One hundred Tory MPs denounce Theresa May's Brexit deal as the value of her ‘sell the deal’ tour is questioned: Brexit News for Friday 30th November

One hundred Tory MPs denounce Theresa May's Brexit deal as the value of her ‘sell the deal’ tour is questioned: Brexit News for Friday 30th November

One hundred Tory MPs denounce Theresa May’s Brexit deal as the value of her ‘sell the deal’ tour is questioned…

The number of Tory MPs who have spoken out against Theresa May’s Brexit deal hit 100 as critics said her two-week charm offensive is failing. Matthew Offord, the Tory MP for Hendon, on Thursday became the hundredth MP to say he would vote against the Prime Minister’s deal, warning that it will leave the UK “bound” to the EU and put the Union at risk. It came as Jo Johnson, a former minister who quit in protest at the deal, warned that the Tories will face a landslide defeat at the next election on a scale similar to 1997 if they push ahead with Mrs May’s Brexit deal. The Prime Minister on Thursday flew to the G20 meeting of world leaders in Argentina where she will attempt to convince them that her Brexit deal is good for the world economy. However, she is not expected to hold a private meeting with Donald Trump, who earlier this week described her agreement as a “good deal for the EU” and warned it would put a US-UK trade deal at risk. – Telegraph (£)

  • As 100 Tory MPs oppose deal, May fights to quash rebellion – Express

…while she warns MPs she will step up no-deal Brexit preparations if they reject her deal

Theresa May told MPs she will step up no-deal Brexit preparations if they defeat her deal in the House of Commons in the wake of the Bank of England’s “Project Hysteria” warnings. The Prime Minister said there would be “practical” consequences if MPs rejected her agreement when the meaningful vote is held on December 11. Meanwhile, she also warned against any bid to extend the Article 50 process as she said doing so would see negotiators having to start from scratch on a new deal. Mrs May appeared before the Liaison Committee, made up of all the MPs who chair select committees, after the Bank published an analysis of the economic impacts of a no-deal divorce which was so bleak it was labelled “Project Hysteria” by Brexiteers. Mrs May said on Thursday a series of “practical steps” would have to be taken if MPs were to vote down her deal. She said: “Obviously we have been doing no deal planning as a Government. We have made certain information available to businesses.” – Telegraph (£)

Hilary Benn leads cross-party group of MPs tabling Commons amendment to stop ‘no-deal’

A cross-party group of MPs will use next month’s landmark Brexit vote to try to ensure the UK cannot leave the EU without a deal. They want to amend the “meaningful vote” motion to rule out “no deal”. The BBC understands Conservative, Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru and Green politicians are involved. MPs are due to vote on the prime minister’s Brexit agreement with the EU on 11 December. Theresa May has repeatedly said voting the deal down would risk a “no-deal” Brexit. But amendments being discussed in Westminster would seek to rule that out. Several sources told the BBC they think such an amendment is the only one that could command a majority. One has already been tabled by chairman of the Brexit select committee, Hilary Benn, which would rule out no deal and allow MPs to give the government instruction on how to act. That has been backed by Conservatives Dominic Grieve and Sarah Wollaston, as well as Labour’s Meg Hillier, Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves. Separately Labour’s front bench has tabled an amendment saying that the party cannot support the agreement, as it fails to provide for a customs union and “strong single market” deal. It also says it opposes a no deal withdrawal, and “resolves to pursue every option” that prevents such a scenario. – BBC News

