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Boris Johnson news - live: PM doubles down on no-deal threat hours after government claims he would seek Brexit delay

Follow all the latest developments

Adam Forrest
Friday 04 October 2019 15:07
Boris Johnson will ask EU for extension under the Benn act, Jolyon Maugham says outside Court of Session

Boris Johnson will send a letter to the EU asking for a Brexit delay if no divorce deal has been agreed by 19 October, according to government papers submitted to the Court of Session in Scotland.

It comes as European Union member states agree that the Government's new Brexit proposals "do not provide a basis for concluding an agreement" in its first full account of Mr Johnson's plan.

And the PM's former leadership rival Rory Stewart quits the party and announces his London Mayoral bid after months of outspoken opposition to Mr Johnson's Brexit position.


Boris Johnson today faces a further legal challenge to his Brexit plans, just 10 days after his humiliating defeat at the hands of the Supreme Court.

The highest civil court in Scotland will hear today a fresh action, led by SNP Joanne Cherry QC and Jolyon Maugham, requesting it to require the PM to abide by the Benn Act and seek an extension of Brexit negotiations to avoid crashing out of the EU without a deal.

All the details here.

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 08:17

DUP leader Arlene Foster is not happy with Leo Varadkar. She claimed the Irish premier “will go down in history as the man that instituted a hard border on the island of Ireland”.

It followed Varadkar’s suggestion that polls showed the majority of the British people would stop Brexit if given the chance.

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 08:20

Peter Hain, the former Northern Ireland secretary, has been talking about the Brexit proposals and the dispute between the DUP and the Irish government.

“The DUP doesn’t speak for Northern Ireland. It may be the biggest party, it’s entitled to have its views respected, but it doesn't speak for the whole of Northern Ireland.

“And what Boris Johnson is doing, as Theresa May did before her, is putting himself in the pocket of one party. And that relinquishes an honest broker role. And that is very dangerous.

“The solution is to have the same rules either side of the border for customs and trade and standards and regulations. That would solve the problems. The problem is the hard Brexiteers, including the DUP, won’t allow it.”

Lord Hain added: “The other joker in this pack is effectively leaving the DUP with a veto. Whether the arrangements get up and running at all for a common regulatory trading zone for all goods and agri-food, livestock and food produce and so forth, whether that actually happens is up to the DUP.

“And that cannot be right. It should be the decision of the whole of Northern Ireland’s politics on a cross-community basis which is the essence of the Good Friday Agreement.” He said the PM was effectively “dumping the problem” on Dublin.

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 08:24

Boris Johnson is expected to continue his efforts on Friday and over the weekend to convince Brussels to show flexibility on his submitted plans.

A spokesman for the PM said his chief negotiator David Frost was currently locked in “technical level” talks in Brussels to determine whether a deal could be struck in the days ahead.

Having strongly suggested the EU had until the weekend to make its mind up on an apparently “final” Brexit plan, Johnson now wants more talks with European leaders and says he’s open to changes.

According to The Times, EU chiefs are now the ones handing out deadlines, setting an 11 October cut-off date for the UK to change its proposals, or there will be no formal negotiations before the 17 October summit.

No 10 said Johnson is expected to meet with French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel “in the coming days and weeks”.

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 08:28

A US media lawyer claiming be representing Jennifer Arcuri said she is ready to give an interview about her relationship with Boris Johnson.

Michael Walsh said the current highest bidder has offered $225,000. “The price has to be right … if you want her services, you have to pay for it,” he told The Times.

Meanwhile, a former adviser to Johnson has claimed that the prime minister asked for his friend Jennifer Arcuri to be included in a trade trip to Israel while he was Mayor of London.

Details here:

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 08:43

Home Office xecurity minister Brandon Lewis has called the Brexit plan “a final offer”.

Speaking about Boris Johnson’s proposals on the Today programme: “From our point of view it’s a final offer. But we are open and understand the fact that the EU may come back and say. ‘Look, this deal is fine, but can we just look at this...?’ and we’ll have to look at that when we get to that point.

“But I’ve got to say, to be frank, as the prime minister said, this is our clear final deal.

“We think it’s a good deal, it’s a fair deal, it delivers both legally and security-wise for both our country here in the UK and obviously our friends in Europe.”

Asked if the government is willing to enter into negotiations, he said: “From our point of view, this is the final deal, but we’ll wait and see what our partners in the EU come back and say.”

He said it is “clear” there is now a “building majority” supportive of the plan in parliament.

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 08:46

Wait for it…

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 09:02

Rory Stewart has had enough. He is a Tory no more, and has announced he’s standing down as an MP.

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 09:05

Some early reaction to Rory Stewart’s announcement. Apparently Stewart said at a speaking event last night that his appearance “constitutes my resignation from the Conservative party”, but the audience wasn’t sure if he was serious or not.

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 09:27

Plaid Cymru’s party conference begins today in Swansea. Leader Adam Price has said he wouldn’t rule out a general election pact with pro-Remain parties, as he said a no-deal Brexit would “decimate” agriculture in Wales.

Price said crashing out of the EU would be “disastrous” and said the best way forward is to give people the final say in a referendum.

The Green Party also kicks off its conference today – it takes place in Newport in south Wales.

Adam Forrest4 October 2019 09:32

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