, 10 tweets, 2 min read
From Guardian today:
1/Dominic Cummings blamed for unofficial No 10 briefing threatening EU states that back extension
It is a busy day, but there is one story this morning that is hogging all the attention at Westminster, eclipsing even another spate of warning about a no-deal
2/Brexit (such as the IFS saying it would send government debt to its highest level for half a century, as the Guardian reports, or HM Revenue and Customs saying it would cost businesses £15bn in form-filling, as the FT reports). The zinger is James Forsyth’s publication on the
3/Spectator website last night of a very long message from someone he describes as “a contact in No 10” setting out the inside Downing Street view on where the Brexit talks are going.

On the Today programme this morning Amber Rudd, the former Tory work and pensions secretary,
4/said that she thought the author was Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s de facto chief of staff. Asked if she thought he had written it, she replied:

I think Dominic Cummings, yes, because otherwise it would have been heavily denied and heads would have rolled. So clearly it’s come
5/from them, it’s in their style.

Rudd’s assumption is one that that will be widely shared - if not universally shared - in the Westminster ecosystem. I’ll come back to why later.

And I will post a full summary of the message soon. But here is the most incendiary paragraph, in
6/which the No 10 source implies the UK would withhold cooperation from any EU countries that support a Brexit extension. The source says:

We will make clear privately and publicly that countries which oppose delay will go the front of the queue for future cooperation —
7/cooperation on things both within and outside EU competences. Those who support delay will go to the bottom of the queue. [This source also made clear that defence and security cooperation will inevitably be affected if the EU tries to keep Britain in against the will of its
8/government] Supporting delay will be seen by this government as hostile interference in domestic politics, and over half of the public will agree with us.

Given that at the moment there is an assumption that the EU27 will unanimously agree a Brexit extension, that would mean
9/the whole of the EU going to the “bottom of the queue” for cooperation.
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