Ex-Labour minister and Vote Leave Chair Gisela Stuart urges nation to vote Tory as she joins Boris Johnson for major Brexit speech: Brexit News for Friday 29 November

Ex-Labour minister and Vote Leave Chair Gisela Stuart urges nation to vote Tory as she joins Boris Johnson for major Brexit speech: Brexit News for Friday 29 November
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Ex-Labour minister and Vote Leave Chair Gisela Stuart urges nation to vote Tory as she joins Boris Johnson for major Brexit speech

Boris Johnson will be joined on stage by an ex-Labour minister Gisela Stuart in a major Brexit speech in central London tomorrow [Friday]. Tonight she became the fourth former Labour MP to urge the nation to vote Tory in next month’s election. Writing for The Sun, Ms Stuart said her experience of working alongside Mr Johnson during the 2016 referendum campaign in her role as chairman of Vote Leave had convinced her that he is the right man to take the country forward. And tomorrow [Friday] she will join No Deal minister Michael Gove on stage alongside the PM as the trio get the old Vote Leave band back together and issue a rallying cry to Brexit voters to hand the Tories the majority they need to deliver Brexit. – The Sun

DUP’s Arlene Foster says Johnson’s Brexit deal breaches the Unionist consent principle…

The principle of requiring unionist consent to constitutional change affecting Northern Ireland has been breached for the first time over Brexit, Arlene Foster has said. Loyalists are adamantly opposed to what they term the proposed creation of a customs border with the rest of the UK under Boris Johnson’s draft Brexit deal with the EU. Extra administration could be involved in sending goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland in a bid to avoid a hard regulatory border on the island of Ireland. The DUP leader said: “We have to trust ourselves and know what we want to get out of any deal and the issues around customs, goods coming from the mainland to Northern Ireland, and indeed goods going from Northern Ireland to the mainland, is a key issue that we need to get clarity on.” – Irish News

…as Nigel Dodds declares Unionists are united in opposition to the deal

Unionists in Northern Ireland are united in opposition to Boris Johnson’s proposed Brexit deal, the DUP’s Westminster leader said. Nigel Dodds is engaged in a tight battle to defend his North Belfast seat against a pro-Remain Sinn Fein candidate. He launched his party’s General Election manifesto in Belfast on Thursday. Mr Dodds said: “There can be no borders in the Irish Sea. We will work to try to get a sensible Brexit deal. But it cannot erect new barriers. We need our people to come together, not create more division.” – Belfast Telegraph

Former Labour leader and Remainer Ed Miliband claims in a leaflet he’s voted for a Brexit deal nine times

Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband exposed the party’s panic in its northern heartlands in a leaflet to constituents claiming he had voted for a Brexit deal nine times. This is despite him being a prominent campaigner for a second EU referendum and repeatedly refusing to back one in five years in charge. Critics also pointed out he voted against Theresa May’s three Brexit deals and Boris Johnson’s. He told Doncaster North constituents: “We need to sort Brexit. I’ve voted nine times in Parliament for a deal to do that.” – The Sun

  • Ed Miliband claims he voted for a Brexit deal nine times in election leaflet – HuffPost

Nigel Farage says the reported Labour strategy change in Leave-voting areas shows the party is ‘in trouble’…

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has said suggestions Labour could change its campaigning strategy are “almost an acceptance that they have lost the election”. He was speaking after the BBC reported that Labour insiders had said that the party has so far overestimated the threat from the Liberal Democrats and underestimated the chances of Leave voters switching from Labour to the Conservatives. The new plan is designed to appeal to those who voted for Brexit, and to try to convince them that Labour is not attempting to stop Brexit by offering another referendum, the BBC said. – Express and Star

…but Barry Gardiner claims any such change is ‘news to me’

A senior Labour figure has denied talk of his party shifting its focus to Leave-voting areas after a poll put the Tories on course for a comfortable majority. The BBC reported that Labour would change tack to defend its heartland areas in the North of England and the Midlands, where communities voted to leave the European Union in 2016, following predictions of the worst Labour showing at an election for more than 30 years. But shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner said he has had “no discussions” about a switch to fighting off Tory gains in constituencies such as Great Grimsby and Bolsover. – Evening Express

John Bercow explains how he was ‘handmaiden’ in blocking a no-deal Brexit

John Bercow has said he helped stop a no-deal Brexit and played a “handmaiden role” in the process. The former Commons Speaker said he “facilitated” Parliament’s push to force Boris Johnson to delay the UK’s departure from the EU beyond Oct 31. Speaking in an interview with La Repubblica, Mr Bercow said Brexit is “the biggest foreign policy blunder in post war period.” Mr Bercow suggested he supports a second EU referendum and said: “I don’t see how having more democracy can be undemocratic.” – Telegraph (£)

