Jacob Rees-Mogg leads bid to formally block Chequers plan: Brexit News for Thursday 12 July

Jacob Rees-Mogg leads bid to formally block Chequers plan: Brexit News for Thursday 12 July
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Theresa May faces new Tory rebellion on Brexit as Jacob Rees-Mogg leads bid to formally block Chequers plan…

Theresa May faces the biggest Brexit rebellion of her premiership after furious Eurosceptics today formally launched a bid to block her Chequers plan. The Sun can reveal that Jacob Rees-Mogg and fellow Tory backbenchers have lodged a total of four amendments to alter Government’s flagship Trade Bill – claiming No 10 has “broken their trust”. It’s the first big show of strength by the Eurosceptic grouping on the Tory backbenches and threatens to wipe out Theresa May’s Commons majority when the bill goes before MPs on Monday. And one of the motions is backed by the DUP – in a hint the unionist party could be ready to drop its support for the PM. – The Sun

The prime minister is also facing a rebellion from Remain rebel MPs on the same legislation. The 2017 election result means that even with DUP support, it would only take about six Brexiteers to vote against the final withdrawal agreement and it would only pass with help from the opposition. Downing Street opened talks with Labour and opposition political parties this week, to the anger of many Tories. However, they still look likely to refuse to support Mrs May’s eventual deal. In the event that Mrs May’s deal is voted down, Britain is likely to head to a no-deal Brexit, although this too may be blocked by further parliamentary votes resulting in gridlock and constitutional chaos. – The Times (£)

  • Tory rebels move to derail PM’s Brexit plans – Sky News
  • Conservative rebels target Theresa May’s Brexit plan – BBC News
  • The Chequers deal for Brexit is dead — so is it this May, that May or the highway? – Jacob Rees-Mogg for The Sun
  • Voters will not thank Tory MPs if they let Theresa May water Brexit down to a thin gruel – Andrew Allison for the Telegraph (£)
  • Why voting down Theresa May’s Chequers plan could lead, paradoxically, to a softer Brexit – Nick Timothy for the Telegraph (£)

> Marcus Fysh MP on BrexitCentral: We must act now to force the Government to change its disastrous Chequers proposal

…as the PM pushes on with her Chequers plan with the White Paper being published today…

The Prime Minister is pushing on with her Chequers proposals in publishing the much-awaited Brexit white paper today, as Eurosceptics plot rebellion from the backbenches.The white paper – hailed as the most significant Brexit publication since the 2016 referendum – will set out Theresa May’s vision for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.Based on the principles agreed at last week’s Chequers summit, it will centre around a free trade area for goods, based on a common rulebook, in order to avoid friction at the Irish border. – City A.M.

> Gisela Stuart on BrexitCentral: The Brexit White Paper need to honour the promises Theresa May has made

> Robert Bates on BrexitCentral: The Chequers plan is a repackaged Moroccan model

…which she told ministers ‘can’t be changed as Angela Merkel cleared it’…

Theresa May faces a fresh outcry after claims she told Ministers she couldn’t alter her Brexit plan – as she’d “cleared it” with Angela Merkel. Reports claim stunned Cabinet Ministers were given the extraordinary excuse at the crunch Chequers summit last Friday. Asked about a possible change to the Brexit blueprint, the PM was said to have told them: “No, that’s not possible. “Because I’ve already cleared [the existing text] with Mrs Merkel.” – The Sun

> Austin Mitchell on BrexitCentral: Will the EU now decide to be reasonable or try and humiliate us?

…as Brexiteers plan to force the release of David Davis’s version of the document…

Tory Brexiters plan to try to force Theresa May to publish a rival draft of the white paper drawn up by David Davis in the run-up to last week’s Chequers summit, which Downing Street ditched. The abandoned draft set out something closer to a Canada-style trade deal, with additional elements drawn from other EU agreements, sources told the Guardian – an alternative to the approach to be set out in the government’s Brexit white paper, due to be published on Thursday. Backbenchers from the European Research Group (ERG) will table a “humble address” in parliament, demanding that Davis’s draft be made public, as the Conservative party descends into all-out parliamentary warfare over Brexit. – Guardian

  • EXCLUSIVE. The Alternative Brexit White Paper. A draft from DexEU. 1) Mutual recognition, not ongoing harmonisation. – ConservativeHome

…and his former aide slams No 10 over “Hotel California” Chequers plan

David Davis’ former aide has launched an astonishing broadside against Number 10, claiming he is being blocked from advising the new Brexit secretary and blasting the “Hotel California Chequers” agreement. Stewart Jackson, who is an ardent Leaver, last night confirmed that he was being barred from returning to the Department for Exiting the European Union (DexEU) under Dominic Raab, after the former secretary of state resigned on Sunday night. He said: “Not normally affable [Theresa May’s chief of staff] Gavin Barwell’s style I would have thought. – City A.M.

