Former head of the civil service Bob Kerslake is known as “Comrade Bob” by fellow peers for his lefty interventions in the Lords. Last night he revealed his view, no doubt shared by former colleagues, that a no deal Brexit would be “an utter and complete disaster”. Last night’s major leak to the Guardian on immigration is suspected to have come from disgruntled anti-Brexit civil servants, who handed the story to the most pro-immigration newspaper. Ministers feel they are the victim of a sabotage attempt from mandarins who are supposed to be politically neutral. Anyone in any doubt as to the views of panjandrums should look at the Twitter feed of former Treasury permanent secretary and Project Fear architect Nick Macpherson, who spends his whole time these days moaning about Brexit.
The EU will risk heightening tensions with the UK on Brexit by publishing five combative position papers in the coming days, including one that places the onus on Britain to solve the problem of the Irish border, according to documents leaked to the Guardian. The Irish document shows that Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, will call on the UK to work out “solutions” that avoid the creation of a hard border and guarantee peace on the island. The leaks come a day after the Guardian obtained a draft memo showing the British government’s position on post-Brexit EU migration, which has been denounced as “completely confused”, “economically illiterate” and “a blueprint on how to strangle London’s economy”. The Ireland paper is one of five due to be published by the European commission in the coming days. Each is dated 6 September and was drawn up by Barnier’s article 50 taskforce in Brussels.
A group of Conservative MPs say the Government must not be blackmailed by Brussels into a multi-billion pound divorce bill – as we don’t legally owe the European Union a penny. A new in-depth legal analysis of the UK’s potential financial obligations to the EU shows there is a powerful legal case that the UK will not owe the EU any money at all on withdrawal. The paper by Charlie Elphicke MP and leading constitutional lawyer Martin Howe QC of Lawyers for Britain has the support of the Conservative European Research Group of MPs. The analysis of European Commission’s reported claims for payment finds that when international law and legal precedent is applied they all lack legal merit. Charlie Elphicke MP, a former tax lawyer and officer of the Conservative European Research Group, said: “The European Union is trying to blackmail Britain into handing over billions of pounds. Yet this detailed analysis shows that legally we owe the EU nothing. “In fact, it turns out they owe us €10 billion.
SENIOR Tories and top lawyers have piled pressure on Theresa May not to succumb to the EU’s multi-billion divorce bill demands – by revealing the ONLY legal basis for payments is a £9.3 billion refund to UK taxpayers. A joint report by the Conservative European Research Group (ERG) and Lawyers for Britain has produced detailed legal analysis showing Britain owes nothing. But Brussels owes us our 16 per cent share of cash reserves tied up in the European Investment Bank (EIB) – equivalent to €10.2 billion. The EU is demanding Britain continues its £10 billion net contributions until the end of 2020 – 20 months after Brexit – in addition to paying vast sums of money for the EU’s pension liabilities. But the 30-page report says there is “no credible legal argument” for the UK to contribute to this pension deficit. And if the EU did demand payment for pension liabilities, the UK should be entitled to its corresponding share of the EU’s assets – such as its vast property portfolio.
A new report by the Conservative European Research Group and Lawyers for Britain has found that legally it is the European Union that owes Britain a Brexit bill – of £9.3 billion. The report states that: “Overall the UK should be entitled on exit to a net payment in its favour, corresponding approximately to the value of its capital invested in the EIB (European Investment Bank)” with Conservative MP Suella Fernandes insisting that: “the European Commission has no legal claim for a Brexit payment”. After paying into the EU as a cash cow for so long, negotiations should of course take into account the UK’s share of the European Union’s assets. Whilst this may not go down well in Brussels, it is a big dose of financial reality. Rather than grandstanding and making ludicrous demands for €100 billion, the EU’s negotiators should be focusing on securing a mutually beneficial trade deal.
Deportation of criminals
Killers, rapists, drug lords and other EU criminals will be easier to deport after Brexit, according to a leaked Home Office paper. Under the proposals ministers would ditch Brussels rules exploited by offenders. Citizens from elsewhere in the world who are jailed for more than 12 months face automatic deportation. They can also be stopped at the border or thrown out if they are a persistent offender. But an EU citizen can be excluded from the UK only if they pose ‘a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat’ to society and the public – a much higher threshold. British judges have taken this to mean that anyone who does not pose an immediate threat should not normally be sent home.
