The Conservative Party, and its crop of new think-tanks, is full of zeal for new ideas. But they could be asking the wrong question.
Grassroots rebellion – Downing Street is starting to realise the scale of Tory opposition to the Chequers plan
Having begun with an apparent assumption that Conservative members would simply swallow what they were given, May’s team is now forced to make up lost ground.
The latter has never had the clout nor the resources required for it to do its ever-expanding task. It has had to play catch-up.
‘…the Brexit White Paper will inevitably put me in direct conflict with the views expressed by a large section of my constituents….’
Say what you like about him (and many do), the recently-resigned Foreign Secretary is one of the very few Tories with voter cut-through.
Nicky Morgan: Once again, we split over Europe. Once again, we undermine our leader. We Conservatives are set to repeat the same failed cycle. Will we never learn?
We are re-proving that ‘we learn from history that we do not learn from history’.
A customs union 1) Greg Hands – As a former Remainer, and an ex-Trade Minister, I know that joining one would deliver Britain the worst of all worlds
We British often like a good compromise. This would be the wrong one.
A customs union 2) Simon Clarke – As a convinced Brexiteer, and an optimist about Britain, I see that joining one would lock us into decline
We shouldn’t be glued as a vassal state to a declining European market.
As so often, the US President’s blast was undiplomatic and included errors – but also hit on a fundamental truth.
Calling Conservatives: New public appointments announced. Charity Commission Board Members – and more
Further details enclosed.
Is the Witney MP’s decision a one-off, or part of a co-ordinated plan – with more to come? Downing Street and the Whips will be searching for an answer.
Her strategy now relies on asking people to believe that she will not buckle any further – just at the very moment she has caused many to doubt her.
WATCH: Brexit. We need to deliver on our manifesto commitments and guarantee prosperity, says Walker
A surviving DexEU Minister from David Davis’ team says that he’s glad to hear that Rees-Mogg will be supporting the Customs Bill.
Every Opposition needs a way of maintaining flexibility as it manoeuvres to bring down the Government – and this is Team Corbyn’s.
“In my view, and that of most Brexiteers, head and heart come together. Brexit is enormously positive – and enormous opportunity for the country.”
“The very fact that people think they might do this is utterly destructive, utterly unnecessary, and they should back her to the hilt.”
“We had a choice. We could’ve said let’s stick where we are and see what happens, and risk ending up with a chaotic leaving…or we can look at an alternative proposal.”
Lewis and Barwell host conference call to gauge anger at Chequers on the doorstep and among the grassroots
They’re right to ask the question. If the answer comes back that May’s plan is harming the Tory campaign machine and electoral prospects, what will they do?
And, late in the day, the Prime Minister bows to our advice, and rushes on to Marr, today, to make the case for her new proposals.
Terry Barnes: From the Anglosphere, we watch with horror as Britain bungles its Brexit chance to go global
British politicians are negotiating as if it were 410 AD, and still the Roman province of Britannia, asking permission to leave instead of flourishing a mandate to do so.
From Wilson to Major, and from general elections to devolution referendums, the beautiful game has played an important role for decades.
The Corporation’s proposals represent a surrender to the modern trend of fracturing of political debate into regional silos and online echo-chambers.
