Author Topic: Various bits re Brexit and Economics  (Read 11372 times)

seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #105 on: August 07, 2019, 11:01:57 AM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/06/nothing-undemocratic-northern-irelands-brexit-backstop/

There is nothing undemocratic about Northern Ireland's Brexit backstop
•   MARK DURKAN
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6 AUGUST 2019 • 10:02PM


Writing for the Telegraph, Nick Timothy accused Leo Varadkar of not understanding the Good Friday Agreementand risking peace in Ireland. His attack on the Taoiseach is part of a syndicated assault on the backstop, which actually stemmed from the very red lines first spelled out by Theresa May, the prime minister Mr Timothy was then serving.
The backstop was agreed in good faith as one part of the wider Withdrawal Agreement. A UK exit via this agreement would be followed by an implementation period and negotiation of the future UK-EU relationship. It is an insurance policy to guarantee no detriment to existing arrangements on the island of Ireland for cross-border trade and cooperation during or after those negotiations.
Brexiteers portray the backstop in terms of EU control and now call it undemocratic. In fact, it is supported by a majority in Northern Ireland.
It is an EU concession to ensure that the North’s ambidextrous trading options as part of both the UK and all-island markets are not dissolved by the imperatives of Brexit or its aftermath.
It would help to uphold the North-South dimension of the Good Friday Agreement as mandated by the people of Ireland, North and South, in 1998.
But this would not be at the expense of other aspects of the 1998 Agreement. The Taoiseach has been clear that, as co-guarantor of the Belfast Agreement, he is not only a guardian of its Strand Two – the North-South framework, which encourages cooperation between the North and the Republic – but also fully mindful of its other provisions. The terms in which he has suggested potential deployment of its Strand Three – managing cooperation between Britain and Ireland – in a post-Brexit scenario disprove the caricatures by his detractors.
Mr Timothy called Lord Trimble in aid to claim that the backstop breaches the Good Friday Agreement. David Trimble was not singly responsible for the Agreement. Neither is he solely reliable on its interpretation. The paper he wrote for Policy Exchange ignores how the UK Supreme Court ruled when the two versions of “consent” within the Belfast Agreement were tested in relation to Brexit. In light of those rulings, the charge that the backstop violates the consent principle can be seen to rest on false premises.
Then there is the argument that Northern Ireland will be bound to EU rules over which it will have no say. Michel Barnier has stated that the EU is not out to impose new regulations on Northern Ireland but respects the relevant provisions in the Good Friday Agreement. Having dealt with him as finance minister and deputy first minister, in joint and equal office with David Trimble, I know that Mr Barnier’s appreciation of the nuances of the Agreement far outstrips that of anyone in the British Government.
Lord Trimble’s paper invokes paragraph 17 of Strand Two of the Good Friday Agreement as though it refutes the backstop. However, it provides that the views of the North/South Ministerial Council on EU policies and proposals can be taken into account and represented appropriately at relevant EU meetings. This helps to answer the charge that Northern Ireland would be trapped into regulations with no representation.
 
Simon Coveney, Ireland's deputy prime minister CREDIT: WIKTOR SZYMANOWICZ / BARCROFT MEDIA
Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, the Tánaiste, reflect a considered consensus in democratic Ireland. This includes the thinking of a majority of people and parties in the north as well as the responsible stances of opposition parties in the south. And there is no need to remind the Taoiseach about the pursuit of “alternative arrangements”, which is part of the very backstop text that Brexiteers want removed. The backstop is not intended as an end state. Alternative arrangements need to be developed to succeed it in the future EU-UK relationship.
The insurance policy of the backstop will not reduce the incentive for the Irish Government to pursue positive future arrangements rooted in the Good Friday Agreement. It would be good to believe that such an incentive would be fully shared by the UK Government. But Brexiteers’ incoherence on the backstop and the Agreement itself offers no such confidence to the EU27.
The backstop provides for a balance of insurance, incentives and interests to inform the very negotiations on a future relationship to which the new Prime Minister ascribes such priority.
 
Mark Durkan was the deputy first minister of Northern Ireland from 2001 to 2002

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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #106 on: August 07, 2019, 03:53:40 PM »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/07/five-key-conundrums-facing-johnson-government-tell-risk-no/

Five key conundrums facing the Johnson government - and what they tell you about risk of no-deal Brexit

 Here we look at five key decisions facing Mr Johnson and his team over the summer

 Peter Foster, europe editor
7 AUGUST 2019 • 10:47AM

From the corridors of Westminster to the chancelleries of Europe all sides are trying to divine the ultimate intentions of Boris Johnson’s new “do or die” Brexit government.

But so far the new administration has been long on ‘no deal’ rhetoric and very short on concrete policies that would be needed to implement that plan.

Here we look at five key decisions facing Mr Johnson and his team over the summer, and what they might reveal about his thinking as we approach the October 31 deadline.

Will the Government risk tabling legislation to prepare for a ‘no deal’?
At the moment the Johnson government says it does not dare to table any of the legislation that will be needed to address the challenges of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, for fear it will provide opponents with the legislative ‘hook’ for amendments designed to thwart him.

Major pieces of legislation are needed on trade, financial services, immigration and the imposition of Direct Rule in Northern Ireland to actually enable the government and civil service to manage the impacts of a no deal.


Mr Johnson has promised to guarantee the rights of EU Citizens after Brexit, but again declined to put forward the necessary legislation; he also needs to win Lords and Commons votes on Statutory Instruments to empower the government to raise tariffs to protect british farming and industry, but it now looks likely these will only come after a ‘no deal’.

As the Institute for Government has warned, failure to pass any of this legislation could leave the country in a messy legal limbo after Brexit; even if it is not strictly necessary to stop a ‘no deal’ occurring on October 31, it will mean a very hard landing indeed.

If the Government position does not change, it will indicate that Mr Johnson doesn’t believe he has a working majority in Parliament and will provide ammunition to those warning that a ‘no deal’ will be hugely reckless and damaging.

How will the Government show it is really ‘straining every sinew’ for a deal?
Mr Johnson has said that a ‘no deal’ is a million-to-one chance and that he will keep “straining every sinew” to prevent this happening - and yet he has not even accepted the offer of a meeting with the French President Emmanuel Macron.

