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.@RuthDavidsonMSP said it is “certainly possible” Cabinet will come up with a policy on Britain's future trading relationship with the EU that she won’t support #Peston pic.twitter.com/c90utJHMni

— Peston on Sunday (@pestononsunday) February 18, 2018

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"Oh but they do" – @EmilyThornberry rejects claims that @UKLabour
members do not have the opportunity to have their say on the party's Brexit policy. #Peston pic.twitter.com/8dR6T6Exz7

— Peston on Sunday (@pestononsunday) February 18, 2018

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Education Secretary @DamianHinds tells #marr that the government wants review university funding in England to "stimulate diversity and variety" #marr pic.twitter.com/O6HTWhfdZj

— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) February 18, 2018

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“We want more than a free trade deal” @guyverhofstadt says the EU wants Britain to stay in the customs union, single market and the EEA. #marr pic.twitter.com/LtydYaMONa

— The Andrew Marr Show (@MarrShow) February 18, 2018

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Everything is on the table in Hinds’s review of tuition fees

‘Tomorrow the prime minister and Hinds will unveil a panel to conduct the government’s review of university funding. He is clear this will lead to a cut in fees for cheap arts courses that offer little economic benefit to the students or the country. “We have a system where you have almost all institutions and almost all courses at those institutions charging exactly the same price where some cost higher amounts [to teach] than others and some have higher returns to the student than others,” he said. “It’s right that we now ask questions about how that system operates. I would like to see options available which have different costs attached to them.” Hinds outlined a world in which fees for each course will be determined by “a combination of three things: the cost [to universities] to put it on, the benefit to the student and the benefit to our country and our economy”… Everything, from the interest rate on loans to the threshold at which people start paying it back, is on the table, according to Hinds.’ – Sunday Times

>Today: ToryDiary: More good school places for pupils. Back to the future with Hinds.

>Yesterday: Mark Lehain on Comment: The times tables reform. Not a giant leap – but one of so many small steps for the better.

May pledges to take back control of foreign and security policy

‘The prime minister used a speech at a security conference in Munich to declare that she would pull Britain out of the EU’s “common foreign and security policy”, giving the UK full control of diplomacy, peacekeeping, defence and overseas aid for the first time in 26 years. Britain has been bound by some collective responsibility since common foreign and security policy was created by the Maastricht treaty. The move is designed to show Brexiteers — who have grown concerned that the UK is going to remain in permanent alignment with Brussels — that some things will change even during the transition phase between 2019 and 2021 when trade relations are likely to remain much the same. May said: “There is no reason why we should not agree distinct arrangements for our foreign and defence policy co-operation in the time-limited implementation period as the commission has proposed. We shouldn’t wait where we don’t need to.”’ – Sunday Times

>Yesterday: MPsETC: “Those who threaten our security would like nothing more than to see us fractured.” May’s security speech in Munich speech. Full text.

Hodges: Hammond is used as a human shield – and he’s sick of it

‘For the past few months the Prime Minister has been using her Chancellor as a human shield. Whenever her Kamikaze Brexiteers have to be appeased, it is Hammond who is offered up for sacrifice. In December it was over the divorce bill. Last month it was the scale of changes to Britain’s trading relationship with the EU. Last week it was because of his unduly pessimistic tone whenever he addresses the great ‘opportunities’ of the post-Brexit era. Whenever Hammond deviates a millimetre from the Government line, he is pounced on by his critics. And the Prime Minister is only too happy to let them pounce. Compare Hammond’s regular punishment beatings with the largesse granted to those on the other side of the debate.’ – Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday

>Today: Gisela Stuart on Comment: This is a crucial moment for May and her government. There must be no backsliding on a clean Brexit.

Academics come out for Brexit

‘Nearly 40 leading intellectuals have launched a campaign to back Brexit, demanding an end to patronising “propaganda” that dismisses “leave” voters as “idiots”. In the first such intervention since the vote, renowned economists, lawyers, philosophers, historians, scientists and experts in foreign and domestic policy warn it is wrong to see Britain’s intellectual leaders as pro-remain. The group, which includes those who voted “remain” in 2016, is led by the historian Professor Robert Tombs and the economist Dr Graham Gudgin, both of Cambridge University. It also includes the former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, the Labour peer Lord Glasman and the Oxford law professor Dr Richard Ekins. Tombs and Gudgin are also behind a website, briefingsforbrexit.com, due to go live in the next few days.’ – Sunday Times

  • They are producing detailed rebuttals to pro-EU claims – including to the Treasury’s errors (which officials refuse to discuss) – Sunday Times
  • They attack the myth of Leave voters being uneducated – Sunday Telegraph
  • New research quango boss urges free movement to continue for scientists – Sunday Times
Claims of a rift between Barwell and CCHQ’s head of communications

‘A fierce battle emerged last night between a No 10 aide caught in a porn row and a Tory spin doctor with close links to Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. Carrie Symonds is fighting moves to sack her as the party’s communications chief over claims that she spends too much time promoting the Brexit-backing Ministers and not enough time promoting Theresa May. The dispute took an extraordinary turn last week when Mrs May’s Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell – who is leading efforts to overhaul Tory HQ – was embarrassed after he replied to a tweet concerning hardcore pornographic videos…Ms Symonds has been targeted as part of the shake-up after some senior Tories claimed she had become too politically close to Brexiteers Mr Johnson and Mr Gove. Conservative MP supporters of both men are believed to be plotting Mrs May’s downfall.’ – Mail on Sunday

Whistleblower claims she warned DfiD 12 years ago about Oxfam chief

‘An official at the Department for International Aid and Development failed to heed a warning about the disgraced Oxfam chief at the centre of the aid scandal, according to a whistleblower. Having raised her concerns over the conduct of Roland van Hauwermeiren – who left Oxfam after being accused of using prostitutes – the whistleblower says Dfid responded: ‘People can change.’ The female humanitarian employee who raised the alarm worked under Roland van Hauwermeiren for Merlin – now part of Save The Children – in Liberia in the early 2000s. When she discovered he had later become Oxfam’s Country Director in Chad in 2006, she reported allegations about his past misconduct, but says her concerns fell on deaf ears. Mr van Hauwermeiren later went on to work for Oxfam in Haiti, where he was forced out after being accused of sleeping with prostitutes, a claim he denies.’ – Mail on Sunday

