A £9.3 MILLION leafleting onslaught gave David Cameron’s Remain campaign an unfair advantage in the run-up to the June 2016 referendum, a new report suggests. The pro-EU camp used millions in public funds to distribute the leaflets in April, just before the crunch vote on exiting the single bloc. The leaflets urged Britons to vote to Remain in the EU when they want to the polls on June 23. But the Independent Commission on Referendums is now demanding an extension on bans stopping ministers using bottomless pits of taxpayers’ money to help promote their argument in the final month of a campaign.
David Cameron’s mutli-million pound spending on pro-Remain leaflets before the referendum may have given Remain an unfair advantage, says an official report. The Independent Commission on referendums said such rampant expenditure of public money should be outlawed in future votes. The report states: “Less than three months before the EU referendum, the UK government spent £9.3 million of public funds distributing a leaflet entitled ‘Why the government believes that voting to remain in the EU is the best decision for the UK’, the purpose of which, it claimed, was ‘to help the public make an informed decision in the upcoming EU referendum’.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to leave the European Union are overwhelmingly opposed by the British public and more than a third of voters would support a new right-wing political party committed to quitting the bloc, according to a new poll. May’s political vulnerability was exposed by the survey which found voters would prefer Boris Johnson, who quit as her foreign minister two weeks ago, to negotiate with the EU and lead the Conservative Party into the next election.
Britain will “thrive” even if there is no Brexit deal, Dominic Raab has said, as his predecessor David Davis called on the Prime Minister to “reset” her Brexit plan and prepare a “reserve parachute” in case no agreement is reached. Mr Raab said there was “tremendous pressure” on the EU to secure a deal as he branded his counterparts “irresponsible” for failing to reassure British citizens living abroad about their rights after Brexit. His remarks come ahead of a second meeting between the two men this Thursday, amid growing concern that the UK could be heading for a no deal Brexit.
Dominic Raab has refused to set out the “no-deal Brexit” plan the government is making – despite insisting the UK would “thrive”. The new Brexit secretary condemned “hair-raising stories” that food will be stockpiled and motorways turned into lorry parks if Britain crashes out of the EU with no agreement. However, Mr Raab would not say what preparations are being made beyond the hiring of extra border staff, while hinting the public would be told more in the coming months. Asked about the stockpiling of food, he said: “I’m not going to get drawn into the selective snippets that are leaked and that make hair-raising stories.”
BREXIT boss Dominic Raab vowed to put Britain in a position to “thrive whatever happens” as he stepped up No Deal plans. He also threatened to withhold our £39billion divorce bill if a bumper trade deal is refused. Mr Raab insisted a deal can be struck if Brussels shows the same “energy, ambition and pragmatism” as Theresa May’s Chequers deal. He said one could even be wrapped up in 12 weeks’ time – at the October EU summit. The Brexit Secretary said it was a “good, positive sign” that EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier was “asking questions” of the PM’s blueprint for our future relations with Brussels.
UNEMPLOYMENT and manufacturing figures have revealed that Britain’s economy is growing in strength in the wake of the vote to leave the EU. According to Department for Work and Pensions figures long-term unemployment has halved since 2010. Meanwhile, the Manufacturers’ Organisation (known as the EEF) has revealed that firms have enjoyed an “exceptional” 12 months in creating jobs. According to the EEF only Scotland has failed to create new manufacturing jobs with all other regions exceeding expectations.
PRESSURE is mounting on Theresa May to consider a new World Trade Deal after the EU rejected her Chequers plan for Brexit last week. The proposal for a bold new World Trade Deal would, according to leading economic experts, end austerity with a boost of £80 billion a year and guarantee that Britain is free of Brussels rule. The proposals have been exclusively unveiled in the Daily Express as new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has said he is “relaxed” about not having a trade deal with the EU. He has also made it clear that if Brussels bureaucrats continue to to refuse to see reason he will withhold the £39 billion divorce settlement promised in December.
BREXITEER Iain Duncan Smith revealed European ports officials have been preparing for a long time for a Brexit no deal scenario arguing the Government will be able to smoothly switch to WTO rules as soon as March 2019. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Pienaar’s Politics, the leading Brexiteer trashed claims that trading under WTO rules post-Brexit would mean Britain has “crashed out” of the Brussels bloc without a deal. The Tory MP argued trading under WTO rules would entail a “whole series of arrangements” with the EU rather than as bespoke agreement that could be reached at the end of the negotiations – so a deal nonetheless.
Britain “almost certainly” has a legal duty to pay a mega-billion divorce bill – even if no trade deal has been agreed at the end of Brexit negotiations, Tory MP Dominic Grieve has told ITV News. The leading Remain-supporter rejected the claim of new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab that Britain could threaten to forfeit payment of the £39 billion divorce bill if the EU fails to agree a new trade deal. The former attorney general also warned of the “catastrophic” results of a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario, saying medicines and food would quickly run out as “life as we understand it” would “grind to a halt”.
