Trump offers Britain a swift trade deal…

TRUMP victory speech“Donald Trump will offer Britain a quick and fair trade deal with America within weeks of taking office to help make Brexit a “great thing”. Speaking to The Times in his first UK interview as president-elect, he revealed that he was inviting Theresa May to visit him “right after” he gets into the White House and wants a trade agreement between the two countries secured very quickly. Mr Trump also predicted that other countries would follow Britain’s lead in leaving the European Union, claiming it had been deeply damaged by the migration crisis.” – The Times (£)

  • Interview with the President-elect – Michael Gove, The Times (£)
  • Hurdles to a quick deal – FT
  • Trump attacks EU as ‘vehicle for Germany’ – Daily Express

More US:

  • May courts US public – The Times (£)
  • Is Prime Minister’s shoot with American Vogue a snub to the British edition? – Daily Mail
  • Scientists urge May to pressure Trump on climate change – The Guardian

Comment and Editorial:

  • A warning for the losers of the liberal elite – Wolfgang Münchau, FT
  • America’s friends must be as candid as Trump is – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Nick Timothy breaks the news to May that the first British journalist to interview President-elect Trump is…Michael Gove

…as Hammond promises to ‘come out fighting’ if Brexit gets tough

“Philip Hammond warned yesterday that the Government will come out fighting with tax cuts if the EU tries to wound Britain by refusing a trade deal. In a tough stance backed by Number 10, the Chancellor said the UK may be forced to change its economic model if it is locked out of the single market post-Brexit. Theresa May will declare tomorrow that she is ready to pull the UK out of the single market, customs union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in a clean break with Brussels.” – Daily Mail

  • Play fair or face trade war, Chancellor warns Brussels – The Times (£)
  • Downing Street starts to reveal its negotiating stance – FT
  • Leave campaigners victory as May to unveil ‘full works’ – Daily Express


  • Morgan heads up Europhile counter-attack – The Sun
  • ‘Three Brexiteers’ not trusted, survey suggests – The Independent
  • May to clash with Lords over ‘Henry VIII’ powers – FT
  • Neil ‘slaps down’ Farron over Brexit plans – Daily Express

More EU:

  • Sturgeon attacks ‘clean Brexit’ to try and drum up independence support – Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit vote forces Ireland to seek new friends – FT
  • Irish TD says EU must respect Ireland’s relationship with Britain – Daily Express
  • Top firms defy Brexit doom-mongering and boost vacancy numbers – Daily Mail
  • Pound falls over single market access fears – Daily Telegraph
  • Dutch election threatens to deepen market turmoil – FT

Matthew d’Ancona: Hard or soft Brexit? May can have both

EU Brexit“The hardcore of the speech will be a readiness for straight withdrawal from the EU: from the single market, the jurisdiction of the European court of justice, the common security and defence policy, the common agricultural policy, the works. No half measures. Out means out. Is this “hard Brexit”? Only if you see the choice between hard and soft varieties as a one-off decision, a fork in the road, a light switch. In practice, they are better understood as sequential phases rather than adversarial options. First we leave; then we rebuild a multilayered relationship with the EU based on, but not confined to, the deal reached by March 2019. That, at least, is the theory.” – The Guardian

  • Why our cautious Chancellor just dropped a Brexit bomb on Berlin – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • Britain must carry the torch for free trade – Matt Ridley, The Times (£)
  • May’s big Brexit speech should be easy, here’s why – Johan Eliasch, Daily Telegraph
  • Political gulf over Brexit is growing at an alarming rate – Sebastian Payne, FT

>Today: Rishi Sunak MP in Comment: Why Britain must leave the Customs Union


May urged to rein in Treasury and end ‘top secret’ budgets

“Theresa May is being urged today to rein in the Treasury and force Philip Hammond to consult colleagues on his future budget plans to prevent a repeat of “omnishambles” financial statements. Under current Whitehall practice the details of budget proposals are a closely guarded secret. Cabinet ministers are kept in the dark about the plans until hours before the chancellor unveils them. In a report published today two leading think tanks said that such secrecy and the need for chancellors to “pull rabbits out of hats” had resulted in too many impractical measures.” – The Times (£)

  • Budget ‘rabbits’ a symbol of poor policymaking, claims report – FT
  • Hammond under pressure to increase marriage tax allowance – Daily Telegraph

More economy:

