Theresa May is to warn her 27 fellow European Union leaders over a working dinner in Brussels that Britain’s decision to leave is irreversible and there can be no second referendum. Thursday’s meeting of the European council will be the prime minister’s first opportunity to address the leaders of all the other member states since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June. Donald Tusk, the European council president, has insisted Britain’s future relationship with the EU will not be on the formal agenda for the two-day meeting, but he will give May the opportunity to set out the “current state of affairs in the country” over coffee at the end of the meal. A No 10 source said she would tell her fellow EU leaders: “The British people have made a decision and it’s right and proper that that decision is honoured. There will be no second referendum. The priority now has got to be looking to the future, and the relationship between the UK, once we leave”.

Prime Minister Theresa May will tell European Union leaders on Thursday it is time to start talking about future EU ties with Britain and put paid to suggestions her government might reconsider Brexit. A source in May’s office said the prime minister would use a dinner at an EU summit in Brussels, her first since she was appointed premier following Britain’s June 23 vote to exit the bloc, to outline her approach to the other 27 leaders. Hoping to dispel any thoughts that Britain could hold a second referendum to reverse its decision to leave, May will call on leaders to help her make the country’s departure as smooth as possible, to calm financial markets and business over a divorce process she says she will trigger by the end of March. “I expect her to say in broad terms that the British people have made a decision, and it’s right and proper that that decision is honoured,” the source said May would tell the other leaders after a dinner discussion devoted to Russia – the only time set aside to discuss Brexit at the summit in Brussels.

BBC News
Theresa May is heading to Brussels for her first EU summit as UK prime minister as debate continues over the government’s Brexit strategy. The PM, who will trigger Brexit talks by the end of March, is expected to tell counterparts she wants a “smooth, constructive, orderly” process. But she faces more calls to consult MPs before invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to launch those talks. A Lords committee warned Parliament could be reduced to a “rubber stamp”. Once Article 50 is triggered, two years of formal negotiations will begin, with the UK set to leave the EU by the summer of 2019. The summit, which brings together the leaders of EU member states, is not focused on the UK’s withdrawal, with the agenda dominated by migration, trade and Russia, but the subject is still likely to loom large.

Sky News
The Prime Minister will tell European Union leaders it is “time to look to the future” of its relationship with the UK.Theresa May, attending her first European Council in Brussels, will tell the other 27 EU leaders that there is no going back on Britain’s Brexit decision, that “the British people have made a decision and it’s right and proper that the decision is honoured”. Over coffee after the summit dinner Mrs May will tell the assembled prime ministers and presidents that her aim is “to deliver UK departure in the best possible way” and “how we can make it work for the EU too”. She will say that she wants a “strong Britain as a partner of a strong EU”.

The EU plans to avoid discussing Brexit at Theresa May’s first summit in Brussels on Thursday. The British prime minister will be invited by the European council leader, Donald Tusk, to present “the current state of affairs in the country” at the end of a dinner on Thursday evening, but Tusk wants to avoid a discussion and will not invite other EU leaders to respond. May’s remarks, where she is expected to reiterate the main talking points from her speech to the Conservative party conference, are down as an “any other business point”, underscoring that Britain is far down the priority list for the summit. British diplomats in Brussels have been pressing for preparatory talks before May launches article 50, the EU exit process, which she has promised by the end of March 2017. But so far their entreaties have been rebuffed. EU diplomats insist the consensus on “no negotiations without notification” is intact.

SENIOR figures in the Government are growing frustrated with Chancellor Philip Hammond amid concerns he is trying to block Brexit from within. The Daily Express has learnt from senior Tory sources that that senior ministers are getting increasingly angry with the Chancellor with some questioning why the Prime Minister does not accept his resignation threat. Last week one senior minister lashed out in a private message saying that it is “the Treasury that is the block” in reference to concerns that Mr Hammond is getting in the way of getting on with trade deals and tackling immigration. He has already reportedly vetoed an attempt to set up a skilled work permit system for EU citizens and is also, according to sources, lobbying for Britain to stay in the Single Market.

Theresa May will today tell other EU leaders to forget any notion that Britain will change its mind about Brexit, as she meets them all face-to-face for the first time. The Prime Minister will use her first European Council summit to kill off any suggestions of a second referendum, after the idea of a dramatic rethink was floated by its President. Addressing all 27 other EU leaders over dinner in Brussels, Ms May will attempt to build bridges, by promising to make Britain a “strong partner of a strong Europe”, a No.10 source said. That statement alone will disappoint some hard-line Brexiteers in her own party, who have made no secret of their desire for Brexit to be followed by a wider crumbling of the EU bloc.

