Johnson 1) He demands “Brexit assurances”

“Boris Johnson has demanded a series of Brexit assurances as the fragile Cabinet truce over Theresa May’s transition plan begins to fracture. The Foreign Secretary wants Britain not to adopt any new EU rules and regulations after it formally leaves in March 2019, the Telegraph has learnt. He believes it is wrong for rulings from Brussels to apply in the UK during the two-year transition because Britain will no longer be involved in the decision-making process. The stance goes further than the Prime Minister – who declined to make the promise on Friday – and puts him on a collision course with the Treasury, which wants a “status quo” transition.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • He “forced May to change” Florence speech and “prevented her” backing Norway option – Observer
  • He’s “hailed a Brexit martyr” – The Sun on Sunday
  • He “wages war” on Hammond – Mail on Sunday
  • Was Chancellor pushing for 5-year transition? – Sunday Express



  • The foreign secretary is deluded and vainglorious – Will Hutton, Observer
  • He reminded the country that it had voted for something positive – Charles Moore, Sunday Telegraph
  • He’s gone for aggression over contrition – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • This looks like a “fight to the death” – Glen Owen, Mail on Sunday

>Today: ToryDiary: To save her Brexit policy, May must now ensure that her government is ready for No Deal. Or it won’t last.

>Yesterday: James Arnell in Comment: The Government must not dither away our Brexit negotiating position

Johnson 2) He, Hammond, Davis, and Rudd “embroiled in leadership plots”

“The fragility of Theresa May’s grip on power was laid bare last night as it was revealed that four of her senior ministers had made plans to replace her after the general election. With the prime minister already presiding over growing cabinet divisions after her big speech on Brexit, she faces a fresh blow today with the news that Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, David Davis and Amber Rudd were embroiled in leadership plots after she surrendered the Tory majority. In a move that could have brought down May, the chancellor texted the foreign secretary at about four o’clock in the morning after the election signalling that he was prepared to back Johnson if he ran for the leadership.” – The Sunday Times

Pro-Brexit minister defends May 1) Fox: Her message was clear and true

“…The city synonymous with European creativity and rebirth may now also enter the lexicon of British history, as the birthplace of new, deep and special partnership with the EU. It is where on Friday the Prime Minister set out a bold and ambitious vision, both in terms of the economic partnership we seek and the security relationship we are offering. And it is where she provided reassurance to EU citizens living in the UK who can carry on living their lives as before, and to EU member states, who will not need to pay more or receive less money over the remainder of the current budget plan. Throughout the speech the message was clear: while we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe. These words have been said many times over the last 14 months, but they have only been repeated because they reveal a profound truth about what our country is like.” – Sunday Telegraph

Pro-Brexit minister defends May 2) Raab: It was ambitious and bold

“On Friday, Theresa May took her ambitious and bold vision for post-Brexit Britain directly to the people of Europe and their elected leaders. We can’t apologise for delivering on the will of the British people in the referendum. We’re resolved to take back control of our money, laws and borders but none of that’s about doing Europe down. We want to remain firm friends, trading and co-operating on vital cross-border iss­ues. So in Florence, the PM put forward a “win-win” plan to make sure Britain and our European friends can go from strength to strength. As she said clearly, we are leaving the EU, not leaving Europe. Britain always has, and always will, stand with its allies in defence of our shared values. It is these and shared prosperity that will be at the heart of talks as we forge a new partnership.” – The Sun on Sunday


  • Has she made a “shabby” or conciliatory compromise? – Sunday Express

More comment: 

  • This talk of implementation seems like an “unconscionably long wait” – Dominic Lawson, The Sunday Times
  • May’s detail was significant and hard-nosed – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • There’s no wonder she continues to be vague – Kirsty Hughes, Sunday Herald

More Brexit:

