Tory rebels say they are trying to avoid ‘apocalyptic’ Brexit…

“Theresa May is braced for a titanic Commons battle over Brexit after furious Tory rebels warned that giving MPs control is the only way to avoid an ‘apocalyptic’ no-deal. The Prime Minister incurred the wrath of pro-EU Conservatives last night after they claimed she U-turned on private pledges about Parliament having a ‘meaningful vote’ on the outcome of talks with Brussels. Rebel ringleader Dominic Grieve said they were now ready to force the issue to a potentially explosive division in the House next week – with Mrs May’s whole Brexit strategy on the line. Government sources admitted the vote on the flagship EU Withdrawal Bill next Wednesday will be ‘incredibly tight’. Ahead of the battle returning to the Lords on Monday, Brexit Secretary David Davis wrote to peers urging them to back down and give up on their amendments.” – Daily Mail

  • How mutineers are leading Britain to ‘Brexit in name only’ – Daily Telegraph
  • No-deal compromise was ‘hijacked’, rebels claim – The Times
  • Grieve vowed not to bind May’s hands… but does just that – Daily Mail
  • May’s control rests on knife-edge vote – FT
  • Sandbach claims rebels are ‘pragmatic leavers’ – The Guardian


  • Clark sparks fury with call to stay in customs arrangements until 2025… – The Sun
  • …and Lidington angers Brexiteers with EU army comments – The Sun


  • May must win crucial vote to save both Brexit and her job – The Sun
  • What do Remain MPs really want? Time for self-reflection – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Davis fights back

…as ministers are warned that there may not be time to pass new laws

Britain could crash out of the EU without a deal if negotiation talks are not finished in October because there won’t be enough time to agree new laws, ministers fear. Senior Government figures including minister Suella Braverman held crisis talks with Commons leader Andrea Leadsom this week to thrash out a plan, amid growing fears Parliament won’t be able to enact Brexit before deadline day next March. Without the passage of the Withdrawal and Implementation Bill the UK could be forced out without a deal because there would be no legal mechanism to underpin the new agreement with the EU. Ms Leadsom is understood to have been warning ministers of the impending danger, which some believe could leave the country in “legal limbo”, for weeks but they have been focused on rows about a meaningful vote.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Remain zealots forget that our democracy is full of meaningful votes – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • How long can May kick the can down the road? – Francis Elliott, The Times
  • May must understand that Brexit will define her premiership – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • It’s now or never to secure a hard Brexit – John Longworth, Daily Telegraph


  • Why Corbyn could be the man who saves Brexit – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • Lib Dems’ Lewisham bounce should not shift Labour’s Brexit stance – Owen Jones, The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A lesson from Lewisham East?

Chope condemned for blocking ‘upskirting’ ban

“A Tory MP today blocked a bid to make ‘upskirting’ a criminal offence punishable by two years in jail despite the Government backing the reform. Sir Christopher Chope shouted ‘object’ when the draft law was raised in the Commons today, slamming the brakes on the attempt to change the law. There were cries of ‘shame’ in the Commons – including from minister Victoria Atkins – when Sir Christopher made his shock move as MPs were invited to wave the change in the law through. Prime Minister Theresa May later  expressed her ‘disappointment’ at the block, and pledged the Government would back moves to get the anti-upskirting legislation through Parliament.” – Daily Mail

  • The law must change, and one MP won’t stop us – Wera Hobhouse, The Guardian

Home Office: Javid relaxes language requirements for Tier 4 student visas…

“Tens of thousands of foreign students will be allowed to attend universities in Britain without having to prove they have the right qualifications. The Government has also scrapped rules requiring them to provide evidence they have enough funds to live here and can speak English. Home Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday simplified the process of securing so-called ‘Tier 4’ visas for students from countries it considers a ‘low risk’ of abusing the system. The measure is part of a raft of reforms unveiled by Mr Javid which relax immigration rules. At the same time, he made it easier for non-EU migrants and refugees to come to Britain to work and live. He acted a day after relaxing visa rules so thousands more foreign doctors and nurses will be able to work in Britain.” – Daily Mail

