Theresa May’s new plan for future relations with the EU will be “dead on arrival”, senior figures in Brussels have told The Independent. EU officials said any hint that the UK wants to be part of the single market on goods, but not services will be rejected. It is a blow for the prime minister who has spent the last week in meetings with EU leaders, including Angela Merkel, in a bid to prevent Europe dismissing her plans out of hand when they are published next week. Ms May is expected to push her cabinet to agree to a plan at Chequers on Friday, which would see Britain remaining in full regulatory alignment with the EU on goods, but not on services.
The German interior minister has backed Theresa May and attacked Brussels negotiators for putting “the security of citizens at risk” over Brexit, breaking European Union solidarity. The Times has seen a confidential letter from Horst Seehofer to the European Commission complaining about the consequences of its hard line in talks over Britain’s departure from the EU. It is the first time that European unity on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal has been shattered by such a senior politician. At an EU summit on Thursday last week Mrs May was rebuffed by other leaders and Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission president.
THERESA May was under fire last night after leaked details of her new Brexit plan suggested Britain will stay tied into a swathe of EU rules and regulations after leaving the bloc. Documents handed to ministers ahead of today’s crunch Cabinet summit reportedly included details of a “common rulebook” for farm produce and other goods expected to cover both the EU and UK following Brexit. The papers also suggested the planned regulatory alignment “would not allow the UK to accommodate” expected US demands for a future trade deal.
Theresa May faces the worst rebellion of her leadership today as cabinet Brexiteers attempt to force her to push for a harder exit from the European Union than she is planning. Last night seven cabinet Brexiteers held closed talks at the Foreign Office to discuss their strategy before today’s meeting at Chequers, at which Mrs May hoped to persuade the whole cabinet to sign off on her Brexit plans. One option could be to formally say they are rejecting the paper put forward by the prime minister and confront her with an alternative for a harder exit based on the deal that Brussels has negotiated with Canada.
Boris Johnson assembled six Eurosceptic ministers for a private meeting tonight ahead of Theresa May’s crunch summit at Chequers tomorrow, it has emerged. The Foreign Secretary gathered colleagues including David Davis and Michael Gove to the Foreign Office after livid Brexiteers claimed the PM’s ‘third way’ plan would make it impossible to do a trade deal with the U.S. Pro-Brexit ministers Liam Fox, Esther McVey, Penny Mordaunt and Andrea Leadsom were also at the private meeting tonight. The ministers were ‘drawing up plans’ to ‘eviscerate’ Mrs May’s proposals, the Daily Telegraph reported.
At least six Cabinet ministers are expected to confront Theresa May on Friday after it emerged that her Brexit plan will tie the UK to EU rules for the foreseeable future and put any US trade deal in jeopardy. On Thursday afternoon the Prime Minister’s plans were finally sent to the Cabinet who learned that Mrs May was proposing that Britain sign a legally-binding agreement to follow EU standards on many goods after Brexit, including food. The Telegraph also understands that British judges will have to follow rulings from European judges “when relevant”, under the plans.
Theresa May says her cabinet has “a great opportunity – and a duty” to agree a blueprint for the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Before Friday’s crunch Chequers meeting she said she wanted “ambitious new trade deals” and an agreement “in the best interests of the UK and the EU”. The PM must resolve splits within the cabinet over the shape of Brexit. She is expected to present a proposal for UK-EU customs arrangements that would see the UK set its own tariffs. Once ministers reach an agreement on the UK’s proposal, the EU can then choose to accept or reject the plan.
Theresa May struggled to contain Tory divisions over Brexit ahead of a crunch meeting due on Friday, at which she wants the cabinet to finally agree her plans for a future relationship with the EU. The prime minister assured the commons that her cabinet is “strong”, but intense pressure came from the Brexiteer wing of the party, to dismiss any deal which leaves the UK too closely tied to the EU. At the same time, a business minister warned a “no deal” Brexit would be “disastrous” and attacked those – including frontbenchers Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt – who have criticised companies for questioning Ms May’s approach.
David Davis has told Theresa May her “best of both worlds” plan for Brexit is unworkable, in a letter written as details emerged of the prime minister’s proposed new customs arrangement. The Brexit secretary raised concerns that the “facilitated customs arrangement” compromise plan – which would allow the UK to set its own tariffs on goods arriving in the country – was too similar to a discarded idea that the EU had already rejected. Downing Street indicated that under the plan tracking devices would be used to determine where the goods would ultimately end up, and therefore whether UK or EU tariffs should be paid.
David Davis has told Theresa May that her plan to try and bring her warring cabinet together on Brexit is “unworkable”, according to a report. On the eve of a crunch meeting of ministers intended to agree a united front on Britain’s EU exit, the Brexit secretary has reportedly written to the prime minister and set out his opposition to her so-called “third way” on customs. Mrs May came up with the plan in a bid to solve the thorny issue of Britain’s post-Brexit customs system.
