Brexit 1) Talks resume today. Divorce bill “standoff” continues

“Britain’s talks on leaving the European Union will resume on Monday amid a deepening standoff over the UK’s financial obligations. As the Brexit secretary, David Davis, calls for “flexibility and imagination” to break the deadlock, senior EU diplomats say their chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, will find it difficult to make progress until they have agreed how to calculate the amount Britain must pay to leave. Three and a half days of talks resume against the backdrop of a shift in policy from Labour and with both sides saying there is unlikely to be a major breakthrough.” – Guardian


  • There are “hardliners on both sides” – Charles Grant, Guardian
  • The long-term threat Brexit poses to European cohesion – Wolfgang Munchau, FT

Brexit 2) Davis calls for “flexibility and imagination”

“David Davis, Brexit secretary, travels to Brussels on Monday for the latest round of EU exit talks, calling for “flexibility and imagination” from both sides amid signs that negotiations have become deadlocked. Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead negotiator, has insisted there can be no discussions about the “future relationship” until sufficient progress has been made on settling the divorce: notably on Northern Ireland, citizens’ rights and an exit bill. Mr Davis, meanwhile, has tried to force the pace. He argues, for example, that discussion of the Northern Ireland border can only make sense alongside discussions on a future EU/UK customs arrangement.” – FT

  • And for an end to EU “stonewalling” – Daily Express
  • He will “reiterate” need for economic deal in best interests of UK and EU – The Sun

Brexit 3) EU may be willing to talk trade “as early as October”

“France and other EU nations have signalled they are willing to begin Brexit trade talks as early as October in a move that opens the door to a climbdown by the EU, The Daily Telegraph has learned. Senior French diplomats have made clear they want to see the deadlocked Brexit talks make progress in the first sign of splits emerging in the EU. Under the terms of a proposal set out by France the UK is being encouraged to request a three-year transitional deal if it continues to pay into the EU Budget and accepts EU law.” – Daily Telegraph

More Brexit:

  • Group of Tory MPs petition Hammond for duty-free tax “tweak” – Daily Express
  • SNP calls for removal of “no deal” option – Herald

Labour 1) Matthew Norman: Starmer’s Brexit gamble…

“At last – or so it seems – Labour has rolled the Brexit dice. After pussyfooting around the craps cage for ages, it has bet the houseon a Brexit so soft as to be virtually no Brexit at all. Apparently. Forgive the qualifications, but the party’s meanderings on the issue have been so tortured and confused that even the supposedly definitive word of Keir Starmer, its Brexit supremo, wants seasoning with a dribble of doubt. At the time of writing, after all, there has been no word fromJeremy Corbyn. Reportedly, he agreed the change last week. But he will have done so with real reluctance, and he has form for abruptly, publicly contradicting policy that offends him.” –  Independent

  • His terms are “remarkable for their sobriety” – Zoe Williams, Guardian
  • It’s a “significant move” – Peter Mandelson, FT
  • This is Corbyn taking advantage of May’s “dithering” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail


  • Labour’s new policy is “very important and very welcome” – Guardian
  • It’s “the best news in a long time” – FT
  • Finally, a stance! – The Sun

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Keir Starmer absolutely, clearly, and unambiguously declares war on Brexit ambiguity. Sort of.

Labour 2) …as Field accuses him of “plotting to wreck Brexit”

“… Frank Field, a eurosceptic Labour MP and leading figure in the Leave campaign, accused Sir Keir of plotting to “wreck” Brexit. He told The Telegraph: “There are a lot of people around who are wolves in sheep’s clothing – their main intention is to keep Britain in the EU.  “They are pretending to help the process while seeking to wreck Brexit. A lot of Labour voters want us out of the Customs Union and the Single Market. “They trust the Prime Minister is on course to take us out. They are going to get very angry with people who they begin to see are intent on messing up that process.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Starmer and Corbyn “face backlash” from senior ranks – Guardian
  • Starmer’s allies says he’s taking the “least worst option” – Independent
  • He’s criticised over timing regarding the talks – The Sun
  • Umunna says he hopes the stance will “embolden Tory rebels” – The Times
  • May is facing “pressure from her own party” – FT
  • Parris says he’d consider voting for Labour over this – Independent

Kirkup: Why we need serious debate rather than short-term fixations

“You’re not imagining it. Life really is speeding up. Online and in touch 24/7, we communicate, purchase and get angry about things faster than ever before. We’re all in such a rush that we even walk more quickly than we used to. Many people think faster lives mean faster politics. Brexit, Trump and Corbyn are all cited as evidence: electoral turbulence put down to the pace of change in the way we live. Actually, politics isn’t getting faster, at least where it matters. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Think back to 2001. Sixteen years ago, Britain joined the US in invading Afghanistan. Sixteen years later, American troops are still there and their numbers are about to rise again.” –  The Times

  • Why the Conservatives need to focus on housing – Rob Wilson, Daily Telegraph
  • Why Africa shows how Britain might succeed in the new world – Rory Stewart, Daily Telegraph


Parliamentary river barrier recommended after security exercise reveals risks

“An armed guard has been posted at the Thames to protect parliament after a security exercise showed that terrorists could break in from the river and kill 100 MPs in five minutes. A new river barrier has been recommended after officers posing as attackers used a boat to enter the Palace of Westminster. A stretch of perimeter fence only 3ft high was identified as another weak spot. In March Khalid Masood, a British Muslim convert, ran over pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before stabbing PC Keith Palmer to death in New Palace Yard. Sir Jon Murphy, a former Merseyside chief constable, was asked to review perimeter security.” – The Times

  • Phillips received 600 rape threats in a day – Independent

Petraeus says USA will be in Afghanistan for decades

“American forces are likely to stay in Afghanistan for decades after an increase in troop numbers, a former commander of US and Nato troops in the country has indicated. … “The analogy with Afghanistan isn’t perfect, given that is a true shooting war, but when we have had significant national interests at stake we have sustained efforts, and I think that is why a sustained commitment is important here but also why that has to be sustainable,” he told The Times.” – The Times


  • Afghanistan, sixteen years on – The Times


More America

News in Brief

  • Merkel says she doesn’t regret migration policy – Daily Mail
  • Hurricane Harvey “submerges” Houston – Daily Telegraph
  • Controversy over Christian girl housed with Muslim foster carers – The Times
  • Hopes for new heart drug – Guardian
  • Beachey Head “chemical incident” affects over 200 – Independent
  • Macron’s popularity “plummets” – Daily Express
  • Hunt-Hawking fight continues – Guardian