Brexit: European Research Group publish plan for the Irish border…

“Tory Eurosceptics today unveiled their plan for the Irish border and insisted the issue which has deadlocked the Brexit talks can be easily solved. Brexiteers including Jacob Rees-Mogg and David Davis demanded Theresa May ditch her Chequers plan – saying that technological solutions and accepting EU agricultural rules are enough to solve the issue. Mr Rees-Mogg insisted the proposals had been drawn up from the EU’s perspective to win Brussels’ support, while Mr David said they should ‘unlock’ the negotiation. The draft bears a striking resemblance to the model Mr Davis tried and failed to promise as Brexit Secretary before resigning in fury from the Government. The blueprint from the the European Research Group (ERG) of Conservative MPs comes as plotting against Mrs May reaches unprecedented levels.” – Daily Mail

  • Irish condemn proposals as ‘dreamland stuff’ – The Times
  • Blow to Chequers as Democratic Unionists back ERG plan – Daily Telegraph


  • I’m a former plotter, this doesn’t smell like a real coup – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph
  • An act of sabotage – Sebastian Payne, FT
  • We need May to stay, for now – Rod Liddle, The Sun

>Today: Theresa Villiers MP in Comment: The ERG’s solution to the Irish border opens the door to a wide-ranging free trade agreement

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Flying frogs

…as May is cheered by Juncker’s positive words…

“Theresa May’s Brexit ordeal was thrown into sharp relief on Wednesday, as Conservative Eurosceptics plotted to oust the UK prime minister even as hopes rose in London and Brussels that an exit deal could be struck in November. Mrs May’s allies privately admit her bigger challenge now is not securing a Brexit agreement in Brussels, but rather fending off an increasingly hostile Eurosceptic faction in her party that wants to stop her at all costs. Hopes are rising in Downing Street that Mrs May can achieve both tasks, with aides eyeing a possible Brussels summit in mid-November for the signing of a Brexit deal, including key elements of her compromise Chequers plan. Mrs May was delighted when Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, echoed the Chequers phrase “free trade area” to describe the basis for a future UK-EU trade deal, rather than a simple “free trade agreement”.” – FT

  • Prime Minister toughens immigration rules to see off rebellion – The Times
  • May insists Eurosceptic plotters won’t force her out – Daily Mail
  • Brexiteers rally behind the Prime Minister – Daily Express
  • SNP urged to ‘heed Scottish farmers’ and back Chequers – Daily Telegraph


  • Rebels will hasten the coronation of Corbyn – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • Rees-Mogg’s Brexiteers are an embarrassment – Iain Martin, The Times
  • One by one, they plunged the knife into the Prime Minister – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail


  • Brexit heavy mob were out of whack – Patrick Kidd, The Times

>Yesterday: Nick Boles MP in Comment: So you don’t like Chequers. In which case, you need a workable altenative. Here’s mine. What’s yours?

…and Raab insists UK will not pay ‘divorce bill’ without a deal

“The Brexit Secretary will today tell the EU that Britain will refuse to pay a £39 billion divorce bill if there is no deal. Dominic Raab is meeting EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in a bid to persuade him to accept Theresa May’s Chequers plan. He will tell him that Britain won’t pay the financial settlement if an agreement isn’t reached, saying: ‘There is no deal without the whole deal.’ The EU has already has said it will not accept the Chequers plan because it effectively keeps British goods in the single market without accepting freedom of movement. But writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Raab insists that Britain will not compromise further… He also writes that Britain has nothing to fear from a no deal scenario and dismisses ‘scaremongering nonsense’ about the country falling short of medicine and food.” – Daily Mail

  • British travellers face Europe ban without deal – Daily Telegraph
  • Ambassador condemns EU’s hardline choices – Daily Express
  • Roaming fees won’t increase in the event of no deal – The Times
  • Juncker insists UK can’t stay in ‘parts’ of the Single Market – Daily Mail
  • Day-to-day impact laid out in new papers – The Guardian

