The European Commission has announced that “sufficient progress” has been made in the first phase of Brexit talks and discussions can now move onto trade. Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, appeared alongside Theresa May this morning where he announced they had made the “breakthrough we needed.” He said: “We can now start looking towards the future — a future in which the UK will be a close ally.”  The Prime Minister said the latest Brexit deal was a “significant  improvement” which had required give and take on both sides.  She said that it included a financial settlement which was “fair to the British taxpayer” and a guarantee that there will be “no hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic, preserving the “constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom”.

A BREAKTHROUGH deal on the first stage of Brexit has been dramatically secured by Theresa May after making “sufficient progress” in dawn talks with the EU. In a hastily arranged early morning press conference in Brussels, the PM and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced that talks can progress to phase two.  Striking a positive tone, Juncker said a “compromise” has been reached on three major “red lines” – the border in Northern Ireland, the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and the divorce bill.  “I believe we have now made the breakthrough we need,” Mr Juncker said, appearing bleary-eyed after hours of di
scussions.  Mrs May said the accord was “in the best interests of the whole of the UK”, despite making major concessions on issues such as the £50billion divorce bill.  As part of the deal, Britain will have to respect all EU law, budgetary commitments and the power of EU courts until Brexit starts in March 2019.  Slamming the deal, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: “A deal in Brussels is good news for Mrs May as we can now move on to the next stage of humiliation.”

BBC News
Sufficient progress has been made in Brexit talks, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said, paving the way for talks on the future UK-EU relationship. Theresa May arrived in Brussels on Friday morning following overnight talks on the issue of the Irish border. The PM said there would be no hard border and the Good Friday Agreement would be upheld. EU citizens in the UK “will be able to go on living as before”. The DUP said there was still “more work to be done” and how it votes on the final deal “will depend on its contents”. Speaking at an early morning press conference in Brussels, Mr Juncker said: “Today’s result is of course a compromise.”

Britain is ready to begin trade negotiations with the European Union after making “sufficient progress” in Brexit talks. Theresa May rushed to Brussels this morning to declare that a deal had been reached on the Irish border, Britain’s divorce bill and the rights of EU citizens leaving in the UK. The prime minister said there would be no hard border in Ireland and that the Good Friday agreement would be honoured. She negotiated into the night to hammer out a border deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, which said it had secured “substantial changes” to an agreement which it rejected earlier this week.

ITV News
The European Union and the UK have reached a deal in the first phase of the Brexit talks. “Sufficient progress” has been made to move discussions onto trade and the transition to a post-Brexit relationship, the European Commission is recommending to the European Council. “I believe that we have now made the breakthrough that we needed,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. The leaders of the 27 other EU nations will now decide next week whether to allow talks to move forward. At a joint press conference with Theresa May early on Friday morning, Mr Juncker said he was “confident” they would do so.

The Prime Minister arrived in Brussels before 6am on Friday, to stage a joint press conference with EU leaders – following discussions with the Democratic Unionist Party that stretched long into the night. Standing alongside Ms May,  Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, said “sufficient progress” had been made on all three so-called “divorce issues” – the Irish border, a financial settlement and EU citizens’ rights. Ms May said it “hasn’t been easy for either side”, arguing there had been “give and take on both sides” to strike an agreement that was a “significant improvement”. And she pointed to the prize of successfully moving onto talks on future trade, saying: “Doing so will provide clarity and certainty for businesses in the United Kingdom and the European Union.”

THERESA May has won her fight with the EU to impose a time limit on euro judges having a say on EU Citizens’ rights, The Sun can reveal. Brussels has climbed down to accept a 10 year sunset clause to end the role of European Court of Justice rulings after Brexit, diplomatic sources have revealed. Under the compromise plan to end one of the divorce deal’s major stand offs, Britain’s Supreme Court could refer a small number of legal protests from Europeans living here to the Luxembourg court to rule on. But that arrangement will end in 2029, when complete overwight of UK laws will return to British judges. But giving the ECJ a remit for another decade after Brexit risks infuriating Tory Brexiteers.

A draft European Parliament resolution sets out to make EU citizens in Britain a “super-privileged caste” with rights  greater than those of Britons, and the European Court of Justice guaranteeing those rights for 10 years after Brexit. The UK must also continue to abide by the European human rights convention, and automatically adopt any new laws passed by the bloc during the transition period from 2019 to 2021 — after Brexit, when the UK has lost its EU voting rights. According to the wording of the draft document seen  by Reuters
, the UK has “accepted the competence of the [ECJ] in relation to the interpretation of the Withdrawal Treaty”. EU nationals look set to be given what Brexiteers are calling a ‘super citizen’ status, with the foreign court continuing to oversee their “rights” well into the next decade.

