‘Irate’ Gove tears up May’s customs plan…

“A deep new Cabinet split has opened up over Theresa’s May new Brexit compromises – as it also emerged Michael Gove physically tore up her customs plan. The irate Environment Secretary stunned officials by ripping a document he disliked in two at a meeting this week. The dramatic scene came as tensions around the PM’s top table spiral again ahead of a showdown at Chequers where Britain’s demands for a future EU relationship will finally be thrashed out next Friday. Downing Street are desperate to make big new offers to the EU in a bid to restart stalled Brexit talks. With the clock ticking down fast, No10 are desperate not to see Mrs May boxed into having to walk out of talks if her new blueprint is turned down.” – The Sun

  • Prime Minister avoids immigration as Cabinet struggles to unite on Brexit policy – Daily Mail
  • Disputes and dysfunction reign in a Cabinet all at sea – The Times


  • May has only herself to blame for how Brexit is going – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Getting Cabinet to agree is only the first challenge – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • There’s no time for fudging on Brexit – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail


  • Downing Street’s negotiation tactics are pitiful – The Sun


…as EU leaders criticise Davis’ ‘lack of engagement’…

“David Davis, Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator, has held only four hours of talks with his Brussels opposite number this year, according to government records. The lack of political engagement was cited by EU leaders on Friday as they rebuked the UK for slow progress on Brexit. In a joint summit statement, they insisted on “the need for intensified efforts” and warned that there had been “no substantial” advances on the vexed issue of the Irish border. Theresa May, UK prime minister, hopes to breathe new life into Brexit talks by agreeing a shift in position with her cabinet next week, but the time left for serious negotiations in Brussels is running out. In a sign of the relative stasis in recent months, Mr Davis has met Michel Barnier, the EU lead on the talks, only three times in the first half of 2018 for talks lasting a total of four hours.” – FT

  • EU leaders demand Prime Minister ‘lay her cards on the table’ – Daily Mail
  • UK hope for free trade in goods a non-starter, says Brussels – The Guardian
  • Whittingdale predicts the Eurozone will collapse – Daily Express
  • Merkel ‘saves her political skin’ with migration deal – Daily Mail


  • Focus on fixing the Irish border, EU tells UK – The Times
  • Varadkar ‘contemplating snap election’ to boost mandate – Daily Express
  • Duncan Smith tells Dublin to start acting like a ‘friend and neighbour’ – The Sun


  • Ructions betray a premier losing her authority – Bronwen Maddox, FT
  • Brussels must realise the migration crisis is pushing millions rightwards – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail

>Today: John Stevens in Comment: There is no point in stopping Brexit unless we also join the Euro

…and Momentum try to pressure Corbyn to change course on Brexit

“Momentum, the grassroots political movement that helped to sweep Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of Britain’s Labour party, is putting growing pressure on him to turn against Brexit and even push for a referendum on the final deal. At last September’s Labour conference, Momentum played a key role in preventing delegates from voting on the party’s Brexit position. But this year, by contrast, several Momentum members said it could take the opposite role and force a vote among delegates on whether there should be a “people’s vote” on the final Brexit deal. So far Mr Corbyn has been firmly ambivalent on Brexit, broadly shadowing the government’s position while calling for more protections for workers and the environment. Labour’s leadership fears that any tilt towards being anti-Brexit could cost the party the support of working-class voters in Wales, the Midlands and the North.” – FT

  • Labour leader would take inspiration from victory of Mexican left-winger – FT

Telegraph examines Government’s ‘not-so-special relationship’ with Trump

“The gathering shone a harsh light on Trump’s unpredictable, unprecedented leadership. But for British eyes, it also illuminated something else – the apparent disconnect between the US and UK leaders. For it was Prime Minister Theresa May who had spent the last three months building an international coalition against Russia after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. It was May who failed to secure face-to-face talks with the US president in Canada. And it was May who was pointedly missing from the list of world leaders with whom Trump said he rated relations as 10 out of 10, naming Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau, but not the British prime minister.” – Daily Telegraph

  • President ‘told Macron France should quit the EU’ – The Sun


  • If May ran a business she’d be fired by now – Matthew Parris, The Times

Raab calls for BT to be ‘broken up’

