Hopes of clean break with EU are nonsense, says ex-Brexit official

A no-deal exit would trigger complex negotiations, argues former top DexEU civil servant Claiming a no-deal Brexit represents a clean break with the European Union is nonsensical, according to Philip Rycroft, the former permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU. Boris Johnson has promised to extricate the UK from the EU on 31 October come what may and has hinted that he could Civil servants do their job for governments of the day, delivering the policies of the government of the day, and thats just as true for Brexit as for anything else. He said claims his erstwhile colleague Olly Robbins had sought to stymie the governments negotiating efforts were complete nonsense. Robbins left Whitehall as Johnson took …

Boris Johnson vows to use powers of persuasion to win new Brexit deal

PM rejects calls for article 50 extension and says he may ignore law blocking no deal Boris Johnson has said he will win a new Brexit deal at next months EU summit by using his powers of persuasion, and rejected calls for a further extension to article 50. The prime minister said he had no plans to accept new legislation that would require him to write to the EU asking for a pointless delay to Brexit. Weve spent a long time trying to sort of fudge this thing and I think the British public really want us to get out. They dont want more dither and delay, he said during a visit on Friday to a farm near Banchory, Aberdeenshire, …

Johnson cant escape the clutches of Mays zombie Brexit deal | Rafael Behr

He may play the rightwing populist, but dont be surprised if the prime minister ditches his determination to leave without a deal, says Guardian columnist Rafael Behr In schlock horror movies there is a moment when the monster, assailed by every weapon and presumed dead, lurches back to life. And so Theresa Mays Brexit withdrawal agreement comes crawling from behind the closed doors of parliament, where it was Johnson stood next to Varadkar in Dublin, shuffling like a chastened child. He said that inability to reach a deal by 31 October would be a he doesnt look the part. That ambition has been superseded but not extinguished by admiration for the Donald Trump model of endless provocation. Last summer Johnson …

No-deal Brexit would shrink UK’s global influence, say ex-ambassadors

Former senior diplomats write to PM urging him to signal a different approach at G7 summit Leaving the European Union without a deal would vastly shrink the UKs international influence and would represent the biggest unilateral abandonment of long-term British interests in modern history, a group of former ambassadors have claimed. In a letter, signed by 25 former senior diplomats and published in the Times, they urged Boris Johnson to signal a different approach at this weekends energetic partner to its international allies after Brexit. The Britain I lead will be an international, outward-looking, self-confident nation, he said. We will be an energetic partner on the world stage. We will stand alongside our G7 allies to solve the most pressing …

Is the US nudging Britain into dangerous waters with Iran?

The UKs shipping looks vulnerable since it seized a tanker after a US request A chain of events has been triggered that is increasingly exposing the UK diplomatically and militarily in the Gulf. The UK has put British shipping seized Grace 1, an Iranian-owned oil tanker, off the straitgradually reducing its commitments under the deal, in a calibrated effort to force Europe to do more to challenge US policy. Lord Howell, a former Conservative cabinet minister and chairman of the Lords international relations committee, asked his government on Thursday whether it was such a good idea to raid the Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar in the first place. He said: Obviously we want to stop oil getting to President Assad, …

Kim Darroch: Johnson joins defence of press over cables publication

Fellow Tory Michael Fallon had suggested journalists should be subject to Official Secrets Act Boris Johnson has come out in defence of the right of the press to publish leaked diplomatic dispatches sent by the former British ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch, saying it would amount to an infringement on press freedom and have a chilling effect on public debate. Johnson criticised the police over a warning to journalists that they could face prosecution if they publish any further leaked cables. Speaking at a Tory leadership hustings at Wyboston in Bedfordshire, he said that while it was right the perpetrator of the leak was hunted down and prosecuted it was wrong for police to target the media. It …