Morning briefing: No deal is worst deal - Boris vs May - hate crime spike
“No deal” is not better than a bad deal. A no-deal Brexit is the worst possible outcome. It would be catastrophic for people and businesses on both sides of the Channel. It would be a disaster at the Irish border. It’s therefore incredibly concerning that no deal is looking ever more likely - with both the UK and EU ramping up preparations for this worst case scenario.
It’s quickly worth repeating what “no deal” actually means. According to the government’s own secret analysis, details of which were leaked to the Sunday Times in June, we’d see food and fuel shortages in a couple of weeks (and much earlier for some parts of the country), we’d struggle to get medicines, and the Port of Dover would collapse “on day one”.
Newly appointed Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is set to inundate businesses and households with technical advice on how to prepare for no deal, reports the FT. This will include publishing 70 documents explaining how a disorderly Brexit would affect a wide range of sectors.
Despite the fact we will be hit hardest by a no-deal Brexit, the UK is seen to be lagging behind several other EU countries in its preparations for one - with the likes of Austria, the Netherlands and Ireland well ahead. Yesterday, Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that “with growing uncertainty" his government needs to "up our preparations when it comes to Brexit". That includes hiring 1,000 new customs and veterinary inspectors to deal with changes in trade rules at the Irish border.
Compared to these concrete steps, Raab’s technical notes aren’t of much consequence. They look more like a negotiating tactic aimed at convincing the EU the UK government is serious about following this disastrous path if it doesn’t get what it wants. British officials told the FT there is little indication that the UK is creating the new regulatory bodies and structures that would be needed if it were to crash out.
The European Commission is also set to publish a paper urging its member states to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, not-so-coincidentally coinciding with Raab’s first trip to Brussels to hold talks with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier. The EU paper, seen by the BBC, warns of disruption to airlines, burdensome customs checks at the border, new restrictions on data transfers, and the City of London losing its financial passporting rights.
It’s important that people are not hoodwinked by the Brexiters. No deal is not a viable option. It’s not even a case of going back to how things were before. It means utter chaos. And if the public don’t like the thought that our politicians are gambling with this nuclear option, they need a People’s Vote on whatever Brexit the government ends up with.
HAVE YOU SIGNED THE PETITION FOR A PEOPLE'S VOTE?
Video of the day
MUST-WATCH: leading Conservatives are backing a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal. The momentum is with our campaign - with chaos in Westminster, it's time to give this decision back to the people.
Boris and May prove there’s no good Brexit plan
Events in Parliament yesterday proved one thing: there’s no workable Brexit plan that MPs will happily agree to. Exhibit A was Boris Johnson’s resignation statement, in which he insisted the prime minister revive the vision in her Lancaster House speech. His idea is perverse, not least because we’ve watched all the unworkable red lines in that speech being systematically rejected by the EU over the last year and a half.
Exhibit B was Theresa May’s own performances. At PMQs she came under fire from all sides because her botched proposal satisfies nobody. Then later, May failed to explain to MPs at the liaison committee whether her scheme would involve EU officials collecting UK customs duties. May’s plan, like all the others out there, is both unworkable and unpopular - something I’ve written about in more detail for InFacts here.
Tweet of the day
This grounds Boris Johnson's love affair with Theresa May's Lancaster House speech in a bit of reality. In his resignation statement he claimed "the pound soared" after she gave it in January 2017.
Brexit ‘unravelling again’, says Airbus chief
Let’s not forget that all this political infighting does not happen in a hermetically sealed Westminster bubble. Businesses are watching, and they are already taking decisions on how and where to run their operations after Brexit.
Airbus chief Tom Enders said that, having welcomed the progress of May’s White Paper, Brexit was “unravelling again”. He talked of taking “more serious decisions”, including stockpiling components if trade between the EU and UK broke down. Last month Airbus warned it might pull out of the UK altogether. The company employs 14,000 people in the UK and supports 110,000 jobs through its supply chain. May’s botched Brexit is threatening people’s livelihoods. We need a People’s Vote on her final Brexit deal.
Quote of the day
“I thought that the white paper was going in the right direction. Now we see that unravelling again, so all the more reason for us to take more serious decisions.”
Airbus chief Tom Enders speaking at the Farnborough International Airshow
Video of the day 2
WATCH: Richard Brooks from FFS makes a compelling case for a People's Vote, highlighting the chaos in government over Brexit and the wide political support the campaign now has.
Hate crime Brexit spike
The police watchdog has warned of the “real possibility” of a spike in hate crimes after Brexit. Recorded hate crimes - the bulk of them racially motivated - have risen sharply, up by 57% between 2014-15 to 2016-17. There had also been widespread failings by the government in dealing with hate crimes, despite this supposedly being a priority, the report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services found.
We’re “travelling backwards” to an era where victims were forced to “rely on their own resilience to survive”, warned The Monitoring Group, a charity for those who suffer hate crimes.
Tweet of the day 2
OFOC's Femi Oluwole took a trip to Kate Hoey's constituency.
More Brexit news…
Top Brexit comment
Guardian View: Who governs Britain? Amid Brexit chaos, we ought to know (Guardian)
Zoe Williams: The cheating of Jo Swinson has exposed the UK parliament’s rotten core (Guardian)Norman Lamb: Science and research must not be a casualty of Brexit (Times)
Today, Thursday 19 July
|-||New Brexit secretary Dominic Raabholds first talks with Michel Barnier|
|09:30||Dominic Raab's first Dexeu questions in Commons|
|09:30||ONS: Retail sales figures published|
|09:30||ONS: Crime statistics published|
|10:00||HMRC chief and Brexit minister give evidence to Lords' EU External Affairs committee|
|11:00||Lords debate impact of referendums on parliamentary democracy in the UK|
Tomorrow, Friday 20 July
|-||EU27 meeting to discuss May's White Paper|
|09:30||Public sector finances published|