Sajid Javid unveils extra £2bn to ‘turbo-charge’ no-deal Brexit preparations: Brexit News for Thursday 1 August

Sajid Javid unveils extra £2bn to ‘turbo-charge’ no-deal Brexit preparations: Brexit News for Thursday 1 August
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Sajid Javid unveils extra £2bn to ‘turbo-charge’ no-deal Brexit preparations…

Britain’s new chancellor Sajid Javid has announced an extra £2.1bn of funding to “turbo-charge” preparations for a no-deal Brexit, including money to ensure the “continuity of vital medicines”. From the money, £1.1bn will be provided to departments and devolved administrations immediately, while £1bn will be made available “should it be needed”, the Treasury said. The extra funding comes as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s strategy to make no-deal planning his government’s number one priority. Although Johnson has said he wants a deal, he has argued that the European Union is most likely to come back to the table if it believes Britain will walk away. The money will be spent on border and customs operations, critical medical supplies and a public information campaign. Javid said: “With 92 days until the UK leaves the European Union it’s vital that we intensify our planning to ensure we are ready. If we can’t get a good deal, we’ll have to leave without one. This additional £2.1bn will ensure we are ready to leave on 31 October – deal or no deal.” – City A.M.

…including a no-deal Brexit ad campaign in Europe…

Boris Johnson’s government is planning a Europe-wide media blitz to convince EU governments and citizens that the U.K. is serious about leaving, deal or no deal, on October 31. On top of a widely reported domestic public information campaign, officials are looking at taking out pages in major European newspapers and targeting online adverts at European citizens, directing them to U.K. government information on Brexit. Part of the European public information campaign will target and be tailored to U.K. citizens living on the Continent. But there is a wider aim to ram home the message to EU capitals that the U.K. is not bluffing when it says it will leave at the end of October. – Politico

…all of which Labour brand ‘an appalling waste of money’

Labour branded the spending an “appalling waste of tax-payers’ cash, all for the sake of Boris Johnson’s drive towards a totally avoidable no deal”, especially as the majority of MPs had made clear their intention to block an exit without a withdrawal agreement. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said: “This government could have ruled out no deal, and spent these billions on our schools, hospitals, and people. Labour is a party for the whole of the UK, so we’ll do all we can to block a no-deal, crash-out Brexit, and we’ll deliver a transformative economic policy that delivers for the many, not the few.” Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons public accounts committee, vowed to scrutinise the spending. “Just because Boris Johnson is making it sound like he’s fighting a war, with seven-days-a-week meetings in Whitehall, that is not licence to spend taxpayers’ money like water”. – Guardian

  • Boris Johnson’s Brexit cash spree to be probed by Parliament’s spending watchdog – Evening Standard

Boris Johnson says the Brexit ball is in the EU’s court over No Deal after phone call clash with Leo Varadkar…

Boris Johnson has called on the European Union to make the next move as he confirmed he will leave without a deal if Brussels is not prepared to budge. During his first official visit to Wales as Prime Minister, Mr Johnson said: “If they can’t compromise, if they really can’t do it, then clearly we have to get ready for a no-deal exit. It is up to the EU, this is their call, it’s their call if they want us to do this.” Later, Mr Johnson said the EU would be to blame if the refusal to remove the controversial Irish backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement would lead to a ‘no deal’ scenario. It comes after Mr Johnson clashed with his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar in their first phone call since he took office. Downing Street confirmed that during the phone call the Prime Minister “made clear that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31, no matter what.” Mr Johnson told the Taoiseach that while he will approach Brexit negotiations in “a spirit of friendship” any fresh deal must see the backstop abolished. However, the Irish Government said Mr Varadkar told Mr Johnson that the emergency measure to prevent a hard border on the island was “necessary as a consequence” of UK decisions. – Telegraph (£)

…while the Taoiseach is accused of ‘Project Fear Mark 2’ in row over no-deal Brexit…

