Boris Johnson will ‘test to the limit’ Hilary Benn’s law aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit, Dominic Raab reveals: Brexit News for Monday 9 September

Boris Johnson will ‘test to the limit’ Hilary Benn’s law aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit, Dominic Raab reveals: Brexit News for Monday 9 September
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Boris Johnson will ‘test to the limit’ Hilary Benn’s law aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit, Dominic Raab reveals… 

Boris Johnson will go to court to challenge the order from parliament to delay Brexit, the foreign secretary has revealed. Dominic Raab insisted the government would not break the law – after MPs passed legislation requiring him to seek an Article 50 extension – but said it would not comply either. Vowing to “test to the limit” what the new law demands, Mr Raab said: “We will look very carefully, legally at what it requires and what it doesn’t require.” And, asked if the government would go to the courts, he pointed to the failed legal actions to stop parliament being suspended, he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge programme: “We had two legal challenges last week and we won both of those.” The comments suggest the controversy is heading for the Supreme Court in late October, with Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s key aide, believed to be convinced there is a legal way out. – Independent

  • PM to ‘test law to limit’ to avoid delay – BBC News

> WATCH: Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab discusses Brexit next steps and Rudd’s resignation

…as reports emerge of government efforts to ‘sabotage’ the demand for an extension…

Boris Johnson has drawn up plans to “sabotage” any Brexit extension without breaking the law, the Telegraph has learnt. It means Monday’s vote on a general election is the “last chance” for MPs to block a no-deal Brexit, the Government believes. The Prime Minister’s key advisers held a meeting on Sunday to thrash out a strategy to scupper Parliament’s efforts to force a three-month Brexit extension if no new deal is agreed. One plan under serious consideration would see the Prime Minister send an accompanying letter alongside the request to extend Article 50 setting out that the Government does not want any delay after Oct 31. On Sunday night, a Cabinet source told The Telegraph: “There is a prescribed letter that has to be sent… Does that stop the Prime Minister sending other documents to the EU? I don’t think it does. A political explainer perhaps, as to where the Government’s policy is. It has to make clear that the Government is asking for an extension, but let’s not forget what the next step is. Once that is done, the Europeans are going to ask: ‘Why? What is the reason?’ [What] if the Government said: ‘We don’t have any reasons for an extension’? There is a clear path now: the Europeans need to refuse an extension.” – Telegraph (£)

  • EU’s former legal chief rubbishes Boris Johnson’s plan to ‘shut down EU’ and says it will fail – Independent

…while Sajid Javid insists there is no chance the PM will ask for a Brexit extension at the October European Council… 

Boris Johnson will not ask for a Brexit extension at next month’s European summit, the chancellor warned today, as he refused to rule out a Tory electoral pact with Nigel Farage’s party. In the clearest sign yet that Britain’s continued membership of the EU may end up before the courts, Mr Javid told the BBC that the prime minister “absolutely will not” ask for an extension. “We will not change our policy,” he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show. “We will be consistent with obeying the law but also sticking to our policy, and you will have to wait and see what happens because there is a lot of days between now and 19 October.” – The Times (£)

  • PM Johnson will go to EU to seek a deal, not a Brexit delay, says Javid – Reuters

> WATCH: Chancellor Sajid Javid discusses the Government’s Brexit policy

…as the French Foreign Minister rules out a Brexit delay unless the UK political impasse is resolved

France will block any attempt to further delay Brexit unless the UK can overcome its internal political turmoil, the country’s foreign minister has warned. Fresh legislation designed to prevent Boris Johnson from forcing through a no deal exit from the European Union is due to become law on Monday, as MPs battle the Prime Minister over his Brexit stance. It had been suggested that senior former Cabinet members, who were last week expelled from the parliamentary Tory party, had received private assurances that an extension to Article 50 would be granted. But Jean-Yves Le Drian, a senior member of Emanuel Macron’s cabinet, ruled out any further delays due to the ongoing political upheaval in the UK. “In the current circumstances, it’s no. We are not going to go through this every three months,” Mr Le Drian said. The threat dramatically increases the chances of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on 31 October as all 27 EU countries must sign up to any extension. French President Mr Macron has been by the most hardline among the EU 27 when it comes to agreeing extensions to the Brexit deadline, as he is eager to push on with his reforms to the EU which will see ever closer relations between the countries. – iNews

