Tuesday 8 October 2019 - People's Vote

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Morning Briefing: Bitter Number 10 briefing threatens serious retribution on European countries that reject Johnson's deal

The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies warns today that No Deal would push UK debt to its highest level since the 1960s - a far cry from the "sunlit uplands" promised by Leave campaigners in 2016. And with the Government's dreadful proposals continuing to unravel under scrutiny, Number 10 has set about trying to pin the blame for No Deal on the EU and MPs, and threatening years of arguments and conflict with our European partners.

With Parliament prorogued from today until October 14, the Government is driving us ever-closer to the cliff-edge. The only real solution is a People’s Vote. Let your voice be heard on Saturday October 19 at our massive London march – sign up here.

Bitter Number 10 briefing threatens serious retribution on European countries that reject Johnson's deal

If Boris Johnson fails to get his version of Brexit past European leaders, he is threatening serious retribution on countries that support an extension, with the Republic of Ireland top of the list.

A briefing given to the Spectator’s James Forsyth last night underlines the bitterness inside Number 10 as their latest proposals hit the rocks in European capitals.

The briefing on Boris Johnson's current Brexit thinking points to a decade of “bad blood” and diplomatic and economic conflict, which ITV’s Robert Peston described as “the most explosive Downing Street briefing in modern times”. The warning even threatened defence and security co-operation and suggested any "duty of sincere co-operation' would be "in the toilet".

Number 10 said: “We will make clear privately and publicly that countries which oppose delay will go the front of the queue for future cooperation — cooperation on things both within and outside EU competences. Those who support delay will go to the bottom of the queue.

“Supporting delay will be seen by this government as hostile interference in domestic politics, and over half of the public will agree with us.”

With Johnson still claiming he will subvert the Safeguard Act, the unelected official warned that if Johnson is forced to extend Article 50, there would be no further new proposals. Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry told the BBC’s Newsnight dismissively that it’s “like dealing with children”, while former Conservative minister Amber Rudd described it as "angry and desperate". 

The briefing has a clear objective - Johnson and his Vote Leave cronies in Government are trying to frame No Deal as the fault of anyone but themselves ahead of a possible general election. The consequences for the country will be severe, and the repercussions will last for years to come. Instead, the best way to deliver clarity for the future is to let the public have a final say. That's why huge numbers will be marching through London on October 19 demanding a People's Vote.

The EU's point-by-point rejection of Johnson's Brexit plan revealed

The full extent of the EU’s point-by-point rejection of Boris Johnson’s deal was revealed last night in a leaked document obtained by the Guardian, which showed how far apart the two sides are over Ireland.

The EU rejects the “Stormont lock” which gives the DUP a veto on future arrangements, the customs border and VAT arrangements proposed by the UK and the rejection of “level playing field” conditions, among a long list of rebuttals.

It was delivered to UK Brexit negotiator David Frost yesterday and pushed the onus back on Johnson to come up with a new set of proposals by Friday this week due to the “fundamental flaws”.

Boris Johnson wants someone else to blame for No Deal, and if that is the Irish government or the EU Commission, so much the better. But whether we were to leave with a deal or without one, there is no longer any doubt he is willing to sacrifice not just jobs, livelihoods and people’s rights at work, but also the Good Friday Agreement.

No Deal would see national debt rise to 1960s levels - as red tape bill rises to £15 billion a year

Even a “benign” No Deal would see government rising to more than £100 billion with debt climbing to 90% of national income for the first time since the 1960s.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said emergency tax cuts and higher public spending to offset the effects of No Deal would be required to battle a flatlining economy in the event of a disorderly departure from the EU. Warning of a mini-boom and massive bust, IFS director Paul Johnson: “The government is now adrift without any effective fiscal anchor.”

The FT revealed this morning that businesses would be hit with an annual £15 billion bill for filling in customs forms for trade between the UK and the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a British government paper published on Monday.  Companies in the UK and EU would face “a significant new and ongoing administrative burden” if Britain were to crash out of the bloc, the assessment by HM Revenue & Customs warned.

Sadiq Khan to speak at People's Vote march on October 19

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is the first speaker to be announced for the People's Vote march on Saturday October 19. The People's Vote supporter will be on stage in Westminster Square to address one of the biggest political marches in history. To join and let your voice be heard, sign up 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

“This would be disastrous for Pembrokeshire, West Wales and Britain. We know from government documents that the effect would be most severe on the most vulnerable in society, our farming communities and all who trade within the European Union. We also know with our ferries at Fishguard and Pembroke Dock how important it is to have no delays on the border with Ireland.”

Pembrokeshire for Europe's Alistair Cameron urges local supporters to join their coach to London for our People's Vote march.

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More Brexit news...

How Number 10 view the state of the EU negotiations (The Spectator)

Revealed: the EU's point-by-point rejection of Johnson's Brexit plan (The Guardian)

Pembrokeshire protestors to take part in London People’s Vote march (Western Telegraph)

Red tape bill for UK-EU trade under no-deal Brexit set to hit £15 billion a year (FT)

More than 10 million Brexit 50p coins to be minted - three times more than previously thought (The Telegraph)

No-deal Brexit could lead to increase in dogging in Kent lay-bys, cabinet minister warns (Kent Online)

More Brexit comment...

Amelia Gentleman: The Go Home Office: how the department of Windrush could harm EU nationals next (Prospect)

Tom McTague: Everyone's Hoping an Election Will End the Brexit Crisis. It Won't (The Atlantic)