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Brexit Part One ends and Brexit Part Two begins.  Johnson squares up the EU – saying that we cannot have the access of Canada but the obligations of Norway

“The Prime Minister is to demand that the bloc treats the UK as an equal – and will tell voters that “no achievement lies beyond our reach”. With a take-it-or-leave-it offer, he will say that Brussels has a choice between a tariff-free trade deal, similar to the one struck with Canada, or an Australia-type model. In essence, the Australian version would be a continuation of the withdrawal agreement struck last month. The keynote speech comes as an influential group of Tory MPs, led by Sir John Hayes, push for Mr Johnson to be ambitious and start building a Commonwealth-wide trade deal.” – Sunday Express

  • It “insists that the UK must accept alignment with its rules on workers’ rights, the environment and state aid, as the price for a deal” – Observer
  • Prime Minister is “privately infuriated” with EU attempts to move the goalposts – Sunday Telegraph
  • EU to back Spain over Gibraltar – Observer
  • The ten biggest issues to resolve – Sunday Telegraph
  • UK officials told to sit separately from EU ones at international meetings – Sunday Times
  • EU “demanding another billion” – Sunday Express
  • Best for Britain vows to fight on – Sunday Times
  • Simon Clarke: leaving will be good for the North-East – Sunday Express
  • Foreign press: Die Welt compares Brexit to John Cleese’s Ministry of Silly Walks sketch – Mail on Sunday
  • Brexit Day 1: how it was marked in Brussels – Sunday Times
  • Brexit Day 2: it was the best moment of my life, says Farage – Sunday Express
  • Brexit Day 3: Netherlands town hall replaces Union Jack with Scottish Flag – Scotsman

Shanker Singham: As Brexit Part Two begins, Johnson must not allow the EU to control the negotiation

“Over the next 11 months there is still a danger to the UK. If we don’t get this right, our economy could be vulnerable. If we fall into the trap of conceding to dynamic regulatory alignment in return for an easy trading life, we will be doing a disservice to the UK’s long-term economic interests, and damaging not only new businesses and consumers, but businesses of the future – the very sort the prime minister wants to encourage. We will have taken back control of our trade policy only to allow the EU to set our rules and regulations. This does not mean we will diverge all over the place from the beginning — we probably won’t. But we must reserve our constitutional right to do so.” – Sunday Times

>Today: ToryDiary – A Waltzing Matilda Brexit?

> Yesterday:

The Prime Minister prepares for the next great constitutional challenge: the future of Scotland

“The campaign, starting on Valentine’s Day or soon after, is a signal that the prime minister regards protecting the Union as the top priority after Brexit. As well as a tub-thumping video in cinemas, the plan is for TV, radio and digital ads. Ministers are impressed by Scotland Is Now, an SNP-government-backed campaign to promote the country. The UK government is expected to spend almost £1 for every man, woman and child in Scotland in a year-long effort to win over those in favour of independence. A source said Johnson would put the Union “front and centre” as he seeks to head off demands for a second independence referendum.” – Sunday Times

And tomorrow, he will pledge more roads, houses, trains and bridges

“On the domestic front, Johnson will use Monday’s speech to signal a blitz of infrastructure spending, paving the way for the approval of the HS2 high-speed rail link and radical planning reforms to build more homes to boost property owning among the under-40s. “It is the moment when we have to answer the demand of those who voted for Brexit in 2016,” he said on Friday.” – Sunday Times

  • Critical HS2 findings “are not being made public” – Sunday Telegraph
  • Congress members warn Britain over Huawei in letter to Defence Select Committee – Mail on Sunday
  • Prime Minister speeds up plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars – Sun on Sunday
  • “Javid wavers over entrepreneurs’ relief tax break – Sunday Times
  • “The country’s 20 largest landowners would be approached to allow ten per cent of their land to be built on.” – Mail on Sunday
  • Record 30,000 ambulances wait outside A & E departments for over an hour during the last two months – Mail on Sunday
  • Cameron hails Johnson as a “visionary” – Mail on Sunday

Cummings 1) His tears as Britain leaves

“At a party in 10 Downing Street, as the 11pm deadline passed, the assistant to the prime minister and the most feared man in government took to the microphone wearing tracksuit bottoms and black trainers and was lost for words as emotion overcame him. The man once branded “a career psychopath” by David Cameron, clutched a hand across his face and sought to compose himself. Eventually, he managed to say: “Lots of people in this room know what happened. Thank you.” – Sunday Times

