The High Court is to rule on whether Theresa May’s use of the royal prerogative for Brexit is legal. Opponents argue the prime minister cannot use the prerogative to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the UK’s exit from the European Union without the prior authority of Parliament. But government lawyers say prerogative powers are a legitimate way to give effect “to the will of the people” who voted by a clear majority to opt for Brexit in the June EU referendum. Following a three-day hearing in October the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas – sitting with the Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, and Lord Justice Sales – will give their ruling in a historic case expected to go to the Supreme Court for a final decision. Mrs May announced at the Conservative Party conference that she intends giving an Article 50 notification by the end of March 2017. Her opponents are drawn from all walks of life and led by investment fund manager and philanthropist Gina Miller.
The High Court is to rule on whether the government can begin the formal process of leaving the European Union without consulting Parliament. Senior judges heard a challenge last month from campaigners who argue Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without MPs’ approval. The PM has promised to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017. Its author, Lord Kerr, has told the BBC he believed it was “not irrevocable”. Judges are set to give their verdict at 10:00 GMT. Some of the leading figures in the legal world are involved in the historic case, which is expected to be appealed against to the Supreme Court whatever the verdict.
Prime Minister Theresa May will learn on Thursday whether she must seek parliamentary approval before triggering the formal process of leaving the European Union, a step some investors hope will lessen the chances of an economically disruptive “hard Brexit”. London’s High Court will hand down its judgement on whether May and her ministers have the authority to invoke Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty, the mechanism by which a country can leave the bloc, without the explicit backing of parliament. May says she is determined to honour voters’ decision in a referendum last June to leave the EU, and has the authority to do so. But if the legal challenge succeeds, members of parliament (MPs) might have to vote on whether and when Article 50 should be triggered, which could lead to delays or even, in theory, block Brexit altogether.
Britain could still change its mind about Brexit after triggering its formal divorce talks with the European Union, the man who drafted Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty told the BBC. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will invoke Article 50 by the end of March, kicking off two years of divorce negotiations. “You can change your mind while the process is going on,” John Kerr, a former British ambassador to the EU who drafted Article 50, told the BBC. “During that period, if a country were to decide actually we don’t want to leave after all, everybody would be very cross about it being a waste of time,” he said. “They might try to extract a political price but legally they couldn’t insist that you leave.” Attorney General Jeremy Wright told the High Court last month that a notification invoking Article 50 – probably with a letter from May – was irrevocable.
The Scottish cross-bench peer who wrote Article 50 – the procedure by which the UK would leave the EU – believed it was “not irrevocable”. In a BBC interview, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard said the UK could choose to stay in the EU even after exit negotiations had begun. He has also renewed calls for either parliament or the public to be given a chance to stop Brexit. The UK government insisted the leave vote must be respected. His comments come as the High Court is to rule on whether the government can begin the formal process of leaving the European Union without consulting Parliament. Prime Minister Theresa May said she would trigger the two year exit negotiation process by the end of March 2017.
Judges will give their ruling later on whether the Government must get MPs’ consent to trigger Article 50 to start the UK’s exit from the European Union. Campaigners who brought the case argue that the Prime Minister and her Cabinet cannot invoke the crucial clause to begin Brexit negotiations without the backing of the House of Commons. Theresa May has said she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March, starting the clock on a two-year window to leave the EU and get the best deal. The Prime Minister said MPs would get to debate the exit plans but would not get a vote on the timing of Article 50.
The lord chief justice is to deliver the high court’s momentous decision on whether parliament or the government has the constitutional power to trigger Brexit. After less than three weeks considering the politically charged case with two other senior judges, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd will read out a summary of their decision at 10am on Thursday to a packed courtroom in London’s Royal Courts of Justice. In order to prevent leaks of the market-sensitive ruling, which involves a large number of parties, preliminary drafts of the judgment have unusually not been sent out in advance to the lawyers. The outcome of the case, which ventures into constitutionally untested ground, will resolve whether MPs or ministers have the authority to formally inform Brussels about whether the UK intends to leave the European Union.
