OBR warns a recession is ‘almost inevitable’… and more spending would make things worse

“A new recession in Britain is ‘almost inevitable’ and increasing public spending without hiking taxes risks disaster, the economic watchdog warned today. The Office for Budget Responsibility said a range of risks confronted Britain and Brexit heightened the ‘likelihood and impact’ of some of them. It warned ministers that bowing to public pressure to open up the spending taps without paying for it via new taxes would ‘only add to the longer-term challenges’. The organisation said because debt was still at historically high levels since the financial crisis, the economy was ‘much more sensitive’ to ‘interest rate and inflation surprises’.” – Daily Mail

  • Hammond boosted in fight with austerity’s critics – FT
  • May’s election flop could put £3.5 billion black hole in budget by 2021 – The Sun
  • Reliance on taxing the rich puts economic security at risk – Daily Telegraph


  • May’s biggest danger is not Brexit, but stagnant wages and living standards – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Ministers should listen to the OBR, not chase after Corbyn

>Yesterday: Garvan Walshe’s column: The Taylor review is a distraction. The real problem facing Britain is that our Welfare State is bust.

Fallon announces that RAF will become first Service to put women in close combat roles

“The RAF is to make history by becoming the first branch of the British Armed Forces to accept women to all roles in a “defining moment”. The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has announced even close combat roles will be open to both sexes from September onwards, ending a 75-year-old ban… The decision comes after a recent review of work practices, which found in terms of risks the RAF Regiment – the infantry wing of the air force – was closer to the Royal Armoured Corps, which is already admitting women to its training ranks.” – The Sun

Brexit 1) Davis tries to defuse Euratom row

“The Brexit Secretary last night sought to defuse the row over withdrawal from Europe’s nuclear agency. David Davis suggested he would try to secure ‘associate membership’ of Euratom, which regulates radioactive material and nuclear power plants. Remainer Tory MPs had demanded Britain stay in the agency, which is not technically part of the EU but is regulated by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and has legal links to other EU bodies.” – Daily Mail

  • EU payments will go on, Secretary of State concedes – The Times (£)
  • UK highlights risks Brussels will run without a transition deal – FT

>Yesterday: James Arnell in Comment: Johnson is right. Brussels can go whistle for €100 billion.

Brexit 2) Split between Fox and Hammond over transitions deepens

“Cabinet splits over Brexit deepened yesterday as International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said he only backed a transition period of “a few months”. This puts him at odds with Cabinet rivals Philip Hammond and David Davis. The Chancellor wants to keep existing trade arrangements with the EU for at least four years to avoid a “cliff edge” while the Brexit Secretary says it should be up to three years. But this would make Dr Fox all-but redundant because Britain is barred from signing new trade deals until we quit the customs union. Last year he warned that entering into a transitional period would risk “diminishing” the will of the British people in the referendum.” – The Sun

  • There will be no easy trade deals for Britain – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • Reject the chancers and their fantasies about post-Brexit trade – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

Brexit 3) Fifteen Tory MPs ‘in talks with Labour’ over keeping freedom of movement

At least 15 Conservative MPs are in talks with Labour about a deal which could keep Britain signed up to free movement after Britain leaves the European Union, the Telegraph can disclose. The Tory MPs could back a plan to keep the UK in the European Economic Area after Brexit which would require the UK to accept unlimited numbers of migrants from within the EU. The news came as the Government published legislation which will repatriate thousands of Brussels powers to London after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Labour, Scots, and Welsh gang up against Brexit bill – Daily Mail
  • Wales and Scotland to withhold ‘legislative consent’ from bill – The Independent
  • SNP claims Holyrood could block hard Brexit – The Scotsman
  • Corbyn sets out Labour’s vision for Brexit – The Guardian
  • Rees-Mogg dismisses opponents’ meeting with Bernier – Daily Express
  • May faces clash over repeal legislation – The Times (£)
  • Prime Minister accused of trying to scrap people’s rights – The Independent
  • Adonis faces calls to quit after comparing Brexit to Appeasement – Daily Mail

More immigration:

  • Home Office accused of having ‘lost’ 16,000 overseas students – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Fraser Galloway in Comment: Sturgeon’s ‘compromise’ on single market membership is nothing of the kind

Brexit 4) Asa Bennett: The Repeal Bill is vital for Brexit, so Remainers are throwing all they have at it