Labour snatch two-point poll lead as Brexit chaos engulfs Tories

In a boost for Jeremy Corbyn, the latest YouGov poll for The Times puts his party on 39%, two points clear of the Conservatives who have fallen to 37%. The Liberal Democrats remain unchanged on 9%. The new figures are a major boost for Labour, who trailed the Conservatives by four to five points during parts of March, April, May and June with the same pollster. – PoliticsHome

Brexiteers pressuring ministers to ‘put principle before career’

Pro-Brexit frontbenchers are coming under pressure to act on “principle” and quit over Theresa May’s Chequers proposal, after further resignations last night.  City A.M. understands that Brexit minister and former head of the European Research Group Suella Braverman has been “getting heat” over her decision to remain in place despite colleagues David Davis and Steve Baker resigning on Sunday night.”She is seen as having put her career before her principles,” one MP said.  – City A.M.

May ditches hopes of keeping City in tight tie-up with EU…

Theresa May has abandoned plans for a tight new relationship with the EU in financial services after Brexit, laying out a new proposal for a looser partnership in her long-awaited white paper on Thursday. The new approach to the City of London’s relationship with Brussels, which will mean less access to the European market for UK-based financial service groups, has been described by a person who has seen the paper as “cohabiting but without the same commitment as marriage”. The City proposal replaces the prime minister’s former “mutual recognition” plan, viewed in Brussels as the UK’s “cake-and-eat-it” approach to Brexit, and forms part of a detailed document including controversial plans for customs and a free trade area in goods. – FT (£)

…as EU Commission and Bank of England trade shots in City Brexit contracts row

The EU’s top financial services boss today contradicted warnings over a potential catastrophe involving trillions of pounds of contracts, as a Bank of England boss suggested that political concerns had affected European regulators’ stance in the latest stage of a row over Brexit preparations. EU financial services commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis today said that financial contracts are not at risk of becoming void, in spite of repeated warnings from Bank of England governor Mark Carney that authorities in the UK and Europe need to act.” – City A.M.

Donald Trump’s aides will make meeting with Boris Johnson ‘possible’ as they have ‘warm and close relationship’

Donald Trump’s aides will make a meeting with Boris Johnson ‘possible’, the US Ambassador to the UK has said as he claimed the pair had a “warm and close relationship”. Woody Johnson has said that American diplomats in London will do “everything possible” to ensure Mr Trump meets with the former Foreign Secretary if he chooses to, adding that he had been a close “friend” during and after his election. Ahead of Mr Trump’s first presidential visit to the UK, the US Ambassador said that whilst the meeting was not confirmed, the President “makes his own schedule” and should be given a “bit of leeway”. – Telegraph (£)

  • Donald Trump believes in Britain and in Brexit, so should we – Nile Gardiner for the Telegraph (£)

Michael Gove says French farmers ‘could block post-Brexit foie gras ban’

The RSPCA has expressed anger at Michael Gove’s suggestion a Brexit deal with the EU could block Britain from placing a ban on imports of “cruel” foie gras. The environment secretary claimed pressure from French farmers could see Brussels derail any UK bid to end imports of the luxury food once outside the EU. Mr Gove told the House of Commons environmental audit committee on Wednesday: “It may be the case that the French government, on behalf of its farmers, would feel that any free trade agreement between the UK and EU that imposed restrictions on foie gras would be one with which they could not live.  – Sky News

Signs are good for economic growth recovery despite Brexit concerns

Growth is on track to accelerate to 0.5 per cent in the third quarter as the economy enjoys a broad rebound, with the services, manufacturing and construction sectors all picking up, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. NIESR, which uses the Treasury’s forecasting model, reckons second-quarter growth doubled to 0.4 per cent from the first three months of the year and that the momentum will carry into the three months to the end of September, despite Brexit concerns. – The Times (£)

The eye-catching contingency plans to stop NI power blackouts

Thousands of electricity generators would have to be requisitioned at short notice and put on barges in the Irish Sea to help keep the lights on in Northern Ireland in the event of the hardest no-deal Brexit, according to one paper drawn up by Whitehall officials. That could involve bringing back equipment from far-flung countries such as Afghanistan – where the UK is still part of Nato-led operations – said people familiar with the paper’s contents. The eye-catching scenario is contained in a private government paper outlining the various negative consequences of Britain leaving the European Union without any deal. – FT (£)

John Cleese announces he is leaving Britain in protest of ‘awful’ Brexit vote for paradise Caribbean island

Monty Python comic John Cleese says he is moving to the Caribbean in November in protest of the “awful” debate on Brexit. The 78-year-old told BBC Two’s Newsnight that he now plans to relocate to the “gorgeous” island of Nevis – which has a population of just 11,000 – in the autumn. “I’m leaving in November. I actually am leaving. I am making arrangements now,” said the long-time Liberal Democrat supporter. “I am so disappointed with so much about this country at the moment and I just think so much of this country is disappointing. – Telegraph (£)

