Tuesday 7 August 2018 - People's Vote

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Morning briefing: May messing up no deal - sterling's holiday flop - Momentum rising

Not yet taking a catastrophic no-deal Brexit off the table is reckless in the extreme. Worse is the news that preparations for it are as chaotic as everything else in Theresa May’s Brexit mess.

The prime minister faces a triple attack over her no-deal handling in the press today. First, police leaders have warned of “significant risks to our local communities” as no-deal turmoil puts strain on their operational capacity, according to a leaked letter to the Home Secretary reported in the Guardian.

From crime databases to information sharing, to the European Arrest Warrant, police forces in this country rely on close cooperation with our partners in the EU. A no-deal Brexit would wrench us out of all those systems overnight.

Second, and more predictably, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has opened both barrels on no-deal, calling it “utterly unacceptable and deeply damaging”. Ahead of a meeting with May in Edinburgh today, Sturgeon warned that by “by talking [no-deal] up as a negotiating tactic there is a very real danger it becomes a reality”.

Incidentally, if you find yourself in Edinburgh on Saturday August 18 then it’d be great to see you at the People’s Vote rally. Although we don’t expect May to be making a return trip...


The third group to attack May’s no-deal preparations are her own civil servants - the ones doing the work! Whitehall departments told the Telegraph they are unhappy that they were told to produce 70 “technical notices”, rather than deciding for themselves how many were required, based on the “logic” of what companies and the public need to know. They’re blaming May for the ensuing “chaos”.

It’s an utter mess, and one that threatens to bring this country to the cliff-edge of chaos. Just today we’ve seen the National Farmers Union warn that an extreme no-deal could see the UK running out of food by next August, suggestions that aerospace firm Bombardier in Northern Ireland would have to spend £30 million just to stockpile supplies, and even warnings that no-deal could kill the sacred British sandwich.

Brexit is heading into seriously dangerous territory and the prime minister clearly hasn’t got a grip on it. We need a People’s Vote on whatever deal May brings back from Brussels - especially if that’s nothing at all.


Happy holidays, as Fox flops sterling

The value of the pound tumbled to an 11-month low on Monday, cementing its status as the worst performing major currency against the dollar. The dip below the $1.30 mark followed trade secretary Liam Fox’s announcement that there was now a “60-40” chance of a no-deal Brexit, and Bank of England interest rate rises earlier in the week followed by Brexit warnings from governor Mark Carney.

One of the immediate impacts will be on UK tourists, whose foreign holidays will shoot up in price - proof you can flee the country but you can’t escape Brexit. It’s somewhat ironic that the Brexiters’ bid to be a more “global” Britain looks set to begin with a surge in staycations.

Tweet of the day

James Corden joins the People's Vote in calling out Liam Fox's shameless change of tune.


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Momentum growing for a People’s Vote

Momentum (small “m”) is behind a People’s Vote within the Labour party, with thousands of members of Momentum (big “M”) putting pressure on Jeremy Corbyn, reports HuffPost. There is “absolutely no way” Momentum members can be ignored, said one senior source within the organisation.

Pressure is mounting fast. Dozens of local Labour parties plan a barrage of demands for a motion on a People’s Vote to be included on the agenda at Labour party conference in September. And several key left-wing figures throwing their weight behind the Labour for a People’s Vote campaign since its creation in June.

Quote of the day

“I am no fan of the EU elite. I voted out in 1975 and I have fought the advance of neo-liberal orthodoxy for decades.

“But Brexit isn’t just about Britain’s membership of the EU. Its right wing proponents are the British franchise of a global movement, stretching from Trump in America to Orban in Hungary, Salvini in Italy and Marine Le Pen in France.  

“Its effects will be to bolster these far right and neo-fascist movements internationally, and domestically to further deregulate the economy and attack working class people.”

Ann Pettifor, spokesperson for Left Against Brexit and former economic adviser to Jeremy Corbyn

Video of the day

MUST-WATCH: Matt Forde (with the help of an Edinburgh festival crowd) backs a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.


Standing up to bullies

As Donald Trump tries to tear up the global order, it is once again the EU which is standing up to him. This time it’s over his decision to slap sanctions back on Iran, overturning the hard-won Iranian deal which Barack Obama and the EU secured to curb Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Will Brexit Britain be able to stand up to global bullies like Trump? Desperation to sign a chlorine-washed trade deal with the US suggests not. But even if the UK did stand up for its values, the president is much more likely to listen to a bloc of 500 million people - collectively the largest economy in the world - than a country of 65 million. Our global influence is amplified by being a major player at the EU table. All signs point to Brexit stripping that influence away.

WATCH: Josh voted leave in 2016 but didn't vote for the botched Brexit that we're now getting. That's why he's demanding a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.


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More Brexit news…

Approval of Brexit negotiations and confidence in the PM hit new lows (ORB International)

Holiday prices forecast to rise by 31% due to Brexit (Independent)

Scottish business activity 'hit by Brexit uncertainty' (BBC)

Give public 'deal or no deal' Brexit vote, says Welsh FM candidate Irranca-Davies (BBC)

Video of the day 2

WATCH: Here's this week's edition of the FFS Awards. How have all the politicians supposedly gone on holiday and yet the gaffes just keep coming?!


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Looking forward...

Today, Tuesday 7 August

- Parliament in recess
- Theresa May visits Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh
- Defence secretary Gavin Williamson in Washington DC

Tomorrow, Wednesday 8 August

- Parliament in recess