The UK’s new Brexit plan has been dealt a blow before Tory ministers even discuss it after David Davis warned it won’t work. The Brexit Secretary is said to have raised his fears in an 11th-hour letter to Theresa May as she summons the Cabinet for a Chequers summit tomorrow. The Prime Minister has been straining to come up with a compromise on the thorny issue as ministers sign off her ‘White Paper’ – the government’s formal plan for Brexit.
The environment secretary has revealed plans to take back control of UK fisheries, decide how much stock to allocate to European boats, and give a “fairer share” to British vessels after Brexit. Environment Secretary Michael Gove promised that after leaving the European Union (EU) Britain would be “an independent coastal state for the first time in over 40 years”, in a White Paper published Wednesday.
Theresa May’s latest Brexit plans have been thrown into fresh chaos amid claims they will make it all but impossible for the UK to negotiate a trade deal with the US. Documents circulated to cabinet ministers ahead of a crunch meeting at Chequers reportedly admit that Downing Street’s new proposals would “not allow the UK to accommodate” a likely US prerequisite for a deal. The prime minister hopes to use the cabinet meeting at her countryside retreat on Friday to persuade warring ministers to unite behind her latest plan, but the latest revelations are likely to provoke anger from Brexiteers.
The first few reactions to Theresa May’s Brexit paper are already trickling out – and it looks like the plan would kill off any prospect of a big bumper trade deal with America. It is already being reported that the proposal would mean that the ‘the UK should maintain a common rulebook for all goods including agri-food’ with regulatory alignment on goods as well. As some are already reporting, that is likely to kill stone dead any prospect of a bumper US trade deal being offered by President Trump. Independence means being able to forge global trade deals, not being held back by EU rules.
THERESA May sparked fears a wide-ranging Trade Deal with the US was in tatters tonight – as the PM vowed to stare down Brexit hardliners to get Cabinet backing for a softer exit. The Prime Minister will on Friday ask her Cabinet to sign up to plans to align with the EU on food and agriculture that they admit “would not allow the UK to accommodate a likely ask from the US in a future trade deal”. Mrs May will use her marathon summit at Chequers to sell a new treaty with Brussels that binds Brexit Britain to a “common rule book” on goods including food, with punishing “consequences” if we strayed.
Britain will sign a formal treaty with the European Union after Brexit that will tie the UK to Brussels rules on goods under plans that will be unveiled by Theresa May. The Prime Minister’s “third way” on Customs, now called the “evolved Mansion House model”, crosses clear red lines for Eurosceptics and will be the subject of a furious backlash at Chequers on Friday. It commits Britain to accepting “European harmonised standards” on manufactured goods and removes any right for the UK to diverge in the future by putting forward its own “competing national standards”.
The chair of the Council of the EU has suggested he is open to extending Article 50 Brexit talks, opening the door to Britain potentially staying in the EU beyond March next year. Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, currently holds the rotating presidency of the European institution, which gives him significant procedural clout in setting the agenda for summits and meetings of the bloc’s ministers. Speaking at a press conference in Vienna on Thursday, Mr Kurz said he would be “in favour of pursuing negotiations rather than have a hard Brexit”.
BANK of England Governor Mark Carney has had to admit that his predictions of Brexit gloom were wrong as he gave an upbeat message on the economy. Mr Carney also said there could be even better to come with an England World Cup being an “unalloyed, unadulterated absolute good” for the UK economy. The Canadian brought in by George Osborne to run the Bank of England was a key member of the former Chancellor’s Project Fear team. But addressing the Northern Powerhouse Business Summit in Newcastle, the Governor was forced to admit that the economy was stronger than he had claimed.
One of the ways in which those who would overturn the result of the European Referendum is to claim that the question, the simple Leave/Remain question, did not have within it the detail to mean anything substantive. They use this argument to claim that the result did not suggest leaving the Single Market, from leaving the concept of Free Movement, from removing ourselves from the auspices of the European Courts. A poll has come to light that was commissioned in the weeks before the referendum which shines a spotlight on what people thought they were voting for, and what they were hoping to get from Brexit.
Nigel Farage said he would have “no choice” but to defend Britain from “betrayal”, if the government delays Brexit beyond March 2019. Speaking on his LBC show Wednesday, the Brexit leader slammed Prime Minister Theresa May’s “deception” over plans for leaving Europe, stating that he and many other people in the UK will be “furious” if the government delivers a soft Brexit. “With all these concessions she’s making, it will effectively be Brexit in name only,” the veteran MEP remarked, asserting that the Prime Minister’s plan could take up to a decade to be implemented.
Labour’s new code of conduct is too weak on antisemitism, campaigners have said. The code was drawn up after protests by Jewish groups outside parliament in March and says that “antisemitism is racism” and unacceptable in the party and wider society. It endorses the working definition of antisemitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), but has been criticised for failing to include all the examples of abusive behaviour that the alliance sets out.
