Germany’s vice-chancellor has warned the future of the EU could be in doubt if the UK’s exit is handled badly. Sigmar Gabriel said the EU would go “down the drain” if other states followed Britain’s lead and that the UK could not keep the “nice things” about Europe while taking no responsibility. It comes as Theresa May summoned ministers for a meeting on Wednesday to discuss ideas for the UK’s withdrawal. Downing Street said Brexit was “top” of the prime minister’s agenda. But a report in The Sunday Times suggested her cabinet was split over leaving the single market.
German’s economy minister has said that Britain should not be allowed to keep the “nice things” as it negotiates its departure from the European Union. Sigmar Gabriel said that the world was watching how Britain manages Brexit and that Europe could go “down the drain” if things go badly. “Brexit is bad but it won’t hurt us as much economically as some fear. It’s more of a psychological problem and it’s a huge problem politically,” Mr Gabriel said, noting that the world was now looking at Europe as an unstable continent. “If we organise Brexit in the wrong way, then we’ll be in deep trouble. So now we need to make sure that we don’t allow Britain to keep the nice things, so to speak, related to Europe while taking no responsibility,” he added.
Philip Hammond wants to see Britain retain access to the single market in specific sectors such as financial services, while also securing border controls for the UK. The chancellor wants to ensure that Brexit negotiations protect particular parts of the economy before a meeting of the cabinet on Wednesday at Chequers. Theresa May is expecting her most senior ministers to arrive at the prime minister’s country retreat armed with ideas about how Brexit could be a success in their particular areas, having demanded they draw up plans before the summer. The meeting will take place after reports of a government split over whether or not the UK government should try to retain its membership of the single market.
The official Remain campaign, known as Britain Stronger In Europe, has relaunched as a campaign group called Open Britain, but has stopped short of calling for a second referendum, and says controls on free movement of people should form part of Britain’s renegotiated arrangements with the European Union. Open Britain will campaign to ensure that the UK is seen as outward looking and open for business with the rest of the world, but accepts that the result of the referendum should be final. The group’s supporters include former ministers Anna Soubry from the Conservative Party, Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb and Labour’s Pat McFadden. In a joint article in the Sunday Times, the three acknowledged the Brexit vote had been driven by concerns over immigration but argued the UK could not cut itself off from the world.
BRITAIN’S foreign aid budget could be diverted to promoting national security, it is claimed. New International Development Secretary Priti Patel is reportedly ready to redirect the spiralling billions. An MP said yesterday: “From now on, the watchwords are national security and the national interest. The Government is looking at how the Dutch use foreign aid cash for peacekeeping and monitoring migration. Amid speculation that Ms Patel would take on responsibility for funding and directing troops, a defence source has made clear the Ministry of Defence would not give up any budget to her. Ms Patel is said to be reluctant to challenge ex-Prime Minister David Cameron’s commitment, which the Daily Express has criticised yet is now UK law, to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid, taking the budget from £12billion to £16billion by 2020.
Labour shadow cabinet ministers resigned en masse because they were afraid Jeremy Corbyn would win an election, it was claimed this morning. Journalist-turned Labour activist Paul Mason said members of Mr Corbyn’s top team had co-ordinated the mass walkout because they feared it was their “last chance” to unseat him before a “winnable” general election. He made the comments on the BBC’s Broadcasting House programme this morning, interviewed alongside Rhea Wolfson – a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC). Ms Wolfson, who was elected to the NEC this month with the backing of pro-Corbyn group Momentum, agreed that an early election was winnable if Labour can mobilise the huge increase in party membership to campaign on the doorstep.
Two hundred Labour seats – more than 85% of the party’s total – could be affected by the review of parliamentary boundaries due next month, according to a detailed analysis of the review’s likely impact. Up to 30 Labour seats could disappear altogether, says Lord Hayward, an analyst widely regarded as an expert on the boundary review, while the rest will see their composition altered in some form. Although the changes will also affect the Conservatives, Hayward, a Tory peer, said his analysis of demographics in the UK concluded that Labour is over-represented.
