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Brexit 1) May expected to offer EU at least €20bn as divorce bill payment…

“Germany’s Angela Merkel has been told by the British government to expect Theresa May this week to offer to fill a post-Brexit EU budget hole of at least €20bn, the first attempt by London to meet European demands to settle its divorce bill. Olly Robbins, the prime minister’s top EU adviser, has contacted his counterparts in several European capitals to reassure them Mrs May’s Friday speech in Florence would include the financial offer, according to officials briefed on the discussions. Mrs May’s team is hoping the offer will break a three-month deadlock in Brexit talks with Brussels and allow them to move to a second phase of negotiations that would open discussions about a future trading relationship between the EU and the UK.” – FT

  • She hopes this will break the “deadlock” – The Sun
  • Though some say “figure is pure speculation” – Independent
  • Apparently Robbins contacted EU colleagues to tell them – Daily Express
  • Tusk will meet her next week – Independent

Comment:

  • Here’s what she should say in Florence – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
  • The Italians won’t show her much sympathy – Natalie Nougayrede, Guardian

Editorial:

>Today: ToryDiary: EEA light, migration and the ECJ. Red lines for May’s speech in Florence

Brexit 2) …as compromise truce reached between May and Johnson…

“Theresa May has made peace with Boris Johnson by securing a Cabinet truce over Britain’s future payments to the EU. The deal involves paying substantial sums to the EU until at least 2020, but no further payments after Britain’s transition period. It is a compromise between Boris Johnson’s position and that of Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, and is expected to be part of the Prime Minister’s Brexit speech in Florence on Friday. It came after a frenzied day on which the Foreign Secretary’s allies suggested he would be prepared to resign from the Cabinet over Mrs May’s Brexit strategy, only for him to apparently pull back from the brink after the Prime Minister brokered a truce.” – Daily Telegraph

  • They were due to meet last night – Guardian
  • He “pulls back” from resigning – The Times
  • Survey finds fewer than 1 in 3 association chairmen supported his intervention – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Boris’s confusing day – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • He’s a disgrace – Owen Jones, Guardian
  • He’s not good at his job and he’s bored – Raphael Behr, Guardian
  • Here are some of the big underlying problems – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

>Today:

Brexit 3) …and special Cabinet meeting organised to discuss Florence speech and sort out details

“The Prime Minister has summoned all the senior members of her Government to a special Cabinet meeting held to approve the latest details of her blueprint for Britain’s future outside the EU. She is expected to brief them on the crunch speech she will deliver in Italy on Friday unveiling her proposals for breaking the current deadlock in negotiations with Brussels. Senior aides were confident that all Cabinet ministers – including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – will give their unequivocal backing. They confirmed the PM was ready to listen to concerns about the size of Britain’s exit bill, the length of transition to full independence from Brussels and the long-term nature of Britain’s relationship with the EU.” – Daily Express

Editorial:

Brexit 4) Sturgeon’s long list of demands

“Theresa May’s deputy has warned Nicola Sturgeon she would not be allowed to break up Britain’s single market after the First Minister spelled out 111 EU powers and regulations she wants in return for backing the Brexit Bill. Damian Green, the First Secretary of State, said some powers repatriated from Brussels would be devolved but the Government would “do nothing that risks undermining the benefits” of the UK’s internal market. Warning that Ms Sturgeon’s demands could mean the adoption of separate product and trade regulations in Scotland, he argued that “doing things four different ways” in each of the home nations would add costs for companies, workers and consumers.” – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 5) Hands says Britain “doesn’t have resources” for negotiating new trade deals

“Britain does not have the resources to start negotiating new trade deals across the world once the country leaves the EU, the UK’s trade minister has warned, saying the government will instead carry over many existing EU agreements. As Theresa May visited Canada to prepare the ground for a post-Brexit trade deal, her trade minister Greg Hands said the UK only had capacity to focus on major trade agreements after it leaves the EU in 18 month’s time. Speaking in Pakistan, where he announced that the UK would indefinitely adopt the same terms as the EU-Pakistan trade agreement, Mr Hands said his main priority was to avoid leaving businesses suddenly with no trade protections.” – FT

