Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt divided over Brexit plans – The BBC

  • Both contenders for prime minister claim they can renegotiate a Brexit deal that the EU says is closed.
  • Mr Johnson said the UK must leave on 31 October “deal or no deal” but Mr Hunt called this a “fake deadline” that could trigger a general election if Parliament rejects a no-deal Brexit.
  • Mr Hunt said he was prepared to leave without a deal, but not if there was a “prospect of a better deal”.
  • During a phone-in on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show, the Mr Hunt agreed with a caller who said the EU was “treating us like dirt”, adding: “I don’t think they’ve shown respect for us at all.”
  • The EU has repeatedly insisted it will not re-open negotiations on the withdrawal agreement drawn up between Brussels and Theresa May – rejected three times by MPs.
  • On Wednesday, a European Commission spokeswoman confirmed that remained the bloc’s position even if the only alternative was a no-deal exit.

UK unveils new plans to bring in supplies in case of no-deal Brexit – The FT

  • Ministers have vowed to arrange back-up ferry capacity to maintain the flow of medicines and other vital goods after a no-deal Brexit without spending any more taxpayers’ money in the wake of the Seabourne Freight fiasco.
  • Mr Lidington (Cabinet Office minister) said in a statement that the government was taking steps to secure freight capacity to guarantee the supply of “category 1” goods such as chemicals and medicines remained an essential part of government no-deal planning.
  • Meanwhile the DfT was setting up a “freight capacity framework agreement” to provide departments with the ability to secure space on ships for critical supply chains “as and when required”: “This framework does not commit the government to purchasing or reserving any freight capacity, but it does provide a flexible list of operators and options for the provision of the capacity that can be drawn upon if needed.”

No-deal Brexit makes rate cut ‘more likely’, says Mark Carney – The FT

  • Mark Carney gave his most definitive steer yet that he would vote for interest rate cuts in the event of a no-deal Brexit in an attempt to offset likely economic weakness.
  • Giving evidence to MPs on the Treasury select committee, the Bank of England governor said there were “no guarantees” on how the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee would act on rates, but said “it’s more likely that we would provide some stimulus in that event [of a no-deal Brexit]”.
  • His comments on no-deal highlighted the difficulty the BoE has faced in persuading financial markets that its words on interest rates should carry weight. At a time when there is little inflationary pressure globally, other central banks are preparing to ease policy and the UK faces huge Brexit uncertainties, traders have rejected the central bank’s message that there need to be “limited and gradual” rate rises.