Brexit 1) May admits impasse on reaching a customs deal

“Theresa May has admitted to Conservative MPs that Brexit negotiations are at an impasse because neither of her current options for a customs deal with the EU will work. The Prime Minister invited all 214 of her backbenchers to Downing Street to explain why she has had to go back to the drawing board in an attempt to find a replacement for the customs union. But her attempt at getting her critics on board appeared to backfire as the “technical briefings” increased fears among Eurosceptics that further delays will mean an extension of the 21-month transition period.” – Daily Telegraph

  • If we get the customs deal wrong, it will destroy thousands of jobs in car manufacturing – Andy Street, The Times

>Today: Columnist Henry Newman: The more we look back to the referendum, and re-fight its battles, the less we get ready for the future


Brexit 2) Little progress since March says Barnier

“Brexit talks have made “little” progress since March, the EU’s chief negotiator has said. Michel Barnier said there was a “risk of failure” in two key areas – Northern Ireland, and how the agreement will be governed. He said June’s EU summit was a “key rendezvous” to reach a deal that can be ratified before the UK leaves. And he defended the EU’s stance over the UK’s involvement in the new Galileo sat-nav system. The UK has played a key role in the programme’s development so far, but faces being shut out of key elements of the programme after Brexit. UK ministers are now considering setting up a rival version.” – BBC

  • Brexit revolution has only brought deadlock – Rachel Sylvester, The Times

Brexit 3) Rees-Mogg clashes with the PM over the Irish border

“Theresa May confronted Jacob Rees-Mogg at a meeting with Tory MPs designed to break the deadlock over Britain’s future customs arrangements with the EU, The Times has learnt. The pair clashed yesterday over the impact of rival plans on the Irish border, in what witnesses described as the prime minister “sending a tough signal” to hardline Brexiteers that she was not prepared to jeopardise the Union. It came after Mrs May went over the heads of her squabbling cabinet with a personal appeal to scores of backbench Tory MPs to help to settle Britain’s position. She issued an open invitation to all 315 Conservative MPs to attend Downing Street briefings on the rival options that have split her top team.” – The Times

  • If the Irish Government obliges us to choose between the Republic and the Union, then we will choose the Union – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Daily Telegraph
  • Leavers are preparing their Brexit betrayal narrative – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

Brexit 4) Holyrood to reject the EU Withdrawal Bill

“MSPs are set to formally refuse to give Holyrood’s consent to the UK’s main piece of Brexit legislation. The Scottish and UK governments are at odds over the EU Withdrawal Bill and what it could mean for devolved powers. Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPs are expected to back SNP members in rejecting the Westminster bill, saying it would restrict Holyrood’s powers. The Scottish Conservatives will vote against, and have blamed the SNP for the failure to find an agreement.” – BBC

Brexit 5) Delaying trade deals would cost billions warns Fox

“Britain must focus on trade deals with countries outside Europe or risk losing billions in tax revenue, Liam Fox will warn today when he joins the public cabinet fight over customs. The trade secretary will implore cabinet colleagues not to let “the practices and patterns of the past constrain the opportunities of the future” and will argue against the customs partnership option at the heart of dispute. Dr Fox, a Brexiteer, will not attack the customs partnership — a system where Britain would continue to collect EU tariffs after Brexit — by name in his speech to be made at a London club. However, he will make his misgivings clear as he attacks those who are “simply identifying how much of our current relationship we want to keep”.” – The Times

Brexit 6) Corbyn dodges pleas to back Single Market

“Labour MPs pressed Jeremy Corbyn last night to back membership of the single market. Pro-EU MPs, led by Hilary Benn, made entreaties at the weekly meeting of the parliamentary Labour party…Confusion reigned in the wake of the PLP meeting, however.One pro- Remain MP claimed that Mr Corbyn had been asked to “please keep the option on the table — and he didn’t not keep the option on the table”. John Mann, a Leave-backing MP, insisted that “Brexit wins the day — the EEA [proposal] is dead”. He claimed that Mr Corbyn was “clear that the extra House of Lords stuff won’t have Labour [frontbench] support”.” – The Times

