Britain will refuse to pay the EU's £39billion Brexit divorce bill unless a deal is done, warns Dominic Raab: Brexit News for Thursday 13th September

Britain will refuse to pay the EU's £39billion Brexit divorce bill unless a deal is done, warns Dominic Raab: Brexit News for Thursday 13th September

Britain will refuse to pay the EU’s £39billion Brexit divorce bill unless a deal is done, warns Dominic Raab…

The Brexit Secretary will today tell the EU that Britain will refuse to pay a £39billion divorce bill if there is no deal. Dominic Raab is meeting EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in a bid to persuade him to accept Theresa May’s Chequers plan. He will tell him that Britain won’t pay the financial settlement if an agreement isn’t reached, saying: ‘There is no deal without the whole deal.’   The EU has already has said it will not accept the Chequers plan because it effectively keeps British goods in the single market without accepting freedom of movement. But writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Raab insists that Britain will not compromise further. ‘We want a good deal that benefits the UK and EU,’ he writes. – Daily Mail

  • May suggests EU will only get part of promised £39bn from UK if there’s no Brexit deal – Guardian
  • Britain need not be afraid of a no-deal Brexit – we stand ready to rise to the challenges ahead – Dominic Raab MP for the Telegraph (£)

…as the Cabinet discusses no-deal Brexit planning this morning…

The prime minister is to hold a special three-hour cabinet meeting to discuss preparations for a no-deal Brexit. The government is also due to publish guidance on issues such as mobile phone roaming charges, driving licenses and passports in the event of the EU and the UK not reaching an agreement. The Brexit secretary has said the UK will not pay its financial settlement to the EU in a no-deal scenario. He said the government was “stepping up” its contingency planning. Theresa May’s proposals, set out after a Chequers summit in July, are fiercely opposed by some Tory MPs and the EU has also expressed reservations. – BBC News

  • UK ‘steps up’ preparations for no deal Brexit as Brussels panics – Express

…with the next batch of ‘no deal’ Brexit papers being published later…

Britain will publish a second batch of papers on Thursday giving the public and businesses advice on coping with disruption in case the country leaves the European Union next year with no deal on future relations with the bloc. Mobile phone roaming charges, environmental and vehicle standards will be among the topics covered by the technical notices, the government’s Brexit department said in a statement. – Reuters

…as it emerges Brits will still enjoy free mobile phone roaming across the EU even if there’s no deal

The Government has struck an agreement with the four phone company giants – including Vodafone and EE – who cover 85% of the market to ensure the status quo remains. It will be heralded today as a boost for Britain’s chances of going it alone if endgame Brexit talks fail. The development emerges as the Cabinet will also be asked to approve a multi-billion pound no deal spending spree in eight weeks time. Theresa May’s top table will hold a marathon three hour meeting on the emergency scenario in No10 this morning to take stock of preparations for it all across Whitehall. The Cabinet will be told that a series of November deadlines are swiftly approaching will cannot be missed if no deal is to work. – The Sun

Revealed: Government’s EU27 gambit to maintain existing air and road links in the event of no-deal

The government has acknowledged in private diplomatic letters to every EU capital that a “no-deal” Brexit may mean “practical changes” need to be negotiated with each EU capital “in order to continue existing air service and road transport arrangements”. It says bilateral deals are required “as soon as possible… in the interests of public safety”. The letter, dated from last week and obtained by Sky News, is one of 27 sent by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to fellow European transport ministers as part of an attempt to reach around the Brussels negotiations and strike a series of “no-deal” agreements with individual member states. – Sky News

Ryanair boss downplays prospect of flight chaos under no deal Brexit

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has downplayed the prospect of prolonged flight chaos under a no-deal Brexit, softening previous warnings that such a scenario could have catastrophic consequences for the aviation sector. The outspoken Irish chief executive reiterated his view that flights would be grounded at the end of March in the event that London and Brussels failed to strike an accord. However, he said: “I don’t believe that a no-flight scenario will last for more than a couple of days or a couple of weeks; because I think politically, it is unassailable.” – Telegraph (£)

  • Brexit doomsayer Ryanair forges ahead with UK expansion plan – Bloomberg

Theresa May’s Chequers plan dealt a blow after DUP back European Research Group’s Northern Ireland proposals…

