Brexit 1) Major’s ‘extraordinary attack’ on May

MAJOR Sir John pink shirt“Sir John Major has launched an extraordinary attack on Theresa May’s Government over Brexit and warned that leaving the EU could mean cutting the NHS and welfare state. In his first intervention since the referendum, Sir John said Brexit is an “historic mistake” and warned Mrs May that she must not create “unreal and over-optimistic” expectations about leaving the EU. The former Conservative Prime Minister also criticised Donald Trump, describing the new US President as “less predictable, less reliable and less attuned to our free market and socially liberal instincts than any of his predecessors”. His comments infuriated eurosceptic Tory MPs, who accused Sir John of making a “bitter, angry speech” and trying to refight the EU referendum.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He says Government should give ‘honest’ assessment of Brexit risk – Guardian
  • And that May is ‘misleading’ Britain – Independent
  • Duncan Smith says Major sounded ‘strangely bitter’ – Daily Express


  • Major would be ‘better served’ in helping May – Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit doesn’t need ‘defeatists’ like him – The Sun


  • Major knows about this stuff. We should listen to him – Sean O’Grady – Independent
  • Former Prime Minister’s ‘withering digs’ – Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun


Brexit 2) Government edges closer as Lords vote against single-market amendment

“The Government has defeated the first challenge in the Lords to its plan to trigger Brexit negotiations next month. Peers voted against an amendment to the Brexit Bill demanding the UK retains its membership of the European single market. The 229 to 136 vote, a majority of 163, exposed deep divisions within Labour. In the debate, former Business Secretary Lord Mandelson warned it would be an “economic disaster” for Britain to leave the single market. However, opposition frontbencher Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town accused supporters of the amendment of offering “unrealistic hope” that the UK could stay within the EU’s trading area.” – Independent


  • How the Lords needs to change – Frances D’Souza, Guardian

Brexit 3) ‘Cut-off date’ for EU nationals unlikely until after negotiations…

EU Exit brexit“No “cut-off date” for EU nationals to register their right to live in Britain is expected to be announced until negotiations on reciprocal rights of Britons living in other EU countries are concluded, government sources have indicated. Downing Street rejected taking unilateral action before a deal on residency rights is secured – meaning it is highly unlikely that the day Theresa May formally triggers Brexit – expected on or around 15 March – will be used as the key cut-off date. No 10 underlined on Monday that the cut-off date for EU nationals in Britain would instead be a key part of the negotiations over residency rights with the EU27.” – Guardian



  • Government is ‘seizing the moral high ground’ over EU nationals – Dominic Raab, Daily Telegraph (£)

Brexit 4) …but ‘new regulations’ mean they may face ‘removal’ if they don’t have correct health insurance

“EU citizens living in the UK have expressed panic and confusion after it emerged new regulations brought in by the Government allow the Home Office to remove some of them from the country if they do not have a comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI). A briefing published by a barrister revealed that the Home Office acquired controversial new enforcement powers against EU citizens from 1 February. It warns EU citizens who are not considered to have a “right of residence”, including some students and spouses of UK citizens, could be deported or refused entry back into the UK if they leave if they don’t have CSI.” – Independent

Brexit 5) Sturgeon: May is pushing us towards a second independence referendum

nicola-sturgeon-08-01-17“Yesterday’s leader column in this newspaper levelled two charges against the Scottish government in relation to a possible independence referendum in the wake of the Brexit vote. First, it said that a referendum would have no justification and second, that should one be proposed, the Scottish government would be acting in bad faith. At the time of writing, no decision has yet been taken to propose an independence referendum. On the contrary, we continue to seek compromise with the UK government, although we have not seen any evidence so far of any real willingness on the part of the UK government to compromise.” – The Times (£)

  • First Minister thinks May is ‘intransigent’ – Scotsman
  • Sturgeon blamed for Sterling fall – Daily Express
  • Government ‘bracing’ itself for another Scottish referendum – The Sun 
  • Hain warns of Brexit ‘damage’ to peace process – Belfast News Letter
  • Gerry Adams wants ‘special deal’ from May – Daily Express


  • How Scottish nationalism overlaps with racism – Claire Heuchan, Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Trimble says claims that Brexit threatens the peace process are “shroud-waving”

Truss criticised for car-insurance rise

“Ministers face a backlash over the justice secretary’s decision to increase personal injury payouts, raising the cost of car insurance by up to £1,000 for young drivers. Insurers are threatening legal action over the “crazy” reforms, which will double compensation in the most serious cases. The move will also mean taxpayers funding an extra £1 billion to pay medical negligence claims after Liz Truss, the justice secretary and lord chancellor, announced a change in the formula used to calculate payouts. Analysts said that the reform would raise the average cost of cover for young motorists by £125 to £1,650, pricing many off the road. Across the board, drivers will see an average of £50-£75 added to their insurance.” – The Times (£)

