BREXIT LIVE: Ireland threatens to BLOCK Brexit deal amendments –‘Not going to be reopened'

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Posted on Nov 21 2018 - 2:16am by admin

Mr Coveney said the Brexit agreement was not a draft and it was “not going to be re-opened”, despite British MPs have called for the possibility to make amendments to it. He said: “This is a text that has been agreed between the negotiations teams, it has been agreed by the British government. So to that extent, it is not a draft text, it now the text, and it is not going to be reopened.” Despite describing it “sensitive and difficult”, Mr Coveney urged to be positive over the chances of seeing the Brexit agreement approved by the UK parliament. 

He said: “Instead of focusing on contingency after a failed vote in the House of Commons, I think we should be talking about how we talk this up to maximise the chances of it getting support in the House of Commons, which is what the Prime Minister is doing”. 

However, Mr Coveney highlighted London and Brussels negotiators’ job is far from being over, arguing they still had the future relationship to negotiate and it could take two to three years to do so. 

He added: “This is a process where Ireland will continue to have to be vigilant to mitigate against unintended consequences of the fallout of Brexit.”

This comes as arch-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted the controversial plot from Tory rebels to oust Theresa May as Prime Minister over her draft Brexit deal has crumbled after a huge slowdown in no-confidence letters being submitted to the 1922 Committee – shifting momentum very much back to the Prime Minister.

The outspoken chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) conceded too many MPs are now convinced there should only be a no-confidence vote if Mrs May loses a Commons vote on the agreement struck with the European Union.

Last week, ERG members were confidently predicting they would get the 48 letters required to trigger a no confidence vote in Theresa May’s leadership. 

Brexit Theresa May

Brexit latest: Ireland’s foreign minister said the Brexit deal agreed by negotiators is final (Image: GETTY)

Getting the 48 letters has shown to be quite difficult, so the idea that in a year you just repeat the process and then she would go at that point. I don’t think that is realistic

Jacob Rees-Mogg

But Monday passed without any announcement from the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, they have reached that crucial tally, while the number of MPs who have publicly declared they have submitted letters has stalled at just 26.

Earlier, appearing alongside former Brexit Secretary David Davis to launch the ERG’s ‘Myths of leaving the customs union’ report in London, Jacob Rees-Mogg dodged several questions on how many letters had been submitted to the 1922 Committee.

Calling for calm, he said: “What we are seeing from the government is a deliberate decision not to deliver a proper Brexit. We have a government led by remainers who want to see us tied in to the EU as closely as possible.

“The Prime Minister said this was the deal she always wanted and the deal she has to is not a proper Brexit.

“As for the letters – patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace.

“We shall see where the letters come in due time. And there’s a meaningful vote and we will see what happens with that to a government that seems to have alienated its confidence and supply arguments.”

In what might be seen as a last-ditch attempt to drum up support, Mr Rees-Mogg even accepted it is now “odds on” the Prime Minister will lead the Conservatives into the next general election.

Asked whether it might be difficult to secure the 158 votes needed in Parliament to oust Mrs May in a confidence vote, he said: “I would wait and see about that. You speak to Tory MPs and find Tory MPs who say they are really keen that Theresa May should lead us into the next general election.

“Basically, if there is a vote of confidence it is not just for a year.

“Getting the 48 letters has shown to be quite difficult, so the idea that in a year you just repeat the process and then she would go at that point. I don’t think that is realistic.

“I think it is now or the Prime Minister will lead the Conservatives into the next election.

“You find MPs privately who will say to you they think that is a really good idea in any number and I would be quite surprised.”

FOLLOW OUR LATEST UPDATE ON BREXIT IN OUR LIVE BLOG:

Carwyn Jones

Carwyn Jones, Wales’ First Minister (Image: GETTY)

6.15pm update: Wales’ First Minister brands Brexit the “worst political crisis” 

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, hit out at Britain’s decision to withdraw from the EU bloc.

