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"News from the Brexit Cliff Edge" 23rd May 2019

News Highlights

Welcome to the Brexit Cliff Edge

Tory MEP warns party will be annihilated and candidates feel abandoned as voters head to the European Election polls

  • Sajjad Karim, a Conservative North West MEP, and top of the list candidate for this region, laid bare the reality of the Euro election campaign to Politics Home. Mr Karim said he was fighting for every vote in the North West virtually single-handedly. He said 'we and the Labour Party are going to be absolutely smashed because people do not know what on earth it is we are doing'

A number of high-profile influencers are queuing up to announce they are voting Lib Dem

Economic News

British Steel entered insolvency, putting 25,000 jobs at risk

  • Talks between the government and British Steel owners Greybull broke down because the government was advised it was unlawful to provide financial support on the terms of any of the proposals that the company or any other party had made

520 jobs at risk as Sir Philip Green plans 23 Arcadia store closures

  • Restructuring plans by the group - whose brands include Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins - would result in 520 jobs being put at risk. It also seeks to slash rents at a further 194 sites in the UK and Ireland as it faces up to a highly competitive retail environment
  • The pound slid against the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty and general worry about the US-China trade war
  • A final UN report on the impact of austerity on human rights in the UK, accused ministers of being in a state of denial about the impact of their policies, including the roll out of Universal Credit since 2010. The UN Rapporteur added that 'worse could be yet to come for the most vulnerable, who face a major adverse impact if Brexit proceeds'
  • BBC news and televison stars are cashing in on Brexit - with freelancers topping up their earnings on the Public Speaking Bureau circuit

Andrea Leadsom quits the Cabinet over Brexit as Theresa May clings on to power

Nigel Farage trapped on his Brexit bus by people armed with milkshakes

  • Having said his greatest regret was not being involved in the D-Day landings and that he would pick up a rifle and join the frontline in the fight for Brexit, it was rather surprising to read that Nigel Farage wouldn't get off his Brexit Party bus in Rochester - just because there were 3 guys in hoodies at the back of a group of 30 or so supporters holding milkshakes

Nigel Farage Brexit Party running mate is linked to Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic

  • The now Mr John Kennedy, had a history of promoting the propaganda of the Karadzic Bosnian Serb regime in the early 1990s. Kennedy also stood for political office and had Karadzic personally endorse him in a letter to The Times in Jukly 1992. He organized trips to see the Bosnian conflict first hand for politicians and the public. Kennedy was also suspected by intelligence services of funnelling Serbian dark money to the Conservatives
  • The Electoral Commission has issued a warning to the Brexit Party. They said its fundraising permits foreign donors to break election fund raising rules. It said its monitoring of the Brexit Party Paypal systems in place is still ongoing
  • The European Union said it will investigate Nigel Farage over the £450K donation from Arron Banks following the 2016 Brexit referendum.
  • Almost 8 of the top 10 Brexit Party promoting Twitter accounts appear to be bots, according to new research. A study by the Institute for Strategic Discourse said these accounts showed signs of automation.
  • A video has surfaced of Nigel Farage (April 9th) courting right wing figures at a private tea party hosted at The Ritz, which was organized by key backers of a pro-Trump political group called Turning Point. It included noted Putin apologists

