Boris says May's Chequers deal will only lead to victory for Brussels: Brexit News for Monday 3 September

Boris says May's Chequers deal will only lead to victory for Brussels: Brexit News for Monday 3 September
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Boris Johnson says Theresa May’s Chequers deal will only lead to victory for Brussels…

Theresa May’s Chequers deal is a fix that will only lead to “victory” for the European Union while the UK is left “lying flat on the canvas”, Boris Johnson warns today. The former Foreign Secretary says that the Brexit negotiations are “about as pre-ordained as a bout between Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy” and will leave Britain paying “£40bn of taxpayers’ money for two-thirds of diddly squat”. Writing for The Telegraph, Mr Johnson accuses “some members” of the Government of deliberately using the Irish border issue to “stop a proper Brexit” and effectively keep Britain in the EU. – Telegraph (£)

  • Boris Johnson says Brexit is a ‘fix’, with EU certain to win – Sky News
  • Boris Johnson says UK get ‘diddly squat’ from May’s Brexit plans – BBC News
  • May’s former election guru tries to wreck May’s plan – The Sunday Times (£)

…as David Davis warns May over further concessions to EU…

David Davis has criticised Theresa May for admitting she would have to make compromises to the EU beyond the Chequers agreement in order to achieve a Brexit deal, and said he could not vote for what has been proposed because it was worse than staying in. The former Brexit secretary was speaking on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show after the prime minister had said in a column for a Sunday newspaper that she would “not be pushed into accepting compromises” on Chequers that are “not in our national interest”. Davis, who resigned because he could not endorse the Chequers deal, said May’s words amounted to “an incredible open sesame”, arguing the problem with the UK position was that it was “not the last step” for the EU, and Brussels would not accept it. – Guardian

  • David Davis accuses Theresa May of giving Brussels ‘Open Sesame’ pass to dictate more Brexit climbdowns – The Sun

> Watch on BrexitCentral’s YouTube Channel: David Davis speaks to Andrew Marr

…and Tory Brexit rebels pledge to wreck the Chequers plan…

Theresa May’s Brexit plan was hanging by a thread last night as 20 Conservative MPs made a joint public commitment to scupper her proposals. The rebels, including the former ministers Priti Patel and Iain Duncan Smith, joined the Stand Up 4 Brexit group, a grassroots campaign that commits supporters to ripping up the EU negotiations to date. After the disastrous general election last year, Mrs May is vulnerable if more than seven Tory MPs decide to oppose her. Brexiteers say that they have 60 or more MPs on their side but most are unwilling yet to go public.  – The Times (£)

  • Tories to unveil alternative Chequers plan on eve of party conference  – The Sun
  • The 20 rebel Tory MPs threatening May’s plans – The Times (£)
  • Theresa May’s aides mull a general election if her Brexit deal is voted down – The Times (£)

…as Michel Barnier suggests UK must choose between a Canada-style deal or staying in EU

Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator has dismissed Theresa May’s Chequers proposals and criticised her plan to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland as “an invitation to fraud”. Michel Barnier said that the UK would not be granted any special economic relationship with the EU as it would unravel the single market and the entire “European project”. The remarks amount to an ultimatum that Britain must either choose a Canadian-style free trade agreement or remain in the customs union or common market, which would mean being tightly bound by European regulation. – The Times (£)

  • Michel Barnier warns her plan would end the European project and Single Market – Telegraph (£)
  • Michel Barnier ‘strongly opposed’ to May’s Brexit plan – BBC News
  • Michael Barnier says Theresa May’s Chequers blueprint for Brexit will destroy EU – The Sun