  • French foreign minister threatens to veto Brexit delay – The Times (£)

Boris Johnson must ‘obey law’, Justice Secretary reminds him in extraordinary warning

Boris Johnson has been told to ‘obey the law’ over Brexit in an extraordinary warning issued by his own justice secretary. Robert Buckland scotched speculation that he would follow Amber Rudd by resigning, despite ministers preparing to legally challenge parliament’s instruction to stop a crash-out from the EU. But he also revealed his concerns about the prime minister, by tweeting: “We have spoken over the past 24 hours regarding the importance of the Rule of Law, which I as Lord Chancellor have taken an oath to uphold.” The pro-EU justice secretary is one of four cabinet ministers on ‘resignation watch’, as No 10 ratchets up the rhetoric in a Brexit showdown heading for the courts. – Independent

Nicky Morgan rallies behind Boris Johnson and says PM must keep No Deal on table

Cabinet Minister Nicky Morgan has rallied behind Boris Johnson following Amber Rudd’s  resignation and told the PM to keep No Deal on the table. The Culture Secretary insisted she would “stay in the room” and give Johnson “necessary support” to strike a Brexit deal. Her intervention comes after Work and Pensions secretary Amber Rudd resigned in protest at Downing Street’s negotiating strategy. Writing in the Daily Mail, Morgan said: “I am sorry to see Amber Rudd and Jo Johnson decide to resign in recent days. I respect their decision, but the Prime Minister has been clear from the start that we must leave on October 31 – deal or No Deal. I intend to stay ‘in the room where it happens’ to ensure that together with my colleagues, the Prime Minister has the necessary support to fulfil his priority of agreeing a deal with the EU as we leave by October 31. Three years on from the referendum, we need to find a way for our country to come back together and bring the volatility of British politics to a close now. It is no surprise that the public are exhausted and fed up. I share this frustration – they voted to leave three years ago and it is our duty to deliver on that result.” – The Sun

MPs to hold second vote on holding an early election tonight…

The government is to ask MPs to agree to a snap election for a second time, in what could be one of Parliament’s last acts before being suspended. No 10 has billed Monday’s vote as Labour’s “last chance” to secure an early general election. But the government is expected to be defeated, with opposition parties wanting their law aimed at avoiding no-deal to be implemented first. Boris Johnson is also due to meet Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin. The prime minister first called for a snap election after MPs – including rebel Tories – voted in favour of a bill requiring him to seek an extension to the Brexit deadline of 31 October if a deal is not reached before 19 October. That bill is set to gain royal assent and become law on Monday, but has been criticised by ministers as “lousy” and weakening the government’s negotiating position with Brussels. Downing Street said Monday’s vote, which comes ahead of this week’s shutdown of Parliament, was Labour’s last chance to secure an early election and have the chance to win its own mandate from the public to delay Brexit. But the motion, which requires the support of two-thirds of MPs, was defeated for a first time last week and is expected to fail again. – BBC News

…but first Remainers may try and seize control of the Commons again with more emergency debates

The battle between Parliament and Boris Johnson is poised to take another twist today with the so-called “rebel alliance” requesting emergency debates aimed at forcing the Government to publish further paperwork related to no-deal planning, and ensuring the Prime Minister adheres to the rule of law. ITV’s political correspondent Paul Brand tweeted that MPs were trying to force the debates in accordance with a Parliamentary procedure known as Standing Order 24 (SO24). He added: “One on revealing government paperwork on Operation Yellowhammer (No Deal scenarios).” He added: “One on PM adhering to the rule of law (as he hints he might be willing to bend it).” – Express

Boris Johnson heads to Dublin for a meeting with Leo Varadkar…

Boris Johnson will fly to Dublin to meet the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, on Monday, as he battles to show that his Brexit plan remains on track after Amber Rudd dramatically quit the cabinet. Against a backdrop of mounting disquiet inside government at Johnson’s gung-ho approach and the combative style of his chief strategist Dominic Cummings, the British prime minister hopes to demonstrate that he is serious about negotiating a fresh Brexit deal. In Dublin on Monday, Johnson will be under pressure to spell out more details of how his government intends to replace what he has called the “anti-democratic” backstop for the Irish border. He has suggested an all-Ireland system of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks on agricultural products might provide part of the solution – but Varadkar has pointed out such issues only account for about 30% of border checks. “It’s not enough on its own. We would need a single Irish economic zone, or whatever you would like to call it, to cover more than agriculture and food,” Varadkar said on Friday. That approach would be anathema to the Democratic Unionist party. It was its members objection to border checks in the Irish Sea that helped push Theresa May towards reworking the backstop to cover the UK as a whole. Varadkar and his deputy, Simon Coveney, have spent the last two days stressing the backstop is about normal life on the border, as well as trade in agriculture and other goods. – Guardian