Research says voters do not know whether Labour is a remain or a leave party

  • Half the public think a Labour government would keep Britain inside the EU, while 30% think he would quit the bloc. The positions are reversed among Labour supporters, with nearly half (46%) saying Mr Corbyn's party stands for leaving, while 38% believe it stands for remaining. Eight in ten people think Corbyn is doing a bad job on Brexit - including 57% of Labour voters. Four in ten of all Labour voters say they prefer Liberal Democrat and Green policy positions on Brexit
Jobs at Risk
British Steel Enters Insolvency, Putting 25,000 Jobs At Risk
British Steel is to go into official receivership after failing to secure funds for its future, putting up to 25,000 jobs at risk. It follows last-minute talks held on Tuesday between Unite union and Business Secretary Greg Clark, to urge owner Greybull to find a solution. On Wednesday, Clark said he had been advised it was “unlawful” to provide financial support “on the terms of any proposals that the company or any other party has made”, in comments echoed by the prime minister. Clark said in a statement: “The government has worked tirelessly with British Steel, its owner Greybull Capital, and lenders to explore all potential options to secure a solution for British Steel. “We have shown our willingness to act, having already provided the company with a £120 million bridging facility to enable it to meet its emissions trading compliance costs
520 jobs at risk as Sir Philip Green plans 23 store closures
Sir Philip Green is on course for a fresh clash with regulators after his Arcadia retail empire launched a rescue plan which would see 23 stores shut and its pension scheme contributions slashed. Restructuring proposals by the group - whose brands include Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins - would result in 520 jobs being put at risk. It is also seeking to slash rents at 194 further sites in the UK and Ireland as it faces up to a "highly competitive retail environment". Proposals announced by the company would in addition see Arcadia halve its annual payments to the company's pension scheme to £25m, with Sir Philip making up the shortfall by injecting a total of £100m over the next three years.
Economic Impact
Holidaymakers hit as pound slides
The pound has fallen to its lowest level for five months just as many UK holidaymakers get ready to head off for the late-May half-term break. Against the US dollar, the pound fell below $1.27 for the first time since January on Tuesday. It also fell early in the day against the euro. But it picked up again later in the day in a sign of its current volatility. Cabinet backing for Prime Minister Theresa May's latest Brexit plan led to the rebound. Currency experts say Brexit uncertainty and the US-China trade war have both contributed to the pound's recent fall.
Administrative Fall Out
The BBC news and television stars that are 'revelling' in Brexit
If many of the BBC's top presenters seem to be revelling in the never-ending Brexit saga, it may well be because they know what side their bread is buttered. "It's proving a bonanza for topping up freelance earnings and an astonishing number of people here are at it," whispers my man at the corporation. "The BBC editorial guidelines state quite clearly that presenters and reporters should not expose themselves to 'potential conflicts of interests' when it comes to stories they're involved in reporting, but they're in a situation where it's in their interests now to keep the Brexit story going." My attention is drawn to an outfit called The Speaker Bureau which touts such corporation luminaries as Andrew Marr, Laura Kuenssberg, Michael Buerk, Andrew Neil, John Pienaar, and Newsnight's Kirsty Wark and Nick Watt as "specialist Brexit speakers" for conferences and events, alongside overtly partisan figures such as David Davis, Liam Fox and Nick Timothy.
Poverty in the UK is 'systematic' and 'tragic', says UN special rapporteur
The UK's social safety net has been "deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos", a report commissioned by the UN has said. Special rapporteur on extreme poverty Philip Alston said "ideological" cuts to public services since 2010 have led to "tragic consequences". The report comes after Prof Alston visited UK towns and cities and made preliminary findings last November. The government said his final report was "barely believable". The £95bn spent on welfare and the maintenance of the state pension showed the government took tackling poverty "extremely seriously", a spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said.
UN report compares Tory welfare policies to creation of workhouses
In his final report on the impact of austerity on human rights in the UK, Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, accused ministers of being in a state of denial about the impact of policies, including the rollout of universal credit, since 2010. He accused them of the “systematic immiseration of a significant part of the British population” and warned that worse could be yet to come for the most vulnerable, who face “a major adverse impact” if Brexit proceeds. He said leaving the EU was “a tragic distraction from the social and economic policies shaping a Britain that it’s hard to believe any political parties really want”.
Amber Rudd to lodge complaint over UN's austerity report
The work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, plans to lodge a formal complaint with the UN about the damning report on austerity in Britain by its special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston. Rudd will argue that Alston is politically biased and did not do enough research. The minister is seeking guidance from the Foreign Office on the best way to respond after Alston compared her department’s welfare policies to the creation of Victorian workhouses.
‘It’s cut-throat’: half of UK academics stressed and 40% thinking of leaving
One qualitative study found that academics are often isolated and anxious, in a system they feel is driven by financial targets and what one called a “treadmill of justification”. A second survey, by the polling company YouGov for the charity, found that 55% of higher education professionals describe themselves as stressed, and nearly four in 10 had considered leaving the sector in the past two years as a result of health pressures. One academic said: “I remember a time of camaraderie and collegiality. Now, the external pressures isolate and spotlight individuals.” Another said: “One of the key skills in current times is working against isolation. If you can’t, then it can be a very lonely job.”
Political Shenanigans
Andrea Leadsom quits over Brexit leaving deluded Theresa May clinging on to power as Cabinet deserts her
Theresa May was desperately clinging on to power tonight after Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom dramatically quit in protest at her Brexit plan. In one of the darkest days for the isolated PM, she faced a mass revolt from her own Cabinet and Tory backbenchers - but she insisted she will not give into their demands for her to quit now.
Furious Tories call on Theresa May to resign immediately for 'betraying' Brexit by offering second referendum
Theresa May faced calls from her own party to resign “immediately” on Tuesday night after putting a second referendum on the table in a “sellout” attempt to save her Brexit deal. The Prime Minister provoked fury after she caved in to Labour demands for a vote on holding a so-called “confirmatory” vote on a final Brexit deal
Why Boris Johnson could back a new Brexit referendum as prime minister
Boris Johnson is the breakaway favourite to replace Theresa May as prime minister, given his popularity among Conservative party members. While the former foreign secretary is vocally opposed to holding a second Brexit referendum, some of his colleagues believe a Brexiteer prime minister could nonetheless be forced to hold one. The choice could be between that and a general election, with the Tories trailing Labour by a significant distance in the polls.
Michael Gove Suggests Planned EU Withdrawal Bill Vote Could Be Dropped
