Britain could be forced to accept nearly 40 EU directives during a two-year transition period after Brexit, according to a leaked Whitehall analysis. The report, obtained by The Telegraph, reveals that a series of controversial EU laws could be imposed amid concerns that Britain is powerless to stop them. One of the most contentious of the 37 directives could require every British household to have four different bins in a bid to hit “unfeasible” new EU recycling targets. Another directive could give Brussels the authority to mount a massive raid on the City of London, while the UK could also be bound by renewable and energy efficiency targets for up to a decade after Brexit.
THE UNDEMOCRATIC EU could force the UK to accept nearly 40 bonkers directives during the two-year transition period after Brexit, according to a leaked document which has sparked outrage among Eurosceptic MPs. Some of the 37 directives include requiring every UK household to have four different bins for EU recycling targets, insurance for mobility scooters and another which would allow Brussels to raid the city of London. Staunch Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “These European Union laws that could come in after we have left may look to the Government as ‘a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand’ but could turn into a torrent similar to the one unleashed by Elijah.
Over the last few days some of the supposedly ‘great and the good’ have been clasping their pearls and theatrically reaching for the smelling salts at the suggestion that civil servants might have some groupthink going on, and that the Treasury in particular might be politically suspect when it comes to forecasting. Former heads of the civil service Andrew Turnbull and Gus O’Donnell came over like pantomime dames at the impilication, comparing Brexiteers to Hitler and snake oil salesman. What are the views of the most recent ex-head of the civil service, Lord Kerslake? Strangely he was silent this weekend, fortunately we have the benefit of being able to read his 44 page independent review published last year “Rethinking the Treasury“. It was produced by another heavyweight panel of ‘the great and the good’ – and it was scathing…
BREXIT could ruin Germany and cost Berlin billions in lost subsidies as the European Union attempts to slash funds to wealthy member states, Germans fear. The Brussels bloc currently enjoys funding from British taxpayers but this is set to end once the UK leaves the EU. As a major donor, the UK’s departure will leave large hole in the EU’s budget and officials are now trying to find ways to reduce the bloc’s spending. The European Commission is understood to be considering cancelling the Structural Funds for Germany and other relatively wealthy member states in a bid to save billions of euros.
FRANCE could be set to block a deal between the EU and the UK which would fast-track a new security and defence agreement after Brexit amid growing French fears of giving too much foreign policy influence to a non-member state. A small group of EU nations, including France and Cyprus, are growing increasingly concerned about offering Britain too much control in EU affairs after Brexit and fear any special deal with Britain could leave other foreign powers looking to renegotiate their own ties with the bloc. One senior EU diplomat told the FT: “If we do something special for the Brits then we have others knocking at the door.”
Britain must either remain in a customs union with Europe or face “unavoidable barriers to trade”, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has warned Theresa May. In uncompromising remarks before a key cabinet meeting tomorrow, Michel Barnier rejected British demands for “frictionless” trade outside an EU customs arrangement. He also reiterated his call for Mrs May to lay out Britain’s proposals for a future relationship with the EU within the next few weeks, adding that “the time has come to make a choice”. Senior EU figures suggested that the compromises on future customs arrangements presently being discussed by the UK government were unlikely to be acceptable to member states.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has warned Theresa May that trade barriers are “unavoidable” if she carries out her plan to leave the customs union. Michel Barnier also told the Prime Minister that “the time has come to make a choice” – reflecting growing Brussels frustration with the UK Government’s failure to set out its aims clearly. After meeting Mrs May and David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, in Downing Street, Mr Barnier said the EU “need clarity” on the UK’s hopes for a post-Brexit trading partnership. And, on No 10’s insistence that it will not be part of any customs union, he warned: “Without the customs union, and outside the single market, barriers to trade in goods and services are unavoidable. The time has come to make a choice.”
Michel Barnier was met by a new tune from the Government as he stepped off the Eurostar on Monday morning. Number 10 had finally confirmed there will be no form of customs union with the EU after Brexit. So, for the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator – who had come to the UK seeking clarity – it was perhaps surprising that he was to end up giving that clarity. “Without a customs union and outside the single market, barriers to trade in goods and services are unavoidable,” said Mr Barnier, as he straightened his tie and before yielding the floor in Downing Street to Brexit Secretary David Davis.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said Theresa May’s decision to leave the customs union will cause “unavoidable” barriers to trade. Speaking after meeting with the prime minister and Brexit Secretary David Davis at Downing Street, Mr Barnier said “the time has come to make a choice”. He added that “without a customs union and outside the single market”, barriers to trade in goods and services are unavoidable”. Earlier, Downing Street insisted Britain will “categorically” be leaving the customs union after Brexit. Mr Barnier also said the UK has to “play by the same rules” as the European Union during the transition period.
