Brexit

Is the Prime Minister finally getting tough with the House of Lords? The Express reports:

THERESA MAY last night savaged unelected peers for trying to block Brexit and vowed not to accept “anything that prevents us from taking back control of our money, laws and borders”.
Speaking ahead of this week’s crucial round of voting on the 
EU Withdrawal Bill, she took aim at the Lords who have tried to sabotage it with a series of unhelpful amendments.
MPs are voting on the amendments this week and Remainers hope a Government defeat could help them overturn the referendum result. But emboldened by new polling which puts the Tories seven points ahead of Labour, 
Mrs May  confounded her critics by issuing one of her strongest statements yet on Brexit.
Speaking at the G7 conference in Canada, she said: “Let’s remember what the Withdrawal Bill is for. It’s about delivering a statute book that is ready for Brexit day.
“Of course, the Lords has a revising role to play but some of the amendments that were passed and the comments that were made went far beyond that. You had peers talking about stopping Brexit or trying to tie the Government’s hands in the negotiations.

The Sun also reports on the showdown.

REBEL Tory MPs will be helping Lords stop Brexit if they vote against her in a Commons showdown this week, Theresa May has warned.
The PM also lashed out at peers for going way beyond their constitutional role to try and overturn the landmark referendum decision.
At least 15 pro-EU Conservative backbenchers have warned No10 they may side with Labour in crucial votes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
They are looking at supporting four of 15 different amendments enforced on the
EU Withdrawal Bill by the upper house, dubbed by Brexiteers as ‘wrecking moves’.
Laying down the gauntlet to them, Mrs May said last night: “Of course, the Lords has a revising role to play – but some of the amendments that were passed and the comments that were made went far beyond that.

The Telegraph claims this is her ‘biggest challenge yet’.

This week Theresa May faces arguably her biggest challenge yet, as she attempts to dismantle or water down 14 House of Lords amendments to the Government’s EU withdrawal legislation ahead of a key European summit at the end of the month.
The minister on which she will rely most heavily to get her through the next few days, amid a wafer thin Commons majority, is Julian Smith, her Chief Whip.
Last Tuesday, he held a briefing on the Withdrawal Bill for Conservative backbenchers at the weekly meeting of the party’s 1922 committee.

And Brexit secretary David Davis writes for the Times.

This week the Brexit tyres hit the parliamentary road, and it is time to focus on the goal coming into view. In the past few weeks we have seen employment reach another record high, companies such as Samsung Electronics invest in the UK’s artificial intelligence operations, 6,000 new jobs announced in Manchester, and even the US Senate establish a committee to expedite a UK-US free trade deal. It is clearer than ever that our balanced economic approach is getting Britain fighting fit to take on the process that lies ahead.

The Independent quotes our former leader.

Nigel Farage has said Britain could be worse off after leaving the EU unless Theresa May gets tough with Brussels in the Brexit negotiations.
The former Ukip boss said Ms May was “the wrong leader” to take Britain out of the bloc, as the EU knows she would never walk away from the negotiations, despite her mantra that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.
Mr Farage, who is regarded as one of the architects of Brexit, has been bullish in the past about Britain’s economic prospects after leaving the EU.

But he warned that Ms May was being forced into a series of damaging concessions by failing to make a show of strength to Brussels.
Mr Farage told the Today programme: “We have the got wrong leader. If we had a leader who actually believed in Brexit and was prepared to see there was a vision for the future we could make a success of it.

Tommy

The demonstration in support of Tommy Robinson has made several of the media. The Guardian reports:

A group of Tommy Robinson supporters has blocked off a major road in central London in a tense stand-off with police, who made several arrests.
Hundreds of demonstrators descended on the capital and blocked off the road around Trafalgar Square.
Rows of riot police blocked the gate down the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace, where the Royal Family has gathered on the balcony after celebrating Trooping the Colour just hours earlier.
The protest on Saturday afternoon was the latest in what appears to be a bid to secure the release from jail of the former leader of the English Defence League (EDL).

The Mail reports a clash between demonstrators and police.

Supporters of Tommy Robinson have clashed with police at a Whitehall demonstration after hearing Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders call for the English Defence League founder to be freed.
Rows of riot police blocked the gate down the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace where the Royal Family gathered on the balcony after celebrating Trooping the Colour just hours before.
Five arrests have been made and five officers were reportedly injured during the demonstration which saw some of Robinson’s supporters appear to throw bottles, metal barriers and traffic cones at police.

Sky News claims the demo turned violent.

Violent scenes erupted as hundreds of demonstrators marched through London against the jailing of former far-right leader Tommy Robinson.
The march on Whitehall on Saturday was the latest following Robinson’s imprisonment for contempt of court last month.
Steel fences and bottles were thrown at police, who made five arrests.
“During the protest there were scenes of violence which saw bottles, metal barriers and other objects thrown at officers,” police said in a statement.
“Five officers have reported injuries, which are not serious.”
The protesters also took over an open-topped bus for sight-seers, holding up flags and placards.

