Brexit 1) Meaningful Vote Three is set to take place this week, but May will pull it if she doesn’t have the numbers

“If the party whips do not think Mrs May has the numbers by tomorrow evening, her deal will not be put to a vote. If that happens – or it is put to a vote and she loses – the Prime Minister will fly to Brussels on Thursday to ask for an extension of up to two years: the EU is expected to attach stringent conditions, such as the UK’s continued membership of a Customs Union, as the price for agreeing the extension.” – Mail on Sunday

  • DUP demands seat at the trade table… – Sunday Telegraph
  • ..and denies cash-for-deal votes fix – Observer
  • ERG divisions: Baker leans one way, Rees-Mogg the other, Duncan Smith looking for DUP decision, Jenkin/Duddrige set to hold out, Dorries ready to switch, Patel “key swing voter” – Sunday Times
  • ERG splinter group prepared to bring Government down if the move can force No Deal – Mail on Sunday
  • Switcher Gray: what will Baron, Bridgen, Lewis do? – Sun on Sunday
  • Lamont, Thomson against long delay – Scotsman
  • Truss attacks Soft Brexit Ministers, manoeuvres for position – Mail on Sunday
  • 15 signatory switchers letter from Bradley, Davis, Kawczynski and others – Mail on Sunday
  • Kewell-Buck could vote for May’s deal – Sun on Sunday
  • Farage march sets off from Sunderland – Sunday Telegraph
  • Divided Britain: 43 per cent for second referendum, 43 per cent for No Deal. And the Conservatives have a four point lead over Labour – Observer

Brexit 2) The Prime Minister’s ultimate threat: Vote for my deal…or Brexit kops it

“All this makes the choice now facing MPs clearer than it has ever been. If Parliament can find a way to back the Brexit deal before European Council, the UK will leave the EU this spring, without having to take part in the European elections, and we can get on with building our future relationship with the EU. If it cannot, we will not leave the EU for many months, if ever.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Why I have switched – David Davis, Sunday Times
  • I’m switching – Esther McVey, Sunday Telegraph
  • (So am I) – Matthew Elliott, Sunday Times
  • With a heavy heart, I now back the deal – Michael Howard, Sunday Telegraph
  • Yes, vote for it: it’s now our only guaranteed way out of the EU – Tim Stanley, Sunday Telegraph
  • No, vote agains it: let’s have a long extension, ditch May, and turn everything round – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph
  • Let’s get on with it – Andrea Leadsom, Sun on Sunday
  • No deal would be better than a delay – Johnny Leavesley, Sunday Telegraph
  • We need a general election – Gisela Stuart, Sunday Telegraph
  • Baker’s moment of destiny – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • 800 years of democracy is unravelling before our very eyes – David Starkey, Mail on Sunday
  • The system is adapting to post two-party rule – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times
  • Arrogant MPs don’t give a stuff – Carole Malone, Sunday Express
  • Shameless Remainer Parliament – Dia Chakravarty, Sunday Telegraph
  • “The “vox pop” calls from the bluff Yorkshire pensioner or Essex white-van driver to get on with Brexit or parallel calls from their MPS to respect the “will of the people” cannot be tamely and mutely accepted.” – Will Hutton, Observer
  • May is wrecking the constitution – Simon Heffer, Sunday Telegraph
  • Let’s undermine the EU from within – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • “If Mrs May’s deal is voted down again, any number of possibilities open up. They will not include a no-deal Brexit on March 29” – Sunday Times Editorial
  • “There is, it seems, no real choice at all: it’s the establishment’s way or nothing, when it comes to Europe, crime, the war on motorists, the NHS, the environment or energy policy.” – Sunday Telegraph Editorial

Brexit 3) What will the EU demand as the price for extension? Customs Union membership? Single Market membership too? A Second Referendum? None of the above?

“If it fails Government sources have said they will be forced to seek a long extension and the EU will demand the UK would have to stay under Brussels rule in the customs union and single market. This so-called Norway option means Britain would have to accept most of Brussels rules with no say over their formulation along with continued free movement. Britain would also be unable to strike free trade agreements with the rest of the world. The EU too is expected to demand a second referendum as a condition of a long extension.” – Sunday Express

Brexit 4) Meanwhile, Labour ducks and dives

“The shadow Chancellor has revealed “quite a number” of MPs would back a compromise deal if the public have a final say. The party is working with Labour backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson on their proposals that will come before MPs this week.
Mr McDonnell said: “We’ve said we would support that if it comes back, and it may well be this week but it will be down to the tactics they want to pursue, because they will only push that when they think they’ve got a realistic prospect of winning.” – Sun on Sunday

> Today:

> Yesterday:

Leadership 1) Is Hancock emerging as an Osborne/Cameron-backed modernisation candidate?

“The fight for the leadership has boiled down into two main battles. Hunt appears to have eclipsed Javid as the establishment candidate to beat but is under threat from “dark horse” Matt Hancock, the health secretary, who combines support from some remainers who once backed Amber Rudd with none of her attempts to undermine Brexit. Colleagues were impressed that he neutralised the NHS winter crisis and emerged as a more polished media performer.”

