Brexit LIVE: Tories have LOST – Cabinet told customs union or public vote the ONLY options

Posted on May 3 2019 - 1:19pm by admin

It seems the only way Theresa May will succeed in passing a withdrawal agreement is to succumb to the cries of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, warned the chief whip. He said the deal will not pass without support from the opposition and warned that the Government could be ‘sunk’ if it tried. A source said Mr Smith told yesterday’s meeting of the Cabinet: “It’s a customs union or a second referendum, and we are not having a second referendum.”

A conspiracy of Brexit silence descended on Parliament today as both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn seemed to feel if they didn’t mention Brexit, voters heading to the polls tomorrow would simply forget the nation faced its biggest crisis in living memory.

With both mainstream parties facing decimation at the hands of voters in the local elections by 10pm tomorrow, insiders say party leaders have opted to stay silent on Brexit in the hope duping voters.

And today’s mammoth Prime Minster’s Questions lasting nearly an hour seemed to bear this out as  andinstead attacked each other over a range of issues, such as the public debt unemployment, the social care system and rising violent crime.

The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn tweeted: “The elephant in the chamber that dared not speak its name.

“A full 50 minutes of #PMQs today, and not a single MP brought up Brexit.

“Nothing to see here before 10pm tomorrow, voters.”

brexit may corbyn

Brexit latest: Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn didn’t exchange views on Brexit once (Image: PA)

I think pragmatically that they potentially may have no option in order to be able to push this deal through

Rebecca Long-Bailey

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said “pragmatically” ministers might have to move toward the party’s position on a customs union with the European Union if cross-party talks with the Conservative Party aimed at breaking the deadlock are to be successful.

Ms Long-Bailey, who is part of the Labour Party negotiating team, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think pragmatically that they potentially may have no option in order to be able to push this deal through.

“We are fleshing out the details to see how far the Government can move towards us and then we will be able to ascertain how far we are able to move towards them.

“There are certain issues that we think they will be prepared to move on and we might be prepared to support certain positions.

“There are certain areas which we haven’t seen any movement at all.

“We want to take a view on the whole package, the whole deal, to see if there has been any true movement.”

FOLLOW EXPRESS.CO.UK FOR LIVE UPDATES ON BREXIT:

brexit michael gove

Michael Gove told ministers it would be better to have the ‘unpalatable’ outcome of a deal (Image: GETTY)

8.23pm update: Nigel Farage confirms Brexit Party will stand in Peterborough by-election

Speaking at the latest Brexit Party rally, Nigel Farage said the party will contest the upcoming by-election in Peterborough.

The former Ukip leader said his new party will “give it out best shot” after hearing sitting MP Fiona Onasanya had lost her seat. 

Mr Farage said: I can also tell you now unequivocally from this stage for the first time that we in the Brexit Party on June 6, when that by-election is fought, we will fight that by election.

“This is just the beginning of an attempt to fundamentally reset, realign and change British politics. It is rotten. It is dishonest. It is broken. It doesn’t work.

“We can do so much better.”

5.45pm update: Ministers defend no deal Brexit ferry contracts as ‘extremely good’ value 

Paying out more than £50 million of public money on ditched contracts to provide ferry services after a no-deal Brexit was “extremely good” value, the Government has insisted.

Ministers defended the now-cancelled shipping deals as “an insurance policy” for taxpayers in the face of a barrage of criticism at Westminster and demands for an apology for the “unnecessary expense”.

The news comes after transport secretray Chris Grayling announced he was cancelling the contracts at an estimated cost of £50million to the taxpayer.

5.15 update: Brexit will help poor countries trade themselves out of poverty, Minister claims 

The UK leaving the EU and striking its own trade deals with developing countries will help them to “trade themselves out of poverty”, the International Development Secretary has said.

Penny Mordaunt said Brexit not only offers new opportunities for the UK but it could also “be a catalyst to changing the way the world trades and helping developing nations trade themselves out of poverty”.

She also said the Government must “deliver on the referendum result”, in response to a question from Conservative MP Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) on striking trade deals with poorer countries.

5pm update: No decision has been made on university fees for EU students 

Mrs May has said no decision has been made on university fees for EU students beyond the next academic year, following reports that they may face significant hikes from 2021 onwards.

She said it is the quality of education that counts and higher fees have not discouraged other foreign students from coming.

