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“No deal” 1) Police and crime commissioners call on Javid to make contingency plans

“A hard Brexit would pose a risk to public safety, police leaders have warned in a leaked letter. Police and crime commissioners called on Sajid Javid, the home secretary, to draft contingency plans for a “no-deal” Brexit immediately. They said that police forces would face “a significant loss of operational capacity”, instantly losing vital access to cross-border investigative powers and databases. Sterling fell to an 11-month low amid growing fears of Britain leaving the EU without a negotiated settlement. Under such a scenario, Brussels has said that it plans to “switch off” UK access to databases that allow European police forces to share information on suspects and missing persons.  Police could also lose access to the EU criminal records database.” – The Times

  • Leaked letter speaks of “significant loss of operational capacity” – Guardian
  • Whitehall “row” breaks out over “no deal” planning – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Henry Newman’s column: The ticking Brexit clock demands clarity from both sides, but also adds to the risk of No Deal

“No deal” 2) Sturgeon claims May is making “damaging” outcome more likely

“Nicola Sturgeon has accused Theresa May of making a “deeply damaging” no-deal Brexit more likely by repeatedly raising the prospect as a negotiating tactic before what is likely to be a tense summit between the two leaders. The Scottish first minister complained that there had been “no visible progress” in the divorce talks since the Chequers plan was unveiled in July and told May that she needed to spell out the future relationship the UK sought to have with the EU. “A no-deal Brexit would be utterly unacceptable and deeply damaging, but by talking it up as a negotiating tactic there is a very real danger it becomes a reality,” Sturgeon warned.” – Guardian

  • She will confront her – Herald

“No deal” 3) Davis says EU has made “massive miscalculation” about British likelihood of “walking away”

“David Davis has warned the EU is making ‘a “massive miscalculation” over Brexit and said Brits are ready to walk away from talks with no deal. The former Brexit Secretary has told Brussels they will be making a huge mistake if they think Theresa May isn’t willing to exit the bloc rather than accept a weak agreement. … It comes after Liam Fox’s assessment that the probability of a no-deal outcome was “60-40”. The International Trade Secretary blamed the “intransigence” of the EU for the current impasse in Brexit talks. But Downing Street slapped down Mr Fox’s claim, saying: “We remain confident of getting a good deal. “The fact is that we are ramping up our no deal preparations, as was planned, because there was always a possibility of no deal.”” – The Sun

Editorial:

  • Brussels should accept Chequers “fudge” – The Sun

“No deal” 4) Jenkin accuses government of spreading “gloom and alarm”

“Veteran Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin accused the Government and parts of industry of spreading needless “gloom and alarm”, as he insisted cross-Channel trade would simply continue as now. Separately, the European Commission was stung into denying senior Tories’ claims it was being so obstructive in Brexit talks it could accidentally force Britain out of the bloc without an agreement on future relations. Sir Bernard’s comments came amid threats of food and drug shortages and other trade problems that some claim will occur in a no-deal Brexit because commerce would be so disrupted. Last week the head of the British Sandwich Association was mocked for claiming consumers may have less choice thanks to a lack of key ingredients.” – Daily Express

Hague: It’s right to focus on France as “the biggest national obstacle to a Brexit deal”

“The last week has seen the most concerted British diplomatic push with our French neighbours in many years. Days after the new Foreign Secretary raced straight to Paris from his trip to China, the Prime Minister cut short her holiday to visit President Macron at his summer retreat. Their movements reveal the conclusion they have reached: France is the biggest national obstacle to a Brexit deal and the key country to unlock a change of attitude in the European Commission. What they will have found is that the long love-hate relationship between the British and the French lives on in ministerial form.” – Daily Telegraph

Grassroots Conservatives continue to “rail against” Chequers

“… May insists Britain will leave the EU’s single market and customs union, that free movement of European migrants will end, and that the UK will be able to strike its own far-ranging free trade agreements with the US, Australia and other non-EU countries. But the die-hard Eurosceptics say the Chequers plan has effectively gone back on all these promises. …  The activists say the wider party membership agree with them. It is difficult to quantify this precisely, but close observers of grassroots Conservative politics say the activists are probably right. A snap survey by the website Conservative Home, taken two days after the 6 July meeting, found that 60% of Tory members questioned were opposed to Chequers. … The activists say they’ve been taken for granted by their leaders. Downing Street and CCHQ appear not to have anticipated such an angry response. “They seem to have assumed that everybody would row in behind it,” Mark Wallace, executive editor of Conservative Home, told BuzzFeed News. “They belatedly realised that they had judged that wrong.”” – BuzzFeed

More Brexit

  • Government “needs to be more muscular” in negotiating defence contracts now – Robin Southwell, The Times
  • We’ve gone from “respected global player to source of international bemusement” – Clare Foges, The Times

Ministers prepare extradition request for Salisbury suspects

“Ministers are preparing to submit an extradition request to Moscow for two suspects responsible for the Salisbury nerve agent attack, as the Government vowed to exert “international pressure” to force Russia to “do the right thing”. Documents are being prepared to force the would-be assassins to return to the UK to face justice, although the order is not expected to be sent for a number of weeks or months. Last night Government sources pledged to do everything possible to secure a conviction for the Skripal family after Sergei and his daughter Yulia were targeted in a nerve agent attack in March which prompted deep recriminations around the world.” – Daily Telegraph

