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Fox warns against extending Article 50…

“Liam Fox today warned any attempt to extend the two-year Article 50 Brexit process would be a ‘betrayal’ of Leave voters. The International Trade Secretary said discussion of extending talks would outrage Leave voters. As prospects of a collapse in negotiation rise, Brexit debate has this week focused on whether talks could be extended beyond next March. Britain’s EU membership is due to expire on March 29 next year, exactly two years after Theresa May filed the Article 50 notification. Irish Premier Leo Varadkar said he would vote to extend the process if it was necessary to avoid no deal and the sentiment was echoed by the French government this week.” – Daily Mail

  • May warns that hard border is ‘inescapable’ under ‘no deal’ – The Sun
  • Clark claims ‘no deal’ exit would be a ‘disaster for Europeans’ – Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: The campaign for a second referendum isn’t really a campaign for a second referendum

…as Cabinet prepares secret ‘fallback plan’…

“A secret Brexit plan has been drawn up by Cabinet ministers amid concerns that Theresa May’s Chequers compromise will be killed off by Brussels. The “fallback” option is based on existing “best-in-class” trade deals between the EU and other nations such as Canada, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Cabinet sources confirmed that work on the plan is ongoing and that in the event that Mrs May’s Chequers compromise is rejected or collapses in the face of Eurosceptic opposition it will be presented to Brussels. The plan, which was originally commissioned by David Davis, the former Brexit secretary, is heavily based on the EU’s trade treaty with Canada and far closer to the deal that Eurosceptics want. It comes after Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, effectively killed off a key element of Mrs May’s Brexit plan on Thursday by warning that Brussels “cannot and will not” allow the UK to collect duties on its behalf.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: James Cartlidge MP in Comment: It’s time to board the EEA lifeboat – and set sail towards a New Common Market

…and rival factions ‘prepare for challenge to May’

“Rival Tory factions are gearing up for an autumn confrontation after Theresa May’s Brexit plan hit roadblocks in parliament and Europe… Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP for North West Leicestershire who supports a hard Brexit and has called for Mrs May to go, held a meeting of his local party on Thursday night at which a motion of no confidence in the prime minister was endorsed. Remain supporters are also reinforcing their ranks, planning meetings and conference calls over the summer. There are also signs of support for a new faction that cuts across both camps. The Brexit Delivery Group includes Andrew Percy, a Brexiteer, and Simon Hart, a Remainer, and is dedicated to avoiding a civil war on Brexit. It now claims to have more than 40 followers and will push against any coup led by Brexiteers.” – The Times

  • Prime Minister wins ‘support for Chequers deal’ from Austrian Chancellor – Daily Mail
  • Public concern over Brexit hits ‘record high’ – Daily Telegraph

More:

  • EU might give UK ‘unique deal’ over Galileo – The Guardian
  • Prospect of ‘salvaging’ research collaboration – FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Are Blair’s Brexit interventions about more than just rewriting his legacy?

James Forsyth: Barnier may be misjudging Britain with his customs union push

“There is a strong sense among ministers that the UK can’t carry on with Barnier saying no and the Government offering up concession after concession. In the words of one, “we shouldn’t sell the soul of the nation to have a deal with the EU”. Is no-deal the most likely outcome, then? Well, not yet. Some in Government believe they can reverse the EU’s threat — pointing out that if there is no deal there will be a hard border in Ireland. They hope this message might make the EU more amenable either to May’s customs plan or to a “max fac”-style solution. What’s for certain is that May’s meeting with other EU leaders in September is ­shaping up to be crucial. But May must make sure she goes to that meeting with a plan B.” – The Sun

  • Europe must wake up to the looming nightmare of a no-deal Brexit – Henry Newman, The Guardian
  • May hopes anti-Brussels leaders will save her plan – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Leigh Higgins in Comment: Post-Chequers, we need to explain more clearly what leaving the EU will now look like

Leadership: Has Javid been set up as the Prime Minister’s successor?

“Just as the rest of Westminster is seeking solace on the sunlounger after a bruising and divided month, Mr Javid is giving every impression of picking up the pace, reaching an energy level last seen by Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, at the turn of the year. But in what cause? One Remain-supporting Conservative said: “My view is that Sajid is a canny operator who is able to say some brave things, such as his comments on Sarah Champion, but I have no idea what he actually believes.” As British politics appears to have hit a cul-de-sac at home and abroad over Brexit, some believe that Mrs May has now set him up to be her successor, albeit more by accident than design. Could he be the force to take the party back to the future?” – The Times

More leadership:

  • ‘Soldiering is similar to politics’ – Interview with Tom Tugendhat, The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: YouGov once again echoes the ConHome panel on May and Tory leadership

Patel clashes with Gauke over whether or not ‘prison works’…

“Criminals spared jail went on to commit more than five million further offences over the past decade, official figures revealed yesterday. Justice Secretary David Gauke is pushing for an end to short prison sentences, arguing that they do not work. But figures released to Parliament revealed that many offenders given so-called ‘soft sentences’ – such as community service – have fuelled a crimewave. The data showed that over an 11-year period, offenders spared jail went on to commit more than 5.5million additional crimes – or almost 10,000 every week. Former cabinet minister Priti Patel, who obtained the figures, said they made the case for locking up more criminals.” – Daily Mail

…as he prepares to support divorce reform

“The archaic, fault-based divorce laws of England and Wales could be scrapped under a review that ministers are set to support, The Times has learnt. Justice ministers want to work with Baroness Butler-Sloss, the crossbench peer and former senior family judge, on a private member’s bill urging divorce law reform which comes up for debate in the autumn… David Gauke, the justice secretary, has already said that he is committed to examining the evidence for change and accepts “the strength of feeling on the issue”. It is now understood that ministers are preparing to work across political parties and are keen to work with Lady Butler-Sloss.” – The Times

