Diplomatic theatrics at last week’s Brussels summit revealed how European Union leaders will coax British Prime Minister Theresa May over the next two months into parting with tens of billions of euros in return for a post-Brexit trade deal. May gave away nothing hardliners in her Conservative cabinet can beat her with. She stuck to earlier vague concessions about honouring commitments and insisting a “Brexit bill”, which the EU reckons at around 60 billion euros ($70 billion), must be part of a package deal on what Britain’s relationship with the EU will be once it leaves in March 2019. Sticking to their own script, the other 27 states gave May until the next regular summit in eight weeks to improve an offer officials estimate at about 20 billion euros if she wants them to start discussing future trade ties. Miss that deadline and, the EU says, time will be running out for any deal.
Business leaders are calling for a Brexit transition deal to be agreed “as soon as possible” as firms are preparing to make “serious decisions” with consequences for jobs and investment early next year. In a draft letter intended for Brexit Secretary David Davis and obtained by Sky News, five of Britain’s biggest business lobby groups also called for the transition period to match as closely as possible current trading arrangements with the European Union. Theresa May has requested a time-limited transition of around two years with the UK and EU trading on broadly similar terms to now and payments to Brussels to fulfil already agreed budget commitments.
Britain’s five biggest business lobby groups are calling for an urgent Brexit transition deal, or they warn the UK risks losing jobs and investment. In a joint letter being sent to Brexit Secretary David Davis, the groups, including the Institute of Directors and CBI, will say time is running out. Sources told the BBC the letter is still in draft form, but will be sent in the next day or two. A government spokesman said the talks were “making real, tangible progress”. The other lobby groups backing the letter are the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the EEF manufacturing body. Together they represent companies employing millions of workers.
UK business leaders have united to urge David Davis to quickly establish a Brexit transition deal that mirrors existing arrangements or risk losing British jobs and investment. In a letter to the Brexit secretary seen by the Guardian, five of the UK’s biggest business lobby groups said time was running out for the government to strike a transition deal before firms start to rein in spending plans as they finalise budgets for 2018 and prepare to implement contingency plans for Britain’s departure from the EU. “We need agreement of transitional arrangements as soon as possible, as without urgent agreement many companies have serious decisions about investment and contingency plans to take at the start of 2018,” the business groups wrote.
Liam Fox has stood by claims that securing post-Brexit trade deal would be the “easiest in human history” as he claimed trade talks would only be complicated if the EU chose to “punish Britain” for leaving. The International Trade Secretary, an ardent Brexiteer, urged European leaders to prioritise the future prosperity of their citizens over pursuing political objectives when drawing up a trade agreement for when Britain leaves the bloc. Dr Fox also said that Britain could only come up with a figure for the so-called divorce bill after Brexit once the shape of an overall deal had become clear – and insisted that crashing out of the EU without a deal was “not exactly a nightmare scenario”.
LABOUR was accused of an “assault on democracy” last night after a senior frontbencher stepped up threats to wreck the Government’s Brexit bill. Shadow EU exit secretary Sir Keir Starmer warned that Labour MPs will side with Tory rebels to block the flagship legislation unless ministers give in to a series of demands. He insisted that Parliament rather than ministers should have the “final say” on any Brexit deal and called for the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights to be enshrined in British law. But angry Tory MPs said his demands amounted to an attempt to overturn last year’s Brexit vote. There is concern that more than a dozen of 300 amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill tabled by MPs have enough backing from Tory rebels to cause a series of Government defeats. Tory MP Nigel Evans said: “What Labour is doing is not just an assault on the Government, it is an assault on democracy.
Brexit could be blocked at the last minute by Remoaner MPs intent on stifling the will of the people. Keir Starmer has said he’s teaming up with Tory Europhiles to try to force through an amendment to the Repeal Bill that would give MPs the chance to vote on the final deal. This means the eventual Brexit deal could be blocked at the last moment. The shadow Brexit secretary wrote: “I believe there is a consensus in Parliament for these changes. And there is certainly no majority for weakening rights, silencing Parliament and sidelining the devolved administrations. “There is a way through this paralysis. Labour will work with all sides to make that happen.” And Emily Thornberry has gone on the Andrew Marr show saying Labour won’t let a No Deal go through, fundamentally undermining Britain’s negotiating stance. So Labour could block Brexit entirely after making the UK’s negotiating position significantly weaker. They’re certainly not the party of the many, considering the majority of Brits wanted to leave the EU.
Conservative rebels welcomed Labour’s support in demanding concessions on Brexit legislation as business groups urged the government to secure a transitional deal “as close as possible to the status quo”. As David Davis, the Brexit secretary, prepared to travel to Paris in an attempt to unlock the talks, Sir Keir Starmer, his Labour shadow, said that the party would join forces with pro-European Tories to force concessions on the EU Withdrawal Bill and demanded significant changes to the legislation. The bill, which transfers European rules and regulations to the British statute book, is yet to return to the Commons for amendments despite MPs having expected to resume debate on the legislation straight after the party conferences.
Labour would back Tory rebels to force Theresa May to give MPs a veto on the final Brexit deal, Sir Keir Starmer has said. The Shadow Brexit Secretary said his party would back a Tory revolt unless Ms May accepted a number of changes to the Brexit bill, which will transfer EU law onto the domestic statute books after Britain withdraws from the bloc. The ultimatum will come as a blow to the weakened Prime Minister, who is trying to shepherd the flagship legislation through the Commons despite losing her Tory majority in the general election.
Labour has threatened to join forces with Tory rebels to force Theresa May into giving MPs a veto on the Brexit deal. Sir Kier Starmer demanded six changes to the “paused” repeal bill – including final approval for whatever deal Mrs May manages to eke out of the EU 27 by March 2019. The Shadow Brexit Secretary said the Government has unexpectedly withheld the legislation from the House of Commons for two weeks running because it fears defeat on at least 13 amendments at the hands of Tory rebels. He said it was “clear” that ministers cannot proceed with the Bill as it stands and threatened to “work with all sides” to get his changes made – unless ministers adopt them and end the “paralysis”. The Conservative Party’s disastrous general election has left Mrs May in charge of a minority Government relying on votes from the Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP ) to get its business through the Commons.
Labour will team up with Tory rebels in an attempt to secure a veto for MPs on the final Brexit deal negotiated by Theresa May, Sir Keir Starmer has said. The shadow Brexit secretary has laid down six changes he wants to the repeal bill (formerly known as the European Union Withdrawal Bill). They include a demand for Parliament to be given final approval of any exit agreement. Writing in the Sunday Times, Sir Keir said the Government had withheld the legislation for two weeks running because it fears defeat on at least 13 amendments. He urged ministers to end the “paralysis” by working with all sides to make his recommended changes.
A BULLISH Theresa May will tomorrow press European Union leaders to guarantee the rights of British expats after Brexit. Days after she secured significant progress on a potential future trade deal with the EU, she will pledge to MPs that she will continue to “put people first” in ongoing Brexit talks. Downing Street sources also made clear that the Prime Minister would not give the EU a final figure on a divorce bill before trade discussions begin. Allies of the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that the progress made in Brussels on Friday had been “positive” and that Mrs May and the negotiations should be given “space”. However, they added that the Government should still “ramp up” preparations for the possibility of a “no deal” Brexit.
Britons living in Spain will not have their lives “disrupted” after Brexit – even if there is no UK-EU deal, the Spanish foreign minister says. The two sides are yet to reach an agreement about how the rights of expats will be protected after Brexit. Theresa May has called for “urgency” from the EU side in finding a solution. And speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Alfonso Dastis sought to reassure more than 300,000 Britons living in Spain. “I do hope that there will be a deal,” the minister said. “If there is no deal we will make sure that the lives of ordinary people who are in Spain, the UK people, is not disrupted. “As you know, the relationship between the UK and Spain is a very close one in terms of economic relations and also social exchanges.
