Brexit 1) PM warns of EU’s threat to “the integrity of the UK”

“Boris Johnson has accused the European Union of threatening to impose a food “blockade” in the Irish Sea that would destroy the “economic and territorial integrity of the UK”. Writing in The Telegraph, the Prime Minister made a passionate defence of his decision to alter the Brexit divorce deal, saying he has to protect Britain from the “disaster” of handing Brussels the “power to carve up our country”. He also issued a direct plea to Tory MPs threatening to rebel over his plans, telling them that, if they stand in his way, they will reduce the chance of getting a trade deal with the EU. Mr Johnson insisted a Canada-style trade deal with the bloc is still possible and remains his goal, but that Brussels must “take their threats off the table” and rebel MPs must get into line.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Limit Irish Sea checks and we could have Brexit deal – The Times
  • Barnier “starting to soften” – The Sun
  • Downing Street hits back at ‘ludicrous’ EU threat to block UK food exports – Daily Telegraph
  • Allowing tariffs on goods crossing the Irish Sea would undermine the Good Friday Agreement – Iain Duncan Smith, Financial Times
  • Let’s make the EU take their threats off the table and pass this Bill – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

Brexit 2) Civil servants “warned about state aid implications”

“The UK government was explicitly warned in January that Boris Johnson’s Brexit divorce deal would leave Brussels able to claim jurisdiction over “large amounts” of UK state aid policy after the end of the transition period, documents seen by the Financial Times have revealed. A 10-page official briefing document shows the civil service issued clear warnings that Mr Johnson’s deal to avoid the return of a trade border in Ireland would impact not just subsidy decisions relating to Northern Ireland but could also “reach back” into the rest of the UK.” – Financial Times

Brexit 3) Trade deal with Japan “just the beginning”

“Boris Johnson says Britain will prosper outside the EU thanks to a £100 billion post-Brexit trading bonanza. The Prime Minister said bumper trade deals are being lined up with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada that will boost British firms and create tens of thousands of new jobs. It comes after the UK secured a “historic” first trade deal since quitting the European Union following an agreement with Japan. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, the architect of the massive £15 billion tie up, said it is “just the beginning” for Britain’s trading renaissance. She told the Daily Express: “This is a historic moment for the UK and a signal to the rest of the world that we are back as an independent trading nation. ” – Daily Express

  • 99 per cent of exports to Japan will be tariff-free – BBC

>Today: ToryDiary: What the new Anglo-Japanese trade deal tells us about ‘Global Britain’

Brexit 4) Zoom call to Tory MPs with appeal to back the Internal Market Bill

“Boris Johnson has urged Conservative MPs to back his plan to override part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. In a Zoom call with around 250 of them, he said the party must not return to “miserable squabbling” over Europe. The EU has warned the UK it could face legal action if it does not ditch controversial elements of the Internal Market Bill by the end of the month. And a Tory MP has proposed an amendment to the bill, which would affect trade between Britain and Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, the European Parliament has threatened to scupper any UK-EU trade deal if the bill becomes UK law.” – BBC

  • Tories beg for answers – The Times
  • We are right to reject the Withdrawal Agreement’s worst excesses – Bernard Jenkin, Daily Telegraph
  • Tory MPs should throw out this abomination – Matthew Parris, The Times

>Today: Columnist David Gauke: May should lead the Commons struggle against her successor’s plan to break international law if necessary

Brexit 5) Badenoch promises return of duty-free shopping

“Brits will be able to stock up on cheap booze when they travel to and from the EU after Ministers confirmed they will bring back duty-free shopping next year. From January passengers will no longer have to pay duty on alcohol and cigarettes bought at airports, ports, international train stations and ships and planes….Treasury Minister Kemi Badenoch said: “The government is taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the UK’s new relationship with the EU to enable passengers travelling from GB to the EU to purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at airports, ports, and train stations on international routes, on the same basis as currently applies to passengers travelling to non-EU destinations. This means passengers travelling from GB won’t have to pay UK VAT and excise duty on these purchases of alcohol and tobacco products when they travel to an EU destination.” – The Sun