Taking his frustration to Twitter, he said: “Today I have given an update to #Brexit to the AMs in the heart of the worst political crisis I’ve ever seen.

“We are still not smarter about how we will have relationships in the future with our main trade partner.”

Nicola Sturgeon met Jeremy Corbyn to discuss about Brexit

Nicola Sturgeon met Jeremy Corbyn to discuss about Brexit (Image: GETTY)

5.55pm update: Boris Johnson and Philip Hammond to attend DUP conference 

Mr Johnson, the former Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Hammond are expected to attend the DUP conference taking place this weekend, Co Fermanagh newspaper the Impartial Reporter wrote.

Mr Hammond is expected to attend a conference dinner on Friday while former foreign secretary Mr Johnson will speak on the main conference stage on Saturday. 

5.35pm update: Labour MP brands possible technological solutions to Irish border dilemma a “fantasy Brexit” 

Labour MP Jo Stevens hit out at Downing Street’s suggestion that technological solutions could be used to keep the Irish border open. 

Ms Stevens, a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said: “After just five days we are back to playing fantasy Brexit to satisfy the delusions of the Cabinet.

“Last week we were told it was the backstop or nothing. Now we are back to pretending there is a magic technology that will make the backstop unnecessary.

“It is ever clearer that there is only one way to end this game-playing and get rid of the delusions of the Brexitremists once and for all.

“We must have a People’s Vote with a choice between staying in the EU and whatever miserable deal Mrs May finally manages to cobble together.”

Theresa May and Sebastian Kurz

Theresa May and Sebastian Kurz will meet on Thursday (Image: GETTY)

5.05pm update: Theresa May to meet Sebastian Kurz in London

The prime minister will hold talks on Thursday with Austrian Chancellor Mr Kurz, whose country currently holds the rotating six-month presidency of the European Council.

Mrs May’s official spokesman said the lunchtime meeting at 10 Downing Street was part of the preparations for the special Brexit summit scheduled for Sunday.

4.50pm update: Ireland’s minister warns withdrawal agreement won’t be changed after approval

Simon Anthony Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, said the withdrawal agreement is not a draft text but “the text”, arguing it won’t be changed despite calls by some British politicians for amendments. 

He said: “This is a text that has been agreed by the British government. To that extent it is not a draft text, it is now the text and it is not going to be reopened.” 

He also said the UK and the EU will need at least two to three years more to negotiate their future relationship.

The wording of this future relationship will discussed by Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker tomorrow, according to the minister.

And the draft text, which include the political declaration still in the making, will grow in pages, Mr Coveney continued, saying the declaration will go from being seven-page long to 20 pages. 

The deal was described by the minister as “sensitive” and “difficult”, and a “compromise on both sides”. 

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable

Lib Dem leader Vince Cable urged to build momentum for a second Brexit referendum (Image: GETTY)

4.40pm update: Lib Dem leader Vince Cable wants to “step up efforts” to build momentum for a second referendum

Mr Cable met with Nicola Sturgeon in a bid to find an alternative to Theresa May’s draft Brexit plan. 

Following the meeting with the First Minister, he said: “I made it explicitly clear to the SNP and others that the priority must be stepping up efforts to build the momentum for a People’s Vote.

“That has been the priority for the Liberal Democrats for over two years, and it remains so.

“I am glad the other opposition parties were today able to agree to work together to achieve a People’s Vote, including the option to remain in the EU.” 

Mr Cable hit out at Jeremy Corbyn, accusing Labour not to take a clear stance on the second referendum. 

He said: “Meanwhile, Labour is missing in action. They claim to want a General Election before a People’s Vote, but are making no moves to get one.

“Jeremy Corbyn cannot continue to court both sides of this debate – it is time to decide.”

4.25pm update: Spain is worried about the “unity of the UK”

Spain’s foreign minister Josep Borrell has said he expects the UK to “split apart” over Brexit before his country does.

As tensions between Madrid and London reach new highs over Gibraltar, the Spanish minister told Politico: “I am very much more worried about the unity of the United Kingdom than the unity of the Kingdom of Spain.

