Newslinks for Sunday 18th November 2018

Brexit One: Pizza for breakfast? The Gang of Five prepare to ask May (again) to ask the EU to give… Read more »

Brexit One: Pizza for breakfast? The Gang of Five prepare to ask May (again) to ask the EU to give the UK the right to quit the backstop.

“Within the next 48 hours five Cabinet Brexiteers – Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Liam Fox, Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling – will meet to discuss how they might force the Prime Minister to seek last-minute changes to the Withdrawal Agreement – which has already been locked down with Brussels, according to Downing Street. They believe changes can still be made before an EU summit next Sunday, principally to give Britain a unilateral means of exiting the Northern Ireland “backstop”. If Mrs May refuses (which seems certain) she could face another day of multiple Cabinet resignations this week, which could make her position untenable.” – Sunday Telegraph

Brexit Two: The challenge to the Prime Minister. Goldsmith sends letter to Brady, Cash may have done so too.

“Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Zac Goldsmith, a Brexiteer, says he would have voted Remain rather than choose Mrs May’s plan and that her departure will “give us the chance of a fresh start”. This newspaper was separately told that Sir Bill Cash, the veteran Eurosceptic, had also submitted a formal declaration of no confidence in the Prime Minister. He declined to comment, saying the process was confidential. But the additional two MPs would bring to 25 the total known to have requested a vote on Mrs May’s leadership, out of a total of 48 required.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Baker says sack Barwell, Gibb, Robbins – Sunday Times
  • Mundell backs May – Sunday Express
  • Johnson’s backers divided about whether to send in letters – Mail on Sunday
  • Mercer attacks deal but hasn’t sent a letter – Mail on Sunday
  • Three donors for May – Mail on Sunday
  • Survation finds Conservative councillors back May’s leadership by two to one, but are divided almost equally on her deal… – Mail on Sunday
  • …But Barclay’s Association Chairman, Tories on Twitter and ConservativeHome’s survey tell a different story – Sunday Times

Brexit Three: Next Tory Leader manoeuvres. It’s Raab v Johnson among the referendum Leavers, Hunt v Javid among the referendum Remainers. Leaver Davis may back Raab. Remainer Rudd also set to stand.

“The former Brexit Secretary has emerged as front-runner to succeed Theresa May after quitting the Cabinet over the PM’s doomed deal for leaving the EU. He is expected to run with the backing of David Davis, who also previously resigned from the Brexit role. But they will face a tough challenge from ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Cabinet comeback queen Amber Rudd, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Sajid Javid will scrap it out to be the Remain candidate.” – Sun on Sunday

  • No, Davis will stand himself, so may Gove to back “Norway option”, so may Greening and Lee. Rees-Mogg could be Johnson’s Chancellor – Sunday Express.
  • Teams Hunt, Javid, Johnson, Raab, Rudd prepare, Mordaunt is canvassing, so is Cox – Sunday Times
  • Guide to the contenders – Sunday Times
  • Downing Street and the Treasury brief against Raab – Mail on Sunday

Brexit Four: Downing Street’s “murder board” shows that it believes May could win the Commons vote on the deal by four, with 35 Labour MPs voting with the Government

“Unless she can reduce the rump of 50 Conservative rebels, she would need 35 Labour MPs to back her plan and the SNP’s 35 MPs to abstain to scrape through by four votes. An insider said: “Our murder board shows the scale of the task ahead. “The next few weeks will involve a lot of cajoling, arm-twisting and putting the case for the deal day and night if we are to stand any chance of delivering a smooth Brexit.” – Sunday on Sunday

Brexit Five: The Sun on Sunday: Bow to the Gang of Five and renegotiate your deal

“Whatever the merits of her draft plan, the Prime Minister has to acknowledge that this is not what many voters wanted when they opted for Brexit. Her resilience and commitment to the job are not in question. Indeed the contrast between her sense of duty and the incoherent warblings of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party could not be clearer. But the Prime Minister must give Brexiteers in the Cabinet the chance to shape the political declaration outlining our future relations with the European Union. She needs to redraw the plan and extract more concessions to get a genuine two-way relationship. Only then can she attempt to get the House of Commons to back her deal.” – Editorial

  • No, the Conservative Party must back the Prime Minister – Mail on Sunday Editorial
  • No, she really must go back and get more concessions  – Sunday Telegraph
  • “Mrs May would say having done the hard bit, she should enjoy her own sunlit uplands. Voters admire her tenacity, if nothing else. But while the time for change is not now, the nation needs something, or rather someone, truly inspirational to cheer on.” – Sunday Times Editorial
  • Why I have no confidence in her – Zac Goldsmith, Sunday Telegraph
  • These self-indulgent, petulant and duplicitous Tory MPs – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • May has dignity and integrity, a quiet, unshowy, resolute and very English sort of dogged courage – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
  • She threatens to neutralise Brexit, disable our sovereignty and obliterate the Tory party. Her backbenchers have little to lose by dumping her – Quentin Letts, Sunday Telegraph
  • It’s her job to take the blame – Andrew Gimson, Financial Times
  • Guess who we need on the list for new Conservative leader? Cameron! – Steve Hilton, Sunday Times
  • May, the new Thatcher – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times
  • Her deal means a Black Hole Brexit – Martin Howe, Sunday Telegraph
  • It would block a trade deal with America – Owen Paterson, Sunday Express
  • It would keep us tied to the EU – Janet Daley, ,Sunday Telegraph
  • This deal is a betrayal – Suella Braverman, Sunday Telegraph
  • I oppose this deal – Ranil Jaywardena, Sunday Express
  • Labour’s Brexit divisions – Stephen Bush, Sunday Times
  • P.S: There’ll be a recession if this isn’t sorted soon – Jeremy Warner, Sunday Telegraph

May’s deal, party rupture or both? Whatever the combination may be, Labour push ahead of the Conservatives with Opinium…

“Labour has opened up a three-point lead over the Tories as Conservative Leave supporters appear to be deserting Theresa May’s party in droves, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer. Compared with a month ago, the Tories have dropped five points to 36% while Labour has gained three to stand on 39%. The Liberal Democrats have fallen by one point to 7%, while Ukip has gone up two to 8%. Opinium found that the Tory decline was primarily a result of Leave supporters deserting the party. Last month (on 11 October) 59% of Leave supporters said they would vote Conservative.” – Observer

…And Comres

“A Sunday Express ComRes poll of 2,000 adults taken last week revealed that Conservative support dropped by three points to 36 per cent, with Labour on 40 per cent. The same poll revealed support increasing for the anti-EU Ukip, up to nine per cent from seven. Meanwhile, an Opinium survey has shown support for the Tories drop five points to 36 per cent, while Labour climbed two to 39, and Ukip rose two to eight per cent.” – Sunday Express

Other Brexit news and comment

  • The fishing stand-off: “the UK has limited itself to a promise to negotiate on the issue in good faith with a view to reaching a deal before the end of the transition in December 2020, setting the stage for complex talks on access and fishing quotas as part of the broader negotiations on the EU-UK future trade agreement” – Sunday Times
  • Barnier to lock Britain out of database – Sunday Expresss
  • Army planners ready for No Deal – Sunday Times
  • Farage “distances himself from Banks” – Sunday Times
  • The challenge for shipping – Nus Ghani, Sunday Express
  • Bridges warns of a constitutional crisis – Observer
  • Davis talks free trade in America – Mail on Sunday
  • Cadwalladr latest – Observer

> Today:

> Yesterday:

McDonnell shifts towards second referendum

“John McDonnell has admitted that a second referendum is more likely than a general election amid claims that he is warming to the idea of a second vote. Labour’s official policy is to press for a general election if the Commons rejects Theresa May’s Brexit deal in a “meaningful vote”, before considering the option of a so-called “people’s vote”. Yet the shadow chancellor conceded yesterday that a general election “could prove difficult” because of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, which allows for an early election only if two-thirds of MPs vote in favour.” – Sunday Times

  • Views from Flint’s Don Valley – Sunday Times
  • Harman blasts NHS treatment of autistic children – Mail on Sunday
  • Peterborough Labour MP speeding case latest – Sun on Sunday
  • Milne and Murphy prepare for life after Corbyn – Mail on Sunday
  • Sturgeon says Scotland will be put at an economic disadvantage – Sunday Times

News in Brief

Newslinks for Saturday 17th November 2018

Brexit Crisis 1) Gove leads “gang of five” seeking changes to the deal, as price for staying in the Cabinet… Read more »

Brexit Crisis 1) Gove leads “gang of five” seeking changes to the deal, as price for staying in the Cabinet

“Michael Gove and four other Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers will try to force Theresa May into a last-minute change to the Brexit deal as the price for withdrawing their threats to resign. The “gang of five” believes it is not too late for Mrs May to go back to Brussels and demand a unilateral exit mechanism from the so-called “backstop” arrangement over Northern Ireland. The Environment Secretary, who stepped back from the brink of resignation on Friday, will meet Andrea Leadsom, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox over the next two days to agree the terms of their ultimatum.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Gove staying is a lifeline for the PM – Daily Mail
  • This will help Gove repair his reputation – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • Withdrawal Agreement must be rewritten – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Juncker leaves press-conference half-way through after “falling ill” – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Seven out of ten Party member respondents oppose the draft Brexit deal.


Brexit Crisis 2) Still not the 48 letters required, but will the target be reached on Monday?

“Mrs May was under growing pressure last night after 23 of her MPs, including the former cabinet ministers John Whittingdale and David Jones, said that they had submitted letters of no confidence in her leadership. Fourteen of the letters were said to have been submitted in the previous 48 hours.In a sign of the seriousness of the threat of a no-confidence vote, government whips were summoned from their constituencies for a meeting in Westminster yesterday. The number of letters appeared last night to have fallen short of the required 48, although the European Research Group of Brexiteers said that more than that number of MPs were planning to submit letters to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee, and that a challenge would come next week. However, the group had previously suggested that it might be sooner.” – The Times

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Rolling list of MPs who have submitted letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister

Brexit Crisis 3) May uses LBC phone-in to state her case – but faces hostile callers

“Prime Minister Theresa May was compared to a Nazi appeaser as she was savaged by callers over her Brexit deal on a radio phone-in today. Appearing on LBC’s Nick Ferrari Show, Mrs May was told to quit and make way for Jacob Rees-Mogg. Caller John, from Gillingham, labelled Mrs May a ‘modern-day Chamberlain’, the prime minister who famously claimed to have secured ‘peace for our time’ in negotiations with Hitler, only for the Second World War to break out the following year….Conservative-supporting councillor Dan Turner, from Louth, called on Mrs May to stand down, saying he ‘commended’ the PM for trying to strike a Brexit deal with the EU, but ‘sadly that has not worked’.” – Daily Mail

Brexit Crisis 4) Rudd returns to the Cabinet as Work and Pensions Secretary

“Amber Rudd has returned to the cabinet as work and pensions secretary. Ms Rudd, who replaces Esther McVey following her Brexit resignation, quit herself as home secretary in April amid controversy over her handling of the Windrush controversy. She admitted having “inadvertently misled” MPs over immigration targets but a subsequent probe found she had been let down by officials. But her appointment was met with outrage from Labour…Ms Rudd said she had seen universal credit “transform lives” in her Hastings and Rye constituency but she “recognised there had been some issues with it”. She said she would make it her role to to “iron out those difficulties and make it a force wholly for good”.” – BBC

  • Does she still have her eye on Number 10? – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Rudd returns to help sell May’s deal

Brexit Crisis 5) Barclay succeeds Raab at DEXEU

“At the start of this year Steve Barclay was the fourth most senior minister in the Treasury, a popular figure among his generation of Tory MPs but anonymous beyond. Now, as Brexit secretary, he is the sixth most senior minister in the government. There is no pretence that the main reason for his rapid elevation is anything other than that he voted to leave the EU in 2016. But Mr Barclay, 46, was already on a political fast track. The son of a trade union official father and a civil servant administrator mother, he was brought up in Lytham, Lancashire.” – The Times

  • He won’t take part in EU talks – The Sun


Brexit Crisis 6) EU would agree “side deals” in the event of “no deal”

“For now, the European Union is adamant that there is no such thing as a “managed” ‘no deal’ –  fearful that making a ‘no deal’ look too comfortable risks turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy….But behind the scenes, member states are already questioning whether such a hardline approach is really viable. Experts believe that, if the UK plays its cards right politically, a managed ‘no deal’ could yet emerge. EU officials have speculated about an extension of Article 50 for a few months, to create a “parachute” to put temporary measures in place….So for all the catastrophist predictions, the reality of a ‘no deal’ is likely to be disruptive, but not world-ending. Or in the earthy phrasing of a senior diplomat from an EU trading power: “’no deal’ won’t be an explosion, it will be a wet fart.” Unofficially, both EU and UK sources are clear that any discussion of a managed ‘no deal’ starts with money.” – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph

