Brexit LIVE: Labour plunged into turmoil - Furious row over Boris deal risks civil war

JEREMY CORBYN’s party looks set for further chaos as the Labour Party Irish Society hits out at the 19 Labour MPs who pleaded with EU chiefs to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

Labour has been plunged into further turmoil, in the wake of 19 MPs writing to Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels to plead with him to secure a Brexit deal. The move was in defiance of Jeremy Corbyn’s position and now the party’s Irish society have piled criticism on the rebel group. The society warned that Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan would be “incredible severe” for Northern Ireland and said: “While times are difficult, we must all remember that peace can never be the price to pay.”

The two page letter sent to the EU pleaded for its leaders to agree a Brexit deal with the UK.

The MPs also suggested they would back a deal in Parliament.

But Labour’s Irish society wrote to the group of MPs, urging them to reconsider their willingness to support Mr Johnson's proposals, due to the Prime Minister's plans for new customs checks on the island of Ireland.

Business Inside report that the letter warns the group that supporting the proposals would be a "failure in your responsibility as a Member of Parliament where the implications of any border are so incredibly severe."

They add that the proposals pose a direct threat to the "peace and prosperity" of Northern Ireland and are strongly opposed by a majority of people and groups in the province.

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Brexit latest: Jeremy Corbyn faces a civil war in the Labour party (Image: GETTY )

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Brexit news: Michel Barnier has said a Brexit deal is possible (Image: REUTERS )

10.33pm update: EU making 'catastrophic' Brexit error - says Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt has sent a letter to the EU urging the EU to avoid a 'historic miscalculation' by refusing to negotiate on Boris Johnson's latest proposals. 

The former foreign secretary has hit out at Brussels for misunderstanding British politics, and warns that a “catastrophic failure in statecraft” looms.

He also issues a stern warning to EU chiefs and says if “they think this is bad, just wait until what happens after Boris wins an election”.

8.43pm update: 3 million Brexit 50p coins to be put in circulation

Three million special-edition 50p coins will be released into circulation on October 31 to mark Brexit.

The 50ps will feature the 31 October 2019 date and the inscription: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations.”

7.58pm update: Farage loses it with Michel Barnier

Nigel Farage hit out at Michel Barnier, accuding him of acting in bad faith.

He said: “We are not dealing with people acting in good faith, yes I’m looking at your Mr Barnier.

“You’re not looking for solutions you’re looking to put obstacles in our way.”

7.12pm update: Tony Blair calls for Brexit referendum before January 31

Speaking on the Andrew Neil show, the former prime minister suggested a second referendum should take place before January 31 next year.

But he failed to explain how a second vote would actually work.

5.47pm update: Farage his out at Lib Dems in European Parliament

Nigel Farage launched a scathing attack on Liberal Democrat MEP when she accused British people of not knowing what they were voting for in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

She asked Mr Farage why he supported "inaccurate facts" in the lead up to the referendum.

Mr Farage responded: “You patronising stuck up snob!"

5.33pm update: Boris to meet with Varadkar tomorrow

Boris Johnosn will meet with Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar tomorrow to discuss Brexit.

The meeting will be held at lunch time in the northwest of England.

An official media advisory issued by the Irish Government's press office read: "This will be a private meeting to allow both leaders and their teams to have detailed discussions about the process for securing agreement for a Brexit deal."




READ MORE: Boris Johnson ready to use incredible strategy to defy Remainers

5.09pm update: Britain will leave on October 31 'with or without a deal', says home secretary

Home Secretary Priti Patel reiterated the Prime Minister's Brexit stance and said Britain will leave the EU on October 31, "with or without a deal".

She said: "The Government has worked in a great deal of depth and detail to try and secure a deal.

"The Prime Minister has been very clear in terms of the offer that we are putting forward - nothing is over yet at all. We are going to leave on October 31 with or without a deal."

Ms Patel added the government wants to "get on with the job of leaving the EU so that we can get on with the people's priorities".

4.54pm update: Brexit limbo is harming our mental health 

New research from AgeChecked has found that 71 percent of people want an end to the Brexit impass. 

In a survey of 1,000 adults, 62 percent said that Brexit is making them feel more anxious, stressed or depressed.

There was also deep concern expressed by 71 percent of people that Brexit limbo means other important issues are being ignored and pushed to the bottom of the pile for legislative time.

Of particular concern was a lack of focus on improving education, the environment and child protection.

