Boris’ letters

Regular readers of Independence Daily will be aware that the Prime Minister has been forced to send a letter to the EU requesting a delay in Brexit.  The Times reports he sent three letters.

Boris Johnson opened a new front in his battle for Brexit last night, launching an audacious bid to thwart MPs who voted to delay Britain’s departure from the EU during a historic showdown in parliament yesterday.
The prime minister sent three different letters to EU leaders in an effort to circumvent a plot by “Brexit wreckers” to extend the Halloween deadline, branding it “deeply corrosive”.
In the first Saturday sitting of parliament since the Falklands conflict 37 years ago, MPs voted by 322 to 306 to withhold support for Johnson’s Brexit deal until the withdrawal bill that would make it law has been approved.

The Mail says one of the letters was unsigned.

Late yesterday – just before the midnight deadline stipulated by ‘wrecker’ MPs – a total of three letters were due to be sent from the Government to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council.
The first was the letter demanded by the Benn Act, which asks the EU to delay Brexit beyond the October 31 deadline – but not signed by Boris Johnson – using the exact wording specified in the legislation.
The second was a covering letter, written by Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s Permanent Representative in Brussels, which made clear that the first letter was from Parliament, not the Government.

An extension would damage both sides, reports the Express.

BORIS JOHNSON has sent a letter to Donald Tusk saying he believes another Brexit delay will “damage” both the UK and European Union as well as an unsigned letter asking for an extension as required by the Benn Act.
The development comes after MPs voted to ratify an amendment by former Tory minister Sir Oliver Letwin requesting an extension, which Sir Oliver claims was designed to protect against a no deal exit. As a result, the Government did not introduce legislation on the new withdrawal agreement agreed this week, but are understood to be preparing to do so next week.

The extension would be for three months, says Sky News.

Boris Johnson has asked the EU for a three-month delay to Brexit, which would extend the Article 50 negotiating period to 31 January 2020.
The request to European Council President Donald Tusk was made in an unsigned letter late on Saturday night.
It came hours after MPs voted to withhold their approval for Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal unless and until he has passed all necessary legislation to implement it.

One of the letters came from Parliament, rather than the PM, says Yahoo News.

Boris Johnson has sent a letter to the EU requesting a Brexit extension – but urged European leaders to reject the delay.
The Prime Minister is understood to have sent an unsigned photocopy of a delay request, distancing himself by stressing it is “Parliament’s letter” and not his.
He also sent a covering letter making clear he does not want an extension calling the idea “deeply corrosive”, as well as individual letters to the heads of each EU27 country encouraging them to say no to a delay.

A delay would be a ‘mistake’, reports BBC News.

Boris Johnson has sent a request to the EU for a delay to Brexit – but without his signature.
The request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, saying he believes a delay would be a mistake.
The PM was required by law to ask the EU for an extension to the 31 October deadline after losing a Commons vote.

The Guardian says he could end up in court.

Boris Johnson was warned on Saturday that he risks a fresh challenge in the courts after he reacted to a humiliating Commons defeat over Brexit by calling on EU leaders to reject any extension of Britain’s membership of the European Union.
After MPs voted by 322 to 306 to withhold approval of his EU exit deal, the prime minister was obliged to write to Brussels by 11pm on Saturday to request an extension until 31 January 2020, in order to comply with the law under the terms of the Benn act.

The letter requesting a delay came from a diplomat, says the Telegraph.

Boris Johnson has told the EU that he is “not asking” for a “deeply corrosive” delay to Brexit, as he ordered a senior diplomat to send an unsigned photocopy of the request drawn up by MPs asking Brussels for an extension.
The Prime Minister phoned European leaders on Saturday night to declare that the letter MPs had forced the Government to send to Donald Tusk “is Parliament’s letter, not my letter”. A senior No 10 source said he was asking them to “invite Parliament to reconsider”, on the basis that “the best thing for the UK and Europe” is for Brexit to take place on Oct 31.


But the PM hasn’t finished yet, says the Mirror.

Boris Johnson will try and bring a fresh vote on his Brexit deal on Monday after he suffered a humiliating defeat in the House of Commons.
The Prime Minister suffered another bruising on a historic weekend where the Commons sat on Saturday for the first time in 37 years.
At the same time, organisers claimed a million people packed the streets of London to call for a halt to the current chaos – and a second referendum.

iNews says MPs will have to consider the deal again tomorrow.

The House of Commons will vote on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal next Monday, Jacob Rees-Mogg has announced.
The “meaningful vote” which was scheduled for today was cancelled after a rebel amendment  tabled by Sir Oliver Letwin which effectively rendered it meaningless was passed by Parliament.
Instead the Government will ask MPs to approve the new Withdrawal Agreement in a vote on Monday evening, before debating the legislation designed to write the deal into UK law from Tuesday.

Labour Party

Labour MPs are divided, says the Telegraph.

