Brexit 1) Withdrawal Bill returns to the Lords today

“…The ping-pong process of the withdrawal bill between the two houses of parliament returns to the Lords on Monday, when peers are expected to reject the amendment drafted by May and her team, and insert one modelled more closely on Grieve’s idea. On Wednesday, the amendments will return again to the Commons, where May faces the possibility of defeat over a meaningful vote. A series of Conservative rebels pulled back from voting against the government last week after the PM promised to listen to their concerns, but then said they felt let down by the eventual government amendment produced on Thursday. Grieve said: “I can’t save the government from getting into a situation where parliament might disagree with it.” – Guardian

  • Field to propose bill calling for upper house to be replaced by “partly-elected senate – Daily Express 

Brexit 2) May is now “set on Commons collision course with Tory Remainers”

“Theresa May is this week set on a Commons collision course with Tory Remainers as a leading rebel suggested they could “collapse the Government”. The House of Lords today again debates the UK Government’s flagship EU Withdrawal Bill with the Prime Minister is preparing for its return to the Commons on Wednesday, when she will hope to win what is expected to be a knife-edge vote. There have even been suggestions she has held private talks with Labour MPs on the subject. Her working majority is just 13.” – Herald

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: May – “Parliament cannot and should not overturn the will of the British people”

Brexit 3) Grieve says the rebels could “collapse the government”

“Conservative rebels could “collapse the government”, Dominic Grieve, the former attorney-general, has said. Mr Grieve, a Conservative MP, said that pro-Europe Tories did not intend to back down over how much say the Commons had over Brexit. Speaking on BBC One’s Sunday Politics, he said: “I wake up at 2am in a cold sweat thinking about the problems that we have put on our shoulders. The difficulty is that the Brexit process is inherently risky.” Arguments over a so-called “meaningful vote” for MPs are set to dominate the Commons again this week as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill returns from the Lords.” – The Times

  • And that they won’t give up on plans for “fresh push” this week – Daily Mail 


Brexit 4) Ridley: I’m “infuriated” by what Grieve and Hailsham are up to

“Dominic Grieve, MP, and Viscount Hailsham are clever barristers both, and agreeable company. I was at Oxford with one, sit in the Lords with the other, and count them as friends. But what they are up to infuriates me. Their amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill — for it is a joint effort — is a masterpiece of ingenuity and subterfuge, and it has nearly succeeded in wrecking Brexit altogether, which was undoubtedly its purpose all along. Tonight in the Lords comes the latest and probably not the last battle. Before the 2017 election Mr Grieve said he did not want to “fetter the government’s hands in negotiations, or indeed the government’s right to walk away from the negotiations”. Like many at that time he wanted to get the best possible deal in the softest possible Brexit. What changed?” – The Times

  • Why I quit – Phillip Lee, Daily Telegraph
  • May shouldn’t have “double crossed” Grieve – Andrew Adonis, Guardian
  • Will Grieve be “pushed out”? – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

Brexit 5) Will Britain be making “further concessions” over role of ECJ?

“Britain could be forced to make further concessions within weeks over the role that the European Court of Justice will play regarding the Northern Ireland “backstop” proposal after Brexit. Theresa May wants to secure as much agreement as possible on the EU-UK withdrawal treaty, and may be forced to compromise further on another one of her red lines to make progress. The withdrawal treaty covers EU citizens’ rights, the £40 billion “divorce bill”, the transition agreement and the backstop — or insurance — arrangements for Northern Ireland to prevent a hard border. Britain has already agreed a role for the ECJ on residency rights until 2029 while The Times revealed this month that disputes over the divorce bill will be decided by the court.” – The Times

Meanwhile, in midst of coalition crisis, Merkel is “urgently trying to hold emergency talks” with other EU leaders

“Angela Merkel is seeking emergency talks with EU leaders as her Government is teetering on the verge of collapse in a row about immigration. Her Coalition partners the Christian Social Union (CSU) are threatening to defy the German Chancellor and unilaterally expel migrants who have been registered in other European countries from the country tomorrow. The move would deal a hammer blow to Mrs Merkel’s leadership that could see her 13-year rule of Germany come to an abrupt end. With Berlin in the grip of crisis, Mrs Merkel is urgently trying to hold talks with other major European powers to try to broker a deal. The German leader wants European powers to work together to try to tackle the migrant crisis which has stoked massive hostility among many countries.” – Daily Mail

  • Her German coalition partners “hint” at compromise – The Times


  • Her “political future hangs in the balance” – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • Migration issues will tear the EU apart – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Damaged by last year’s election. Playing for time. Grappling with revolts – and resignation threats. We refer, of course, to Merkel.

