Remain alliance

Following the decision to allow the LibDem candidate a free run in the Radnor By-election, we look at other potential alliances.

The Times reports that the LibDems will not have an alliance with Labour.

Jo Swinson has ruled out a Remain alliance with Labour after the Liberal Democrats’ by-election victory cut Boris Johnson’s Commons majority to one.
In an interview with The Times the party’s leader warned that Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, could not be trusted on Brexit despite his support for another referendum. She also ruled out individual electoral parts with Remain Labour MPs, warning the only way to avoid a challenge from the Liberal Democrats at the next election was to join her party.
Ms Swinson, 39, who was elected last week, said stopping Brexit was more important than being leader of the Lib Dems.

The Mirror claims more remain alliances are on the cards.

Anti-Brexit parties are in talks to form more ‘Remain Alliances’ across the UK.
The Lib Dems left Boris Johnson with a Commons majority of one after seizing Brecon and Radnorshire by 1,425 votes.
Crucially, last night’s margin of victory was smaller than the votes won in 2015 by the Green Party and Plaid Cymru – both of whom pulled out this time to unite around one Remain candidate.
Now Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has suggested there will be more electoral pacts in future.

Leave alliance

But on the other side of the argument, the Telegraph reports that the new Prime Minister won’t form a pact with Nigel.

Boris Johnson has “absolutely no intention” of forming a pact with the Brexit Party, despite suffering his first electoral defeat after Remain parties made a pact.
The Liberal Democrats won Brecon and Radnorshire by a margin of 1,425, securing 43.5 per cent of the vote and the Tories 39 per cent.
The Brexit Party came in third at 10.5 per cent. Labour suffered a humiliating result, falling to fourth place and scraping just over 5 per cent of the vote.

The Express is of the same opinion.

BORIS JOHNSON has snubbed Nigel Farage after revealing he has “absolutely no intention” of forming a pact with the Brexit Party, despite suffering his first defeat in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.
Remain parties made a pact with the Liberal Democrats winning by a margin of 1,425, securing 43.5 percent of the vote compared to the Tories’ 39 percent. The Brexit Party came in third with 10.5 percent of the vote. Labour suffered a crippling defeat, falling into fourth place and only taking just over 5 percent of the vote.

The Independent claims such a pact would be an ‘own goal’ for the Tories.

The Brexit Party fielding candidates against the Conservatives would be a “massive own goal”, a former Tory minister has warned.
Steve Baker, a vocal Eurosceptic who served as a Brexit minister under Theresa May, suggested that Nigel Farage’s party should agree not to stand against the Tories.
The Brexit Party immediately dismissed the idea, suggesting Boris Johnson could not be trusted to deliver Brexit because he was someone who “nobody has ever trusted in his entire career”.

But the Mail says Farage will still ask for a pact.

Nigel Farage claims Boris Johnson will be forced to do a deal with his party when he realises he cannot win a general election because the Tories and the Brexit Party are splitting the vote.
The Brexit Party leader, who was spotted enjoying champagne in Montenegro with Made in Chelsea  star Georgia Toffolo, has called on the Conservatives to stand down in some seats in the north to allow his party to win them from Labour.
Mr Farage warned of an Autumn general election and pointed out that the recent by-election results in Brecon and Peterborough showed that his party and the Conservatives were sharing the Brexit vote between them.

And the Mail describes the Radnor by-election result as a ‘shattering defeat’.

Tories warned today that an election showdown with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party would be a ‘massive own goal’ – after Boris
Johnson suffered a shattering defeat at the hands of the ‘Remainer alliance’.
The PM’s honeymoon came to a crashing halt after the Lib Dems triumphed in Brecon & Radnorshire, slashing his Commons majority to just one.
Jane Dodds overcame a Conservative majority of 8,000 to take the Welsh seat by 1,400 votes.


Looks like an MP who refused a job will head up the ERG, reports the Telegraph.

Steve Baker who refused to accept a job in the Brexit department is set to be made chairman of the hardline European Research Group next month.
Mr Baker – who held the job before Mr Rees-Mogg – said that he will seek to replace him next month when MPs return to Parliament after their summer break.
Mr Baker’s likely election to the role could be a headache for Boris Johnson if he seeks to bring back Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement before Oct 31.
Mr Rees-Mogg insisted that there was “no conflict of interest” in him staying on as ERG chairman for a few weeks because the policies of the ERG and Government were aligned.

Labour Party

Meanwhile, there’s no comment from Corbyn, reports the Mail.

Jeremy Corbyn stayed silent for hours today after Labour crashed to a disastrous fourth in the Brecon by-election – with the candidate almost losing his deposit.
The Labour leader tweeted about No Deal Brexit and flooding this morning, but did not mention the humiliating result in Wales.
Aides insisted he would be facing questions from journalists on a visit to Scarborough later.
Labour’s candidate in Brecon & Radnorshire, local lawyer Tom Davies, attracted just 1,680 votes, behind the Lib Dems, Tories and Brexit Party, and down 12 per cent on the party’s showing at the 2017 General Election.

