Although the world was led to believe that, thanks to the vote of Sajid Javid, the new Home Secretary, the idea of a ‘customs partnership’ with the EU had been killed by six to five in the cabinet Brexit sub-committee, the corpse was revivified by Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, on the Andrew Marr Show, where he suggested that 3,500 Toyota jobs were at risk. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, said: ‘The customs partnership is in a sense misnamed because it means single market as well as customs union and therefore we would not in effect be leaving the European Union.’ Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, was accused of differing from Theresa May, the Prime Minister, when he said: ‘If you have a new customs partnership, you have a crazy system whereby you end up collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU at the UK frontier.’ With temperatures reaching 28.7°C, Britain saw the hottest May bank holiday since its introduction by Michael Foot in 1978.
Elections in 150 councils in England left Labour with 2,350 wards, 77 more than in 2014, but far fewer than hoped, and the Conservatives with 1,332 wards, 33 fewer than before, but far more than feared. The Lib Dems were pleased with 536, an increase of 75. Ukip ended up with three council seats, against 126 before. Tower Hamlets re-elected a Labour mayor, driving the Aspire candidate into third place behind the People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets. The Labour MP Dan Jarvis was elected Mayor of the Sheffield region. Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United from 1986 to 2013, had an operation for a brain haemorrhage.
Everyone should be given £10,000 on their 25th birthday, according to a proposal by the Resolution Foundation, chaired by Lord Willetts. House prices fell by 3.1 per cent between March and April, the biggest drop since September 2010. Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank made a takeover bid for Virgin Money. Sajid Javid waived fees of £2,389 for more than 150 Afghan interpreters who have five-year visas to Britain to apply for indefinite leave to remain. In London, five people in 24 hours were shot. Meghan Markle, who is to marry Prince Harry, was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury and her waxen effigy set up in Madame Tussauds.
President Donald Trump of the United States said that he still thought the nuclear agreement with Iran was a ‘horrible, one-sided deal’ and announced that America would withdraw from it and reimpose sanctions. Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary, had gone to the trouble of appearing on Fox & Friends, Mr Trump’s favourite morning news programme, specially to urge him not to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ over Iran. Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed movement, claimed victory in elections in Lebanon, although the post of prime minister is reserved for a Sunni Muslim. Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a fourth term as President of Russia. Protests two days earlier saw 1,000 arrests, including that of a well-known opposition leader barred from standing against Mr Putin, Alexei Navalny, who was later released. Nasa launched a spaceship called InSight which should land on Mars on 26 November.
Argentina held talks with the International Monetary Fund after interest rates rose from 33.25 to 40 per cent, with the peso having a quarter of its value in the past year. Nestlé said it was paying $7.1 billion to sell Starbucks coffee to people at home. Twitter urged its 330 million users to change their passwords after it stored some in easily readable form. In Alabama, Trenton McKinley, 13, who had hit his head by falling from a trailer, regained consciousness and began to recover just after his parents had signed the paperwork to donate his organs. Belgian firemen gassed 20,000 chicks left in a baking-hot cargo container on the tarmac at Brussels Airport after a flight to the Democratic Republic of Congo was cancelled.
In Syria, hundreds of fighters and their families were taken by bus from their enclave between Homs and Hama to opposition-controlled territory in Idlib province in the north. Lava leapt up to 230ft in the air as fissures opened up from the eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, which destroyed dozens of houses and drove 2,000 from their homes. Australia was found to have only 50 days’ stock of petrol. In Rome, the ninth bus this year burst into flames. CSH
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