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Prime Minister to ‘woo grassroots Tories’ over the Chequers deal…

“Theresa May will go on a tour of Britain this summer in an attempt to convince sceptical Tory members to back her plan for Brexit. The scale of unrest among grassroots Conservatives emerged yesterday as Boris Johnson used a resignation speech to galvanise the party’s membership against the prime minister’s Chequers plan… Mrs May appears to have survived the most turbulent period of her leadership after defeating rebellions from the Remain and Brexiteer wings of her party. Details have emerged, however, of a “tense” and “emotionally charged” meeting this week at No 10 between Tory association heads and Brandon Lewis, the party chairman. “A lot of people there were clearly upset,” the Conservative Home website reported.” – The Times

  • Cabinet stays away as ex-Foreign Secretary harks back to ‘glorious vision’ – The Times
  • May ‘slaps down’ Johnson’s Brexit claims about Chequers – Daily Mail

Comment:

  • Johnson has expressed the betrayal felt by ordinary leavers – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit is now a battle over who governs Britain – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
  • Scathing speech could be the start of a leadership challenge – Leo McKinstry, Daily Telegraph
  • The week Brexiteers lost control of Brexit – Philip Stephens, FT
  • Tory members can no longer grin and bear May’s Brexit – Don Porter, Daily Telegraph

Sketches:

  • No jokes or cheap shots, but real anger – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Showman shuffles off stage – Patrick Kidd, The Times

>Today:

>Yesterday:

…as she ‘steps up preparations for no deal’

“Theresa May is preparing to publish more than 70 papers giving instructions on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. In a clear sign that plans are accelerating to cover the negotiations collapsing, the Prime Minister said the technical notices would tell firms and individuals what to do ‘in the event of a no-deal scenario’. Her comments came as International Trade Secretary Liam Fox warned EU leaders of the catastrophic economic consequences of failing to reach an agreement… Yesterday, Dr Fox spelled out the risks of no deal for the EU’s economic output, saying Ireland’s could collapse by 8 per cent – the equivalent of tens of billions of pounds. Other countries with close economic ties to the UK would also be hit, including the Netherlands, which faces a 4 per cent fall in output, and Belgium on 3.5 per cent.” – Daily Mail

  • Brexit Secretary to ‘flood businesses’ with no deal advice – FT
  • EU assault on White Paper heightens fears – The Guardian
  • Prime Minister defends blueprint to Liaison Committee – Daily Mail
  • May ‘struggles to explain customs plan’ – The Guardian

More:

  • Dublin making preparations for ‘no deal’ Brexit – Daily Express
  • Brexiteers attack proposals to extend Article 50 – Daily Express

Peter Foster: Clock is ticking towards ‘catastrophic rupture’

“The audible sighs of relief in Downing Street cannot mask the fact that when it comes to the negotiation with Brussels, the British government has actually moved backwards this week in the eyes of the EU. The UK Brexit white paper was always viewed as a fundamentally tactical and political document in Brussels, designed to open the door to further negotiations (and concessions) rather than a serious blueprint for the future. Europe might conceivably have humoured its most fanciful parts – like the dual tariff system that created the theoretical possibility of an independent trade policy after Brexit – but Mrs May’s own hard Brexiteer rebels have shot that fox before it could even leave its den.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Humiliation beckons if we can’t unite around a plan – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Tory meltdown makes ‘no deal’ more likely than ever – Iain Martin, The Times
  • May’s Brexit model is alive and kicking – Martin Sandbu, FT

>Today: Interviews: Stewart Jackson, Davis’ former SpAd, accuses Downing Street of “constitutional impropriety”

>Yesterday:

Soubry calls for cross-party government of ‘national unity’… which includes the SNP

“A pro-EU Conservative MP has called for a “government of unity” to help deliver Brexit. Anna Soubry said that her fellow MPs should join forces cross-party to put the country’s interests first because we “cannot go on like this”. Unity governments have been formed in times of national crisis and involve MPs putting aside political differences for a common good. Ms Soubry said that there needed to be cross-party collaboration on a new Brexit deal, but this would not include the Labour frontbench, who have ruled out the idea. “I would encompass Plaid Cymru, the SNP and other sensible, pragmatic people who believe in putting this country’s interests first and foremost,” she said. Jonathan Edwards, of Plaid Cymru, welcomed the idea…” – The Times

