Brexit 1) MPs begin debating bill

EU Exit brexit‘Today MPs begin debating the Bill which will give Theresa May the go-ahead to launch formal negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union. The Government has set aside two days for the second reading debate for the EU (Notification on Withdrawal) Bill – which will conclude with a vote on Wednesday evening. As many as 100 Labour MPs including more than half a dozen shadow ministers are set to join the Scottish National Party and vote against the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill to start the process of leaving the EU.’ – Daily Telegraph 

  • Bill ‘likely to pass without amendment’ as ‘Tory rebels’ are ‘satisfied’ by white paper promise – Guardian
  • Davis: Europhile MPs are ‘abusing Britain’s trust’ – Daily Express
  • May: rebels are ‘defying people’s will’ – The Sun 
  • Labour MPs plan to force vote on Single Market – Independent
  • Tory MPs to stay late to counter potential ‘ambush vote’ – Daily Telegraph


  • Labour Brexit rebels are risking their seats – Mark Seddon, Guardian


Brexit 2) Article 50 ‘to be triggered’ on 9 March

‘The government wants to pass the legislation allowing Article 50 to be triggered by the first week of March, giving Theresa May the option to initiate the Brexit process at a summit of European leaders. The prime minister has so far been determined not to reveal the precise date when she plans to invoke the formal two-year mechanism for leaving the EU, saying only that she will begin Brexit by the end of March. However, the government told the House of Lords yesterday that it wants the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill approved on March 7. All 28 heads of government from EU member states will meet on March 9 at the two-day European Council summit in Malta, giving Mrs May an opportunity to invoke the clause. On March 8 Philip Hammond, the chancellor, will present his first budget.’ – The Times (£)

Brexit 3) May in Ireland: ‘no return’ to hard border

Theresa May has said that there will be “no return to a hard border” in Ireland after Brexit, as she arrived in Dublin for talks with Enda Kenny, the Irish Taoiseach. There are fears that a “hard Brexit” could see border controls on movement and trade between the Republic and Northern Ireland, but Mrs May said that “an explicit objective of UK work on Brexit is that account is taken of the unique factors” with Ireland. She added: “’No return to a hard border’ is not just a phrase […] we need to find a solution for a seamless, frictionless border.” Earlier, Mrs May promised she would not use Britain’s departure from the EU as an excuse to stage a “land grab” of powers at the expense of the UK’s devolved governments.’ – FT

  • Taoiseach backs Prime Minister’s plan – Daily Mail
  • And sets out his fears – Guardian

More Brexit 

  • Sturgeon says ‘time running out’ for compromise – Daily Telegraph
  • And threatens spring-conference deadline – Independent
  • Tory MP tells her to ‘stop moaning’ – Daily Express
  • Verhofstadt talks of early trade talks – The Sun
  • And calls Trump more of a risk to Europe than Brexit – Daily Telegraph


  • Trump is a disaster for Brexit – Gideon Rachman, FT

Trump 1) May knew of refugee ban ‘in advance’

trumpmay2‘Theresa May’s response to the growing outrage about Donald Trump’s travel ban is becoming more, not less difficult to understand as fresh details emerge about what she knew and when. The prime minister was at the end of a successful three-day trip to the US and Turkey when she refused to condemn the ban, a stance it took Downing Street almost 12 hours to correct. It was a stumble that looks set to overshadow a high-stakes diplomatic adventure. Asked about her leaden-footed response in Ankara, her spokesman claimed she had been “in meetings all day”… It emerged yesterday that Mr Trump had told the prime minister that he was about to ban refugees during their Friday meeting in the White House.’ – The Times (£)

  • Johnson is asked when Prime Minister knew – Patrick Kidd, The Times (£)
  • Tensions ‘inflamed’ over English-speaking countries’ dispensation from Trump – The Times (£)
  • Trump fires Attorney General who called ban unlawful – Independent
  • Contradictory information about ban’s affect on Britons – FT



  • ‘Screaming ‘’fascist!’’ isn’t enough’ – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph
  • The ban will incite terrorism – Patrick Cockburn, Independent
  • It’s ridiculous to treat Trump like a monster – Melanie Phillips, The Times (£)
  • May’s ‘diplomatic agonies’ – Janan Ganesh, FT
  • How I think she should’ve reacted – Robert Fisk, Independent
  • We’re extra cross with America because we’re relativists – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

Trump 2) Prime Minister ‘defends state visit decision’

‘Theresa May defended the decision to invite Donald Trump on a state visit as thousands of protesters took to the streets across the UK and more than 1.5 million people signed a petition to try to stop the trip from going ahead. The prime minister made the briefest of responses to the domestic uproar over the US president’s attempt to ban travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries, insisting that the “UK takes a different approach”. Addressing the issue during a joint press conference with the Irish taoiseach, Enda Kenny, May stood by the red carpet invitation she had made during her meeting with Trump in the White House on Friday.’ – Guardian

  • The invitation stands – Daily Express
  • May calls the US a ‘close ally’ – The Sun
  • She is nicknamed ’Theresa the appeaser’ in the House – Daily Express
  • Downing Street says cancelling Trump visit would be a ‘populist gesture’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Former FO head says May is putting Queen in ‘difficult position’ – The Times (£)



