Ten contenders nominated in race for No. 10: Brexit News for Tuesday 11 June

Ten contenders nominated in race for No. 10: Brexit News for Tuesday 11 June
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Ten contenders nominated in race for No. 10

The final candidates for the Tory leadership race have been confirmed, with 10 running to become the next PM. Jeremy Hunt, Dominic Raab, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove – who launched their campaigns ahead of the nomination deadline – are all on the final list. Conservative MPs will now take part in a series of votes to whittle the candidates down to the final two. The two MPs will then face the wider Tory membership to decide on the next leader of their party, and the country. To be allowed to run, the MPs needed to have a proposer, a seconder and the support of six other members. Sam Gyimah, the only contender backing another referendum on Brexit, withdrew from the race shortly after nominations closed, saying there was not enough time to build support. – BBC News

Dominic Raab highlights how Brussels hated it when he ‘pushed hard’ as Brexit Secretary

Dominic Raab sparked huge cheers from the audience after he claimed he “pushed the EU too hard” during his time as Brexit Secretary before adding it was “about time too”, to see that kind of approach in negotiations. Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab generated huge cheers from the audience as he launched his Conservative leadership bid in London. Mr Raab claimed he pushed the European Union and “told them things that no one else had ever dared”. He said: “In that recent BBC documentary with Michel Barnier and Guy Verhofstadt, they complained that as Brexit Secretary, I turned up to Brussels to negotiate each week. “They said I pushed them too hard, they said I told them things that no one else had ever dared, well about time too”. The quick remark sparked huge cheers and a big applause from some members of the audience. – Express

> WATCH: Dominic Raab launches his leadership campaign

Michael Gove lays out his plan for Brexit at leadership launch

In an upbeat campaign launch he attempted to put the controversy behind him and predicted he would reach the two-name shortlist which will be presented to party activists. He argued he had a track record of getting results in his three Cabinet posts and as a leading figure in the 2016 Leave campaign – and that he had a clear plan for delivering Brexit. Mr Gove said he had expressed his regret about past mistakes. And when he was asked if he should call it a day, he responded: “I’m in it to win it.” He repeated that he would be prepared to delay Britain’s departure from the European Union for a few weeks beyond the current deadline of 31 October if that was required to finalise a Brexit deal. He said that one of the reasons why Britain had still not left the EU was because some of those involved in the negotiations had not really believed in Brexit. “I think some of them felt this was a problem to be managed rather than an opportunity to be grasped.” – iNews

> WATCH: Michael Gove launches his leadership campaign

Jeremy Hunt refuses to name absolute Brexit deadline

Jeremy Hunt opened the door to another lengthy Brexit delay yesterday after refusing to name an absolute deadline for leaving the EU. The Foreign Secretary, who yesterday won the backing of chief Remainer Amber Rudd and leading Brexiteer Penny Mordaunt, said he would “try very, very hard” to get a deal by October 31. But he warned that the new PM might not even be able to start renegotiating with the EU until November 1 because its new Commission only starts then. Mr Hunt, who campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum, attacked his Brexiteer leadership rivals who have pledged to leave by Halloween come what may. He said leaving without a deal on October 31 would trigger a General Election in which the Tories would be “annihilated”. In a pointed swipe at Boris Johnson he said the Tory party needs to “get real” on Brexit, adding: “A serious moment calls for a serious leader.” – The Sun

> WATCH: Jeremy Hunt launches his leadership campaign

Matt Hancock says he would not allow Parliament to be suspended to ensure delivery of Brexit

British health minister Matt Hancock, one of the candidates to replace prime minister Theresa May as prime minister, said he would not allow parliament to be suspended to allow Brexit to occur on Oct. 31 as other leadership hopefuls have suggested. He told an audience at his campaign launch to become leader of the Conservative Party that suspending parliament went against all that people had fought for in World War Two. “I will not have it,” he said, adding that if the Conservatives became the Brexit party then it was finished. – Reuters

> WATCH: Matt Hancock launches his leadership campaign

Second referendum backer Sam Gyimah fails to secure sufficient support and quits leadership race

The only candidate for the Conservative leadership to support a second referendum on Brexit dropped out of the race last night after he failed to secure the backing of eight fellow MPs. Sam Gyimah, the former universities minister, said that he had concluded that “there simply has not been enough time to build sufficient support”. Shortly before the deadline for each candidate to submit eight nominations closed last night, Mr Gyimah, 42, announced that he was pulling out. “I entered the leadership contest to broaden the debate and bring the diverse views of millions on Brexit to the fore,” he said. “It has been a tremendous privilege to be able to make the case for a new referendum as a credible solution to break the Brexit deadlock.” However, he added: “I have reached the conclusion that, having entered the race at such a late stage, there simply has not been enough time to build sufficient support, and I have decided to step back. My purpose in campaigning for a solution to break the deadlock, and bringing new ideas to help my party win over modern Britain, will not change.” – The Times (£)

