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News review – Wednesday 12 July 2017


SIR Vince Cable has revealed that civil servants in Whitehall are briefing against Brexit and are briefing politicians that Britain will not leave the EU. The revelation by the Twickenham MP who is running to become leader of the Lib Dems has provoked fury among Brexit campaigners who have demanded that “unpatriotic, EU sympathisers” are removed from the civil service. As a former business secretary Sir Vince has high level contacts in the civil service and he suggested at a Press Gallery lunch in the Commons that his party’s position of overturning the historic referendum is shared by many in Whitehall. He told journalists: “Since I have returned [to parliament] I hear more and more people, politicians and civil servants saying ‘actually this thing isn’t going to happen’.”

Boris Johnson was last night accused of making “silly, arrogant” threats against Europe after telling MPs that EU Brexit negotiators could “go whistle” if they expected Britain to pay a large bill to leave the bloc. In apparently deliberately provocative remarks, the foreign secretary also contradicted government policy by claiming that ministers had “no plan for no deal”. Downing Street has repeatedly insisted that Whitehall is preparing for all eventualities. Asked about Mr Johnson’s comment David Davis, the Brexit secretary, told a House of Lords committee that “bluntly, I wouldn’t worry”, adding: “You will have to get the foreign secretary here to explain his views if you really wanted to.”

The European Union is demanding “extortionate” amounts of money from the UK over Brexit and should “go whistle”, Boris Johnson has said. The Foreign Secretary criticised EU officials who have reportedly demanded Britain pays a €100bn (£88bn) exit bill in order to extract itself from its European treaty obligations. Mr Johnson was responding to Tory MP Philip Hollobone during Foreign Office Questions in the House of Commons.  Mr Hollobone said Britain had already given the EU and its predecessors a total of £209bn since the UK joined the European Economic Community, the precursor to the EU, in 1973. The Government should “make it clear to the EU that if they want a pennypiece more they can go whistle”, he said. In response, Mr Johnson said his colleague’s words would have “broken like a thunderclap over Brussels and they will pay attention to what he has said”.

Boris Johnson today said ‘there is no plan for no deal’ on Brexit as he told Brussels they can ‘go whistle’ for their ‘extortionate’ divorce bill demands. The Foreign Secretary said the chances of Britain crashing out of the union without a trade deal are ‘vanishingly unlikely’ and that no plan B is being drawn up. His comments put him at loggerheads with Brexit Secretary David Davis who has said he spends half his time preparing for the ‘walk away’ option. And Mr Johnson dismissed talk that Britain will have to pay eye-watering amounts to the EU as part of a divorce bill amid reports Brussels want as much as 100billion euros (£84.5bn) from us. Asked in Foreign Office questions this morning by fellow Tory MP Philip Hollobone if he will ‘make it clear to the EU that if they want a penny piece more then they can go whistle?’ Mr Johnson agreed.

Downing Street has slapped down Boris Johnson after he said there is “no plan” for leaving the EU without a Brexit deal. Theresa May’s official spokesman refuted claims by the Foreign Secretary that the Government had not planned for crashing out of the EU in March 2019 with no deal in place. It comes as some members of the Government have tried to distance themselves from Theresa May’s harder pre-election stance that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. After hearing of Mr Johnson’s words, the No 10 spokesman said: “I’ve repeatedly said that contingency planning is taking place for a range of scenarios.”

Boris Johnson has accused the European Union of proposing “extortionate” Brexit bill demands. The Foreign Secretary hit out over the €100 billion (£87.7 billion) some European Union figures want the UK to pay before leaving. He also suggested that the Government had not set out detailed plans for a “no deal” Brexit because the UK will get a “great deal”.  Questioned in the House of Commons on whether Brussels should be told to “go whistle”, Mr Johnson replied: “I think that the sums that I have seen … seem to me to be extortionate and I think ‘go whistle’ is an entirely appropriate expression.” It comes after The Telegraph revealed Downing Street has told business leaders that Theresa May could storm out of Brexit talks over the “divorce bill”. 

