Labour back Remain as the party calls for a new EU referendum: Brexit News for Wednesday 10 July

Labour back Remain as the party calls for a new EU referendum: Brexit News for Wednesday 10 July
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Labour back Remain as the party calls for a new EU referendum…

Jeremy Corbyn has challenged the next Tory leader to hold another referendum before taking Britain out of the EU, saying Labour will campaign for Remain. Mr Corbyn says the party will take this position to stop “no deal or a damaging Tory Brexit”. But he does not say what he would do if he won a general election and was placed in charge of the Brexit process. Some senior members of his team want him to take a pro-Remain stance in any circumstances. In a letter to members, Mr Corbyn said: “Whoever becomes the new prime minister should have the confidence to put their deal, or no deal, back to the people in a public vote. “In those circumstances, I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for Remain against either no deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs.” The announcement follows a shadow cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, and a meeting with trade union leaders on Monday. Labour’s Hilary Benn – who chairs the Brexit select committee – was a “big step forward” and called it “significant”. He added: “We can now see there is nothing that can be better negotiated that is better for jobs, that is better than the deal we currently have.” – BBC News

  • Jeremy Corbyn calls on next PM to put Brexit deal to second referendum – Sky News
  • Labour will campaign for Remain and against Tory Brexit deal in a second referendum, Jeremy Corbyn confirms – Telegraph (£)

…although Jeremy Corbyn says Labour could still fight a general election as a pro-Brexit party…

Jeremy Corbyn has admitted Labour could still fight the next general election as a pro-Brexit party, saying: “We’ll decide our policy when the election comes.” Speaking after pledging to “campaign for Remain” in a referendum on any withdrawal plan put forward by the Tories, the Labour leader said his stance could change in an election campaign. Asked if Labour was now a “leave or remain party”, Mr Corbyn said only that he would “give the people the choice” of whether to leave the EU, in a referendum. Labour “at this moment” was determined to “do everything we can to prevent no deal and give people a choice,” he told the BBC. Mr Corbyn also pointed out that the next election “could be this October, it could be next year, if could be in 2022”. We have a democratic process, we will decide very quickly at the start of that campaign exactly what our position will be,” he added. The Labour leader also ducked a question about whether pro-EU Labour MPs would be given the freedom to campaign for Remain, if the party took the opposite position. – Independent

…claiming it to be the ‘party of choice’ on Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn says Labour is the “party of choice” when it comes to Brexit. He told BBC deputy political editor John Pienaar he would “make a case” to Parliament in September to get another referendum after “an awful lot of listening to an awful lot of people”. He said Labour would back Remain against no deal or a Tory deal, but denied bowing to pressure from colleagues to take a pro-EU stance. “We will give people the choice on this,” he added. “That is surely something that is very important.” Earlier, in a letter to members, Mr Corbyn called for the next prime minister – Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt – to hold a further referendum on Brexit, and promised his party would campaign for Remain to stop “no deal or a damaging Tory Brexit”. It follows a meeting with unions earlier this week, who agreed a position to hold another public vote and to fight for Remain. But their leaders also said Labour should negotiate their own Brexit deal if they were to win the next general election and also put that to a vote – with Remain as an option on the ballot. Mr Corbyn has not gone that far – refusing to say at this stage what he would do if he makes it to Downing Street. – BBC News

> WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn: Labour is ‘party of choice’ on Brexit

Brexit Secretary warns EU that No Deal will hurt Ireland more than Britain…

Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, warned on Tuesday that a no deal exit would hurt Ireland more than Britain and that Brussels should listen to the UK’s demands to renegotiate the deal taking the country out of the EU. He risked enraging his European counterparts by threatening the Irish economy with disaster after meeting Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, and Phil Hogan, Ireland’s EU commissioner in Brussels. Mr Barclay, who is backing Boris Johnson in the Tory leadership race, said the fact that Mr Johnson had voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal at the third time of asking proved he wanted an agreement with Brussels.  “The EU also recognised No Deal is in no side’s interests. No deal, If you look at it, has an asymmetric impact in Europe,” he said, “The impact is greater to the Irish economy than the UK, so they want to avoid no deal just as the UK wants to avoid no deal.” Earlier on Tuesday, Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, published Dublin’s emergency no deal Brexit plans. They made clear there would have to be new checks on goods and animals cross the border from Northern Ireland and mainland Britain into Ireland. Mr Barclay added, “A no deal outcome would be very damaging for Ireland. If one looks, for example, 40% of their exports go through Dover.” – Telegraph (£)

