THERESA May’s hand has been massively strengthened in the Brexit negotiations after a new study revealed that using World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules instead of making a deal with the EU will turn Britain into an economic powerhouse. The research carried out by eminent former Harvard economist and entrepreneur Michael Burrage reveals that countries which do not have a trade deal with the EU and rely on WTO rules – known as the World Trade Deal option – strongly outperform their rivals.
The UK’s net contribution to Brussels is forecast to have soared by more than four billion pounds — over 51 percent – between the year the country voted for Brexit and the year it leaves the bloc. The official Treasury forecast means British taxpayers are likely to hand over roughly one billion pounds a year extra for each year of the two-year Article 50 period and two-year “implementation period”. The latest Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses report also confirms the UK paid an extra £700 million to the EU’s budget last year compared to the year before. It reveals that, in the 2016-2017 financial year, the UK gave £8.088 billion to the European Union (EU), rising to £8.777 billion in 2017-2018.
Jeremy Hunt denied that Britain was seeking to bypass Brussels as it lobbies governments to soften the European Commission’s tough line on Brexit negotiations. The foreign secretary warned against the “real risk of a messy divorce” that could poison future relations between the UK and the Continent after meeting his Austrian counterpart, Karin Kneissl, in Vienna. “We are very concerned that as things stand at the moment we are heading for ‘no deal’ by accident — a ‘no deal’ situation which would have a profound impact on the relations between Britain and the EU countries for a generation,” he said.
Theresa May’s government is secretly considering keeping free movement with the European Union (EU) and implementing “no more checks at the border”, even if the UK walks away from the bloc in a “No Deal” Brexit. The confidential plans have been discussed by Home Office officials and the UK’s Border Forces at a meeting in January, details of which were leaked to the Business Insider website. A source close to the Home Office claims the Border Force would have no option but to allow open borders and unlimited migration to continue, as they do not have the staff or infrastructure to enforce more checks or limits without reducing security.
Thirteen MPs and MEPs from three parties have come together to demand a second Brexit referendum. The signatories have penned an open letter to the Mirror calling for a “people’s vote” on any final deal with Brussels secured by Theresa May. The authors – all politicians from the south of England – include Labour former Cabinet Minister Ben Bradshaw, Lib Dem education spokeswoman Layla Moran and Green MP Caroline Lucas. The letter says: “Brexit is a big deal. “That’s why we think it should be handed back to the people to have a final say.”
DOOM-MONGER City bosses have had to revise claims 200,000 jobs could go after Brexit, saying it could now be as few as 5,000. The exodus never materialised as firms were reassured by a planned two-year transition period following March’s Brexit day. Many also now expect a deal to be done to maintain reasonable access to the continent’s trade under the EU’s “equivalence” rules. The City has been given an additional big boost by the rise of new tech jobs.
THE EUROZONE has recorded its weakest growth rate in two years in the second quarter, sparking fears in Brussels the European Central Bank (ECB) may have to review its decision to lift its crisis-era supports. The area’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased of just 0.3 percent between the first and second quarter of 2018, according to data released by Eurostat, the eurozone’s statistics agency. This growth is not only weaker than forecasted but represents the lowest figure since the second quarter of 2016.
Reports that Germany is willing to offer Theresa May a vague Brexit deal so as to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal have set alarm bells ringing among anti-Brexit campaigners in the UK and prompted denials from German sources. The People’s Vote campaign, which is supported by prominent anti-Brexit groups, is focused on calling for a second referendum on leaving the EU. It warned against what it described as a “blind Brexit”, and in a rare criticism of the European commission said the EU should not offer May a face-saving deal in which many of the major issues were deferred for negotiation during the transition after the UK has legally left the bloc.
REMAINER Lord Mandelson must remain loyal to the European Union or risk losing his lucrative Brussels pension after serving as trade commissioner. The peer is entitled to an estimated £35,000 a year when he reaches 65 but must follow the strict EU rulebook if he wants to keep his gold-plated retirement fund. Lord Mandelson, an influential figure in Tony Blair’s New Labour, is entitled to his pension from Brussels after serving as a British commissioner from November 2004 to October 2008, before making a return to domestic politics.
Sharia Law has been recognised by a British court for first time after a Judge made a landmark divorce ruling which could change the way Islamic marriage and divorce works in the UK. The High Court ruled that an estranged couple’s Islamic faith marriage, conducted in a ceremony called a nikah, does fall under British matrimonial law despite it not being legally recognised as such. It means Nasreen Akhter will be free to bring her case to the divorce court and claim her share of the assets of her marriage where she previously would not have been able to.
British teenagers are being forced to marry abroad and are raped and impregnated while the Home Office “turns a blind eye” by handing visas to their husbands, The Times has found. Officials received dozens of reports last year that women wanted to block visas for men they had been made to marry in countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates. In almost half of their cases the visas were approved, records show.
