Brexit 1) May optimistic about getting the right deal

MAY Theresa Women to Win“Theresa May has predicted “difficult moments” ahead in Brexit negotiations but said she is optimistic she can get a deal “that is right for the UK”. Speaking at a summit in Brussels, she said she felt it could be achieved, despite the continuing deadlock over a landmark EU-Canada trade deal. Mrs May said she had played an active role in discussions and was not “backwards in coming forwards”.” – BBC

  • “Massive increase” in tourist shopping to London – The Times(£)
  • Nissan to build new SUVs in Sunderland – The Sun
  • House of Lords warned future at risk if it tries to block Brexit – Independent
  • Threat to move border from Calais to Kent rejected – The Guardian
  • “Pfff” says Juncker – Independent


Brexit 2) PM rejects demand that talks be held in French

“Theresa May has slapped down demands by the EU that the Brexit negotiations are conducted in French, as she rebuked European leaders for their lack of maturity. The Prime Minister used her first European Council meeting to dismiss calls by  Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, for the “working language” of the exit talks to be in French. She also suggested that “immature” EU leaders are looking for “problems” rather than “opportunities” during the Brexit talks.” – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 3) Osborne admits mistakes in the referendum campaign

OSBORNE post-Brexit“George Osborne has said he made “mistakes” in the EU referendum campaign and failed to understand the anger felt by many Leave voters. The former chancellor said many voters felt “completely disconnected” and didn’t feel part of a “national economy that works for them”. “I think many used the EU referendum to express that anger,” he said. Mr Osborne, who was sacked as chancellor in July, had campaigned for the UK to remain in the European Union.” – BBC

Brexit 4) Warning of civil unrest in Northern Ireland

“A former senior police officer has warned that Brexit could lead to “civil unrest” in Northern Ireland. Peter Sheridan, now chief executive at Cooperation Ireland said the peace process is in a “fragile state”. He said the numerous agreements that make up Northern Ireland’s peace process show the brittle nature of its politics.” – BBC

Brexit 5) I’m happy to lead the 48 per cent says Soubry

SOUBRY profile“If Theresa May models herself on Elizabeth I and Nicola Sturgeon is the new Mary Queen of Scots, then Anna Soubry is more like Boadicea. The Conservative MP for Broxtowe, in Nottinghamshire, is becoming the leader of the backbench rebels determined that the new establishment will not trample all over those who fought to remain in the European Union. “I’m more than happy to be the voice of the 48 per cent,” the former minister says.” – Interview The Times(£)

Brexit 6) EU “incapable” of agreeing Canada trade deal

“A trade deal between the EU and Canada is on the brink of collapse because a Belgian region with a population of just 3.6 million opposes it. An emotional Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland left the talks in Brussels, saying the EU was “not capable” of signing a trade agreement. Belgium, the only country blocking accord, needed consent from the regional parliament of Wallonia.” – BBC

Brexit 7) Davis promises Scots a key role in negotiations

David Davis“David Davis used cooling words in Glasgow, insisting that Scotland would play a key role in the Brexit negotiations with a view to helping it, as well as other parts of the UK that voted Remain, to prosper once Britain pulls out. The minister was in the role of a Sherpa, trying out the ground with Mike Russell, Scotland’s Brexit minister, and preparing the way for a meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, as well as other leaders of devolved governments, to be held in London on Monday.” – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 8): Health Minister Lord Prior says leaving EU “terrible mistake”

“Leaving the EU is a terrible mistake and Britain must stay in the single market and maintain skilled immigration, a health minister has said. Lord Prior of Brampton, who has responsibility for NHS relations with the EU, said that the government must “do everything we can” to keep market access and attract qualified people from overseas.” – The Times(£)

IDS to campaign against cuts to in work benefits

IDS“Conservative backbenchers, including the former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, are preparing to campaign against £3bn of planned cuts to in-work benefits, in a fresh sign of the pressure Theresa May faces from within her own party. Veterans of the backlash against the deep cuts to tax credits George Osborne was forced to withdraw last year are gearing up to put pressure on his successor, Philip Hammond, in the run-up to November’s autumn statement.” – The Guardian

Government borrowing rose in September

“Government borrowing rose by more than expected to £10.6bn in September, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figure was £1.3bn higher than the same month last year. For the financial year to date between April and September, borrowing fell by £2.3bn to £45.5bn.” – BBC

Teachers waste too much time on marking says Gibb

GIBB Nick Newsnight“Teachers are spending too much time over-marking pupils’ homework, Schools Standards Minister Nick Gibb has said. He told MPs that marking in different-coloured pens, and giving feedback in exercise books, had never been a government or an Ofsted requirement. He told the Education Committee that the practice was adding to teachers’ workload – one of the top reasons given by them for leaving the profession. Instead, work should be marked with a simple grade, he suggested.” – BBC

