Travel policy ‘in disarray’ after u-turn on Portugal quarantine

“British travel policy was in “disarray” last night as England decided against new quarantine measures for Portugal, despite tough restrictions being imposed by Scotland and Wales. In a surprise move, Westminster confirmed that Portugal would not be removed from England’s list of quarantine-free destinations even though Covid-19 cases there have risen sharply over the past week. Portugal has recorded 23 cases per 100,000 in a seven-day period, above the usual threshold of 20 for quarantine to be imposed. Sources told The Times that the decision was taken because of evidence from government scientific advisers that the rise in coronavirus cases in Portugal was partly down to extra testing. There has actually been a drop in the proportion of those tested returning a positive result over the past fortnight, it was said.” – The Times

  • UK splits emerge over Covid-19 quarantine lists – FT
  • Senior MPs back Telegraph Test4Travel campaign – Daily Telegraph


  • The UK is being strangled… as rivals steal our business – John Holland-Kaye, Daily Mail

>Today: Sir Bernard Jenkin in Comment: Case’s appointment could mark a fresh start – after deteriorating confidence between Ministers and officials

Hancock says mass testing could mean ‘back to normal by Christmas’

“The UK could get back to normal by Christmas if the rapid coronavirus testing being trialled by the Government is successful, Matt Hancock said today. The Health Secretary, who has announced a £500million investment in a mass on-the-spot saliva testing regime, said it was the ‘best shot’ at ending social distancing. Although treatments for the virus are improving, unless a vaccine is found it still cannot be cured or prevented completely. So keeping track of the bug and squashing it out of communities is the only way to prevent more people ending up in hospital and dying… However as the Health Secretary promises testing will get Britain out of its current situation, the official testing regime is rationing swabs and making some people travel more than 100 miles to get them.” – Daily Mail

  • England ‘in good position to avoid major Covid resurgence’ – The Guardian

>Yesterday: Will Dry in Comment: Small-c conservatism is the key to better disaster planning

British fishermen ‘will be able to double their catch’ after Brexit under plans for EU deal

“British fishermen will get to double their catch after Brexit under plans tabled by No10, The Sun can reveal. But the PM’s push for a huge rise in our quota has sparked fury among countries such as France, Ireland and Denmark. EU leaders have already vowed to fight the proposals tooth and nail, claiming it would wipe out a third of their fishing fleets. But the UK’s negotiator David Frost is holding firm and has batted away a compromise floated by the EU’s Michel Barnier. The row has led to an increasingly bitter stand-off between the two men – and heightened the risk of trade talks collapsing… French MEP Pierre Karleskind, head of the EU Parliament’s fisheries committee, branded the UK’s plans “unrealistic”.” – The Sun

  • ‘No-deal Brexit looms’ after Johnson seeks to double fishing quota – The Times
  • Germany ready to prop up EU fishermen with £4.5bn Brexit fund – Daily Express


  • Haulage and logistics bosses demand ‘urgent meeting’ with ministers over border plans – Daily Mail
  • EU medicines agency ‘struggling with staff shortages’ after leaving London – Daily Telegraph
  • Home Office unclear on returning asylum seekers to EU post-Brexit – FT


  • Johnson sees no-deal as better than surrender – James Forsyth, The Times
  • The Prime Minister is floundering, and his majority may not save him – Martin Kettle, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Why the Germans don’t always do it better

>Yesterday: Stephen Booth’s column: With four months left to get a Brexit deal, state aid is the major stumbling block for the UK and EU.

Downing Street ‘urged to revoke trade role for ‘misogynist’ Abbott’

“Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to backtrack over the appointment of Tony Abbott as a trade adviser, amid growing condemnation of his misogynistic and homophobic comments and his dismissal of the climate crisis. Facing the prospect of another potentially embarrassing U-turn, Downing Street insisted on Thursday that “no decisions” had been taken over the choice of the former Australian prime minister. It came after the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, raised serious concerns about Abbott’s suitability for the role – misgivings echoed by human rights groups Amnesty International and Liberty, the TUC, women’s equality body the Fawcett Society, and environmental campaigners Greenpeace. Abbott had been expected to join the Board of Trade, a historic body revived by Theresa May’s government to advise on Britain’s post-Brexit trade policy around the world.” – The Guardian

  • A political evangelist for free trade who has got three big deals over the line – Larry Elliott, The Guardian


Rebel Tories ‘will vote against Budget if tax rises go ahead’, Sunak is warned

“Conservative backbench MPs are plotting to vote against parts of this autumn’s Budget if Rishi Sunak goes ahead with threatened tax rises, it has emerged. The news came as senior Tories Sir Graham Brady, Sir John Redwood and Ian Liddell-Grainger warned the Chancellor that increasing taxes will threaten the recovery after the coronavirus pandemic has passed. Mr Sunak and Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, met with new Tory MPs who were elected at last December’s general election for the first time this week to soothe nerves about the prospect of tax rises in the Budget, expected in November. The Chancellor, who has won praise for supporting pubs and restaurants through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and a time limited cut in stamp duty, warned the MPs to expect tax rises as he said it was time to be “honest” with the public about how the cost of the coronavirus response will be met.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Chancellor faces taxing times as Tories urge him to focus on growth – FT
  • Taxpayers pick up £522m bill for ‘Rishi’s dishes’ – The Times
  • Eat Out To Help Out will come back next year, hints Chancellor – The Sun
  • Prevent ‘tsunami’ of job losses when furlough ends, TUC urges Sunak – The Guardian


  • Tory fury at ‘incompetent shower’ in Downing Street – Daily Mail
  • Sunak rebuffs City plan to refinance Covid loans – FT
  • Business leaders in plea to Government as home-working takes ‘devastating effect’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Ministry of Defence shelling out £300 million on electronic weapons – The Sun
  • Pension age rising to 57 hits savers – The Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why the obsessive focus on new tax rises when we need proper spending control – in the form of a real zero-based review?

