May wins ‘meaningful vote’ battle after rebels back down…

“Theresa May won the crucial Brexit Bill vote in the Commons tonight after Tory rebels dramatically backed down. The Government won 319 to 303 to defeat a potentially explosive amendment that would have allowed the Commons to overrule the PM on a no deal Brexit. The victory came after rebel ringleader Dominic Grieve effectively caved in following hours of frantic negotiations with ministers. Mr Grieve was ridiculed as the new ‘Grand Old Duke of York’ after he gave up his rebellion with no major new concession – even admitting to shouts of ‘shame’ Mrs May had conceded nothing new today… Mr Grieve – who has admitted in recent days he had lost sleep over the risk of collapsing the Government – called off his rebellion after accepting promises Parliament would get a proper say, whether there is a deal or not.” – Daily Mail

  • Lee complains that whips employed ‘dark arts’ to pass bill – Daily Telegraph
  • Vote means no-deal Brexit is ‘back on the table’ – Daily Express
  • Sick MPs wheeled into the Chamber to vote in person – The Times
  • Politicians ‘discussing possibility’ of delaying departure – The Sun


  • The Brexit dividend and other myths – Chris Giles, FT
  • Both sides emerged as winners… and losers – Henry Zeffman, The Times
  • Zombie Government still on life support – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun




…as Javid urges Brussels to ‘speed up’ plans for British expats…

“The home secretary has demanded that the EU provide detailed information on arrangements for Britons living in its member states after Brexit. Sajid Javid accused the EU of failing to match progress made in Britain to plan for the registration and settlement of about 3.2 million EU citizens living in the UK. The Home Office will outline details of a proposed settlement scheme for EU citizens today including how much they will have to pay and the information they will need to provide to secure their status… In a meeting with Mr Javid this week, Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, acknowledged that the EU’s 27 member states had not done enough to set out what the procedures would be for expat Britons living across the EU, according to the Home Office.” – The Times

  • EU nationals ‘to be charged to stay in the country’ – The Sun
  • Nokes accused of misleading Commons over immigration rule – FT


  • Brexit not ‘Trojan horse’ for united Ireland, says Sinn Fein leader – Belfast Telegraph


  • Brussels is relishing this rolling chaos – Iain Martin, The Times

…and Hammond plans for ‘global financial partnerships’

“Philip Hammond will set out a strategy on Thursday for securing new “global financial partnerships” with other countries after Britain leaves the EU. In an annual address at Mansion House in the City of London, the chancellor will pitch the plan as a way to make Britain the “undisputed gateway to global markets”. He will say that the new partnerships would be targeted at fast-growing markets such as China, India, South Korea and Australia, and build on existing agreements, such as “financial dialogues” with other countries. Many in the financial services industry have repeatedly raised concerns about the potential impact of Brexit, particularly if Britain fails to finalise a deal with Brussels.” – FT

  • Britain will be ‘undisputed gateway’ to world trade – Daily Express

Chancellor says taxpayers should pay for NHS boost

“Philip Hammond will tell the City that he believes tax rises rather than borrowing must shoulder the burden of the NHS spending promised by Theresa May. The chancellor’s comments come as it emerged that the cumulative total extra commitments for the prime minister’s announcements on health amount to about £83 billion, excluding inflation. A YouGov poll for The Times has shown that the Tories have not received a bounce in the polls from Mrs May’s announcement, while Labour maintains a healthy lead on which party is most trusted on the NHS. In his Mansion House speech tonight, Mr Hammond will reaffirm his commitment to his fiscal targets and reducing the country’s debt, signalling to other cabinet ministers that their budgets might be frozen or cut if growth does not accelerate.” – The Times

  • Chancellor criticised for delaying crackdown on gambling machines – Daily Mail


  • Obsession with raises taxes shows Tories have lost their way – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • NHS must not blow this money on old-fashioned ideas – Niall Dickson, Daily Telegraph

Mordaunt wants to reform aid spending target

“Britain’s foreign aid minister wants to tear up the rules that govern the nation’s controversial 0.7 per cent aid target. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt calls it ‘unsustainable’ because millions in aid spending do not count towards the target of 0.7 per cent of national income. These include profits made by government agencies that invest aid money. Humanitarian defence spending and disaster relief do not count towards the total either. It means that to hit the 0.7 per cent first agreed by ex-PM David Cameron, the Treasury has to plough in even more cash. Ms Mordaunt said this week that including these items would enable a cut of hundreds of millions from the £14billion aid budget, freeing cash for services at home.” – Daily Mail

