The hard truths of Brexit: Mirror Politics morning briefing – Jason Beattie


Since the Referendum, those opposed to Brexit have been a cause without a leader.

That point will be reinforced today when David Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nicky Morgan share a stage to urge MPs to reject Theresa May’s plans to take the UK out of a customs union.

The optics are not great: three establishment figures, only one of whom is still an MP, and each in their own way discredited.

Their teaming up will no doubt set the hares running on whether there is an appetite for a new centrist party.

What is not clear is how deep that appetite runs or if the centre ground can be staked out without a convincing figurehead.

One thing is for sure, neither David Miliband, Clegg or Morgan is that person.

All are talented but none could be said to have the common touch or the track record to suggest they can lead the lost to a promised land.

As remakes of Avengers Ensemble go, you probably want a stronger line up of superheroes than Bananaman, Mr Sorry and Treasury committee woman.

Nicky Morgan will speak for Tory remainers

On saying that, Theresa May was hardly speaking for the 48% in this weekend’s Sunday Times article .

Imploring voters to put their trust in her to deliver Brexit smacks of hubris after she made the same request at the election a year ago and the electorate responded by denying her a majority.

The problem with the Prime Minister’s words is they fail to reach out to those worried about the path she is pursuing.

She is still reluctant to be candid about the consequences (there is no Brexit path that will leave us better off, all we can do is mitigate the economic damage) and she is still misleading people about the compromises required to achieve a deal.

For example, she boasts we will get back control of our laws but any deal will require some form of super-national oversight.

This is the reality of any pooling of sovereignty whether is our membership of Nato or the World Trade Organisation.

It is an act of shameless hoodwinking to suggest otherwise.

The delicacy of internal Tory politics is preventing the Prime Minister from telling such truths.

Talking of which, the sub committees of the Cabinet sub committee on Brexit are meeting today to discuss the two customs options : maximum facilitation (max fac) preferred by the Brexiteers and a customs partnership back by Mrs May.

The weight of opinion is shifting towards max fac (Damian Green last night suggested it would win the day) even though it has been dismissed by Brussels and would fail to solve the Irish border question.

Tessa Jowell
Tessa Jowell really was as kind as people have said

I would like to add my own tribute to Tessa Jowell. She really was as kind and sympathetic as people have said .

As Jane Merrick noted on Twitter, she showed that you can achieve more by smiling than shouting.

Other politicians should learn from Tessa’s decency and niceness.

She was also terrible at charades.

On a flight back from the Beijing Olympics she joined the press pack at the back of the plane for a rather drunken session of card games and charades.

Most other senior politicians would have thought such antics beneath them or undignified.

Tessa gleefully joined in.

Though unfortunately for our team she was no Una Stubbs.

Today’s agenda:

10.30am – David Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nicky Morgan joint press conference on Brexit.

2.30pm – Damian Hinds takes Education questions in the Commons

4pm – Housing, Communities and Local Government committee take evidence on fracking.

4.30pm – Backbench debate in Parliament’s Westminster Hall on the Grenfell fire inquiry. At 3pm there will be a Peace Rally outside Parliament and at 7pm a silent walk to mark the 11th month since

What I am reading:

Kevin Maguire on why Donald Trump is no friend of Britain.

What I am listening to:

My Daily Record colleague David Clegg’s new podcast on Scottish politics .



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