Welcome back to another busy day of EU referendum fallout. I’m kicking things off with the morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead and steering the live blog until Andrew Sparrow takes his seat. Do come and chat in the comments below or find me on Twitter @Claire_Phipps.
The big picture
The big picture is now beyond big. It’s a large-scale installation. Let’s break it down.
EU leaders meet in Brussels
Today is the first day of a two-day summit. David Cameron is attending only the first day, today, because tomorrow the other 27 leaders need to talk about the UK behind its back. The soon-to-be-former prime minister first meets Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, and Donald Tusk, the European council president, before joining the full group of EU leaders for dinner. The sole item on the agenda – presumably circulated on half a Post-it note – is Brexit.
The prime minister’s spokeswoman told the Guardian that – as Cameron insisted in the Commons on Monday – he would not be attempting to define the relationship that his successor might want with the European Union:
He’s likely to talk about a number of factors that he thinks were issues in the campaign, and in the debate. He will want to encourage people to think about how both the UK and the EU need to work together to make the best of the decision the British people have taken.
He will reiterate that article 50 is a matter for the next prime minister.
Will EU leaders be content with the wait-and-see approach? Speaking on Monday evening, after a meeting with French president François Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, German chancellor Angela Merkel said the three had:
agreed that there will be no informal or formal talks about an exit of Great Britain until a request has been submitted to the European council.
We don’t want this to turn into a never-ending story … So I await a communication about article 50 from the UK addressed to the EU … We should not wait a long time.
The markets are still wobbling
Monday added to Friday’s woes, with £1tn wiped off world stock markets – adding to $2tn in losses on Friday – making this the largest two-day stock rout of all time.
The UK also waved goodbye to its last AAA rating, with credit agency Standard & Poor’s saying the Brexit vote was “a seminal event” that would “lead to a less predictable, stable and effective policy framework in the UK”. Credit agency Fitch swiftly followed, lopping the UK’s rating from AA+ to AA.
Sterling fell on Monday (and in this instance didn’t win a penalty) to $1.32, its lowest point in more than 30 years. The Guardian business live blog will have all you need to know on the money stuff today.
Jeremy Corbyn faces a no-confidence vote
Labour MPs vote today in a secret ballot on a motion of no confidence in Corbyn. The parliamentary Labour party agreed in a heated Monday evening meeting to go ahead with the move, prompted by a letter circulated by Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey, which asked:
Have you got confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the parliamentary Labour party when this country is facing immensely challenging times?
The Guardian account of the meeting accords with the verdict of one MP who labelled it “wild”. The Times called it “open warfare”, Buzzfeed described it as “miserable”, and the Mirror said Corbyn had “lost control”, using its front page to tell him: “Go now.”
Andy Slaughter is the latest frontbencher to leave this morning. He might not be the last, with the whips office being closely watched. Rosie Winterton, the chief whip, and Jonathan Ashworth, shadow cabinet office minister, are the only two of the “old” shadow cabinet not to have declared one way or the other if they’re staying or going.
Having marshalled a new shadow cabinet following the resignations of 20 former members and a slew of frontbenchers, Corbyn has insisted he is staying put – and was rewarded on Monday evening with a rousing rally of several thousand grassroots Momentum supporters gathered in Westminster. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told them:
Let me make it clear: if there is another leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn will be standing again and I will be supporting him.
With the result of the vote expected around 4pm today, do we then move on from resignations to candidacies?
As with the will-they, won’t-they over article 50, nobody seems quite sure whether Labour party rules plonk Corbyn straight back on to any new leadership ballot or whether he’ll need to round up nominations again. And standing against him? Deputy leader Tom Watson and Angela Eagle are the most bandied-about names so far.
The Tory leadership race speeds up
I will not be a candidate in the Conservative leadership election to come.
It isn’t in my nature to do things by half-measure, and I fought the referendum campaign with everything I’ve got … So it is clear that while I completely accept the result, I am not the person to provide the unity my party needs.
With the decision by the Conservative party’s backbench 1922 committee that everyone should just jolly well stop faffing about and elect a new leader, we’ll have a fresh prime minister in place by 2 September. Nominations open tomorrow morning and close on Thursday. A Times/YouGov poll has Theresa May as the favourite, ahead even of Boris Johnson, by 31% to 24% among Tory voters.
