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ANALYSIS: Nigel Farage’s humiliation may not deliver his intended result

1 day 2 hours ago
Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage has pledged not to stand Brexit Party candidates in Tory-held seats.

Take anything Nigel Farage tells you with a mountain of salt.

We know this because last week, he declared that the Brexit Party would stand candidates in every seat in England and Wales unless Boris Johnson dumped his Withdrawal Agreement.

And yet, despite the Prime Minister refusing to budge, Farage has now confirmed that the party he leads will not contest the 317 seats the Tories won in 2017.

Desperately trying to present this humiliating U-turn as a positive, Farage claimed that this magnanimous gesture guaranteed the death of the People's Vote dream.

"I think our action prevents a second referendum from happening and that to me is the single most important thing in our country," he told supporters in Hartlepool.

This is where that mountain of salt comes in.

Because if Farage was truly serious about helping to get Johnson back to Number 10, he would also be ordering his troops to stand aside in a swathe of Labour-heald seats which the Tories must win in order to get a majority.

Chris Curtis, YouGov's political research manager, said: "Whilst this will help them in the seats they currently hold, the Brexit Party will still be standing in the seats the Conservative Party hopes to gain from Labour in order to gain a majority.

"The most important swing to look at in the polls is the swing between Labour and the Conservatives. Despite a move away from two party politics since the last election, it is still the case that most marginal seats are Labour / Conservative battles and this is the most important dynamic in deciding who will be celebrating Christmas in 10 Downing Street.

"On current polling we have seen around a 4% swing from Labour to the Conservatives, which would mean the Tories gaining a large chunk of seats off Labour, potentially in places like Barrow and Furness, Great Grimsby, Workington, Bridgend, Gower, and Stoke-on-Trent Central, whilst Labour will win few, if any, seats from the Conservatives.

"Given this, Farage’s decision to stand aside in current Conservative-held seats and not in Labour-held seats that the Tories will be looking to gain will likely make very little difference."

By standing against the Tories in the above seats, the Brexit Party risks splitting the Leave vote, allowing Labour to come through the middle and denying Boris Johnson the majority he craves.

How ironic would it be if, having cashed in what was left of his political capital, Farage still ended up killing off the Brexit dream?

Kevin Schofield

British public more bothered about sorting Brexit than keeping Northern Ireland in the UK, poll finds

1 day 12 hours ago
Northern Ireland border
The future of the Northern Ireland border has been the subject of intense debate.

A majority of Britons would not mind if Northern Ireland left the UK so long as they got their preferred Brexit outcome, a new poll has found.

A fresh study by YouGov finds that four in ten mainland Brits (41%) say they "don't care very much or at all" about the fate of Northern Ireland, despite months of wrangling over its fate after the UK leaves the EU.

An identical figure of 41% meanwhile say they "wouldn’t be bothered if Northern Ireland left the UK", although a further 41% said they "would be upset if it broke away".

Given the choice, 58% of those asked said they would choose their preferred outcome on Brexit to Northern Ireland staying in the Union.

Just 18% of those polled chose Northern Ireland staying in the UK over their Brexit option.

The figures are similar regardless of where voters sit on the Leave-Remain divide.

More than half (58%) of 2016 Remain voters said they would rather have their way on Brexit than maintain the Union, while just under two-thirds (64%) of Leave voters said the same.

The figures come despite just one in seven Brits telling the polling firm that they had never met someone from Northern Ireland.

A major row over the fate of Northern Ireland has dominated Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union in recent months, with Boris Johnson staking his premiership on ditching the so-called 'backstop' arrangement negotiated by his predecessor Theresa May.

The pro-union DUP ditched its support for Mr Johnson after it warned that his renegotiated agreement would damage Northern Ireland's economy and "undermine the integrity of the Union".

YouGov spoke to 1,641 adults in Great Britain between October 23-24 for its survey.

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid agree 60-seat 'Remain alliance' election pact

5 days 12 hours ago
Jo Swinson
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said she was 'delighted' with the anti-Brexit arrangement.

The Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens have agreed to step aside for each other in 60 seats in a bid to boost the chances of pro-Remain candidates being elected.

The three parties have signed off on the tie-up, which covers 49 seats in England and 11 in Wales, after months of talks aimed at thrashing out an anti-Brexit pact.

The agreement was struck under the 'Unite to Remain' banner, led by outgoing Liberal Democrat MP Heidi Allen.

The former Conservative told The Guardian: "With a single Remain candidate in 60 seats we will return a greater number of Remain MPs to Parliament. This is our opportunity to tip the balance of power away from the two largest parties and into a progressive Remain alliance."

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said she was "delighted" that an agreement had been struck.

"We would like to thank Unite to Remain for making this possible," Ms Swinson added.

"This is a significant moment for all people who want to support Remain candidates across the country."

The Unite to Remain group will unveil details of the seats covered by the new tie-up at a press conference on Thursday.

The arrangement is modelled on the Brecon and Radnorhsire by-election, which saw both Plaid and the Greens step aside and Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds defeat the Conservatives.

 

SPONSORED CONTENT - A message from William Kedjanyi at Star Sports

“The confirmation that the Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid have agreed a pact of this scale is one of the biggest stories yet of this election. Whilst the effects on constituencies will be big, it also had the potential to change the national picture too. 

"The Lib Dems, as the biggest party in the pact, look likely to benefit and this enhances their chances of winning over 39.5 seats (so 40 in simple terms), a 5/6 (54.65%) chance with Star.

"It also has a big potential benefit for Plaid, who will get a run at seven Welsh seats, giving them a chance to beat their 2017 total of 4 seats. Star go evens (50%) that Plaid can win five seats or more and backers will be very pleased at this news.” 

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Matt Honeycombe-Foster

John Bercow: Brexit is 'biggest foreign policy mistake' since Second World War

6 days 4 hours ago
John Bercow
John Bercow made the comments just days after stepping down as Speaker

John Bercow has branded Brexit the "biggest foreign policy mistake" since the Second World War in an explosive intervention just days after stepping down as Speaker.

He said he thought it would be better for the UK to remain in the EU "power bloc".

