Brexit 1) Robbins tells the Cabinet that there will be no bespoke deal

‘Theresa May’s chief Brexit negotiator has told ministers that they have no chance of striking a bespoke trade deal with the European Union. Oliver Robbins briefed secretaries of state before their meeting at Chequers on Friday that they had to be realistic about what could be achieved. He is understood to have painted a bleak picture of the state of negotiations, saying that Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart, was under no pressure from European leaders to soften his tough stance even though Mrs May had asked them to intervene. One government figure said that the clear message had been that ministers may end up having to choose between a Norway-style deal in which Britain remains in the single market but has to accept EU rules, or a simple free-trade agreement that is strongly opposed by business. “I came out of the meeting and thought we were even more screwed than we were before,” the source said. “I was surprised he admitted how bad it was.”‘ – The Times

  • He left sensitive negotiating papers on the Eurostar – The Times
  • Unite and Momentum try to up pressure on Corbyn to back a second referendum – The Times
  • The technology for post-Brexit trade does exist, but it requires clear and swift decisions – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • Don’t mistake what business leaders want for the national interest – Roger Bootle, Daily Telegraph
  • Brussels falsely claims it will not honour aid agency contracts after Brexit – The Times
  • The Prime Minister could do worse than learn from Bevan’s negotiating approach – Nick Thomas-Symonds, The Times


>Today: Nicky Morgan’s column: If Cabinet Ministers aren’t prepared to listen to business, they should consider their position


Brexit 2) Rees-Mogg: May must stand firm and fulfil her promises (or else)

‘The question for the Cabinet at Chequers is what to do with the freedom the British people want reinstated. Does it seize this great opportunity to do things better, to forge new trade relationships, to have better laws, regulations and policies or does it follow the managers of decline to place a once proud country in a tremulous state that sees Brexit as mere damage limitation?… If a bad trade agreement should be rejected, what exactly is a respectable one? It must be judged against the UK’s economic interests but there are some things that no independent nation could agree to. Any attempt by the EU to impose its laws and Court on the UK, either directly or indirectly, must be rejected. Any EU agreement that restricts the country’s ability to make trade agreements with other states, restricts our ability to control our migration policy, makes us pay to trade or interferes with our fishing waters could not be accepted. Indeed many MPs would vote against such propositions if brought to Parliament…Theresa May must stand firm for what she herself has promised.’ – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: Stuart – “We must be clear on the terms on which we are leaving”

Merkel on the brink as Interior Minister and CSU leader ‘plans to quit’

‘Angela Merkel’s government was on the verge of collapse last night as her interior minister said he was ready to quit over her handling of the migration crisis. Horst Seehofer told allies he was prepared to resign from his cabinet post and role as leader of her coalition partners, the Christian Social Union. Mrs Merkel, who has been German chancellor since 2005, is facing intense pressure from the Bavarian sister party to her Christian Democratic Union, who have called for borders to be closed to asylum seekers. The collapse of Germany’s ruling coalition was only averted after she promised Mr Seehofer that she would reach a deal at a summit in Brussels on Friday. But last night sources said that he was dissatisfied with what she had achieved and was planning to announce his resignation…Mr Seehofer, whose party faces a state election in the autumn, has threatened to turn away migrants whose asylum requests Germany already rejected or who already sought sanctuary elsewhere in Europe.’ – Daily Mail

  • Last ditch talks – FT
  • Trump considers withdrawing US troops from Germany – Daily Mail
  • Thousands of migrants cross the Alps on foot – Daily Mail
  • Migrants caught telling lies about their income to stay in the UK – The Times
  • The US President says the EU is ‘as bad as China’ on trade – Daily Mail
  • The rise of Salvini risks making the EU look like the Weimar of our age – Wolfang Munchau, FT
  • Competing visions of Europe threaten to destroy the project – Hans Kundnani, The Guardian

Javid leaps to the top of the ConservativeHome next leader survey

‘Sajid Javid has leapfrogged Michael Gove to become Tory activists’ top choice to succeed Theresa May as boss. The new Home Secretary topped a regular poll run by the ConservativeHome website for the first time, leaving the Environment Secretary second and anti-EU backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg third…Future leadership contenders are already furiously jockeying. It was reported yesterday that Mr Javid’s aides are tapping up special advisers in other departments to join his No10 team. Another wannabe leader, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, has been inviting groups of MPs to regular lunches in Parliament to gladhand.’ – The Sun

  • Brexiteers reportedly have a £750,000 war chest for Rees-Mogg – Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: Next Tory Leader run-offs 1): Gove 56 per cent, Johnson 25 per cent.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our Survey. Next Tory Leader. Javid tops the poll for the first time.

May: Whatever happened to tax-cutting Conservatives?

