PANICKY Treasury chiefs tried to slow Brexit down to a ten year process, The Sun can reveal. Insiders claim mandarins pushed for a transitional deal with the EU that could have had the UK staying in the Single Market and Customs Union for a decade, but were ignored by Philip Hammond. Instead the Chancellor has demanded “a period of at the most three years.” He told the BBC last month there was “a broad consensus that this process has to be completed by the time the scheduled time of the next general election which is in June 2022.”
CABINET ministers on opposite sides of the Brexit debate yesterday sought to shut down talk of Government splits on quitting the EU by launching a public show of unity. Philip Hammond and Liam Fox used a joint statement to vow that a transition period to smooth the way after Britain formally leaves the European Union will be time-limited and not a “back door” to staying in the bloc. They also insisted that Britain will leave the single market and customs union in 2019 when it formally leaves the EU. Chancellor Mr Hammond has been accused of trying to thwart the referendum result by arguing for a long transition during which Britain could stay in the single market.
The Brexit truce between Philip Hammond and Liam Fox will “inevitably fall apart” because the Chancellor holds the International Trade Secretary in “contempt”, a Tory minister has claimed. Mr Hammond and Dr Fox appeared to settle their differences with a joint article in the Sunday Telegraph saying Britain will completely leave the Single Market and Customs Union after Brexit in 2019. However fellow ministers expressed scepticism and eurosceptic Conservative MPs suggested that Mr Hammond had been forced to “row back” by Theresa May. The claim was strongly denied by Downing Street sources. One Tory minister told The Daily Telegraph: “I don’t believe it. Hammond does not have a high regard for Fox, he holds him in contempt. He’s very superior. Inevitably this truce will fall apart.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary Liam Fox have teamed up to promise the UK will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union, and will not stay in the European Union (EU) via the “back door”. The two men were on different sides of the Brexit debate and have publicly fallen out in recent weeks after Dr. Fox claimed he and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson were not informed of Mr. Hammond’s plan to keep the UK tied to the EU for years in a so-called “transition period”. Mr. Hammond has been widely seen as trying to frustrate or even block Britain’s exit from the EU by Brexit supporters. However, the statement, made in an article for The Telegraph, represents a notable change in rhetoric. Both men now appear to be committed to a “transition period”, but also a “hard Brexit”, outside of the EU institutions.
Britain will not remain in the customs union during the transitional period planned for immediately after it leaves the European Union, two leading cabinet ministers declared on Sunday. Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and Philip Hammond, the chancellor, made the declaration in a joint article for the Sunday Telegraph intended to quash speculation that the cabinet is divided over how to implement Brexit and what will happen during the transitional period – or implementation phase, as ministers call it. The article shows that Fox has won at least one internal cabinet battle over Brexit because it says the UK will be “outside the customs union” during the transition and that it “will be a ‘third country’ not party to the EU treaties”. This means that the UK will be free to conclude trade deals with non-EU countries from the moment it leaves in March 2019, and that it will not have to wait until the transition is over, possibly three years later.
Theresa May is expected to be back in Downing Street this week as ministers prepare to flesh out their negotiating position on Brexit. The return of the prime minister, who has spent three weeks on holiday in Italy with her husband Philip, coincides with the publication this week of a series of new position papers on Brexit – including one on the fraught issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. It is thought that it will include an offer of continued free movement for Irish nationals in and out of the UK once Britain has left the EU in March 2019. There will then be a further series of papers in the run up to the European Council in Brussels in October, setting out the Government’s vision of Britain’s future relations with the EU, including the crucial issue of the post-Brexit customs arrangements.
Theresa May is accused of trying to break parliamentary rules in order to ram through controversial law changes after Brexit. The Conservatives are demanding to pack a crucial decision-making committee with their own MPs, despite losing their Commons majority at the election, The Independent can reveal. Now Opposition parties plan to join forces to derail the attempted fix, in what threatens to be the first autumn Parliamentary clash over leaving the EU. At stake is the extent of the Prime Minister’s power, through the Repeal Bill, to force through up to 1,000 “corrections” to EU law without MPs necessarily voting on them. The vast number of statutory instruments (SIs) to be passed – some under “Henry VIII” powers – has already provoked accusations of a Government power grab.
Theresa May is facing claims by senior Whitehall officials that Brexit decisions are being “rushed through” in chaotic fashion over the summer. The prime minister will return from holiday today to increasing concern among civil servants and ministers that senior mandarins are railroading through decisions when many politicians are absent from Westminster. Position papers on the Irish border after Brexit and a potential future customs arrangement are to be published this week. They form part of a series of up to a dozen government documents due to come out in the next two months before an important European summit in October. Mrs May decided to issue the papers after criticism about a lack of clarity over the government’s negotiating position.
