Theresa May’s chief Brexit negotiator has told ministers that they have no chance of striking a bespoke trade deal with the European Union. Oliver Robbins briefed secretaries of state before their meeting at Chequers on Friday that they had to be realistic about what could be achieved. He is understood to have painted a bleak picture of the state of negotiations, saying that Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart, was under no pressure from European leaders to soften his tough stance even though Mrs May had asked them to intervene.
THERESA May’s top Brexit negotiator has told ministers there is “no chance” of a bespoke trade deal with the EU — meaning we risk remaining tied to single market rules like free movement. Oliver Robbins – the PM’s top mandarin in Brussels divorce talks – said secretaries of state have to be “realistic” about what they can achieve. His comments, revealed by the Times, further threatens a backlash from Leave-backing cabinet colleagues and backbench MPs including Brexit flag-bearer Jacob Rees-Mogg. He warned that Mrs May risks a Tory rebellion unless she stumps up on the type of clean-cut Brexit “she herself has promised”, The Telegraph reported.
Greg Clark has hinted the post-Brexit transition period could be extended beyond December 2020, as he claimed “any reasonable person” would be guided by evidence. The remarks from the business secretary are likely to enrage some Conservative Brexiteers, after a group of more than 30 MPs wrote to Theresa May warning they are not prepared to accept any extension to the transition period.
Downing Street has produced a third model for handling customs after the UK leaves the EU, the BBC understands. Details of the new plan have not been revealed publicly but senior ministers will discuss it at Chequers, the prime minister’s country retreat, on Friday. Ministers have been involved in heated discussions recently as they tried to choose between two earlier models. Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg says the PM risks a revolt if the type of Brexit she promised is not delivered.
THE WORLD’S most vulnerable could be set to lose out on money from the UK after Brexit thanks to a new Brussels rule, as the European Union has been accused of using some of the world’s most vulnerable people as a “bargaining chip” in ongoing negotiations. Brussels bureaucrats have been putting disclaimers into aid contracts involving UK development charities. The organisations are being warned that should Britain leave the EU in a no-deal Brexit next year, they could find themselves dropped as a partner in EU charitable programmes.
The EU has been accused of putting the lives of the world’s poorest at risk after warning off British development organisations from involvement in its humanitarian aid programmes by claiming they would lose all funding in the event of the a no-deal Brexit. Officials working under Martin Selmayr, the most senior aide to the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, have inserted disclaimers in aid contracts warning UK NGOs that they will be dropped as a partner in programmes should Britain crash out of the EU next year.
Theresa May will face an open Tory rebellion that risks the collapse of her Government unless she delivers the Brexit “she herself has promised”, Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned ahead of a critical summit at Chequers. In a significant hardening of the position of Tory Eurosceptics, Mr Rees-Mogg made clear that he and his colleagues will vote against Mrs May’s deal if she fails to “deliver what she has said she would”. Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Rees-Mogg compared Mrs May’s position to that of Sir Robert Peel, the former Conservative Prime Minister forced to quit after his party revolted over the repeal of the Corn Laws.
THERESA May has warned hardline Brexiteers who have plotted against her EU plans the she will not be bullied out of office. The Prime Minister will challenge Conservative MPs should they make an attempt to force a vote to oust her, The Sunday Times reports. In an act of defiance, Mrs May declared she would be content to “win by one vote” which means Tory rebels would need 159 MPs to boot her out – more than three times the 48 required for a vote of no confidence.
Theresa May has warned her ‘Brexit bully’ critics she will fight on if they try to oust her – meaning rebels will need the backing of 159 Tory MPs to bring her down. The Prime Minister has made clear she would contest any no confidence contest and would be content to win by just one vote, the Sunday Times reported today. The intervention raises the stakes around Mrs May’s future as it had speculated in Westminster she could quit if rebels gathered 48 colleagues to trigger a contest.
Theresa May’s squabbling cabinet have abandoned all pretence of unity ahead of Friday’s crunch meeting at Chequers, with the housing minister, James Brokenshire, conceding there are strong views on either side. Ministers will gather for a day-long discussion at the prime minister’s country retreat to thrash out what they believe should be Britain’s future relationship with the EU27. With hopes fading of a bespoke agreement, senior government sources say ministers are broadly being asked to choose between an intimate, Norway-style partnership and a much looser, Canada-style trade deal.
Conservatives must stop infighting ahead of a crucial Brexit summit this week or risk a Jeremy Corbyn-led government, a senior Tory MP has warned colleagues. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s influential 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, said that disunity is hindering Theresa May’s negotiating hand in Brussels and also “gives the impression of division to the country”. His intervention follows a week of infighting at the highest levels of government with rows spilling over into the public and speculation of cabinet ministers on leadership manoeuvres.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is threatening Theresa May with a Brexit rebellion by Euro-sceptic Tory MPs that could bring down her government and force her from office. In his most provocative challenge to the prime minister yet, the leader of Tory backbench Brexiteers says they will vote against her deal unless she delivers a hard Brexit. His ultimatum, in a hard-hitting article in The Daily Telegraph, comes at the start of a week in which the PM will attempt to reach a Brexit deal with her cabinet at a special meeting at Chequers. But in a chilling warning to the PM, Mr Rees-Mogg compares her plight to that of Sir Robert Peel, the Conservative prime minister forced to quit after his party revolted over the repeal of the corn laws in the 19th century.
SAJID Javid has leapfrogged Michael Gove to become Tory activists’ top choice to succeed Theresa May as boss. The new Home Secretary topped a regular poll run by the ConservativeHome website for the first time, leaving the Environment Secretary second and anti-EU backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg third. Former party darling Boris Johnson is now languishing in fourth place, on just 8%. Mr Javid scooped 22% of the 1,107 votes cast by Tory supporters on the ConservativeHome website. Three months ago, he won just 2% of their support. Speculation is spiralling that Theresa May will be forced out of No10 as soon as Brexit has taken place, on March 29 next year.
SAJID Javid has now become the Conservative members’ top choice as next party leader, surpassing Micheal Gove and Jacobs Rees-Mogg in a shock new poll. The Home Secretary only had 2 percent support from those polled by website ConservativeHome three months ago, but now has 22 percent support from the 1,107 votes cast by Tory supporters. Mr Gove, the Environment Secretary and the arch-Brexiteer backbencher Mr Rees-Mogg are now ranked second and fourth respectively whereas Boris Johnson is only in fifth place. The astonishing poll and turnaround for the Health Secretary comes after reports senior figures in Theresa May’s Government are on maneuvers in preparation for a leadership battle.
Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to change his stance on Brexit from two key sections of the Labour movement that helped to propel him to power. Pro-European campaigners are mobilising support among the Labour leader’s largest union backer, Unite, as well as Momentum, the grassroots group that campaigned to elect him, in an attempt to force a change of policy on the party. Mr Corbyn dodged questions yesterday of whether Labour could eventually support a second referendum but said that he would vote against any “bad deal” negotiated by ministers.
Jeremy Corbyn hinted he would de-criminalise cannabis if he became Prime Minister today. The Labour leader said the ‘health concerns’ should be considered before the law is changed on any drug. But he said where appropriate cannabis should be available for medical purposes. And Mr Corbyn said he not changed his long-held view prosecuting possession of ‘small amounts’ was deeply damaging for young people. Mr Corbyn intervened on the cannabis debate after weeks of argument about the use of cannabis oil to help epileptic boy Billy Caldwell.
Jeremy Corbyn has said “criminalising people for possession of small amounts of cannabis is not a particularly good idea”, although he stopped short of backing any change in the law regarding recreational use, even though he signed an early day motion in 2000 calling for the possession of cannabis to be decriminalised. On Sunday, however, Mr Corbyn would not be drawn on whether he would support such a move and when asked whether cannabis should be decriminalised for recreational, as well as medical use, he said: “I think at this stage we should say that medical use of cannabis is good. “Cannabis oil use is clearly beneficial to people and that should be decriminalised and made readily available as quickly as possible.”
Angela Merkel’s coalition government slid deeper into crisis last night as her interior minister offered to resign, dismissing the EU migrant deal reached last week and accusing her of making “zero” concessions in their dispute. Horst Seehofer, who also heads the Christian Social Union (CSU), a junior partner in her three-way coalition, told a meeting of party leaders in Munich that the deal would lead to more migration rather than less, and that he could not accept it. He said he was ready to quit as minister and CSU chairman after some party members criticised his hard stance, sources said. But others tried to dissuade him and it was unclear after nine hours of talks which way he would go.
Germany’s interior minister and head of the Christian Social Union party reportedly offered his resignation from both posts Sunday night rather than back down from his stance against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policies, as the crisis within her governing coalition came to a head. The dpa news agency, citing information from unidentified participants, reported that a nearly eight-hour meeting of the CSU in Munich was put on hold after Interior Minister Horst Seehofer made his offer. Dpa reported that Alexander Dobrindt, the leader of the CSU in parliament, told others Seehofer could not be allowed to resign.
Germany’s interior minister dramatically announced plans to resign on Sunday night, after a heated showdown with chancellor Angela Merkel over migration. Horst Seehofer, Germany’s Interior Minister and leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), said on Sunday evening that he wanted to resign from all offices, after hours of heated talks with his party. Mr Seehofer said the conflict with Mrs Merkel over migration was affecting the “credibility” of his role as party leader. He also slammed the migration deal Mrs Merkel secured with her EU counterparts last week as “ineffective”.