  • Minister says Equalities brief needs permanent home – FT

May unveils new upskirting ban…

Theresa May will unveil new laws to make “upskirting” a criminal offence as she condemned it as a “hideous invasion of privacy”. The Government will introduce legislation that will see offenders punished by up to two years after a previous bid was scuppered by one of its own MPs. On Friday Sir Christopher Chope faced a furious backlash after he effectively killed off the proposed legislation and his parliamentary office was later adorned with four pairs of knickers, bound together with a pink ribbon, in protest. Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May said: “Upskirting is a hideous invasion of privacy, it leave victims feeling degraded and distressed. We will adopt this as a government bill, we will introduce this to the Commons this Thursday, with a second reading before the summer recess.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Perpetrators will be jailed for up to two years – The Sun

…as she ‘questions Britain’s status’ as a front-rank military power…

“Theresa May has asked Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, to justify Britain’s role as a “tier one” military power, throwing the Ministry of Defence’s armed forces modernisation plan into disarray just weeks before a crucial Nato summit. At a tense meeting this week, the prime minister said Mr Williamson needed to rethink the capabilities needed to be a modern military force and focus more on Britain’s cyber warfare capability to meet new threats, including Russia. Senior officials said Mrs May’s intervention created “shockwaves” at the MoD, with some claiming she appeared to be questioning Britain’s role as a global military player. “People have their head in their hands,” said one official. Downing Street acknowledged that Mr Williamson’s plans had been challenged by Mrs May in Tuesday’s meeting but dismissed suggestions that she was arguing for a reduction in Britain’s military status.” – FT

  • New Army chief tells troops to prepare for battle – The Sun


  • NATO can’t rely on the US to keep picking up the tab – Gavin Williamson, The Times
  • Hounding of former servicemen is a national shame – Johnny Mercer, Daily Telegraph

…and says Trump’s visit will go ahead

“British prime minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she had no plans to cancel US president Donald Trump’s planned visit to the UK next month, despite child detentions that she said were “deeply disturbing”. Mrs May said the planned visit will go ahead despite evidence that children in the US are being forcibly separated from their parents at the border between America and Mexico, as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The detentions are “wrong”, she said. However, she said it was important for her to meet Mr Trump given the two countries’ “shared interests.” She said there was a “range of interests” she intended to discuss with the president, and that it was important to be able to have discussions with those “we disagree with”.” – FT

  • Trump plans Putin meeting on European visit – Daily Mail

Nandy claims Grayling had two years’ notice of Northern rail chaos

“The Department for Transport was warned about “impending chaos” on Northern rail in 2016, according to official emails cited by a Labour MP. Lisa Nandy said officials had described “key” northern routes as “valueless”, had developed “handling strategies” for MPs and debated generating myths to divert public attention from agreed planned route closures. The revelations are likely to increase pressure on Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, who has faced fierce criticism over his handling of timetabling changes which have resulted in widespread commuter misery. Ms Nandy, the MP for Wigan, said the details were included in emails from the Department for Transport (DfT) which had been handed to her.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Emails show contempt for rail users, says MP – The Guardian

MPs urge Bercow to name new departure date

“Friends of John Bercow have visited him to urge him to name a date for his departure. A string of MPs are understood to have spoken to the Commons Speaker privately to tell him his ‘time is up’. They do not expect him to go by the end of the week – as he originally promised – but they want him to make a statement outlining a timetable for his departure. Last night candidates to succeed Mr Bercow were said to be openly campaigning in the expectation that he will go. When he was elected, he promised he would step down after nine years – a deadline that he reaches tomorrow. Mr Bercow has steadfastly refused to step down – and earlier this week his wife Sally tweeted she was not ‘packing her bags’. The pair share a grace and favour apartment in the Houses of Parliament.” – Daily Mail

  • Chope blocked investigation into bullying claims after Speaker nominated him for knighthood – Daily Mail

Khan to run again for London mayoralty

“Sadiq Khan has announced he will run for a second term as London Mayor despite his disastrous record on crime that has seen the city’s murder rate overtake New York. The Labour politician accepted earlier this month he is responsible for the surge in violence on the capital’s streets – but that has not deterred him from seeking re-election. After a spike in fatal stabbings and a raft of shootings, sex attacks and a wave of moped crime earlier this year, Mr Khan has come under heavy criticism. He came under further attack when he failed to meet the issue head on, after The Sun revealed he was posting more on social media about “sexy” issues that get him good coverage than about spiralling crime. When he eventually fronted up about the fact the capital’s murder rate had overtaken that of New York for the first time in modern history, he blamed “national problems”.” – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • How the NHS cash bung is being hijacked by Remainers – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • The crisis of conservatism – Nick Timothy, New Statesman
  • Britain doesn’t need a centrist party, it needs a liberal one – Kristian Niemietz, CapX
  • Senior EU diplomat exposed as rabid Twitter troll – David Scullion, Brexit Central
  • May sees off rebels to fight another day – Alastair Benn, Reaction