The Labour Party will suffer the most under proposed constituency boundary changes, a Conservative peer has warned. A review of the new boundaries has suggested 200 Labour seats will be affected, with up to 30 seats being scrapped altogether. By contrast the Conservatives face losing between 10 and 15 seats. The assessment has been undertaken by Lord Hayward, a Conservative peer and expert on the boundary review. He has warned that although all parties will be affected, Labour appears to stand to lose the most when the altered boundaries come into force.
GP appointments should be five minutes longer as Britain’s population becomes older and fatter, the British Medical Association has urged. The doctors’ union believes current slots of ten minutes are insufficient and unsafe. In a report due to be published today, its GPs’ committee will say that to provide longer appointments there should be a reduction in the number of patients that doctors see. The document, Safer Working in General Practice, highlights what the BMA calls ‘unsustainable pressure on GP services from rising workload, falling resources and staff shortages’. Dr Brian Balmer, of the committee’s executive team, said: ‘In a climate of staff shortages and limited budgets, GP practices are struggling to cope with rising patient demand, especially from an ageing population with complicated, multiple health needs that cannot be properly treated within the current ten-minute recommended consultation.
Migrants in Calais seeking asylum in the UK should be allowed to lodge their claim in France, the president of the region has told the BBC. Xavier Bertrand said 9,000 migrants, many trying to get to the UK, were in a Calais camp known as the Jungle. He said he wanted a new deal in which migrants could apply for UK asylum at a “hotspot” in France rather than having to wait to reach British soil. Anyone rejected would be deported directly to their country of origin. Calais has become the focal point of France’s refugee crisis. The Jungle camp is expanding and almost every night people there try to hide inside vehicles entering the port and the Channel Tunnel to get to Britain.
MIGRANTS camped at the Calais jungle who want to come to Britain should be allowed to do so, a top Calais chief has claimed. Xavier Bertrand said the 9,000 migrants at the “Jungle” in Calais should be allowed to start their asylum process in France. The president of a northern district in France wants to rip up the existing deal between France and Britain and allow migrants to claim asylum in Britain at a “hotspot” in France. Those who are refused entry should be deported immediately. Under the current Treaty of Le Touquet, British immigration officials check passports with French officials checking passports in Dover. While the 51-year-old does not have the power to change the treaty, the two presidential hopefuls who lead the polls both want to scrap or change the ruling.
Around 200 illegal migrants are arriving in England each week smuggled aboard lorries, according to French officials. The figure represents a huge step up in the number of “lorry drops”, being nearly double the number arriving in this way last year. The roads around Calais port have become a “no-go area” between the hours of midnight and 6am, Philippe Mignonet, deputy mayor of Calais has said, thanks to the gangs of migrants who pull branches and debris onto the roads to halt traffic, allowing their comrades to climb aboard. “Each lorry is packed with dozens of migrants and many are stopped before they reach England,” a regional security official said. “But we are certain that a few get through. The estimate is around 200 a week. We know others are crossing in small boats or vans,” the official added, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.
Church of England
A group of parishes is preparing what could be the first step towards a formal split in the Church of England over issues such as homosexuality, with the creation of a new “shadow synod” vowing to uphold traditional teaching. Representatives of almost a dozen congregations in the Home Counties are due to gather in a church hall in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, later this week for the first session of what they say could eventually develop into an alternative Anglican church in England. Organisers, drawn from the conservative evangelical wing of Anglicanism, say they have no immediate plans to break away – but are setting up the “embryonic” structures that could be used to do so if the established church moves further in what they see as a liberal direction.
THE US government is close to revealing a host of evidence relating to aliens and extraterrestrial activity, according to shock claims. According to UFO-hunters, the US government is keeping what it knows about life coming from other planets to themselves. Believers are saying that since the infamous 1947 Roswell incident, in which what was believed to be an flying saucer crashed into a ranch, the US government has not revealed evidence of extraterrestrials. At the time, officials claimed the item that went down in a field was a weather balloon, but then said years later that it was actually a surveillance device looking for nuclear threats in the sky.