Brexit: cabinet rifts open over election gamble as EU leaders debate extension – live news – The Guardian,

Brexit: cabinet rifts open over election gamble as EU leaders debate extension – live news – The Guardian,

Today’s proceedings are under way in the House of Commons, where the transport secretary,Grant Shapps,is taking questions.

He’s told MPs that he is one of those who own an electric car and that we’re about to see a big increase in ownership.


In the world of business traders are still waiting forBrexitcertainty as as Brussels deliberates over the type of extension to give the UK.

The Guardian’s business blogquotesCraig Erlamof trading firm OANDA

The pound has rallied a little this morning on the back of claims thatLaborhas offered a “pragmatic path” to a Brexit deal with a compromise on the timetable.

The details of this are still lacking and the terms will probably not be acceptable to the prime minister but in reality, it’s not that important.

An extension will be signed off, at which point we’re probably heading for an election. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Some have detected a vagueness suddenly returning to Labor’s position afterthose comments earlier this morningby Rebecca Long-Bailey about the party being prepared to immediately back an election after the EU grants an extension

Steven Swinford of the Times picks up on a slightly different message to Sky News:

Steven Swinford(@ Steven_Swinford)

Rebecca Long- Bailey this morning:

On Today, asked ifLaborwill back an ‘immediate’ general election after EU grants extension, she said: ‘Of course’

Then on Sky she called for month-long program motion for WAIB & repeatedly refused to endorse pre-Xmas election

October 24, 2019

It’s worth noting too of course that the Shadow Secretary of State for Business Energy & Industrial Strategyis today also unveiling major Labor plansto create a carbon-neutral energy system by the 2030 s including insulation upgrades for every home in the UK and enough new solar panels to cover 22, 000 football pitches.

The party is setting out a fast-track climate strategy after adopting plans to work towards a net-zero carbon economy two decades ahead of the government legally binding 2050 target.

Liberal Democrats share details of second referendum amendment

The Liberal Democrats have shared their amendment to the Queen’s speech calling for a new referendum onBrexit.

The amendment, signed by the party’s MPs, proposes the addition to the legislation:

At end add ‘but believe that your government should make arrangements for a people’s vote in which the public will have the choice between the latest withdrawal agreement and remaining in the European Union’.

The party’s Brexit spokesperson,Tom Brake, tweets:

Tom Brake MP 🔶(@ thomasbrake)

The#LibDemshave pushed again and again for a# PeoplesVote.

Here is our amendment to the Queen’s

(October) , 2019


One of the more prominentLaborbackbenchers this week,Lisa Nandy, has said this morning that five or six days would be a sufficient length of time in committee stage for the Brexit withdrawal agreement bill.

Nandy, who was one of the Labor MPs who backed Boris Johnson’sBrexitbill at the its second reading this week with the aim of allowing it to progress to a stage when it can be amended, told the Today program:

When you consider that this is a bill that was published only 72 hours before the House of Commons was meant to consider it, that draws a border down the Irish Sea, so essentially creates an internal border within the United Kingdom, which could spark a chain of events which breaks up the United Kingdom, it seems to me not unreasonable to ask for five or six days to scrutinise it.

Nandy added that she had been asked by Conservative ministers how long Labor would need to scrutinise the bill and she said the “general consensus”, including from their chief whip, is that “five or six days in committee would be sufficient ”.

Lisa Nandy(@ lisanandy)

It isn’t unreasonable to ask for time to consider a bill that has implications as big as this for the whole of the UK#Brexit# r4today

(October) , 2019

Updated (at 4.) am EDT

An election would still be a major gamble for both Labor and the Tories though andDan Sabbagh writes in the Guardianon why reluctance on the part of the former goes beyond the need to stave off the potential threat of a no-deal Brexit.

The Conservatives already enjoy a healthy poll lead of 10 points, on average,according to Britain Elects, with the government on 35%. That leaves Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition on 25%, while the Liberal Democrats sit at (%.)

It is a figure so dismal that the party is behind where Michael Foot was in the run-up to the 1983 election, according to the elections expert John Curtice of Strathclyde University – and would result in a Conservative majorityof about 60 on forecasts prepared by Electoral Calculusbased on October’s polling. And this is with Nigel Farage’s Brexit party at 12%.

The Labour party leader, Michael Foot, campaigning in 1983, alongside his partner, the documentary maker Jill Craigie.
The Labor party leader, Michael Foot, campaigning in 1983, alongside his partner, the documentary maker Jill Craigie. Photograph: Don McPhee / taken from The Newsroom

Corbyn and other Labor figures haveSAid they want an electiononce no deal has been “taken off the table”.

Dan adds that against this polling background it would not be surprising, however, if the opposition party found more reasons for delay.

Updated (at 4.) ***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** (am EDT)

The Telegraph also reports on splits in Downing Street, adding that Boris Johnson’s chief of staff,Edward Lister, is in favor of accepting a shortBrexitdelay to get the deal through parliament before going for a mid-December election.

That reportedly puts him at odds withDominic Cummings, who reportedly wants a poll as soon as the EU grants an extension to article 50, with 28 November or December the most like dates.

“Is Boris Johnson still listening to Dominic Cummings on Brexit?” The Telegraphalso asks.