More Labour infighting as ‘burly’ Corbynite seizes podium from National Policy Forum chief

‘Labour MPs have expressed outrage after a ‘burly’ ex-union official seemed to push a female rival out of the way at a crucial party meeting. Witnesses hit out at the behaviour of National Executive Committee (NEC) chairman Andy Kerr after he seized control of a key vote in Leeds yesterday, which a candidate ousted by left-wing group Momentum was set to win. The ballot to elect a new chairman for the National Policy Forum (NPF) was put off after it was ruled that insufficient time had been allowed for the process. But NPF chairwoman Katrina Murray tried to press on with the contested vote anyway – leading Mr Kerr to push her away from the podium just minutes before leader Jeremy Corbyn was due to take to the stage.’ – Mail on Sunday

  • MPs ‘ashamed’ to witness ‘bullying’ – Sunday Telegraph
  • The hard left was going to lose the vote, so they cancelled it – Sunday Times
  • Bridgen requests Unexplained Wealth Order to be levelled at Vaz – Sunday Times
  • Deceased homeless man for whom Corbyn laid flowers ‘was convicted child abuser’ – Sunday Times
  • A new battle opens up over housing plans in Walthamstow – The Observer
  • Labour council criticised by Scottish leader for opposing equal pay – Scotland on Sunday
Czech spy who met Corbyn claims 15 Labour MPs had contact with Communist agents

‘Ken Livingstone, John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn were part of a group of at least 15 senior Labour figures who shared information with Eastern bloc agents, it is claimed. Jan Sarkocy, a former Czechoslovak spy, described the MPs as “great sources” to himself or his colleagues in the KGB. The new claims come after he said on Friday that the Labour leader had shared information with the Communist Czechoslovak regime. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Sarkocy claimed that: Mr Livingstone also discussed information with the Czechoslovak regime; The future London mayor made frequent visits to the Czechoslovak embassy, where he drank whisky; Mr McDonnell met a KGB agent on several occasions; Between 10 and 15 Labour MPs held meetings with the Czechoslovak secret service. Labour described the latest claims as “absurd”, while Mr Livingstone said they were a “tissue of lies”. He did admit meeting a Russian “representative” at the time, but said “nothing happened”.’ – Sunday Telegraph

Bolton ousted by UKIP members

‘Henry Bolton today threatened to sue Ukip after being ousted as leader – as his ex girlfriend Jo Marney hinted they are back together. The former Army officer, 54, was toppled from the top job when party members decided to support a no confidence vote against him at a crunch meeting today. His political career ended in scandal after his ex Ms Marney, a former glamour model 30 years his junior, was exposed for sending racist texts about Meghan Markle. Speaking after today’s vote, Mr Bolton revealed he is considering launching legal action against against Ukip’s NEC over the way he has been treated. Meanwhile, Ms Marney – a former glamour model – sent a series of tweets declaring her love for the father-of-three and hinting that they will pick their relationship back up.’ – Mail on Sunday

MI5 ‘watched’ the London Bridge attackers load their van, but did not intervene

‘The ringleader of the London Bridge terror attack was under surveillance on the night of the atrocity and had earlier staked out crowds at Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street as possible targets. Intelligence officers secretly watched Khuram Butt and his two accomplices load a hire van outside his flat in Barking, east London, just two hours before the vehicle was used as a deadly battering ram, according to informed sources. The officers did not order police to move in on the suspects because Butt had been downgraded as an MI5 priority and they did not realise he was about to embark on a killing spree.’ – Sunday Times

Russian plotters were ordered to attack Clinton and support Trump

‘Trump was briefed on Mueller’s 37-page indictment, which outlines charges against 13 Russians accused of travelling to the US, using stolen identities to pose as Americans, organising fake campaign events and setting up hundreds of social media accounts in an attempt to install Trump as president. The description of a wide-ranging Russian plot that aimed to boost Trump’s candidacy and undermine his opponent, Hillary Clinton, hit the president where he feels most vulnerable. He is under Mueller’s microscope for potential obstruction offences in firing James Comey as FBI director and seeking to ensure favourable treatment for Michael Flynn, the national security adviser that Trump dismissed after 24 days. But his biggest fear has always appeared to be that Mueller’s inquiry would call his victory into question.’ – Sunday Times

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During the period of Theresa May Mark One – that’s to say, the time between her election as Conservative Party leader and last year’s general election – the Prime Minister made a speech about schools.  Part of it was described how universities could help to sponsor or support them.  (The Government will be producing proposals tomorrow to further its manifesto commitment to review the funding of tertiary education, and Rebecca Coulson will be writing about its plans and university support on this site tomorrow morning.)  The rest of the speech fell into three main sections.  May wanted independent schools, like universities, to support and sponsor state ones.  She also wanted to lift the restrictions on new faith school and grammar schools places.

The aim of these changes was more good school places – what she called “the Great Meritocracy”.  The speech was overseen by Nick Timothy and reflected much of his thinking: the prioritising of social reform above social mobility and social justice; in other words, targeting policy to help the “Just About Managings” or, as the speech put it in language that has since been dropped, “ordinary working class people”.  Michael Gove, some of whose reforms Mark Lehain wrote about on this site yesterday, put it differently, but his focus was on the same end: more good school places.  So was Nicky Morgan’s.  She furthered the legacy she was left, though with a stress on the whole development of the pupil, rather than solely on standards, exams and results.

This brings us to Justine Greening.  A key reason why the Prime Minister sought to move her from Education to Work and Pensions was, very simply, that Greening was visibly uneasy with the faith and grammar school aspects of that Timothy speech.  Her replacement by Damian Hinds was one the few successes of January’s reshuffle – in the sense of a senior Minister moving to the post for which he was actually intended.  Unlike Gove who, when first appointed to Environment, began setting off fireworks almost immediately, Hinds has been keeping his powder dry.  He gives his first major interview to the Sunday Times today, and the theme of the schools parts of it is back to the future.