The comments are likely to provoke fury from Conservative Brexiteers who repeatedly clashed with Mr Bercow in the Commons over his rulings, accusing him of giving pro-Remain MPs the opportunity to scupper Brexit.

In his first comments since quitting as Speaker and an MP, Mr Bercow told the Foreign Press Association:"I'm no longer the Speaker, so I don't have to remain impartial now. 

"But if you ask me, honestly, 'do I think that Brexit is good for our global standing?', my honest answer is 'no, I don't'. 

"I think that Brexit is the biggest foreign policy mistake in the post-war period. That is my honest view."

In comments first reported by La Repubblica, Mr Bercow added: "I respect Prime Minister Boris Johnson but Brexit doesn't help us. It's better to be part of the [EU] power bloc."

But the former Conservative MP hit back at suggestions he showed bias during his decade in the role, saying "it was Parliament" which was responsbile for the Brexit delay, "not me".

He added: “I respect the Prime Minister and he has the right to do what he did also in the House of Commons. 

"But my job was to stand up for the rights of the House of Commons. No apology for championing the rights of parliament.”

Mr Bercow's impartiality was repeatedly called in to question during the campaign to find his replacement, with his former deputy Eleanor Laing accusing him of "loading the dice" over Brexit.

Meanwhile, his successor Lindsay Hoyle pledged in his first speech as Speaker to "once again" make Parliament the "envy" of the world.

"We've got to make sure that tarnish is polished away," he told MPs.

"That the respect and tolerance that we expect from everyone who works in here will be shown and will keep that in order."

He added: "I want to hopefully show that the experience that I've shown previously will continue, as I promised I will be neutral, I will be transparent. 

"I think this House, we can do more to ensure that that transparency continues."

John Johnston

Jeremy Corbyn: Boris Johnson wants Brexit to deliver 'Thatcherism on steroids'

1 week ago
Margaret Thatcher
Mr Corbyn will also pledge that a Labour government would "get Brexit sorted" within six months

Boris Johnson wants to deliver Brexit so he can "unleash Thatcherism on steroids", according to Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour leader will use a major speech to claim that the Tories plan to sell off the NHS, slash workers' rights, reduce food standards and water down environmental protections after the UK leaves the EU.

He will claim that the moves are necessary in order to agree a free trade deal with Donald Trump's White House.

Mr Corbyn will also pledge that a Labour government would "get Brexit sorted" within six months of being elected by holding a second referendum with Remain on the ballot paper.

Speaking at an election campaign rally in Harlow, Essex, the Labour boss will say the Prime Minister "is trying to hijack Brexit to sell out our NHS and working people by stripping away their rights".

"Given the chance, they’ll run down our rights at work our entitlements to holidays, breaks and leave," Mr Corbyn will say.

"Given the chance, they’ll slash food standards to US levels where 'acceptable levels' of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.

"And given the chance, they’ll water down the rules on air pollution and our environment that keep us safe.

"They want a race to the bottom in standards and protections. They want to move us towards a more deregulated American model of how to run the economy.

"In the US, workers get just 10 days holiday a year, big business gets free rein to call the shots and tens of millions are denied healthcare.

"What Boris Johnson’s Conservatives want is to hijack Brexit to unleash Thatcherism on steroids.

"Margaret Thatcher’s attack on the working people of our country left scars that have never healed and communities that have never recovered. The Conservatives know they can’t win support for what they’re planning to do in the name of Thatcherism. So they’re trying to do it under the banner of Brexit instead."

Mr Corbyn will say that by contrast, a Labour government would negotiate a "sensible" Brexit deal which would maintain close economic and regulatory ties with the EU, which would then be put up against Remain in a new referendum.

"So if you want to leave the EU without trashing our economy or selling out our NHS you’ll be able to vote for it," he will say. "If you want to remain in the EU, you’ll be able to vote for that. Either way, only a Labour government will put the final decision in your hands.

"And we will immediately carry out your decision so Britain can get beyond Brexit."

'COME CLEAN'

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has demanded Mr Corbyn "come clean" about his Brexit plans ahead of the general election.

The Labour leader has said he would renegotiate the current deal within three months, with a fresh referendum on it three months later.

But in a letter to his rival, the Prime Minister said that "will result in years' more expensive delay and will prolong the divisions in our society".

He said: "I am clear about my Brexit policy  and how we will help this country move on – it is time for the Labour Party to be clear too. We cannot afford to spend 2020 fighting two more referendums offering the public more of the same confusion and indecision that have plagued the last three years."

Kevin Schofield

Jean-Claude Juncker accuses Boris Johnson of telling Brexit 'lies' in 2016 EU referendum

1 week 1 day ago
Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker
Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker has accused Boris Johnson of telling "so many lies" during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.

The outgoing European Commission president told Der Spiegel that politicians should have done more to "counter" untruths about the EU in the run-up to the vote for Brexit.

And he revealed that the Commission had decided not to wade into the fierce debate over Britain's future on the advice of the then-Prime Minister David Cameron.

"So many lies were told, including by current prime minister, Boris Johnson, that there needed to be a voice to counter them," he said.

The Brussels boss - who is soon to be succeeded by Ursula von der Leyen - also hit out at successive generations of British politicians, including his "friend" Tony Blair, for failing to talk up anything other than the economic benefits of EU membership.

"I have been involved in European politics since December 1982 and have seen time and again that the British have operated on the premise: We are only in the EU for economic reasons," he said.

"When it came to the political union, to moving closer together, they wanted nothing to do with the EU. That was even the case with my friend Tony Blair.

"If you stick to that narrative for over 40 years, it should not come as a surprise when people remember it during the referendum."

Mr Juncker also revealed that he had warned Mr Cameron - who campaigned to Remain in the EU - that he would lose the 2016 referendum.

The Brussels chief said: "When then-Prime Minister David Cameron told me on the sidelines of the 2014 G-20 summit in Brisbane that he really wanted to hold a Brexit referendum, I told him: 'You're going to lose it.'

"I made a bet with the European commissioner of British nationality at the time, Jonathan Hill: I get a pound from you if the Remainers lose, you get a euro if you win. I have that pound today."

The outgoing European Commission chief has had a stormy relationship with British leaders since he took on the job in 2014.