Britain is responsible for coming up with solutions to keep the peace in Northern Ireland after Brexit, the European Union will say today in a series of new position papers covering the UK’s exit from the EU. Weeks after brushing off the UK’s own position paper on Northern Ireland for lacking ideas, the EU paper – one of five position papers seen by The Telegraph – offers no concrete solutions on how to achieve the common goal of preserving the Good Friday Agreement. “The onus to propose solutions which overcome the challenges created on the island of Ireland by the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union and its decision to leave the customs union and the internal market remains on the United Kingdom,” the paper says.
The European Union wants Northern Ireland to have a different Brexit deal to the rest of the UK, papers seen by the BBC suggest. The document says the UK should take responsibility for finding a “unique solution” so people can work, go to school or get medical treatment either side of the Irish border. Details will be published by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier later. He has said “a lot more substantial work” is needed on the border issue. The EU’s position paper comes as MPs prepare to debate the EU Withdrawal Bill in Parliament. The legislation will convert all existing EU laws into domestic ones ahead of Brexit – due to take effect at the end of March 2019. Ministers said passing the legislation would form an “essential foundation” for post-Brexit Britain, but Labour has vowed to vote against it as it stands, calling it a power grab by the government.
BRITAIN will not shut the door to EU migrants after Brexit says Michael Fallon – but says Government wants people “with high skills” and better jobs for domestic workers. The Defence Secretary insisted a leaked Home Office document plotting a cut in low-skilled arrivals post-2019 does not the UK’s final position. It comes after the draft paper has ignited a political row on the eve of a House of Commons battle on the nature of our EU withdrawal. Speaking this morning Mr Fallon appeared to back its overall strategy, stressing that voters want a reduction in immigration. He told BBC Breakfast: “I can’t set out the proposals yet, they have not yet been finalised, they are being worked on at the moment. “There is obviously a balance to be struck, we don’t want to shut the door, of course not. “We have always welcomed to this country those who can make a contribution to our economy, to our society, people with high skills.
Theresa May’s Brexit plans were in disarray on Wednesday night as two of her most senior ministers distanced themselves from leaked immigration policies amid a backlash from Brussels and business leaders. Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, and Damian Green, the First Secretary of State, both have misgivings about radical plans to curb migration, which include a two-year maximum stay for low-skilled workers, whose overall numbers could also be capped. Ms Rudd has “reservations” about the migration blueprint even though it was drawn up by officials in her own department, and may favour lighter touch regulations that make it easier for businesses to hire EU workers.
The cabinet is split over Theresa May’s plans to limit migration during the Brexit transition, with colleagues fearing that she risks creating an economic cliff-edge in 18 months’ time. The prime minister is refusing to soften certain aspects of her plan to introduce migration curbs straight after Brexit, despite pleas from Amber Rudd, the home secretary, and Philip Hammond, the chancellor. Mrs May also wants caps on the number of low-skilled EU migrants allowed in, which Brussels warned yesterday would mean Britain being blocked from unfettered trade with Europe. The Times understands that key government figures believe that the latest draft of the migration plans will not satisfy the European free movement directive during the transition period.
Draconian post-Brexit curbs on immigration revealed in leaked Government proposals would wreck public services and fuel an “underground economy”, Theresa May has been told. The plans – which would strip all newly-arrived EU migrants of their rights to live permanently in Britain, including the highly-skilled – triggered a furious backlash within hours. Ministers were accused of planning “cruel” restrictions which would not only damage the British economy and the NHS, but allow rogue bosses to exploit migrants and undercut good employers.The document is also likely to have an impact on the Brexit negotiations because, at a stroke, the day after withdrawal, rights to work in Britain would be replaced by time-limited permits.