‘Project Fear’ mark III
New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has refused to deny the Government plans to stockpile food in case we crash out of the EU without a deal. Meanwhile, senior Conservative MP Dominic Grieve said Britain would be left in a “state of emergency” if we do not secure a deal before Brexit day. He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge: “I think no-deal would be absolutely catastrophic for this country. “Clearly if the government thinks there’s a risk of no deal it’s right to take emergency measures, but we’ve got to be realistic about this, we will be in a state of emergency.” He denied claims Britain would lose the right to fly over European countries and would be unable to import medicines and food were “scaremongering”.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab refused to deny reports the Government is planning to stockpile food in preparation for ‘no deal’ with the EU, as he claimed the UK will be ready for all eventualities. Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Raab also didn’t dispute claims a motorway in Kent could become a “lorry park” if stringent customs checks are implemented by the EU if no trade agreement is reached. The Brexit Secretary – appointed to the post earlier this month – said he was straining “every sinew” to get “the best deal” with Brussels out of the negotiations.
The UK will not be saved from crashing out of the EU via an extension of the article 50 negotiations unless there is a major realignment in British politics, most likely through a second referendum or general election, senior diplomats and European commission officials have disclosed. Among those calling for Theresa May to be ready to ask for a prolongation of the UK’s membership beyond 29 March 2019 should a no-deal scenario appear likely are the Commons’ exiting the EU select committee, chaired by Hilary Benn, and the former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
The poorest will be hit hardest if Theresa May pursues a “catastrophic” no-deal Brexit, John Major has warned, as he said a fresh referendum was nearing. The former Conservative prime minister said the motto of MPs wrestling with a way out of the crisis, with the negotiations stalled, should be “people, people, people”. Sir John said he “did not much like” the Chequers plan put forward by the prime minister, but attacked the refusal of Brexiteers to compromise. “If every compromise reached by the cabinet is blocked by this minority of irreconcilable, hardline, utterly committed, anti-Europeans, then we will not actually get to the negotiations.
The head of Amazon in the UK has said that there could be “civil unrest” within two weeks if Britain leaves the European Union with no deal. Amazon UK became the first business to issue such a warning. It was given at a meeting on Friday organised by Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary. Doug Gurr, UK manager for the American online giant, told the other guests, who included representatives of Britain’s biggest businesses, that this worst-case outcome formed part of his contingency planning.
Leaving the European Union with no deal could prompt “civil unrest” within days, the head of Amazon in the UK has warned. Doug Gurr told a meeting organised by Brexit secretary Dominic Raab that the online retail firm was now considering this worst-case outcome as part of their contingency planning. Mr Gurr’s remarks make Amazon UK the first company to issue such a warning, and “stunned those present”, The Times reports. In a statement Amazon UK said: “Like any business, we consider a wide range of scenarios in planning discussions so that we’re prepared to continue serving customers and small businesses who count on Amazon, even if those scenarios are very unlikely.
A senior Tory MP claims the UK would be put “in a state of emergency” with a “no deal” Brexit, as the government failed to deny stockpiling plans. Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, a leading Conservative Remainer at Westminster, warned Britain leaving the EU without a deal would be “absolutely catastrophic”. Claiming some of his fellow Conservative MPs are “actively seeking” a no deal outcome from EU divorce negotiations, Mr Grieve insisted he was not “scaremongering” about the impact of such an outcome. He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday show: “We’ve got to be realistic about this. We will be in a state of emergency.
Women in the UK risk losing hard-won equality and human rights protections, including employment rights and funding for women’s services, when the UK leaves the EU, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHCR). In its largest review of women’s rights in the UK, the EHRC warns that although the government has promised protections in the Equality Act will continue to apply once the UK leaves the bloc, “this political commitment is not included” in the European Union (withdrawal) bill.
THE UK cannot extend article 50 negotiations and stop a no deal Brexit unless there is a major shift in British politics through a second referendum or general election, senior diplomats and European Commission officials have said. EU sources say the European chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has repeatedly warned the “clock is ticking” but it is not lack of time that stands in the way of being struck. EU officials and diplomats have said there needs to be a fundamental change in UK politics for there to be any value for the EU in an extension of British membership.
BREXIT Secretary Dominic Raab has accused the EU of “irresponsibly” ramping up pressure in withdrawal negotiations. The comments came as Mr Raab indicated he was still trying to persuade all members of the Cabinet that Theresa May’s Chequers compromise agreement was “the best plan to get the best deal”. As Mr Raab, who has said a deal with the EU can be reached by October, readied to return to Brussels for more Brexit talks on Thursday he signalled that Britain could withhold its £39 billion divorce bill if it did not get a trade deal in return.
