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Macron ‘throws May a lifeline’ on Brexit

“President Macron is preparing to throw Theresa May a lifeline by pushing other EU leaders to agree a close relationship with Britain after Brexit as part of his vision for a united Europe. The French leader wants to use a summit in Austria next month to spell out a new structure for European alliances. It would be based on “concentric circles”, with the EU and the euro at its core and Britain in a second ring, diplomatic sources have told The Times. That would depend on an amicable Brexit, however. Mr Macron’s decision to promote his vision at Salzburg suggests he is softening opposition to the prime minister’s Chequers proposals. The sense of optimism was boosted yesterday when Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, offered Britain an unprecedented trade deal that would keep ties “as close as possible”. His comments sent sterling to a three-week high against the dollar.” – The Times

  • Both sides set to miss target of deal by October – FT
  • Raab says UK might still have to pay ‘divorce bill’ even if no deal agreed… – Daily Mail
  • …but tells peers Britain would withhold ‘part’ of it – The Times
  • Lidington says Brussels must choose between Chequers and no deal – FT

More:

  • UK would need new military port in Cyrus if EU imposes customs checks – The Times
  • Aston Martin boss dismisses ‘no deal’ threat to car trade – The Sun
  • Post-Brexit labour measures ‘risk worker abuse’ – FT
  • Dyson urges the Government to ‘be bold’ or squander Brexit opportunities – The Sun

Remainers:

  • Europhiles plan to launch new party day after Britain leaves – Daily Express
  • Remainers back bid to take UK back into EU after we leave – The Sun
  • Farron urges pro-EU MPs to ‘grow a backbone’ – Daily Express

Iain Duncan Smith and John Longworth: Ten ‘crucial Brexit questions’ already have answers

“The people of Britain voted to take control of; our laws (including jurisdiction), our borders (including migration) and our money (including trade). Anyone I have ever spoken to who voted for Brexit has said that they expected a period of disruption but that this was worth it in order to win the liberty that comes with Brexit. They also say that we will be better off in the long term. They are right, we will be better off and sooner than they think, which means we won’t pay an economic price, on the contrary, there will be an economic benefit. A recent report by the Centre for Social Justice showed that reliance on cheap labour in the UK has meant that business investment in skills and automation has lagged behind. This has had the biggest effect on the poorest. Now in the UK, only 15 per cent of those who start work in an entry-level job will rise above that for the rest of their working lives.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Chequers has proved intolerable, May must set her sights on Canada Plus – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Macron’s sterling performance could make a difference – Henry Zeffman, The Times
  • Hammond is ‘biggest impediment’ to a good deal – Rod Liddle, The Sun

Editorial:

  • Macron’s grand projet could be good for Britain and the Continent – The Times

>Today: Peter F Allgeier in Comment: The Chequers proposal would prevent the UK regaining an independent trade policy

May in Africa: Prime Minister pledges to step up support for the Nigerian military…

“British forces are to step up training of Nigerian troops fighting Boko Haram extremists, it was revealed today. Theresa May announced that military cooperation is being intensified as she visited the country on the second stop of her African tour. Hardline Islamist group Boko Haram have causing havoc in west Africa for years, with the effects spreading to Europe. The question of how to counter the threat was discussed by Mrs May and President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital Abuja this afternoon. The leaders signed the first UK-Nigeria security and defence partnership… Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa are said to be responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 people, with almost 2 million still forced to live away from their homes in the north east of the country. The agreement is designed to help stop this regional menace from spreading and posing a direct threat to the UK.” – Daily Mail

  • Nigerian businessman to float $10 billion firm in London – Daily Mail

…and to set up new anti-paedophile ‘cyber centre’ in Kenya

“Britain is to fund a new ‘cyber center’ to target UK paedophiles operating in Kenya, Theresa May announced today. The HQ will help police in the African country stop sick images being produced and distributed online. Currently the Kenyan authorities do not receive information from US-based global tech companies flagging up vile material because they do not have secure enough communications. The new project, unveiled by Mrs May as she arrives in Kenya for the final day of her African tour, builds on previous work to set up Kenya’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit (AHTCPU). The cyber centre – the first of its kind in Africa – will be based within this existing unit, which has been experiencing an increase in cases of child abuse. The AHTCPU has over 100 live investigations in progress and has protected around 400 children since March 2016.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: May’s courage, as she dances on, is admirable

