The EU will not remove the Northern Ireland backstop from the withdrawal agreement, Michel Barnier was warned, adding to rising fears of a no-deal Brexit under Boris Johnson’s government. In a message to EU member states on Thursday, the EU’s chief negotiator dubbed the new PM’s plan to ditch the controversial backstop – designed to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland – “unacceptable”. Johnson’s “combative speech” suggests the bloc must be ready for a situation where he gives priority to planning for no deal, Barnier said, “partly to heap pressure on the unity of the EU27”.
In recent weeks, as Boris Johnson campaigned for the leadership of the Tory Party, the European Union were at pains to keep an open mind about his true intentions. On the stump, Mr Johnson had talked tough, ruling out a partial modification of the Irish backstop in favour of binning it entirely and demanding that the Irish border issue is settled in the same trade negotiating arena as the Dover-Calais one. He laid this plan out clearly, but still European diplomats waited and watched to see if – once in office – Mr Johnson would be less unequivocal, preserving just a little wriggle-room for negotiation when everyone’s ears had stopped ringing from the rhetorical fireworks.
Boris Johnson has refused to back down on the backstop after EU chiefs insisted it would not be scrapped to facilitate a Brexit deal. The new Prime Minister said in an address to the Commons the proposal needed to be dismissed in order to pass a Withdrawal Agreement. However, EU Brexit negotiator and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker both insisted doing so would not be possible, and backed the deal in its current form.
Boris Johnson told European leaders on Thursday night that the UK would head towards a no-deal Brexit unless the Irish backstop is scrapped, as he set out his terms for leaving the European Union. The new Prime Minister used his first Commons address to announce that the backstop must be struck from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement as the price of further talks. He said the Government was “turbocharging” preparations for a no-deal break on Oct 31 if the EU refused to engage. “No country that values its independence and, indeed, its self respect, could agree to a treaty which signed away our economic independence and self government as this backstop does,” Mr Johnson said.
The Irish government has expressed alarm at Boris Johnson’s approach to Brexit as tension begins to mount over the increased risk of no deal. Michael Creed, Ireland’s agriculture minister, said the new position of the British government, which involves demands for a new deal without the Irish border backstop within 98 days, was a concern. “The makeup of this government seems to be a mirror image of his [Johnson’s] own viewpoint substantially and obviously that would be of concern to us,” he told RTÉ radio.
Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is insisting that the backstop is non-negotiable as a No Deal Brexit looks increasingly likely. New UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had made clear this morning that: “A time-limit is not enough. If an agreement is to be reached, it must be clearly understood that the way to the deal goes by way of the abolition of the backstop.” And now Varadkar has responded by saying: “The position of the European Union and the position of Ireland has not changed.
BORIS Johnson on Thursday demanded abolition of the hated Irish backstop to avoid a No Deal Brexit. He used his first appearance in the House of Commons as Prime Minister to deliver the ultimatum to Brussels. And he declared he had already given orders to turbo-charge preparations for a No Deal exit in 99 days if his call was not met. Mr Johnson told MPs: “If an agreement is to be reached it must be clearly understood that the way to the deal goes by way of the abolition of the backstop.”
Boris Johnson will raise the stakes with the EU today with a promise to spend up to £300 million on extra freight capacity to keep vital goods moving after a no-deal Brexit. Disruption to cross-Channel traffic is one of the most serious threats of leaving without agreement on October 31, with the flow of medicines, chemicals and other vital goods at risk. Ministers will today invite tenders to provide freight capacity for government departments needing to guarantee supplies.
Boris Johnson’s government has confirmed that the United Kingdom will not pay the £39 billion ‘divorce bill’ to Brussels if the country leaves the European Union without a deal. Newly-appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak told Sky News on Thursday that Prime Minister Johnson’s government will be preparing financially for a clean break from the EU, noting that as a result of a no-deal, the UK would have the additional “fiscal headroom” of billions not paid to Brussels.
BORIS Johnson faces an immediate demand to rip up No Deal planning after it emerged no firm ferry space has been booked to import key medicines. Instead, in a bid to cut costs Theresa May’s government only secured options to buy freight space on cross channel ships if it is needed. A raft of emergency supplies will have to be shipped into the UK if we leave without a deal on October 31 as the usual routes for lorry crossings could be log-jammed.
Boris Johnson has confirmed he is scrapping the Conservative Party’s long-standing pledge to reduce net immigration “from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands” — a possible red flag for many supporters. While European Union loyalists and left-liberals are bemoaning Boris Johnson’s new administration as the most “hard-right” in over thirty years — and many populist-leaning conservatives have pinned their hopes on him as “Britain Trump” — the former Mayor of London is politically and socially liberal on most issues, including immigration.