4.21pm update: Juncker hits out at UK for engaging in a 'blame game'

Speaking to the European Parliament this afternoon, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker criticised the Government for engaging in a "blame game".

He said Brexit was the choice of the British people and added: "Although we are respecting that choice. As it stands, we will remain in discussion with the United Kingdom on the terms of its departure.

"And, personally, I don’t exclude a deal. We are, Michel [Barnier] and myself, working on a deal.

"And we are not accepting this blame game which started in London."

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Brexit news: The EU has dismissed reports it will offer concessions to the UK (Image: GETTY )

3.54pm update: Barnier's comments suggest Brexit delay imminent

BBC's Nick Robinson says Barnier's comments, that the EU is "not really in a position where we can find an agreement", signals another delay is imminent.

Writing on Twitter the political commentator said: "So, unless Boris Johnson really has a cunning plan..."

3.35pm update: Boris says next Tory manifesto wil contain promise to get a Brexit deal

Boris Johnson has prmised Tory MPs that the Tory manifesto will still promise to get a Brexit deal, Sky news reports.

Damien Green, chairman of the 80-strong one nation caucus, told the broadcaster: "We wanted to convey the very strong message that we do not want to see a no deal Brexit as the purpose of Government policy - particularly in next election manifesto."

He said the Prime minister will continue "batting for a deal" and said: "No deal is not the policy of Government and he doesn't want it to be the policy of the Government."

3.27pm update: Fury as John Bercow holds Brexit talks with new EU president

John Bercow has sparked outrage after it has emerged the meddling Speaker of the House of Commons has bypassed Prime Minister Boris Johnson and British Parliament to negotiate with the EU on Brexit for the UK.

Brexit Party chair Richard Tice took to Twitter in a furious rampage against the Speaker of the Commons, arguing the Tory MP has no authority to act on behalf of Mr Johnson.

Mr Tice, referring to David Sassoli, said: “Here in Brussels new President Sassoli admits in chamber that he has bypassed the UK PM and Govt and is now in direct discussions with Bercow about Brexit negotiations. He refused to take my urgent question on what authority they had to have these discussions.”

3.23pm update: No deal will not impact used car prices, expert says 

Brexit will not impact used car prices even in the event of a no-deal exit according to experts in shocking revelations.

They even urge drivers to buy British cars to avoid higher long term costs as a no-deal scenario looms.

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Brexit latest: Downing Street said a deal was virtually impossible after a telephone call between Boris and Merkel (Image: PA)

3.12pm update: Barnier says EU 'are not in a position to find an agreement'

Michel Barnier has said, of the British proposals: "To put things frankly and to try and be objective. We are not really in a position to be able to find an agreement."

He continued: "The British proposals do not give us the same security as we have with the backstop...What happens if we can't find a solution during the transition period?

"Then it relies on UK unilateral measures. Then there is a significant risk to EU single market."

2.55pm update: Britain heading for 'Brexit tailspin'

Bankers say financial markets could go into a Brexit tailspin about 10 days earlier than expected if a potentially chaotic no deal departure at the end of the month looks inevitable. 

Five banking sources said contingency plans were in place to deal with a possible rout in stocks, bonds and sterling on October 21, rather than immediately after Britain's scheduled departure date of October 31.

Senior management of at least two large banks are expected to convene in Brexit "control rooms" to oversee operations and keep regulators abreast of market activity.

2.22pm update: Speaker John Bercow mocks Leavers over Brexit chaos

John Bercow mocked Brexiteers who have accused him of Remain bias, saying it is “bad form to blame the referee”.

The House of Commons Speaker hit back against criticism Leave supporters who claim he is bias in support of the Remain side in the Brexit debate.

He told CNN: “If you are performing badly or you are losing the match, it’s quite bad form to blame the referee.

2.10pm update: France issues warning to UK

A French government minister said France could discuss giving London an extension on its deadline for leaving the EU if there was a political shift in Britain allowing a different type of dialogue on Brexit. 

State Secretary for European Affairs Amelie de Montchalin said at a parliamentary hearing: "On the extension, France has said the same thing for more than six months. 

"If there are new (British) elections or a new referendum, if there is a political shift leading us to believe we could have a different dialogue from the one we have today, then an extension can be discussed.

"But adding more and more time in the exact same conditions would not give us much hope that something different would happen." 