Michael Gove has suggested the government may ditch plans to ask MPs to vote on its EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the first week of June, following a backlash from all sides of the Commons. Theresa May’s “new deal” unveiled yesterday has been savaged by Tory and Labour MPs and looks extremely unlikely to be able to survive a vote in the Commons. Asked on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme on Thursday morning whether the Bill would definitely be voted on in the week beginning June 3, Gove said the government “will reflect over the course next few days”. But speaking to MPs, May contradicted the environment secretary and said the Bill would be introduced.
Jeremy Hunt has just what is needed to be a truly great Prime Minister
In the latest part of our new series on the leadership contest awaiting the Conservatives, Rob Wilson explains why Jeremy Hunt has the integrity, principles and strength to deliver Brexit and much more The job of Prime Minister is now so demanding few truly know whether they have the right personality to suit the burdens of the role until they actually do the job. Nearly 200 Conservative MPs thought Theresa May was the right choice in 2016, only to find they couldn't have got it more wrong as she has proved unsuited to its requirements of leadership and first class communication skills - the result of which currently is the Conservative Party wandering aimlessly over an electoral cliff.
Voting For Labour Would Be A Fundamental Mistake For Young People
Voting Labour delays the organisation of a referendum, and so decreasing the possibility of an informed vote, and gives the Tories the possibility to convert lack of support for Lib Dems/Greens/Change UK as a green light for them to fashion their Brexit deal without taking other views into consideration.
Pressure grows on May to quit as Leadsom resigns over Brexit deal
Theresa May faces the stark choice of quitting or being turfed out of Downing Street by her own party, after Andrea Leadsom resigned from the cabinet amid a furious backlash against the prime minister’s “new Brexit deal”. Leadsom quit on Wednesday evening, using her resignation letter to attack the ill-discipline of her cabinet colleagues, and warn that she no longer believed its approach would “deliver on the referendum result”.
The surprise new clause in Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement that proved the final straw for MPs
Theresa May triggered a fresh Cabinet revolt on Wednesday after explicitly laying out the path to a legally-binding second referendum in her Brexit deal. Ministers on Wednesday accused the Prime Minister of attempting to "bounce" her Cabinet after they read the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in full for the first time. Several ministers including Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Michael Gove and Liz Truss - all potential leadership contenders - felt it went further than Cabinet had agreed on Tuesday, with Andrea Leadsom resigning from the Cabinet and suggesting Theresa May should quit over the new Brexit deal.
Ed Davey: Only Lib Dems can win it for Remainers in two-horse race
Already, this is a two-horse race. Across the UK, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is in front. But closing hard, leading Labour and Tory rivals by a nose, is a gold outsider, the Liberal Democrats. After Michael Heseltine endorsed the Vince Cable-trained flyer, the question arises: will other prominent figures endorse the Lib Dems to form a popular front against Brexit? As the strongest remain party, a Lib Dem triumph would be a dramatic and unequivocal rejection of Brexit.
Forget the withdrawal bill – things could now move very quickly for Theresa May
Since the speech yesterday, a series of previously loyal Conservative MPs have declared against her Brexit plan. Support for her deal is going backwards. The withdrawal agreement bill (Wab)has not even been published yet, but barring a big change of position from a major group of MPs, it would be irresponsible to bring it forward. At this stage there seems zero prospect of a majority at second reading. A Conservative leadership contest is now imminent, with Brexit a running sore. With well over a dozen possible candidates, events could move extremely rapidly. At the core will be the question of how to find a Brexit policy that can succeed in this parliament where this prime minister has so spectacularly failed. Expect unicorn-chasing, a potential race to the bottom, and simple answers to complex problems. It is often repeated that all political careers end in failure, unless politicians leave on their own terms. With the Conservatives expected to be knocked into fifth position in the European elections, sadly Theresa May seems about to prove just that point.
@Channel4News "I can tell you that Arron Banks is not involved in the Brexit Party whatsoever."   That's what Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice told Channel 4 News when we asked him if Mr Banks was still funding Nigel Farage's lifestyle.
"I can tell you that Arron Banks is not involved in the Brexit Party whatsoever."That's what Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice told Channel 4 News when we asked him if Mr Banks was still funding Nigel Farage's lifestyle.
@BBCPolitics Conservative Dominic Grieve says some Tories are "living in a world of fantasy" about the kind of #Brexit that can happen, adding the "only solution" is to have another referendum
Conservative Dominic Grieve says some Tories are "living in a world of fantasy" about the kind of #Brexit that can happen, adding the "only solution" is to have another referendum
European elections 2019: Expats fear postal votes will not count
Ann Bone, who lives in Maury in the Pyrenees Orientales, said her postal vote did not arrive until Friday - and when she went to return it to Calderdale Council she was informed by the French postal service that it had "no chance" of arriving in the UK in time. Her husband's ballot has still not arrived in France. She said: "We've been denied a vote, basically."
Labour's John McDonnell on Theresa May's Brexit deal: 'I can't see this deal going through parliament'
We spoke to shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, and began by asking if he would vote for a second referendum.
Yes, a vote for Labour this week will help stop Brexit, but it will also achieve much more than that
In the hundreds of hours spent in Parliament debating Brexit, I constantly think of how we could have spent our time better. In Britain we are not having these debates about policy that we so desperately need. These European elections have become a proxy vote on Brexit instead. While we obsess over our Brexit psychodrama, the world moves on. Multinational companies exploit national differences to abuse their workers, to dodge their taxes and to “regulation shop” as a means to avoid meeting their responsibilities.
Brexit bill: PM sets out details of customs compromise
Theresa May is setting out the details of a series of compromises designed to try and win the support of Labour MPs for her Brexit plan. The cabinet earlier agreed the idea of a temporary customs relationship until the next general election, and measures on the environment and workers' rights. These will be included in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, to be put to a vote in the Commons in early June. The SNP and some Tory Brexiteers have already said they will vote against. The PM briefed MPs and ministers on the contents of the speech - entitled "A new Brexit deal - seeking common ground in Parliament" - beforehand. Ex-minister Mark Francois, a vocal critic of the prime minister, said if the vote was held today the bill would be defeated by a huge margin. He told the BBC that MPs who had backed the PM in the past would be "more reluctant" to do so if the party got a drubbing in the European elections and she would have to rely on Labour votes to get her way. "Unless she is rescued by a Marxist, the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is dead on arrival," he told Radio 4's World at One.
May pleads for Brexit support as her leadership comes under intense pressure
Conservative Eurosceptics have reacted with fury to the Brexit plan’s offer of a vote on whether to hold another referendum. Senior Tory MPs will again seek to change party rules to allow a confidence vote in her leadership if she refuses to leave Number 10. Mrs May said the WAB would be published on Friday and backing it would help get the UK out of the EU by the end of July. “We can bring an end to the months – years – of increasingly bitter argument and division that have both polarised and paralysed our politics,” she said. “We can move on, move forwards, and get on with the jobs we were sent here to do, what we got into politics to do. “That is what we can achieve if we support this new deal. “Reject it, and all we have before us is division and deadlock.”