– “Stride holds dinners for Hunt”.

– “Glen and Evenett tour the tearooms for Javid”.

– Osborne “has switched support from Javid to Hancock”.

– “Coffey whipping for Truss”.

Sunday Times

  • Brexiteers will target Javid and Hunt – Sunday Telegraph
  • And don’t forget Patel: she is set to make aid reform speech – Sunday Times
  • (Mordaunt latest International Development Secretary to demand spending overhaul – Sun on Sunday)
  • She is  expected to back Hunt – Mail on Sunday
  • Will Johnson and Raab risk sticking with hardline ERG sub-group? – Sunday Times

Leadership 2) Johnson – his agonising Brexit vote choice. Does he jump with the switchers, or stick with the diehards?

“The former Foreign Secretary’s future rests on whether or not he backs Theresa May’s deal. He has twice voted against it but admirers believe he must be on the winning side again to stand a chance of making it into Number 10. BoJo’s chances increased after front runners Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid irked grassroots Tories by voting to delay Brexit until the end of June. One minister told The Sun on Sunday: “There’s a tremendous opportunity for Boris here – bigger than when he decided to support the Leave campaign three years ago.” – Sun on Sunday

  • Johnson tells Johnson and Johnson to “button it” as leadership campaign stands at the ready – Sunday Express

Leadership 3) Meet Team Raab

“Mr Raab, the former Exiting the EU secretary who quit last year over Mrs May’s Brexit deal, has assembled a team of ambitious former Conservative ministers around him to support his bid. They include former foreign office minister Sir Hugo Swire, former Brexit minister Suella Braverman, former Northern Ireland minister Shailesh Vara and former ministerial aides Robert Courts and Michael Tomlinson. Paul Stephenson, a former senior campaigner in the Vote Leave campaign, is providing strategic advice.” – Sunday Telegraph

Boles: I have no regrets

“For some of us this enterprise has exacted a personal and political price. It has unleashed a torrent of vile threats online, especially for the women. In my case it has caused the final disintegration of my relationship with my local Conservative association. Although I will remain a Conservative MP until the next election I will not stand for re-election in Grantham and Stamford. But I have no regrets. This is how politics must work if we are to bring our divided nation together. Men and women of goodwill setting aside party-political differences and co-operating in the national interest.” – Sunday Times

  • Boles resigns from his local Association, keeps the Conservative whip in the Commons, and says he won’t stand again in Grantham – Observer
  • Senior Association member calls on MP to go now – Sun on Sunday
  • Most Conservative MPs support him, but at least one doesn’t – Sunday Telegraph
  • Gyimah faces no confidence vote this week, 40 Associations protest against May’s policy – Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Boles has resigned as a member of his Conservative Association – but wishes to continue taking the Conservative Whip

Wright and Javid on the Christchurch massacre and social media: “the era of self-regulation is coming to an end”.

“The white paper, devised jointly by the Home Office and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCSM), was set to be published “in the winter, but publication is still pending. The DCMS has said it will create a framework to “ensure the UK is the safest place in the world to be online”. It will impose legal restrictions on online platforms covering areas such as children’s data, incitement to crime on social media, anonymity and online advertising. In a meeting with stakeholders and activists earlier this week, the DMCS’s digital secretary, Jeremy Wright, told internet companies “the era of self-regulation is coming to an end”.” – Observer

> Yesterday: Mohammed Amin on Comment – The New Zealand atrocity – and the symbiotic relationship between anti-Muslim and Islamist terrorists

Rudd and Hancock on fast-tracking claimants with mental health problems

“Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd told The Sun on Sunday: “I know that the security of a regular wage, the camaraderie of the workplace and the self-esteem you get from being in work can vastly improve the mental health of so many people. That’s why providing people with mental health conditions with as much support as possible, so they can get back into work, is one of my top priorities. And it’s also a huge benefit to Britain’s economy when everyone who is able to work does work.” The move is expected to improve waiting times significantly for access to psychological therapies services and enhance the Jobcentre’s support so it reaches the most vulnerable people. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Many people with mental illness feel as if they are at rock bottom. For some, work can seem like an impossible task. But I know that with the right support, people can feel better and get back into work.” – Sun on Sunday

Brine plans pre-9pm ban on junk food adverts

“Adverts for foods high in fat, salt or sugar are estimated to have been seen 700m times online by children in 2017 and 3.5bn times on television. Steve Brine, the public health minister, said: “It is not right that our children are so widely and easily exposed to adverts promoting foods high in fat, sugar and salt.” Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “We hope the watershed is implemented as soon as possible.” – Sunday Times

News in Brief

  • Sancroft’s firm is paid £500,000 from energy companies set to profit from fossil fuel boiler ban he helped to push through – Mail on Sunday
  • Cox apologies for failing to pay thousands of pounds in rent – Sunday Telegraph
  • Commemorative Brexit coins delayed – Sunday Telegraph