TORY Brexiteers today stepped up warnings to Theresa May not to seek a deal with Brussels that shackles Britain to the European Union even after we leave. Leading eurosceptics offered to compromise by agreeing to have EU officials based at UK ports to check cross-border cargos – if it paved the way for a looser free trade deal than the PM’s Chequers plan envisages. Meanwhile, some pro-Brexit MPs have warned party whips not to rely on their support in key non-Brexit votes, in protest at Mrs May failing to take a tougher line with Brussels. The developments come at a crucial time in Brexit talks.
Pro-Brexit MPs in the Conservative Party are willing to make concessions so that a Canada-style trade deal with the European Union can be done. They would include EU officials stationed at UK ports and EU rules on goods exported to the bloc from Britain. The plan is said to be backed by the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Iain Duncan Smith, according to the Sunday Telegraph. The Tory MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke, backed the compromise as well. He tweeted: “Important proposal by Iain Duncan Smith, building on what already happens here at Dover – a proposal that answers the EU’s concerns, is in line with the 2017 manifesto, is clearly Brexit and honours the referendum mandate.
Brexiteers warned Theresa May last night that she could keep Britain within EU customs arrangements only until 2022 as negotiations with the bloc entered a vital week. The prime minister hopes to unlock talks that have become stuck over the so-called Irish backstop with a commitment to keep all of the UK in the European Union’s present customs arrangements after the transition period ends in December 2020. The concession was condemned by Jacob Rees-Mogg as a “serious breach” of Brexit after it was reported by The Times last week.
Theresa May has been given nine days to save her Chequers plan. The Cabinet will give the Prime Minister one last chance to sell her proposals to EU leaders at a summit next week. But ministers have warned they will demand a Plan B if there is a repeat of the humiliating rejection she faced in Salzburg last month. European Union negotiators have been talking up the chances of reaching an agreement at the meeting next Wednesday on issues such as the Irish border. But they are still refusing to accept the proposals set out in Mrs May’s Chequers plan on how a future trade deal would work.
Ministers are in talks with as many as 25 Labour MPs to force through Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit deal risking open warfare with the party’s own MPs. The Government’s whips’ office has spent recent months making contact with the MPs as a back-up option for when Mrs May’s Brexit deal is put to a vote in Parliament in early December, The Daily Telegraph has been told. News of the wooing operation has infuriated Eurosceptic Tory MPs who are now threatening to vote against elements of the Budget and other “money bills” to force Mrs May to drop her Chequers plan.
Theresa May has made a pitch to Labour voters unhappy at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, urging people to look beyond “party labels”. Writing in the Observer, the prime minister said voters were not “bound by ideology” and urged lifelong Labour voters to look “afresh” at her party. She said the Tories had to offer a “positive and optimistic vision” and do more than just criticise Mr Corbyn. But Labour said people were facing “brutal cuts” and “won’t be fooled”. Mrs May’s pitch to Labour supporters follows her speech to the Conservative Party conference in which she set out domestic policies including a boost to council house-building and a promised end to austerity.
Tory whips hope as many as 25 Labour MPs could vote with them to get Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan through the Commons, it was claimed last night. As the Prime Minister made a pitch to the centre ground and Labour voters, it was reported that her whips’ office had made contact with more than two dozen Labour MPs. Downing Street may need Labour support for Chequers when Parliament is given a meaningful vote on the deal, if one is agreed, before Christmas.
Conservative Brexiteers are giving Theresa May an ultimatum, that if her negotiating strategy fails she must accept plans for a Canada-style trade deal or face a leadership challenge. Senior figures say it would be impossible for her to try to further negotiate on her Chequers proposals if they are rejected by parliament or the EU. Instead, she would be told only full acceptance of the kind of arrangement put forward by Boris Johnson, David Davis, Jacob Rees-Mogg and others would allow her to avoid a Tory vote of no confidence. The prime minister will meet her full cabinet on Tuesday and is expected to present further tweaks to her proposals relating to future customs arrangements and EU regulation in a bid to secure a deal with Brussels.
Brexiteers have backed a last-ditch compromise plan to kill off Theresa May‘s Chequers plan as the clock rapidly runs down on the crunch talks. Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said they are prepared to let EU officials be stationed at British ports after Brexit in order to get a Canada-style free trade deal. Brexiteers are furious at Mrs May’s Chequers plan – which they say will mean the UK will have to keep swallowing EU rules and be unable to strike global free trade deals. And anger is mounting among Tory Brexiteers at reports that the PM is ready to offer Brussels another compromise to unblock the talks.
THERESA May has ordered officials to up plans for a no-deal scenario with the EU following “panic” No 10 says it is expected to cause to the UK’s supply on energy, medication and food post-Brexit. The Prime Minister has ordered emergency measures to be put in place should she return from talks with Brussels without an agreement in the latest sign Britain is preparing for a no-deal with the bloc. As a result of failing negotiations, ministers have identified eight possible scenarios that could arise should Britain depart the EU empty-handed, The Sun reports.
