Brexit

Times
Pro-Brexit campaigners planning to clog major roads with “go-slow” protests face prosecution, police have said. The organiser of the demonstrations has promised to shut down Holyhead port in north Wales and cause gridlock on 30 to 40 motorways and A-roads. Among those targeted are the M25, M6 and M1, which is partially patrolled by Derbyshire police. A spokesman for the force, which is liaising with organisers, said: “Those taking part in any protest on a high-speed road should be aware that if the manner of their driving endangers other road users then they may be liable to prosecution.” The Brexit Protest and Direct Action Group, which is co-ordinating the events online, is led by Ian Charlesworth, 55, from Deeside in Flintshire.

Times
The legs were tiring, the feet starting to throb and when someone called out “woddawewant?” for the ten thousandth time it was hard not to reply: “A beer, for the love of God.” The crusaders strode into Doncaster, however, with a spring in their step and hope in their hearts for a no-deal nirvana. Theresa May’s Brexit lies a-mouldering in the grave but the proles go marching on. Beflagged, yet not flagging, the Brexit purists were carried along by a stream of honking horns.

EU

Sun
THERESA MAY last night pleaded with warring MPs to back her Brexit deal – as Brussels agreed to delay our departure. In a humiliating summit for the PM, EU leaders said Britain could postpone Brexit until May 22 if the Commons backs her EU plan. But the UK would have to leave the bloc by April 12 if the PM fails to win a majority.

Independent
Theresa May was left waiting while European leaders decided the future of Brexit behind closed doors.  The prime minister had hoped to be handed an extension of the Article 50 period until 30 June before making a statement from Brussels in the early evening. Instead, the 27 presidents and prime ministers were locked in talks long into the night after they tore up draft proposals and produced a complicated conditional plan.

Sky News
EU leaders have granted Theresa May’s request to delay Brexit, giving the UK a two-tier extension. After crunch talks at a summit in Brussels that ran late into the night, the premiers formally announced 29 March 2019 should be scrapped as the date Britain will leave the EU. They softened the immediate threat of a no-deal divorce by offering a delay until 22 May if MPs pass the prime minister’s Brexit deal by the end of next week. But if parliament rejects it again in “meaningful vote three”, the UK faces a new hard deadline on 12 April.

Reuters
After British Prime Minister Theresa May reassured them she could win a crunch vote in parliament next week to ensure an orderly Brexit, EU leaders were left even more doubtful of her chances. Following more than an hour of explanations that with days left until Britain might crash out she could win over lawmakers who have twice rejected her EU withdrawal deal, May left the summit room on Thursday and the other 27 leaders conferred — finding a consensus that they were even less convinced than before, officials familiar with their discussions told Reuters. French President Emmanuel Macron told the room that before coming to Brussels he had thought May had only a 10 percent chance of winning the vote.

Times
As European leaders began their Brexit deliberations yesterday they were handed a sealed envelope by Donald Tusk, the council president. It contained a proposal for an agreed position: Britain was to be offered a short extension until May 22 but on the strict condition that a deal was approved next week. If not, EU leaders would meet again on Thursday to decide the terms of a longer extension or prepare for no deal. The sealed envelope had two functions: to prevent leaks but more importantly the “draft” summit conclusions were meant to shape the debate, minimise disagreement and prevent 27 leaders, all with their own views, from squabbling. It failed completely.

Mail
Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk have urged MPs not the plunge Britain into a no-deal Brexit abyss and to vote for Theresa May‘s withdrawal deal. At a press conference in Brussels this evening, Donald Tusk said the EU had agreed an extension to Brexit to May 22 if MPs approve Theresa May’s exit plan. But if MPs vote it down next week, Britain will have until April 12 to say what it will do next.

Guardian
The EU has handed Theresa May two weeks’ grace to devise an alternative Brexit plan if her deal falls next week after the prime minister failed to convince the bloc that she was capable of avoiding a no-deal Brexit. After a marathon late-night session of talks, the EU’s leaders ripped up May’s proposals and a new Brexit timeline was pushed on the prime minister to avoid the cliff-edge deadline of 29 March – next Friday. Under the deal agreed by May, Britain will now stay a member state until 12 April if the withdrawal agreement is rejected by MPs at the third time of asking.

Mirror
Theresa May was forced by fed-up EU leaders to delay Brexit until May 22 last night – but on the condition she gets her deal through the Commons next week. At a dramatic Brussels summit, they also insisted on a new cliff-edge of April 12 if, as expected, MPs vote her plan down for a third time.  The Prime Minister will be able to get a much longer extension, possibly to the end of the year, if she then decides to hold European elections.

Mirror
Emmanuel Macron has given a stark assessment of the crisis facing Theresa May over Brexit . The French President said a short, ‘technical’ extension to Article 50 was possible, but only if the Prime Minister manages to get MPs to back her deal.  Speaking outside the European Council summit in Brussels, Mr Macron said: “If there is a postponement, it can only be a technical one. “No extension to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement… No extension if there is not a clear majority to provide a mandate for the future relationship.

