David Davis plans to retire in 2019 and leave Boris Johnson to steer the UK through the transitional period, The Telegraph can reveal. The Brexit secretary told friends that Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, “needs this to work more than I do” because he plans to step aside in June 2019 whereas Mr Barnier will still be in post. Mr Davis believes Brexit will be his “last big job”, friends told this newspaper. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson told Conservative activists that Brussels believes Britain will “bottle it” over Brexit. The Foreign Secretary told a fringe meeting at the party conference that some EU leaders believe Britain will lose its nerve during the Brexit negotiations and try to cancel Article 50.
Brexit Secretary David Davis is planning to quit his role in the Cabinet in 2019 as rumours of Cabinet disharmony continue to overshadow the Conservative Party conference. Mr Davis intends to ‘retire’ in 2019 and leave the transitional period of Britain’s exit from the European Union in the hands of Boris Johnson, who will take to the stage at the party conference on Tuesday. The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier needs a Brexit deal to be sorted ‘more’ than Mr Davis, the Brexit Secretary reportedly claimed, as he plans to step aside in June 2019 while Barnier will still be in his post, The Telegraph and The Sun report. Mr Davis believes Brexit will be his ‘last big job’, and plans to ‘retire’ in 2019 and will leave transition to ‘someone else… Boris Johnson’.
DAVID Davis risked fresh Cabinet turmoil after sharing plans to quit his position in 17 months’ time and hand the Brexit torch to Boris Johnson, The Sun can reveal. The Brexit Secretary has told friends it is vital for EU negotiator Michel Barnier to get a good divorce with Britain as the Frenchman has hatched plans to be the next EU President whereas “I’m retiring after this, he’s not.” It is widely believed in Brussels that Mr Barnier will have a tilt at becoming the next EU Commission chief should the ambitious politician hammer out a decent settlement with Britain. Despite Theresa May’s plans for a two year transition after exit day on 30 March 2019, Mr Davis has signalled he has no wish to stay in office to see the phase through, saying: “someone else can do that, Boris can do that.” His threat to throw in the towel before Britain has fully departed the EU will add further fuel to already bitter Tory conference rows – and infuriate anti-BoJo leadership rivals.
DAVID Davis has hinted he may retire after Brexit negotiations are finished and put his name forward for Prime Minister, according to sources. Mr Davis told his friends that he plans to “retire” in 2019 when the UK officially leaves the EU. This move could potentially cause a cabinet reshuffle and a leadership challenge. According to claims in the i newspaper, Mr David has told his allies to remain loyal to the Prime Minister but friends said he could put his name down for Prime Minister. One said: “There is absolutely no doubt that David would go for it. He wants the job.” According to The Telegraph, Mr Davis said: “Barnier needs this to work much more than I do… I’m retiring after this, he’s not!” When asked if it would be in June 2019 he said “yes”, before claiming that Boris Johnson can deal with the transitional period.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has said there is “flexibility” around the issue of a Brexit transition period, implying the UK could remain tied to European Union (EU) institution for longer than two years. Mr. Hammond has previously called for a transition “of between three and four years,” claiming the delay is needed to protect businesses. His detractors, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, have said the UK needs to strike up free trade deals with non-EU nations as soon as possible, and keeping the UK tied to Customs Union rules will be harmful. Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today program, he said: “The Prime Minister set out an agenda in Florence pointing the European Union to a way forward in the negotiations and making clear that the UK will seek a time-limited interim period of around two years which ensures business there won’t be the cliff-edge.
Pro-Brexit Tory MP Peter Bone has hit out at the so-called ‘transition period’, insisting that those who want the 2 year period are trying to keep the UK inside the EU and that it is “far, far too long”. Speaking to the BBC, Bone said: “I mean really, if we were to go longer than two years I think there’d be total uproar. “Two years is far, far too long, it’s not necessary and I think the only people who really think it should go two years are those people who are trying to keep us in the EU by kicking this thing into the long grass.” Are you listening Theresa May?
BRITAIN will be able to secure great new deals for British farmers and fisherman after Brexit on OUR terms, Michael Gove has vowed. The Brexit-backing Environment Secretary promised that we “outside the EU we can do so much better” and he would make sure we enhance our environment as we leave. He vowed to secure a “Green Brexit” which would take back control of our waters and our agriculture. Speaking at the Tory party conference in Manchester, he told members: “we will want to secure an ambitious free trade deal with the EU – alongside other new trade deals – so our great farmers can sell more of their wonderful produce.” And on fishing, he said that the “great prize” when we quit in March 2019 would be being able to “take back control of our territorial waters”. “We’ll let in others only on our terms,” he said.