…while the Irish Government is reportedly poised ‘to accept the need for border checks’ in a no-deal Brexit

Ireland is set to acknowledge publicly for the first time the need to set up checks at or around its border with Northern Ireland in a no-deal Brexit scenario, people familiar told the Bloomberg news agency. The Irish government will accept that checks, especially on livestock, will be required at least close to the frontier if the UK crashes out of the European Union when it publishes no-deal contingency plans on Tuesday, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans haven’t yet been discussed with cabinet. Irish government sources disputed the Bloomberg reporting but declined to comment further citing documents still under discussion in the Irish cabinet. The reported admission comes two weeks after The Telegraph revealed that Ireland was coming under growing pressure in Brussels and major EU capitals to say how it would manage the Irish border in the event of a ‘no deal’. The decision to erect a border effectively prioritises Ireland’s membership of the EU single market over the need to maintain an ‘invisible’ border in Northern Ireland. The British government has said that it will not impose border checks on goods from the Republic in the event of a ‘no deal’ but has conceded that this position is not sustainable long term. Debate between Ireland and the European Commission continue on where exactly the checks will be physically placed. An Irish government spokeswoman couldn’t immediately comment. – Telegraph (£)

  • Dublin admits it will have to impose checks on goods and animals from Northern Ireland under No Deal – The Sun

Anti-No Deal rebels send warning shot as their latest Commons amendment passes by one vote

MPs have delivered a warning shot to Boris Johnson by defeating the government on a vote that rebels hope will pave the way to blocking a no-deal Brexit. Mr Johnson, the frontrunner to be the next prime minister, has pledged that Britain will leave the EU on October 31 with or without an agreement with Brussels. Unlike his rival, Jeremy Hunt, he has refused to rule out suspending parliament to stop MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit. Last night MPs backed by a single vote an amendment by Dominic Grieve, the former attorney-general, designed to make it harder to prorogue parliament in the autumn by requiring ministers to give fortnightly statements on attempts to restart power-sharing in Northern Ireland. It stops short of barring a prime minister from proroguing parliament but supporters say it would make such a move more difficult. John Penrose, the Northern Ireland minister, had tried to head off a defeat by announcing that the government would accept one of Mr Grieve’s proposals, to bring forward the date for parliament to receive a progress report on Northern Ireland’s executive, to September 4. However, Mr Penrose made clear the government’s opposition to the idea of regular fortnightly reporting, describing it as a “an excessive and unnecessary level of procedure”. – The Times (£)

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt trade blows over Brexit in TV debate…

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have clashed on Brexit and UK relations with Donald Trump in a lively and occasionally bad-tempered TV debate. Mr Hunt accused his rival of not being willing to “put his neck on the line” by saying he would quit as PM if he did not hit the 31 October deadline. Mr Johnson said he admired his rival’s ability “to change his mind” so often – a dig at the fact Mr Hunt voted Remain. During the first head-to-head debate of the leadership campaign, the two clashed over their different Brexit strategies, political styles and why they were best equipped to be prime minister. After an opening speech from each contender, the foreign secretary immediately went on the attack over Brexit, pressing his rival on whether he would quit Downing Street if he failed to take the UK out of the EU by 31 October. He said by failing to answer the question, Mr Johnson – who previously said the deadline was a “do or die” issue for him – showed he was motivated by personal ambition not leadership. “It is not do or die,” Mr Hunt said. “It is Boris in Number 10 that matters.” Mr Johnson, in turn, said it was clear his rival was “not absolutely committed” to the deadline himself, branding him “defeatist”. He urged Mr Hunt to guarantee that Brexit would happen by Christmas, adding that the EU would not take a “papier mache deadline” seriously. “If we are going to have a 31 October deadline, we must stick to it,” he said. “The EU will understand we are ready and will give us the deal we need. I don’t want to hold out to the EU the prospect that they might encourage my resignation by refusing to agree a deal. I think it is extraordinary we should be telling the British electorate we are willing to kick the can down the road. I would like to know how many more days my opponent would be willing to delay.” – BBC News

> WATCH: Sparks fly as Tory leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt debate their Brexit policies

