THE PROSPECT of Britain walking out of Brexit talks with the EU has come closer with claims that the Government is set to go on the offensive and lay out the benefits of “no deal”. The Daily Express has learnt that international trade secretary Liam Fox has told friends that his department is preparing the case on how no deal is better than EU membership. The revelation comes amid growing frustration with the intransigence of the European Commission in the Brexit talks. Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned that he may not move the talks on to discussing a trade deal in October because the UK refuses to accept the EU divorce bill demand of £78 billion. It also follows a senior government minister telling the Daily Express over the summer that the UK is considering walking out over the EU’s intransigence that Britain has to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
THERESA May is being urged to call Europe’s bluff by refusing to pay the Brexit divorce bill and plan for no deal with Brussels. Senior Conservatives suggested the threat would be a way of exploiting divisions between Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and other member states. Negotiations with the EU have made slow progress so far, with the UK locked in discussions with Brussels about how much it will cost to exit. The dispute could lead to a delay in moving on to the next round of negotiations where the Government wants to thrash out future trade arrangements. It is claimed Mr Barnier made pledges to the other European Union (EU) member states that they would not have to pay more once Britain leaves. By threatening to walk away without paying, Mr Barnier might be forced to soften his stance on payment, a Cabinet minister said.
MPs have been warned by David Davis that voting against the Brexit repeal bill would amount to backing a “chaotic” exit from the European Union. The Brexit Secretary stressed the British people “did not vote for confusion” in last year’s referendum and Parliament should respect that when it divides on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill for the first time. Labour will vote against the legislation, arguing so-called “Henry VIII” powers in the Bill that would allow ministers to alter laws without full parliamentary scrutiny amount to a “power-grab”. But Mr Davis’s words could weigh heavy on Labour MPs from Leave-backing constituencies, with sources estimating around a dozen could rebel against Jeremy Corbyn’s orders. The Liberal Democrats, who will oppose the legislation, have urged the Labour leader to sack any frontbenchers who defy the whip or risk his party’s shift towards a “softer” Brexit being exposed as a “sham”.
David Davis has told MPs that voting against the Brexit repeal bill would result in the UK suffering a “chaotic” exit from the European Union. The Brexit Secretary said that British people had not voted for “confusion” when they took part in last year’s referendum. As a result, he said, Parliament should respect the will of the people when it decides whether to back the Government on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. Labour has said it will vote against the legislation, arguing so-called “Henry VIII” powers in the Bill amount to a “power-grab”.The powers are named after a statutory instrument used by the Tudor king to force through new laws without full parliamentary scrutiny. Sources estimate around a dozen Labour MPs from Leave-backing constituencies could rebel against Jeremy Corbyn’s orders.
The Government has been urged to soften its Brexit stance by keeping Britain in the single market in the long term amid claims its negotiating position could be compared to a “letter to Santa”. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady will tell ministers to “keep all options on the table” as Britain negotiates its withdrawal from the European Union, while leaving the door open to remaining in the EU trade agreements beyond the official exit in March 2019. In a keynote speech to annual TUC Congress, Ms O’Grady is expected to warn Theresa May that the “clock is ticking” to deliver a Brexit deal for working people. She was also due to call for an end to the pay cap for nurses, teachers and other public sector workers, while reports suggest the cap might be lifted from police and prison officers.
Jean-Claude Juncker will outline radical proposals for a European Union “renaissance” this week while pointedly ignoring Brexit. The president of the European Commission began intensive work last week on a speech that he sees as the most important in his long political career as former prime minister of Luxembourg and one of Europe’s most passionate federalists. Aides said that Mr Juncker, 62, will avoid any mention of the Brexit decision because he does not want his vision or record to be defined by Britain’s break-up with the EU. “He will not talk about Brexit. Not at all,” said a source. Mr Juncker told EU ambassadors two weeks ago that he had been planning a new vision for Europe.
THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) is attempting to set a “Brexit trap” for Theresa May, Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has warned. He urged the UK not to fold under European Union demands for a Brexit payment, explaining they were attempting to “ruin” negotiations in advance. And he said, like Greece during the financial crisis, the EU may succeed in “damaging” the British people. Mr Varoufakis blasted Brexit as a process but said he respected the democratic wish of the people and it was time for Brussels to do the same. He said: “That Michel Barnier and his team have a mandate to wreck any mutually advantageous deal there is little doubt. “The message to London is clear: you give us everything we are asking for, unconditionally. Then and only then will we hear what you want.”