Expats will be allowed to continue living in Spain even if Britain leaves the European Union without striking a withdrawal deal, the country’s foreign minister has said. Alfonso Dastis said his government would ensure that the lives of ordinary Britons in Spain are “not disrupted” in the event of a “no deal” Brexit. Spain is host to the largest number of British citizens living in the EU (308,805) and just over a third (101,045) are aged 65 and over, according to the Office for National Statistics. Theresa May is facing pressure from some Tories to leave the EU without an agreement so Britain can free itself from Brussels regulations, avoid a costly “divorce bill” and take what some see as full advantage of the benefits of Brexit. Mr Dastis’s comments may be seized upon by Brexiteer Tories as evidence that a no deal Brexit is a workable solution.
British people living in Spain will be allowed to stay there even if the UK leaves the European Union without striking a withdrawal deal, the Spanish foreign minister has said. Alfonso Dastis said his government would ensure that the lives of Britons in Spain were not disrupted in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Spain is host to the largest number of British citizens living in the EU (308,805) and just over a third (101,045) are aged 65 and over, according to the Office for National Statistics. Theresa May is facing pressure from some Tories to leave the EU without an agreement so Britain can free itself from Brussels regulations, avoid a costly “divorce bill” and take what some see as full advantage of the benefits of Brexit. Dastis’s comments may be seized upon by Brexiter Tories as evidence that a no-deal Brexit is a workable solution. He told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: “I do hope that there will be a deal. If there is no deal we will make sure that the lives of ordinary people who are in Spain – the UK people – are not disrupted.
THERESA May looked “despondent” and had dark rings under eyes when she dined with Jean-Claude Juncker last week, a German newspaper claimed. According to a report by Frankfurter Allegmeine Zeitung (FAZ), Mr Juncker thought the Prime Minister looked “anxious, despondent and disheartened” during the hastily organised dinner last week. The EU President also thought Mrs May looked “marked” by battles over Brexit with her own Conservative ministers and that she was “a woman who trusts hardly anyone but is also not ready for a clear-out to free herself”, according to the newspaper. Mrs May is also said to have asked for help to overcome British divisions.
Theresa May has been torn to shreds by someone who has leaked information about her meetings with Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Claude Juncker. The leaker said May ‘begged’ the three Europhiles for meetings, looked as though she hadn’t slept for days, had big rings around her eyes and was ‘begging, disheartened, despondent, weak-spirited’. Apparently it has become obvious to those in the EU that she is so weak at home that she now actually needs Europe to help her domestically too: Supposedly European leaders noticed a huge change in May – she had to force out every laugh and seemed tormented. It is clear some in the EU have a total disregard for the British side in these negotiations.
Jean-Claude Juncker claimed Theresa May “begged” him for help during a private Brexit dinner in which she appeared “tormented” with “rings under her eyes”, according to reports in the German press. The European Commission president’s office has been accused of leaking the unflattering account of the meal, which saw Mrs May described as “despondent”. In the highly personal account of last Monday’s dinner,Mrs May was said to seemed “anxious”, “tormented” and “discouraged”, according to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Mr Juncker was said to have described the Prime Minister to colleagues as looking like someone who does not sleep, and as a woman who once laughed but now has to work to avoid losing her temper. After the dinner, a joint statement was released agreeing to accelerate Brexit talks.
Theresa May’s former chief of staff has accused his opposite number in Europe of leaking details of a Brussels dinner. The comments reportedly made by EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker were published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) after last Monday’s dinner between the two. Mr Juncker had assessed Mrs May as being “anxious, despondent and disheartened” during the private meeting. Nick Timothy blamed Martin Selmayr, Mr Juncker’s chief of staff for leaking the comments to the German newspaper. He tweeted: “After constructive Council meeting, Selmayr does this. “Reminder that some in Brussels want no deal or a punitive one.”
Almost half of people think Theresa May should reshuffle her top team to restore her authority amid reports of Cabinet strife, a new poll shows. The exclusive survey for The Independent found that 45 per cent thought the Prime Minister should bring warring ministers in line as flagging Brexit negotiations exposed fault lines at the top of the party. Only 18 per cent of voters thought Ms May should stay the course and hold back from a Cabinet reshuffle, the poll by BMG Research found. The results come as Ms May returned from a meeting in Brussels where EU leaders agreed to scope out trade talks but made clear she must make more concessions on Britain’s divorce payment to unlock talks on a future trading relationship.
