May urges public to 'trust me' to deliver Brexit: Brexit News for Sunday 13 May

May urges public to 'trust me' to deliver Brexit: Brexit News for Sunday 13 May
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Theresa May urges public to ‘trust me’ to deliver Brexit…

Theresa May has moved to try to ease cabinet tensions by insisting she can be “trusted” to deliver Brexit… Writing in the Sunday Times, May said: “You can trust me to deliver. I will not let you down.” May stressed the UK would be aligned with Brussels on some issues as there had to be “compromises” after withdrawal… And in comments that appeared to echo Johnson’s controversial pledge that Brexit would trigger a major boost for the NHS, the PM said: “I will ensure that we take back control of our money. We have agreed a settlement with the European Union and the days of vast contributions from taxpayers to the EU budget are coming to an end. “So, Brexit means there will be billions of pounds that we used to send to Brussels which we will now be able to spend on domestic priorities, including our National Health Service.” – Observer

  • Theresa May implores Brexit rebels: Trust me, I won’t let you down – Sunday Times (£)
  • Theresa May assures agitated Leavers that her mind is 100% on leaving the Customs Union – Sun on Sunday
  • Theresa May vows Brexit delivery is her ‘mission’ – Sunday Express
  • Theresa May urges public to ‘trust me’ to deliver Brexit amid increasingly bitter cabinet rows – Independent
  • “You can trust me to deliver”: Theresa May to insist Brexit has not run aground – despite ministers at war with each other – Sunday Mirror
  • Trust me, I’ll take back control — but I’ll need your help – Theresa May for the Sunday Times (£)

…with a dozen Cabinet ministers reportedly set to block May’s ‘customs partnership’ plan…

At least a dozen members of Theresa May’s Cabinet are lining up to block her plans for a new “customs partnership” with the European Union, The Telegraph can disclose. Two pro-Remain ministers say they were among a growing number of figures around the Cabinet table who opposed the proposals described by Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, as “crazy”. The Telegraph has now established that 12 out of a total of 28 individuals who sit in Cabinet alongside Mrs May oppose her favoured plans for Britain’s post-Brexit customs relationship with the EU. However, government sources believe the total could be as high as 15… [One] former Remainer Cabinet figure said: “I’m not going to support the customs partnership. My view is you are either in a customs union or you’re out. A fudge doesn’t work. I was on the side of Remain because I was of the view that the benefits outweighed the costs, but I’m really not in favour of taking all the costs with none of the benefits. The advantage of leaving is having an independent trade policy.” – Sunday Telegraph (£)

  • Theresa May’s plan for ‘customs partnership’ with EU after Brexit in jeopardy as ‘dozen ministers desert PM’ – Sun on Sunday
  • HMRC told to weigh in on Brexit customs union row as Revenue ‘brands May’s plan unviable’ – Express
  • Why Karen Bradley is, for the next few days, the most important person in the government – James Forsyth for the Spectator

…as grassroots Tories warn Theresa May the Conservative Party ‘will not be trusted for a generation’ if she ‘fudges’ Brexit

The Conservative Party “will not be trusted for a generation” if Theresa May “fudges” Brexit, senior activists have warned. In a letter to the Telegraph, grassroots Tories said the Prime Minister would be “playing with fire” if she brings forward plans for Britain’s departure from the European Union that “frustrate the will of the people”… In the letter, whose signatories include Ed Costelloe, the chairman of the Grassroots Conservatives group, the activists also raise concerns about recent votes in the House of Lords to hand power over the negotiations to Parliament, and to keep Britain in the EU’s single market after Brexit. – Sunday Telegraph (£)

  • Letters: Theresa May must deliver on her promise of a clean break from the EU – Sunday Telegraph (£)
  • Theresa May’s failure to lead on Brexit is damaging the economy – Simon Heffer for the Sunday Telegraph (£)

Brussels set to push for six-month extension to UK’s transition period out of EU

The Independent has been told by two sources in Brussels that the EU wants the six-month extension to protect its own interests, as Brexit negotiations come to their most critical phase… The commission is expected to try to put the optional six-month extension into the withdrawal agreement late on in the negotiations process, in order to maximise the chance of it being accepted… The Independent first reported in February how the UK had discussed the idea of a longer transition, and though the story was denied at the time, officials and politicians have since made comments that leave open the door to a longer period. – Independent