Tony Blair today hinted a new political party could emerge to give Remain voters a “home.” It came as the former Labour PM said there were “signs” that Brussels leaders would be willing to allow tough new rules on immigration if Britain stayed in the EU, Tony Blair claimed today. He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that despite David Cameron having failed to obtain such a concession, Britain could “probably” get them to agree in the atmosphere following the Brexit vote. He criticised both Labour under Jeremy Corbyn and the Conservative government for focusing on Brexit, which he branded “a distraction” – and failing to come up with solutions to the problems the country will face in the coming decades. He said it was inevitable that the centrist energy in the country would find a home.
TONY Blair was told tonight to “get over it” and accept the result of the EU referendum as he launched yet another bid to reverse the result. Mr Blair caused astonishment in a broadcast interview by attempting to rewrite history when he claimed that opening the borders for Eastern European countries in 2004 had not caused a massive influx of immigration to the UK – and that tougher immigration rules now could mean the UK staying in the EU. But the discredited former Prime Minister was slapped down by Tory Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon after he published a report suggesting that Britain could remain in the EU if immigration controls were brought in. Mr Blair claimed this would fulfil the will of the people expressed in last year’s Brexit vote while allowing Britain to stay in the EU.
Politicians have dismissed former prime minister Tony Blair’s plan to stop Brexit by negotiating new EU freedom of movement rules. Mr Blair says introducing tougher immigration policies would fulfil the will of Brexit voters so make it unnecessary for the UK to leave the bloc. The institute he founded after he left Downing Street in 2007 has written a policy document that says Brexit is not “the sole, or even the best way to” overcome “public anxiety about immigration”. It says the Government should “seek to negotiate a strengthened ’emergency brake'” to put in place “temporary controls on free movement” which would allow “control over immigration” while leaving open the option of “remaining within the EU”. But former Chancellor Ken Clarke told Sky News such a plan was “hopeless”, while Conservative minister Dominic Raab said his idea had been tried already and been unsuccessful.
Tony Blair has urged pro-EU MPs of all parties to defy their leaders and start campaigning publicly to halt Brexit. The former prime minister urged MPs to recognise that EU withdrawal was in a “different category from the normal decision where you obey the party whip”. “This is a decision that really changes the destiny of this country for generations,” Mr Blair said. “At least try to explain that to the country. Find the leadership within yourself to say to people there is a different and better way.” Mr Blair said he accepted Brexit would “go forward” if the public did not change its mind – but insisted a rethink was possible if pro-EU politicians were brave enough to “argue for it”. “If we who are in politics, either in Parliament or outside of Parliament, put this case to people, maybe they will listen,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
TONY BLAIR stuck his nose into the Brexit debate yesterday, saying the referendum result should be ignored and demanding a clampdown on immigration. The former prime minister also called for unemployed immigrants to be denied NHS treatment. His comments brought a swift rebuke from Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who said Mr Blair “misses the point” about immigrant workers, whose abuse by “greedy bosses” leads to the undercutting of wages and working conditions. Mr McCluskey argued that only a proper regulation of the jobs market could stop the abuse when Britain leaves the European Union. He also described Mr Blair as “yesterday’s man,” adding: “He’s as out of touch now as he was in 2004. “He doesn’t address the idea because what Tony Blair and the New Labour government were a part of, and certainly what the Conservatives have continued, is creating this race-to-the-bottom culture within our society rather than a rate-for-the-job society.”
The number of EU citizens the Government is deporting from the UK has rocketed since the Brexit vote, despite ministers’ promises to guarantee residents’ rights, The Independent can reveal. Analysis of official government data shows there were 26 per cent more enforced removals of EU nationals in the first three months of 2017 than in the same period last year. Almost 5,000 EU citizens have now been deported from Britain in the last 12 months: the highest since current records began and an increase of 14 per cent in the last year alone. The figures come after a leaked Home Office memo revealed comprehensive plans to significantly restrict immigration from Europe when Britain leaves the EU.
