The official petition for a “No Deal” Brexit has surged ahead of the petition for a so-called “People’s Vote” to reverse Brexit. The petition, which calls on the Government to abandon Theresa May’s “worst deal in history” with the EU, stop “wasting Billions of pounds of taxpayers money trying to negotiate in a short space of time [sic]”, and leave the bloc cleanly on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms, racked up tens of thousands of signatures in a matter of hours, and is still growing. “The EU will be more eager to accept a deal on our terms having lost a major partner,” the petitioner argues, alluding to the fact that Britain will become the EU’s number one export market once it leaves, and that European exporters’ share of the British market will be under threat as its ex-member begins striking new trade deals with countries like Australia and the United States.
A petition calling for the UK to leave the European Union without a deal has surged to well past the 100,000 signatures required to be considered for a debate in Parliament. Yesterday Westmonster reported on the then 70,000-strong petition that states: “Leave the EU without a deal in March 2019. “We are wasting Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money trying to negotiate in a short space of time. Leaving the EU in March 2019 will allow the UK good time to negotiate more efficiently. The EU will be more eager to accept a deal on our terms having lost a major partner.”
Sajid Javid will argue tomorrow that the government should consider a no-deal Brexit to be the most likely outcome and urge cabinet colleagues to begin preparations on that basis. The home secretary wants a significant increase in planning and spending because there is no sign of a resolution to the deadlock in government or the Commons. He fears the prospect of Britain automatically leaving the EU without even minimal preparations on March 29 next year. The issue will be at the heart of a cabinet meeting tomorrow on no-deal planning, which one member of the government predicted would be “really messy” because of the chaos of the last few days.
CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond has hashed together a £2billion no deal hand-out in order to prevent the UK from chaos if Theresa May walks away from EU negotiations with no deal. The money will be directed towards transport, healthcare, energy, law enforcement and security as no deal planning is intensified. Additional cash will be handed out to deal with “civil contingency costs” if no agreement is reached. A Government source told the Sun: “The Chancellor knows what needs to be done and if action is necessary then you will see decisions very soon.”
DAN Hannan has sent a shock warning to Brexiteers saying he fears Brexit will “not happen at all”. Mr Hannan also warned that Mrs May’s Tory party “might never recover”. The prominent Brexiteer and MEP said Britain’s attempts to “recover its independence” had been “faced down” and the “largest popular” vote in our history had been “disregarded”. He said: “It’s over. If Brexit happens at all – and for the first time I’m beginning to think it won’t – it will be on terms that keep the worst aspects of EU membership.
Theresa May’s cabinet allies have publicly demanded that she puts Brexit in the hands of the Commons and allows MPs a series of votes on options to break the deadlock. Liam Fox, the trade secretary and Mrs May’s longest-standing ministerial friend, and Damian Hinds, the education secretary, both backed the plan yesterday. The prime minister, however, rejected attempts to hold so-called indicative votes on other options to her Brexit deal in a conference call with the cabinet last Monday.
Theresa May will summon EU27 ambassadors to No 10 this week as she continues to seek reassurances over the Irish backstop, with Downing Street vehemently denying drawing up contingency plans for a second referendum. The education secretary, Damian Hinds, said on Sunday: “Government policy couldn’t be clearer. We are here to act on the will of the people clearly expressed in the referendum.” He added: “A second referendum would be divisive. We had the people’s vote, we had the referendum, and now we’ve got to get on with implementing it. Any idea that having a second referendum now would break through an impasse is wrong. It might postpone the impasse, but then it would extend it.”
Brexiteer Labour MP Kate Hoey has said that the Republic of Ireland and the European Union have overblown the Irish backstop issue and “connived” to keep the UK close to the bloc to take its money. Defending comments she made where she said that the EU is attempting to succeed where the IRA failed in dividing Northern Ireland from Great Britain, the Ulster-born Unionist told Sophie Ridge on Sky News on Sunday, that “as Northern Ireland is left, supposedly, once this deal will go through… in the Customs Union, there is no one in Northern Ireland elected to speak for the people of Northern Ireland.
EU chief Donald Tusk has taken a huge swipe at Brexiteers and appeared to question to ethics of Leave voters as he used Brexit to urge politicians to consider what the consequences of their actions would be. Speaking in Dortmund, Germany, Mr Tusk said he wanted to remind leaders it was the centenary of the end of the First World War, when “sleepwalkers in power” with “hopelessly weak imaginations” led Europe to “catastrophe”. The European Council president said he wanted to dedicate the words of sociologist Max Weber to the “authors of Brexit”.
A second Brexit referendum would provoke “instant, deep and ineradicable feelings of betrayal”, Boris Johnson has warned, as two of the Prime Minister’s most senior allies were accused of secretly preparing for a new vote. Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s chief of staff, allegedly said a second referendum was “the only way forward”, while David Lidington, her de facto deputy, was accused of trying to build a “cross-party coalition” for a new vote. Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Johnson suggests they must be “out of their minds”, as he warns the public would be “utterly infuriated” if Britain were to be put through the “misery and expense” of another referendum.