Javid: We need to reframe the social housing debate

“…But, over time, all that changed. Social housing stock became increasingly neglected, as did the people who lived in it. The Establishment became detached, aloof, focused its attentions elsewhere. And the tragic events of June 14 showed exactly where that attitude can lead. That’s why, when I say we must do everything possible to prevent a repeat of Grenfell, I’m not just talking about the cladding or the stairways or the sprinklers. We need to shift the whole conversation about social housing, reframe the whole debate. We need to challenge outdated, unfair attitudes. In short, we need a fundamental rethink of this country’s attitude to social housing.” – The Times

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: Housing cannot wait until after Brexit

May to tell internet firms to “go further’ to stop terrorist content

“Google, Facebook and Twitter are to be hauled in front of world leaders and given a month to take down terrorist websites within two hours or face heavy fines. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, will on Wednesday urge internet firms to go ‘further and faster’ to stop the spread of terrorist material – including the development of new technology to stop it from ever appearing on the web in the first place. Separately the Government is also talking to Amazon and Ebay about the sale of items on their websites could help terrorists launch attacks.” – Daily Telegraph

  • She wants them to take it down in two hours – FT
  • Or, ideally, one hour – Independent
  • She will say “defiance is not enough” in fight against Islamism – Daily Express

Comment:

  • Companies should realise this is in their commercial interests – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph 

Editorial:

Prime Minister chairs meeting to discuss modern slavery in New York

“…Chairing the meeting, Mrs May announced that the UK will host an international summit of chief prosecutors in the spring of 2018 to discuss a co-ordinated response to the problem. She told the meeting on the fringe of the UN General Assembly in New York that Britain will double its aid spending on modern slavery to £150 million, enabling more collaboration with the home countries of trafficked people and the transit states which they pass through.” – Daily Telegraph

More May

Falconer: How will Lidington respond to Rudd’s “stunning disregard for the law”?

“Amber Rudd confused herself with a 16th-century monarch last week, seemingly believing she has a divine right to rule, irrespective of the law. Three times the courts told her to return Samim Bigzad, a 23-year-old asylum seeker who was cowering in a hotel room in Kabul, threatened with beheading by the Taliban. Three times she refused, thinking she knew best and the courts had got it wrong. It displayed a disdainful arrogance for the courts and the law. Unless she has an explanation, she has to go as home secretary. And the person who has a duty to see that the home secretary operates within the rule of law is the lord chancellor, David Lidington. This is as much a test of him as it is of her.” – Guardian

Labour’s NEC to consider changes to leadership rules

“Labour’s ruling body is set to consider sweeping changes to party rules which would reduce the number of MPs needing to approve a new leader. The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will vote on proposals from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to lower the threshold of support that candidates need to get on the ballot from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, which could ease the way for a left-wing successor and offer more power to grass roots members. The move would offer a compromise on previous calls to amend the rules so candidates only needed to secure 5 per cent of the vote – the so-called McDonnell amendment named after Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who has supported a reduction in the threshold.” – Independent

  • This will “make it easier for the hard-left” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: The Conservatives need to attack Labour this autumn. Here are five ways of doing so

Cable says Lib Dems mustn’t be obsessed with Brexit

“Sir Vince Cable has said the Liberal Democrats will not succeed as a one-issue “reverse Ukip” party, pledging that they will develop radical proposals for economic reforms including taxes on second homes and changes to tuition fees. The new Lib Dem leader attempted to put clear water between his leadership and the two years under his predecessor Tim Farron, declaring he wanted to re-establish the Lib Dems as a serious party of government, in his closing address to their autumn conference.” – Guardian

Comment:

  • The party has a “new mug in charge” – Patrick Kidd, The Times
  • The problems with his speech – Sam Leith, FT
  • Nobody’s listening anyway – Raphael Hogarth, The Times

Trump: speech to the UN

“Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President, world leaders and distinguished delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in my home city, as a representative of the American people, to address the people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I want to begin by expressing my appreciation to every leader in this room who has offered assistance and aid. The American people are strong and resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined than ever before…” – Daily Telegraph 

  • He had “harsh words” for Iran and North Korea – Peter Westmacott, Guardian

News in Brief

  • Freeman’s mission – Alex Spence, Buzzfeed
  • What we need to do about tech firms – Martyn Frampton, CapX
  • This is what’s happening to the Rohingya – Poppy McPherson, New Statesman
  • The importance of foreign investment – Liam Fox, BrexitCentral 
  • Why the Conservative message matters – Julie Marson, Reaction

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