Monday 2 September 2019 - People's Vote

Monday 2 September 2019

Morning Briefing: Boris Johnson threatens to kick out No Deal rebels

There are less than 60 days before the October 31 Brexit deadline and the stakes are getting higher: this week could prove to be the critical few days for MPs to block a destructive No Deal as MPs return to Westminster tomorrow. So-called “rebel” Conservatives such as David Gauke and Philip Hammond were supposed to be meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson today but all meetings have been cancelled amidst brutal threats of de-selection of Conservatives who push back on an undemocratic No Deal.

It’s going to be a hectic week as a cross-party group of MPs try to block No Deal before the Parliamentary shutdown. It is time to Let Us Be Heard.

Johnson threatens to throw No Deal rebel MPs out of Conservative Party

Boris Johnson is threatening to throw his own rebel MPs out of the Conservative Party if they try to block No Deal this week. It is a drastic confrontational move to attempt to scare MPs who understand that there is no democratic mandate for a destructive No Deal.

Former Justice Minister David Gauke told the BBC’s Today programme this morning that the Prime Minister is “almost goading people” to rebel in order to force through a General Election.

The threat comes as Johnson realises he has no majority in either Parliament or the country. Mr Gauke said: “There is not a credible plan for the government to get a deal. The substance hasn’t emerged. There isn’t really an attempt to get a deal.”

The Prime Minister is looking increasingly desperate and is starting to use ever-more extreme measures to try and force No Deal through – “come what may”, a phrase he has used over and again, including in yesterday’s Sunday Times interview to indicate his intention to take the UK out of the EU on October 31, deal or no deal.

We know how this all works now. First they say ‘no”, then they deny, then they obfuscate and then it happens. “Come what may.”

During the Conservative leadership election, Johnson said No Deal wouldn’t happen, a “million to one against”. But he’s taking the country down that path.

Then he said shutting down Parliament - prorogation – wasn’t on the cards, and most of his current Cabinet said it was anti-democratic. Now it is happening.

Yesterday the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Johnson’s buddy Michael Gove, suggested on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the Government was prepared to ignore legislation to block a destructive No Deal and refuse to grant Royal Assent if passed through both Houses. Former Justice Minister David Gauke is writing to Mr Johnson questioning whether his government “believe in the rule of law’, an astonishing accusation.

The way this government is flouting democracy to try and force through a No Deal with no mandate is an outrage.

Protests around the country to stop Parliament shutdown

More than 100,000 people took to the streets over the weekend to protest against Boris Johnson’s move to shut down Parliament. Concerned citizens all over the country were out protesting at the anti-democratic Parliamentary shutdown with the slogan “Stop the coup”.

As ever, there was much humour on display with signs and posters, but the serious message from London to York, Belfast to Manchester, Leeds and elsewhere was that Boris Johnson’s move to prorogue Parliament was wrong. The People's Vote campaign backed these protests full-tilt and will continue to urge our supporters out. There will be more protests to come and it is vital that the true views of honest citizens are heard.

People's Vote campaigner Jess Phillips MP said: “It is vital that in this political emergency, we do not let anyone separate Parliament from the people. In the House of Commons this week, I will proudly be voting with MPs of all parties to stop No Deal from being forced on the people. And on the streets outside, in towns and cities across Britain, people will be protesting to defend our Parliament and our most cherished democratic rights against an executive which is now out of control.”

The left-wing Another Europe is Possible has published a list of protests and on Friday the People’s Vote campaign sent an email from Corbyn-supporting journalist Paul Mason to over 100,000 of their most active supporters urging them to use AEIP’s resources to find and take part in a protest.

A People's Vote rally in Newcastle heard figures from across the political spectrum demand resistance to the suspension of Parliament and call for a People’s Vote on Brexit.

Anna Turley MP told the rally that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was “a man who couldn’t even lie straight in bed”. She continued: “No matter how anyone in the North East voted three and a half years ago, no one voted for this."

Phil Wilson MP told the rally “we are going to win” and said that the case for a People’s Vote was stronger than ever. He again issued an offer to PM Johnson – to vote for a Brexit deal in Parliament on the condition it was put back to the public for the final say in a People’s Vote.

Preparations are continuing for the People's Vote massive march in London on October 19. For more information, click here.

Blair and Corbyn agree on plans to block No Deal

It’s not often that Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn see eye to eye, but they are in lock-step this morning over stopping No Deal.

Former Prime Minister Blair said Corbyn should avoid the “elephant trap” of a snap general election that could be used to ram through no-deal.

In a speech on Monday, the former prime minister will argue that if Boris Johnson is allowed to call an election for November, parliament would be suspended during the October 31 deadline and could do nothing to stop it.

At the same time, Corbyn will use his own speech in Salford to say that Labour is doing “everything necessary to pull our country back from the brink” of quitting the EU without an agreement with Brussels.

Blair will praise his successor for so far holding off a vote of no confidence and for prioritising instead a cross-party effort this week to pass emergency legislation to force Johnson to extend the UK’s membership of the EU beyond Halloween.

In a speech in Salford, Mr Corbyn will say fighting no deal is “a battle of the many against the few, who are hijacking the referendum result to shift even more power and wealth towards those at the top”.

Government's own report says there is no alternative to Irish backstop

Nothing has been seen yet from Boris Johnson since German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the Prime Minister a 30-day deadline to come back with new proposals on the Irish backstop.

According to his own civil servants, this is because there is no solution that can work, according to a leaked “official-sensitive” report in the Guardian this morning.

The report said: “It is evident that every facilitation has concerns and issues related to them. The complexity of combining them into something more systemic and as part of one package is a key missing factor at present.”

Johnson’s claim that a hard border could be avoided with mobile checks of livestock and crops was dismissed by experts as the most unlikely option to work. The report said: “Overall there were a number of concerns surrounding the deliverability of technological facilitations.”

Meanwhile Sky News had their own leaked government document which shows that there could be two-day delays for lorries at Dover with worse-case pile-ups of 8,000 lorries leading to food shortages.

The unreality of the Government’s No Deal position becomes clearer by the day. They have launched their £100 million “Get Ready” campaign, but Johnson and his cronies are not ready themselves to get a deal with the EU. It is time to Let Us Be Heard.

Investors move money out of UK due to Brexit fears

Investors have pulled more than £4 billion from the UK since Theresa May announced she would step down as Prime Minister, as fund managers fear the dangers of No Deal, according to the FT.

Outflows since the 2016 referendum are almost at £30 billion with one fund manager describing investing in the UK as in the “too hard to think about basket”.

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

“This Government’s unprecedented willingness to flout the rules is a disgrace to our democracy.

 “Not only are they suspending Parliament to try and force through a disastrous No Deal, but now they are suggesting that, even if Parliament passed a law requiring the Government to avoid No Deal, they might simply ignore it. Our very democracy is now under threat from Boris Johnson and his government."

Conservative MP and People's Vote campaigner Guto Bebb hits out at his own government after Michael Gove suggests that Royal Assent will not be granted for legislation that blocks No Deal.

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More Brexit news...

Government could block anti-No Deal legislation (The Times £)

Keir Starmer: MPs face "last chance" to block No Deal (PoliticsHome)

The funniest Stop the Coup signs (Independent)

Irish border after Brexit - all ideas are beset by issues, says secret report (Guardian)

Investors pull out of UK over Brexit fears (FT)

Brexit means another fiery week in Westminster: here's what to expect (HuffPost)

Government analysis suggests chaos at Dover on No Deal (Sky News)

Corbyn vows to pull Britain back from the brink (Independent)

More Brexit comment...

Tony Blair: Corbyn must avoid "elephant trap" of snap election (HuffPost)

Anthony Barnett: The power of "us" can stop this coup (Open Democracy)

Nick Cohen: We have become a land of permanent crisis - this suits the blustering liars of Brexit (Guardian)

Ann Turley: Don't be fooled - the only thing Johnson wants from the north-east is to rob it blind (Independent)