Pro-EU Rebels threaten to block Repeal Bill…

EU Brexit“Pro-Remain Tory MPs are threatening to block the repeal of a law that makes EU rulings supreme, should Brexit talks unravel. The warning comes as Theresa May is poised to publish details of the great repeal bill this week, which will transfer EU law into British legislation and facilitate a smooth Brexit. The bill will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA), which forms the legal basis of Britain’s European Union membership. However, some Conservative MPs have raised the “nuclear option” of voting against its repeal, thereby trying to keep EU law in place.” – The Times (£)

  • Ministers face battle over ‘Henry VIII’ powers to scrap EU legislation – Daily Mail
  • May faces ‘legislative swamp’ after Article 50 – The Independent
  • EU looks at revealing negotiating position to pressure May – FT
  • Rudd brushes off doomsday predictions and tells EU chiefs to ‘calm down’ – The Sun

More Brexit:

  • Brexit negotiators risk ‘rushing into bad deals’ – The Times (£)
  • Departure good for Britain, says Swiss finance minister – FT
  • Sweden gives Brexit divorce ultimatum – Daily Express
  • Don’t leave without a trade deal, warns industry – The Times (£)
  • Deutsche Bank’s vote of confidence in post-Brexit London – FT
  • Self-proclaimed ‘superwoman’ threatens further disruption – Daily Express


  • Opposition could vote against deal, leader claims – The Independent
  • Corbyn accused of trying to sabotage Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • May won’t get a Brexiteer’s Brexit without a fight – Kier Starmer, The Guardian


  • Brexit talks will be May’s toughest test – George Parker and Alex Barker, FT
  • Half-in, half-out would be worst option, warns think-tank – The Guardian


  • The phoney war over British departure is about to end – The Times (£)

…as May vows not to let Brexit lead to a ‘looser’ UK

“Theresa May will today pledge to use Brexit to strengthen the United Kingdom and create a ‘more united nation’. On a visit to Scotland, Mrs May will hold face to face talks with Nicola Sturgeon in which she will reject the Scottish First Minister’s demand for a second independence referendum before Britain leaves the EU. Ahead of triggering Article 50 on Wednesday and the start of Brexit negotiations, Mrs May will pledge to ‘never allow our Union to become looser and weaker, or our people to drift apart’… Mrs May will also hint that Brexit could mean more powers being passed to devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister pledges to ‘strengthen Union’ – The Scotsman
  • Sturgeon offered more power to avert referendum – The Times (£)
  • No referendum before Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • SNP would need to find £1bn a year for EU membership – Daily Express
  • Nationalists ‘must be realistic’ on the economy to win – The Scotsman


  • A raft of new powers is the key to stopping independence – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

Liam Fox: Britain is a champion of international trade

UnionJack arrows angled“When the Prime Minister took office in July last year she did so promising to build a global Britain. It is a vision for a country that is confident and outward looking, in line with the trends of our history and optimistic about the future. At the heart of her mission is international trade, which is why we now have our own department dedicated to this. Our trading relationship with the rest of the world is equivalent to more than half our national income. It drives our economic growth, lends weight to our diplomatic efforts and helps ensure that the UK remains a leading world nation. Trading with other countries draws wealth from around the world into the UK. It means goods from fruit to mobile phones are available to buy at a fair price, expanding choice and making household incomes go further.” – Daily Express

  • Brexiteers’ immigration promises are unravelling fast – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
  • We were right to join and to leave: where did the EU go wrong? – Roger Bootle, Daily Telegraph
  • Britain must renew diplomatic ties around the world – Daniel Kawczynski MP, The Times (£)
  • Heseltine, Hitler, and the most insidious anti-Brexit insult of all – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

Brokenshire faces Ulster crisis as Sinn Fein pull out of talks

“Sinn Fein will trigger a new crisis at Stormont today when it fails to nominate a deputy first minister. The Republican party said last night that the talks process aimed at restoring devolution in Northern Ireland had run its course. Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein’s northern leader, said that many of the stumbling blocks preventing agreement remained unresolved yesterday. James Brokenshire, the secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Charlie Flanagan, the Irish foreign affairs minister, and representatives of the main parties met yesterday as part of attempts to broker a deal to form an executive.” – The Times (£)

  • Republicans pull plug on power-sharing negotiations – FT

More Ulster:


  • Tory talk of union hides soft underbelly of English nationalism – Paul Goodman, Irish Times
  • Adams’ high-risk game could mean final collapse of Stormont – Alex Kane, Belfast Telegraph

Rudd wants ‘back door’ into encrypted service like WhatsApp

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 07.30.08“Amber Rudd has demanded access to WhatsApp messages, warning it is ‘completely unacceptable’ that bloodthirsty terrorists like Khalid Masood are able to plot in secret. The Home Secretary condemned encryption systems that allow people to hide from the security services as she insisted internet and technology firms must do more to help the fight against extremism. The row has intensified in the wake of the deadly attack on Westminster last week, when Masood used a hired car to mow down dozens of pedestrians before stabbing a policeman to death at the gates of parliament.” – Daily Mail

More terrorism:

