Boris Johnson promises to make UK 'match fit' for no-deal Brexit on 31st October: Brexit News for Monday 8 July

Boris Johnson promises to make UK 'match fit' for no-deal Brexit on 31st October: Brexit News for Monday 8 July
Sign up here to receive the daily news briefing in your inbox every morning with exclusive insight from the BrexitCentral team

Boris Johnson promises to make UK ‘match fit’ for no-deal Brexit on 31st October

Boris Johnson has pledged to get the UK “match fit for no deal” to ensure it can leave the EU on 31 October “come what may”. The Conservative leadership frontrunner said there would be “no second chances” as he stressed that the Halloween deadline was real, “not fake”, in a comment aimed at his rival Jeremy Hunt. Johnson’s commitment to stick to the deadline comes after he was warned that more than 30 Tories could rebel to block a no-deal Brexit if he tried to force it through parliament. Writing on the BrexitCentral website, Johnson took aim at Hunt, who referred to 31 October as a “fake deadline”, before later admitting he should have described his rival’s commitment to leave on that date as a “fake promise”. Johnson said: “We need a change of direction. That’s why we must treat 31 October as a real deadline for leaving the EU, come what may, not a fake one.” He restated his promise to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and to put the £39bn divorce settlement in a state of “creative ambiguity” to use as leverage to secure another deal. – Guardian

  • Boris Johnson vows to get the UK ‘match fit’ for a no-deal Brexit so it can leave EU on October 31 – Evening Standard

> Boris Johnson on BrexitCentral today: No more fake Brexit deadlines: we must leave the EU on 31st October, come what may

More than 30 Tory MPs ready to block a no-deal Brexit, claims Sam Gyimah… 

More than 30 Tory MPs are ready to vote to block a no deal Brexit as the two rival camps gear up for a show-down in Parliament. Sam Gyimah said the MPs will pursue “legislative” options to stop no deal – such as blocking the next Prime Minister from suspending Parliament or creating alternative options. It comes as Labour hinted it would move towards moving a no-confidence motion in the Government if leaving without a deal became more likely. On Monday MPs are set to launch a fresh bid to block a no deal during a Commons vote on Northern Ireland. The Government has tabled a Bill to delay any election to the Northern Ireland Assembly while talks to restore powersharing continue. Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, told the BBC the Bill was a “perfectly legitimate place to start looking at how one might make sure no-deal Brexits are fully debated before they take place.” – Telegraph (£)

  • ’30-plus’ Tory rebels willing to defy whip and block no-deal Brexit – Guardian

> WATCH: Former Universities Minister Sam Gyimah MP on Sky’s Ridge on Sunday

…while David Gauke says he would resign from the Government if the next PM backs a no-deal Brexit…

Justice Secretary David Gauke says he will resign if the next prime minister chooses to pursue a no-deal Brexit. Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson has pledged the UK will leave the EU on 31 October – with or without a deal. However, Mr Gauke told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that a “sizeable” number of Conservative MPs believed the UK should leave with a deal. His comments come as Tory MP Sam Gyimah said more than 30 Tory MPs could vote against a no-deal Brexit. The EU has set the UK a deadline of 31 October to leave the bloc. Mr Gauke said he believed Parliament “will find a mechanism” between now and 31 October to prevent the UK leaving without a deal. When asked whether he thought he would be sacked from the cabinet if Mr Johnson became prime minister, he said: “I suspect that I will possibly have gone before then.” He added: “Assuming that he wins, if Boris’s position is that he is going to require every member of the cabinet to sign up to being prepared to leave without a deal on 31 October, to be fair to him I can’t support that policy – so I would resign in advance.” – BBC News

  • Justice Secretary David Gauke says he will resign if incoming prime minister chases no-deal Brexit – iNews