Philip Hammond has been warned by cabinet colleagues that he faces an ambush on the budget from Tories who want him out. Senior government figures fear that the chancellor has become so toxic that he does not have sufficient authority to get difficult measures through the Commons. He has been told that some of the budget ideas that he has suggested, such as squeezing cash from pensioners, would cause a Tory backbench revolt. Another significant failure to pass budget measures could destabilise the government. No 10 has become severely exasperated by the chancellor’s behaviour, including over an article submitted to The Times. A source said that his team had been warned before publication that the article would generate negative headlines.
CRIMINALS are being dumped by Romanian courts on Britain — and they then use EU human rights laws to stay here. Villains including gangsters, smugglers and cash machine crooks are given permission to travel here while on bail. They then get legal aid to hire lawyers who block their extradition on the grounds standard two-metre square Romanian jail cells fall foul of EU human rights law. A Sun investigation has revealed Romanian judges are allowing the travel on the flimsiest of excuses — to take a holiday, see relatives or even go to a pigeon fanciers’ fair. British authorities are powerless to deport them after a landmark European Court of Justice ruling opened the floodgates last year. Unlike his pigeons, he did not fly home.
The number of patients leaving Britain and flying overseas for medical treatment has trebled as NHS waiting times reach a record high, a Telegraph investigation has revealed. Government data shows the number of people going abroad for healthcare has increased from 48,000 in 2014 to almost 144,000 last year as the health service struggles to cope with demand. Experts said lengthening waiting times for surgery – particularly hip, knee and cataract operations – and cutbacks to fertility treatment – were fuelling the rise. NHS waiting times are now the longest they have been for almost a decade, with more than 409,000 people waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment – a rise from 34,000 in 2014.
Theresa May considered including a ban on strikes by key public sectors workers in the Conservative manifesto before the general election in June. A draft manifesto included proposals to “legislate to introduce minimum service levels in transport and other public services including border staff, prison staff, teachers, doctors and nurses in the event of a strike”. The proposed policy was included in an email sent to Sir Lynton Crosby’s political campaigns company a week before Mrs May announced the snap election. However, it is thought that cabinet ministers told the prime minister that the policy would anger public sector workers. Since the election, Mrs May has abandoned the public sector pay cap after pressure from some of her ministers.
Locum pay jumped by a record 6.3 per cent over the summer after a row in which doctors demanded higher fees to compensate for controversial tax changes. Doctors’ leaders are threatening to take hospitals to court, claiming that they are bringing too many locums within rules that treat them as permanent employees and force them to pay more tax. In the three months after the rules were introduced, average pay increased to £70.41 per hour. Consultants were paid an average of £96 an hour, with some getting up to £213 an hour, or £1,700 for an eight-hour shift, according to Liaison, which processes payments.
BRITS are being warned about a strain of flu that is so deadly it could kill thousands of people in a matter of weeks. The H3N2 strain has already infected well over 100,000 people in Australia – making it one of the country’s worst outbreak ever – and is now on its way to the UK. Officials figures have yet to say how many people have lost their lives, but at least 370 deaths have been confirmed so far. And the illness is thought to pose such a risk, the NHS is reportedly making preparations to deal with a spike in hospital admissions. Health officials are now urging all eligible Brits – approximately 21 million people – to get the flu jab as soon as possible. But Professor Robert Dingwall, a health expert at Nottingham Trent University, warned there is nothing that can be done to prevent the outbreak.
NIBIRU will soon be visible to the naked eye just like the moon before tsunamis travelling at speeds of 740mph wipe out mankind, according to incredible claims. Gill Broussard, an astronomer, claims it is just a matter of time before the mythical celestial body – also known as Planet X – comes into view. Nibiru is a fabled alien world that is apparently hurtling through space towards Earth. Conspiracists have repeatedly come up with theories about when the giant planet will either smash into us or make a catastrophic near-miss. Most recently, the apocalypse was predicted to occur on October 15 – a date that ended up passing by uneventfully.