  • Brussels ‘planning transition extension’ which would delay Brexit to summer 2021 – Express

David Miliband joins Sir Nick Clegg and Nicky Morgan in call for ‘soft Brexit’

David Miliband is making a political comeback to join a cross-party bid to prevent a hard Brexit. Five years after stepping down as an MP after losing the Labour leadership to his brother Ed, he will share a platform on Monday with Tory ex-education secretary Nicky Morgan and Lib Dem former deputy PM Sir Nick Clegg. They will be urging the Government to take a softer approach to withdrawing from the EU. The trio said Britain was being “held to ransom” by hardline Brexiteers in a joint article for the Mail on Sunday. – Sky News

  • David Miliband launches UK political comeback by joining all-party move to stop hard Brexiteers ‘holding Britain to ransom’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Three politicians from different parties with very different beliefs are united on one thing… Britain must resist the march to a Hard Brexit fantasy land – David Miliband, Sir Nick Clegg and Nicky Morgan MP for the Mail on Sunday
  • Theresa May must confront her fantasy Brexiteers – Sir Keir Starmer MP for the Sunday Times (£)
  • Shadow Brexit Secretary’s ‘right hand man’ backs fresh EU vote – Sunday Express
  • Brexit votes call for defiance from Labour peers and MPs – Chuka Umunna MP for the FT (£)
  • Brexit is a national crisis. We need a compromise solution – Stephen Hammond MP for the Guardian
  • Brexit ‘will have to go back to the people’ for a second vote, says Lord Mandelson – Independent

BAE’s anti-Brexit Chairman says UK must make the best of Brexit

BAE Systems Plc Chairman Roger Carr, one of the highest-profile campaigners for Britain to stay in the European Union before the 2016 referendum, called on U.K. companies to make the best of Brexit regardless of their views on the impending schism. While describing himself as a so-called Remainer at heart, Carr is now preaching pragmatism and working to ensure that London-based BAE, Europe’s biggest defence company, is prepared for the challenges of a split from the EU. “The process remains challenging and uncertain in terms of the outcome, but the business community has got to remain focused on its job,” he said. – Bloomberg

Brexiteer trashes UN Brexit report as based on opinion of lefty newspapers readers only

Brexiteer Jonathan Isaby hit back at the latest UN report on Brexit claiming the findings were based on the opinion of a selected group of people who read left-oriented newspapers. Speaking to LBC, the prominent Brexiteer said the UN report, which claimed the UK is more racist since the Brexit vote, is neither helpful nor constructive. Mr Isaby said: “… [F]rankly it’s not very helpful, not very constructive, and as far as we can tell, based on a few days in this country speaking to a very small selective bunch of people who probably do a bit of reading of the Guardian newspaper.” … Former Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith branded the report “pointless.” He said: “These visits are completely pointless. They are politically motivated, they are inspired by the extreme Left, and the idea is to kick the UK.” – Express

  • Fact check: the UN Special Rapporteur’s report on British racism – Ross Clark for the Spectator

> LISTEN: Jonathan Isaby: Biased UN report based on Guardian view of Britain

British theatres under threat from EU plans to ban lighting

Britain’s theatre industry is under threat as the European Union plans to ban energy-sapping lighting which could force venues to close… Campaigners are warning that abolishing an exemption which currently allows theatres to use energy-heavy tungsten bulbs could be creatively “disastrous” and force many smaller venues to close. Four-time Olivier award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable said the new European Commission proposals would take away many of the “rich tools” the industry has come to rely on. “The repercussion of this is so much more drastic than the Commission understands,” she said. “We’ve been campaigning for a number of years to maintain the use of older equipment that we have in theatres because a lot of schools and amateur theatres really rely on that kit.” … It is estimated the cost of updating older fixtures in venues across the UK could run into billions. – Sky News

