Two Tory Vice Chairs quit in protest at May's policy: Brexit News for Wednesday 11 July

Two Tory Vice Chairs quit in protest at May's policy: Brexit News for Wednesday 11 July
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Theresa May has one week to tear up her Chequers plan, say her eurosceptic backbenchers…

Theresa May is facing a relentless ‘guerrilla war’ to make her drop her Brexit blueprint. Two senior Tories yesterday became the latest to quit, telling the Prime Minister her Chequers plan would damage their party and Britain.A ringleader of the Eurosceptic revolt warned of a resignation every day until Parliament goes into recess in a fortnight. Mrs May has been given a one-week ultimatum to conceive a new plan or else face a no-confidence vote, The Daily Telegraph reported.The group threatening the prime minister said it has 48 MPs prepared to write to the 1922 Committee, thereby triggering a ballot on Mrs May’s leadership. – Daily Mail

…after two Tory Vice Chairs quit in protest at the policy…

Two Conservative MPs have resigned party roles in opposition to Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit policy. Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley resigned as vice chairs of the Conservative Party saying that their seats will be lost and Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister unless the party delivers Brexit. Ben Bradley, who voted Remain, represents the constituency of Mansfield which voted over 70% Leave. Maria Caulfield, a Brexiteer, represents the constituency of Lewes which voted Remain. Both represent marginal seats. Ben Bradley’s seat had previously voted Labour for a century and Maria Caulfield’s had been represented by the Liberal Democrats. Both say their seats will be lost unless the party delivers Brexit. – BrexitCentral

  • Theresa May warned her Brexit plan will lead to ‘Prime Minister Corbyn’ as as two Tory vice-chairmen quit – Telegraph (£)

…and a backbencher warns the party is “screwed” if May doesn’t back down…

The Conservative MP for Aberdeen South, Ross Thomson, says the Conservatives would be “screwed” going into a general election and MPs in marginal seats would lose their seats if Theresa May doesn’t back down on her current Brexit proposals. Speaking on the BrexitCentral podcast, he attacked the Chequers plan as being “in the Customs Union in all but name, in the Single Market in all but name, and essentially still under the jurisdiction of the ECJ.” The Brexiteer said the fact that 60 Tory MPs were unhappy should be “sending a red warning light to the government” and he failed to deny the idea that backbench Conservative eurosceptics could block government legislation that was unconnected to Brexit if the Prime Minister did not change course. – BrexitCentral

…yet the White Paper based on the Chequers offer is still to be published tomorrow…

The Brexit white paper will still be published on Thursday despite concerns David Davis and Boris Johnson’s resignations would thwart the timetable. A Number 10 spokeswoman confirmed to Sky News the white paper setting out the UK’s future relationship with the EU would be published as planned. There was concern on Monday night that the plan’s delivery to the EU would be delayed after the Brexit secretary Mr Davis and foreign secretary Mr Johnson resigned. Despite a “collective agreement” on the plan at Chequers last Friday the pair said they could not back the proposals, specifically the plan for a common rulebook for industrial goods and agricultural products.- Sky News

…despite the fact that a tiny band of Tory rebels would be enough to sink an agreement

Theresa May risks failing to get a Brexit agreement with the EU through the Commons  because of Brexiteer anger at the Chequers deal, cabinet ministers have warned. As few as six Tory MPs voting against Mrs May’s final deal would defeat it in the autumn, assuming that the DUP voted with the government but the opposition is united in rejecting it. One cabinet minister told The Times: “I think that the Chequers compromise is going to be voted down in the Commons. I can’t see how Labour don’t reject it outright. I think there’s quite a good chance nobody gets what they want and it’s not clear where that leaves us. – The Times (£)

  • May can only get Chequers deal through Parliament with Labour MPs’ support, says ex-Brexit minister – Telegraph (£)

Prepare for a no deal Brexit: May orders ministers to step up plans for EU talks collapse