…but the Prime Minister continues to argue for the Chequers plan…

Theresa May was forced to defend her controversial Chequers plan for Brexit after one of her former advisers warned she is set to compromise further with the EU. Nick Timothy, who was one of her closest advisers in Downing Street, has warned that Mrs May will agree to a “worst of all worlds” Brexit deal that would be worse than no deal at all. Mr Timothy has instead pressed her to revive former Brexit Secretary David Davis’ discarded white paper proposals for a post-Brexit trade deal. “It is time to show some fight, and do a deal true to what Britain voted for two years ago,” he wrote. The Chequers plan was reportedly the brainchild of much criticised Whitehall mandarin Olly Robbins who has been accused of being a Remainer in Downing Street. – Express

  • Chequers isn’t set in stone, No 10 tells Tory Remainers – The Times (£)
  • The Chequers proposal would prevent the UK regaining an independent trade policy – Peter F. Allgeier for Briefings for Brexit

…and refuses to say whether Britain would be better off after Brexit…

Theresa May refused again to say that Britain would be more prosperous  after leaving the EU during a tour of Africa designed to drum up post-Brexit trade on the continent. The prime minister was asked whether she could give a “yes or no” to  whether Britain would be better off once it had quit the bloc. “There are indeed opportunities,” she replied. “What is important is there is a lot of focus on the trade opportunities around the world, but what we see is global Britain, an independent country outside the European Union, working with countries around the world, working in multilateral and bilateral co-operation — not just to improve prosperity but also to improve security around the world. – The Times (£)

…but rejects call for a second Brexit referendum as a ‘betrayal of trust’

Theresa May has said that “giving in” to calls for a second referendum on the final terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU would be “a gross betrayal of our democracy”.The Prime Minister dismissed calls from the People’s Vote, a cross-party group that includes several high-profile figures and MPs, for a second Brexit vote.Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mrs May said: “In the summer of 2016, millions came out to have their say. In many cases, for the first time in decades they trusted that their vote would count; that after years of feeling ignored by politics, their voices would be heard. “To ask the question all over again would be a gross betrayal of our democracy – and a betrayal of trust.” – Sky News

  • There will be no second referendum on Brexit – it would be a gross betrayal of our democracy – Theresa May for the Telegraph (£)

Liam Fox casts doubt on Philip Hammond’s Brexit warning as he says his no-deal forecast is ‘hard to swallow’

Philip Hammond’s dire economic warnings about the impact of no deal Brexit are “hard to swallow” after the Treasury’s “Project Fear” warnings during the EU referendum turned out to be wrong, Liam Fox has said. The Chancellor last week prompted a furious backlash from Downing Street and Eurosceptic Cabinet colleagues after warning that a no-deal Brexit could increase borrowing by £80billion a year by 2033. He said that the analysis, which was first published in January, is being “refined” and indicated that a new version will be published in the run-up to a Parliamentary vote on the final Brexit deal. – Telegraph (£)

  • Fox refuses to back Hammond’s warning – BBC News

> Watch on BrexitCentral’s YouTube Channel: Liam Fox’s interview with Andrew Marr

Brussels has no Plan B to cope with financial chaos of no-deal Brexit, EU’s budget chief warns…

Brussels has no “plan B” to cope with the financial chaos of Britain quitting the EU without a deal, the bloc’s budget chief has admitted. Gunther Oettinger said eurocrats were relying on Michel Barnier to reach a deal with the UK so that we continue to contribute to the club’s coffers. The German eurocrat is desperately scrambling to plug a shortfall of up to £12.7billion a year caused by Britain’s departure. But member states are bitterly divided over the size of the bloc’s next seven-year budget, known as a Multi-Annual Financial Framework. The EU Commission wants more cash from capitals to maintain current levels of spending even without its second largest net contributor. – The Sun

  • ‘There is NO plan-B’ – EU boss warns bloc must strike deal with UK or face financial ruin – Express

…as Brexit talks could slip past October deadline…

Details on Britain’s future relationship with the EU are becoming “clearer and clearer” the Brexit secretary has insisted, as he again hinted that negotiators could miss the hoped-for October deadline. Dominic Raab said as the latest round of talks finished that he was “stubbornly optimistic” a deal was “within our reach”. Progress was made on security and defence – such as extradition agreements – he added, but the Northern Irish border remains a sticking point. Mr Raab promised any deal on the border would be “workable” for the nearby communities it would affect most.  – Sky News

