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Raab’s big day: he releases a big tranche of no deal plans…

“Expat Brits who have lived and worked in Europe face losing access to their pensions in a No Deal Brexit scenario, Ministers will admit on Thursday. Most at risk are Brits who have worked in EU countries and built up pension funds abroad that are then paid into a UK bank account. Under Brussels pensions rules, funds that cross borders can only be paid into a bank account registered in an EU country. Pensioners who have worked in the EU and now live in countries outside the union are currently made to open bank accounts in an EU state to collect their funds. The UK will become a “third country” on 30 March 2019, sparking the risk of expats and former expats with British bank accounts having their payments cut off.” – The Sun

  • Britain would impose duties and treat member states as ‘third countries’ – Daily Telegraph
  • UK starts ‘blame game’ over state of the negotiation – The Times
  • Raab says that no-deal departure is ‘unlikely’ – FT
  • House of Lords calls emergency Brexit meeting – Daily Express
  • Scottish Government wants no-deal departure ‘ruled out’ – The Scotsman

Comment:

  • Osborne was right, we need a radical Brexit budget – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • Myths debunked: We won’t starve and planes will take off – Ross Clark, Daily Mail
  • Politics is the perfect job for escaping blame – Isabel Hardman, The Times

…as Rees-Mogg urges May to ‘chuck Chequers’ in letter to members…

“Theresa May must “believe in Britain” and “chuck Chequers”, Jacob Rees-Mogg and more than 60 Tory Eurosceptics have said in a letter to grassroots Conservatives. Earlier this month the Prime Minister wrote a letter to all members of the Conservative Party defending her plan, saying that it “honours” the result of the referendum. Mr Rees-Mogg has now written a letter which is being sent to Conservative Associations across the country with a point-by-point rebuttal of Mrs May’s Chequers compromise, describing it as the “wrong deal for Britain”. It states that the UK “does not need to do a deal with the EU” but the EU “needs to do a deal with us at all costs”. It comes as Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, publishes around 20 technical papers setting out plans for a no deal on areas including customs, health and farming.” – Daily Telegraph

  • ERG leader tells Leave.EU members not to join Tories in his account – The Guardian

More:

  • Berry says Northerners are braver about Brexit than politicians – The Times
  • BBC presenter sacked over campaign against Rees-Mogg – The Sun

>Yesterday:

…and Mordaunt threatens to pull the plug on aid to the EU

“Britain will today threaten to pull the plug on the £1billion a year in foreign aid it gives the EU in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt will warn Brussels the funding will only continue if British aid groups can take part in EU-run projects. The warning comes on the same day as ministers publish the first of a series of technical notices designed to prepare citizens and businesses for what they may need to do if a Brexit deal is not reached. As part of this, Miss Mordaunt will today write to UK-based charities to explain how Britain could stop spending its aid cash through Brussels. Last year, £884million of the UK’s £13.4billion foreign development budget was channelled through the EU into humanitarian projects around the globe.” – Daily Mail

  • Government will underwrite EU-funded aid projects so British NGOs can operate – The Guardian
  • Failed Kenya venture casts doubt on UK aid strategy – FT

Hunt praises predecessor for ‘changing history’ with Brexit

“Jeremy Hunt today praised Boris Johnson for ‘changing history’ with Brexit – and said his fellow Tory could still become Prime Minister. The Foreign Secretary refused to rule out Mr Johnson getting the top job in an interview on the latest stage of his US visit. Mr Hunt, who held talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington this afternoon, also said now believed Britain would be ‘better off’ outside the EU. And he risked a fresh row by making clear that Donald Trump was right to speak out against protectionism on trade by Brussels. Mr Hunt met Mr Pompeo on the latest leg of his first visit to America since taking over from Mr Johnson last month. However, the trip has ended up being something of a sideshow – after a court case implicated the US President in criminal behaviour over hush money payments to a porn star.” – Daily Mail

  • Foreign Secretary warns Brussels that relations could be damaged for a generation – Daily Express

More Cabinet:

  • Need for Brexit balance explains Prime Minister’s record on female ministers – FT
  • May gives Tories better election prospects than Johnson or Rees-Mogg – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Who does the Conservative Party belong to?

