Chequers Minutes 1) Javid and Hammond split over EU free movement

“Sajid Javid and Philip Hammond have clashed over free movement after the Chancellor said that EU workers should be given “preferential” treatment in a bid to win over Angela Merkel and strike a post-Brexit trade deal. The Telegraph has learned that official minutes from the Chequers summit state that the Chancellor said he “disagreed with the Home Secretary on labour mobility and ending free movement”. He made the comments after Mr Javid, the Home Secretary, told Cabinet at the meeting that “free movement had to end” and that there could be “no back door”. He argued that “labour mobility” should be limited to current international obligations but Mr Hammond argued that the Government should “keep options open” for “preferential mobility arrangements”. “Such an agreement would be very important for the Chancellor of Germany,” he said. “If the UK sought her help to deliver this deal, it would need to be prepared to negotiate on this point.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Business wants EU migration ‘on the table’ in Brexit talks – Financial Times
  • Summer of discontent – Leader, The Times

Chequers Minutes 2) Leadsom attacked “betrayal” of the referendum

“Andrea Leadsom said that she “hated” the prime minister’s Brexit compromise and claimed that it betrayed the referendum result, according to minutes of the Chequers cabinet meeting leaked to The Times. The leader of the Commons also accused a majority of fellow ministers and officials of “arrogance” and said that they had “Remainer tendencies” in the meeting with the prime minister and cabinet just over two weeks ago. Mrs Leadsom also attacked the Treasury’s ability on economic forecasting and revealed that some numbers would in future no longer be published.” – The Times

  • The EU must be told Chequers plan is the final offer, says Leadsom – BBC
  • The PM could suffer a worse fate than John Major if she betrays Brexit with her ‘Nixonian’ secrecy- Stewart Jackson, Daily Telegraph

Barnier signals refusal to agree May’s proposals

“EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier effectively took an axe to Theresa May’s plans as the Brexit crisis deepened. Just hours after the PM pleaded for the EU to drop its ‘unworkable’ Irish border demands, Mr Barnier complained that her Chequers blueprint – which would see the UK collect some tariffs for Brussels and follow a ‘common rule book’ on goods – undermined the single market and would cause ‘unjustifiable’ bureaucracy. In a withering assessment that will ramp up fears of ‘no deal’ Brexit, Mr Barnier questioned whether the UK could be trusted to rake in taxes on behalf of the EU. He also hinted that Mrs May might be forced into even more concessions by domestic political pressures, jibing that the ‘intense’ debate in the UK was ‘not over’.” – Daily Mail

  • PM takes swipe at Boris Johnson over Irish border tech claims – Belfast Telegraph
  • Downing Street criticises Varadkar over Brexit plane ban threat – The Sun
  • Barnier’s obstruction will end with the EU reduced to rubble – The Sun Says
  • The EU is taking a huge gamble that we will surrender if it keeps pushing. What if we don’t? – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • Barnier adopts conciliatory tone – Financial Times

Rees-Mogg: The EU are behaving like the Mafia

“Jacob Rees Mogg last night accused Brussels of behaving like criminal mobsters. The Brexit ringleader hit out out at the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier’s grumpy press conference saying it showed “why we are right to be leaving the mafia-like European Union”.Italian Mafia crime families are famed for their organised protection racketeering – with the comparison likely to incense Eurocrats. The arch-Leaver later explained to The Sun that the “the EU seems to behave like the Mafia so that if you want to leave it then retaliates by behaving unreasonably even at cost to itself.” He added: “Who would want to belong to such an organisation?” – The Sun

May defends Chief Whip’s “honest mistake”

“Theresa May has defended her chief whip, insisting that he was not “trying to steal votes” when he broke convention on a crucial Brexit vote. The prime minister said that Julian Smith had made an “honest mistake” when he asked a Tory MP to vote in the Commons despite being paired with an opposition MP on maternity leave. Mr Smith has faced calls to resign from opposition parties and has not denied that he ordered Tory MPs to ignore pairing deals, which allow MPs who are sick or pregnant to miss votes.” – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary:Over-shuffling the whips’ office has undermined its effectiveness

>Yesterday: Columnist Iain Dale: Lewis didn’t deliberately break a pairing arrangement this week

