Johnson returns from Paris buoyant about deal

“Boris Johnson returned to London buoyed yesterday after President Macron said that a Brexit deal was possible. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, had raised hopes when she told Mr Johnson on Wednesday that it was still possible to avoid a no-deal, challenging him to come up with an alternative to the Irish backstop within 30 days. The French president adopted Mrs Merkel’s suggestion. He said: “No one will wait until October 31 to find the right solution. We should all together be able to find something smart within 30 days if there is goodwill on both sides.” However, he added: “We will not find a new withdrawal agreement within 30 days that will be very different from the existing one.” Mr Macron, speaking alongside Mr Johnson at the Élysée Palace, said that the guarantees provided by the existing backstop were “indispensable” and not about “technical constraints or legal quibbling”. The prime minister wants to make a swift breakthrough as he prepares for a series of meetings with leaders at the G7 summit in Biarritz this weekend. However, Mr Macron’s note of caution was mirrored by a senior Brussels official who told The Times that the prime minister’s proposals for an alternative agreement were not “realistic or feasible”. Luxembourg’s foreign minister also said that a “miracle” was required to solve the impasse.” – The Times

G7 summit
  • What will happen at G7 summit? – The Times
  • Britain will be energetic partner after Brexit, Johnson to tell G7 allies – The Guardian
  • Johnson faces diplomatic balancing act in Biarritz – FT
  • He will tell G7 leaders that Britain’s best days are still to come – Daily Mail
  • Tory MPs rally around PM – The Times
  • And ‘the work starts now’ – Daily Mail
  • No Deal Brexit warning from Governor – Daily Mail
  • EU would be ‘laughing stock of world’ if it failed to respect British fishing waters – Daily Express
  • Leave would win referendum by ‘even bigger margin’ – Daily Express
  • ‘British democracy is under assault,’ says top Brexiteer – Daily Express
  • EU panic: Brussels in distress – Daily Express
  • Brexiteer claims ‘No Deal no longer possible’ – Daily Express

But Allen warns Tories to join Remain Alliance or face challenge

“An anti-Brexit MP has contacted a group of Conservatives telling them to quit and join a new “Remain alliance” or risk facing a targeted campaign to unseat them at a snap general election. The message was sent to at least 20 pro-European Union Tory MPs by Heidi Allen, a former Tory MP who now sits as an independent. It urges her former colleagues to resign the party whip and stand either as a pro-EU independent candidate or for a pro-EU party. It gives them until next Tuesday to reply – which is coincidentally the day when Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, is meeting with Remain-supporting leaders of other political parties and senior Tories to discuss “all tactics available to prevent no deal”. “After that date we will be making final plans on seat targets and resources, and may have to make certain assumptions as to your seat. If you would like us to help with seat logistics and party registration, we would be very happy to help. The message said: “Time is against us so if you would like to consider joining our #RemainAlliance please contact me urgently to discuss. Tuesday 27th August is our deadline.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tory ‘Remain Alliance’ will delay attempts to stop No Deal – Daily Mail
  • Furious fisherman demands Wollaston fights by-election – Daily Express

PM tells Trump the NHS is off the table

“Boris Johnson will tell President Trump that a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States must be “right” for Britain after warning that the NHS would not be “on the table” in any circumstances. Mr Johnson, who is seeking a deal with the US “as quickly as possible” after Brexit, will meet Mr Trump for the first time as prime minister over breakfast tomorrow at the G7 summit in Biarritz. No 10 has been clear, however, that neither the NHS nor animal welfare standards are up for negotiation. There is thought to be growing concern in Downing Street that in a general election Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, could exploit fears about the fate of the health service under a US trade deal. Mr Johnson will also use his first summit since taking office to insist that Britain would not “retreat” from the international stage after leaving the European Union. Speaking before the G7, he said: “Britain will never flinch from the special responsibilities that go with being a pillar and an architect of the international system.” – The Times

  • Johnson takes NHS out of trade deal talks – Daily Telegraph
  • And Trump told NHS is not part of negotiation – Daily Mail
  • NHS ‘not for sale’ – The Sun
  • Prue Leith’s son revealed as key Johnson aide – Daily Mail

And he warns Channel migrants ‘we will send you back’

“The Prime Minister’s comments came after a surge in attempts – with nearly 100 people taking to small boats to try to make the crossing from France to the UK in one day. Home Secretary Priti Patel is to seek talks with her French counterpart, the Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, to address the crisis. But the Prime Minister’s comments have been branded ‘inflammatory’ and ‘misleading’ by campaigners. Mr Johnson told reporters: ‘Clearly the most important thing is to stop them coming across from France, so we are working very closely with the French authorities. ‘The point I would just make to people thinking of making this journey – one, it is very hazardous, you may think the weather looks great but it’s a very, very dangerous thing to do. ‘The second thing is – we will send you back. The UK should not be regarded as a place where you could automatically come and break the law by seeking to arrive illegally. ‘If you come illegally, you are an illegal migrant and I’m afraid the law will treat you as such.’ The UK has a legal obligation under what is known as the Dublin Regulation to ensure asylum applications lodged are examined and considered. Campaigners said it was important applications were not ‘pre-judged’. – Daily Mail