Instead, Michael Gove has been sent out of his ‘no deal’ planning bunker to complain that it is “sad” that the EU will not negotiate with Mr Johnson, who for his part has said he will only talk “on the basis” that the EU side agrees to abolish the Irish backstop.

This blame-game might work for a while, but if Mr Johnson wants to demonstrate serious intent (even if he is not serious and seeks only to win the blame game) he will need to do more in the coming weeks ahead.

Among the ideas being discussed is Mr Johnson penning an open letter to Donald Tusk, the European Council president and other EU leaders warning of the risks of a grand rupture with Europe over the (relatively) local matter of the Northern Irish border.


But this is more grandstanding and it will sound emptier and more desperate as the days go by.  Much more substantive would be for Mr Johnson to pass an indicative vote through Parliament demonstrating - as he has repeatedly said - that a ‘bin the backstop’ approach has support in Parliament and would deliver an orderly exit for the EU.

If the EU just stuck to its guns in that scenario, it would look much weaker than at present - and might even prompt bigger member states like France and Germany to put last-minute pressure on Ireland to agree to a compromise on the backstop as we enter the crucible of negotiations in late October.

The extent to which Mr Johnson is prepared to put material pressure on the EU will be a sign of how seriously he actually intends to negotiate.

How much of the Withdrawal Agreement is Johnson prepared to keep in a ‘no deal’?
Mr Johnson has said ‘bin the backstop’ would be “good progress”, but for many of his backbench purists like, Mark Francois of the Tory’s European Research Group, even when shorn of the Irish backstop, the May deal is unacceptable.

So if Mr Johnson is serious about going for a ‘no deal’ in order to access a ‘disaggregated’ Withdrawal Agreement, his government will need to start fleshing out which parts of the current deal the UK government is prepared to accept - because much of it is not contentious.

How much of the Citizens Rights package they will guarantee? Will it, for example, include the rights to bring family members, export child benefit and accept the right of the European Court of Justice to rule on legal matters that pertain to EU law?

And what about the £39bn financial settlement? Which parts of the UK’s historical liabilities - from pensions to loan guarantees - is the UK prepared to accept? This is one of many key decisions that will impact on the UK’s creditworthiness and global credibility.

Then there are all those mundane but important matters, such as the legal status of goods placed on the market before Brexit; the jurisdiction of outstanding court cases or the legal status of long-term insurance contracts - to name but a fraction of the ‘housekeeping’ issues needed to provide a legal basis for ongoing trade.

The Johnson government, if it serious about a no deal, and wants to be treated seriously after a ‘no deal’ will need to start to address these questions. If not, then the current position might be read as electioneering bluster and bravado, rather than serious intent.

Will Johnson soften red lines on holding talks?
Thus far, as noted above, Mr Johnson has said he will talk to the EU only “on the basis” that the EU agrees to drop the Irish backstop.

But just as Mr Johnson could put pressure on Europe by passing a Brady-style amendment in Parliament demonstrating he has support for that approach, the EU could also pressure Mr Johnson by offering to discuss re-opening the Withdrawal Agreement.


This would not be to ‘bin the backstop’, but it would be a major concession from Europe. It might open the door to a smaller concession such as a time-limit on the backstop that only a few months ago were key demands of Brexiteers and could change the legal advice of Geoffrey Cox about the risks of the UK getting trapped indefinitely in the backstop arrangement.

Would Mr Johnson accept talks on those terms if they were offered? It is true, he would have to climb down from his own red line, but he could argue that the EU ‘blinked’ first.

If he refused such an overture that would be a very clear signal that he was actively intent on delivering a ‘no deal’, and it would lay the blame very squarely at his feet.

Does the Government have a strategy to play no deal short or long?
Related to all of the above is a big strategic decision about how the UK - if it is serious about a ‘no deal’ - is going to play its cards in that world.

The reality, as even Mr Johnson surely understands, is that a ‘no deal’ is not the end of the story, it is merely the beginning of a new and volatile chapter in EU-UK relations. The UK will need to do a deal with Europe.

The problem is that, at the moment, there is no strategic direction in Whitehall as to how a Johnson government would behave: will it ‘dig in’ for a longer confrontation and refuse EU demands to resolve EU citizens’ rights, financial issues and the Irish border before any talks begin? Or would a Johnson government, having delivered ‘no deal’, get rapidly more pragmatic?

The answer will depend partly on how Europe responds to the reality of a ‘no deal’, but an emerging policy strategy on this fundamental question - and the mapping out of its consequences one way or the other - will provide another key signpost of intent on the road to the October 31 Brexit deadline.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #107 on: August 22, 2019, 01:48:59 PM »
The lunatics are running the show

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/08/21/nigel-farage-must-prepared-stand-victorious-brexit-army/


Nigel Farage must be prepared to stand down his victorious Brexit army
ALLISTER HEATH
Follow  Allister Heath 21 AUGUST 2019 • 9:30PM
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 The Brexit Party Launches "The Big Vision"
The Brexit Party is on a war footing, but with any luck will never have to fight again, writes Allister Heath
It will soon be obvious to all that Boris is the real thing and the main threat is from the Remainers

If you want peace, prepare for war, as Vegetius explained in Epitoma rei militaris, the only Roman military manual of its kind to have survived intact. Nigel Farage, unlike the Prime Minister, isn’t a classicist, but I hope he will be heeding the lesson.

The Brexit Party is on a war footing, but with any luck will never have to fight again. Farage knows he must keep up the pressure on a Tory party that has spent 50 years betraying Eurosceptics. He is selecting candidates for every seat, releasing non-Brexit manifesto pledges (such as cash for the North and ditching HS2) and is furiously reminding voters that the problems with Theresa May’s deal extend far further than the backstop.

It is easy to understand why Farage is acting in this way. He has confirmed his place as one of the heroes of the Brexit revolution, most recently as the man who rescued it from its near-death experience at the hands of May’s clique of third-rate, dishonest Remainer ultras. Without the Brexit Party and its 30.5 per cent of the vote at the European elections, the 1922 Committee would have been too cowardly to axe Mrs May, the European Research Group would have remained powerless and Boris Johnson and his brilliant count palatine Dominic Cummings wouldn’t be in No 10, frantically preparing for a no deal.