Brexit position papers to be released this week risk fuelling tension between the British and Irish governments. Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, had urged Theresa May to remain in the customs union to avoid border checks. But cabinet ministers Philip Hammond and Liam Fox have clearly indicated the UK’s intention to ignore that plea. The British Government believes a “light touch border”, using some checks and new technology, will solve the problem. In fields which straddle the Irish border, they risk having some animals in the EU and others outside it.
Britain says it is ready to move to the next phase of Brexit talks and set out details of the future relationship it wants with the European Union. Opening rounds of talks with Brussels have made little headway, with EU negotiators demanding greater clarity from the British delegation. The EU has warned that an already-tight timetable could be delayed ahead of a scheduled March 2019 exit. Britain is keen to start talking about its post-Brexit relationship with Europe, wary of the need to reassure anxious businesses, citizens and investors. But, Brussels has insisted that progress must be made on divorce arrangements first.
David Miliband has come out fighting for a second vote on the “stitch-up” of Brexit. Labour’s former foreign secretary said there should be a “straight vote” on the final deal – either in parliament or through a second referendum. In a scathing article for The Observer, the ex-MP urged all sides to fight the “worst consequences” of the “unparalleled act of economic self-harm” that was last year’s vote to leave the EU. He added: “It is the equivalent of voting to repeal Obamacare without knowing the replacement. It is a stitch-up. “That is one reason it is essential that parliament or the public are given the chance to have a straight vote between EU membership and the negotiated alternative.”
Brussels is spending €500,000 on projects “challenging Euroscepticism” as it plans to create a “long-term network” to undermine hostility to the EU. The spending is part of a near €3 million war chest this year funding 84 projects across Britain and the EU with the aim to “channel criticism into a useful, constructive and positive driver for European integration in the long run”. Projects are funded if they “enable participants to challenge Euroscepticism and to suggest possible actions that the EU could undertake to foster a sense of belonging to Europe, to understand the benefits of the EU and to reinforce the EU’s social and political cohesion”, European Commission documents showed.
EU countries are to begin sending asylum seekers back to Greece, following the resumption of the Dublin Agreement. Greece had previously suspended the agreement, telling EU leaders they simply couldn’t take any more migrants, however, as more migrants turn their attention to Italy and Spain, Greece has been able to resume returns. Transfers back to Greece will be done on a case by case basis, according to the UNHCR, and children will be exempt. Sky News claims that migrants that arrived in Greece after March 15 before travelling on to other countries are liable to be returned. Westmonster can’t see this lasting very long before Greece becomes completely overwhelmed with returns. They are already struggling with regular riots at the crowded migrant centres that have been set up. You have to feel sorry for the Greeks who are once again being dumped upon – after all it Angela Merkel who invited the world to come.
An almost inconsequentially small number of migrants (0.36 per cent) applying for asylum in Germany last year should have done so according to EU law, as they had not passed through other safe nations before getting there. Around 280,000 migrants entered the German asylum system in 2016, and less than 1,000 did not come via safe third countries. If Germany’s Basic Law and the European Union’s (EU) Dublin Agreement were fully implemented, then 99.6 per cent of the migrants entering asylum claims would not be allowed to do so. “In 2016, a total of 903 asylum seekers who were not sent to Germany via a safe third country or a safe country of origin were identified by the federal police at German airports,” Germany’s Federal Police Agency told WELT AM SONNTAG.
Stamp duty must be cut “as a matter of urgency” as part of a return to Conservative values if the party is to win the next election, Jacob Rees-Mogg declares today. Writing for The Telegraph, the Tory MP denies speculation that he is preparing to challenge Theresa May but condemns her election campaign as “too managerial” and “lacking inspiration”. Setting out his vision for electoral success he urges Mrs May to reduce stamp duty and income tax, demolish tower blocks and tackle “scarcely competent monopolies” such as the energy markets. He writes that he wants to be “the servant of the Conservative Party, not its master”, and highlights that Theresa May “giggled” at the prospect of his becoming Prime Minister. However, his intervention may raise rather than dispel speculation that he harbours ambitions for the leadership.
STAMP duty must be slashed “as a matter of urgency” as part of a return to Tory values, popular backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg declared last night. Amid claims the eccentric backbencher was planning a tilt at No10, the Somerset MP has launched a stinging attack on the Conservatives’ “managerial” election campaign. Despite pledging loyalty to Theresa May, the young fogey blasts the PM’s disastrous snap poll for “lacking inspiration.” And the Old-Etonion laid out his vision for Britain that would see as weighty taxes on house moving abolished, towers like Grenfell demolished and “scarcely competent monopolies” such as the energy market blown open. In a true blue rallying cry, he made a a plea for tax cuts for homeowners, saying government “must go with the grain of what the people want.”