EU citizens in the UK are being put at risk of “devastating consequences” after Brexit, including losing out on housing and jobs, MPs warn today. The government’s plans to grant them “settled status” is heavily criticised for creating the same dangers that have ruined the lives of members of the Windrush generation. EU nationals are set to be given a digital code to prove their status – but the Commons Brexit committee has branded the idea confusing and dependent on the goodwill of employers and landlords.
Italy’s populist government has rejected the European Union’s (EU) latest migration plan, refusing to take in illegal migrants travelling by sea, as Libya rejects processing centres inside its borders. The developments represent a major setback for the bloc, which recently agreed to create “disembarkation platforms” outside the EU to process migrants after Italy closed its ports to NGO ships ferrying illegal migrants over the sea from smuggler boats near the African coast. “Italy does not want to be the only country where migrants… disembark,” Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi wrote in a letter to EU foreign policy boss Federica Mogherini.
Brexit is tearing apart the Conservative Party, a senior pro-EU Tory MP said yesterday. Dominic Grieve, the former attorney-general, signalled that the Conservatives were in turmoil and accused hardline Brexiteers in his party of undermining Theresa May’s leadership. “The only group that could possibly bring the prime minister down is if a group of my hard Brexit colleagues so lose the plot that they decide that that is an effective way to proceed,” he told Sky News. Describing Brexit as a failure that threatened economic wellbeing and the future “of every single man, woman and child in Britain”, Mr Grieve insisted that a second referendum “may be the only solution”.
Liberal Democrats are understood to be plotting to replace Sir Vince Cable as party leader with a 35-year-old female MP. Senior Lib Dems are set to meet this week to discuss pushing forward Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, to take the helm of the party. The former teacher, who arrived in the Commons in the snap election last year, is the party’s education spokeswoman. Sir Vince, 75, was criticised last week after he and the party’s former leader, Tim Farron, missed a knife-edge vote on Brexit legislation that Theresa May won by only three votes.
Universal credit is so riddled with design flaws and process faults that it is practically guaranteed to generate mistakes and delays that would push vulnerable benefit claimants into hardship, according to whistleblowers. Service centre workers have told the Guardian that glitches and errors in the “cobbled-together” system have commonly led to claimants’ benefit payments being delayed for weeks or wrongly reduced by hundreds of pounds. One said: “The IT system on which universal credit is built is so fundamentally broken and poorly designed that it guarantees severe problems with claims.” He said the system was overcomplex and prone to errors that affected payments and often proved slow to correct.
A grammar school headmaster has been warned by police that one of his pupils will be stabbed to death within 12 months because of the spread of drugs gangs. Andrew Fowler is the first grammar school head to say that violent gangs are recruiting children from some of England’s best schools. The students, who it is believed are less likely to attract the attention of police because of their smart uniforms, are groomed into becoming drugs couriers with threats of violence. The rise in violence around Dane Court Grammar School in the seaside town of Broadstairs, Kent, is also a sign that London’s gang culture is spreading as councils move tenants to social housing outside the capital, and gangs try to expand their reach.
Fraudsters are selling credit card and bank details stolen from British consumers on hundreds of open forums accessed through Google searches. The internet giant stands accused of fuelling the ‘prolific’ trade in private financial information. Marketing themselves with online adverts, hackers around the globe offer stolen ID details for as little as £4, with discounts for bulk buyers. To lure punters, the criminals openly publish online thousands of ‘freebies’ giving information about select UK-based victims. This can include their full names, dates of birth, bank, credit card and National Insurance numbers, email addresses and passwords, bank security questions and answers, and mother’s maiden names.
Britain will bask in yet another spell of scorching weather next week with bookies slashing the odds of the UK enjoying the hottest day on record- but swimmers have been warned to wear wetsuits to avoid swarms of jellyfish invading parts of the UK coast. A blast of hot air from Spain dubbed the ‘Mediterranean melt’ will force temperatures above the 86F (30C) mark all the way up until Friday, with temperatures set to peak on Thursday, making the UK hotter than Jamaica. Met Office forecasters are confident that Brits will be treated to 95F (35C) heat, with bookmakers cutting the odds to 2/1 that the country will experience the hottest day ever, beating the 101F (38.5C) record from 2003.
Britain has secretly abandoned its blanket opposition to the death penalty and Guantanamo Bay to allow two notorious members of the “Beatles” group of Isil terrorists to be sent to America, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. Documents seen by this newspaper reveal that the UK Government has agreed to hand over intelligence to help prosecute the captured jihadists Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh, who both held British citizenship, in the US courts. In a letter sent by Sajid Javid to Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney General, the Home Secretary says that Britain will demand no “assurances” that the pair will not be executed in America.
Britain has scrapped its opposition to the death penalty and torture camp Guantanamo Bay, it was reported last night. It has been revealed the UK government have agreed to share information on the so-called Beatles jihadists with America so they can be prosecuted under their laws, according to the Daily Telegraph. Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh have British citizenship but will be tried in the US courts for their part in Isis activities amid concern the UK lacks robust terrorism laws.