Blue on Blue 1) May and Davis at odds over Brexit. He wants action now, she stalls for delay.

“When David Davis met Theresa May on Wednesday it might have been a metaphor for the state of the entire Brexit process. The Brexit secretary told the prime minister that he wanted to publish the government’s white paper, spelling out its vision for a final deal with Brussels, by June 14. “We can do this,” Davis said. May’s response, according to a source briefed on the exchange, was: “How about after the June council?” That is the next Brussels summit on June 28, when Britain is expected to unveil its most detailed Brexit plan yet.”

Other story highlights:

  • May no longer thinks no deal is better than a bad deal (if she ever did).
  • Davis will “never agree” to customs partnership plan, has had “heated exchanges” with Fox.
  • June 14 expected to be crunch day for EU Withdrawal Bill votes.
  • Commons Remainers mulling new tactics.
  • Labour mulling “Norway-like deal but with opt-outs”.
  • Will the June summit be a car-crash?

– Tim Shipman, Sunday Times

Blue on Blue 2) Patel says the Conservatives are spurning the Thatcher heritage, and lays into May and Hammond over Brexit

“Meritocracy, political and economic freedom, those should be the DNA of the Conservative party. Quite frankly, I don’t see much of that going on right now.” The Essex MP said debt was “still far too high”, adding: “Debt is 85% of GDP … I think that’s embarrassing as Conservatives in government that it is at that level. Why are we saddling a new generation, a younger generation with debt? That is not a Conservative thing to do….Asked whether it was problematic that the two most senior members of the Government – Theresa May and Philip Hammond – were Remain voters and “can’t bring themselves to say it’s a good idea”, Ms Patel said: “I have to say, originally I thought it wasn’t. But I think it’s fair to say that there’s something in that. There is absolutely something in that.” – Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday: Matt Smith on Comment – Tories must re-engage in the battle of ideas on campus

Blue on Blue 3). Government Minister attacks “real horrible hard Brexit”. Green attacks Rees-Mogg. Morgan attacks ERG. Rees-Mogg attacks Remainers.

“Remainer Mr Harrington said his ministerial portfolio, which includes the auto and aerospace industries, had convinced him of the need for the UK to secure a ‘very sensible Brexit’. He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I am against a real horrible hard Brexit. My portfolio… shows it would be madness to have a hard Brexit and that’s my view’…Taking aim at Mr Rees-Mogg, [Green] writes: ‘One very damaging and misguided line of argument is that Britain is all-powerful in these negotiations, so the mere threat of our walking away will bring the Europeans promptly to heel… I am afraid that even my friend, the intelligent and energetic Jacob Rees-Mogg… occasionally lapses in this way.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Arch-Brexiteers and die-hard Remainers must both face reality [but only Rees-Mogg is named] – Damian Green, Mail on Sunday
  • Sturgeon also attacks Rees-Mogg. Plus Johnson. Plus Gove – Sunday Express
  • Three scenarios drawn up for No Deal Brexit: mild, severe and “Doomsday” – Sunday Times
  • Dutch preparations, Danish fears – Sunday Express
  • Remainers “could hold the key to 86 of the party’s seats” – Observer
  • Election watchdog rebuked for £829,000 budget for European elections – Sunday Telegraph
  • Tory donor: ditch May, draft Gove – Observer
  • Six out of ten voters say she should quit after Brexit Day – Sun on Sunday
  • May and Corbyn, old-fashioned politicians both – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • Zombie May goes on and on and on – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer

Liam Fox: Brexit will power Britain’s prosperity and it’s already working with 600,000 new jobs

“Last year we landed more inward investment projects than ever before, a vote of confidence from the international financial community. We were told we would face an employment crisis. What happened? Employment is up by 600,000 since before the referendum to 32.34million, with record numbers in work. Our manufacturing order books are at their highest for years and our exports have risen by about ten per cent in the past year. Remember how jobs would flood out of the City of London to Paris and Frankfurt? What happened? Last year saw more venture capital on tech, including financial technology, coming to London than all of Germany, France, Spain and Ireland combined.” – Sun on Sunday

  • The EU’s attack on the City of London is self-destructive – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
  • Remainers still don’t get it – Tony Parsons, Sun on Sunday
  • International Trade Secretary urges calm to avoid a full-scale trade war – Sunday Times

> Today: ToryDiary – Our survey. Almost two-thirds of Tory members don’t have confidence in the Government’s handling of Brexit.

