Barnier shoots down May's Brexit plan: Brexit News for Monday 30 July

Barnier shoots down May's Brexit plan: Brexit News for Monday 30 July
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Michel Barnier shoots down Theresa May’s Brexit customs plan…

Michel Barnier effectively killed off Theresa May’s customs plan in Brussels on Thursday as he warned that the European Union would never accept British officials collecting duties on its behalf after Brexit. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator refused to accept that Britain had “evolved its position” and offered no concessions in return for the prime minister’s soft Brexit plan, which led to the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson after crunch Cabinet talks at Chequers. Instead, he said that the UK could still join “a customs union”, which would mean Britain could not make its own trade deals after Brexit. – Telegraph (£)

  • Barnier rules out key part of May’s Chequers plan  – BBC News
  • Barnier pours cold water on May’s customs plan – City A.M.
  • EU shoots down Chequers plan – Sky News
  • Michel Barnier confirms David Davis’ Brexit deal warning – James Forsyth for The Spectator
  • EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier is out of order with customs deal assumption — and PM must have a plan B –  James Forsyth for The Sun
  • Barnier’s dangerous assumption  – James Forsyth for The Spectator
  • It’s over – Brexit is dead – Timothy Bradshaw for ConservativeWoman
  • How May can rescue Chequers – James Cullimore for Reaction
  • Chequers White Paper Briefing No. 1: ECJ Jurisdiction – Briefings for Brexit
  • Expectation of a Conservative-led government after the next election drops to a record low. –
  • Paul Goodman for ConservativeHome
  • EU slapped down our post-Brexit trade offer — let’s see how they like an Irish hard border – The Sun editorial

> Watch on BrexitCentral’s YouTube Channel: EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier rejects Theresa May’s Chequers customs plan

…as a ‘reserve parachute’ secret Brexit plan is reportedly being drawn up in case Chequers deal is killed off…

A secret Brexit plan has been drawn up by Cabinet ministers amid concerns that Theresa May’s Chequers compromise will be killed off by Brussels. The “fallback” option is based on existing “best-in-class” trade deals between the EU and other nations such as Canada, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Cabinet sources confirmed that work on the plan is ongoing and that in the event that Mrs May’s Chequers compromise is rejected or collapses in the face of Eurosceptic opposition it will be presented to Brussels. – Telegraph (£)

…although Downing Street insists there is no alternative if Chequers is rejected by EU

Downing Street insisted there is no Plan B if the Chequers deal is killed off by EU chiefs. Theresa May weighed up a string of different proposals before she settled on the one she is now trying to sell, sources said.But they claimed the rejected plans were all sent to the shredder – and none is being used as a “fallback” if the PM’s blueprint falls. It suggests that the only option if Mrs May is unable to convince EU negotiators – or her own MPs – is to leave under World Trade Organisation rules. The “no alternative” warning came after claims that ministers had a secret plan in reserve based on existing EU deals with Canada, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. The plan, originally commission by former Brexit Secretary David Davis, was closer to the deal Brexiteers want. – The Sun

Minister claims Army ‘on standby’ for no-deal Brexit…

Ministers have drawn up plans to send in the army to deliver food, medicines and fuel in the event of shortages if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal. Blueprints for the armed forces to assist the civilian authorities, usually used only in civil emergencies, have been dusted down as part of the “no  deal” planning. Helicopters and army trucks would be used to ferry supplies to vulnerable people outside the southeast who were struggling to obtain the medicines they needed… The revelations will spark renewed claims from Brexiteers that the government is engaged in scaremongering about Brexit. An investigation of no-deal planning found that Steve Baker, the minister then in charge of the issue, threatened to resign in March because Downing Street was refusing to publicise the preparations being made.  – The Sunday Times (£)

Jayne Adye, director of cross-party grassroots campaign Get Britain Out, urged ministers to cancel their holidays and focus on getting the best possible Brexit deal for Britain – with or without a Brussels agreement – “instead of attempting to scare the public with Project Fear Mark II. “We now have the opportunity of a lifetime to grow into the global economy. We can buy our food, medicines and fuel from all over the world – under World Trade Organisation rules – as we do with many things at the moment, without the EU stifling us with its rules and regulations after Brexit Day. – Express

