The European Union (EU) wants the UK to keep its borders open to free movement and uncontrolled mass migration from the bloc for another two years. If Brussels has its way, all migrants arriving in those two years would be able to stay on indefinitely. It could trigger a sudden spike in immigration as European migrants rush to get here before Britain takes back control of its borders. EU sources revealed the demand to The Sun, claiming it emerged from a seminar of senior officials on Wednesday, chaired by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. Senior MPs have already called on Prime Minister Theresa May to set the cut-off date for allowing new arrivals to stay as the day of the Brexit referendum, June 23 last year. This date would guarantee the rights of some 3.2million EU migrants already here, and was called for in a report by senior Remain and Leave MPs in December.
Just after the government had spoken about continuing mass migration, the latest briefing is that EU open borders will end once Article 50 is triggered next month. It is the latest murmuring from the Conservative government who have yet to lay their cards on the table in terms of what will actually replace EU open borders. The execution of this matters. The rumoured date of March 15th as a cut off for EU citizens taking advantage of open borders means that something must come after. But what? It sounds like EU migrants would no longer have ‘the right to stay’. But will they still have the right to come? Theresa May has a all-talk, no-action record. Let’s see which she’s bringing to the table in terms of stopping mass migration. After all, David Cameron’s “tens of thousands” pledge turned out to be complete hot air.
Theresa May is next month poised to announce the end of free movement for new EU migrants on the same day that she formally triggers Brexit negotiations. The Prime Minister is expected to say that EU citizens who travel to Britain after she triggers Article 50 will no longer have the automatic right to stay in the UK permanently. They will instead be subject to migration curbs after Britain leaves the European Union, which could include a new visa regime and restricted access to benefits. Mrs May is expected to say that EU migrants who arrived in the UK before the “cut-off date” will have their rights protected as long British citizens living elsewhere in Europe are granted the same assurance. Iain Duncan Smith, a leading Eurosceptic conservative MP, said that that announcement will show that Mrs May is taking control of Britain’s borders while giving clarity to the 3.6million EU migrants already living in the UK.
Article 50 Bill
Labour peers say they are confident that the government will ultimately make concessions as the article 50 bill on leaving the EU passes through the House of Lords this week. Opposition whips will watch keenly how the government responds to the first debate at the committee stage of the bill on Monday, which will focus on the Good Friday agreement, to gauge whether the government appears open to concessions, one Lords source said. Though no votes are planned until the report stage of the bill next week, one Labour peer said there was at least a 50% chance that peers could vote on an amendment to secure the rights of EU citizens living in the UK during the committee stage on Wednesday. “I would expect us to win that comfortably with the support of the Lib Dems, some cross-benchers and a handful of Tories,” the source said. Dick Newby, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords, said among peers there was “an overwhelming desire to do the right thing and ensure that all EU nationals have the right to remain”.
Poor children fall behind pupils from better-off families when they are at secondary school, even if they have out-performed their classmates at primary school, a study has shown. Pupils from low-income families achieve an average of almost half a GCSE grade lower per subject than other teenagers and this achievement gap has grown rather than narrowed in the past five years, research for the Social Mobility Commission found. White British children whose parents are in low-paid jobs or on benefits do worst of all, getting on average almost two thirds of a grade lower in eight core GCSE subjects.
Schools face the first real-terms cuts to funding in more than 20 years, experts warn today. Spending per pupil is set to plunge by 6.5% by 2019/20 in the latest Tory attack on youngsters, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. And experts have warned classrooms could see more pupils while the number of teachers drops and the loss of teaching assistants altogether. Subsidised school trips would face being axed and equipment budgets could also be slashed, forcing kids to study old textbooks and education chiefs to impose a freeze on buying new computers. Schools are already scrapping music lessons, turning off heating and planning to charge parents for children’s sessions with mental health counsellors.
European migrants arriving in Britain after next month are set to lose the right to remain permanently in this country, under plans being drawn up by Theresa May. Whitehall sources said the Prime Minister is planning to make the ‘cut-off’ date for new EU migrants the point when she triggers formal Brexit proceedings in March. The move is the first step in ending free movement, as EU migrants arriving after this date will not have the automatic right to live and work in this country once Britain has left the European club. Home Office lawyers have dismissed calls to use the referendum date in June last year as the cut-off, warning it would lead to court action by migrants whose rights under EU law had been taken away.