Brexit 7) Morgan joins with Clegg and David Miliband for cross party protest

“The Conservative MP Nicky Morgan has revealed she will give evidence in a court case in June after she received an alleged death threat over her position on Brexit. She said her “absolute determination” not to “give in to the siren voices” was one of the reasons she had joined forces with David Miliband and Sir Nick Clegg in a cross-party campaign to persuade parliament to support some of the House of Lords amendments to the Brexit bill on the single market and customs union.” – The Guardian

  • An hour of guff in Essex – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • David Miliband’s arrogance to try and return to UK politics and tell us how to handle Brexit is repugnant – The Sun Says
  • Blair is the puppet master – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: WATCH: David Miliband – “Those of us who lost shouldn’t accept that the case for minimising the damage is lost”

Grenfell campaigners “won the argument” says Hurd

“Campaigners who demanded changes to the Grenfell Tower fire inquiry have “won their argument”, a government minister has said. In a U-turn, Theresa May announced last week that two experts would sit with the judge investigating the fire. It followed pressure from campaigners who warned of a “whitewash”…Police and Fire Minister Nick Hurd said there was “no intention to hang around” and paid tribute to campaigners, some of whom attended the Westminster Hall debate.” – BBC

Nokes “knew about deportations earlier than claimed”

“The Home Office has been accused of being unfit for purpose and guilty of “shambolic incompetence” after letters written by Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister, appeared to contradict what she told a parliamentary committee about when she became aware of the problems experienced by highly skilled migrants. Nokes last week told Yvette Cooper, the chair of the home affairs select committee, that she hadn’t had time to investigate revelations in the Guardian that at least 1,000 highly skilled migrants seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK were wrongly facing deportation.” – The Guardian

Wright to seek permission to unlock fund to help repay National Debt

“The government is set to launch a bid to use a multimillion-pound 90-year-old fund to pay down the national debt. The National Fund was established in 1928 when an anonymous donor set aside £500,000 on the sole condition that it be invested in the stock market until it was large enough to pay off the government’s entire debt in one go. It was probably a response to Stanley Baldwin, the former Conservative prime minister, who in 1919 wrote a letter to The Times asking for voluntary donations from rich Britons to pay off the nation’s First World War debts. In the intervening nine decades, the fund has grown to £475 million…it is understood that Jeremy Wright, the current attorney, will apply to the High Court this week to have the fund unlocked.” – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The CPS, Tory MPs, new ideas – and a debate we need on economic policy

Afolami calls for a “Permission Value Tax”

“Fat cat developers should pay a new tax – with funds going directly to the local community, a rising Tory star has recommended. Tory MP Bim Afolami calls for a Permission Value Tax, which would ensure the roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure is able to keep pace with rapid new housing developments. The move would slap a levy on all landowners based on the increase in the residential value of the land when development takes place. He says his proposal would help make house-building acceptable to local people – and deliver on the pressing need to rapidly increase Britain’s housing stock.” – The Sun

Labour shortlist for Lewisham East

“A former Ken Livingstone adviser, an anti-Transatlantic trade treaty activist, Lewisham’s deputy mayor and a former mayoral candidate have been shortlisted by Labour for the election to succeed Heidi Alexander in Lewisham East. Labour’s national executive committee has shortlisted Claudia Webbe, Brenda Dacres, Janet Daby and Sakina Sheikh as its four candidates who will be put to a members’ vote at a hustings this weekend.” – The Guardian

  • Jewish leader says Labour must expel Ken Livingstone or face consequences – The Times
  • A warning to the Tories: Britain’s true-blue suburbs have turned liberal – John Harris, The Guardian

Bercow leads tribute to Jowell

“Tessa Jowell was the “best of us”, Commons Speaker John Bercow has said as he led tributes to the late Labour politician and cancer campaigner. He told MPs her death at the age of 70 left Parliament “infinitely poorer”. She was a “stellar, progressive change-maker” who had a “well of practical compassion without rival”, he said. Theresa May said she was an “extraordinary politician, colleague and campaigner” who fought her illness with incredible courage and spirit.” – BBC

