Johnson and Varadkar see ‘pathway’ to agreement…

“Boris Johnson can secure a Brexit deal as early as next week, the Irish prime minister claimed yesterday, with both men saying that they could now see the “pathway” to an agreement. In an unexpectedly upbeat assessment after three hours of talks between the two leaders, Leo Varadkar said that there was a clear basis for detailed negotiations in Brussels. The pound rose sharply after the statement and by last night was 2 per cent higher against the US dollar at $1.245, its biggest one-day gain in seven months. Stephen Barclay, the Brexit secretary, will brief Michel Barnier, the chief EU negotiator, on the proposals this morning.” – The Times

  • Barclay mees Barnier amidst renewed optimism – Daily Telegraph
  • Crunch talks underway in Brussels – FT
  • Prime Minister remains ‘tight-lipped’ – Daily Express
  • Could Northern Ireland stay in both customs systems? – Daily Mail


  • We are sceptical of this ‘pathway’ – The Sun

>Yesterday: MPs Etc.: Johnson and Varadkar ‘agreed they could see a pathway to a possible deal’ – official statement

…as poll suggests it is the only route to a Tory majority…

Boris Johnson cannot get a majority in a general election unless he delivers Brexit on October 31, polling presented at Tory conference has shown. The Daily Telegraph has obtained a ComRes survey which was presented last week at a conference fringe event attended by Tory MPs. Mapping voter reaction to five Brexit scenarios, it showed the Tories would only win a majority in the Commons if Britain left the EU on October 31. However any delay – even if it leads to a no deal Brexit immediately after an election, or Brexit being cancelled altogether, will leave a hung Parliament. Andrew Hawkins, chairman of Comres, said leaving the EU on October 31 is “the doomsday scenario as far as the Opposition are concerned, and it would appear that they are aware of the maths.”” – Daily Telegraph

  • Prime Minister eyes no-deal election – FT

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Will Johnson get a Brexit deal done after all?

…Labour MPs revolt against plans to back an election…

“Jeremy Corbyn is facing an open revolt from his own MPs furious at his plans to back a snap election in November. The Labour boss declared he is “champing at the bit” for an election once a No Deal Brexit is ruled out. But his seething backbenchers are demanding he carries on dodging a poll and instead back their plot to hold another Brexit referendum first. Speaking at a rally in Northamptonshire, Mr Corbyn told Boris Johnson: “It’s simple – obey the law, take no-deal off the table and then let’s have the election.” He said Labour will back a second referendum after a Labour government had been elected. The hard-left party boss also used the speech to make a staggering £1trillion worth of spending pledges if he moves into No10.” – The Sun

  • Corbyn re-writes speech to remove election commitment – Daily Telegraph
  • Failure to grow vote share points to tricky election, warns analyst – The Guardian
  • Opposition warned of ‘doomsday scenario’ – Daily Express
  • Corbyn discusses Labour policies with the Civil Service – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: A modest proposal. Let’s put Bercow in charge – and scrap democracy altogether.

…and Hammond reveals talks to form new grouping to fight election

“Philip Hammond last night revealed he is in talks with other Tory rebels to form a new grouping for the next election. The former Chancellor was one of 21 Tory MPs suspended by Boris Johnson for voting for a Brexit extension if there is no deal. It emerged some of the rebels, who now sit as independent Conservatives, want to pool resources, donations and polling and push the same policies on the doorstep. Former Cabinet ministers Amber Rudd and David Gauke have also joined the planning. A separate grouping of independent Tories would be a serious headache to Boris Johnson’s hope to win his own majority.” – The Sun

  • More Tory MPs expected to join in event of a no-deal manifesto – Daily Mail
  • Pro-Remain MPs plan ‘super Saturday’ vote on second referendum – The Guardian


  • Remainers can only stop Brexit by winning an election – Vernon Bogdanor, Daily Telegraph
  • Swinson must realise the Liberal Democrats are finished – Philip Collins, The Times
  • Labour leader is a hostage to his party’s factions – Tom Harris, Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Revealed: The potential route back for some of the 21 Conservative MPs who lost the Whip

Penny Mordaunt: Dublin and Brussels must show flexibility to secure a deal

The reality is that no Brexit deal can be achieved if Northern Ireland is never allowed to leave the Customs Union. It is not reasonable to ask the UK to split its territory in two. However such a deal doesn’t have to result in checks at or near the Northern Ireland border. What it does mean, is that there must be a special arrangement for Northern Ireland to provide flexibility for all parties to deal with the land border between the UK and EU. Flexibility, Jean-Claude. Flexibility. There are many obstacles to a deal but the border is not one of them. Customs checks are perfectly compatible with the Belfast/Good Friday agreement.” – Daily Telegraph

