Brexit 1) Former Cabinet Secretaries hit back over criticism of civil service

“Three former cabinet secretaries who have served every prime minister since Margaret Thatcher have launched an unprecedented attack on Conservative Brexiteers for undermining the integrity of the civil service. In a stinging rebuke to Tory backbenchers, Lord Armstrong of Ilminster said that “those who wish to undermine or frustrate” Theresa May’s Brexit policy should “concentrate their fire on the organ grinder” rather than the “monkey”. His successor Lord Butler of Brockwell, who served under Sir John Major and Tony Blair, said that the attacks were undermining civil servants and were not in the national interest. Lord O’Donnell said that the way to strike a good deal with the European Union was not by “attacking our own officials”, adding that the process of negotiating the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition agreement in 2010 was “a piece of cake” compared with the challenges facing Whitehall over Brexit.” – The Times

  • Speaking truth to power – Leader, The Times
  • British officials targeted with death threats and personal slurs – Financial Times
  • EU has become more constructive since I compared it to the Soviet Union claims Hunt – The Guardian
  • UK to be trapped in customs union – Daily Express

Brexit 2) EU proposes that UK agrees to keep tax rates “aligned” after we leave

“The European Union is drawing up plans to control Britain’s tax policies ­after Brexit, leaked documents seen by The Daily Telegraph disclose. According to draft documents, the EU wants to ensure the UK pledges to keep its tax rules aligned with those of the bloc as part of any future Brexit agreement. Such a move would prevent the UK from becoming a low-tax economy by cutting its corporation tax rate to attract business. And – depending on the wording of any agreement – it could mean that any future changes to the EU’s tax rules would need to be followed by the UK, even years after Brexit.” – Daily Telegraph

Brexit 3) Scots Tory MPs threaten to veto over fishing

“A fishing rebellion headed by a Scottish Tory could scupper the PM’s Brexit deal. David Mundell warned Theresa May  not to break a promise to fishermen to reclaim British waters by December 2020 as her row with her MPs deepened.Mrs May admitted on Thursday the Brexit process could be extended to  get a deal over the line – sparking fury from Eurosceptics. She agreed to look at keeping Britain under EU rules for up to a year longer in a bid to break the Irish border deadlock…her 13-strong bloc of Scottish Tory MPs have vowed to veto a longer withdrawal phase from the EU as it would hamper their fishermen. They said breaking free from hated EU fishing rules as soon as possible was a “red line” for their backing for any deal.” – The Sun

  • Angry backbenchers summon May – The Times

>Today: Book Review: Davidson roars about in her bulldozer, promoting the cause of women

Brexit 4) Vote was driven by nostalgia claims Barnier

“Michel Barnier has claimed the Brexit vote was driven by “nostalgia” in a swipe at the 17.4 million Britons who voted Leave. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator’s assessment on French radio drew a stinging rebuke from David Davis, who as Brexit Secretary was his British counterpart. “I wouldn’t confuse belief in the free market with nostalgia,” he shot back.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Kids, dogs, and celebs: Remain’s choice of spokesmen shows their contempt for voters – Gawain Towler, Daily Telegraph
  • Spain won’t veto deal over Gibraltar – Daily Telegraph
  • 2,000 years of hubris and folly – Simon Jenkins, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Merkel will rescue the Prime Minister. Where have we heard that before?

Brexit 5) Curtice: PM’s proposals have little support among Leave voters

“Leave voters are more united in their opposition to extending the transition period than they are in their attitude towards Northern Ireland being in the single market when the rest of the UK is not. Both ICM and Lord Ashcroft found that around two-thirds of Leave voters oppose an extension of the transition period, while only between a fifth and a quarter are in favour. In contrast, according to both YouGov and BMG, only around a half of Leave voters express outright opposition to Northern Ireland uniquely remaining within the single market or the Customs Union….in looking for another solution to the Irish problem she is seemingly at greater risk of disappointing those whose decision two years ago she is seeking to implement and whose approval her party will be seeking at the next general election.” – John Curtice, Daily Telegraph

  • Remainers are stockpiling milk powder – The Sun
  • Poll reveals doubts about a second referendum – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Use of the Caine

Brexit 5) Parris: Remainers need to broaden their support

“A new referendum must not be seen as having been imposed. It must be a response: a response to two evident problems. It must respond to a constitutional impasse, a visible roadblock in the Commons; and to a palpable and growing public demand for a new vote. Without these two a new vote will simply infuriate. Both may come. But until they do, let the marches and demonstrations be led by the many, not the few. I want to hear talk of a new referendum in the post office queue, not the foyer of the Royal Opera.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

  • I would boycott a second referendum says Hannan – The Sun
  • More than 100,000 are expected to march – The Guardian

Brexit 6) Rees-Mogg: May must change her Brexit strategy now, or risk her own Black Wednesday

“From October 1992 the opinion polls turned against the party, leading in 1997 to the heaviest defeat since 1906.The economic resurgence was not credited to the Government because it came about in spite of, rather than because of, the Government’s policies. …If it were accepted that there may be a punishment period, the EU’s equivalent of the naughty step, to be endured before we could make our future for ourselves outside the straight-jacket of a failed EU economic model, then there may be electoral credit for delivering on the referendum result. Regrettably, if it happens by mistake, by happenstance, the result will be the same as it was in 1992.” – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Daily Telegraph

Brexit 7) Forsyth: A longer transition period would strengthen the case for a new PM

“Before this week, some Tory MPs argued that Mrs May should stay until the Brexit transition was done in December 2020. They said this would mean that a new leader would be able to come in as a fresh face after Brexit and in time for the next General Election.However, the news that the transition could be extended cuts against that argument, as the transition could take you to months away from the next election. Privately, Tories from the Cabinet down acknowledge that if the transition can be extended, then the case for keeping Mrs May until the end of it is weaker. Rather, it would be better to get a new leader soon after March 2019 to give them a chance to make an impact on both Brexit and domestic policy before the 2022 General Election.” – James Forsyth, The Sun

