Fox says “intransigence of Commission” means chance of “no deal” is now “60-40”

“Britain is odds-on to crash out of the European Union without a deal, Liam Fox warns today. In an interview with The Sunday Times, the international trade secretary put the chances of a no deal departure at “60-40”, squarely blaming the “intransigence” of the European Commission. Fox accused Eurocrats of harbouring a “theological obsession” with EU rules rather than “economic wellbeing”, which would lead to “only one outcome”. His intervention comes amid growing fears about the potential collapse in talks. … Speaking as he completed a trade mission to Japan, Fox said that he had previously not thought the prospects of a no-deal Brexit were “more than 50-50” but the risk of no trade deal had increased.” – The Sunday Times

  • He says risk has increased – Mail on Sunday
  • Ministers “make plans” to “redirect lorries” to Belgium and Netherlands if France were to bring in “no deal” checks – Sunday Telegraph 
  • Jones says now is time to drop Chequers – Sunday Express



  • “Universal rejection” of Chequers plan has united people against May – Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph
  • We need to “prepare a reserve position” of EEA membership – David Owen, The Sunday Times
  • EU leaders told they’ll “pay heavy price” in case of “no deal” – David Wooding, Sun on Sunday 

Blunkett: People voted Brexit for many reasons – calling them “racist” is wrong and misses the point

“Peter, now Lord, Mandelson and I have three things in common. Obviously, we’re both members of the House of Lords. Both of us were architects of New Labour (albeit in Peter’s case more prominently than in mine). And we are both better at giving other people advice than we are at taking it ourselves. …  Following a tragic and, in my view, desperately sad failure to debate the issues properly in the months leading up to the vote, the allegation that some of those voting for Leave were “racist” is not a new one. It has been bandied about on a number of occasions and seems to me not only an insult to the many people that I used to represent who voted Leave, but also to utterly miss the point of why the majority of British people voted the way they did. If we fail to understand their rationale then we do ourselves, but crucially also our democracy, a great disservice.” – Sunday Telegraph

More Brexit and Europe

  • Cross-party MPs write to Met and NCA about Vote Leave – Observer
  • Cable in “talks” with Collins – Mail on Sunday
  • ECHR tells NHS England to make “access” to transgender fertility provision “free of discrimination” – The Sunday Times
  • Farage considering running in case of Peterborough by-election – The Sunday Times 
  • DUP says Foster saw controversial Robinson article early  – Belfast News Letter 
  • Judge says Scottish independence is “similar to a religion” – Herald

Armitt: HS2 is “not an unaffordable pipe dream” – but £43bn extra funding is needed

“Stretching from London to Birmingham and up to Manchester and Leeds, HS2 is a project whose time has come, increasing journey speeds and capacity across the country.  Its benefits will be felt for decades to come.  But we need to make the most of this opportunity, think beyond the rail line, and ensure that passengers can travel easily and quickly once they get off the train and into the cities themselves. … Alongside investment in rail links across the country, we need to better fund improvements to transport within our cities. … All this would mean the UK’s cities outside London receiving a £43 billion boost in funding up to 2040, on top of current spending levels, and in addition to investment in Northern Powerhouse Rail and Crossrail 2.” – Sunday Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: If HS2’s bill keeps inflating, it might yet explode the whole scheme

Javid vows to “redouble efforts” to prevent “forced marriage” in Britain

“Home Secretary Sajid Javid has vowed to do more to combat forced marriages as he said the practice had no place in British society. Charities have warned that the Home Office has failed to protect British women and teenage girls forced into abusive marriages by granting their foreign husbands visas. He added: “We will be doing more to combat it and support victims. …  “Those who force British women into marriage, be warned that we are redoubling our efforts to make sure you pay for your crimes.” His comments came after data obtained by The Times revealed that officials dealt with nearly 90 cases of victims trying to block visas last year, although almost half were still issued.” – Sun on Sunday

Government to announce UK roll-out of “presumed consent” for organ donation

“An “opt-out” system for organ donation will be introduced in the UK in a move that should save hundreds of lives a year, the government will announce today. A new system of “presumed consent” is set to be introduced in England, in line with Scotland and Wales, in spring 2020 as part of a drive to help those people desperately waiting for a life-saving transplant. … The government estimates that the new system, which excludes children under 18, has the potential to generate 700 extra transplants a year. … Wales’s opt-out system for organ donation, introduced in 2015, has not increased the number of donors, however, raising questions over whether the change will have the desired effect. Jackie Doyle-Price, the health minister, said the change would not be a “magic bullet” but would save more lives every year.” – The Sunday Times

Cameron will say in memoirs that Gove is a “lunatic”

“David Cameron blames Michael Gove not Boris Johnson for his defeat in the EU referendum and the loss of his political career and will launch a withering attack on him in his memoirs, The Sunday Times has learnt. … Two sources have revealed that Cameron plans to be “very honest” in the book about his anger with Gove. One to whom he recently explained his views said: “Cameron was really anti-Gove. He was saying he was a lunatic. He had not realised quite how mad Michael Gove was until that whole incident. He was saying he feels even more cross with Gove than Boris.” … While Cameron now has semi-friendly relations with Johnson — inviting him to play tennis and visiting him to discuss the EU ahead of last month’s Chequers summit — he has not spoken to Gove since he left Downing Street.” – The Sunday Times 


Labour accused of “exonerating” alleged antisemites with “close links to leadership” over lack of proof of party membership

“Labour high command has been accused of letting off allies of Jeremy Corbyn accused of anti-semitism by claiming that leading activists in the firing line are not even members of the party. Labour against Antisemitism (Laas) has reported to the party more than 1,200 accusations of anti-semitic abuse by suspected Labour members over the past two years. In several cases, however, those with close links to the leadership have been exonerated because party bosses claim they cannot find evidence that they are party members, a claim it is difficult for Corbyn’s critics to contest. The claims come after a week of Labour infighting that threatens to dog Corbyn all summer.” – The Sunday Times

Cohen: Labour is a “personality cult”

“The personality cult the British left genuflects before reached its apogee last week when the anti-racist campaigner Lester Holloway declared that Jeremy Corbyn was, when you got down to it, black. You have that right. “Labour actually have the first black party leader in Corbyn.” “Black in his politics”, Holloway added, as an avalanche of ridicule headed towards him. But the comparison was made. As if to elaborate the argument, the Guardian columnist Owen Jones said that the centre couldn’t fight the nativist forces Trump and Brexit have unleashed. Only a left that holds “powerful vested interests to account, rather than scapegoating migrants and Muslims, can hope to defeat this political poison”. Not the poisonous scapegoating of Jews, obviously.” – Observer

  • Corbyn has total “conviction that he’s morally right” – Adam Boulton, The Sunday Times
  • He “can feel like a perpetual victim in search of an oppressor” – Helen Lewis, Observer
  • We have not known anything like this here before – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph


  • All this proves Corbyn “isn’t fit” to be Prime Minister – Sun on Sunday 

>Yesterday: Joshua McMullan in Comment: To effectively fight antisemitism, the Conservative Party must address its own troubled history on race relations

News in Brief

  • Here’s what’s happened with Labour – Patrick Maguire, New Statesman
  • Big business isn’t necessarily bad – Oliver Wiseman, CapX
  • Don’t forget Guantanamo – Amy Davidson Sorkin, New Yorker
  • It’s all about the graphic novel – Paul Gravett, TLS