Leo Varadkar was last night accused of a deliberate bid to “derail” Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal by claiming that remaining in the EU is “what the British people actually want”. The Irish premier said that “all the polls” since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister showed the UK wanted to Remain, but “their political system isn’t able to give them that choice”. The DUP described his comments as “incendiary and outrageous” and said they “exposed the reality” that the Irish government’s true intention was to keep Britain in the EU.
Leo Varadkar risked torching the last shreds of Brexit goodwill today as he accused Boris Johnson of defying the will of British people – claiming they want to stay in the EU. The Irish PM said polls suggested the UK public would prefer to Remain in the bloc, but they were being failed by the ‘political system’. The extraordinary intervention was immediately condemned as ‘meddling’ by Eurosceptics.
The British public would vote to stop Brexit if it was given the opportunity, says Irish premier Leo Varadkar, as he rejected Boris Johnson’s new plans. “All the polls since prime minister Johnson became prime minister suggest that’s what the British people actually want, but their political system isn’t able to give them that choice,” Mr Varadkar said. The comment comes after Dominic Grieve, the former Conservative attorney general, said a majority of MPs now supports a Final Say referendum – but warned it depends on Jeremy Corbyn to make it happen.
LEO VARADKAR risked jeopardising last-ditch hopes of a Brexit deal last night by accusing Boris Johnson of defying the wishes of British voters. In an extraordinary outburst, the Irish premier claimed a majority of the UK electorate was now in favour of staying in the EU. “All the polls since Prime Minister Johnson became prime minister suggest that’s what the British people actually want, but their political system isn’t able to give them that choice,” he said.
Boris Johnson’s efforts to sell his Brexit deal were hit by a bitter row last night between his parliamentary allies, the Democratic Unionist Party and the Irish government. The prime minister’s proposal to test regularly whether people in Northern Ireland want to remain in the EU single market for goods has emerged as a major stumbling block. Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, and other leaders in Dublin and Belfast claim that the proposals set out this week by Mr Johnson would give the DUP a veto over arrangements every four years.
Ireland has rejected Boris Johnson’s new Brexit plan as hopes of a new deal hang by a thread. Premier Leo Varadkar said the plan “falls short in a number of aspects” – while his deputy PM Simon Coveney declared: “If that is the final proposal, there will be no deal”. In a damning blow, European Council President Donald Tusk – who represents the 27 leaders who’ll make or break a deal – warned he would stand fully behind Ireland. He tweeted: “We remain open but still unconvinced.” And EU said Britain needed to put in more work, saying: “We are not going to be the ones left holding the ball.”
BORIS Johnson has pleaded with disapproving EU chiefs to shift on Brexit as it emerged he made a big-money offer to Ireland to seal an 11th hour deal. Laying out his new Brexit compromise offer today to MPs, the PM insisted his plan was a “genuine attempt to bridge the chasm”. But his “two borders” blueprint for Northern Ireland was met with hostility across Europe. EU Council president Donald Tusk earlier told Mr Johnson that Brussels “remains open, but still unconvinced” and challenged him to improve his offer.
MPs could be given a vote on the Government’s new Brexit proposal on the eve of a crunch meeting of European Union leaders in a fortnight’s time, Boris Johnson said on Thursday. The Prime Minister said he was considering the vote as MPs who had been strongly critical of Theresa May’s Brexit plans lined up to say they would vote for Mr Johnson’s revised proposal. During a debate in the Commons about the plan, Mr Johnson was asked by veteran MP Frank Field for “a vote on it before he goes to the European summit” on Oct 17/18 to try to get the offer agreed.
Downing Street may have described it as a “final offer” but when at last Boris Johnson’s proposals were delivered it became clear that they were, in fact, an opening bid. The prime minister himself described them as a “broad landing zone” within which an agreement could “take shape” and was careful in his Commons statement to avoid the language of red lines. As the European Union pores over the draft legal text of Britain’s Northern Ireland protocol officials will be pulling out areas where they can extract more compromises from Mr Johnson.
Boris Johnson‘s Brexit blueprint was gathering momentum at Westminster tonight as hardline ‘Spartan’ MPs signalled they were ready to drop their opposition to a deal. In a dramatic turnaround, a string of Eurosceptic MPs who rejected Theresa May‘s deal three times indicated today they could back his proposals. Several former Tories – kicked out of the party last month for voting to block No Deal – indicated they were ready to fall in line. And a senior Labour MP predicted that as many as 30 of his party colleagues might be persuaded to back Mr Johnson’s deal.
Jeremy Corbyn set out to wreck Boris Johnson‘s Brexit proposals yesterday by encouraging Labour MPs not to vote for them. The Labour leader told the Commons that the latest offer from the Prime Minister would be used as a ‘springboard’ to ‘attack rights and standards’ in the UK. He said none of his party’s MPs could support the ‘reckless’ plan – leading some to conclude he might remove the whip from any rebel who backed it.