Boris Johnson’s attempts to lock in the support of hardline Tory Eurosceptics suffered a serious blow last night after one of the most senior Brexiteer MPs angrily turned down a ministerial role. In the first rift between the new prime minister and the faction that backed him for the leadership, Steve Baker told Mr Johnson that a job in the Brexit department would have left him “powerless”. Tory Eurosceptics accused Mr Johnson of “binning off” the European Research Group of Brexiteers now that he was in power
Brexiteer Steve Baker turned down a job in Boris Johnson‘s government, it emerged yesterday. Friends had said the self-described ‘hardman’ of Brexit had been ‘nailed on’ for a Cabinet post. But it emerged that Mr Baker, who once said he would bulldoze Parliament, had decided not to return to Government. He had resigned as a junior Brexit minister under Theresa May and said he did not want to ‘repeat my experience of powerlessness’ in office.
THE PM hinted yesterday he might change Government policy on a third runway at Heathrow Airport. Mr Johnson told MPs he will “study the outcome of the court cases” in relation to the expansion of the west London airport with a “lively interest.” Last year MPs backed a third runway at Heathrow Airport, however, several environmental groups are challenging that decision in the courts.
Boris Johnson has vowed to urgently relax stop and search restrictions for police officers across the UK, in a controversial first full policy announcement as prime minister. Downing Street said that a trial scheme designed to make it easier for officers to conduct searches would be “urgently” reviewed, with a view to extending it across the whole country.
Boris Johnson’s leadership election pledge to recruit 20,000 extra police officers over the next three years will be put into action within weeks, he is claiming. The prime minister says his drive to deliver more frontline officers – which he has made a top priority – will start in September with the launch of a national campaign led by the Home Office. Mr Johnson plans to create a national policing board, chaired by new Home Secretary Priti Patel and including senior police chiefs, to make sure forces meet the recruitment target on time.
The recruitment of 20,000 new police officers in England and Wales will begin within weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said. Forces in England and Wales lost more than 20,000 officers between September 2009 and September 2017. Mr Johnson said he wanted the recruitment – which will be overseen by a new national policing board – to be completed over the next three years. BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said the timescale was “tight”.
BORIS Johnson signalled more ships for the Royal Navy as well as a bigger defence budget. The new PM revealed the commitment after bitter criticism of the fleet’s diminished size during the Iran crisis. It came after he was quizzed by Commons defence committee chair Dr Julian Lewis on how Forces cash has been repeatedly stripped back over two decades. Mr Johnson told him: “I share with him a strong desire to increase defence spending, particularly on ship building”.
No confidence vote
MPs are probably already too late to call a confidence motion in Boris Johnson’s government and guarantee that an election could be held before Britain leaves the European Union in October. Parliament rose for the recess yesterday and will not sit again until the first week of September. Labour is considering tabling a motion of no confidence in Mr Johnson’s government within days of parliament returning to ensure an election can take place before the latest Article 50 deadline expires.
Boris Johnson’s time as prime minister could, in theory, have lasted only a matter of hours. Labour had been expected to table a vote of no confidence in the new prime minister yesterday, his first full day in No 10. If that had been successful, he would have been forced from office almost before he had even got his feet under his Downing Street desk. In the end, the opposition decided not to table a confidence motion, threatening instead to do so when parliament returns in the autumn.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats were embroiled in a row last night over calls for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson to be tabled. Jo Swinson, the Lib Dems’ new leader, urged Jeremy Corbyn to push for an immediate no-confidence vote in the new prime minister. But Labour rejected this, saying that it would not try to bring down Mr Johnson’s government until it was sure that it had enough support from Conservative MPs to succeed.
LABOUR has been humiliated after pictures emerged showing their national rally was barely attended by supporters. Jeremy Corbyn spoke to a crowd of at least 300 people rallying against Government in Parliament Square on Thursday. Images show protesters holding placards saying ‘No to racism, No to Boris Johnson’. However, the new Prime Minister has appointed more ethnic minority politicians to his Cabinet than any other leader in the country in history.
BORIS JOHSNON’s Brexit charge was on collision course last night after the EU’s chief negotiator said his demand for fresh withdrawal negotiations was “unacceptable”. On his first full day in office, the Prime Minister signalled his readiness to thrash out a new exit deal shorn of the toxic “backstop” proposal. While promising to negotiate with Brussels chiefs “in the spirit of friendship”, he stressed that the UK would quit the EU without a deal if the bloc refused to make the crucial concession.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on a collision course with Europe over Brexit with two of the most senior figures insisting the bloc will not change its position. Britain’s new leader told MPs in his first address he and his ministers are committed to leaving the EU on October 31 “whatever the circumstances”, but they will not wait until Autumn to get to work. Referring to Brexit, the prime minister said he would “prefer us to leave the EU with a deal”.
