Ex-Vote Leave Chair Gisela Stuart says Brexiteers should vote Tory to ensure we leave the EU: Brexit News for Friday 8 November

Ex-Vote Leave Chair Gisela Stuart says Brexiteers should vote Tory to ensure we leave the EU: Brexit News for Friday 8 November
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Ex-Vote Leave Chair Gisela Stuart says Brexiteers should vote Tory to ensure we leave the EU

Gisela Stuart is one of three former Labour MPs to urge voters to back Boris Johnson in the next general election this week, as the former Chair of the Vote Leave campaign claimed that the Conservative Party leader is the only viable option for people wanting to leave the EU, Express.co.uk can exclusively reveal. This morning, former Labour MP Ian Austin said Jeremy Corbyn is “completely unfit to lead our country”… His comments were later echoed by John Woodcock, the former Labour MP for Barrow and Furness, who said Labour supporters had to “face up” to the choice of Mr Johnson or Mr Corbyn. As anticipation for the election grows, Express.co.uk can reveal that there is another former Labour MP who believes Leave voters should back Mr Johnson. On Tuesday, Gisela Stuart – who chaired Vote Leave during the 2016 referendum campaign alongside Mr Johnson – told Express.co.uk that in order for Brexit to happen, Britain needs a Government with a majority big enough to govern. Otherwise, Ms Stuart argued, it is possible that Britain’s departure from the bloc will not be delivered. – Express 

New Speaker Lindsay Hoyle says he will disallow parliamentary chicanery permitted by Bercow to aid Brexit blockers

The new Speaker says he will not permit the kind of parliamentary manoeuvres recently used to block a no-deal Brexit allowed by his predecessor John Bercow. Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he would not allow the procedures used by MPs to seize control of the agenda. It would make it harder for MPs to derail a government after the election, even if it does not have a majority. Sir Lindsay said he wanted MPs to agree to change the Commons rules to close off those options. Speaking on Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking podcast, Sir Lindsay did not directly criticise Mr Bercow, but said that if he had been Speaker, he would not have allowed the moves permitted by his predecessor to allow amendments to business motions – the motions which sets the detailed way in which the Commons structures its debates. – BBC News

‘Remain Alliance’ claims it can win at least 44 seats and stop both a Boris Johnson election win and Brexit…

The ‘Remain Alliance’ of three anti-Brexit parties says it can win “at least 44” seats and deny Boris Johnson an election win – as Labour condemned all “pacts, coalitions or deals”. Detailed polling in the 60 seats where either the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party or Plaid Cymru will stand down in favour of a single candidate shows the vast majority are “highly winnable”, they say. “That would be enough to ensure that Boris Johnson doesn’t have a majority,” said Molly Scott Cato, a Green MEP. But the initiative – the first pact by parties at a British election for 100 years – was met with a furious attack by John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor. “I remember what the Lib Dems did when they were in government. Go and ask any disabled person in this country who went through the brutality of the work capability assessment,” he said, on the campaign trail in Liverpool. – Independent

  • Anti-Brexit alliance to target 60 seats in election – Politico

…as the Lib Dems are blasted by Tories and Labour as ‘undemocratic’ for their Remain pact with other parties…

The plot was slammed by top Conservatives who said voters would be “angry” at being deprived of a genuine choice in those seats affected. Senior Tory Nigel Evans said: “It’s incredible, but then the election is all about stopping Brexit and they’re throwing everything else to the wolves in order to do that. It’s not about their beliefs. If I was a Lib Dem in an area that just lost their candidate, or a Green that’s just lost their right to vote for their party, they may feel angry. I call it a rotten Remainer alliance. Its anti-democratic and it’s against what the British people voted for.” The Remain Alliance also ran into fierce criticism from Labour candidates, who pointed out several of the seats being targeted are held by strong second referendum campaigners. Senior Labour politician Wes Streeting fumed: “A ‘Remain Alliance’ that targets Labour people with impeccable pro-European credentials is nothing of the sort.” The group said it had invited Jeremy Corbyn to take part but was rebuffed by members of his frontbench team. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “We will never enter pact, coalitions, or deals like that. Ever.” – The Sun

…and the Tories seek an Electoral Commission inquiry into the pact that threatens their seats

