May Brexit 1) She says “backstop” would only apply to “very limited’ circumstances

“Theresa May has said that her backstop plan to keep Britain aligned to the customs union beyond 2020 would only apply in a “very limited” set of circumstances as Brexiters ratcheted up pressure on her over the future customs relationship. The prime minister said nobody wanted the UK to resort to the option despite persuading her “war cabinet” to sign up to new proposals last week, marking rare progress on Brexit after weeks of deadlock. Her remarks come after Boris Johnson issued a thinly veiled warning that he and his fellow Brexiters would still expect May to deliver a deal on customs that avoided triggering the backstop, one of the sticking points in talks with Brussels.” – Guardian

>Today: Audio: The Moggcast. “We’re getting to the point where you wonder whether the Government really wants to leave at all.”

May Brexit 2) And that Britain would “willingly” pay to be “fully associated” with Horizon 2020, Euratom research, and other European R&D programmes

“The UK will continue to hand over money to Brussels after Brexit to stay involved in EU scientific research and development programmes under plans unveiled by Theresa May. The Prime Minister announced she wanted Britain to “fully associate ourselves” with European R&D programmes including the successor to Horizon 2020 and the research and training arm of Euratom, Europe’s nuclear agency. Mrs May said the UK would “willingly make” financial payments in order to continue its participation in European science projects. However, she insisted Britain would have to “maintain a suitable level of influence” over the initiatives as she said she wanted to discuss her plans with the European Commission during Brexit negotiations.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: MPs ETC: May’s speech on science – “the UK’s ingenuity and creativity will be what drives our progress as a nation”

More May 

  • Her “burning” mission “has not been properly pursued” – Robert Halfon – The Times

More Brexit

  • Foster calls Dublin’s Brexit stance “very aggressive” – Daily Mail 
  • Gove says referendum result has “boosted liberalism” and warmth about migration… – Daily Telegraph


  • …But he’s not keen to talk about that poster – Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit is “beginning of a long, slow disintegration” of EU – William Hague, The Times
  • Brexit makes a united Ireland more likely, “but not inevitably” – Matthew O’Toole, The Times

Johnson 1) He “rules out” snap election

“Reports at the weekend revealed that some Conservative backbenchers are preparing for a poll amid fears Theresa May’s difficulties over the EU departure negotiations are becoming insurmountable. But the Foreign Secretary and leading Cabinet Brexiteer warned that voters did not want to be put through another campaign following the two elections and an EU referendum over the past three years. Speaking in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires during a five-day tour of South America, he said he felt like “Brenda from Bristol”, the woman famously filmed decrying the announcement of the 2017 general election. Asked about reports that the Prime Minister could call another election in the autumn, Mr Johnson said: “Really? We had a general election in June last year, which followed hard on the heels of a referendum, which itself followed hard on the heels of an election in 2015.” – Daily Express


  • Another election would be distraction from Brexit – Daily Express

Johnson 2) He drops “hints” about UK taking further action against Russian oligarchs post-Skripal

“Boris Johnson has hinted that the UK could seek to take tougher action against Russian oligarchs in the wake of the poisoning of the former spy Sergei Skripal, saying he is looking closely at the approach taken by the Trump administration. Asked about the news of an apparent delay in processing Roman Abramovich’s visa, which kept the Chelsea football club owner away from Saturday’s FA Cup final, the foreign secretary said it would be “totally wrong” for him to comment on individual cases. Commenting on the White House’s more stringent approach to Russian oligarchs, Johnson said: “The truth is actually that I think the effect of some of those sanctions, particularly on some individuals, has been very marked and I’ve noted that, but we have our own systems and our own approach and we have to do it in accordance with the law and accordance with the evidence.”” – Guardian

  • He also says new Iran deal is “unworkable” – The Sun
  • And that he’s “deeply concerned” about Venezuela – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Bob Seely in Comment: Kremlin-linked oligarchs’ money is used to harm our democracy – we must defend ourselves

>Today: Kenneth Clarke in Comment: Britain’s anti-torture policy must be strengthened