Javid poised to announce updated counter-terror strategy

“Security forces have foiled 12 plots in the last year – plus a further four from the growing menace of right-wing extremism. And they believe the danger could increase even further in the coming months.
The alert was raised as the Government prepares to unveil a strengthened counter-terrorism strategy this week. Home Secretary Sajid Javid has reviewed powers after five attacks last year and will tomorrow announce a range of steps to stop further atrocities. Security agencies are also confronting a rising risk from extreme right-wing violence as the potential sources of attacks becomes more diverse.” – Sun on Sunday

Hinds to schools: Stop using expensive teacher recruitment agencies

“Announcing the new supplier scheme, Mr Hinds said: “Great schools are made by great teachers, so I want to reduce teacher workload to make it a more fulfilling profession and help schools bear down on costs so they can invest more on their frontline. Every pound that’s spent on excessive agency fees, or on advertising jobs, is a pound that I want to help schools spend on what really matters: making sure every child, whatever their background, is inspired to learn and to reach their potential. We have the most talented generation of teachers yet, and there are record numbers working in our schools. These measures will help us to build on this, making it easier for headteachers to recruit the staff they need and ensuring teaching continues to be an attractive, rewarding profession.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Teacher recruitment agencies face fees crackdown – BBC
  • Tenth of school staff suffer in ‘epidemic of abuse’ by pupils – Observer
  • Schools with 20 per cent or more pupils from poor backgrounds see lower attainment for all children – Sunday Telegraph

Johnson to be given “licence to rebel” over Heathrow

“Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is expected this week to set out the noise, air quality and cost requirements of the project, before paving the way for a Commons vote by the end of June. A two-mile runway is planned northwest of the existing airport, allowing an additional 260,000 flights a year by late 2025. The Foreign Secretary – who once said he was prepared to lie down ‘in front of bulldozers’ to stop the airport’s expansion – has not changed his view that a third runway would be a ‘disaster’ and ‘barbarically contemptuous of the rights of the population’ by putting their health at risk.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Grayling will warn: Heathrow or bust – Sun on Sunday
  • Conservative Mayoral speculation: Greening, Bailey, Kamall, Ranger named – Sunday Times
  • Davidson or Javid: next Tory leader? – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times

Is the DUP ready to vote for Tory-friendly English boundary changes?

“The Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 MPs hold the parliamentary balance of power, signalled that it was reversing its opposition to constituency boundary changes that would, if in place last year, have delivered Theresa May a small majority. The changes, stalled since 2013, would reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and ensure all seats, except a handful of islands, would contain between 71,000 and 78,000 voters. That would help the Tories, because Labour seats tend to be smaller, meaning more would be merged as the number of MPs was reduced.” – Sunday Times

  • Cross-party group plans Northern Ireland Commons vote (but Wollaston is the only Conservative named)… – Observer
  • …But SNP and Tories would block any move – Sunday Telegraph
  • Abortion treats one minority as less than human: who’s next? – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

McDonnell anti-semitism kerfuffle

“The shadow chancellor is president of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), which has posted a statement on its website declaring that Ken Livingstone, the former London Mayor, was the victim of a “witch hunt” and that the controversial comments over which he resigned, were “not remotely antisemitic.” In May Mr McDonnell pledged to “call out” hard-left websites propagating anti-Semitism. The Telegraph’s disclosures prompted calls by Labour MPs for him to resign from the group.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Tories-Muslims latest – Observer
  • Corbyn told Lush Boss they are both on police lists: “I’m sure you are and I’m sure I am too.” – Sun on Sunday

The League and Five Star: will their government last?

“The League is totally different from M5S,” said Giulio Sapelli, an economics professor who taught Salvini at the University of Milan. “You never know what they [M5S] are thinking or going to do. For example, this calling for Mattarella to be impeached was crazy.” Sapelli, a eurosceptic who was among those mooted as a potential premier for the coalition, also pointed to the League’s history in government and experience in administering two of Italy’s richest regions – Lombardy and Veneto. Meanwhile, haphazard management has seen M5S lose support in the two biggest cities it runs, Rome and Turin. “It’s very hard to know how long [this government] will last,” added Sapelli. “The League is the only classic ‘rank and file’ party left; M5S is a movement with a weird leadership.” – Observer

News in Brief

  • Sanchez sworn in as Spain’s president – Observer
  • Aitken to be prison chaplain – Sunday Times
  • Why are we threatening to prosecute former members of the Armed Forces? – Sunday Express
  • Police to quiz Thorpe’s hitman – Mail on Sunday
  • Holden developed vetting file leaked to prosecution – Sunday Times
  • Female MPs given a dedicated security officer to protect them from threats and abuse – Sunday Telegraph
  • Disabled people “shut out of Parliament” – Independent
  • Adam Smith Institute says cut pension triple lock to help fund social care – Sunday Times
  • America ‘trying to bypass sanctions’ to meet Kim Jong – Sun on Sunday
  • The penny has dropped in Holyrood as dismal economic figures released – Bill Jamieson, Scotland on Sunday