Britain is open to some flexibility on the proposed mechanism that would allow lawmakers in post-Brexit Northern Ireland to decide whether the British province remains in regulatory alignment with the European Union, its Brexit minister said. The mechanism, set out in London’s latest Brexit proposals, aims to resolve the biggest sticking point in negotiations: the currently seamless border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. “The key issue is the principle of consent, that’s why the backstop was rejected three times, that was the concern in terms of both sides in Northern Ireland not approving of the backstop,” Stephen Barclay told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday. “So the key is the principle of consent, now of course in the mechanism, as part of the intensive negotiations we could look at that and discuss that.”
Britain hinted Sunday that it could be open to changes to its latest Brexit proposals for Northern Ireland, as European leaders piled pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to revise the plans. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay reiterated that the ideas formally submitted to Brussels this week were “a broad landing zone” to be discussed during “intense negotiations in the coming days”. He urged the bloc to show “creativity and flexibility” to secure a deal ahead of October 31 — when Johnson has vowed Britain will end its 46 years of EU membership with or without an agreement. “We’ve set out very serious proposals including compromise on our side,” Barclay told the BBC.
Boris Johnson is prepared to launch a legal action in his attempts to ensure Britain can leave the European Union this month with no deal. Several Government sources have told The Daily Telegraph that the Prime Minister is willing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to avoid having to write a letter asking for a delay to Brexit, as set out in the Benn Act. It raises the possibility that Mr Johnson could give evidence in the court case in an attempt to persuade judges in person against forcing him to ask the EU for a Brexit delay. A senior Government source said it was vital that Mr Johnson was forced to write the letter delaying Brexit rather than agreeing to do so voluntarily.
A decision is expected to be made on whether the Prime Minister can be forced by the courts to send a letter requesting an Article 50 extension. Documents submitted to the Court of Session on behalf of Boris Johnson were read out on Friday, in which he makes it clear he will not attempt to frustrate the so-called Benn Act. However, the petitioners believe Number 10 cannot be trusted to abide by the law, so have launched legal action. The legislation, passed by Westminster last month, requires the Prime Minister to ask the EU for a Brexit extension to January 31 if Parliament does not agree to any withdrawal deal Number 10 may come back with by October 19.
JEAN-Claude Juncker is plotting to cut Boris Johnson an 11th-hour Brexit deal to secure his reputation as the “ultimate political fixer”, insiders claim. The EU chief has told his inner circle that he plans to offer a glimmer of hope to Mr Johnson – despite Brussels blasting his recent Brexit proposals. Mr Juncker will step down on October 31 – the Brexit deadline – and is concerned that any delay could affect his legacy, Mail On Sunday reports. The PM has urged Brussels to “grasp the opportunity” his new Brexit proposal provides, as he repeated his vow not to delay the UK’s departure from the EU.
The French president has given Boris Johnson until the end of the week to fundamentally revise his Brexit plan, in a move that increases the chances of the negotiations imploding within days. The UK proposals tabled last week are not regarded in Brussels as being a basis for a deal and Emmanuel Macron emphasised it was up to the UK to think again before an upcoming EU summit. After declining to meet with the prime minister in person, Macron further insisted during a phone call on Sunday that the talks would only be advanced through Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator. “Boris Johnson presented his latest proposals,” an official at the Élysée Palace said of the conversation. “The president told him that the negotiations should continue swiftly with Michel Barnier’s team in coming days, in order to evaluate at the end of the week whether a deal is possible that respects European Union principles.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has told Boris Johnson that the EU could make a decision by the end of the week on the latest Brexit proposals. While the two leaders spoke on the phone on Sunday, Mr Johnson was urged by the French leader to “engage in discussions swiftly” so that a decision can be made this week about the latest proposals. However, Downing Street officials said Mr Johnson told EU leaders over the weekend that this is the final chance to strike a deal, and that the EU must show the same level of compromise that the UK has done.
Boris Johnson has claimed his Brexit proposals have picked up support in Parliament, as he urged the EU to compromise. Ahead of a crucial summit in 11 days’ time, he insisted a revised agreement was possible “if the EU is willing.” Latvian PM Krisjanis Karins said a new deal “may be a little bit of a long-shot” but was “certainly possible”. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay urged the EU to intensify negotiations on the UK’s plans. Talks are due to resume on Monday as both parties try to find a new agreement in time for the summit of European leaders on 17 and 18 October. But arrangements for preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland continue to be a sticking point, with the EU calling for “fundamental changes” to the UK’s latest proposals.
Boris Johnson will attempt to save his Brexit plan this week after his French counterpart warned that the EU would decide within days whether an agreement would be possible. The Prime Minister told Emmanuel Macron that Brussels should not be lured into the “mistaken belief” that Britain could extend its membership of the bloc beyond October 31. But in a telephone call on Sunday, the French president reportedly informed Mr Johnson that the EU will decide at the end of the week whether a deal is possible. An Elysee official told the BBC: “The President told [Mr Johnson] that the negotiations should continue swiftly with Michel Barnier’s team in coming days, in order to evaluate at the end of the week whether a deal is possible that respects European Union principles.”
European Union leaders should “not be lured into the mistaken belief that the UK will stay in the EU” after the end of this month, Boris Johnson has warned Emmanuel Macron. The Prime Minister made clear to the French President that “we have to push forward” as he prepares to set off on a tour of European capitals this week amid concerns that time is running out to save his new offer. Mr Johnson is expected to meet with Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel later this week in a bid to persuade them to urge the European Union to enter serious talks. However, time is running out to make any headway before a meeting of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday and Friday next week.
Boris Johnson was in talks last night to save his Brexit plan after being warned by European leaders that the deal would not be approved at next week’s crunch summit unless he backed down. The prime minister used a round of calls to EU capitals to try to keep his proposals for the Irish border alive, warning President Macron of France that this was the “final opportunity” to strike a deal. Antti Rinne, the Finnish prime minister who holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said after speaking to Mr Johnson that No 10 understood it was in a “big mess”.
BORIS Johnson has told EU leaders this week is their final chance to secure a Brexit deal. He warned them that believing he will agree to an extension would be “a historic misunderstanding”. But last night the EU stood by its refusal to enter detailed negotiations of his blueprint. The PM could even be forced to cancel his planned tour of European capitals unless progress is made today. Finnish PM Antti Rinne claimed Mr Johnson “only now understands what a big mess it is”.
Boris Johnson has warned the EU that his plans are the final opportunity to avert no deal as his hopes of securing a Brexit agreement stood on a knife edge. Ahead of a critical week, the prime minister issued an ultimatum to the French president Emmanuel Macron and said Brussels must not be lured into the mistaken belief that Brexit will be delayed beyond 31 October. A senior No 10 source said it would be a ”historic misunderstanding” for the EU to place its faith in the Benn Act – a backbench law designed to force Mr Johnson to delay Brexit if he has not struck a deal by 19 October. The prime minister spent the weekend talking to European leaders as negotiations stood on the brink, after his new Brexit blueprint received a lukewarm response in Brussels.
Boris Johnson is preparing to launch a legal battle at the Supreme Court to avoid being forced to ask the European Union for a Brexit delay. Mr Johnson is desperate to avoid breaking his pledge for the UK to leave the EU by October 31, and he could even give evidence in court to persuade judges against forcing him to ask for an extension, according to the Daily Telegraph. It comes after French President Emmanuel Macron warned Mr Johnson that the EU should not be lured into the mistaken belief that the UK will stay in the EU after October 31 and urged the EU to ‘match the compromises’ the UK has made.
The Liberal Democrats are preparing to stand aside to allow ex-Tory Dominic Grieve a clear run in an upcoming general election, in the first sign of a possible Remain alliance. Mr Grieve, who was sacked by Boris Johnson for rebelling against a no-deal Brexit, said the Lib Dems have agreed to not to field a candidate in his Beaconsfield constituency, to avoid splitting the pro-EU vote. Talks have been underway for months between the Remain-backing parties, after the success of an electoral pact in the recent Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, where Plaid Cymru and the Greens stood aside to allow for a Lib Dem victory.
Jeremy Corbyn was told to ‘name the date’ of the next election by the Prime Minister last night – as a senior Labour figure suggested the poll would come before Christmas. Boris Johnson taunted Mr Corbyn on Twitter after the Labour leader released a video showing supporters queuing for a party event with the caption: ‘We’re gearing up for a general election.’ Mr Johnson replied: ‘Great to hear you’re no longer running scared. The voters have a choice: Getting Brexit done with me, or the pointless delay you’re offering.’ He added: ‘Name the date.’
Labour have vehemently slapped down a plan to make John Bercow caretaker Prime Minister to stop a no-deal Brexit . According to the Sunday Times, MPs discussed an eyebrow-raising plan to install the Commons Speaker as head of a “government of national unity” – despite dividing MPs with his approach to Parliament. But it came just hours after Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell made clear he would accept no one but Jeremy Corbyn as an interim PM.
Europe faces a refugee crisis even greater than four years ago unless the EU does more to secure its borders, Germany has warned. Horst Seehofer, the German interior minister, said on a visit to Greece that the EU remained unprepared for another influx of refugees and illegal migrants after more than a million arrived in 2015. “We have to help our European partners even more on patrolling the EU’s external borders. We have left them alone for too long,” he said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag. “If we don’t we will once again see a refugee wave like in 2015, maybe even greater than four years ago.”