Project Fear

The governor of the Bank of England is still peddling his doom and gloom, reports BBC News.

A no-deal Brexit would result in an instant shock to the UK economy, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has warned.
Items such as petrol and food would become more expensive if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, he said.
He predicted the value of the pound would fall in response to what he described as a “real economic shock”.
“The change in trading relationship means that real incomes will be lower,” he told the BBC’s Today programme.
But he rejected claims that the Bank’s decision to cut growth forecasts was gloomy, after former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith accused him of reviving “project fear”.

But a senior Tory has hit back at the prophesy in the Express.

IAIN Duncan Smith has launched an extraordinary attack on Bank of England boss Mark Carney branding him the “architect and promoter of Project Fear”.
The Brexiteer said Mr Carney’s warning there is now a one-in-three chance of the economy shrinking at the start of next year as a result of Brexit should be taken with a “massive pinch of salt”. He said the “hasn’t moved on from Project Fear” and said his past predictions of economic doom have “proved to be incorrect” after the Bank slashed its growth forecast to 1.3 percent for both this year and next, down from the 1.5 percent and the 1.6 percent previously predicted.
Mr Duncan Smith told the Daily Telegraph “This is what Mark Carney does. He hasn’t moved on from Project Fear.


Breitbart looks at the polls.

A poll has revealed that if Prime Minister Boris Johnson delays Brexit and there is a snap General Election, the Brexit Party would gain more votes than the Conservative Party.
ComRes analysed the poll of 2,004 adults, conducted between July 26th and 28th, and found that in such a scenario, Labour would top the polls at 28 per cent, followed by the Brexit Party at 23 per cent, and the Tories at 22 per cent, reports The Telegraph.
Other scenarios included a General Election before October 31st, and before the UK leaves the EU, where the Tories would come out on top at 28 per cent, followed closely by Labour at 27 per cent, and the Brexit Party at 19 per cent.

As does Westmonster.

The Brexit Party would secure more public support than the Conservatives if a General Election was held after another Article 50 extension, a new poll has found.
The ComRes poll for Britain Elects finds that if a General Election is held after extending the Brexit deadline beyond 31st October, then the Brexit Party would be backed by 23% of voters compared to 22% for the Tories. Labour would be leading on 28%.
On the other hand, an election after the UK leaves the EU with No Deal would see the Conservatives way ahead on 36%, Labour on 29% and Brexit Party support on single figures.
Whilst a General Election held before the 31st October with the UK having not left the EU would see the Tories on 28%, Labour with 27% and the Brexit Party polling 19%.

Second referendum

Could Boris go for a second referendum?  The Express postulates.

BORIS JOHNSON and his plans for Brexit are under further pressure after the Conservatives lost another seat in the House of Commons, as Brecon and Radnorshire headed to the polls for Thursday’s by-election.
Losing the Welsh seat to the Lib Dems, Boris Johnson now has a working majority of just one in the Commons. This means that, technically, all it would take would be one rogue Tory member or a failure of the DUP-Tory alliance to deliver defeat to the Government. So what next?
As Mr Johnson continues on his quest to deliver Brexit “do or die”, the corner he has painted himself into seems increasingly small.


Across the Channel, the Germans have decided they can’t trust us, says the Telegraph.

German public confidence in Britain as a reliable ally has collapsed in the face of the current Brexit stand-off, a poll has found.
Only a third of Germans still believe the UK can be trusted, according to the findings — a drop of 17 per cent since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister.
It is the lowest figure ever recorded for the UK by the Deutschland Trend survey for ARD television, which has been tracking German public opinion of key allies since 2007.

And they can’t trust their own government either, says the Express.

ANGELA Merkel’s government has been thrown into crisis after a poll revealed her approval rating had dropped by less than a third with many Germans admitting to their regret for having elected her in the first place.
Berlin pollster ARD-Tagesthemen asked Germans whether they were satisfied with the work of the Chancellor and EU figurehead, with the response being that 32 percent of participants were. This also means a shocking 68 percent of Germans were not.

But they’ve got our new Prime Minister sussed, says the Guardian.

He is clever, cultivated, charming; witty, self-deprecating, wildly entertaining and oh so terribly British. Also dissembling, dishonest, dark, duplicitous, and a danger to his country and to Europe – a poker player whose bluff is about to be called.
As Boris Johnson settles into his new role, vowing, do or die, to take the UK out of the EU without a deal in 90 days unless the 27 nations ditch an accord that took two years to negotiate, European politicians and commentators are both fascinated and appalled.
“Like many people, I was easily charmed by his demeanour, his self-confidence, his intelligence,” said Han ten Broeke, a former Dutch MP specialising in EU affairs.


More cash for the NHS?  Are the Tories electioneering?  The Times says:

Boris Johnson’s team is planning to fast-track billions of pounds of extra funds to the NHS to fulfil early the central pledge of the Leave campaign.
Downing Street aides are looking at bringing forward Theresa May’s commitment to give the NHS an additional £20 billion by 2023.
During the EU referendum campaign Mr Johnson controversially pledged to spend on the NHS the £350 million a week he said would be saved by EU membership fees, a figure that was emblazoned on the Vote Leave bus. That would equate to £18.2 billion a year. But under existing government plans the health service will only see £7.3 billion extra this year and £11 billion the year after.