  • Britain’s manufacturers draw up contingency plans for “hard” Brexit – Financial Times
  • Businesses told to prepare for “No Deal” – The Times

Brexit Crisis 7) May thanks her husband Philip for helping her to cope

“Theresa May today pays tribute to her ‘rock’ Philip for supporting her through a tumultuous week of resignations, plotting and vicious personal attacks. In a moving tribute to her loyal husband, she said he felt the pain of the personal abuse she has received from MPs more deeply than she does. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail conducted in her Downing Street study, the Prime Minister revealed Philip poured her a large whisky when she finally finished a five-hour Cabinet meeting that sparked a revolt against her Brexit plans. He was so enraged by wall-to-wall coverage of rebels laying into her that he had to turn off the televisions at work.” – Daily Mail

  • As a typical only child, Theresa May is unclubbable and gauche but also has the strength not to give a damn – Janice Turner, The Times
  • This is not a game – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail

>Today: Book Reviews: May is miscast as Prime Minister because she takes far too little trouble to find the right words

Brexit Crisis 8) Downing Street makes plea to Association chairmen

“Pro-Brexit Conservative MPs have accused Theresa May of going over their heads to stave off the attempt to oust her through a vote of confidence. A row erupted after Brexiteer MPs found that Mrs May had a conference call with local Conservative Party chairmen and women. MPs said that the prime minister should talk to her parliamentarians, not local associations, if she wanted them to back her Brexit plan. “It is just the wrong way to be going about it,” one said. “We are not delegates, we are representatives.” Some Tory MPs have suggested that they will consult local parties this weekend before deciding whether to join efforts to unseat the prime minister.” – The Times

>Yesterday: MPsETC: Polite discomfort (or “a load of arse-kissing”) on the Prime Minister’s conference call with senior Tory activists

Brexit Crisis 9) We could just break the Treaty claims Lidington

“Theresa May’s de facto deputy David Lidington has told Cabinet the Government could escape the controversial backstop by simply breaking the treaty and walking away. The senior minister stunned Mrs May and other top table colleagues by proposing the dramatic course of action if the EU try to hold Britain in it for too long. In James Forsyth’s column, he reveals that Mr Lidington informed ministers that before Britain joined the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, there was no technical route out of the EU. It means the UK “get out” to the backstop would be to walk away and dare the EU to sue Britain themselves. In his intervention, the once Remain-backing cabinet minister argued colleagues should not become too “hung up” on how the UK can escape from new arrangements with the EU.” – The Sun

Brexit Crisis 11) Over 200 business leaders call on MPs to vote down “worst of all worlds”

“More than 200 chief executives and entrepreneurs have called on Conservative MPs to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, describing it as “the worst of all worlds”. In a letter, seen by the Telegraph, business leaders who run medium sized companies say Mrs May’s deal represents “the greatest act of national humiliation in this proud nation’s recent history”. The letter, organised by John Longworth, the former director general of the British Chamber of Commerce, is signed by members of the Alliance of British Entrepreneurs including Tim Martin, the boss of pub giant Wetherspoon and veteran venture capitalist John Moulton and will be delivered to all Tory MPs next week.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cling to your corrupt, tatty comfort blanket, Remainers – us Brexiteers feel truly alive – Julie Burchill, Daily Telegraph

Brexit Crisis 10) Forsyth: If the PM agreed to stand down it would be easier to get the deal voted through

“She should say that as soon as the withdrawal legislation is through the Commons, she will stand down as Prime Minister.  This would enable MPs to vote for the deal without that being an endorsement of her handling of Brexit or an invitation for her to negotiate the next stage of Brexit, the UK/EU trade deal. One Cabinet minister tells me the PM is now an impediment to this deal passing. Her announcing her departure would make it easier for MPs to vote for the deal.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

Brexit Crisis 12) Moore: The establishment want us to panic over a “No Deal”

“Even now, the establishment orthodoxy may well come out on top. Conservative MPs, fearing complete collapse and the loss of their seats, may panic and vote for anything. The latest attempt by Downing Street defenders of the deal to destroy Leave morale is to threaten a second vote if the first one rejects the deal. They say MPs will be so frightened by potential market turmoil that they will succumb. Thus our Government has a vested interest in financial panic. And thus, by further delay, we make everything worse still. So there are many good reasons to be gloomy. But one of the things to be said for parliamentary democracy is that it has a way of stumbling on the right answer when it has toyed with every possible wrong one. The right answer is not this deal, and the right leader is not the one who blindly clings to it and nothing else.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

UK’s welfare system is cruel and discriminatory claims UN official

“Britain’s welfare system is so sexist it may as well have been compiled by “a group of misogynists in a room,” a UN expert has claimed. Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, warned that poverty in the UK is a “political choice” and that compassion and concern had been “outsourced” in favour of tax cuts for the rich. In a damning 24-page report he brands levels of child poverty “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster” and said that limiting benefit payments to two children was as “forced and physical” as China’s one-child policy. Critics of the UN’s involvement in UK politics suggested that the organisation should spend its time and money studying poverty in third world countries rather than the world’s fifth largest economy.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Anti-austerity rant of UN envoy who compares ‘mean’ Britain to communist China – Leo McKinstry, Daily Mail

Labour MP accused of lying over speeding offence

“A Labour MP who claims an ‘untraceable’ Russian man sped in her Nissan Micra had driven alone to a house on the street where the car was caught doing 41mph in a 30mph zone, a court heard today. Dr Christian DeFeo, who wrote press releases for Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya, said he felt ‘compelled’ to appear at the Old Bailey at the 11th hour after reading a court report online this week. Miss Onasanya is accused of orchestrating the plot in an attempt to evade prosecution just weeks after being elected. She allegedly conspired with her brother Festus to offload the blame when her Nissan Micra was caught speeding in July last year and the siblings told police that a Russian man named Aleks Antipow was behind the wheel.” – Daily Mail

Councils have spent £100 million on legal fees battling parents of Special Needs children

“Councils have spent about £100 million fighting parents seeking support for their disabled children at tribunals, yet the authorities lost nine in ten appeals. The amount covers four years in which local authorities tried to reject appeals brought by families unhappy at the lack of help they were getting for children with special needs. Families have remortgaged their houses and run up tens of thousands of pounds in debt to secure educational support for their children. Some local authorities have used a controversial law firm to fight their case and others have allegedly lied to parents about their entitlement.” – The Times

Peers challenged over refusal to punish Lester

“Two female peers have condemned fellow Lords members for “misogynistic, victim-blaming” attitudes after they cast doubt on the claims of a woman found to have been sexually harassed by a Lib Dem peer, because she was friendly to him on later occasions. Jenny Jones, of the Greens, said she was so shocked at the attitudes in Thursday’s debate that she walked out of the chamber. At the end, the Lords voted to block the punishment imposed on Anthony Lester following a year-long series of inquiries. Meral Hussein-Ece, a Lib Dem peer, said she became “more and more incredulous and angry” as she listened to the debate, which she said appeared to be a concerted effort by Lester’s friends in the Lords to stop a suspension imposed by the privileges and conduct committee.” – The Guardian

Cameron to “reveal all” in TV series

“He already has a luxury shed and a lucrative book deal. Soon he’ll be the subject of his own television series, too. David Cameron is co-operating with Denys Blakeway, one of Britain’s leading political film-makers, on a multi-part BBC documentary about his time as prime minister. Blakeway was once dubbed the “TV confessor of choice” for Britain’s political leaders, with Baroness Thatcher, Sir John Major and Tony Blair all having opened up to him for documentaries that came to define their time in — or rise to — power.” – The Times

News in brief

  • Stopping Brexit means stopping democracy – Brendan O’Neill, The Spectator
  • A way out of this Brexit mess – George Freeman, Capx
  • Tory MPs are getting sick of May fast – Andrew Grice, Independent
  • May warns Conservative Party chairmen that her deal can’t be renegotiated – Stephen Bush, New Statesman
  • The economic benefits of leaving with no Withdrawal Agreement – John Redwood

Newslinks for Friday 16th November 2018

May’s Brexit Crisis 1) Does the ERG have the numbers and coherence to bring May down? “In his missive Mr… Read more »

May’s Brexit Crisis 1) Does the ERG have the numbers and coherence to bring May down?

“In his missive Mr Rees-Mogg said that Mrs May’s deal “has turned out to be worse than anticipated and fails to meet the promises given to the nation by the prime minister, either on her own account or on behalf of us all in the Conservative Party manifesto”. He held an impromptu press conference on the steps of parliament after a meeting of more than 30 ERG MPs, including Boris Johnson, that lasted more than an hour. Along with Mr Baker, Mr Rees-Mogg explained why they were submitting letters and urged others to consider doing the same… Claims that Mrs May would face a challenge by lunchtime proved wide of the mark. By last night the total number of MPs who had publicly claimed to have delivered letters was 17; 31 short of the necessary 48. Last night some ERG members were suggesting that the intention was to drip-feed the letters over the next couple of days. Others detected a note of panic among those whose coup was failing. Watching the events from a Whitehall office, one cabinet minister was unimpressed: “Rees-Mogg looking very lonely,” they said, questioning whether he had the support to launch a successful coup. “You and whose army?”” – The Times


  • May has lied to the British people, and must go – Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph


  • Voters are appalled by fractious infighting – Daily Mail


May’s Brexit Crisis 2) Does Brady already have 48 letters in his pocket?

“Yesterday, Mrs May was braced for a battle to hold onto her leadership after Jacob Rees-Mogg led backbench Eurosceptics in demanding an immediate no-confidence vote among Tory MPs. There must be 48 letters to trigger such a vote and despite reports of many submissions to the 1922 Committee, Mrs May was still standing after one of the most chaotic days in the Brexit negotiations. However, former minister James Duddridge has suggested the number of letters required to trigger a vote may have already been reached but 48 hours will pass before Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, makes the announcement public. Mr Duddridge, who had already submitted his own call during the Tory Conference in October, said: “I think I recall Brady said he will give the PM 48 hours notice before going public. “We may have hit the 48 letters but no announcement.”” – Daily Express

  • Fury at ‘preening Tory saboteurs’ – Daily Mail


  • Despite revulsion at her deal, May is confident opponents won’t move against her – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit leaves the Tories no longer looking like a party of government – Robert Shrimsley, FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Changing the Prime Minister, in itself, would solve nothing

May’s Brexit Crisis 3) Will Gove quit today?

“Michael Gove delivered his ultimatum to Theresa May in Downing Street 15 minutes before she was due to face the cameras. The environment secretary was being primed to replace Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary who quit yesterday morning. The prime minister’s aides booked the meeting in a sign that they expected it to end in mutual agreement. It was not to be. The meeting overran badly after Mr Gove said that he would take the job only if Mrs May renegotiated the divorce deal and cancelled the special EU summit on November 25. Mrs May turned up 25 minutes late to the press conference, with the media wondering why she looked more wooden than normal. In truth, she was unnerved because yet another cornerstone of her Brexit plan had gone awry with Mr Gove on the brink of resigning… Yesterday Mr Gove consulted extensively with friends and allies by phone from his house in Earls Court, west London. Weighing heavily on his mind was the fate of Mr Raab and his predecessor as Brexit secretary, David Davis, who were both cut out of key decisions by No 10 and Mrs May’s Europe unit.” – The Times

  • Merkel kills hopes of more concessions – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Gove Agonistes

May’s Brexit Crisis 4) Or Mordaunt?