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has been accused of “project fear mark 2” as he says he will not be “bullied” into backing down on the Brexit deal. Boris Johnson, who today [Wednesday] held talks in Stormont with the leaders of the five main Northern Irish parties, has demanded that the backstop be binned as a precondition to get into Brexit negotiations and avoid a no-deal Brexit… asked if he would cave into UK demands, Mr Varadkar said: “Absolutely not. You know Ireland isn’t going to be bullied on this issue and as a Government and as a country, I think we are going to stick by our position. Brexit wasn’t our idea.” Mr Johnson’s tough approach is backed by the DUP, the Conservatives confidence and supply partners in Westminster, who insisted that they wanted a “sensible” Brexit deal but said it would be foolish to take no-deal off the negotiating table. – Telegraph (£)

…and a senior Irish politician lashes out at arrogant Varadkar’s Brexit strategy… 

The cracks are growing ever larger in Ireland’s once united front on Brexit. Now it’s a senior TD (MP) who has caused a major stir by dramatically breaking ranks with the cross-party line that everything Leo Varadkar does on Brexit is beyond reproach. Timmy Dooley, Communications Spokesman for Fianna Fáil, blasted Varadkar’s “failure to engage in basic diplomacy over the past 2 years” in a now-deleted tweet. Fianna Fáil is committed to a confidence and supply agreement with the governing Fine Gael to “strengthen Ireland’s hand in negotiating a successful outcome to Brexit”, so this is unnerving from a party that hitherto at least publicly supports the Irish government’s stance. Dooley earned a public rebuke from his party leader Micheál Martin, while Fine Gael’s pugnacious keyboard-warrior-in-chief Neale Richmond has naturally been triggered, however the damage has already been done. – Guido Fawkes

…as Varadkar is warned that No Deal may cause thousands of job losses and food and medicine shortages in Ireland

Ireland faces food and medicine shortages and 110,000 job losses if there’s a No Deal Brexit – leader Leo Varadkar was warned yesterday. The Irish Central Bank said a crash out on October 31 would cause an economic shock of “unprecedented nature”. There would be mayhem at ports and airports, an ICB report said. The apocalyptic forecast came a day after the Irish Premier slapped down Boris Johnson’s request for Ireland to compromise on Brexit by “abolishing the backstop”. The ICB predicted No Deal would immediately relegate Ireland from being the Eurozone’s fastest growing economy to its slowest. – The Sun

A defiant Johnson plans to ‘snub’ EU leaders until they promise to re-open Brexit talks…

Boris Johnson has no plans to meet EU leaders for a charm offensive this summer – unless they say they will be willing to re-open Brexit talks. Instead he will give them the cold shoulder for up to a month as he dramatically ramps up preparations to leave the EU without a deal in October. France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel have issued invitations for the PM to visit them and talk Brexit, but nothing is in the diary as of yet. Boris has spoken to them both on the phone – along with EU boss Jean Claude Juncker. – The Sun

…and instead sends a ‘ditch the backstop’ message to the EU via his Brexit adviser

Boris Johnson has sent his most senior EU adviser and Brexit negotiator to Brussels to deliver in person his message that the UK will leave without a deal unless the bloc abolishes the Irish backstop. David Frost, a former British ambassador to Denmark who was also an adviser to Johnson when he was foreign secretary, is to hold talks with EU officials over the next 48 hours. As Johnson’s choice to replace Olly Robbins, Frost is to be the new government’s main interlocutor for fresh negotiations. His contact is the most significant so far between Johnson’s administration and Brussels. He will meet Clara Martinez Alberola, the head of cabinet for the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker; Stéphanie Riso, a senior official in Michel Barnier’s negotiations taskforce who was a key player in drafting the terms of the backstop, and Ilze Juhansone, the deputy secretary general at the commission. – Guardian

Johnson indicates that a deal could mean the UK staying in the Customs Union and Single Market for another two years…

