May vows to use Brexit to ‘make Britain work for ordinary people’

MAY Britannia“Theresa vows to use Brexit to rip up the privileges of the elite and make Britain work for ordinary people again. Writing for The Sun, the PM reveals she will unveil her flagship new industrial strategy next week to start her mission to make the country “more equal”. And she also issues an emotive plea to Sun readers directly to support her new Brexit plan and help unite the country again. The blueprint for the nation’s workplaces of the future will tear down “the barriers of privilege” and “spread wealth and opportunity”, Mrs May insists.” – The Sun

  • Loyal aides helped write Prime Minister’s defining speech – FT
  • EU leaders warm to the Prime Minister’s approach – The Sun
  • Agree to £60 billion bill before we’ll talk trade, EU tells May – The Times (£)
  • Maltese Prime Minister insists any deal will be worse tham membership – The Sun
  • Spain mocks British plan and economic model – Daily Express
  • Most voters back May’s plan, but doubt it’ll work – The Times (£)
  • Hard Brexit will hurt UK more, say EU leaders – The Guardian

Theresa May: Help me build a stronger UK that works for everyone

“Last year, the country took a momentous decision. People voted in their millions to leave the European Union and embrace a brighter future for Britain. This is the year we start to make it happen. That is why, earlier this week, I set out the Government’s 12 negotiating objectives for Brexit, so that everyone has the clarity they need about our direction of travel as we prepare to trigger Article 50 before the end of March. But those 12 objectives are just part of my Plan for Britain. Because last summer’s referendum was not just a vote to leave the European Union. It was a vote to change the way our whole country works. A vote to build a stronger, fairer Britain that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. A Britain – and a Brexit – that works for ordinary working people.” – The Sun

  • PMQs showed it’s Corbyn, not May, who has no Brexit plan – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • Has there been proper opposition to May’s Brexit speech? Has there heck – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • May has called Sturgeon’s bluff on Scottish independence – Alex Bell, The Guardian
  • May converts Remainers into reluctant Brexiteers – Sebastian Payne, FT
  • In Europe we see only one Brexit loser, and it won’t be us – Jean Quatremer, The Guardian



The First Brexiteer: ‘Tens of thousands’ migration target ‘is possible’, says Davis

IMMIGRATION mat“David Davis yesterday revived the Government’s controversial pledge to slash net migration to the tens of thousands – saying ‘anything is possible’ after Brexit. Despite the figure standing at more than 330,000, the Brexit Secretary declared: ‘The simple truth is that we’re going to do it.’ It came as Theresa May and Trade Secretary Liam Fox flew to a meeting of global leaders in the Swiss resort of Davos to declare that Britain is ‘open for business’.” – Daily Mail

  • Migrant tide may take two years to turn, warns Brexit Secretary – The Sun
  • Davis tells Scottish people he’s working on a good deal for them – Daily Express
  • Immigration scam uses ‘fake lives’ in Ireland to create back door to Britain – The Times (£)
  • New EU president to force member states to share asylum seekers – Daily Express
  • Fivefold increase in number of EU citizens in UK detention centres – The Indepenent

More Brexit:

  • Divorce will turn ‘very nasty’, says man behind Article 50 – The Times (£)
  • Diplomat predicts one-in-three chance of no deal – The Independent
  • CPS says Brexit affords chance to put foreign aid budget on a ‘diet’ – Daily Mail
  • Brussels’ deals with other countries offer clues before talks – The Times (£)
  • Brexit will be ‘shock’ to EU budget, warns Brussels think tank – The Sun
  • Malta says EU won’t survive another influx of migrants – Daily Express

Jenni Russell: Brexit won’t lead to more controlled immigration

“For the past six years the Tories have been both allowing huge numbers of non-EU immigrants into the country and looking for ways to deter them. Analysis shows almost half of recent arrivals came here as paying students, a fifth came with visas to fill specific skilled jobs that Britons couldn’t do, another fifth came to join family or marry, and one in ten – puzzlingly, since the system isn’t meant to allow random non-EU jobseekers – were looking for work. The government’s quandary is where to clamp down.” – The Times (£)

  • The days of Europe à la carte are over – Guy Verhofstadt, The Guardian
  • Britons do want ‘hard Brexit’, and delivering one could create a Conservative ascendancy – Matthew Goodwin, Daily Telegraph
  • Focus on immigration could have catastrophic consequences – Anne Perkins, The Guardian
  • If Remainers don’t tone down the hyperbole, they’ll damage Britain – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • Voters need a say on where power will lie after Brexit – Katie Ghose, Times Red Box


  • If EU leaders want to save their project, they must reform free movement – The Times (£)
  • May shows how to make the EU listen – Daily Mail
  • The EU should see sense over Brexit – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Simon Clarke in Comment: Yes, Brexit will bring new problems for Universities. But it will also bring new opportunities.