“I think the United Kingdom will split apart before the Kingdom of Spain.”

And he warned his country would welcome an independent Scotland in the European Union should Edinburgh decide to leave the UK.

Mr Borrell also attacked prime minister David Cameron.

He said: “Mr Cameron will not pass into history as the best prime minister in the history of Britain.

“Cameron played poker with his country at least twice: on Scotland and on Europe.”

Gibraltar

A Spanish minister said Madrid is more worried about the unity of the UK than of Spain over Brexit (Image: GETTY)

4.05pm update: Plaid Cymru teams up with SNP against no-deal Brexit

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price revealed his party and Scotland’s SNP have agreed on “working together” on making the voice of their voters heard in London.

He said: “Plaid Cymru and the SNP have been consistent and clear, the least damaging exit from the EU means staying in the single market and customs union.

“We will continue to work together to make sure the voices of Welsh and Scottish people are heard in Westminster.

“To paraphrase the Prime Minister, we have three options left – bad deal, no-deal or no Brexit.

“It is only Labour that seem intent that the last option should not be pursued.

“The Labour leadership must now come to its senses and work with Plaid Cymru and the SNP to find a way out of this Brexit madness.”

3.50pm update: Nicola Sturgeon meets Jeremy Corbyn in a bid to stop a no-deal Brexit

Ms Sturgeon had a “constructive meeting” with the Labour leader earlier today, according to Labour spokesman.

He said: “Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had a constructive meeting with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“They discussed their common opposition to Theresa May’s botched Brexit deal and determination to work across Parliament to prevent a disastrous no-deal outcome.”

The First Minister of Scotland headed to London to meet leaders of opposition parties and discuss with them about Brexit.

A spokesman for the First Minister said: “It is clear that we are united in our opposition to the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, which puts jobs and living standards at risk.

“We agreed that we will not be boxed into supporting no-deal.

“The SNP has consistently said we will work with other parties to prevent a damaging Brexit – and we will continue to do so.”

3.35pm update: DUP attacks Theresa May saying her “deal or no-deal” choice is not “in the country’s interest” 

Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of the DUP, branded the prime minister’s claim there is just a choice between a good deal and a no deal as “stubborn determination”. 

This binary choice, he added, is not in the country’s interests. 

He also warned the deal proposed by Mrs May won’t be approved by parliament. 

He said: “With the rejection of the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement on all sides of the House and across all parties, it is increasingly clear this deal does not have support necessary to pass the meaningful vote in Parliament.

“Therefore, rather than presenting a binary choice, it is time for the Prime Minister to work for a better deal.”

While the DUP had “kept to our word”, a number of Cabinet ministers had been forced to resign because Mrs May’s deal “does not represent those shared objectives in relation to the Union”, he added.

However, Mr Dodds said the party, whose support in parliament to Theresa May is vital for her to keep the majority, has so far kept its word in relation to the confidence to the prime minister. 

But he warned the DUP will not agree on everything put forward by the Cabinet without having a say in it. 

He said: “The government will require DUP support to deliver its domestic agenda. We will continue to use our influence for the good of everyone across the United Kingdom. 

“If the Government can look beyond a withdrawal agreement which is uniting people from across the political spectrum against it, and instead work towards a better deal, then an outcome can be delivered that truly works to benefit all parts of the United Kingdom.”

3.20pm update: Pound could suffer HEAVILY against dollar in case of no-deal Brexit – expert warns 

The chief strategist at BNY Mellon warned the pound could rapidly slide against the dollar if the UK leaps out of the bloc without a deal. 

Simon Derrick said that a no-deal confirmed in December or January could have a massive impact on Britain’s currency, which according to his forecast could rapidly slide to $ 1.10. 

He explained: “The point about sterling is when it moves, it moves.”

He added that the move could happen “quickly” and also see sterling tumble to around 96-97 pence against the euro. 

Sterling was trading at $ 1.2834 on Tuesday and around 88.82 pence versus the euro.

