EU

Express
ANGELA MERKEL and Donald Tusk are paving the way to the complete destruction of the EU and it will be the beginning of the end as citizens rise up to hold their governments to account, a political commentator has said. Alex Wickham claimed the bloc could collapse as a result of the pair’s unwillingness to cooperate with other member states, in addition to Britain following its decision to leave the European Union. The Guido Fawkes news editor also accused the German Chancellor and the President of the European Council of sabotaging EU citizens currently living in the UK by refusing to negotiate with Theresa May to secure their rights. Speaking to talkRADIO , Wickham defended Mrs May, who has been criticised for not revealing whether or not EU citizens will be allowed to remain in the UK post-Brexit .

Mail
This Sunday, Italy votes in a referendum on constitutional reform. It may sound boring, but it is in fact spectacularly the opposite — for the result could end up sending seismic shocks across Europe which reshape several nations almost beyond recognition. And here’s why: Matteo Renzi — who has been compared with Tony Blair — has set out plans to strengthen the government but they will almost certainly be rejected. In the most recent polls he is several points behind. He has promised to resign if he loses, meaning that Italy is likely to see a political earthquake comparable to Brexit and the election in America of Donald Trump. Indeed, the only alternatives to Renzi, a 41-year-old Centre-Leftist, are populist mavericks who come from far outside the political establishment. Experts are now fearful that uncertainty provoked by a political crisis in Italy could spark panic across the eurozone, and Italy may even end up leaving the euro and returning to the lira.

Express
ITALY faces being the next country to leave the European Union (EU) as support grows for a Eurosceptic party pouring pressure on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who has promised to step down if he loses this weekend’s referendum. The 5Star Movement only became a serious party in 2013 but is polling right behind the Italian leader’s Democratic Party and has seen a surge in popularity as it calls for a referendum on Italy’s EU membership. Mr Renzi has promised to step-down as leader if Italians vote against his referendum this Sunday which would change the constitution in order to push through a major economic reform package, reduce the number of senators, limit the senate’s power relative to the lower parliamentary house and reduce regional power. Polls are increasingly pointing to Mr Renzi losing the vote meaning 5Star, whose leading issue is a fight against corruption and the Euro, would get a boost.

Express
POPULISTS like Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen will cause the death of the European Union, Mario Draghi has admitted. The European Central Bank (ECB) chief warned the rise of populism throughout the 28-country bloc would lead to “consequences”. He said: “Political uncertainty is dominant. This year we have suffered a multitude of uncertainties: first there was the slowdown in China and the stagnation of world trade, then the Brexit referendum and the election in the United States. “In the medium term it is not yet clear what the consequences of past, current and future political uncertainty will be. There will be consequences, that much is certain.” He said the effects of this uncertainty would worsen depending on how long the EU’s Brexit negotiations carry on for. Mr Draghi said: “We have to assume [things will deteriorate with Brexit].

Express
SINISTER plans to criminalise “political dissent” against the EU project took a step closer to becoming reality today, prompting a dismayed response from free speech campaigners. Human rights groups have reacted with horror after EU member states approved draconian new anti-terror laws which critics have warned could be used to suppress eurosceptic movements by force. In a rare show of universal anger seven leading civil rights movements tore into unelected Brussels bureaucrats over the shadowy plot, warning that it endangers “fundamental rights and freedoms” including the right to protest. The new EU Directive on Combatting Terrorism has sparked concern and consternation across the globe due to its incredibly vague definition of what constitutes a terror offence.

Express
UNPOPULAR eurocrats today pushed through a jaw-dropping increase to the EU’s already bursting budget as they blithely ignored the anger building against their fatcat lifestyles. MEPs brushed off concerns of a populist revolution to approve a bank-busting rise in the contributions hard-pressed taxpayers will be expected to funnel into their overflowing coffers. They also voted through an extravagant 3.3 per cent backdated pay rise for EU officials, despite working families in many member states having suffered almost a decade of crushing austerity and stagnating wages at the hands of the Brussels bloc. Eurosceptics today branded the charade a “farcical pantomime” and said it was further evidence that the featherbedded euro elite are now hopelessly detached from the lives of ordinary people.

Single market

Sky News
The UK could pay EU contributions for access to the single market as part of its exit deal, the Brexit Secretary has said. During a question session in the House of Commons, David Davis said “of course” the Government would consider paying to retain single market access. Mr Davis was asked by Labour MP Wayne David: “Will the Government consider making any contribution in any shape or form for access to the single market?”