Brussels draw plan for Irish border technology despite rubbishing Brexiteers’ same idea

Brussels is drawing up plans to use technology on the Irish border — despite rubbishing the idea when put forward by Brexiteers. Eurocrats will deploy “IT systems” to keep trade flowing between Ireland and the EU via Britain if there’s a No Deal Brexit. Yet their negotiators have repeatedly insisted tech was unable to solve the Irish backstop problem, one of the main sticking points in Theresa May’s doomed deal. In a dossier to be presented to EU leaders next week, officials say a fix “can be implemented swiftly” and that they are in “regular contact” with authorities in Ireland, France and the Netherlands over the contingency plans. The move will be leapt on by Brexiteer candidates to become the next PM, who have argued the Irish border can be sorted with tech solutions. The paper says EU countries should use the Brexit extension to review progress on new Border Inspection Posts and “ensure that they are fully functional from the outset” of No Deal. – The Sun

EU will not reopen Withdrawal Agreement, insists French minister

France’s state secretary for European affairs has confirmed that the EU27 are not prepared to reopen the Brexit withdrawal agreement, and that without a “new political line” in the UK or a second referendum, Britain must expect to leave the bloc on 31 October. On the eve of a two-day working visit to London, Amélie de Montchalin also told the Guardian that France regarded the €39bn financial settlement Britain has agreed to pay the EU as part of the exit deal as a matter of international law. “We are now waiting for clarification from the UK side,” De Montchalin said. “We consider it is up to Britain to decide how it wants to proceed. The exit agreement was not negotiated against the British; negotiators on both sides tried, painstakingly, to find the best solution for all concerned.” Several Tory leadership candidates have said that if they are selected, their priority will be to go to Brussels and seek to renegotiate the deal agreed last December – and that if they do not succeed, Britain must be ready to leave without a deal. Others have said a further extension could be necessary. – Guardian

EU view of Tory leadership candidates is deeply critical, say Brussels sources

The EU has been on a Brexit break since the UK secured a six-month delay to its departure. With Theresa May soon to leave 10 Downing Street, Brussels is tuning in to the Westminster drama of the Tory leadership race – with both amazement and exasperation. “People in Brussels are fed up that the political class in the UK has gone a little bit crazy,” Jean-Claude Piris, a former head of the European council’s legal service said. British politicians seemed to have gone “on holiday”, since gaining the extension, he added. For the EU, the bookies’ favourite Boris Johnson, is a Trumpian figure whose disputed claims and bombastic rhetoric played a major role in plunging the UK into what is seen in Brussels as the Brexit nightmare. The former foreign secretary is remembered for his early 1990s stint as Brussels correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, where he made his name mocking EU regulations, promoting what the European commission calls “Euromyths”. He achieved wider prominence for his claims during the EU referendum campaign. “He lied a lot to the British people,” said in 2016 the then French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault. – Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn lambasted by Labour MPs in ‘worst meeting as leader’…

Labour MPs tore into Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit strategy at a party meeting on Monday night, with several MPs loyal to the leadership saying they felt ashamed to vote for the party at the European elections and urging a change of direction. MPs inside the private gathering said there were surprise interventions from colleagues who had never before spoken out against Corbyn, including Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Marie Rimmer. The parliamentary Labour party (PLP) meeting came amid anger about how Corbyn’s office had handled harassment complaints against two senior Labour figures, as well as an investigation into Labour antisemitism by the equalities watchdog. One MP leaving the committee room said it had been Corbyn’s “worst meeting in his time as leader” – including those that led to the vote of no confidence in him. “He did not even seem to acknowledge there were difficulties, from Brexit, to sexual harassment, to antisemitism.” – Guardian

…as campaigners for a second Brexit referendum plan to ambush Corbyn at Labour conference

Labour campaigners for a second Brexit referendum are planning to ambush Jeremy Corbyn at the party’s annual conference this autumn to try to push him into clear-cut support for their cause. Labour For A Public Vote, a group of members which opposes the party’s ambiguous position on a second referendum, is planning to offer training to prevent a repeat of last year’s conference, when their demands for a vote were watered down by the party leadership. A record 150 constituency Labour parties had issued motions calling for a second referendum ahead of the conference, only to see them diluted during a lengthy “compositing” meeting — when disparate motions are merged to reflect the overall view of the delegates. The meeting ended up backing a motion saying Labour “must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote” after interventions by the Corbyn team and the powerful Unite union. – FT (£)