Maverick Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has said privately he wants to succeed Theresa May, it was claimed last night. ‘Hard Brexit’ supporter Mr Rees-Mogg let slip his leadership ambition at a private lunch, according to Anglo-US academic Ted Malloch. Professor Malloch, who has close links with US President Donald Trump, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I was at a lunch with Jacob very recently and he indicated he would like to be considered for the leadership when the time comes. ‘He did not mean now, but at some point in the future.’ Right-wing US Republican Prof Malloch urged the Conservatives to sack ‘weak’ Mrs May and replace her immediately with Tory ‘lion’ Mr Rees-Mogg.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the eccentric right-wing Conservative MP, is considering running for Tory leader if Theresa May resigns, it has been reported. Mr Rees-Mogg, whose full-blooded Toryism and unabashed poshness has led to him being nicknamed “the Honourable Member for the 18th Century”, has consistently backed Ms May as party leader in public. But on Sunday – against a background of increasingly enthusiastic “Moggmentum” social media campaigns by youthful Conservatives – two separate newspaper reports said he was “sounding out” friends about a possible leadership bid, and would like to succeed Ms May “when the time comes”.
He has emerged as an unlikely Tory leadership prospect, but Jacob Rees-Mogg has played down claims he is considering running for the party’s top job. The North East Somerset MP has experienced a sudden upsurge in popularity since the General Election and he came second in a recent poll of party members on who should succeed Theresa May. He joined Instagram in the run up to June’s election and has 40,000 followers – 22,000 more than the Prime Minister. Some see the “young fogey” MP as a right-wing antidote to the popularity of Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn. The Old Etonian, who recently announced the birth of his sixth child – Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher – is reportedly “sounding out” friends about whether he should go for it, according to The Sunday Times.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the backbench Tory traditionalist, has dismissed reports that he could be the next Conservative party leader as products of the August “silly season”. “I wouldn’t put any money on it,” he told Radio 4’s Broadcasting House on Sunday, when asked why two Sunday newspapers were running stories, separately sourced, saying he would like to succeed Theresa May. “I think it’s a reminder that it’s August. People don’t have a huge amount of pressing UK political news to write about, and therefore there’s this jolly stuff about me.” But on Broadcasting House, and in comments to the two newspapers that covered his leadership prospects, Rees-Mogg declined to rule out standing as a candidate in the Tory leadership contest widely expected before the next general election. The “silly season” is a newspaper term for the period in the summer when the relative lack of hard news leads to frivolous stories receiving more attention than they normally merit.
JACOB Rees-Mogg has insisted he wants be to a “servant” not a master of the Conservative Party as he hit out at Theresa May’s election campaign for being “too managerial” and “lacking inspiration” before setting out his own vision for the UK. The MP for North East Somerset previously said that he did not see himself as a “serious” candidate, but according to his friends he is giving “careful consideration” about whether to enter the race to succeed Theresa May. The news comes days after it was revealed he is the second-most popular choice to be the next Tory leader, according to a poll on ConservativeHome. Mr Rees-Mogg maintains that he supports Theresa May before launching into his vision of electoral success. He told The Telegraph: “I neither am a candidate, nor wish to be one. I want to be the servant of the Conservative Party, not its master.
One in six care home companies is in danger of insolvency, according to a report warning that successive rises in the living wage have driven up costs to the point where they may bankrupt a large part of the system. About 420,000 people over the age of 65 are being looked after in Britain’s 11,000 residential care homes, including 220,000 of the most vulnerable patients, who are in 4,700 nursing homes. Healthcare regulators and charities have repeatedly warned that the present situation is unaffordable but local authorities in England are preparing to cut £824 million from their social care budgets this year, according to one estimate.
One in six care homes are showing signs they are at risk of failure amid rising costs and a lack of funding, according to a new study. Research by accountancy firm Moore Stephens found that a “persistent” lack of funds from local authorities, coupled with increases to the national living wage, had put considerable financial pressure on the sector. The growing use of agency workers because of problems recruiting and retaining employees has pushed up staff costs to an all time high, said the report. Labour said the Government had “ignored warnings” about the affect under-funding was having on the care sector.
Coming to a television set near you: Farage the movie. A major Hollywood studio is poised to sign a deal with Nigel Farage and Arron Banks to make a £60million, six-part film of Mr Banks’ best-selling diary of the referendum campaign “The Bad Boys of Brexit”. The script is nearly finished and shooting will start in the New Year. The series will air in April, once the deal is signed next month at a meeting in Los Angeles. The story is told from the point of view of Gerry Gunster, a US pollster who advised the Leave.EU campaign, and tells how Mr Farage and Mr Banks won against the odds and ended up campaigning for Donald Trump’s successful campaign in the US presidential election.