The British Government has seriously underestimated the risk of a bombshell ruling by the European Court of Justice that could block any Brexit settlement and leave the UK facing a cliff-edge departure, a former top judge has warned. Such an impasse could occur even if there is a political deal agreed amicably between London and Brussels. The consequences would be grave if the British state has not prepared an emergency fall-back response well in advance. The terms of Article 50 come under the jurisdiction of Luxembourg. “Any agreement between the EU and the UK can be referred to the European Court and must be compatible with EU law,” said Professor Sir David Edward, a former judge at the ECJ.

THE European Court of Justice cannot rule on the rights of EU nationals living in Britain after Brexit, William Hague has warned. The former foreign secretary said the ECJ’s rule is “untenable” once Britain leaves the bloc. Prime Minister Theresa May has made leaving the remit of ECJ a “red line” for negotiations, prompting criticism from Tory former cabinet ministers such as Dominic Grieve and Nicky Morgan. But Tory heavyweight William Hague, who was a remainer in the EU referendum, has backed the PM over the role of the ECJ. Writing for The Telegraph he said: “It is clearly untenable for it to rule on the rights of EU nationals in the UK after we have left the EU.” 

David Davis has conceded that there may have to be some transitional period in the UK’s departure from the EU. However, the Brexit secretary said this would be for the sake of France, Belgium and the Netherlands rather than the UK. Rejecting claims the UK has softened its hard Brexit position, he told a House of Lords select committee on Tuesday that Britain’s nearest neighbours were not in the same state of preparedness for customs checks and border controls. Such “practicalities” would force a need for a transition period, rather than a change of government Brexit strategy, he said.

Nicola Sturgeon raised the prospect that the Brexit process could be reversed today – as Remainers lined up against weakened Theresa May. The Scottish First minister said the question of whether Article 50 could be revoked was becoming ‘pertinent’. The comments came as pro-EU politicians from across parties mobilised to exploit the fallout from the PM’s disastrous election. Vince Cable, likely to be confirmed as the new Lib Dem leader next week, said over the weekend that he now believed there was a chance Brexit would not happen.

FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron wants the EU to get on with discussing a trade deal with Brexit Britain, David Davis declared yesterday. The Brexit Secretary told peers the French premier had pressed the EU’s negotiating team to move behind “technicalities” at a recent Brussels summit. And signalling the first cracks in the EU’s red lines, he said Holland and Belgium shared the view. The EU has repeatedly insisted Britain must agree a deal on citizens’ rights and a bumper divorce settlement before any talks about a new free trade deal can begin. Mr Davis was referring to last month’s EU Council where Theresa May presented her plan to give three million Europeans permanent residency. He told a cross-party Lords Committee: “I understand that at the Council … President Macron raised the whole question of ‘when are you going to get round to the issue of trade? This is just technicalities.’”

U.K. and European Union negotiators should be able to move from talks about Britain’s divorce terms to negotiating future relations before the end of the year, the top U.K. Brexit official said Tuesday. Brexit Secretary David Davis said chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier hoped to “recommend going to the parallel negotiations October-November.” Britain triggered a two-year countdown to its departure from the bloc in March, and Davis and Barnier met for preliminary talks last month. They are due to meet again next week. The EU insists that major progress must be made on the U.K.’s exit terms — including a hefty divorce bill — before negotiations can start on the U.K.’s future relationship with the EU. Britain wants the two strands to run in parallel.

SADIQ KHAN has come under fire from a Brexiteer, who demanded the London Mayor removes all European Union flags from the capital. David Kurten, a Ukip member of the London Assembly, insisted Mr Khan, a staunch Remainer, should “respect and honour” Britons, who voted in their droves to leave the Brussels project, by removing the flag from City Hall. In 2012, EU bosses introduced legislation to force Britain to fly the bloc’s flag outside UK Government departments, however, former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles battled to have the “petty” regulation scrapped two years later. Europhile Mr Khan last week caused outrage after he rejected calls to remove the EU flag from City Hall – despite the fact Brexit negotiations are underway.  Addressing the London Assembly, Mr Kurten said: “I think it is time for London to say – not that we’re going to be a separate city, seeking a separate destiny from the rest of the country – as Londoners, we respect and honour the electorate in the decision that they’ve made.


