EU ready to give Michel Barnier new mandate to close Brexit deal: Brexit News for Monday 10th September

EU ready to give Michel Barnier new mandate to close Brexit deal: Brexit News for Monday 10th September
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EU ready to give Michel Barnier new mandate to close Brexit deal

The EU is preparing to give its Brexit negotiator new instructions to help close a deal with Britain, in a conciliatory move that will bolster Theresa May as she suffers savage attacks from Brexiters at home. After a weekend in which Boris Johnson, former UK foreign secretary, lambasted Mrs May’s Brexit strategy as wrapping “a suicide vest around the British constitution”, any positive signals from the EU would provide a rare fillip for the British prime minister. An informal summit in Salzburg this month between the EU’s 27 remaining leaders is emerging as one of the most significant Brexit discussions since the bloc first set its strategy for talks. Ambassadors in Brussels have been told that, as well as the planned timing of any deal and sticking points such as the Irish border, the meeting will discuss whether to issue additional guidance to Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator. If approved, the move to update Mr Barnier’s instructions would help to “serve as a sort of mandate to do the deal” according to a senior EU diplomat. – FT (£)

Steve Baker says Theresa May ‘risks catastrophic split’ if she sticks to Chequers plan…

Theresa May risks a “catastrophic split” in her party if she persists with her Chequers plan for Brexit in the face of its overwhelming rejection by activists at this month’s Conservative conference, a former minister has warned. Steve Baker, who quit as a Brexit minister over Chequers, said he hoped Tories would come out of conference united behind a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) solution to Britain’s future relations with the EU. The former chairman of the Eurosceptic European Research Group warned that Mrs May faces “a massive problem” at the Birmingham gathering because of the scale of opposition to Chequers among grassroots members. The ERG aims to build momentum behind the FTA option ahead of the September 30 opening of the conference by publishing proposals to resolve the issue of the Northern Irish border. With just 200 days to go to the scheduled date of Brexit, he said that the PM would lack credibility with Brussels negotiators if she tried to press ahead with the blueprint agreed at her country residence in July without the backing of her party and with 80 or more Tory MPs ready to vote it down in the Commons. – ITV News

  • 80 Tory MPs prepared to vote against PM’s Chequers plan, says ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker – Sky News

…as the Prime Minister briefs the Queen on Brexit progress at Balmoral

Theresa May has been briefing the Queen on progress with Brexit at Balmoral – amid claims she wants to stay in Downing Street as long as Margaret Thatcher.The Prime Minister and husband Philip were photographed attending church today with the monarch near the residence in Scotland where she spends summers.Premiers traditionally enjoy a weekend with the Queen at Balmoral at this time of year, and Mrs May will have had a lot of news to pass on. Talks with the EU have reached a critical stage amid apparent deadlock over future trade and how to treat the Irish border…According to The Sun, despite her mounting woes, Mrs May will use her speech at Tory conference to vow to stay on beyond Brexit, saying: “I’ll win you the next election.” Completing a full second term would keep her in office until 2027 – matching Thatcher, who was in power for 11 years from 1979 to 1990. – Daily Mail

  • Theresa May vows to win the General Election in 2022 and remain at No10 as long as Margaret Thatcher – The Sun

Britain would get £80 billion boost from a no-deal Brexit, says Jacob Rees-Mogg

Britain would receive an £80bn boost if it leaves the European Union without a deal with Brussels and moves on to World Trade Organisation rules, leading Tory Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg is arguing. Mr Rees-Mogg, leader of the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG) of MPs, gave his backing to an analysis which concludes that a so-called “hard Brexit” would result in a dramatic economic stimulus for the UK. The report by Economists for Free Trade, to be published on Tuesday, said a trade deal governed by the WTO would boost exports, lower prices at home and attract foreign investment in Britain.It claims that the extra economic growth would swell Treasury coffers by £80bn over 15 years, leading to tax cuts and higher public spending. – i News

