France warned on Wednesday that it would prefer Britain to crash out of Europe without a deal rather than accept a compromise that undermined the integrity of the European Union. The stark warning from Nathalie Loiseau, the country’s Europe minister, came as both sides prepared for a crucial fortnight of negotiation following the close of the Conservative party conference. “No deal would be better than a bad deal,” Ms Loiseau told a French radio station, turning familiar Brexiteers’ own mantra back on the UK, before warning that “time is running out” for Theresa May to strike a deal with Brussels.
Theresa May has warned the cabinet that President Macron believes Brexit can be reversed. Mrs May told a meeting of her most senior ministers that the French leader had made clear that he thought Britain’s departure from the European Union could be stopped through a second referendum. France has announced that it will give British residents the right to stay and work on its territory after a no-deal Brexit, providing Britain does the same for French expatriates.
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator has said he will “never” allow the UK to control its own borders, claiming a system based on allowing in professionals and people with the skills the nation needs amounts to “discrimination”. Ranting before MEPs on Tuesday, arch-liberal and federalist Guy Verhofstadt also personally attacked senior members of the Tory Party and rejected proposals from leadership favourite Boris Johnson to extend the Article 50 process.
Senior EU figures have attacked Theresa May’s post-Brexit immigration plan with the president of the European commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, signalling that he expects a row with the British prime minister at an upcoming “moment of truth” summit. As May sketched out her plans to end freedom of movement and adopt a skills-based migration policy during a Tuesday morning tour of radio and TV studios, there were demands for a tit-for-tat response during a debate in the European parliament.
A centrist politician who has repeatedly said it would be good if Brexit were blocked and vowed to fight populism is the bookies’ favourite to take over as President of the European Commission. Former Finnish Prime Minister and Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Alexander Stubb announced Tuesday he was standing to replace Jean-Claude Juncker in the European Union’s (EU) top job, heading the bloc’s unelected executive branch. He is standing for the EPP, a “centre-right” group in the European Parliament, but says he is on the “centre-left” of the party.
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has hit out at interference from the European Union’s Jean-Claude Juncker, threatening to sue after comments the unelected, unaccountable European Commission President made. Juncker had expressed concern about the Italian government’s proposed budget and threat to the Euro, causing a knock-on effect in the markets. This has caused the Eurosceptic Salvini to hit back and he has said: “The European Commission President Juncker, by equating Italy with Greece, sends the spread crazy.
ITALY’S foreign minister has blasted Jean-Claude Juncker as a drunk and threatened to sue the EU boss for talking down the country’s economy. Matteo Salvini was left fuming after the Commission president suggested Rome’s budget proposals could lead to a Greece-style financial meltdown. The top eurocrat’s comments spooked markets and pushed up the cost of borrowing for Italy, which is already struggling under a £2 trillion debt.
Credit rating agency Moody’s has warned that European nations are ill prepared for another financial crisis and that should one occur they predict a significant rise in support for anti-establishment populist parties. While the rating agency has noted some improvements in Europe since the 2008 financial crisis, the organisation has serious concerns about how the political establishment could handle another, Il Giornale reports. “Europe remains vulnerable in economic terms because debt has grown, there are fewer instruments to encourage recovery, financial asset prices are high, political and regulatory risks are increasing and innovative technologies are testing more and more sectors,” Moody’s Senior Vice President Paolo Leschiutta said.
Nigel Farage has said Theresa May will concede further to the EU in Brexit after making her keynote speech to Tory Conference calling for ‘frictionless trade’. Speaking on LBC, Farage said May using the term ‘frictionless trade’ means: “Basically folks the deal has been done. “This isn’t just going to be Chequers…by the time she comes back on the afternoon of 19th October in a couple of weeks time, this will be much worse than any of the Eurosceptics feared Chequers was going to be.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s officials are planning to rush her Brexit deal through Parliament to stave off a rebellion from her own party, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. May’s team want the final withdrawal agreement ratified by lawmakers within two weeks of signing the terms of the divorce in Brussels, Bloomberg said citing people familiar with the matter. Under that timetable, members of Parliament would vote on whether to accept or reject the divorce treaty by the beginning of December, sources told Bloomberg.
Brexit could still be stopped if warring Tories don’t stop fighting over the withdrawal plan, Theresa May has said for the first time. “If we all go off in different directions, in pursuit of our own visions of the perfect Brexit, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all,” she told the party conference. The warning came after the latest bout of Conservative infighting, which saw Boris Johnson pack out a fringe meeting as he again demanded the prime minister “chuck Chequers”.
A leading Tory Brexiteer has issued a new warning to Theresa May that she faces a Commons defeat if she presses ahead with her Chequers blueprint for Brexit. Just hours after the Prime Minister appealed to the party to unite behind her plan, former Brexit minister Steve Baker, who quit over Chequers, urged her to avoid a political “accident” and rethink her approach to negotiations with Brussels. Mr Baker, a leading member of the pro-Brexit Tory European Research Group, said even if only half the 80 Conservative MPs who had indicated their opposition to the plan actually voted against it would be enough to defeat the Government.
Theresa May has signalled an end to the age of austerity – provided she can secure a “good” Brexit deal. Ten years after the financial crash, the prime minister said the British people were crying out for light at the end of the tunnel and “our message to them must be this: ‘we get it'”. Delivering her speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mrs May said the Tories needed to show voters they were “not just a party to clean up a mess”, but also capable of guiding Britain to a “better future”. She said: “Sound finances are essential but they are not the limit of our ambition.
THE leader of Theresa May’s Northern Ireland allies has warned that her red lines on Brexit are written in blood. At a meeting with the Prime Minister, Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), made it clear that her party will not allow a deal with the EU that splits Northern Ireland away from Britain. Ms Foster’s 10 DUP MPs ensure that Theresa May keeps her majority in Parliament and have used their influence to try to get a clean Brexit. Stressing the party’s unwillingness to give ground on the issue, Ms Foster evoked the red hand of Ulster symbol of Northern Irish Unionists.
Ireland does not want a notional border to emerge in the Irish Sea that would divide Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Wednesday. Brexit negotiators are seeking to resolve a standoff over how to prevent the return of border checks between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland by looking at how regulatory checks on some goods between the two islands could be used as part of a solution to move talks forward.
Theresa May offered the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) a full-blown Government coalition in the days after last year’s snap election disaster, a new book has claimed. The controversial move, which would have seen the appointment of DUP ministers in Cabinet, was turned down by the Northern Irish party because it preferred the freedom of a looser alliance to help the Prime Minister to stay in power. ‘The British General Election 2017’, written by academics Philip Cowley and Dennis Kavanagh, details how May and a clutch of her Cabinet colleagues agreed to the option of coalition as part of a panicked attempt to stop Jeremy Corbyn from getting into No.10.
Theresa May held out the promise of ending a decade of austerity today – but warned it can only happen if hardline Tories give up on their demands for a ‘perfect’ Brexit. In a bid to quell a mounting revolt, the PM used a crucial speech to party conference promise she would not betray the referendum result, and said she was not afraid’ to leave the EU with no deal if it refused to compromise. But she also appealed for activists and hardline MPs to accept they would not get everything they wanted – warning that failure to unify could mean ending up with ‘no Brexit’.
All week, delegates attending the Conservative Party conference searched high and low for inspiration. What is the Tory vision for the future? And who can articulate it? The answer, to the surprise of many, came not from a rising star from the backbenches, nor an ambitious Cabinet minister, but a 62-year-old woman from Maidenhead called Theresa May. Of course, her speech yesterday could not answer every question. She did not, for example, explain what will happen to Brexit when the Chequers Plan inevitably unravels.
Theresa May has declared that Britain’s decade of austerity is over with a pledge to increase public spending after Brexit. The prime minister used her conference speech to make a series of costly commitments that will limit the options of Philip Hammond, the chancellor, in this month’s budget. They also led to immediate demands for more money by other cabinet ministers. The hour-long speech appeared to soothe Tory jitters, with colleagues declaring it to be the best of her three as party leader.
A highly paid barrister who took a pay cut to join Theresa May’s Cabinet earlier this year emerged as the surprise star on the final day of the Conservative party’s conference. Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, delivered a rousing speech about the opportunities for Britain after Brexit, without notes, with confidence and aplomb. The speech drew echoes of David Cameron’s breakthrough speech before he became leader in 2005 and led to the barrister being tipped as an outsider to succeed Theresa May.
THERESA MAY today accused Nicola Sturgeon of betraying Scotland by attempting to force Scottish fishermen to remain in the EU’s controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Delivering her speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Mrs May slammed the Scottish First Minister for her efforts to keep the country tied to the EU customs union, which would see fishermen subject to the CFP. British fishermen have said it has decimated the UK’s fishing industry.
THE ERA of political correctness was put on notice today as Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned he would no-longer let PC concerns stand in the way of smashing evil child grooming gangs. In his speech at the Conservative Party conference on Tuesday, Mr Javid took aim at gangs, some of Pakistani origin, that have targeted white British girls, many of them underage. He vowed to use counter-terrorism powers to strip dual-citizens involved in child-grooming gangs and other serious crimes of their British citizenship. In other new moves, which seemed to be consigning multiculturalism to the dustbin, he promised action against forced marriage and improved English language requirements for all new citizens were also pledged.
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is to begin legal action over the government’s failure to implement a recommended pay rise for officers. The body that represents 120,000 rank-and-file police has asked lawyers to start judicial review proceedings against Home Secretary Sajid Javid. It follows the decision by the government to award a two percent pay rise from 1 September 2018, instead of the three percent suggested by the independent Police Remuneration Review Body.
