THERESA May is facing a massive rebellion and resignations from her government if she tries to push through a Brexit deal with a £36 billion divorce bill. The angry backlash against a massive divorce bill was fueled by European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier yesterday, who said Britain could have no access to single market benefits and British banks could not have any passporting rights. The insult to Britain came as the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of her Brexit “war cabinet” to discuss increasing the offer to the EU with pro-Remain Chancellor Philip Hammond said to be pushing for a £36 billion divorce bill.
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have agreed for the first time that Britain should increase its Brexit divorce bill offer above £20 billion if the EU is prepared to make concessions in return. The Cabinet’s most powerful Brexiteers dropped their long-standing opposition to a promise of more money to the EU, paving the way for David Davis to break the deadlock which has so far prevented trade talks from starting. However, they and other ministers made it clear that no specific monetary offer should be made at this stage, with any extra cash to Brussels being dependent on the EU giving Britain a good deal. The Government faced an immediate backlash from Leave-supporting Conservative MPs, who insisted the £20 billion already offered was enough.
Theresa May’s cabinet is prepared to increase its financial offer to the EU in an attempt to break the deadlock in Brexit talks but will make clear that any figure is contingent on the final deal, including the shape of a future trading arrangement. A crunch meeting of the prime minister’s new Brexit sub-committee, set up to discuss the government’s strategy for critical negotiations, agreed to a calculation of the divorce bill that would result in a larger payment. But the leading ministers, including key leave campaigners Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, agreed that the government should be prepared to withdraw the divorce bill offer if they were unhappy with the final Brexit deal.
Theresa May’s Brexit ‘war cabinet’ has agreed to offer billions more in EU divorce payments in return for a free trade deal. Brussels sources had indicated they would not consider opening talks unless the UK hands over about £40billion – double the amount previously suggested by the Prime Minister. The plan for an increased offer – which is set to prompt a Tory revolt – comes after ten key ministers met amid tight secrecy in Downing Street, ahead of a crunch summit next month. Sources suggested they had agreed to raise the offer to the EU, but only in return for assurances on a future trade deal.
As the Brexit talks drag on, the formerly Remain-supporting prime minister is said to be planning to double her previous offer to the EU of roughly £20 billion to £40 billion. Theresa May, reportedly under pressure from Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip ‘Remainer Phil’ Hammond, has had to convene a special ‘War Cabinet’ in order to sign off the offer, with Brexit supporters Boris Johnson and Michael Gove said to be concerned that the EU has yet to offer Britain anything in return. Such a situation could result in a repeat of the situation after Tony Blair’s failed attempts to negotiate reform to the EU’s money-hungry Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Theresa May appears to have won the backing of Cabinet Brexiteers to double the UK’s “divorce bill” offer from £20bn to £40bn. At a tense two-hour meeting of senior ministers in 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are believed to have agreed to the move – with conditions. As a result, the Prime Minister is now poised to offer £40bn later this week if the rest of the EU is ready to move towards trade talks in December. And in another significant move aimed at breaking the deadlock in Brexit negotiations, the UK will allow a role for the European Court of Justice after Brexit.
Theresa May has cleared the way for Britain to pay the EU a hefty Brexit ‘divorce bill’ of some £40bn in a bid to break the deadlock in withdrawal negotiations. The Independent understands Ms May won the backing of key cabinet figures to almost double the amount being offered by the UK to settle its financial obligations in Brussels. But the Prime Minister agreed with her ministers that the extra money must be conditional on securing an acceptable transition deal and a good free trade agreement. The move marks a key development in the UK’s approach and opens the way for EU leaders to approve in December the start of talks on a trade deal that would be critical to Britain’s post-Brexit prosperity.
Theresa May faced a backlash from Tory MPs tonight over plans to pay up to £40billion in a Brexit divorce bill. A host of senior Conservatives blasted plans to stump up a “ransom” to Brussels after a crunch private meeting of her Brexit ‘War Cabinet’. Mrs May triggered mounting opposition to a hefty divorce bill, amid claims she is set to offer another £20billion on top of what she has already signalled she is willing to pay. Voters would “go bananas” if the UK forked out £40billion, warned former minister Robert Halfon. He told the BBC: “If we start saying that we’re going to give £40 to £50 billion to the EU, I think the public will go bananas, absolutely spare.
Reports that the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, in budget week, is considering doubling his previous proposed Brexit bill to £40 billion is an outrage. William Dartmouth the UKIP Trade Spokesman responded, “The European Union wants our money.They are plucking figures out of the air in the hope we will cover their future budget plans. “These figures change week to week and range from £100 bill to £60 billion. “As a qualified chartered accountant I would remind Mrs May that a budget is just a budget-a projection or an aspiration. “By raising our Brexit bill to satisfy the EU perhaps Mrs May should remember the words of Lennon/McCartney “Money can’t buy you love”.
