• Brexit: May humiliated by Salzburg ambush as she fights to save Chequers – Theresa May was left fighting to save her Chequers Brexit plan and with it her authority as prime minister after she was ambushed at the end of the Salzburg summit when EU leaders unexpectedly declared that her proposals would not work. On Thursday night the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, hit back for the government, declaring there were no changes to the Chequers plan on the table and the EU’s demands on Northern Ireland were “impossible” for the UK to accept. “The PM has set out red lines that this country is not going to stay in the single market, we’re not going to stay in the customs union – I agree with her on those, that’s the government’s position,” Grayling said. (The Guardian)
  • Don’t buy the Brexit hype: it’s a border in the Irish Sea or the customs union – Donald Tusk’s clear rejection of Theresa May’s Chequers plan at the Salzburg summit yesterday should not come as a surprise. The most important lesson of the Brexit negotiation is that it is not a negotiation, and never has been. Blessed with superior size, wealth and power, the EU has been able to dictate the framework and substance of the talks, and has refused any deviation from its red lines. The second most important lesson of the Brexit negotiation is that the EU will prioritise its economic and political cohesion above all else. That cohesion rests on two key outcomes: an undivided single market and an open border on the island of Ireland. (The Guardian)
  • Theresa May seeks to staunch fallout from EU summit – Prime Minister Theresa May will on Friday review with her closest aides the political wreckage of the Salzburg EU summit, which has prompted a senior minister to suggest that she could have to rewrite her Chequers Brexit plan. Mrs May has ordered a low-key response to her Salzburg humiliation to avoid inflaming Brexit tensions further, as she tries to map a political course through a potentially torrid Conservative party conference later this month and a “moment of truth” EU summit in October. (FT)