> WATCH: Justice Secretary David Gauke discusses Brexit on The Andrew Marr Show

…and Rory Stewart outlines ‘alternative parliament’ to stop a no-deal Brexit

Rory Stewart, the surprise star of the Tory leadership election, has said he would help organise an “alternative parliament” in order to stop a no-deal Brexit if the new prime minister tried to prorogue parliament in order to bypass MPs’ wishes. The MP for Penrith and the Border, whose campaign featured a series of walkabouts around the country to gauge public opinion on Brexit, also accused fellow no-deal opponents who are now supporting Boris Johnson of a destructive pessimism about their ability to change the Conservative party, or even win the next election. Stewart said a former Speaker, such as Betty Boothroyd, could be enlisted to oversee a parliament continuing to sit in defiance of Boris Johnson if he presses ahead with a no-deal Brexit by seeking to prorogue the Commons, or to use some other “constitutional manoeuvre which means whatever legislation parliament tries to pass does not bind his hands”. He said any plan to prorogue parliament, an option still entertained by Johnson, would be a constitutional outrage. – Guardian

  • Rory Stewart outlines ‘alternative parliament’ to stop no-deal Brexit – Guardian

Labour’s Barry Gardiner struggles to explain the party’s Brexit stance…

Sophy Ridge challenged Labour frontbencher Barry Gardiner to clarify his party position on Brexit, demanding he “just answer” after she blasted him for bypassing her questions. The Sky News host appeared frustrated at Barry Gardiner, accusing him and colleagues of getting lost in “lengthy replies” rather than clarifying whether Labour would back remain or leave in a new Brexit vote. Ms Ridge blasted the frontbencher demanding he “just answer” and give the public a “crystal clear” response on how the party would sway during a second referendum. The presenter said: “If there is an election, and that’s what you want. we’ll need to know crystal clear what Labour policy is. Does Labour want to stay in the EU or do you want to leave the EU? “Can you just answer it? Because I ask this question so much and it does feel sometimes you just get this lengthy replies that just don’t really answer what is a really straightforward question. Does Labour want to stay in the EU or want to leave the European Union?” Mr Gardiner insisted his party had always been a “remain and reform party,” as he conceded Labour would do “anything to stop a no deal Brexit.” He said: “Labour has always been an internationalist party. We wanted to stay in the EU and reform it. – Express

> WATCH: Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner discusses Brexit on Sophy Ridge on Sunday

…while John McDonnell says Labour should ‘get on with’ changing its Brexit policy and back Remain…

Labour should ‘get on with’ changing its Brexit policy to support a second referendum, the shadow chancellor has told the BBC. John McDonnell said Jeremy Corbyn was “rightfully” trying to build consensus, but added the party needed to reach a position “sooner rather than later”. I want to campaign for Remain,” he said. He also denied he had called for the Labour leader’s advisors to be sacked, as reported in the Sunday Times. Labour had previously promised a vote on Brexit in certain circumstances, specifically if it could not get its own deal with the EU passed by MPs or if there was no general election. Following the party’s poor performance in the European elections in May, Mr Corbyn appeared to go further, suggesting there “had to be a public vote” on any deal agreed with Brussels. He has recently come under pressure from his own MPs to confirm that the party would call for another referendum, and would campaign to remain in the EU. – BBC News

  • ‘Sooner rather than later’ – McDonnell pressures Corbyn to adopt pro-Remain position – Sky News
  • John McDonnell urges jeremy Corbyn to back Remain – The Times (£)

> WATCH: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell discusses Labour’s Brexit policy on The Andrew Marr Show

…as does Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott and John McDonnell believe they persuaded Jeremy Corbyn to switch Labour to opposing Brexit but their bid was thwarted by his aides. The hard-Left Labour leader’s two longest-standing political confidantes have spent weeks trying to convince him to embrace Remain, it has emerged. With the party’s poll ratings having plummeted, the Shadow Chancellorand Home Secretary fear they now stand just a slim chance of seizing No10 in a snap general election without the pivot. But Mr Corbyn’s circle of domineering senior advisers – dubbed “the Three Ms” because of their surnames – then talked Mr Corbyn out of it. The trio are communications boss Seumas Milne, chief of staff Karie Murphy and policy guru Andrew Murray. They were also yesterday accused of keeping Mr Corbyn “captive”, as the civil war between them and the Shadow Cabinet deepens. A Labour frontbencher and long standing Corbyn ally told The Sun: “It’s crystal clear for all to see what the Lib Dems are doing to our vote. We have to be for Remain now. – The Sun

