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Saturday papers – 15 July 2017

Brexit

The Telegraph claims an exclusive report about a possible cross-party Brexit commission to be set up by the Prime Minister.

Theresa May is considering setting up a cross-party Brexit commission and ask senior Labour MPs to join it as part of her attempts to reach a consensus on the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Downing Street sources said the Prime Minister was looking at asking senior Labour MPs like Hilary Benn or Yvette Cooper to sit on the commission.
The new commission would “shadow the work of the Brexit department”, Number 10 sources said.

Westmonster describes the situation in Parliament as ‘roulette’.

Europhile politicians are playing roulette with Britain’s future by threatening to block the Repeal Bill.
The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will ensure 12,000 or so EU laws and nearly 8,000 regulations currently existing under EU law will become UK law after Brexit. Future parliaments can then amend any unwanted measures as they go along.
Downing Street says failure to pass the Bill would leave Britain lawless post-Brexit.

The Express is one of those papers reporting a Tory plot to keep us in the EU.

SCHEMING Conservative MPs are in talks with Labour over a plot to thwart the Prime Minister’s plans for a hard Brexit and keep Britain signed up to freedom of movement.
At least 15 Tory rebels are thought to back a Labour plan to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) – a number that could be enough to defeat Theresa May in the House of Commons.
Stephen Kinnock, a Labour MP, said he was seeking to form a “coalition of common sense” with like-minded Conservative MPs to keep the UK in the EEA for an unspecified “time-bound period”

Westmonster also carries the story.

As many as 15 Tory MPs are in talks with hardcore Labour Remoaner Stephen Kinnock, in a bid to ensure Britain keeps the EU’s freedom of movement after Brexit.
The plan would see Britain remain in the European Economic Area (just like Norway) and would mean retaining the four freedoms, including the freedom of movement – which would allow mass uncontrolled immigration to continue.
Kinnock said: “I have been reaching out with a particular proposal to 15 Conservative MPs so far.
“There is a growing recognition now in the economy…that getting the right transitional deal is the top priority.

A story in the Mirror claims we will have to keep paying into the bloc.

The Tory Brexit chief has paved the way for a major compromise with Brussels by admitting Britain will have to keep paying the EU we leave.
In a written statement preparing for fresh talks next week, David Davis said the government accepts it has financial “obligations” to the EU beyond March 2019.
The olive branch marks a huge shift in tone from three days ago, when Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the so-called divorce bill looked “extortionate” and told the EU to “go whistle” for it.
Although Theresa May accepts Britain has “obligations”, she has previously said “what will drive us” is Britain paying for “particular programmes that we wish to” – which is not the same as being forced to cough up.

But it appears the Labour leader could be a closet Leaver, says the Sun.

LABOUR chief Jeremy Corbyn has deepened the confusion over the Party’s stance on Brexit.
He refused to say if he wanted Britain to stay in the single market or customs union despite travelling to Brussels for a two and a half hour meeting with the EU’s Brexit negotiating team this week.
The two issues are central to the Brexit debate and will determine Britain’s future relationship with the EU.
Asked what he discussed with EU Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier, he said the pair “didn’t go into the details of the future economic relationship”, but said Labour wants “a trade relationship with Europe which enables our manufacturing and service industries to continue trading with Europe”.

EU

Has-been Prime Minister Tony Blair is still trying to stick his oar in, says the Telegraph.

EU leaders would be willing to give Britain control over freedom of movement if the UK stays in the single market, Tony Blair has revealed.
The former Labour Prime Minister said political changes on the continent, including the election of Emmanuel Macron, have made an alternative to so-called hard Brexit more likely as he called on Jeremy Corbyn to end his support for leaving the single market.
Control over immigration has been one of the key sticking points of Brexit so far, as Eu leaders have made clear that single market membership requires freedom of movement of citizens across the EU.

ITV News also reports the former PM’s words.

European Union leaders would be willing to tighten up free movement of people in order to allow Britain to remain in a reformed EU, Tony Blair has said.
The former prime minister claimed the UK voted against Theresa May’s hard Brexit when the Tories lost their majority in June’s general election and called for a proper debate on the many options.
Mr Blair suggested the “will of the people” may be changing as the difficulties of Brexit negotiations become apparent.

And the Independent claims Brexit can be halted.

Brexit can still be stopped if Britain’s leaders realise EU officials are prepared to “meet us halfway” on restricting the free movement of people, Tony Blair has said in his first intervention since the general election.
While the former Labour Prime Minister admitted there is “no groundswell” for a second referendum on membership of the EU, Mr Blair said it is possible that the will of the British people could change as the public becomes more aware of the potential economic damage of hard Brexit.
He also appeared sceptical of a “soft Brexit”, which would mean Britain remaining in the single market and the customs union, adding the political difficulties are evident.

BBC News claims Blair has the ear of senior figures in the EU.

EU leaders would be prepared to be flexible on freedom of movement of people to accommodate the UK after Brexit, Tony Blair has said.
The ex-PM said senior figures had told him they were willing to consider changes to one of the key principles of membership of the single market.
EU leaders have previously said the UK cannot stay in the single market, while limiting the free movement of people.
The government insists Brexit will give the UK greater control of its borders.
In a written article for his own institute, Mr Blair said: “The French and Germans share some of the British worries, notably around immigration, and would compromise on freedom of movement.”

Immigration could be bartered for the single market, says the Express.

TONY Blair has insisted Eurocrats will give Britain control over freedom of movement in a bid to keep the UK within the single market.
The former Prime Minister said his “discussions” with European leaders have led him to believe that Brussels officials are willing to accommodate Britain’s wishes when it comes to immigration reform.
Writing in an article for his political think tank, Mr Blair said: “Reform is now on Europe’s agenda.
“The European leaders, certainly from my discussions, are willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement”.

And he claims the views of the populace of the UK are changing on the matter, says Sky News.

Tony Blair believes European leaders would be willing to tighten up the free movement of people as a way to avoid Britain leaving the EU.
The former prime minister suggested the “will of the people” may be changing as the difficulties of Brexit negotiations become apparent and called for a “proper debate” over the different options, including remaining in a reformed EU.
The only reason it is not on the table is because the Tories fear “old internal wounds” would be reopened if Brexit does not happen, he said.

The Sun talks about ‘some’ control over immigration.

EUROPE’S leaders are willing to give Britain back some control over immigration to keep us in the EU, Tony Blair has claimed.
In a further sign of the former PM’s efforts to block Brexit, the arch-Europhile today reveals he has held talks with EU leaders about how Britain could stay “within a reformed Europe”.
In a lengthy article he says they are “willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement”.
And he claims British voters are “ambivalent” about Brexit – lamenting both the Tory government and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party for ruling out a second referendum.

But even if free movement rules are agreed, there is still the problem of a ‘divorce bill’, says the Express.

BREXIT talks are veering towards a stand-off with Brussels refusing to back down on a huge judicial demand.
With negotiations set to resume next week, the European Union (EU) has warned “a line has been drawn” over the future of the European Court of Justice in Britain.
Brussels wants the court to retain jurisdiction on cases which begin before the United Kingdom officially leaves the bloc, a demand Theresa May and her Brexit ministers oppose. 

Westmonster reports the words of our own former leader.

Nigel Farage thinks EU negotiator Michel Barnier realises Britain has the upper hand in Brexit talks and is trying to divide our nation.
He tweeted: “The EU know Britain has the upper hand and are trying to divide us. I don’t like it one little bit.”
It comes after Barnier met Corbyn yesterday, a meeting which led to the Labour boss announcing: “We are clear that we will pay whatever we are legally obliged to pay and those EU funded programs in the UK that go beyond 2019 must also continue.”
Corbyn’s hardly making Brussels whistle for its cash.

Power

The Times has a story about attacks on the UK’s power supply.

Hackers backed by the Russian government have attacked energy networks running the national grid in parts of the UK, The Times has learnt.
The hackers, who targeted the Republic of Ireland’s energy sector, intended to infiltrate control systems, security analysts believe. This would also have given them the power to knock out parts of the grid in Northern Ireland.
Senior engineers at Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) were targeted last month by a group understood to have ties to the Kremlin’s GRU intelligence agency. The hackers sent emails designed to trick staff by drawing on extensive surveillance of ESB practices and contained malicious software.

NHS

Back here in the UK, it seems the government is planning to use robots within the Health Service, says the Times.

NHS patients will receive pioneering treatments assessed by an artificial intelligence program under plans being developed by the government’s medicines regulator, The Times has learnt.
The system, a prototype of which will come online next year, is expected to markedly speed up the appraisal of cancer drugs and other therapies from months to a matter of weeks.
It will also give doctors up-to-the-minute advice that is automatically refreshed as the latest scientific literature comes in.
While human experts will be responsible for making the final judgments, much of the underlying research would be carried out by computers.

And consideration is also being given to organ donation being automatic, says the Independent.

Organ donation could become an opt-out system in England after an upcoming parliamentary vote on the issue.
Currently, people must join the NHS  organ donor register or tell a close friend or family member of their wishes before their organs can be given to another person in the event of their death.
But a new parliamentary bill to change the system so that every person is treated as a potential organ donor unless they say otherwise will be announced by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson next week.

It seems that in some parts of the country, care for heart attack patients could be restricted, says the Guardian.

Patients at risk of a heart attack could be denied vital tests and potentially life-saving operations under NHS plans to make £55m of budget cuts in Surrey and Sussex, the Guardian can reveal.
NHS organisations in Surrey and Sussex are considering restricting the number of patients who have an angiogram or an angioplasty – the insertion of stents to tackle blocked arteries – despite the evidence that both procedures reduce the risk of patients dying.

Anti-spying

The Telegraph claims an exclusive on a story about the Brexit secretary doing his best not to have his negotiations spied upon.

David Davis is carrying his Brexit documents and electronic equipment in a briefcase which has been fitted with a Faraday cage to protect them from being accessed by foreign spies.
The Brexit secretary has also swapped his i-watch for a Garmin watch amid concerns that foreign spies could activate the microphone on the device and listen in to meetings.
Faraday briefcases can effectively block all wireless, cellular, GPS and WiFi signals. Mr Davis will be able to put his mobile devices into the case and know that they cannot be spied on.

The Express has picked up the story.

DAVID Davis is carrying Britain’s European Union divorce proceedings in a hi-tech briefcase designed to stop foreign spies accessing vital information on Brexit, it has been revealed.
The Brexit Secretary has been photographed carrying the silver ‘Faraday briefcase’ – which blocks all wireless, cellular GPS and WiFi signals.
A friend of Mr Davis who served as a former special forces soldier disclosed the special arrangements to the Telegraph.
The briefcase is based on the Faraday cage, a secure box invented by English scientist Michael Faraday in 1846 to block electromagnetic fields.

Second referendum

And if you want a laugh, listen to failed LibDem leader’s call for a second referendum on Brexit – with strings, says the Mail.

Nick Clegg says there should be a second referendum on Brexit – and under-30s’ votes should count twice.
Despite admitting his ‘time is up’ in politics, the former Liberal Democrat leader also criticised Theresa May as a ‘rather small politician’ for ‘disenfranchising the losing side’ in the EU referendum.
Mr Clegg also attacked the House of Lords as something which ‘would be seen as a form of corruption’ in other countries, despite personally creating dozens of Lib Dem peers.

In a throwback to Blackadder, The Express calls it a ‘cunning plan’.

CHIEF Remoaner Nick Clegg has called for a second Brexit referendum and has fused his plea with a cunning plan to entice young voters to back him.
The former Lib Dem leader claimed the public wants “to have another look” at Britain’s divorce from the European Union, even though he admitted his “time is up” in politics.
In a bid to lure younger voters to back his plea for another vote, the ex-MP said votes made by under-30s should count twice “because it’s their future”, the Mail on Sunday reports. 

Another apocalypse

As usual, the Star has managed to come up with a story of how the world will end.

A COLOSSAL volcano dubbed the “Mountain of God” is on the brink of an eruption that could erase invaluable human history forever, experts have alarmingly warned.
Shock research shows that the 7,650ft Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania may blow “any second”.
If the East African volcano were to explode, scientists fear plumes of dense black smoke and ash would spew into the sky – causing untold damage to irreplaceable historical sites.
Experts are concerned the massive avalanches of molten debris could destroy a site where ancient footprints from 3.6 million years ago were discovered.

 

A polite reminder: will comment posters kindly observe the 400-word-limit for comment posts! Longer posts will get binned. Ruthlessly. Remember: if it looks too long, it probably is.

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6 Comments on Saturday papers – 15 July 2017

  1. Sorry about the total change of subject.
    Is there a way to search the comments sections to locate all posts by author name. I was wanting to reply to someone who posted to me but I cannot remember the the article name or article author or which tab it was under.
    Thanks

  2. T Blair pretending he knows the ‘will of the people’ is changing over Brexit is enough to make a depressed donkey on a soggy beach bray with mirth.
    Erm … I think the ‘will of the people’ was against the Iraq war, Tony, but I can’t recall it impressing you one little bit when your tongue was hanging out to join in Bush’s half-assed expedition.
    Still, you’ve gotta admit that TB is quite helpful to the Brexit cause. The thing is, he just doesn’t realise that he is a seriously detested hate figure. He seems to think it’s still 1997 when everyone was pumping his hand and rejoicing over the election of a young, handsome PM who was going to do great deeds (some of us knew that he was as shallow as a wartime bath). Nowadays, Tone has so much stinky baggage hanging off of him that anything he supports drives folk in the opposite direction. Shouldn’t his best friend tell him? Perhaps he doesn’t have one.

  3. Oh, so Clegg won’t be joining the HofL then, if he views it as ‘a form of corruption’. It’s a point on which I agree, but I will not be surprised to see him wearing ermine at a later date; any hopeful student voter of 2010 can tell you how easily he states one thing and is persuaded to do entirely the opposite when the title ‘Deputy PM’ is at stake.

    As for his novel suggestion that the votes of under-30s should count twice because ‘it’s their future’, have you ever heard such specious reasoning? He’s probably in favour of lowering the voting age as well.
    I can expand and improve on his idea thus: lower the voting age to four when the youngsters can draw a reasonably unwobbly cross on the voting slip; and make this vote count to the power of 4 because these kids have the most future ahead of them. Between the ages of 21 and 35, each vote counts to the power of 3. If you’re 36 to 60, your vote counts only twice; between 61 and 85 your voting power has reduced to 1 because there’s not much future ahead of you. Over 85 and you’re disenfranchised entirely.

    Yes, wee Nicky, as you say, ‘your time is up’ in politics, and the rest of us can breathe a sigh of relief that the only time you were in charge of the country was when Davy and Sam went on their hols.

  4. The various MPs as citizens of the UK had their one vote on our exit from the EU. They and the traitors such as Blair need to have that explained to them.

    We need to be prepared to stand up to them and remove them from office when it becomes necessary, sad though that necessity is.

    Once again where is UKIP when needed?

    • If people like you joined and helped, Jack, instead of commenting from the sidelines, then we might actually be able to do a bit more about it.

      • @ Quercus
        Maybe you’ve got it the wrong way way round: people join a party when they believe in it and think it can achieve something. That’s why I joined in 2012, and I have campaigned in local, general and EU elections every year since. The high points were 2014 and 2016.
        But the difference in 2016 was that many non-member volunteers joined in the Leave campaign alongside the Ukippers. We thought they might join the Party afterwards, but what have they seen to believe in or think we can achieve in the year since 23/6/16? It’s been a continuous shambles and even party stalwarts are disheartened.

        Our only hope is to get a third-time-lucky break and elect a new leader who inspires the members and attracts hordes of new ones. Anne Marie Waters has already attracted new members who want to be in a position to vote for her. Let’s hope she is elected and we can make a fresh start.

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