A Cabinet majority now supports Canada rather than Chequers

‘A majority of the Cabinet now supports moving towards a Canada-style trade deal with the EU following the outright rejection of Theresa May’s Chequers plan, the Prime Minister will be told today. Mrs May will be urged to rethink her approach to the Brexit negotiations by favouring a free trade agreement that would represent the “clean Brexit” that Leave supporters voted for. Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, has emerged as a key figure in the Brexiteers’ fight to convince Mrs May to change tack. A former Remain campaigner, Mr Hunt is now squarely in the Leave camp and has publicly indicated that he is open to the idea of a Canada-style deal… Eurosceptics in the Cabinet, which meets on Monday, will tell Mrs May that a free trade agreement is the only form of Brexit deal that could command a majority in Parliament. They believe EU leaders behaved so appallingly towards Britain at last week’s Salzburg summit that Mrs May can now change tack without any need to resign, as long as she stands firm over the need to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Nicky Morgan’s column: Chequers is dead. And the only plan that MPs will now vote for is Norway.

Up the ante by opening trade talks now with the US, India and China, new Brexit plan proposes

‘Britain should put the deadlocked Brexit negotiations with the European Union on the backburner and open trade talks with rest of the world, according to a radical plan backed by Boris Johnson and David Davis. The 140-page plan to be from the Institute of Economic Affairs recommends seeking global trade deals now to force the EU to give Britain a better trade deal after leaving the EU next March. The report – titled “Plan A+: Creating a prosperous post-Brexit UK” – will offer a way out for Theresa May after her humiliating Salzburg summit where EU leaders said her Chequers deal was unworkable. By opening talks now the UK could accelerate the signing of trade deals after Brexit which could be worth a as much as 7 per cent on Britain’s gross domestic product by the middle of the 2030s. Bi-lateral talks could be opened primarily with America, and possibly India and China. The IEA has also obtained a legal opinion that says Britain has the right to negotiate – but not implement – new deals before leaving the EU.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • Raab says he is open to “new proposals and new ideas” – The Sun
  • Brexiteers fear they are being hacked – Daily Telegraph
  • Tory councillor hits back after receiving death threats and sexist abuse – Daily Mail

Javid suggests 30-month delay in changing the immigration system

‘In a move that will dismay Brexiteers, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, will propose that EU citizens be waved through the border for 30 months if Britain crashes out of the bloc. Any EU citizen arriving between next March and September 2021 will be allowed to live temporarily in Britain as long as they show their passport and pass a criminal record check. During this period they will have to apply for a visa under a new migration system to stay permanently. The revelation will provoke concerns among Brexiteers who want to “take back control” quickly in the event of a no-deal exit. Some have demanded that Britain move immediately to a “global” system under which EU migrants are not given preferential treatment. Mr Javid is understood to have argued that the delay in changing the migration system is needed to protect the economy.’ – The Times

  • May is braced for a backlash – Daily Mail
  • Raab says no to a snap election – FT

Labour conference 1) The Opposition hammers out a fudge on second referendum policy

‘Senior allies of Jeremy Corbyn have questioned the rationale for a fresh Brexit referendum as delegates to the party’s conference in Liverpool agreed a statement committing Labour to keeping the option on the table. After a gruelling five-hour meeting with the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, more than 100 delegates from trade unions and local parties drafted a two-page motion, which members in Liverpool were expected to pass on Tuesday. The key sentence of the final draft says: “If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.” It adds: “If the government is confident in negotiating a deal that working people, our economy and communities will benefit from, they should not be afraid to put that deal to the public.”’ – The Guardian


Labour conference 2) McDonnell to announce raid on shares and profits

‘Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will today unveil plans to snatch 10 per cent of shares in all large firms in an extraordinary raid on business. Under the radical proposals, workers’ boards would be handed control of the stakes – with dividends shared between employees and the taxman. It is estimated the scheme would lead to a £4billion-a-year grab on company profits by the end of a Labour government’s first term.’ – Daily Mail

Labour conference 3) Rayner pledges attack on free schools and academies

‘Labour would scrap free schools and bring academies under greater local democratic control as part of a plan to unwind Conservative education reforms that it says have created a legacy of “fragmentation and privatisation”. The new policy will be unveiled by Angela Rayner at the Labour party conference on Monday, the first time that the shadow education secretary has presented her own structural reform plan in her two years in the job. “The Tories’ academy system is simply not fit for purpose,” Rayner is expected to say. “Labour will end the forced conversion of local schools to academies, scrap the inefficient free school programme and instead focus on delivering what works to get the best results for pupils.” Labour said that it would allow local authorities to build schools again and halt the free school programme, a flagship initiative of Michael Gove when he was education secretary under the coalition government.’ – The Guardian

  • And more tax on private schools – The Sun
  • She also wants anonymity banned online – The Sun

Labour conference 4) Berger requires police protection

‘Labour’s highest profile Jewish politician Luciana Berger was flanked by police protection at the party’s conference in Liverpool. After months of vile trolling by anti-Semites, the Wavertree MP said: “We are under attack. There are Jews in this country who do not feel safe.” She told fellow MPs at a conference fringe: “We expect attacks that come from the far right, we know them. But this year more than ever we have experienced attacks from the left from people who claim to share our party values.”’ – The Sun

>Yesterday: WATCH: “Are you an antisemite?” Marr asks Corbyn

Falconer proposes legalisation of all drugs to undermine organised crime

‘A former Labour justice secretary has called for the legalisation of all drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy, and an end to the Government’s ‘pernicious war on drugs’. Ex-Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said heroin should be available on prescription as he publicly challenged Jeremy Corbyn to live up to his radical image by scrapping Britain’s tough anti-drugs laws. He claimed the ban on such drugs was responsible for killing ‘tens of thousands’ of British people and was ‘an attack on the working class’. Sparking criticism from anti-drugs campaigners, Lord Falconer said Labour should ‘legalise and regulate the supply of drugs’ to protect people from ‘the cruel consequences of a wrong policy’.’ – Daily Mail

  • Allegations juries are age-biased in rape cases – The Guardian
  • Jury acquitted PC of assault in 20 minutes, but it took the police five years – The Times

Protests over time restrictions on infected blood inquiry

‘Hundreds of survivors of the tainted blood scandal of the 1970s and 1980s are being denied a chance to tell their stories at the official inquiry, they claim. Time restrictions during the preliminary hearing of the Infected Blood Inquiry yesterday meant lawyers were allocated as little as five seconds per victim to explain the devastation caused to thousands of patients infected with HIV and hepatitis by transfusions of contaminated blood brought in from overseas. Theresa May announced last year an inquiry would be held after decades of pressure from campaigners and the press, including the Daily Mail, into how British patients were infected and whether there had been an institutional cover-up.’ – Daily Mail

  • Victims and their families deserve the truth – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Evidence will begin after Easter next year – The Times
  • Charity wants dementia research spending tripled – FT

Iran threatens reprisals after blaming Israel and the US for terror attack on military parade

‘Iran has warned the US and Israel to expect a ‘devastating’ response after accusing them of being involved in a deadly attack on a military parade in the country. Funerals are taking place today after gunmen killed 25 people, including 12 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary guards, and wounded 60 at a parade in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz. Both ISIS and Ahvaz National Resistance, an Iranian ethnic Arab opposition movement which seeks a separate state in oil-rich Khuzestan province, have claimed responsibility. But Senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have said the Ahvaz attack was carried out by militants trained by Gulf states and Israel, and backed by America.’ – Daily Mail