EU 1) DUP warn Government that appeasing Dublin could break Westminster pact

“Theresa May’s plan to end the Brexit standoff over the Irish border was thrown into doubt today as the DUP warned it could smash the deal that keeps her in power. Senior figures in the Northern Ireland party made clear it was ‘not on’ for the government to give in to pressure from Dublin on the crucial issue. The warning came after proposals emerged for the Northern Ireland Executive to be given sweeping authority to keep laws in the province close to the EU single market rules. The set up would allow Northern Ireland to leave the customs union with the rest of Britain but still operate different rules on cross-border trade to the mainland UK.” – Daily Mail

  • Don’t count on our votes if you cave, warns Wilson – Daily Telegraph
  • Irish Government maintains hard line – FT


  • Dublin could get seats at UK-EU trade talks – The Sun
  • Trade figures show why Irish fishermen dread Brexit – Daily Express


  • Nationalist Ireland is using Brexit to push for unity, but pushing London too far – Graham Gudgin, News Letter

>Today: ToryDiary: Brexit negotiations. The key issue now is the role of the ECJ.

EU 2) Ministers bid to circumnavigate Brussels law on surveillance

“Ministers have published plans to lower the threshold of “serious crime” for police using surveillance powers to get round EU law that banned authorities from snooping on dangerous criminals. The new definition is for crimes that would attract a sentence of more than six months – instead of the general definition of “serious crime” that is three years or more in prison. It means police will continue to be able to obtain details on phone calls, emails and text messages to solve crime. But in order to comply with EU law the Government has been forced to strip police of the power to make decisions on when to use the surveillance powers.” – The Sun

  • UK to save £450 million implementing regulations after Brexit – FT
  • Prime Minister ‘buckles’ to divorce bill pressure – Daily Express


  • Morgan compares Brexit rebellion to being a ‘freedom fighter’ – Daily Mail
  • Record 106,000 fall in immigration after Brexit vote – The Times
  • Concessions mark slow surrender to Brexit reality – FT
  • Charity blasts EU for turning Libya into ‘slave trap’ – The Sun


  • Let’s crack on with the ‘divorce bill’, as long as we’re not taken for a ride – Michael Fabricant MP, Daily Telegraph
  • The EU Budget is covered much less clearly than the British – Matthew O’Toole, Times Red Box
  • Barnier must earn the £40 billion Brexit fee – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph
  • Exchange trips at the core of our global outlook – Victoria Prentice MP, Times Red Box


  • It’s good that immigration of low-skilled EU job-hunters is slowing down – The Sun


May stands her ground in row with Trump…

“US diplomats have dropped plans for Donald Trump to conduct a visit to Britain in January amid a war of words between the two countries’ leaders. Mr Trump, the US president, had been penciled in for a ‘working visit’ in the first month of 2018 to formally open America’s new London embassy. The trip, a scaled down version of a state visit with no meeting with the Queen, was intended to allow Mr Trump to come to the UK while avoiding the mass protests a full state visit would likely trigger. However, The Telegraph can reveal that the trip has been pushed into the long grass, with no new date in the diary picked.” – Daily Telegraph

  • President gave us boost in support, claim far right – The Times
  • MPs demand halt to Trump’s state visit… – The Times
  • …as does Sturgeon – The Scotsman


  • What does this mean for the ‘special relationship’? – Christopher Meyer, The Times


  • Trump keeps setting the agenda on Twitter and his critics rise to the bait – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • Ignore the online twit, the President is a friend to Britain – Freddy Gray, The Sun
  • Britain should demand an apology and cancel the visit – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • At last, May starts speaking truth to Trump – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph


  • MPs competing in the outrage Olympics – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


  • No way for the President to treat a loyal ally – The Times

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Trump is a warped narcissist who gives succour to racists, white supremacists and Islamophobes.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Waiting for Pozzo, sorry, Godot, sorry, Trump

…as she pledges to work with Middle Eastern states against terror

“Theresa May has pledged to work with Middle Eastern countries to root out terrorists plotting to launch attacks on British streets. Setting out her vision for the UK’s role in the region after Brexit in a major speech in Jordan, the Prime Minister promised to boost security co-operation. But she also said there needed to be economic reform in the oil-dependent states so the booming number of youngsters are not lured into jihadism. On Iran, she called for a ‘resolute’ international response as she challenged Donald Trump’s reluctance to maintain the nuclear deal and set out why she believes it is needed to prevent the threat of deadly weapons.” – Daily Mail