Dominic Raab: We stand ready to rise to the challenges ahead

“If the EU insists on regulatory approvals and imposes its external tariff on UK goods, we will be treated like any other non-EU country, at least for a period. It is true that we could trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, but that is inferior to our current free trade arrangements. If WTO rules were that great, few Brexiteers – myself included – would be so excited by the opportunities of forging new free trade deals, from the US to Asia. Equally, we shouldn’t give succour to those scaremongering for political ends. It’s nonsense to claim that UK supermarkets would run out of food. Our diverse sources of food – 50 per cent home-grown, 20 per cent imported from non-EU countries – provide us with a high degree of food security, and EU farmers will still want to sell to the UK.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Weaponising ‘no deal’ would make the EU see sense – Stewart Jackson, Times Red Box
  • A conspiracy of silence surrounds the true threat to Brexit – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph
  • Crippling costs of a no-deal Brexit – Anand Menon and Jonathan Portes, Times Red Box


  • Juncker’s record deserves a poor score – The Times

Tory fury as Welby attacks gig economy

“The Archbishop of Canterbury launched an extraordinary attack on modern working conditions describing them as the ‘reincarnation of ancient evil’ in a strident speech to trade unionists. Justin Welby hit out at the ‘gig economy’, under which workers are denied benefits and are paid per job, and at zero-hours contracts which offer employees no guarantees of work. He also also attacked tax-avoiding online giants, accusing Amazon of ‘leeching off the taxpayer’. Insisting that Jesus himself had been a ‘highly political’ figure, he demanded an end to the Government’s flagship Universal Credit benefit reforms, saying the changes had heightened the risk of people going hungry. The Archbishop’s speech at the TUC’s 150th anniversary conference received a standing ovation.” – Daily Mail

  • Put leaders of other faiths in the Lords, says Bourne – The Times


Ministers 1) Glen and Atkins pledge to crack down on ‘alpha male’ culture

“Companies in the UK must undergo a “genuine culture change” to get rid of alpha males and promote women, government ministers have said. Ministers John Glen and Victoria Atkins have called for “greater diversity” in the workplace, adding that companies should “call out” non-inclusive behaviour. They particularly highlighted the “woefully low” number of women in senior jobs the City, which is both “morally wrong” and affects the sector’s productivity. “We have a problem when it comes to the representation of senior women in the financial services sector,” the ministers said in a letter to MPs. Responding to the Treasury Committee’s Women in Finance report, the Government accepted MPs’ calls to abolish “alpha male” culture, remove the stigma of flexible working and encourage senior men to lead by example.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Proxy voting will change the lives of mothers in Parliament – Andrea Leadsom, Times Red Box
  • Tories have only themselves to blame for Britain’s flirtation with Marxism – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Rebecca Lowe’s column: The Conservatives and women. The Tory electoral challenge has more to do with age than gender.

Ministers 2) Hancock wants all patients to be able to Skype their GPs…

“All patients should be able to Skype their GP on a smartphone, the new Health Secretary has said. Matt Hancock accused the NHS of blocking a healthcare revolution by refusing to roll out virtual GP services across the country. The minister, who became health secretary in July, personally uses the ‘GP at Hand’ app, which is available on the NHS in some parts of London. The service offers video consultations with a doctor and assesses symptoms via a chatbot. It can also provide face-to-face GP appointments at one of five central hubs. It is run by private firm Babylon and is now attempting to expand across the country. But NHS England has now blocked the company’s plans to provide services in Birmingham, arguing that it cannot guarantee that its users will still receive invitations for national screening programmes.” – Daily Mail

  • …but Crouch warns that phones are fuelling loneliness – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Robert Halfon MP’s column: Grab the wheel, Hancock – and pull the brake on these hospital car parking charges

