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Saturday papers – 18 November 2017

Brexit

With the Brexit negotiating talks getting tougher, UKIP Daily makes no apology for majoring on them.

In an exclusive, the Telegraph reports that the EU could refuse to repay the rebate hard won by Margaret Thatcher.

Europe is threatening to keep back Britain’s final rebate payment of €5 billion as part of the negotiations over 
the Brexit bill, The Telegraph can disclose.
Senior British sources said that 
negotiations over the bill, which the EU sets at €60 billion (£53.6 billion), had still not settled whether the UK would receive the €5 billion (£4.46 billion) payment as part of the final settlement when it leaves the EU in March 2019.
“There is a problem here, and the issue over whether the EU will pay us the 2018 rebate has not been resolved,” the source in Whitehall confirmed.
The issue of the rebate, won by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, is a key irritant between the two sides as they try to move on to trade talks next month.

The Sun has picked up the story.

THE EU is threatening to hold back €5billion (£4.46billion) that it owes Brits as part of its bitter negotiations over the Brexit divorce bill.
Margaret Thatcher won the right to a rebate from Europe in 1984 to offset the unfair distribution of the farm subsidies across Europe.
But it is paid a year in arrears, meaning the final payments for 2018 will fall after the departure date.
Senior British sources told the Telegraph they are baffled as to why the EU is dragging its feet over the payment as it would help reduce the headline payment for Theresa May.

But the Express has a piece on how the divorce bill could be reduced.

BRITAIN could drastically reduce the price of the Brexit divorce bill demanded by the European Union as the cost of leaving the bloc.
At the moment there is a wide gulf between what the European Union is demanding – said to be between £53.7 billion (€60bn) and £89.4bn (€100bn) – and the £17.9bn (€20bn) the British Government currently has on the table.
The political pressure is on to get the best possible deal for Britain while Theresa May fights off rebellions from Brexiteers favouring ‘no deal’ and remainers wanting to placate the EU.
But there is a number of ways Britain could bring the divorce bill to £28.6bn (€32bn) according to research in the Financial Times.

Back to the negotiations and the Times is one of the media reporting a deadline of the beginning of December for the UK to offer more money.

Theresa May has until the start of next month to persuade the EU to move talks on to trade, Donald Tusk warned, as European leaders demanded more concessions from Britain on funding and Ireland.
Mr Tusk issued the ultimatum to the prime minister after they held talks in Sweden.
He said that the EU was ready to agree to trade and transition talks before a European summit in the middle of next month but that “much more progress” was needed from Britain first on the Irish border and the so-called divorce bill.
Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, made clear that he was willing to veto progress being declared unless the government offered further concessions on the border.

The Mail is also talking about the deadline but claims Tusk is weakening.

Donald Tusk today extended the EU‘s two-week deadline for the UK to offer more money for the  Brexit divorce bill.
After talks with Theresa May in Sweden, the EU Council President said he still wanted concessions on cash and the Irish border before triggering trade talks next month.
But he kicked a deadline down the road to early December after Britain rejected a two-week warning issued EU negotiator Michel Barnier at the last round of talks.
Following the talks today Mrs May admitted there was still ‘more work to be done’ ahead of the next full summit next month.

It seems the Irish Prime Minister is talking tough, says the Mail.

The Irish Prime Minister has set Theresa May a one-month deadline to explain how she will avoid a damaging hard border with Northern Ireland, or the EU will block Brexit trade talks.
Leo Varadkar dismissed Ms May’s claim that negotiations on the future land border are “almost there” as “wishful thinking”, at a breakfast meeting.
Instead, he told the UK prime minister that she must set out detailed proposals that can form part of the conclusions of the crunch December EU summit.
Without that reassurance, the EU would block any attempt to move the negotiations onto future trade and a transitional period to cushion Brexit – the Holy Grail for the UK.

The Guardian also has the story.

Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, issued a stark warning that the progress of the Brexit negotiations was at great risk of even further delay, during a day of stinging public rebukes for Theresa May as she met sceptical EU leaders at a Swedish summit.
The Irish taoiseach emerged from a frosty bilateral meeting with May at the European social summit and said: “I can’t say in any honesty that it’s close – on the Irish issue or on the financial settlement.”
Varadkar said he would not be prepared to back progress of the Brexit negotiations to trade talks at the summit in December without a formal written guarantee there would be no hard border in Ireland. Britain, he said, “wants a divorce, but an open relationship the day after”.

And BBC News reports that the deal must be in writing.

The Irish government has said Brexit trade deal talks should not proceed until there is a firm commitment to preventing a “hard” Irish border.
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said the assurance must be written down before the talks move on.
“Before we move to phase two talks on trade, we want taken off the table any suggestion that there will be a physical border,” Mr Varadkar said.
He was speaking at a European summit, attended by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Talks of a Canada-style treaty are explored in the Independent.

Britain will be forced to accept a Canada-style post-Brexit trade deal with the EU that is vastly inferior to the current arrangement and which imposes new tariffs on imports and exports of food, a leaked document reveals.
The memo from chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will come as a blow to Theresa May and her Cabinet who have repeatedly spoken of their desire to construct a bespoke deal between the UK and the remaining 27 EU members once ties are cut.
Ms May said in her Florence speech that replicating the Canada-EU deal would “represent such a restriction on our mutual market access that it would benefit neither of our economies”.
But the document, said by Politico have been provided to Mr Barnier for a “preparatory discussion” on the “framework for the future relationship”, suggests London will struggle to achieve its aim of tariff-free and frictionless trade with the bloc.

The Express suggests the proposals could ‘sabotage’ the City.

THE European Commission has been accused of trying to sabotage the City of London by planning to only offer the UK the same trade deal as Canada which is bad for financial services.
The revelation comes as Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has tried to revive the Remain campaign’s Project Fear claiming that Britain would be “better off” without Brexit.
According to reports the European Commission’s chief negotiator is planning to offer the UK a trade deal similar to Canada’s which only helps goods.
Documents provided by Mr Barnier’s team said that having “single market arrangements in certain areas” but not in others is “not compatible” and means that a “standard free trade agreement” was the more likely outcome.

Breitbart reports the Brexit secretary’s claim that the UK has given enough concessions and it’s now the EU’s turn.

David Davis has hit out at stubborn EU leaders, warning them that Britain has already compromised enough and that it is now the EU’s turn.
“I want them to compromise. Nothing comes for nothing,” Davis told the BBC.
He said Britain has offered some “creative compromises” on the citizens’ rights front, adding: “We’ve made all the running.”
Davis said that many countries want to move talks on, ‘like Denmark, Holland, Italy and Spain’ and ‘countries like Poland can see big benefits in the future deal we’re talking about’.
However, Germany and France, ‘the most powerful players on the European continent’ as Davis puts it, are ‘very influential’ in the process and are holding up talks.

The Independent also covers his words.

David Davis has blamed Germany and France for the deadlock in the Brexit talks, suggesting the UK will fail to hit next week’s deadline to agree a bigger “divorce bill”.
The Brexit Secretary refused to say the UK was prepared to put more money on the table straightaway – instead insisting there could not be a “nothing-for-nothing” offer.
And he appeared to single out Germany and France for refusing to compromise, arguing other EU countries were eager to move the negotiations on to discussing future trade.
“Many of them do want to move on. They see it’s very important to them,” Mr Davis said, speaking in Berlin.

Tusk says Davis must be joking, says the Independent.

The president of the European Council has suggested  David Davis must be joking if he believes it is the EU’s turn to give ground in  Brexit talks.
Asked whether he agreed with Mr Davis’s claim last night that the UK had been the one making all the concessions so far, Donald Tusk told reporters that the Brexit Secretary must be exercising his “English sense of humour”.
Speaking at a press conference just hours after a bilateral meeting with Theresa May in Gothenburg, Mr Tusk said “much more progress” was on needed on the issues of the Northern Ireland border and the financial settlement before the two sides could move to talks about trade.

On the question of whether there should be a legal cut-off date for our withdrawal to focus politicians’ minds, the Times reports pressure on the Prime Minister.

Theresa May is facing further pressure to abandon plans to enshrine the date of Brexit in law after a cross-party committee of MPs warned that it could cause “significant difficulties” in talks with Brussels.
Fixing the moment of the withdrawal at 11pm on March 29, 2019, would take away ministers’ flexibility if the negotiations dragged on, the Exiting the European Union Committee said.
Despite the majority report, four of the eight Conservative MPs and the single Democratic Unionist voted to reject it.
The division may dilute the impact of the report as Commons select committees traditionally try to reinforce their recommendations through cross-party unanimity.

But Brexit is not all doom and gloom, reports the Mail.

One of Europe’s biggest banks has admitted the UK’s economic outlook is ‘not as bleak as many think’ after previously issuing dire warnings over the impact of Brexit.
Economists at UBS Wealth Management, an arm of Swiss bank UBS, are now saying that the economy will grow faster than expected.
They have forecast 1.1pc growth next year, still well behind other estimates, but up from an earlier projection of 0.7pc.
Dean Turner, UK economist at UBS Wealth Management, said: ‘While weak business investment and falling household spending have driven the overall rate of GDP growth down, the picture is not as bleak as many thank.

The Telegraph reports that some Whitehall mandarins are making Davis’ job harder.

David Davis could walk out on his job as Britain’s lead negotiator on Brexit because of frustrations that he is being cut out of key strategic talks in Whitehall, his friends fear.
Allies of the Exiting the European Union secretary said they were concerned he is not being included by civil servants in key talks about Britain’s negotiations about leaving the European Union.
One source said that Mr Davis had not been shown a key Brexit Cabinet paper sent by Boris Johnson, the Foreign secretary, and Michael Gove, to the Prime Minister.
The fear is that Mr Davis might resign in protest – in the same way that he suddenly quit as shadow home secretary from David Cameron’s front bench team in 2008.

And on a slightly different note, once again the BBC has been accused of anti-Brexit bias, its own BBC News programme reports.

The BBC has been accused of bias and arrogance for stacking Radio 4 comedy show The News Quiz with panellists who savage Brexiteers.
The programme came under attack on the BBC’s own listener reaction show Feedback after licence fee payers claimed it treated those who voted to leave Europe as if ‘they are completely stupid’.
One listener, Sue Cooper, said she used to be a News Quiz fan but has started switching off because of its pro-Remain bias.

Budget

With the chancellor getting ready to deliver the budget this week, the Telegraph looks at what he might say.

Coffee cups, drinks bottles and other disposable plastic items will be taxed as part of the Government’s war on harmful waste under plans to be outlined in next week’s Budget.
Ministers want to reduce the billions of throwaway plastic containers that end up in landfill or oceans every year, which cause untold damage to the environment and pose a long-term risk to human health.
The move was welcomed by environmental campaigners, but Philip Hammond  may still face a battle to keep his job next week after Cabinet allies of Mrs May urged her to sack him if he delivers a “middle-of-the-road” Budget.

The Times also has the story.

Taxes on bottles, polystyrene takeaway boxes and bubble-wrap are to be introduced in next week’s budget as part of attempts to cut plastic waste.
Philip Hammond, the chancellor, will announce the government’s plan to limit the most environmentally damaging single-use plastic products, but will stress that new taxes may not be levied on retailers because he is seeking to avoid directly hitting consumers at a time of stagnating living standards. Charges could instead fall on manufacturers, Treasury sources said yesterday.

As does ITV News.

Single use plastics such as water bottles and takeaway cartons could be hit with an extra tax in an effort to cut waste and protect the environment.
Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to announce a call for evidence in his Budget statement on Wednesday.
The move is aimed at reducing the roughly 12 million tonnes of waste which enter oceans every year – the equivalent of a rubbish truck every minute.
It has raised concern over plastic pollution’s effects on sea life and is also increasingly entering the human food chain.

The Sun hopes the world’s oceans will be helped.

PHILIP Hammond will next week unveil bold plans for a plastic packaging tax in a bid to clean up the world’s rubbish-strewn oceans.
The Chancellor’s ground breaking action in the Budget is a bid to force retailers to cut down on using so much plastic, that is immediately thrown away.
Options being drawn up to cut down on single-use plastic will also target bubble wrap and polystyrene takeaway boxes.
Mr Hammond will announce a call for evidence for the new tax or charge during his annual economic blueprint for the nation on Wednesday.
The move will make the UK “a world leader” in the fight against the global problem of plastics pollution, Treasury sources claimed.

The Mail claims foreign aid may be hit.

Tory MPs have piled pressure on Philip Hammond to slash the amount Britain spends on foreign aid.
The Chancellor asked backbenchers to come up with ideas for next week’s Budget – and received more than 220 written submissions from backbenchers.
The third most important request – behind housing and student finance – was for reductions in overseas aid.
Many Conservative backbenchers are angry that Britain is still meeting the controversial target to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid – currently around £13billion.
Now they have warned Mr Hammond this is wrong when frontline domestic services such as hospitals and the police are struggling.

Halal

In other news, the Times claims non-stun slaughterhouses breach animal welfare rules.

Halal slaughterhouses that do not stun animals before cutting their throats are three times as likely to breach animal welfare rules as others, an investigation by The Times has found.
The abattoirs, which supply supermarkets and schools, have also failed more than half of their government inspections in the past three years, an analysis of audit reports shows.
Workers have assaulted inspectors at several of the plants, according to Food Standards Agency (FSA) records.
Leading vets last night called for an investigation into why non-stun halal abattoirs had a much higher rate of welfare violations. 

Pollution

And the Times claims a former Prime Minister knew how polluting diesel fuel could be – and ignored the warnings.

Tony Blair’s government ignored health warnings over air pollution as it pushed ahead with tax changes that led to a fourfold increase in the number of diesel vehicles on Britain’s roads, confidential Treasury files released yesterday show.
Ministers were aware that an influx of diesels would damage air quality and were advised that a new levy would be required so as not to incentivise their purchase over petrol cars. However, officials working on the 2000 budget dismissed the warnings for presentational reasons, amid fears that the government would be seen as “overly harsh on diesel users”.

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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 Saturday papers – 18 November 2017

  1. It is becoming more and more evident that the EU is going to be in great financial difficulties when/if we leave the sinking ship. Especially if the German voters finally see sense and rid themselves of Merkel.
    What I also think is becoming clear, is that Remoaners, exemplified by Hammond, are looking to agree a long transition period for our leaving the EU and a totally unreasonable divorce payment, are in fact just trying to help and support the failing EU as much as they can.

  2. Re the BBC Radio 4 show, The News Quiz, and its bias, the same accusation can be levered at Dead Ringers (which a while back included a very offensive non-joke about Nigel Farage that got the expected big laugh) and this week’s The Now Show which at least has a better line of joke, all be it biased.

    I think one relevant factor is that the shows are recorded before a live audience at a theatre in London, and we all know how the lovies in that part of the country think.

  3. What are these concessions the eu claims to have made ? Is it that they’re now willing to listen.

    UDI would be beneficial. It would stop May junketing.

    Others would line up to talk to us within milliseconds.

  4. If UKIP had half a brain they would simply send a link to the above to their 549,000 facebook followers. 2 minutes work to engage with a lot of people.

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