MARTIN Schulz today made the extraordinary demand that Britain should stop publishing its own position papers for the Brexit negotiations, saying they were “not meaningful”. But they reflect a wider perception within Europe that the Brexit talks are less a meaningful negotiation between two partners and more a simple legal transaction, summed up in its use of the phrase ‘divorce proceedings’. However, Mr Schulz did also concede that a future customs union between the UK and the EU should be considered it it would “help to overcome the main problems” in the talks and seal a good future trade deal. The veteran left-winger, who heads up the Social Democratic Party (SDP), is currently lagging a long way behind centre-right rival Mrs Merkel in the latest opinion polls.
BRITAIN has “no real strategy” when it comes to the Brexit negotiations Angela Merkel’s right-hand man has claimed as Germany threatens to hold up Britain leaving the EU. Angela Merkel’s deputy and former leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel said Theresa May’s administration would have to make some concessions if it wanted to strike a deal with the European Union (EU). Mr Gabriel, who has no official role within the EU, launched a scathing attack on Theresa May’s Brexit strategy as the Government unveiled its latest position papers. The German vice-chancellor said: “Their positions are not very realistic. At the end everyone has to accept a compromise. But the main difficulty is that you cannot see a real strategy from the British government.”
ANGELA Merkel was today accused of peddling a “complete fantasy” after she told German fishermen she would fight for them to retain access to British waters after Brexit. The chancellor was slammed for “making promises she has no right to make” in a crude bid to boost her re-election campaign, which has lost momentum in recent weeks. Yorkshire MEP Mike Hookem said the remarks by the German leader showed the EU planned to “fight dirty” over access to Britain’s prime fishing grounds during the Brexit negotiations. Visiting the port town of Cuxhaven, on Germany’s North Sea coast, Mrs Merkel promised to wield her considerable influence in the talks to ensure EU fishermen maintain access to UK waters.
REMAINERS are hatching a fresh plot to take Britain back into the EU in the mid-20s, it emerged last night. Pro-EU MPs hope a poor post-Brexit trade deal with Brussels may open the way for a second referendum, reports the New Statesman. They believe voters will be more likely to vote for EU membership after they see what our new trading relationship with Brussels looks like – hoping it’s a failure. Government insiders say a new UK-EU trade deal won’t be ready until 2024. Remainers believe voters could then be offered a choice between the new arrangement and rejoining the EU through rules set out under Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Cabinet ministers involved in the Brexit negotiations are privately indicating that the next phase of talks may not happen until Christmas. This “sufficient progress” on phase-one negotiations on money, citizens and Ireland had been pencilled in for October, but looks increasingly likely to be delayed until December. It means there will be less than a year for talks on the future trading relationship between the UK and EU, and another two months of the two-year Article 50 timetable being used up. Sky sources have indicated that the challenge and timing of agreeing a new German government after federal elections at the end of September has meant a “more formal” engagement from Berlin than had been anticipated.
The UK government has dismissed claims that its plans for a new customs relationship with the EU are a “fantasy” as it restated its opposition to the reintroduction of checks at the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The Northern Ireland secretary, James Brokenshire, said the government’s plans to minimise customs checks with the EU after Brexit were realistic and that Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s lead Brexit negotiator, was wrong to describe them as unworkable. Theresa May used an article in the Belfast-based Irish News, a nationalist newspaper, to reassure nationalists living in Northern Ireland that Brexit would not see the UK turn its back on its “unique and special relationship” with Ireland.
THE GOVERNMENT has dismissed the EU’s claims its plans for a new post-Brexit customs relationship with Brussels are a “fantasy”. James Brokenshire defended the UK’s proposal as Theresa May restated her opposition to the reintroduction of border checks in Northern Ireland after we leave. Yesterday David Davis unveiled a position paper on how Britain plans to maintain customs arrangements with the EU. And today another one on the thorny subject of Ulster was unveiled, with the Northern Ireland secretary declaring the border will remain wide open to keep peace in the region intact. Mr Brokenshire refused to accept the plans were “unrealistic” after criticism from the European Parliament’s Brexit spokesman Guy Verhofstadt.
Britain is promising the Irish Government there will be no “physical infrastructure” on the border with Northern Ireland after Brexit, after rising tensions between the two governments. In a “position paper” ahead of the next round of talks, London will say “there will be no return to the hard borders of the past” – insisting customs posts, for example, will not be necessary. Britain will hold out the hope of no border at all, if attempts to forge a long-term “alignment” of customs arrangements with the EU prove successful.
