EU trade negotiations 1) Talks in “deadlock” over French fishing demands

“Brexit trade talks reached stalemate on Friday night after the EU was accused of making a “ridiculous” demand for 10 years of unfettered access to Britain’s fishing waters as the price of a deal. Boris Johnson paused talks for a “stock take” of whether an agreement can still be salvaged. A senior Government source said: “Their new offer was frankly laughable. They know we can’t possibly accept it. It’s ridiculous. If they think we will just cave in, they have made a massive miscalculation.” Mr Johnson will speak to Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, on Saturday in an attempt to break the deadlock. He could also make a personal plea to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, blamed for “destabilising” the talks by making unreasonable demands on fishing and state aid. Mr Macron is under pressure from other EU member states to give ground, with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, on Friday urging “compromise” from both sides to get the deal over the line.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Only preening Macron stands in the way of  Johnson’s triumph on Brexit trade deal and Covid vaccine – Simon Walters, Daily Mail
  • Caving in to EU risks leaving UK a ‘permanent client state’, Tories warn PM – Daily Telegraph
  • Bone attacks Macron – Daily Express

>Today: Columnist David Gauke: How the Conservatives are morphing from a party of power to a party of protest

EU trade negotiations 2) Starmer insists Labour must back any deal that emerges

“Labour will be putting “two fingers up to voters” if it refuses to back a Brexit trade deal, Sir Keir Starmer has been warned, as a prominent Remainer MP said they would vote for it. Amid splits at the top of the party on whether to withhold support for an agreement, shadow business minister Lucy Powell suggested Labour would struggle to win back voters in “Red Wall” seats if it attempted to abstain. Arguing that a “skinny deal” could be “built on” in future, Ms Powell added that it was better than no deal –  which she said would be a “catastrophe” – and was therefore “quite hard for us to oppose”. Echoing her concerns, Chris Bryant MP, a staunch Europhile, revealed he intended to back the deal and urged his colleagues to do the same.” – Daily Telegraph

  • I love the EU but I’ll vote for the Brexit deal and so should the rest of the Labour Party – Chris Bryant, Daily Telegraph

EU trade negotiations 3) Parris: Anti-Brexiteers should go down fighting

“I do wonder whether being an opposition that can look itself in the eye might not, in the end, register more with voters than long-forgotten divisions at Second Reading. Yes, we did lose in our bid for a second referendum; and, yes, the government will win in the division lobbies next week. So, no, there’s nothing we can do to stop this. But I’m damned if we should roll over and support it. Invited by our prime minister to salute his agreement, my right arm stays rigidly by my side. Starmer and his team must make their own choices.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

  • This critical weekend reminds many of us why we voted for Brexit – Leader, Daily Telegraph

Cummings ally Case “left isolated” in Downing Street

“A few days after he was named by Boris Johnson as Britain’s youngest ever cabinet secretary, Simon Case took part in a cross-government exercise, organised by his team, to roleplay a second winter wave of the coronavirus….Three months on, the rumblings of discontent about Mr Case have only grown louder. From a Whitehall perspective he has not stood up for the civil servants he is meant to lead…Most inflammatory are the suggestions that Mr Case was too close to Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s former adviser, and Lee Cain, his former director of communications, and now that they are gone Mr Case has slightly fallen out of favour.” – The Times

  • Durham police assessing file on Cummings’ lockdown trip – The Guardian

Coronavirus: Jabs to be available from GPs within two weeks

“Coronavirus vaccines will be rolled out to care homes and GP surgeries within a fortnight, after regulators confirmed that doses can be transported in refrigerated bags. GPs were last night told to prepare to receive doses in the week starting December 14, with care homes expected to receive the vaccine in the same week. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) still has to rubber-stamp the protocol for removing the fragile vaccine from its deep-freeze, but officials expect that to be resolved within days.” – Daily Mail

  • Shares rise on hopes business will bounce back – Daily Mail
  • Malaria vaccine another success story for Jenner Institute team behind Covid jab – The Times
  • Manufacturing delays leave UK with fewer vaccines than hoped – Financial Times
  • Covid vaccine rollout won’t take strain off hospitals ‘for months’ – The Times
  • How the ‘moonshot’ rapid testing plan could free us from Covid purgatory even before a vaccine – Juliet Samuel, Daily Telegraph
  • Russia begins vaccinations in Moscow – BBC
  • Only an idiot would claim the vaccine triumph was a vindication of Brexit – Marina Hyde, The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: Don’t stereotype anti-vaxxers. They might not be who you think.

