Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Why Labour chose Ed not David Miliband (Guardian)

David Miliband rejects my pro-state policy ideas as 'Reassurance Labour'. That's why he's not leader, writes Roy Hattersley.

2. David Miliband: the sniping and self-pity of a truly feeble man (Daily Telegraph)

The best thing that David Miliband could do for the Labour Party would be to shut up, says Matthew Norman.

3. Chris Huhne's downfall began the day he sacrificed his wife for his career (Daily Mail)

I still hope that my old friend is innocent, as he assured me he was, writes Stephen Glover.

4. Huhne's departure will sadden all who care about the environment (Independent)
His brilliant brain was never put to better use than when he saved the day at the Cancun talks, argues Michael McCarthy.

5. Huhne isn't hated. He just hasn't any friends (Times) (£)

Clegg will feel more comfortable without him, writes Matthew Parris. But the high priest of differentiation will not fade quietly away.

6. Chris Huhne, David Cameron and the RBS boss don't have it, but Al Gore did (Guardian)

From bonuses to knighthoods, the leaders we put in high office prefer jaw-jutting certainty to thoughtful judgment, argues Jonathan Freedland.

7. Fred Goodwin: a modern-day knight made to suffer a medieval punishment (Daily Telegraph)

Fred Goodwin should challenge the judgment of David Cameron's kangaroo court, says Charles Moore.

8. Our burn-a-banker frenzy is tempting - but wrong (Financial Times)

Gut reactions do not make good policy, writes Martin Dickson. We still need a banking industry.

9. Chris Huhne's resignation: the destructive result of love turned sour (Guardian)

Huhne made himself vulnerable to his enemies the minute he left his wife for his mistress, says Gaby Hinsliff. It's a curiously undignified way to go.

10. Lucky Dave's show goes on as an(other) irritant departs (Financial Times)

The Prime Minister is riding high in the polls in spite of deep economic gloom, says John Kampfner.

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We're running out of time to stop a hard Brexit - and the consequences are terrifying

Liam Fox has nothing to say and Labour has thrown the towel in. 

Another day goes past, and still we’re no clearer to finding out what Brexit really means. Today secretary of state for international trade, Liam Fox, was expected to use a speech to the World Trade Organisation to announce that the UK is on course to leave the EU’s single market, as reported earlier this week. But in a humiliating climb-down, he ended up saying very little at all except for vague platitudes about the UK being in favour of free trade.

At a moment when the business community is desperate for details about our future trading arrangements, the International Trade Secretary is saying one thing to the papers and another to our economic partners abroad. Not content with insulting British businesses by calling them fat and lazy, it seems Fox now wants to confuse them as well.

The Tory Government’s failure to spell out what Brexit really means is deeply damaging for our economy, jobs and global reputation. British industry is crying out for direction and for certainty about what lies ahead. Manufacturers and small businesses who rely on trade with Europe want to know whether Britain’s membership of the single market will be preserved. EU citizens living in Britain and all the UK nationals living in Europe want to know whether their right to free movement will be secured. But instead we have endless dithering from Theresa May and bitter divisions between the leading Brexiteers.

Meanwhile the Labour party appears to have thrown in the towel on Europe. This week, Labour chose not to even debate Brexit at their conference, while John McDonnell appeared to confirm he will not fight for Britain’s membership of the single market. And the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn, who hardly lifted a finger to keep us in Europe during the referendum, confirms the party is not set to change course any time soon.

That is not good enough. It’s clear a hard Brexit would hit the most deprived parts of Britain the hardest, decimating manufacturing in sectors like the car industry on which so many skilled jobs rely. The approach of the diehard eurosceptics would mean years of damaging uncertainty and barriers to trade with our biggest trading partners. While the likes of Liam Fox and boris Johnson would be busy travelling the world cobbling together trade deals from scratch, it would be communities back home who pay the price.

We are running out of time to stop a hard Brexit. Britain needs a strong, united opposition to this Tory Brexit Government, one that will fight for our membership of the single market and the jobs that depend on it. If Labour doesn’t fill this gap, the Liberal Democrats will.

Tim Farron is leader of the Liberal Democrats.