4.55pm update: An extension to the transition period may not be necessary

The Prime Minister said an extension to the so-called transition period may not be necessary, as it is possible a withdrawal deal will be reached in time.

She said: “It is possible to achieve it by the end of December 2020, the withdrawal agreement has within it the possibility of an extension of that implementation period.”

4.50pm update: PM admits three-year spending review could be scaled back if Brexit is not passed 

Mrs May has admitted the three-year spending review due this summer could be scaled back to just one year if the Brexit deal is not passed.

brexit chris grayling

Chris Grayling awarded no deal Brexit ferry contracts worth £100million (Image: GETTY)

4.45pm update: May reveals a no deal is still on the table

The Prime Minister admitted no deal is still on the table and an option the UK could use to remove itself from the European Union.

4.20pm update: May says Parliament will ‘insist’ the UK is not willing to leave without a deal 

Giving evidence to the Commons Liason Committee, Mrs May said she thinks Parliament will ‘insisit’ the UK does not leave without a withdrawal deal in place. 

In respose to MP Sir Patrick McLoughlin question asking if it was now “impossible for us to leave without a deal”, Mrs May said: “What I think is that Parliament will act to insist the UK Government is not willing to leave without a deal.

“Actually leaving without a deal is not entirely in the hands of the UK Government because the issue of the extensions to Article 50 rests with the whole of the EU sitting around that table…

“As it happens the view the Parliament has expressed in that it wants to leave with a deal is the same view the Government has in terms of our policy.

“We believe that leaving with a deal – this deal – is the best route for the UK.”

4.15pm update: No deal Brexit ferry contracts to be scrapped 

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is cancelling a set of contracts to provide ferry services after a no deal Brexit, at an estimated cost of £50 million.

Mr Grayling awarded contracts worth a total of more than £100 million last December to three firms – Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Seaborne Freight – to run extra services from ports including Plymouth, Poole and Portsmouth to ease expected pressure on the Dover-Calais route.

Even after the expected March 29 EU withdrawal date was delayed, sailings went ahead even though the feared disruption to essential supplies like food and medicines did not materialise.

The contracts will now be determined, with Mrs May saying that early termination was better value for taxpayers’ money than allowing the contracts to run on.

4pm update: Yvette Cooper SLAMS the PM’s leadership as ‘stubborn’ and unwilling to compromise 

The Prime Minister is currently giving evidence on Brexit to the Commons liaison committee and she has come under fire by Ms Cooper. 

The Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford told Mrs May “your version of compromise is telling people you were right all along”. 

In a further clash, Ms Cooper accused the Prime Minister of stubbornness, and said “resilience is a strength but stubbornness is a weakness”.

The Labour MP also criticised the Government’s current Brexit position, saying “it feels like we are going round in circles”. 

She said that MPs feel “paralysed” and that “nothing is changing”. 

Brexit Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn didn’t mention Brexit during Prime Minister’s Questions with Theresa May (Image: PA)

2.47pm update: Interest rates set to remain unchanged as Brexit uncertainty bites

The Bank of England are set to hold interest rates at 0.75 percent on Thursday, according to the Press Association, as Brexit uncertainty overshadows a strong start to the year for the UK economy.

The latest rates decision from the Bank comes amid signs that Brexit stockpiling has boosted recent economic growth figures.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said: “The MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) is likely to hold off from hiking interest rates until the Brexit situation becomes clearer and it can see how the economy is responding.

“Indeed, the MPC may see the extension of Brexit as prolonging the uncertainties facing the UK economy and increasing downside risks.”

2.41pm update: May needs ‘incisive leadership’ in Brexit negotiations to save Tories from polls disaster

Gloria Moss, a Professor of Management and Marketing, told Express.co.uk Westminster and its MPs still isn’t listening to voters – nearly three years on from the EU referendum in June 2016.

She said: “Britain’s Parliament remains deaf to the voice of the people and economic indices continue to tumble.

“The former director of sales of the Royal Mail Group, Graham Davis, states that inclusive leadership is about listening and that ‘once you’ve listened, because you haven’t got all the good ideas, you need to demonstrate that you’ve listened by changing things. People need to feel that they’re included’.

“It follows that Parliament’s failure to listen to the views of the 17.4 people who wanted a clean break from the EU not only puts a stop on change, producing stagnation, but also excludes over half the adult voting public from the so-called democratic process.

