Britain could remain under the direct control of the European court of justice for years after Brexit, it has emerged, and still be forced to implement the court’s rulings on vexed issues such as immigration. The expanding scale of the prime minister’s climbdown over her promise to “take back control of British law” was revealed as the government published its latest position paper on dispute resolution before the next round of Brexit talks. While stressing that the range of examples given in the report are hypothetical, the government mainly outlines scenarios in which “direct” ECJ authority is eventually replaced by a new court or committee over which Europe  maintains “indirect” control. It has also become clear that the UK government is now open to preserving the direct authority of the ECJ throughout the interim transition period after March 2019.

The EU has taken a swipe at the British Government’s lack of clarity in Brexit negotiations – accusing David Davis’s team of not having solid negotiating goals months after the start of talks. A European Commission spokesperson said there was still an “intra-UK debate” about what exactly Britain’s position was, despite the Commission itself having long set out a clear set of goals.  This week Mr Davis released a government working paper suggesting that the UK would only seek to end “direct” jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice over the UK – an apparent backtracking of Theresa May’s previous promise of a clean break with the institution.

David Davis will refuse to reveal any details about what Britain could pay towards a Brexit bill when European Union exit talks resume next week, it has emerged, a choice certain to inflame tensions with Brussels. The Brexit secretary has conceded that Britain has “obligations” from its 44 years of EU membership, but will not say anything about what they might be when he meets the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Brussels next week, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The refusal to go into details on the UK’s acknowledged obligations will add to the view that talks on Britain’s future relationship with the bloc  could be delayed beyond the autumn. The EU will decide in October whether Britain has made sufficient progress on Brexit divorce issues, including money, that will allow talks to move on to trade.


European judges could continue ruling over the UK after Brexit under one plan being drawn up for a transition period. Theresa May has pledged the European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over Britain would end once the UK quits the bloc, due in March 2019. But ministers’ latest blueprint for Brexit talks waters down the commitment, only promising to end its “direct jurisdiction”. And the document admits the court’s reach could extend over Britain even after we have formally left. Brexit campaigners insisted voting Leave at last year’s referendum would see the UK “take back control” over its own laws. But today’s revelation paves the way for the UK to remain subject to ECJ laws for years during a transition period. Such a deal could last years.


EUROPEAN governments are making the migrant crisis worse by failing to send illegal immigrants home when their claims for asylum are rejected, according to senior figures in Brussels. Less than a third of those ordered to leave are actually deported, creating a pull factor for economic migrants to join the tens of thousands of refugees seeking to reach the EU. An economic migrant who survives the journey across the Mediterranean has a 73 per cent chance of staying in the EU even if served with an order to leave, official statistics show.

Europe’s failure to send home rejected asylum seekers is worsening the migrant crisis, senior figures in Brussels believe. An economic migrant who survives the journey across the Mediterranean has a 73 per cent chance of remaining in the EU even if served with an order to leave, official statistics show. Less than a third of those told to leave are removed, creating an incentive for economic migrants to join refugees striving to reach Europe. The latest figures for migrant arrivals show a surge from African and Asian countries with historically lower rates of recognition of refugee status than states such as Syria and Eritrea, suggesting that many people may be moving for economic reasons.

The Home Office has ordered an official review of Britain’s immigration figures after new exit checks at the borders found there may be fewer immigrants in the country than previously thought. The Government will reveal on Thursday that new border checks introduced last year found 97 percent of international students – one of the biggest groups of immigrants – left after finishing their studies. It had previously been thought that tens of thousands of international students remain in the country illegally and the disclosure that the majority are leaving casts serious doubt on the reliability of the official immigration statistics. 
The immigration figures are based on relatively small-scale passenger surveys at airports, even though they are one of the most politically sensitive pieces of data which dominated recent election campaigns and the Brexit referendum.


ANGELA Merkel has deliberately overseen a “draining” of Germany’s wealth to “prop up” the EU’s failing economies in a desperate bid to save the European Union project, a senior economist has said today. Professor Thorsten Polleit described the chancellor’s economic programme as a “vicious policy” which is “impoverishing” younger generations who can no longer afford to buy a house or build up significant savings.  The respected financier and academic warned increasing EU protectionism could harm the German economy in the future and said the “lose-lose” approach to Brexit being pursued by Brussels would punish ordinary Europeans.  He made the remarks after recent figures showed Germany’s resilient economy is leading eurozone growth once more, expanding by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year. 

The first vice president of the European Commission has attacked nationalism, saying the ideology makes countries weaker, poorer, and morally insecure. Frans Timmermans compared the ideology and what he called its ‘Siamese twin’ of protectionism to alcohol dependency, saying they create ‘a short period of exaltation followed by a long period of headaches.’ While striding through war graves in Europe, Mr Timmermans argued that nationalists cannot be true patriots because they undermine their home countries. Mr Timmermans released the video to commemorate Black Ribbon Day, which remembers the victims of totalitarian regimes in Europe. 

A top EU official has launched a passionate attack on nationalists and nationalism – arguing that the ideology makes societies “weak” and is unpatriotic. Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission, compared nationalism to alcoholism – arguing that it created a “short period of exaltation followed by a long period of headaches”. Jean-Claude Junker’s deputy argued that protectionism, the “Siamese twin” of nationalism, could “destroy the internal market and disrupt international trade”  – though a Commission spokesperson later denied that he was making a veiled reference to Brexit. He was speaking in a video recorded to commemorate Black Ribbon Day, which is observed across Europe on 23 August each year to commemorate the victims of totalitarianism.


