Morning briefing: Boris Johnson resigns - Farage may return - Odds shorten on People's Vote
Boris Johnson may say that the Brexit “dream” is dying but if we want a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal we will need a further massive push.
Johnson’s resignation - and the chaos in government - brings a People’s Vote nearer. The public has already noticed that the government is mishandling the Brexit talks. With the man who sold this pup to the public two years ago quitting the Cabinet, voters will know that something really bad is going on.
The former foreign secretary is right that Theresa May’s proposals would turn us into a “colony”. This won’t please patriotic pro-Europeans any more than extremist Brexiters. The case for us to have a vote on the final deal is unanswerable.
The prime minister’s proposals won’t even protect 80% of our economy, services. But the former foreign secretary doesn’t have any viable alternative. Crashing out of the EU with no deal at all would be madness.
The turmoil in government is not over, even though it looks like May is hanging onto power for now. She seems to have headed off a leadership challenge at a meeting of the Tory backbench 1922 committee last night. There aren’t many voices in media calling for her head either, though Charles Moore in The Telegraph asks plaintively: “Is anyone brave enough to sign her death warrant?”
Meanwhile, the resignations and reshuffle probably leave the prime minister’s Brexit policy pretty much unchanged. The Times, though, is reporting that her White Paper spelling out the detail, previously promised for Thursday, will be delayed until next week - so who knows. The new Cabinet meets this morning.
What is clear, and where Johnson again is right, is that “this is our opening bid… before the other side has made its counter-offer.” The prime minister will need to capitulate further on her red lines to get a deal - including paying money into the EU’s budget - and that will provoke further convulsions within the Tory party.
With Labour making it increasingly clear it will vote against whatever deal May brings back, the chance that Parliament will torpedo it is going up. In those circumstances, the democratic option will be to ask the people what they want.
HAVE YOU SIGNED THE PETITION FOR A PEOPLE'S VOTE? OVER 210,000 HAVE SIGNED - NEXT STOP 250,000!
Quote of the day
“I can only regret that the idea of Brexit has not left with Davis and Johnson. But who knows?”
- Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, reacts to Boris Johnson's departure
Look who's back
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Nigel Farage is threatening a “return” to politics - has he ever really been away? - unless Brexit gets “back on track”. Describing May's Chequers car crash as a “betrayal” that “must be reversed”, Farage wrote that he would have to “seriously consider putting my name forward to return as UKIP leader”. As momentum builds for a People’s Vote on the final deal, perhaps Farage regrets telling the world in January that he was “reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership”.
Graphic of the day
Odds shorten on People's Vote
Farage is right to be concerned. The chances of a People's Vote have been rising since the start of the year. In January, we saw a “surge” in bets on such a vote at 5/1, which translates to a roughly 17% chance. Today, SkyBet odds imply a roughly 27% chance of a People's Vote before the end of 2019.
Video of the day
WATCH: Rupa Huq is absolutely right: if Theresa May really believes the country will back her botched Brexit, why not put it to a People's Vote?
People's Vote petition storms through 200,000 mark
Yesterday we told you our petition demanding a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal was just 1,400 signatures short of the 200,000 mark. The public responded magnificently. We’ve left that figure in the dust, storming past 210,000. Now we are driving to 250,000. Share this link with friends and family, pester them until they sign, and then get them to share it too. Every signature helps us make the case for a People’s Vote. Brexit is too important to leave to the politicians. Let’s keep up the momentum.
Tweet of the day
Sarah Wollaston backs a People's Vote on the final deal
More Brexit news…
UK's approach to referendums needs 'major overhaul' (FT)
Theresa May's customs plan won't be ready until the next general election with the delay expected to be up to 18 months (Sun)
New Brexit secretary Raab wanted UK to negotiate with EU to scrap workers' rights (Independent)
Top Brexit comment
Ian Birrell: Yet again, Boris Johnson has exposed himself as a self-serving charlatan (Guardian)
Keir Starmer: Theresa May's Brexit strategy has failed. Parliament must take the lead (Guardian)
Chuka Umunna: The only way Theresa May can save her Brexit plan now is to let the British people vote on it (Independent)
Todoay, Tuesday 10 July
|09:30||ONS: GDP monthly estimate May 2018|
|09:30||ONS: UK Trade May 2018|
Tomorrow, Wednesday 11 July
|-||ONS: GDP monthly estimate May 2018|
|09:30||ONS: UK Trade May 2018|