EU 1) Kerr warns that odds of an orderly Brexit are diminishing

EU Brexit“Britain has a less than 50/50 chance of completing an orderly exit from the EU within two years, a controversial ex-negotiator claimed last night. The cross-bench peer Lord Kerr said Parliament, including himself, would ‘not have the guts’ to vote down any government bill triggering Article 50 – the start point for the two-year Brexit EU negotiations. But, in a speech at the London School of Economics, he said there was a growing chance that the UK and EU heads of state would not reach an agreement. Lord Kerr, who has been credited with writing Article 50, said: ‘the fog in the Channel is getting thicker all the time’. He claimed that, even if an agreement was reached by spring 2019, there was a chance ‘a demob happy European parliament’ in its final months before elections in 2019 would refuse to ratify the deal.” – Daily Mail

  • May faces fresh legal challenge over exiting the single market – Daily Telegraph
  • UK identifies its negotiating strengths – FT


  • Clegg recorded conceding that Brexit can’t be blocked – The Sun
  • Thornberry refuses to rule out second referendum – The Sun

Bank of England:

  • Bank Governor wants two-year Brexit deal – The Times (£)
  • Carney under fire for ‘meddling’ call to stay in single market until 2021 – Daily Mail

British Isles:

  • Irish leaders north and south seek common cause over border – FT
  • SNP denies presiding over ‘shambles’ after bid for special treatment rejected – Daily Telegraph
  • Nationalists demand apology from Labour over expenses claims – The Scotsman
  • Mundell claims Scotland stands to gain ‘significant powers’ from Brexit – The Guardian
  • Westminster won’t block referendum request, says Scottish Secretary – The Scotsman

More EU:

  • Italian opposition set to push out government and currency – Daily Express
  • Fears of multiple bank failures if Renzi loses Italian referendum – FT
  • Secret plan to ‘wall off’ Europe if Turkey opens migrant floodgates – Daily Express


  • Forecasters have been much too pessimistic about Brexit – Ruth Lea, FT
  • Clegg has changed his tune on the Norwegian model – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • Italy needs reform and Euro exit is inevitable – Roger Bootle, Daily Telegraph


  • Transitional deal attracting support because the alternative is so murky – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Gove on the relationship he thinks Britain should have with the EU

EU 2) May woos Poland with commitment of troops

“Theresa May will today pledge to send 150 troops to Poland to help secure the country as a key ally in Brexit talks. The Prime Minister will roll out the diplomatic red carpet for her counterpart Beata Szydlo – pledging to help protect Poland against Russian aggression. Mrs May is also expected to reaffirm her commitment to getting an early deal on allowing Polish citizens living in the UK to stay, once Britain leaves the Brussels club. The summit between the two countries, which will include the Chancellor and Foreign Secretary, is unprecedented, and could put noses out of joint elsewhere in the EU.” – Daily Mail

  • Polish Prime Minister says EU must reach ‘good compromise’ with Britain – Daily Mail
  • Brexit will ‘strengthen’ bilateral ties, claims May – The Independent

More military:

  • UK to be left with fewer tanks than Serbia – Daily Mail

More May:

  • Prime Minister says her faith is helping her choose the best path for Britain – The Sun
  • May accused of ‘deafening silence’ on women’s’ issues – The Guardian
  • First ‘at home’ interview – The Sun

Beata Szydło: Poland stands ready to help its old friend Britain get the best deal possible

International shield“Trade between our nations is growing. We share a similar approach to modern security challenges, and we both fulfil the Nato commitment to increase defence expenditure to 2 per cent of GDP. For years we have acted together to work towards a European Union that is open, less bureaucratic, and economically more competitive. That is why Poland was saddened, probably more than any other country, with the result of the British referendum. For us, Brexit means that supporters of reforming the EU into a more economically pragmatic organisation will soon lose an important strategic partner. But we understand and respect this decision.” – Daily Telegraph

  • May is absolutely right not to tell us what Brexit means – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • The horrific murder of Jo Cox and a disgraceful slur against Brexiteers – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

Ministers 1) MPs tell Hammond to find more money for social care

“Billions of pounds is desperately needed to prevent a crisis in social care that threatens to leave vulnerable elderly people without the most basic help, the government has been told. The former health secretary Stephen Dorrell joined a host of fellow Conservatives yesterday calling on Philip Hammond to provide more money for the NHS to cope with shortages in social care provision for the elderly. Sarah Wollaston, chairwoman of the health select committee, said underfunding was having a “devastating impact on individuals and the NHS”.” – The Times (£)

  • Government urged to come clean over retirement age rise – Daily Express
  • Webb says pension age may rise again – The Guardian
  • Hammond warns households that inflation is back – Daily Express


  • The Chancellor’s break with Treasury orthodoxy is long overdue – David Willetts, FT
  • Hammond must look beyond road-building to boost productivity – Katie Allen, The Guardian

>Today: Rachel Wolf in Comment: We are failing on innovation. But here’s how we can use the power of government to succeed.

