No deal

Plans to leave the EU at the end of October are advancing, says the Mail.

Secret plans have been drawn up by Michael Gove’s Brexit ‘war Cabinet’ to freeze business in the Commons next month to stop Remainers hijacking No Deal, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The legal framework needed to leave the European Union on October 31 could be passed by MPs afterwards, Ministers were told on Tuesday.
Theresa May‘s Government had previously insisted that five separate Bills – covering customs, immigration and trade – were needed before any kind of Brexit.
But a new paper presented by Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has destroyed that notion. Instead, he says a series of ‘statutory instruments’ – legal tweaks done with the flick of a ministerial pen without a vote – would be enough.
The stark decree will infuriate MPs of all parties trying to sabotage Boris Johnson’s plan for No Deal, and Downing Street will face accusations that it will leave the UK in a legal limbo.

And the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is preparing to fight the fake news about no deal, reports the Telegraph.

Michael Gove will launch a new ‘rapid rebuttal unit’ at the heart of Government on Monday to provide instant responses to “media myths and half-truths” about the risks of a no-deal Brexit.
The new Response Unit will be run by civil servants in the Cabinet Office and will ensure that “the public and businesses are not being alarmed by scare stories or falsehoods “, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.
Senior Government figures are known to have become frustrated over the anti-no deal stories aired by the BBC in recent days, notably one about cows being slaughtered in Northern Ireland after a no deal exit.

Remainers haven’t given up yet though, reports the Express.

REMAINER campaigners have made a list of 40 MPs to pressure into blocking a no-deal Brexit, it has been claimed.
The Best for Britain group is launching a campaign in a bid to force 40 Tory and Labour MPs to act against a no-deal Brexit. A leaked document, seen by The Sun, reveals plans to raise fears over no deal in their constituencies in August and September.
The “No 2 No Deal” campaign aims to push the Tory MPs, including former Cabinet ministers Philip Hammond and David Gauke, into rebelling against Boris Johnson when Parliament returns after the summer break.

The Brexit Party leader has criticised the UK’s inability to ensure it protects our fishing fleet, says Westmonster.

Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage has struck out over an internal government email that apparently warned the British government may not be able to stop illegal fishing from EU boats after a No Deal Brexit.
In such a case the UK could take back full control of an exclusive area, giving the battered British fishing industry the chance to make a recovery after being decimated by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.
But Sky News have seen a document that queries about “a lot of uncertainty” when it comes to whether the government could police the seas as the country has just “12 vessels that need to monitor a space three times the size of the surface area of the UK”.
Farage hit out, saying: “Iceland can, Norway can but our gutless civil service won’t. Pathetic.”

EU

A European boss is still trying to persuade us we’ll suffer more from no deal, says Reuters.

A no-deal Brexit would hurt Britain more than the rest of Europe no matter how much Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government pretends otherwise, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in remarks published on Saturday.
Britain has been pressing the European Union to amend the terms of Britain’s withdrawal agreement, saying Brussels would have to take responsibility for a no-deal Brexit if it does not compromise.

And yes, it’s still the silly season, so allow me to include a silly story I found in the Sun.

NIGEL Farage said Jean-Claude Juncker is the “only person” who makes him feel “like I don’t have a drink problem” as he tore strips out of the EU chief in Sydney today.
Taking to the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Farage, who wants a no-deal Brexit, also said he wanted the UK free of Europe to “re-engage with its real friends in the world”.
Announced as “quite possibly” the next British PM, the Brexit Party leader said of the EU’s outgoing president: “I like Mr Juncker. He’s the only person I know that makes me feel that I haven’t got a drink problem. I mean there’s having a glass of wine at lunch but crikey.”

Labour Party

The opposition is still trying to win a second referendum says the Telegraph.

As many as 100 Labour MPs are preparing to defy Jeremy Corbyn and commit to a second referendum if a snap election is called in the Autumn.
Anti-Brexit MPs are organising across party lines to agree to run on policies to support a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
The idea is that if there is a snap election this Autumn, the pledge for a second referendum will be contained on their personal election addresses on leaflets which are sent out locally to voters in constituencies.

And local Labourites have suggested they could burn Leave leaflets rather than deliver them, says the Times.

Labour officials in leave-voting constituencies have threatened to “burn or bin” hundreds of official leaflets that mention the party’s new policy on a second referendum.
The material was printed and delivered to regional Labour offices last week. It included six pledges, the last of which read: “Labour will campaign to remain against no deal or a bad Tory deal.”
In a sign of the strain that Brexit has placed on Jeremy Corbyn’s party, prospective MPs have staged an open revolt and said they will not use the publicity for a possible general election.

But the party will not go into an alliance with the SNP, reports the Independent.

Labour has ruled out entering into formal alliance with the SNP to oust Boris Johnson amid mounting speculation over the prospect of an early general election.
Andrew Gwynne, the party’s elections coordinator, said Labour had set its sights on No 10 and would rule as a minority government if it could not win a comprehensive victory in a snap poll.

