Tuesday 23 July 2019 - People's Vote

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Morning Briefing: Boris Johnson's six Brexit promises

One down, one to go: Jo Swinson was yesterday named the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. She is a committed supporter of the People's Vote campaign and we congratulate her on her resounding victory. 

The second new leader will be named on this scorching hot morning at around 11.45am and it is expected to be Boris Johnson, who looks set to become prime minister after a poll of just 160,000 Conservative members. As opposition grows within his own party to his Brexit plans, it is clearer than ever that he cannot - will not - keep the many big promises he has made about Brexit. It is time to Let Us Be Heard.

Come and join People's Vote campaigners outside Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre this morning from 10.30am to protest on behalf of the 99.75% of the country who didn't get to vote in the Conservative leadership contest and tomorrow at midday as we carry two sky banners from Parliament while Theresa May and the new prime minister visit the Queen.

More opposition to Boris Johnson - from his own side

It is hard to recall a new prime minister less popular with his own colleagues as he starts his new job as Boris Johnson, who is expected to be named as new Conservative leader this morning in Westminster.

The opposition to him – and his threat to take the UK over a Brexit cliff-edge – is growing by the day as patriotic senior Conservatives line up to resign and threaten to bring him down.

Yesterday, Sir Alan Duncan, who had been on the front bench for 20 years, and who worked closely with the “shambolic” Johnson at the Foreign Office, not only quit but tried to persuade Speaker John Bercow to have a debate to establish if Johnson had the support of the House even before he moved into Number 10.

It didn’t happen but more senior Conservatives, including Rory Stewart, will quit before they are pushed today, while Sir John Major became the third former PM in 24 hours (after Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) to condemn his destructive No Deal threats, saying he “must choose whether to be the spokesman for an ultra-Brexit faction or the servant of the nation he leads.”

People's Vote dossier reveals the 6 Brexit tests that Johnson has set himself

A People’s Vote dossier on Boris Johnson’s multiple and conflicting positions on Brexit reveals the six tests he has set himself, which simply cannot all be delivered.

The Conservative election contest has been dominated by the issue of Brexit, with both candidates seeking to out-do one another in a process of constant radicalisation. 

On Monday of this week the briefing ran that Johnson would not seek a deal from Europe but would wait for the EU to come to the UK to beg for an agreement. These latest pronouncements are only the most recent in a series of mutually contradictory promises made by Johnson over Brexit.

Today the People’s Vote campaign publishes a summary of the six key Brexit tests Johnson has set himself over Brexit – "Boris Johnson’s Brexit: The six tests he has set himself" – and why he will struggle to pass any of them in the 100 days until October 31.

These are based on his own previous claims that Brexit would mean a “rapid” and comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA), tariff-free movement of goods to the EU, no hard border in Ireland, a £350m weekly dividend to be spent on the NHS, large numbers of trade deals elsewhere in the world, and full clarity about the future relationship with Europe.

The Independent this morning carries the report which shows Mr Johnson will “struggle” to deliver any of these things because they are either contradictory or impossible. The “reckless and extreme” hard Brexit or No Deal outcomes he is now pursuing are “a million miles away” from what he promised voters in 2016.

People's Vote campaigner David Lammy MP said no vote by 160,000 Conservative Party members can ever make any of his promises legitimate, fair or democratic and with parliamentary gridlock worsening as more Conservative MPs turn away from Johnson’s hardline agenda, the only way out of the crisis is for the people to have a final say.

People's Vote supporter Jo Swinson is new Lib Dem leader

People’s Vote campaigner Jo Swinson became the new leader of the Liberal Democrats yesterday – and vowed to woo more disaffected Conservative and Labour MPs to her party.

The 39-year-old became the first woman to lead the Lib Dems, winning almost two-thirds of the vote over Ed Davey to replace Vince Cable, as the party has surged in the polls, thanks to its strong anti-Brexit position.

She said she would do “anything it takes” to stop Brexit and has been a consistent and early supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, recognising the need for a solution to the political crisis that has gridlocked Westminster.

You can listen to Ms Swinson on the For our Future's Sake podcast here.

It is time for Birmingham to be heard

The people of Birmingham have the chance to join the clamour to Let Us Be Heard on Tuesday July 30. For your free tickets, click here.

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

“One theme runs through Boris Johnson’s career like letters through a stick of rock: that he will say anything to get what he wants and cares little or nothing about the consequences when he lets people down.

“That is as true of his approach to Brexit as it is to everything else. He has made six big promises to people about what Brexit will mean, but it is now very clear he has little or no intention of keeping all or any of them."

People's Vote campaigner David Lammy MP comments on our report which examines the six tests that Boris Johnson has set himself as he has boxed himself in over Brexit.

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More Brexit news...

Johnson has no intention of keeping promises, say People's Vote supporters (Independent)

Jo Swinson elected new Lib Dem leader (Guardian)

Gordon Brown says Johnson could be "first prime minister of England" (PoliticsHome)

Three ex-PMs blast Johnson (Mirror)

More Brexit comment...

Rachel Sylvester: Johnson's need to be loved is his weakness (The Times £)

Flash forward to Boris Britain (Politico)

Yorkshire Post: New PM faces same Brexit challenges as Theresa May