Cut tax rates to raise tax revenue urges Williamson

“Theresa May should follow the example Donald Trump and Lord Lawson by cutting taxes instead of raising them to generate more revenue, the Defence Secretary has suggested. The Telegraph has learned that Gavin Williamson told Cabinet on Tuesday that the Tories should return to their core values by “giving people more power over their own money” during a discussion about public spending. It comes amid Government splits over the Prime Minister’s announcement last month that people should pay “a little more tax” to help fund a £20 billion boost for the NHS. The Treasury is examining a range of tax hikes to help fund the policy, including lifting the eight-year-long freeze on fuel duty and raising alcohol duty.” – Daily Telegraph

Zahawi announces that foster parents can cuddle children in their care

“Foster parents are to be encouraged to hug and comfort children in their care after ministers accepted a review that said some carers did not show affection for fear of complaints. New advice is to be issued by the government to make clear that they can show physical affection to children living with them and to give them more control over everyday decisions…Nadhim Zahawi, minister for children, said that the changes should give children in foster care a chance to experience a stable loving home and build trusting relationships. He added that foster parents should have greater freedom to take everyday decisions about children, such as having a haircut, going on school trips or visiting friends.” – The Times

Hinds produces a “toolkit” to cut teacher workload

“The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has admitted too many teachers in England are being overwhelmed by excessive workloads and has pledged to do more to relieve the causes of stress that have been pushing qualified staff out of the classroom. The move came as Hinds argued that schools were on a par with the NHS as a “special case” for extra government spending, as behind the scenes negotiations over funding continued to delay any announcement on a pay rise for teachers. Saying that workload pressure was the No 1 complaint among teachers he spoke to, Hinds said he was committed to tackling the problem, unveiling a new “toolkit” showing school staff how to ditch time-consuming issues such as onerous marking policies and demanding parents.” – The Guardian

Hancock tells how the NHS saved his sister’s life

“The health and social care secretary says that he loves the NHS for saving his sister’s life after a riding accident. Matt Hancock said that Emily Gilruth, 41, was in a coma for four days at Southmead Hospital in Bristol after falling at Badminton Horse Trials in May last year. Yesterday at West Suffolk Hospital, in his first speech since he was appointed, he said: “I love my sister and the NHS saved her life, so when I say I love the NHS, I really mean it.” He said that targets should be revisited to make sure that they were “clinically appropriate”.” – The Times

>Today: David Hare on Comment: To help ensure better healthcare, politicians must make the case for the NHS internal market

Tory MP questioned over expenses claims

“Tory MP Chris Davies has been interviewed by police under caution over claims he forged expenses receipts, it can be revealed. The ministerial aide was questioned by officers from the Metropolitan Police on Tuesday following allegations he fabricated invoices for furniture and photographs to decorate his constituency office.” – Daily Mail

Bruges speech was toned down

“Margaret Thatcher’s famous Bruges speech on the future of Europe was actually toned down and would have been much more critical, her private papers have shown for the first time. The 1988 speech, credited as a turning point towards Euroscepticism, had never been intended as the attack it was received as and personal references to Jacques Delors, then President of the European Commission, and “Euro waffle” were removed, drafts show. Furthermore, it has emerged that it was largely written by a Europhile, Hugh Thomas, who was “disappointed” with the reaction as it was seen as an an attack by Mrs Thatcher on the European project.” – Daily Telegraph

Fall in level of public borrowing

“Government borrowing in the April-to-June period fell to its lowest level since 2007, official figures show. Borrowing for the financial year so far has reached £16.8bn, £5.4bn less than in the same period in 2017, the Office for National Statistics said. June’s borrowing figure fell to £5.4bn, which was down from £6.2bn a year ago but was slightly larger than expected.” – BBC

Corbyn is a security risk warns Woodcock

“An MP who quit Labour this week has said a government led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell would present a security risk to the United Kingdom. John Woodcock, MP for Barrow & Furness, resigned the party whip on Wednesday in protest at the Labour leadership’s handling of antisemitism. He also heaped censure on what he said was a hard-left takeover of the party. In an interview with The Times today, he predicted that parliamentary colleagues would follow his lead, saying: “I strongly believe that, although I may have been the first [Labour MP] to go, I most certainly will not be the last.” – The Times

  • Interview with John Woodcock – The Times
  • Anger as Labour sports minister claims England fans avoided flying St George’s Cross flag during the World Cup – Daily Mail
  • Anti-Semitism is an issue that could blow the Labour Party to smithereens – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