Labour conference 1) The pro-EU letter from MPs and more

“As organisations and politicians from across the Labour movement, we are writing to urge the Labour Party to have the courage of its convictions on Brexit. We have watched with dismay as the Government has used a narrow referendum result to justify an extreme approach to Brexit, a scapegoating of EU migrants, and a Westminster power grab that would undermine both the sovereignty of parliament and the devolution settlement. Nobody voted to make themselves or their family poorer, to put jobs, rights and livelihoods at risk, or to reduce the opportunities of future generations.” – Observer

  • Party urges Corbyn to focus on anti-Brexit – Observer

Labour conference 2) Corbyn: We have changed the debate

“What a difference six months makes. The political landscape is barely recognisable from the day Theresa May stood in Downing Street to announce a snap general election. The pundits expected a Tory landslide. The election would strengthen the government’s hand in the Brexit negotiations and stabilise the country, they agreed. Labour faced oblivion. We didn’t succeed in winning a Labour majority and we need to do more to build trust and support. But we achieved the biggest increase in Labour’s vote since 1945, and the Conservatives lost their majority. The election campaign demonstrated the thirst for real change across Britain. We changed the debate and we have set the political agenda. The government has had to drop one damaging policy after another – from ditching free school meals to means-testing winter fuel payments for the elderly. The policies we campaigned for attracted support because they are what most people actually want.” – Observer


  • Thornberry claims they’re ready for power. They’re yet to show that – The Sun on Sunday 

Labour conference 3) McDonnell offers party to vote with Tories on changing student fees policies

“Labour has offered to join forces with the government to slash university tuition fees, interest rates on loans and student debts. In an interview with The Sunday Times before Labour’s annual conference, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, vows to back any “significant step” that cuts fees and raises the £21,000 salary threshold at which graduates start repaying their loans. Labour pledged in the general election manifesto to abolish tuition fees. But in a move that piles pressure on the chancellor, Philip Hammond, to act in the budget this November, McDonnell made it clear that Labour would vote with the Tories for a halfway house that offered some hope to students.” – The Sunday Times

More Labour

Uber appeals to Khan

“Peace may be breaking out in the battle between Uber and Transport for London (TfL) as the ride-sharing giant signalled last night that it was prepared to make concessions on passenger safety and benefits for its drivers. Sources close to TfL, which stripped Uber of its operating licence in the capital, said the move was encouraging and suggested the possibility of talks. More than 600,000 people have signed an online petition opposing the decision to drive Uber out of London. Speaking to The Sunday Times, Tom Elvidge, the company’s general manager in London, appealed directly to TfL and the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, saying: “We’d like to know what we can do . . . to sit down and work together to get this right.” – The Sunday Times


  • The decision hurts Londoners – Arun Sundararajan, Observer
  • This mess shows why Labour shouldn’t run the country – Stephen Pollard, Mail on Sunday
  • It shows the party’s “distaste for ordinary people” – Tom Harris, Sunday Telegraph


Farage says Ukip would be “finished” if it were anti-Islam

Brexit champion Nigel Farage is planning to announce a new political party to oppose Theresa May if an anti-Islam campaigner wins the Ukip leadership this week, it has been reported. It comes as Mr Farage blasted Theresa May’s Florence speech, claiming the two-year delay was a Tory plot to win the next General Election. The former Ukip leader, who stepped down following last year’s EU referendum, has reportedly told his friends that he will form a breakaway party if favourite Anne Marie Waters wins the party leadership election. – Sunday Express

Watch out for the German election today

“German elections are always held on a Sunday, and this year the country votes on September 24. Exit polls are quick and highly accurate, and we should have a pretty clear idea of who has won shortly after voting ends. But the business of coalition building can take much longer, and it could be weeks or even months before a new government is formed. Germany has a parliamentary system, like the UK, and like our Prime Minister, the chancellor is the leader who can control a majority in parliament. The system is very similar to the British one: there is no US-style electoral college, and no second round as in France.” – Sunday Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Why it’s all about demography – Robert Colvile, CapX
  • Why the Uber row is not one-sided – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • The long rise of Corbyn – George Eaton, New Statesman
  • Germany and Brexit – Matthew Elliot, BrexitCentral
  • My interview with Pidcock – Isabel Hardman, Spectator