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Cabinet “backlash” builds against May over her “third way” on customs…

“Theresa May is facing a furious backlash from her Cabinet over her new “magic” third way on Britain’s post-Brexit customs arrangements amid accusations that she is treating her ministers like “idiots”. Downing Street announced this morning that after months of bitter infighting the Prime Minister will seek agreement on a new customs proposal when her Cabinet meets on Friday at Chequers. The Telegraph understands that Cabinet ministers including David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, knew nothing about the existence of the new proposal until it was briefed to the press over the weekend. Eurosceptic ministers are understood to be “deeply cynical” about the new plan amid concerns that the Prime Minister is trying to “bounce” her Cabinet.” – Daily Telegraph

…”Senior ministers” complain that they haven’t seen it…

“Theresa May’s efforts to strike a Brexit peace deal with her cabinet were plunged into chaos yesterday amid infighting and mounting suspicions over a compromise on customs. The prime minister has only three days left to cajole her most senior ministers into accepting Britain’s detailed negotiating stance before the final phase of talks in Brussels this summer. The most contentious element of the deal that Mrs May is trying to secure is a new proposal on future customs arrangements with the European Union. Downing Street sources said that a “third way” model was under preparation. However, senior ministers complain that they have seen no sign of it, provoking allegations of bad faith.” – The Times

  • The cabinet is “in the dark” – FT
  • May is “under pressure” to reveal details – Guardian
  • She “sidestepped” questions – The Times
  • But EU manages to dismiss her plan anyway – Daily Express

Wallace: …May must avoid trying to fudge. You can’t be “half pregnant”…

“… In advance of this summit, and hamstrung by serious disagreements over exactly that question, May ordered her ministers to divide into two working groups, each charged with addressing the practical and political issues with their preferred approach – so-called “Maximum Facilitation” or the “New Customs Partnership”. … As a result, senior Government sources now frame their plan for Chequers as being to produce a meld of the best bits of both approaches, in the hope of saving face and winning support on all sides. … That sounds nice, but it’s hard to imagine how it might actually work. For example, just as you can’t be half pregnant, you can’t be half subject to EU law – either you’re doing as Brussels says, or you aren’t. The very things that might satisfy the Commission’s negotiators dissatisfy Leave voters, for obvious reasons.” – The i

Editorial:

  • Of course May must keep her promises… – The Sun

More Comment:

  • Let’s see if she does… – Jacob Rees-Mogg, The Sun
  • A bad deal would still be worse than no deal – Stephen Pollard, Daily Express
  • This is getting ridiculous – Rachel Sylvester, The Times
  • Some details of the factions – Heather Stewart, Guardian
  • The risks of Remainers’ “provocative” reactions – Asa Bennett, Daily Telegraph

…She faces government “civil war” after Johnson backs “rebellious” Rees-Mogg

“Theresa May is fighting to prevent a civil war engulfing her government, after Boris Johnson backed a leading Tory who warned she faced a rebellion over Brexit. Amid a downward spiral in cabinet discipline, the Foreign Secretary praised Jacob Rees-Mogg as a “principled and dedicated MP who wants the best for our country.” – Herald

  • Johnson tweeted: “I hope we can all agree that Jacob Rees-Mogg is a principled and dedicated MP who wants the best for our country” – Daily Telegraph
  • Other pro-Brexiters have also supported him – Daily Express

>Today: Audio: The Moggcast. “If it’s a bad deal, or it doesn’t meet the manifesto commitments, people won’t vote for it”

…She calls for the party, government, and country to “come together”…

“Speaking at an annual fundraiser at the Hurlingham Club, west London, the Prime Minister said the stakes have never been higher in British politics, and begged her Party to put squabbles aside for the good of the country. The Prime Minister has been blighted by Tory in-fighting and threats from other MPs and ministers that could see her being thrown out of office over the UK’s exit deal with the EU. In her speech to high-flying party members seen by The Sun, Mrs May said: “So the stakes are high. “Perhaps higher than we have ever known in our lifetimes. “We each have a choice to make. “Will we come together and stand together as a party, as a government, and as a country? “Will we find the boldness, the courage, and the discipline to unite as one for the good of our nation and fellow citizens? “Or will we be divided and allow the scale of the challenge, the complexity of the questions to overwhelm us?”” – Daily Express

  • May made an emotional plea – The Sun

Hague: …Don’t forget the “vast sensible middle” of the party…

“An observer might be forgiven for thinking that the Conservative Party now consists entirely of two factions struggling for advantage in the furious arguments over Brexit. Two weeks ago it was Dominic Grieve and MPs more hostile to leaving the EU who threatened a major revolt. This week Jacob Rees-Mogg and the keenest Brexiteers are threatening all-out rebellion, while suggestions of resignations by ministers who campaigned to leave the EU are commonplace. In fact, like any mature governing party, the Conservatives largely consist of a vast sensible middle. This middle comprises ministers who run departments without mishap or crisis, MPs who toil away so the next Tory government can be elected, councillors who recently saw off the Corbyn Momentum hordes with efficient local administration, and activists who expect their representatives to stick together like they do.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The electorate wants a united government – Simon Hoare, The Times 