  • New rules spark confusion over Turkish visa holders – FT
  • Rule for highly-skilled workers extended to fashion designers – The Sun


  • MPs accused of making taxpayers ‘subsidise their hobbies’ with language tuition – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Thom Norman in Comment: The start-up visa is just the first step towards a sensible immigration policy

…as Hurd says that illegal cannabis oil will not be returned to patient

“A severely epileptic boy was admitted to hospital in a “life-threatening condition” last night after his cannabis oil medication was confiscated by the Home Office. Billy Caldwell, 12, was taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in west London by ambulance after suffering a severe fit following the withdrawal of his medicine. He had already been seen by doctors at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington in the early hours after his seizures worsened. They prescribed him an opiate-based medicine but by yesterday afternoon it was clear that the drug was not working when he suffered his worst fit since customs officers seized his cannabis oil on Monday… The Border Force seized the medication when the boy and his mother returned to the UK from Canada. Nick Hurd, the Home Office minister, told them it would not be returned.” – The Times

  • Home Office ‘looks at allowing’ prescription – The Guardian


>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Give people greater control of their lives… and deaths – Chapter Seven of Boles’s “Square Deal”

May under pressure to rule out NHS tax hikes

“Theresa May was last night under pressure from Brexit-backing Tory MPs to rule out tax hikes for funding extra spending on the NHS. The Prime Minister was urged to use the “Brexit dividend” cash saved from scrapping Britain’s annual EU membership fee for boosting the ailing health and social care system rather than increasing the tax burden on households.Brexitee r MPs also suggested the Government should be prepared to cancel the expected £39billion EU “divorce” fee and redirect the money to healthcare in response to the lack of cooperation from Brussels in the withdrawal negotiations. Fresh Tory concerns about the Government’s NHS spending plans emerged yesterday following unconfirmed reports that the Prime Minister is poised to unveil a £4billion hike in health spending to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS next month.” – Daily Express

  • Treasury casts doubt on new NHS spending pledge – FT

Williamson in row over cost of Queen’s Flight…

“A planned upgrade to the fleet of aircraft used to ferry the royal family and government ministers around Europe has been has been delayed in a Whitehall row over the bill. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, is refusing to authorise the £10 million upgrade to planes used by 32 Squadron, also known as the Queen’s Flight. A more expensive option is to buy a new fleet of aircraft. The defence secretary is understood to be querying why cash earmarked for the armed forces should be spent to transport senior ministers. Instead Mr Williamson believes that the Cabinet Office should pick up the bill. Boris Johnson complained this month about the fleet of four BAe 146 airliners used for short-haul ministerial travel when he called for a new Brexit plane to facilitate efforts to sell “Global Britain”. The Queen and other members of the royal family also use the aircraft. He said after almost four decades in service the 30-seater planes were reaching the end of their working life.” – The Times

  • Tory infighting means nothing to voters – Matthew Parris, The Times

…and another with Bradley over amnesty for Ulster veterans

“The Northern Ireland Secretary is using European human rights laws to block calls to stop a witch-hunt into British veterans, The Sun can reveal. Karen Bradley has slapped down a plea from the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to back a backbench bill granting an amnesty for our boys who served in the Troubles. The close-ally of Theresa May said it would fall foul of the European Convention on Human Rights to give an amnesty to one side only… Tory backbencher Richard Benyon – who served in Northern Ireland – tabled a private members bill demanding no serviceman can be prosecuted 10 years after combat. And there has been outrage that IRA killers are not being pursued in a similar fashion.” – The Sun

  • Sinn Fein leader launches fresh attack on DUP’s pact with the Tories – Belfast Telegraph


  • The mistreatment of ex-servicemen must stop now – Leo Docherty MP, Daily Express

