Brexiteers offer May a lifeline that would see EU officials based at UK borders: Brexit News for Sunday 7 October

Brexiteers offer May a lifeline that would see EU officials based at UK borders: Brexit News for Sunday 7 October
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Brexiteers offer May a lifeline that would see EU officials based at UK borders…

Leading Brexiteers have backed a package of concessions to help unlock a Canada-style trade deal with Brussels. Senior members of the Conservatives’ 60-strong European Research Group (ERG) have told The Telegraph they would support EU officials being stationed at UK ports after Brexit to break the impasse with Brussels. The MPs, including Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the ERG chairman, also suggest that they would support the Government enforcing EU rules on goods exported to the bloc by firms in this country. Brexiteers regard both proposals as a significant concession to help avoid a “hard” border with Northern Ireland, while paving the way for a much looser relationship with the EU than under the “common rulebook” envisaged by Theresa May’s Chequers plan. – Telegraph (£)

…while also threatening to sabotage the Budget if a clean Brexit is not delivered

Brexiteers have issued a last-ditch threat to vote down the budget and destroy the government unless Theresa May takes a tougher line with Brussels — amid signs that she is on course to secure a deal with the European Union. Leading members of the hardline European Research Group (ERG) last night vowed to vote down government legislation after it was claimed the prime minister will use Labour MPs to push her plan through the Commons. The Sunday Times spoke to 18 cabinet ministers at the Conservative Party conference last week and every one of them said that May would get a deal and MPs would then end up approving it. But Bernard Jenkin, a veteran Eurosceptic, told a WhatsApp group of Tory MPs yesterday that it would lead to members refusing to back No 10 in other key votes. – Sunday Times (£)

Theresa May wants Whitehall to step up no-deal planning…

Theresa May has ordered officials to step up crisis planning for a “no deal” Brexit. The PM wants measures in place to keep Britain moving if she returns empty-handed from crunch EU talks. Ministers have identified eight worst case scenarios which could arise if we crash out without an agreement. They include drug, fuel and energy shortages, collapse of the pound and house prices and businesses relocating. But last night Brexiteers claimed Downing Street was “in a state of panic” over the likely failure of her Chequers plan.They dismissed warnings of chaos as “Project Fear reborn for the umpteenth time”. – The Sun

…although Jean-Claude Juncker says no-deal is not an option…

The European Union and Britain will reach a deal on Brexit in November if they do not do so this month, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told Austrian newspapers. EU Brexit negotiators believe a deal with Britain on leaving the bloc is “very close”, the sources said, in a sign a compromise on a major sticking point – the future Irish border – might be in the making. “We are not there yet. But our will to reach an understanding with the British government is unbroken,” Juncker was quoted as saying by Der Standard and Kurier and Der Falter…“We have to get away from this no-deal scenario. It wouldn’t be good for Britain or for the rest of the (European) Union,” Juncker was quoted as saying. – Reuters

…and Donald Tusk thinks a deal is possible by the end of the year

European Council President Donald Tusk said on Saturday it was possible to agree a deal with Britain on leaving the European Union by the end of 2018. Speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Krakow, Poland, Tusk said: “We will try for it in October … and I think there is a chance to have an accord by the end of the year.” – Reuters

France’s Europe minister claims that a no-deal Brexit would be better than Theresa May’s Chequers plan

Nathalie Loiseau has refused to back down in the face of pressure over her controversial remarks that a no deal Brexit would be better than Theresa May’s Chequers plan. The shock remark won support among Brexiteers, who champion a clean, hard Brexit and have urged the Prime Minister to “chuck Chequers”. The French Europe minister reiterated her claim during an interview on France24 yesterday, and added: “Of course, there won’t be any chaos.” Earlier this week, Ms Loiseau even referred to a Brexiteer mantra, now championed by Theresa May, insisting that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. Ms Loiseau put forward a bill on Wednesday that would allow France to maintain border controls with Britain, keep cross-channel trains running and give French subsidiaries of British companies the right to operate. The bill also guarantees the rights of British citizens living in France, who would otherwise immediately become illegal migrants in a no-deal Brexit. President Macron’s administration has also already laid the groundwork for a no-deal Brexit by hiring 700 extra customs officers. – Express

Gina Miller says the DUP ‘could end up being the party that stops Brexit’

