Downing Street’s migration push hampered by ‘battle’ between May and Javid

‘Home Secretary Sajid Javid is locked in a Brexit row with Theresa May over how quickly to restrict low-skilled immigration, the Sun can reveal. Sources claimed the Home Secretary wants to keep the border open to low skilled workers beyond the end of 2020 in a sop to business. But the PM is said to want to introduce restrictions as soon as the post-Brexit transition phase is over in two years’ time so firms are forced to train up young Brits. Insiders fear the fresh battle means the Government’s flagship Immigration White Paper may not be published in full before the PM’s crunch Commons Brexit vote next week. Uncertainty around a new post-Brexit border system has also raised concerns the Home Office would have no way of ending free movement if we leave the EU without a deal in March…A Whitehall source said: “Sajid and the PM are at loggerheads. They agree on main points, but the argument is over how quickly they move to bring down low-skilled migration. Sajid wants to keep the system as it is for a while but she thinks there has to be a date, something to motivate firms to recruit here instead.”’ – The Sun

  • The Home Office refused to let the Prime Minister front a new border announcement – The Times
  • The stream of ministerial resignations is making government less effective – FT Leader
  • Brexit is all about bigotry – Matthew d’Ancona, The Guardian
  • EU ministers meet to negotiate stronger central finance powers – FT

>Today: George Bridges on Comment: The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. The choice facing Parliament is compromise or chaos.

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Our survey. Almost seven in ten Party members say that Conservative MPs should vote against May’s deal.

Pressure mounts on the Government to publish Cox’s legal advice on the deal

‘On Monday Theresa May will refuse to publish the full legal advice on the grounds that it is “privileged”, in defiance of a majority of MPs want it released in full. Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, will instead only give a “reasoned position statement” summarising the legal advice while he takes questions in the Commons. John Bercow, the Common’s Speaker, has warned that ministers could face suspension from the Commons for failing to publish the guidance under “contempt of Parliament” proceedings…In his speech today, Mr Cox will make a “political” rather than “legal” argument about the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. He will argue that the EU does not want to use the backstop either. However Mr Cox’s legal advice is far more stark, warning that Britain could be trapped in the customs union “indefinitely”.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • The full advice should be published – The Times Leader
  • Of course it must – there is no good reason to withhold it – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
  • The Prime Minister herself urged such advice to be released during the Iraq debate – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • She will tell MPs today that her deal allows the UK to make free trade deals – The Times
  • Leaked House of Commons legal analysis warns otherwise – BrexitCentral
  • Robbins privately warned May that her deal risks a ‘bad outcome’ for the UK – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. The proportion of Party members who want May out now hits over half for the first time.

>Yesterday: WATCH: Lewis says that Cox will deliver on the Government’s Brexit deal legal advice commitments tomorrow

Labour will call a no confidence vote if MPs reject the Prime Minister’s proposal

‘Labour announced it will call a no-confidence vote in Theresa May if she loses her crunch Brexit showdown next week. Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said his party would “inevitably” try to collapse the Government after what is expected to be a big defeat for the PM in her December 11 crunch vote. A General Election could follow if Mrs May fails to win a majority in a no-confidence vote in the Commons. Sir Keir told Sky News: “It seems to me that if the Prime Minister has lost a vote of that sort of significance then there has to be a question of confidence in the Government.’ – The Sun

>Today: Nicky Morgan’s column: The only credible alternative plan is Norway Plus. And that may well be what Parliament ends up supporting.

>Yesterday: WATCH: “If the deal is voted down, the Prime Minister should go back to Brussels”, says Villiers

Party leaders scrap over television debate format and channel

‘The Brexit TV debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn is hanging by a thread after each side accused the other of running scared. Mrs May is at loggerheads with the Labour leader over whether ITV or the BBC should host the debate on Sunday before MPs vote on the Brexit deal. Labour says that the BBC’s plans would feature up to 20 extra participants involved in Brexit, possibly including MPs from other parties. Mr Corbyn would prefer the hour-long head-to-head debate suggested by ITV. Mrs May, however, has accepted the BBC’s offer and No 10 said last night that she did not intend to budge. She has challenged him to accept her preferred format for a television debate or be seen as “running scared”.’ – The Times

The tax burden is at its highest in half a century

‘Taxes on households and companies have hit their highest level in 50 years, figures reveal. The tax burden has soared to 34.6 per cent of gross domestic product – surpassing the 34.4 per cent recorded in the early Sixties. In its 2017 manifesto, the Government promised to keep taxes as low as possible for businesses and working families…Priti Patel, a former Cabinet minister, said: ‘It’s an embarrassment to this or any government to take so much money from hard-working taxpayers. Lower taxes promote economic freedom which leads to more growth, more jobs and more money in people’s pockets. That is the only – and the Conservative – way forward.’ Owen Paterson, another former Tory Cabinet minister, added: ‘These figures are shocking. High taxes slow economic growth.’ The TaxPayers’ Alliance warned that forecasts indicated tax take is likely to be maintained at the same level over the next five years.’ – Daily Mail

  • The Tories once stood for low taxes. What happened to them? – The Sun Says

Thousands more grammar school places get the go-ahead

‘Grammar schools across the country will today be given the go-ahead to create thousands of new places to meet fierce demand from parents. A total of 16 schools have been given a share of a £50million fund to build new classrooms – accommodating up to 4,000 extra pupils. The schools, across 12 counties, were selected from 39 bidders and make up 10 per cent of the country’s 163 grammars. The money has been granted on the condition the schools carry out ambitious plans to admit more poor pupils…Selection panel insiders said there was a ‘high bar’ for choosing schools and only those with the most radical plans to help poorer pupils were successful. Announcing the list, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: ‘I have always been clear that selective schools will only be able to expand if they meet the high bar we have set for increasing access for disadvantaged children, and all of these schools have done that. As a result, countless more children from disadvantaged areas will benefit from places at outstanding schools.” – Daily Mail