At the first gathering of her Cabinet since her forced reshuffle, the Prime Minister today told her team every Whitehall department must be ready in case negotiations with Brussels collapse. Her message was seen as a challenge to EU chiefs to respond positively to her new Brexit plan or she will walk out of the talks without a departure deal, cancelling the UK’s expected £40billion exit payment. Brexit-backing Tories welcomed Mrs May’s warning to Brussels. Former minister David Jones said: “It’s very good news that preparations are being speeded up for a no deal scenario.” – Express

Boris Johnson planning to make resignation speech to the Commons on Monday

Boris stormed out of the Cabinet on Monday, saying his Brexit dream was “dying” and warning that the PM’s Chequers blueprint would leave the UK a “colony” of the EU. The Sun can reveal that BoJo will take up his right as a departing Cabinet minister to deliver a potentially devastating resignation speech to the House of Commons on Monday. Boris has told friends he feels “stung” by his former Cabinet colleagues’ criticisms of him that he has no alternative plan for Brexit. He will use the high profile opportunity to paint an alternative “uplifting” vision to the PM’s of a fully independent Britain striding the world stage.  – The Sun

Dominic Raab given thumbs up by business groups in first Brexit secretary meeting

Dominic Raab has been given a tentative thumbs up by business groups after the new Brexit secretary stuck to a meeting this morning, which had been scheduled under his predecessor David Davis. Business groups including the British Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, Confederation of British Industry and manufacturers group EEF were among those who met with the new secretary of state this morning, less than 24 hours after he had been parachuted into the job. – City A.M.

Donald Trump says UK is in ‘turmoil’ on eve of visit

Donald Trump has said the UK is in “turmoil” and suggested his meeting with Vladimir Putin may be “the easiest” out of a list of coming engagements, which will kick off with the Nato summit tomorrow. Speaking to journalists in front of the White House before getting onto Marine One, his official helicopter, en route to Belgium for the summit, the US President said he hoped to meet the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson – who is “a friend of mine”, adding the UK “certainly have a lot of things going on”.  – City A.M.

  • How the world reacted to PM’s Brexit crisis – Sky News

Merkel says she’ll approach Brexit talks in ‘the spirit of friendship’

German chancellor Angela Merkel has offered Theresa May a brief moment on respite in a tough week for the Prime Minister after delivering a positive message about the UK’s future after Brexit. At a press conference with the Prime Minister earlier today, Merkel vowed to approach May’s Brexit plan in “the spirit of friendship”. “We are looking forward to interesting discussions, but we will also have these discussions inspired by the spirit of friendship and the wish to have good relations in the future,” she said. – City A.M.

  • Theresa May laughs along with Angela Merkel as she meets German chancellor 24 hours after Brexit chaos resignations – The Sun

Sajid Javid confirms no automatic rights for EU citizens to work in UK post-Brexit

Home secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed there will be no “automatic right” for EU citizens to work in the UK after Brexit, potentially ramping up tensions between him and Cabinet colleagues. Speaking to the Home Affairs Committee this morning, Javid declined to comment on whether highly-skilled workers would be able to look for a job in the UK without the need for a visa or whether businesses would require a visa for each EU worker they employ.This would be covered in the immigration white paper, due out in the autumn, after the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s report is published in September, Javid said. – City A.M.

Airbus boss tells the EU to be pragmatic

The boss of Airbus has called on the European Union to be “pragmatic and fair” in response to the UK Government’s softer approach to Brexit agreed at Chequers last week. According to a tweet posted by France-based Airbus, chief executive Tom Enders said at a German Chamber of Commerce event in London: “The Chequers statement appears to show that HM Government are going in the right direction. We are not shy to request that Brussels and our other home countries are similarly pragmatic and fair. – Telegraph (£)

  • Plane giant Airbus calls on Brussels to scrap hardline Brexit approach and accept Theresa May’s Chequers plan – The Sun

Christopher Howse: Is Theresa May guilty of treason? Plenty of readers think so

Not since the summer of the MPs’ expenses scandal in 2009 has such an angry invasion force taken the Letters page by storm. For anger has indeed been their main propellant. The anger arose mainly from a feeling of betrayal: that in the referendum the majority had voted for Brexit, but the Chequers plan did not add up to Brexit The anger arose mainly from a feeling of betrayal: that in the referendum the majority had voted for Brexit, but the Chequers plan did not add up to Brexit.“No Brexit. No democracy. No confidence,” ran one short letter from Derbyshire, like the lyrics of a Seventies punk single. – Christopher Howse for The Telegraph (£)

