Brexit 1) Davis “accused” of delaying Withdrawal Bill by taking too long to arrange compromise discussions

“David Davis has been accused by Cabinet colleagues of delaying the Brexit bill by failing to schedule key meetings, as it emerged the legislation will not come back to the Commons until November. The Brexit secretary is “not keeping his end of the bargain”, a furious Cabinet source told The Telegraph, amid claims he has prevented the EU Withdrawal bill from coming back before MPs. … Hundreds of amendments have been tabled on the legislation, with more expected to tip the pile to 400 by the end of the week. Mr Davis, as the sponsor, must meet key figures in order to find a compromise and ensure that he can win over enough of the Conservative MPs who oppose it to prevent the bill from being blocked.” – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 2) Hammond “reassures” businesses by agreeing that the need to confirm transition principles is “pressing”

“Philip Hammond moved to reassure business that the government is trying to strike a transition deal “as soon as possible” after Theresa May appeared to put new obstacles in its way. The prime minister told MPs that Britain will not enter into a Brexit transition period with the European Union unless agreement on a future trade deal can be negotiated first. In remarks that caused jitters among business groups, Mrs May told MPs that her plan for a two-year implementation period could not take effect until Britain and the EU had agreed the broad terms of their future relationship.” – The Times

Brexit 3) Conservatives call for £1bn “no deal” money

“Tory MPs last night told Philip Hammond to use next month’s Budget to commit £1billion on a “no deal” Brexit. Dover MP Charlie Elphicke blasted the Chancellor’s refusal to commit any money until the “very last moment”. He urged Mr Hammond to rethink – and pledge to invest hundreds of millions in Britain’s border systems and prepare new infrastructure to deal with collecting tariffs and making customs checks if Britain and the EU fail to agree a new trading agreement. And he said committing to the extra cash would be “no regrets” spending because Britain’s borders needed upgrading anyway.” – The Sun

  • Baker says no deal preparation is “responsible” – Independent



More Brexit

  • Bloomberg says leaving is the stupidest thing except Trump – Guardian
  • Tusk says negotiation result is up to UK not EU – FT
  • Hague warns against second referendum – Daily Mail


  • Will Barnier succeed Juncker? – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • At least Barnier and Juncker are grown-ups – Vince Cable, The Times 

Conservative whip strongly criticised for asking universities for Brexit curriculum details

“Conservative MP has written to all universities asking for details of their teaching on Brexit amid fears students are being brainwashed by Remain-supporting lecturers. Chris Heaton-Harris, a Government whip, asked all vice-chancellors if they would be “so kind” as to supply the names of professors teaching European affairs “with particular reference to Brexit”, together with copies of their syllabus and links to online lectures. He has faced accusations of “McCarthyism” from some academics, but supporters said vice-chancellors were guilty of “false outrage” after being “rumbled” for indoctrinating students with their anti-Brexit views.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He’s been “reprimanded” by Downing Street – The Times
  • Academics have called his behaviour “McCarthyite” – Guardian
  • Meanwhile, Cambridge to “decolonise” the English curriculum – The Times


  • This is about academic freedom, not Brexit – Thom Brooks, Daily Telegraph
  • We need free speech – Janet Beer, Guardian

>Today: Rebecca Lowe Coulson’s column: MPs shouldn’t inject political bias into the university syllabus – but neither should academics

Hammond “denies” budget housing borrowing boost

“Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has denied that the government is about to borrow£50bn to invest in housing at next month’s Budget, but is understood to be mulling stamp duty reforms that would help first-time home buyers at the expense of landlords. Sajid Javid, communities secretary, said at the weekend that the government should consider borrowing more to invest directly in homebuilding to ‘take advantage of some of the record-low interest rates that we have’.“ – FT

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: Hammond should deliver a Great NHS Budget

Kirkup: Universal Credit furore is latest of Osborne’s “chickens coming home to roost”

