Many of the papers report the EU negotiator’s attempt to blackmail the UK into giving the bloc more money. The Mail says:
Michel Barnier set a deadline for Britain to concede on the divorce bill today – as David Davis dismissed calls for Northern Ireland to stay in the single market after Brexit.
The two politicians laid bare mounting tensions as they held a joint press conference in Brussels after the latest round of talks.
EU chief negotiator Mr Barnier said the two sides were ‘making some progress’ – but delivered a stark threat to block discussions on trade unless the UK was willing to put more money in the pot within a fortnight.
Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary Mr Davis hinted at a shift in stance by saying the UK was willing to show ‘flexibility’.
But he also furiously rejected suggestions from Brussels that Nothern Ireland could stay in the single market after Brexit – effectively splitting the UK.
Mr Davis said the settlement ‘cannot amount to creating a new border in the UK’.
The Guardian calls it ‘clarification’.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has set the British government a deadline of two weeks to give “vital” clarification on the financial commitments it is willing to honour, at the end of a sixth round of Brexit talks that offered scant evidence of any progress.
The issue of the border on the island of Ireland has also emerged as a serious challenge for the UK government, with the Irish demanding an urgent and definite commitment that a solution in effect keeping northern Ireland in the single market and the customs union will be found to ensure there is no return to a hard border.
At a joint press conference in Brussels on Friday, the UK’s Brexit secretary, David Davis, implored Barnier and the EU27 to be flexible and move on to discussions about a future relationship, adding that there was a need to “build confidence” in the talks on the UK side.
The Sun also has the story.
BRUSSELS gave Britain just two weeks to commit to a whopping multi-billion Brexit bill – as the latest round of talks ended last night without a breakthrough.
EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier laid down the gauntlet – warning that failure to agree to the divorce payment would delay talks on a future trade deal by more than three months.
But Tories said Theresa May had already conceded too much ground by committing to £18billion – and told her not to buckle to “Brussels bullying”.
Leading Brexit campaigner and Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told the PM: “Don’t panic – show some titanium plating.
“We’ve already been too generous – we’ve already offered more money than I think we need to at this stage.
“If we do it again they’ll think we’ll always just roll over.”
And Sky News claims we have to ‘concede’.
The UK must clarify or concede more in the next two weeks or face failing to move Brexit talks on to trade in December, the EU’s chief negotiator has said.
Michel Barnier imposed the deadline in a move likely to heap more pressure on Theresa May over progress of the discussions.
The PM said previously she hoped and had a “degree of confidence” that phase-two Brexit talks could start before Christmas.
But speaking at a news conference after the sixth round of negotiations ended in Brussels, Mr Barnier issued a new warning.
The Express says the demand has caused ‘outrage’.
BRUSSELS has sparked outrage by setting Britain a two-week deadline to make “concessions or clarifications” on issues like its Brexit “divorce bill” – or see the triggering of crucial trade deal talks delayed until next year.
EU Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier was accused of “holding Britain to ransom” at the end of his sixth round of monthly talks in Brussels with British Brexit Secretary David Davis.
Both men said they had moved forwards but more work was needed on three areas where the EU insists a certain level of progress is needed for next month’s summit of national leaders to agree talks can move onto future relationships, including trade.
The three are Britain’s “divorce bill” for leaving, protecting the rights of EU citizens in the UK and Britons on the Continent, and the future border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
And the Independent reiterates that the bloc will decide whether the offer is enough.
Britain has two weeks to make concessions in Brexit negotiations if it wants to open trade talks by the end of the year, the European Commission’s chief negotiator has said.
Michel Barnier told reporters in Brussels that talks on trade would be “put back” again if Britain’s position did not move in the fortnight.
Any further delay in meeting the EU’s demands would mean “sufficient progress” to move to the next stage of talks would not be granted at the European Council summit scheduled for December, he suggested.
A failure to meet the milestone at the meeting, following a failure to do so at the previous October summit, could seriously jeopardise the Brexit timetable and steeply increase the likelihood of ‘no deal’. The next opportunity to make sufficient progress would be in March 2018, leaving very little time for the rest of the negotiations to take place.
The Telegraph talks of a ‘cave in’.
Britain must not cave in to EU demands for a bigger Brexit divorce bill after Brussels set a two-week deadline for the UK to concede, allies of Boris Johnson have warned.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, on Friday said Britain must show “real and sincere progress” on the Brexit bill if it wants to break the deadlock by the end of the year.
It comes amid reports that Theresa May is preparing to increase the UK’s offer to the EU after Brussels said that the €20 billion (£18 billion) she has already committed was not enough. The EU wants at least €60 billion.
The Foreign Secretary, who has previously said that the EU can “go whistle” if it wants a huge divorce bill, is understood to believe that the UK must hold its nerve ahead of the December summit.
The Independent claims Mrs May has been warned against upping her offer.
Tory Brexiteers have warned Theresa May not to give more ground to Brussels, after EU negotiators demanded Britain set out within two weeks how much it will pay for its “divorce” bill.
One Conservative former cabinet minister said EU demands were not acceptable, while another prominent backbencher said any further concessions would be a “sign of weakness”.
Ms May is unwilling to anger Eurosceptic MPs whose support she desperately needs, but is also eager to convince the EU she has done enough to merit moving Brexit negotiations onto future trade.
With the Prime Minister needing to show that she can move talks on by mid-December, The Independent understand she is preparing to go over EU negotiators’ heads and appeal directly to European capitals to gain progress.
The Express reports a poll which shows the PM should go for ‘no deal’.
NEARLY half of Conservative members say Theresa May should immediately declare she will walk away from the EU with no deal, a poll shows.
A bombshell survey by website Conservative Home showed Tories were split right down the middle on the issue.
Members were asked if the Government should formally declare it will be subject to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules from April 2019, effectively suspending talks about an EU trade deal.
Of those who expressed a preference, almost half wanted to declare WTO rules – meaning “no deal” with Brussels.
The poll, of 1,274 members, showed 472 backing declaring WTO rules now, with 496 against.
A further 251 backed neither option and 55 ticked “don’t know”.
The other sticking point in the negotiations is Northern Ireland. It seems the EU is demanding the break-up of the UK. The Times reports:
The European Union is pressing the government to give Northern Ireland “Hong Kong-style” autonomy after Brexit. The move would bestow on the nation a status distinct from the rest of Britain as a World Trade Organisation member in its own right.
The plan, supported by Dublin, envisages Northern Ireland being granted a legal status separate from its current position as part of the United Kingdom so that European regulations and the EU customs union could continue to apply.
Diplomatic sources have confirmed that the EU is studying the examples of Hong Kong and Macau, both part of China but also individual members of the WTO and operating different customs and trade regimes.
The Mail has a similar report.
The European Union has put forward a plan to effectively split Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK after Brexit.
A leaked European Commission document, which emerged yesterday, suggested Northern Ireland must effectively remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union if a hard border is to be avoided on the island.
A furious UK Brexit Secretary David Davis immediately said his country could not possibly consider a solution that would jeopardise the ‘constitutional and economic integrity of the UK’.
‘Let me be clear: this cannot amount to creating a new border within the United Kingdom,’ he said.
And the Sun claims it’s the IRA’s fault.
THE IRA’s political wing Sinn Fein is to blame for a serious new Brexit stand off over Northern Ireland’s border, ministers say.
A leaked Brussels document yesterday revealed the Irish Taoiseach has significantly hardened the EU’s line over how to keep the border with the south open after Britain’s EU exit.
In an ‘all island’ solution, Leo Varadkar is now insisting Ulster remain part of the single market and customs union while the rest of Britain leaves it.
Ministers have told The Sun that the Irish PM has only been forced to adopt the stand under heavy political pressure from Gerry Adams’ Sinn Fein.
Where will Ireland go now? The Express reports a former Taoiseach’s opinion.
BREXIT has made a “hell of a mess” of Ireland, could disrupt peace and may result in the reunification of Ireland, the former Taoiseach of Ireland claimed on Newsnight.
Bertie Ahern, who worked on the Good Friday Agreement with Tony Blair and served as the head of the Irish Government for more than a decade, said people were now debating it again in the country.
Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark asked: “In a way, the Republic of Ireland should understand the majority decision in the UK to take back what they see as sovereignty from the EU – do you respect that decision?”
Mr Ahern concluded: “Of course we respect that decision, the UK were entitled to have the vote and they’ve made that decision.
And our own former leader claims the government is just about to sign up to an EU army, says the Express.
NIGEL Farage has warned the Government would be “turning its back” on British voters if it signs the UK up to what he says is the next step to creating an EU army.
The former Ukip leader challenged UK ministers to keep out of a new defence cooperation agreement set to be discussed in Brussels on Monday by ministers from the European Union’s 28 states.
Opponents of the EU’s military ambitions fear the UK is poised to sign up to be part of the Permanent Structured Cooperation process – known as Pesco – even though we will leave the EU in 2019.
Supporters of Pesco – who included the UK – say the aim is to deepen defence cooperation among member states “who are capable and willing” to do so.
Participants will make “binding commitments” jointly to develop defence capabilities and make them available for EU military operations.
In other news, there are calls for a slashing of foreign aid, says the Mail.
Labour grandees Jack Straw and Clare Short have both called for the 0.7 per cent foreign aid target to be dropped – saying the pledge has backfired.
Mr Straw, who was Foreign and Home Secretary under Tony Blair, said too much of the cash goes towards meeting the bumper salaries of white middle class people.
While Ms Short, who was appointed Britain’s first International Development Secretary in 1997, said the target has become ‘destructive’.
Their outspoken intervention will pile further pressure on Theresa May to finally ditch the target and spend the cash on boosting services and investment in the UK instead.
And the Express has another story of foreign aid waste.
ALMOST half a billion pounds of taxpayers’ cash was handed over to a controversial foreign aid consultancy which has faced claims it made excessive profits, a new report has revealed.
Adam Smith International (ASI) which conducted projects such as the privatisation of the electricity supply in Nigeria, was paid £103million in foreign aid in the last financial year alone, figures released by an aid watchdog showed.
In total it was paid £462million in the last five years, according to a report from the watchdog the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI).
With the latest environmental scare surrounding diesel fuel, the Telegraph claims the duty could rise in the budget.
Diesel drivers could face a fuel duty tax rise in the Budget while petrol motorists enjoy a cut under plans being considered by Treasury, the Telegraph understands.
A number of options are under consideration, including changes to vehicle excise duty which could hit drivers who already own diesel cars instead of those who buy new models, campaigners have been told.
Philip Hammond wants to be seen as the green Chancellor, sources close to the Treasury said, and he is under pressure from Cabinet colleagues to announce plans to curb dangerous emissions in his Budget later this month.
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, is reportedly pushing for extra charges to be levied on anyone who buys a second hand diesel car if they live in an area with high levels of emissions.
The Sun also reports on the budget.
FURIOUS motoring groups claim the Chancellor’s diesel premium tax could push UP emissions – by forcing Brits to stay with older cars.
The RAC yesterday blasted Philip Hammond for a “knee-jerk” reaction after the Sun revealed he wants to put a £200 levy on all new diesel sales.
It said the move defied belief the Treasury appeared to be defending it by saying motorists had benefited from a fuel duty freeze since 2011.
The ‘premium’ tax is part of a strategy to incentivise motorists to ‘cleaner’ petrol or hybrid cars to tackle spiralling NOx emissions.
But RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “It would be a terrible, misjudged ‘knee-jerk’ reaction which could backfire.
And with Christmas just around the corner, the Times has a story about protection for your turkey dinner.
To outfox a fox bent on stealing Christmas turkeys, sometimes it takes an alpaca.
A family farm rearing 30,000 free-range birds, has bought in a herd after a spate of deadly fox attacks. Alpacas and llamas instinctively guard livestock and have long been used by shepherds in the Andes foothills to protect sheep.
Tom Copas, the managing director of King’s Coppice Farm in Cookham Dean, Berkshire, said they had tried electric fences, baited traps and men with guns to kill or stop the foxes, all to no avail.
On one occasion, in 2014, they lost more than 150 birds when a fox made it into a polythene hutch where they were sleeping.