Britain may decide not to leave the EU when faced with the reality of a “hard Brexit”, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council said last night, warning that the upcoming divorce talks would be “painful”. His intervention came as Europe continues to harden its approach towards the negotiations after Theresa May’s shift towards a “hard Brexit”, revealed at last week’s Conservative Party conference. Mr Tusk said Mrs May’s pledge to end the free movement of EU workers, stop EU budget payments and restore the primacy of UK law-making meant Britain had opted to “radically loosen” its ties to Europe.

Britain might ultimately decide not leave the European Union as the EU will not offer London any softer terms than a damaging “hard Brexit”, Donald Tusk, who will run the negotiations for Brussels, said on Thursday. The European Council president said such a reversal of the June referendum was improbable. But, mocking a Brexit campaign promise that Britons could “have their cake and eat it”, he said Britain could not keep the trade benefits of EU membership while barring European immigrants and rejecting EU courts’ authority. “There will be no compromises in this regard,” the former Polish premier said in a speech at the European Policy Centre. “The brutal truth is that Brexit will be a loss for all of us. There will be no cakes on the table. For anyone,” he said. “If you ask me if there is any alternative to this bad scenario, I would like to tell you that yes, there is.

The UK faces the stark choice of either a hard Brexit or no Brexit, the president of the European council has said – the first time he has taken such a clear line on the likely outcome of the UK’s exit talks. Just hours after the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, had told a committee of MPs he was confident Britain could strike a better trade deal with the EU after Brexit, Donald Tusk used a speech in Brussels to scotch the idea that Britain can “have its cake and eat it”. Speaking to an audience of policymakers in Brussels on Thursday, Tusk – who chairs EU leaders’ summits – said it was useless to speculate about a soft Brexit, in which the UK remained a member of the single market. “The only real alternative to a hard Brexit is no Brexit, even if today hardly anyone believes in such a possibility.” Without naming Johnson, notorious in Brussels for his jokey phrase that Britain could have its cake and eat it, Tusk criticised “the proponents of the cake philosophy” who argued the UK could be part of the EU single market without bearing any of the costs.

BBC News
Britain’s only real alternative to a “hard Brexit” is “no Brexit”, European Council President Donald Tusk has said. Speaking in Brussels, he warned that the EU would not compromise on its insistence that freedom of movement will be a condition for Britain’s access to the single market. Mr Tusk will chair meetings of EU leaders negotiating Britain’s exit from the 28-member bloc. In a 52%-48% vote in June’s referendum Britain decided to leave the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that the government would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – beginning formal negotiations between the UK and EU – by the end of March next year. The process will take up to two years, involving complex debates about issues such as immigration and access to the European single market.

Sky News
“Hard Brexit” is the only offer on the table, European Council president Donald Tusk has warned, unless the UK changes its mind and decides to stay in the EU. In a strongly-worded intervention, Mr Tusk insisted the UK would not be able to retain the benefits of European Union membership whilst also blocking free movement of people and ending contributions to the Brussels budget. Mr Tusk said it was “useless to speculate about soft Brexit”, which would enable the UK to retain the closest possible ties to the bloc after leaving. He also told the European Policy Centre that the Leave campaign’s demand to “take back control” would ultimately be “painful for Britons”.

A WEALTHY investment fund manager was accused of a “special kind of arrogance” today for launching a High Court bid to try to block Brexit. Remain supporter Gina Miller, 51 – a former model who lives in London with her multi-millionaire husband Alan Miller – is the lead claimant in a so-called “People’s Challenge” to Government powers. It is one of the most important cases of constitutional law in decades. On the first day of the hearing yesterday, the mother of three’s legal team claimed Theresa May has no power to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to leave the EU without the authorisation of Parliament. But furious Brexit supporters tonight savaged the costly legal action as a “back door” attempt to thwart the will of voters.

Britain will have to quit the EU altogether in a ‘hard Brexit’ if we want to control our borders, the president of the European Council warned last night. Donald Tusk said there would be ‘no compromises’ to allow the UK to curb the free movement of workers, break free of the European Court or stop sending billions to Brussels. And he claimed this left the UK with a simple choice between making a clean break from the EU, including the single market, or reversing the result of the referendum. The top Eurocrat said: ‘The only real alternative to a hard Brexit is no Brexit.’ His comments give the lie to claims by Remain-supporting MPs that the UK can control immigration and still remain a member of the single market. Leave MPs are likely to seize on Mr Tusk’s speech as proof that the UK is best served by quitting the Brussels club, then negotiating its own free trade deals.