WETHERSPOON’S boss Tim Martin says his pubs could stop selling European beers because EU leaders’ have taken a “bullying” approach to the UK since the referendum. The Brexit –backing chairman of the chain used a first-quarter trading statement to rip into German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. He accused them of putting European businesses at risk by telling them not to negotiate with UK companies and to adopt an “intransigent” attitude. Mr Martin said: “I don’t think Wetherspoon or British buyers are in a weak position because we can switch from Swedish cider to British cider. “So the people put in a weak position are the sellers and I think that is the paradox that has not been illustrated. The UK is in a much more powerful position than most economists would assume.”
TONY Blair did long-term damage to trust in politics when he argued for war “beyond the facts of the case”, said the author of the scathing official report into the Iraq War today. Sir John Chilcot, who has remained silent on the report since its publication in July, told senior MPs it would take many years to repair the harm caused by the former prime minister. After an inquiry lasting seven years, the Chilcot Report found that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein posed “no imminent threat” at the time his country was invaded in 2003 and the war was unleashed on the basis of “flawed” intelligence. Its publication led to calls for Mr Blair to be prosecuted, but the former premier insisted that while he felt sorrow for those whose loved ones died, he stood by his decision to commit Britain to the US-led military action.
Theresa May could trigger Brexit in weeks and some EU leaders could turn “vicious” in negotiations, the Irish prime minister has warned. Taoiseach Enda Kenny was speaking before a meeting in Dublin to discuss the impact of Brexit for the island. Representatives from business and farming organisations, as well as civic society, are also attending the talks. However, neither the Democratic Unionist Party nor the Ulster Unionist Party are at the conference. Mr Kenny wants the All Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, which is taking place at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, to map out the challenges posed by by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, and assess its potential impact on different parts of society.
Attempts by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox to secure a pre-Brexit free-trade deal with Europe has been dealt a blow by a leading member of the European parliament . Danuta Hübner MEP, a former Polish minister and EU commissioner, said UK would not be able to conclude any trade deal while still a member of the European Union. Ms Hübner now chairs the European parliament’s constitutional affairs committee that will vet any post-Brexit trade deal with the UK. She stated next year’s negotiations over the UK’s exit from the EU would be on different tracks from any talks regarding a post-Brexit relationship. Ms Hübner told The Guardian: “Formally you cannot conclude or even negotiate the agreement that belongs to a third-country situation while you are still a member. “Article 50 is only about withdrawal and only when you are out can [you] negotiate another agreement.”
Theresa May could trigger Brexit within weeks to avoid resentful EU leaders becoming “vicious” in the exit talks, the Irish Premier has claimed. Enda Kenny said the timetable set down by Ms May – to invoke the Article 50 notice by the end of March – could be derailed by a growing backlash in the rest of the EU. Speaking before a conference in Dublin on the impact of Brexit on Ireland, the Taoiseach said: “That doesn’t mean it mightn’t be triggered in December – or January, or February.” “The other side of this argument may well get quite vicious after a while, because there are those around the European table who take a very poor view of the fact that Britain decided to leave. “That argument, I think, will be fought very toughly, in a really difficult negotiating sense.
WALES’S financial future has “never looked so bleak,” Unison Cymru warns today as the Welsh Local Government Association conference kicks off in Cardiff. Dominic MacAskill, the public-sector union’s head of local government in Wales, said services face “irreparable damage” because cuts over the past five years have destroyed a staggering 23,700 jobs. Unison Cymru’s new Audit of Austerity lifts the veil on the results of an “unprecedented squeeze on funding” passed on to Wales from Westminster since 2010. Despite one in seven local government workers having lost their jobs, “the public still expect the same level of service — for the bins to be emptied, the roads to be swept, the elderly to be cared for,” the audit points out.
