Brexit delay

Telegraph
The EU is preparing to impose punitive conditions on Britain as its price for agreeing a Brexit delay if Theresa May is forced to ask for an extension this week. Member states are “hardening” their attitudes towards a delay and will demand “legal and financial conditions” including a multi-billion pound increase to the £39bn divorce payment. With no signs of a breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations to change the existing exit deal, Parliament is expected to reject the deal for a second time on Tuesday, before voting later in the week to extend Article 50.

Mail
Brussels will demand another £13.5billion in Brexit divorce payments if Theresa May seeks an extension to Article 50, it is claimed.  EU states are said to be ‘hardening’ their stance against a longer Brexit process and could force Britain to stay in a customs union as the price of agreeing a delay.  MPs could vote on a postponement this week if, as expected, Theresa May’s deal is defeated again in the House of Commons tomorrow.  The PM has suggested a three-month delay but EU diplomats will demand more money if the extension is longer than a few weeks, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Theresa May

Independent
Theresa May has been warned she could be forced out of Downing Street if her  Brexit strategy is dismantled by MPs this week in a series of critical votes. As negotiations entered the eleventh hour, the prime minister was desperately attempting to salvage her withdrawal deal, with a plane reported to be on standby at RAF Northolt to fly her to Brussels at the first sign of EU officials shifting their position.

Mirror
Top Tories today demanded Theresa May quits within months as it became clear her Brexit deal faces a massive defeat. Senior Brexiteers warned they are ready to vote down the 585-page pact by a majority of more than 100 MPs on Tuesday. The House of Commons will have its say on the agreement 56 days after it was beaten by 230 votes – the biggest majority in history. Since then Mrs May has tried to secure changes to the Irish backstop, a clause that could trap the UK under EU customs rules.

Express
THERESA MAY could be persuaded to resign as soon as her much-maligned Brexit deal is passed, according to reports. Senior figures in Parliament have confessed the Prime Minister has “run out of road”. A Cabinet minister told The Sunday Times: “I don’t believe there is a single one of us who thinks it’s a good idea for her to stay beyond June.” They revealed the four main contenders to succeed her — Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab are “ready to go”.

Sun
EX-BREXIT Secretary Dominic Raab will kick-start his pitch for the Tory leadership by setting out his vision for a “second chance society”. In a major speech to the Tory think tank Onward Mr Raab will lay out radical new policies to tackle inequality and halt Britain’s decline in social mobility. In a sign of the detailed planning he is already putting into a future leadership challenge he will call for radical new policies such as paying high-performing teachers bumper salaries to teach in Britain’s roughest schools.

Westmonster
There is increasing talk of Theresa May being asked to step down as Prime Minister for the good of the country this weekend. Having attacked No Deal instead of using it as a Plan B, May has no negotiating leverage with the EU and has subsequently been left attempting to sell MPs the exact same rotten deal all over again. Several senior government sources are quoted in the Sunday Times, with one Cabinet Minister saying: “I don’t believe there is a single one of us who thinks it’s a good idea for her to stay beyond June.”

Sun
THERESA May faces calls from leading Conservatives to quit tomorrow after failing to win any Brexit breakthrough in talks with the EU. Nicky Morgan yesterday became the most senior Tory yet to say the PM must go if she loses the crunch Commons vote. MPs are expected to give her deal a drubbing tomorrow night. She remains on standby to jet to Brussels at the 11th hour if her team of officials manage to agree any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.

Times
Senior Conservative MPs have told Theresa May that her position will be untenable if parliament forces her to extend the Article 50 process this week. In a series of meetings with government whips, Brexiteer Tories have warned Downing Street that the prime minister will face renewed pressure to quit if she is made to ask for extra time from Brussels. Others have suggested that they would be prepared to compromise and back her deal if she wins limited concessions but only if she states her intention to go as soon as the deal is signed.

BBC News
Theresa May offering to resign as prime minister would not help get her Brexit deal through Parliament, a cabinet minister has said. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there was an “incredible” amount of respect for the PM in the country. But Tory MP Nicky Morgan warned her position would become “very difficult” if her deal is voted down on Tuesday. The Sunday Times reported that senior Brexiteers had warned the PM’s team that she should offer to go by June.

Guardian
Theresa May was battling on Sunday night to save her Brexit deal and prolong her premiership, amid signs Eurosceptics could move against her if there is a delay to leaving the EU. The prime minister’s position looked precarious as she was unable to announce any progress in talks with the EU less than 48 hours before her House of Commons vote on the deal. One Downing Street insider said the week ahead looked “choppy” as parliament is likely to vote to extend article 50 and rule out a no-deal Brexit if MPs do not approve May’s withdrawal agreement with the EU.

