Prime Minister given a week to make his Brexit proposals ‘acceptable’…

“Brussels has given Boris Johnson one week to make his Brexit plan acceptable or European Union leaders will refuse to discuss it at a crucial summit this month. This new ultimatum, along with fundamental EU objections to his alternative to the Irish backstop, means Mr Johnson is highly unlikely to reach a deal in time for his October 31 Brexit deadline. European ambassadors set the October 11 cut-off date last night after Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, told them that the government needed to “fundamentally amend its position” before formal negotiations could take place. “We will have to make a judgment call at the end of next week with regard to deciding if it’s possible to have a deal in time for the European Council on October 17,” one ambassador said.” – The Times

  • EU doubts grow about UK’s offer – FT
  • Johnson strips out ‘level playing field’ commitment – Daily Express
  • He plans ‘whirlwind tour’ of EU capitals – The Guardian


  • Door to Brussels’ negotiating ‘tunnel’ remains closed for now – James Crisp, Daily Telegraph
  • How Johnson could improve his opening bid – Francis Elliott, The Times


…amidst reports he considered ‘massive cheque’ to persuade Ireland…

“Boris Johnson pleaded with EU chiefs to shift on Brexit after it emerged he made a big-money offer to Ireland to seal an 11th hour deal. Laying out his new Brexit compromise offer yesterday to MPs, the PM insisted his plan was a “genuine attempt to bridge the chasm”… Those inside No10 are desperate for the EU to begin intensive talks through the weekend to strike a deal by the end of next week. In his determination to get it done, The Sun can reveal the PM secretly offered to write Ireland a massive cheque to compensate businesses for any lost revenue caused by a cross-border customs system. But his advances were rejected with a source telling The Sun: “We tried money. We were told that’s not the route to go down with the Irish as it wouldn’t land very well.”” – The Sun

  • He is also rumoured to be mulling a time-limited backstop – Daily Express
  • Varadkar accused of bid to derail Brexit with claim British want to stay in the EU – Daily Telegraph
  • Angry Democratic Unionists hit out at Irish leader – The Times
  • Scottish Tories attack SNP’s refusal to back any Brexit deal – Daily Telegraph


  • Ulster is ‘ridiculing’ Johnson’s proposals – James Rothwell, Daily Telegraph
  • Varadkar wrestles with border dilemma – Sean O’Neill, The Times
  • ‘Unworkable’ plan won’t solve border issue – Katy Hayward, The Guardian
  • It’s the way Johnson says things which alienates Scotland – Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph

>Today: David Trimble and Roderick Crawford in Comment: The Government’s new proposals meet the EU’s original aims better than the backstop

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Johnson’s compromise risks laying another time-bomb under the Union

…as he prepares to give MPs a vote on the plans

“MPs could be given a vote on the Government’s new Brexit proposal on the eve of a crunch meeting of European Union leaders in a fortnight’s time, Boris Johnson said on Thursday. The Prime Minister said he was considering the vote as MPs who had been strongly critical of Theresa May’s Brexit plans lined up to say they would vote for Mr Johnson’s revised proposal. During a debate in the Commons about the plan, Mr Johnson was asked by veteran MP Frank Field for “a vote on it before he goes to the European summit” on Oct 17/18 to try to get the offer agreed. Conservative MP Bob Blackman, a vice chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 committee, added that vote would “to test his negotiating strategy, to demonstrate to our European Union friends that we’re behind him”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Johnson looks set to succeed where May thrice failed – The Times
  • Up to 30 Labour MPs could defy Corbyn to support the plan – The Sun
  • Prime Minister ‘hopeful’ of Commons backing – FT


  • Will conflicted Labour rebels actually back the deal? – Stephen Bush, Daily Telegraph
  • MPs’ support makes deal more likely – Stephen Swinford, The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: The day the Conservatives swung behind a Canada-type Brexit


Daniel Hannan: Brussels’ strategy is about keeping the UK as a ‘colony for European exporters’

“For the EU, the aim was never to avoid a hard border in Ireland – something these proposals plainly achieve. The aim, rather, was to keep Britain in a subordinate position, still subject to EU law and trade policy. Brussels was reluctant to spell this out in so many words – at least publicly. A fly-on-the-wall documentary caught the staff of the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, cheering when Theresa May’s Cabinet accepted the backstop. “It took us two years,” said one, joyfully, “but we finally turned them into a colony”. Obviously, though, EU officials couldn’t take this line openly… In other words, it’s not about the border at all. It’s about maintaining privileged access to the UK market.” – The Sun

  • If the EU rejects this offer it’s full steam ahead to a no-deal exit – Fraser Nelson, Daily Telegraph
  • A version of May’s deal is the only way out of this nightmare – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • No Deal is still on the table – Dominic Walsh, Times Red Box

Businesswoman ready to sell story about relationship with Johnson

“The American businesswoman at the centre of an alleged conflict of interest involving Boris Johnson will talk about their relationship for more than $225,000, a lawyer claiming to represent her said. Michael Walsh, who is based in California, said that a media bidding war was under way for the exclusive rights to interview Jennifer Arcuri. Last week it was revealed that the former model and friend of the prime minister had received £126,000 of public money for her business ventures, some of which was paid while Mr Johnson was mayor of London. She also went on three overseas trade missions led by him, having initially been turned down for two of them.” – The Times

  • …or has she ‘vowed to remain silent’? – The Sun
  • Khan says conflict of interest inquiry will be ‘independent’ – The Guardian

Cox denies plans to introduce US-style hearings for judges

“Ministers are not planning to make applicants for the Supreme Court bench face a US-style appointments system and be questioned by MPs, the government’s senior law officer told MPs yesterday. Geoffrey Cox, QC, the attorney-general, was urged in the Commons to rule out a move towards US-style confirmation hearings, which he had hinted at last week in the wake of the unanimous Supreme Court ruling that the prime minister’s suspension of parliament had been unlawful. Alex Chalk, a Conservative MP and former barrister, said that there had been some “unwise voices” advocating a move towards a US-style process of appointing senior judges.” – The Times

>Yesterday: Ryan Shorthouse in Comment: Brexit is seeing struggle enough. Communitarians and libertarians don’t have to be in conflict.

