Boris Johnson to unveil biggest ad campaign since WWII to prepare the nation for No Deal: Brexit News for Monday 29 July

Boris Johnson to unveil biggest ad campaign since WWII to prepare the nation for No Deal: Brexit News for Monday 29 July
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Boris Johnson to unveil biggest ad campaign since WWII to prepare the nation for No Deal…

Boris Johnson is to launch the biggest advertising campaign since the Second World War to get Britain ready for a no-deal Brexit, with an unprecedented marketing blitz on billboards, radio and television. On Sunday the Prime Minister ordered his ministers to go into overdrive to prepare for a no-deal exit, with daily briefings on progress in the Cabinet Office’s Cobra briefing room – a place normally reserved for co-ordinating responses to national emergencies. Part of the preparations involve up to £100 million spent on advertising alone in the next three months, government sources said. It came as it emerged that Liz Truss, the International Trade Secretary, will this week start preliminary work on negotiating a trade deal with the US before the UK leaves the European Union on Thursday, Oct 31. – Telegraph (£)

…as he unveils special Brexit Cabinet committee handle no-deal preparations…

Boris Johnson has unveiled a special Brexit cabinet committee tasked with handling the UK’s preparations for a no-deal exit from the EU – now considered the government’s “No 1 priority”. The prime minister told his cabinet during a Sunday conference call the new group will meet daily and direct operations from the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (Cobr) – typically used by ministers for emergency responses. It will convene for the first time on Tuesday, consist of a “tight” number of ministers and will be chaired by Michael Gove, who was tasked last week of overseeing no-deal Brexit plans in his role at the Cabinet Office. The “Daily Operations Committee”, as it will be formally known, will pass important issues up to Mr Johnson, who will chair two further Brexit committees – one focused on Britain’s future relationships around the world, and an “Exit Strategy Committee” which will meet twice weekly. – Independent

…and announces other structures to deliver Brexit by the end of October

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set up a network of top level committees to try and ensure that Brexit happens by the deadline of October 31. Mr Johnson spoke with the Cabinet by telephone on Sunday lunchtime to outline the new structure. Sources said the prime minister wanted to improve on the way previous committees operated as he believed they did not move fast enough and were often undermined by parallel structures. Cabinet agreed that this approach would send a clear message about the Government’s plans to deliver Brexit by the end of October, according to Downing Street. The Daily Operations Committee, chaired by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, will meet every weekday in the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) and will be responsible for overseeing all of the Government’s preparation for leaving, and a possible no-deal exit. A source said: “Live actions, deadlines and accountability to be on the screens of COBR at every meeting and minutes will be circulated immediately after.” Mr Gove told the rest of the Cabinet that the committee, known as XO, will “agree actions, make decisions and solve problems, and all with specific deadlines”. The committee will meet for the first time on Tuesday and a Downing Street source said it was being structured in such a way so that the Treasury would be “a motor for delivering Brexit, not the anchor.” The Exit, Economy and Trade Committee (ETC) will be chaired by the prime minister and meet regularly. – ITV News

Boris Johnson plans to give the EU the cold shoulder by refusing to visit Brussels or any European leaders

Boris Johnson is set to give European leaders the cold shoulder as he dramatically ramps up preparations for a No Deal Brexit… A senior government source said Mr Johnson had no plans to visit European capitals such as Brussels, Paris and Berlin in the hope of reopening talks. One insider said it was possible there would be no significant Brexit negotiations until a Brussels summit starting on October 17, just a fortnight before the UK is due to leave the EU. Mr Johnson’s hardening stance follows terse telephone conversations the new Prime Minister held with Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Claude Juncker last week in which all three European leaders rejected his demand to scrap the Irish backstop. – Daily Mail

Jeremy Corbyn says Labour would campaign for Remain against a no-deal Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn will campaign for the UK to remain in the EU if Boris Johnson tries to implement a no-deal Brexit. The Labour leader told Sky News that he would back a second referendum which would put the Brexit deal against no deal, and promised that any Labour-negotiated deal would also go to the people for a vote. But he failed to commit to campaigning to remain if Labour brought a deal to a referendum. He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “No deal we’ll oppose and we think people should have a final choice on it. They can have a vote then between Remain and whatever option Boris Johnson decides to put to them at that time. If we are in power, yes of course, the same thing would apply because I want to make sure we get to the end of this process where we have a fixed position in this country. What we said is in the event of a no-deal Brexit we will campaign to remain.”. – Sky News

  • Fury as Corbyn claims Labour will campaign for remain in people’s vote – Express

> WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn discusses Labour’s Brexit policy on Sophy Ridge on Sunday 