The new Education Secretary has already approved the Nick Gibb push to get times tables taught in primary schools, which made no progress under Greening.  He wants to take the cap off new faith schools (“where there is parental demand and where there is a need for places, I want it to be possible to create those new schools” ) and allow existing grammar schools to expand.  May Mark Two does not have the same room for Parliamentary manoeuvre as May Mark One, but Hinds will be able to make progress on both of these aims without Commons votes.  Greening wanted to prevent parents from withdrawing their children from sex education classes.  Hinds will end that approach.

The beaux ideal for Conservative education secretaries is surely to carry out the necessary reforms without unnecessarily antagonising teachers – not an easy task given the long move leftwards in the profession, and the recent squeeze in the growth of funding.  The Party’s social care proposals got a lot of attention during last year’s election, to put it mildly, but although school spending gained rather less, it may have been just as decisive.  Hinds doesn’t touch on the issue in his interview.  Nor does he deal in any depth with social mobility, and the plan left to him by his predecessor.  But he is evidently in the job he wants.  Rather than seeking quick media hits, he has been quietly getting policy in place.  If he can’t win a hearing among teachers, we doubt if any Tory Minister can.

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Gisela Stuart is Chair of Change Britain. She was Chair of Vote Leave, and is a former Health Minister.

Just over 18 months ago, the British people voted for a democratic future outside the EU. They took this bold step because they had confidence in their and this country’s ability to meet the challenges ahead.

As Chair of the official Vote Leave campaign, the announcement that the UK had voted ‘Out’ in the early hours of 24 June 2016 was the most significant moment in my political career. I was so proud of the British people who had seen through the distortions of Project Fear. They were brave and positive about their future – unlike much of the establishment, which was just comfortable with the way things are.

Big businesses and some politicians like the EU because it allows interest groups to lobby behind the scenes and you can never vote them out. But the British people wanted to take back control. They wanted to be able to vote for and remove the politicians who make their laws.  Decisions about borders, money and trade should be made at Westminster, and not by nominated elites in Brussels.

A few months after the referendum, I – along with other Leave campaigners from the Left and the Right, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove – decided to set up a new group called Change Britain. We were dedicated to making sure the result of the referendum is respected and carried through. Our aim is simple: to ensure that the Government delivers on the promises of Brexit that people voted for in their millions, especially that the UK is put back in charge of our immigration system, our laws and our future trading regime.

The Government’s approach began where the Vote Leave campaign left off – making the positive case for Brexit. The Prime Minister pledged in her Lancaster House Speech that the UK would leave the EU’s Single Market, allowing the UK to be back in control of its borders and its laws. She then promised to leave the EU’s Customs Union – making clear that it would be for elected politicians to decide who we sign trade deals with. I was greatly encouraged by the words of the Prime Minister and her Cabinet, and took heart that the Government would deliver what the British people had voted for.

However, in recent months we have seen what can only be described as a coordinated attempt by Remainers here in the UK – alongside officials and politicians in Brussels – to undermine this vision. Questionable long-term economic forecasts – not dissimilar to those we saw during the referendum campaign – have been leaked in an effort to destabilise the Brexit process. Threats emanate from Michel Barnier and other EU figures which are remarkably similar in tone and content to those campaigning for our continued membership here. People who voted for democratic accountability are labelled extremists or fantasists, when all they want is the ability to vote out those who make their laws. Indeed, it seems you can’t turn on the news these days without a pro-EU MP demanding that Britain leaves the EU in name only, but as good as stays in by continuing to accept laws, trade deals and the free movement of people, as well as paying into the EU budget. .

Let’s be clear: any deal that leaves the UK aligned with EU rules, which requires our immigration regime to treat European nationals significantly different than those from non-EU countries, or which deprives us of control over our trading future would not be honouring the referendum result.

And let’s also be clear that the desired end-point for people making this argument is not in fact a ‘soft Brexit’: what they want is ‘no Brexit’. Only recently, we saw proof that wealthy Remainers are trying to put pressure on the Government to ignore the wishes of 17.4 million people – planning to reverse Brexit entirely. Once again, we’re hearing their calls for a second referendum – with claims that Britain could go back to the EU, say sorry and pretend the Brexit vote never happened. This is nothing but a refusal to accept the result of the referendum.

It is also fundamentally dishonest. The EU we voted to leave doesn’t exist anymore. Since the referendum, Brussels has made no secret of its intention to reach even further across Europe and centralise more powers. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. A single currency requires something that has the powers equivalent to a government. For the Euro to become an effective currency, the EU has to integrate more deeply.

The French President has made his dream of a United States of Europe clear. The bureaucrats in Brussels are happy to oblige. Jean-Claude Juncker wants every EU member state to have the euro, and has called for more countries to join the passport-free Schengen area. This is not an EU that I think even many of the 48 per cent of people who voted Remain would want to be part of, let alone choose to re-join.

Despite this lack of public appetite, the voices of those who want to keep the UK tied to Brussels are gaining traction – largely, I believe, due to the Government’s public silence on key Brexit issues. I know from personal experience how tricky and time-consuming negotiations with the EU can be, but I sense a growing concern amongst both politicians and voters that the Government is sliding towards unpalatable compromises. Ministers must steel their resolve, stay true to the principles that the Prime Minister set out in her original Brexit speech, and be bold in committing to that positive and united vision for Brexit.

This is a moment which will shape our country for generations to come, and will outlast anyone’s political career. So as the Cabinet discusses its plan for the UK outside the EU, all its members must put country before any other ambitions they may have, and unite in giving the public a concrete idea of the new relationship we want to have with our European partners. As well as providing clarity, such boldness would put paid to those pro-EU campaigners who doubt this country’s entrepreneurial energy and ability for renewal, and help carry the support of people who voted both Leave and Remain in good faith that, whatever the referendum result, the Government would deliver on it.

I urge the Government to be bold and clear in its objective to negotiate a clean Brexit. If we believe that trust in politicians and institutions matters, then the Prime Minister must deliver what the public voted for and what she promised. If we don’t take back control of our borders, our laws, our trade and money, then it will have been a failure of our political class and a failure of democracy.