George Osborne's Evening Standard backs Lib Dems for EU elections
The Evening Standard, edited by the former Conservative chancellor George Osborne, has urged readers to consider voting Liberal Democrat in the European elections, in the latest sign of David Cameron-era Tories breaking with the party over Brexit. The London newspaper said the Lib Dems had the “courage from the start to say the referendum result was a mistake” and as a result, “voters have started to think again about them”. However, the Standard stopped short of a full endorsement for Vince Cable’s party, simply saying “we wish them well”.
Brexit: Theresa May resists calls from MPs to resign
The prime minister is resisting calls to resign despite a growing backlash against her Brexit plan from Conservative MPs. Several cabinet ministers told the BBC that she cannot stay, with one saying it is "the end of the line". Tory backbenchers met on Wednesday evening, but decided not to change rules which would have allowed an immediate vote of no confidence in her. The BBC's political editor says the PM seems to have bought herself 36 hours. Mrs May will meet the chairman of the influential backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, on Friday. In the meantime, the UK will vote on Thursday in European Parliament elections, with the Conservatives widely predicted to do very badly.
Theresa May must go - now. This is a national emergency
What can the Prime Minister be thinking? It’s over. She can no longer pass critical legislation; the latest draft of her Withdrawal Agreement is dead in the water; her backbenchers are up in arms; Cabinet members would like to meet to discuss her future. Andrea Leadsom has resigned as Leader of the House, saying Britain will not be “truly sovereign” under the agreement and that “government processes” have broken down. And yet, Theresa May clings on. Why? What does she think she has left to achieve? What political face is there left to save?
Theresa May's Brexit Offer Immediately Rejected By MPs Across The Divide
Theresa May’s “one last chance” Brexit offer appeared to be dead on arrival as Remainers, Leavers, the DUP and past Tory supporters of her exit deal lined up to dismiss it. The prime minister put a vote on a second referendum at the heart of a ten-point plan designed to win over opponents from all political sides and pass her Brexit deal through the Commons. But several Tories who backed her withdrawal agreement in the last vote immediately said they would reject it this time, declaring it “worse than before”. Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the arch Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG), revealed he would be switching back to opposition, stating: “The prime minister’s latest proposals are worse than before and would leave us bound deeply in to the EU. It is time to leave on WTO (no deal) terms.”
After Theresa May, the Tories could benefit from Andrea Leadsom's Maggie-esque steel
Andrea Leadsom is a tough lady. Make no mistake about that, but she is also quite feminine. Shades of Margaret Thatcher come to mind and that's no bad thing. I first came across Andrea shortly after she had been selected following the imposition of new boundaries which meant I would lose 40 per cent of my rural electorate, and I was not best pleased. I would still be the local MP in the bit that went to Northamptonshire South, but Andrea would be the candidate. In other words, we had to work quite closely together
Brexit: Has PM's 'new deal' made things worse?
After May finished presenting her plan, public rejections from almost all quarters started to pour in. Of course, the vote itself on this bundle of measures won't be for at least a week - a lifetime in this hyper-speed world. A lot could change. But the diplomatic way of describing the situation tonight? Compromising when no one else is interested in consensus is impossible. The more brutal political interpretation - Theresa May's mishandling of this whole situation has, over many, many months, pulled her deeper and deeper down into a quagmire of her own creation. An attempt at this stage to ask others for understanding to help her escape is just too late - far, far too late. Now some Conservative minds are turning to whether she can stay on to have this vote at all.
The Remain strategy: Region-by-region voting guide
A cut-out-and-keep voting guide for Remainers trying to work out how to vote this week in the 2019 European elections.
Tory MEP warns party will be 'annihilated' and candidates feel 'abandoned' as voters head to the polls
A Tory MEP has said the party will be “annihilated” in Thursday's European elections as he hit out at the party for abandoning its candidates on the campaign. Sajjad Karim, a Conservative North West MEP and top candidate for the region, laid bare the “reality” of the campaign, warning the party “will live to regret” its decision to go ahead with the democratic exercise. Speaking to PoliticsHome, Mr Karim said he was fighting for every vote in the North West “virtually single-handedly.” He said: “I think Brexit party are going to lead the polls, Labour is going to get smashed, we’re going to get annihilated. The parties that are providing clarity to people are the ones who are going to do well… “However, we and the Labour party are going to be absolutely smashed because people do not know what on earth it is that we are doing.
Theresa May faces new coup TODAY after gamble to force Brexit deal through by offering second referendum
Theresa May faces a new coup today after a gamble to force through her Brexit deal by offering Remainers a second referendum backfired spectacularly. The offer was blasted by MPs on all sides — and left Brexiteers seething at her “betrayal”. Senior Tory backbenchers will now try to force a confidence vote in the PM when the party’s grandees meet at 4pm on Wednesday. Brexiteer Nigel Evans said: “She has U-turned on absolutely everything. We cannot put up with this any longer.
The last days of Theresa May
Theresa May is into the final days of her premiership. As she struggles to overcome her latest (and probably last) Brexit reversal, this is the assumption many MPs and journalists at Westminster are now making. This afternoon, Mrs May has been urging MPs in the House of Commons to back the “new and improved” Withdrawal Agreement Bill — or WAB — that she unveiled in a speech on Tuesday. But after the drubbing it received from Conservative and Labour MPs in the hours after that speech, there is not the slightest chance of her bill making progress.
Nigel Farage's Brexit Party refuses to rule out joining far-right EU group with Salvini and Le Pen
The Brexit Party has refused to rule out joining a new alliance far-right parties in the European Parliament, fuelling concerns that Nigel Farage could link up with extremist parties once safely re-elected. Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s extreme-right League party, invited Mr Farage’s new outfit to join his group at the weekend, saying he was “waiting for” the arch-eurosceptic. Brexit Party did not respond to repeated requests by The Independent to clarify whether it would be joining the alliance, which would see it sit alongside Mr Salvini, Marine Le Pen, and other extreme-right parties from across the continent. Mr Farage previously claimed that he had founded The Brexit Party to escape Ukip’s increasingly extremist direction. The new outfit is leading in the polls ahead of this week’s European Parliament election – despite so far having left voters in the dark about what its policies are on issues beyond EU membership. “I'm waiting for Nigel Farage. We can work together, I hope,” Mr Salvini told the BBC on Saturday, responding “yes” when asked if he wanted the Brexit Party to join his group.
Theresa May offers MPs a 2nd referendum vote if they back her Brexit bill
Theresa May offers Members of Parliament a binding vote on holding a second referendum. The prime minister made the offer ahead of the vote on her Withdrawal Agreement Bill. MPs would need to back her bill before holding any vote on a second referendum.
