NEARLY THREE-QUARTERS of Brits believe Theresa May should walk away from Brexit talks if presented with a ‘bad deal’. A snap poll yesterday revealed 74 per cent think No Deal is better than accepting punishment from EU chiefs. And the Sky News survey showed support for playing hardball is almost as high among 18 to 34 year-olds as over 55 years. Former UKIP MP and staunch Brexiteer Douglas Carswell said: “Seems No Deal would be preferred by a big majority. “Go ahead, Eurocrats, play hardball and make our day.” The survey came as Dutch bank Rabobank warned that any form of Brexit – either so-called Soft or Hard – would hammer the UK. It claimed a No Deal scenario – where we crash out of the EU in March 2019 without trading arrangements in place – would cost the UK economy £400 billion by 2030, leaving Brits £11,500 poorer.
A large majority of UK voters would rather Britain leave the European Union (EU) without a deal than accept a deal that is not in the nation’s best interest. Only 26 per cent of respondents to a Sky Data poll said any deal would be preferable to walking away from negotiations, with 76 per cent of respondents backing a “no deal” Brexit scenario rather than accepting a bad deal. Whilst opinions on Brexit are frequently portrayed as clashing along generational lines, support for the statement “no deal is better than a bad deal” was found to be strong across all age groups, holding at 75 per cent amongst 18 to 34-year- olds, 73 per cent of 35 to 54-year-olds, and 76 per cent of people over 55.
European Union leaders could hand Theresa May an olive branch in deadlocked Brexit negotiations next week by launching their own internal preparations for a transition to a new relationship with Britain. Draft conclusions submitted by summit chair Donald Tusk to the 27 other EU governments made final Brussels’ rejection of opening free trade talks now. But they also but gave the beleaguered British prime minister hope that they would do so in December – and that, if she ups her offers on divorce terms, the EU will be ready to start talking almost right away. With nerves fraying and threats flying about walking out without a deal come the March 2019 deadline for departure, the pound took a knock when EU negotiator Michel Barnier said a new round of talks this week had ended in continued deadlock over a British refusal to clarify how much it will pay on leaving.
Boris Johnson has called for Brussels to show more urgency and move the Brexit talks onto the next phase. He said: “We’re looking for some urgency from our friends and partners, time to put a bit of a tiger in the tank and get this thing done.” He said he felt the UK Government has made “helpful suggestions to get the great ship moving” and now is the time for Michel Barnier to take the talks forward. But this seems unlikely to happen, given Barnier stood next to David Davis yesterday and was still playing that broken EU record: Give us a load of cash or we won’t talk trade. Boris thinks No Deal is possible and Britain should be preparing for it – can he tell the Chancellor because he’s refused to invest in No Deal until any trade agreements have definitely fallen through.
Theresa May has been caught in a Brexit trap after EU leaders ruled Britain must pay up to secure future trade talks, while her own MPs demanded she make no more concessions. The heads of the EU states agreed the UK had not made “sufficient progress” on the withdrawal divorce terms, according to a leaked statement drafted by Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, just hours after confirmation that the talks are deadlocked. They backed the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, after he said negotiations over future trade with Britain would be blocked until Ms May gave ground on paying the UK’s Brexit “divorce” bill and guaranteeing citizens’ rights. From the negotiating table if the EU did not start talking trade. The leak appeared to make clear that, at a key meeting of the European Council next week, EU leaders will confirm Mr Barnier’s refusal to consider trade talks now as the official stance of all member states.
No 10 has been forced to delay its flagship Brexit bill after Conservative rebels backed a series of hostile amendments. Ministers had planned to push the EU Withdrawal Bill, which has passed its second reading in the House of Commons, through to committee stage next week. But the timetable has slipped after the Tory whips decided they needed more time to strike compromises with rebel MPs in order to avoid a series of damaging defeats. In total 300 amendments and 54 new clauses have been tabled to the bill, which transfers European law onto the domestic statute book after Brexit, underlining the resistance within the Commons from both opposition parties and some Conservative MPs.
Ministers have been forced to postpone next week’s debate on the EU withdrawal bill on a chaotic day that saw Michel Barnier warn of a “disturbing deadlock” in the divorce talks in Brussels and a growing whispering campaign against the chancellor in Westminster. Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, told MPs the key piece of Brexit legislation would not be debated next week, as they had planned, as the government struggles to respond to a deluge of hostile amendments. Labour said it had identified more than a dozen of the 300 amendments that already have the backing of seven or more Tory MPs, theoretically enough to defeat the government. The growing scale of the parliamentary discontent underlines the challenge facing Theresa May, on a day in which the UK’s divorce talks were overshadowed by a series of developments.
The EU should show the “necessary will” to end “deadlock” in Brexit negotiations, Michel Barnier said yesterday as European leaders prepared to open the way for preliminary discussions on a transition deal. A leaked draft of the planned conclusions from next week’s European Council meeting suggests that EU leaders are prepared to begin internal talks to agree a common position on future trade and transition arrangements. They will refuse, however, to start official negotiations with Britain until further progress is made on the so-called divorce settlement and citizens’ rights after Brexit. The paper suggests that EU leaders will “reassess the state of progress” at a summit in December and if sufficient progress is made, adopt formal guidelines for EU negotiators.