The government white paper on post-Brexit immigration policy, a draft of which was leaked to the Guardian in August, will not now be published until “late autumn”, the immigration minister, Brandon Lewis, has told a Conservative fringe meeting. Lewis confirmed that the final version will include a commitment that freedom of movement for EU migrants will end in March 2019 – on Brexit day – but revealed that the key details of the new immigration policy, one of the most controversial areas of cabinet splits, will not emerge until next autumn, just months before Britain leaves the EU. “We will be publishing a white paper later this autumn … There will be an immigration bill in the new year setting out the framework,” said Lewis.
Former Brexit Minister David Jones has said that unless the EU talks about a future relationship the government must make it clear it will terminate negotiations. He made the comments at a Leave Means Leave fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, during which Jacob Rees-Mogg also said he was very suspicious of the Treasury and Home Office. He feels there’s a deliberate push to delay Brexit from those institutions. It comes after Theresa May made a grovelling speech in Florence in which she agreed to a transitional period that could see Britain tied to the EU for several more years. Donald Tusk then stood on the steps of Downing Street just a few days later and said sufficient progress had still not been made. Jones is right, but perhaps that time has already come and Britain should just walk away now.
JACOB Rees Mogg has attacked the BBC for its anti-Brexit bias saying since the EU referendum “it has been absolutely appalling”. The eccentric backbencher hit out at what he said twas their attempt to claim every positive story since the vote was “in spite of Brexit”. Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference he warned the Beeb they risked losing viewers to other channels if it carries on the same way. Mr Rees Mogg launched into the rant after an audience member asked about how to counter the “bias” against Brexit in the media – singling out the BBC for criticism. The hugely popular Tory said the BBC was “was very good during the referendum and did its best to be impartial”. But added: “But after the referendum it has been absolutely appalling.”
BRITAIN’S establishment is seeking to draw out the Brexit process for as long as possible so that it can chip away at and ultimately reverse the referendum result, a British MEP said today. Ukip’s Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten told express.co.uk he “would not be surprised if there are backchannels” between officials in London and Brussels over how to delay the UK leaving, but stressed he could not prove it. During an interview in Brussels the veteran eurosceptic described PM Theresa May as a “career politician” and said he was not convinced she truly believed in her own Brexit plan. And he predicted that politicians will seek to draw out the divorce negotiations until 2022 in the hope that another General Election will provide Parliament with the legitimacy to halt them altogether.
The UK’s approach to Brexit negotiations will come in for criticism in the European Parliament later. MEPs will vote on a motion saying the UK’s approach to financial issues has “seriously impeded” progress. It also says a decision on whether to move negotiations on to their next phase should be delayed unless there is a “big breakthrough”. The UK said the motion was drafted before the most recent round of negotiations. The Department for Exiting the EU said that since then “the dynamic of the negotiations has shifted and we have instilled real momentum into the talks”. The European Parliament, home to 751 MEPs from across the EU, has no formal role in the Brexit negotiations – but will get to approve any final deal agreed between the UK and Brussels. Tuesday’s vote in Strasbourg is not binding, but does represent a chance to “take the political temperature”, BBC Brussels reporter Adam Fleming said.
The EU is to blame for the deaths of fish, birds, the honey bee, “small mammals” and even weekly bin collections, Michael Gove has claimed. The anti-Brussels Environment Secretary tore into the EU’s record on green issues as he insisted withdrawal would allow Britain to “secure a special prize – a Green Brexit”. Mr Gove said Brexit would mean leaving behind EU fisheries policy (“economically and environmentally disastrous”) and agricultural policy (“environmentally damaging and socially unjust”). And he told the conference: “It’s damaged natural habitats, hit biodiversity and harmed wildlife. “The number of farmland birds has reduced by more than half, pollinators such as wild and honey bees have suffered a drastic decline in numbers, and our rivers and chalk streams have seen fish stocks decline and small mammals disappear.”
Brussels threw its weight behind Spain in the Catalonia crisis yesterday and refused to condemn police for alleged brutality when they tried to stop Sunday’s independence referendum. The EU said the fall-out from the contentious poll was an ‘internal matter’. Its refusal to intervene came after a day of violence in the wealthy region where almost 900 voters and protesters were injured. One woman said her fingers were deliberately broken by national police officers who stormed polling stations. Video footage showed elderly independence supporters being hit in the face and women dragged by the hair as riot police enforced a Madrid decree to halt the vote. But officials yesterday said that more than two million people cast a vote, with 90 per cent backing independence.
