Brexit

The story continues in the Telegraph with a threat from the new Brexit secretary that the UK will not pay the ‘divorce bill’ in the event of no trade deal.

Britain will refuse to pay its £39 billion divorce bill to Brussels if the European Union fails to agree a trade deal, the new Brexit Secretary pledges today.
Dominic Raab told The Sunday Telegraph that he would make the vast payment formally conditional on the EU “fulfilling its side of the bargain”.
The promise will be welcomed by leading Brexiteers after the Government said in May that there were no plans for a legally enforceable link between the bill and a future trading relationship.

The Sun also has the story.

BRITAIN will refuse to cough up its £39billion divorce bill if the EU fails to strike a trade deal, the Brexit Secretary has vowed.
Dominic Raab insisted it would be conditional on Brussels “fulfilling its side of the bargain”.
The pledge overturns a previous announcement that the cash had no strings attached.
Mr Raab said: “Article 50 requires, as we negotiate the withdrawal agreement, that there’s a future framework for our new relationship going forward, so the two are linked.

The former Brexit secretary has slammed the Chequers deal in the Express.

DAVID DAVIS has urged the Prime Minister to tear up her Brexit White Paper and “start again” in an explosive interview in which he lays bare the inside story of Britain’s fraught negotiations with the EU.
In his first newspaper interview since standing down as EU exit secretary, the Tory veteran reassures Sunday Express readers that it is not too late to save Brexit.
He calls on Theresa May to accelerate no-deal preparations, insisting leaving on World Trade Organisation terms is “not the end of the world”. With unprecedented candour, the former leadership contender lays bare the details of his short telephone conversation with the Prime Minister after his resignation and reveals how Doreen, his wife of 45 years, persuaded him to leave.

‘Project Fear’ Mark 2 (or 3) is alive and well in the Mail.

Tory rebel Anna Soubry, has accused Theresa May of being consumed by ‘the forces of darkness’ in her party and warned that, as a result, she and her fellow soft Brexiters may not back the final Brexit deal obtained from Brussels.
The former minister accused Jacob Rees-Mogg’s faction of pursuing a hard Brexit that would cost ‘hundreds of thousands of jobs’ and said they were ‘now running Theresa’.
Speaking to The Guardian, Soubry pledged to carry on fighting for a soft Brexit but said that the balance of power within her party had changed. With an ‘ultimate elite, who are playing politics with real lives’ becoming dominant, she said.

The Independent quotes a new report.

Leaving the European Union (EU) without a trade deal could leave British households almost £1,000 worse off a year, according to a new report.
If Britain left the bloc and reverted back to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, there would be import tariffs and the UK would leave the EU Customs Union and the Single Market.
As a result each household is likely to be £960 worse off, the report by multi-national consulting firm Oliver Wyman has suggested.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has outlined his views in the Mail.

Hardline Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has said Britain is heading for a no deal exit from the EU.
The Tory MP said that leaving the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms was now likely.
Presenting a phone-in on LBC, Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘I think we are heading to WTO and I think WTO is nothing to be frightened of.’
But he said talks should continue with Brussels, stating: ‘I think we should carry on negotiating until the end.

Europe

Meanwhile, despite the Chequers deal being trashed by Michel Barnier, the Prime Minister is sending her ministers across Europe to sell it to the EU 27. The Independent says:

Cabinet ministers will be sent across Europe to try to rescue Theresa May’s Chequers plan for Brexit after its savaging by the EU’s negotiator.
Direct talks will be held with key politicians of EU countries, as the prime minister steps up attempts to bypass opposition to her proposals in the European Commission.
The move comes after the negotiations hit a fresh wall when  Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit coordinator, warned aspects of the UK’s plan were impractical or even illegal.

The Mail says the PM aims to put the onus on Brussels.

Theresa May will mobilise her most senior Cabinet Ministers this summer to try to sell her Chequers deal in sceptical EU capitals.
Amid growing concern across Europe over the political impasse in London, Mrs May hopes to put the onus on Brussels to ramp up the pace and intensity of the negotiations.
David Lidington, her de facto deputy, will travel to France, while Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will visit Germany, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will go to Spain and Business Secretary Greg Clarke will fly to Italy.

The Guardian points out that ministers are not going to get much of a break over the summer.

An embattled Theresa May has ordered senior cabinet ministers to go on mini European tours during parliament’s summer break to promote her controversial Chequers agreement on Brexit, as opposition to the deal appears to be hardening in EU capitals and among grassroots Tory party members at home.
The prime minister has warned that “the clock is ticking”, and that the pace of negotiations must be stepped up if a deal is to be reached by the autumn that will benefit both UK and European citizens.

Referendum

There is more discord on the results of the referendum two years ago. The Independent reports on the fine for Vote Leave.

More than 40 cross-party MPs have demanded beefed up powers for the electoral watchdog after the official Brexit campaign was fined and reported to the police over breaches of spending laws.
The Electoral Commission imposed a £61,000 fine on Vote Leave and referred David Halsall, the campaign’s “responsible person”, to the police for making false declarations of campaign spending, after it was found to have coordinated illegally with BeLeave, another Brexit group.

