Macron Says October Should Be Final Deadline: Brexit Update

(Bloomberg) -- Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson launched his leadership campaign, saying the U.K. must leave the bloc in October, with or without a deal. French President Emmanuel Macron reinforced his stance as a hardliner, saying Brexit can’t keep getting postponed.

Key Developments

  • Johnson, the bookmakers’ favorite, releases campaign video.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a three-day visit.
  • He supports a Brexit that "will not affect global economic and financial stability," according to the White House. It’s not clear how that squares with Trump’s advice to May’s successor to threaten to walk away.
  • May won’t take Prime Minister’s Questions this week and the government isn’t expecting any Brexit developments.
  • Pound has lost 4% in a month as investors fear a Brexit hardliner will succeed May

Macron Calls Time on Brexit (3:15 p.m.)

Macron said Brexit must happen at the end of October and there should be no more extensions. He regrets Brexit, but says it has to happen unless the British people change their mind.

"I think it is a big mistake to procrastinate. I think this is the final final deadline,” he said in Paris, adding that he doesn’t want the new European Commission to have to deal with Brexit.

Macron has long been a hardliner on Brexit and resisted giving the U.K. a long extension in the first place. Junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said earlier that endless delays would be worse than a no-deal.

Macron’s comments will play into the leadership race that’s already under way to replace Theresa May. Boris Johnson and other Brexit backers are promising to pull the U.K. out of the bloc in October with or without a deal. But Parliament, in its current formation, opposes a no-deal outcome, so a prime minister would struggle to pull it off. That makes it likely that a future U.K. leader will end up asking for another extension later this year.

Centrist Tories to Hold Leadership Hustings (2 p.m.)

The One Nation Conservatives, a centrist caucus of at least 50 members of Parliament, will hold a series of leadership hustings to sound out the different candidates to succeed Theresa May.

All 13 candidates have been invited, and so far all but Sam Gyimah, who only entered the race on Sunday, have accepted.

The hustings run from 7 pm to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, with another slot planned next Monday, according to Nicky Morgan, one of the group’s organizers.

Candidates will face a 25-minute interview either by Spectator Journalist Katy Balls, or the political comedian Matt Forde.

McVey Says Parliament Can’t Thwart No Deal (10:45 a.m.)

Esther McVey, a candidate in the Conservative leadership race, reiterated that the U.K. must leave the bloc on Oct. 31 with or without an agreement, and said Parliament can’t necessarily prevent a hard exit.

She signaled that the prime minister has to be complicit for Parliament to be able to stop the country leaving without a deal.

"I’m sure people will try and frustrate the will of the British people," she told the BBC. "But the prime minister has the ability to ensure things don’t happen to frustrate things on the floor of the House."

Raab’s Manifesto Leaks (10:15 a.m.)

The Telegraph obtained a draft manifesto of leadership contender Dominic Raab. He plans to cut the basic rate of income tax by five percentage points over a five-year period and abolish stamp duty – the tax paid on buying property - for the first 500,000 pounds of all purchases.

It also reiterates his pledge to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without a deal, according to the newspaper.

Johnson: U.K. Must Leave EU in October (9:50 a.m.)

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the favorite to succeed Theresa May, pledged to bring the U.K. out of the EU in October, with or without a Brexit deal.

In a video marking the start of his campaign to succeed May, Johnson is seen meeting with ordinary Britons of all races in streets and on doorsteps, persuading non-Conservatives to vote Tory, and talking about cutting taxes, boosting spending on the police and schools, and Brexit. “If I get in we’ll come out, deal or no deal, on October 31,” he tells one man.

“Now is the time to believe in ourselves and what we can do,” is Johnson’s core message in the video.

And after he famously told one EU diplomat “f*** business,” Johnson also had a message to corporate Britain: “We need to be supporting the wealth creators in the business sector.”

“If there is one lesson from that referendum of 2016, it is that too many people feel left behind, that they’re not able to take part fully in the opportunities and success of our country,” Johnson says. “Now is the time to unite our society and unite our country. To build the infrastructure, invest in education, to improve our environment and to support our fantastic NHS.”

Gyimah Says Rival Candidates Offer ‘Unicorns’ (8:30 a.m.)

The newest entrant to the busy filed of candidates, former Universities Minister Sam Gyimah, called out his rival candidates for offering “unicorn” solutions to Brexit. In a Bloomberg Television interview, he described himself as “underdog’s underdog” in the Tory leadership race, saying that helps him get unpopular issues onto agenda.

Gyimah reiterated his message that the“credible” way forward is to hold a second referendum. He also warned the Tories against becoming a “one-issue party.”

Conservative Rivals Lay Out Stall on Brexit (Earlier)

Candidates vying to succeed Theresa May as British prime minister set out their various plans to negotiate Brexit over the weekend.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and former Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom have been talking up the idea of technological solutions to the thorny Irish border issue. They differ on what they say they’d do if these solutions don’t persuade the EU to shift its position before the Oct. 31 deadline by which Britain is to leave.

Former Pensions Secretary Esther McVey is pushing for a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31. Leadsom too wants to leave in October, whatever happens, but favors what she called a "managed exit." Hancock also wants to leave on Oct. 31, after altering the current deal. He’d seek to resolve remaining issues during an implementation period that could last a long time.

Meanwhile the newest entrant, former Universities Minister Sam Gyimah, favors a second referendum.

Pro-EU Tory MP Loses Confidence Vote (Earlier)

Phillip Lee, one of a handful of Tory MPs who back a second referendum, lost a confidence vote at his local Conservative Party over the weekend, joining fellow pro-Remain lawmaker Dominic Grieve. It’s a step towards the deselection of the candidate at the next election.

Lee told BBC radio on Monday he’s worried about the tone of the debate in the party, and that he has concerns about so-called entryism in which members of other parties seek to infiltrate the Tories. “We’ve had quite a significant influx of members in the last 6-12 months, much more than normal, and some of them have been members of previous parties” including the British National Party, he said. He said he’s sticking to his guns on Brexit.

“I’m bound by my responsibility to represent my constituency – all of my constituents," Lee said. “The Brexit that people are going to get is not the Brexit that was promised in the Vote Leave Campaign in 2016, so I think it can only be right to get the further consent of the public before proceeding.”


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