Thousands of migrants could be barred from Britain under a crackdown on health tourism. Any non-EU citizen applying for a family visa to join a relative in the UK could be blocked at the border if they owe the NHS more than £500 for medical treatment. If they are already in Britain, they may not be allowed to extend a permit or apply for permission to remain until their debt is paid in full. The measures being unveiled by the Home Office today are an extension of rules covering visitors on other visas. They mean the spouse or partner of a person living in the UK would not be allowed back in if they have previously fled without paying for NHS treatment. The crackdown will also cover foreign ex-soldiers who fought in the British Army, such as Gurkhas and those from the Commonwealth, if they seek to enter the country while owing the NHS money. A report by the National Audit Office, the spending watchdog, revealed last week the NHS collects just half of the £500million a year owed by foreign patients.
Poor performance in A&E has “become the norm” for some NHS trusts, MPs say. A new report from the Commons Health Committee showed that A&E departments are now routinely missing the national target to deal with 95% of patients within four hours. It also warned the NHS could face a “substantially more difficult” winter this year than last. The report said there is an increasing demand for services, trusts are suffering due to too-few staff and there is a widespread inability to move out patients who are medically fit to be discharged. Major type 1 A&E departments – those that are located in hospitals – perform the worst, with only 87.9% of patients admitted, discharged or transferred within that timeframe in 2015/16. MPs expressed concern over a continued fall in standards, saying: “The ongoing decline in performance of type 1 emergency departments against the four-hour target should be regarded as a matter of patient safety rather than a failure to meet a bureaucratic objective.”
Health chiefs have told Jeremy Hunt they need billions of pounds more in funding to avoid a crisis in the NHS and social care. The dire warning comes as three health areas revealed they face a combined shortfall of more than £2.4billion by the end of the decade. They say that without extra money they will struggle to meeting waiting times, provide enough hospital beds and even basic levels of social care. The verdict is contained in the newly published Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) for Birmingham and Solihull, North Centra London and South West London. Sustainability and Transformation Plans were ordered by NHS England boss Simon Stephens in December 2015 and charged 44 regions in England to come up with a five-year programme for providing health and social care in their areas.
A crisis in adult social care, combined with a simple lack of funding has led to poor performance in A&E “becoming the norm” across many NHS trusts, according to a new report by MPs. The Commons Health Committee warns that the NHS could face a “substantially more difficult” winter this year than last, with increasing demand for services, trusts suffering due to too-few staff and a widespread inability to move out patients who are medically fit to be discharged. Evidence submitted to the MPs’ inquiry showed that A&E departments are now routinely missing the national target to deal with 95 per cent of patients within four hours. Major type 1 A&E departments – those that are located in hospitals – perform the worst, with only 87.9 per cent of patients admitted, discharged or transferred within that timeframe in 2015/16.
England and Scotland are planning to defy a FIFA ban on players wearing poppies during their World Cup qualifier on Nov. 11, their Football Associations said on Wednesday. FIFA rules forbid players from wearing anything that can be perceived as a political statement and England and Scotland could be punished if they do not comply. “The poppy is an important symbol of remembrance and we do not believe it represents a political, religious or commercial message, nor does it relate to any one historical event,” the English FA tweeted. “In keeping with the position agreed with FIFA back in 2011 and in what we believe is in accordance with Law 4, para 4, the FA intends to pay appropriate tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by having the England team wear black armbands bearing poppies in our fixture on Armistice Day.” The Scottish FA made a similar statement. “We intend to pay appropriate tribute by having the Scotland national team wear black armbands bearing poppies,” it said.
The FA is to defy Fifa by telling the England football team to wear armband poppies when the side plays Scotland on November 11. In a statement, the FA maintained its view that the remembrance poppy did not a represent “a political, religious or commercial message”. Despite numerous pleas, Fifa had insisted that black armbands containing poppies were not to be worn during the match at Wembley – a decision which drew widespread criticism. Prime Minister Theresa May slammed the move, describing it as “absolutely outrageous”. The FA had warned that it planned to commemorate remembrance day in defiance of Fifa’s ruling. And in a statement on Wednesday, the FA confirmed it planned to instruct England players to wear the armband.