“Michael Gove, the environment secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, are reported to have each made demands of the prime minister as she bids to keep them in her Cabinet… Ms Mordaunt, meanwhile, is understood to be demanding that MPs are given a free vote on the Brexit deal. She is due to meet Ms May on Wednesday evening and will re-iterate the request, which she made at Cabinet meetings on both Monday and Wednesday. The international development secretary is believed to have the support of a number of junior ministers and backbenchers, who believe the prime minister’s deal is certain to be rejected and that a free vote is the only way of securing the stability of the Ms May’s government. They also believe it would dampen growing demands for a fresh Brexit referendum. Under Ms Mordaunt’s proposal, Tory MPs would not be whipped as to how to vote on the withdrawal agreement. It is unclear whether a similar arrangement would apply to Cabinet ministers.” – The Independent


  • Brexiteers sank this ship, and now they’re deserting it – David Aaronovitch, The Times


May’s Brexit Crisis 5) Raab’s fury as friends suggest he was stitched up by May, Robbins and Hammond

The Telegraph understands that Mr Raab felt “blindsided” after only being handed the final version of the draft withdrawal agreement and future arrangement on Tuesday evening, despite supposedly being at the heart of negotiations. It included a commitment to “build on the single customs territory”, which was seen by Mr Raab and others as a huge concession that would leave the UK tied to the Customs Union and Single Market after Brexit. Having seen the terms of the deal Mr Raab refused a request by Downing Street to get on a flight to Brussels on Wednesday. In Cabinet, Mr Raab demanded to know: “Who licenced this?” He did not receive a response, but the inference was clear. The Prime Minister and Olly Robbins, her chief EU negotiator, had circumvented the Brexit Secretary, as they had with David Davis before. While MPs drank red and white wine at the close of Cabinet, Mr Raab took Mr Smith to one side in a side room and announced his intention to go. He agreed to hold off resigning until yesterday morning to avoid overshadowing the Prime Minister’s announcement.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Mundell accuses ex-Brexit Secretary of plotting leadership bid – The Times
  • Scottish Tory MPs start to swing behind deal – Daily Telegraph


  • Warring Tories put a hurricane in the sails of the Nationalists – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph
  • Where Raab and McVey ‘go wrong’ over threat to the Union – Adan Tomkins MSP, The Scotsman


May’s Brexit Crisis 6) Tim Montgomerie: Without May’s deal I fear we may get no Brexit at all

“Who, though, is to blame for those weaknesses in the Agreement? Is it Mrs May? Of course, part of the answer is ‘Yes’. But so are Brexiteer MPs and ministers who waited until this 89th minute of the negotiating window to start shouting ‘not good enough’… The main threat to Brexit doesn’t come – any longer – from diehard Europhiles like John Major and Ken Clarke. It doesn’t come from the irresponsible campaigners for a second referendum who would rather stay in the EU than honour the political class’s promise to respect the result of the 2016 vote. Brexit is now most in danger from uncompromising, Leave-supporting MPs – who failed to stand up for their beliefs when there was still time for Mrs May and the Government to change course and have waited until the clock is about to strike midnight. In fairy tales you can wait until the last hour and a happy ending is still possible. But this is the real world. And the drama we’ve all been witnessing over the last 24 hours is no fairy story.” – Daily Mail

  • I was wrong to vote Remain, May’s deal is our best hope – Chris Skidmore MP, The Times
  • May’s proposals demand a free vote – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • Delusional Brexiteers have lost the plot – Philip Collins, The Times


  • May’s plan compromises sovereignty worse than EU membership – Iain Duncan Smith, Daily Telegraph
  • No deal is better than May’s Brexit surrender – Iain Martin, The Times
  • Terrible deal has united the UK in horror – Martin Wolf, FT

>Today: Richard Tice in Comment: May’s deal is the worst deal in history

May’s Brexit Crisis 7) Her campaign to sell her deal to voters kicks off on LBC today…

“This morning she was confronted by voters on a live LBC radio phone-in – with the very first caller telling her to quit and make way for a real Brexiteer. The PM vowed to stay in her job, saying: “I am bringing back what I think is the best deal for Britain.” She insisted she had seen off attempts by Brussels to split up the UK and place a border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Mrs May said: “What the EU wanted was to separate Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK – we said no. They said they wanted a customs border down the Irish sea… in October they said, OK, we have to do it in a different way.” One caller on the phone-in called on Mrs May to “do the honourable thing and step aside” to let a Brexiteer take charge – but she was adamant her deal was the only one on the table.” – The Sun

  • Voters reject deal, but prefer it to nothing – The Times
  • Soft Brexit bargain not a done deal, EU warns – The Guardian


  • The woman I know will stand and fight – Katie Perrior, The Times
  • May is running out of road – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: May’s press conference. Her pitch is…I am Boycott.

May’s Brexit Crisis 8) …after coming under siege in the Commons…

Mrs May pressed on, the despatch box perhaps seeming like a place of refuge in the storm blowing around her… Addressing MPs, she insisted the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with Brussels offered a “breadth and depth of co-operation beyond anything the EU has agreed with any other country”, but her authority appeared to be ebbing away by the minute as no fewer than 17 Conservative and DUP MPs went on the attack. After two hours and 58 minutes in which Mrs May had been battered from all sides of the House, she finally left the Commons Chamber for a meeting in her Parliamentary office with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs. The meeting had already been scheduled before Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the European Research Group of Tory Eurosceptics, announced he had written to Sir Graham demanding a confidence vote on the Prime Minister’s leadership, and Sir Graham did not have any career-threatening news for Mrs May.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Ratcheting up… 20 ministers quit and counting – The Times


  • May’s resilience could yet see her through – The Times

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: The Prime Minister put in a superb Parliamentary performance yesterday

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: “It delivers in ways that many said could simply not be done.” May’s Commons statement. Full text.

May’s Brexit Crisis 9) …and with Labour support ‘ebbing away’

“Support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal among Labour MPs appeared to be ebbing away on Thursday as they mulled the repercussions of backing it. Graham Stringer, a veteran Eurosceptic – one of 10 who backed Brexit in 2016 – said he would not back the withdrawal agreement. “I haven’t found a Labour MP who is backing it yet,” he said. “I’ve probably talked to at least 20 today and I have not found any person.” Mrs May had hoped to convince up to 20 Labour MPs to back the deal because it would be preferable to the economic damage of a no-deal scenario. One member of the shadow cabinet told the Financial Times last week that “30 to 50” Labour MPs had been “agonising” about the issue. Beyond the hard core of Eurosceptics are many former Remain voters with a majority of Leavers in their constituencies in the north, the Midlands and Wales. Some have large international employers in their seats who have threatened to move in the event of no-deal. In June, 15 Labour MPs defied the whip to vote against an amendment to the EU withdrawal bill which would have kept the UK in the EEA.” – FT


  • Is Britain about to dump pragmatism for revolution? – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Terror of No Deal is driving May to risk splitting her Party and fall back on Labour MPs instead

May’s Brexit crisis 10) Donaldson says the DUP’s arrangement with the Conservatives has not collapsed… yet

“The DUP will consider withdrawing its support for the Conservative Party if the draft Brexit deal passes in Parliament, a DUP MP has said. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP chief whip, made the comments on BBC NI TV show The View. The DUP’s backing, as part of a Confidence and Supply arrangement with the Tory Party, has been crucial in propping up Theresa May’s government. Speaking on The View on Thursday night, Mr Donaldson said: “Let me be clear, in terms of this arrangement with the Conservative Party, our focus right now, understandably, is what happens with this deal. That is the most immediate priority.” He continued: “And part of our agreement with the Conservative Party is the Brexit situation. So yes, if the Conservative Party decided and were successful in getting this deal through the House of Commons then, absolutely, we will have to review our position with regard to the confidence and supply agreement.” His comments follow intense criticism of the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons yesterday.” – News Letter

  • What you need to know about May’s alliance with the Democratic Unionists – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • The reckless incoherence of Labour’s Brexit deal opposition – Alan Lockey, CapX
  • How close are we to 48 letters of no confidence in Theresa May? – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Counter-intuitive thought: May’s deal might yet get through – Mark Fox, Reaction
  • May’s Brexit deal does not deliver what people voted for at the referendum – Gisela Stuart, Brexit Central
  • The truth about GDP figures – Peter Franklin, UnHerd

Newslinks for Thursday 15th November 2018

May’s Brexit Deal 1) She says that the Cabinet reached a “collective decision” to agree the Draft Withdrawal Deal “Theresa… Read more »

May’s Brexit Deal 1) She says that the Cabinet reached a “collective decision” to agree the Draft Withdrawal Deal

“Theresa May confronted her mutinous party with the threat of “no Brexit at all” after she forced her draft deal with the EU through a divided cabinet. Esther McVey, the welfare secretary, was believed to be on the verge of quitting last night after clashes at the end of a marathon five-hour meeting. She was shouted down by the chief whip and cabinet secretary after she demanded a vote by ministers on the deal. Although Ms McVey was one of nine senior ministers to criticise the deal, Mrs May emerged claiming to have secured cabinet backing for a “decisive step” towards finalising Brexit at a special summit on November 25. The prime minister admitted, however, that she faced “difficult days ahead” as Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the Brexiteer Tory backbenchers, rejected the draft agreement, saying that it would make Britain “a permanent rule-taker” and warned that it could trigger a vote of no confidence.” – The Times

  • Backstop poses problems for UK and EU – FT
  • Hammond asks businesses to back deal… – The Times
  • …but they demand access to low-skilled migrants – FT
  • May to reveal plan to end free movement before deal is put to MPs – The Sun



  • A deal that pleases nobody was the best she could get – Philip Collins, The Times
  • May has made her move, now MPs must take back control – Martin Kettle, The Guardian



May’s Brexit Deal 2) What happened in Cabinet – McVey ‘shouted down’ as she pushed for vote

“Esther McVey was “shouted down” by the chief whip and rebuked the new cabinet secretary in the closing stages of a tense five-hour meeting at No 10 yesterday, colleagues said. The work and pensions secretary was on “resignation watch” after what one fellow minister described as a “meltdown” at the end of the marathon cabinet session. Ms McVey, one of the most ardent Brexiteers of the cabinet, demanded a vote during the meeting to force each minister to commit definitively one way or another to the draft Brexit deal. Colleagues were unimpressed, with one describing her as “aggressive” and another describing a “massive row” which “got really fruity” with the minister pushing her point more than once. Ms McVey was then shut down by Julian Smith, the chief whip, and Sir Mark Sedwill, the cabinet secretary. Sir Mark “raised his voice” and “read out the cabinet manual to her” to remind her of the principles of collective cabinet responsibility. It is a moment some Brexiteers are unlikely to forget in a hurry.” – The Times

  • What really happened inside furious Cabinet showdown – The Sun
  • Mundell backs deal as other Scots warn of Union threat – Daily Telegraph



May’s Brexit Deal 3) Vara is first minister to resign – will McVey, Mordaunt, Raab, and perhaps others follow?

“Remainer Shailesh Vara says he has quit as Northern Ireland Minister because he cannot support Theresa May’s Brexit agreement. He said the plans “leave the UK in a halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally be a sovereign nation”. His exit could spark a flurry of resignations for Mrs May as she battles for her political life. Mrs May said “difficult days lie ahead” as she announced her Brexit deal had been approved by the Cabinet. One of the chief obstacles could be the House of Commons, where a simple majority of MPs will need to vote for the blueprint for the deal to be given the green light. The magic number is 320, a majority of the 639 voting MPs in the Commons which excludes suspensions, the Speaker, three Deputy Speakers and seven Sinn Fein MPs who abstain from attending the UK Parliament.” – Daily Express

  • Soft ‘Brexsh*t’ deal blasted by all sides – The Sun
  • Tory Remainers ‘getting cold feet’ about rebellion – The Guardian
  • DUP issue warning to May over deal – FT
  • Brexiteers sharpening pens for letters of no confidence – The Times
  • Furious MPs claim deal traps Britain in EU orbit – The Sun


  • Letting the EU fracture the Union is bad for all of us – Emma Little-Pengelly, Daily Telegraph
  • Don’t ask if the deal is good, ask if there’s an alternative – Henry Newman, Times Red Box
  • Rejection of the Barnier plan would hurl Europe into crisis – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Rebecca Ryan in Comment: May’s Deal 2) It endangers Leave. Now the 51 MPs who have pledged to Stand Up for Brexit must keep their promise


May’s Brexit Deal 4) Labour faces ‘moment of truth’

“Labour is facing its “moment of truth” over Brexit and should not pretend it is not as divided as the Tories, backbench MPs have told the party’s leadership. Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, briefed the weekly meeting of the parliamentary Labour Party on Monday and set out the policy hammered out at its annual conference in Liverpool. He reminded MPs and peers that Labour had set six tests for the deal, including that it should provide the “exact same benefits” as staying in the EU’s customs union and single market. In a carefully constructed compromise, Labour says it will vote against any deal that fails the tests and press for a general election. Should it fail to secure one then “all options are on the table”, including support for a second referendum. The fragile truce was starting to fray last night, however, as MPs revealed that they had challenged Mr Starmer and other party leaders to accept that it would be impossible for the party to hold a common position.” – The Times

  • Hard to see how I and other Labour MPs could back this travesty – Kate Hoey, Daily Telegraph
  • Opposition could win power if they back a second referendum – Andrew Adonis, The Times

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: May’s Deal 3) If the Commons rejects it, here are three alternatives

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Corbyn accuses May of failing ‘in her own terms’ on Brexit

May’s Brexit Deal 5) Daniel Hannan’s ConHome piece is re-run in the Sun: A deal so bad that Leavers want to Remain, Remainers to Leave

