Theresa May in fight for her political future ahead of tomorrow’s Commons Brexit vote: Brexit News for Monday 10 December

Theresa May in fight for her political future ahead of tomorrow’s Commons Brexit vote: Brexit News for Monday 10 December
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Theresa May in fight for her political future ahead of tomorrow’s Commons Brexit vote…

Theresa May is battling to save her Brexit deal and maintain her grip on power ahead of Tuesday’s Commons showdown. Ahead of the crunch vote: former Cabinet ministers including Boris Johnson refused to rule out leadership bids, a serving minister conceded that Tory MPs could quit the party over the Brexit plan, and Labour said it would work with other Opposition parties to decide what to do if Mrs May crashes to defeat on Tuesday and could form a minority government. Any defeat would lead to fresh questions about Mrs May’s political future. Former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey said she would give the prospect of standing as leader “serious concern” and suggested that Brexiteers should unite around a single candidate. – Belfast Telegraph (£)

  • Theresa May to face leadership battle over Brexit deal – The Times (£)

…with the Prime Minister making a final push to win support for her deal…

Theresa May is set to hold a series of private meetings with backbench MPs as she bids to win support for her Brexit deal before Tuesday’s historic vote. On Sunday evening, Mrs May spoke on the phone to Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, whose support could be vital if she were to negotiate further with the EU. She also spoke to the European Council President Donald Tusk, who tweeted it would be “an important week for the fate of Brexit”. The government is widely expected to lose the vote, with Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the DUP, the SNP and dozens of Conservative MPs saying they cannot support the deal. Downing Street believes most Conservative MPs could support Mrs May’s deal if it were not for the backstop – the insurance policy designed to prevent a hard border in Ireland. – BBC News

  • Theresa May makes eleventh hour phone call to Donald Tusk as she considers postponing ‘doomed’ vote – Telegraph (£)
  • Theresa May urges EU to save her Brexit deal in last-ditch phone call to Brussels — as senior figures give Commons vote 50/50 chance of going ahead – The Sun

…with Boris Johnson leading the critics urging a renegotiation….

Boris Johnson said the PM could stay on if she lost but must renegotiate the deal with Brussels. The withdrawal deal negotiated between the UK and EU has been endorsed by EU leaders but must also be backed by Parliament. But the government is widely expected to lose next week’s vote with Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the DUP, the SNP and dozens of Conservative MPs saying they cannot support the deal. European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted on Sunday it would be “an important week for the fate of Brexit”, after a phone call with Theresa May. – BBC News

…as the Brexit Secretary has to insist that the vote is ‘100 per cent’ going ahead, amidst rumours of a postponement

The vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal is “100 per cent” going ahead on Tuesday as planned, the Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has said. Reports that Mrs May is contemplating delaying the vote until after a trip to Brussels this week are wide of the mark, Mr Barclay said, adding that there was still time to change the minds of MPs who say they will vote against the deal. Cabinet ministers have been putting pressure on Mrs May to postpone the vote until she has more chance of winning it, but Mr Barclay said: “The vote is going ahead. “It’s important that we don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good. “We have got the vote on Tuesday, there are still two full days of debate to go, it’s for the Cabinet to be making the case for the deal.” – Telegraph (£)

> WATCH: Steve Barclay tells Andrew Marr the vote is still on for Tuesday night

‘Plan B’ reportedly under discussion that could see a second referendum without the option to Remain in the EU

A radical plan for a second referendum that does not include the option to remain in the EU is being discussed as a possible “plan B” for Theresa May if she cannot get her Brexit deal through the Commons. Some May loyalists believe that a second referendum might be the “least worst” of several grim alternatives facing her if MPs block the deal on Tuesday or in a postponed vote. One Government source said: “If Parliament can’t decide between this deal, no deal or no Brexit, letting the people decide might be the only way forward. The Conservatives would be destroyed at the next general election if they brought about a referendum that ended up with Britain staying in the EU, so this would be a valid alternative. You can legitimately argue that remain doesn’t need to be on the ballot paper because that issue has already been settled. We voted to leave in 2016. Now people could be given the choice of how we leave.” – Telegraph (£)

