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Brexit

Telegraph
Theresa May has cut short her Cabinet ministers’ Christmas break, summoning them to a meeting to discuss planning for a no deal Brexit. Senior ministers will meet on January 2, five days before the rest of Parliament returns from their Christmas recess. The Prime Minister pulled the vote on her Brexit deal two weeks ago, postponing it to mid-January instead. She has been putting pressure on MPs to back her plan, in part through ramping up the threat of no deal. Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, will lead the Cabinet meeting, which will take place a week before Parliament returns from recess, according to the Financial Times.

Sun
THERESA May has cut short the Cabinet’s Christmas break in order to begin No Deal Brexit preparations, it was reported. The cabinet will now meet on January 2, five days before the rest of Parliament comes back from the festive recess. The PM dramatically abandoned the Meaningful Vote on her Brexit deal scheduled for December 11, after MPs had already debated it for three days. She is expected to return to the House of Commons on January 14 for a second attempt to win support for the proposals. In the meantime, concern is mounting among colleagues about the prospect of a No Deal Brexitn and the cabinet will now meet on the first working day after the holiday, the Financial Times reported.

Mail
The Prime Minister’s team is ‘confident’ it can win the Brexit vote in January even if  they have to hold it twice, it has been revealed. Rebel MPs are also said to have come under fire for undermining  Theresa May and the tone from Eurosceptics is softening giving hope for a deal being done.   However some MPs are proving more difficult to get on board and a source said convincing Jacob Rees Mogg is still a ‘work in progress,’ reports the Sun. The source added: ‘It’s now very much our expectation that we can win this vote, if not the first time then the second time around.’ It was also revealed today that Cabinet Ministers have been summoned to an emergency meeting on January 2, meaning their Christmas break will be cut short.

Sun
THERESA May’s top team are now privately confident that they can win the Brexit vote when it comes back to MPs in January, it’s been revealed. Government sources think they can win the crunch when it comes back to the Commons in January – even if they have to hold it TWICE. They could bring it back within days if May’s deal is voted down in the second week of January. One source said: “It’s now very much our expectation that we can win this vote, if not the first time then the second time around.” Rebels are coming under fire from their local party associations to stop undermining the PM.

Express
WETHERSPOONS founder Tim Martin has called on prominent Remainers, including the likes of Bank of England boss Mark Carney and Chancellor Philip Hammond, to “stop running the country down” with claims of “economic direness” under a no-deal Brexit. The Brexiteer businessman told Remainers against keeping the UK closely linked to Brussels after it leaves the European Union, using the “disaster” euro as the reason why. Brexit-backing Mr Martin told Express.co.uk: “The Remainers of the time and the very pro-EU people wanted us to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) – the predecessor of the euro. It was a disaster. They then wanted us to join the euro and they said if we didn’t, the country would go down the hill.

EU

Express
THE EU has been delivered a blow after the third-largest group in the European Parliament joined forces with a French eurosceptic party to help cement its influence after the Brussels elections. Ahead of May’s European Parliament vote, which decides the MEPs for the next five years, new alliances are being formed among Eurosceptics in Brussels. The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), announced an alliance with the French Eurosceptic Debout la France (DF) party ahead of next year’s EU election. They will fill the gap left by Brexiteer MEPs. The eurosceptic alliance is likely to send shockwaves across the continent.

Express
GIBRALTAR’S leader Fabian Picardo has slammed the proposal for joint rule between Spain and the UK as “unrealistic”. Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez has said Madrid will revive its bid for shared sovereignty over Gibraltar once the UK has left the European Union. Mr Sanchez has claimed that Spain’s position over Gibraltar, which has been a British territory since 1713, was stronger after Brexit. Speaking to the Parliament of Gibraltar, Mr Picardo said it was important to send a “clear message to anyone in Spain who thinks there is the possibility of any proposal for sovereignty to prosper.” Speaking defiantly, Mr Picardo said: “Gibraltar will not yield. We will not bend. We will not get tired”.