Johnson: It’s time to believe in Global Britain
“It was my first day as foreign secretary, and I stood within that vast marble atrium adorned with the busts of explorers, and I announced a vision. It wasn’t a policy. It wasn’t much more than a slogan. It was the way we needed to think of ourselves in the wake of the referendum. It was time, I told the crowd – some of them hanging over the galleries like a scene from The Shawshank Redemption – for Global Britain. And by Global Britain, I meant a country that was more open, more outward-looking, more engaged with the world than ever before. … That is why it is time for all of us – at this critical moment in our constitutional development – to believe in ourselves, to believe in the British people and what they can do, and in our democracy. People around the world believe passionately in Britain. It’s time we shared their confidence.” – Daily Telegraph
Greening says Chequers plan is “worst of both worlds” and calls for second referendum
“Justine Greening became the most high profile Conservative to endorse the idea of a second referendum, to end what she said would be a likely parliamentary deadlock over Brexit, warning that Theresa May’s Chequers plan did not represent “a workable compromise” that a majority of MPs could get behind. The former education secretary and remain supporter said that May’s plan was “a fudge I can’t support” and, in a blow to the prime minister, said it amounted to “the worst of both worlds” – complying with EU rules without the influence of being a member of the multi-country bloc. … She added that voters should be given three options on the ballot paper, and a first and second preference vote to ensure that the preferred model achieved more then 50% of the final vote. The choice should be between “the PM’s final negotiated Brexit deal, staying in the EU, or a clean Brexit break and leaving with no deal”, Greening wrote in a break from her party’s position that is likely to be picked up by the campaign groups seeking to overturn Brexit with a second referendum.” – Guardian
- She says Brexit should be taken “out of the hands of deadlocked politicians” – Daily Telegraph
- And that the plan is a “fudge” – FT
- Courts, PPS and Witney MP, is latest to resign over May’s plan – Daily Express
- As Griffiths, government minister, resigns over sex text allegations – The Times
- Meanwhile, Jackson accuses May of “long-planned coup d’etat” – The Times
- Rees-Mogg says she’s a “Remainer who has remained a Remainer” – The Sun
- Lewis “hints” that funding could be cut for Jenkyns and other opponents of deal – Daily Telegraph
- Fox says “failure is not an option” – Daily Express
- Clegg says Article 50 should be “delayed” – FT
- And will Johnson make “devastating” speech in Commons? – Daily Mail
- It is not a “workable compromise” – Justine Greening, The Times
- MPsEtc: Robert Courts, Cameron’s successor, is the latest Conservative MP to resign over Brexit
- Video: WATCH: Rees-Mogg – Why the Prime Minister is “a Remainer who’s remained a Remainer”
- Video: WATCH: “She’ll win any vote of confidence hands down”, Duncan predicts
- Video: WATCH: “No department was cut out” of preparing the Chequers proposal, May tells Marr
More than 100 Tory MPs join “anti-plan” WhatsApp group, in time for important trade bill votes due to take place today
“Eurosceptics have set up a “party within a party” with a highly organised whipping operation among Tory Eurosceptic MPs to try to frustrate Theresa May’s Brexit plans. The news threatens to blow wide open the frustrations within the Conservative Party about Theresa May’s Chequers plan for trading with the European Union after Brexit. More than 100 Eurosceptic Tory MPs are now on a WhatsApp group co-ordinated by former Brexit minister Steve Baker who is giving them voting instructions. The combination of grassroots anger and an organised Eurosceptic backbench party run by Mr Baker – who ran the Conservatives for Britain group which helped to force David Cameron to commit to an EU referendum when he was Tory leader – will be Mrs May’s worst nightmare. One senior Eurosceptic source said the group would now start to give instructions to Tory MPs about how to vote, circumventing party whips. One Eurosceptic source said: “If she wants to start a civil war in the Conservative party, this is what is going to happen.”” – Daily Telegraph
- Apparently the group is being “coordinated” by Baker – The Times
- It’s a “special ERG whipping operation” – Guardian
- Members will “back a series of amendments to two bills” – Daily Mail
Lawson: The plan is uniting both sides….against it
You wouldn’t expect Peter Mandelson, the former EU trade commissioner and long-time advocate of British membership of the euro, to sound like Jacob Rees-Mogg, the spiritual leader of Brexiteers bitterly opposed to the Prime Minister’s ‘compromise’ offer to Brussels. … But, in one respect, the PM is doing her best to ‘take back control’ — by controlling the language of this debate. That is why she, time and time again, describes as ‘a common rule book’ her offer to the EU of a post-Brexit settlement in which all of the standards for goods and agriculture in this country will be set . . . by Brussels. It is true we would have those rules and regulations in common. But, as the ConservativeHome website observes: ‘It is only ‘common’ in the sense that if my neighbour’s TV remote controlled not just his television, but also mine, we would share a ‘common decision’ on what to watch.’ Yet most Conservative MPs, including many who were, unlike Mrs May, Leave campaigners, back this concession to the European Union’s demands — on the grounds that they didn’t fight for Brexit to have different standards for the manufacture of washing machines.” – Daily Mail
- There’s a “genuine possibility’ that all this could lead to Corbyn as leader – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
- No May is better than a bad May… – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
- We need a Southgate-style leader – Clare Foges, The Times
- May is right to be apprehensive – Matthew d’Ancona – Guardian
- Nicky Morgan’s column: Once again, we split over Europe. Once again, we undermine our leader. We Conservatives are set to repeat the same failed cycle. Will we never learn?
