A SHOCK new poll shows most Britons now want a second EU referendum amid a backlash over the size of the Brexit divorce bill. In a bid to secure a trade deal, Theresa May looks set to cave in to Brussels demands by handing over around £50 billion to settle the UK’s financial obligations. But a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday showed many people thought the huge bill was a “punishment” for voting Leave. It showed 31 per cent of people surveyed thought the UK should pay nothing at all, with only 11 per cent backing a payment of up to £50 billion. And half of those polled now support holding a second referendum on the final Brexit deal. Just 34 per cent were against the idea with 16 per cent unsure.
VOTERS have hit out at the £50billion “divorce bill” and now back a second referendum on the final deal as they declare the EU to be the clear winners of the first round of Brexit talks. A poll conducted after Theresa May agreed to Brussels’ demands last week reveals just 16 per cent think the UK has come out on top in the negotiations so far. Meanwhile 43 of those asked think Michel Barnier and his team have got the better end of the bargain. But they believe the size of the bill is about vindictiveness from the other side and not a fair reflection of the money the UK is responsible for.
The future rights of EU citizens in the UK – and of British nationals in the EU – are being forgotten as a deal to break the Brexit deadlock gets closer, MEPs and campaigners say. They fear the EU is poised to weaken its stance on the issue at a make-or-break summit next month in order to keep negotiations moving between London and Brussels. Controversial issues including the future rights of EU citizens to bring in family members, the rights of their children born after Brexit, and compulsory new criminal record checks. EU nationals in Britain say new “settled status” rules will reduce their rights and be based on UK immigration law – exposing them to the Home Office’s self-described “hostile environment” towards immigrants.
A senior Brussels official said last night that Britain and the European Union were “90 per cent” of the way to a deal that would open the door for transition and trade talks on Brexit this month. Theresa May will fly to Brussels this morning for meetings that have been described as the “absolute deadline” for finding agreement. The EU official said that Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, and Mrs May “will have some open points to solve” but predicted that both sides were on the verge of clinching agreement on the terms of withdrawal. “It is solvable,” he said. “We are 85-90 per cent there.”
NIGEL Farage has offered a brilliant solution to the Irish border issue which is threatening to derail Brexit. The former Ukip leader said Ireland required “exceptional treatment” in order to avoid a hard border which could bring exit talks with the EU to a grinding halt. Speaking on LBC radio today, he urged Brussels to see the bigger picture and make an exception for dealing with UK-Ireland trade after Brexit. Mr Farage argued that regardless of trade discussions with the rest of the EU, the bloc had to recognise the “politically sensitive” nature of the situation and make an exception for the “relatively small but very important” country of Ireland. He said: “Can I offer you a solution that I think nobody has talked about before?
THERESA May is facing a massive Tory backbench revolt if she gives any more concessions to the EU in the Brexit negotiations. A letter signed by senior Tory MPs and other Brexit supporters has told the Prime Minister that she must end the negotiations this month if the EU refuses to compromise. The threat comes as Government sources have privately admitted that a “no deal” with the EU is now increasingly likely. A briefing from ministers has gone out to pro-Brexit groups saying that it is now “50/50 at best” that the other leaders of governments in the EU will unanimously agree to move on to trade talks in December.
Theresa May‘s hopes of a Brexit breakthrough are in jeopardy ahead of crunch talks in Brussels today after no breakthrough in Dublin over the UK’s future border with Ireland. The Prime Minister will travel to Belgium this morning ahead of a lunch with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. She will then hold further talks with EU Council president Donald Tusk, who represents the interests of the remaining 27 member states. The PM is also expected to telephone Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, whose last-minute threat to veto progress over border issues has thrown the careful choreography of a deal into chaos.
Theresa May will go into a crunch meeting with EU leaders on Monday admitting she has yet to find a solution to the Irish border problem, as a Cabinet minister suggested for the first time that Brexit might not happen. Mrs May has until Monday night to meet an EU deadline for Britain to make “satisfactory progress” on the issues of money, citizens’ rights and the border in order to trigger trade talks this month. She had hoped the meetings in Brussels with Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk would be the moment when trade talks would be unlocked, but Government sources were highly pessimistic about the prospect of a breakthrough, leaving the entire Brexit timetable in jeopardy.
