Brexit 1) May’s Customs Partnership will ‘please no-one’, Cabinet Minister tells ConservativeHome

‘Theresa May’s proposal for a customs partnership is a “broken compromise” that risks “pleasing no one”, a Cabinet source has warned as they claimed that Downing Street may have got its numbers wrong on support for remaining in the customs union. An unnamed Cabinet minister has claimed that the Government’s fears over support for a customs union has forced Mrs May and her team to draft proposals that they believe MPs can be persuaded to vote for. However, the source argues that support for a customs union has been overstated, and that Mrs May should instead focus her efforts on a light touch arrangement, such as the maximum-facilitation (max-fac) proposal…Mrs May has now been forced to return to the drawing board, and is currently developing the options to make them more palatable to her ministers. However, speaking to the website Conservative Home, a Cabinet source has claimed that Mrs May should abandon the customs partnership altogether.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Downing Street still won’t take the partnership idea off the table – Daily Mail
  • Grieve suggests the Foreign Secretary should resign – City AM
  • The Prime Minister decline to rebuke him for his latest outburst – The Times
  • She must lead – and that means facing down the Europhiles – The Sun Says
  • The clock is ticking – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Some fear she might try to bypass the Brexit sub-committee – Daily Telegraph
  • Cabinet Brexiteers worry Williamson may ‘rat’ on them – The Sun
  • Fox to reveal Dubai deal – The Sun
  • Hammond grants DIT £10 million extra funding – FT


>Today: ToryDiary: The consequences of Customs Union indecision. How Britain could end up with EEA-lite – formally or informally.


Brexit 2) Lords defy May and Corbyn to vote to stay in the Single Market

‘The House of Lords voted to keep Britain in the single market last night, causing headaches for both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. The government was defeated on an amendment that would have forced Britain to remain a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) by 247 votes to 218, with rebels from both parties. Mr Corbyn had ordered his peers to abstain but 83 ignored him and 17 Tories abstained to deliver one of four defeats last night on the government’s Brexit legislation, amid signs of growing discord in the Lords. Ministers must now decide whether to undo 14 amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill when the legislation returns to the Commons.’ – The Times

Brexit 3) Trimble: Stop this baseless scaremongering about peace in Northern Ireland

‘In recent months senior politicians — some of whom were partners in the peace process — have sought to spread fear about a return to violence. They have warned about a breakdown in community relations and talked-up threats to the Good Friday agreement. Yet, as a new paper published today by Policy Exchange shows, those seeking to alter the position of the democratically elected UK government in delivering the result of the Brexit referendum with such scare tactics cannot appreciate the strength of peace — nor the facts of how a modern border can operate.The reality is that even Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams and the moderate nationalist SDLP have said that Brexit will not result in a return to violence. What is more, fears over a hard border are only as strong as the refusal of those who do not engage with a workable technological solution. As highlighted by Policy Exchange, studies have shown how technology, pre-customs clearing and mutual standards recognition can be deployed to avoid physical barriers at the border. It is sad then that some have sought to disregard the facts for the sake of temporary political advantage…’ – David Trimble, The Times

  • Policy Exchange report finds that light-touch border solutions can work – City AM
  • The Government explores further responses to Brussels’ hardline on Galileo – The Times
  • The EU splashes millions on propaganda campaign targeting the young – The Sun

May, Macron and Merkel ‘regret’ Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran deal

‘Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement issued on behalf of the three nations ‘it is with regret and concern that we … take note of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States of America from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.’ But EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini potentially put Europe on a collision course with the US by suggesting the European Union is determined to save the agreement, declaring ‘together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal.’ Mogherini said the accord ‘is delivering on its goal which is guaranteeing that Iran doesn’t develop nuclear weapons,’ before making a direct appeal to the Iranian leader to stick to the 2015 agreement. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meanwhile said his country will remain in the deal, and will instead trade with the other countries which signed it. Although, crucially, it remains unclear whether the US would choose to impose sanctions on countries, or foreign companies who take up Rouhani’s offer.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Daniel Kawczynski on Comment: We must back Trump’s withdrawal of support from the Iran deal

>Yesterday: WATCH: Trump announces that America will withdraw from the Iran deal

Mercer’s fury over potential retreat from pledge to protect British soldiers from ‘witch hunt’

‘Ministers are facing a furious backlash today after it emerged British soldiers who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles might not be protected from prosecution. Tory MPs condemned the government for ‘losing its moral compass’ amid signs proposals being published soon will not include an amnesty. Thousands were killed or injured during 30 years of violence, most by paramilitaries but some at the hands of security forces. Senior MPs had urged a statute of limitation which would prevent anyone from facing trial for offences that happened during the conflict, including former servicemen and paramilitaries…Tory MP Johnny Mercer told MailOnline the PM must now step in and ‘do the right thing’. ‘I never thought I’d see the day when my Government would stand aside and watch pensioner veterans being dragged to court for claimed-offences for which they have already been investigated, often over forty years ago, at the behest of the very people they were fighting on behalf of the crown. It’s insane.” – Daily Mail

  • Four Cabinet ministers oppose Bradley’s plan – The Times
  • Former special forces director to become new head of the Army – The Times

