InFacts Morning Briefing 17/07/17

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 17.07.2017

Every weekday, InFacts journalists put together a summary of the day’s news for the morning news conference. We’re published this morning’s email to give you a bit of a look into how the place is run; if there’s enough interest, further editions may also make it onto the site.

Cabinet split

This appears to be the story of the day. Hammond apparently sees Brexiters as “smarmy pirates”, and is working to “frustrate Brexit” with the help of “the Establishment”. Not only that, but the Treasury is “trying to **** it up” (Telegraph, also covered in the Mail, Times and Independent). This is all according to an anonymous cabinet minister – very probably Gove, given his track record (as argued in the Sun).

Despite carrying this on its front page, the Telegraph has also run rather a sanctimonious editorial complaining that cabinet divisions waste valuable Brexit negotiating time (Telegraph). The Sun has pulled a similar trick, with an editorial saying Tory MPs should stop attacking each other and “focus on delivering Brexit” (Sun), but also running a piece conveniently bringing together all of the Hammond-bashing (Sun).

Hammond has in turn hit back at leaks from rivals (Times), demanding that they “get on with the job” of Brexit rather than spending their precious time briefing against him (Mail).

Meanwhile, May has got Conservative support to sack ministers (FT). It feels as though this is all very much related to…

Continuing transition deal disagreements

Hammond seeks Brexit transition as a cushion for the economy (FT) for at least two years. But Liam Fox wants any such deal to last no more than months, suggesting he’s learned absolutely nothing in his year as trade minister (Sun). Interestingly, he went on a bit about the importance of being able to negotiate trade agreements during any such deal, which lets the cat out of the bag on whether or not he can do so now.

Trade deals

On that note, over the weekend we had Iain Duncan Smith on Marr discussing French plans to grab business from the City (“this has been going on since Agincourt”) and the Mail front page “Exposed: French plot to ‘wreck’ Britain”. The FT says Paris has always been open about its Brexit ambitions, with a fuller recounting of the dastardly plan here.

Meanwhile, Peter Foster says the EU-Japan trade deal means a UK-EU deal is vital to protect the car industry (Telegraph), and the Guardian reports that the UK is sleepwalking into food insecurity, with no preparation for Brexit (from Gove’s ministry), and food prices set to jump by a fifth (Times).

YouGov finds that a majority of Brexiters would swap free movement for EU market access (Guardian). More specifically, they would be evenly split if we could limit welfare benefits for new arrivals. In other words, Cameron’s deal was good enough. Are we simply going round in circles?

Let Labour eat cake

Corbyn ally Rebecca Long-Bailey (shadow business secretary) uses Boris’s ‘we can have cake and eat it’ line on single market membership (Independent), throwing Labour’s “shambolic Brexit policy” into fresh chaos, according to the Mail. This headline does, of course, presume the existence of a policy.

Negotiations resume

Davis is heading back to Brussels, with fights over the ECJ expected (Guardian). The Telegraph warns that the EU wants to be able to fine Britain for breaches of EU law prior to departure (Telegraph).

Guy Verhofstadt is having a bit of fun by saying Corbyn should be involved in Brexit talks (Independent)

Business unhappy

Business is confused and dismayed by the government’s lack of planning and coordination (FT), and in a very much related note, UK business confidence is at its lowest for 6 years (Guardian).

Still, on the upside house prices are… oh. Staying high (Guardian).

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom as the EY Item Club expects a more business-friendly Brexit after the last election (Times)


Blair on Brexit (Times)

Lord Wolfson attacks Govts muddled Brexit thinking (Independent)

Clive Lewis: EU withdrawal bill could practically make UK a one party state (Independent)

German politicians tell Irish counterparts: ‘British are a disgrace’ (Independent)

David Alan Green: Brexit: the day the whistling ended (FT)

Clare Foges: vow to cut immigration will not be forgotten (Times)

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Edited by Quentin Peel