As Britain prepares to take to the polls next week, the European Union is gearing up towards its own negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship. If, as the polls currently suggest, Boris Johnson gains an absolute majority and Brexit happens at the end of January, these will begin right away. But what will the EU will be demanding? Statements and leaks from Brussels suggest the following. Their first demand will be that Boris Johnson breaks his promise not to extend the eleven months transition period if he wants a proper trade deal. As one EU diplomat put it, “the choice is either no deal Brexit 2.0 or to extend the transition period.”
EU leaders will spell out their plans for potentially years more Brexit talks on the day after the general election, a leaked internal documents seen by The Independent shows. Far from “getting Brexit done”, as Boris Johnson‘s campaign slogan would have it, the leaders are set to warn of a new ticking clock with a fresh round of negotiations strongly resembling the last three years. In a striking deja vu, the leak shows the leaders are to confirm that Michel Barnier will reprise his role as chief negotiator.
EU leaders will call for a rapid start to negotiations on a post-Brexit free trade agreement at a summit in Brussels a day after the UK general election. In a sign that Brussels increasingly believes Boris Johnson will be returned to power, diplomats have drawn up draft summit conclusions calling for the “timely” ratification of the government’s withdrawal agreement. A leaked draft text prepared for the summit calls on the European Commission to draw up a comprehensive mandate for talks on a future relationship with the UK “immediately after its withdrawal”.
EU leaders are set to issue an election result-day warning to Boris Johnson that he has only “limited” time to avoid a no-deal Brexit, leaked documents have revealed. The prime minister has refused to rule out the possibility of crashing out without a free trade agreement (FTA) in December 2020, abruptly halting a press conference on Wednesday when he was challenged on the issue by The Independent. Liberal Democrats said the developments exposed as a “fallacy” Mr Johnson’s claim to be able to “get Brexit done” on 31 January if he wins next week’s election.
Air passengers and Eurostar travellers are being told they could face disruption for the next five days due to nationwide strikes in France. Workers in most sectors in France are planning a walk-out this evening in protest at President Emmanuel Macron‘s plans to overhaul the retirement system. Transport routes are expected to be hit, with knock-on problems for some services in the UK. Eurostar released a statement saying: ‘The strike action will impact our ability to deliver the usual timetable as we expect disruption to signalling along all routes.
Travel to and from France will be severely disrupted from Thursday morning owing to large-scale strikes across the country in protest at plans to overhaul its retirement system. The walkout is expected to hit transport the hardest as flights, trains and buses suffer cancellations, and most of the Paris subway system comes to a halt. No tickets are available on Eurostar trains until Tuesday, with the company saying it had cancelled almost 100 services between now and then.
France faces paralysis on Thursday as it braces for one of the biggest nationwide strikes in years in a tense standoff between President Emmanuel Macron and unions that police fear could turn violent. In what has already been dubbed “Black Thursday,” hundreds of domestic and short-haul international flights have been cancelled. EasyJet has axed 223 flights and warned others risk being delayed while delays and cancellations are expected on cross-Channel Eurostar rail services.
Angela Merkel’s coalition appears set to survive its latest near-death experience as its restive junior partner indicated that it was prepared to stand by her. Allies of the German chancellor were steeling themselves for the disintegration of her government after new leaders in the Social Democratic party (SPD) threatened to pull out of the ruling alliance with the Christian Democrats if their demands for a new left-wing agenda were not met.
Boris Johnson has claimed everyone can stop talking about Brexit altogether after the end of January, as he believes the UK will be out of the EU by then. Speaking to ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston, the prime minister has assured the British public if he wins the General Election he will stop talking about the subject of Brexit come January 2020. He said: “We will have got Brexit done, and you will find, what will happen is the parliamentary agony will be over, the political agony will be over and the misery and tedium and procrastination that been going on will be over.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday night that the public can soon stop talking about Brexit if he wins next week’s general election and that there is significant investment waiting once the political paralysis is over. Britons will vote on Dec. 12 after parliament agreed to an early election, seeking to end more than three years of deep disagreement over the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union that has sapped investors’ faith in the stability of the world’s fifth largest economy.
Boris Johnson says he will take the UK out of the EU, present a “tax-cutting” Budget, and deliver on manifesto pledges on crime and health within the first 100 days if he wins the election. As the campaign enters its final week, the PM said only a Tory victory would end the Brexit uncertainty and get MPs “working on the people’s priorities”. If re-elected, he said schools and the NHS would get immediate extra cash.
Boris Johnson today pledges a £200 tax cut for millions of families within days of Brexit. In a statement of intent for the first 100 days of a new Tory government, Mr Johnson has listed his top priorities, including a February “Brexit budget”. It comes as the Conservatives prepare a major advertising blitz to counteract any swing back to Labour in the final seven days of the election campaign amid fears Remainers desperate to stop Brexit are switching to Labour.
