Monday 7 October 2019 - People's Vote

Monday 7 October 2019

Morning Briefing: Johnson's Brexit plan scraps "level playing field" on workers and environmental rights

There are just 24 days to go until the Halloween Brexit deadline and no-one can predict what will happen. Finnish Prime Minister Antii Rinne says Boris Johnson “only now understands what a big mess this is”, after talking to him over the weekend.

Only a People's Vote can end this mess: it is 12 days to our massive London march on Saturday October 19, so join us to make your voice heard. Sign up here and bring your friends and family.

Johnson's Brexit plan scraps "level playing field" on workers and environmental rights

The mood music in European capitals about the prospects of a deal along the lines proposed by Boris Johnson is not good. The threat his proposals would pose to the Good Friday Agreement is key, but the EU's concerns go well beyond this, with Johnson seeking regulatory divergence from Europe.

The People’s Vote campaign has warned time and again that the real agenda of Boris Johnson and those around him is to use Brexit - whether through a deal or No Deal - as a pretext for an assault on workers' rights and environmental regulations.

The “level playing field” negotiated in Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement has now been removed in Johnson’s new Brexit proposals and a briefing from Thompsons Solicitors said the “government has completely whitewashed workers’ rights from its revised stance on Brexit.”

The Sun reported a Cabinet source saying: “The level playing field has to go, and Boris is very clear about this. It would seriously restrict our ability to deregulate and do trade with other countries.” 

Labour MP Lisa Nandy, who has said many times she wants to be able to vote for a Brexit deal, told Sky's Ridge on Sunday programme that she couldn't back Johnson's plan due to the attack on workers' rights.

Former TUC President and People’s Vote supporter Baroness Prosser commented: "Boris Johnson and other Brexiters have made it clear they want to use Brexit as an opportunity to do away with regulations protecting workers, the environment and standards. Someone as untrustworthy as him cannot have the final say on Brexit – it must be the public. That’s why huge numbers will be marching through London on October 19th demanding a People’s Vote.”

Johnson told new deadline for Brexit package is Friday

French president Emmanuel Macron suggested that Johnson must come back with a new package by the end of this week to attempt to find a deal, with chief negotiator Michel Barnier asking for “different proposals” and warning the UK must take full responsibility if no deal is struck.

Finland’s Prime Minister Antii Rinne, who holds the EU’s rotating presidency, commented after speaking with Johnson that the UK PM “only now understands what a big mess this is” and that the October 17 European summit would be dominated by discussing whether to give the UK another extension.

Johnson continues to insist that he won’t ask for one, but in such circumstances he would likely be forced to by the courts. Today, Edinburgh's Court of Session is expected to return with a decision on what the government is legally required to do. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has warned that he would resign if the Prime Minister does not comply with the law.

Meanwhile, Opposition party leaders will again meet today to discuss how to force Johnson to abide by the Safeguard Act and avoid No Deal.

It is hard to see where this is going to end or how, but a People’s Vote is the only solution. Join our massive march in London on October 19 to Let Us Be Heard.

Foreign bodies in food could be part of post-Brexit US trade deal

It may sound outlandish, but noodles infested with rat hair and insects in chocolates and peanut butter are some of the fears of what a post-Brexit trade deal with the US could bring.

Business Insider has revealed that producers in the US stick to a ‘Defects Levels Handbook’ which sets out the maximum number of ‘foreign bodies’ that can be in food products on the market.

Labour’s Shadow International Trade secretary Barry Gardiner told the BBC’s Today programme this morning that this was the reality of a deal with Donald Trump.

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

“The more I look at the history of the war and, even more interesting to me, what happened after the war, the more I wonder, how on earth did we ever get out of that mess? And somehow, gradually, it got sorted out. And this is one of the things I think is so appalling about Brexit. People have forgotten that we slowly, slowly put together this structure of international agreements to prevent war happening again.”

Author and playwright Michael Frayn, whose play Noises Off has opened in London's West End, tells the Sunday Times of his frustration and fears over Brexit.

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More Brexit news...

UK moves to scrap ‘level playing field’ with EU (PoliticsHome)

Insect-filled chocolates, rat hair noodles, and maggoty orange juice: The reality of a Brexit trade deal with Trump (Business Insider)

Ireland warned to expect disruption to medicines and fishing in No Deal (The Times)

Macron says chances of Brexit deal to be evaluated by end of week (Politico)

Woman in Johnson's constituency calls him a "filthy piece of toerag" - and it goes viral (HuffPost)

It's OK to change your mind: the Leave voters who have radically changed their minds (Standard)

Brexit has left EU citizens dealing with the same mental health symptoms as refugees, psychotherapist claims

More Brexit comment...

Catherine McKinnell MP: A vote on any Brexit deal is the only way to go (Sunday People)

Isobel Housecroft: Why no Labour MPs should vote for Johnson's deal (Left Foot Forward)

Tony Blair: The EU was crucial to securing peace in Ireland. This plan puts it in peril (Observer)