Europe 1) May condemns EU for its “soundbites and negative briefings” and calls for “constructive” approach to negotiations

“Theresa May has accused the EU of “soundbites and negative briefings” and insisted she is still ready to withhold Britain’s jumbo divorce cheque. The PM’s outburst yesterday was a bid to answer angry Brexiteers’ demands to toughen up her negotiating stance.Downing Street was left livid by a senior Brussels figure laying into Britain’s negotiators for peddling “fantasy” ideas after last weeks’ talks ended in another bitter stand off. The PM’s official spokesman hit back to insist it is “imperative that we keep these talks constructive”.He added: “That means focusing on holding constructive talks inside the negotiating room. “We also need to be constructive outside of the room – which means looking beyond soundbites and negative anonymous briefings.” – The Sun

  • Has Brussels “dismissed” her “back stop solution”? – Daily Mail

Europe 2) Has Britain “accepted an invitation” to remain in EU budget decisions until 2027?

“European member states have invited Britain to remain part of Brussels’ budget negotiations for an additional seven years, as senior Conservative MPs warn of a plot to prevent a ‘clean’ Brexit. The UK is believed to have accepted an invitation to remain locked in discussions over the EU’s £1.3 trillion budget up to 2027, meaning British officials would continue to be heavily involved in the bloc’s structural framework. The offer was made by the 27 member states which make up the European Council, who have defied the wishes of senior Brussels figures by calling for Britain to remain involved in key spending plans long after it is due to leave the European Union.” – Daily Telegraph


  • The EU has depended on us for money – Jacob Rees-Mogg, The Sun

Europe 3) Italy remains in crisis as shares and bonds fall, Euro “crashes”, Lega and M5S blame Brussels, and Tusk “intervenes” on Twitter

“Brussels was yesterday blamed for Italy’s political crisis which threatened to bring down the Eurozone. Shares and bond markets plunged after Italian President Sergio Mattarella vetoed the appointment of a Eurosceptic finance minister in a new anti-establishment coalition. … Leader Luigi Di Maio said new elections were now inevitable and tore into EU chiefs. He declared: “These people treat Italy as a summer colony to come and spend the holidays. “But in a few months we’ll have a government of change that Europe will finally respect.” EU Council chief Donald Tusk intervened on Twitter – declaring: “My appeal to all EU institutions, please respect the voters.” – The Sun


  • We must learn from all this – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express
  • Cottarelli “isn’t keen on voters being too vocal” – Asa Bennet, Daily Telegraph
  • On Italian populism – Steve Bell, Guardian
  • The EU and Italy’s president “need to tread incredibly carefully” – Matthew Goodwin, The Sun

>Today: Tory Diary: Mattarella has a point

More Europe and Brexit 

  • SNP farming minister says Gove’s CAP replacement plans would be “catastrophic” for Scotland – Daily Telegraph
  • Rees-Mogg “admits” that UK could rejoin EU after Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Former Corbyn staffer leaves DExEU to advise Labour on Brexit – Daily Mail 
  • Soros to launch campaign in next few days for second referendum – Guardian
  • EU to “shut out” British defence companies from defence fund after we leave – The Times
  • Hill to advise UBS on Brexit – Daily Telegraph
  • Treasury backs commemorative Brexit coins – The Sun


  • Here’s a great Northern Brexit opportunity – Ben Houchen, The Times

>Yesterday: James Frayne’s column: Cummings is right about voter backlash against a Brexit betrayal

Davidson says UK needs “renewed” social contract focused on housing, vocational education, and social care…

“Ruth Davidson has challenged her own party over immigration, NHS funding and taxation as part of a pitch to centre-ground Scots ahead of the next Holyrood election. The Scottish Conservative leader said the UK Tory party needed to drop its migration target and, with the health service at “a tipping point”, put funding it ahead of new tax breaks. In a speech at Glasgow University, she also said the UK government should renew the “social contract” with more housing, better vocational education and decent social care.” – Herald

  • She says Conservatives shouldn’t cut taxes further – The Times
  • She calls for land value tax – Guardian
  • And extra funding for NHS – Daily Express 
  • Her speech was titled “Building a Stronger Britain” – The Sun

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: Don’t review spending before first reviewing government – and how it doesn’t work