Brexit 6) Moore: Lewis is wrong about international law

“The Government, in the form of Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, says it proposes “to break international law in a very specific and limited way”…No offence to Mr Lewis, but he is not possessed of a rapier-like jurisprudential mind. Despite his job title, he is not in charge of these matters. It would have been better if the first government minister to deal publicly with this issue had been more senior and/or more legally qualified. Such a person could have put it differently. “Yes,” he or she could have said, “the legislation we propose will conflict with Article 4 of the Protocol, but we fully intend to negotiate with the EU in good faith to achieve agreement. All we are trying to do is protect our positions.” …The context could also be better presented. The breaking of international law is a sport at which the EU itself often excels.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Coronavirus 1) Hotline planned to report on neighbours breaking the rules – plus increased fines

“Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to fine people who breach self-isolation rules amid mounting concern that Britain is facing a second wave of coronavirus. The prime minister is considering enforcing the measure after evidence suggested that people were routinely ignoring advice and leaving their homes. The move, described as a realistic next step, would be part of a “carrot and stick” approach in which people could also be given bigger payments while they were isolating. The approach is likely to mirror quarantine measures for those returning from holidays, which require isolation for 14 days. Police can issue fines of up to £1,000 for breaching quarantine, although the powers have barely been used. Only 34 people have been fined since the measures were introduced. Ministers are also considering plans for a hotline to report those who are breaking quarantine rules to the police. ” – The Times

  • R rate hits 1.7 and cases double every week – The Sun
  • Hospitality and retailers hit for six – The Times
  • Was Eat Out to Help Out behind the spike in cases? – Daily Mail
  • Treasury committee urges Sunak to rethink end to furlough scheme – The Guardian
  • UK economy continues recovery in July – BBC
  • How comeback kid Sweden got the last laugh on coronavirus – Daily Mail
  • Our democratic procedures cannot be tossed aside in the same way as our liberties seem to have been – Leader, Daily Telegraph


Coronavirus 2) Gove “was responsible for rule of six”

“Michael Gove played a central role in persuading Boris Johnson to adopt the controversial “rule of six” in the face of strong opposition from fellow ministers, The Telegraph has learned. Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, was one of only two Cabinet ministers who argued for the “draconian” new measure when the decision was made earlier this week. Others – including Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, and Priti Patel, the Home Secretary – suggested the number should be at least eight in order to allow larger families to meet grandparents. Despite Mr Gove and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, being the only two ministers in favour of the number coming down to six, Mr Johnson later announced that he had sided with them rather than the rest of the ministers.” – Daily Telegraph

  • When a politician says they follow the science, that’s when I start screaming –  Interview with statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter, The Times
  • Wales and Scotland exclude children from the rule – The Sun
  • Poll shows Britons want under-12s to be exempt from draconian rule – Daily Mail
  • Rule of six is a needless disaster – Leader, The Sun
  • Is Gove really running the country behind the scenes? – Camilla Tominey, Daily Telegraph

Scottish Labour leader to face no-confidence vote

“The leader of Scottish Labour is to face a vote of no confidence at a meeting of the party’s governing body. A motion has been submitted to the party’s Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) asking it express that it has no confidence in Richard Leonard’s leadership. The committee is expected to vote on the motion on Saturday morning. Mr Leonard is already facing calls to quit from some of his own MSPs – but says he has no intention of doing so.” – BBC

Trump announces ‘peace deal’ between Bahrain and Israel

“Israel and the Gulf state of Bahrain have reached a landmark deal to fully normalise their relations, US President Donald Trump has announced. “The second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days,” he tweeted. For decades, most Arab states have boycotted Israel, insisting they would only establish ties after the Palestinian dispute was settled. But last month the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to normalise its relationship with Israel.” – BBC

  • How Trump plans to win Minnesota – The Times

News in brief

  • The ‘sympathetic magic’ of identity politics has cast an awful spell – Daniel Hannan, CapX
  • How Boris’s ‘Operation Moonshot’ can get off the ground – Alastair Stewart, The Spectator
  • Asylum – a system crying out to be abused – Alp Mehmet, Conservative Woman
  • We still need a stronger recovery – John Redwood
  • Why I’m fighting in the courts to save us from Christmas lockdown – Simon Dolan, Independent