May pledges to press ahead with domestic reforms

“Theresa May today vows her Government will not be knocked off course by Brexit, as she pledges to press ahead with a wide-ranging agenda of domestic reforms. Ministers are braced for a series of bruising parliamentary clashes over Brexit legislation this autumn, as well as gruelling negotiations with Brussels over the shape of an exit deal. Writing in the Daily Mail today, the Prime Minister says Parliament faces ‘one of the most significant sessions in recent history’ as it debates the legislation needed to smooth Britain’s exit from the EU.” – Daily Mail

  • Green says the Prime Minister will prove it’s not just about Brexit – The Sun
  • MPs sceptical as May moves to relaunch premiership – FT
  • Duncan Smith urges the Prime Minister to do more to support marriage – Daily Mail
  • Interview with Bim Afolami – Times Red Box

Boundary changes:

  • Government drops plan to cut the number of MPs – The Times
  • DUP warn against radical redrawing of Northern Irish seats – News Letter


  • Abandoning plans to shrink the Commons is a bad idea – The Times

>Today: Majority: Our CCHQ election audit: the rusty machine, part two. How and why the ground campaign failed.


Theresa May: How I’ll make Britain a fairer country

“The great schools and world-leading system of technical education we are building will give our young people the skills they need to succeed and make the most of their lives. Our changes to corporate governance, giving a stronger voice to workers and shareholders, will incentivise businesses to make better long-term decisions and help restore public confidence in the free market economy which our public services depend on for their funding. Making sure mental health is treated just as seriously as physical health in our NHS and wider society will help more people lead healthy and fulfilled lives. Freeing up public sector land to build thousands of new houses will help more individuals and families own a home of their own and move up the property ladder.” – Daily Mail

  • Tories beware, the left have captured the values of the young – Tim Montgomerie, The Guardian

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: Identity politics is wrong – and bad for Tories, too. So if May is staking a revival on it, her difficulties will deepen.

Brexit 1) Draft post-exit immigration plan leaks

“Britain will end the free movement of labour immediately after Brexit and introduce restrictions to deter all but highly-skilled EU workers under detailed proposals set out in a Home Office document leaked to the Guardian. The 82-page paper, marked as extremely sensitive and dated August 2017, sets out for the first time how Britain intends to approach the politically charged issue of immigration, dramatically refocusing policy to put British workers first. “Put plainly, this means that, to be considered valuable to the country as a whole, immigration should benefit not just the migrants themselves but also make existing residents better off,” the paper says.” – The Guardian

  • Measures aim to ensure low-skilled British workers don’t lose out – The Times
  • Ten key points from the document – The Guardian


  • EU countries divided on Brexit too, claims City envoy – The Sun
  • Davis says he never claimed Brexit would be simple or easy – FT
  • Brexit Secretary claims EU leaders are ignoring business’ pleas for good deal – The Sun
  • Everyone wants to trade with Britain, says Icelandic minister – Daily Telegraph
  • UK to try and stay part of EU science schemes – The Independent


  • Iceland has exposed the Remainer’s gloom – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • Timidity and hostility to competition have left Europe a scientific wasteland – Marcel Kuntz and Alex Berezow, Daily Telegraph


  • Davis feels the pain of that endless Brexit chorus – Patrick Kidd, The Times
  • The Brexit Secretary says that nobody said this would be easy. Is he sure? – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: EU migration. Rudd must back May up fully in the drive to reduce it.

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Davis – “Nobody’s ever pretended this would be simple or easy. I’ve always said this negotiation would be tough.”

Brexit 2) Labour u-turn and will whip against the ‘Repeal Bill’

“Labour said it would oppose the government’s main Brexit legislation as David Davis accused the opposition of not “caring” whether the negotiations are a success. The party will impose a three-line whip to vote against the repeal bill because it would “allow the government to seize control from parliament”. Labour’s refusal to support the bill signals a determination to exploit Conservative splits over Brexit and means that Theresa May will have to rely on the Democratic Unionist Party to get the legislation to its next stage. Mr Davis, the Brexit secretary, delivered his first Commons statement after the summer’s talks, where he warned that Britain may be jostling over the size of the divorce bill with Brussels until the very end of the two-year Article 50 process.” – The Times

  • Pro-Brexit MPs to defy Corbyn as they vow to support the bill – The Sun
  • Opposition will back another referendum in six months, Adonis claims – The Sun


  • Davidson attacks Sturgeon for ‘railing against’ Brexit – Daily Express
  • Cable ‘roasted’ over Brexit-blocking – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Christopher Howarth’s column: The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is necessary – and ultimately uncontroversial

Lord Strathclyde: Brexit is complex enough without the Opposition carping from the sidelines

“There are those in Labour Party who are trying to reverse the referendum result altogether. Lord Mandelson, a former European Commissioner, has issued a rallying cry for “political trench warfare” to block Brexit. He calls on his colleagues, and mine, in the House of Lords and the House of Commons to “redouble their efforts” in order to defeat the government on Brexit. Each time this happens it sets our negotiations with the EU back a step and the business of negotiating a Brexit that is effective and successful for the whole of the UK is pushed back down the pile.” – Times Red Box