Red-eyed Theresa May has finally clinched a deal on Brexit after making a pre-dawn trip to Brussels. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced he would recommend Britain has made “sufficient progress” in a major breakthrough after all-night talks. That means, if the resolution is agreed by 27 EU leaders, Britain can finally start talking about its trade with the Continent after March 2019. The PM batted off Tory attempts to oust her as she finally sealed the deal on three issues – Northern Ireland, the divorce bill and the rights of 3.2million EU citizens living in the UK. EU chiefs had made clear the European Council, which meets next week for the last time until March, would only move to trade talks when there was “sufficient progress” on these issues.

The British government has bowed down to the EU and allowed the European Court of Justice to rule on EU citizens rights for 8 years. Theresa May has allowed the ECJ to remain the ‘ultimate arbiter of EU law’ and the UK must have ‘due regard’ to decisions made by the ECJ. So EU nationals living in Britain in many cases will essentially be answerable to the European court as opposed to British ones. This was a red line for Brexiteers, the demand was simple: Britain voted to leave, it voted to take back control of its legal system entirely and not, in any way, be controlled by Brussels. This hasn’t happened. May is weak and could end up paying the price for this.

BRITAIN is on course to open trade talks with the EU next week after Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May confirmed a divorce deal has been reached, including on the Irish border row. At an upbeat and conciliatory press conference at the EU Commission’s headquarters this morning the pair said that both sides had made compromises in order to clinch an agreement.  The PM and Mr Juncker looked relaxed and in good spirits as they briefed the press and said the pact would guarantee security for businesses and citizens on both sides of the Channel.  Negotiators have now published the full text of the agreement, which Mrs May said her DUP partners had agreed to back after “significant improvements” were made.  

Britain will have to abide by new EU laws and decisions, which it will not get a vote on, during the transition period, Donald Tusk has proposed. In a nutshell, he wants the UK to pay a shed load of money, bow down to European law and accept any new regulations that may come into force despite not having a seat at the decision table. Crazy. The President of the European Council said: “As you know the UK has asked for a transition of about 2 years while remaining part of the single market and customs union and we’ll be ready to discuss this but naturally we have our conditions. I propose that during this period the UK will respect the whole of EU law including new law. “It will respect budgetary commitments, it will respect judicial oversight and of course all related obligations.

A small number of prisoners – probably around 100 – will be given the right to vote after a British compromise offer to marginally extend the franchise was accepted on Thursday by the Council of Europe. The deal, crafted by the justice secretary, David Lidington, brings to an end an embittered 12-year standoff between Strasbourg and London over the enforcement of judgments by the European court of human rights.  The compromise should remove one of the main sources of resentment felt by Conservative rightwingers over the Strasbourg court’s role. Prisoners on temporary release and at home under curfew will gain the right to vote. The dispute erupted in 2005 when the ECHR ruled on a challenge over prisoner voting rights brought by John Hirst, who was serving life for manslaughter. The court declared that the blanket ban on prisoners participating in elections violated human rights and was illegal. Despite similar judgments in subsequent cases, the UK refused to enforce the ruling.

The European Parliament wants to make Britain accept a list of hard-line demands in return for an ambitious trade deal, leaked documents have revealed. Senior MEPs want to curb any benefits to the UK so Brexit does not look like a positive move. The aggressive approach emerged yesterday as the Prime Minister tries to iron out a deal on the so-called ‘divorce bill’ that would open up talks on trade. The leaked text also reveals concessions that were about to be signed off by Theresa May on Monday. They included promises to allow EU nationals staying in the UK the right to bring in future children even if they are born outside Britain. The text also shows how MEPs will try to limit the scope of talks by linking a good deal to the number of EU rules Britain is willing to accept after Brexit.

Tory leadership

JACOB Rees-Mogg secured a landslide victory as he topped an poll to become the next leader of the Conservative Party while Theresa May paled into insignificance. The backbencher was one of six politicians featured in a Facebook poll, which asked readers who they want as the next Tory leader. Alongside the Mogg and Mrs May was Brexit champion David Davis, foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former leadership contender Andrea Leadsom and Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson. But despite the stiff competition, Mr Rees-Mogg cleaned up across the board as he secured a whopping 2,706 votes from 3,890 responses when the poll ended. The Prime Minister was left red faced after she secured just 666 votes.