“According to the MD of PageGroup, Sandra Hill, a feedback process ensures leaders are measured against inclusive leadership competencies. So where, you might ask, are these checks on MPs’ behaviour?

“Should MPs not be accountable to their constituencies as also senior leaders of public sector bodies such as local authorities, schools, universities, the police and the NHS? Doing this would merely be to follow human resource management best practice.”

2.34pm update: Ann Widdecombe makes crowd LAUGH with astonishing Brexit speech – ‘Nincompoop Remainers’

The Brexiteer received the loud support of the crowd at a Brexit Party rally in Wales as she delivered an astonishing Brexit speech in which she blasted “nincompoops” Remain supporters.

The former Conservative MP and now Brexit Party candidate told supporters in Wales that Remain voters would like to see Britain left “helpless” in the European Union.

In an enthralling speech, she referred to Remainers as “nincompoops” as she accused MPs in Westminster of wasting three years of the Brexit negotiations to beg Brussels eurocrats for their permission to leave.

brexit leo varadkar

Leo Varadkar was heckled by furious beef farmers as he entered a Cabinet meeting (Image: GETTY)

2.22pm update: ‘Where’s the beef, ye Vegan?’ Varadkar heckled by farmers demanding increased Brexit support

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has been heckled by farmers, greeted by shouts and chants of “Where’s the beef, ye vegan?” as he arrived in Cork for a Government meeting.

Members of the Irish Farmers’ Association staged a demonstration outside City Hall to coincide with a Cabinet meeting being held in the same building.

The chants were made in reference to comments made previously by Mr Varadkar that he was cutting down on eating red meat for health and climate change reasons.

But the IFA were left furious by this, with the association’s President Joe Healy cornering the Taoiseach as he entered the building.

Mr Healy told Mr Varadkar: “We need answers today. We need a clear message coming from this meeting today. Farmers are depending on it.”

The Irish leader replied the government wanted to do more for beef farmers, but they were already receiving far more income supports than other sectors.

1.25pm update: Brexit BREAKTHROUGH? Labour says Government showing signs of changing stance

Labour has claimed the Government has shown a willingness to explore changes on on Brexit.

A spokesman told reporters Labour still needs to nail down the extent to which the Government was prepared to shift its position on issues such as customs arrangements, single market alignment and security.

12.48pm update: Ukip launches European election campaign with promise to ‘set Britain free’

Gerard Batten claimed Ukip are the only political party with a clear policy on how to leave Europe.

The Ukip leader was speaking to a group of 50 people in Middlesborough ahead of a nationwide tour.

He urged them to vote for the party in the elections on May 23 and said a victory for Ukip “will enable us to continue the struggle to set Britain free from the EU”.

Mr Batten was speaking in front of a campaign bus emblazoned with the slogan “Tell them again! Vote Ukip”, he said a vote for his party would be a vote to leave the EU.

The Ukip leader said: “If they do that, they will send a clear message to our politicians in Westminster.”

“Our Government needs to stop asking the European Union how it can leave and start telling them how it’s going to happen.

“We need a plan of how to make it happen and Ukip has that plan.

“And we don’t mind if the Government steals our plan because it’s going to be very good for our country.”

11.40am update: No deal ferry contracts CANCELLED at cost of £50M

The Government has cancelled its no deal Brexit ferry contracts at a cost of around £50million to the Department for Transport, the Press Association has claimed.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling award contracts worth £100million to three firms – Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Seaborne Freight – to run extra services from ports including Plymouth, Poole and Portsmouth to ease pressure on the main Dover-Calais route.

But after the scheduled Brexit date of March 29 was delayed, first to April 12 and finally to October 31, the new services are no longer needed.

In February, the National Audit Office estimated the maximum cost of compensation to ferry operators if contracts were terminated would be £56.6million.

But a Whitehall source told the Press Association the actual figure is expected to be around 10 percent lower.

The Department for Transport said in a statement: “The Government’s freight capacity contracts were a vital part of contingency measures, ensuring goods like medicines could enter the UK in the case of disruption during a no deal Brexit.

“Following the extension, the Government is reviewing all preparedness plans. The Government’s freight capacity contracts for the summer period are no longer needed and have therefore been terminated.

“The Government has taken this decision now as it represents the best value for money for taxpayers.

“The termination of these contracts has resulted in less cost to the taxpayer than the termination costs reported by the NAO in their own analysis of the freight capacity contracts.”

