The British Government has still not sent papers outlining its opening position for Brexit talks to the European Union, despite negotiations beginning on Monday. EU sources told The Independent Brussels had sent its “positioning papers” to London four days ago and while similar documents were expected in return, nothing has arrived as Theresa May’s administration struggles to get on its feet. Brexit Secretary David Davis confirmed on Thursday that talks to pull Britain out of the EU will begin on Monday regardless, despite cabinet splits over how to approach them and Ms May’s withdrawal plans not even being cemented in a Queen’s Speech.
The Tory government has confirmed the start date for Brexit talks – this coming Monday 19 June. Discussions will begin a full two days before the Queen’s Speech, which was delayed by Theresa May’s bid to thrash out a deal to stay in power. That means MPs will not have the formal ability to scrutinise the talks and demand answers from ministers in the Commons until at least Wednesday. It also means the British government will head into talks with the EU knowing Parliament is not yet fully formed. AND the date has been announced despite Theresa May not having finalised a deal with the DUP to keep her party in power.
A strong 70 per cent of the British public want the government to get on with Brexit, despite claims the general election result shows people turning away from leaving the Europe Union. The YouGov poll, published Thursday, also revealed that Brexit supporters included 53 per cent of Remain voters. A 14,000 strong poll from Lord Ashcroft, released the day before, returned almost precisely the same result – with 71 per cent wanting Brexit to go ahead. The 70 per cent broke down into 44 per cent who personally supported Brexit and a further 26 per cent who think the government has a duty to go ahead with it.
Nigel Farage has warned that whilst the public are united behind Brexit, it is increasingly clear that the political class are not. Speaking last night on LBC, Nigel cited the new YouGov poll that showed 70% were now pro-Brexit, but highlighted how he believes Parliament is starting to look “wobbly” on their approach. The numbers speak for themselves: there is huge public support to get on with Brexit and act upon the will of the people as delivered nearly one year ago on June 23rd 2016.
The majority of the public in the European Union want their governments to have more control over trade and immigration policy, a major new survey on EU attitudes has found. The findings in the annual Pew Research Centre survey show that the desire to ‘take back control’ that drove Britain’s vote to leave the European Union last year is widely shared across the 28-member bloc. However, EU leaders fretting over the prospect of Brexit causing a domino effect will be reassured by clear findings that no other EU nation is close to wanting to vote to leave.
The European Union has enjoyed a bounce in popularity among its members since Britain’s Brexit vote but most still want the chance to hold their own referendum on leaving. The push reflects a desire for a greater say on issues that were key in the UK’s own referendum, such as immigration, and a feeling that Brussels ignores the views of individual groups, according to the Pew Research Center in the United States. A majority of people in several large EU countries want their governments to control trade and immigration but most would still vote to remain inside the bloc.
THERESA May has been told to pay Britain’s bills to the European Union and drop her threats to walk out of talks without a legal deal if she wants a softer Brexit. EU negotiators say the chastised Prime Minister and her Brexit Secretary David Davis are more likely to win valuable concessions at the negotiating table if they take a gentler tone with officials. It comes just a week after Mrs May lost her majority in the snap election she had called in the hopes of strengthening her hand in Brexit talks, with fellow Conservatives urging her to focus more on damage limitation. A number of EU governments look likely to be happy with Britain keeping trade open as it would limit the hit to their own economies. However, they are not ready to ease conditions that Mrs May herself would struggle to sell to her party’s Brexit hardliners.
If Britain changes track and decides to remain a member of the European Union it could lose perks such as budget rebates and opt-outs, according to the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator. His comments come after Emmanuel Macron, the new French President, said alongside Theresa May at the Elysee Palace that the “door remains open” if the UK ditches its Brexit plans. But speaking in Strasbourg, Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian Prime Minister, who is now responsible coordinating the EU parliament’s Brexit stance, suggested there would be a price to pay should Britain wish to remain in the bloc.
Britain would be £4billion-a-year worse off if the political class ever dared to try and reverse Article 50 to rejoin the EU. Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, said Britain would now forfeit its £4billion annual rebate no matter what. He said: “I know yesterday Emmanuel Macron spoke about an open door, he said if Britain is changing its mind it will find an open door. “I can say I don’t disagree with him, like Alice in Wonderland not all doors are the same. “It will be a brand new door. A brand new door with a new Europe, a Europe without rebates, without complexity, with real power and with unity. That is the door towards Europe.”
