Japanese banks demand May reveals Brexit plans

EU Brexit“Japanese banks have threatened to move some operations out of London within six months unless Theresa May reveals more details of her Brexit plan. Executives from banks including Nomura and Daiwa Capital Markets – which employ thousands of people in the UK – gave the ultimatum on December 1. They spoke at a meeting with City minister Simon Kirby and international trade minister Mark Garnier, according to The Financial Times.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Prime Minister’s fight for expat rights met with silence – Sunday Telegraph
  • ‘Ghosts of Tory past’ hammer May on Brexit – Sunday Times (£)
  • Brexit gives UK opportunity to reclaim fishing waters, say peers – Sunday Express
  • SNP Brexit minister stays Scotland will stay in the single market regardless – Independent on Sunday
  • Deputy leader of Labour MEPs tries to water down EU terms – Sunday Telegraph
  • Pro-EU MPs bombarded with Brexit-themed Christmas cards – Sun on Sunday
  • TUC and businesses urge Prime Minister to act on migrant rights – The Observer


  • Sorry Project Fear, Britons want Brexit no matter what – Asa Bennett, Sunday Telegraph
  • Leavers are angry, for their lies will return to haunt them – Nick Cohen, The Observer

>Yesterday: Matthew Ellery in Comment: EU Associate Citizenship for Britons – a trap to lure the unwary

Tories ‘close to a deal’ with data-mining ‘mind readers’ who helped elect Trump

“Theresa May wants to deploy an army of computerised ‘mind-readers’ to help her win the next Election, sources claim. Tory chiefs have been in talks with Cambridge Analytica, the polling data experts credited with playing a key role in Donald Trump’s presidential victory. The British company, run by Old Etonian Alexander Nix, 40, uses computers to ‘mine’ huge amounts of data on voters – including Facebook likes, favourite foods, TV shows and even football clubs.” – Mail on Sunday

Prime Minister faces backlash over failure to curb unions

On strike“Theresa May is refusing to curb the power of striking trade unions despite a growing backlash from her own MPs as Britain braces itself for more transport chaos over Christmas. The Prime Minister is understood to be reluctant to table “emergency legislation” strengthening the rules regarding when unions can take industrial action, despite months of unrest. Dozens of Tory MPs favour tougher rules which would bar unions that represent “critical” industries from calling strikes unless they are “proportionate”. Many also want a “minimal requirement” that would force unions to run at least half of all usual services even when they are striking.” – Sunday Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Government must crack on with the unfinished business of trade union reform

Ministers 1) Patel suspends new aid contracts

“The Government has dramatically halted new contracts with British foreign aid contractors after The Mail on Sunday exposed dirty tricks in the industry. Taxpayer-funded deals worth millions of pounds have been frozen after Ministers ordered a wide-ranging probe into the ‘poverty barons’ profiting from the aid business. A damning letter to contractors from International Development Secretary Priti Patel warns firms that a top-level investigation has been launched into: How taxpayers’ money is spent overseas; Payments and expenses taken by fat cats; Huge profits earned from Government contracts.” – Mail on Sunday


Ministers 2) Leadsom seeks to extend badger cull

Badger“Farmers could be allowed to create “badger-free zones” around their farms, allowing them to kill tens of thousands of animals in a massive extension of the government’s culling programme. Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary, has suggested that 30 more culling zones could be created. About 10,000 badgers were killed this autumn in the 10 cull areas and more than 14,800 have been killed since culling began in 2013. Leadsom and Nigel Gibbens, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, say expanding the cull is vital to control bovine TB, which costs taxpayers an estimated £100m a year and saw 28,000 cattle slaughtered in 2015.” – Sunday Times (£)

Ministers 3) Fox lays groundwork for South Korea trade deal

“Britain has struck new trade links with South Korea which will lead to a post-Brexit jobs and exports bonanza. A string of deals are expected to flow from the first major deal secured by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. He expects it to open up lucrative new markets for UK goods once we leave the EU. A new UK-Korea trade working group will meet every three months to explore future business opportunities with booming country. Britain exported £4.7billion worth of goods to South Korea last year – with Burberry, Bentley, and Jaguar Land Rover among the biggest sellers.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Trump makes British trade deal ‘top priority’ – Sunday Express
  • We want Falklands before we talk trade, say Argentina – Sunday Express
  • Trade minister launches initiative to teach children chess – Mail on Sunday

