Both Tory leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have said they will try to renegotiate predecessor Theresa May’s thrice-failed withdrawal agreement, as they believe the Northern Ireland backstop component is unacceptable. Ms Von der Leyen admitted she thinks the EU should be willing the extend the current Brexit deadline of October 31 if there were “good reasons” to do so. She said: “We don’t want a hard Brexit, it’s a bad outcome for both sides.
“We have a good withdrawal agreement.
“A Brexit without a deal comes with massively negative consequences for both sides, not to mention what it means for Ireland.
“That’s why we need to do everything to strive for an orderly Brexit.
“And that’s why if there are good reasons for an extension coming from our British friends, I am open to listening to them.”
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9.32am update: Andrew Neil lashes out at Irish senator over Brexit no deal claim – ‘Factually untrue’
Andrew Neil claimed Leo Varadkar predicted “years of economic decline” for Britain, while the Irish senator claimed the Taoiseach was merely “quoting” Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
Neale Richmond also argued a no deal Brexit would be “very, very bad” for the UK and EU.
Speaking on BBC Politics Live, Neil asked: “Does it really help when the Irish Taoiseach predicts decades of economic decline for Britain, when the Irish President talks about Britain having a tantrum? Is any of that helpful?”
The Irish Fine Gael politician replied: “Well with respect what the Taoiseach was merely doing was quoting the estimations of the UK’s own governor, the central bank of very many leading economists.”
The BBC presenter interjected: “Sorry the British Bank of England Governor has not predicted decades of economic decline.”
Mr Richmond claimed Mr Carney has “predicted massive decline in the British economy”, to which Mr Neil hit back: “No he hasn’t I’m sorry but that’s just factually untrue, he hasn’t said that.
“So why has the Irish Taoiseach been saying it?”
9.04am update: Brexiteer MP brilliantly explains why Remainer Tories will not ‘thwart will of the people’
Andrew Bridgen MP brilliantly explained how big the task in front of Remain-supporting members in Parliament truly is if they intend to “thwart the will of the British people”.
Some MPs have rallied round to explain exactly what could happen next. Appearing on BBC Newsnight, Mr Bridgen said the task in front of Remainers was so huge, the chances of them getting Article 50 revoked before the October 31 leave deadline was next to impossible.
He told the show: “What it would require rebels to do, who wish to thwart the will of the British people, is to basically seize control of the Order Paper and manage to get all stages of revocation bill of Article 50 through Parliament.
“There are also not that many Parliament days where that could happen.
“The alternative is voting down the Government which would require Conservative members to do that.
“They would then be possibly triggering a General Election where they certainly won’t be the candidates because they will lose the whip.”
8.36am update: Rees-Mogg throws his weight behind Johnson as future PM
Jacob Rees-Mogg has said no Prime Minister was going to suspend Parliament for a substantial period following yesterday’s vote in the Commons.
He added Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson has the “backbone to go ahead and leave the EU without asking for a delay”.
He told Radio 4 that “those who say they want to stop no-deal really want to stop Brexit”.
Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Parliament might have to be suspended to block a specific bill to prevent an abuse of Parliamentary process”.
8.15am update: Hammond savaged for Brexit attack on Johnson – ‘Absolute disgrace and embarrassment!’
Mr Hammond was branded an “absolute disgrace and embarrassment” to the Tory Party by angered Leave voters, after he defied a three-line Government whip and refused to reject an amendment, which aims to stop the next Prime Minister suspending parliament in the run-up to the October 31 deadline.
The Chancellor along with Justice Secretary, David Gauke, Business Secretary, Greg Clark and International Development Secretary, Rory Stewart, abstained from the vote in the Commons.
Mr Hammond – who is widely expected to be ousted as Chancellor next week – prompted a furious response from Brexiteers on social media.
One user replied: “Phil you are an absolute disgrace and embarrassment to the Conservative party.
“There are key people keeping it alive like Boris Johnson, David Davis, Andrew Rosindell, Ross Thomson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, without people like them many would have lost all hope by now. Time to leave!”
A second angered user said: “You are trying to rob the public of democracy, you have made my vote worthless.
7.31am update: Jeremy Hunt ‘accidentally’ skips no deal vote
The Foreign Secretary admitted he skipped yesterday’s crucial Commons vote because he thought he had been “slipped” – or given permission by the whips’ office to be absent.
Chief Whip Julian Smith was reportedly unimpressed, but a source close to Mr Hunt told the Telegraph he was always opposed to proroguing Parliament.
Mr Hunt tweeted: “I missed votes today because I thought I was slipped and it turns out I was not. Apologies to my colleagues & Whips Office. My position is that parliament should NOT restrict the hands of an incoming govt in this way & I remain opposed to how parliament voted.”
A Government source told the Telegraph: “Hunt and his supporters were told they would be needed and they all came back and said they understood. Jeremy was texted last week and acknowledged it.
“Now they are saying they were confused. It does make you question exactly what lies behind this.”