  • Fears more crops will rot as workers move abroad – Sky News
  • Ministers accused of scaremongering to frighten people into backing Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit deal – The Sun
  • Theresa May’s failure to prepare for no-deal ‘makes Britain look weak and incompetent’, blasts Jacob Rees-Mogg – The Sun

…as it is is claimed Brexit could lead to the spread of infectious diseases such as super-gonorrhoea

Infectious diseases such as super-gonorrhoea could spread more rapidly if the UK leaves the European Union, health chiefs have warned. Britain is said to be under “significant threat” from such diseases after Brexit if the government doesn’t work out a way of maintaining a close working relationship with European health bodies. The UK’s proximity to mainland Europe and high levels of cross-border travel on the continent mean that without a closely joined up approach the results could be disastrous. Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, told the Standard: “At the moment our strongest concern is the huge level of uncertainty. We are just not clear where this is all going to land. – Evening Standard

  • Stockpiling medicines threatens cash flow headache for local pharmacies . – Telegraph (£)
  • Supermarkets hit back at Brexit stockpiling claims – Sky News
  • Fearmongering French minister Nathalie Loiseau warns of gridlock on roads across northern France – The Sun
  • Supermarket body hits back at ‘impractical’ food stockpiling claims – City A.M.
  • No deal Brexit would push up fresh food prices, says ex-Waitrose boss – BBC News
  • AstraZeneca chief urges faster Brexit progress as drug firm stockpiles medicines  – Telegraph (£)
  • Brexit scare stories are custom-made for the silly season – Brian Monteith for The Scotsman
  • The hysteria over Brexit is reminiscent of the Suez Canal Crisis – Christopher Booker for the Telegraph (£)

Tory grassroots in open revolt over Theresa May’s Brexit plan

The scale of the grassroots backlash against Theresa May and her Cabinet over her Brexit plans has been revealed, as the Prime Minister is warned by her own constituency chairman that she must not concede any further ground to the EU. Cabinet ministers faced an angry response from their Conservative associations when they returned to their constituencies last week. Seven chairmen of Cabinet ministers’ Conservative associations told The Telegraph that they either opposed the plans in their current form or would withdraw their support if Mrs May offered any further concessions to Brussels. – Sunday Telegraph (£)

  • ‘Parliament has let down the country and Theresa’s May’s bespoke Brexit plan will end badly’ – Lord Owen for the Telegraph (£)

China offers to open discussions on post-Brexit trade deal…

China has offered to open discussions on a post-Brexit free trade deal with Britain, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said in Beijing on Monday. Hunt, appointed earlier this month following his predecessor Boris Johnson’s resignation, was speaking at a press briefing following talks with his Chinese counterparts. China’s relations with Britain will remain unchanged through Brexit, Premier Li Keqiang told British Prime Minister Theresa May in Beijing in January. – Reuters

…but ex-Australian Ambassador suggests Chequers plan would rule out free trade deals

Theresa May’s ‘soft’ Brexit plan will make it impossible for Britain to join the Trans Pacific free trade area, the ex-Aussie Ambassador has declared. Former High Commissioner Alexander Downer said it “wouldn’t be cricket” for the UK to expect to join the bloc while tying itself to EU rules for goods for years to come.  The ex-Aussie Ambassador has ruled out a free trade deal with Britain, blaming the PM’s Soft Brexit plans – The Sun

  • Post-Chequers, we need to explain more clearly what leaving the EU will now look like – Leigh Higgins for ConservativeHome

Italian minister Matteo Salvini warns EU is ‘swindling’ Britain out of Brexit…

Italy’s deputy prime minister today accuses the European Union of trying to “swindle” Britain out of the Brexit that the public voted for. In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times, Matteo Salvini urges Theresa May to adopt a tougher stance in her Brexit negotiations with the EU, saying: “My experience in the European parliament tells me you either impose yourself or they swindle you.” The far-right interior minister, a former MEP and considered Italy’s most powerful politician, says May should be prepared to walk away without a deal: “Because on some principles there is no need to be flexible and you should not go backwards.” He also accuses the EU of trying to punish the UK for voting to leave the bloc: “There is no objectivity or good faith from the European side.” The leader of the anti- immigrant League party made an extraordinary intervention as May dispatched members of her cabinet across Europe to sell her Chequers deal.  – The Times (£)

…but Austria’s Sebastian Kurz tells May to avoid ‘hard Brexit’