Brexit Theresa May

Brexit: Theresa May said her deal puts Northern Ireland in a “fantastic position” for the future (Image: GETTY)

2.20pm update: Brexit blow: Court hands Remainers 11th hour LIFELINE to scupper Brexit and STAY in EU

Remainers were handed an 11th hour lifeline today as the Supreme Court dismissed a bid by the Brexit secretary to derail a European court hearing into whether article 50 – which triggered the UK’s departure from the EU – could be reversed.

Three justices refused the Department for Exiting the European Union permission to challenge a ruling by Scotland’s highest court that the issue should be referred to the European court of justice in Luxembourg.

A further emergency hearing has now been scheduled for November 27.

The attempt to overturn Article 50 was initially brought by several Scottish politicians and the anti-Brexit campaigner Jolyon Maugham QC. The move was fiercely opposed by the Government.

The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union applied directly to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal.

But, refusing permission on Tuesday, the court said the Court of Session’s ruling was “preliminary” and it would still have to reach a judgment on the matter after the European Court has given guidance.

1.55pm update: John McDonnell seeks to PROFIT from Brexit chaos in ‘hugely irresponsible’ move

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is hoping to profit from the Brexit chaos by demanding the Conservatives hand over power to Labour.

The hard left MP claimed British constitutional conventions dictate a ruling party that can not command a House of Commons majority should step aside and let the opposition form a government.

Prime Minister Theresa May has faced widespread opposition from MPs since announcing her draft Brexit withdrawal agreement last week and faces a near impossible task to get the deal approved by Parliament.

Hundreds of lawmakers from all parties have promised to block the deal when it is put to a vote in Parliament, a date for which has not yet been set.

Mrs May is facing revolt from the Democratic Unionist Party whose power-sharing agreement props up her government and Labour have told their MPs to vote against the deal as it fails their six tests for a successful Brexit.

1.30pm update: Keir Starmer reveals Labour plot to block no-deal Brexit by OUSTING Theresa May

The Labour Party is plotting to bring Theresa May’s Government down in a desperate bid to block a no-deal Brexit, Keir Starmer has warned.

Labour’s shadow Brexit minister told the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) he is prepared to work with MPs from across the Commons to to bolt the door against the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Mr Starmer warned he could orchestrate a vote in the House of Commons after tabling a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Government.

If such a motion passed, a new government would have to be formed within 14 days and win a confidence vote in the Commons. If the new administration could not do so then there would be a general election.

Mr Starmer said: ”The deal the Prime Minister has brought back is a miserable failure of negotiation. It falls far short of a deal Labour could support.

“If Theresa May’s deal fails to command the support of Parliament, then we will not stand back and allow her to take this country off a cliff.

“No deal is not an option. Labour will not countenance no deal – and nor would many of the Prime Minister’s own MPs.

Brexit Jacob Rees-Mogg

Brexit: Jacob Rees-Mogg called for patience over the 48 confidence letters being submitted (Image: SKY NEWS)

1.10pm update: ‘Everybody is behind her – it couldn’t be more positive’ – reaction to May’s meeting with new Cabinet

Speaking to the BBC after today’s Cabinet meeting, Chief Whip Julian Smith said: “The negotiations are ongoing. The Prime Minister will be at the summit on Sunday.

“Everybody is behind her. It couldn’t be more positive, with a big focus on making sure we get the best deal for families, for business and for delivering on the commitments we made to respect the referendum.

“It is a really exciting week and I think the Prime Minister is going to have a very busy time.”

12.50pm update: CHANGE the Prime Minister or face a GENERAL ELECTION – Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries rubbished suggestions efforts to oust Theresa May had stalled, insisting it is a “tactical move” by Brexiteers to stay short of the 48 no confidence letters needed to trigger a leadership vote.

The Tory MP, who herself has written a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister, said every female member of the ERG has put in their letter already, claiming the number sent was at 46.

But she said some Brexiteers were hoping to use the threat of a letter as leverage to change the deal, with a number of key players waiting until after a meaningful vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement to submit theirs.

