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Johnson comes out swinging against ‘crazy’ Customs Partnership scheme

‘Boris Johnson last night savaged Downing Street’s post-Brexit trade plans. In a major intervention, he branded the proposed customs partnership ‘crazy’…‘It’s totally untried and would make it very, very difficult to do free trade deals,’ he added. ‘If you have the new customs partnership, you have a crazy system whereby you end up collecting the tariffs on behalf of the EU at the UK frontier. If the EU decides to impose punitive tariffs on something the UK wants to bring in cheaply there’s nothing you can do. That’s not taking back control of your trade policy, it’s not taking back control of your laws, it’s not taking back control of your borders and it’s actually not taking back control of your money either, because tariffs would get paid centrally back to Brussels.’’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Left Watch: Cabinet Minister to ConHome: “I am not convinced of a Customs Union majority” in the Commons

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

Blackwell: The question is now pessimism versus optimism, not Remain versus Leave

‘The real divide is no longer between former Leavers and Remainers. Rather it is between those who, whichever way they voted, now take an optimistic view of Britain’s future and those who are entrenched in a negative outlook. While the pessimists are entitled to their view, the danger is that their continued disparagement of Britain’s prospects is itself a source of damage — reducing economic confidence and raising doubts for foreign investors. It is time we all embraced a realistic but positive stance on long-term opportunities…the case for optimism is in recognising that these short-term uncertainties will become increasingly less relevant compared to the emerging new opportunities. From 2000 to 2016 the world economy grew at a compound rate of almost 4 per cent per annum despite the financial crisis, more than three times the EU’s 1.2 per cent which lagged behind the 1.8 per cent achieved by the UK.’ – Norman Blackwell, FT

>Today: Theresa May on Comment: Our practical politics is closer to voters than the partisan approach that increasingly consumes the left

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

Treasury advisers question the future of Inheritance Tax

‘The Office for Tax Simplification has launched an online questionnaire into the tax as part of a consultation that reports in October just before the Autumn Budget. The review will examine whether the tax – which is expected to raise £32billion between 2016 and 2022 – is too complicated. One of the concerns is that its complexity means that people do not know how to avoid the tax legally by making small gifts during their lifetimes, or how to be sure of when the tax is triggered on estates at death.  Angela Knight, the chairman of the Office for Tax Simplification said there is “quite a high degree of complexity” around the tax…Ms Knight – a former Conservative MP who was a Treasury minister in John Major’s Government in the 1990s – said the tax was “ripe for a look at”. She added: “This is a tax that people fear.”‘ – Daily Telegraph

Large increase in violent crimes involving children

‘Violent crime involving under-tens rose by 38 per cent last year. Police investigated a record number of offences by children too young to prosecute — including knife attacks, threats to kill, assault and robbery. Experts say gang leaders now deliberately recruit under-tens because they cannot take action. Youth leader Mick Neville, a retired Met detective chief inspector, said: “Older teenagers and gang leaders think nothing of using children to carry drugs or stolen goods, knowing a child under ten can’t be prosecuted. These older gang members will also encourage younger boys to commit robberies and violent crime as gang initiation ceremonies.’’’ – The Sun

Local newspaper editors warn against yet another attempt to muzzle the free press

‘Local newspaper editors from across the country have united to urge MPs not to join a Labour-backed plot to muzzle the Press. Former party leader Ed Miliband and deputy leader Tom Watson are among opposition MPs seeking to hijack data protection legislation to tighten media regulation. MPs will vote tomorrow on proposed amendments to the Data Protection Bill that would force publishers refusing to join a state-recognised Press regulator to pay the costs of claimants who bring court proceedings, even if their claims are defeated. They would also lead to yet another inquiry into the media – known as ‘Leveson 2’ – just six years after the Leveson Inquiry…Maidenhead Advertiser editor Martin Trepte added: ‘The amendments represent an attack on Press freedom which is completely unacceptable in our society. As a point of principle, we stand united against these attacks on free speech and urge all MPs to do likewise by voting against all the amendments.’’ – Daily Mail

