Two members of the Government are resigning and a Cabinet minister is mulling whether to quit over Brexit this weekend as Theresa May’s administration appears to be disintegrating ahead of the most important vote of a generation.
Government whips have given Conservative MPs until lunchtime on Sunday to set out how they will vote on Mrs May’s Brexit deal, in a desperate bid to judge the scale of a rebellion that threatens to bring down her government.
Writing in The Telegraph, Will Quince MP, a member of the Defence Secretary’s ministerial team, announces he is quitting his government role, saying he wants to “implore the Prime Minister to go back to the European Union and find another way”.
Westmonster reports the pressure on the Prime Minister.
Theresa May will be under huge pressure to quit as Prime Minister after her deal is likely defeated next week, with an attempt to oust her on the cards.
Cabinet Ministers have warned her that she will have to quit if her deal is defeated and she fails to renegotiate a better deal with the European Union, according to The Telegraph. May has been steadfast in insisting that there can be no renegotiation and that her deal is the final offer. Either she has to advocate a No Deal when MPs reject her plan, or leave it to a new PM.
The Times looks at the possible replacements if Mrs May does not survive as Prime Minister.
Theresa May may not survive if her Brexit deal suffers a serious defeat in parliament, but a new poll today reveals the public are indifferent about the list of her potential successors.
According to a YouGov survey for The Sunday Times, all the major Tory leadership contenders have negative net approval ratings, with voters taking a similarly dim view of May loyalists and those who oppose her Brexit deal.
If the prime minister resigns this week, Sajid Javid is the most popular candidate to replace her. The home secretary, who is on minus 18% in the poll, is followed by the former Brexit secretaries David Davis (-19%) and Dominic Raab (-21%). Amber Rudd is next on minus 23%.
And the Guardian talks of a ‘deep split’ in the cabinet.
A deep cabinet split has opened up over whether Theresa May should back second referendum in a final attempt to end the political deadlock over Brexit, as senior Conservatives predicted on Saturday night that her blueprint for leaving the EU was heading for a crushing House of Commons defeat.
Adding to a mounting sense of constitutional crisis ahead of Tuesday’s crucial parliamentary vote, No 10 is braced for more resignations of ministers and aides who want another referendum, or who believe May’s deal fails to deliver on Brexit.
Theresa May could be forced to hold a second EU referendum under a dramatic last-minute move to allow MPs to vote on the issue next week.
Just four days before the most important parliamentary showdown in decades, a brand new Commons amendment has been tabled to allow a so-called “people’s vote” to take place.
The two options on the ballot paper would mean the public would get to choose either the PM’s Brexit plan, or remaining in the European Union.
The Express claims Mrs May has agreed trade terms with a top EU boss.
THERESA May’s drive to get Britain out of the EU was given a massive boost yesterday when she agreed a £39billion exit deal with chief Eurocrat Jean-Claude Juncker.
After a frantic night of wrangling ended in a 4am dash to Brussels, the Prime Minister finally broke the deadlock in the negotiations.
Shattered from only two hours’ sleep, she shook hands on the deal with the European Commission president at about 6am yesterday.
The Times claims Brussels is watching but the deal will not be renegotiated.
The fractious lead-up to Tuesday’s Commons vote is being watched from Brussels with a mixture of resignation and disbelief. But European Union diplomats are uniformly adamant that the so-called insurance policy of the Northern Ireland backstop will not be altered.
For now, their policy is to say nothing for fear of being blamed for the prime minister’s deal being rejected by MPs. “Until you have a British government that has come to some kind of idea of what it wants, something that has a reasonable chance of getting approved, then what else can we do except wait?” said one EU negotiator.
The Times claims her trip to Brussels aims to save her government.
Theresa May will seek to emulate Margaret Thatcher by travelling to Brussels to demand a better Brexit deal in a last-ditch attempt to save her government from collapse.
Ministers and aides have convinced the prime minister that she needs “a handbag moment” with EU bosses if she is to have any chance of persuading her own MPs to support her.
They expect May to announce tomorrow that she will launch a final throw of the diplomatic dice with a dash to Brussels, a move that could result in Tuesday’s vote being postponed.
The Independent claims the EU may be prepared to renegotiate the deal.
The European Union will renegotiate with Theresa May if she loses the crunch vote on her Brexit deal on 11 December, according to a former European Commission president.
Romano Prodi, who served in the role from 1999 to 2004, said it was crucial that the European Union took steps to avoid the negative consequences of the UK crashing out of the bloc without a deal in March, which would become a significant possibility if Ms May loses the vote this week.
The Guardian also reports for the former EU boss’ words.
The EU will come back to the negotiating table if parliament votes down Theresa May’s deal with Brussels, according to Romano Prodi, a former European commission president.
Prodi, who twice served as Italian prime minister and had Jean-Claude Juncker’s job until 2004, said that the EU needed to do everything it could to avoid the “economic catastrophe” of a no-deal Brexit.