Breitbart points out that a speaker came from Holland.

Massive crowds turned out in London on Saturday to rally for free speech and hear Dutch firebrand  Geert Wilders  demand the release of Tommy Robinson from prison.
“It’s so good to see so many of you here today, you are all heroes for being here today,” said the Freedom Party leader, an outspoken critic of radical Islam who rose to second place in the Dutch national elections last year.
Wilders told the crowd he had come to Britain to tell Robinson’s supporters they “will never walk alone” and to “tell the world, and the UK government in particular: Free Tommy Robinson!”
“At this very moment, thousands of people all over the world are demonstrating in front of British embassies, from LA to Sydney, and over half a million people have already signed the petition for Tommy,” he told the crowd.
“And all with the one important message: Free Tommy!

EU

It seems the bloc may clamp down on television programmes it doesn’t like, says Westmonster.

Germany’s Cultural Council has asked that talk shows be cancelled for a year because they focussed too much on migrants and Islamism, fuelling the AfD.
“More than 100 talk shows in the First and on ZDF have informed us since 2015 about the issues of refugees and Islam and helped to make the AfD Bundestag eligible,” said Olaf Zimmermann.
But that’s weird, because last time we checked, the purpose of the Cultural Council was to “stimulate cultural policy discussion at all political levels and to advocate freedom of the arts, publications and information”.
Anybody see the word ‘censorship’ in that description? No? Exactly. This is absolutely ridiculous.

Breitbart reports on a potential EU-wide tax system.

Germany’s finance minister is urging bolder steps to strengthen the euro currency union by setting up a fund to help countries hard hit by unemployment and by laying the foundations of an EU-wide tax system.
Olaf Scholz made his proposals in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine made public Saturday. The ideas take a step toward those of France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who has called for wide-ranging actions to strengthen the European Union – and surpass more modest proposals from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

And the Prime Minister is in danger of being ambushed over immigration, reports the Times.

Theresa May is facing an autumn ambush to try to force Britain to accept freedom of movement after Brexit as a menacing cabinet split opens up over immigration.
A European ambassador has warned the government that the EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, will put freedom of movement back on the table at May’s moment of maximum weakness ahead of the Conservative Party conference.
Senior government officials say they expect the EU to demand continued freedom of movement if Britain wants frictionless trade in goods with the EU, but May’s team is divided over how to respond.
Sajid Javid, the new home secretary, has torn up plans to offer European migrants preferential access to Britain after Brexit.

Conservative Party

Mrs May also faces problems within her own party, reports the Telegraph.

Conservative rebels must back Theresa May this week or risk paving the way for a government led by Jeremy Corbyn, according to to two of the party’s most senior backbenchers.
In a highly unusual show of unity across the Brexit divide, Amber Rudd, the pro-Remain former home secretary, and Iain Duncan Smith, a leading Eurosceptic, call on “every Conservative” to “march in lockstep” with the Prime Minister ahead of a series of key Commons votes on the Government’s Withdrawal Bill.

And her leadership is threatened in the Sun.

THERESA May is warned today “all bets are off” on her leadership once Brexit legislation is secured.
Despairing Brexiteers are considering a coup as they take part in crunch EU departure votes this week.
They are prepared to force a no-confidence vote in the PM which would lead to a leadership contest once the legislation is secured.
Tory MPs are furious at her handling of the Brexit talks and fear the UK will be stuck with EU customs rules at the next election.
But they would only act once the EU Withdrawal Bill becomes law, which is likely to be in the coming weeks.

The Express also warns that once the Withdrawal Bill becomes law, her MPs could sack her.

THERESA May has been given a stark warning by enraged Brexiteers that once the EU Withdrawal Bill becomes law they are prepared to force a no-confidence vote because of the way she dealt with Brexit negotiations.
Brexiteers could launch a coup against the Prime Minister once Brexit legislation has been secured.
Eurosceptics within The Conservative Party ranks are prepared to force a no-confidence vote because of the PM’s handling of Brexit and fears the UK will be stuck with EU customs rules next election.
One Tory MP said: “The short-term focus is getting Royal Assent for the Bill before we break for summer.
“If we steer it on to the statute book I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a vote of no confidence in the PM, something I’d have said ‘no chance’ to a month ago.”

But the Guardian claims Mrs May’s rebel MPs are in retreat.

Rebel Tory MPs who want to keep the UK in the EU customs union and single market appeared on Saturday to be backing away from defeating Theresa May in crucial parliamentary votes this week – because they fear the resulting humiliation could threaten her leadership and let in Boris Johnson.
Before a momentous week in the Commons, several votes – including on the customs union and the role of parliament in the Brexit “endgame” – remain on a knife edge. Labour, the SNP and Liberal Democrats need only a dozen or so Tories to join them to inflict humiliation on May, and throw her Brexit strategy into chaos.
But on Saturday there were signs that May and her whips had reduced the threat level from critical to severe, as key Tory rebels said they feared that striking now could trigger a full-blown leadership crisis that would destabilise the entire party and pave the way for a hardline Brexiter such as Johnson to mount a challenge.

