Brexit: May pledges not to compromise on Northern Ireland’s place in the UK…

“Theresa May will promise today to never “dislocate” Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, despite European plans to put a customs border in the Irish Sea. After her first visit to the Irish border since the Brexit vote in 2016, she will give a speech in Belfast to reassure the province that it will remain tied to the mainland economically and constitutionally after Britain leaves the EU. The prime minister will suggest that the onus is now on the EU to help to solve the border question rather than rely on a “backstop” stipulating that Northern Ireland will remain in “full alignment” with Brussels unless an alternative is found. “It is now for the EU to respond. Not simply to fall back on to previous positions which have already been proven unworkable, but to evolve their position in kind,” she will say.” – The Times

  • Sinn Fein criticise Ulster visit as ‘too little, too late’ – Daily Mail
  • Barnier stresses urgency of border deadline to Raab – The Guardian
  • Varadkar branded ‘mad’ for threat to block British planes – The Sun
  • Province is close to recession, CBI warns – The Guardian


  • Nobody will impose border checks, let’s stop pretending it’s an issue – Andrew Lilico, Daily Telegraph
  • Flexible EU thinking is needed on the backstop – Chris Giles, FT


  • The Irish prime minister is a fool, but reveals Brussels’ intentions – The Sun

>Yesterday: Henry Hill’s Red, White, and Blue column: Soubry calls for government of ‘national unity’… with the separatists

…as Barnier warns that the Chequers plan breaches ‘fundamental EU principles’

“Theresa May was warned by Michel Barnier last night that her Chequers blueprint for Brexit breached “fundamental” European principles and that she would need to make further concessions to reach a deal. In pointed remarks before his first meeting with Dominic Raab, the new Brexit secretary, the EU’s chief negotiator said that any deal would have to “respect” the integrity of Europe’s single market. He said that it would be a “challenge” to find common ground between the fundamental principles that defined the EU and the UK’s white paper. His comments come as European ministers meet today in Brussels for the first time to discuss the white paper. Privately Mr Barnier is understood to be “unimpressed” by the document, claiming that it failed to set out significant new ground to address EU concerns that the UK was “cherry-picking” market access.” – The Times

  • Public ‘to be warned every week’ over no deal – The Times
  • Plan would ‘saddle small businesses with £700 million bill’ – The Sun
  • McVey refuses to publicly support proposals – Daily Express


  • Raab ‘faced ridicule’ on first trip to Brussels – Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit Secretary promises ‘new energy’ in talks – FT
  • May approved a £20,000 bonus for Robbins – Daily Mail


  • ‘No deal’ would have big costs for consumers and businesses  – The Times

>Today: ToryDiary: New snap survey. We asked after the Chequers summit. Now we do so again: what’s your view of May’s new Brexit policy?

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Dear Conservative Party member, you are now an important person

Fraser Nelson: Downing Street’s secret no-deal plan could save Brexit

“A fortnight ago, Tory Brexiteers saw the Chequers agreement as abject capitulation. Now, they see it as a trap laid for Michel Barnier. All that’s needed is for him to take the bait, reject the plan, demand something outrageous and: bingo! Mrs May will have been given a casus belli. “Chequers is the most cherry-picking deal imaginable,” says one Cabinet member. “We’re asking for free movement of goods, but not people. Frictionless trade but not the payments.” Mr Barnier might demand more on immigration, welfare for EU citizens, or more money for Brussels… Every negotiator ought to leave some wiggle room. Mrs May now has none. If anything, she has already gone too far and needs to make her Chequers plan less generous to stand a chance of it getting through Parliament. No 10 is even considering a plan to do this: if Mr Barnier rejects her offer, she then returns to him with a less generous one.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Political divisions make a ‘government of national unity’ impossible – Philip Collins, The Times
  • Don’t worry, a no-deal Brexit won’t be permitted – Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
  • Extending Article 50 would avert ‘no deal’ – Jonathan Portes, Times Red Box

>Today: Helen Thomas in Comment: The missing actor in the Brexit drama is set to move centre-stage – the markets.


Brexiteers divided on whether or not to oust May as Davies calls for her resignation

“A row has broken out between Brexiteers as hardliners demand Theresa May is ousted now, The Sun can reveal. Arch Eurosceptic backbencher Philip Davies became the latest to formerly demand the PM get the boot yesterday – ignoring advice from senior Leavers to wait until October in order to “protect Brexit”. The Shipley MP said he had been in touch with members and voters in his own constituency, and no longer had trust in the Tory leader after she released her controversial Chequers blueprint. The Yorkshire Post revealed that he had written to his constituents and told them that the proposals are “unacceptable”.” – The Sun

  • Redwood suggests Hammond might have ‘deliberately slowed growth’ to hurt Brexit – Daily Express
  • Chancellor criticised for ‘sexist’ insult aimed at Jenkyns – The Sun
  • Baker warns against ‘half-in, half-out’ Brexit – Daily Telegraph

Smith under mounting pressure to quit over broken pair

“Chief Whip Julian Smith faces intense pressure to resign after being accused of deceiving the PM in a cheating row. Tory and Labour MPs united to call for the Cabinet Minister in charge of government discipline to quit after he was accused of lying and skulduggery to win a crunch Brexit vote. During the showdown on Tuesday night, eight Tory MPs were paired with opposition MPs to stay away from the Commons so they would cancel each other’s votes out… But fearing Theresa May would fall if the customs union vote was lost, The Sun has established that Mr Smith gave orders to as many as five Tory MPs to break their pairings – deemed a serious breach of Parliamentary honour.” – The Sun

  • Tories admit Chief Whip deliberately broke deal – The Guardian

>Today: Iain Dale’s column: Lewis didn’t deliberately break a pairing arrangement this week


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