  • ‘Crazy’ new formula will causes premiums to rise – Daily Mail
  • NHS given extra money to pay for affected medical negligence compensation – Daily Mail


Hunt criticised for NHS data-loss ‘cover-up’

Jeremy Hunt“Jeremy Hunt was today accused of helping to orchestrate a ‘cover’ up after the NHS lost more than half a million pieces of patient data over fiver years. Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth said today that the Health Secretary’s lack of responsibility for the situation was “nothing short of a disgrace”. Thousands of patients  could have been put at risk after documents including test results and treatment plans ended up in a warehouse. More than 500,000 bits of information failed to reach their intended recipients and were sent elsewhere. An investigation has been launched to discover how many patients were affected.” – The Sun

Ministers contemplate social-care payments from inheritance

“Ministers are considering forcing people to pay for their social care from their inheritances, as they make plans to reform the policy later in the year. Philip Hammond is likely to use next week’s budget to put more money into social care in a move that he hopes will alleviate pressure on the NHS. … The chancellor is also understood to believe that wealthy people should be prepared to contribute more, rather than leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill. A Whitehall source said: “Philip thinks it’s unfair for wealthy people to build up assets, sit on a huge property waiting to pass that to their children, then expect the state to pick up the cost of their care.”” – The Times (£)

  • The ‘death tax’ is ‘explosive territory’ – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

More Parliament 

  • Tory backbencher opposes planned cuts to disability payments – The Sun
  • Treasury asks Cabinet to find 6 per cent savings – The Times (£)
  • DWP committee says ‘triple lock’ will lead to pension-age hike – Daily Mail
  • Rudd criticised after grandmother deportation – Guardian
  • Ministers ask businesses to hire more ethnic-minority workers – The Sun
  • May’s national security adviser quits – Daily Mail
  • Gove talks of importance of ‘challenging’ the arguments of those in authority – Daily Express


Ukip ‘civil war’ breaks out as Farage says Carswell must go

nigel-farage“Nigel Farage has called for Ukip’s only MP to be thrown out of the party after he failed to secure the former leader a knighthood. Mr Farage said that Douglas Carswell, the Clacton MP, had “little future” in the party and had “sought to split and divide Ukip in every way imaginable” since defecting from the Conservatives in 2014. The long-simmering feud between the pair burst into the open last night after leaked emails suggested that Mr Carswell had made a quip after Mr Farage failed to secure a knighthood. When Mr Farage was turned down, Mr Carswell was asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch, the Ukip peer, to appeal against the ruling to Gavin Williamson, the government’s chief whip.”


  • Nuttall must kick Carswell out, for the good of the party – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph (£)
  • Labour ‘stuffed Ukip’ in Stoke – Paul Mason, Guardian

>Yesterday: UKIPWatch: Anger on UKIP’s NEC at “weak and wounded” Nuttall

Hague: What I’d do if I were Corbyn

“Over the last few days, following Labour’s loss of the Copeland constituency to the Conservatives, I have been trying to imagine myself as Jeremy Corbyn. This, as you might suspect, is quite an effort. Every tax he wants to increase I would like to see reduced, and everything he wants to disarm I want to rearm. That’s even before we get to our radically differing amounts of hair. Yet he and I do, despite these huge differences, have one very important attribute in common. We both belong to a small and exclusive club, numbering only a handful of living individuals. It is a club no one wants to join, and which, thankfully, never meets. It is the club of people who have been a beleaguered Leader of the Opposition.” – Daily Telegraph (£)

  • Corbyn misses weekly Labour meeting – Daily Mail
  • His MPs use chance to ‘vent frustrations’ about him – Independent
  • Labour’s sad decline – Janan Ganesh, FT

Bush wants answers on Trump-Russia links

Donald Trump Jan 2017“Former President George W. Bush said Monday “we all need answers” on the extent of contact between President Donald Trump’s team and the Russian government, and didn’t rule out the idea that a special prosecutor could be necessary to lead an investigation. The Republican also defended the media’s role in keeping world leaders in check, noting that “power can be addictive,” and warned against immigration policies that could alienate Muslims. Mr Bush’s comments came after a prominent Republican in Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, called for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and was in touch with Trump’s top advisers during the campaign.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Trump says his last call to Russia was a decade ago – Daily Telegraph
  • Even though he talked with Putin last month – Daily Mail
  • New DNC chair adds to calls for investigation – Independent
  • Trump’s defence spending surge – FT


News in Brief

  • Patients asked to sleep in corridors – Daily Telegraph
  • Senior child protection officer opposed to prison for child-pornography viewers – Daily Mail
  • Truants’ parents threatened with fines – The Times (£)
  • Arron Banks under legal scrutiny – FT
  • First space tourists to fly round moon next year – Daily Telegraph
  • Could America join the Commonwealth? – Independent
  • Unbranded Waterstones branches cause consternation – Guardian
  • Corbyn caught napping post-Copeland – The Sun
  • RAF bans skirts on parade to ‘make service more inclusive’ – Daily Express