Brexit 1) May lobbies the EU for a deal with time running out…

“Theresa May faces a frantic 48 hours to try to save her Brexit negotiating strategy after she admitted talks had ground to a halt because of the EU’s insistence upon a Northern Ireland-only backstop. The prime minister is expected to plead with EU leaders to drop their Irish backstop proposal at a make-or-break summit dinner on Wednesday night after seeking the support of members of her cabinet on Tuesday morning. With time running out before Wednesday’s meeting, May used an emergency Commons statement to say the EU’s plan “threatens the integrity of our United Kingdom” because it could lead to the creation of a customs border in the Irish Sea.” – The Guardian

  • No deal is more likely than ever warns Tusk – The Sun
  • Agreement over Gibraltar is “almost complete” – Daily Express
  • Reject a “false choice” Corbyn tells Labour MPs – The Guardian
  • Don’t surrender to the EU’s unreasonable Brexit demands… rolling over would be a calamity – Leader, The Sun
  • The EU needs to start being realistic about the Irish border – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Varadkar loses patience – Daily Express
  • Compassion or Brexit? The choice facing the Tories – Robert Shrimsley, Financial Times

Yesterday: WATCH: “Cool, calm heads” needed for the “final stages” of Brexit negotiations, May tells the Commons

Brexit 2) …As the Cabinet meets this morning. Eight Cabinet Ministers met at a Brexiteer caucus yesterday evening.

“The EU has proposed a backstop that would mean Northern Ireland staying in the customs union, large parts of the single market and the EU VAT system – the UK has rejected this, instead proposing a backstop which would effectively keep the whole of the UK in the EU customs union for a limited period.The BBC understands that eight cabinet ministers – Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt, Chris Grayling, Liz Truss, Andrea Leadsom and Geoffrey Cox – discussed the issue on Monday night. They expressed concerns that Mrs May must commit to a hard deadline after which point her time-limited version of the backstop would end. One source said “it was a general, productive and positive discussion on current state of play with commission and no definitive conclusion.” – BBC

Brexit 3) Cabinet Secretary makes unprecedented public intervention to defend Robbins

“Conservative Brexiteers are being accused by the head of the civil service of making “shameful attacks” on Theresa May’s chief Brexit adviser. In an unprecedented intervention, Sir Mark Sedwill, the acting cabinet secretary, condemned the attacks on Oliver Robbins and said that they must stop. His comments, in a letter to The Times, come after repeated criticism of Mr Robbins both in public and private from Tory backbenchers who believe that he is attempting to orchestrate a soft Brexit against the will of the country as expressed in the referendum. Sir Mark said that those responsible for the “sniping” should be “ashamed of themselves”. He pointed to the case of another civil servant who reported having been threatened because of comments about Brexit implementation.” – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: A Brexit alternative for the Cabinet today

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The enduring importance of the Attorney-General

Brexit 4) Sturgeon urges MPs to vote down any deal

“Nicola Sturgeon has appealed to MPs to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, saying it was the “only chance” for Westminster to change course and secure a less damaging exit from the EU. The First Minister said it was still possible for MPs to force the government into a softer Brexit, with just days to go until a crucial EU summit where the UK’s withdrawal agreement must be signed off by European leaders. She hit out at Mrs May’s Brexit strategy, saying an exit from the EU single market would harm the economy, while a vague politics declaration on the future trade relationship between London and Brussels would leave businesses in limbo.” – The Scotsman

Brexit 5) Timothy: Tell the EU to get stuffed

“The PM needs to tell the EU to get stuffed. And she must go back to the drawing board. She must replace Chequers with an ambitious, Canada Plus, free trade agreement between the UK and the EU. She must insist that the Northern Irish solution lies with technology and policy that avoid checks at the border. And she must tear up the backstop. One alternative, still a compromise for Brexiteers like me, is to agree that the UK will remain inside the Customs Union for a period of up to five years while the appropriate systems are put into place. Critics will say the EU will never agree. But if they cannot accept a trade deal consistent with their principles and which respects the integrity of their single market, we know they seek only a damaging deal for Britain, or no deal at all.” – Nick Timothy, The Sun

  • Sore losers don’t respect democracy – Melanie Phillips, The Times

Brexit 6) Hague: Step up the “no deal” plans

“It is now essential to turn up to full throttle the preparations for leaving without a deal. Yes, that sadly means everything from printing customs forms to building lorry parks in Kent. Such physical contingency plans are unavoidable, but it would be a good idea to add policy preparations too – get the plans ready for the freeports and reduced tariffs that would give the UK an advantage in the world, while maintaining high environmental and product standards…Clarity about the changes needed to rescue the current negotiations, wholehearted preparation for the worst outcome, and a readiness to consider entirely fresh ideas will now be important ingredients of delivering a worthwhile deal after all. It can still be done.” – William Hague, Daily Telegraph

  • No deal would be a disaster says Ford boss – BBC

>Today: Columnist Henry Newman: How to manage No Deal? To start with, pledge to reduce tariffs.