She told the BBC’s Politics Live: “Personally I think we are faced with two choices as Conservative MPs.

“It is either change the prime minister or face a general election.

“I think waiting to lose such a considerable vote in parliament opens up new dangers, new potential catastrophes for us as a party, so I would rather see the letters go in now.”

Brexit Juncker

Brexit: Jean-Claude Junker will meet Theresa May for talks in Brussels on Wednesday (Image: GETTY)

12.20pm: France demands MORE fishing rights added to withdrawal agreement

France is pushing for more concessions on fishing rights after Brexit after criticising the EU for being too soft in the draft withdrawal agreement.

President Emmanuel Macron wants the EU to issue stern official statements alongside any Brexit withdrawal agreement it signs up to, highlighting its red lines in key areas.

France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark and Portugal are among the countries who have voiced their concern that the draft withdrawal agreement published last week did not address the subject of fishing rights.

Paris wants so-called side-declarations on fishing to be included, which clarifies the EU’s interpretation of negotiations.

France is leading a push for guarantees that Britain will be required to allow access to British fishing waters in return for zero-tariff trade on goods.

Nathalie Loiseau, the French Europe minister, said that France “will be very vigilant” on the deal offered to Britain by the European Commission offer Britain prior to Sunday’s crunch summit.

12pm update: Bank of England boss gives backing to May’s deal

Mark Carney has thrown his weight behind the deal struck between the Prime Minister and EU because it would help smooth the country’s departure from the bloc. 

Speaking to lawmakers, he said: “We have emphasised from the start the importance of having some transition between the current arrangements and the ultimate arrangements,” he said.

“So we welcome the transition arrangements in the withdrawal agreement, and take note of the possibility of extending that transition period.”

11.50am update: DUP intent on killing off May’s draft Brexit deal

The DUP will focus on trying to kill off Theresa May’s fdraft Brexit deal, the party’s Brexit spokesman has said. 

When asked by Sky News if his party would bring down Mrs May’s government, Sammy Wilson said: “All of our efforts are directed along with a large number of Conservative MPs from both the remain camp and the leave camp as well as opposition parties to defeat this deal and force a rethink.”

11.40am update: Spain threatens to vote against Brexit deal

Spain will vote against the EU’s draft Brexit agreement if the included text on the British territory of Gibraltar is not changed.

Speaking during an economist conference in Madrid, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: “As of today, if there are no changes with respect to Gibraltar, Spain will vote no to the agreement on Brexit.”

On Monday, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Madrid wanted the deal on Britain’s exit to clarify talks on future ties between London and the bloc would not apply to Gibraltar.

The territory is due to leave the EU along with the UK on March 29, 2019 – even though 96 percent of its population voted Remain in the 2016 referendum.

11.30am update: Pound falls to near two-week low 

The pound fell on Teusday morning following more concerns around Brexit negotiations. 

The currency fell 0.2 percent to $ 1.2832 – nearing a two-week low of $ 1.2725 reached last week. 

Growing opposition to Theresa May’s draft agreement has hit sterling hard in recent day, dragging it down nearly three percent from a November 7 high of $ 1.3176. 

READ MORE: Pound LIVE

11.20am update: May to meet Junker for Brexit talks on Wednesday 

Theresa May will travel to Brussels on Wednesday for Brexit talks with European commission President Jean-Claude Junker.

Downing Street said the meeting was part of the “ongoing negotiations over the future framework” agreement with the EU.

The talks could focus on the future long-term relations between the UK and EU, rather than the withdrawal agreement the Prime Minister unveiled last week.

Brexit Mark Carney

Brexit: Mark Carney has thrown his support behind Theresa May’s draft deal (Image: GETTY)

11.10am update: Confidence vote may be only change to remove May before next general election – Rees-Mogg 

Asked whether it might be difficult to secure the 158 votes needed in Parliament to oust the Prime Minister in a cinfidence vote, he said: “I would wait and see about that. You speak to Tory MPs and find Tory MPs who say they are really keen that Theresa May should lead us into the next general election.

