Morning Briefing: DUP fury - Japanese jitters - women's voices not being heard
Theresa May is beginning to make headway on Brexit, by agreeing to an Irish border backstop to be triggered in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This would keep the region in the EU single market for goods with a regulatory border placed in the middle of the Irish Sea, and the UK in a customs union with the bloc until a permanent deal could be found - which could be forever.
With the EU apparently on board with this plan, May now faces the challenging task of selling it to her government. Her partners in the DUP are furious at a deal that would separate Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, and have indicated they are prepared to vote against May’s budget later this month - leaving her without a parliamentary majority. If that wasn’t enough, the European Research Group - the hard Brexit wing of her own party - has also threatened to have its 40 MPs do exactly the same. Passing the ‘meaningful vote’ at the end of negotiations could prove even harder.
To be fair to both groups, the deal the prime minister is negotiating would be a miserable outcome for Britain, leaving our country following EU rules without a vote, damaging our prosperity and threatening the integrity of the UK.
May is hoping to force this through the Cabinet (the Brexit war Cabinet meets this afternoon) and then Parliament by saying the only alternative is to crash out into the abyss. She is, of course, wrong. May is presenting Parliament with a false dichotomy; her miserable deal, or no deal at all. There is a third option - a People's Vote which takes the decision out of the hands of the Westminster elite and gives it back to the people.
Tweet of the day
Some clarity from Lisa Nandy, one of the Labour MPs mentioned in the media as potentially ready to vote for Theresa May's Brexit deal...
Video of the day
Brexit takes toll
Japanese companies are following in the path blazed by Panasonic, and moving their European operations out of the UK. With businesses complaining that Britain lacks a coherent message on how trade with the EU will work after our departure, it’s unsurprising that they’re seeking greater stability within the bloc. The outlook for services is particularly bleak. A report from Tony Blair’s Institute for Global Change found that this sector will take the heaviest hit from Brexit, with the economy as a whole almost 5% less productive under a WTO Brexit.
Men dominate Brexit debate
While women make up roughly half the population and a third of the UK’s MPs, their contributions account for just 10% of speaking time in Parliament’s Brexit debates according to new analysis from the Women for a People’s Vote campaign. While women are likely to bear a high share of the costs of Brexit, their voices aren’t being heard when it comes to making the choices that decide what those costs might be.
WATCH this video from Women for a People's Vote.
Quote of the day
“The pain will go on for a long time and will only be reduced by radical measures of deregulation and cost saving to improve Britain’s competitive advantage with Europe, which run in precisely the opposite direction of the policies now advocated by both main political parties.”
Tony Blair paints a picture of the sunlit uplands
More Brexit news…
Tweet of the day 2
Restoring national pride? Problem is the young are already quite proud of Britain being inside the EU, says Femi.
Martin Kettle: Now Brexit really is threatening to tear the UK apart (Guardian)
Hugo Dixon: 3-way People’s Vote only makes sense if Brexiters want it (InFacts)
Today, Thursday 10th October
|09:00||Tony Blair Q&A with Reuters|
|11:30||House of Lords debate on Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement|
|17:00||Emergency Cabinet meeting of senior ministers|
Tomorrow, Friday 11th October
|-||Michel Barnier meets with leaders from Northern Ireland (but not DUP)|