Theresa May will seek approval from her cabinet soon after conference for further tweaks to her Brexit plans in a bid to secure a deal from the EU. The prime minister is set to reshape her customs proposals and also look at whether there is scope to make an offer to Brussels on the alignment of future regulation. The Independent already reported earlier this week how government officials had been tasked to start looking at an “Chequers 2” position that might be sold to EU negotiators in a bid to seal a deal by November.
Theresa May is to bow to more European Union (EU) demands and could accept customs checks in the Irish Sea, just weeks after insisting a British Prime Minister would “never” consider dividing the nation. Downing Street is planning to keep the UK tied to all of the bloc’s rules on goods, as set out in the Chequers plan, but also accept the potential for checks in the Irish Sea to meet EU demands that goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain must meet all the bloc’s standards, The Times reports.
“Unworkable”, “unacceptable”, “impasse” – the words used to describe Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union do little to temper concerns that the two are heading for a chaotic divorce. But behind the scenes, both sides are preparing concessions as part of what one British official called “a constructive dialogue” that could yet lead to a deal. Officials and sources on both sides say there is a clear will to try to overcome the obstacles to winning a withdrawal deal and agreeing a framework for future ties – a deal on the Northern Ireland border and EU-UK trade.
Theresa May must ditch her “outrageous” Chequers plan or the Tories will be “punished” by voters, Boris Johnson has warned. The former foreign secretary accused the Prime Minister of trying to “cheat the electorate” as he said that her plan will lead to the rise of the far Right and far Left. He rejected claims that Chequers could be changed by a future Prime Minister as a “fantasy”, and even suggested could face prosecution under 14th century law for giving a foreign power jurisdiction in the UK.
Scottish Tories have launched a secret campaign codenamed “Operation Arse” to stop Boris Johnson becoming the party leader, it has been revealed. With internal polling showing that Johnson as Prime Minister would reverse Tory gains made under Ruth Davidson , Scots politicians have joined the bid to stop the ex-Foreign Secretary. A senior party source told the Daily Record: “We called it that so we’d all be clear who we were talking about.” As well as pressing their MPs to vote against Johnson in any potential leadership contest, the organisers want to take the message to constituency association members that Johnson would lose them votes in Scotland.
Former Foreign Secretary and two-time London Mayor Boris Johnson made a thinly disguised bid for leadership of the nation Tuesday afternoon at a fringe event at the annual Conservative party conference, calling for Conservatives to embrace popular policies, cut taxes, and deliver Brexit. The would-be Conservative leader saved discussion of the foremost matter in British politics — Brexit — until the end of his speech, telling the cheering audience at the conference fringe event that May’s plan was a “cheat”,
Conservative leadership contender, Boris Johnson has this afternoon given an impassioned speech in defence of freedom, free trade and true Conservative values at a Conservative Home fringe event in Birmingham. In a highly anticipated speech which attracted a huge crowd on the fringe of the Conservative party conference, Mr Johnson blasted Theresa May’s “politically humiliating” Chequers deal, describing it as “dangerous, politically and economically.” His staunch attack on Chequers continued, saying: “This is not democracy! This is not what people voted for!”
Jeremy Hunt has accused the European Union of refusing to negotiate with Britain over the key sticking points in Brexit talks. In an interview with Tom Bradby on ITV News at Ten at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, the foreign secretary claimed the bloc had failed to offer viable alternatives to Theresa May’s “serious proposals” on thorny issues like the Irish border. Mr Hunt admitted that talks had reached an impasse, and said the time had come for the EU to sit down and have “proper negotiations”.
British tourists wanting to visit Europe after Brexit face a €7 fee and an online application process after the UK government outlined new immigration rules yesterday. Under a plan announced by Theresa May at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Europeans wanting to visit Britain on holiday would have to submit to security and criminal records checks before they arrive in the country. Sources in Europe told The Times that this would automatically result in British citizens having to participate in the European Union’s new travel authorisation system, which is due to come into effect in 2021.
MILLIONS of Brits may be forced to apply for US-style visa-waiver forms before going on holiday to Europe after Brexit, Theresa May admitted today. Unveiling plans to pre-screen EU tourists as part of her new post-Brexit immigration policy, the Prime Minister conceded the arrangements were likely to have to be “reciprocal”. The US currently charges $14 for every ‘ESTA’ waiver form – raising the prospects Brits will be forced to shell out each time they want to fly to the Costa del Sol.
EUROPEAN MEP Philippe Lamberts believes Britain can only be a global strength if it stays in the EU. The Greens co-leader said the UK should not blame Brussels for a “lack of flexibility” over its Brexit stance. Mr Lamberts was addressing MEPs as the Conservative Party conference takes place in Birmingham. He also took a swipe at British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt after he compared the EU to the Soviet Union. There were “intractable contradictions” at the heart of Britain’s Brexit stance, according to the Eurpoean Parliament MEP.
