May to EU: Now it’s time to get serious – and negotiate

“Our message now is to the other side, to Europe, that it’s time to get serious and sit down and talk about it,” she says. “It’s now for Europe to be prepared to sit down and move the pace of negotiations on and talk about it seriously and address what we’ve put forward…“The sense I get from European leaders is that they are starting to say, ‘What matters for our economies? What matters for our futures? What matters for our people?’ I think there is a willingness to be constructive — to recognise that as the clock is ticking, actually we need to sit down and negotiate.” – Interview, Tim Shipman, Sunday Times

“Don’t know” leads in first poll on May’s Chequers plan – and Labour go two points ahead of the Conservatives

“Opinion is evenly balanced over Mrs May’s overall performance at the Chequers showdown. While 35 per cent say the compromise hammered out by Mrs May at Chequers is the best deal Britain will get from the EU, 38 per cent say it is a ‘sell-out’. A total of 38 per cent say the deal is not faithful to the EU Referendum, against 29 per cent who disagree. More than four in ten say it is the ‘wrong deal for Britain’ and barely one in four say it is the ‘right deal’.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Leave fightback. Martin Howe for the ERG slams “worst-of-all-worlds Black Hole Brexit where the UK is stuck permanently as a vassal state in the EU’s legal and regulatory tarpit” – Observer
  • Remain fightback. Business leaders come out against May’s customs plan, urging MPs to vote to keep Britain in the Customs Union… – Sunday Times
  • …And service sector firms complain of being left out in the cold – Sunday Times
  • Rees-Mogg says the proposals may be worse than No Deal – Sun on Sunday
  • Draft leadership challenge letter circulating among Tory MPs – Sunday Telegraph
  • Johnson urged to resign, Rees-Mogg lobbied to stand, Hammond complained at Chequers that May has wasted time – Sunday Times
  • Johnson repeated “vassal state” line at Chequers, said new customs plan would seriously inhibit trade deals – Mail on Sunday
  • “McVey argued passionately for a much harder starting position” – Sun on Sunday
  • The key moment was Gove backing the plan – Sunday Times
  • Pro-Leave MPs slam Gove – Sunday Telegraph “His pretensions to being a credible leader have been blown to smithereens,” said one senior Brexiteer. “He’s a busted flush.” – Sunday Telegraph
  • Brexiteer Minister on Javid, Hunt and Williamson: “They are all talk and no trousers. When the going got tough they deserted us.” – Sun on Sunday
  • “It is by no means certain that this truce will last” – Observer
  • Our columnist Iain Dale says: “This is Brexit in name only, isn’t it?” – Sunday Express
  • Irish Government welcomes May’s plan – Observer
  • Grayling warns that new EU laws may kill Formula One – Sun on Sunday
  • May: “I can give Sunday Express readers an absolute guarantee that free movement is going to end…” – Sunday Express
  • (…But she refuses to rule out special treatment for EU citizens) – Sun on Sunday
  • It’s not just Hard Brexiteers: grammar schools complain of betrayal by May – Sunday Times

Duncan Smith comes out against May’s plan

“We’ve only had the chance to see carefully-edited extracts of the full Cabinet proposal so far. However, an early look at the small amount of information the Government has put out leaves me deeply concerned about the nature of our future relationship with the EU. It raises serious questions about whether or not we will be able to strike genuine and serious trade arrangements with other countries round the world. Perhaps my most important concern is whether we would be able to negotiate proper trade deals with non-EU countries…This agreement ties us to EU standards, making it impossible for us to strike mutual arrangements on the import and export of goods with other countries. No self respecting nation will entertain such a deal.” – Sun on Sunday

  • “The most likely answer from Brussels will be a call for more concessions. But there’s little further than Britain could reasonably compromise on” – Henry Newman, Sunday Telegraph
  • Forget it. Brussels won’t back off. Prepare for No Deal. About two hours of the day-long Chequers summit was devoted to preparations – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
  • Tough May – Damian Green, Mail on Sunday
  • Wimp Johnson – Andrew Bridgen, Mail on Sunday
  • Hard Brexit Cabinet members mugged by reality – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • Finally, May is getting on with it – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times
  • She has put her survival ahead of sovereignty – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • Clark/Gove mimic recent Boles/Syms ConHome piece in Remain/Leaver alliance to back the Prime Minister – Mail on Sunday
  • Ditto Javid and Fox in the Sun on Sunday
  • Ditto Hammond and Grayling in the Sunday Telegraph
  • “With the Prime Minister’s specific reassurances to me, around the UK Parliament having a say on any tweaks to trade rules, I have given her my backing.” – Andrea Leadsom, Sunday Express
  • “The cabinet has very deliberately chosen to listen to business and not to swear at it or ask it to keep quiet. That is good news for our future prosperity” – Nicky Morgan, Observer
  • Summary of Government position – David Lidington, Observer
  • May puts ball into Europe’s court – Sunday Times Editorial
  • “How the PM arrived at this fudge at Chequers shows she’s doing the EU’s work for them — but she must not water Brexit down any more,” Sun on Sunday Editorial
  • “Last Friday felt like a political coup by the establishment, and an abject surrender by the Brexiteers in Cabinet, along with their colleagues who say that they now accept Brexit. By signing up to this plan, they – tragically – become part-responsible for it. How will backbench MPs react? What will Leave voters think? And how much more will the EU now ask for?” – Sunday Telegraph Editorial

