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Grayling to end Network Rail’s monopoly

telegraphnetwork“Network Rail will be stripped of its control over Britain’s train tracks and power will be handed to operators in the biggest shake-up of the railways for decades, the Government is to announce. In an attempt to end delays and to lower fares for consumers, Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, will say he wants the state-owned Network Rail to share responsibility for running the tracks with private train operators. It means that rail companies such as Virgin and Southern would become responsible for repairs and maintenance for the first time, ending Network Rail’s monopoly.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Change to be confirmed in speech to Policy Exchange – The Times(£)
  • Fares rise driven by Virgin Trains East Coast – The Guardian
  • Overcrowding and delays worsen – The Times(£)
  • Network Rail charging 50p to use public lavatory – Daily Mail
  • Travel plans changed by pets - inews

Brexit 1) EU customs deal possible says Hands

“The UK could seek a deal which would allow sections of the economy to remain within the EU’s customs union after Brexit, international trade minister Greg Hands has suggested. Mr Hands said officials would be able to choose the type of products to be covered by agreements. The union operates alongside the EU’s single market and free trade area. It comes after the Brexit secretary said the UK would consider paying for “best possible” single market access.” – BBC

>Today: George Maggs on Comment: Brexit. Trump. Not a revolt against the elites, but an upsurge of patriotism

>Yesterday: Columnist Syed Kamall: Barnier – reasonable, willing to listen, methodical

Brexit 2) UK won’t block EU defence co-operation says Boris

boris-johnson“Britain will not seek to obstruct European efforts to develop closer defence co-operation after Brexit, Boris Johnson has said. In a speech in London, the foreign secretary said: “If they want to do that, fine,” but said countries should ensure they met their Nato commitments. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has previously said the UK would oppose the move because it could “undermine” Nato. France and Germany have made the case for increased military co-operation.” – BBC

  • Save the African elephants says Boris – The Sun

Brexit 3) Government prepares Article 50 legislation in the event of Supreme Court defeat

“Theresa May will challenge Parliament to defy the will of the people by voting down Article 50 if the Government loses an appeal in the Supreme Court, senior sources have said. Ministers have told The Daily Telegraph that the “expectation” amongst Cabinet ministers is that the Government will not succeed in its bid to overturn a High Court ruling which said the Prime Minister must consult Parliament before triggering Article 50, which begins formal Brexit negotiations. In anticipation of a defeat in the Supreme Court, Number 10 is preparing legislation and allies of Mrs May are now “confident” that MPs “would not dare” try and vote down the legislation.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Four of the judges have formal links to the EU or European institutions – Daily Mail
  • Why the free press must shine a light on this unelected court – Leader Daily Mail
  • Rejecting Brexit would be a terrible mistake says Stephen Hawking – Daily Express
  • Judges rehearse for TV trial – The Times(£)
  • PM dares House of Lords to vote against Article 50 - Daily Express
  • Bring the remainers to a halt – The Sun Says
  • May hires her own economics adviser – Daily Mail

Brexit 4) “We’re the insurgents now,” says Morgan

nicky-morgan“Nicky Morgan is the leader of the Tory resistance, the pro-European liberal Conservative who is fighting to stop her party and the country veering to the right….She says:  “Anyone who voted Remain and now queries the type of Brexit is accused of being a moaner. That really says more about the other side. They have always been the anti-establishment underdogs and now it has flipped and they should be the responsible ones. They need to get on with it and not moan. We are the insurgents now.” – Interview with Nicky Morgan The Times(£)

  • Stop insulting voters says John Longworth – Daily Express
  • Police investigate threat to Anna Soubry  - The Sun

Brexit 5) UK may still spend money on Aid via the EU says Wharton

“Britain may still pay into EU aid agencies post-Brexit, a minister suggested yesterday. The International Development Minister James Wharton told MPs he suspected Britain would look to work with organisations that “could deliver value for money”. Mr Wharton was asked an urgent question in the Commons over whether funding would remain when Britain leaves the European Union.” – The Sun

By-election 1) Lib Dems “are back” says Farron

tim-farron-18-09-16“Lib Dem leader Tim Farron claims his party is “back in the big time” after it fought on the issue of Brexit to oust ex-Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election….Mr Farron said the outcome was a verdict on Theresa May’s “UKIP-ish” take on Brexit and showed that it was possible for moderates to win. The result was seized on by the European Parliament’s lead Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt – a Liberal politician – who congratulated Ms Olney and said Europe “is watching”.” – BBC

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The moral of Richmond Park. Don’t call unnecessary by-elections Continue to all today’s Newslinks