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Brexit latest news: Ursula von der Leyen says Brexit will be the start of a new relationship between the UK and the EU, and 'not the end'

Ursula von der Leyen says Brexit will be the start of a new relationship between the UK and the EU, and "not the end". 

The incoming European Commission president said that "should” Brexit happen the two sides would have to work to build up new ties after the divorce. 

Ms von der Leyen also gave a boost to Dublin when she appointed Ireland's Phil Hogan as trade commissioner. 

Leo Varadkar said putting Mr Hogan in charge of negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal with London, was "a definite advantage".

"Brexit, should it happen, is not the end of something but it's the beginning of our future relationship," Ms von der Leyen said.

She will take office at the helm of the EU's executive team on November 1 and said it was in the interests of both sides to reach an agreement but insisted the EU was fully prepared to cope with the impact if Britain crashes out without one.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier could yet see an extension to his mandate, which was supposed to have ended after the withdrawal agreement was struck with London, von der Leyen acknowledged.

Asked about Johnson being pressured by his parliament to ask for another extension to Brexit - a third, to run until the end of January 2020 - von der Leyen said that was entirely up to London.

"The next steps are completely in the hands and the decision of the United Kingdom. So I will not comment on their decisions and the next steps they might take," she said.

"So we'll see how things will proceed."

It comes as Boris Johnson, who held talks with Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP,  said "there is a way" of getting a new Brexit deal with the EU. 

Meanwhile the DUP's chief whip, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, dismissed the notion the DUP's influence on the Government was "waning".

"I don't see the Prime Minister who appointed himself as the minister for the Union agreeing to an arrangement that separates Northern Ireland from Great Britain in trading terms," he told the World at One. 

"So, I think that this idea that you have a Northern Ireland-only backstop where you have a trade border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Great Britain is simply a non-runner, in any event it would contravene the core principles of the Good Friday Agreement, the Belfast Agreement."

He said a considerable number of "Tory MPs would look to the DUP to see what its view was on any arrangements relating specifically to Northern Ireland".

"The idea that our influence is waning, I think, flies in the face of reality," he said.

Back to school 

Boris Johnson at Pimlico Primary school Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Parliament has been prorogued, negotiations with Brussels are ongoing and the Prime Minister has spent the day at a primary school in Pimlico. 

Donnez-moi un break 

Boris Johnson has said it's "a load of nonsense that I am being undemocratic". 

"We need a Queen's Speech, that's why Parliament is in recess now, because you always have a recess before a Queen's Speech and anyone who says, all this stuff about it being antidemocratic, Donnez-moi un break, what a load of nonesense. 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." 

Harriet's got competition 

While the Mother of the House gave her best to sell herself as the next speaker, her pitch may seem quite worthy compared to Chris Bryant, who has honed in on the practicalities.  

Ms Harman vowed "Parliament will have its say" and said "sometimes the Executive doesn't want Parliament to have its say. It is the job of the Speaker, that Parliament, by majority, has its say". 

In contrast Mr Bryant set out the following things he would do as Speaker:

  • get PMQs back to 30 minutes
  • call colleagues according to their relevance rather than their seniority – and call those who missed out in a statement or a debate first next time
  • publish the speaking list for debates, so colleagues don’t have to ask when they can go and get a cup of tea
  • put tellers in more swiftly, so colleagues can get away faster
  • respect the rights of the minority parties
  • make sure every single person who works in parliament is valued and respected and can do their work without fear of bullying, abuse or intimidation
  • make Speaker’s House more welcoming, especially for international delegationsand for MPs, their families and staff
  • build a united team with the deputy speakers
  • keep an eagle eye on IPSA and the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace

I will be a Speaker who will never bully a colleague from the Chair

Chris Bryant has thrown his hat in the ring to be Speaker and took a swipe at John Bercow as he did. 

While it has been known since April that the Labour MPs would be interested in the seat he has today emailed colleagues to say he would stand "to replace John Bercow as Speaker". 

In what may be seen as a swipe at Mr Bercow regarding long standing accusations about his treatments of colleagues, Mr Bryant writes: "I am standing because I love parliament, I believe in representative democracy and I want to do things properly. 

"That means a Speaker who is completely fair and unbiased; a Speaker who is the umpire, not a player; a Speaker who has no favourites and whose only prejudice is in favour of backbenchers; a Speaker who is authoritative but will never bully a colleague from the Chair; a Speaker who only speaks when necessary." 

In 2018 it was alleged that the Speaker referred to Andrea Leadsom as a "stupid woman", while there were also allegations that he had bullied members of his staff

'Spiteful, rowdy, dishonest' 

Johnny Mercer, the new minister in charge of veterans’ welfare, has criticised last night's chaotic scenes in Parliament:

The DUP is plugged in  

The DUP's chief whip, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, has dismissed the notion the DUP's influence on the Government was "waning".

"I don't see the Prime Minister who appointed himself as the minister for the Union agreeing to an arrangement that separates Northern Ireland from Great Britain in trading terms," he told the World at One. 

"So, I think that this idea that you have a Northern Ireland-only backstop where you have a trade border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and Great Britain is simply a non-runner, in any event it would contravene the core principles of the Good Friday Agreement, the Belfast Agreement."