Jeremy Corbyn has claimed that no Labour MP could support Boris Johnson’s alternative to the backstop, amid a growing No 10 campaign to woo his backbenchers. The opposition leader told parliament the prime minister’s plans were simply unworkable and part of a cynical attack upon workers’ rights. “Deal or no deal, this government’s agenda is clear,” he said.
UP to 30 Labour MPs have hinted they could back Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal to help the Prime Minister force the proposal through Parliament. Mr Johnson believes he can get the Tory rebels below 10, while the DUP have also backed his deal. The Prime Minister needs 320 votes for a Commons majority. Mr Johnson yesterday set out proposals that would in effect keep Northern Ireland in the EU single market for all goods while following UK customs rules.
BORIS Johnson has a Plan B for Brexit should his new proposal be rejected by the EU. Mr Johnson is reported to have not entirely ruled out keeping the Irish backstop arrangement should the EU put a clear timeline on it. Bloomberg reports that the EU is not officially considering putting a timeline on the backstop, which would affect checks at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. But the bloc has said they will discuss it with France and Germany as a back-up option.
EU leaders are ready to outflank Boris Johnson and approve a three-month delay to Brexit later this month even if the Prime Minister refuses to ask for one. Under rebel anti-No Deal legislation passed last month the PM has to go to a Brussels summit in three weeks and beg for an extension until January if the two sides have not agreed a deal by then. But Mr Johnson has so far said he will not do so, amid suggestions he might not attend the October 17-18 emergency session with other European leaders.
Boris Johnson’s long-awaited proposals for a replacement for the Irish border backstop has raised hopes that EU and UK negotiators could soon enter “the tunnel”. Those hopes look set to be dashed on the rocks of opposition from EU leaders, such as Emmanuel Macron, and the European Commission’s reluctance to be seen to give too much, too soon to Britain.
Brussels is not convinced by Boris Johnson’s new proposals for a Brexit deal, the president of the European Council says. The prime minister launched a charm offensive aimed at rallying support for his Brexit plan, which involves abolishing the current backstop and replacing it with a mixture of checks at ports on the Irish Sea and away from the border in Ireland. Striking a notably conciliatory tone following recent angry exchanges, the prime minister told MPs yesterday that he had made a “genuine attempt to bridge the chasm” with Brussels by making compromises and secure a fresh divorce deal.
Brussels has given Boris Johnson one week to make his Brexit plan acceptable or European Union leaders will refuse to discuss it at a crucial summit this month. This new ultimatum, along with fundamental EU objections to his alternative to the Irish backstop, means Mr Johnson is highly unlikely to reach a deal in time for his October 31 Brexit deadline. European ambassadors set the October 11 cut-off date last night after Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, told them that the government needed to “fundamentally amend its position” before formal negotiations could take place.
Brussels hardened its rhetoric against Boris Johnson‘s Brexit plan on Thursday, warning that it is up to the UK, not the EU, to fix “problematic” aspects of it before negotiations can start in earnest. Asked whether Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay was right to say that the ball was “in the EU’s court” following the release of the proposals, a spokesperson for the European Commission said the EU would not be left “holding the bag” and that it was the UK that needed to act.
The chair of the European Parliament’s Brexit steering group says Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals are “repackaging the bad ideas that have already been floated”. It comes as early reaction from Brussels to the PM’s plan have been – at best – cautious. Guy Verhofstadt gave his response to the proposals published by the Prime Minister last night. He told Channel 4 News reaching a deal based on these new proposals was “very difficult – and nearly impossible.”
The Government and the European Commission have said they will engage with the British government over the coming days on proposals unveiled by British prime minister Boris Johnson to replace the backstop. However, there is little expectation in either Brussels or Dublin that a deal on the basis of new proposals is remotely possible in the weeks before the Brexit date of October 31st. While the commission and Government here did not want to dismiss the British initiative, highly placed sources agreed it is unrealistic to expect that a new agreement could be struck on the basis of the British submission.
The European Union and Ireland said on Thursday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals were unlikely to yield a deal, with Dublin bluntly warning that Britain was heading towards a no-deal exit unless it made more concessions. The European Union said it fully backed Ireland and that while it was open to discussions, it was still unconvinced about Johnson’s plan – cast by British officials as the final offer to avert a no-deal Brexit on Oct. 31.
There will be no deal if the latest Brexit plan put forward by the UK is the “final proposal”, Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney has said. The UK’s offer to the EU would replace the Irish border backstop through a number of different arrangements. The Irish government is concerned about customs checks and a review mechanism for the devolved NI government. DUP leader Arlene Foster described Mr Coveney’s remarks as “deeply unhelpful” and “obstructionist”.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has explained the “very reason” why the European Union will reject the Prime Minister’s new plans, claiming they would allow Britain to become “more successful” than the European Union. But Mr Farage was critical of the proposals from Mr Johnson, insisting it was an “attempt to put lipstick on a pig”, as he demanded a clean break from the EU.