Theresa May’s Brexit plans have been dealt a blow after the Democratic Unionist Party backed a rival plan drawn up by Tory rebels to allow the UK to leave the EU’s single market and customs union without a hard border in Ireland. The European Research Group published a paper calling for equivalence of UK and EU regulations and conformity assessment for all agricultural goods on the island of Ireland. The plan – which is at odds with the Mrs May’s Brexit proposal which was agreed by her Cabinet out at her Chequers country home – was immediately backed by the DUP, whose 10 MPs are keeping the Mrs May’s Government in power. – Telegraph (£)

…although Dublin condemns the Tory backbenchers’ border plans

The Irish government has accused Brexiteers of treating the country as if it were still part of the United Kingdom in an attack on their plans to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland. Conservative opponents of Theresa May’s Chequers plan have released proposals which, they claim, would solve the Irish border question without the need for physical infrastructure. – The Times (£)

Jean-Claude Juncker demands more powers for Brussels…

Jean-Claude Juncker has demanded that European Union governments sacrifice their vetoes on EU foreign policy decisions in a flagship speech that called for more national powers to be centralised in Brussels. The president of the European Commission called on Wednesday “for a stronger, more united Europe” that could flex its muscles as a “global player”. He said that could only be achieved by EU countries pooling their sovereignty to boost the bloc’s economic, political and military power. But he denied he was trying to turn the EU into “a superpower”. – Telegraph (£)

…including military muscle to strengthen border protection…

Britain will never be able to rival the European Union’s Galileo space project after Brexit and will not be allowed to “pick and choose” access to the single market, Jean-Claude Juncker said today. The European Commission president’s comments came in his annual “state of the union” speech with plans for the EU to “impose” its view on an unstable world with more military muscle and fewer national vetoes over foreign policy. Included in the blueprint to make the EU a “global player” is a deadline of 2020 to have a 10,000-strong EU border guard force with extensive powers to bear arms and carry out deportations. – The Times (£)

…as he seemingly urges Theresa May to dump Chequers for a free trade agreement

His remarks deliver a potentially fatal blow to the PM’s plan, which EU diplomats describe as being on life support, ahead of next week’s informal EU summit in Salzburg. But Mr Juncker also lavished praise on Britain as a crucial partner that “will never be an ordinary third country for us”. He said Brussels agreed that the UK should pursue an ambitious “free trade area” with the EU in the form of a Canada-style deal. The Commission boss also called for a “creative solution” to the Irish border to accompany a free trade agreement. – The Sun

> On BrexitCentral today:

> WATCH on BrexitCentral’s YouTube channel: Jean-Claude Juncker on Brexit in his 2018 State of the Union

‘The EU could disintegrate’ – Greek Prime Minister delivers warning to Brussels

Mr Tsipras was responding to the annual ‘state of the union’ address by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. He argued: “During the financial crisis the EU, instead of becoming more democratic, became more technocratic. “Decisions were taken behind closed doors in informal meets without a possibility of being responsible towards the citizens.” As a result he warned the European Union could collapse in the face of pressure from populist and far-right forces. He said: “In many crucial countries for the EU project the balance is becoming dangerous and this could lead to European disintegration. – Express

May to toughen up immigration rules to counter Tory rebellion…

Theresa May wants to announce strict immigration controls at the Tory party conference to reassure Brexiteers and steady her leadership in the face of open revolt. Downing Street has summoned the cabinet to a special meeting on September 24, less than a week before the party gathers in Birmingham. Immigration is expected to feature during that meeting and cabinet ministers have been promised a discussion on immigration before the conference, sources told The Times. Mrs May is expected to force ministers to sign up to a tough post-Brexit system with the help of Sajid Javid, the home secretary. – The Times (£)

…as Labour vow to scrap the immigration cap to make it easier and cheaper for migrants to enter Brexit Britain

This would allow unlimited numbers of overseas workers into Britain – from care workers to scientists – if there are skills shortages. Migrants will also be offered “residency and accelerated citizenship” and the promise of an end to “exorbitant” fees for visa applications. Ms Abbott insisted Labour would want businesses to advertise jobs locally first – and businesses to train up Brits. But campaigners last night warned the proposals were a “kick in the teeth” for Labour’s traditional working class support. – The Sun

