Thursday 3 October 2019 - People's Vote

Thursday 3 October 2019

Morning Briefing: Johnson's new proposals break all Brexit promises made

Boris Johnson doesn’t like scrutiny. Once again, the government have moved to prorogue Parliament, doing it next Tuesday so that he will miss two weeks of Prime Minister’s Questions. Two weeks from today is the critical European Council meeting, which he has threatened to boycott. MPs have a right to quiz him. This is a Prime Minister who refuses to listen and be accountable. It is time to Let Us Be Heard.

Johnson's new proposals break all Brexit promises made

European leaders are fully aware that Boris Johnson intends to blame the EU if a deal isn't agreed, so they were being predictably diplomatic in their reaction last night to the government's proposals. Despite the plan being greeted with horror by business and breaking all promises made by Johnson over the past three years, they responded by saying they needed to look at the detail and consult one another further before making any decision on whether to enter formal negotiations.

European and Irish leaders promised to look closely at the Johnson pitch, but all pointed out that there were problems with it, with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar saying the legal texts “do not fully meet the agreed objectives of the backstop”.

A People’s Vote campaign analysis shows

  • Boris Johnson’s proposed Brexit deal breaks every promise he made to the people of the UK in the referendum campaign and the promises we made as a country to the people of Ireland, North and South.
  • The Vote Leave campaign he led in 2016 promised a deal that would keep frictionless trade and that would see us keep all the European protections for workers, for health and safety and for the environment. Now he plans customs barriers in Ireland and at the Channel ports and an end to a level playing field on regulation. Instead, we are to become the bargain basement of Europe.
  • In Ireland, the promises made in the Good Friday Agreement would be broken and hope extinguished at the hands of a prime minister who demonstrably knows little of the complexities of the peace process and appears to care even less. Businesses would be left trapped inside two economic borders and the future of every citizen is to be subject to the DUP’s veto, despite that party polling less than a quarter of the votes there.

Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to force this deal on our country. Nor can he be allowed to cut and run to a general election that would only deepen divisions without offering clarity or closure. Only a People’s Vote, with a choice between staying in the EU and whatever form of Brexit is agreed by Parliament offers a fair and democratic way of settling this question.

Business leaders in Northern Ireland warn that Johnson plans are 'worse' than No Deal

Business leaders in Northern Ireland said Boris Johnson’s proposals would be “worse” than crashing out with No Deal.

Manufacturing NI said farms and agri-food would be decimated and continued: "For businesses nearer the border, this puts a huge impediment in the way of their trade which will mean that they cannot compete and customers the other side of the Border will cut them from their supply chain. Frankly the proposals are worse than No Deal for Northern Ireland businesses."

Elsewhere, Aodhán Connolly, Director at the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said the latest plan was “unworkable and unpalatable”.

“The Prime Minister’s long-awaited proposal is hugely disappointing. It is clear that he has not listened to the needs of the Northern Ireland business community or Northern Ireland households," he said.

Letwin and Beckett join together to call for People's Vote

Influential former Conservative MP Oliver Letwin has joined with Labour’s Margaret Beckett to call for a People’s Vote in a move that shows the growing support in Parliament for letting the public break the deadlock.

Writing in the Evening Standard, the pair have now put their differences aside due to the national emergency of the Brexit crisis, saying “A confirmatory referendum on the best deal available is not an easy option for any of us. But, in the absence of an agreed deal, such a ‘final say’ vote may be the best — perhaps the only — way of getting a much-needed resolution of this long-running, and increasingly painful, period of uncertainty.”

Ban on drug exports as fears grow over medicine supplies after No Deal

The government has announced an unprecedented ban on some drug exports amidst a deepening pharmaceutical crisis. With fears that medical supplies could dry up or go up in price after a destructive No Deal, a survey revealed that local pharmacists have found shortages of every type of medicine in the past six months.

The desperate move reveals the Government’s fears of severe problems in the event of No Deal and aims to preserve stockpiles of drugs for NHS use.

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

“Boris Johnson’s proposed Brexit deal breaks every promise he made to people in the referendum campaign and the solemn promises we made to the people of Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland, in the Good Friday Agreement.

“Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to force this deal on our country. Only a People’s Vote, with a choice between staying in the EU and whatever form of Brexit is agreed by Parliament offers a fair and democratic way of settling this question.”

Leading People's Vote supporter Mary Creagh MP points out that Boris Johnson is breaking the promises he made over Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement.

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More Brexit news...

Blow for Johnson as Northern Ireland business leaders criticise Brexit plan (PoliticsHome)

Dismay in Brussels as Johnson finally reveals plan (Guardian)

Drugs exports restricted 'to protect NHS patients' (BBC News)

UK's chief negotiator admits Johnson Brexit plan has a problem: smuggling across the Irish border (Buzzfeed)

More Brexit comment...

Margaret Beckett and Oliver Letwin: A 'final say' vote may be the only way to end this crisis (Evening Standard)

Emily Ashworth: As a young Conservative, I am worried for my future (The Times)

Peter Mandelson: Johnson is blagging his way through Brexit and trivialising the jobs at stake in the North East (Independent)

Jenni Russell: Talk of betrayal will rebound on the Tories (The Times)