EU net migration at lowest level since 2003

Net migration of EU citizens to the UK has fallen to its lowest level since 2003 but this has been balanced by a slight increase in arrivals from the rest of the world, according to official statistics. The drop in EU net arrivals was due largely to a sharp decline in the number of Europeans moving to the UK for work, continuing a trend since the June 2016 Brexit referendum. EU net migration fell to 48,000 in the year to June 2019 from 74,000 a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday. It was 78 per cent below the peak of 218,000 in 2015. – FT (£)

EU risks splits over Brexit trade talks, says new European Council President Charles Michel

The EU is ready for the next phase of Brexit but risks greater internal divisions over trade talks with the UK, one of its incoming leaders has said. In one of his first interviews since being nominated president of the European council, Charles Michel said Brexit may have played an important role in bringing the EU together. The former Belgian prime minister will take the reins following a formal handover ceremony on Friday in his Europa HQ in Brussels, as Donald Tusk stands down after five years in post. Michel’s first big moment will be chairing the EU summit on 12-13 December – election time in the UK. – Guardian

Gisela Stuart:  A vote for Boris Johnson is a vote to finish the job we started and get Brexit done

I will not vote for Jeremy Corbyn, but I can vote for Brexit. This is, after all the Brexit election and a vote for Boris Johnson this time around is a vote to get Brexit done. It is the best option for all those who like me still share Labour’s traditional values but who voted to Leave and who want certainty. A vote for Boris Johnson this time around does not make you a Tory. But it is the only way to get Brexit done and the best way to heal the country. That is why I hope other Leave voters across the country will join me in voting for Brexit one more time by voting for Boris Johnson on December 12 so together we can finish the job we started; we can take back control and we can get Brexit done. – Gisela Stuart in The Sun 

Tom Harris: Labour’s desperate attempt to convince voters it hasn’t betrayed Brexit won’t fool anyone

It is perfectly reasonable – in fact, sensible – for any political party to make changes to its electoral strategy midway through a general election campaign. In fact, it would make absolutely no sense for a party to assess its conduct up until now, judge it to be wanting and then plough ahead without a change of direction. That was, arguably, what led to Theresa May’s catastrophic result in 2017. The question that will pursue Labour for the next two weeks, however, will focus on whether the changes briefed this morning are the right ones. There is another question underpinning all this, and it is: to what extent have previous misjudgments led to a point where this change of direction needed to be made? – Tom Harris for the Telegraph (£)

Quentin Letts: Not voting in the General Election due to meaningless polls may be the worst mistake you will ever make

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives could have done without yesterday’s terrible opinion polls. Did you see the figures? They were really not good. There were predictions for a thumping defeat — for Boris’s opponents. The YouGov poll commissioned by The Times talked of the Tories taking as many as 359 seats in next month’s General Election, with Labour bagging 211, the Scots Nats managing 43 and the dribbly Lib Dems back in minibus territory with just 13 predicted wins. As I say, disastrous. – Quentin Letts for The Sun

Philip Johnston: The big issue at this election isn’t Brexit – it’s Jeremy Corbyn

There we all were, bleary-eyed, attending the Labour Party’s early morning election news conference (in the days when there were such things) when the question of leadership came up. It was May 1983 and the party general secretary, Jim Mortimer, had something to say: “The unanimous view of the campaign committee is that Michael Foot is the leader of the Labour Party and speaks for the party”. Since no-one had actually asked whether this was still the case, his unsolicited statement created quite a stir. In the middle of a general election the main opposition party had felt it necessary to pass a motion of confidence in their leader. – Philip Johnston for the Telegraph (£)

The Sun: Don’t believe the election is in the bag for Boris – Remainers will ignore Labour’s racism and lies just to stop Brexit

Forget the polls. No one should believe the Tories have a majority of 68 in the bag. This election is far, far closer than that. Many seats look impossibly tight. Boris Johnson’s Government is in ­danger — and Brexit with it. The survey predicting his victory may or may not be an accurate snapshot of the current mood. What is certain is the race will now tighten as a direct result. Remainers, sensing defeat, will vote tactically for whichever party can oust the Tory candidate. They will ignore the sickening racism, the lies, the terrorist friends and the economic lunacy of Corbyn’s Labour and back them anyway. – The Sun says

Brexit in Brief

Brexit Leaves the EU anxious and divided – Oliver Dunn of Get Britain Out for CommentCentral