David Davis is to present an upbeat assessment of a “no-deal” Brexit to the cabinet in a big shift in Britain’s negotiating strategy. The Brexit secretary has ordered officials to step up the preparations for a failure to strike a deal with the EU, The Times has been told. He is expected to outline the benefits of the scenario in a presentation on Hallowe’en, a move that will alarm some pro-Remain colleagues. Mr Davis also said yesterday that for a period after Brexit the government would be prepared to allow EU citizens to bring non-EU spouses into the UK without the income requirements that British citizens are subject to. Theresa May has so far resisted calls to talk up Britain’s prospects without a deal.
Britain’s Brexit Minister and chief negotiator David Davis is drawing up plans for a No Deal, in a sign that the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement is one that is growing. The Times reports that Davis has ordered officials to step up preparations for such an outcome and that he will present an ‘upbeat’ case for a No Deal to the Cabinet. That could of course be a bit awkward, as that includes putting forward No Deal to the likes of Home Secretary Amber Rudd who recently described such an outcome as “unthinkable” and Chancellor Philip Hammond who has said he only wants to invest in preparing for No Deal at the last possible moment. Anyone who has ever been involved in a negotiation however will know the truth: you are only ever going to get a good deal if the other side know you can take or leave what they offer.
THERESA May last night warned EU leaders that she will walk away from any proposed Brexit deal that she cannot “defend” to the British people. Over dinner with her European counterparts at a crunch summit in Brussels, the Prime Minister made clear that the patience of UK voters with soaring EU demands for a multi-billion divorce payment was running out. And she urged them to make a “joint effort and endeavour” to hammer out a departure deal for Britain that will deliver “prosperity for all our peoples.” Mrs May’s stark message follows growing exasperation among Brexit-backing Tory MPs and anti-Brussels campaigners at the EU’s spiralling cash demands. One senior Eurocrat rejected Britain’s offer of a £18billion exit payment as “peanuts” earlier this week while a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday suggested the figure could be as high as £80billion.
Theresa May is being urged to walk away from Brexit negotiations this week if EU leaders refuse to start trade talks. The call comes from a group of pro-Brexit Tory and Labour politicians, including former Chancellor Lord Lawson, as well as business leaders. The prime minister is to push for the deadlocked talks to move to the next phase at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday. But EU officials are not expecting any movement at the summit. The other 27 leaders are expected to deliver a verdict on progress on Friday that will say Britain must make an offer on the so-called divorce bill before they will talk about trade, according to officials quoted by Reuters. But European Council President Donald Tusk is expected to propose to the 27 EU leaders that they begin talks amongst themselves about Britain’s future relationship with the EU, when it leaves the bloc in March 2019.
Theresa May warned EU leaders tonight she needs a Brexit deal she can ‘defend to our people’ – as they lined up to demand billions more from Britain in divorce payments. With senior Eurosceptics urging her to pull the plug on the talks, the Prime Minister issued a blunt message to counterparts that she cannot be pushed much further, after agreeing to make a £20billion divorce payment last month. In a 15-minute presentation over a dinner of pumpkin gnocchi and pheasant in Brussels, Mrs May also told fellow leaders that time was running out to move on from divorce proceedings to a future trade deal. She told them there was a ‘clear and urgent imperative’ for them to ‘enable us to move forward together’ when they report on the state of the Brexit negotiations in the morning.
Theresa May has urged EU leaders to help her get a Brexit deal she can sell to the British public. At a dinner with the leaders of the remaining EU states in Brussels, the prime minister said there was a “clear and urgent imperative” to give new impetus to stalled negotiations in order to achieve an acceptable outcome. On the second day of the European Council summit on Friday, the remaining 27 will declare that insufficient progress has been made in withdrawal negotiations for trade talks to begin. But German chancellor Angela Merkel gave Mrs May a boost by indicating there were “encouraging” signs that the EU might be able to “take the work forward and then reach the start of the second phase in December”, adding that progress is being made. However, Mrs Merkel also told reporters that while Mrs May is making more of an effort with EU partners, it is still “not enough”.