“Let’s try a little thought experiment. Can you imagine a Brexit outcome so appalling that Leavers would rather stay in than accept it, and Remainers would rather leave cleanly than accept it? It’s quite a challenge, but let’s have a go. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Britain ended up with all the costs and obligations of European Union membership, but with no voice, no vote and no veto. Suppose we had to accept all the EU’s rules – on technical standards, on environmental protection, on labour law – but no longer had any say over what those rules should be. Suppose we had to submit to a trade and tariff regime designed solely to benefit the other 27. I hope both sides could agree that such an outcome would be the worst of all possible worlds. And yet, that is where we appear to have ended up… I have been arguing since polling day for moderation. I was prepared to accept any compromise, including European Free Trade Associationand including Chequers, provided it restored the supremacy of our laws. But the purgatory that now beckons is surely, by any definition, worse than either staying or leaving.” – The Sun

  • May is poisoning the well for our Party – Andrea Jenkyns, Daily Telegraph
  • Voters deserve better than bad solutions to a myth – Maria Caulfield, Times Red Box
  • Britain cannot accept this horrific, humiliating surrender – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • Parliament should reject May’s rotten deal – Philip Stephens, FT
  • This is not a compromise but a capitulation – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph


  • Business needs the certainty of a Brexit transition deal – Stephen Martin, FT
  • Time to grow up and accept this is as good as it gets – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph


  • Little doubt that this is a bad deal… – The Times
  • …now May must persuade MPs its better than no deal – Daily Telegraph
  • Don’t trick us, Prime Minister – The Sun
  • Brexit illusions shattered by May’s impending deal – FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: May’s choice today. The possibility of her Government collapsing soon…or the probability of it doing so now

Ellwood calls for ‘duty of care’ toward former soldiers

The First World War centenary should be used as springboard to have a “duty of care” for former soldiers, the veterans minister has said. On Wednesday Tobias Ellwood told veterans: “Your country owes you” and called on businesses, charities and the general public do more to “support and empower” former servicemen and women. It comes as the government has launched the first UK-wide veterans’ strategy to help former soldiers with issues including housing, debt and mental health. Speaking at the Heropreneurs Awards, Mr Ellwood said the strategy “sets out clear goals for the future about the support available to all veterans, how we can better celebrate their achievements and can promote their transferable skills.” He said: “As former members of the finest Armed Forces in the world, our veterans have demonstrated a values skills and commitment and a willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for others.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Rebecca Lowe’s column: We must not let the state crowd out private virtue

Government ‘humiliated’ by gambling climbdown

“Theresa May has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown over the reform of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in the face of a Commons rebellion. A cut in the top bet on the machines from £100 to £2 to combat problem gambling will now come into force in April, six months earlier than planned. More than 20 Tory MPs set out to sabotage Treasury plans to push it back to October. Tracey Crouch resigned as sports minister over the delay, which had been condemned by MPs who believe the cut is vital to protect vulnerable people and families. The change was announced in a written statement to MPs by Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, yesterday. To afford the move, an increase in remote gaming duty will also be brought forward six months… The change of tack is a particular embarrassment for Philip Hammond, the chancellor.” – The Times

  • What reason did Hammond have for delaying reform? – Nils Pratley, The Guardian
  • I have held the hands of too many addicts – Tracey Crouch MP, Times Red Box

Trump ‘berated’ May after mid-terms

“Theresa May was berated by President Trump over trade and Iran after she tried to congratulate him on the midterm elections, reports in American newspapers suggest. The prime minister telephoned Mr Trump on Friday as he was flying to France on Air Force One for a weekend of Armistice commemorations. She tried to flatter him by praising the Republican Party’s performance in the congressional midterm elections, The Washington Post said. She was met with a bad-tempered eruption. He told her that Britain was not doing enough to combat Iran’s nuclear threat and questioned her over Brexit and the European Union’s trading policies, the newspaper said. The exchange is in keeping with the mood of the president’s visit to France. A remark by President Macron at the ceremony on Sunday, denouncing the growth of nationalism around the world, was taken as a direct jibe and prompted an extraordinary series of tweets yesterday from Mr Trump.” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Why I support May’s Brexit deal – Tim Montgomerie, CapX
  • As humiliations go, accepting this Brexit deal would be complete and unendurable – Simon Clarke MP, Brexit Central
  • My Brexit resignation was a revolutionary act – Jo Johnson MP, The Spectator
  • Weyand giving the game away could be fatal for May’s dire deal – Iain Martin, Reaction

Newslinks for Wednesday 14th November 2018

Brexit Decision Day 1) May to present deal to Cabinet amidst accusations of ‘betrayal’ “Theresa May will put her future… Read more »

Brexit Decision Day 1) May to present deal to Cabinet amidst accusations of ‘betrayal’

“Theresa May will put her future in the hands of senior ministers today as she asks them to sign off a Brexit deal in the face of accusations of betrayal. The prime minister was trying to sell the divorce deal and pact on the future relationship with Europe last night to a reluctant cabinet, which is due to meet at 2pm to agree it. Leave-supporting cabinet ministers were coming under intense pressure to reject the deal as senior Brexiteers and the DUP launched a pre-emptive strike on what they claimed was an abject surrender. Mrs May’s efforts to secure cabinet backing will be further undermined by a leaked diplomatic note seen by The Times spelling out how the EU intends to force Britain to accept a longer-term alignment with its rules. Despite this, she will claim to have won a crucial battle over the so-called backstop, which would come into force after the transition period and before a final deal on the future relationship.” – The Times

  • UK and EU hammer out draft divorce – FT
  • Customs union membership ‘basis for the future’ – Daily Express
  • What the papers say – The Guardian
  • Labour MPs told voters want a second referendum – The Times

Brexit Decision Day 2) Johnson gets in early – and flays the proposal as “vassal state stuff”

“Brexiteer MPs Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg have said they will vote down Theresa May’s divorce deal after negotiators reached an agreement in Brussels. A government source confirmed a Brexit agreement was reached between the UK and EU at a “technical level” today. The prime minister will attempt to win over her cabinet in a meeting tomorrow before a “meaningful” vote in the House of Commons. Former foreign secretary Mr Johnson said he would vote against the deal, claiming it was “vassal state stuff”, and urged the cabinet to “chuck it out”. He said he expected the deal to be “pretty much” what had been agreed a few weeks ago. “We are going to stay in the customs union on this deal, we are going to stay effectively in large parts of the single market and that means it’s vassal state stuff,” he told the BBC… He claimed the deal was “making a nonsense of Brexit so I hope the cabinet will do the right thing and I hope they chuck it out”.” – Evening Standard

  • Rees-Mogg rallies rebels for Westminster ‘coup’ – The Times
  • DUP and Eurosceptics attack deal ‘sight unseen’ – FT
  • Rees-Mogg and Campbell agree on ‘humiliating’ bargain – Daily Express

More Johnsons:

  • Public has been duped, says Jo Johnson at rally for new vote – The Guardian

>Today: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: May’s deal. It leaves us facing colonial rule from Brussels, of the sort imposed on Bosnia following the Yugoslav war.

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Johnson gets in early doors. May’s proposed deal is “vassal state stuff – utterly unacceptable”

Brexit Decision Day 3) Will Brexiteer Cabinet Ministers resign?

“The European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs were putting leave-supporting ministers under intense pressure to resign over the plan, with multiple Cabinet ministers thought to be considering their positions. Reports late Tuesday suggested that Mrs May had won the support of five ‘pivotal’ Cabinet ministers – Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary and Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General. However Cabinet sources suggested Mr Raab was ‘unhappy’ with parts of the deal. Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the Commons, Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary and Esther McVey, the Work and Pensions Secretary were said to have significant reservations. Ministers were not entrusted to take a copy of the draft deal home with them but instead given access to a secure reading room in the Cabinet Office, which was open until midnight.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Mordaunt calls on May to waive collective responsibility – Daily Express
  • Who’s likely to stay, who might walk out? – The Times
  • Pill may be hard to swallow, however sugared – Daily Telegraph
  • May’s deal comes at a high price – FT
  • Duncan Smith accuses May of ‘breaking agreed position’ – Daily Express


  • Cabinet must reject deal if we’re not freed from the EU – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Raab, Cox, Gove, Fox, Mordaunt – all these Cabinet members, and others, should prepare to resign today

Brexit Decision Day 4) Government folds on Brexit deal legal advice vote

“Ministers will publish up to 5,000 pieces of legal advice on the Brexit deal after losing a parliamentary battle. In a bad omen for Theresa May in getting the agreement through the Commons, Brexiteers and the DUP joined with Labour to force the concession. Labour used the niche parliamentary procedure of a “humble address” to force a vote on the Queen requiring ministers to let MPs see “any legal advice in full”. Despite last-ditch concessions from David Lidington, the prime minister’s effective deputy, the DUP made clear that they would vote against the government. In the face of inevitable defeat, Conservative MPs were whipped to abstain, but Labour refused to accept Mr Lidington’s undertakings and proceeded with the motion. It passed without a formal vote as no MPs indicated dissent. Mr Lidington criticised Labour’s demands, saying the motion could theoretically require the release of 5,000 documents.” – The Times

  • December 1 deadline for triggering no-deal plans – FT


Brexit Decision Day 5) Jacob Rees-Mogg: Brexit has become an issue of trust – and this government has lost it

“Fortunately, it is reported that the Prime Minister has called for the Cabinet to act in the national interest. Now, this patriotic call may be intended to encourage its members to back the Government’s climbdown – the vassalage that is the best our feeble negotiators have been able to achieve. However, the clearer national and democratic interest is to deliver on earlier promises.
Trust in politicians is in short supply. A failure to deliver Brexit would erase the little trust that remains, but a sturdy response would begin to restore it. This may not happen as the Cabinet is selected by the Prime Minister, and is dependent upon her for patronage, but all are answerable to some authority and, ultimately, Mrs May is held to account by Parliament… As this happens, Members must consider their constituents. It is estimated that 406 constituencies voted to Leave, while both the Conservative and Labour parties promised to respect the result of the referendum in their manifestos for the 2017 General Election. The Tories must particularly pay attention to their own manifesto and the promise to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Jo Johnson’s stance is dishonest and dangerous – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
  • May can’t afford to lose Raab, so he should throw his weight around – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • Prospect of hard Irish border has been conjured by scaremongers – Kate Hoey, The Sun


  • Why is Labour not leading calls for a second vote? – Tony Blair, Times Red Box
  • Britain’s conspiracy of silence over the deal – Peter Mandelson, FT


Meanwhile… Merkel calls for EU army

“German leader Angela Merkel has joined the French President in calling for a “real, true” European army. Merkel declared there should be an “integrated European Union military”, recalling the lessons of the First World War and the divisions that led to the conflict. Speaking to MEPs today about the future of Europe, Merkel said the continent should take its “fate fully into its own hands”. Echoing comments made by French leader Emmanuel Macron last week, she said: “We should work on a vision of one day establishing a real, true European army.” Merkel added that such an army would not undermine the US-led military alliance NATO but could be complementary to it. It should include common development of arms industry, she said as well as an EU-wide arms export policy and crucially a “European intervention force”. It came a day after a senior minister from the French Government called for the EU to become a powerful new “empire” to rival the US and China in an interview which will infuriate Donald Trump.” – The Sun

>Today: Damien Phillips in Comment: As Merkel calls for a “real, true” European army, Cabinet members must grasp that this plan threatens our security

Downing Street blocks Mordaunt’s bid to quit UNESCO

“Downing Street has slapped down Penny Mordaunt for suggesting Britain should withdraw funding from Unesco, amid criticism of cabinet “freelancing”. The international development secretary told cabinet colleagues last month that she wants Britain to withdraw from the UN’s cultural and education body. Ms Mordaunt’s request to stop the £11.1 million funding at the end of next year raised concern among colleagues including Theresa May and Michael Gove, as well as in the Foreign Office. Today Number 10 suggested they would block the move… Some in Number 10 think Ms Mordaunt’s move was designed to advertise her leadership credentials to the right of the party. A Whitehall source said: “There is a lot freelancing going on at the moment”. There is deep concern across parts of cabinet about the political symbolism of ending the payments. It would mean Britain following the lead set last year by President Trump and Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister.” – The Times

  • Move would be historical and cultural vandalism – Emily Thornberry MP, The Guardian

MPs accuse Foreign Office of appeasing ‘mob’ on Bibi

“Asia Bibi will not be granted asylum in Britain amid fears of violent reprisals on embassies in Pakistan, the Foreign Office has indicated as MPs accused the Government of giving in to the “mob”. Sir Simon McDonald, the department’s permanent secretary, last night said that the threat to staff working in the country had to be balanced with the Government’s desire to shelter those fleeing persecution. Following reports that Justin Trudeau is close to securing an agreement with Islamabad for Mrs Bibi’s safe passage to Canada, Sir Simon added that the UK was prepared to work with allies to ensure she reached a “safe harbour”. It comes amid mounting concern that Mrs Bibi, a Pakistani Christian facing death threats, is at risk of being killed by extremists following her release from death row. The mother of five, who was charged with blasphemy nine years ago after allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad, recently had her conviction quashed by Pakistan’s supreme court.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson’s style left Foreign Office ‘bemused’ – The Times

