BREXIT may never happen despite the historic vote in June, because Britain has been “stigmatised and marginalised” by the EU, Poland’s Foreign Minister has said. Witold Waszczykowski, a member of the Polish right-wing party Law and Justice, said it was in Poland’s best interests for Britain to remain in the EU for as long as possible. Speaking to the Polish national newspaper, Mr Waszczykowski said: “Brexit will not take place earlier than in two to three years, if it takes place at all. “In the next three years, there is no need to treat Britain as a child with special needs, which is stigmatised and marginalised. “It is in our interest that Britain remain an EU state as long as possible and pay contributions as long as possible.”
Prime Minister Theresa May hit back Wednesday at the European Union’s refusal to open talks on the future of EU citizens in post-Brexit Britain before formal divorce talks begin. EU President Donald Tusk on Tuesday rebuffed a call by British lawmakers to put the status of Europeans in the UK and Britons living elsewhere in the EU on the agenda of the next EU summit in December. “I had hoped — would hope that this is an issue that we can look at at an early stage of the negotiations,” May told parliament, saying it was “right that we want to give reassurance” to expatriates. She added: “But I think the reaction that we’ve seen shows why it was absolutely right for us not to… give away the guarantee for rights of EU citizens here in the UK, because as we’ve seen that would have left UK citizens in Europe high and dry.”
The European Court of Justice has “ultimate authority” on Brexit, its most senior British member has warned. Advocate general Eleanor Sharpston QC told Sky News judges hearing the Government’s upcoming Supreme Court appeal against a ruling that Article 50 cannot be triggered without a Parliamentary vote could refer the matter to Luxembourg. She said the 28-member ECJ was “fully aware of the sensitivity and delicacy and constitutional importance of the issue”, adding that a European ruling could take between four and eight months in the event of a referral. Any input from Strasbourg would be certain to inflame hardline Brexit supporters, after the Prime Minister vowed to end its jurisdiction in the UK. “If you join the club and you wish to leave the club, you leave in accordance with the rules when you joined the club,” Ms Sharpston added. “The rules of this club are the ones contained in Article 50, and the interpretation of those rules is a matter for this Court (the ECJ).”
The new Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, is a “game changer” for Labour and could realistically oust a string of MPs in the north of England, Frank Field, the Labour former minister, has said. Field, the MP for Birkenhead and chair of the House of Commons work and pensions committee, said Labour needed an urgent strategy to deal with Nuttall’s succession to the Ukip leadership, as he will appear to many voters as a man who is “on the right page at the right time”. Nuttall, a former history lecturer from Bootle, Merseyside, has rightwing views on crime and immigration without predecessor Nigel Farage’s background as a privately educated London commodities broker. “Farage picked up a million Labour votes by accident but with this guy it is all he’s going after,” Field said.
It was only a political gimmick, but it was a clever one. Eurosceptic MP Peter Bone tabled a provisional bill that would legally compel the government to stick to its promise to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. That date has been cast into some doubt by the decision of the High Court that it must be via parliamentary vote, and not Prime Ministerial decree, that the UK must notify the EU of its intention to leave the European Union, setting in motion the two year exit process. Mr Bone’s Withdrawal From The European Union (Article 50) Bill has been scheduled for a second reading on Friday 16 December. A Number 10 spokesperson said: “We’ve been clear on what our position is, which is it’s for the Government to trigger Article 50, that’s why we are taking an appeal to the Supreme Court.
DUTCH far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) has topped the latest polls and would beat the prime minister’s ruling conservative liberals if elections were held today, sparking the possibility of a Dutch exit from the EU. New data reportedly shows the PVV – led by Eurosceptic Geert Wilders – would take more than a fifth of the lower chamber with 33 seats out of the 150-seat chamber, eight more than prime minister Mark Rutte’s party would take if elections were called now. The data was compiled by the country’s most reputed pollster, Maurice de Hond, and suggests Wilders would become the Netherlands’ new prime minister, spelling the end of the country’s membership of the EU. The Dutch are set to go to the polls in March next year to vote for their new leader and recent polls suggest Wilders could be a serious contender for the role amid growing frustration with the current coalition government.
THE EU is on the brink of collapse due to its failed neoliberal policies and the rise of anti-establishment movements worldwide, respected scholar Noam Chomsky has claimed. Marine Le Pen has promised to hold a referendum on France’s place in the EU – similar to Brexit – and Chomsky has tipped the Front National leader to win the presidency in the upcoming election later this year. Brexit has sparked a series of anti-establishment movements across the world in 2016, with Donald Trump’s Presidential election following and Le Pen’s election becoming a real possibility. Mr Chomsky said: “I don’t think Germany would initiate it [the collapse of the EU] because they are beneficiaries of the union. If the union falls apart, I think it would be a tragic development.” The 87-year-old said failed “neoliberal policies of the past generation” had spurred the rise of populism and right-wing movements around the world.
British expatriates would have been left “high and dry” by European leaders if the UK had “given away” a guarantee that EU migrants can continue to stay in the country post-Brexit, Theresa May has said. The Prime Minister spoke out after Angela Merkel and Donald Tusk blocked her attempt to fast-track a deal that would have given an amnesty to British expats and EU migrants in the UK after Brexit. However, Mrs May said she was “right” not to act too quickly, because any concession by Britain could have left UK expats losing their rights to live, work and receive healthcare in the remaining 27 EU states.
This Sunday, Italy votes in a referendum on constitutional reform. It may sound boring, but it is in fact spectacularly the opposite — for the result could end up sending seismic shocks across Europe which reshape several nations almost beyond recognition. And here’s why: Matteo Renzi — who has been compared with Tony Blair — has set out plans to strengthen the government but they will almost certainly be rejected. In the most recent polls he is several points behind. He has promised to resign if he loses, meaning that Italy is likely to see a political earthquake comparable to Brexit and the election in America of Donald Trump. Indeed, the only alternatives to Renzi, a 41-year-old Centre-Leftist, are populist mavericks who come from far outside the political establishment. Experts are now fearful that uncertainty provoked by a political crisis in Italy could spark panic across the eurozone, and Italy may even end up leaving the euro and returning to the lira.
NEARLY half of all Germans want to hold a referendum on their nations EU membership – with a survey suggesting almost two-thirds of Germans are unhappy and want change in the crumbling Brussels bloc. A survey carried out by TNS Infratest Politikforschung found 42 per cent of Germans believe there should be a referendum on their EU membership and that 62 per cent of Germans think the EU is “heading in the wrong direction”. The same survey found 67 per cent want the bureaucratic superstate to change its political direction and just 39 per cent of Germans believe EU membership is exclusively positive. About 96 per cent of Germans want the failing Brussels bloc to be become “more transparent and closer to the people”, the independent polling institute found.
A British investor who was one of the few to back and predict Brexit now believes the Euro is doomed – saying the currency will collapse within five years. Jim Mellon says uncertainty in Europe will cause the currency union to fall apart. Mellon, chairman of the Burnbrae Group, said the rise of populism throughout the world, and the possibility of more political upsets, has brought the currency’s future into question. He told Bloomberg: ‘Brexit is going to be a sideshow to the problems of Europe that are becoming more and more evident. ‘The euro as it stands at the moment is just a very inappropriate mechanism – I give the euro between one and five years of life.’ He predicted the currency would fall below parity ‘sometime in the next year’, with it having hit $1.0518 last week – the lowest since March last year.
Support for Scottish independence has fallen below the 45 per cent achieved in the 2014 referendum, a new poll has found. The YouGov poll for The Times newspaper found backing for a Yes vote in a second ballot on the country’s constitutional future stands at 44 per cent, with No on 56 per cent. It comes as the Scottish National Party concludes its national survey, which aimed to speak to two million voters about their views on Europe, Brexit and independence. Valuable data gathered during the exercise could be used by the party if First Minister Nicola Sturgeon decides to call another referendum on leaving the UK.
Labour MPs turned out in force on Wednesday to help defeat a parliamentary motion calling for Tony Blair to be held to account for allegedly misleading parliament over the Iraq war by 439 votes to 70, after a sometimes angry debate. The motion, tabled by the Scottish National party’s foreign affairs spokesman, Alex Salmond, was backed by MPs from six other parties, and called for parliamentary committees to investigate and take appropriate action against the former prime minister. It said the Chilcot inquiry “provided substantial evidence of misleading information being presented by the then prime minister and others on the development of the then government’s policy towards the invasion of Iraq”. In his opening speech in the opposition day debate, which was peppered with angry heckles from the Labour benches, Salmond said Blair should be held to account for what was “very much a personal campaign, unbeknownst to cabinet and indeed to parliament”, citing the memo sent to the then US president, George W Bush, from the prime minister saying: “I will be with you whatever.”
Politicians have exempted themselves from Britain’s new wide-ranging spying laws. The Investigatory Powers Act, which has just passed into law, brings some of the most extreme and invasive surveillance powers ever given to spies in a democratic state. But protections against those spying powers have been given to MPs. Most of the strongest powers in the new law require that those using them must be given a warrant. That applies to people wanting to see someone’s full internet browsing history, for instance, which is one of the things that will be collected under the new law.
EUROPEAN Union (EU) bureaucrats are planning for member states to spend £4billion (€5bn) on a “game-changer” joint defence project – but are still denying they are forming an EU Army. The monster budget, thought to be in response to Donald Trump’s election win, would strip national governments of their defence spending, with the European Defence Fund paying for cyber security, warships, drone technology and EU space programmes for defence. The proposal revealed today by the European Commission would increase defence research resources by £21million (€25m) next year, climbing to £77m (€90m) a year by 2020, with a total group input by all countries of £4bn (€5bn) each year.