MI6 chief calls for new generation of intelligence services, based on AI and robotics

‘The head of MI6 will on Monday highlight the urgent need for a new era of spying in which artificial intelligence and robotics are deployed to combat rogue states hellbent on “perpetual confrontation” with the UK. In a rare public speech – only his second in four years in the job – Alex Younger, the Chief of MI6, will say that Britain must enter an age of “fourth generation espionage” to keep the country safe. The MI6 boss – known as “C” – will also emphasise the importance of “strengthening” Britain’s security ties with European allies ahead of Brexit, pointing out that “multiple” Islamic State-inspired attacks on the Continent have been disrupted thanks to the co-operation of intelligence agencies. The speech to students at St Andrew’s University, where Mr Younger studied, will also warn of the danger of “adversaries” who are “willing to take advantage” of huge leaps in cyber technology to launch attacks on Britain “in ways that fall short of traditional warfare”.’ – Daily Telegraph

  • He will warn Moscow not to underestimate us – The Times
  • Russian state journalists accused of acting as “surrogate spies” – The Times
  • Home Office warns that new EU law will harm the fight against online paedophilia – Daily Telegraph
  • The far right wins its first seats in Spain since the 1970s – The Times

Moore: Bush, the last President to believe in duty above all else

‘He was not a passionate crusader, and certainly not a great orator. But he was the leader of the greatest power on earth, who believed in that power, but equally believed in its restraint. He may turn out to have been the last of that kind: Barack Obama believes in American power too little, Donald Trump too much. To understand Bush’s psychology, compare him with Edwardian British statesmen – born to wealth, education, and global sway, but also to a sense of public duty that was lifelong. To him, leading the free world was not an ideological mission or an exciting adventure story, but a heavy responsibility.’ – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

The Times calls on Osamor to apologise for threatening their reporter

‘When The Times uncovered evidence which showed that Kate Osamor, the Labour MP for Edmonton, had not only known about her son’s arrest for drugs offences — about which she had denied all knowledge until his conviction in October — but had even written a letter to the judge pleading for leniency, our reporter went to Ms Osamor’s house to ask for her reaction to our story. Ms Osamor’s response was to tell our reporter that she “should have come down here with a bat and smashed your face in”. She told him to “f***” off, called police after accusing him of stalking her and hurled a bucket of water at him. This was an outrageous way to treat our colleague. Ms Osamor has now rightly resigned from her job as the shadow international development secretary. Yet it is telling that her resignation statement included no acknowledgement that she had lied about her knowledge of her son’s drug arrest nor did it contain any word of apology to The Times or our reporter. Similarly the statement by Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, accepting her resignation included no criticism of her behaviour.’ – The Times Leader

  • Former standards commissioner questions her fitness to be an MP – The Times
  • She has been banned from Wikipedia for repeatedly trying to delete awkward facts from her page – The Sun
  • Her son is still living off the public purse – Daily Mail
  • How did it become so easy for the powerful to threaten journalists with violence? – Jane Merrick, The Times
  • Batten backed by UKIP executive – The Guardian

Qatar to quit OPEC

‘Qatar will quit Opec from next year, a group that it has been a part of since 1961, the country’s energy minister said on Monday. Saad al-Kaabi told reporters the decision to leave the cartel of big oil exporting countries came after Qatar had reviewed the ways it could enhance its role abroad while shifting the focus of the country towards gas. “Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership form Opec effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to Opec this morning,” he said. The move comes amid a deteriorating political situation between Qatar and its neighbours. Four Arab states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt — have imposed a trade and travel embargo on the country since June last year over allegations that Qatar supports terrorism. The oil price surged on Monday after the US and China agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war.’ – FT

  • Jailed student’s wife was told to keep quiet by same Foreign Office officials who signed a deal with his captors – Daily Telegraph
  • Hong Kong under threat – FT

Macron calls crisis summit after rioting across France

‘Mr Macron summoned senior ministers and police chiefs for an emergency meeting at the Élysée Palace yesterday to discuss the response to protests that have wreaked havoc in French cities. The unrest began as a movement against fuel tax rises but has turned into the most formidable challenge yet to Mr Macron’s economic policies, drawing anarchists and far-right thugs into the fray. Police arrested more than 400 people in Paris on Saturday and said that 133 were injured. Security forces used 10,000 tear gas canisters and stun grenades as well as water cannon. Monuments were vandalised and covered with anti-government slogans. While rejecting a return to a state of emergency, the last of which ran for almost two years after the terrorist attacks of November 2015, Mr Macron told Christophe Castaner, the interior minister, to “adapt the methods used for maintaining order”. This reflected ministers’ deep concern that France’s two riot police forces had failed to contain protests on successive Saturdays.’ – The Times

  • It’s hard not to laugh – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
  • His critique that the protesters include extremists is true, but that doesn’t change the fact they have support – The Times Leader
  • I cleaned up New York – here’s how London could take on knife crime – Bill Bratton, Daily Telegraph
  • Vast majority of fraudsters get away with it because police like strategy and expertise – The Times
  • Prison doesn’t work – and at long last policymakers are recognising it – James Kirkup, The Times
  • Man ‘killed for his trainers’ – Daily Mail
  • Swift rise in email and social media hacking – The Times

News in Brief

  • Vegans want metaphors rewritten to be ‘harm-free’ – Daily Mail
  • Revenge of the Segway – Unherd
  • ‘Stark’ evidence of everyday racism – The Guardian
  • The roots of populism – New Statesman
  • Nigerian president denies he is a clone who has replaced original version of himself – Huffington Post