  • EU and Britain talk up chances of autumn Brexit deal – Reuters

…which Barnier has hinted he is open to

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Sunday opened the door to a brief extension of talks to nail down a deal with London saying that they must be completed “by mid-November”. Britain is set to leave the bloc on March 30, but the two sides want to strike the divorce agreement by the October 18-19 EU summit to give their parliaments enough time to endorse a deal. “If we consider the time needed for the ratification of the exit agreement by the British parliament as well as by the European Parliament, then we must conclude the negotiations by mid-November. That is possible,” Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier told Sunday’s edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We don’t need more time. What we need are political decisions,” he said.- France 24

Brexit deal to keep close security links with the EU is ‘all but done’ — but EU still wants billions a year for trade

A Brexit deal to keep close security links with the EU is all but done, negotiators declared. But after intensive talks, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and EU chief Michel Barnier admitted there were still major “bones of contention” about the far trickier future trade deal. At the same time, France sent a strong hint to Theresa May that she will need to stump up billions of pounds in annual cash payments to win the broad trade deal she wants. Mr Raab and Mr Barnier negotiated for six hours after agreeing to intensify talks to win the race against time for a final deal by a new November hard deadline. – The Sun

Parmesan proves a sticking point in Brexit talks

Parmesan cheese, champagne and Cornish pasties have emerged as the latest front in the Brexit negotiations. Speaking after six hours of talks in Brussels, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, warned that European food producers needed to be protected as the UK departs the bloc. More than 3,000 gourmet foods are designated under the EU’s geographical indications, meaning they can only be given their name if they are made to traditional methods in their region of origin. Standing alongside Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, Mr Barnier said this was one of the “salient points which are still outstanding”. – The Times (£)

British skippers will be trawled through court in scallop wars

British skippers involved in the “scallop wars” this week face a criminal  lawsuit in France alleging that they endangered the lives of their counterparts. French skippers filed the lawsuit, claiming that their boats were rammed by  larger British vessels during the clash in the Channel on Tuesday. The legal move came as Stéphane Travert, the French agriculture minister, urged British vessels not to return to the contested zone next week, as  they have pledged. To avert further violence, Mr Travert and George Eustice, the environment minister, are organising a meeting of representatives of their respective fishing sectors next Wednesday. – The Times (£)

Trump says European Union is ‘almost as bad as China, just smaller’

US President Donald Trump has hinted at a possible trade war with the European Union after referring to the group as “almost as bad as China, just smaller” in an interview. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump went back on his handshake agreement with president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. The two parties met in July and the handshake was intended to spare the EU from Trump’s trade war threats after Trump initiated tariffs on steel and aluminium imported from the EU. He has also rejected demands from the EU to eliminate tariffs on transatlantic auto imports, saying the EU’s offer was “not good enough”. – InvestmentWeek

European health tourism scam ripping NHS off by £200 million still going eight months after exposé

Cabinet ministers have broken a pledge to close a £200 million a year health tourism scam exposed by The Sun eight months ago. Today we reveal a fresh batch of fake European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) we have obtained in the name of Cabinet ministers – including Theresa May.  The Prime Minister herself vowed in January to close the unacceptable loophole that allows fraudsters to exploit British taxpayers by obtaining EHIC cards with false details. She and the then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt ordered NHS bosses to put new checks in place after The Sun obtained 13 fake cards issued in the names of Cabinet ministers and even US President Donald Trump. Since 2006 UK taxpayers have paid out an estimated £200 million to European hospitals for treating people who have obtained an EHIC card with false details.  – The Sun

Brussels could scrap daylight saving time as countries want relief from long winters, survey claims

