Boris Johnson’s proposals for a new Brexit deal are widely reported.
The Financial Times says the prime minister is pinning his hopes on his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, indicating to the EU that they could form the basis of an agreement.
But the New Statesman website points out the British plan includes new customs posts a few miles away from either side of the border.
It says as far as Dublin and Brussels are concerned, that is direct contravention of the definition of a hard border agreed two years ago.
To Mr Varadkar, the website adds, it does not matter whether they are on the border or a 10-minute drive away, it is still a hard border, and any plan along these lines is not going to fly,
Meanwhile, the Times says it has learnt that Mr Johnson is asking the EU to rule out a further extension to Article 50 as part of a new deal. The paper says his intention is to confront the Commons with a binary choice of agreeing the revised deal or ensuring Britain falls out of the EU without agreement on 31 October.
‘End of soft sentences’
The justice secretary’s plan to stop the most serious violent and sexual offenders from being released half-way through their sentences, makes the lead for the Daily Mail.
“End of the soft prison sentence,” is the headline. The paper’s leader column says Robert Buckland’s announcement provides some comfort and reassurance to the public.
The Daily Express also leads on law and order, saying Home Secretary Priti Patel will tell the Tory conference later that she plans to arm police in England and Wales with more Tasers and crack down on “county lines” drug gangs.
The paper says her rallying cry to the party faithful is intended to show that crime fighting has moved on from David Cameron’s “hug-a-hoodie” approach. Its headline says her message will be: “Criminals we are coming after you.”
The chancellor’s pledge – at the conference on Monday – to increase the National Living Wage and make it available to everyone over the age of 21, is widely considered.
The Huffpost UK website says it was particularly aimed at northern seats where the rise will have an even bigger impact than the South.
The Spectator website says it is a way of promising to put more money in people’s pockets that doesn’t, directly, cost the government anything.
But the Daily Telegraph warns that the rise will be another burden for hard-pressed small businesses.
May’s ‘fantastic time’
And the Tories’ spending promises raise many eyebrows. The Financial Times says the chancellor’s speech intensified Boris Johnson’s transformation of the Conservatives into a populist party.
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But there is also uneasiness among some Conservative-supporting papers. The Daily Mail says the prudence of the last decade means there is some scope for investment but the annual deficit has still not been wiped out.
In the Telegraph’s view, the Tories must not lose sight of the virtues of fiscal prudence and good economic management.
Finally, there’s much interest in Theresa May’s first public interview since leaving office – not at the Tory conference, but the Henley Literary Festival.
The Daily Express says that when asked whether she had read David Cameron’s new book, she replied that she would rather sit down with a good thriller or detective novel than a political memoir.
According to the paper, she revealed that she was not “rushing” to write her own memoirs.
The Times reports that she said she had no regrets about her political career – telling the audience: “I have had a fantastic time.”
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