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Mark Lehain is the founder and principal of Bedford Free School.

On the surface, Wednesday’s update by Nick Gibb on the introduction of a national multiplication tables check (MTC) was no different to that for any other education policy: an announcement was made, the usual suspects accused it of being pointless/child abuse/evil (delete as applicable), the media covered for a day, and then everyone moved on.

However, while it might not seem like an earth-shattering move, it’s a good example of how policy development and implementation in education has improved in recent years. I also think it’s the sort of thing the Government should draw attention to, to highlight the progress made in schools as a result of the reforms kicked off since Michael Gove.

Let’s look at it in terms of policy development first.

The tables check proposed builds on lessons learned from the Year 1 phonics screening check (PSC), introduced in 2012. Obviously, every school in the land was already trying to teach children to read, but the PSC helped to embed a much more effective means of getting children started with this – “systematic synthetic phonics” – and it provided invaluable information for teachers and parents as to which children were doing well and who’d got off to a wobbly start.

The improvements that the PSC induced have led to the number of children meeting the necessary standard increasing significantly, with 154,000 more doing so last year compared to 2012. That’s 154,000 more kids getting a better start in the world of reading – and the intention is for the tables check to have the same effect for the times tables and maths.

The way the MTC has been tweaked during development is also evidence of the Government trying to get things right before implementation. It’s deliberately been kept simple and specific, limited to a part of maths that is fundamentally important, already taught, and easily and accurately measurable. This means that any additional burden on pupils and schools is minimal, and the results really will tell us if kids can fluently do their tables or not.

The roll-out has been carefully piloted, taking on board lessons and feedback along the way to see what worked best. They also consulted with schools to find out when they felt pupils would most benefit from sitting it – it was the profession that suggested Year 4, with voluntary participation in 2019 and universal entry from 2020.

Importantly, to avoid the MTC becoming too high stakes the results won’t be published on a school-by-school basis, nor will they be used by the Department for Education or Ofsted to judge a school’s performance. This is not the Government going soft either: there’s enough oversight of primary schools already, with them held accountable for results in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6. And even if results are not officially used by the DfE or Ofsted, you can be sure that heads and governors will unofficially compare how they’re doing to other schools, and give times tables their rightful priority as a result.

Results will be published at a Local Authority level and be available to researchers, so further down the line we’ll have extremely powerful data to draw upon to discover which teaching approaches work best and make the biggest difference to children in the long run. The policy geek in me is salivating at this prospect.

In the MTC then, we have a policy that is universal in reach, simple to comprehend, and works for everyone with an interest in education: parents, teachers, school leaders, educational researchers and wonks alike. This is the very sort of thing that could draw more people’s attention to the improvements made under the Conservatives.

I’ve worked in schools since 2002. I experienced first-hand the endless dumbing-down of curriculum and exams that occurred. I saw how pupils and staff suffered from behaviour and “inclusion” policies that made it harder to keep schools orderly, under the constant worry of an appeal or tribunal. Also how Ofsted got out of control, promoting bizarre practices that dragged the profession down, held schools in fear, and led to a culture of compliance, not scholarship.

Since 2010, much of the attention has been on the big bang policies – mass academisation, free schools, new GCSEs and A-levels, and so on. These were important, but there have also been a series of seemingly small but very significant ones too, focused on re-empowering teachers, and allowing schools to operate on a fairer basis.

To pick just a few, technical changes to how funding is allocated, exams sat and league tables constructed have fundamentally changed the incentives schools face. This encourages them to give children a more rigorous academic curriculum, and ensure money is shared out across areas more fairly. They’re also now judged in ways such that every child really counts.

Heads have been freed up even more to run their schools as they see fit in all sorts of ways including, very importantly, behaviour, with the right of appeal against permanent exclusions removed since 2012. Heads and their Governors now know that, having taken such a difficult decision, they will not be undermined by others. This sends out a strong signal to families that the system is on the side of the vast majority of children who abide by the rules day-in, day-out. It’s made a huge difference to schools being able to ensure children can learn and staff are safe to go about their work.

A fairer funding formula, better behaviour in schools, fluency in numeracy and literacy, a richer National Curriculum, better examinations: these sorts of things appeal to the public’s innate common sense and fairness.

They state loudly and proudly that when children go to our state schools they will be taught the things that will set them on their way in life, in a safe and orderly environment. They make it clear to hundreds of thousands of staff that they are respected and in charge, free to teach the best that has been thought, said, and done, in schools that are judged in a fairer way.

No single policy will solve all the challenges facing our schools. The multiplication tables check, powerful in its own way, needs to be seen in the broader context of things bedding in after a period of innovation and learning. The Government should make the most of changes such as these though, as they’re the kind of thing that resonate with parents and the wider teaching profession, are easily understood, and will be shown to make a direct difference to children’s lives.

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For more than half a century, this conference has brought nations together from Europe and across the Atlantic to forge our common security.

The fundamental values we share – respect for human dignity, human rights, freedom, democracy and equality – have created common cause to act together in our shared interest.

The rules-based system we helped to develop has enabled global cooperation to protect those shared values.

Today as globalisation brings nations closer together than ever before, we face a host of new and growing threats that seek to undermine those rules and values.

As internal and external security become more and more entwined – with hostile networks no longer only rooted in state-based aggression and weapons designed not just to be deployed on the battlefield but through cyberspace – so our ability to keep our people safe depends ever more on working together.

That is reflected here today in the world’s largest gathering of its kind, with representatives of more than seventy countries.

For our part, the United Kingdom has always understood that our security and prosperity is bound to global security and prosperity.

We are a global nation – enriching global prosperity through centuries of trade, through the talents of our people and by exchanging learning and culture with partners across the world.

And we invest in global security knowing this is how we best protect our people at home and abroad.

That is why we are the second largest defence spender in NATO, and the only EU member to spend two per cent of our GDP on defence as well as 0.7 per cent of our Gross National Income on international development. And it is why we will continue to meet these commitments.

It is why we have created a highly developed set of security and defence relationships: with the US and Five Eyes partners, with the Gulf and increasingly with Asian partners too. 