Ruth Davidson tells Boris Johnson she will not support a no-deal Brexit

Ruth Davidson has warned Boris Johnson ahead of his first visit to Scotland as Prime Minister that she will not support a no-deal Brexit. In a sign of the strained relationship between the pair, the Scottish Conservative leader also told the PM that politics was “about more than personalities” and said she would challenge his government when she disagrees with it. Mr Johnson is expected to meet Ms Davidson, who backed Sajid Javid, and then Jeremy Hunt, in the Tory leadership contest, on Monday, and to have talks with Nicola Sturgeon, during a pro-Union “charm offensive”. The Scottish Tory leader, who has been one of his fiercest critics, said she told him when they spoke last week that she would not support leaving the EU without a deal following his repeated assurances that Brexit would happen,”do or die”, on October 31 She added: “When I was debating against the pro-Brexit side in 2016, I don’t remember anybody saying we should crash out of the EU with no arrangements in place to help maintain the vital trade that flows uninterrupted between Britain and the European Union. I don’t think the Government should pursue a no-deal Brexit and, if it comes to it, I won’t support it. I wrote to tell the former prime minister Theresa May that last year and I confirmed my position to her successor when I spoke to him last week.” – Telegraph (£)

Macron ally threatens a trade shutdown until the UK hands over £39bn

French President Emmanuel Macron has attempted to shut down Boris Johnson’s optimism for a Brexit trade deal – with one of the UK’s strongest allies insisting the EU will not discuss trade until the divorce bill is handed over. The European Union will refuse to talk trade with Prime Minister Boris Johnson until the UK gives Brussels the £39bn divorce bill. The stark warning came from one of Emmanuel Macron’s strongest allies and former French EU minister Nathalie Loiseau. Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge, Ms Loiseau confirmed that there would be no discussion on a future trade relationship until the divorce bill, citizens rights and the Irish border are solved. The stark warning from the French side adds to the escalating standoff between the UK and the European Union ahead of the October 31 deadline. Ms Loiseau said that Boris Johnson’s threat of a no deal Brexit would solve nothing. She suggested that this approach would and the UK back in the position it is in now. The newly-elected French MEP added that the EU would only grant an extension to Brexit “if there is something serious happening” like a general election or a people’s vote. – Express

> WATCH: French MEP Nathalie Loiseau discusses Brexit on Sophy Ridge on Sunday

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson savaged over Brexit dishonesty

The leader of the Liberal Democrats has been accused of making “an absolute mockery” of a second referendum after it emerged that she wouldn’t accept the result if Britons voted to leave a second time. Jo Swinson was elected as the party’s first female leader after her predecessor Sir Vince Cable stepped down last week. But she has already run into trouble with Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge in a fierce debate on Sunday morning in which Ms Swinson was accused of dishonesty. Ms Ridge fired: “I’m keen to ask you about something you said earlier this week when you were asked if you would vote to implement Brexit if people voted for it a second time in another referendum – and you said ‘no’. “You said ’I’m not going to change my view on what I think is right for our country’. “Doesn’t that make an absolute mockery of a campaign to hold a second referendum? If you’re just going to ignore the result why can’t you just be honest and say you want to campaign to revoke Article 50?” But her guest backtracked, replying: “What I was asked is whether I’d agree with leaving the EU and think that was the best for our country. – Express

> WATCH: Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson on Sophy Ridge on Sunday yesterday 

> WATCH: Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson on the BBC News Channel last week

Business lobby group CBI claims the UK is not ready for a no-deal Brexit…

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned the government that neither the UK nor the EU is ready for a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. “While the UK’s preparations to date are welcome, the unprecedented nature of Brexit means some aspects cannot be mitigated,” said the CBI. It has published practical steps it says the UK, EU and firms can take. A government spokesman said the UK has increased the pace of planning for no-deal. The CBI had previously said leaving the EU with a deal was essential to protect the economy and jobs. New prime minister Boris Johnson has made Michael Gove responsible for planning a no-deal Brexit. Mr Gove has said the UK government is currently “working on the assumption” of a no-deal Brexit. He said his team still aimed to come to an agreement with Brussels but, writing in the Sunday Times, he added: “No deal is now a very real prospect.” The CBI’s report What Comes Next? The Business Analysis Of No Deal Preparations advises what measures businesses can take to reduce the worst effects. The advice is based on a study of existing plans laid out by the UK government, European Commission, member states and firms. “And although businesses have already spent billions on contingency planning for no deal, they remain hampered by unclear advice, timelines, cost and complexity,” the CBI says. “Larger companies, particularly those in regulated areas such as financial services, have well-thought-through contingency plans in place, though smaller firms are less well prepared.” – BBC News

