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Nigel Farage names his price: Brexit Party will agree election pact with the Tories

Nigel Farage will reportedly agree an election pact with the Tories if the Brexit Party are allowed a free run at 90 seats.

The hardline Brexiteer said that in exchange he would not field candidates against sitting Tory MPs or in specific target seats.

It is understood Mr Farage wants to go after Labour seats where UKIP has previously had some success, such as in the Midlands and North East.

A source told The Sun: ‘Nigel has had some conversations with people who are very close to Boris, not MPs or ministers to keep them discreet.

‘They’re more to scope out whether he’s serious about a deal than actual negotiations, and the Tories know appreciate he is. It is a beginning’.

The source added: ‘It’s very simple, it’s all about the numbers. Boris knows he cannot win a majority without our help’.

It is understood Mr Farage wants to go after Labour seats where UKIP have had some success, such as in the Midlands and North East

It is understood Mr Farage wants to go after Labour seats where UKIP have had some success, such as in the Midlands and North East

The Brexiteer would also ask Boris Johnson to drop the Withdrawal Agreement

The Brexiteer would also ask Boris Johnson to drop the Withdrawal Agreement

Boris Johnson's special adviser Dominic Cummings, looking dishevelled while using his phone before heading back to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday

Boris Johnson’s special adviser Dominic Cummings, looking dishevelled while using his phone before heading back to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday

Mr Farage is hopeful the party would be able to capitalise on Labour’s confusing Brexit position.

The Brexiteer would also ask Mr Johnson to drop the Withdrawal Agreement, which he has strongly criticised in the past.

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer will tell the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton on Wednesday that opposition MPs ‘will be ready’ to fight a no-deal exit when the Commons sits again in October.

On a looming general election, he will say Labour will have to ‘clean up the mess left by the Tories’ in relation to Brexit and ‘draw a line’ under the Government’s ‘failed’ negotiations.

‘Prime Minister (Boris) Johnson now thinks that by shutting down Parliament he will shut us up. Nothing could be further from the truth,’ Sir Keir is expected to tell delegates.

‘Just as we worked throughout the summer to pass a law preventing no deal, so we will work each and every day we are shut down to enforce that law.

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer will tell the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton on Wednesday that opposition MPs 'will be ready' to fight a no-deal exit when the Commons sits again in October

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer will tell the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton on Wednesday that opposition MPs ‘will be ready’ to fight a no-deal exit when the Commons sits again in October

‘Prime Minister: you can hide from Parliament for a few weeks, but when we return we will be ready.’

Sir Keir will also warn that his party will ‘very soon’ have to beat the Conservatives at the ballot box.

He will add: ‘Brexit will of course be a crucial issue at this election. We have to draw a line under the wasted years of Tory rule and failed negotiations.

‘We will have to break the deadlock. And clean up the mess left by the Tories.

‘A referendum is the only way to do so. And that is why Jeremy (Corbyn) was right to say at Congress yesterday that an incoming Labour government will commit to a referendum.

‘And, of course, ‘remain’ should and will be on the ballot paper along with a credible option to leave.’

Will Boris Johnson’s all-Ireland Brexit solution sell-out Ulster? Unionists’ fears grow as PM plans diplomatic blitz across Europe to agree backstop compromise

by David Groves and David Churchill for the Daily Mail

 Boris Johnson is set to embark on a diplomatic blitz across Europe in an attempt to agree a fresh compromise on the controversial Brexit backstop.

The Prime Minister yesterday predicted he was ‘going to get a deal’ as he revealed he would visit a string of European capitals armed with new proposals in the coming weeks.

The move came as the EU’s new trade commissioner stoked speculation that Mr Johnson is exploring moves that could leave Northern Ireland closely aligned to the EU while the rest of the UK makes a clean break.

Irishman Phil Hogan said there was ‘movement happening on both sides’ in the Brexit talks after Mr Johnson revealed he was ready to look at an all-Ireland solution to some issues, including agriculture.

The Prime Minister, pictured during a visit to Pimlico Primary school in London yesterday, has predicted he was ‘going to get a deal’ on the controversial Brexit backstop as he revealed he would visit a string of European capitals armed with new proposals in the coming weeks

The Government’s confidence and supply partners in the DUP are understood to be receptive to an all-Irish agricultural zone, which would allow livestock and agricultural goods to move freely across the border.