Boris Johnson has said that the UK could stay in the customs union and single market for another two years, as he appeared to suggest what a Brexit deal struck by his Government could look like. The Prime Minister described the chance of a no-deal Brexit as “vanishingly small” as he visited farmers in Wales on his tour of the UK. However, he stressed that the cost of no-deal preparations – such as building new customs facilities – will not be a “wasted effort” even if the UK manages to agree a deal with the European Union. He said: “Some of the changes and adjustments necessary in the run-up to October 31, and a lot of which we have already done, will be crucial anyway if we are going to come out of the customs union, come out of the single market as we must in the next couple of years.” – Telegraph (£)

…and appears to undermine Gove’s message over No Deal assumption…

Boris Johnson today rejected Michael Gove’s claim that leaving the EU without an agreement in October was now the government’s central planning assumption. Mr Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal planning, said at the weekend that while the government still wanted a negotiated settlement it “must operate on the assumption” that a deal would not be reached. Speaking on a visit to Scotland today, Mr Johnson rejected this, saying it was “absolutely not” his view. “My assumption is that we can get a new deal,” he said. – The Times (£)

…as ERG’s Mark Francois warns that sixty Tory backbenchers would vote down the Withdrawal Agreement, even if the Irish backstop were removed

Dozens of hardline Brexiteer MPs are vowing to vote down the Withdrawal Agreement even if it does not include the backstop, after Boris Johnson suggests there will be a transition period. Mark Francois, the vice chairman of the European Research Group, warned of a “running Parliamentary war probably for at least a month” if Mr Johnson tries to force the agreement through the Commons. Mr Johnson wants the European Union to agree to remove the 200 page long section covering the Northern Ireland backstop in Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement to get the deal approved by MPs. However Mr Francois said that Tory members of the ERG on the backbenches – now understood to be around 60 – would vote down any agreement. – Telegraph (£)

Donald Trump promises post-Brexit bonanza in first chat with the new Prime Minister…

Donald Trump promised a Brexit bonanza after the UK leaves the EU in his first chat with new PM Boris Johnson on Friday. The two leaders vowed to begin work to thrash out a huge new economic relationship between Britain and the US, the White House said last night. They spoke on Friday – two days after Boris took over at Number 10 following his Conservative Party leadership election victory. President Trump’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Monday: “President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson last Friday in their first official communication since the Prime Minister took office.” – The Sun

…while an Australia-UK trade deal ‘could happen within weeks of Brexit’…

A trade deal between Australia and the UK could be struck within weeks after Brexit, [Australian] Trade Minister Simon Birmingham has said, after talking to his new British counterpart Liz Truss. That could be as early as November this year, amid growing signs new Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pursuing a No Deal Brexit on October 31… A week after being named as Fox’s replacement, Truss phoned her Australian counterpart for their first official discussion. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the discussion had gone well and both were keen to secure a deal that would reflect the closeness of Australia and the UK’s tied history as soon as possible – which could be before the end of the year. – Sydney Morning Herald

…as Liz Truss also pledges an early deal with New Zealand… 

[New Zealand] Trade Minister David Parker has met his new counterpart in London, Liz Truss, and she reiterated the pledge given by her predecessor that New Zealand would be one of the first free trade agreements Britain signed after leaving the European Union. Parker said he welcomed her commitment to move ahead quickly… Parker was in London for meetings as Attorney-General but took the opportunity meet Truss. Truss tweeted about the meeting with Parker, saying: “I want New Zealand to be one of the first free trade agreements the UK signs as we prepare to become an independent trading nation once again.” – New Zealand Herald

…and Dominic Raab turns to Asia for a post-Brexit trade boost

New Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is heading for the Far East on a major trade mission, claiming the UK needs to “raise our game” after Brexit. He is joining a meeting of 10 South East Asian countries in Bangkok in a bid to strengthen ties with countries around the world when the UK leaves the EU. On his first visit overseas visit in his new job, he is meeting with foreign ministers from 10 countries representing a market of 650 million people and with trade links with the UK worth £36bn per year. “For too long, our trade focus has been on Europe,” said Mr Raab, who replaced Boris Johnson’s Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt in the new prime minister’s ruthless clear-out of Theresa May loyalists from the cabinet. “We need to expand our horizons, and raise our game. That means grasping the enormous global opportunities for the UK – and my first trip as foreign secretary will look to strengthen our friendships across Asia. – Sky News

