THERESA May tonight pledged to work with “humility and resolve” to build a fairer and stronger Britain. Ahead of tomorrow’s Queen Speech, the Prime Minister signalled her determination to learn the lessons of her general election set back and regain the trust of voters. She also insisted that making a success of the UK’s departure from the EU remains her top priority. She said: “We need to get Brexit right.” Proposed new laws to be announced at the State Opening of Parliament at Westminster tomorrow will include new consumer protection measures to cut the cost of living for hard-working households.
DR LIAM FOX has secured a key Brexit victory by ensuring a proposed trade bill will be included in the delayed Queen’s Speech. The proposed law will free British trade from European Union interference once the country finally leaves the bloc after exit negotiations end. Dr Fox fought to include the bill in the speech despite protests from some within Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet who felt it should be scrapped following the General Election result. A Whitehall source admitted “everything was up in the air” after Mrs May catastrophically lost her House of Commons majority after a bumbling election campaign.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has risked deepening a cabinet rift with Brexiteer ministers by demanding Britain maintain existing customs arrangements with Europe until a new “long-term” system is fixed. In a speech seemingly aimed at realigning the Government’s position on Brexit, Mr Hammond called for a feasible transition to provide stability for business before new arrangements kick in. The Chancellor also hailed the benefits of foreign workers, striking a distinctly different tone to Theresa May’s immigration-centred Brexit rhetoric from before the election. He made no mention of her “no deal” threat and warned that a failure to deliver prosperity would be a failure to deliver what British people voted for in the 2016 referendum.
PHILIP Hammond has demanded a Brexit deal that puts jobs first to show Brits did not vote to become poorer. The Chancellor insisted that the country’s prosperity was his priority over bringing down immigration. Giving his delayed Mansion House speech, he also proposed a long transition to keep customs rules the same for years after EU exit. And in another shift towards a softer Brexit he called for a rethink of PM Theresa May’s tough stand on immigration controls. His speech won praise from hardened Remainers such as former minister Anna Soubry, who said: “Putting the economy at its heart, valuing immigration, with a transition period: I’m liking Hammond’s Brexit.”
IMMIGRATION must not be “shut down” after Britain leaves the EU, Chancellor Philip Hammond said. In his annual speech to the City of London chiefs, the Tory Cabinet minister warned that a drastic reduction in new arrivals could damage the economy and undermine job creation. Instead, he called for a “jobs first” Brexit that prioritises British jobs and “underpins Britain’s prosperity”. And he also raised the possibility of a temporary transition period with the UK staying in the EU Single Market for several years after formally leaving the bloc to give British businesses time to adjust to the new arrangements. Critics today seized on Mr Hammond’s remarks in his annual Mansion House speech as fresh evidence of a rift between the Treasury and Downing Street.
Germany believes the opening of Brexit talks has exposed Britain’s weak hand, and questions whether Theresa May’s government will last the course. “My impression is that the EU is in a much stronger position and I heard there was no concept behind what David Davis is doing,” a senior German official involved in Brexit preparations said in Berlin yesterday. “If you expect this government in London will not continue after the next 12 months then why should you be flexible? I do not know how Britain will get out of this mess,” the official added. Others also see Mr Davis, the Brexit secretary, as weak.
More than 30 Labour MPs have reopened the party’s split over Brexit by demanding Jeremy Corbyn campaigns to keep Britain in the single market. The rebels urged the Labour leader not to “throw in the towel” by aping Theresa May in arguing withdrawal is inevitable when Britain leaves the EU. Instead, they warned that quitting the single market would extend austerity for many years after an independent forecast of a £31bn hit to the public finances. In agreeing Britain would leave the trading arrangement, Mr Corbyn was siding with a “motley crew of hard-right, pro-Brexit Tories” – including Michael Gove. Boris Johnson, John Redwood and Iain Duncan Smith. A letter penned by the 34 MPs reads: “We must be clear – “access” to the European single market is both different and inferior to “membership” of the single market.
Despite claiming to respect the will of the people, Labour is plotting to vote against key Brexit legislation and frustrate the government’s efforts to leave the European Union (EU). Theresa May’s government had been banking on the opposition supporting the “Great Repeal Bill”, which will transfer large swathes of EU law into British law before the UK leaves the bloc. It was due to be included in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, and if it is not passed in time Britain risks a chaotic departure with legislation in disarray.