Mr Cameron staunchly opposed the appointment of Mr Juncker, a former prime minister of Luxembourg, to the top post arguing that he had been "at the heart of the project to increase the power of Brussels and reduce the power of nation states for his entire working life".

His successor as European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, was originally due to take up post on 1 November, but her appointment was delayed after the European Parliament rejected nominees in her top team.

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

Tory Eurosceptic Steve Baker tells Nigel Farage he risks 'throwing away Brexit' over election plan

1 week 1 day ago
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage (pictured) came under fire from European Research Group chairman Steve Baker.

Top Tory eurosceptic Steve Baker has warned Nigel Farage that he risks becoming "the man who threw away Brexit" over his opposition to Boris Johnson's EU deal.

The European Research Group chair said the former Ukip boss was wrong to stand hundreds of Brexit Party candidates in next month's election.

He said that increased the chances of a hung Parliament and could put Brexit at risk.

Mr Baker meanwhile described himself as "flabbergasted" by Mr Farage's decision not to mount an eighth bid to become an MP.

The Brexit Party leader has branded the Withdrawal Agreement the Prime Minister struck with the EU last month a "gigantic con", and insisted the UK should instead leave the bloc without a deal.

He has given Mr Johnson two weeks to abandon his deal or face a challenge from the Brexit Party in every seat in England, Wales and Scotland.

But Mr Baker told The Telegraph: "Whilst there are some compromises people like me have to swallow, Boris’s deal is a path to a great future.

"But we will not succeed if Nigel Farage creates a hung parliament by dogmatically pursuing purity."

He said Mr Farage risked "being the man who hands Boris a weak and indecisive Parliament" by splitting the pro-Leave vote on 12 December.

And he added: "Whatever Nigel’s motives, he risks being the man who threw away Brexit."

Mr Farage announced on Sunday that he would not stand for election in the upcoming poll, instead arguing that he would better "serve the cause" of leaving the EU by campaigning "across the United Kingdom" instead of being focused on one seat.

But Mr Baker said that if Mr Farage was "serious about getting us out of the EU he would stand for Parliament".

And he added: "I am flabbergasted he is not standing."

Jeremy Corbyn also took a swipe at Mr Farage over the confirmation he would not run for election.

The Labour leader said: "It’s a bit weird to lead a political party that is apparently contesting all or most of the seats up in the election and he himself is not offering himself for election.

"He’s obviously very comfortable on his MEP’s salary."

The attacks on Mr Farage come after he claimed that he had twice been offered a peerage by the Conservatives in an effort to get the Brexit Party to step aside in key seats.

The former Ukip leader has been urging the Tories to consider a pact with his party, but Boris Johnson has ruled out any form of electoral alliance with the fledgling party, which topped the European elections in May.

The Prime Minister on Sunday argued that a vote for the Brexit Party would make a Parliament featuring "a chaotic constellation of other parties" more likely.

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage confirms he will not mount eighth bid to become an MP

1 week 2 days ago
Nigel Farage
The Brexit Party leader said his time would be better spent campaigning across the country.

Nigel Farage has confirmed that he will not mount an eighth bid to become an MP in December's snap election.

The Brexit Party leader - who has previously hinted that he could stand for election - said he could better "serve the cause" of leaving the EU by campaigning "across the United Kingdom".

The MEP has failed to be elected to the Commons on seven separate occasions since the 1990s, most recently as Ukip leader in the 2015 poll.

He told LBC earlier this year that he was "going to have to" stand at the next election out of a sense of "duty".

But, speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday, Mr Farage said: "I've thought very hard about this: how do I serve the cause of Brexit best?

"Because that's what I'm doing this for, not for a career. I don't want to be in politics for the rest of my life. 

"Do I find a seat try and get myself into Parliament, or do I serve the cause better traversing the length and breadth of the United Kingdom supporting 600 candidates. And I've decided the latter course is the right one."

Asked to confirm he would not be standing in the 2019 election, Mr Farage said: "No. It's very difficult to do both. Very difficult to be in a constitutiency every day and at the same time be out across the United Kingdom."

The comments came after Mr Farage claimed that he had twice been offered a peerage by the Conservatives in an effort to get the Brexit Party to step aside in key seats.

The former Ukip leader has been urging the Tories to consider a pact with his party, this week giving Boris Johnson a two-week deadline to rip up his EU withdrawal agreement or face a challenge in every seat in England, Wales and Scotland.

"I've wanted for months for there to be a Leave alliance," he told Andrew Marr.

"It seems obvious to me that no one party can own Brexit voters. There are Tory Brexit voters. There are Brexit Party Brexit voters, and a lot of Labour Brexit voters.

And I always thought that to win an election, get a big majority so we can get a proper Brexit, a coming together would be the objective. I still hope and pray it happens but it doesn't look like it will."

Mr Johnson on Sunday again ruled out any form of electoral pact with Mr Farage's fledgling party, saying such a tie-up would not be "sensible" and would only serve to boost Labour.

"We’re proud of our beliefs, we’re proud of our One Nation Conservatism," he told Sky's Sophy Ridge.

"We know what we want to achieve and all I can say, respectfully, to the leaders of all other parties is, alas, the only likely consequence of voting for them rather than for us as Conservatives... is that you’re making it more likely that you will, thereby, get Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party and, sort of, a chaotic constellation of other Parties with, with nothing but dither and delay."

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

Boris Johnson rules out election pact with Nigel Farage as he defends his ‘proper Brexit’ deal

1 week 4 days ago
Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage
Boris Johnson has rejected Nigel Farage's offer of a "non-aggression pact"

Boris Johnson has ruled out a general election pact with Nigel Farage and insisted that his withdrawal agreement would deliver a “proper Brexit”.

The Prime Minister said his deal presents “exactly” what Britain voted for in 2016 following the Brexit Party leader’s barb that it amounted to a “sellout”.

The MEP insisted that his outfit would be prepared to stand down dozens of its candidates in Conservative target seats for the 12 December poll if Mr Johnson agreed to dump the deal.

Addressing the PM at his party's campaign launch, Mr Farage said: "Drop the deal. Drop the deal because it is not Brexit. Drop the deal because as these weeks go by and people discover what it is you've signed up to, they will not like it."