We have invested in critical capabilities – including our nuclear deterrent, our two new aircraft carriers, our world class special forces and intelligence agencies.

We are a leading contributor to international missions from fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria to peacekeeping in South Sudan and Cyprus, and NATO missions in Eastern Europe.

And within Europe we are working ever more closely with our European partners, bringing the influence and impact that comes from our full range of global relationships.

And we want to continue this cooperation as we leave the European Union.

The British people took a legitimate democratic decision to bring decision making and accountability closer to home.

But it has always been the case that our security at home is best advanced through global cooperation, working with institutions that support that, including the EU.

Changing the structures by which we work together should not mean we lose sight of our common aim – the protection of our people and the advance of our common interests across the world.

So as we leave the EU and forge a new path for ourselves in the world, the UK is just as committed to Europe’s security in the future as we have been in the past.

Europe’s security is our security. And that is why I have said – and I say again today – that the United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining it.

The challenge for all of us today is finding the way to work together, through a deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU, to retain the co-operation that we have built and go further in meeting the evolving threats we face together.

This cannot be a time when any of us allow competition between partners, rigid institutional restrictions or deep-seated ideology to inhibit our cooperation and jeopardise the security of our citizens.

We must do whatever is most practical and pragmatic in ensuring our collective security.

Today I want to set out how I believe we can achieve this – taking this opportunity to establish a new security partnership that can keep our people safe, now and in the years ahead.

Safeguarding our internal security

Let me start with how we ensure security within Europe.

The threats we face do not recognise the borders of individual nations or discriminate between them.

We all in this room have shared the pain and heartbreak of terrorist atrocities at home.

It is almost a year since the despicable attack on Westminster, followed by further attacks in Manchester and London.

These people don’t care if they kill and maim Parisians, Berliners, Londoners or Mancunians because it is the common values that we all share which they seek to attack and defeat.

But I say: we will not let them.

When these atrocities occur, people look to us as leaders to provide the response.

We must all ensure that nothing prevents us from fulfilling our first duty as leaders: to protect our citizens.

And we must find the practical ways to ensure the co-operation to do so.

We have done so before.

When Justice and Home Affairs ceased to be intergovernmental and became a shared EU competence, of course there were some in the UK who would have had us adopt the EU’s approach wholesale, just as there were some who would have had us reject it outright.

As Home Secretary, I was determined to find a practical and pragmatic way in which the UK and EU could continue to co-operate on our common security.

That is why I reviewed each provision in turn and successfully made the case for the UK to opt back in to those that were clearly in our national interest.

Through the relationship we have developed, the UK has been at the forefront of shaping the practical and legal arrangements that underpin our internal security cooperation.

And our contribution to those arrangements is vital in protecting European citizens in cities right across our continent.

First our practical cooperation, including our expedited extradition and mutual legal assistance relationship, means wanted or convicted serious criminals – and the evidence to support their convictions – move seamlessly between the UK and EU Member States. 

So when a serious terrorist like Zakaria Chadili was found living in the UK – a young man who was believed to have been radicalised in Syria and was wanted for terrorist offences in France – there was no delay in ensuring he was extradited back to France and brought to justice.

He is one of 10,000 people the UK has extradited through the European Arrest Warrant. In fact, for every person arrested on a European Arrest Warrant issued by the UK, the UK arrests eight on European Arrest Warrants issued by other Member States.

The European Arrest Warrant has also played a crucial role in supporting police cooperation between Northern Ireland and Ireland – which has been a fundamental part of the political settlement there.

Second, cooperation between our law enforcement agencies means the UK is one of the biggest contributors of data, information and expertise to Europol. Take for example, Operation Triage where police in the UK worked extensively with Europol and the Czech Republic to crack a trafficking gang involved in labour exploitation.

Third, through the Schengen Information System II, the UK is contributing to the sharing of real-time data on wanted criminals, missing persons and suspected terrorists. About a fifth of all alerts are circulated by the UK, with over 13,000 hits on people and objects of interest to law enforcement across Europe in the last year alone.

The UK has also driven a pan-EU approach to processing passenger data, enabling the identification and tracking of criminals, victims of trafficking and those individuals vulnerable to radicalisation.

In all these areas, people across Europe are safer because of this co-operation and the unique arrangements we have developed between the UK and EU institutions in recent years.

So it is in all our interests to find ways to protect the capabilities which underpin this co-operation when the UK becomes a European country outside the EU but in a new partnership with it.

To make this happen will require real political will on both sides.

I recognise there is no existing security agreement between the EU and a third country that captures the full depth and breadth of our existing relationship.

But there is precedent for comprehensive, strategic relationships between the EU and third countries in other fields, such as trade. And there is no legal or operational reason why such an agreement could not be reached in the area of internal security.

However, if the priority in the negotiations becomes avoiding any kind of new cooperation with a country outside the EU, then this political doctrine and ideology will have damaging real world consequences for the security of all our people, in the UK and the EU.

Let’s be clear about what would happen if the means of this cooperation were abolished.

Extradition under the European Arrest Warrant would cease. Extradition outside the European Arrest Warrant can cost four times as much and take three times as long.

It would mean an end to the significant exchange of data and engagement through Europol.

And it would mean the UK would no longer be able to secure evidence from European partners quickly through the European Investigation Order, with strict deadlines for gathering evidence requested, instead relying on slower, more cumbersome systems.

This would damage us both and would put all our citizens at greater risk.

As leaders, we cannot let that happen.

So we need, together, to demonstrate some real creativity and ambition to enable us to meet the challenges of the future as well as today.

That is why I have proposed a new Treaty to underpin our future internal security relationship. 

The Treaty must preserve our operational capabilities. But it must also fulfil three further requirements.

It must be respectful of the sovereignty of both the UK and the EU’s legal orders. So, for example, when participating in EU agencies the UK will respect the remit of the European Court of Justice.

And a principled but pragmatic solution to close legal co-operation will be needed to respect our unique status as a third country with our own sovereign legal order.

As I have said before, we will need to agree a strong and appropriate form of independent dispute resolution across all the areas of our future partnership in which both sides can have the necessary confidence.