Theresa May has called for a new dynamic for Brexit deal at a dinner with European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday. Addressing her fellow leaders over dinner, Mrs May left no doubt that she needs their help to deliver a deal that is acceptable to British voters. “There is increasingly a sense that we must work together to get to an outcome we can stand behind and defend to our people,” she said. Calling for “joint effort and endeavour” to inject momentum into the talks process, she told them: “The clear and urgent imperative must be that the dynamic you create enables us to move forward together.” Angela Merkel said that Mrs May’s speech in Florence was an “important” step and promised to maintain a constructive atmosphere in the negotiations but that both sides would need to work to achieve a good outcome.
A KEY ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded that Britain pays a £90 billion divorce bill. The comment by Michael Fuchs, deputy chairman of Mrs Merkel’s CDU/ CSU group in the German parliament was today taken as further evidence that continuing talks with the EU is “hopeless”. Recent briefings have suggested that Germany is responsible for blocking EU Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier from moving Brexit talks on to trade. And Mr Fuchs’ comment suggests that the German government is taking a hard line on Britain paying a big divorce bill as it faces picking up the losses when the UK leaves. He was reacting to suggestions that Theresa May is willing to pay the EU £20 billion during a two year transition, which hard liners in the EU claim is not enough.
Theresa May has discussed in private what Britain is prepared to pay the European Union to secure the start of trade talks. In discussions with a selected group of European leaders over the past two weeks, the prime minister has gone further than her Florence speech and outlined how Britain intends to honour its long-term EU budget commitments. The Times understands that she has indicated that Britain is prepared to pay future liabilities — likely to amount to an extra €20 billion — which would be acceptable to most European governments. The total figure will be subject to detailed negotiations and will probably never be explicitly set out by either side.
Theresa May has admitted for the first time that Brexit negotiations have hit “difficulty” as she beseeched European leaders to give her a deal she can sell to the British people. The Prime Minister explicitly conceded last night that talks were in trouble ahead of her key intervention in Florence two weeks ago, prompting her to try and get negotiations back on track. She told Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders that there is now the “urgent” need for progress with the threat of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal looming. Speaking on Thursday evening at a working dinner with other heads of government in Brussels, Ms May said that at the end of the summer she “recognised the difficulty the process was in”.
JEREMY Corbyn was heralded by leftie EU leaders yesterday as “the new Prime Minister of Britain” as they thronged to meet him in Brussels. The Labour leader is the only left wing boss in Europe to make big gains in an election this year as others in Germany, France and the Netherlands slumped. Once ostracised, Mr Corbyn was given top table access to a series of Socialist prime ministers. President of the European Parliament socialists group Gianni Pittella heralded him as the UK’s actual leader as he introduced him before a speech. The Opposition boss also met the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier for an hour of talks, as well as MEPs’ president Antonio Tajani, and the Italian, Swedish and Portuguese premiers.
The Electoral Commission has fined the European Movement, an active participant in the EU referendum which helped set up the official Remain campaign, for filing false returns. The group’s ultimate goal is “the creation of a Pan‐European federation as the first step towards peace and world federalism”, according to its youth wing’s constitution, and it is heavily funded by the European Union. In fact, the European Movement’s memorandum of association literally sets out its remit as “propaganda and other activities” — which it fulfils as part of a wider network of so-called civil society groups paid by the EU to lobby for greater European integration. The European Movement took credit for the launch of Britain Stronger in Europe (BSE), the official Remain campaign which has now been rebadged as Open Britain on social media, with its then chairman Laura Sandys acting as BSE’s original director — a cause of some embarrassment at the time.
For decades, pollution and its harmful effects on people’s health, the environment, and the planet have been neglected both by Governments and the international development agenda. Yet, pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths. The Lancet Commission on pollution and health addresses the full health and economic costs of air, water, and soil pollution. Through analyses of existing and emerging data, the Commission reveals pollution’s severe and underreported contribution to the Global Burden of Disease. It uncovers the economic costs of pollution to low-income and middle-income countries. The Commission will inform key decision makers around the world about the burden that pollution places on health and economic development, and about available cost-effective pollution control solutions and strategies.
Polluted air has made Britain one of the most toxic countries in the developed world, a global analysis has found. Britons are about twice as likely to die from pollution as people in Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Ireland, with diesel vehicles being blamed. The study for The Lancet medical journal finds that Britain has the third highest rate of pollution deaths in western Europe, with 50,000 people dying each year, mostly through toxic traffic fumes. This is 8 per cent of all annual deaths, meaning that pollution kills 79 of every 100,000 people each year. World leaders have been urged to take pollution more seriously after the international group of scientists concluded that it was killing nine million people a year.
Private hospitals have cost the NHS more than £250 million in recent years, the price of treating patients transferred with complications, according to a report which warns the independent sector has fundamental safety flaws. One junior doctor can be in charge of up to 96 private beds, with surgeons not on hand as they are employed elsewhere, according to the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, an anti-privatisation research group. More than a third of private hospitals fail to provide vital safety data and a repeat of the scandal where the rogue breast cancer surgeon Ian Paterson maimed hundreds of women remains possible unless they change their business models, the report warns.
Mobile phone users are being routinely overcharged by the UK’s biggest providers, telecoms watchdogs and consumer bodies have warned. At least six million loyal mobile phone contract holders are being charged for mobile phones they have already paid for. Customers are unaware they are being charged for handsets after their contracts have ended, as providers do not tell them they have finished paying off the cost of the phone and only need to continue paying for calls, texts and data. Citizens Advice has called on three of the four largest mobile phone providers, Vodafone, EE and Three, to stop the practice. The regulator Ofcom backed Citizen’s Advice’s concerns and hinted it could take action next year. The Government also called for changes by mobile phone providers.
Mobile phone operators are overcharging millions of people by up to £38 a month, according to research by Citizens Advice. A third of customers whose contracts had expired continue to pay for handsets they owned, the study found. Customers of Vodafone, EE and Three who stay on the same mobile tariff after their fixed deal ends do not get their bills reduced, paying an extra £22 a month on average. Only O2 automatically cut its customers’ bills when their contracts expired. The study found that pensioners were most likely to keep paying for their handsets after their deal ended — one in four — compared with one in seven of the wider population. Customers with the most expensive phones were overcharged the most.
Mobile phone giants are stinging loyal customers by charging them up to £46 a month for handsets they have already paid for. Millions are signed to contracts with a fixed monthly fee that covers repayments on the handset and usage of the phone. These deals tend to last 24 months. In theory the overall cost should fall sharply after this period as repayments on the handset end. But Citizens Advice found many networks continue to charge the same monthly fee, even though the handset cost has been covered. Customers on EE, Vodafone, and Three who stay on the same plan after the fixed deal ends do not get their bills reduced. As a result, they effectively pay an average of £22 a month more than they should, Citizens Advice said.
THE Big Freeze is coming, and it’s going to be Britain’s harshest – and snowiest – for years. A freak phenomenon in the world’s biggest ocean is about to unleash winter hell on the UK. Weather forecasters are convinced conditions in the Pacific are set to trigger the dreaded La Niña. This is the name given to the cooling of sea surface temperatures which has a devastating impact on the world’s weather. “These patterns, no doubt, also have massive affects on the northern hemisphere jet stream,” a blogger at Very Weather warns. “This is a major determining factor for winter weather in the United States, Canada and the UK and Ireland. “I suspect the word “snow” could be used a little more often this winter than the previous four.” The cooling of the sea in recent weeks has been highlighted by graphs. The two Atlantic weather systems coming into play with La Niña are the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Alberta Low which both cause dramatic falls in temperature.