BREXIT LIVE: MPs rage at EU over snub – ‘Free UK from the SINKING MONOLITH’

Posted on Sep 23 2018 - 12:17am by admin

The former Cabinet Minister joined a growing chorus support for the Prime Minister who reacted with barely concealed fury when her Chequers proposals were rejected out of hand by her fellow EU leaders at last week’s Salzburg summit.

Ms Patel said: “Why would any economy want to chain themselves to a sinking monolith when we could be at the centre of a global network of free trade deals and investment partnerships?”

Her comments came after her successor at the Department of International Development, Penny Mordaunt, said the EU27’s attitude had fuelled an increase in support for Brexit and suggested even Remainers would now be happy to walk away from Brussels without a deal.

She said: “Speaking to constituents today, it is clear that EU’s behaviour in recent days is increasing support for us leaving the EU. People still want a deal but are content to go without one, even folk who voted remain.”

Ms Mordaunt praised Mrs May’s defiant Downing Street response to the Austrian ambush in which she declared talks had hit an impasse and demanded new proposals and respect from EU leaders.

Her comments were echoed by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt who insisted the EU must end its blanket refusal Mrs May proposals because Britain would not capitulate.

Mr Hunt said people in Britain were increasingly content to leave the bloc without a deal.

He said: “If the EU’s view is that just by saying no to every proposal made by the United Kingdom, we will eventually capitulate and end up either with a Norway option or indeed staying in the EU, if that is there view then they’ve profoundly misjudged he British people.

“We may be polite, but we have a bottom line. And so they need to engage with us now in seriousness.”


5.30pm update: Irish Minister CONCERNED about DUP’s role in Brexit

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister has expressed concern about the implications of the UK Conservative Party supply and confidence deal with the DUP on Brexit.

Simon Coveney said no party should have a veto over the future of the Irish border after the UK leaves the European Union.

He was speaking after DUP leader Arlene Foster praised Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday for “standing firm” against the EU.

Matt Drake taking reporting over from Simon Osborne

4pm update: Farage takes Brexit battle bus to Bolton

Nigel Farage is in Bolton for a Leave Means Leave rally alongside former Brexit secretary David Davis and Labour Brexiteer MP Kate Hoey.

The MEP said Theresa May’s strong message to the EU  following the bitter Salzburg debacle was enough to save her job during the Conservative Party conference next week but that the Chequers deal was “dead”.

He claimed the “political class” was planning a “major betrayal” and urged voters to write to their MPs to ensure Brexit is delivered.

Mr Farage said: “Every single day there’s a negative story about Brexit and what a catastrophe it is.

“This is us coming back with a counter campaign.

“I think if there was a second referendum Leave would win by a lot bigger margin.

“I think we would collectively stick two fingers up to an establishment that did not listen to the democratic vote – but we are a long way from that.”

2pm update: Hunt warns EU leaders to “step back from the abyss”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged EU leaders to “step back from the abyss” of a no-deal Brexit and engage with Theresa May’s Chequers plan.

Following the angry clashes at the Salzburg summit, Mr Hunt said it was “counterproductive” to “insult” Britain’s referendum vote and to say the only way the UK could legally leave was by “breaking up your country”.

He said: “What we need to be doing in a situation like this is bringing people together,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“This is a time for people in the EU to step back from the abyss, to sit down and to talk to us about how we can make these sensible, concrete proposals actually work.”

After EU leaders meeting in Austria on Thursday warned a key element of the Chequers plan would not work, Mr Hunt called them to engage with Britain in a “spirit of politeness and decency” to find an agreed solution.

However, he did not rule out the prospect that the Government could now seek a simple, Canada-style free trade agreement – favoured by many Tory MPs – rather than continuing with the more ambitious Chequers proposals.

12.29pm update: Farage accused of alienating senior UKIP members

Nigel Farage has been accused of alienating high ranking members of UKIP after calling for it to back away from associating with the far right.

A speech by the the former Eurosceptic party leader at a gala dinner was met with only “polite applause” rather than full-blooded support, according to a source who was present.

The souce said: “He has alienated a lot of high level members.”

Tensions surfaced when Mr Farage sparked a row with current leader Gerard Batten by warning the party faces “total and utter marginalisation” if it moves to the extremes of politics.

But Mr Batten confirmed he would approve party membership for English Defence Leader Tommy Robinson and said he stood by his descriptions of Islam as a “death cult” which sanctioned the use of sex slaves.

He also defended his appearance at a recent demonstration by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, insisting “it was not an anti-Muslim rally, it was a rally for justice for women and children victims of sexual abuse”.

Following the rally, Mr Farage said Mr Batten should be careful “what company he keeps”, and on Thursday the former UKIP leader said the was “in danger now, unless it changes direction very, very quickly, of total and utter marginalisation”.

11.17am update: Remain activists home in on swing voters

An anti-Brexit campaign group plans to micro-targeting more than a million swing voters to try to get them to pressurise their MPs to back a second referendum.

Best for Britain, which has partnered with the anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate, says it has data on target voters in swing seats.

Its volunteers for the We Want The Final Say campaign will target residents in the hope of convincing them to contact their MP to support a vote on the final Brexit deal.

10.33am update: German minister rejects May’s “Brexit blame game”

German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth said the 27 countries to remain in the European Union countries after Brexit met often and were striving to achieve “reasonable solutions”, as all negotiations had shown.

He said: “The blame game against the EU is therefore more than unfair.

“We can’t solve the problems that are arising on the island due to Brexit.”

Germany’s BDI industry association is convinced Brexit will hurt both the EU and Britain, its president said in an interview with public broadcaster SWR.

Regarding negotiations between Britain and the EU, Dieter Kempf said: “We still hope that things work out well but we are advising our companies to prepare for a no-deal,it a hard Brexit.”

“If there is a hard Brexit, there should be a trade and investment protection agreement that is as comprehensive as possible.”

9.48am: Labour leadership keen to press ahead with Brexit

Labour’s leadership is set to resist grassroots pressure to commit to a second referendum on Brexit, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has indicated.

Speaking on the eve of the party’s annual conference in Liverpool, Mr McDonnell warned of the risk that a re-run vote could stoke far-right populism and xenophobia.

More than 100 constituency parties and trade union branches have submitted bids for the referendum issue to be put to a vote in Liverpool and MPs and senior trade unionists are set to join a People’s Vote march in the city on Sunday.

But Mr McDonnell signalled the party’s position in that event would be unchanged from last year’s snap election.

He said: ”We would be in the same situation there, where we would be saying we’re accepting that original vote, this is the sort of deal that we want.

“I’m desperately trying to avoid any rise of xenophobia that happened last time around, I’m desperately trying to avoid giving any opportunity to Ukip or the far right. I think there’s the real risk of that.

“We’re not ruling out a people’s vote, but there’s a real risk, and I think people need to take that into account when we’re arguing for one.”

9.06am update: France prepared to legislate for no-deal Brexit

French European affairs minister Nathalie Loiseau said her country should get ready for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and will introduce legislation in November to that effect.

She said: “The British people decided to leave in a referendum, we respect that.

“But this choice cannot lead to the EU going bust, unravelling.

“That’s the message we have tried to send for several months now to our British counterparts, who may have thought we were going to say ‘yes’ to whatever deal they came up with.”

Ms Loiseau said Mrs May’s so-called Chequers proposals, whereby British goods would enter the EU’s single market freely, were “too negative” and would have led to “unfair competition for European companies”.

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