New polling shows Parliament and Remainer MPs will be blamed more than Boris Johnson for any Brexit delay: Brexit News for Tuesday 8 October

New polling shows Parliament and Remainer MPs will be blamed more than Boris Johnson for any Brexit delay: Brexit News for Tuesday 8 October
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New polling shows Parliament and Remainer MPs will be blamed more than Boris Johnson for any Brexit delay…

The public will blame Parliament, Remain MPs and Brussels more than Boris Johnson if Brexit is delayed, a poll has found, as Britain edges closer to a general election. In a boost for the Prime Minister as he comes under increasing pressure to extend Article 50, the ComRes survey for the Telegraph found that only just over half of voters (56 per cent) would blame Mr Johnson if Brexit does not happen on October 31. That compares with more than eight in ten voters (83 per cent) who said they would blame Parliament, while 70 per cent said they would hold Remain MPs responsible and nearly two thirds (63 per cent) would point the finger at the European Commission. The findings come after it emerged Jeremy Corbyn has been given the green light to meet the civil service to run through his policies – a sign of a looming general election. – Telegraph (£)

  • Boris Johnson receives major boost as latest poll lays blame on EU for Brexit delay – Express

…as the Prime Minister issues a fresh plea for the EU to enter negotiations after Brussels reject his 11th hour Brexit deal…

Boris Johnson has issued a fresh plea to the EU to come to the Brexit negotiating table as Brussels warned him not to expect any counter offer. Cabinet ministers were preparing for EU chiefs to propose an alternative solution for an eleventh hour Brexit deal after rejecting the PM’s. But hopes for that were fading last night as the clock ticks down to a deadline for the outlines of an agreement by the end of this week. The EU have refused so far to enter full blown negotiations on Mr Johnson’s new ‘two borders’ offer to solve the Irish border dilemma, made last week. Dubbing his proposal as “very reasonable” yesterday, the PM insisted: “It’s a big compromise by the UK Government. – The Sun

…and European capitals conclude Johnson’s Irish backstop plan is a sham that was ‘drafted to be rejected’…

European capitals have concluded that Boris Johnson’s backstop plan was “drafted to be rejected” and isn’t a serious effort to negotiate a deal. They believe his insistence the dossier be kept secret is an effort to disguise the fact it is designed to set up a “blame game” with Brussels. Officials and diplomats who have been briefed on the 44-page legal text tabled by the UK side said it contains a number of undeliverable demands. The Government has barred Michel Barnier’s team from sharing it with Member States to prevent leaks. – The Sun 

…while the Government say they will only publish the legal text of their Brexit plan if it helps talks

Britain will only publish the legal text of its Brexit proposal if doing so helps negotiations with the European Union, junior Brexit minister James Duddridge said on Monday. Asked to publish the legal text by the opposition Labour Party, Duddridge told the parliament: “The legal text which we have shared with the (European) Commission will only be published when doing so will assist the negotiations. We hope that Brussels will decide to work with us over the upcoming days,” he said. – Reuters

Boris Johnson could snub next week’s crunch EU summit if no progress is made on striking a deal…

Boris Johnson could snub a make-or-break EU summit unless significant progress is made on a new Brexit deal by the end of the week. The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that he will negotiate a new agreement at the meeting of European leaders on 17 and 18 October. But with hopes of a deal fading, it has now emerged that Mr Johnson may not even turn up at the Brussels gathering. Last Wednesday, the PM tabled his proposals for breaking the Brexit deadlock and removing the Irish backstop from the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May. It envisaged extra regulatory checks on industrial goods travelling between Northern Ireland and Britain, as well as customs checks away from the border. – PoliticsHome

…as he receives a boost with Edinburgh’s Court of Session refusing to set out a sanction if he defies the Benn Act

