May warns the EU that she needs a defensible deal…

“Theresa May warned EU leaders tonight she needs a Brexit deal she can ‘defend to our people’ – as they lined up to demand billions more from Britain in divorce payments. With senior Eurosceptics urging her to pull the plug on the talks, the Prime Minister issued a blunt message to counterparts that she cannot be pushed much further, after agreeing to make a £20billion divorce payment last month. In a 15-minute presentation over a dinner of pumpkin gnocchi and pheasant in Brussels, Mrs May also told fellow leaders that time was running out to move on from divorce proceedings to a future trade deal.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister tells European leaders what Britain will pay… – The Times
  • …but Merkel says it’s ‘still not enough’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Face-to-face with Tusk after he ruled out a breakthrough – Daily Express


  • Goldman Sachs boss threatens to move 6,000 British jobs – Daily Mail
  • Former MI6 head suggests Brexit may not happen – Daily Telegraph
  • May’s letter to EU nationals dismissed as ‘meaningless’ – The Guardian
  • Ministers set out £3 million plan to cut airport queues – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: “We are in touching distance of agreement.” May’s open letter to EU nationals in Britain. Full text.

…as Davis makes plans for no deal

“David Davis is to present an upbeat assessment of a “no-deal” Brexit to the cabinet in a big shift in Britain’s negotiating strategy. The Brexit secretary has ordered officials to step up the preparations for a failure to strike a deal with the EU, The Times has been told. He is expected to outline the benefits of the scenario in a presentation on Hallowe’en, a move that will alarm some pro-Remain colleagues. Mr Davis also said yesterday that for a period after Brexit the government would be prepared to allow EU citizens to bring non-EU spouses into the UK without the income requirements that British citizens are subject to.” – The Times

  • Corbyn tells Brussels not reaching an agreement would be ‘catastrophic’… – Daily Mail
  • …and receives a standing ovation – FT
  • Barnier will ‘weaponise’ the Labour leader, warns Kamall – Daily Express
  • Brexit Secretary suggests post-Brexit ‘reunion window’ for EU nationals – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The time has not yet come – and may not do so at all – to break off the Brexit talks

Iain Duncan Smith: We can see off Brussels’ outrageous bid for British cash

“To achieve our aims, five things are vital. First, the UK and EU must have identical regulatory systems from day one of Brexit. Second, our relationship must be based on WTO rules. Third, while we would accept the common external tariff on all imports from outside the EU, we would be free to lower tariffs when and where we choose. Fourth, we should immediately lobby the WTO to liberalise financial and other services – something which has seen little progress for 20 years. Fifth, Britain must take the lead in many other areas such as electronic commerce. This should be our ambition, to lead in global organisations setting key standards.” – Daily Mail

  • WTO rules will suit Britain just fine – Liam Halligan, Daily Telegraph
  • May must face down the ‘no deal’ fanatics – Keir Starmer, Times Red Box
  • The EU would love to be negotiating with Corbyn – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • Are the Tories imploding over Brexit? – Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman
  • We’re obsessed with Brexit, but should be thinking about China – Martin Kettle, The Guardian


  • The EU must choose between further game-playing and doing the right thing – The Sun
  • WTO Brexit would be a risky route – The Times

Green attacks Nazi comparisons in politics

“Theresa May’s deputy today hit out at the ‘completely ridiculous’ trend of comparing political opponents to Hitler – warning it risks fuelling political abuse and violence. Damian Green, first secretary of state, said political debate has become ‘markedly worse’ and urged MPs to think twice before going ‘studs up’ on their opponents. He warned the increasingly common tactic of getting personal about your political rivals or comparing them to Hitler risks fuelling hatred. And he said that at its ‘most horrible extreme’ this hatred had led to the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox just days before the EU referendum.” – Daily Mail

  • Fake news websites could cause another MP murder, warns minister – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: The Radicrats or the Demicals – or how to create a Two Nations Party

Brokenshire gives DUP and Sinn Fein a new deadline to restore devolution

“Theresa May’s Government may have to “intervene” in the running of Northern Ireland in 10 DAYS, Ministers have warned. Secretary of State James Brokenshire said the province’s feuding politicians had until October 30 to reach a new power-sharing agreement. Unless a deal is struck, Westminster will have to being the legislative process of setting Northern Ireland’s Budget in the House of Commons – with dramatic consequences for the Treasury. It came just hours after former US President Bill Clinton met with Theresa May in No.10 to discuss Northern Ireland.” – The Sun

