May to strike new tone on divorce bill to try and break Brexit deadlock…

“Theresa May will try to break the deadlock in the Brexit talks next week with a major speech setting out her vision for a new deal with the EU. The Prime Minister will travel to Florence next Friday to deliver an ‘update on Brexit negotiations’ amid fears they are close to stalling. Mrs May will confirm that Britain is to leave the EU in March 2019. And she will state that the existing system of free movement will end on that day. But she is expected to strike a more conciliatory tone on the controversial issue of the divorce bill, which Brussels is demanding before any talks on a future trade deal can begin.” – Daily Mail

  • Green will be the Prime Minister’s ‘secret weapon’ in the talks – Daily Express
  • Deputy says excess devolution could lead to Anglo-Scottish trade war – The Scotsman
  • Pro-Brexit MP says UK should keep paying into the EU budget – Daily Telegraph
  • Grieve calls for early deal on citizens’ rights – The Guardian


  • ‘Gargantuan’ Brexit will define this Government, ex-minister warns – Daily Mail
  • Labour accuse Tory MPs of ‘filibustering’ bill – Daily Telegraph
  • Britain needs a plan to walk away, warns King – Daily Express
  • More clarity needed from Britain, says Macron ally – The Guardian

…as Hammond says that Brussels has ‘legitimate concerns’ about the City

“Philip Hammond admitted that the EU had “legitimate concerns” about the future regulation of the City of London on Wednesday night, as he vowed to draw up plans for supervisory co-operation between Britain and Europe after Brexit. “We acknowledge that there are legitimate concerns among our EU colleagues about the oversight and supervision of financial markets here in the UK that are providing vital financial services to EU firms and citizens,” the chancellor told a City audience at Mansion House, London. Mr Hammond said he would develop proposals for a new relationship with the EU on the supervision of financial markets, intended to preserve London’s status as Europe’s financial hub and reassure Brussels that British regulation would remain in line with European norms after Brexit.” – FT

  • Chancellor promises to protect City’s global position – The Guardian


  • Brexit wouldn’t have happened without the banking crisis, claims Darling – The Guardian
  • Juncker reveals vision for a United States of Europe – The Times
  • New envoy says US will be ‘staunch ally’ throughout Brexit – The Sun
  • Factories upbeat despite Brexit toll on staffing levels – The Scotsman

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Juncker announces radical plans for further EU integration and centralisation

Burnham urges Corbyn not to sabotage migration restrictions

“Labour will betray Northern voters if the party does not support tough curbs on immigration after Brexit, Andy Burnham warned today. The Mayor of Greater Manchester said attempts to force through a soft Brexit risk looking like a “backlash from the Establishment to almost deny the referendum result”. His dire warning came as a Labour veteran warned his fellow MPs were trying to “mess up” Brexit in a bid to keep Britain in the EU. Mr Burnham – who supported Remain in the referendum – said he was worried about Labour’s proposal to stay in the single market.” – The Sun

  • Field slams Opposition’s ‘guerrilla warfare’ against the Withdrawal Bill – Daily Express
  • BBC boss criticises Corbynites over abuse of journalists – Daily Telegraph
  • New data protection rules to exempt journalists – FT


  • Corbynistas have contempt for questions – David Aaronovitch, The Times

Syed Kamall: Brussels must take a hard look in the mirror to regain public confidence

Because just as Soviet 5-year plans did not create booming Soviet economies, EU Growth Plans don’t create jobs – businesses create jobs. We must also remember that our economic prosperity is reliant upon global stability. We cannot show disunity in our dealings with Russia, or other unpleasant regimes. We must maintain sanctions. We must show in words and in action that for countries such as Ukraine, NATO, the EU and the West can offer them a better, stronger, more stable future than turning to face the East.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Juncker can’t really regret Brexit, it has freed the EU to pursue its true agenda – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • Stormy waters ahead for the EU Withdrawal Bill – Bernard Jenkin, Times Red Box
  • Barnier’s ambition will be useful to Britain – Iain Martin, The Times
  • Juncker has made clear the EU’s anti-democratic bent – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph


  • The EU needs leadership on urgent problems, not fantasies – The Times
  • Proof that Britain could never have remained in the EU – Daily Telegraph
  • Juncker’s comments prove we made the right choice in June – The Sun

Public sector pay: May clashes with unions over threat of illegal strikes

“Theresa May slammed union threats of illegal strikes today as she vowed ‘greater flexibility’ on public sector pay – but warned the government must balance the books. The Prime Minister laid into Unite chief Len McCluskey for saying he was ready to break the law and cripple public services to force big wage rises. She also swiped at Jeremy Corbyn and senior Labour figures for refusing to criticise the prospect of illegal industrial action. In bitter exchanges with Mr Corbyn at PMQs, Mrs May confirmed that the government is dropping the across-the-board 1 per cent limit on rises for state workers, which has been in place since 2013. But she warned that ministers had to be ‘fair’ to taxpayers and ensure that jobs were not lost.” – Daily Mail