Boris Johnson’s attempts to deliver Brexit received a boost today, as a Scottish court ruled there is “no doubt” that the Prime Minister accepts he must ask for an extension in the event of no deal. The Court of Session ruled it would neither be “necessary nor appropriate” to force the Government to ask for a Brexit delay. Judge Lord Pentland gave his ruling, saying he was “not persuaded that it is necessary for the court to grant the orders sought or any variant of them”. I am not satisfied that the petitioners have made out their case based on reasonable apprehension of breach of statutory duty on the part of the Prime Minister,” he added. – Telegraph (£)

  • Brexit campaigners lose bid to get court order forcing Boris Johnson to delay – Mirror

Latest meeting of anti-Brexit opposition party leaders ends in division and acrimony

The Labour Party has been accused of being the biggest barrier to stopping a no-deal Brexit after a cross-party meeting to scrutinise the Government’s new proposals ended in division. The prime minister set out his blueprint for an agreement last week, and the aim of today’s meeting was to decide on the next steps to ‘hold the government to account’. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) was expected to meet the SNP’s Ian Blackford, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas, as well as Anna Soubry of the Independent Group for Change and Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts. Following the meeting, a senior Lib Dem source said: ‘The position Jeremy Corbyn is taking is that we can have an emergency Government, but only if he gets to lead it. – Metro

Britain has passed the no-deal Brexit test by repatriating 140,000 Thomas Cook customers, says Transport Secretary

Britain is ready to cope with the uncertainties caused by a no-deal Brexit, a Cabinet minister declared on Monday, after the last of 140,000 stranded Thomas Cook customers arrived back in the UK. On Monday, the final 22 flights of more than 700 chartered by the Government repatriated the final 4,000 passengers to the UK who had been left scattered around the globe due to the company’s collapse last month. In all the Government chartered 150 aircraft have been used as part of Operation Matterhorn, dubbed the largest peacetime repatriation plan since the Second World War. The final plane in the air lift landed at 8.30am in Manchester after flying in from Orlando, Florida, completing the plan that launched on Sept 23. – Telegraph (£)

New claim that red tape for UK-EU trade under a no-deal Brexit could hit £15bn a year

Businesses would be hit with an annual £15bn bill for filling in customs forms for trade between the UK and the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a British government paper published on Monday. Companies in the UK and EU would face “a significant new and ongoing administrative burden” if Britain were to crash out of the bloc, the assessment by HM Revenue & Customs warned. Prime minister Boris Johnson has insisted the country will leave the EU at the end of October with or without a deal, even though parliament has passed a law designed to prevent a hard Brexit. The estimate of the extra administrative costs to business in the event of no-deal contrasts with Mr Johnson‘s claim to the Conservative conference last week that the UK could save £1bn a month by leaving the EU on 31 October. – FT (£)

David Cameron unsure Boris Johnson would win an election if there is another Brexit delay

David Cameron has said he does not know if Boris Johnson would win a general election if one was held after another Brexit delay. The ex-premier said there was a danger that elections could be decided on questions not set by political leaders, with the electorate voting “on any number of other questions”. Mr Cameron also urged Mr Johnson to obey the Benn Act, which obliges him to seek a Brexit delay if he cannot get a deal, saying “you can’t disobey the law as prime minister”. The former Conservative leader, 52, was appearing on stage with Times editor John Witherow at the Barbican centre in London in front of a 2,000-strong audience. Mr Witherow asked: “Do you think if there was a general election, would the Tories win with Corbyn there?” – ITV News

Former Conservative/Change UK MP Heidi Allen joins Liberal Democrats

Heidi Allen has joined the Liberal Democrats as she claims at least 20 “one-nation Tories” are ready to follow suit. The former Conservative MP had quit the party early this year to form the Independent Group, later renamed Change UK, before sitting as an independent. Tonight Ms Allen said the Conservative party had turned into “Ukip or Brexit Party Mark 2” adding: “The party I joined doesn’t exist any more.” She said: “Shifting to the extremes, the Conservatives and Labour have turned their backs on the liberal, progressive centre ground our country is crying out for.” The Lib Dems now have 19 MPs, following the defections of ex-Tories Sarah Wollaston, Sam Gyimah and Phillip Lee as well as former Labour MPs Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith and Luciana Berger. – Telegraph (£)

