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‘Tory civil war’ as MPs accuse Johnson of panicking and fear there could be ‘lockdown without an end’

“Boris Johnson faced a ferocious backlash from all wings of the Tory Party over his decision to delay Freedom Day last night – as his own MPs warned of curbs lasting through winter and beyond. Horrified backbenchers expressed concerns about a ‘lockdown without end’ and said they were losing confidence in the prospect of coronavirus restrictions being lifted for the foreseeable future. In the wake of the Prime Minister’s announcement of a four-week delay to removing curbs in England, they accused him of ‘panicking’ and said that they feared a return to even tighter curbs in the autumn. One Cabinet minister said last night the frontbench team were ‘resigned’ to the fact there would be a delay, but added: ‘We must now deliver on vaccinations.’” – Daily Mail

  • Speaker brands statement on the UK’s Covid restrictions as “unacceptable” and “disrespectful” – Daily Express
  • We must learn to live with Covid, Prime Minister warns – The Times
  • Scientists warn of 500 deaths a day – The Sun
  • It’s definitely a July 19 unlocking… unless it’s not – Daily Telegraph
  • Big weddings are back but stay off the dancefloor – The Times
  • Foreign holidays for Britons are not expected to restart in large numbers until at least August – Daily Mail
  • Further delay would require ‘unprecedented and remarkable’ change in Covid, says Gove – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

Foreign holidays for Britons are not expected to restart in large numbers until at least August, UK’s ambassadors warn

“Foreign holidays for Britons are unlikely to restart in large numbers until at least August, UK’s ambassadors to destination countries have warned local officials. As Boris Johnson tonight announced lockdown will be delayed by a further four weeks, foreign tourist chiefs are not expecting to welcome a large number of British holidaymakers to their countries for two months. Toni Mayor, President of the Valencian Hotel Association Association (HOSBEC), said he believed UK tourism will only be in full swing in August after speaking to the UK ambassador Hugh Elliott… Mr Mayor explained that this would mean UK tourism would not restart in large numbers until at least August as tour operators would need two weeks to get back to their normal operation capacity.” – Daily Mail

  • Restaurants and pubs ‘face collapse’ during extended English lockdown – The Guardian
  • Sport to kick off unlocking early with pilot scheme for bigger crowds – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The real obstacle to freedom day is the NHS – or, rather, our habit of running it at full stretch

Charles Moore: I supported previous lockdowns, but this extension makes no sense at all

“Until now, right through Covid, this column has taken rather a weedy middle-of-the-road position on lockdowns. I have argued that, although they are very undesirable, our lack of ability to predict the extent and deadliness of the virus has made them necessary for public confidence. This time round, I do not see how I can maintain that view. We knew, when restrictions were eased in May, that cases would therefore rise. We also knew, however, that the majority of the population – and the overwhelming majority of the vulnerable population – would be vaccinated. We therefore had reasonable confidence, even with the Indian variant, that both the health system and all but very small numbers of those infected would survive. All this remains the case.” – Daily Telegraph

  • New policy or new ministers is way to overcome lockdown – John Spellar MP, Times Red Box

>Today: ToryDiary: How many Covid deaths do Ministers believe are acceptable?

Trade 1) MPs demand power to scrutinise UK’s post-Brexit trade deals

“The Johnson government is facing demands to give parliament greater powers to scrutinise and approve the UK’s international trade deals as the prime minister prepares to unveil the first significant post-Brexit agreement on Tuesday with Australia.  Writing to Liz Truss, the international trade secretary, a cross-party group of more than 20 MPs said they had “urgent concerns” over the impact of the controversial pact with Canberra, which has split the cabinet and angered farmers’ groups. Under current UK law, trade deals are signed before parliament has the chance to debate their contents, leading trade groups and MPs to warn that the government risks setting precedents for future trade policy without proper debate.” – FT

  • Johnson and Morrison bash out trade deal with dinner – The Times
  • Pact marks first big bilateral agreement negotiated by Britain since leaving the EU – FT
  • Burley warns of huge Australia trade deal backlash for farmers – Daily Express

Trade 2) Brexit trade ‘win’ as Norway to approve £20bn deal with UK

“Norway’s £20billion trade deal with the UK is to be passed in the country’s Parliament after it achieved backing from a majority of Norwegian politicians. In a victory for the UK, the Progress Party, Norway’s third party in the Storting, agreed to back the deal, making a majority of politicians in favour of the deal. The Conservative party, Christian Democratic Union and the Liberal Party will also vote in favour of the deal, making 87 members in support. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss announced the deal was agreed in principle on June 4 along with fellow European Economic Area members Iceland and Liechtenstein. Ahead of a summer recess, Norway politicians will now pass the legislation for the deal on June 17.” – Daily Express

