The Government proposes ‘virtual border’ for Northern Ireland

‘A largely ‘virtual border’ could be put in place between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit, government papers will suggest this week. CCTV cameras, automatic number plate recordings and limited customs spot checks are among ways in which ministers want to mitigate Brexit’s impact on the province. They have been examining the US-Canada border which uses electronic tracking to allow free movement of goods. The issue is among the most challenging being navigated by ministers during early Brexit talks. The Government’s formal position will be set out this week. A paper on the issue will be published on Wednesday, following a paper tomorrow on post-Brexit customs arrangements. Further papers including on agriculture and fisheries will be published next week as Brexit Secretary David Davis returns to the negotiating table in Brussels. Ministers are keen to make progress on Ireland, the Brexit divorce deal and rights of EU citizens so they can begin trade talks.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Nicky Morgan’s column: You’re welcome to your new Democrat Party. I’m sticking with the Tories – to fight, fight and fight again for moderation.

Hammond ‘ignored’ Treasury Remainers’ attempts to slow down Brexit

‘Treasury chiefs tried to slow Brexit down to a ten year process, The Sun can reveal. Insiders claim mandarins pushed for a transitional deal with the EU that could have had the UK staying in the Single Market and Customs Union for a decade, but were ignored by Philip Hammond. Instead the Chancellor has demanded “a period of at the most three years.” He told the BBC last month there was “a broad consensus that this process has to be completed by the time the scheduled time of the next general election which is in June 2022.” But sources tell The Sun some Treasury beancounters wanted the transition to be much longer, with one saying “they all think Brexit is a crime against the Holy Ghost”. And one Whitehall official last night branded the Treasury “Remain Central”.’ – The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Philip Hammond, committed Brexiteer

Rees-Mogg: I don’t want to be leader, but here’s what I would do if I got the job

‘I neither am a candidate, nor wish to be one. I want to be the servant of the Conservative Party, not its master. Nor is this some clever plan to seek other office; if it were, it would have been scotched some weeks ago when it was suggested to the PM, who giggled in response rather more than my mother considered tactful. Writing about oneself is boring, but ideas are not. The question for Conservatives is “What do we want to propose to the electorate and how can we deliver it?” The last election campaign was too managerial and lacked inspiration. An effective manifesto does not need a great list of specific promises, it must instead set out a principled foundation on which each policy may be built. Unlike the Socialist, the Conservative believes that society is built from the bottom up, not the top down.’ – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Daily Telegraph

  • He would cut stamp duty, demolish tower blocks and tackle energy monopolies – Daily Telegraph
  • Allen says she would leave the Party if he became leader – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Rees-Mogg should be offered a Ministerial post

New strategy to combat heart disease

‘Millions are to be offered checks at GP surgeries and pharmacies in an NHS drive to prevent heart disease and early deaths. The strategy aims to raise dramatically the detection of ‘silent killer’ conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and irregular heartbeats. Seven million adults in the UK are thought to have at least one of these disorders that has never been diagnosed or treated – leaving them at higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, dementia or sudden death. Now, NHS England has ordered local health authorities to ensure they identify those at risk and get them the correct treatment, which may include statins.’ – Daily Mail

  • One in six care homes at risk of insolvency – The Times
  • DWP hands out ‘rewards for failure’ – The Times

May presses for UN reform to prevent security council members protecting ‘forces of evil’

‘Permanent members of the UN Security Council should be stripped of their power of veto if they use it to block action aimed at protecting people from “forces of evil”, the Conservative party has said. In a ‘Declaration Against Genocide’, the party has called for a “reformed” United Nations and accused Moscow of sabotaging efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Syria. It says limiting the veto power of the five permanent members of the Security Council would allow to the UN to protect populations from genocide and other atrocities. The party’s declaration was launched on Saturday by Andrew Mitchell, the former International Development Secretary, during a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda. In a message to Tory activists and MPs on the project, Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said:”As a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, the United Kingdom has proudly made clear that will never vote against credible Security Council action to stop mass atrocities and crimes against humanity. “‘ – Daily Telegraph