But the idea of creating other regulatory differences between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK has prompted a warning from the DUP, which has vowed to resist any move to impose any variation in trade tariffs. 

The DUP’s chief whip Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said any deal which created a trade border down the Irish Sea was a ‘non-runner’ and the idea of a Northern Ireland-only backstop would undermine the Good Friday Agreement. 

Mr Donaldson added: ‘The solution to avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland is not to create a second border in the Irish Sea because I think that would be deeply destabilising.’  

Arlene Foster, and Nigel Dodds, left, attended talks with Mr Johnson on Monday. Ms Foster said the Prime Minister had ‘confirmed his rejection of a Northern Ireland-only backstop'

Arlene Foster, and Nigel Dodds, left, attended talks with Mr Johnson on Monday. Ms Foster said the Prime Minister had ‘confirmed his rejection of a Northern Ireland-only backstop’

The PM’s official spokesman denied that Mr Johnson was looking to return to the EU’s original proposal for a Northern Ireland specific backstop, which was rejected by Theresa May. 

The backstop is designed to prevent the re-emergence of a hard border across Ireland. Under Mrs May’s plan, it would have left the whole of the UK tied to the customs union until ‘alternative arrangements’ could be identified.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who held talks with Mr Johnson in Number 10, last night said he had ‘confirmed his rejection of a Northern Ireland-only backstop’.

She warned that any deal that did not have the support of both communities in the Province was ‘doomed to failure’. 

But officials confirmed Mr Johnson is exploring potential compromise options. These include leaving Northern Ireland aligned with EU regulations on food and farming, potentially reducing border issues. 

The EU’s new trade commissioner Phil Hogan, pictured, has stoked speculation Mr Johnson is exploring moves that could leave Northern Ireland closely aligned to the EU while the rest of the UK makes a clean break

The EU’s new trade commissioner Phil Hogan, pictured, has stoked speculation Mr Johnson is exploring moves that could leave Northern Ireland closely aligned to the EU while the rest of the UK makes a clean break

Boris Johnson asked officials to look at the cost of building a bridge from Northern Ireland to Scotland

Officials have been asked by Boris Johnson to look at ambitious proposals to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Staff at the Treasury and Department for Transport (DfT) were ordered to advise on the costs and risks of such a project.

The idea was put forward by Mr Johnson last year, when he was foreign secretary. The suggestion was to link the 28 miles between Larne in Ulster and Portpatrick in Scotland.

The suggestion was to link Larne in Ulster and Portpatrick in Scotland. Mr Johnson asked for more information on the scheme last year while still foreign secretary

The suggestion was to link Larne in Ulster and Portpatrick in Scotland. Mr Johnson asked for more information on the scheme last year while still foreign secretary 

Documents reveal that the PM wanted to know where money for the new scheme would come from and the risks, which appears to include ‘WW2 munitions in the Irish Sea’.

The DfT produced a paper on the subject after talks between the DUP and former transport secretary Chris Grayling. The DUP believes a bridge could break the Brexit impasse by removing the need for a border in the Irish Sea. 

A spokesman for the Government told Channel 4 News: ‘This PM has made no secret of his support for infrastructure projects that… [could] strengthen the Union.’

But No 10 is still pushing for ‘alternative arrangements’ to deal with border issues on trade in goods.

It also wants a mechanism that would give Northern Ireland’s power-sharing assembly in Stormont a say on the process. In an upbeat assessment, the PM said: ‘We are working very hard to get a deal – I think we will get a deal.’

Speaking to children during a visit to promote the expansion of the free schools network, he said: ‘I am going to go to Brussels and back to some other European capitals fairly soon to talk to them.

‘I think there is a way of getting a deal, but it will take a lot of hard work.’ Mr Johnson dismissed opposition claims that his decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks was anti-democratic, telling reporters: ‘Donnez-moi un break’ – cod-French for ‘give me a break’.

Mr Hogan claimed the ‘penny is finally dropping’, with Mr Johnson by suggesting Downing Street is softening its demands that the border backstop be ‘abolished’.