> Today: ToryDiary – Our snap survey. Three in five Party members believe May’s new Brexit plan represents a bad deal for Britain.

> Yesterday:

Counter-attack on Williamson: MOD accused of wasting money

“He is demanding an extra £20billion to avoid further damaging cuts – yet MoD civil servants are allowed to sign off their own expenses claims. And his ministry has topped a list of six government departments that have launched investigations into expenses fraud. While troops faced years of wage freezes, desk-bound officials claimed for everything from bicycle hire to a stay on board a five-star superyacht. They raked in a total of £81 million over the past three years but only one in four claims were checked for fraud or error.” – Sun on Sunday

Berry wants to revive town centres with free parking and bandstands

“This summer the Government will launch a new call for evidence to help the Government develop what Jake Berry, the minister for the high street, described as a “robust policy response” to concerns about shop closures. In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Berry said he wanted the Government to be the “handmaiden of change on the high street”. One idea is for councils to rethink how they charge motorists to park in town centres. Mr Berry, who said his favourite shop in his constituency is a local pie shop, said: “Having short periods of free parking is something that can bring people back into high streets.” – Sunday Telegraph

1922 Committee Executive brands Leadsom’s sex assault policy a “disgrace”

“Under the proposals an investigation will be launched if alleged victims bring rape and sexual assault claims at Westminster — even if they do not report an incident to police. But the plan has been criticised by senior Tory MPs, who claim it will look as if parliament is operating outside the law and could lead to accusations of a cover-up. They also fear it will lead to MPs being found guilty on a lower burden of proof and losing their careers if voters then remove them. The proposal was branded a “disgrace” when it was discussed by the executive committee of the 1922 group following a presentation by Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons.” – Sunday Times

Lee slams a “culture of Government by cowardice” as his plan to teach prisoners martial arts is shelved

“It often feels as though politics rewards the wrong things: headlines rather than hard work,” he writes on “And that the slog of trawling through evidence to work out what really turns people’s lives around is often wasted. He continues: “It is no wonder people think there is no integrity in politics. We need to end this culture of governance by cowardice.” In what appeared to be a pre-emptive strike to kill off the idea of teaching martial arts in prisons, the Tory party chairman, Brandon Lewis, recently circulated a letter to ministerial colleagues and Whitehall departments, making it clear the ideas were unacceptable.” – Observer

Nick Cohen: Why has Labour run the risk of alienating progressive Jews?

“Labour dropped the alliance’s stipulation that it was racist to accuse Jewish citizens of having a greater loyalty to world Jewry than their own country, or to hold Israel to a higher standard than other democratic nations. The international definition implies that Ken Livingstone’s “Hitler was a Zionist” fake history or comparisons of Israel with Nazism are racist. Labour prefers to hide in a forest of equivocation. It is normal to draw metaphors from history, its Jewsplainers state. It is not antisemitic to use them “unless there is evidence of antisemitic intent”. As you can rarely look into another person’s soul and prove intent, I take that to mean Labour is giving many of its racists a free pass.” – Observer

  • Eight Labour MPs gave Commons passes to union officials who bankrolled their election campaigns – Sunday Telegraph

News in Brief

  • Red Arrow welcome for Trump when he visits Britain this week – Sun on Sunday
  • Samantha Cameron’s fledgling fashion firm reveals losses of more than half a million in its first year – Mail on Sunday
  • Loughton says that a ban on wearing skirts at his old school is politically-correct nonsense – Sunday Times
  • The Sunday Times publishes a shorter version of Richard Holden’s ConHome piece about his nightmare experience at the hands of the police and the CPS when he was baselessly charged with sexual assault.
  • Salisbury Police officer given all-clear after novichok exposure scare – Observer
  • Temperatures to hit 86F today – Sunday Express
  • It’s Coming Home It’s Coming Home It’s Coming Home It’s Coming Home: England beat Sweden 2-0 in the World Cup quarter final, and will play Croatia on Wednesday in the semi-final, a stage they reach for the first time since 1990 – Sunday Telegraph

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