  • Health spending to jump after election, warns budget watchdog – FT
  • Slowdown hits Cameron’s ‘Tech City’ – Daily Mail
  • Miller mulls laws to encourage stay-at-home fathers – Daily Mail

More May:

  • Prime Minister urged to tackle troops’ ‘PTSD timebomb’ – The Sun

Rishi Sunak: We need a Ucas for apprenticeships

Screen SUNAK Rishi“If we’re serious about spreading opportunity to everybody we need a Ucas for apprenticeships. As the system used to apply to university, Ucas has a hard-won reputation amongst both teachers and parents as the gatekeeper of high quality education. For graduates it is a rite of passage. Extending the Ucas brand to apprenticeships would provide them with an instant boost in status, helping apprenticeships deservedly gain closer parity of esteem with university.” – The Times (£)

  • Treasury policy-making must be open to scrutiny and debate – The Times (£)

Brokenshire says Northern Irish elections are very likely

Elections in Northern Ireland look almost certain to be called tomorrow after the government admitted Sinn Féin had not responded to calls to replace Martin McGuinness as leader. James Brokenshire, the Northern Ireland Secretary, will be obliged to call a fresh election if the party fail to nominate a deputy first minister by 5pm on Monday. He said he is not contemplating any alternatives to devolved government and refused to be drawn on the possibility of Northern Ireland being run on the basis of a “joint authority” with Dublin.” – Daily Telegraph

  • …but says it won’t delay Article 50 – The Sun

More ministers:

  • Hunt to net £17 million windfall from company takeover – The Times (£)
  • UKIP is main challenger in Stoke, says former minister McVey – Daily Telegraph

Corbyn drops his opposition to nuclear power

Jeremy Corbyn“Jeremy Corbyn yesterday dropped his longstanding opposition to Britain’s civil nuclear power industry before a crucial by-election on the doorstep of Sellafield. The Labour leader denied that he would be “toast” if his party failed to hold on to seats in Copeland in Cumbria and Stoke-on-Trent. The latter was triggered by the resignation of Tristram Hunt, the former shadow education secretary, on Friday. Mr Corbyn markedly softened his tone on nuclear power, insisting that Britain’s civil nuclear power stations would remain “for a long time” and could expand. In the past he has called for them to be decommissioned.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour face ‘survival test’ in Scottish council elections – FT
  • Opposition’s best hope is being ‘propped up’ by SNP, says McCluskey – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour leader rules out applying wage cap to footballers – The Times (£)
  • Welsh Government tables bid to overturn Trade Union Act – The Guardian

>Today: Keith Prince in Local Government: Mayor Khan’s failings are thwarting prospects for rail devolution

>Yesterday: Spencer Pitfield in Comment: Should the real battle with trade unions be over political affiliation?

Bryant warns MPs against trying to stay in the Palace of Westminster

“The Houses of Parliament might have to close indefinitely if MPs refuse to move out for renovation work, a member of the restoration committee said yesterday. Up to 100 MPs of all parties are backing a campaign to allow them to to sit in the Lords while the work is carried out. Chris Bryant, the Labour MP who sits on the restoration and renewal joint committee, said that the rebellion risked delaying the project, adding to the cost and putting the building at risk.” – The Times (£)


  • If we get this wrong we risk losing an icon – Chris Bryant, The Times (£)

SNP warned that Scottish NHS is ‘heading for breakdown’

SNP logo white background“Scotland’s NHS is heading towards a “breakdown” unless SNP ministers start being honest and admit it cannot continue provide a comprehensive health service with the current level of funding, the country’s most eminent GP has said. Dr Peter Bennie, chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland, said the NHS was “stretched pretty much to breaking point” but the Scottish Government tries to present the impression that its performance is fine. He said GPs were “just fed up with a mantra” from minsters that there are more doctors than ever before, warning that staff shortages were so acute that they threaten a “system breakdown” whereby patients could no longer be assured of safe treatment.” – Daily Telegraph

  • NHS complaints body ‘biased and ineffective’, says patient group – The Times (£)
  • End wasteful foreign aid and spend more on the health service – Daily Express


  • Patients deserve better from the Government – Jonathan Ashworth, The Times (£)


News in Brief:

  • Pupils are not over-tested, says Ofsted chief – Daily Mail
  • Struggling hospitals force NHS patients to wait – The Times (£)
  • Navy facing heaviest Russian activity since the Cold War – Daily Telegraph
  • South Korean prosecutors seek arrest of Samsung heir apparent – FT
  • Plans for 360,000 new homes in England – The Guardian