11.21am update: Brexit worries continue as manufacturing growth slows

Britain’s manufacturing sectors suffered a slowdown in growth in April as Brexit resulted in more firms shunning the UK and sourcing goods from elsewhere.

The Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed a reading of 53.1 last month, lower than the 55.1 recorded in March.

Expansion in output and new orders slowed and new export business decreased at the second-fastest pace in four-and-a-half years.

Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, said: The upturn in the UK manufacturing sector eased at the start of the second quarter. Growth of output and new orders slowed, leading to job cuts for the third time in the past four months.

“The trend in new export business was especially weak, as high stock holdings at clients and slower global economic growth led to reduced demand from key markets such as the European Union, the USA and China.”

brexit ukip

Ukip leader Gerard Batten launched the party’s European election campaign in Middlesborough (Image: PA)

10.03am update: Conservative Party’s BIGGEST Brexit mistake revealed – ‘We were crazy to do it’

Conservative Party members were “crazy” to keep Theresa May in power throughout the Brexit negotiations after the Prime Minister showcased an “inability to persuade” the people, Conservative commentator Tim Montgomerie claimed.

Addressing the public at a Centre of Independent Studies event in Sydney, he said: “If we were here for the rest of the afternoon, we could go through listing the major mistakes that Theresa May has made since she became Prime Minister.

“But right up there was the conduct of the General Election campaign that we had in 2017 – it was electoral malpractice on every level. We saw in how she conducted that election just her inability to communicate or persuade.

“We should have got rid of her as a party then.”

9.44am update: Pound SMASHES through euro barrier on Brexit optimism

The pound was propped up against the euro and US dollar this morning after reports suggested the tone of Brexit talks between the Government and Labour had improved.

Theresa May’s Conservative party is understood to be hoping a conclusion may be reached towards the middle of next week, with reports of this sparking a boost in Sterling.

De facto deputy Prime Minister David Lidington told Cabinet that talks on Monday were “serious and constructive”.

Mrs May’s official spokesman said: “Further talks will now be scheduled in order to bring the process toward a conclusion.” As of 9.10am UK time, the pound is trading at €1.1629 and $ 1.3058.

Yesterday afternoon marked the first time Sterling had smashed through the €1.160-barrier against the euro since April 10.

brexit rebecca long-bailey

Rebecca Long-Bailey warned the Government may have ‘no option’ but to side with a customs union (Image: GETTY)

9.40am update: Government may have ‘no option’ but to move towards customs union – Shadow Business Secretary

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Rebecca Long-Bailey said on the crucial issue of the customs union – backed by Labour but opposed by many Tory MPs – the Government may have to give ground.

She said: “I think, pragmatically, that they potentially may have no option in order to be able to push this deal through.

“We are fleshing out the details to see how far the Government can move towards us and then we will be able to ascertain how far we are able to move towards them.

“There are certain issues that we think they will be prepared to move on and we might be prepared to support certain positions.

“There are certain areas which we haven’t seen any movement at all.

“We want to take a view on the whole package, the whole deal, to see if there has been any true movement.”

9.26am update: ‘DEFYING will of Brits!’ Piers Morgan delivers BRUTAL Brexit rant – ‘Complete disgrace’

Piers Morgan delivered a brutal Brexit rant on Good Morning Britain furious at MPs for not delivering what Britons voted for in the 2016 EU referendum.

The UK will be forced to take part in European elections at the end of May if the Prime Minister cannot get a deal through the Commons.

Speaking on GMB, Piers Morgan said: “It’s a new thing when you have three-quarters of Parliament who voted Remain actually openly in my view defying the will of the people.

“They try and ridicule that phrase, the will of the people, but that is what it was.

“When you call a referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron says, ‘once in a lifetime, we will honour what you decide’. And the country decides by a majority to leave, you have to damn well leave.

“The fact that we are still here three years later and they are still trying to stop it happening, and talking about second referendums and so on, I think is a complete disgrace.”

brexit julian smith

Julian Smith warned Cabinet ministers it was ‘time to get real’ (Image: GETTY)

9.19am update: British MEPs in EU Parliament could create ‘VERY MESSY’ situation – Commission VP

The prospect of British MEPs getting into the European Parliament and then leaving after Brexit could create a “very messy” situation in the run-up to the vote for the next European Commission President, current deputy Jyrki Katainen has warned.