Thousands of middle-aged people are being forced to borrow money from their parents because of the cost of having cancer, a charity has warned. New estimates from Macmillan Cancer Support suggest that more than 30,000 people with cancer in their 40s and 50s have had to borrow money from their elderly parents, as a result of extra costs and lost income. And more than 2,000 have moved in with their parents or parents-in-law after having to sell their house. Macmillan Cancer Support says that people are having to borrow from the “Bank of Mum and Dad” because of the costs of cancer, such as travel to and from hospital as well as loss of income because they are too unwell to work. And 28 per cent of cancer sufferers – an estimated 700,000 people – are vulnerable to poverty because they have no savings to fall back on, according to the report based on a survey of more than 2000 cancer survivors. Research by the charity suggests that cancer costs patients an average of £570 a month in lost income or increased expenditure.
Patients are being let down by bickering between health bosses and politicians while the NHS spirals into crisis, MPs warn today. The Government’s funding plans are simply ‘not up the job’, according to the Commons public accounts committee. Ministers are accused of shifting money around to hide a financial black hole, while Theresa May has ‘fallen out’ with NHS England boss Simon Stevens. ‘The fact that key players running our NHS are bickering in public does little to inspire confidence that patients are at the heart of everyone’s priorities,’ says the report. ‘The NHS is facing huge challenges. This requires a united effort to resolve these for the long term.’ The Government has come under severe pressure over funding in recent months, as the winter health crisis has seen waiting times lengthen and hospitals turn patients away. Official figures last week revealed that hospitals have overspent their budgets by nearly £900million so far this year, despite being given a £1.8billion cash injection.
“Public bickering” between the prime minister and the NHS is an “insult to taxpayers” who want clear information on health funding, MPs have said. The House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticised a dispute between Theresa May and NHS England boss Simon Stevens over finances. Its report also censured the government for “plundering” NHS funds. The Department of Health said the hospital sector had £1.3bn more compared with this time last year. A spokeswoman said: “We are united behind the ambition to make the NHS the safest, highest-quality healthcare system in the world.” But Mr Stevens, who appeared before the PAC in January, contradicted these government claims. Speaking to the committee, he said it was “stretching it” for the government to say so and that there were “substantial funding pressures”. The PAC called on both sides to work together “in the best interests of patients”.
Public “bickering” between Theresa May and the NHS over funding at a time when the health service is facing severe financial problems is an “insult to taxpayers”, an influential parliamentary committee has said. Few NHS trusts feel they have a plan for meeting financial targets set by the Government, which must now take “targeted action” to avoid a “catastrophic failure” in the service, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said. Amid the strain, the Prime Minister and NHS England boss Simon Stevens are publicly falling out over funding and must find a way to work together “in the best interests of patients”, alongside the Department of Health (DH), the MPs said. The intervention comes after Mr Stevens went into battle with Mrs May over NHS funding, telling the committee in January an extra £10bn was being made available to NHS England over six years, but overall it had “got less” than set out in its five-year plan.
TOM WATSON jumped to defend Labour’s floundering leader – insisting Jeremy Corbyn could win the general election in 2020. The party’s deputy argued it was not a “suicide approach” to stick with the left-wing chief, despite a humiliating loss at the Copeland by-election on Thursday. Mr Watson told ITV’s Peston on Sunday it was now time for the party to unify behind their leader. He said: “We can win a General Election with Jeremy Corbyn but things have to change. “I think the country now knows that he is a conviction politician, I think they now want to see that he can give greater policy coherence and greater clarity when explaining what our mission is.” The MP for West Bromwich East, who was elected deputy leader in 2015, added the party must send a clearer message on its policies. “The Labour party has got to change in the way it communicates to people.
Jeremy Corbyn has said he will still be Labour leader in 2020, in an attempt to draw a line under one of his toughest periods at the party’s helm. The announcement followed a desperate plea for party unity that was undermined before it had even been made by open anger over his and his closest allies’ reaction to the devastating by-election loss in Copeland. Ex-frontbencher Lisa Nandy slammed what she called the “severely inadequate response” of Mr Corbyn’s allies to the defeat, claiming they had sought to blame others for shortcomings inside the party. Shadow Attorney General, Shami Chakrabarti, was among those singled out by critics after she gave an interview blaming everything from Storm Doris to poor public transport in Copeland for the humiliating loss. Deputy leader Tom Watson attacked one of Mr Corbyn’s closest allies, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey, for ensuring Mr Corbyn had stayed in post but not publicly defending him in “bad times”.
EMBATTLED Jeremy Corbyn lost his temper today when he was quizzed over whether he would still be the Labour Party leader in 2020. The left-wing chief refused to answer whether he would stand for the next general election during a television interview following the Labour Party’s humiliating loss at the Copeland by-election on Thursday. When asked Jeremy Corbyn instead dodged the question and replied: “I am carrying on as leader because I am determined we will deliver social justice in this country.” But when the Sky News reporter pressured him to answer, he finally snapped saying: “I’ve given you a very, very clear answer. Yes,” before walking off in an apparent strop. His bizarre outburst shows further signs, a string of embarrassing failings are beginning to take their toll on the floundering leader.