CONCERNS have been raised that the Government’s plans for the Northern Ireland border with Ireland could leave the backdoor open for terrorists and illegal immigration. A position paper published for the talks with the EU has proposed keeping a “frictionless” border keeping the common travel area (CTA) which has existed since the 1940s. However, it means that foreigners entering the UK through Ireland will be processed by Irish immigration and not British authorities. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said that the plans were “of concern” because EU citizens will be able to move freely across the Irish border into the UK without any immigration checks after Brexit. But the plans were backed by Eurosceptic Tory MPs, who said EU citizens would not be able to work or claim benefits in Britain as a result of the policy.
Britain will seek a series of waivers for goods and people crossing the Northern Ireland border under new plans that risk creating a “back door” with the European Union after Brexit. The government aims to avoid the need for border posts with Ireland when the UK leaves the EU, an ambitious goal seen as essential to preserving the Good Friday peace agreement. “The UK and Ireland have been clear all along that we need to prioritise protecting the Belfast agreement in these negotiations, and ensure the land border is as seamless as possible for people and businesses,” said David Davis, the UK’s Brexit secretary. Details of the plan unveiled by Whitehall officials have, however, sparked a series of difficult questions about what the knock-on impact of having no border may be for wider EU-UK relations.
EU citizens will be free to travel to Britain and live here after Brexit under immigration plans being drawn up by the Home Office. The principle of freedom of movement will remain for those who want to visit or stay in the UK but a system of permits will limit the number of people migrating to work. Westminster was accused yesterday of allowing the Northern Irish border to become a “back door” into the UK after ministers confirmed that there would be no immigration controls between the north and south of Ireland. The Times understands that, under Home Office plans due to be published within weeks, there would be no extra curbs on EU citizens travelling to Britain through other ports and airports.
EU CITIZENS will still be able to travel to and live in Britain after Brexit under new immigration plans, it has been reported. Freedom of movement will stay in place for those who want to visit or stay in the UK but a system of permits will limit the number of working migrants under the Home Office proposals. It comes as Westminster has been accused of allowing the Northern Irish border to become a “back door” into the UK after ministers admitted that there would be no immigration controls between the north and south of Ireland. Today The Times reports there would be no extra restrictions on EU citizens travelling to the UK through other ports and airports.
Migrants from the EU will be free to enter and live in post-Brexit Britain as Government plans would mean they are not subject to UK border checks, it emerged last night. The proposal was revealed as Theresa May‘s Government published a 28-page paper on its approach to Northern Ireland in Brexit negotiations. The plans stated EU nationals would be free to enter via the Irish border, however reports last night suggested all other ports and airports would also be opened as a knock-on effect. Brexit supporters were confident the plans would not pose problems because EU nationals would be caught out by the UK employment system and would need a permit to be able to work here.
People born in Northern Ireland who hold an Irish citizenship will still be able to benefit from EU citizenship rights after Brexit, according to the UK Government proposal outlining its negotiating position with Brussels. Confirming the plans to maintain the current arrangement over citizens’ rights the Prime Minister insisted that rights enshrined under the Good Friday peace accord, including the right to claim Irish citizenship, would be maintained after the UK’s departure from the EU. This would mean that if Northern Irish citizens wished to benefit from an Irish citizenship they would also continue to benefit from EU rights that flow from that.
Jeremy Corbyn has forced one of his senior ministers to resign after she claimed that some Pakistani men groom and rape young white girls, it has emerged. Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham and former shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, was asked to resign after writing an article in The Sun newspaper warning that more must be done to stop gangs of Pakistani men targeting young girls for sex. Issuing a desperate plea she called on the Government to investigate why so many men who share the same cultural background are behind bars for abusing young girls. But following the Labour leader’s demand Ms Champion stepped down from Mr Corbyn’s top team.
Labour’s Shadow equalities minister Sarah Champion has resigned from her frontbench position following a row over an article she wrote in the Sun newspaper, claiming British Pakistani men are “raping and exploiting white girls”. In a statement the Rotherham MP said she apologised for any offence cause by “the extremely poor choice of words” which appeared in the tabloid newspaper five days’ ago. “I am concerned that my continued position in the Shadow Cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career,” she added. “It is therefore with regret that I tender my resignation as Shadow Secretary of State for women and equalities.”
A Labour MP has resigned as Jeremy Corbyn’s equality spokesperson after trying to disown a newspaper article in her name about the “problem” of Pakistani men raping white girls, despite telling editors she was “thrilled” with it. Sarah Champion claimed the article, published in the Sun had been altered and “stripped of nuance”. Her staff did say she was “mortified” about one aspect of the article, however – that they had used an old picture of Champion. But leaked emails show the Rotherham MP’s team had seen a finished version of the article and fully approved it, saying she was “absolutely thrilled with it.” Yesterday, she added her name to a letter to the Sun, complaining about a Trevor Kavanagh column on the same subject, which ended with the phrase: “What will we do about The Muslim Problem?”.