How about a ‘government of national unity’?  The possibility is explored in the Mirror.

Sixty Labour MPs are ready to support a national unity government – even if it is led by a Tory PM.
But that still may not produce the numbers to topple Prime Minister Boris Johnson next month.
One shadow minister said: “It would only be enough if you could get the SNP on board.
“And they are unlikely to do anything to prop up any British government.”
A rebel alliance led by former Chancellor Phil Hammond wants to bring down the PM in a no-confidence vote next month to stop a no-deal Brexit.

The Times says a remain alliance is a possibility.

The shadow minister Clive Lewis today declares his support for a “remain” alliance as he urges the Labour Party to put up “paper candidates” in dozens of Liberal Democrat target seats to stop Boris Johnson winning a majority.
To maximise support for pro-remain parties at the next general election, Lewis suggests that Labour, the Lib Dems, Greens and Scottish National Party (SNP) agree to a “non-aggression pact” and turn their fire on the Tories.

Conservative Party

The Tories’ big donors have urged a pact with the Brexit Party.  The Times says:

Conservative Party donors have urged Boris Johnson to strike a deal with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party before calling a general election.
With speculation mounting that Johnson is preparing to call an autumn poll, some Tory donors have lobbied the prime minister to consider an electoral pact with the Brexit Party, which won the most seats in May’s European elections. Under the idea, the Brexit Party could agree not to stand against Tory Brexiteer candidates, while the Tories would not fight metropolitan Labour seats in the north of England, where the Brexit Party is strong.

The Express claims 50 seats could be in jeopardy in the event of a GE.

THE Conservative Party will lose 50 seats at a general election if Boris Johnson fails to win over supporters of the Brexit Party, new analysis predicts.
The catastrophic wipeout would see two cabinet ministers – Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd – lose their seats, while 35 of the casualties would be Brexiteer MPs. It would leave Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour as the biggest party with 288 seats, opening the door for a Remain alliance with the Lib Dems and SNP.
The threat to the Tories from the Brexit Party comes as speculation grows there will be another general election following a no confidence vote in Parliament. Brexit Party sources have revealed they have been approached by senior Tory ministers who support leaving the EU, begging Nigel Farage to keep putting up candidates to “keep the government honest on Brexit”.

The Times claims the ‘Boris bounce’ has dropped.

Boris Johnson’s bounce is falling flat in key marginal seats with the Conservatives set to lose more than half the constituencies they need to defend against the resurgent Liberal Democrats.
A YouGov poll of more than 1,200 voters in 20 constituencies with small Tory majorities, where the Lib Dems had come second in 2017, shows a 14.1% slump in Tory support.
The poll, revealing a swing of more than 8% to the Lib Dems since the 2017 election, will act as a warning to Johnson, who has put his party on an election footing.

And the Independent also puts marginal seats at risk.

An early general election could result in Boris Johnson losing more than half of 20 key marginals in Conservative and Liberal Democrat battlegrounds, according to a new analysis.
Highlighting the risk of heading to the polls at a snap election for the prime minister, the survey shows the unequivocally anti-Brexit party could swipe seats from the Tories, predominately in the south of England.

Crime

The Sun claims an exclusive report about stop-and-search.

PRITI Patel beefed up stop-and-search laws yesterday to give cops more power to tackle knife crime.
The Home Secretary lifted restrictions on all 43 forces and gave an extra 8,000 officers authority to order on-the-spot frisking.
She said her action, just a fortnight into the job, shows her determination to halt street violence “in its tracks”.
It is the first measure in a wave to be unveiled this week by Boris Johnson.
The PM, who has promised 20,000 more cops, will announce a prison-building programme with 10,000 new cells.

The move has been picked up by Sky News.

Extended stop and search powers, tougher sentences and more prison places are among the number of pledges Boris Johnson has made as he rolls out a tough government line on crime.
The prime minister has announced £2.5bn will be invested into creating 10,000 new prison places.
Powers to stop and search will be extended to cover an additional 8,000 officers in England and Wales in an attempt to tackle the continuing knife crime crisis.
His pledge comes days after apolice officer was stabbed in the head with a machete in east London.

And ITV News looks at other crimes too.

Boris Johnson has promised to “come down hard” on crime as he announced an extension of stop-and-search powers for police.
The prime minister said tackling knife crime was among his priorities and promised tougher sentences for violent criminals.
Since taking over at Number 10, Mr Johnson has said he would invest £2.5billion in creating 10,000 new prison places to ensure prisoners get the sentences they deserve.

The Queen

Reports of a private comment by Her Majesty have emerged.  The Telegraph reports:

The Queen has privately expressed disappointment in the current political class and its “inability to govern”, a report has claimed.
Her Majesty made the comments at a private event shortly after David Cameron’s resignation following the 2016 referendum, The Sunday Times said.
The newspaper quoted a royal source who claimed the 93-year-old monarch’s frustrations have grown since then.
“I think she’s really dismayed,” the source said.
“I’ve heard her talking about her disappointment in the current political class and its inability to govern correctly.”