Labour has its own views says ITV News.

The Tories have been accused of performing “smash and grab raids” on NHS capital budgets to leave hospitals “crumbling”.
Labour said nearly £4.3 billion has been stripped from the funds used to repair hospitals and buy equipment since 2014.
The Department of Health said more money is to be ploughed into the health service and buildings are being modernised.
Labour, citing House of Commons research, said capital budgets had been reduced by £4.29 billion since 2014/15.


A US trade deal could be in jeopardy, reports the Telegraph

Donald Trump’s administration is warning Britain that it will not get a free trade deal unless a new tax affecting US tech giants is dropped, The Telegraph can reveal.
US officials are demanding that the so-called digital services tax, affecting the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter, is ditched before it becomes law in the autumn.
The threat has been communicated to the UK Government “at multiple levels” and has emerged as one of the most significant hurdles to Boris Johnson’s hopes of a speedy agreement.

The Independent also has the story.

The Trump administration has made it clear to Boris Johnson that any post-Brexit US-UK free trade deal would rely on Britain dropping plans to tax large American tech firms, according to reports.
Last month, Donald Trump announced that he and the British prime minister had already discussed the projects of a free trade relationship, when he telephoned to congratulate him on winning his way to No 10.

The Guardian says the problem is IT giant Huawei.

Donald Trump has spoken with Boris Johnson  about trade, next-generation 5G mobile networks and global security in a phone call, the White House has said.
The US president told the British prime minister on Thursday that he looked forward to meeting him at the G7 economic summit in France later this month, the White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
The US is pressuring its allies, including Britain, to avoid using equipment from the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in its 5G mobile networks. Washington says Huawei is a national security risk.

But Australia is on course for a swift trade deal, reports Westmonster.

Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK, George Brandis, has talked up the prospect of as trade deal with Brexit Britain “before the end of 2020”.
Of course that will only be possible if the UK finally leaves the European Union on 31st October, as Boris Johnson has promised.
Speaking to Politico, the Aussie High Commissioner explained his reasoning for such a quick timeframe: “The reason I take that date is that it only took 15 months for Australia to complete our very, very ambitious FTA (free trade agreement) that is with the US some 15 years ago.”


Holiday-makers are being ripped off by banks reports the Times.

High street banks are profiting from the fall in the value of sterling and ripping off British holidaymakers.
In a week of currency turmoil, in which fears of a no-deal Brexit pushed the pound to its lowest level against the euro in two years, high street banks responded by slashing their foreign exchange rates.
Currency specialists told The Times that high street banks were notorious for offering the worst rates.


An arms control treaty has been ditched by the Russians the Foreign Secretary has told the Mail.

Dominic Raab has blamed Russia for the collapse of a landmark arms control treaty, saying Moscow has been ‘secretly developing and deploying a treaty-violating missile system which can target Europe’s capitals’.
The Foreign Secretary said the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which was signed by US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev three decades ago, is down to Russian ‘contempt for the rules-based international system’.


Splashing around in your local river could be dangerous, reports the Times.

Dangerous pollutants in England’s waterways have reached their highest levels since modern testing began, The Times can reveal, with no river in the country now certified as safe for swimmers.
Wild swimming has surged in popularity, with tens of thousands of people bathing in countryside rivers and ponds during the heatwave.
However, an investigation by this newspaper has revealed that rivers in England are not tested enough to be considered safe for swimming.

Air travel

Holidaymakers are having a torrid time at Heathrow, says the Telegraph.

More than 100 flights have been cancelled at Heathrow Airport next week, as holidaymakers brace themselves for the first of a wave of strikes set to scupper their travel plans.
Security guards, firefighters and engineers are among those staging crippling walkouts on Monday and Tuesday at the height of the summer getaway period.

And it looks like there’ll be further strikes, reports the Mail.

Passengers using Heathrow Airport are set for a summer of misery after thousands of workers are said to have voted to reject a new pay deal.
Around 4,000 members of Unite, including security guards, firefighters and engineers, have been voting on a revised pay deal, with the result expected later today.
Planned strikes were suspended while the workers voted on the offer, but industrial action on dates throughout August remain, with Unite saying walkouts next Monday and Tuesday look likely to go ahead.

The Star says there’ll be chaos.

LONDON Heathrow Airport has cancelled more than 170 flights to and from the UK next week, it has been reported.
Britain’s biggest airport will be plunged into chaos as a 48 hour strike involving 4,000 staff takes place.
Staff are set to walk out from 00.01am on Monday, August 5 to 23:59pm on Tuesday, August 6 in a row over pay.

But at least a protest group has promised not to use any more drones, says the Mail.

Extinction Rebellion have announced they will not disrupt Heathrow Airport using drones.
The UK branch of the environmental campaign group, released a statement today saying they do not support action at the airport.
Leaked memos showed the group’s apparent plans to cause a mass disruption at the UK’s busiest airport ‘day after day’ for two weeks.

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