Housing: Brokenshire to set up ‘housing courts’ for tenants…

“Housing courts are to be set up for struggling tenants to exact justice on bullyboy landlords. Housing Secretary James Brokenshire unveiled the plan last night to significantly speed up disputes between renters and property owners. At the moment, it can take many months to settle rows via county courts, such as over withheld deposits or unfair evictions. Landlords will also be able to use the special courts to ensure bad tenants are evicted more swiftly. Publishing a call for evidence for it, Mr Brokenshire said: “Everyone deserves to live in a safe and decent home, and this government is bringing about real change in making renting more secure… A recent survey revealed one in 10 of all renters whose tenancies ended say they had to move out against their will. The proposals were also welcomed by landlords groups last night.” – The Sun

…as McDonnell wants ‘community land trusts’ to boost housebuilding

“John McDonnell is drawing up plans to encourage more community land trusts — a form of mutual society — to own property and develop low-cost homes. The shadow chancellor wants to publish a report in the new year looking at how to expand the idea further. Mr McDonnell outlined the plan during a speech on Monday evening in north London, when he said he wanted to see “the collective ownership of land”. That phrase raised concerns that the Labour MP, a former Marxist, wants to pursue the communal ownership of land, an idea normally associated with communist regimes. Other influential figures close to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, have issued radical suggestions about land ownership in the recent past. Andrew Fisher, Mr Corbyn’s head of policy, wrote a book in 2014 called The Failed Experiment in which he set out various radical ideas including a ban on private land.” – FT

  • Labour accused of ‘shackling the press’ – The Sun

Government faces more resignations over gambling machines

“Theresa May is set to lose a dozen ministerial aides unless she backs down over a delayed crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals, The Times has learned. Tracey Crouch quit as sports minister earlier this month when a cut in the maximum on the terminals from £100 to £2 was delayed by the Treasury from April to October next year. She and more than 70 backbenchers say they will vote against legislation enacting the budget next week unless the original date is restored. Campaigners describe the machines as the “crack cocaine” of gambling. The scale of the rebellion, which includes Boris Johnson and Nicky Morgan, has taken the government by surprise. Twelve parliamentary private secretaries have written to Julian Smith, the chief whip, saying that they are prepared to quit over the issue. One of the dozen said that Philip Hammond, the chancellor, had misjudged the mood of the party in insisting on a delay. “He has been badly tin-eared on this even for him,” they said.” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • The initial leaks of May’s deal suggest an ominous failure to take back control – Jonathan Isaby, Brexit Central
  • Will things in Europe have to get worse before they can get better? – Dalibor Rohac, CapX
  • May’s uphill struggle to sell her Brexit deal – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Getting the deal past cabinet, Commons and country will come down to customs – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • How irresponsible Merkel let populism thrive – Peter Franklin, UnHerd

Newslinks for Tuesday 13th November 2018

May says talks are nearing the endgame “Mrs May said in a speech at the Guildhall in London that EU… Read more »

May says talks are nearing the endgame

“Mrs May said in a speech at the Guildhall in London that EU and UK negotiators were “working extremely hard, through the night” to get a deal, while in Downing Street her officials briefed cabinet ministers on the latest state of talks. Although Mrs May wants to finalise a deal at a special European Council meeting later this month, she said the issues being addressed were “extremely difficult”. Downing Street said there were no plans for discussions on a final text at Tuesday’s cabinet. Mrs May’s Brexit plan has drawn fire from both wings of her Conservative party for being a halfway house to full EU membership, with widespread speculation that she will face a leadership challenge next year.” – FT

  • Just hours are left… – Daily Express
  • Although Number 10 says to take rumours of deal with big “pinch of salt” – Daily Mail 
  • May criticises EU “brinkmanship” – The Times 
  • She says negotiations have been “extremely difficult” – Guardian
  • And that she “won’t compromise” – Daily Express
  • Or sign at “any cost” – Daily Mail 
  • Will EU states give in over fish? – FT
  • Lidington says deal “possible” on Thursday – Daily Telegraph


  • May is yet to convince her colleagues – Guardian

>Today: Henry Newman’s column: A Brexit deal isn’t certain, but it’s within reach – and it could still make it through Parliament

Brexiteering Cabinet members flex their muscles

“Senior Brexiteers including Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, met last night to discuss tactics. Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, and Michael Gove, the environment secretary, were also invited to the meeting organised by Dr Fox in an attempt to ensure that Brexiteers present a united front today in cabinet on the need for the UK to be able to pull out of a customs deal with the EU unilaterally.”- The Times

  • Raab, Leadsom, and Fox expected to speak out in meeting today – Daily Telegraph
  • Mordaunt says she’ll be a “check” on May’s deal approach – The Sun
  • May needs to win them over – FT

ERG may rebel today over Commons vote on legal advice…

“Dozens of Tory MPs will today rebel against Theresa May to force her to publish the full legal advice about any Brexit deal. The hardline Brexiteer European Research Group tabled their own Commons bid late last night to supersede an attempt by Labour to defeat the Government. Jeremy Corbyn’s party earlier pledged to use an ancient Parliamentary procedure, known as a humble address, to exact the promise from the Government. The PM has angered Cabinet ministers by only offering them a summary of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s legal verdict on any final exit deal. MPs from across the political divide have insisted seeing the full document is vital so they know what obligations the UK is really signing up to.” – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Will the ERG vote against the Government today?

…as Labour to try to “force vote today”

“The government may have to publish the legal advice it received on plans to avoid a hard Irish border before MPs are asked to vote on a Brexit deal. Labour will use arcane parliamentary procedure to force a vote today on making the advice public when any deal is put to the Commons. Last night sources said that the government’s allies in the Democratic Unionist Party were strongly considering voting with Labour, along with a handful of pro-Brexit Conservatives, meaning that Theresa May could face a choice between defeat or conceding.” – The Times


  • Labour needs to get its act together – The Times


>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Yes it can. No it can’t. Yes it can. No it can’t. Starmer and Corbyn at war over whether Brexit can be stopped.

Hague: If the EU won’t budge, ministers should prepare for “no deal” rather than resign

“Left to herself, Theresa May would make a good poker player. Her natural style is to keep her intentions mysterious and not to give away her thinking in advance. She has long mastered the art of maintaining the same facial expression whether on the verge of triumph or disaster. Her negotiations with the EU, however, have been like trying to play poker with a crowd around her shouting out loud “You’ve played your strongest card already” or “Oh no, how can you possibly hold out with such a weak hand?”. Combined with the difficulty of playing against a clock running down, this has made things very simple for the other side. They can be bold because they are confident she has to fold in the end.” – Daily Telegraph

More comment:

  • I’m still in favour of another referendum… – Jo Johnson, The Times 
  • And here’s why Scots wanting independence need to support one, too – Neil Mackay, Herald
  • We’ll look back in confusion – Polly Toynbee, Guardian
  • Gordon Brown should crawl back into his crypt – Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail 

>Today: Gisela Stuart in Comment: The EU referendum gave the political class a chance to mend its ways. So far, it hasn’t.

Wilson says he’s “baffled” by May’s strategy

“Mrs May is under fire from both wings of the Tory party after the shock resignation from the government of Mr Johnson’s pro-European brother Jo, who also delivered a withering attack on the PM’s stance. Speaking to the News Letter, Mr Wilson said he was “baffled” by the PM’s current strategy and claimed her plan would never secure passage through Parliament. The DUP’s main problem with Mrs May’s Brexit blueprint centres on the possibility that NI could be forced to follow EU single market rules post-Brexit, essentially leading to a regulatory border in the Irish Sea. But Mr Wilson said his party was heartened by the growing swell of opposition to the plan, with many in Mrs May’s own party uneasy at the prospect of the UK staying in a temporary customs arrangement with the EU.” – Belfast News Letter 

FOBT rebellion set to defeat Hammond

“Philip Hammond is facing almost certain defeat over his budget plan to delay a crackdown on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). Amendments designed to force ministers to bring forward a cut in the maximum stake from £100 to £2 have been signed by 21 Conservative MPs, including 12 former ministers, and four Democratic Unionist Party MPs. Boris Johnson, David Davis, Priti Patel and Justine Greening all support the cross-party push. Labour also said that it would support both amendments, meaning that without a climbdown the government faces almost certain defeat. The scale of the rebellion emerged just over a week after Tracey Crouch resigned as sports minister in protest at the plan to delay the cut by six months.” – The Times 

  • Rees-Mogg and Johnson joined in – Guardian
  • Is half the Conservative parliamentary party now ready to rebel on this? – The Sun

Hunt meets Salman and asks for assurance that a murder like Khashoggi’s “will not happen again”

“Jeremy Hunt sought assurances from Saudi Arabia’s leaders yesterday that a murder plot of the kind that took the life of Jamal Khashoggi “cannot and will not happen again”. The foreign secretary became the first senior western politician to meet King Salman since the kingdom admitted that it had killed the journalist. Mr Hunt flew to Riyadh yesterday mainly to discuss the war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting local Iran-backed rebel forces. He also met Yemeni officials and Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates.” – The Times

  • Hunt speaks of “rapid progress” – Daily Mail

Javid says upping number of officers is key to tackling knife crime

“…Sajid Javid said it was his personal mission to get knife offending under control and urged police to make full use of their powers to stop and search people on the street for weapons. However, ministers have no plans to loosen the restriction on when officers can use the power, as was suggested by one senior police officer. In a clear indication that he believes the number of officers has fallen too far, Mr Javid said increasing police had to be part of the action to reduce knife attacks. Asked about the impact of cuts, under which police funding has fallen by 19 per cent and officer numbers by 20,000 since 2010, Mr Javid said: “I think actually police numbers have to be an important part of the solution. Let’s not pretend that it’s not.” – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Action on knife crime must be swift, firm, and visible – but it must also be effective

More Conservatives

>Today: MPsEtc: Norman replaces Johnson at Transport

Rights campaigner speaks out about Herne harassment accusations

“A leading women’s rights campaigner who was promised a peerage if she had sex with a senior member of the Lords last night urged other parliamentary victims of sexual misconduct to have the confidence to come forward. Jasvinder Sanghera spoke to The Times after Lord Lester of Herne Hill was warned that he faced a record suspension from the House for sexually harassing her more than a decade ago. The bestselling author said that her decision to complain was prompted by a need to establish that “what he did to me wasn’t acceptable and wasn’t honourable”. “There needs to be a system in place that will give other victims the confidence to complain and to feel supported in doing so,” she said.” – The Times

  • The Lib Dem was suspended from the Lords – Guardian

News in Brief

  • Learn from the FOBT rebellion – Patrick Maguire, New Statesman
  • Trump should help Bibi – Ben Sixsmith, Spectator
  • It’s not all Carney’s fault – Andrew Lilico, CapX
  • Watch out for Patrick – Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker

Newslinks for Monday 12th November 2018

Johnson: The Cabinet ought to mutiny against May’s Brexit capitulation ‘Savour the full horror of this capitulation. Under Article 50,… Read more »

Johnson: The Cabinet ought to mutiny against May’s Brexit capitulation

‘Savour the full horror of this capitulation. Under Article 50, the UK is at least able in theory to leave the EU. We do not have to consult any other authority. But under these proposals we are agreeing that the EU would have a say on whether this country is capable of making that final exit from the EU’s essential institution, the customs union. In other words, we are on the verge of signing up for something even worse than the current constitutional position. These are the terms that might be enforced on a colony. No member of the Government, let alone the Cabinet, could conceivably support them, or so you would have thought. And yet the awful truth is that even if the Cabinet mutinies – as they ought – it will make little difference. Even if we agree with the EU that the UK must have a unilateral break clause, so that we can go our own sweet way at a time of our own choosing, it is irrelevant: because the programme and ambition of the Government – as set out at Chequers and never yet repudiated by the Prime Minister – is to remain in captivity.’ – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Amber Rudd & Andrew Percy on Comment: Brexit. Why a Canada-type deal won’t work for Britain.