…as defiant Johnson sees off Hunt’s barrage of attacks

Jeremy Hunt served up attack after attack in last night’s Tory leadership TV debate but it still looks like game, set and match to rival Boris Johnson. Joke-cracking Boris held his own as Mr Hunt branded him a question-dodger as well as confused and self-centred in a last ditch bid to derail his march on No10. The Foreign Secretary launched well-aimed salvos at the runaway front-runner in the duo’s first televised head-to-head of the contest. In an extraordinarily fiery clash, the two wannabe PMs bickered throughout and repeatedly talked over each other during the hour-long dust up on ITV1. The bitterest blows were exchanged over whether either would deliver Brexit by October 31. Mr Johnson insisted it was “absolutely vital” that Britain leaves the EU by that date. In a bid to undermine the former London Mayor’s credibility, Mr Hunt challenged him to resign if he failed to deliver his flagship guarantee to take Britain out by the autumn deadline. After Mr Johnson initially ducked the question, Mr Hunt said: “I think it’s a no. Are you committed to October 31? Yes or no? I asked you a question”. Boris told host Julie Etchingham: “I don’t want to hold out to the EU the prospect that they might encourage my resignation by refusing to agree a deal.” Counter-attacking, Mr Johnson claimed his rival was “not absolutely committed” to the October 31 Brexit deadline — and branded him “defeatist”. – The Sun

> WATCH: Jeremy Hunt accuses leadership rival Boris Johnson of “peddling optimism”

Chris Grayling urged to ramp up no-deal Brexit preparations or risk ferry fiasco repeat

The Public Accounts Committee said ministers had to hammer out new contracts for extra ferry capacity “very soon”, given the UK is due to leave the EU with or without an agreement on 31 October and the process can take at least three months. The Department for Transport had hoped to secure extra ferries in the event of quitting the EU on 29 March to ensure vital supplies such as medicines continued to flow. However the Government had to pay more than £51m to cancel agreements with DFDS and Brittany Ferries after Theresa May opted to push back Britain’s exit date. They were also forced to shell out £33m to Eurotunnel in an out-of-court settlement after the operator accused them of handing out “secretive” contracts and sued them. In a new report the committee said: “The Department recognises that it needs to learn from this flawed procurement. However, there is a real risk that the short time left before 31 October will force the Department into further high-risk procurements, which it wants to avoid. Given the lead time needed to put ferry capacity in place, which the Department says can take a minimum of three months, any new procurement process would need to begin very soon.” They added that the “rushed procurement of ferry freight capacity” in a bid to be ready for the initial deadline had meant the department had to take “excessive risks”. DFDS and Brittany Ferries, were awarded contracts worth around £100m, while Seaborne Freight – a firm with no ferries – was awarded a £13.8m contract, which was cancelled in February. PAC Chair Meg Hillier said: “In just four months’ time, on 31 October, the UK is expected to leave the EU yet momentum appears to have slowed in Whitehall. Departments must urgently step up their preparations and ensure that the country is ready. “The taxpayer has been landed with a £85m bill with very little to show for it following the rushed procurement of ferry freight capacity. This £33m Eurotunnel settlement comes on top of the money paid to cancel the ill-fated ferries deal.” – PoliticsHome

Donald Trump blasts ‘foolish’ Theresa May over her ‘disastrous’ Brexit failure in latest tweets

Donald Trump has branded UK Prime Minister Theresa May ‘foolish’ over how she has handled Britain’s upcoming departure from the European Union. The President of the United States tweeted Tuesday: ‘The wacky Ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy. ‘He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was handled. ‘I told @theresa_may how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way-was unable to get it done. ‘A disaster! I don’t know the Ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool. Trump’s latest attack on Theresa May came a day after an earlier attack on her handling of Brexit. Mrs May proposed a deal which would have seen continued close ties with the EU after Brexit, which was voted down three times by her fellow MPs. That repeated failure prompted her to resign from her role as prime minister, with her successor set to be named later this month. He also hinted that he was looking forward to working with her successor as Prime Minister, likely to be Boris Johnson, who favours a hardline approach to negotiating with the EU about leaving. – Metro 

  • Donald Trump attacks ‘stupid’ envoy and ‘foolish’ Theresa May – The Times (£)