Back home, Mrs May could still postpone the vote on Tuesday, says the Mail.
Theresa May is expected to delay Tuesday’s parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal and head to Brussels to demand better terms from the EU.
According to the Sunday Times ministers and aides have convinced her she needs a ‘handbag moment’ – to emulate Margaret Thatcher – and demand better terms from the EU.
Reuters reports the possibility.
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to delay Tuesday’s key parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal and head to Brussels next week to demand better terms from the European Union, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.
The newspaper cited “ministers and aides” who said they expected her to announce on Sunday that she was delaying the vote. It is widely expected she will lose and ministers are concerned that the scale of defeat would be such it could bring down her government.
This week’s meaningful vote on the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement marks a watershed moment in British politics. Parliament will decide on the UK’s future relationship with the European Union for a generation to come. That’s not hype. This is the decisive moment.
We are being asked to shackle ourselves to a deal which hands over £39 Billion without anything guaranteed in return, which allows the European Court of Justice to continue to interfere in British law and our daily lives, and which breaks the Conservative manifesto promise to leave the customs union.
And the Times runs a column by Iain Duncan Smith.
The vote on Tuesday isn’t just about the prime minister’s proposed deal: it is about whether we will respect the wishes of 17.4m people who voted to leave the European Union. To do this we must reject the doom and gloom and honour the referendum result.
After all, the prospect of leaving the EU attracted more votes than any other in our history. Not even Margaret Thatcher, John Major or Tony Blair received as much support.
Furthermore, despite what ardent and often angry remainers say, those who voted to leave were not too old, too poor or too stupid. They were not racists and they did not vote to pursue an isolationist future.
The Prime Minister is still issuing dire warnings about what could happen if her deal is voted down. The Mail says:
Theresa May today warns her warring party that if they vote down her Brexit deal they risk handing the country to Jeremy Corbyn – and being stuck permanently in the EU.
The Prime Minister uses a powerful interview in today’s Mail on Sunday to plead directly with the dozens of Tory MPs who have threatened to rebel in Tuesday’s historic Commons vote on her Brexit deal.
She has warned that Labour might be the majority party if a general election is called, says Sky News.
Theresa May has warned Conservative MPs they risk handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Number 10 unless they back her Brexit deal.
The prime minister added that failure to approve her agreement also brings “a very real risk” of the UK not leaving the European Union.
Mrs May is fighting to save her Brexit deal ahead of a crucial Commons vote on Tuesday, with her leadership also in jeopardy amid a mounting Tory revolt.
And she has warned that nobody knows what might happen next, says BBC News.
With two days to go until the crucial Brexit vote, the prime minister has warned MPs they face “uncharted waters” if they reject her deal.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the PM said a rejection of her proposals would mean “grave uncertainty” for the UK.
She warned MPs their actions could lead to a general election, and there was a “very real risk of no Brexit”.
Meanwhile, our former leader is threatening to make a return to front-line politics says the Express.
NIGEL Farage could be set for a sensational return to politics after revealing plans to launch a new party so he can fight the 2019 European Parliament elections if Brexit is delayed.
The former Ukip leader – who only announced his decision to quit the party on Tuesday – said he was “thinking about vehicles” to contest the election on May 23 if the UK still finds itself in the European Union. Mr Farage wants to bring in “high profile figures” from across the political spectrum and business world as part of his revolutionary plan. According to the Sunday Telegraph, talks have been ongoing for a number of months about the formation of his new party.
The Telegraph reports it’s Nigel’s ‘destiny’.
Nigel Farage has said it is his “destiny” to fight for Brexit as he unveils his plans to launch a new political party to fight next year’s European Parliament elections if the Government delays Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The former leader of the UK Independence Party told The Sunday Telegraph that he believed he had “not fought my biggest battle yet” and would relish the battle at May’s Euro elections, which he expects to be held if Brexit is delayed.
Talks have been going on for a number of months about his new party but have been stepped in the past fortnight as the full detail of Theresa May’s Brexit deal has emerged.
And the Express also reports on the prospect of a new party.
Nigel Farage is considering setting up a mainstream pro-Brexit party which could tempt Eurosceptic MPs to defect, it has been claimed.
A source close to Mr Farage told BuzzFeed News he would wait to see how events play out over the coming weeks before deciding if there is a credible space for a new movement in UK politics. It comes after the MEP announced this week that he was quitting UKIP after 25 years, having led the party on and off from 2006.
Guido hears whispers of a mass exodus of UKIP MEPs planned for Monday. As few as two MEPs (Stuart Agnew and Mike Hookem) could stay with Tommy Robinson-obsessed UKIP leader Gerard Batten, while the rest join a new Farage-led national group within the pan-European EFDD group – also led by Farage. Which Batten has just quit…
Expected to follow the fifteen UKIP MEPs who have already quit are: Tim Aker, Jonathan Bullock, Jane Collins, Ray Finch, Margot Parker, Julia Reid, and Jill Seymour. Could this be the beginning of a new pro-Brexit party, led again by Nigel?
