Theresa May last night warned she will not sign a £39billion Brexit divorce cheque unless the EU resolves ‘big issues’ on future trade links. Downing Street played down the prospect of a breakthrough at next week’s Brussels summit, saying there would be no deal without ‘movement on the EU’s side’. And it dismissed the idea that Mrs May could sign up to a ‘blind Brexit’ – saying the terms of a future trading partnership would have to be spelled out in ‘precise’ detail.
Dominic Raab has vowed there will be no “blindfold Brexit”, as he voiced confidence the UK would strike a deal with Brussels by the end of November. The Brexit secretary cautioned the final weeks of talks were “always going to be tough”, but said it was all the more reason for the UK to “hold our nerve”. He piled pressure on the EU to “match the pragmatism we have shown” in an update to MPs after the rocky Salzburg summit. Mr Raab was tackled by Sir Keir Starmer, who accused the government of suffering “groundhog day” and saying “everything will be alright in the end, and if it isn’t, we’ll just crash out with no deal and declare that a success”.
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to back further concessions that would keep the whole of the UK in an effective Customs Union with the EU. The plan, likely to infuriate Brexiteers, would apparently include a process to eventually exit. But the proposal to move the negotiations on with the EU, with both sides still fixated on the Irish border issue, is likely to be hugely controversial. The Times are also reporting that it might not just be customs arrangements but other areas of EU law that the UK will have to follow post-Brexit under May’s compromise plan. The PM could also try and commit the UK to following EU labour, environmental and social laws.
THERESA May is to make a fresh plea to EU leaders directly next week in a bid to unblock a Brexit deal at the start of a make or break summit. It emerged yesterday that the PM has accepted an invitation to address a dinner of the 27 national bosses in Brussels next Wednesday night before they discuss whether to soften the EU’s hard line. The gathering has been dubbed “the moment of truth” for any Brexit deal by EU Council president Donald Tusk. But Mrs May is refusing to make any deal until Brussels negotiators climb down from a series of hardline positions.
David Davis has stepped up his assault on Theresa May’s Brexitplan, warning the Tories will lose the next election unless it is dumped. The “electoral consequences could be dire” without a U-turn, because it would be “obvious” to voters that the prime minister’s promises had been broken, the former Brexit secretary said. The warning comes in an explosive letter sent to all Conservative MPs in which Mr Davis demands a looser Canada-style trade relationship with the EU. The model was described as nothing more than “a shortcut to a no deal” by Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab.
Theresa May is preparing to bind her cabinet into further compromises to her Brexit blueprint before European leaders meet next week. The prime minister will hold an extended discussion on Brexit at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the eve of her trip to Brussels, where she hopes to outline a compromise deal on the Irish border. The discussion is expected to include a commitment to keep the whole of the UK in an effective customs union with the EU after Brexit, but with a “clear process” of steps to exit.
Theresa May will face the Commons for the first time since the EU rejected her Brexit plan, amid mounting pressure from some Tory MPs to change course. A week before a crucial meeting of EU leaders, the prime minister shows no sign of abandoning her proposals. Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has warned of “dire” electoral consequences for the party if she persists with her model for trade with the EU.
Theresa May’s Brexit stance has come under concerted attack from within her party, with senior Tories lining up to warn against making fresh concessions to Brussels as negotiations reach their final, frantic stage. Ministers have been told to expect extensive discussions of Brexit at next week’s cabinet meeting; and with some preferring a looser, Canada-style deal to May’s Chequers plan, pressure is mounting on Downing Street to change course. The Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, defended the government’s strategy robustly in the House of Commons on Tuesday.
EUROPEAN trade could plunge into crisis after a no-deal Brexit, German business leaders warned. If the UK and EU fails to reach an agreement on Britain leaving the single bloc a nightmare scenario could rip through the continent, business chiefs fear. German exports could fall by 57 per cent with tariffs and customs barriers hitting trade, according to Cologne’s IW economic institute. Sectors that would be hardest hit include logistics, car making, aerospace, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has attacked “stupid populists” whilst attempting to reach out to Eurosceptics as predictions point to federalists losing out in May’s European Parliament elections. Addressing a session of the European Week of Regions and Cities on Monday, the top Eurocrat said that the European Union must distinguish between “those Eurosceptics who have questions to ask and opinions to make” and the “stupid populists”, reports Euractiv.
EUROPE is ramping up emergency measures over fears of a no-deal Brexit as a crunch “moment of truth” EU summit looms. Governments and businesses are stepping up contingency plans as the EU braces itself for Britain leaving the bloc without a deal. This month, the French government approved the deployment of 700 additional frontier guards. The force will control trucks arriving by ferry or through the Eurotunnel from the UK. French Minister of European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau has also submitted a bill to Europe’s Council of Ministers to allow President Emmanuel Macron to issue emergency decrees if Brexit harms France.
