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Government warned it faces defeat over ‘meaningful’ vote on Brexit deal

“Theresa May was today warned she faces defeat on her flagship Brexit laws without further concessions to rebel MPs. Senior Tory Dominic Grieve vowed to force through his amendment writing the need for a ‘meaningful vote’ into the EU withdrawal laws tomorrow night. Amid claims there are as many as 20 Tory rebels, Mr Grieve, a former Attorney General, said he believed he had enough support to win a vote. The Government has refused to take a position on Mr Grieve’s amendment so far, insisting it is studying all suggestions from MPs. Defeat would be humiliating for Mrs May, who has never lost a Commons vote on legislation, and Brexiteers branded the measure an attempt to derail the Bill.” – Daily Mail

  • May tries to head off rebellion by promising ‘clarity’ over new laws – Daily Telegraph
  • Davis launches bid to ‘appease’ rebels – The Sun

More deal:

  • Put ‘unhelpful’ Davis ‘in his place’, MEPs tell May – The Times
  • EU tells Davis it won’t accept backtracking – Daily Mail
  • Brexit Secretary scrambles after ‘damaging trust’ – The Guardian
  • May insists she won’t make divorce agreement law without a good trade deal – The Sun
  • Brussels won’t provide trade outlines until ‘at least’ March – Daily Telegraph
  • Hannan calls for EU agreement to ‘Canada model’ deal – Daily Express

Comment:

  • We’re no mutineers but Parliament must have a binding vote on the deal – Heidi Allen, Daily Telegraph
  • May is stronger than hardline Brexiteers think – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
  • Why the second stage will be the hard part… for the EU – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph

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

Mundell accuses SNP of blocking publication of Scotland’s post-Brexit powers

“Plans to publish the full list of EU powers to be returned to Scotland after Brexit are being blocked by ministers at Holyrood, the Scottish Secretary has claimed. According to The Herald, David Mundell, speaking after the latest Joint Ministerial Council meeting in Whitehall, said it would have been “helpful” for Scots to have known about the return of powers from Brussels to Edinburgh “at the earliest opportunity” to counter SNP claims that the EU Withdrawal Bill amounts to a Westminster “power grab”.” – The Scotsman

  • Lewis says some EU criminals won’t be expelled post-Brexit – Daily Mail
  • Judge tracks Juncker into row over wiretapping – The Times

Comment:

  • Here’s why Britain has few regreats over Europe – Sebastian Payne, FT
  • Labour will have to make a choice on Brexit, and soon – Rafael Behr, The Guardian

>Yesterday:

Green ‘set to be cleared’ by sleaze enquiry…

“Damian Green is set to be cleared by a sleaze inquiry that could end as soon as tomorrow, it was claimed today. The First Secretary of State has been investigated over allegations he made an inappropriate pass at a Tory activist and watched pornography on a Commons computer. No other women have come forward to make complaints against Mr Green and the police testimony does not prove Mr Green accessed the pornography. Mr Green, who denies all allegations against him, has been mired in the probe for weeks causing acute embarrassment to him and Prime Minister Theresa May. Downing Street declined to comment on speculation but said the report would not be concluded today.” – Daily Mail

  • Ruling may rest on fact he ‘was not minister at the time’ – Daily Telegraph
  • MP urges the Prime Minister to ensure Green faces ‘consequences’ – The Sun

More:

  • Allies urge May to seize moment of calm and reshuffle the Cabinet – FT

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

…as Morris is returned the Tory whip

“An MP suspended for using the racist phrase ‘n***** in the woodpile’ has been let back into the Conservative Party after less than six months. Anne Marie Morris made a new apology for the remark today, which was first exposed in July this year. The Conservative Party suspended the whip within hours at the time and she was expected to face an internal party inquiry. Ms Morris announced today she had returned to the party fold and that she was ‘proud and privileged’ to be a Tory MP. The decision to readmit the Newton Abbott MP rather than expelling her from the party is likely to unleash a storm of criticism against Theresa May.” – Daily Mail

Davidson hints at Westminster run

“Scottish Tory boss Ruth Davidson last night dropped clearest signal yet she was eyeing the Conservative leadership from 2022. After months of dodging speculation that her future could lie in Westminster after the next election, for the first time she admitted: “I haven’t ruled it out.” But she insisted that she would only have a tilt at becoming an MP if she failed to become First Minister in Scotland in 2021 – she declared for the Quizzed by The Spectator magazine, Ms Davidson said such “conversations” could only take place after the Scottish Parliament elections. And she said she would only run for a Scottish seat and would not opt to stand in a safe shire seat in the Tory heartlands south of the border.” – The Sun

  • Dugdale to return to Holyrood after stint in ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ jungle – The Scotsman

Nationalists:

  • SNP defies warnings to raise Scottish taxes… – FT
  • …but shies from squeezing top earners after revenue warning – The Scotsman

May announces new ID for ex-servicemen and women…

“Britain’s 2.5 million military veterans are to be formally recognised with their own ID for the first time, Theresa May reveals today. The PM unveils the plan to honour Britain’s legion of ex-troops to mark tonight’s annual Millies Awards, hosted by The Sun. For many, the ID card will come in the form of a special new driving license which will be stamped with a large ‘V’. Those who don’t drive will be issued with their own separate card. In a twofold purpose, the special IDs will give vets immediate and easy access to specialist services, which already stretch from priority health care and housing to hundreds of retail discount offers.” – The Sun

  • Mapped: the EU states short-changing NATO by billions – Daily Express

Editorial:

  • A fitting salute to those who fought for our country – The Sun
  • Britain confronts the limits of its military power – FT

Housing 1) …and plans to attend Grenfell memorial despite Tory councillors being asked to stay away