Michel Barnier has warned that Britain will inevitably face barriers to trade in both goods and services if it chooses to leave the customs union and single market, following a critical meeting in Downing street with Theresa May and David Davis. The European Commission’s chief negotiator made the comments as a senior EU official told the Guardian that the clock was ticking on Brexit negotiations and warned that Britain’s proposal for a “customs partnership” after leaving the EU was unrealistic. The two sides have also clashed over the question of an implementation period as officials made it clear that May’s demand for EU citizens arriving in Britain during transition to have reduced rights was not acceptable.
THE EU has always been a big-business-led, undemocratic structure influenced mainly by the 30,000 corporate lobbyists permanently camped out in Brussels. Increasingly influential among these are the armaments companies that are smiling at the EU new military and foreign policy directions. These plans were being agreed during the British referendum campaign, but the European Commission and Remainers were under orders then not to do or say anything that could have helped the Leave vote. Once our referendum was over, the EU became brazen in banging the war drums. As the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) points out, “The EU machinery is being adapted to assist the military industry.”
A pro-European ex-business minister has called on Theresa May to “get a spine” and remove 35 “hard ideological Brexiteers” from the Tories. Anna Soubry told BBC Newsnight she is willing to leave if the likes of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg take over. The MP, who was in David Cameron’s cabinet between 2015 and 2016, said the PM’s “red lines” to leave the EU single market and customs union are wrong. Former Tory Chancellor Lord Lamont said Ms Soubry was being “quite ridiculous”. Ms Soubry was speaking after the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned in Downing Street that the UK’s Brexit plans would create “unavoidable” barriers to trade in goods and services.
Leading pro-EU Tory MP Anna Soubry has threatened to quit the party and form a new political alliance because of Brexit. The former minister has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to ‘stand up to’ arch Brexiteers like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg and ‘sling ’em out’. She told BBC2’s Newsnight: ‘If it comes to it, I am not going to stay in a party which has been taken over by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson. Ms Soubry added: ‘Unless Theresa stands up and sees off these people she is in real danger of losing huge swathes of not just the parliamentary party but the Conservative Party.
A Westmonster poll on Twitter has seen a slam dunk win for Jacob Rees-Mogg, with 80% backing him to be next Tory Leader. We asked our followers whether they would back the Moggster, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove or David Davis. A huge 80% backed Mogg followed by 10% for Boris, 6% for Gove and 4% for Davis out of the over 3,000 voters who took part. The Moggmentum is real…
A GROUP of cabinet ministers are fighting to keep Theresa May in place because they fear Jacob Rees-Mogg will win a leadership contest. Senior Government sources have revealed that ministers believe supporters of the popular backbench MP who has emerged as “the darling of the party” are manoeuvring to ensure he wins a possible leadership contest in the coming months even though he has strongly denied harbouring ambitions for the job. The Daily Express has also learnt that Ukip members are being approached to join the Conservative Party by supporters of Mr Rees-Mogg in the hope it could ensure his victory.
Tony Blair warned David Cameron about a “deep state” conspiracy, the Conservative Prime Minister’s former director of strategy has said. In the months before the general election of 2010, Steve Hilton was given the task of preparing for the Mr Cameron’s first few months in government. He met with Mr Blair to discuss the machinery of government, during which the former Prime Minister warned about the civil service. “You cannot underestimate how much they believe it’s their job to actually run the country and to resist the changes put forward by people they dismiss as ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ politicians,” Mr Blair apparently said, according to Mr Hilton, who was writing for Fox News. “They genuinely see themselves as the true guardians of the national interest, and think that their job is simply to wear you down and wait you out.”
Doctors and nurses from the frontline today rushed to defend the NHS after Donald Trump trashed the service branding it ‘broke and not working’. Medics said they were ‘proud’ to work for a system that provides ‘some of the best care in the world’. And they said that while Britain provides a free and universal healthcare system, in the US people in need of life-saving care have to have insurance cover or a big bank balance. Their rallying defence came as the head of the NHS invited the US President to come visit Britain’s ‘brilliant doctors and hospitals’ to prove him wrong. The President sparked a fresh diplomatic row when sent a tweet slamming the NHS and claiming thousands flocked to a protest about the winter crisis because the service is buckling and said the US should not copy it, adding ‘no thanks’.
Every NHS trust assessed for cyber security vulnerabilities has failed to meet the standard required, civil servants have said for the first time. In a parliamentary hearing on the WannaCry attack which disrupted parts of the NHS last year, Department of Health (DoH) officials said all 200 trusts had failed, despite increases in security provision. The WannaCry attack that began on 12 May is believed to have infected machines at 81 health trusts – nearly a third of the 236 NHS trusts in England – plus computers at almost 600 GP surgeries, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report released in October. The National Cyber Security Centre [NCSC] has said it was “highly likely” the attack was carried out by a North Korea cyber organisation known as the Lazarus Group.
