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News review – Monday 20 November 2017

EU

Express
THE EUROPEAN Union has finally admitted that without the UK’s sizeable contributions the bloated Brussels budget will collapse, draft EU documents have revealed. Confidential papers from the European Commission reveal that Brexit will slash the trade bloc’s budget by 16 per cent and could lead to a suspension of aid to some of Europe’s expectant countries. Spain’s €37billion (£33bn) and Italy’s €43bn in structural funds from the EU could be drastically cut once the UK leaves the EU, while aid money to Greece, Portugal and Eastern European countries could also be at risk. The failure of the EU to secure a large divorce bill with the UK could lead to chaotic infighting inside the EU27.

Times
Germany was plunged into political crisis last night by the collapse of coalition talks that could trigger fresh elections and put Angela Merkel’s future on the line. Mrs Merkel’s attempts to create a four-party government failed when the pro-business Free Democrats walked out shortly before midnight after repeatedly clashing with the left-wing Greens. Europe’s longest-serving leader is likely to face criticism over her handling of the talks, which have lasted two months, and questions on whether she can continue at the helm of her Christian Democratic Party (CDU) if it faces a re-run of the election in the new year.

ITV News
Angela Merkel’s hopes of forming a four-party coalition in Germany collapsed on Sunday after the Free Democrats withdrew from talks. The chancellor now faces the prospect of forming a minority government or calling for a snap election. Free Democrat leader Christian Lindner said his party exited negotiations because they were unwilling to compromise their principles, ending the prospect of Merkel’s conservative bloc and the Greens forming a majority coalition. “It is better not to govern, than to govern falsely,” Lindner said. Merkel could to try to continue her current governing coalition with the Social Democrats, although that centre-left party has said it will not do so.

UKIP
David Davis announcement yesterday that Britain could remain under the European Court of Justice goes to demonstrate just how weak the government have become and that they are being towed by the nose. Peter Jewell, the UKIP Justice spokesman responded, “This whole negotiation has become a farce that only Christmas Pantomimes could better. “Here is our offer. If the government are either unable or incompetent in these negotiations then stand aside and let someone else do it. …..and no, not the Labour Party with whom it would be far worse. Regarding justice, UKIP hereby formally offer to put a team together, made up of lawyers, the judiciary and highly experienced business leaders to put in place proper Acts and primary legislations for this Country and remove the unwanted dross to make the this Country more effective.

Brexit

Reuters
Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday announced 4 billion pounds of spending on research and development and regional growth strategies, setting out plans to help the economy grow after Brexit. Amid stiff international competition, Britain is looking to carve out a new global role as a leader in “industries of the future” such as artificial intelligence and driverless cars after it exits the European Union in March 2019. Badly damaged by a botched snap election and with Brexit talks running behind schedule, May is looking to stir up some economic optimism to help her fragile minority government through Britain’s most uncertain period since World War Two.

Mail
Ministers are preparing to offer the EU up to £40billion in divorce payments, Philip Hammond has suggested – as ministers prepare for a crunch meeting on the issue today. The Chancellor said the Government would make a fresh offer to Brussels ahead of an EU summit next month when leaders are due to decide whether to begin post-Brexit trade talks with the UK. Mr Hammond put no figure on the new offer, but Brussels sources have suggested the EU will not consider a payment of less than £40billion. This is double the figure previously offered by Theresa May. In September, the Prime Minister offered to hand over £20billion to the EU during a two-year transition to a new relationship after Brexit in 2019.

Telegraph
Philip Hammond has put Theresa May under pressure to promise more money for the Brexit “divorce bill” by suggesting an improved offer will be made to Brussels within three weeks. Asked if it would soon be clear “what the bill is going to be”, the Chancellor said he was “sure” Britain would set out its financial proposal to the EU in time for a crucial meeting of EU leaders on December 14. But Brexiteers in the Cabinet are expected to use a crucial Cabinet Brexit committee meeting on Monday to demand that Mrs May sets out exactly what Britain expects to get for its money before a penny more is promised. Boris Johnson, who sits on the six-person committee, will try to block any move to pay a bigger divorce bill unless Mrs May can be clear about the “end state” she expects the EU to agree to. He is backed by his influential Cabinet ally Michael Gove.

Express
PHILIP Hammond yesterday fuelled the Tory row over Brexit by signalling that the Government was ready to hike the amount of taxpayers cash offered to Brussels for a multi-billion EU divorce settlement. In an interview ahead of this week’s Budget, the Chancellor said: “Whatever is due we will pay.” He also claimed Britain would meet financial obligations to the EU “in accordance with international law”. His remarks risked enraging Cabinet Euro-sceptics including Boris Johnson and David Davis who are opposed to increasing the current £18billion offer unless EU leaders allow trade talks to begin. They also deny Britain is legally obliged to pay anything to Brussels.