Brussels looks set to scrap daylight saving time in a controversial move that could deeply divide the EU. Eurocrats are likely to do away with the annual clock change following a huge call from European voters for it to end. More than 80 per cent of respondents to the bloc’s largest ever survey said the tradition should now be axed, according to German media. More than 4.6million people responded to the massive consultation, which was instigated by MEPs. However, it was reported that around two-thirds of the respondents came from Germany, potentially vastly skewing the results. Countries including Finland, Lithuania, Sweden and Poland are pushing for daylight saving time to be dropped due to their long, dark winters. They point to evidence it can cause short-term sleeping disorders, reduced performance at work and even serious health problems. – The Sun

  • EU will scrap biannual clock changes, says Juncker – Sky News

Boris Johnson: Victory for Brussels is inevitable. In adopting Chequers, we have gone into battle waving the white flag

So it’s ding ding! Seconds out! And we begin the final round of that international slug fest, the Brexit negotiations. Out of their corners come Dominic Raab and Michel Barnier, shrugging their shoulders and beating their chests – and I just hope you aren’t one of those trusting souls who still thinks it could really go either way. The fix is in. The whole thing is about as pre-ordained as a bout between Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy; and in this case, I am afraid, the inevitable outcome is a victory for the EU, with the UK lying flat on the canvas with 12 stars circling symbolically over our semi-conscious head. – Boris Johnson MP for the Telegraph (£)

Theresa May: There will be no second referendum on Brexit – it would be a gross betrayal of our democracy

We want to leave with a good deal and we are confident we can reach one. But, of course, there is still a lot more negotiating to be done. So it is only responsible that we have also spent time this summer preparing for a “no deal” scenario, just as the EU have done too. As the head of the WTO has said, no deal would not be the end of the world, but it wouldn’t be a walk in the park either. For some sectors there would be real challenges for both the UK and the EU. But we would get through it and go on to thrive. So we will be ready for a no deal if we need to be. And I will not be pushed into accepting compromises on the Chequers proposals that are not in our national interest.Neither will I give in to those who want to re-open the whole question with a second referendum. In the Summer of 2016, millions came out to have their say. In many cases for the first time in decades, they trusted that their vote would count; that after years of feeling ignored by politics, their voices would be heard. To ask the question all over again would be a gross betrayal of our democracy – and a betrayal of that trust. – Theresa May MP for the Telegraph (£)

  • PM rejects call for second Brexit referendum as ‘betrayal of trust’ – Sky News

Nick Boles: I backed Chequers but can no longer support this humiliation

In July of last year I wrote a column for the ConservativeHome website suggesting that we should decouple from the EU gradually, parking temporarily in EFTA and the EEA before negotiating a long term relationship based on a free trade agreement.In short that we should try to emulate Norway’s relationship with the EU before moving to a position more like Canada’s. At the time, the government was confident that it could do a better deal than that, that it would be able to secure full access to the Single Market and the Customs Union without being a member of the relevant institutions, or signing up to their rules. Now we know better – and the government is poised to sign up to a much worse deal than the one I outlined. – Nick Boles MP for the Telegraph (£)

David Collins: What does ‘no deal’ really mean?

When trade lawyers and economists speak about leaving the EU ‘without a deal’ this normally means without a trade deal. Having no trade deal is not the same as a complete breakdown in legal relations with the EU. It is misdirection for doomsayers to point to the nightmarish eventualities of such an extreme scenario when discussing the much more likely one of trading on WTO terms. Failing to secure some sort of a UK-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) does not mean having no agreements on a wide range of non-trade areas where legal arrangements are essential. – David Collins for Lawyers for Britain

Owen Paterson: EU fishing policy is a biological, environmental, economic and social disaster

The country has vastly profited from the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which has allowed them to trawl up to six miles from our coast and catch 60 per cent of the fish in British waters. The CFP has been deliberately loaded against us. Although we have provided half the waters and resources to the common pot, we’ve only received 25 per cent of the internationally agreed total allowable catches. And it’s all signed off by the EU on our behalf. The results have been devastating for our fishing industry. – Owen Paterson for The Sun

