Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Now Republicans face the five stages of political grief (Guardian)

Every defeated party has to travel from denial to acceptance. At least in Mitt Romney's case the loss was unequivocal, writes Jonathan Freedland.

2. Justin Welby: oilman with a new calling (Financial Times)

The new Archbishop of Canterbury will do well to unite the Church's warring factions, says Matthew Engel.

3. A very good morning for this Prime Minister (Times) (£)

Quiet rage was the right response to Phillip Schofield, argues Matthew Parris.

4. Police commissioner elections are the first step on road to corruption (Guardian)

 

The Tories are pushing for private companies to take over major police roles, with insufficient safeguards, argues Yvette Cooper.
 
 
For all their fractiousness, they really are all in it together, says Andrew Martin.
 
 
Soon, China's leadership transitions will be attracting as much attention as America's, writes David Pilling.
 
 
Going on reality TV is mere idiocy. A political system friendly to corruption is what we should be worrying about, says Tanya Gold.
 
 
The poorest farmers in Africa are more advanced than the Burmese. Let the Coca-Cola consumerism begin, writes Janice Turner.
 
9. Farewell to our warrior nation (Daily Telegraph)
 
The Government is making huge cuts to the Army, Royal Navy and RAF in the mistaken belief that they no longer matter, says Max Hastings.
 
 
The "timeliness" of new play NSFW has nothing to do with Savile, argues Tom Sutcliffe.
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Theresa May's Brexit stance could come at a political cost

The Prime Minister risks raising unrealistic expectations among Leave backers.

Good morning. For Leavers, there's only one more sleep before Christmas: tomorrow Tim Barrow will moonlight as a courier and hand-deliver Theresa May's letter triggering Article 50 to Donald Tusk and Britain's Brexit talks will start.

Well, sort of. That we're pulling the trigger in the middle of, among other things, the French elections means that the EU27 won't meet to discuss May's exit proposals for another month. (So that's one of 23 out of 24 gone!)

The time pressure of the Article 50 process - which, its author Colin Kerr tells Politico was designed with the expulsion of a newly-autocratic regime in mind rather than his native country - disadvantages the exiting nation at the best of times and if there is no clear winner in the German elections in October that will further eat into Britain's negotiating time.

That Nigel Farage has announced that if the Brexit deal doesn't work out he will simply move abroad may mean that Brexit is now a win-win scenario, but heavy tariffs and customs checks seem a heavy price to pay just to get shot of Farage.

What are the prospects for a good deal? As I've written before, May has kept her best card - Britain's status as a net contributor to the EU budget - in play, though the wholesale rejection of the European Court may cause avoidable headaches over aviation and other cross-border issues where, by definition, there must be pooling of sovereignty one way or another.

That speaks to what could yet prove to be May's biggest mistake: she's done a great job of reassuring the Conservative right that she is "one of them" as far as Brexit is concerned. But as polling for BritainThinks shows, that's come at a cost: expectations for our Brexit deal are sky high. More importantly, the average Brexit voter is at odds with the Brexit elite over immigration. David Davis has once again reiterated that immigration will occasionally rise after we leave the EU. A deal in which we pay for single market access, can strike our own trade deals but the numbers of people coming to Britain remain unchanged might work as far as the British economy is concerned. May might yet come to regret avoiding an honest conversation about what that entails with the British public.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.