  • Dominic Raab to urge firms to focus more on exporting outside EU – Guardian

Boris Johnson and Ruth Davidson strike fragile truce in Scotland summit but remain divided on no-deal Brexit

Boris Johnson and Ruth Davidson have struck a fragile truce during a summit in Scotland but he categorically rejected her key demand that he rule out a no-deal Brexit. The Prime Minister described himself as a “massive fan” of the Scottish Tory leader, despite her being a persistent critic, and offered to support her bid to become First Minister at the 2021 Holyrood election. Following what she described as “incredibly constructive” discussions at the Scottish Parliament, Ms Davidson emphasised their “shared determination to strengthen the Union and to make the case against Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a second referendum on independence.” They also agreed the priority must be to work hard to get a Brexit deal, with the Scottish Tory leader urging Mr Johnson to devote “the same vigour and energy” to this as planning for no deal. – Telegraph (£)

Johnson promises farmers a ‘better deal’ after Brexit

Boris Johnson will promise to give farmers a “better deal” after Brexit as he said they will be “selling ever more, not just here but around the world”. The Prime Minister will visit a farm in south Wales on Tuesday and talk about the “historic opportunity” the UK has to introduce new schemes to support farming after it leaves the European Union. Speaking ahead of the visit, where he will also meet Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, Mr Johnson said: “I will always back Britain’s great farmers and as we leave the EU we need to make sure that Brexit works for them. That means scrapping the common agricultural policy and signing new trade deals.” Mr Johnson will then travel to Brecon and Radnorshire ahead of Thursday’s by-election. – Telegraph (£)

Andrea Leadsom urges business leaders to ‘champion’ Brexit preparations

The new business secretary, Andrea Leadsom, will underline the radical shift in her department’s Brexit stance later by meeting a number of company bosses who have endorsed the UK’s departure from the EU. Sky News understands that Ms Leadsom is holding her first Brexit roundtable with executives from companies such as GE, JD‎ Wetherspoon, Laing O’Rourke and Tate & Lyle. Some of those invited, such as the Wetherspoon pub chain, have openly endorsed Brexit and the prospect of a no-deal departure at the end of October. Sources close to Ms Leadsom said she had convened the talks in order to focus on her “number one priority” of supporting businesses ahead of the Brexit deadline. One said that the newly appointed business secretary – who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum – wanted to hear from bosses about the potential to succeed outside the EU. – Sky News

Risk of no-deal Brexit ‘significant’, says DUP’s Sir Jeffrey Donaldson

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson has told BBC Radio 4’s Today show that the current chances of a no-deal Brexit were “significant”. Speaking ahead of British prime minister Boris Johnson’s meeting of the five Northern Irish political parties on Wednesday, Mr Donaldson spoke of the importance of the Irish Government in breaking the deadlock over the Border backstop before the deadline for a deal of October 31st. Mr Johnson arrived in Northern Ireland on Tuesday night and held private meeting Mr Donaldson, as well as leader Arlene Foster and senior colleague Nigel Dodds. “I think given the response of the Irish Government in particular who I believe are key to this issue of addressing UK concerns about the backstop, I think the prospect of a no-deal is significant,” Mr Donaldson said. Asked about the warnings of 40,000 job losses in Northern Ireland, he said that was at the “very high end of the scale” and he was not convinced a no-deal would result in that type of outcome. “We do recognise that no deal is not good in the short term for our economy in Northern Ireland and to be clear it’s not something we’re working towards.” – Irish Times

Nigel Farage vows to ‘annihilate’ the Tories if Johnson pushes through ‘fake Brexit’

