Published:

Dozens of Tory MPs ‘prepare new Brexit revolt’…

“Boris Johnson is facing a revolt by up to 30 Tory MPs over plans that would break international law and allow him to renege on parts of his Brexit deal. The rebels have tabled an amendment that would bar the government from overriding the withdrawal agreement without parliament’s support. The government is also facing opposition from peers. Lord Howard of Lympne, a prominent Brexiteer, became the third former Tory leader to reject the plans, warning that they would damage Britain’s global standing. Lord Lamont of Lerwick, a former chancellor and another Brexiteer, said there was “no way” that the legislation, which would allow ministers to override elements of the withdrawal agreement, would pass through the Lords. A government source told The Times that MPs who voted against the government over the Internal Market Bill would not have the whip removed, unlike those who voted against Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal last year. “We’re not in the same place,” the source said.” – The Times

  • Gove says Government will push ahead with controversial proposals – Daily Mail
  • Ministers publish legal advice justifying their new Internal Markets Bill – The Sun
  • Government’s top legal advisers divided over move to override Brexit deal – The Guardian

Brussels:

  • EU gives Boris Johnson 20 days to retreat on Brexit Bill – Daily Telegraph
  • Brussels threatens to ban food imports in no-deal Brexit… – The Times
  • …and legal action over UK Brexit treaty breach – FT
  • EU has warned its ambassadors to gear up the “machinery of warfare” – Daily Express

Comment:

  • The EU will learn to love a no-deal Brexit – Matthew Lynn, Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson ignores backbenchers at his peril – James Forsyth, The Times

Editorial:

  • The justice secretary and attorney-general’s positions look increasingly untenable – The Times
  • A trade war would be in nobody’s interest – Daily Telegraph
  • The mooted state aid approach is misguided and interventionist – FT

>Today:

>Yesterday:

…as UK poised to strike trade deal with Japan

“The UK is poised to strike its first post-Brexit trade deal after Britain and Japan made a breakthrough on agricultural access, according to negotiators. Toshimitsu Motegi, the Japanese foreign minister, and UK trade minister Liz Truss will hold a teleconference on Friday morning London time to confirm their agreement in principle to a new free trade pact, they added. The deal with Tokyo will come at a welcome time for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as his move to unpick parts of the Brexit withdrawal treaty risks the collapse of trade talks with Brussels. Negotiators said they had reached a compromise on agricultural access to Japan, most notably for British cheese. But it is unclear whether the UK has won an export quota to match the one it had as a member of the EU.” – FT

Pandemic 1) Cabinet ‘divided’ over Johnson’s coronavirus clampdown

“Boris Johnson’s “rule of six” coronavirus measures have divided his cabinet with a number of ministers opposed to the clampdown, it has been claimed. The restrictions on numbers for social gatherings that start on Monday in England was met with disapproval from every member of the prime minister’s coronavirus strategy committee with the exception of Matt Hancock, the health secretary, a source said. “Everyone apart from Hancock wanted to set the limit on groups at eight or more” the cabinet source told the Daily Mail. “Even the PM was initially cautious about taking the limit all the way.” Tory MPs have accused ministers of imposing “profound restrictions on personal liberty” without any debate. One senior backbencher said that the new rules could be “worse than the disease itself”, while the Commons constitution committee insisted that MPs must have a chance to assess measures that were imposed without any votes under emergency public health powers.” – The Times

  • A Tory source said ‘half the Cabinet’ have expressed doubts – Daily Telegraph
  • Almost every minister on Covid committee argued against – Daily Mail

More:

  • Lockdown rules more divisive than Brexit, survey finds – The Guardian
  • Covid marshals ‘will have no powers of arrest’ – Daily Mail
  • ‘No evidence’ for new measures, says Welsh Government – Daily Express

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Curfews, fines and marshalls. There’s a flavour about Johnson’s new virus plans not of Churchill, but of Attlee.