Fraser Nelson: Sunak is trying to bring the spendthrift Tories to their senses

“In just six months as Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has borrowed as much as Gordon Brown did in 10 years. The national debt is now £2 trillion and rising: words like “trillion” were not really used before the Tories took charge of the public finances. But still, the pressure from the Conservative benches is to spend more: on defence, the NHS, Covid bailouts and in many other areas. When Mr Sunak met MPs earlier this week, he reminded them that all this spending had to be paid for. It’s surprising just how controversial this basic notion seems to be. Take the current row over the prospect of tax rises, viewed with fury on the Tory backbenches. What’s the point of defeating Jeremy Corbyn, they ask, if a Conservative Government taxes and spends more than any Corbynite dared propose? A fair point, but these same Tories are quite happy to cheer on the vast expansion in the size of the government. In declaring the need to champion the cause of fiscal sanity, Mr Sunak is holding a mirror up to his party and asking colleagues to look at the consequences of all this spending.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Tory tax muddle exposes a lack of direction – Iain Martin, The Times
  • Sunak’s reforms are long overdue: income shouldn’t be taxed more than wealth – Carsten Jung, The Guardian

Johnson announces 22,000 jobs will be created to build controversial HS2

“Boris Johnson announced 22,000 new jobs will be created to build HS2 as the controversial project formally gets underway. The PM will put the first shovel in the ground as construction begins on the London to Birmingham stretch of the high speed rail line. Mr Johnson said HS2, which could cost taxpayers as much as £106billion, will help provide thousands of jobs to Brits laid off due to the Covid crisis. Ahead of his visit to a HS2 site to kick-start construction, he said: “HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better – and with construction now formally under way, it’s set to create around 22,000 new jobs… The four main contractors for Phase One between London and the West Midlands will now switch from enabling works, scheme design and preparatory work to full construction.” – The Sun

  • After 3,160 days… digging finally starts – Daily Mail

Facebook is aiding people smugglers, claims Patel

“Social media companies including Facebook are “aiding and abetting” people smugglers and putting lives at risk, Priti Patel believes. The Home Secretary is demanding action after it emerged the tech giants were aiding criminals smuggling migrants across the Channel by failing to remove online posts promoting their illegal business and encrypted groups that they used to complete their crossings. The National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed that social media firms including Facebook and Youtube had rejected their appeals to take down hundreds of posts promoting smuggling services or to block end-to-end encryption used to avoid interception of migrants’ boats by police. Facebook allows requests for information on how to get smuggled and how to illegally leave a country but only bans posts directly offering people smuggling services, according to sources.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Majority: Securing the Majority? 5) Building on the successful election campaign at CCHQ

BBC ‘should be cut down to size’, says new chief

“The BBC’s new director-general has declared an end to its expansionism and warned of a crackdown on stars who carry out “partisan campaigns” on social media. Tim Davie raised the prospect of a 20 per cent cut in BBC output and warned that he would not hesitate to close channels as he outlined his priorities in his first speech to staff after taking over this week. Mr Davie, 53, said that there was still too much bureaucracy at the organisation, which had increased its number of employees when it was under pressure from the government to reduce its ambitions and costs. He also warned of pending curbs on employees’ use of social media, saying: “If you want to be an opinionated columnist or partisan campaigner on social media then that is a valid choice, but you should not be working at the BBC.”” – The Times

  • Davie ‘vows to crack down on corporation’s Twitter warriors’ – Daily Telegraph
  • He says it needs to cut range of its output – FT
  • Countryside Alliance say BBC should drop outspoken wildlife presenter – Daily Mail


  • BBC reporter ‘trolled Jewish colleague’ – The Times
  • Outrage as BBC set to fork out £140m of cash on chasing TV licence fees – Daily Express


  • A Fox News-style channel will be a hard sell in the UK – Jemima Kelly, FT

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Good luck to Robbie Gibb’s prospective challenger to the BBC and Sky. And to News UK if it has a go, too.

Scottish Labour leader rejects calls for his resignation

“Labour’s embattled Scottish leader has dismissed calls for his resignation, warning critics in his increasingly rebellious party that he instead wants “new blood” among candidates for crucial elections to the parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh next year. Richard Leonard insisted Scottish Labour would benefit in May from a shift in focus among voters toward economic issues and away from the independence question that has dominated politics in Scotland in recent years. The unfolding civil war in the Scottish Labour party has potentially far reaching implications for the shape of the UK. Opinion polls suggest Labour is heading for a rout in the Holyrood elections next May, putting in doubt the future of a party that analysts said had previously been a vital bulwark of opposition to the governing Scottish National party.” – FT

  • Four grandees and Shadow Cabinet member urge him to ‘consider his position’ – Daily Telegraph


  • Davidson mocks Sturgeon and SNP for politicising coronavirus pandemic – Daily Express


  • Nationalists should not be allowed to gloss over painful economic truths – FT

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: After decades on the defensive, Westminster is finally gearing up to counter-attack the SNP

News in Brief:

  • Time for change at the incompetent World Health Organisation – Christopher Snowdon, CapX
  • ‘Cultural appropriation’ is American cultural imperialism – Douglas Murray, UnHerd
  • My run-in with the New York Times – Andrew Sullivan, The Spectator
  • Abe: The man who restored Japan – Kapil Komireddi, The Critic
  • How Covid-19 proves neoliberals right – Fred McElwee, 1828