17 Tory MPs prepared to rebel over no-deal Brexit
Conservative rebels have vowed to defy Boris Johnson’s threats of deselection and an early general election in order to vote to prevent a no-deal Brexit. No 10 officials yesterday warned that the Prime Minister would seek to trigger an election on 14 October if MPs succeed in taking control of House of Commons business today. But at least 17 Tory rebels have maintained privately or publicly that they will vote against the government. Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has issued the most significant criticism by a cabinet minister of the threatened removal of the Conservative whip from backbenchers. “We should not be a party that is trying to remove from our party two former chancellors, a number of ex-cabinet ministers … the way to hold our party together and to get a deal is to bring them onside and explain to them what we’re trying to do and why,” she said.
Hong Kong leader denies offering resignation
Hong Kong’s besieged leader Carrie Lam has denied ever offering to resign, a day after an audio recording emerged of her saying she would step down if she had “a choice”. At a press conference today, Lam did not deny the authenticity of the recording but told reporters: “I have never tendered resignation to the central people’s government. I have not even contemplated tendering resignation … The choice of not resigning is my own choice.” After three months of demonstrations, sparked by a bill that would allow extradition to mainland China, Lam has rejected demands from protesters to hold an independent inquiry into police brutality and to introduce direct elections.
Gove abandons plan to publish no-deal Brexit planning
Michael Gove has abandoned plans to publish a “watered down” version of the government’s preparation for a no-deal Brexit after ministers feared the findings would alarm the public. The Financial Times reported that Gove, the minister responsible for no-deal planning, had been due to publish a redacted version of the Operation Yellowhammer document today. Last month the original version was leaked to the Sunday Times and suggested that the UK would face shortages of food, fuel and medicine and three months of disruption at its ports in the event of a no-deal exit.
UK manufacturing output falls at fastest rate for seven years
UK manufacturing output has fallen at its fastest rate for seven years as the threat of a no-deal Brexit and the global economic slowdown hurt firms. The monthly survey by IHS Markit/CIPS showed that activity fell to 47 in August, the lowest level since July 2012 (a figure below 50 indicates contraction). The report found that EU companies were rerouting supply chains away from the UK in advance of a potential no-deal Brexit on 31 October and that orders from the US and Asia had fallen following the trade war between America and China.
Brazilian approval for Bolsonaro falls over handling of Amazon fires
Disapproval of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has risen following global outrage over his government’s handling of record fires in the Amazon rainforest. The number of Brazilians saying that Bolsonaro was doing a “bad or terrible” job rose to 38 per cent from 33 per cent, according to the Datafolha polling institute, while the number saying that he was doing a “great or good” job fell from 33 per cent to 29 per cent. The president is due to miss a planned summit on the fires in order to prepare for surgery, Bolsonaro’s fourth operation since he was stabbed during the presidential election campaign in 2018.
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