The Conservatives have called on electoral watchdogs to investigate a Remain pact in 60 constituencies where Liberal Democrats will work with the Greens and Welsh nationalists to keep out Tories and Labour. The pact, brokered by campaign group Unite to Remain, will see Lib Dem candidates get a clear run in 43 seats where the Green Party or Welsh nationalists will stand down in a bid to boost the number of Remainer MPs and block Brexit. The Lib Dems will stand aside in 10 seats to clear the way for Green Party candidates, while Plaid Cymru will step aside in seven Welsh constituencies. Among the 32 Conservative constituencies being targeted by the LibDems are seats held by former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, a leading Brexiteer, Zac Goldsmith and Alun Cairns, who quit as Welsh Secretary amid an outcry over a “sabotaged” rape trial. – Telegraph (£)

Nigel Farage says Boris Johnson has ten days to seal a Leave pact with the Brexit Party or see Tory hopes of a majority destroyed…

Nigel Farage has given Boris Johnson 10 days to form a Leave election pact with him – or he’ll destroy his dream of a majority. The Brexit Party boss is still begging the PM to do a deal with him – or there’s a risk the Leave vote could be split across the country and let more Remainer MPs into Parliament. If that happened in all 650 seats it could deny Boris the majority he desperately needs. The PM has insisted he won’t enter a pact with any party. But Mr Farage said again yesterday: “There is still a chance of a leave alliance that can be put together. There is still 10 days for him to change tack, I hope he does.” – The Sun

  • Nigel Farage names two new conditions for Brexit Party electoral pact with Boris Johnson – Express

> Annabelle Sanderson on BrexitCentral today: If I were still advising Nigel Farage, I’d urge him to scrap his strategy that could see Brexit blocked entirely

…as Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice announces he is standing in Hartlepool…

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice has revealed he will run in Hartlepool in the upcoming election. The constituency is viewed as one of the party’s most winnable seats. Nigel Farage’s party took joint control of the council there in September, forming a coalition with three local Conservatives. The Brexit Party currently has no MPs, although former UKIP leader Mr Farage will be hoping to build on the party’s victory in May’s European elections. Mr Farage recently offered Boris Johnson an electoral pact if he backed a no-deal Brexit, something the prime minister dismissed. Mr Tice, who revealed his candidacy on social media, declared that the party “plan to win, and win big” in Hartlepool on 12 December. – Sky News

…but academic Farage-watcher Matthew Goodwin predicts there will be no Brexit Party MPs after the election…

Nigel Farage’s Brexit party will be left with no MPs after the election, a leading academic has claimed, as more of the party’s candidates stood down and urged voters to back the Conservatives. Peter Udale, the Brexit Party candidate in the Cotswolds, said he was standing down and urged voters in his area to support the Conservatives as Richard Tice, the party’s chairman, declared that he would fight as a candidate in Hartlepool, one of the safest ‘Leave seats’ in the country. Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics at Kent University and a leading UK expert on the rise of populist politics, told today’s Chopper’s Election Podcast  – which you can listen to in the player above – that he did not think the Brexit Party will win any MPs after the election. – Telegraph (£)

…while the ECJ finds Farage’s group of MEPs was unfairly treated over funds

Nigel Farage has been handed a victory by the European court of justice, after judges found a political group he fronted had been unfairly treated over a demand to repay EU funds. The ECJ’s general court found that “appearances of impartiality were seriously compromised”, when a panel of MEP leaders decided in November 2016 that a Ukip-dominated group should be asked to repay €173,000 (£148,000) and denied a further €501,000 in EU grant money. The court judged that the bureau of the European parliament failed to guarantee impartiality, because a vice-president of the parliament at the time claimed publicly there had been “fraudulent use of funds” before any official decision had been taken. – Guardian

  • European Parliament wants to crush eurosceptics, warns Nigel Farage after ECJ ruling – Telegraph (£)

Priti Patel to announce a new points-based immigration system and ‘NHS visa’ in boost for health service recruits after Brexit