…who has suggested he will remind Johnson that he once voted for the backstop

Leo Varadkar has indicated that he will remind Boris Johnson that he voted for the Irish backstop just six months ago, as the pair prepare to meet for crunch talks on Monday. Playing down the prospects of a Brexit breakthrough, the Irish Taoiseach claimed on Sunday night that any deal struck with Brussels would not happen until the European Council summit on October 17. Ahead of Mr Johnson’s visit to Dublin, Mr Varadkar said the discussions would be a useful scoping exercise and allow both leaders to “get to know each other a little better, to see if there is common ground.” The Prime Minister has insisted that the backstop – the insurance policy designed to prevent a hard Irish border – must be abolished in order for Britain to leave with a deal on Hallowe’en. He is expected to use Monday’s meeting to discuss alternative technological solutions, in a bid to convince Brussels to reopen negotiations on the withdrawal agreement. – Telegraph (£)

  • Leo Varadkar plays down prospects of Brexit breakthrough – FT(£)

DUP remain confident a Brexit deal can still be achieved

The DUP has said it remains confident a Brexit deal can be achieved, despite the high profile resignation of cabinet minister Amber Rudd. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, the DUP’s chief whip, made the comments at the Kennedy Summer School in Co Wexford. He added that he didn’t believe Brexit would threaten the Good Friday Agreement. In a stinging attack on the government, Ms Rudd quit her role as Work and Pensions Secretary saying she did not believe the Government was even trying to get a deal. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Sir Jeffrey said he “remained hopeful that pragmatism will prevail”. Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann, however, has questioned what information the DUP has that leads it to believe it knows more about the Brexit preparations than Ms Rudd. Sir Jeffrey said: “I believe that with several weeks to go until October 31 there is time to get a deal. The EU have said they’re open to such proposals. The Government has been working on said proposals to put forward.” – Belfast Telegraph

Guy Verhofstadt threatens UK with no trade deal

Guy Verhofstadt has taken aim at the UK in a series of tweets in which he suggested a post-Brexit trade deal “will be difficult to achieve.” Mr Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, took to social media to offer his thoughts on an article in the Financial Times, suggesting Mr Johnson’s plan to diverge from EU rules after Brexit made it less likely that the bloc would sign up for such a trade deal. The report, which cited “officials and diplomats in Brussels”, was posted by Mr Verhofstadt, who commented: “If the UK really does want lower environment and social standards, an ambitious post Brexit EU-UK trade deal will be difficult to achieve and face a precarious ratification process.” – Express

Sajid Javid repeatedly refuses to rule out election pact with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party…

Sajid Javid has refused to rule out a pact with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party at the next election. The chancellor refused to answer directly five times when quizzed the day before Boris Johnson is expected to launch his second bid to get parliament to back a snap poll. He did insist the Conservative Party does not “need” electoral alliances. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruled out an electoral alliance during the Tory leadership race. Speaking in the wake of Amber Rudd’s resignation, which has brought the government’s majority down to minus 45, Mr Javid said the country does need a general election “now”, despite the “sad” timing. He was then asked repeatedly on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show to publicly rule out a pact with Brexit Party. “We don’t need an electoral alliance with anyone,” Mr Javid said. “We can stand on our own two feet, put our message across. – Sky News

…and hits back at Amber Rudd’s claims that nothing is being done to secure a new Brexit deal…

Sajid Javid has hit back at Amber Rudd’s claims that nothing is being done to secure a new Brexit deal. The Chancellor said Boris Johnson was “straining every sinew” to reach a new agreement with Brussels after Rudd, who betrayed the PM by quitting the Cabinet last night, said “80-90 per cent” of government time was preparing for No Deal. Javid said he was “very saddened” by Rudd’s resignation and described her as a “friend” and “good person”. He told the Andrew Marr Show: “I am absolutely clear that we are working wholeheartedly, straining every sinew, to get a deal and the Prime Minister  is personally putting in all the significant effort you’d expect from a leader to get this done. I do know there is a [Brexit] proposal but it would be madness to start talking about it public. We’re learning from the mistakes from the past and one of those is having an alternative. But the prime minister’s set up a small group so we can move at pace and move quickly as the EU adjusts its position. And there are a number of discussions going on and I am absolutely convinced that if we continue down this course of having these discussions, preparing for no deal, we can still get a deal.” – The Sun