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Brexit latest: Boris Johnson was delivered a blow by the Scottish courts (Image: GETTY)

1.58pm update: Boris still 'optimistic' about Brexit deal 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was still cautiously optimistic about a Brexit deal.

In a film posted on Twitter, he said; "We've been also negotiating with our friends and partners in the EU about Brexit and you know I'm still cautiously, cautiously optimistic."

He said "wonderful" climate change activists had been making a lot of noise with the "haunting, lilting melody of the saxophone wafting in over the Downing Street walls" as he exercised his dog late at night.

1.47pm update: Macron to meet Merkel

French President Emmanuel Macron will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Elysee Palace this coming Sunday to discuss European affairs ahead of the October 17-18 EU summit and preparations for a Franco-German summit on October 16. 

 

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12.31pm update: UK-bound trucks risk being sent away at Rotterdam port after Brexit 

Almost a third of companies who ship goods to Britain through the Netherlands have failed to complete the necessary paperwork for their trucks to embark on ferries after Brexit, the Dutch transport association TLN has said. 

LN spokesman Elmer de Bruin said: "The registration is absolutely necessary, without it trucks will be sent away at terminals after Brexit." 

The Netherlands is home to Europe's largest seaport in Rotterdam, making it a major hub for trade with Britain.

To keep the traffic across the North Sea flowing after Brexit, Dutch authorities have created a single customs platform where companies need to digitally register their shipments to be allowed onto ferry terminals.

12.02pm update: Michel Barnier says Brexit deal is 'possible' 

The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he believed that reaching an exit deal with Britain was "very difficult but possible".

He said: "The EU will remain calm, vigilant, respectful and constructive. The technical talks continue." 

Asked by a reporter if a deal was possible, he said: "I think the deal is possible. Very difficult but possible."

Brexit latest

Brexit latest: Ministers are plotting to resign if Boris ploughs ahead with no deal Brexit (Image: GETTY )

11.46am update: Guenther Oettinger says Boris Brexit plan was not satisfactory 

The EU's top budget official, Guenther Oettinger, said the European Union executive agreed with the assessment of the bloc's Brexit negotiator that the latest British offer did "not represent a satisfactory solution". 

11.18am update: Court holds loaded gun to Boris Johnson's head forcing PM's hand over Brexit extension

Scotland's highest court has been accused of "holding a loaded pen to Boris Johnson's head" after it delayed a decision on whether it will force the Prime Minister to ask for a Brexit delay in the event of a no deal exit.

Anti-Brexit campaginers celebrated after a panel of three senior judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh have decided to wait on a ruling until October 21, which is after Boris Johnson attends the EU Summit and holds a special sitting in Parliament.

Waiting on a decision means the Prime Minister will be negotiating and threatening a no deal Brexit during discussions without knowing the courts decision.

11.17am update: Brexit is a tragedy 

Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra said Brexit is a "tragedy" for Britain and the EU and should be agreed under the softest possible terms.

He said: "I still think that the best outcome is a Brexit that is as soft as possible, but it takes two to tango." 

11.01am update: EU dismisses claims of concessions 

An EU official said: "No bold new offer is coming from the EU side."

They dismissed reports the EU was about to offer the UK concession in order to get a Brexit deal across the line as "not true" and "spin". 

10.14am update: Stephen Barclay to lunch with Barnier 

The Brexit Secretary is reportedly set to have lunch with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday. 

The lunch would be "to check if there is any more flexibility on the UK side to head for a deal. For now, there seems to be none," according to a diplomat. 

10.03am update: Pound jumps after Brexit concession 

Sterling jumped more than 0.5 percent against the US dollar on Wednesday after the EU was ready to agree to a major concession in Brexit negotiations.

The Times reported that the bloc is prepared to offer a mechanism for the Northern Irish assembly to leave a new so-called backstop after a number of years. 

Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at MUFG based in London, said: "By allowing Northern Ireland to take the decision on whether they want to stay in the EU or not, the market has taken this news positively as it will be a major step towards a breakthrough in the Brexit deadlock.

The pound was last up 0.4 percent at $1.2265, after spiking to as much as $1.2292. It was also up against the euro by 0.2 percent at 89.54 pence.

9.32am update: EU could offer Boris Johnson major concession

Brussels leaders could be about to offer Boris Johnson a major concession in a desperate bid to revive Brexit talks ahead of next week’s crunch summit.

EU capitals are considering a unilateral exit clause from the controversial Northern Ireland backstop after a set number of years.