BRUSSELS is set for an epic internal power struggle between warring factions who want to capitalise on Brexit to force through their own vision for Europe’s future, a leading MEP revealed today. Independent euro MP Steven Woolfe revealed how the EU Parliament is splitting down ideological lines, with each camp seeing Britain’s impending departure as an opportunity to stamp their own authority on the club. The British MEP, who formerly belonged to Ukip but has now built bridges across political divides, said four key tribes are emerging who all want to grab hold of the power vacuum left by the UK. In a wide-ranging interview with express.co.uk in Brussels, Mr Woolfe revealed there are now many within the EU Parliament who would be “happier for Britain not to come back” to the bloc at all. Whilst some Remainers in the British establishment have been accused of trying to overturn the referendum result, he said many MEPs now want to see the UK carry through with Brexit as quickly as possible.
The EU is to begin preparing for its post-Brexit trade negotiations with the UK, while refusing to discuss the matter with the British government. An internal draft document seen by the BBC suggests the 27 European Union countries should discuss trade among themselves while officials in Brussels prepare the details. The draft text could yet be revised. It comes as the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said there was “deadlock”over the UK’s Brexit bill. As the fifth round of talks ended in Brussels on Thursday, Mr Barnier said there had not been enough progress to move to the next stage of post-Brexit trade talks, but added that he hoped for “decisive progress” by the time of the December summit of the European Council.
The latest Brexit talks ended in stalemate today with the EU warning of a “disturbing” deadlock over Britain’s divorce bill. The bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier raised the stakes as he admitted this week’s fifth round of negotiations finished without making any “great steps forward”. He will tell the EU 27 leaders that not enough progress has been made for talks to switch to a future trade deal, as the UK hoped, when a crunch EU Council showdown takes place in Brussels next week. In a gloomy update, Mr Barnier said that while Theresa May’s announcement in her Florence speech that Britain would honour commitments was “important”, Britain had “repeated that it was still not ready to spell out these commitments”.
EU leaders are set to refuse to move to the second phase of Brexit negotiations due to the UK having not made “sufficient progress” on withdrawal terms, according to a statement drafted by Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, before next week’s crunch summit. The move is a significant setback for the British government, who have appealed to the EU to break the current deadlock. A one-page statement will be the main outcome from the summit, where the 27 member states will meet to discuss the course for the negotiations over the coming months. European Union leaders are also expected to demand that Britain improves its withdrawal terms and offer London the prospect of a rapid move to free-trade talks in December if that happens.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Britain’s David Davis in Brussels, EU head Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has made clear he is still not willing to do any negotiation, saying the situation was a “deadlock”. Talks are now in their fifth round, and have yet to show any progress as the European Union doggedly refuses to undertake any discussion over how the future of Britain’s relationship with the bloc will look until the departing nation agrees to pay a significant Brexit bill — which could be upwards of £50 billion. Echoing comments made by EU president Donald Tusk when he humiliated British Prime Minister Theresa May by chiding her whilst standing outside 10 Downing Street a fortnight ago, Barnier said not enough progress had been made. Making clear there would be no more discussion until Britain agreed to open her coffers to the EU, Barnier complained there was a state of “deadlock” and that he found that “very disturbing”.
PRO-EU politicians have been accused of launching an “attack on democracy” in Italy with a controversial law change seen as a thinly veiled assault on the country’s biggest eurosceptic party. Five Star Movement MEP Marco Valli told express.co.uk establishment politicians in Rome and Brussels are trying to stop to its plans to hold a referendum on membership of the euro. The upstart party, which is currently on course to become one of Italy’s biggest in next year’s general election, has been highly critical of the EU’s economic and social policies. According to the latest opinion polls Five Star (M5S) looks set to tie at the top with Matteo Renzi’s socialists on around 27 per cent of the vote, handing it a huge number of MPs in the parliament.
Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Conservative chancellor, has demanded that Philip Hammond be sacked and his enemies made clear yesterday that they would not tolerate a failure in next month’s budget. Lord Lawson, who served in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, said that Mr Hammond’s unwillingness to prepare properly for a no-deal outcome to Brexit talks was close to sabotage and should lead to his dismissal as chancellor. This prompted a tide of criticism against Mr Hammond from Brexiteers, underlining the divisions at the heart of the Conservative Party. The chancellor’s allies hit back last night, saying that Mr Hammond was ensuring that the economy was prioritised during the Brexit process.
Chancellor Philip Hammond should be sacked for coming “very close to sabotage” over Brexit, Tory grandee Lord Lawson has said. The former Chancellor called on Theresa May to act, branding his successor “grossly irresponsible” for refusing to spend many millions now to prepare for an exit with no deal struck with the EU. “He may not intend it, but in practice what he is doing is very close to sabotage,” Lord Lawson, a leading Leave campaigner said. “You have to spend money from time to time, and there is nothing more important than preparing for what has always been the most likely outcome,” Lord Lawson added. The peer agreed Mr Hammond’s stance was “grossly irresponsible” and, asked what was the solution, replied: “I think probably a reshuffle.”
