Leadsom First Out of Blocks With 25 Year Brexit Plan

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Super-keen Andrea Leadsom is the first Cabinet minister to deliver a departmental plan for Brexit to Downing Street. While some lethargic ministers are just beginning to get started, Number 10 were pleasantly surprised to receive a 25-year proposal from Andrea for how Brexit Britain should approach the environment. Worth reading this report by Leadsom’s Fresh Start group if you’re interested in the details, it includes policies such as refusing to abide by future renewables targets. Andrea of course said she would trigger Article 50 on day one if she had become PM, she’s a Brexit Cabinet minister who wants to get on with Brexit. Colleagues amused by her speediness should take a leaf out of her book!

Downing Street Brexit Notes Transcribed

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Veteran Downing Street photographer Steve Back has done it again – he’s snapped these notes being carried out of a meeting with Mark Field in Downing Street this afternoon. Someone at the meeting appears to have said we are “loathe” to do a transitional deal, we are “unlikely” to stay in the single market and that our position is to “have cake and eat it“. Here is an attempted transcription:

Won’t provide more detail. We think… be offered single market. Our criteria are clear – more open the better.

Manufacturing relatively straightforward
Services harder – because French hoping for business.
biggest interest is internal market

ECJ & control of borders won’t fit.

Transitional – loathe to do it. Whitehall will hold onto it. We need to bring an end to the negotiation.

Headlines won’t change from now until March though

Why no Norway – TWO elements – no ECJ intervention… beyond our trade with Europe. Unlikely to do internal market

Trade with EU through DexU not DIT.

What is the model? Have cake & eat it.
Very French negotiating team.
Need fair process guaranteed…
Canada Plus – more on services
Europe gets a good deal
BEA model not good

So has someone in Downing Street at last revealed the government’s Brexit plan?

Transcription via Chris Jones

May’s Five U-Turns in Three Months

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Theresa May has not yet been Prime Minister for three months and she has already u-turned on five significant policy issues:

  • EU citizens’ right to remain: During her leadership campaign May refused to guarantee the status of EU nationals living in the UK, now the government says they are “100% sure” they’ll be allowed to stay.
  • Hinkley Point: May announced a welcome pause on the new power plant, before approving the same deal proposed by Osborne.
  • Northern Powerhouse: Reports suggested May had decided to ditch Osborne’s pet project, she’s now said she’s fully behind it.
  • Foreign doctors: Jeremy Hunt suggested foreign doctors wouldn’t be able to stay in the country if they could be replaced by British recruits. May then failed three times in an interview to say the policy would go ahead.
  • Foreign staff lists: Amber Rudd’s plan to force companies to publish how many foreign staff they employ has now been abandoned.

During the Coalition years Guido put together a comprehensive rolling list of that government’s many, many u-turns. Some things don’t change…

May Orders Ministers to Link Every Policy to Meritocracy

Theresa May’s grammar schools speech was as much about defining her premiership as anything else. If eagle-eyed photographer Steve Back hadn’t snapped those secret government papers outlining the return of grammars, today’s speech would not have been made until conference. Senior Tories watching noted one key line:

“It will mean recalibrating how we approach policy development to ensure that everything we do as government helps to give a fair chance to those who are just getting by”

This is tanks-on-Labour’s-lawn rhetoric, but the PM is deadly serious about revamping how policy is formulated across Whitehall. Over the last few weeks ministers and civil servants have grown frustrated at Downing Street’s insistence that every single policy must have a “making the country work for everyone” angle. Policies and announcements that have nothing to do with May’s theme of meritocracy are being delayed or shunned until ministers can think of a way to make a link. In some departments, announcements and updates on old projects where the money has already been spent are being held back. As with Brexit, the government is actually getting work done, they just aren’t telling the public about it…

Theresa’s Copy and Paste Job

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Theresa May tells us that “obviously over the summer – over the last few weeks – quite a lot of work has been done”. Which is good to know. So does the new government have any further detail on their plan for Brexit or their legislative agenda? Compare and contrast these quotes from the PM from today with her words over the last few weeks…

Today: “Brexit means Brexit, we’re going to make a success of it”

11 July: “Brexit means Brexit, and we’re going to make a success of it”

Today: “there’s no second referendum; no attempts to sort of stay in the EU by the back door”

11 July: “no attempts to remain inside the EU, with no second referendum or attempts to rejoin it by the backdoor”

Today: “We want to be a government and a country that works for everyone”

