Brexit 1) Davis hands over the “58 economic reports” — but they’re redacted

“Dozens of studies into the impact of Brexit on various parts of the economy do not contain any information which will damage the negotiations with the European Union, David Davis has said. The Exiting the European Union secretary last night handed over the 58 reports – which number up to 1,000 pages – last night after being forced to do so by MPs. MPs on the Exiting the EU committee in Parliament will decide this morning when to publish the information and in what form. The reports are expected to be published in the next few days.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He met deadline for giving the information to the committee – FT
  • There were actually 39 documents, with 850 pages – The Times
  • Government says it can’t release “commercially sensitive” information – Independent
  • Or anything that would “undermine Brexit” – The Sun
  • Could Davis be in contempt of parliament? – Guardian
  • Meanwhile Patel says government “has been ill equipped” for negotiations – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 2) Hague: The governments of Britain and Ireland “seem to be on a collision course”

“Few developments in recent years have been as unambiguously positive as the dramatic improvement in relations between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. In 2011 I was privileged to accompany the Queen on her state visit to Dublin… But now we have a very big problem. The British and Irish governments seem to be on a collision course ahead of the crucial EU summit on December 14, with potentially disastrous consequences for the last chance to manage Brexit at all smoothly and for relations between the two countries.” – Daily Telegraph 

  • The latest on the issue – The Times
  • Study shows hard border implications – Guardian
  • DUP’s Wilson says EU is “using Ireland” – Daily Express
  • And that May’s colleagues “want to undermine her” – Daily Telegraph
  • Brussels “hints at climbdown” – The Sun
  • Hogan’s custom union calls “dismissed as non-starter by unionists” – Belfast News Letter

More comment: 

  • This is the defining issue of Brexit – Ben Kelly, Independent
  • Aherne is a “voice of calm” – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • Maybe this is the “roadblock” I’ve been waiting for – Polly Toynbee, Guardian
  • Here are the real complexities – Tony Connelly, FT

>Today: Henry Newman’s column: If Ireland overplays its hand, it could collapse the Brexit talks entirely. Which would hit it harder than us.

Brexit 3) Clark uses Merck announcement to show businesses have “confidence” in the UK

“Greg Clark has seized on an announcement from the US drugs company Merck today as evidence that companies have the “confidence and direction” needed to invest in the United Kingdom. As the business secretary announced an industrial strategy to prepare Britain for Brexit, the pharmaceutical company confirmed that 950 high-quality jobs would be supported by its new research facility in an investment thought to be worth about £700 million. Ministers are investing £725 million in a bid to “transform” Britain’s industries over the next three years, on top of £1 billion which has previously been announced.” – The Times


  • The white paper is valuable – Michael Jacobs, Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Will Clark’s new Industrial Strategy deliver on its promise to get Britain into shape?

More Brexit comment

  • The EU should listen to Henkel’s “home truths” – Ross Clark, Daily Express
  • I’m still not coming round to leaving – Chris Deerin, Herald

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Elvis is alive. Putin bosses Legatum. The EU referendum was stolen. And other exercises in denial.

Williamson says 2 per cent spending on defence should be a “base” amount

“Britain’s pledge to spend 2 per cent of GDP on the military should be “a base” rather than “a ceiling” the new Defence Secretary has he prepares for a showdown with the Treasury for more funding. Gavin Williamson used his debut at the dispatch box to say Britain would send more troops to Afghanistan and warned against a tendency “to think that the world is a much safer place than it actually is”. Conservative MPs lined up during his first outing in his new role to tell him he must urge the Chancellor to “dig deep” and produce more money to stave off Armed Forces cuts.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He’s “prepared to fight” for funding – The Times
  • A “substantial Tory rebellion is brewing” – Independent
  • Meanwhile, former British soldiers released in India after four years – Daily Telegraph
  • But their families criticise the Foreign Office for being “feeble” – The Times


  • Defence spending is insufficient – James Rogers, The Times 
  • Williamson is like a “menacing” tarantula – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • He looked nervous at defence questions – Patrick Kidd, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Williamson on manoeuvres

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: “I’ve always seen two per cent as a base” for defence spending, not a ceiling, says Williamson

Hammond accused of being “undemocratic” in attempt to prevent budget amendments

“Philip Hammond has been accused of an “undemocratic and arrogant” approach to the Budget, after using a little-known parliamentary manoeuvre that will limit MPs’ ability to amend his plans. The chancellor’s tactic underlines the government’s struggle to command a majority in the House of Commons, where it relies on the support from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party. Previous Budgets have been changed following pressure from backbench MPs. In 2016, the government agreed to exempt domestic solar panels from a rise in vale added tax, while this year Mr Hammond moved to provide funding for Northern Irish women having abortions in England.” – FT

  • He’s using a Churchillian device to “curtail dissent” – The Times
  • May accused of “rigging parliament” – Independent

More government

  • Children’s commissioner calls for ministers to set national strategy on criminal exploitation – The Times 

>Today: Peter Franklin in Comment: Introducing GovOpposition. How the Tories can reinvent themselves in office. And who’s doing it best.

Khan to announce housing and transport plans including bans on parking spaces

“Parking spaces will be banned from homes and office blocks in parts of London under radical plans to cut the number of journeys made by car. Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, will announce today that hundreds of new office and housing developments are likely to be car free to boost cycling rates and increase the number of people using green public transport. A draft plan setting out housing and transport priorities for the next 25 years will propose banning parking spaces in inner London and other areas with good access to public transport.” – The Times

Harris: Corbyn “didn’t do too badly” in his tribute to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

“The Prime Minister was not slow off the mark with her congratulations to the happy couple  – hardly surprising, since the news has been expected in news rooms and in Downing Street for a very long time. “This is a time of huge celebration for two people in love and, on behalf of the Government and the country, I wish them great happiness in the future.” Nice. What did Jeremy Corbyn, that die-hard republican, have to say? Well, he did not do too badly, to be fair. No doubt rejecting the advice of his more excitable advisers, he chose not to use the opportunity to demand that the Queen immediately stand for (a) reselection and then (b) election by the public.” – Daily Telegraph

More comment: 

  • May must be relieved by this new distraction – Stephen Bates, Guardian
  • Markle’s race is relevant – Afua Hirsch, Guardian

More Labour

  • Morgan Stanley more worried about Corbyn becoming Prime Minister than Brexit – Guardian
  • After Burnham criticism, May confirms Manchester support money – Independent
  • Momentum accused of “purging” centrist candidates – The Times


And other parties

  • Audit Scotland says some local authorities could “run out of reserves” following SNP cuts – Daily Telegraph
  • While Hancock calls again for SNP to start broadband procurement – Daily Telegraph
  • And stateside, Trump won’t campaign for Moore – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief

  • We should be sceptical about industrial strategy – Diego Zuluaga, CapX
  • The Tories have been feckless – Walter Ellis, Reaction
  • What about the EU nationals who “can’t leave”? – Pauline Bock, New Statesman
  • More about Moore – Jessica Winter, New Yorker
  • Lilla on liberals – James Meek, LRB