Most voters in Tory marginals believe the Chequers plan is 'bad for Britain': Brexit News for Tuesday 4 September

Most voters in Tory marginals believe the Chequers plan is 'bad for Britain': Brexit News for Tuesday 4 September
Sign up here to receive the daily news briefing in your inbox every morning with exclusive insight from the BrexitCentral team

Most voters in Tory marginals believe the Chequers plan is ‘bad for Britain’…

The majority of voters in the Conservatives’ most marginal constituencies believe Theresa May’s Chequers plan is “bad for Britain”, a new poll has found as critics warned it is now more hated than the poll tax. A survey of 22,000 voters in the Conservatives’ 44 most marginal seats found that three-quarters of people are “dissatisfied” with the Government’s handling of Brexit negotiations. Over half of those polled believe the policy is “bad” for Britain, while just 21 per cent believe it is “good”. The poll found that Brexit is considered more important in the marginal constituencies than the NHS and the economy. – Telegraph (£)

> Ewen Stewart on BrexitCentral today: Conservatives beware – the Chequers plan would sweep the party out of power

…as critics say it is more hated than the poll tax…

Theresa May’s Chequers blueprint for Brexit was attacked by both sides of her party yesterday with one former cabinet minister warning that it was “more unpopular than the poll tax”. Before parliament’s return from the summer recess today, Justine Greening, the pro-European MP who was education secretary until the start of the year, said that the plan agreed by cabinet was “dead” and must be dropped quickly by the government. – The Times (£)

…but Downing Street vows to press ahead with Chequers plan and slaps down Boris Johnson

Theresa May has vowed to take on Eurosceptic Conservative MPs as they try to derail her Brexit strategy, in a political struggle that could determine Britain’s future in Europe and her position as prime minister. Mrs May convenes her first cabinet on Tuesday since the summer break, after insisting that she is providing the “serious leadership and serious plan” needed to secure a smooth Brexit next March. Mrs May’s so-called Chequers compromise plan, which would keep Britain tied to EU rules for goods and agriculture after Brexit, has been heavily criticised from all sides, but the prime minister is convinced it must form the basis for a deal with the bloc. On Monday, she authorised her spokesman to criticise Mr Johnson, saying that his latest attack on the prime minister’s Brexit strategy, in his weekly column for the Daily Telegraph, contained “no new ideas”. In an attempt by Downing Street to suggest that, unlike Mr Johnson, Mrs May had the gravitas to deliver Brexit, her spokesman added: “She is a serious prime minister and she has put forward serious proposals.” – FT (£)

Eurosceptics agree more with Michel Barnier on Brexit than Theresa May, says Jacob Rees-Mogg

British Eurosceptics agree more with Michel Barnier when it comes to Brexit than they do with Theresa May and her government, Jacob Rees-Mogg said after meeting the EU’s chief negotiator in Brussels for the first time. Mr Rees-Mogg, the influential leader of a group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs, attacked Mrs May’s Chequers plan on Monday, which was earlier strongly criticised by Boris Johnson, her former foreign secretary. He was in the Belgian capital as part of the House of Commons Brexit Committee. “Mr Barnier is, as you would expect, extraordinarily charming,” said Mr Rees-Mogg after meeting with Mr Barnier. – Telegraph (£)

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg says Brexiteers have more in common with Michel Barnier than Theresa May – The Sun

Bank of England boss Mark Carney urged to stay and oversee a smooth Brexit…

Bank of England boss Mark Carney is being urged to stay in his job to help oversee a smooth Brexit. The Canadian financier is due to quit next June as the head of UK’s central bank – just weeks after the UK leaves the EU. But it has emerged the Treasury have held discussions about extending his contract by another year to avoid a newcomer taking over the helm during the aftermath of our historic exit. Mr Carney was originally hired in 2013 on a five year term but in the wake the EU referendum agreed to stay until mid 2019. Now Tory MPs are calling for Mr Carney to stay in post until 2020, to protect the stability of the economy. George Freeman said: “We need a Brexit that doesn’t damage business confidence, investment and jobs.” – The Sun

…although Downing Street says the Governor is still set to leave the Bank in 2019

Mark Carney is still on track to leave the Bank of England in 2019 according to the Prime Minister’s spokesperson, in spite of reports he may be considering an extension to his time as governor in Threadneedle Street. Carney is currently set to lead the Bank until the end of June 2019, three months after the UK leaves the EU, but 10 Downing Street today appeared to overrule the Treasury after reports it was considering offering a longer term in office. “The governor said he intends to step down in June 2019,” the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said, adding that Carney’s successor will be announced by the Treasury “in due course”. Carney will be scrutinised tomorrow on his plans by MPs on the Treasury Select Committee. The Financial Times reported that people close to the governor say he would be willing to extend his term. – City A.M.

  • Carney’s chance to quell speculation on future comes in grilling – Bloomberg

New Irish party calls for Ireland to leave EU

The Irexit Freedom party, which is set to be launched in Dublin next Saturday, wants Ireland to “take back control” from Brussels. The party, which plans to run candidates in next year’s European Parliament elections and the 2021 Irish general election. The group’s spokesman Hermann Kelly is a close ally of former Ukip leader and Brexit figurehead Nigel Farage. Mr Kelly praised British voters for voting to “take back control of their money, their law and their borders” in the Brexit referendum. And he accused Brussels bureaucrats of failing to stand up for the interests of Irish people. – Express

Nick Timothy: Theresa May’s in danger of a non-Brexit Brexit with her Chequers plan — and the lady’s not for learning

