Wednesday 25 July 2018 - People's Vote

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Wednesday 25 July 2018

Morning briefing: Repealing the repeal of EU laws - Elton John - be honest on no deal

Brexiters always promised we’d take back control of our laws if we quit the EU. What is now abundantly clear - from the government’s latest legislation: the Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill (WAIB) - is that we will lose control of them for some time after “exit day”.

Remember the Withdrawal Act, hard fought over in Parliament until it passed less than a month ago? Its purpose was to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA), which took us into what became the EU, and move all EU law onto the UK’s statute books. Well, WAIB takes a big red marker pen to all of that, promising to “ensure that EU law continues to apply” in the UK by saving “the effect” of the ECA.

Brexit secretary Dominic Raab was at pains to stress yesterday that only “parts” of EU law will continue to apply. He’s right. But we’re throwing away all our power: our right to sit at the EU’s top table as well as our European Commissioner, MEPs and judge at the European Court of Justice.

This shambles confirms we will be a rule-taker throughout the transition period - scheduled to last until the end of 2020 but which in reality could end up being much longer if we don’t strike a new partnership quickly. That’s a situation which will frustrate both Brexiters and patriotic pro-Europeans alike.

It also makes a mockery of the firm EU exit date, which May set in stone as March 29 2019. At the time lots of sensible arguments were put forward about why this was a dangerous idea that risked us crashing out of the EU by accident. But the prime minister went ahead with her “gimmick” as a bit of red meat for her Brextremist backbenchers. Following her latest u-turn, expect renewed fury in Parliament in the autumn.

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Quote of the day

“(Brexit is like) walking through Hampton Court maze blind-folded, being turned around 16 times and trying to find your way out.

“I don’t think people in Britain were told the truth to start with. I don’t think they knew exactly what they were voting for. They were promised something that was completely ridiculous and wasn’t economically viable. And then it’s got so complicated now I just don’t know what’s going on.

“There’s a new cereal called Brexit. You eat it and you throw up afterwards.”

Elton John speaking to Channel 4 News


Graphic of the day

It's end of term for MPs and the People's Vote campaign has written up the Brexiters' report cards. Read the complete set here.

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Stockpiling drugs, but what about food?

Why can’t the government be straight about the dangers we face from a no-deal Brexit and the steps it is taking to minimise them? At least Matt Hancock, the new health secretary, admitted yesterday that the NHS was stockpiling supplies including “vaccines, medical devices, clinical consumables, blood products”.

But the new Brexit secretary got into linguistic contortions when asked whether we are also stockpiling food. Dominic Raab said “it would be wrong to describe it as the government doing the stockpiling” while also saying it would “make sure that there’s adequate food supplies”. Does this mean the government is encouraging others to stockpile or that it’s not trying to get anybody to do so, which would surely be the height of irresponsibility? It’s time to be honest.


Tweet of the day

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Video of the day

WATCH: While MPs head off for the summer, young people are concerned about their future if Brexit goes ahead. We asked them to grade the government's performance this year. With scores like these, ministers should be doing some retakes.

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May takes back control from Brexiters - for now

Yesterday saw another slap in the face for Jacob Rees-Mogg and his Brextremists. Their friend Dominic Raab, recently appointed Brexit secretary, merrily handed over control of the negotiations to Theresa May’s favourite Brexit official Olly Robbins. The deal seems to be that Raab will still deputise for May in Brussels, but the Brexit department is being taken off the case and put onto domestic preparations. The Moggites, who loathe Robbins, must be fuming.


Corbyn’s wrong - Brexit won't mean better jobs and opportunities

Jeremy Corbyn spoke yesterday about the “benefit” Brexit could bring to the British economy, advocating handing out government projects to local companies. There were holes in the Labor leader’s argument - there is, for example, no obligation to farm out defence contracts abroad even while an EU member. But the biggest problem is his insistence that there’s such a thing as a “jobs-first Brexit”. Labour members aren’t buying it. That’s one reason around 80% of them want a People’s Vote.


Tweet of the day 2

This from Labour MP Wes Streeting ahead of yesterday's parliamentary statements.

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The Independent backs a People's Vote!

The Indy becomes the first major news organisation to back a People's Vote. Read their full editorial here. There are also comment columns by three People's Vote supporters.

Dominic Grieve: A mature democracy would allow for a vote on the final deal, rather than allow bullying tactics to shut down further debate

Chuka Umunna: If Brexit negotiations have taught us anything, it’s that our future should not be left to 650 politicians in London

Layla Moran: Not all of us want to be a part of the Brexiteers’ ideological day dream – that’s why the public deserves a say


More Brexit news…

Oxford city councillors overwhelmingly back second Brexit vote (Oxford Mail)

EU will demand Irish border checks if no deal, says top civil servant (BBC)

Treasury would cover lost EU funding (Times £)

No-deal Brexit will make it ‘illegal’ to pay pensions to retired British expats living in EU, MPs told (Independent)


Graphic of the day 2

So this fairly shocking Gove quote has emerged from new book Ctrl Alt Del by Tom Baldwin. You can read the full report from the FT (£).

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Top Brexit comment


Looking forward...

Today, Wednesday 25 July

- Parliament in summer recess
- European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker visits Donald Trump to discuss trade
- Home Office launches info packs for UK firms to help EU employees apply for settled status after Brexit
19:00  The Left Against Brexit tour kicks off in Liverpool

Tomorrow, Thursday 26 July

- Parliament in summer recess
09:30 ONS: UK GDP figures
19:00 The Left Against Brexit event in Bristol