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Ministers warned Brexit delay could spark ‘constitutional crisis’…

Ministers have been warned that MPs supporting an amendment to delay Brexit could “politicise the monarchy” and lead to a “full blown constitutional crisis” causing the Government to “lose its ability to govern” according to leaked documents seen by the Telegraph. The explosive memo advising the cabinet as Theresa May battles to win Tuesday’s second meaningful vote – warns that supporting any amendment re-tabled by Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Tories Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles could pave the way for a bill to change the day of our EU exit and bind the Government into a permanent customs union. It comes as at least five Cabinet ministers are poised to vote to block no deal next week if Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement is rejected, prompting the Prime Minister to consider offering Tory MPs a free vote on the matter to avoid a mass resignation. Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd, David Gauke, Greg Clark and Matt Hancock are all expected to rebel against the Government.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Queen could get dragged in – Daily Express
  • Government will be forced to hold votes on soft-Brexit options – The Sun
  • May warns UK ‘may never leave’ if deal rejected… – FT
  • …and accuses Tory MPs of holding Brexit ‘hostage’ – The Sun
  • Barnier puts May on course for defeat – The Guardian

More:

  • £3.5 million ads ask EU citizens to stay – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Next week’s Brexit votes could yet result in the general election nobody wants

>Yesterday:

…as Hammond urges Eurosceptics to endorse deal and unlock ‘billions’…

“Philip Hammond has urged Eurosceptic Conservatives to stop agonising about the so-called Irish backstop and swing behind Theresa May’s Brexit deal, saying its approval would allow him to release billions of pounds for stretched public services. The chancellor said in an interview that the backstop plans in the agreement, which could force the UK into an EU customs union as a last resort to avoid a hard Irish border, were not “real world problems”. Eurosceptics fear the measure could lock Britain into close ties with Brussels in perpetuity. Mr Hammond’s promise of a fiscal bounty comes just days ahead of Tuesday’s second parliamentary vote on Mrs May’s plan, which the prime minister has been attempting to revise since it was overwhelmingly rejected in January.” – FT

  • History will judge EU if grandstanding derails talks, warns Hunt – The Sun

More:

  • Brexit talks ‘going backwards’ after a breakdown of trust – Daily Telegraph
  • Brussels offers unilateral exit, but only for Great Britain… – FT
  • …but divisive concession ‘dismissed’ – The Times
  • Britain ‘skewers’ EU over backstop plan – Daily Express
  • Barnier dismisses May’s ‘blame game’ – Daily Telegraph

Interviews:

>Today: Book Reviews: The British economy has survived so many crises that it can surely survive Brexit

>Yesterday:

…and Corbyn faces frontbench revolt over second referendum

“Jeremy Corbyn faces a rebellion in his shadow cabinet as 10 frontbenchers have warned they could quit if Labour backs plans for a second referendum. The group of shadow ministers, who largely represent Leave-supporting seats, have expressed concerns over the party’s recent shift in policy, a senior source told the Daily Telegraph. Labour plans to whip its MPs to back an amendment by Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, which would help pass Theresa May’s deal through the Commons only if the country is then allowed to vote on it in a referendum. It has been designed as a way to break through Parliamentary deadlock. The shadow ministers are demanding a “free vote” next week on the amendment. One member of the group said: “The last thing my constituents want is another referendum. They voted Leave and they expect the referendum result to be upheld.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Leader says Labour would back second vote ‘to prevent disaster’ – FT
  • Amendment backing referendum re-run ‘put on hold’ – The Guardian
  • Thornberry says Labour want ‘short delay’ to avoid EU elections – The Times

Charles Moore: May has only herself to blame for the bind she’s in

“MPs have known for ages when we will leave, and they have also known for ages that if no deal were achieved, we would leave with no deal. They know this because they voted for it – 494 votes in favour of Article 50. No one has known this better than Mrs May. She presided over the legislation and repeatedly declared that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. She then contradicted its spirit by not disciplining ministers – such as Hammond, Clark and Rudd – who publicly opposed the no-deal option. As a result, the EU knows it need concede nothing further, despite her pleading yesterday: she has abandoned her bottom line. So all she can do is go round in circles and come back with the same thing, hoping that her colleagues are now so terrorised that they will give in.” – Daily Telegraph

  • This is not the week to push a People’s Vote – Alastair Campbell, The Guardian
  • If Brexiteers don’t back the Deal, it’s only going to get softer – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • Would you like your Brexit vanilla, or marmite? Time to choose – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Syed Kamall MEP’s column: How the European Conservatives and Reformists serve Britain and the EU well

