May ‘humiliated’ by Europhile rebels…

“Humiliated Theresa May is heading to Brussels today for a crucial summit with EU leaders hours after Tory rebel MPs handed her a undignified defeat by voting to let parliament have a say on the final Brexit deal before it’s agreed. Eleven Conservative MPs last night voted to give the Commons a ‘meaningful’ vote over any Brexit agreement with the EU, despite government pleas to let ministers retain control. The rebel MPs were said to be jubilant with former education secretary Nicky Morgan boasting: ‘Tonight Parliament took control of the EU Withdrawal process’. The government was defeated by a margin of four votes, losing 309 to 305 and Labour MPs joined the rebels in cheering and applauding as the extraordinary result was announced last night.” – Daily Mail

  • Prime Minister heads to Brussels after Commons defeat – Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Mutiny’ as threats whip up rebellion – The Times
  • Rebel Hammond sacked as Party vice-chairman – Daily Mail
  • Defeat has deepened Tory divides over Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Grieve accused of trying to force soft Brexit – Daily Express
  • Humiliating setback for new Chief Whip – The Times


>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: EU Withdrawal Bill. Grieve’s amendment is carried and the Government is defeated

…as she heads to Brussels for ‘key summit’

“Theresa May will attend a key EU summit on Thursday, just hours after her authority was diminished by a humiliating House of Commons defeat in a major Brexit vote. Tory rebels helped defeat the Government and ensure there will be a “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal deal. EU leaders are preparing to rubber-stamp the decision to move Brexit negotiations forward to trade talks and the prime minister will hope Wednesday night’s defeat does not damage EU leaders’ confidence in her ability to lead talks.” – ITV

  • Brussels reacts with delight to rebel triumph- The Times

Nick Timothy: May really does want ‘Canada Plus’, and should get it

“Since Britain voted to leave the EU, she has hated the suggestion that we must choose between a hard and soft Brexit. Her view was not formed out of political necessity, because her party is divided, but because she believes it is a false dichotomy. She finds hard Brexit unacceptable, because of the economic risks that departure without a deal would cause. Likewise, she believes that soft Brexit – the idea that we should try to recreate EU membership, remaining inside the single market and customs union – would be a betrayal of the referendum result. She also knows that it would leave our economy, particularly the City, at the mercy of new EU regulations, with which we would have to comply but over which we would have no say.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Revolt shows the EU how easily May can be knocked off course – Stephen Booth, Daily Telegraph
  • I had to put my country before my party – Stephen Hammond MP, Times Red Box
  • Securing a standstill deal is strongly in the UK’s interest – Nicky Morgan MP, Daily Telegraph
  • This defeat can now inspire other rebels – Polly Toynbee, The Guardian


  • Tory MPs savaged each other whilst Labour laughed – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph


  • Was this really in the national interest? – Daily Telegraph
  • Rebels should be ashamed of themselves – The Sun

>Yesterday: Alex Morton’s column: Battlers for Brexit must be at the heart of government even after we leave

Miller’s QC says that judiciary are concerned about future ECJ relationship

“Judges fear being dragged into political controversy by provisions in the Brexit bill that allow them to take account of rulings of the European Court of Justice after the UK leaves, a QC has warned. The EU Withdrawal Bill makes clear that domestic courts will no longer be bound by new ECJ rulings after Brexit. Where appropriate, however, they will be able to consider the court’s findings on EU laws which have been “retained” by the UK. Lord Pannick, a crossbench peer and barrister, warned that this could expose judges to political challenges from both supporters and critics of the EU and suggested it may be better to state that UK courts should normally follow the judgments of the ECJ.” – The Times

  • Pressure mounts on Davis – FT
  • European Parliament gives green light to trade talks – The Sun
  • Italy backs ‘special’ UK-EU trade deal – The Sun
  • May stalls for time on trade talks – FT
  • UK MEPs help ‘save kebabs’ – The Sun
  • UKIP to face tribunal over use of data in the referendum – The Guardian
  • Juncker embroiled in wiretapping probe whilst overseeing negotiations – Daily Mail

Cameron attacks Trump over fake news

“Donald Trump’s attacks on the media are undermining western democracy and facilitating Russia’s attempts to spread anti-western propaganda, David Cameron has said. In his first public speech in the UK since leaving office last year, the former prime minister said the US president’s “fake news” attacks on news broadcasters were dangerous and helped deflect scrutiny away from President Putin. “When Donald Trump uses the term ‘fake news’ to describe CNN and the BBC, that is not just a questionable political tactic. It’s actually dangerous,” Mr Cameron told a conference organised by the anti-corruption agency Transparency International last night.” – The Times

Gove accused of ignoring China’s recycling ban

“Michael Gove has been accused of ignoring warnings of a crisis in plastic recycling after documents revealed that his department was told three months ago of the severe impact from China’s ban on imports of “foreign garbage”. The environment secretary told MPs last month that he did not know what effect the ban, due to start next month, would have and that he had not given it “sufficient thought”. More than half the plastic waste that the UK exports for recycling was sent to China last year. Beijing said in July that it would ban imports of 24 grades of plastic, paper and textiles because they were often contaminated with dirty or hazardous material.” – The Times

  • Farmers can fix environment ‘for less than EU pays them’ – The Times


  • Longer prison sentences won’t stop animal cruelty – Ian Birrell, The Times
  • Are the Tories turning green? – Carole Walker, Times Red Box
  • Meet the new Conservative modernisers – Sebastian Payne, FT

Rees-Mogg is members’ ‘runaway favourite’ for Cabinet promotion

“Jacob Rees-Mogg is the runaway favourite among Tory members to be promoted to Theresa May’s Cabinet. A survey of grassroots Conservatives shows they want the eccentric backbencher at the top of any list of names if the Prime Minister holds a reshuffle in the New Year. The results on ConservativeHome show that the MP for North East Somerset picked up more votes than the five people behind him put together. He has risen to prominence this year after becoming a massive hit on social media, despite being seen as an old-fashioned throwback.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey’s write-in Cabinet promotion choices. Rees-Mogg, Cleverly and Mercer top the list.