FRUSTRATION over uncertainties relating to funding of the NHS should not lead health staff or campaigners to fall for gimmicks like a hypothecated health tax. All the more so when this is trotted out by the Liberal Democrats when their own MPs, including current leader Vince Cable, propped up David Cameron’s Tories as they slashed real-terms NHS spending. Former Tory minister Nick Boles pushed the boat out last month by describing the NHS provocatively as the “cuckoo in the Treasury nest, hungrily demanding ever more money and pushing other public services ever closer to the edge.” His hypothecation solution would rebrand National Insurance as National Health Insurance, with income held and distributed from a healthcare fund and spent according to five-year plans.
A controversial review into the state of Sharia law in the United Kingdom and the bodies administering it has revealed the British government to be unaware of exactly how many of the Islamic law councils are operating in the country, an admission of systemic discrimination against women, including the victim of forced marriage being asked to appear alongside her family, with an “inappropriate” adoption of civil legal terms used. The document — entitled ‘The independent review into the application of sharia law in England and Wales’ — was criticised for taking a theological approach to the issue after Islamic theologian Mona Siddique OBE, as well as Imam Qari Muhammad Asim MBE and Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, were appointed to the panel and advisory board. Other members included Sam Momtaz QC, Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE QC (Hon), and Sir Mark Hedley DL.
Ministers are considering renationalising the troubled east coast rail line after admitting that the franchise holder will collapse in a matter of months. Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said yesterday that replacing Virgin Trains East Coast with a public operator for up to two years was “very much on the table”. The move would mean that the east coast line — 90 per cent owned by Stagecoach and 10 per cent by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group — would be run directly by civil servants based at the Department for Transport. He said it was clear that the franchise would last for only a “very small number of months” because it was about to run out of money.
The Tories have awarded a lucrative rail franchise to Virgin Trains just two minutes after revealing another franchise part-run by the firm was set to collapse within months. Virgin Trains East Coast is a partnership between Stagecoach and Sir Richard Branson’s empire. The government had already decided to end the franchise three years early in 2020 – which could cost taxpayers up to £2bn in lost payments to the Treasury. But today Transport Secretary Chris Grayling admitted to the commons that the franchise only had enough cash to operate in its current form “for a matter of a very small number of months and no more.”
The Virgin East Coast train line could be renationalised in a matter of months, the Transport Secretary announced yesterday. Chris Grayling revealed last month that the franchise – run jointly by Stagecoach and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group – was running out of money and likely to break up before 2020. But yesterday he told MPs that the situation had become ‘much more urgent’ after the operators breached a ‘key financial covenant’. He said: ‘It is now clear that this franchise will only be able to continue in its current form for a matter of a very small number of months and no more.’
Chris Grayling has said the Government could temporarily take back control of the East Coast Mainline after admitting the existing franchise had collapsed. The Transport Secretary said Stagecoach, which operates the line in conjunction with Virgin Trains, was incurring “significant losses” and would not be able to continue the franchise for more than a few months. The Department for Transport is now urgently assessing how best the line should be run until a new franchise is introduced in 2020, with Government control one of two main options being considered. Mr Grayling has already allowed Stagecoach and Virgin Trains to end their franchise three years early – a decision that is being investigated by the National Audit Office.
The East Coast rail franchise could be returned to the public sector after the government announced Virgin Trains had breached its £3.3bn contract. The transport secretary told MPs that the London-to-Edinburgh line could again be directly operated by the Department for Transport, less than three years after the route was re-privatised. However, Chris Grayling also held out the possibility that Virgin would continue to operate the service on fresh terms, despite missing its financial commitments on the current deal. He said: “It has now been confirmed that the situation is urgent … and the contract will only last in its current form for a small number number of months.” He said the DfT had two options for the route over the next two years: it could either take the franchise in-house; or offer a “short-term, not for profit” contract to Virgin Trains East Coast, a joint venture 90% owned by Scottish transport group Stagecoach with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group controlling 10%.
A record number of foreign students applied to study at British universities in defiance of warnings Brexit would see a slump. More than 100,000 potential foreign students applied for places up to the end of January, including a surge from the European Union. Applications from EU students coming from outside the UK rose by 3.6 per cent in 2018 after dropping in 2017. The group from Europe was 43,510. The proportion of applications from English school leavers have also hit a new high of 37.4 per cent of student – 0.4 per cent better than the previous record. Helen Thorne, director of external relations at UCAS, said: ‘The UK’s universities are highly popular with EU and international students because of the quality of the teaching and experience they offer.