Brussels tells May to ‘face down’ Johnson…

“Theresa May has been told by Brussels that she needs to ‘face down’ Boris Johnson if she wants to start trade negotiations with the EU by the critical Christmas deadline. The Prime Minister left a summit of EU leaders on Friday buoyed by their promise to start preparations for trade talks – on condition that she finally offers an acceptable sum for the ‘divorce bill’. The supportive noises were part of an orchestrated effort by the EU to buttress Mrs May’s domestic position by putting a positive gloss on the deadlock. They dread Mrs May being weakened so much that she is ousted by a hard Brexiteer such as Mr Johnson, who would be happy for the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Jenkin urges Government to walk away if there is no deal by march – Sun on Sunday
  • Brexit must mean an end to live animal exports, say MPs – Sunday Telegraph
  • UK could take EU to court over inflated cash demands, sources claim – Sunday Express


  • Calm down, Britain is getting out just in time – Sunday Times

>Yesterday: Henry Newman in Comment: My take from Brussels this week. The EU side wants to ramp up the pressure – not wind down the talks.

…as Labour prepares to back Tory rebels on the Withdrawal Bill

“Labour will unite with Tory rebels to force Theresa May into giving MPs a binding vote in parliament on the final European Union deal. Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, today warns the prime minister that unless she accepts six changes to the EU withdrawal bill, his party will throw its weight behind Tory rebels. The threat will come as a blow to the government, which is trying to quell a potential rebellion amid fears that more than a dozen of the 300 amendments tabled have sufficient Tory support to defeat the government. The bill, which transposes EU law onto the UK statute book, was due to be scrutinised by MPs this week – but has been temporarily removed from the parliamentary calendar.” – Sunday Times

  • Cable warns that no-deal Brexit would cost £430bn over five years – Mail on Sunday


  • This isn’t taking back control but surrendering freedom – Keir Starmer, Times Red Box

David Jones: Don’t panic, we can walk away from a bad trade agreement

“It’s no secret that I would have preferred Mrs May to tell the EU last week that she was suspending negotiations until Brussels got really serious. But since she hasn’t done that, she must now make it absolutely clear to the EU27 that we are going full-steam ahead with preparations for no deal. That means providing the cash now for everything from more port facilities to upgraded computer systems to manage our new trading relationship with the EU. With just one roar from London, Brussels backed down. It is now time for the lion to show its teeth.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Negotiations need diplomacy, not Corbyn’s silly games – Dominic Raab, Sun on Sunday
  • It’s hand-to-hand combat this side of the Channel that’s stalling Brexit – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times
  • The EU seems to have realised this isn’t a play fight – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

Prime Minister ‘on the brink of a major climbdown’ on Universal Credit

“Theresa May is on the brink of a major climbdown over Universal Credit payments, having been warned it could become her “poll tax”. In a significant shift in tone, ministers are understood to have signalled that they are looking at ways to reduce the waiting time for the Government’s new benefits scheme from six weeks, with backbenchers pushing for a reduction to one month. It follows interventions by Sir John Major, the former prime minister, as well as some of Mrs May’s own MPs, who warn that the system is undermining her pledge to champion “ordinary working-class” families.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • May told to keep pledge over debt relief for the poor – The Observer


  • Duncan Smith’s welfare reform is as disastrous as the Poll Tax – Frank Field, Mail on Sunday
  • The poor are driven further into debt by Universal Credit – Archbishop John Sentamu, Sunday Times
  • Cameron would have avoided this unilateral political disarmament – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

Javid pushes for ‘rent-to-buy’ house-building fund

“Generation Rent may be given a leg up on the housing ladder under plans being considered by the Treasury to underwrite the £100bn cost of building about half a million homes over the next decade. Families trapped in rented properties and Millennials unable to buy a starter home are among those intended to benefit from the “rent-to-buy” scheme, as are teachers, nurses and police officers. It is being championed by Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, who is lobbying the chancellor, Philip Hammond, to include it in next month’s budget. A government source said: “Although it doesn’t yet have the green tick from the Treasury for the budget, he [Javid] has certainly been making the case for the scheme with the chancellor.”” – Sunday Times

  • Help for home buyers as ministers plan to ban ‘gazumping’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • U-turn on housing benefit cap for the elderly – The Observer

>Today: ToryDiary: If it won’t build houses, the Government should focus on policy for renters

Fox faces questions over arms sales to the Middle East

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is facing calls to reveal details of its use of British troops to sell arms after it prevented the publication of the names of countries that sent delegations to watch UK soldiers carrying out demonstrations for weapons manufacturers. Liam Fox’s department has overseen a major increase in arms sales to Gulf states including Saudi Arabia amid allegations of human rights violations in the war in Yemen. It said identifying the delegations would “prejudice the relationship between the UK and other states” and may lead to a breakdown in diplomatic relations. A freedom of information request revealed that British forces provided by the export support team (EST) – a unit attached to Fox’s department to help promote UK arms exports – were used on 10 occasions this year to carry out demonstrations at various locations.” – The Observer

  • British aid is helping ISIS’ victims rebuild their lives – Priti Patel – Sun on Sunday

Labour criticised for t-shirts of gun-toting McDonnell

“The sale of T-shirts bearing the Labour Party logo and showing Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell brandishing a Kalashnikov assault rifle was branded ‘tasteless’ last night. The mocked-up image featuring the weapon popular with terrorists and the slogan ‘Arm John McDonnell Now!’ were worn by activists at a Young Labour rally attended by Jeremy Corbyn last week. The T-shirts display Labour’s official red rose logo above the words ‘Labour Party Young Guerrillas’ and appear to be based on Mr McDonnell’s controversial comments on Irish terrorism.” – Mail on Sunday

MPs to investigate ‘pop-up’ brothels

Pop-up brothels found in holiday lets and domestic properties will be probed by MPs investigating the sex trade. The inquiry has been launched into organised crime gangs using temporary addresses to sexually exploit women. Police issued warnings to holiday let owners earlier this year in Newquay, Cornwall, that their properties were at risk of being used as pop-up brothels. The cross-party group will gather evidence over the next six months to help vulnerable women. Gavin Shuker MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution, said: “One in ten men in the UK has paid for sex. Pimps and traffickers who operate ‘pop-up’ brothels are meeting a demand created by sex buyers.”” – Sun on Sunday

News in Brief:

  • Where is €40bn for the EU going to come from? – John Mills, Brexit Central
  • Trafalgar Day: Nelson’s enduring lessons and example – Mark Fox, Reaction
  • The British and French have always negotiated past each other – Robert Tombs, The Spectator
  • Does Britain really want to solve the housing crisis? – Oliver Wiseman, CapX
  • I’m convinced Davidson could be the next Tory leader – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday