Brexit talks 1) Davis and Barnier both confirm UK will leave single market and customs union…

David Davis and the EU slammed the door on any prospect of a “soft” Brexit as formal negotiations on leaving the EU finally got underway in Brussels. The Brexit Secretary confirmed Britain would be leaving the customs union and the single market, in a move designed to scupper any parliamentary plots to water down the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from Europe. His counterpart, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, also confirmed that Britain would leave the single market and the customs union.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Davis “reiterated the Brexit pledge” – FT
  • But says “there’s more that unites us than divides us” – FT
  • They gave each other hiking-related gifts – Daily Express



  • I’m sure Mr Davis is up to speed by now – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph (£)
  • Tres difficile… Tres amusant… – Tom Peck, Independent
  • A step for freedom, mes braves – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Davis and Barnier open the Brexit negotiations

Brexit talks 2) …But British negotiators “agree to EU sequencing demands”…

“British negotiators have capitulated to key European demands for a phased approach to Brexit talks, agreeing to park discussions on free trade until they have thrashed out the cost of the multibillion-euro UK divorce settlement. Putting a brave face on a concession that may further strengthen the tactical dominance of the EU, the Brexit secretary, David Davis, insisted his initial retreat remained consistent with long-term government strategy. “It’s not how it starts, it’s how it finishes that matters,” Davis said in Brussels after the first day of formal talks. “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”” – Guardian

  • Barnier “insisted” that Davis agreed to timetable – The Times (£)
  • Davis had wanted “present and future” to be negotiated in parallel  – Independent
  • He had wanted to address trade deals at once – Daily Mail
  • He has “conceded” by dropping that demand – FT
  • But he denies dropping it – Daily Telegraph
  • Here’s the timeline – Daily Express
  • May’s “self-harm” has “weakened” UK position – FT
  • Here’s the team list – The Times (£)


  • Has May’s vision of Brexit been been reduced? Janan Ganesh, FT

Brexit talks 3) …And Davis and Barnier were “quickly at loggerheads” over divorce bill

“Britain and Europe locked horns over the thorny issue of the so-called “Brexit bill” on day one of the talks to begin Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. After initial pleasantries for the cameras at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, David Davis, the Brexit secretary and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator and their teams were soon at loggerheads. One of the biggest disagreements in the coming talks came to the surface after UK negotiators questioned the legal rationale for the €100bn gross settlement that the 27 EU members states are demanding from the UK.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Barnier says Britain should “take responsibility for Brexit” – Daily Telegraph
  • He says there will be “no punishment” but “no concessions” either – Daily Express
  • EU sources call first day progress “window dressing” – Independent

May condemns Finsbury Park attack as “sickening attempt to destroy freedoms”

“The terror attack at a north London mosque overnight was yet another “sickening attempt to destroy freedoms” and was as insidious as recent Islamist atrocities, Theresa May said today. The prime minister said that the white suspect, who allegedly drove the van which was rammed into worshippers outside the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park, is believed to have acted alone. He has been named locally as Darren Osborne, 47, of Cardiff. He was said to be a father of four.” – The Times (£)


  • I suspect murderer was not a political warrior – Hugo Rifkind, The Times (£)
  • Terrorism “has not one religion” – Julie Lenarz, Daily Telegraph
  • Don’t assume the attacker was truly “lone” – Will Gore, Independent
  • We’re at “boiling point” – Katie Hopkins, Daily Mail


  • Our country seems to know no respite – Daily Express
  • We must be “less liberal” with those who want to destroy us – The Sun
  • Britain is “united against terrorism” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Andrew Gimson in Profiles: Finsbury Park Mosque – An extremist past, claims of Muslim Brotherhood influence, and an establishment present

Opposition parties “band together” over Queen’s Speech amendments in “attempt to defeat government”…

“Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP MPs are joining forces to try to bring down Theresa May’s Government by passing amendments in Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech. The Opposition parties only need seven MPs to change sides to overturn the Government’s 13-strong working majority which could trigger a no confidence motion in Parliament. The parties are looking at defeating the Government on amendments covering legal rights for tenants to demand protection from the risk of fire, easier access to the single market, a Brexit commission, hundreds of millions of pounds more for the NHS and an open Irish border after Brexit.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Labour and Lib Dem MPs are “plotting” – Daily Express
  • One of the amendments “will regard tenant rights” – The Sun
  • Queen’s Speech will “highlight the scale” of May’s task – FT
  • “Major parts of manifesto” are being abandoned – Daily Mail
  • Speech includes mention for commercial space flights – Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: Why a former Coalition Minister could draw more Tory than Labour voters as Liberal Democrat leader

