Johnson & Gove v May & Davis on transition and contingency

“The letter setting out their blueprint for a post-EU Britain was kept secret from the rest of the Cabinet – including Mr Davis – until it was revealed in last week’s Mail on Sunday. Now we can disclose that the missive effectively calls for Mr Davis to be sidelined by a new, non-elected ‘Brexit Tsar’. Mr Davis’s allies say he is ‘deeply frustrated’ by the way Mr Johnson and Mr Gove went behind his back to hand-deliver the letter to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell. Last night, No 10 added to his humiliation by failing to deny that the Brexit Secretary had still not seen a copy of the letter.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Pair also plan to demand May not pay ‘Brexit bill’ until deal settled – Sunday Times
  • Foreign Secretary rejects Irish call for five-year transition – Mail on Sunday
  • Patel says Brexit allows Britain to go in a new direction – Sunday Express


  • This letter was contemptible student politics – Sir Anthony Seldon, Mail on Sunday
  • What happened to our love, Gove? – Victoria Coren Mitchell, The Observer

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Claims that Davis may resign “are simply wrong”. Who gains from media briefing against him?

…as Fernandes and Penrose warn of bid to ‘torpedo Brexit’

“Pro-Europe rebels are plotting to insert new “layers of rights” into the Government’s Brexit legislation and may be attempting to “torpedo Brexit”, two senior Conservatives have warned. In an article for the Telegraph, Suella Fernandes, the chairman of the party’s Eurosceptic European Research Group, and John Penrose, a former constitution minister, criticise fellow Tory MPs for attempting to bring a controversial rights charter into British law this week despite “the newly won freedom” achieved by the Brexit vote. Ms Fernandes, a leading Brexiteer, and Mr Penrose, who supported the Remain campaign, also accuse their colleagues of a “synthetic fuss” over an amendment enshrining an exit date in law, and warn of the risk of the Brexit legislation being used “to thwart the referendum result by stealth”.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Rebels risk letting Corbyn into office, warns Tebbit – Sunday Express
  • EU taskforce plans for no-deal ‘disaster’ – Sunday Times
  • Britain threatens to veto EU climate legislation over Brexit clause – Sunday Telegraph
  • CBI backs EU workers ‘because they are cheaper’ – Mail on Sunday
  • Burnham demands EU powers are given to regions – Sunday Times

Suella Fernandes and John Penrose: Absorbing flabby EU rights law was not the point of Brexit

“It was rejected by the French and the Dutch in 2005. Then it was in the EU Lisbon Treaty rejected by the Irish in 2008. The Eurocrats finally got their way in 2009, but it had cross-party UK opposition from the start. Tony Blair said it shouldn’t “extend or expand UK law, particularly in the labour market or the social sphere”. David Cameron demanded “a complete opt-out”. So it seems odd to put the EU Charter into UK law when we’ve opposed it for years, and when we’ve got the tried and tested European Convention to fall back on anyway. One of the main reasons for leaving the EU was to take back control of our own laws, so we don’t have to do what Brussels tells us if we think it’s wrong. And the Charter is wrong for Britain; both Labour and Conservative prime ministers have said so.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Brexit is an act of supreme economic sense – Priti Patel, Sunday Telegraph
  • I fear no City Brexodus, I’ve been to Frankfurt – Sarah Baxter, Sunday Times
  • We’re driving into the wall with our stubborn trade talk – Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph

Budget 1) Hammond to make big move on housing – but not on Javid’s terms

“Philip Hammond will make a bold pitch to Millennials in the Budget by announcing plans to get 300,000 homes built a year. The Chancellor said fixing the housing market was a ‘crucial part’ of ensuring the younger generation are not the first since the Black Death to be less prosperous than their parents. He promised the Government would do ‘whatever it takes’ to get homes built including cracking down on ‘land-banking’ and underwriting loans to small house builders if necessary. He will also find around £5billion for housing schemes. But he will not take up a suggestion by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, who is responsible for housing, to borrow £50 billion to fund a massive home building scheme.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Further plans to cut stamp duty and freeze tuition fees – Sun on Sunday


  • Hammond should level with the young that the age of the freebie is over – Tom Welsh, Sunday Telegraph

>Today: Jock McMillan in Comment: A sixth of Tory MPs have no active social media profile. No wonder Labour is sweeping the youth vote.


Budget 2) Universal Credit waiting period to be slashed

“The government is to cut the six-week wait for universal credit payments to 31 days, it has been claimed. A source familiar with the plan says the reduction will be announced in Wednesday’s budget. The news comes days after MPs voted unanimously to slash the wait for a first payment from six weeks to four after the government refused to contest the controversy, knowing defeat was inevitable. The vote was non-binding. It followed a debate led by Frank Field, the Labour chairman of the work and pensions committee, who said that the cut to four weeks was vital to give claimants “slightly better Christmases”. This comes amid claims that some people will lose universal credit at Christmas. This is because they are paid weekly and December is a five-week month, so their income will be too high to qualify for the benefit.” – Sunday Times

  • Regulations prepared to put driverless cars on the streets – The Observer
  • Millionaires have ‘cost Treasury £8.6 billion’ – Sun on Sunday

Budget 3) Chancellor to announce pay boost for nurses

Philip Hammond is preparing to announce a cash boost for the NHS as part of a bid to take on Labour and face down his critics, the Telegraph understands. The Chancellor will use this week’s Budget to offer a pay rise to nurses, following pressure from Cabinet colleagues and Conservative MPs, and the threat of winter strikes if he fails to issue a “positive signal” to NHS staff. The policy will be part of a set of announcements, also including a broad sweep of measures to increase house building, which Mr Hammond hopes will meet Jeremy Corbyn’s party on key battlegrounds and head off growing disquiet in the Cabinet and No 10 over his chancellorship.” – Sunday Telegraph


  • Friendless Phil set a Budget trap by his own side – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times
  • The state of the Tories is the only big reveal in this Budget – Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer


  • Voters won’t forgive Hammond if he sticks to Treasury orthodoxy – Sunday Telegraph
  • The building blocks of a Tory recovery – Sunday Times

>Today: ToryDiary: A Mañana Budget?