Families use an array of tactics to get visas for foreign spouses after forced marriages, experts say. Some send huge bundles of supposed evidence to the Home Office to convince officials that the applications are genuine. Victims, charities, former police officers and campaigners have explained that the tactics include Girls staying abroad until they are pregnant and only being allowed home to have the baby. This ensures the child is born in Britain as a citizen, making the father’s case for immigration stronger.
Visas are being granted to men who took girls as young as 15 abroad and forced them to marry, it was reported last night. Figures revealed 88 women in forced marriages appealed to block visa applications last year, but almost half were still accepted by the Home Office. Last night ministers were accused of ignoring the problem, amid claims the department was afraid of being labelled racist. It is believed most teenagers who are forced into such marriages are taken to South Asia.
Far-right leaders and activists celebrated the release of Tommy Robinson from prison yesterday after his conviction for contempt of court was quashed. The far-right activist was released on bail after winning his challenge against a 13-month jail sentence. The Court of Appeal found that the legal process had not been properly followed when Mr Robinson was convicted. Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was convicted in May of potentially derailing a long-running trial by live-streaming his commentary outside a court in Leeds.
A HIGH-profile campaign calling for Tommy Robinson to be freed from jail has received support on a global scale in the form of celebrities, politicians and Bitcoin donations worth thousands of pounds. Robinson, 35, was today released from prison on bail after his conviction for contempt of court was quashed by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London. The former English Defence League (EDL) leader was jailed for 13 months for capturing and broadcasting a video on social media that was filmed outside a court hearing a child molestation case.
Right-wing activist Tommy Robinson has claimed he was held in solitary confinement and subject to ‘mental torture’ while imprisoned for contempt of court. Robinson, who works as a presenter for Canadian website Rebel Media, was freed from prison yesterday after winning an appeal over his 13-month contempt sentence for filming a Facebook Live video outside a trial. In a video posted to his YouTube channel after being freed, Robinson claimed his time at HMP Olney in Northamptonshire amounted to torture.
Former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson has described his prison sentence as an attempt to “mentally destroy” him. Robinson, who was released from HMP Onley in Rugby on Wednesday, said he was subject to “solitary confinement” and treatment that amounted to “mental torture”. He was released from the Category C prison after three leading judges in London quashed a contempt finding made at Leeds Crown Court in May.
TOMMY Robinson has claimed he was the victim of “mental torture” and held in solitary confinement as he walked free from jail yesterday. The English Defence League founder (EDL) hugged friends as he left Onley Prison after a judge overturned his conviction for contempt of court. Breaking his silence in a video posted to his YouTube channel, Robinson claimed: “Home sweet home. I’ve got so much to say… but I feel anxious.
THE decision to release Stephen Yaxley-Lennon on bail after his jailing for contempt of court was branded a travesty by anti-fascists outside the Royal Courts of Justice today. The far-right leader, who goes by the name of Tommy Robinson, was released from HMP Onley near Rugby after the Court of Appeal ruled that a finding of contempt at Leeds Crown Court had been “fundamentally flawed.”
Boris Johnson has been catapulted into first place in the ConHome Tory leadership survey of members following his resignation over Chequers. His rating has quadrupled as members come to the conclusion he is the only leader who can deliver a real Brexit. He is now more than ten points ahead of anyone else, and you can effectively add Jacob Rees-Mogg’s numbers to Boris’ too. MPs in marginals will be looking at this thinking he is the only one who can keep them in their seats when an election comes. A reminder that those pundits who love to write Boris off are motivated by jealously rather than reason.
Jeremy Corbyn told police to throw Jewish dissenters out of an event in Parliament when they objected to comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany, a Holocaust survivor has told The Telegraph. Rubin Katz said the event, held on Holocaust Memorial Day, took place in an “anti-Semitic and anti-Israel atmosphere” in which its host, Mr Corbyn, was “ordering people out” if they tried to speak up for Israel. After reports of the event first surfaced on Tuesday, Mr Corbyn admitted that he had “on occasion appeared on platforms with people whose views I completely reject”.
Labour was on the brink of civil war last night over anti-Semitism. The party endured a fevered day of briefing and counter-briefing following the revelation that Jeremy Corbyn hosted an event comparing the Israeli government to the Nazis. And last night two new pieces of footage surfaced of the Labour leader making controversial comments, both praising the release of Hamas terrorists on Iranian TV in 2012, and two years earlier comparing Israel’s blockade of Gaza to Nazi atrocities. It comes amid the fall-out from Mr Corbyn’s refusal to sign up to the full internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism – which might be explained by fears that he knows he has fallen foul of it himself.
