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Johnson challenges the Gang of Five: It’s deceitful to pretend May’s bad deal can be fixed in the next stage of talks

‘It is not just the people of Northern Ireland who are turned into captives by this appalling sell-out of a Withdrawal Agreement. Those who drew it up knew that, if they could hold Northern Ireland hostage, then the rest of the UK would remain locked in as well. They knew that no British prime minister could accept the legal division of the UK – and thus the whole country has been trapped in economic and political servitude. Of all the lies that are currently being peddled, the worst is that this agreement can somehow be remedied in the next stage of the talks. I have heard it said that this is like a football match, in which we are one-nil down at half-time, but – as the Prime Minister suggested in her interview yesterday morning – we can still pull it back and get the Brexit we want. I am afraid this is either a tragic illusion or an attempt at deception.’ – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

Editorials

>Today: ToryDiary: Tactical wins, strategic defeat. May’s deal binds us to the backstop. And threatens the future of “our precious union”

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Famous five or fatuous five?

My plan takes back control of immigration, May will tell the CBI

‘European citizens will no longer be able to “jump the queue” for jobs in Britain, Theresa May will pledge today as she attempts to shore up political support for her troubled Brexit blueprint…In a speech to the CBI she will claim that the deal will fulfil the central aim of the referendum campaign to control immigration while still allowing businesses the ability to recruit from overseas. She will hint that the deal being negotiated in Brussels for the future relationship will allow the UK for the first time to create a level playing field, as EU citizens compete with other countries for the right to work in Britain. “The difference will be this: once we have left the EU, we will be fully in control of who comes here,” she will say. “It will no longer be the case that EU nationals, regardless of the skills or experience they have to offer, can jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi. “Instead of a system based on where a person is from, we will have one that is built around the talents and skills a person has to offer.”’ – The Times

>Today: Nicky Morgan’s column: If arch-Brexiteers sink this agreement, they will drive many Conservative MPs to back a second referendum

>Yesterday:

Corbyn to pitch his ideas for “a good Brexit”

‘Speaking to business leaders at the CBI’s annual conference in London, which will also be addressed by the prime minister, Corbyn will claim May’s deal, published last week, would “leave the country in an indefinite halfway house without a real say over our future”. Instead, he will say, “a good Brexit plan for this country is not just about what can be negotiated with Brussels. It must also include a radical programme of investment and real change across our regions and nations. “Brexit should be the catalyst to invest in our regions and infrastructure, bringing good jobs and real control to local communities and people.” His words are likely to infuriate those Labour MPs who believe the party’s stance should be to seek to block Brexit by pressing for a referendum.’ – The Guardian

  • Labour leader brushes off demands for a second referendum – The Times
  • He confessed he hasn’t read the whole draft agreement – Daily Mail
  • Corbyn has no idea what he is talking about, and nor does anyone else – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • He should make his mind up – The Times Leader
  • Labour is colluding in a class betrayal – John Harris, The Guardian
  • Angry exchange between Marr and Chakrabarti – The Times
  • Angela Smith is the latest MP to lose a no confidence vote – PoliticsHome
  • Climate change activists accused of criminal damage claim they have Rowan Williams’ support – The Times

>Today: David Davis on Comment: There has long been an alternative to this discredited deal. It’s the Canada-style plan that Tusk and Barnier offered us.

>Yesterday: WATCH: Corbyn on the draft deal – “I’ve read a lot of it – not every last word.”

Some MPs lie about submitting letters, Brady cautions

‘Brexiteer Tories were initially bullish on the prospects of triggering a vote of no confidence as they claimed to have more than enough support to do so. They were forced to row back on Friday afternoon as they moved to dampen expectations but they still believe a vote could be called this week. Sir Graham said he was aware of Tory MPs claiming in public to have written letters when he knew they had not and that this was not a “new phenomenon”…”I have been doing this job for eight years and some years ago I certainly had the experience of seeing somebody claiming publicly to have written me a letter when they hadn’t and then again seeing them in public on the media saying they had withdrawn the letter that they hadn’t written in the first place.” He suggested Tory MPs who publicly claimed to have written a letter should not necessarily be believed. He said: “Only in this one regard. Obviously all of my colleagues are entirely trustworthy in every other regard.”’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: WATCH: Brady says that he hasn’t written a letter to himself