…while Dominic Raab responds to her resignation by insisting ministers knew what they were signing up for

Dominic Raab has hit back at Amber Rudd following her explosive resignation from Government and the Conservative Party, insisting that ministers knew what they were signing up for.  The Foreign Secretary on Sunday rallied behind Boris Johnson, stating that he was right to “restore some discipline” and to “expect it from his top team” in return. Mr Raab added that when Ms Rudd was appointed to the Cabinet she accepted the Prime Minister’s Brexit negotiating strategy was to leave the European Union by Oct 31 “come what may”.  His intervention came hours after Ms Rudd quit on Saturday evening, attacking Mr Johnson over his short-sighted” decision to oust 21 Tory MPs who voted against the Government last week. In a letter to Mr Johnson, the Work and Pensions Secretary insisted she had joined the Cabinet in “good faith” but said she was no longer convinced that “leaving with a deal is the Government’s main objective”. She added that the decision to remove the whip from pro-EU Tories, including former ministers Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Rory Stewart, was an act of “political vandalism”. Later, she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the so-called “purge” of Tory moderates could cost the party a majority at the next election. – Telegraph (£)

Brexit negotiating team reportedly shrinks to just four staff

The Europe unit which had led negotiations for a Brexit deal with Brussels has been disbanded by Boris Johnson. The civil servants who worked in the Cabinet Office under Olly Robbins, Theresa May’s chief Brexit negotiator, are all thought to have been redeployed to other government departments. The Times also understands that Mr Robbins, who was moved from his job by Mr Johnson, will announce this week that he is leaving the civil service. He has been on gardening leave since July after handing over to David Frost, a former political adviser to Mr Johnson who is now his Europe adviser. A Whitehall source said that Mr Frost had a core team of only four political and civil service advisers working directly for him in Downing Street. – The Times (£)

John McDonnell hints Labour has dropped its own plans for a Brexit deal and would back May’s hated Withdrawal Agreement

Labour has given up on plans to get a new Brexit deal and would back a version of Theresa May’s hated Withdrawal Agreement, John McDonnell has dramatically revealed. McDonnell said Labour would hold a second referendum on one of the deals already discussed by Parliament – such as May’s or the Norway option. The latter would see Britain out of the EU but remaining in the single market, meaning goods, services and people could continue to enjoy free movement. Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly promised to go back to Brussels to thrash out a new “jobs first” Brexit if he seizes power – vowing to protect Britain’s industry and boost the economy. But in a sign of yet more Labour Brexit chaos, his close ally and shadow chancellor waved the white flag of defeat. McDonnell told Andrew Marr: “We’ve got to get to a situation now where we accept what the offer is. I think it’s a matter of confirming what the offer would be – then it has to go back to the people again. – The Sun

  • Labour could offer Theresa May’s Brexit deal or Remain in a second referendum, John McDonnell hints – Telegraph (£)

> WATCH: Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell discusses Labour’s Brexit policy and stopping a no-deal Brexit

Science and technology boom to create millions of new jobs in decades after Brexit

Britain’s post-Brexit economy will be transformed by a boom in the science, technology and healthcare industries, creating millions of new jobs and generating billions of pounds in output, a major new report has revealed. The economy will undergo a major shift in the next two decades driven by a green revolution, technological change and the ageing population, analysis by BNP Paribas and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) found. A combined 2.7 million jobs will be added to the economy by 2038 in their forecast, and investment will flood into certain regions, such as Manchester and the East of England, the location of Cambridge’s life sciences hub. “That growth is being driven by innovation, in particular in science, technology and the health and social sector,” explained Anne Marie Verstraeten, UK country head for BNP Paribas. The French banking giant’s Market Leaders Report looks at the economy’s 16 sectors as defined by the Office for National Statistics and is based on surveys with 1,500 businesses. The forecasts assumed a smooth departure from the EU and is one of the most detailed predictions of how the UK economy will develop after Brexit. The scientific, admin and support sector – which includes scientific research, engineering and architecture – will prosper most in the coming years, doubling in size and becoming the UK’s largest industry by 2038. – Telegraph (£)