He told reporters in Warsaw: “The UK has been given a deadline to leave the EU, which is later in the autumn, but the Commission President might be elected before that. It looks very messy at the moment.

“We have to make sure all MEPs have the same rights and responsibilities because we cannot be in a situation where some MEPs have a partial mandate.

“But a temporary majority may cause lots of questions and troubles (if UK MEPs leave the European Parliament after Brexit).”

9.12am update: May and Corbyn to clash in Commons amid mounting Brexit pressure

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn will collide during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today, with both under pressure from their own parties on Brexit.

The Labour leader has seen off an attempt to commit the party to a confirmatory referendum on any Brexit deal, sparking fury among some of its Remainers.

There have also been warnings the Tories could lose up to 1,000 seats in local elections being held on Thursday.

The Conservatives fear Leave-backing supporters will stay at home or switch to Ukip in anger at Mrs May’s failure to deliver Brexit on time on March 29.

9am update: ‘No more Mr Nice Guy’ Farage launches Brexit Party campaign in Wales

The party’s leader said in a speech to supporters in Newport on Tuesday evening his return to front line politics was brought on by wanting to “fight back” against politicians in Westminster, and told supporters he would no longer be “Mr Nice Guy”.

Mr Farage said: “I decided the time had come to fight back, and I formed this Brexit Party and I vowed, if I had to come back into public life, this time no more Mr Nice Guy.

“This battle now is not just about Brexit; it’s not just about getting us out of the European Union. It is in fact about sweeping away a political class who serve nobody but themselves. This is about changing politics for good.”

8.55am update: PM’s ‘evasive technique’ is causing uncertainty – shock study

Theresa May is the most evasive Prime Minister of the modern era, according to scientists who argue her question-dodging is creating further uncertainty when the country needs solid guidance.

With mass confusion still surrounding Brexit, scientists believe the UK needs a strong – or “strong and stable” – leader more than ever.

However, our current Prime Minister is not giving us that, according to new research which suggests Theresa May is the most evasive of the most recent Conservative Prime Ministers.

A study from the University of York found that Ms May only answered 27 percent of of questions in four interviews from the 2017 general election, and similarly in two interviews just after she became Prime Minister in 2016.

This is a sharp contrast to former Prime Minister David Cameron’s approach, who answered 34 percent of questions in the 2015 general election.

Prior to this, John Major and Margaret Thatcher answered 39% of questions in the 1992 and 1987 general elections respectively.

The research goes on to say Ms May is even more evasive when it comes to Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), answering just 11 percent of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s questions – whereas Mr Cameron offered up direct answers to 21 percent of questions from the opposition leader.

Brexit Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage told a Brexit Party launch event there would be ‘no more Mr Nice Guy’ (Image: GETTY)

8.48am update: Record stockpiling of goods by smaller manufacturers – CBI

Stockpiling of goods and materials by smaller firms reached record levels in recent months, a new study suggests.

The survey of 252 manufacturers from the CBI shows small to medium sized manufacturers (SMEs) have raised stocks of raw materials and finished goods in the last three months.

Alpesh Paleja, the CBI’s principal economist, said: “SME manufacturers ramped up stockpiling over the last quarter in the face of Westminster deadlock.

“Against the backdrop of fairly tepid growth, this would have been a big drag on the resources of smaller manufacturers.

“Continued uncertainty meant that some investment plans would also have been restrained.

“Manufacturers certainly won’t want to face another cliff edge come autumn, so will want to see a Brexit deal finally agreed and over the line.”

8.30am update: Brexit Cabinet ministers FURIOUS as Theresa May BLOCKS Parliament vote to help UK leave EU

Cabinet tensions were reignited after Theresa May blocked Brexiteer demands for the new laws needed to take Britain out of the EU being put before MPs this week.

Plans were in place to introduce a crucial exit bill in the Commons in the scramble to secure the UK’s departure from the bloc.

But the timetable was ripped up and the delay means a new wave of British MEPs are now likely to take up their seats in Brussels in July.

Senior Conservative figures believe failing to put the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), which implements the exit deal, to Parliament will harm the party at the ballot box.

As well as a drubbing at local elections on Thursday, the Tories are braced for near wipeout from Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the European poll next month.

A party source said: “Cabinet is changing its mind from one week to the next. The only thing that stays the same is our inability to get on with leaving.

“If we don’t introduce the WAB we can’t say we’ve tried everything before the EU elections.”

Leave A Response