  • Migrants warned by Johnson – The Sun

Corbyn accuses Tories of failing generation of children

“Jeremy Corbyn has met children at a lunch club in Swansea to highlight Labour’s policies for young people, in the latest of a series of campaign-style stops as his party gears up for a possible snap general election. The Labour leader claimed the government was “failing a whole generation of children”, and vowed his party would “unlock the potential of every child, not just a lucky few” as he helped to serve lunches, alongside the MP for Swansea East, Carolyn Harris. He pointed to Labour policies including extending free school meals to all primary schoolchildren, ending the benefits cap, and building 1m affordable homes. Boris Johnson’s government has already made a string of manifesto-ready promises, on everything from boosting police numbers to improving hospital food, fuelling speculation that he is preparing for an early poll, either after Brexit day – or earlier, if he is forced into it. Corbyn meanwhile hopes to tempt back many of those remain supporters who deserted the party for the Liberal Democrats and the Green party at May’s European elections. Labour agreed a more forthright Brexit position before the summer, which has seen Corbyn repeatedly promise a referendum – and allowed key shadow cabinet figures including Diane Abbott and John McDonnell to say publicly they would campaign for remain. Corbyn is poised to table a motion of no confidence in Johnson’s government when MPs return from their summer break in early September. If Johnson lost the vote, there would then be a two-week period for a government that could command a majority to emerge.” – The Guardian

  • This is what happened when Corbyn visited Wales – Walesonline
  • Shock claim that Labour wants special relationship with Cuba – Daily Express
  • Corbyn’s son opens cannabis products shop – Daily Mail
  • Disgraced ex-Labour MP arrested on fraud charge – Daily Mail

Peter Oborne: Corbyn is spineless, tepid and destined to be damned by history

“Jeremy Corbyn is often portrayed as one of the most Left-wing leaders of a mainstream party that Britain has ever had. As evidence, people highlight how he welcomed convicted IRA men to the Commons shortly after the Brighton bombing in 1984. There is also his wish to impose much tougher wealth taxes, to renationalise great swathes of the country’s public utilities, to cancel our Trident nuclear defence system and to introduce rent controls. Clearly such policies struck a chord with some voters as he cut the Tories’ Commons majority in the 2017 General Election. Above all, they saw a man who stuck to his principles, unlike David Cameron and Tony Blair who they regarded as snake-oil salesmen. I believe that voters were right to admire Jeremy Corbyn back then. But ever since he has been a disappointment. This is not because he’s too radical and Left-wing. It’s because he has shown no leadership whatsoever. He’s twisted and turned so often that nobody knows what he stands for. In sum, he’s been tepid and weak. He’s sat on the fence for so long that the iron has entered his soul, as early 20th-century PM David Lloyd George once said of an opponent. I believe Corbyn’s failure to stand up for what he believes explains his appalling position in the polls. They all show Labour lagging well behind the Tories.” – Daily Mail

Ukip leader invokes Nazis in leaked emails

“The new Ukip leader claimed in leaked emails that there was no such thing as a moderate Muslim and appeared to compare the issue to fighting the Nazis. Richard Braine was elected this month to replace Gerard Batten, who was criticised by party members for appointing the anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson as an adviser. Mr Braine, 51, told Ukip members and others in emails seen by The Times: “There is no moderate Islam . . . When people talk about moderate Muslims they are making an error. It is like saying Hitler wasn’t such a bad fellow . . . It is to ignore completely the ideology to which the person is religiously wedded.” He added: “You should no more apologise for a moderate Muslim, and wish him to settle in your country, than you should a moderate Maoist or Nazi.” Urged by a correspondent to concentrate on Brexit, he said: “It’s not either / or. Sometimes you have to fight the Nazis and the Japanese simultaneously.” Yesterday Mr Braine said that he was referring to Muslims who took scripture literally. “I totally reject hatred of anyone,” he said, describing his Nazi references as “deliberate exaggeration”. – The Times

  • Northern Ireland secretary says ‘no more excuses’ for Stormont impasse – Belfast Telegraph
  • British ambassador Sir Kim leaves Washington – Daily Mail
  • 130,000 families with children live in one-bed flats – The Times
  • Trump raises tariffs on Chinese goods as stocks tumble – FT
  • Rashida Tlaib on Trump v The Squad: ‘He’s scared of us’ – The Guardian
  • Glasgow University to pay £20m in reparations for its part in slave trade – Daily Mail
News in Brief