McDonagh: The Green Belt is a con, and we must build on it

‘Like most people, I always thought the Green Belt was a good thing. I imagined it as rolling fields of green and open land until I took a closer look Over the Bank Holiday weekend, I decided to find out for myself just how green London’s ‘Green Belt’ really is. My first stop was a large waste plant in west London, surrounded by 20 feet of rubble. Hardly rolling fields… I then headed north to Ealing, where there are 2,309 families currently trapped in temporary accommodation. I could barely believe my eyes when I found inaccessible scrubland surrounded by chain-link fencing. In whose interest is this designated as ‘Green Belt’ land? My frustration grew.’ – Siobhain McDonagh, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Handouts to 25-year-olds won’t solve the housing crisis, still less the wider issue of generational unfairness

Watson and Miliband’s attack on the free press would take us ‘back to the Dark Ages’

‘Labour’s plans to muzzle the press would return Britain to the legal Dark Ages and make it easier for wealthy people to suppress negative stories, according to a senior lawyer who represented phone-hacking victims. Mark Stephens, an expert in media law, warns in a letter to The Times today that a “small and affluent privacy lobby” is trying to hijack data protection legislation to impose tighter regulation on newspapers. MPs will vote today on two opposition amendments to the Data Protection Bill that opponents say pose a chilling threat to media freedom. The outcome is thought to be on a knife-edge. The proposals will impose costs sanctions on newspapers that refuse on principle to join a state-recognised press regulator, and force ministers to establish a new Leveson-style inquiry into the media. Yesterday, Theresa May urged MPs not to back the measures, warning that Labour’s plans would “undermine our free press”.’ – The Times


  • A threat to freedom with no public interest case to support it – The Times Leader
  • The Government is right to oppose these dire amendments – The Sun Says

Elliott: The search for the next Tory candidate for London Mayor should start now

‘Conservative losses were largely confined to London, which is why Brandon Lewis and his team will be paying particular attention to the capital in their post-match analysis. After all, the route to a comfortable parliamentary majority for the party requires a strong performance in London, so they can’t and won’t it write off…But despite successfully fighting off Labour in Barnet, Wandsworth, and Westminster, the Conservatives can’t afford to be complacent. I expect that those in Conservative HQ this week will now be looking ahead to the 2020 London mayoral election. And whereas many quality candidates previously saw the race as a Red London bloodbath to be avoided, some will now be quietly weighing up their chances…there is now a slim path to victory for next Conservative mayoral candidate. The Tories should now capitalise on the momentum from the local elections by selecting their candidate, finding someone who can provide a focal point for London Conservatives.’ – Matthew Elliott, City AM

>Today: Local Government: How Barnet was won

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

Labour’s promise to tax the rich more proves popular

‘British voters back higher taxes on top earners by an overwhelming 5:1 ratio, according to a new survey for the Financial Times looking at Labour’s business policies. The survey of 2,044 people by Britain Thinks found that 55 per cent backed higher taxes on people earning over £70,000 a year, with only 9 per cent opposing the policy. Labour’s manifesto proposed higher taxes on 1.5m high earners on salaries of over £80,000 – including a 5 per cent charge on earnings over £500,000. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, has been criticised for his 1970s-style agenda of increasing taxes and taking energy, water, rail and post back into state control. But the poll found that plans to increase taxes on companies, strengthen workers rights, crack down on executive pay and nationalise the utilities were all very popular.’ – FT

Shadow work and pensions secretary sacked over bullying allegations

‘One of Jeremy Corbyn’s most senior frontbenchers was sacked from Labour’s shadow Cabinet last night after an investigation into workplace bullying. Debbie Abrahams was removed as shadow work and pensions secretary after a number of complaints about her behaviour, understood to have been supported by several witnesses. But the Oldham East and Saddleworth MP strongly denied the allegations and criticised the investigation. Miss Abrahams, 57, said: ‘I strongly refute the allegations of bullying made against me. I believe the investigation was not thorough, fair or independent…the MP said at the time she had not agreed to stand aside as shadow work and pensions secretary, and claimed she had been a victim of a ‘bullying culture of the worst kind’.’ – Daily Mail

  • Heidi Alexander quits Parliament to work for Khan at City Hall – The Times
  • New Haringey Labour leader rejected racism definition – The Times
  • Jewish Labour Movement barred from meeting on anti-semitism – The Sun
  • Vaz wrote character reference for Wadsworth – The Sun
  • Oxford academics’ snub to May – Daily Mail
  • No Windrush arrivals forced out of the UK – The Times

Pressure grows on Bercow as Miller expresses concern

‘The pressure on John Bercow grew last night after a select committee chairwoman called on the clerk of the House of Commons to intervene in the dispute over the Speaker’s behaviour. Maria Miller, who leads the women and equalities select committee, revealed that she had written to David Natzler to request an update about the process that Mr Bercow would face in response to bullying allegations made against him. The Conservative MP first asked the Speaker to make a personal statement responding to the claims last Wednesday. Using a point of order in the House, Ms Miller also raised the issue of clauses being used in settlement agreements which served to silence former employees from speaking out about potential wrongdoing.’ – The Times

  • Bridgen accuses the Speaker of using Grenfell memorial event to canvass for support – The Sun

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