Boris Johnson’s key Brexit pledge has been rejected as “unacceptable” by the EU, as he finished appointing a new top team of ministers. The incoming prime minister was rebuffed by Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier for demanding they strip out the Irish backstop from the Brexit deal. Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission president, tried to pile further pressure on by insisting that the current agreement is the “only” one possible.
Top European officials have rebuffed the Brexit policy of Boris Johnson after his first speech to UK MPs. The new prime minister said he was committed to “getting rid” of the Irish border backstop, which has long been a bone of contention in negotiations. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said removing the backstop guarantee was unacceptable. Mr Johnson also spoke on the phone with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The EU’s chief negotiator has dismissed Boris Johnson‘s latest Brexit plan just hours after he unveiled it to MPs. In an email to member states seen by The Independent, Michel Barnier said the proposal unveiled by Mr Johnson on Thursday afternoon was “of course unacceptable” as it crossed red lines laid down by EU leaders. Mr Johnson used his first statement to the House of Commons as prime minister to call on Brussels to drop the controversial Irish backstop from the Brexit withdrawal agreement as the price of further talks.
Brussels has roundly rebuffed Boris Johnson after he laid down tough conditions for the new Brexit deal he hopes to strike over the summer. Speaking to the House of Commons for the first time as prime minister on Thursday, Johnson reiterated his campaign pledge of ditching the Irish backstop and promised to ramp up preparations for a no-deal Brexit immediately. “I would prefer us to leave the EU with a deal,” he said. “I would much prefer it.
MICHEL Barnier today branded Boris Johnson’s pledge to scrap the backstop “unacceptable” and slammed his “combative” first Commons speech. The EU’s chief negotiator insisted he will only entertain requests “compatible with” Theresa May’s deal in a brutal slap down to the new PM. In an email to ambassadors from the 27 Member States he also said the Brexiteer’s vow to ramp up No Deal planning is an attempt to break EU unity.
The EU is working on a strategy to avoid a “Brexit cold war” amid fears that relations between Brussels and London could break down completely after a no-deal Brexit. Many EU countries no longer believe that the UK would come back to the table cap in hand within weeks of a no-deal, which had been the received wisdom, particularly in France. European governments and diplomats, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, now fear that the acrimony of a no-deal could become a political conflict that drags on for years in a “Brexit cold war”.
The EU is braced for a no deal Brexit after Boris Johnson’s first speech as prime minister and the appointment of hardline cabinet ministers who are regarded with hostility in Brussels. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, sent his shortest letter of congratulations to the new British leader, curtly expressing the EU’s demand for the detail of his strategy.
German industry is in the deepest slump since the global financial crisis and threatens to push Europe’s powerhouse economy into full-blown recession. The darkening outlook is forcing the European Central Bank to contemplate ever more perilous measures. The influential Ifo Institute in Munich said its business climate indicator for manufacturing went into “free fall” in July as the delayed damage from global trade conflict takes its toll and confidence wilts.
A “game-changing” drug for women with ovarian cancer has been approved as a first treatment on the NHS. Lynparza (olaparib) is being made available through the Cancer Drugs Fund to help women with a genetic form of ovarian cancer, which is notoriously deadly and difficult to treat. The drug has been shown to more than double the number of patients whose cancer is prevented from getting worse, and could offer a cure for some women.
A “GAME-changing” drug to treat ovarian cancer has been approved for NHS use at the outset of treatment. Olaparib will be available for women with a genetic form of the disease, which is very deadly and hard to treat. The drug extends lives by more than doubling the number of patients whose cancer is prevented from getting worse, and could offer a cure for some women. The drug, known by the trade name Lynparza, can be given to those newly diagnosed with cancer that has spread, who have the inherited faulty BRCA gene.
Two drug companies have been accused of breaking the law by carving up the market to keep prices for an antibiotic artificially high. The competition watchdog has provisionally ruled that Advanz Pharma and Morningside reached a deal with the wholesaler Alliance Healthcare so that they would not compete in the market for nitrofurantoin capsules between 2014 and 2017. The medicine, for urinary tract infections, underwent a five-fold price increase in this time. Advanz Pharma, then known as AMCo, was the sole supplier of the medicine when Morningside entered the market in mid-2014.
The Royal Navy will accompany British-flagged vessels through the strait of Hormuz to defend freedom of navigation after Iran seized a tanker this month, the Ministry of Defence has said. “The Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the strait of Hormuz, either individually or in groups, should sufficient notice be given of their passage,” a British government spokesman said.
A ROYAL Navy warship has kicked off escort duty as she sailed alongside two tankers amid the ongoing the threat from Iran. Defence chiefs have released pictures and video of HMS Montrose sailing alongside two British ships in the Strait of Hormuz. The Type-23 frigate is tasked with protecting UK vessels from Iran after the seizure of the Stena Impero. Iranian pirates captured the tanker and are holding the vessel and its crew captive.