The Sunday shows were dominated by Brexit, and here is all you need to know from more than four hours of programmes.
May Defends Her Brexit Plans
Theresa May sat down for what was a rare live interview on Sunday morning, with Andrew Marr given the opportunity to grill the PM on her Brexit plans.
There seemed to be five key moments in the 20 minute chat.
1) May admitted she changed her Brexit position because the EU weren’t budging.
“If we’re going to find something that was in Britain’s interest, that delivered on the referendum and that was negotiable – we had to make, what is a compromise but is a positive in terms of the benefits that it gives us,” she said.
2) May hit back at claims from now ex-Brexit ministers David Davis and Steve Baker that their department was kept out of the loop on the white paper.
She said: “I’ve been talking with David Davis about the approach we should be taking for some time.”
3) May was repeatedly unable to say a hard border wouldn’t go up between Northern Ireland and Ireland if the UK diverged from the common rulebook.
4) Donald Trump told May to sue the EU
5) May said she was “in this for the long term”, but would not explicitly commit to standing in a future leadership contest if one was triggered.
Tories Turn On Each Other
With the PM having had her say, it was left to other players in this Tory civil war to man their respective barricades.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, one of the most high profile and unforgiving hard Brexiteers, told the BBC’s Sunday Politics that Theresa May “is a Remainer who has remained a Remainer.”
He said May’s acceptance of the EU position on common rules is a “hopeless way to negotiate.”
Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan was sent out to bat on behalf of the Government, and on appearances on Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday and BBC Radio 5Live’s Pienaar’s Politics he delivered some forthright statements.
Labour Is Playing A Waiting Game
May received support from an unlikely source on Sunday, with Labour Brexiteer John Mann backing her Chequers agreement and chastising Rees-Mogg and his followers.
Mann said leaving on World Trade Organisation terms would lead to “decimation of the car industry and the aerospace industry.”
Mann also warned that Jeremy Corbyn would “lose the working class vote” if he backed another referendum on the UK’s relationship with the EU.
Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson was much more open to the idea of a ‘People’s vote’, telling Ridge: “To take that off the table completely when there might be a set of circumstances where Parliament cannot deliver a meaningful vote would be a mistake, but we don’t want that.”
Appearing on Marr, London Mayor Sadiq Khan was seemed to hint he too would back a second vote, but only if the choice was between staying in the EU and ‘no deal’.
On the Chequers Agreement more broadly, Watson said “it’s not good enough for us yet”, and went as far as agreeing with Johnson, Davis, and Baker that the customs plan was “unworkable”.
Watson also made a vow for England launch a bid to host the 2030 World Cup if Labour got into government.
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