Every NHS patient will be able to book GP appointments and check their symptoms on a smartphone app that ministers promise will make getting treatment as easy as online shopping. It will become the standard way to access the NHS by the end of the year and will put a stop to the need for desperate early-morning telephone calls for GP appointments, the government has pledged. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said that it would “revolutionise the way we access health services” in the same way that banking and shopping had been transformed by the internet.
An app that will mark the “death knell” of the early morning scramble to secure a GP appointment is being launched, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced. Patients will be able to look at their records, order repeat prescriptions and access 111 online for urgent medical queries. The app will also allow patients to address longer-term concerns such as setting out their end of life care and organ donation preferences. Mr Hunt said: “The NHS app is a world-first which will put patients firmly in the driving seat and revolutionise the way we access health services.
The NHS is preparing to stockpile medicines and equipment to ensure hospitals can function after a no deal Brexit, the health service chief admitted today. Simon Stevens said there was ‘immediate planning’ around the Department for Health and in hospitals about ‘securing medical supply’ under different scenarios. The health service chief executive said making sure there was enough medicine was ‘top of the list’ of contingency planning. Mr Stevens said plans would be implemented once the state of the deal ‘crystallised’ in the autumn.
“Extensive” planning is under way to prepare the health service for a no-deal Brexit scenario, the NHS England chief executive says. Simon Stevens said immediate planning was taking place around the supply of medicines and equipment. “Nobody’s pretending this is a desirable situation, but if that’s where we get to it will not have been unforeseen,” he said. Ministers say they do not want a “no-deal” scenario.
The Government is preparing for a doomsday Brexit scenario where the Britain runs out of essential medical supplies, NHS Chief Exec Simon Stevens admitted today. It comes after a series of scenarios, drawn up by civil servants, warned the port of Dover could collapse on day one of a no-deal scenario. Even the second mildest of the three predicted outcomes involved hospitals running out of medicines within two weeks of a hard Brexit. Speaking to the BBC, Mr Stevens said: “There is immediate planning which the Health Department along with other departments are undertaking around securing medicine supply and equipment under different scenarios.
Significant planning is going into preparing the NHS for the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, including securing continuation of medical supplies, the head of the health service has said. Concerns have been raised that if Britain leaves the EU without a deal disruption to imports of drugs and medical equipment could cause widespread hardship to patients. There are currently 37m packs of medicine coming from the EU into the UK every month, according to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.
A top NHS boss says “extensive work” is under way to ensure the supply of medicines and equipment in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said “significant planning” is taking place for all Brexit scenarios. Last month, it emerged Whitehall officials have drawn up various predictions for the effect of the UK leaving the EU without a divorce agreement. These “Doomsday Brexit” warnings reportedly included claims the UK would run short of medicines, food and fuel within two weeks of leaving the EU.
NHS officials are now planning explicitly for protecting public health in the event of a Brexit no-deal scenario, less than a year after its chief executive said ministers had not given any orders to do so. The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, said that there is now “significant planning” for protecting the NHS including ensuring vital medical supplies can get through if Britain crashes out of the EU. The NHS boss was asked on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show whether comments he made to MPs on the Commons Health Committee in October 2017, that his organisation had not been asked to plan for a no deal scenario, had changed.
Plans to ensure that Britain does not run out of medicine when it leaves the European Union are being drawn up, the head of the NHS has said. Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said “significant planning” was under way to ensure that patients did not go without if drugs were held up by new border checks. Hospitals were also being told to try to persuade European staff to stay so that the chronic shortage of doctors and nurses did not get worse. Mr Stevens had previously said that he had not been asked to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, but said yesterday that he was now working with the government to protect medicine supplies.
Around 18,000 people have been stuck in NHS hospitals for more than three weeks because there are no care services in their community, the NHS chief executive revealed today. Simon Stevens said most of them could be better looked after elsewhere and said it illustrated why the NHS is buckling under growing pressure. Mr Stevens said Government had to get to grips with the ageing population, warning the growing elderly population was among the biggest challenges in 70 years of the NHS.
Robots are set to carry out dementia care within 20 years, NHS officials have announced. They are planning a major expansion of artificial intelligence across the health service for routine operations and treatment. The technology will also be used to ‘nudge’ patients towards having healthier lifestyles, particularly if they have diabetes or heart conditions. Today, Jeremy Hunt will announce a £215 million investment towards what has been termed the ‘next generation of innovative treatments.’
Hundreds of highly skilled migrants trying to stay in the UK permanently have been found abusing the system, according to the immigration minister. Migrants who had been denied leave to remain were found to have exaggerated their earnings on applications to the Home Office when the figures were checked against their tax records. In almost 90 per cent of the cases reviewed, the applicants had amended their records with HM Revenue & Customs by increasing their earnings by more than £10,000, Caroline Nokes told MPs.