The backlog of asylum seekers awaiting removal from Britain has risen by more than 5,000 in a year. More than 32,000 were “subject to removal” at the end of June, according to Home Office figures. The number sent home fell just under a quarter, from 5,433 to 4,118. Keith Vaz, chairman of the all-party group on immigration and visas, said: “These numbers are unacceptable and an embarrassment to the Home Office. Nothing undermines confidence in the immigration system more than failure to remove once a decision has been made. It gives rise to false hopes and generates further baseless appeals. The Home Office should get a grip of the situation.”
The number of failed asylum seekers who have been rejected but not deported has increased by 5,000. It highlights the complete failure by the government to get a grip on the building backlog, with over 32,000 now ‘subject to removal’ still in the country. The numbers of those being deported has steadily declined. In 2016 only 3,446 rejected asylum seekers were deported compared to over 18,000 in 2006. There is something clearly wrong with the current system when so few who have been assessed to have no right to be in Britain are being allowed to stay and are not being deported. More migration failure from the government who need to get a grip, and quickly.
Militant unions yesterday threatened to break the law in order to force Theresa May out of Downing Street. One hard-Left leader demanded that millions of workers down tools, declaring: ‘They’re not going to lock us all up.’ The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union called for a nationwide train strike to bring the transport network to a halt. And Unite leader Len McCluskey warned he would break strike laws to protect his members’ interests. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell also spoke at the rally outside the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to give Labour’s blessing to a wave of strikes against the public-sector pay cap. He said his MPs would be on picket lines to show ‘solidarity’ with the ‘struggle’, and appeared to give support to co-ordinated action.
Angry public sector workers are warning Tory MPs in 27 key marginal seats – there are more of us than your majority. The move to put pressure on MPs to lift the 1% public sector pay cap is being spearheaded by Britain’s biggest public sector union Unison. In one case, Tory MP Royston Smith has a majority of just 31, but 2,000 Unison members live in his Southampton Itchen constituency. Speaking at the start of the annual Trades Union Congress in Brighton, Dave Prentis, Unison’s general secretary, said the Tory government was out of step with the mood of the mation on public sector pay. He said: “Over recent months there have been warm words and gratitude for public sector workers, but that won’t pay the bills, buy their children’s school uniform or put petrol in their cars.
Ministers will start lifting the public-sector pay cap on some workers within days, with rises expected for the police and prison officers. Amber Rudd, the home secretary, and David Lidington, the justice secretary, are expected to accept recommendations for higher pay rises this week. Sources said that the rise would not be paid for by more borrowing, suggesting that cabinet ministers would have to find the money from cuts elsewhere. The Treasury will issue guidance on next year’s pay round for other professions later this month. Public-sector pay was frozen for two years in 2010, except for those earning less than £21,000 a year, and since 2013 rises have been capped at 1 per cent.
PUBLIC-SECTOR workers will turn the screws on MPs in marginal Tory seats this week as Labour forces a parliamentary vote on ending the 1 per cent pay cap. As the TUC Congress opened yesterday, public-sector union Unison published a list of 27 marginals where its membership significantly outnumbers the Conservative incumbent’s majority. The campaign was launched as heroic NHS workers who treated victims of the London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester terrorist attacks said they were struggling to make ends meet. Thousands of Unison members in the 27 constituencies will lobby their MPs in the coming days, protesting at the fact that public-sector pay has either been frozen or limited to 1 per cent rises since 2010.
Labour has accused the Government of “divide and rule” tactics over public sector pay amid reports the controversial cap could be scrapped in the autumn budget. Downing Street recently fuelled speculation by refusing to rule out claims that Theresa May is planning to remove the longstanding 1per cent cap and offer the first rises to the lowest-paid workers and professions that struggle to retain staff such as nurses and senior civil servants. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell condemned efforts for “selective” changes to the cap and vowed that Labour would pile pressure on the Government to scrap the cap for all public sector workers. His comments came as Labour said it would force a Commons vote on the issue on Wednesday to pressure Ms May to act sooner.
Ministers are to signal this week that they are prepared to bust the 1% pay cap for police and prison officers, as a first step towards recognising the concerns of cash-strapped workers across the public sector. In a significant shift that was already being claimed as a victory by trade unions on Sunday night, Downing Street has indicated that it is time to consider easing the pay freeze imposed in 2010 by then chancellor George Osborne. The government is expected to accept the recommendations of pay review bodies for the police and prison service, which are due to report soon – a move likely to increase the pressure for real-terms rises for nurses, teachers and other key public sector staff.
Labour has refused to rule out supporting a coordinated strike over the issue of the 1% public sector pay cap. Four unions have tabled motions to this week’s Trades Union Congress in Brighton calling for some kind of nationally coordinated action. Asked by Sky whether Labour would support any union-backed action, shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said his party supports anyone who strikes for “industrial reasons”. He said: “People go on strike for industrial reasons, they don’t go on strike for political reasons and … the Labour Party supports people who take industrial action. “But we don’t want it to get to that stage. We don’t want to see a strike. We don’t want to see nurses going on strike and wider public servants going on strike.
The government is to lift the 1% public sector pay cap for the first time for both police and prison officers, the BBC understands. Ministers are expected to accept recommendations for higher pay rises this week and also to pave the way for similar increases in other sectors. BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said it was the “first concrete example of the pay cap being dismantled”. Unions, the opposition, and some Tories are calling for the cap to be lifted. Public sector pay was frozen for two years in 2010, except for those earning less than £21,000 a year, and since 2013, rises have been capped at 1% – below the rate of inflation. The higher increases expected this week for police and prison officers are based on the recommendations of independent pay review bodies, with recruitment and retention problems being cited in the case of prison officers.
Britain is becoming “the sick man of Europe” as life expectancy surges in other countries, analysis shows. One of the world’s leading experts has demanded government action over “urgent and deepening problems with the nation’s health”, as he reveals that the rest of Europe is living ever longer while progress in Britain has stalled. Sir Michael Marmot is calling for an immediate investigation into why a century of lengthening lives has come to an end, which he argues is fundamentally more important than the threat of a bed shortage in the NHS. He raised the alarm in July over static life expectancies, pointing out that until 2010 Britons were gaining a year of life every four years.
When mice are hit hard on the head they react much like humans. They have trouble forming new memories, their personality can change, they may become aggressive or confused and they find it difficult navigating in new surroundings. Almost nothing, it had been believed, could be done. But in a California laboratory scientists have given brain-damaged mice a drug and found that the animals could then navigate a maze just as well as their healthy peers. In doing so the scientists have shown that it may be possible to reverse the effects of apparently permanent brain injury. Theirs is not the only research and there is hope of creating a “concussion pill” to help the estimated 350,000 Britons a year who suffer a brain injury.
NEARLY 150 hospitals have ignored Government pleas and UPPED rip off car park fees, the Sun can reveal. Theresa May was last night urged to scrap the charges once and for all as it emerged Brits are being charged as much £369.60 a WEEK to visit sick relatives. New figures show that since Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt urged hospitals to cut fees in 2014, an incredible 147 or 44 per cent of sites in England have INCREASED their charges per hour. Some 138 are charging more per day and 126 more per week. Former Tory Minister Rob Halfon said the extraordinary figures – from his own investigation – showed the NHS was “no longer free of charge”.
Pupils are being told to be in bed by 9pm every night and up at 6.30am in a tough crackdown launched at one of the country’s worst schools. Children have also been warned they face losing their mobiles for weeks, to walk in single file in corridors and that teachers are the ‘unquestioned authority’ at the Norfolk school. And they’re being told that they’ll be given buckets to vomit in if they feel sick in class. Furious mothers and fathers have already set up a group on Facebook called Yarmouth High Worried Parents after being outraged by the new get-tough crusade. The hardline regime is being imposed as troubled Great Yarmouth High School in Norfolk became a Charter Academy last month after being taken over by the Inspiration Trust.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme must be “halted” before it develops a missile capable of hitting London, the Defence Secretary said. Asked if the rogue state could strike the UK capital, Sir Michael Fallon replied: “Not yet, but they are clearly accelerating the missile programme, the range is getting longer and longer.” He added: “We have to get this programme halted, because the dangers now of miscalculation, or some accident triggering a response, are extremely great.” On potential Nato involvement to help defend the US if North Korea carried out is threat to attack Guam, in the Pacific, Sir Michael added: “Guam is part of the United States. “It’s United States sovereign territory and the United States, of course, under the United Nations, has the right to ask other members of the United Nations to join in its self-defence.”