  • When he slammed Defence Ministry “corruption” – Sunday Express

Cummings 2) Reign of terror as he cracks down on SpAd lunches with journalists

“At a meeting at Downing Street on Friday, Mr Cummings told his staff: ‘The people’s government doesn’t take any favours. No coffees, no lunches, no drinks. Especially not with journalists’…a reshuffle is expected within the next fortnight but there is not due to be a major upheaval of Mr Johnson’s most senior Ministers. Mr Javid, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove are all said to be safe.” – Mail on Sunday

Cummings 3) He fires Perry O’Neill from climate change job

She took on the job after leaving parlianent at the election but was informed that her services were no longer required in a telephone conversation with Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s most senior aide, on Friday. A minister will replace her. Perry O’Neill is then understood to have talked to the prime minister and to Sir Edward Lister, another senior figure in No 10, with whom she had been discussing plans for the conference…She reported directly to Johnson, who was supposed to chair the cabinet sub-committee. But Perry O’Neill revealed on Friday that not one meeting had been held.” – Sunday Times

Johnson’s first honours list will be even larger than May’s last

“Moynihan, who threw a lavish Brexit bash on Friday night, is expected to appear on the prime minister’s dissolution honours list alongside the former cabinet ministers Sir David Lidington and Sir Patrick McLoughlin. They will join Nicky Morgan and Zac Goldsmith, who have already been elevated, as part of a bid to bring a better balance to the Lords, which has a bias towards Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The prime minister is understood to want to reward the “unsung heroes” of the Brexit campaign. According to several sources, the number of Tory peers to be created will be in the “late twenties”, exceeding the 19 created by Theresa May in her dissolution list.” – Sunday Times

Long-Bailey: Get used to Brexit

“Ms Long-Bailey said the party could not campaign at the next general election, expected in 2024, with the message of ‘we told you so’ if the country’s economic fortunes took a dip after leaving the EU. She admitted it was ‘sad’ to see the UK’s divorce from Brussels finalised this week but said the ‘debate is over’ on Brexit…Ms Nandy was critical of Labour’s reaction to the referendum outcome. She accused the leadership under Jeremy Corbyn of looking ‘backwards’ after the result rather than ‘looking forward to the country we can be’. She said: ‘We completely missed the point of that political earthquake, which was a clamour for more power, more control and more agency across this country.’ “ – Mail on Sunday

  • Starmer pledges to raise taxes on high earners – Sunday Times
  • Nandy wants “oppressive” term “Empire” removed from honours system – Observer
  • Labour’s hierarchy should be full of shame, but they just sound smug – Nick Cohen, Observer
  • The voters won’t buy Starmer’s man of the people pose – Sun on Sunday Editorial
  • Peerage withdrawal demand for Watson over false abuse claims 1) Harvey Proctor – Sunday Times
  • Peerage withdrawal demand for Watson over false abuse claims 1) Janner family – Mail on Sunday

Rod Liddle: Watson’s unethical pursuit of Proctor should bar him from the Lords

“The problem is that, on the face of it, Watson is precisely the kind of figure who gets bunged a peerage, and Proctor’s comprehensive detailing of Watson’s behaviour may serve only to convince his lordship that old Tom is an ideal candidate. He’s a political failure who did something very bad — yup, roll out the ermine. Indeed, as Proctor also points out, another crucial player in the Operation Midland fiasco, the former Metropolitan police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, has a seat in the Lords already.” – Sunday Times

Trump 1) He’s on the verdict of acquital over impeachment

“The president, impeached by the House for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, stands on the verge of acquittal with the closing arguments and a vote scheduled for this week. “We must hear from those who were ‘in the room where it happened’,” said the House impeachment manager Sylvia Garcia during Friday’s debate over witnesses. The line is a reference to a song in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit show and The Room Where It Happened is the title of John Bolton’s new book.” – Sunday Times

Trump 2) The Palestinian Authority spurns his peace plan

“The Palestinian Authority has cut all ties with the US and Israel, including those relating to security, after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented by Donald Trump, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said on Saturday. Abbas was in Cairo to address the Arab League, which backed the Palestinians. The blueprint, endorsed by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarised Palestinian state that would exclude Jewish settlements built in occupied territory and remain under near-total Israeli security control.” – Observer

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