He said a considerable number of "Tory MPs would look to the DUP to see what its view was on any arrangements relating specifically to Northern Ireland".

"The idea that our influence is waning, I think, flies in the face of reality," he said.

"Our leader will be meeting with Boris Johnson, we are plugged into the ongoing discussions about alternative arrangements, we have a significant role to play and, therefore, I would argue that our influence remains."

Labour calls for Geoffrey Boycott's knighthood to be rescinded

Shadow minister for women and equalities Dawn Butler said: "Celebrating a man convicted of assaulting his partner by giving him a knighthood is an insult to victims and survivors of domestic violence.

"Honouring a perpetrator of domestic violence just because he is the former prime minister's favourite sportsman shows how out of touch and nepotistic the honours list is.

"Boris Johnson should rescind his knighthood today. The whole honours system needs radically overhauling, alongside peerages, so that our political system works for the many, not the few."

If you missed the England cricket legend's appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, relive it here: 

 Our reporter Jack Hardy has the full wrap here. And for the full story on the honours dished out by Theresa May, our Deputy Political Editor Anna Mikhailova has written this piece.  

Why the timing of an election could be the difference between a huge Tory majority and a hung parliament

Boris Johnson has twice failed to secure an snap election before 31 October.

Polling shows that this failure could be the difference between a big Tory majority and a hung parliament.

 Patrick Scott has looked into where he can go from here

General election 2019: Poll tracker

So we are looking at a November general election it seems, rather than October as everyone had thought. The Telegraph's senior data journalist, Patrick Scott, has taken at look at the polls and in this piece here he reveals how, in fact, a delay of a few weeks in holding an election could be the difference between a thumping Tory majority and a hung parliament.

 Click here to find out who is leading the pack and who is falling behind.

'Michel Barnier did an outstanding job'

Ursula von der Leyen has praised Mr  Barnier for his role as chief Brexit negotiator. 

You, the readers, have your say on Bercow, Boris and Benn

It's lunchtime, so here's something to chew on with your sandwiches. Telegraph readers have had their say on the comings and goings at Parliament and, as ever, you are an insightful lot. 

Read here on why they think Boris Johnson can negate the Benn Act’s command to extend Article 50 and what they think of John Bercow, now that his days as Speaker are numbered.

Boris Johnson will meet Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds this afternoon

Boris Johnson will meet the DUP's Arlene Foster and Nigel Dodds in Downing Street on Tuesday afternoon, Number 10 has said.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a Westminster briefing that he expected the meeting to include discussion on a "range of subjects including Brexit".

"I imagine they will discuss a full range of issues including the discussions which are taking place on Brexit and I am sure they will also discuss a range of matters relating specifically to Northern Ireland as well."

The spokesman later ruled out suggestions the Government was seeking a Northern Ireland-only backstop - as opposed to a UK-wide backstop - in discussions with the EU.

He said: "We are not seeking a Northern Ireland-only backstop."

Glass houses... 

Awkward. In 2016, when David Cameron gave his former director of communications, Craig Oliver, a knighthood, Theresa May did not hold back in making fun of him for cronyism.  

Speaking at the Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year awards, Mrs May said: "I'm particularly pleased to see Craig Oliver is here tonight, sorry Sir Craig, is here tonight.

"I have to say I understand that in his book about the referendum campaign Craig says that when he heard the result of the referendum, he walked out the office, walked into Whitehall and started retching violently." 

She says we all know that feeling and "most of us experienced it too when we saw his name on a resignation honours list". 

So, about that knighthood she gave to her former director of communications ... 

If the UK gets a Brexit extension it will have to nominate a commissioner

Phil Hogan appointed as EU Trade Commissioner

Leo Varadkar has tweeted his support of Phil Hogan's appointment. 

James Crisp points out that Mr Hogan has not been a fan of Brexit and was a tough talker. With Sabine Weyand as his deputy he says "the pair will likely lead free trade negotiations with UK if Brexit withdrawal is sorted".

Brussels bad boys update 

James Crisp, Brussels Correspondent, is covering the new-look European Commission. 

He reports that there will be no change in Brussels' approach to Brexit and that officials are fond of saying the trade talks will be the hard bit of Brexit ...

Meanwhile, in Westminster... 

Dominic Cummings has told reporters to "get out of London" and not just speak to "rich remainers". 

Asked if we will still be leaving on October 31 he says "sure". 

'A general election is coming'

Jeremy Corbyn says that while an election is on the horizon "we won’t allow Johnson to dictate the terms".

Mr Corbyn, who has been accused by Boris Johnson of running scared from an election, says "we’re ready for that election".

"We’re ready to unleash the biggest people-powered campaign we've ever seen," he says.

!And in that election we will commit to a public vote with a credible option to leave and the option to remain."

'A race-to-the-bottom trade deal with Donald Trump'

Mr Corbyn claims a no-deal Brexit is "a Trump Deal Brexit, leading to a one-sided US trade deal negotiated from a position of weakness".

"It will put us at the mercy of Trump and the big US corporations itching to get their teeth further into our NHS, sound the death knell for our steel industry and permanently drive down rights and protections for workers," he says.