The DUP could end up being the party that stops Brexit, a campaigner has claimed. Anti-Brexit crusader Gina Miller made the statement as she addressed business delegates in Newry yesterday. Ms Miller, who also criticised former First Minister Arlene Foster’s “lack of sensibility”, said she believes the entrenched position of the DUP could backfire in spectacular fashion. “The DUP has its agenda, but the irony is that the very thing they are fighting for could have the outcome they dread the most, and I think the thing they are dreading is going to be the thing that happens,” she said after concluding her End The Chaos event yesterday. She cited Mrs Foster’s “offensive” blood red line’ description earlier this week as an example of her party alienating voters and leaving Prime Minister Theresa May with no wriggle room in negotiations. “To lack basic sensibilities and use the word blood was so disrespectful to all the people who died in the conflict. She should absolutely not have done that,” Ms Miller added. “That’s the kind of digging your heels in that is going to backfire.” – Belfast Telegraph

Welsh FE college says Brexit is helping recruit Chinese students

One of the UK’s largest further education colleges says Brexit is helping it boost income and recruit Chinese students.Cardiff and Vale College will open a new campus in Shanghai later this year.The sector said it is adapting to Brexit by developing new income streams but that the Welsh Government is not funding FE colleges as it should…Mike James, college principal, told a committee of assembly members earlier this year that Cardiff and Vale College’s activities in China will generate over £3m a year.He also said that since the result of the 2016 EU referendum there had been a “huge push” from Chinese partners for further collaboration. – BBC News

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Iain Duncan Smith: To get a deal, let’s allow EU officials at UK borders

The UK should seek to build on this by agreeing a Le Touquet Plus system with the EU. Under such a deal, any customs or regulatory checks could be made at juxtaposed controls with information sharing and co-operation between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. This would not simply answer concerns about keeping the Northern Ireland border open – it would also ensure the Channel Ports continue to provide as frictionless trade as possible. Then, under an advanced free trade deal this would answer concerns from industry about keeping open supply lines after Brexit. The Republic of Ireland and the French authorities could make the customs and regulatory checks they need, before goods are dispatched over the border, ensuring the sanctity of the single market is preserved in line with the EU’s requirements. Officials at the Channel Ports and the Irish border already have a strong and successful record tackling criminality and lorries are already routinely stopped at Dover to be checked for drugs, guns and people trafficking. Yet it’s also important for action to be taken against a person illegally exporting goods to the EU that do not meet EU goods or trading standards requirements. The answer to this is that UK law already operates to counter activities by UK citizens that break laws overseas. Hence UK citizens who break EU single market rules for exports can be made to face justice in the UK – and we would obviously seek a reciprocal arrangement. – Iain Duncan Smith MP for the Telegraph (£)

Adam Boulton: Next time you tune in to this everyday story of EU folk, there may just be a deal

First, she harvested applause with “Britain isn’t afraid to leave with no deal”, lulling the gratified audience into nodding through what came next: that this would be “a bad outcome”, and she rejected the Canada and Norway options as well. The British team insists an effective single market in goods without freedom of movement in the UK, as proposed at Chequers, is being blocked as a political calculation, not a legal requirement. After all, Ukraine already has a similar arrangement. “We can do better than Ukraine,” one senior cabinet minister predicted. “We just need one of the leaders to stick their head above the parapet now, and hope it’s not [Emmanuel] Macron.” The Brexit drama is beginning to sound like an everyday story of EU folk. As politics as usual resumes, the great British public is tuning out. We gratefully tuned out of the Troubles a long time ago, perhaps to our discredit, and we certainly don’t want a revival. To avoid that risk, a deal is required. May has already come much further than many expected. There is still a deal to be done. – Adam Boulton for the Sunday Times (£)

The Sun says: It is vital Theresa May does not hand over a penny of the £39billion Brexit divorce bill until an agreement is reached

We always said they would crack and yesterday there were signs of the EU doing just that. Jean-Claude Juncker is now warning a No-Deal Brexit would be bad for the EU. Preening Irish PM Leo Varadkar, previously keen to take any opportunity to weaponise the issue of the Northern Irish border, is also finally falling into line.Juncker, clearly under pressure from the 27 EU leaders, is growing anxious for a deal. For all his pontificating, he knows how disastrous a No-Deal would be for Europe. This is the moment for Theresa May, buoyed by her decent Tory party conference performance, to stick to her red lines. The PM cannot accept any deal that splits up the UK. A future trading deal needs to be thrashed out, too.And it is vital she does not hand over a penny of the £39billion divorce bill until an agreement is reached. Brexiteers will say her Chequers offer is already too generous – The Sun says

Brexit in Brief

  • Musicians sign open letter to Theresa May calling for Brexit U-turn – Mail on Sunday
  • ‘Dogs against Brexit’ to march on Parliament to demand new EU referendum – Independent
  • In haste to go Dutch, Unilever misjudged concerns in Brexit-bound UK – Reuters
  • Nicola Sturgeon claims Brexit ‘shambles’ boosts case for second Scottish independence referendum – Politics Home