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When it comes to his analysis of where Brexit has got to, Philip Stephens reminds us in his column that there are “twists and turns aplenty yet to come in this dismal story of national self-harm”. But he argues that this week saw the hardline Brexiters lose control of the destination, as drama in the House of Commons made clear that parliament demands to have its say — even if it turns out to be an inconclusive one.

The “ultras” as Philip calls them, can, “wreck Theresa May’s plans, but lack the votes to carry their own. Their rage is palpable. Stalemate could yet see Britain staying in.”

American banks are now healthy, but what of the others?
Gillian Tett writes that European banks still have post-crisis repairs to do, according to criticism from former US policymakers.

The need for EU flexible thinking
Chris Giles sees the greatest danger in the current Brexit process as the failure to agree a “backstop” to protect the open border in Northern Ireland.

Defending university-business links
Eric Xu, chairman of Huawei Technologies, hits back at criticism from the US Congress of the company’s investment in US university research.

The US is miscast in Kabul’s talks with the Taliban
Foreign policy commentator Ahmed Rashid argues that attempts to make peace in Afghanistan will founder without a neutral mediator.

Can tech take on the eldercare burden?
Bring on the robots, writes Leyla Boulton, after experiencing the limits of how well the UK’s care homes could protect her mother and other patients with dementia.

What you’ve been saying

A smoker’s secret to living a long life— Letter from David Hockney:

Anjana Ahuja (“Britain must stop inflating the biomedical bubble”, July 17) says some people think that we are living longer because of anti-smoking messages rather than better drugs. But smokers are living longer as well, and I was told by a doctor many years ago that what was making people live longer was the washing of hands and the cleaning of teeth. I instinctively believed this. I am still a smoker at 81 but I wash my hands and clean my teeth regularly.

Comment by Cistercian on The cold war revival will be very expensive by John Gapper:

It is odd to hold the US military up as an example of an efficient integrated market. The F35 is more than $163bn over budget. To me, that does not indicate that duopoly/monopoly providers enhance efficiencies. The greatest threat to the US and to European populations and prosperity in recent years has not proven to be things which can be solved by more planes or aircraft carriers, but terrorism and intellectual property theft. In a post-nuclear age the Great Powers have rarely gone toe-to-toe with conventional weapons. It would make more sense to increase the budget for cyber and homeland security than expensive fighter jets and aircraft carriers.

All tax systems depend on the reliability and honesty of those who submit returns— Letter from Jeremy Good:

It is forgivable that, as a student, Kerys Montgomerie (Letters, July 9) does not understand the realities of value added tax operations. All taxation systems depend on the reliability and honesty of those who submit returns, backed up by audits and inspections. In our case, audits of inward processing relief take place about every two years, as do independent VAT inspections. After some 45 years of submitting returns to both authorities and a similar number of successful inspections and audits, I am confident that we follow the correct procedure.

Today’s opinion

The week the Brexiters lost control of Brexit
Tory hardliners fail to grasp that the EU would set the terms of a no-deal rupture

Inside Business: Luxottica looks ahead to sealing deal with Essilor
Merger could open door to mega-deals that would put this one in the shade

Germany asks difficult questions in the EU migration debate
An article in Die Zeit ruffles feathers among liberals and hardliners alike

European banks still have post-crisis repairs to do
Former US policymakers say their counterparts did not do enough to stop the rot

The Irish ‘backstop’ offers a key to unlocking the Brexit impasse
Some European flexible thinking is needed for a compromise and to avert a crisis

Bring on the robot carers: my mother would have approved
We need solutions to the crisis in adult social care in the UK

Free Lunch: Can the global economy do without America?
The world is preparing its strategy for bypassing the US

Afghan peace process requires a neutral mediator
The proposed US-Taliban talks will founder without an outside supervisor

Congress is wrong to question Huawei’s academic partnerships
The fruits of the research we fund are a public good not a threat to America

FT View

The FT View: An old movie is playing in emerging markets
But vulnerability to foreign funding need not mean an unhappy ending

The FT View: A rush to judgment over privacy will cause harm
The BBC should appeal against Cliff Richard’s legal precedent

The Big Read

The Big Read: The Chinese Communist party entangles big tech
By making new technology a priority, Beijing is placing a large bet on a small group of private sector companies

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