Boris Johnson has threatened to withhold some of the UK’s £39 billion financial settlement with the EU, saying that in the case of a no-deal Brexit the cash is “no longer strictly speaking owed”. Mr Johnson said that “very substantial sums” could be freed up for spending on UK priorities. Speaking ahead of talks with European Council president Donald Tusk at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Mr Johnson said he had detected a “change in mood” in the EU and was hopeful of starting fresh Brexit talks. But he admitted that it was “touch and go” whether a deal could be reached by the 31 October deadline on which he has promised to take Britain out with or without an agreement.
Boris Johnson lengthened his predicted odds on the UK achieving a Brexit deal from the EU today, saying that striking an agreement is now just ‘touch and go’ having recently described it No Deal as a ‘million-to-one’ chance. He also warned EU Council President Donald Tusk that Britain will not pay all of the £39 billion Brexit divorce bill if the UK does have to leave the bloc without a deal on October 31, as the two men met for showdown talks in Biarritz. The Prime Minister made clear to the president of the European Council that Brussels may get just £9 billion – or even as little as £7 billion – if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement at the Halloween deadline.
BORIS Johnson has warned Donald Tusk today that Britain is not legally obliged to pay the EU the full £39billion divorce bill if we leave without a deal. The new PM held fresh talks with the European Commission boss this morning, and he warned that the chances of a No Deal were now “touch and go”. The Prime Minister was set to tell him that the UK intends paying just a fraction of the £39 billion divorce bill agreed by Theresa May if there’s no Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told ITV News there will be “substantial sums” for the UK to spend on “our priorities” in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Speaking at the G7 summit – an informal club of rich nations that meets annually to discuss major issues – Mr Johnson said the £39 billion divorce bill would “strictly speaking” no longer be due to the EU. He refused to be drawn on the exact figures available should the country crash out without a deal, but insisted it would be to the UK’s benefit.
Boris Johnson has told Sky News the chances of a Brexit deal are “improving” now his messages on the £39bn divorce bill and Irish border backstop have “landed” with EU leaders. The prime minister, speaking at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, claimed there was a “reasonable chance” that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October with an exit deal. But he repeated his stance that the UK’s current withdrawal agreement is “dead” and warned that without a Brexit deal, Britain is not legally obliged to stump up the full £39bn EU divorce bill.
Boris Johnson has said the £39bn Brexit divorce bill would not “strictly speaking” be owed to Brussels in full in the event of no deal, insisting: “It’s not a threat. It’s a reality.” Speaking to broadcasters as he prepared to meet the European council president, Donald Tusk, at the G7 summit in Biarritz, Johnson said: “If we come out without an agreement it is certainly true that the £39bn is no longer, strictly speaking, owed.”
Boris Johnson has challenged critics of his “do or die” Brexit strategy by declaring Britain “can easily cope” with a no-deal scenario. Admitting that the chances of striking a deal with Brussels before the October 31 deadline were now “touch and go” he dismissed suggestions that leaving without an agreement would lead to food shortages. The Prime Minister said that whether an agreement was reached with the EU depended “entirely” on European leaders, whom he is pressing to drop the insurance plan for the Irish border they had agreed with Theresa May. He told Sky News that if no deal was reached, the £39 billion divorce settlement agreed with the EU would no longer be “legally pledged”, freeing up “substantial” funds to spent in the UK.
Britain can “easily cope” with a no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson said yesterday, as Donald Trump pledged that a free-trade agreement with the US would follow within a year. Speaking at the G7 summit in Biarritz, the prime minister said that the prospect of a Brexit deal was “improving” but remained “touch and go” as he warned that the European Union would be to blame if Britain crashed out. Talks with Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, failed to yield a significant breakthrough yesterday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seemingly increasingly confident that a tweaked version of Theresa May’s EU Treaty can be secured, insisting today that the “chances of a deal are improving”. But that simply is not a clean break Brexit. He has also told Sky News today that: “Let’s be clear, I think at the moment there’s a reasonable chance that we’ll get a deal.” Johnson told the BBC that the chance of a No Deal Brexit is “touch and go”. And he added: “But the important thing is to get ready to come out without a deal.”
Boris Johnson has been told there is no legal bar to prevent him suspending Parliament for five weeks to stop MPs blocking a No Deal Brexit. The revelation came amid mounting speculation that the Prime Minister is gearing up for the possibility of a snap election, possibly as soon as mid-October. Yesterday Mr Johnson admitted it was ‘touch and go’ whether Britain would leave the EU with an agreement on October 31, having previously said the odds were ‘a million to one against’.
Boris Johnson has asked the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, whether parliament can be shut down for five weeks from 9 September in what appears to be a concerted plan to stop MPs forcing a further extension to Brexit, according to leaked government correspondence. An email from senior government advisers to an adviser in No 10 – written within the last 10 days and seen by the Observer – makes clear that the prime minister has recently requested guidance on the legality of such a move, known as prorogation.
Boris Johnson is seeking to suspend parliament for five weeks in a bid to block MPs from extending Brexit further, according to a leaked email. The prime minister has asked attorney general Geoffrey Cox whether parliament can be shut down from 9 September, The Observer reported. An email from senior government advisers to an adviser in Mr Johnson’s office, sent within the last 10 days, claims the prime minister recently requested guidance on the legality of such a move, known as proroguing, the newspaper said.
Opposition parties’ planned meeting tomorrow to discuss how to stop a no deal Brexit will take place amid an outpouring of factionalism disunity and bad blood. A senior Labour figure labelled Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson ‘petulant’ yesterday for refusing to serve in a national unity government under Jeremy Corbyn, and accused her of trying to drag the monarch into the current political deadlock. Ms Swinson meanwhile reiterated her position that an interim government should be led by an MP who could command cross-party support in the Commons – which she insisted ruled out the Labour leader.
Jeremy Corbyn risks jeopardising a vote of no confidence in the government by insisting he becomes caretaker PM, Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson has said. If he wins a no-confidence vote, the Labour leader plans to form an emergency government and then delay Brexit to avoid a no-deal scenario. But in a new letter, Ms Swinson said Mr Corbyn’s insistence on being interim leader meant there was a danger not enough MPs would support the vote. Labour did not respond to the letter. Instead, the party referred to comments made by its shadow international trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, who on Sunday described Ms Swinson as “extremely petulant” for dismissing Mr Corbyn’s initial proposal to lead a temporary government.
BREXIT Party chair Richard Tice has warned any MPs against forming an anti-Brexit Government saying it would be a “coalition of remaining anti-democrats”. The MEP claimed Remainers would takeover the Commons in the event of a coalition. Mr Tice’s fears come as a number of Conservative MPs have said they would hold talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn about how to stop a no deal Brexit. Boris Johnson has insisted the UK will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Tice said: “It’s not a Government of national unity – it would be a coalition of remoaning anti-democrats.
Donald Tusk launched a scathing attack on Donald Trump and Boris Johnson as world leaders arrived in France for the G7 summit. The European Council president warned Mr Johnson could go down in history as “Mr No Deal” before the prime minister had even touched down. But speaking on the plane to Biarritz, Mr Johnson retaliated by suggesting a failure to reach a Brexit agreement would also reflect badly on Mr Tusk. The prime minister is preparing for his first international summit and meeting with US president Donald Trump since he entered Downing Street.
BORIS JOHNSON sparred with Donald Tusk over who would be to blame if the UK leaves the EU with no deal by the Halloween deadline. But after the G7 rows this weekend, should Mr Johnson just walk away with no deal now? The Prime Minister said today that if Britain leaves the EU without a deal, it will no longer legally owe the 39 billion pound ($47.88 billion) divorce bill agreed by his predecessor Theresa May.
Children face missing out on a secondary school place next year despite tens of thousands having been created in the past year, council leaders say. A population bulge is feeding through from primary to secondary school but councils have no power to open their own schools, nor force academies to expand if they refuse. The Local Government Association (LGA) says that councils created 96,000 school places last year by working with existing primary and secondary schools, including 37,000 in secondary schools. Analysis by the LGA has found that unless more places are created 15 councils will face a shortfall at secondary level in 2020-21.
Private schools facing crippling pension costs may have to raise fees or risk losing teachers, unions warn. Schools contributing to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) will have to pay in 40 per cent more from next month. While the Government has pledged £830 million to fund the state school increases for a year, the hike is expected to cost private schools an extra £110 million and close to £200 million next year.
Dozens of councils face a shortfall in school places despite creating 96,000 new places last year alone, town hall chiefs warn today. The Local Government Association said unless more secondary school places are created, 15 councils will face a shortfall in 2020/21. That would rise to 27 in 2021/22, 49 in 2022/23 and 64 in 2023/24 without new capacity. The LGA warned that without extra places, this would leave 96,834 children at risk of not having a school place by 2023/24. The association warned the rise of academies has stripped councils of the authority to open schools or expand – and said some powers must now be handed back to town halls.
Hospital patients are having vital appointments cancelled more than 10 times in a row, amid growing chaos across the NHS. A Daily Telegraph investigation reveals soaring numbers of patients – many elderly – are suffering repeated cancellations, with notice only given in some cases the night before via letters dispatched by taxi. In other cases, patients have been left waiting years to see a hospital doctor after their NHS slot was axed again and again. Five patients who experienced more than 10 cancellations in a row had been left waiting for care since at least 2014, the figures show.
