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Afghanistan 1) Last British troops leave

“Britain’s 20-year military campaign in Afghanistan came to an end on Saturday night as Boris Johnson insisted the UK would do all it could to “preserve the gains” from the sacrifices of troops. The final RAF flight withdrawing British troops left Kabul after the personnel on board assisted in the departure of the final civilians who had managed to get into the airport before its gates were shut. Sir Laurie Bristow, Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan, who had stayed to process visa applications from the airport, was on one of the last flights to leave. He will preside over a temporary embassy in Qatar, from where he will help to co-ordinate the UK’s efforts to aid the evacuation of as many as 1,000 Afghans eligible to be rescued by Britain who have been left behind.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Anger that “up to 9,000 people who could have been eligible for rescue” are left behind – Sunday Times
  • Johnson praises troops for their “brave sacrifice” – Sunday Express
  • Those left behind in Kabul by Britain include students, interpreters and a Glasgow cabbie – Sunday Telegraph
  • Foreign Office “ignored frantic pleas to help Afghans” – The Observer
  • A good-news PM trapped on the bad-news treadmill – Tim Shipman, Sunday Times
  • Troops in Afghanistan? I’d far rather see some police on patrol at home – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday

Afghanistan 2) Greece puts up barriers to stop refugees reaching Europe

“New rolls of razor wire glint between swaying trees and meadow grasses on Europe’s verdant border. There is a constant rumble of military vehicles on the paths by the Evros, the river that marks the EU’s easternmost edge. This is where Afghans fleeing the chaotic collapse of their country are expected to flood into Europe over the coming weeks at the end of a journey of more than 2,500 miles through the badlands of Iran and Turkey. Once they have crossed over the Evros into Greece, they enter the European asylum system. By the time they reach here though, having negotiated mountain routes riddled with bandits and dodged detention centres in Turkey, they will find another barrier in front of them: Greece is speeding up construction of a wall that will eventually line its entire, 130-mile land frontier with Turkey and some of its border with Bulgaria.” – Sunday Times

  • A thin-stretched welcome for Britain’s new Afghan arrivals – The Observer

>Today: Anthony Browne on Comment: Afghan refugee priorities. Women, gays – and Hazaras. We mustn’t forget the last.

Afghanistan 3) Raab: We must face the new reality

“Beyond the evacuation, we face a stark new reality in Afghanistan – and that demands a new strategy. The UK is building a global coalition around four key priorities. First, to stop Afghanistan becoming a haven for terrorists. Thursday’s attack brought this into even sharper focus – including for the Taliban, which IS-K deliberately targeted along with the US and ordinary Afghans. Second, we must prevent a humanitarian disaster and support refugees – the Taliban will desperately need the international community, if it is to avert looming catastrophe, and economic and social collapse. Third, and related, we must preserve regional stability, which would be shattered by the toxic combination of a renewed terrorist threat and a refugee exodus. Fourth, we must hold the Taliban and other factions to account for their actions, including on human rights.” – Dominic Raab, Sunday Telegraph

  • Gove tipped for job swap with Raab – The Sun on Sunday
  • We can no longer rely on America and Europe as allies – Leader, Sunday Telegraph
  • The west must engage with Afghanistan’s new rulers to avert an even bigger threat – Leader, The Observer
  • Britain needs a new best friend. The surprise is that it may be France – Stephen Bush, Sunday Times
  • This humiliating retreat will strengthen China’s belief that this is their time – Kim Darroch, Mail on Sunday
  • Prestige is a hard commodity in much of the world – and Britain’s has evaporated – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph
  • US withdrawal from Afghanistan was an error and we face a likely rise in terror attacks as a result – John Hutton, The Sun on Sunday
  • Is Biden up to the job? – Sunday Times
  • Hague tipped as next Nato chief – Sunday Times

Afghanistan 4) Farthing threatened to “destroy” Wallace’s aide over pet airlift

“A former marine who wanted to save some 200 dogs and cats from Afghanistan told a government adviser he would “f***ing destroy” him if he did not arrange for them to be evacuated, a leaked audio recording reveals. Paul “Pen” Farthing, founder of Nowzad animal charity, sent a heated message to Peter Quentin, a special adviser to the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, demanding he arrange for Farthing, his animals and his team to leave Kabul.” – Sunday Times

>Today: ToryDiary: Snap guide to this session’s Government legislation 10) Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill

Afghanistan 5) Patel: We have a proud history of helping those in need but other countries must do more

“Britain has led the world at times of humanitarian crisis and when people have fled persecution and oppression. Now, our global allies must join to support those in need. At the forthcoming G7, I will reiterate this message to our partners. Meanwhile, Britain will not be found wanting in this darkest of hours. We will continue to extend the hand of friendship to those in need and do right by those who have previously done right by us.” – Priti Patel, Mail on Sunday

  • Gove accused of ‘muscling in’ on Patel’s turf by calling meetings on refugee crisis – Mail on Sunday
  • “We’re paying money to the French to stop illegal Channel crossings, but we don’t know what they’re doing with it”, says Border Force rep – Mail on Sunday