IMMIGRATION at its current level will see Britain’s population rise by half a million people a year, most of them from the European Union, and Brexit must put a stop to it, says a prominent member of the House of Lords. Lord Andrew Green, former British Ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia, has said a Brexit deal with Brussels that ties Britain into the free movement of people would be “immoral” and shake public confidence in the political system. Lord Green, who founded the think tank Migration Watch UK, said the inability to control Britain’s borders was a major factor in people voting to leave the European Union and he is adamant the current level of immigration is unsustainable.
British troops with battlefield injuries will no longer have to go to court to claim compensation from the Ministry of Defence under a major shake-up, Sir Michael Fallon will say today. Soldiers and their families are set to receive bigger pay-outs for bomb blast injuries or their loved ones’ deaths than ever before and they won’t have to fork out for legal costs. The Defence Secretary will today announce a 12-week consultation on new proposals to pay out money to anyone injured even if there is no fault by the Army and shut out greedy law firms. They will get the same cash pay-out as if they had sued the Government, without having to go to court. Sir Michael said: ‘Our Armed Forces put their lives on the line to keep us safe. ‘I want more generous payments to anyone injured – or the families of those who are killed – in combat and to remove the stress of lengthy legal action.’
Injured soldiers and the families of those killed on the front line are likely to receive bigger payouts from the government without having to sue under a shake-up of military compensation. The proposals, to be announced today by Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, are designed to end costly legal action against the Ministry of Defence over whether the department is protected by combat immunity in, for example, cases of alleged negligence. This should reduce the number of lawsuits against the MoD that soldiers and MPs have warned would threaten to undermine Britain’s ability to fight.
Leaked cabinet letters suggest that the Home Office – when it was being run by Theresa May – wanted the children of illegal immigrants to go to the bottom of the list for school places. Her department suggested schools could withdraw places offered to children if their families were found to be living in the country illegally. The Home Office also wanted schools to carry out immigration checks. These included asking to see passports before accepting new pupils. The government said it would not comment on leaked documents, but added that it was right that a range of options would be considered before ministers made a final decision. By law, children under 16 have a right to an education whatever their parents’ circumstances.
Junior doctors in the UK fear they are missing out on crucial training because of increasing workloads, a report by the General Medical Council suggests. In its survey of more than 50,000 junior doctors, 43% said their daytime workload was “heavy” or “very heavy”. The GMC says time allocated for training must be protected so junior doctors can gain the experience and skills they need for their development. Health ministers say improving support for training is a priority. In the survey, many of the doctors training to be consultants and senior GPs said they frequently had to cope with problems beyond their expertise. And those who complained of a heavy workload said they were three times more likely to leave a teaching session to deal with a clinical call.
The health secretary has criticised the “manager class” who run the NHS, saying that doctors and nurses should be in charge instead. Jeremy Hunt announced a series of reforms to train doctors in management skills, telling the NHS Providers conference in Birmingham that only 54 per cent of all hospital managers are clinicians, compared with 74 per cent in Canada and the United States and 94 per cent in Sweden. “We should ask whether the NHS made a historic mistake in the 1980s by deliberately creating a manager class who were not clinicians, rather than making more effort to nurture and develop the management skills of those who are,” he said.
Arrogant Jeremy Hunt shrugged off “misjudged” pleas for extra NHS cash as a worrying new survey shows doctors are desperately overworked. He accused experts of begging, “Please sir, can I have some more?” as they rang alarm bells over funding black holes. Meanwhile, a General Medical Council poll of 55,000 trainee doctors found 43% describe their daytime workload as “very heavy” or “heavy”. That climbed to 78% in emergency medicine, with workloads in all areas having worsened over the last five years. But Tory Minister Mr Hunt hit out at a call by NHS Providers for extra money. He said: “I did think it was a misjudgment for NHS Providers, less than a year after they had a settlement for the NHS which they themselves described as a good settlement, to say that there isn’t enough money.
WORLD leaders are planning to hide out in bunkers next year to escape the doom a gigantic planet will cause as it passes the Earth, according to a crackpot conspiracy theory. A secret plan to carve out huge underground complexes connected by high-speed trains for the ruling classes is already underway, a survival firm boss conspiracy theory supporter has claimed. One base is being developed beneath the Rocky Mountains in the US, according to Robert Vicino, head of the survival firm Vivos. But he said no members of public will be allowed in and will have to fend for themselves. Mr Vicino made the shock claims as he warned of an impending apocalypse. He said: “They do not have a plan for you and me, but they have a plan for themselves.” “You have to ask yourself, why did Russia just have a drill for 40 million people?”