The Prime Minister has 48 hours before she must authorise No Deal plans

‘Whitehall sources warned the chances of a deal being ready to present to Cabinet meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday morning were drifting away. They admitted if the PM is unable to put a withdrawal agreement before the Cabinet in 48 hours the chances of a November summit with the EU are OFF. This means having to authorise No Deal projects for new IT systems and projects to protect Britain’s borders. November 15 is the deadline for Ministers to place an order for ships to bring in necessary supplies – and to put plans in place to stockpile medicines – in a cash of a chaotic No Deal. One source said: “It’s going down to the wire. If it doesn’t happen this week it will have to be a December summit – and it all gets much tighter.”’ – The Sun


Hammond ‘excluded’ Truss from Budget preparations

‘Liz Truss was excluded from key meetings in the run-up to the budget amid claims of tensions with Philip Hammond, who sources said was angry that she attended “pizza club” cabinet gatherings with Andrea Leadsom. Friction has been growing between the chancellor and the chief secretary to the Treasury, his deputy, over her stance on Brexit and her public support for a low-tax, low-regulation Britain…Some spending measures proposed by Ms Truss were rebuffed by Mr Hammond and his team. The chief secretary to the Treasury wanted to spend £155 million on 2,500 special needs places to help local authorities avoid using expensive independent providers. She also wanted £1,000 one-off payments for maths and physics teachers, at a cost of £19 million. Both were blocked by the chancellor. In one episode, an official who was working for Ms Truss was hauled out of a budget meeting by an ally to the chancellor. The advisor told Ms Truss’s official that under no circumstances were they to inform the chief secretary about the measures under discussion.’ – The Times

  • It’s good that the Chancellor is fixing Universal Credit – The Sun Says
  • Council tenants struggling to keep up to date on payments – The Sun
  • Johnson will lead a rebellion over delays to Fixed Odds Betting limits – The Sun
  • Millions of workers in line for pay increases – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Free’ childcare hours are being supplemented by nurseries raising prices – The Sun
  • High Street customer numbers continue to fall – Daily Mail
  • UK-China trade rises 15 per cent in a year – Daily Mail
  • France hopes to capture a share of the world gold market – Daily Telegraph

Hunt visits Riyadh to discuss Yemen and Khashoggi

‘Jeremy Hunt will be the first British minister to meet Saudi Arabia’s crown prince since the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The foreign secretary arrives for talks in Riyadh today and will meet King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Foreign Office confirmed last night. Yesterday President Erdogan of Turkey said he had given Britain, the US and other countries access to the tape recording the Turkish authorities say is of Khashoggi’s last moments at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Britain’s close ties to Saudi Arabia have come under scrutiny over the killing. The Foreign Office insists Mr Hunt will hold Riyadh to account and demand a credible investigation.’ – The Times

  • The Foreign Secretary will demand the Saudis co-operate with the murder inquiry – The Sun
  • The journalist’s final words were ‘I’m suffocating’ – Daily Mail
  • We are complicit in Yemen’s suffering – The Guardian Leader
  • Oil price rises as the Kingdom opens the door to a cut in supply – FT
  • Qatar is put in an awkward position by US sanctions on Iran – Nick Butler, FT
  • Eight dead in Israeli operation in Gaza – The Guardian
  • MPs demand asylum for Asia Bibi – Daily Mail
  • Her plight should worry everyone in the West – Charlotte Gill, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Asia Bibi should be offered asylum in Britain

Macron uses Armistice Day as an opportunity to criticise nationalism

‘Donald Trump’s rising feud with Emmanuel Macron took a new turn on Sunday as the French leader forcefully denounced nations ‘looking after their own interests’ and decried nationalist policies like the ones the American president has embraced. Macron specifically referred to the ‘selfishness of nations only looking after their own interests’ in remarks at an Armistice Day event in Paris that Trump and other world leaders attended. ‘Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace. And what is essential— its moral values,’ he said in an English-language translation of the speech he delivered with Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin sitting in the front row.’ – Daily Mail

  • Trump and Putin exchange thumbs-up – Daily Mail
  • The historic moment the German President joined the Royal family in commemoration – Robert Hardman, Daily Mail
  • A time for reconciliation – Lord Ashcroft, Daily Express
  • May will use the Lord Mayor’s banquet to call for a better relationship with Russia – The Guardian
  • If you think Trump is a disgrace, just look at the unelected President of the EU – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • Chief of the Defence Staff warns against Northern Ireland witch hunt – The Sun
  • We must armour ourselves against cyber threats – Brad Smith, FT
  • British Army to test combat robots – Daily Mail
  • Despite arms sanctions, Russia is very much open for business – FT


Police lobby Javid to reduce limits on stop and search

‘Police chiefs want to trigger an expansion of stop and search by lowering the level of suspicion an officer needs against a suspect to use the power, the Guardian has learned. They want to scrap the requirement that “reasonable grounds” are needed before a person can be subjected to a search, amid mounting concern over knife attacks. Senior officers have held talks with advisers to the home secretary, Sajid Javid, within the last fortnight to discuss the issue. It would fuel the debate about police discrimination against minority ethnic communities, civil liberties and the role stop and search has to play in tackling violent crime. The plans were confirmed by Adrian Hanstock, the deputy chief constable of the British Transport Police and national lead on stop and search for the National Police Chiefs’ Council…Stop and search is one of the most controversial powers police use on a daily basis, because black people are around nine times more likely to be targeted for its use than white people, by a police force that remains disproportionately white.’ – The Guardian

New Labour didn’t tax the rich enough, Lewis argues

‘New Labour failed to tax the richest in society heavily enough, the shadow Treasury minister Clive Lewis has claimed, after his party came under fire last month for backing the government’s tax cuts for middle-earners. As MPs prepare to debate the finance bill, Lewis defended Labour’s decision not to reverse Philip Hammond’s planned increases to the tax-free personal allowance and the higher-rate threshold, which will largely benefit richer households. “Increasing the threshold for the higher paid wouldn’t be our priority but, after eight years of Tory austerity, with real wages still below their 2010 level, and with even the relatively better off feeling the pinch, it is hard to justify taking even this small amount away from people,” he said.’ – The Guardian

Governor accused of harming the Bank of England’s credibility and independence

‘The Bank of England’s standing has been damaged since Mark Carney took over as governor, a former ratesetter has claimed.Andrew Sentance, who sat on the Bank’s monetary policy committee between 2006 and 2011, has accused the governor of allowing the Bank’s independence to be “diluted in various ways”, most recently by his “shambolic” reappointment. The former British Airways and CBI chief economist also criticised the lack of debate at the Bank and the “uniformity on the MPC”, where there has been very little dissent. “It seems that group think has become more consolidated,” he said. Mr Sentance, 60, is a rate hawk and longstanding critic of the Bank, which he believes should have raised rates from 0.5 per cent between 2013 and 2015.’ – The Times

Democrats plan to use new position to intensify scrutiny of Trump – but hang back from impeachment

‘Fresh off a resounding midterm elections victory, House Democrats on Sunday began detailing plans to wield their newfound oversight power in the next Congress, setting their sights on acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker while rebuffing calls from some liberals to pursue impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who is poised to take control of the House Judiciary Committee, said he will call Whitaker as a first witness to testify about his “expressed hostility” to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation. Nadler said he is prepared to subpoena Whitaker if necessary. Another incoming chairman, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) of the House Intelligence Committee, raised the possibility of investigating whether Trump used “instruments of state power” in an effort to punish companies associated with news outlets that have reported critically on him, including CNN and The Washington Post.’ – Washington Post

  • Ballot chaos continues in Florida – Daily Mail
  • CNN set to sue the White House – Daily Mail
  • Tough borders are the best hope for continued public acceptance of legal immigration – Clare Foges, The Times
  • German Greens struck by migrant row – The Times
  • The meat processing industry is worried about immigration limits – FT

>Yesterday: WATCH: Tugendhat’s message to Trump – “In Iraq and Afghanistan, when it was -15 or 50 degrees, we soldiered on”

News in Brief

Newslinks for Sunday 11th November 2018

EU ‘turns off life support’ for May’s Brexit proposal ‘The prime minister had hoped to unite her cabinet and overcome… Read more »

EU ‘turns off life support’ for May’s Brexit proposal

‘The prime minister had hoped to unite her cabinet and overcome the final hurdle in negotiations with the EU by offering to create an “independent mechanism” to oversee how the UK might leave a temporary customs arrangement if Brexit talks collapsed. But this weekend senior EU officials sent shockwaves through No 10 by rejecting May’s plan, sparking fears that negotiations have broken down days before “no-deal” preparations costing billions need to be implemented. The mechanism was seen by key members of the cabinet, including the attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox, as crucial to preventing the so-called Northern Irish “backstop” being used to force the UK into being a “never-ending rule-taker from Brussels”. A Whitehall source described the plan as the government’s “life-support machine”, adding: “By rejecting the proposal, the EU has just turned off the oxygen.”’ – Sunday Times

The ERG and DUP jointly warn they will vote against any deal she might secure based on it

‘Senior members of the Eurosceptic grouping of Tory backbenchers and the Democratic Unionist Party figures today publicly unite to insist they will vote against Mrs May’s proposals unless she backs down. Their intervention came as senior government figures warned that the deal would still fall in Parliament even if it were forced through a reluctant Cabinet this week. A defeat for Mrs May would be likely to spark a leadership challenge. The warnings come amid opposition from across the Conservative Party to a proposed “backstop”, or insurance plan, for the UK’s relationship with the EU if no alternative deal is reached. – Sunday Telegraph

>Today: Jonathan Clark on Comment: Is it time to sweep away our political parties – and clear the decks for Leave v Remain?

Greening accuses Downing Street of handing power to Brussels

‘Theresa May was accused last night by a former cabinet colleague of planning the “biggest giveaway of sovereignty in modern times”, as she faced a potentially devastating pincer movement from Tory remainers and leavers condemning her Brexit plans. The day after Jo Johnson, the pro-remain brother of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, resigned from the government and called for a second referendum on Brexit, former education secretary Justine Greening launched an attack on the prime minister, saying her plans would leave the country in the “worst of all worlds”. Piling yet more pressure on May, Greening – who resigned from the cabinet in January – backed the former transport minister’s call for another public vote and said MPs should reject the prime minister’s deal. Greening told the Observer: “The parliamentary deadlock has been clear for some time. It’s crucial now for parliament to vote down this plan, because it is the biggest giveaway of sovereignty in modern times.” – The Observer

>Yesterday: Nick Hargrave’s column: We need better political leaders. Here’s how to go about getting them.

The MoD is to start recording suicides among veterans

‘The Ministry of Defence will start recording the number of suicides among military veterans in a victory for The Sunday Times’s Save Our Soldiers campaign. Tobias Ellwood, the defence minister, said the move was crucial for the government to “better understand” the toll of modern conflict on ex-servicemen and women. We have identified 56 veterans and serving personnel believed to have killed themselves since January. Last month, there were 14 deaths, with five taking their lives in as many days. Last week, a former soldier in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was found dead on his 46th birthday. The death toll since November 2003 has reached 274.’ – Sunday Times

The nation marks the centenary of the Armistice

‘A procession of 10,000 people to the Cenotaph in central London will give “a nation’s thank you” to those who laid down their lives in World War One. Members of the public chosen by ballot will pay their respects at the memorial while the Prince of Wales will lay a wreath on behalf of the Queen. It marks 100 years since Armistice Day, when WW1 officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month…The day’s events started at 06:00 GMT with pipers across Britain playing the Scottish lament “Battle’s O’er”. At 08:30, portraits of casualties of the war appeared on beaches around the country as part of an event created by film director Danny Boyle…Renovations of Big Ben have been paused so the bell can chime before and after the traditional two minutes of silence at 11:00. At 19:00, starting at Westminster Abbey, more than 1,000 beacons will be lit across the UK. The lights are intended to symbolise the end of the darkness of war and a return to the lightness of peace.’ – BBC News

>Today: ToryDiary: The unknown names that live for evermore

Hancock considers a ‘tax on age’ to fund social care

‘Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Secretary, told the Telegraph he was “attracted to” a cross-party plan for a compulsory premium deducted from the earnings of the ­middle-aged and over-65s to fund the cost of their care in later life. The proposals, set out by two Commons committees, are based on the system in Germany under which all workers over 40 pay 2.5 per cent of their wages into a pot formally earmarked for social care. The plan also includes offering cash payouts to young and elderly adults ­receiving care, to enable them to pay carers, including family members. It is more radical than an idea Mr Hancock previously disclosed he was considering, of an “opt-out” proposal similar to the auto-enrolment system of pensions. The premiums would be compulsory and only levied on older workers, leaving ministers open to ­accusations of a tax on age. Dr Sarah Wollaston, the Tory chairman of the Commons health committee, one of the two panels that proposed the scheme, said it was intended to avoid putting an “unfair” burden on “working-age young employed adults”.’ – Sunday Telegraph

Leadsom criticises Commons authorities over their failure to address bullying

‘Andrea Leadsom has launched an attack on the House of Commons authorities, accusing them of failing to get a grip on the bullying and harassment scandal that has rocked Westminster. The leader of the Commons has waged a year-long campaign to stamp out misconduct of this kind after a series of scandals. In an unprecedented move, she has accused the Commons leadership of burying their heads in the sand and has urged them to either “stand up and be counted — or consider their positions”. Leadsom’s intervention comes weeks after an independent inquiry led by Dame Laura Cox found that parliament’s leadership was incapable of changing the widespread culture of abuse.’ – Sunday Times

  • Report identifies Parliament as ‘one of the worst places to work’ – The Sun on Sunday
  • Information Commissioner investigates email campaigns – The Observer

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: There’s a serious discussion to have about data and electoral law, but it is yet to take place.