We must also recognise the importance of comprehensive and robust data protection arrangements.

The UK’s Data Protection Bill will ensure that we are aligned with the EU framework. But we want to go further and seek a bespoke arrangement to reflect the UK’s exceptionally high standards of data protection. And we envisage an ongoing role for the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, which would be beneficial in providing stability and confidence for EU and UK individuals and businesses alike.

And we’re ready to start working through this with colleagues in the European Commission now.

Finally, just as we have been able to develop the agreement on passenger name records in the face of terrorist atrocities in recent years, so the Treaty must have an ability to ensure that as the threats we face change and adapt – as they surely will – our relationship has the capacity to move with them.

Nothing must get in the way of our helping each other in every hour of every day to keep our people safe.

If we put this at the heart of our mission – we can and will find the means.

And we cannot delay discussions on this.

EU Member States have been clear how critical it is that we maintain existing operational capabilities.

We must now move with urgency to put in place the Treaty that will protect all European citizens wherever they are in the continent.

External security

But clearly our security interests don’t stop at edge of our continent.

Not only do the threats to our internal security emanate from beyond our borders, as we look at the world today we are also facing profound challenges to the global order: to peace, prosperity, to the rules-based system that underpins our very way of life.

And in the face of these challenges, I believe it is our defining responsibility to come together and reinvigorate the transatlantic partnership – and the full breadth of all our global alliances – so that we can protect our shared security and project our shared values.

The United Kingdom is not only unwavering in its commitment to this partnership, we see reinvigorating it as a fundamental part of our global role as we leave the European Union.

As a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, as a leading contributor to NATO and as America’s closest partner, we have never defined our global outlook primarily through our membership of the European Union or by a collective European foreign policy.

So upon leaving the EU, it is right that the UK will pursue an independent foreign policy.

But around the world, the interests that we will seek to project and defend will continue to be rooted in our shared values.

That is true whether fighting the ideologies of Daesh, developing a new global approach to migration, ensuring the Iranian nuclear deal is properly policed or standing up to Russia’s hostile actions, whether in Ukraine, the Western Balkans or in cyberspace.

And in all these cases, our success depends on a breadth of partnership that extends far beyond the institutional mechanisms for cooperation with the EU.

That means doing more to develop bi-lateral co-operation between European nations, as I was pleased to do with President Macron at last month’s UK-France Summit.

It means building the ad hoc groupings which allow us to counter terrorism and hostile state threats, as we do through the 30 strong intergovernmental European Counter Terrorism Group – the largest of its kind in the world.

It means ensuring that a reformed NATO alliance remains the cornerstone of our shared security.

And, critically, it means both Europe and the United States reaffirming our resolve to the collective security of this continent, and to advancing the democratic values on which our interests are founded.

Taken together, it is only by strengthening and deepening this full range of partnerships within Europe and beyond that we will be able to respond together to the evolving threats we face.
So what does this mean for the future security partnership between the UK and the EU?

We need a partnership that respects both the decision-making autonomy of the European Union and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.

This is fully achievable.  The EU’s common foreign policy is distinct within the EU Treaties and our foreign policies will keep evolving.  So, there is no reason why we should not agree distinct arrangements for our foreign and defence policy cooperation in the time-limited implementation period, as the Commission has proposed. This would mean that key aspects of our future partnership in this area would already be effective from 2019.

We shouldn’t wait where we don’t need to.

In turn, if the EU and its remaining Member States believe that the best means to increase the contribution Europe makes to our collective security is through deeper integration, then the UK will look to work with you. And help you to do so in a way which strengthens NATO and our wider alliances too, as EU leaders have repeatedly made clear.

The partnership that we need to create is therefore one which offers the UK and the EU the means and choice to combine our efforts to the greatest effect – where this is in our shared interest.

To put this into practice so that we meet the threats we all face today and build the capabilities we all need for tomorrow, there are three areas on which we should focus.

First, at a diplomatic level, we should have the means to consult each other regularly on the global challenges we face, and coordinate how we use the levers we hold where our interests align.
In particular, we will want to continue to work closely together on sanctions. We will look to carry over all EU sanctions at the time of our departure. And we will all be stronger if the UK and EU have the means to co-operate on sanctions now and potentially to develop them together in the future.

Second, it is clearly in our shared interests to be able to continue to coordinate and deliver operationally on the ground.

Of course, we will continue to work with and alongside each other.

But where we can both be most effective by the UK deploying its significant capabilities and resources with and indeed through EU mechanisms – we should both be open to that.

On defence, if the UK and EU’s interests can best be furthered by the UK continuing to contributing to an EU operation or mission as we do now, then we should both be open to that.

And similarly, while the UK will decide how we spend the entirety of our foreign aid in the future, if a UK contribution to EU development programmes and instruments can best deliver our mutual interests, we should both be open to that.

But if we are to choose to work together in these ways, the UK must be able to play an appropriate role in shaping our collective actions in these areas.

Third, it will also be in our interests to continue working together on developing the capabilities – in defence, cyber and space – to meet future threats.

The UK spends around 40 per cent of Europe’s total on defence R&D.  This investment provides a sizeable stimulus to improve Europe’s competitiveness and capability. And this is to the benefit of us all. 

So an open and inclusive approach to European capability development – that fully enables British defence industry to participate – is in our strategic security interests, helping keep European citizens safe and Europe’s defence industries strong.

And Eurofighter Typhoon is a great example of this – a partnership between the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain which has supported over 10,000 highly skilled jobs across Europe.

This is also why the UK wants to agree a future relationship with the European Defence Fund and the European Defence Agency, so that jointly we can research and develop the best future capability that Europe can muster.

Last year’s ‘NotPetya’ cyber-attack showed why we also need to work closely to defend our interests in cyberspace.

This reckless attack – which the UK and partners have attributed to Russia – disrupted organisations across Europe costing hundreds of millions of pounds.

To contend with a truly global threat such as this we need a truly global response – with not only the UK and EU, but industry, government, like minded states and NATO all working together to strengthen our cyber security capabilities.

