DOZENS of migrant children living alone in the Calais Jungle will arrive in the UK within days, the Home Secretary said. Amber Rudd, left, was summoned to answer urgent questions from MPs about the dire situation at the English Channel port in the Commons yesterday. Her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve demanded Britain fulfil its “moral duty” to take unaccompanied youngsters. A list of children with family links to the UK will be handed to the Government by French officials this week, Ms Rudd assured MPs. The Government will then act quickly to house them here. Ms Rudd said: “Be in no doubt we will move with all urgency, a matter of days, a week at the most, in order to deliver on that commitment when we get it.” She insisted she would eventually like to bring 300 children to Britain.
A FURIOUS Tory MP has blasted France for “palming off” refugees on Britain during a fiery parliamentary debate about the situation in Calais. Backbencher Philip Davies questioned why refugee children living in the squalid camp need to come to the UK when they have already reached a safe country. His remarks prompted murmurs from the Labour benches during a tetchy debate on the fate of up to 900 unaccompanied minors in Calais. New home secretary Amber Rudd appeared before MPs this afternoon to outline the Government’s plan to help children living in the Jungle, which is due to be completely demolished within weeks. Earlier today she met her French counterpart, the interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve, to discuss the two countries’ responsibilities to rehome vulnerable youngsters.
British and French ministers are close to a deal to safeguard or bring to the UK hundreds of unaccompanied refugee children within the next fortnight as France prepares to close the Calais camp, the home secretary told MPs. Amber Rudd said after a two-hour meeting on Monday with her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, that the official effort would prioritise safeguarding children aged under 12 – while after her announcement Labour MPs pressed her to clarify how many of the 1,000 unaccompanied children in Calais the UK would take. In a statement to the Commons, the home secretary said: “We are expecting to reach agreement. When the camp clearances take place in the next few weeks we will be working very closely with the French.” Rudd told MPs that the French authorities had agreed to verify by the end of this week a list of 387 child refugees with a legal right to come to the UK drawn up by the campaign group Citizens UK. “Once we have that official list we will move quickly within days and remove very quickly those children,” she said.
A husband and wife from Kent have warned others not to travel through Calais after their car was recently set upon by around 40 migrants wearing hoodies and with their faces covered. The migrants banged on the car, leaving the couple shaken, but border force officers refused to take action. Paul and Lisa Burton, landlord and lady of the George Inn in Newnham, Kent, often take elderly customers on a day trip to Ypres, but have vowed not to do so anymore following the attack on their vehicle. The incident occurred on the main road a mile from the port of Calais, close to the Jungle migrant camp, which is home to around 9,000 migrants – all trying to get into the UK. The camp is due for demolition in the next few weeks. Speaking to KentOnline, Mr. Burton recounted : “We take our staff and friends on a day trip across the Channel, to Bruges or Belgium or France, often a few times a year.
Britain should take in all children living in the crowded “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais who have family links to the UK, French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday. “I solemnly ask Britain to live up to its moral duty,” Cazeneuve told RTL radio ahead of a visit to London. “There are several hundred isolated minors with family in Britain,” he said. Thousands of migrants fleeing war and poverty, from Afghanistan to Syria, have converged on Calais over the past two years.
MPs will not get to vote on how Brexit negotiations are handled but could still be asked to approve the “final” deal, a government source has said. Several senior politicians, including ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband, have demanded Parliament gives its verdict on the UK’s departure from the EU. But Brexit Secretary David Davis told MPs there was a difference between “accountability and micro-management”. The UK’s exit from the EU is expected to happen by summer 2019. Theresa May is visiting Denmark and the Netherlands for Brexit-related talks as MPs debate the issue in the Commons. The Leave campaign won a majority in June’s referendum, with the prime minister announcing last week that the government would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – beginning formal negotiations between the UK and EU – by the end of March next year.
Attempts by European leaders to implement a “punishment plan” against Britain will fail and could lead to the breakup of the EU, David Davis has said. The Brexit secretary used an appearance in the Commons to tell EU leaders including Francois Hollande of France and Angela Merkel of Germany that any attempt to damage Britain “is not a good strategy to pursue” . Mr Hollande last week said Britain will have to “pay a price” for the Brexit vote.
THE BREXIT Secretary today warned pro-EU MPs off an attempt to “micro-manage” Britain’s exit from the EU. Amid recent plotting by Remain campaigners to force a House of Commons vote on the Government’s plans for leaving the EU, David Davis hit back at claims ministers are ignoring Parliament over Brexit. Following his statement to MPs this afternoon, Mr Davis dismissed an accusation from Labour’s new shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer the Government is “sidelining” MPs and peers. Having listed a series of measures to ensure Parliamentary scrutiny of the Brexit process, Mr Davis said: “I cannot see how he thinks that is in some sense not accountable.” He also reminded Sir Keir once Brexit is complete, MPs will be able to amend or repeal all EU laws currently in place, which Parliament has been “unable to do before”. The Cabinet minister added: “I’m afraid the Honourable Gentleman really has to understand the distinction between accountability… and micromanagement, which is what he is trying to do.”
