Brexit 1) Brexiteer ministers ‘relaxed’ about temporary extension of freedom of movement

“Senior Conservative Brexiteers have signalled that they are comfortable with a transition offer that allows EU citizens free movement to Britain for up to two years after leaving the bloc. Philip Hammond, the chancellor, believes he has the support of every cabinet minister for a transitional deal after Britain leaves the European Union in 2019. A new immigration regime would be put in place after the two years. Yesterday a series of prominent Brexiteers, some of whom had previously rejected transition periods, were relaxed about the plan. Michael Gove, the environment secretary, who ran Vote Leave, has promised a “pragmatic” approach to Brexit in response to suggestions that Britain could maintain free movement for EU citizens during a transition period following the official separation from Brussels.” – The Times (£)

  • Environment Secretary ‘admits EU migrants will keep coming for five years’ – Daily Mail
  • Gove ‘confirms’ support for transitional period – FT
  • Chancellor’s ‘secret assurances’ to Goldman Sachs on ‘lengthy’ transition – The Sun
  • Hammond criticised by MPs over plan to keep borders open – Daily Telegraph
  • Pro-Brexit MPs divided on exit plan – The Sun
  • Government ‘in the dark’ due to poor migration figures – The Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: Has the Cabinet reached a deal on immigration? Not yet.

>Yesterday: Brandon Lewis in Comment: Our plans to secure our borders while welcoming skilled migrants

Brexit 2) Davis’ officials claim victory as EU grants extension to consider ‘divorce bill’

“David Davis’ Brexit officials claim to have won a major victory against the EU – as Brussels gives Britain more time to publish its position over a whopping £85 billion divorce bill. Sources claim EU negotiating chief Michel Barnier modified his address at the Commission HQ on Thursday at the last minute – to include an acceptance that details on the financial settlement will not come in “incremental steps”. Officials say that while a technical point it is the first time the EU has given ground on the divorce bill – the most highly charged political issue of the entire first phase of the divorce negotiation. In his address, Mr Barnier slammed Britain for refusing to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. And he also said more “clarity” was needed on the UK’s position on the financial settlement.” – The Sun

  • But EU chiefs claim that Britain has underpaid – Daily Express
  • London and Brussels at loggerheads on half the issues – The Guardian
  • Profile of David Davis: self-style ‘tough guy’ who divides opinion – The Times (£)
  • CBI insists that it isn’t trying to reverse Brexit – The Sun
  • Japan offers to loan Britain its trade negotiators – The Times (£)


  • Save young people from pro-EU propagandist teachers – Mark Brolin, Daily Telegraph


  • The Government must put the economy first – The Times (£)
  • A healthy dose of reality enters the debate – FT

>Today: John Deben in Comment: The appeasement of reactionaries over Brexit has betrayed Heath’s legacy

May will be Prime Minister ‘until at least 2020’, insists Grayling

Theresa May will remain Prime Minister until at least 2020 and could even fight another general election, one of her Cabinet colleagues has predicted. Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, is confident Mrs May will fight on once Brexit has been achieved in March 2019 because she “commands the overwhelming support of the Conservative Party”. If he is proved right, it increases the chances of a fresh face in the party emerging from the backbenches to succeed her, as David Cameron did in 2005, just four years after becoming an MP. As Mrs May’s campaign manager during her successful 2016 leadership bid, Mr Grayling is one of her most loyal Cabinet ministers.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Prime Minister heads on summer break as Tories celebrate survival – FT


  • Ex-Dragon’s Den star donates to Davis – Daily Telegraph
  • Freeman brands Corbyn a ‘proper’ threat to May – Daily Express
  • Eight potential successors to the Tory leadership you may not have heard of – Daily Telegraph


Public Spending: Treasury considers regional pay for the public sector…

“Public sector workers could have pay rises linked to where they live, under plans being examined by the Treasury. Chancellor Philip Hammond has asked officials to look at the case for linking pay awards to the cost of living as he tries to balance demands for higher pay against the need to keep public spending under control. The move could see public sector workers in areas such as the North East offered lower pay increases than those living in more costly areas like the South West. Ministers acknowledge that any proposal for regional pay rises will be resisted by the big public sector unions, which are fiercely protective of the idea of national pay structures.” – Daily Mail

  • Government borrows £2 billion more than expected – Daily Mail
  • Workers won’t benefit from crude populism on executive pay – Ryan Bourne, Daily Telegraph

…as Gove insists farmers will have to earn subsidies post-Brexit

“The EU’s wasteful farming subsidy scheme will be ditched in a favour of a system that rewards farmers and landowners for protecting the countryside, Michael Gove pledged yesterday. In his first keynote speech as Environment Secretary, Mr Gove said the Common Agricultural Policy was ‘bureaucratic’ and a post-Brexit system of support for agriculture would put ‘environmental protection first’. Under the CAP, £3 billion is handed out to landowners in the UK every year, largely calculated on how much they farm. In total, 39 recipients get £1 million or more.” – Daily Mail

  • Environment Secretary signals change of thinking – FT
  • Osborne and Gove received £17,000 apiece upon leaving Cabinet – Daily Mail


  • How to help farmers be profitable and sustainable – Minette Batters, Daily Telegraph



Knight leads backbench critics of ‘toxin tax’ plans

“Environment Secretary Michael Gove faces a Tory rebellion over government plans to whack motorists with a Toxin Tax to tackle spiralling air pollution. Key backbenchers have teamed up with fuel campaigners to demand the widely respected Tory shelve all plans to “penalise” drivers in cities in ‘Clean Air Zones’ across the country… Julian Knight, chair of a cross party parliamentary group for motorists, told the Sun: “Drivers were told for years that diesel was the environmentally conscious choice. As an MP for a car-making town I’m very shocked that some manufacturers misled customers and regulators on emissions. But the Government’s response must not punish motorists who acted in good faith.”” – The Sun

  • Gove ‘deeply regrets’ Trump’s approach to the Paris climate agreement – The Guardian
  • Ban on microbeads to be world’s strongest – The Independent


  • Reality awaits the Environment Secretary’s green dreams – The Guardian

Tories will face tougher time on select committees

“The Conservatives face more trouble in parliament this autumn after losing their majorities on a host of select committees, while a letter leaked to The Times warned that term-time leave for MPs has been cancelled. The number of Tory MPs on a host of key committees has been reduced to reflect the Conservatives’ disappointing election result. Most select committees in the House of Commons have about 11 members and membership reflects the party balance. A note to MPs from Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench 1992 Committee, reveals that Conservatives will be cut from eight to six on the public accounts committee, from six to five on the Treasury, home affairs, education, science and health select committees and five to four on the defence select committee.” – The Times (£)

Sturgeon to meet Mundell in Downing Street downgrade

“Nicola Sturgeon will no longer be granted access to Prime Minister Theresa May in a highly provocative move which is likely to cause a major row with the SNP. From now on, the SNP leader will only get to deal with Scottish Secretary David Mundell because ministers believe ‘he is at the same level as her’. Since she became Prime Minister, Mrs May has held several face to face meetings with Miss Sturgeon to discuss issues including Brexit and aspects of devolution. The First Minister was the first major leader the Prime Minister met just days after she entered Downing Street for the first time. But the doors of Number 10 will now be firmly closed to Miss Sturgeon in a deliberate attempt to downgrade her stature.” – Daily Mail

  • ‘Indyref2’ will come right as Brexit goes wrong, insists Salmond – The Scotsman


  • Scottish Labour accused of ‘tacitly’ aiding the Tories – The Scotsman

Hard left plot to oust Watson as Labour deputy

“Hard-left Labour supporters are plotting to depose the party’s deputy leader over what they see as disloyalty to Jeremy Corbyn. The activists are pushing to replace Tom Watson, a centrist, with Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, who is close to the party leader. Mr Watson is viewed by the Labour leader’s allies as an alternative power base and therefore a threat to Mr Corbyn’s control of the party. Grassroots supporters have accused the deputy leader of trying to place anti-Corbyn members on the party’s governing body. He has also sparked anger among the left by branding Momentum, the leader’s network of supporters, a “rabble” and accusing “Trotsky entryists” of influencing its younger members.” – The Times (£)

  • Corbynistas weigh creation of second deputy position – FT

More Labour:

  • Abbott fires back after ITV tweets interview stumble – The Guardian
  • MPs lead calls to boycott Boots over morning-after pill position – The Sun


  • TV journalists set out to make me look stupid – Diane Abbott, The Guardian

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Corbyn’s idle promises on student debt come back to bite Labour

Council delayed abuse inquiry to aid Labour

“A paedophile inquiry into a Labour politician was deliberately delayed by senior council officers in an attempt to boost the party’s chances in the 2015 general election, an independent inquiry has found. A report has concluded that Mike Owen, the former chief executive of Bury council, and Mark Carriline, its head of children’s services, did not follow child protection rules for political reasons. This was allegedly in an effort to ensure that claims surrounding Simon Carter, a disgraced former councillor, did not surface before the poll. Yesterday Labour suspended Mike Connolly, the former leader of the council.” – The Times (£)

Donaldson insists DUP cash will be spent with or without devolution

“Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said the money secured by the DUP as part of the deal to prop up Theresa May’s government will be spent, whether or not a Northern Ireland Executive is in place. Confusion has reigned over the conditions attached to the £1bn deal which is to go toward the health service, schools and roads. Secretary of State James Brokenshire suggested the money may only be available should there be an Executive, however, the DUP have said that was not a condition of the deal they signed. In a statement to the Belfast Telegraph, the Tory party implied that the restoration of devolved institutions is not a precondition for the funding. Speaking on Friday, the DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who signed the deal between the two parties, said the money would be spent regardless.” – Belfast Telegraph

  • Sinn Fein use language of rights and equality to attack Ulster’s place in the UK – Owen Polley, News Letter

Charles Moore: Despite the embarrassment, the BBC will win this funding row

Yet, despite the BBC’s embarrassment, I sense that the “gender gap” story is the one it is steering everyone towards. After all, it is always hard, sometimes contractually impossible, to cut people’s pay, so the most likely result of this BBC sex war will be that the women will get more while the men stay the same. Then the whole point of exposing the figures in the first place – to force the BBC to control its costs – will have been upended, and licence fee-payers will be still further imposed upon. In its eternal struggle to gouge more out of the involuntarily-paying public, the BBC will have won.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Two die in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police – Daily Mail
  • Airline laptop ban to be ‘scrapped within week’ – The Times (£)
  • First Class to be scrapped on busy commuter trains – Daily Telegraph
  • Rush to cash in pensions spurs FCA scrutiny – FT
  • Severn Bridge toll to be scrapped at the end of 2018 – The Sun