Brexit

Times
Theresa May will beg European leaders today to rescue her Brexit deal after becoming the first prime minister for at least 70 years to pause a vote on a major international treaty. Mrs May pulled the meaningful vote on
her Brexit deal yesterday afternoon, hours after Downing Street and cabinet ministers insisted she would push ahead, admitting to MPs that it would have been lost by a “significant margin”. She then flew to the Hague ready for talks today with Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, who has proved helpful to her over Brexit. After that she will visit Angela Merkel in Berlin before holding talks with the European Commission in an attempt to rescue her agreement.

BBC News
Theresa May will meet European leaders and EU officials later for talks aimed at rescuing her Brexit deal. She will hold talks with Dutch PM Mark Rutte and Germany’s Angela Merkel after postponing a Commons vote on the deal. The UK PM has said she needs “further assurances” about the Northern Ireland border plan to get backing from MPs. European Council President Donald Tusk insisted the EU would “not renegotiate” but said leaders would discuss how to help “facilitate UK ratification”.

Sky News
Theresa May has headed back to Europe in a desperate bid to win concessions from EU leaders after her Commons retreat over her big Brexit vote. The embattled Prime Minister is meeting the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Hague before talks with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. But back at Westminster, Labour is attempting to pile more embarrassment on the Government by staging a symbolic emergency debate condemning the vote u-turn.

Independent
Theresa May is to embark on a frantic round of European diplomacy in a final attempt to salvage her Brexit deal and her premiership after a chaotic day in which she pulled Tuesday’s scheduled meaningful vote in the face of overwhelming opposition. The prime minister will meet the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Berlin on Tuesday to seek “further assurances” to ensure that the Northern Irish backstop would never come into force, although No 10 warned a rapid breakthrough was unlikely.

Mail
Jacob Rees-Mogg today ramped up his bid to oust Theresa May as leader – branding her Brexit U-turn a ‘humiliation’ which has left her deal ‘defeated’. The Tory MP and leading Brexiteer said Conservatives are fed up at the feeling of ‘drift’ and total lack of direction coming from No10. He branded the Government a ‘mess’ and said the PM’s decision to pull the crunch vote on her Brexit deal has increased the likelihood the UK will crash out of Brussels with no deal. And he laid the blame squarely at Mrs May’s feet – saying the Brexit deal was her policy and she must take responsibility for it.

Express
JACOB Rees-Mogg has launched a stinging attack on Theresa May and her Government, raging it has been a “humiliating day” for the UK, which now looks “foolish” to the world after she delayed the vote on her Brexit deal. The Brexiteer’s furious outburst comes after the Prime Minister told a packed House of Commons earlier today in a fiery session she is delaying the vote on her Brexit deal. She was set for a crushing defeat in Parliament, with her Brexit deal expected to be unanimously voted down from all sides.

Sun
LIVID Tory MPs have vowed to mount a fresh coup to oust Theresa May after her Brexit deal stood on the verge of collapse. Party grandees are already looking at speeding up a snap leadership contest after she dramatically pulled the landmark Commons vote. The Prime Minister delayed it for fresh talks with Brussels but was warned by the EU it will not renegotiate the hated Irish backstop. Downing Street is braced for a no-confidence vote in the PM any time now. Mrs May yesterday became the first PM for at least 70 years to pause a vote on a major international treaty.

Independent
Theresa May has sparked anger across the Commons by refusing to say when MPs will vote on her Brexit deal, as she prepared to head to Brussels to plead with EU leaders for further concessions. The showdown was dramatically delayed, almost certainly until the new year, after the prime minister admitted a Tory revolt meant she was heading for a crushing defeat “by a significant margin”. But condemnation of Ms May for pulling back rose when Downing Street failed to set a new timetable for the vote, arguing it depended on when she could “get the assurances” from the EU to pass the deal.

Telegraph
The message from No 10 could not have been clearer. As Michael Gove had confirmed on the radio in the morning, the vote on the Brexit deal was definitely “going ahead as planned”. At 11.07am on Monday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman was eager to quash speculation of the vote being delayed, telling journalists who asked whether Theresa May was confident of winning the vote a bold “yes”. Half an hour later, Mrs May was telling her Cabinet the exact opposite. She had “listened to colleagues” and decided it would be “in the best interests of the country” to go back to Brussels “immediately” to get a better deal.

Westmonster
Theresa May has refused to ditch her deal, committing only to some minor tinkering with the hated EU backstop arrangement – though Brussels are unlikely to take her serious as she also laid into the prospect of walking away without a deal. 
May confirmed that there would be no vote on her deal on Tuesday as scheduled because the “deal would be rejected by a significant margin”. She explained that the vote would therefore be deferred. Kicking the can down the road.