…Javid becomes favourite to be next Conservative leader, according to ConservativeHome members’ survey

“Sajid Javid has emerged as the favourite to take over from Theresa May as Conservative leader in a survey of Tory activists. The home secretary was backed by more than one in five party members who responded to a survey by the website Conservative Home. In a sign that Jacob Rees-Mogg’s unlikely claim on the leadership is receding, the pro-Brexit backbencher came in fourth, one vote behind “other”. He had topped the poll for the past five months in a row.” – The Times 

Comment:

  • Getting rid of May won’t solve the problems – Robert Shrimsley, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey’s final Next Tory Leader run-off. Javid 45 per cent, Gove 43 per cent

>Yesterday: 

More Brexit

  • Morgan calls for BoE analysis pre-exit deal vote – Daily Express
  • White House adviser claims Cameron asked Obama to make “back of the queue” comment – Daily Telegraph
  • Verhofstadt calls for “citizen fee” waiver – The Sun
  • Meanwhile, Merkel makes compromise agreement – Daily Mail

Might government raise fuel and alcohol duty to pay for NHS pledge?

“The government is close to lifting its eight-year long freeze on fuel duty to raise billions of pounds to help meet pressure from cabinet ministers to boost public spending while also continuing to reduce the deficit. An inflation-linked increase would raise £800m extra for Treasury coffers next year – and billions more over subsequent years – to help pay for Theresa May’s promise to spend an additional £20bn on the National Health Service by 2023, a pledge which the prime minister had said would partly be funded through a “Brexit dividend”. Ministers are also understood to be considering lifting the freeze on alcohol duty – which covers beer, wine, cider and spirits – announced in last autumn’s budget and costing the Treasury more than £200m a year.” – Guardian

  • Fuel hike could raise £800m in first year – The Times
  • And will Hammond agree to sales tax for internet companies? – The Sun 

Mercer to call for ministers to be “more honest” about the forces

“The Ministry of Defence is in danger of becoming an inefficient “jobs club” for people it no longer needs, Johnny Mercer, a former soldier and influential backbench MP has warned. Mr Mercer will today urge ministers to be “more honest” about the armed forces, which he claims have become “inherently inefficient” and must “embrace change” if Britain is to remain a leading military power. In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute think tank, he will say that any additional funding for must go hand-in-hand with reform, as he calls on defence chiefs to recognise that “you can actually do more with less”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Mattis shares concerns with Williamson about need to invest – Daily Telegraph
  • “New fears” arise about UK submarine spending – The Sun

Equalities Office action plan includes proposal for national LGBT health adviser

“The government will appoint a national LGBT health adviser and take measures to end so-called conversion therapy as part of a plan to deliver what Theresa May has promised will be “real and lasting change”. The proposals form part of an action plan published by the Equalities Office on Tuesday. It follows a UK-wide survey of LGBT people that had more than 108,000 responses, billed as the largest study of its kind. The 30-page plan contains a series of pledges, including to improve the police response to LGBT hate incidents, more support for LGBT students and teachers and improvements to gender identity services for transgender adults.” – Guardian

Home Office “rubber stamps” special licence for boy’s medicinal cannabis

“The Home Office has rubber-stamped a special exemption licence meaning severely epileptic Billy Caldwell can go home with his medicinal cannabis, a family spokesman has said. His mother Charlotte, of Castlederg in Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, had seven bottles confiscated at Heathrow Airport customs on June 11 after she brought them in from Toronto. Last month a 20-day emergency licence was granted for 12-year-old Billy after he was admitted to hospital in a critical condition having suffered multiple seizures. But a family spokesman said the Home Office, and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital have now agreed he can go home to Northern Ireland with his medicinal cannabis.” – Belfast Telegraph

More parliament 

  • Committee calls for end to MPs being Parliamentary “strategists, advisers or consultants” – Daily Telegraph
  • MPs write to Grayling about Thameslink compensation – The Times
  • Duncan says government will give “careful consideration” to calls for inquiry into human rights abuses – Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Gove floats scrapping HS2 because he believes it to be a policy with a growing appeal

News in Brief

  • What is the “third option”? – Isabel Hardman, Spectator
  • Thoughts on the European Council summit – Kai Weiss, CapX
  • Some clarity on WTO – David Collins, BrexitCentral
  • The positives of Cleverly running for mayor – Stephen Bush, New Statesman
  • The challenges ahead for the US and North Korea – Robin Wright, New Yorker 

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