Theresa May will try to silence calls for a second referendum on Europe today, with Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, among the big hitters certain to back her. In some of her strongest language to date, the prime minister will tell MPs that another plebiscite would break faith with the British people and do “irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics”. This newspaper revealed on Saturday that five cabinet ministers have been discussing endorsing a second referendum if all other options to avoid leaving the European Union on March 29 without a deal come to nothing.
A SECOND Brexit referendum would incite “instant, deep and ineradicable feelings of betrayal”, Boris Johnson has warned after two of the Prime Minister’s closest allies were accused of plotting for a new vote this weekend. Mr Johnson used his weekly newspaper column to stage the searing intervention. Of the initial Brexit referendum, he argued: “The vote before us was a once in a generation decision”. A so-called People’s Vote on Brexit would, therefore, amount to a betrayal of democracy, the backbench MP suggested.
Theresa May will warn tomorrow that a second Brexit referendum would cause ‘irreparable damage’ to Britain, as she tries to defuse anger at the news that her own aides have floated the idea. In the Commons, the Prime Minister will all but rule out holding a second vote while she remains in charge. Another referendum would ‘likely leave us no further forward than the last… and further divide our country at the very moment we should be working to unite it’, she will warn. Mrs May is expected to add: ‘Let us not break faith with the British people by trying to stage another referendum, another vote which would do irreparable damage to the integrity of our politics, because it would say to millions who trusted in democracy that our democracy does not deliver.’
Theresa May’s closest aides have furiously denied secretly planning a second Brexit referendum this morning, after claims her own chief of staff described it as “the only way forward.” Gavin Barwell, Mrs May’s most senior aide, denied both “wanting” and “planning for” a second referendum on Twitter this morning, following claims in the Sunday Times. The newspaper reported he had told a cabinet minister a People’s Vote was “the only way forward.” And it also reported Mrs May’s effective deputy, David Lidington held talks on Thursday with Labour MPs, in a bid to build a cross-party coalition for a new vote.
THERESA MAY will today warn a new Brexit referendum would cause “irreparable damage” — after her key aides were forced to deny plotting one. She will attempt to kill off the idea for good by telling MPs a referendum re-run would “break faith” with voters. It came after her Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell and de-facto deputy PM David Lidington were accused of betrayal — amid claims both have been exploring the possibility of a “People’s Vote” to break the Brexit deadlock. Throwing the Government into chaos, sources claimed Mr Lidington had met Labour MPs twice in the past two weeks to build a cross-party coalition for a new vote. And insiders said Mr Barwell had told a Cabinet Minister a new referendum was “the only way forward”. Both denied they wanted a new referendum. But furious Ex-Cabinet Minister Priti Patel accused them of trying to “undermine” the Brexit vote and urged them to instead work on securing “a strong deal for the UK”.
Bookmakers have shortened the odds on a second referendum taking place, with one leading betting firm finding a people’s vote is now the most likely Brexit scenario. A Final Say vote before the end of 2020 is a “probability rather a possibility,” according to William Hill. It is the first bookie to give a second referendum a greater than 50 per cent chance of happening. The company is offering odds of 8/11 on another EU vote, assessing that there is a 54 per cent chance of it being held in the next two years. The bookmaker also lengthened odds that Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal will be approved by Parliament before 31 March to 5/2.
A FORMER environment secretary wants to change the law to block the Government from negotiating away access to British fishing waters as part of an EU trade deal. Brexiteer Owen Paterson plans to put down an amendment to the Fisheries Bill which is back before the Commons this week. His proposal comes amid growing concerns that Britain will hand back control of its waters in exchange for a slightly better free trade deal. If passed it would be a slap in the face for French President Emmanuel Macron, who announced that he would insist on French vessels having access to British waters as part of an agreement.
Theresa May will face an open Cabinet split over no-deal plans on Tuesday with two ministers threatening to quit and another warning that the money should be spent on domestic priorities. The Prime Minister will be put under pressure to step up preparations for leaving the EU without a deal, with 11 Cabinet ministers understood to be in favour of a “managed” no-deal. They include Jeremy Hunt, Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary and Sajid Javid, alongside Eurosceptics including Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox. However the move is being strongly opposed by five Remainers in Cabinet – Amber Rudd, David Gauke, David Lidington, Philip Hammond and Greg Clark.
The Attorney General allegedly told Cabinet ministers that Theresa May must be “removed” from office after Brexit so others can “take over” and renegotiate her deal, The Telegraph has learned. During a conference call with Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and Michael Gove, Geoffrey Cox is said to have told ministers that they should “swallow” the Prime Minister’s deal for now. Three sources told The Telegraph that he then allegedly suggested during the weekend call that the Prime Minister “would need to be removed for quarter one [April of next year] so we can take over the next stage”.