Labour conference delegate’s anti-semitic image

‘The Labour Party allowed a member who was being investigated for anti-semitism to be a delegate at its recent conference — despite Jeremy Corbyn pledging in his speech to make the party “allies” of the Jewish community. Kayla Bibby, 33, represented the Liverpool Riverside constituency at the conference in September, when she had been under investigation for more than three months over an image she posted on Facebook. According to Labour, she has since been found “guilty” by the party and will receive training about anti-semitism. It is unclear whether attending this course is a condition of her remaining a party member. The image showed the Statue of Liberty being blinded and smothered by an alien creature with the Star of David, the symbol of the Jewish faith, on its back. Bibby, who posted the image in March, called it: “The most accurate photo I’ve seen all year!” It had been taken from a far-right website, Incogman, where it illustrated an article that depicted Jews as “parasitic” and said they got away with “financial heists of entire nations”.’ – Sunday Times

  • Driver accused of hate crime for beeping her horn – Sunday Times
  • Naz Shah is earning thousands from the NHS for leadership workshops – The Sun on Sunday
  • One of the women MPs welcomed to Downing Street this week wants gay people jailed for life – Sunday Times
  • Kate Osamor and her drug dealer son live in social housing despite sizeable income – The Sun on Sunday
  • The absurdity of self-identification must be laid bare – Rod Liddle, Sunday Times

Phillips: Stop pussyfooting around the reality of gang warfare in modern Britain

‘We need to be clear about who is dying and who is doing the killing, and we must be honest that there is a racial component to the violence. The deaths are taking place in the urban semi-ghettos of London, Manchester and other big cities, especially those which have become home to refugees from war zones in Eastern Europe, Africa and elsewhere. Many of these young people have grown up with the extreme violence of modern warfare – rape, beheadings, executions – and are traumatised in a way that is a danger to them and to others unless it is treated. Membership of a gang brings protection and a sense of belonging and the promise of a slice of the profits of the illegal drugs trade. So the forlorn attempts by politicians and media to ignore this truth – to avoid ‘stigmatising’ minority communities – has been counterproductive, a hand-wringing dereliction of responsibility. It might make ‘right-on’ white liberals feel better. But the price of their smugness is an ongoing bloody massacre of black children with a casualty list that seems to lengthen by the day.’ – Trevor Phillips, Mail on Sunday

Funding shortfall for Special Educational Needs revealed

‘A crisis in funding for children with special educational needs is plunging councils across the country deeper into the red and forcing parents into lengthy legal battles to secure support, according to an Observer investigation that reveals a system at breaking point. Council overspending on children’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has trebled in just three years and is continuing to increase, with councils having to raid hundreds of millions from their overall schools budget to cope. The Observer has identified 40 councils that have either cut special needs funding this year, are considering making cuts or are raiding other education budgets to cope next year. Data from freedom of information requests and council reports shows that the combined overspend on “high needs” education budgets among councils in England soared from £61m in 2015-16 to £195m in 2017-18. It is already expected to hit £200m this year. The figures cover 117 of England’s 152 councils, meaning the true figures will be higher.’ – The Observer

News in Brief

  • Another day, another Johnson backs a second referendum – The Spectator
  • A century since Poland was reborn – Wojciech Pawlus, RUSI
  • The UK’s free speech crisis – 1828
  • Do the Lib Dems still exist? – Country Squire
  • The pioneering women scientists who helped to win the Great War – Unherd

Newslinks for Saturday 10th November 2018

Brexit 1) Jo Johnson resigns over “terrible mistake” of the terms being proposed “Theresa May’s domestic woes deepened last night… Read more »

Brexit 1) Jo Johnson resigns over “terrible mistake” of the terms being proposed

“Theresa May’s domestic woes deepened last night after Jo Johnson resigned as a transport minister, declaring her approach to Brexit a failure on a scale not seen since Suez. Mr Johnson, who backed Remain in the 2016 referendum and is the brother of Boris Johnson, stunned colleagues by walking out of government while Mrs May’s plan was still being finalised. In an uncompromising statement he called the proposed withdrawal agreement, which sets out the terms for Britain’s departure from the European Union, a “terrible mistake” that leaves the country in a far worse negotiating position than at present. He vowed never to support it in a Commons vote and called for a second referendum.” – The Times


Brexit 2) DUP would not back PM’s plan

“DUP leader Arlene Foster has said her party will “not be able to support” Theresa May’s latest proposals aimed at resolving the Brexit deadlock. The party accused the PM of breaking promises over plans to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The plans were revealed in a letter from Theresa May to Mrs Foster, leaked to the Times. Downing Street reiterated the PM’s commitment to avoiding a hard border.” – BBC

  • This plan would ‘handcuff’ Britain to EU and leave Brussels holding the keys – Arlene Foster, Daily Telegraph
  • We could not be further from a Brexit deal, so let the Irish border showdown begin – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • I support the backstop – Peter Hain, The Guardian

>Yesterday: MPsETC: “The UK joined as one nation and must leave on that basis.” The DUP’s letter to May – full text

Brexit 3) The deal is not dead yet insists Lidington

“Theresa May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington, has insisted the government remains confident it can get its Brexit deal through parliament, despite the Democratic Unionist party warning it is prepared to vote it down. Speaking in the Isle of Man, where he was attending a meeting of the British-Irish Council, Lidington said he believed a “new dynamic” would emerge once MPs saw the full text of the proposed agreement. He said: “I hope and I believe that we can secure that majority in parliament.”…He said: “The prime minister has always been clear that we won’t accept something that involves carving out Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.” – The Guardian

  • Lack of Northern Ireland representation ‘unfortunate’, says Varadkar after British Irish meeting – Belfast Telegraph
  • Brexit negotiators say draft treaty is close – Financial Times

Brexit 4) Military ties “would stay strong with no deal”

“The head of the UK’s armed forces, General Sir Nick Carter, said the strong military ties between Britain and its closest European allies would endure despite political turmoil unleashed by a no-deal Brexit. Although an agreement between the UK and Brussels could be rubber stamped by Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet as early as next week, obstacles remain which could yet leave Britain facing a cliff edge departure from the EU next March. During the course of Brexit negotiations, Mrs May has repeatedly used Britain’s defence and security capabilities as a bargaining chip with EU leaders, threatening that any failure to secure a new defence treaty could jeopardise Europe’s long-term security.” – Financial Times

Brexit 5) Forsyth: The clock is ticking

“There will be no emergency Cabinet meeting this weekend. Theresa May still doesn’t have a deal to put to her ministers. But with the clock ticking — on Tuesday the Cabinet was meant to decide on whether to book ferry space to bring in essential supplies in the event of no deal – there is an intense scramble on to get a deal. As one government source tells me: “If there’s no November Council, then no deal goes into overdrive.” With Mrs May determined to avoid no deal, there probably will be some kind of agreement shortly. But it will be flawed –– and Mrs May should say so.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

Brexit 6) It can’t be stopped declares Corbyn

“Jeremy Corbyn claimed it was impossible to stop Brexit. In comments that will enrage pro-EU campaigners, the Labour leader added that politicians should instead “recognise the reasons” people voted Out.He told German magazine Der Spiegel: “We can’t stop it. The referendum took place. Article 50 has been triggered. What we can do is recognise the reasons why people voted Leave.” The long-time Eurosceptic has always insisted he backed Remain in the 2016 EU Referendum.” – The Sun

Brexit 7) Sturgeon faces backlash over her support for a second referendum

“SNP opposition to Nicola Sturgeon’s support of the People’s Vote has grown with Kenny Gibson becoming the latest Nationalist politician to warn it has implications for Scottish independence. Mr Gibson, the MSP for Cunninghame North, has joined Pete Wishart MP, Angus McNeill MP and the former cabinet secretary Alex Neil MSP in voicing concerns that a second Brexit vote would enable Unionists to argue for another vote on the terms of Scottish independence in the event of a Yes vote. Ms Sturgeon has said the SNP will support a referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal.” – The Scotsman

Brexit 8) Parris: No sane MP can put their name to May’s offer

“Listen to Mrs May’s proposed deal as it unfolds. Listen to the caveats and exclusions and tortuously worded ambiguities. Listen (as Democratic Unionists now can when they read yesterday’s leak to The Times) to the strangled verbal formulations. And keep repeating this single question: “How is this better than just being in the EU on the terms negotiated by Margaret Thatcher and John Major?” Answer comes there none, nor ever will, because there is no answer and the prime minister knows it. She accepted the instruction to get the best deal available. But it isn’t any good. So government whips will have their work cut out.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

  • The young will never forgive my party – Interview with Anna Soubry, The Guardian
  • It’s not extremist to reject the EU – Frederick Forsyth, Daily Express

Brexit 9) Oborne: I still predict that May will survive

“We have now left the long period of political stasis, and instead events will move with bewildering speed. I have advice for those without strong stomachs and nerves of iron: get off the train now…It’s less than eight weeks until Christmas Day, and I’m not going too far to say that the destiny of Britain for the next half-century could be determined amid the carol services and sparkling trees of the festive season. If I was a betting man, I would guess Mrs May will get her way and, for all the travails she has faced in recent months, she will yet lead Britain out of the European Union on March 29.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

UK economy growing at three times the Eurozone

“Britain’s economy grew three times faster than the Eurozone over the summer – despite a worrying slide in business investment. Official figures revealed GDP rose by 0.6 per cent between July and September – powered by higher consumer spending, better than expected exports, fewer car imports, and a rebound in construction. It’s the fastest rate since late 2016 and compares with 0.2 per cent for the Eurozone. France achieved 0.4 per cent.” – The Sun

Hinds calls for a reduction in the number of pupils excluded from school

“Growing numbers of vulnerable children are being expelled, particularly in the year before GCSEs, as schools try to improve their league table rankings. “I do worry about children being excluded and I am concerned that schools may be in some cases encouraging families to take kids off the school roll,” Mr Hinds says. “We need to make sure kids aren’t being excluded unnecessarily and if they are excluded it is the start of something and not the end and there is something positive to go on to.” Only 1 per cent of those in “alternative provision” get five good GCSEs, and some pupil referral units have become recruiting grounds for gangs.” – Interview with Damian Hinds, The Times

Corbyn meets head of MI6

“Jeremy Corbyn has met with the head of MI6 for the first time in anticipation of a snap election triggered by the collapse of the Brexit negotiations, The Telegraph has learnt. The Labour leader recently met with Alex Younger, the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, during which the importance of the agency’s work and the severity of the threats facing Britain were made clear to him. A Whitehall official with knowledge of the meeting said: “The feeling was that the time had come for Mr Corbyn to become acquainted with the workings of the intelligence establishment.” – Daily Telegraph

PM visits France to pay tribute to war dead…

“Theresa May has used the words of World One War poets to pay tribute to fallen soldiers in France and Belgium. Visiting the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons with the Belgian prime minister, she laid wreaths at the graves of the first and last UK soldiers killed in the war. Using words from a 1914 poem, she thanked those who died for being “staunch to the end”. Her visit comes ahead of the Armistice Centenary this Sunday. During her trip to France, she and French President Emmanuel Macron paid their respects at the Thiepval Memorial, which commemorates more than 72,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers.” – BBC

…as the name of a former MP killed in the First World War finally added to Parliament’s memorial

“A forgotten hero has finally been remembered on Parliament’s World War One memorial. The marble installation recognises the sacrifice of peers, MPs, MPs’ sons, and senior officers of Parliament, who died in service during the Great War. But 96 years after its completion, a leading historian realised one MP had been left off. Now Lieutenant Gerald Arbuthnot, once the Conservative MP for Burnley, has had his name belatedly added.” – BBC

Moore: Remembrance is about the common soldier – that’s why it matters so much

“Ever since mankind first began to develop an idea of history, people have been tormented by this thought of loss. Even in ancient, hierarchical societies, there was great concern that ordinary human beings were not properly commemorated. Our war memorials are often inscribed with the words, “Their name liveth for evermore”. This is a quotation from the book of Ecclesiasticus, written about 200 years before the birth of Jesus. “Let us now praise famous men and our fathers that begat us”, the passage begins. Such men will be all right, it says, because they were “honoured in their generation” and “have left a name behind them”. But it worries about all those not honoured: “And some there be who have no memorial, who are perished as though they had never been…, but their name liveth for evermore”.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

  • Making sense of the Great War, one hundred years later – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Children’s Commissioner attacks the Government for “benefits cuts”