He added that he would back a "Leave alliance" if the PM pursued "a genuine free trade agreement" with the EU, and ditched the "continued jurisdiction of the ECJ".

But hitting back at the former Ukip chief, Mr Johnson told Sky News: "I've ruled out a pact with everybody because I don't think it's sensible to do that."

"We're proud of our beliefs, we're proud of our one nation conservatism."

In a separate interview with the BBC, he added on his deal: "It is a proper Brexit. It delivers exactly what we wanted, what I wanted, what I campaigned in 2016 to come out of the European Union."

"It takes back control of our money, our borders, our laws. It enables us to do proper all singing all dancing free trade deals around the world - but as one whole United Kingdom - so it's got everything that you could possibly want and... it is ready.”

When pressed on whether there were any circumstances under which he would work with Mr Farage, he responded: "I will be very, very clear that voting for any other party than this government, this Conservative government, this One Nation Conservative Government is basically tantamount to putting Jeremy Corbyn in… there are lots of reasons why I think that's a disaster - but on the Brexit front what it means is that suddenly you're back into a renegotiation."

The PM also refused to be drawn on Donald Trump’s suggestion that the withdrawal agreement could block a trade deal with the United States.

The President told Mr Farage on his LBC show that he was concerned about "certain aspects" of the deal and that Mr Johnson needed "to be very careful" so as not to rule out an agreement being struck.

Mr Johnson responded: "Well, I don't wish to comment on what he may or may not have... what I'm telling you is what everybody can see from the terms of the deal that we did, which is a great deal, not just for business and for families but it gives this country certainty, it means that if we can get it over line by, with this election, in the middle of January, then we'll have it done."

Nicholas Mairs

Antoinette Sandbach becomes latest Tory Brexit rebel to defect to the Liberal Democrats

1 week 4 days ago
Antoinette Sandbach
Antoinette Sandbach was first elected in 2015.

Antoinette Sandbach has become the latest Tory Brexit rebel to defect to the Liberal Democrats.

The Eddisbury MP surprised Westminster by announcing that she will contest the seat for her new party at next month's general election.

Ms Sandbach was one of the 21 Tories sacked by Boris Johnson in September for voting to stop a no-deal Brexit.

She joins Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston, Philip Lee and Sam Gymah as former Tory MPs who have jumped ship to the Lib Dems.

Former Labour MPs Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger and Angela Smith have also joined the party in recent months.

Announcing her decision on Thursday night, Ms Sandbach, who was first elected to the Commons in 2015, said: "This general election will be the most important in my lifetime. People have a very clear choice, the Conservative Party offers years of uncertainty whilst the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit.

"I’m so proud to stand alongside other Liberal Democrat candidates across the country to fight for a brighter future with Jo Swinson, our candidate to be Prime Minister.

"I will stand on my strong local record, helping to secure local investment, fighting for fair funding for our schools and to secure additional funding in local health services.

"Our country deserves so much better than Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. I can’t wait to get to work, win this election and then deliver for my constituents and our country."

Ms Swinson said she was "delighted to welcome Antoinette to the Liberal Democrats".

"She is a passionate campaigner, and will be a fantastic candidate at the general election and a great addition to our party," she said. "Her defection clearly shows that the Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of Remain and attracting support from right across the political spectrum.

"Antoinette is one of the millions of people who are tired of the two old parties, led by people who will take our country backwards, not forwards. It is only the Liberal Democrats that will stop Brexit and build the brighter future that our country deserves."

Ms Sandbach's defection means the Lib Dems now have 20 MPs, eight more than they managed to elect in 2017.

However, she faces an uphill task if she is to retain her seat for her new party.

At the laast general election, she won it with a majority of nearly 12,000 from Labour, with the Liberal Democrats a further 14,000 votes back in third place.

Kevin Schofield

Donald Trump warns Boris Johnson his Brexit agreement means he ‘can’t do’ trade deal with US

1 week 4 days ago
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump
Donald Trump backed Boris Johnson but criticised his Brexit deal.

Donald Trump has warned Boris Johnson his Brexit agreement could prevent the UK striking a free trade deal with America.

In a major blow for the Prime Minister, the US president said he was concerned about "certain aspects" of the accord struck with Brussels earlier this month.

Speaking to Nigel Farage on LBC, he also suggested that the Conservatives should agree an election pact with the Brexit Party.

And he mounted an outspoken attack on Jeremy Corbyn, who he said would be "so bad for your country" if he became PM.

Mr Johnson defied expectations two weeks ago by securing a new Brexit agreement after successfully removing the Irish backstop from the deal struck by his predecessor, Theresa May.

Giving his first assessment of the deal, President Trump said: "He’s in a very difficult position, and I think he’s doing what nobody else was willing to do.

“I also think he’s looking at the United States because we can do much more on trade.”

He added: “We want to do trade with UK, and they want to do trade with us.

“And to be honest with you under certain aspects of this deal, you can’t do it, you can’t trade.”

The president went on: “We can’t make a trade deal with the UK.

“I think we can do many times the numbers that we’re doing right now, and certainly much bigger numbers than you’re doing under the European Union.

“Boris wants to be very careful with that, because under certain ways we’re precluded, which would be ridiculous."

However, President Trump did dismiss Labour claims that American firms would be given access to the NHS under any UK-US trade deal.

He said: “Its not for us to have anything to do with your healthcare system. We’re just talking about trade.

"I don’t even know where that started. I think Corbyn put that out here, it was never even mentioned. I’d never even heard it until I came over."

Brexit Party officials have suggested an election deal with the Conservatives would help to deliver a comfortable Commons majority for Mr Johnson.

Although that has beenn repeatedly ruled out by the PM, the president suggested that any such agreement would have his support.

He told Mr Farage: "I have great relationships with many of the leaders, including Boris who's a fantastic man - I think he's the exact right guy for the times.

"I know that you and him will end up doing something that could be terrific - if you and he get together it's [an] unstoppable force.

"And Corbyn would be so bad for your country, he'd be so bad, he'd take you in such a bad way.

"He'd take you into such bad places. But your country has tremendous potential, it's a great country."

