Theresa May has revealed that Britain will not attempt to cling on to parts of its EU membership in the strongest sign that she is heading for a “hard Brexit”. In a disclosure that buoyed Leave-supporting Conservative MPs, the prime minster indicated that Britain is heading out of the bloc’s single market as she warned there would be no attempt to “keep bits of membership of the EU”. Her comments caused immediate concern among some Conservative MPs campaigning for a soft Brexit, which would see Britain remain a member of the single market in return for accepting the EU’s free movement immigration rules.
Theresa May has been accused of formulating “reckless” plans that will push the UK towards a disastrous Brexit. Opposition MPs were less than impressed with what they saw as the lack of “anything new” from Ms May’s highly anticipated New Year TV interview. Labour’s shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer criticised the apparent lack of detail and reliance on sound bites from Ms May on the Government’s plans for the UK’s exit from the European Union. He told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: “I don’t think the Prime Minister really gave us anything new and this is deeply concerning. “We are now 10 to 11 weeks away from the triggering of Article 50 and we need clear negotiating objectives and we need a top negotiating team. “What we got today were bits of half sentences that the Prime Minister has been using for the last six months.” In her first TV interview of the new year, Ms May denied there was any “muddled thinking” from the Government on Brexit and confirmed she intends to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. Mr Starmer, who campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU, said the aim of negotiations with Brussels should be to secure the “fullest possible access” for the UK to the single market.
THERESA May yesterday gave her clearest signal yet that she plans to pull Britain out of the European Union’s Single Market in a decisive break with Brussels. In a TV interview ahead of the return of MPs to Westminster today, the Prime Minister set out her desire to re-impose full control over immigration while agreeing “a really good, ambitious trade deal” with the EU. And she warned supporters of a fake so-called “soft Brexit” she was not prepared to “keep bits of membership” of the bloc after leaving. “People voted to leave the EU but also voted for change,” she said. “This year is the year we start to make that happen.” Her remarks were welcomed as “great news” by MPs campaigning for a real Brexit. Mrs May said: “Often people talk as if we are leaving but still want to keep bits of our membership. “We are coming out. We are not going to be a member of the EU any longer. The question is – what is the right relationship for the UK to have with the EU when we are outside.
Theresa May has given her clearest signal yet that Britain will leave the single market when it leaves the European Union, despite a renewed vow from Nicola Sturgeon that a so-called hard Brexit would force a second independence referendum. The prime minister said in her first interview of 2017 that she was not interested in keeping “bits of membership of the EU” and indicated that regaining control of immigration policy in the Brexit negotiations – a demand incompatible with single market membership – would be a priority. She was speaking only an hour after Scotland’s first minister used a separate interview to say that she was not bluffing about holding a second independence referendum in the event of Scotland being taken out of the single market, adding she was not prepared to see “Scotland driven off a hard Brexit cliff edge”.
Unions have co-ordinated a spate of strikes this week to inflict “maximum pain” upon millions of commuters, Government sources said on Sunday night. Industrial action which will affect around five million people began at 6pm today as Transport for London staff staged a 24-hour London Underground strike, while Southern Rail services are expected to be severely disrupted until Friday as a result of three separate days of industrial action. The action comes amid warnings that the misery will spread across the country as union bosses said industrial action is “inevitable” on the Northern rail network, which covers Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne and Hull. Business chiefs and MPs warned strikes could send out a message to the rest of the world that London is “not open for business” at a crucial moment in the Brexit process.
THE rail strikes which have caused commuter misery in the south of England are set to spread across the country, it has emerged. Industrial action is “inevitable” on the Northern rail network which covers a swathe of northern England including commuter services in Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne and Hull, a union boss warned. Strikes could also spread to the West Midlands, Merseyside and other lines into London, say industry insiders. The news comes as another wave of strikes are due to hit rail and air passengers this week. The strike, which started at 6pm today, resulted in the closure of most Tube stations in central London and will hit tomorrow’s morning rush hour. Meanwhile, thousands of BA cabin crew will start a two-day strike on Tuesday, which has forced the airline to cancel up to 48 flights, although passengers who have booked will be put on alternative departures the same day.