A European Union naval mission aimed at stopping mass migration into Europe has failed to stop the flow and has even led to an increase in deaths, a damning report will say today. The £15.2 million operation – which includes the UK – to tackle people-smuggling operations had not ‘in any meaningful way’ deterred migrants or disrupted the criminal networks. Instead, Operation Sophia’s destruction of vessels has led to smugglers sending migrants to sea in unseaworthy vessels and an increase in deaths, a cross-party group of peers found. Although 452 smuggling boats had been destroyed, this had just caused gangs to change tactics – ditching wooden boats for inflatable ones, the House of Lords EU external affairs sub-committee found. This has made the crossing across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy more dangerous, in turn leading to an increase in the number of deaths, they said. In 2015, there were 2,876 deaths, which soared to 4,581 in 2016 and 2,150 as of July 2 this year.

Royal Navy and EU mission to combat people-smuggling in the Mediterranean has caused more migrants to die at sea, a parliamentary report says. The multimillion-pound tactic of using warships to destroy traffickers’ boats has led to migrants leaving the Libyan coast in less-seaworthy vessels such as dinghies rather than deterring the smugglers’ activities, a Lords committee concluded. The peers claimed that Operation Sophia, the European Union mission to break up smuggling networks, which cost £6 million in the past year, was a failure and urged against the renewal of its mandate this month. More suitable vessels than high-end destroyers and frigates should be used to continue the task of searching for and rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean, they said.

BBC News
An EU naval mission has failed to achieve its main objective of disrupting people smuggling, a Lords committee report has concluded. Operation Sophia, which the UK supports, appears to have done little to deter migration and its mandate should not be renewed, peers said. However, they said search and rescue work in the Mediterranean had saved many lives and should continue. The government said UK ships had led to “fewer children drowning”. Operation Sophia, an initiative undertaken by 25 EU member states, including the UK, was launched in 2015 in the wake of disasters in which hundreds of migrants drowned attempting to reach Europe. Its aim was to help disrupt organised criminals involved in human smuggling and trafficking networks in the southern central Mediterranean.


The European Council is to throw a £48,000 end of year staff party complete with 26 different dishes and 700 bottles of wine. Officials are preparing for the dinner and dance which is going to last from 7pm to 3am at some stage between October and December at the Council of the European Union’s Justus Lipsius building in Brussels. The massive party for up to 1,400 will be paid for from the council budget, which is money generated from EU member states, including Britain.  Details of the party came to light when the organisers put out the feelers to source potential catering companies, which was seen by The Telegraph

EUROPEAN UNION officials are set to spend a “small fortune” of taxpayers’ money on a mammoth eight-hour end-of-year party for civil servants. Between 1,200 and 1,400 civil servants will enjoy an evening of dancing, dinner and drinks lasting from 7pm until 3am at the Council of the European Union’s Justus Lipsius building in Brussels later this year. The party, which will boast 700 bottles of wine and a dinner with 26 different dishes, is set to cost around £50,000 – which will be taken from the council budget, which is money from EU member states including Britain. Guests will be offered a range of dishes representing the diverse range of European cuisine, which will be served from at least 22 buffet stalls. At least 35 uniformed waiters will also be required, as well as two large open bars.

MORE THAN 1,200 EU officials are gearing up for an eight-hour booze-fest where they will be plied with fine food and alcohol. The fancy dinner will serve around hundreds of bottles of wine and 26 different types of cuisine between 7pm and 3am. The news was revealed when the European Council advertised for catering staff to run the bash. It will take place on a Friday evening between October and December this year at the General Secretariat premises in Brussels. The Justus Lipsius building hosts the regular summits of EU leaders – chaired by European Council President Donald Tusk. The evening will take place in four parts – with appetisers, followed by a dinner, then cheese and desserts and an open bar, with an evening of dancing.