Donald Tusk, the European Union president, warned Theresa May last night that the only alternative to a “hard Brexit” was no Brexit at all and that leaving the EU would be “painful”. In his most uncompromising remarks to date, Mr Tusk used a speech in Brussels to argue that the “essence of Brexit” meant “radically loosening relations with the EU” which would result in a “de facto hard Brexit”. He said that the rest of the EU would stick “unconditionally” to its conditions for “access” to the single market with “no compromises” made to Britain.

Britain’s vote in a June referendum to leave the European Union had no constitutional substance, according to lawyers leading a bid to force the government to seek parliamentary approval before formally starting the Brexit process. “It was an advisory referendum, no more than that,” David Pannick told the High Court on Thursday. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty, the mechanism by which Britain begins a two-year process to leave the bloc, by the end of March next year and there will be no parliamentary vote beforehand. But she is facing a legal challenge over whether the government can use a historical power known as royal prerogative to decide when, how and whether to make this decision. Several ministers have called this week’s legal challenge an attempt to subvert the democratic process.

General Election

I FEAR Theresa May will have to think the unthinkable and contemplate holding a General Election in the spring. It is becoming clearer by the day that a good percentage of Parliament is prepared to defy the will of the people and vote down the Great Repeal Bill which will claw back power from Europe. The Conservative majority is only 16. MPs from Jockistan will definitely vote No , as will the Lib Dems. Although Labour is split on Europe, the opportunity of putting the Tories to the sword will surely be too attractive to miss. As Mrs May glances round her own benches looking for loyalty in these difficult times, what does she see? A rather chirpy George Osborne, who has recovered his equilibrium after his career tragedy with the Brexit vote and is waiting to place the knife firmly between the PM’s shoulder blades, plus an emboldened Nicky Morgan who would love to get her revenge for being shown the door by Mrs M. Yes, there are enemies galore and they are nearly all behind her. Throw in some poor economic news and you can see the great unwashed will become uppity. And that is why Mrs May needs to be bold.


Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon raised the prospect of a second independence referendum by 2019, accusing the British government of ignoring Scotland’s interests by pursuing a “hard” exit from the European Union. Speaking at the start of her Scottish National Party’s (SNP) bi-annual conference on Thursday, Sturgeon said her devolved government would publish a draft independence referendum bill as early as next week. Questions about the future of the 309-year union between England, where a majority voted to leave the EU, and Scotland, where a majority voted to stay in it, have multiplied since the June 23 referendum put the entire United Kingdom on the path to an exit. British Prime Minister Theresa May last week set out the exit timetable by promising to launch the two-year legal process by the end of March, and later triggered a fall in the value of the pound to a 31-year low by appearing to prioritise immigration controls over Britain’s current preferential access to the EU single market, which could hurt trade and investment.

Sky News
Nicola Sturgeon has revealed plans for a second independence referendum so Scotland can reconsider the issue in light of the Brexit vote and “do so before the UK leaves the EU”. Scotland’s First Minister said the Scottish Government would be publishing an Independence Referendum Bill next week for consultation. She announced the move – which she argued was necessary – to delegates at the SNP conference in Glasgow on Thursday. Ms Sturgeon warned Prime Minister Theresa May: “If you think for one single second that I’m not serious about doing what it takes to protect Scotland’s interests, then think again.

SNP MEMBER John Swinney has issued a warning to Theresa May over Brexit, urging her to protect Scotland’s interests in her negotiations with the EU. Speaking to LBC ahead of the SNP conference, where Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to lead the fight against a “hard Brexit” , Mr Swinney reiterated his party’s desire to retain its “connection” with the single market. Asked whether the SNP’s position on Brexit was an “insult” to the people who voted to leave the EU, Mr Swinney hit back. The Deputy First Minister said: “We have got a very different situation in Scotland. 62 per cent of Scots voted to Remain.” You are still in the Union of course,” Ferrari quickly retorted. Mr Swinney continued: “We are of course but what the Prime Minister told us in the immediate days after she became prime minister is she would respect the fact and work with the fact that the people of Scotland voted differently.