Labour to debate a second Brexit referendum at conference amid party split

Jeremy Corbyn will face pressure to endorse a second Brexit referendum from Labour activists who are set to force an emergency debate on the issue at the party conference. The Labour leadership has not ruled out supporting a public vote on Theresa May’s eventual Brexit deal, although many of its MPs oppose the move. However, backing for a referendum has grown rapidly among party members and dozens of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) have called for a debate on the subject at the conference in Liverpool. CLPs vote for “contemporary motions” to be discussed at conference and the four most popular choices are selected. – i News

Michael Gove’s post-Brexit reforms could see horsemeat reappear in the British food chain, claim farmers

Michael Gove’s reforms to agricultural subsidies risks seeing the return of horsemeat into the food chain, head of the farmers’ union says today. Minette Batters, the president of the National Farmers’ Union, warned that encouraging cheaper food imports could see horsemeat  mixed into meat supplies by overseas suppliers. Under a new Agriculture Bill published on Wednesday, farmers will be paid for “public goods” such as curbing flooding and improving access to the countryside after Brexit. The current system of subsidies paid for the amount of land being farmed will be phased out over a seven-year period between 2021 and 2027. – Telegraph (£)

> LISTEN on BrexitCentral’s YouTube channel: Michael Gove discusses the new Agriculture Bill

Theresa May challenges SNP to heed Scottish farmers and back Chequers

Theresa May has challenged the SNP to heed farmers and back her Chequers blueprint as the Scottish Government faced questions over its plans for post-Brexit agriculture. The Prime Minister told Ian Blackford, the Nationalists’ Westminster leader, that he should start listening to the views of NFU Scotland over Brexit. She was speaking after Jonnie Hall, NFU Scotland’s director of policy, pleaded with her opponents to “get your shoulder to the wheel” and back her Chequers plan. He warned the alternative was a no deal Brexit, which he said would be “highly damaging” thanks to the imposition of tariffs and customs delays for perishable food. – Telegraph (£)

Labour peers seek to send ‘hard Brexit’ amendments back to Commons

Angela Smith, Labour’s leader in the Lords, hopes to use an audacious parliamentary manoeuvre to offer MPs the chance to strike out controversial amendments on the Irish backstop and the customs union, forced through by hardline Brexiters in July. Day-to-day effects of no-deal Brexit stressed in new impact papers. The taxation (cross-border trade) bill, was amended at the behest of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group (ERG) to outlaw a customs border in the Irish Sea, and force the government to legislate before it could join a customs union, among other issues. As the legislation passes through the Lords, peers are unable to amend it, because it has been designated an “aids and supply bill”. – Guardian

Dominic Raab: Britain need not be afraid of a no-deal Brexit – we stand ready to rise to the challenges ahead

On Friday, I look forward to continuing negotiations with Michel Barnier. We want a good deal that benefits the UK and EU. It remains our overriding priority, but it will require our EU friends to match the ambition and pragmatism we have demonstrated. If that doesn’t happen, regrettable and unlikely as it may be, the UK will manage the challenges of “no deal” so that we make a success of Brexit. On Thursday, the Cabinet will review the Government’s no-deal contingency plans, after two years of work. The legislative foundations are already being laid to ensure a smooth legal transition. Extra staff have been hired across Whitehall and agencies such as the UK Border Force. – Dominic Raab MP for the Telegraph (£)

Nick Timothy: A conspiracy of silence surrounds the true threat to Brexit

For all yesterday’s fevered talk about a plot to depose the Prime Minister, an attempted coup would be disastrous for the Brexiteers whose idea it was. The European Research Group (ERG) has enough MPs to trigger a vote of confidence in Theresa May, but not enough to win the vote. And if they lose the vote, they will strengthen her position: the Conservative Party constitution forbids a re-run within 12 months, so a botched coup would insulate the PM from challenge until Brexit and beyond. – Nick Timothy for the Telegraph (£)

The Sun Says: Tories must stop trying to oust Theresa May – toppling her would be madness

No new leader could change the fact this Government has no majority. A committed Brexiteer as PM won’t persuade Tory Remainers to vote for no-deal, or any deal they perceive to be too hard. Labour will oppose anything. And the Tory right cannot even yet agree on an alternative to Mrs May’s Chequers offer. We have grave doubts about ­Chequers. So does the EU. It doesn’t look a goer. – The Sun Says

  • Brexiteers call for end to leadership challenge talk as splits open among eurosceptic Tories – Independent

Nick Boles: So you don’t like Chequers. In which case, you need a workable alternative. Here’s mine. What’s yours?

