Prime Minister accused of ‘capitulation’ over EU migrants…

“Theresa May was accused of a ‘complete capitulation’ on the future residency rights of EU citizens last night. In a significant U-turn, ministers announced that any EU migrants who arrive during the Brexit transition period will have the right to settle permanently in the UK. Previously, this had been on offer only to EU migrants who arrive before Britain formally leaves the EU in March 2019. The Prime Minister scrapped the ‘red line’ a month after vowing to resist the demand. The move appears to be a bid to smooth the path to agreeing a transitional deal. In January, a report by the Migrationwatch think-tank warned Britain could face an influx of one million during the two-year transition – and Mrs May insisted settlement rights must be ‘different’ for those who arrive after March 2019, as they would be ‘coming to a UK they know will be outside the EU’.” – Daily Mail

  • Government yields on residency rights during transition – The Guardian
  • Major urges May to offer a free vote on the final deal – The Times
  • Johnson allies accuse Remainers of waging ‘proxy war’ on Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Blair reveals ‘last ditch’ push for second vote – Daily Express


  • Do Remainers not see what stopping Brexit would do to our democracy? – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • Consider a regional migrant scheme to keep our shores fruitful – Kirstene Hair, Times Red Box
  • We cannot let the EU lock us in a single market it controls – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit ministers must step up or Parliament will step in – Hillary Benn, Times Red Box
  • May’s strategy is the only credible one – Bill Jamieson, The Scotsman

>Today: ToryDiary: The Brexit negotiation. Raindrops keep falling on May’s head. But that doesn’t mean her eyes will soon be turning red.

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: May at PMQs – “My priorities are the priorities of the British people”

…as Davis threatens not to pay ‘divorce bill’ if Brussels doesn’t back down over Northern Ireland

“Britain will refuse to pay its multibillion-pound Brexit divorce bill until Brussels backs down on attempts to keep Northern Ireland subject to European Union rules, David Davis warned last night. In an uncompromising letter sent to Tory MPs, the Brexit secretary said that Britain would not finalise financial payments to the EU until “all the issues” of concern to Britain had been addressed. It came hours after the EU said that Northern Ireland should remain in the customs union to avoid a hard border with the Republic. Mr Davis added that the government would refuse to sign up to proposals by the European Commission to give the bloc’s highest court the power to rule on Brexit disputes and that it would not accept “punitive sanctions” from Brussels for breaching the terms of a planned transitional deal with the EU.” – The Times

  • Davidson accuses Johnson of ‘casual disregard’ for the Border – Daily Telegraph
  • Pressure mounts on May to publish alternative plan – The Guardian
  • Brussels is playing ‘roulette’ with Ireland, DUP claim – Daily Telegraph
  • Government says no British leader could agree to Ulster power-grab – Daily Mail
  • Varadkar hemmed in by own political borders – FT
  • Deal would put EU customs staff on British soil – Daily Telegraph
  • Sinn Fein welcomes Brussels’ proposals for Ulster – Belfast Telegraph


  • Text would put DUP under pressure to topple May – Sam McBride, The i
  • Proxy battle over the future UK-EU relationship – Oliver Wright, The Times
  • Brussels has weaponised the Irish issue – Peter Foster, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey. Eight in ten party members oppose membership of a customs union with the EU

Tom Tugendhat: The danger of disparaging the Belfast Agreement

“The Good Friday Agreement was not perfect. But it established lasting peace and allowed the power-sharing devolved government to start and (with interruptions) thrive. From painful experience and cost, we know the alternative. In the recent days, we have heard various voices call time on the agreement, claiming that it is not sustainable. These voices, who are outliers, have not offered alternatives to build on the successes of the peace process. Most were not ardent supporters of the 1998 accord at the best of times. But that agreement still commands the support of the vast majority of MPs across all major parties in Westminster.” – FT

  • Brussels will rue the day it tried to divide the United Kingdom – Matt Kilcoyne, Daily Telegraph
  • EU arrogance shows we’re right to be leaving – Iain Martin, The Times
  • Johnson must stop playing politics with peace – Owen Smith, Times Red Box
  • Scaremongering over the Border is becoming actually dangerous – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph


  • Brussels’ opening gambit is incendiary – The Times
  • Barnier should practice the pragmatism he preaches – Daily Telegraph
  • The simple logic of the post-Brexit Border – FT
  • Barnier should be dismissed as the EU’s chief negotiator – The Sun

May attacks Corbyn for taking Iranian cash

“Theresa May last night launched a blistering attack on Jeremy Corbyn for taking money from Iranian state TV while threatening the British press. Addressing Westminster journalists, the PM let rip at the Labour boss as well as roasting her own Cabinet. She hit out: “We know Jeremy has some concerns about press ownership in Britain. “Of course, that didn’t stop him appearing on the Iranian state-owned ‘Press TV’ for years, taking a fee from a broadcaster under the command of the Ayatollah.” The PM also ribbed her top Cabinet ministers, joking how they had followed the lead of Culture Secretary Matt Hancock in developing their own smart phone apps. She joked how a Boris Johnson app would be “great for extending your vocabulary – but it does contain some adult content”.” – The Sun

  • Freedom of the press ‘will never change’, Prime Minister insists – Daily Express
  • Labour say they’ll refuse future donations from Mosley – The Sun

Gyimah hits out at bids to ‘decolonise’ university courses

“Changing university courses to make them ‘less white’ risks narrowing students’ horizons if it means phasing out ‘unpopular or unfashionable’ topics, Sam Gyimah has warned. The new universities minister said students must continue to ‘engage with’ and ‘face up to’ areas of the curriculum which have been branded ‘pale, male and stale’ by campaigners. Some elite universities have begun discussions about ‘decolonising’ their courses by adding more ethnic minority voices in addition to the traditional European authors and theorists. It has been in part sparked by a student-led campaign called ‘Why is my curriculum white’, which complained classes on great writers such as Shakespeare and Dickens did not capture the ethnic minority experience.” – Daily Mail

  • Minister also criticises rise in unconditional offers – The Times
  • Gyimah urges redress for students affected by strike – FT


  • Vice-Chancellors accused of using fees to fund pay hikes – The Sun

>Yesterday: Thomas Barton in Comment: My lecturers are right about their pensions – but wrong to harm their students by this strike

Truss claims professions have formed ‘blob’ that excludes outsiders

“Middle-class professionals such as doctors, lawyers and teachers are a ‘blob’ that harms the economy, cabinet minister Liz Truss claimed yesterday. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury said they were ‘constantly lobbying to put barriers up to prevent new people joining them’. At a conference in London, Miss Truss claimed: ‘They can be the lobbyists. They can be the unions. They can be the bureaucrats. They can be the nimbys. ‘I call them The Blob. Gloopy. Treacly. Hard to define. Harder to resist. ‘We know that professional regulations can be a damaging restraint on trade. They can reduce opportunities, keep women out of the best roles, and limit the overall number of jobs available. Today, licensing is the most restrictive form of occupational regulation in the UK, covering around a quarter of groups in the labour market. We now have more regulated occupations than France, Italy or Belgium.'” – Daily Mail

DfID staff implicated in sexual harassment scandal, Baldwin suggests

“Up to four staff employed by the Department for International Development were reported for sexual harassment last year, a minister has admitted. Aid Minister Harriet Baldwin included the figure in a written answer to MPs – before retracting it from the record. MailOnline understands the figure of complaints against DFID staff is correct but was released before investigations were complete. Aid Secretary Penny Mordaunt vowed last week that any allegations against her own civil servants would be fully investigated and vowed to keep Parliament updated. The revelation came after a scandal over harassment engulfed Oxfam earlier this month after it was revealed aid workers paid disaster victims for sex. In her answer, Ms Baldwin said no DFID staff had been reported for harassment in 2015 or 2016. But she said ‘under five’ had been reported to authorities during 2017.” – Daily Mail

