Brussels has demanded yet more Brexit concessions from Britain, prompting warnings that a deal based on further compromise to the EU would never get through Parliament. Michel Barnier, Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator, told EU ambassadors that “more work needs to be done” as he updated them on the state of the talks on Sunday. One diplomat from a major member state insisted the UK “must move quickly” if it wants an agreement signed off at this week’s summit, adding: “The clock is ticking.” The demand for yet more concessions from the UK prompted frustration and anger in Westminster, with Cabinet ministers hitting out at Brussels for ignoring the need for Boris Johnson to get parliamentary backing for any deal reached.
European Union negotiators have demanded more concessions from Boris Johnson as the price of agreeing a Brexit deal at a summit of European leaders on Thursday. After a weekend of intensive negotiations in Brussels, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, told European ambassadors that Britain’s proposals were not yet acceptable. He is understood to have told David Frost, Britain’s chief negotiator, that if a deal was to be struck Mr Johnson would have to give further ground on a customs agreement for Northern Ireland.
MICHEL BARNIER has warned EU capitals it will be “very difficult” to strike a Brexit deal in time for this week’s European leaders summit unless Boris Johnson offers further concessions. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, told senior EU diplomats that the UK’s customs proposals are still “unacceptable” in their current form. Brussels is also unsatisfied with the amount of progress made across the weekend. Mr Barnier told senior diplomats there had “not been as much progress” as he had hoped for and future negotiations will be “difficult”. Discussions will continue tomorrow in the hope of finding a breakthrough and avoiding a no deal Brexit.
Boris Johnson is coming under pressure to concede more ground to Brussels as hopes for an early breakthrough in the Brexit talks appeared to falter. UK and EU officials will resume talks in the Belgian capital today with the prospects of an agreement in time for Britain to leave with a deal on October 31 in the balance. Time is rapidly running out if there is to be an agreement to put to EU leaders to sign off on at their two-day summit starting on Thursday.
The EU has told Boris Johnson he must move “further and faster” in last-ditch Brexit talks if he is to secure an exit deal and avoid having to ask for another extension next weekend. Officials said intensive talks over the weekend had been “constructive” but that the pace of progress was not enough for a deal to be agreed this week. Mr Johnson is desperate for an agreement to be signed off before Saturday to avoid him having to ask for further delay to Brexit. But while EU sources said that a breakthrough during the prime minister’s talks with his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, last week meant there was now “a deal to be done”, they urged Mr Johnson to make further concessions to secure an agreement.
THE EU has sparked anger by demanding more concessions from Boris Johnson if they are to agree to a new Brexit deal this week. But furious Brexiteers have insisted “enough is enough” and said Britain should not cave in to any more EU demands. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has said a “lot of work remains to be done”. He is understood to have told the PM’s chief negotiator David Frost that Mr Johnson will have to give further ground on a customs agreement for Northern Ireland. A reported attempt by Mr Johnson to revive a compromise proposal by Theresa May for a “customs partnership” between Northern Ireland and the EU was said to have run into opposition from both Brussels and Boris’s allies in the DUP.
Britain and the European Union said on Sunday a lot more work would be needed to secure an agreement on Britain’s departure from the bloc. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his cabinet a last-minute deal was still possible as the two sides pressed on with intensive talks to try to avoid a disorderly Brexit on Oct. 31, the date set for Britain’s departure. “The Prime Minister said there was a way forward for a deal that could secure all our interests … but that there is still a significant amount of work to get there and we must remain prepared to leave (without a deal) on October 31,” a spokeswoman from Johnson’s office said.
Boris Johnson is reportedly coming under pressure to give more ground to Brussels as efforts continue to try to reach a Brexit agreement before an EU summit later this week. UK and EU officials will resume talks in the Belgian capital today with the prospect of an agreement in time for Britain to leave with a deal on October 31 in the balance. The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said “technical-level” talks between officials over the weekend had proved “constructive”.
It will be ‘very difficult’ to reach a new Brexit deal by the October 31 deadline, the EU’s chief negotiator warned last night. Michel Barnier told ambassadors that Britain’s Irish backstop alternative is still not acceptable – despite concessions from Boris Johnson. UK and Brussels negotiators locked themselves away in the EU Commission’s headquarters over the weekend to hammer out a compromise in time for a crunch summit on Thursday. It came after Mr Johnson’s fresh proposals on how to solve the Northern Ireland border issue were given a warm reception by Irish premier Leo Varadkar last week.
Boris Johnson will “probably not” ask the EU to delay Brexit even if no deal is agreed this week, Jean-Claude Juncker has said. The European Commission president said he was not expecting the UK to “ask for extra time” but that he would not block a further extension if one was requested. Mr Juncker admitted that he “cannot judge” how Mr Johnson will treat the crunch European Council summit later this week if no deal has been agreed between the EU and UK. Under the terms of the so-called Benn Act passed by parliament last month, the prime minister must ask the EU for a further delay to Brexit if a deal has not been approved by 19 October.