…While Fox “wins battle” to get trade bill included

“Dr Liam Fox has won a Cabinet battle to get a historic trade bill included in Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech, The Sun can reveal. The new law will enable Britain to take back control of trade policy from Brussels for the first time in decades and transfer the power to collect tariffs back to Westminster. … Dr Fox, the International Trade Secretary, fought against attempts to delay a trade bill amid fears Europhile Cabinet ministers are trying to soften Brexit. It was one of 13 planned Brexit contingency bills that Eurosceptics feared would be frozen as Remainers attempt to exploit the PM’s election disaster.” – The Sun

Johnson and Gove say May has “support across the party”

“Senior cabinet ministers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have suggested that Theresa May should stay on as prime minister and deliver Brexit. Their backing came the day after Philip Hammond signalled Britain may remain temporarily. The leading Leave campaigners told the BBC that Mrs May has support across the Conservative Party, and that there is no public appetite for further political upheaval. The prime minister had her authority challenged after failing to secure an overall majority in the general election, and Brexit negotiations starting in Brussels today.” – The Times (£)

  • Johnson allies “talk down” Davis leadership ideas – Daily Telegraph
  • They say he’s “too old” – Daily Express
  • Mitchell says talk of Davis ambitions is “simply untrue” – Guardian
  • Downing Street “brushes aside” suggestions May has “considered quitting” – Independent
  • Brentford and Isleworth exemplified her “doomed” campaign – Economist


  • What I think the Conservatives should do – Matthew Goodwin, Daily Telegraph
  • They must “unite and grow up” – Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
  • May must rethink her approach – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)

>Today: Iain Duncan Smith’s column: My message to Tory colleagues. The Prime Minister stands between Britain and Corbyn. So let’s get behind her.


DUP deal “held up” by “their financial demands”

“Theresa May has pledged that the details of any deal for the Democratic Unionist Party to prop her up in power will be made public, as talks go down to the wire. No agreement has been finalised to guarantee the Conservatives a Commons majority – nine days after No 10 was forced, embarrassingly, to retract a claim that it had already been reached. … It is believed to have been caused by the DUP’s big financial demands, for both higher public spending in Northern Ireland and lucrative tax breaks.” – Independent

  • The talks still haven’t finished – Daily Mail

Javid assures councils they will be reimbursed for fire prevention upgrades

“Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, has told senior figures in local government that councils will be fully reimbursed for any building work carried out on tower blocks that could face a similar fire risk to that of Grenfell Tower. A letter sent by the Local Government Association chairman, Gary Porter, to council leaders in England and Wales and seen by the Guardian, claimed the minister made the promise in a private conversation. Lord Porter said he had “secured assurances that funding will be made available to those councils that need to conduct work”.” – Guardian

  • Government will cover costs – The Sun
  • “Lack of communication” affecting Grenfell aid supply – The Times (£)
  • May says there will be no “seizing” of private property – The Sun
  • Gove criticised for response to question about whether victims were being moved to Manchester – Independent
  • Councils “ordered” to check for similar cladding – Independent


  • “The truth” about K&C council’s “stashed assets” – James Moore, Independent

>Today: Harry Phibbs in Local Government: With tower blocks, fixing one design flaw can create another

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: May on the Finsbury Park attack. “There has been far too much tolerance of extremism…including Islamophobia”.

Harris: Where are Labour’s moderates now?

“…Perhaps it is this … that has spurred on certain elements in the Labour Party to encourage the support of the following motion at this year’s annual conference: “This CLP [Constituency Labour Party] believes that all members of the Labour Party should refrain from making negative public statements about other Labour Party members, Labour MP’s [sic] and the Party leader – public being on social media, in the press, during interviews and whilst representing the party – and such statements should be made ‘behind closed doors’ during meetings, and any official statements made should reflect the position of the membership/party only, and not individuals.”- Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Armed man rams police van on Champs Elysées – The Times (£)
  • American student dies after recent release from North Korea – Daily Telegraph
  • Assange has been in embassy for five years – The Times (£)
  • Oxford student dressed up in KKK outfit – Daily Mail
  • Bank chiefs charged with fraud – Herald
  • UK hotter than Bahamas – Guardian
  • We need to talk about Brexit and dating – FT