Wave of Brexit mandarins leave DExEU

The number of senior officials leaving the Brexit department has risen by more than 70 per cent in a year. More than 100 of the most senior civil servants in the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) left in the 2018-19 financial year, government figures released to the Commons show. The departures of 115 officials of grade seven and above, including 15 staff of the most senior grades, represent a rise of 72 per cent on the 2017-18 financial year, during which 67 left. There is likely to be more upheaval in senior Brexit roles under Theresa May’s successor. Olly Robbins, the chief Brexit negotiator who was Dexeu’s first permanent secretary until September 2017, is expected to leave the civil service. In the 12 months covered by the statistics his successor Philip Rycroft took early retirement. He left on March 31 this year two days after the original date for Britain leaving the bloc. Senior Whitehall sources said then that the timing was “not ideal” but that the decision had been taken months earlier. Since March it has emerged that more senior officials are expected to go. Politico reported that these include Tom Shinner, who has been in charge of domestic preparations for no-deal. Paul Blomfield, the shadow Brexit minister, told The Times: “It’s not so much ‘yes, minister’ as ‘I quit, minister.’ Essential legislation has not passed, customs and security arrangements are not in place and the negotiations are in paralysis. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt should drop the ridiculous rhetoric and put forward a credible plan.” – The Times (£)

Greg Hands: Brexit is not easy, but our straightforward plans can keep the Irish border free-flowing

Amidst all the talk of Boris or Jeremy, No Deal Brexit planning, and the 31st October departure date, we all risk losing sight of what our main mission should be: to find a Brexit deal that will work. That also means a Brexit deal that will satisfy all of the House of Commons, the new Prime Minister, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Irish Government. This is no easy task. But every one of those individuals or groups is publicly against a no-deal Brexit. A no-deal Brexit would have a particularly adverse impact in Ireland, and the Irish border. Only today, there were reports that the Irish Government is reluctantly conceding that they might have to put up border infrastructure in the event of No Deal. The urgency for finding a deal has never been greater. It is equally clear that the May – Barnier Brexit agreement isn’t going to pass the House of Commons in its current form, and that the Backstop has become the main hurdle. Conservative parliamentary opinion has hardened against the May-Barnier deal since it was defeated for the third time in March. It is clear that those who want to find a deal need to find a different approach. Brexit is not an easy subject for many people in Ireland. But if we can build goodwill and trust on all sides and address people’s understandable concerns, I believe we can ensure trade and people flow smoothly across the border. – Greg Hands MP for the Telegraph (£)

Nigel Farage: Brexit Party will have revenge over shameless Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has finally abandoned the pretence and come out as an anti-Brexit party. Corbyn has not only demanded that the new Tory prime minister must hold a second referendum on any deal or no-deal Brexit. He has also signed Labour up in advance to campaign for Remain. This new Labour betrayal of Brexit is even worse than that carried out by Theresa May. At least we always knew she was a Remainer at heart. But Corbyn, we were told, was a ‘man of principle’ who learnt his left-wing Euro-scepticism at the knee of his Labour hero, Tony Benn. Now Corbyn has shamelessly abandoned his principles and given in to the political pygmies of Labour’s Remainer front bench. They have broken every promise that they made to millions of Labour voters – most notably, the 2017 Labour manifesto commitment to ‘respect the referendum result’. While they celebrate at their north London supper parties tonight, the party that claims to represent Leave-voting working-class areas like the North of England and South Wales will be met with more anger than they can possibly understand. Labour is now the party of Islington, not Islwyn. It’s the party of Hampstead, not Huddersfield. Its final abandonment of Brexit and millions of Leave voters has opened the door to the Brexit Party in many parts of the country in the most extraordinary way. Because the truth is that almost 70 per cent of Labour MPs represent seats that voted Leave in the 2016 referendum. Yet more than 90 per cent of those Labour MPs backed Remain. – Nigel Farage MEP for the Express

Daniel Hannan: For Brexit to work, power must be stripped from the quangorats – and returned to people we elect

The first task of the new prime minister in a couple of weeks’ time will be to reassert the supremacy of our elected representatives over our functionaries. That might strike you as an eccentric statement. Surely the new Prime Minister’s first task will be Brexit? Yes, but the two things can no longer be separated. Over the past three years, we have seen large chunks of our standing bureaucracy – civil servants, quangocrats and other officials –working to frustrate the referendum result. The Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office have harassed Vote Leave campaigners. Eurosceptic donors even appear to have been targeted by the tax authorities. At the same time, senior civil servants have taken full advantage of Theresa May’s disastrous readiness to be ruled by official advice. What I am saying should be uncontroversial. The purpose of having elected ministers at the top of departments is to ensure that those departments – including the quangos they fund – work for the general population rather than for themselves. A minister who simply does what his officials tell him is guaranteed a quiet life. He will be well regarded. He will get a reputation as a safe pair of hands. Approving remarks about him will find their way into the papers. But he is utterly failing to do his job. We need the entire government machine to be working to make a success of Brexit. – Daniel Hannan MEP for ConservativeHome