  • Another shadow minister backs McCluskey over strike threat – The Times
  • Prime Minister urged to guarantee numbers of police and prison officers – The Guardian
  • May and Corbyn cross swords on public sector at PMQs – Daily Telegraph
  • Tories feel heat as DUP backs Labour on pay – FT
  • Prime Minister clashes with police union over pay – Daily Mail
  • Police Federation brand May a ‘liar’ over claim – The Independent
  • Troops won’t get a pay rise until next year – The Sun


  • State workers paid more than private, according to the Social Market Foundation – Daily Mail
  • Morgan claims that low interest rates are hurting workers – The Times
  • Trades unions demand ‘serious penalties’ for companies over pay gap – The Independent


  • This pay offer for police officers is derisory – Louise Haigh, Times Red Box


Munira Mirza: May’s phoney race war is dangerous and divisive

“Next month, Theresa May is expected to launch her long-awaited audit into racial disparities in public services. We are being prepared for the worst. Unnamed Whitehall insiders say that they have been ‘shocked’ by the picture it reveals of racial discrimination in the UK. All this suggests the scene is being set for another bout of political self-flagellation regarding the subject of race in Britain, in which half-truths are peddled by lobbyists and swallowed wholesale by officialdom.” – The Spectator

  • May drops plan to strip tax breaks from private schools – The Independent

>Today: ToryDiary: May’s audit of ethnic disparities has the potential to blight her planned relaunch

Ministers 1) Gauke presses on with Universal Credit rollout

“Benefits claimants moving to the government’s universal credit scheme are “dropping off a cliff” because of delays in payment, councils have told MPs. David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, is pressing ahead with plans to increase the number of jobcentres paying the controversial benefit, which merges six welfare payments into one. The changes have been described as a “disaster waiting to happen” by Citizens Advice and six Conservative MPs have written to Mr Gauke in an attempt to force him to delay the plans. Adding to the pressure, senior council officials told the work and pensions select committee yesterday that some people receiving universal credit were being pushed into rent arrears.” – The Times

  • Tories must show that Universal Credit works – Jenni Russell, The Times

>Yesterday: Robert Halfon MP’s column: Conservatives must get better at retail politics

Ministers 2) Johnson welcomes ‘cash injection’ for hurricane-wracked Overseas Territories

“Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has welcomed the commitment of an extra £25 million to help British Overseas Territories affected by Hurricane Irma, branding it ‘great news’. Undertaking a visit of Anguilla, where he saw first hand the damage caused to the island, Boris said: ‘You can’t be but affected by the scale of devastation the people of Anguilla have endured.’ Before heading to the British Virgin Islands, he visited Anguilla’s Princess Alexandra Hospital, which suffered 60 per cent damage as Hurricane Irma unleashed devastation, something he said was ‘pitiful’ to witness.” – Daily Mail

  • UK can’t use aid budget to help as affected islands are ‘too wealthy’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Territories warn of ‘catastrophic’ post-Brexit funding loss – FT
  • Downing Street attempts to keep the Foreign Secretary on board – The Times

Ministers 3) Gove warns that concerns over chlorine-washed chicken could delay US trade deal

“Concern over chlorine-washed chicken could hold-up a post-Brexit UK-US trade deal, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has said. Giving evidence to the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Mr Gove said the Cabinet had agreed Britain would not relax its food or animal welfare standards in order to secure trade agreements after EU withdrawal. Environmental concern about a possible American trade deal has highlighted the widespread US process of washing chicken carcasses in chlorinated water, something the EU banned in 1997.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brexit ministers are ‘brothers from another mother’, Environment Secretary insists – The Sun
  • Fallon outlines plan to expand arms trade post-Brexit – The Independent

Ministers 4) Brokenshire sends mixed signals on MLAs’ pay

“Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire has said he has no powers to put a stop to MLAs’ pay, but that he has “heard the calls” and is considering acting. The minister was speaking at Northern Ireland questions in the House of Commons. The lack of a devolved administration was the focus of the session. Mr Brokenshire said the focus was on re-establishing an Executive… Lady Hermon described it as a “scandal” MLAs continued to pick up her salary, asking “why on earth” it was allowed to continue, Mr Brokenshire admitted he had no powers to stop payment, but he had “heard the calls” and would consider stepping in.” – Belfast Telegraph

  • Absentee legislators must share blame for new incinerator approved by bureaucrats, say campaigners – Belfast Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: May calls Ulster leaders to try to get Stormont up and running

MPs criticise Osborne for ‘vile abuse’ of May

“George Osborne was accused of plumbing new depths with his attacks on Theresa May after reportedly telling colleagues that he would not rest until she was “chopped up in bags in my freezer”. The former chancellor has previously described the prime minister as a “dead woman walking… on death row” and likened her to the “living dead in a second-rate horror film”. The former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said that macabre and violent imagery was irresponsible in an era in which women in public life faced “vile abuse”. Maria Miller, head of the women and equalities committee, added: “We need to debate with facts not vile personal abuse.”” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • All sides have a strong interest in a low-friction Irish border – Shanker Singham, Brexit Central
  • Juncker’s ‘state of the union’ shows why Brexit was the right call – Gerald Warner, Reaction
  • The right is still frightened of Blair, why is the left ordered to hate him? – Helen Lewis, New Statesman
  • London’s development dark age – Peter Bingle, Comment Central