May “focuses minds” by publishing draft legislation on “no deal”…

“Theresa May has revealed detailed plans for quitting the EU with “no deal” in a move designed to pile pressure on Brussels to begin trade talks. The Prime Minister decided to “focus minds” by publishing draft legislation showing how the UK will implement independent trade and customs arrangements from “day one” after Brexit in March 2019. … White papers published on Monday on customs and trade made it clear that Britain would trade under World Trade Organisation rules if it left without a deal, and would set its own tariffs and taxes on goods, as well as moving borders inland to avoid queues at ports.” – Daily Telegraph

  • White papers on customs and trade were published yesterday – FT
  • They lay out proposals for policy following a failure to reach agreement – Daily Express
  • This is first view of Government’s idea of “no deal” – Independent
  • UK would wave import tax and create “huge lorry parks” – Daily Mail
  • Ministers ask Hammond for billions for preparations – The Sun
  • Brussels “prepares to ignore” UK demands – The Times 
  • Has Irish open border been ruled out? – Independent
  • Jenkin calls for “ultimatum” – FT


  • It’s right to start preparing for this – The Sun
  • May must “stand firm” – Guardian


  • May was “surprisingly chipper” yesterday – Patrick Kidd, The Times
  • She might just stick it out – Janan Ganesh, FT
  • Her “lack of leadership” is “killing” the negotiations – Matt Drake, Daily Express
  • If she really wants to reinvent herself, she’ll have to promise to go before next election – Andy Coulson, Daily Telegraph
  • She has “no solid presence” now – Rachel Sylvester, The Times
  • She’s doomed – Steve Richards, Guardian
  • She says “the ball is in the EU’s court” – Tom Peck, Independent
  • Johnson was late for her speech – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • May barely gave him a second glance – John Crace, Guardian
  • “Enough of the political psychodrama” – Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
  • Brexiteers need to focus on the digital – Liam Byrne, Daily Telegraph


…But reveals Britiain “may” remain under ECJ control during transition

“Eurosceptic Conservative MPs last night turned on Theresa May after she admitted for the first time that Britain could remain under the rule of EU judges for up to two years after Brexit. In a collapse of the Tories’ fragile consensus around the prime minister’s Florence speech, senior backbenchers accused Downing Street of misleading them over the extent of the concessions she was prepared to offer Brussels. Others urged the prime minister to rapidly speed up preparations for a “no-deal” scenario to ensure that Britain could walk away from talks if the terms on offer were not acceptable.”- The Times

  • She made a “difficult” Commons statement – The Times
  • It’s an “apparent slap down to Johnson” – The Sun
  • Eurosceptic Tory MPs are unhappy – Daily Telegraph
  • They are “led” by Rees-Mogg who questioned May – Guardian
  • May won’t say whether Government has had legal advice about reversibility of Brexit – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Iain Duncan Smith: The Treasury still hasn’t accepted a two-year, time-limited transition

May to say “there’s nowhere to hide” as results of first nationwide racial equality review are revealed

“Schools, police forces and councils will have “nowhere to hide” on discrimination, Theresa May pledges today as she publishes research laying bare racial divides across the country. The first government “race audit”, said to be the most ambitious project of its kind in the world, reveals divides in health, education, employment and the criminal justice system in England. Dorset police will be challenged to explain why black people were seven times more likely to be arrested in its area than in Essex last year. Stockport’s primary schools will face questions about why less than a quarter of black 11-year-olds reached the required standard in reading and maths for their age while in Sunderland the figure was more than three quarters.” – The Times

  • She commissioned the survey last year – Independent
  • It’s part of her “personal campaign against injustice” – Daily Express
  • MPs will announce “crackdown” on prejudiced school exclusions and ministers will conduct external review – Daily Telegraph
  • There are variations related to gender and region – Guardian