John Longworth: We need the open sea

As I return from a summer sojourn to French Savoie I see all too clearly that we are again re running the recurring historical mazourka with our continental cousins. On so many occasions through a thousand years of history Britain has tried, at times successfully, to avoid enmeshment in continental matters and instead reach out to the world.Sometimes this has led to open conflict, often to amnity and certainly to a belief in France in the myth of perfidious Albion. It was Winston Churchill who told de Gaul that if faced with a choice between Europe and the open sea, England would always choose the open sea. – John Longworth for CommentCentral

Liam Fox: How Brexit can invigorate small businesses — and make Britain a trading superpower

Everywhere I go across the world, everyone I meet tells me that they believe in Britain.They want to buy British products, use British services, learn English. They trust our laws and our financial services, they admire our Armed Forces and they envy our universities.Actually, that’s not quite true: everywhere I go in the world, except right here in the UK.There are some who can’t or won’t see the natural advantages we have and the opportunities that exist for us. I get frustrated when some people purposefully choose to ignore good news such as last week when China opened up their market to UK dairy products.Britain can and should be confident and the world needs a confident Britain. – Liam Fox MP for The Sun

John Curtice: Why those Leavers are unmoved by all the fuss

According to our poll, only 30 per cent are convinced that a deal will be reached. Over two-thirds either reckon there will not be a deal or are at least not sure what will happen. Even amongst those who voted Leave in the EU referendum, no less than six in 10 either think there will not be a deal or are not sure that there will be. But our poll dashes any hopes that anti-Brexit campaigners might have that the headlines that greeted the Government’s ‘no-deal’ papers have dissuaded some Leave voters about the wisdom of Brexit. No less than 93 per cent of them say they would vote exactly the same way again – as indeed do 94 per cent of those who backed Remain. Over half of Leave voters reckon that the fault for any failure to reach a deal would lie with the EU – so it is little wonder that they have largely been unmoved by those dramatic headlines.- John Curtice for the Express

John Redwood: Macron was misinterpreted

Macron was misinterpreted by some this week who strain to discern an agreement between the EU and the UK in what he said. When Mr Macron stated he wanted reform of the EU he went back to the old idea of accelerated union and integration for an inner group. He then wants the UK to fit into an outer circle, where doubtless he thinks we should be rule takers. We would be grouped alongside eastern European countries who may want fuller integration but are not welcomed or thought to be ready by the elite countries to join the core of the Euro. – John Redwood’s Diary

Comment in Brief

  • Disaster! The Conservatives have been infiltrated by conservatives – Michael Deacon for the Telegraph (£)
  • Bono’s love affair with the EU is the ultimate sell-out – Owen Polley for The Times (£)
  • A Soft Brexit Flouts the Norms of International Relations – Briefings for Brexit
  • Is Britain a nation of protectionists? – Matt Singh for CapX
  • Is Theresa May dancing towards a mini comeback? – Iain Martin for Reaction
  • Searching for a compromise on the Irish border – Pieter Cleppe for CapX
  • A new migration policy – John Redwood’s Diary
  • As May seeks consent for a pragmatic Brexit she will need to show greater clarity – The Times editorial (£)

News in Brief

  • Barnier tells Britain to change course or risk Brexit chaos – Express
  • New centre party splits before its launch – The Times (£)
  • Italy threatens to pull out of EU migrant rescue missions – Telegraph (£)
  • Theresa May’s Brexit plan under threat as Tory Leavers and Remainers launch new bids to kill it off – The Sun
  • Brexit blows a £22bn hole in business investment underlining need for trade deal – Telegraph (£)
  • Brexit could sway Scottish voters towards independence from UK – poll – Reuters
  • Falklands in a flap over loss of EU funding for penguins after Brexit – Telegraph (£)
  • Hundreds of Whitehall officials leave Brexit department – Independent
  • Britain loses medicines contracts as EU body anticipates Brexit – Guardian
  • Pressure on Carney to reveal if he will stay at Bank of England – FT (£)