The Speaker is now Britain’s best-paid politician

‘John Bercow has been quietly boosting his salary with a series of pay rises – despite Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn turning down the extra money. The Speaker has become the highest paid politician in Britain over recent years, with his total salary now well over £152,000 – nearly £2,000 more than the PM. He is set to move further ahead this year as another pay rise kicks in that Mrs May and ministers have refused. The increases have been driven by an obscure ‘ratchet’ in the legislation underpinning the salaries of officeholders – pushing them up in line with the average granted to senior civil servants. They emerged as Mr Bercow faces intense pressure to be ‘open’ and allow an investigation into allegations of bullying staff – which he denies.’ – Daily Mail

Trump expected to announce Iran decision today – as Britain warns there’s no Plan B

‘Donald Trump announced he will reveal his decision on whether to abandon the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, just as Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, warned him that backing out could spark an “arms race in the Middle East”. Mr Trump has frequently promised to reimpose sanctions on Tehran, effectively killing off the 2015 agreement, unless more is done to rein in Iran’s missile programme and thwart its ambitions in the Middle East. However, aides on Monday night said nothing was certain until Mr Trump made his announcement. The brinksmanship has sparked an intense round of 11th-hour diplomacy. On Monday, it was Mr Johnson’s turn as he appeared on Fox News, the President’s favourite TV channel, to issue his message. “We think what you can do is be tougher on Iran, address the concerns of the president and not throw the baby out with the water,” he said.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Rouhani suggests Iran could keep to the terms even if the US pulls out – Daily Mail
  • Hezbollah trumpets its power – FT
  • Johnson suggests Trump could win the Nobel Peace Prize – The Sun
  • The White House says Kerry’s efforts to save the deal are ‘possibly illegal’ – Daily Mail
  • If Trump scraps the deal, why should North Korea sign any agreement of its own? – William Hague, Daily Telegraph
  • Prominent backer was warned of efforts to discredit him – The Guardian
  • China should reject Trump’s irrational trade demands – FT Leader
  • Russian police arrest 12-year-old for speaking at anti-Putin rally – Daily Mail

Manufacturers call on the Government to honour its Industrial Strategy pledges

‘Britain’s manufacturers are increasingly concerned that plans to hold the government to account for its industrial strategy have been delayed. The EEF, the trade body representing 20,000 manufacturers across the country, called on the government on Tuesday to deliver on its promise to create an independent Industrial Strategy Council — a pledge made last year as part of the white paper on industrial strategy. The council was described in the white paper as a body that would “develop measures to assess and evaluate our industrial strategy and make recommendations to the government”. But six months later, the council has still not been set up, despite initial expectations that it would start work in January and subsequent promises for a starting date this spring.’ – FT

>Today: Mark Menzies on Comment: No more delay. We need that third runway at Heathrow as soon as possible.

Wallace: The Corbynites might win an election – if they can abandon their messianic belief in their own virtue

‘The righteous fury with which the new Labour Party treats dissenters in its own ranks is a symptom of a deeper sickness. The clue lies in that famous slogan, which lends a bogus nobility to a chauvinistic refusal to tolerate disagreement. It’s bad enough to challenge Jeremy, but how could anyone dare to obstruct “the many”? Doing so surely identifies you as one of “the few”…Corbynite language is drenched in this elevation of their own mission to a supposedly unquestionable status. The cultish myth that Corbyn himself has always been right, on literally everything, like a prophet in the wilderness. The way in which whole tracts of their Party’s own history – from the nuclear deterrent and NATO, to Blair’s landslides – are denounced as not “real Labour”. Such unmerited certainty is dangerous, and can lead to very dark places. People who otherwise declare themselves opposed to racism become willing to dismiss proven incidents of anti-semitism as a smear cooked up by sinister cabals of wealthy Jews, or the state of Israel, all because they believe their cause outweighs all other considerations.’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

  • Rail chaos aids Labour – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Voters are choosing an uneasy draw on purpose – Janan Ganesh, FT
  • Lansman says Momentum is preparing for life after Corbyn – Politico
  • Labour MPs still dream of a ‘progressive alliance’ – The Guardian
  • Lily Allen under fire after claiming the UK is a ‘fascist regime’ – Daily Mail
  • I admire Theresa May – Glenda Jackson, Daily Mail
  • McDonagh urges development of ugly land labelled ‘green belt’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: The Conservative campaign machine has upped its game – but the loss of activists’ trust in the central Party is taking time to repair

News in Brief

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