Theresa May strikes a dud note on Brexit: Mirror Politics morning briefing – Jason Beattie


In an otherwise assured performance from Theresa May yesterday there was one phrase which jarred.

The Prime Minister declared that on Brexit “people are coming back together”.

It is not entirely clear whether this was wishful thinking or based on research which runs contrary to all other available evidence.

While many would like the country to come together, it is hard to see this happening while the Brexit debate remains so live and potent .

Even the moment of our leaving on March 29 next year, is unlikely to heal divisions and most expect the recriminations will continue to flow until the economic, social and political consequences have been resolved.

Others will regard it as a bit rich of the Prime Minister to claim the country is uniting when she has pursued a Brexit primarily in the interests of the Tory Party and with little regard for the 48%.

Jacob Rees-Mogg positions himself as the people’s champion

The Brexit rift is especially apparent this week as we approach the one-year-to-go moment on Thursday.

This morning Tory peer and former EU Commissioner Lord Patten will deliver his verdict on the state of the negotiations.

At a separate event Jacob Rees-Mogg will opine on the state of play, no doubt reading a speech printed on the finest parchment.

There is also an emergency debate on Parliament on the allegations that Vote Leave may have broken electoral law – claims strongly denied by the outfit.

The Certification Officer will today hold the preliminary hearing in the case brought by Gerard Coyne against the Unite Union.

Coyne alleges that Len McCluskey’s election as general secretary last year is invalid because it breached union rules.

Mr McCluskey denies the accusations.

The Certification Officer can order a re-run of the election if he finds against Unite on any of the ten complaints submitted by Coyne, who lost by 53,544 votes to 59,067.

Hundreds of people took to Parliament Square in protest at anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

The verdict is not expected for a couple of weeks but the outcome could have implications for Labour given Mr McCluskey’s unflinching support for Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour leader last night tried to mend bridges with the Jewish community with a letter to the Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council in which he promised to be “militant” in the fight against anti-Semitism.

If Mr Corbyn is prepared to acknowledge that Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism it would be good if those supporters who act in his name acknowledged it too.

Tony Blair’s intervention last night is unlikely to soothe tensions given his status as the Corbynites’ favourite bogeyman.

The former Prime Minister said his successor was not personally anti-Semitic but “he and the people around him, particularly, do not understand the seriousness of this problem.”

In case you missed it, Mr Corbyn also modified his position on the Salisbury attack yesterday, saying in the face of the evidence “we can draw no other conclusion Russia has a direct or indirect responsibility.”

Today’a agenda:

9.30am – Tory peer and former EU commissioner Lord Patten gives a speech on What next for Brexit?

10.30am – Whistleblower Christopher Wylie gives evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.

11.30am – Boris Johnson takes Foreign and Commonwealth questions in the Commons.

4.30pm – Theresa May is questioned by the Liaison Committee.

What I am reading:

George Eaton on whether Labour has a plan to stop Brexit

What I am listening to:

Matt Forde’s Political Party podcast



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