>Today: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: Being good at governing is no guarantee of re-election – just ask Harper and Key

Ministers ‘raid veterans’ charity fund’

“Ministers have taken £326 million from a pot meant for military charities and ‘good causes’ for their own cash-strapped departments. Former chancellor George Osborne set up the fund in 2012 to support veterans and emergency services charities. It was set up using money from fines imposed on bankers involved in the Libor scandal – where bankers fixed the inter-bank interest rates. But now it is has emerged that some 40 per cent of the money from the Libor fund released so far has been used for ‘good causes’ within government departments. The money was spent on projects such as improving Army barracks, installing sports facilities on military bases and funding wounded vets’ rehab centres. Treasury sources stressed the money was not going to the department’s budgets, and was instead being used for extra projects deemed worthy enough.” – Daily Mail

  • Treasury orders review of Libor cash – The Sun
  • Defence chief says UK has ten years to boost its military – Daily Mail


  • Britain needs a strategic surge to cope with Brexit – Michael Clarke and David Richards, The Times


  • Government has a duty to invest in our protection – The Times

Johnson could face investigation over Garden Bridge

“Boris Johnson could be investigated for misconduct in public office if it is shown that political pressure from him while London mayor played a role in the loss of more than £40m of public money on the city’s abandoned garden bridge, a senior lawyer has said. Labour and the Liberal Democrats also said Johnson should face scrutiny over his role in a project he strongly supported, and which an earlier inquiry concluded was driven more by political considerations than value for money. The foreign secretary, whose mayoral term ended in May 2016, is due to give evidence to a London assembly committee on Thursday, the first time he will face detailed questions on how £46.4m of public money was spent on a project of questionable value on which construction work never even began.” – The Guardian

Pressure mounts on Welsh Labour to publish Sargeant report

“Pressure on the Welsh first minister over the death of the Labour politician Carl Sargeant has grown after opposition parties won a vote in the national assembly demanding the publication of a report on events surrounding the tragedy. Sargeant is believed to have killed himself four days after he was removed from his post as a minister following unspecified allegations of sexual harassment, which he denied. The first of three investigations into the matter, examining whether news of Sargeant’s sacking was leaked, concluded there was no “unauthorised disclosure”. But there is anger that the report has not been published and the Welsh Conservatives and Plaid Cymru argued during an assembly debate on Wednesday that a redacted version should be released.” – The Guardian

  • Why we want the Labour leadership to act on the harassment of women – LabourToo activists, The Guardian

Corbyn ‘stamps out dissent’ with Twitter crackdown

“Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of an “authoritarian” attempt to crush internal dissent after moderate MPs were threatened with disciplinary action for tweets critical of the Labour leader. Officials in Mr Corbyn’s office have issued warnings to several MPs. One backbencher has been reported to the party’s chief whip for questioning whether an appeal for unity from Mr Corbyn was genuine in a social media post, and two MPs were asked to remove tweets that questioned why someone accused of antisemitism had been readmitted into the party. The development has outraged many Labour MPs, alarmed by what they perceive to be an increasingly authoritarian style of leadership. It follows the row last weekend over the abrupt decision to interrupt the election of the chairman of the party’s national policy forum, which a critic of the leader had been expected to win.” – The Times

  • Momentum plans council ‘power grab’ – The Times
  • Hard left’s push for general secretaryship shows tensions with Unite – The Guardian
  • Bank suggests utility firms offshore to avoid nationalisation – The Sun


  • A new ‘centrist’ party is doomed, but could block Corbyn – Owen Jones, The Guardian

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Labour ‘moderates’ have fled the field, leaving Momentum and Unite to fight over who runs the Opposition

News in Brief:

  • Blitzing the Blob – Liz Truss MP, CapX
  • If Britain is to Brexit properly, it must get out of the EU’s Defence Union – Peter Lyon, Reaction
  • What Theresa May needs to say on Friday – Iain Duncan Smith MP, Brexit Central
  • How Hollywood hijacked feminism – Jenny McCartney, The Spectator