A large group of Labour MPs and MEPs have sought to overturn the referendum result by declaring that the UK should remain inside the single market. Led by the likes of Chuka Umunna, they are demanding that instead of leaving the single market – as every major figure for Leave and Remain said Brexit would mean – the UK should stay inside, despite the majority of the public being in favour of exiting. Single market membership would mean the UK would have to abide by the “four freedoms” which includes the free movement of people, effectively continuing the mass migration policy that was rejected on June 23rd 2016. The Labour group argue that they could still make changes to Britain’s open border policy, but in reality this would mean that net migration becoming significantly reduced would remain a pipe dream.
Theresa May will put Brexit at the heart of the Queen’s Speech and jettison a raft of key manifesto pledges in the hope that she can remain Prime Minister for at least two years. However Mrs May still has no guarantee that she can form a viable government after the DUP threatened to walk away from a proposed deal with the Tories. The Prime Minister will admit that the general election result “was not the one I hoped for” and that she needs to “gain the trust and confidence of the British people”. She will start that process by dropping unpopular policies on social care, winter fuel payments, free school meals, foxhunting, grammar schools and the pensions “triple lock”.
Theresa May last night pledged to govern with ‘humility’ as she prepared to ditch a string of controversial election pledges for today’s Queen’s Speech. The Prime Minister will unveil a slimmed down two-year legislative programme focused heavily on making a success of Brexit. A series of manifesto pledges blamed for costing the Tories a majority will be dumped, including plans to scrap the winter fuel allowance and the pension triple lock, a vote to repeal the foxhunting ban and the scrapping of free school dinners for infants.
A humbled Theresa May will propose a hollowed-out plan for government on Wednesday, as figures in her own party admitted it would be “her first and last”. The Prime Minister’s legislative agenda set out in the Queen’s Speech will be stripped of Tory pledges after Ms May’s election campaign left her party without enough MPs to pass more contentious plans. Instead she will focus what little clout she has on pushing through Brexit – even there she adopted a distinctly softer tone in a bid to stave off a potentially damaging cabinet split. Ms May will also be forced to endure the embarrassment of putting her Queen’s Speech before Parliament without knowing if it can be passed, as she wrote it having failed to secure the support of Democratic Unionist Party MPs needed for her Commons majority.
Theresa May will press ahead with a Brexit-dominated Queen’s speech shorn of a series of controversial social policies after failing to complete “confidence and supply” negotiations with the Democratic Unionist party. The Conservative leader will become the first prime minister in decades to lay out a legislative programme without a guaranteed House of Commons majority after DUP sources said the two-party negotiations “haven’t proceeded in the way we would have expected”. The Northern Irish party accused Downing Street negotiators of being chaotic and said the “Conservative high command ought to stop their backbenchers whingeing about the DUP and show our party some respect”. The DUP added that the party “can’t be taken for granted”.
A series of protests including a “Day of Rage” demonstration will be held in response to the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday. Organised by Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary (MFJ), the Day of Rage will see protesters march on Downing Street at around 1pm calling on people to “bring down the Government”. Two other demonstrations will take place on the day Prime Minister Theresa May sets out her legislative programme for the next two years. Those taking part in the protests have been urged to keep them peaceful, amid fears that anger over the Grenfell disaster could be hijacked for violent means.
A number of protests including a “Day of Rage” demonstration are to be held to coincide with the Queen’s Speech. Organised by Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary (MFJ), the Day of Rage will see protesters march to Downing Street at 1pm on Wednesday and “bring down the Government”. The demonstrations are to take place on the day Prime Minister Theresa May sets out her legislative programme for the next two years in a Queen’s Speech expected to be dominated by Brexit. Attendees have been urged to keep their activities peaceful, amid concerns that the disaster may be hijacked for violent means.
The Democratic Unionist Party last night threatened to walk away from a deal to prop up the minority Conservative Government on the eve of the Queen’s Speech. Senior DUP sources in Belfast said the Conservatives had to give “greater focus to discussions” about a confidence and supply deal which Theresa May needs to govern. Last night there was speculation that the Conservatives could even open talks with the Liberal Democrats’ 12 MPs about supporting the Tory Government if the DUP talks fail. The news is a significant blow to the authority of Mrs May who said hours after the election that she would seek a deal with the DUP’s 10 Westminster MPs after she failed to win a majority of MPs in the House of Commons. Number 10 then announced that a deal had been done 48 hours after the election, only to have to retract the statement the following day.