THE European Court of Justice cannot rule on the rights of EU nationals living in Britain after Brexit, William Hague has warned. The former foreign secretary said the ECJ’s rule is “untenable” once Britain leaves the bloc. Prime Minister Theresa May has made leaving the remit of ECJ a “red line” for negotiations, prompting criticism from Tory former cabinet ministers such as Dominic Grieve and Nicky Morgan. But Tory heavyweight William Hague, who was a remainer in the EU referendum, has backed the PM over the role of the ECJ. Writing for The Telegraph he said: “It is clearly untenable for it to rule on the rights of EU nationals in the UK after we have left the EU.” 

Anne Marie Waters

Huffington Post
UKIP MEPs are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels in a desperate attempt to block a far-right anti-Islam campaigner winning the party’s leadership. The controversial Anne Marie Waters – backed by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson – is believed to be gaining support in the race to succeed Paul Nuttall as Ukip leader. There are fears that far-right activists have joined the party in order to instill Waters – who has described Islam as “evil” and a “killing machine” – as the new leader. Ahead of the MEP meeting this afternoon, Waters sent a letter to Ukip chairman Paul Oakden demanding an explanation for why the party’s ruling committee discussed blocking her candidacy at a meeting in June. HuffPost UK revealed earlier this month that all but two of Ukip’s 20 MEPs would be prepared to quit the party should she win the contest, and today around a dozen Parliamentarians are meeting to plot their next move.


Sky News
The King of Spain faces the threat of a walkout by Conservative MPs if he lays claim to Gibraltar in a speech in Parliament during his UK state visit. King Felipe is due to address MPs and peers in Parliament’s Royal Gallery at a time when the future of the Rock is a major issue in Brexit negotiations. Privately, many diplomats fear it is increasingly likely the trip could be overshadowed by a bitter row over the British territory – and Foreign Office insiders are expecting the King to raise the issue in his remarks. With the visit already threatening to cause a fierce political row, the pro-Gibraltar Tory MP Andrew Rosindell has predicted “serious anger” if the King attempts to “re-open the non-negotiable issue of Gibraltar’s sovereignty”.


Domestic staff in London hospitals have begun a week-long strike in a dispute with private contractor Serco over low pay and job cuts, with organisers saying it is the biggest cleaners’ strike in the UK’s history. Hospitals that are part of Barts Health NHS trust were expected to face serious consequences as more than 700 cleaners, security guards, catering staff and porters employed by Serco walked out on Tuesday. The action came after a ballot resulted in 99% of workers voting to strike. “We are the people who often get forgotten about but our work is an essential link in the chain of care that makes the NHS,” said Len Hockey, one of the striking workers, who has been a porter for 28 years at Whipps Cross hospital in east London.

Morning Star
CLEANERS, porters and security staff went on strike yesterday at four London hospitals in the latest action in a long-running dispute over pay. Unite members working for multinational outfit Serco walked out at St Barts NHS Trust in the first of a seven-day strike. The action follows a 48-hour stoppage last week involving around 700 staff which Unite described as the biggest strike in the NHS this year. Workers are demanding a 3 per cent pay rise, the equivalent of 30p an hour. Unite national officer Colenzo Jarret-Thorpe said: “Low-paid workers who keep our hospitals clean, safe and running smoothly are not prepared to get poorer while the multimillion-pound privateer Serco rakes in millions.

ITV News
An ITV News investigation has revealed the scale of vacancies in NHS hospitals stretching across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Some hospitals reported more than 1,000 vacancies with the biggest gaps, at every trust, in nursing. Others admitted crucial roles have remained unfilled for years, despite repeated advertising. ITV News asked every acute trust in the country to disclose how many staff posts were vacant. In total 92 trusts responded to our Freedom of Information request. The new figures underline the scale of the workforce crisis facing the NHS, after years of pay caps for staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although hospitals can plug some of the gaps with agency staff, the current workforce crisis means it is growing harder for them to meet demand and ensure patients are safe.

Nine in ten locums are now hired to cover unfilled permanent posts, according to figures that suggest the NHS is struggling to attract doctors without paying a premium. There has been a 30 per cent rise in the proportion of locums used to cover staff vacancies in the past two years. Radiologists who interpret scans are now the best paid locums, averaging £105 an hour, and a “persistent and dangerous shortage” means patients face long delays in getting test results. Price caps imposed to bring down the “extortionate” cost of stand-in staff are routinely ignored, with the majority of locum shifts paid at higher rates, figures show.