ITV News
Monday to discuss Britain’s “divorce bill” offer to the European Union, a vital stage that Brussels has said needs finalising before trade talks can go ahead. Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK will make a financial proposal to the EU in the next three-and-a-half weeks after European Council president Donald Tusk set a deadline of the start of December for movement on the bill, alongside the Irish border question. EU leaders are due to meet on December 14-15 at a European Council summit. “We are now I think on the brink of making some serious movement forward in our negotiations with the European Union, and starting to unblock that logjam so that people can start to see clarity about the future,” Hammond told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

Times
Ministers are expected to sign off an improved financial offer to the European Union today that Downing Street hopes will unblock the Brexit negotiations. Theresa May will lay out her plans at a meeting of cabinet ministers, including the Leave supporters Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and David Davis. If the proposals are approved, she will present them on Friday to Donald Tusk, the European Council president.The plans are understood to include a commitment to honour billions of pounds of EU liabilities that Britain signed off as a member but that have yet to be paid out by the bloc.

Express
THERESA May is under pressure to rubber-stamp Britain’s final Brexit deal before she agrees to hand £40billion into the coffers of the European Union (EU). Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Michael Gove will demand the Prime Minister resists settling a final divorce bill with Brussels until the country’s “end state” has been properly discussed.  It comes after the pair hand delivered a bombshell letter to Mrs May outlining their post-Brexit vision – but it was kept secret from Brexit Secretary David Davis and the rest of Cabinet.  Theresa May
has called the Brexit ‘war Cabinet’ meeting on Monday to ask for support to make the EU bill offer so negotiations can progress to the second phase, the start of trade talks. 

Independent
Britain is poised to increase its Brexit “divorce bill” offer to Brussels, Philip Hammond has signalled, ahead of a fresh Cabinet clash on the issue. Senior ministers are set to meet on Monday to decide a response to the EU’s December deadline to resolve the critical row over money, or future trade talks will be shelved.  Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, and Brexit Secretary David Davis are both urging Theresa May not to concede too much on the financial settlement without guarantees on trade in return. But the Chancellor – the Cabinet’s key advocate of keeping close economic ties with the EU – said Britain would make new “proposals” next month.

Guardian
Theresa May will come under pressure from Brexit supporters in the cabinet to spell out what she hopes the UK will gain from paying the EU a higher divorce bill of about £40bn, as her most senior ministers meet to discuss an improved offer. The prime minister will attempt to reach a consensus over a proposed offer at a meeting of her cabinet committee on EU strategy on Monday as the UK tries to break the deadlock in Brexit negotiations. But some of the leave-supporting ministers, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, are understood to be applying pressure behind the scenes to make sure that the UK has a clear idea what it wants from a future trading relationship before agreeing to hand over such a large sum.

Express
REMAINER MPs have been accused of seeking to “torpedo Brexit” with rights legislation, senior Tories have warned. A group of pro-EU MPs are planning to lock the UK into the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by adding it to British law. The European Research Group head Suella Fernandes and former constitution minister John Penrose hit out at the MPs trying to add the EU charter to UK law. In an article written for The Telegraph they said: “If you want to torpedo Brexit, you want the vote to be ‘please choose between this deal or staying in the EU after all’.” “And that means being able to delay our leaving date, potentially indefinitely, while they send negotiators back to Brussels in an endless, fruitless and increasingly slow-paced search for better deal terms until everyone just gives up and we never leave at all.”

Sun
DAVID DAVIS has been forced to deny rumours he could quit after being undermined by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. The Brexit Secretary is said to be enraged by efforts from the Cabinet big beasts to have more input on our EU exit. Friends have been worried that he might resign in the wake of the row, the Mail on Sunday reported. But Mr Davis’ spokesman hit back, saying: “It is completely wrong that he is considering resigning and anyone pushing this nonsense in order to undermine Brexit is going to be sorely disappointed.”

NHS

Times
Health service leaders have failed to keep their promise to save billions of pounds to spend on frontline services, Philip Hammond claimed yesterday, as he ruled out a budget bailout for the NHS. The chancellor rejected calls by Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, for a £4 billion funding boost, saying that people running public services often claimed “Armageddon” if they did not get the money they wanted from a budget. He warned that although the government might find some money for “particular pressure points” in the NHS it would not be at the scale demanded by Mr Stevens.

Independent
The Chancellor has rejected an NHS chief’s plea for an emergency £4bn injection in this week’s Budget, accusing him of exaggerated claims of a crisis. Instead, Philip Hammond appeared to blame Simon Stevens for problems in the health service, saying the plan that the head of NHS England drew up “is not being delivered”. Mr Stevens took the extraordinary step of making a public plea for an extra £4bn, warning waiting lists for operations would otherwise hit a record five million people. That call was echoed by Sarah Wollaston, the respected Tory head of the Health Select Committee, who pointed out health spending per head is set to fall. But Mr Hammond appeared to dismiss the warnings, making clear his belief that the NHS did not need – and would not receive – the £4bn asked for.