Why I'll vote Lib Dem for the first time in my life
I’m in no doubt what I must do. I’ll vote Lib Dem, and urge any Tory Remainer to do the same: not because we’re suddenly Lib Dems but because they’re the only non-Brexit party in England with a chance of getting MEPs elected. Theresa May claims Tory votes are votes to leave, so in European elections I’m not going to send that signal. Nor should any Tory Remainer. But this will hurt. I belong in my Conservative tribe. On any ballot paper with a Tory on it, I’ve never in 50 years ticked any other box. Many fellow-Tories, like me, will be feeling the same sense of a wrench. But we know what we have to do. There are loyalties beyond party.
Leadsom gives May ultimatum over Brexit bill support
Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, has warned Theresa May that she will not accept a new Brexit plan that leaves open the possibility of a customs union, before a key cabinet meeting to finalise the proposals. In a sign of the difficulties the prime minister faces in getting her withdrawal agreement bill (Wab) past her own ministers, let alone the Commons, Leadsom stressed that her backing was conditional. “I continue to support the prime minister to get her withdrawal agreement bill through,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “It is leaving the European Union, and so long as it continues to be leaving the European Union I continue to support it.” Asked what she meant, Leadsom said that while she could support the customs arrangements already in the plan, any move to tempt Labour voters by holding open the possibility of a formal customs union, which could affect the UK’s ability to sign its own trade deals, would make it impossible for her to support it
No-deal Brexiteers want to 'hijack' referendum result, says chancellor
Philip Hammond is to warn that "all the preparation in the world will not avoid the consequences" of a no-deal Brexit. The Chancellor will say in a major speech on Tuesday that MPs calling for Britain to fall out of the EU without an agreement want to "hijack the result of the referendum". In one of his strongest attacks yet on a no-deal Brexit - an option the government is leaving open - Mr Hammond will declare that the scenario would "knowingly... inflict damage on our economy and our living standards".
Building the Brexit party: how Nigel Farage copied Italy's digital populists
The former Ukip leader forged an alliance with the Five Star Movement just as they bulldozed Italian politics using a tightly controlled digital operation. And now he’s putting their techniques to work in Britain.
Inside Cabinet: How Theresa May pushed her Eurosceptic ministers to the brink with her Brexit climbdown
It was the moment that pushed Theresa May's already beleaguered Eurosceptic ministers to the brink. At the start of a three hour 20-minute marathon Cabinet, that Prime Minister presented her ministers with a paper outlining her "bold" new Brexit offer. To those present, it appeared to give "anything and everything" to Labour. There, in black and white, was an explicit offer of free votes on a permanent customs union with the EU and a second referendum. Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, and Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the Commons, both made clear that the Prime Minister's deal was "unacceptable".
Philip Hammond is determined to assassinate Brexit, as he reaches the climax of his career
For someone not renowned for their witty repartee, sparkling Commons chamber oratory or indeed having any discernible political personality, Philip Hammond can always surprise us with his shameless chutzpah and brass neck. His speech to the CBI tonight is but one more conspicuous example. However, like the Prime Minister, he’s nearing the very end of the road, and will probably be fired by whoever succeeds Theresa May. He doesn’t care what most Tories think of him now, and is not holding back his opinions.
John le Carré and Neil Gaiman join writers warning Brexit is 'choosing to lose'
Some of the UK’s most garlanded novelists, including Robert Harris, John le Carré and Philip Pullman, have lambasted the promises made by Brexiters as being too unbelievable for fiction, writing: “We are the people who spend our lives making things that are not true seem believable, and we don’t think Brexit is even a good effort.” Dozens of writers have put their names to a letter to the Guardian that urges UK voters taking part in Thursday’s European parliament elections to use their franchise to support the European Union, “unless they know what they are choosing to lose, for themselves and everyone they know, and are happy with that”.
'He desperately wants to hold it all together': Corbyn on the campaign trail
Clive Lewis, the Norwich South MP who is one of the group’s founders, says: “I think the frustration of so many members, especially those who have supported the political project for the last three years, is that they look at the biggest ringleaders for leaving the EU, they look at the dark money, they look at all those far-right organisations across Europe who are cheering Brexit on, and they think: ‘Why isn’t the Labour party standing up to these fascists and authoritarians? If they think Brexit is good, why aren’t we against it?’”
Sajid Javid to scrap plans that recommended EU migrants must earn £30k to work in Brexit Britain
Sajid Javid is ripping up Theresa May’s post-Brexit plans for a £30,000 minimum salary threshold for EU migrants, The Sun can reveal. The Tory leadership hopeful wants a powerful committee to look into lowering prospective wage bands in a move that will enrage Tory Eurosceptics. In an explosive letter, he instructs the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to consider allowing firms to pay the “going rate” for foreign recruits after Brexit – and to look at regional wage limits. He also wants them to study exemptions for a range of professions, and whether “new entrants” or inexperienced workers can be paid less.
May's offer was neither 'new' nor bold. It will be her final failure
In another faux-concession, the prime minister has offered a vote on customs between a “facilitated customs arrangement” and a temporary customs union, lasting until the next general election. But the former has already been rejected by the EU as unworkable (it has never been attempted anywhere in the world) and the latter is essentially what is already in the standstill transition in the withdrawal agreement. So in fact, this is no concession at all, and one of the main reasons that talks with the Labour party broke up without agreement.
These Are The 76 Tory MPs Who Say They'll Vote Against Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement Bill
Theresa May is expected to hold a vote on her Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the first week of June. Following her new "bold" offer to MPs on Tuesday, the number of rebels are — unfortunately for Downing Street — going up rather than down. BuzzFeed News is keeping a rolling list of Tory MPs who are indicating they are going to vote against the WAB.
Brexit second referendum vote explained: What PM pledged and what happens now
Theresa May played her final hand tonight. Again. The Prime Minister offered MPs a bombshell vote on holding a second referendum - if they pass her Brexit deal. It's a massive gamble both for her, sacrificing what she believed in, and Remain MPs, who might back her only to find they don't get what they want. The new pledges - which also offer a temporary customs union with the EU and close alignment with EU rules - will be a huge leap to a softer Brexit if Mrs May's package passes. But MPs are already blasting the PM's "one last chance" offer and warning they'll annihilate it.
May critics waste little time in thumbs-down for new Brexit push
For Theresa May’s gamble of a repackaged Brexit deal to pay off, four factions of sceptical MPs had to be convinced. Eurosceptic Conservatives, Labour MPs in favour of a second referendum, Labour pragmatists who want Brexit over the line and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party — all were all needed to come on board. Unfortunately for the UK prime minister, all four groups have condemned her latest Brexit proposals. Within an hour of Mrs May speaking, it appeared that her fourth — and final — attempt to pass a Brexit agreement may be dead on arrival. Mrs May is hoping to win a House of Commons vote in the first week of June on the legislation to implement her exit deal with the EU. But one prominent Eurosceptic MP condemned her approach as “a total lack of leadership and desperation”, adding: “It is fundamentally the same deal but worse, with lots of other crap thrown in. I’m not impressed and won’t be voting for it.”