Race report

Theresa May has postponed the publication of an “explosive” report on race until the autumn in a further sign of her weakened position. The prime minister ordered an audit in August to examine how people of different ethnic backgrounds are treated by public services as part of her mission to tackle “burning injustices”. She said at the time that it would find “difficult truths”. However, the report has so shocked senior figures across government that its publication, originally planned for this month, has been delayed until at least September. Details of the new Brexit immigration policy, originally due to be published in time to allow a summer-long consultation with business leaders, are also being held back.

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About Debbie (725 Articles)
Debbie has been a journalist for longer than she cares to admit! She has been freelance for the last 15 years and is an associate editor on UKIP Daily, specialising in covering the morning press each day.

7 Comments on News review – Wednesday 12 July 2017

  1. Two politicians:
    Vince Cable, who at 75 should give us all a break and go home to grow tomatoes, says he hears civil servants claiming ‘Brexit isn’t going to happen’. Did he rebuke them and remind them of the will of the people as expressed in the referendum result? Apparently not. As leader of the Illiberal Undemocrats, let’s hope he leads what’s left of them to the death of that zombie party – long dead and unsightly, but incapable of giving itself a decent burial.

    Boris Johnson: worth his salary just for sounding off in ways that amuse and cheer us. That rejection of the Brussels gangsters’ demands for extortionate amounts of money was met with “Go whistle”. Boris later said “I think ‘Go whistle’ is an entirely appropriate expression.”
    We can all think of an even more appropriate expression beginning with “Go ….” , but I suppose Boris has to maintain a modicum of diplomacy.

  2. That EU flag flying at City Hall should be torn down and Sadiq Khan wrapped in it for delivery to Brussels where he belongs.
    “London .. not a separate city”?? It’s already Londonistan and if Khan has his way, it’ll be run by muslims for his muslim voters in the not-too-distant future.

    Time for the rest of us to plan for a new capital – a proper British one not stuffed with foreigners and muslim voters.

    • Sadly that rules out Birmingham then! Even if you’re not familiar with the area, I can tell you that you only have to look at the GE results to know that the seats held by huge Labour majorities are those areas where the Muslims are a majority of the population.
      UKIP only stood two candidates in Birmingham, in Hodge Hill and in Yardley (my constituency). Paul Clayton did really well in 2015, up against John Hemming (LibDem) and Jess Phillips (Lab), yet useless gobshite Phillips vastly increased her majority this time round.
      With the city council being majority Labour-controlled also, its going to take a great effort on UKIP’s part to gain any traction here.

  3. Re the ‘£50,000 party’ being held for 1,400 EU officials at taxpayers’ expense (who believes this is the true cost for that many?): this is only a tiny fraction of what they and the whole corrupt organisation succeeds in fleecing from the 28 (soon to be 27) nations daft enough to sign up to their racket. High salaries, luxury workplaces, numerous benefits and massive pensions, all paid for by the shorn sheep of EUnimal Farm where the pigs rule and trough.

    I hope the lot of them choke on the food and fall down drunk with massive hangovers the next morning.

  4. The Huff Post and media generally have spent years falsely labelling UKIP MEPs as “far-right” and worse, but now that AMW is in their sights those same UKIP MEPs are referred to as “Parliamentarians”.

    Given that none of these MEPs were personally elected, I presume when resigning from UKIP they will also resign from their position as MEP. They wouldn’t want to look like self-serving, money grabbing hypocrites in it just for what they can get, now, would they?

    • @ GC
      Where is Nigel Farage in this debacle? I’d like to hear what he thinks of the rest of them threatening to resign from UKIP over a democratically held leadership election. They should resign now from both the Party and from the fake EU ‘Parliament’; they’re disgusting.

      I don’t want to be in the same Party as the UKIP MEPs making this fuss and bringing it into disrepute. If AMW is derailed in her leadership bid by these hypocrites, my membership is over.

  5. So if anyone willing to tackle frankly Britain’s biggest issues like AMW is elected the MEPs will quit. Doomed the whole thing.

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