Nigel Farage has vowed to “annihilate” the Tories if Boris Johnson pushes through a fake Brexit based on Theresa May’s hated deal. The Brexit Party leader has fired off a warning shot to the PM that Britain must leave the EU by October 31 – or the Conservatives will face the consequences. Farage said that after May’s failure to get a deal through Parliament and Jeremy Corbyn’s “betrayal” of Labour Leave voters, only his party could be trusted to deliver Brexit. He wrote in the Telegraph: “Britain’s best chance of achieving its independence now comes from the Brexit Party. “The electoral threat it poses is such that, if the UK does not leave the EU on 31 October, the Conservatives can rest assured they will be annihilated in any subsequent general election.” – The Sun

Emily Thornberry warns Jeremy Corbyn that Labour would be ‘off our rockers’ not to back Remain

Labour would be “off our bloody rockers” not to back staying in the European Union in all circumstances, Emily Thornberry has said. In a direct challenge to Jeremy Corbyn, the Shadow Foreign Secretary said any new Brexit deal agreed by either a Tory or Labour government should be put to a referendum in which her party must back Remain. Labour’s official policy is only to back Remain to block a Tory deal or no-deal, leaving open the possibility of the party backing Brexit if they win the next election and negotiate a fresh agreement with Brussels. – PoliticsHome

Voting taking place today in Brecon and Radnorshire by-election that could cut the Tories’ majority to one

Voters are heading to the polls in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election that could see Boris Johnson’s majority in the House of Commons cut to just one. The Liberal Democrats are expected to gain the Welsh seat in the election, which was triggered after a successful recall petition against Conservative MP Chris Davies, who was convicted of making a false expenses claim. Mr Davies is standing again for the Conservatives but is expected to lose his seat to Liberal Democrat challenger Jane Dodds, a former social worker. If that happens, it would reduce the Tories’ governing majority to one, after it was cut to two last week when Dover MP Charlie Elphicke was suspended by the party after being charged with three counts of sexual assault. – Independent

  • Why the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election is crucial for Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans – Telegraph (£)

William Hague: Boris Johnson’s greatest challenge is to deliver Brexit without breaking the Union

I will never forget campaigning for Boris Johnson when he first stood for parliament in North Wales in 1997, our designated photo opportunity being in the cab of the steam locomotive on the Llangollen Railway. Left alone by the train drivers to give photographers a clear shot, he and I suddenly realised we were in charge of an accelerating train with no idea of how to stop it. Thankfully, he has shown a clearer command of the levers of government in his first few days as Prime Minister than either of us had of the controls of a locomotive, and there is much for Conservatives to welcome irrespective of who we preferred as leader. – Lord Hague for the Telegraph (£)

James Forsyth: Who’ll blink first – Boris Johnson or the EU?

On Sunday, Boris Johnson’s cabinet ministers were summoned to a conference call for an update on his Brexit strategy. The EU had not yet indicated any shift in its position, he said, but that should in no way deter the government from its current course. He was confident, he told his cabinet, that if he stuck to his guns the EU would move eventually. This, then, is the new government’s position. The Prime Minister told ministers that he does not think no deal is the most likely outcome — but if the government is not prepared for it, nothing will change. Is he right? Will the EU blink first? Many in the EU are unwilling to give ground. They don’t think the UK can possibly get ready to leave the EU with no deal by 31 October. The UK will back down at the last minute, they assume. – James Forsyth for The Spectator 

Nigel Farage: Boris Johnson has had an impressive start as PM but he is about to get a big surprise from the Brexit Party