“The Liberal Democrats pretend that they are crusading to protect workers’ rights, although the bill does just that, and are using it as an excuse to dilute Brexit by lumbering Britain with as much European regulation as possible after it leaves. Labour is still trying to be seen to voters in the North of England as the party which embraces Brexit, but in Parliament is gearing up to sabotage it as it can’t resist the temptation of getting one over the Tories. The “Great” Repeal Bill deserves to be known as such for the huge role it will play in the Brexit process, even if that will not be its name on the item of legislation… This is why Remainers are doing everything they can to delay its passage and dilute it. If they succeed in watering it down, they’ll hope to make sure that Brexit means not much change at all.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Hung Parliament is being suffocated with boredom – Chris Bryant, Times Red Box
  • We can’t leave Brexit to the Tory wreckers – Philip Collins, The Times (£)
  • Brexit is clearly a terrible idea, but it has to happen – John Harris, The Guardian
  • Politicians would be to blame for a post-Brexit food price fiasco – Ryan Bourne, Daily Telegraph
  • Westminster’s ‘power grab’ laid bare – Stephen Gethins, Times Red Box
  • Need for unity amongst Brexit’s opponents – Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman


  • With no majority, EU legislation will need to be passed line by line – The Times (£)
  • Repeal bill is bad for Brexit and democracy – The Guardian

>Today: Richard Ekins in Comment: The Charter of Fundamental Rights gives judges too much power, and is bad for accountable government

Cameron calls on all young people to join the National Citizen Service

“David Cameron today calls on young Brits of every religion to sign up to his National Citizen Service to help fight extremism. Writing for The Sun today, the former PM extols his holiday camps as a new way to tackle hatred which leads to terrorism. As well as building confidence for disadvantaged teens, the holiday courses have taken on another powerful significance after the devastating Manchester and London Bridge attacks, Mr Cameron argues. They do a vital job of bringing together kids from different races and backgrounds.” – The Sun

  • Broadening our children’s horizons is vital to their future – David Cameron, The Sun

May reveals she ‘shed a tear’ at the exit poll

“Theresa May has said that she “shed a little tear” and was hugged by her husband, Philip, when he told her about the exit poll that predicted she was about to lose her majority. The prime minister said that she was superstitious about watching the exit poll so let Mr May break the news to her, she revealed in an interview with Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 Live. In an indication that she shies away from bad news, she said that her husband also has to read critical newspaper articles to her. In her first extended interview since the result, Mrs May said that she had been devastated by the outcome of the vote on June 8, which had come as a complete shock.” – The Times (£)

  • Prime Minister claims she never considered resigning – FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: After a turbulent year, May still has a chance to influence how history will remember her

Government delays plans to fully digitise tax returns

“The UK government has announced further delays to its much-criticised plans to digitise the tax system for businesses. Its original Making Tax Digital programme would have forced all but the UK’s smallest businesses to start online quarterly reporting to the UK tax authority from April 2018. Then in March, the government announced a one-year deferral for businesses with turnover below the £85,000 VAT threshold. The Treasury announced significant new modifications on Thursday. Businesses below the VAT threshold will no longer be forced to move their tax reporting online. Instead, they will be able to do so “at a pace that is right for them”, although it did not rule out making digital reporting mandatory in future.” – FT

Labour refuse to investigate members who abused Cooper

“Labour last night refused to commit to investigate one of its members who crudely insulted Yvette Cooper and called her a “busted flush”. The Reel Politik, an account run by three left-wing activists, published a picture last week of the former shadow home secretary and chairwoman of the home affairs select committee on a train on Twitter… Ms Cooper, who finished third in the 2015 Labour leadership election, has condemned online abuse, saying attacks on the Labour MP Luciana Berger were “unacceptable” and “utterly shameful”, and defended the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg from “the vitriol poured out from all sides”.” – The Times (£)

  • BBC’s Kuenssberg given bodyguard after threats by online mob – Daily Mail

More Labour:

  • Election campaign ‘worst in almost 70 years’ at turning votes into seats – The Independent

News in Brief:

  • Macron and Trump embrace a new alliance – The Times (£)
  • President defends son’s meeting with Russian lawyer – Daily Express
  • Teenager arrested after five acid attacks in London – Daily Telegraph
  • A year on, Turkey seeks the truth about the July 15 coup – FT
  • Legal aid chiefs gave £50,000 to Hyde Park bombing suspect – The Sun
  • Visa will pay shops to drop coins and notes in ‘war on cash’ – Daily Mail
  • Southern train drivers to strike despite 24 per cent pay rise offer – The Times (£)
  • Civil servants at DfID receive bonuses of up to £10,000 – Daily Telegraph