Theresa May was left exposed last night as the Democratic Unionist Party warned that it could scupper her minority government on the eve of today’s Queen’s Speech. The Northern Irish party, which has ten MPs, ramped up pressure on the prime minister by saying that talks over a deal to prop up her administration were not proceeding “as expected” and cautioning that their support “cannot be taken for granted”. The implicit threat to withhold support for the Queen’s Speech in a Commons vote a week tomorrow — the crucial test of the government’s viability — overshadowed the prime minister’s plea to voters for a second chance after their rejection of her appeal for a personal mandate.
Theresa May’s hopes of a deal with the DUP were in chaos tonight. Talks to prop up her minority rule on the eve of the Queen’s speech stalled. Labour said: “It is an unprecedented shambles.” With Theresa May’ s shambolic Tories facing tough Brexit talks, even their only allies have cast doubts on them getting what they want from EU chiefs. The hardline DUP revealed the PM’s desperate bid to form a union with it to prop up her weakened government had been plunged into chaos . And just a day after Brexit Secretary David Davis caved in to the EU at the first hurdle over trade talks, the Northern Ireland party said it was “surprised at the level of negotiating skill” of Tory ministers.
Significant splits have opened up between the European Union’s so-called gilded elite and the ‘simmering discontent’ of ordinary citizens, a damning report has revealed. A withering study by a major think-tank found a ‘visible divide’ between the opinions of Eurocrats and the bloc’s population of 508million. The data – based on a survey of public opinion – showed a ‘continent split’, according to London-based international affairs organisation Chatham House. The wider public were more likely to express concerns over a range of contentious political issues changing the face of Europe, from the huge influx of immigration and the power wielded by the EU over sovereign states.
A HUGE GAP has opened up between the “elite” and the rest of the public in the EU – who hold drastically different views on how the bloc should tackle key issues. A survey showed that an elite group were far more likely to think immigration had been good for them, that they had benefited from being a member of the EU, and that they were proud of both their national and European identity. Research for Chatham House by Kantar studied a group of 10,000 members of the public and 1,800 of Europe’s political, business and media elite. It showed stark divides on traditional values, immigration and the welfare state. The results showed a “simmering discontent within the public”, the report said, “large sections of whom view the EU in negative terms”.
Mark Carney yesterday warned Brussels that any attempt to steal part of London’s mammoth currency trading business would hit the European economy. The Bank of England Governor said it was ‘in no one’s economic interest’ to move so-called euro ‘clearing’ back into the European Union after Brexit, as threatened by the European Commission. He said unnecessarily uprooting this lynchpin of the financial system – which ensures £750billion of euro trading is carried out smoothly in London every day – could drive up costs by more than £19billion a year. ‘Those costs would ultimately be passed on to European households and businesses,’ Mr Carney said in a speech at Mansion House in the heart of the Square Mile.
Britain’s biggest union Unite has sacked a senior official who challenged general secretary Len McCluskey in a leadership battle. Gerard Coyne, the union’s West Midlands regional organiser, was told that he must leave the union after 28 years for the alleged misuse of data. He lost out in the April election by under 6,000 votes after challenging McCluskey’s leadership in a bitter and personal campaign. He was suspended from his post shortly before the election result was announced. The leadership battle was described as one for the “heart and soul” of the Labour Party , which gets £1.5m a year from Unite. The investigation into Coyne was led by Andrew Murray, Unite’s chief of staff who was seconded to Labour’s campaign during the general election. Mr Coyne was found guilty of using Labour party data and a call centre used by the party’s West Midlands mayoral candidate, Siôn Simon, to contact potential supporters.
Nigel Farage has hit back at author JK Rowling after she sent an inflammatory tweet which seemed to suggest Nigel was somehow responsible for the terrible attack in Finsbury Park. Farage hit back at the luvvie on his LBC show, saying that Rowling had never sought to blame anybody during the wave of recent terror attacks across the country. “And yet today, oh she know’s who’s guilty for today, no worries about that at all. JK Rowling today says ‘Let’s talk about how the #FinsburyPark terrorist was radicalised.’ and she does that by putting up a picture of my tweet on it and a picture of the breaking point picture of the huge queues of people trying to get into Europe last year as part of the Merkel Madness.”