EU ‘set to reject’ May’s plans for frictionless trade…

“Brussels will formally reject Theresa May’s plea for frictionless trade between Britain and Europe next week in a move that will pile further pressure on the prime minister. European negotiators will publish their official response to Chequers on Wednesday and are expected to offer a trade deal much less ambitious in scope than the prime minister had hoped for. Two EU diplomats told Bloomberg that the paper would contain “about 30 to 40 per cent” of Mrs May’s pitch for a wide-ranging trade and security deal. Such a limited offer will increase pressure on the prime minister domestically, with some Brexiteer cabinet ministers warning that she has until the EU summit, a week on Wednesday, to prove that Chequers is viable. Otherwise, they claim, they will demand that Mrs May changes course, pursues a Canada-style deal and faces down the EU over its Irish backstop demands.” – The Times

  • EU to offer ‘supercharged’ free trade deal next week – Daily Telegraph
  • Downing Street says it won’t be ‘bounced’ into a bad deal – Daily Mail
  • Brussels drafts tough contingency plans for ‘no deal’ – FT
  • Tusk offers ‘Canada+++’, but it’s not what Brexiteers think – Daily Telegraph

…as the Government is accused of plotting to avoid second vote…

“Downing Street has been accused of trying to tie parliament’s hands with a plan to avoid a vote on a second Brexit referendum and secure Commons support for Theresa May’s Chequers proposals. The prime minister’s office is examining plans to stop MPs voting on amendments to the “meaningful vote” — the moment in late November or December when the Commons passes judgment on the Brexit deal that Mrs May brings back from Brussels. No 10 wants the Commons to agree to vote on the motion on the deal first, rather than the amendments. This would bypass alternative plans, which could include a second referendum. Some ministers had hoped that Labour might go along with the plan, since the second referendum is a tricky issue. However, Labour is likely to reject such a move, as are Brexiteers. The procedure committee that will examine the issue of bypassing amendments is full of Brexiteers, including Sir Christopher Chope and Peter Bone.” – The Times

  • Revealed: May’s secret bid to get Labour to back a deal – The Guardian
  • ECJ to rule on ‘new plot to block Brexit’ – Daily Express


  • Hammond makes Brexit harder, claims Davis – The Sun
  • Time for squabbling is past, says Cox – The Times
  • Salmond reignites Brexit question ahead of SNP conference – FT

…and Gibraltar warns London it’s prepared to collapse the talks

“Gibraltar last night warned Theresa May and Spain that they would not hesitate to collapse Brexit talks if the UK tried to pull an eleventh hour hoodwinking of the Rock. Amid fears Brussels and Madrid are planning a fresh assault on Gib’s sovereignty, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he would “not blink” in the face of No Deal. He added: “I remain very confident that Gibraltar will be part of the UK – EU Withdrawal Agreement. That is, so long as no one thinks that at the last minute we are going to be pushed to accept things which will not be good for Gibraltar. We are not going to blink at 5 minutes to midnight. And that is why we continue to plan for no-deal as much as we are working towards a deal.” Last night Rock sources said Mr Picardo was aiming his warning at

both the British and Spanish governments.” – The Sun

  • Wilson says May would be ‘foolish’ not to share her plans with the DUP – News Letter
  • Five reasons the DUP want to sink May’s latest proposal – Daily Telegraph
  • Irish deputy launches withering tirade at Brexiteers – Daily Express
  • Dublin presses May on the border question – The Scotsman
  • Unionists and nationalists clash over Stormont’s role in talks – News Letter


  • The ‘border issue’ is about keeping us in the EU – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit might reignite the Troubles – Brian Wilson, The Scotsman

>Today: ToryDiary: Scottish Labour may yet do Britain a service… by sparing it Corbyn

Ministers 1) Embattled Grayling faces new inquiry into rail chaos

“Beleaguered Transport Secretary Chris Grayling faced fresh humiliation yesterday after the regulator opened an inquiry into this summer’s rail crisis. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) confirmed they would probe failings on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern. Experts will probe their communication with passengers before and after the introduction of new timetables which led to major disruption and tens of thousands stranded. Both companies are suspected of breaching a condition of their operating licence. This requires them to provide “appropriate, accurate and timely information” to enable passengers to plan journeys “with a reasonable degree of assurance”… The investigation is expected to be concluded by the end of next month. An ORR spokesman added: “If ORR finds the companies in breach of their licence obligations, it could result in enforcement action such as a financial penalty.”” – The Sun

