Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, including why hospitals could start charging for "hotel charges

1. Health bill could herald a new wave of hospital charges

In the future, hospitals could decide that they will not pay for "hotel charges", warns Richard Blogger at False Economy.

2. The new politics of leaning on business

Coffee House's Peter Hoskin looks at the trend of politicians "leaning" on businesses, rather than legislating against them.

3. European socialists call for regulation of the ratings agencies

The Party of European Socialists has hit out at the power of credit ratings agencies following Standard & Poor's downgrades, says Alex Hern at Left Foot Forward.

4. Coalition deal on Boris Island Airport threatened by Nick Clegg flip-flop

A private spat has escalated into a public one, says the Telegraph's Benedict Brogan.

5. Does the national party want your CLP office? Sort of...

Mark Ferguson investigates the claim that Labour is forcing local parties to hand over their headquarters buildings.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.