Telegraph (by Boris Johnson)
As we come now to the final months of the Brexit negotiations we are arriving, at last, at the moment of truth. It is not just that we must decide what kind of relationship we want with the EU. We must decide who we are – whether we really believe in the importance of our democratic institutions. We must decide whether we have the guts to fulfil the instruction of the people – to leave the EU and truly take back control of our laws and our lives.
Boris Johnson has urged Theresa May to give up her Brexit proposals and follow his plan instead, heaping pressure on the prime minister as she prepares to face her divided party at the annual Tory conference. The former foreign secretary described the prime minister’s plan as “a moral and intellectual humiliation for this country” that would “cheat the electorate” if it was implemented. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson accused the government and civil service of a “pretty invertebrate performance” in negotiations and said there had been “a collapse of will by the British establishment to deliver on the mandate of the people”.
Boris Johnson has urged the prime minister to abandon her Chequers plan and “change the course of the negotiation” on Brexit, in a 4,000-word intervention aiming to recapture the narrative before the Conservative party conference. The piece sought to put to bed criticisms that Brexiters such as Johnson who oppose Theresa May’s plans for a common UK-EU rulebook on goods have no alternative of their own. “The single greatest failing has been the government’s appalling and inexplicable delay in setting out a vision for what Brexit is,” he said.
Boris Johnson has set out his own plan for Brexit, arguing that the UK should “chuck Chequers” and negotiate a “Super Canada” free trade deal instead. The ex-foreign sectary, who quit over Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan, called her strategy “a moral and intellectual humiliation”. He said his vision would not lead to a hard Irish border, with any checks carried out away from the crossing. The PM says her plan is the only one which will avoid carving up the UK.
BORIS JOHNSON is demanding Theresa May prove she has the “guts” for Brexit – by ripping up her Chequers plan and negotiating a new trade deal with the EU. In a staggering eve of party conference blast, the ex-Foreign Secretary said the current backstop arrangement over Ireland should be axed. And he calls on No.10 to pursue a “SuperCanada” free trade deal with Brussels to “fulfil the instruction” of the Brexit vote in the 2016 Referendum. He admits there will be certain “hostility” from Labour and Tory backbenchers to the idea of a trade deal that puts Britain outside the single market and customs union.
Boris Johnson has launched a blistering attack on Theresa May’s Chequers plan, calling it “a moral and intellectual humiliation for this country” that will “cheat the electorate” if implemented. In an explosive article published ahead of the Conservative Party conference the former foreign secretary urged the prime minister to “chuck Chequers” and adopt a “Super Canada” style proposal instead. In a column for the Telegraph entitled “A better plan for Brexit”, Mr Johnson says: “Overall, the Chequers proposals represent the intellectual error of believing that we can be half-in, half-out: that it is somehow safer and easier for large parts of our national life to remain governed by the EU even though we are no longer in the EU.
Boris Johnson dealt another savage blow to Theresa May last night with an incendiary intervention on the eve of her party conference. The former foreign secretary condemned her Chequers plan as a ‘democratic disaster’ and questioned her judgment. In a 4,500-word ‘Brexit Manifesto’ he claimed the Chequers proposals, over which he resigned in July, would ‘cheat the electorate’ – and branded them a ‘moral and intellectual humiliation’. He urged Mrs May to change course and pursue a Canada-style free trade deal – which she has already said would be ‘worse than no deal’.
Boris Johnson called again for Theresa May to abandon her Chequers proposals in favour of what he termed a “SuperCanada” trade deal in a front-page article days before the Conservative Party conference. The former foreign secretary described the prime minister’s plan as a “moral and intellectual humiliation” that would “cheat the electorate” in a lengthy essay in The Daily Telegraph, the newspaper that employs him as a columnist. He repeated his argument that the issue of the Irish border could be resolved by technology and criticised the “invertebrate” British negotiators led by Olly Robbins.
THE EU has vowed they will cut a Brexit deal with Britain as they promise to “keep calm and keep negotiating”. Margaritis Schinas, chief spokesman for the European Commission, said the focus of the talks was still on getting an agreement hammered out. This is despite heavy criticism of the Theresa May’s Chequers proposals by EU leaders in Salzburg last week. It led to ambassadors in Brussels circulating a document urging the remaining countries to up their contingency planning amid fears the UK will crash out without anything in place.
Emmanuel Macron has said he would welcome Britain staying in the EU if voters changed their minds about Brexit. The French president said Britain “for sure” could change its mind about leaving even at this late stage. The comments, made in an interview with the Bloomberg news agency, are significant because Mr Macron has taken perhaps the hardest line against the UK in Brexit negotiations. Reports suggest it was Mr Macron who convinced leaders last week at a summit in Salzburg to emphatically junk Theresa May’s Chequers plan and call for clarity on trade before the end of talks, with others suggesting a softer approach.
