THE UK could remain under EU rule post-Brexit as ministers push for vital sectors to remain under the jurisdiction of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other bodies, it has been revealed. Three senior Government figures have said they hope the UK will continue to be regulated by the body, even as it moves from London’s Canary Wharf to Amersterdam for its post-Brexit home. Business Secretary Greg Clark is also backing demands from the UK’s chemical sectors to stay within the EU’s Chemicals Agency and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling last month told the aviation industry that Britain would continue to be regulated by the EU after Brexit. David Prior, who was Life Sciences Minister until October, said it would be “fantastic” if the UK stayed in the EMA and warned of a negative impact on inward investment if it did not.

Cabinet reshuffle

A “Cabinet minister for no deal” is to be appointed by Theresa May as part of the reshuffle of her top team which begins on Monday, the Telegraph can reveal. The new minister is likely to be based in the Department for Exiting the European Union alongside David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, to provide regular updates on preparations for leaving the EU without a trade deal. They would attend Cabinet and control a significant budget, but would not be a Secretary of State. The appointment will be seen as an attempt by the Prime Minister to demonstrate to her EU counterparts and to Brexiteers that Britain is serious about leaving the EU without a deal if talks fail. Mrs May has been putting the finishing touches to her first major reshuffle, which will promote more women and Tories from a black and minority ethnic background.

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to appoint a ‘Cabinet minister for no deal’ just in case Brexit negotiations are unsuccessful. They are likely to join Brexit Secretary David Davis in the Department for Exiting the European Union. The role of the new minister would be to provide the Prime Minister with updates on preparations if the UK is to leave the EU without negotiating a trade deal. According to the  Daily Telegraph, they would not be a secretary of state but would attend Cabinet meetings. It is thought the move would show EU counterparts in Brussels that Mrs May still plans on leaving the EU even if a deal is not reached. Tomorrow could also see a large shake up in the Cabinet as at least six changes are expected to be made. Education Secretary Justine Greening is said to face a demotion or be sacked amid claims the PM finds her ‘patronising’.

THERESA May plans to appoint a “no deal” Brexit Cabinet minister to work alongside David Davis in preparation for unsuccessful EU negotiations, it has been claimed. The Secretary of State’s second in command, Steve Baker, is most likely to land the new role, according to the Daily Telegraph. His promotion will mean he is expected to attend Cabinet and control budgets and work alongside Davis. Healthy Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also being tipped for a promotion –  despite the NHS winter crisis. It’s rumoured he will take over from Damian Green as Deputy Prime Minister, with ex-NHS nurse and Guildford MP Anne Milton taking over from his current role. Sources say the Cabinet big beasts are safe — but Education Secretary Justine, Greening Business Secretary Greg Clark and Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom are all seen as vulnerable to be sacked or demoted.

THERESA May will appoint a Cabinet member for no deal as part of her reshuffle, it is claimed. The minister would be based at David Davis’s Brexit department and would attend Cabinet meetings. They would be expected to provide updates to Mrs May and her team about preparations for Britain leaving the EU without a final deal. Insiders told The Telegraph the appointment is intended to show Brussels the UK is serious about negotiations and strengthen our hand in the talks. But it would also indicate the Government is serious in its threats to walk away if the EU refuses to offer a good trade deal. The post is expected to go to leading Leave campaigner Steve Baker MP, the paper reported.

Theresa May will give her government a new year reboot by carrying out what is expected to be her most wide-ranging reshuffle since her ill-fated decision to call a snap general election last summer. The prime minister is expected to sack or move about a quarter of her cabinet on Monday in an assertion of authority that was impossible for her in the immediate aftermath of the loss of her Commons majority, when her post-election reshuffle involved minimal changes at cabinet level and no outright dismissals. Justine Greening, the education secretary, is tipped by Conservative and government sources as the most prominent likely victim, with Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the Conservative party chairman, also widely expected to be replaced. But Philip Hammond, the chancellor, Amber Rudd, the home secretary, Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and David Davis, the Brexit secretary, are all set to keep their jobs, according to government sources, in a sign that, although May is in a stronger position than she was last summer she is still wary of picking fights with potential challengers.