  • Bradshaw accuses DUP of receiving illegal donation before EU referendum – FT

Jo Johnson: The only safe space universities need is one for free speech

“However well-intentioned, the proliferation of such safe spaces, the rise of no-platforming, the removal of ‘offensive’ books from libraries and the drawing up of ever more extensive lists of “trigger” words are undermining the foundations of our universities. Far from shielding our young people from difficult subjects, we must help them confront and understand them. That’s why we are extending a statutory duty to secure free speech so that it will apply to all providers of higher education registered with the Office for Students. Ensuring our universities promote freedom of speech within the law will be at the heart of the approach that the new Office for Students will take to its regulation of our higher education system.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Free speech phobics are wrecking our campuses – Mick Hume, The Sun
  • If Millenials are wary of free speech, who can blame them? – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Free speech is under attack at our universities – and Johnson is right to act in its defence

MPs 1) Bradley sets up new under-35s group

Tory MPs under the age of 35 are forming a group to win over younger voters who flocked to Labour at the last general election. The group will aim to make the party “more relatable” for younger generations and will urge the Conservatives to replace older, more experienced politicians on the airwaves with more youthful faces. The Tories have so far had no answer to the highly effective social media campaigning organised by Momentum, the campaign group that has helped attract young people to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Ben Bradley, a 27-year-old who won the Mansfield constituency for the Tories for the first time in June, is putting the new group of MPs together to influence party policy and ensure it speaks to young people.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Ben Bradley MP in Comment: My generation of 25-45 year olds should be the heartland of Conservative politics.

MPs 2) Morgan urges Bank of England to hire more women

“The Treasury select committee has issued a sharp warning to the Treasury, suggesting it will refuse to endorse high-level appointments if the government continues to name mostly privileged white men to influential public sector jobs. The committee approved the Treasury’s two most-recent appointments to the Bank of England – Dave Ramsden as deputy governor and Silvana Tenreyro as an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee – on Friday. But in a new intervention for the committee, the MPs also said they were concerned about “diversity at the most senior levels in the Bank of England”.” – FT

MPs 3) Leigh accuses Leadsom of ‘tyranny’

“Andrea Leadsom will come under renewed pressure over the government’s no-show tactics next week after a Tory MP accused her of paving the way to “tyranny”. The leader of the Commons faces claims that the government is failing to respect parliament by telling Conservative MPs to abstain from embarrassing votes. John Bercow, the Speaker, fired a warning shot on Wednesday after Tory MPs were whipped to abstain on a Labour motion calling for a pause in the roll-out of universal credit… Sir Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough, said that a minority Labour government would be censured if it behaved in the same way. He added: “The road to tyranny is paved by executives ignoring parliaments.”” – The Times

  • Green forced to deny the Government is ignoring MPs over vote – The Guardian


  • The Speaker teeters close to political activism – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


  • The Tories should defend their policies in the Commons – Daily Telegraph

Fraser Nelson: If Universal Credit becomes the Tories’ next Poll Tax, it will be their own fault

“But now, the moral outrage is all coming from the Labour Party – and with much justification. The new system makes people wait six weeks before they receive a penny: how are they supposed to live meanwhile? Foodbanks, or just destitution? The new housing benefit has plunged tenants in arrears: is it any wonder that the homelessness rate is surging? Then there’s the welfare helpline: it charges up to 55p a minute. Are the Tories really out to ruin the poor? From the Conservatives’ body language, it’s hard to tell. David Gauke, the new welfare secretary, has an unfortunate habit of looking guilty and has ended up defending mistakes that ought to be corrected. Once, the Tories responded by reminding Labour what happened when they abandoned people to an unreformed system.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Bereaved parents need guaranteed time off to grieve – Margot James and Kevin Hollinrake, Times Red Box
  • Is Clegg’s triple lock behind the rise of Corbyn? – Daniel Mahoney, Times Red Box

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Universal Credit – a welcome but limited improvement

Scottish Labour boss attacks leadership race leaks

“Scottish Labour’s General Secretary has hit back at a leak of private correspondence during the leadership contest, branding the leaks as an “attempt to undermine the leadership process”. Brian Roy said the unauthorised disclosure of a letter written by Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, who expressed concern about how members and trade union members could vote, was an “intentional act” to shame the party and bring the entire contest into ‘disrepute’. Following the departure of Kezia Dugdale, the leadership battle betweeen Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard, has been marred by infighting.” – The Scotsman

  • Not much love among brothers as both sides sling mud – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Finnish foreign minister urges Britain not to yield to pressure to reverse Brexit – Brexit Central
  • George W Bush takes Trumpism apart – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Is Clegg to blame for Corbyn’s success? – Daniel Mahoney, CapX
  • Brexit can strengthen the Union, but only if handled well – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Hardline Brexiteers are the UK’s NRA, we can’t let them take control – James Moore, The Independent