Extinction Rebellion has admitted that their climate protest could disrupt emergency care at hospitals ahead of an attempted two-week shutdown of London. Activists have vowed that the climate protest will be five times bigger than the one in April as they blockade Westminster in action that is likely to bring the capital to a standstill. Police this weekend began rounding up some of the ringleaders as they raided a warehouse in south London amid concern that they have used a huge influx of funding to purchase sophisticated equipment to thwart officers. They will take to the streets at 10am on Monday to blockade key locations including Westminster and Lambeth Bridges, Parliament Square, Downing Street and Whitehall.
Extinction Rebellion activists say that they will force police into a “lose-lose” situation over two weeks of co-ordinated protests starting today, because officers will either be criticised for allowing them to shut down streets in Westminster or look heavy-handed by making mass arrests. A fortnight of peaceful action has been planned with between 20,000 and 30,000 people expected to block streets and bridges in London, cutting off every road around parliament. London City Airport will also be targeted and the protesters say they are willing to close down the heart of the capital until their demands for action on climate change are met.
Extinction Rebellion activists bedded down in central London on Sunday evening as they prepare to use human roadblocks and mass demonstrations to clog up the capital for two weeks, starting today. Thousands of activists are ready to face arrest, go to jail and go on hunger strike in an attempt to curb global warming, the eco zealots claimed. Secret plans seen by the Daily Mail reveal their tactics to frustrate the police, cause ‘economic disruption’ and ‘take over’ government departments. Demonstrators were pictured camped out in Hyde Park after the ‘opening ceremony’ in central London on Sunday evening that featured meditation and dancing as ‘inspiration’ prior to the protests.
EXTINCTION Rebellion have revealed a two-week plan to bring London to a halt with 30,000 climate change protesters set to show up in the capital’s streets. Cops have arrested ten people ahead of the planned protest, with Met Police confirming the arrests were made on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. Groups from around the country will be deployed like “battalions” on Westminster from tonight for the planned demonstration. The plan is for new activists to replace those that are arrested in a bid to make the protest last two weeks. Today’s arrests took place in Cleaver Street, after officers broke their way into the former Lambeth County Court building which the protesters had used to store supplies for a fortnight of protest.
POLICE in London mounted a pre-emptive raid on Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists ahead of protests which are expected to sweep through 60 countries today and last for two weeks. On Saturday the Metropolitan Police raided a warehouse in south London where activists had stored equipment such as portable toilets, tents, cooking urns, thermos flasks, solar panels, car batteries, waterproofs, umbrellas and hot water bottles in preparation for their attempt to shut down the centre of the capital with road blocks and protests. Police also confiscated six vehicles and arrested nine people during the early clampdown.
A TORY Brexiteer has hit out at the EU for “hoovering up as much of our fish as possible” before the UK leaves the bloc. John Redwood has condemned EU fishermen for entering into British waters with ships capable of catching 250 tonnes a day. Earlier this week the Lithuanian-registered Margiris vessel, with a net 1,950ft in length and 650ft wide, was spotted off the south coast of England. The Tory MP suggested the move was to: “Hoover up as much of our fish as possible before we leave.” The vessel was acting entirely legally under the rules of the EU’s Common Fishery Policy but Mr Redwood says that once we leave the EU, Britain will be able to set our fishing rules, including the standards for net size and size of vessel. He said: “It is another great argument for just leaving on 31 October and for not making our fish any part of continuing negotiations over our future trade relationship.”
Brave sniffer dogs that can detect explosives on terrorists’ bodies will be deployed to spare the lives of police officers during future terror attacks. The specialist dogs have been trained to venture into the aftermath of an atrocity such as the London Bridge attack. By following a laser-pen beam from their handlers, they can be directed to prone suspects shot by armed officers. The dogs can then signal whether the extremists are wearing suicide belts or holding weapons. Officers hope that the new use for sniffer dogs – revealed for the first time today – will save emergency services personnel from being injured or killed after an armed terrorist has been downed. It will also speed up the response to future attacks by removing the need to wait for bomb disposal robots, and allow paramedics to reach casualties sooner.
Thomas Cook bosses were warned ahead of its collapse that creditor claims could top £10bn, as a complex network of off-balance-sheet guarantees unwound. A confidential report, prepared just days before the 178-year-old company’s failure and seen by The Daily Telegraph, lays bare how an insolvency would wreak havoc across the travel sector, leaving huge debts owed to hoteliers, intermediaries and other suppliers. Many suppliers could expect to recoup just 3.4p in every pound owed to them. Bondholders, whose debts totalled more than £1bn, may only recover 2.3p. The Thomas Cook brand, once one of the oldest and most revered names in the travel industry, was worth as little as £1.3m, the report by advisers AlixPartners found. AlixPartners, alongside KPMG, are now handling the liquidation of the company.