In a comment piece, the Sun analyses the two men which, it says, ‘stand in the way of a Brexit deal’.
TWO men stand in the way of a Brexit deal benefiting millions of people: a cognac-soaked clown and a puffed-up dandy.
For months British voters and politicians have been mocked, belittled and abused by EU head Jean-Claude Juncker and chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
The Sun had assumed Brussels would engage professionals to handle the most vital negotiation in decades. Instead these posturing buffoons are in charge.
What do they hope to achieve with their daily barbs, poisonous briefings, pig-headed intransigence and exorbitant demands? If it’s to show other electorates how hard it is to leave the EU, they’re rather labouring the point.
If it’s to intimidate Britain into rethinking Brexit, they are in la-la land.
That ship sailed long ago. Hearts have hardened. With every sneering insult, Brits grow more certain we made the right choice and that the EU, not our Government, will be to blame if talks fail.
Compared with Barnier, Brexit Secretary David Davis is a model of affable flexibility, tact and professionalism.
A harmonious deal looks increasingly unlikely as the clock ticks and Barnier and Juncker keep up their destructive double-act. We must prepare to leave without one. But that need not happen.
The Express claims the German chancellor is the boss in these negotiations.
ANGELA Merkel is the real power behind the Brussels throne and will ultimately force EU negotiator Michel Barnier to give Germany what it wants, a senior eurosceptic said today.
Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith portrayed the French official as little more than a bagman for Berlin, which will “actually lead the process” of Brexit.
The EU27 countries have all signed up to the bloc’s negotiating strategy, which states that Mr Barnier will run the negotiations on their behalf and provide national capitals with regular updates.
They have given the Frenchman an extremely tight mandate for the talks, insisting that he can only discuss the technical aspects of the divorce including citizens’ rights, the Brexit bill and Northern Ireland.
The crucial issue of trade has been deliberately kept back for the member states to decide on, although they say they will only begin talks once “sufficient progress” has been achieved on the first phase issues.
And a man in the know suggests we will not get a good deal, says Westmonster.
The EU has no intention of giving the UK a good deal because other countries would see it as a green light to divorce from Brussels, according to former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
He thinks “the greatest nightmare” for Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron is a mutually beneficial Brexit deal, which would show other countries it’s possible to succeed outside Brussels’ control.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster show: “It is my view that this government is sleep walking into a disaster. The EU does not want to negotiate with Britain.
“The mistake that Brexiteers and the government was made to think that because German industry, Italian wine producers, have a vested interest in reaching an agreement with the UK that this is somehow going to influence the negotiations.
“The greatest nightmare for Brussels, but also Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, is a mutually advantageous agreement with Britain.
“This will be interpreted in their mind by the rest of the riff raff of Europe – the Greeks, the Spaniards, the Portuguese – as a sign you can confront the EU’s deep establishment and get a decent deal out of it.”
So Brussels really is scared that Brexit could cause a domino effect across Europe and more countries might come to their senses and opt for a divorce. If Britain is only ever going to get a bad deal, surely no deal is the best option.
In other Brexit news, the Guardian reports the Foreign Secretary, who has upset our EU partners.
Boris Johnson has risked further antagonising Brussels by dismissing warnings this week about Britain’s approach to the negotiations and insisting the EU is obliged to start talking about a future trade deal.
After a bruising week for the British government, the foreign secretary expressed his “absolutely rock-solid confidence” that a deal with the 27 member states would be reached.
In a potentially provocative move, he also explained to reporters before a meeting with his EU counterparts in Tallinn, Estonia, that the EU had a legal duty to discuss trade relations. “Article 50 makes it very clear that the discussion about the exit for a country must be taken in the context of a discussion of the future arrangements, and that’s what we are going to do,” Johnson said.
This week the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, along with the leaders of the European parliament, publicly expressed their serious doubts that trade talks could commence in October, as planned, due to a failure to make “sufficient progress” on the divorce bill, citizens rights and the border in Ireland.
The Express also claims the bloc is legally obliged to discuss trade.
BORIS Johnson has suggested the European Union has a legal duty under Article 50 to discuss a future trading relationship with Britain at the same time as working through so-called Brexit “divorce” issues.
The Foreign Secretary intervened after senior European figures, including EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, voiced scepticism that talks would move on to future trade relations by the previously planned date of October.
The UK Government has been pushing to begin trade talks, arguing they are inseparable from the withdrawal issues which are currently being pored over by negotiators.
But the EU insists that “sufficient progress” must be made on the divorce issues – a financial settlement, citizens’ rights, and the Irish border – before trade talks can begin.
And Sky News claims Boris a deal will be made.
Boris Johnson has said he is “rock solid confident” the UK will clinch a deal with the EU after Brexit.
The Foreign Secretary, speaking during a visit to Estonia, urged both sides to work together to solve the thorny issue of the Irish border.
“I think we can all work together to come up with a solution on that one. It is not beyond the wit of man,” he said.
“We’ve had a common travel area between the north and the south of Ireland for getting on for a century and we’re going to continue to make that work.”
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said on Thursday he was worried by the UK’s plans for the border arrangement with the Republic of Ireland.
Back home, the Prime Minister is coming under pressure to sack anti-Brexiteers in her government, says the Express.
THERESA May has rejected Remainer demands that she purge her government of MPs who signed a letter calling for the UK to cut all ties with Brussels by the end of March 2019.
And in a humiliating blow to the hardline pro-EU camp the Prime Minister also made it clear that she backs the letter’s demand that Britain be out of the EU, its single market and its customs union in 18 months.
The Daily Express has learnt that at a private meeting with MEPs in Downing Street on Thursday Mrs May said that Britain “will be leaving” by the end of March 2019 and that any transition period would be to set up new arrangements.
The move reasserts Mrs May’s authority as leading Remainers, including former ministers Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry, try to undermine the Government’s pledge to honour Brexit.
On more domestic issues, the Times claims the NHS is not keeping up with technological innovation.
One in ten of the world’s pagers is used by the NHS, according to estimates which highlight the health service’s struggles with technology.
Hospitals are still using 130,000 pagers, about 93 per cent of the estimated 140,000 still working in Britain, the figures show.
Despite ministerial proclamations about the potential of apps and big data to improve care, the average hospital uses 591 pagers and only three hospitals say that they never use the devices, first patented in the 1940s.
Overall the NHS is spending £6.6 million a year on pagers despite the potential for big savings from switching to modern technology.
Freedom of Information responses from 141 hospitals, mental health and ambulance services to the technology company CommonTime found 129,429 pagers still in use.
It seems that personal data has been stolen, says the Sun.
HACKERS are feared to have stolen personal data from up to 44million Brits in a cyber attack on US credit rating firm Equifax.
Many victims will be unaware their information is held by the company which represents BT, Capital One and British Gas.
The Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating and urged Equifax to alert affected UK customers as soon as possible.
The firm revealed information on 143million US customers had been exposed between May and July.
Hackers are thought to have stolen 209,000 US credit card numbers plus personal details and social security numbers.
Equifax said “limited personal information” from British and Canadian customers had been compromised.
The story is also reported by the Telegraph.
An investigation was underway on Friday night after the personal data of up to 44 million British consumers was feared stolen by hackers in a massive cyber attack.
The information commissioner said it was investigating how the hack on Equifax, a US credit rating firm, affected UK customers, many of whom will be unaware their data is held by the company.
Equifax and its UK subsidiary companies state on their websites that they represent British clients including BT, Capital One and British Gas.
There are fears that customers of these companies could now be affected. BT said that “many companies in the UK” used Equifax services and said that it was “monitoring the situation closely”.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has urged Equifax to alert affected UK customers as soon as possible, and said it will work with the relevant overseas authorities on behalf of British citizens.
Equifax says it holds the personal details of 44 million UK citizens but many British victims will be unaware they have had details stolen as they will not directly be Equifax customers.
The Times also carries the story.
The personal details of tens of millions of consumers may have been stolen after hackers broke into one of the biggest credit rating agencies.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said it was trying to find out how the hack on Equifax, an American company, had affected British customers and urged the company to let them know as soon as possible. Equifax holds the details of 44 million Britons.
The company admitted that hackers had obtained the personal data of 143 million customers in the US and that stolen details included names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and driving licence details. More than 200,000 credit card numbers may have been stolen.
The Times has a story about the numbers of animals slaughtered without being pre-stunned.
The number of animals killed without being stunned has risen sharply under a government exemption for Muslims and Jews from humane slaughter rules.
