AFTERNOON BREXIT UPDATE 15-05-19

Afternoon folks,

*Liam Fox* has warned MPs that voting down the Withdrawal Agreement Bill next month could result in a choice between leaving the EU without a deal or no Brexit at all.

The International Trade Secretary has said that MPs need to consider the political consequences of failing to carry out the promise to deliver on the referendum result.

Brexit Secretary *Stephen Barclay* admitted today that Theresa May’s Brexit deal will be “dead” if MPs vote down the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Yet the PM repeated that it’s the government’s duty to deliver Brexit during this afternoon’s session of PMQs. 🧐

This time, the call for her to resign came from the SNP’s Pete Wishart, who said: “Has the road not run out, Prime Minister?” 🤔

If the latest ComRes poll is anything to go by, a new leader would not save the Tories from election defeat, with a new poll putting them level with the *Brexit Party* on 20pc each in a general election. See the details here: http://bit.ly/2W1yhEh
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MORNING BREXIT UPDATE 15-05-19

Morning ☕,

Guess who’s back, back again. That’s right, *Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Bill* is returning to the Commons on the week commencing June 3.

Why is it returning? 🤷‍♀To put it simply, all other options appear to be failing and ministers have gone cold on the not so great ‘definitive votes’ plan.

*Cross-party talks* continue to remain at a standstill and there’s still no sign that either *Mrs May* or *Jeremy Corbyn* could be about to budge on their red lines.

Does the bill actually stand a chance? 🤔It’s unlikely. The *DUP* have already questioned why they should throw their weight behind the bill to support it when nothing has changed.

Rather than it being a process that could break the Brexit deadlock, what it really does is to buy May more time. And crucially, it gives the PM something to say to the *1922 Committee* tomorrow when they demand to know her resignation timetable🧐.

But as Mrs May continues to wreak irreparable damage to her party, why are Tory MPs still reluctant to oust her? *Katy Balls* has looked at that question, here: http://bit.ly/2vYkY8K

So now the Brexit can has been firmly kicked down the road once again, attention returns to next Thursday’s *European elections* 🗳.

Ahead of next week, my colleague *Camilla Tominey* has spent 24 hours with *Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage*. You can see how that went, here: http://bit.ly/2Ebh8xB
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EVENING BREXIT UPDATE 14-05-19

Evening everyone 🧐,

We can expect to see the *Withdrawal Bill* put in front of MPs before the summer. Ministers were told that No.10 wanted to see *Theresa May’s* deal voted on for a fourth time.

It came as Cabinet held an “extensive discussion” on the Brexit talks with Labour, and the announcement that *cross-party talks* would not in fact end anytime soon.

It will come as no surprise that *John McDonnell* has said there is not yet a deal between the Government and Labour. The Shadow Chancellor said that Labour “have been saying to our Conservative colleagues that to get something through Parliament you may well have to concede that there is a *public vote* of some sort.”

Will the Brexit deadlock ever end? *Jeremy Hunt* has said that the current impasse cannot last because “everyone has a life beyond Brexit”🙄. The Foreign Secretary went on to add that the EU is unlikely to grant any further extension of *Article 50*.

And what about *Olly Robbins’* trip to Brussels today? My colleague *Peter Foster* has explained why Robbins’ endeavours in Brussels were never going to fix Brexit: http://bit.ly/2vTSg9g
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AFTERNOON BREXIT UPDATE 14-05-19

Afternoon all 🧐,

Another day, another battle cry from *Nigel Farage*. The *Brexit Party* leader has declared this morning that Remain voters will back the Brexit Party in *European elections* because they want politicians to “honour the will of the people” and take the UK out of the EU. 👀

My colleague Jack Maidment has reported that *Mr Farage* believes that those who voted in 2016 for the UK to stay in the EU will back the Brexit Party at the polls in order to protect “democracy”.

In his Telegraph column, *Tom Harris* has explained why *Nigel Farage* has so many people he can thank for helping him come back with a bang: http://bit.ly/2HixoPt

Elsewhere this morning, former *Labour MP Bridget Prentice* has announced that she is leaving the Labour party, citing the “wrong and pathetic” approach taken by *Jeremy Corbyn* over *Brexit*. 🤨

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MORNING BREXIT UPDATE 14-05-19

Morning folks 👋,

Cabinet ministers will urge *Theresa May* to abandon *cross-party Brexit talks* with *Labour* today as the PM edges towards giving MPs ‘definitive votes’. 🗳

It is understood that key figures within the Cabinet are reluctant to see talks with *Labour* go any further as they wish to avoid tying the UK to a *customs union*. In place of cross-party talks, Mrs May will consider holding a series of ‘definitive votes’ on different Brexit options.

But are cross-party talks completely dead in the water? 🤷‍♀Apparently not. Mrs May’s advisor *Olly Robbins* is heading to Brussels to discuss how the political declaration could be changed in the event of a deal with *Labour*.

That trip, however, could prove redundant if Cabinet ministers do indeed torpedo talks with Labour.

So, who, if anyone, can break the Brexit deadlock? 🤔 *Tim Stanley* believes that it’s time for the Tories to send for *Boris*: http://bit.ly/2YskAMc

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EVENING BREXIT UPDATE 13-05-19

Evening all,

*Nigel Farage* has confirmed this afternoon that he will stand as an MP for the eighth time, claiming it is his “duty” to prevent the referendum result from being “railroaded”. 🧐

Speaking on LBC Radio, the *Brexit Party* leader also declared that he was prepared to do “a deal with the devil” in order to secure *Brexit*, including propping up a Tory Prime Minister in the event of a hung Parliament.

Elsewhere, the Labour row over whether to back a second referendum isn’t going away anytime soon. Labour MP *Stephen Kinnock* has warned his frontbench colleagues that pushing for a *second referendum* could result in the collapse of *cross-party Brexit talks*.👀

My colleague Jack Maidment has confirmed this afternoon that said *cross-party talks* will continue at 5pm this evening. The feeling within Number 10 is that they would rather agree a deal with sign off from Labour than return to the Commons for a “definitive votes” plan. 🤨

Today’s Telegraph View has warned that political parties who fail to respect democracy will suffer the consequences. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2JjdqpP

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AFTERNOON BREXIT UPDATE 13-05-19

Afternoon folks,

*Jacob Rees-Mogg* has conceded that *European elections* will be “difficult” for the *Conservative party*. Talking to LBC Radio 📻this morning, the leader of the ERG admitted that people are “very enthusiastic” about the *Brexit Party*.

But it wasn’t complete surrender from *Mr Rees-Mogg*. He appealed to disillusioned Tories to continue supporting the party despite concerns over *Theresa May’s* leadership: “I would appeal to their loyalty, to their tradition and to say that the Conservative Party will get a new leader at some point”.🧐

On a similar note, *Daniel Hannan* has explained why *Theresa May* must now go if the Tory party is to survive. Read it here: http://bit.ly/2HjNzuM

Elsewhere this morning, *Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt* has declared that “this is a crunch week” for *cross-party Brexit talks*. Despite suggestions that talks with *Labour* have all but broken down, the Foreign Secretary insisted that talks will continue this week.

This is of course not the first time that there has been an indication that talks could be coming to a conclusion. So you might not want to hold your breath just yet. 👀

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