NHS

Mail
A drug commonly given out by the NHS to breast-cancer patients may affect their brain function and memory, research suggests. Letrozole is primarily used to treat breast cancer and was prescribed 755,866 times last year in the UK, NHS Digital statistics show.  Although Cancer Research UK states up to 30 per cent of patients experience side effects like hot flushes and fatigue, new research suggests the medication’s complications may be far more serious.  When given to monkeys, the drug reduced the function of their brain cells in a region known as the hippocampus, and worsened their performance on memory tests, after just four weeks.

Mail
They’re not most people’s favourite part of Christmas dinner but Brussels sprouts have provided the inspiration for an anti-Alzheimer’s drug. Scientists have developed a medication with ‘very good potential’ for stopping the breakdown of nerves and brain cells that may lead to the disease. The drug is made up of ‘supercharged’ vitamin A, which is found in vegetables like sprouts and carrots. When broken down by the body, vitamin A turns into a chemical called retinoic acid, which is crucial for the development of the nervous system. After a two-year £250,000 project to develop vitamin A synthetically, experts hope they are one step closer to treating Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.

Drones

BBC News
Detection systems are now able to be deployed throughout the UK to combat the threat of drones, ministers say. It follows three days of disruption at Gatwick airport last week, when drones were sighted near the runway. Security minister Ben Wallace said those who use drones “either recklessly or for criminal purposes” could expect “the most severe sentence”. It comes after the couple arrested and released without charge over the chaos at Gatwick said they felt “violated”. About 1,000 flights were affected during 36 hours of chaos at Gatwick airport last week. The airport has spent £5m since Wednesday on new equipment and technology to prevent copycat attacks.

ITV News
The couple quizzed by police over the travel chaos at Gatwick Airport have said they feel “completely violated” as ministers warned those responsible would be brought to justice. Around 1,000 flights affecting some 140,000 passengers were cancelled or diverted across three days after drones were spotted inside the perimeter of the UK’s second biggest airport on Wednesday. Paul Gait and Elaine Kirk, who were arrested and released without charge after two nights in custody when police said they were no longer suspects, said they felt “completely violated” and were left “deeply distressed”.

Tsunami

Telegraph
Rescuers searched for more survivors and victims on debris-strewn beaches on Monday as Indonesia reeled from the second deadly tsunami to hit it this year. The waves that swept terrified people into the sea on Saturday night along the Sunda Strait followed an eruption and possible landslide on Anak Krakatau, whose name means “Child of Krakatoa and is one of the world’s most infamous volcanic islands. Scientists said on Monday that a large chunk of the southern flank of the volcanic island may have slipped into the ocean just minutes before the tsunami hit. Such a scenario could strike anytime without any warning.  The death toll has risen to 373, with more than 1,000 people injured along the coastlines of western Java and southern Sumatra islands, the national disaster agency said on Monday. “The number of victims and damage will continue to rise,” said agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

Sun
TSUNAMI victims living near the Anak Krakatau volcano have been told to stay away from beaches amid fears it could trigger a new tsunami. On Saturday huge waves crashed into coastal towns on the islands of Sumatra and Java, killing at least 373 people and injuring more than 1,500. Around 12,000 residents have been moved to higher ground with a high-tide warning extended to Wednesday. Anak Krakatau erupted again on Sunday, spewing ash and smoke. It is thought volcanic activity set off undersea landslides which in turn generated the mega waves.

Mail
Indonesia is on fresh alert today amid warnings another tsunami could strike as the death toll from a huge wave sparked by the ‘Child of Krakatoa’ volcano climbed to 373.  Officials have warned people living near Anak Krakatau to stay away from beaches because of constant eruptions at the mountain. Indonesia’s meteorological agency confirmed the underwater collapse of part of the volcano had caused a deadly wave 10ft high that hit popular beaches of southern Sumatra and the western tip of Java late on Saturday.  ‘Recommendations from [the] Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency are that people should not carry out activities on the beach and stay away from the coast for a while,’ said Sutopo Purwo Nugroh, from the country’s National Disaster Management Agency.

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