We don’t have the luxury of a better deal, says Liam Fox as he falls in line

Liam Fox will follow Andrea Leadsom in endorsing Theresa May’s Brexit deal today, saying that her opponents do not have the “luxury” of an alternative plan. The trade secretary will back Mrs May’s plan in a speech in the southwest that coincides with a YouGov poll for The Times suggesting that there has been a sharp rise in people who favour her compromise over a no-deal Brexit. However, more than a quarter of those who voted for Brexit in 2016 want MPs to reject the prime minister’s deal, even if it means remaining in the EU. Dr Fox will use his speech to argue that Brexiteers must make tough choices. “The deal we’ve reached will give us a firm and stable base on which to leave the EU and build this country’s global future, a future that still encompasses Europe, of course, but also the wide fast-growing markets beyond, with all the opportunity that entails,” he says. “The divisions of the referendum need to be consigned to the past. Now is the time to set aside our differences, and lead our country to a future of freedom, success and prosperity. In politics we cannot always have the luxury of doing what we want for ourselves, but we have an abiding duty to do what is right for our country.” – The Times (£)

  • It’s your duty to back the PM, Liam Fox says – Daily Mail

David Lidington pledges Britain would follow Northern Ireland single market rules for backstop duration

Theresa May’s de facto deputy has pledged Great Britain would follow the EU’s single market rules applying to Northern Ireland for the entire duration the Brexit deal’s backstop is in force. In what he said was a “concession” to Scottish Tory and DUP MPs, who are concerned the deal will fracture the UK’s internal market, David Lidington said Britain “will not diverge from the regime in Northern Ireland” if the backstop is triggered. Speaking after giving evidence to a Scottish Parliament inquiry, Mr Lidington argued the move would not be controversial as there was little appetite from industry to “diverge quickly away from EU standards.” The Scottish Tories praised his “vital and welcome” intervention, with senior sources predicting it would help the party’s wavering MPs to get behind the Brexit deal. But Mr Lidington risks further infuriating Tory Brexiteers ahead of the crucial Dec 11 vote on the deal, as it would commit the UK to continue closely following single market red tape. Although there have been previous hints, it was the clearest statement yet by a senior Cabinet minister that Britain would adopt the same regulatory regime as Northern Ireland if the backstop was implemented. – Telegraph (£)

EU not sold on my frictionless trade idea, admits Theresa May

Theresa May has told MPs that the European Union has yet to be convinced that there should be frictionless trade with the UK after Brexit. Giving evidence to heads of the Commons select committees this morning, the prime minister said: “If I’m being honest with you, we haven’t persuaded absolutely everybody in Europe about frictionless trade yet.” The political declaration on the UK’s future relationship with the EU does not commit to “frictionless” trade. Critics within the Conservative Party point to this as one of the reasons why they cannot vote for Mrs May’s deal. The prime minister also said that the UK would risk losing the agreed Brexit deal if another referendum was held. Mrs May said that a second public vote would require an extension to the Article 50 exit process. She told MPs on the Commons liaison committee: “What is clear is that any extension to Article 50 reopens the negotiations and reopens the deal and at that point the deal can go frankly in any direction.” – The Times (£)

May to sell her Brexit deal to world leaders at G20…

Theresa May will seek to sell her compromise Brexit deal to world leaders on Friday, saying that it will allow Britain to play “a full and active role” promoting global trade. The G20 summit in Buenos Aires comes at a difficult time for the prime minister, who is in the middle of national campaign to win public support for her much criticised withdrawal agreement with the EU. Mrs May faces the risk of the Brexit deal being rejected by parliament in a key vote scheduled for December 11, but is hoping her domestic campaign will win over sceptical MPs. Among the leaders attending the G20 summit will be US president Donald Trump, who on Monday warned that Mrs May’s draft agreement with the EU could rule out a trade deal with his country because Britain would be so aligned with Brussels’ rules. The UK is trying to position itself as a voice for free trade against the trend towards protectionism, and Mrs May has previously spoken of the case for reform of the World Trade Organization. – FT (£)