‘With the commitment for a massive cash injection for the health service, the government has effectively opened the bidding in Whitehall for further spending increases and yet higher taxes. If the NHS, why not defence? Military chiefs are all over the airwaves demanding more money, vying for time with teachers who make the case for an uplift in education spending and a plethora of other voices who want more money for housing, infrastructure, transport and devolution. The voice of the taxpayer is rarely heard these days, despite the fact that spending increases on the scale proposed will require significant tax rises. And we’re not just talking about tweaking reliefs and allowances. If the government continues to drift towards a new tax and spend mentality, then the raids on our income, savings and investments will have to be sizeable and sustained…What a miserable state of affairs. Any idea that the Tory austerity drive was conducted in order to put the country in a position where it could reduce the tax burden, slim down the state and let people keep more of the money they’ve earned now seems utterly shot.’ – Christian May, City AM

NHS1) AI, robotics and other new tech to revolutionise care

‘Robots are set to carry out dementia care within 20 years, NHS officials have announced. They are planning a major expansion of artificial intelligence across the health service for routine operations and treatment. The technology will also be used to ‘nudge’ patients towards having healthier lifestyles, particularly if they have diabetes or heart conditions. Today, Jeremy Hunt will announce a £215 million investment towards what has been termed the ‘next generation of innovative treatments’…His announcement coincides with a review commissioned by the Department of Health which calls for a revolution in artificial intelligence and technology. It predicts that virtual consultations will soon be routinely used in GP surgeries and A&E and ‘may eventually supersede’ face-to-face appointments.’ – Daily Mail

NHS 2) Littlewood: It’s time for the health service to learn from the rest of the world

‘The official website set up to celebrate this week’s anniversary boldly claims: “Over the last 70 years, the NHS has . . . become the envy of the world.” No evidence is advanced for this proposition, probably because the claim is essentially untrue. It would probably be accurate to claim that a small smattering of left-wing politicians in some other countries like the way we run healthcare, but the suggestion that widespread envy exists across the planet is a fantasy. If we could match the Germans on the quality of cancer treatment, 12,000 lives would be saved every year. If we could match the Belgians in this area, the number would be 14,000. Our weak performance on cancer care compared to Belgium amounts to the equivalent of the population of Blackburn or Grimsby being wiped out every decade. If you are unfortunate enough to have a stroke, your chances of survival are measurably higher if you are in Germany, Israel or Switzerland. Up to 5,000 British lives would be saved annually if we matched these countries’ quality of treatment. Unsurprisingly, there is scant evidence that residents of these nations are envious of the increased chance you have of dying under the British NHS.’ – Mark Littlewood, The Times

  • Its cult status blinds us to its flaws – Alex Massie, The Times
  • Attlee’s granddaughter says people take the NHS for granted – Daily Mail
  • CPS criticises pay inflexibility which wastes possible incentives and neglects unpopular specialisms – The Times
  • The think-tank proposes performance bonuses for nurses – The Sun

Fleet Street allies with the High Street to demand Business Rates reform

‘The Mail today launches a campaign to save Britain’s high streets – after a staggering 50,000 retail jobs were axed in the first half of this year. The figures expose the bloodbath up and down the country as hundreds of stores – from major chains to small shops – shut their doors. Business leaders, shopkeepers and MPs blame punitive business rates that cripple high streets and hand a huge advantage to internet giants. Today chief executives of some of the country’s biggest chains, along with politicians from all parties, demand reform as they warn that sky-high rates are stifling investment and driving long-established companies to the wall.’ – Daily Mail

  • Shops and restaurant chains are hit – The Times
  • Business owners share their crisis stories – Daily Mail
  • Councils accused of ‘criminalising everyday life’ through soaring use of fines – The Times

Brokenshire: Help is on the way for tenants and leaseholders

‘Fixing the market also means fixing problems for people. The leasehold market has been a particular concern and we have seen leaseholders in new-build homes facing unexpected costs rising every year that bear no relation to services. That’s not fair. We’ve already said we’re banning the unjustified use of leaseholds on new homes and we will bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity. For flats, ground rents will be limited to a peppercorn. Today we are going further and any new government funding scheme will contain the condition that the money cannot be used for unjustified new leasehold houses. Where possible, we have already begun to do this on existing programmes. I know we also need to fix our broken market for people in rented homes. Families, vulnerable tenants and older people who rent are living with the uncertainty of being forced to move or fear eviction if they complain about problems with their home. In a speech at Policy Exchange today, I will outline proposals for new three-year minimum tenancy terms, with a six-month break clause, to help renters put down roots, and give landlords longer term financial security.’ – James Brokenshire, The Times

Govia ‘could be stripped’ of Thameslink and Great Northern franchises

‘Bungling rail operator Govia could be stripped of its Thameslink and Great Northern franchises unless performance quickly improves. An unnamed government source has claimed the process could begin within weeks, and said bosses at Govia Thameslink Railway are ‘drinking in the last chance saloon’. Passengers on Thameslink and Great Northern have endured more than a month of disruption after a new timetable introduced on May 20 quickly unravelled. In the ensuing thousands of trains have been delayed or cancelled.’ – Daily Mail

  • ‘Slow death’ of local bus routes – Daily Mail
  • Warning of ‘anger’ if Transpennine electrification is scrapped – The Guardian
  • Investors complain that infrastructure decisions are too politicised – FT

Plaid in crisis as Wood faces possible leadership challenge

‘Leanne Wood faces being challenged for Plaid Cymru leadership, unless she agrees to share the job. In a highly critical intervention, Adam Price said the party had resorted to “predictable, plodding politics” and needed “press the reset button”. Mr Price said a male and female co-leadership was needed if Plaid is to win the 2021 election. Ms Wood has said she will stand down if she does not become first minister at the next assembly election. Under Plaid rules a window to challenge for the leadership comes around every two years, with Assembly Members having until Wednesday (4 July) to step forwards to fight for the role.’ – BBC News

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