Both Tory and Labour spending promises spark ‘alarm’

“The UK is heading towards a general election, however the Brexit drama unfolds, and as a result this autumn’s party conference season has become an extravaganza of expensive spending pledges. The claim by Sajid Javid, the chancellor, this week that the Conservatives were “the workers’ party” leaves both the government and the Labour opposition overtly courting the same voters. Their main targets are the Brexit-backing, Labour constituencies outside the prosperous south-east, where the long squeeze on public services has been especially painful. Both parties had already made it clear they were set to relax limits on borrowing and declare an end to austerity; but policy announcements during the past two weeks have resembled a bidding war.” – FT

  • ‘Johnsonism’ amounts to shrewd politics, terrible economics – Madeline Grant, Daily Telegraph
  • Working-class voters can keep the Prime Minister in Number Ten – Iain Martin, The Times

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Were it not for the fringe at each year’s Conservative conference, what would be the point of coming?

>Yesterday: James Frayne in Comment: To win working-class voters, Conservatives must start talking tax

Patel accuses Zuckerburg of creating ‘digital blindspots’…

The Home Secretary has accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of creating a “digital blindspot” where paedophiles and terrorists will be able to hide their “despicable” crimes. In an exclusive article for The Telegraph and open letter to Mr Zuckerberg, Priti Patel says his plans for end-to-end encryption on Facebook’s Messenger service will deny law enforcement access to millions of reports of child abuse and terrorist plots. In the letter jointly signed with her counterparts in the US and Australia, she says this will put children at greater risk of abuse, blackmail and grooming by paedophiles because their messages and shared images will no longer be accessible even to Facebook itself.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Encryption will ‘put children at risk’, Home Secretary warns – The Times


  • UK and US sign agreement on access to terrorist data – FT

…as victims of botched VIP abuse inquiry call on Watson to resign

“Victims of Scotland Yard’s botched inquiry into a fictitious Westminster paedophile ring have called on Labour’s deputy leader to resign before the publication of a damning report. Tom Watson is “unfit to hold the office of MP”, according to the widow of Lord Brittan of Spennithorne, the former Tory home secretary who died before the child sex claims against him were proved to be false. Lady Brittan has read the full report on the case by Sir Richard Henriques, a retired High Court judge. A friend of the peer’s widow told The Times: “The extent of Tom Watson’s involvement in the witch-hunt of innocent people has been laid bare. His subsequent attempts to distance himself show a complete lack of integrity. By misusing his public office to recklessly repeat false allegations, and to characterise himself as a victim, he has shown that he is unfit to hold the office of MP.”” – The Times

  • Obsession with pleasing Labour MP led police to ‘overlook liar’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Chief faces fight to keep his job on eve of report – Daily Mail

Corbyn faces fresh antisemitism row over deselection bid

“Jeremy Corbyn is facing a fresh anti-Semitism row after hard-left party members tabled a confidence vote against a Jewish Labour MP on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Senior Labour figures have lined up to condemn the bid to oust Dame Louise Ellman, the chairwoman of Labour Friends of Israel, by activists in her Liverpool Riverside party. Mr Corbyn has now been told to step in and suspend the local branch, after plans were put forward to debate a motion of no confidence on Tuesday evening next week. The timing of the debate, between 8pm and 9pm, falls on Kol Nidre, when British Jews will be attending synagogue to usher in the holiest day of the year.” – Daily Telegraph

Business ‘superwoman’ to stand for the Lib Dems

“Nicola Horlick, the high- profile fund manager and City “superwoman”, has announced her intention to stand as an MP for the Liberal Democrats in London. The author of Can You Have It All? will run in the Remain-voting Conservative safe seat of Chelsea and Fulham. The Lib Dems, who are polling at around 20 per cent and have promised to cancel Brexit if they win power, are targeting dozens of seats at the next election, many in Remain-supporting Tory seats in the south.  Former Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna, who have defected to the Lib Dems, are among the high-profile candidates selected to contest seats in the capital.” – FT

News in Brief:

  • How can the Conservatives win over young voters? – Harry Phibbs, CapX
  • Numbers game: Boris may yet pull off a deal – Maggie Pagano, Reaction
  • Brexit grifters are making a killing selling useless advice – Matthew Lynn, UnHerd
  • Why can’t we talk about abortion? – Elizabeth Oldfield, UnHerd
  • It’s time for some statesmanship from Varadkar – Sir Paul Marshall, Brexit Central

And finally… Bercow withdraws tennis club bid over Brexit outbursts

“As a young man, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow’s 5ft 4in height prevented him from pursuing his passion for tennis. But in recent years his political stature has helped make him a Wimbledon regular, where he is often to be seen quaffing Pimm’s in the Royal Box. Indeed so keen is Bercow to join the tennis elite, I can reveal he even made a bid to become a member of the All England Croquet And Lawn Tennis club. But now I understand that Bercow’s, application has been quietly withdrawn after a hostile volley from some of the membership committee. ‘Some members are so angry about his perceived anti-Brexit shenanigans it was made clear his application would not be looked on favourably,’ I’m told.” – Daily Mail