UK is ‘falling short’ on skills training

“Britain is failing to re-skill workers for Brexit with the country plunging down a European learning league table, a damning report finds today. The UK is now in 9th place – five places lower than in 2010 – and lagging behind France, Holland, Sweden, Estonia and Austria. The Fabian Society study found cuts of almost a third to the budget between 2010-15 had led to a six per cent fall in 25-64 year olds taking part in adult training. Report author Cameron Tait called for a series of measures including a national retraining scheme, the right to request training leave and a relaunch of individual learning accounts.” – The Sun

  • We need to unlock Britain’s hidden talent – Justine Greening MP, Times Red Box

Labour 1) Business fears Corbyn’s Britain would go bust ‘in three years’

“Bankers, business leaders and economists have raised concerns about the economic effects if Jeremy Corbyn is elected to Downing Street. A director on the boards of two financial services companies said that they had stress-tested a Corbyn victory and it was a frightening prospect. Their models suggested a combination of high interest rates, inflation, capital controls and credit rating downgrades. “The UK would be bust in three years,” the source said. With the Conservative government vulnerable and Brexit talks uncertain, speculation is growing about the chances of a snap election being called. Polls indicate that the two main parties are neck and neck.” – The Times

  • Labour’s far-left guru woos the City – The Times
  • Profile: an unknown who has emerged into the spotlight – The Times


  • Shadow International Development Secretary backs blanket ban on Israeli goods – The Sun

Labour 2) Plans to force vote on gay marriage in Northern Ireland

“Northern Ireland could vote on same-sex marriage and legalising abortion if the province was under direct rule from Westminster, under plans being considered by Labour. Owen Smith, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, is understood to favour putting both issues to referendums if devolved government cannot be restored, a move that would circumvent the Democratic Unionist Party’s opposition to legalising gay marriage. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex couples do not have the right to marry or have their marriages legally recognised. Polling suggests that marriage equality is backed by a majority of the Northern Irish public. Assembly members voted in favour of legalising gay marriage in 2015. The DUP vetoed the proposal using a mechanism that blocks legislation that does not command a cross-community majority.” – The Times

Labour 3) Peer withdraws amendment which challenged press freedom

“Proposals that could have a ‘chilling’ effect on investigative journalism were last night withdrawn. In an attack on Press freedom, peers had tabled amendments to the Data Protection Bill, which could let criminals, rogue business leaders and corrupt politicians avoid being exposed. Crossbench peer Baroness Hollins had sought to water down an exemption for journalists who access and store personal information without consent when reporting news in the public interest. It would have made it easier for individuals to discover what data reporters hold about them – potentially stopping it being used before any article has even been published.” – Daily Mail

  • MP has doctor’s note to explain zero debate contributions in six months, his office claims – Daily Mail

Labour 4) Dugdale receives written warning over ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ appearance

“Kezia Dugdale has been given a written warning by Scottish Labour bosses after taking part in reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here. While the former Scottish Labour leader escaped suspension for taking an unauthorised leave of absence, she said she regretted the ‘issues’ her appearance on the programme had caused the party’s new leader. Richard Leonard was voted in as the new leader of the Scottish Labour in November, on the very same day news broke that Ms Dugdale was heading for the Australian jungle. She returned to Scotland to face the wrath of her new boss, who decided to discipline her with a written warning.” – Daily Mail

  • Former leader expresses ‘deep regrets’ – The Guardian


  • Dugdale’s journey from jungle to political wilderness – Tom Peterkin, The Scotsman

SNP press on with tax hike after voting down their own manifesto pledge

“Nicola Sturgeon’s government is expected to press ahead with income tax increases in the Scottish Budget after the SNP “officially disowned” its manifesto pledge not to impose a hike for middle earners. In extraordinary scenes at Holyrood, the Nationalist benches last night refused to support a motion that replicated almost word for word the SNP’s pledge in last year’s Holyrood election not to increase the basic rate of income tax. SNP MSPs, including Ms Sturgeon and Derek Mackay, the Finance Minister, instead voted it down in favour of their own amendment that made no mention of tax levels. The Conservatives said the SNP had “misled voters” and owed them a “huge apology” for deceiving them. They said Ms Sturgeon’s minority government had “absolutely no mandate” from voters to increase the basic rate in Thursday’s Scottish Budget.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sturgeon warns that many Scots won’t like her Budget – The Scotsman


  • Tax spotlight on both Leonard and McKay in Budget – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: We want Davidson in Scotland. We also want her in the Commons. We can’t have both – and she has made her choice. The right one.

News in Brief:

  • Brexit rebellion was am embarrassment for May, not a disaster – Robert Peston, The Spectator
  • Defeat reveals the Commons majority for a soft Brexit – John Rentoul, The Independent
  • Davis has a recurring date with his own destiny – Tom McTague, Politico
  • The 14 graphs which explain Britain’s housing crisis – Robert Colvile, CapX
  • The UK’s opportunity to re-invigorate our trading relationship with the Commonwealth – Liam Fox MP, Brexit Central