Nuclear industry warns of skills shortage

‘Britain will not have enough skilled workers to build a new generation of nuclear power stations unless ministers remove the uncertainty hanging over UK energy policy, industry executives and labour leaders have warned. Tens of thousands of engineers and construction workers will be needed to complete the Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset and several other planned nuclear plants over the next two decades. Thousands more are needed to decommission the existing fleet of nuclear reactors — all but one of which are due to reach the end of their operational lives by 2030. “It’s 20 years since we built a nuclear power station. These people are not just sitting around waiting to start again,” said Alistair Smith, nuclear development director at Costain, the UK engineering group. “We’ve just got Hinkley C started and resources on that project are already starting to look scarce.”’ – FT

Phillips: Left-wing men are ‘the worst’ in terms of sexism

‘Left-wing men are the “absolute worst” and guilty of benign neglect in the fight for sexual equality, according to a female Labour MP. Jess Phillips said the “well meaning . . . left-leaning” were worse than what someone else described as the “out and out sexists of the right”. She revealed that a leading left-wing journalist from The Guardian had “lectured” her that Harriet Harman, the former Labour deputy leader, “was not that great for women”. The figure, whom she declined to identify, had also told her that Jeremy Corbyn had “always voted the right way”. “So yeah, Jeremy Corbyn better for women than Harriet Harman, obviously,” she said in a sarcastic tone, continuing: “I remember him in all those meetings, there with his banners for [equality]”. Although the clues pointed at Seumas Milne, the Labour Party director of communications, being the figure who was dismissing Ms Harman, both parties denied it.’ – The Times

  • Corbyn opposes Britain taking part in military exercises with her allies – The Sun
  • Labour expects jump in business revenue at their conference – The Times
  • Miliband only turns up to 55 per cent of Commons votes – Daily Mail
  • Blair was on the UAE’s payroll while working as Middle East peace envoy – Daily Telegraph
  • He isn’t the vote-winner he once was – Daily Telegraph Leader

Trump under fire after weak response to Charlottesville

‘President Trump faced criticism last night over his vague response to deadly clashes in Virginia ignited by the largest public gathering of white supremacists in years. One woman was killed and 19 people were injured when a car hurtled into a gathering of counter-protesters in the centre of Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon, sending bodies flying. The victim was named as Heather Heyer, 32, a legal assistant from Charlottesville. James Alex Fields Jr, 20, has been charged with her murder. The attack followed street skirmishes earlier in the day that prompted Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia, to declare a state of emergency in the liberal college city. Two Virginia State Police officers died later in the day when the helicopter from which they were observing the disturbances crashed.’ – The Times

Anti-Islam leadership candidate divides UKIP

‘The third UK Independence party leadership contest in less than a year has escalated with accusations that the anti-EU party has been taken over by far-right, anti-Islam activists. Anne Marie Waters, the director of Sharia Watch UK pressure group, was last week approved by Ukip’s national executive as one of 11 candidates in this summer’s contest. The decision has provoked anger among senior party figures, who note that she was blocked as a parliamentary candidate for the general election. The party’s former leader, Paul Nuttall, said at the time that Ms Waters’s views made him “uncomfortable”. Ms Waters’s leadership manifesto accuses Islam of turning Britain into “a fearful and censorious society”, and proposes “internment of known jihadis”, the repeal of the Human Rights Act and the banning of the burka. Ms Waters also claims that “large sections of inner-city Britain have become ungovernable”, and that reforms to address institutional racism in British policing must be undone.’ – FT

Universities prepare to lower standards to attract applicants

‘Britain’s leading universities still have thousands of empty courses, figures show, as they prepare to drop their standards to fill places. Over 4,000 courses still have vacancies at 15 out of the 24 elite Russell Group universities, ahead of A-level results day this Thursday. Admissions tutors for sought-after courses such as Law and English Literature that typically require A* and A grades at A-level are poised to drastically lower their entry requirements in a bid to entice as many students as possible. A dip in applications has left even top ranking institutions scrabbling to fill places, as this year a significant drop in the number of EU students combined with a decline in the youth population has led to applications to British universities falling by four per cent.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Fanny Hill dropped from university English syllabus for fear of offending students – The Times

News in Brief

  • Met equips firearms officers with body cameras – Daily Mail
  • Holiday Tax hits £3.1 billion – The Sun
  • Arrests of drunken air passengers rise 50 per cent in a year – The Times
  • Bookshop pays 16 times the business rates of huge Amazon distribution centre – The Sun
  • Big Ben’s bongs fall silent – Daily Telegraph