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Brexit 1) Infighting among Tories could lead to Corbyn victory, warns Hague

“It is putting it a bit too politely to say, in the wake of Boris Johnson’s article in this newspaper on Saturday, that the approach of senior ministers to the Brexit negotiations appears to lack co-ordination. More bluntly, it is now 15 months since the referendum, and high time that all members of the Government were able to express themselves on this subject in the same way as each other, putting forward the same points, as part of an agreed plan. Hopefully, that happy circumstance will follow the speech the Prime Minister is due to give on the subject in Florence on Friday. If not, there will be no point Conservatives discussing who is going to be the Foreign Secretary, Chancellor or Prime Minister in the coming years, because Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister, sitting in Number 10 with John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, completely ruining this country.” – Daily Telegraph

  • May is so week that Boris was forced to lead – Rachel Sylvester, The Times
  • Theresa must back Boris – The Sun Says
  • The Tories are in chaos – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: May can use Johnson to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The Vote Leave-led alternative government. Gove denies claims that he has “cut Johnson adrift”

Brexit 2) May expects “seamless transition” in new trading relationship with Canada

“Prime Minister Theresa May has said she expects a “seamless transition” to a new trading relationship with Canada after the UK leaves the EU. She is in Ottawa ahead of a new trade deal between the EU and Canada coming into effect on Thursday. Mrs May’s trip is also focused on a trade dispute that could threaten aerospace jobs in Northern Ireland. She has previously lobbied the US about the row involving Canadian firm Bombardier and Boeing.” – BBC

Brexit 3) Government is being “driven from the front”

“Theresa May has attempted to reassert her authority after Boris Johnson set out his own vision for Brexit. Asked about the foreign secretary’s newspaper article, which sparked accusations of “backseat driving”, the PM told journalists: “This government is driven from the front.” “We are all going to the same destination,” she added. Mr Johnson said he was trying to “sketch out” the “incredibly exciting landscape of the destination ahead”.” – BBC

  • May tries to rein in Johnson before key speech – The Times
  • Will the Foreign Secretary be the next Prime Minister? – City AM

>Today: Columnist Christopher Howarth: Beware of the EEA-light plan to keep us shackled to the EU

>Yesterday: Henry Newman on Comment: Johnson has got the Foreign Office back in Brexit business. And for that we should all be grateful.

Brexit 4) Johnson hints he could walk away

“Boris Johnson openly speculated about his future in government last night after he was rebuked by Theresa May for speaking out over Brexit. Amid a deepening Cabinet row over strategy, the Foreign Secretary repeated his concerns about the dangers of being dragged into a long transitional deal. Friends said he was also concerned that Remainers in the Cabinet might wreck Brexit by keeping Britain in the single market in the long term. Speaking in New York, where he is due to have a showdown with the Prime Minister today, he suggested he was toying with quitting.” – Daily Mail

Brexit 5) Cable demands another referendum

“Sir Vince Cable will urge “sensible grown-ups” in other parties to join forces with the Liberal Democrats to prevent Brexit becoming a “disaster”. In his first leader’s speech, he will urge “political adults” in Labour and the Conservatives to put aside tribal loyalties to ensure the UK remains in the single market and customs union. He will defend his call for a further referendum on the outcome of EU talks. “We believe the public have a right to change their mind,” he will say.” – BBC

  • Scheming Remainers plot to join forces – Daily Express
  • Economists warn of Euro “destruction” – Daily Mail
  • Sir Vince compares Boris to a dictator – The Sun
  • We won’t win admit Lib Dems – The Sun

Brexit 6) Robbins moves to Downing Street thus leaving Davis “isolated”

“David Davis lost political control yesterday over the key civil servant charged with delivering Brexit after his permanent secretary was moved to a new job that would report directly to Theresa May. In a surprise move that senior Whitehall figures said would weaken Mr Davis and his department, the government announced that Oliver Robbins would leave the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) to concentrate on his role as Mrs May’s chief EU adviser. He will be based in the Cabinet Office and still oversee Brexit negotiations at an official level but will no longer report to Mr Davis, answering directly to the prime minister.” – The Times

Brexit 6) We must be prepared for no deal, Johnson tells friends

“Boris Johnson believes Brexit negotiations will fail and end up with Theresa May being humiliated, it has emerged. The Foreign Secretary has told friends that it’s vital the government prepares to walk away from the stalled talks as the EU will not give the UK any big concessions. Boris told one close friend recently that “nobody ever beats the EU in a negotiation”, and the Brussels elite will again succeed in grinding down the PM and force her to accept bad terms. The senior Tory’s thinking explains why he is pushing Mrs May to keep to a hard line in talks and not give away big sums of money or agree to trade restrictions.” – The Sun

Brexit 7) Scottish and Welsh Governments propose amendments opposing Westminster “power grab”

“The Scottish government is to outline plans to amend the legislation taking the UK out of the European Union. The Scottish and Welsh governments call the EU withdrawal bill currently under consideration at Westminster a “power grab” of devolved responsibilities. They have worked together to draw up amendments as a direct challenge to the UK government’s legislation. UK ministers insist there is no “power grab” planned, and say the devolved parliaments will be enhanced by Brexit.” – BBC

