Brexit

No wonder the EU is getting tough. The Express reports Jacob Rees-Mogg’s opinions.

THE EU will be “insolvent” if Britain leaves without a trade deal, a leading Brexiteer has predicted.
As pressure mounted on the Prime Minister to break the deadlock in Brexit talks by handing billions to Brussels, 
Jacob Rees-Mogg urged Theresa May to hold firm.
She should not be “blackmailed” into paying a huge divorce bill to the bloc he said.
Mr Rees-Mogg insisted that the UK’s negotiating position was much stronger than the EU’s.
He said: “If we say that we are not continuing to contribute without a deal to the last 21 months of the multi-annual financial framework then the EU has a huge hole in its budget – it has no legal ability to borrow and it is effectively insolvent for that period.  

And the Telegraph is claiming the UK government could start being less co-operative.

Britain is threatening the future of EU climate change legislation after a ‘Brexit no deal’ clause was added to a bill being voted on in Brussels this week.
The clause would ban British industry from selling its carbon emission allowances on the market after Brexit in the event of no deal.
British representatives could back a Polish-led coalition of coal-addicted countries against members including Germany, France and the Netherlands to scupper the bill, which would delay reforms to the Emissions Trading System (ETS).
If the bill fails to pass, it would be the first time Britain has used its voting powers in the EU as an outlet for its frustrations with the deadlocked Brexit negotiations.

Breitbart reports on the prospect of our rebate being withheld.

The EU is threatening to withhold a £5bn rebate it owes Britain as it continues to treat Brexit with utter contempt…but Theresa May seems to have just caved in and agreed to give them even more cash.
A source told the Telegraph: “There is a problem here, and the issue over whether the EU will pay us the 2018 rebate has not been resolved.” – That figure stands at £5bn.
It comes as May looks set to offer the EU £20bn more as part of a divorce payment that, legally, doesn’t exist.
But, in typical May fashion, she’s avoiding discussing it with the Cabinet because she’s so weak that it could cause yet another gaping rift.

And the Mirror claims we could be paying into the EU for another seven years.

Three French words favoured by Michel Barnier could land Britain a £101billion Brexit bill.
The EU chief negotiator has come up with a formula which would see the UK still contributing to EU coffers six years after we have left on March 29, 2019.
Barnier’s French catchphrase, “reste à liquider”, translates as “yet to be paid”.
And it sent a chill down the spines of MPs sitting on the Commons Brexit Committee who met him. Because it would mean coughing up the money we would have paid into the EU had we stayed in the club for the 2019-2025 budget round.
And on top of that we will still have to stump up the cost of existing pension and legal commitments.

Davis

Meanwhile, the Mail claims the Brexit secretary is being kept in the dark.

Friends of Brexit Secretary David Davis fear he is on the brink of resigning over the bombshell Brexit letter sent by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove to Theresa May.
The letter setting out their blueprint for a post-EU Britain was kept secret from the rest of the Cabinet – including Mr Davis – until it was revealed in last week’s Mail on Sunday.
Now we can disclose that the missive effectively calls for Mr Davis to be sidelined by a new, non-elected ‘Brexit Tsar’. Mr Davis’s allies say he is ‘deeply frustrated’ by the way Mr Johnson and Mr Gove went behind his back to hand-deliver the letter to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell. Last night, No 10 added to his humiliation by failing to deny that the Brexit Secretary had still not seen a copy of the letter.

Budget

Wednesday’s budget is examined by several of the media. The Telegraph claims the Chancellor is planning a tax giveaway.

Philip Hammond is preparing to announce a cash boost for the NHS as part of a bid to take on Labour and face down his critics, the Telegraph understands.
The Chancellor will use this week’s Budget to offer a pay rise to nurses, following pressure from Cabinet colleagues and Conservative MPs, and the threat of winter strikes if he fails to issue a “positive signal” to NHS staff.
The policy will be part of a set of announcements, also including a broad sweep of measures to increase house building, which Mr Hammond hopes will meet Jeremy Corbyn’s party on key battlegrounds and head off growing disquiet in the Cabinet and No 10 over his chancellorship.

And the Times claims he will push for more houses to be built.

Philip Hammond will use the budget this week to announce plans to build 300,000 homes every year — the equivalent of a city the size of Leeds.
The chancellor has revealed that he will unveil billions of pounds of extra investment, plus new powers and planning rules to ensure construction firms start building on sites that already have planning permission.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Hammond said the government would stage an “intervention” because the market for developed land “is broken” with 270,000 unbuilt residential planning permissions in London alone.
Hammond vowed to do “whatever it takes” to get builders building and pledged that “the next generation will have the same opportunities as their parents to own a home”.

And the Independent also concentrates on housebuilding.

The Chancellor is poised to spark a desperately needed revival of council housebuilding in next week’s Budget, by finally lifting the strict borrowing caps imposed on local authorities.
Philip Hammond is expected to bow to pressure by giving some councils more “headroom” to borrow money, accepting it is essential to provide the homes Britain needs.
Town-hall chiefs and experts have long demanded the move, partly to weaken the grip of big private developers over the pace of housebuilding – but the Treasury has resisted.
Those developers are “driven by commercial self-interest and with little incentive to build any quicker”, an inquiry by MPs found, with  housing associations unable to plug the gap alone.

Sky News calls the prospect of a giveaway budget ‘good news’,

Billions of pounds for housing and high-tech industry are expected to be at the centre of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s “positive and upbeat” Budget this Wednesday.
Treasury sources say Philip Hammond will try to help start-up businesses which specialise in driverless cars and artificial intelligence develop into success stories of the future.
He will remove regulatory potholes which prevent developers from road-testing driverless technologies without humans present, pump £400m into electric car charge points and invest £160m in 5G mobile networks.

But Mr Hammond will not borrow to fund the building says the Mail.

Chancellor Philip Hammond will use the Budget to announce plans to get 300,000 homes built a year.
Mr Hammond said fixing the housing market was a ‘crucial part’ of ensuring Millennials are not the first generation since the Black Death to be less prosperous than their parents.
He promised the Government would do ‘whatever it takes’ to get homes built including underwriting loans to small house builders if necessary.
He will also find around £5billion for housing schemes, according to the Sunday Times.
But he will not take up a suggestion by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, who is responsible for housing, to borrow £50 billion to fund a massive home building scheme.

The Independent says NHS must be the priority.

Two-thirds of the British public say the Chancellor must make the NHS his top priority in this week’s budget, as 90 MPs write to Theresa May to demand action over social care policy.
The Independent’s exclusive poll, carried out by BMG Research, finds that 64 per cent of the public want  Philip Hammond to find billions more for the NHS, amid closures of A&E units and walk-in centres and as waiting lists lengthen for routine operations.
The poll cements health as easily the public’s number one concern, way ahead of education, social security, cutting the deficit – or housing, which is expected to be the Budget’s centrepiece.

And the Guardian claims parking charges in hospitals could be scrapped.

Hospital car parking charges – dubbed an NHS stealth tax – could finally be scrapped on Wednesday.
Treasury sources say the move is “firmly on the agenda” as Chancellor  Philip Hammond prepares to unveil his Budget.
It could end the postcode lottery – campaigned against by the Sunday Mirror – which means some hospitals charge up to £260 for a week’s parking.
But Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell doubted Mr Hammond’s budget would benefit anybody except the rich.

And the Mirror claims Hammond will help young people.

PHILIP Hammond will attempt to woo back young voters this week with a Budget for the under-40s.
The Chancellor will target millennials with a package of giveaways to help skint students, budding families and first-time home-buyers.
He is expected to slash stamp duty to give thousands of twenty-somethings a leg up on the housing ladder. Tuition fees will be frozen and special rail discounts will be offered to under-30s to ease the cost of travelling to work.
Mr Hammond is determined to put what little money he has to splash directly into the pockets of Britain’s younger generations.

Hague

Meanwhile, in the Tory party and with the Deputy Prime Minister facing charges of pornography, the Mail reports that Mrs May wants a former leader back in her cabinet.

Theresa May wants William Hague to be her right-hand man if deputy Prime Minister Damian Green is forced to resign over a porn scandal, it was reported last night.
But the former Conservative Party leader is reluctant to come back to the cabinet, senior government sources claimed.
Hague, who now sits in the House of Lords after standing down as an MP in 2015, has already done the job as First Secretary of State under David Cameron.
Green is being investigated by cabinet ethics tsar Sue Gray for allegedly misleading the government by denying that extreme porn was found on his computer in 2008, reports The Sunday Times.
Green issued a comprehensive denial that there was any porn on his seized computers before changing his story and claiming police never told him about the discovery, sources said. 

The Times claims the PM’s aides are planning another reshuffle.

Theresa May’s aides have begun planning for an emergency reshuffle in case her deputy, Damian Green, is forced to resign after claims that pornography was found on his parliamentary computers when his office was raided by police in 2008.
Senior government sources say the prime minister would like to persuade Lord Hague of Richmond to return as her right-hand man if Green is forced out — but overtures to the former foreign secre­tary indicate hat he does not want to come back to the cabinet.
Sue Gray — the Cabinet Office head of propriety and ethics — is investigating whether Green misled No 10 about the claims revealed by The Sunday Times and the way he attacked Bob Quick, the former Metropolitan police chief.