Boris Johnson last night signalled further delays to fixing the social care crisis as he suggested plans are not expected to be published before the end of the year. Last month, the Prime Minister claimed he had ‘prepared’ a ‘clear plan’ to fix the crisis in social care ‘once and for all’ – but yesterday, when asked if he would reveal his proposals by the end of this year, he refused to commit. Mr Johnson said he is ‘working very hard’ to end the scandal that sees people having to sell their homes to pay for care in old age and said he wants to forge a cross-party agreement to tackle the problem.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said ‘any outcome is possible’ on HS2 amid fears the project could be scrapped after a review into its future is completed. The next steps for the high speed rail scheme, including whether it is going to happen, are something ‘we will know the answer to’ by the end of the year once a Government-commissioned independent review has been looked at, he said. Asked if HS2 could be scrapped after the review, Mr Shapps told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday said that ‘once you start with a blank piece of paper and you say to the person doing the review and his team, ‘give me the facts’, then any outcome is possible from that, yes’.
British Airways was accused of “ruining” the bank holiday weekend as thousands of holidaymakers attempted to salvage their travel plans in the wake of the planned pilots’ strike. Passengers vented their fury at the airline on Sunday as some claimed they spent up to four hours on the phone trying to contact the airline’s customer services department to cancel or reschedule their booked flights. Exasperated traveller Ben Pywell told the BBC he called British Airways on more than 200 occasions without success, while others demanded compensation for having to rearrange holidays and family celebrations.
Seventeen million airline passengers suffered delays of at least an hour last year, according to the consumer rights organisation Which? Its analysis of almost ten million flights found that passengers were often inconvenienced and left out of pocket. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data from 2014-18 showed that eight of the UK’s ten busiest carriers recorded an increase in delays of more than an hour. Which? is concerned that some airlines and airports have not matched the rapid growth in flights with the resources needed to handle the rise. This often results in connecting flights or trains being missed, with no compensation.
The union boss leading a pilots’ strike threatening the plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers was last night accused of delaying talks by going on holiday. Brian Strutton, the general secretary of Balpa, is believed to be enjoying a European cruise ahead of his 60th birthday. His members at British Airways have left passengers in travel limbo after announcing three days of industrial action next month. Unhappy with a three-year pay deal worth 11.5 per cent, they are threatening to ground the fleet out of Heathrow, Gatwick, other UK airports and many more around the world.
Boris Johnson has said that the BBC must “cough up” and meet the cost of paying for TV licences for over-75s. Up to 3.75 million older viewers will be stripped of their TV licences from next year under a means test. The broadcaster was forced to accept responsibility for funding and running the concession by George Osborne, who was chancellor during the last charter renewal negotiations in 2015. Mr Johnson said: “The BBC received a settlement that was conditional upon their paying for TV licences for the over-75s. They should cough up.”
Boris Johnson has reignited the row over who should fund free TV licences for the over-75s, urging the BBC to “cough up”. The prime minister has signalled that his government will not reverse policy by stepping in to subsidise the benefit, despite the Conservatives’ promise in the 2017 manifesto that it would be protected. “The BBC received a settlement that was conditional upon their paying for TV licences for the over-75s. They should cough up,” said Johnson, who is attending the G7 summit in Biarritz.
Boris Johnson last night went to war with the BBC as he demanded it ‘cough up’ the money to fund free TV licences for the over-75s. The Prime Minister demanded the corporation rethink its plan to strip 3.7million pensioners of the benefit. Mr Johnson said the broadcaster had no excuse to start making them pay the £154.50-a-year charge from next June. It puts him in a stand-off with BBC bosses, who are refusing to back down. As he attended the G7 summit in Biarritz yesterday, the Prime Minister said the BBC had more than enough money to cover the free licences.
Boris Johnson has said the BBC should “cough up” the £745m annual cost of maintaining free TV licences for all over-75s. But the prime minister was accused of an “appalling” disregard of pensioners for seeking to offload blame for the decision to means-test the subsidy on to the broadcaster. And the BBC said that funding free licences after 2020 – when the government will stop providing financial support for the scheme – would mean closing down services including BBC2, BBC4, the BBC News channel, BBC Scotland, 5 Live and local radio stations.
The BBC should “cough up” and pay for TV licences for all over-75s, the prime minister has said. It comes after the BBC announced in June that it would restrict the benefit to those in low-income households. Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit, Boris Johnson said the BBC’s funding settlement had been conditional on it continuing to fund the free licences – something the corporation disputes. Labour accused the PM of blaming the broadcaster for government policy.