Almost a quarter of lambs had their throats cut without first being made insensible to pain, according to Food Standards Agency figures for April to June this year.
This was an increase from 2013 when 15 per cent of lambs were killed without being stunned and 10 per cent in 2011. The change has been attributed to an increase in halal slaughter rather than the Jewish shechita method.
The figures also revealed that almost a fifth of chickens are slaughtered without being stunned or after a stun that is too weak to guarantee that they do not feel pain.
The number of children facing permanent exclusion from school is covered by the Times.
The number of children permanently excluded from school has soared in some parts of England, according to data obtained by the Times Educational Supplement.
Permanent exclusions in two local authorities rose by more than 200 per cent, and in one by more than 300 per cent. In 25 areas expulsions rose by at least 50 per cent.
The average number of expulsions rose by 12 per cent between September last year and June, compared with the same period a year earlier, the TES calculated.
The conclusions are based on data gathered by the magazine from 118 local councils through Freedom of Information requests.
Slough had the largest increase in permanent exclusions, rising 340 per cent from 5 pupils to 22.
It seems the Labour Party is reverting to type and trying to bring pressure on the Government through strikes, says the Telegraph.
John McDonnell is set to speak at a rally at the Trades Union Congress annual conference in support of co-ordinated strikes to pressure ministers to hike public sector pay.
The shadow chancellor will speak at a “Fight Together for a pay rise!” meeting organised by the National Shop Stewards Network outside the conference in Brighton tomorrow [Sunday].
Thousands of public sector workers are already preparing to attend a rally outside Parliament organised by the TUC on October 17.
Frances O’Grady, Britain’s most senior union leader, warned that it would be a “mistake” if the Government were not to give public sector workers a pay rise of at least 2.6 per cent.
Several of the media report that residents north of the border are getting more money than those of us in the south. The Mail says:
English charities are given far less lottery cash than their counterparts in Scotland.
Organisers handed £76million to Scottish causes last year – £14.04 a head. But south of the border the figure was only £9.32 per person – £510million in all.
The huge disparity mirrors the controversial government spending formula that sees Scotland subsidised by English taxpayers.
Last night a Tory MP demanded an immediate review into how the Big Lottery Fund shares out money generated by ticket sales.
‘It is absolutely outrageous that people who buy their lottery tickets in good faith are seeing their hard-earned money being siphoned north of the border,’ said Nadine Dorries.
The Sun says:
LOTTERY chiefs have been blasted for giving far more cash to Scottish charities than their English counterparts.
Organisations north of the border got £76million last year — or £14.04 per person.
English causes got £9.32 per head from a £510million fund.
The findings, reported by the Daily Mail, mirror the Government plan that sees Scots receive more public spending per person than in England.
MP Andrew Bridgen blasted: “It would appear that Scotland wins the lottery every year.”
Fellow Tory Nadine Dorries added: “It’s outrageous. This needs to be looked at urgently The Union is precious but this is too much.”
Chucking unwanted litter about could result in a massive fine, says the Mail.
Litter louts face on-the-spot fines of £150 under plans being drawn up by ministers.
Town halls have been asking for the penalty to increase sharply from £80 and to rise to £300 for those who pay late.
They would be able to use the proceeds as they wish – raising fears that councils will use litter patrols as a cash cow.
Councils have had the power to hand out spot fines for littering, and other offences including dog fouling and fly-posting, for more than 25 years.
Theresa May’s election manifesto promised to ‘do more to reduce litter’, and a review of the level of fines has been launched.
And Westmonster has an exclusive interview with one of our party’s leadership contenders.
UKIP leadership candidate David Kurten has outlined his vision for the party in an exclusive interview with Westmonster.
He wants to make UKIP a party Britain can be proud of, one that is socially and financially conservative and fights for a “full democratic Brexit”. Watch the video below:
Kurten said: “There were millions of people who had considered voting for UKIP but didn’t because they didn’t believe we could win under first past the post. A lot of people voted for someone they really didn’t want to vote for in the last election to keep someone else out.
“If we just get our act together and place ourselves as the party of a full democratic Brexit, a party which is socially and financially conservative, I think that will attract millions of people who want the kind of party who’ll build up the nation again; not just to tackle the external threat of the EU but the internal threat of cultural Marxism.