Pressure mounts on Labour over rape investigation

“Labour is under mounting pressure to publish the findings of an investigation into sexual harassment in the party amid concerns of a cover-up. The probe began last November after activist Bex Bailey said she had been raped at a party event in 2011 aged 19 but told to keep quiet by a senior figure because it could damage her career. The review, which also looked at how Labour deals with other such complaints, was carried out by top QC Karon Monaghan and handed to party chiefs two weeks ago. But while Miss Bailey, a former member of Labour’s ruling national executive committee, has been allowed to see sections of the report, there are no plans to publish it. Instead, the findings will now feed into another inquiry into sexual harassment being carried out by Labour’s new in-house QC, Gordon Nardell. But it has also emerged that Mr Nardell, who has been appointed to advise on disciplinary cases, has ties to figures caught up in the party’s anti-Semitism scandal.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour chiefs won’t see inquiry review – The Times
  • MPs call for hard-left lawyer to be sacked – The Sun

Opposition attack Government over delays to gambling curbs

“Labour has accused the government of being “fundamentally weak” after ministers bowed to pressure from bookmakers and agreed to a two-year delay before slashing the maximum stake on controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). The maximum stake on the machines will still be cut from £100 to £2 but the change will not take effect until 2020, under the terms of a deal with the Treasury. Gamblers will lose an extra £4bn in the intervening period, based on the average £1.8bn a year in revenues taken by the machines, which critics say are highly addictive and allow huge losses to rack up quickly. Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson said: “Capitulating to a two-year delay is a pathetic move from a fundamentally weak government.” – The Guardian

Corbyn’s union allies make last-ditch bid to save LabourLive…

“Jeremy Corbyn and his allies are making a desperate last-ditch bid to salvage the troubled ‘Labour Live’ festival today amid fears the party could lose hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Glastonbury-style event in London tomorrow was supposed to be a money-spinner, but has turned into a nightmare after tickets failed to sell at the original £35 price. The line up, including the Magic Numbers and Reverend and the Makers alongside a speech by Mr Corbyn himself, was mocked as too weak to attract a big crowd. The price of the tickets has now been dropped to £10 – much to the irritation of some activists who had paid full price. Unite, run by Mr Corbyn’s close ally Len McCluskey, has been offering them free to members. Bizarrely, the union is also providing an ice cream van to help out with refreshments.” – Daily Mail

  • A fitting tribute to the dear leader – Michael Deacon’s sketch, Daily Telegraph

…as one of his loyal MPs helps ‘spread Venezuelan propaganda’

“Top Corbynistas have been accused of helping to prop up a murderous dictator who’s killed dozens of student protesters. The far-left government of Nicaragua has been dubbed the new Venezuela after president Daniel Ortega resorted to violence to stay in power. But leading allies of Jeremy Corbyn have palled up with the regime despite the bloodshed which has seen 150 people killed. MP Chris Williamson recently went to an event with the country’s ambassador and pledged “support” for the government. The event was also attended by Ken Livingstone, who quit Labour after he was embroiled in the anti-Semitism scandal. One Nicaragua-based journalist blasted Mr Williamson, asking: “Do you realise you’re disseminating the propaganda the Ortega government is using to justify killing 120 protesters?”” – The Sun

Brown warns that independent Scotland would face ‘austerity until doomsday’

Gordon Brown has said an independent Scotland would face “austerity until doomsday” after an impartial analysis of the SNP’s new economic blueprint warned of 18 years of spending restrictions. The former Prime Minister said a new report by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed that spending on public services like the NHS would rise more slowly under the SNP’s Growth Commission plans. The IFS said a further eight years of austerity could be required to get a separate Scotland’s deficit down to a sustainable level, on top of the decade suggested by the commission. David Phillips, the economic think tank’s associate director, said this 18-year period was based on the commission’s assumption that Scotland’s economic growth would increase to 1.5 per cent per year.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Walkout a crucial point in the independence trench war – John McLellan, The Scotsman
  • Like Tom Cruise, the SNP is small and too reliant on stunts – Matt Chorley, The Times

News in Brief:

  • The Tories only have themselves to blame for the ‘upskirting’ row – Isabel Hardman, The Spectator
  • Britain heading for softest Brexit or a last minute no deal crunch – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Lewisham East: The start of a Lib Dem fightback? – Matt Singh, CapX
  • How a clean-break Brexit could boost the economy and Treasury coffers – David B Smith, Brexit Central