More Brexit 

  • Freeman says leaving EU will free Britain from “regulatory hostility” to biotech – Daily Express
  • New study suggests free ports could add £9bn to post-Brexit economy – Daily Telegraph
  • DUP MP responds to McDonald’s criticism of Tories by saying SF are the fantasists – Belfast News Letter
  • Mundell criticises SNP’s approach and says it’s time to “move on” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: James Palmer in Local Government: Cambridgeshire is well placed to benefit from the broader international trade that Brexit will offer

May clarifies that the NHS will get an extra £384m per week after Brexit…

“Theresa May has agreed to pour an additional £384 million per week into the NHS after Brexit – exceeding the amount mooted by the official Leave campaign and effectively locking the UK into leaving the EU. The boost for the health service, which the Prime Minister will formally set out in a speech on Monday, is intended to mark the 70th anniversary of its creation, partly by drawing on the “Brexit dividend” that will arise from the country ceasing payments to the EU. Mrs May said on Sunday the funding would also come from the nation “contributing a bit more” as she signalled taxes are likely to rise to meet the pledge.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Ashworth says Labour would match this – Daily Mail
  • Scotland will get £2bn to England’s overall £20bn – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: May – “In 2023-24…there will be about £600m a week, in cash, more going into the NHS”

…but ministers “were unable to agree” on sources of funding for spending increase

“Theresa May is facing a black hole in her £25 billion plan to fund the NHS after ministers were unable to agree all of the sources of revenue before the announcement. The government has yet to confirm a plan for finding up to £11 billion of the money promised yesterday, with the prime minister making clear that tax rises are on the way in the autumn budget. She said on LBC Radio that “we as a country will contribute a bit more” while government officials told The Times: “We’re going to have to have a conversation about tax.” Mrs May announced yesterday that by 2023, the budget for NHS England will rise by £20 billion a year compared with today’s figure.”

  • There has been much scepticism about idea it could be paid for from Brexit “windfall” – Guardian
  • Tory MPs fear tax and borrowing increases – FT
  • Meanwhile, select committee calls for extra £17bn a year for defence – The Times


  • It is “not a Brexit dividend” – The Times
  • It’s overdue – FT


  • This shows how leaving the EU means we “can spend on our own priorities” – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
  • May has “failed” the NHS – Jonathan Ashworth, The Times

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Ashworth – “We know what [May] is really talking about is increasing borrowing and increasing taxation”

>Today: James Price in Comment: More borrowing and higher taxes are not the only – or even the best – way to free up more money for the NHS.

Javid to crack down on gang videos with new £1.4m specialist unit

“A crackdown on online gang videos promoting violence has been launched by Home Secretary Sajid Javid. He is setting up a £1.4million specialist unit to find and remove gang-related content from the internet. Police warn that sites such as YouTube and Facebook are abused by gangs to goad rivals, leading to bloodshed. In September, a gang video on Google was linked to the killing of Corey Junior Davis, 14, in East London. The Home Office’s Serious Violence Strategy, published in April, said photo and video-sharing sites were used to ‘glamorisie gang or drug-selling life, taunt rivals and normalise weapons carrying’.” – Daily Mail

Could the social care cap make a comeback?

“Plans to reform social care will be the next major health policy battleground, with Whitehall officials now examining plans to revive the idea of a social care costs cap. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, will make clear on Monday in a speech that budgets for social care and the National Health Service will be set out in the Autumn’s departmental spending review. The Treasury is hoping that, having signed off £20billion for the NHS over five years, it will be possible for find ways to reform social care without having to spend billions of pounds. The Local Government Association warned late last year that adult social care faced an annual funding gap of about £2.3billion by 2020.” – Daily Telegraph

Ministers to launch £20m research fund for alternatives to plastic packaging

“Ministers will today launch a £20million research fund to create environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging. Researchers will work with manufacturers, retailers and councils to come up with innovative new ways to tackle harmful plastic waste. Examples of projects that could get funding include designing recyclable coffee cups, finding ways for supermarkets to wrap meat and fish without using plastic, and creating non-plastic disposable fizzy drinks bottles. Science minister Sam Gyimah said: ‘There’s been incredible progress in making people aware of the danger that plastic can do to our environment and our oceans.” – Daily Mail

More Conservatives

  • Lord Bourne speaks about new annual Windrush Day – Guardian
  • Chope says he isn’t a “dinosaur” – Daily Express

>Today: Nicky Morgan’s column: Chope’s upskirting ban veto, and no-deal hard Brexiteers – fellow travellers in the campaign to wreck modernisation

Leslie: Here’s how to win over centrist voters

“…The centre may not have the placards, chants, Twitter storms and ideological fervour of the hard left, but it is an important part of our political spectrum which should stop apologising for its pursuit of sensibleness, be confident in its identity and speak up….Populism may be making in-roads across Europe but it hasn’t yet convinced Britain. So now is the time to speak out. My contribution to that is Centre Ground, published today with the Social Market Foundation. I see six values of the British mainstream: fair play, responsibility, evidence not ideology, opportunity, parliamentary democracy and a relentless focus on the future — and set out how these values are distinct and can translate into reality.” – The Times

More Labour

  • MPs’ staff were “asked to work for free” at Labour Live – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Where will Hammond find £20bn? – Stephen Bush, New Statesman
  • On Chope’s claims of victimhood – Steerpike, Spectator
  • We need free ports in the North! – Ben Houchen, FREER
  • Will the Dutch get the real Brexit dividend? – Stefano Hatfield, The i
  • Do soldiers need ethics training? – Andy Owen, Aeon