UK could revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit without permission from the EU27, rules European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the UK can cancel Brexit without the permission of the other 27 EU members. The judges ruled that this could be done without altering the terms of Britain’s membership. A group of anti-Brexit politicians and campaigners argued that the UK should be able to unilaterally halt the Brexit process if it wants to do so. But their case was opposed by the UK government and the EU itself. The decision comes the day before the House of Commons is due to vote on the prime minister’s Brexit deal with the EU – with MPs widely expected to reject the proposals. The campaigners hope the victory in their legal case will increase the chances of Brexit being called off completely, potentially through another referendum. This is because they believe it sends the message that MPs are not facing a choice between accepting Mrs May’s deal or leaving the EU with no deal, and that “there are other options, and we can stop the clock.” – BBC News

Environment secretary Michael Gove promises a better Brexit deal on fishing with changes to current laws

The Environment Secretary announced an amendment to the Fisheries Bill to give them a fairer share of fishing rights. It would legally oblige the secretary of state to secure more when negotiating a future fishing deal than the UK receives now under the Common Fisheries Policy. Mr Gove also announced £37.2million of extra funding to boost the UK fishing industry during the transition period. This would pay for better technology to improve safety and reduce environmental impact, and better port infrastructure. It will also be spent on boosting coastal communities and helping the sector adjust to the post-Brexit world. – Daily Mail

Boris Johnson says he has ‘deep sense of personal responsibility’ for Brexit…

Boris Johnson has spoken passionately of his “deep sense of personal responsibility” for Brexit in a TV interview seen as the moment his Tory leadership campaign got into full swing. “It absolutely breaks my heart to think that after all that we’ve fought for, all that we campaigned for…that we could consign ourselves to a future in which the EU effectively rules us in many, many respects.” He described the current backstop arrangement to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland as a “lobster pot” from which the UK would not be able to escape, and insisted that a new deal could be negotiated in which the backstop was simply dropped from the Withdrawal Agreement. – Telegraph (£)

> WATCH: Boris Johnson’s full interview on The Andrew Marr Show

…and warns of EU ‘blackmail’ risk under May’s Brexit deal

Boris Johnson refused to rule out challenging Theresa May for the Tory leadership as he warned her Brexit deal left the UK open to “blackmail” by Brussels. The former foreign secretary said it was “nonsense” to suggest he had already begun offering jobs in a future Johnson administration to fellow Tories, but sidestepped the opportunity to promise not to stand against the Prime Minister. He said her Brexit deal could get through the Commons if it was stripped of the backstop measure – an insurance policy to prevent a hard border with Ireland – insisting that would be “relatively simple” to achieve. Setting out his Brexit plan, Mr Johnson said resolving the Irish border issue should be postponed so it forms part of the talks on a future trade deal and the UK should withhold a “substantial chunk” of the £39 billion divorce bill until that deal is done. Preparations should also be stepped up for a no-deal Brexit, he said. – ITV News

UK ‘not far away’ from Paris-style civil unrest if Government held another referendum, says Iain Duncan Smith

Speaking on Pienaar’s Politics, Mr Duncan Smith said: “You think the country is divided right now, you wait until you try and hold that second referendum. There’s a very large chunk of people who will feel utterly betrayed and very angry. And I just caution you, look across the Channel. We are not that far away from that kind of process happening here. People voted and they were told that one vote would be acted on, that that one vote would be delivered. Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to deliver Brexit, they did so twice – once on the Article 50 letter and once when they came back under the urgings of the Supreme Court.” Mr Duncan Smith also appeared to disagree with claims suggesting support for a second vote had increased over the past few months. He continued: “I don’t actually agree there is any particular kind of shift. If you ask ‘do you want a referendum?’ the majority still don’t want another referendum. “Then, if you ask them ‘what kind of departure or staying in do you want?’ they break in 1000 different directions. That’s the point.” He added: “The problem with all this discussion and constant banging on about another referendum is that there is not going to be another referendum. If anybody really, genuinely thinks that they want to hold a second referendum they need their heads examining.” – Express

Brussels understood need for ‘short’ backstop, says Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab said the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier told him he understood the backstop ‘needs to be short’ but ‘after that the technical track for the negotiations took it in another direction’. Speaking on Sophy Ridge On Sunday on Sky News, the Conservative MP added: ‘I was very clear with the prime minister that we should have stood firm at that point, and that was back in July.’ Mr Raab called Mrs May’s Brexit deal ‘the worst of all the alternatives’ and said he expects it will be voted down. But he said it could still be ‘remedied’ and suggested the EU might be willing to take another look at the backstop. Mr Raab said: ‘There is probably more flexibility than is being suggested. We should have taken a robust line back then and we certainly should be taking one now.’ – Metro