And as our lives move increasingly online, so we will also become increasingly reliant on space technologies. Space is a domain like any other where hostile actors will seek to threaten us.

So we very much welcome the EU’s efforts to develop Europe’s capabilities in this field.  We need to keep open all the options which will enable the UK and the EU to collaborate in the most effective way possible. The UK hosts much of Europe’s cutting edge capabilities on space and we have played a leading role, for example, in the development of the Galileo programme.

We are keen for this to continue as part of our new partnership, but, as is the case more widely, we need to get the right agreements concluded which will allow the UK and its businesses to take part on a fair and open basis.


It was the tragic massacre at the 1972 Olympics here in Munich which subsequently inspired a British Foreign Secretary, Jim Callaghan, to propose an intergovernmental group aimed at coordinating European counter terrorism and policing.

At the time this was outside the formal mechanisms of the European Community. But in time, it became the foundations for the cooperation that we have on Justice and Home Affairs today.

Now, as then, we can – and must – think pragmatically and practically to create the arrangements that put the safety of our citizens first. 

For ours is a dynamic relationship, not a set of transactions.

A relationship built on an unshakeable commitment to our shared values.

A relationship in which we must all invest if we are to be responsive and adaptive to threats which will emerge perhaps more rapidly than any of us can imagine.

A relationship in which we must all play our full part in keeping our continent safe and free, and reinvigorate the transatlantic alliance and rules based system on which our shared security depends.

Those who threaten our security would like nothing more than to see us fractured.

They would like nothing more than to see us put debates about mechanisms and means ahead of doing what is most practical and effective in keeping our people safe.

So let the message ring out loud and clear today: we will not let that happen.

We will together protect and project our values in the world – and we will keep our people safe – now and in the years to come.

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Corbyn “knew” he was supplying information to a Czech spy during the Cold War

“The Czechoslovak secret agent who met Jeremy Corbyn during the Eighties claimed last night that the Labour leader knew he was a spy and said the MP had supplied information to the Communist regime. Speaking for the first time since it emerged that he had met Mr Corbyn, Jan Sarkocy on Friday dismissed the suggestion that the Islington North MP believed he was simply a diplomat. “Everybody knew that ‘diplomat’ was just a cover for spy,” he said. “It was a conscious cooperation. Diplomat and agent were the same thing.” Mr Corbyn has denied being an agent or informer, but Mr Sarkocy, who was expelled from the UK by Margaret Thatcher and now lives in Bratislava, said that the information revealed by the MP – whose codename was Agent Cob – was “rated in Moscow as the number one”. He also said that more meetings – in addition to the three disclosed earlier this week – took place between the pair.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Allegations “like a bad Bond film” – The Times
  • How Corbyn helped two Cuban spies come to UK – Daily Mail
  • The Corbyn Files – The Sun
Moore: These Communist links should be taken seriously

“The media jocularity is interesting. Suppose it could be shown that the young Theresa May had attended a rally of the British National Front (now the BNP) or had been entertained by the South African secret service BOSS. We should never hear the end of it – until it was the end of her. Yet the case against Mr Corbyn is worse than the false one I have just imagined about Mrs May, because the organisations I have mentioned – nasty though they were – were not enemies of the British state.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

May will warn the EU not to block security deal…

“Theresa May will warn EU leaders that public safety will suffer if they allow “political doctrine and ideology” to hamper post-Brexit security arrangements. The prime minister will say she wants a new partnership of unprecedented “depth and breadth” when the UK leaves the EU. In a speech to the Munich Security Conference she will urge countries to show “real political will”. New security arrangements have yet to be negotiated for after Brexit. During talks with Angela Merkel on Friday, Mrs May said both sides need to be “bold and ambitious” in framing their future relations.” – BBC

  • PM is pushing at an open door – James Forsyth, The Sun
  • May in Munich – Leader, The Times
  • Lives could be put at risk – Daily Telegraph
  • Merkel insists she isn’t ‘frustrated’ at lack of Brexit clarity – The Sun
  • Hope for bespoke deal on financial services – Daily Telegraph
…as Wollaston claims disorderly Brexit could put patient care at risk

“A delay in agreeing a Brexit transition deal could harm NHS patients, a senior MP has warned. In a letter to the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the chair of the Commons health committee, Sarah Wollaston, said that any holdups could put patient care at risk. Wollaston said it would mean more health businesses diverting money towards contingency planning for a “disorderly” withdrawal from the European Union. “Patient care, both in the UK and Europe, is at risk of being compromised in the event of a disorderly Brexit. Businesses and services – like government – need to plan for all outcomes to avoid any disruption to the supply of medical products,” she said.” – The Guardian

>Today: David Campbell Bannerman on Comment: Why EFTA wouldn’t work for Britain

Mordaunt bars Oxfam from receiving further taxpayer funding…

“Oxfam has been barred from receiving new government funding unless it reforms, the international development secretary announced last night. Penny Mordaunt said that the charity, which was given £31.7 million last year, would stop getting public money until her department was “satisfied that they can meet the high standards we expect”. The ministry is the first large donor to withdraw funds from Oxfam since The Times revealed eight days ago that the charity had covered up the use of prostitutes by senior aid workers in Haiti.” – The Times

  • “It’s not like we murdered babies’: Oxfam’s UK chief – Daily Mail
  • This charity is a bloated giant on life support – Katie Perrior, The Times
  • Rees-Mogg’s niece backs overseas aid spending – The Sun
  • 20 press officers but only four safeguarding staff – The Times
  • “Oxfam has been found wanting on every level. The CEO must go” – Interview with Priti Patel, The Times
…as Oborne declares that our foreign aid civil servants are complicit in the scandal

“The Department for International Development (DfID), which has given hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to these charities, is also in the dock. We now know its officials were aware of the shocking culture of sexual abuse, exploitation and paedophilia that exists in Oxfam and in much of the rest of the aid sector that DfID oversees.” – Peter Oborne, Daily Mail

Bradley to “consider all options” after talks break down

“The Northern Ireland Secretary has said she will consider all options over the weekend following the collapse of power-sharing talks. Karen Bradley is due to update MPs at Westminster on Tuesday. Speaking during a walkabout in Belfast, she said it had been a difficult week but she believed the political will was still there to restore devolution. DUP leader Arlene Foster said talks collapsed because of disagreement with Sinn Féin over the Irish language.” – BBC

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Why Northern Ireland’s talks collapsed. Sinn Fein’s red line was too green for the DUP.

