Brexit 1) Rudd plans ‘census’ of EU workers

“A census-style survey of every EU worker is being launched by Home Secretary Amber Rudd today – but signalled that the UK would not take back full border control on Brexit day. She has told an independent panel to carry out the most comprehensive assessment ever of the role of European nationals in Britain’s economy and society. Experts will study exactly how many EU citizens have jobs and issues such as which sectors they work in, regional distribution, skills levels, seasonal workers and their impact on the competitiveness on UK industry. It intends to help ministers to devise an immigration system that keeps the economy buoyant after the country takes back control of its borders.” – Daily Mail

  • Brexit vote will have ‘painful’ consequences for consumers, warns Hammond – Daily Telegraph
  • European workforce report ‘will arrive too late’ – The Times (£)
  • Farage accuses ministers of ‘betraying’ Brexit on immigration – Daily Mail

Brexit 2) Amber Rudd: A post-Brexit migration system that works for all

“We will be asking the committee to examine the British labour market, the overall role of migration in the wider economy and how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy… This will be a chance for businesses and employers to express their honest opinions, independently of the government. It is critically important the views of each industry are reflected accurately in this evidence, so I would encourage industry representatives to get involved in the process. I also want to reassure businesses and EU nationals that we will ensure there is no “cliff edge” once we leave the bloc.” – FT

  • Controlling our borders need not harm EU nationals or the economy – Brandon Lewis, Times Red Box
  • A transition is only half the answer – Philip Stephens, FT
  • Business wants Brexit phased in slowly – Allie Renison, Times Red Box
  • Hardliners won’t like this soft plan. Tough – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Alex Morton’s column: Why supporting free trade and controlled migration is not a contradiction in terms

Brexit 3) EU warned that Britain could walk over ECJ row

“A senior minister has revealed that there is “a very good chance” Britain could walk away from Brexit talks over Brussels’ stubborn refusal to back down over the rule of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The leading member of the Government has told the Daily Express that the European Commission’s uncompromising demand that Britain continues to submit to the ECJ over citizen rights, trade, nuclear cooperation and other areas after Brexit “is a very, very big problem indeed”. The warning came after the European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier last week said he could “see no other way” for the EU to agree on citizens rights apart from the UK submitting to rulings from the ECJ.” – Daily Express

  • Liberal Democrats insist that EU must change stance – The Guardian
  • Verhofstadt accuses UK of jeopardising rights – The Independent



  • Polish standoff shows how little Brussels and London understand each other – Juliet Lewis, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s column: Could Poland’s populist assault on the judiciary happen here?

Brexit 4) Cabinet ‘war’ over chlorinated American chicken

“A cabinet row over the details of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US burst into the open yesterday when Michael Gove vowed to block the import of cheap chlorine-washed chicken. The Environment Secretary appeared to veto plans to lift the ban on controversial US farm produce as part of a wider trade deal. Mr Gove said the Government wanted the UK to remain a ‘leader in environmental standards’ after leaving the EU and warned against any ‘compromise’ on animal welfare. His comments came hours after Dr Liam Fox said there was ‘no health issue’ with the US practice of washing chicken carcasses in heavily chlorinated water to reduce the risk of bacteria.” – Daily Mail

  • The Environment Secretary’s stance would make any Brexiteer proud – Daily Express
  • US trade deal is ‘100 per cent certain’, Trump spokesman claims – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Gove and Fox must work together to prepare farmers for Brexit

Brexit 5) Labour could yet u-turn on Brexit, campaign chief admits

“Labour could still u-turn on Brexit if it senses public opposition hardening, the party’s campaign chief has admitted. Andrew Gwynne claimed Labour could still be ‘flexible’ on its Brexit position amid a growing battle inside the party over Jeremy Corbyn’s policy. The Labour leader is backing the Government on taking Britain out of the EU single market and has a confused position on the customs union. Theresa May insists leaving both EU groupings is crucial to deliver Brexit because they open the door to cutting migration and striking new trade deals.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour ‘backs away from hard Brexit’ – The Times (£)
  • Corbyn’s allies split on approach to leaving the EU – Daily Express
  • McDonnell contradicts Corbyn and says Labour could back Single Market – The Sun
  • Opposition divisions deepen – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn claimed EU was ‘barrier to socialism’ to Venezuelan dictator – Daily Mail