Under the plans, the Northern Ireland Assembly would be handed a vote on whether to continue with or revoke the measure, as long as both communities in the province agree to it. This could essentially set a five-year time-limit to the backstop, which would be seen as a huge victory for the Prime Minister.

A European source told the Times: "A landing zone on consent could be a double majority within Stormont, to leave, not to continue with arrangements after X years." 

8.50am update: Government to hold special sitting 

Boris Johnson's government will hold a special sitting of Parliament on Saturday, October 19 with or without a Brexit deal - the day after the EU summit between October 17-18, according to Sky News. 

Ministers are planning to bring MPs in to Westminster on October 19 regardless of whether Boris Johnson is able to win agreement from EU leaders on a Brexit deal, government sources said.

The summit in Brussels on October 17 and 18 is the last scheduled meeting of EU leaders before Britain is supposed to leave on October 31.

This is the fifth time Parliament has sat on a Saturday since the Second World War. 

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Brexit news: Remain campaigners protest outside uropean Commission building in Brussels (Image: GETTY )

8.41am update: Boris to tell Queen 'you can't sack me' 

The PM is planning to tell the Queen she will not be able to sack him even if he loses a vote of no confidence as MPs step up their plans to oust him. 

His refusal will be based on 70-year-old rules, the Lascelles Principles.

A Number 10 source told The Sun: “Boris won’t resign even if he loses a no confidence vote, and it is not within the sovereign’s constitutional powers to make him.

“The Lascelles Principles make this clear. The PM will advise the Queen of that and she must follow her Prime Minister’s advice. That’s how this country works.

"We said we will deliver Brexit by October 31 by all means necessary and we meant it”

8.24am update: Judges to rule on case asking PM for Brexit delay 

Judges are expected to rule on a Brexit court case brought by campaigners who want an order forcing the Prime Minister to ask the EU for a delay if no Brexit deal is reached by October 19.

A panel of three senior judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh will also issue a ruling on whether a court can sign this Brexit extension letter on behalf of the government.

The requirement for the Prime Minister to request a Brexit extension if no withdrawal deal is secured with the EU by October 19 is a key provision of the so-called Benn Act, passed by MPs in a bid to prevent a no-deal departure.

Judge Lord Pentland ruled on Monday it was not necessary to compel the Prime Minister to comply with the terms of the Act given "unequivocal assurances" of Boris Johnson and the Government before the court, but campaigners have lodged an appeal against this decision.

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Brexit latest: Britain is due to leave the EU on October 31 (Image: EXPRESS)

8.18am update: Ireland's not trying to trap Northern Ireland in customs union 

Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe rejected claims that Dublin is seeking to "trap" the UK with Brexit backstop arrangements.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "In terms of the charge that the Irish Government is looking to trap anybody in any kind of arrangement, that is absolutely not the case."

7.51am update: Farage hits back at Merkel

The Brexit Party leader hit back on Twitter saying the choice was “now clear” for the UK after Merkel's intervention. 

He tweeted: “No British Government could ever accept Germany telling us that part of the UK has to stay in the EU.

“The choice now is clear: A clean break Brexit, or stay in a new militarised empire.

“Time to choose freedom.”

7.45am update: New Brexit deal 'very difficult' 

Leo Varadkar has warned Boris Johnson negotiating a new Brexit agreement by the crucial EU summit will be "very difficult" ahead of their talks to avert a no deal Brexit. 

The Prime Minister's chances of a breakthrough with Brussels were looking increasingly unlikely on Tuesday after accusations from Number 10 that the bloc was making it "essentially impossible" for Britain to leave with a deal.

Mr Johnson will hope to gain concessions from his Irish counterpart Mr Varadkar during in-person talks anticipated later this week.

But with the October 31 deadline rapidly closing in, the Taoiseach warned of the challenges of securing a new deal by next week - a key period in the Brexit saga with the summit in Brussels.

Mr Varadkar said Ireland and the EU would not accept an agreement at "any cost".

He told RTE news: "There are some fundamental objectives that haven't changed for the past three years and we need them guaranteed.

"I think it is going to be very difficult to secure an agreement by next week, quite frankly.

"Essentially what the United Kingdom has done is repudiate the deal that we negotiated in good faith with Prime Minister Theresa May's government over two years and sort of put half of that now back on the table and are saying, 'That's a concession'. And of course it isn't really."