Defence

Times
Any attempt to cut the Royal Marines to save money will provoke a backbench rebellion big enough to threaten the government’s slim majority, the defence secretary has been told. Twenty-one Conservative MPs have written to Gavin Williamson to warn him against reducing Britain’s 6,400-strong marines and scrapping the Royal Navy’s only two amphibious assault ships. “At some point you have to make a stand for what you believe in,” Johnny Mercer, a former army officer and member of the defence select committee and lead signatory on the letter, said. “I am simply not prepared to see the degradation of the UK’s armed forces any further in this national security review.”

Mugabe

Telegraph
Robert Mugabe stunned the world last night by refusing to step aside as president of Zimbabwe, leaving him clinging to power despite being dismissed as leader of his own party. Instead, he used a televised address to acknowledge deep criticism of his leadership but promised to preside over next month’s congress of the ruling Zanu-PF party. The extraordinary spectacle of a 93-year-old ruler stumbling over his words while flanked by army generals suggests that a man whose reputation was forged as one of Africa’s liberation leaders is running out of time. Senior party figures say they will go ahead with impeachment proceedings, sparked by fury at the growing power amassed by Grace Mugabe.

Times
President Mugabe defied his enemies last night in an extraordinary live television address in which he desperately clung to power. The 93-year-old Zimbabwean leader summoned state television only hours after his party issued an ultimatum that he either resign or be impeached. Instead of tendering his resignation, however, he delivered a long, rambling speech pledging to continue to preside over new reforms. His failure to step down was met with confusion and astonishment after a weekend of celebrations during which tens of thousands of people danced in the streets of Harare, ripping down images of Mr Mugabe and brandishing signs calling for his wife, Grace, to be expelled from the ruling party.

Mail
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe improbably clung to power on Sunday night during a rambling speech in the capital Harare. Reading from a prepared script which he stumbled over several times, the 93-year-old dictator announced a party conference to take place in the coming weeks and said he would be presiding over it. Mugabe promised to resolve internal conflicts within his Zanu PF party and called for national unity and security, but gave absolutely no hint of his much-anticipated resignation.  Veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa subsequently said plans for Mugabe’s impeachment will move ahead on Monday after he was given until midday to step down. 

Mirror
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has been unceremoniously DUMPED as the leader of the ruling Zanu-PF party – as he desperately tries to cling onto power. It met earlier today – amid unconfirmed reports that the embattled 93-year-old leader has gone on hunger strike in protest at the de facto military coup earlier this week – and sacked the man who has led them for the last 37 years. To add insult to injury, they then appointed as their new leader the man Mugabe had sacked himself two weeks ago, his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Sun
TYRANT Robert Mugabe made his last act of defiance today by REFUSING to stand down during his expected resignation speech. The 93-year-old rambled through a 21-minute talk which had been billed as the moment he would relinquish his grip on Zimbabwe. But millions of gobsmacked viewers could only watch as he ended with a defiant “thank you and good night” clinging onto the last hours of power. He had been issued with a deadline of 10am on Mnday to resign the presidency after being sacked as leader from the ruling Zanu-PF party. 
But millions of gobsmacked viewers saw him say: “The party congress is due in a few weeks and I will preside over its processes.” Mugabe still faces impeachment and could be removed from power that way.

Natural disasters

Sun
DOZENS more earthquakes will devastate the world next year, scientists have warned. A slight slowdown in the Earth’s rotation will trigger intense seismic activity, particularly in tropical regions, Roger Bilham, from the University of Colorado in Boulder, claimed. In his joint paper with Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana, he discovered five periods when the world experienced “25 to 30 earthquakes a year”, compared to the average of 15. Mr Bilham said those periods of increased seismic activity took place five years after the Earth’s rotation had changed. Speaking to the Observer, he said: “It is straightforward. The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes. “Next year, we should see a significant increase in the numbers of severe earthquakes. We have had it easy this year. So far, we have only had about six severe earthquakes.

Star
A VOLCANO underneath Iceland’s biggest glacier is showing signs it may erupt for the first time in 290 years, the Icelandic Met Office has warned. A massive ice cauldron measuring one km in diameter has formed at the epicentre of the Öræfajökull volcano. Stunning satellite images taken during a flyover of the region show the new ice cauldron has developed within the volcano in the last week. This suggests that activity at the volcano, located in Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier, is increasing, according to the Icelandic Met Office (IMO). A river in the glacier has been spewing sulfuric gases and seismic activity has been on the rise in the region in recent months, the forecast said.

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Debbie
About Debbie (644 Articles)
Debbie has been a journalist for longer than she cares to admit! She has been freelance for the last 15 years and is an associate editor on UKIP Daily, specialising in covering the morning press each day.

1 Comment on News review – Monday 20 November 2017

  1. Mugabe:

    The only downside to his removal is that it did not come about years ago before he destroyed the country’s economy. He deserves to spend the remainder of his life in jail on meagre rations.

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