Trade 3) EU leaders ‘turn on each other’ over Irish Protocol

“Senior figures at the European Union have clashed over its response to the dispute with the UK over Brexit and Northern Ireland. Hardliners led by President Macron of France and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, insist that the letter of EU single market law applies, according to Brussels sources. Others, such as Maros Sefcovic, the commission vice-president in charge of negotiations, are pushing for flexibility on EU rules such as medicines approval to achieve a compromise. Tensions between London and Brussels flared at the G7 summit in Cornwall over the application of the Northern Ireland protocol. Brussels wants Britain to stick to the letter of the agreement, including strict single-market rules. London wants exemptions to protect trade between Britain and the province.” – The Times

  • Protocol: Starmer calls for more talks to remove barriers to British bangers – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Western unity is more important than frozen sausages – Gideon Rachman, FT
  • Protocol isn’t perfect but the UK and EU can make it work – David Phinnemore, The Guardian

England’s infrastructure projects will be ‘nature positive’, ministers vow

“The UK government has committed to leaving the environment in “a better state than we found it” in response to a landmark review of the economic importance of nature. Major transport and energy infrastructure projects in England will need to provide a net-gain for biodiversity, and the government said it would ensure all new bilateral aid spending did not harm the natural world as part of an effort to ensure a “nature-positive” future. The commitments were part of the formal response to the Dasgupta review of Earth’s so-called natural capital, which found that the planet is being put at “extreme risk” by the failure of economics to account for the environment, concluding human development had come at a “devastating cost” to life-sustaining ecosystems.” – The Guardian

  • Johnson slaps down plans to tag reckless cyclists and e-scooter idiots – The Sun

Comment:

  • Johnson must level with us if he wants to level up – William Hague, The Times

>Yesterday: Bim Afolami MP in Comment: The politics of Net Zero are more perilous than we think

England team playing gesture politics by taking the knee, says Patel

“Priti Patel has become the first cabinet minister to criticise the England football team for taking the knee at the European Championship, accusing them of engaging in “gesture politics”. While Boris Johnson has urged the country not to boo England players for their anti-racism protest, the home secretary said that it was the “choice” of fans whether they did so. Patel’s intervention threatens to reopen government splits over the issue before England’s second match of the tournament. On Friday at Wembley the Scotland team will join the England players in taking a knee before the game starts. “I just don’t support people participating in that type of gesture politics,” the home secretary told GB News, the TV news channel that was launched this week.” – The Times

>Today: Audio: The Moggcast: Taking a knee “has become problematic”. And “I don’t think there’s evidence” that fans who boo are racist.

Civil service to target private sector talent as part of Whitehall overhaul

“All senior civil service roles will now be advertised externally to attract more talent from the private sector, as Michael Gove launches a new Government declaration on Whitehall reform on Tuesday. The plans are among a series of changes that will be signed off at the first ever joint meeting of the Cabinet and civil service leaders from Government departments. The “Declaration of Government Reform”, which was set in motion by Mr Gove and Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s former top aide, will also include the relocation of 22,000 civil service roles out of London by 2030. New training will be provided to civil servants and ministers to bolster their expertise in digital, data, science and project delivery, with a new training campus due to be established.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Break down the barriers for prisoners with learning needs – Robert Buckland MP, Times Red Box

Northern Ireland’s power-sharing in jeopardy as Foster steps down

“The future of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government came under threat on Monday after nationalist party Sinn Féin warned of the danger of “broken promises” and failed to immediately agree to a new administration following the departure of unionist first minister Arlene Foster. Foster, who was ousted as leader of the Democratic Unionist party a month ago, formally stepped down as head of the region’s devolved administration on Monday, kicking off a seven-day countdown for the DUP and Sinn Féin to agree new leadership. The Belfast drama comes at a crucial time as the EU and the UK trade blows over how to resolve an escalating impasse over the Northern Ireland Protocol which imposed a customs border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain in the aftermath of Brexit.” – FT

  • Irish-language row threatens to derail Ulster government – The Guardian

Scotland:

  • Scots face eye-watering ‘85% tax rate’ under SNP’s ‘incompetent’ £58bn free income plan – Daily Express

NATO chiefs agree to join forces in a ‘space war’ if Russia and China blast satellites

“NATO chiefs have agreed to join forces in a space war if Russia and China blast satellites. World leaders said they will defend each other should military attacks be launched to cripple communications surveillance or navigation technology. NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said any attack on satellites or other space assets could trigger collective military action under Article 5. Traditionally this response has only applied to threats on land, sea, air or cyberspace. In a statement released after the NATO summit in Brussels, leaders said they “consider that attacks to, from, or within space” could threaten “national and Euro-Atlantic prosperity, security, and stability”.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: Grant Shapps MP in Comment: Building back better must mean an enhanced sovereign space presence for Britain

News in Brief:

  • The lockdown delay has triggered a ‘constitutional crisis’ – James Forsyth, The Spectator
  • Why third jabs are inevitable – Tom Chivers, UnHerd
  • Can GB News go the distance? – Alexander Larman, The Critic
  • Scots are slowly realising you can’t be independent and in the EU – Ian Mitchell, CapX