> WATCH: Dominic Raab’s full interview on Sophy Ridge on Sunday

DUP’s Nigel Dodds rejects possible support for a ‘Norway plus’ deal

The DUP’s Nigel Dodds has poured cold water on the possibility of his party giving its backing to a Norway plus-style deal for the UK. Speaking on Sunday in an interview with Sky News, the party’s leader in Westminster doubled down on the DUP’s opposition to the withdrawal deal negotiated between the UK and the EU currently on the table. The so-called Norway plus model has been floated in recent days as a possible alternative to the proposed deal, and would see the UK remain part of the European Economic Area and join a customs union with the EU, although this model would require the UK to accept free movement of people. “As I understand it even going down that path still requires this withdrawal agreement with this poisonous backstop which everybody now, even the Prime Minister, doesn’t like,” said Mr Dodds. “Makes you wonder why they put it in in the first place. It suffers from a number of very fundamental problems.” – Belfast Telegraph

> WATCH: Nigel Dodds’ full interview on Sophy Ridge on Sunday

Former MI6 chief tells MPs to vote down May’s agreement

MPs should vote down the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, says the former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove. The former intelligence chief – “C” – and Falklands hero Major-General Julian Thompson, along with other former senior military and security figures, have warned that the government has during Brexit negotiations embedded the UK in EU defence and security structures, without seeking proper parliamentary oversight or approval. The group has been warning that the Prime Minister’s deal constitutes a threat to national security, putting UK forces and intelligence and security interests under the emerging superstructure of EU policy. They claim: “Transferring defence sovereignty and compromising the crown jewels in our Intelligence relationships is a bridge far too far in the Cabinet Office’s stealthy efforts to lock the country into perpetual alignment with the EU.” – Reaction

Jeremy Corbyn boasts he’s ready to take over if Theresa May’s Brexit plan is voted down…

Labour has boasted that Jeremy Corbyn could force his way into Number 10 on Wednesday if MPs reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Labour’s Jon Trickett told Sky New’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that there should be a general election should Mrs May lose the vote on Tuesday. He said: “Our preferred option, very, very strongly, is that we refresh the parliament. “Though we are ready to form a minority government should that be necessary – and it could happen on Wednesday morning – and to begin to reset the negotiation and take the country forward in a much better direction.” Their statement comes after Conservative MPs Ester McVey and Boris Johnson brazenly threw their hats into the ring to replace the PM if she is outed in a few days. But Mrs May has urged rebel Tories to back her or face losing Brexit and the keys to No 10. – The Sun

…as Labour hatch plan to topple May and secure the backing of disillusioned Tories and the DUP

Labour has hatched a plan to topple Theresa May rather than directly target the Government, with insiders confirming senior figures have held discussions with the Democratic Unionist Party. Sources close to Jeremy Corbyn have told The Daily Telegraph that members of the two parties have discussed tabling a no confidence motion in the Prime Minister, in a move Labour hopes will unite the warring factions in Parliament against her. Whilst Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit Secretary, last week said it was “inevitable” that Labour would press for a no confidence vote in the Government, party insiders fear that doing so would cause Tory Brexiteers and Remainers to close ranks. Instead, Labour is drawing up plans for a motion singling out Mrs May, which a number of shadow cabinet ministers believe can secure enough votes from the DUP and disillusioned Tories. – Telegraph (£)

Dominic Raab: PM’s deal is bad for our economy and democracy – and drains the opportunities that Brexit presents

On Tuesday, MPs will vote on the Government’s proposed Brexit deal. Far from healing divisions at home and allowing us to move on, this deal would carve out the battle lines of the future. Under the deal, UK taxpayers would give Brussels £39 billion. The British people rightly expect a good return. Yet, when it comes to taking back democratic control over our laws, the final terms are even worse than EU membership. If the deal is voted down, the government must think again. A BMG poll today finds the public reject the deal by 2 to 1. But there is support for an alternative approach. The UK should return to Brussels with a revised offer, which remedies the flaws in the backstop and ensures a transition to a ‘best in class’ Free Trade Agreement (FTA). If the hand of friendship is spurned again, we must demonstrate that we are willing to leave on WTO terms – if only to allow us to negotiate further towards an FTA from a stronger, independent, position. We need to step up preparations to mitigate some of the undoubted short term disruption we would face. Still, those risks are dwarfed by the long-term damage that accepting this deal would inflict on our economy, and on the very foundations of our democracy. – Dominic Raab MP for the Telegraph (£)