Breitbart
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has made a clean, no deal Brexit more likely after reiterating instructions from the European Council that a short extension will not be granted unless British parliamentarians vote for May’s deal. Addressing media in English on Thursday afternoon, the French President said, “I do respect the vote of the British people. “We do respect what the prime minister and the parliament are [doing]. But we have to be clear: we can discuss and agree an extension if this is a technical extension in case of a ‘yes’ vote on the agreement we have negotiated for two years.

Westmonster
France’s President Macron has been clear today: if MPs reject Theresa May’s deal for a third time it will lead to a No Deal Brexit. Speaking to reporters in Brussels today, Macron said: “We have to be clear: we can discuss and agree an extension if its a technical extension in case of a yes vote on the agreement we negotiated on two years. “In case of no vote or no. I mean directly: it will guide everybody to a No Deal, for sure. This is it.” Brexiteer MPs, you know what to do!

Independent
The UK will be heading for a no-deal Brexit if MPs reject Theresa May’s deal next week, EU leaders have warned – as they arrived at a summit in Brussels to discuss an extension to Article 50. French president Emmanuel Macron led the warnings, telling reporters on the doorstep of the meeting that a ‘no’ vote in parliament was effectively a vote for no deal Brexit. “We have to be clear: we can discuss and agree an extension if it is a technical extension in the case of a ‘yes’ vote. In the case of a ‘no’ vote, it will guide everybody to a no-deal, for sure,” Mr Macron said.

Mail
Theresa May insisted last night it was the ‘moment of decision’ for MPs as she accepted EU terms for delaying Brexit by at least two weeks to avoid No Deal next Friday.  After a marathon summit meeting, EU Council President Donald Tusk confirmed plans for a two-stage delay plan.  If Mrs May passes her deal at a third attempt next week, Britain will be allowed to stay in the EU until May 22.  If she fails, Britain must say whether it will take part in the EU elections by April 12.

Times
European Union leaders last night handed Theresa May a three-week lifeline to come up with an alternative Brexit plan if her withdrawal deal is not approved by MPs. After nearly seven hours of wrangling the 27 leaders agreed to give Mrs May an unconditional extension until April 12 to “indicate a way forward”. If her deal is passed, Brussels will give the government until May 22 to pass the legislation that would implement Brexit.

No deal

Telegraph
Remain ministers have warned the Prime Minister that they are prepared to quit unless she gives them a free vote on a new backbench bid to stop no deal. A cross-party group of MPs is on Friday expected to table a new amendment that will force the Prime Minister to accept a longer extension to Article 50 if her deal fails. The amendment, which will be voted on next week, will mean that if Mrs May’s deal is defeated Parliament – rather than the Prime Minister – will decide whether to accept any offer of a longer extension of Article 50 from Brussels.

Mirror
Military no-deal planning is underway in a nuclear bunker beneath the Ministry of Defence, it emerged tonight. Operation Redfold, which oversees 3,500 troops on standby to help, is part of the wider Whitehall contingency plan for a doomsday, pactless departure dubbed Operation Yellowhammer.

Sky News
The armed forces have activated a team in a nuclear-proof bunker under the Ministry of Defence as the government prepares next Monday to enter “very high readiness mode” for a no-deal Brexit, Sky News can reveal. Control of overall planning for the impact of the UK leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement next week shifts from the Cabinet Office to the government’s emergency committee Cobra.

Express
OPERATION REDFOLD has been activated in a nuclear-proof bunker underneath the Ministry of Defence according to reports, but what is Operation Redfold? The UK’s armed forces have activated a team in a nuclear-proof bunker underneath the Ministry of Defence according to Sky News. This is as the Government prepares to enter “very high readiness mode” for a no deal Brexit according to reports. Some 3,500 military personnel have been put on standby for a no-deal Brexit.  Operation Redfold is a military crisis operation and was mobilised at the beginning of this week.

Express
THE government has imposed hundreds of gagging orders as part of secret no-deal Brexit preparations, it is claimed. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) prevent confidential information being discussed in public. The Department of Transport (DfT) signed 79 NDAs by the end of February, Sky News reports. The shocking claim comes as it was reported the Armed Forces have set up a no-deal Brexit emergency base in a nuclear bunker below Whitehall.

Theresa May

Telegraph
Theresa May has been told by the most senior Tory backbencher that MPs want her to stand down because of her handling of Brexit, The Telegraph can reveal. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs, visited the Prime Minister in Downing Street on Monday afternoon and made clear that a growing number of Tories believe she has to go.

Sun
THERESA MAY was under intense pressure to name a date for her resignation as Tories panned her blistering attack on Parliament. Amid uproar in Westminster, backbenchers Anne Marie Trevelyan and Tracy Crouch were among a “large number” who told whips she “had to go”. Ex-Minister Guto Bebb labelled the speech an “utter failure of judgement”. A Whitehall official separately compared Mrs May’s attack on warring MPs over the Brexit deadlock her ‘Ratner’s moment’ – while sources claimed Chief Whip Julian Smith was openly describing the address as “appalling”.