  • EU taken ‘fewer steps’ than UK to offset no-deal Brexit – FT(£)

…but also warns the EU is ‘lagging behind’ the UK in preparing for No Deal

The European Union ‘lags behind’ Britain in preparing for a No Deal Brexit, the CBI warns today. In a major report, the employers’ organisation issues 200 recommendations that both sides need to implement to limit the impact of No Deal on businesses and jobs. The CBI, a staunch opponent of No Deal, warns that neither side is ready and urges both to step up efforts to strike a new deal. The study rubbished the EU’s claim that it is much better prepared for the fallout of a No Deal this autumn. This will encourage senior Tories who believe the EU will be willing to make concessions if it believes the UK is serious about No Deal. A CBI spokesman said: ‘The report also highlights how – contrary to many claims –the EU lags behind the UK in seeking to prevent the worst effects of a No Deal scenario.’ The CBI urges Brussels to agree ‘temporary standstills’ on regulations and controls to avoid chaos. – Daily Mail

Sajid Javid: On my watch, the Treasury is ready to play a full role in delivering Brexit

In 95 days we will leave the EU. Of that there should be no doubt. Three years after the referendum, the countdown to delivering on the democratic will of the British people has well and truly begun. In three months’ time, we will be an independent nation once more. Free to set our own path to our own future. With the new Prime Minister, there is a new found optimism, and this, I believe, is also shared by the country. People are eager to get Brexit done – and that’s exactly what we are going to do. Yes, we want to leave with a good deal – one that abolishes the undemocratic backstop. That would be better for the UK, and better for the EU, and work is already underway to achieve this. As the Prime Minister said in his first speech in the House of Commons this week, we will approach these negotiations with the greatest energy and determination, and in the spirit of friendship, in the sincere hope and belief that the EU will reciprocate. But, we should not shy away from the fact that currently the EU is refusing to make any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. If they do not, we will of course have to leave the EU without a deal. If, for whatever reason, a better deal which our parliament will accept cannot be achieved, we must be – and are – prepared to leave on our own terms. Making sure Britain is prepared for no deal is the best way to get a great new deal. – Sajid Javid MP for the Telegraph (£)

Michael Gove: No-deal is a very real prospect. We must ensure we are ready

Last week, I was honoured to be asked by our new prime minister to lead on this government’s No 1 priority — preparing the country to leave the EU, come what may, on October 31. Three years after an historic and decisive referendum vote by the British people, the United Kingdom is finally on the cusp of leaving the European Union. With a new prime minister, a new government, and a new clarity of mission, we will exit the EU on October 31. No ifs. No buts. No more delay. Brexit is happening. It’s our aim to ensure we can leave with a deal. We want to continue with warm and close relations with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. We will do everything in our power to conclude a good agreement that honours the referendum result and secures a brighter future for us outside the single market and the customs union. What we can’t do, however, is simply present parliament once again with the same withdrawal agreement it’s already rejected three times. You can’t just reheat the dish that’s been sent back and expect that will make it more palatable. So we need a new approach and a different relationship. Critically, we need to abolish the backstop and ensure we find a different way to handle trade, and other important relations, on the island of Ireland. But while we are optimistic about the future, we are realistic about the need to plan for every eventuality. The EU’s leaders have, so far, said they will not change their approach — it’s the unreformed withdrawal agreement, take it or leave it. We still hope they will change their minds, but we must operate on the assumption that they will not. The prime minister has been crystal clear that means we must prepare to leave the EU without a deal on October 31, and I fully support this approach. No deal is now a very real prospect, and we must make sure that we are ready. A lot has already been done. Thanks to hard work by ministers past and present, and outstanding efforts by the civil service, we have made significant progress. – Michael Gove MP for The Sunday Times (£)

Kate Hoey: Labour is party of the metropolitan bubble and has betrayed Brexit voters

Boris Johnson made a blistering start on his promise to get us out of the European Union by October 31. Up and down the country those millions who voted Leave will be praying that the doubters, the wreckers and the pessimists inside Government are being swept away for real. After three years of drift and half-hearted malaise under Theresa May, the new PM has stated that come what may the withdrawal agreement is dead. His Party has been re-energised and many ex-Tories will return. Undoubtedly some will return from the Brexit Party and yes, even some Labour voters. All of this should be ringing loud alarm bells in Labour HQ. The truth is Labour risk irrelevance. Too many Labour MPs have had as their mission in Parliament since 2016 to undermine and overturn the decision of the British people. They have plotted to force Jeremy Corbyn to move further and further towards a Remain policy that now includes another referendum on any deal the Conservatives achieve, whilst arguing for a Remain vote. Boris Johnson is unlikely to make that mistake and will now reach out to our disillusioned voters. After all it is not that they are abandoning Labour – it is that Labour is abandoning them. – Kate Hoey MP for the Express