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz has told Theresa May it is “important to avoid a hard Brexit”, after talks with the UK prime minister. Mrs May is in Salzburg as part of a mission by UK ministers to sell their post-Brexit trade proposals. Mr Kurz said he viewed Brexit “negatively” but felt negotiations were going “quite well”. Mrs May then held talks with Czech PM Andrej Babis before heading off on her summer holidays. Speaking at a brief joint press conference, Mr Kurz, who has just assumed the EU presidency for six months, said: “The Brexit decision is a decision we see very negatively. “But, of course, it has been taken by the British people so now we have to find a way to deal with it, and from our point of view it is important to avoid a hard Brexit.” – BBC News

  • May’s Brexit proposal hopes are given a boost by the Austrian Chancellor – The Sun
  • Theresa May hopes the EU’s most anti-Brussels leaders will help save her Brexit plan – Asa Bennett for the Telegraph (£)

> Watch on BrexitCentral’s YouTube Channel: Austrian chancellor tells May to avoid a ‘hard Brexit’

Theresa May is ‘abandoning Brexit’ with latest plan as EU will rule the UK, warns leading QC

European law expert Martin Howe QC warns that under the White Paper terms, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) “will have direct jurisdiction to bind the UK to make its law comply with the EU rulebook”. Rather than restoring the supremacy of British courts, the Government’s plans would make the UK “subservient” to the EU. The chairman of Lawyers for Britain slams the Prime Minister’s claims that ECJ jurisdiction in the UK will end as “sophistry at best” and accuses her of breaking her Brexit promise to take back control of our laws. The report says that under the Chequers White Paper, the UK will adopt a Moldova/ Ukraine/Georgia model of submission to the rulings of the ECJ. – Express

  • Theresa May’s Brexit blueprint means Britain will still be ruled by EU law, lawyer warns – The Sun
  • EU judges to ‘still have the final say post-Brexit’ on key disputes including migrants’ rights and £39bn divorce bill – The Sun
  • EU judges ‘will still have the final say post-Brexit’ on key battlegrounds including payments to Europe and rights of millions of migrants to stay in Britain- Daily Mail

> Martin Howe QC today on BrexitCentral: How the Chequers plan would still leave UK judges subservient to the ECJ

‘No deal’ preferable to Brexit extension, says Liam Fox

Liam Fox has warned Theresa May that extending the EU negotiations would be a “complete betrayal” of Brexit voters. The International Trade Secretary said the Prime Minister should be willing to leave the talks without a deal rather than stay in the bloc for longer. He said the “public already wonders why it’s going to take more than four years” for us to leave, so dragging out our exit from Brussels rule further must not be an option. Mr Fox’s intervention is crucial for Mrs May as he is one of the only leading Brexiteers to remain loyal and endorse her Chequers plan for a softer Brexit. His support is key to keeping her Cabinet and the Tory party together after David Davis and Boris Johnson’s resignations over her white paper proposals. The minister said if she cannot get a deal done by March 2019, when the Article 50 withdrawal period finishes, we should simply crash out than keeping going. – The Sun

  • Italy’s deputy PM says UK should focus on no deal Brexit as EU will ‘swindle’ British voters – The Sun
  • Let’s call the EU’s bluff and prepare for a no-deal . – Daniel Hannan for the Telegraph (£)
  • No Deal 1) The money – James Arnell for ConservativeHome

Labour Brexiteer Frank Field no confidenced by his local party…

Labour veteran Frank Field has accused his local party of trying to “misrepresent” his Eurosceptic views in a bid to oust him. The Birkenhead MP lost a no-confidence vote from constituency members after his decision to vote with the government on its Brexit plans – saving Theresa May from a Commons defeat. Mr Field, who has held the seat for nearly 40 years, said he acted on behalf of “millions of Labour voters – mainly in parts of the country that have long been neglected by the elites – who gave politicians a clear instruction to take the country out of the EU”. – The Sun

  • Labour Brexiteer MPs face deselection threat – Sky News

…as Eurosceptic Labour MP Kate Hoey also faces deselection over her pro-Brexit stance

