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News review – Wednesday 6 December 2017

Brexit

Telegraph
Theresa May is facing a Cabinet revolt after Brexiteers led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove expressed “genuine fear” the Prime Minister is trying to force through a soft Brexit. Mrs May was accused of trying to “bounce” the Cabinet into agreeing to “regulatory alignment” between Ulster and Ireland after it emerged she did not brief senior ministers before talks in Brussels on Monday that stalled over the controversial issue. David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said that any alignment 
between the north and south in Ireland would apply to the whole of the UK, which Leave supporters interpreted as Britain remaining yoked to the EU.

Times
Brexiteer cabinet ministers are backing the Democratic Unionist Party, heaping pressure on Theresa May to tear up a promise to align rules with the EU after Britain’s departure. The prime minister cancelled a visit to Brussels planned for today as the rebellion against proposals for so-called “regulatory alignment” to avoid a hard border with Ireland gathered strength. Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, rebuffed an invitation for a face-to-face meeting yesterday and kept the prime minister waiting for a phone call as the Tories’ Commons allies entrenched their opposition to the draft deal. Mrs Foster blamed Dublin for the collapse on Monday of talks to pave the way to the next stage of Brexit negotiations.

Express
BRITAIN could still broker an initial Brexit deal with the European Union before Christmas despite Monday’s negotiation breakdown over the Irish border, Dublin’s ambassador has told Express.co.uk. Theresa May’s hopes of securing a deal with the EU lay in tatters after her Commons allies the DUP expressed outrage over agreements on the Irish border. Now Adrian O’Neill, Dublin’s ambassador to the UK, has confirmed a deal can be struck before the December 14 deadline to get the process of Brexit moving. But Mr O’Neill warned time was close to running out – and Mrs May will need to gain assurances from the 27 nation superstate by the end of the week to get a preliminary deal in time for 2018.

Mail
Iain Duncan Smith last night urged Theresa May to abandon  Brexit talks unless the EU agrees to back away from its ‘intolerable’ demands. In an ominous move, the former Conservative leader went public about his growing concerns with the direction of the negotiations on a potential divorce deal. Mr Duncan Smith said accepting the EU’s demands would leave the UK a ‘supplicant’ nation after Brexit. 
He said he had told the PM: ‘We have reached the point where really these sets of demands are demands too far.’ He added that it was time to tell the EU: ‘We’re not prepared to go down this road any longer, this is not working, we will not box ourselves in.’ Mr Duncan Smith has acted as a bridge between No 10 and the Eurosceptic wing of the Tory Party, helping to persuade MPs to back Mrs May and avoid rocking the boat. His decision to speak out underlines the difficulty Mrs May now faces in persuading the Right of the party to back her approach to Brexit.

Westmonster
Iain Duncan Smith has told the EU to ‘back off’ or ‘move on’ and suggested the UK should walk away if Brussels doesn’t change its position. He told the BBC: “You need to change this process and to back off otherwise we get on with other arrangements that won’t be beneficial to you. We would rather have the trade deal but not at any price. We should be treated as equals not supplicants. Everyone knows we’re not going to get a hard border in Ireland this is a game being played over power. “Who will call the shots on this? Right now we have to say ‘not good enough’. The reality for us is to persuade the government that they have the support of the party and the country at large if they say to the EU ‘we’re not prepared to go down this road’. I have made it pretty clear where I think we’ve reached a stage where these set of demands are too far.” Hopefully Theresa May listens to IDS and tells Brussels where to go.

Independent
Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, has said news of a potential agreement between the UK and the EU on the issue of the Irish border came as a “big shock” to her party, which is propping up Theresa May in Parliament. A potential agreement between London and Brussels that would have seen Northern Ireland retain “regulatory alignment” with the EU after Brexit fell apart on Monday after the DUP refused to give its backing to the proposal. Ms May is reliant on the party’s support after losing her parliamentary majority in June’s general election. Ms Foster said she had been asking for information on the Government’s plans for the Irish border for five weeks but had only received news of the proposed arrangement on Monday morning.  She claimed British negotiators told her the Irish Government had insisted her party was not given advance notice of the text of the agreement.