MPs challenge CPS failings

“MPs have criticised the director of public prosecutions over failings in the disclosure of evidence in criminal cases. A number of rape trials collapsed last year after it emerged vital evidence had not been given to defence lawyers. The Justice Select Committee said Alison Saunders did not recognise the severity of the issue and there was “insufficient leadership”. Ms Saunders said addressing problems in the system was her “top priority”….Their report also said the Crown Prosecution Service may have underestimated the number of cases halted because of issues with disclosing evidence.” – BBC

Imran Khan “near to victor” in Pakistan election

“On a stage high above a hockey stadium to the north of Lahore, a compere shrieks into the microphone. Supporters of Imran Khan clamber onto rows of chairs. Then the 65-year-old cricket legend steps forward. With a general election due to be held on Wednesday, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is just a bat swing away from a victory he has pursued relentlessly since relinquishing a glamorous London lifestyle of celebrity and nightclubs more than 20 years ago. “This is an opportunity to change Pakistan,” he tells an 8,000-strong crowd in the poor suburb of Shahdara, as moths collide with high-powered floodlights. “You will not have it again and again.” ” – The Guardian

May’s survival prospects 1) She is safe until September declares Forsyth

“She’s safe until September.” That is the verdict of one of those who knows the Tory parliamentary party best. Theresa May will make it to the summer break on Tuesday. She can then be confident there will be no more drama about her own position until Parliament returns in the autumn…I can report that, in one meeting this week, it was claimed that 130 Tory MPs were ready to vote against Mrs May in a confidence vote. Now, others in the room regard this figure as an exaggeration. But interestingly, they think the total is close to three figures. Mrs May has shown such a remarkable ability to survive that one MP likened her to Gloria Gaynor this week. Afterwards, Mrs May admitted that the reference had been lost on her. But September will test her survival skills like nothing else.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

May’s survival prospects 2) Parris believes she will still be there at Christmas

“I’m by no means sure that the Brexiteers, whatever they say this month, will want to cut Theresa May’s lifeline before Christmas. Not then: not until we’ve left the European Union. Jacob Rees-Mogg is right that the Norway-style option that we seem to be edging towards demotes Britain to the status of an EU satellite. He’s right to think that would be humiliating. His horror of the terms on which we’d leave the EU is understandable. But (for the moment only privately) he and his friends may think they can fix that later. Their immediate priority is to leave: just leave, with a weakened prime minister dangling upon their displeasure. In which case Mrs May’s chances of getting past Christmas may be better than you suppose.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

May’s survival prospects 3) Oborne is more doubtful that she can continue

“If Brussels accepts her Brexit deal — which is certainly not a foregone conclusion — she must bring it before Westminster to be approved. Theresa May is a brave woman and I wish her well. But the chances are that it will be voted down in Parliament and she will lose the ensuing vote of confidence. What then? Tory Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg want Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal. But I am convinced that Parliament will prevent that happening. Whatever the case, we are witnessing a political crisis of a scale not seen since wartime. As power continues to drain from Mrs May, we face the prospect of a third general election in four years and even a second EU referendum.” Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Michel Barnier’s pointed questions point to no deal – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • He may defend free speech now, but Obama’s record speaks for itself – Harry Phibbs, CapX
  • May’s Belfast Speech is another step on the wrong road to Brexit – Hugh Bennett, Brexit Central
  • Labour drawing up draft Queen’s Speech in preparation for a snap general election win – Independent
  • We are heading for no deal – Stephen Bush, New Statesman

And finally…How Denis Thatcher vetoed stars on No 10 guest list

“When Tony Blair invited actors and pop stars of the Britpop era to Downing Street to celebrate his victory in 1997 the alliance of politicians with celebrities became known as Cool Britannia. It followed a template set nine years earlier by Margaret Thatcher for a party that might be better described as uncool Britannia, with guests including Bob Monkhouse, Christopher Biggins and Jimmy Tarbuck. Files just released by Mrs Thatcher’s personal archive at Churchill College, Cambridge, show that planning for the event was fraught as one aide tried to add more glamorous celebrities and Denis Thatcher vetoed people he considered hostile to his wife. Mr Thatcher’s annotated list of guests on which he endorses people such as the actresses Dame Judi Dench and Penelope Keith but queries David Attenborough, Sebastian Coe and Paul McCartney. Mick Jagger’s name also appears but Mr Thatcher did not express an opinion of him.” – The Times

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