  • Commons staff used to brief against bullying claims – The Guardian

Plain packaging for cigarettes “a failure”

“Plain packaging on cigarettes was branded a failure by campaigners last night after research found smoking levels have gone UP since it was brought in. A study found smoking rates in England were higher than for the same time last year before plain packaging was fully introduced. Experts compared a smoking rate of 17.1 per cent in March 2018 with March last year’s rate of 16.5 per cent – an increase of 0.7 per cent.” – The Sun

Peers make a new bid for a Leveson inquiry

“The House of Lords has backed an attempt to set up a new Leveson-style inquiry days after a similar proposal was voted down by MPs. The motion, an amendment to the government’s Data Protection Bill, won by 39 votes — 252 to 213 — yesterday, less than a week after ministers extolled a “great victory for a free and fair press” in the Commons. The government will try to defeat the Lords amendment in the Commons today. Matt Hancock, the culture secretary, said that peers had opposed the freedom of the press.” – The Times

  • Parliament has no business interfering with a free press – Edward Garnier, The Times
  • Constitutionally improper to defy MPs – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Dozens of Palestinians killed attempting to break through border into Israel

“Gaza is braced for fresh protests against Israel as the first funerals are expected to be held for 58 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces on Monday, the deadliest day since the end of the 2014 Gaza conflict. Tuesday is the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands were expelled or fled amid the creation of Israel in 1948. Weeks of angry protests were further enflamed on Monday by the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. While Ivanka Trump and other American dignitaries gathered in the afternoon sun to celebrate the embassy opening, the Gaza border was transformed into a scene of fire and chaos as tens of thousands of protesters faced Israeli snipers. Israel’s military said that it opened fire to stop Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, from using the protests as a distraction to break through the border fence and carry out attacks inside Israel.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Corbyn tried to get Eurovision winner Israel banned from the contest – The Sun

Plea to Johnson to raise Iranian prisoner case

“The husband of jailed British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has urged Boris Johnson to raise his wife’s case when he meets Iran’s foreign minister later. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 39, is serving a five-year jail sentence in Iran after being convicted of spying. But Richard Ratcliffe says his wife is facing possible new charges. Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson is due to meet his Iranian counterpart in Brussels for Iran nuclear deal talks.” – BBC

DUP MP hits back at “gammon” slurs

“MP Emma Little Pengelly has hit out at the use of the slur “gammon” on social media. The South Belfast MP took to Twitter in the early hours of Sunday morning to say she was appalled at the increasing use of the term. “I’m appalled by the term “gammon” now frequently entering the lexicon of so many (mainly on the left) & seemingly be accepted. This is a term based on skin colour & age – stereotyping by colour or age is wrong no matter what race, age or community. It is just wrong,” she tweet. The term is normally used as a derogatory slur normally toward white middle class Brexit supporting men whose complexion turns pink when they get over excited about issues such as the UK’s impending departure from the EU, immigration matters or political correctness “gone mad”.” – Belfast Telegraph

Hague: The West needs to rediscover a sense of unity

“The West, by which I mean the developed democratic nations, cannot have rigid goals for 2050 precisely because we are free societies who change our minds and want to go where science, reason, and new thinking take us. Nor do we want presidents indefinitely in office who can make a confident plan that far ahead. But we do need a collective instinct and common set of values, kept together and renewed by unifying leadership. Such a combination prevailed through the second half of the 20th century, but is seriously weakened now.” – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • What does the British public think about capitalism? – Matt Singh, CapX
  • MaxFac border solutions operate in a country like Rwanda, so they can work for the Irish border too – Kieran Holmes, Brexit Central
  • MPs in mess over new data protection laws – Isabel Hardman, The Spectator
  • Theresa May is the Brexiteers’ human shield – they’d be even weaker without her – George Eaton, New Statesman
  • Shadow Minister deletes tweet backing a second referendum – Independent