Brussels accused of ‘derailing talks’ by seeking UK law veto

“The European Union is demanding a potential veto on Britain’s post-Brexit laws and regulations, senior government officials have claimed. In what is described as the “single biggest stumbling block” to a deal, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier is said to be insisting that the government must agree not to implement any change to UK legislation that could distort trade with the bloc without first consulting Brussels. The obligation, which the EU wants written into any trade agreement, would potentially delay the government from implementing reforms to Britain’s environmental, social or state aid rules until they had been through a formal dispute resolution process. Lord Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, is understood to have rejected the approach. He has argued that the EU must show that any change to UK rules and regulations has distorted trade between the two, in practice rather than in theory.” – The Times

  • Barnier ‘to be sidelined’ by EU leaders in bid to break Brexit deadlock – Daily Telegraph
  • Brussels ‘rules out summit intervention’ in troubled Brexit talks – The Guardian


  • Scottish Tory jitters grow as prime minister says he is ready for any eventuality – FT
  • Is Britain ready for a no-deal Brexit? – The Times
  • Lorry parks to be built across south England under Brexit planning – Daily Telegraph


  • Tory MPs should insist that Johnson publish his policy on state aid – The Times


Johnson ‘defies opposition MPs’ as he appoints Abbott as British trade envoy

“Tony Abbott has been appointed as a British trade envoy as Boris Johnson defied calls from opposition MPs to block the move over claims that he is a “homophobe and misogynist.” Mr Abbott, who served as prime minister to Australia between 2013 and 2015, will now serve as an advisor to the Board of Trade as the UK attempts to strike post-Brexit trade deals around the world. On Friday night Tory MPs praised Mr Johnson for refusing to cave to demands from Sir Keir Starmer and Nicola Sturgeon that Mr Abbott be rejected over his past remarks on homosexuality, women and climate change. The Board will be headed by trade secretary Liz Truss, with Mr Abbott joining a group of advisers including the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Ireland secretaries, and four junior trade ministers.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Cummings aims to take back control of No 10’s messages – The Times

>Yesterday: Terry Barnes in Comment: I know Tony Abbott. He’s a good man with gay friends – nothing like the vicious caricature being sketched by his enemies

Prime Minister ‘orders civil servants back to offices’

“Hundreds of thousands of civil servants were last night ordered back to their offices by Boris Johnson amid increasing evidence that workers are returning to offices across the country. Sir Mark Sedwill, the outgoing Cabinet secretary, told department permanent secretaries that “where possible colleagues should now return to the office in line with Covid-secure levels”. Mr Johnson, the Prime Minister, has demanded departmental occupancy figures to be sent to him every week to keep an eye on the trend. The back to work call came despite concerns that the daily number of new coronavirus cases appeared to have increased significantly over the past 10 days. Departments were told that they wanted 80 per cent of civil servants to be spending some time in their offices by the end of this month every week.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Darroch: I told Johnson he was to blame, says fallen envoy – The Times
  • Civil servants blasted for ignoring calls to return to their desks – The Sun
  • 57 per cent of employees say they travelled to work last week – Daily Mail


  • The Civil Service has been infiltrated by politicised ideas about race – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
  • An agile UK civil service needs more than ‘Star Trek’ screens – Camilla Cavendish, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Johnson plummets into the bottom third of our Cabinet League table

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

London could be offered exemption from new planning

“Boris Johnson has suggested to Tory MPs that London could be given a partial exemption from new planning laws as he seeks to placate opponents. The prime minister is understood to have said that the city could be offered a “carve-out” from some measures after warnings that the reforms risked “destroying suburbia”. Mr Johnson had suggested the capital could be exempted from the new measures that will allow people to build two-storey extensions without full planning permission. Downing Street sources denied that any explicit offer of a “carve-out” had been made but acknowledged there had been a discussion around the issue. In a Zoom call 17 Tory MPs, including four ministers, raised concerns about the reforms under which the number of homes built in London could nearly treble to 93,532. However, any concession for London will increase calls from those who represent the shires to be given a similar exemption.” – The Times