The Second Brexiteer: Fox launches ‘Brexit trade crusade’

Building shield“Britain has already begun informal trade negotiations with 12 countries across the world, Liam Fox reveals as he says Brexit is “key to British prosperity”. Writing in The Telegraph, the International Trade Secretary says that Britain is conducting “trade audits” in order to prepare deals that can be announced as soon as the UK quits the European Union in 2019. It is understood that ministers and officials are already in talks with countries including China, India, Australia and South Korea as well as Middle Eastern nations such as Saudi Arabia and Oman.” – Daily Telegraph

  • International Trade Secretary to chart course out of single market in WTO speech – Daily Telegraph
  • Trade deal with India threatened by visa crackdown – The Independent
  • UK officials advised to read Trump’s book before seeking US deal – The Guardian

More economy:

  • Trade truths behind May’s vision of a ‘global Britain’ – FT
  • Banks warn of 2,000 City job losses – The Times (£)
  • Unemployment falls to lowest levels in a decade – Daily Mail
  • First freight train from China to Britain pulls into London – The Times (£)
  • The fights that will shape the Brexit outcome – FT

Liam Fox: Britain should be confident enough to embrace the opportunities of global trade

There is a big world for us to do business with, and we intend to do just that. We should do so with considerable self-confidence. Britain is home to dozens of the world’s largest companies, industry leaders in everything from digital technology to aircraft engines. We are the global hub of financial services, we lie in the right time zone to trade with Asia in the morning and America at night. Our mother tongue is the lingua franca of international business. We have a low-tax, low-regulation economy with a skilled workforce – all factors that have produced record investment in the UK.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brexit isn’t the death of economic liberalism, and could yet save it – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph


  • PMQs showed why Brexit is killing Labour – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • Prime Minister thrives in her match of the day – Patrick Kidd, The Times (£)
  • Corbyn like a comic whose best joke fell flat – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: Lady Bracknell commands the House

The Third Brexiteer: Johnson faces backlash for ‘punishment beating’ remark

Brexiteers Davis“Boris Johnson is facing a furious backlash tonight after comparing EU threats to ‘punish’ Britain over Brexit to Nazi-style treatment of escape attempts in World War II. The Foreign Secretary incurred the wrath of European politicians just a day after Theresa May set out her Brexit plans for the first time in a speech welcomed by senior figures on the continent. The remarks were condemned as ‘abhorrent’ by the EU parliament’s chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, while Labour MPs said they showed Mr Johnson was not ‘fit’ to carry on in his job. Even an ally of Mr Johnson from the Brexit campaign, Labour’s Gisela Stuart, suggested he try ‘not mentioning the war’.” – Daily Mail

  • Foreign Secretary remains defiant – The Sun
  • Downing Street defends Johnson – The Guardian
  • UK ministers warn against ‘punitive’ Brexit deal – FT
  • Javid condemns glib comparisons to the Nazis – The Independent


Greening attacks calls to ban unpaid internships as ‘levelling down’

“Justine Greening has hit out at MPs who called for unpaid internships to be scrapped, insisting social mobiity was about ‘levelling up’ rather than down. The education secretary said it would be ‘an anathema’ to her to see wealthy youngsters ‘have opportunity taken away’ to make them just as disadvantaged as everyone else. Instead, she said companies must work to ensure their internships are accessible to everyone, no matter how poor they are and where they come from.” – Daily Mail

  • Minister recalls being rejected for bank job as she hadn’t had a gap year – The Times (£)

More education:

Bradley mulls Leveson Two as peers back down from bid to force her hand

Newspaper mastheads“A proposal from the Lords to enforce the second part of the inquiry, looking into relations between the press and the police, was withdrawn. The amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill, put forward by Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve, a crossbencher, would have compelled the government to proceed on an issue that is at present the subject of a consultation paper. Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, is sifting through 140,000 responses to a green paper on whether Leveson Two should go ahead.” – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Interview: Damian Collins on how the Government can remove the sword of Damocles dangling over the press

Ministers trying to talk Trump out of a pact with Putin

“Defence officials have been tasked with contacting their counterparts in the Pentagon to persuade the incoming administration to stick to a hard line against Mr Putin. Senior ministers will also be reassuring key strategic allies on Nato’s periphery that the UK’s stance on the issue will not change ahead of Mr Trump’s inauguration on Friday. The Government’s greatest fear is the president elect will cosy up to the Russian leader and tear up the current rulebook which will shake up the world order.” – Daily Mail


  • The outgoing President’s hope ended up so much hype – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)
  • Obama was right to forgive Private Manning – David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)

BBC ‘breached impartiality rules’ on Corbyn coverage, rules watchdog

BBC logo“The BBC breached its own accuracy and impartiality rules in a report about Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to support police shooting dead marauding terrorists. The Labour leader said in November 2015 he was ‘not happy’ about armed officers and special forces having an order to kill fanatics to bring an atrocity to an end. His comments came from a News At Six report by BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, but the BBC Trust said her report was ‘not duly accurate’. But the corporation has hit back at its own watchdog saying it disagrees with its finding.” – Daily Mail


Nuttall ‘expected’ to contest Stoke by-election for UKIP

“Paul Nuttall, Ukip’s leader, is expected to fight a by-election in a pro-Brexit seat held by Labour. It is understood that Mr Nuttall is likely to contest the Stoke-on-Trent Central election, triggered when the former shadow cabinet minister Tristram Hunt announced he would quit to be the director of a London museum. Mr Nuttall has made no secret of his desire to “replace the Labour Party” as the voice of working-class voters and exploit Labour’s support for Remain. Stoke voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, with almost 70 per cent backing Leave.” – The Times (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: Stoke-on-Trent Central – and why there is no electoral basis for abandoning Labour seats to UKIP

News in Brief:

  • Union suspends three-day Southern strike for talks – The Times (£)
  • Hundreds of jihadis have returned from Syria to Britain, warns expert – Daily Mail
  • Are we witnesses the birth of the ‘retirement baby’ phenomenon? – Daily Telegraph
  • Toshiba shares plunge on fears of full-blown crisis – FT
  • Government has abandoned million homes target, report claims – The Independent
  • NHS to ration fifth of new medicines – The Times (£)