Boris Johnson agrees with Nigel Farage that Brexit could still be stopped by an ‘establishment’ intent on keeping the UK in the European Union, it has been claimed. The foreign secretary and high-profile Leave supporter also reportedly told allies that Theresa May could be pushed into accepting a soft exit by senior civil servants and Remain-backing ministers. If Britain left the EU but still had to take orders from Brussels, then the Brexit vote would have been a ‘total waste of time’, Boris is claimed to have said. Should that happen, The Sun reports, he would ‘rather us stay in than leave like that’. It comes as former Ukip leader Farage revealed he has become increasingly worried the Leave campaign had stopped making the case to exit the EU and claimed Brexiteers are now outnumbered in Parliament.
LEADING Brexit rebels are heading to Brussels today to meet with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier as pressure grows on the Government to reconsider remaining in the single market and customs union. Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, whose amendment inflicted the Government’s first defeat in the EU Withdrawal Bill debate, will join Labour’s Chuka Umunna and Conservative MP Anna Soubry in Brussels to meet Mr Barnier as thoughts turn to phase two of Brexit talks. Labour MPs Chris Leslie and Stephen Doughty, who are both keen for the UK to retain its single market membership, will also attend. Mr Barnier is understood to be keen to hear the views of British MPs on Brexit as well as Government figures.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has revealed that the European Union is clearly worried about other countries following Brexit Britain out of the door, and that some are now fixated on ‘punishing’ the UK for that very reason. He told German paper Die Welt that: “We hear a willingness and enthusiasm in the USA and from many other countries around the world to make new trade deals with us. “But we don’t hear that from Europe. We hear from Europe only backward-looking stuff. ‘Are you sure you want to leave?’ Or, ‘it’s a bad decision to leave.’ Or, ‘you must be punished for deciding to leave.’” He pointed out that there is “paranoia” amongst the EU ranks, admitting: “I can understand that paranoia. But imagine you are running a successful, thriving club. If one member leaves, you don’t immediately panic that all the other members might leave, but are confident they will want to remain.”
THE GOVERNMENT has faced accusations from a group of British fishermen that claim the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has helped a group of Dutch fishermen operate inside British waters. Pro-Brexit Fishing for Leave says the Government is “complicit in corruption and scandal” after Defra hosted a meeting between the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) and Dutch fishing group VisNed. The NFFO and the Dutch group were meeting to reach an agreement to restrict Dutch pulse fishing vessels operating in “some of the most sensitive areas off the English coast”, according to the NFFO. Pulse fishing uses devices to send electricity into the seabed where it disturbs marine life, with the aim of causing fish to move into the nets. Barrie Deas, the NFFO’s chief executive, said: “Pulse fishing is a highly controversial and emotive issue at present.
European Union trawlers have been stepping up illegal ‘pulse fishing’ in British waters under a special EU derogation, inflicting “total devastation” on the North Sea. The controversial method of sees fishing vessels — mostly Dutch trawlers — drag electrodes across the seabed to zap sole and plaice off the floor. It is officially banned, but the European Commission — which controls the fisheries of EU member-states through the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) — granted a special derogation for it to be carried out on an “experimental” basis in British fishing grounds in the North Sea. Arron Brown, a spokesman for the Fishing for Leave campaign which organised the protest which turned into the famous Battle of the Thames between Leave and Remain campaign during the EU referendum, says the result has been “total environmental devastation” in Britain’s territorial waters. “Because, of course, it’s not just electrocuting fish, it’s electrocuting all the other marine life around it, and that’s killing the feeding; it’s killing the [other] fish.
France will this week urge Britain to take in more migrants and pay a larger cost towards policing them as part of a revision of the so-called Le Touquet agreement. It was in 2003 that Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Jacques Chirac signed the historic document that revolutionised border controls in Channel ports. It meant moving the French frontier to the south coast of England, and the UK frontier to northern France. But with Brexit approaching, and the number of Britain-bound asylum seekers in ports such as Calais growing, the French want Le Touquet to be updated. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said today that reform would include Britain sharing more costs and taking in greater numbers of migrants. ‘I want to reach an additional protocol to these agreements and to take concrete measures to look after a certain number of costs by the British,’ Mr Collomb said in an interview with Paris newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.