BRUSSELS today refused to condemn the actions of Spanish police in Catalonia after clashes between riot clad officers and unarmed voters left more than 800 people injured, some seriously. The EU Commission faced a barrage of angry questions as it attempted to sidestep the issue of violence by Madrid-backed authorities in suppressing yesterday’s referendum. Its chief spokesman repeatedly refused to be drawn on whether or not EU officials felt the actions of Spanish police were disproportionate, saying he would “not engage in this sort of judgement”. Maragritis Schinas also declined to comment on calls for infringement proceedings being taken against Madrid and tried to distinguish the Catalan case from abuses of Rule of Law in Poland and Hungary.
TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he feels his country no longer needs European Union membership after relations between Ankara and Brussels broke down. Turkey has been in talks with the European Union for 12 years, debating whether the country can become a member of the bloc. Both parties agreed a deal in 2015 that would see Ankara take back failed asylum seekers in exchange for millions in cash. The deal was seen as a step closer to Turkey’s EU membership, however relations soured after Brussels condemned the country’s human rights laws following Ankara’s reaction to a failed coup. And Erdogan told his parliament on Sunday: “We don’t need EU membership anymore.”
Sir Michael Fallon is being challenged to fight for money for defence or risk a further erosion in the armed forces. In an intervention timed to coincide with the defence secretary’s speech at the Conservative Party conference, General Sir Richard Barrons, who retired last year after serving as commander of Joint Forces Command, urged the government in an open letter to Theresa May to be “bold”. “The security environment for the UK is becoming more complex and uncertain,” he writes, according to a copy of the letter seen by The Times. “Some states with whom we are on difficult terms now have the military capability to seriously threaten the UK homeland and our vital interests.
Theresa May must reverse the ‘hollowing out’ of the Armed Forces, a former top general has warned. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Sir Richard Barrons said enemy states now had the capability to seriously threaten the UK. He called for urgent action to ‘restore our warfighting edge’ and said spending on research and development was ‘woefully insufficient’. ‘Our world is changing rapidly and the security environment for the UK is becoming more complex and uncertain,’ wrote the former head of Joint Forces Command. ‘Some states with whom we are on difficult terms now have the military capability to seriously threaten the UK homeland and our vital interests.
SIR Michael Fallon will today announce a £1billion boost for the Navy to ensure Britain’s warships are ready for the country’s post-Brexit global trading future. The Defence Secretary will tell the Conservative Conference in Manchester the cash will be invested in a series of maintenance contracts to ensure vessels including the two new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and Type 26 and 31 frigates spend more time at sea. Ministers are seeking to increase the availability of warships to protect trade routes after the UK quits the EU and increases commerce with new trading partners around the world. Speaking last night ahead of his conference speech today, Sir Michael said: “This new deal will support the Royal Navy as we prepare to welcome two huge new aircraft carriers, two new classes of frigates and new support ships.
Up to 8,000 deaths a year may be being caused by “deadly” levels of NHS bed blocking, the first study into the matter has found. Researchers examined the biggest surge in deaths for 50 years, which was seen in 2014/15, with almost 40,000 more casualties than normal. The study linked the higher mortality rates with soaring levels of bed blocking – which has risen by 50 per cent since 2014 for acute patients. The team from the universities of Liverpool, Oxford, Glasgow and York found increased delays for patients in 2015 was associated with up to a fifth of the increase in mortality levels – amounting to almost 8,000 deaths a year. For each additional acute patient delayed being discharged, over previous levels, they found an increase of around seven deaths.
Up to 8,000 people die every year because of bed-blocking on NHS wards, experts claim. The toll is the result of so-called delayed discharges, in which there are no beds for those who need surgery because patients who have been treated and are medically fit to go home cannot leave hospital. This leads to the cancellation of operations, which may not be rescheduled for weeks. Research by experts at the universities of Oxford, Liverpool, York and Glasgow suggests this may lead to thousands of deaths. Using NHS figures from August 2010 to March 2016, the team found that when delayed discharges rose sharply between 2014 and 2015 the number of deaths in the wider population soared as well. They believe this may be because sick patients – particularly the vulnerable and elderly – were unable to get access to medical care because beds were taken up by patients who had not been discharged.