Theresa May will use her first European Council to warn that Britain’s vote to leave the EU must be respected and that there will be no second referendum. The Prime Minister will on Thursday tell leaders over dinner that she is “absolutely clear” that Britain will leave the European Union as she seeks to dispel suggestions in “certain quarters” that the UK could stay in. She will also say that she wants both a “strong Britain” and a “strong European Union” after Brexit, and stress that it is in everyone’s interests that the process is “smooth and orderly”. Mrs May yesterday admitted that Brexit negotiations may take longer than two years, meaning that the UK may not leave the EU until after April 2019.

Theresa May will tell her first Brussels summit that she is not a wrecker who wants to bring down the European Union, in an appeal for goodwill on all sides. Mrs May will speak after dinner at today’s European Council meeting in her first encounter with all 27 other European leaders since she became prime minister. Government sources say that she will soften the hard tone taken in her speeches to the Conservative Party conference to offer reassurance that Brexit would not destroy the EU.


BELEAGUERED Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker is facing a no confidence vote in the European Parliament after a crusading MEP vowed to bring him down over his alleged links to tax-dodging firms. Lifelong anti-corruption campaigner Eva Joly has launched a bid to boot out the controversial EU president in yet another blow to his crumbling authority. The French magistrate and politician, who was born in Norway, blasted the eurocrat’s past as president of Luxembourg and vowed to lead an MEPs’ rebellion to “make him fall”. Ms Joly has accused Brussels’ top unelected official of favouring certain multinational corporations for “sweetheart” tax deals when he was head of the tiny European state. Mr Juncker has denied being corrupt, claiming that any decisions related to the tax arrangements of large companies during his time in office were “strictly a matter for the tax administration”.

A TOP European Commission bureaucrat has admitted than an EU policy was based on “simple emotive reaction” and pleaded “don’t confuse me with facts”. The revelation comes as a cabal of cross party Remain supporting MPs led by sacked Tory minister Anna Soubry, Lib Dem former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband, continue to try to delay Article 50 and keep Britain in the EU longer with a vote in parliament. At a biofuels summit, Marie Donnelly, Director of Renewables, Research, and Energy Efficiency at the European Commission pleaded “don’t confuse me with facts, I believe what I believe”. Her comments were taken to mean that emotive argument trump facts in Commission policy making. Ms Donnelly, who is paid an annual salary between 160,000-200,000 euros, shocked listeners when addressing a conference in the European Parliament about EU guidelines on biofuels.


PAUL NUTTALL has been hailed as the “obvious person” to bring Ukip together with the party’s ex-deputy leader being pushed forward as a ‘unity candidate’ to end bitter infighting. The North West MEP has yet to declare whether he will stand to replace acting leader Nigel Farage in Ukip’s second leadership contest this year. But has learned Mr Nuttall, if he did stand, could win the backing of all the party’s MEPs in an attempt to heal deep divisions. A source revealed the party’s European Parliament contingent could declare unanimous support for Mr Nuttall “on the basis of best interest for the party more than anything”. A second senior source did not rule it out, but added: “We are nowhere near that conversation at present”. North East MEP Jonathan Arnott insisted Mr Nuttall was the “obvious person” to reunite Ukip and suggested “a lot of” their Brussels colleagues would back his potential leadership campaign.


Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon publishes a draft bill for a second independence referendum on Thursday as she ramps up the pressure on the British government to make sure Scotland’s voice is heard in Brexit talks.  Scots voted by a large margin to remain in the European Union in June this year but Britain as a whole voted to leave. Sturgeon, the fervently pro-EU leader of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) argues that the prospect of Scotland being taken out of Europe against its will validates a possible re-run of the 2014 independence referendum, in which 55 percent of voters opted to remain in the United Kingdom. Although she has said she regards a second referendum as “highly likely”, Thursday’s bill is merely for formal consultation and sets no date for another vote. “The consultation beginning today will ensure that a referendum bill, if it is the chosen route, will – like the 2014 referendum – meet the gold standard of democracy and fairness,” Sturgeon said in a statement.

ITV News
Is Scotland heading for a second referendum? Only in 2014, 55% of Scottish citizens voted to remain part of the UK, but a second vote on independence could now be on the cards. In the light of the UK’s vote to exit the European Union, Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon says that Scots should have the chance to reconsider the issue of independence. On Thursday, a draft bill for a second referendum on Scottish independent is set to be published by the country’s Constitution Secretary.