EMMANUEL Macron took aim at Britain today as he claimed the UK failed to grasp the complexity of Brexit before he then backed calls for a second EU referendum. The French President insisted Britain should “for sure” be allowed to reverse the Brexit decision before claiming the Leave campaign spread “lies” to win voters over in the June 2016 ballot that saw 52 percent of the nation vote Britain out of Brussels. Mr Macron’s cutting remarks will no doubt heap fresh pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May as she scrambles to compromise with EU leaders and pave the way for the UK’s departure, scheduled for March.
Brexiters have been left “flabbergasted” by the EU’s refusal to back down in divorce talks because the UK has never understood that the single market is seen as vital to the political, as well as economic, stability of the continent, according to the European commission’s vice-president. Frans Timmermans also expressed the hope that the UK might yet change its mind on Brexit now it “has seen the facts”. There had been no intention to humiliate Theresa May at the recent Salzburg summit, he said.
Nationalism is on the rise across Europe, the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has said. He told Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur: “We are experiencing a post-modern 1930s moment. The liberal establishment has made a mess of it. “They have been insisting on policies that are failing left, right and centre and they are crumbling like the Weimar Republic, thankfully not with the brown shirts on the street yet.” Fascists and extreme nationalists did not need to win government to change the complexion of Europe, Mr Varoufakis said, they only needed to do “reasonably well” to push the political spectrum in an anti-liberal direction.
European Commissioner for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos has pledged to the United Nations that the European Union is working to “enhance legal pathways” to mass migration, with the Hungarian government condemning the commissioner for calling on member states to accept resettled migrants. Commissioner Avramopoulos told the United Nations General Assembly on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration Wednesday that the European Union (EU) is developing immigration systems to comply with UN’s proposed controversial Global Compact for Migration.
Northern Ireland faces blackouts and drastic electricity price rises in the event of a no-deal Brexit, leaked government documents reveal. The country would likely be cut off from electricity supplies from the Republic of Ireland and unable to use its sole electricity link to the UK mainland, according to an internal briefing. Officials have been warning for months that Northern Ireland’s electricity market could collapse, triggering “unprecedented consequences” and forcing authorities to prepare to take energy infrastructure into public ownership to keep the lights on.
A no-deal Brexit could result in electricity blackouts across Northern Ireland, government officials have warned. Officials are preparing a ‘no deal’ notice about the impacts on the all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM). They have suggested there are risks of price increases and supply shortages. Most experts have considered the SEM to be a relatively unproblematic part of Brexit. The reason is that it is a UK-Ireland bilateral arrangement, rather than an EU arrangement.
A SHOCK poll of business leaders has destroyed Protect Fear warnings of a ‘Brexodus’ – a huge relocation of thousands of finance sector jobs. With just six months remaining before Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU, the expected mass relocation of jobs from the UK to other countries has failed to happen. Reuters polled 134 of the largest finance and investment firms operating in the UK, who said they had only relocated 630 jobs have been shifted so far.
Jeremy Corbyn has sparked fresh fears in Brussels of a no-deal Brexit after saying during talks with senior EU Brexit officials that he will vote down anything that fails to deliver the same benefits as membership of the single market and customs union. The Labour leader spent two hours with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, and Martin Selmayr, the most senior official in charge of planning for a cliff-edge Brexit. Emerging from the European commission headquarters, Corbyn said Barnier “was interested to know what our views are in the six tests”, referring to the criteria Labour has said must be met to ensure its MPs back a deal.
The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he had told the EU’s Brexit chief Michel Barnier in talks on Thursday that Britain’s withdrawal must not disrupt trade across the Ireland-Northern Ireland border. Corbyn, who has previously met Barnier and once brought him an Arsenal football shirt as a gift, stressed that he was not negotiating with him on his visit to Brussels but laying out Labour’s views on the dangers of a no-deal Brexit.
JEREMY Corbyn was late for his shock meeting with the EU today because he did not have enough euros to pay for his taxi. The Labour leader was left waiting outside EU headquarters as his staff dug deep into their pockets to pay for the cab ride for him. Mr Corbyn had been summoned to Brussels by the EU and arrived to tell chief negotiator Mr Barnier that Britain cannot quit the EU without a trade deal. But before he had the chance to meet the Eurocrat, Mr Corbyn first had to convince his taxi driver to drive closer to the building’s drop-off point after he refused upon learning the veteran left-winger had no cash.
Theresa May was under pressure to counter Jeremy Corbyn’s populist message last night after Tory MPs warned that his policies would “resonate with millions of people”. Labour’s conference unsettled Conservatives, who urged the prime minister to mount a convincing response. Mrs May was pulled in opposing directions, however, as her MPs and ministers pressed varying policies to counter the socialist agenda presented at the Labour conference this week. Champions of so-called “blue-collar Conservatives”, such as Robert Halfon, said that Labour’s attacks on “shoddy” utility firms and overpaid bosses resonated with millions of voters.