“Ministers have been warned by the children’s commissioner that they are in danger of seeming to demonise single mothers because benefits cuts have plunged almost half of lone parents into poverty. Anne Longfield said that single parents had been “disproportionately affected” by the introduction of universal credit and wider welfare changes. “There is a great risk here that the government looks like it’s going back to an outdated . . . viewpoint which is demonising both single parents but also families claiming benefit, and working mothers,” she told The Times. Almost half of children in single- parent families now live in poverty, compared with just over one in four of those in couple families.” – The Times

Trump challenges recount process in Florida

“President Donald Trump has lambasted Florida’s election recount process, calling it an attempt by Democrats to win a US Senate seat with fake votes. Mr Trump told reporters “there’s a lot of dishonesty” over contested votes in Broward County. However, there has been no evidence of voter fraud. The gap between the two candidates – Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson – narrowed to 0.2% as of Friday as Broward County votes were counted. Both candidates are suing the state. Mr Scott, who claimed victory on Tuesday, is suing officials over an election recount, while Mr Nelson is suing over uncounted ballots.” – BBC

  • The economic risks of a more aggressive stance after the midterms – Leader, Financial Times
  • Is Trump a symptom or the cause of the US’s bitter political divide? – David Charter, The Times
  • US President’s fury at Macron’s “insult” – Daily Express

Persecution of Christians ignored “as there is no word for it”

“The persecution of Christians is being ignored because there is no definitive word to describe it, an Archbishop has said. Anba Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, argued that because there is no Christian equivalent for words such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia the problem was “not seen as the phenomenon which we know it is”. His comments come after the announcement that the Government is to spend £12 million on a programme to champion freedom of religion around the world.” – Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Where do the midterms leave the Mueller investigation? – Bob Seely, CapX
  • Our future is global and there are huge trade and investment opportunities for British business in Sierra Leone – Steven Wolfe, Brexit Central
  • The ignorant hounding of Roger Scruton – Douglas Murray, The Spectator
  • Be realistic about what our armed forces can do – John Redwood

And finally…Wright uses Lego bricks to relax

“A cabinet minister has spoken about how he likes to unwind by spending time with his “very large” Lego collection. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright told Talk Radio he found assembling the building bricks “therapeutic”. “I think everybody who does any difficult or stressful job needs a way to switch off,” he said. “We all have different ways, mine is Lego.” The Conservative MP also said claims that he did not read any newspapers were “complete nonsense”. “- BBC

Newslinks for Friday 9th November 2018

Brexit and the Union 1) May under siege from the DUP over border in the Irish Sea… “A Brussels plan… Read more »

Brexit and the Union 1) May under siege from the DUP over border in the Irish Sea…

“A Brussels plan to put a customs border in the Irish Sea if there is no Brexit agreement will be included in a divorce deal, a leaked letter from Theresa May suggests. The prime minister was accused last night of breaking her promise to the Democratic Unionist Party that she would never sign up to a deal that could allow Northern Ireland to be divided from the rest of the United Kingdom. The European plan, known as the “backstop to the backstop”, would leave Northern Ireland tied to the single market and customs union if Brexit talks collapse. Brussels wants this insurance policy to avoid a hard border in Ireland. Mrs May has previously said that no UK prime minister could ever agree to such a plan. The five-page letter, leaked to The Times, was sent on Tuesday from Mrs May to Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, and Nigel Dodds, her deputy. In it, the prime minister says that the EU is still pushing for the “backstop to the backstop” but insists that she would never allow a divide between Ulster and Great Britain to “come into force”.” – The Times

  • Raab accuses Lidington of going behind his back on Ireland – The Sun
  • Extracts from the leaked letter – The Times
  • DUP warns May over backstop ‘betrayal’ – FT
  • Brexit to dominate discussions at British Irish Council summit – News Letter
  • ECB warns Ireland to prepare for a no-deal Brexit – Daily Express


  • Fox says UK must be able to leave backstop – FT
  • Crucial legal advice should be made public, says Hancock… – Daily Telegraph
  • …and Gove demands to see it too – Daily Mail
  • Brexiteers plan to reject deal come what may – The Guardian


  • How to solve the legal advice row – Robert Courts MP, Daily Telegraph
  • Law probably says what May wants it to – Catherine Barnard, The Guardian
  • We can bin the backstop – David Campbell Bannerman MEP, Daily Telegraph


  • Advice should be published, but it will leave politicians confused – Daily Telegraph


Brexit and the Union 2) …and Scottish Conservatives over EU fishing rights

“European Union fishing fleets must be given wide-ranging access to British coastal waters as the price of agreeing an all-UK Brexit divorce deal, the Telegraph can reveal. Senior EU diplomats have warned that any plan to grant the UK a temporary customs union to solve the Irish backstop problem must come with cast-iron guarantees that EU boats will be free to fish in UK waters. The EU demands threaten to re-open a fierce row inside the Tory party over the potential size of the Brexit dividend for coastal and fishing communities. Fishermen warned Mrs May that she must not “squander” the chance to claw back valuable quotas for British fleets, while MPs representing fishing communities said extending the current arrangements would be “totally unacceptable”… The Scottish Tories, who won a series of coastal seats from the SNP in last year’s general election, warned the long-awaited Conservative revival in Scotland would be destroyed if the party does not make good its promises to the country’s fishermen.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Ministers play down talk of an imminent deal… – Daily Telegraph
  • …but Tusk says one will be done within a week – The Sun
  • Deal in seven days ‘pushing it’, says Hunt – Daily Express
  • How May plans to cajole ministers into backing plan – FT
  • Davis says no-deal departure is ‘not intimidating or frightening’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Sturgeon says May is offering ‘all things to all people’ – The Scotsman


  • Hunt says departure won’t damage Anglo-French relations – FT
  • Raab ‘failing to grasp the basics’ of Brexit – The Times
  • Brexit Secretary admits importance of Dover to EU trade – FT


  • Will the Tories stand and fight for Brexit? – The Sun

Fraser Nelson: How the Prime Minister plans to sell her deal

“So how to navigate through this barrier reef of Conservative mutineers? Until recently, her plan was to warn that a no-deal Brexit would unleash all kinds of mayhem, with pets imprisoned for months in quarantine and Eurostar carriages mothballed in Gare du Nord. But these arguments strike many Tories as another implausible “Project Fear”. If Brexiteers were daunted by predictions of havoc, they would not be Brexiteers. So Mrs May instead intends to win them over with a political argument. That no-deal would unleash the anti-Brexit rebels who would then start to hijack legislation: perhaps voting to force her government to stay in the Customs Union, to hold a “people’s vote” referendum or even stay in the EU. So this, she will say, is the real choice. Her deal, with the admitted risks and defects – or a “no deal” that might lead to no Brexit at all. Take the bird in hand: this is the message from No 10.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brexit has plenty of unexpected bonuses – Ed Conway, The Times
  • We already know the economic effects of a Brexit deal – Chris Giles, FT

>Today: Eamonn Ives in Comment: No, Brexit will not threaten all creatures great and small

May pushing for overhaul of workers’ rights in the ‘gig economy’

“Theresa May is pressing ahead with plans to boost the rights of workers in the gig economy on areas including flexibility and pay as part of a package of measures to overhaul employment laws, the Guardian has learned. The prime minister plans to end a legal loophole that allows companies to pay agency workers less than full-time staff for doing the same job as she attempts to demonstrate that she understands concerns about inequalities in the world of work. Ministers are proposing repealing the so-called Swedish derogation rule even though the Treasury would be cautious about upsetting business, which reacted with alarm when it was first floated, when they are already facing Brexit uncertainty. Business secretary Greg Clark has told cabinet colleagues that he hopes to implement several key recommendations from a review by Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the RSA and a former senior policy advisor to Tony Blair, that was commissioned by the government last year.” – The Guardian

Ministers 1) Hunt pushes for sanctions against Russian spies

“Britain is pushing for new EU sanctions on senior figures in President Putin’s military spy network responsible for the Salisbury poisoning in March. Members of the GRU senior leadership are on a draft list of individuals to be sanctioned under a new EU regime aimed at curbing the use of chemical weapons, say diplomatic sources. The UK hopes to secure the backing of France and Germany for the sanctions. It is pressing for other foreign ministers to approve freezing assets and banning travel for the named senior Russian spies within weeks. Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, met ministers from former Soviet states, including Hungary, in London last month to discuss new sanctions. Half a dozen named individuals involved in the novichok attack on Sergei Skripal, a former double agent, and his daughter Yulia, are likely to be targeted, according to a minister.” – The Times

Ministers 2) Javid says police will get new stop-and-search powers to tackle knife crime

“Police are to get enhanced powers to stop and search suspects in an attempt to combat the surge in violent crime and knife attacks, Sajid Javid has revealed. The Home Secretary said he wanted police to be more confident to use stop and search, sweep away bureaucracy and make it easier to deploy powers that senior officers say are vital in the fight against crime. Some police chiefs say constables have become reluctant to use the power as they fear being accused of racism. The approach represents a significant departure from Theresa May’s legacy as home secretary. She placed restrictions on stop and search after discovering young black men were seven times more likely to be stopped by police. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Javid said: “I want to make sure that police have the powers they need and the tools. “With stop and search I want to make sure it is easier for police to be able to use it and reduce the bureaucracy around it. My aim is to make police officers much more confident in using stop and search.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Security minister fears that axing train guards could boost gangs – Daily Mail
  • Drug busts at lowest level in 14 years after curb on searches – The Sun

Ministers 3) Hancock puts NHS trust in special measures

“A hospital trust where 100 babies are feared to have died or been harmed by poor care has been placed in special measures. Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust in Shropshire was already reporting weekly to the care regulator over its maternity and emergency services but yesterday NHS Improvement said the trust could no longer run itself. The watchdog announced that it was placing the trust in special measures as a result of poor management, workforce issues, problems in maternity care and whistleblowing concerns that meant “patient care could be at risk”. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, wrote to local politicians yesterday to inform them of the move. He said that the trust would benefit from “enhanced oversight”, extra funding and increased support from NHS Improvement. The decision comes two days after the Care Quality Commission warned over staffing levels in critical care and concerns over practice on some medical wards.” – The Times

  • Hold Skype appointments to save time, hospitals told – The Times

Ashcroft call puts pressure on ministers over Cenotaph service

“Ministers came under mounting pressure last night to reverse an “outrageous” ban on Zimbabwe from attending the Cenotaph to remember southern Rhodesians killed in the two world wars. More than 34,000 young men from southern Rhodesia – both black and white – served in the world wars with an estimated 1,800 losing their lives. But no official from present day Zimbabwe is allowed to attend the wreath-laying at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in a ban that dates back more than 50 years. The sanction was first put in place in response to Ian Smith’s unilateral declaration of independence from the UK in 1965. Zimbabwe was banned again in 2003 after it withdrew from the Commonwealth as Robert Mugabe’s regime grew more tyrannical. Although Zimbabwe has now applied to rejoin the Commonwealth after Mr Mugabe was forced out of office, its officials will remain barred from Sunday’s emotional service that will mark 100 years since the end of First World war… Lord Ashcroft, the former Conservative party  deputy chairman and owner of the world’s largest collection of Victoria Crosses, called for the urgent lifting of the ban in an article in the Daily Telegraph at the weekend.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Prime Minister to mark sacrifices with wreaths – The Sun


  • Chief of Defence Staff ‘uncomfortable’ about Ulster investigations – Daily Telegraph

McDonnell considering an inquiry into a four-day working week

“John McDonnell is in talks with Robert Skidelsky, the economist, about heading an independent inquiry for the Labour party into a four-day week. The shadow chancellor hinted at the review in a television interview a month ago, saying that Britain worked the longest hours in Europe but was less productive. This week Mr McDonnell told the Financial Times that he hoped to be in a position to say more on the issue in the “next couple of weeks”. Lord Skidelsky admitted he had held discussions with the shadow chancellor about the idea of an independent inquiry into “the feasibility of a shorter working week”. For now, however, he said he had “nothing definite to say”. Lord Skidelsky is a prominent economic historian who has belonged to Labour, Conservative and the Social Democratic Party – although he currently sits in the Lords as a cross-bencher. In 2015 he endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for the Labour leadership, accusing the “political elites” of complacency for trying to dismiss him.” – FT

  • Shadow Chancellor says Labour would reverse child benefit cuts – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Backstop to the future – David Shiels, CapX
  • Scruton scandal shows that British public life can’t handle difficult ideas – Mark Fox, Reaction
  • The National Student Survey is having a terrible effect on academia – David Butterfield, The Spectator
  • Why global English is a force for division – Peter Franklin, UnHerd
  • Dyson’s five-year legal battle reveals the crony capitalist corruption at the heart of the EU – Matt Ridley, Brexit Central