  • An early election would be better than No Deal says Tory donor – The Times

Brexit 8) Oborne: Here’s how May can still win

“Will the DUP really vote against the Government, as it is threatening to do? They must know that could spark a General Election which might lead to John McDonnell — who said this week he longs for a united Ireland — marching into Number 11 Downing Street. Are the hard Brexiteers really able to muster the support they need to sabotage Mrs May? And how many Labour rebels can be induced to vote with the Conservative Government?…The most likely outcome remains that Mrs May will still be Prime Minister next April, having led Britain out of the European Union. And that will have been a remarkable achievement.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

Facebook hires Clegg

“Facebook has hired former deputy prime minister Sir Nick Clegg as head of its global affairs and communications team. The 51-year-old politician was leader of the Liberal Democrats and formed a coalition government with David Cameron and the Conservatives in 2010. Facebook has faced intense scrutiny and the threat of government regulation following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and alleged election meddling. Several prominent executives have left the company in the last year. Sir Nick’s new job title will be vice-president of global affairs and communications at Facebook. He will start work on Monday and will spend a week at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters, before moving to California with his family permanently in the new year.” – BBC

  • He used to be all for greater regulation of the media – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • I’m joining Facebook to build bridges between politics and tech – Nick Clegg, The Guardian
  • Clegg had complained that they didn’t pay enough tax – The Sun
  • MPs attacks Facebook over anonymous “Chuck Chequers” ads – The Times
  • Former Deputy PM had claimed he never wanted to be a lobbyist – Financial Times
  • A slippery hypocrite – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

Rudd would “quite like” to be Home Secretary again

“Amber Rudd has said she would “quite like” to be home secretary again “because there’s a few things I’d like to do a bit better than last time”. Ms Rudd quit the role in April, saying she had “inadvertently misled” MPs over the Windrush scandal. She wished she had looked into immigration enforcement “much earlier” but had been misled by some civil servants, she told the BBC. “Unfortunately I was told certain things that turned out not to be true.” The Windrush generation had been encouraged to settle in the UK from the late 1940s to 1973 but, in many cases, were wrongly being declared illegal immigrants.” – BBC

>Today: ToryDiary: Crime is rising again. Howard’s remarkable legacy is at risk.

Johnson backs Mercer

“Boris Johnson yesterday threw his weight behind a Tory rising star who panned Theresa May’s government as a “s*** show”. The former Foreign Secretary declared the party is “fortunate to have MPs with the passion and determination of Johnny Mercer”. Piling further praise on the former army officer he went on: “His fight for veterans shows why we need more like him”. It followed an extraordinary interview with the Plymouth MP in parliament magazine The House. Mr Mercer said Conservative values no longer aligned with his and if he wasn’t a Tory MP he wouldn’t even bother voting Conservative.” – The Sun

Increase in Stamp Duty rates has led to fall in revenue

“The Treasury is facing a £1billion drop in stamp duty from property sales this year – sparking fears a tax crackdown on homeowners has backfired spectacularly. Stamp duty charges on high-end homes were hiked sharply by former chancellor George Osborne four years ago in a bid to boost the tax take. He also imposed a 3 per cent surcharge on second homes to discourage landlords. But it is feared the changes have clogged up the property market at the top end because people do not want to buy expensive homes due to the massive tax bills. This makes it harder for those further down the ladder to move up, ultimately cutting the number of homes available to first-time buyers. It also means the Government brings in less tax because fewer people move house, critics argue.” – Daily Mail

  • Hammond could put up National Insurance by scrapping Employment Allowance – Financial Times

“Steady supply” of new homes needed in our National Parks says Gove advisor

“People living in the countryside have to accept a “steady supply” of new homes need to be built in National Parks, the Government adviser in charge of a major review has said. Julian Glover, who is running a review of whether to add to England’s 10 National Parks, said more homes had to be built in these protected areas. Mr Glover also raised the prospect that new national parks will be created on the edge of major cities like Birmingham so people who live in urban areas can easily access them. Another idea is to find new names for England’s 30 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Mr Glover was speaking as Michael Gove, the Environment secretary, appealed for members of the public to send in ideas for new National Parks.” – Daily Telegraph

Democrats relying on Latino vote boost in the mid terms

“Turned off by Mr Trump’s rhetoric, including his promise to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and his labelling of Hispanic immigrants as rapists and criminals, Latinos as a group increasingly favour Democrats over Republicans. However, their voting record is poor. In 2016 only a third of the 4.8 million eligible Latino voters in Texas cast ballots. Mr Trump carried the state by nine points.” – The Times

China’s waste ban is pushing up Council recycling costs

“Major problems in the plastic recycling industry are costing local councils in England up to £500,000 extra a year, as they struggle to deal with the continuing fallout from import bans imposed by countries who are no longer able to take the UK’s waste. A survey by the Local Government Association (LGA) revealed nearly half of councils who responded (52) say China’s ban is having a significant impact on their ability to collect and recycle plastic, due to rising costs. Fourteen councils across the country say their recycling costs have increased by an average of half a million pounds a year, in part because of rising processing charges per tonne.” – The Guardian

News in brief

  • A second referendum is now firmly on the cards – Joe Watts, Independent
  • What does your choice of breakfast say about your politics? – Matt Singh, CapX
  • Johnny Mercer is just saying what a lot of Tory MPs are thinking – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • May’s “implementation period”, would be a period when nothing was implemented – Stephen Bush, New Statesman
  • Why we will get an economic boost from leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 – John Redwood