BT should be broken up because it’s ownership of the broadband network gives it an “unfair advantage” and is “harming consumers”, a minister has warned. Dominic Raab, the housing minister, has called for BT’s Openreach division – which owns and maintains the cables – to be set up as a separate company. He said that at present it able to “shape the network” to suit its own interests at the “expense” or rivals. He also claims that BT can prioritise repairing faults for its own customers rather over those of Sky, Vodafone and three. Mr Raab made the comments in a submission to the Government as Tory MP for Esher and Walton as part of a series of proposals to end consumer rip offs.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He also wants to hand businesses ‘rip-off ASBOs’ – The Sun

>Today: Book Reviews: The genius of Adam Smith, who knew there could be no such thing as value-free economics

Hands warns against trying to become ‘party of tax and spend’

“Mr Hands, a former chief secretary to the Treasury, is horrified to see ministers openly vying for more money after the £20 billion settlement for the NHS. “I think as we go forward it would not be in the Conservative Party’s interest to become a party of tax and spend.” Of the calls for defence spending to be increased to 3 per cent of GDP he says: “We are one of five countries in Nato that meets the 2 per cent of GDP on defence. I think that’s a good commitment and we should be persuading others to do the same. If there were to be a significant amount of extra money we would have to be clear where that money would be coming from.”” – The Times

  • Ministers urged to give 153,000 troops a proper salary rise – The Sun


  • Trump is right to be furious with Britain over defence spending – Nick Houghton, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. Seven in ten respondents believe that there will be a Conservative-led government after the next election.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey. Two in three Party members back Williamson’s push for higher defence spending.

Labour MP attacks ‘gilded staircase’ of public sector pay

“The ‘gilded staircase’ of public sector pay where officials are handed ever-growing salaries was condemned by a senior MP yesterday. Meg Hillier, who chairs the Commons public accounts committee, said it was worrying how much public money went to fat cats. In her annual report, the Labour MP highlighted the issue of head teachers at academy schools being paid more than the Prime Minister. ‘We see a worrying trend in pay escalation in some sectors – a gilded staircase where pay keeps going up because the senior people in the sector convince themselves they are worth more,’ she said… Miss Hillier also warned against ‘selling off the taxpayers’ silver’. She wrote: ‘We are seeing a worrying trend of assets being sold for a short term capital gain at the expense of lost future income and, critically, a loss of control of a taxpayer owned asset.’” – Daily Mail

  • Civil servants must be free to speak out over budgets, committee says – The Times

Khan criticised over knife crime at London debate

“Sadiq Khan faced a furious backlash from a mother who told him communities in London ‘do not feel safe’ as the capital remains in the grip of a violent crime wave. The audience member grilled the Mayor at the State of London Debate last night, telling him she cannot ‘let her son out in the streets of London’. Holding Mr Khan to account, she told him to give Londoners ‘facts rather than statistics’ about the unprecedented number of killings in London this year. The debate followed the London Knife Crime Summit organised by the Mayor on Wednesday night – the same evening the capital saw its 81st murder.” – Daily Mail

MSPs urge action on use of Scottish airports for rendition

“Ministers in Edinburgh have been urged to step up their investigations into the use of Scottish airports to support CIA rendition flights. The Scottish Greens and Labour said a damning report into the UK government’s complicity in the illegal rendition of terrorism suspects for kidnap and torture strengthened the case for action by Scottish ministers. They said Thursday’s report by the intelligence and security committee reinforced their concerns that Scottish airports were used to refuel and resupply scores of US flights taking suspects to and from foreign interrogation sites, although detainees were not on board when those flights landed in the UK. The ISC report confirmed that a Police Scotland investigation set up five years ago, after the Guardian revealed how frequently Scottish airports had been used, had still not reported back or produced any findings.” – The Guardian

  • Virgin Atlantic stops giving the Government seats for deportations – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • What’s really wrong with inequality? – Oliver Wiseman, CapX
  • EU leaders fudge on the migration crisis, again – Walter Ellis, Reaction
  • July 2018 could prove to be Theresa May’s cruellest month – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Why Daniel Hannan never “went native” in Brussels – Madsen Pirie, Brexit Central
  • In defence of the Fourth Estate – Ian Birrell, UnHerd