Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, including the back-door privatisation of the NHS.

1. Clegg promised no back-door privatisation of NHS. But new white paper opens the front door

At False Economy, Richard Blogger says that the Open Public Services white paper has paved the way for the privatisation of the NHS.

2. Tom Watson's letter to David Cameron: how will the PM explain this?

The Telegraph's Daniel Knowles asks why Cameron ignored Tom Watson's warnings about Andy Coulson last October.

3. How to save blue Labour from itself

Over at Total Politics, Sunder Katwala responds to Dan Hodge's NS post about the end of Blue Labour.

4. Osborne lets public bank bonuses rip, despite right's obsession with public sector pay

Left Foot Forward's Will Straw says new statistics underline the capitulation by the government on bank bonuses.

5. Ed Miliband ends the Baldwin controversy

FT Westminster's Kiran Stacey notes that the Labour leader has effectively killed off questions about his press secretary.

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PMQs review: Theresa May shows again that Brexit means hard Brexit

The Prime Minister's promise of "an end to free movement" is incompatible with single market membership. 

Theresa May, it is commonly said, has told us nothing about Brexit. At today's PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn ran with this line, demanding that May offer "some clarity". In response, as she has before, May stated what has become her defining aim: "an end to free movement". This vow makes a "hard Brexit" (or "chaotic Brexit" as Corbyn called it) all but inevitable. The EU regards the "four freedoms" (goods, capital, services and people) as indivisible and will not grant the UK an exemption. The risk of empowering eurosceptics elsewhere is too great. Only at the cost of leaving the single market will the UK regain control of immigration.

May sought to open up a dividing line by declaring that "the Labour Party wants to continue with free movement" (it has refused to rule out its continuation). "I want to deliver on the will of the British people, he is trying to frustrate the British people," she said. The problem is determining what the people's will is. Though polls show voters want control of free movement, they also show they want to maintain single market membership. It is not only Boris Johnson who is pro-having cake and pro-eating it. 

Corbyn later revealed that he had been "consulting the great philosophers" as to the meaning of Brexit (a possible explanation for the non-mention of Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith's resignation and May's Goldman Sachs speech). "All I can come up with is Baldrick, who says our cunning plan is to have no plan," he quipped. Without missing a beat, May replied: "I'm interested that [he] chose Baldrick, of course the actor playing Baldrick was a member of the Labour Party, as I recall." (Tony Robinson, a Corbyn critic ("crap leader"), later tweeted that he still is one). "We're going to deliver the best possible deal in goods and services and we're going to deliver an end to free movement," May continued. The problem for her is that the latter aim means that the "best possible deal" may be a long way from the best. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.