Theresa May: My Brexit plan will let us end freedom of movement, strike our own trade deals and be free of the European Court

Two years ago, the people of the UK spoke in greater numbers than ever before when they voted to leave the European Union. Since then, my number one priority has been to give this country the Brexit it called for — and, with the plan being published on Thursday, we’re taking the next step towards doing just that. Since the plan was agreed at Chequers last week, there’s been a lot of talk about what it all means. When I think about the people I’ve spoken with over the past two years, and The Sun’s coverage of its readers’ concerns on Brexit, it’s clear to me that three questions come up more than any others. – Theresa May MP for The Sun

Maria Caulfield: How can I look my voters in the eye if I accept Theresa May’s Brexit deal?

On Monday I took the difficult decision to resign as a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party. Having studied the Chequers Brexit “deal” I believe I had no choice. The deal in my opinion is not right for the United Kingdom, our democracy, the Conservative Party or indeed the millions who voted to leave the EU. This “deal” is worse than “no deal” and ironically far worse than a deal – a Canada-type free trade agreement – that European Council President Donald Tusk himself offered, saying: “I propose that we aim for a trade agreement covering all sectors and with zero tariffs on goods. Like other free trade agreements, it should address services.” Instead of exploring this perfectly acceptable solution, a small cabal in Downing Street has dreamt up a complex arrangement that seeks to recreate large parts of the EU’s single market. – Former Tory Vice Chair Maria Caulfield MP for the Telegraph (£)

Ben Bradley: This deal’s a disaster for Britain and the Tories

The Cabinet’s Chequers Agreement, I believe, is fundamentally the wrong deal for the UK and the Conservative Party. With a heavy heart, I resigned as a vice chairman of the Conservative Party. This deal, which is only the opening bid in a negotiation, will betray our country, the Conservative Party and the millions of people, including the majority of my constituents, who voted to leave the EU. Implementing Brexit in name only will make a mockery of our democracy and it would tie us to some of the worst aspects of the EU. In particular, the Cabinet agreed to accept what, in practice, is Brussels’s rule book. After all, with compliance to EU laws comes EU case law and enforcement. – Former Tory Vice Chair Ben Bradley MP for the Daily Mail

Victoria Hewson: We take a red pen to the Chequers plan

The government’s Chequers statement released last week will form the basis of a long-awaited White Paper setting out the UK’s future relationship with the European Union. Though the details are yet to be fully fleshed out, there is a real danger that these initial proposals, if implemented, would run the risk of binding the UK too closely to EU institutions, removing our freedom to negotiate with third countries – and ultimately squandering some of the chief prizes of Brexit.  Here, we take a red pen to the Chequers statement. In his influential memo analysing the statement, Martin Howe QC concluded that “the Chequers proposals would involve the permanent continuation in the UK of all EU laws which relate to goods, their composition, their packaging, how they are tested etc in order to enable goods to cross the UK/EU border without controls. All goods manufactured in the UK for the UK domestic market, or imported from non-EU countries, would be permanently subject to these laws.” – Victoria Hewson for the IEA

Robert Hancock: Theresa May’s Brexit plan won’t work

The referendum result was initially recognised by the British Government as a decision to take back control of money, laws, borders and taxes, which had to be given effect to. It accepted this meant leaving the EU’s single market and customs union. The three page statement issued at Chequers last Friday on behalf of the Cabinet, euphemistically described as a ‘substantial evolution’, signals the retreat from this policy. The Government now favours a one-sided agreement, similar to that between the EU and Ukraine, which is contrary to the national interest.- Robert Hancock for The Spectator

Comment in Brief

  • The EU would be mad to reject Chequers deal – Iain Martin for The Times (£)
  • The Chequers deal for Brexit is dead — so is it this May, that May or the highway? – Jacob Rees-Mogg MP for The Sun
  • Eurosceptics across Europe watch Brexit own goal. – Tim Hedges for The Commentator
  • Daniel R. DePetris: Why Spain could be the populists’ next battleground. – Daniel R. DePetris for The Spectator
  • The EU wants to avoid a ‘no deal’ Brexit – here’s how it could achieve that – Nieves Perez-Solorzano for Reaction
  • Advisers instruct and May obeys – Gary Oliver for Conservative Woman
  • A Conservative split is inevitable – the question is how to manage and minimise it – Nick Hargrave for ConservativeHome
  • The EU is threatening to destroy the UK economy – but will only bring a doomloop that guarantees its own ruin – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for the Telegraph (£)

News in Brief

  • Chequers Brexit plan is the best option available, Hague tells Tories – BBC News
  • Wetherspoon boss attacks PM’s Brexit plan – Sky News
  • Return of the flying monkey – Steerpike for The Spectator
  • Boris Johnson ‘won’t launch his power grab until the autumn’ – but will blast PM’s Brexit plans in Commons next week – The Sun