“One by one, George Osborne’s chickens are coming home to roost, even if the man himself is not there to welcome them back. As chancellor and chief strategist for the Conservatives, Mr Osborne always bet that he and his party could never lose by being hard on welfare and those who receive it. Whenever he needed money, and he always needed money, the first place he looked was the welfare bill. When he took money from welfare, and he took billions, he did so not boldly but subtly. Cuts were sold as freezes, the pain deferred as Mr Osborne, correctly, calculated that MPs fixated on tomorrow’s headlines are bad at thinking about how today’s budget announcements will look and feel in two or three years’ time.” – The Times

  • Survey shows 75 per cent think claimant time should be cut now – Independent
  • Meanwhile, DWP appeals against benefit cap ruling – Independent
  • And three NI social security offices won’t be shut after all – Belfast News Letter

More comment:

  • Does Hammond care about staying in his job? – John Crace, Guardian
  • Bone asks him whether senior politicians shouldn’t be talking up the economy – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph

More Conservatives


Patel says foreign aid money will be spent “boosting post-Brexit trade”

“Foreign aid will be spent in Britain’s “national interest” to boost post-Brexit trade, the International Development Secretary has vowed. Priti Patel said leaving the EU would allow the Government to reclaim billions of pounds of annual aid funding that is currently diverted via Brussels. It could then be used, not only for “humanitarian” work, but also for “prosperity Britain post-Brexit, on trade and economic development,” she told the Commons International Development Committee.” – Independent

  • It’ll be used to promote “Global Britain” – Daily Express


Gove claims UK has only “forty years of fertile crop growing left”

“The UK has only 40 years of fertile crop growing left because intensive farming is “cutting the ground from beneath” our feet, Michael Gove has warned. The Environment Secretary said heavy farm machinery and overuse of chemicals was boosting short-term productivity but would render large tracts of soil infertile within a generation. Speaking at the Parliamentary launch of the Sustainable Soils Association (SSA), a group formed to tackle the issue, Mr Gove said Britain had encouraged types of farming which “damaged the earth”.” – Daily Telegraph

More Government

  • Lords back cross-party amendment calling for end of cold callers targeting pensioners – Daily Telegraph
  • Independent terrorism legislation reviewer “criticises” crackdown on extremism – Daily Telegraph
  • Watchdog tells MoD to take care over suppliers – FT

Will whip be removed from O’Mara over “verbal abuse claims”?

“Labour has launched an investigation into MP Jared O’Mara, who came under fire for allegedly calling a constituent “an ugly b****” and for posting offensive comments on online message boards. Mr O’Mara, who toppled former deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the election, resigned from the Commons Women and Equalities Committee on Monday after the emergence of misogynistic and homophobic comments he made more than a decade ago.” – Independent

  • Rayner defends him – Daily Express
  • McDonnell had hinted at inquiry about O’Mara’s “unacceptable comments” – The Times



  • Why hasn’t he been suspended? – The Sun

MSPs back Scottish Goverment’s fracking ban

MSPs have backed the Scottish Government’s fracking ban in a parliamentary vote. Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse announced earlier this month planning regulations would be used to “effectively ban” the controversial gas extraction technique by extending the current moratorium “indefinitely”. Speaking in a Parliamentary debate, he said the vote gives parliament the opportunity to endorse the government’s “carefully considered and robust decision”.” – Herald

  • The result was 91 to 28 – FT

Trump’s four-month refugee ban is over

“Refugees will be admitted into the USA again after the four-month ban imposed by Donald Trump ended on Tuesday. All refugees will face tighter background checks in line with Donald Trump’s promise to impose “extreme vetting” on all immigrants. Applications from 11 “high risk” countries will be delayed by a further 90 days to allow the administration to draw up even tighter restrictions. The State Department said that admissions would be resumed on a case by case basis from citizens of the 11 countries, understood to be Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.” – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • The housing crisis is about land not money – Ben Southwood, CapX
  • What universities teach is none of Heaton-Harris’s business – John Elledge, New Statesman
  • The truth about the crime stats – Rick Muir, Reaction
  • Ireland needs to talk about Brexit – Ian Paisley, BrextiCentral
  • Stewart is right about IS fighters – Gavin Mortimer, Spectator