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Brexit

Mail
Britain will be stripped of its special rights and forced to surrender its £5billion rebate if Brexit is dramatically called off, one of the EU’s leading MEPs proclaimed yesterday. In a blatant attempt to take advantage of the UK’s political fragility following the election, Guy Verhofstadt said that Britain would bow to an empowered Brussels if it remains in the bloc. The Belgian, who will spearhead the European Parliament’s veto of a Brexit deal, likened Theresa May’s task to Alice in Wonderland and demanded that negotiations begin. His outburst followed claims from EU heavyweights earlier this week, including French president Emmanuel Macron, that Britain could change its mind about leaving. 

Times
The European Union has turned up the heat on Theresa May ahead of a summit next week as Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator warned that Britain would need to transform itself “like Alice in Wonderland” to rejoin. After President Macron offered an “open door” to rejoining the EU, Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit negotiator, said that coming back would be on far worse terms than when Britain left. His comments come amid a diplomatic offensive involving Germany, France and EU officials to force the prime minister to rethink or soften her intentions to leave the single market and Europe’s customs union.

Sky News
Britain is welcome to change its mind and remain in the European Union, but can only stay on poorer terms, a senior EU official has said. Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, said that Brexit can be halted, but if Britain reversed course it should not expect to keep getting its EU budget rebates or opt-outs from key EU rules. He told the parliament: “Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron, the new French president, spoke about an open door. That if Britain changes its mind it would find an open door. “I agree. But like Alice in Wonderland, not all the doors are the same.

Express
BRITAIN will lose the favourable terms of its EU membership including the budget rebate and opt-outs on Schengen and the euro if it chooses to withdraw Article 50 and rejoin the club, the European parliament’s Brexit negotiator said today. Guy Verhofstadt told MEPs that the UK would “find an open door” if it decided to change its mind over Brexit, but warned that the decision to leave meant it had forfeited its special status in the bloc which has long enraged other members.  He made the remarks after the newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron told Theresa May that European capitals are still open to the possibility of Britain rejoining in light of her election defeat, which eurocrats see as a rejection of hard Brexit. 

Express
NEW analysis has revealed that Britain would be better off by £156 billion a year by simply walking away from the EU without a deal. Former British Chambers of Commerce director John Longworth has issued “a Brexit fight back” after Remainers have tried to capitalise on the hung parliament election result to claim that Theresa May’s vision of a clean Break with the EU is “dead”. The annual boost – worth around a third in growth for the British economy – would continue for at least 12 years as Britain’s economy is transformed by throwing off the shackles imposed by Brussels. It is the equivalent of adding the entire NHS and defence annual budgets back into the UK each year.

Telegraph
The UK is considering sweetening its offer to Brussels over European Union citizens’ rights by allowing them to bring non-EU spouses into the UK after Brexit, The Telegraph can reveal.  Whitehall sources said the move, which is being discussed by ministers, could form part of a “generous” package measures that aim to kick-start Brexit negotiations in Brussels on Monday. British officials will meet Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator in Brussels on Thursday to thrash out the structure of the talks. UK officials rejected the EU’s position that substantive talks cannot begin until the British government’s position is settled a formal mandate is handed to its negotiators. One source said: “We are expecting to get on with business. The Government has legal right and imperative to get on with these negotiations.

Mail
Britain is poised to weaken a key pledge on Brexit as talks begin in Brussels on Monday. Ministers are considering offering EU migrants currently living in Britain the chance to bring non-EU spouses to live in this country. That is despite the fact that UK nationals living in Europe do not enjoy the same privilege, breaking a pledge made before the election that UK and EU citizens must have the same rights. Whitehall sources told The Telegraph that the move is being considered as part of a ‘generous’ package to kick off negotiations. The news also comes on the same day that British officials met Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, in Brussels to hash out a structure for the talks. 

Mail
Theresa May will face Cabinet resignations if she gives in to demands from Philip Hammond to water down Brexit, senior Tories warned last night. The Chancellor will use a major speech in the City tonight to set out his vision on Brexit, amid mounting speculation he is pressing Mrs May to compromise in talks with Brussels starting next week. The leading figure in the Remain campaign told his German counterpart this week that the Conservatives had been punished by young voters for their stance on Brexit at last week’s election. He suggested that Brexit policy could now change. And he is now said to be pressuring Mrs May to adopt a strategy that would keep Britain in the EU customs union – even though this would give EU judges a say over British laws and limit the options for striking new trade deals around the world.

Breitbart
Ministers in Britain’s new minority administration are predicting “utterly bitter, trench warfare” in the House of Commons, as Europhile politicians attempt to dilute or derail Brexit. “Make no mistake, this will be our Passchendaele,” a source in Government told The Sun, referring to the ferocious First World War clash in Flanders between British, Commonwealth, and allied soldiers, and Imperial German forces. “Labour and all the others will fight us line by line, in committees, on the floor and in the Lords, for months and months on end. It will be utterly bitter, trench warfare,” he warned. “We have to get real about this and I am worried that Theresa is seriously deluded if she thinks otherwise.”

Express
RUTH DAVIDSON has thrown her support behind UK fishermen telling Theresa May their rights cannot be negotiated away in Brexit talks. The Scottish Tory leader has made protecting fishermen rights one of her Brexit red lines as she insists Britain must leave the clutches of the hated EU Common Fisheries Policy all together.  Ms Davidson has a bigger stature within her party nationwide after she spearheaded a campaign, which won 13 seats in Scotland in last week’s election, while the Tory party overall fell short of a parliamentary majority. And much of her support would have come from the northeast of Scotland, home to the UK’’s largest fishing fleet.

Foreign aid

Independent
New junior ministers in the International Development department will answer jointly to Boris Johnson, in a development seen as a partial success in the Foreign Secretary’s plans to merge and therefore take over the department.
Theresa May re-appointed Priti Patel to the International Development Department, in her post election cabinet reshuffle, but her juniors Rory Stewart and Alistair Burt were appointed to joint positions across DfID and the Foreign Office. Boris Johnson is understood to have been applying private pressure on Theresa May to bring DfID back within the Foreign Office. Eurosceptic Priti Patel has previously argued for the abolition of the department, which is committed to spending 0.7 per cent of UK GDP, around £12bn, on foreign aid, but has impressed her critics since taking the job last year.

Deportation of criminals

Mail
Theresa May’s attempt to deport foreign criminals without long and expensive appeals was dealt a blow by the Supreme Court yesterday. Judges ruled that under human rights laws two drug dealers should not have been thrown out of Britain before they had a chance to appeal. The decision, in a test case over Kevin Kiarie, a Kenyan citizen, and Courtney Byndloss from Jamaica, found that both men were removed from Britain before they could mount an effective appeal. The ruling undermines the 2014 Immigration Act that introduced a ‘deport first, appeal later’ system designed to speed serious criminals on their way out of Britain and allow them to appeal only when back home.

Labour

Mirror
Jeremy Corbyn tonight strengthened his power base at the top of Labour as he reshuffled his shadow cabinet ready to “form the next government”. The Labour leader ditched powerful Tom Watson as party chairman and replaced him with key ally Ian Lavery, a former coal miner who’s long been a supporter, as he rejigged his top team. He also rejected suggestions he might bring previous critics like Chuka Umunna, Dan Jarvis and Yvette Cooper into his tent – instead leaving the line-up from before the election largely unchanged. But he did bring back Owen Smith – the former rival Mr Corbyn soundly beat in a leadership challenge last year. Mr Smith, who had scrutinised Tory benefit cuts in the Work and Pensions brief, will now be Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary. The job will be crucial as Theresa May thrashes out a deal with the hard-right DUP which it’s feared could harm talks to re-establish the Northern Ireland Assembly.

BBC News
Owen Smith, who challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership last year, has returned to the shadow cabinet in a mini reshuffle. Mr Smith, who becomes shadow Northern Ireland secretary, is the only senior figure who quit the frontbench in 2016 to return following Labour’s better-than-expected election result. John McDonnell, Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry all keep their current jobs. And campaign managers Andrew Gwynne and Ian Lavery are rewarded with new roles. Mr Lavery will now chair the Labour Party while Mr Gwynne has been named shadow communities secretary. Both remain as co-national campaign co-ordinators in anticipation of what Labour believes could be another general election within months.

Express
JEREMY Corbyn has attempted to heal divides within the Labour Party over his leadership with his post-election reshuffle, appointing Owen Smith as the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The Labour Party leader is sticking with his top team besides four new appointments.  Jeremy Corbyn appointed Owen Smith, who challenged him as party leader, as the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Mr Smith, the former leadership contender, was tipped for a return and praised Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign at the weekend saying: “I take my hat off to him”. The Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will be Andrew Gwynne MP, who was a key ally during the election campaign. The Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland is Lesley Laird.

