Sunak pushes for opening borders

“The chancellor warned that Britain’s border rules were damaging the economy and tourism in particular, ahead of a crucial meeting of ministers on Thursday, which will determine the travel rules for August. The chancellor intervened amid growing concern that the UK is failing to take advantage of its vaccination programme and has saddled travellers with more “draconian” rules than Britain’s EU rivals. In the letter, Sunak said that UK border policy was “out of step with our international competitors”. He warned that the restrictions were having a damaging effect on jobs and also voiced concern about the tourism and hospitality sectors.” – Sunday Times

> Today: ToryDiary – From self-isolation to score annihilation – Johnson drops 36 points in our Cabinet League Table.

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Ferguson got it wrong, but the buck stops with Johnson

Ministers 1: Truss latest. New Zealand trade talks completed, Trans-Pacific partnership looms into view

“The UK completed the latest round of free trade talks with New Zealand last week and Ms Truss said the two countries are “closing in on a deal which would be one of the most advanced struck by any nation”. There is excitement that a successful deal will turbo-charge efforts to win membership of a £9 trillion trans-Pacific free trade area and open up new markets for British exports. Eleven countries including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).” – Daily Express

Ministers 2: Williamson to unveil Turing scheme “with wider opportunities than Erasmus”

“More than 40,000 students will be able to study and work in places as far away as the Falkland Islands, Iraq and the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu under the government’s post-EU Turing exchange scheme. Ministers will announce this week that deals have been done with universities in 150 destinations, including the US, Canada, Japan and popular European countries such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The scheme will give university students wider opportunities than the Ersasmus+ scheme run by the EU, which Britain left after Brexit.” – Sunday Times

Ministers 3) Sunak, Sharma and Kwarteng jostle over COP26

“The only problem is that different parts of government and the Cop26 team are at daggers drawn over the details, with little of the spirit of 2012 in evidence. With just 100 days to go, public awareness of the conference is minuscule and the policy solutions are mired in disagreements over funding. When a senior Tory spoke to one of those involved in the conference last week, who was indignantly explaining how hard everyone was working, the grandee, a former minister, asked: “Then tell me what the pitch is in a sentence.” They were met with silence.” – Sunday Times

“Work halted on eastern leg of HS2”

“Ministers are understood to have quietly ordered HS2 Limited to halt planning work on the route, to Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds, over fears about soaring costs.  Instead, construction will focus solely on the western leg, to Manchester. But bosses in the East Midlands and the North told The Mail on Sunday that abandoning the eastern route threatened to undermine Boris Johnson’s Election pledge to ‘level up’ the entire economy. The Prime Minister was also warned voters in ‘Red Wall’ constituencies would be furious.” – Mail on Sunday

Other political news:

  • Cornwall, Devon and Norfolk Tory MPs warn of rural housing crisis – Sunday Times
  • Philp in talks with Albania about transferring foreign criminals – Mail on Sunday
  • Ministers take charge of race to save Britain’s Afghan interpreters – Mail on Sunday
  • Civil service “fighting Channel 4 privatisation” – Mail on Sunday
  • Loughton: public policing priorities “aren’t rocket science” – Sun on Sunday
  • Peers fear animal rights activists will hijack animal sentience bill – Mail on Sunday
  • Bank of England braces for inflation surge – Sunday Telegraph

Daniel Hannan: The NHS isn’t fit for purpose

“Ministers knew that Britain was more vulnerable than countries with mixed healthcare systems, but they could not say it aloud. So they, too, went along with the national doublethink, praising the NHS as heroic and world-beating while, in practice, treating it as unusually fragile. When I was an MEP, I was often struck by the fact that no mainstream socialist party on the Continent wanted a British-style healthcare system. A few Greens and Communists argued for fully nationalised provision, but social democrats preferred systems that brought private and public hospitals together, or that allowed for a measure of insurance.” – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

More bleak polling news for Starmer

“Former pollster Deborah Mattinson, who has been appointed director of strategy in a shake-up of the leader’s inner circle, briefed Starmer, shadow ministers and MPs on sobering internal polling and findings from focus groups days before the summer recess. Her presentation highlighted the huge challenge Labour faces if it is to win back trust in time for a probable 2023 election – and avoid a fifth consecutive loss to the Tories. Many senior party figures have told the Observer that the central message from Mattinson’s briefing was that victory will be impossible unless Labour finds a way to lure back millions who defected to the Tories in 2019.” – Observer

  • Gary Neville holds talks with Labour’s leader – Mail on Sunday
  • Labour claim sports’ funding cut – Observer
  • Expel, expel, expel: Corbyn, Momentum, Alastair Campbell: kick them all out – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

Carrie Johnson announces that she and the Prime Minister are expecting their second child – in the wake of a miscarriage

“Boris and Carrie Johnson were said to be “delighted” on Saturday night as the couple shared the news that they are expecting their second baby by Christmas. Mrs Johnson made the announcement in a post on her Instagram page in which she also disclosed she had had a miscarriage at the start of this year. The 33-year-old said she felt “incredibly blessed” to have become pregnant so soon after her miscarriage, adding: “Hoping for our rainbow baby this Christmas.”  A rainbow baby is a term used to describe a child born after a miscarriage. Mr Johnson, 57, will become the first Prime Minister to have two babies born in 10 Downing Street.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • She’s right to speak out with candour – Sarah Vine, Mail on Sunday
  • Ben Eliot’s company Quintessentially “peddled access to the Prince of Wales” – Sunday Times
  • Tory donors shocker: they oppose tax rises – Sunday Telegraph