A senior French minister has called on Britain to pay more towards the cost of dealing with migrants trying to cross the Channel from Calais and to accept more refugees into the country. Gérard Collomb, France’s interior minister, who will accompany President Emmanuel Macron on an official trip to the port city this week, said in an interview published on Sunday that he would push for more “concrete measures” regarding the UK financial contribution to the Touquet accords between the two countries. The agreement, signed in 2003, effectively moved Britain’s border to the French side of the Channel, allowing UK immigration officers to carry out checks in Calais. Asked by Le Parisien newspaper if he hoped to modify the Touquet accord, Collomb said: “I hope to succeed in getting an additional element to these agreements, and concrete measures regarding the covering of a certain number of costs by the British, as well as the receiving of a greater number of people, in terms of refugees and non-accompanied minors.”
The government should drop its target of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands, a group of MPs has said. Failure to meet it “undermines” public trust, the Home Affairs Committee argued,and instead, immigration policies should consider the UK’s needs “and humanitarian obligations”. The MPs also said fears about the scale of illegal immigration have grown because of a lack of official data. The Home Office said the public was clearly in favour of lower immigration. Annual net migration to the UK is currently 230,000. The target of reducing it to tens of thousands was set by David Cameron at the beginning of the coalition government in 2010, but that figure has never been met. In its report, the Home Affairs Committee states that the target “is not working to build confidence” and does not reflect the public’s view on how different forms of migration should be treated. The continued “discrepancy” between the target and reality has “damaged” the public’s view of the immigration system, they argue.
Theresa May’s fight to wipe out modern slavery could be “derailed” by plans for a hard Brexit, campaigners have warned. Labour MP Peter Kyle has written to the Prime Minister urging her to commit to remaining in EU legal and security agreements after Britain leaves the bloc, or risk undermining efforts to crack down on widespread exploitation and trafficking of vulnerable people. Ms May made tackling modern slavery into a personal mission when she was at the Home Office and she has continued to champion efforts to fight what she once described as “the greatest human rights issue of our time”. However, campaigners warned that leaving the EU without a deal could hamper the prosecution of criminal gangs by leaving a “gaping hole” in anti-trafficking laws and removing safeguards for those at risk.
The medical records of British cancer victims have been handed to a controversial American firm working for one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, the Daily Telegraph can reveal. The data covering almost 180,000 patients – every case of lung cancer diagnosed in England over a four year period – was given by health officials to a firm which has acted to cigarette giants Philip Morris International for almost three decades. It is feared the company could use the anonymised data in legal cases minimising the dangers of smoking, or fighting regulation. The sensitive information, taken from NHS records,was taken without the consent of any of the cancer sufferers or their families. An investigation by the Daily Telegraph reveals that Public Health England (PHE) gave the anonymised data, covering 179,040 lung tumours diagnosed between 2009 and 2013, to a commercial firm.
Our investigation today reveals anyone can fraudulently claim one and get free healthcare in a European hospital at the expense of British taxpayers. A Sun reporter was even able to order cards as Theresa May and Donald Trump. It is clear that the body responsible for dishing cards out, the NHS Business Authority, is not doing its job. Taxpayers will rightly feel outraged that they have forked out around £200million for this scam since the cards were introduced in 2006. The thousands of Brits who have had their operations cancelled this month by cash-strapped hospitals, and those who have suffered from the worst A&E waiting lists on record, will be fuming. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt must stamp out this gross misuse of funds.
