EU negotiations 1) Talks extended so as to “go the extra mile” to get a deal

“Britain and the EU pledged to “go the extra mile” yesterday to try to secure a post-Brexit trade deal, extending talks after progress on the contentious issue of tariffs. The Times has been told that after a week of hostility between the two sides there have been positive discussions on how to ensure an economic “level playing field” after Brexit. However, Boris Johnson told his cabinet to prepare for no-deal in three weeks as he played down any suggestion of a breakthrough, insisting that Britain and the EU remained “very far apart”. Speaking to broadcasters, after a call with Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the prime minister refused to comment on progress but said that Britain would not walk away.” – The Times

  • The stalemate is not just about talks, but who will be blamed if they fail – Camilla Tominey, Daily Telegraph
  • PM rebuffed by Merkel – The Times
  • Supermarkets stockpile tinned goods – Daily Telegraph
  • Why are the critics in the Cabinet so silent? – Michael Heseltine, The Guardian



EU negotiations 2) Raab suggests “creative contours in the drafting”

“Dominic Raab, UK foreign secretary, said on Sunday before the decision to extend the talks that the EU would have to cross “quite a high bar” and show it was willing to compromise to make it worthwhile. Mr Raab also hinted on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme that lawyers could pour fudge over a final agreement and that there could be “creative contours in the drafting” to help a deal over the line.” – Financial Times


EU negotiations 3) Sharma to offer help to firms badly hit if no agreement is reached

“Ministers are understood to be working on plans to help industries worst hit by a No Deal. Business Secretary Alok Sharma is worried about the impact crashing out would have on the car, chemical and aerospace sectors. Officials are thought to be looking at proposals to subsidise new factories or production lines. In agriculture, sheep farmers are braced for exports to plunge if it’s a No Deal.” – The Sun

  • Food industry says it is ‘bonkers’ that it does not yet know what trading conditions will be – The Guardian
  • UK ministers plan new state-backed loan scheme for SMEs – Financial Times
  • Business preparing for bumpy departure – The Times

>Today: Columnist Neil O’Brien: How can we make the economy grow faster?

EU negotiations 4) Kavanagh: “No deal” would leave the EU in shreds, not the UK

“We are leaving — and if the French try to starve us out and steal our banking industry, Britain will be forced to compete ruthlessly for trading opportunities wherever they lie. That doesn’t mean slashing wages or workplace security as demented Labour Screamer Ed Miliband insisted yesterday. It means providing the freedom for global commerce to buy and sell unhindered by bureaucratic regulation. That’s precisely how we were able to buy Pfizer’s Covid vaccine and save lives weeks before Brussels slashed red tape to follow suit…By contrast, a No Deal Brexit would be a disaster for the EU, which is already struggling with a political, social and economic crisis fuelled by a soaring euro. French farmers and fishermen, German car and electronic giants and Mediterranean tourist industries that rely on Brits for their profits would be fighting for survival amid the wreckage of Covid.” – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun

  • Great Britain has a bright future ahead – Leader, The Sun
  • Merkel has every right to fear Britain’s competitive edge – Roger Bootle, Daily Telegraph
  • It’s up to us to embrace the opportunities – Tom Harwood, Daily Telegraph
  • EU is a left-wing, woke, busted flush – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

EU negotiations 5) Timothy: Future relations should improve

“This brings us to the key to agreeing a deal now, and to restoring good relations between Britain and the EU in future: confidence. The EU has ambitions for Europe that go far beyond its role as a trading bloc and “regulatory superpower”. It should be confident that its status as such a power is secure. It now seeks a wider geopolitical leadership role, capable of protecting its citizens from security risks, preventing further migration crises, responding to the rise of China, and leading the world on climate change. On each of these issues, the EU would be stronger working with Britain, not against us. It is time to do the deal and move on.” – Nick Timothy, Daily Telegraph

Khan calls for London’s schools to close early

“London’s mayor Sadiq Khan is calling for the capital’s schools to shut from Monday as new “catastrophic”infection rates pushed the city to the brink of Tier 3. The mayor’s demand puts him on a collision course with Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, who has insisted it is a “national priority” to keep children in school. MPs from London and the surrounding areas are due to be briefed on figures which show the rate of infection is now doubling every four days. Mr Khan’s spokesman said: “The mayor is backing the early closure of schools and would like the Government to consider shutting schools from Tuesday. He wants Monday to be the last day at school.” A London shutdown would close hundreds of schools and force hundreds of thousands of pupils to study online.” – Daily Telegraph