The Brexit Party is expected to give more details of its election strategy on Friday, amid speculation it could stand aside in hundreds of seats to give Tory candidates a better chance of winning.

Kevin Schofield

EXCL People's Vote campaign in crisis as Open Britain board call on Roland Rudd to quit

1 week 5 days ago
Roland Rudd
Roland Rudd (second from left) at the launch of the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign.

Roland Rudd has been urged to resign as chair of Open Britain by the pro-EU campaign group's own board, PoliticsHome can reveal.

The top advertising executive has been at the centre of a storm since sacking People's Vote chiefs James McGrory and Tom Baldwin.

Staff at the campaign for a second EU referendum have been in open revolt since Mr Rudd announced the pair's dismissal in an email on Sunday night.

Dozens have refused to turn up for work in the last two days, while they also passed a motion of no confidence in him and Patrick Heneghan, People's Vote's new chief executive, at a heated meeting on Tuesday.

Open Britain is one of five separate organisation's which makes up the People's Vote campaign.

Board members Peter Mandelson, Will Straw, Joe Carberry and Mr McGrory met on Wednesday morning and agreed a statement in which they said Mr Rudd's behaviour was "unforgivable" and demanded that he quit as chairman.

It said: "We are appalled by the recent actions of Roland Rudd as chair of Open Britain. The intimidation of staff, threatening letters, and sackings are totally unjustified given the extraordinary work that the People's Vote campaign and its staff has done over the last 18 months in galvanising significant public and parliamentary support for a public vote on Brexit. 

"Mr Rudd's timing, in the week that a general election is called, is unforgivable. He has plunged the campaign into crisis at precisely the moment when millions of supporters around the country were looking for leadership.

"He has treated hard working staff as pawns in his own power games. Ultimately, he has made Brexit more rather than less likely."

They said changes made to Open Britain's constitution by Mr Rudd meant decisions on the group's future now rest with a company called Baybridge 2019 Ltd, of which he is a director.

Calling for Mr McGrory and Mr Baldwin to be reinstated, the Open Britain board added: "We would also call on Roland Rudd to step down as Chair of both Open Britain Ltd and Baybridge 2019 Ltd with immediate effects as his position has become untenable."

People's Vote has been approached for comment.

Kevin Schofield

Brexit Party could step aside for Tories in hundreds of seats in major boost for Boris Johnson

1 week 5 days ago
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage said claims his party could field just 20 candidates were 'utter rot'.

The Brexit Party could step aside in hundreds of seats in what would be a huge election boost to Boris Johnson, it has emerged.

Senior figures in the anti-EU party, which topped the European elections earlier this year, say the party should field as few as 20 candidates to avoid splitting the Leave vote in key seats.

Brexit Party MEP John Longworth told The Times that it should focus on areas where it was likely to have the most impact, rather than contest hundreds of seats across the country.

"I think we ought to be targeted in terms of the number of seats that we decide to address,” he said.

"I can imagine that might be 20 or 30. They would be entirely winnable then if you poured all your resources into them. You probably would not get any more if you concentrated on the 600. But you would also get a better result for Brexit too."

The Telegraph and Financial Times meanwhile report that senior Brexit Party figures are split over whether to contest every seat or give a clear run to avowed Tory Eurosceptics.

Insiders are said to fear that the party could split the Leave vote in marginal seats, undermining the Conservative campaign and instead letting in pro-Remain Liberal Democrat or Labour MPs.

In a sign that its election strategy is still being thrashed out, prospective Brexit Party candidates were sent an email on Wednesday telling them to "go DARK on social media".

It added: "DO NOT respond to any questions about where we are standing, what the strategy or plan is from now. Things will be made clear very soon."

An announcement on the party's election strategy could come on Friday, but a source told PoliticsHome that suggestions they may stand aside to give Conservatives a clear run in hundreds of seats was "wild speculation".

Mr Farage, who is currently on a trip to Washington, told the Telegraph he was still "working through" his options but he dismissed claims the party would only field 20 candidates as "utter rot".

And he added: "I’ve said nothing about it to anybody and frankly there’s no rush.

“I’m working it through at the moment and will announce it in good time.”

But Arron Banks, who co-founded the Leave.EU campaign group with Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice, told The Guardian there is a "split view" in the party on how to proceed.

“What I was saying was, be strategic," he added. "Where it makes sense to stand, stand. Where it doesn’t, don’t."

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

Boris Johnson's Brexit deal worse for economy than Theresa May's, new analysis shows

1 week 6 days ago
Theresa May and Boris Johnson
Mrs May's agreement would have seen closer economic ties with the European Union after Brexit.

Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal will leave Britain's economy worse off than under Theresa May's agreement, according to a major economics think tank.

Analysis by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that Britain's economy will be 3.5% smaller in ten years' time under the Prime Minister's deal compared to staying in the EU.

Under Mrs May's deal, the think tank estimated that the economy would take a 3% hit over the next decade when compared to remaining in the bloc - meaning Mr Johnson's plan will leave the UK 0.5% worse off than under his predecessor's.

The NIESR, which is Britain's oldest independent economic research institute, put the cost of Mr Johnson's deal at £70bn over the next ten years when compared to staying in the EU.

"We don’t expect there to be a ‘deal dividend’ at all,” NIESR economist Arno Hantzsche said. 

"A deal would reduce the risk of a disorderly Brexit outcome but eliminate the possibility of a closer economic relationship."

The think tank said Mr Johnson's agreement - which opens the door to looser economic ties with the EU than would have been the case under Mrs May's deal - would "hinder goods and services trade with the continent leaving all regions of the United Kingdom worse off than they would be if the UK stayed in the EU".

"We estimate that, in the long run, the economy would be 3.5% smaller with the deal compared to continued EU membership," the NIESR said.

The non-partisan think tank meanwhile said a no-deal Brexit - which now cannot happen before 31 January after Mr Johnson asked EU leaders for an extension - would have seen the UK economy shrink by 5.6%.

And it estimated that GDP would be 2% lower over the next decade if the current "chronic uncertainty" over Brexit continued.