A Eurosceptic Labour MP who helped save Theresa May’s leadership by backing the Government in a crunch Brexit vote is facing the prospect of deselection after her local party passed a vote of no confidence. Kate Hoey was one of four Labour MPs who saved the Prime Minister from a damaging House of Commons defeat earlier this month as Mrs May narrowly fought off a bid to keep the UK in the customs union. But Ms Hoey’s Brexit stance has prompted anger among Labour activists in her London constituency of Vauxhall with local party members voting on Thursday evening in favour of a bid to oust her. – Telegraph (£)

  • Labour MP Kate Hoey vows to fight deselection – BBC News
  • Pro-Brexit MP Kate Hoey ‘relaxed’ about move to deselect her – City A.M.
  • Labour needs many more Kate Hoeys – her deselection would be a damning own goal . – Tom Harris for the Telegraph (£)

> Previously on BrexitCentral: Labour’s pro-Brexit rebels did their party and the country a favour

Senior ministers say Theresa May should follow Trump’s hard line on EU

Theresa May must “take lessons” from Donald Trump after the EU caved into America to prevent a trade war, her own MPs declared last night. Senior Tory Brexiteers said the PM should take a harder line towards Brussels after the US President squeezed promises on free trade out of Jean Claude Juncker.  The US President has secured a deal with the EU that keeps tariffs on aluminium but sees the EU buying US goods. The EU chief was accused of signing “the most one-sided deal in history” during a White House visit after he pledged Europe will buy billions in US goods for a stay of execution on car tariffs. Europe will buy billions more worth of soybeans and natural gas but levies on steel and aluminium imports will remain in place for the foreseeable future, despite Brussels pleas to drop them.  – The Sun

Donald Trump’s big EU trade win is no more than rhetoric – Rachel Cunliffe for City A.M.

Gary Lineker backs second referendum

Former England footballer Gary Lineker has backed the campaign for another EU referendum, saying Brexit feels like it is “going very wrong indeed”. The BBC Match of the Day presenter said some things in life were “more important than football”. He is backing the People’s Vote campaign, a cross-party group including prominent Labour and Lib Dem MPs. They are planning a “summer of action” to step up pressure on MPs to back a vote on the final Brexit deal. The government has ruled out another referendum after Britain voted to leave the EU in June 2016. The UK is on course to leave the EU on 29 March next year. – BBC News

  • Did Gary Lineker miss the first ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit? .- Brendan O’Neill for The Spectator
  • The campaign for a second referendum isn’t really a campaign for a second referendum – Paul Goodman for ConservativeHome
  • Time to show ‘People’s Vote’ Lineker the BBC exit – Gary Oliver for ConservativeWoman
  • Eight people who’ve changed their Brexit position – Steerpike for The Spectator

European human rights judges will rule ‘Isil Beatles’ plan illegal, say experts

European human rights judges would rule Britain’s plan to waive death penalty assurances for two suspected members of the Isil ‘Beatles’ terror cell illegal, experts say, and could order the UK to seek US guarantees and even pay the men damages. The decision by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, has already been challenged with a judicial review in the High Court. Even if British justices decide the failure to seek guarantees for Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh is legal, a case could be brought to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, France. – Telegraph (£)

Anoosh Chakelian: Facebook releases Vote Leave campaign ads for the fake news inquiry – but what’s wrong with them?

The thing that has really caught people’s attention is the lack of an imprint – a logo or name explaining to the consumer where the ad comes from – on some of the artwork. They say election rules mean campaign advertising should be attributed. But this isn’t actually true. As I’ve explained previously, election regulations are so behind on the digital age that they don’t actually rule that campaigns must have imprints on online advertisements (like they must do on leaflets and newspaper adverts, etc). Sourcing political advertisements or material you see online can be difficult – as parties and non-party campaigners are not required to tell you who has published it – but it doesn’t break the law if there’s no imprint. As far back as 2003, the Electoral Commission recommended that online campaign material, like videos and digital pledge cards, etc, should have an “imprint stating who has published it”. This was ignored by Parliament. Plus, paid-for advertisements on Facebook don’t simply appear as a contextless image – they are framed with the name of the organisation (which is a link to its page), the word “Sponsored” beneath that, and accompanying text – Anoosh Chakelian for the New Statesman

The Telegraph: Grassroots Tories are furious with Theresa May. That won’t go away over the summer