Tuition fees could be cut in university funding review

Tuition fees could be cut and interest rates for student loan repayments slashed under a major review of higher education funding unveiled by the Prime Minister next week. Theresa May and Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, will announce an independent review into higher education in a bid to ensure it delivers value for money for students. The review, which is expected to last for up to a year, will consider whether the amount that universities can charge students in tuition fees should be tied to job prospects and earnings after they graduate.” – Daily Telegraph

Gove considers foie gras ban after Brexit

“Michael Gove is considering a ban on foie gras as he tries to avoid being outflanked by Labour in the drive to improve animal welfare. Imports of the delicacy, which is made from the livers of force-fed geese and ducks, could be barred as a way of illustrating the benefits of Brexit. EU single market rules mean that a ban on foie gras by Britain is not legally possible to impose, nor are restrictions on the export of live animals for slaughter. Mr Gove will challenge Labour, which last week mooted a ban, to say whether it, too, was prepared to support diverging from European law.” – The Times

Rudd hints that captured members of the ISIS ‘Beatles’ gang could be tried abroad

“The two captured jihadist Brits from the beheading “Beatles” gang should face trial abroad, the Home Secretary indicated yesterday. It came as top counter-terror cop Neil Basu said up to 100 ISIS fighters could try to return to the UK. Amber Rudd said of the pair: “They will absolutely need to face justice. “Those alternatives exist. Above all I’ll make sure the British people are kept safe.” – The Sun

UKIP members gather to decide Bolton’s fate

“UKIP members will vote later on whether to back or sack leader Henry Bolton. An extraordinary general meeting in Birmingham will decide the fate of the former army officer, who has been in the job for less than six months. He has faced calls to quit since it emerged his partner Jo Marney sent racist messages about Meghan Markle. But he has won the backing of ex-leader Nigel Farage who said “for all his faults”, removing Mr Bolton would hasten UKIP’s path to “irrelevance”. Mr Farage has warned the party – which won 12.6% of the vote in the 2015 general election but has been in a tailspin ever since – was in danger of “collapsing” and it might be “too late to save it”. – BBC

17,000 email the Labour Party to demand a “clear” stance on Brexit…

“Labour has received 17,000 emails over five days from people lobbying for a clearer party policy on Brexit. The emails, coordinated by Labour MPs and campaigners, call on Labour to give supporters “their say” by setting up a new policy commission on Brexit. They say there is a “pressing need” for the party to set out an alternative approach to government Brexit plans. Labour said its national policy forum, which meets in Leeds this weekend, plans to discuss the impact of Brexit.” – BBC

  • Is it possible to reverse Brexit? – Anand Menon, The Guardian
…as Malloch-Brown says most Brexiteers will “die off”

“A leading Remain campaigner has been accused of peddling a “myth” by suggesting his side will have a majority soon once the older people who backed Brexit “die off”. Former government minister and United Nations official Lord Malloch-Brown chairs the Best for Britain campaign part-funded by billionaire financier George Soros. The peer said he was “profoundly” motivated by the feelings of his children, their friends and the youth groups his campaign was working with. He said: ”They are all really angry with older people.”…He agreed with a Telegraph podcast interviewer that this would happen “as all the Brexiteers die off … because under 55 there was a huge majority in this country [for Remain], tailing off as you got to 55″.” – Daily Express

  • Soros “the billionaire who can’t stop interfering in other nations’ affairs” – Guy Adams, Daily Mail
Labour leader embroiled in another race row

“A YouTube star who teamed up with Jeremy Corbyn for an anti-racism campaign has sent offensive tweets about other races, it emerged today. David Vujanic, 25, joked about Hitler and mocked black people on his Twitter account. He also repeatedly quoted other tweeters using the N-word, and used derogatory language about Jewish people. Mr Vujanic this week released a video interview with the Labour leader where Mr Corbyn vowed to stamp out racism in football.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Corbyn walks into yet another racism scandal, but can the Tories make anything of it?

Romney plans return to the Senate

“Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has announced he is running for a US Senate seat in Utah, while taking a dig at President Donald Trump. In a Facebook campaign video, he lamented that Washington was sending “a message of exclusion” to immigrants. A vocal critic of Mr Trump, Mr Romney is seen as a shoo-in for outgoing Republican Senator Orrin Hatch’s seat.” – BBC

  • Russians charged over election plot to help Trump – The Times
Council proposes to ban ‘annoying’ tree climbing and kite flying

“Climbing a tree, flying a kite or a family game of cricket are activities that are synonymous with a trip to the local park on long, hot summer days. They might not be for much longer, however, with one local authority threatening to clamp down on the traditional pastimes. Wandsworth council in southwest London is overhauling park rules for the first time in nearly a century, with penalties including fines of up to £500 and being ejected by the “park police” for children who cannot provide a “reasonable excuse” for anything that could be regarded as a transgression.” – The Times

Johnson: How we will help to save the pangolin

“We cannot let this cretinous slaughter continue. We must save the pangolin – and the UK government is doing its bit. This week I was proud to see the work of UK border force in Thailand as they help the Royal Thai Customs to detect the smuggled pangolins and put the traffickers behind bars…You may never have heard of a pangolin. But do you want to deprive your children and grandchildren of the chance of discovering it for themselves?” – Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph

News in Brief
  • The British Chinese should take more part in public life – Alan Mak, Evening Standard
  • There is no reason why Brexit should prevent the security services sharing information – John Redwood’s Diary
  • Staying in the European Arrest Warrant is a compromise too far – Steven Woolfe MEP, Brexit Central
  • Corbyn may not have been a spy, but he always opposed the West – Alex Massie, CapX
  • Is Donald Trump heading for his Monica Lewinsky moment? – Jacob Heilbrunn, Coffee House
  • Raab ” was a member of British Ultra Liberal Youth” – Independent
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