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.
Theresa May is under pressure to set out a timetable for her departure after Cabinet ministers said it was now a question of “when, not if” she stands down as Prime Minister. The Telegraph has been told discussions have begun about when Mrs May should be ousted if she refuses to leave Number 10 before the next general election. Several Cabinet ministers want her to go immediately after Brexit day in March next year, but others are prepared to give her until 2020 if she uses the next Conservative Party Conference to announce her departure date.
Theresa May has been booed by her own Tory members at the party conference as a huge backlash mounts to her plan for Brexit. Local chairman reportedly heckled their leader as she defended her ‘Chequers’ proposal at a behind-closed-doors meeting of the National Conservative Convention. Attendee John Stafford told the Daily Telegraph it was a “wave of grumbling” adding: “The party leader normally gets a standing ovation… but Mrs May just walked off and that was it.
THERESA May was humiliated at Party Conference after her own members “booed” her over her Brexit plans, as a former minister said her plans are causing “considerable harm”. The Prime Minister was booed by her own Ministers at the Conservatives Party Conference at a two-hour grassroots event, amid rumours there is a building mutiny. She was also denied a standing ovation as she left the closed meeting of the National Conservative Convention (NCC). This is the most senior body of the party’s voluntary wing and the event kicks off the conference every year.
Theresa May has revealed her irritation at Boris Johnson stealing the limelight at the Tory conference, accusing him of trying to “tear up our guarantee to the people of Northern Ireland”. The prime minister said the rousing call by the Tory faithful’s favourite for her to “chuck Chequers” – made to a packed-out hall of supporters – had made her “cross”. She also refused to discuss his future leadership prospects, insisting she was more interested in “the jobs of people out there in our country”.
THERESA May is angry at Boris Johnson and frustrated about some of the things he said during his blistering speech at a fringe event at the Conservatives Party Conference, despite saying she had not watched it. The Prime Minister has been making a round of broadcast interviews at the Birmingham Conservative Party conference. She told the BBC: “This afternoon I have been meeting activists, I’ve been talking to people about the conference and seeing a party that’s in really good heart.
Theresa May has announced she is “cross” with Boris Johnson, in what is surely the most Theresa May put-down in history. The Prime Minister was asked for comment after the Foreign Secretary seized the limelight at Tory conference with a speech insulting her Brexit plan to 1,500 activists. Mr Johnson also trashed her vision on housing, tax, business and more. But Mrs May said with classic understatement: “Well there are one or two things that Boris said that I am cross about.”
THERESA May will today make an unashamedly patriotic call for the country to pull together in the national interest and build a post-Brexit future that is “full of promise”. In her keynote speech at the Tory conference, the Prime Minister will declare that next year’s departure from the EU is a “moment of opportunity” for the UK that will lead to a brighter tomorrow. “I passionately believe that our best days lie ahead of us and that our future is full of promise,” she is expected to say.
Theresa May’s latest plan to resolve the Irish border impasse has been torpedoed by Arlene Foster after she described it as a “complete non-starter”. Mrs May hopes to resolve the issue of the Irish backstop by expanding regulatory checks good travelling across the Irish Sea, though she continues to rule out doing the same for customs. But in a move that could effectively kill-off the Prime Minister’s attempt to salvage Chequers, the Democratic Unionist Party last night warned that any attempt to implement a regulatory border in the Irish Sea could bring about the collapse of the parties’ confidence and supply agreement.
Theresa May‘s DUP allies have threatened to torpedo her Brexit plans and vowed to vote with Labour if the proposals breach their red lines. Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said his party would not tolerate a border of “any kind” down the Irish Sea, effectively ruling out potential regulatory checks at Irish Sea ports as part of a backstop agreement. Mr Dodds also indicated his party would walk through the voting lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn, despite their animosity towards the Labour leader over his perceived support for republicanism.
The DUP has demanded Theresa May comes clean about a reported plan to create a regulatory border in the Irish Sea to unlock Brexit negotiations. Speaking to Sky News, the Northern Ireland party’s leader, Arlene Foster, warned such a move would be an economic “disaster” and damage the UK’s “constitutional integrity”. She claimed that the prime minister’s silence had created a “vacuum” and called on her to publish any new plans to clear up any ambiguity.
The Democratic Unionist party has threatened to pull the plug on Theresa May’s government, warning it is not bluffing when it says it will not accept a border in the Irish Sea. Nigel Dodds, the leader of the DUP in the House of Commons, said the party would vote against May if she returned from Brussels with a deal that involved new checks on goods coming into Northern Ireland from Britain. “We will vote against it. We will vote for our red lines,” he told the Guardian.