  • Williamson tears into Barnier over claims UK abandoned fight against ISIS – Daily Mail
  • Barnier’s attack on British anti-terrorism efforts was crass and alarming – Shashank Joshi, The Guardian

Mordaunt puts disability rights into heart of Government’s development strategy

“Penny Mordaunt, Britain’s new international development secretary, is to place a commitment to tackling discrimination against disabled people at the heart of the government’s development strategy. Millions are lost every year, said Mordaunt, because people with disabilities in the world’s poorest countries do not have the support they need to access employment. In her keynote address on Thursday, the former disability minister will announce the UK’s first global disability summit, to be held in 2018. The summit aims to bring together global leaders and technology companies to tackle the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from fulfilling their potential.” – The Guardian


  • Our vision to help disabled people thrive in the workplace – Sarah Newton MP, Times Red Box
  • Hague and Cameron couldn’t detoxify the Tories, May has no chance – Marina Hyde, The Guardian

>Today: Nick Herbert MP in Comment: The question isn’t whether aid works. It does. The question is how it can work better.

Ex-policeman stands by claims against Green

“A former Scotland Yard detective who seized a computer from Damian Green’s office in a police raid in 2008 said he had “absolutely no doubt whatsoever” that the Tory MP had accessed pornographic images on it. Neil Lewis, the man who examined Mr Green’s parliamentary computer nine years ago, said it would be “ridiculous to suggest that anybody else could have done it”. Mr Green, the de facto deputy prime minister, has denied downloading or watching porn on the computer. He is currently the subject of a Cabinet Office inquiry into alleged inappropriate behaviour towards a young female activist which he also denies.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cabinet Office inquiry could be published today – The Sun

Michael Gove: We must do more to combat the threat to our oceans

“When it comes to helping to protect and enhance our natural world, everyone – from Government and industry to consumers – has a part to play. That is why today, I am hosting a summit of leading retailers and manufacturers, including Waitrose, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Premier Inn, to discuss how we might go about reducing single-use plastics – taking advantage, perhaps, of the innovative substitutes that are being worked on in response to growing consumer concerns. Last week, the Treasury announced a consultation on how we can use tax and charges to encourage a reduction in single-use plastics. At the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) we are looking at ideas being used in other countries, including bottle deposit return schemes, greater access to water fountains and incentives to encourage reusable coffee cups.” – Daily Mail

Corbyn declares war on the City

“Jeremy Corbyn yesterday declared war on Britain’s valuable banking sector – agreeing with critics that he is a threat to the industry if elected Prime Minister. The Labour leader singled out Wall Street lender Morgan Stanley after it warned that his hard-Left policies would be catastrophic for the economy and were more dangerous than the risks from Brexit. Mr Corbyn took aim at Morgan Stanley chief executive James Gorman, who lives in New York. He said: ‘Nurses, teachers, shop workers, builders, just about everyone is finding it harder to get by, while Morgan Stanley’s CEO paid himself £21.5 million last year and UK banks paid out £15 billion in bonuses.” – Daily Mail

  • Opposition leader lashes out at finance-sector ‘gamblers’ – FT


  • Labour suspends another member for anti-Semitism – Daily Mail
  • Opposition demand equality impact assessment of Tory policies – The Guardian
  • Corbyn ridiculed for ‘airbrushed’ GQ shoot – The Sun
  • Jones’ Brexit plans ‘destroyed’ on TV – Daily Express


  • Why won’t Tulip Siddiq help a Briton disappeared by her aunt’s regime? – Matthew Scott, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Tory and Plaid fury as Jones whips AMs against inquiry into bullying

News in Brief:

  • Rushing post-Brexit devolution risks huge damage to the Union – Henry Hill, Brexit Central
  • Divided Ireland is fertile ground for grievance-mongers – Ruth Dudley-Edwards, Reaction
  • Immigration figures show that ‘Brexodus’ is still a myth – Ross Clark, The Spectator
  • This is how the fall in immigration should change our Brexit strategy – Jonathan Portes, The Independent
  • Burke could put wind in the Tories’ sails – Joe Ware, CapX