Labour is considering offering a four day week to voters to win the next general election, John McDonnell has said. The shadow chancellor said Labour will “look at the working week” as part of an examination of working practices ahead of drawing up the party’s manifesto for the 2022 election. The news comes after Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, last month said a four-day week should be “an ambition” for unions. Labour is already said to be looking at how the rise of robots and artificial intelligence can be used to benefit workers rather than just those at the top of companies.
John McDonnell today said a Labour government could bring in a four-day week under radical measures to overhaul the economy. The shadow chancellor bemoaned the fact that British employees work the longest hours in Europe. It comes as Treasury analysis shows that Labour would have to borrow £1trillion to bankroll its spending spree over the next ten years – the equivalent of £3,500 for every UK household. Speaking today, Mr McDonnell said that the party could head into the next General Election with a pledge to give workers a three-day weekend.
Pension tax relief will be cut to pay for the NHS, Philip Hammond is expected to announce in the Budget. Last week the Chancellor gave his strongest suggestion to date that he will raise taxes to fund the Government’s £20billion funding boost for the health service. This will include stripping back the benefits from tax-free pension contributions, a senior Treasury source told the Daily Telegraph. The cost of pensions tax relief to the Treasury is £39billion a year, according to the latest official figures. The source said this amount has been considered to high not to be used to fund the NHS pledge. Pension contributions benefit from relief paid at the saver’s highest rate of income tax.
Pro-Brexit Tory MPs are threatening to vote down the budget to stop Theresa May allying with Labour MPs to push a ‘Soft Brexit’ deal through Parliament. Reports have claimed the EU now wants Theresa May to get her deal through to stop a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, with the Prime Minister considering more concessions that could keep Britain tied to the bloc’s Customs Union for years. Bernard Jenkin, a veteran eurosceptic, told a WhatsApp group of Tory MPs that May’s plan to push through a ‘Soft Brexit’ would “destroy party unity” this Friday, with Tory Brexiteers describing it as a betrayal and proposing to vote down budget motions later this month. “She hasn’t got a majority and, by God, she’s going to be shown she hasn’t got a majority,” one told Jenkin, according to The Times.
Scotland could leave the UK without a second independence referendum if the SNP performed well in another general election, a senior Nationalist MP has said. Joanna Cherry told a fringe event at the SNP party conference in Glasgow that a “democratic event” such as an election in Scotland could be co-opted to decide on separation. Ms Cherry, the party’s home affairs spokesman at Westminster, said another alternative was to get a minority Labour government and force Jeremy Corbyn to pay a “high price” for the SNP’s support. The Nationalists would demand Mr Corbyn give them the power to hold another independence vote in return for staying in 10 Downing Street, she said. The Edinburgh South West MP said they could also demand that Trident nuclear missiles are removed from Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon has said that SNP MPs would vote for a second Brexit referendum after polls suggested that most Scots would favour independence if Britain left the European Union without a deal. Scotland’s first minister all but ruled out backing any deal that Theresa May brought back from Brussels and said that the SNP “wouldn’t stand in the way” of a second Brexit vote if parliament rejected the agreement. “I think SNP MPs would undoubtedly vote for that proposition,” she told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One. She left the door open to making the backing conditional on a second independence referendum, however, saying that she would set out her position on “the next steps” towards leaving the UK later this year.
Nicola Sturgeon today said the SNP will back a second Brexit referendum vote if it comes to Parliament. The Scottish First Minister’s comments come as Remainers ramp up their campaign to try to stop Brexit as the talks head into their final crunch weeks. Anti-Brexit campaigners at the People’s Vote organisation immediately seized upon her comments this morning as proof their campaign is gaining momentum. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Ms Sturgeon said she would expect her 35 SNP MPs to back a vote for another referendum if it went to Parliament.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said her MPs would back a new Brexit referendum if there is a vote to approve one in parliament. The Scottish politician’s backing to give the British people a final say on the outcome of Brexit is a major boost for those pushing for a new referendum, with Labour also having signalled backing for the move last month. Ms Sturgeon said she would seek assurances however, that Scotland could not end up in a position again where it had voted to remain in the EU but was being forced to leave, indicating the party may tie support to a new independence vote.
Nicola Sturgeon has cleared the way for Scottish National party MPs to back a second EU referendum in a Commons vote, regardless of whether her party’s demands for special conditions such as a guarantee of a new Scottish independence vote are met. Speaking on the first day of her party’s autumn conference in Glasgow, the SNP leader and first minister also indicated her party would seek a guarantee that if Scotland voted again to remain in the EU while the rest of the UK voted to leave, it would not be forced to accept the result for a second time. She suggested a “double lock”, which would require the support of all four UK nations before Britain could leave the EU. The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, had said on Saturday that his party could support a second referendum on Brexit if there were a guarantee that Scotland could also hold another vote on independence.