In reporting Nigel’s plans, the Times also reports the public view that politics is ‘broken’.
Half of all voters think British politics is “broken” and only one in seven thinks the Tories and Labour represent the views of the public, clearing the way for the creation of new political parties.
A YouGov poll for The Sunday Times has found that the Brexit crisis has fractured public trust in the political class, with 44% of voters saying the response of MPs has damaged their view of politicians.
The findings come as Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, today confirms that he is working on a new “leave” campaign that could morph into a new party on the right if MPs water down Brexit.
Trouble in the French capital continues, says the Times.
Armoured cars rumbled along the Champs Elysées and 8,000 police were deployed on the streets of Paris yesterday as French authorities mounted a massive security operation in response to a fourth Saturday of protests shaking the government of President Emmanuel Macron.
Rioters, wearing the yellow hi-visibility vests that are the symbol of the gilets jaunes movement, overturned and set fire to cars and built barricades out of Christmas trees, rubbish bins, metal grates and anything else to hand.
The Sun claims the capital is on lockdown.
PARIS is on lockdown as 1,000 protesters are arrested and 135 are injured during riots in ‘Day of rage’ across France.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the violence in Paris was”under control” by 6pm local time, despite scattered tensions.
He described the clashes as “totally unacceptable”, and said 135 people were injured on Saturday, including 17 police officers.
“Exceptional” security measures allowed police to put nearly 1,000 people in custody.
And Breitbart claims the violence is spreading.
For the fourth straight week, the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement has protested across France, with violence and vandalism erupting once again in Paris and spreading to cities across the country.
French police mobilised their entire force Saturday to quell the expected violence, deploying armoured vehicles on the streets of the French capital.
While protests did not turn as intensely violent in Paris as the week before, over 700 Yellow Vest protesters were arrested by police and dozens of people required hospital treatment following clashes, including several riot police officers.
ITV News claims tear gas was fired by police.
Police have fired tear gas and water cannons on crowds of yellow-vested protesters trying to march on the French presidential palace, demonstrating against high taxes and Emmanuel Macron.
Parts of central Paris are in lockdown, with huge numbers of police deployed around the capital as the country braces for outbreaks of violence after the worst rioting in Paris in decades in recent weeks.
Police and protesters also clashed in other French cities, notably Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux, and in neighbouring Belgium.
And the Mail claims the protests have spread to other countries.
Violent protests in Paris spread to Brussels and Amsterdam today, as 1,400 are arrested and French police call up to 8,000 reinforcements in a bid to quell the rising discontent.
This evening, protests continue in Paris as rioters set fire to cars, burn barricades and smash windows in pockets of violence across the city centre.
Police reinforcements were boosted to 8,000 across the city, with armoured vehicles deployed in Paris for the first time ever.
The Mail is the only paper covering the prospect of a chemical attack on the London Underground.
Terror chiefs believe a devastating chemical weapons attack in Britain is now ‘more likely than not’, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The chilling assessment follows the interception of ‘chatter’ between senior figures in Islamic State (IS). The terror group has been inspired by the poisoning of former KGB agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, by Russian agents in March.
Before the novichok attack in Salisbury, the Government’s Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) put the risk of a chemical weapons strike by jihadis at 25 per cent.
Security sources say that has now surged to more than 50 per cent. There are particular fears over the potential for a chlorine bomb to be detonated on the London Underground.
Away from front-line politics, the Times claims the treasury gives with one hand and takes back with the other.
The Treasury was accused last night of betraying the north of England after it emerged that officials had promised £7bn for regional rail services only to withdraw the offer one working day later.
The money, for a line linking Liverpool to the HS2 high-speed railway, was said by the Treasury to be “in the bag” on the Friday before the October 29 budget, according to sources close to the leadership of the Northern Powerhouse, a government project to transform the region’s economy and infrastructure.
The Guardian claims the TransPenine route could be electrified.
The transport secretary is seriously considering a recommendation to spend almost £3bn on a “flawed” and “detrimental” rail upgrade in the north of England that will do nothing to improve reliability or air pollution on a slow and delay-plagued line, sources have told the Guardian.
In recent briefings, Department for Transport officials have told stakeholders that its Board Investment and Commercial Committee (BICC) has recommended to Chris Grayling that the 76-mile TransPennine route between Leeds and Manchester should not be fully electrified.
And the Times reports on the number of trains running late.
Hundreds of train services across Britain have failed to run on time for a single journey in the past 12 weeks, according to an analysis of services.
The dire performance comes as passengers face a 3.1% fares rise next month and strikes by RMT workers continue to hit services on Northern Rail, one of the country’s biggest operators.