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Bercow threatens to expel Davis from Parliament over the Brexit papers…

“David Davis could be expelled from parliament if he fails to hand over sensitive documents about the impact of Brexit on the economy, John Bercow warned yesterday. The Commons Speaker said Mr Davis could face a charge of contempt of parliament if he fails to satisfy MPs demanding details of impact assessments covering 58 sectors of the economy. The Brexit Secretary yesterday handed over an 850-page dossier on the subject to MPs, but only after sensitive information had been removed… Brexit minister Robin Walker said the Government had an ‘overriding duty to the national interest’ not to publish information that could undermine Britain’ s position in the negotiations with Brussels.” – Daily Mail

  • Papers ‘censored to keep MPs in the dark’ – The Times

Comment:

  • Barnier won’t show his hand, yet Remainers insist that Davis do so – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph

Sketches:

  • Davis’ Brexit boasts are coming back to haunt him – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • Starmer was so het up that he was shaking – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Editorial:

  • Ministers should publish with only minor redactions – The Times

…as UK and EU ‘strike deal on Brexit bill’…

“Sources on both sides confirmed that an agreement-in-principle has now been reached over the EU’s demand for a €60bn financial settlement ahead of a crucial lunch meeting next Monday between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president. Two sources confirmed that the terms were agreed at a meeting in Brussels late last week after intense back-channel discussions led by Oliver Robbins, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator. The Telegraph understands that the final figure, which is deliberately being left open to interpretation, will be between €45bn and €55bn, depending on how each side calculates the output from an agreed methodology.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Britain to pay EU bill for decades – The Times
  • No trade deal would cost EU twice as many jobs as Britain – Daily Mail
  • Construction industry warns of ‘cliff edge’ over EU workers – Daily Telegraph
  • London insurers seek sector-specific deal – FT

Labour:

  • Opposition is softening towards permanent Customs Union membership – FT
  • Abbott tells constituents she would push for a second referendum – Daily Telegraph
  • French town names street after Jo Cox – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Taxpayers deserve to know why May thinks this bill is worth it – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • After Brexit we must treat EU nationals the same as other migrants – Mark Harper MP, Times Red Box
  • May risks the wrath of Brexiteers to calm business’ fears – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph
  • In divided Britain, nobody wants to hear the warning sirens – Rafael Behr, The Guardian
  • This £40 billion sellout will unite the British people in disgust – Nigel Farage, Daily Telegraph

Editorial:

  • With money on the table, we must get a deal or walk away – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Rory Broomfield in Comment: How much extra money should we give the EU? I say: not a penny.

…and Sinn Fein launches fresh bid to keep Northern Ireland in EU structures post-Brexit

“Sinn Fein today launched a fresh bid to keep Northern Ireland in EU structures after Brexit – as they warned there could be violence and civil disobedience if a hard border Irish returns. The Irish republican party wants Northern Ireland to stay in the customs union and single market – and are trying to convince the Brussels club to back their demand. It sets them on a collision course with Theresa May and the DUP who are propping her up in No10, who have ruled it out as it would move the hard border to the Irish sea. Chris Hazzard, an MP with the party, warned that any return to a hard Irish border could reignite The Troubles and spark widespread civic disobedience. He said Brexit poses a ‘direct threat to the Good Friday Agreement’ and the peace of the past two decades.” – Daily Mail

  • Unionist fury over Sinn Fein warnings of ‘civil disobedience’ – Belfast Telegraph
  • Ireland avoids poll paralysis after deputy leader quits – The Times
  • Varadkar weakened – The Sun

More:

  • Hain slammed for saying May is to blame for Stormont deadlock – News Letter

Comment:

  • The DUP oppose ‘special status’ for Northern Ireland, yet they embody it – Henry Hill, News Letter
  • Brexit could tear Irish communities apart – Joe McHugh, The Guardian

>Today: Profiles: Arlene Foster, standing firm for Britain in Belfast

>Yesterday: Henry Newman in Comment: If Ireland overplays its hand, it could collapse the Brexit talks entirely. Which would hit it harder than us.