  • Furious Tory Remainers claim Rees-Mogg is running the country – Daily Mail
  • SNP MP calls for independence referendum within a year – The Scotsman

Labour:

  • Labour MPs under fire for helping Tories survive rebellion – FT
  • Momentum leader wants Brexiteers deselected – The Guardian

Analysis:

  • Coalition could help parties bridge the Brexit divide – Dulcie Lee, The Times

Comment:

  • We need a Prime Minister who can take on these rebels – Rod Liddle, The Sun
  • Nationalists must push for a second Brexit referendum first – Kenny MacAskill, The Scotsman

>Yesterday:

Fox says Anglosphere countries will be priority for trade deals

“Liam Fox has announced he will prioritise post-Brexit trade deals with Australia, New Zealand and the US – despite Donald Trump slamming on the brakes last week. The International Trade Secretary announced the three English-speaking countries and fellow members of the Five Eyes security partnership would be front of the queue for trade deals after Britain leaves the EU. But his pledge to make the US a top priority raised eyebrows on Wednesday night – coming just days after Mr Trump poured scorn on the prospect by telling The Sun that her Chequers deal would “probably kill” any trade deal with the US. n a speech in London he announced four new 14-week public consultations to start scoping the the three free trade deals as well as looking into the prospect of joiningthe multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership that includes Japan, Canada, Chile, Singapore and Mexico – even though the block is on the other side of the world.” – The Sun

  • Dutch reveal they hired three times as many customs officers as Britain – The Sun
  • Millions of Britons could need a permit to drive in Europe – The Times

Northern Ireland:

  • Raab meets Barnier as pressure mounts on Ulster border – FT
  • May to ‘rule out’ hard border in visit to Northern Ireland – Belfast Telegraph

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Ici Londres – There is nothing wrong with a trade deficit, argues Hannan

Smith accused of ordering MPs to break pairings for key votes

“Julian Smith, the chief whip, urged three Tory MPs to abandon “pairing” arrangements before a knife-edge vote on Tuesday, it has been claimed… Mr Smith summoned Brandon Lewis, the Tory chairman, from a meeting to parliament as a crunch vote on customs approached, witnesses claim. The chief whip is understood to have told Mr Lewis that the later votes were going to be close and he needed him to vote. This breached the pairing deal with Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat MP who is on maternity leave. The Times has been told of two other Tory MPs told by Mr Smith that they should vote on Tuesday despite being paired. Both sought further advice and ignored the instruction. The Tory whips’ office did not comment.” – The Times

  • May ‘condemns party whips’ for ignoring rule – The Sun

Ministers 1) Williamson’s Armed Forces update ‘postpones spending decisions’

“An update on the future of the armed forces will contain no headline conclusions and no new money, The Times understands. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, will today instead outline commitments to buy the right equipment, deliver value for money and make the Ministry of Defence as cost-effective as possible, a Whitehall source said. “It will be a relatively dry update with more to come later,” the source said. A second source said the written statement would make clear that “we have dealt with key areas of work”. The move falls far short of a fully funded plan for the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, despite months of work by military chiefs, defence officials and the defence secretary to formulate a credible plan for defence.” – The Times

  • Scottish soldiers to be compensated for devolution tax hikes – The Scotsman
  • Britain trials unmanned system to supply front-lone troops – FT

Ministers 2) McVey authorises back payments which could cost £150 million

“Tens of thousands of disabled people denied welfare benefits because of government errors are to receive additional back payments totalling as much as £150 million. Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, reversed a policy of refusing to reimburse missed payments from before October 2014 hours after a critical select committee report was published. Campaigners said that the move could increase the number of claimants receiving payments from 70,000 to 250,000, with some in line for an extra £10,000. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had already accepted that it wrongly underpaid disabled people switching from incapacity benefit to the employment and support allowance (ESA), and had started the process of reimbursing an estimated £340 million relating to claims made after October 2014.” – The Times