…And Hammond calls for a “new market economy”, replete with robots

“The Conservative Party must reform Thatcherite capitalism to win over millennials who have flocked to Labour, Philip Hammond is to tell Theresa May. The Chancellor believes the free market liberalism introduced by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s is no longer fit for purpose because it has failed to keep pace with the rapid changes of the digital economy. He will use a major speech to make the case for a new type of capitalism that takes advantage of the digital age, artificial intelligence and robotics to make sure the economy “works for our society”. Among the more radical ideas he is considering is greater state intervention in companies at the cutting edge of technology, to ensure they cannot build up the near-monopolies enjoyed by the likes of Google and Facebook. He will refer to a “new market economy” which harnesses the potential of new business models rather than allowing them to mushroom with little regulation or taxation.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Meanwhile, his post-Brexit plans for the City are “at odds” with the BoE – The Sun

Same-sex marriage “plans” add to NI-related “pressure” on relationship between May and DUP

“New moves to allow same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland next month will further strain Theresa May’s alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party as pressure over abortion reform continues to rise. Mrs May has faced growing calls to allow Westminster to ease restrictions north of the border following Ireland’s overwhelming referendum decision to allow legal abortion — despite the opposition of her parliamentary allies. The prime minister was warned by the DUP’s chairman that she would face “consequences” to her Brexit legislation if she bowed to the pressure. Mrs May needs the votes of the DUP’s ten MPs to deliver a Commons majority.” – The Times

  • Miller and other female MPs continue calls for abortion referendum – Daily Telegraph
  • Downing Street says she “has no plans to help” – Guardian


  • May’s right that NI abortion reform is a devolved matter, but it’s not that simple – The Times


  • The situation cannot last – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • The referendum is to be admired – Fintan O’Toole, Guardian

Review of “controversial” Immigration Act section as Javid “admits” migrants have been deported under “terrorism rule”

“The government has agreed to stop deporting people under an immigration rule designed to tackle terrorism and those judged to be a threat to national security pending a review, after the Guardian highlighted numerous cases in which the power was being misused. The news came as the home secretary, Sajid Javid, admitted on Tuesday that at least 19 highly skilled migrants had been forced to leave the country under the rule. A review of the controversial section 322(5) of the Immigration Act was announced in a letter to the home affairs select committee. Javid said one person had been issued with a visa to return to the UK as a result of ongoing inquiries.” – Guardian

  • Meanwhile, detectives gain new powers to tackle gang members – The Times 


  • Too much emphasis has been put on money in migration decisions – Sarah O’Connor, FT

Wollaston’s committee says food industry is in “last-chance saloon”

“Chocolates and puddings should be taxed if companies do not cut sugar in their products voluntarily, MPs are to say today. The food industry needs to realise that it is in the “last-chance saloon” and a levy on sugary drinks and VAT will be broadened if sugar is not reduced in other products, the health select committee says. Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites must “take responsibility” to protect children from junk food advertising, the committee says in a report designed to stiffen the government’s spine as it prepares fresh measures on obesity.” – The Times

Finkelstein: Finding views “nauseating” is different from wanting expressing them to made be illegal

When I was at university in the early 1980s, the London School of Economics had a thriving group of supporters of Albanian communism. While most students thought them hilarious, others provided them with enough support to allow their leadership to hold office in the student union. My own reaction was different. I thought them offensive. This was not due to excessive interest in Albania. I found their attitude to the crimes of Stalin, which they denied, personally wounding. Many family and friends had suffered greatly from Stalin’s murderous repression and I took it badly when the student group’s leader told me that it was his view that the victims were all, my father included, lying. Hateful and wounding though I thought his deluded nonsense was, it never once occurred to me that the best way to proceed might be to make his pronouncements illegal.” – The Times

More Conservatives

  • Williamson interview cut short for “dodging question” – Daily Telegraph
  • James to focus on nuisance calls – The Sun
  • Foreign Office “needs more heft” – Sebastian Payne, FT



Other parties 

  • “Far-Left activists” disrupt Jowell tribute silence at constituency meeting – Daily Telegraph 
  • Don’t underestimate McDonnell’s skills – Chris Moncrieff, Belfast News Letter 
  • Lucas to stand down in autumn – Guardian
  • Robinson jailed for contempt of court – The Times

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Labour blast ID checks as “discriminatory”, then require them at their own festival

News in Brief

  • Too little, too late, in Italy – James Holland, CapX
  • Don’t forget about Erdogan – Gavin Mortimer, Spectator
  • HMRC’s “shoddy” Brexit calculations – Reaction
  • Robinson is a charlatan – James Ball, New Statesman
  • Thoughts from Seoul – E.Tammy Kim, New Yorker