“Basically, if there is a vote of confidence it is not just for a year. Getting the 48 letters has shown to be quite difficult, so the idea that in a year you just repeat the process and then she would go at that point I don’t think that is realistic.

“I think it is now or the Prime Minister will lead the Conservatives into the next election.

“You find MPs privately who will say to you they think that is a really good idea in any number and I would be quite surprised.”

11am update: Baker confident 48 confidence letters will be submitted 

ERG deputy chairman Steve Baker has also been speaking at the press conference.

He claims it is “very difficult” to see how there won’t be 48 Tory MPs demanding a no confidence vote in Theresa May if she loses the meaningful vote.

But he does not know if the 48 letters required for this to happen will be submitted to the 1922 Committee beforehand.

10.50am update: ‘There is another way’ – Rees-Mogg

Speaking at the ERG press conference, he said: “The message you must have heard so clearly this morning is that there is another way.

“That’s really important because there has been this feeling that all that can be done is what the government is suggesting, there’s nothing else and it’s this way or no way.

“There is actually already a practical and well-thought through available set of systems that can be used, and that’s the key message from these great experts.”

10.40am update: Rees-Mogg denies CHAOTIC overthrowing of May 

The ERG chairman has denied a chaotic overthrowing of Theresa May, claiming such associated language is “is over-egged” and “damaging to the political debate”. 

He said: “Coup is the wrong word. It’s a silly word. What I have done is use the democratic process within the party to say we have no confidence in the leader of the Conservative party. This is not an illegitimate process it is set out in the rules.

“This over-egged language is damaging to political debate.

“It is just like a general election in a way that is a legitimate way to get a new leader.

“People will make their decision whether they join me or not. That is a decision to them.

“In politics you have to set out your stall and what you believe in and see if people agree with you or not. It is not given to insist that people follow and that is one of the great virtues of our system.”

10.30am update: Rees-Mogg dodges questions on confidence letters 

Jacob Rees-Mogg is dodging questions about how many confidence letters in Theresa May have been submitted to 1922 Committee.

Speaking at an ERG press conference to launch the publication of its ‘Myths of leaving the customs union’ report, the chairman of the group is refusing to say how many letters have gone in.

“What we are seeing from the government is a deliberate decision not to deliver a proper Brexit. We have a government led y retainers who want to see us tied in to the EU as closely as possible.

“The Prime Minister said this was the deal she always wanted and the deal she has to is not a proper Brexit.

“As for the letters patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace.

“We shall see where the letters come in due time. And there’s a meaningful vote and we will see what happens with that to a government that seems to have alienated its confidence and supply arguments.”

Brexit David Davis

Brexit: David Davis was mocked for a claim made around the post-Brexit transition period (Image: GETTY)

10.25am update: Brexit deal puts Northern Ireland in a ‘fantastic position’ for the future – May

Theresa May has insisted her draft Brexit deal puts Northern Ireland in a “fantastic position” for the future.

In an opinion piece published in the Belfast Telegraph, the Prime Minister claimed the region’s constitutional status within the UK had been guaranteed in the agreement.

She wrote: “The challenge of Brexit has always been to continue our deep trading links and security co-operation with the EU in our new relationship, whilst freeing us to take advantage of the opportunities, such as an independent trade policy.

“This deal strikes that balance, and puts Northern Ireland in a fantastic position for the future.”

Mrs May also said the deal provides “clarity and certainty” for businesses in Northern Ireland.

She added: It ensures they will have time to adjust to our new relationship, avoids a cliff edge, and therefore protects jobs and investment.

“Under this deal the future is certainly bright for Northern Ireland. It will be a gateway to both the EU market and the rest of the UK’s market.

“With a business-friendly regulatory regime, and strong representation in Westminster, it will remain an attractive place to live, invest and do business.”