On the day Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, I was speaking at a conference in Washington DC. There, I met with President Trump, who told me that in his opinion Johnson brings much-needed energy to the job. After the last three years, in which Theresa May’s government almost seemed to actively enjoy wading through treacle, the president is absolutely right: it has been an impressive first few days for Johnson. He has made well-crafted speeches, given an excellent performance in the Commons, and announced several eye-catching new initiatives. It is important to point out, however, that much of what has been said has come straight from the Brexit Party European election playbook. On that basis, I am delighted that after three wasted years, the International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, will go to America to begin talks on a new US trade deal. New investment proposals for parts of the North of England are also a key policy area for my party. And, crucially, it would appear that a no-deal Brexit is now firmly back on the table. What’s not to like? All of this has led to a ‘Boris bounce’ in the opinion polls. But bearing in mind that Mrs May told the nation repeatedly that no deal was better than a bad deal, and stated 108 times that the UK would leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, I think the electorate is entitled to show a bit of scepticism about Johnson’s recent proclamations surrounding Brexit. Many of us believed Mrs May – at least initially – and we are not prepared to make the same mistake again. – Nigel Farage MEP for the Telegraph (£)

Trevor Kavanagh: Boris Johnson turns tables on Irish PM as he dispels the backstop myth

Puffed-up Leo Varadkar feels snubbed because Boris Johnson kept him waiting a week before phoning for their first chat about Brexit. However, as far as Boris is concerned it will be the last time unless the Taoiseach scraps the deal-breaking Northern Ireland backstop. The fallout has sent tremors from Dublin to Brussels and Berlin. EU chiefs may finally begin to understand Boris means business . . .  their mega-billion-euro export business. Britain WILL leave the European Union on October 31 “come what may” unless Brussels rips up Theresa May’s thrice-rejected Withdrawal Agreement and starts again. Boris has exposed the backstop for what it is — a voodoo spell to bewitch and befuddle the feeble minded. It was invented by Theresa May as a sneaky customs union which would continue to bind Britain to Brussels’ rules. – Trevor Kavanagh for The Sun

Alexander Downer: If there is a no-deal Brexit, then Brussels is to blame

Some think at the last minute the EU will agree to amend the withdrawal agreement and do a deal with Boris. Of course they should. It’s common sense. But don’t count on it. Europe is and always has been more about ideological purity than the ramshackle common sense approach of Anglo-Saxons. In the past 100 years Europe gave us communism, fascism, National Socialism and now it’s Europeanism. Europeanism is a huge improvement on their previous ideas but it is still a top-down ideology that is disdainful of the pleas of everyday people, especially if they are British… Up until now, the EU has successfully blamed the UK for failing to deliver an agreement. With Boris’ rise that will change. The world now expects the EU to show common sense and flexibility but if it doesn’t, its pig-headed recalcitrance will be held entirely responsible for any damage done to the global economy by a no-deal Brexit. A no-deal Brexit will a huge indictment of the EU. It will demonstrate it can’t get things done in a flexible, pragmatic way. – Former Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, for Australian Financial Review

Daniel Kawczynski: Here’s why we will not only just survive a no-deal Brexit, but thrive

“No Deal”. Two words, fraught with negative connotations, that have been bandied around loosely since the UK’s decision to leave the EU, often accompanied by loaded phrases such as “crashing out”. Like the bogeyman, these terms are used to elicit a fearful response and to make the uninitiated recoil. In this article I would like to seek to dispel some of the myths surround “no deal”, what it is and – significantly – what it is not. The first thing that is clear is that no deal is a misnomer. No deal implies that there will be no governance whatsoever of our departure from the EU. On Halloween, it suggests, we will simply crash out of the EU, leading to chaos, economic turmoil and Armageddon. This is simply not true. What it does mean though is that we will leave without a comprehensive overarching agreement to govern our future dealings with the EU. But, there are, and will continue to be, a series of mini-deals in place to ensure that the practical effects of leaving do not lead to chaos. Many of these deals are in place already to ensure that planes continue to fly, that hauliers have the requisite licenses etc. It is worth making the point that many ways, no deal is easier to prepare for than the shifting negotiations of an overarching deal. We have already signed 12 ‘continuity deals’ with countries such as Israel, Norway, Chile and most recently South Korea. Preparations will continue. Although there will be no overarching deal in the event of no deal, there will be rules – WTO rules – under which the UK will be free to set our own tariffs (if indeed we wish to set them at all) as well as make our own trade deals and have full control of our laws and our borders. Clearly for Remainers, no deal represents the greatest divergence from their hoped for referendum result. It puts it beyond doubt that there will not be a deal in place that would see us remain in the EU in all but name. That does not mean it is an option that should be feared, and certainly for those who voted to leave, no deal can be viewed as the purest representation of that result. – Daniel Kawczynski MP for the Telegraph (£)