May’s supporters are said to be tantalising vote-sick voters with the notion that a new general election would not be needed in the event of a win by the home secretary, as she could share the mandate won in 2015 by Cameron.
Johnson at least has the backing of his brother – these things aren’t always a given – with the universities minister (and remainer) Jo Johnson saying he’s the man for the job.
Also mooning about on the sidelines are Stephen Crabb and Sajid Javid, said by some to be considering a joint ticket for the keys to Nos 10 and 11; Nicky Morgan, Amber Rudd and pro-leavers Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt might also be waggling a toe over the water with a column in the Telegraph today setting out how he thinks Britain could stay in the single market but not with that pesky free movement element: “a Norway-plus option”.
You should also know:
Action across Europe and the UK today, but I’ve stuck to BST for timings because life’s confusing enough at the moment:
- From 9am, the European parliament holds a plenary session: expect speeches from Jean-Claude Juncker, Martin Schulz and Nigel Farage.
- At 11am Yvette Cooper makes a speech on where Britain goes next; that’s in London (the speech, not where Britain goes next).
- From 1pm EU leaders are due to arrive in Brussels, with talks getting underway at 2pm.
- At 2pm in the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon will make a statement seeking a mandate to protect Scotland’s place in the EU.
- By 4pm, we should know the result of the no-confidence vote against Jeremy Corbyn.
- At 4.15pm, expect a press conference from European parliament president Martin Schulz.
- Also at 4.15pm business secretary Sajid Javid gives a press conference in London.
- At 5pm, there’s a rally for pro-EU supporters in Trafalgar Square.
- And in the evening, David Cameron endures awkard referendum chat over dinner with fellow (for now) EU leaders.
Roger Cohen in the New York Times says the European Union “was the dream of my generation”:
No miracle was ever so dull. Britain tended to see the EU in prosaic terms: it had not been delivered from ignominy or tyranny by European integration. Still, it gave the union heft, a free-market prod, a universal language and its second-largest economy. It was that recalcitrant member any good club needs …
The union, for all its failings, did not deserve to be betrayed by a huckster. It will not die because of this imbecilic vote, but something broke – a form of optimism about humankind, the promise of 1989.
There’s a despairing column on LabourList from Peter Edwards:
It is not the job of LabourList to take sides on a day like this but the party cannot go as it is. The current situation is untenable and, after a day of quickfire resignations, it is deteriorating faster than many hacks can even type …
Corbyn has repeatedly said the leader will not resign. Nor will he do as John Major did 21 years ago and issue a ‘put up or shut up’ ultimatum to rebellious backbenchers, sources have confirmed. Corbyn sees no need to demand a fresh vote, given that he was elected so decisively less than a year ago, and he does not have the power to call an election. It is only if – or, rather, when – the Labour rebels muster the signatures of 51 MPs and MEPs that they will be able to trigger a leadership ballot. It is possible this could happen as soon as today …
For much of the winter we spent our time asking ourselves if voters were listening to us. Now, rest assured, they most definitely are. It is just that they might not like what they hear.
Rachel Sylvester in the Times says Boris Johnson might not find his glide to No 10 as straightforward as planned:
To govern is to choose. A potential prime minister does not have the luxury of being able to fudge it. But Mr Johnson is riding two horses that are galloping towards rapidly diverging paths. If the nation is split between young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural, then so are the Brexiteers: between the buccaneering free marketeers who want to conquer the world and the anxious traditionalists who want to pull up the drawbridge.
Mr Johnson and Michael Gove are in the first group … but they won the referendum by securing the support of the ‘left behind’ voters in the second group, who feel alienated by globalisation and angry about immigration.
And if you missed this yesterday: Martin Kettle’s annotated guide to what Johnson said about Brexit – and what he really meant.
Celebrity endorsement of the day
James Ward, booted out of Wimbledon on Monday by defending champion Novak Djokovic by rather more than a 52-48 margin, revealed he’d voted leave and “I’m not fussed saying it”:
I think we’ll be all right. Everyone needs to stop panicking and we’ll be fine.
The day in tweets
Roy Hodgson, for one, knows the difference between England and the UK:
If today were a reality TV show …
It would be Big Brother. Day five in the Big Brexit house and the nominations for evictions are flying, there are tearful confessions of morning-after regret and some of the participants are trying to escape over the wall.
And another thing
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