THOUSANDS more nurses will be trained in an unprecedented boost to help the NHS cope with Britain’s growing older population and reduce the need for overseas staff, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced. Existing NHS staff will also be offered more flexible hours and the chance to purchase affordable homes as part of efforts to stop them leaving, under plans spelt out at the Conservative conference. Mr Hunt, who will address the Manchester gathering today, said: “The NHS will be looking after a million more over 75’s in just a decade, so we need to jump-start nurse training.
Five thousand extra trainee nurses have been promised by ministers for next year, as they conceded that a “jump-start” was needed after controversial changes led to a fall in new nursing students. Today Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, will pledge that the biggest expansion of nurse training in NHS history will boost numbers by a quarter amid mounting concern among health chiefs that years of poor planning mean staff shortages are putting patients at risk. Mr Hunt also wants to open an “apprenticeship-style” route for healthcare assistants or hospital porters to become nurses through a four-year on-the-job training course. Hospitals are struggling to find nurses after a 50 per cent rise in staff leaving the profession.
The Health Secretary will today announce a record increase in training places for homegrown nurses as the Tories battle to patch up shortfalls in the NHS. Jeremy Hunt will tell the conference he wants a 25 per cent increase in the number of degree training places – equivalent to 5,000 extra. But, controversially, Mr Hunt will also announce an extra 5,500 ‘nursing associates’ every year from 2019. These untrained staff – branded cut-price nurses – will be given the power to deliver life-saving drugs in hospital. A new apprenticeship scheme will enable them to become fully qualified registered nurses after two years of learning on the job. Critics fear the nursing associates will be used by hospitals to replace qualified nurses – who have spent at least three years at university and usually have several years of experience on wards – compromising patient safety.
A flu jab which protects against all of the most deadly strains is being trialled on the NHS for the first time. British scientists hope it will be far more effective than the existing vaccines which only prevent a few types of flu virus. Currently, flu jabs are manufactured every Spring based on which strains of the virus are likely to be the most common that following winter. But the viruses tend to mutate in the eight month time lag between the vaccines being produced in March and the flu season beginning in November. This means they often provide little protection – particularly for the elderly who are more susceptible to aggressive flu strains.
Adolescent boys who think they are girls are having their sperm frozen by the NHS before they undergo gender reassignment treatment so they can father children after they change sex. Run that by me again. There goes another paragraph I never thought I’d write. Hang on, though, there’s more. The health service is also storing the eggs of teenage girls who are taking male hormones so they can give birth after they become men. These ‘services’ are being offered to boys as young as 12 and girls aged 16 and over. Leave aside for a moment perfectly legitimate arguments about whether sex-change procedures should even be available to children whose bodies haven’t yet fully developed. This is madness.
Las Vegas massacre
A “lone wolf” gunman carried out America’s deadliest mass shooting in a meticulously planned attack after waiting for three days in a hotel suite before striking at a festival crowd of 22,000. Stephen Paddock, 64, killed at least 59 people and injured a further 527 when he fired on concert-goers from the vantage point of a 32nd-floor hotel room in Las Vegas. Armed with as many as 23 weapons, including semi-automatic rifles, Paddock opened fire at 10.08pm on Sunday (5.08am UK time) in a shooting spree that lasted between five and 10 minutes. As police prepared to storm his hotel room, Paddock committed suicide by turning one of the guns on himself.
A 64-year-old retired accountant with no criminal record became America’s deadliest gunman yesterday after killing at least 59 people with several machineguns fired into a music festival crowd in Las Vegas. In his hotel room high above the Las Vegas Strip, Stephen Paddock prepared 23 weapons. Shortly after 10pm on Sunday, he smashed a window and fired on country music fans at an open-air concert on the other side of the street. Many of the 22,000 people attending the Route 91 Harvest festival did not realise at first that they were under attack as shots rained down from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. Some thought that the noise was from fireworks.
ONE of the world’s leading astronomers has stunned the world by claiming science is on the cusp of confirming alien life. It has been a significant year in scientific discovery as the search for extraterrestrial life rumbles on. But amid claims the prophesied planet Nibiru is “very close” to making an appearance, scientists could be on the cusp of a significant breakthrough. That’s according to Dr Seth Shostak, a senior expert at the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI). Shostak even vowed to “bet everyone a cup of coffee” that an update looms. “We will find intelligent lie within 20 years,” he told Futurism.