The Times also has the story.

The Queen has privately expressed her disappointment in the current political class and its “inability to govern”, The Sunday Times can reveal.
The monarch’s views have emerged as MPs threaten to drag her into the escalating Brexit crisis.
It is among the starkest political statements the Queen is known to have made during a 67-year reign, when her views on the political climate have rarely been exposed.
The remarks underline her exasperation with the explosive political fallout from the 2016 referendum, which continues to divide the country and parliament.

The Mail says she is frustrated.

The Queen has voiced her frustration with today’s politicians and their ‘inability to govern correctly’, it has been claimed.
The 93-year-old monarch remains scrupulously neutral in public but is said to have told aides of her ‘disappointment in the current political class’.
She made the comments in 2016 but her feelings have only intensified since then amid endless political turmoil over Brexit, sources told The Sunday Times.
‘[Her Majesty] expressed her exasperation and frustration about the quality of our political leadership, and that frustration will only have grown,’ one said.

And the Express reports that talks between the Queen’s people and the government have centred on how she may be kept out of politics.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE has been in talks with Downing Street this week about how to keep the Queen out of Brexit, according to new reports.
The Government’s most senior civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill and the Queen’s private secretary Edward Young spoke on the phone about the increasing calls for the Queen to step in over the looming constitutional crisis. The conversation began after growing speculation that politicians will force Her Majesty to get involved if Prime Minister Boris Johnson loses a vote of no confidence next month, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Remainer parties including Labour are now concerned that if Mr Johnson loses a vote of no confidence he will refuse to leave Downing Street.

UKIP

The party has a new leader, says the Independent.

Richard Braine has been elected as the new leader of Ukip after taking more than half the vote, a party spokesman has said.
In a ballot of members, the chairman of the party’s west London branch received 53 per cent of the vote – more than double that of his closest rival.
Freddy Vachha was second with 20 per cent, followed by Ben Walker on 14 per cent and former deputy leader Mike Hookem on 13 per cent.
Mr Braine was the favoured candidate of former leader Gerard Batten, who stood down after the party was wiped out in May’s European elections, haemorrhaging support to Nigel Farage‘s new Brexit Party.

The Guardian says he won over 50% of the votes

Richard Braine has been elected as the leader of Ukip after taking more than half the vote, a party spokesman has said.
In a ballot of members, the chairman of the party’s west London branch received 53% of the vote – more than double that of his closest rival.
Freddy Vachha was second with 20%, followed by Ben Walker on 14% and former deputy leader Mike Hookem on 13%.
Braine was the favoured candidate of former leader Gerard Batten, who stood down after the party was wiped out in May’s European elections, haemorrhaging support to Nigel Farage’s Brexit party.

British Steel

Thousands of jobs could be saved in a government move reports the Mirror.

MINISTERS are close to agreeing a package of financial support for British Steel which could save thousands of jobs, the Mirror understands.
The cash, worth a reported £300million, is to help pave the way for a takeover of the embattled company by a Turkish military pension fund.
British Steel, which employs more than 3000 people at Scunthorpe and is responsible for about 25,000 jobs overall, entered insolvency in May after pleas from its private equity owner Greybull Capital for a state bailout were rejected.

Prisons

The PM could be about to crack down on early release, says the Telegraph.

Prisoners will no longer be automatically released early under plans to be set out by Boris Johnson this week, The Telegraph can disclose.
The Prime Minister will pledge to end the automatic release of serious criminals who are currently freed after serving half of their sentence.
He will press for a tougher stance on sentencing at a roundtable meeting in No 10 on Monday with police chiefs, prosecutors, former judges, courts administrators and prison bosses.

The Mail says there’s going to be a crackdown on all crime.

Boris Johnson today announced a massive crackdown on crime, as he announced £2.5bn for extra prison places, an end to inmates’ automatic early release and new stop and search powers for police.
With soaring knife crime and gang violence blighting the country, the Prime Minister declares that ‘the time for pieties is over’ as he signals a hardline approach to restore control of the streets.

The Times says there’ll be more prison places.

Boris Johnson today seeks to burnish the Conservatives’ credentials as the party of law and order as he announces plans for 10,000 new prison places and a shake-up of police stop-and-search powers to combat knife crime.
The prime minister will unveil plans for a renewed prison-building programme as part of a domestic policy blitz to position his party for an autumn general election.

Education

Inconsistent marking is affecting exam results, says the Times.

Two out of five teenagers who sat essay-based A-levels may be awarded the “wrong” grade when results come out on Thursday because of inconsistent marking, according to research by the exam regulator Ofqual.
The study shows the probability of a candidate not getting the correct grade in subjects such as English and history is between 42% and 48% because examiners mark subjectively. For sociology it is 37% and for geography 35%.
The findings threaten to undermine the reputation of A-levels as the education system’s gold standard after its biggest shake-up in a generation. Results are expected to be good again on Thursday with a pass rate of about 98% and more than a quarter of entrants gaining top A* or A grades.

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