LibDems

Sky News
Tim Farron has resigned as head of the Liberal Democrats, explaining he felt it “impossible” to be a committed Christian and lead the party. The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP said he has decided to quit in the face of continuing questions over his faith. In a speech to staff at the party’s London headquarters, Mr Farron said: “The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader. “A better, wiser person than me may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to have remained faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment.

Mirror
Tim Farron resigned as Liberal Democrat leader to “remain faithful to Christ” tonight as he took a dramatic swipe at questions over his faith. The committed Christian bowed out in a surprise statement after facing heavy criticism over his views on homosexuality during the general election campaign. He faced anger after having to be asked several times before he would say gay sex was not a sin. Hours before he quit, Lib Dem peer Brian Paddick – who was Britain’s most senior openly gay police officer in the Met Police – piled on pressure by resigning as home affairs spokesman over his “views”.

Independent
Tim Farron has resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats, following a furore over his beliefs concerning gay sex. The politician admitted some of his comments concerning the matter could have been wiser – when asked if homosexuality is a sin he had previously responded: “We are all sinners.” After the matter refused to go away and surfaced again during the election campaign, Mr Farron said it had felt “impossible” to be both Lib Dem leader and a Christian. Earlier on Wednesday Lib Dem Lord Paddick, a gay former senior Met police officer, resigned from his post as the party’s home affairs spokesman. In a statement, Mr Farron said: “I seem to be the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and who my faith is in.

Guardian
Tim Farron has announced his resignation as Liberal Democrat leader after he was repeatedly pressed during the general election over his personal beliefs on issues including homosexuality. Farron issued a statement on Wednesday night saying he felt “remaining faithful to Christ” was incompatible with being his party’s leader. It is understood several senior figures in the party have visited Farron in recent days to attempt to persuade him to step down, though he was initially reluctant. “From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith. I’ve tried to answer with grace and patience. Sometimes my answers could have been wiser. “The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader,” he said in the televised statement.

Mail
Tim Farron tonight dramatically quit as Lib Dem leader saying that he felt ‘torn’ over his Christian views on being at the helm of the party. It comes after he was dogged by questions over his views whether he believes gay sex is a sin and if he thinks abortion is wrong. Mr Farron said he has struggled to remain ‘faithful to Christ’ while leading a political party. And he said he believes he has been ‘the suspect of suspicion’ because of his strong religious views. His decision comes after Lib Dem peer Brian Paddick, who is gay, stepped down as the party’s home affairs spokesman over Mr Farron’s views. 

Guardian
The Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, Brian Paddick, has resigned from his post, citing concerns about the party leader’s views. Paddick said he was concerned about the leader’s views on various issues that were highlighted during the campaign. Throughout the election campaign, Tim Farron was dogged by questions over his attitude to homosexuality and abortion, though he has insisted he does not believe gay sex is a sin and has said he is pro-choice. The Lib Dem peer, formerly the Metropolitan police’s deputy assistant commissioner and the UK’s most senior gay police officer, has stood as the party’s mayoral candidate in past elections.

Social care

Times
Residents in care homes are forced to pay unexpected bills because many would be traumatised by moving to a different home, an inquiry has found. Some families are charged fees by a care home for up to a month after their relative dies, even if the room is reoccupied, and many are not given contracts until after they have moved in. Deposits of up to £5,000 can be demanded, as well as other upfront charges, in addition to paying several weeks’ fees in advance. In preliminary findings from an inquiry into the sector, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said some homes appeared to be breaking consumer law. It has opened a consumer protection case to investigate further.

Mail
Unscrupulous fees billed by care homes to vulnerable elderly people and their families may be illegal, a watchdog said. Charges for residents who died months earlier are one of a range of controversial practices, the Competition and Markets Authority said. It also pointed out yesterday how people were charged before a resident even entered a home, the power of homes to threaten people with eviction, and the failure to advertise prices. Its interim report said homes make it difficult for residents and families to complain. All the abuses were targeted at self-funding residents, who pay their own fees, many of whom are forced to sell their houses to cover bills that commonly exceed £600 a week.  Self-funders are often milked by care home owners to offset the lower fees paid by councils for taxpayer-funded residents. 

Gangnam style

Breitbart
Ed Balls and Michael Gove are caught on video dancing in a lift.

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