For now, Farage must keep up the pressure. Without the threat of a wipeout and, in extremis, the potential replacement of the Tories by the Brexit Party, some (currently dutiful) Remainer ministers could still turn against no deal and try to blow everything up before Oct 31.


Yet Farage mustn’t lose sight of the ultimate objective: a meaningful departure from the EU that ensures Britain’s voters and institutions regain control of our laws, money and trade. It should go without saying that a genuine Brexit is compatible with a proper agreement: it doesn’t have to mean no deal. Yes, at present it looks likely that the only acceptable way out will in fact be without an agreement, but there is still a chance that this might change. Boris’s meeting with Angela Merkel was surprisingly hopeful.

But whether Europe’s nomenklatura climbs down or not, at some point soon, perhaps in a few weeks’ time, even the most cynical will have to concede that Boris is planning to deliver the clean Brexit he has promised. It will be obvious – for those to whom it isn’t already – that the existential threat comes from Remainers, not No 10. It will then make sense for Farage to declare victory, put aside his distrust of Mr Cummings and ensure his candidates never make it to actual ballot papers.

To those Brexiteers who disagree, I ask this: look at the facts. I still can not believe just how pro-Brexit this government actually is. It is breathtaking. Johnson/Cummings are the real thing, as are Dominic Raab, Priti Patel and all the other Brexiteers in positions of power. Sajid Javid is preparing a Budget that will blow the socks off the economy and will be the most important since Nigel Lawson’s 1986 masterpiece. The no-deal preparations are substantial and sincere.

Johnson’s letter to Donald Tusk contained two central points. The first is that the PM rejects the backstop, the most pathetic, preposterous treaty clause any British government has ever proposed signing.

The second, equally powerful, has been overlooked. We will not merely be leaving the single market and customs union but will be setting our own laws and taxes. It’s worth quoting Johnson at length: “Although we will remain committed to world-class environment, product and labour standards, the laws and regulations to deliver them will potentially diverge from those of the EU. That is the point of our exit and our ability to enable this is central to our future democracy.”

There will be no permanent regulatory alignment and no signing up to the EU’s horrifically anti-competitive “level playing field” guarantees. We will not have to copy and paste, zombie like, any new or existing rules dreamt up in Brussels. We will have the opportunity to innovate and to compete with better – or reduced – regulations.

Trade agreements necessitate some broad alignment in certain areas to allow mutual recognition of standards, but that is radically different from the wholesale surrender of sovereignty Mrs May was proposing. Under any possible Boris treaty, we will be self-governing once again. His pre- or post-Brexit negotiating aim is a classic free-trade area, not non-voting membership of a single regulatory zone. The implication is that the rest of Mrs May’s deal is dead: Boris’s letter is incompatible with the political declaration. His end point is exactly what Brexiteers have been dreaming about for so long.

When the time is right, Farage should stand his party down, especially if a general election has to take place before we leave. At the heart of the Boris/Cummings plan is a simple calculation: they must win swaths of Labour-held seats in working-class areas, to compensate for a small number of losses to Lib Dems in ultra-Remainer areas. Splitting the pro-Brexit vote would be hopelessly counterproductive.

Pro-Remain Tory MPs who vote against Boris in a motion of no confidence or help Parliament seize control will either retire, join the Lib Dems or be deselected (by CCHQ, if need be). The party’s candidates will thus comprise only Brexiteers, including converts, as well as those such as Amber Rudd who have reconciled themselves to leaving. There will be no need for Farage to stand against any of them.

It is therefore absurd in the extreme to depict Johnson as Theresa May 2.0, as some deluded commentators have begun to. Such an “analysis” is entirely devoid of understanding. Its authors are so convinced that the only possible outcome is either the May deal – now or at a later stage when we supposedly come crawling back, begging for readmission to the single market or customs union – or no Brexit at all that they have become trapped in a logical fallacy.

They can no longer see the world as it is. Boris is preparing a real Brexit. Only a Remainer parliamentary putsch, or a dangerously divided Brexit movement, can still stop him.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #108 on: August 23, 2019, 08:49:41 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/da4ffed4-c4cf-11e9-a8e9-296ca66511c9

Emmanuel Macron dashes Boris Johnson’s hope for Brexit deal French president says backstop ‘indispensable’ and renegotiation would leave agreement little changed Emmanuel Macron, left, with Boris Johnson at the Elysée Palace in Paris on Thursday
Victor Mallet in Paris and Mehreen Khan in Brussels YESTERDAY Print this page1585 French president Emmanuel Macron on Thursday cast doubt on British prime minister Boris Johnson’s talk of a Brexit deal before October 31,
 saying any renegotiation of the UK-EU withdrawal agreement would leave it little changed from the original. Mr Johnson said he was “powerfully encouraged” by his meeting on Wednesday with German chancellor Angela Merkel, when she expressed hope the UK and the EU could find a solution in the next 30 days to the vexed issue of the Irish border. He is demanding an overhaul of the withdrawal agreement finalised between the EU and his predecessor Theresa May that would involve removing the so-called backstop — arrangements to avoid the return to a hard Irish border. But Mr Macron, ahead of talks with Mr Johnson at the Elysée palace in Paris, said the backstop was an “indispensable” part of the accord. He agreed the two sides should be able to find “something intelligent in 30 days if there is goodwill on all sides” but only if the changes did not affect the EU’s core demands on Ireland and the European single market. “In the coming month we are not going to find a new withdrawal agreement that is far from the original,” said Mr Macron. Brexit: Johnson tells Merkel 'we want a deal'
“If there are things in the framework of what was negotiated by [EU chief negotiator] Michel Barnier that can be adapted and conform with the two objectives I mentioned — stability in Ireland and integrity of the single market — we should find it in the coming month. “If not, it means the problem is deeper, it’s political, it’s a British political problem and at that point it’s not a negotiation that can solve it — it’s a political choice that the prime minister [Mr Johnson] will have to make. It’s not up to us.” It is not about 30 days. The 30 days were meant as an example to highlight the fact that we need to achieve it in a short time Angela Merkel Mr Johnson is insisting the UK will leave the EU on the designated departure date of October 31, with or without a deal. He reiterated in Paris that Britain would not impose any controls on the border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. He also expressed confidence that alternatives to the backstop could be found to enable trade across the border without checks, adding these could involve “trusted trader” schemes, among other things. Mr Johnson said: “Of course I want a deal and think we can get a deal and a good deal.” A senior French official said the two-hour meeting between Mr Macron and Mr Johnson was “constructive”, with the two leaders wishing to pursue their contacts before the end of September “to try to reach an agreement that respected the fundamental European principles” noted by Mr Macron on Ireland and the EU single market. Inside the French government, Mr Johnson’s hardline Brexit stance is seen as a “Trumpian” attempt to present himself to UK voters as a decisive nationalist, rather than a genuine effort to wrest concessions on the withdrawal agreement he knows will not be forthcoming from the EU. Recommended Brexit Is business right to still fear a no-deal Brexit? A senior EU official said European leaders “expect details” from Mr Johnson about how to replace the backstop or talks would go nowhere at the G7 summit to be hosted by Mr Macron in Biarritz at the weekend. Donald Tusk, the European Council president who will represent the EU at the summit, will meet Mr Johnson. The EU official said there was now “concern” following Mr Johnson’s visit to Berlin that “we may have to wait at least 30 days to get some detailed plans from London”. A no-deal Brexit was now the “working assumption” of the bloc, given the UK government’s determination to leave the EU on October 31, added the official. Ms Merkel on Thursday clarified her 30-day comment, saying she had not given Mr Johnson 30 days to find a solution to the backstop but had just wanted to highlight how little time was left. “It is not about 30 days,” she said. “The 30 days were meant as an example to highlight the fact that we need to achieve it in a short time because Britain had said they want to leave the European Union on October 31.”
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #109 on: September 02, 2019, 10:15:37 AM »
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/no-deal-brexit-will-hit-poor-on-both-sides-of-the-border-first-and-hardest-1.4004118
For households in Northern Ireland, the consequences will be even more severe. A report by the UK’s Department of the Economy published in July stated that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal there will be a “profound and long-lasting impact on NI’s economy and society”. It is estimated that up to 40,000 jobs could be lost. This predicted rise in unemployment could coincide with the introduction of universal credit, the controversial welfare reform that merges six benefits into one. It is estimated that approximately 40 per cent of households will be worse off under the universal credit scheme.