Grammar schools have expanded by 11,000 pupils since 2010 as they respond to demand from aspirational parents. This is equivalent to 16 new schools and, if intake continues at the same rate, there will be a further 6,000 pupils by 2021. The figures were published on the eve of today’s deadline for bids to a £50 million grammar school expansion fund. The fund makes up a small proportion of the £23 billion which has been allocated for the creation of new school places in general across the country by 2021. Grammar schools are state-funded secondary schools which allocate places to pupils on the basis of their performance in an extra academic test at the end of primary school.
There are 11,000 more grammar school pupils in England now than in 2010, BBC analysis of official data shows. And by 2021, the data suggests, the number of extra places created will be equivalent to 24 new grammar schools compared to eight years ago. The analysis shows a rise in numbers even before the distribution of a new £50m growth fund, announced in May. The government says schools will be eligible for funding only if they improve access for poorer pupils. Grammar schools are state-funded secondary schools which allocate places to pupils on the basis of their performance in an extra academic test at the end of primary school.
A nursery school has had its Ofsted rating downgraded after staff were accused of failing to monitor which of their four-year-old pupils could be radicalised by ISIS. One parent said the ruling was ‘ludicrous’ today but the nursery, in Hangleton Community Centre, near Brighton in East Sussex, fears it can’t be overturned. It will have a damaging impact because unless there is a last-minute U-turn, Little Ducklings will be ‘marked down’ when the Government watchdog’s national assessment ratings are published.
A NURSERY was slated by inspectors for failing to spot if its kids aged from two to four might become jihadis. Parents said the swipe at Little Ducklings Pre-School was the nanny state gone mad. A mum with a son at the nursery in middle-class Hove, East Sussex, said: “This is bonkers. “Of course it’s good to stop children being radicalised, but Little Ducklings hardly strikes you as a hotbed for international terrorism.” All schools, even those with toddlers, have a legal duty to identify kids who may be vulnerable to radicalisation. The nursery was stripped of its previous “outstanding” rating — even though Ofsted inspectors noted that the children were “happy and settled”.
A bankrupt council faced growing anger last night at an emergency meeting called amid fears it may no longer be able to afford services for vulnerable children and adults. Tory-run Northamptonshire County Council is facing a £70million black hole in its finances. In March, a scathing Government report criticised years of poor financial management where ‘living within budget constraints is not part of the culture’ and recommended the authority should be scrapped. Council leader Matthew Golby, who is facing calls to resign, has proposed it provide only skeleton services – those it is obliged to deliver by law – as it looks to save the £70million from its annual budget of £441million.
Crisis-stricken Northamptonshire County Council is holding an extraordinary meeting to discuss whether it can still provide services for vulnerable children and adults. The cash-strapped Conservative-run council declared itself effectively bankrupt to force the implementation of emergency spending controls. In the wake of the budget crisis, commissioners have been parachuted in by Westminster to take over the council. On Wednesday, councillors will be asked to help decide which services they can continue to provide for the rest of this year and beyond.
Crisis-hit Northamptonshire county council faced angry recriminations at a special council meeting last night to discuss its response to a massive financial crisis regarded by experts as “unparalleled in modern times”. The Conservative-run council, which is technically insolvent and has to make up to £70m of cuts over the next few months to balance its books, has warned that it will in future be able to offer only stripped-back of services to residents. Opposition councillors told the meeting on Wednesday evening that the council was paying the price for years of mismanagement and ideological folly.
Abstaining from alcohol in middle age may increase the risk of dementia in later life, according to a new study. Analysis of more than 9,000 people found those who never touched a drop were around 50 per cent more likely to develop the degenerative condition compared to those who drink moderately. Published in the British Medical Journal, the results challenge formal NHS advice, which recommends going teetotal to reduce dementia risk. But they appear to justify the recent controversial reduction of the Government-recommended weekly alcohol intake, as the study found that the risk of dementia only started increasing beyond the designated 14-unit threshold.
Middle-aged moderate drinkers are significantly less likely to develop dementia than teetotallers, a study has found. The research, published in the BMJ, found that those drinking up to four and a half bottles of wine a week — three times the guidelines — were at lower risk of developing the disease than those who abstained. In Britain 14 units of alcohol a week is the recommended maximum for men and women, equivalent to six pints of beer or glasses of wine spread evenly across the week. The findings are based on a study of 9,087 British civil servants who answered regular questionnaires on their use of alcohol between 1985 and 1993. They were aged from 35 to 55 when the study began.
AT least four people have tested positive for Ebola virus in the Congo just days after a new species of the disease was discovered – sparking fears of an epidemic. Officials said there’s no indication the latest cases are related to the outbreak which killed 33 people in the north west of the country and only declared over last week. The health ministry said twenty people have already died from hemorrhagic fevers in and around Mangina, near the Ugandan border, without saying when the deaths occurred. A team of 12 experts from Congo’s health ministry will arrive in the nearby city of Beni, today to set up a mobile lab, the ministry said.