Neil Henderson(@ hendopolis)

TELEGRAPH: Human cargo driven to frozen fate#

October 23, 2019

Also speaking of Cummings, the New European has a fairly striking front page today.

Neil Henderson(@ hendopolis)

THE NEW EUROPEAN: The dangerous mind of Dominic Cummings# TJzMZD

(October) , 2019


Many ministers favor an election this year, arguing that Johnson will become progressively weaker if he is forced to fight battles int he commons to pass aBrexitdeal, the Financial Times reports.

One minister is quoted by the paper as saying: “We’d cream it, with or without a deal.”

Neil Henderson(@ hendopolis)

FINANCIAL TIMES: SoftBank to force 4000 WeWork job cuts as part of turnaround

(October) , 2019

On the front of the Guardian, the dividing lines of an emerging Cabinet splitare laid out.

Some cabinet ministers, including the Northern Ireland secretary,Julian Smith, are cautious about asking for an election, report Heather Stewart and Peter Walker

They believe the majority of 30 achieved by the government on the second reading of theBrexitbill on Tuesday suggests Johnson’s deal has enough support to carry it through all its stages in parliament.

However, hard Brexit supporters appear to be more gung-ho, with leader of the House of CommonsJacob Rees-Moggfear support for the bill could yet fall away – if the 19Laborrebels who backed it fail to secure the amendments they would like to see, for example.

In the mix too –as reported by Buzzfeed– is the prime minister’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings, who is said to be one of the main driving forces for an election.

Neil Henderson(@ hendopolis)

GUARDIAN: Police work to identify 39 people found dead in lorry# (KjXAm)

(October) , 2019


Yesterday’s appalling human tragedy in which the bodies of 39 people were found insider a container lorry in Essex dominate the front pages today, but Brexit takes up considerable space inside most titles.

The Times makes space on its front for a piece in which it reports that Johnson could make a third attempt to trigger a general election as early as today.

He is likely to lay a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act as early as tonight that would force MPs to decide before that much-touted 31 October deadline on whether to permit an election, reports Frances Elliott and Bruno Waterfield.

The paper also reports that Theresa May, the former prime minister, has raised concerns about an early election before aBrexitdeal is over the line.

Neil Henderson(@ hendopolis)

TIMES: Lorry migrants froze to death# QfEEcs

(October) , 2019

Updated (at 4.) am EDT

Bailey: Labor would back election after ‘Flextension’ granted

After Cleverly, the shadow business secretary,Rebecca Long-Bailey,was asked ifLaborwould vote for a general election as soon as the prime minister asks for one after the EU grants an extension.
She said:

That’s our position. But we also want the prime minister to look at the compromise that’s been offered that a lot of MPs support, and that’s the ability to be able to properly scrutinise the bill.


‘Conservatives cancel Christmas? ‘

It’s not quite the election slogan that Downing Street will have been hoping for but the prospect of an election poll appears to be gaining ground, with all the spin-off problems that come with it.

Asreported by the Guardian earlier this month– andby the Times today– electoral officials are facing logistical issues as authorities seeking to hire venues find that some are already booked up for nativity plays and pre Christmas venues.

The Tory party chairman,James Cleverly, when asked about the issue today on the Today program, replied:

I don’t want to bethe Grinchbut the point is that democracy is incredibly important and we have been prevented from discharging the duty imposed on us.

He didn’t take the bait when asked how the party’s Christmas election planning was going.

Cleverly had not ruled notBrexittaking place on 31 October and said the government has had to “ramp up” its no-deal preparations.

The EU has not agreed an extension and therefore it is absolutely essential that we make sure that we are ready to leave.


Good morning and welcome to Politics Live for another day of intrigue, brinkmanship and jumbled acronyms as the British government, EU leaders andLaborall face difficult choices over Brexit.

I’mBen Quinnand I will be taking you through all this morning’s developments before handing over to my colleagueFrances Perraudinthis afternoon.

Boris Johnson‘s cabinet is dividedover how to proceed withBrexit, as the prime minister faces the stark choice of pressing ahead with his deal or gambling his premiership on a pre-Christmas general election.

After an inconclusive meeting withJeremy Corbynon Wednesday morning in an attempt to agree an acceptable timetable for parliament to consider the bill, the prime minister told MPs at Wednesday’s PMQs that he was awaitingthe decision of the EU 27over whether to grant an extension before settling his next move.

While the EU’s decision is unlikely to come before Friday, look out for signs of positioning from European capitals and from inside the commission today.

The French government has privately voiced its concerns about taking the pressure off MPs to vote for the deal, which they believe could be ratified in 15 days, but EU sources said the bloc was seeking a “solution that works for all” and avoids a no deal exit.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, told Johnson in a phone call on Wednesday his reasons for “recommending the EU 27 accept the UK request for an extension ”.

The Labor party meanwhile also faces a choice, whether to support fresh moves for an election, or to again stand in the way of the two-thirds majority needed as one way of initiating a poll.

Timings (provisional) today:

10. 30 am – The leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg’s is expected to make a statement setting out next week’s business.

5pm – MPs vote on Queen’s speech

7pm – Jeremy Corbyn to address rally


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