Theresa May and the Irish government have failed to reach a deal on the crucial Brexit issue of the Northern Ireland border ahead of a crunch meeting on Monday lunchtime with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. Despite intense efforts over the weekend to agree a proposal on how to avoid a hard border in Ireland, Irish officials revealed at midnight on Sunday that “there is still a way to go” to achieve a meeting of minds on the issue. “The Irish government remains hopeful – but at this stage it is very difficult to make a prediction,” said an official. The failure to seal a deal threatens to delay the progression of the Brexit negotiations to the second phase covering trade and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
Theresa May is making another trip to Brussels for talks she claims will be a “staging post” on the way to post-Brexit trade negotiations. The Prime Minister and David Davis are lunching with Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. And after weeks of deadlock in negotiations – over the so-called “divorce bill” and the future of the Irish border – Mrs May is desperately hoping for a breakthrough. A Government spokesperson said: “With plenty of discussions still to go, Monday will be an important staging post on the road to the crucial December Council.” That meeting, in 10 days’ time, is when the Prime Minister hopes the remaining 27 EU countries will agree to end the deadlock and allow trade talks to begin.
Theresa May has been told to go for No Deal if the EU make any more outrageous demands, and she could face a backbench revolt if she makes any more concessions. Tories and key Brexit figures signed a letter from Leave Means Leave. It urges May to walk away and trade under WTO rules if the EU keep making extortionate financial demands and Britain doesn’t get a free trade agreement. Signatories include John Redwood MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Richard Tice, Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin and John Longworth, co-Chair of Leave Means Leave. May is meeting with Juncker today, so it remains to be seen what the outcome will be – but if she comes back and tries to tell the nation that she’s signed Britain up to paying billions of pounds for a lousy trade and the ECJ is still in charge, she might not be in a job much longer.
Theresa May is set to meet key EU figures for talks on Brexit which could determine whether the UK is able to move on to negotiations on trade. BBC Europe editor Katya Adler says deals were reached this weekend on the UK “divorce bill” and citizens’ rights. But the UK border with Ireland remains an outstanding issue. The PM will meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, with Downing Street saying “plenty of discussions” lie ahead. Katya Adler said there was an “upbeat mood” of “cautious optimism”. The timings of Mrs May’s visit mark a deadline set by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, for her to come forward with an improved offer on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Tony Blair is agitating to reverse the Brexit referendum result because an extra £350 million a week will not be given to the NHS. The former prime minister said that “the will of the people is not something immutable” and that “when the facts change I think people are entitled to change their mind”. Speaking on The World This Weekend on BBC Radio 4 Mr Blair said: “A lot of people will have voted for Brexit on the basis that if you get out of Europe, all this money is going to come back and we can spend it on the health service. And that was a very specific promise made by the Brexiteers.
Tony Blair has confirmed he is actively working to reverse Brexit, putting him at odds with the official Labour Party position. “It is reversible,” he told BBC’s Radio 4’s The World This Weekend. “It’s not done until it’s done.” Asked if he was trying to overturn the “Brexit coalition” between the Government and the majority of Labour MPs, the former Prime Minister replied: “Yes, exactly so.” He added: “When the facts change, I think people are entitled to change their mind.” He said the “Brexit coalition was made up of different elements,” adding: “There are some people who believe that membership of the European Union is inconsistent with national sovereignty, now I don’t agree with it, but they hold that view very very strongly – nothing’s going to persuade them.”
Tony Blair has confirmed that he is trying to reverse Brexit, arguing that voters deserve a second referendum because the “£350m per week for the NHS” promise has now been exposed as untrue. In an interview with the BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend on Sunday, the former prime minister said that what was happening to the “crumbling” NHS was a “national tragedy” and that it was now “very clear” that the Vote Leave promise about Brexit leading to higher NHS spending would not be honoured. “When the facts change, I think people are entitled to change their mind,” said Blair, who has always been a strong opponent of Brexit but who has rarely been so explicit about being on a personal mission to stop it happening. Asked if his purpose in relation to Brexit was to reverse it, Blair replied: “Yes, exactly so.”
TONY Blair has confirmed he is working on reversing Brexit as he claims the deal Theresa May wants from the EU is “fundamentally un-negotiable”. The former Prime Minister and leading pro-EU voice will anger Brexiteers with his latest comments on the referendum as he attacked the Government for pursuing a strategy which risks “the worst of both worlds”. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend programme he said of our vote to leave: “It’s reversible. It’s not done until it’s done.” Asked if his purpose in relation to Brexit was to reverse it, Mr Blair replied: “Yes, exactly so.” He rejected the argument that he was defying the will of the people by arguing voters deserve a second referendum because the “£350million per week for the NHS” promise has now been exposed as untrue.
Tony Blair has confirmed he is actively working to reverse Brexit, saying that voters deserve a second vote. Speaking to BBC Radio 4, the former Prime Minister said: “When the facts change, I think people are entitled to change their mind.” Singling out Vote Leave’s Brexit bus, Blair said: “A lot of people will have voted for Brexit on the basis that if you get out of Europe, all this money is going to come back and we can spend it on the health service. And that was a very specific promise made by the Brexiteers.” When asked if his position on Brexit was to reverse it, Blair replied: “Yes, exactly so.” “The will of the people is not something immutable. People can change their mind if the circumstances change,” he added. Blair once again demonstrating how badly out of touch he is – a recent poll showed just 12% want to abandon Brexit. From PM to a fringe figure.