Nigel Farage has accused the European Union of “weaponising” the issue of the Irish border to keep the UK within the EU’s regulatory framework. Speaking in the European Parliament this morning, Farage said that the “moment of truth” is approaching but than Brexiteers “are dismayed the way out Prime Minister has acted”, claiming that the EU’s negotiators had got the better of the British side and that the Irish border had been “weaponised” by Michel Barnier. Farage said the issue had “nothing to do with the peace process whatsoever” and is “all to do with making sure the United Kingdom stays within the European regulatory framework” to stop the UK leaving and “becoming competitive”.
A CABINET minister has launched an attack on Brexiteers who believe a no-deal outcome would not create any issues for the Irish border. Speaking anonymously, the minister said businesses in Northern Ireland were “spitting blood” about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. The senior Tory MP also defended Theresa May’s controversial Chequers blueprint, saying it would solve concerns around the Irish border. They told reporters at the Conservative conference in Birmingham: “A lot of the Brexiteers are saying there is no problem.
Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, has threatened to block the EU from using British facilities for “rival” satellite projects if the UK is shut out of the bloc’s Galileo enterprise. It comes after it was revealed in summer that Britain had set aside £92m for an alternative and independent satellite project as negotiations continue in Brussels over the UK’s future participation in the EU’s Galileo programme. Britain’s defence scientists have played a vital role in the development of Galileo and Mr Williamson has previously described the Commission’s approach as “deeply disappointing” after it appeared Britain could be locked out of the project.
Ministry of Defence
The Ministry of Defence is pursuing plans to sign a multimillion-pound contract for spyplanes from a US company without an open competition. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, confirmed that the UK was going ahead with talks to acquire airborne early-warning and control-system planes, known as “Awacs”, developed by Boeing and the Australian air force. The announcement, made before a meeting of Nato defence ministers tomorrow, was in defiance of calls from the Commons defence select committee for a competition for the new jets.
A former minister has described his “horror” at being handed £4.2bn to create a “paperless” NHS in England by 2020 without a plan how to do it. George Freeman’s role was digitizing the NHS – but he had not been involved in the 2016 public spending talks. And he said his civil servants were ordered to set out how they would spend the money only after it was allocated. This is how things are done in government, said Mr Freeman, and, he suggested, why they go wrong. “The deal was done between Jeremy (Hunt) and George (Osborne) – it was a good thing, a big chunk of money to digitalize the NHS,” he told a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference.
THERESA May will freeze fuel duty again in a bid to persuade Britain to stick with her as PM. She will reveal Chancellor Philip Hammond is to scrap a scheduled 2p-a-litre rise at the pumps in his October 29 Budget. The freeze, for the ninth year in a row, is a huge victory for The Sun’s long-running Keep It Down campaign — and for our readers. We have persuaded successive Chancellors to halt the annual tax raids on motorists, allowing them to keep almost £1,000 now in total since 2010. In her keynote speech to end the Tories’ annual conference in Birmingham, Mrs May will also issue a plea to angry Tory MPs to bury their bitter Brexit divisions and allow her to stay on as PM after our EU exit next March.
Fuel duty will be frozen for the ninth year in a row, Theresa May will announce in her speech closing the Conservative Party conference. With prices at the pumps spiralling in recent months, she will claim the move demonstrates to people that the government is “on their side”. The prime minister will say the difference it makes to have a “little bit of money left to put away at the end of the month” isn’t “measured in pounds and pence”. “It’s the joy and precious memories that a week’s holiday with the family brings.
Fuel duty is to be frozen for the ninth year in a row, the prime minister is to announce – saying the government is “on the side of “hard-working families”. Mrs May will tell the Conservative conference: “They are the people for whom this party must deliver.” A car is a necessity “not a luxury” for millions of people, she will add. Last month, Chancellor Philip Hammond said the policy saved drivers money, but would cost the Treasury £38bn if it continued for another three years. The Green Party has criticised previous freezes, saying the extra money could be spent on public transport, walking, and cycling.
Tictims of forced marriage will be able to block their abusers from entering Britain in an overhaul of immigration rules after a Times investigation. Women and girls who are coerced into marriage by their families will be allowed to give evidence in secret so they can object to their foreign spouses’ visas without fear of repercussions. The changes, announced yesterday by Sajid Javid, the home secretary, come two months after this newspaper revealed that the Home Office was issuing visas to known abusers in forced marriage cases.
Tolls on the two Severn bridges that link England and Wales are to be scrapped before Christmas, the UK government has announced. From 17 December there will be no charges for cars and lorries driven between the south-west of England and Monmouthshire. The move has delighted many commuters and business owners on both sides of the bridges and is expected to cause house prices to rise in some areas. But there has also been concern that it will cause greater congestion, particularly around Bristol and Newport.