Plans for an ‘NHS Visa’ to fast track doctors and nurses from abroad into vacancies in the Health Service will be announced today. Medical staff hoping to work here will have a decision on their applications within two weeks, and the visa fee will be half the normal price. The proposal is part of Tory plans for an Australian-style points system which will prioritise migrants with much-needed skills. Home Secretary Priti Patel will also warn that Labour’s ‘uncontrolled and unlimited’ migration would put greater pressure on schools and hospitals. “The choice at this election is clear. Vote Jeremy Corbyn if you want to delay Brexit, get another deadlocked Parliament and two more chaotic referendums, with uncontrolled and unlimited immigration placing pressure on our schools and hospitals. Or vote Boris Johnson and the Conservatives to get Brexit done, get immigration under control with a Australian-style based points system and get on with investing in our NHS, our schools and our police.” – Daily Mail

  • Visa fees to be halved and cleared in just two weeks for foreign NHS staff  under new Conservative scheme to avoid shortages after Brexit – Telegraph (£)

Loyalists have misunderstood my Brexit deal, says Boris Johnson during flying Northern Ireland visit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he believes there has been “some misunderstanding” by the loyalist community regarding his Brexit deal during a whistle-stop tour of Co Armagh. Mr Johnson was visiting the Tayto crisp factory in Tandragee as he launched his campaign across the UK ahead of next month’s general election. Before flying to Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister spent the day at the Tetley Tea factory in Stockton and then travelled north to Scotland where he visited Roseisle Distillery in Elgin. Following a tour of the crisp factory – which was under a heavy police presence – and expressing his love of Tayto’s cheese and onion flavoured crisps, Mr Johnson sat down with the Press. He said he wished to emphasise the reason why he wanted to visit Northern Ireland – to promote the “fantastic” Brexit deal he negotiated with the European Union. – Belfast Telegraph 

Jeremy Corbyn tells party faithful that Labour will unite Leavers and Remainers

Jeremy Corbyn accused Boris Johnson of trying to take us “over a cliff edge and into the arms of his friend Donald Trump” through a no-deal Brexit. The Labour leader was addressing the party faithful at a rally in Manchester and repeated his mantra that the “NHS is not for sale”. He said the health service was “the proudest achievement” of the party and assured “under Labour we will have a health service, not a market.” Mr Corbyn said the Labour party had passed a milestone, as public donations for the election reached the £1 million mark. – ITV News

Sajid Javid promises a ‘new economic era’ – as long as he’s not left dealing with a no-deal Brexit

On a day when the economy took centre stage for the two main parties, the Conservatives aimed to define themselves as the party of fiscal prudence. Boris Johnson’s campaign team plan to use the economy as a key dividing line between the Tories and Labour in this election, with sources stating they intend to show their approaches are like “night and day”. But the differences were not quite so clear cut on Thursday as both sides vowed to rip up the fiscal rules and borrow billions to spend on national infrastructure projects. Under the Tories’ new rules, the Chancellor will allow for an extra £22bn a year to be spent on major infrastructure projects via additional borrowing, capitalising on historically-low interest rates. – iNews

Asa Bennett: Good news for Brexiteers, the Remain Alliance’s bark is far worse than its bite

Evidence is piling up about the potential damage the ongoing Brexiteer stand-off could cause, with the latest polling suggesting that the Brexit Party’s involvement would help the ultra-Remain Lib Dems unseat as renowned a Tory Eurosceptic as John Redwood. Even Dominic Raab is not safe in Esher and Walton, with the Foreign Secretary’s lead over the Lib Dem challengers chipped away in the supposed Tory fortress to just nine per cent.  Given all this, the news of a Remain alliance trumpeted by the Liberal Democrats could have sealed the fate of avowed Brexiteers like these. The news that Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice has the Labour-held seat of Hartlepool (admittedly one of the best prospects it has) in his sights further shows it isn’t afraid to compete with the Tories for votes. But on closer inspection, Eurosceptics will be relieved to find that the alliance of anti-Brexiteers is not as fearsome as Jo Swinson and her like-minded campaigners want to make it seem. – Asa Bennett for the Telegraph (£)

Harry Phibbs: The ‘Remain Alliance’ should beware telling voters who to vote for

One of the few safe predictions about this General Election is that tactical voting will be more important than ever before. That is due to the fragmentation of our politics. Party allegiance has been eroded. For many voters, the principal way we identify ourselves at present is as Brexiteers or Remainers, with choice of party reflecting that. Thanks to the profusion of technology at our disposal, there is now more information than ever for voters to make an informed choice – betting odds, personal ratings and polling figures can be sliced and diced to our heart’s content. While there’s much doom-mongering about fake news and the nefarious influence of tech, electors are more empowered than ever to check facts and assess probabilities. We can each decide what our priorities are and focus our investigation accordingly. – Harry Phibbs for CapX

