Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, is said to have advised European diplomats that the negotiations with the British government are in a state of paralysis – in stark contrast to claims by the PM and his circle that progress is being made.
He also said that Britain seemed intent on reducing the level of ambition in the political declaration that will frame the next stage of the negotiations.
According to BBC Europe editor Katya Adler, the statement was leading EU leaders to think Mr Johnson “cannot have a solution up his sleeve – despite all the rhetoric”.
Salma Shah, Sajid Javid’s aide who got sacked by Dominic Cummings last week, tells Peston that she believes it’s still possible that it all works out for the PM in the end, and that he is trying to unite the leave votes with his current course.
Grieve says May lost an opportunity in January to put her rejected Brexit deal to the people in a referendum. He says he’s getting “irritated” by politicians who only aim to further their own career interests.
McDonnell’s comments about the timing of a general election are at odds with those of Jeremy Corbyn.
This from Sky’s Beth Rigby:
McDonnell tells Peston now that Labour wants the electorate to have a “proper choice” when they go to the polls, and says this would be the case after the PM has met with the EU council and has come back with a deal or nothing.
He says the problem is that the Fixed Parliament Act does not provide an option for MPs to set a binding date for a general election, but that that’s precisely what parliament is now trying to achieve.
“We will offer the people the final say,” he says.
Lots of MP’s are insisting that Boris Johnson cannot be trusted tonight. Here Labour MP Lisa Nandy on BBC Newsnight. “If I’ve learnt one thing about Boris Johnson over the last few months, it’s that you can’t trust a word he says.”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell is now on Peston. He says once there is legislative security around no deal being outlawed, Labour will look at a date for a general election.
He says party members are being consulted on the best time for a general election. He says he “desperately” wants one, but that the PM can’t be trusted. He says that he believes a deal can still be done.
This from ITV’s Joe Pike:
Is Boris Johnson confident that he’ll get his general election before the EU council meeting? Is he going to be “a permanent lame duck?”, asks Peston.
“I think the position by the Labour party, to be so consumed by cowardice as to resist a general election, is not politically sustainable,” the PM responds.
The PM told Peston earlier that “it’s been a very good day”, before starting to list several areas his government is intending to invest in, such as schools, police and social care.
He said tonight’s events effectively wrote the letter to the EU asking for another extension for him.
Like earlier in the Commons, he uses the word “sad” again to describe the situation.
Peston asks if he really will expel Tory MPs who might vote against his deal with Brussels, like the PM said he would yesterday.
Johnson repeats his “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” line, but is otherwise pretty evasive.
Peston has just started, where Jess Phillips and Dominic Grieve currently discuss the punishment of the 21 Tory rebels who defied the government whip yesterday.
Grieve, introduced to the audience as a “Former Conservative” tonight, says it’ll depend on when the next election is and on the circumstances whether he will run or not.
Phillips repeats she wouldn’t trust Johnson on anything, and that she believes he will try and force no deal.
This from Metro’s Joel Taylor: