EU

At the start of the media ‘silly season’, there’s still plenty of news about Brexit. Several of the media report that the Chequers plan has been rejected by Brussels. The Mail says:

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier effectively took an axe to Theresa May’s plans today as the Brexit crisis deepened.
Just hours after the PM pleaded for the EU to drop its ‘unworkable’ Irish border demands, Mr Barnier complained that her Chequers blueprint – which would see the UK collect some tariffs for Brussels and follow a ‘common rule book’ on goods – undermined the single market and would cause ‘unjustifiable’ bureaucracy.
In a withering assessment that will ramp up fears of ‘no deal’ Brexit, Mr Barnier questioned whether the UK could be trusted to rake in taxes on behalf of the EU.
He also hinted that Mrs May might be forced into even more concessions by domestic political pressures, jibing that the ‘intense’ debate in the UK was ‘not over’.

The Independent calls it a ‘severe blow’ to the PM.

Prospects for a Brexit deal have been dealt a severe blow after the European Union’s chief negotiator took apart  Theresa May’s latest proposals – just hours after she ruled out further compromise on her side.
Speaking in Brussels after a meeting with EU national ministers, Michel Barnier raised a wide variety of serious concerns about the Chequers white paper plan for customs control and single market regulation for goods.
Mr Barnier said Ms May’s complicated proposal for customs would likely create huge amounts of new paperwork, warning: “Brexit cannot and will not justify additional bureaucracy.”

The Express claims we’re edging closer to ‘no deal’.

THE prospect of a no deal Brexit inched closer to reality this afternoon after the EU’s chief negotiator questioned whether Theresa May’s vision for the split is “workable”.
Michel Barnier said the Government’s white paper had paved the way for more “constructive discussions” on the divorce, but warned Brussels is still unclear on how parts of the plan would work.
Speaking after briefing ministers from the remaining EU27, Mr Barnier said the bloc is prepared to shift on its “backstop” proposals to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland the Irish Republic – an issue which has proved a major sticking point in previous talks.

And the Guardian calls Barnier’s evisceration of the plan ‘forensic’.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has forensically picked apart Theresa May’s white paper after a meeting of the EU27, warning that the prime minister had failed to offer Brussels a firm basis for the negotiations.
In a reflection of the widespread concern about the stability of May’s premiership, Barnier said he would be polite, but went on to illustrate in stark terms how the UK’s demands fell foul of the EU’s red lines and founding principles.

The Mirror claims the plan is the only alternative to ‘no deal’.

Fears of a no-deal Brexit grew dramatically as Michel Barnier rejected Theresa May’s offer for a deal.
It came as more details were revealed of government preparations for a doomsday no-deal scenario, which included turning the M26 motorway into a ten-mile-long lorry park.
Downing Street have said the government’s  Brexit White Paper is the “only credible and realistic way to move the negotiations forward”.

And ITV News claims the PM won’t shift her position.

Theresa May is digging in on her Brexit deal offer to Brussels after the EU publicly doubted the controversial proposals were workable.
Government sources insisted the Prime Minister was “standing over” the Chequers Cabinet compromise on withdrawal plans despite a mauling of the initiative by EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
Mr Barnier openly questioned the credibility of the UK’s proposals in his first response to the Government’s white paper on Brexit.
And in comments that will likely alarm arch-Brexiteers in Tory ranks, the vice president of the European Parliament, and MEP for Ireland’s governing Fine Gael party, Mairead McGuinness, made it clear to BBC2’s Newsnight that Mrs May would need to abandon some of her red lines to clinch a deal.

The Sun claims the PM’s plan was ridiculed.

BRUSSELS has shredded Theresa May’s troubled Brexit blueprint, saying it would create endless red tape and help fraudsters.
The PM suffered a humiliating round of public ridicule as Michel Barnier vowed to increase “no deal” planning — and Paris and Berlin mocked her weak grip on power.
In the EU’s first official response to Mrs May’s controversial Chequers deal, their chief negotiator tore apart her offer, saying key proposals on goods and customs were unworkable.
The gloomy Frenchman said his officials now had dozens of questions for new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab about how the British plan would work in practice.
He trashed Mrs May’s key offer to align with EU rules on goods but not services — suggesting it would allow “unfair competition” with UK companies able to undercut European rivals.

The Express compares the bloc to the mafia.

THE EU has been branded a “mafia-like” organisation after its chief negotiator Michel Barnier rejected Theresa May’s Chequers plan for a future relationship with the bloc.
The public snub delivered at a press conference in Brussels by Mr Barnier led Brexiteers to demand that Mrs May changes direction and reinstates her red lines of no freedom of movement, no rulings from the European Court of Justice and full independence for Britain.

Breitbart claims the ECHR will continue to have dominance over the UK’s legal rulings.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier badly damaged Theresa May’s credibility on Friday, confirming that her concession-laden Chequers plan for Brexit continues the supremacy of the EU court over the UK.
Barnier was delivering his first public verdict on Mrs May’s ultra-soft Brexit plan since she imposed it on her Cabinet at the prime ministerial country retreat, an event which caused cabinet minister David Davis to resign as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union last week, on grounds that British independence under the plan would be “illusory rather than real”, and with Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Boris Johnson following his lead shortly afterwards.

And the Times claims the plan would open the EU to fraud.

Theresa May’s plan for a customs deal with Brussels would leave the rest of Europe wide open to fraud, the EU’s chief negotiator claimed yesterday.
Responding for the first time to the government’s Brexit white paper, Michel Barnier questioned whether many of the proposals were legally or practically feasible.
In particular he criticised the central British plan for a facilitated customs arrangement where the UK would collect tariffs on behalf of the EU on goods destined for the continent but remain free to charge a lower tariff if they were intended for the UK.

Barnier insists that the plan was unworkable because it disadvantages the bloc, says BBC News.

Michel Barnier has said Theresa May’s plan for a future trade relationship with the EU could weaken the single market and create burdens for business.
The EU Brexit negotiator said the White Paper opened “the way to a constructive discussion” but must be “workable”.
He questioned whether UK plans for a common rulebook for goods and agri-foods were practical.

Ireland

The border between Northern Ireland continues to be a stumbling block. The Independent reports the PM’s challenge that the EU should find a solution.

Theresa May will say it is now up to the EU to prevent a hard border in Ireland  after Brexit, telling affected residents she has “done that work” with her Chequers plan.
Speaking in Belfast, the prime minister will seek to calm fears about the impact of withdrawal on the province, by pledging to deliver a deal that “works for the whole UK, including Northern Ireland”.
She will describe the return of border posts and checks as “almost inconceivable” – arguing her proposals for a free trade area for goods can provide the solution.
But, in tough talk, Ms May will rule out further compromise, insisting it is “now for the EU to respond” and not to “fall back onto previous positions which have already been proven unworkable”.

The Irish government is still seeking a solution, reports the Guardian.

The Irish government has said it is open to the possibility of a fresh proposal for a deal on the border issue, but will only consider a new plan if it is better than the one on the table.
The Irish finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, was speaking hours after Theresa May demanded the EU abandon its stance and “evolve its position” to include a guarantee there would be no border in the Irish Sea in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

And the prospect of air travel to Ireland being stopped was trashed in the Mail.

Leo Varadkar was branded an ‘airhead’ today as Downing Street dismissed his extraordinary threat to ‘ban’ British aircraft from Irish airspace in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Irish PM was slapped down by Theresa May‘s spokeswoman over the sabre-rattling – which is being seen as tit-for-tat for the UK reclaiming control over its territorial waters.
As the row raged, Mrs May urged the EU to take a more ‘practical’ approach to the negotiations – insisting her Chequers plan offered a ‘comprehensive’ solution to the need to avoid a hard Irish border.
And No10 gave short shrift to the threat from Mr Varadkar, making clear he had misunderstood the legal position. 

Westmonster offers an analysis of the situation.

Theresa May has been in Belfast trying to sell her Chequers plan on the basis that it stops a harder border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
But let’s look at what is actually going on here. The Irish Times
yesterday reported that “the European Union has reassured the government that no physical checks will be needed on the Border even if the UK crashes out of the bloc without a deal” according to Taioseach Leo Varadkar. So no checks even in the event of No Deal, according to Brussels.

‘Settled status’

Plans to grant settled status to EU citizens could be trialled soon, claims the Guardian.

The government is looking to recruit up to 4,000 EU citizens for a live trial of its post-Brexit registration process next month.
It will launch the test phase on 28 August in three Liverpool universities and 12 NHS trusts in the north-west of the country. It will mark the beginning of a three-year programme to register the estimated 3.8 million EU citizens settled in the UK under EU freedom of movement rules.
After Brexit, all EU citizens will be required to sign up for a new “settled status” to enable them to continue to work, live and receive benefits including healthcare in the UK.

But the Sun reports that the chancellor is still trying to thwart Brexit.

PHILIP Hammond has been accused of betraying Theresa May’s sacred Brexit “red line” to end EU freedom of movement.
The Chancellor was at the centre of a row during the Prime Minister’s Chequers summit two weeks ago after appearing to suggest Britain’s borders should be on the Brussels negotiation table.
He angered colleagues including Home Secretary Sajid Javid by insisting Britain needed to be given “maximum flexibility to negotiate.”
Minutes from the Chequers summit stated that  Mr Hammond argued in favour of offering preferential treatment to EU workers in a bid to win the backing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

And it seems Hammond has clashed with Home Secretary Javid, reports the Telegraph.

Sajid Javid and Philip Hammond have clashed over free movement after the Chancellor said that EU workers should be given “preferential” treatment in a bid to win over Angela Merkel and strike a post-Brexit trade deal.
The Telegraph has learned that official minutes from the Chequers summit state that the Chancellor said he “disagreed with the Home Secretary on labour mobility and ending free movement”.
He made the comments after Mr Javid, the Home Secretary, told Cabinet at the meeting that “free movement had to end” and that there could be “no back door”.

Conservative Party

Meanwhile, within the government’s ruling party, all is not well, says the Guardian.

As Theresa May and her weary MPs limp towards the summer recess this week, battered by late-night dramas and torn loyalties, only one faction in the bitterly divided Conservative party appears emboldened and ready for the next fight: Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group (ERG).
Funded partly by contributions from MPs’ taxpayer-funded office expenses, and with its own spinners and de facto whips who coordinate their troops on WhatsApp, the ERG is leading the fight inside the Tory party for a clean break with Brussels.

Labour Party

And it seems the official opposition is getting ready for a snap General Election, claims the Independent.

Labour is stepping up its preparations for entering Number 10 by drawing up a draft Queen’s Speech which would ensure the party is ready for a snap general election.
Shadow cabinet members are due to attend an away-day in London on Monday, where they will present ideas for up to 35 bills to stretch out for an entire parliament, party sources confirmed.
Jeremy Corbyn has been keen to keep Labour on an election footing since its surge in support at last year’s general election, and the party has already been making preparation for the first 100 days in government.
However the party has ramped up its efforts amid widespread turmoil in the Tory ranks, as Brexit divisions repeatedly threatened to overwhelm Theresa May’s administration.

The Express has the same story.

JEREMY Corbyn is so confident he will soon be Prime Minister that he has drawn up a draft Queen’s Speech to make sure his Labour Party is ready for a snap general election.
His team of shadow cabinet ministers are all attending a brainstorming session in London on Monday where they have been asked to think up ideas for up to 35 bills to stretch out for an entire parliament.
The politician has even gone as far as preparing an agenda for his first 100 days in government on the back of a flurry of resignations suffered by Theresa May’s Tory government plague by a clash over Brexit negotiations.

Economy

In an exclusive report, the Express has come out with an accusation that the chancellor is deliberately trying to thwart Brexit.

CONCERNS have been raised that the Chancellor Philip Hammond may have deliberately slowed down economic growth to undermine a clean Brexit.
The accusation arose at an Economists for Free Trade dinner this week of senior Tory Brexiteer MPs after former cabinet minister John Redwood presented evidence that actions taken by Mr Hammond and Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney have hit economic growth in the UK.
The former cabinet minister who also ran who also ran Margaret Thatcher’s policy unit in Downing Street, has written an analysis for the Daily Express online revealing that a policy of increasing taxation and attacking the housing market has slowed down growth significantly.

And in the Telegraph, the defence secretary has suggested the PM takes a leaf out of the US president’s book.

Theresa May should follow the example Donald Trump and Lord Lawson by cutting taxes instead of raising them to generate more revenue, the Defence Secretary has suggested.
The Telegraph has learned that Gavin Williamson told Cabinet on Tuesday that the Tories should return to their core values by “giving people more power over their own money” during a discussion about public spending.
It comes amid Government splits over the Prime Minister’s announcement last month that people should pay “a little more tax” to help fund a £20billion boost for the NHS.

Education

Away from Brexit, the Independent reports the pressure on teachers.

Teachers are under “great” pressure thanks to full classrooms and demanding parents, the education secretary has admitted.
Damian Hinds acknowledged extra stresses placed on educators and also suggested schools were a “special case” for funding, along with the NHS which has just received a major budget boost.
But Labour hit out at what it called years of cuts to teachers’ pay and school budgets.
Mr Hinds told 
The Guardian: “Email makes contact from and with parents much more frequent and there can be an expectation of rapid response.

And the Guardian agrees.

The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has admitted too many teachers in England are being overwhelmed by excessive workloads and has pledged to do more to relieve the causes of stress that have been pushing qualified staff out of the classroom.
The move came as Hinds argued that schools were on a par with the NHS as a “special case” for extra government spending, as behind the scenes negotiations over funding continued to delay any announcement on a pay rise for teachers.
Saying that workload pressure was the No 1 complaint among teachers he spoke to, Hinds said he was committed to tackling the problem, unveiling a new “toolkit” showing school staff how to ditch time-consuming issues such as onerous marking policies and demanding parents.

NHS

The best way to stop NHS targets being missed is to scrap them, the Sun reports.

TARGETS for waiting times at hospitals may be scrapped, it emerged yesterday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to commit to keeping them and revealed he has  spoken to NHS England boss Simon Stevens about whether they should be ditched.
It would mean hospitals would no longer be expected to treat A&E patients within four hours, or offer routine ops within 18 weeks. The 62-day target for starting cancer treatment could also be abandoned. Trusts failed to meet it for 27,000 people last year.

And it seems that more research is needed into antibiotics, reports the Times.

Research into preventing an antibiotics crisis could stop within a few years unless pharmaceutical companies are financially penalised for pulling out of developing drugs, an economist has warned.
Lord O’Neill of Gatley, who was asked by the government to find a way of funding antibiotic development, said that the prospects of developing a solution to drug-resistant bacteria remained dire after Novartis was the latest big company to stop research.

Green fuel

Cheap, green fuel? Not for older cars reports the Times.

A new generation of “green” petrol could be introduced to forecourts even though it will be incompatible with at least a million older cars.
Yesterday the Department for Transport set out proposals to introduce “E10” petrol —fuel blended with 10 per cent bioethanol. A consultation document suggested introducing it to “larger forecourts”, possibly in 2020. A previous DfT report said that it could cost 1p a litre more than unleaded. The plan is designed to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. Ministers have already outlined plans to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
E10 is already available in the rest of the EU along with the US, Australia and Brazil.

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