  • The case for moving London into Tier 3 has not been made out – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • Sturgeon advised to put Edinburgh in Tier 2 after ‘substantial improvement’ – The Scotsman
  • Average family built up £7,100 of savings during lockdowns – Daily Mail

Patel to boost Windrush compensaton scheme

“Radical reforms to the Windrush compensation scheme are to be announced by the home secretary, with the aim of making the payments more generous and swifter, in response to mounting criticism from the scandal’s victims at protracted delays and low offers. Anyone who has already received an offer of payment under the scheme will have their cases reviewed, with a basic minimum award of £10,000 set to be offered to everyone who can show that the scandal has had an impact on their life, Priti Patel will announce on Monday.” – The Guardian

Police drop rape investigation into Tory MP

“Police have dropped their investigation into a Conservative MP and former minister who was accused of rape. The MP, who has not been named, was arrested on 1 August and later released on bail. This followed the Metropolitan Police receiving allegations the previous day of sexual offences and assault relating to four separate incidents at addresses in London, including Westminster. But the Met said the case had not met “the evidential test”. A spokeswoman said “no further action” would be taken, following a “thorough investigation”, adding: “The complainant has been made aware of the decision.” The MP, in his 50s, did not return to the House of Commons after the parliamentary recess ended on 1 September. The Conservative Party faced calls to suspend him, but Chief Whip Mark Spencer said it was for the police to investigate.” – BBC

Johnson negotiating for new power plant

“Boris Johnson has approved the start of negotiations with EDF about funding a new £20 billion nuclear power plant despite concerns that taxpayers would foot the bill for any extra costs. The government is considering backing Sizewell C, a twin-reactor plant in Suffolk. It could generate 3.2 gigawatts of electricity, enough to provide 7 per cent of Britain’s energy needs. The move is a vital part of the prime minister’s pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Most reactors are due to shut down this decade, leading to fears of blackouts in the 2030s.” – The Times

PM opposed plans for tower block in his constituency

Boris Johnson has been accused of hypocrisy after he objected to a scheme for 514 homes in his constituency claiming it was “inappropriate” and “out of character” for the area. In letters obtained by The Times through a Freedom of Information request, Mr Johnson said that the plans for houses in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat constituted “overdevelopment”…Mr Johnson wrote to Hillingdon council’s head of planning in February last year: “While I welcome additional appropriate housing in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, having considered the plans this application appears to be an overdevelopment for the location with too high a density proposed.” He added: “A 12-storey tower block in amongst this development is wholly out of character for the locality.” – The Times

Electoral College meets for US Presidential elections

“Donald Trump on Monday could suffer a withering blow to his increasingly hopeless effort to overturn the results of the US presidential election when 538 members of the electoral college will cast their ballots and formally send Joe Biden to the White House. Under the arcane formula which America has followed since the first election in 1789, Monday’s electoral college vote will mark the official moment when Biden becomes the 46th president-in-waiting. Electors, including political celebrities such as both Bill and Hillary Clinton, will gather in state capitols across the country to cement the outcome of this momentous race.” – The Guardian

  • Trump rejects plan for early vaccines at White House – BBC
  • Protests turn violent – The Times

Lawson: 74 per cent of BBC comedians left wing? I’m surprised the figure is so low

“A group called the Campaign For Common Sense revealed the result of an analysis of BBC comedy shows yesterday: last month, out of 141 comedians across 364 slots on such programmes as Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week, ’74 per cent of the slots were occupied by comedians with publicly pronounced Left-leaning, anti-Brexit, or ‘woke’ views’. This amazed me. I would not have expected the figure to be that low. If asked to guess, I would have suggested 90 per cent — although this might reflect my own bias. Or it might be because the one BBC comedy show (I use the term generously) that most intrudes on my viewing is something called The Mini Mash Report.” – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Consequences of no deal start to sink in – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Alfred Sherman: the original Downing Street maverick – Gerald Frost, The Critic
  • Don’t dismiss the Trump brigade – Gavin Hayes, Unherd
  • What will ‘normal’ politics look like after the vaccine is rolled out? – John Rentoul, Independent
  • The Law Commission must not confuse and conflate Sex and Gender; neither should our law – Conservatives for Women