Reuters
Britain would consider making payments to the European Union after it leaves to achieve the best possible access for businesses to the bloc’s markets, Brexit minister David Davis said on Thursday. The government is formulating its negotiating position ahead of formal divorce talks next year, and businesses have been seeking reassurance that it won’t seek a “hard Brexit” which would prioritise curbing immigration over remaining in the EU single market. Sterling shot to multi-month highs after Davis’s comments and, in trade-weighted terms, was headed for its best day since before the June 23 Brexit vote.

Mirror
The government will consider paying for access to the EU single market after Brexit, David Davis said today. The Brexit Secretary made the first open admission by a government minister that money could continue being handed to Brussels. He was asked by Labour MP Wayne David if the government would “consider making any contribution in any shape or form” for access to the lucrative trading bloc. Mr Davis said: “The major criteria here is that we get the best possible access for goods and services to the European market. 
“If that is included in what you are talking about then of course we would consider it.”

BBC News
The UK would consider making payments to the EU after it leaves the bloc to secure the best possible access to the EU single market, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said. Mr Davis told MPs the “major criterion” was getting the best access for goods and services to the European market. “And if that is included… then of course we would consider it.” But Brexit-backing Tory Peter Bone said “people would be absolutely outraged” if the UK continued to pay the EU. Later, in a speech to CBI Wales in Cardiff, Mr Davis sought to reassure business leaders that immigration controls after Brexit will not be imposed “in a way that it is contrary to the national and economic interest”. On Thursday in the Commons, Labour MP Wayne David asked Mr Davis: “Will the government consider making any contribution in any shape or form for access to the single market?”

ITV News
The minister for Brexit has said the Government may continue to pay into EU coffers even after leaving the bloc in a possible deal to retain access to the free market. David Davis told MPs the Government was willing to consider making contributions to ensure that it continues to get access to tariff-free trade. Any such move will enrage Leave campaigners who have pushed for a so-called ‘Hard Brexit’ which would end freedom of movement and cut all formal ties to the bloc. Mr Davis made the disclosure after Labour MP Wayne David asked: “Will the Government consider making any contribution in any shape or form for access to the single market?” He said that he was willing to look at all the options in an effort to “get the best possible access for goods and services to the European market”. “If that is included in what you are talking about then of course we would consider it,” he added.

Independent
Chancellor Philip Hammond has become the second Cabinet minister in a day to say the Government should keep open the option of paying the EU to gain access to the single market. Mr Hammond said the Government should not rule out the concept, just hours after David Davis had raised the idea of paying Brussels to access the trading bloc in the House of Commons.

Richmond by-election

Reuters
A pro-European Union Liberal Democrat candidate won a parliamentary seat previously held by Prime Minister Theresa May’s ruling Conservative Party on Friday, in a vote that turned into a protest against Brexit. Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney won the constituency in south west London having promised to vote against triggering formal divorce talks with the EU if parliament is given a say, overturning the Conservative’s 23,000-vote majority from 2015. Olney said the residents of the Richmond Park and North Kingston area had sent “a shockwave” through the Conservative government as it works to formally begin Britain’s divorce talks with the EU before the end of March next year.

Mail
Former Tory Zac Goldsmith has lost his seat in an extraordinary by-election upset by Lib Dem Sarah Olney who said last night: ‘Our message is clear: we do not want a hard Brexit’. Mr Goldsmith stood as an independent in the wealthy pro-EU Richmond Park constituency over the Government’s decision to expand Heathrow Airport – but his stunt backfired badly and he blew a 23,000 majority. Mr Goldsmith received 18,638 votes to Ms Olney’s 20,512 in a ‘shockwave’ win for her party. She said the result was a rejection of the ‘politics of anger and division’, telling supporters: ‘We will defend the Britain we love. We will stand up for the open tolerant, united Britain we believe in’. In his concession speech the billionaire heir insisted: ‘This by-election was not a political calculation’. It is the second crushing defeat in a year after he lost the London mayoral election to Sadiq Khan in May.

