BRITAIN could get a bad Brexit deal if Philip Hammond and the Treasury continue with their reluctance to “mention the positives” of leaving the European Union, Theresa May’s former right hand man has warned. Nick Timothy, the Prime Minister former chief of staff, said the Chancellor was putting negotiations at risk by failing to recognise the “opportunities of Brexit”. Mr Timothy also accused Mr Hammond of being on “manoeuvres” over the Treasury’s silence on the potential boost Brexit could provide to the UK economy. The former chief of staff also hit out at Boris Johnson over his own unauthorised 4,200-word Brexit plan ahead of Mrs May’s crucial speech in Florence on Friday. Mr Timothy called on the Chancellor and Foreign Secretary to “stop their games” or risk leaving the UK unable to strike a Brexit deal.
The Treasury’s reluctance to even “mention the positives” of leaving the European Union risks Britain getting a bad Brexit deal, Theresa May’s former chief of staff has warned. Writing for The Telegraph, Nick Timothy says that Philip Hammond’s department has failed to emphasise the “opportunities of Brexit” and accuses the Chancellor of being on “manoeuvres”. Ahead of Mrs May’s key speech in Florence on Friday, Mr Timothy says that the Prime Minister “deserves the full support of her ministers, Leavers and Remainers alike”. Boris Johnson was accused of undermining Mrs May’s Brexit strategy when he set out his own vision in an unauthorised 4,200-word article last week.
A timely intervention from Theresa May’s former chief of staff Nick Timothy, who fingers Philip Hammond for being “on manoeuvres” against Brexit. Timothy says May “deserves the support of her ministers, Leavers and Remainers alike” – the implication being that the likes of Hammond and Rudd are undermining the PM on Brexit. He accuses Hammond of playing “games” and says “the Treasury’s reluctance to even mention the positives of leaving the EU, such as the Brexit dividend, is why the government has not talked positively enough about the opportunities of Brexit. In that respect, the Foreign Secretary was right in his Daily Telegraph column last Saturday”. As Guido reported on Monday, Hammond and the Treasury have been pushing for a soft EEA-light Brexit, contrary to government policy…
THERESA May will directly appeal to European leaders to break the deadlock in the Brexit negotiations on Friday. In a sign that she is dramatically stepping up her personal involvement in the Brussels talks, the Prime Minister will use her long-awaited speech in Florence to warn that the stonewalling tactics of EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier are increasingly jeopardising the chances of a deal. She will go over the heads of the Brussels diplomat and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to tell the heads of the 27 nations remaining in the EU that the discussions cannot proceed without addressing issue of Britain’s future trading relationship with the bloc. Her personal intervention in the diplomatic wrangle comes amid reports that Brussels is expecting the Prime Minister to offer a “transition payment” of around £18billion cover a two-year withdrawal period after the country’s formal departure from the bloc in March 2019. Downing Street yesterday dismissed the figure as “speculation”. Mrs May revealed her determination to bypass stubborn Mr Barnier to reporters travelling with her to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Theresa May will make her Brexit pitch over the heads of the European Union’s negotiating team and seek to influence national leaders directly in her speech in Florence tomorrow. The prime minister, who spoke at the UN yesterday, has insisted that any decisions about deals with Britain will be taken by heads of member states in the European Council rather than Michel Barnier and his negotiating team in the European Commission. Sources said that tomorrow’s speech would focus on transition arrangements. Mrs May is expected to give an undertaking that Britain accepts its “moral obligation” and will ensure that other EU nations are not left worse off by Brexit. This could mean agreeing to payments to Brussels during any transition period.
Theresa May has risked accusations of seeking to divide the EU over the Brexit talks by pointing out national leaders – not the Commission – will decide on any deal. The Prime Minister appeared to try to play down the importance of Michael Barnier, the Commission’s chief negotiator, who has strongly criticised Britain’s intransigence at the negotiating table. Earlier this month, Mr Barnier said hopes of an autumn breakthrough had hit rock bottom, primarily because of Britain’s failure to agree the so-called divorce bill. “It seems to be backtracking on the original commitment of the UK to honour its international commitments,” he said. “There is a problem of confidence here.” But, speaking to reporters in New York, the Prime Minister went out of her way to set out who she believes pulls the power strings in Brussels.