Caims that the Prime Minister is being ‘poisoned’ against Hammond

“Relations between Theresa May and Philip Hammond have sunk to a new low just days before the Budget amid claims that the Prime Minister is being ‘poisoned’ against the Chancellor by her exiled ‘Rasputin’. Mr Hammond’s Budget on Wednesday will be one of the most critical in recent memory, with the fate of the Government potentially riding on its success. But the Chancellor’s allies complain that his task has been rendered a ‘nightmare’ by Mrs May’s ‘hostile’ attitude to him, which they say is a legacy of the feud between Mr Hammond and her former Chief of Staff, Nick Timothy. They also claim that Environment Secretary Michael Gove is behind negative briefings about Mr Hammond – because he wants to land the Chancellor’s job.” – Mail on Sunday

May ‘wants to bring back Hague’ if Green falls

“Theresa May’s aides have begun planning for an emergency reshuffle in case her deputy, Damian Green, is forced to resign after claims that pornography was found on his parliamentary computers when his office was raided by police in 2008. Senior government sources say the prime minister would like to persuade Lord Hague of Richmond to return as her right-hand man if Green is forced out — but overtures to the former foreign secre­tary indicate that he does not want to come back to the cabinet. Sue Gray — the Cabinet Office head of propriety and ethics — is investigating whether Green misled No 10 about the claims revealed by The Sunday Times and the way he attacked Bob Quick, the former Metropolitan police chief who confirmed his officers reported discovering pornography.” – Sunday Times

Labour 1) Miliband and Straw took money from Kremlin-linked think-tank

“Senior British politicians have been paid tens of thousands of pounds by a think tank closely linked to the Kremlin. The Paris-based Center of Political and Foreign Affairs (CPFA) is caught up in the Trump-Russia investigation after paying a reported $50,000 (£38,000) to Donald Trump Jr for a meeting a month before the American presidential election last year. However, the centre has also paid more than £52,000 in fees and expenses to at least four leading British politicians — the former foreign secretaries Jack Straw and David Miliband, and the former chancellors Lord Darling and Lord Lamont.” – Sunday Times

  • British ‘useful idiot’ comes clean on Trump – Sunday Times


  • Oh please, Brexit really was not a Russian plot – Matthew Goodwin, Sunday Telegraph

Labour 2) Corbyn warns against Dugdale suspension

“Richard Leonard is under immediate pressure as Scottish Labour’s fourth leader in three years after warning that his predecessor could be suspended from the party for taking time off to appear in a reality TV show. The privately educated left-wing ally of Jeremy Corbyn spoke out after winning 56.7% of the vote, defeating Anas Sarwar, a moderate, to become leader. Yet his criticism of Kezia Dugdale’s decision to appear on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! sparked a backlash from colleagues and on social media. It forced Corbyn to intervene and warn against tough action. He said: “I don’t think it’s appropriate to suspend someone from the party for doing that, that’s her choice.”” – Sunday Times

  • Ex-leader of Scottish Labour fiercely criticised over reality TV role – Sunday Telegraph
  • Dugdale told party bosses she was going on a ‘charity trip’ – Sun on Sunday



Labour 3) MP accused of ‘going bezerk’ in the Commons

“A ‘drunken’ Labour MP squared up to a fellow politician in the Commons chamber and unleashed a foul-mouthed tirade after a late-night Brexit debate, it was claimed last night. Jeremy Corbyn has ordered an investigation after claims by his own MPs that Paul Farrelly threatened Labour colleague James Frith in the voting lobby. Newcastle-under-Lyme MP Mr Farrelly, 55, is said to have ‘gone berserk’ at Mr Frith late on Tuesday night, moments after another altercation with two other Labour MPs in the terrace bar of the Commons overlooking the Thames. Mr Farrelly last night denied being abusive and said he was the victim of ‘dirty tricks’.” – Mail on Sunday

>Yesterday: Book Reviews: Gordon Brown has learned nothing and forgotten quite a bit

Adams to step down as leader of Sinn Fein

“Gerry Adams has announced he will step down as president of Sinn Fein in 2018. The Irish Republican, who has campaigned during his political career for a united Ireland, announced his intention to relinquish his role at the Dublin’s RDS conference. His announcement signals the end of a 34-year political career. He said he will not seek election to the Irish parliament, the Dáil Éirean. The 69-year-old, who has been the party’s president since 1983, announced there would be a special meeting next year to help elect a successor. The TD for Co Louth said at the annual conference: ‘Leadership means knowing when it is time for change and that time is now.'” – Mail on Sunday

News in Brief:

  • The best the Tories can hope for is that the Budget isn’t a disaster – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • Can Hammond deliver the Budget Britain needs? – Oliver Wiseman, CapX
  • Ignore ‘project fear’, the clock is ticking for the EU – Fawzi Ibrahim, Brexit Central
  • How to solve the Irish border question – Walter Ellis, Reaction
  • Corbyn’s takeover of Labour is almost complete – Stephen Daisley, The Spectator