England and Scotland’s footballers will defy the sport’s global governing body and wear black armbands bearing poppies in their 11 November match. The FA and SFA appear to have rejected FIFA’s ban on poppies being displayed on the pitch for the World Cup Armistice Day qualifier. The ruling by football’s world governing body was earlier described by the Prime Minister as “utterly outrageous”. FIFA has insisted that laws of the game which prohibit political or religious messages from players’ kit mean poppies cannot be worn.
England and Scotland footballers will wear the poppy during their Armistice Day clash in defiance of an ‘utterly outrageous ban’ imposed by world football chiefs. Amid mounting public fury over an attempt by FIFA to stop the national team honouring the war dead next Friday, both sides tonight took the unprecedented step of announcing they would ignore attempts to suppress them. The world football governing body’s rules prohibit political, religious or commercial messages on shirts. But the FA said the poppy did not fit any of those categories and will therefore flout FIFA’s rules. The decision comes after the FIFA official enforcing the ban – Senegalese bureaucrat Fatma Samoura – claimed ‘Britain is not the only country that has been suffering from the result of war’.
TERROR chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi revealed he is confident ISIS will claim victory in his first message after coalitions forces launched the Mosul offensive. During the 31-minute audio recording, the speaker – believed to be al-Baghdadi – claims that the death cult will be victorious because “God will be on their side”. The audio recording of “al-Baghdadi” was published online by ISIS supporters earlier today – but the identity of the speaker has not been confirmed by authorities. Jihadis were also called to “turn the nights of the unbelievers into days” and “unleash the fire of their anger”.
The leader of ISIS has urged suicide bombers to attack western cities as Iraqi forces close in on his hideout in Mosul and the jihadis defeat appears imminent. In his first statement since the major offensive began, Abu al-Baghdadi implored jihadis to attack the ‘enemies of God’ in what is seen as an all or nothing battle to fanatics. He also urged suicide bombers all over the world to ‘destroy the cities of the unbelievers’ as ISIS’s defeat in the spiritually significant city becomes ever more certain. ‘Turn the nights of the unbelievers into days, to wreck havoc in their land and make their blood flow as rivers,’ he said in the chilling audio release, the first since the major Iraqi offensive began.
BONFIRE night celebrations will have a frosty chill as parts of Britain brace for snow and cold winds. The temperature is forecast to plummet after a warm autumn as winter arrives with lows of -2C. In the days leading up to the fireworks-filled weekend the temperature will stay at about 10C for much of the country. But by the weekend a blast of cold air will have shaken off the mild temperatures . November looks like it will be cold and frosty, with chilly gales, hail, thunder and snow over high ground threatening to arrive for Guy Fawkes celebrations. Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “Showers this weekend will be thundery with hail and there is the chance of snow over high ground in Scotland, northern Britain and parts of Wales. “It is also going to be windy in paces with the possibility of gales around the east coast with overnight frosts. “The cold is going to last into the middle of next week on current indications as we stay in this northerly flow.
GUY Fawkes revellers will have to brace themselves for chilly Arctic winds and snow set to smother Britain this weekend. Bitter Arctic breeze set to sweep the country will force temperatures to plummet to minus figures on Saturday night. It’s just the beginning of the freezing autumn weather – with this winter on track to be the coldest in 100 years forecasters claimed. Scotland, the North, Wales and parts of Central England will plunge to lows of -2C. While daytime highs will only reach 10C in the south, the rest of the country will struggle to reach above single figures in the lead up to fireworks night. Grahame Madge, of Met Office, has said chilly gales, hail, thunder and snow threaten Brits’ Guy Fawkes celebrations. ”