Theresa May is chairing cabinet today and ministers will discuss whether they want to continue with the cross-party talks with Labour, which are widely viewed at Westminster as doomed to fail. As my colleagues Heather Stewart and Rowena Mason report in their overnight story, Jeremy Corbyn is also facing pressure from MPs on his own side who want Labour to adopt a clearer anti-Brexit stance.
With a poll yesterday suggesting the Brexit party is on course to get more than three times as many votes in next week’s European elections as the Conservatives, one senior Tory has called for the two parties to form a pact at the next general election. This is what Crispin Blunt, a former chair of the foreign affairs committee, told Newsnight last night.
In my judgment, we are going to have to come to an accommodation with the Brexit party. The Conservatives, as a Brexit party again, being very clear about their objectives, are almost certainly going to have to go into some kind of electoral arrangement with the Brexit party, otherwise Brexit doesn’t happen.
Blunt said his preference would be for a pact involving the Tories standing in the seats they hold, and the Brexit party standing in all the other seats. He claimed that, if they united, the two parties could win handsomely.
Listen to what Nigel Farage said; he would “do a deal with the devil” to get Brexit over the line. The Conservative party is very far from being the devil in this. Eighty per cent of the membership of the Conservative party are very keen to make sure that Brexit happens, will be in a position to enthusiastically support leaving the European Union with no deal. If we are then able to agree a position to put to the country, I think we would hit the ball out of the park.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9am: Nigel Farage, the Brexit party leader, takes part in an LBC phone-in.
9am: John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, is among the speakers at a Wall Street Journal CEO conference. A senior cabinet minister is also due to speak.
9.30am: Theresa May chairs cabinet.
9.30am: Sir Vince Cable, the Lib Dem leader, takes part in an LBC phone-in.
9.30am: Unemployment figures are published.
10.30am: Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem deputy leader, and Lib Dem MP Sir Ed Davey launch an election poster.
11.30am: Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, takes questions in the Commons.
12pm: Downing Street lobby briefing.
Also, Olly Robbins, the PM’s chief Brexit adviser, is due to travel to Brussels for talks on how the political declaration could be changed.
As usual, I will be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to post a summary at lunchtime and another when I wrap up.
You can read all the latest Guardian politics articles here. Here is the Politico Europe round-up of this morning’s political news. And here is the PoliticsHome list of today’s top 10 must-reads.
If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow.
I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.
If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter.