George Soros, the billionaire known as the man who “broke the Bank of England”, is backing a campaign to overturn Brexit, the Telegraph can disclose. The investor is one of three senior figures linked to the Remain-supporting campaign group Best for Britain who plan to launch a nationwide advertising campaign this month, which they hope will lead to a second referendum to keep Britain in the EU. The campaign is trying to recruit major Tory donors in an attempt to undermine Theresa May. It also plans to target MPs and convince them to vote against the final Brexit deal to trigger another referendum or general election, according to a strategy document leaked from a meeting of the group.
An anti-Brexit campaign group said last night that donations linked to a billionaire investor had been properly declared and that it had not sought to hide its backing for a second referendum. Best for Britain issued a statement before claims in a newspaper that George Soros, the business magnate and philanthropist, was helping to bankroll an advertising campaign to shift public opinion against leaving the European Union. A leaked internal memo was said to assert that it was time to “wake the country up . . . that it’s not too late to stop Brexit” while laying out plans for rallies focused on mobilising younger voters who tend to be less inclined to support Leave.
A key pro-EU campaign to reverse the Brexit vote has been given more than £400,000 of funding by American billionaire George Soros’s foundation, the Guardian can disclose. The business magnate, who is the founder of the Open Society Foundation (OSF), made more than £1bn betting against the pound on Black Wednesday, which forced the British government to pull it from the European exchange rate mechanism. The Best for Britain campaign, which advocates remaining in the EU, rather than fighting for a soft Brexit, has received the six-figure sum from OSF since the June 2017 election, sources have told the Guardian.
Theresa May’s chief Brexit tormentor, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has stepped up his pressure on the Prime Minister after claims the EU plans to punish the UK during a transition period. According to a threat contained in a leaked Brussels document, the EU wants the power to restrict the UK’s access to the single market during the transition period. Brussels would do so if it feels it would take too long to launch legal action to settle a dispute. The five-page document is a draft treaty circulated in advance of EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s whistle-stop tour of all the 27 remaining EU countries. But Mr Rees-Mogg, speaking on the eve of the first of two crucial meetings of the so-called ‘Brexit war cabinet’ of senior ministers, told Sky News: “It’s not something we could accept.”
THERESA May today pledged a “robust” fightback against Brussels demands for draconian powers to punish Britain during the two-year Brexit transition period. Speaking to MPs, the Prime Minister dismissed the EU threat as “noises” off ahead of the next round of departure negotiations. Her remarks followed a leaked document from Brussels detailing plans for the European Commission to be able be to hit the UK with swingeing tariffs and other penalties for alleged breaches of EU rules. It also hinted that the Brexit divorce fee could be hiked above the £39billion agreed between the Government and Brussels with an extra bill to cover a share of EU defence and security initiatives during the transition.
Theresa May has vowed to be “robust” in response to leaked EU plans to punish Britain during a Brexit transition period. The Prime Minister dismissed as “noises off” a draft Brussels document on transitional arrangements, which included proposals for the EU to be handed the power to sanction the UK. In the event of a dispute between Brussels and London, the EU should be able to suspend Britain’s access to the single market – without referral to the European Court of Justice – during the interim phase between 2019 and 2021, the document states. It has been suggested this power could see the EU handed the ability to ground UK flights to Europe and impose trade tariffs on Britain, raising the prospect of a post-Brexit trade war. The leaked Brussels plans have sparked anger among Brexiteers, who have urged Mrs May not to accept the proposals in upcoming negotiations over the Brexit transition period.
It looks like the EU’s desire to punish Britain if it doesn’t roll over and become a totally vassal state during the Brexit transition period. Westmonster reported earlier today that the EU realised Britain knew it could get away with not adhering to all Brussels’ rules/regs during the transition period, especially with regard to immigration. The European Court simply wouldn’t have been able to process complaints against Britain within the 2 year transition period – so the EU was reportedly threatening to slap tariffs on UK goods, ground flights and suspend single market access if Britain goes rogue. Now the EU has submitted a position paper entitled: “Transitional Arrangements in the Withdrawal Agreement” in which it clearly states: “During the transition period, the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union shall have the powers conferred upon them by Union law also in relation to the United Kingdom and natural and legal persons residing or established in the United Kingdom. In particular, the Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction as provided for in the Treaties.
A hard Brexit will cost Britain £80billion according to government figures that claim the North East will be the worst hit when the UK leaves the European Union. But the forecast, made available to MPs following a leaked report to Buzzfeed containing some of the information, was today blasted by former Tory cabinet minister John Redwood, who labelled them ‘complete nonsense’. The government was also quick to point out the ‘provisional’ nature of the analysis, which looks at a worst case scenario, and not the preferred bespoke trade agreement. A government spokesman told the BBC: “As ministers clearly set out in the House, this is provisional internal analysis, part of a broad ongoing programme of analysis, and further work is in progress.
Britain’s retail sector could be hit by a 20% rise in costs after Brexit, while car makers could see a 13% hike in manufacturing costs outside the EU, according to the Government’s own internal estimates, seen by Sky News. The forecast impact of Brexit on every industrial sector of the economy reveals the estimated added costs to UK companies. So-called non-tariff barriers as a result of leaving the EU have also been calculated to add as much as 16% in costs in the food, drink, defence and education sectors. The estimates are from the same document as an earlier leak of the forecast economic impact on the UK’s nations and regions. The analysis has been prepared by Government economists for Cabinet ministers, ahead of their discussions on future trading relationships with the EU, to be held on Thursday.
Sky News has published selected, leaked figures from one part of a UK government analysis into post-Brexit trade, in another attempt to scare Britons away from leaving the European Union. The leaks comes as the government analysis is distributed to Members of Parliament on the Exiting the EU Subcommittee, which hosts a number of pro-Remain MPs. The Murdoch-owned news network — out of favour with its parent company — reported Wednesday evening: “Britain’s retail sector could be hit by a 20% rise in costs after Brexit”. But a government spokesman pushed back on the claim, highlighting how Sky’s reporting was only part of the analysis the British government has undertaken, and does not reflect the UK’s negotiating position with Brussels.
The EU’s highest court has been asked to rule on whether British nationals should be able to keep their EU citizenship after Brexit, in a major upset that could send negotiations between Brussels and the UK into chaos. British nationals living the Netherlands had taken a case to the Amsterdam district court arguing that they should not be stripped of their EU citizenship after Britain leaves the EU. In a decision released on Wednesday, the district court said it would refer the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). “It is reasonable to doubt the correctness of the interpretation of Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union that the loss of the status of citizen of an EU member state also leads to loss of EU citizenship,” the court decision said. “On these grounds, preliminary questions will be put to the ECJ.”
British citizens seeking to retain their EU citizenship rights after Brexit have won a landmark legal ruling that will result in their case being heard in the European court of justice. Five British nationals settled in the Netherlands had asked the court in Amsterdam to refer their case to the ECJ last month on the grounds that their existing rights could not be removed because of the UK referendum to leave the EU. The judge ruled on Wednesday that the case could be referred. A spokesman for Brexpats – Hear Our Voice, which led the challenge, said: “We are grateful to the court and obviously delighted with the decision. However, this is just the first step in clarifying what Brexit could mean for our EU citizenship.
The European Commission has defended a plan to impose sanctions on Britain during the Brexit transition period if the UK engages in “foul play” against EU wishes. Stefaan De Rynck, an adviser to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, said such a power to deal with the UK stepping out of line was “part of any agreement” that the EU might sign. Tory Eurosceptics reacted angrily to the inclusion of the power in the EU’s draft transition agreement, describing the move as part of a series of “silly threats” from Brussels. The legal text, released officially on Wednesday after being leaked the night before, says EU leaders want a mechanism to “suspend certain benefits” including “participation in the internal market” if the UK does not abide by the bloc’s laws and regulations during the two-year transition period after it leaves.
MICHEL Barnier is still not accepting the position of hard Brexiteers after the judge in the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) court revealed a shock remark. Professor Carl Baudenbacher told MPs today the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator still believes Britain will stay in the single market after the UK leaves the EU. Mr Barnier made the claim during a presentation on January 19, Prof Baudenbacher said today, as he spoke at a Westminster committee on exiting the EU in Westminster Hall. During the debate he encouraged the UK to join the EFTA Court after Brexit, or partially join in what he called ‘docking’, saying it could provide a quick and effective solution to Brexit’s legal conundrum.
Angela Merkel finally has some breathing space following Wednesday’s deal to form a new coalition government in Germany. Provided the agreement is not torpedoed by a Momentum-style revolt within the Social Democratic Party (SPD), it should be enough to secure her another term in office. But it was clear as the details of Wednesday’s deal emerged that it will be a weaker Mrs Merkel who clings on as chancellor, and that the government she heads will be very different from her last one, even if her coalition partners remain the same. For a start, Mrs Merkel has had to relinquish control of all three of the great ministries of state. The SPD have walked away with foreign and finance ministries, while her Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) gets a beefed up interior ministry with new powers.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s conservatives made ‘major concessions’ to the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) to agree a coalition deal on Wednesday. The agreement between Mrs Merkel’s CDU/CSU and SPD will take Germany a step closer to a new government more than four months after the general election. Months of political uncertainty has weakened Germany’s role in international affairs and raised questions about how long Mrs Merkel will be able to stay in her job. The deal will reportedly see Mrs Merkel’s CDU hand over the crucial finance ministry to the SPD, which her party previously led. The SPD will also reportedly get the foreign and labour ministries, while the CDU will leads the economy and defence ministries with the leader of its sister-party CSU, Horst Seehofer, due to become interior minister.
Germany is now the biggest breaker of EU rules, according to new statistics on enforcement actions started by Brussels against member states. The figures come despite the country’s leading role in the European project and claims from some quarters that Angela Merkel’s government dominates proceedings in the bloc. Numbers provided to German newspaper Handelsblatt by the country’s economics ministry show the country’s government is subject to 74 infringement proceedings by the European Commission for failing to implement EU regulations properly in German law. German Green party politician Markus Tressel told the newspaper Germany was now “bottom of the class” for following EU rules and far from the “model pupil” it was sometimes portrayed as. The infringements against Germany, which can be started for delayed implementation or inadequate conversion into national laws, relate to policy areas like air pollution, water quality and fire protection.
MARTIN Schulz has promised Germany will lead “fundamental EU change” after forcing his way into Angela Merkel’s cabinet as part of the controversial coalition agreement. Martin Schulz, the embattled leader of the Social Democrats (SPD), will take over as foreign minister in a move likely to infuriate the German voters who opted for more eurosceptic parties in last year’s election. The former European Union president suffered a disastrous election, but Mrs Merkel’s poor results insured he would be a key part of the coaltion, which was finally agreed today. And Mr Schulz hailed the deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives as a watershed moment for European policy.
Oxford University was not at fault for a graduate’s 2:1 degree as he may have “simply coasted”, a judge has ruled. Faiz Siddiqui had attempted to sue the university over his degree mark, which he said cost him a career as a high-flying lawyer. But Mr Justice Foskett ruled that his tutors could not be held responsible and suggested that Mr Siddiqui did not prepare properly for a crucial examination which he performed poorly in. He expected all the texts for the exam to be covered in class, the judge said, which was not an assumption shared by his fellow students or his teachers. The claimant, then a History student at Brasenose College, Oxford, “accepted that his reading of the texts was selective”, for the “gobbets” paper, the High Court judge said, and “spoon-feeding” by tutors was “hardly to be expected for an Oxford undergraduate degree course”.
An Oxford graduate who tried to sue the university for ‘appallingly bad’ teaching that cost him a top degree and lucrative legal career has had his £1million compensation claim thrown out. Faiz Siddiqui, 39, was today told by a High Court judge the tuition he received at Brazenose College was of a ‘perfectly adequate standard’ and his failure to get a first class degree was more likely to do with a severe bout of hay fever. Mr Siddiqui had claimed ‘boring’ tuition and staff being on extended sabbatical leave had meant he only got a lower 2:1 instead of the higher upper second or first he was hoping for. He maintained this cost him a place on a law course at a top Ivy League university like Yale or Harvard and subsequent high-flying legal career. But today Mr Justice Foskett ruled Mr Siddiqui’s ‘inadequate preparation’ and ‘lack of academic discipline’ towards his modern history degree were the reasons he under performed in his June 2000 exams.
Children should sit more exams so that they find them less stressful by the time they take their GCSEs, the schools minister said yesterday. Nick Gibb blamed the internet and social media, rather than the pressure of assessments, for fuelling severe anxiety among pupils. He told MPs: “Exam pressures have always been there, and the way to deal with exam pressure is to make sure that young people have taken exams earlier on in their school career — at the end of Year 7 [when pupils are aged 12], Year 8, and so on — so they are used to taking exams.” Mr Gibb faced criticism from MPs on the health and education select committees, who said that excessive testing was causing mental health problems.
England’s social care system is at risk of collapse because of a chronic staff shortage, low wages and an ageing population, the spending watchdog warns today. In a damning report, the National Audit Office said the high turnover of staff was having a devastating impact on continuity of care for the elderly. There are 1.3million care workers, but two million will be needed by 2035 to cope with the rising number of elderly people. On top of this, care homes are at increasing risk of going under because cash-strapped councils can’t afford their fees. The NAO report said England’s care system was too complex, with 20,300 different organisations delivering it. It claimed the crisis was so severe that some areas could be left without care homes altogether.
More than a million vulnerable elderly people are missing out on help they need because of the dire state of the social care system, the UK’s spending watchdog has said. The National Audit Office (NAO) called for urgent action as it published a detailed report citing evidence showing the number of people over 65 with unmet care needs jumped by some 200,000 in the last year alone. The body said a spiralling turnover of poorly paid staff and increasing job vacancies are at the root of the problem, which is being worsened by ongoing deep cuts and fewer employees from the European Union since Brexit. In particular, the NAO struck out at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for being unable to demonstrate how it is going to fund care for the elderly in the face of burgeoning future demand. Ministers know working out how to pay for social care is one of the biggest challenges they face, but have been unable to bring forward clear proposals of how to meet it.
Assisted dying has more support than ever in Britain and should be legalised, according to leading medical experts. Writing in The BMJ they urged the British Medical Association to drop its opposition to assisted dying, where doctors provide or administer drugs to help patients end their lives. Surveys have shown support from up to 80 per cent of the public for a change in the law. A poll last October found 55 per cent of doctors wanted it to be made legal, subject to safeguards. Fiona Godlee, the journal’s editor-in-chief, said: “The BMJ supports the legalisation of assisted dying. The great majority of the British public are in favour and there is now good evidence it works well in other parts of the world.”
Most doctors are now in favour of assisted dying, a top medical journal has revealed. A new survey of 776 published in the BMJ found that 55 per cent are supportive of helping patients to die. The journal, one of the oldest and most influential in the UK, claims there is ‘good evidence’ the practice ‘works well’. A special edition published today argues that the ‘great majority’ of the British public are also in favour of assisted dying. Dr Fiona Godlee, the BMJ’s editor-in-chief said: ‘The BMJ supports the legalisation of assisted dying. The great majority of the British public are in favour and there is now good evidence that it works well in other parts of the world, as a continuation of care for patients who request it and are in sound mind.
BRITAIN and Europe was hit by its worst flu outbreak for years this winter – but it’s set to get worse. The number of people to have died after contracting flu in the UK this winter is the highest in decades – and is currently over 200. Tragic boy, nine-year-old Coby Simons, is believed to have become the youngest to die from the latest terrifying outbreak. The nationwide outbreak is of sinister influenza A and B strains, including the potent “Aussie flu” and highly contagious “Japanese flu”. Now experts warn it could be about to get even worse because of plummeting levels of people getting the vaccination in Europe.
Meat from animals not stunned before slaughter may be labelled to ensure that it is bought only by Muslims and Jews who want it for religious reasons, the government signalled yesterday. More than three million lambs had their throats cut last year while still conscious and able to feel pain, double the number in 2011. Almost 200 million chickens were either not stunned or were ineffectively stunned in 2017, according to the Food Standards Agency. Jews and Muslims have an exemption from EU law requiring animals to be stunned before slaughter but the absence of labelling means that millions of people who do not share their beliefs might eat unstunned meat unwittingly.
Attention all readers!
We are finalising the relocation of this site to a different server. Therefore, this site will be in lock-down from 9 a.m. tomorrow, Friday 9th February. Normal service to resume as soon as everything is done, so do check in from time to time. See you all on the flip side!
Your UKIP Daily Team