Reuters
Parliament will on Tuesday hold a three-hour emergency debate on Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to defer a planned vote on her Brexit deal, Speaker John Bercow announced following a request by the opposition Labour Party. It cannot be right that the government can unilaterally alter the arrangements once the government has agreed on a timetable, without the house being given the opportunity to express its will,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

Ireland

Times
Ireland has ruled out reopening negotiations on Theresa May’s Irish border backstop proposal. Reacting to the postponement of the vote on the Brexit deal, Leo Varadkar, the Irish prime minister, said that it would not be possible to renegotiate one aspect of the withdrawal agreement without reopening all of it. While Ireland appreciated the challenge facing Mrs May, it insisted that there could be no backtracking on the deal reached last month between Britain and the EU.

Independent
The Brexit deal struck between Theresa May and the EU cannot be renegotiated, the Irish prime minister has said – as Theresa May’s chief negotiator is spotted getting off a train in Brussels. Leo Varadkar issued the warning as news broke that Downing Street wants to postpone Tuesday’s planned vote on the withdrawal agreement for fear MPs will reject it. The withdrawal agreement, including the Irish backstop is the only agreement on the table. It’s not possible to reopen any aspect of that agreement without reopening all aspects,” Mr Varadkar told reporters in Dublin.

Labour Party

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn last night stood accused of shying away from his threats to bring down the Government after he ignored calls from his own MPs to table a vote of no confidence in Theresa May. After the Prime Minister confirmed she was pulling the vote on her deal, dozens of Labour MPs and peers signed a letter to demand Mr Corbyn try to force an election. The leaders of the Lib Dems and the Scottish and Welsh nationalists also urged him to do his ‘duty’.

EU

Telegraph
The European Commission ruled out any renegotiation of the Brexit agreement on Monday, dealing a blow to Theresa May who has promised to extract more concessions from Brussels. The Prime Minister cancelled the “meaningful vote” on her Brexit deal but insisted she would go to Brussels and demand “reassurances” over the Irish border backstop to get the agreement through Parliament. A spokesman for the commission said: “We have an agreement on the table. This deal is the best and only deal possible. We will not renegotiate.

Times
European leaders last night warned Theresa May that they would not reopen negotiations on Britain’s withdrawal agreement and would step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit. Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, said the EU was prepared to discuss “how to facilitate” the UK’s ratification of the agreement but not the substance of the deal itself. Privately, EU diplomats said Brussels might be prepared to agree to a “clarification” of the withdrawal agreement either as a separate “political declaration” or a “letter of intent”. This could set out the ambition to ensure that the Irish backstop never came into effect but it would not be legally binding.

Mail
Donald Tusk tonight warned the EU will not renegotiate the Brexit deal just hours after a humiliated Theresa May said she was pulling the crunch vote on her plan so she could hold a fresh round of talks. The EU council president said ‘time is running out’ and made it clear the bloc is not willing to change the legal text of the agreement, including the controversial Irish border backstop.  

Independent
The president of the European Council has ruled out renegotiating Theresa May’s Brexit deal and its controversial backstop at a scheduled summit in Brussels later this week. Donald Tusk said leaders would discuss the agreement struck last month at a meeting and that leaders were “ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification”. But he warned that the bloc would use the meeting to discuss no-deal planning “as time is running out”.

Westmonster
The European Union’s Donald Tusk has made a mockery of Theresa May’s plan to go and renegotiate tinkering with the backstop, tweeting: “We will not renegotiate the deal ,including the backstop”. It reflects the way in which Brussels have walked all over the British government who instead of preparing for No Deal, are consistently talking it down. Capitulation rather than negotiation. Tusk said today: “I have decided to call #EUCO on#Brexit(Art. 50) on Thursday. We will not renegotiate the deal, including the backstop, but we are ready to discuss how to facilitate UK ratification.

Fisheries

Times
British fishermen have reacted angrily to claims that French trawlers are carrying out an “invasion” of UK waters. A fleet of 16 French boats began fishing for bass off the coast of Cornwall while British trawlers were trapped in port because of bad weather, it was claimed. Ian Lott, from Maritime Media Services, said: “I can see this turning into a conflict, the French fishing fleet has invaded our shorelines and British waters.” Andy Wheeler, from the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, said the French “invasion” was a result of their bigger boats being able to better withstand the conditions.

Sun
FRENCH fishermen sparked outrage after a fleet of trawlers “invaded” British waters. At least a dozen boats were spotted just a few miles off the Cornish coast early on Sunday. They took the opportunity to trawl our side of the Channel while smaller British boats were moored up in stormy weather. But they retreated yesterday as furious local crews prepared to confront them. Trawler skipper Derek Meredith, 50, based in Brixham, Devon, said: “Why should we allow them in our waters if they don’t let us in theirs?”

Mail
British trawlermen have threatened to start ‘stoning’ French crews after the ‘biggest ever invasion’ of trawlers in British waters. The conflict was sparked when around 16 French fishing crews brazenly swept in to catch sea bass just metres from the UK shore over the weekend. But the aggressive angling has led to further Anglo-French water tensions which could lead to a repeat of scenes earlier this year. 

France

Mail
French president Emmanuel Macron tonight announced a range of dramatic Socialist-style financial concessions to struggling workers so as to end an ‘economic and social state of emergency’. In a TV address lasting 12 minutes, he said a month of rioting and blockades justified a €100 (£90) increase in the minimum wage, taking it to €1498 (£1360). This will not ‘cost anything to the employer’, said Mr Macron, and will be accompanied by all taxes and other charges on overtimes being scrapped.

Sun
FRENCH president Emmanuel Macron tonight caved in to rioters announcing a range of dramatic financial concessions to workers to end an ‘economic and social state of emergency’. In a 12-minute TV address he announced a new £90 increase in the minimum wage – pushing it up to £1,360 a month – following a month of protests and blockades. This will not “cost anything to the employer”, pledged Mr Macron, and will be accompanied by all taxes and other charges on overtimes being scrapped.

Breitbart
President Emmanuel Macron addressed the French nation Wednesday, promising a 100 euro a month increase in the minimum wage, tax-free overtime pay, and year-end bonuses following the Yellow Vest protests. The French leader immediately denounced the violence of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) at the beginning of his speech, saying “The events of recent weeks in France and overseas have deeply troubled the nation.

Cancer

Mail
Having a child may raise a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer before age 50 by 80 percent, a new study suggests. Giving birth – especially more than once – has long been thought to help protect women against breast cancer by making changes to mammary gland cells that make them less susceptible to cancer.  But the relationship between age, childbearing and breast cancer is a complicated one.  A new study from the University of North Carolina warns that women who have children, especially after age 25 may actually be at a higher risk of breast cancer earlier on and won’t glean the protective effects of childbearing for some 20 years. 

Sun
HAVING children raises breast cancer risk for younger women by up to 80 per cent, a major study reveals. Motherhood is known to protect against the disease by altering levels of key hormones which feed tumours and reducing the risk of breast cells mutating. But after analysing data on almost 900,000 women, experts found this effect only kicks in once they approach their 60s. Before then, becoming a mum raises the chances of breast cancer by up 80 per cent compared with those without kids.

Rail travel

Mail
Rail passengers travelling over
Christmas are set to endure festive misery with ‘major’ engineering works taking place on most routes over the festive period. Commuters using the London terminals of Victoria, Paddington, Liverpool Street, Euston and St Pancras will all be disrupted – as well as those at Liverpool Lime Street. Some 25,000 engineers are carrying out more than £148million of upgrades for Network Rail with some of the work beginning as early as Sunday, December 23.

Telegraph
The crisis-hit Crossrail project has been delayed indefinitely as bosses warn that the project could require an extra £1.7bn funding injection, according to transport executives and politicians.  The flagship new Elizabeth Line that will run east-west through London was originally due to open this month. Now the company has admitted it does not know when it will open. “It has now become clear that more work is required than had been envisaged to complete the infrastructure and then commence the extensive testing necessary to ensure the railway opens safely and reliably,” Crossrail said in a statement.

Mail
The opening of Crossrail is set to be delayed again as Transport for London admits the new £15 billion rail link will not open in autumn 2019 and could require a further £2 billion funding boost.  It follows a shock announcement earlier this year in August from TfL that the project would be delayed by nine months as ‘more work is required than had been envisaged.’ An independent report by auditors KPMG found problems with the project announced in August are likely to cost up to £2 billion. 

Morning Star
C
ROSSRAIL may be delayed further and could require a £2 billion funding boost, Transport for London (TfL) announced today. More time is needed to complete the stations and tunnels and carry out safety and reliability testing for the new east-west railway, TfL said. The transport body said “more work is required than had been envisaged” when a revised opening date of autumn 2019 was given in August.

Guardian
Crossrail could now cost almost £3bn more than budgeted, and the opening of the rail line across London is set to be further delayed until at least 2020. A fresh bailout announced on Monday by the mayor, Sadiq Khan, and the Department for Transport (DfT), includes loans of up to £2.05bn to London. It means the final bill for Crossrail could reach £17.6bn, instead of the £14.8bn it was expected to cost as recently as June.

NHS

Mail
Asbestos can be found in a staggering nine out of ten NHS hospitals, an investigation has revealed. A Freedom of Information request found that 198 out 211 trusts have the cancer-causing substance in their buildings.  And 352 people have attempted to sue the health service for related diseases in the past four years, figures show. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring material that was commonly used as an insulator between the 1950s and 70s. 

Mail
The number of old people being diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections is at an all-time high, figures have revealed. Over-65s in England were diagnosed with 14 per cent more STIs in 2017 than in 2016. Even people over the age of 90 are being treated for the illnesses, with dating apps, better health and drugs such as Viagra keeping them sexually active for longer. Figures from Public Health England showed the number of over-65s who caught common STIs rose from 1,411 in 2016 to 1,608 in 2017.

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