Still no Brexit. Years ago, the British people voted for Brexit and the British left-authoritarians have declared war ever since. Sounds like the American left and Trump. The left is the left is the left – evil and totalitarian, no matter the country or the century.
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The big drama [this week] will focus not on parliament, which is prorogued, but on the Supreme Court, which is deciding whether it should have been suspended in this way at all. Britain’s highest court will on Tuesday start to hear the cases against prorogation which were heard in English, Scottish and Northern Irish courts.
Even the Queen weighed in and the left spit on that too. Nothing is sacred or respected save for destruction and death.
From the Sunday Blend at the Spectator by Isabel Hardman
Get ready for the week ahead
This week’s big drama will focus not on parliament, which is prorogued, but on the Supreme Court, which is deciding whether it should have been suspended in this way at all. Britain’s highest court will on Tuesday start to hear the cases against prorogation which were heard in English, Scottish and Northern Irish courts. The verdict in the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week that Johnson’s advice to the Queen was unlawful threw the political scene into further confusion. This will be considered alongside the other verdicts, which did not go against Johnson’s prorogation.
But even if the Supreme Court does rule against the government, we might not see MPs returning early. Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, has told colleagues that the Prime Minister could just prorogue parliament a second time.
Before that, Johnson has a meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker. The pair will hold talks in Luxembourg tomorrow where the PM is expected to tell the European Commission President that he won’t be talking about an extension to the Brexit deadline with him. Also present at this working lunch will be Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and Johnson’s Europe adviser David Frost. We aren’t expecting a breakthrough in these talks, but Barclay has said they will be important in getting the two sides closer to a deal.
What we’ve learned today One thing we do know about Boris Johnson is that he’s good at getting attention. His use of the Incredible Hulk in today’s Mail on Sunday isn’t a sign the Prime Minister is quite odd, but a smart way of making sure everyone notices his latest threat about the Brexit deadline. ‘The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,’ he tells Glen Owen, insisting that Britain is going to leave on 31 October.
But we’ve also heard increased optimism about the chances of a deal. Barclay today suggested that the ‘landing zone’ for a deal was visible, but said there was still a great deal of work left to do. There are also the MPs who are now saying they’ll back a deal, and not just from the centrist types in Parliament. The Sunday Times reports that some European Research Group members have conceded it would be better to back something with flaws than to allow parliament the opportunity to revoke Article 50 or for Johnson to resign.
The Liberal Democrats have been putting in a reasonable bid for attention too this week, in stark contrast to conferences over the past three years, which have largely been ignored by the wider political world. But now they have 18 MPs, six of which defected in the past three weeks. Sam Gyimah was the latest to join, describing himself as an ‘outcast’ from the Conservative party. Ex-Tory, ex-Independent group, ex-Change UK and ex-Independents MP Heidi Allen is still rumoured to be on the brink of joining up too, just to ensure she has the full sweep of party membership cards – though she has said she’s not being unveiled at this conference. The next few days at the party’s Bournemouth gathering might yield more defections, but they will also see leader Jo Swinson repeatedly challenged to show anxious members that the party does hold true to its liberal values. In 2016 Gyimah talked out a backbench bill to pardon those convicted of homosexual acts, though his defenders have argued that this was merely because the government wanted to introduce the legislation in its own way. Members are more annoyed about Phillip Lee, who opposed gay marriage.
But the big message from this conference is that the Lib Dems are capitalising on the current political uncertainty to claim that it is possible they could be serious players at the next general election. Swinson told Andrew Marr this morning that ‘we are going to fight at the next election for a Liberal Democrat majority government, and for me to be Prime Minister of this country.’ The party has also briefed that they are targeting around 100 seats, and have been talking big about how they might relate to a minority Labour or Tory government. There will be no formal coalition, or indeed the sort of confidence-and-supply arrangement that we’ve seen between the DUP and Conservatives. Swinson also made clear that she expected to be working across parties rather than backing Jeremy Corbyn specifically.
Also hoping people will notice him is David Cameron, who has launched an unusually strong attack on a number of his former colleagues who campaigned for Leave. It’s not normal for an ex-prime minister, even one with a book out at a rather inconvenient time, to really go for someone else who holds the office now, but Cameron does just that in extracts published today. He accuses Johnson of only backing Brexit ‘because it would help his political career’, and describes his former friend Michael Gove as turning into a ‘foam-flecked Faragist’. He’s giving an interview to Fraser tomorrow for the next issue of the magazine. If you have any questions you’d like to put to him, please email email@example.com
The week ahead Monday
- 8.00 p.m. The Cameron Interview on ITV – the former prime minister will talk to Tom Bradby ahead of the publication of his memoirs.
- Boris Johnson to meet Jean-Claude Juncker for lunch in Luxembourg.
- Chuka Umunna to speak at Lib Dem conference.
- The Supreme Court to hear legal challenges around Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament.
- Jo Swinson to give her first keynote speech to Lib Dem conference (2.10 p.m.).
- Parliamentary elections in Israel.
- 9.30 a.m. Latest UK monthly inflation figures to the published by the ONS. Last month’s release showed that CPI inflation was 2.1 per cent over the year to July, up from 2.0 per cent over the year to June.
- 7.00 p.m. The Andrew Neil Show on BBC Two.
- 10.45 p.m. Peston on ITV.
- US interest rate decision announcement.
- 12.00 p.m. UK interest rate decision announcement from the Bank of England.
- 10.35 p.m. Question Time from Southampton on BBC One.
- David Cameron’s memoirs, For the Record, to be published.
- 8.00 p.m. Any Questions? from Aberystwyth on Radio 4. David Davies and Liz Saville Roberts are set to be among those on the panel.
- Nigel Farage to give a speech at the Brexit Party conference in Telford.
- Ukip’s annual conference to open.
Sunday shows round-up Stephen Barclay – Boris Johnson ‘believes in Brexit’
David Cameron’s memoirs are due to be released this Thursday, with some of the more explosive highlights already seeing serialisation. The Sunday Times has published an extract today that argues that Boris Johnson did not believe in Brexit, and only backed the Leave campaign to win over the Conservative rank and file. The Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay joined Sophy Ridge and immediately refuted the former Prime Minister’s claims:
SR: Does Boris Johnson really believe in Brexit?
SB: He does! He led the campaign… and the Remain side was expected to win, so the more prudent thing, if someone was looking purely at their career, would have been to back Remain. Boris Johnson… believes in Brexit and he’s committed to delivering it.
The UK is like …….. a failed state. It is in permanent chaos with the jihad/leftist wolves howling at the door. We can see a ‘landing zone’ for a future deal
Turning to the substance of Barclay’s brief, Ridge asked whether the government was having any success in achieving its aim of an improved Brexit deal. Barclay said that there were grounds for optimism, hinting that attitudes were beginning to shift:
SR: Is progress really being made in getting a deal?
SB: We can see a landing zone in terms of a future deal… EU leaders themselves have said that they’re open to being creative and flexible in terms of future arrangements… We’re very clear we want a best-in-class free trade agreement.
‘We will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court’
This Tuesday, the Supreme Court will decide on the legality of the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue Parliament. The move, which has proved highly controversial, has been contested in both the English and Scottish courts, with the Scottish appeal court declaring it to be unlawful. Barclay made clear that the government would respect the final verdict:
SB: We respect the decision of the [Scottish] court. It’s right that this matter now goes to the UK Supreme Court and the government will abide by the decision of the UK Supreme Court.
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