Labour MPs were crying in the office of the Opposition whips yesterday as they weighed up whether to vote for a motion which could delay Brexit for months.
MPs representing constituencies that voted to leave the European Union were caught between voting for a Brexit deal and far left ‘Momentum’ activists who might not forgive them for voting with the Tory Government.
The stress on the MPs manifested itself when at least one MP burst into tears in the Opposition whips’ office, just next to the Members’ voting lobby in the Commons.

Corbyn’s not going to give up either, says the Mail.

Jeremy Corbyn told supporters he would challenge the Government ‘all the way’ over Europe – before later telling the Prime Minister to ‘jog on’.
Speaking at a raucous party rally in Liverpool on Saturday night, the Labour leader said his party would reject Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s deal with the European Union as he mobilised for a general election.
And later tweeted: ‘Jog on Boris Johnson with your daft ideas.’
It came just hours after The Commons voted 322 to 306 in favour of an amendment postponing a decision on the PM’s deal, and activating the Benn Act – a Remainer law that compels him to send a letter by midnight asking Brussels for a delay.


The Democratic Unionist MPs voted for the Letwin amendment, reports the Telegraph.

The DUP landed the fatal blow that ensured Boris Johnson had to formally request a delay to Brexit on Saturday after the party’s Westminster leader turned on the Prime Minister in the House of Commons.
Despite having personally pleaded with Nigel Dodds just minutes before the crunch vote on Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment, the government’s confidence and supply partners could not be persuaded to abstain.
All 10 DUP MPs voted for the Letwin amendment, which called for the House of Commons to “withhold support” from Mr Johnson’s plan until all of the legislation required to implement the bill is passed by Parliament as well.

The Times says the DUP gave the PM a ‘bloody nose’.

The Democratic Unionist Party gave Boris Johnson a bloody nose yesterday as it exacted revenge on the prime minister for breaking his word on Brexit.
The party’s 10 MPs voted in favour of a proposal to delay approval of Johnson’s deal to leave the European Union until all necessary UK laws are passed in parliament — denying him victory in yesterday’s Commons showdown.
Now, in a worrying development for Downing Street, the party is threatening to vote against the withdrawal agreement when it is introduced to parliament later this week.

BBC News says the party does not support the PM’s plans for the province.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has voted for a proposal that could delay Brexit until all necessary UK laws are passed in Parliament.
MPs voted by 322 to 306 to pass the so-called Letwin amendment to the government’s Brexit deal, inflicting a blow on the prime minster’s strategy.
The DUP backs Brexit, but does not support the prime minister’s revised proposals for Northern Ireland.


Members of the European Research Group have changed sides, says the Telegraph.

They may have been likened to one of the most feared military forces in the Greek world but the so-called Brexiteer Spartans who thrice refused to back Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement finally laid down their weapons on Saturday.
Boris Johnson always faced a fierce battle to win over the 28-strong group of Conservative hardliners but within hours of the Super Saturday crunch vote it became clear the war had been won, laying the ground for the Prime Minister to deliver on the referendum result some of the former rebels have spent their entire political careers fighting for.


But will the EU grant another delay?  The Telegraph says they might not.

EU leaders will not decide whether to delay Brexit until after MPs have voted on Boris Johnson’s deal next week.
There was frustration and exasperation in Brussels that MPs did not take the chance to ratify the Brexit deal struck at an EU summit last week.
“It will be for the UK government to inform us about the next steps as soon as possible,” the European Commission’s chief spokeswoman said on Saturday.

ITV News paints a picture of EU officials as the vote was taken in Parliament yesterday.

Many top EU officials and European leaders were presumably watching through their hands as Parliament voted this afternoon.
Remember, just 48 hours ago, 27 EU states backed the new deal struck with Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister argues that there’s no appetite for delay in the UK.
There’s also little appetite for delay in Brussels.

The Express claims the French president will veto an extension.

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron has joined forces with Boris Johnson in condemning the Letwin amendment that forces the Prime Minister to beg for a Brexit delay by raging an extension is “in nobody’s interest!”.
Less than an hour after MPs voted 322 to 306 in favour of Sir Oliver Letwin’s motion to force the Prime Minister to beg Brussels for a Brexit extension, Mr Macron – as enraged as Mr Johnson over the result – told AFP an extension to Article 50 is “in nobody’s interest”.
The 41-year-old French President is widely expected to veto any Brexit extension which would see MPs vote for the deal as planned today or – if the legislation for Brexit is not passed in time for the October 31 deadline – come out of the bloc on World Trade Organisation terms.

And iNews also reports Macron’s lack of enthusiasm over the extension.

French President Emmanuel Macron has poured cold water on MPs’ hopes of securing a further Brexit extension, after Boris Johnson’s defeat in Parliament.
On Saturday, MPs voted for an amendment that would put off a planned showdown over Mr Johnson’s Brexit agreement until next week, triggering the Benn Act provision that requires him to request an extension to the process of leaving the EU.
While some EU officials have hinted at their openness to the prospect of another delay, an extension beyond the 31 October Brexit date would require unanimous support from all 27 EU leaders.

Rebel alliance

The MP who brought the bill to the House of Commons is not popular, says the Mail.

