Theresa May should go back on her word not to enter formal trade talks with the United States before Brexit to make the European Union offer Britain a better deal, senior Tory Brexiteers will say today. Boris Johnson and David Davis are joining other Leavers in backing a plan to renege on the commitment in a proposal written by Shanker Singham, a lawyer who previously advised Liam Fox, the international trade secretary. The paper is expected to argue that Britain is at a disadvantage in the talks because of the government’s wish to keep up good relations with Brussels.
Leading Tory Eurosceptics are to spell out rival Brexit plans that directly contradict Theresa May’s proposals, setting the scene for intense Tory infighting just weeks before a deal is meant to be agreed with the EU. The rebel plans are likely to demand looser future relations with Brussels and are to be laid out by ex-cabinet minister David Davis and lead eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg, but are also said to enjoy support inside the cabinet. In a sign of the impending hostilities, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab launched a pre-emptive attack on the approach taken by the Eurosceptics on Sunday.
The cabinet meeting on Monday is yet another crunch point for the Prime Minister and her Chequers compromise deal reached in July. It risks missing the point, however, in terms of what is actually holding up negotiations with the European Union. Whatever the temptation to force the PM to abandon Chequers, the core of which is to keep free and frictionless trade in goods and agriculture by maintaining common rules with the European Union, it is the Irish border problem that is the actual hold up over the next month.
A majority of the Cabinet now supports moving towards a Canada-style trade deal with the EU following the outright rejection of Theresa May’s Chequers plan, the Prime Minister will be told. Mrs May will be urged to rethink her approach to the Brexit negotiations by favouring a free trade agreement that would represent the “clean Brexit” that Leave supporters voted for. Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, has emerged as a key figure in the Brexiteers’ fight to convince Mrs May to change tack.
Most of Theresa May‘s cabinet ministers now support a Canada-style free trade agreement with the EU, according to reports. The Prime Minister will be urged to ditch her Chequers plan following its rejection in Salzburg and instead pursue a “clean Brexit“, it is claimed. Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt is one of those cabinet members who is thought to be fighting to convince Ms May to change her approach to negotiations. Other supporters of a Canada-style free trade agreement are said to include Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt and Esther McVey.
A majority of the Cabinet backs a Canada-style ‘clean Brexit’ deal that would allow Britain to make its own trade deals, Theresa May will be told on Monday. Hard-line Brexiteers who were reportedly think about resigning from their Cabinet positions ahead of Monday’s meeting are now planning to stay on and make the case for a Canada-style deal, The Telegraph reports. They will urge the Prime Minister to back a free trade agreement that would be the ‘clean Brexit’ that Leave voters wished for. They will also urge her to sack Olly Robbins – who is in charge of Brexit negotiations.
BREXIT boss Dominic Raab broke ranks with Theresa May to hint Britain could chuck Chequers for a Canada-style trade deal with the EU. It comes as Boris Johnson and David Davis urge the Prime Minister to open trade talks with the US to break deadlock in Brussels in a major intervention just days before the Tory conference. They back a new report that argues for a looser arrangement with the EU like Canada has – as well as opening simultaneous trade talks with America and India to heap pressure on Brussels to negotiate properly.
Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has risked a row with Conservative rebels after saying the idea of a Canada-style trade deal is “off the table”. The cabinet minister said such an approach advocated by some prominent Brexiteers “can’t be right” because the European Union would demand unacceptable conditions on Ireland. It comes the day before Leave rebels are set to publish their alternative plans for Brexit, suggesting a “Canada-plus-plus-plus” free trade arrangement. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Raab also said that an autumn election – which the prime minister’s aides were rumoured on Sunday to being planning – was “for the birds”.
Senior Brexiteers working to stop Theresa May’s Chequers deal have started to take precautions amid concerns that the British security services are snooping on them. Eurosceptics have started to hold important meetings face to face and to commit as little as possible to email because of the concerns that spies might be listening in on them.The concerns are particularly shared by campaigners, MPs and even Eurosceptic ex-ministers because of their commitment to fighting the Chequers deal.
EUROCRATS are blocking a Brexit deal because they have a “computer says no” attitude, Dominic Raab blasted today. The Brexit Secretary attacked EU leaders for refusing to show enough imagination to strike a win-win deal – as he doubled down on Theresa May’s negotiating strategy. Mr Raab dismissed recent turmoil in Brexit talks as “a bump in the road” and insisted the PM won’t abandon her Chequers proposals. Speaking after the Salzburg summit where European leaders shot down Mrs May’s plans, the Brexit Secretary told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show today: “It’s clear a change was made very late on by the EU in their response.
MARGARET Thatcher’s former aide has blasted anti-Brexit MEP Guy Verhofstadt for trying to paint Margaret Thatcher as pro-EU by reminding him the former Prime Minister called the European project the “greatest folly of the modern era”. The leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, and a Member of the European Parliament from Belgium since 2009, quoted Mrs Thatcher to paint her in a seemingly pro-EU light. He tweeted: “30 years ago Thatcher said ‘Britain doesn’t dream a cosy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community. Our destiny is in Europe as part of the Community’.
EU leaders are fuelling a rise of the far-right because of their refusal to accept democratic decisions like Brexit, Dominic Raab has warned. The Brexit secretary accused senior figures in Brussels of boosting fringe and populist movements across the continent. He was hitting back at French President Emmanuel Macron, who at this week’s Salzburg summit accused senior Leave campaigners of lying during the 2016 referendum campaign. “I think that’s not the kind of language of either statesmanship or friendship, particularly at a summit,” Mr Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
Cabinet ministers will be asked to grant limitless access to European Union migrants for more than two years after a “no-deal” Brexit, The Times has learnt. In a move that will dismay Brexiteers, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, will propose that EU citizens be waved through the border for 30 months if Britain crashes out of the bloc. Any EU citizen arriving between next March and September 2021 will be allowed to live temporarily in Britain as long as they show their passport and pass a criminal record check. During this period they will have to apply for a visa under a new migration system to stay permanently.
EU nationals will be given “limitless” access to Britain for more than two years after a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. Home Secretary Sajid Javid is understood to have told Cabinet colleagues EU nationals will have to be waived through the border until September 2021. The concession that will dismay Brexiteers is down to huge delays in No Deal preparations at the border. Union insiders claim there is no way customs officials will be able to introduce new checks on EU nationals by the end of March 2019. And they claim a recruitment campaign for 1,000 new Border Force staff has been “paused”.
Theresa May is braced for a Cabinet clash over immigration today after ruling that anyone arriving from the European Union after Brexit should not get special treatment. Whitehall sources were last night predicting resistance to the Prime Minister’s proposal from Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Chancellor Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark, who believe Britain could secure a better trade deal with Brussels if future EU migrants are offered rights not given to those from other parts of the world. In a move that will anger Brexiteers, Mr Javid will propose that EU citizens will be able to come and go from Britain as they choose for 30 months after Brexit.
Labour plunged into fresh chaos over Brexit today as Jeremy Corbyn said he is ready to endorse another referendum – but a union crony warned that staying the EU should not be an option in any vote. The leader said his preference is to have a general election, but he would ‘obviously’ comply if party activists demand one. The concession came as MPs joined anti-Brexit protests at the gathering in Liverpool, and deputy leader Tom Watson urged a debate on the issue on the conference floor. But Unite chief Len McCluskey, a key supporter of Mr Corbyn, waded in to the row by insisting even if there is another national vote it should merely be between any package the government negotiates and no deal.
Senior allies of Jeremy Corbyn have questioned the rationale for a fresh Brexit referendum as delegates to the party’s conference in Liverpool agreed a statement committing Labour to keeping the option on the table. After a gruelling five-hour meeting with the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, more than 100 delegates from trade unions and local parties drafted a two-page motion, which members in Liverpool were expected to pass on Tuesday. The key sentence of the final draft says: “If we cannot get a general election Labour must support all options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote.”
Labour conference will vote on a motion that if passed will mean it must back “a public vote” on Brexit if Jeremy Corbyn cannot secure a general election. The compromise motion that will be voted on this Tuesday was hammered out after a sometimes heated meeting that lasted almost six hours at the conference in Liverpool. The critical section will say that if Theresa May’s Brexit plans collapse but the Tories refuse to call an election, “Labour must support all options remaining on the table including a public vote”.
Labour is poised to back a second referendum after Jeremy Corbyn confirmed he is prepared to commit to a major policy shift if the party’s members vote for it. On the eve of Labour’s annual conference, Mr Corbyn said he was “bound by the democracy of our party” and would “adhere” to “what comes out of conference”, although he insisted he would rather bring about a general election. His comments pave the way for a significant change in Labour’s Brexit policy, with delegates gathering at this year’s conference in Liverpool thought to be overwhelmingly in favour of a so-called ‘people’s vote’ on the final deal.
Labour members are to vote on keeping “all options on the table” on Brexit, including possibly campaigning for a new referendum, at their conference. The party’s leadership wants a general election allowing Labour to take control of negotiations if it won. However some members want the party to pursue a “people’s vote” on Brexit. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC he thought any such vote should be on the terms of a Brexit deal rather than an option to stay in the EU. He said that Labour would continue to respect the 2016 referendum in which people voted by 51.9% to 48.1% for the UK to leave the European Union.
Len McCluskey has said that if Labour backs a second referendum then there should no option to remain in the EU. Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson said today if Labour members vote for a second referendum then the party will adopt it as official policy. McCluskey told the BBC’s John Pienaar however if that an option to remain in the EU should not be on the ballot paper, in a move which will enrage campaigners from the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign who are in favour of overturning the biggest mandate in British history.
Jeremy Corbyn is facing a damaging Labour split after agreeing to back a second Brexit referendum if it is demanded by party members at this week’s annual conference. More than 150 Constituency Associations are demanding that Labour support calls for a second poll and the issue is set to be formally voted on tomorrow. Mr Corbyn said he would be “bound” by any formal decision but refused to say whether he would support leaving the EU. Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite – the country’s biggest trade union and Labour’s main financial backer – yesterday attempted to block the formal adoption of the referendum plan.
LABOUR is bowing down to “middle class liberal elites” and that if veteran left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn backs their demands for a second referendum it will be an insult to the party’s voters that backed Brexit, presenter Iain Dale has claimed. Political commentator Mr Dale made the damning claim to his 119,000 Twitter followers today following news Mr Corbyn has backtracked on a previous vow his party would not back a second Brexit referendum today and has now said he would if Labour wanted it. Furious LBC presenter Mr Dale also said Mr Corbyn’s shift in supporting calls for a final say on Mrs May’s Brexit deal would “almost guarantee they lose the next election”.
A Jeremy Corbyn government would compel companies to hand over a 10 per cent stake to their workers, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, will say in a speech to be given today. The most radical policy announced so far by Labour was condemned by business leaders as “draconian” as they warned that it would hit investment and set alarm bells ringing around the world. Shareholders’ assets would be automatically diluted under legislation that would force companies to transfer stakes worth hundreds of billions of pounds to employees.
After eight years of Tory austerity that has plunged millions of Brits into a cycle of despair, Labour is now poised to ride to the rescue. And John McDonnell said Jeremy Corbyn hopes to topple Theresa May before Christmas to start reversing the damage of her war on the poor, disabled, public services, education and health. The Shadow Chancellor also said Labour is plotting a 15-year revolution in power that will put workers’ rights, the NHS, social care and industry at the heart of a bid to make Britain a fairer place to live once again.
Labour members were in open revolt against trade union-backed reforms to the party on Sunday, with many expressing anger on the conference floor about watered-down proposals for reforming MP selections and leadership contests. The controversial rule changes, proposed by Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC), would make it considerably easier for local members to deselect their sitting MP by reforming the so-called trigger ballot system. However, they do not go as far as mandatory reselection, which many members had wanted.
Britain and France must take their military alliance “to the next level” to combat escalating threats, the chief of the defence staff has said. General Sir Nick Carter has paid tribute to more than a century of co-operation between the nations’ armed forces, which are the two military heavyweights in Europe. In an article for The Times, he urges a deepening of links to guard against hostile states such as Russia and terror groups such as Isis. His focus on the importance of bilateral defence relationships comes during a stormy period for Nato, to which President Trump is ambivalent.
Secret plans have been made to invite the German president to the Cenotaph for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. There are talks underway for Frank-Walter Steinmeier to join veterans and royalty for the Remembrance Sunday service, which is said to be in the spirit of peace and reconciliation. However a leaked memo indicates that Government aides are concerned that the invite could cause upset from veterans attending. Officials heading into 10 Downing Street on Friday were carrying briefing papers, and visible among them was an email that raised concerns.
SECRET plans to invite Germany’s president to the Cenotaph for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One can be revealed. Talks are under way for Frank-Walter Steinmeier to join veterans and royalty on Remembrance Sunday in the spirit of peace and reconciliation. But a memo seen by The Sun reveals Government aides fear the invite could spark an outcry from veterans taking part in the poignant service. Ex-Army commander Colonel Richard Kemp yesterday said the German President should not be invited to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday if it upsets even a single veteran.
The lack of legal rights for long-term unmarried couples is the next “long-standing injustice” due for reform, a senior judicial figure has said. Sir James Munby, who recently stepped down as the most senior family judge in England and Wales, said many couples who split after years together incorrectly thought they enjoyed the same rights as married couples. He called on the government to address the disparity after the “welcome” scrapping of fault-based divorce laws. The law, which dates back to 1969, was “intellectually dishonest”, Sir James said.
SCIENTISTS have warned a giant Icelandic volcano is gearing up for an eruption – dwarfing an explosion that disrupted worldwide air travel eight years ago. Katla, a “highly hazardous” volcano in Iceland, is showing tell-tale signs it could be about to blow its top, according to researchers. Icelandic and British volcanologists have detected Katla— Icelandic for “kettle” or “boiler” — is emitting carbon dioxide on a huge scale which suggests magma chambers are filling up fast. According to the Sunday Times, the scientists believe it could be an indicator that an eruption could be brewing which would overshadow the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010.