The industrial association that represents some of Germany’s largest businesses has revealed the anxiety felt throughout the continent at the prospect of a no-deal Brexit in comments which could strengthen Britain’s negotiating hand. The urgent message from the Federation of German Industries (BDI) warns if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union unilaterally in a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit there would be a “massive crisis” in German industry. BDI boss Joachim Lang said “Europe runs the risk of slipping into a disorderly Brexit”, and that “A massive crisis would be the result”.
A group of about 30 Labour MPs would be prepared to defy Jeremy Corbyn and endorse a Chequers-style deal at the eleventh hour to prevent a no-deal Brexit. Senior MPs have told The Times that a group of between 30 to 40 backbenchers would break with the leadership unless it ultimately backed a negotiated exit agreed with Brussels. The group is made up of those who both oppose a second referendum on the terms of Brexit, or believe that the proposal cannot command the support of a majority of MPs in the House of Commons without their support.
JEREMY Corbyn was humiliated today as furious Labour party staffers claimed they are paid so poorly on zero-hour style contracts they are being forced to go to food banks. A whistleblower claimed many are also being forced into the arms of payday lenders and urged activists to back them in showdown talks with Labour chief Jennie Formby. In an anonymous open letter published on left-leaning website Labour List, the staffer said many only find out where they are needed to work “with a few hours to spare”.
Socialists and Labour Party members and supporters have bombarded the Tory candidate for London Mayor with racist abuse, berating him for being a right-wing black man. Shaun Bailey, the man who will attempt to unseat Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan in the 2020 election, has been labelled a “lying coconut”, a “vile disgusting Uncle Tom” and a “token ethnic” by left-wingers on social media.
Nicola Sturgeon accused Theresa May of presiding over “chaos and incompetence” at Westminster as she claimed that Brexit would determine “the context” in which Scotland became independent. In her closing speech to the SNP conference in Glasgow yesterday, the Scottish first minister pointedly compared the future that Scotland could have outside the UK with that offered by the Conservatives and Brexit. She warned, however, that any second vote on independence would wait until the future relationship between Britain and Europe became clear.
Britain’s decision to leave the EU and Theresa May’s “disgraceful failure of leadership” during exit talks means there must be a second referendum on Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon has said. The SNP leader claimed an independent Scotland was now “clearly in sight” and told party members that, if they continue on their current course, “the momentum for independence will be unstoppable”. Addressing the SNP’s annual conference in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon also confirmed that the party’s MPs would vote for a fresh Brexit referendum if the issue comes before the House of Commons.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has declared she is “more confident than ever” Scotland will be independent, in a rallying address at the party’s annual conference in Glasgow. The first minister said the two years since Britain voted to leave the European Union “shows why Scotland needs to be independent”. She launched an angry offensive on the UK Conservative minority government, accusing it of “shambolic, chaotic and utterly incompetent” negotiations with Brussels.
Nicola Sturgeon has told the Scottish National party conference that Brexit makes independence more likely than ever, as she challenged activists to increase their efforts to persuade voters across the country of the case for leaving the UK. Insisting that Westminster’s chaotic handling of Brexit over the past two years made her “more confident than ever that Scotland will be independent”, a buoyant Sturgeon told activists in Glasgow “our task now is to step up our work to update and strengthen the case”, but did not offer any specific timetable for staging a second referendum.
Theresa May is facing a potential clash with the Democratic Unionist Party as four Conservative MPs prepare to vote in support of allowing abortion in Northern Ireland. Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen, Huw Merriman and Nicky Morgan have made public their support for a ten-minute rule bill by the Labour MP Diana Johnson, which proposes removing the law that makes abortion a crime in Northern Ireland. There are concerns about Westminster being seen to impose a solution on Northern Ireland when the Stormont Assembly is not sitting.
The leader of the DUP is holding “wide-ranging” meetings with EU officials in Brussels over the next few days in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock ahead of a looming no-deal deadline. Arlene Foster flew in from Belfast in the early hours of Tuesday morning and met with chief negotiator Michel Barnier and other officials, as well as representatives from member states. The right-wing party, which is propping up Theresa May’s minority government in Parliament, is seen as key to a deal on the Northern Ireland border.
DUP boss Arlene Foster has today threatened to block Theresa May’s Brexit deal if she gives in to the EU over the Northern Ireland border. Arlene Foster doubled down on her demands after talks with EU leaders today in Brussels – causing a huge headache for the Prime Minister who is working to solve the Brexit deadlock. She remained defiant on her “red line” demands that she won’t accept a Brexit deal where Northern Ireland is treated any differently to the rest of the country.
Theresa May’s hopes of making progress on the Irish border issue in the Brexit negotiations have been undermined by both the Democratic Unionist leader, Arlene Foster, and the Dutch government, an erstwhile ally in the divorce talks. During a visit to Brussels, Foster offered May little succour in a key period of the negotiations by insisting that Northern Ireland could not be treated differently to the rest of the UK under any circumstances. “I am the leader of the Democratic Unionist party.