Welsh Government minister claims Wales could take UK to court over Brexit trade deal

A minister has been mocked for claiming the Welsh Government “would probably” take the UK to court if it struck an international trade deal after Brexit that tried to “trample on” the Welsh NHS. Alun Davies slammed Eluned Morgan’s comments, warning that threatening legal action “sounds like the last breath before you’re thrown out of the pub”. Mr Davies added that he doubted Wales would “have a leg to stand on” in shaping international trade deals after Brexit. It comes after US president Donald Trump said the NHS would be “on the table” as part of a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK during his state visit last week. He said: “I think everything with a trade deal is on the table. When you’re dealing in trade, everything is on the table – so NHS or anything else, a lot more than that, but everything will be on the table, absolutely.” Mr Trump later made a U-turn in an interview with Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan, insisting the NHS was “something that I would not consider part of trade”. – Express

Wannabe Lib Dem leader Ed Davey claims Labour and Tory MPs plan exodus to his party

The Liberal Democrats could be set to welcome MPs defecting from Labour and the Conservatives, leadership candidate Sir Ed Davey has sensationally claimed. Mr Davey, who is battling with Jo Swinson for the party leadership, made the revelation after speaking to the i. The former Energy and Climate Change Secretary told the paper: “There are some Conservative MPs who are thinking the unthinkable and there are some liberal Labour people who are thinking the unthinkable.” Saying views over Brexit had lead to MPs considering crossing the floor, he added: “I am not going to name any individual names. These are conversations that have been taking place over recent months.” Pro-Remain party Change UK has recently lost six of their 11 MPs with party leader Heidi Allen, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, Chuka Umunna and Sarah Wollaston all resigning from the party. Mr Davey confirmed discussions with the MPs had taken place but added it was vital to “give them time to come to their own decision”. – Express

Sajid Javid: A defining decade for our party and our country

I believe we are at the dawn of a defining decade – a decade in which building the foundations of our post-Brexit future will just be the start. From changes in the balance of global power to the impact of disruptive technologies, there are new shifts in the tectonic plates beneath us. The traditional dividing lines of politics are tilted by nationalism and populism. In this sense, the challenges of the 2020s will not be unlike those of the 1920s, an era in which a cosy status quo was swept away by popular anger. How we as a party reflect on, and respond to, these shifts will define not only our future electoral prospects, but the direction of our country. For most of us in Parliament, the dividing lines of our political beliefs were settled by the ideological battles of the 1980s. For me personally, I was profoundly influenced by the ethos and hard-grind approach of my parents, and instinctively felt that Margaret Thatcher was taking the tough but necessary decisions that were required to enable our country and its people to prosper. In the wake of the Cold War, the direction of our public life became more predictable. Whether it was the role of markets, immigration or internationalism, more often than not ‘open’ trumped ‘closed’, both socially and economically. – Sajid Javid MP for CapX

Iain Duncan Smith: Only Boris Johnson as leader can address voters’ anger by repairing trust and delivering Brexit

Three elections, one after another, have shaken the political establishment to its roots. As happens in seismology, so in politics – the early but ominous earth tremor (the local elections), then the earthquake (the European elections) and finally the tsunami (the Peterborough by-election). I cannot recall a moment in my time in politics when the electorate was so angry with the political establishment and the intellectual elite. Some in the Conservative Party have tried desperately to reinterpret the result of the final of these contests. Yet despite the spin, the Peterborough by-election produced the very worst result Conservatives could possibly have feared – a hardline Corbyn-supporting candidate was elected. I don’t know which bit of the message from the voters isn’t clear: unless we resolve Brexit, we will be the architects of our own destruction. While the last three years have been dominated by the issue of Brexit, our Government has domestically seemed bereft of ideas and too often lacking a political compass. We have given the impression of trying to chase the voters, at the mercy of the prevailing fads and media-led issues. – Iain Duncan Smith MP for the Telegraph (£)

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: Refusing to pay the £39bn Brexit bill is not a default, but Boris Johnson should stake out higher ground

