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May 10, 2019

News | Politics | Brexit latest news: Donald Tusk claims there is a 30 per cent chance Britain will not leave the European Union

Jack Maidment, Political Correspondent 10 May 2019 

Philip Hammond urges US and China to resolve trade conflict

The Chancellor said a full-blown trade war between the US and China would have a "very serious dampening effect" on the UK economy.
Mr Hammond said the latest clash between Washington and Beijing was a "worry" although he was "optimistic" the dispute between the two nations would eventually be resolved.
"We have already seen a negative effect on forecasts of global growth largely caused by trade tensions between China and the US, so this is a worry," he told Sky News.
"A full blown trade war would have a very serious dampening effect on the whole global economy, including the UK, but I think we are a way away from that yet and I hope that this will be resolved."

Nigel Farage says Brexit Party victory on May 23 will 'concentrate minds' of 'fearful' MPs

The leader of The Brexit Party is in Lincoln talking to voters and he predicted a good night for his new electoral vehicle on May 23 would leave Labour and Tory MPs afraid of losing their seats at the next general election.
Asked what a victory for The Brexit Party would mean, he said: "It puts a no-deal Brexit back on the table.
"Parliament has taken it off the table. Our voters say 'put it back on the table' and, if we win, we will demand representation, with the Government, at the next stage of negotiations.
"We have a deadline now of October 31 and we want to make sure, our voters want to make sure, that, actually, no-deal is being seriously thought-about."
Nigel Farage stops at a food van during a Brexit Party walkabout in Lincoln Credit: Joe Giddens/PA
Mr Farage said topping the polls later this month at the European elections would give his fledgling party a major boost for a forthcoming general election which many believe will take place before the one currently scheduled for 2022.
He said: "There'll be huge number of Labour and Tories MPs fearful as to whether they can hold on to their seats. That might just concentrate their minds.
"But the real question is, of those that vote for us in a European election, how many would repeat that in a general election and the indications I'm getting, is an awful lot of them."
Mr Farage said that based on current levels of support his party would be able to win "serious numbers of seats" in the House of Commons.

Remain-backing parties' 'missed opportunity' after failing to agree electoral pact

New YouGov polling of the effectiveness of an electoral pact between Remain-backing parties at the European elections on May 23 suggests the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Change UK have made a mistake by failing to join forces.
Some 30 per cent of voters said they would support Remain candidates put forward under a pact by the Green Party.
Meanwhile, 28 per cent said they would support Remain candidates put forward under a pact by the Lib Dems and 26 per cent under Change UK.
A recent poll found that 32 per cent of voters intended to vote for the Brexit Party, 21 per cent Labour, 12 per cent Tory, 10 per cent Green and Lib Dems, seven per cent for Change UK and five per cent on Ukip.
Commenting on the research, Matt Smith from YouGov, said: “The results show the missed opportunity of the anti-Brexit parties' failure to unite under one banner.
"Under the electoral system Britain uses for the EU Parliament elections, one party gaining, say, 30 per cent of the vote tends to be more richly rewarded in terms of seats than three parties on 10 per cent each.
"While the Greens, Lib Dems and Change UK may have perfectly good reasons for not standing together, their decision will likely gift seats to the Brexit Party, Conservatives and Labour.”

Donald Tusk says chance of Brexit not happening is '30 per cent'

The President of the European Council said in an interview with the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza (GW): “After the British referendum in 2016, I thought that if we recognise that the case is closed, it will be the end. Today the chance that Brexit will not happen is, in my opinion, 20-30 per cent. That’s a lot.
“From month to month, it is becoming increasingly clear that the UK’s exit from the EU will look completely different than the Brexit that was promoted.
“I see no reason to capitulate.”
He added: “If the 2016 referendum was able to change the result of the referendum in 1975, why can it not be changed again? Nothing is irreversible until people believe it is.”

Guy Verhofstadt rejects foreign interference claim

Mr Verhofstadt said: "I think it's important to show that the European liberals and democrats support Vince Cable.
"Support the Lib Dems in this difficult fight in Britain, in these European elections.
"Secondly, we want to show by coming here a message to the continent to say never repeat Brexit again.
"I'm a Lib Dem. It's natural that people are looking to the Lib Dems when it comes to European elections.
Guy Verhofstadt, right, who is the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, stands with the leader of the British Liberal Democrats party Vince Cable Credit: Matt Dunham/AP
"We want to be the alternative for nationalism and popularism.
"What I think is there will be a huge support for Remain.
"I'm not here as a Brexit negotiator, I'm here as the leader of the liberals and democrats for Europe."
Asked if his presence could be seen as foreign interference, Mr Verhofstadt said: "This is Europe. Europe. It's all Europe."

Sir Vince Cable says Lib Dems are 'fighting nationalism' 

Sir Vince said the Liberal Democrats were "fighting nationalism" at the European elections.
"We are patriotic people in our different countries, but we are fighting nationalism," he said as he stood alongside Guy Verhofstadt.
The Lib Dem leader said his party was standing up "to the ugly populism that is now happening" ahead of May 23.