Jean-Claude Juncker has talked up the prospects of a Brexit extension beyond 31 October as EU officials downplayed the chances of a breakthrough in time for this week’s crunch summit. As talks on Johnson’s latest Brexit proposals continued in Brussels, the European commission president said he would back a prolongation of the UK’s membership if it was sought. “It’s up to the Brits to decide if they will ask for an extension,” Juncker told the Austrian newspaper the Kurier on Sunday. “But if Boris Johnson were to ask for extra time – which probably he won’t – I would consider it unhistoric to refuse such a request.”
Jean-Claude Juncker has said that EU leaders may agree to another Brexit extension, if the UK asks for one. Doubt remains over whether Boris Johnson will ask EU leaders for a fresh extension to the Brexit process beyond 31 October, which he is compelled to do by the Benn Act if no deal can be reached. Any extension beyond 31 October would require approval from the other 27 EU leaders, but the European Commission President has given a strong indication that the plan would not be blocked. Mr Juncker told Austrian newspaper Kurier on Sunday: “It is up to the British to decide if they will ask for an extension. But if Boris Johnson were to ask for extra time, which probably he won’t, I would consider it unhistoric to refuse such a request.”
Boris Johnson has thrown down the gauntlet to MPs, telling them to either back any deal he brings back from Brussels – or admit they are trying to stop Brexit. At the start of a defining week in politics, the Prime Minister told his Cabinet in a conference call there was still a ‘long way to go’ to hammer out an agreement. But in a reference to his breakthrough meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Merseyside last week, he added: ‘Where there’s a Wirral, there is a way.’
TORY rebels are plotting to wreck Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans by forcing a further delay in the departure date even if a deal with the EU is secured, according to reports. MPs led by former chancellor Philip Hammond will attempt to mandate the Prime Minister to formally request a Brexit postponement whatever the outcome of this week’s negotiations. They intend to use the Benn Act to try to block a no-deal Brexit, to try to force Mr Johnson to write to the EU to make the request.
Police forces in England and Wales are on standby for what could be one of the biggest public protests in British history, the anti-Brexit march due to take place in central London on Saturday 19 October. As MPs gather in the House of Commons for an emergency weekend sitting to discuss Brexit, more than a million people are expected to mass outside parliament for a People’s Vote march, while Extinction Rebellion climate campaigners launch the finale to a near fortnight of continuous protest. Scotland Yard confirmed it was expecting a huge event and was liaising with the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC), which is responsible for the deployment of officers from across the UK to assist during large-scale events.
Theresa May’s failed Brexit deal could be put to another vote if Boris Johnson walks away from talks in Brussels. Rebel Conservatives are understood to have held talks with Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP MPs about a plan to break the deadlock in parliament. Under the plan, if negotiations in Brussels collapse and the Benn act is successful in securing an extension, MPs would then try to seize the initiative from the government. Rather than accept an early election they would try to take control of the Commons order paper again and put Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement to a fourth vote subject to a confirmatory referendum.
Jeremy Corbyn has become increasingly isolated as senior Labour figures defied him and called for Labour to back a second referendum on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. Allies of John McDonnell have put pressure on Mr Corbyn to move the party to an unambiguously pro-Remain stance. Rebecca Long Bailey, the shadow business secretary and a key McDonnell ally, openly contradicted the Labour leader yesterday and questioned how long he should remain in power.
Jon Trickett has become the first member of the shadow cabinet to state that he would like to campaign for a “Labour Brexit” in a potential future referendum. “I’m a Labour politician, I have been all my life. If there’s a Labour Brexit, for me, I would then want to advocate that Labour deal,” Trickett said, speaking in his Yorkshire constituency of Hemsworth. A close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, Trickett said Labour leave voters must be given a credible option to support in any referendum – which would appear to rule out backing a public vote on a Boris Johnson deal.
LABOUR MPs have exposed the real reason why they will not back any potential Brexit deal struck by Boris Johnson. Senior Labour MPs Clive Lewis and Owen Smith have revealed they will not vote for any forthcoming agreement reached by the Prime Minister, before even seeing it. Mr Lewis, a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn, warned his colleagues thinking of supporting a Brexit deal they will be “signing up to their own political demise”. The shadow treasury minister says if Brexit is completed with the support of Labour votes before a general election then the party will be in “serious trouble”.
LABOUR backing a “confirmatory vote” on a Tory Brexit deal would “hand the next 10 years to the right,” the Leave Fight Transform (LeFT) campaign warned today. And MP Laura Smith said Labour would be foolish to “push the country into a divisive second referendum while offering nothing to those opposed to EU membership.” Jeremy Corbyn yesterday “cautioned” Labour MPs against backing a new referendum on a deal Boris Johnson might put to Parliament — distancing himself from shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer, who said on Saturday: “If Boris Johnson does manage to negotiate a deal, then we will insist that it is put back to the people.”