A CAMPAIGN designed to thwart Brexit and keep the UK in the European Union with a “new deal” has been launched by German economists today. The campaign, called ‘Exit from Brexit with a New Deal for Britain and the EU’, was launched by Henreich Weiss, Michael Rogowski and Hans-Olaf Henkel, three former BDI Presidents – the equivalent of the British CBI – who share the “goal to prevent Brexit”. Mr Henkel compared the campaign to the Battle of Britain at a press conference in Berlin. He said: “This reminded me of the Battle of Britain, but I think this campaign is the battle for Britain.”
The EU’s chief negotiator has said the bloc is “ready” to offer Britain an “ambitious” free trade deal – but the UK will lose one of the advantages currently enjoyed by the City. Michel Barnier said, if an agreement is to be signed after the UK leaves the single market, there has to be a “level playing field” with the EU, and the Government must not ditch European standards or so-called red tape. And he warned there would be no “cherry picking” of the elements of the single market Britain wanted to keep. As a result, he added, the UK will have to lose the so-called “EU banking passport” – which allows British banks full access to the market for financial services across the bloc.
BREXIT faces fresh delays after Angela Merkel said she wants Germany to hold another election in three months – plunging her government into crisis. Top Tories urged Theresa May to take advantage of the crisis and use the uncertainty to win concessions over the mammoth divorce bill before taking an offer back to Brussels. After talks over forming a new coalition collapsed in Berlin, the German Chancellor said she would prefer new elections than try to lead an unstable minority government. It has left one of Britain’s closest EU allies paralysed by more indecision and German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that the breakdown in talks could threaten the stability of Europe.
Senior cabinet ministers have agreed the government should increase its financial offer to the EU as the UK leaves in 2019, the BBC understands. There was no substantial discussion of an amount at the meeting held by the prime minister on Monday night. But more money would be paid if the EU moves on, in December, to talks about a future trade deal and implementation phase after the UK’s departure. Meanwhile, MPs will later continue to debate legislation governing Brexit. The attention in the Commons will be on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which brings much of EU law into UK law. Monday evening’s cabinet committee meeting at Downing Street was held to try to make progress on stalled Brexit talks with the EU.
The biggest hitters in the government have this afternoon moved a long way towards giving Michel Barnier and Donald Tusk what they say they want and need in order to move Brexit talks on to the crucial next phase of discussing a so-called transition arrangement and a trade deal. The European Union Exit and Trade (Strategy and Negotiations) sub-committee, chaired by the prime minister, made two fairly dramatic decisions. I am told ministers agreed that the European Court of Justice could after all have a continuing role in making sure the rights are protected of three million EU citizens living in Britain. Barnier and Tusk will be relieved. The Brexiteering ultras in the Tory party will feel betrayed.
JEAN-CLAUDE Juncker has conceded the European Union needs Britain as he admitted he was fearful of both parties being unable to reach a Brexit agreement.The president of the European Commission has been vocal over his opposition to “no dealers” who he says want Brexit talks with the UK to fail. Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg earlier this year, he warned that those who sought no deal had “no friends in the Commission”. Yet he also suggested Britain needed a “miracle” to make sufficient progress before discussing their future relations as EU’s Brexit negotiators Michel Barnier warned a transition to phase two in the talks could take “months”. But now 62-year-old Mr Juncker has been forced to admit the Brussels bloc may still need Britain – and in turn, a Brexit deal.
Senior Tory Brexiteers demanded last night that Theresa May exploit Angela Merkel’s political weakness and suspend plans to offer billions of pounds more to the European Union. The prime minister’s allies said that she had bound her cabinet to Britain’s negotiating stance, including the offer of more money at a meeting before the European Council next month. The German chancellor’s admission yesterday that she might be forced back to the polls had tipped Brexit negotiations into chaos, said Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader and a prominent Brexiteer. He urged Mrs May to “sit tight”. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Tory MP for North East Somerset, said that it would be “foolish” to improve the offer at a time when Mrs Merkel needed to reassure German voters.
Are EU serious? NOW who wants to have their cake and eat it? Listen to what EU negotiator Michel Barnier said yesterday. He wants all his demands met on citizens’ rights. He wants the Irish border question solved. He wants a monstrous exit bung from Britain — and, rest assured, even £40billion won’t nearly suffice. And for what? A trade deal which would STILL shackle us forever to Brussels’ rules. Which would be torpedoed if we made any attempt to slash red tape or undercut them on tax. It is vital we resist. Britain MUST have this freedom, to make our own trade deals worldwide. That is one of Brexit’s main aims. We must be free too to set taxes as low as we like.
More than 500 migrants were rescued crossing into Spain over the weekend. According to news agency Europa Press, 519 migrants were intercepted on 49 boats – something a government representative said was “unprecedented”. Francisco Bernabe, the Spanish representative in the region of Murcia told the agency that the “flood of boats with illegal migrants” had been “orchestrated by mafias dedicated to the trafficking of human beings.” He added that the wave of migrants was “a co-ordinated and unacceptable attack on our borders.”
Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator has made the case for Northern Ireland remaining in the European Union customs union after Britain leaves the EU, to solve a deadlock in talks over the Irish border. Michel Barnier said there were already over 100 areas where Northern Ireland implemented special rules to harmonise with the Republic and argued that Brexit called for a “specific solution” to “unique circumstances”. Speaking at a think-tank in Brussels the senior EU official said “those who wanted Brexit” must come up with solutions to solve the conundrums it had created.
