Brexit 1) Brussels say they will not re-open talks if Parliament rejects deal

“A plot by diehard Tory Remainers to water down Brexit backfired yesterday as the European Union warned Britain would have a harder exit if MPs vote down a deal. Eleven rebels backed an amendment on Wednesday that gives Parliament the power to send the Prime Minister back to the negotiating table if the Commons rejects the final agreement. Some MPs believe this would give them the chance to order the Government to return to Brussels to seek a softer Brexit, with – for example – continued membership of the single market and customs union. But at a summit yesterday, EU leaders said there would be no prospect of reopening talks if that happens, meaning the country would simply leave the bloc without a deal.” – Daily Mail

  • EU leaders back May after Commons defeat – FT
  • Prime Minister applauded as she pledges a smooth Brexit – Daily Mail
  • May t0 back down from enshrining Brexit date in law – The Times
  • Death threats sent to band of Tory rebels – The Times


  • Dublin and Paris seek to dictate Britain’s future – Daily Express
  • Irish leader vows unity with Brussels – Daily Mail
  • May spurns Merkel’s gift of a pen – The Times


Brexit 2) Philip Collins: Commons defeat strengthens May’s hand

“In fact, the government’s defeat is good for the government because it makes parliament its friend. If one assumes, as almost nobody does but which is surely the case, that Mrs May has all along wanted an orderly break from the EU that retains as many of the virtues of membership as are compatible with clearly leaving, then the discipline of having to win a parliamentary vote will help her. The threat of losing the deal in parliament will now become part of her negotiating position and that will push her, as the fuzzy Irish compromise is also pushing her, towards a gentler, kinder position.” – The Times

  • Rebellion is exactly what Brexit is about: what powers Parliament should have – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Most of the rebels are lawyers, perhaps experts are useful – Schona Jolly, The Guardian
  • The Prime Minister must deal with Grieve – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun
  • The rebels just put Marxists closer to Downing Street – Nadine Dorries, Times Red Box
  • Despite the revolt, nothing has changed for May – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • I now refuge to believe that Brexit is unstoppable – Martin Kettle, The Guardian


  • It’s wrong to block Brexit, but right for the Commons to vote on the deal – The Times
  • Conservatives must not let themselves be torn apart again – Daily Telegraph
  • Smug Tory rebels should be deselected – The Sun

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: May weebly wobbles on (and on and on and on)

Brexit 3) Davis will not be held in contempt of Parliament

“David Davis will not be held in contempt of Parliament for refusing to release the full Government studies on the possible impact of Brexit. The Brexit Secretary had faced calls from furious  MPs to be given the reprimand after he redacted large parts of the 800-page study into Britain’s looming departure. Opposition parties accused him of flouting a parliamentary vote which compelled the Government to show MPs the report after many months of refusing to. Arcane parliamentary rules mean that anyone found of contempt of Parliament could face being locked in the Big Ben clock tower. But the rules have not been used in centuries and in reality the worst Mr Davis would face is the political humiliation of censure by MPs.” – Daily Mail

  • Brexit Secretary gets dressed down over papers – The Times
  • DEXEU tops departmental secrecy table – The Guardian


  • High Court rules that deporting EU nationals who are sleeping rough is illegal – Daily Telegraph
  • Macron lures bankers with tax cuts – The Times
  • Britain’s £57 billion trade surplus from booming City – Daily Mail
  • Leigh demands fair share of EU wine cellar – Daily Telegraph
  • Austrian Chancellor wants Brexit cancelled – Daily Express


  • Transition will only prolong the fog of uncertainty over the economy – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • Business needs answers on Brexit, not vague models – Anastassia Beliakova, Times Red Box
  • Brexit will only mean Brexit if we regain control of economic rules – Ryan Bourne, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Andrew Green in Comment: The immigration policy that we need after Brexit

May enters Grenfell memorial service by the back door for fear of heckling…

“Theresa May headed into the Grenfell Tower memorial service through the back door today after her response to the aftermath of the tragedy was criticised. The Prime Minister attended St Paul’s Cathedral alongside Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, members of the Royal family and survivors of the disaster. But while many of the guests went up the front steps of the cathedral to attend the service the PM was spotted getting out of her car and heading the back way. Once inside, the PM sat next to her Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and near the families who lost loved ones in the inferno. It comes after Boris Johnson angrily slammed the decision to ban Tory councillors at Kensington and Chelsea from the service.” – Daily Mail

  • Six months on, grief for Grenfell – The Times

…as she prepares to appoint new peers

“Theresa May is expected to appoint new peers “within weeks” as she seeks to shore up support in a House of Lords emboldened by her Brexit defeat. Tory MPs have been told to expect a list in the new year that will reward former colleagues who lost their seats in the election. The names could also include those who stood down, such as Sir Eric Pickles, the former party chairman, and the Brexiteer Peter Lilley. Others possibilities are Nicola Blackwood, who lost Oxford West & Abingdon, James Wharton, who was defeated in Stockton South, and Ben Gummer, who was beaten in Ipswich and helped draw up the manifesto. Sir Alan Haselhurst, a former deputy speaker, is also thought to be under consideration.” – The Times

  • Donor claims to have been ‘shunned’ by Party after criticising May and Brexit – The Times

