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MPs and Ministers warn May against breaching Brexit promises, ahead of tonight’s vote

‘Theresa May would ‘destroy’ the Tory party and put Jeremy Corbyn in No 10 if she gives in to demands to adopt a soft Brexit, senior ministers warned last night. MPs are staging a vote tonight on whether to try to force the Prime Minister to shift to a customs union or Norway-style soft Brexit. No10 is braced for a possible Cabinet walkout as early as tomorrow when ministers debate whether to accept Parliament’s demands. More than 170 Tory MPs, including ten Cabinet ministers, have already signed a blunt, two-paragraph letter to Mrs May reminding her of the party’s manifesto commitment to take Britain out of both the customs union and the single market. The letter urges her to take the UK out of the EU without a deal on April 12 if she cannot get her own deal through Parliament in the coming days.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Our survey. How Party members would cast indicative votes. They are overwhelmingly for No Deal.

Customs Union? Lawson: It would be taxation without representation

‘The main proponents of this in the indicative vote debate last week — Ken Clarke, Sir Keir Starmer…and Hilary Benn – all refused to take interventions from the only former Minister for Trade Policy present, Greg Hands. So Hands, who is fluent in three European languages and understands these matters as well as anyone in the House, set out his argument yesterday on the website ConservativeHome. Among other devastating points, he explains how the UK’s diplomatic power rests partly on our ability to set, or help set, trading rules. As he says: ‘If, in the future, the UK has neither its own trade policy nor any say over the EU’s, we have virtually zero leverage on anything to do with trade.’ He also notes why it’s no surprise that Brussels is enthusiastic about that. ‘At trade bargaining tables of the future, it would be able to offer up access to the UK’s 65 million consumers without the UK getting anything in return.’ As the saying goes: if you are not at the table in trade talks, you are the lunch… If MPs vote for permanent alignment with the customs union, with its tariffs weighing most disproportionately on our poorest consumers, they will be signing up to taxation without representation.’ – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

  • Gauke implies he might go if she fails to back it – The Sun
  • The Justice Secretary says the Party should accept breaking its manifesto pledge – Daily Telegraph
  • Brexiteers would resign if she does back it – Daily Mail
  • No, the Government cannot ask the Queen to block a customs union – Chris White, The Times
  • The idea wouldn’t solve the problem – Peter Mandelson, The Guardian
  • In the struggle between big business and sovereignty, the Conservative Party has swung towards the latter – FT
  • The right is in command – Ian Birrell, the i paper

>Yesterday:

‘Common Market 2.0’? Boles and co are in talks with the SNP to secure their support

‘Sources close to the Scottish Nationalists said party chiefs were “in ongoing discussions” about whether to vote as a bloc for the Common Market 2.0 proposal set to go before MPs in Monday’s second vote on Brexit alternatives. The party ‘abstained’ in last week’s first round. The SNP’s support would hand a critical 34 extra votes to the plan pushed by Tory MP Nick Boles and Labour’s Lucy Powell, and potentially push the Norway option above a permanent Customs Union. One insider said: “The SNP is obviously pro-Remain first and foremost but Norway includes guarantees over the single market and free movement, regionally too, which are critical.” – The Sun

A second referendum? Watson says it would unite the country

‘Tom Watson yesterday declared that a second referendum was the only way to unite the country. The deputy leader of Labour said it would be inconceivable to not promise another vote in the next election manifesto. And he said his party had experienced a boost in the polls thanks to its support for the idea. ‘We need to move beyond Brexit but it seems to me the only way we can do that is to have a people’s vote,’ he told the BBC. Asked on the Andrew Marr Show whether he was in favour of a second referendum under all circumstances, he replied: ‘That’s the only way we can bring the country back together now.’ Mr Watson admitted that he was not responsible for writing Labour’s manifesto and was just ‘one bloke around a table’.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: WATCH: Watson does not deny that Labour backs a second referendum ‘in all circumstances’

The new leader must be a Brexiteer and experienced minister in their 50s or older, Grayling argues

‘Mr Grayling, 57, who has been on the front bench for 17 years and held four Cabinet posts, is adamant that he will “absolutely never, under any circumstances” join the Grand National-sized field of Tory MPs who want to replace Mrs May. Instead he says the party should elect an experienced minister who can then bring on younger colleagues, with a view to stepping down after the 2022 election. He says: “It may be that we are planning two things rather than one. Planning somebody who has got the experience and resilience to get us through the immediate future. But then … we have got a really good generation of younger politicians in their 40s who can make a real impact who are going to the leadership of the party in the future. Is the person who takes us through the next two or three years – and sorts out Brexit and gets the hard time that Theresa has had – the same person who we want to be leading us into the 2027 general election?”‘ – Daily Telegraph

  • It reads like a snub to Raab, Truss and Hancock – Daily Telegraph
  • Blair predicts that Boris Johnson would beat Corbyn in an election – The Sun
  • If you want to avoid a Corbyn government, then deliver Brexit – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Truss offers refreshing reminder of real Tory economics – The Sun Says
  • Raab pitches plan to fight knife crime as Rudd and Morgan woo ‘stop Johnson’ vote – Daily Mail
  • And he hits back at bullying ‘lies’ – The Times
  • Javid could win by being the least-disliked option – Camilla Cavendish, FT
  • There are at least 11 candidates – The Sun
  • Number 10 hopes to delay the contest until October – The Guardian

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Next Tory Leader. It’s Johnson first, Raab second and Gove third in our first survey since May’s pledge to quit.

