Howard claims Britain would literally fight for Gibraltar…

HOWARD Michael April 2017“Theresa May would be prepared to go to war over Gibraltar, one of her predecessors as leader of the Conservative Party said yesterday in remarks that were criticised as being inflammatory. The prime minister led a rush to reassure the territory that its interests would be protected in Brexit talks after the UK was caught by surprise when the EU said that Madrid should be given an effective veto over how a future deal applied to Gibraltar. The reaction of some senior Conservatives was dismissed as “ludicrous”, however, after Lord Howard of Lympne compared the defence of Gibraltar’s interests to the military campaign to retake the Falkland Islands when they were seized by Argentina in 1982.” – The Times (£)

  • Leading Tories make startling claim that UK would fight for the Rock – Daily Mail
  • Fallon confirms that Britain would defend Gibraltar – Daily Mail
  • EU won’t go soft over Rock as Spain has cultivated support, diplomats say – The Guardian
  • Spain ‘would not block’ independent Scotland’s EU application – The Scotsman
  • British military ‘must not be used as bargaining chip’ says ex-NATO chief – The Guardian
  • Royal Navy ‘far weaker’ than in 1980s (but still a match for Spain) – Daily Telegraph
  • Are Cameron and Gove after the same NATO post? – Daily Mail

More Fallon:

  • Defence Secretary hints that border could be open to EU migrants at next election – The Sun


  • Why would Spain want to grab a place virtually no resident wants it – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph


…as May launches Middle East trade blitz

“Theresa May will spearhead a post-Brexit trade blitz today when she begins a three-day trip to the Middle East designed to foster business links and underline the UK’s security credentials. The Prime Minister will travel to Jordan today, where she will offer military assistance in the Arab state’s efforts to fight Islamic State in neighbouring Syria. Mrs May will then make her first trip to Saudi Arabia to develop trade links with the state which is already the UK’s leading business partner in the Middle East.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister flexes UK military muscle with Saudi trip – The Times (£)
  • British military trainers will help Jordan fight ISIS, May reveals – The Independent
  • Hammond and Fox also lead trade missions – FT
  • Chancellor woos Indian business – The Independent
  • Johnson formally apologises as British anti-war protesters egg Saudi official – The Sun

More Brexit:

  • UK seeks consultancies to assist with Brexit work – FT
  • Britain will get money back from the EU under ministers’ plans – Daily Telegraph
  • Brussels may owe London £14 billion – Daily Express
  • Central banks cut euro exposure in favour of sterling – FT
  • Now Trump says Brexit will be good for the EU – Daily Mail
  • British CFOs more optimistic despite trade uncertainty – FT
  • Luxembourg Prime Minister urges second referendum – Daily Express


  • Don’t demonise May for going to Saudi, our economic future lies eastward – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: The Brexit negotiation – and why the importance of tariff-free trade has been over-hyped

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Brexit negotiation. Don’t believe everything you see in the media. (Not that you would anyway.)

Rob Halfon and Antony Jenkins: Apprenticeships are essential in post-Brexit Britain

Building shield“Our Plan for Britain is about getting a better deal for ordinary working people, and part of that is making sure everyone has the skills they need to land the job they want. So we are pleased to be able to launch the Institute for Apprenticeships today. It marks an important milestone as we work with business to invest in the home grown-skills our country needs. A big part of this is ensuring technical education as a real alternative to traditional academic routes. As the Education Secretary has described, there must be “parity of esteem” between technical and academic education.” – The Times (£)

  • The Eurocrats’ days are numbered, whom will the Tories blame now? – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
  • Economists will have the last laugh over Brexit – Sir Vince Cable, Times Red Box
  • The EU will do a deal because bullying will only ensure its destruction – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • Progressives need a vision for how Brexit should work – Marley Morris, Times Red Box
  • Labour must heal the wounds of Brexit – Ed Miliband and Hilary Benn, The Guardian
  • Is May really safe, or could Brexit blow open a gap in the political centre? – Ian Birrell, The i