Greece avoided another potential brush with bankruptcy after striking a deal with European creditors to tide it over for the rest of the year and gained assurances that its repayment burden will be eased when it finally can stand on its own after nearly a decade on financial life support. After months of haggling that raised fears of another escalation in Greece’s near eight-year debt crisis, the 19-country eurozone agreed late Thursday to clear the release of a further 8.5 billion euros ($9.5 billion) after the Greek government delivered on an array of reforms. Getting the money was becoming increasingly urgent as Greece has a big repayment hump next month.
The homes of rich people in Kensington could be seized for Grenfell Tower residents made homeless by fire, Jeremy Corbyn said today. Mr Corbyn said the London borough was a ‘tale of two cities’ between a wealthy south and a poor north. He suggested that ‘requisitioning’ vacant properties would be a solution to the shortage of available accommodation for those displaced. ‘Properties must be found – requisitioned if necessary – in order to make sure that residents do get rehoused locally,’ Mr Corbyn told a meeting of MPs.
Jeremy Corbyn demanded the requisitioning of empty luxury properties to house survivors left homeless by the Grenfell Tower blaze as he called for wholesale social reform in the wake of the disaster. The Labour leader said the fire, which engulfed the council-owned tower in the wealthy London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, had exposed a “tale of two cities”. “Properties must be found, requisitioned if necessary, to make sure those residents do get rehoused locally,” he told a parliamentary debate. “It cannot be acceptable that in London you have luxury buildings and flats kept as land banking for the future while the homeless and the poor look for somewhere to live.”
Jeremy Corbyn has called for the empty homes of rich people in Kensington to be seized for Grenfell Tower residents who have been made homeless by the fire. The Labour leader said that the London Borough was a “tale of two cities” between a wealthy south and a rich north. He suggested that “requisitioning” expensive vacant properties could help ensure that residents are housed locally. The Government has committed to rehousing all those who lost their homes in the fire in the local area. However Mr Corbyn said: “Kensington is a tale of two cities. The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the whole country.
Jeremy Corbyn and senior Labour MPs have called for homes left vacant in Kensington and Chelsea by overseas investors to be “requisitioned” in order to rehouse those left homeless due to the Grenfell Tower fire. The suggestion came as MPs demanded answers to residents’ questions during an emergency session of Parliament into the tragedy, which has claimed the lives of at least 17 people. The Labour leader, who said he was left “very angry” after visiting the scene, added: “Kensington is a tale of two cities. The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the whole country.
Empty luxury homes near burnt-out Grenfell Tower could be seized to house survivors of the tragedy, Jeremy Corbyn has suggested. The Labour leader said properties “must be found, requisitioned if necessary” to ensure the displaced are not shipped out of the capital. London has a severe shortage of social housing and many families on waiting lists end up moving outside the M25. But Mr Corbyn, who said he was “very angry” after visiting the scene of the fatal blaze today, said those who have lost their livelihoods in Grenfell Tower must stay local.
JEREMY CORBYN today suggested seizing private property to house the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. The Labour leader pointed to supposedly empty homes around Kensington owned by ultra-wealthy investors. And he said that the state might have to “requisition” the houses in the wake of the fire which has left dozens of families homeless. His call – which would almost certainly be illegal – was supported by more moderate Labour figures including Harriet Harman. Mr Corbyn visited the site of the tragedy in west London this morning and met with survivors of the devastating fire.
Properties in North Kensington should be “requisitioned if necessary” for people left homeless after the Grenfell Tower fire, Jeremy Corbyn says. The Labour leader has also said he is “very angry” that so many lives were lost in a deadly tower block fire. PM Theresa May said the residents were “in our thoughts and prayers” and has ordered a public inquiry into the fire. But she was criticised by a senior Labour MP for failing to meet residents when she visited the scene on Thursday. At least 17 people died in the disaster at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, west London in the early hours of Wednesday.
