19 NOV weekly news

TWO CABINET MINISTERS THREATENING TO RESIGN OVER MAY’S REFUSAL TO RENEGOTIATE THE IRISH BACKSTOP DEAL

Allies of Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt and Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom say they could both quit by the end of the week unless Mrs May relents. But differing tactics emerged among the rebel Cabinet group last night. To the dismay of Brexiteers yesterday, Mrs May argued that the backstop plan to ensure the Irish border stays open wouldn’t work if either side could pull out of it. The PM told Sky News: “Just think about if you took out an insurance policy, and if you were coming up to the point where that insurance policy was being used, and suddenly people pull the plug on it for you? What would you think?” The DUP also called on the PM to renegotiate the backstop last night, arguing it splits Northern Ireland from the EU. Its Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said: “It is clear that it is time to work for a better deal which does not undermine the integrity of the United Kingdom” – The Sun

DEFIANT MAY TRIES TO TAKES CONTROL OF BREXIT WITH IMMIGRATION PLEDGE

Theresa May will promise on Monday that the United Kingdom is about to regain “control over our borders” as she steps up her efforts to sell her Brexit plans to her sceptical MPs. She heads to Brussels this week for fresh talks on the country’s future relationship with the EU amid a Tory backlash against her draft agreement with Brussels. The Prime Minister insists the two issues are linked – and will point to immigration as a key area where her critics will notice an immediate change after Brexit is complete. She will also argue that ending freedom of movement for EU nationals will “deliver on the verdict of the referendum”. Mrs May will tell the CBI annual conference: “In the future, outside the EU, immigration will continue to make a positive contribution to our national life. “But the difference will be this: once we have left the EU, we will be fully in control of who comes here. – iNews

Damian-Hinds-PASECOND REFERENDUM WOULD BE ‘SERIOUSLY UNDEMOCRATIC’ SAYS DAMIAN HINDS

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has told RTÉ that holding a second referendum on Brexit would be “seriously undemocratic” and “would likely produce the same result”. Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme Mr Hinds said British Prime Minister Theresa May would be going back to Brussels on Tuesday for further negotiations on the withdrawal deal and future relationship, ahead of next Sunday’s EU council meeting. Mr Hinds said that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and until the final signatures are on the document there are always discussions to be had.” Mr Hinds said hardline conservatives and the DUP needed to consider the alternatives to the deal. “It’s been at the heart of the Prime Minister’s approach to ensure the integrity of the United Kingdom and to make sure there is no return to a hard border between the Northern Ireland and the Republic. This deal does deliver that,” he said. – RTE

JO JOHNSON BACKS BID TO FORCE TREASURY TO REVEAL NO-BREXIT FORECASTS

Jo Johnson, the Conservative MP who resigned as a minister to back a second Brexit referendum, will on Monday throw his weight behind a bid to force the government to publish economic forecasts that compare its deal with remaining in the European Union. The Orpington MP is expected to make his first speech from the backbenches to support a cross-party amendment to the finance bill. Tabled by Labour’s Chuka Umunna and the Conservative Anna Soubry, the amendment is backed by 70 MPs from six parties, including the Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, and the SNP’s Europe spokesman, Stephen Gethins. It is aimed at forcing the Treasury to publish projections comparing the “fiscal and economic effects” of the government’s Brexit deal, with the outlook “If the United Kingdom had remained a member of the European Union”. – Guardian

European-Union-Donald-Tusk-conveneBORIS JOHNSON: THE EU WILL TURN US INTO CAPTIVES IF WE SIGN UP TO THIS APPALLING SELL-OUT OF A DEAL

Well, it seems my predictions of last week were, if anything, too optimistic. If MPs vote for this deal, we are bowing our neck to the yoke. We are preparing to take colonial rule by foreign powers and courts. We are handing over colossal sums of money for nothing. We are giving up the hope of new free-trade deals. We are giving up the right to vary our laws. We are betraying Leavers and Remainers alike: we are poised to abandon any UK influence in Brussels, and yet we are signally failing to take back control. In fact, we are surrendering control to the EU – and this 585-page fig-leaf does nothing to cover the embarrassment of our total defeat. Of all the lies that are currently being peddled, the worst is that this agreement can somehow be remedied in the next stage of the talks. I have heard it said that this is like a football match, in which we are one-nil down at half-time, but – as the Prime Minister suggested in her interview yesterday morning – we can still pull it back and get the Brexit we want. – Boris Johnson MP for the Telegraph (£)

MARK LITTLEWOOD: A NO-DEAL BREXIT WOULD NOT BE AS BAD AS THE DOOM-MONGERS TELL YOU

The prime minister used to have a mantra to sum up her approach to Britain’s departure from the European Union. “No deal is better than a bad deal,” she would state, repeatedly. Although she was entering the negotiations with the EU in good faith, she was — she claimed — willing to simply walk away if acceptable new arrangements could not be agreed. In practice, however, politicians display a propensity to wish to reach deals rather than to concede that thousands of hours of planning and diplomacy have ended in failure. Mrs May’s proposals appear to be without many friends and even fewer enthusiasts. Given the political deadlock over Brexit, the chances of Britain leaving without a full deal in place have increased markedly. If we do arrive at such a scenario, the doomsayers are likely to have again overstated how bad things will get and to have underestimated the economy’s resilience. It could be a bumpy ride for a while, but it is not likely to be the full-scale car crash that some claim to foresee. – Mark Littlewood for The Times (£)

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