Guy Verhofstadt: Lib Dems the 'strongest Remain party in UK'

Guy Verhofstadt addresses the media alongside Sir Vince Cable

Mr Verhofstadt insisted his presence was not foreign interference in the UK's European Parliament elections as he was "a Lib Dem" and was backing the party because it opposed Brexit.
Sir Vince said he was campaigning to combat "ugly populism".
Sir Vince Cable and the European Parliament's chief Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt speak to members of the media before canvassing for support for their candidates in the forthcoming European elections Credit: Tolga Akmen/AFP
Guy Verhofstadt and Sir Vince Cable  Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

'Guy Verhofstadt says it is not too late for UK to stay in EU'

We catch up with ⁦@guyverhofstadt⁩ campaigning for the ⁦@LibDems⁩ in Camden. he tells me he 'doesn't know' if the UK will leave the #eu and adds 'it's never too late' Asked if he'd back other remain parties, he stresses the LibDems' long standing pro EU position
— iain watson (@iainjwatson) May 10, 2019

France will resist Brexit extension beyond October 31

A French presidential adviser said Paris would not tolerate repeated extensions to Brexit.
"We must not get sucked into repeated extensions, that's for sure," the adviser said. "Our message is clear: a solution must have been found by October 31."
The French adviser did not close the door on a further extension beyond Halloween, but made clear France would continue to argue against delaying talks repeatedly.
Emmanuel Macron, the French President, argued against a long Brexit delay when the October extension was agreed by the EU in April.

Sir Vince Cable and Guy Verhofstadt out on the doorstep in London

Sir Vince Cable on the European elections campaign trail in London

Kate Hoey: Brexit has 'completely broken' Labour and the Conservatives

The Labour Brexiteer told TalkRadio: "I said a month ago when the Brexit Party was set up that I thought both Labour and Conservatives would be trounced at the European elections, and I still feel that.
"It is going to almost become another referendum in a way, because I think what we'll see is those who feel strongly about leaving will not vote for either of the two parties, and those who feel strongly about remain will not vote for either of the two main parties."
She added: "It will tell us that the two-party system on this issue is completely broken. It will tell us that the country is very angry - whether they're Remainers or Leavers - that we haven't got on with this."

Nigel Farage: Tory/Labour compromise deal 'won't be Brexit'

The leader of The Brexit Party told the BBC's Question Time audience that there was a "genuine democratic crisis in this country" and the reason was "simple".
He said: "We voted to Leave by quite a big majority in a referendum. We then voted a year later in a general election for two political parties that told us they would respect our wishes and carry out Brexit.
"We then saw 500 MPs vote for Article 50 which said we would leave on March 29 with or without a withdrawal agreement.
"The reason we didn't leave on March 29 is these  people do not want us to become an independent, self-governing nation.
"They are doing their upmost to thwart Brexit and now it gets worse because now, to try and save their own skins, we have got Labour and a Conservative Party negotiating a permanent customs union and alignment with single market rules.
"They are basically trying to make us associate members of the European Union with no say, with no rights and with ongoing costs, in many ways  even worse than staying a member of the European Union.
"This is a coalition of parliament against the people and I pray that it does not go through because it won't be Brexit."

Amber Rudd says Theresa May 'comeback' still possible

The Work and Pensions Secretary represented the Government on the BBC's Question Time programme last night and she said the Prime Minister could still deliver Brexit if MPs are willing to compromise.
"Theresa May has done the right thing," she said.
"She has delivered a deal, as the people asked her to do, which protects businesses and jobs and is a good deal with the European Union.
"Now, unfortunately it has been voted down. I voted for it three times, I'd like to vote for it again, I'd like to make sure it gets through this time.
"The threat of no-deal was  a negotiation strategy with the European Union.
"No-deal does not work for the UK. It is bad for its economy, it is bad for its security and it is bad for the Union.
"But I believe she can make a comeback, if only the people in Parliament, the Members of Parliament, and that is Labour as well as Conservative, decide that the best outcome now is to get that compromise."

Simon Coveney rejects claim new Brexiteer PM could rip up Irish backstop

Mr Coveney suggested that British politicians were putting the cart before the horse by focusing on Britain's future relationship with the EU rather than finalising the terms of a divorce deal.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There are two things that need to be done here. One is to try and finalise a Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU and the second is this future political declaration that people are talking about.
"The focus in British politics right now is trying to get agreement on what the future holds and we don't have to decide that in full detail now."
The Irish foreign affairs minister said he hoped the UK Government and Labour could agree a "middle ground position that can bring the country together".
He also rejected the suggestion that a new Brexiteer prime minister could resolve the Irish border issue and rip up the backstop protocol.
"These realities don't change and so this is not a personality-based issue," he said.
"It is an evidence-based issue. Within the current Withdrawal Agreement that is available and that has been negotiated with the British Prime Minister there are the flexibilities there to look at alternative arrangements to the backstop.
"If they work and if they stand up they can replace the backstop. But we have to move forward on the basis of knowing that we are not going to see the kind of damage done on the island of Ireland that the imposition of a border would result in."

Source: The Telegraph

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