Ministers 2) Duncan warns that bid to oust May would bring down the Government

“A bid by arch-Brexiteers to try and topple Theresa May would trigger “collapse and disarray”, Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan has sternly warned the party’s backbenchers. The senior politician told the BBC: “Don’t believe all those things you read in the newspapers and take it that there are a lot of numbers behind the noise. “And that’s where you need to apply a lot of political judgement to work out whether the complainers are just a fringe, or whether they represent the main body of opinion in the middle. The main body of opinion in the middle and right to the edges is absolutely solidly behind her. Because the idea that we can go for anybody else at the moment is just folly. It would lead to collapse and disarray. It’s not a credible option.” Sir Alan also took another swipe at his former boss at the Foreign Office Boris Johnson, saying: “I think support for Boris politically has always been exaggerated over the last two years.” – Daily Express

  • Prime Minister banks on Brexit to keep her in place until March – The Guardian


  • Truss is building a following with the membership – Sam Coates, The Times

>Today: Leon Emirali in Comment: A wider lesson from last week’s Tory digital disaster. The Party must adapt – or die.

Ministers ‘increasingly alarmed’ by Universal Credit rollout

“Ministers are becoming increasingly alarmed about the rollout of universal credit after Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, confirmed privately to colleagues that millions of families would lose £200 a month under the new system. Ms McVey told cabinet colleagues that half of lone parents and about two thirds of working-age couples with children would lose the equivalent of £2,400 a year. The revelation will add to Tory angst about universal credit, which is being introduced in stages nationwide to replace existing benefits including tax credits and housing benefit. The Treasury is expected to publish a consultation in the next few weeks about giving “breathing space” to people on low incomes who are in debt, partly as a result of universal credit. Ministers are extremely sensitive about the reputation of the new system as a growing number of Tory MPs have to deal with cases in their constituency surgeries.” – The Times

  • 100,000 middle-class families face unexpected tax demands – Daily Mail


  • Pledge to end austerity has opened the way to a cash free-for-all – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • May’s caught Corbynitis, and we’re all going to pay – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail
  • The Prime Minister dances towards an attractive alternative to Labour – Robert Shrimsley, FT

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The “end of austerity” must not mean a return to the bad old days of Brownite mismanagement

Tim Montgomerie: Kavanaugh hearings highlight how little we know about the prejudices of our own judges

For too long the Conservative Party has ignored the ways in which the Left has marched through the institutions of what Americans have called the “deep state” – that part of government, which encompasses the courts but also quangos and the civil service, and which is almost impervious to changes in democratic control. Before David Cameron and Theresa May came to power, almost five times as many people appointed to public bodies were affiliated to Labour than to the Tories. But even after Mr Cameron and Mrs May occupied Downing Street there were still more elevations of Labour people than Conservatives. While I hope Britain can avoid importing the rancorous and hyper-partisan hearings that America uses to vet public appointments, we need to worry more about who is being installed in our own country’s most influential courts and public bodies. Until we do so, our democratically elected governments may be in office but they are not in power.” – Daily Telegraph

Fury as Whitehall bosses behind ‘witch hunt’ of Ulster veterans are awarded

“Whitehall bosses overseeing the witch-hunt of Northern Ireland veterans have been put up for a gong for their controversial work, The Sun can reveal. The Cabinet Office was last night branded “heartless” for nominating them for the top prize at a glitzy bash for mandarins. The annual Civil Service Awards are designed to recognise the best and brightest in government – but the inclusion of Northern Ireland office sparked uproar. They topped the nominations despite their dogged refusal to halt an inquiry into all 302 killings by troops during 30 years of conflict in Ulster. Earlier this year they rejected calls from Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to offer an amnesty to British troops who served in the Province. Some cases date back 40 years and critics say they are traumatising ex-troops now in their 70s and 80s – and there has been outrage that IRA killers are not being pursued in a similar fashion.” – The Sun

News in Brief:

  • May’s hypocrisy on left-wing discourse – Bruce Newsome, Comment Central
  • Is Twitter distorting political debate? – Matt Singh, CapX
  • After the nullity of May the Tories need to become reformers – Alastair Benn, Reaction
  • Trans rights have gone wrong – James Kirkup, The Spectator
  • Free Ports provide an attractive trade opportunity… if only Chequers didn’t prevent them – Catherine Barnard, Brexit Central