PM will do “whatever is necessary” to defeat illegal strikes

“Theresa May has stepped up her confrontation with union bosses over illegal strikes by declaring she will do “whatever is necessary” to break them. Left wing trade union barons have threatened to ignore new laws to make it harder to vote for walkouts. Senior figures from the giant Unite and GMB used the TUC conference last week to say they may go ahead with actions over pay and conditions without meeting a new threshold of 50% of all members agreeing to them.” – The Sun

Bucket bomb suspect had been referred to Prevent

“A teenage suspect in the Parsons Green bombing was reported to the counter terrorism strategy Prevent months before the attack, it was claimed last night. The 18-year-old Iraqi refugee, who was fostered by a couple in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, was said to have been in frequent trouble with the police and authorities. His desperate foster parents were alleged to have been struggling to cope.” – Daily Mail

Patel: UN must get its house in order

“It is precisely because of our commitment to the UN that we know it must be changed. The new Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, is pushing through a strong reform agenda; we support him and urge him to be bold. And as our Prime Minister flies to New York for the 72nd UN General Assembly, there will be no part of this agenda more important than improving the UN’s record, and that of its member states, on child sexual abuse and exploitation. Recent years have seen appalling acts carried out under the UN flag.” Priti Patel, Daily Telegraph

Crosby and Messina to offer digital skills to commercial sector

“The Conservative electoral consultants Sir Lynton Crosby and Jim Messina won’t forget in a hurry just how wrong their predictions were for this year’s general election. However, the two remain firm believers in their methods and are bringing to the corporate world the kind of customer profiling that they have previously produced for politicians. Outra, a new digital marketing company backed by them, aims to combine publicly available data on consumer behaviour with deeply personalised polling data on customer preferences to help retailers and other companies.” – The Times

Labour NEC to agree rule change to help leadership contenders from the Left

“Labour’s national executive committee is poised to agree to a rule change that will make it easier for another leftwing candidate to run for the party leadership after Jeremy Corbyn. Sources said the party’s ruling body was ready to accept a compromise deal on the so-called McDonnell amendment, named after the shadow chancellor, who is in favour of reducing the number of MPs needed to nominate a leadership candidate. The NEC will vote on the idea of reducing the threshold from 15% of MPs and MEPs to 10% in order to select candidates to be placed on a ballot for members.” – The Guardian

Higher rents pushing up the bill for taxpayers

“Taxpayers’ money is being wasted on “propping up rents” in a “failing housing market”, a report says. The National Housing Federation report highlights how money spent on housing benefit rose from £16.6bn in the mid-1990s to £25.1bn in 2015-16. It added that since 2011, no government money has been made available to build homes in England for low paid people to rent. The government said building more homes was its absolute priority. A Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) spokesman said it was continuing to work closely with the sector.” – BBC

  • Affordable homes shortage blights countryside – The Times
  • Country Unfair – Leader, The Times

Interest rate rise will be gradual, says Carney

“Any increases in UK interest rates in the coming months will be “gradual” and “limited”, Mark Carney has said. The Bank of England governor said that “some withdrawal of monetary stimulus is likely to be appropriate over the coming months” to help return inflation to its 2% target. Inflation hit 2.9% in August as the effects of the slump in sterling following the Brexit vote continued.” – BBC

Global warming claims exaggerated scientists concede

“The threat of global warming is not as bad as previously thought, climate scientists admitted yesterday. Warnings made in 2015 at the Paris Climate Change Conference had been too pessimistic, they said. These were based on projections that suggested nations had already produced too much greenhouse gas to limit global warming to between 2C and 1.5C above 19th-century levels. This meant drastic and urgent cuts would have to be made in greenhouse gases to stop a climate catastrophe. But yesterday academics admitted that they had been wrong – and we have a longer time frame to reduce the amount of fossil fuels we burn.” – Daily Mail

  • BBC presenter rebuked over tweet – The Times

Trump to use UN speech to put pressure on North Korea

“Donald Trump’s maiden speech to the UN will see him urging nations to turn up the pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. Senior White House officials said he would also target Iran’s nuclear program, single out Venezuela for criticism and refer to Islamist militants as ‘losers.’  Trump’s 10:30am speech will mark his latest attempt to lay out his ‘America First’ vision for a US foreign policy aimed at downgrading global bureaucracies, basing alliances on shared interests, and steering the US away from nation-building.” – Daily Mail

  • Huge parade planned to show military strength – Daily Express
  • Labour Party official calls for “solidarity” with North Korea – The Times

News in brief

  • Leaving the EU in 2019 should be as transformative as repealing the Corn Laws in 1846 – Gerard Lyons, Brexit Central
  • The biggest Cabinet Brexit split – James Forsyth, Spectator Coffee House
  • Has Johnson ruined his chances? – Stephen Bush, New Statesman
  • Johnson – the case for the defence – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Johnson is right – Brexit does mean taking back full control of £350 million per week – Professor David Paton, Brexit Central
  • What’s the point of the Lib Dems? – Red Box
  • We are preparing to win says Momentum founder – Independent

18 comments for: Newslinks for Tuesday 19th September 2017

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