Javid 1) Warning of job losses if immigration increases

“Sajid Javid was last night told to rip up “disastrous” post-Brexit immigration proposals or expose seven million Brits to more competition for a job. Migration Watch said the Home Secretary had to slap an annual cap on immigration or watch numbers coming to the UK “run rapidly out of control”. They said it defied belief an advisory committee had suggested opening the door to migrants from around the world – but lowering the skill threshold necessary to qualify for a work permit.” – The Sun

  • Asylum seekers blocked from working in the UK could make a net contribution of £42m to the economy – The Guardian

Javid 2) Ageism could be made a hate crime

“Ageism could become a hate crime under a review of the law to be announced by Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, as he revealed the racial abuse and threats he had suffered himself. Mr Javid has asked the Law Commission to investigate whether ageism and misogyny should be recognised as hate crimes in the same way as offences motivated by hostility based on race, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Charities estimate around one million older people are victims of physical, financial, psychological and sexual abuse each year yet say criminal convictions are rare and sentences too lenient.” – Daily Telegraph

Call for Bercow to quit – after claims of harassment being tolerated and concealed

“The head of the Commons standards committee is calling for John Bercow to resign as Speaker after a report said that “disturbing” allegations of sexual harassment by MPs had been “tolerated and concealed”. Sir Kevin Barron’s intervention comes after the conclusions of an independent inquiry into harassment of Commons staff were published. The report by Dame Laura Cox, 66, found that it would be “extremely difficult” for the “current senior House administration”, including the Speaker, to bring about the changes required. It added that Mr Bercow was incapable of addressing a culture of “deference, subservience, acquiescence and silence” among Commons staff.” – The Times

  • A culture of silence – The Guardian
  • Parliamentary abuse – Leader, The Times
  • The Speaker must go – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • If he had any honour he would have left already – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
  • Kate Green to head Standards Committee – BBC

Fracking for shale gas resumes

“Fracking for shale gas resumed yesterday after being suspended for seven years for causing small earthquakes. Cuadrilla, the energy company, began gently to avoid any risk of the tremors caused in 2011, injecting a well in Lancashire with less than half the volume of water normally used in fracking. Today it will carry out the first full-volume fracking and continue for three months, performing 45 fracking “stages” in each of two wells drilled to a depth of about 1.5 miles. It will complete one stage a day for ten days then four stages a day. In the US, companies perform 20 stages a day.” – The Times

Warning that Hammond will need to increase tax by £19 billion

“Brits face £19 billion-worth of tax hikes if the Chancellor wants to end austerity and balance the books, experts claim. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said (IFS) the tax burden would rocket to the highest levels in since WWII if the Treasury was serious about wiping out deficit while pumping cash into public services.A 1 per cent increase in tax on ALL income taxes, national insurance and VAT would raise £19 billion, the IFS noted. But it warned this would be the “minimum” needed to claim austerity was over given over spending cuts yet to take effect.” – The Sun

Universal Credit rollout delayed

“Ministers have bowed to pressure and are planning to further delay the rollout of flagship welfare reform Universal Credit. The system, which will merge six benefits into one payment, has been beset with problems. Leaked documents seen by the BBC reveal plans to spend hundreds of millions of pounds to prevent claimants suffering hardship as they move onto it. The government said it always intended to introduce the benefit slowly.” – BBC

Lavery resigns as football club chairman

“A key ally of Jeremy Corbyn has stood down from the chairmanship of his local football club after allegations that it benefited from thousands of pounds in taxpayer subsidies. Ian Lavery, who was appointed as Labour Party chairman by Mr Corbyn in June, said that he was stepping down from his role at Ashington football club in Northumberland with immediate effect. In a statement on the club’s website he blamed his departure on the time pressures of his “day job” that meant “maintaining a hands-on approach with the club has become impossible”.” – The Times

Electoral Commission demands greater penalties for online threats to politicians

“Online trolls should face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of seriously intimidating politicians at elections and referendums, the Electoral Commission said yesterday. The watchdog backed Government proposals to bar those who target parliamentary candidates or their staff and supporters from standing for office for five years. And it demanded greater powers to get online platforms to hand over details to identify potential trolls.” – The Sun

  • Facebook tool makes UK political ads ‘transparent’ – BBC

Merkel’s Government at risk of collapse

“Angela Merkel’s grand coalition is at risk of collapsing after both her junior partners in government suffered heavy electoral losses in Bavaria. Senior Social Democrats have urged their party to quit the government and reinvent itself in opposition after a dismal performance in which it finished fifth, behind the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). It was the SPD’s worst result in Bavaria since the end of the Second World War. Mrs Merkel’s coalition has been largely paralysed for months by infighting over asylum seekers, diesel emissions and the fate of Hans-Georg Maassen, an intelligence agency chief who had dismissed violence against migrants in eastern Germany.” – The Times

News in brief

  • MPs from across the House turn on Theresa May – Katy Balls, The Spectator
  • The PM talks tough, but then folds – Alex Wickham, Buzzfeed
  • Brussels elite have always wanted to punish the UK for leaving – Sheila Lawlor, BrexitCentral
  • Don’t bet on the DUP blinking first – Ian Acheson, CapX
  • Bavarian election results are a glimpse of Europe’s future – Jon Stone, Independent