Business chiefs last night rounded on Philip Hammond for being too negative about Brexit – as a former Chancellor called for him to be sacked. A string of senior business figures said they were ready to embrace the opportunities of Brexit and urged ‘gloomy’ Mr Hammond to be more positive. In a further blow to the embattled Chancellor, one of his predecessors, Lord Lawson, said he should be fired. Lord Lawson, who was Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher, accused Mr Hammond of being ‘grossly negligent’, adding: ‘He is unhelpful. He may not intend it, but in practice what he is doing is very close to sabotage.’
The world will face a “post-antibiotic apocalypse” if the growing threat of drug-resistant superbugs is not tackled, England’s chief medical officer has warned. She said that other countries must step up and follow Britain’s lead to prevent the spread of such superbugs, which are already killing people. Dame Sally Davies reiterated dire warnings that, should antibiotics lose their effectiveness, common medical interventions such as caesarean sections, cancer treatments and hip replacements would become incredibly risky and transplant medicine a “thing of the past”. “We really are facing, if we don’t take action now, a dreadful post-antibiotic apocalypse,” she said. “I don’t want to say to my children that I didn’t do my best to protect them and their children.”
The growing threat of antibiotic resistance could lead to a “post-antibiotic apocalypse” if action is not taken, warned England’s chief medical officer. Professor Dame Sally Davies said that if antibiotics lose their effectiveness it will spell “the end of modern medicine”. Without the drugs used to fight infections, common medical interventions such as caesarean sections, cancer treatments and hip replacements would become incredibly “risky”, she said. And transplant medicine would be a “thing of the past”, she added. “We really are facing, if we don’t take action now, a dreadful post-antibiotic apocalypse”. “I don’t want to say to my children that I didn’t do my best to protect them and their children.” Health experts have previously warned that resistance to antimicrobial drugs could cause a bigger threat to mankind than cancer.
The number of patients waiting too long for routine operations has soared to its highest level in nearly a decade amid warnings the NHS is “sleepwalking into a winter crisis”. New NHS data shows more than 409,000 people waited longer than the official 18-week target for non-urgent treatment in August, with hundreds languishing on waiting lists for more than a year. The latest waits are the highest for a single month since September 2008, while the number of patients treated within the flagship NHS target has fallen to its lowest point since March 2011. It comes amid growing concern that the NHS is facing a strain on services in the summer months normally seen in winter, when poor weather and seasonal flu heap pressure on hospitals and GPs.
The NHS is “more scared than we have ever been” about the risks of a heavy flu season this winter, amid fears the vaccination may fail to protect the elderly. Sir Malcolm Grant, chairman of NHS England, last night said he fears hospitals will be “inundated” with cases, despite attempts to bolster services. His warnings came as the country’s Chief Medical Officer told the Daily Telegraph that she fears the jab may not protect the elderly this winter, but said it is still “our best hope” to stave off an NHS crisis. Dame Sally, England’s most senior doctor today urged 21 million people eligible for free vaccinations – including young children, pensioners, and health workers – to take up the jabs. However, last year’s jab had zero effectiveness among over 65s, an official evaluation reveals, while protecting two in three children.
Scores of Vietnamese children rescued from traffickers and placed in council care have gone missing and are feared to have fallen back into the hands of slave masters, The Times can reveal. Crime gangs are re-trafficking victims and local authorities are failing in their duty to safeguard children, figures obtained through freedom of information requests suggest. More than 150 Vietnamese minors have disappeared from care and foster homes since 2015, with almost 90 others going missing temporarily. Most go missing within two days of entering care. At least 21 have vanished this summer, including 12 from Rochdale. That council’s child protection record is already under scrutiny after the child grooming scandal and the public inquiry into the Cyril Smith case.
A national postal strike at Royal Mail next week has been called off after a High Court judge ruled it was illegal. But if peace talks fail, the next time one can take place is at the height of the pre-Christmas rush – threatening deliveries of cards and packets. The mass walkout – the first planned by workers at the company since it was privatised – could now be pushed back by at least nine weeks. Mr Justice Supperstone blocked the strike after Royal Mail bosses argued it could not could take place unless the Communication Workers Union first sat down for lengthy arbitration talks, an agreement they signed up to four years ago. Union members had overwhelmingly backed a call for strikes over pensions and pay, with the 48-hour walkout then set for next Thursday. Royal Mail applauded the decision – giving them time to try to call off the strike altogether.
Vehicles with petrol or diesel engines will be banned from Paris from 2030 under an anti-pollution plan tabled yesterday. Anne Hidalgo, the Socialist mayor of Paris, had already announced last year that diesel engines and older petrol cars would be banned by 2024, when the city hosts the Olympics. Christophe Najdovski, who heads the council’s transport policy, said that technology should enable it to phase out all internal combustion vehicles. He said: “Transport is one of the main greenhouse gas producers . . . so we are planning an exit from combustion engine vehicles, or fossil-energy vehicles, by 2030. When we see this increase in extreme weather, climate change is at work, and it’s the responsibility of the cities that are concerned to take measures.”