THERESA May has revealed she will issue a direct appeal to EU leaders over Brussels chiefs’ heads in a bid to unlock a Brexit deadlock. The PM summoned her Cabinet to agree her plan to offer £18bn in payments into the EU budget for a transition period of at least two years. Her ‘grand bargain’ for after Britain’s EU departure will be made in a landmark speech in Florence. Under it, she will offer the controversial cash in exchange for continued single market access and a good post-Brexit trade deal. Lifting the lid on her fresh thinking for the first time, Mrs May explained why the UK now needs to bypass the formal Brexit talks process lead by Frenchman Michel Barnier. Speaking in New York while at the UN general assembly, the PM said: “What I’ll be doing on Friday is setting out where we are and looking ahead at negotiations.
An offer by Theresa May to pay €20bn to Brussels during a two-year transition period will not break the deadlock in the Brexit talks, senior EU diplomats have warned. Ahead of a keynote Brexit speech in Florence on Friday, Mrs May has signalled her willingness to make the continued budget payments after Brexit, according to senior EU sources who were briefed on the UK proposal by the UK’s top Brexit official. Under the proposal, Britain would continue to pay €10bn a year to Brussels in 2019 and 2020 as part of a two-year transition deal that would give businesses on both sides of the Channel more time to adapt to the future UK-EU relationship when it emerges. However senior EU officials have told The Telegraph that Brussels will expect much broader financial commitments – covering pensions, loan liabilities and other EU projects that the UK had earlier agreed to fund.
EUROPEAN leaders are set to reject Theresa May’s £18billion Brexit offer as it is only a third of what European Union (EU) chiefs want. The Prime Minister is expected to offer German Chancellor Angela Merkel the cash this week to fill the budget black hole after Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019. As the EU’s largest economy, Germany is expected to prop up the bloc once the UK leaves, which is why Mrs May will make the offer to Mrs Merkel, although the cash will go to the EU. UK officials selected the £18bn (€20bn) figure to ensure no member state has to pay more into the EU budget or receive less money from it until 2020, which marks the end of the EU’s current long-term budget planning period. Mrs May’s offer is meant to break three months of deadlock, but EU chiefs have said Britain has up to £88bn in liabilities towards the bloc, with a net figure of £53.3bn after British receipts are removed.
The Government is reportedly prepared to pay €20bn (£17.7bn) to meet its financial obligations to the European Union after Brexit. According to the Financial Times, Theresa May will include the offer in her much-anticipated Brexit speech on Friday in Florence. Mrs May’s top EU adviser Oliver Robbins told his counterparts in EU capitals, including Berlin, that the offer would be included in the Prime Minister’s address, the report says. Downing Street has dismissed it as “pure speculation about a speech that has not yet been given”.
Theresa May might be on the brink of offering the EU £20bn as part of a so-called ‘transitional Brexit’, but Brussels wants more and could refuse to talk trade until it gets it. May is reportedly going to propose Britain pays £10bn in 2019 and 2020 to fill the hole the UK would leave in the EU coffers until the divorce is complete. But senior EU diplomats told The Telegraph: “Goodwill gestures are not enough – it is very doubtful that EU member states would consider that offer to be sufficient progress on its own. “What is crucial to Europe is that the UK makes a formal commitment to honour its specific past liabilities – even if the exact amount of those liabilities is left to be decided at a later date.” That’s a bit rich, isn’t it? Britain legally owes nothing and could very easily swan off into the sunset without parting with a single penny of taxpayers’ cash.
The British government has made no “concrete” negotiation offer about what amount it should pay for the Brexit divorce bill, the German government has said. The statement comes after reports that British officials had suggested to Angela Merkel that the UK would pay 20 billion euros – significantly down from previous calculations. Such a payment would allow the EU to cover short-term costs but not long-term commitments by Britain. A broader commitment by the UK covering all liabilities claimed by the EU would amount to around 50 billion euros. “There are discussions on many different levels,” a spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday. “We have not been informed in advance about any concrete negotiation offers from the British government.”