…while bidding for trade deal in the historic visit to Argentina

Britain and Argentina will look beyond the Falklands dispute today and agree to new trade links as Theresa May becomes the first British prime minister ever to visit Buenos Aires. Mrs May will announce the creation of a trade envoy to Latin America’s third biggest economy at a formal meeting with President Macri. The move follows the announcement earlier this week of a new flight from Argentina to the Falkland Islands, the product of two years of negotiations. The Argentine president is hosting world leaders including Donald Trump, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin at the tenth G20 summit today and tomorrow. Mrs May hopes to use the stage to sell her Brexit deal to a sceptical Commons with a series of meetings with potential new trade partners over the two days. The main focus will be on a planned meeting between the leaders of China and the US tomorrow, however, with world markets hoping that Mr Trump backs away from an all-out trade war in his meeting with Mr Xi. – The Times (£)

May agrees to appear on BBC Brexit debate, prompting a furious response from ITV fan Jeremy Corbyn…

Theresa May has agreed to appear on BBC One in a live Brexit debate on Sunday, December 9, in a move that prompted a furious response from Jeremy Corbyn. The Prime Minister accepted the BBC’s offer to host the debate at 8pm on Sunday after Strictly Come Dancing. The slot will mean Dynasties has to be rescheduled. However Mr Corbyn has refused to accept the offer, with Labour accusing Downing Street and the BBC of attempting to “bounce” him into it. The Labour leader said he favours ITV’s offer of a 7pm slot on Sunday ahead of the final of I’m a Celebrity, which he argues will have a more “diverse” audience. However ITV’s slot would clash directly with Strictly Come Dancing. Labour is also concerned that the BBC One’s offer is not for a “pure” head-to-head debate. The corporation’s offer includes a panel of politicians including prominent Brexiteers and Remainers and business leaders. – Telegraph (£)

  • Clash over whether BBC or ITV will host debate – BBC News

…as the Prime Minister accuses Labour of pushing Britain towards a no-deal Brexit…

Theresa May has accused Labour of pushing the UK towards a damaging no-deal Brexit by seeking to block her deal without offering a workable alternative. Speaking to reporters on her flight to the G20 summit in Argentina, Mrs May made clear she has not given up hope of getting her Brexit deal through Parliament, despite indications she is heading for defeat by a substantial margin in the crunch vote on December 11. Asked what she will do if MPs reject her plan, she retorted: “We haven’t had the vote yet. Let’s focus on the deal that we have negotiated with the EU, a deal which is good for the UK and good for their constituents.” Failure by Westminster to ratify the agreement struck with the EU in Brussels on Sunday would mean “division and uncertainty” for Britain, she said. And she warned: “A divided country is not a country that prospers.” In a clear warning that there is no other arrangement on offer if MPs turn down her deal, Mrs May said that defeat in the Commons would mean “there will be decisions to be taken by Government and by business in relation to the practical preparations they would be looking to make for no-deal.” – Daily Mail

…but she rules out a Norway-style Brexit compromise with Labour

Theresa May has ruled out any plan B involving a Norway-style compromise deal with the Labour party in order to deliver a parliamentary consensus on Brexit, saying the opposition party’s refusal to accept the backstop arrangement put the UK on a course for no deal. Influential backbenchers, including former Tory minister Nick Boles and Labour’s Stephen Kinnock, have been developing a compromise proposal based on membership of the European Economic Area plus a negotiated customs union, believing it is the only version of Brexit that could attract enough Labour and Tory votes to deliver a parliamentary majority. Some cabinet ministers are understood to be attracted to the plans as an alternative if May’s negotiated deal fails to pass the House of Commons. However, on Thursday May repeated her rejection of the “Norway plus” model and suggested she would not be prepared to offer it as a compromise arrangement because it would mean the continuation of freedom of movement. That is regarded in Downing Street as the hardest of the prime minister’s red lines. – Guardian

Nigel Farage congratulates Michel Barnier on ‘beating the UK game, set and match’ in the Brexit talks in European Parliament showdown…