> WATCH: Hugh Bennett: Theatre light ban classic example of EU failure

Theresa May: Trust me, I’ll take back control — but I’ll need your help

Amid all the noisy debate and technical discussions about our departure from the European Union, I want to take this opportunity to remind the British public of my mission in the negotiations. Brexit provides the opportunity to build a new relationship with the EU where we are close trading partners and strong allies but with the British government in control of our laws, our immigration policy and how taxpayers’ money is spent… I will ensure that we take back control of our borders… I will ensure that we take back control of our money… I will ensure that we take back control of our laws… We will get a fairer deal for our farmers and fishermen by leaving the common agricultural policy and the common fisheries policy, regaining control over access to our waters and safeguarding the interests of the UK fishing industry… [W]e must not constrain our ability to negotiate trade agreements with other countries around the world by being bound into a customs union as the Labour Party would have us. We must be a global Britain that makes the most of the opportunity to create jobs and growth by trading ambitiously with partners across the world, old and new. – Theresa May for the Sunday Times (£)

Liam Halligan: Theresa May must tell UK what customs union costs

The Prime Minister needs to go on the rhetorical offensive. With the Lords sabotaging Brexit, and Remainer ministers scenting blood, Theresa May must look to the public, delivering a powerful speech to break the deadlock and reject the protectionist customs union for good. Being inside the customs union costs Britain billions of pounds each year. UK shoppers overpay for non-European imports, due to common external tariffs protecting inefficient producers elsewhere in the EU. Four fifths of these revenues go to Brussels. They’re particularly steep on clothing, food and footwear, hitting poorer UK shoppers hardest – which is unfair… Staying in the customs union after Brexit means charging EU tariffs with no say in setting them – the “vassal state” argument. This is the ghastly deal foisted on Turkey – an unproven partner state trying to join the EU. Britain is not Turkey – Brussels is trying to keep us and our money in. Customs union membership also means implicitly accepting EU regulations, de facto single market membership. That makes it doubly impossible for Britain to cut trade deals with other nations, one of the main Brexit benefits. Dim Parliamentarians say the customs union is an elegant compromise, but it’s the worst of both worlds. A compromise like leaping halfway over a chasm. And it makes a mockery of the June 2016 vote to take back control of our laws, borders and money. – Liam Halligan for the Sunday Telegraph (£)

Oliver Wiseman: Escaping the Irish straitjacket

The importance of avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic is the predominant issue in the current customs impasse and has become a straitjacket that the Prime Minister shows few signs of being able to wriggle out of. The crucial question for the Government is what that straitjacket is made from. Is it built of irrefutable and immovable facts, or is it ultimately a political construction? … Sadly, a great many Remainers who have identified Ireland as their best chance of reversing or softening Brexit fall into that category. So do Michel Barnier and his team. As a result, peace in Northern Ireland has, shamefully, become a bargaining chip. The question now is whether the Government can reframe the debate about the border. That means doing more to make clear the feasibility of practical solutions to this problem. And, above all, it means overturning the absurd notion that Barnier’s hard line is driven by what is best for the communities of Northern Ireland, and not the political objectives of Brussels. – Oliver Wiseman for CapX

Comment in brief

  • The EU debate now returns to the Commons – Macer Hall for the Express
  • Theresa May’s desperate last roll of the dice to break customs union impasse – Peter Foster for the Telegraph (£)
  • Bankers with broken English are Luxembourg’s Brexit bottleneck – Stephanie Bodoni for Bloomberg
  • We must not ignore the growing threat from Romania’s secret state – Damien Phillips for ConservativeHome
  • Russian spy? Money man for Putin and Trump? No — I’m just a shy billionaire – Christopher Chandler interview with the Sunday Times (£)
  • A slip here, a stumble there, but the PM is slowly sliding out of hard Brexit’s grip – Adam Boulton for the Sunday Times (£)
  • Peers will fail the people if the they demand Part Two of the Leveson Inquiry – Jacob Rees-Mogg for the Sun on Sunday

News in brief

  • Corbyn doesn’t understand EU military procurement rules – Guido Fawkes
  • Top Remain peer blasted after missing 100s of votes but turning up to frustrate Brexit – Sun on Sunday
  • Rebel Remainer Dominic Grieve says Theresa May should sack Boris Johnson for disloyalty over Brexit customs row – The Sun
  • Peers to rebel over ‘toothless’ post-Brexit green watchdog – Observer
  • Secret document FCO 30/1048 kept truth about EU from British for 30 years – Express
  • ‘We’re avoiding a great crisis!’ Norman Lamont hails Brexit opportunity – Express
  • Brexit backing traders banished from market for using Vote Leave placard as windbreak – Express
  • Students plan summer of defiance in push for ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit – Observer