ONLY a bespoke deal for Northern Ireland will solve the border problem, Tony Blair has warned as Brexit talks intensify. Tony Blair said the EU cannot allow the continued free flow of goods across the Irish border if Britain is outside the single market and the customs union. Mr Blair said the UK could, if it choses, permit the free movement of people between Northern Ireland and the Republic to continue – although it would make a “nonsense” of the argument Britain was leaving to take back control of its borders. However he said it would be a different matter as far as Brussels was concerned when it came to goods and services. Mr Blair told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One: “Here’s the thing that I don’t think is fully understood yet by the British negotiators. When it comes to freedom of movement of people, if the British want to turn a blind eye to that, fine, the Europeans won’t mind about that. It makes a nonsense of the idea that you are protecting your borders.
Allies of Jeremy Corbyn have been accused of trying to engineer the election of a left-winger to a key Labour committee. The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) this week passed changes to rules on how its youth representative is chosen, just weeks before the start of an election that will help determine the make-up of the finely-balanced panel. It means the current representative, Jasmin Beckett, who has been outspoken in demanding the party leadership does more to combat sexual harassment, could be forced out and replaced with an ally of Mr Corbyn. Ms Beckett said she was “really disappointed” that the “shoddy” change had been forced through. Others, however, said it was about giving more young members a voice and not about Labour factionalism.
The pro-Corbyn group Momentum poses a greater threat to Labour than the Militant tendency did in the 1980s, a former deputy leader of the party has warned. Lord Hattersley, a former deputy leader, said that Labour faced the greatest crisis in its history as Momentum had become a party within the party. Momentum, which was formed as a continuity group of Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign in 2015, was supported by the majority of Labour conference delegates in September. Its candidates are expected to win election to the ruling national executive committee (NEC). Writing in The Observer, Lord Hattersley, 84, accused Labour moderates of shirking their responsibility to speak up against Momentum: “The threat to Labour’s future is real and obvious.
Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner has said she will refuse to sign a pledge of loyalty to Jeremy Corbyn as demanded by Momentum. The rising star, who is seen as a potential future party leader, called on the hard-Left faction to end its purge of moderate MPs and local councillors. Momentum is asking potential Labour parliamentary candidates to swear allegiance to Mr Corbyn if they want their backing. ‘Any factionalism in the Labour Party will damage us and remove us from getting near power, which ultimately damages the people that need our support. ‘Trying to deselect and get rid of people’s voices is not a way forward. We have disagreements.
A £12million foreign aid project was halted last night amid fears some of the money has gone to jihadis. The British taxpayers’ cash was handed over to set up a civilian police force in Syria. But one Al Qaeda-backed group has selected officer recruits while another extremist cell siphoned off cash in a protection racket. It also emerged that a number of employees on the payroll of the Free Syrian Police were either fictitious or dead. And its officers have stood and watched as women were stoned to death. Boris Johnson pulled the plug on the project yesterday.
The NHS could end shoulder surgery, hormone tests and other procedures which have been listed among poor-value treatments by health chiefs. It is claimed rationing could save billions of pounds a year. Routine use of “low-value” medicines such as costly painkillers and homeopathy have already been stopped. Senior doctors say that the plans would be justified if they avoid tighter rationing of more valuable treatment but warned against overzealous restrictions that could leave some patients languishing without care.
A SYSTEMS crash has plunged 999 phone lines into chaos with patients urged to only call for an ambulance in a “life threatening” emergency. South Western Ambulance Service tonight had a “serious problem” with its power supplies, which has sent its phone lines and computer systems crashing down. They are having to rely on neighbouring ambulance services to ferry stricken patients to hospitals in the area. A spokesperson said: “South West Ambulance Service is currently experiencing serious problems with its power supply which is causing issues with the phone lines and computer systems. “We have reverted to our back up systems and are working hard to resolve the faults. “Our neighbouring ambulance services are supporting us and we will ask people to call 999 only in a life threatening emergency.”
A ‘uniquely vulnerable’ network of underwater cables leave the UK security and economy at risk of an ‘existential’ attack by terrorists, a report says. The report, written by Conservative MP Rishi Sunak for Policy Exchange think-tank, said that while 97% of global communications were transmitted through fibre-optic carrying cables they remained ‘uniquely vulnerable’ to sabotage. Despite their importance, the report said they were often poorly protected, their locations publicly known, with the cables coming ashore at just a few remote ‘landing sites’ in the UK making them a tempting target for terrorists. ‘Whether from terrorist activity or an increasingly bellicose Russian naval presence, the threat of these vulnerabilities being exploited is growing,’ the report said.