Chris Grayling accused of trying to ‘silence’ road hauliers over no-deal Brexit

Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, has been accused of trying to “silence” road hauliers from raising concerns about a no-deal Brexit. The Road Haulage Association, the trade body representing freight companies, said Mr Grayling threatened to stop involving the organisation after they communicated with the press following a private briefing with the Transport Secretary last August. In a BBC Panorama documentary, which is due to be aired on Monday, Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, said Mr Grayling left him a voicemail after the association issued a press release about the meeting. In the voicemail message, Mr Grayling said: “I’ve got to say how very disappointed I am. “I had intended to involve you closely in the planning over the next few months, but issuing a press release straight after meeting like that makes it much more difficult for me to do that.” Mr Burnett said he felt Mr Grayling was “trying to silence an industry that’s trying to help Government guide them”. He added: “My sense of that message was – either shut up or you don’t engage. – Telegraph (£)

British Ambassador in Washington’s diplomatic memos were leaked ‘in revenge for failure to promote Brexit Britain’

The source who leaked Sir Kim Darroch’s diplomatic cables was exacting revenge over the ambassador’s alleged failure to promote a pro-Brexit Britain in Washington, it was being claimed last night. Mystery surrounds who leaked the ‘bombshell’ memos and why, prompting the Foreign Office to launch a formal inquiry. But it is understood the source of the leak – either a senior minister or official – did so to highlight their frustration at the failure of the civil service to push Brexit. According to a source close to Isabel Oakeshott, the political journalist who obtained the leaked memos, they were passed to her – and then published in the Mail on Sunday – because she is a well-known Brexiteer. The source said: “There are pro-Brexit officials who feel like pariahs and believe the Civil Service is institutionally pro-Remain. “There is certainly a view that Sir Kim with his long background in Brussels and as a former adviser to Tony Blair on Europe had not made the most of his time in Washington to explore post-Brexit opportunities.” The correspondence – marked ‘official sensitive’ – was leaked to Ms Oakeshott via a third party. The memos were widely circulated across the Foreign Office and other Government departments to up to 100 people, according to well-placed sources, making it difficult to trace the mole. But it would require a single official or minister to have access to the whole cache, inevitably casting the spotlight on senior ministers. – Telegraph (£)

Millions of British sheep could be slaughtered under a no-deal Brexit, farming bosses claim

Farming bosses have warned that millions of sheep will have to be slaughtered under a No Deal Brexit as Tory rebels step up their fight to block it. NFU President Minette Batters yesterday claimed the Tory leadership contenders’ threat will be “socially and economically absolutely disastrous.” The return of large tariffs for exports to the EU would send many farmers out of business, she argued. Ms Batters told Sky News: “We have 15 million breeding ewes in the UK. “For many years now, we’ve been exporting 40% of that to France. In a no deal situation, you cannot get over that tariff wall. You will have to look at slaughtering quite a large percentage of the national sheep stock.” – The Sun

Jacob Rees-Mogg: Boris is the one person to restore trust

The famous verse in the Bible “put not your trust in princes” often seems a misquote, and that it ought to be “put not your trust in politicians”. The ignominious failure of Theresa May and her team to deliver Brexit and to deny earlier promises by saying that the words “no-deal is better than a bad deal” was only meant in the abstract has corroded trust in politicians and alas, especially, in the Conservative Party. A symptom of this and the expression of the degree of failure has been the surge in support for the Brexit Party which, under Nigel Farage’s effective leadership, triumphed in the European elections and now leads in the opinion polls. This leaves a formidable task for Mrs May’s successor to restore trust and to rebuild the fortunes of Thetories. Boris is the one person who can do this. He has devoted his distinguished career to making the case against Brussels. As a young journalist he exposed its folly, vanity and hunger for power. It was Boris’s campaigning skills that tipped the scales in the referendum and took the Leave argument from one that would have been an honourable runner-up to victory. – Jacob Rees-Mogg MP for the Express