If Theresa May thinks anger at her Chequers proposal will evaporate over the summer, she is wrong. The grassroots Tories are furious – and rightly so. Mrs May’s own constituency chairman says she must not give any more ground to the EU. Many Conservative members feel she has already surrendered too much. Mrs May has offered Brussels, among other things, a vast sum of money, extensive regulatory harmony, a veto on many forms of deregulation, a continued role for European courts and to stay in the single market for goods. This doesn’t reflect the spirit of the referendum and it obviously breaches Mrs May’s own red lines. It is baffling that she does not admit it. – Telegraph editorial (£)

Greg Hands: We should all unite around getting the best deal for Britain

As one who voted Remain and led the “Stronger In” campaign in my Chelsea & Fulham constituency, I have been concerned at the continued attempts to refight the referendum and put the Leave campaigns in the dock. It is now more than two years since the Referendum, and we should all unite around getting the best deal for Britain. Despite all the controversies around the funding and the information provided during the referendum, I believe the campaign, was well-debated and democratic participation in it was high. I have little doubt that a similar result would be repeated today. – Greg Hands MP for the Telegraph (£)

Brian Monteith: Brexit scare stories are custom-made for the silly season

Maybe serious journalists take a rest too, for the plethora of superficial stories seems rarely to be subjected to serious scrutiny, for if they were they would end up in the bin. With both Holyrood and Westminster on holiday, what better source of silly stories than what might happen if the Prime Minister does not secure a trade deal with the European Union after we leave on 29 March next year? Scaremongering makes good headlines and during the referendum there was a never-ending torrent of reports designed to ensure we put our cross at the box marked “Remain”. – Brian Monteith for The Scotsman

Shanker Singham: Freedom to flourish depends on regulatory autonomy

For the return of our national sovereignty, and for the country’s prosperity in the decades to come, without regulatory autonomy, withdrawal from the EU will be incomplete. Withdrawal from the EU must mean regulatory autonomy for the United Kingdom – sovereignty over its regulations. This reflects the democratic mandate of the 2016 referendum and the 2017 manifesto commitments of the Conservative and Labour Parties, and will propel growth and competition in the economy. – Shanker Singham for CommentCentral

Allister Heath: A betrayal on Brexit would push British politics to the extremes

Can mainstream political parties survive? Or are populists and extremists going to take over everywhere, with cataclysmic effects on the economy, liberty and Western civilisation? My great hope for Brexit was that it would save Britain from such a fate, one that I fear risks befalling much of the rest of Europe. The theory was that leaving the EU would reboot UK politics, paving the way for a novel settlement that reconciled liberalism and soft nationalism, globalisation and democratic self-government. – Allister Heath for the Telegraph (£)

  • Public concern about Brexit hits record high – Telegraph (£)
  • We are being sold down Brexit river – Frederick Forsyth for The Express

Matt Ridley: Absurd ECJ ruling will hurt farmers and push up prices

The European Court of Justice has just delivered a scientifically absurd  ruling, in defiance of advice from its advocate general, but egged on by Jean-Claude Juncker’s allies. It will ensure that more pesticides are used in Britain, our farmers will be less competitive and researchers will leave  for North America. Thanks a bunch, your honours. By saying that genome-edited crops must be treated to expensive and uncertain regulation, it has pandered to the views of a handful of misguided extremists, who no longer have popular support in this country. Matt Ridley for The Times (£)

Brexit in Brief

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg: “I backed Boris two years ago and I have never regretted my decision” – Prospect
  • Why I would switch sides in a second referendum – David Harris for The Spectator
  • Relax – there’s no sign of London losing its euro clearing crown – Julian Harris for City A.M.
  • Going for faster growth – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Leaving the EU & opening up the UK to true Internationalism – Briefings for Brexit
  • Forget the Irish Sea border. If we must have a backstop, how about a Celtic Sea border instead? – Andrew Lilico for ConservativeHome
  • EU medicines agency faces court fight over $660 million rent bill – Reuters
  • Brexit means expats returning to UK – City A.M.
  • Italian police evict 450 Roma from camp, despite EU ruling halting demolition – Telegraph (£)
  • Backstop or bust, says European Parliament  – City A.M.
  • SNP’s fake Brexit news – The Spectator
  • Call for UK citizen ID system after Brexit – BBC News
  • Brussels plots emergency no deal Brexit plans for British cats, dogs and ferrets – Telegraph (£)