Greening announces £2.4 billion to ease pressure on school places

“Nine grammar schools will expand as part of a £2.4 billion education funding announcement being made today. The money will pay for extra classrooms in existing grammars, it is understood. This is separate to ministers’ plans to overturn a ban on opening new grammar schools. Education Secretary Justine Greening said today’s money would ease the school places crisis by creating more than 600,000 extra places by 2021. She said some 1,500 projects to improve and expand school buildings at grammars, academies, primaries and secondaries would get the green light.” – Daily Mail

  • ‘Uber for teachers’ to tackle hiring crisis – The Times (£)
  • ‘Best friend’ dads blamed for boys’ low attainment – Daily Mail


  • If the SNP won’t change education, parents should – Brian Monteith, The Scotsman


Police warn Rudd that bail changes could allow criminals to escape justice

Prison bars“Sex offenders and other serious criminals could escape justice under new curbs on the use of bail, police leaders have warned. From Monday police will be expected to release offenders from bail within 28 days unless there are serious concerns in a bid to stop them languishing in “legal limbo”… Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, is pushing ahead with the plans despite the warnings. She said that the changes are justified because it “cannot be right” that some people are left languishing for years on bail.” – Daily Telegraph

  • End to cases being ‘stuck in limbo’ for months or years – The Sun

More law:

  • Truss enacts law to jail child groomers – The Sun


  • Bail is changing, and so should police investigations – Daily Telegraph

Clark flies to Korea in bid to save nuclear plant

“Greg Clark, UK business secretary, will visit Seoul this week in a bid to salvage the multibillion pound Moorside nuclear power project in Cumbria. Moorside is an important part of Britain’s plans for a new generation of nuclear reactors to maintain energy security but its future has been thrown into doubt by the financial crisis at Toshiba, the Japanese group leading the Cumbrian project. Mr Clark will meet senior South Korean government officials and nuclear industry executives to discuss potential investment in Moorside by Kepco, the state-controlled utility.” – FT

Evans calls for review of aid cash to risky projects

aidgraphic“Ministers spent £60 million of taxpayers’ money on a foreign aid project just months after admitting the cash could be used to fund fraud, corruption and even terrorism. Two payments of £38 million and £22 million from Britain’s bloated overseas aid budget was handed to the World Bank to spend on the controversial Green Climate Fund at the end of last year. But in April the project – which ploughs money into green projects around the world – was given a “major” risk rating by the Department for International Development (Dfid). It raised fears in its annual review that money given to the fund could be used for “fraud, corruption and other prohibited practices including money laundering and the financing of terrorism”.” – The Sun

Corbyn’s shadow Local Government Secretary to quit shadow cabinet

“Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary is to quit her post after May’s local government elections. It has emerged that Teresa Pearce will step down to focus on her constituency – as new analysis shows Labour are on course to lose 50 vital council seats. She took over from colleague Grahame Morris, who was recovering from an illness. She told The Mirror: “I have been in an acting role for Grahame as he was ill. “It is now clear he is not coming back to the role for some time and it needs to be a permanent position especially as we have elections next month.” It is thought she will be replaced by Roberta Blackman-Woods, the MP for the City of Durham.” – The Sun

  • Labour MPs revamp centre-left Tribune Group to win back middle class – The Guardian
  • Khan cracks down on even modern diesel cars – The Times (£)


  • Drivers count the cost of Labour’s diesel folly – Daily Mail

Trump threatens unilateral action against North Korea

TRUMP victory speech“Donald Trump has warned that the US will take unilateral action to eliminate the nuclear threat from North Korea unless China increases pressure on the regime in Pyongyang. In an interview with the Financial Times, the US president said he would discuss the growing threat from Kim Jong Un’s nuclear programme with Xi Jinping when he hosts the Chinese president at his Florida resort this week, in their first meeting… But he made clear that he would deal with North Korea with or without China’s help. Asked if he would consider a “grand bargain” – where China pressures Pyongyang in exchange for a guarantee that the US would later remove troops from the Korean peninsula – Mr Trump said: “Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.”” – FT

News in Brief:

  • Greens propose three-day weekend – Daily Mail
  • Quarter of shops plan to scrap checkouts by 2021 – Daily Telegraph
  • Clementi leads BBC into an era of sweeping changes – FT
  • Inflation adds £4bn to Government’s cuts – The Independent
  • Colombian river avalanche death toll hits 250 – Daily Mail
  • Adams says ‘stable’ Stormont deal needed – Belfast Telegraph