MPs vote for Heathrow expansion…

“MPs overwhelmingly backed a third runway at Heathrow last night that will expand the airport’s capacity by hundreds of thousands of flights after decades of delay. A three-line whip imposed on the Tories to support the proposals, combined with a free vote for Labour MPs and the abstention of Scottish Nationalists, meant that the plans were voted through with a majority of 296. Boris Johnson, a vocal opponent of the west London airport’s expansion, provoked derision after he missed the vote to be in Afghanistan, despite a vow to lie down in front of bulldozers to prevent the scheme.” – The Times

  • There was a majority of 296 – FT
  • Here’s what happened – Guardian
  • And some context – The Sun
  • Councils band together to challenge decision legally – The Times


>Today: MPsEtc: The eight Conservative MPs who voted against Heathrow expansion

…Johnson avoids voting, then says third runway will be “a very long time” coming

“Boris Johnson has cast doubt on whether a third runway at Heathrow will ever be built despite MPs overwhelmingly approving plans to expand Britain’s biggest airport. The Foreign Secretary predicted it would be “a very long time” before the £14 billion development could begin, “if indeed a third runway ever comes about”. Mr Johnson, who has always opposed Heathrow expansion, was ridiculed by his own colleagues on Monday for flying to Afghanistan to avoid the vote, which the Government won by 415 to 119, a majority of 296. The size of the Government’s majority reflected a major Labour rebellion against Jeremy Corbyn’s policy on Heathrow.” – Daily Telegraph

  • He took a “hastily arranged” trip to Afghanistan – The Times
  • He’s described as “spineless” – Herald


  • I had guessed he might go to North Korea – John Crace, Guardian
  • Here’s why politicians run away – Hugo Rifkind, The Times
  • I resigned because I believe in election pledges – Greg Hands, The Times

>Yesterday: Videos: WATCH: Hands – “A hub airport suits Heathrow. And it suits the BA business model. But these are not the same as the national interest.”

Brexit 1) May tells Tusk that UK won’t finalise white paper until after summit

“Theresa May admitted to Donald Tusk tonight Britain’s Brexit demands would not be ready until after this week’s crucial EU summit. The Prime Minister told the EU Council President at Downing Street talks she would not have her crucial policy paper on the shape of Brexit in time to discuss it with other European leaders. The state of the document, known as a White Paper, has been the subject of fraught discussions inside Westminster and is not likely to be fixed until a Cabinet away day next month. Brussels had wanted to see ‘progress’ on resolving the Irish border at this week’s summit but hopes are rapidly fading of any movement at all. As he arrived at the talks Mr Tusk said he had been ‘moved’ by a mass protest in favour of the EU on Saturday but acknowledged Brexit was going ahead.” – Daily Mail

>Today: Henry Newman’s column: There’s still time for the UK to shape the Brexit negotiations – if the Government gets its act together

Brexit 2) Clark says Airbus “should be listened to with respect”

“Greg Clark has hit back against anti-business comments by his cabinet colleagues, insisting companies such as Airbus are “entitled to be listened to with respect” on Brexit. The business secretary was challenged in the House of Commons on Monday by Labour MP Mark Tami, after Jeremy Hunt dismissed warnings by manufacturer Airbus about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit as “completely inappropriate”. Clark struck a different tone, highlighting the importance of the aerospace sector to the UK economy. He described it as “one of the UK’s greatest manufacturing strengths, employing directly and through its supply chains around 300,000 people in the UK in high-skilled jobs with an average salary of £41,000”.” – Guardian

  • He rebukes Johnson’s comments – Daily Express
  • Honda speaks of its “fears” – FT
  • And BMW makes “threats” – The Sun

Brexit 3) Varadkar says May shouldn’t “rely” on Ireland for solutions

“Mr Varadkar did not mince his words as he warned his UK counterpart to fight her own battles and not rely on Ireland. The Irish government has been a stern opponent to Brexit due to the impact of the UK leaving the bloc on the Irish border. With Northern Ireland in danger of being pulled from the single market and customs union while the Republic remains in the EU, confusion surrounds the future of the border. And Mr Varadkar has warned Mrs May it is up to her to solve the problem with his and the EU’s red lines already well established.” – Daily Express

Brexit 4) Might UK join an EU-independent European “military intervention force”?