Most Brits Support Free Movement – So Why Are The Lib Dems The Only Party Fighting To Save It?
Watching Jeremy Corbyn squirm on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, one thing became clear: he, Nigel Farage and Theresa May are united. Not just in wanting to deliver Brexit, but also in wanting to end free movement with the European Union when they do. “Ending free movement” has been a Brexiteer slogan for so long that it’s easy to forget what Corbyn, Farage and May are really saying when they deploy it. What they’re really saying is that they want to take away your right to live, work and study anywhere in the EU. That if you love someone from elsewhere in Europe, they want to make it much harder for you to live together. They’re saying that the NHS should be cut off from the supply of thousands of nurses, doctors and support staff who come from the continent every year to staff our hospitals. And that British businesses should be tied up in reels of new red tape when they try to hire the European workers they need.
Boris is preparing for a legal battle against Tory MPs trying to block his leadership bid
Allies say legal advice drawn up for the ex-Foreign Secretary says action to thwart him would be in breach of the Tories’ leadership contest rules. An ‘Anyone But Boris’ group of largely Remainer Conservative MPs have vowed to stop him from seizing the keys to No10 by voting tactically for rival candidates. But allies say secret legal advice has been drawn up for the former Foreign Secretary that finds the action would be in breach of the Conservatives’ leadership contest rules. Under the lawyers’ interpretation of the party’s constitution, Tory MPs cannot stop a candidate from getting down to the last two if members express significant support for them as the new leader must be the members’ decision. A close ally of Boris’s said last night: “We have legal advice that was drawn up for Boris that proves if members want a chance to vote on him in big numbers, MPs and CCHQ cannot stop that. “Nobody wants this to go to the courts, but we’d win a judicial review if it did.”
Tory MPs declare war on 'intolerant' hardcore pro-Brexit colleagues ahead of leadership race
MPs from the ‘One Nation Conservatives’ group said they would fight against any candidate who might usher in a no-deal departure from the EU. The move opens up a new front in the battle to secure the Tory crown, after Theresa May announced she would soon set out a timetable for her departure. Dozens of MPs, including Cabinet ministers Amber Rudd and Rory Stewart, as well as ministers Caroline Nokes, Margot James and Tobias Ellwood, met in a Parliamentary committee room to lay out their demands. They vowed to test leadership hopefuls against a statement of values, penned by former Downing Street policy guru George Freeman, which included the rejection of “narrow nationalism”. Co-chair of the group Sir Nicholas Soames declared: “Debate in our party has been drowned out by the very aggressive and intolerant tone of the [hardcore pro-Brexit] European Research Group. “What we are relaunching here today is that long, Tory tradition of tolerance, pragmatism and not being ideological, with an absolute determination to get these values back, front and centre of the Tory party for the future.”
British consumers at risk of being exploited by big firms after Brexit, say Liberal Democrats
“Labour and Conservative governments have consistently shown that they are both unwilling and unable to stand up to giant multinational companies when they exploit consumers. “Only with the combined strength of 28 countries acting together through the EU can we protect consumers from rising prices and limited choice by breaking up international cartels and monopolies. "Only together can we fight tax avoidance and the abuse of personal data.”
Brexit Party Senedd group made official by Welsh Assembly
The Brexit Party has been officially recognised as a group in the Senedd by the presiding officer. In a letter to the new party's leader in the assembly, Elin Jones said the requirements of the assembly's rules had been met. Mark Reckless said he was pleased the decision had been made but added he was "surprised" it took five days. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage unveiled the new group made up of four former UKIP AMs last week. The move means Mark Reckless, Mandy Jones, Caroline Jones and David Rowlands will have access to more staff and will be given a greater status in the assembly.
Michael Heseltine Has Tory Whip Suspended After Threat To Vote Lib Dem
Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has had the Tory whip suspended after saying he would vote Liberal Democrat at the European elections, a Conservative spokesman said. Noted europhile Heseltine, who has long opposed Brexit, had prompted outrage from some Tory members after he endorsed a Liberal Democrat candidate ahead of Thursday’s poll – in contravention of party rules. A spokesman for the Tories said: “Lord Heseltine has given more than half a century of service to the Conservative Party, and his longstanding and sincerely held views on Europe are well understood. “But, with his long experience, he will know that publicly endorsing the candidates of another party is not compatible with taking the Conservative whip in parliament.
Pro- and anti-Brexit parties neck and neck in EU election, says poll
Three in five British voters say politics in Westminster and Brussels is broken, according to a poll that finds pro- and anti-Brexit parties are running neck and neck ahead of the European elections on Thursday. The survey, shared with the Guardian by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), found Britons nurture some of the highest levels of political disaffection in Europe, with 60% of those polled saying the system in the UK and the EU is broken. Only in France and Greece are levels of disenchantment higher.
One Nation conservatism can make a success of Brexit
Our nation is at a crossroads and so is our party. The next prime minister must redefine Brexit as a One Nation project. If they do not, the door will be wide open for Britain’s first-ever Marxist government and a likely decade of decline. The consequences of that will echo down the generations and serve as our party’s greatest failure. We still have a chance to avoid it.
Political Setbacks
Nigel Farage is stuck on his Brexit bus because people have turned up with milkshake
In Rochester, three young men dressed in black with their hoods up and covering their faces with balaclavas were spotted at the back of the crowd. One supporter said they were carrying milkshakes and Farage was quickly alterted. As a preventative measure, Nigel was told not to get off the bus. Driver Michael Botton explained: “There are a couple of guys standing over there with milkshakes, they were going to throw them over him. “But the police are there, we’ve spotted them and now Nigel isn’t getting off the bus.”
Nigel Farage 'trapped on bus' surrounded by protesters holding milkshakes
Nigel Farage reportedly got stuck on his Brexit Party campaign bus after people armed with milkshakes surrounded him. The politician is said to have refused to leave the vehicle just days after he was covered in banana and salted caramel milkshake in Newcastle. Three young men dressed in black with their hoods up were reportedly spotted in the crowd when the bus arrived in Rochester, Kent, on Wednesday, Kent Live reports. Someone suggested they were carrying milkshakes and Mr Farage was told not to get off the bus, according to the newspaper.
Putin, Johnson and Farage will destroy us, warns EU chief
