Morning Briefing: No majority for destructive No Deal
Bookies’ favourite Boris Johnson launches his campaign for Conservative leader today, threatening the country with a destructive No Deal. But the real test has to be what is in the national interest, not what appeals to the tiny number of Conservative members who will make the final decision about who leads their party...
No majority in Parliament for destructive No Deal
Labour, with support from the SNP, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, is today attempting to tie the hands of any new Conservative leader over the threat of a destructive No Deal.
The party are using one of their allocated slots of Commons time to propose a motion that would allow Parliament to take back control of business from ministers on 25 June and thus, potentially, make it illegal for any minister to pursue a destructive No Deal.
The vote is expected to be close, but either way is a sign of the fundamental weakness of the supporters of a destructive No Deal - including current favourite for the Tory leadership, Boris Johnson. For if one of them were to succeed to the premiership they could be sure the number of Conservatives willing to break cover to oppose a destructive No Deal would increase.
Indeed, Conservative MPs including Dominic Grieve and the Chancellor Philip Hammond have indicated they would, if necessary, be prepared to vote to collapse the government if it was intent on pursuing No Deal.
Johnson today launches his campaign and has chosen to frame the choice about leadership as one about party and not national interest. He says Conservative must press on with leaving the EU on 31 October if they are to save their party, even if that means a destructive No Deal.
But he is wrong - for no Conservative could hope to win a General Election if they have left Britain weaker and open to bullying by the likes of Trump, if they have damaged the Irish Peace Process and, above all, if they have crippled our economy by forcing us to trade globally on WTO rules - the worst in the world.
Conservatives have a way out of this - to put the question of Brexit back to the people in a final say referendum.
Working class voters turn against Brexit
Working class voters are opposed to Brexit in ever larger numbers, analysis of polling shows, further adding to the pressure on Labour to unequivocally back a People’s Vote.
Opposition to leaving the EU has grown across all social classes, but is rising most rapidly amongst unskilled manual workers - where there has been a 7% swing against Brexit since 2016.
The same polling shows 75% of Labour voters are now opposed to Brexit - a reflection of the party’s working class base. With some in Labour still dithering on whether to back a People’s Vote, the risk to the party is that further indecision will see those voters drift away to other parties or towards not voting at all.
Destructive No Deal means barriers on the Irish border
A destructive No Deal will mean border inspection posts between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a report for Northern Ireland’s economics ministry has concluded.
The report is a refutation of the claims made by Conservative leadership contenders - and others - that neither side intends to place infrastructure at the Irish border, as it makes clear the UK would be under an unavoidable legal obligation to do just that.
The report warns that comparisons with Switzerland and the wider EEA’s light touch border regimes are flawed - because those approaches are founded on agreements with the EU. A destructive No Deal means falling back on WTO trading rules - the worst in the world.
If we are hit with a destructive No Deal economic barriers on the Irish border are inevitable - in fact they are demanded by the WTO as a condition of membership.
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
"In fact, for all of its imperfections – and all bureaucracies, governments and organisations are imperfect – there is an idealism to the EU project which appeals strongly to us. It is, at its heart, a peace project."
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Brussels yesterday.
Video of the Day
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Tweet of the Day
People's Vote supporter Anna Turley MP states the simple truth about a destructive No Deal.
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