Boris Johnson: We must take on Brussels with steel and unity when the PM’s deal is voted down

On all sides of the House, we want a deal. On all sides of the House we want a close trading relationship with the EU, and intense cooperation with our continental friends across a huge range of policy areas. Every MP pays tribute to the hard work of the Prime Minister, in getting agreement on the status of EU citizens in the UK, and vice versa, and on all the other sensible things in the agreement. Everyone wants to get on with it, and address the growing impatience of the electorate. So when tomorrow night many MPs vote – as I devoutly hope they will – to protect our democracy and our union by throwing out this deal, a huge proportion will justifiably cite the backstop as the reason for their decision. Which means that if and when the deal is voted down, it should be clear to the Government what needs to be done; and some options should be immediately ruled out. We need to go back to Brussels and do what they have been expecting all along – and that is finally show some steel and determination. – Boris Johnson MP for the Telegraph (£)

Iain Duncan Smith: She calls it a sop to Brussels that will never be activated. I call it a betrayal

The vote on Tuesday isn’t just about the prime minister’s proposed deal: it is about whether we will respect the wishes of 17.4m people who voted to leave the European Union. To do this we must reject the doom and gloom and honour the referendum result. The only way we’ll see a balanced compromise is if the EU realises that this deal is simply unacceptable to the British parliament. We need to send the government back to Brussels with a simple message: if you value your post-Brexit need for continuing trade, £39bn of financial support and a good relationship on intelligence and security, then this deal has to change — and quickly. In 2016 people up and down this country voted to leave the EU, and we must respect and deliver that. No parliamentary smoke and mirrors will do. Signing the UK up to the backstop on Tuesday would be like firing an arrow deep into the beating heart of Britain. How the prime minister and government react to Tuesday’s events will define their future. Should the government be defeated, the prime minister must use that to embolden herself and renegotiate the treaty — no tweaks or platitudes. The UK’s future depends upon nothing less than boldness. It is that or a future that leads from negotiation to perdition. – Iain Duncan Smith MP in yesterday’s Sunday Times (£)

Steve Barclay: This Brexit deal is not perfect – but the alternatives are worse

A lot has been said in the past few weeks about the deal the Prime Minister has negotiated with the EU. When there is so much noise in a debate sometimes the truly salient points can get drowned out but I think Michael Gove’s assessment was the one that cut through: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” It is a deal that is unprecedented between the EU and what is soon to be a third country. It is better than an EEA or “Norway for Now” Brexit. That is a scenario that would fail to deliver on a key referendum pledge to take back control of our borders. A Canada-style free trade deal is even more unworkable. Yes, the EU have “offered” us that but what is so often missed is that part of this “offer” is a condition that it would only apply to Great Britain – and not Northern Ireland. That is completely unacceptable. We need to keep our eyes on the prize of delivering Brexit for the British people. Once we are out in March we can focus on our bright, independent future outside the EU. This deal delivers. One thing is certain – the alternatives are all bad for Britain. – Steve Barclay MP for the Telegraph (£)

Sammy Wilson: I will have no difficulty ignoring siren voices backing this rotten Brexit agreement

The government says this deal gives certainty, but nothing could be further from the truth. If ever there was any doubt about that, all that was needed was a superficial reading of the Withdrawal Agreement, a mere glance at the damning opinion of the Attorney General to the Cabinet, and the views expressed by ministers who have sacrificed their careers by resigning from the Cabinet. The Withdrawal Agreement screams uncertainty about the future. How does an agreement like this provide any certainty, especially when it could be topped off with an equally damaging future trading relationship – the details of which we know nothing about yet? It is amazing that anyone would have the audacity to claim it gives businesses certainty. On top of this is the constitutional uncertainty, as the UK becomes a “third country” as far as the detached NI is concerned. We find our laws made outside the UK and there is a massive extension on the cross border arrangements in the Belfast Agreement in order to facilitate our new closer alignment with the Republic of Ireland. For all these reasons I will have no difficulty in ignoring the siren voices raised in support of this rotten agreement when the vote is taken in Parliament. In doing so, I will be doing the Unionist cause and the business community in NI a massive favour. – Sammy Wilson MP for the Belfast Telegraph

Dia Chakravarty: Do Remainer MPs who claim Brexit is undemocratic really not see the irony?