The toxic combination of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, populism, the rise of the far right and Russia will destroy the European Union, the chief Brexit negotiator in Brussels said. Mr Verhofstadt, 66, who leads a pan-European bloc of liberal MEPs now allied to President Macron of France, said that EU elections this week were being manipulated by Russia in the same way as the Brexit referendum. “It is always Russia. Talk about Farage, it’s Russia. On top of that you have a hard-Brexiteer who wants to become leader of the Conservative Party. Am I too suspicious? I see a real organised attempt to destroy the European project as a whole,” he said. “My sense of Brexit is it is an element of a more global picture. I think that everybody agrees that the Brexit discussion was manipulated. Are we not now living and seeing the same thing but on a European level? It is not a referendum, it is a European election, but it is the same dynamic. It is the same attack that was against Britain in the EU and now is about the EU itself.”
Nigel Farage's Brexit Party running mate linked to Serb war leader Radovan Karadzic
During the early stages of the Bosnian conflict Mr Kennedy helped organise trips to Belgrade for British politicians and a public meeting in Westminster. Karadzic personally endorsed Mr Kennedy in a letter to The Times in July 1992, which refers to “an ongoing dialogue with a former British parliamentary candidate, Mr John Kennedy, an expert on Yugoslavia”. That same year the two shared a platform at a conference in Westminster where they sat side by side, a summary of the meeting in the House of Commons shows. Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, recorded in his published diaries meeting Mr Kennedy at Budapest airport before a tour of Yugoslavia in August 1992. He described Mr Kennedy as “the ex-Tory candidate and pro-Serb contact in London”.
Nigel Farage's Brexit Party running mate linked to Serb war leader Radovan Karadzic
During the early stages of the Bosnian conflict Mr Kennedy helped organise trips to Belgrade for British politicians and a public meeting in Westminster. Karadzic personally endorsed Mr Kennedy in a letter to The Times in July 1992, which refers to “an ongoing dialogue with a former British parliamentary candidate, Mr John Kennedy, an expert on Yugoslavia”. That same year the two shared a platform at a conference in Westminster where they sat side by side, a summary of the meeting in the House of Commons shows. Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, recorded in his published diaries meeting Mr Kennedy at Budapest airport before a tour of Yugoslavia in August 1992. He described Mr Kennedy as “the ex-Tory candidate and pro-Serb contact in London”.
Revealed: Nigel Farage's Brexit Party candidate spread "propaganda" for Balkan warlord, was 'bugged' by MI6
John Kennedy distributed bogus claims of Bosnian war crimes and was suspected by intelligence services of funneling Serbian dark money to the Conservatives
Brexit Party AM fails to declare employment of daughter
An AM may be in breach of Welsh Assembly rules by failing to declare that he employs a family member, BBC Wales has learned. David Rowlands, who has just defected from UKIP to the Brexit Party, employs two members of his family among his support staff. But while his wife Keryn is declared on his register of interests, his daughter Rhiannon is not. An aide of Mr Rowlands took the blame for the notification not being made. Plaid Cymru called for Mr Rowlands to refer himself to the assembly's standards body.
Change UK spent more than £1,300 on ads saying they wanted to ‘remain in the UK’
Change UK has spent at least £1,300 promoting Facebook adverts saying it is campaigning to “remain in the UK”. The fledgling anti-Brexit party, made up of former Labour and Conservative MPs, published five separate ads on 19 and 20 May, all containing the same error. It meant to say it is campaigning to remain in the European Union. Data from Facebook’s ad library shows Change UK spent a minimum of £1,300 promoting the video and photo-led adverts, but it may have been as much as £3,495.
@Channel4News Change UK interim leader Heidi Allen tells @CathyNewman she threatened to resign over the issue of tactical voting in the European elections.
Change UK interim leader Heidi Allen tells @CathyNewman she threatened to resign over the issue of tactical voting in the European elections.
Farage's fundraising for Brexit Party allows foreign donors to 'break rules', warns elections watchdog
Nigel Farage’s use of PayPal to raise huge numbers of small donations for his Brexit Party allows foreign donors to “evade the rules”, a watchdog has warned. The Electoral Commission said its investigation of the party’s fundraising methods is “ongoing”, after visiting its headquarters amid the growing controversy. After the visit, the Brexit Party claimed the commission had found “no evidence of any electoral offences”. But, in a statement, the watchdog said seeking small sums via online donations “opens up additional risk in relation to compliance with UK political finance law”. “This risk is that it increases the potential for individuals or organisations to evade the permissibility rules, which primarily seek to prevent significant sums entering UK politics from overseas,” it explained. The commission stressed that it was the Brexit Party’s “responsibility” to “ensure it has the systems in place to maintain its compliance with the law”. “Our review of the systems in operation by the Brexit Party is ongoing,” it added.
Swastika found carved into door inside the Houses of Parliament
The Nazi symbol was etched into a lift door within the Parliamentary Estate.
Farage's fundraising for Brexit Party allows foreign donors to 'break rules', warns elections watchdog
‘It increases the potential for individuals or organisations to evade the permissibility rules, which primarily seek to prevent significant sums entering UK politics from overseas’ said the Electoral Commission which said although it found no immediate evidence it is going to continue monitoring the situation
EU to investigate Nigel Farage over £450,000 donation from Arron Banks following the referendum
The EU has launched an investigation into claims that wealthy Brexit donor Arron Banks splashed £450,000 on a luxury lifestyle for Nigel Farage following the referendum. The European Parliament’s advisory committee will probe the Brexit Party leader for failing to declare the lavish expenses. Mr Banks is reported to have rented a £4.4 million home in Chelsea, a £30,000 car and funded a £20,000 chauffeur for Mr Farage. The insurance tycoon also spent hundreds of thousands of pounds promoting ‘Brand Farage’ in the US, according to Channel 4 News.
Many EU citizens will be unable to vote in UK, campaigners warn
Campaigners for non-British or Irish EU citizens have made a formal complaint to the Electoral Commission amid fears many of them will be unable to vote in the UK in this Thursday’s elections for the European parliament. Nicolas Hatton, the co-founder of the3million, has accused the regulator of providing insufficient guidance, leading to inconsistent advice from local authority electoral officers. “The3million has multiple examples of local authorities mishandling the application process,” he said in a three-page letter. Catherine West, the Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has raised concerns about the issue in a separate letter to Sir John Holmes, the chair of the Electoral Commission. West fears that as many as 75% of non-British/Irish EU citizens living in the UK who registered to vote in the local elections three weeks ago could be turned away on Thursday because they have not filled in a second form necessary for them to vote in the European elections.
Leaving The EU With No Deal Is Like Making Yourself "Homeless"
This Lib Dem MEP candidate Catherine Bearder says a no-deal Brexit is the "economic equivalent of trying to make yourself homeless." The caller says she wants a "straightforward answer" if"no-Brexit deal" will be on the ballot paper if there is a second referendum. When Mrs Bearder points out the country is "still divided" because we don't know "what leaving will mean." The MEP said she understands that people are furious that when it comes to a second referendum but no-deal is the "economic equivalent of trying to make yourself homeless."
8 of the top 10 Brexit Party promoting Twitter accounts appear to be bots