Labour descends into ‘fresh chaos’ over Starmer’s referendum call

“Labour descended into fresh Brexit chaos today as Keir Starmer insisted a second EU referendum should be ‘on the table’. The shadow Brexit secretary dismissed suggestions from frontbench colleague Barry Gardiner that re-running the national vote could spark civil unrest. He suggested that the option was available if Parliament rejected any package Theresa May secures from Brussels… The hint at a policy shift comes as Remainers from across parties mount a massive push to force another vote on the terms of the final Brexit deal. Senior Labour figures have been urging the leadership to join the drive, but Jeremy Corbyn has so far resisted. Shadow trade secretary Barry Gardiner spoke out against the idea earlier this week, voicing fears that people would lose faith in the ballot box and turn to the extreme right if the 2016 result was not honoured.” – Daily Mail

  • Facebook shuts down pro-Corbyn and anti-Brexit accounts linked to Iran – Daily Telegraph
  • Business fears Corbyn government ‘almost as much as Brexit’ – FT

Comment:

  • Backing Brexit might be the only way Scottish Labour can save itself – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

Williamson’s ‘crazy’ defence plans criticised

“Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is ‘out of his mind’ for proposing a series of ‘bizarre’ and outlandish ideas to bolster the UK’s military, sources have claimed. Among some of the concepts touted by Mr Williamson include fitting guns to tractors and disguising defence systems as Coca-Cola lorries, the Sun says. Williamson is rumoured to have suggested that old commercial ferries should also be turned into beach assault crafts, just part of a string of unusual requests which have riled military chiefs. His alleged proposals come in the midst of huge cuts, including a £20billion shortfall in its £179billion equipment budget… The proposals have sparked anger within the ranks of the military, as they now fear his strange demands could hamper their chances of securing additional funds from Philip Hammond’s Treasury.” – Daily Mail

  • Thousands of working hours wasted on plans for new medal – The Sun

>Today: Alex Morton’s column: Too many Tory politicians say nothing worthwhile – because they have nothing worthwhile to say

Javid attacks Labour for playing politics with Windrush

“Sajid Javid lashed out at Labour MPs for “playing party political games” over the Windrush scandal after figures revealed half of the 164 migrants wrongly locked up were overseen by Labour. A leaked document revealed that the total number of Windrush generation migrants wrongly removed or detained could have been 164 rather than the 18 the Home Secretary formally apologised to earlier this week. Ex-Labour minister and Windrush campaigner David Lammy blamed the fiasco on the Tory government’s crackdown on illegal immigration. But yesterday it emerged that half of the 164 migrants were locked up between 2002 and 2010 under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown’s governments. Mr Javid said the findings proved why all parties must “work together to help right wrongs of the past”.” – The Sun

Damian Hinds: Our new, world-beating GCSEs are tough but fair

“The new grades will be a clear signpost for employers, universities and colleges of whether someone has taken one of the new, more rigorous GCSEs. Despite these changes, I want to reassure you that this year’s results will be fair to the young people who worked hard for their exams. To make sure that pupils who take the new GCSEs are not at a disadvantage, the independent qualifications regulator Ofqual uses a statistical method called “comparable outcomes”. This ensures that broadly the same proportion of pupils will pass and reach the equivalent of an A grade as in previous years, assuming the ability profile of the pupils is the same. But there is greater differentiation for higher-achieving pupils, with more grades above the “standard pass” level of grade four. This means not as many pupils will get the very highest grade (nine) as previously got an A*.” – Daily Telegraph

  • These exams are unfair on teenage brains – Sarah-Jane Blakemore, The Times
  • Why a B in Science beats an A in English – Edwina Dunn, The Sun

Wright warns that the BBC may be left behind by YouTube…

“The BBC risks being dwarfed by YouTube if it fails to modernise, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright has warned. He said more young people now recognise the online video platform than the public broadcaster. In his first public speech in his new role, Mr Wright told the Edinburgh TV Festival that a new swathe of channels and content creators had “transformed the landscape”. And he said traditional media outlets must spread its staff more evenly across the UK instead of being “clustered” in London. He welcomed Channel 4’ s upcoming move outside of the capital and encouraged other broadcasters to follow suit. Piling pressure on the BBC to rerform, he said: “Young people now recognise the name YouTube more than they recognise the name of the BBC. In these changing times, we have to look at what our broadcasters have to do to thrive.”” – The Sun

…as Corbyn ‘declares class war’ on it

“The BBC would be forced to publish ‘equality data’ on the social class of everyone who works for it under plans to be set out by Jeremy Corbyn today. The Labour leader will call for ‘complete transparency’ on the corporation’s workforce in an attempt to boost ‘diversity’. He will also suggest putting the BBC’s board appointments to a public vote and demand that it sever all ties with government to make it ‘freer’. And under radical plans on BBC funding, Mr Corbyn will say that he would make technology giants such as Amazon and Netflix hand over a slice of their cash to pay for its programmes. He is expected to set out his plans at the Edinburgh Television Festival in a speech that would in effect be part of his manifesto if he gets into power.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour leader would free BBC from ‘government interference’ – FT

Analysis:

  • Why Corbyn’s social media bubbles are in his line of fire – Jim Waterson, The Guardian