Nigel Farage has congratulated Michel Barnier on beating the UK in Brexit deal talks during an EU Parliament showdown. Farage told the chamber that Theresa May’s hated proposal was “probably the worst deal in history” for Britain. The ex-Ukip boss said: “Mr Barnier, I have to say, I wish you were on our side really, because it is game, set and match to you.” He added that he was in “no doubt” that the PM’s deal was good news for Brussels because it keeps “Britain in the customs union and stuck with EU’s rule book”. He said: “As Mr Barnier said this morning, there is the backstop which means of course the United Kingdom can be held effectively as a hostage for many years to come. It’s a good deal for the European Union, for the UK, I think it’s probably the worst deal in history.” Nigel Farage has congratulated Michel Barnier on beating the UK in Brexit deal talks during an EU Parliament showdown. However, EU Brexit chief Mr Barnier replied that it was “not a case of winners and losers because Brexit is a lose-lose.” – The Sun

…but Brussels is reportedly ready to offer Britain more time for a ‘softer’ Brexit

European leaders are prepared to offer Britain a three-month extension to Article 50 to prevent parliamentary deadlock triggering a no-deal Brexit. Under plans being discussed in European capitals the EU would agree to extend Britain’s membership until July to allow time for either a second referendum or to agree a Norway-style soft Brexit. However, the EU has made clear that the extension would only be offered after parliament had come to a clear conclusion about the type of future relationship it wants. The move was part of a response to growing fears in Brussels that if Theresa May’s deal is voted down by MPs the ensuing chaos could increase the odds of a no-deal Brexit. Speaking to the European parliament yesterday, Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead negotiator, warned MPs threatening to vote against the withdrawal treaty that the “future of the country is at stake” and that it was the only offer available. “Given the difficult circumstances of this negotiation and given the extreme complexity of all the issues of the British withdrawal, the treaty that is on the table is the only deal possible,” he said. “This is now the moment of ratification.” – The Times (£)

Michael Gove gloats how Macron was ‘speechless with rage’ after being told France can’t have UK fish access after Brexit

Emmanuel Macron was “speechless with rage” when he was told the French WON’T get access to our fish after Brexit, it was revealed today. A gloating Michael Gove gleefully told MPs that the fisheries deal sealed by Theresa May and the EU had actually caused “anger” in Paris. The Brexiteer Environment Secretary repeated promises made by the PM that Britain would be an independent coastal state after we leave the EU. Speaking to MPs in the Commons today Mr Gove said President Macron was “wrong” and our fishing policies would be decided completely separately.”His anger should be a cause for celebration across this House,” he added, calling him a “Jupiterian president”. “The truth is that as an independent coastal state we will be able to decide who comes into our waters and on what terms.” The PM’s Brexit deal was signed off by the 27 other EU nations on Sunday. But hours later Mr Macron said that he would demand ongoing access to UK waters before Britain could get a trade deal with the bloc. “We as 27 have a clear position on fair competition, on fish, on the subject of the EU’s regulatory autonomy, and that forms part of our lines for the future relationship talks. – The Sun

  • Macron left ‘speechless with rage’, Gove reveals as UK regains control of its waters – Express

A new Brexit referendum could be held on 30th May, claims Justine Greening

A new Brexit referendum could be held within six months, according to former Conservative cabinet minister Justine Greening. The Putney MP said today that if parliament defeats Theresa May’s Brexit deal on 11 December, wheels could be put in motion for another country-wide poll on 30 May. Such a move would see the Article 50 process for the UK leaving the EU extended, meaning Brexit would not occur on 29 March as scheduled. It would also require a referendum motion in parliament. Speaking at a so-called people’s vote campaign event in London, the former education secretary said: “I’ve worked out that you could plan and hold a referendum in 22 weeks. “We could do that in 22 weeks. We could actually, after this vote on December 11, hold a referendum, potentially, on May 30 next year. We could, alongside that, choose to extend Article 50, I’ve suggested, by four months to July 29.” Greening said the ballot paper should give voters three options for the UK’s future relationship with the EU: remain; May’s deal; leaving without a deal. Her comments in the Southbank Centre in London came a day after Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell accepted his party’s support for another referendum was “inevitable”. – City A.M.