“Theresa May will attend the Grenfell Tower memorial service this week despite Tory councillors from the area being told to stay away. The Prime Minister was booed and heckled by some residents when she visited the scene of the disaster as locals lashed out at authorities over the fire. But Mrs May and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will be at the service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Thursday, six months from when the blaze killed 71 in the west London tower block. Her appearance comes despite Conservative councillors from Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council being told to stay away.” – Daily Mail

  • Families want changes to the investigation – The Times

Comment:

  • Grenfell fire was a national tragedy which needs a national response – Seraphima Kennedy, The Guardian

Housing 2) Philp calls for half of all new-build homes to be reserved for Brits

“Half of all new build homes should be reserved for Britons to stop foreigners snapping them up, a member of Philip Hammond’s Treasury team says today. Chris Philip, a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Mr Hammond, the Chancellor, says in a report for the Centre for Policy Studies that 50 per cent of all new house or flats should go to domestic first time buyers. The restriction would apply to any development of more than 20 homes and would cut down on house builders marketing entire developments in the UK to foreign buyers. This would follow other developed economies, such as Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Denmark, in favouring domestic first time buyers who are not UK-tax resident.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Gintas Vilkelis in Comment: A new wave of localism can restore our economy and our democracy

Grayling orders investigation into Christmas rail fares

Chris Grayling has ordered a full inquiry into claims that more than half of train companies are not offering cheap rail fares this Christmas. The Transport Secretary demanded the probe after a report found that six out of 11 train companies failed to offer a full range of cheaper “advance purchase” fares in the weeks before Christmas. Transport Focus, a watchdog, also found thousands of errors in the timetables, meaning passengers could find that their trains have been cancelled or switched to a bus replacement service. Mr Grayling said: “It would be totally unacceptable if any passenger has to pay walk-up fares this Christmas because advance tickets were not available.” – Daily Telegraph

Guy Opperman: British workers’ saving habits are changing for the better

This week, the Government has announced that 9m people – more than the entire populations of Scotland and Wales combined – have now been enrolled into a workplace pension through automatic enrolment, with 10m expected to be saving by 2018. This is an astounding effort. If we cast our minds back to 10 years ago, one of the biggest issues facing pension policy was how do policymakers encourage more people to save for retirement? Well it is now unquestionably true that automatic enrolment has gone an enormous way towards solving this issue. We are transforming pension savings for millions, who will be able to look forward to a more financially secure retirement with a private workplace pension.” – Daily Telegraph

Watchdog calls for tougher laws to protect politicians from abuse

“Laws to protect MPs from abuse should be toughened up to protect politicians from the ‘persistent, vile and shocking’ harassment they received in the General Election campaign, an ethics watchdog has told the PM. MPs received such a barrage of abuse and violent threats that some resorted to installing panic alarms in their offices, the Committee on Standards in Public life found. It called for greater action from social media firms like Facebook and Twitter, political parties, and the law enforcement to crack down on it. The report called for a new criminal offence of intimidating Parliamentary candidates and party campaigners to be created.” – Daily Mail

  • Online intimidation of Tories brings call to curb Momentum – The Times
  • Brits could be barred from voting after foul-mouthed attacks on MPs – The Sun

Comment:

  • Action is needed to stop intimidation in public life – Lord Bew, Times Red Box

Labour dragged into another anti-Semitism row

“Jeremy Corbyn was on hand to help launch the new Labour Muslim Network last night – but the group is headed by an activist who claimed “Israel has no right to exist”. Ali Miliani has previously had to apologise after suggesting Jewish people were “stingy” and said Israel is “a land built on ethnic cleansing”. The vice president of the National Union of Students posted on Twitter pictures of himself with Mr Corbyn in Parliament last night, along with the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Labour MPs Dawn Butler and Rupa Huq. The new group advertises itself as “an inclusive organisation supporting British Muslims’ engagement in the political process and with Labour, based on our shared values of social justice and equality”.” – The Sun

Peers table ‘chilling’ amendments to the Data Protection Bill

“Proposals which could let criminals, rogue business leaders and corrupt politicians escape being exposed will be voted on in the House of Lords today. In a fresh assault on Press freedom, peers have tabled a raft of ‘chilling’ amendments to the Data Protection Bill passing through Parliament. Changes would make it easier for the rich and powerful to avoid being held to account by making it more difficult to carry out investigative journalism and protect the identity of sources who reveal wrongdoing. Some of the amendments are aimed only at newspapers, but others would affect every media outlet, from national newspapers and broadcasters including the BBC to small community newspapers, charities and think-tanks.” – Daily Mail

Editorial:

US ambassador says Trump visit will go ahead

“Donald Trump will come to Britain next year despite anger over his far-right retweets, the US ambassador to London said today. Woody Johnson admitted that the public spat with Theresa May meant ‘some feathers were ruffled’. But he said the leaders still had a ‘very very good relationship’ and he believed the visit would still happen. The row erupted last month when the US President retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by the Britain First group. One claimed to show a ‘Muslim migrant’ beating up a Dutch boy on crutches. Dutch authorities have insisted the alleged migrant was born and raised in the country and his religion is unknown.” – Daily Mail

  • Downing Street ‘in the dark’ over state visit – The Times

More:

  • Disaster for the President as Democrat wins Alabama Senate race – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Moore offered the Democrats victory win or lose – Rob Crilly, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • Why is the Church of England banning Conservatives from the Grenfell memorial service? – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Do we really have a market in higher education? – Anthony Seldon and James Seymour, CapX
  • Brexit suggests we’re on the right side of history – Robert Tombs, The Spectator
  • Do we want dominion status, or independence from the EU? – Dr Martin Parsons, Brexit Central
  • Labour’s continued pillorying of Universal Credit is counter-productive – John Redwood MP, Comment Central

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