THERESA May’s critics were warned by a senior Cabinet minister yesterday not to underestimate the “steel at her heart”. Jeremy Hunt’s stark message to doubters both at home and in the European Union came as the Prime Minister prepares for what is expected to be a fractious party conference starting on Sunday in Birmingham. Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt – a potential contender in any future leadership contest – urged Europe to understand that working with Britain had brought peace and prosperity to the bloc, which would be endangered by a “huge, messy, ugly, horrible divorce” over Brexit.
Police are investigating after a video of far-right activist Tommy Robinson apparently filmed inside the Old Bailey was posted on Twitter. The former English Defence League (EDL) leader, 35, was freed from prison last month after three leading judges quashed a contempt of court finding made at Leeds Crown Court. But he could be sent back to jail if he is again found in contempt for filming people in a criminal trial in Leeds and broadcasting the footage on social media.
EDL founder Tommy Robinson has said he doesn’t care if he incites fear of Muslims as long as his message “prevents children from getting raped”. The far-right activist discussed being convicted of contempt of court last year after he recorded suspects in a sexual grooming case in Canterbury, Kent. He admitted that he wasn’t aware of contempt of court laws and insisted he only wanted parents in the area to know what the men were accused of doing.
The heads of Britain’s leading independent schools have urged universities to stop making unconditional offers to pupils amid mounting evidence that they are damaging performance in A levels. They say that too many pupils are “taking their foot off the gas” when they learn that they do not need to pass their A levels, or even finish their course, to get into university. They are then lumbered with poor grades for the rest of their careers. The call comes from Mike Buchanan, new executive director of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), the umbrella group for 285 private schools that includes Eton, Marlborough and Westminster.
Graduates with lower second class degrees will be offered lucrative bursaries to start training as arts and humanities teachers. Ministers are trying to lure more people into the classroom to boost declining recruitment in some subjects. Thousands of teachers are also leaving the profession each year. From next autumn financial incentives for graduates starting initial teacher training in music, history, religious education and design & technology will for the first time include those with a 2:2.
More than 2.5 million patients are at risk of losing their family doctor as GPs retire early, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners. Hundreds of surgeries are likely to close because three quarters of their GPs are close to retirement and not enough younger doctors are coming through to replace them, the college calculates. Falling numbers threaten a collapse of the family doctor system, senior doctors said as they lobby for a bigger share of a promised boost to the NHS budget to go to local surgeries.
Traditional GP surgeries are facing an unprecedented threat from the rise of firms providing online appointments on smartphones, a doctors’ leader warns today. The private companies offering these consultations are ‘luring’ away both medical staff and patients, warns the head of the Royal College of Gps. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard says doctors are quitting already understaffed surgeries to work from home for much higher salaries. She said of the online firms: ‘They can afford to pay above the market rates, they’re looking after their staff really well and so [doctors] are saying… I’m going to resign from my already hard-pressed general practice to go and work for them.’
A CATASTROPHIC signal failure that caused chaos on one of Britain’s biggest train lines was caused by a STRIMMER. The Sun can reveal an engineer cut a cable when “carrying out safety critical clearance of trackside brambles” near Wembley yesterday. When challenged why it was “safety critical”, a Network Rail spokesman said the brambles were growing up the side of an electrical cabinet. The signal failure near Wembley caused huge delays on the line into London Euston – and jams across the north of the country.
RYANAIR cabin crew are holding their “biggest ever strikes” tomorrow as workers from five countries unite in massive industrial action. The airline has been forced to cancel more than 150 flights as a result, with up to 30,000 passengers affected by what’s been described as “the biggest strike” in its history. Crew in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy and Germany are staging a mass walkout over working conditions, base transfers and annual leave. Unions warn that the strike will be “the biggest strike ever seen by Ryanair” following earlier walkouts in July and August.
Supermarket giant Tesco is to start paying its customers to bring their plastic bottles back to the store – but its only a trial run. The retailer, which is Britain’s largest, is stepping up efforts to encourage shoppers to recycle plastic bottles. In aid of this it will be trialing in-store recycling machines which pay customers for every bottle returned – with the first store to participate giving people 10p per bottle. It won’t make you a millionaire though, as you can only recycle ten bottles per day. The trial started at Borehamwood in the north of London today and customers will be paid 10p per bottle there – but payment may vary at other participating stores.
Public health officials are calling for a halt to the spread of monthly bin collections. Trials of four-weekly pick-ups for non-recycled waste have led to more vermin and infestation, they warn, and families are burning waste because they cannot get rid of it. The intervention comes after a decision by Conwy council in Wales to bring in permanent monthly bin collections. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health warns that cost savings from delaying collections are small and likely to trigger extra spending to deal with the resulting pollution.