The Conservative Party is engaged in ‘sensible and pragmatic’ planning for a General Election

‘James Cleverly said that while the Tories were “not planning for a general election”, the party was nevertheless preparing for a snap poll in case Theresa May was forced to go to the country early. It comes after ministers and senior MPs told The Sunday Telegraph that the party would be devastated at the polls, with many voicing concern that Mrs May could attempt to stay on as Prime Minister. One Cabinet minister said “there is no one in the Cabinet who thinks she should lead us into a general election”, whilst another MP said the party “would be annihilated” with her at the helm. Their concerns were echoed by Alistair Burt, the former foreign minister, who said on Sunday that Mrs May should not be allowed to stay on.’ – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: The space for a new party isn’t just in the centre of politics

>Yesterday: WATCH: Cleverly insists that the Conservatives are not planning a general election

Javid and May: We must take a ‘public health’ approach to fighting knife crime

‘This week we are bringing together experts from many different disciplines for a serious youth violence summit at 10 Downing Street. The aim is to get people from right across society – not just politicians and police officers, but figures from education, healthcare and social work, religious and community leaders, youth workers and more – working side by side to spot young people at risk, flag their concerns, and make targeted interventions to steer them away from crime. Rather than having a complex web of different agencies and organisations working independently on different parts of the problem, we want to see everyone working together in what has been called a public health approach…While strong, effective law enforcement has an obvious and vital role to play, we cannot try to simply arrest our way out of this situation, dealing with people only after they have broken the law. After all, were it an infectious disease killing our children, Mail readers would not expect the authorities to just focus on treating the symptoms – you would rightly demand that we also do everything possible to prevent people getting ill at all.’ – Theresa May and Sajid Javid, Daily Mail

  • Hospitals will be compelled to report suspicious injuries – The Sun
  • The data will be linked up with teachers’ and social workers’ reports of truancy and troubling behaviour – Daily Mail
  • Police must be empowered to use stop and search – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Three stabbed in brawl after Celtic-Rangers match – Daily Mail
  • Four knifed in ‘random’ Edmonton attacks – Daily Mail

Windrush victims to receive compensation

‘Thousands of victims of the Windrush scandal are to share in a £100million compensation scheme, the Sun can reveal. Home Secretary Sajid Javid is finally ready to unveil details of the redress programme after months of internal wrangling in Whitehall. Sources said an announcement detailing the application process for Commonwealth-era citizens affected by the immigration chaos would come as early as this week. Home Office officials claim at least 15,000 may have a right to compensation for being wrongly deported, forced out of their job or losing access to benefits. The Sun last month revealed the Home Secretary had warned Treasury that the bill could cost anywhere between £150million to £310million…The move comes almost a year after the Home Secretary vowed to “do right” by the Windrush generation – who arrived in Britain between 1948 and 1973.’ – The Sun

Ministers delay £27 billion tranche of HS2 spending

‘Ministers have delayed approval for HS2 spending over worries about the project’s mounting costs. A formal ‘notice to proceed’ on major construction works for the first phase of the high-speed railway has been put back by six months until December. The Government-owned firm in charge of the project is now likely to fall short of its aim of starting work on bridges and tunnels later this year. The order, which would have provided up to £27billion, had been scheduled for June. However, it is understood HS2 Ltd is struggling to keep costs contained within the overall budget of £56billion. The delay means the firm cannot sign major contracts for the construction of phase one lines, stretching from London to Birmingham.’ – Daily Mail

  • Network Rail has fallen behind even before beginning its new round of upgrades – The Times
  • No more ‘spending a penny’ at railway stations – The Times
  • New Ofcom compensation scheme for poor broadband service – Daily Mail
  • ‘Flat white’ sector drives economic growth – The Times
  • HMRC reports taxpayer’s suicide to police – FT
  • Making Tax Digital is struggling to get businesses on board – FT
  • Business taxes rise in Scotland today – The Scotsman

Labour would use post offices as branches of a state-owned bank

‘Thousands of post offices would become branches of a publicly owned bank under a Labour government, the shadow chancellor announced. John McDonnell said that the Post Bank would protect face-to-face services amid concerns that online banking was undermining high street facilities. He estimated that a Labour government would create up to 3,600 branches at a time when post offices, banks and building societies were closing on many high streets. “Finance is the central nervous system of the economy,” he said. “It directs investment, deciding which businesses and projects get off the ground and which fail.” Mr McDonnell added: “For too long this vital part of our economy has been solely in the hands of the big banks and the speculators.”’ – The Times

  • Left-wing French litterati embarrassed as the man they lionised as a victim confesses to murders – The Times
  • 20 years of the minimum wage – FT

>Today: Chloe Westley’s column: Is it right to describe and denounce Cultural Marxism?

News in Brief

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