Labour raised and spent millions more than the Tories in 2017

“Labour raised a record £56 million last year and spent almost £10 million more than the Conservatives. The Conservative Party raised £46 million, beating its own record, official figures show. As both parties raised money to fight an unexpected general election, Jeremy Corbyn’s party received £55.7 million, £4.5 million more than its previous highest tally of £51.2 million in 2015. The party spent £54.3 million, while the Conservatives spent £44.9 million. Before last year the highest amount the Conservatives had raised was £43.1 million in 2010, another general election year. Labour, whose membership has surged dramatically since Mr Corbyn stood for leader in 2015, received £16 million from membership subscriptions, £2 million more than the last year. Conservative income from membership fees almost halved, falling from £1.46 million to £835,000.” – The Times

  • Opposition paid zero corporation tax last year – The Sun
  • Claim that Conservatives received more money from dead members than living – Daily Telegraph
  • Sinn Fein raised more than DUP and UUP combined last year – News Letter

Editorial:

Khan urges Perry to maintain solar subsidies

“Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has embarked on a lobbying drive to persuade the government to keep the subsidies for household solar power. Khan has made solar one of the key planks of his energy policy, supporting community solar projects and negotiating collective solar installations for homeowners in the capital. But that approach is threatened by the government’s recent decision to let solar incentives expire next March without a replacement. Shirley Rodrigues, a deputy mayor for London, said she had been very disappointed by the move. “We think the tariffs have been really helpful in increasing the take-up of solar and making it acceptable for people,” she said. The mayor’s office has written to Claire Perry, the energy minister, urging her to rethink the end of the feed-in tariff (FIT).” – The Guardian

Butler faces ‘freeloading’ jibes over Sicily trip

“Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler is facing ‘freeloading’ jibes after spending a week at a luxury hotel on Sicily for a two-day tourism conference. Ms Butler went on the jaunt to the opulent Hilton Giardini Naxos, which boasts panoramic views of the Ionian Sea, earlier this summer. The trip was funded by the Institute of Travel and Tourism, which was staging its annual conference at the resort. But according to the register of MPs’ interests, Ms Butler arrived on May 30 – five days before the gathering kicked off. After a ‘welcome party’ on the evening of June 4, she headed back to the UK on June 5, a day before the event finished.” – Daily Mail

SNP urged to abandon plans for referendum re-run as scale of Scottish deficit revealed

Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to abandon her threat of a second independence referendum after official figures revealed that Scotland ran up a £13 billion deficit last year that was four times the size of the UK’s. Official figures on the state of the country’s finances also disclosed a record “Union dividend” of nearly  £1,900 for every man, woman and child in Scotland. That figure is made up of public spending that was £1,576 higher per person north of the border in 2017/18, while Scotland’s public sector tax contributions were £306 less per head. The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) figures – the difference between what the country raised in taxes and what it spent – revealed a total deficit of £13.4 billion, or 7.9 per cent of GDP -down from 8.9 per cent in 2016/17. The UK’s spending deficit was just 1.9 per cent of GDP, down from 2.3 per cent.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Corbyn criticises May over Glasgow refugee evictions – The Guardian

DUP demand Quaker trust answers for terror-linked donation

“A Quaker trust must answer “serious questions” about its funding of a charity with close ties to the suspected leaders of a dissident republican terrorist group, a senior Ulster politician said yesterday. Gavin Robinson, defence spokesman for the Democratic Unionist Party, called on the Charity Commission to conduct a full investigation into the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust “in the interest of public security and transparency”. The Times revealed this week that since 2012 the York-based trust has given more than £385,000 to Conflict Resolution Services Ireland (CRSI), whose senior trustee described the terrorist assassination of a Conservative MP as a “legitimate exercise”.” – The Times

  • We’re on verge of fostering a pro-terrorist, anti-state view of the Troubles – Cillian McGrattan, News Letter

Australia plunges into ‘deepest political crisis for decades

“Australia was plunged into its deepest political crisis for decades today when key cabinet allies of the prime minister resigned and joined rebel MPs who intend to oust him. Malcolm Turnbull said he would not contest the leadership if opponents in his party gathered enough support for a vote tomorrow. The mass resignation of his previously loyal ministers prompted him to take the extraordinary step of suspending parliament. He continued to defy calls from his leadership rival, the former home affairs minister Peter Dutton, to convene a fresh meeting of the government’s 84 MPs and senators to decide who should be prime minister. After narrowly surviving a vote of MPs on Tuesday Mr Turnbull is demanding that the rebels first produce a petition that names a majority of government members who want a new ballot.” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • The “EFTA option” would fail to deliver Brexit – Greg Hands MP, Brexit Central
  • Leaving Labour: why a split is now inevitable – Stephen Bush, New Stateman
  • The plot to stop Brexit – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • No deal preparations are a pragmatic backstop, not a threat – Dr Lee Rotherham, CapX
  • Challenging a university mantra – RT Howard, Reaction

14 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 23rd August 2018

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