Ministers 4) Javid proposes loyalty oath for public officials

Britain shield“All holders of public office will have to swear an oath of allegiance to British values in an attempt to combat extremism. Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, said it was not possible for people to play a “positive role” in public life unless they accepted such basic values as democracy, equality and freedom of speech. He intervened after a damning report by Dame Louise Casey, the government’s community cohesion tsar, which warned that some Muslim communities were living in extreme isolation from the rest of society and some did not share British values such as tolerance.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • Build on Green Belt, says Communities Secretary, but not in my back yard – Sunday Times (£)

Sajid Javid: Our excluded need to feel more British, and we can help them

“For years liberals have mocked British migrants who move to France or Spain without bothering to learning the language and confine themselves to little expat ghettos. Yet many of the same people have reacted with horror to the suggestion that more needs to be done to help immigrants integrate into British life. For too long, too many politicians in this country have refused to deal with the problem. They’ve ducked the issue for fear of being called racist, failing those they were supposed to be helping. I will not allow that to continue.” – Sunday Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: What would be the words of a Britishness oath?

Ministers 5) Fallon announces extension of British support for Ukrainian military

Armed Forces“Britain is extending its training programme for Ukrainian government troops in the face of a “more belligerent Russia”, the Government has announced. Sir Michael Fallon said the initiative would continue for at least another year as the conflict in eastern Ukraine shows no sign of ending. “Britain is stepping up in Europe and around the world,” the Defence Secretary said. “Extending British training of Ukrainian Armed Forces sends a clear message that we support Ukraine and remain firmly committed to its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, in the face of a more belligerent Russia.”” – Independent on Sunday

  • Miliband vs Miliband: Ed attacked for undermining Cameron’s Syrian strategy – Sun on Sunday
  • Senior UK MPs to be briefed on threat posed by Putin’s Russia – The Observer
  • Thousands protest Government inaction on Syria – Sun on Sunday


  • Obama’s legacy will be defined by his failure to face down Assad – Muhammad Indres Ahmad, The Observer

>Yesterday: Abigail Watson in Comment: Between a rock and a hard place – our real Yemen dilemma

Corbyn ‘storms out’ on Labour MPs as they sing Blairite anthem

“Jeremy Corbyn walked out of a Christmas karaoke party for Labour MPs where they sang Tony Blair’s 1997 Election-winning anthem Things Can Only Get Better accompanied by chants of: ‘We Want Tony!’ The humiliated Opposition leader left as MPs insulted him at the noisy booze-up. They also sang The Beatles’ Back In The USSR – an attack on him for failing to take a tougher line over Russia’s bombing of Aleppo in Syria – and Madonna’s Like A Virgin, a dig at his ridiculed claim to have been forced to sit on the floor of a crowded Virgin train. Dozens of Labour MPs joined arms to sing D-Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better and used their own secret ‘anti-Corbyn’ WhatsApp messaging system to mock him and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, defiantly posting a video of themselves in full voice.” – Mail on Sunday

Dan Hodges: The idea of Corbyn riding the populist wave is ridiculous

LABOUR dead rose“On the surface, the idea of Corbyn making a dramatic new pitch to become the Nigel Farage of the Left may sound ludicrous. And that’s because it is ludicrous. Totally, utterly, irredeemably, laughably, ludicrous. In the same week that Corbyn announced his bid to rebrand himself The People’s Jeremy, he also announced he was bringing a former senior Sinn Fein aide, Jayne Fisher, into his inner circle. A video clip quickly surfaced of her performing a moving rendition of The Fields Of Athenry, accompanied by former IRA gunman Brendan McFarlane on guitar. A few days earlier, it was revealed that Corbyn was considering a policy of banning sales of new petrol cars.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Labour leader digs in for winter in the trenches – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times (£)

SNP criticised for demanding more powers despite governing failures

“Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP has been lambasted for their “troubling” economic performance after a review found they were failing in key areas. The report found the Scottish nationalists were failing Scotland in key areas, including Health, Education and the Economy. It comes after years of demands for more power to be devolved to the Scottish parliament, despite Holyrood being one of the most powerful devolved assemblies in the world. The failings were revealed in the Government document “Scotland Performs” which the party set up to be released along with their annual budget.” – Sunday Express

News in Brief:

  • Irish prosecutor pursuing British troops represented Sinn Fein leadership – Mail on Sunday
  • Inside the French Muslim no-go zones – Sunday Telegraph
  • China to return seized US Navy drone but condemns ‘hyping up’ of spat – Independent on Sunday
  • Locum doctors accused of holding NHS to ransom – The Observer
  • One in four Help to Buy homes went to people earning double the average wage – Mail on Sunday