There are only 28 weeks left before we leave the European Union (EU). In all of my conversations with MPs since I published my plan for a Better Brexit, this fact has been uppermost in everyone’s mind. As my colleagues contemplate the prospect of a parliamentary vote on whatever deal the Prime Minister agrees with the EU, they recognise that there is very little time left. The Government knows this too and are using it to try and persuade MPs who have serious reservations about the Chequers Agreement or the Irish backstop to hold their noses and vote for the Withdrawal Agreement when the time comes. The steady drumbeat of announcements about the consequences of crashing out of the EU without a deal is designed to frighten MPs about the consequences of voting down the Prime Minister’s plan. They are right to be worried. We are woefully unprepared for “no deal” and the voters will never forgive us for inflicting major disruption on the country, and serious harm to British businesses, if we allow it to happen. After all, we have had over two years to prepare for this day and there really is no excuse for not being ready for it. – Nick Boles MP for ConservativeHome

Yorkshire Post: Voters expect Theresa May, and the Tories, to deliver Brexit

Theresa May was always signing up for the political equivalent of Mission: Impossible when she became Prime Minister and then lost her Commons majority in a snap election. It explains why, at a time of record employment, that she’s facing increasing pressure from her own party to resign. Yet, judging by the combative exchanges at Prime Minister’s Questions when Mrs May used every opportunity to speak about the economy, rather than Europe, the Tory leader continues to show more resilience than many in her mutinous party. For, while backbench MPs plot Mrs May’s downfall, she’s trying to get to grips with the small matter of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union in a way that does not put jobs, or living standards, at unnecessary risk.The Yorkshire Post Says

Andrew Pierce: One by one, traitors put the knife into Theresa

The private weekly meeting of the arch-Brexiteers’ European Reform Group usually struggles to attract more than 25 MPs and peers. But Tuesday night was different – it was crowded to the rafters. It was not because everyone had suddenly demanded more detailed discussions on the latest stage of the Government’s complex Brexit negotiations. The reason was that the group had been told in advance to arrive early and in strength, because a BBC camera crew would be filming the first part of the proceedings for a TV documentary on our departure from the EU. One MP said: ‘I looked around and saw people who hadn’t been at an ERG meeting for weeks. Some of my colleagues will do anything to be on the TV.’ – Andrew Pierce for the Daily Mail

Brexit in Brief

  • There are other options to Chequers – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Why the gloom? We’ve really never had it so good – Leo McKinstry for the Express
  • Now the unions back a Final Say referendum, how much longer can Jeremy Corbyn hold out? – Andrew Grice for the Independent
  • Spain says Brexit deal won’t be held up by disputes on Gibraltar – Bloomberg
  • Brexit will force members to ‘increase’ funds, warns Romanian president – Express
  • European Parliament votes for controversial copyright rules – City A.M.

And finally… Wetherspoons bans Jagerbombs as Brexiteer boss axes European booze from his pubs

Boss Tim Martin, a passionate Brexit campaigner, said he wants to show the “sunlit uplands” that await Britain once we’ve quit the EU. Wetherspoon has already announced it won’t sell Champagne and prosecco in future. Today the company added three more drinks to the list of those expelled from its pubs. Jagermeister, commonly mixed with energy drinks to form a Jagerbomb, is being replaced by English herbal liqueur Strika. Courvoisier and Hennessy, two of the most popular types of brandy, will be supplanted by E&J Brandy from the US and Australian brand Black Bottle. The firm says the switch will lead to lower prices for drinkers. Mr Martin said today: “The three new products will be offered at a lower price than those they are replacing. – The Sun