Mr Corbyn adds that a "Trump Deal Brexit would be a betrayal of the generations of workers who went before, who fought so hard to win the rights and build the public services that bind our society together". 

He says he will not allow Mr Johnson to "trade it all away for a sweetheart deal with Trump".

Jeremy Corbyn:  Boris Johnson’s political strategy is perfectly clear

He adds that the idea that the Prime Minister and his "friends and backers" represent the people is "truly absurd".

"This Tory government isn’t so different from any other Tory government: they will help the rich get richer and make working class people pay."

He calls Mr Johnson’s no-deal as "reckless" and says it "would destroy jobs, push up food prices in the shops and cause shortages of everyday medicines that people rely on".

Jeremy Corbyn addresses TUC conference 

As the Labour leader urges people to join trade unions if they feel powerless at work he also says that the current drama of Parliament should not be mistaken for real politics. 

"We mustn’t mistake the drama at Westminster for what real politics is about," he said. 

"What truly matters to people isn’t resignations, defections and late night votes in parliament.

"We mustn’t mistake the drama at Westminster for what real politics is about."

The Fixed Term Parliament Act really is an 'abomination'

More frustration from Tory MPs over opposition parties and rebels who refused calls for a General Election.  

Playing with fire ... 

Issuing a stark warning Professor Starkey said Parliament will not survive. 

 "Powers come up from the people. Parliament for the first time since 1910, when the Lords resisted the curtailing of their powers,  is flying in the face of the people.

"Parliament will not survive. I warn, Parliament will not survive."

He added that the "key thing to remember is that representative democracy has to respect finally those who choose the representatives".

"They do not have the right simply to decide on a whim what they are going to do. That is what Parliament is doing and it is deadly, deadly dangerous."

The Cortes of Aragon

Professor David Starkey has claimed John Bercow was not standing up for democracy in his role as Speaker but rather standing against it.  

He accused John Bercow of having torn up "a series of conventions which bound MPs to  what their constituents decided," including the use of whipping, manifestos and Erskin May. 

"What the speaker did was to tear these up," he said.

"It's devastating. It will turn our Parliament into the Italian parliament, still worse it will turn it into the Cortes of Aragon, all the comparison with Nazi Germany get it wrong. A parliament that gets in the way of government does not survive. Parliaments survive only because they cooperate, not waste 110 days doing nothing."

Protests in the Commons 

 The Tory MP Chris Green has criticised the protests which took place in the Commons last night. 

His condemnation was followed by Nigel Adams, who lamented that it was nothing more than a "ludicrous playground stunt". 

Honours list

It began as a nice, jolly chat about his love of cricket and how he peers behind the curtain every morning to check the weather as he waits for the kettle to boil. 

Then Sir Geoffrey Boycott, who was awarded a knighthood by Theresa May, was asked about a domestic abuse charge and the tone went sour.

He said he does not "give a toss" about Adina Claire, the co-acting chief executive of Women's Aid, criticising the former prime minister's decision to award the former England cricket captain with a knighthood. 

"I don't give a toss about her, love," he told the Today Programme. 

"So you can take your political nature and do whatever you want with it.

"I couldn't give a toss."

Arlene Foster travels to UK this morning

The Leader of the DUP is heading to London for long standing meetings. 

Sky's Political Editor, Beth Rigby, asks if Boris Johnson is "dusting down a version of May’s deal?"

'The opposition are running away from an election' 

Treasury Minister Simon Clarke said that the opposition was "running away" from a general election.

"We have offered an election twice in the last week," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. 

"And twice they have turned that opportunity down.

"They have run away from it."

Mr Clarke also questioned handing over internal communications following yesterday's humble address on the issue of proroguing. 

He added: "There is a broader public interest in allowing communications to remain confidential between advisers and ministers." 

Tory rebel leader suggests Prime Minister should hold referendum   

Sir Oliver Letwin said that while he hopes Boris Johnson "really does try" between now and October 18 to secure a deal with Brussels, he could also try the option of a referendum.

He says  "it's pretty clear that there's a huge number of Labour MPs, Lib Dem MPs,  SNP MPs who would vote for any deal on the subject of a referendum". 

Although the idea of Boris Johnson suggesting a referendum is hard to imagine, Sir Oliver says: "Boris has changed his mind about many things, he's very flexible, so maybe he can." 

"He said the way to break the deadlock is to take this back to the people," he adds. "If your thesis is you need to take it back to the people, why not get a deal in front of Parliament, why not take it to the people in the form of a referendum?"

Today in Westminster

Parliament has been prorogued. 

Boris Johnson now has until around five weeks to knuckle down on negotiating a deal with Brussels, with no distractions from MPs, who will not return to Westminister until October 14.

Four days later the Prime Minister will go to the European Council to discuss his deal and many hope, leave with one. 

If he doesn't, the path he will tread on October 19 is not entirely clear. 

One thing for sure is that there will not be an election, as he hoped, before Hallowe'en.

The earliest any election will be held is mid-November.  

In the meantime, the Prime Minister is heading to a primary school for show and tell... the negotiating can wait.