Britain is prepared to cut foreign aid spending to wealthier developing countries if they fail to “take responsibility” and invest in their own people, the International Development Secretary has warned. Penny Mordaunt says that Britain will no longer hand out aid money “when others should be putting their hands in their pockets” and will focus increasingly on helping developing countries “stand on their own two feet”. She says that the public have “legitimate” concerns about Britain’s £13billion aid budget and are entitled to question whether it would be better spent on meeting “domestic needs” or paying down the national debt. Writing in The Telegraph, Ms Mordaunt argues that simply saying that taxpayers’ money has been well spent “won’t cut it” and the Government must now demonstrate that it “cannot be better spent” on anything else.
THE UK will not aid wealthier developing countries on “middle income” if they fail to ”take responsibility” and spend money helping the poor, according to the International Development Secretary. Penny Mordaunt revealed she supports the 0.7 per cent target on aid spending and claims it is a “reflection of us as a big-hearted, open-minded and far-sighted nation”. However, foreign aid secretary added that the money could be better spent and under her leadership “it will also continue to be firmly in the national interest and hard-headed too”. She said: “I will not invest when others should be putting their hands in their pockets. It will no longer be enough for a project simply to be achieving good things. “I want the governments of developing countries to step up and take responsibility for investing in their own people, in healthcare or education, for example.
Ukip leader Henry Bolton was on the brink of resigning last night after it emerged his mistress had joked online about sexual abuse of babies. He was told to either dump his 25-year-old girlfriend Jo Marney or go. Mr Bolton, 54, has faced growing calls to step down since the Mail revealed he had left his third wife for the model and Ukip member. The pressure intensified yesterday when Miss Marney was suspended from the party over a series of racist messages in which she branded black people as ‘ugly’ and warned that Meghan Markle‘s genes would ‘taint our royal family’. But in footage exclusively obtained by MailOnline, Mr Bolton said ‘No’ when he was asked if he would stand down as leader. Today the Mail can reveal Miss Marney has plumbed even further depths with horrific messages in which she joked with a friend about raping a baby.
Ukip leader Henry Bolton is resisting calls to resign after his now-ex-girlfriend made racist remarks about Meghan Markle. Mr Bolton told ITV’s Good Morning Britain he had ended the relationship with Jo Marney because of her “appalling words” and had “absolutely no idea” she held the views. Ms Marney, 25, sent a series of messages to a friend in which she made offensive comments about Prince Harry’s fiancée and black people. Among the messages, first reported in the Mail on Sunday, were remarks that Ms Markle would “taint” the Royal Family, that she had a “tiny brain” and that black people were ugly. He initially tried to defend the comments, saying they had been “taken out of context” and part of a private discussion. “These were Facebook messages at the time between her and somebody else which were not expected to be (made) public.” But he said: “I do not defend, support or agree with those comments. When I saw those comments I was appalled and shocked by them.”
Ukip leader Henry Bolton has ended his relationship with Jo Marney after it was reported she made racist remarks about Meghan Markle, he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. The leader of Ukip had been told to choose between his job and his new girlfriend after it emerged that she sent graphic messages referencing the sexual abuse of babies in an argument with a friend. Henry Bolton is today expected to insist that he will stay on as leader for the good of the party. However he is under increasing pressure after it emerged that Ms Marney sent a friend a series of messages on Facebook about child abuse to a friend to make a point during an argument about animal rights. In the messages, which have been seen by The Daily Telegraph but are too graphic to print, she tries to make the case for the gravity of animal abuse by comparing it to acts of child abuse.
Ukip’s leader Henry Bolton has ended his relationship with Jo Marney after she made racist remarks about Meghan Markle. Mr Bolton, 54, announced the split this morning. Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he said the relationship was “obviously quite incompatible” with his position as party leader, adding that he did not defend the comments “whatsoever”. “As of last night the romantic side of our relationship is ended,” he said. Ukip’s chairman, Paul Oakden, had put pressure on Mr Bolton. Ms Marney, 25, is under investigation by Ukip after she sent a series of messages to a friend in which she made offensive comments about Prince Harry’s fiancée. Ms Markle, as a “black American”, would “taint” the royal family.