Government “to lift the ban on standing at football matches”

“Plans to lift the ban on standing in the English Premier League and Championship are set to be announced by the government, the BBC has learned. It is thought a handful of grounds will be able to use designated safe standing areas before the end of the season. It would mean for the first time in over 25 years, fans of some top flight football clubs would be legally allowed to stand and watch their team play. An official announcement is expected as soon as next month.” – BBC

New Unite leader pledges to “take on” Amazon

“The new leader of one of Britain’s biggest unions has vowed to take on Amazon by plotting an international campaign to unionise its warehouses and improve conditions for its workers. In an interview with the Observer, Sharon Graham, who became Unite’s general secretary last week after a shock victory, said she was in talks with unions in Germany and the US – Amazon’s other major markets – to effectively form a global union campaign that would “pincer” Amazon and force it to allow workers to organise themselves more freely.” – The Observer

Majority in Northern Ireland wish to remain part of the UK

“Two-thirds of voters in Northern Ireland believe there should be a vote over its place in the UK, but only 37% want it to take place within the next five years, according to a new poll for the Observer. Some 31% of voters said there should be a vote at some point about Northern Ireland’s place in the UK but after 2026, the LucidTalk poll found. A further 29% said there should never be such a vote. There is currently a seven-point lead for Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK should any vote take place. Asked to state how they would vote, 49% said they would back remaining in the UK, while 42% backed being part of a united Ireland, with 9% saying they did not know. Other recent surveys have put support for a united Ireland much lower. The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, published in June, suggested that 30% backed a united Ireland.” – The Observer

Historians launch campaign to resist “woke falsehoods”

“In academic circles, there has been growing consternation at the steady march of “woke” ideology which has seen statues pulled down, university degrees “decolonised” and museum exhibits relabelled or removed altogether. Now some of the country’s most eminent professors have decided that enough is enough. No longer content to stay silent, they are mounting a fightback as they say “distortions” and “blatantly false” readings of history have become so widespread that they threaten to undermine Western civilisation. Robert Tombs, emeritus professor of History at the University of Cambridge, said that there has been increasing “alarm” among his colleagues at the sustained attack that historical figures have come under in recent years…After enlisting the support of more than 40 leading intellectuals, Prof Tombs is now launching a new campaign called History Reclaimed, which is aimed at “calling out” misleading or one-sided narratives about historical figures or events.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Time for historians to fight back against the ideologues who want to tear down the past – David Abulafia, Sunday Telegraph

Trudeau falls behind in the polls

“When Justin Trudeau called a risky snap election earlier this month, he said Canadians faced their most consequential choice since 1945 — progress with him at the helm, or a step backwards under the Conservatives. Amid a fourth wave of the pandemic and a chaotic Afghanistan evacuation, Canadians responded with a collective shrug. Within a week, the prime minister’s five-point poll lead disappeared. Now he is six points behind — his political future in doubt…If he loses, it will mark a dismal end for Trudeau, whose ambitious agenda and promises of “sunny ways” saw him catapult the third-placed Liberal Party to a handsome majority in 2015, but who has since been tarnished by ethics scandals, unkept promises and blackface images.” – Sunday Times

Norman: EU rules will hurt French and Spanish food producers too

“At the moment, the Irish Government is following EU guidelines and implementing their draconian controls. But by contrast, the UK has allowed EU products to continue to flow into the country, no veterinary checks, no border inspection. Starting in October, that is going to change when UK Government rules are set to mirror those of the EU. So in a mutual act of self-destruction, we risk lumbering French cheese producers and Spanish chorizo manufacturers with the same costs as we have faced trying to export food to the EU. For the Republic of Ireland, this will be very serious as nearly half its beef and about a third of dairy products come to the UK. The delays, driver shortages and paper mountains could be spectacular.” – Archie Norman, Chairman of Marks & Spencer, Mail on Sunday

Colvile: Sunak is struggling to fund his boss’s wild promises

“The British state tends to grow gradually, then suddenly. Before the First World War, it spent just 12 per cent of GDP. That soared to 20 per cent after the war, then doubled to 40 per cent after the rematch. The pandemic is the third great spike on the spending graph…The argument between Sunak and Johnson, in other words, is not about whether the Tories will be a small-state or big-state party, but about just how big the state will be — and how permanent its expansion. True, voters’ appetite to swallow tax rises is extremely limited. But the constituency for fiscal discipline, even within the Conservatives, may be more limited still.” – Robert Colvile, Sunday Times

  • Chancellor on collision course with NHS over extra funding to clear Covid backlog – Sunday Telegraph
  • Lower tax rates can yield higher revenues and Johnson knows it – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

News in brief

  • The law is not fit to stop Extinction Rebellion’s street protests – Richard Ekins, The Spectator
  • The pace of migration – John Redwood
  • Pay poor countries to take to refugees – Andrew Hunt, The Critic
  • What was that Biden-bashing all about? – Ian Linden, The Article
  • The parish church, at risk from the arrogant C of E elite – Victoria Baillon, Conservative Woman