- Greg Hands in Comment: A customs union 1) As a former Remainer, and an ex-Trade Minister, I know that joining one would deliver Britain the worst of all worlds
- Simon Clarke in Comment: A customs union 2) As a convinced Brexiteer, and an optimist about Britain, I see that joining one would lock us into decline
May goes on Marr to defend her “compromise” approach, and reveals that Trump advised her to “sue” the EU…
“Theresa May has admitted that she was forced to retreat from her original Brexit vision by the EU and that proposals to keep Britain in parts of the single market amount to a “compromise”. The prime minister urged those who “voted to leave from the heart” to accept her “hard-headed and practical” assessment that a softer Brexit was needed to protect vital economic interests and the Union. She will seek to drive home the message today at Farnborough Air Show. Airbus warned last month that it could start pulling out of Britain but Mrs May will claim proposals for a “common rule book” with the EU secure industries, such as aerospace, with complex supply chains.” – The Times
- She “fails to spell out” that she’d fight on in face of leadership contest – The Sun
- Bannon says Johnson should challenge her for leadership – Guardian
- Trump speaks to Morgan about “tremendously big” trade deal for UK – The Sun
- And calls EU his biggest “foe” – Daily Mail
- Thoughts on Trump’s alternative approach – Jonathan Ames, The Times
- Is he on to something? – Christopher Hope, Daily Telegraph
>Yesterday: ToryDiary: May’s big new problem is the loss of trust which she has inflicted upon herself
…As Lewis and Barwell hold conference call with “senior members of voluntary party” to assess grassroots’ opinion
“Brandon Lewis, the party Chairman, and Gavin Barwell, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, hosted a conference call with senior members of the voluntary party to gauge the mood among the grassroots about the Brexit proposals. Senior Conservatives will be worried that MPs will return from their constituencies on Monday having been confronted by angry activists and determined to get the Prime Minister to water down her Chequers deal. An Opinium poll for the Observer showed that support for the UK Independence Party is surging with the party experiencing a 5 percentage point jump in support from 3 per cent to 8 per cent in just a month.” – Daily Telegraph
- “Panicked party chiefs” were on phone – The Sun
- Hammond should focus investment on innovative science and tech – Alan Mak, The Times
- Rudd was “let down” by civil servants – Daily Telegraph
- Onward polling warns party about lack of support among non-white voters – The Times
>Today: Public Announcements: Calling Conservatives: New public appointments announced. Charity Commission Board Members – and more
Khan blames cuts for knife crime increase, but says his own response “not good enough”
“Sadiq Khan has admitted his response to the wave of stabbings in London was “not good enough” as he re-opened his war of words with Donald Trump. The capital’s Mayor once again blamed budget cuts for the 23 per cent increase in knife crime this year – saying he was “not excusing criminality” but said the Government needs to “to step up and help us”. … But he was also taken to task over the sharp rise in violence in the city he presides over, with host Mr Marr telling him: “When you were elected as Mayor you said you were going to bring down violent crime. “Since then violent crime and stabbings have soared.” After trying to dodge the question and claim things were not that bad, he finally admitted: “It is not good enough, we have got to make sure we take action.” However he once again tried to deflect blame away from City Hall to Whitehall, saying: “But I will tell you this, what doesn’t help is over the last eight years we have lost over £700 million.” – The Sun
>Today: Harry Phibbs in Local Government: Trump is right. The Mayor of London is failing to fight crime.
“New powers” would mean HMRC could hold secret tax investigations
“The taxman is to be given ‘shocking’ new powers to trawl bank accounts without the holders being told. A policy document, published quietly online this week, reveals HMRC wants to be able to keep secret investigations into whether someone is paying the right amount of tax. Under existing rules, banks and other financial institutions are permitted to notify their customers if tax officials demand access to their bank statements and other financial information. But as part of a bonfire of safeguards, in future the taxman will be able to draw a veil of secrecy over its investigations. Last night critics condemned the move – which is part of an aggressive tax crackdown – saying it is a breach of privacy.” – Daily Mail
News in Brief
Johnson: It’s time to believe in Global Britain “It was my first day as foreign secretary, and I stood within… Read more »
Chequers backlash 1) Labour takes poll lead as Conservative ratings take a nosedive ‘Labour has opened up its biggest poll… Read more »
Davis ‘prepared to join Eurosceptic rebels’ “David Davis, the former Brexit Secretary, is prepared to join Eurosceptic MPs and vote… Read more »
Trump accuses May of ‘wrecking Brexit’ in Sun interview… “Donald Trump today accuses the PM of wrecking Brexit — and warns… Read more »
Pro-Leave MPs seek publication of DExEU version of Brexit White Paper. (They needn’t bother: ConHome publishes extracts today.) “Hardline Tory… Read more »