The idea of PM Johnson terrifies me - that's why I'm saying no to his sexist Brexit (Independent)