DUP leader Ms Foster, pictured leaving No 10 with Mr Dodds, said any deal that did not have the support of both communities in the Province was ‘doomed to failure’

DUP leader Ms Foster, pictured leaving No 10 with Mr Dodds, said any deal that did not have the support of both communities in the Province was ‘doomed to failure’

He added: ‘Johnson has made a proposal… talking about an all-Ireland food zone. That is certainly a clear indication of divergence between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the EU and the rest of the UK… If we can build on that, we certainly might get closer to one another in terms of a possible outcome.’ 

New EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen yesterday warned Mr Johnson faces the humiliation of not only having to extend Brexit, but also of sending a commissioner to Brussels in the event Britain was still a member after October 31.

Government sources said that despite Labour’s decision to reject a snap election, Mr Johnson was preparing for a likely election in the coming weeks, in which domestic policies would play a major part. 

Mr Johnson is considering fighting the election under the slogan ‘Trust the People’ to underline his commitment to finally deliver on the verdict of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

At a meeting of the Cabinet yesterday, Mr Johnson put his ministers on an election footing, saying the Government needed to demonstrate a ‘relentless’ focus on domestic priorities such as crime and health. 

He also declared himself ‘the most liberal Conservative Prime Minister for decades’, as he hit back at claims he had dragged the party to the Right.  

Exasperated Boris Johnson asks public to ‘donnez-moi un break’ over Brexit in Del Boy-style French during visit to school – hours after telling Cabinet he is the ‘most liberal Tory PM for decades’ despite ousting Remainer rebels

by James Tapsfield, Political Editor at MailOnline

Boris Johnson on Tuesday urged the public to ‘donnez-moi un break’ as he dismissed claims he has turned the Tories into a ‘Brexit sect’ by exiling Remainer rebels.

The PM resorted to Del Boy-style French as he furiously denied accusations of a swing to the extremes.

Mr Johnson is understood to have told Cabinet yesterday morning that he was ‘the most liberal Tory PM for decades’.

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock caused laughter by joking that hardline Home Secretary Priti Patel might not be aware. ‘Don’t tell Priti,’ he said.

Boris Johnson (pictured visiting a school in London on Tuesday) suffered another disastrous defeat in the Commons as MPs refused to trigger a snap election

Boris Johnson (pictured visiting a school in London on Tuesday) suffered another disastrous defeat in the Commons as MPs refused to trigger a snap election

Mr Johnson seemed to be enjoying himself as he messed around in class during the school visit yesterday

Mr Johnson seemed to be enjoying himself as he messed around in class during the school visit yesterday

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured with Nicky Morgan in Downing Street yesterday) caused laughter at Cabinet by joking that hardline Home Secretary Priti Patel might not be aware Mr Johnson was so liberal

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured with Nicky Morgan in Downing Street yesterday) caused laughter at Cabinet by joking that hardline Home Secretary Priti Patel might not be aware Mr Johnson was so liberal

Ms Patel took the quip in good heart and responded that she was ‘sending the PM on a re-education programme’.   

On a visit to a school in London yesterday afternoon, Mr Johnson shrugged off criticism of his decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks.

What happens next in the Brexit crisis? 

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are drawing battle lines for an election after Parliament was prorogued last night.

But the poll might not be triggered for at least another month – and the date of the ballot is likely to be well into December. 

Here is how the coming weeks could pan out: 

September 14-18: Lib Dem conference takes place in Bournemouth 

September 21-25: Labour conference in Brighton 

September 28-October 2: Tory conference takes place in Manchester, with Mr Johnson giving his first keynote speech as leader on the final day. This will be a crucial waypointer on how Brexit talks are going.

October 14: Parliament is due to return with the Queen’s Speech – the day before Mr Johnson had hoped to hold a snap election.

October 17-18: A crunch EU summit in Brussels, where Mr Johnson has vowed he will try to get a Brexit deal despite Remainers ‘wrecking’ his negotiating position. 

October 19: If there is no Brexit deal by this date Remainer legislation obliges the PM to beg the EU for an extension to avoid No Deal.