13 July: “a mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone”

Today: “I want it to be a society where it’s the talent that you have and how hard you’re prepared to work that determines how you get on”

13 July: “We will do everything to help you go as far as your talents can take you.”

Today: “we can get tough on irresponsible behaviour in big business”

11 July: “get tough on irresponsible behaviour in big business”

Today: “forge a new positive role for the UK in the world”

11 July: “forge a new role for ourselves in the World”

That “quite a lot of work” done over the summer appears to be copying and pasting her old speeches…

May Imposes Authority on Whitehall

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Much has been made of Theresa May’s formidable joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill rigorously vetting new SpAd appointments. This isn’t really that out of the ordinary, Ed Llewellyn would do likewise during the Cameron era. What has changed under the new regime is the level of control exerted over everyday life on Whitehall. Over the couple of weeks Downing Street has imposed its authority on government departments, insisting that everything from minor campaign launches to bog standard press releases go through Number 10 first. Departments were used to a far higher degree of autonomy, now everything has to be signed off. To some it has felt like a slightly suffocating centralisation of power. Sensible for the first few weeks perhaps, but ministers are hoping the PM loosens her grip once she is settled in…

SpAd List: New Appointments

SPADS

Downing Street sources indicate the final SpAd List will not be released for some weeks, so Guido’s spreadsheet is the only place to stay up to date. Since our last update Osborne’s widely-respected former SpAd Neil O’Brien has been kept on to do industrial strategy in Number 10. Damian Green has retained Flora Rose at DWP and signed up Matt Hancock’s old SpAd Lottie Dexter. Vote Leave spinner Rob Oxley teams up once again with Priti Patel at DfID. Another Vote Leave alumnus, their broadcast chief Lee Cain, is expected to join Leadsom at Defra. Rachel Wolf is reportedly leaving No.10 despite initially being kept on.

The Times says May will be purging SpAds to cut costs after the numbers rocketed under Dave, apparently a limit of two per Cabinet minister. That will go down like a cup of cold sick with the likes of Boris, Davis and Fox. Appointments are being vetted by May’s chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. Good luck – they are going to be ruthless… 

SpAd List Taking Shape

SPADS

Theresa May’s Downing Street team is slowly taking shape – her former SpAd and Vote Leave alumnus Stephen Parkinson is to be given a role. All of David Cameron’s SpAds were told to clear their desks and just two have been brought back into the fold, Rachel Wolf and super-SpAd Sheridan Westlake. New Secretaries of State are taking their time appointing advisers, meetings have been taking place over the last few days and names should start to trickle out next week:

If you know of any appointments Guido doesn’t have on his list, get in touch

Downing Street Boozing Kiboshed

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Philip Hammond has joined Theresa May in cancelling a get-to-know-you drinks party for journalists. Last week the new PM, who is famously not a gossip and is keen to end the spinning / briefing culture of the old regime, called off her planned drinks bash with the Lobby.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

SpAd List: May Names New Team

A new government means a new SpAd list and Guido’s handy resource of political appointments is beginning to take shape. Theresa May has appointed her former SpAds Fiona Hill (formerly Cunningham) and Nick Timothy as her Joint Chiefs of Staff. Her former spin doctor and PR guru Katie Perrior becomes Director of Communications.[…] Read the rest

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Sophy Ridge C-Bombs Jeremy Hunt

Boulton, pro that it he is, barely reacts, watch the eyes…[…] Read the rest

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Reshuffle As It Happens

RESHUFFLE2

Chancellor – Philip Hammond

George Osborne sacked.

Foreign Secretary – Boris Johnson

Home Secretary – Amber Rudd

Defence Secretary – Michael Fallon

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – David Davis

Secretary of State for International Trade – Liam Fox[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Camerons Leave Downing Street For Last Time

+ READ MORE +

Removal Van at No. 10

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Via Standard
[…] Read the rest

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Tory Leadership Runners and Riders

This is where the potential Tory leadership contenders stand this morning:

  • Boris Johnson – Will announce he’s running within days. Jesse Norman, Nadhim Zahawi and Ben Wallace are phoning round MPs canvassing for support. Faces a battle to get on the ballot from Cameron’s allies, Remain MPs and a number of Leavers too. 
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Cameron’s Big Speech Bombs

For the second time, Downing Street have summoned the press for a supposedly “significant” statement that has bombed:

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Tory MP Stewart Jackson on Bob Geldof:

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