Maitland Political/AMO Monitor – 21 September 2018

21st September 2018
It’s a No from the EU – huge setback for Theresa May’s Brexit plan
Much of her party has been telling her Chequers was a non-starter since it was published in July, but now the proposal is categorically finished with the President of the European Council rejecting Theresa May’s plan too.
Donald Tusk told the post event press conference in Salzburg that the key aspect of Chequers, the proposed new economic partnership, “will not work.”
Theresa May’s narrative over the last few weeks has been it’s Chequers or nothing, in fact she reiterated it at her own press conference. But few, if any, believe that the UK would be prepared to walk.
The gamble has not paid off.
As well as calling her bluff, the EU have also brought forward the timetable. They want to reach an agreement on 18th October to be stamped in November.
The most obvious solution for May would be to adopt a Norway or Canada style proposal. But to do so would be a huge climb down for the Prime Minister.
There will now be further leadership speculation, since the consensus that emerged from within Conservative ranks in recent weeks was that she needed to stay on at least until the EU replied to her proposal. They have.
One way or another the UK needs a substantively new proposal, and the coming days will see a slew of blueprints from the various factions. The question is will Theresa May be afforded the opportunity to have another go, or will her party give the job to someone else.

Driving the Day

  • David Davis has warned Theresa May that a withdrawal agreement based on the Chequers plan would boost to populist parties including Ukip. He also suggested the EU was using the Irish border issue to “punish” the UK.
  • Jeremy Corbyn has refused to rule out giving Scotland the power to hold another independence referendum if he becomes Prime Minister.
  • The latest British Social Attitudes survey claims six in ten British voters favour paying higher taxes to boost public services.

On Manoeuvres

  • Treasury launches a review examining how to tackle barriers faced by women in business.
  • Ukip conference begins in Birmingham.
  • The Ministry of Defence faces significant pressures over the coming decade to maintain resources necessary to provide the UK’s at-sea nuclear deterrent, according to a public accounts committee report.
  • Local authorities should consider switching to electric or hybrid vehicles, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends.
  • The Treasury and ONS release figures covering the surplus on the current budget, net debt and net borrowing.
  • The Thatcherite pressure group Conservative Way Forward holds a “freedom rally” to Brussels via France and Luxembourg.

Westminster Bubble

Both Houses are on recess. They are expected to return 9 October.

Top Twittery

why does it say “Or Gove” next to #TheresaMay ‘s head at #SalzburgSummit18 press conf? #BrexitShambles