Bungling Scotland Yard detectives in charge of the VIP sex abuse inquiry became so fixated with appeasing Tom Watson they failed to spot the accuser was a serial liar, a damning report will conclude. Such was the influence the Labour MP wielded over the Metropolitan Police, that one officer even described the need to keep him on side as a “priority”.
Victims of Scotland Yard’s botched inquiry into a fictitious Westminster paedophile ring have called on Labour’s deputy leader to resign before the publication of a damning report. Tom Watson is “unfit to hold the office of MP”, according to the widow of Lord Brittan of Spennithorne, the former Tory home secretary who died before the child sex claims against him were proved to be false. Lady Brittan has read the full report on the case by Sir Richard Henriques, a retired High Court judge.
VICTIMS of the Metropolitan Police’s bungled investigation into a fictional VIP paedophile sex ring have demanded Tom Watson resign before a damning report into the scandal is published today. Scotland Yard spent £2.5million probing bogus claims by fantasist Carl Beech, 51, who accused senior MPs and army and security chiefs of sadistic sexual abuse. Beech, who also said he witnessed boys being murdered in the 1970s and 1980s, was jailed for 18 years in July.
Nicola Sturgeon wants a “neverendum” on Brexit rather than a deal for the UK to leave in an orderly manner, the Tories have said after she confirmed she would oppose any agreement to leave the EU. Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservative interim leader, contrasted the First Minister’s rhetoric that she would “do everything possible” to stop no deal with the SNP’s refusal to back any agreement presented to the Commons. He claimed she would “happily” crash out with no deal as the SNP confirmed it would “never consent” to Boris Johnson’s new Brexit blueprint, which would leave Northern Ireland in a special relationship with the EU for four years.
More than 20,000 Extinction Rebellion campaigners are threatening to paralyse central London next week in a fortnight of disruption. They plan to converge on London City Airport, blockade Smithfield meat market and shut roads around Westminster from October 7. The group claimed that this protest could be five times bigger than its campaign in April, when parts of London were brought to a standstill and 1,100 demonstrators arrested as they called for action on climate change.
Deaths from breast cancer have almost halved in 30 years as a revolution in diagnosis and treatment saved the lives of more than 130,000 women. Cancer Research UK said that three decades of “major advances” in surgery, radiotherapy, medicines and screening have meant that record numbers of women are now beating breast cancer. The charity said the figures were testament to the power of medical research and should be celebrated.
Campaigners have lost a landmark case that sought to challenge the rise in pension age for women born in the 1950s. The women who brought the case argued that they were given too little notice to prepare when the coalition government accelerated plans to raise the state pension age for women from 60 to 65, bringing it into line with men. About 3.8 million women have had to wait to claim state pensions as a result, with some losing tens of thousands of pounds.
Millions of women are up to £50,000 out of pocket after the High Court ejected their appeal against ministers’ handling of the rise in the women’s state pension age. Yesterday’s ruling means up to 4 million women must keep working after ministers raised their state pension age from 60 to 66. Tearful protesters chanted ‘shame on you’ outside the court in London, after judges rejected their argument that the policy was discriminatory based on age, adding that even if it was, ‘it could be justified’.
Campaigners have lost a landmark High Court battle against state pension age rises for more than 3million women. Women shouted “shame on you!” outside the Royal Courts of Justice as their legal fight was “dismissed on all grounds”.They demanded Boris Johnson fulfil his vow to help them, urged MPs to intervene – and warned they may yet lodge an appeal. Today’s ruling comes after years of battles for around 3.8million women born in the 1950s, who are having their state pension age hiked so it reaches 66 by 2020.
Fuel duty should be scrapped and replaced by “road pricing” to herald the rise in electric cars, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). The IFS said Government revenues from fuel duty, which is just under 58p per litre and worth almost £34 billion to the Treasury, will all but disappear if the UK achieves its target of almost all cars being electric or zero-emission by 2050. This means the Government should urgently review how it taxes car travel to take account of the “societal costs” from continued congestion that damages the economy, accidents and noise, according to the IFS.
The Treasury is facing the loss of £28billion in revenue as people switch to tax-free electric cars, say experts. The Government has pledged to make Britain carbon neutral by 2050, which means it will lose revenue from fuel duty. This has fallen by nearly £19billion a year since 2000 and all £28billion will soon be lost if the system does not change, according to a think-tank. Boris Johnson is said to be pressing for fuel duties to be cut by 2p per litre in the forthcoming Budget.
BORIS Johnson is being urged to launch a £1BILLION diesel scrappage scheme – using council bus lane fines. The AA is demanding ministers help hard-up motorists facing a blizzard of eco charges and taxes as the country ‘goes green’. They want the Town Halls to use £500million they’re expected to rake in from bus lane fines over the next decade. And they are calling on the Government to match the cash with £500million of their own – making a £1billion total.