>Yesterday: Steve Brine on Comment: Ministers have seized the chance to finally end the HIV epidemic

Tory MPs plot to block house building on climate change grounds

“Conservative MPs are plotting to curb house building on biodiversity and climate change grounds unless the Government sufficiently waters down its controversial new homes algorithm. Tory backbenchers are proposing to table amendments to the Environment Bill, which is due to come back to the Commons at report stage before Christmas. While Robert Jenrick, the Housing Secretary, has agreed to go back to the drawing board to revise the formula of the “mutant algorithm” for local housing targets, the threat of a revolt on green legislation is designed to increase pressure on the Government to ensure the revisions go far enough.” – Daily Telegraph

  • We can only meet our green targets by doing the exact opposite of what’s in XR’s manifesto – Tom Harwood, Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Does the UK really have the political will or state capacity to hit Johnson’s ‘ambitious’ Net Zero targets?

Marxists hijack campaign against deportation of foreign criminals

“A celebrity-backed campaign to halt deportations of criminals to Jamaica has been seized on by a revolutionary group denounced by a former member as “cultish”. The Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary has played a key role in using social media to mobilise opposition to flights returning convicted criminals including murderers, rapists and drug dealers. The group is now stepping up its campaigning to halt three deportation flights due next week to various European countries.” – The Times

  • These stars are insulting the Windrush Generation – Calvin Robinson, Daily Mail
  • Patel criticises anti-deportation campaign – BBC
  • Revolutionary Chic – Leader, The Times

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: More fence-sitting from Starmer as Labour MPs challenge deportation flight

Mayor of Liverpool arrested in bribery enquiry

“The mayor of Liverpool has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation as part of a corruption investigation into property deals. Joe Anderson, 62, was questioned by officers from Merseyside police yesterday afternoon, The Times has learnt. Labour sources also said his membership had been suspended until proceedings concluded. Four other men have also been arrested in connection with bribery and witness intimidation allegations. They include Derek Hatton, 72, the former deputy leader of Liverpool city council and firebrand former member of the Trotskyist Militant Tendency, on suspicion of witness intimidation.” – The Times

  • Liverpool’s City Region Mayor says he will not shake PM’s hand until he apologises about Hillsborough – BBC

Khan urged to sack official who is working from home in California

“Sadiq Khan faces calls to sack a senior aide who is working from home in California on a £120,000 salary. Jack Stenner, 33, was reported to City Hall’s sleaze watchdog after The Sun revealed he lived in San Francisco. Tory London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey questioned his working hours. Mr Bailey has written to the GLA calling for an investigation into whether Mr Stenner has breached this code that all City Hall staff must sign up to.” – The Sun

Trump order troop withdrawal from Somalia

“US President Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of nearly all US troops from Somalia by 15 January, the Pentagon has said. The US has about 700 troops in the country helping local forces battle al-Shabab and Islamic State militants. US officials said some of the troops would move to neighbouring countries, allowing for cross-border operations. In recent months President Trump has issued similar orders to reduce US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.” – BBC

Moore: Ampleforth has been put on death row, just as Cromwell did to the monasteries

“The DfE, Ofsted – and North Yorkshire Safeguarding, which is zealous against the school – would seem to imply that the mere presence of monks anywhere near threatens children….Nearly 500 years ago, Thomas Cromwell’s operatives invaded the Yorkshire hills (and many other places) to close down religious houses in the name of the government’s new doctrines. They said they were attacking superstition, but in essence they were imposing central power. Such things are happening again in education, and this time child abuse is the excuse. They threaten not just the future of Ampleforth, but of all institutions that display independence.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

  • Boys ‘come out as straight’ in Trendy Hendy’s divided Eton – The Times
  • Cambridge University accused of seeking a fight over free speech – The Times
  • A Free Church of Scotland elder is taking legal action against one of Scotland’s leading charitable organisations for alleged anti-religious bias. – The Scotsman

News in brief

  • France would be foolish to veto a Brexit deal – John Keiger, The Spectator
  • Why the campaign to save Tolkien’s home in Oxford deserves to succeed – Daniel Johnson, The Article
  • The First Friend: How the taxpayer funds Nimco Ali – David Scullion, The Critic
  • Eton’s Trendy Hendy must go – Matt Archer, Conservative Woman
  • A new farming policy – John Redwood