Withdrawal Agreement

Independent
No majority of voters in any of the 632 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales want their MP to back Theresa May‘s deal, according to a fresh analysis released just three days before a major Brexit vote. It will come as a blow for the prime minister, who issued a plea on Friday for MPs to support her plans as she attempts to seek eleventh-hour concessions from Brussels in the tense negotiations.

Times
Theresa May has been urged by senior Conservative MPs to pull tomorrow’s meaningful vote on her Brexit deal if she fails to secure significant concessions from Brussels. In phone calls with Downing Street, leading Tories in the Commons warned that the prime minister could face another three-figure defeat if she went ahead with her plan. They have advised her to halt the vote and replace it with a motion setting out the kind of Brexit deal that would be acceptable to Tory MPs to keep the party together and put pressure on Brussels.

No deal

Westmonster
The British government have been put on notice by voters, with a striking new poll revealing that increasing numbers of Brits want Brexit delivered, even if it means leaving with No Deal. New ComRes polling conducted for the Brexit Express and reported by The Sunday Telegraph reveal a rise in support for a No Deal Brexit, with 44% ‘agreeing that the UK should leave with No Deal if there are no more concessions from the EU’. The number of those in favour of No Deal has risen six points since January.

Westmonster
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has stood up for the pro-Leave majority this morning, insisting that an EU exit on WTO terms is still better than a bad deal and hitting back against any attempt to delay Brexit. Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Raab hit out at the “total intransigence from the EU” during the negotiations and said that if the UK did leave with No Deal “we would be able to manage the risks and that would free us to grasp the opportunities”.

Express
Leaving the European Union without a deal is Britain’s best bet for future success and would lead to a £140billion Brexit boom, according to economists. MPs will be given a vote on ruling out quitting the bloc unless an agreement is in place if Theresa May’s exit plan is rejected on Tuesday. But the pro-Leave Economists for Free Trade group has made a last push to keep the option on the table and accused Remainers of “Project Fear” hysteria about walking away. Its analysis found Britain will flourish if it leaves on March 29 on world trade rules.

Second referendum

Independent
Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay has held talks with advocates of a second referendum, as they laid out their proposals should a “new direction” be needed in the coming days. In a sign that Downing Street is taking the prospect of a fresh vote seriously, the Labour MP Peter Kyle said Mr Barclay was “engaging fully” with possibilities, but had remained “loyal” to government policy to oppose a second referendum at all costs. Alongside his colleague Phil Wilson, Mr Kyle has outlined a plan to help the prime minister’s Brexit deal get through the Commons on the condition of it then being put to the country in a second referendum.

Express
A BID to kill off a second EU referendum will be put before Parliament this week if Theresa May’s deal is not passed. Brexiteers plan to add an amendment to a vote promised by the Prime Minister on extending Article 50. It would rule out the so-called People’sVote wanted by Remainers as a way to block Brexit. Brexiteers plan to add an amendment to a vote promised by the Prime Minister on extending Article 50. It would rule out the so-called People’sVote wanted by Remainers as a way to block Brexit.

Labour Party

Times
Labour will not push for a vote on a second referendum this week even if the prime minister’s deal is resoundingly defeated, Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, has said. In a tactical move, Jeremy Corbyn’s party will not lay an amendment to the vote on the prime minister’s deal calling for it to be put to the public. Instead it will whip its MPs to oppose Theresa May’s deal and back a move to force her to request an extension to the Article 50 process. The decision is a victory for second referendum supporters who fear that putting their policy to a vote too early could lead to a big Commons defeat.

Mirror
Labour will NOT force a Commons vote this week on holding a second Brexit referendum, top MPs in the party have said. Brexit chief Sir Keir Starmer dumped cold water on claims the party would row in behind an amendment calling for a ‘People’s Vote’ in just two days’ time. His comments, just 19 days before Brexit, come despite Labour shifting its position two weeks ago to “put forward or support” a pro-People’s Vote amendment following months of pressure by members. Focus was building around a plan by the MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson that it had been thought was to be put before MPs this Tuesday.

Express
SHADOW chancellor John McDonnell has said Labour’s plan for a soft Brexit deal could be agreed with Brussels in a matter of weeks. Labour is favouring negotiations for a British ‘say’ on trade deals signed by the bloc in the future. Mr McDonnell said on Sunday’s BBC Andrew Marr show that the EU has ‘looked positively’ on proposals based around a new customs union between Britain and Brussels. He commented: “We could agree Labour’s deal within a matter of weeks, the European Union has look positively on that. “In all the discussions we’ve had they see that as the foundation of a proper negotiation.”

Mail
Labour’s plan for a soft Brexit could be agreed in a matter of weeks with Brussels, shadow chancellor John McDonnell claimed today.  Mr McDonnell said the EU has already ‘looked positively’ on the proposals which are based around a new customs union between Britain and Brussels.  Labour wants to negotiate a British ‘say’ on trade deals signed by the bloc in future – but admit it would rule out UK-specific deals sought by Brexiteers.  The proposals break Theresa May‘s red lines but were seized upon by Brussels after her deal was crushed by MPs in January.

EU

Telegraph
Tony Blair has been accused of “unacceptable” behaviour after it emerged he has been briefing Emmanuel Macron on how to force Britain to stay in the EU. The former Labour prime minister believes that if the EU stands its ground over the Brexit deal, Parliament will cave in and accept a customs union – which would keep Britain yoked to Brussels – or a second referendum that could cancel Brexit altogether. Sources in Paris confirmed to The Telegraph that Mr Blair had been speaking to the French President about Brexit.

Times
The frontrunner to become Germany’s next chancellor has rejected some of President Macron’s central proposals for reforming the European Union, widening the faultlines between Berlin and Paris. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said that a European “superstate” and an EU-wide minimum wage would be the “wrong way” as she stressed that national sovereignty must take priority over centralisation in Brussels. Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new leader of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, gave a lukewarm reception to the French president’s ambitious plans for protecting the environment, including his vow to make Europe carbon-neutral by 2050 and to halve its use of pesticides by 2025.

Westmonster
A political group that wants Catalonia to break away from Spain and become an independent country says the region’s former president is running for a seat in the European Parliament even though the Spanish government considers him a fugitive. JxCat — or Together for Catalonia, a ticket that includes the conservative separatist PDeCat party— says Carles Puigdemont will be its top candidate for the May 26 election. PDeCat currently has one lawmaker in the European assembly. The 56-year-old politician fled to Belgium after leading Catalonia’s attempt to break away in 2017 and has successfully fought his extradition to Spain.

Child grooming

Breitbart
Nineteen men and one woman have been arrested on suspicion of perpetrating sexual offences against two underage girls in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The suspects are alleged to have victimised two girls between 2014 and 2016 when they were aged between 14 and 15, according to the BBC. The backgrounds of the suspects and victims have not been made available for publication, and the exact nature of the alleged offences — first reported in 2016 — have not been disclosed at this time.

Tax

Guardian
The tax-free personal allowance, which rises to £12,500 in April, should be scrapped and replaced with a flat payment of £48 a week for every adult, according to radical proposals welcomed by shadow chancellor John McDonnell. The proposal, from the New Economics Foundation thinktank, is for a £48.08 “weekly national allowance,” amounting to £2,500.16 a year from the state, paid to every worker over the age of 18 earning less than £125,000 a year. The cash would not replace benefits and would not depend on employment. The policy idea has been welcomed by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, and the Green MP  Caroline Lucas, and would mean that as many as 88% of all adults would see their post-tax income rise or stay the same, helping to lift 200,000 families across the country out of poverty.

Knife crime

Telegraph
Almost 40 new schools are to be built for troubled children as part of the Government’s response to the knife crime epidemic. Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary, will announce today that 3,500 extra school places will be created, many of which will go to pupils who have been expelled from mainstream schools. Knife crime deaths in England and Wales have reached the highest level since records began in 1946, with a spate of recent murders claiming the lives of teenagers across the country. Police commissioners wrote to Theresa May last week warning that children who were expelled or suspended from school were being “sucked into criminality”.

NHS

Times
Hospitals could be fined if they fail to meet new targets for detecting and treating sepsis. The NHS England rules include a requirement for staff to alert senior doctors if patients suspected of having the condition do not respond to treatment within an hour. All NHS trusts in England will be contractually obliged to comply from April. Sepsis, which is hard to spot, occurs when the immune system goes into overdrive attacking an infection that has spread through the body, causing widespread inflammation that can damage tissue and restrict blood flow. It kills 52,000 people a year in Britain and early treatment is vital.

Heathrow

ITV News
Controversial plans to expand Heathrow Airport will come under the scrutiny of leading judges as a legal challenge gets under way at the High Court. A coalition of councils, residents, environmental charities and the mayor of London Sadiq Khan are fighting a legal battle against the Government’s decision to approve the building of a third runway. The case is being brought against Transport Secretary Chris Grayling by local authorities and residents in London affected by the expansion and charities including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Plan B.

Universal credit

Times
People claiming universal credit should be offered a one-off “helping hand” payment worth a quarter of their award and be able to receive their money fortnightly, a conservative think tank has proposed. Claimants should also be able to ask that money for their rent be paid directly to their landlord to remove the risk of them falling into arrears, get compensation for late payments and keep smaller sums overpaid to them by mistake, it says. The proposals are made in a report by Bright Blue, a think tank that champions liberal conservatism.

Cot deaths

Times
Two fifths of parents admit sleeping with their babies in unsafe circumstances that increase the risk of cot death, according to a survey. The Lullaby Trust, a charity that aims to cut rates of sudden infant death syndrome (Sids), found that high numbers slept with their babies on a sofa or armchair after drinking alcohol or as a smoker. The poll of more than 8,500 parents found that 76 per cent had co-slept with their baby at some point.

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