Brussels fears an enfeebled Theresa May will not be able to stand by any pledges she makes in this week’s major speech on Brexit but has dismissed Boris Johnson’s intervention as an irrelevance, according to the shadow Brexit secretary. Following meetings with all the major players in the EU’s negotiating team, Keir Starmer said “high expectations” in Brussels over the prime minister’s speech in Florence on Friday were tempered by concerns over her weakness. Starmer said that those he had met during high level meetings in Brussels on Wednesday, including the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, his deputy Sabine Weyand, and Martin Selmayr, the all-powerful chief of staff to EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, were deeply sceptical of May’s ability to “follow through” on any of her promises.
BRITAIN has been warned by one of the EU’s top former officials that it faces a “catastrophe” if it fails to secure a transitional deal and crashes out of the bloc in 2019. Herman Van Rompuy, who was the first president of the EU Council, said a no-deal scenario would “create problems” for the rest of Europe but would be far worse for the UK. In an outspoken intervention he urged British negotiators to be more realistic about the prospect of a future trade deal with the bloc, which could take a number of years to agree. And he said Britain has no choice but to accept a significant transitional deal on more or less its current membership terms, rather than trying to negotiate a bespoke bridging period. Mr Van Rompuy made the remarks in a wide-ranging interview with Euractiv, in which he also said that Jean-Claude Juncker’s dream of an EU super president was already dead in the water.
Nigel Farage has warned Theresa May and the British government that the public will be watching closely as to what they intend to give away to Brussels. Speaking on his LBC show, Nigel said: “Bear in mind that we are probably, under the Prime Minister, going to enter into a transitional arrangement after the end of March 2019 for up to three years. “That’s going to cost nearly £10bn every year as a continued membership fee and if she thinks we’re going to pay that £30bn and another £20bn on top and we’re all going to be happy as Larry she might just have another thing coming. “All eyes on the Prime Minister and what she says in Florence.” As ever, the European Union is upping demands for cash. Huge financial contributions are what the country voted to end handing the EU however, and 65% of Brits would regard even £20 billion as unacceptable. A cash surrender would be incredibly unpopular.
NICOLA Sturgeon has been severely rebutted by Theresa May for demanding to keep 111 European Union (EU) rules and regulations in return for backing the Brexit Bill. Ms Sturgeon and Labour’s Carwyn Jones, her Welsh counterpart, wrote to Mrs May demanding 38 amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill in return for recommending their parliaments give the thumbs up to the new law. They want all 111 EU laws and regulations which involve devolved powers – originally created by the UK Government – to be handed directly to parliaments in Cardiff and Edinburgh. But the Prime Minister’s deputy Damian Green hit out at the Scottish First Minister, saying they would end up “doing things four different ways” in the UK’s four nations – increasing costs for consumers, companies and workers. Although some powers from Brussels would be devolved the Government would “do nothing that risks undermining the benefits” the the UK’s own market, he warned.
Seven million patients are treated at GP surgeries with serious safety problems, according to the first comprehensive review. Inspectors urged patients to switch to better performing surgeries after finding that one in seven had issues with safety and one in ten was not good enough overall. They uncovered “pockets of persistent poor care” including out-of-date medicines, a failure to follow up on test results, delayed cancer diagnoses and a lack of checks on the medical qualifications of staff. Smaller surgeries were more likely to do badly, the review showed, with the worst half the size of the best. They have been ordered to end “professional isolation” by linking with neighbouring surgeries to share resources and expertise.
A DRUG denied to AA Gill on the NHS has been approved for patients suffering the same cancer the restaurant critic died from. Gill was 62 when he lost his cancer battle in December. The Sunday Times journalist revealed he was suffering from the “full English” of cancers – lung cancer that had spread to other parts of his body including his pancreas, last year. He underwent chemotherapy but could not access the immunotherapy drug nivolumab because it was not approved on the NHS for his form of the disease. It has, up until now, been used to treat advanced skin and kidney tumours. In his last column, Gill said his doctor told his partner Nicola Formby: “If he had insurance, I’d put him on immunotherapy – specifically, nivolumab. “As would every oncologist in the first world. But I can’t do it on the National Health Service.”