The Democratic Unionist party has launched a scathing attack on Brussels and Dublin politicians accusing them of trying to use Northern Ireland to “blackmail” Brexit negotiators in London. Arlene Foster, the party’s leader, issued a strongly worded statement on Monday night, three days after Ireland’s taoiseach warned that the country would block progress in Brexit talks unless the UK came up with proposals to avoid a hard border with Northern Ireland. But Foster hit back, saying Brussels and Dublin were “wrecklessly trying to use Northern Ireland for their own objectives”.
Britain has agreed to give France more money to improve security in Calais as evidence shows a rise in the number of people being smuggled across the Channel, French officials say. The Home Office refused to be drawn on how much money it would give the French, but it is believed to be tens of millions of pounds. Amber Rudd, the home secretary, met Gérard Collomb, the French interior minister, in London last week. French officials said that Ms Rudd was prepared to meet their demands for more money. They said that British taxpayers had given France £124 million since 2015. In addition ministers are looking to renew a security contract to support operations at Eurotunnel terminals at Coquelles and at Calais and Dunkirk.
Tory whips have mounted a covert campaign to stop the Treasury announcing high-risk plans in the budget that could face defeat in parliament. Conservative MPs told The Times that they were urged to put their name to private petitions seeking to relax the planning rules to allow more housebuilding. Lists of names were drawn up to show to the Treasury in an attempt to stop ideas that could result in a rebellion bringing down the budget in the Commons. Philip Hammond faces the most difficult budget of any chancellor in recent decades because of the Tory minority government and lack of economic flexibility.
Philip Hammond is to give the NHS an emergency cash injection in the budget, though the chancellor will disappoint health service bosses by increasing funding by far less than they believe is needed. Hammond is understood to be preparing to unveil a plan to give the NHS up to £6bn by 2022 for three different purposes. Despite already rejecting a plea by the NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, for £4bn extra for next year, Hammond is thought to nevertheless be ready to give the NHS approaching, but less than, £1bn more than previously planned in 2018-19 to meet its running costs and to maintain care standards.
Cancer tests will be offered in supermarket car parks as part of a national drive to speed up diagnosis, the head of the NHS is to announce. Simon Stevens pledged a wider expansion of mobile schemes after research found they could detect cases far more speedily than conventional approaches. A pilot scheme which placed mobile CT scanners in such settings quadrupled the number of cases of lung cancer detected at stage one or two, when it is more likely to be curable. In total, 80 per cent of cases were found at these stages. The NHS normally detects just 20 per cent of cases this early.
Patients will be checked for cancer in supermarket car parks in an effort to save thousands of lives by spotting the disease earlier. Mobile CT scanners will be sent to shopping centres and high streets to make it easier for older smokers to attend checks after a pilot scheme in Manchester found that four times as many tumours were spotted early enough to offer the chance of a cure. The project will now be expanded to London, the northeast and parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire as the first stage of a national programme.
Patients are being offered cancer scans in supermarket car parks to try to improve disease detection rates. The scheme is going nationwide after a trial led to a four-fold rise in the number of lung cancers diagnosed early. NHS chiefs judged it so successful they will pay for more trucks with scanners to be sited at branches of Tesco and Asda. High-risk patients aged 55 to 75 who smoke or have been smokers are sent letters urging them to be checked out at one of the stores. ‘The rollout of this scheme is welcome news,’ said Nick Hopkinson, medical adviser to the British Lung Foundation.
Robert Mugabe’s ousted deputy Emmerson ‘Crocodile’ Mnangagwa will return to Zimbabwe ‘shortly’ in order to help negotiate a roadmap for the dictator’s departure, the military has said. General Constantino Chiwenga, chief of the country’s army, announced Mnangagwa’s return on Monday and said that he had already been in contact with Mugabe, describing the talks as ‘encouraging’. Mr Chiwenga also used a televised statement to reiterate calls for peace and calm while the situation, which he dubbed Operation Restore Legacy, is resolved.
IMPEACHMENT proceedings are set to begin against stubborn tyrant Robert Mugabe, who is accused of allowing his wife Grace “to usurp constitutional power”. The pariah president ignored an imposed deadline of noon yesterday – 10am in the UK – to quit, after being axed by his own ruling following last week’s military coup. The 93-year-old’s failure to step down came a day after he shocked his people with a show of defiance when he had been expected to resign. His enemies – led by ruthless former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa – yesterday launched moves to impeach him amid rising fears of civil strife. Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party summoned its MPs to thrash out a plan to forcibly end the despot’s brutal 37-year reign.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party has instructed its chief whip to move ahead with impeachment proceedings against President Robert Mugabe, after he resisted calls to step down, an official said. Mugabe was also formally notified that he has been fired from his position as party leader. ZANU-PF party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo said in a statement that Mugabe was notified this morning of the decisions taken by the party’s Central Committee a day earlier. He added impeachment will begin when the country’s parliament meets on Tuesday, and the 93-year-old Mugabe could be gone by Wednesday.