Boris Johnson has pledged that he would hold a tax-cutting budget within weeks of Britain leaving the European Union as part of an attempt to revitalise his election campaign. The prime minister has said that he would hold a “Brexit budget” in late February as he unveiled his plans for the first 100 days of a new administration. The spending plan meets his commitment to increase the threshold at which Britons start paying national insurance to £9,500 from April, saving an average of £85 a year.
Boris Johnson last night pledged to give millions of workers a £100 tax cut within weeks if he wins a majority at next Thursday’s General Election. Setting out a whirlwind schedule for what he hopes will be the first 100 days of a new Tory government, the Prime Minister vowed to fast-track 11 pieces of legislation to deliver on his promises. He said he would focus on laws to toughen sentences for serious criminals, restrict strikes affecting vital services such as health and transport and ban ‘vexatious’ claims against military veterans.
Boris Johnson has set out his plans to leave the EU and pass a tax-cutting post-Brexit budget within 100 days of taking office if he wins the election. The prime minister said his main focus would be passing the withdrawal agreement to ensure Brexit occurs on 31 January but there would be seven other priorities for the first three months. These include: A budget in February that will bring in the Conservatives’ plan for a rise in the national insurance threshold, which amounts to a tax cut of around £85;
Boris Johnson has pledged to cut taxes for hardworking families, change the law on releasing serious offenders halfway through a prison sentence and boost funding for schools within the first 100 days of government if he is re-elected. The Conservative Party’s plan has been branded “pure fantasy” and the prime minister has been accused of lying to the public, with the Liberal Democrats saying that a Tory government would “remain completely consumed by Brexit not just for the next 100 days, but for years to come”.
Seventy serving and former Labour officials have turned whistleblower and given sworn statements to the official investigation into the party’s antisemitism crisis, The Times has learnt. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been inundated with testimonies from Labour Party staff, officials on the national executive and elected representatives since it announced in May that it was investigating the party.
JEREMY CORBYN announced a huge £83billion bumper spending spree in the Labour Party’s general election manifesto but has caused fury by unleashing 12 huge tax rises on Britons to pay for it. Jeremy Corbyn‘s tax assault includes a second homes tax, reversing inheritance tax cuts made by the Conservative Party, a transaction tax on bankers, VAT on private schools and a windfall tax on oil companies. The Labour Party leader’s huge array of levies aims to raise the £82.9billion needed to fund these tax hikes in the event of the party coming into power following the general election on December 12.
JEREMY Corbyn was last night accused of lying over his claims he could save average households nearly £7,000 a year without having to put up taxes. Labour said their plans to renationalise chunks of the economy while cutting the cost of childcare and rail travel will leave hard-pressed Brits £6,716 better off. But their promises swiftly turned to dust as experts scrutinised the figures and accused Labour of using their dodgy numbers to peddle “lies” — and warned taxes would inevitably go up.
A Labour claim that a government led by Jeremy Corbyn would save families nearly £7,000 a year has been criticised by a respected think tank. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) described the chances of any family benefiting by the full amount as “remote”. A document setting out the figures was also described as a “dodgy dossier” by the Conservatives after it emerged that some calculations did not account for inflation.
Jeremy Corbyn has been caught out pretending he watches the Queen‘s message on Christmas Day. The Labour leader – a long-standing Republican – was humiliatingly picked up on the claim during an ITV interview. In a toe-curling exchange with presenter Julie Etchingham, Mr Corbyn said he watched the traditional broadcast in the morning. But he was then brutally informed that the monarch’s words air at 3pm in the afternoon.
CLUELESS Jeremy Corbyn today claimed he watched the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day – but had no idea when it was on. The leftie boss was asked by ITV’s Tonight whether his family switched over to tune in to Her Majesty’s annual message to the nation. He replied: “It’s on in the morning, usually we have it on… some of the time.” But ITV presenter Julie Etchingham pointed out that the traditional address doesn’t take place until 3pm on Christmas Day.
Labour has pledged to recruit nearly 20,000 more teachers to ensure class sizes are capped at 30. About 25,000 staff who are currently “unqualified” would also be fully trained during Labour’s first term in office if the party won the 12 December general election, the party insisted. Under new plans to improve education standards, Labour has also promised £7bn to tackle overdue repairs and install safety measures, like sprinklers.
Labour is to promise free, healthy breakfasts for all primary-age children as part of a multibillion pound plan to “poverty-proof” England’s schools and boost educational standards. The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, will on Thursday pledge to recruit 20,000 more teachers, cap secondary class sizes at 30, and spend £7bn on repairs and upgrades to England’s crumbling school buildings.
Jo Swinson has suggested holding a second referendum in which 16-year-olds could vote, as she was forced to deny trying to “fiddle” Brexit to get the result she wants. In an interview with Andrew Neil, the Liberal Democrat leader apologised four times for voting for cuts during the coalition government, as well as admitting she regrets austerity itself. Mr Neil accused her of trying to “fiddle the franchise” by supporting votes at 16.