Jeremy Corbyn has warned his centre-left counterparts on the continent they must turn against austerity and rigged capitalism or risk being wiped off the political map by the extreme right. On a visit to the Netherlands on Thursday the Labour leader said socialists and social democrats risked looking like another part of the establishment by “supporting a failed economic system rigged for the wealthy”. He warned that “fake populists and migrant-baiters of the far-right” would benefit from the demise of the centre-left, which had in the past “delivered enormous advances for working people” but was now losing ground.
Tommy Robinson is to challenge his 13-month jail sentence for contempt of court. Ex-EDL leader Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, was locked up in May after he live-streamed footage on social media from outside a criminal trial. The footage, lasting around an hour, was watched 250,000 times within hours of being posted on Facebook . The far-right activist was given 10 months for contempt of court, which he admitted, and a further three months for breaching a previous suspended sentence. The 35-year-old will make a bid to have his sentence cut at the Court of Appeal in London, where a hearing is expected to take place on July 24.
Hundreds of thousands of women should no longer be offered breast screening to cut down on needless cancer treatment under a “one size fits all” NHS scheme, academics say. A few extra deaths may be a price worth paying to slash numbers of women given surgery or chemotherapy that they do not need, suggest researchers who say that Britain must decide how to trade off the benefits and harms of screening. Limiting screening to those at highest risk helps to maximise the advantages but minimise the drawbacks.
Grammar schools have been given preferential treatment from a government fund set up to help schools to expand, it has been claimed. An investigation by Comprehensive Future, a campaign group, found that the Department for Education had awarded £52.6 million from its Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) to enable grammars to expand since 2016. This almost matched the amount awarded to non-selective secondary schools, which received £52.8 million, even though there are 163 selective schools but more than 3,200 comprehensives. This works out at roughly £323,000 per grammar school and £16,500 per comprehensive.
The EU has rejected new internet copyright laws backed by Sir Paul McCartney that threatened to ban memes, it has emerged. The European Parliament voted 318 to 278 against a committee proposal known as the EU Copyright Directive, in its current form, with 31 MEPs abstaining. It comes despite artists including McCartney and opera signer Placido Domingo signing an open letter calling for politicians to back the change ahead of the vote.
Changes to copyright law that would “ban memes” and force Facebook and Google to take greater responsibility for protecting intellectual property have been rejected. The proposed EU reforms, voted down by MEPs by 318-278, had been backed by artists including Sir Paul McCartney and Annie Lennox, who believe that they have been cheated of income by people using their work without paying royalties.
DESPITE an impassioned plea from Beatles legend Paul McCartney, EU lawmakers have opted not to take a tough line on an copyright overhaul aimed at making Google, Facebook and other tech giants share revenues with publishers, broadcasters and artists after lobbying by internet companies. The revamp is based on a proposal by the European Commission to take into account the growing role of online platforms. A key committee at the European Parliament subsequently added more muscle to the proposal to give more power to Europe’s creative industries. However, lawmakers on Thursday voted against opening talks with EU countries based on the committee’s recommendation.
The European Parliament has voted to delay new copyright laws that would have required the monitoring of all online uploads and could have effectively outlawed meme culture. The proposed laws come amid a sustained effort by the European Union (EU) to regulate expression online and were met with a ‘Save Your Internet’ campaign which united activists across the political divide. The EU attempted to rush the laws through and into secret negotiations with the European Council and unelected European Commission before UKIP and other parties pushed for a vote.
The Home Secretary has accused Russia of using Britain as a “dumping ground” for nerve agents, as he called on Moscow to explain the Wiltshire poisonings. Sajid Javid said it was “completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets” or for “our towns to be dumping grounds for poison”, after a couple were struck down by the same Novichok used in the Salisbury attack. Charles Rowley, 45, and his 44-year-old girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, remain critically ill after being exposed to the substance.
Britain staged the nerve agent poisoning of two people in Amesbury to stoke ‘anti-Russian hysteria’ and ruin the 2018 World Cup, it was claimed today. Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45, were taken ill on Saturday in Amesbury, eight miles from where Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury in March. UK security minister Ben Wallace has said the ‘working assumption’ is that the pair were exposed to Novichok either as a result of that attack or ‘something else’.
Britain’s spy agencies are braced for Russia to launch a new attack on the UK as soon as President Putin finishes hosting the World Cup, The Times has learnt. Intelligence officers are on alert for another attempted assassination or a cyberattack against a piece of critical national infrastructure, such as a power or water facility, according to a security source who said that there was intelligence on the threat. “It is serious,” the source said. Whitehall sources played down the claim of a specific piece of intelligence but said that there was a heightened awareness about the possibility of Britain again being targeted by one of Mr Putin’s weapons of unconventional warfare.
The UK government is said to be bracing for a Russian “misinformation campaign” after a second couple were poisoned by Novichok in Wiltshire. Russia is expected to launch “significant” efforts to “confuse the public” after the latest incident in Amesbury, a senior source told the Press Association. “They will try and claim this is Britain trying to stoke up anti-Russia sentiment during the World Cup,” the source said. “But there is no reason to be concerned any more about the safety of England football fans in Russia.”