  • Killer was exposed to notorious hate preacher – The Times (£)
  • London terrorist linked to plot to attack Army base – Daily Telegraph
  • Police arrest 30-year-old man in Birmingham during investigation into Westminster attack – Daily Mail
  • ISIS uses attack to sign up YouTube recruits – The Times (£)


  • Calls for a ‘back door’ suggest a hazy grasp of encryption – Jonathan Haynes, The Guardian



Hunt and Hammond warning over rural pharmacies

“Ministers are planning to allow hundreds of rural chemists to close across the country despite repeated assurances to MPs this would not happen, The Telegraph can disclose. In private letters to Theresa May, last August Philip Hammond and Jeremy Hunt warned that pharmacies would have to close because of the cut in a subsidy worth hundreds of millions of pounds a year to the hard-pressed pharmacies. The Cabinet ministers’ warnings appear to be at odds with ministers’ repeated public claims in Parliament and in official documents that no closures are likely.” – Daily Telegraph

  • MPs demand crackdown on unhealthy food – Daily Mail
  • Half of extra £2bn for the NHS went private – The Times (£)
  • Hunt apologises on behalf of the NHS to mourners at memorial service – Daily Mail

Charles Moore: Activist judges are partly to blame for the havoc New Labour wrought on our constitution

Supreme Court“When New Labour came in, it was obsessively keen to impose a continental model upon the British legal system. This arid rationalism demanded the formal separation of politics from the law. It created a Supreme Court for the first time. It thought it wrong that the head of the judiciary should also be a Cabinet Minister… So the governmental system has lost its umbilical connection with the judiciary. The judges are right to regret this, but it is partly their fault. Most of them were in favour of the changes I have described above. Their enthusiasm for judicial activism and greater “independence” has untuned the string of our legal arrangements. Hark what discord follows.” – Daily Telegraph

Agents warn that Osborne’s stamp duty raid has hit house prices

“House prices in parts of London have tumbled by nearly 15 per cent in the past 12 months following a tax raid by George Osborne, according to a report. Estate agency giant Knight Frank said values have been slashed ‘as a result of higher rates of stamp duty’ introduced by the former Chancellor before he was sacked. The boss of rival Savills said the stamp duty surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties was ‘the final nail in the coffin’ for the London market.” – Daily Mail

  • Home-ownership out of reach for most young people, study finds – The Independent

More tax:

  • Nine in ten councils putting up tax bills next month – Daily Mail
  • Hammond’s firm gets tax cut whilst others face hikes – The Sun

Cameron accused of Uber cover-up

cameron-thinks“David Cameron’s Downing Street was accused of a blatant cover-up last night over failed plans to crack down on Uber. The ex-PM and George Osborne allegedly told aides to lobby Boris Johnson against curbs on the online taxi firm. The Daily Mail revealed on Saturday that a No 10 adviser swapped emails with senior staff working for the then London mayor. Yet last night it emerged that Downing Street had failed to divulge details of the alleged lobbying operation when asked to do so under freedom of information laws.” – Daily Mail

  • Was the former Prime Minister too close to minicab chums? – Daily Mail

Farage tries to pressure Carswell into calling by-election

“Ukip is trying to pressure Douglas Carswell into holding a by-election after the MP quit the party following months of infighting. Nigel Farage, the party’s former leader who had wanted to dismiss Mr Carswell from Ukip since 2015, said that every voter in his Clacton constituency would be asked if they wanted the chance to vote him out in a by-election. He said that it would test whether Mr Carswell, who has called repeatedly for constituents to have the power to recall their MP, was a man of his word. Mr Carswell argued in 2012 that constituents should be asked if they wanted a by-election should a fifth of local voters demand one.” – The Times (£)

  • Ex-UKIP MP doesn’t rule out rejoining the Tories – The Guardian


  • I’ve wanted Carswell out of UKIP since 2015 – Sir Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph
  • Political parties are part of the problem – Douglas Carswell, Daily Telegraph


Corbyn’s biggest ally says time is running out

LABOUR dead rose“The leader of Unite, Labour’s most powerful union backer, has given Jeremy Corbyn 15 months to improve the party’s fortunes. Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary and a Corbyn ally, had suggested previously that the Labour leader had until 2019 to do so. It gives Mr Corbyn until just after next May’s local elections to make an impression. The union wields significant power on the party’s ruling committee and controls votes at its annual conference. Mr McCluskey said that people should “give [Mr Corbyn] a chance” and that he had been “slaughtered unmercifully” by the media since becoming leader.” – The Times (£)

  • Tories and others should sign up to Labour to save our democracy – Clare Foges, The Times (£)
  • Manchester won’t forget the Tories’ neglect – Afzal Khan, Times Red Box

News in Brief:

  • BT fined £42m for breaking competition rules over broadband – Daily Mail
  • Navy carriers can’t stop Russian missile – The Times (£)
  • South Korean prosecutors seek arrest warrant for ousted president – Daily Telegraph
  • Santander skirts zero-hours contracts with one-hour deals – FT
  • Boost for Merkel in Saarland election – The Sun
  • Brutal scenes as Moscow riot police clash with protesters – Daily Mail