  • If Labour votes against the bill, it has decided to foil Brexit – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • The Withdrawal Bill is nothing less than an executive coup – Rafael Behr, The Guardian
  • Pro-EU Tories need to put their votes where their mouths are – Tim Bale, Times Red Box
  • Brexit is Maastricht’s final conclusion, with roles reversed – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph


  • Labour’s Remainers have become Reversers! – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


  • Labour is right to question the bill, but it must pass eventually – The Times

Government rules out ‘joint authority’ with Dublin over Northern Ireland

“The UK government has ruled out any move towards joint authority over Northern Ireland involving both the London and Dublin administrations if talks in Belfast fail to restore power-sharing in the region. In response to concerns from the Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, about direct rule from London being reimposed on the province, the government emphasised there would be no joint authority as an alternative to devolution. The statement from the government suggests a possible rift between London and Dublin over what to do if the negotiations between the parties in Northern Ireland – principally the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Féin – fail to produce a compromise.” – The Guardian

  • Fury at plan for border checks between province and the mainland – The Sun
  • Gow’s widow denounces prosecution of Ulster veterans – Daily Mail


  • Adams will reveal plans to step down as leader of Sinn Fein – The Independent
  • Greens and Alliance round on Republicans over Stormont impasse – News Letter


  • Sinn Fein’s unity bid will fail, just as IRA terror did – Robin Swann MLA, News Letter

Ministers 1) Johnson calls for new sanctions against Pyongyang

“Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson called on the international community to impose further sanctions on North Korea following the country’s latest nuclear test. He said North Korea’s ambassador to Britain had been summoned to the Foreign Office ‘to receive a formal protest’. ‘We are now pressing the Security Council to pass a new resolution as swiftly as possible, imposing further sanctions and showing the unity and determination of the international community,’ Johnson told parliament in London. In a phone call with US President Donald Trump today, Prime Minister Theresa May stressed the importance of the UN Security Council quickly agreeing new measures.” – Daily Mail

  • Thornberry attacks Trump’s ‘irresponsible rhetoric’ – The Independent


  • May discusses ‘humanitarian law’ with Saudi Arabia – The Independent


  • China is our best hope to curb North Korea – Michael Burleigh, The Times
  • Trump needs a united front with Beijing, not a trade war – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph

Ministers 2) Fallon unveils plan to ‘kick start’ naval shipbuilding

“Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon will today unveil new plans to kick-start the UK’s ailing warship building business. The delayed Nation Shipbuilding Strategy includes breaking up BAE Systems’ monopoly on complex warship building, price capping the new Type 31e frigate at £250m a ship and re-focusing on exports. Now shipyards across the UK will be able to bid to build sections of new warships which will then be assembled centrally, probably by BAE Systems. The technique was successfully pioneered for the Queen Elizabeth carrier.” – The Sun

  • Royal Navy to swell fleet with cut-price frigates aimed at foreign buyers – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Mark Francois MP in Comment: More women. More ethnic minorities. Medical testing reform. What must be done to raise army numbers.

Labour frontbench ‘gagged’ at conference to give limelight to left wingers

“Jeremy Corbyn will deny shadow cabinet ministers slots to make speeches at the party’s annual conference in an effort to allow his left-wing supporters to stamp their authority on the party. Frontbenchers responsible for key portfolios such as defence, transport and housing will not address the conference, as Mr Corbyn and his allies insist that time be devoted to policy debates for rank-and-file members. Others who will miss out when the party gathers in Brighton at the end of this month include the mayors of London and Greater Manchester – among Labour’s most senior elected politicians in England – as well as the shadow ministers for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.” – The Times

  • Khan blocks move to cut affordable housing – FT


  • Liberal Democrats to tax wealth in bid for Labour votes – The Independent

>Today: Gaj Wallooppillai in Local Government: If talk could build homes, Khan would have solved London’s housing crisis

Sturgeon teases new SNP spending plans

“Nicola Sturgeon is considering giving all Scots a guaranteed ‘citizens’ income’ – and paying for it by increasing taxes among the middle classes. The Scottish First Minister unveiled a series of expensive pledges, including scrapping the public sector pay cap, which has saved millions by limiting annual pay rises for state workers to just 1 per cent. Free personal care will be extended from pensioners to everyone under the age of 65, teenage girls will get free tampons, and the nationalisation of the Scottish rail operator will be considered. Unveiling her party’s legislative agenda for the coming year, Miss Sturgeon said the idea of the state making regular payments to all Scots – a ‘citizens’ income’ – was an ‘idea that merits deeper consideration’.” – Daily Mail

  • The First Minister’s programme for government at a glance – Daily Telegraph
  • SNP puts more pressure on May to lift public sector pay cap – The Sun


  • Sturgeon sets out bold vision more radical than Corbyn’s – Robert Somynne, The Guardian
  • Nationalists seek to tackle ‘decade fatigue’ – Scott Macnab, The Scotsman

News in Brief:

  • Residents and tourists evacuated as most powerful Atlantic storm ever hits Florida – Daily Mail
  • British soldiers held in raids on suspected Nazis – The Times
  • BBC to launch major pay review amidst anger over highly-paid talent – Daily Telegraph
  • Trump ends ‘Dreamers’ immigration programme – FT