THERESA May is under pressure to reconsider pushing for a transition period after Brussels strategy papers revealed the Commission wants to use it to extend its rule over Britain. With talks set to resume today, the EU plans would see Britain officially leave the bloc in March 2019 but then be governed by EU laws and institutions for another two years without being allowed to sit at the table making decisions. The revelations have led influential pro-Brexit group Leave Means Leave, which is backed by more than 50 Tory MPs and MEPs, to call on Mrs May to reconsider her plans. The Commission’s document notes that it believes Mrs May’s request for a transition period of about two years “would require a temporary application of Union law to and within the United Kingdom together with regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and structures”.
The European Union will look to use the Brexit deadlock and rising uncertainty in the business world to “shake the tree” and force lucrative businesses to relocate to Europe, if Downing Street fails to make an early move to settle the so-called Brexit bill, the Telegraph has learned. The hard-nosed stance comes as EU ambassadors met in Brussels for preliminary discussions about the shape of a possible Brexit transition and future relationship deal on the eve of Thursday’s Brexit negotiations. The meeting is to begin “scoping out” options for the next phase of talks, EU officials told The Telegraph, but also to put pressure on Theresa May to make commitments on the €60billion Brexit bill. “The plain fact is that, as Mr Barnier repeatedly says, ‘the clock is ticking’, and time is not on the British side,” said an EU source with knowledge of the plans for discussion.
THE CASH-hungry EU are hatching a plan to snatch UK business if Theresa May refuses to fork out billions for a Brexit bill, reports claim. Exploiting economic uncertainty officials will look to “shake the tree” and force firms to move their operations to the EU. An EU source said: “The longer the UK waits, the more the pressure will build, the more we shake the tree.” Brussels leaders are determined to force the Prime Minister into paying an eye-watering €60billion (£53billion) in order to secure a deal with the bloc. European ambassadors gathered in Brussels to push Mrs May to commit to pouring the cash into the EU coffers and to discuss the next step in negotiations. Talks will get underway again on Thursday with the ambassadors assessing what the proposed two-year transition deal might look like and outline their next move.
European Union leaders are preparing for the fall of Theresa May before the new year, it emerged yesterday, as the prime minister lost her second cabinet minister in a week. Fears are growing in Brussels that the instability of Mrs May’s government raises the real prospect of a change of leadership or elections leading to a Labour victory. One European leader told The Times that officials were planning for both scenarios. “There is the great difficulty of the leadership in Great Britain, which is more and more fragile,” the leader said. “Britain is very weak and the weakness of Theresa May makes [Brexit] negotiations very difficult.”
“Major issues” must still be resolved on safeguarding citizens’ rights after Brexit, the European Parliament’s negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said on Wednesday, the eve of another round of divorce negotiations between London and Brussels. The talks have been grinding slowly and Verhofstadt said that London’s assurances on the status of EU citizens living in Britain were not good enough. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the two sides were “in touching distance” of a deal and said on Tuesday the British government expected most EU citizens currently living in Britain would be allowed to stay after Brexit in 2019. “We don’t recognise reports suggesting that a deal on citizens’ rights is almost finalised. There are still major issues that have to be resolved,” Verhofstadt said.
THE European Union must become more flexible or risk reluctant members following Britain out of the bloc, a leading expert has claimed. Disagreements between EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker and French president Emmanuel Macron on how the 27-member group should move forward have revealed major divisions about its future – and Mr Macron’s vision is the most likely outcome. The French president has called for a more flexible EU, as opposed to Mr Juncker’s vision of an increasingly integrated bloc, and think tank director Charles Grant, of the Centre for European Reform, agrees with the French leader. Writing for Politico, Mr Grant says: “If the EU wants to survive its (inevitable) future crises, the answer is easy.
Britain should delay Brexit by up to two years or a deal will fall apart, Angela Merkel’s advisers say. In a controversial assessment that will anger Downing Street, five senior economists said Brussels should prepare for Britain to remain a member of the bloc until the end of 2020. The economists who form the Council of Experts, also known as ‘five wise men’, told Germany’s Chancellor that an extension to negotiations would be ‘sensible’. As part of the move they recommend the UK all but replicates its current EU membership conditions, which would likely be for two years until the current EU budget ends in 2020. ‘The Council of Experts believes a one-off extension [of Brexit negotiations] that largely preserves the status quo would be sensible,’ they said.
The European Parliament has rejected Britain’s brand-new offer on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit. The Government yesterday released a technical paper spelling out the details of a two-year grace period for EU nationals to apply for settled status once the UK leaves the bloc so that they can continue their lives in the UK. The Parliament’s cross-party Brexit steering group however today said there were still “major issues” to be resolved while Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt criticised the “inadequate” proposal. The rebuttal comes less than 24 hours before the resumption of the next round of Brussels talks between David Davis and Michel Barniers’ teams, in negotiations that will be key to Britain moving to trade talks before its new December deadline.