  • Heidi Allen joins Swinson’s Lib Dems to thwart Brexit and warns 20 Tories ready to follow – Express

Bobby Friedman: Boris has won victory in the Scottish court, but the case should never have been brought in the first place

There are now so many court hearings about Brexit that they’re almost as numerous as branches of Rory Stewart’s favourite sandwich shop, Pret a Manger. Earlier today, the Scottish Court of Session gave its ruling in response to the latest legal skirmish: a petition brought by, amongst others, Boris Johnson’s two QC arch-nemeses, Jolyon Maugham and the SNP MP Joanna Cherry. The PM emerged victorious in this latest encounter (although the order is being appealed): it was not quite revenge for his defeat in the Supreme Court, but it was something. In this petition, Maugham and Cherry were seeking a wide range of orders against the Prime Minister. First up, they wanted the Court to require Boris to send a letter to the EU under the Benn Act, requesting an extension to the Article 50 period. But this was just the beginning. They also wanted the Court to order Boris not to “encourage” any other member state to veto the extension, and to require him not to take “any action that would undermine” the will of Parliament. If they’d had their way, he would have had to do all this under the threat of potential imprisonment if he failed to comply. – Bobby Friedman for the Telegraph (£)

John Redwood: If the EU will not negotiate….

The Prime Minister has made an offer to the EU to get talks started to allow us to leave with their blessing on October 31. The EU has responded in their time honoured way by rubbishing any feature of the proposal that is better for the UK than the unacceptable Withdrawal Agreement which perished in Parliament and got under 9% support in the  last European elections. It is most important now that the UK does not do what it always did under Mrs May and make further concessions. The EU has found it all too easy to refuse to budge and watch as the UK negotiates with itself and against itself. – John Redwood’s Diary

Tom Harris: Cowardly Remainer MPs can’t hide from the people’s judgment forever

In a country as divided as ours, we must embrace the few opinions that unite us. One such is that parliament is currently going through a bit of a rough patch in terms of the low esteem in which it is generally held. This is nothing new from a historical point of view. I write as one who was a member of the Commons during the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009. In years since then, though, MPs had at least begun to improve their general reputation from “criminal” to merely “untrustworthy”. That was until Brexit came along. – Tom Harris for the Telegraph (£)

James Johnson: The big crisis in British politics is not Brexit, but a collapse in trust

Although we are far from a situation of hyper-polarisation, like in the United States, ‘to hell with them all’ is increasingly not just a throwaway line, but a heartfelt condemnation. A Hansard Society report earlier this year showed 72% felt that the UK’s political system needed improvement, a figure higher than even during the expenses scandal of 2009. Brexit has played its part in this gathering storm. The perceived broken promises of the Leave campaign are repeated often, especially “the £350 million”, as well as the overly precise forecasts of the Remain camp. Crucially, Brexit was not delivered by the March 29 deadline – a watershed moment which broke the two-party dominance seen since the General Election. It remains to be seen whether October 31 will be a similar turning point, but another delay – regardless of where the finger of blame is pointed – will be highly damaging to public trust. – James Johnson for CapX

Peter Franklin: How the West is winning Chinese talent

Breaking free from EU control should not be seen as an opportunity to join a race to the bottom. There are those who’d love to take an axe to our environmental and animal welfare regulations, not to mention workers’ rights. They must be resisted, and not only on moral grounds. Instead, we should make the most of our natural, historical and cultural riches and establish this country as one of the very best places to live on Earth – the cleanest, greenest and safest of all the major economies. – Peter Franklin for Unherd

Brexit in Brief

  • How Number 10 view the state of the negotiations – James Forsyth for The Spectator (£)
  • The EU has underestimated Boris Johnson. It needs to take his offer seriously – Daniel Johnson for The Article
  • Save our fish and fishing industry – John Redwood MP for Comment Central
  • EU Army outrage as British troops risk being forced into EU defence force after Brexit – Express
  • More than 10 million Brexit 50p coins to be minted – three times more than previously thought – Telegraph (£)