Mark Carney says UK businesses are not ready for Brexit

Less than half of the U.K.’s businesses have initiated their contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit, Bank of England chief Mark Carney warned Thursday. “The core of this financial system is ready, the Bank of England is ready, for whatever form of Brexit this country chooses to take,” Carney told the Today program in an interview. But “less than half of the businesses in this country have initiated their contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.” The BoE chief said: “All the industries, all the infrastructure of the country, are they all ready at this point in time? Best as we can tell, the answer is no.” – Politico

Net migration from non-EU countries hits ‘astonishing’ 14-year high

UK net migration is running at almost 275,000 a year, despite the figure from the EU falling to its lowest level in nearly six years. Official figures published today show that net migration from outside the bloc, which government can control, is at its highest level in 14 years. Campaigners for lower immigration described the figure for non-EU net migration as “astonishing”. The government has promised to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands and is expected to announce plans for a new post-Brexit immigration system this month. Sajid Javid, the home secretary, has said that everyone coming to work in future will need a visa and that the immigration white paper will have a commitment to bring net migration down to sustainable levels. Overall, net migration in the year to June was 273,000, exceeding the government’s target of 100,000. Non-EU net migration was at 248,000 and EU net migration was 74,000. – The Times (£)

  • Chinese and Indian students driving growth in non-EU net migrationThe Times (£)
  • Migration to Britain from outside EU hits highest level for 14 years – as exodus of EU migrants rises – Telegraph (£)

Government set to relax restrictions on non-EU doctors

The government is set to relax its immigration rules to let more foreign doctors come to Britain to help tackle the NHS’s widespread shortages of medics, the Guardian can reveal. Ministers have agreed to significantly expand the 1,500 doctors a year allowed to come and work in Britain under the medical training initiative (MTI). The move could result in the maximum number of non-EU medics able to come rising to as many as 3,000. The length of time young doctors from outside the EU are able to stay in Britain under the scheme may also rise from two to three years, according to well-placed sources. The change comes as the government is under pressure to explain how its intention to move to a new immigration system after Brexit, with right of entry dependent on skills, will help alleviate NHS under-staffing. Ministers believe the NHS-wide shortage of medics is so acute, especially in hospitals, that they have to lift the cap on the number who can come in under the MTI, even at the risk of provoking a row about immigration. – Guardian

Theresa May’s Brexit deal is a ‘threat to West’s security’ and will surrender our forces to EU control, say senior spooks

Theresa May’s Brexit deal will surrender UK defence forces to EU control, senior intelligence chiefs claim. They say it will also “compromise” vital British intelligence, “threatening Western security”. The damning views are expressed in a letter signed by ex-MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove and Falklands War vet Maj Gen Julian Thompson. Backed by former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, they warn: “It puts at risk the fundamental Anglosphere alliances, specifically the vital Five Eyes Alliance and thereby threatens Western security.” The Five Eyes intelligence pact involves the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But the alert comes as the Government’s Security Minister argues a No Deal outcome will make it harder for cops and MI5 to keep the public safe from terror and criminals. – The Sun

> On Brexit Central: Former MI6 chief accuses Theresa May of ‘surrendering British national security’ to the EU

Iain Martin: Euro-fanatics are stoking the populist fire

Like an old rock band getting back together, the state-sponsored campaign to keep Britain in (or as close as possible to) the European Union is on the road again playing all the old hits. This week we have been treated to mournful ballads such as “Britain faces the biggest recession since the 1930s because of Brexit”, one of the least catchy tunes produced by the Treasury and the Bank of England. But the band has lost its former lead singer, George Osborne. Philip Hammond, nobody’s idea of an entertainer, is now on vocals. In the background is Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, still banging away. But arrogant President Obama, who unwittingly helped the Leave campaign so much by interfering last time, is no longer available for backing vocals. Economists at the Bank said on Wednesday that British GDP could fall by 10.5 per cent over five years if we left without a deal, compared with the 6.25 per cent drop we suffered after the 2008 financial crisis. Carney is right to say that stress-testing banks and the financial system requires him to consider a range of such scenarios. But he’s surely smart enough to know that when his forecasts appear on the same day as grim warnings from the Treasury, ahead of a Commons vote that could decide the fate of the government he serves, he is going to be accused of playing politics. – Iain Martin for The Times (£)

