Brexit 1) Clark says customs partnership “still on table”. Rees-Mogg calls his comments yet more “Project Fear”

“The row over the UK’s customs arrangements after Brexit has intensified after a leading Tory Brexiteer accused a cabinet minister of promoting Project Fear. Greg Clark declared that a new customs partnership with the European Union is still on the table despite running into fierce opposition from senior pro-Leave frontbenchers at a fraught meeting of the Brexit war cabinet last week. … Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Tory MP who leads the European Research Group of backbench Eurosceptics, responded to Mr Clark’s jobs warning by hitting out against a series of “endless scare stories from Project Fear”. Mr Rees-Mogg added: “Project Fear has been so thoroughly discredited, you’d have thought it would have come to an end by now.”” – The Times

  • May “accused of silencing Eurosceptics” – Daily Telegraph
  • And of “declaring war” via Business Secretary – The Sun
  • Clark suggested “thousands of jobs” dependent on partnership – Guardian
  • He warns that Toyota could move to EU – FT
  • Rees-Mogg says this is another of “endless scare stories” – Daily Express



Brexit 2) EU’s fear of Corbyn government posited as “main reason” for “draconian measures to enforce free-market policies”

“Britain faces restrictions on post-Brexit trade and draconian measures to enforce free-market policies because the European Union fears a future Jeremy Corbyn government. Senior European officials have told The Times that concerns over Labour’s economic policies are the main reason for the EU’s insistence on a tough “level playing field mechanism” in a future deal after Britain leaves. The revelation came as the dispute intensified in senior Tory ranks over the customs arrangement between Britain and the EU after Brexit. Jacob Rees-Mogg accused Greg Clark, the pro-EU business and energy secretary, of promoting “Project Fear” by saying that thousands of jobs were at risk if Britain did not minimise friction in trade.” – The Times

  • EU sources claim this fear is driving its hard line – Daily Mail 
  • Meanwhile, Labour lord says leadership acting with “complete cowardice” over voting refrain order – Daily Express
  • And Blunkett says Corbyn is doomed to failure – The Sun

Brexit 3) Goodhart: We need to think about more than economic costs, and focus on regaining national control

“I voted Remain but like most moderate Remainers I accept that the other side won and now just want the best possible deal. I am agnostic on the Customs Union but increasingly frustrated by how uber-Remainers have framed the whole debate around the economic costs of Brexit.  Before it is too late we need to focus on those areas of policy where we can, potentially, regain national control and change the way we do things. That will not only raise the spirits by reminding us of some of the good reasons why we have taken this momentous step, it will also better inform the key Brexit trade-off: do we retain close regulatory alignment to minimise economic disruption but thereby forgo our potential freedoms, or should we grasp those freedoms and risk an economic hit at least in the short term?” – Daily Telegraph

  • Immigration has become less of an issue since the EU referendum – Alex Massie, The Times
  • It’s undeniable that Conservatives did well with Leave voters last week – Matthew d’Ancona, Guardian

More Brexit

  • Pressure on Sturgeon to focus on Brexit referendum over Scottish independence – Herald

>Today: Nicky Morgan’s column: For too long, the Party has appeased Brexiteer obsessives. It’s time for One Nation Tories to fight back.

Senior Tories warn May about “potential toxicity” of “care tax” proposals

“Theresa May has been warned that plans to force “silver strivers” who work in their retirement to pay national insurance are “politically toxic” and could cost the party at the next election. The Government is considering a potential “care tax” which would see 1.3million pensioners who continue working pay the 12 per cent levy in a bid to address the social care crisis. However senior Tory politicians warned that the proposals would be “socially unjust” and end up targeting people who “need every penny they can get” to fund their retirement.” – Daily Telegraph

  • She’s also “urged to scrap” electricity discount exemption – The Sun 

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Party members persist in believing that May should stand down before the next election

Johnson warns Trump against “abandoning” Iran deal

“Boris Johnson has warned President Trump that abandoning the Iran nuclear deal would risk a new regional arms race across the Middle East. As the foreign secretary arrived in Washington on an eleventh-hour mission to save the agreement, he wrote in The New York Times: “Of all the options we have for ensuring that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon, this pact offers the fewest disadvantages.” Mr Trump has said that he will decide by Saturday whether to reinstate sanctions on Iran, a move that Tehran has warned could lead to the collapse of the nuclear accord.” – The Times 

  • Rouhani’s comments – FT

Ministers to “launch review of alcohol-fuelled violence” this summer

“Ministers are to launch a review of alcohol-fuelled violence with a special focus on “hidden” attacks on vulnerable people in the home. The review, to begin later this summer, will also examine how to help more problem drinkers give up alcohol. Local councils will be encouraged to share best practice in tackling alcohol-fuelled violence but the review will not look into rolling back the extended licensing hours introduced in 2003. Nor will it propose copying Scotland by imposing minimum unit pricing because ministers want to await evidence on how successful the policy is north of the border.” – The Times

More Government

  • Grandparents could gain access rights after their grandchildren’s parents divorce – The Sun

And elsewhere

  • DUP MP “warns against trial by media” after interview with convicted police killer – Belfast News Letter 
  • IndyRef2 marchers are just dreamers – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph
  • Guernsey to vote on assisted dying in 10 days’ time – The Times

Mercer: charities are exploiting soldiers with PTSD

“Military charities are exploiting soldiers by exaggerating the scale of post-traumatic stress disorder “for their own ends”, Johnny Mercer has said. In an interview with The Telegraph, the Tory MP and former officer said charities are guilty of “abusing” veterans by depicting them as “mad, bad or dangerous”.  He said this has led to a simplistic view of veterans. “You’re either a hero, or you’re broken,” he said. “[In reality], 95 per cent of us are in the middle.” … In an interview with The Telegraph, the soldier turned Tory MP speaks candidly of  his childhood struggle with a “very nasty case of OCD” which continued throughout his twenties.” – Daily Telegraph

More Conservatives

  • Morgan calls for end to sexual harassment victims’ non-disclosure agreements – Guardian
  • Ministers “divided” over councillor racism case… – The Times
  • …As Clark says she could face another investigation – Guardian
  • Fabricant defends Twitter comment – Daily Express
  • It’s hard to know whether Bercow should stay or go – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Javid must “present his party as compassionate” – Editorial, The Times

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Lewis – there’s “a big contrast” between us and Labour in terms of representatives’ behaviour problems

And Labour

  • Adonis apologises to Javid for sharing “racist cartoon” on Twitter – Daily Telegraph
  • Tom Watson et al mustn’t be allowed to risk free press – Editorial, The Sun

Kirkup: Our extended tolerance doesn’t extend to difference of opinion

“…We are ever more tolerant of difference, except difference of opinion. Racism, sexism and homophobia are all, more or less, in decline. But dip into online conversation and you see that willingness to tolerate those who disagree with us is waning too. We don’t just disagree with people, we want to deny them standing, to cut them out of our conversation. Democratic politics isn’t like TV. We can’t just watch what we want, when we want. The system only works if we accept that sometimes we have to just watch what’s on. At least when that means the Queen and Sir David, we can just about rub along together. But after them, what?” – The Times

News in Brief

  • You can’t undo Brexit without doing it first – David Runciman, LRB
  • Les événements, fifty years on – Charles Moore, Spectator
  • On Trump and America First – Simon Winchester, New Statesman
  • The promise of wine at the NRA convention – Charles Bethea, New Yorker
  • The complex virtue of generosity – Christian B Miller, Aeon