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Hammond threatens that Britain will “go it alone” on sat nav scheme

“Philip Hammond has warned the EU the UK will “go it alone” and build a new satellite navigation system if shut out of the Galileo project after Brexit. The chancellor said the UK wanted to remain a “core member” of the EU-wide scheme, which it has helped pay for. But if this was not possible, he said the UK would develop a rival scheme as access to the data satellites provided was vital for national security. The issue has become an emerging dividing line in the Brexit talks. The UK has demanded £1bn back from the EU if the bloc carries through on its plan to exclude Britain from Galileo, which was developed by the European Commission and the European Space Agency.” – BBC

  • Britain’s MEPs could be forced to stay in Strasbourg after Brexit – The Sun
  • Weak economic growth – The Times
  • Toughen up now, Mrs May — you have two weeks to save Brexit and your Government – The Sun Says
  • UK should not be afraid to walk away from the EU – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Majority of EU27 favour ‘simple’ approach on Britons’ residency – The Guardian
  • The EU should stop “posturing” says Davis – Daily Express

Oborne: The biggest threat to the EU is from Italy

“While Brussels negotiators continue to stymie Brexit, European politicians are facing a much bigger threat to the European Union. I refer to events of the past few days in Italy, which will be Europe’s third largest economy after Britain leaves the European Union. This week, a new government was formed — Italy’s 66th since the end of World War II. The new prime minister, Guiseppe Conte, heads a rag-bag coalition of the anti-Establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League. They agree on very little but there is one policy on which they are in harmony: a hatred of Brussels. It is no exaggeration to say that Mr Conte, a former law professor at Florence University, has the power to bring about the collapse of the EU.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

  • New Italian Finance Minister wants to quit the Euro – The Sun
  • Irish Euro MP says EU tax harmonisation plans “not working” – Daily Express

Plot for Gove to be PM – followed by Davidson

“Tory grandees are hatching a ‘dream plan’ for Michael Gove to serve as caretaker Prime Minister and step down for Ruth Davidson in 2021. The plot comes as a consensus emerges among frustrated Tory MPs that Theresa May will be forced out in a year’s time as soon as Brexit is delivered next March. As many as 30 ambitious Tory MPs have already begun canvassing for support to replace her as party boss. But several senior figures have now settled on a master plan, dubbed the ‘Gove-Davidson succession’. Under the plot, Environment Secretary and leading Brexiteer Mr Gove would take the keys to No 10 for two years to finish the Brexit negotiations and transition period. Ms Davidson, 39, has vowed to fight the Holyrood Parliament elections in 2021 in a bid to oust SNP boss Nicola Sturgeon.” – The Sun

Jury takes less than an hour to clear Holden to sexual assault charges

“A former special adviser to Sir Michael Fallon who was acquitted of sexual assault has said he was cruelly and publicly shamed during a trial that he claims should never have come to court.  Richard Holden said it was a “travesty” that the case against him had been pursued and it added to concerns about the actions of the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). He had been accused of groping a woman under her skirt at a party in London in 2016. The jury of eight men and four women returned unanimous verdicts after deliberating for less than an hour…Mr Holden said: “This case was not about consent. What was alleged did not happen. This allegation was supposed to have taken place in a room of 15 to 20 people, none of whom corroborated the claim. Today’s unanimous verdict, delivered by the jury in such a short space of time, attests to my innocence, which I have maintained throughout. That this case has been pursued at all is a travesty. It has been a cruel public shaming and an utter waste of time and resources.” – Daily Telegraph

There are too many people in prison declares Gauke

“David Gauke is not afraid to challenge the traditionalists. In his measured, slightly metronomic tone, he delivers the radical message that there are now too many people in jail. “Twenty five years ago the [prison] population was 44,000. Today it’s 84,000. I would like it to fall.” He adds: “I don’t think we should have an arbitrary number and say we’re going to get it to 60,000 or 70,000 because I think it depends on how successfully we can build confidence in non-custodial sentences and how effective we can be in reducing reoffending.” But he does want a concerted effort to drastically reduce the number of people who are being locked up every year, pointing out that crime has fallen while the prison population has almost doubled. “What has driven [the rise] is longer and tougher sentences for serious crimes. There is an issue about public protection but I think we need to look at the efficacy of short sentences.” – Interview with David Gauke, The Times

  • Short custodial sentences clog up prisons – Leader, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Gauke makes a start on prison rehabilitation – the neglected conservative mission Continue to all today’s Newslinks