Protocol 1) We’ve taken back control, says Sunak as he hails breakthrough

“Rishi Sunak declared that Britain had “taken back control” after Brussels agreed to give the UK an effective veto over new European Union laws that affect Northern Ireland. The prime minister appealed to the Democratic Unionist Party and Conservative Eurosceptics to “seize the opportunity” of his Brexit deal, claiming that it represented a victory for the government. Sunak said the new “Windsor framework” had fundamentally rewritten the existing protocol and would permanently remove the border between Britain and Northern Ireland in the Irish Sea. He flew to Belfast to sell what he described as the decisive breakthrough.” – The Times

  • UK and EU seek to draw a line under the rancour of Brexit – FT
  • Von der Leyen hopes it will open “new chapter in our partnership” – Daily Telegraph
  • Why did the EU move so much more with this Brexit deal? – The Times


  • All sides deny organising royal meeting – Daily Mail
  • Sunak quietly dropped ‘nuclear option’ during EU talks – Daily Express

>Today: ToryDiary: Sunak’s Protocol Deal – and a question for Conservative MPs. Should the perfect be the enemy of the better?


Protocol 2) Prime Minister heads to Belfast to sell Northern Ireland trade deal

“UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has arrived in Belfast for meetings with business leaders to sell his post-Brexit trade deal for Northern Ireland after a guarded response from the region’s main unionist party. Sunak unveiled the so-called Windsor framework with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Monday, hailing it as a “new chapter” after years of fraught relations with the EU. The Democratic Unionist party, the region’s largest pro-UK force, welcomed the fact that the deal had gone beyond what the EU initially said was possible, but its leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said he would pore over the fine print before giving his verdict.” – FT

  • He ‘hand on heart’ believes he has achieved the best deal for Northern Ireland – Daily Mail
  • The outcomes if the DUP rejects Sunak’s new Brexit deal – Daily Telegraph
  • Paisley Jr says agreement “does not cut the mustard” – Daily Express
  • What are the DUP’s seven tests, and does this Framework pass them? – The Times


  • Sunak may need to call Johnson’s bluff – Daily Telegraph
  • Rebels fear deselection threat may force Braverman to back deal – Daily Express


  • What is the Stormont brake and will it help restore power sharing? – Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Robert Buckland MP in Comment: Why the time has come to drop the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill

Protocol 3) Steve Barclay, David Davis, and Dominic Raab: It’s a complete and utter game changer

“As former Brexit secretaries, we know that a huge part of the vote to leave was about restoring the sovereignty of the UK. People across our country – including the three of us – voted to leave the European Union because we’d had enough of a European rulebook being dumped on us from on high… The Windsor Framework will deliver smooth-flowing trade by removing any sense of a border in the Irish Sea, abolishing the need for businesses to comply with arduous export declarations for goods going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and scrapping current customs rules for post and parcels which is very good news for e-commerce and those of us wanting to send gifts to family and friends.” – Daily Mail

  • Agreement is a clean break from problems of recent past – James Cleverly MP, The Sun
  • The start of a positive new era in our relationship with the EU – Steve Baker MP, Daily Telegraph
  • Brexit must benefit everyone, including Northern Ireland – Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Daily Express


  • Four winners from new Brexit deal… and Boris isn’t one of them – David Maddox, Daily Express
  • Will Sunak attempt to wheel out King Charles for the EU work? – Ephriam Hardcastle, Daily Mail
  • Framework looks like a win, but next steps are tricky – Pippa Crerar, The Guardian


  • Von der Leyen was like a headmistress boasting about her star pupil – Henry Deedes, Daily Mail
  • Technocrat love-in has sorted the sausage war – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail


  • A breakthrough for Northern Ireland and the UK – FT
  • Remarkable political achievement that deserves the widest possible support – The Times
  • Deal is a big step towards a final Brexit accord – Daily Mail
  • We congratulate Rishi, he may just have got Brexit done at last – The Sun
  • Sunak played a difficult hand well – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Chris Heaton-Harris MP in Comment: I’m a former ERG Chairman – and here’s why I back this Agreement

Cities set to host fintech hubs to help drive innovation

“Financial innovation hubs will be established in cities across the UK and placements on offer at leading fintech firms to students at leading universities as part of government-backed plans. The plans are part of a push to encourage financial innovation which will be co-ordinated through a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT). One of its other roles will be to work with the government, regulators and the Bank of England on improving rulemaking in the sector. City minister Andrew Griffith said the initiative would further government ambitions to improve productivity by improving skills, and make the UK “a technology and science superpower”.” – FT

  • Labour plan to give menopausal women right to work from home – Daily Telegraph



Shapps ‘sympathetic’ to calls to scrap energy bills increase

“The energy secretary is “very sympathetic” to calls to protect people from a 20 per cent rise in their energy bills in April, adding to pressure on the chancellor to act. Grant Shapps said he was “working very hard” on the issue with Jeremy Hunt, as consumer groups and energy companies urged the government to scrap the planned increase. The government’s energy price guarantee limits gas and electricity tariffs so that a household with typical use will at present not pay more than £2,500 a year. However, that ceiling is due to rise to £3,000 a year from April.” – The Times

>Today: Ben Ramanauskas in Comment: Only blaming Brexit for supermarket shortages is lazy, simplistic, and wrong

Starmer targets planning system ‘that favours the wealthy’

“Sir Keir Starmer has vowed to overhaul a planning system which he said favours “the already wealthy”. The Labour leader said making it easier to build homes and infrastructure was critical to fulfilling his five “missions” for government. In a speech in the City of London about Labour’s first mission — to have the highest sustained growth of the G7 by the end of a first term in government — Starmer said Britain needed to build more in the next seven years than it had in the past 30… Speaking to The Times after his speech, Starmer expressed his frustration that infrastructure projects frequently get caught up in the planning system.” – The Times

Boothroyd, groundbreaking Speaker of the House of Commons, dies

“Boothroyd was the consummate performer. From her first instruction to the House — a request to “Call me Madam”, a line from a Broadway show — she took to her task of admonishing wayward MPs with gusto. Yet beyond the stern calls to order, given extra resonance thanks to a habit of 20 Rothmans a day, Boothroyd held a life-long appreciation of Westminster and all its trappings. In eight years as Speaker until her retirement in 2000 she arguably did more to reinvigorate the image of the UK parliament than any of her predecessors, resplendent in bespoke silk robes embellished with Tudor roses.” – FT

  • How ballsy Betty once snubbed Sinn Fein’s Adams – The Sun


  • In a tough era for women, she smashed parliament’s glass ceiling – Margaret Hodge, Rachel Reeves and Harriet Harman, The Guardian
  • Betty was one of a kind – Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Daily Express


  • The former Speaker was a doughty champion of parliamentary democracy – The Times

More obituaries:

  • Bernard Ingham, No 10 press secretary – FT

News in Brief:

  • Will the Windsor Framework get Brexit done? – Tom McTague, UnHerd
  • Windsor knot: how long will Unionists wear the deal? – Andrew McQuillan, The Spectator
  • Culture wars are turning into the conservatives’ Vietnam – Tom Jones, CapX
  • Who watches the Wikipedia editors? – Anon, The Critic

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