Ministers 1) Johnson urged to beware honeytraps on trip to Russia

“Boris Johnson must be wary of spiked food, hacking, tricks to disrupt his sleep and honey traps during a visit to Moscow, the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Russia has warned. The foreign secretary is due to meet his counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on Friday in the first visit to Russia by a senior minister in five years. Chris Bryant, the Labour MP who chairs the parliamentary group on Russia, wrote an open letter to Mr Johnson after revealing that he himself had been the victim of suspicious activity on an official trip. Soviet-era tactics have been deployed against western politicians to give Kremlin figures the upper hand in talks, he suggested.” – The Times

  • Fury as Khan gives RT ‘discount’ for anti-Western ads – The Sun
  • Russian navy could disrupt British internet access by attacking cables – Daily Telegraph
  • MP slams ‘inadequate’ Twitter probe into Russian interference – The Sun


  • No phones, no fun, and no downing vodka in Moscow – Chris Bryant MP, Times Red Box
  • Russia will struggle to escape its Syrian quagmire – Neil Hauer, Daily Telegraph

Ministers 2) Grayling says new rail lines can help ease housing crisis

“Plans to reopen rail lines by reversing the Beeching cuts in the 1960s will help tackle the housing crisis, Chris Grayling has claimed. The Transport secretary said new plans to put passenger routes on freight lines and open line axed in the 1960s will “unlock housing opportunities”. Mr Grayling was in Bletchley, Oxfordshire to unveil plans a cross country train route from Oxford to Cambridge. Last month he unveiled plans to open rail routes shut in the notorious cuts of the 1960s  which saw Richard Beeching preside of the axing of  4,000 route miles leaving Britain with 13,721 miles of railway lines in 1966.” – Daily Telegraph

  • North needs £60 billion for transport, claims regional body – FT
  • Transport chief tops civil service rich list – The Sun
  • MPs call for legal action over ‘shocking’ HS2 payouts – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Chris Philp MP in Comment: Building more homes is not enough – let’s reserve a proportion of them for UK residents

Mackinlay says aide accused of rape was ‘like a son’

“A Conservative MP whose chief of staff is accused of raping a woman in his office has told a court he and his aide were ‘like father and son’. Samuel Armstrong, 24, is said to have abused his position to attack the young woman when she fell asleep after a night drinking in the Houses of Parliament. The woman, in her 20s, said she felt ‘like a hostage’ as South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay’s employee raped her twice, telling her: ‘This is what you want.’ She was captured on CCTV running through the corridors of Parliament in tears in the early hours of October 14 last year.” – Daily Mail

  • Treasury cuts have driven our justice system to the edge – Jerry Hayes, The Times

Corbyn heckled as he claims he’s tough on anti-Semitism

“Jeremy Corbyn was heckled and called a liar as he tried to persuade Jewish activists his party had ‘zero tolerance’ of anti-Semitism. The Labour leader was accused of hating Jewish people as he delivered a speech to the Jewish Labour Movement’s Chanukah party. He turned up at the event after claims he was not doing enough to clamp down on anti-Semitism in Labour. The issue dominated this year’s party conference, with one fringe event hearing calls for the JLM to be expelled from Labour. At the party, Mr Corbyn told JLM members: ‘I’m here because I want the party to be strong in all areas, I want the Jewish Labour Movement to be absolutely part of and involved with the party at all levels.’ According to the Jewish Chronicle, a female heckler responded with the words: ‘But you hate us.’ Later she shouted, ‘Corbyn, you’re a liar’, before she was removed.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour’s election performance gives the dictionary ‘youthquake’ – Daily Telegraph


  • Unite likely to face hearing over McCluskey election – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Sending up the Left is not enough. But it’s certainly a start – and Tom Harwood is doing it effectively

>Yesterday: Chris Grayling’s column: It’s time that we unmasked Corbyn’s Labour

Sturgeon introduces ‘Tartan Tax’

“Nicola Sturgeon has increased income tax by 1p on earnings over £24,000 a year as she imposed a tartan tax. Her Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced a draft budget today that included a raft of new spending promises. Ms Sturgeon earlier claimed just three in ten taxpayers would pay higher bills under the plans. Mr Mackay’s budget creates a new tax band of 21p on earnings between £24,000 and £44,273, and increase the higher and top rate of income tax to 40p and 46p respectively. The basic rate of tax is frozen at 20p under the plans and a new ‘starter rate’ of 19p on earnings between £11,850 and £13,850 to cut taxes for low earners.” – Daily Mail

  • A million Scots pay more income tax than their English counterparts – Daily Telegraph
  • Holyrood to raise more from the better off – FT
  • Private schools hit with £5 million rates hike – The Scotsman


  • Income tax changes bear economic and political risks – John McLaren, The Scotsman


  • Tax hikes present the Conservatives with a golden opportunity – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Davidson’s Westminster timetable has been clear since June

News in Brief:

  • Europe is still living with the consequences of the Lisbon Treaty – James Holland, CapX
  • Why can’t some Brexiteers accept that they won? – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Europe owes a debt to the UK on defence – James Rogers, Brexit Central
  • Brexit is becoming a ‘just war’, with predictable consequences – Isabel Hardman, The Spectator
  • ‘Science-based policy’ is too often a sham – Ryan Khurana, Comment Central