Predictions by the Treasury ahead of the Brexit vote have been brought into question by a study which says that leaving the European Union will halve net migration, give British workers a pay rise and help to solve the housing crisis. The report from the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge examined the possible future scenarios following the referendum decision to leave the EU. George Osborne, the former chancellor, was heavily criticised in the run-up to the referendum for a series of bleak Treasury assessments about Britain’s prospects outside the EU, which became known as “project fear”. However the academics’ report forecast that if controls on migration from the EU were introduced in the middle of 2019, net migration would fall to around 165,000 from 2020.
Brexit will allow the UK to halve net migration, a major study finds today. The cut will provide a long-term boost to wages and help ease the national housing crisis, say Cambridge University researchers. Any negative impact on growth will only be tiny and would probably have happened even without a vote to leave, their report reveals. The academics deliver a devastating verdict on the Treasury’s pre-referendum scare-mongering, accusing officials of ‘flawed and partisan’ forecasts about the country’s prospects outside the EU. Instead, they say leaving the Brussels club will allow net migration – the difference between the number of foreign nationals arriving in the UK and those leaving – to be cut to 165,000. The total currently stands at a record 330,000.
Nearly 400,000 jobs could be created as a result of post-EU trade deals with other countries, pro-Brexit campaign group Change Britain has claimed. By leaving the EU’s customs union, it said, the UK would be free to negotiate deals with the US, India, China, Japan, Canada, Korea and trading blocs in South America and South East Asia. This, it said, would bring an estimated £23bn export boost and 387,580 jobs. But the figures were dismissed as flawed and misleading by opponents. Pro-EU campaigners said the statistics were based on the assumption of replicating EU deals with other countries that the UK would no longer be part of. The UK would simply not be able to secure deals of a “comparative depth” to those negotiated by the EU after Brexit.
Theresa May faced a mandarin revolt yesterday as some of Britain’s most senior retired officials and diplomats suggested that the prime minister was falling short over Brexit. Figures whose careers spanned 20 years in the great offices of state intervened after Sir Ivan Rogers, the British ambassador to Brussels, quit in frustration weeks before Brexit talks were due to begin. Sir Ivan resigned because he believed that No 10 was unwilling to heed difficult messages and he did not have the support of some Brexit ministers. He urged his successor to continue to deliver “unvarnished” advice. Mrs May sought to take the sting out of the criticism by appointing Sir Tim Barrow, the former ambassador to Russia, to replace Sir Ivan.
A LEADING Leave campaigner has hit out at “the establishment” for attempting to derail Brexit. Conservative MP Peter Bone admitted he feared Brexit “may never happen” and said he was worried Remain supporters were still trying to delay the process. Mr Bone, who helped set up campaign group Grassroots Out (GO), bashed MPs admitting they would attempt to delay Brexit despite 17.4million people voting to leave the European Union. Speaking before the resignation of the UK’s ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers, the Wellingborough MP told BBC Look East: “We’re up against the establishment, we know there are certain people in Parliament that have made it clear that they don’t accept the result and they want to play the long game.
Theresa May will threaten to take Britain out of the single market unless the UK is given full control of its borders in a significant Brexit speech designed to counter claims she has no plan for leaving the EU. The Prime Minister will outline her “vision for Britain outside of the EU” in a major speech later this month that will focus on the economy and immigration. Both David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, and Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, are having “significant” input into the speech, sources said. However, Liam Fox, the Trade Secretary considered one of the “three Brexiteers” alongside Mr Davis and Mr Johnson, is understood to have been sidelined. The speech will be seen as a retort to claims of “muddled thinking” in Mrs May’s Government by Sir Ivan Rogers, who on Tuesday resigned as Britain’s EU ambassador after a series of rows with Downing Street.
Theresa May is preparing to make a major speech on Brexit amid accusations by the outgoing EU ambassador that the Government lacks an exit strategy. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis are contributing to the speech, which is expected later in January. The Prime Minister will reportedly say Britain will pull out of the single market if the European Union fails to make concessions on freedom of movement, although No 10 sources insisted the claims were speculation. Mrs May moved swiftly to draw a line under the row sparked by the surprise resignation of UK permanent representative Sir Ivan Rogers by agreeing his replacement within 36 hours of his notice to quit.
Theresa May’s new ambassador to the European Union is a “hard-headed” Diplomat who has faced down Vladimir Putin and is ideally placed to “hit the ground running” in Brussels, ministers have said. Sir Tim Barrow has been appointed as Britain’s new EU ambassador after a life-long career in the foreign office which has seen him serve in senior roles twice before in Brussels. He also served as Britain’s ambassador to Moscow between 2011 and 2015, one of the most testing periods in relations between the two countries. Ministers said the appointment of Sir Tim is in “stark contrast” to that of Sir Ivan Rogers, his predecessor who quit earlier this week after being cut adrift by Downing Street.
ANGELA Merkel is losing her grip on power as European leaders openly side with Vladimir Putin and the German population turns against her open door migration policy. The three term Chancellor was desperate to impose year-long sanctions against Russia amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, but her supposed European allies have shunned her in favour of the Russian strongman. The EU’s top brass instead decided to impose just six months worth of sanctions against Mr Putin, who openly land-grabbed Crimea from Ukraine – a country desperate to join the European Union (EU). Merkel’s rating in the opinion polls is also at a low ebb, with the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party soaring in popularity to 15 per cent in the wake of the Berlin Christmas markets terror attack as the public turn against her controversial mass migration policy. According to the latest polls, support for the coalition between her Christian Democratic Union party and the Christian Social Union party has plummeted to just 32 per cent so far in 2017.
The Polish foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, has slammed the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, as an “icon of evil and stupidity”, urging him to stay “far away from Poland”. The comments were a response to a New Year’s Eve tweet from Tusk himself, wishing for a Poland “free from evil and stupidity”. Many sharp-tongued Poles responded that the Gdańsk native could have his wish by remaining abroad. Mr. Waszczykowski said the EC boss: “I wish that he would stay far away from Poland… [he] hasn’t helped [Poland] with anything yet”. Tusk was prime minister of Poland from 2007-14, side-stepping into his European Union (EU) position just in time to avoid being routed out of office by the populist Law and Justice (PiS) party in national elections.
Tony Blair yesterday announced he is ploughing almost £10million into his new crusade against ‘populists’. The former Prime Minister has vowed to use his riches and influence to fight Brexit and stop Britain quitting the European Union. He is winding up his secretive money-making empire and setting up the Tony Blair Institute, a not-for-profit organisation entirely owned by him. Yesterday, as his firms’ annual accounts were published, he revealed he is giving £9.3million from his companies to the new institute, whose purpose will be to tackle ‘the new populism’ which he said was driving the world apart on Brexit and other issues. But as usual, Mr Blair’s accounts do not reveal how much money he has taken for himself on his ‘final payday’ before he starts working for free.
Tony Blair has injected over £9m to his new policy unit for centre-ground politics he set up in the wake of the “political earthquakes” of the Brexit vote and the American elections. The former Labour leader, who was Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007, established the Tony Blair Institute in December 2016 but made clear he would not be returning to frontline politics. He has since “gifted” £9.2m to the organisation. In a statement in December last year, Mr Blair said: “This is not about my returning to the frontline of politics. I have made it abundantly clear that this is not possible. “However, I care about my country and the world my children and grandchildren will grow up in; and want to play at least a small part in contributing to the debate about the future of both.”
A group of MPs has urged Theresa May to put in place a regional immigration policy after Brexit under which some parts of Britain would be able to clamp down on the numbers of foreign workers while others could maintain an open-door policy. The all-party group on social integration said “regional immigration quotas” would help boost the public debate, instil confidence in the system and significantly improve relations between new arrivals to the UK and longer established, local communities. In a report following an inquiry they said that not enough had been done to acknowledge the impact of rapid migration on many communities. But they also warned that the target to reduce migration to the tens of thousands had “unnecessarily stoked public anxiety” and given the impression that the government was not in control over immigration.
Immigrants should be require to learn English before coming to live in the UK, MPs say today. In a major report on integration, the politicians call for urgent action to bring the country’s communities together. They warn that the failure to help people integrate has left a “vacuum for extremists and peddlers of hate”. In a series of ground-breaking recommendations, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration says immigrants to be required to learn English before coming to live in the UK, or be enrolled in compulsory classes when they arrive. The Group also says there should a regional immigration policy based on the Canadian model where the nations and regions of the UK can issue their own visas.
A REFUGEE from Syria was caught with a bogus passport at a UK airport but still waved in. The security shambles shows Britain is wide open to ISIS terrorists. Mohammad Aabouss paid £300 for the document and flew in to Stansted from Germany. He said: “I was amazed it was so easy. I could have been a terrorist.” The passport, registered in the name of a man with similar looks, triggered alarms on facial recognition scanners. But a border officer asked only where he had flown from. English-speaker Aabouss replied: “Dortmund.” The officer thanked him and let him through. Aabouss then burned the passport and headed for the Lunar House screening centre in Croydon, South London, where he claimed asylum.
Health bosses are spending tens of millions of pounds on schemes to stop patients having hospital treatment, an investigation reveals today. Four in ten trusts have set up ‘referral management centres’ where staff sift through letters from GPs and send back any deemed unnecessary. These include requests for hip and knee replacements, cataract treatment or scans to check for cancer. Research by the BMJ has found that the schemes are increasingly popular with cash-strapped health trusts that want to save money on sending patients to hospital. Thirty-nine per cent of local clinical commissioning groups check referrals, according to freedom of information requests.
THE NHS has handed at least £57 million to private firms which block GPs from referring patients to hospital in a bid to cut costs, it was revealed yesterday. “Referral management centres” are used by almost a third of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), according to Freedom of Information requests made by the British Medical Journal (BMJ). These privately -run gatekeeping firms — which are closed to public scrutiny — are claimed to help lower demand in hospitals. But it is unclear whether money is actually being saved, as 74 per cent of the 211 CCGs contacted in England refused to say what the results were.
EUROPE faces the threat of war as the EU tears itself apart and a new world order sweeps across the continent, a top diplomat has warned. The bureaucracy is on the verge of collapse and is being “eroded” by the rising tide of far-right parties who will spell an end to the EU, according to German politician Horst Teltschik. War looms if the EU collapses as the union has served as a guarantor for peace across the continent for 70 years, the former advisor to the German Chancellor warned. He said Brexit has played a key role in starting the disintegration of the EU which is also being shredded by the Eurozone crisis as the currency tumbles. Mr Teltschik said: “European integration was the peacemaking response of the Europeans to the catastrophe of two world wars. “No generation in Europe has ever been able to live in peace, freedom and prosperity for seventy years. “We are witnessing an erosion of the EU with the euro crisis, with Brexit and the emergence of populist movements in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria or Italy and the authoritarian Eastern neighbours, especially in Poland, Hungary, Romania.”