BBC News
The political map of Scotland is to be almost completely redrawn under plans to cut the number of Scottish seats at Westminster from 59 to 53. The proposals would see changes to the boundaries of all but three of the existing constituencies. And they could threaten the seats of the only Labour and Conservative MPs in Scotland. The move forms part of proposals to reduce the total number of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600. But the proposed boundary changes have been described as “unacceptable” by Labour and the SNP – which won 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland at the last general election. The plans, which will now go out to public consultation, have been unveiled by the Boundary Commission for Scotland and follow similar reviews in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Sky News
Plans for a second Scottish referendum are to be published so Scots can reconsider independence following Brexit. Speaking in advance of publication of a draft bill for another vote on Scottish self rule, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her party had promised a second vote if Britain decided to leave the EU. “This government was elected on a specific manifesto pledge that the Scottish Parliament should be able to consider an independence referendum if there was a material change in circumstances, such as Scotland being taken out of the European Union against its will,” she said.


Europe must brace itself for a new wave of Islamic State fighters following the offensive on Mosul by Iraqi and coalition forces, an EU Commissioner has warned. The retaking of the IS’s northern Iraq territory, Mosul, may lead to the return to Europe of violent IS fighters,” the EU’s security commissioner, Julian King, told Die Welt. “This is a very serious threat and we must be prepared to face it.” Approximately 2,500 EU nationals are known to be fighting alongside Islamic State in the Mosul area . King said that even if only a handful returned it would pose a “serious threat that we must prepare ourselves for”. King has called for stronger anti-terrorism measures, including increased security at Europe’s borders. “Currently, one can bypass the passport


Alarmist scientists are trying to cover up the good news that rising CO2 levels are making the planet turn greener. And that even includes one of the scientists who made the discovery in the first place. The discovery was first announced in 2012 in a lecture by Professor Ryanga Myneni of the University of Boston. Rising CO2 levels are causing the planet to get greener, Myneni revealed. In the last 30 years, he estimated, the planet’s greenery has increased by 14 per cent. About half of this, he calculated, was a direct result of increased carbon dioxide levels, rather than of other factors like warmth, irrigation or fertilisers. And the area covered is vast: as Myneni’s co-author Zaichun Zhu, of Beijing University, puts it, it’s equivalent to adding a green continent twice the size of mainland USA.


The deal on migrants which the European Union struck with Turkey last spring is looking increasingly fragile, as both partners lack the political will to carry the deal through, one of the architects of the plan has said. The deal offered Turkey €3 billion in funding in return for stemming the flow of migrants into Europe. In addition, migrants who didn’t meet the criteria for claiming asylum would be returned from Greece to Turkey in exchange for a genuine asylum seeker being offered a place within the EU. But although the rate of flow has been stemmed, a recent report by the think tank the European Stability Initiative (ESI), whose director Gerald Knaus was one of the primary architects of the deal, warns that European leaders are being dangerously optimistic about the plan as it is playing out in practice.

North Korea

NORTH Korea has fired off a ballistic missile with a range capable of reaching US territory. The trigger-happy regime launched the rocket on Thursday night, US Strategic Command said. It is believed to be a Musudan missile – which has a range of 1,800 miles and could theoretically reach any part of Japan and the US territory of Guam. The missile was launched from the northwestern city of Kusong at about 11pm on Thursday, British time. The North American Aerospace Defense Command said the missile posed no threat to North America. South Korea said the missile failed on launch. It was the second time in less than a week that the North has launched a Musudan missile. The previous launch, which came on Saturday, also ended in failure as the missile exploded shortly after take-off.

NORTH Korea could build up to 79 nuclear devices capable of turning the US into a radiation-blasted hellhole by the end of 2020, an expert has warned. Lee Sang-hyun, vice president of South Korea’s Sejong Institute, claims tubby tyrant Kim Jong-un’s regime could build four to eight miniaturised nuclear weapons every year. Pyongyang currently has a maximum of 50 kilograms of plutonium and 300 kilograms of highly enriched uranium , according to his report. World leaders have slammed North Korea’s fridge-raiding despot Kim Jong-un and branded his behaviour an act of “maniacal recklessness”. North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and fifth in September in defiance of furious international reaction and stiff sanctions, reports Yonhap .

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