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Brexit 1) Whitehall “proposes £36bn figure” for EU divorce

“Britain is prepared to pay up to £36 billion to the EU to settle the so-called Brexit divorce bill, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal Senior Whitehall officials have concluded that such an offer – the first time a precise figure has been proposed – is the only way to break the current deadlock in negotiations. However, the UK will only agree to pay the €40 billion sum it if the EU agrees to negotiate the financial settlement as part of a deal on future relations, including a trade deal. There separate sources in Whitehall and government with knowledge of the UK’s negotiating strategy confirmed the figure, dismissing previous reports that Theresa May would agree to a £50bn bill as “too high”.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • It would be linked to a post-Brexit trade deal – The Sunday Times (£)
  • Though sources seek to play down such speculation – Observer
  • King says May should show seriousness by preparing for “no deal” – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

  • It’s not a divorce – Dia Chakravarty, Sunday Telegraph
  • We haven’t heard of “Brexit jihadis” yet, but… – Vince Cable, Mail on Sunday
  • Does the British state have the “capacity to deliver” Brexit? – Nick Cohen, Observer
  • The Brexit cold war is on hold while May is away – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

>Today: Marcus Fysh in Comment: Keep the transition simple, and focus Brexit negotiators’ efforts on the eventual, permanent deal

Brexit 2) Young EU migrants could gain two-year visas

“EU migrants aged under 30 could be given two-year visas that allow them to live and work in the UK post-Brexit under economic contingency proposals being considered by the Government. Independent body the Migration Advisory Commission has been asked by ministers to examine the likely economic impact of the imminent exit from the EU which is set to end freedom of movement to and from the UK. In its call for evidence, published this week, the committee suggests the UK economy could benefit by giving preferential treatment to younger migrants…” – Independent on Sunday

  • They could be given “extra points” in a new system – Sunday Express

Comment:

  • Let’s compare British and American approaches to immigration – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Brexit 3) Fast-track non-EU passport entry to be extended

“Families visiting Britain this summer are to be offered fast-track entry to show that the country is “open for business”. The Registered Traveller Service (RTS), which is available to passport holders from selected non-European Union countries including America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore, allows accelerated entry through ePassport gates or the EU passport lane. Until this month only adults have been able to take advantage of the scheme, which costs £70 a year and has been predominantly used by business travellers.” – The Sunday Times (£)

  • Minister tries to persuade Britons to holiday here – Sunday Express

Comment:

  • Governments need to think hard about tourism – Elizabeth Becker, Observer
  • Airport security has gone from slow to lax in Spain – Charlotte Wace, Mail on Sunday

Energy bills to be reviewed. Green taxes to stay

“Green taxes which are blamed for adding up to £150 to every power bill will not be cut as the result of a government review of rising energy bills announced today. Dieter Helm, an Oxford academic and critic of wind and solar power, has been hired to lead the official review of energy bills – but has been told he cannot suggest any “detailed” changes to green taxes. Last week British Gas blamed the taxes for a huge rise in electricity bills for three million of its customers. Electricity prices will increase by 12.5 per cent, adding £76 to the typical annual bill, from next month for British Gas’s customers.” – Sunday Telegraph

Comment:

Freeman to launch Conservative festival of ideas

“A Conservative MP has revealed he is organising a ‘Tory Glastonbury’ following the boost given to Jeremy Corbyn at the music festival this year. George Freeman wants to establish the event for party activists and their families as way to bolster the Conservatives’ dwindling grassroots support. He told the Financial Times he had already raised £25,000 for an idea which he said had “struck a chord” with those he asked for help.” – Independent on Sunday

  • Former May advisor agrees with Timothy that party needs to focus on JAMs – Observer

Comment:

  • Why are “Tory failures” being rewarded with jobs and influence? – Marina Hyde, Observer

>Today: ToryDiary: The new ConHome monthly survey. Almost 1400 responses received.

Hannan: Agriculture reform should not be about self-sufficiency

“As we begin to draw up a national farming policy for after Brexit, however, it is worth going back to first principles and asking whether agriculture, which accounts for less than 1 per cent of our economic activity, ought to be in a special category. Why, after all, does the idea of being dependent on food imports unsettle us? We’re rarely bothered about being dependent on imported combine harvesters or telephones. The desire for self-sufficiency has its roots not in economic theory but in evolutionary psychology.” – Sunday Telegraph

Aitken: What we should do about prisons

“Many of our prisons have become simmering cauldrons of dangerous discontent. They are going through a period of crisis whose toxic ingredients include record suicide, self-harming and violent assault figures; two serious disturbances last week that had to be quelled by riot-trained officers; widespread drug abuse and chronic understaffing. One former prison governor, Ian Acheson, said on Newsnight last week that the army should be called in, while the president of the Prison Governors Association, Andrea Albutt, publicly attacked her bosses at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for policy failures. Do such signals suggest that the cauldrons are about to boil over?” – The Sunday Times (£)

  • Spice is a problem on the outside too – Observer

Will Maitlis take over Sunday Politics?

“Telly interrogator Andrew Neil is quitting one of the BBC’s flagship political shows — with Emily Maitlis favourite to take up the job. Sunday Politics host Neil, 68, has said he wants more time at his home in France. He is in talks with the Beeb about reducing his workload but will carry on presenting the late-night This Week. The Scottish newsman was recently named as one of the BBC top earners pocketing between £200,000-£249,000. Newsnight host Maitlis, 46, has emerged as the bookies’ favourite at 2-1 for the Sunday role.” – The Sun on Sunday 

Ferguson: American tyranny is not led by Trump

“With every passing week, those who predicted the tyranny of Donald Trump look sillier. Blocked by the courts, frustrated by Congress, assailed by the press, under mounting pressure from a special counsel, and reduced to re-enacting The Apprentice within the White House, the president has passed from tyranny to trumpery to tomfoolery with the speed of a fat man stepping on a banana skin. So does that mean we can all stop worrying about tyranny in America? No.” – The Sunday Times (£)

News in Brief

6 comments for: Newslinks for Sunday 6th August 2017

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