Martin Schulz has told the SDP party conference today that a new treaty should be presented to member states creating a United States of Europe and countries who oppose it must leave the EU. He demanded 
“there to be a constitutional treaty to create a federal Europe… the treaty will be presented to the member states and those who are against should just leave the European Union… We want the United States of Europe”. His plan is for this to come into existence by 2025. And some Remainers think they have a hope of changing the public’s mind about Brexit…

The man who could be Germany’s vice-chancellor within weeks on Thursday called for the European Union to transform itself into a “United States of Europe”. Martin Schulz, the leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), called for a new federal constitution for the EU by 2025. Hours before his party voted to open talks on forming a new coalition with the beleaguered Angela Merkel, Mr Schulz made clear he would demand radical EU reform and far deeper integration than previously envisaged as his price for ending weeks of political crisis in Germany. “I want a new constitutional treaty to establish the United States of Europe. A Europe that is no threat to its member states, but a beneficial addition,” he said in a speech to his party conference.

THE LEADER of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) has demanded more investment in the eurozone budget as he criticised the austerity measures of beleaguered Chancellor Angela Merkel and her former finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. Speaking at a party conference where SPD politicians are debating whether to open coalition talks with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Martin Schulz said Berlin’s stance on Europe would have to shift away from previous unpopular austerity measures. He was applauded as he told the conference: “God knows that the European Union can’t afford another four years of German policies on Europe in the style of Wolfgang Schaeuble.”

GERMANY’S top Eurocrat demanded the creation of a “United States of Europe” – and insisted EU states should quit unless they were willing to back the super-project. Arch-EU federalist Martin Schulz said he would only prop up Angela Merkel’s government in crunch Coalition talks if Germany agreed to support the ambitious vision for unprecedented integration over the next decade. The German Chancellor has struggled to form a government after an election setback in September and has asked the ex-EU Parliament president to rejoin her team. The leader of Germany’s left-wing Social Democrats claimed the price of his support would be a “constitutional treaty to create a federal Europe.” And he demanded it should be put all EU member states and “those who are against should just leave the European Union.” He added: “We want the United States of Europe”.

Social care

The Government has scrapped plans to introduce a £72,500 cap on the amount a person can be charged for social care. The cap was due to come into effect in 2020 under plans passed by the Coalition Government. It followed the Dilnot Commission, which in 2011 investigated how social care should be funded, recommending limiting the amount that an individual can be forced to pay. The Commission proposed a cap of £35,000 but Coalition ministers decided the figure should be closer to £75,000. However, health minister Jackie Doyle-Price told MPs the plan has now been scrapped, and that a new consultation will take place in the new year. The question of social care funding became a major issue during the general election campaign earlier this year, after the Conservatives unveiled a controversial plan to force elderly people to sell their home to cover costs. 


Britain could be left with mountains of used plastic and cardboard after China announced it will no longer recycle our waste. The decision was described as a ‘massive shock’ for the recycling industry. More than half of Britain’s plastic recycling – 55 per cent – gets sent to China and Hong Kong. Much of it is low-quality plastics and paper such as margarine tubs, yogurt pots, plastic film and dirty pizza boxes but from next year China will take only the purest supplies – effectively ruling out household items. Alternative countries will be sought to deal with the waste, but it could end up being stockpiled before being buried or burnt.

‘Big Liz’

Britain’s largest ever warship was commissioned into the Royal Navy yesterday in a ceremony led by the vessel’s namesake, the Queen. She was accompanied on board HMS Queen Elizabeth at Portsmouth by the Princess Royal. A specially installed lift raised them to the hangar from where they were led on board by Captain Jerry Kyd, the commanding officer. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, watched as the 65,000 tonne vessel, which cost £3.1 billion, joined the fleet. A total of 3,700 guests gathered on the 280m-long ship for the ceremony. The Queen, 91, said that the warship embodied the best of British technology and innovation. “She will in the years and decades ahead represent the country’s resolve on the global stage,” she said.

A HUMUNGOUS warship, Britain’s largest ever, has been launched by the Royal Navy at an extravagant ceremony today. The HMS Queen Elizabeth, a 919ft behemoth, is being accepted into the Navy at HM Naval Base in Portsmouth. 
Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins sang alongside the Royal Marine band ahead of the commissioning ceremony The Queen, Princess Anne as well as Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson are at the harbour to witness the launching of the ship, which cost £3.1 billion. It is the biggest and most powerful warship ever built by the UK. HMS Queen Elizabeth weighs 65,000 tonnes, is over 900 feet long and over 200 feet wide, and has deck space for up to 40 aircraft. The aircraft carrier will have a crew of around 700 to start with, but this will go up to 1,600, including 250 troops, once its full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.

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