10am update: Tories warned ousting May would be “self-indulgent and dangerous”  

Justice Secretary David Gauke has told his Tory colleagues that ousting Theresa May would be “self-indulgent and dangerous”.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: “The idea that at this point, in the middle of a very delicate negotiation – that is hugely important to the future of this country – that we should remove the Prime Minister, essentially leave us leaderless for, certainly several weeks, possibly months, would be hugely irresponsible.

“And, what the country, I think, would expect from the Conservative Party is that we get behind our Prime Minister and make sure that she can deliver a good deal for the country.

“That’s what we are on course to do and I don’t think people should be talking about removing her at this point.

“I think that would be self-indulgent and dangerous for the country.”

Brexit Dominic Raab

Brexit: Dominic Raab dealt a major blow to Theresa May last week by quitting as Brexit Secretary (Image: GETTY)

9.45am update: David MOCKED over post-Brexit transition period claim

David Davis has been mocked after claiming the UK will still be able to enter a transition period after Brexit, event if it fails to reach a withdrawal agreement with the EU.

The former Brexit Secretary made the claim in a blog post on the ConservativeHome website.

Negotiators from both sides have already agreed the transition period, which is due to run until the end of 2020 and during which time the UK will be subject to EU rules, can only begin if a Brexit deal is reached.

But Mr Davis wrote: “We can deliver an honest and clean Brexit, leaving all the possibilities such as global free trade deals open for bright future.

“If we need to leave with no deal and negotiate a free trade agreement during the transition period, so be it.

“Let’s be clear and honest and tell the EU that’s what we are prepared to do.”

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, of the pro-EU group Best for Britain, said: “These comments by David Davis are completely unbelievable. He is frankly just deluded or just plain stupid.

“It seems like the man who was in charge of delivering Brexit doesn’t understand the process. Surely you can’t have a transition without a deal?

“The truth is that there are two genuine options available to the Parliament and to the country: firstly the Government’s deal that loses us decision-making power and would leave us worse off, and second, our current deal that would keep our prosperity, keep our say over EU laws and trade agreements and deliver what the majority of people in the UK now want.”

9.25am update: Bank of England to BRING FORWARD analysis on how it would cope with no-deal Brexit

The Bank of England is bringing forward the publication of stress tests by a week to November 28 to provide analysis on how it would cope with a possible no-deal Brexit before Parliament votes on a deal.

The central bank said it would fulfil a request from Parliament’s Treasury Committee to provide analysis on how the draft Brexit divorce deal “will affect the Bank’s ability to deliver its statutory remits for monetary and financial stability, including in a ‘no deal, no transition’ scenario.”

The committee had requested the analysis be concluded in good time before Parliament votes on a deal.

Brexit Jeremy Hunt

Brexit: Jeremy Hunt warned Tory rebels against attempts to oust Theresa May (Image: GETTY)

9.20am update: EasyJet shrugs off Brexit fears – confident flights WON’T be grounded

EasyJet has shrugged off Brexit fears to notch up a 41 percent jump in annual profits, with the low-cost airline remaining confident flights won’t be grounded when the UK leaves the EU.

Pre-tax profits for the year to September 30 jumped to £578 million from £408 million from the same period 12 months ago.

Passenger numbers surged 10.2 percent to 88.5 million, with total revenue jumping 16.8 percent to £5.9 billion.

The airline said it is continuing to prepare for Brexit, having set itself up across Europe to be able to operate via airlines in the UK, Switzerland and Austria to enable ongoing flying in the EU.

It said: “Both the EU and the UK have said that their objective is to maintain flights between the EU and the UK, whatever the Brexit outcome.

“This gives easyJet confidence that flying rights will be maintained, and it continues to work with EU institutions, EU member states and the UK to ensure that this is achieved.”

9am update: ‘EXTREMELY IMPORTANT’ for withdrawal agreement to get through Parliament, business poll reveals

Allie Renison, the Institute of Directors’ head of Europe and Trade Policy, said a survey of 800 members revealed three quarters think it’s “extremely important” for a withdrawal agreement to get through Parliament in order to improve certainty.