Nicola Sturgeon has declared that the SNP’s 35 MPs at Westminster will vote for a so-called “people’s vote” on the outcome of Brexit negotiations. Her announcement, as her party’s conference opens in Glasgow, came as she claimed the “shambles of Brexit” has strengthened the case for Scottish independence. Asked in a TV interview about the prospect of no deal on Brexit, she said: “No doubt calls for a second referendum would grow in those circumstances. “I’ve said before we wouldn’t stand in the way of a second referendum. I think SNP MPs would undoubtedly vote for that proposition.”
Global carbon dioxide emissions must almost halve within 12 years to avoid a catastrophic loss of coral reefs and Arctic ice, intense floods and droughts, according to a UN report. Preventing the worst effects of climate change will require “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” costing £1.8 trillion a year. The changes include a rapid switch to electric vehicles, huge expansion of renewable energy and closing hundreds of coal-fired power stations. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that the global average temperature should be limited to 0.5C in addition to the 1C increase that has already occurred since pre-industrial times.
A new UN report has warned that unprecedented changes across all aspects of society are needed in order to limit dangerous global warming. Here are some of the key statistics raised in the report. – Global warming should be limited to 1.5C rather than 2C to ensure the impacts of climate change, from droughts to rising seas, are less extreme. By 2100, global sea rise levels would be 10cm lower with global warming of 1.5C compared to 2C; Coral reefs would decline by 70-90% with warming of 1.5C, compared to more than 99% with 2C. Human-induced warming reached approximately 1C above pre-industrial levels in 2017. The global temperature is currently rising by 0.2C per decade. If the pace of warming continues, the temperature would reach 1.5C around 2040. 20-40% of the global population have experienced more than 1.5C of warming in at least one season.
Police are setting targets to investigate fewer than half of reported crimes, it has emerged. One of UK’s largest forces has decided it should “screen out” 56 per cent of cases – the equivalent of 145,000 offences a year – meaning they are no longer investigated. The targets are being set amid concern from police that they are being asked to handle more cases with a dwindling number of officers. On Sunday night, MPs accused police of “downgrading” serious crimes and said victims were faced with a “postcode lottery” when it came to whether their case would be investigated properly.
Police turned a blind eye to almost a million crimes last year, figures show. On average one in four crime reports were shelved by police across the UK with little or no investigation, according to a report. Offences such as sexual assault, violent attacks, burglaries and car thefts were dropped hours after being reported, often because they were deemed unsolvable. In a controversial policy known as ‘screening out’, police forces can choose not to investigate crimes where they consider there is little chance of catching the culprit because there are no witnesses and no CCTV footage. Crimes are logged in official figures but no serious effort is made to investigate and victims are merely issued with reference numbers for insurance purposes. But experts said allowing criminals to get away with low-level crime can lead to them committing more serious offences in the future.
Fraud costs the NHS £1.29 billion every year, according to the health service’s anti-corruption watchdog. The money would be enough to pay for more than 40,000 staff nurses or buy more than 5,000 frontline ambulances, the NHS Counter Fraud Authority said in its annual report. The organisation was established on November 1 last year. The new figure is higher than the £1.25 billion identified at its launch. The estimated total loss includes £341.7 million from fraud by patients and £94.2 million by staff. Fraud by dentists adds up to about £126.1 million, the watchdog said, and opticians £79 million. Fraud in community pharmacies is estimated at about £111 million and in GP surgeries it is worth £88 million.
An NHS consultant is charging couples to help choose the sex of their baby – despite gender selection being illegal in the UK. He is among at least four senior British doctors enabling the treatment. They set up initial appointments at private clinics in Harley Street and around the country before recommending centres abroad for the final procedure. An investigation by the Daily Mail suggests hundreds of British couples are choosing the sex of their child this way. They pay up to £14,000 for the privilege. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority last night launched a probe, saying it would be extremely concerned by the promotion of the practice. Three of the four doctors indicated there was no need for couples to tell their GPs about gender selection – one claiming it would only lead to ‘a lot of aggro’.
Deep inside a Google laboratory in Mountain View, California is a closely guarded, extremely cold refrigeration unit. Inside is a computer that it hopes could change the world. Shaped like an upside-down tiered cake, the computer has no visible interface, no keyboard or screen. Instead, it’s a mass of intrinsically connected copper cables and wiring, wrapped around metal cylinders, culminating in one huge computer chip. Google is among the tech giants to have spent decades and millions in a race to build “quantum” computers, capable of making complex calculations in hours that would take normal computers billions of years to complete.