Labour will go on an election footing over Christmas after a shadow minister said that the party would try to force Theresa May to hold the vote on her Brexit deal this week. Andrew Gwynne, the shadow communities secretary who ran the party’s general election campaign last year, said that Labour would use the “mechanisms we have at our disposal” to force the vote. Tory whips spent the weekend phoning MPs to check that they would be in Westminster until Thursday when the House rises. Labour has said it wants the government to face a vote of confidence but not until Mrs May fights, and loses, the so-called meaningful vote on her Brexit deal.
THE HOME Secretary will this week strip low-skilled migrants off the rights to settle in Brexit Britain as he bids to slash EU migration by 80 per cent. Sajid Javid will finally reveal the Government’s much delayed plans for ending free movement and preferential treatment of EU nationals this Wednesday – 100 days before Brexit. After Brexit, low-skilled migrants will have to buy a visa before they can come to Britain to take up a job for up to one year. And when they come they will no longer be able to bring family members with them or accrue residency rights.
Low-skilled migrant workers will still be given short-term visas after Brexit, according to long-delayed immigration plans to be unveiled this week. Sajid Javid, the home secretary, will announce that there will be no cap on highly skilled migrants from anywhere in the world. It will be part of an approach which he says will be “based on skills, not where people come from”, marking an end to EU freedom of movement. The scheme will also open the door to some low-skilled migrants from countries with no track record of abusing immigration rules. They will get short-term visas of up to a year. Once their time expires, they must leave and will be unable to return for up to a year.
The home secretary is said to have plans to cut European immigration by 80 per cent under stricter entry conditions after Brexit. Sajid Javid is expected to publish plans to end free movement and preferential access for EU migrants after December 2020 – which will see net immigration from Europe reduced to as little as 10,000 a year, according to the The Sunday Times. Official figures published last month revealed EU net migration has hit a six-year low at 74,000 in the year to June 2018 – 60 per cent lower than in June 2016 and the lowest level since 2012. The government’s immigration white paper, expected to be published next week, will reportedly state this figure will be slashed further, to between 10,000 and 25,000 long-term migrants each year by 2025.
PATIENTS face a “deadly” postcode lottery to see a GP, with one in five waiting three weeks or more in some areas. That compares to others where one in 50 had a similar wait. Campaigners warn long delays to see a doctor are costing lives. A Sun investigation found 20 per cent waited at least 21 days to see a GP or nurse in North Norfolk. Next worst was West Norfolk with 18 per cent, South West Lincs on 17 per cent and several on 16 per cent, including the Isle of Wight and Swindon. Meanwhile, two per cent waited that long in Dartford, Gravesham & Swanley, Kent, NHS Digital figures say. Nationally, three million sick Brits waited at least 21 days in October.
Evening and weekend GP appointments have now been rolled out across England, health bosses have announced. NHS England said that an estimated nine million extra appointments per year are now available to patients outside of normal working hours. The extended access available from today means people will be able to see a doctor, nurse or other member of a practice team during evenings and weekends. NHS England said the service has arrived three months ahead of schedule and will help ease pressure on the health service during the winter period.
Rowdy pupils are pushing exasperated teachers out of the profession, with mobile phones in the classroom fuelling ‘serious’ levels of disruption, a report claims. Almost two-thirds of teachers say they have considered abandoning their career because of poor behaviour, and that mobile phones and access to social media in the classroom ‘are a particular problem’. The report, It Just Grinds You Down by the influential Policy Exchange think-tank, claims 78 per cent of teachers experience pupils misbehaving with mobile phones at least once a week, with 17 per cent stating it occurs every lesson.
A former executive for High Speed Two has revealed that an early land and property cost estimate delivered to MPs was “enormously wrong”. A whistle-blower on the company, responsible for building the new high-speed railway between London and Leeds and Manchester, has told BBC Panorama that the firm underestimated a number of costs when pitching the project to the government. MPs then used this so-called misinformation to decide whether to give the project approval. Doug Thornton, former Land and Property Director for HS2, led a team responsible for acquiring all the land interests that HS2 needed to purchase to build the high-speed railway
Bosses at HS2 have been accused of deliberately undervaluing homes and land needed for the £56 billion line in an attempt to cut costs. Businesses and householders on the route of the 250mph line claimed that they had been “robbed” by HS2 Ltd, the government-owned company responsible for delivering the scheme. One business owner said that he had lost hundreds of thousands of pounds after being forced to relocate without being given appropriate compensation. The comments, which were made to the BBC’s Panorama programme to be aired tonight, will add to concerns over HS2’s costs amid warnings that the scheme risks spiralling billions of pounds over budget.