Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including the publication of the latest batch of government no deal Brexit planning papers
In an interview with the Guardian, the former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown said that the world was in danger of “sleepwalking in a future [financial] crisis” because there is not enough cooperation between governments and central banks globally. My colleague Larry Elliott wrote it up here.
Since 2008 we have built one of the most robust regulatory systems in the world designed specifically to ensure financial stability and protect taxpayers.
We have, obviously, reformed regulation to put in place one of the toughest systems in the world and we have made it easier to deal with any issues that emerge on the banking front.
The Daily Mail has backed Theresa May’s plans for a soft Brexit and described Conservative MPs plotting to oust the prime minister during the negotiations with the EU as “traitors”, my colleague Jim Waterson reports.
The European commission has responded to the UK government’s claim that, in the event of there being no Brexit deal, it would not pay the EU the £39bn already agreed, the Telegraph’s James Crisp reports.
(It is saying it is not prepared to renegotiate the sum – although in practice, if the withdrawal agreement were to collapse and the EU wanted to recover money owed to Brussels, there would in practice have to be a renegotiation.)
.@EU_Commission responds to @DominicRaab in today’s @Telegraph , where Brexit sec said UK would not pay Brexit bill if there is no deal.
Spox said: “We will not be revisiting those areas of the Withdrawl Agreement that are now settled , including the financial settlement. ” 1/
.@MargSchinas goes onto quote @JunckerEU speech yesterday.
“The president said yesterday that we stand ready day and night to reach a deal. .This is something we owe to our citizens and business to ensure UK withdrawal is orderly and there is stability afterwards”. 2/
Presumably there would not be much stability if UK refused to pay bill, which EC has always argued represents a settling of accounts (money owed) before leaving.
Other Q’s in play is whether UK would be legally liable or not..
In the Commons George Eustice, the fisheries minister, is making a statement about the scallop dispute with the French. He told MPs that the negotiations intended to resolve the dispute had failed.
Downing Street has confirmed that the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, attended today’s special no-deal Brexit cabinet meeting, after he was spotted at No 10.
The Canadian, who has just extended his term for six months to provide some stability over the departure period, was at the meeting for the first half an hour, to update ministers on the bank’s plans, Theresa May’s spokeswoman said.
Here is Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP and chair of the Commons home affairs committee, on the Home Office’s decision not to introduce protest-free buffer zones outside abortion clinics. She said:
This is a very disappointing response from the home secretary.
The whole point of having this review was because existing powers are not working or are proving cumbersome and difficult for councils or the police to use.
The Home Office has rejected calls for buffer zones to be introduced outside abortion clinics across the country. In a written ministerial statement, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, said introducing protest-free areas outside clinics to prevent harassment of patients “would not be a proportionate response”. He went on:
Having considered the evidence of the review, I have therefore reached the conclusion that introducing national buffer zones would not be a proportionate response, considering the experiences of the majority of hospitals and clinics, and considering that the majority of activities are more passive in nature.
And here is a full summary of what Dominic Raab told the Today programme, including lines from the interview not already mentioned.
It’s not a threat, it’s statement of fact as part of our no-deal planning that, yes, we would be mindful of our strict legal obligations, but the amount and the phased way it is set out in the withdrawal agreement would fall away because there would be no deal.
It’s not a threat and it’s not an ultimatum, it’s a statement of fact. I don’t say anything outside of the negotiation room that I haven’t and wouldn’t directly to our EU friends and partners, and I think it is well understood on both sides.
The reality of the ERG proposals, and the approach of saying we would accept the EU’s offer of a Canada deal, is not to look at the small print. The EU is offering in relation to the Ceta [Canada-EU trade deal] arrangements not just the deal that they have with Canada but a backstop arrangement which for all practical purposes would leave us indefinitely in the customs union. And that’s part of the offer they’ve made. So there isn’t an easy way round this.
In the past months, whenever we needed unity in the Union, Britain was at our side, driven by the same values and principles as all other Europeans. This is why I welcome prime minister May’s proposal to develop an ambitious new partnership for the future, after Brexit. We agree with the statement made in Chequers that the starting point for such a partnership should be a free trade area between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
But we also ask the British government to understand that someone who leaves the union cannot be in the same privileged position as a member state. If you leave the union, you are of course no longer part of our single market, and certainly not only in the parts of it you choose.
We’ve had some good news from businesses like Vodafone and Three. They have publicly said they wouldn’t introduce any roaming fees for UK consumers travelling on the continent.
What we have said is we would like to see other companies following suit, but, in any event, we would legislate for a limit on roaming charges to make sure in a no-deal scenario that we protect British consumers.
In his Today interview Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, was also asked about the dozens of Conservative MPs who have indicated that they are opposed to Theresa May’s Chequers proposal. He effectively delivered an ultimatum: they would either have to back the Chequers plan, or see the UK leaving the EU without a deal, he said. In other words, it would be “deal or no deal”, to coin a phrase.
When it was put to him that, if May did come back from Brussels with a deal based on her Chequers plan, he replied.
No, I don’t think so. I think we’ll come back with a good deal. I think it will focus minds. And I think colleagues will look at the choices they’ve got and we all have to be responsible for that.
I do appreciate the concerns on all sides … But when push comes to shove, there will be the choice between the deal that I’m confident we can strike with the EU and the no deal scenario. And we are making sure we are ready for the latter. But I think it would be by far the optimum outcome to have a negotiated deal, and I think that will focus everyone’s minds.
This is the crux of it for the govt – they hope, in the end, that there simply won’t be enough MP s who’d risk it – Raab says…. “There will be a binary choice between a deal and no deal and I believe that will focus minds.”
Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, is in Downing Street for this morning’s cabinet meeting about a possible no deal Brexit, according to Steve Back, a photographer who covers Downing Street and who tweets as @PoliticalPics.
Breaking: Mark Carney the Gov of Bank of ENGLAND just been smuggled into back door on No10 to join the Cabinet Brexit meeting in top range electric car made in the USA
One of the more interesting political developments of the last few years has been the growing rupture between the Conservative party and big business. The Tories used to be effectively the political wing of the CBI, but Brexit has changed that and we saw a relatively small, but nevertheless telling, example of that this morning when Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, criticised John Lewis for saying Brexit was contributing to a collapse in profits.
The company announced a dire first-half profit performance this morning. Sir Charlie Mayfield, its chairman, explained:
These are challenging times in retail. Profits before exceptionals are always lower and more volatile in the first half than the second half. It is especially so this half year, driven mainly by John Lewis & Partners where gross margin has been squeezed in what has been the most promotional market we’ve seen in almost a decade.
With the level of uncertainty facing consumers and the economy, in part due to ongoing Brexit negotiations, forecasting is particularly difficult but we continue to expect full-year profits to be substantially lower than last year for the Partnership as a whole.
Well, I think it’s probably rather easy at this moment in time for any business that isn’t doing rather well to point to Brexit. But let me just give you the facts; this week we’ve had economic growth accelerating, we’ve had real wages accelerating, we’ve had Relx, the Anglo-Dutch business information company, revise its structure to be headquartered in the UK. So, actually, we have got positive news on the economy this week …
I don’t doubt that some of the uncertainty around these negotiations will have an impact on business. That’s why we are putting all our energy into getting the good deal that we want with our EU friends and partners … All I’m just gently saying is that it is rather easy for a business to blame Brexit and the politicians rather than to take responsibility for their own situation.