  • A leaky Irish border suits nobody – Chris Giles, FT
  • Northern Ireland would be a costly prize for Varadkar – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • Cummings is running out of road – Iain Martin, The Times

Lewis warns EU nationals to register or risk deportation

“EU citizens face being deported if they have not applied to stay in the UK by the end of next year, the security minister has said. Brandon Lewis made the comment in an interview with a German newspaper, provoking alarm among campaigners who said it could lead to another Windrush-style scandal. He told Die Welt that EU nationals risked being deported if they had not sought settled or pre-settled status by the end of 2020. “If EU citizens have not registered by then without an adequate justification, the immigration rules will apply,” he said. Asked whether those who did not apply in the next 14 months would face deportation even if they fulfilled all legal conditions for a residence permit, Mr Lewis said: “Theoretically yes. We will apply the rules.”” – The Times

  • Calls for rethink – FT
  • Patel on ‘channelling Thatcher to deliver Brexit’ – Daily Telegraph


  • Tories are resorting to pantomime authoritarianism – Daniel Trilling, The Guardian

Union 1) DUP urge Johnson to introduce direct rule in Ulster

“Boris Johnson is under pressure from the Democratic Unionist party to introduce direct rule over Northern Ireland as part of the government’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit. The province has been without an elected government since the Stormont power-sharing executive collapsed in January 2017 because of disputes between the DUP, the dominant pro-British party, and Sinn Féin, the Irish nationalist party. It is currently being run by civil servants, who have limited authority and scope to make public spending decisions… Downing Street has so far been reluctant to been seen to roll back devolution — a key part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  ” – FT

  • Northern Ireland is a burden that must not get in the way of Brexit – David Green, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Julian Brazier in Comment: Let’s resist a written constitution – and restore the Law Lords

Union 2) Gove accuses SNP of deliberately failing to plan for Brexit

Michael Gove has accused some SNP ministers of deliberately failing to prepare for a no-deal Brexit in the hope the ensuing chaos helps “smash up the United Kingdom.” The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is in charge of UK preparations for a no-deal Brexit, expressed his concerns that senior figures in the Nationalist administration in Edinburgh are more concerned with “their own” independence agenda. He urged them to consider “the interests of Scottish citizens first”, before their desire to boost support for separation, and appealed to “wiser voices in the Scottish Government” to make the necessary Brexit preparations. His extraordinary intervention came shortly after he met representatives from the three devolved administrations in Edinburgh to discuss the Brexit negotiations and their preparations.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sturgeon faces backlash for failing to secure independence vote – Daily Express

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Davidson ready to lead next ‘No’ campaign as would-be successors battle over her legacy

Johnson vows ‘world-class education’ for every child

“Boris Johnson vowed to give every child a “world class education” as he dished out the big funding increases to England’s most cash strapped schools. The PM unveiled the big winners of next year’s £2.6billion schools spending boost. The East Midlands and South West came out top, seeing their funding soar by 5 per cent – or around £175million. The South East is next with a funding increase of 4.8 per cent, or £282million. The money was targeted at areas most in need because their schools had historically been underfunded, the Department for Education said. Under the plan, every secondary school will get at least £5,000 per pupil next year. Primary schools will get a minimum of £4,000 from 2021-22.” – The Sun

  • Helping young people find their dream job – Thérèse Coffey MP, Times Red Box

British jihadis could face US death penalty

“Two British jihadists belonging to the so-called Beatles Isis cell are expected to be tried in a US court in Virginia, a state which has the death penalty. Alexanda Kotey, 35, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 31, were relocated from a Kurdish detention centre in northeastern Syria to American custody as Turkey launched a military campaign in the area… The UK started giving legal assistance to the US to build a case against the pair last year and handed over witness statements. But its decision to do so without seeking assurances that the death penalty would not be used has been subject to a legal challenge. Whitehall sources confirmed that no further evidence could be shared with the US until the Supreme Court makes a ruling on the case brought by Maha Elgizouli, Elsheikh’s mother.” – The Times

  • Terror adviser backs British prosecution – Daily Telegraph
  • Why has the case ended up before the Supreme Court? – The Times


  • Britain cannot ignore the spiralling crisis in the Middle East – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Martin Parsons in Comment: What is the point of the Commission for Countering Extremism?

News in Brief:

  • Would Corbyn really be less damaging than No Deal? – Julian Jessop, CapX
  • How Blair destroyed the centre ground – Freddie Sayers, UnHerd
  • Why Brexit talks stalled over Johnson’s plans for the Irish border – Simon Usherwood, Reaction
  • Britain stands ready to usher in a new golden era of free trade – Liz Truss MP, 1828
  • Why I won’t miss Britain’s ‘chief nanny’ when she’s gone – Matt Kilcoyne, The Spectator