Morning Briefing: No deal getting surreal - Macron's warm words - the specially one-sided relationship
The UK seems to be stuck in a surreal no-deal Brexit paradox: more and more people urge against crashing out of the EU with no deal, and yet the prospect seems to creep ever closer.
At the heart of the problem is Theresa May’s resurrection of the catchphrase “no deal is better than a bad deal”. Nowadays she adds a bit more context, explaining that for her a bad deal would be “something that broke up the United Kingdom”. That means anything that treats Northern Ireland differently to the rest of the UK - either a customs border down the Irish Sea or the kind of regulatory divergence proposed by the EU to “de-dramatise” the border issue.
What makes May’s hardline rhetoric so troubling is that there is no solution in sight to the Irish border question. A group of Cabinet ministers - including Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid - are all now pushing against no deal, according to reports in the Times. At the same time they’re pushing for a Canada-style trade deal, pitching it as a “Plan B” after agreeing to back May’s dead Chequers deal earlier this week. Again, the problem with “Canada” is it has no Irish solution.
Jeremy Corbyn also vowed to resist a no-deal Brexit in his Labour party conference speech yesterday. He called it a “national disaster”. But his party’s ongoing campaigning for a new general election has spooked our EU partners, who fear Labour will attempt to overthrow the government at any cost, according to the Guardian. As a result, EU officials are contemplating emergency mini-deals to make sure that crucial activities such as flights and movement of medicines can continue if no deal happens.
Meanwhile the National Farmers Union has warned that no deal could mean UK farming exports to the EU would simply stop for six months while we try to get approval as an EU food supplier. And in a sign that the government takes a potential no-deal food crisis seriously, it has appointed a brand new “minister for food supplies”.
Nobody voted for anything so catastrophic, and you’d hope common sense would kick in at some point. But no solution seems in sight. That’s why a People’s Vote is essential to give the public a chance to say: “Stop the madness.”
HAVE YOU SIGNED THE PETITION FOR A PEOPLE'S VOTE?
Tweet of the day
Saturday will be our biggest action day ever, with hundreds of street stalls and over 1,000 door-to-door leafleting sessions taking place in every region and nation of the UK.
Here are three ways that you can get involved with the action day:
- Sign up to and attend an event near you
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- Become a ‘Twitter Warrior’ this Saturday and retweet pictures from our campaign events across the country
Tweet of the day
Former home secretary Amber Rudd, often seen as a Theresa May loyalist, makes clear that a People's Vote is MUCH better than no deal.
Quote of the day
“I think no deal is something that Parliament would assert itself and object to. I think that a People’s Vote could be the result of an impasse. Is it preferable to no deal? Absolutely.”
Amber Rudd speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston
Macron would welcome UK staying in EU
Emmanuel Macron has reaffirmed that he would welcome the UK staying in the EU if voters changed their minds on Brexit, reports Bloomberg. “History” was more important than luring UK-based bankers to Paris, the French president added. His comments are a clear sign that Brexit is not a done deal, that despite all the animosity of recent months we haven’t yet burnt our bridges with our European friends and allies. The French leader clearly believes that the UK and Europe are stronger together.
Video of the day
WATCH:David Lammy is spot on. You can’t undermine democracy with more democracy.
The specially one-sided relationship
The UK-US relationship looked increasingly unbalanced in New York this week. At the UN General Assembly, Theresa May shied away from criticising Donald Trump for trying to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. While the Swedish foreign minister and French president condemned the move, May praised Trump for his negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Meanwhile a meeting between Trump and May yielded an enthusiastic briefing from Downing Street, hailing Brexit as a “wonderful opportunity to strike a big and ambitious UK-US Free Trade Agreement”. A White House report, however, made no mention of such a trade deal. At the same time, US companies have been asking May “how bad can things get” on Brexit? Their minds are clearly on damage limitation rather than wonderful opportunities. It looks increasingly like the UK is pinning its post-Brexit future on a lucrative US partnership that doesn’t exist.
Graphic of the day
Nobody voted to kill off 10% of UK businesses by gumming up their supply chains.
Budget date headache
Philip Hammond announced the date of his 2018 Budget yesterday: October 29. It’s an earlier date than usual, to avoid clashing with what optimists are billing as the final stages in the Brexit negotiations, at an EU summit on November 17/18. The FT suspects he wants to reassure financial markets before the perilous endgame.
The Budget is therefore sandwiched between two high-stakes EU summits, with an earlier meeting on October 18. If the October summit doesn’t make progress, EU leaders have suggested the November meeting won’t happen as planned anyway. And if Brexit negotiations don’t go smoothly, how much of what the chancellor promises can actually be delivered in the ensuing turmoil? It’s another example of Brexit overshadowing the basic functioning of government, at a time when we need stable leadership to bring our divided country back together.
Elizabeth supports a People's Vote because Brexit is a big deal we should have a final say on.
More Brexit news…
Philip Stephens: A timeout is Britain’s best Brexit option (FT)
Benjamin Baccas: Brexit could make divorces messier (InFacts)
Martin Kettle: Could Corbyn solve Brexit and save Britain? I can almost imagine it now (Guardian)
Today, Thursday 27th September
|-||Parliament in recess for conference season|
|-||Jeremy Corbyn meets Michel Barnier in Brussels.|
Tomorrow, Friday 28th September
|-||Parliament in recess for conference season|
|09.30||ONS: Business Investment in the UK|
|09.30||ONS: Consumer Trends|
|09.30||ONS: UK economic accounts|