More Labour:

  • Lords block Corbynista from winning Scottish PLP leadership – Daily Express

Government pushes ahead with plans to tax diesel cars

“New diesel cars are about to be hit with higher taxes to fund pollution-cutting measures in dozens of towns and cities. Drivers of older diesels also face charges or restrictions in up to 29 council areas where roads have illegal levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide, under the government’s air quality plan. Councils will get £255 million for steps such as removing speed humps, changing road layouts, boosting public transport and helping drivers to retrofit older diesels. Draft proposals must be published by the end of March. The measures will be funded by changes to the tax treatment for new diesel vehicles or “reprioritisation within departmental budgets”. Tax changes will be announced in the autumn.” – The Times (£)

  • Gove ‘channels Thatcher’ to insist on ban – The Sun
  • Policy a ‘smokescreen’ as pollution policies dumped – The Independent
  • City leaders brand air quality plan ‘inadequate’ – The Guardian
  • Radical scheme unravels as experts warn of trillions in costs – The Sun
  • Ulster Unionists warn of impact on Northern Irish energy supplies – Belfast Telegraph


>Today: Brian Macdowell in Local Government: Khan’s attack on London’s drivers

>Yesterday: Ben Caldecott and Sam Hall in Comment: Ministers must push harder for clean air

Javid appoints Grenfell task force

“Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, has vowed to keep a team of central government specialists in charge of recovery from the Grenfell Tower fire disaster for as long as necessary and has stripped a range of powers from Kensington & Chelsea council. Mr Javid announced that Aftab Chughtai, a former chairman of the West Midlands Police independent advisory group, will be in charge of the task force. The group will have the job of examining whether the council, which owns Grenfell, had “proper arrangements” to engage with the local community over its long-term recovery plans, he said.” – FT

  • At least ten councils ‘beg for cash’ to fix buildings – The Sun
  • Survivors ‘being hounded by ambulance chasers’ – The Independent


  • Javid makes a dull subject interesting – Sam Leith, FT

>Yesterday: Local Government: Social housing leaseholders are being ripped off too

David Starkey: Confessions of a gay Conservative activist

“At the end of the 1970s, I came out as a Tory as suddenly and completely as I’d come out as gay. And a decade later, I combined the two when Peter Campbell, who had founded the Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality in 1975, asked me to take over the organisation. We stepped out of the closet (and the basement) and relaunched at the party conference in 1991 in a modest glare of publicity. We cheekily renamed ourselves TORCHE (Tory Campaign for Homosexual Equality) and gave the Party’s then emblem of a flaming torch a camp fillip. We were stuffed with thrusting PR boys and lobbyists and played a significant part in the Major government’s attempt to equalise the age of consent for straight and gay sex at 16.” – The Spectator

  • This country has made huge strides on gay rights – Nick Gibb, Times Red Box
  • Half of Tories ‘think gay sex is unnatural’ – Matt Chorley, Times Red Box

News in Brief:

  • Hate crimes against Jewish people soar to record levels – Daily Mail
  • Arsonists blamed as thousands flee Riviera blaze – The Times (£)
  • Poland’s constitutional crisis is pulling the EU apart – Daily Telegraph
  • Democrats struggle to take on Trump – FT
  • HMRC mounts ‘aggressive’ inheritance tax raid – Daily Express
  • More than 500,000 primary pupils taught in ‘super-sized’ classes – The Sun
  • Furious bosses warn of tide of employment tribunals – Daily Mail
  • Police Scotland chief faces bullying allegations – The Scotsman