May to visit Edinburgh and sign off £1.2bn city deal

“The Prime Minister is visiting the Scottish capital at the start of the city’s annual Fringe festival, and will outline her commitment to Scotland’s development as concerns surrounding post-Brexit prosperity mount, Among Mrs May’s key initiatives will be a £1.2billion city deal for Edinburgh and south-east Scotland, which will be officially signed off by the Prime Minister and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday. The initiative will support cutting-edge research at Edinburgh’s three universities, improve housing and transport links, and help build a new concert hall.” – Daily Express

Johnson criticised for “dog whistle” comments about Muslim women

“Boris Johnson has been accused of “fanning the flames of Islamophobia” after saying that Muslim women who wear veils look like “bank robbers” and “letter boxes”. Baroness Warsi, the Conservative peer, is among the senior Muslim figures to react with anger to the remarks made by the former foreign secretary, describing them as a “dog whistle” to those who hate Muslims. A group of Muslim Conservative Party members has also condemned Mr Johnson’s comments, as have three of the best known imams in Britain and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which has reissued calls for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.” – The Times

  • He said veils shouldn’t be banned – The Sun
  • Warsi says lack of action by party over his comments shows it’s “business as usual” – Guardian

Comment:

  • Johnson’s “strong feelings” are not surprising – Nesrine Malik, Guardian

Hunt issues statement with EU ministers in support of Iran deal

“Britain will do all it can to block Donald Trump’s sanctions on Iran, it was announced last night. The UK has joined forces with the EU to take immediate action to preserve peace in the wake of US sanctions, which came into force yesterday after it backed out of the Iran nuclear deal. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt issued a joint statement with EU foreign ministers on their ‘determination to protect’ European businesses working with Iranian companies. They warned that the deal is a key element of the plan for global nuclear non-proliferation, and is ‘crucial for the security of Europe, the region, and the entire world’.” – Daily Mail 

Truss calls for building on “a lot more” greenfield land

“The Conservatives must build more houses in the countryside and make it easier for people to extend their homes or Jeremy Corbyn would become prime minister, a cabinet minister has warned. Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said that “a lot more” greenfield land should be built on. Speaking to the Financial Times’s politics podcast, she said: “I do think we need to open up more land for building, a lot more. There are a lot of nimbys in Britain.” Asked whether many of the nimbys were Conservatives, she said: “I think it is a dwindling number. People recognise the choice is building on more greenfield sites and making sure there are enough homes or losing the election and ending up with Jeremy Corbyn.”” – The Times

Comment:

  • Building on green belt would go against May’s promises – Geoffrey Lean, Daily Mail 

>Today: ToryDiary: Truss cuts the Gordian Knot on housing

More Conservatives

  • May to consider new law banning eating dogs – The Sun 
  • Hinds calls for VR in classroom – Daily Mail
  • Rees-Mogg’s home vandalised – The Times 

>Yesterday: MPsEtc: James Fredrickson selected as Conservative candidate to contest Oxford West and Abingdon

Labour ends Hodge inquiry. She rejects suggestion that she’d “expressed regret”

“Dame Margaret Hodge accused the Labour Party of lying over its reasons for clearing her after Jeremy Corbyn dropped disciplinary action against the MP. … Last night Jennie Formby, Labour’s general secretary, wrote to Dame Margaret ending the inquiry into alleged abusive behaviour and informing her that no further action would be taken. However, Dame Margaret rejected claims that emerged shortly afterwards that the action was abandoned because she expressed “regret” to Nick Brown, the chief whip, for the manner in which she had voiced her views.” – The Times

  • Labour MPs call for antisemitism definition vote – Daily Telegraph
  • Watson “vows to face down campaign” against him – Guardian
  • “Senior member” suspended over comment – FT
  • Secret summit held to plan Corbyn “ousting” – The Sun 

Comment:

  • Corbynism “looks more and more like a cult” – Tim Stanley, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Alex King in Comment: Corbyn’s critics must learn that less is more when using his track record against him

Cooper: The robots are coming! We must prepare

“The robots are coming, artificial intelligence is expanding, yet no one is doing enough to make sure workers benefit rather than losing out. According to a new survey, a quarter of the workforce think their job won’t be needed in future. Many of us expect the technological revolution to be as disruptive as the industrial revolution. This could bring amazing opportunities and emancipation, but also new forms of exploitation, deeper inequalities, injustices and anger. Trades unions and communities can’t just stand by and hope for the best. If we want technological change to benefit everyone rather than widening inequality then we need to start preparing now.” – Guardian

News in Brief

  • No deal would not be a crash – Ken Worthy, CapX
  • Corbyn is a “bear of little brain” – Iain Martin, Reaction
  • Boris and Islam – Anoosh Chakelian, New Statesman
  • On Macron – Jonathan Miller, Spectator
  • On Maduro – Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker

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