Industrial Strategy: May’s plan for post-Brexit ‘industrial revolution’…

Building shield“Britain will slash bureaucracy, boost broadband coverage and improve transport links in a post-Brexit industrial strategy, the Prime Minister will announce tomorrow. Theresa May also wants to introduce a fund to invest in smart energy technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics and the 5G mobile network. In a Green Paper, she will set out the ten pillars that underpin the strategy, including getting firms to identify any red tape that can be cut after Britain leaves the EU. The industrial strategy, which aims to create better paid jobs, was due to be unveiled by the Cabinet today in the North West.” – Daily Mail

  • Tech industries get pledge of more cash and less red tape – The Times (£)
  • Biggest investment in broadband, transport, and energy for a generation – Daily Telegraph
  • £566 million to kick-start a tech boom – The Sun
  • Welsh projects outlined by the Prime Minister – Wales Online
  • May to unveil ‘ten pillars’ of her strategy – FT
  • Blueprint to save steel industry and launch manufacturing ‘renaissance’ – Wales Online


  • The Prime Minister talks of industry but threatens to turn Britain into a tax haven – Clive Lewis, Times Red Box

…with a network of prestigious vocational universities to match

“Theresa May is to declare war on educational ‘snobbery’ by setting up a network of prestigious ‘builders universities’ to train a post-Brexit generation of manual workers. The Prime Minister believes too many families push non-academic children towards university degrees when they could follow better-paid careers by learning a trade. The move will form part of the Government’s long-awaited industrial strategy, which will earmark billions of pounds for training schemes, research and development and cutting-edge robot technology to get ‘the whole economy firing’, according to Mrs May. But the most striking proposal in the consultation – being launched by the Prime Minister at a regional Cabinet meeting in the North-Weston Monday – is an attempt to bridge the historic ‘prestige gap’ between academic and vocational careers.” – Daily Mail

  • Miller claims Brexit is holding up sex educations plans – The Guardian
  • Artists are private schools’ latest big draw – The Times (£)

Matt Ridley: May must be brave enough not to meddle

MAY Theresa pensive“Theresa May’s “modern industrial strategy”, launched today, must avoid the ignominious fate of its predecessors. One by one they failed. Diagnosis of Britain’s problems is not difficult; treatment is harder. How can a government close the productivity gap, improve our low investment levels, heal the north-south divide, overcome our habitual pattern of inventing but not exploiting new ideas, and create an economy that “works for everyone”? I do not presume to know all the answers, but I trust that the prime minister and Greg Clark, her business secretary, have begun by learning a lesson from the history of industrial strategies, Labour and Conservative: top-down solutions will not work; bottom-up ones might.” – The Times (£)

  • If Brexit Britain is to survive, May must get industry right – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
  • Let’s stop sneering at blue-collar careers – Libby Purves, The Times (£)

>Today: Peter Aldous in Comment: The Government should retain a stake in the Green Investment Bank

>Yesterday: Caroline Fairbairn in Comment: If the Government gets its Industrial Strategy right, we can help make the economy stronger and fairer

EU 1) May warned not to start trade negotiations with Trump

“EU leaders have warned Theresa May that Britain remains barred from negotiating new trade deals as she prepares to visit Washington to open talks with Donald Trump on an “early” agreement. Mrs May said that she would speak to the new president about Britain’s “future trading relationship” when she visited the White House on Friday. Downing Street said later that the two leaders would “discuss how we can deepen our already huge economic and commercial relationship to the benefit of both of our countries, including our shared ambition to sign a UK-US trade deal once the UK has left the EU”.” – The Times (£)

  • Two leaders to discuss deal to slash tariffs – Daily Telegraph
  • Premier set for ‘frank’ conversation with Trump on European unity – FT
  • India and Australia want relaxed visa regimes for free trade – The Independent

More Trump:

  • UKIP leader criticises President for sexual assault comments – The Independent
  • West Midlands Tory candidate makes case for ‘business mayors’ – FT


  • The Prime Minister can make Trump start to face reality – Justin Webb, The Times (£)
  • President’s friendship may flatter, but could come at an unbearable cost – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • Yes, Prime Minister, you will be Trump’s ‘Maggie’ – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • The BBC employs selective statistics against Trump – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph


>Today: ToryDiary: The canting, self-righteous, liberal enemies of Trump who shouted “liar” at him – and failed