Concerned MPs have demanded that ministers act speedily in response to the deadly fire at Grenfell Tower after a hastily convened parliamentary meeting heard that people living in high-rise flats felt so unsafe that they could not properly sleep. At an emergency meeting held in part of Westminster Hall, Jeremy Corbyn said he had just returned from visiting uprooted residents of Grenfell Tower in nearby community centres, and that people were very angry at what had happened.
Theresa May is pressing ahead with Brexit talks and a Queen’s Speech next week without a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party and despite a rift with Philip Hammond. After a week of haggling, Mrs May effectively called the DUP’s bluff yesterday, setting a five-day deadline to complete talks over a confidence and supply agreement before presenting her legislative programme on Wednesday. Downing Street sources acknowledged that there were “differences” between the prime minister and her chancellor over Brexit negotiations.
Gerry Adams yesterday attempted to dictate terms to Theresa May by telling her that she could not form a Government with the backing of the Democratic Unionist party. The Sinn Fein president said he had told the Prime Minister “very directly” she was “in breach of the Good Friday agreement” by trying to agree a deal with the DUP to support her minority Tory Government in the House of Commons. Mr Adams said his party will not take its seats in Westminster or swear an oath to the Queen, joking: “No harm to her.”
THE DUP and Conservatives are in “broad agreement” on major principles including Brexit, but a new Government will not be formed until after Wednesday when the Queen’s speech is delivered. Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said the State Opening of Parliament would take place on June 21 after two day delays. The DUP and Conservatives are in “broad agreement” on major principles including Brexit, according to a Tory source. The Queen was due to deliver the list of laws the government was hoping to get approved by Parliament over the next year, on Monday, June 19 – the same day Brexit talks were due to take place.
A Conservative-DUP confidence and supply deal is expected to be finalised and announced on either Tuesday or Thursday next week, Sky News understands. The DUP’s consent to the announcement of a date for a delayed Queen’s Speech is a sign that they have agreed the first part of this deal. This will give Theresa May’s Government the initial “confidence” it needs to pass the Queen’s Speech programme. It could have been delayed into the week after next. But the DUP has agreed to a “revised Queen’s Speech” to go ahead on Wednesday – two days later than previously planned.
Up to 250,000 people drop off the radar and end up as illegal immigrants in Britain every year, according to secret Home Office figures, amid warnings that border controls are completely ineffective and will only get worse after Brexit. David Wood, who was head of immigration enforcement at the Home Office until 2015, said that more than 1.2million illegal immigrants are currently living in Britain, predominantly after overstaying their visas. People are not aware of the scale of the problem because official figures are not published and Home Office estimates for illegal immigrants are kept secret by ministers because they are “embarrassing”, according to experts.
A damning report claims that illegal immigration in Britain may be running at 150,000 a year. It says the true scale of those here unlawfully is being hidden because the Home Office estimates have been held back. The paper also warns of a possible ‘surge’ once legal migration from the EU is curbed following Brexit. The most recent official figures show net migration – the difference between those leaving and arriving in the UK lawfully – stands at 273,000. But the report suggests, when illegal migrants are included, this figure may be much higher.
A SHOCKING 150,000 illegal immigrants are pouring into Britain every year, a whistleblower former Home Office boss today claims. Former Director General of Immigration Enforcement David Wood insists the secret government estimate is being hidden from the public. He also lifts the lid on the woefully inadequate level of funding to track down and deport illegals. The bombshell figure – 3,000 every week – means the true annual number of net new arrivals is 50 per cent higher than official figures, pushing the total up to a huge 400,000.
Secret Home Office estimates put the level of illegal immigration at up to 250,000 people a year and ministers are suppressing the true scale of the issue, a report by two former officials published today has claimed. The estimate was extrapolated from the number of illegal migrants found by officials during checks on businesses, colleges and housing, the number of failed asylum seekers who remained in the country and visa overstayers, the report said. The authors warned that there was a “glaring gap” between the way ministers discussed immigration and the reality on the ground.
Thousands of women with incurable breast cancer will finally be given a life-extending drug as the NHS declared victory after protracted haggling with the pharmaceutical industry. Kadcyla has been approved for routine use after “tough negotiations” over two years that set a precedent for efforts to force down the cost of expensive new medicines. The drug offers six months of extra life to women with a form of advanced breast cancer but was rejected by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in 2015 when Roche, its manufacturer, refused to offer a discount on its cost of £90,000 a patient.