Peers vote to bring back the ‘meaningful vote’ amendment, setting up a clash in the Commons

‘The House of Lords defied the PM’s pleas to ‘keep faith’ with the British public and fall into line on the EU Withdrawal Bill. Instead they backed the Hailsham amendment in a move which sets the stage for a crunch showdown between Mrs May and her Tory rebels on Wednesday when it returns to the Commons. In a fiery debate, Viscount Hailsham branded Brexit a ‘national calamity’ and said he was driven to act after ministers reneged on their promise to give Parliament a say if no deal is done by late January. But he was accused of trying to ‘sabotage Brexit’ and of overstepping their authority by pushing through the change. Peers voted by 354 to 235 to pass the controversial amendment. Mrs May now faces a frantic 48 hours as she tries to pick off Tory backbenchers – led by Dominic Grieve – planning to join the revolt on Wednesday.’ – Daily Mail

  • That’s a larger majority than before – The Times
  • These Lords are endangering our democracy – The Sun Says
  • Ministers plan to publish guidance for EU citizens who wish to remain in the UK – The Guardian
  • Left wing Remainers will no longer stay silent – Zoe Williams, The Guardian
  • Collins, privacy champion, publishes Banks’s passport details – The Times
  • Manifestoes for new hereditary election are released – The Guardian


Ashcroft: If forced to choose, Leave voters would rather lose Northern Ireland than stay in the EU

‘While Northern Ireland Unionists are determined that they should have the same deal as the rest of the UK, only one third of voters in Britain say it would be unacceptable for Northern Ireland to have a different EU status from the rest of the country; almost as many say this would be tolerable to get a workable deal. It is not hard to imagine how Leave voters would react if told the UK would not be taking back as much control as they hoped because of the Irish border, an issue they believe is being blown out of proportion.  There is more uncomfortable news for Unionists. A majority in Britain said Northern Ireland’s place in the UK was up to its people to decide – but if the province voted to leave, most said they wouldn’t mind either way. We also asked Leave voters in Britain whether they would leave the EU, or keep England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales together in the UK, if it were impossible to do both. Most, including more than seven in 10 Tory voters, said they would rather leave the EU.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Majorities of Leave and Remain voters think the Brexit process is going too slowly – Daily Telegraph
  • Single Market enthusiasts still aren’t being honest about the costs – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • The EU threatens to ditch security deal if Britain leaves the Human Rights Convention – Daily Telegraph
  • Ministers accused of betraying Gibraltar over airport – The Sun
  • Will the Government ever show any fight in its dealings with Brussels? – The Sun Says
  • May needs to learn the art of diplomacy – Rafael Behr, The Guardian

>Today: Steven Woolfe on Comment: To win the working class northern vote, the Conservative Party must change its attitude and tone

Health spending boost must be underpinned by reform, May insists

‘Unveiling plans for her £20 billion funding package, she stressed the NHS was mired in too much bureaucracy that acted as a “barrier to progress”. Explaining how the Government had delivered its side of the bargain, the PM said the NHS now had to deliver a 10-year plan to ensure the money is not wasted. And she criticised the 200-strong NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, which were only set up to buy-in care for patients by former Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley in 2012. The PM said: “It is a problem that a typical NHS Clinical Commissioning Group negotiates and monitors over 200 different legal contracts with other, different parts of the NHS. It is too bureaucratic, inhibits joined up care, and takes money and people away from the front line.”’ – The Sun

  • Health chiefs say it isn’t enough money, and social care needs action, too – The Times
  • More cash required – The Times
  • May hints she might be willing to repeal the Lansley NHS reforms – The Times
  • Civil servants look again at Dilnot’s social care cost cap – Daily Telegraph
  • Hunt’s plans to overhaul the system are delayed again – The Sun
  • Man appeals to Sturgeon after waiting a year for an appointment – The Scotsman
  • £20 million fund for community groups to tackle loneliness – The Sun



>Today: The Moggcast. “There clearly is a Brexit dividend” but “the IFS and the Bank of England carry on with Project Fear”


There’s no money left, the Chancellor tells the Cabinet

‘Philip Hammond has warned the cabinet that he has no more money for other policies after being forced to find £25 billion for the NHS. The chancellor used a presentation to senior ministers before Theresa May’s speech on the health service yesterday to rule out extra spending on areas including schools, defence, prisons and police. He also made clear that, having fulfilled the Vote Leave pledge of paying for the NHS rise from a “Brexit dividend”, the government would need to find money to replace other funding provided at present by Brussels. One cabinet minister said that there was shock at what this meant: “The atmosphere was quite muted. Ministers could see the implications are going to make life quite difficult. Any sense that the taps are about to be turned on were dispelled.”’ – The Times

  • May grants Hammond a free hand to rip up tax pledges if he deems it necessary – FT
  • She seeks to harness the political power of the Brexit dividend – Robert Shrimsley, FT
  • 4,000 public assets sold by councils last year – The Times
  • Motorists ‘overcharged for fuel by £500 million’ – The Times