Sky News
The Lib Dems have won the by-election sparked by Zac Goldsmith’s resignation over Heathrow Airport expansion. Voters in the southwest London constituency of Richmond Park delivered a Brexit backlash against Theresa May, overturning a massive 23,000 Tory majority. Sarah Olney won 20,510 votes, a majority of 1,872 over the pro-Brexit Mr Goldsmith, who won 18,638 votes standing as an independent. Speaking after her win, Mrs Olney told Sky News that anti-Brexit feeling had been a major theme among voters she had spoken with during her campaign.

BBC News
The Liberal Democrats have caused a major upset in the Richmond Park by-election, overturning a 23,015 majority to oust ex-Tory MP Zac Goldsmith. Mr Goldsmith stood as an Independent after leaving the Conservative Party in protest at the government’s decision to back a third Heathrow runway. But Lib Dem Sarah Olney, who is also opposed to Heathrow expansion, fought the campaign on the issue of Brexit. She polled 20,510 votes to Mr Goldsmith’s 18,638. The remaining six candidates, including Labour’s Christian Wolmar, all lost their £500 deposits as they did not receive a big enough share of the vote. The Conservative Party, UK Independence Party and Green Party did not field candidates. As the new Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, Ms Olney will be the party’s only female MP – joining eight male colleagues.

Mirror
The Lib Dems have secured a stunning victory in the Richmond Park by-election, overturning a massive majority to beat ex-Tory Zac Goldsmith. Accountant Sarah Olney bulldozed his 23,015 majority from just 18 months ago after turning what he intended as a Heathrow expansion vote into a poll on Brexit. The Tory millionaire quit the party and forced a by-election when Theresa May announced a third runway would be built. But Mr Goldsmith, who backed Leave but fought one of Britain’s biggest Remain constituencies, is now left humiliated and in the political wildnerness. It comes just over six months after he mounted a vicious, ‘dog-whistle’ campaign against London’s first Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan.

Immigration

Express
RECORD numbers of EU migrants came to Britain in the year before the Brexit vote, with 284,000 arriving in just 12 months, it has been revealed. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics came out today showing the number of people arriving in the UK was the same as the population of Nottingham, before the referendum. Net long-term migration to the UK has remained around record levels at a third of a million as the inflow of EU citizens hit a historic high, the official figures show. The headline measure – the overall difference between the numbers arriving and leaving the country – was estimated at 335,000 in the year to June. This was just below the previous peak of 336,000 in the previous year. Immigration, which covers the numbers of people coming into Britain only, was at 650,000 – the highest estimate recorded, the Office for National Statistics said. An unprecedented 284,000 EU citizens are estimated to have arrived in the UK in the year to June, which covers a period up to and just after the referendum. In the year ending in June, 189,000 EU citizens arrived for work – the highest estimate recorded.

BBC News
Net migration has stayed near record levels, standing at 335,000 in the year to June, the Office for National Statistics has said.There was also a record number of EU citizens coming to live in Britain with the figure standing at 284,000. Net migration – immigration minus emigration – was the second-highest number on record. Immigration minister Robert Goodwill said the government was “committed to getting net migration down”. Most of the period covered by the figures was before the EU referendum, but they also include one week after the poll. The ONS says the net migration figure is similar to the previous year, although it was up slightly on the 12 months ending in March, when it stood at 326,000.

Reuters
Net migration from the European Union to Britain hit a record high in the 12 months running up to June’s referendum vote to leave the bloc, in which concerns about immigration motivated many Brexit voters. The ruling Conservatives had promised to cut annual immigration to under 100,000 but have failed to fulfil their pledge partly as the number of European new arrivals continued to rise, spurred on by factors such as better job prospects. Net migration to Britain from the EU, those arriving minus those leaving, reached a new record of 189,000 in the year to June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Overall net migration was 335,000, just 1,000 short of the previous high.

Express
IMMIGRATION at its current level will see Britain’s population rise by half a million people a year, most of them from the European Union, and Brexit must put a stop to it, says a prominent member of the House of Lords. Lord Andrew Green, former British Ambassador to Syria and Saudi Arabia, has said a Brexit deal with Brussels that ties Britain into the free movement of people would be “immoral” and shake public confidence in the political system. Lord Green, who founded the think tank Migration Watch UK, said the inability to control Britain’s borders was a major factor in people voting to leave the European Union and he is adamant the current level of immigration is unsustainable. Speaking at an event hosted by the Bruges Group in London, he said: “As for the immigration chapter of the Brexit negotiations, I submit that the situation had become untenable. “With one hundred million people in Eastern Europe at a standard of living of a third or a quarter of our own, a continuing substantial inflow was a racing certainty.