Shapps says UK is examining an airport testing regime

“Transport secretary Grant Shapps on Friday outlined how the UK could eventually move to testing passengers for coronavirus when they arrive at British airports, but stressed it would not eliminate the need for people to quarantine. The government is under mounting pressure from airlines and travel companies, which are warning of further rounds of job losses in their sectors unless the UK’s quarantine rules are ditched. Mr Shapps said the government was considering how a new testing regime might work at the UK’s borders, saying it could cut the time people have to self-isolate from 14 days to as few as seven. The government is examining a two-test system under which passengers can end self-isolation if their results come back negative twice: once upon landing and then again about a week later.” – FT

  • Plan is ‘no silver bullet’ but hope of cutting quarantine to five days – Daily Telegraph
  • Johnson ‘doubles down on 14-day quarantine rule’ – The Sun
  • Furious Tories and business leaders call for immediate action to get Britain flying again – Daily Mail


  • No 10 ignoring coronavirus advice, say Scotland and Wales – The Guardian


  • There can be no Global Britain without a world-beating airline industry – Tim Alderslade, Daily Mail

Redwood and Brady lead resistance to tax rises

“Rishi Sunak could see his critical autumn Budget voted down by backbench Tory MPs if the Chancellor presses ahead with tax rises to fund the economic recovery, it has emerged. Several influential backbench Tory MPs, including Sir Graham Brady and Sir John Redwood, have publicly raised serious concerns over the impact of tax rises on Britons across the country. Behind closed-doors, one former minister has revealed they will vote down a budget involving a hike in tax, and insisted fellow disgruntled parliamentarians are “going absolutely insane” in private group chats. The coronavirus pandemic has plunged the UK into a recession with national debt rising above £2trillion for the first time since the 1960s. This has led to reports corporation tax could be raised, capital gains tax increased, and pension tax relief cut.” – Daily Express

  • Secret stress tests reveal small interest rate rise could cost UK dear – Daily Telegraph


  • The Tories have no intention of paying back our Covid debts – Juliet Samuel, The Times
  • The Treasury has wanted to raise fuel duty for years. Will it finally happen? – Jack Kessler, The Guardian

Linekar amongst stars ‘exempt’ from new BBC impartiality rules

Shield“The BBC has told Gary Lineker and other outspoken stars they will not be bound by Tim Davie’s new impartiality rules, The Telegraph can disclose. Within hours of the new Director General warning of a crackdown on outspoken attacks on social media, the celebrities were given assurances that they would be exempt from new rules. The Match of the Day presenter confirmed that he was unfazed by his new bosses’ drive to eliminate bias when he simply replied “nah” in response to suggestions he should be “terrified” of the clampdown. It was one of a number of challenges to Mr Davie’s authority within hours of his first speech, in which he warned that if stars wanted to be “opinionated” “or a partisan campaigner on social media” then they “should not be working at the BBC”.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Davie, the new no-nonsense BBC boss – FT
  • Sands: ‘Entitled’ young BBC staff expect to have their view of the world on air… – Daily Telegraph
  • …and cannot understand right-wing views – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: 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.

Matthew Parris: We’re turning into a nation of wreckers

“There’s something in the wind today, something poisonous; and though it’s hard to put a finger on, I think it matters. We seem to have entered an era of popular hostility to accepted and familiar institutions. Our leaders wish not to preserve but to destroy. This is dangerous. “Disruption” has become the mantra. “Change” and “reform” are thought good in themselves. Apple carts must be upset, established rules and structures of governance “challenged”, trusted brands trashed. There’s a fine line between usefully critical vigilance over institutions we cherish, and a habit of scorn towards the organisations and systems that time has shaped and which, over time, have shaped us. I fear we’re crossing that line.” – The Times

  • My wake up call to the woke BBC as a PC mob holds bosses hostage – John Humphreys, Daily Mail
  • Isn’t the BBC something to be proud of? – Victoria Coren Mitchell, Daily Telegraph

>Today: Book Reviews: Finkelstein shows that moderate, decent, pragmatic, intelligent conservatism is alive and well

News in Brief:

  • The commuters are revolting – Mary Harrington, UnHerd
  • What’s really going on in Britain’s universities? – Glen O’Hara, CapX
  • Are liberal conservatives now history? – Matthew Parris, The Spectator
  • Is there such a thing as right-wing comedy? – Alexander Larman, The Critic