5,000 refugee “children” found to be adults

“Almost 5,000 refugee ‘children’ who have come to Britain in the past decade have been found to be adults. Home Office figures reveal there have been 11,121 disputes over the ages of child asylum seekers in that period, with 4,828 – almost 45 per cent – found to be over 18. Their treatment as ‘children’ would have left councils and local taxpayers facing a care bill of tens of millions of pounds a year. The statistics come amid rising concern that Britain’s generosity towards genuine child victims of war and terror has been abused, following questions over the apparent age of some of the child migrants arriving from Calais this week.” – Daily Mail

  • Foster carer shock at being sent fully grown refugee “children” – Daily Express

Turin Bill talked out by Gyimah as Government plans its own gay posthumous pardon law

gyimah Sam NEW“A bill that would have wiped clean the criminal records of thousands of gay men has fallen at its first parliamentary hurdle. The private member’s bill would have pardoned all men living with UK convictions for same-sex offences committed before the law was changed. There were emotional scenes with one MP fighting back tears during his speech. The government, which has its own plans for posthumous pardons, “talked out” the bill, which will not now go ahead. Minister Sam Gyimah spoke for 25 minutes, reaching the time limit allotted for the debate.” – BBC

Parish discovers four in ten councils breaking air pollution rules

“More than 150 local authorities are breaching legal limits on air pollution, according to official figures which undermine the government’s claim to be tackling the problem. Ministers are planning clean-air zones in five cities by 2020 but the figures show 169 councils, 40 per cent of the total, had nitrogen dioxide levels in excess of EU limits last year….Neil Parish, the Conservative MP who obtained the data, said: “These figures show just how widespread the problem is.” – The Times(£)

Brighton and Hove Labour Party split up after bullying allegations

FIST Red“The largest local Labour party in Britain has been ordered to split into three and its chairman has been expelled following claims of bullying and intimidation. Brighton and Hove district party was suspended by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) in July after allegations of abusive behaviour at its annual general meeting.” – The Times(£)

Trump attacks Michelle Obama

“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has launched a rare attack on Michelle Obama, saying “all she wants to do is campaign” for his rival. Speaking at a North Carolina rally, Mr Trump called the country’s leadership “babies” and “losers”. He also accused the first lady of attacking Hillary Clinton in 2007 by invoking a line she said about being fit to run the White House.” – BBC

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: My focus groups in Arizona. “The British completely fail to get how different America is”

Oborne: In a hundred days May has transformed the way we are run

oborne“There is no equivalent in her inner circle to Tony Blair’s cynical and mendacious propaganda chief Alastair Campbell, or David Cameron’s self-serving strategy director ‘Sir’ Craig Oliver. ‘We no longer design policy with an eye on the Six O’Clock News,’ says one senior Downing Street official. Traditional Cabinet government has been restored after a long period of abeyance under Tony Blair and David Cameron, both of whom preferred to make decisions in secret with the help of a small, self-appointed inner group of cronies.” – Daily Mail

Parris: New threat to press freedom

“If (as rumoured) Theresa May’s government now plans to activate the as-yet uninvoked Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, then newspapers in England and Wales may have to choose between state regulation and death. Too theatrical? Well, imagine your angry next-door neighbour thinks a tree in your garden spoils his view. He wants to sue, but isn’t confident he could win. Now he learns that there’s been a change in the law. He can sue you, and even if he loses, you will have to pay his legal costs — unless the judge decides this would not be “just and equitable in all the circumstances”. Alice in Wonderland? Evidently. But that is what Section 40 would do to newspapers.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Culture Secretary should not give opponents of the free press a stick with which to beat the media

Moore: Russian threat more dangerous than during the cold war

moorenew“What the invasion of Hungary did not do, however, was create inter- and transcontinental instability. Hungary was in the Soviet sphere, and so the Nato allies were not obliged by treaty to intervene. But in 2016, if Putin decides to invade the Baltic states or Poland, or indeed, Hungary, we are.  In this sense, the situation now is more dangerous than it was then. The Russians can see that we don’t know what we would do if they attacked (let alone merely subverted) a Nato ally. Putin may conclude that our indecision is so great that he could get away with it. That, after all, is what he has clearly decided about Syria.” – Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • Prescott’s son is Corbyn’s new speech writer – Independent
  • Russian warships in the English Channel – BBC
  • Police foil London Underground bomb plot – Daily Mail
  • Parliaments debauched drinking culture – The Sun
  • Hundreds of police sex pests uncovered – The Times(£)
  • UK tobacco firm bids £38 billion for US rival – Daily Mail
  • Soft drinks industry lobbies against sugar tax – The Guardian
  • UKIP look for new London HQ – The Times(£)
  • Corbyn builds bonfire on his allotment – The Sun