MPs call on May to change course on royal wedding bank holiday

“Theresa May will not give the nation a Bank Holiday to celebrate Harry and Meghan’s wedding. There was a surge of public expectation after the engagement was finally announced that it would be followed by the announcement of an extra public holiday in 2018 – but Downing Street soon dismissed the idea. No10 aides insisted there was “no precedent” for the national day off despite William and Kate’s celebration in April 2011. The PM’s official spokesman said: “There are no plans for a Bank Holiday. There isn’t a precedent in this area.” But Labour MP John Woodcock yesterday blasted: “There should surely be a bank holiday to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.”” – The Sun

  • Prime Minister defends decision not to hold Bank Holiday for the Royal Wedding – The Sun

Prime Minister confronts Saudi Arabia over Qatar and Yemen

“Theresa May will today tackle Saudi Arabia about the kingdom’s aggressive foreign policy on her second trip to Riyadh this year. The prime minister will meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and raise the Gulf state’s dispute with Qatar and humanitarian concerns about its involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Her plan to address the “big foreign policy issues” is a riposte to critics who have accused her of turning a blind eye to heavy-handed manoeuvres and human rights abuses by Saudi Arabia. The state has led a three-week blockade in Yemen, though reports this week suggested that it had finally begun to allow shipments of food and humanitarian aid.” – The Times

  • May demands end to blockade of Yemeni ports – The Guardian

More:

  • Prime Minister talks tax avoidance with Overseas Territories – The Guardian

Ministers 1) Green to take PMQs despite investigation

“Damian Green will deputise for Theresa May at prime minister’s questions today, despite being subject to an investigation into his conduct. The first secretary of state remains the subject of a Cabinet Office inquiry, which began last month in response to allegations of inappropriate advances on an activist and has since widened to examine claims that he viewed pornography on a parliamentary computer. The prime minister is visiting Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Downing Street said that she was not pre-empting the result of the investigation.” – The Times

  • May under fire for choise of stand-in – The Sun

Ministers 2) Hunt risks fresh row with NHS pay plan

“The government has triggered a row with NHS staff by unveiling plans to overhaul their pay, including how much they receive for working antisocial shifts. Health unions have warned Jeremy Hunt that he is risking a repeat of the acrimonious junior doctors’ dispute by seeking to reduce the extra amounts staff get for weekend and overnight working. The health secretary has also aroused anger by making it clear that he wants to change increments – extra cash staff receive that helps increase their take-home pay. Unions voiced their opposition after Hunt disclosed his intentions in an interview with the Health Service Journal, saying he wanted to change the way more than 1 million NHS personnel in England are paid by introducing a “more professional pay structure”.” – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Anne-Marie Trevelyan in Comment: We must not neglect the mental health of autistic people

Ministers 3) Grayling plans to roll back Beeching rail cuts

“Railway lines and stations lost during the Beeching cuts could be reopened to drive housebuilding. The Transport Secretary said yesterday that reversing some of the 1960s closures would provide homes, boost the economy and ease overcrowding. Chris Grayling’s ministry will today announce it is to accelerate plans announced in the Budget to reopen a rail link between Oxford and Cambridge. Other lines in Bristol, Devon and the West Midlands could be reinstated, along with the building of four stations in West Yorkshire. Chancellor Philip Hammond hopes new infrastructure will allow him to deliver on his vow in the Budget last week to build 300,000 homes a year.” – Daily Mail

  • Hammond’s housing plan ‘won’t make a different’, warn builders – The Sun
  • Car industry attacks diesel policy – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Small steps but the Budget has put us on the right path – Ben Bradley MP, Times Red Box
  • Hammond must fix the damage to our Armed Forces – Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph
  • Capitalism Mk 2 will widen inequality – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

Editorial:

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: A terrifying possibility for Britain. We are turning Japanese – and entering an era of permanent stagnation.

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: The Industrial Strategy. Top marks for spin. Lower ones for content.