Nicky Morgan: I want a deal – but we must be prepared to leave without one

Watching talented colleagues walking away from the Cabinet table is never easy. I am sorry to see Amber Rudd and Jo Johnson decide to do so in recent days. I respect their decision, but the Prime Minister has been clear from the start that we must leave on October 31 – deal or No Deal. In the words of the musical Hamilton, I intend to stay ‘in the room where it happens’ to ensure that together with my colleagues, the Prime Minister has the necessary support to fulfil his priority of agreeing a deal with the EU as we leave by October 31. Before I joined the Government, I spent months working as part of the Prosperity UK Commission on Alternative Arrangements to the Irish backstop. Our work demonstrated that there were other ways to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. An overwhelming majority of Conservative MPs and party members backed the Prime Minister’s deal or No Deal plan when he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in July. Three years on from the referendum, we need to find a way for our country to come back together and bring the volatility of British politics to a close now. And I agree that the No Deal option has to be kept on the table. While we are all clear that a deal is preferable, I know from my years as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer that no two sides to a negotiation can be compelled to agree a deal. That is why ministers and departments have spent all summer increasing our preparations to ensure the UK is properly ready for a No Deal on October 31 if that eventuality unfolds. – Nicky Morgan MP for the Daily Mail

Iain Duncan Smith: Enough squabbling: Tories must back Boris and the will of the people by delivering Brexit

We are living through a period in politics which I have not witnessed in 27 years in the Commons. Boris Johnson was elected by more than two thirds of the party. Such an overwhelming vote would normally have been enough to unite the party but after 40 years during which the EU has eaten into the soul of the establishment, it has not. The normal rules have been broken, votes of confidence ignored and Cabinet pledges, it seems, cast aside without a thought. Party allegiance is frayed – often to breaking point.  Remember, when Boris Johnson called MPs to join his new administration, he asked whether they would be prepared to put their own views to one side and support a no-deal Brexit if he could not negotiate a deal which Parliament would back by Oct 31. Boris could not have been clearer and all ministers made the pledge. I must admit I was surprised when Amber Rudd, an avowed Remainer, decided to resign, not just from the Government but from the Conservative Party. I am genuinely sorry that she has made that choice, but I am perplexed as to why she would do so now. Having spoken to a number of ministers, I can attest to the utter frustration that they feel. – Iain Duncan Smith MP for the Telegraph (£)

Robert Colvile: PM is fighting to save, not wreck, democracy

Westminster always has its share of Sturm und Drang, but the chaos of the past week has been downright extraordinary. One MP compares the experience to a soap opera whose desperate writers are throwing a series of increasingly implausible plotlines at the screen. Certainly the emergence of Philip Hammond as a spunky backbench insurgent suggests a glaring disregard for convincing character development. This is a time, in other words, of heavy metal politics — and the volume is only going up. Today alone we have another showdown in the Commons; the fallout from Amber Rudd’s dramatic resignation; talk swirling of Boris Johnson defying parliament, being dragged before the courts or even vacating No 10 rather than demand a Brexit extension. Yet amid the clashing and crashing, it has been possible to pick out a consistent theme emerging, from the opposition benches, from the 21 former Conservative MPs, from Rudd herself, and from commentators such as this paper’s own Matthew Parris. It is that the prime minister, at the urging of the sinister Dominic Cummings, is transforming his party from a mainstream, one nation party into a narrow and intolerant sect. The Conservatives, goes the refrain heard in interview after interview, are now the Brexit Party. What you hear much less frequently is the case for the defence. Which is that the Conservatives are not the Brexit Party. But they are the party of Brexit. – Robert Colvile for The Times (£)

The Sun: Boris Johnson must defy this rogue Remainer Parliament and take Britain out of the EU on October 31