The NHS in England is facing a “crisis” because it is struggling to recruit and retain enough doctors, leading medics have warned. In a damning report on the state of the health service, the British Medical Association (BMA) said the NHS is at “breaking point” and patient care will “suffer” if the government doesn’t “get to grips” with the situation. The study found there has been a 13% drop in applications to medical school since 2013 – and almost half of EU doctors are considering leaving the health service since the referendum result. The BMA warned that the “understaffed and chronically underfunded” NHS is having a “huge impact” on doctors’ morale and wellbeing.
Britain is on the edge following the Parsons Green attack last week, with four bomb scares taking place across the country in less than 36 hours. Six streets near Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations in central London were put on lockdown this morning amid reports of a ‘suspicious package’. Meanwhile, a bomb disposal squad was seen at Leeds city market today in a separate scare. Bomb disposal experts were also called to a residential road in Royal Tunbridge Wells after ‘suspicious items’ were discovered in a house. Kent Police confirmed that a 55-year-old man has been arrested and ‘a quantity of chemicals’ found at the address were being examined. The official terror threat level remains at severe following the Parsons Green bombing on Friday that left 22 people injured. It was initially raised to critical after the attack, before being downgraded to severe on Sunday.
Theresa May tonight told the United Nations that ‘enough is enough’ as she pleaded with world leaders to work together to fight terrorism online and on the battlefield. The Prime Minister reflected on the five terror attacks to have blighted Britain in 2017 and told the UN General Assembly all leaders had all seen ‘too many innocent people’ in ‘too many hospitals’. In a personal speech, Mrs May said it had been a decade since Benazir Bhutto – who introduced her to husband Philip – had been killed by terrorists in Pakistan for defending democracy. And she said the global community had to work together to stop terrorists plotting and spreading extremism online. Major internet firms including Google and Facebook have taken part in meetings on the margins of the General Assembly about tackling terror. World leaders including Mrs May have challenged the companies to develop technological fixes to take down terrorist material within one to two hours.
The ‘frightening’ extent of the crisis in the elderly care system was laid bare last night. A shocking report reveals that inspectors are called in to deal with four complaints every day. The Care Quality Commission launched 1,512 enforcement actions against care homes and home helps in 2016/17 – 68 per cent up on the previous 12 months. The watchdog dealt with complaints about unsafe care, residents not being treated with dignity and poor staffing levels. Other issues included lack of food or water and ‘abuse and improper treatment’.
Ukip faces the real prospect of a split or even gradual extinction following a leadership election that could result in the party lurching towards a hard-right brand of populism, senior insiders have warned. Just two years since Nigel Farage led the party to third place by vote share in the 2015 election, top figures say Ukip risks becoming a defunct political force as it struggles for a new purpose after Brexit. Ballot papers have been sent out for the vote to choose a successor to Paul Nuttall, under whose disastrous six months in charge the party slumped from nearly 4m votes in the 2015 election to fewer than 600,000 in June. Not only are Ukip’s members having to pick a fourth leader in just a year, they face a seven-strong candidate list of dubious quality, comprising of the largely obscure, the occasionally extreme and the often eccentric.
STRIKES could bring Heathrow airport to a standstill by Christmas after bosses attacked the wages and conditions of thousands of workers. The Unite union is balloting on strike action over “bullying” plans by employers to cut pay and inflict financial punishment on anyone taking industrial action. The security staff, firefighters, airfield operators and engineers targeted have overwhelmingly voted to reject new terms and conditions, including reduced holiday pay. Accusing Heathrow bosses of “making every worker poorer,” Unite warned that a strike would cause travel chaos for passengers over the busy Christmas period and affect hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo. Voting opens next Wednesday and closes on October 18. Unite official Wayne King said: “Instead of ‘making every journey better,’ Heathrow is ‘making every worker poorer’ in its bullying bid to cheat staff out of their full holiday pay and [make] cuts to long-standing terms and conditions.