Hunt visits Iran

‘Jeremy Hunt will use a visit to Iran today to warn the hardline Islamic regime against using “innocent” British-Iranian dual citizens as political pawns. The foreign secretary will call for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker with joint citizenship who has been in jail for more than two years over allegations that she is a spy. Mr Hunt will be the first western foreign minister to visit Iran since the US pulled out of a nuclear deal and imposed sanctions. The foreign secretary is also due to discuss the war in Yemen during his trip, which will include talks with his counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Before setting off Mr Hunt said: “More than anything, we must see those innocent British-Iranian dual nationals imprisoned in Iran returned to their families in Britain.”‘ – The Times

Rowley: To revive capitalism, separate it from austerity

‘Firstly, capitalists have lost the ability to argue and connect. Telling people to support a policy because a spreadsheet says it will benefit them is a dismal way to make our case. There is a moral mission at the heart of our politics. It is time we showed it. Secondly, we need to separate austerity from capitalism. That doesn’t mean turning the spending taps on but, instead, showing that liberal politics is about more than public sector spending restraint. Those of us who remember capitalism before the crash can, just about, remember some of its benefits. Those who came of age from 2008 onwards have known nothing but arguments about austerity. We should want to re-make the status quo as much as the socialists. Thirdly, we need to make the link again between capitalism and progress. The socialist offer to our youth rests on an entirely impractical premise — that the social and personal freedom they hold dear can be separated from its economic brethren. That’s nonsense.’ – Lee Rowley, The Times

Extra police funding could be conditional on reforming pay and hiring in cyber experts

‘Radical plans to modernise the police by linking pay to performance and recruiting outside experts on short-term contracts have been proposed by the police chief in charge of standards. Mike Cunningham, who heads the service’s professional body, said it was time for a “significant review” of the traditional model of policing where pay has been based on length of service. He said major reform of the UK’s 125,000 police officers’ pay, work patterns, recruitment and deployment would be “quid pro quo” for extra funding from the Treasury. Sajid Javid, the home secretary, is currently locked in talks with Chancellor Philip Hammond for extra funding to help tackle a surge in violent crime and has hinted he is confident of success. But Mr Cunningham, head of the College of Policing, warned it would not be a “blank cheque” and police would have to shift towards a performance-related model, an approach seen as controversial by many beat officers, and open up the service to outsiders.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • London ambulance staff ‘try to steer away’ from using “sir” or “madam” – The Times
  • Vetting failed to pick up child rapist police officer – The Times
  • Background checks on 3,000 foreign doctors after fraudster worked as NHS consultant for 22 years – The Times
  • Quadruple stabbing in London brawl – The Sun
  • Johnson’s unused water cannon sold for scrap – The Guardian

Cap House of Lords at 600, MPs propose

‘The House of Lords needs to axe 200 peers and place an overall cap on membership of the upper chamber, a committee of MPs has recommended. The number of Lords should be limited to 600 instead of the current roster of 800, according to Sir Bernard Jenkin, the chairman of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC). A new report by the committee calls for urgent action to address the ballooning size of the House of Lords, arguing its growing membership is affecting its ability to function effectively. Sir Bernard, a Conservative MP, said Westminster’s revising chamber could not be allowed to grow “exponentially” and a reduction in numbers was the “obvious step” to take. He said: “The House of Lords is of vital importance to the UK’s political system, carrying out important scrutiny and revising functions, but it is a problem that the size of the Chamber continues to grow exponentially.”‘ – The Times

Interpol is on the brink of electing a Russian official as its new head

‘Every single abusive act that Russia has perpetrated through Interpol since June 2011 — the harassment of William Browder, of Estonian politician Eerik-Niiles Kross, of businessmen Igor Borbot and Alexey Kharis, and much more — was sanctioned directly by Prokopchuk. He had the clear and acknowledged responsibility under Interpol’s rules not to abuse its systems. But instead of stopping the abuse, he permitted it, facilitated it, and endorsed it. The abuse is his responsibility. None of this is in any way secret. Russia’s abuse is no secret. Prokopchuk’s responsibility for it is no secret. And yet, if press reports are correct, a majority of the member nations of Interpol — acting through its one-nation, one-vote General Assembly — believe he is fit to be its President.’ – Forbes

  • It is becoming a useful idiot for criminal regimes – The Times Leader
  • Faith in the organisation is collapsing – FT
  • Ministers accused of failing to take threat of cyber-warfare seriously – The Times
  • Russia already has a ‘foothold’ in UK infrastructure – Daily Mail
  • The EU is right to seek its own army – Edward Lucas, The Times
  • Fund fake news watchdog with levy on internet giants – The Times

News in Brief

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