Mirror
Humiliated Theresa May was locked in a desperate round of telephone diplomacy yesterday in a race to claw back  DUP   support and salvage her Brexit deal. The Prime Minister has days to find a solution to the Irish border issue that will satisfy EU chiefs while keeping DUP boss Arlene Foster on side. Ms Foster sunk the PM’s talks in ­Brussels on Monday by refusing to agree “regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the Republic. She said the move, which would mean continuing to follow some single market rules, would separate Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. But Brexit Secretary David Davis said any such alignment would be UK-wide. He told the Commons yesterday: “The presumption of the discussion was that everything we talked about applied to the whole United Kingdom. Alignment is not harmonisation. It’s not having exactly the same rules; it is sometimes having mutually recognised rules, mutually recognised inspection… That’s what we’re aiming at.”

Guardian
Theresa May is facing mounting pressure to secure a breakthrough in EU negotiations after the Democratic Unionist party expressed shock at the handling of the Irish border question and Brexit-supporting Conservatives said the time had come to walk away. Senior cabinet members also voiced unease at May’s tactics, and complained they were not informed in advance about Downing Street’s plan to promise the EU some form of “regulatory alignment” to help move the divorce talks on to the next stage. Sources warned that key   Brexit supporters in May’s top team would object if they believed that anything was agreed that could limit the UK’s ability to diverge from the EU in the future. On the day after May was forced to step back from securing a deal on divorce negotiations after a last-minute intervention from the DUP.

Express
BORIS Johnson and Michael Gove are spearheading a Cabinet rebellion against Theresa May following fears she is trying to hoodwink them into a soft Brexit, reports reveal. The Brexit architects expressed “genuine fear” that the Prime Minister was seeking regulatory alignment between the UK and Brussels after Britain leaves. Fear of a soft Brexit plot to keep the UK shackled to Brussels emerged after details of the proposed future of Ireland’s border were leaked prompting a furious DUP into torpedoing the deal. A Cabinet source told The Telegraph: “It seems that either Northern Ireland is splitting from the rest of the UK or we are headed for high alignment with the EU, which certainly hasn’t been agreed by Cabinet. “The Prime Minister is playing a risky game.”

Sky News
The moment Brexit “fantasy met brutal reality” is how Labour described the chaos over the Irish border. During an urgent question in the House of Commons on Tuesday, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer claimed the Prime Minister’s promise to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland is impossible to deliver. This is due to Theresa May “recklessly” committing to leaving the EU’s customs union and single market, Sir Keir said. He and backbenchers from all sides of the Commons described 
Monday’s events as a “humiliation” and an “embarrassment” for the Government. Some demanded the Prime Minister change course on Brexit – or “rub out the red lines”, as Conservative Anna Soubry put it.

Sun
VOTERS’ faith in Britain getting a good Brexit deal has collapsed, according to fresh research. At the halfway stage of the 18 month long negotiations, a majority for the first time think we’ll get a bad deal when we leave in March 2019 – 52%, up from 37% per cent in February. A study by polling expert John Curtice for the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) found that even Leave voters have become more critical of the way talks are being handled by Theresa May – and turning pessimistic about the consequences of  Brexit. The Half-Time in the Brexit Negotiations scorecard found six in ten voters think the UK government is handling the negotiations badly – up from four in ten in February. Some 57 per cent blame the EU for how negotiations are going – up from 47 per cent in February. And the proportion of Brexit voters who think the UK will secure a good deal has fallen from 51 per cent to 28 per cent.

Terror plot

Telegraph
The security services have foiled an alleged plot to assassinate the Prime Minister in Downing Street, it has emerged. An Islamic extremist planned to use an improvised explosive device to blow up the gates of Downing Street before entering No 10 and making an attempt on Theresa May’s life. Two men have been charged with terror offences and are due to appear in Westminster magistrates’ court. Details of the alleged terror plot were set out to Cabinet members on Tuesday during a briefing by Andrew Parker, the head of MI5. Mr Parker revealed that British intelligence had foiled nine terror plots in the past 12 months. The disclosures about the charges came just hours after an official report into the Manchester terror attack revealed that the suicide bomber had been flagged for closer scrutiny by security services and that the atrocity could have been averted “had the cards fallen differently”.