Ministers 3) Gove’s plan could see horsemeat on sale in Britain, farmers warn

“Michael Gove’s reforms to agricultural subsidies risks seeing the return of horsemeat into the food chain, head of the farmers’ union says today. Minette Batters, the president of the National Farmers’ Union, warned that encouraging cheaper food imports could see horsemeat  mixed into meat supplies by overseas suppliers. Under a new Agriculture Bill published on Wednesday, farmers will be paid for “public goods” such as curbing flooding and improving access to the countryside after Brexit. The current system of subsidies paid for the amount of land being farmed will be phased out over a seven-year period between 2021 and 2027. The plans were welcomed by rural groups including the National Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.” – Daily Telegraph

  • A missed opportunity for health and harmony – Catherine Broomfield, The Guardian

Mercer urges May to end investigations into troops who served in Ulster

“Theresa May was yesterday challenged over what she was doing to end “abhorrent” investigations into Northern Ireland military veterans. Tory former Army officer Johnny Mercer warned the “vast majority” of the country is against seeing former soldiers “dragged through the courts” over events linked to The Troubles. He asked the PM to spell out the action she was taking, but she did not go into specifics. Mrs May replied: “As I’ve made clear, the current system in Northern Ireland is flawed. It isn’t working for soldiers, for police officers or for victims – a group, in fact, which includes many soldiers and police officers as well.” Mr Mercer later tweeted: “Her answer was not good enough. We keep going.” The PM acknowledged that terrorist murders from during the Troubles are being investigated, after she claimed “terrorists are not being investigated”, earlier this year.” – The Sun

Crouch, Morgan, and Soubry sign open letter condemning sexist coverage of Johnson scandal

“A coalition of political journalists, advisers and politicians have signed a letter condemning sexist media coverage of the woman at the centre of the allegations about Boris Johnson’s private life. The open letter said the treatment of Carrie Symonds, the former CCHQ director of communications, had been appalling and would discourage talented women from entering politics and the media. It is signed by politicians including sports minister Tracey Crouch and fellow Tory MPs Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, as well as Labour MP Stella Creasy. Political advisers to sign include former Tory adviser Emma Barr, ex-Labour adviser and comedian Ayesha Hazarika, and Polly Mackenzie, the former Nick Clegg adviser who is now the director of Demos. It is also signed by journalists including Kate Maltby and Jane Merrick, who have written about their experiences of harassment in Westminster and been attacked in the tabloid press.” – The Guardian

Hollinrake’s bill on bereavement leave becomes law

“Parents who suffer the stillbirth of a child will be legally entitled to paid bereavement leave from their jobs under a new law which will be passed today. Employers will have to give two weeks’ paid leave to anyone who loses a baby from 24 weeks of pregnancy onwards, and anyone who loses a child under the age of 18. It follows a campaign by Lucy Herd, whose 23-month-old son Jack died in a garden pond in 2010, only for her husband to be told he could only have three days off work, including one to attend the funeral. The new law was introduced to Parliament as a private member’s bill by Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, who said: “Losing a child is the most dreadful and unimaginable experience that any parent could suffer and it is right that grieving parents will now be given time to start to come to terms with their loss.” Kelly Tolhurst, the business minister, paid tribute to the “bravery” of campaigners such as Ms Herd in helping bring about the “important milestone”.” – Daily Telegraph

May accuses Corbyn of ‘making his party racist’ at Prime Minister’s Questions

“Theresa May today let rip at Jeremy Corbyn over Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis – saying the scandal proves he’s unfit to run the country. The PM shrugged off questions over her leadership as she turned her fire on the leftie boss in the House of Commons. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May reeled off a list of the scandals affecting Labour under Mr Corbyn – then added: “Just think what he’d do to this country!” Her tirade came after Mr Corbyn attacked the Government over its flagship Universal Credit welfare reform. He said: “The Prime Minister is not challenging the burning injustices in our society, she’s pouring petrol on the crisis. When will she stop inflicting misery on the people of this country?” But Mrs May replied by pointing to moves such as the racial disparity audit, and curbs to the use of stop and search.” – The Sun