Analysis from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (2013) showed that Northern Ireland will be the worst affected by the introduction of universal credit when compared to other areas in the UK. This is because the North has a higher proportion of low-income households in receipt of means-tested benefits.

It is incumbent upon government, on both sides of the Irish Sea, to prevent poorer households from paying the price of a no-deal Brexit
The roll out of the scheme in some areas of the North began last year and has seen an increase in requests for help from households whose payment has been delayed or suspended. The scheme is due to be extended to all recipients in 2020. In some parts of England where the reforms have already been implemented, food banks have seen a 52 per cent increase in demand. In 2011 there was just one food bank operating in Northern Ireland, today there are 23. Therefore, at a time when people will be in greater need of social support, the safety net for citizens in the North will be significantly eroded.

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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #111 on: September 03, 2019, 02:51:10 PM »
https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/simplistic-view-of-europe-has-pushed-uk-into-brexit-abyss-1.4005357

Simplistic view of Europe has pushed UK into Brexit abyss
Johnson leads myopic world view where complexity of EU is bulldozed by colonial will

Ian Dunt

 
 
You can predict the next action of Boris Johnson’s government quite easily. Simply imagine the approach which would show the least moral, intellectual or political understanding of the situation, and that is the one he will follow.

His strategy with parliament this week is to try and bully it into submission. He shows precisely no understanding of – or interest in – his opponents. He has no capacity to try and provide a compromise position. And he has overestimated his own leverage. It is, in short, a domestic rerun of the Brexiteer’s miscalculations over the backstop.

The Brexit debate often gets bogged down in technical details – parliamentary standing orders, customs procedures, principles of regulatory alignment. But at its heart there is an emotional battle taking place between two different views of the world.

The Remain side is generally comfortable with Britain exercising influence through a union of nations. They’re typically open to detail, strategically fairly modest and have an admiration for the competence of European leaders.

The Leave side harks back to a period of unchallenged British colonial strength, has a deep-seated hatred of detail, believes in the triumph of the will, and views European politicians as limp technocrats.

That world view has a long history, in which the current prime minister played no small part. When he worked as Brussels correspondent for the Telegraph between 1989 and 1994, he pioneered a new form of quasi-fictional reporting on nonsense news items like size limitations on condoms and bans on prawn cocktail-flavoured crisps.

At the time, it all seemed fairly jolly – an ultimately harmless form of instinctive Little Englander prejudice. But it helped cement a specific variant of the Eurosceptic world view, which took firm hold in what is now the Brexit electorate.

A seemingly harmless form of instinctive Little Englander prejudice helped cement a specific variant of the Eurosceptic world view
It was distinct from that of its fellow constitutional Eurosceptics, who were wary of legal overreach in the Maastricht Treaty and of the potential volatility of having a monetary union without any overarching fiscal or banking arrangements to complement it.


Hysterical offence
That kind of Euroscepticism was built on an understanding of the complexity of the European project, a grudging admiration for the legal and political achievements that had secured it, and a realistic assessment of Britain’s relative strength within it.

The Johnson brand of Euroscepticism was different. It despised complexity. It dismissed the complex reality of trying to create harmonised regulations for a single market in favour of hysterical offence at rules on noise levels for lawnmowers. It convinced itself instead that these rules were the deranged product of a class of European technocrats with nothing better to do but meddle in other people’s jovial prawn-cocktail-crisp-eating lives.

And, as a corollary of that, it viewed Britain as this immensely powerful, freewheeling, imaginative, free-trading powerhouse constrained by continental bureaucracy.

That world view helps explain the sense of bafflement and outrage with which hardline Brexiteers met the backstop negotiations. It was simply incomprehensible to them that tiny Ireland would be able to stand up to Great Britain. It was a reversal of basic historical laws. The idea that smaller nations gained strength by working within transnational organisations like the EU had not occurred to them, because their entire assumption about it was that it weakened member states.

The detail of the proposal prompted a similar reaction. They had not bothered to understand the manner in which a customs union eradicated tariffs, country-of-origin checks and customs declarations within its borders, nor the way single-market alignment eliminates regulatory checks. This was the world of detail, which was considered at best incomprehensible or at worst some sort of trick played by continental-types on common-sense British pragmatists.

