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Oct 3, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
And by 11am he had - not a great look for the PM for another letter to in shortly before her big speech 2. Mood of conference has not been of fomenting plots against the PM, but it's absolutely the case that there are plenty of people here who don't see her staying to the next election, including Cabinet ministers
Sep 23, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
1. Meeting just getting underway to decide the wording of the Brexit motion that will be voted on at Labour compromise - seems v unlikely now that it will be a definitive yes to push for another referendum 2. More likely to be a vagueish compromise promising a possiblity of a vote under certain conditions - party leadership is conceding a marginal move, rather than a dramatic policy change - one shadow cabinet minister told me it was 'not realistic to hope for the Fairy Godmother'
Sep 20, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
1. Here's how some sources suggesting this unfolded - Tusk had genuinely planned to say nice things about Chequers, and certainly not to reject the plan in the way that he did today 2. But leaders were upset about what was described as 'aggressive' op-ed published yday in German papers, and by her address last night when said there was just no way she could accept their plan and showed no sign of compromise
Sep 19, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
1. More detail here on how Barnier trying to make EU version of backstop more palatable to UK from @tconnellyRTE 2. But no way UK can accept it at this stage - there is genuine clash of principle - EU version of insurance policy for Ireland puts barriers, however light touch, between NI and rest of the UK - UK govt finds that unacceptable, says has to be same for the whole country
Sep 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Long awaited - report that will help set govt immigration policy after Brexit - see for yourself here… Loads in it, but main relevant political headline is that after we leave EU it shouldn’t be any easier for anyone from Europe to come to UK than from anywhere else in the world
Sep 11, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
1. Sources from Eurosceptic ERG meeting tonight say question of when and how May could be forced out of Number 10 was discussed - remember many members of group, including senior members adamant that is not their goal, but..... 2. Unhappiness over Chequers and Number 10's handling is spreading frustration among group that was already unhappy - even if their rehearsal of their arguments is much derided, they have power of numbers in Commons and potentially to trigger leadership contest
Sep 11, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
1. You’ll see lots of actual Chancellor today too - in Commons then at Committee, no doubt will be asked about Brexit risks to economy just as.... 2. Jacob Rees Mogg and co will be making case for economic deal with radical distance from EU - unlikely to shift many opinions now
Sep 3, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
1. Well good morning! Hope you had a good summer. Westminster's back this week and May's Brexit problem summed up by old Thatcher quote 'Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides' 2. Was pretty clear in July that Chequers wouldn't survive intact, difference now time running short and groups on both sides trying overtly to sabotage it - but that doesn't mean May won't be able to make a deal with EU that will scrape thro
Jul 19, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
1. Ready for this explanation? Tory sources say chief whip considered but did not go through with telling any MPs on short term pairs to vote even though they weren’t meant to 2. But Julian Smith did, by accident, they say, tell Brandon Lewis to vote, breaking the long term pair of Jo Swinson
Jul 10, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Two of Tory vice chairs, Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield, are quitting in protest at Chequers plan You may well not have heard of them but it's warning from disgruntled Tories that they are capable of continuing to inflict damage on the PM unless she changes tack
Jul 9, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
1. Just another day in Westminster then - a new Health Secretary, a New Culture Sec, a new Foreign Sec, a new Brexit Sec, a new Attorney General, and more than 80 tory rebels gathering to plot how to shift the PM's position or else (or what?) 2. What, and when Boris Johnson says next could change the dynamic a lot but while there will be furious argument about whether this 24 hour crisis strengthens (bear with me) or weakens the PM
Jul 5, 2018 9 tweets 2 min read
1. Here's the phrase I hear could cause a lot of trouble tomorrow - the UK will make an 'upfront choice to make a legally binding agreement to ongoing harmonisation with the EU, including agrifoods' 2. Cabinet paper is more than 100 pages long, it also does say that the single standards model' would make it harder, if not impossible, to do a trade deal with the US
Jun 28, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
This isn’t going to be a summit where there is huge progress on Brexit - next ten days at home will make more difference - but language btw the leaders always matters PM being urged at home not least by her former ally Nick Timothy to toughen her positions, unlikely today - but huge issues - migration, Russia, will dominate the agenda
Jun 25, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
1. Whispers tonight National Security Council to discuss increasing number of UK troops in Afhganistan tomorrrow, with govt likely to send another 440 to help train Afghan forces 2. If agreed by NSC move likely to be announced in coming days run up to NATO summit, after Boris Johnson's visit to Afghanistan today, and Williamson pushing for move last month as @bealejonathan reported
May 15, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
1. Still no white smoke on customs arrangements BUT.... sources have told me govt will publish Brexit White Paper next month, decision was signed off at Cabinet this morning 2. Brexit dept have been pushing publication for a long time, but only got agreement from No 10 today I'm told - drafts run to more than 100 pages, covering almost every aspect of govt
Apr 27, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
2. Reasons for Rudd to go - she has not appeared in control of facts this week when Home Office was meant to be getting on top of a mess; she freelanced on sensitive govt Brexit policy and someone inside Home Office is obvs leaking, so how to be sure there isn't more to come? 3. Reasons for her to stay - root of bigger policy mess, Windrush, predates her so in some sense she provides political protection for May; departure would upset delicate Brexit balance in Cabinet + she'd be powerful Remain voice on backbenches, a danger to May in itself
Apr 16, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
1. Legal advice sought by Tom Watson, Labour Deputy Leader, suggests strikes against Syria were against international law 2. Advice says - 'neither the UN Charter nor customary international law permits military action on the basis of the doctrine of humanitarian intervention. There is very little support by states for such an exception to the prohibition of the use of force.'
Apr 15, 2018 6 tweets 1 min read
1. Tomorrow the PM will take v unusual step for resident of Number 10 and call for an emergency debate on Syria - but that doesn't mean a vote that's worth anything will take place 2. Under the technical terms of the kind of debate (nerd point but important) a SO24 can only have a general motion, ie a bland and non-binding vote and it's down to the opposition parties to force a vote
Feb 28, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
1. Draft treaty from Brussels will ruffle feathers today, no doubt about that - crucial to see whether EU has actually dropped the language that fudged it in December 2. DUP are scheduled to have two questions at #PMQs today so May v likely to have to respond BUT.....
Dec 6, 2017 6 tweets 1 min read
3. But in real life, it's not impossible at all, putting off the conversation is the way that May has chosen to keep the show on the road 4. And by delaying the discussion, she's delaying the potential bust ups, or resignations, or chaos of a kind that we haven't seen yet
Dec 4, 2017 5 tweets 1 min read
1. While we wait for any of the decision makers to actually go on the record, aside of the implications for Scotland today which are huge, the implications for future trade deal and cabinet politics are huge too 2. If you're not into Brexit politics this is going to sound completely mad but... May might agree today that N Ireland can basically be like Norway (high alignment model) before the cabinet has decided if the rest of the country is going to be Norway or Canada (low alignment)