  • Tory Eurosceptics’ rival Brexit plan includes missile defence system – Guardian

Trade union movement could throw its weight behind second referendum

The trade union movement is set to throw its weight behind a public vote on the final Brexit deal. The head of the TUC warned that Britain was in “crisis” with no confidence in the government’s ability to protect jobs, workers’ rights or peace in Northern Ireland. General secretary Frances O’Grady accused Theresa May of “holding the country to ransom” over her approach to a Brexit agreement. Speaking at the TUC Congress in Manchester: “I want to give the Prime Minister fair warning.“I am serving notice that if her deal doesn’t deliver justice for working people, if it doesn’t protect jobs, rights at work and peace in Northern Ireland then the TUC will throw our weight behind the call for a vote on the terms of Brexit.” – Mirror

  • TUC pressures Labour to back second Brexit vote – Sky News

> Watch on BrexitCentral’s YouTube Channel: Frances O’Grady: ‘TUC will back second referendum if we don’t like Brexit deal’

Sajid Javid says police are right to plan for civil unrest following a no-deal Brexit

Asked about the warning, Javid told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “I’m glad the police and other experts are looking into this and thinking what might happen in a no-deal scenario. I don’t expect a no-deal outcome but we need to prepare for all contingencies and it’s absolutely correct. “And that’s what we’ve been doing across government, including my own department, so of course that means working closely with police. I’m not going to get into what the situation may or may not be, but I think it’s fair to say we’re preparing for all contingencies.” Asked several times whether this response meant the scenario outlined in the police report could happen, Javid declined to reject the possibility, saying only that the public should be reassured that the government was planning to mitigate problems. He said: “This is an unprecedented situation, but most important of all we need to keep focused on the deal and get a deal delivered, but at the same time of course every government department should prepare for all possible outcomes.” – Guardian

> Watch on BrexitCentral’s YouTube Channel: Sajid Javid: “I don’t expect a no-deal outcome, but we need to prepare for all contingencies.”

Roger Bootle: Trading on World Trade Organisation terms offers the best Brexit deal

You really couldn’t make it up. The Government has wasted more than two years since the Brexit vote getting nowhere. I suggested in this column many weeks ago that, although we could not rely on the British government wanting a sensible deal, we could probably rely on the EU Commission rejecting whatever madcap scheme the Government came up with. They have. Chequers is dead.Happily, tomorrow sees the launch at a meeting in the House of Commons of a research document by Economists for Free Trade (EFT), of which I am a member, that charts the way forward, arguing the merits of trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms. The fightback is about to begin. – Roger Bootle for the Telegraph (£)

Dan Hodges: The cowards who’ll sell their souls to Corbyn for a second vote on Brexit

As one of the more robust anti-Corbynites explained: ‘Some moderates are thinking: ‘‘Well, we can use this. Even if a few people do leave, then the rest can stay and use it to force concessions.’’’ And the key concession they want? Getting Corbyn’s backing to sabotage Brexit. They intend to offer Corbyn – or those that are viewed as the more pragmatic members of his inner-circle – a deal: agree to a second referendum, or at a minimum, whip Labour to veto whatever deal May secures. Halt the de-selections. – Dan Hodges for the Daily Mail

Dan Hannan: Britain is an island of contentment in an EU driven by Brussels to populist revolt

It’s happening during an upswing – that’s what’s so startling. From the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle, Europe’s populists are winning elections. If they can do this well when incomes are rising, imagine how they’ll do when the downturn comes. One of the stranger consequences of Brexit is that we have taken our eye off what is happening across the Channel. Absorbed in our own quarrels, we are only vaguely aware of the whirlwind of anti-EU and anti-immigration movements across the Continent…For decades, European integration has been sold as an antidote to bigotry. But what if the opposite turns out to be true? What if jamming nations together without their consent makes them angry and frustrated? What if the nation-state turns out, after all, to be the surest vessel for liberal democracy? Two years ago, British voters disregarded the advice of their political elites and voted to take back control. Feeling that they are masters in their own house, they now eschew anti‑immigrant populism. Brexit, you might say, is already working. – Dan Hannan MEP for the Telegraph (£)