Morning Star
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon took the first step towards a second independence referendum yesterday by announcing the publication of an Independence Referendum Bill next week. Speaking at the party’s autumn conference in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon issued Prime Minister Theresa May with an ultimatum — respect the wishes of the 62 per cent of Scots who voted to remain or face a fresh independence referendum. She warned Ms May: “If you value the UK as you say you do, then it’s up to you to show how the UK can work for Scotland. The ball is in your court Prime Minister.” She added: “If you can’t — or won’t — allow us to protect our interests within the UK, then Scotland will have the right to decide, afresh, if it wants to take a different path.”

Nicola Sturgeon warned that she was prepared to stage a second Scottish independence  referendum before the UK quits the European Union as she attacked the Tories for their “xenophobic” rhetoric on the EU. In a clear challenge to Theresa May’s government in London, the first minister told the Scottish National party conference in Glasgow she would unveil draft legislation next week to prepare for a rerun of the 2014 referendum within the next two years. Sturgeon said the UK government’s recent rhetoric on capping immigration and on quitting the EU single market made it clear that the Tory party had been taken over by its “rampant and xenophobic” right wing. To applause from delegates, Sturgeon singled out the prime minister and declared: “Hear this: if you think for one single second that I’m not serious about doing what it takes to protect Scotland’s interests, then think again.”


The temporary internal border controls enacted to help mitigate the migrant crisis are set to expire in November, and they are unlikely to extended despite several countries requesting an extension. EU Interior Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos has come out saying it is unlikely the interior border controls in the European Union’s Schengen area will continue after they are set to expire in November. The controls were enacted in order to halt the massive flows of hundreds of thousands of migrants that began last year. Some countries like Denmark would like to see the control continued but unless there is a valid reason, said the commissioner, the controls are likely to expire reports Kurier. Avramopoulos spoke in Brussels on Wednesday about the subject and specifically addressed the concerns of the Danes who wish to extend the internal border controls. On the subject of a possible extension he said, “If it is justified, it shall be granted, but we are not there yet.”


BBC News
MPs have attacked the government’s handling of rail franchises, saying passengers have been let down badly. A Transport Select Committee report cited the “woeful” experience of Southern passengers, who have faced months of industrial action and staff shortages. Ministers were urged to “get a grip” on monitoring rail franchise agreements. The Department for Transport (DfT) said improving Southern services was a priority for the government. The RMT union, which is locked in a bitter dispute with the rail operator over the future role of conductors, said the report was an indictment of the failure of rail privatisation. It was published as Southern timetables returned to normal after a three-day strike by union members. A further 11 days of strikes are planned before Christmas.

The Government is accused today of hiding evidence to thwart calls for the operator of crisis-hit Southern Rail to be stripped of its contract. A committee of MPs condemns the Department for Transport (DfT) for refusing to make available the statistics it will use to assess whether the number of cancelled trains should trigger a termination. Officials said the assessment would not be complete until long after the current industrial action is over, despite strikes being planned into December – a delay attacked by MPs as “unacceptable”. As a result, growing calls for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to hand over the Southern Rail franchise – after its emergency timetable cancelled hundreds of services every day – have been dismissed. Today’s report, by the Commons transport select committee, demands that the DfT make a decision on whether GTR is in default “by early November”.


RUSSIAN TV has warned citizens to find their nearest bomb shelter as the threat of nuclear war with the US looms. Reports of preparations for World War 3 with the US have reportedly dominated the media over the past few days. NTV – which is close to the Kremlin – warned viewers: “everyone of you should know where the nearest bomb shelter is.” The country appears to be priming the public for an apocalyptic confrontation with the West. State officials and the media have warned the US is about to launch an all-out attack after cutting ties with Russia over its bombing campaign in Syria . Russia held civil defence drills for 40 million citizens in apparent preparation for an apocalyptic nuclear war. Officials were told to fly relatives living abroad back to Russia , in a move which analysts described as preparations for “big war”.

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