Christopher Cadwell: Europeans have started to change their minds on Brexit

The conviction has been spreading among French people in recent days that les Britanniques have just elected Donald Trump. The papers are filled with meditations on British anxieties over lost empire, descriptions of Boris Johnson’s hair and the wildest speculations about what he might do as Prime Minister. Every squib about European overregulation that Johnson wrote during his stint as a Brussels correspondent for the Telegraph in the 1980s and 1990s has by now been vetted, stripped of its humorous intent and found wanting. Johnson exaggerated the threat of European regulations to prawn cocktail-flavoured crisps! Nowhere did he cite a single EU directive banning the large-sized condoms that an Englishman requires! – Christopher Cadwell for The Spectator 

Andrew Lilico: It’s time to quash the Remainer myth that ‘nobody voted to leave without a deal’

It’s become commonplace in political debate and media discussions of no deal to assume and assert that during the EU referendum almost everyone assumed there’d be a “deal”. Earlier this week this claim was put to Dominic Raab in a Today Programme interview. Last night Newsnight had an entire debate based around this premise. But it simply isn’t true at all, and media commentators and politicians should not be allowed to claim, unchallenged, that it is. What does “no deal” mean? It means there will be no “Withdrawal Agreement”, that is to say, no new treaty with the EU covering the rights of EU citizens, the financial settlement, the Irish border, and a range of other issues including “non-regression” of social, environmental and labour legislation and “geographical indications” (eg “Scotch” or “Parma Ham”). So, did everyone assume there’d be such a Withdrawal Agreement Treaty during the EU Referendum? The answer’s pretty obviously no. Indeed, I’m not aware of a single interview by any prominent Leave campaigner predicting or promising that if we voted to leave the EU there’d be a Withdrawal Agreement treaty covering these or similar topics. I don’t know of a single Leave voter that assumed, at the time, that there’d be such a treaty and I think I can safely assert that not one of the 17.4 million people who voted to Leave the EU did so conditionally on the assumption that such a Withdrawal Agreement treaty would be made. – Andrew Lilico for the Telegraph (£)

The Sun: Leo Varadkar’s efforts to help Brussels wreck Brexit have been a failure of statesmanship

Irish PM Leo Varadkar has a simple choice. His people are facing No Deal catastrophe. The Irish Central Bank predicts an “unprecedented” shock. Chaos at ports. Economic collapse. Food and drug shortages, soaring prices, 110,000 jobs lost. Few will praise plucky Leo for sticking it to the Brits when his vainglorious posturing has wrecked their livelihoods. They will be enraged he refused to bin the toxic “backstop”, now poised to cause far more ­hideous and immediate harm than any theoretical future hard border. Britain cannot accept the risk of being kept half-in the EU. Anyone can see that. Varadkar’s efforts to help Brussels wreck Brexit and damage the UK have been a suicidal failure of statesmanship. – The Sun says

Brexit in Brief

  • Let’s transform UK agriculture – John Redwood’s Diary
  • It’s time to turbo-charge trade – David Leighton for Associated British Ports
  • Boris Johnson’s threat of a no-deal Brexit will not break EU unity – Guy Verhofstadt MEP for The Guardian
  • Consumers ‘more upbeat’ despite Brexit uncertainty – BBC News
  • UK employment rate resilient despite Brexit uncertainty – Guardian
  • Brexit bulldog Cummings blocks new DExEU advisor for ‘not being pro-Brexit enough’ – Express