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Britain to demand ‘frictionless’ Irish border…

“No check points or CCTV cameras should be put on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit, Britain will demand today. Ministers will say their top priority is keeping the frontier free of border posts as they make clear there will be ‘no return to the hard borders of the past’. In a paper today, the Government will say that Brussels could agree to there being no checks on goods crossing the border. Under one proposal, small businesses that make up 80 per cent of cross-border trade would be exempted from customs rules.” – Daily Mail

  • Why the Northern Irish border is crucial to a deal – The Times

More:

  • Clegg to write a book on keeping Britain in the EU – The Sun

Editorial:

  • Stay in the customs union, don’t shadow it – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Britain, Ireland and Brexit. Bordering on talking past each other.

…but ‘fresh Cabinet row’ erupts over length of transition deal

“A fresh Cabinet row has broken out after Liam Fox and Boris Johnson insisted any Brexit transition must be no longer than 12 months. New government proposals today called for a temporary customs union with the EU after Britain’s exit to help businesses prepare. Ministers conceded the plan would mean the UK could not implement any new global trade deals for as long as it stays in place. Brexit Secretary David Davis aligned himself with Philip Hammond’s softer Brexit camp today when he said the transition would last “somewhere like two years”. The Chancellor is pushing for as long a transition as possible after pleas from worried businesses. But his allies’ declaration of victory has infuriated the Foreign and International Trade Secretaries.” – The Sun

  • Ministers divided on ‘betrayal’ – Daily Express
  • Papers aim to fast-track customs talks – FT
  • Verhofstadt dismisses customs union plans as ‘fantasy’ – The Times

Negotiations:

  • Davis threatens to add VAT to EU goods… – Daily Mail
  • …and threatens ‘mountain’ of red tape… – The Sun
  • …as Chapman accuses him of working a three-day week… – The Times
  • …and sets out to found anti-Brexit ‘Democrats’ – The Independent

More:

  • Shadow minister bungles customs union questions – The Sun
  • Farage claims that nobody voted for a transitional arrangement – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Common sense should ensure good customs arrangements are reached – Andrew Lilico, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit Britain is a land of dreamers now – Josef Joffe, FT
  • Our country looks urbane, but unhinged – Rafael Behr, The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Brexit, customs, implementation and new trade deals. May wants to have her cake and eat it – but not quite yet

MPs pledge rethink on silencing Big Ben…

“MPs are set to review the ‘bonkers’ Big Ben plan after claiming they didn’t know the famous bell would be silenced for four years. Three Parliamentary committees are said to have agreed on the work before it was given final approval by the House of Commons Commission, chaired by Speaker John Bercow. But last night MPs insisted they had no idea they were signing off on a plan that would silence the Great Bell’s bongs for four years because of health and safety concerns. They expressed anger at the length of time allocated to refurbish the Elizabeth Tower, which will silence the bells to protect workers from hearing damage, with Tory MP Nicholas Soames saying: ‘Tell those poor little darlings to put headphones on.’” – Daily Mail

  • …and demand cats after pest control bill hits £130,000 – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • This is our final warning to save Parliament – Caroline Shenton, The Guardian

Hammond urged to prevent hike in rail fares

“Rail commuters were furious yesterday after it emerged average fares will rise 3.6 per cent next year — the biggest hike since 2013. Chancellor Philip Hammond was under pressure last night to block the increases, which will see some annual season tickets into London jump by nearly £200. Regional commutes will also soar by up to £120 as a result of the annual rise in regulated fares, which are based on July’s 3.6 per cent retail price index (RPI) inflation measure.” – The Sun

Nigel Huddleston: Tories must not be afraid to tax and spend

“Our instincts as Conservatives to extol the virtues of financial discipline may have helped feed a false narrative of harsh cuts. In fact tax (currently 37 per cent of GDP) and government spend are at historic highs. We shouldn’t be afraid of admitting this truth – that Conservatives can also be a party of record spending on public services – because this has only been possible due to the underlying strength of the economy. I’m not advocating profligate spending, but we shouldn’t balk at spending on the right things and investing to benefit the economy in the long term.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: John Baron MP in Comment: It’s time to embrace the One-Nation message – and win

Mackinlay to stand trial over election expenses

“A Tory MP accused of fiddling his expenses in the 2015 General Election campaign is set to stand trial next May. Craig Mackinlay and his team allegedly failed to declare expenses during the party’s campaign to win the seat when he beat former Ukip leader Nigel Farage. The 50-year-old politician secured a majority of nearly 3,000 in South Thanet, Kent, beating Mr Farage after a tense campaign with 38 per cent of the vote. But Mackinlay and his team allegedly did not declare spending on hotel rooms and advertising materials for Tory party staff, activists and volunteers.” – Daily Mail

Corbynistas to ‘purge’ Labour HQ

“Jeremy Corbyn’s top aides are moving to Labour’s headquarters to purge the party of his critics, The Sun can reveal. His hard-left director of communications Seumas Milne will switch offices to restructure senior staff and take on an all-powerful role at the Victoria Street building. And another of Mr Corbyn’s team will take over as the party’s head of media – replacing a long-standing Labour moderate. David Prescott – the son of the left-wing former deputy prime minister John – is also “lurking around the press team 24/7”, according to insiders. Members of the hard-left Corbyn-supporting group Momentum have already been installed in Labour’s press office as part of efforts to make the party’s HQ mirror its grassroots strategy in future elections.” – The Sun

  • Vaz fights off Momentum challenge to hold National Executive seat – The Guardian
  • Corbyn constituency visits ‘increased Labour vote share’ – The Independent

More:

  • Labour vow ‘flexible’ pension age, but won’t say where they’ll find £20 billion price tag – Daily Express
  • Khan to crack down on developers over affordable housing – FT
  • Birmingham bin strike by Unite costs taxpayers £40,000 per day – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Greg Hands MP: How Momentum is planning a loony left takeover in London

News in Brief:

  • Thousands line Portsmouth seafront as HMS Queen Elizabeth enters port for first time – Daily Mail
  • Judge claims children use law to exploit elderly parents – The Times
  • Trump says ‘alt-left’ bears some responsibility for Charlottesville – Daily Telegraph
  • British car manufacturer to be first to export driverless models – The Sun
  • Drug-related deaths in Scotland double in a decade – The Scotsman
  • Care home crisis: 190,000 new beds needed by 2035 – Daily Mail

13 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 16th August 2017

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