EU 2) Tories believe Supreme Court defeat will showcase Labour divisions

EU Brexit“Conservatives will this week use a Supreme Court judgement over Article 50 to expose the confusion and infighting in Labour over Brexit. Government ministers expect on Tuesday to lose an appeal in the court, meaning Theresa May will be forced to give Parliament a vote before she triggers Article 50, which begins formal talks with Brussels. However, the Tories believe that they can turn the court ruling to their advantage amid continued chaos in Jeremy Corbyn’s party about whether to support or oppose the vote.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Corbyn backs Article 50 vote… – The Times (£)
  • …but won’t say if he’ll force his MPs to do so – The Sun
  • McDonnell says Labour will blame Brexit for by-election losses – The Sun

More Brexit:

  • May prepares for bumpy Brexit ride – FT
  • Four versions of law prepared for aftermath of court judgement – The Independent
  • Copy the Swiss model, Schäuble advises Britain – The Times (£)
  • Government’s vision for post-Brexit trade puzzles experts – FT
  • Fears that customs computers can’t cope – The Times (£)

Devolved governments:

  • Welsh First Minister accused of ‘fighting Brexit’… – Daily Express
  • …as he teams up with nationalists for ‘alternative plan’ – Wales Online
  • SNP to vote against Article 50 as independence clock ticks – The Scotsman



  • May’s Brexit speech got it right, but left many gaps – Roger Bootle, Daily Telegraph
  • Now we know what Brexit means, May must implement her vision – Campbell Robb, Times Red Box
  • Europe learns to like ‘hard Brexit’ and a good British ally – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph

Fallon to face MPs over Trident missile misfire

“The Defence Secretary is expected to be summoned to the Commons to answer questions about a Trident missile misfire after Theresa May refused to say whether she knew about the incident in the weeks after it occurred. Sir Michael Fallon is set to face demands to announce an inquiry after it was claimed that the launch of an unarmed Trident II D5 missile from a British submarine off the coast of Florida in June malfunctioned. Mrs May, the Prime Minister, declined four times on Sunday to say whether she knew about the incident, which is said to have happened just weeks before a Commons vote on the future of the Trident nuclear deterrent.” – Daily Telegraph

  • MPs accuse May of cover-up – The Guardian
  • Navy chief criticises decision to ‘blackout’ news of Trident malfunction – Daily Mail
  • Royal Navy’s new £3 billion carriers could be delayed due to technical problems – Daily Mail


  • For Britain to behave like North Korea or the Soviet Union is beyond the pale – Admiral Lord West, Daily Mail


  • Admirals must wish their missiles were as unswervable as the Prime Minister – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: The Prime Minister won’t say whether or not she knew about a Trident malfunction

MPs 1) Philp proposes law to restrict rail strikes

PHILP headshot October 2016“Tory MP Chris Philp said trade unions had “abused” their right to strike by undertaking “completely unreasonable” industrial action as part of an ongoing dispute with Southern Railway. As a result, he has brought forward draft laws which would require all industrial action on critical national services to be proportionate and reasonable in order to be deemed legal. Mr Philp said: “A High Court judge would weigh up what it is the strikers are striking over on the one hand versus the impact on the public on the other to make sure it is reasonable and proportionate.”” – Daily Telegraph

MPs 2) Davies warns against ‘punitive’ rural business rates

“Rural enterprises will be among the biggest losers in the most radical reform of business rates for a generation. Riding schools, livery yards, stud farms, vineyards and livestock markets are facing some of the steepest business rate rises in England, according to league tables seen by The Times… Glyn Davies, the Tory MP for Montgomeryshire, warned that the punitive rates risked destroying rural communities. “I think there’s going to be an uprising,” he said.” – The Times (£)

  • Stamp duty is fuelling housing crisis, warns property chief – Daily Telegraph


  • Without urgent reform, new rates could bankrupt thousands of country firms – The Times (£)

Ashcroft returns to funding the Tories

ASHCROFT Krieg“Lord Ashcroft has told friends that he will follow through on considerations of donating £50,000 a year to the Conservatives in a sign of his support for Theresa May. The peer, a former Conservative party treasurer, was for years the largest single donor to the party but ceased his financial support during David Cameron’s time in No 10. He indicated last October at the Tory party conference in Birmingham that he was thinking about funding the party again after Mrs May became leader. The pair “go way back”, friends say, pointing out that he has a home in Maidenhead, the Berkshire seat that the prime minister represents.” – The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • Investigators pledge to bust ‘circle of corruption’ around Rolls Royce – Daily Mail
  • Quarter of voters want Parliament sold or knocked down – The Times (£)
  • Experts rubbish new campaign against crispy potatoes and toast – Daily Telegraph
  • French socialists sway left in primaries – FT
  • Sinn Féin likely to name replacement for sick Martin McGuinness – Daily Express
  • Labour to reject SNP budget as pressure mounts on MacKay – The Scotsman
  • Dissidents blamed for murder attempt on police officer – Belfast Telegraph