"The economic outlook is clouded by significant economic and political uncertainty and depends critically on the United Kingdom's trading relationships after Brexit," the NIESR said.

"Domestic economic weakness is further amplified by slowing global demand."

The analysis comes after Chancellor Sajid Javid defied calls from MPs to publish the Treasury's economic analysis of the new agreement.

In a letter to the Treasury select Committee, the Cabinet minister argued that the impact of the deal "cannot be measured solely through spreadsheets".

Mr Javid wrote: "My starting point is that agreeing the Withdrawal Agreement is self-evidently in our economic interest. It would bring an end to the damaging uncertainty and delay of the past years, and allow businesses to get on with taking decisions, including around recruitment and investment."

That led Labour to accuse the Government of "flying blind", while the chair of the powerful cross-party committee blasted the "dearth of relevant economic analysis on which MPs can decide how to vote".

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd, said: “This detailed analysis confirms that Boris Johnson’s deal could leave the UK £70 billion worse off, punching a hole the size of Wales in the UK economy.

“This disastrous deal will result in a huge gap in our public finances, creating a breeding ground for more Tory cuts."

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson, Tom Brake, added: "The Tories' obsession with Brexit at any cost puts our future prosperity at risk.

"It is unconscionable that any Government would voluntarily adopt a policy that would slow economic growth for years to come. Boris Johnson’s eagerness to push for such a damaging deal is shocking."

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

50p Brexit coins to be shredded and melted down as Britain's EU departure is delayed again

2 weeks ago
Brexit coins
The Treasury had hoped to put hundreds of thousands of 50p coins into circulation to mark Brexit on 31 October.

Commemorative 50p coins minted to mark Brexit on 31 October are being melted down following the latest delay to Britain's departure, the Treasury has admitted.

A spokesperson for the department said a batch of the coins bearing the landmark date would instead be "recycled".

The move comes after Boris Johnson on Monday accepted the EU's offer of a three-month Brexit extension until 31 January.

Chancellor Sajid Javid asked officials earlier this year to examine whether the coins - bearing the phrase "friendship with all nations" - could be put into general circulation in time for the UK's EU departure.

Bloomberg News reports that hundreds of thousands of the seven-sided coins had already been minted.

But a Treasury spokesperson confirmed that the coins would now be recycled, with a new batch planned once Britain leaves the EU.

"We will still produce a coin to mark our departure from the European Union, and this will enter circulation after we have left," they said.

The new coins will reportedly still be inscribed with the phrase "friendship with all nations" and stamped with the Brexit date.

According to Bloomberg, production on the coins was halted last week as EU leaders considered the length of any extension.

The Royal Mint website says that precious metals such as 50p coins are sorted and shredded before being melted down and turned into new products.

The cost of designing and producing the defunct Brexit coins will be met by the Royal Mint from its own revenues with no cost to the taxpayer.

The move comes after previous Treasury plans for around 10,000 commemorative collectors' coins - priced at £10 each - were ditched by Mr Javid's predecessor Philip Hammond when the UK failed to leave the EU on 29 March.

AD BLITZ PAUSED

Meanwhile the Government has also confirmed that it has "paused" its high-profile public campaign aimed at getting businesses and the public prepared for a 31 October departure.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said on Monday that the £100m 'Get Ready for Brexit' advertising blitz would be temporarily halted.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told MPs the campaign had amounted to "£100m of misspent public money".

And he asked: "How many nurses could have been hired, how many parcels could have been funded at food banks, how many social care packages could have been funded for our elderly?"

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake fumed: "These adverts were the latest example of the Conservative government pouring money down the drain in reckless pursuit of Boris Johnson’s do-or-die 31st October Brexit deadline.

"The money spent on these adverts could have, and should have, gone into our NHS, our schools, and tackling the climate emergency. Instead it was wasted.

"Brexit is a national embarrassment. It has taken far longer and cost far more than anyone ever said it would."

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

Boris Johnson hit by Tory backlash as he ditches Brexit bill to push for general election

2 weeks ago
Boris Johnson
The Prime Minister will launch a fresh attempt to secure a general election on Tuesday.

Boris Johnson has been hit by a Conservative backlash as he abandoned his own Brexit bill to instead make a fresh push for a general election.

Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs on Monday night that the Government “will not bring back” the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and would instead press ahead with a plan to trigger a snap poll.

Dumping the WAB is a key demand of the SNP and Lib Dems, who could now support Mr Johnson's latest election bid.

But the decision sparked anger from the Tory benches, with one MP saying voters would be “perturbed” by the move.

The WAB - which would put Mr Johnson’s deal with the EU into law - won backing at its second reading last week, but MPs voted against the Government’s timetable to get it passed in just three days.

MPs will instead be asked to fast-track a new “Early Parliamentary General Election Bill”, aiming to sidestep the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

Mr Johnson has tried and failed on three occasions to call a snap poll, but failed to get the support of two-thirds of MPs, as required under the FTPA.

Mr Rees-Mogg said the new bill, which will be introduced on Tuesday, would be “extremely short, simple and limited in scope” and end the “stalemate in Parliament”.

And he said: “I shall also make a further business statement tomorrow regarding the business for the rest of the week, but I can assure this House that we will not bring back the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.”

But Conservative MP Simon Hoare said: “May I ask the Leader of the House what we are to say to constituents and others about the fact that we may be able to find time for a five to six-week general election campaign and then the rigmarole of forming a government and yet not for bringing back the withdrawal Bill?

The North Dorset MP added: “That is despite the fact that, against all the odds, including my expectation, the Prime Minister played a blinder.

“He got a new deal and secured for the first time in this House a cross-party majority for it. 

“My hunch is—my fear is—that many people in the country will be slightly perturbed by the course of events that my right honourable friend has set out before us.”

Former Cabinet minister Damian Green meanwhile said Mr Rees-Mogg had become “less convincing as he goes on” - and urged the Government to press on with getting the Brexit Bill through the Commons.

“Surely the fact that the House rejected the programme motion on offer means that the sensible course of action—which, frankly, voters on all sides would expect of us—is to have a different programme motion and put into effect the Bill that has already given a Second Reading,” he argued.