Mail
The security services believe they have stopped an Islamist suicide bomb plot to assassinate the Prime Minister. Two Muslim men are suspected of conspiring to attack Downing Street armed with an improvised bomb, suicide vest and knives. Investigators suspect the pair wanted to detonate a bomb disguised as a bag. They would then attempt to kill Theresa May armed with a suicide vest, pepper spray and knife in the chaotic aftermath. Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with planning terror attacks

Independent
Security services believe they have foiled a plot to assassinate Theresa May in Downing Street. Two men have been arrested on suspicion of plotting to kill the Prime Minister by using a bomb disguised as a bag to blow off the gates of Downing Street and then attack her with knives. The suspects were detained during raids in London and Birmingham last week and charged with terrorism offences. They are due to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.  The plot was revealed to the Cabinet yesterday by Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, who also told ministers that security services have foiled nine terrorist attacks on the UK in the last year. The Metropolitan Police said Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, from north London, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, from Birmingham, had been charged with preparing a terrorist act.  A Scotland Yard spokesperson declined to confirm that the arrests were linked to a plot to attack Ms May.

Mirror
Counter-terror police have foiled an alleged plot to bomb Downing Street and murder PM Theresa May. Two suspects were arrested during raids in London and Birmingham last week, it emerged last night. Scotland Yard said: “Both men were remanded in custody to appear at Westminster magistrates court.” The pair – Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, of North London, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, from south east Birmingham – were held on November 28. It came during raids by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.

Sky News
A terror plot to assassinate Prime Minister Theresa May has been foiled, Sky sources have confirmed. Sky’s Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: “It’s the latest in a number of terror plots that police and MI5 believe they’ve foiled this year. “I understand that the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, briefed Cabinet ministers today (Tuesday), such is the seriousness of what they believed they have uncovered. “It is in essence an extreme Islamist suicide plot against Downing Street. Essentially police believe that the plan was to launch some sort of improvised explosive device at Downing Street and in the ensuing chaos attack and kill Theresa May. “This is something which has been pursued over several weeks at least by Scotland Yard, MI5 and West Midlands Police. “It came to a head last week with the arrest of two men, by armed police, who were charged with preparing acts of terrorism.”

Alien planet

Star
A MASSIVE “Super Earth” has been discovered just 111 light years away – and it could host an alien colony. Experts discovered the distant exoplanet – known as K2-18b – is a perfect candidate for hosting other life and is made out of rock like Earth. The study by researchers at the University of Texas and the University of Montreal was carried out using data from the European Southern Observatory (ESO). They found K2-18b also has a sister planet they’ve called K2-18c – although it is not thought this is too hot for aliens. Both planets orbit a red-dwarf star called K2-18 and fall within the star’s habitable zone. Ryan Cloutier, of the University of Montreal, said: “Being able to measure the mass and density of K2-18b was tremendous, but to discover a new exoplanet was lucky and equally exciting.” The team is now hoping that when NASA’s James Webb telescope is launched in 2019, the exoplanets can be studied in much greater detail.

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Debbie
About Debbie (646 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.

6 Comments on News review – Wednesday 6 December 2017

  1. The sole purpose of May’s “hard line” is to keep UKIP and her own leave MPs in check. She never had the slightest intention of delivering anything but a very soft Brexit. It has worked very well so far, several of my own branch members quite believed her and a lot of the Tory rank and file still do.

  2. The more this ‘maybe she will and maybe she won’t and what will the Brussels gang say next’ charade continues, as we watch it descend into something more closely resembling a farce,
    the more ordinary people, even those who voted remain because of the scaremongering which most now see right through, will move from being bored and somewhat fed up with the whole tiresome business to saying:

    “We’re tired of maybe. For goodness sake get on with it!”

    Although this isn’t good for GB (no maybe about it)
    maybe is something our new UKIP lion can get its teeth into!

  3. Terror plot:

    Could this be simply an attempt to gain some public sympathy for May? Certainly it is a time of need for her…

  4. “Theresa May is facing a cabinet revolt . . .”
    Good cop – bad cop, time for the good cops to make a showing . . .

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