Friday 9th November 2018
A controversial leaked letter from PM Theresa May in the morning press and the resignation of Jo Johnson, Minister of Transport and Minister for London, in the afternoon has led to a busy day on the media. Plus excellent Podcasts from The Spectator and The Telegraph
Times exc Here are (long) extracts of The leaked letter from Theresa May to Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds. The Times
1. But reason DUP are worried is it implies May is poised to accept an arrangement that would tie NI more closely to the EU than GB – backed up by Cabinet source who told me No 10 solution inc arrangement like ‘customs partnership’ for GB and ‘customs union’ for NI2. This is NOT what No 10 is saying right now – they say PM would never accept arrangements that hive off NI and negotiations still ongoing3. But the letter raises the possibility of ‘specific alignment solutions’ for NI – so potentially different regimes on the two sides of the Irish Sea – that’s why DUP are so cross – remember PM needs their votes desperately
4. If it’s enrage the DUP or lose the chance of the withdrawal deal – what does the PM do? Recent conversations with senior sources suggest it might be the former – (and increasing checks have been on table for ages) but high, high stakes
Am hugely proud of my honourable and principled brother Jo who has put the interests of the country ahead of his political career.
I very much doubt Jo will be the last Remainer to resign from the Govt to vote for a 2nd referendum. At least four others in the mid ranks have been on the verge for several months.
Jo Johnson: May’s backstop would offer “a boundless transition period… a con on the British people”
Boundless admiration as ever for my brother Jo. We may not have agreed about brexit but we are united in dismay at the intellectually and politically indefensible of the UK position 1/2
Will Jo Johnson’s exit shift Brexit balance? – BBC News
Jo Johnson’s damning criticism of May’s deal “When we were told Brexit meant taking back powers for Parliament, no one told my constituents this meant the French & the German parliament …The proposals will see us out of Europe, yet run by Europe.”
Apparently Sabine Weyand has briefed Coreper 27 that no progress has been made on the backstop because of political difficulties in U.K. Might square with your take on NI Customs territory. Also fish LPF issues plus exit mechanism?
Michel Barnier’s deputy Sabine Weyand tonight briefed EU ambassadors that there has been no significant progress on the Irish border – the last remaining issue in the talks – due to political deadlock in London.
So just how calamitous would a no-deal Brexit be? The transport minister involved in planning it – who resigned today – says this
JoJo story by
@NewsAnnabelle and me. NEW: Dominic Grieve on prospect of other ministers resigning: “I know there are many other people who are troubled by what has been happening and have come to same analysis that … Jo’s come to.
Podcast: Jo Johnson resigns and calls for a second referendum. What happens next? As usual, Coffee House Shots has the latest. Here.
Sorry to see
@JoJohnsonUK resign. He’s right that the Government’s current proposals are “a travesty of Brexit” and represent a huge democratic deficit – out of Europe but run by Europe. However, a 2nd referendum is not the way forward and is not supported by the public.