Labour Party

Corbyn is not without his problems either, says Huffington Post.

Some of Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench team are ready to risk the sack by joining up to 60 Labour MPs in a crunch Commons vote for a softer Brexit, HuffPost has learned.
Amid fresh splits in the party, several shadow ministers are poised to join a major rebellion on a Lords amendment that backs UK membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), the so-called ‘Norway option’ that keeps British access to EU trade.
More than 80 Labour peers – including former leader Neil Kinnock – defied the party whip last month to support the EEA plan along with several Tory pro-Remainers.

Scotland

Wee Burney is still flexing her little muscles, says the Mail.

Nicola Sturgeon appeared to hint she might not call for a second independence referendum this autumn, despite insisting the case for leaving the UK was ‘getting stronger by the day’.
The First Minister is committed to updating Scots about when she might seek to have such a vote later this year, when more details about Brexit are known.
But she complained the UK Government had been left ‘paralysed’ on the issue.
She went on to tell the SNP conference in Aberdeen that persuading more Scots of the case for independence was still more important than the timing of a second ballot.
Ms Sturgeon said: ‘As we wait for the fog of Brexit to clear, our opportunity – indeed, our responsibility – is this.
‘Not just to focus on the “when” of independence. But to use our energy and passion to persuade those who still ask “why?” Right now, that is the more important task.’

And the Express reports she is wants more migrants.

FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants to take powers from London to boost immigration to Scotland – and has taken a swipe at Westminster for wanting to “create a hostile environment for migrants” as she delivered her party conference speech this afternoon.
She also unveiled details of a three percent pay rise for nurses – but made no reference as to when a second Scottish independence referendum could be held.
Ms Sturgeon made her remarks at the close of the Scottish National Party’s conference on Saturday, during which she called for devolved powers to allow more people to move to Scotland.
Her plea is in direct contrast the UK Government, which is trying to limit the number of new arrivals to Britain after Brexit.
Scotland’s population, much of which is rural and dispersed unlike the rest of the UK, is ageing more rapidly than other parts of the country.
The SNP sees immigration is an essential tool in order to continue to supply the workforce needed to drive economic growth, as well as to shoring up public services such as in health.

G7

There’s discord at the G7 conference in Canada, says the Independent.

Theresa May has brushed off Donald Trump’s outspoken attack on the EU over trade, insisting the West was still working “collectively” as a bruising G7 summit closed.
However, the prime minister refused to echo the Canadian prime minister’s vow not to be “pushed around” by the US president – also insisting a trade deal after Brexit was still possible.
And she defended his decision to leave the summit early, arguing it was to prepare for his vital talks with North Korea rather than prompted by his fury with his supposed closest allies.
“Yes, he left this summit early – because he is going to Singapore to sit down with Kim Jong-un to discuss the denuclearisation of North Korea,” she claimed.

The Express claims it’s the US president who is out of step with the rest of the world.

DONALD Trump has hit out at EU leaders at today’s G7 Summit in Canada, telling them he “cannot” continue to allow the US to be treated like a “piggy-bank”.
The furious US president, speaking in Quebec, Canada, said the US had been “taken advantage of for decades and decades” by the res too the world.
Donald Trump said “we can’t do that anymore” and said it was time for the US to be treated better by the EU, Canada and other trading partners not represented at the summit.
He said: “The United States has been taken advantage of for decades and decades and we can’t do that anymore.
“People can’t charge us 270% and we charge them nothing. That doesn’t work anymore.”
He said the US was fighting for a free trade system with “no tariffs, no barriers and no subsidies”.
Mr Trump said: “That’s the way it should be.

Environment

Recyclers should be rewarded, says a report in the Independent.

Mark Maslin, a professor of climatology at  University College London, said a system that awards individuals points for recycling which could then be exchanged for rewards could help reduce human impact on the environment.
Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, Prof Maslin
said: “Why shouldn’t you get credit points for recycling, looking after your children properly, making sure they do their homework?
The idea, which Prof Maslin compared to China’s social credit system, came about after co-panellist Professor Adam Hart suggested that if people were to spend three days working on a community environmental project they should get 3 per cent off their tax bill.

Cancer

The Mail reports on a potential breakthrough in the treatment of cancer.

Cancer experts from around the world unveiled a raft of discoveries last week that will, they hope, transform treatment for millions of patients.
Thousands of specialists got together at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Chicago to share the latest game-changing research findings.
It is at the conference every year that cutting-edge therapies are announced, with many making dramatic front-page headlines.
This year I was lucky enough to attend the meeting, alongside scores of specialist medical writers who report on the latest innovations in the field.
The buzz-term at the event was precision medicine: bespoke protocols involving tests that help doctors understand the genetic make-up of a patient’s specific disease, helping them attack tumours with pinpoint accuracy while minimising side effects.

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