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has apologised for backing the coalition’s austerity policies in a ‘car crash’ BBC interview – but viewers thought she still did better than Jeremy Corbyn. Ms Swinson, who was a minister in the coalition government, faced a tough grilling from Andrew Neil this evening on her party’s backing for welfare cuts and said sorry for voting through the bedroom tax.
BORIS Johnson got an election boost last night when four Brexit Party MEPs quit and urged voters to back the Tories. They turned their backs on Nigel Farage amid mounting fears he will rob the PM of the majority he needs to take Britain out of the EU. Former business chief John Longworth was stripped of the party whip last night for “undermining” their leader’s strategy. But the move came too late as he to stop his plan to torpedo Mr Farage – and possibly sink his party for good.
Nicola Sturgeon’s election campaign has been derailed after an impartial analysis found her plan for a separate Scotland would mean deeper austerity than being governed by the Tories in the UK. The First Minister made a campaign stop in Midlothian to “outline the danger of further Tory austerity from Westminster”, one of her top themes during the election battle. But shortly before her arrival the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published an analysis of the SNP manifesto that concluded separation would lead to lower spending in Scotland than planned by Boris Johnson.
Nicola Sturgeon’s manifesto would plunge an independent Scotland into deeper austerity than under a Conservative government, an independent thinktank has warned. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said taxes would have to rise or cuts be made to balance out the SNP’s election proposals, such as increased NHS spending, an end to the two-child cap on tax credits and an increase in the living wage. The thinktank said the SNP has not published detailed costings of its plans, with the party focused on “contrasting a near-decade of austerity and years of divisive debate over Brexit in the UK, with a positive-sounding vision of independence”.
Donald Trump has called his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau “two-faced” in reaction to a video which appeared to show him and other world leaders mocking the US President. Nato leaders Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau were caught on camera appearing to mock Mr Trump at a Buckingham Palace reception on Tuesday night. A huddle, which included Princess Anne, was filmed apparently gossiping about the US president’s unorthodox style, although Mr Trump is not mentioned by name.
Donald Trump departed London on Wednesday after a dramatic two days at the NATO summit where he bickered with Emmanuel Macron, had to meet behind-closed-doors with host leader Boris Johnson, and was mocked by Justin Trudeau – resulting in the president calling him ‘two-faced’ and furiously canceling his final scheduled press conference. Trump reacted in a snit of anger after Johnson, Macron and Trudeau were caught on a hot mic mocking him during a leaders’ reception at Buckingham Palace Tuesday night hosted by the Queen.
Donald Trump has dramatically cancelled a press conference and is flying back to Washington from the UK after calling Justin Trudeau ‘two faced’ at the NATO summit. The US President hit out at his Canadian ally after a hot mic video emerged of Trudeau, Boris Johnson and other leaders apparently gossiping about Trump at a glittering Buckingham Palace reception. Speaking in Watford, Hertfordshire, Trump was asked if he’d seen the video of the Canadian PM. He replied: “Well he’s two faced. “And honestly with Trudeau he’s a nice guy. I find him to be a very nice guy.
A furious Donald Trump cut short his attendance at the Nato summit in London after a group of leaders, including Boris Johnson, was caught on video ridiculing the US president at Buckingham Palace for staging lengthy press conferences. The notoriously thin-skinned Trump cancelled a planned press conference and branded the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, “two-faced” after he was revealed on video leading the laughter at Trump’s expense together with other US allies.
The Nato secretary-general has admitted that disagreements are rife in the alliance, but pointed to members agreeing a new plan to defend the Baltic states and Poland as proof it can deliver. Jens Stoltenberg closed the three-hour leaders’ meeting affirming that Nato was united, willing to adapt and still wed to the central principle of collective defence. “All allies have today agreed their commitment to Article 5 — one for all and all for one. That is an ironclad commitment,” he said.
An average of 2,750 people who are fit to be discharged from hospital will have been unable to leave every single day between the last general election and the forthcoming poll because of the social care crisis, analysis has revealed. The so-called “lost bed days” in the NHS will exceed 2.5 million in the 917 days between 8 June 2017 and 12 December 2019 as patients have nowhere safe to go after leaving hospital, according to research by Age UK.
The proportion of poor pupils achieving the top grade GCSE has halved since Michael Gove’s reforms scrapped A*s and made the exams harder. Head teachers said it was a “terrible indictment” of the overhaul of the education system, which made GCSEs harder and changed the grades from A* to G into figures from 9 to 1. This has disproportionately affected children from disadvantaged homes, when it comes to the highest grades, analysis suggests.
Flu has arrived early this year with hospital admissions doubling in a week. Health officials confirmed the virus was starting to circulate, with rates particularly high in the north of England. Thousands of vulnerable patients have not yet been vaccinated including 80 per cent of nursery children and primary school pupils. Many GP surgeries and pharmacies have only just received deliveries of the children’s nasal spray inoculations following a supply glitch with the manufacturers.