Two months ago, the Prime Minister shattered what was left of Conservative Party unity when she produced her plan for Brexit at Chequers. Having said Britain will take back control of our laws, money and borders, and strike our own trade deals around the world, she erased her red lines. At Chequers, she said Britain would follow certain EU laws, accept rulings of the European Court of Justice and adopt a customs policy that casts doubt on our ability to agree trade deals with other countries. Her Brexit Secretary, David Davis, and her Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, resigned in protest, and since then Westminster has waited anxiously to see what happens next. In the coming weeks and months, we will find out. – Nick Timothy for The Sun

Justine Greening: Theresa May is like King Canute – the tide has already come in on Chequers

Like many of my colleagues in Parliament, I wanted the Prime Minister to deliver on a good deal on Brexit. I wanted the Cabinet’s Chequer Agreement to be a success. However, the Chequers proposal is far from that. It’s now an unpopular, undeliverable mess that neither people nor Parliament will accept. The Chequers proposal, even before it’s negotiation with the EU concludes, is now less popular with the public than the poll tax. Public polling on the Chequers deal runs at just 14 per cent public support. Even the poll tax had 19 per cent support at the height of its unpopularity in March 1990. – Justine Greening MP for the Telegraph

The Sun Says: Theresa May’s Chequers plan looks less and less like a ‘plan’ every day with ministers reportedly calling it a dud

We have reluctantly said before that this offer to the EU, as over-generous as it is, seemed the only viable Brexit option capable of winning Commons approval. But it has been unambiguously trashed by Brussels, is loathed by many Remain MPs and most Brexiteers. When Jacob Rees-Mogg met Michel Barnier yesterday, both reportedly agreed it was a dud. Its chances of approval anywhere look negligible. If Mrs May softens it further for the EU she’s toast. If she hardens it for Brexiteers, it’s even less likely to fly. Whatever Downing Street says, it’s not a plan if it has no possibility of proceeding. And if it’s a non-starter, isn’t it time to accept it and focus on a more basic free trade deal? Even if it means a small amount of disruption at the Irish border? – The Sun

Express: We must be united and take the fight to the EU

The Prime Minister’s Chequers deal is more unpopular than the poll tax, snipes former education secretary and Remainer Justine Greening. Mrs May’s plan means “going into battle with the white flag fluttering”, says former foreign secretary Boris Johnson – begging the question of whether he is set to launch a leadership challenge. There are “no new ideas” in Boris’s latest pronouncements, Number 10 hits back. None of this name-calling is helpful to the national cause. While our politicians fight among themselves they leave an open goal for EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier to shoot into and this is a man who takes every concession from the UK as an invitation to demand yet more. – Express

Christian May: If Chequers is dead, a new battle looms: European Economic Area or Free Trade Agreement?

A stained glass window carries an inscription offering “this house of peace…as a place of rest and recreation” for Prime Ministers. Despite this noble intention, it’s hard to imagine that Theresa May associates it with peace or recreation, since her preferred Brexit plan, named of the country pile where she presented it to her cabinet, is in urgent need of some political life support and could very well precipitate the collapse of her premiership. Things went wrong from the minute she unveiled the plan. Despite seeming to have secured cabinet agreement, David Davis was the first to go – followed by his junior minister and then the Foreign Secretary. The Chequers proposal, according to the former Brexit secretary, would be “worse than staying in the EU.” – Christian May for City A.M.

Stephen Pollard: Can the Chief Whip deliver victory in this Brexit chaos?

The Brexit legislation has been passed and the date of our departure set. But we haven’t yet got a clue what our relationship with the EU will be on March 30 next year – the day after we are due to leave. Indeed it’s tempting fate to say for certain that we will leave because there are still Remainers in the Commons who are doing everything they can to overturn the result of the referendum. They don’t put it like that of course. They say they want a so-called People’s Vote on the terms of any deal agreed with the EU. But put it this way: they don’t want another vote so they can entrench Brexit. The most important factor in all of this is the EU. To reach a satisfactory deal the EU needs to be ready for a genuine negotiation. But whatever happens in Brussels there’s another vital factor: Westminster. Whatever deal is done – or not – it needs to pass through the House of Commons to come into effect. – Stephen Pollard for the Express

Charlie Cooper: Only Ireland matters in final Brexit exam

A new school term of Brexit talks has begun, but there’s only one exam question that matters: the Irish border. A handful of tricky issues remain in the 20 percent of the withdrawal deal text yet to be agreed between London and Brussels — the EU’s luxury food names and the mechanism for settling future disputes, to name two — but at this late state, it is highly unlikely anything other than the Irish question could break the U.K.-EU withdrawal negotiation. – Charlie Cooper for Politico

Brexit in Brief

  • Ignore the Silly Season stories; Britain will prosper with or without a Brexit deal – John Longworth for Huffington Post
  • UK business will thrive without EU red tape – Luke Watson of Get Britain Out for The Commentator
  • Britain is sliding into chaos – because our politicians have forgotten how to compromise – Lord Hague for the Telegraph
  • The EEA is a much more attractive option than Chequers, the ‘implementation period’, or No Deal – George Trefgarne for ConservativeHome
  • Emmanuel Macron holds Britain’s Brexit fate in his hands – Jonathan Miller for The Spectator
  • Chequers explained: the EU is just offering a costly Withdrawal Agreement for now. – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Britain’s best hope: A federal EU – Andrew Duff for Politico
  • Brexit puts Dechra in dog house – The Times (£)
  • EU Parliament aims to endorse any deal just two weeks before Brexit day – Reuters
  • ‘The Army is on alert’ – Gina Miller warns no-deal Brexit is ‘recipe for disaster’ – Express
  • Remainers’ dodgy united Ireland pollGuido Fawkes
  • Sterling on the ropes as Brexit uncertainty to fore – The Herald
  • Brexit ‘bad boys’ Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore fail with fresh bid to join Tories – Sky News