Theresa May is to carry out a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday amid reports that a series of senior ministers are set for the axe. The Prime Minister has been forced to make changes to her top team following the resignation last month of Damian Green as First Secretary of State after he admitted to lying about the alleged discovery of pornographic images on his Commons computer during a police raid. But unlike the previous resignations of Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel – when consequent changes were kept to a minimum – his departure is expected to trigger a wider ministerial re-jig. Downing Street sources indicated that it would continue into a second day on Tuesday with the middle-ranking and junior ministerial appointments. Ms May’s most senior colleagues – including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary  Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Brexit Secretary David Davis – were reported to be safe.

New secretaries of state in education and business are expected to be announced today as Theresa May freshens her cabinet in an attempt to convince voters that the Conservatives have the energy, ideas and talent for government. Sir Patrick McLoughlin will be dismissed as Tory party chairman and his replacement ordered to take charge of an overhaul of party operations after last year’s election failure. With raising schools standards expected to be a dominant theme of the Conservatives’ new year relaunch, well-placed insiders said that Mrs May intended to replace Justine Greening as education secretary. Greg Clark, the business secretary, is also expected to be offered an alternative cabinet post to give impetus to Brexit preparations.


NICOLA Sturgeon has been accused of going back on her word to put her independence plans “on pause” after she said Scottish independence “must remain an option” in light of an “extreme Brexit”. Scotland’s First Minister, 47, described the Conservative’s Brexit strategy to leave the  European Union as a “horror show,” adding there was a “better than evens chance” that a hard Brexit could be stopped. Nicola Sturgeon said “a new spirit of Scottish assertiveness” is need to deal with the threat she believes Brexit poses. She said: “We will resist as fiercely as possible the Tory plans for an extreme Brexit, outside the single market and customs union. “The threat to Scotland’s interests means independence must remain an option. Being torn out of the world’s biggest single market against our democratic will – a market eight times bigger than the UK’s – threatens to do untold damage.”

Scotland may become the first British nation to hand refugees and asylum seekers the vote, leading to concerns of election-rigging by pro-migration parties. The power to make major changes to the Scottish electorate was devolved to Scotland’s regional administration in 2016, and the governing Scottish National Party (SNP) has already lowered the voting age to 16. Now, a consultation document is suggesting the franchise be extended to everyone residing in Scotland legally, including non-citizens from outside the British Commonwealth and the European Union. “As citizens from a very wide range of countries come to live and work in Scotland, it can be considered discriminatory to deny the right to vote to resident immigrants who are neither EU nor Commonwealth citizens,” the document suggests. “It can be argued that it is undemocratic to give voting rights to some legal immigrants but not to others. “It seems only just that everyone legally resident in Scotland should have voting rights, allowing them to influence government and parliamentary decision-making.”


More money is not the only solution to overcrowding in the NHS, and cancelling tens of thousands of operations was part of a plan to deal with its winter crisis, the prime minister said yesterday. Ambulances have been queuing outside hospitals because wards are so full and one patient in eight arriving by ambulance has to wait more than half an hour to be treated. Last week Theresa May apologised to patients after a crisis panel said that all non-urgent operations should be cancelled until the end of the month to make space for emergencies. The prime minister was challenged on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One about the problems and replied that the government had increased the budget every year.

A health tourist has racked up Britain’s biggest ever unpaid NHS bill after leaving a hospital with a debt of more than £530,000. The unnamed patient, who is from outside the EU, received treatment from a Manchester hospital last year. Hospital bosses have cited ‘patient confidentiality’ and have not revealed which country they are from, their age or gender. It comes as health tourism continues to cost the NHS around £2billion a year after doctors up and down the country provide treatment for non-EU residents.  The latest incident means the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was left with a debt of £532,498.  Freedom of Information laws has revealed that the figure is £30,000 more than the previous highest health tourist debt.