Nick Timothy: Varadkar can blame Britain all he likes – but he is the real threat to peace

He has backed himself into a corner. He doesn’t understand the Good Friday Agreement and he’s jeopardising the peace process. He’s risking a no-deal Brexit and a hard border on the island of Ireland. Yet Leo Varadkar attracts little criticism. He continues to defend his Brexit policy with a brave face but, like a poker player who has raised the stakes too high, he must surely feel his stomach churning as he contemplates the consequences of his gamble… Dublin’s policy was bold, audacious and very nearly successful. Varadkar has sought to impose humiliating terms on Ireland’s larger and more powerful neighbour. He has tried to turn a bilateral peace process between the UK and Ireland into a political standoff between the UK and the EU. And he has abused the Good Friday Agreement for his own ends, while shamelessly accusing Brexit supporters of endangering the peace process. Under Theresa May, the UK almost succumbed. But now Boris Johnson is holding firm. When he visits Northern Ireland this week he should not be shy in pointing out who is risking a no-deal outcome and a hard border in Ireland. It is not the United Kingdom, but Leo Varadkar. – Nick Timothy for the Telegraph (£)

Wolfgang Munchau: The EU must prepare for a no-deal Brexit

This is a dangerous moment for the EU. It says that it is prepared for a no-deal Brexit, but we all know this is not true. The European Commission has readied itself on a technical level. But this is not the kind of preparedness that matters. EU leaders have not yet braced their voters for the economic impact of a large EU country leaving the customs union and the single market overnight. The EU is right not to take the new British prime minister’s provocations at face value. They are designed for a domestic audience. But when the rest of Europe’s economies are slowing down sharply, it must prepare for the shock of a no-deal Brexit. I would advise EU leaders to look in the mirror and test whether their determination to uphold the Irish backstop would still hold in the hours before the advancing deadline. It is one thing to claim solidarity with Ireland as a principle; another to tell factory workers who stand to lose their jobs that this is a price worth paying. The tough negotiating stance was, at least in part, informed by assuming a near-zero probability for a no-deal outcome. I have argued before that this assumption was complacent. The probability was at no point anywhere close to zero. It increased when Boris Johnson emerged as the winner of the Conservative leadership contest. But it never made sense to attach ultra-low probabilities to a legal default position. Especially when there were no House of Commons majorities for the alternatives under European law: ratification of the withdrawal agreement or unilateral revocation of Article 50 by the UK. Only a fool would try to predict the course of British politics over the next three months. A no-deal Brexit is a possible outcome but not the only one. I expect Mr Johnson to try to unite the pro-Brexit vote, and to pitch himself against a splintered Remain opposition. This would seem to be an intelligent strategy. There is one prediction I am willing to make: if this ends in a no-deal Brexit, much of the EU will not have seen it coming. – Wolfgang Munchau for the FT(£)

Carolyn Fairbairn: Blood, sweat and tears are what politicians must give to Brexit, deal or no deal

Our new prime minister has arrived on the stage with a bang. A newly-minted cabinet, with many fresh policy announcements. A spirit of ambition. For business, there’s plenty to applaud — pledges to transform connectivity to creating an immigration system based on need, not numbers. Early signals that will help lift business confidence. But there’s a daunting new reality on Brexit. Leaving without a deal on October 31 has become a serious possibility. Boris Johnson and his team are adamant. At the CBI we could not have been clearer: no deal will damage our economy no matter how much we prepare. Our view has not changed. Business wants a deal. But we are also pragmatists. We have been preparing our members for the possibility of no deal for many months. Now is the time to shift to an emergency footing. While it’s not possible to seal our economy from all the damage the floodwaters of no deal will cause, we can lay down the sandbags and protect as much as we can. – Dame Carolyn Fairbairn for The Times (£)

Brexit in Brief

  • I’m ready to make a US trade deal happen – Liz Truss MP for the Telegraph (£)
  • The IMF’s Brexit Analysis is predictably shoddy and politicized – Daniel Mitchell for International Liberty
  • Boris Johnson has learnt the lessons of Brexit vote – James Kirkup for The Times (£)
  • Boris Johnson will deliver Brexit and this is how I know – Nick Ferrari for the Express