Ministers 2) Rail companies to be forced to show cheapest fares

high-speed rail“Train operators face having to redesign thousands of ticket machines as ministers move to stop commuters being ripped off by hugely complex pricing systems. Rail companies are likely to be ordered to highlight the lowest price for any journey. The move, which will be outlined next month by the Department for Transport, will cover tickets sold by office staff as well as those from self-service machines. It is understood that thousands of machines may have to be redesigned to alert passengers to the cheapest fares… The government will also demand greater consistency between train companies over ticket sales, including issues such as advance fares and the restrictions on off-peak travel.” – The Times (£)

  • The Government is right to end Britain’s labyrinthine ticketing system – The Times (£)

Ministers 3) Government condemns limited access to grammar schools

“Ministers last night condemned the fact many parents do not have the option of sending their children to a grammar school. A dozen locations across the country have no selective school within 30 miles, including five who have none within 50 miles. School Standards Minister Nick Gibb yesterday pledged to press on with controversial government reforms which will allow the establishment of new grammars. Data revealed in a parliamentary written answer from Mr Gibb shows that the nearest grammar school from Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich, South Shields and Sunderland is more than 50 miles away.” – Daily Mail

  • Culture Secretary attacks Fifa over poppy stance – The Sun

Ministers 4) Berry urges people to stop undermining the Foreign Secretary

boris-johnson“A close ally of Boris Johnson has pleaded with senior Tories to stop undermining the Foreign Secretary with public jibes. Tory MP Jake Berry told critics of the former London mayor to stop “sniping from the comfort of Whitehall” and back the Cabinet minister. He spoke out about the attacks on Mr Johnson, amid concerns among they are damaging the reputation of the Foreign Secretary around the world. In recent weeks both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have publicly poked fun at the man affectionately known as ‘BoJo’.” – The Sun

Corbyn walks into row over praise for tyrant

“Labour has been plunged into a row over Jeremy Corbyn’s praise for Fidel Castro. The Labour leader called Castro a “huge figure of modern history, national independence and 20th century socialism” and praised his revolutionary “heroism”. Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London who was suspended from Labour in April for his comments on Hitler and Zionism, called him a “giant of the 20th century” and a “beacon of light”. Mr Corbyn’s critics within the party were quick to make their disgust known. John Mann, the MP for Bassetlaw, called Castro a “brutal dictator whose trademarks were homophobia and the oppression of free speech and democracy”.” – The Times (£)

Andrew Roberts: Western leaders’ failure to condemn Castro shames us

Jeremy Corbyn (Tory Poster)“It is an unmistakeable sign of decadent, disastrous cultural self-hatred when prominent leaders of democratic countries cannot state openly that evil dictators such as the late President Fidel Castro of Cuba were what they undoubtedly were: serial human rights abusers, torturers and tyrants. It is even worse when they hide behind statistics for literacy or healthcare that they must know have been hugely exaggerated – and in some cases entirely invented – by governments still wholly in the hands of a Marxist-Leninist nomenklatura. Unlike so much in modern politics, our collective response to the death of Fidel Castro is indeed a moral issue.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Forget his policies, what matters is that he was a dictator – Zoe Williams, The Guardian
  • Dictator’s death highlights double standards at the BBC – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph


  • Spare us from ‘useful idiots’ lauding Castro – Daily Mail


Jarvis warns fellow MPs to oppose migration or lose their seats to UKIP

“Every Labour MP should fear being voted out unless the party agrees to curb immigration and stops agitating for another EU referendum, Dan Jarvis, a former shadow minister, said. Mr Jarvis, who has been tipped as a future leader, told The Times that a “toxic” mix of voters being branded racist for being concerned about migrants and Labour failing to accept Brexit would act as “rocket fuel” for Ukip. Paul Nuttall, who is expected to be named as the Ukip leader today, has vowed to “replace the Labour Party in the next five years and become the patriotic party of the working people”. Mr Jarvis said: “There are very few Labour MPs, if any, who would say that they are in what’s traditionally been referred to as safe seats. I’m not sure such a thing exists any more.” – The Times (£)

  • Is Jarvis the man to shoot the UKIP fox? – Interview, Times Red Box


  • It’s time to be straight with the public about immigration – Anna Soubry, The Times (£)
  • Fillon must now addres immigration and the EU, or lose to Le Pen – Harry de Quetteville, Daily Telegraph
  • Labour merry-go-round is bad for morale – Danielle Grufferty, Time Red Box

Farage to ask Trump to ‘forgive’ UK for previous stance toward him

ukip-cover“Nigel Farage will return to the United States this week to ‘help’ diplomatic relations between President-elect Donald Trump and Britain. The UKIP Leader and MEP will have more time to spend across the Atlantic once his successor as party leader is announced today. His freelancing as a go-between with the incoming administration in Washington has created a headache for Downing Street, which has dismissed calls for Mr Farage to become the British ambassador to the US.” – Daily Mail


  • This isn’t the end of UKIP, I suspect it’s a rebirth of the right – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
  • We’re no longer special in America’s eyes – Alan Cowell, The Times (£)
  • What has become of conservatism? – Nick Cohen, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Is President Trump a good or bad thing? Take our monthly survey here.

News in Brief

  • Further reforms needed to strengthen English MPs, study claims – Daily Telegraph
  • ISIS plot to hit Britain uncovered – Daily Mail
  • Thatcherite Fillon offers ‘sharp shock’ for France – The Times (£)
  • National Grid to be spared break up – FT
  • Prince Harry stranded in the Caribbean as tour vessel breaks down – The Sun
  • ISIS take on Israel for the first time, and get totally crushed – Daily Express
  • Tougher response could have snuffed out rebellion, claims Syrian general – The Independent
  • Cadbury pulls out of Fairtrade – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory MP quizzed by Commons watchdog over expenses – Daily Mail
  • Stormont opposition must abandon coalition system, says TUV leader – Belfast Telegraph