A HEALTH tourist left behind an unpaid bill of more than £530,000 — the highest on record. The non-EU patient received £532,498 worth of care last year from the University of Central Manchester NHS Trust. But hospital bosses have refused to say what treatment the person had or which country they were from due to “patient confidentiality”. The previous highest debt, thought to be about £500,000, came after a Nigerian woman arrived at Heathrow pregnant with quadruplets in 2016. Health tourism costs the NHS around £2billion a year. Ministers hope new measures will recoup £500million a year. They could see some non-EU patients having to pay for care upfront.

Rail travel

After suffering the consequences of endless strike action in 2017, many commuters would have been hoping for a fresh start this year. But as many prepare to return to work for the first full week after the festive period, workers in five rail companies will stage fresh action. The latest wave of strikes are a continuation of the bitter dispute over the role of guards. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out today and on Wednesday and Friday on South Western Railway (SWR), Arriva Rail North (Northern), Merseyrail and Greater Anglia, and today on Southern. Talks were held between the union and SWR and Arriva, but they ended without any breakthrough to the long-running row over staffing, driver-only operation and guards. Northern said it will run around 1,350 services on strike days, more than half its normal timetable, with most running between 7am and 7pm. SWR plans to run more than 70% of its normal weekday service of 1,700 trains, although there will be rail replacement buses and arrangements to have tickets accepted on other train companies. Greater Anglia said it planned to run a normal service with no alterations.

BRITS are set to face travel misery this week as workers at five rail companies prepare to stage a fresh wave of strikes. After enduring a strike-hit 2017, many commuters would have hoped for a smooth start to the new year. But strike action is set to throw Britain’s rail network into chaos as the bitter dispute over the role of guards rumbles on. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out today, Wednesday and Friday. Franchises affected include South Western Railway, Arriva Rail North, Merseyrail and Greater Anglia and Southern Rail. Talks were held between the union and SWR and Arriva, but they ended without any breakthrough to the long-running row over staffing, driver-only operation and guards.

THE PM batted off criticism of rocketing train fare rises yesterday – saying more cash is needed to invest in the railways. Theresa May defended the average 3.4 per cent rise – the highest for five years – saying commuters had to chip in. The rises mean an annual pass from Mrs May’s Maidenhead constituency to London will increase by £104 to £3,092. Asked if taxpayers would still get £3.3billion from the East Coast line promised by Virgin and Stagecoach, she dodged the question saying only that they were “still paying money to the Government”. Insisting 97p in every £1 paid in ticket prices went into the railways, she added: “Since privatisation, usage of the railways has doubled and we have seen the biggest investments since Victorian times in our railways. “A lot of people rely on our railways, we want to see good service on our railways but that does mean that investment is needed.”


UKIP BOSS Henry Bolton has cheated on TWO Russian wives, it was claimed last night. His second wife, a hairdresser, accused him of having an affair with the woman who later became his third wife. Mr Bolton has now left his third wife and started a relationship with a right-wing 25-year-old model. The Ukip leader was previously married to a Danish woman, but after their marriage broke up he wed Lidia Gouniakova, 44, in 2002. She told the Mail on Sunday  that while they were still married, he had a fling with Tatiana Smurova. Ms Gouniakova said: “Henry was seeing Tatiana while we were married and their affair broke our family – he was cheating on me. “Still, I feel sorry for Tatiana – I wouldn’t wish an affair on my worst enemy.” Mr Bolton went on to have two children with Ms Smurova before walking out on her shortly before Christmas. He is now dating model Jo Marney, 29 years his junior, The Sun revealed earlier this week. Ms Gouniakova said she understood why the young model fell in love with Mr Bolton.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email