Britain could be offered the option of imposing a seven-year emergency brake on immigration from the EU as part of a deal to keep it in the single market, under plans being considered by top officials. British and European officials believe the move would soften the economic shock of leaving the EU while also addressing people’s concerns over immigration. It would also soften the political blow to the European project amid concerns that growing Eurosceptism throughout the continent could lead to other countries splitting from Brussels.
Politicians have accused European leaders of “missing the point” and failing to accept Britain’s vote to leave the Brussels club after senior British and EU officials are understood to be thinking of giving the green light to an “emergency brake” on EU migration into the UK for up to seven years. An agreement would mean Britain paying a substantial contribution into the EU, although it would be less than full membership requires. However, there would be no seat for the UK at an EU negotiating table on the single market.
Plans to allow the United Kingdom an exemption from EU rules on freedom of movement for up to seven years while retaining access to the single market are being considered in European capitals as part of a potential deal on Brexit. Senior British and EU sources have confirmed that despite strong initial resistance from French president François Hollande in talks with prime minister Theresa May last week, the idea of an emergency brake on the free movement of people that would go far further than the one David Cameron negotiated before the Brexit referendum is being examined. If such an agreement were struck, and a strict time limit imposed, diplomats believe it could go a long way towards addressing concerns of the British people over immigration from EU states, while allowing the UK full trade access to the European market.
Tory MPs have reacted with fury after it was reported that EU leaders are considering allowing Britain curbs on freedom of movement whilst retaining access to the single market. MPs have accused leaders across the continent of “missing the point” and failing to accept the public’s decision to sever ties with the 28-member bloc last month. European diplomats are understood to be looking at granting the “emergency brake” on EU migration for up to seven years.
Theresa May will today insist that peace and stability in Northern Ireland is her “highest priority” as she pledges to ensure that border controls will not be erected after Brexit. The Prime Minister will travel to Belfast today to hold talks with First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, to discuss delivering stability in Northern Ireland in the wake of the EU referendum. Tony Blair and Sir John Major visited the city a fortnight before the referendum to caution against a Brexit, arguing that it would lead to border controls and customs checks.
Theresa May will try to reassure Northern Ireland’s political leaders today that they will be kept in the loop during the complex negotiations that lie ahead as the UK leaves the European Union. Northern Ireland was one of three regions, along with Scotland and London, to vote in favour of staying in the EU in the June referendum. They are now faced with the possibility of customs checks along their border with the Irish Republic once Brexit is completed. But Ms May’s meeting in Belfast with Arlene Foster, the Democratic Unionist who took over in January as Northern Ireland’s First Minister, may be easier than her earlier meeting with Scotland’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon.
Theresa May will reassure the first minister of Northern Ireland that there will be no return to border checks for people entering the UK from the Republic of Ireland despite Britain’s vote to leave the EU. The prime minister will make the pledge to Arlene Foster during a visit to Belfast on Monday, during which she will also promise to engage with the region’s devolved administration in preparation for Brexit negotiations. Speaking ahead of the trip that completes a tour of all four parts of the UK within the first two weeks of her premiership, May said: “I made clear when I became prime minister that I place particular value on the precious bonds between the nations of the United Kingdom.
Theresa May is set to scrutinise the number of student visas being granted to UK university applicants in a fresh attempt to reduce immigration. The Prime Minister is reportedly preparing her new government to crack down on higher education institutions, claiming they have become an easy route into Britain for economic migrants. Government sources have said the Home Office and Department for Education will examine the student visa regime to see where criteria can be tightened.
Britain is targeting a new trade deal with China in an attempt to exploit the “opportunities” created by Brexit, Philip Hammond has revealed. In a sign that the government is already pursuing deals to minimise the economic impact of leaving the EU, the chancellor said that he had raised the issue of an agreement with China during a meeting of world finance ministers over the weekend. It is also a clear indication that Mr Hammond will continue the policy pursued by George Osborne of wooing Beijing.
Holidaymakers could face weeks of severe delays at Dover, police said yesterday, as it was revealed that the government had been warned several days ago about problems with French border checks. The difficulties, which brought traffic to a standstill in Kent, may affect Britons throughout the summer as they try to reach cross-Channel ferries. Motorists queued for up to 15 hours over the weekend, with some families sleeping in their cars, after France stepped up security checks following the Nice terrorist attack.
MOTORISTS heading to Dover today will be hoping the queues at the Channel port have abated after a weekend of travel misery. Labour has demanded urgent government action after tailbacks through Kent started to build on Friday night, causing 14-hour hold-ups for some travellers. Police blamed the jams on delays to French border checks at the port in light of recent terror attacks coupled with a “vast volume of holiday traffic.” But questions have been raised about staffing levels to deal with the huge number of people travelling at this time. Yesterday morning Kent Police admitted that people could expect further delays of 10 hours on the A20, with about 12 miles of queuing traffic back to junction 11 of the M20.
Scotland’s first minister will outline her next steps in securing Scotland’s position in Europe later, a month on from the Brexit vote. In a speech in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon will set out key interests she believes must be protected. She has previously said a second independence vote was “highly likely” but promised to explore other options. The Scottish Conservatives said another “divisive” referendum was not in Scotland’s best interests. Scottish voters backed remaining in the EU by a margin of 62% to 38% in June’s referendum while the UK as a whole voted by 52% to 48% to leave.
AROUND 10,000 Turkish troops have been detained and raped, starved and left without water for days, according to Amnesty International. The group claim that the detainees, who were imprisoned after the failed military coup, are being held in stables and sports halls. In a statement the Human Rights campaigners say they have ‘credible evidence’ that the detainees are being beaten and tortured, in official and unofficial detention centres across the country. Amnesty International’s Europe director, John Dalhuisen: “Reports of abuse including beatings and rape in detention are extremely alarming, especially given the scale of detentions that we have seen in the past week. “The grim details that we have documented are just a snapshot of the abuses that might be happening in places of detention.”