There was no appreciation of the motives, moral commitment or intellectual capacity of their negotiating partners. And this type of myopic approach was not just unseemly. It also made them strategically ineffective.

Jacobean cult
A willingness to compromise was therefore replaced by a commitment to the absolute triumph of the will. If Brexiteers simply believed hard enough, all the details of other countries’ negotiating priorities and the technical requirements of trade would disappear. Brexit thought retreated into a kind of Jacobean cult, in which the content of its beliefs mattered less than its adherents’ undying willingness to commit to them.

When the backstop proposal was published, they simply could not understand what they were looking at, even though the broad outlines of what it would entail had been public knowledge for months. The emotional shock ultimately brought down Theresa May’s administration.

There was no appreciation of the motives, moral commitment or intellectual capacity of their negotiating partners
The same process is now playing out in parliament, as it enters its most important week in recent memory – and quite probably in our lifetime.

Johnson is threatening to remove the whip from Tory MPs who back rebel legislation against no deal. It is a spectacular sight. A prime minister with no majority is threatening to slash it even further if he does not get his way, seemingly unaware of the fact that this compromises his own position as much as it does their own.

Some people believe – probably rightly – that his ultimate aim is a general election, either in October or, if possible, just after the no-deal exit is delivered.

Quite why this would be a desirable outcome for him is unclear. His hardline position threatens his seats in Scotland and Conservative-Lib Dem marginals. There is little evidence suggesting he could make up those seats by flipping over Leave voters in traditionally Labour areas.

If no-deal happened, the resulting chaos would make it dramatically less likely that he could secure a majority. Although it is not clear that he has understood the evidence enough to recognise this.


The overwhelming lack of interest in detail and absolute commitment to the triumph of the will, infused with an elixir of unabashed nationalism, dominates the minds of those in No 10, forcing them into the same errors over and over again.

That error is based on a world view which took hold of the right of British politics for decades and which Johnson himself helped create. History has a cruel sense of humour.

Ian Dunt is editor of political news website politics.co.uk

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RedHand88

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #112 on: September 03, 2019, 03:18:21 PM »
Fantastic article, thanks Seafoid.

seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #113 on: September 05, 2019, 08:47:33 AM »

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/ministers-taken-aback-by-predicted-scale-of-no-deal-brexit-damage-1.4008114




Ministers taken aback by predicted scale of no-deal Brexit damage
Scenarios include 10,000 job losses in tourism in months after no-deal
6 hours agoPat Leahy Political Editor

 
Ministers now believe that a no-deal Brexit will be significantly worse than they previously expected, with predictions of thousands of immediate job losses in tourism and “carnage” in the fishing sector, after discussions at Cabinet on Tuesday night.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney briefed his colleagues at the meeting, which ran for 4½ hours and included a lengthy discussion about no-deal planning.

Cabinet members were circulated with a document on the likely implications of no-deal, which was later collected from them, and which left several Ministers taken aback by the severity of the warnings.

They were told that 10,000 jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry were likely to be lost in the first three months after Brexit.

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BREXIT: The Facts
Read them here

The implications for parts of the agri-food industry also shocked some of those present while Mr Coveney told the meeting that there would be “carnage” in the fishing industry after a no-deal, according to one person present.

Ministers were also told it was inevitable there would be some checks on goods imported across the Border but that those checks would not take place at the Border. When pressed by some Ministers for more details about the nature of the checks, Mr Coveney declined to elaborate – though there was some mention of mobile checks – but it is understood that discussions are taking place in Government Buildings about issuing more detail to the public, perhaps as early as next week.

‘Awkward’
Mr Coveney and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stressed the importance of protecting Ireland’s place in the EU’s single market, which would require the checks be carried out in consultation with the EU.

“The checks will come,” one Minister said. “But telling people where they are will be awkward.”

One Minister said: “We’re going to have to level with people. It’s going to be a lot worse than people expect.”

Some sources expect that the Government will make further announcements about no-deal planning, including the likely checks on imports, next week in advance of the return of the Dáil the following week.

The Government says that it is in discussions with the European Commission about protecting the single market in the event of a no-deal, while maintaining an open border between North and South.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #114 on: September 05, 2019, 08:58:54 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/fbddbbd6-cf1a-11e9-99a4-b5ded7a7fe3f

Brexit has read the rites over British conservatism Spooked by Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson now leads an English nationalist party PHILIP STEPHENS




 Ideological fervour has turned to raging fever. Brexit has upturned British politics. The very fabric of the nation’s democracy is at risk. Scotland’s place in the Union of the United Kingdom has been put in question. Boris Johnson could not care. The prime minister and his band of Brexiters decreed that Britain must leave the EU on October 31. Not a day later. All the rest was trivial. Thankfully, parliament has decided otherwise. This week the vulgar swagger of Mr Johnson’s short premiership faced a first collision with reality. A politician accustomed to lying and cheating his way out of tight spots was roundly defeated in the House of Commons. Parliament now looks set to disarm the October deadline by blocking the path to a no-deal Brexit.
 It has also taken out of the prime minister’s hands the date for an inevitable general election. Mr Johnson’s response was true to character. In the manner of the flailing schoolboy bully who has failed to get his way, Mr Johnson withdrew the party whip from the 21 centrist Conservatives who had dared defy him. It was an act of spite he will come to regret. Among the roll of former ministers sacked from the party were Kenneth Clarke, one of the most distinguished Tory politicians of the postwar era.

Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, was another victim, as was Philip Hammond, who until two months ago served as the chancellor. These are figures who have long upheld the decent, respectful and essentially honest political discourse of which Mr Johnson knows nothing. Beyond the personal vindictiveness — the rebels now face being ousted as candidates at the next election — the purge sent another message. Not so long ago Mr Johnson found it convenient to strike a pose as liberal-minded One Nation Conservative. Now he has thrown overboard entirely the broad church, middling conservatism of Edmund Burke. In his anxiety to outflank on the right Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, Mr Johnson will fight an election as leader of the party of English nationalism. Scotland has been all but jettisoned. Ruth Davidson, who headed the Scottish Tories, was one of the most effective leaders in the British political firmament.

She cited the pressures of family life as the main reason for her recent resignation. It is no secret, however, that she loathed the pinched rightwing populism peddled by the prime minister. Her departure foreshadows a collapse of the Tory vote in Scotland. The longer Mr Johnson is in No 10, the surer the bet that Scotland will back independence. In the style of demagogues and xenophobes through the ages — and with more than a nod to the populism of US President Donald Trump — the prime minister wants to frame a general election as a contest between parliament and “the people” he now claims to champion. Anyone who thinks that Britain should not be wrenched out of Europe by October 31 is a collaborator. And, yes, the Europeans are the enemy. Mr Johnson’s prospectus is shot through with contradictions and absurdities. He styles himself a champion of the sovereignty of the Westminster parliament. Yet he has spent the past several weeks seeking to muzzle that very same parliament. Having failed in the endeavour, he now claims a higher authority as the representative of “the will of the people”. This way lies the authoritarian assault on the institutions of democracy. Mr Johnson’s claimed negotiating tactic with the EU is redolent of playground politics. He says Brussels will reopen the arrangements agreed with Theresa May’s government only if he convinces them that he is ready to throw Britain over the cliff-edge of a no-deal Brexit. The message to Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron is simple: rewrite the agreement or we will blow ourselves up. Madness. The prime minister has read the demagogue’s handbook: repeat the lie often enough and a lot of people will believe it — the more so when it is shot through with dog-whistle xenophobia. During the 1960s, America’s rightwing Republicans embarked on what was called the “southern strategy” — a populist pitch to white working class voters who were disenchanted with the civil rights liberalism of the Democratic party. Mr Johnson has a “northern strategy”. By casting Brexit as a fight against foreigners and immigration he hopes to win an election by winning over anti-European white working class voters in traditionally Labour areas. We are promised a campaign that might make even Mr Trump blush. Such has been the tumult since the 2016 referendum, it is easy to forget just how far Britain has fallen. Trust in politics has collapsed. Civilised political discourse has made way for habitual rancour. The essential norms and institutions of democracy — tolerance, respect for minority views, the impartial roles of the judiciary and the civil service among them — have faced sustained attack. Casual falsehoods have become a favoured ministerial currency. A general election will not settle this. Reason has fled from the European argument. More than likely an election will throw up another political deadlock. The minimum requirements for a sustainable settlement are the removal of Mr Johnson and another referendum. At some point, of course, the EU27 may lose all patience. It would be hard to blame them. Mr Johnson once promised to “take back control”. Now he has lost control.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #115 on: September 05, 2019, 11:00:33 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/fbddbbd6-cf1a-11e9-99a4-b5ded7a7fe3f

Blazmo 13 minutes ago Let’s face it, Deadbeat Dad is going to get very desperate - having made the mistake of taking on the leadership and owning the Brexit mess that he had a big hand in creating (first by backing Leave, and then by wrecking May’s plans) he now finds himself well out of his depth. He is now fighting not to be known as the worst PM ever (which is saying something given how poor his immediate predecessors were). As the article says, any election campaign is going to be very ugly - the opposition better be ready for that. Step one - assuming the bill goes through and DD does what it says and asks the EU for an extension, make him wait until after October 31st and then hit him with ‘Boris can’t deliver on anything, he’s a pathological liar’ (which is true, looking at his track record).
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mouview

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #116 on: September 05, 2019, 11:27:22 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/fbddbbd6-cf1a-11e9-99a4-b5ded7a7fe3f

Brexit has read the rites over British conservatism Spooked by Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson now leads an English nationalist party PHILIP STEPHENS




 Ideological fervour has turned to raging fever. Brexit has upturned British politics. The very fabric of the nation’s democracy is at risk. Scotland’s place in the Union of the United Kingdom has been put in question. Boris Johnson could not care. The prime minister and his band of Brexiters decreed that Britain must leave the EU on October 31. Not a day later. All the rest was trivial. Thankfully, parliament has decided otherwise. This week the vulgar swagger of Mr Johnson’s short premiership faced a first collision with reality. A politician accustomed to lying and cheating his way out of tight spots was roundly defeated in the House of Commons. Parliament now looks set to disarm the October deadline by blocking the path to a no-deal Brexit.
 It has also taken out of the prime minister’s hands the date for an inevitable general election. Mr Johnson’s response was true to character. In the manner of the flailing schoolboy bully who has failed to get his way, Mr Johnson withdrew the party whip from the 21 centrist Conservatives who had dared defy him. It was an act of spite he will come to regret. Among the roll of former ministers sacked from the party were Kenneth Clarke, one of the most distinguished Tory politicians of the postwar era.


The trouble with this article is that it makes too much sense, it's far above the social welfare/working classes readership. My great fear is that the rabid right-wing newspapers (Express, Sun, Telegraph) will again sway the debate during the GE, they've started already on Corbyn.

seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #117 on: September 05, 2019, 11:51:54 AM »
https://www.ft.com/content/fbddbbd6-cf1a-11e9-99a4-b5ded7a7fe3f

Brexit has read the rites over British conservatism Spooked by Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson now leads an English nationalist party PHILIP STEPHENS




 Ideological fervour has turned to raging fever. Brexit has upturned British politics. The very fabric of the nation’s democracy is at risk. Scotland’s place in the Union of the United Kingdom has been put in question. Boris Johnson could not care. The prime minister and his band of Brexiters decreed that Britain must leave the EU on October 31. Not a day later. All the rest was trivial. Thankfully, parliament has decided otherwise. This week the vulgar swagger of Mr Johnson’s short premiership faced a first collision with reality. A politician accustomed to lying and cheating his way out of tight spots was roundly defeated in the House of Commons. Parliament now looks set to disarm the October deadline by blocking the path to a no-deal Brexit.
 It has also taken out of the prime minister’s hands the date for an inevitable general election. Mr Johnson’s response was true to character. In the manner of the flailing schoolboy bully who has failed to get his way, Mr Johnson withdrew the party whip from the 21 centrist Conservatives who had dared defy him. It was an act of spite he will come to regret. Among the roll of former ministers sacked from the party were Kenneth Clarke, one of the most distinguished Tory politicians of the postwar era.