Jeremy Corbyn has mistakenly thanked Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party instead of his Scottish Labour MPs during a speech intended to rally his party after a humiliating by-election defeat. Speaking at the Scottish Labour Party Conference, the Labour leader said: “I’m delighted that Scottish Labour announced yesterday a new policy to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to increase child benefit, which will lift thousands of Scottish children out of poverty. “Well done Scottish Labour and well done our SNPs… MSPs for keeping that up.” And he almost repeated the mistake seconds later. Rebels and resignations: Corbyn’s leadership so far
THE CONSERVATIVES will not seize on Labour’s turmoil by calling an early general election, the home secretary has confirmed. Amber Rudd rejected the idea on Sunday, despite the Opposition slumping to record lows in some opinion polls. A recent survey by ICM showed the Conservatives held a massive 18-point lead over Labour. But, even with their surge in popularity and success in the Copeland by-election on Thursday, Ms Rudd was adamant there would be no general election until 2020. Appearing on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, she said: “One of the reasons I think we did very well is because people do trust Theresa May. “She has a wide reach, one nation approach and has been accepted. The fact that people in Copeland, who have voted Labour all their life, have turned to the Conservatives I think, is about her leadership. “We’re showing that the Conservatives have this much broader reach than people thought.”
Theresa May fears the Scottish government will call another referendum as she triggers the formal Brexit process. Downing Street is preparing for Nicola Sturgeon to use the start of the country’s exit from the European Union to call a new vote on Scottish independence. Mrs May could reject it and risk a constitutional crisis or accept it and potentially imperil the future of the United Kingdom. Theresa May fears the Scottish government will call another independence referendum as she triggers the formal Brexit process. She has promised to trigger Article 50 by April and expects to be able to stick to the timetable, despite ongoing parliamentary wrangling over the process. The Prime Minister has urged voters in Scotland to use May’s council elections to make clear to First Minister Ms Sturgeon that they do not want to have another independence referendum.
JEREMY CORBYN detailed his opposition yesterday to the council cuts unleashed on the Scottish people by the SNP, insisting that the second independence referendum for which it is campaigning would do nothing to address Scotland’s real problems. Addressing the Scottish Labour conference, he said that both Tories and SNP talked of taking back powers from Brussels and Westminster, but neither party wants to take on transnational companies and big business. And the party leader warned people to “never again accept any moralising lectures from the Greens” after they recently helped the SNP pass a budget slashing local government funding by £170 million.
ANDREW NEIL slapped down the Scottish Labour leader during a heated clash over her plans for a “federal Britain”. In a live interview, the veteran broadcaster told Kezia Dugdale her proposal for a more devolved UK was “fantasy”. Earlier this week Scottish Labour delegates backed a motion for radical reforms of Britain’s constitution at the party’s conference in Perth. Ms Dugdale believes changes should lead to a new federal structure, including the Lords being replaced by an elected federal senate. As Neil put the idea under the spotlight, he grilled the MSP for “ignoring” the wishes of the rest of the UK. “What evidence can you bring to show that there is any appetite in England to carve England into federal regions?” he fumed. “There’s not even a debate [in England] about that Kezia Dugdale, it’s fantasy!” Forced to defend the policy, which is seen as an attempt to see off the SNP’s bid for a second independence referendum, Ms Dugdale claimed the idea would have the support of voters.
Theresa May is preparing for the Scottish government to call a second independence referendum to coincide with the triggering of Article 50 next month. Senior government sources say there is serious concern that Nicola Sturgeon will use the start of the Brexit process to demand another vote on the future of the UK and that Whitehall is planning for that event. The prime minister could reject the demand, but such a move would risk causing a constitutional crisis. If she agreed, ministers have been warned, she would risk the break-up of the United Kingdom on a “coin toss”. Mrs May has also been told that she faces a double-headed “devolution crisis” next month.
Aliens on the sun
NASA are launching their first ever mission to fly to the Sun to look for alien life. Great strides have been made in the search for extraterrestrial life, with a new solar system similar to Earth sparking hope for extraterrestrial contact. But aliens may also be on our doorstep, and live in a much hotter climate. Space boffins are planning to launch the Solar Probe Plus, which will travel most of the 93 million miles to the sun. NASA research scientist Eric Christian said: “This is going to be our first mission to fly to the sun. “We can’t get to the very surface of the sun, but the mission will get close enough to answer important questions.” As well as the search for aliens, NASA are hoping to get to grips with the speed of solar wind and high energy particle beams emitted from our star in the 2018 mission.