Blair

Sun
TONY Blair has finally admitted to raking in “many millions of pounds” from powerful clients as he unveiled plans for a new organisation to influence Brexit. The former PM will gift at least £8m to the Tony Blair Institute he has set up, inspired by the birth of his first granddaughter.He said becoming a grandparent had influenced his decision to launch the not-for-profit organisation but insisted the move was not a return to frontline politics. Political “earthquakes” like the Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s election victory and the “explosion” of populist political movements across Europe meant there was a need to build a new “policy agenda”. The institute will be tasked with producing new centrist policies to support practising politicians and Mr Blair said the profits he made from money-spinning talks and advice would be transferred.

Mirror
Tony Blair has unveiled a new body to combat right-wing “populism” in a dramatic return to domestic politics. The former Prime Minister is setting up the ‘Tony Blair Institute’ after vowing Brexit “can be stopped”. He insisted the “policy unit”, funded with around £8m from his closing-down business empire, “is not a think tank”. Mr Blair added: “This is not about my returning to the front line of politics. I have made it abundantly clear that this is not possible.” Tony Blair backed by huge Commons majority as MPs defeat latest bid to censure him over Iraq War But he said: “I care about my country and the world my children and grandchildren will grow up in – and want to play at least a small part in contributing to the debate about the future of both.” His first grandchild was born in October.

Guardian
Tony Blair has announced that he is to launch a new institute for centre-ground politics in response to what he said were growing concerns about the global forces of right and leftwing populism. The institute will be launched in the new year, the former prime minister said in a statement, but added it should not be interpreted as a desire to return to party politics. “This is not about my returning to the front line of politics,” Blair said. “I have made it abundantly clear that this is not possible. However, I care about my country and the world my children and grandchildren will grow up in; and want to play at least a small part in contributing to the debate about the future of both.”

Trump

Star
DONALD Trump may not make it to the White House after plotters exposed a ceremonial loophole that could sabotage his democratic win. The US electoral system counts on ceremonial electors who represent the vote result from each state. They will all “vote” on December 19 in a formality that will see president-elect Trump handed the keys to the White House. But “at least 15” of these representative electors where Trump won the majority are plotting to go against the will of their people on the day – potentially sending the US government into chaos. It would be an unprecedented act in the history of democracy – the only real equivalent in Britain would be the monarchy rejecting the decision of British voters. A source told TV presenter David Pakman that the 15 electors will cast a vote for Hillary instead – meaning that Trump will not receive the 270 electoral votes required to become the next president of the United States. Pakman said: “This is absolutely huge.”

London smog

Star
TOXIC smog has descended on London as pollution levels skyrocket to dangerous levels, the Mayor has warned. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned vulnerable Londoners to stay away from pollution hotspots for the next 24 hours. It marks the first time such a warning has been issued at all 2,500 bus stops and river piers, as well as 270 Tube stations. Last month Daily Star Online revealed Britain’s most toxic regions and how air pollution has been linked to brain damage. Worrying research from the World Health Organisation uncovered dangerously high levels of air pollution in a number of urban areas across the country. City smog could leave residents suffering sore eyes, a cough or an itchy throat. But over a longer period air pollution has been linked to the early deaths of more than 40,000 Brits each year.

Guardian
Air quality alerts have been issued at bus stops, tube stations and roadsides across London because of high pollution levels, said a spokeswoman for the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The alerts will notify Londoners on Thursday evening during their commute home from work. People in London who suffer from lung or heart problems have been warned to avoid strenuous exercise. The risks from heightened levels of air pollution enveloping the city have been exacerbated by settled and cold conditions, which have prevented pollutants from being dispersed. Individuals at risk have been warned to particularly avoid outdoor exercise, while those with asthma may need to use their inhaler more often, according to the London Air Quality Network, based at King’s College University.

Nuclear diamonds

Times
It’s the most unlikely bling since scientists worked out how to create canary yellow gems from human ashes. British researchers have found that nuclear waste can be converted into radioactive black diamonds that can be used as batteries lasting thousands of years. The scientists behind the discovery say that it tackles the problems of nuclear decommissioning, clean electricity generation and battery life. The batteries could last 5,000 years, powering equipment such as pacemakers and spacecraft components that need to last for long periods with absolute reliability. Tom Scott, a physics professor at the University of Bristol, said: “There are no moving parts, no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation.

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