One has to marvel at the magnificent display our Parliamentarians are currently putting on, coming up with ingenious ways of bungling Brexit. If only they’d put a quarter of that energy into finding a way of delivering the result of the 2016 Referendum, the original People’s Vote ©, if you like. The tragedy is, the voters can do little but helplessly watch. A democracy only works if – having asked the people to vote on a matter – both sides agree to respect and implement the result. MPs who fail to see the grave danger in refusing to accept a democratic mandate simply because they don’t agree with the result are engaged in a dangerous game. They risk setting a precedent for the authority of their own elected office being challenged by disgruntled losers. – Dia Chakravarty for the Telegraph (£)

Bob Seely: Arrogant Remainer MPs are steering us towards a democratic car crash

Last week, Parliament reasserted its sovereignty over Government in a “glorious vote”, according to some MPs. I disagree. I find a darker and more cynical motive behind it. The political classes are increasingly paying lip service to the vote while planning to prevent it. The elites are retaking control of our national decision-making using the natural political gravity of a “Remain” House of Commons. Parliament has declared Government to be in contempt of Parliament. But if it thwarts Brexit, Parliament risks being in contempt of the British people. I am moderate Brexiteer. But above all, I am a democrat. I like listening to what the people say because it grounds me. I want and, more importantly, I need, to respect the mandate. I listen with a sense of dread to those members of the political class who believe themselves to be above that mandate. Remain obsessives may not like listening to the people, but they need to, for the sake of our democracy. – Bob Seely MP for the Telegraph (£)

Charles Moore: Over by Christmas? No Mrs May, your bad deal will only prolong the Battle for Brexit

It is an enticing idea that the whole thing could be done and dusted here and now. The trouble is that Mrs May’s promise cannot be fulfilled. “It will all be over by Christmas” was what they said at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. In fact, it took almost four more years, because no one had foreseen the nature of modern warfare. Mrs May should be able to foresee the nature of EU warfare, because she has already experienced it. Its method is to snare the counterparty into future bondage by making what looks like a concession now in return for a binding commitment later. This is the point of the backstop. By conceding it, Mrs May won some things she sought. She also, however, bound Britain (and herself, in the unlikely event that she is still Prime Minister) to EU control at the point when we want to leave the customs union. If they don’t like it, we can’t have it. If we defy them, the borders of the United Kingdom will be changed by a foreign power. Which is why MPs must reject Mrs May’s Christmas present this week. – Charles Moore for the Telegraph (£)

Robert Tombs: To argue that the people didn’t understand Brexit vote undermines Parliament’s sovereignty

Popular consent to government has been the foundation of our whole democracy, and it goes back well before even Magna Carta. To argue that the people didn’t understand what they were voting for, or that their opinions (under a barrage of one-sided and misleading propaganda) might have changed (for which there is no good evidence), is to undermine the whole legal and moral foundation of democratic government. Any election result could be contested on the same basis. To break clear manifesto promises undermines a central pillar of parliamentary government. The House of Commons seems to be trying to turn itself into another House of Lords.  The Upper House’s legitimacy is (or was) based on the superior status of its members, supposed to represent tradition, wisdom, wealth and power. Do the Commons now claim that sovereignty belongs to MPs because they too are members of an elite with superior wisdom? The ‘sovereignty of parliament’ is not an absolute or unlimited sovereignty: it is one element, the power to make laws. – Robert Tombs for the Telegraph (£)

Telegraph: MPs must reject the PM’s wretched deal and deliver a proper Brexit, or face a political disaster