Ministers 4) Gove suggests UK will maintain ban on GM crops post-Brexit

Food made from genetically modified crops will continue to be banned in the UK after Britain leaves the European Union, Michael Gove has suggested. The Environment secretary’s admission could damage Britain’s attempts to negotiate a trade deal outside of the EU because the US is expected to push for more GM-based foods to be sold in the UK. Britain is under intense pressure from the US to drop the EU’s ban on GM foods after Brexit to help speed a trade deal with the US. However the EU has insisted that food standards will not be compromised if the UK and the EU are to agree a trade deal after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.” – Daily Telegraph

Cathy Newman: Patel is one to watch for the Tory leadership

“I’m not saying that Ms Patel is without controversy. Far from it. I am simply pointing out that, if the odds are shortening on some of the cabinet contenders for the top job, she could be in with a shout. In a week in which the royal family has welcomed a mixed-race American actor and activist into the fold, the Conservative party might at least ask the question of whether a daughter of Ugandan refugees could refashion its fortunes. Last night’s intervention was a statement of intent from Ms Patel that we certainly haven’t heard the last from her.” – Daily Telegraph

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

Labour 1) Corbynistas launch plot to capture Labour from below

“Corbynistas are pushing centrist councillors out of their seats in a battle to take firm grip of the Labour party from the ground up. Councillors across the country are facing a battle to hold on to their seats after pressure from Momentum-backed candidates, a fringe group which grew out of Corbyn’s leadership campaign in 2015. A wave have already been deselected ahead of May’s local elections, with some in London being written off as “zombie Blairites”. Councillors used to face an open contest to run again in their seat now face a vote for their re-selection.” – The Sun

  • Thatcher conference forced to increase security after Momentum threats – Daily Mail
  • Female MPs blast Labour for ignoring sexism – The Sun

Comment:

  • Labour’s do-nothing moderates are like sheep waiting for wolves to devour them – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • It’s not a purge, it’s called democracy – Owen Jones, The Guardian
  • As the hard left tightens its grip, ministers are at MPs’ mercy – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

Labour 2) Khan to ban parking from new developments in central London

“Sadiq Khan is banning car parking spaces around new homes and offices in the capital in a bid to cut cut car use. The London mayor said he wants to reduce road congestion and air pollution with his draft Transport Strategy. Under the scheme, parking spaces will not be allowed as part of residential developments which have the best public transport links, while new offices in the centre of the capital will not be able to include commuter or visitor parking. The idea is part of the mayor’s London Plan – which is about to go up for consultation – and would affect central and inner areas of the city from as early as Autumn 2019, if it gets voted through.” – Daily Mail

>Today: Sam Hearn in Local Government: Khan’s threat to Chiswick

CBI warns SNP against tax rises

“The Scottish economy “simply can’t afford” Nicola Sturgeon’s plans to create a higher income tax regime than England and the move “should be avoided at all costs”, the UK’s most eminent business group has warned. The CBI said that a “chasm” opening up between tax rates north and south of the Border would make investors “think twice” about coming to Scotland and squeeze household incomes “at a critical juncture.” In a submission to Derek Mackay, the SNP Finance Minister, ahead of next month’s Scottish Budget, the business group called for “parity of income tax” with the rest of the UK. Mr Mackay rejected proposals to extend business rates to leisure and cultural venues run by council arm’s-length bodies (ALEOs), which the Tories had called a “swim tax”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Scottish police chief declares ‘absolute confidence’ in leadership team – FT

Comment:

  • Justice Minister and Police Authority need to explain what’s going on in crisis-hit Police Scotland – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

Wales:

  • Welsh Government’s bullying inquiry lacks transparency – Andrew RT Davies, Times Red Box

News in Brief:

  • Is Germany heading for another grand coalition? – Leopold Traugott, Open Europe
  • Why plans to import more power from Europe are flawed – Tony Lodge, Brexit Central
  • Hospitals must be accountable to something other than themselves – Bruce Newsome, Reaction
  • Even at £45 billion, the ‘divorce bill’ is worth paying – Fraser Nelson, The Spectator
  • Davis is frustrating the will of the people – Matthew Norman, The Independent

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