Pandemic 2) Moonshot testing plan ‘could send 28 million into needless self-isolation’

“Boris Johnson was warned by his own scientists that a Moonshot-style mass testing scheme could send 28 million people into unnecessary self-isolation in just six months, according to a newly published official document. A paper published by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) calculated that mass testing of the population twice a week – even with 99 per cent accuracy – would throw up so many “false positives” that 41 per cent of the population would wrongly be forced to self-isolate over the course of half a year. The Sage “consensus statement”, delivered to ministers at the start of this month, warned that schools could be forced to close and large parts of the workforce lose their wages over wrong test results. On Wednesday, Mr Johnson committed to carrying out 10 million daily Covid-19 tests – equivalent to testing every resident once a week – under Operation Moonshot.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Prime Minister accused of ignoring basic statistics by leading experts – The Times
  • Shapps admits tests still don’t work – The Sun

More:

  • May begs Boris for rapid-fire airport testing – The Sun
  • Gridlock as glitch sends people hundreds of miles for virus test – The Times

Editorial:

  • Johnson should stop fantasising about daily mass-testing the whole population – The Times

Fraser Nelson: Ignoring the lesson of Sweden makes a tougher Covid crackdown inevitable

“Sweden, now, looks like a country from a parallel universe. Children didn’t miss a day of school, there was no exams scandal, its economic hit was less than half of ours. While Britain prepares to limit social gatherings to six, Sweden is lifting its cap to 500. Tegnell says there won’t be a second wave. Its virus levels are now lower than Denmark or Norway and its government announced a surprise surplus for the month of August because its economy is unexpectedly strong. Debt in Britain, by contrast, is expected to have risen almost as much in August alone as in the whole of the 1970s. This takes us to the heart of the current dilemma. If it’s inevitable that a surge in positive tests among the young leads to deaths in the old, why didn’t this happen in Sweden? HowFT is Whitty so sure that Britain is facing a resurgence – rather than just a modest rise – in hospital cases?” – Daily Telegraph

  • These assaults on our liberty are a step too far – Iain Martin, The Times
  •  I won’t blame the young for defying idiotic new rules – Dan Wootton, The Sun
  • Britain losing its faith in its leaders – Karol Sikora, Daily Mail
  • Tegnell and the Swedish Covid experiment – Richard Milne, FT

Editorial:

  •  Johnson must rethink his covid ‘rule of six’…it’s a needless disaster – The Sun

Scrapping pensions triple lock is sensible move, MPs tell Sunak

“The chancellor should scrap the pensions triple-lock for a year and extend the furlough scheme in his autumn budget, the Treasury committee has urged. The Tory-led committee also called for higher welfare and sick pay as well as a “roadmap” to fix the budget deficit but warned against early tax rises. The proposals were made in its report, The Challenges of Recovery, in which it recommended ways to support consumer spending, keep a lid on unemployment and tackle soaring public debt. Economists have said that Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, should drop the triple lock in 2021 because of an anomaly caused by the furlough scheme. The policy, which was a manifesto commitment, guarantees that state pensions increase by the higher of average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent.” – The Times

  • MPs back call for ‘targeted’ extension of UK furlough scheme – FT

More:

  • Levelling up red wall towns ‘risks failing poorest’ – The Times
  • British economy grows 6.6 per cent in July as coronavirus restrictions eased – FT

>Yesterday:

Freedom for Shetland

“It is a Scottish push for independence but not one that will go down well with Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister of Scotland. The Shetlands, the most northerly part of the United Kingdom, have voted decisively to look at declaring independence from Edinburgh and London. Councillors there overwhelmingly backed a motion to find ways of achieving “financial and political self-determination”. The islands, famous for their ponies, sheepdogs and woolly jumpers, have a population of just over 20,000. The archipelago also contains the Sullom Voe oil and gas terminal, as well as oil fields and lucrative fishing waters. Situated 111 miles from the mainland, and geographically closer to Bergen than Edinburgh, the Shetlands have not always been Scottish. They were once part of a Norse empire and the Vikings used them as a base for attacks on the mainland. They remained under Norwegian rule until 1472.” – The Times

  • Can Sturgeon turn them down without torpedoing her own bid for referendum? – Daily Mail

More:

  • Johnson plans urgent visit to Scotland – Daily Express
  • BBC Scotland to scale back coverage of Sturgeon’s daily briefings – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: The Shetland Islands explore secession from Scotland

News in Brief:

  • No, the Government isn’t breaching the law – David Wolfson QC, The Spectator
  • Fox is the right person to lead the WTO – William Hague, CapX
  • Hollywood’s hapless diversity bid – Douglas Murray, UnHerd
  • How Stonewall turned the police into political activists – David Scullion, The Critic
  • The fight for an effective, national Union – Henry Hill, Prydain Review

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