An independent Scotland would have been up to £10.5 billion worse off than SNP ministers had predicted before the referendum on leaving the UK, official figures show. Scotland is relying more on the UK to prop up its finances, with public spending per head north of the border continuing to grow, despite the crash in tax revenues from North Sea oil over the past two years, statistics published yesterday suggest. Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, rejected the accusation that she had tried to “con” voters before the 2014 vote, when the SNP forecast oil revenues of £6.8 billion to £7.9 billion for 2016-17, the first year of independence had there been a “yes” vote.

Nicola Sturgeon has said an independent Scotland would face tough economic challenges after data showed the country spent £13.5bn more than it raised in taxes last year. The first minister confirmed that if voters backed independence in the near future, Scotland would need a dramatic improvement in its finances to bring its current spending deficit of 8.3% down to 3%, the level most economists see as sustainable. he Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) report for 2016-17  says the gap between spending and tax income in Scotland last year was three times the UK’s deficit of 2.4%. 

NICOLA STURGEON was today accused of conning voters after it emerged that independence could cost every person in Scotland £1,750 per year. Official figures showed that Scotland’s budget deficit currently stands at 8.3 per cent – worse than any country in Europe. Pro-union parties claimed the stats prove Scots would be impoverished if the UK ever broke up. But the SNP denied suggestions that they had misled the public by putting forward a case for independence based on sky-high oil revenues. Today’s Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland report revealed that Scotland spent £13.3billion more last year than it took in. That represents 8.3 per cent of the country’s GDP, compared to 2.4 per cent for the deficit of the UK as a whole.


Thousands fewer teenagers will get the top mark in GCSE English and maths this year following a radical shake-up to make the qualifications tougher. Only two per cent are expected to scoop the new numerical grade 9 in English language – compared with four per cent who achieved an A* last year. In maths, only three per cent are likely to get a 9 – while seven per cent gained an A* under the old system. In both cases the proportion achieving the very top mark will be roughly halved. It could damage some bright pupils’ prospects of getting an offer from Oxbridge, as those who may once have got all A* grades will find it harder to get 9s.  Hundreds of thousands of teenagers in England will open their GCSE results today as the first year group to sit new GCSEs in maths, English language and English literature.


MARGOT Parker, UKIP’s Women’s and Equalities spokesperson, has again called for the full weight of the law to come down on those committing female genital mutilation. Figures have shown that there were more than 9,000 attendances to NHS services in England last year involving the identification or treatment of female genital mutilation. She said: “The statistics revealed 9,179 instances in which FGM was either identified, treatment was given, or a woman with FGM had given birth to a baby girl. Of these 5,391 were recorded for the first time and 114 were girls under the age of 16. “These are truly horrifying statistics and despite a slight fall on the previous year, these numbers are far too high. “What is even more sickening is that there have been no prosecutions – more than 9,000 reports and no-one person brought to justice for these horrendous crimes.


Patients die when nurses are too rushed to offer crucial care, according to a study that has prompted claims of NHS wards being dangerously understaffed. Every 10 per cent increase in nurses admitting that they skipped tasks such as checking vital signs and giving medicine on time increases death rates by 16 per cent, the research suggests. Previous studies found that death rates were higher in wards with fewer nurses and the latest findings strengthen the argument that there is a direct link because staff do not have time to carry out important tasks. “If there are not enough registered nurses on hospital wards, necessary care is left undone and people’s lives are put at risk,” Jane Ball, who led the study at Southampton University.

Social care

The crisis in social care is laid bare today as a report reveals how vulnerable people are forced to eat evening meals in the middle of the afternoon so overstretched carers can cram in home visits. The report exposes how elderly, sick and disabled people are often left stranded without food or vital medication – including insulin for diabetes – for hours as carers are delayed or miss appointments altogether. Families said many carers were so poorly trained they lacked essential skills such as being able to boil an egg or wash somebody. Experts warned that the report, by independent care champion Healthwatch England, was ‘yet another warning signal’ that the ‘crumbling’ social care system was struggling to cope with a lack of funding, rising costs and increasing demand.

Terror attacks

ISIS terror cells are plotting to blow up churches across Europe, intelligence services have warned. One of the four suspects arrested over the attacks which killed 15 people and injured more than 100 others told a court yesterday that jihadists wanted to carry out a major attack targeting monuments with explosives. And an Islamic State  propaganda magazine has carried a photo of the world-famous Dresden Frauenkirche in its latest edition – below the headline ‘Just Terror Tactics’. Also in Germany, heavy stone blocks have been put up around the cathedral in Cologne as a result of intelligence uncovered in the probe into the Barcelona atrocity. Patrols are being stepped up at tourist sites in Barcelona, including the iconic Sagrada Familia church and major sports and cultural events in the wake of last week’s deadly vehicle attacks in Spain, officials confirmed today.

ISIS fanatics have praised the terrorists behind last Thursday’s Barcelona massacres and promised their war against the West will continue to the “end of the world.” The extremists also warned that attacks would continue to be targeted unless Spain left the US-led international coalition against the militant group. ISIS has already claimed responsibility for last week’s attacks – which left 15 dead and more than 100 injured. In a three-minute video titled “The Conquest of Barcelona” – understood to have been released on encrypted messaging service Telegram – one Spanish-speaking bearded militant urged fellow fanatics to wage war where they were if they were unable to travel to Middle East battlefields. 
Another, speaking against a background of media footage of last week’s attacks, added: “I ask Allah to accept our brothers from Barcelona.

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