Two-thirds said a no-deal Brexit would have a negative impact on their businesses as they struggled to know how to adequately prepare for this scenario.

Those polled were “pretty fairly split” on whether to have a second referendum, with a “very small” lead of two percent in favour of another poll.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Effectively it means that there is no real majority for reopening the discussion at this point at least.

“It’s not a big priority compared to getting a withdrawal agreement through.”

8.45am update: Theresa May buckles: Secret Brexit papers to be PUBLISHED to avoid Commons rebellion

Confidential papers comparing the impact of Theresa May’s Brexit divorce deal with staying in the EU and leaving with no ideal will be published in a major concession to Remainers.

The agreement to publish the economic analysis comes after Tory MPs, including Jo Johnson, brother of Brexiteer heavyweight Boris Johnson, signed an amendment to a Budget Bill in the House of Commons proposed by Labour’s Chukka Umunna and Tory Anna Soubry.

Mr Ummuna, who is campaigning for a second referendum, immediately hailed the news, and accused the Government of “trying the con the people” over the impact of leaving the bloc.

The Government opted to accept the amendment rather than risk a damaging Parliamentary defeat at the worst possible time for Prime Minister Theresa May.

8.30am update: Nick Boles attacks rebels for trying to BULLY May out of job

Nick Boles has launched a scathing attack against those trying to oust Theresa May as Prime Minister, accusing them of bullying her out of her job.

Writing on Twitter, the MP for the Grantham and Stamford constituency in Lincolnshire said: Do my colleagues not understand how normal people react when they see a group of middle aged men, led by two plummy-toned Old Etonians, trying to bully a conscientious and determined woman out of her job?

8.20am update: DUP fires ‘WARNING SHOT’ amid claims of BROKEN PROMISES

Theresa May’s DUP allies have warned the Prime Minister she has “seriously” broken her commitment to them over Northern Ireland’s treatment in the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

The party failed to back the Government on a number of amendments to its Finance Bill and instead supported an amendment proposed by the Labour Party.

The move effectively breached the “confidence and supply” agreement between the DUP and Conservatives, which provides Mrs May her parliamentary majority, as the deal binds 10 DUP MPs to “support the Government on all motions of confidence; and on the Queen’s Speech; the budget; finance bills”.

However, DUP MP Sammy Wilson said that “after a lot of thought and contemplation”, his party had to respond to Mrs May’s Brexit deal with a “warning shot”.

Brexit Nicola Sturgeon

Brexit: Nicola Sturgeon issued a warning a Brexit warning (Image: GETTY)

8.10am update: Sturgeon slams May’s ‘FALSE CHOICE’ over Brexit as she meets PM TODAY

Brexit must not come down to a “false choice” between Theresa May’s deal or a “disastrous” no-deal exit, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.

The Scottish First Minister said MPs are being told to choose either the “frying pan or the fire”.

And she said she will make the “strongest possible case” for divorce terms which keep Britain inside the European Union’s customs union and single market when she meets the Prime Minister later today.

The SNP leader’s intervention comes as Mrs May is facing further backlash over her Brexit deal.

Speaking ahead of meetings with the Prime Minister and opposition leaders today, Nicola Sturgeon insisted continued customs union membership is a “workable alternative” to the draft deal currently on offer.

8am: Hunt warns rebels ousting May risks causing ‘APPALLING DAMAGE’ to UK’s reputation

Brexiteers have been sent a huge warning by Jeremy Hunt that attempts to oust Theresa May as Prime Minister could cause “the most appalling chaos” in a move that could completely derail Brexit.

Mrs May will today meet her reshuffled Cabinet and attempt to rally them behind her following a week of chaos that saw a strong of resignations, including her own Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab.

Ahead of a the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said an official visit to Tehran: “Seeking to remove her risks the most appalling chaos that could be immensely damaging to our national reputation, but also destabilising and potentially stopping us getting through to the other side of Brexit.” 

(Additional reporting by Paul Withers)

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