  • This kind of knowledge is power – The Times


  • Action is needed now – Kimberly McIntosh, Guardian

Johnson allies say he’ll say “no” if May attempts to demote him

“Boris Johnson will “just say no” if Theresa May tries to demote him, his allies have said as they warned sacking him as Foreign Secretary would undermine Brexit and destabilise the Government. The Prime Minister is instead being urged by members of her Cabinet to sack Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, for “making Brexit hard” and being “miserable”. Mrs May indicated that Mr Johnson could be moved into another Cabinet role in a reshuffle at the end of the month, saying that she would not “hide from a challenge”.“ – Daily Telegraph


  • He’s a liar – James Moore, Independent
  • If you’re interested in leadership fights, look at clause 5 of schedule 2 – John Rentoul, Independent

More Conservatives

  • Gauke defends Universal Credit rollout against rebels – The Sun
  • Halfon calls for Tories to become “workers’ party” – The Times
  • Jo Johnson confirms tuition fees will be frozen at £9,250 – The Sun
  • Brokenshire says some progress has been made in powersharing talks – Belfast News Letter
  • Grayling criticises Labour for Monarch comments – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The average age of Conservative Party members is 57 – four years older than Labour ones

Wallace: The British MEPs who voted against Brexit talk progress exemplify a “troubling strain”

“You almost certainly won’t have heard of Julie Girling or Richard Ashworth. They’re MEPs, for the South West and South East of England, respectively. The fact that they remain pretty anonymous figures, even after serving a combined total of 21 years in Brussels and Strasbourg, is itself a sign of the failure of the EU to embed itself in our national life. … An attempt to wreck a deal, and thereby scare us back into the EU, might succeed in its first aim, but fail in its second. That would mean leaving without an agreement, not a sudden reversal of the referendum. Those who like the EU most now risk accidentally propelling Britain to the hardest possible Brexit.” –Mark Wallace, the i paper

Sturgeon to say her focus is on “next 10 years and beyond”

“Nicola Sturgeon will today set her sights on at least another decade in power after insisting that the SNP’s general election mauling did not remove her mandate for a second independence referendum. The First Minister will use her keynote speech to the SNP conference in Glasgow to say that her focus is “on the next 10 years and beyond” and promise to pursue a “transformational” policy agenda over this period. But the Scottish Conservatives accused her of arrogance, warning her she is on a “slippery slope” after 10 years of trying to break up Britain and claiming it was “unlikely the electorate will grant her another decade.”” – Daily Telegraph 

  • She was closing the SNP conference – Herald
  • She calls Brexit a “car crash” – FT
  • Scottish Tory calls her “breathtakingly arrogant” – Daily Express


  • What goes up can also go down – Martin Kettle, Guardian
  • Behind the scenes of the SNP – Angela Constance, Independent

Rachman: Optimism about Trump is premature

“On a recent tour of American establishment redoubts — taking in Wall Street, Washington and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard — I encountered a cautious optimism that the Trump phenomenon can be contained, without doing lasting damage to the US. The optimistic case is interesting but also, I think, premature. The optimists point out that early fears that the president would swiftly undermine American democracy have faded. Mr Trump’s behaviour remains erratic and often outrageous. But it does not look like a coherent plan to subvert democracy.” – FT

  • He is “seriously mistaken” to undermine his own Secretary of State – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

Abbott criticised for saying climate change is “probably doing good”

“Tony Abbott, the former Australian prime minister, has drawn criticism for suggesting climate change “is probably doing good” and claiming that “far more people die in cold snaps”. Addressing the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a climate sceptic thinktank, on Monday evening, Mr Abbott said policies to tackle climate change was  like primitive people trying to “appease the volcano gods”. “There’s the evidence that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (which is a plant food after all) are actually greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Harlow has shaped my politics – Robert Halfon, CapX
  • May is uncomfortable defending the market – James Delingpole, Spectator
  • The Brexit options – Walter Ellis, Reaction
  • Where is Conservatism today? – Colin Kidd, LRB
  • Is Blade Runner 2049 about feminism? – Helen Lewis, New Statesman