Rebel alliance leader Sir Oliver Letwin faced a furious backlash from his Leave-voting constituency on Friday for thwarting Boris Johnson‘s Brexit deal.
Voters in his West Dorset seat voiced disbelief that their MP, who is standing down at the next General Election, had led the move to delay Brexit yet again.
Chris Loder, the new Tory candidate for the seat, led the criticism, saying people were ‘angrier than I have ever known them’.
Leave-voting Mr Loder also claimed residents were even asking if Sir Oliver – who now sits as an independent MP – had in fact ‘changed allegiances’ and was now backing the openly anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats.

And his colleagues have received a warning in the Express.

REMAINERS who today successfully derailed Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans by passing Sir Oliver Letwin’s amendment forcing the Prime Minister to beg the EU for a delay have been warned they shouldn’t “expect any immediate action” from Brussels.
MPs sparked a ferocious response by voting 322 to 306 with a majority of 16 for the Remainer MP’s amendment to get an extension and therefore cancelling today’s so-called Super Saturday vote that could have finally put an end to Brexit.

People’s Vote

A former PM might be behind an attempted coup, says the Mail.

Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell on Saturday night faced claims that they were behind an attempted Blairite ‘coup’ at the campaign for a second EU referendum by leaking information damaging to its multi-millionaire backer.
Private emails seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal the plotting by the veteran Labour politicians against Roland Rudd, the powerful chairman of the People’s Vote campaign.

And the Times reports a power struggle.

The multimillionaire Roland Rudd is at the centre of an extraordinary power struggle at the heart of the Peoples’ Vote campaign.
In a letter to grassroots activists last week, he said he would stand down as chairman of Open Britain, the most powerful group within the coalition that makes up the People’s Vote campaign.
The announcement from Rudd, a PR guru who raised funds from his City network for the failed 2016 Britain Stronger In Europe campaign, reflects his belief that new leadership is needed if a remain campaign is to win a second referendum.


Meanwhile, the Sun reports a clandestine offer.

NIGEL Farage has received a cloak-and-dagger approach for a seat in the House of Lords, we can reveal.
The Brexit Party boss has been sounded out for a peerage by allies of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a source said.
Three years ago, he knocked back the idea, at least in the short term, but there has been an arms-length approach, the source claimed.
Mr Farage, who will cease to be an MEP when Britain leaves the EU, has also previously said he would get rid of the upper chamber if his party ever won power.
Sources close to Farage claim it could have been an “attempt to buy him off”.


And Nigel’s party chairman has defended our fisheries from the PM’s proposed deal in the Express.

BREXIT PARTY chairman and MEP Richard Tice has ripped into Boris Johnson’s revised EU deal, saying it will allow Brussels to “drive a coach and horses” through Britain’s long-suffering fishing industry.
Mr Tice accused the prime minister of plotting to “sell fishing down the river” and said he would be “extremely worried” about the future of fishermen in the UK if MPs were to back the deal in a Commons vote on Saturday. Mr Johnson took to Twitter to proudly announce he had struck a “great new deal that takes back control” ahead of his meeting with fellow European leaders at a summit in Brussels.

Nigel has said Parliament does not represent voters, reports Fox News.

Most members of Parliament don’t accurately represent the opinions of the nation when talking about leaving the European Union (EU)Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said Saturday.
Appearing on “CAVUTO Live” with host Neil Cavuto, Farage said that while he wants Brexit “more than anybody,” the right move here would be to leave Boris Johnson’s Brexit and “take back our independence,” claiming Johnson’s deal is more like a new EU treaty that would bind Britain and lead to more negotiations and acrimony.


The Guardian claims there’s a power struggle within UKIP.

Ukip has moved to suspend its leader Richard Braine amid a fresh power struggle within the party.
On Saturday Braine confirmed that Ukip’s national executive committee (NEC) and the party chair, Kirstan Herriot, had attempted to oust him but questioned whether she had the authority to do so.
Braine said: “As I understand it the chairman has asked that I am suspended but I am not really sure whether that’s possible or whether she has the authority to do that. But at any rate – so what.

Boris’ bridge

The fantastic idea of a bridge between Scotland and Ireland has the support of a top Irishman, says the Times.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish taoiseach, has backed Boris Johnson’s idea to build a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland, saying it should be seriously assessed rather than dismissed out of hand.
Varadkar suggested this weekend that Ireland could give financial support to at least three big infrastructure projects in Northern Ireland and explore a joint strategy with Britain to boost industry across the border post-Brexit.
But his public support for Johnson’s often-mocked Larne-Stranraer bridge was the latest manifestation of the new bond between the neighbouring prime ministers, even if the taoiseach stopped short of offering cash for it.


Youngsters’ sight may be affected by the amount they have to use their eyes, says the Times.

An epidemic of short-sightedness is linked to youngsters staring at screens, reading books and doing homework, say scientists — who recommend removing their gadgets and sending them outside for at least two hours a day.
Researchers have found a direct relationship between the time youngsters spend on “nearwork” and myopia. They also predict a surge in the numbers of people who become blind or visually impaired, as people who develop short-sightedness early in life are at far higher risk of serious eye problems when older.

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