Javid challenged on how to end knife-crime scourge

“A mother confronted Sajid Javid in the street yesterday and demanded to know what he was doing to tackle rising knife crime. Fiona Raychell, whose two children have been targeted by gangs armed with blades, challenged the home secretary at the end of a week in which the government has struggled to show that it has a grip on the issue. Ministers are at odds over how to tackle knife crime. In an interview in The Times today, David Gauke, the justice secretary, warns that Mr Javid’s knife Asbo policy, which is going through parliament, may criminalise young children. Ms Raychell, 50, challenged Mr Javid as he visited police in Birmingham, where there have been three stabbings this week.” – The Times

  • May announces £50 million ’emergency package’ to help tackle problem – The Sun
  • Blunkett backs Johnson on stop-and-search powers – Daily Telegraph
  • Local Government Association warns against cuts to youth offending teams – The Times
  • Labour voted against knife crackdown – The Sun

More:

  • Home Secretary in fresh Begum row after baby’s death – FT

Comment:

  • You must be relentless to crack down on violent crime – David Blunkett, Daily Telegraph
  • Few dare say it, but knife crime is a fashion – Matthew Parris, The Times
  • We must tackle the nihilistic culture behind the crisis – Shaun Bailey, Daily Telegraph
  • Better policing isn’t enough – Camilla Cavendish, FT
  • Why are we letting politicians scapegoat our schools? – Oli Ryan, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Rachel Wolf’s column: How even the perception of a knife crime crisis will make good schools no go zones once again

>Yesterday: Matthew Scott in Comment: We don’t need new ‘Tsars’ to oversee the fight against knife crime – we’ve already got PCCs

Williamson says legal protections come too late for Bloody Sunday troops…

“Legal changes to protect soldiers from criminal prosecution for historical offences will not apply to troops involved in the Bloody Sunday killings, the defence secretary said yesterday. Gavin Williamson said that the extra legal protections announced last week would “sadly” come in too late to cover any troops prosecuted for their involvement in the Londonderry deaths. His comments come amid calls for Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland secretary, to resign after she appeared to suggest that deaths caused by security forces in Ulster were “not crimes”. Northern Irish prosecutors will soon announce whether any British soldiers involved in Bloody Sunday will be charged with murder or other offences.” – The Times

  • Defence Secretary ‘casts doubt’ on Ulster prosecutions – The Sun
  • McDonnell concedes IRA comments may have fuelled sectarianism – Daily Telegraph

…as Bradley’s performance removes last ‘fig leaf’ hiding civil service rule in Northern Ireland

“Since the collapse of devolution and Theresa May’s reluctance to implement full direct rule, it has been clear that there is limited scrutiny of the individual acts of direct rule which with increasing regularity Ms Bradley is bringing to the Commons. That problem is in part because every piece of direct rule Northern Ireland legislation is fast-tracked using Parliament’s emergency procedures to allow for all the stages of a bill to be debated in one Commons’ sitting – meaning in about three or four hours a piece of legislation which deals with billions of pounds of public expenditure passes through the entirety of its scrutiny by MPs. But a pattern has emerged which reveals a further problem. Ms Bradley is now repeatedly leaving it until the last moment before bringing such legislation to the Commons.” – News LEtter

  • Bradley lacks the sensitivity for her critical job – The Times

Javid, Wright, and Hancock sign off on new social media regulations

Social media firms will be placed under a new statutory duty of care, and will be fined, prosecuted or could even be barred from operating in the UK if they fail to protect their users from online harms, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. The Government will create a new independent regulator to enforce the duty of care with far-reaching powers to require firms to take down illegal or harmful material under new legally-binding codes. Tech giants will have to take reasonable and proportionate action to protect children from harmful content. This ranges from illegal material such as sex abuse to potentially legal but harmful cyber-bullying, self harm, violence and porn. Companies which commit the most serious breaches of the duty of care such as allowing terrorists or paedophiles to use their services will be hit with unprecedented enforcement action.” – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Our digital habits are destroying society – Jemima Lewis, Daily Telegraph

Hunt ‘steps up leadership bid’

“Jeremy Hunt is now seen as the frontrunner to replace Theresa May, having significantly stepped up his leadership bid with secret breakfasts for Cabinet ministers. The Sun has learned that the Foreign Secretary is billing himself as the unity candidate as he tries to woo MPs, making different pitches to Leavers and Remainers. As speculation spirals among Tory MPs that the Brexit crisis could force the PM to resign within weeks, Mr Hunt is even said to have started to ask senior ministers what jobs they want in his Cabinet in exchange for their backing. Home Secretary Sajid Javid is also trying to turbo-charge his long-running tilt at No10 by hosting rival breakfasts in Westminster restaurants.” – The Sun