Farage ‘weighing a bid’ for the London mayoralty

“Nigel Farage is weighing a bid to become mayor of London, in an attempt to push the Conservative party into third place in the British capital. Mr Farage, who lives in Bromley in south London, quit as leader of the UK Independence party in July 2016, weeks after the UK voted to leave the EU. He is still a member of the European Parliament, but will lose his position when the UK leaves the EU next March. Mr Farage – who has stood unsuccessfully for parliament seven times, but has been elected three times as an MEP – said that the London mayoral election in May 2020 would be an opportunity to “make arguments” on a high-profile platform… “The Tory party are very actively aware that if I did stand, they would probably come third, and they are afraid of that,” he added.” – FT

  • Boff wants to ban Tube strikes and legalise cannabis – The Sun

More:

  • Ex-UKIP leader’s portrait fails to find buyers at art show – The Guardian

Comment:

  • Populism is the true legacy of the 2008 crash – Philip Stephens, FT

Government may ban children from buying energy drinks

“Schoolchildren will be barred from buying ‘damaging’ energy drinks, under tough new plans unveiled by Theresa May tonight. Selling caffeine-heavy products like cans of Red Bull to under-18s is set to be made illegal. The drastic move comes amid fears that the drinks are helping fuel obesity, tooth decay, bad behaviour and sleep problems among young people. They were hailed by campaigners including TV chef Jamie Oliver – but critics said the government was obsessed with banning things… A voluntary code has seen a number of bigger retailers stop selling the products to minors. However, ministers have decided to act after concerns that smaller shops were flouting the advice – with cans in multibuy deals as cheap as 25p each.” – Daily Mail

MPs brand entryism fears ‘bonkers’

The Conservative Party has told local associations to be wary of new members amid a backlash from Tory MPs who described fears of entryism as “bonkers”. The party has been encouraging local Tory associations to reject applications from prospective members with views that are deemed  “inconsistent” with it, a leaked memo has shown. It comes as a number of Remain-supporting Tory MPs have expressed fears their local parties are being flooded with Brexiteers and former Ukip supporters. However, Robert Halfon, the Tory MP for Harlow, said: “I’ve met some of the new members. They seem to be moderate [on] Brexit. But if some Brexit people decide to join because they believe that this party is going to keep the referendum promise – well, I’m delighted. And this is from someone who voted Remain.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tories need all the members they can get – Iain Martin, The Times
  • ‘Blue Momentum’ fears are overblown, but Tory grassroots shouldn’t choose the leader – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Recruiters of new Tory members. There is a third actor – CCHQ itself.

Hunt to ‘redouble’ efforts to free Briton held by Iran

“Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday reaffirmed his commitment to getting Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe released from prison in Iran, after she was taken to the prison hospital when she suffered several panic attacks and passed out. Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years imprisonment for spying in 2016, but maintains her innocence saying she was on holiday to introduce her daughter to her family in Iran. She was given a three-day temporary release at the weekend and reunited with family, including four-year old Gabriella, but her application for an extension was denied and she returned to prison on Sunday night. By Tuesday, she was having panic attacks, experiencing low blood pressure and speaking of headaches, a rash and numbness in her legs and right harm, according to husband Richard Ratcliffe.” – Daily Express

Gove brands French fishermen ‘pirates’ after attack on British trawlers

“Britain demanded France protects British fishermen from its violent trawler captains as the scallop wars heated up. Furious Environment Secretary Michael Gove issued the demand on Wednesday night on Paris to uphold international law and “pirate” attacks. And Britain’s ambassador in the French capital Sir Ed Llewelyn also lodged a formal complaint about the boat ramming and illegal blockades. PM Theresa May was forced to call for calm as calls intensified on Wednesday from UK fishermen for the Royal Navy to intervene. But ministers insisted it was for the French navy and police to restore order as the attacks took place in its territorial waters. They were also adamant that UK boats had behaved completely legally.” – The Sun

  • Ulster fisherman calls for Royal Navy support – News Letter

Comment:

  • This goes much deeper than ‘Brexit with nets’ – John Lichfield, The Guardian

Editorial:

  • This must not turn into a latter-day Cod War – The Scotsman

McVey welcomes fall in workless households

“Fewer children are growing up in homes where no one has a job than at any time since records began as the proportion of workless households in the UK falls to a new low. Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that 1.26 million children lived in homes where no one held a job, the lowest level since records began in 1996. Of the UK’s 20.9 million households, 3 million had nobody in work, a fall of 11,000 over the past year. The government hailed yesterday’s official numbers, for the three months to June. Esther McVey, work and pensions secretary, said: “One of the best ways to tackle poverty and give children a better chance in life is to have a working adult in the house. It gives them a role model to learn from and brings financial security to the home. Getting a job means more than just a wage, it’s a way out of poverty and welfare dependency.”” – The Times