  • From divorce to gender, our laws should not be changed on a whim – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Our laws aren’t fit for the modern world – Janice Turner, The Times
  • Law and justice… and divorce – David Allen Green, FT

Glen dismisses Salisbury ‘conspiracy theories’ and blames Russia

“Glen has been very clear since early March that the Russians are responsible. I ask how he can be so sure. “Well, I was on the defence committee for a couple of years. I did a degree in international security and strategy. My instincts are that if 27 countries are given information from our intelligence services, and that leads them, within a few days, to expel over 150 diplomats from their respective missions, they would not have done that unless the evidence was compelling of culpability of the Kremlin. But, when they saw the evidence, there was an immediate response. I would rely on that fact and that decision to inform my understanding of culpability.” Could the agent have come from the nearby MoD laboratory at Porton Down? He shakes his head impatiently.” – The Guardian

Rosindell demands aid reform

Shield“Britain is giving ever-increasing amounts of foreign aid to booming China and oil-rich Nigeria, accounts have revealed. Despite vows to stop financing the world’s second largest economy, £46.9million was handed to China last year – up £2.6million on the previous year. And some £319.6million was given to Nigeria, which is rich enough to afford its own space programme. This is up more than a fifth on the £262.7million given the year before, the Government report showed… Tory MP Andrew Rosindell said: ‘There is little public support for this 0.7 ring-fenced, inflation-proof budget, when vital services are being cut back here in the UK. A root and branch review of DfID, its budget and operations is needed and ministers need to take control back from empire-building officials or risk a collapse in public support all together.’” – Daily Mail

  • We need a stricter definition of refugee – Matthew Parris, The Times

>Yesterday: Nicholas Daniels in Comment: Britain should pursue a more disruptive aid strategy

Hoey vows to fight deselection bid

“The pro-Brexit Labour MP Kate Hoey has said that she will not be swayed by moves to deselect her after local party activists passed a vote of no confidence. Ms Hoey, who represents Vauxhall, which voted Remain at the 2016 EU referendum, was censured for “colluding with Nigel Farage”, the former Ukip leader, by members who were angry about her repeatedly voting with the government in knife-edge Brexit votes. Ms Hoey has held the seat for 29 years and was re-elected last year with a majority of more than 20,000. She said that she was “quite relaxed” about the outcome and that it would not change how she voted in parliament. A motion on Thursday calling for her to lose the Labour whip and be barred from being reselected as a parliamentary candidate passed with 42 votes in favour, three abstentions and none against. With the whip withdrawn she would have to sit as an independent.” – The Times

  • Labour needs more Hoeys, deselecting her would be a damning own goal – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

Labour suspends councillor over antisemitic post

“Labour has suspended a councillor over an anti-Semitic online post claiming Jews drink blood and sexually abuse children. Damien Enticott is said to have posted the video on his Facebook account, referring to ‘Talmud Jews’ as ‘parasites’. The post also said they were child rapists and called for them to be executed. A Labour source said he had been suspended pending an investigation. Mr Enticott, who sits on Bognor Regis town council in West Sussex, denied he had posted the clip, suggesting one of his housemates may have shared it in his name. The incident comes amid an ongoing row within Labour over its decision not to fully adopt an internationally-recognised definition of anti-Semitism as part of a new code of conduct.” – Daily Mail

  • Why was Labour so much quicker to punish Hodge than Livingstone? – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph

MPs call for ‘fake news’ taxes on web giants

“Facebook, Google and Twitter face the threat of new taxes to combat fake news, amid warnings the phenomenon is putting democracy at risk. Leaked reports suggest MPs will call for a major clampdown on the social media giants to protect the West’s democratic processes. The culture, media and sport committee, which has conducted a lengthy inquiry into fake news, is expected to call for social media firms to be made legally liable for harmful and illegal content on their platforms. It is also expected to propose a levy on the firms to raise funds for combating fake news, and say social media and data protection lessons should be on the national curriculum.” – Daily Mail

  • Tech firms fear ‘nightmare’ if MPs get their way – The Guardian

Ulster police not investigating Paisley

“The PSNI has indicated it is not investigating Ian Paisley following the revelations about his holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government. The North Antrim MP has been handed a record parliamentary ban for failing to declare the lavish family trips, then lobbying UK ministers to prevent an international inquiry into Sri Lanka’s human rights violations. The News Letter asked the PSNI if they had received any complaints regarding Mr Paisley’s actions, and whether they intended to launch an investigation into the matter. A police spokesperson replied: “This is a matter for the Parliamentary Standards Committee not PSNI.” We also posed the same question to the Metropolitan police in London, but were told there was “insufficient information” to carry out a search of police records.” – News Letter

Charity criticised for ‘appalling’ donation to terror-linked Irish republican group

“One of Britain’s biggest charities gave £275,000 to an Irish republican group whose offices were raided this year by anti-terrorism police investigating sex-trafficking, violent intimidation and “paramilitary-style attacks”. Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust funded a support group closely linked to the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), a banned terrorist organisation. A man held in the raids was charged with running a brothel and extortion. The York-based trust was strongly condemned yesterday by a politician from Northern Ireland’s nationalist SDLP party. She called the award “sickening”. The Charity Commission ordered the trust last night to “explain and justify” its funding decision. A source close to the regulator labelled it “astonishing and absolutely appalling”.” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Fighting the fake news being levelled at Vote Leave – Dominic Cummings, Blog
  • Why Cummings’ second referendum warning ought to worry No 10 – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • Britain’s changing demographics spell trouble for the Tories – Matt Singh, CapX
  • How May can rescue Chequers – James Cullimore, Reaction
  • How Juncker got the better of Trump – Michael Burleigh, UnHerd

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