  • Most of the Cabinet are not up to the job – The Sun

May urged to reconsider loan charges after suicide

“A second person facing high debts related to a controversial new piece of tax legislation has taken his own life, a group of MPs reported on Friday. The individual, whose family asked not be named, had become desperate at the large bill he faced due to past use of loan-based tax avoidance schemes, the MPs said. The so-called “disguised remuneration” schemes were used by tens of thousands of contractors from the late 1990s including locum doctors, IT contractors, oil and gas workers and social workers, who often entered them on advice from accountants and recruitment agencies. But the introduction of a new law means that from April, past scheme users face being taxed on any loans they received from up to 20 years ago, in a single tax year.” – FT

Labour suspends candidate in new antisemitism row…

“Labour has suspended one of its most senior candidates in May’s local elections after he claimed that “Nazism and Zionism are equally foul”. The Labour councillor, a fireman and former soldier, also reposted content suggesting that Israel should be “relocated into the United States” — the same comments that led to the suspension of the Labour MP Naz Shah in 2016. Sean McCallum, who was selected last week as the party’s candidate to be the elected mayor of Mansfield, posted the remark about Nazism on his personal Facebook page after Ken Livingstone’s suspension in 2016. “All makes perfect sense. I can’t see anything vaguely antisemitic here,” he posted. Five mayoral contests are to be held at the May elections, making Mr McCallum one of Labour’s most senior candidates. He was suspended within hours of the party being made aware of the posts by The Times.” – The Times

  • Falconer refuses to lead investigation in blow to strategy – The Sun
  • Corbyn warns that infighting could stop him being Prime Minister… – Daily Telegraph
  • …and cost the Party power in Scotland – The Scotsman
  • Antisemitism is tearing Labour apart – FT
  • Scottish leader struggling with ‘tide’ of complaints – Daily Telegraph

More:

  • Murray: Hitler most-hated ‘because he killed whites’ – The Times
  • Key ally is friends with activists expelled over antisemitism – The Sun
  • The privately-educated communist in Corbyn’s inner circle – The Times

Editorial:

  • Aide has a long history of excusing tyranny – The Times

…as Watson sets up new centre-left group inside the party

“Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, is promising to “ensure all voices within the party feel they are being heard”, as he convenes a new centre-left grouping of MPs, widely regarded at Westminster as a rival power base to Jeremy Corbyn’s. Watson has made a series of pointed public interventions since a group of seven MPs announced that they were leaving the Labour party to form the breakaway Independent Group (TIG). In particular, he urged Corbyn to reshuffle his shadow cabinet, and to take personal oversight of the handling of antisemitism cases. But with little sign of the Labour leader making any concessions to the splitters, and the antisemitism crisis in the party deepening, Watson plans to bring like-minded backbenchers together in what is being called the Future Britain Group at a meeting on Monday.” – The Guardian

Umunna calls for reintroduction of national service

“Teenagers should be forced to carry out a modern form of “national service” to break down barriers in British society, Chuka Umunna has suggested. The de facto leader of the Independent Group of disaffected former Tory and Labour MPs stressed the plan would not be a return to compulsory military service but would help people meet other Britons from different social backgrounds. Mr Umunna also put forward ideas for a ring-fenced tax to fund the National Health Service, a new model of “public benefit companies” to run utilities and services and means-testing of university tuition fees. The Streatham MP, the group spokesman for TIG which has eight former Labour MPs including Mr Umunna and three ex-Tories, stressed that his policy pamphlet was written in a personal capacity and was not a manifesto. But he said all members of the 11-strong TIG “share the same values and principles I have set out, and agree with much of what I have written”.” – Daily Telegraph

Banks accused of ignoring break in EU campaigning

“Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman, has been accused of ignoring the Brexit campaign suspension the morning after Jo Cox was murdered and emailing colleagues to “up the spend” on an advert and “press it harder”. Emails seen by Channel 4 News allegedly show that despite an agreement by all groups to suspend campaigning Mr Banks, who was the chief financial supporter of Leave.EU, instructed its social media team to “boost” an existing sponsored advert on Facebook less than 24 hours after the MP’s death. The emails are said to show that on June 17, 2016, Mr Banks issued an order to Liz Bilney, the chief executive of Leave.EU and other staff. He wrote: “Keep pumping the McKenna video and up the Spend.” Ms Bilney replied: “Yes that’s starting to get traction now and with paid advertising and no active campaigning could get a lot of take up today.”” – The Times

News in Brief:

  • Time for the TIGgers to show us what they are really made of – Charlotte Henry, CapX
  • Who do these people threatening no Brexit at all think they are? – Gerald Warner, Reaction
  • Will Brexiteers miss their best chance at Brexit? – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • A cautionary tale of disconnect between the Conservative Party in Parliament and in the country – Alastair MacMillan, Brexit Central
  • Bigotry dressed as victimhood – James Bloodworth, UnHerd

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