Theresa May’s short-term solution to the elderly care crisis may raise £500 million less than promised as many local authorities are reluctant to increase council tax before elections later this year. Half of the extra cash promised by the government to bail out the social care system relies on councillors putting up local taxes just before they fight for re-election, an analysis suggests. Some of the biggest councils face elections in May and many have already expressed hesitation about using powers handed to them by the government last month. They say that increasing the council tax by 3 per cent in April — as they now can to raise money for social care — will not solve the crisis in the long-term.
Inflation rage is coming to the boil in Germany. Leaders of the country’s prestigious institutes warn that the economy is hitting capacity constraints and risks spiraling into a destructive boom-bust cycle. In a series of interviews with The Telegraph they said that the ultra-loose monetary policy of the European Central Bank is now badly out of alignment with German needs. It has begun to threaten lasting damage, and is fast undermining political consent for monetary union. “The ECB wants to inflate away the debt of the southern European countries. This is a clear conflict of interest with net creditors like Germany,” said Clemens Fuest, president of the IFO Institute in Munich. “There is a debate building up on the expropriation of German savers by the ECB. This is going to become very difficult if inflation approaches 2pc and they still do nothing.
GERMANY’S left-leaning parties are plotting to oust Angela Merkel with plans to form a potential coalition. Lawmakers have set terms for a possible coalition after September’s election in a tie-up that could replace conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel. Together, lawmakers from the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the smaller leftist Linke party, along with the environmentalist Greens, have more seats in parliament than Mrs Merkel’s conservative bloc. The latest polls show this would continue to be the case in September. Both the SPD and Linke have said they want to see significant policy moves in order to consider working together. Currently the SPD rules with Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in a right-left federal “grand coalition”. The SPD and Linke have already met to explore the possibility of forming a coalition to replace Mrs Merkel after the election.
AT least two patients die each day in British hospitals and care homes from thirst or starvation, according to new figures. Shocking statistics reveal in one year hundreds of people have died under the care of the NHS from poor quality food and dehydration. It comes as the British Red Cross described the NHS as being in a “humanitarian crisis”. Latest numbers from the Office of National Statistics reveal 297 patients, who died in hospital, had malnutrition listed on their death certificate in 2015, while dehydration was listed 429. Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson, writing for The Times, said: “We have started talking about this as a humanitarian crisis.
The Prime Minister has told Sky News she does not accept there is a “humanitarian crisis” in the NHS. Theresa May told Sophy Ridge on Sunday that there are “huge pressures” in the health system but they are recognised. It followed the head of emergency charity the Red Cross defending his earlier comments that the organisation was “on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country”. Mrs May told Sky’s new politics programme: “I don’t accept the description the Red Cross has made of this.
They are the said to be the founding fathers of Western philosophy, whose ideas underpin civilised society. But students at a prestigious London university are demanding that figures such as Plato, Descartes and Immanuel Kant should be largely dropped from the curriculum because they are white. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)’s student union is insisting that when studying philosophy “the majority of philosophers on our courses” should be from Africa and Asia. They say it is part of wider campaign to “decolonise” the university, as the seek to “address the structural and epistemological legacy of colonialism”. It comes after education leaders warned that universities will be forced to pander to the demands of “snowflake” students, however unreasonable they might be.
Plato, Kant and Descartes may number among the fathers of philosophy but students want them dropped from a degree course because they are white.
The thinkers are deemed too male, stale and pale to dominate degrees at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Campaigners say the curriculum should focus on philosophers from the developing world instead. Oxford University has already agreed to overhaul its courses to make them more diverse, after demands from students. Now the SOAS student union is insisting that the “majority of philosophers on our courses” should be from Asia and Africa.
A FREAK swarm of 250 earthquakes that hit the same US town on New Year’s Eve could trigger a triple tremor capable of wiping out the west coast, it has been warned. The huge spate of shakers rocked California over New Year, plunging the earthquake-stricken region into panic. The largest tremor, measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale, struck at the southern end of an earthquake hotspot known as the Brawley Seismic Zone. The seismically active region is connected to two major fault lines, San Andreas and Imperial, both of which can unleash catastrophic earthquakes. Now seismologists believe a chain reaction linking all three faults, resulting in a series of huge quakes greater than magnitude 8, is “possible”.