Rebellion 1) Ministers pause Withdrawal Bill in the face of blizzard of amendments

“The flagship EU Withdrawal Bill has been taken out of the Parliamentary calendar as a Conservative backlash looms, it emerged last night. The Bill was to be scrutinised by MPs next week – but has been temporarily removed from the timetable because the Government faces rebellion on several amendments. A total of 300 amendments and 54 new clauses have been tabled, of which 13 are said to have enough Tory support to defeat the Government. The Bill will take European Union law into domestic legislation to provide continuity as Britain leaves the bloc. During business questions yesterday, Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom faced questions about the Bill’s absence from the calendar.” – Daily Mail

  • Legislation postponed as talks hit the buffers – The Guardian


  • The pernicious effect on politics of the WhatsApp mentality – Sebastian Payne, FT

Rebellion 2) Backbenchers attack ‘Marxist’ energy price cap

“Theresa May’s plan to cap energy bills ran into trouble last night as Tory MPs accused her of living in a ‘Marxist universe’ and warned some households could actually see their prices rise. Ministers unveiled legislation yesterday that will give regulators the power to set maximum gas and electricity prices for 18 million households on standard variable tariffs (SVTs). Business Secretary Greg Clark said the cap, which will not come into force until next year, would run initially until the end of 2020, but would be kept under review with extensions possible until the end of 2023.” – Daily Mail

  • UK unveils plan for temporary price ceiling – FT

>Today: Stuart Jackson in Comment: Why it’s time for a relative energy price cap

May’s support down since ‘disastrous’ speech

“Support for Theresa May has dropped since her disastrous conference speech, with more voters saying they “don’t know” who would make the best prime minister than choosing either her or Jeremy Corbyn. A YouGov poll for The Times found that Mrs May’s ratings have taken a hit since her conference shambles triggered a weekend of Tory turmoil. The poll found that 33 per cent of voters want Mrs May as prime minister, down 3 points since last week, while Mr Corbyn is also on 33 per cent, which is unchanged. However, 35 per cent say they are “not sure” who they would pick, a significant vote of no confidence in both party leaders.” – The Times

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: My listeners praised May for having the guts to do our phone-in. They were right.

Leaked documents suggest Brussels will green light to trade talks…

“EU leaders will give the green light next week to Brexit talks about a future trade deal with the UK, it emerged last night. The breakthrough follows pleas by Brexit Secretary David Davis and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. They want European political chiefs to end the ‘disturbing’ stalemate in Brexit talks by loosening their rigid rules. In a significant boost to Britain, the bloc’s leaders will finally start drawing up plans for a future trading relationship with Britain. Theresa May has repeatedly said the UK will refrain from finalising the controversial ‘divorce bill’ unless Brussels opens up talks. Leaked documents last night revealed that the EU is finally willing to make the move at a European Council summit next week.” – Daily Mail

  • …but other sources suggest EU leaders will block talks – FT
  • Barnier makes ‘elegant cry for help’ in bid to break deadlock – The Times
  • Tusk caves in as member states panic – Daily Express
  • Johnson joins May in demanding the negotiations move on – Daily Mail


  • Ministers haggle over 2,000 new Brexit staff – FT
  • Fox currently the only member of the new Board of Trade – The Times
  • Ministers in talks over new Royal Yacht – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn claims he would vote Remain… but that there won’t be another vote – Daily Telegraph


  • Barnier wants to make progress, but the EU has to let him – Aarti Shankar, Daily Telegraph
  • The Government must come clean about what it wants from our deal – Allie Renison, Times Red Box
  • Labour’s deluded bid to prevent a ‘no deal’ Brexit would leave us at Brussels’ mercy – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • We face years of limbo after leaving the EU – Matthew O’Toole, Times Red Box


  • The EU needs to stop making insane demands – The Sun

…as Hammond comes under renewed pressure over his pessimism…

“Philip Hammond’s position as Chancellor came under fresh pressure today after a Tory grandee called for him to be sacked for his gloomy Brexit warnings. Former Chancellor Nigel Lawson said Mr Hammond’s predictions are ‘very close to sabotage’ and that he should be axed from the Cabinet. Meanwhile, a business chief accused him of being too ‘negative’ while even Mr Hammond’s aide admitted he has a ‘temperament’ problem. The Chancellor has been branded an ‘Eeyore’ and accused of talking Britain down after he made a series of gloomy predictions about Brexit.” – Daily Mail