Andrew Lilico: Philip Hammond’s latest attempt to prevent no deal is his most craven and dishonest yet

Why was Theresa May permitted to continue as Prime Minister after announcing her resignation, instead of stepping down to allow an interim leader? Doesn’t there seem something a bit odd about the message: “You’ve been an unmitigated catastrophe both as prime minister and as party leader, taking the party to the brink of an extinction-level schism – do you fancy being in charge for another two months?” She isn’t treating this period as a simple fort-holding exercise, either. Instead, she’s after a “legacy”. Everyone knows her only legacy will be as the “You Had One Job” Prime Minister. But instead we face busybody measures such as a milkshake tax and some nonsense about locking in spending commitments on education. The Treasury knows it is wrong to allow Theresa May to make such commitments. But what is apparently happening now, or so we are told, is that the Chancellor is offering to allow May her “legacy” if she offers a free vote on some Commons motion to forbid no deal. Again, this illustrates the perils of allowing May to continue in office. There should be no question of a lame duck government, seeing out its last few weeks in office, being permitted to introduce measures it knows will be the exact opposite of the policy of the new incoming government – poisoning the well before Boris even arrives. And as for Hammond, it seems clear that he and around 30 (perhaps more) Conservative MPs grasp that once Boris takes over they and their whole political philosophy are unlikely to have a future in the Tory Party. A number of them have already been deselected. If Boris is to have any chance at all of persuading Tory voters that have defected to the Brexit Party that the Tories could once again be trusted on Europe, he will need a widespread purge. – Andrew Lilico for the Telegraph (£)

Brendan Chilton: Labour as we knew it is no more

In an extraordinary and unprecedented u-turn, the Labour Party announced today that it would campaign for Remain in a future EU referendum. This is despite the 2017 manifesto promise, written in ink, to accept the outcome of the original 2016 referendum. This follows three years of campaigning by those within the Labour movement who refused to accept the referendum result. They piled enormous pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to change Labour’s stance. Today he buckled to those very same people who a few years ago were challenging him for his leadership of the party. Today is a tragic day in the Labour Party’s history, and a fatal day for British democracy. It is, potentially, the beginning of the end of the Labour Party as we know it. Labour continues to spiral downwards in the opinion polls, despite Labour MPs from the Leave-voting Midlands and north making a gallant last stand in the defence of democracy, and for the preservation of Labour as a party of the working man and woman. Their efforts may be too late to save Labour from a possible catastrophic defeat at the next election. The British people voted for the Labour Party in their millions in 2017, in the knowledge that the party accepted the outcome of the referendum. Labour was able to deprive the Tories of a majority in part because of the stance it took on leaving the European Union. Four million Labour Leave voters stayed loyal to Labour, and despite great concerns about the party’s commitment to Brexit, they voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. A Europhile Labour Party has now discounted their loyalty and trust. – Brendan Chilton for Spiked

Philip Johnston: Can the Civil Service survive Brexit?

To put it mildly, Nigel Farage didn’t hit it off with Sir Kim Darroch. When Our Man in Washington (for the time being) was Britain’s envoy to the EU, he came to see the then Ukip leader in his office and “compromised himself in a rather devastating way”, as Mr Farage described it in the Telegraph on Monday. “During our conversation, I said to him: ‘You’re a professional civil servant, aren’t you supposed to be neutral?’ He replied: ‘No. It’s our policy that the European Union is a good thing.’ I asked him to leave. I couldn’t see the point in even continuing to have the conversation.” With the greatest respect to Mr Farage, he got the wrong end of the stick here. It is not the job of the civil servant to be neutral but to carry out the wishes of the government of the day. At the time, British policy was that membership of the EU was A Good Thing. Sir Kim, whatever his other faults exposed by the vicious spat with Donald Trump, was merely reflecting that position. What the Civil Service is supposed to be is impartial, which is not the same as neutral. If officials were neutral, they would never be able to switch seamlessly from doing the bidding of one political party to another. It is also meant to be independent and permanent, free of party political interference (though that has not been true for years, if it ever was). Yet once the Civil Service was told to prepare for Brexit, it has by all accounts got stuck in, as it should since this is now government policy. Some 14,500 officials are involved in Brexit preparations, though it remains the Government’s official position – and that of the two Tory leadership candidates – to leave with a deal. None the less, Brexit has reawakened a sense that this country’s institutions are no longer able to deliver what is best for people. But what do we want? We have a better system than say, France, where government is almost entirely in the hands of a specially educated elite. – Philip Johnston for the Telegraph (£)