Theresa May was facing meltdown tonight after losing her second Cabinet minister in just a week. International Development Secretary Priti Patel was humiliatingly forced to resign from the PM’s top team in a 30-minute face-to-face showdown after being ordered to return from an Africa tour. Her fate was finally sealed after two further secret meetings with Israeli officials emerged on top of the 12 that had already been revealed. She also reportedly visited an Israeli military field hospital in the Golan Heights, a disputed area that Britain does not recognise, and failed to declare it. In her resignation letter, Miss Patel said she was ‘sorry’ to have distracted from the government’s work and for lacking transparency. But the departure is another second brutal body blow for Mrs May, after Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon resigned over the Westminster sleaze row seven days ago.
Theresa May has forced International Development Secretary Priti Patel to quit after she held a series of meetings with top Israeli politicians without telling the Prime Minister. It ends days of speculation about the cabinet minister’s position after she broke protocol to meet politicians, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without informing Downing Street. Ms Patel arrived at Number 10 for an hour-long face-to-face meeting with the Prime Minister just after 6pm on Wednesday, having been ordered back to the country from Africa. Earlier in the week, it had appeared she might avoid being pushed out after disclosing details of the meetings and apologising to Ms May. But it later emerged that she did not disclose all of the meetings that she had, angering Number 10.
PRITI Patel’s resignation as International Development Secretary leaves Theresa May facing a tricky second reshuffle in successive weeks. The Prime Minister faced a backlash after replacing Sir Michael Fallon as Defence Secretary with Gavin Williamson and will hope that her latest enforced change is met with a more positive response from the Tory ranks. Here are some of the potential contenders for the International Development Secretary post: David Mundell, Sir Alan Duncan, Anne Milton, Alistair Burt, Theresa Villiers.
NATO is urging countries across Europe to update their infrastructure to ensure that it is strong enough to handle a rapid deployment of troops and military vehicles. Speaking ahead of a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels today, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it is vital that European roads, bridges and rail networks are able to carry tanks and heavy military equipment. This is NATO’s biggest upgrade to its command structure since the Cold War, and comes hot on the heels of Russia‘s recent ‘war games’ in Belarus. During a press conference in Brussels, Stoltenberg said NATO needs a command structure to ensure ‘we have the right forces, in the right place, with the right equipment at the right time.’
Nato is bolstering its command structures in Europe for the first time since the end of the Cold War amid signs of increasing tensions with Russia. At a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday defence ministers agreed to create two new command centres, both aimed at upgrading the alliance’s ability to respond to a conflict in Europe. One of the two command centres will coordinate troop movements in Europe, while the other will focus on maritime security in the Atlantic, with the aim of ensuring that US forces can cross the ocean so they can get to where they are needed. The alliance also agreed to integrate cybersecurity into all Nato operations for the first time. “Nato continues to adapt for the 21st century so that we can keep our people safe in a more challenging world,” general secretary Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.
TEENAGERS should get £18,000 to spend on further education to re-balance inequality between the generations, Sir Vince Cable has said. The Lib Dem leader today unveiled his plans for an “endowment fund” which would be used for young people to spend throughout their lives. In a move aiming to woo over students, Sir Vince revealed that rather than cutting tuition fees, he would set up a fund for anyone aged 16 or up to withdraw to pay for higher education – or reskilling in later life. This would be paid for by a tax on “personal net worth”. Denouncing Jeremy Corbyn’s “populist fiscal policy – sometimes described as the magic money tree”, he proposed one of his own that would cost even MORE money.
SIR Vince Cable wants the Government to redistribute wealth in the favour of younger people, ahead of the autumn Budget release. The Liberal Democrat leader claims a redistribution of wealth between the generations would counter a recent trend which has seen younger people lose out financially to older citizens. In a speech ahead of this month’s autumn Budget, Sir Vince will hit out at the impact of house prices, student debt, job insecurity and reduced pension available to young people, as he unveils Lib Dem plans for a new learning account. The account would allow students to draw down funds at any time in their lives to pay for education and training. Sir Vince will also call for a Government which “prioritises economic competence over political dogma” – something which he argues cannot be provided by the “no deal Brexit extremism” of the Conservatives or the “socialism in one country” offered by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
Workers are set for their biggest pay rises since before the financial crisis as the squeeze on living standards comes to an end, according to the Bank of England. It said average wages are likely to increase by between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent next year. The last time pay for a typical worker rose by more than 3.5 per cent was in the summer of 2008 before the meltdown in the banking system plunged the economy into crisis. The report came days after the Bank raised interest rates for the first time in more than a decade and said the worst of the squeeze on family finances was over. Outlining its latest forecasts for the economy last week, the Bank said inflation was likely to have peaked at 3.2 per cent in October and would fall to 2.4 per cent next year and 2.2 per cent in 2019. The upbeat outlook was underlined by yesterday’s report from the Bank’s regional ‘agents’, seen as its ‘eyes and ears’ around the country.
Britain’s Leave vote is already delivering for British workers, with starting salaries increasing at the second-highest rate since 2015. The pro-mass migration Independent have been forced to report that: “Shortage of EU workers pushing up UK pay” with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s monthly survey highlighting a rise in wages. Bloomberg have also reported that a labour market that is becoming less saturated is boosting wages, especially starting salaries. Britain hasn’t even left the European Union and already the prospects for British workers are improving. Just imagine what can be done with a properly controlled migration policy and an end to out of control mass migration.