Single market

Times
Jeremy Corbyn has toughened Labour’s stance on leaving the single market, creating more divisions with his pro-EU backbenchers. The Labour leader said his party would take the UK out of the single market because it was “dependent on EU membership”, but would seek tariff-free trade access to the single market. Asked to confirm that his position was that the UK would leave the single market because the UK was leaving the EU, he said: “The two things are inextricably linked. Yes.” The statement went further than Labour’s manifesto, which did not commit to leaving or staying in the single market.

Mail
Labour was plunged into a fresh bout of Brexit infighting last night after Jeremy Corbyn said he supported Britain leaving the EU single market. Ending months of confusion over his party’s policy, the Labour leader said the UK must quit the common market because it is ‘inextricably’ part of the EU. But he admitted his party had not made up its mind on membership of the Customs Union – which places tariffs on imports from around the world and stops Britain negotiating trade deals. His comments sparked fury from Remain-supporting Labour MPs. Former frontbencher Chuka Umunna said some countries were outside the EU but inside the single market, including Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway.

Independent
A Labour government would take Britain out of the European single market were it in charge of negotiating Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed. The Labour leader said single market membership was “inextricably linked” to membership of the EU and that his party would instead seek tariff-free access to trade. Labour’s 2017 election manifesto pledged to focus on “retaining the benefits of the single market and the customs union” but was not explicit on whether Britain would actually remain inside the institutions.

Mirror
Jeremy Corbyn faced a grilling over Brexit today as he insisted Britain has to quit the EU single market. Mr Corbyn today said Labour’s policy would be “sensible” – but his Brexit approach came under fire after a wide-ranging TV interview. He prompted a backlash by saying a Labour government would leave the single market because it is “dependent on membership of the EU”. He also vowed Labour would ban the “wholesale importation” of low-paid EU workers because it “destroys conditions” in the building industry. And Labour’s leader admitted his party still didn’t know if it wanted to stay in out out of the customs union, saying: “We haven’t jumped on either side of that fence.”

Guardian
A Labour government would leave the single market because it is “dependent on membership of the EU” but seek a trade deal that mirrored the free trade benefits, Jeremy Corbyn  has said. The Labour leader’s explanation of his party’s Brexit policy was questioned by the former shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, one of the party’s leading advocates of a soft Brexit, who pointed out that several countries including Norway were members of the single market without being full EU members. Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “The single market is dependent on membership of the EU. What we have said all along is that we want a tariff-free trade access to the European market and a partnership with Europe in the future.

Sun
JEREMY Corbyn confirmed a Labour Government would take Britain out of the single market if it was leading Brexit talks yesterday –sparking a backlash among his own MPs. The Labour leader said bringing in low paid workers “destroys conditions” as he was questioned over his party’s policy on the EU. In comments which incensed pro-EU Labour MPs, he said he would quit the single market because it was “inextricably linked” to EU membership. And he insisted Labour would ban the “wholesale importation” of EU workers on the lowest wages because it “destroys conditions” in the building industry. Questioned further on customs union membership, he said: “We haven’t jumped on either side of that fence”.

Huffington Post
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is “parroting the lie” that the UK cannot stay in Single Market once it leaves the EU, the Lib Dems have claimed. The Labour leader today said the Britain would have to quit the Single Market after Brexit as membership was “inextricably linked” to being in the European Union.
However, as Labour MP Chuka Umunna was quick to point out, there are countries who are not in the EU but are in the Single Market – including Norway and Iceland. Lib Dems Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake accused Corbyn of repeating the “lie” used by leading Brexiteers and said he was now part of “a coalition of chaos with Theresa May.”

Brexit negotiations

Westmonster
EU negotiators, apparently keen to uphold their controlling, dictatorial appearance, have refused British requests for an independent Brexit monitor. UK officials had asked for a third party, such as Canada, to oversee talks, specifically when it comes to issues such as EU citizens’ rights. But Brussels issued a flat “no” to the request, frustrating British officials and prompting speculation talks could grind to a halt. A British insider said: “We understand their position, but the problem is that to make progress both sides need to move together, and the current process just doesn’t work. “If the EU 27 cannot move in small steps, then there is no reason our side should either.”

Conservative leadership

Mail
More than 70 per cent of Tory members want Theresa May to stay on as leader and Prime Minster despite the unofficial race to replace her, new polling showed today. A survey of grassroots members has put David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, at the front of the chasing pack. But as Mrs May prepares to fly out of Britain for a three week summer holiday the Tory faithful are clear she should be allowed to return and get on with her job. The Prime Minister clung to power after the election disaster and continues to face questions about whether she can survive. The poll emerged today as senior activists claimed Mrs May should quit by Christmas. Were she to fall, more than a fifth of members back the Brexit Secretary to take over. 

Express
THERESA May has the overwhelming backing of Tory activists to stay in Downing Street, an opinion poll showed today. More than seven out of 10 (71 per cent) of Conservative Party members want the Prime Minister to stay in her job, according to the survey. Only 22 per cent believe that she should quit. The support for Mrs May was revealed by a survey of more than 1,000 grassroots Tory members by the Party Members Project, a three-year investigation into Britain’s political system funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. EU Exit Secretary David Davis was identified as the most popular choice as Mrs May’s successor, with the backing by 21 per cent of Tory members, while Boris Johnson was his nearest rival with 17 per cent. 

Mirror
A Tory plot to oust Theresa May has been revealed – but ‘Don’t Know’ appears to be more popular than any candidate to take over. At least 15 Conservative MPs have agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister as part of a plot to oust her before the conference season, according to the Sunday Times. Although the letter falls well short of the 48 names needed to trigger a leadership contest, the summer recess could prove critical for the prime minister’s future. A former minister told The Sunday Times: “The numbers change from day to day depending on what’s happened but there are about 15 who are fairly consistent in their desire for change.”

Independent
Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg has moved into second place in the betting markets to replace Theresa May as Conservative leader. The Old Etonian, who is popular among Conservative activists, is ahead of one-time favourite Boris Johnson, the Chancellor Philip Hammond, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd – as well as Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson. He however trails David Davis, who is favourite to replace Ms May, with 20 per cent implied chance of victory versus Mr Rees-Mogg’s 12 per cent, according to odds aggregator BetData. In an interview with the ConservativeHome website earlier this week Mr Rees-Mogg said he did not see himself as “a serious candidate”, though he did not explicitly rule out running.

Sky News
David Davis has come top in a survey asking Tory members who they would favour as a candidate to replace Theresa May. The Brexit Secretary was favoured by 21% of respondents in the survey, with his nearest rival Boris Johnson on 17%. But plans to oust the Conservatives’ beleaguered leader would be unlikely to command widespread support, it appears. Although 22% of those surveyed said they wanted Mrs May to quit, the vast majority – 71% – said they did not want her to leave her post.

Mail
Ruth Davidson has warned Theresa May must ‘lead’ or face defeat in a rallying cry to the Tory party. The Scottish Conservative leader has staked her claim as one of the party’s leading thinkers in a hard-hitting article on the state of the economy. Ms Davidson, the leader of the opposition in Holyrood, said capitalism must be reformed to stop modern commercial giants like Amazon riding roughshod. She said planning laws must be overhauled and homes made more affordable for the young in what many will see as a manifesto for a future leadership challenge.  It also draws parallels with how Boris Johnson used being Mayor of London to strike out ahead of the party in Westminster. 

BBC News
Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson has warned the UK government it must show greater leadership if it wants to survive. Writing for the website UnHerd, Ms Davidson said the government must be “bold” and do more to make the case for Conservatism. She also said people were losing faith in capitalism and were angry about social injustice.
The article calls for a “Ctrl + Alt + Del reboot” of Conservatism. Ms Davidson wrote: “It is not enough for government to facilitate a discussion about where next for Britain, it has to actually lead.

Student debt

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn has admitted he had no idea how much it would cost when he told students he would ‘deal with’ their existing debts.  The Labour leader told students on the eve of the election he would find a way to slash their debt burden. But after the June 8 poll Labour admitted wiping out the student loan book would cost £100billion. Mr Corbyn today insisted he never intended to make a ‘commitment’ on clearing debts as he scrambled to defuse Tory claims he had betrayed his core supporters.

Independent
Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of rowing back on a promise he supposedly made on cancelling all student debt, but insists he never made the alleged pledge. The party’s manifesto pledged to scrap university tuition fees altogether, making him popular with young people despite criticism from other quarters. But the manifesto made no mention of an amnesty on existing debt to the Student Loans Company, which currently stands at £76bn. In a pre-election interview with 
The Independent, Mr Corbyn said he was “looking at ways” to reduce the tuition fee debt of former university students, but did not make a firm commitment.

Sun
JEREMY Corbyn U-turned on his student debt pledge yesterday after confessing he had no idea what scrapping it would cost. During the General Election campaign, he spoke of the “excessive burden”, saying: “I will deal with it.” But interviewed on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, the Left-wing leader insisted he had “never promised” to write off the £100billion debt during the ­General Election campaign. Mr Corbyn’s shock success in the poll was put down in part to his key vow to abolish graduates’ bills. The Labour leader told a magazine before the vote: “I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively. I will deal with it.”

Express
LABOUR is facing fresh calls to apologise over its student debt ‘U-turn’ – but Jeremy Corbyn today denied ever saying the party would “completely abolish it”. The party was continually reported as saying it would scrap tuition fees and debt ahead of the general election, which helped attract a huge number of youth votes and earn the party a number of new MPs. In June, ahead of the vote, Mr Corbyn spoke on student debt, which saddles some adults with upwards of £20,000 debt. 
The Labour leader said he would “deal with it”.

Sky News
Jeremy Corbyn has said he “never promised” to write off student debt during the General Election campaign. In a key pledge Labour promised to scrap tuition fees later this year – and Mr Corbyn also vowed to “deal with” the debts of students who have already graduated. He told NME magazine in June he wanted to look at ways to reduce, ameliorate, lengthen the repayment period or “some other means of reducing that debt burden”. He added: “I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after.

Foreign aid

Sun
BRITAIN gave £64 million of taxpayers’ foreign aid cash to an African country ruled by a tyrant who has been accused of murdering political rivals, it is claimed. Critics slammed the reported generous handout to the regime led by Rwandan President Paul Kagame as “disgraceful”. Mail On Sunday  reported that the Department for International Development announced the payment on Thursday. It praised Kagame’s “strong record of using aid effectively to produce impressive results” and insisted his regime “plays a progressive role on the world stage”.

BBC Salaries

Times
The BBC is planning to take men off radio and television programmes and replace them with women in an attempt to close the gender pay gap, The Telegraph can disclose. But the prospect of replacing high-earning male stars when contracts come up for renewal could further open the BBC up to sex discrimination claims by male celebrities. Lord Hall, the BBC’s director-general, has promised to end the gender pay gap by 2020, giving the corporation just three years to ensure women receive equal pay.  On Sunday, more than 40 high-profile women at the BBC wrote him an open letter demanding that he “act now” and speed up the process. 

Air quality

Times
Theresa May has been warned she will face a potential Tory rebellion if the Government “punishes” drivers of diesel vehicles when it publishes plans to improve air quality later this month. Any attempt to make drivers “bear the burden” of the cost of bringing down pollution would trigger a backlash from MPs who fear “white van Conservatives” would turn their backs on the party, having been encouraged to buy diesels by the last Labour government. Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has until the end of July to publish the Government’s long-awaited Air Quality Plan, which could include plans for a so-called “toxin tax” on diesel vehicles driving into cities.

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