The Sun also reports the PM’s offer to Hague.

THERESA May is hoping to lure William Hague back into frontline politics to help bolster her crumbling team.
She has pleaded with the ex-Foreign Secretary to be on standby to be her deputy.
Lord Hague has been giving her private advice since he turned down her offer of a Cabinet return last June.
But she is poised to renew her overtures amid fears recent scandals will claim more scalps.
She has already lost big hitters Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel and is planning for an erole mergency reshuffle if other ministers fall on their swords.
Her deputy Damian Green is being probed over allegations of misbehaviour and claims of “extreme” porn on his computer.

Social care

The Independent reports pressure on Mrs May to consider the question of social care.

Senior Tories are demanding cross-party action to tackle the social care crisis, one protesting that Theresa May has kicked the issue “into the long grass”.
Former cabinet ministers are among 90 MPs of all parties that have written to the Prime Minister, calling on her to set up a joint convention, arguing the Government has laid bare its inability to act alone.
The move comes after ministers broke a promise to outline reform plans by the end of this year, shelving a consultation until next summer.
Social care policy has been frozen since Ms May was forced to axe her election plans to make homeowners pay more for their care, after they were dubbed a “dementia tax”.
Now the letter from MPs urges her to work with all parties, the public and health and care staff to find a solution, warning: “The need for action is greater now than ever.”

Education

Children wearing the hijab to school could be questioned about their dress, says the Times.

Inspectors are to question children who wear the hijab to primary school, amid concern that girls as young as four are being forced to wear the Muslim headscarf.
The controversial move to ask children why they wear the hijab to school is announced today by the chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman.
It will be the first time the rise of the classroom hijab has been officially challenged in state schools in England — or the reason given for wearing it recorded in school reports.
Spielman says in a statement today that primary school hijabs could be seen to be sexualising children because the headscarf is traditionally worn as a sign of modesty in front of men when Muslim girls reach puberty.

The Mail also has the story.

Muslim girls wearing the hijab in primary school will be asked why by inspectors.
The reason they give will then be written in schools reports amid fears girls are being forced by their parents.
The chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman, announced the move today.
She wants to make sure schools are not breaching equality laws by requiring only girls to wear religious garments.
‘In seeking to address these concerns, inspectors will talk to girls who wear such garments to ascertain why they do so in the school,’ said Spielman.       

Apocalypse

As usual, the Star comes up with an apocalyptic story that the world could end soon.

Conspiracy theorists believe a huge alien world called Nibiru or Planet X is heading for Earth and will become visible from tomorrow.
The “destroyer” planet will then crash into us – wiping out all life, it is claimed.
NASA insists Nibiru does’t exist – but believers claim this is a cover-up to stop people panicking and save space in protective bunkers.
Doomsayers are watching the skies with anticipation – desperate for the first signs the apocalypse is starting.
And one video supposedly showing the giant planet over the UK has emerged today.
Rachel Nason, 37, filmed a mysterious trail in the sky in Hull early this morning.
She spotted the huge cloudy trail heading in a downwards direction in the sky and shared footage of it on Facebook.

White Christmas

So maybe we won’t have to worry about the cold weather on its way as reported in the Mail.

Plummeting temperatures and a spell of wet weather could see Britain headed for the first snow of winter.
Rain pushing on in the North, meeting bitter arctic winds in Scotland, are expected to produce the first significant snowfall of the season, according to the MetOffice.
Snow is expected to blanket parts of Scotland as the rest of the UK feels the freeze following a drop in temperatures around the country.
The cold blast comes amid the expected La Niña phenomenon with below average sea temperatures leading to colder winters around the globe.
La Niña conditions are said to develop when the sea surface temperature anomaly goes below –0.5C.
The main effects of La Niña are changes in rainfall and fiercer winter climates across the globe.
A widespread frost is braced to sweep the nation after temperatures plunged to -4C in parts of the North. 

And even the Sun reports the prospect of a cold, white winter.

BRITS are being told to ready themselves for the whitest winter in 27 years by a weather guru who studies thousand-year-old moon charts to predict the climate.
David King, 78, claims the UK will be hit by devastating blizzards similar to those seen in 1991 when millions were left without power and water for days as four metres drifts hit the country.
The amateur climatologist said most of the snow will fall in  January when freezing conditions will arrive spark blizzards and travel chaos.
The retired Metropolitan Police constable uses ancient moon charts and studies plant, bird and animal behaviour to forecast the weather.

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