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Spending rises this week, tax rises next spring. Sunak’s pre-Spending Review week interview.

Figures on the state of the economy to be published this week will mean “people will see the scale of the economic shock laid bare”, he said. “Right now, the focus should be on supporting the economy, protecting as many jobs as possible and providing the money required to combat the coronavirus.”He added: “Obviously, you can’t sustain borrowing at this level indefinitely.” It is on course to top £350bn this year. Asked whether that will mean tax rises, Sunak said: “Once we get through [the crisis], we’ll have to figure out what the best way of returning to sustainable public finances is. I’m hopeful that by the spring, with positive news on both mass testing and vaccines, we can start to look forward.” – Sunday Times

> Today: Nick King on Comment – Johnson’s Reset. The Government needs business if it’s to build back better.

> Yesterday:

Rob Colvile: There’s only one way out of this soaring debt – growth

“The only way out of this crisis is a return to robust growth, driven by the private sector. But there has been little sign of an agenda to deliver that. Instead, we risk being trapped in a vicious circle: a smaller economy, a larger state and a wave of spending commitments that drive up the deficit and push the Treasury towards larger tax rises, making the economy smaller still. Boris Johnson is known for his fondness for having cake and eating it. But if the government can’t get growth up and spending under control, there’ll be nothing left but crumbs.” – Sunday Times

Lockdown to end on December 2 but toughened tiers will return

“The Mail on Sunday understands that the Prime Minister intends to extend opening hours until 11pm when the second national lockdown ends on December 2. While last orders will still be called at 10pm, people will get an extra hour to finish drinks and meals…He will also set out details of a new winter plan to tackle Covid, including a revised three-tier structure for restrictions. The new framework will run until the spring in a move designed to give businesses and the public more confidence and clarity while work continues on approving vaccines and a mass immunisation project.” – Mail on Sunday

  • 70 Tory MPs reported to be opposed to tiers plan – Observer
  • 10pm curfew to go – Sun on Sunday
  • Is a power shift taking place away from the Quad and towards the Cabinet? – Mail on Sunday
  • Johnson blasts Sturgeon over Covid handling at virtual Scottish Conservative Conference – Mail on Sunday
  • Travel ban within Holyrood competence, say SNP – Scotsman
  • Church leaders want go-ahead for Christmas midnight mass – Mail on Sunday
  • The Daily Mail and the Department of Health clash over the Covid figures – Mail on Sunday
  • Covid work passports plan – Sunday Times
  • Hancock gave lobbyist friend job claim – Sunday Times
  • Lockdown protest arrests – Mail on Sunday
  • Vaccine offers no miracle cure for the economy – Jeremy Warner, Sunday Telegraph
  • Covid is infantilising the population – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph
  • Our lives belong to us, not the state – Jonathan Sumption, Mail on Sunday
  • Let’s raise a glass to the end of Covid – Mail on Sunday Editorial

UK reaches trade deal with Canada. Johnson hails “fantastic agreement”.

“In a relief for businesses fearing high tariffs, the Government said the agreement paves the way for negotiations to begin next year for a new deal with Canada. Under the terms of the agreement, the UK and Canada will continue trading under the terms as the current EU system after the Brexit transition period ends. Without a series of new bilateral agreements, trade with countries around the world may be hampered by barriers such as tariffs and increased paperwork. The UK government says the stop-gap agreement paves the way for future negotiations on a new tailor-made UK-Canada trade deal. In a statement, Johnson today said: ‘This is is a fantastic agreement for Britain which secures trans-Atlantic trade with one of our closest allies.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Joining forces with Canada will allow Britain to change the world – Sunday Telegraph

Home Office shake-up to follow Patel verdict

“The top ranks of the civil servants at the Home Office are to be shaken up in the wake of claims of bullying by Priti Patel, with officials forced to work some weekends and be subject to performance reviews. New rules are also being drawn up to allow the Home Secretary to personally quiz junior officials who have the most up-to-date knowledge about the work of her department, The Telegraph understands. The changes have been agreed between Ms Patel and Matthew Rycroft, the department’s permanent secretary, in a bid to draw a line under the Whitehall probe into Ms Patel’s behaviour.” – Sunday Telegraph

> Today: ToryDiary – Priti Patel v The Thing

> Yesterday: Tory Diary – The Ministerial Code is a paper tiger – Johnson is responsible for who serves in his Government

Liam Halligan: Deal or No Deal, the Government should make much more of the opportunities open to us outside the EU

“My third observation is that, with full Brexit almost upon us, deal or no deal, the Government should be talking much more about the opportunities Britain gains outside the EU. Outside the EU, Britain will regain control over billions of pounds of “cohesion fund” spending, which can tackle regional inequalities. Free of Brussels’ stringent state aid rules, the Government can selectively take stakes in industries of the future, not least artificial intelligence and biotech. Freeports and enterprise zones, low-tax jurisdictions bringing investment and prosperity to coastal towns and other deprived areas, should be at the forefront of addressing regional imbalances – and, again, are only possible outside the EU.” – Sunday Telegraph

Common Sense Tory Group wants war on woke, a decriminalised BBC licence fee and a clear-out at the National Trust

“The appeal for the ‘patriotic’ fightback is being organised by the Common Sense group of 60 Tory MPs and peers. Sir John, its chairman, said: ‘It’s time to defend British traditions and values… to stand against the senseless woke whingers and the soulless militants who despise the best of Britain.’ Members of the group – which includes many so-called Red Wall Tories who won seats from Labour last year – are understood to have had a ‘positive’ response from Mr Johnson when they met him this year. On public appointments, they say: ‘It is vital that those appointed reflect public perceptions of what’s just and right, rather than parroting the preoccupations of the liberal Left. To which end, perhaps all appointments should be overseen by a “people’s panel” of patriots.’” – Mail on Sunday

Other news

  • Williamson says that children should be taught the good and bad about our history – Mail on Sunday
  • HS2 may never reach Leeds – Sunday Times
  • Did the Queen plan to intervene in Scotland’s independence referendum – Sunday Times

Other comment

  • We need a new dose of Thatcherism – Vernon Bogdanor, Sunday Times
  • Red Wall Tory MPs are jittery after Cummings’ departure – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday
  • Johnson’s ten point climate change plan will wreck the economy – Matt Ridley, Sunday Telegraph
  • The inconvenient truth: we practice eugenics – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
  • Slashing aid will cut Britain’s reputation to ribbons – Bob Geldof, Sunday Times
  • Red, blue or yellow, the Greens always win – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
  • Devolution will be a disaster until Scotland raises its own taxes – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

Shadow Cabinet debate over whether to back a Brexit trade deal

“Sir Keir Starmer is facing a shadow cabinet revolt over Brexit after the Labour leader said last week that his party should back a deal if Boris Johnson is able to secure one. Senior members of Starmer’s top team said Labour should abstain rather than support what the party believes will be a “thin” trade deal with the EU…In a heated meeting last week, Starmer was backed by Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, and Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, along with the MPs Jonathan Ashworth and John Healey. Emily Thornberry, the shadow international trade secretary, opposed the move. David Lammy, Louise Haigh and Bridget Phillipson expressed reservations.” – Sunday Times

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