  • Macron fears Brexit chaos will spark populist takeover of EU by next May – Express

Fawzi Ibrahim: Brexit – a chance to rebuild the real economy

As we approach Brexit day, March 29 next year, the question of how best to use the return of full control of our economy becomes central. This is something to which the TUC must turn its attention. We need some confidence again, EU-based manufacturers need our market more than we need theirs. We have a trade surplus with the rest of the world, but a deficit with the EU. We are in a strong negotiating position in Brexit discussions. Motions calling for the TUC to campaign for a second referendum in whatever other form are self-indulgent and will do lasting harm to the TUC and its reputation among workers. It’s time to move from “respecting” the result of the referendum to welcoming it, as Jeremy Corbyn did. – Fawzi Ibrahim for the Morning Star

Ruth Sutherand: A Brexit lesson MPs can’t ignore by looking at the plight of towns like Redcar

The B-word wasn’t mentioned once in the programme but in Redcar there was a thumping 66 per cent vote for Brexit. Communities like these are what the Archbishop of Canterbury meant when he talked about the urgent need for a more just and equal economy that does not leave so many people behind.Apart from an earlier generation of politicians like Lord Heseltine, who led a mission in 2016 to revive the Tees Valley, few in Westminster seem to be giving much thought to places like Redcar, though there are lots of them around the country.No-one is talking about industrial strategy – we do have one, but you might never guess – and George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse seems largely forgotten. The Tories are too obsessed by Brexit to think properly about the lost, left-behind communities. – Ruth Sutherland for the Daily Mail

Brian Monteith: Brexit won’t lead to Scottish independence and here’s why

Brexit is Green Kryptonite, to Keith Brown and Nicola Sturgeon; they will be weakened by it, for whatever one thinks of Brexit there is no escaping it makes the case for independence less attractive. Worse still, and despite what Brown and Mundell say, the more calamitous it is the worse independence will look to ordinary voters. If there’s so much havoc leaving the EU what would they expect leaving the UK to be like? Once we leave the EU on 29th March any benefits accrued to the UK are likely to be lost forever to an independent Scotland seeking to rejoin the EU, while any benefits that once considered worth the high price of EU membership will not necessarily be reintroduced.Brexit benefits should include not facing an annual bill of £10bn – which should deliver a Brexit Bonus for Holyrood of around one billion per annum. It should mean taking back control of our fisheries policy – which will be of greater importance to Scotland to the rest of the UK – as well as shaping agriculture policy to suit the needs of Scottish farmers within the UK’s single market. – Brian Monteith for the Scotsman

Jane Martinson: Daily Mail – can the new editor keep Brexiters and Remainers happy?

There is possibly no greater testament to the suspected power of Dacre and his rabidly pro-Brexit Daily Mail than that his successor is thought able to single-handedly reverse EU withdrawal. The question of whether one (albeit very powerful) man can really influence a vote has been running for a while. The already vehemently anti-EU Dacre was appointed in 1992 – the same year the Sun claimed it had “won” the general election.Debate still rages over that claim, as it will over the exact influence of one paper selling 1.2m copies a day over an electorate of 33m. What is hard to argue with is that the Mail’s sustained attacks on EU institutions and leaders in the run-up to June 2016 and, after the referendum, labelling elected politicians “traitors” for their beliefs and high court judges “enemies of the people”, marked a new high (or low) watermark for the ability of the press to flex its non-democratic muscles. – Jane Martinson for the Guardian

  • Why do we pretend we can rely on those we don’t elect to solve our problems? – Ben Chacko for the Morning Star
  • The papers: Final countdown to Brexit – BBC News
  • It’s 200 days until Brexit – so what on earth happens between now and then? – Huffington Post
  • Swedish election: Main blocs neck and neck as nationalists gain – BBC News