Corbynites to picket meeting to oppose u-turn on anti-Semitism…

“Pro-Corbyn activists will picket a meeting of Labour’s ruling body next week in an attempt to stop the “pro-Israel lobby” forcing a climbdown on antisemitism. Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) is expected to try to end weeks of bitter rows by adopting the full definition and examples of antisemitism in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) code. Members of the NEC will be greeted on Tuesday by a “mass lobby” organised by the Camden branch of Momentum, the pro-Corbyn group. The activists vowed after an emergency meeting to combat what they describe as “mounting pressure from the pro-Israel lobby, including right-wing Labour MPs, backed by the corporate media and the BBC”. They say that Jeremy Corbyn is being urged “to agree that the party adopts the IHRA examples equating criticism of Israel with antisemitism”.” – The Times

  • Jewish leaders claim that ‘no Jew can be an equal member of the Labour Party’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn faces fury if controversial ally is re-elected to NEC – The Sun

Comment:

  • Comparing Corbyn’s comments to Powell’s is offensive – Kehinde Andrews, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Ici Londres – Hannan suggests that offence-taking has become a form of conspicuous consumption

…as Jewish grandmother claims she was abused by mob as Labour leader looked on

“A Jewish grandmother has told how she was abused by a ‘loud jeering mob’ which called her a ‘Zionist traitor’ and a ‘piece of sh**’ at a meeting at Parliament while Jeremy Corbyn looked on. Frail pensioner Marina Vine said that the Labour leader sparked the abuse when he told her to ‘shut up and sit down’ as she tried to make a point in defence of Israel, something a Labour spokesman has denied. Mr Corbyn then called police to remove her. But officers ended up having to protect Mrs Vine, and escorted her out of the House of Commons as she was abused by a ‘loud jeering mob’ who targeted her with vile, anti-Semitic abuse… Speakers included three MPs who have been suspended for alleged anti-Semitism – one was Lord Ahmed, later suspended from the Labour Party, who blamed a driving conviction on a Jewish conspiracy – and Manuel Hassassian, representative of the PLO.” – Daily Mail

  • Over 30,000 sign petition calling on the Labour leader to quit – The Times

Comment:

  • At social gatherings, British Jews discuss where to flee – Alex Brummer, Daily Mail
  • Corbyn and Salmond’s deep-state fears are a very British fantasy – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

Salmond quits SNP after sexual misconduct allegations…

“Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has resigned his membership of the SNP following allegations of sexual harassment, he said on Twitter. Two complaints were raised in January against the former first minister, who strongly denies the allegations, and he was informed of an investigation in March. In a statement, Mr Salmond, 63, who quit as first minister in 2014, said he was leaving the party to avoid ‘substantial internal division’ in the SNP. The former party leader said his successor Nicola Sturgeon ‘felt under pressure’ to suspend him but said he would reapply for membership once he had the chance to clear his name. Ms Sturgeon said tonight she felt a ‘huge sadness about this whole situation’ but said she understood why her predecessor had chosen to step down.” – Daily Mail

  • Ex-First Minister hits £50,000 crowdfunding target for legal challenge within hours – The Scotsman

…as Nationalists come under pressure over poor rail performance

Scotland’s new Transport Minister is under pressure after ScotRail’s performance fell to a fresh low under the Abellio-run franchise. Labour highlighted official figures showing the proportion of trains arriving within five minutes of their scheduled time has fallen again to 88.2 per cent. This compares with a government target of 92 per cent and represents the third period in a row that the figures have been a record low for Abellio. The statistics also disclosed that fewer than half of ScotRail trains arrive at Edinburgh Waverley on time (46.5 per cent), and barely half of those destined for Glasgow Central (50.4 per cent). Labour argued the figures showed Michael Matheson, the Transport Minister, should axe Abellio’s contract and take the franchise into public ownership.” – FT

  • Concern over plans to ‘integrate’ emergency services – The Scotsman

News in Brief:

  • The Democrats’ dilemma: should they impeach the President? – Byron York, The Spectator
  • Salmond resigns from SNP – what it means – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Trump’s South Africa tweet shows that all politics is now global – James Snell, CapX
  • We’ve needed a committed Brexiteer as Chancellor all along – Patrick O’Flynn MEP, Brexit Central
  • Does liberalism need global conflict in order to thrive? – Peter Franklin, UnHerd

17 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 30th August 2018

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