Labour: Woodcock quits Labour to sit as an independent…

“An MP dramatically quit the Labour Party to sit as an independent today – complaining about a witch-hunt by Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left allies. John Woodcock, who was suspended three months ago over claims he sent inappropriate texts to a female aide, said the process against him was being ‘manipulated for factional purposes’. He said he no long believed the party under Mr Corbyn would return to the ‘mainstream inclusive electoral force’ he once knew. And he tore into the party leader accusing him of showing ‘tolerance of anti-Semitism’ and being a ‘clear risk to national security’. There have been suggestions that details of the complaint against Mr Woodcock – originally made in November last year – were leaked to the media after he launched a searing attack on Mr Corbyn in the Commons in March.” – Daily Mail

  • Outgoing MP brands leader a ‘national security risk’ – The Sun

Comment:

  • Corbyn is lucky so few Labour MPs are principled enough to quit – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • The moral collapse of the Labour Party – Sebastian Payne, FT

…as party threatens Hodge with disciplinary action

“Confronting him on Tuesday evening outside the Commons chamber, she added: “You have proved you don’t want people like me in the party.” She later denied using a swear word but did not back down from accusing Mr Corbyn of being hostile towards Jews. After a party spokesman said yesterday that Dame Margaret’s behaviour was “clearly unacceptable” and “action will be taken” under Labour rules on respect shown between colleagues, some Labour MPs spoke out in support of her. Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree and parliamentary chairwoman of the Jewish Labour Movement, said of her colleague: “Her family were murdered in the Holocaust. When she speaks out about antisemitism, people should listen and act rather than condemn her.”” – The Times

  • Labour politician refuses to quit despite ‘misogynistic hate campaign’ – The Sun

Comment:

  • Corbyn has turned Labour into the party of antisemitism – Stephen Pollard, The Sun

Welsh Assembly to rebrand as the Welsh Parliament

“Wales’ National Assembly will change its name under plans announced today. The change to Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru would come into place in 2020. The body that runs the National Assembly, the Assembly Commission, also wants to lowering the minimum voting age to 16 in Assembly elections. At a later date, it will look at whether to increase the size of the Assembly and change the voting system. The Commission’s decisions have been announced alongside the publication of a summary of the key findings of the Commission’s public consultation, Creating a Parliament for Wales. That asked people their thoughts on proposals, including the recommendations made by an expert panel, chaired by Laura McAllister CBE . It made its recommended in December 2017.” – Wales Online

DUP MP faces suspension from the Commons

“The DUP’s Ian Paisley faces being suspended from the Commons for 30 days after a sleaze probe found he failed to declare up to £100,000 of free holidays to Sri Lanka. The parliamentary standards watchdog has urged the punishment – the longest for decades – after concluding the MP went on all-expenses paid trips with his family to the country in 2013 but did not register them. The following year Mr Paisley lobbied then Prime Minister David Cameron on a UN resolution about human rights abuses by the authorities in Sri Lanka – again without declaring an interest. The cross-party standards committee agreed with commissioner Kathryn Stone that the backbencher’s actions amounted to ‘serious misconduct’ and risked bringing the House of Commons ‘into disrepute’.” – Daily Mail

  • Widespread calls for Paisley to resign following Standards Committee report – Belfast Telegraph
  • Government may face by-election for key Northern Irish ally – The Sun
  • MPs who fiddle expenses will be allowed to remain anonymous under new plans – Daily Telegraph

News in Brief:

  • After Chequers, the polls are shifting away from the Tories – Matt Singh, CapX
  • Boris calls time on Theresa May’s premiership – Gerald Warner, Reaction
  • Assad is back for good in Syria – and with Trump’s blessing – John R Bradley, The Spectator
  • The Guardian has swallowed all the EU’s myths – Austin Mitchell, Brexit Central
  • Labour’s shameful silence over the degradation of work – John Cruddas, UnHerd

11 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 19th July 2018

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