John Redwood: “No Deal”, the WTO global trading option, is the benchmark to beat for leaving the EU

The one good thing to come out of the Chequers meeting was confirmation that the government will speed and complete its preparations for leaving the EU without a deal. The government says it does not want to have to do that, but it needs to do it in case that it is the outcome to the slow and unhelpful talks. It is also important to put some weight behind the UK’s bargaining position. Only if the government is prepared to exercise the No Deal option does the UK have clout. We should expect to see and hear more of the successful preparations in the days ahead. No Deal delivers most of what Brexit voters want. – John Redwood’s Diary

Brian Monteith: Number 10 Downing Street is no place for a Brexit betrayer

The UK government and parliament are fast approaching another of those thankfully rare historical episodes that are either nation-affirming or hugely humiliating. Will we witness our salvation of 1940, or our Suez of 1956? It is being brought to us courtesy of a Prime Minister doing her utmost to become possibly the worst leader to enter the doors of Number 10 Downing Street – and that’s against some fairly stiff competition since Sir Robert Walpole first occupied it in 1735. – Brian Monteith for City A.M.

Katy Balls: President Trump says UK is in turmoil, Boris is my friend

Theresa May’s bad week just got worse. After two Cabinet Brexiteers – David Davis and Boris Johnson – resigned on Monday, the Prime Minister attempted today to suggest it was business as usual tweeting of a ‘productive Cabinet meeting this morning – looking ahead to a busy week’. However, right on cue, President Trump has arrived on the scene to enter some drama. Ahead of the US president’s working visit on Friday, Trump has been commenting on the UK political situation which, by the way, is in ‘turmoil’. The part that will particularly concern No 10 is not Trump suggesting his trip to Helsinki to see Putin will be easier than the UK one.- Katy Balls for The Spectator

Ross Clark: Only a second referendum can save us from Jeremy Corbyn

It would be easy to dismiss the Independent Commission on Referendums as a branch of the lobby trying to overturn the Brexit result – even if it does contain a token Leave campaigner, Gisela Stuart. Its pretentious title could easily lead people to mistake it for an official, government-sanctioned inquiry rather than a unsolicited piece of work by academics at the Constitution Unit, UCL. It is utterly certain that the commission would not have been set up had the Remain side won the day two years ago.- Ross Clark for The Spectator

Brexit in Brief

  • This has just got a lot bigger than Brexit – Michael St George for ConservativeWoman
  • The Tory party’s Brexit betrayal is suicidal – Gerald Warner for Reaction
  • No, there won’t be any political bounce from English success at the World Cup – James Frayne for ConservativeHome
  • The Prime Minister has made her choice and now we must get on with it – Mark Fox for Reaction
  • Chequers. A trap for the Left  – Richard Tuck for Briefings for Brexit
  • How Jeremy Hunt can breathe life into Britain’s global aspirations – Bob Seely for CapX
  • Like Hague, I voted Remain. But he is wrong to condemn Johnson, Davis and Rees-Mogg – Andrew Gimson for ConservativeHome
  • The EU’s weak base in technology by a former CEO of a major company – Briefings for Brexit
  • My view of May’s new Brexit plan? It’s just about better than No Deal. But this far – and no further. – Daniel Hannan MEP for ConservativeHome
  • Evan Davis taken to task over Brexit bias – Steerpike for The Spectator
  • Boris Johnson’s 11 most florid phrases as he resigns over Brexit plan – Telegraph (£)
  • Views from Kent Leave-supporting town on UK Brexit plan – BBC News
  • Emergency Brexitcast – BBC News
  • Ministers draw up secret plans to stockpile processed food in case of a ‘no deal’ Brexit – The Sun
  • Labour threatens to back a second referendum if Parliament can’t agree on Brexit – The Sun
  • Tory MPs scrap over World Cup semi-final – Steerpike for The Spectator