Express
THERESA MAY has been told to resign by Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs. MPs reportedly want the Prime Minister to stand down because of her handling of Brexit. Sir Brady visited Mrs May on Monday to tell her she does not have the support of her party, the Daily Telegraph reported. The visit was sparked after Mr Brady was “bombarded with text messages” by colleagues demanding that she quit.

Sun
THERESA May ignored rising calls last night to reveal whether she will carry out a No Deal Brexit a week today. Worried businesses implored the PM to agree to ask for a long delay if her EU deal is torpedoed a final time by MPs in a Commons showdown next Tuesday. Ducking them, Mrs May insisted on keeping the cliff edge prospect on the table to honour the 2016 referendum result. But confusion reigned around what the Government’s official policy actually was last night, after a leaked briefing note disclosed the PM would hand over the huge No Deal decision to Parliament to make.

Mail
The most senior Tory backbencher has told Theresa May that MPs want her to stand down because of her handling of Brexit, it was reported last night. Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, is said to have visited the Prime Minister on Monday to tell her that a growing number believe she has to quit. Sir Graham had been ‘bombarded with text messages’ by Conservative MPs and urged to confront the Prime Minister with demands that she should go, the Daily Telegraph said.

Times
Boris Johnson has received another £15,000 donation from JCB, the construction company, as he prepares for a potential Conservative Party leadership contest. The former foreign secretary has received £31,000 of donations since mid-February, according to the register of members’ interests. In January The Times revealed that Mr Johnson had received £10,000 from JCB three days before giving a speech about Brexit at its headquarters. Lord Bamford, the company’s chairman, is a longstanding financial supporter of the Conservative Party and backed Leave in the 2016 referendum.

Sun
BORIS Johnson is the Tories’ favourite to be the next Prime Minister after Brexit. The ex-Foreign Secretary and Brexiteer tops yet another poll of members who say he’s best placed to take over from Theresa May. This month Boris was the favourite in a poll from Conservative Home, which has him on 24 per cent of the vote – 319 votes. Ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was second but miles behind him on 12 per cent. And Michael Gove was third on ten per cent.

Telegraph
He was famously banished to the backbenches and told to learn about loyalty by Theresa May, but now Michael Gove could prove to be the Prime Minister’s ‘silent assassin’, according to Tory sources. Following a stellar Commons speech in which he eviscerated Jeremy Corbyn, a different kind of momentum is gathering behind the Environment Secretary as a potential ‘unity’ candidate to succeed Theresa May.

Civil serpents

Telegraph
Civil servants and public officials are “straining every sinew to stop Brexit”, a minister has claimed. The news comes after repeated claims of bias against Brexit from whistleblowers in the civil service in the Daily Telegraph in recent weeks. In an interview for Chopper’s Brexit Podcast – which you can listen to easily by subscribing or logging in below – Mr Berry said that the Government’s “machinery is purposefully standing in its [Brexit’s] way”. Mr Berry, a minister in the Communities and Local Government department, said: “Every sinew of the state as far as I can tell is straining to stop Brexit and that is why people are so frustrated.

Art50 petition

Express
NIGEL Farage has called for an enquiry into a petition to revoke Article 50 which has been signed by more than one million Remainers – including Luvvies Hugh Grant and Annie Lennox – because signatures from North Korea, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea have found their way onto the campaign. Former UKIP leader Mr Farage retweeted a post from Guido Fawkes editor and Brexiteer Hugh Bennett, who revealed a huge amount of signatures had come from places outside of the UK, including Luxembourg.

Order-Order
A petition backed by all of the faces who had been pretending to care about holding another referendum for the sake of ‘democracy’ have been sharing a new petition entitled ‘Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.’ They’re not even bothering to pretend to be democrats any more… The petition saw a suspicious jump in signatures last night, with blatantly fake signatures arising everywhere from Russia, to Afghanistan, to North Korea. Tens of thousands of signatures have also come from EU states including Jean Claude Juncker’s tiny Luxembourg…

NHS

Telegraph
Record waiting lists for operations could fuel a rise in negligence claims against the NHS, the National Audit Office has warned. More than 4.2 million patients are now on waiting lists for surgery, a 55 per cent rise in five years. The number waiting more than 18 weeks for operations has tripled over the same period, with 528,000 patients forced to wait longer, as key NHS targets have been repeatedly missed.

Times
The NHS could face a rise in negligence claims because waiting times are getting longer, the spending watchdog warns today in a report that says too many beds may have been cut. The report by the National Audit Office links the longer waits to a lack of beds, warning that the NHS has lost 8,000 since 2010. The number of emergency readmissions to hospital within a month of a patient being sent home has risen by 14 per cent in five years.

Death tax

Mail
Executors of wills could face legal challenges over massive stealth ‘death taxes’ due to kick in next month, lawyers have warned. The controversial hikes to probate fees, which will rise from a flat £215 now to £6,000 for the largest estates, could lead to beneficiaries blaming executors for delays that land them with big bills. But there is also a risk of claims against executors because they rushed to apply for probate and made mistakes, cautions law firm Irwin Mitchell.

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