And the Telegraph claims the Remain side was unfairly advantaged.

A £9.3m pro-EU publicity blitz by David Cameron’s government in the run-up to the Brexit referendum gave the Remain side an unfair advantage, the like of which should be outlawed in future votes, an independent commission has suggested.
In a major report, a cross-party panel called for a significant extension of restrictions banning ministers from using unlimited amounts of public money in favour of one side of a debate before the final month of a campaign.

Conservative Party

Mrs May’s party is not popular in the country, reports the Times.

Theresa May is facing an unprecedented political crisis, according to a new poll that reveals voters are implacably opposed to her Brexit plan and are prepared to turn to Ukip or parties of the far right.
In a survey that will spark unease in Downing Street, the YouGov poll found that the public believes Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, is better placed to negotiate with Brussels and lead the Conservatives into the next election.
It highlights how voters are polarising, with growing numbers alienated from the two main parties. About 38% would vote for a new party on the right that was committed to Brexit, while 24% are prepared to support an explicitly far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Islam party.

And she could face more resignations, reports the Express.

THERESA MAY is bracing herself for more Cabinet resignations amid claims Chris Grayling – one of her closest allies – will stand down if Britain makes more concessions to the EU.
The Transport Secretary, who orchestrated the Prime Minister’s leadership campaign, is understood to have told friends he will not tolerate any more “softening” of Brexit.
His fellow Cabinet Brexiteers Penny Mordaunt and Esther McVey are also on “resignation watch” having expressed their dissatisfaction with the Government’s proposals, set out in its controversial White Paper.

Labour Party

The opposition is not out of the woods yet, says the Times.

Jewish campaigners are preparing to sue the Labour Party using human rights laws after Jeremy Corbyn’s party ditched key elements of the internationally accepted definition of anti-semitism from Labour’s code of conduct.
The Labour leader’s team is facing two legal challenges amid mutiny in the party after bosses forced through the new code last week in the face of bitter opposition from Jewish leaders — prompting the veteran Labour MP Margaret Hodge to confront Corbyn and tell him he was a “f****** anti-semite and a racist”.

The Express also reports campaigners’ plans.

JEWISH campaigners are planning to take the Labour Party to court and sue them for human rights offences as the party’s disastrous anti-Semitism row rages on.
Earlier this week, backbench Labour veteran MP Margaret Hodge confronted Jeremy Corbyn, calling him a “f** antisemite and a racist”, just days after the ruling committee changed the party’s approach to anti-Semitism.
She has been extensively trolled following the conversation, and has been called names including “b****” on social media sites.

The Guardian reports Corbyn’s members are revolting.

Labour MPs and peers are planning an extraordinary joint act of defiance against Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) that would see them incorporate the full internationally accepted definition of antisemitism into their own official rulebooks, putting them directly at odds with the party leadership.
The moves by Labour members of both Houses of Parliament look set to fuel an already explosive row that erupted last week, after the NEC refused to ditch a controversial new code of conduct on antisemitism that many MPs and peers say does not go far enough.

And if Corbyn gets into Downing Street, the party will make changes to the law, reports the Independent.

A Labour government will reinstate the Agricultural Wages Board – axed by David Cameron’s government in 2013 – to bring England into line with other parts of the UK.
Speaking at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival in Dorset, the Labour leader will liken the move to their stand against the “exploitation of employers paying poverty wages”.

LibDems

Plotting is afoot by the LibDem leader, reports the Times.

Sir Vince Cable was discussing the creation of a new centre-ground party at a secret dinner when he should have been attending a crucial Commons vote on Brexit legislation, The Sunday Times can reveal.
The Liberal Democrat leader was criticised for missing last week’s crunch vote on the customs bill, which the government won by just three votes.
Cable said it was the “wrong call” to miss the vote in order for him to attend a “confidential political meeting somewhere else”.
Now it has emerged that Cable was attending a dinner to discuss the prospects for a new anti-Brexit party.

UKIP

But our party membership is soaring, reports the Express.

THE Ukip membership site crashed as more than 2,000 people have joined or re-joined the Eurosceptic party over the past two weeks, a senior party member has revealed.
David Moreland said there has been a spike in applications on the back of a farcical Brexit strategy from Theresa May and the surge has not slowed down.
He told Express.co.uk: “Our membership site completely crashed and we keep on getting applications.”
The most recent data on political party membership put Ukip membership at 21,200 as of April 2018.

And the Times reports the comments of our leader Gerard Batten.

Islam is a “death cult” and “the most regressive force on earth”. The prophet Muhammad “was himself a paedophile who kept sex slaves”. Tommy Robinson, the jailed former leader of the English Defence League, is “heroic”. The prime minister’s real name is “Treason May”.
The views of some fringe far-right figure? No: the words of Gerard Batten, the leader of Ukip. At the very moment Westminster politics starts descending into chaos, and opposition to Theresa May’s Chequers deal gives the Kippers the chance of avoiding electoral disaster, the party is joining with forces it once largely shunned to create something not seen in Britain before: a convergence on the hard right.

In an exclusive report, Breitbart also reports Gerard’s words.