  • Watson says general secretary should quit if Labour hasn’t solved crisis by Christmas – Daily Express

Corbyn investigated over breach of Parliamentary security rules

“Jeremy Corbyn is under investigation for a possible breach of parliament’s strict security rules after two of his most senior aides spent months working in the Commons without being vetted. Officials began their second investigation into the Labour leader in a week after it emerged that Andrew Murray, a political adviser, and Iram Awan, Mr Corbyn’s private secretary, had been accessing parliament as visitors. Mr Murray, 60, a former communist who also works for the trade union Unite, has been one of Mr Corbyn’s most important ideological advisers since February, and works between one and two days a week for the Labour leader. He was a founding chairman of the Stop the War campaign and was succeeded in that role by Mr Corbyn. Ms Awan, 39, was appointed more than nine months ago and her partner is a leading figure in Stop the War.” – The Times

  • Mandela snubbed Labour leader’s anti-apartheid movement – Daily Telegraph


  • Labour staff cannot flout rules which apply to everyone – The Times

Labour MPs attack activists who harassed Rees-Mogg

“Left wing activists have been criticised after ambushing Jacob Rees-Mogg and his family outside their home in London, telling his children their father was hated and a “horrible person”. Class activists accosted Mr Rees-Mogg and his family at their home in Westminster on Tuesday evening before launching a tirade against the Conservative MP, branding him a “slave owner” because of his long standing family nanny. Ian Bone, founder of anarchist group Class War, was filmed shouting at Mr Rees-Mogg’s children: “Your daddy is a totally horrible person. A lot of people don’t like your daddy, you know that. No he’s probably not told you about that. A lot of people hate him.” Following the exchange both Downing Street and Labour MPs, including deputy party leader Tom Watson, have condemned the demonstration.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Class War activist won’t talk about his own grandchildren – Daily Mail
  • How has our country come to this? – Daily Express

Abbott unveils Labour’s new immigration policy

“Any foreign worker with “bona fide skills” will be allowed to come and work in UK under a Labour government, Diane Abbott will say today. The shadow Home Secretary will announce that anyone with “specified” skills would be allowed into Britain as long as no UK national can do the same job. Speaking in London Ms Abbott will attack the “idiocy” of the current immigration system and promise an accelerated citizenship scheme and a visa system which allows doctors and nurses from abroad to move to the UK more easily. She will say: “Under our new work visa system, anyone with specified bona fide skills can come here to work.”… She said the party would adjust the system according to the needs of the British economy but that the number of people allowed to settle in the UK would be driven by sectors of the economy which are understaffed.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Brown warns that UK is ‘sleepwalking’ into another crisis – Daily Mail


  • Labour risks alienating employers with jobs plan – FT


SNP to hold a ‘day of action’ on independence

“The SNP is to hold a national “day of action” on Scottish independence later this month, taking the temperature of the nation as it continues its preparations for a second referendum. The party’s depute leader Keith Brown said MPs, MSPs and activists would be given a target of speaking to 50,000 people across the country on 29 September. Revealing the plans in an interview with The Scotsman’s sister title, he said the party would be “making the case for an independent Scotland” on the doorsteps by mobilising its sizeable membership. Earlier this month it was confirmed that the SNP had become the UK’s second largest political party, with 125,000 members to the Conservatives’ 124,000. Mr Brown said the day of action would allow the SNP to take a “huge sample of public opinion”, arguing that the time was right to make the case for independence given the “chaos of Brexit”.” – The Scotsman

News in Brief:

  • As Europe revolts, Brussels demands ever more integration – Kai Weiss, CapX
  • The scandal rocking the Democratic Unionist Party – Owen Polley, Reaction
  • ERG publishes guide to keeping the Irish border invisible – Jonathan Isaby, Brexit Central
  • The Tory battle has only just begun – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Are low-paid workers unskilled or just undervalued? – Peter Franklin, UnHerd