That view was echoed by Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk, who said while some MPs had voted against the Withdrawal Agreement Bill out of opposition to Brexit, others had “not unreasonable” concerns that the timetable for scrutinising it was too short.

“Surely the proportionate and sensible thing is to offer the House more time,” the Tory backbencher said.

And he added: “If it does not vote for it, the Government will take their course, but surely they should at least try.”

The move also drew fire from Labour MP Melanie Onn, one of the 19 Labour rebels who defied Jeremy Corbyn to back the Withdrawal Agreement Bill last week.

Ms Onn, who represents the heavily Leave-backing seat of Grimsby, said she was “completely and utterly confused” by the push for a general election.

She said: “Did the Government pass the Second Reading of the withdrawal agreement Bill or not? Did the Government succeed in winning on their Queen’s Speech?

“I cannot understand why, after just two weeks, this Government seem to be throwing in the towel, rather than getting this really important legislation through - having the discussions, having the battle and sorting it out here in Parliament where it ought to be done.” 

'PARALYSIS AND STAGNATION'

The row comes after MPs voted against the latest attempt by the Prime Minister to stage a poll on 12 December.

MPs voted 299-70 in favour of an election on that date, but the bid failed to get the two-thirds majority it needed under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

That majority will not be needed under the new bill being brought to the Commons on Tuesday, meaning it stands a far greater chance of passing.

Lambasting MPs for refusing to trigger an election, Mr Johnson said: “Millions of families and businesses cannot plan for the future, and I don't believe this paralysis and this stagnation should be allowed to continue. 

“Now that no deal is off the table, we have a great new deal. And its time for the voters to have a chance to pronounce on that deal and to replace this dysfunctional parliament with a new parliament that can get Brexit done so the country can move on.”

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

Donald Tusk says EU leaders have agreed to 31 January Brexit extension

2 weeks 1 day ago
Donald Tusk and Boris Johnson
Donald Tusk said the EU27 had agreed to a three-month extension

European leaders have agreed to hand Britain a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline, Donald Tusk has confirmed.

The EU Council president said allowing the UK to stay in the bloc until 31 January 2020 would be formalised by the 27 leaders through a “written procedure”, rather than an emergency summit.

The so-called "flextension" would give Boris Johnson the option of quitting the EU earlier however, if MPs ratified his Brexit agreement ahead of the new deadline.

Mr Johnson was forced to ask for the extension under the terms of the Benn Act preventing a no-deal Brexit.

Confirmation of the latest Brexit delay means the PM has broken his vow to take the UK out of the EU "do or die" on 31 October.

In a tweet, Mr Tusk said: "The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the UK's request for a #Brexit flextension until 31 January 2020. The decision is expected to be formalised through a written procedure."

French President Emmanuel Macron had been pushing for a two-week extension in an attempt to put pressure on MPs to pass Mr Johnson's Brexit deal.

The move could also ramp up pressure on Labour to back the Prime Minister’s push for a 12 December general election later on Monday, in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock.

Jeremy Corbyn’s party has said that while he backs an election, he would not order his MPs to back it until the prospect of crashing out without an agreement is “off the table”.

Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA), Mr Johnson requires a two-thirds Commons majority, 434 MPs, to trigger a snap poll.

Following Mr Tusk’s announcement, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said: “It is welcome news that a three-month extension has been granted. A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for our NHS, jobs, and the environment.

"Boris Johnson’s ‘do-or-die’ 31st October Brexit deadline has failed. We are still in the EU. The fight is far from over."

Naomi Smith from the pro-EU Best for Britain group said: “Our friends in Europe have shown extraordinary patience and continue to do so.

"We thank them for accepting our urgent request for an extension, but we also ask them not to help the Prime Minister rush through the terrible deal he has brought back.

"Passing such an awful deal without proper scrutiny would hurt both us and the EU."

Nicholas Mairs

Baroness Donaghy: We must address the scrutiny gap in Brexit-related international agreements

2 weeks 1 day ago
 A dashboard being fitted on a car manufacturing line
A dashboard being fitted on a car manufacturing line

Committees of both Houses must have early sight of non-legally binding arrangements in treaties if we’re to safeguard future trade policy, writes Baroness Donaghy

At the beginning of 2019, the House of Lords European Union Committee was tasked with the responsibility of scrutinising Brexit-related international agreements, or treaties. The Government is ‘rolling-over’ EU treaties with the aim of ensuring continuity before and after Brexit, for instance, by enabling UK businesses to benefit from similar terms of trade with countries that have concluded trade agreements with the EU.

The EU Committee and its sub-committees have so far scrutinised more than 40 treaties and published 17 treaty-related reports. This work has covered everything from trade in wine to social security coordination. Treaties are negotiated, signed and ratified by the government, on behalf of the UK, under prerogative powers. Parliament has a role in scrutinising treaties under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (the CRAG Act).

The CRAG Act provides that, with some exceptions, the government may not ratify a treaty unless it has first laid a copy before Parliament and, within 21 sitting days of this happening, neither House has passed a resolution that the treaty should not be ratified.

A resolution passed by the Lords is advisory; the government may decide to proceed regardless, but is required to publish a statement explaining its intention, and giving its reasons.

A Commons resolution, on the other hand, would prevent the government from proceeding for another 21 sitting days. The Commons could then pass further resolutions, indefinitely postponing ratification.

The 21-sitting day window has, in the past, made it difficult for committees to consult adequately with stakeholders, or for those stakeholders to conduct their own consultation or analysis. The reduced number of sitting days in September was therefore a valuable opportunity to invite written evidence on one of the most recent Brexit-related treaties to be laid before Parliament – the UK’s free trade agreement with the Republic of Korea (“the Agreement”).

“Korea is the UK’s 22nd largest trading partner, accounting for 1.1% of total UK trade”

Korea is the UK’s 22nd largest trading partner, accounting for 1.1% of total UK trade. Trade between the UK and Korea has increased by an average of 12% per year since the EU-Korea agreement (which the UK is part of currently) was applied in 2011. Cars are one of the fastest growing UK exports to Korea.

We concluded that the Agreement would, in the main, preserve preferential trading arrangements in goods and services between the UK and Korea after Brexit.