Toby Young: The Greens are merely the Lib Dems’ useful idiots in this Remain alliance

On the face of it, today’s announcement by the “Remain Alliance” that the Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru won’t be standing against each other in 60 seats in England and Wales looks like great news for all three parties. But take a closer look and it’s clear that the only winners are the Lib Dems. Under the arrangement – dubbed “Unite to Remain” – the Lib Dems will be given a clear run in 42 seats, the Greens in nine seats and Plaid in seven. In addition, none of the parties will oppose Dominic Grieve, who’s running as an independent in Beaconsfield, or Anna Soubry in Broxtowe and Gavin Shuker in Luton South, both running as Independent Group for Change candidates. – Toby Young for the Telegraph (£)

Patrick Minford: Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal can serve as his own magic money tree

Broadly speaking, Conservative economic policy is set on the right path. The Chancellor has pronounced the death rites over austerity and announced big spending increases for public services and infrastructure. The Prime Minister has floated cuts in personal taxation across the board. And the Brexit deal struck with the EU paves the way for rising living standards for every section of society. But – and there is a but – one thing has yet to change. The Treasury has yet to get the message. The prime architects of Project Fear – remember its apocalyptic forecast of an immediate recession and up to 800,000 job losses if we had the temerity to vote to Leave – have not shifted one inch from their assessment that the economy will take a big hit if we return a Conservative government and implement Boris’s Brexit deal. – Patrick Minford for the Telegraph (£)

John Redwood: What do free trade agreements add?

There are so many misconceptions in current debate about the nature and value of a Free Trade Agreement. The first is, you do not need a Free Trade Agreement in order to trade with other countries. The UK in the EU has no free trade agreement with either the USA or China, the two largest economies in the world, yet we have a large trade with both of them. The second is trading as we do under World Trade rules there is no WTO requirement to impose tariffs on imports.  We do so because the EU tells us to impose tariffs on food and cars, not because the WTO makes us. Once we leave we can decide whether to remove those tariffs or not. There is no requirement to impose tariffs on say drugs, and the UK government has made clear it would not do so. – John Redwood’s Diary

Benedict Spence: Brexiteers will never forgive the Tories or the Brexit Party for their failure to Unite to Leave

The announcement of the oft-heralded – but until now lesser-spotted – electoral pact between pro-Remain parties should worry Brexiteers. Not enough for Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage et al to enter full panic mode, perhaps, but it should worry them nevertheless. One of the Brexiteers’ key advantages was always the incompetence of their opponents — from internal Labour turmoil to the People’s Vote obligingly going to war with itself days before the campaign was underway.  Several Tory rebels announced that they were leaving politics, conveniently opening up their seats to more pliable candidates, and ridding Number 10 of a fair few headaches. Brussels, meanwhile, has rubbished suggestions that any other options remain open to the UK beyond the deal the Prime Minister has negotiated, or a hard Brexit, scuppering Labour suggestions it could negotiate a fresh settlement. In theory, at least, these should be happy days ahead for the eurosceptics. – Benedict Spence for the Telegraph (£)

Rob Wilson: After his latest Brexit outburst, any responsible Government has a duty to block Bercow’s peerage

It is a long-standing tradition that when the Speaker of the House of Commons retires, he or she is elevated to the House of Lords. But when it comes to a former Speaker who is as downright contemptuous of the responsibilities of his office as John Bercow, it is time to abandon that tradition. Indeed, as Bercow himself once said as justification for tearing up parliamentary rules: “If we were guided only by precedent, manifestly nothing in our procedures would ever change.” His most recent pontifications on Brexit will, for many observers, have been the last straw. Despite having been charged with acting as an impartial referee within the House of Commons, he wasted no time in shedding any last vestige of neutrality by describing Brexit as “the biggest foreign policy mistake in the post-war period”. – Rob Wilson for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit in Brief

  • Post-election, the Government must act to restore the balance of the constitution – Stephen Laws for ConservativeHome
  • Exposed: Anna Soubry’s lying ‘Leaver’ is Remain-campaigning Lib Dem – Guido Fawkes
  • Jo Swinson: Lib Dems can win even in leave-voting constituencies – Guardian