“Nine European countries, including the UK, have signed a “letter of intent” to create a joint military intervention force operating independently of the European Union. The planned force for rapid deployment in times of crisis would include Britain after Brexit and was agreed without any involvement from Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign affairs chief. It was also signed by France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal. The scheme is independent from plans for greater EU defence co-operation and has been pushed by France because of concerns that Brexit could create obstacles to European military operations by excluding Britain.” – The Times

  • Defence select committee calls for more forces funding – The Sun


  • Britain’s defences are “grossly underfunded” – Max Hastings, The Sun 
  • And Williamson should go – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

More Brexit

  • Hungarian foreign minister speaks of EU need for good UK deal – Daily Express
  • NFU calls for global fruit pickers’ permit to meet demand – Daily Telegraph
  • The weekend’s march was reassuring – Guardian editorial 
  • The left needs its voice heard on Brexit – Alena Ivanova, Guardian


>Yesterday: International: Immigration is tearing at the foundations of the EU’s old established order

Truss: “Part of giving people more power is keeping control of the size of the state”

“Britain has a unique opportunity to take control of its future. After rebuilding from the ruins of Labour’s financial crisis, we’ve turned the economy around, reaching the point where debt will soon start to fall. We have record jobs, we’re building the homes Britain needs, raising living standards and boosting the NHS. And after Brexit, we will be free to determine our economic future, with control over our money, laws and borders… That’s why today I can announce I’ll explore taking forward a cross-government review of over-regulated professions and occupations. We have a higher proportion of licensed professions than France, Italy or Belgium. In the 1980s, it was unions that were holding people back from getting jobs – now over-regulated occupations are making it difficult to earn more and move up the ladder.” – Daily Telegraph 

  • Conservatives are turning on entrepreneurs – Rachel Sylvester, The Times
  • New homes should be beautiful – Tom Tugendhat, Daily Telegraph
  • We need a new model of outsourcing – Bim Afolami, The Times 
  • Meanwhile, NHS criticised for survival rates, again – FT



Clark rejects tidal lagoon plan

“The government has rejected plans for a £1.3bn tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, dashing industry hopes of Britain leading development of a new source of renewable energy and sparking widespread criticism. Ministers said the project, which would have been subsidised through household energy bills for decades, was too expensive compared with alternatives such as offshore windfarms and nuclear power. The business secretary, Greg Clark, told parliament he had “left no stone unturned” in considering whether to support the scheme. “The inescapable conclusion of an extensive analysis is, however novel and appealing the proposal that has been made is … the cost that would be incurred by consumers and taxpayers would be so much higher than alternative sources of low-carbon power that it would be irresponsible to enter into a contract with the provider,” he said.” – Guardian

More Conservatives

  • Grieve says DUP engaging in “tactical tricks” – Belfast News Letter
  • Morgan criticises hedgefund polling wins – The Times 
  • Bercow has “no intention” of quitting – The Sun
  • Johnson plans to hire special envoy to get compensation from Libya for aiding IRA – The Sun
  • Labour commits more on defence than Prime Minister – The Times

America seeks to “alter” parliamentary report on UK spies’ involvement in torture

“The US government has demanded last-minute changes to a highly sensitive report into the UK’s involvement in rendition and torture during the war on terror. The report will call for sweeping changes to the protocols governing how British spies behave in the field, as well as far greater ministerial oversight to ensure political accountability for the decisions they take. … The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), a group of MPs and peers that scrutinises the work of the security services, sent two reports on the mistreatment and rendition of terrorist suspects after 9/11 to the prime minister last month, one on the 2001-2010 period and another on current issues, but their publication has been thrown into confusion after the US requested changes to the historical report.” – The Times

News in Brief

  • We need to challenge the “liberal orthodoxy” – John Hayes, CapX
  • Just one tale from ICE – New Yorker
  • Thoughts about Heathrow – Katy Balls, Spectator
  • And about Boris’s future – Patrick Maguire, New Statesman
  • The wider value of health data – Maggie Pagano, Reaction