  • Three quarters of Brits would prefer no deal to a bad deal – The Sun
  • No-deal Brexit ‘unimaginable’, says IMF chief – The Guardian
  • May and Hammond ‘can’t bear’ to be alone together amidst Brexit backlash – The Sun
  • Business chiefs demand the Chancellors stops talking Britain down – Daily Mail
  • Government challenged in court to release impact studies – The Sun


  • If Hammond isn’t prepared to plan for no deal, May needs a Chancellor who is – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ needs to be more radical – Ed Conway, The Times
  • Pro-Europeans have a champion: Theresa May – Martin Kettle, The Guardian


  • The Government must publish its Brexit impact studies – The Times


…and the DUP say they’ll vote against any post-Brexit Irish Sea border

“The DUP would vote against leaving the EU if no deal was reached, Arlene Foster has declared… Speaking to ITV News last night, she said: “The Prime Minister understands the needs of Northern Ireland. “We of course welcome that she had been very clear that there cannot be a border down the Irish sea… Of course she understands that that would a disaster for Northern Ireland and would be a red line for the DUP.” The confidence and supply deal between Britain and the DUP stipulates that the party – which has 10 MPs – will support the Government in matters of Brexit, and key votes.” – The Sun


  • The SNP’s stance on Brexit lacks political imagination – Brian Wilson, The Scotsman

>Today: ToryDiary: The case for a moratorium on Scottish independence

Jo Johnson: British universities could become powerhouses of prosperity

“As the prime minister said in her Florence speech, “we may be leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe”. The UK will continue to welcome the brightest and best from the EU and across the world, and will remain a hub for international research and innovation talent. To support this vision, I have announced an additional £18 million for the Rutherford Fund to attract the brightest minds to the UK. The funding is on top of the £100 million we have already invested and will enable an additional 200 fellowships to start this year. Science, research and innovation helps us improve our productivity, the economy and helps people across the country prosper.” – Times Red Box

  • Britain ‘losing ground’ in global research race – FT


  • Ministers must speak up for Millenial voters – James Kirkup, The Times

Brokenshire and Fallon clash over Troubles veterans

“Ministers are at war over a new bill that aims to stop investigations of British troops who served in Northern Ireland from turning into a ‘witch-hunt’, it was claimed last night. Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon wants legislation to stop the authorities launching probes into veterans in their 60s and 70s unless new evidence has come to light, sources said. But it is understood that Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire is pushing for the section to be omitted so cases can be re-opened either way. Army sources said he was under pressure from Sinn Fein to ensure both sides were happy with the terms, although Mr Brokenshire’s office said they did not recognise this account of the dispute.” – Daily Mail

  • Britons who fight for ISIS are legitimate targets, Defence Secretary insists – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Nicolas Clark in Comment: Society and government must do more for our veterans

Miller tells how she was sexually harassed

“Former equalities minister Maria Miller has been sexually harassed ‘numerous times’ in her life, she has revealed.  The Tory chair of the Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee said harassment happens ‘on a very regular basis’ to women in the workplace. Asked if she had experienced such behaviour, MP for Basingstoke Ms Miller told 5 News: ‘Sexual harassment, of course, we all have.'” – Daily Mail

Bercow calls for party conferences to be cut to weekends

“John Bercow has said that a three-week recess to allow MPs to attend party conferences is an unnecessary “palaver” and suggested the gatherings should be held over a weekend instead. The Commons speaker said that MPs “disappearing for three weeks” a fortnight after the six-week summer break was unjustifiable and raised the prospect of cancelling the recess if extra time were needed for lawmaking. At a meeting of the Hansard Society held in the Speaker’s state rooms, he said: “I have long believed there is a certain incongruity about members disappearing for three weeks a year from their primary workplace in order to attend the conferences of voluntary organisations.”” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Preparing to trade with the EU on WTO terms is a no-brainer – Guy Corbet, Brexit Central
  • Who is really to blame for the Brexit deadlock? – Pieter Cleppe, CapX
  • Get ready for a no-deal Brexit – Andrew Lilico, Reaction
  • Now that no deal looks possible, we may end up staying in the EU – John Rentoul, The Independent
  • Osborne: the politically homeless ex-Chancellor – Will Heaven, The Spectator