Boris Johnson must be very careful not to overplay the £39bn Brexit card. The money does not secure leverage in negotiations. It is more likely to diminish any leverage by uniting the whole EU against us. It distracts from the fundamental issue at stake: whether this country will be a self-governing democracy after leaving the EU; or whether it will be a legal colony trapped in the EU acquis and regulatory structure without a vote, unable to negotiate meaningful trade deals, and subject to the long reach of the European Court through the Charter. The money is less important in this drama than Johnson – and many readers – seem to suppose. What does matter is for the EU is partial loss of its £340bn annual market in the UK, loss of its £95bn annual trade surplus, and damage to its supply chains. That really does matter. But refusal to hand over all £39bn is not a sovereign default. Standard & Poor’s said its ratings decisions address only “commercial debt obligations”. Fitch Ratings said it does not evaluate “risks borne by official sector entities”. – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for the Telegraph (£)

Chris Moncrieff: Don’t write off Nigel Farage and Brexit Party after by-election blow

The Labour Party’s surprise victory 
at the Peterborough by-election, despite the party’s muddled policy over Brexit, came as a welcome surprise to Jeremy Corbyn. However, he would be mistaken if he believes this triumph has put paid to Nigel Farage and his flashy new Brexit Party. Farage is made of sterner stuff and he will be well aware that his own triumphs at the EU elections have made him a serious force to be reckoned with in British politics. After all, his party was runner-up at the Peterborough election, knocking the Conservatives into third place. The Brexit Party continues to win support from some disillusioned Conservative and Labour party members, and will represent a danger to both parties when the general election arrives. Meanwhile, the Tories will at least be gratified that they have pushed the upsurging Liberal Democrats into fourth place at Peterborough. This constituency used to send MPs to Parliament on single-figure majorities, and so the 600-vote Labour victory can be regarded as almost a luxury in this part of the country. – Chris Moncrieff for the Yorkshire Post

Norman Tebbit: The next Tory leader needs to deliver Brexit – then think about how to fight the next election

Early last week I was misled by the opinion polls into thinking that this week I would be writing about the triumph of Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party at the Peterborough by-election. So it was something of a surprise  (and not only to me) that despite everything, Labour did not even need a recount. I should have known better. The polls may well have been right about the intentions of their respondents but there is a difference between what an elector may genuinely say he intends to do and what he may do, or not do, if his elbow is not jogged by a canvasser banging on his door on polling day. Back in 1978 and 1979, as Chairman of the Tory Party I was forever reminding my candidates, party agents and voluntary workers of the need to make sure that intending supporters had actually cast their votes before the polls closed. As the Peterborough result showed the Brexit Party simply does not have the grassroots organisation to do that. – Lord Tebbit for the Telegraph (£)

John Redwood: Mrs May’s non EU policies

Mrs May set out a strong  vision of a fairer and more prosperous UK in her initial statement of beliefs as she became Prime Minister. It hangs on the wall in 10 Downing Street as a reminder to visitors of what she intended. Unfortunately in office she was unable to make progress with it. One of her mistakes was to appoint as Chancellor someone who did not buy into her vision, and who had no wish to use more public money to achieve some of the objectives she wished to set where state intervention was seen as part of the answer. The Chancellor did not conceal his wish to dilute and delay Brexit. He used Brexit as an excuse to withhold cash from public services or tax cuts on the grounds he wanted a “war chest” against a possible exit from the EU which he always wrongly thought of as damaging.  The PM wanted more money for schools to help raise standards and give people a better start in life. She wanted more money for the NHS, which was eventually extracted after a long battle. She probably wanted or needed more money for social care, though that remains a series of problems in search of a policy. – John Redwood’s Diary

William Hague: Tory contenders should learn from Pitt the Younger to avoid becoming another Theresa May

When whoever wins the Conservative leadership becomes prime minister on or around 23 July, the closest historical precedent for their situation might well be that of my personal hero, William Pitt the Younger, when he took office on December 19 1783. He faced a country utterly fed up with politicians and a majority of the House of Commons determined to frustrate him. With little experience behind him – he was 24 – and leading a minority government, his prospects were regarded as near hopeless. The cynics were confident that it would be only “a mince-pie administration”, discarded by the end of Christmas. Yet it turned out that Pitt had been grossly underestimated. Because he knew what he wanted to do, he could pursue a clear strategy: break the deadlock in parliament by calling a general election as soon as he could build his popularity, but not waiting so long that he might become paralysed by the stalemate. After winning a landslide victory, he was in power for the following 17 years. – Lord Hague for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit in Brief

  • Brexit Party’s Richard Tice to donate entire MEP salary to charity – Express
  • Esther McVey’s leadership launch interrupted by man shouting ‘fake news’ ‘fake Tories’ – Mirror
  • Global chief executives back Brexit Britain – The Times (£)