On Tuesday, we will discover if the courage of British MPs is a match for the courage of the British electorate. Assuming that the vote is not pulled by a desperate Government for whom the full scale of its catastrophic miscalculation is finally dawning, the House of Commons will be asked this week to endorse the Withdrawal Agreement and accompanying Political Declaration agreed by Theresa May with the EU last month. MPs should reject this wretched deal, if possible by a crushing, three-digit majority. In June 2016, the British people set their politicians a test: we have voted to leave, now put the result into practice. Millions supported change, many of whom had never voted before or who had grown disillusioned with the political system. A stunning opportunity opened up for the Tories to harness the power of the Vote Leave message, to end the disconnect between Westminster and the rest of the UK, and to renew our politics and our country. There is no doubt in our mind that endorsing Mrs May’s deal would be to fail that test, and to throw away that opportunity. But will MPs realise it? If they do not, with faith in the democratic process already so brittle, they will be courting a political disaster of their own making.  – Telegraph (£) editorial

Sir Richard Dearlove and Major-General Julian Thompson: The Prime Minister is misleading the country on defence and security – A rebuttal of a Downing Street ‘reprimand’

On 29 November a Message to Mrs Theresa May, Prime Minister, was published on Briefings for Brexit and elsewhere. In its severity and in the eminence and range of its signatories from the worlds of Intelligence, Defence, Business, Finance, the Law, by a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and by a First Minister of Northern Ireland and Nobel Prize winner, it was unprecedented since May 1940 and the calls for a clear understanding of the nature of this country’s enemy and an end to Lord Halifax’s wishful thinking. No 10 Downing St instantly replied to the letter. In an equally unprecedented move, the Communications Dept ‘bloggers’ of No 10 singled out former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service Sir Richard Dearlove and Falklands War Commander Major-General Julian Thompson for reprimand. (click link below). This is the first time ever that No 10, presumably with the approval of at least the Cabinet Secretary, has seen fit to criticise a former ‘C’ in this way. Plainly they had touched a raw nerve. –  Sir Richard Dearlove and Major-General Julian Thompson for Briefings for Brexit

David Blake: Is Theresa May under the coercive control of the European Union?

Evan Stark defined coercive control as a pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away an individual’s liberty and to strip away their sense of self. The Prime Minister’s Brexit negotiations have shown that she has been “subjected to a pattern of domination that includes tactics to isolate, degrade, exploit and control”. So you begin with an overworked, incompetent and confused PM who would really prefer to remain in the EU.  You add in her self-delusion that she is “strong and stable” and a “bloody difficult woman”: “I have spent two years negotiating this” and “I am determined to get this deal through”. Top it off with the Stockholm syndrome and you can see how the EU’s skilful psychological analysis of the PM has paid off and allowed it to start to exercise coercive control. Let’s not forget, the EU are experts in this and always begin with a detailed analysis of their  enemies’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own. Then they very cleverly turn their main weakness – the Irish border – into a strength and our main strengths – the negotiating power of the £39bn, the City of London and our goods trade deficit with them – into weaknesses. – David Blake for Briefings for Brexit

Telegraph: Whatever the fate of Theresa May’s deal, Parliament must deliver Brexit to the people

Theresa May used what might conceivably have been the last Sunday of her premiership to issue a final warning that unless the deal she has concluded with the EU is passed by Parliament tomorrow the country will be in “uncharted waters.” She resembles the captain of a ship plotting a course into unknown seas without a map and in a direction that most of the crew consider dangerous. We understand her political difficulties but is it responsible of a helmsman, whether of a vessel or of a government, to wilfully place either in peril and to offer no other option but disaster?Her deal seems to have no chance of getting through the Commons and everyone, including Number 10, knows it; yet despite predicting “grave uncertainty” if that comes about, Mrs May is determined to plough on, though she may yet reverse engines. But if she fails then by Jan 21 either she or a new prime minister is required by law to return to the Commons with a plan of action. MPs voted last week effectively to take over the negotiations at this point; but to what end? Their job is to enact the referendum result. Whatever the result of tomorrow’s vote that is what must happen. – Telegraph (£) editorial

Brexit in Brief

  • For and against: Kwasi Kwarteng and David Davis make the cases for how they will vote on May’s Brexit deal – Kwasi Kwarteng MP and David Davis MP for The Times (£)
  • I’ve developed a grudging respect for Mrs May – Clare Foges for The Times (£)
  • Scottish independence support soars amid no deal Brexit fears – shock poll – Express
  • Anti-racist marchers in London claim victory over far-right protest – Guardian
  • EU official known as the ‘monster’ of Brussels ‘wants to take over as chief Brexit negotiator’ – Telegraph (£)