The Tories are fighting to survive and we are paying the £20bn price


We have travelled a long way from the buccaneering spirit of the Leave campaign in the EU referendum.

Britain, we were told, would prosper as a proud, independent nation.

EU countries would be queuing up to sell us their cars, prosecco and cheese, they said.

Three years on and the political party which imposed Brexit on us is now arguing we have to leave whatever the cost.

Jeremy Hunt will use a speech this morning to spell out his no deal planning. 

Some £6billion will be set aside to protect farmers and the fishing industry from the increased tariffs that will be inevitable price of leaving without a deal. 

He will also bring in £13billion of corporation tax cuts to “keep Britain open for business”.

Boris Johnson is yet again ducking a head-to-head TV debate with Jeremy Hunt

Hunt is now setting out the grim reality of a no deal Brexit and its advocates now claim it is a price worth paying.

A no deal Brexit has nothing to do with the interests of the country and everything to do with the interests of the Conservatives.

They fear obliteration unless they deliver on the referendum.

If you want to know why they are so spooked look at the 5,000 people who turned out for a Brexit Party rally in Birmingham yesterday which was closer to revivalist meeting than a political rally.

For the Tories the economic damage is now a secondary consideration to political survival. 

Our fisheries industry, which was supposed to be one of main beneficiaries of Brexit, now needs a multi-billion pound lifeline.

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Presumably this money will come from a different pot to the one funding the extra £350million a week for the NHS.

Is Hunt also going to protect the automotive industry which will be hit by 10% tariffs if we leave without a deal? 

Hunt’s economics are also questionable. 

There is a lot of evidence that corporation tax cuts tend to benefit the owners while doing little to spur investment.

Jeremy Corbyn leaves his London home today and pays a visit to his local shop where earlier in the day a huge fight had erupted
Jeremy Corbyn has turned the slurs against him to his advantage

Labour’s Jon Trickett has written a letter of complaint to the Cabinet Office  after anonymous civil servants were quoted in the Times saying they were concerned about Jeremy Corbyn’s “frailty” should he become PM.

In the early days the Labour leadership would have been rattled by slurs such as these. 

Now they are using them to their advantage.

They know the Trickett letter risks giving a negative story more air time but they have also calculated that attacking the establishment and the Murdoch press plays well with Corbyn’s base many of whom have been growing disillusioned with his equivocation on Brexit.

Today’s agenda:

Voting opens in the Lib Dem leadership race.

11am – Jeremy Hunt speech on preparations for a no deal Brexit.

2.30pm – Amber Rudd takes Work and Pensions questions in the Commons.

3.30pm – Theresa May statement on the G20 summit.

4pm – Public Accounts committee hearing on penalty charge notices in healthcare.

6pm – Weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

7pm – Jeremy Hunt interview on Sky News. The broadcaster had hoped for a head-to-head with Boris Johnson.

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What I am reading:

John Rentoul in the Independent on Jeremy Corbyn’s physical health.





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