UKIP’s leader has slammed Tory House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom as “two-faced” after leaks revealed she secretly “hates” Theresa May’s ‘Soft Brexit’ plan and thinks it betrays the EU referendum result.
Not only has the key figure in the official Brexit campaign not resigned from the Cabinet — unlike former Brexit Secretary  David Davis and Foreign Secretary
Boris Johnson — but she has proceeded to defend and promote the plan to the British public.
“How can Andrea Leadsom look herself in the mirror, let alone toward the 17.4 million who voted Leave, when she is so two-faced,” Gerard Batten told Breitbart London on Saturday.

Police

Away from front-line politics, the Times reports on corruption in the police.

Scotland Yard is embroiled in the largest police corruption inquiry for 40 years, with 14 officers under investigation for “serious corruption and malpractice” by the police watchdog.
One of the most senior police chiefs in the country has been caught up in the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation, which is examining allegations that the Metropolitan police’s anti-corruption command secretly covers up misconduct rather than investigating it.

NHS

The Guardian reports on the reduction in hospital beds for mental health patients.

The number of hospital beds for people with acute mental health conditions, where a consultant psychiatrist is on hand to oversee treatment, has fallen by almost 30% since 2009 despite repeated claims by ministers that improving care for the mentally ill is now a top priority.
New official figures show that the number of beds for those with some of the most serious conditions – including psychosis, serious depression leading to suicidal feelings and eating disorders – has fallen from 26,448 in 2009 to 18,082 in the first quarter of this year.

MoD

The Mail has an astonishing story of Ministry of Defence waste.

Three military jets – part of a fleet costing taxpayers an astonishing £10.5 billion – are being used to fly holidaymakers to sun-kissed resorts because the RAF has no use for them.
The aircraft are supposed to transport British troops to military bases around the world and refuel fighters and bombers in mid-air during combat sorties.
But a Mail on Sunday investigation can reveal that while the cash-strapped Ministry of Defence shells out tens of millions of pounds a year for the planes, holiday firms Thomas Cook and Jet2 have been using them to fly thousands of tourists to Majorca, Tenerife, New York and Florida.

Education

Exam results have been annulled following an investigation into cheating, says the Mail.

A school crowned the best in Britain has been accused of cheating, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The results of two SATs tests taken by pupils at Broadford Primary School in Romford, East London, have been annulled following an investigation by Government inspectors.
The school, which won the prestigious Times Educational Supplement School of the Year award at a glitzy ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House hotel last year, is accused of feeding correct answers to children.

HS2

The contentious high-speed rail plan is likely to go over budget, says the Times,

The HS2 high-speed rail project is “highly likely” to go as much as 60% over budget and cost “more than £80bn”, according to a secret Cabinet Office report leaked to The Sunday Times.
The assessment, by the government’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), describes the scheme as “fundamentally flawed” and in a “precarious position”.
It warns that the chaos in the project — officially costed at £56bn — threatens wider public spending, with a “very high opportunity-cost impact across other government departments”.

Lithium

Millions of pounds-worth of precious metal could be mined in the south-west, reports the Times.

Cornwall could regain its place at the heart of Britain’s mining industry after a satellite survey found its rocks harbour large reserves of lithium, the rare and valuable metal that has become vital to the electric car industry.
It showed the area where the BBC’s popular drama Poldark is filmed may still retain its most valuable mineral, reserves of which are potentially worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
“The satellite images suggest high concentrations of lithium,” said Cristian Rossi, Earth observation specialist at the Satellite Applications Catapult, an innovations and technology firm that aims to promote economic growth by utilising space.

Smart meters

Are smart meters worth it? The Mail wonders.

Smart meters are expected to cut energy bills by just £11-a-year, much less than originally hoped.
Half of energy readers also stop working when customers switch energy suppliers and a tenth go ‘dumb’ due to poor signal, MPs and peers said yesterday.
A cross-party committee warned the £11billion project to install the meters in every home by 2020 should be urgently reviewed.
They said consumers are ‘picking up the tab’ for the ‘over time, over budget and mismanaged scheme’.

And Sky News also slams smart meters.

Smart meters will cut energy bills by just £11 a year – and more than half “go dumb” and stop working when switching suppliers – politicians have warned.
In a highly critical report, a group of MPs and peers say the £11bn roll-out of the devices is at risk of going over budget and past its deadline, and must be reviewed immediately.
The project to place 53 million smart meters in homes and small businesses by 2020 has been “plagued by repeated delays and cost increases”, the British Infrastructure Group of Parliamentarians (BIG) said.
Its report found the expected saving on an annual dual-fuel bill in 2020 has fallen from £26 to just £11.

ITV News claims even the cost of installing the meters is going through the roof.

The roll-out of smart meters risks going over budget while the device will save customers a mere £11 a year, according to a group of MPs.
The £11 billion project to place 53 million of the devices in 30 million homes and small businesses by 2020 has so far been “plagued by repeated delays and cost increases”, the head of the British Infrastructure Group of Parliamentarians (BIG) reported.
BIG also warned of high numbers of the devices “going dumb” after installation due to problems caused by switching provider or mobile data coverage.

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