Nonetheless, the written evidence was extremely useful in identifying areas where the Agreement differs from precursor arrangements, and other matters of interest.

There is a gap in Parliament’s ability to scrutinise changes to the Agreement or to scrutinise the use of temporary trading arrangements, if needed. Some provisions for preferential tariffs were not carried over in full, for example, in arrangements used by the UK agricultural sector.

The Agreement contains a review clause, which will provide the opportunity for both parties to seek greater access to each other’s markets. It is clear that negotiations will entail trade-offs between each parties’ interests and trade policy objectives.

Parliament needs to know what procedures for consultation and reporting will be put in place, particularly including the devolved administrations.

This Agreement, and others, therefore bring to the fore important questions about the direction and objectives of the UK’s future trade policy and what Parliamentary involvement may be further developed.

Baroness Donaghy is a Labour peer and chair of the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee

Baroness Donaghy
Member of the House of Lords

People's Vote campaign plunged into turmoil as senior officials are sacked

2 weeks 1 day ago
People's Vote
The campaign has been pushing for a second EU referendum.

The People's Vote campaign has descended into open warfare amid attempts to sack two of its most senior figures.

Director James McGrory and head of communications Tom Baldwin were told to leave the organisation with immediate effect on Sunday night.

Patrick Heneghan, Labour's former head of campaigns, has been appointed as the organisation's acting chief executive as part of the shake-up.

According to the Financial Times, the changes were ordered by Roland Rudd, chair of the Open Britain group - one of five organisations that make up the People's Vote campaign for a second Brexit referendum.

In an email to supporters, he said it was time to "refocus" in advance of a possible snap election and "set our campaign on a more structured basis".

Mr Rudd added: "I want to put on record my thanks to James and Tom for all their work. In difficult circumstances they have done a tremendous job. 

"But as you will all know the ongoing internal issues in the campaign have been allowed to carry on for too long. We now need a much clearer structure as we move forward."

The sackings - which one insider said had left staff "incandescent" - were immediately questioned by former Labour communications chief and People's Vote campaigner Alastair Campbell, who accused Mr Rudd of indulging in "boardroom politics".

Mr Campbell tweeted: "He has tonight sent an email, without any consultation with the other groups, saying James McGrory and Tom Baldwin have been fired to be replaced immediately by Patrick Heneghan of @euromove... as interim CEO PV. He does not have the right to do so.

"While the staff have been busy fighting for a @peoplesvote_uk and organising one of the biggest marches of modern times Rudd has been engaged close to full time in boardroom politics, a board which with few exceptions has done little for the campaign."

And he said Mr Rudd - the brother of former Cabinet minister Amber Rudd - had accepted that his "status as a multimillionaire businessman" was "not the best look for the campaign".

Mr Campbell insisted that the campaign's Joint Media Unit would "continue to pay" Tom Baldwin's salary and would be "happy" to pay for Mr McGrory's continued employment as well.

And he added: "Few have done as much as those two to get us where we are."

Speaking on Radio Four's Today programme, Mr Baldwin - wo was an adviser to Ed Miliband when he was Labour leader - hit back at Mr Rudd and said he would be turning up for work as normal.

He said: "Roland Rudd has chosen this time to put a wrecking ball through the campaign. It's not about me, it's certainly not about him.

"The People's Vote campaign is made up of five organisations. He is the outgoing executive chairman of one and he's making the mistake that a lot of businessmen do when they dabble in politis, which is to think that because they have a certain title on a board, they think that they then own the campaign."

Stephen Dorrell, the former Conservative health secretary who chairman of European Movement UK, also questioned the legitimacy of the sackings.

He said: "Roland Rudd is chair of Open Britain; the People’s Vote campaign includes European Movement and other partners who were not consulted about untimely management changes in Open Britain."

The bitter public feud follows months of tension over the future of the campaign and come ahead of a fresh Commons push for a second EU referendum.

Mr Rudd is understood to have been pressing for the organisation to adopt an explicitly pro-Remain position, while others have argued that the campaign should focus on winning over undecided MPs as well as voters who backed Leave in 2016.

Matt Honeycombe-Foster

EU leaders set to offer Boris Johnson three-month Brexit extension

2 weeks 1 day ago
Brexit
French President Emmanuel Macron had been pushing for a short extension of around two weeks.

The European Union is preparing to grant Britain a flexible three-month Brexit extension, according to a leaked draft of an agreement set to be signed off by Brussels.

A paper being circulated among member states, seen by The Guardian, would allow the UK to stay in the EU until 31 January 2020 - but would leave open the option of quitting the bloc earlier if MPs ratify Boris Johnson's deal.

The Prime Minister requested an extension to the existing 31 October deadline earlier this month after MPs toughened up a law requiring him to do so if no agreement had been signed off by the Commons.

According to the leaked text, the UK would be able to leave the bloc on the first day of the month after a deal is approved. 

“The period provided for in article 50 (3) TEU as extended by the European council decision (EU) 2019/584 is hereby further extended until 31 January 2020," it states.

The document adds: "In the event that the parties to that agreement complete their respective ratification procedures and notify the depositary of the completion of these procedures in November 2019, in December 2019 or in January 2020, the withdrawal agreement will enter into into force respectively on [the first of the month of the relevant month]."

The text - which is expected to be formally signed off on Monday - follows days of EU wrangling over the length of any further Brexit extension.

French President Emmanuel Macron had been pushing for a short extension of around two weeks in an attempt to put pressure on British MPs to back Mr Johnson's agreement. 

But European Council President Donald Tusk, who has held intensive talks with EU capitals over the weekend, made the case for a longer extension.

If approved, the extension could raise the prospect of a snap general election by shutting down the possibility of a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.  

Labour has so far signalled its opposition to the 12 December poll demanded by the PM, arguing that they will not do so until a no-deal Brexit is "off the table".

MPs will be given a vote on his election bid on Monday, but it is unlikely to get the two-thirds majority - 434 votes - it needs under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act.

However, Number 10 has made clear it will "look at" an alternative joint SNP-Lib Dem plan for a Commons vote on Tuesday on whether to have an election on 9 December instead.

Matt Honeycombe-Foster
Submitted by itops on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:47