Labour MP Sarah Champion has resigned from the shadow cabinet after she was criticised for penning an article in The Sun acknowledging the fact Pakistani Muslim men target white girls for sexual grooming. The article, headlined, “British Pakistani men ARE raping and exploiting white girls – and it’s time we faced up to it”, read: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is.” Ms. Champion is the MP for Rotherham, where 1,600 girls were drugged, beaten, trafficked, and raped by mainly Pakistani Muslim men over a 10-year period. She also told the BBC on August 10th that fear of being called racist is preventing authorities investigating grooming after a government report found the abuse in Rotherham had gone on for so long for that reason.
University tuition fees are a “pointless Ponzi scheme” which are “blighting young people’s futures” and must be radically reformed, Theresa May’s former chief of staff says today. Nick Timothy writes in the Telegraph that the “university gravy train”, under which vice-chancellors are paid up to £451,000 a year, must come to an end as he warns that “tinkering” with the system will not do. More than 200,000 students receive their results today – the first to have done their A-levels since Michael Gove, the former education secretary, brought in tougher tests in a bid to raise standards.
Hospital patients are being forced to wear “adult nappies” because nurses do not have time to attend to the most basic needs, the Health Service Ombudsman has warned. Their report warns that the elderly and vulnerable are too scared to complain – and are being left to “suffer in silence” amid a litany of failings by NHS hospitals. In one case, an elderly man was forced to call for an ambulance after being left in agony after a fall in his hospital, with a 75 minute wait before doctors attended. In another, a man who suffered a stroke in hospital was left without help for five hours, by which time it was too late to treat, relatives said.
Elderly patients are being failed by hospitals because their relatives are too scared to complain, a report reveals. Four in ten adults who have had concerns about the poor care of an elderly loved one admit they have held back from speaking up. And more than two-thirds of those who did try to complain said it made no difference to the standard of treatment. The survey of 600 middle-aged adults by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman also uncovered some harrowing examples of neglect. One woman said her elderly husband had to dial 999 from a hospital floor after falling over and being unable to summon a doctor or nurse. Others reported their relatives being ‘forgotten’, ‘ignored’ and even laughed at by nurses. The ombudsman said many older patients were ‘suffering in silence,’ partly because family members were too afraid to raise concerns.
Parliamentary authorities have performed a dramatic u-turn over the decision to silence Big Ben for four years following an intervention from the prime minister. After coming under intense pressure, officials announced that the plan for Big Ben to remain silent until 2021 is now under review. Theresa May joined a growing chorus of fellow MPs by insisting it was wrong that the famous bongs of Big Ben would not be heard for the next four years. Mrs May urged John Bercow, the Speaker, to find a way to ensure Big Ben continues to ring out during a £29 million renovation of the Elizabeth Tower. Under health and safety rules, the 13-ton bell is being taken out of action to protect the hearing of construction workers on site. Mrs May said: “Of course we want to ensure people’s safety at work but it can’t be right for Big Ben to be silent for four years.
Parliament will reconsider plans to silence the trademark bongs of Big Ben for four years after the prime minister joined a growing revolt over its lengthy renovation timetable. Officials conceded yesterday that they would “consider” the length of time the bell would spend out of action after Theresa May, who this week returned from an extended holiday, intervened yesterday. Mrs May told an audience in Portsmouth that she hoped John Bercow, the Commons speaker, would come up with a solution that meant the chimes of the bell could still be heard throughout the renovation period.
Theresa May has chimed into a row about Big Ben as one of her first acts after coming back from holiday. The Prime Minister said the decision to silence the famous bell for four years for repairs must be urgently reviewed and “can’t be right”. Jeremy Corbyn insisted the saga was “not a national disaster”. But House of Commons authorities have now agreed to review the length of the stoppage after the Prime Minister intervened. A spokesman said it takes half a day to stop and start Big Ben and keeping the chimes going “would not be practical or a good use of public money”.
ONLINE bankers have been warned that crooks are preparing to launch a virus likened to a nuclear explosion that could steal ALL your cash. The “stealthy and silent” Nukebot malware and could empty your account and bleed you dry, experts claimed. Victims only realise that they have been targeted once they notice the missing funds in their bank statement. NukeBot is a banking Trojan – a piece of malicious software designed track banking pins and passwords so hackers can access people’s online accounts. Once you’ve been infected it “injects” malicious code into the web page of an online banking service displayed your browser and then steals your data to spoofs your credentials at a later date.