Britain has publicly accused Russia’s military intelligence service of carrying out a campaign of reckless and destabilising cyber-attacks across the world. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said last night the Kremlin had been working in secret to wage indiscriminate and illegal cyber-attacks on democratic institutions and businesses. In a damning charge sheet, the Government has firmly pinned the blame for a string of cyber-attacks on the GRU, the organisation also accused of poisoning double agent Sergei Skripal. The Foreign Office said the National Cyber Security Centre had assessed with ‘high confidence’ that the GRU was ‘almost certainly’ responsible for multiple attacks which have cost economies millions of pounds.
The British government has directly accused Russian military intelligence of being behind a spate of “reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attacks” carried out on the orders of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, including the hacking in 2016 of the US Democratic National Committee headquarters. The claim is a precursor to the announcement of further UK intelligence revelations of Russian state involvement in the poisoning in Salisbury of Sergei Skripal, the Russian double agent. In an unprecedented statement, the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) had found that a number of hackers widely known to have been conducting attacks around the world were covers for the Russian GRU intelligence service.
The UK government has accused Russia’s military intelligence service of being behind four high-profile cyber attacks. The National Cyber Security Centre says targets included firms in Russia and Ukraine; the US Democratic Party; and a small TV network in the UK. World Anti-Doping Agency computers are also said to have been attacked. Files later emerged showing how British cyclists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome had used banned substances for legitimate medical reasons.
Conservative politicians have expressed fears about their party’s support for fracking amid suggestions the unpopular policy could cost them the next election. MPs speaking at their party conference in Birmingham voiced concerns from backbenchers and councillors who think they will lose their seats if the government pushes ahead with its plans to expand the highly controversial form of mining.
The cap on the amount local authorities can borrow to build council housing will be scrapped, Theresa May announced. Councils’ borrowing against their housing stock was capped as part of an agreement struck in 2012 and its abolition will allow them to take on between £10 billion and £15 billion more debt to build up to 100,000 more homes, according to research by Savills, the estate agent. Councils have not been significant housebuilders since the 1980s. The prime minister said: “More new homes were added to our stock last year than in all but one of the last 30 years.
Town halls will be given significant extra borrowing powers to build tens of thousands more council homes across the country, the Prime Minister pledged yesterday. In a major announcement, Theresa May said she would lift the cap on the amount councils can borrow against the income they receive from tenants’ rents. It means local authorities will be able to borrow more to fund the construction of new affordable homes. It is thought the extra investment in housing could reach £1billion a year but this is dependent on how many councils decide to borrow.
Theresa May has freed local councils to spark a house building revival by finally lifting the strict cap on their borrowing to fund new developments. Town halls and housing experts have fought for the freedom for years – to weaken the grip of big private developers – but the Treasury has resisted. In her conference speech, the prime minister insisted her government was helping councils build more homes, but she admitted: “Something is still holding many of them back.”
Nurses’ leaders yesterday called a snap election for control of their union after accusing a left-wing faction of trying to infiltrate it. Heads at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) claimed before losing a vote of no confidence that a “small group of members” were “putting at risk what has always been a proudly non-party-political organisation”. The RCN is both a professional organisation and a trade union. Unlike many unions it has never been affiliated to the Labour Party. More than 1,000 members signed a petition expressing their anger over mishandled pay negotiations, which forced an emergency meeting last week.
A “tech tsunami” being championed by the likes of health secretary Matt Hancock is destabilising the NHS in a way that increases health inequalities and profits private firms, GP leaders have said. Warning about the growing “digital divide” the chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, has called government to invest in NHS technology to ensure all patients can benefit. Opening the RCGP annual conference in Glasgow on Thursday, she is expected to warn about privately run tech schemes “siphoning off” younger, healthier patients.
The first known moon beyond our solar system has been discovered about 8,000 light years away. It is gaseous and 15 times bigger than our moon. The finding may lead to theories on the formation of moons being revisited, David Kipping, of Columbia University in New York, said. Using the Kepler telescope, the team measured light as planets passed in front of stars and one, Kepler 1625b, left, had intriguing anomalies. “We saw little deviations and wobbles in the light curve,” Dr Kipping said.
Astronomers may have found the first moon outside our solar system, a gas behemoth the size of Neptune. Plenty of planets exist beyond our solar system, but a moon around one of those worlds has yet to be confirmed. Two Columbia University researchers presented their tantalising evidence for a moon on Wednesday. The potential moon would be considerably larger than Earth – about the size of Neptune or Uranus. The planet it orbits is as big as mammoth Jupiter. This apparent super-size pairing of a gaseous moon and planet is 8,000 light-years away.