David Paton: A Halloween no-deal Brexit is no longer a scary prospect

Project Fear is back after a seasonal break. Far from resolving anything, Theresa May’s decision to delay Brexit back in the spring simply kicked the can down the road, frustrating companies who invested scarce resources into getting ready for a 31st March departure. Damaging as the decision to delay Brexit was, the silver lining is that seven months’ on, the UK is likely to be in a much better position to cope with the no-deal fall out. You wouldn’t know if it you listened to the CBI who continue to churn out “no-deal” scare stories. Or if you read the civil service memo apparently “leaked” to the media, explaining that the UK needs at least another five months to be ready for “no deal”. Funnily enough, that takes us beyond the 31st October deadline. You might almost think Mark Sedwill and co. are trying once again to rule out the possibility of a clean break with the EU. It doesn’t seem to matter that the civil service have already had over three years to prepare for Brexit – they always need a bit more time. I wonder if the new occupant of Number 10 will interpret the latest memo as demonstrating that someone high up in the civil service has not been doing their job and needs to be held accountable. Of one thing we can be sure: “no deal” will continue to be presented as a disastrous prospect over the next few months. Certainly, leaving the customs union and single market will be a challenge for some parts of the UK economy. – David Paton for The Spectator

Express: Brexit date is our key test for incoming PM

Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have energised the debate with interesting policy ideas and both men would make fine prime ministers. But, in the end, this contest – possibly the most critical leadership election for the Tories since it was opened up to members in 2001 – is about just one issue. Brexit. Nothing can be achieved in British politics until we leave the EU and open up the country to a new, prosperous role on the world stage. But the problem both the men who hope to be prime minister have is that they played significant roles in the previous government’s failure to deliver Brexit, even though Mr Johnson did honourably resign over it. This means that there is now a lack of public trust that they will see through their promises and Jacob Rees-Mogg is right to focus on the need to restore that trust in his backing of Mr Johnson. So while it is traditional for newspapers to endorse a candidate, we find that we cannot do so this time. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. We will join the 17.4 million in celebrating and congratulating a prime minister who has finally got us out of the EU by October 31. – Express editorial

Martin Daubney: This is the EU that really gets our backs up

Well, as first weeks at work go, didn’t the Brexit Party have a stonker! From the first day, we defiantly raged against the EU machine – and absolutely dominated the news cycle. On Tuesday morning, in Strasbourg, for the first day of the 2019-2024 EU term, we headed to the main chamber – the plenary – a vast, circular amphitheatre that resembles something out of StarWars. Naturally, they’d stuck the 29 Brexit Party MEPs right at the back, to stop us causing trouble. How wrong could they be! In his opening gambit, the speaker called it “the house of democracy” and we all laughed out loud. Then, when asked to stand for the “country’s” national anthem, Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, we duly stood – then turned our backs. And why not? For starters, the EU isn’t even a country! They gave themselves a national anthem when they aren’t even a nation. It’s a farce. For more than three years now, the EU and the British government have turned their backs on the Brexit referendum result, on 17.4 million Leavers and on democracy itself. This was peanuts in comparison. Yet, as predicted, the entire Remainstream media (plus the usual shower of second referendum MPs) went into spasms of virtue signalling. David Lammy called us “plonkers” yet he and other hardcore Remainers were oddly silent about the British Liberal Democrat MEPs childishly sporting bright yellow “*******s To Brexit” T-shirts. Indeed, EU Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt was only too keen to pose for pictures with them, further underlining his brazen contempt for Brexiteers. – Martin Daubney MEP for the Express

Brexit in Brief

  • Britain needs an anti-Brexit alliance – Vince Cable MP for Politico
  • Britain will boom under Boris – Express
  • Ex-DExEU chief: We should all worry about no deal – BBC News
  • Lib Dems promised flood of cash if they sign up to Remain alliance – City A.M.