Brexit: No-deal battle could be decided by Supreme Court says Letwin

  • Any attempt by the next prime minister to suspend Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit is likely to end up in the Supreme Court, a Tory MP has said.
  • Sir Oliver Letwin told the BBC it was not clear whether MPs had the numbers to stop a no-deal Brexit themselves.
  • But if the government tried to get its way by by-passing Parliament, he said it would become a “legal question”.
  • Campaigners say they will challenge any “prorogation” of Parliament to allow Brexit on 31 October without a deal.

Post-Brexit trade pact with US may take some time, says Liam Fox

  • The international trade secretary, Liam Fox, has said a post-Brexit trade arrangement with the US may take longer to agree than some people hope, after reports that Boris Johnson would make this a priority if he becomes prime minister.
  • Fox said potential complications could include different rules across American states and the start of the presidential electoral cycle. He also stressed that no deal could be agreed before the UK formally left the EU.
  • Fox told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there had already been six meetings of a trade working group with the US to examine the issues.
  • “One of the things you have to remember about the US is that not all trade policy is actually done at the federal government level,” he said. “A great deal of the trade policy is done at the state level, particularly in the non-tariff barriers to trade, things like regulation. We have been increasing the number of our staff in the US who are expert at the state-to-state level.”

Philip Hammond warns speedy US trade deal after Brexit is doubtful

  • Philip Hammond has poured cold water on the idea of a speedy post-Brexit US-UK trade deal, warning that US president Donald Trump will make demands that could prove highly unpopular in Britain.
  • The chancellor, who confirmed his departure from the Treasury next week no matter who wins the Conservative leadership contest, said on Monday it was unrealistic to think that a trade deal could be completed within a year.
  • His comments came after an ally of Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the race, told The Times that a limited trade deal in “one area” of goods could be agreed with the US as soon as October 31, Britain’s scheduled departure date from the EU.
  • The idea of a speedy transatlantic trade deal drew scorn across Whitehall and Mr Johnson’s team tried to distance the former foreign secretary from such an ambitious timescale.
  • Mr Hammond, speaking on a visit to New York, told CNBC: “There’s going to be big questions about how we manage access to farm produce, how we deal with different food hygiene standards that we have, different farming practices.
  • Mr Hammond also repeated his warning that when he returns to the backbenches next week he will do everything he can to stop the new prime minister taking Britain out of the EU without a deal.