Hague: We should follow Canada’s example and legalise cannabis

‘As far as marijuana, or cannabis, is concerned, any war has been comprehensively and irreversibly lost. The idea that the drug can be driven off the streets and out of people’s lives by the state is nothing short of deluded. Surveys of young people attest that they find it easier to purchase cannabis than virtually anything else, including fast food, cigarettes and alcohol. Everyone sitting in a Whitehall conference room needs to recognise that, out there, cannabis is ubiquitous, and issuing orders to the police to defeat its use is about as up to date and relevant as asking the army to recover the Empire. This battle is effectively over.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: No pothead is an island

Ban on upskirting will be brought in by the Government

‘Mnisters confirmed a new law to make the practice illegal would be introduced following his intervention. Campaigners praised Government plans to ban the practice of secretly taking photos of underwear as a “great day” for all “right-thinking individuals”. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Theresa May told Cabinet upskirting was “an invasion of privacy that leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed”…Officials said an upskirting Bill would mean perpetrators were “properly punished”. Victim and campaigner Gina Martin described it as “brilliant news”. She said: “I kept going because I didn’t want to brush it off again and say ‘this is just part of life. I kept going because we needed a change.”’ – The Sun

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

Wallace: Question Time should retire when Dimbleby departs

‘Question Time has become a pursuit for those inside the bubble, not a platform for those beyond it as it was once intended. In short, it’s time to retire this old champion of the airwaves. It had its glory moments, many of which are preserved in memory and online for us to replay, but it has become a shadow of its former self. Like a great band, it is best to go now and leave those echoes of epoch-making brilliance, rather than stagger on trying and failing to relive them. Dimbleby became Question Time. Now he is going, it should go too.’ – Mark Wallace, the i paper

Rail bosses turn up late to committee hearing about delays

‘Rail bosses sparked fresh fury last night after turning up late to a parliamentary hearing about the calamitous delays and cancellations on Britain’s rail network. Labour MP Wes Streeting stormed: “This is like something from The Thick Of It. You couldn’t make it up! Still, it’s nice to know that rail bosses have got a taste of the everyday misery experienced by their customers.” After the Commons Transport committee hearing finally got underway, the bosses of Govia Thameslink and Northern Rail were savaged by MPs for forcing commuters to quit their jobs. They were left humiliated as committee chair Lilian Greenwood read out a raft of tweets explaining how the hundreds of daily cancellations by Govia Thameslink and Northern Rail had driven mayhem through their everyday lives. But Charles Horton, the outgoing Govia Thameslink chief, and Northern Rail’s David Brown blamed the widespread disruption on Transport Secretary Chris Grayling.’ – The Sun

>Yesterday: Chris Walker on Comment: Supercharged Free Ports, the visionary way to boost the north of England’s economy

The CSU gives Merkel two weeks to secure tougher EU action on immigration

‘Angela Merkel was given a two-week ultimatum by her Bavarian allies to set tougher migration controls at EU level or they will start rejecting asylum seekers at the German border. The challenge follows days of intensive talks on a “migration masterplan” drawn up by Horst Seehofer, the German interior minister, which pushed the government to breaking point over his call to turn away certain migrants. Mrs Merkel insisted that there would still be no automatic rejections at the German border even if she could not reach agreement with other EU countries by July 1, deferring a showdown with her coalition partners. Her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has been in a conservative alliance for 70 years with Mr Seehofer’s Christian Social Union (CSU) party, which organises only in Bavaria. Yesterday, after days of warning that he was prepared to act unilaterally and impose new border controls, Mr Seehofer pulled back from breaking up the alliance. That would have cost Mrs Merkel her majority in the Bundestag.’ – The Times

  • Trump says German voters are rejecting her leadership – The Times
  • Italian interior ministry orders census of gypsies and says it’s “unfortunate” he cannot expel them all – The Times
  • 300 migrants taken in by Spain immediately demand asylum in France – Daily Mail
  • India objects to visa snub – The Times
  • Improving trade with China is vitally important – Liam Fox, Daily Telegraph
  • Trump threatens more tariffs – FT
  • It’s a good time for business deals – Lord Leigh, Daily Telegraph
  • America’s border policy is shaming even the President’s base – Rob Crilly, Daily Telegraph

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

Universities will have to justify Vice-Chancellors’ pay packets

‘Universities will have to provide a breakdown of performance criteria set for vice-chancellors and how the terms have been met, under a crackdown on excessive pay. The Office for Students (OFS) watchdog has sent a 17-page guide to universities on what data they must provide each year to flush out those who do little for their money. It said that “out of kilter” salaries were unacceptable and it could fine those unable to justify paying more than the prime minister’s £150,000 salary. Labour called the measures “watered down” and said that it would impose caps on the ratio between the highest and lowest-paid staff.’ – The Times

Anti-semitism on the left is deterring Jewish pupils from universities, warns Labour student leader

‘Anti-Semitism within Labour is deterring Jewish youngsters from applying to some universities, a student leader warns. Melantha Chittenden, the national chairman of Labour Students, said the problem is widespread and pinned the blame on her own party. She has now called on leader Jeremy Corbyn to launch a crackdown. Her comments follow complaints from students that anti-Semitism has become more socially acceptable among young Labour members who sympathise with the Palestinian cause.’ – Daily Mail

  • Labour donor in trouble with Ofcom – The Times

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: I went to LabourLive, and all I got was a £15 t-shirt (and free ice cream)

News in Brief