SCOTTISH First Minister Nicola Sturgeon WON’T be able to discuss her own Brexit deal with the EU, the Foreign Office have confirmed. Europe minister Sir Alan Duncan has insisted Westminster holds total control over Brexit, putting the final nail in the coffin of the SNP leader’s bid to directly negotiate with Brussels over Scotland’s future EU relationship. Ms Sturgeon has called for Scotland to be handed a different Brexit outcome to the rest of the UK, setting out five ‘red lines’ for her country as Britain quits the bloc. These include keeping freedom of movement and access to the single market, which have put her on a collision course with Prime Minister Theresa May’s vow to introduce EU migration controls. The First Minister has threatened to push for another Scottish independence referendum if her demands are not met, while also suggesting the Holyrood parliament be given the final say over when Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – the legal process of quitting the EU – is triggered by Mrs May.
VOTERS do not regret their decision to withdraw from the EU, according to a new poll. More than 17m Britons people voted to leave the EU during the crunch referendum in June – with 52 per cent opting out of the bloc. Now, more than a month on, the decision has not changed according to YouGov. Asked whether Britain “was right or wrong to leave the European Union” 46 per cent of responders confirmed the desire to exit. A total of 42 per cent did not think the outcome of the vote was correct while 12 per cent did not have an opinion either way. The poll also indicates the public are supportive of the new Theresa May-led Government, giving the Tories a boost.
ITALIAN beaches have been raising the Union Flag to form a ‘Brexit seaside’ in protest at EU meddling. Business owners along the Liguria coast, in the country’s north-west, are taking part in the eye-catching stunt in anger at a recent ruling by EU judges. Last month, the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice ruled family-owned concessions along Italy’s beaches must be open to EU-wide competition laws. Locals fear they could now be put out of business by multinationals moving in under the protection of Brussels’ so-called ‘Bolkestein directive’, which establishes a single market in services across the bloc.
There is a mounting campaign for Britain to reinstate its traditional navy blue passport as a sign of its independence from Brussels. Ukip’s Nigel Farage this week declared “we want our passports back” after having repeatedly brandished the current maroon passport on the campaign trail. “The British people voted Leave to get their borders back and their passports back!” Mr Farage tweeted this week. Former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis also believes that the return of the blue passport would inspire a “new future and focus”. “It offers the chance to be not little Britain, but very much big Britain,” he told the Sun.
The chief executive of Renault-Nissan has told the BBC he is “reasonably optimistic” that the UK will be an important partner with the European Union, despite its vote to leave. Carlos Ghosn said Nissan is not ready to make decisions on plans for its Sunderland plant, which employs 6,700. Investment there depends on the outcome of UK-EU talks on Brexit, he said. In November, Mr Ghosn warned Nissan would reconsider investment in the UK if Britain voted to leave the EU. “We are reasonably optimistic at the end of the day common sense will prevail from both sides,” Mr Ghosn said.
Researchers are urging the European Union (EU) to roll out the red carpet for migrants, complaining that many who are here now want to flee the bloc’s “appalling conditions”. They lament that a number of migrants in Turkey, who wanted to reach Europe, have chosen to remain there instead. Researchers looking at migration to Europe through the Mediterranean route claim that migrants are now wanting to “flee” the continent due to “appalling conditions” and that migrants in Turkey no longer want to continue on to EU nations. Vicki Squire reports that the research team “heard various stories of people suggesting that they are considering returning to conditions of conflict, violence or repression rather than remaining stuck in disastrous conditions in Europe”.
“Low level politicians” like Angela Merkel and her “very dangerous” migrant policy are more of a threat to European democracy than Islamic State, an American professor has claimed. Stanford University professor Francis Fukuyama also said that the working class revolt against globalism lead to the Brexit vote, and will lead to a Donald Trump presidential win the U.S., Die Welt reports. Speaking to the German newspaper, Dr. Fukuyama said that while the jihadist ideology poses a serious threat, “the greatest threat to the survival of our democracy…lies in ourselves”. When asked to elaborate, he stated that the people have “lost confidence in our own institutions” giving rise to a surge in populism which is a result of what he called a “disturbing lack of leadership in Europe”.
Five Iranian migrants have been arrested on a south coast beach after crossing the Channel in an inflatable dinghy. The men, aged between 18 and 44, have been arrested and handed over to Home Office border officials. Their boat landed at Pett Level, near Winchelsea in East Sussex – believed to be a new spot for migrants trying to make their way on to UK soil. It comes days after MPs warned that Britain’s border security was ‘clearly under-resourced’ and called for warships to be drafted in to protect small harbours. The men were found on Sunday morning – three of them close to the dinghy and two others nearby. Stephanie Stone, 29, landlady of The Smuggler Inn in Pett Level, said last night: ‘I saw the police down here on Sunday morning and wondered what was happening. There was a lifeboat crew as well and they told me that five migrants had been picked up on a dinghy on the beach.’
Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith have clashed over party unity in the first Labour leadership campaign hustings. Mr Smith said the party was “fractured” and “splintered” and said Mr Corbyn had been unable to hold it together. Mr Corbyn said it was difficult for Mr Smith to complain “when you and others resigned from the shadow cabinet”. The rivals agreed on some points but Mr Smith said the Labour leader was unable to present a “credible government-in-waiting” to the wider country. Former work and pensions spokesman Mr Smith is challenging Mr Corbyn for Labour’s top job, after the leader lost a no-confidence vote of his MPs.
Owen Smith suffered a bruising encounter with Jeremy Corbyn in Cardiff in the first hustings debate of the Labour leadership campaign. Taking quickfire questions from members, both candidates emphasised the need for party unity but the debate only underlined the deep divisions within Labour. The pair exchanged bitter recriminations over the events that led to the leadership contest, with Smith at times heckled and booed. Smith, who resigned from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet before challenging for the leadership, said the Tories were “riding roughshod over us” and argued that he would take Labour into power. When he said he wanted unity, however, he was interrupted by the audience.
The first Labour leadership debate has been dominated by shouting and booing in a feisty showdown between the two candidates. Owen Smith told an audience of several hundred people in Cardiff that he was “the person who has got the ideas in this debate”. He added: “I think I’m the person who’s got the energy in the debate and I think I see very clearly that we’ve not been what we need to be in recent months – which is a powerful, credible opposition to the Tory Party. “They are riding roughshod over us – we have left Europe, we have got an NHS that is practically bankrupt, they are destroying Labour’s legacy, ruining our Sure Start, overcrowding our schools.”
Bitter in-fighting within the Labour Party was cast into the open as Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith clashed in the first head-to-head debate of the leadership campaign. Mr Smith, who pledged to deliver the most radical programme since the Labour Government of 1945, suffered a bruising encounter in Cardiff as he was heckled and booed by members of the audience when he mentioned the “disunity” in the party’s ranks. One audience member shouted “you split this party!” while another simply added: “Nice suit”. In an attempt to calm tensions Mr Smith at one point directly addressed the audience and said: “We are not behaving like comrades to each other.”
RIOT police were pictured using tear gas on refugees to break up a growing migrant camp. The raid was part of an organised effort by French forces clamping down on migrants trying to reach Britain. Cops armed with guns, batons and heavy-duty armour moved in to disperse the migrants – many of who are from Eritrea and Sudan, in Africa. The migrants struggled with officers to try and save their site – based in north Paris’s Avenue de Flandre – with some fainting during the scuffle. More than 50,000 people applied for asylum in France last year. Thousands of refugees live in makeshift camps around the city – while more than 7,000 live in the Calais Jungle camp alone.