October 21: Decisive votes on the Queen’s Speech, which could pave the way for a confidence vote. 

October 31: The current deadline for the UK to leave the EU. 

November/December: An election looks inevitable, but Labour is hinting it might push the date back towards Christmas to humiliate the PM. 

He said the Houses were always prorogued ahead of a Queen’s Speech, and insisted ‘really want Brexit to be done’. 

‘What a load of nonsense. We were very, very clear that if people wanted a democratic moment, if they wanted an election, we offered it to the Labour opposition, and mysteriously they decided not to go for it,’ he said. 

Mr Johnson is licking his wounds after seeing another bid to force a snap election blocked by Jeremy Corbyn.

Hours later, Parliament was suspended until mid-October in extraordinary scenes, with Remainers staging protests and the Speaker condemning the move. 

Labour is now threatening to delay an election until well into December in a bid to destroy Mr Johnson’s ‘do or die’ vow to deliver Brexit by October 31. 

A rebel law passed by MPs and peers means he must beg Brussels for an extension if he has not sealed an agreement by October 19 – something he has said he will never do.  

Mr Johnson reiterated his determination to stick to the Halloween deadline during Cabinet yesterday, suggesting he would decide what to do about the rebel law closer to the trigger point.

In an apparent sign that Mr Johnson is running out of ideas, there is mounting speculation that he could try to revive the Northern Ireland-only backstop proposed by the EU nearly three years ago.

That was dismissed by Theresa May as a solution no UK PM could ever accept as it risked splitting the union, and would be fiercely opposed by the DUP – whose leader Arlene Foster is heading to London to meet Mr Johnson later. 

However, it could allow the rest of the UK to strike a looser Canada-style trade agreement with the EU, while ensuring there would be no hard border on the island of Ireland.

Mrs Foster flatly rejected the prospect ahead of her talks yesterday, telling Sky News: ‘What we’re focused on is about getting a deal that works for the whole of the UK, one that works for Northern Ireland, one that does not have Northern Ireland hived off into a different customs union than the rest of the UK, breaking up the single market of the UK. 

PM warns primary pupils against getting DRUNK during school visit  

Boris Johnson showed off as a swot by eagerly putting his hand up twice to answer questions in a primary school history class.

Mr Johnson took his seat among Year Four pupils at Pimlico Primary School in south-west London as he pledged thousands of new free school places as part of an education drive.

Up to 30 new free schools could be established as part of the latest round of applications.

The classics graduate warned children against getting drunk at university and told them he had ‘frittered too much time’ while at Oxford.

Mr Johnson said: ‘My strong advice is don’t waste your time at university.

‘Don’t get drunk … I frittered too much time at university I’m afraid to say.’

But the former president of the Oxford Union added: ‘I did nothing except Latin and Greek for about 20 years and now I’m running the country. It’s a perfect education.’

‘That would be unheard off. To think that any United Kingdom prime minister would be involved in that sort of thing would just be an anathema. 

‘Jeremy Corbyn has said that in the past, our own prime minister has said that. So I think all of this speculation is very wide of the mark.’ 

Downing Street also insisted a Northern Ireland-only was not under consideration.

No10 said the PM began Cabinet by updating ministers on his ‘constructive discussions’ with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Monday.

‘The Prime Minister then led a discussion on the government’s priorities for the autumn,’ the spokesman said.

‘The PM said he would lead a One Nation government which would respect the result of the referendum by leaving the European Union on October 31 while energetically focusing on the NHS, tackling violent crime, education and the cost of living.’

It is understood that Mr Johnson condemned claims the government was extreme, telling ministers that he was the ‘most liberal Conservative PM in decades’.

Sources said the meeting had been ‘good natured’. Ms Patel is understood to have regarded the banter with Mr Hancock was in ‘good spirit’, and the mood of the meeting was described as a ‘breath of fresh air’. 

One Cabinet source said: ‘The PM was in a good mood and is focused on leaving on the 31st October and delivering more money for police, schools and hospitals. 

‘It’s refreshing that the cabinet are all pulling in the same direction and can have a laugh and a joke unlike the dour proceedings under the previous PM.’