Philip Collins: Labour Remainers are playing a risky game

The mist in which Jeremy Corbyn is wreathed is slowly clearing. Labour ran a general election campaign in 2017 on a stroke of inadvertent genius. Both Leavers and Remainers could stay with Labour because nobody could be sure what Mr Corbyn actually thought on the issue. He has not been much clearer since but the official Labour position is creeping towards a decision. On Wednesday John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, appeared to hint that the obvious destination for Labour policy was to come out for a second referendum. Yet, as ever in this infernal process, it is not quite that simple. The process of Britain’s departure from the European Union is a labyrinth decked out with a hall of mirrors. Anyone claiming to know where they are heading is liable to bump into a reflection of themselves round the corner. There is talk of general elections, leadership challenges, Article 50 extensions and more referendums, all of which are merely means by which the riddle may, or may not, be solved. – Philip Collins for The Times (£)

Tom Harris: Labour knows it must now decide Britain’s fate by choosing between May’s deal and no deal

In a closing passage to his biography of Neil Kinnock, Robert Harris suggested that his subject possessed that most important of political qualities: luck. It was not, in fact, true of Kinnock but it could well be ascribed to his successor, Jeremy Corbyn. His faltering, chaotic leadership was almost certainly already on life support when he was handed a lifeline by Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election in 2017, during which he exploited a previously suppressed appetite of the electorate to swallow populist answers. Although the optimism and excitement generated by Labour’s performance has since waned, and the party has once again been relegated to second place in the polls behind what can justifiably be described as the most dysfunctional government in living memory, Corbyn has again been favoured by Lady Luck in the nature of the Brexit debate. As in last year’s general election, Labour has managed to sidestep scrutiny of its own policy positions when it comes to how (or if) Britain should leave the European Union. The Labour policy is, as far as I’m aware, something along the lines of “Customs union… something something… single market… jobs first…something… austerity.” I think. – Tom Harris for the Telegraph (£)

Ben Wright: Mark Carney should have done more to avoid confusion between Brexit ‘scenarios’ and ‘forecasts’

When is a forecast not a forecast? When it’s a Bank of England Brexit scenario. The Bank has come under widespread criticism for saying that the UK economy will contract by 8pc in the event of a disorderly Brexit, which would be the worst slump since World War II. Unemployment will rise to 7.5pc. House prices will fall 30pc. A pound will be worth less than a dollar. Interest rates will rise to 5.5pc. The seven seals will be opened. A pale horse will appear and its rider will be Death. Except – and this really is a rather crucial point – the Bank didn’t say that these things will happen. What it did was model a range of Brexit scenarios. The worst-case scenario is a disorderly Brexit in which the UK falls out of the European Union without the softening effect of a transition period. The scenario has been deliberately engineered to be as bad as possible. We know this because on the same day that the Bank produced its Brexit scenarios it also produced the results of the latest stress tests with which it assesses the resilience of UK lenders. The stress tests are also worst case scenarios. There is no point testing whether British banks can handle the UK economy catching a slight sniffle; you want to know that they can deal with full-blown pneumonia. And the full-blown pneumonia in the bank stress tests is the same as the doomsday Brexit scenario. – Ben Wright for the Telegraph (£)

Andrew Lilico: The Bank of England’s Brexit forecasts aren’t just wrong. They’re absurd

Yesterday the Bank of England published its latest Brexit analysis. The scenarios the Bank paints include some that are lurid, wild and absurd, and, of course, it is those scenarios that have attracted all the headlines. In particular, the Bank’s scenario for a disorderly no deal Brexit has GDP contracting 8 per cent in a year. That’s right, contracting, and that’s right, in one year. To put that into context, the highest annual contraction in GDP since modern records began was in 2009, when the financial crisis led to about half the UK’s banking system being nationalised and the worst recession since the 1920s. – Andrew Lilico for CapX