Madeline Grant: The Remoaner sausage boycott shows the shape of things to come

Earlier this week, a group of hardline Left-wingers and Remainers chose to channel the fury they usually reserve for metaphorical “gammon” – middle-aged white men – towards something closer to the real thing; Heck, a family firm that manufactures gluten-free sausages. Its crime? Hosting Boris Johnson at its factory. Just hours after pictures surfaced of the leadership hopeful posing with a string of sausages around his neck, Heck’s Google review rankings had plummeted after being bombarded with one-star ratings from “customers” who had stayed strangely silent before the furore. The Twittersphere was flooded with such gems as “Anyone who supports a racist, arrogant, self-promoting, ruthless, Trump-loving arsehole deserves all they get. Hope Heck goes into liquidation now” – adding, hilariously, “although feel sorry for the workers”. Such is Boris’s power to enrage that anything he touches seems irreversibly tainted in the eyes of the Left. You’d – almost – predict boycotts of other initiatives he has championed, like the London Living Wage, or even the capital’s annual Gay Pride parade. On this occasion, however, I suspect Heck will have the last laugh. Nothing exemplifies Twitter’s unthinking echo chamber more than the self-defeating tactics of people who have probably never bought anything from Heck, ensuring that the rest of us go out of our way to do so by stoking a level of publicity most firms would kill for. Sales of Tunnock’s tea cakes rocketed following the cyberNat boycott. So too did the sales of “Top Totty” craft beer when Labour MPs protested the “sexism” of its inclusion in the Strangers’ Bar of the House of Commons. – Madeline Grant for the Telegraph (£)

Stephen Pollard: We must be ready to take that leap into no-deal Brexit

Whatever you may think about Boris Johnson, you could not now accuse him of any ambiguity over Brexit. Lately, he could not have been clearer that if he becomes prime minister a fortnight today, we will leave the EU on October 31. Throughout the leadership campaign, he has said repeatedly that he would rather leave with a deal but if he can’t get the EU to agree to drop the Irish backstop, then we will be off without one. But the one thing we have surely all learnt in the three years since the referendum is to treat such promises with a sackload of salt. Barely a day went by, for example, in the run-up to March 29 when Mrs May didn’t pledge with similar insistence that we would be leaving then. Let’s take Mr Johnson at his word. Let’s assume he really means it. If that is indeed what happens, then what he is actually saying is that we will be leaving without a deal. Because we need to be realistic. It is, of course, possible that a change in Britain’s negotiating team will secure what Mrs May could not achieve, and our new prime minister will manage one of the greatest diplomatic and political triumphs in history as we not only agree a new deal with the EU but a new deal that is equally acceptable to the ERG and Remainers in the Commons. The referendum result was clear and it must be honoured. With millions of others, I voted to Leave and if our vote is swept away by the Remain establishment it will have a catastrophic effect on politics and democracy. But there is a huge irony in the drive towards leaving without a deal – because no one voted for no-deal. The Leave campaign booklet itself was explicit: “Taking back control is a careful change, not a sudden stop – we will negotiate the terms of a new deal before we start any legal process to leave.” While we are right to honour the country’s democratic vote, we may be about to make a leap in the dark no one voted for. – Stephen Pollard for the Express

Brexit in Brief

  • Labour’s referendum shift sparks unanswered questions – Sam Coates for Sky News
  • Meet Charles Michel, Belgium’s political scion hellbent on building an EU empire – Paul Belien for the Telegraph (£)
  • The fall of ancient Athens shows how vital it is for Brexit Britain to restore its freedoms – Radomir Tylecote for the Telegraph (£)
  • Corbyn’s grip on Labour – along with his constructive ambiguity on Brexit – is starting to unravel – Telegraph (£) editorial
  • Backing Remain is Labour’s final betrayal of democracy – The Sun says