Theresa May defended the idea of new controls on EU nationals in the wake of a leaked document outlining proposed tough post-Brexit immigration plans, saying they would help protect UK wages. Speaking at the first prime minister’s questions since the summer recess, May did not refer directly to the Home Office document leaked to the Guardian, but repeated her insistence that migration has depressed the wages of lower-paid workers. May said: “There is a reason for wanting to ensure that we can control migration. It is because of the impact that net migration can have on people, on access to services, on infrastructure. But, crucially, it often hits those at the lower end of the income scale hardest.” The subject had been raised by Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP’s Westminster group, who urged May to admit that immigration is “essential to the strength of the UK economy, as well as enhancing our diversity and cultural fabric”.
MPs will push to give voters a say on the final Brexit deal through a backbench bill that would let Britain remain in the EU in the event of a bad deal. Labour MP Geraint Davies has tabled a bill calling for a referendum on the EU exit package before it is signed, which would allow the public to reject the Government’s proposals and stay in the bloc. The private members’ bill, which has cross-party support, was presented in the Commons as Labour MPs vowed to vote against the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which incorporates European law into British law, when it receives its second reading in Parliament on Thursday. Mr Davies said he wanted to offer an alternative to the Government’s “disastrous exit negotiations”, which appear to have stalled following the latest round of talks in Brussels.
The cost of clinical negligence claims against the NHS has soared due to ambulance-chasing lawyers, the official spending watchdog has found. Over the past decade the cost of damages plus legal bills has quadrupled to £1.6billion – and is set to double again to £3.2billion within four years. The National Audit Office (NAO) warned the bill for NHS blunders could get even worse as waiting lists get longer, increasing the risk that diseases are missed. It confirmed that another factor behind the rise is an increase in the number of cases related to mistakes on maternity wards. In a highly-critical report, the NAO pinned much of the blame for the huge increase on no-win no-fee lawyers who encourage patients to take out claims and then charge exorbitant fees if they win.
NURSES will take strike action if nothing is done about declining pay rates, the Royal College of Nursing warned yesterday as thousands rallied outside Parliament. RCN chairman Nick Brown said “enough is enough” as he accused the government of taking the “political decision” to underfund the NHS. Mr Brown paid tribute to those who had made their way to the capital from across the country. “It’s been a fantastic summer,” he said, referring to rallies that have been held in hospitals and towns across Britain. “This campaign shows what we can achieve when we work together. But for too long the nursing profession has been taken for granted and this cannot go on.” He also warned the government that if it continues to ignore nurses over pay they would be left no option but to strike.
Nigel Farage has told Westmonster that the UK faces a jihadi threat for decades to come. Farage said: “I think were in for decades now of a very difficult and literally bloody fight and I believe we’ve brought it on upon ourselves.” The former UKIP Leader pointed out that “no one had said sorry” after attacking him for warning of the threat posed by jihadis seeking to exploit the migrant crisis years ago. He added that “even his most pessimistic view of what was going to happen” has been “far exceeded by truth and reality”. You can watch the full interview here.
Islamic State leaders are reportedly asking its followers to carry out terror attacks by poisoning food in Western supermarkets. ISIS fanatics could be targeting British and U.S. shops after the terror group perfected their methods using Iraqi prisoners as ‘human guinea pigs’. The details of the ‘food poison tests’ were uncovered in Mosul, Iraq, after the city was liberated from ISIS earlier this year. It is now feared that the ways of contaminating food could be used on a larger scale in attacks on the West, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. It would not be the first time ISIS followers have sought to spread terror and death by using everyday objects as weapons. In recent years, several deadly terror attacks have been carried out using large vehicles and cars, driving into crowds of people in public spaces. Just last month, 13 people died and some 130 were injured when Islamist terrorists drove a white van down Barcelona’s popular shopping street Las Ramblas.
Students from the EU would have to pass English language tests before they were admitted to Britain after Brexit. The move is intended to prevent the student route being used to get round rules that will be imposed to limit EU nationals coming to Britain to work. It will also be made easier to deport EU criminals and check for criminal convictions before migrants arrive. The measures were outlined in a leaked draft of Home Office plans for an immigration system that would rely heavily on robust IT systems to deliver a streamlined service. Tens of thousands of EU students are likely to have to take English language tests, have their academic ability checked and provide evidence that they have enough cash to support themselves.