  • The Prime Minister should condemn Trump – Jack Straw, Guardian
  • Cancelling his visit would neither change him nor help us – William Hague, Daily Telegraph
  • I’m Iranian. I thought May would protect me from Trump – Sahar Rezazadeh, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: MPs etc: Flashback: “Wazzock…buffoon…bigot” – when Tory MPs debated banning Trump from the UK

Trump 3) Johnson says comparing the President with Hitler ‘demeans the Holocaust’

Boris Johnson 30-01-17‘Boris Johnson has urged opponents of Donald Trump to stop “pointlessly demonising” him after MPs compared the US President to Adolf Hitler. During a Commons debate over Mr Trump’s controversial immigration ban, Mr Johnson accused Labour of “demeaning the Holocaust” through constant references to the Nazis – including a reference to Theresa May as like Hitler’s appeaser Neville Chamberlain. His warning came on a day of confusion and continued protest at Mr Trump’s travel ban, which prevents natives of seven mainly Muslim countries from entering the USA.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • He claims Trump’s ‘bark is worse than his bite’ – Independent


  • Commons in uproar about Trump and Johnson – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • Foreign Secretary failed to satisfy – John Crace, Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Boris Johnson – “I have already made clear our anxiety about measures that discriminate on grounds of nationality”

Trump 4) Owen Jones: Popular resistance is the only answer

‘After the events of the past few days it is clear that Donald Trump’s vision for America will not be restrained by Theresa May. On Friday they talked and held hands. Hours later Trump ushered in his fascistic, so-called Muslim travel ban with a stroke of his executive pen. Neither does hope for the future lie with the more critical Angela Merkel, nor so-called moderate Republicans, nor indeed the US Democratic establishment. If Trumpism is to fail in its mission to remake the United States in its own image, it will require an extraordinary movement of popular resistance both at home and abroad.’ – Guardian

  • Tens of thousands across UK take part in protest – Guardian
  • Online petition might set record – FT
  • Obama ‘heartened by level of engagement’ in America – Daily Mail
  • Protesting is a waste of time – Clare Foges, The Sun
  • It’s an egotistical exercise – Robert Hardman, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Anti-Trump petitioners combine gesture politics with lèse-majesté

More Trump

Select Committee deems asylum-seeker housing ‘disgraceful’

Yvette Cooper 13-08-15‘Asylum-seekers have been placed in accommodation with infestations of mice, rats and bedbugs after arriving in Britain, a Commons report has found. In an inquiry by the influential Home Affairs Select Committee in Westminster, MPs delivered a scathing critique of the system for housing those who apply for refugee in the UK. The committee’s chair Yvette Cooper described some of the conditions as a “disgrace”. One woman complained that her kitchen was “full of mice”, saying: “They even ran across the dining table while we were eating.” Another client, who was forced to live with vermin infestations, said the noise of rats triggered flashbacks as he shared a cell with rats when he was detained and tortured in his country of origin.’ – Independent

Government ‘to publish’ Heathrow plans this week

‘The government will push ahead with plans for a third runway at Heathrow this week after the High Court temporarily blocked a major legal challenge to the airport’s expansion. Ministers are expected to publish proposals for a dramatic increase in flights from the west London hub within days in a move that will kick-start a year-long parliamentary process. The national policy statement, drawn up by the Department for Transport, will set out the impact that the 3,500m runway will have on the community as well as the tough planning conditions attached to the plans.’ – The Times (£)

Look after your parents, says health minister

elderly‘People have just as much of a duty to look after their elderly parents as they do to care for their own children, a health minister has said. David Mowat made the comments alongside an admission that the government had no “final answer” on how it was going to cope with the rising costs of social care. Speaking to the House of Commons’ select committee on communities and local government, the minister said that tackling the care crisis involved “interwoven issues” including the question of how society deals with the care of ageing parents.’ – Guardian

>Today: Seema Kennedy in Comment: We must face up to the problem of loneliness

More Government

  • Tory MPs attack DWP about job centres – Independent
  • Ghani calls for ban on the term ‘honour killing’ – Daily Express 
  • Osborne takes another job, as Kissinger Fellow – Daily Telegraph
  • His first piece in new post says Britain ‘mustn’t retreat’ – The Times (£)
  • Soames apologises for heckling SNP MP – Daily Mail

Daniel Capurro: The sad proof that Canada is divided, too

‘With all the uproar surrounding Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority nations, it might come as a shock to many that Canada, one of the few Western nations willing to accept thousands of Syrian refugees – and apparently very happily – would suffer a terrorist attack. Even more so that it was one targeting the country’s Muslim population. Yet the cheery, sometimes fawning coverage from abroad of Justin Trudeau’s first year as prime minister masks two truths about Canada that mark it out as not that different from the rest of the western world.’ –  Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Brussels suspect charged over Paris attacks – Independent
  • No more people survive heart failure than back in 1998 – The Times (£)
  • Austria bans public-place full-face veils – Daily Mail
  • Suu Kyi’s Muslim adviser murdered – The Times (£)
  • Former Russian MP aims to restore Romanovs. In Kiribati – Daily Telegraph
  • NASA finds huge structures on Mars – The Sun 
  • Ohio police abet dying girl’s stun-gun wish – Guardian