The trouble with this article is that it makes too much sense, it's far above the social welfare/working classes readership. My great fear is that the rabid right-wing newspapers (Express, Sun, Telegraph) will again sway the debate during the GE, they've started already on Corbyn.
The Tories are taking huge risks
No Deal is not that popular
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brexit_post-referendum_polling_-_Remain-Leave.svg
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #118 on: September 05, 2019, 02:24:15 PM »
https://www.ft.com/content/110207f2-cea2-11e9-b018-ca4456540ea6

How Europe views the Brexit endgame The EU’s decision makers have lost patience with Britain and want it out — fast SIMON KUPER

How do European decision makers see Brexit now? I’ve asked politicians, diplomats and business groups across the EU and found them remarkably united around a tough stance towards Britain. They won’t give in to Boris Johnson’s demands to renegotiate a deal, but nor do they want Britain’s anti-no-deal forces to delay Brexit. Very few Europeans are still open to the UK’s staying in the EU, and most dread a potential second British referendum. Here are my conclusions: European decision makers have lost patience with Britain and want it out, fast. Anne Mulder, the Dutch parliament’s rapporteur on Brexit, speaks for many: “We thought the Brits were rational pragmatists. Well, they aren’t.”

 For years, Angela Merkel and many in Brussels hoped Britain would eventually ditch Brexit. In March, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, argued for giving the UK a long extension, saying Europe shouldn’t betray “the increasing majority of [British] people who want to remain”. That view has lost favour in Brussels. Europeans distrust Johnson, but they also despair of Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, who prioritises getting into Downing Street over shaping sensible Brexit policy, and they are close to giving up on Britain’s squabbling Remainers. Even if Remain won a second referendum, Brexiters would become a Trojan horse inside the EU. But Europeans will keep sounding friendly and open to negotiations. They don’t want to humiliate “proud” Britain, nor be blamed for the pain that Brexit inflicts. They hope to maintain close security ties after Brexit (but they worry that a poorer UK with a plummeting pound will cut military spending even further). On the ground in Europe, Brexit is already happening. European governments are replacing the UK with new alliances, notably the Hanseatic League of northern countries. Many businesses are acting similarly: North Rhine-Westphalia, a German region that trades intensively with Britain, has been relieved to discover that some European companies have anticipated Brexit by shifting from British suppliers to German ones.

Britain is becoming yesterday’s problem. But what if Johnson, the bookmakers’ favourite in an election, wins the British power struggle? Europeans would rather have a no-deal Brexit than accept Johnson’s demands that they drop the planned Irish “backstop”. Both the EU and the British government keep making the same mistake about each other, notes Douglas Webber of Insead business school, author of European Disintegration? (2016): each side thinks the other will cave to avoid an economically damaging no-deal Brexit. In fact, says Webber, both sides regard short-term economics as secondary. Johnson’s government prioritises achieving Brexit. Europeans prioritise preserving the rules of the single market and standing by Ireland. The EU’s support for Ireland — the country insisting on the backstop, because it fears renewed conflict on its border — is non-negotiable because of the EU’s core mission. The EU sees itself as a peace project, and as a club of mostly small states that seek strength in numbers — two points that even most British Remainers miss. Two-thirds of the EU27 have 10 million inhabitants or fewer. Alone, these states could be bullied: Denmark by Donald Trump over Greenland, the Baltics by Russia, everyone by China. The EU must now be seen to protect little Ireland. “It’s not about Ireland, in a way,” says Noelle O’Connell, executive director of the European Movement Ireland, an independent not-for-profit organisation. European big business isn’t lobbying against no deal. EU companies have had three years to prepare. And the last thing they want is Johnson turning Britain into a low-regulation trade zone that undercuts them. If British companies aren’t following European rules, their European rivals want them out of the single market. Europeans foresee only moderate economic damage from no deal. No deal would cost EU27 citizens €40bn in income a year, estimates the Bertelsmann Stiftung, an independent foundation. On average, that’s a manageable €90 per person.

Only Ireland expects short-term agony, and it’s the firmest opponent of renegotiation. Many southern and eastern European economies would barely notice no deal. These countries are expending little more thought on Brexit than British policymakers are expending on Italy’s political crisis. Most European leaders (especially French president Emmanuel Macron) want Britain to suffer from Brexit, not because they are anti-British but because they are pro-themselves. If in a year Johnson could say, “We’ve made a success of Brexit,” it would encourage Leavers across Europe. No European government — not even Hungary — wants that. Whatever their rhetoric, they are all now objectively pro-EU in that they want to remain. Brussels expects Britain to reopen talks within a week of no deal. In the first days, the EU would allow the Irish border to remain porous, but continental ports would already be checking goods, causing delays and shortages in Britain. Brussels wouldn’t grant any longer-term fixes until London agreed to honour the backstop, pay its exit bill of £39bn and guarantee rights of European citizens in Britain. But the risk is that by then, Johnson will have won an election with a hard-Brexit party. If he blames Europe, refuses to pay up and fantasises about shifting Britain into the US’s low-regulation zone through a trade deal with Trump, no deal could metastatize.
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seafoid

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Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« Reply #119 on: September 08, 2019, 08:50:14 AM »


Like Los Angeles, the Conservative party is built on a faultline. LA has San Andreas; the Tories have Europe.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/09/07/boris-johnson-prepares-supreme-court-showdownover-rebel-mps/

Amber Rudd quits as Boris Johnson heads for Supreme Court showdown 
      
      

Amber Rudd quit the Cabinet and the Conservative Party on Saturday night.  CREDIT: OLI SCARFF/AFP




      Edward Malnick, sunday political editor
7 SEPTEMBER 2019 • 9:30PM

Amber Rudd quit the Cabinet and the Conservative Party on Saturday night, attacking the “short-sighted” ousting of pro-EU MPs and saying she believed Boris Johnson was now aiming for a no-deal Brexit.
In a letter to Mr Johnson, the Work and Pensions Secretary insisted she had joined the Cabinet in “good faith” but said she was no longer convinced that “leaving with a deal is the Government’s main objective”.
Ms Rudd’s resignation, on the eve of Mr Johnson’s second attempt to secure an election, will fuel an already seismic row in the Conservative Party over its stance on Brexit, with sources claiming more MPs are preparing to quit on Monday.
On Saturday night a senior government source accused the MP of resigning to “chase headlines” and warned: “As the polls show, the public do not back attempts by some MPs to cancel the referendum.”
It comes as the Prime Minister’s advisers prepare for a Supreme Court showdown over MPs’ plans to delay Brexit. Downing Street aides are also drawing up plans to “sabotage” the EU’s structures if Brussels grants an extension.