Boris Johnson must defy this rogue Remainer Parliament to the end. It is not merely useless, not just unworthy of public respect. It is illegitimate — and the vast majority of voters know it. Many of its MPs were elected in the first place on a platform of lies: That they would honour the Brexit referendum, when in truth they would look for any excuse to reverse it. That they believed “No Deal was better than a bad deal” when they would resign their Government posts and betray their party if No Deal looked likely. Some Tories supposedly committed to Brexit were closet Lib-Dem Remainers. Some Labour MPs were too. None have respected our democracy enough to seek a new mandate at a by-election. Others, seduced by Remainer cheerleaders in the media and on Twitter, decided any pro-Brexit promises could be jettisoned — and to hell with voters. Labour too vowed to respect 17.4million Leavers, about four million of them traditionally on the Left. It has now finally committed to betraying them all. So now, having put the referendum result into law, Remainers seek to overturn it via preventing our departure on October 31. How? By seizing entirely new, improper powers for themselves in open defiance of our constitution and the public. Boris will not, must not, cannot beg the EU for yet another aimless delay. Nor must he allow himself to be forced by court order to do so. The Sun believes voters will rally behind the man who stood against these charlatans. They have all but destroyed faith in our democracy and are poised, via referendum or revoking Article 50, to deliver the fatal blow. – The Sun says

Trevor Kavanagh: Boris Johnson must step up to the plate and crash Brexit through — or Britain will crash

I ask you, do you honestly think Boris Johnson is a lying, racist thug? A Hitler-style dictator or a tyrant like Robert Mugabe, ripping up the British constitution? Yes, passions run high on both sides. But the Prime Minister is not smashing democracy, as barmy critics claim. He is delivering it against an orchestrated blowback from vindictive Remainers. Boris is a rare political animal — instantly likeable. Such character assassination would be laughable if it were not so corrosive to public life. It reflects not on the PM but on his sneering opponents. It is ludicrous to hear Boris smeared as a liar by such Marxist plotters and terrorist sympathisers as Jeremy Corbyn or John McDonnell — the man who once said he dreamed of going back in time and killing Margaret Thatcher. How dare hypocrite Emily Thornberry suggest Boris can’t be trusted when she has been caught out pretending to want a deal while simultaneously campaigning for Remain? Assisted by scandalously biased Speaker John Bercow, they have hijacked Parliament and turned it into an ugly and dangerous juggernaut against the British people. They, not Boris, are to blame for the cataclysmic collapse in voters’ trust in British politics. Even now he is trusted more to look after the NHS than Corbyn. As for Tory rebels such as Phil Hammond, this is personal. They resent Boris’s effortless popularity and tried to sabotage his Premiership. They overplayed their hand. The latest threat to drag the PM into court unless he seeks yet another Brexit extension is surely a bluff. In handcuffs, he becomes an invincible Brexit Martyr. Voters are sick of Brexit. Families are divided. Everyone wants it over. – Trevor Kavanagh for The Sun

The Times: Johnson’s Brexit problems – Get a Deal

A week ago Boris Johnson had made an assured start as prime minister and it was possible to say that he had brought some much needed vigour to the leadership of his party and his country. This morning he looks all out of options and there is already speculation that he will soon be forced to resign. In truth, things are not as hopeless as they look. Mr Johnson does have one good option. He needs to cut a deal with the European Union. That will not be easy. Mr Johnson set himself a high bar when he said that the Irish backstop would have to be ripped out of Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement before serious talks could even begin. Though it is hard to be sure what is happening in secret negotiations, it is not clear that Mr Johnson’s government has tabled any alternative arrangement that could solve the problem. The most damaging accusation made by Amber Rudd, who resigned from both the cabinet and the Conservative whip on Saturday night, is that, from her position close to the centre of power, she does not believe the government is serious about securing a deal. If that is true then it needs to change, and immediately. Mr Johnson has said that the parliamentary vote that will compel him, on October 19, to seek an extension from the EU if no deal has been agreed, makes a mockery of his attempts to negotiate. It is, indeed, regrettable that parliament has weakened the prime minister’s hand but it does not make all negotiation null and void. If genuine progress was being made, as the prime minister has repeatedly said, then there is no reason that progress cannot be resumed and brought to a conclusion. The major obstacle in the way of a deal is a solution to the Irish question. If the British government has serious proposals to make then a deal is surely feasible. – The Times (£) editorial

Brexit in Brief

  • The Sun: Boris Johnson’s best Brexit option is to let the clock tick down to October 31 – The Sun says
  • How Ireland lost patience with Brexiting Brits – Naomi O’Leary and Charlie Cooper for Politico
  • Prospect of Jeremy Corbyn as PM is far worse than no-deal Brexit – Brian Monteith for The Scotsman
  • Farage exposes Macron’s desperate tactics: ‘France fears UK could soon shatter EU’ – Express