A GOVERNMENT minister today revealed MPs could block a Brexit deal between Britain and the EU indefinitely. David Jones, a junior minister in the Department for Exiting the EU, suggested the upcoming Brexit negotiations with Brussels could result in the proposal of a new treaty between the UK and the EU. In such a scenario, Mr Jones outlined how the Government would then be forced to allow the proposed treaty to be examined by both the House of Lords and House of Commons before being signed. The Brexit minister insisted the Government “of course” fully intends to “comply with our obligations” over the legal process for ratifying new treaties. Appearing before the House of Commons’ European Scrutiny Committee, Mr Jones described how these obligations are set out by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. Otherwise known as CRAG, the Act notes although there is no legal requirement for a debate or vote on a proposed treaty, the Commons can block its ratification ‘indefinitely’.
HOPES of a rapid departure from the EU were significantly raised last night after the head of the World Trade Organisation vowed to “work hard” for a “fast and smooth” Brexit. Roberto Azevedo, director general of the governing body for global trade rules, insisted the UK would suffer no “vacuum or disruption” on breaking ties with Brussels. And he recognised that the referendum vote for leaving the European bloc was not an “anti-trade” gesture. “I will be working hard – I will work very intensely to ensure that this transition is fast and is smooth,” he said. Mr Azevedo’s remarks were last night being seen as fresh confirmation that Britain can carve out a new role as global trading nation after Brexit. It was a major u-turn for the international trade chief, who had warned during the EU referendum campaign that Britain could take decades to disentangle its links with Brussels.
Brussels will be able to dictate what the British government can and cannot tell the British Parliament about Brexit negotiations, the Government has claimed. EU minister David Jones told the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee that he could not say how much information MPs would be given about the talks until the European Council had laid down its rules about secrecy. The claim comes after Theresa May and Brexit Secretary Davis Davis both said there would be a limit to how much they would tell the UK Parliament about negotiations. The Prime Minister’s lack of clarity over Brexit was branded “unsustainable” by the influential chair of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie, earlier this week. He told the Prime Minister in the Commons that the lack of even a simple statement by the Government about what it was trying to achieve in negotiations was in danger of spooking businesses with uncertainty.
By Laura Kuenssberg
Irony of ironies, is it possible that the European Court could block us from leaving the European Union? What follows is an unlikely, a very unlikely turn of events. But it is not impossible that our decision to leave the European Union could end up being judged in the European Court in Luxembourg. Yes, that same court so despised by Eurosceptics could, in theory, fight to keep us in their clutches. As my colleagues have reported, the government is already fighting a challenge in the courts, an effort to make ministers accept that Parliament, not the prime minister, must decide when to trigger Article 50 – that’s the legal mechanism that begins the likely tortuous process of us actually leaving the EU.
Northern Ireland’s High Court will rule on Friday on a challenge against British plans to leave the European Union without a vote in parliament, the first judgment in legal cases that are being closely watched by politicians and markets. A cross-party group of politicians, including members of the British province’s largest Irish nationalist parties, brought the challenge earlier this month, arguing that a vote in the Northern Ireland regional assembly should also be required. Justice Paul Maguire told the three-day hearing that he would consider the case and reconvene at an unspecified date. One of the plaintiff told Reuters on Wednesday that the judge had notified them that he was ready to give his ruling.
A left-wing activist leading protests in Calais is a self-described “freelance troublemaker” who promised this week to “organise riots” in the Jungle camp and once said Islamic State attacks in Europe were good for migrants. Chiara Lauvergnac (pictured, top), 55, works with No Borders, who currently have around 30 activists in the migrant camp in Northern France. At a recent meeting in London, No Borders handed out flyers encouraging attacks on police as they attempt to evict illegal migrants. The revelations come as French authorities begin to dismantle the Jungle, with police investigating claims huge fires currently raging there were set by anarchists travelling from Britain. Ms. Lauvergnac is a former anthropology student at the University of East London who also claims to have attended the “Anarchist Free School”.
French authorities has declared the operation to clear the ‘Jungle’ camp over – but charities have said hundreds of child refugees had been left with nowhere to go. A total of 5,596 people have been evacuated since the operation began on Monday with many of them being taken away on buses, French ministries said. Of those removed from the camp, 234 children are being resettled in the UK. Save The Children said it was “extremely concerned” about minors who had not been registered as the site went up in flames. A spokeswoman for the local prefecture said that the rate of demolition would be scaled up on Thursday with larger machinery moving in.
Migrants at a notorious camp dubbed ‘Jungle 2’ today vowed to double their efforts to sneak into Britain illegally before French authorities shut down their site. As the bulldozers move in on the Calais Jungle, 20 miles away at the Dunkirk camp they know the clock is ticking before the French raze that one by early 2017 as well. But rather than suffer the same fate next year, the refugees in Dunkirk promised to reach England which is the only country they want to live in. Among them is Mohammed Kathun, 33, who has recently arrived at the Grande-Synthe camp with his wife and two young children. He has already attempted to sneak into Britain in the back of a lorry of two occasions – and been thwarted by security guards who found him.
The head of the World Trade Organisation has vowed to ensure Britain will not face a trade “vacuum or a disruption”, however tough its exit from the European Union. Roberto Azevedo said that he did not believe the Brexit vote was “anti-trade” and dismissed fears that Britain could suffer a sudden seizure of trade during or after its negotiations with the EU. In an exclusive interview with Sky News, the WTO director-general also said that while Britain would have to renegotiate its membership of the trade body after its EU departure, the process was relatively straightforward.
The difficulties in concluding an EU-Canada trade deal show the importance of Britain reaching an agreement over its future relationship with the EU before it leaves the bloc, British trade minister Liam Fox said on Wednesday. Fox told a committee of lawmakers the seven years it has taken to reach the CETA deal, and the delays in signing it after it was rejected by a Belgian regional authority, showed the difficulty of doing a deal with such a large number of partners. Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty allows for an initial two year period of divorce talks before Britain leaves the bloc. Any agreement reached in that time would not be subject to the same level of vetos as a free trade agreement (FTA), he said.
Third quarter GDP figures due out later are expected to show the UK has managed to avoid a major economic slowdown following the Brexit vote. Experts are predicting growth of 0.3% and possibly 0.4% for the three months from July to September. That compares to 0.7% for the second quarter of the year but is higher than the 0.2% forecast last month by the Bank of England (BoE).
The majority of Britons consider controlling immigration more important than staying in the European Union’s Single Market, a survey has found. The Survation poll for ITV’s The Agenda shows that 56 per cent said they were concerned about tackling mass immigration than keeping trade benefits with European countries. By comparison, 44 per cent would prefer to stay in the Single Market. The poll also found that if the EU referendum were re-run, Britain would still vote to leave, with 47 per cent backing Brexit, compared to 46 per cent against. Seven per cent said they would be undecided. Of those who voted Leave in June, 48 per cent said immigration was their main motivation, followed by 25 per cent who said they wanted more control over who makes UK laws.
FURIOUS Italian leader Matteo Renzi today threatened to fatally cripple the entire European project unless Brussels bureaucrats do more to sort out the migrant crisis. In an extraordinary threat the apoplectic PM vowed to veto the EU budget and starve Brussels of taxpayers’ cash, inducing complete paralysis, if the refugee chaos is not fixed by the end of this year. A visibly angry Mr Renzi warned that Italy “cannot survive” another influx of migrants in 2017 similar to the one it faced this year and blasted Europe’s “inability to show solidarity” on the issue. His remarkable threat marks another ratcheting up of the growing tensions between Rome and Brussels, whose friendship has been stretched to breaking point by the migration crisis.
ALEX SALMOND was lambasted during a live phone-in for “seeking to frustrate” Brexit negotiations before being angrily told that “Scotland isn’t in the EU”. The former first minister of Scotland was forced to defend the SNP’s stance on the Brexit vote on LBC on Wednesday evening after the majority of Scottish voters backed Remain. Speaking on the Iain Dale show, caller Andrew said: “There is a major difference between seeking to participate in the Brexit negotiation process, in terms of bringing back into the ambit of Holyrood certain reserved matters, and constantly and erroneously claiming that Scotland has been dragged out of the EU against, apparently, your will. “Scotland isn’t in the EU, Scotland has never been a member state of the EU.”
RUSSIA has sensationally accused Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker of hiding an offer of increased co-operation from member states in a shocking subversion of democracy. Moscow’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Vladimir Putin had proposed more dialogue over working together economically, but added that EU leaders appeared to be unaware of the offer. In a stunning accusation he alleged that Mr Juncker had deliberately “concealed” the extended olive branch from elected politicians in order to shore up the EU Commission’s anti-Russian rhetoric. Brussels has spearheaded a tough regime of sanctions against Russia for its actions in Ukraine amid international outcry over its annexation of the Crimean peninsula. But despite relations between Brussels and Moscow being in a deep freeze Mr Lavrov insisted in a speech that the Kremlin is still open to enhancing economic cooperation through links between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) of former Soviet states and the EU.
RUSSIA has beefed up its Baltic fleet with warships carrying long-range nuclear-capable missiles – which could strike BRITAIN. Two Buyan-M class corvettes – Serpukhov and the Zeleny Dol – have already entered the Baltic Sea and are on their way to the Russian territory of Kaliningrad RIGHT NOW, according to Russian media. They are armed with Kalibr cruise missiles – known by the NATO codename Sizzler – which have a range of at least 930 miles. Kaliningrad is just 883 miles from London. NATO and Russia appear to be locked in a worrying arms race – after NATO confirmed it would station 4,000 troops in Eastern Europe next year. British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced the UK would send 800 of Our Boys to Estonia as part of the force – the biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War. But Russia could side-step the force with a direct strike on London from the new fleet.
Britain will send hundreds more troops close to Russia’s border, the Government has said, as the Prime Minister also called for “pressure” on Moscow over the Syria crisis. Around 800 soldiers along with tanks, armoured vehicles and drones will now head to Estonia in the spring in a Nato effort to reassure the Baltic states over Russian aggression. The boosted mission, up from 500 announced earlier this year, will be Britain’s largest long-term deployment to one of Russia’s neighbours since the end of the Cold War.
We’ve enjoyed a glorious few months of mild autumn weather , but things are about to change abruptly next week. For Britain is preparing for a long, cold winter of ice and blizzards with weeks of snow possible from November. The country has already enjoyed highs of 18C this week, but sub-zero temperatures are expected within days. The Met Office is warning of colder weather with more widespread night frosts from Wednesday next week. Forecasters also expect snow to fall over higher ground in the North as we get towards the middle of November. This week’s top temperature was 18C on the Isle of Wight yesterday, while the Highlands had the lowest at -5C. Conditions will stay in the mid-teens for most until the end of the weekend, before they drop by 6C next week.
BRITAIN faces crippling cold and flooding hell this winter as monster storms threaten months of horrific weather. Met Office forecasters confirmed winter has arrived – and it’s predicted to be much cooler and wetter than last year. Violent storms are expected to be far more frequent, leaving large areas of the country battered by strong winds, and in some cases, completely underwater. Weather boffins claim the UK is merely days away from the first major storm of the season, which begins around the end of October and ends in April. All of the storms will continue to be named, with Storm Angus first to unleash hell.