Boris Johnson will disobey an order

Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief aide, is creating a “shadow” team of advisers to work on plans to fight an expected emergency judicial review in the UK’s highest court next month if Mr Johnson is unable to secure an election this week.


The Conservatives extended their lead over Labour to 10-points in an Opinium poll on Saturday night.
A separate YouGov poll put the Tories on 35 points compared with 21 for Labour, with the Brexit Party on 12.

The Prime Minister is understood to have told senior officials that he will refuse to meet a demand, contained in a Bill that cleared Parliament last week, for him to request a delay to Brexit if he fails to secure its approval for an exit agreement by Saturday Oct 19.
Downing Street said Mr Johnson “does not share the rebel interpretation” of a Bill forced on the Government by a coalition of MPs including 21 Conservatives who have since been ousted from the parliamentary party – meaning that he believes that he could legally ignore some or all of its requirements. 

But Conservative MPs indicated that any such move could spark a new walkout from the party. 


David Lidington, the former de facto deputy prime minister, said ignoring legislation would set a “dangerous precedent”, while Kevin Hollinrake, a backbencher, said: “You would see a significant number of Conservative MPs resigning the whip, including me.”

On Saturday night a Number 10 spokesman said Ms Rudd was a “talented” minister but added that “all ministers who joined Cabinet signed up to leaving the EU on October 31st come what may.”

A month before Brexit was originally due to take place on March 29, Ms Rudd, along with Greg Clark, the then Business Secretary, and David Gauke, who was Justice Secretary, publicly called for a delay if Parliament did not approve a deal.

Last week she criticised Mr Johnson for removing the Conservative whip from Tory rebels, including Mr Gauke and Mr Clark.
Speaking on Saturday night she said: “This short-sighted culling of my colleagues has stripped the party of broad-minded and dedicated Conservative MPs. I cannot support this act of political vandalism.”
Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, said: “I’m dismayed to see Remain rebels behave with contempt for the greatest governing party the world has known.”
In comments likely to further anger pro-Remain MPs, a senior Whitehall source claimed that Mr Johnson’s team would “take a chainsaw” to any attempts to prevent Brexit on Oct 31, after the Prime Minister insisted last week he would rather “be dead in a ditch” than delay it. 
Mr Johnson has resolved not to resign even if Jeremy Corbyn wins a vote of no confidence in him as a last-ditch attempt to delay Brexit after Oct 19.
The source said the Prime Minister’s aides “have made clear they think this Parliament has no moral force, they will take a chainsaw to anything in order to leave, and they think they will win the election then sort out the mess afterwards”.

Mr Cummings has ordered advisers to prepare for a legal challenge on the first working day after the Oct 19 deadline, on the basis Mr Johnson will refuse to seek an extension at the next meeting of EU leaders on Oct 17 and 18.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The PM will not ask the EU for a delay at the next [EU] Council.” A senior No 10 source added: “If there isn’t a deal by Oct 18 we will sabotage an extension.” 
Downing Street is also preparing to wreak havoc with Brussels by vetoing the restructuring process of the European Commission ahead of the Oct 31 departure date. 
Meanwhile, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that Nigel Farage has set out to Conservative MPs the terms of his offer of an electoral pact.
The Brexit Party leader has demanded that his candidates be given free rein to contest Labour-held seats in the North, Midlands, and South Wales and even suggests that he could campaign for Tory Brexiteer candidates if Boris Johnson backs a clean Brexit. 
Downing Street is ramping up preparations for a general election, as Mr Johnson prepares a second attempt to secure Mr Corbyn’s support for a poll on Monday. 

On Sunday, Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, claims in this newspaper that Brussels seems “blind” to the fact that by “refusing to compromise” on the backstop, it is “making no deal more likely”. 
Mr Cummings has set up a team of advisers to work on a potential Supreme Court case outside of Whitehall structures after becoming angered by a series of leaks in recent weeks.







Downing Street believes pro-Remain campaigners and MPs would attempt to seek an order from the Supreme Court in order to force the Prime Minister’s hand, and they would only have an outside chance of success given the short time frame of a 10-day window before exit day.
On Saturday, Lord Macdonald of River Glaven, the former director of public prosecutions, said Mr Johnson could go to prison for contempt of court if he ignored a court order.
Sources said Mr Johnson would remain in Downing Street even if Mr Corbyn tried to oust him at the eleventh hour with a vote of no confidence.
<img class="responsive lazy-image__img article-body-image-image" src="/content/dam/politics/2019/09/07/TELEMMGLPICT000208543885_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqpVlberWd9EgFPZtcLiMQfyf2A9a6I9YchsjMeADBa08.jpeg?imwidth=480" alt="Prime Minister Boris Johnson">
Prime Minister Boris Johnson CREDIT: AFP
It is understood that the Prime Minister has indicated that he would refuse to resign or recommend a replacement to the Queen until after the UK’s exit from the EU on Oct 31.
Downing Street believes a Supreme Court challenge would bolster public support for Mr Johnson in an election campaign, as he attempts to pit himself against political opponents who “don’t trust the people” who voted to Leave.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson’s aides are considering vetoing an EU vote to formally reduce its number of commissioners from 28 to 27. The threat is an attempt to ensure EU leaders reject any attempt to delay Brexit. 










Downing Street believes the commission will not be “legally constituted” if the move is vetoed.
Sources have also denied claims in the New York Times that the Prime Minister had cried when his brother Jo resigned from the Government last week.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, which she posted on Twitter last night, Ms Rudd said: “I joined your Cabinet in good faith: accepting that ‘No Deal’ had to be on the table, because it was the means by which we would have the best chance of achieving a new deal to leave on 31 October. However I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the Government’s main objective. 
“The Government is spending a lot of energy to prepare for ‘No Deal’ but I have not seen the same level of intensity go into our talks with the European Union who have asked us to present alternative arrangements to the Irish backstop.”
Ms Rudd was a staunch opponent of a no-deal Brexit while serving under Theresa May.
Brexiteers blame Ms Rudd for undermining Mrs May’s attempts to secure an exit mechanism from the backstop, the insurance plan for the Irish border which Mr Johnson describes as “anti-democratic” and says would leave the UK tied to the EU.
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