Almost all of the ten most active Brexit Party supporters on Twitter appear to be automated bots, according to new research. Leader Nigel Farage has hailed the swell of support for the group as “the most amazing grassroots support that’s ever been seen in this period of time in British politics.” But while bots were also found promoting other parties, Nigel Farage’s group had the largest number of suspected automated accounts promoting them. A study by the Institute for Strategic Discourse identified the ten most active accounts discussing the Brexit Party using their official handle. The think tank found eight out of the top ten most active accounts showed signs of automation. Five of the top ten accounts mentioning the Brexit Party on Twitter were producing more than 144 tweets per day, an average of one tweet every 3.3 minutes over an eight hour period. Bots also appear to be heavily promoting Ukip, with six bot-like accounts in their top ten Twitter accounts. Other parties are affected, but not to the same exent.
Malaysians Flush Out UK's Brexit Party Over Cash Claims!
A group of Malaysians based in KL and also the UK have turned sleuths over the past 24 hours to flush out what they believe have been misleading comments made by Brexit Party leaders, who have sought to imply they are not receiving anonymous foreign donations. It is impermissible for UK parties to receive donations from foreign entities, certainly for sums over £500 which have to be reported to the UK Electoral Commission. The rules are less clear regarding lesser donations as these do not need to be reported (unless large donations have been divided up). Yet, it has been exposed in the past few hours that all anyone needs to do to donate up to the £501.00 (around RM2,500) non-reported limit to the Brexit Party is click a button on the party website that leads directly to a PayPal platform, open to account holders all over the world via just their email and a password. It has also emerged that Farage recently privately courted wealthy donors known to be close to Putin and Donald Trump at an event at London’s Ritz Hotel. However, on London’s LBC Radio today, party leader Nigel Farage adamantly claimed he rejects all foreign money
New Video Shows Nigel Farage Courting Fringe Right-Wing Figures At A Private Tea Party Hosted At The Ritz
New footage reveals Nigel Farage privately sought money and help for his new Brexit Party from fringe right-wing figures including a millionaire Putin cheerleader and a self-proclaimed “influencer” who has posted a string of anti-Islam remarks online. Videos posted on Facebook show the Brexit party leader addressing a closed-door gathering at London’s five-star Ritz hotel on April 9, organised by key backers of a pro-Trump political group, Turning Point UK. Farage was among the guests at the event, which was described by the organisers as a “tea party” and not a Brexit Party fundraiser. But in a five-minute speech, he asked the small group for “any help, any support, whether it’s verbal, whether it’s getting your friends involved, whether it’s giving us money, whatever it is, we need all the help we can get”.
Farage says he is 'concerned about level of hatred' since the Brexit referendum
Nigel Farage has said he is 'concerned' about the level of 'hatred' in politics following the EU referendum. The Brexit Party leader had a banana and salted caramel drink from Five Guys thrown at him while on a walkabout in Newcastle city centre. He said he did not know what was being thrown at him, and called for a message to be sent that "people can't behave like this". Asked if he would change the way he campaigns, Farage told Harriet Line at the Press Association: "I hope not but I am concerned about the sheer level of hatred coming from those who think they're better than me. "I just think we've reached a point where normal campaigning is becoming very difficult, and that in a democratic society cannot be a good thing." He said what happened to him was "part of something bigger that's going on".
Brexit is a sham, but Theresa May just won’t admit it
Farage advocates trading on World Trade Organization terms – an apparatus no country in the world considers to be sufficient basis for modern commerce. The plan is to then sign new free-trade deals, which in reality would require immediate and urgent negotiations with Brussels. The no-deal method incinerates a highly developed platform for borderless European transactions in order to build a flimsier one from scratch and from a weaker position. It imperils swathes of British industry and projects a global image of roguish disregard for international agreement. It will not get easier to complete future deals as a country that has trumpeted contempt for deals that have already been negotiated.
‘Clean Brexit’ sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Trouble is, it doesn’t exist
If Britain crashes out without a withdrawal deal, there will be no negotiations and hence no agreement leading to a CU or an FTA. The EU has made it clear that, in the event of a no-deal outcome, it will expect to settle outstanding withdrawal issues with the UK (money, citizens’ rights and the Northern Ireland border) before even thinking about talking future trade arrangements. Which in turn means GATT article 24 won’t apply. So we would immediately find ourselves trading on WTO terms, with the tariffs and checks that those imply, and no 10-year cushion. And no other major trading nation trades purely on WTO terms.
Labour supporters puzzles over Corbyn's Brexit policy
Labour voters have little idea whether Jeremy Corbyn would push through ... parties on a compromise deal. According to Ipsos MORI research for the Evening Standard, 53 per cent of the public believe a Corbyn government would try to keep Britain in ...
Voters still do not know whether Labour is a Remain or Leave party, research shows
Jeremy Corbyn's leadership on Brexit came under *fresh* fire today as research revealed voters are split over whether Labour is a party of Remain or Leave. Key findings of the national survey include: Half the public think a Labour government under Mr Corbyn would keep Britain inside the EU, while 30 per cent think he would quit the bloc. The positions are reversed among Labour supporters — with nearly half (46 per cent) saying Mr Corbyn’s party stands for leaving, while 38 per cent think it stands for remaining. Half of Labour voters dislike their party’s approach to Brexit — and around four in 10 say they like the Liberal Democrat and Green approaches to the issue. Among the general public, 76 per cent dislike Labour’s approach. Eight in 10 people think Mr Corbyn is doing a bad job on Brexit — including 57 per cent of Labour voters.
Up close and personal with the Brexit party pyramid scheme
The Brexit party claims to want to change politics. It has turned the tables on the referendum result, convincing Leavers that they lost and spreading a message of bitter betrayal on the part of the Brexit-backing government. In doing so it risks repeating the worst of the original vote, battling blindly for an outcome it cannot define and whose consequences it chooses to ignore. At three different Brexit party rallies I've attended, a sense of genuine frustration and misplaced anger has pervaded conversations. Frustration at the delay to whichever version of Brexit they voted for. Anger at the establishment, Remainers, immigrants, civil servants - anyone they perceive as blocking the process. The Brexit party has attempted to seize upon this sense of dispossession by pushing for a decisive departure from the EU. But for a movement with only one aim, there's a remarkable lack of consensus about how to achieve it.
Nigel Farage brings Wakefield city centre to a standstill - but would not leave his campaign bus
Brexit party leader Nigel Farage brought part of Wakefield city centre to a standstill this afternoon during a short visit - but refused to come off his campaign bus. Supporters and protesters gathered on Northgate when the bus made a quick stop outside the Calder & Hops pub. Following an incident this morning when a milkshake was thrown over him at Newcastle, he was not willing to step out of his transport. Instead, he gave a short speech from the top deck of the open-top bus. The Wakefield Express was given access to the bus where he admitted the stop was one of convenience as he heads to Bolton in Lancashire.
This is everything I discovered about all of The Brexit Party MEP candidates.
The Brexit Party candidates - From gay conversion therapy advocates to supporters of paedophilia legalisation, from climate change deniers to rampant tax avoiders, from NHS abolitionists to besties of neo-Nazis, from fracking supporters to unabashed profiteers of chaos