A DECADE of unlimited immigration of low-skilled EU workers has delivered “no clear benefit” to the UK, an expert claimed yesterday. Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) chair Professor Alan Manning said low-skilled migrants had COST the Treasury money – as they take more benefits and consume more public services than they pay in tax. He said restrictions on lower-skilled migrants post-Brexit was likely to “raise wages” for blue collar Brits – albeit moderately.
Hundreds of millions of pounds a year could be slashed from the government’s aid spending under plans drawn up by Penny Mordaunt. The international development secretary vowed in effect to privatise a portion of the UK’s £14 billion aid budget, meaning that the government would have to pay less to meet its commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on development.
Hundreds of millions of pounds in UK government aid given to developing countries each year could be cut under new plans put forward by the international development secretary. Penny Mordaunt announced proposals for a major change that would see profits of government investment in developing countries counted as aid. In a move that experts warned could cut the total amount of funding going to developing countries, Ms Mordaunt will ask the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for permission to treat profits of the government’s development finance arm, CDC, as part of the UK’s overall aid spending.
Two dozen young soldiers are being investigated by the army after cheering Tommy Robinson during a chance meeting with him in a car park. The privates bumped into the former leader of the anti-Muslim English Defence League at a service station near Watford while travelling from Catterick in North Yorkshire on Monday. Robinson, 35, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, posted a video of the meeting on his Facebook page and wrote: “Today I met real British heroes.”
The army is investigating after the far-right activist Tommy Robinson posted a photograph of himself surrounded by what appeared to be soldiers or cadets. The former English Defence League (EDL) leader, 35, shared a picture of himself posing with a group of grinning young men in camouflage uniform. He also posted a video of himself on Monday with a crowd who started cheering and shouting his name. He wrote on Facebook: “A moment like this makes it all worth while. Today I met real British heroes.”
THE Army is investigating after far-right activist Tommy Robinson posted a video of himself surrounded by cheering soldiers. The former English Defence League (EDL) leader, 35, shared footage of a crowd of Army personnel who chanted his name. “A moment like this makes it all worth while. Today I met real British heroes,” he wrote alongside the Facebook post. Robinson, who said the men were “young recruits”, began the video by telling viewers: “Most honourable morning I’ve ever had.”
Terrorists are “marching closer” to carrying out a chemical or biological attack in Britain as they relentlessly pursue new ways to commit violence, the security minister warned yesterday. Ben Wallace said that terrorists and rogue states were limited only by their imagination and police and intelligence services were engaged in a “gargantuan” effort to protect the public. He told the National Security Summit in London yesterday: “As I speak, terrorists continue to explore new ways to kill us on our streets.
Noise from wind turbines has been labelled a potential health hazard by researchers at the UN. The power-generating blades were included in a comprehensive assessment of the harm noise causes to humans. The report by the UN’s World Health Organisation found that noise cost a million healthy years of life across western Europe annually – with road traffic the biggest culprit. Onshore wind turbines have been championed by politicians as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. Jeremy Corbyn told the Labour conference last month that he would hugely increase wind power in a ‘green jobs revolution’.
Exposure to air pollution has been linked to a raised risk of developing mouth cancer in the first study of its kind. Higher levels of small particles in air pollution were linked to a 43 per cent greater chance of having the disease diagnosed, it found. Cases of mouth cancer, which can be fatal, are increasing in many parts of the world. Over the past 20 years rates have risen by 71 per cent in Britain, according to Cancer Research UK. About 5,300 men and 2,500 women a year have oral cancer diagnosed and about 2,500 die.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists will review its opposition to the legalisation of cannabis after the government’s decision to make medical cannabis available on prescription. Dr Adrian James, the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ registrar, said that the body would set up a panel to review the evidence surrounding the recreational use of marijuana from US states, Uruguay, Canada and Portugal where it has been decriminalised. The college’s opposition has underpinned the government’s refusal to legalise it, with its members advising ministers on mental health issues and the misuse of drugs.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is to review its opposition to the legalisation of cannabis. The organisation has been wary of moves to decriminalise the drug because of concerns of possible negative effects on users’ health. There is also an association between psychotic illnesses and high-strength varieties of the drug. But it is now reconsidering its stance due to arguments that legalising cannabis would give the government the power to both regulate its strength and generate tax from its sale.
CANNABIS will be available for prescription in the UK within months, according to reports. Home Secretary Sajid Javid is said to have pushed for the Class B drug to be “rescheduled” – with an official announcement expected in the next two weeks. Those suffering from epilepsy, nausea and chronic pain due to chemotherapy could all be given the option to get the drug on prescription. Genevieve Edwards, of the MS Society, told the Sunday Telegraph: “This is very encouraging progress for thousands of people with MS who have been forced to choose between living with relentless pain and muscle spasm or breaking the law.”
A school in east London has become the seventh which has been forced to close after being infested by Britain’s deadliest spider. Last week, four primary schools and two secondary schools closed after Newham’s Environmental Team launched an investigation into the infestations. Another secondary, Eastlea Community School will close tomorrow as its headteacher is forcing pupils to come to school and sit in spider-infested classrooms – so they can be given homework.