Gove: My next focus will be air pollution — and wood- and coal-burning stoves

“Ever since man first lit a fire to keep warm, cook food and work metals, smoke has been polluting our atmosphere. And throughout history, there has been a price to pay. In 1956, killer smogs caused by pollution from cars, factories and coal fires prompted a previous Conservative government to pass a Clean Air Act to protect the nation’s health and that of the environment. Today, the Government is again taking decisive action: launching a comprehensive strategy to cut pollution and save lives. We will deal with the pollution caused by coal- and wood-burning stoves and open fires. Thanks to a spike in popularity, these now contribute 38 per cent of all particulate matter pollution. With new science and technology we can bring this figure down. We aim to cut total particulate matter emissions by 30 per cent by 2020, and 46 per cent by 2030, and will ensure that only the cleanest fuels for domestic burning will be available for sale. Additionally, in due course we will ensure that only the cleanest types of stove will be available to buy and install.” – Daily Telegraph

More government 

  • Will there be a new law regarding car emissions “cheats”? – FT
  • Peers “back down” over Leveson – Daily Mail
  • Select committee calls for review of UK aid to Myanmar – Guardian
  • Audit office finds “black hole’ in MoD finances… – Guardian
  • …with cost of Nuclear programme – FT

Grenfell enquiry begins with testimonial tributes to the deceased

“Relatives of the Grenfell fire victims described their “unbearable pain” yesterday as they demanded justice during harrowing testimony on the first day of the public inquiry into the disaster. Families of six of the 72 victims killed in the fire on June 14 paid their tributes as Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the retired judge chairing the inquiry, thanked them for their bravery. For the next two weeks prepared statements, live testimony and video presentations will be used to remember those who died. All the testimonies yesterday were met with applause except for that of Samuel Daniels, the son of Joseph, 69, who died on the 16th floor of the tower block. Mr Daniels asked that no one applaud what he had to say about his father’s death. “He never stood a chance of getting out, it should never have happened,” he said.” – The Times

  • Emotional scenes at the enquiry – FT
  • Meanwhile, ten thousand expected at singalong to mark Manchester atrocity anniversary – Guardian
  • May will say today that the attack failed “to divide us” – The Sun


  • Maybe we should “look back in anger” – Brendan O’Neill, The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: A year on from the Manchester atrocity

Davidson speaks of need for “forward-looking Conservatism”

“The Conservative Party has a “moral duty” to refresh itself and look to the “entire nation” if it is to succeed at the next General Election, Ruth Davidson said at the launch of a new think-tank aimed at attracting younger voters to the Tory cause… Using a social media metaphor, Ms Davidson said her party must look beyond “serrano or gammon” and said younger voters were being presented with a false choice between tasty European ham and the tradition British sliced meat, which has been used as a metaphor for red-faced, older right-wing voters. The 39-year-old party leader, who is pregnant, went on: “The question is how we forge an open-feeling, forward-looking Conservatism that speaks equally to all. I believe Onward represents exactly what we need: an instinctive sunniness; a sense of being comfortable with the modern world and a willingness to listen.” – Herald

  • She says Conservatives should avoid being “joyless” – The Sun 
  • She talks of restoring “emotional bonds” of the union – Guardian
  • And suggests a joint-nations UK World Cup bid – Daily Telegraph


  • The party needs to win Labour moderates and young voters – The Times


  • But here’s the real dilemma – Rafael Behr, Guardian

More Conservatives

  • Bercow “carefully avoids responding” to allegation – The Times


>Today: Simon Cook in Comment: Our campaign to win in Canterbury starts today

And Labour

  • Corbyn “will not be speaking with Labour NI representatives” during trip to Belfast – Belfast News Letter
  • Cleverly says the trip shows “callousness” given Corbyn’s IRA stance – Daily Express
  • Livingstone finally quits Labour – Daily Mail
  • He says claims about him had become “distraction”… – The Times


  • …His career has “ended in ignominy” – Dan Sabbagh, Guardian
  • Despite Dent Coad’s best tries, republicanism “languishes” in the polls – Mark Wallace, the i 
  • Corbyn could “change the course of history”… if he just became a Remainer – Rachel Sylvester, The Times

News in Brief

  • McDonnell on profit sharing – Andrew Lilico, CapX
  • Putin would be short-term winner of European disintegration – Ian Kearns, BrexitCentral
  • Testimonies on hospice care – Kate Chisholm, Spectator
  • McCain’s legacy – Amy Davidson, New Yorker
  • I never anticipated how Patrick Bateman would “escape into the world” – Bret Easton Ellis, TLS