Remainers today stepped up their bid to force a second referendum – as Jeremy Corbyn desperately tried to quell a revolt. Pro-EU MPs are plotting to trigger a crunch Commons vote next weekend on holding a fresh ballot, whether or not Boris Johnson has secured a deal. They want a referendum to take place before an election, and are increasingly confident the numbers in Parliament are moving their way. Mr Corbyn again made clear today that he does not favour the idea, appealing for Labour MPs to show ‘caution’.
Boris Johnson has thrown down the gauntlet to MPs, telling them to either back any deal he brings back from Brussels – or admit they are trying to stop Brexit. At the start of a defining week in politics, the Prime Minister told his Cabinet in a conference call there was still a ‘long way to go’ to hammer out an agreement. But in a reference to his breakthrough meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Merseyside last week, he added: ‘Where there’s a Wirral, there is a way.’ Negotiators are working around the clock in Brussels to agree the basis of a deal by tomorrow so it can be signed off by EU leaders at a summit starting Thursday.
Buckingham Palace demanded a copy of Boris Johnson’s Queen’s Speech a week early after trust hit “rock bottom”. The rare request from the Queen’s senior courtiers reportedly sparked a cabinet crisis. It comes amid growing fears Her Majesty has been dragged into political rows over Brexit . It is thought the demand was an attempt to stop any last-minute changes to the speech that could potentially embarrass the Queen. Monday’s address, which comes with the state opening of parliament, will be Elizabeth II’s 65th Queen’s Speech. She’s expected to outline 22 bills – chief among which is the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, to be voted on if Mr Johnson secures a Brexit deal with the EU this week.
Foreign criminals and child abusers face tougher sentences under plans in the Queen’s Speech today. The prison terms for those who sneak back into the UK in breach of deportation orders would be lengthened from weeks to years. And the worst offenders would no longer be freed halfway through their sentences. Rapists and killers would instead serve at least two thirds of their time. Another law would see murderers who refuse to reveal where they buried their victims spending longer behind bars. The proposed legislation will extend to paedophiles who stay silent about their victims.
The government will promise a hardline new approach to crime and justice on Monday as ministers use the Queen’s Speech to announce a crackdown on foreign criminals. Laws will be introduced to toughen up sentences for both violent criminals and foreign nationals who try to re-enter the UK after being deported, while the police will be given new powers to arrest non-British criminals. Ahead of the speech, Priti Patel, the home secretary, claimed the UK had been “soft on foreign criminals for too long”.
The IRA is plotting to use any customs posts that emerge near the Irish border after Brexit as ambush sites where they would lure and attempt to kill British police officers. Mark Lindsay, the head of Northern Ireland’s policing union, told the Telegraph that the number of active IRA terrorists has dwindled to around 100, but they remained a “small but deadly” force. “I don’t dispute that there could be some interference with infrastructure, I would say that is quite a strong possibility.
The UK is willing to make concessions to its plans for the Northern Ireland border after Brexit but “a big gap” remains over customs arrangements, EU ambassadors have been told. In a briefing on UK-EU weekend talks on a Brexit deal, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said UK plans on the tracking of goods were unacceptable. Earlier, Boris Johnson told his cabinet “significant work” was still needed. It comes as his government’s agenda is to be set out in the Queen’s Speech.
Children have been losing out because millions of pounds earmarked for their education has been siphoned off to pay for special needs education, an investigation by The Times has found. A surge in pupils categorised as having special needs has led schools to lay off staff, increase class sizes and cut back on subjects as councils raid mainstream education budgets to fund support for them. One head teacher said that funding reforms introduced in 2014 created new education, health and care plans that were seen by some parents as a “golden ticket”.
Britain risks returning to the days when children were ‘dying like flies’ from measles because of rising complacency over vaccinations, a United Nations expert has warned. Dr Robin Nandy, chief of immunisations at Unicef, said parents and doctors have ‘dropped their guard’ against the illness. He highlighted the loss of the UK’s measles-free status as a sign of how falling vaccination rates threaten to reverse decades of progress against infectious diseases. Dr Nandy said: ‘People have forgotten how dangerous these diseases can be. I’m from the generation of physicians that have seen children dying like flies of measles in sub-Saharan Africa.
POSTIES are set to bring havoc to Christmas with a strike in a dispute over conditions, pay and bullying. The result of a ballot of 110,000 members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is due on Tuesday. Royal Mail staff are expected to agree to walk out either over Christmas, during the Black Friday sales at the end of November or both. It would be the latest blow for the formerly state-owned giant which is struggling to compete with the likes of Hermes.