James Forsyth: Why Theresa May might end up embracing a second referendum

There are few things in the Brexit debate that are not disputed. But there is one thing that pretty much everyone accepts: that Theresa May believes in her deal. She really does think it is the right answer to the referendum result. However, as I say in the magazine this week, her deal is unlikely to get through the Commons. But what can May do given that she wants her deal to pass? Well, there is one route that might work for her: a second referendum. If the Commons won’t back her deal, then maybe the country will.- James Forsyth for The Spectator

Iain Dale: Why is Theresa May making her case to 35 million people won’t vote on her deal? And not to 300 or so who will?

When you are fighting a political battle it’s a good idea to identify who your target audience is. I’m therefore somewhat perplexed by the Prime Minister’s strategy to embark on a whistle-stop campaigning tour of the country to sell her Brexit deal to voters. The point is that the electorate as a whole won’t vote on December 11th – 650 MPs will. Shouldn’t Theresa May’s time be spent convincing her own MPs, rather than the generality of voters, to support her?  After all, they will now decide the fate of her Brexit deal, and indeed her own too. There are echoes of 1990, when Margaret Thatcher thought her time would be better spent in Paris at a summit of world leaders than in the Commons tea room convincing her backbenchers. That worked out well… – Iain Dale for ConservativeHome

Jeremy Warner: Brexit has completely failed ‘left behinds’ angry with the dismal status quo

Exasperation with the paralysis in our political class grows by the day. Bogged down in the technicalities of customs arrangements, backstops, implementation periods, transitions, deals and no-deals, the debate around Brexit has descended into a state of monumental irrelevance that utterly fails to address the underlying discontents that lie at the heart of the vote to leave the EU. These were many and varied, but they had one overarching sentiment in common – growing anger with the political and economic status quo. The vote was a popular rebellion that united elites and “left behinds” in grievance against a system seen to be failing on multiple fronts. Looking at the current chaos – a snakepit of self interested infighting that makes even Italy’s perennially dysfunctional politics look purposeful by comparison – only confirms the inability of our political class to bring about the meaningful change that people voted for. – Telegraph (£)

Yorkshire Post: Little sign of Plan B for Brexit if May’s deal fails

Theresa May will be hoping that world leaders meeting in Argentina for their annual G20 summit are more sympathetic to her Brexit blueprint than Parliamentarians at Westminster. The Prime Minister left for South America after being cross-examined by senior backbench MPs over her agreement with Brussels – and the contingencies if it is voted down by MPs on December 11. Yet, while Mrs May will be hoping that there is no repeat of the events of November 1990 when Tories effectively ousted Margaret Thatcher while the then premier was out of the country at a Nato summit to mark the end of the Cold War, she cannot escape the fact that she’s increasingly isolated in Cabinet, and in the Commons, and simply does not command sufficient support for her Withdrawal Agreement. Even the incendiary comments of Bank of England governor Mark Carney about the potential economic impact of no deal Brexit do not appear to have swayed political opinion – the views of Remain and Leave supporters simply became more entrenched. – Yorkshire Post editorial

Brexit in Brief

  • What if the Brexit vote fails? – James Forsyth for The Spectator
  • We don’t need an EU deal – why are we bothering? – Brian Monteith for Edinburgh Evening News
  • Mrs May faces a big defeat – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Why the Norway Plus plan is not as simple as Brexiteers believe – Telegraph (£)
  • An exclusive podcast with Brexit-supporting Bernard Jenkin MP – Briefings for Brexit
  • Lib Dem heckled on Question Time after demanding a second Brexit referendum – Express
  • Second referendum campaigners split over parliamentary tactics – Guardian
  • Which MPs support a second EU referendum – the Labour and Tories backing a second Brexit vote – The Sun