Dominic Raab and Gavin Wiliamson were at the Cabinet meeting in Downing Street yesterday

Dominic Raab and Gavin Wiliamson were at the Cabinet meeting in Downing Street yesterday

Geoffrey Cox

Liz Truss

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox and Liz Truss seemed in good spirits as the arrived for the Cabinet meeting yesterday

Later on Tuesday, Mr Johnson visited a primary school in London to highlight a pledge of more places.

And he showed off as a swot by eagerly putting his hand up twice to answer questions in a primary school history class.

Mr Johnson took his seat among Year Four pupils at Pimlico Primary School in south-west London as he pledged thousands of new free school places as part of an education drive.

Up to 30 new free schools could be established as part of the latest round of applications.

The classics graduate warned children against getting drunk at university and told them he had ‘frittered too much time’ while at Oxford.

Mr Johnson said: ‘My strong advice is don’t waste your time at university.

‘Don’t get drunk … I frittered too much time at university I’m afraid to say.’

But the former president of the Oxford Union added: ‘I did nothing except Latin and Greek for about 20 years and now I’m running the country. It’s a perfect education.’

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll yesterday underlined the premier’s dilemma. It found 52 per cent of Leave voters want him simply to break the Remainer law against No Deal.

But the wider public say he should instead ask for an extension, by 50 per cent to 28 per cent. 

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers arrived for the crisis Cabinet meeting yesterday morning

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers arrived for the crisis Cabinet meeting yesterday morning 

After the bruising result in the Commons in early hours of yesterday morning, Mr Johnson vowed that he will defy the ‘device’ of the new Remainer law against No Deal and stick to his ‘do or die’ vow to get the UK out by October 31. 

Mr Johnson said opposition parties had decided they ‘know better’ than the public. He insisted he would go to an EU summit on October 17 and ‘strive to get an agreement in the national interest… this government will not delay Brexit any further’.

The brutal attack came as Mr Johnson again failed to gain enough support in the Commons for a snap poll. He fell well short of the required two-thirds of MPs – 434 – with backing from just 293.

It was the sixth full division in a row that the PM had lost, as he endures a baptism of fire. 

Parliament is now prorogued until mid-October – meaning a national vote is highly unlikely to happen before mid-November. 

The prorogation ceremony itself bore witness to some of the most extraordinary Commons scenes of recent times, with Opposition MPs gathering by the Speaker’s chair to hold up signs reading ‘silenced’ and one new MP apparently throwing himself across the Speaker’s lap to prevent him rising.

Mr Johnson is scrambling to find a way of sidestepping rebel legislation ordering him to beg the EU for an extension if no agreement has been agreed by October 19 – something he has described as a ‘surrender’. 

And in a stark message after the election vote he said: ‘No matter how many devices this Parliament invents to tie my hands I will try to get an agreement in the national interest…

‘This Government will not allow Brexit to be delayed any further. While the opposition run, they cannot hide forever.’ 

Labour declared class war on Mr Johnson yesterday as Mr Corbyn accused him of wanting Brexit for his ‘rich friends’.

The Labour leader played down claims he was ‘yellow’ for blocking the PM’s call for a snap election – saying he would not back a poll on ‘Johnson’s terms’.

Meanwhile, the party’s union paymaster Len McCluskey ramped up the rhetoric even further by raging that the ‘workers are coming for you’ in an extraordinary rant at the TUC conference in Brighton.

Addressing the conference yesterday morning, the Labour leader said an election was ‘coming’.

‘No-one can trust the word of a Prime Minister who is threatening to break the law to force through no-deal,’ he said.

‘So a general election is coming. But we won’t allow Johnson to dictate the terms.

‘And I can tell you this: we’re ready for that election. We’re ready to unleash the biggest people-powered campaign we’ve ever seen.’

Lambasting the ‘born-to-rule establishment’ represented by Mr Johnson, he said Labour would fight for ‘the overwhelming majority who do the work and pay their taxes – not the few at the top who hoard the wealth and dodge their taxes’.

The party would boost trade union membership and appoint a Secretary of State for Employment Rights, he said. 

Mr Corbyn said: ‘Johnson’s reckless no-deal would destroy jobs, push up food prices in the shops and cause shortages of everyday medicines that people rely on.

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