Britain will have leverage in talks with the European Union over so-called “passporting” rights, which allow financial services to be sold into the EU states from London, Brexit minister David Davis told parliament on Monday. “Actually, we issue more passports than we seek,” Davis said citing figures used by another lawmaker earlier in a parliamentary debate. “As a result, our negotiating leverage in this area is at least reasonable.” Warning financial firms against “rashly” pre-empting the outcome of Britain’s EU negotiations by moving staff overseas, he said the finance ministry had been considering alternative arrangements to allow the sale of financial services across EU borders. “The Treasury has already had a roundtable on specifically this issue and looked very clearly at mutual recognition and various mechanisms of mutual recognition as a fallback on passporting,” he said.
Britain’s government will reject any attempt to ignore the result of its referendum vote to leave the European Union or to unduly delay the process of exiting the bloc, Brexit minister David Davis told parliament on Monday. “The mandate is clear and we will reject any attempt to undo the referendum result, any attempt to hold up the process unduly, or any attempt to keep Britain in the EU by the back door by those who didn’t like the answer they were given on June 23rd,” Davis told parliament.
Brexit Secretary David Davis has told Parliament the Government will reject any attempts to undo the result of the EU referendum. He was making a statement in the House of Commons after calls for MPs to be able to vote ahead of the triggering of Article 50. It is expected that Theresa May will launch negotiations with Europe over the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU before the end of March. Conservative MP Stephen Phillips has demanded an urgent debate on whether the terms of Brexit are discussed in Parliament before the negotiations with the EU formally begin.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Monday he would work for a “friendly divorce” between Britain and the European Union when talks over an exit deal begin. “I’m sure we will be able to overcome any obstacles,” Lokke said at a joint briefing with British PM Theresa May in Copenhagen. “We should aim for a friendly divorce. That will be our starting point in the coming negotiations, Lokke said.
Jeremy Corbyn’s first meeting with Labour MPs since his re-election as leader was dominated by questions over why he sacked the party’s chief whip. There were also challenges over the party’s poor poll ratings and its stance on the war in Syria. It was another show of party disunity, with one senior Labour figure describing Mr Corbyn’s response to questions as “garbled” and another former shadow cabinet minister calling it “the usual patronising crap”. The Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) meeting came days after long-standing chief whip Rosie Winterton was replaced by Nick Brown, who served under Gordon Brown in the same role.
LABOUR is facing a catastrophic wipeout at the next General Election after voters roundly rejected Jeremy Corbyn’s open door migration pledge, a bombshell poll reveals today. The beleaguered party will be consigned to the margins of British politics for a generation with just 162 seats in the reduced 600 seat House of Commons, according to the shock survey. Pollsters found the Tories have opened up a seemingly unassailable 17 point lead over floundering Labour, which has been ripped apart by Mr Corbyn’s hugely divisive leadership. Astonishingly that would leave the ultra left-winger’s fringe movement with just 37 more MPs than Theresa May’s projected majority, which would stand at a whopping 125 seats. The stunning prediction comes after the Tories and Labour took starkly different positions on migration at their party conferences, with the PM pledging to shore up Britain’s borders and Mr Corbyn advocating an open borders policy akin to Angela Merkel’s.
FIFTEEN Labour MPs who quit the front bench during the attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn have returned to the fold in his shadow cabinet reshuffle, it was confirmed yesterday. Mr Corbyn announced that the MPs that had quit because of supposed doubts about his leadership had come round after he trounced challenger Owen Smith in his second leadership contest with 62 per cent of the vote.Over the summer, 63 MPs resigned from the Labour front bench. New shadow City minister Jonathan Reynolds was the only returnee that had resigned in January. Two parliamentary private secretaries — to shadow housing minister John Healey and former foreign secretary Hilary Benn — had lost their jobs when their bosses quit the front bench but have returned as shadow Brexit ministers.
More than a third of the MPs who resigned in June’s attempt to topple Jeremy Corbyn have returned to his top team. The Labour leader has announced more announcements to his front-bench team, with 23 MPs who quit in the weeks following the EU referendum result agreeing to come back. They include Liz McInnes, a former Corbyn backer who gave a scathing assessment of his ability to be an effective leader after she quit. The announcement continues the Labour leader’s reshuffle, which has so far taken some 97 hours. And he says more appointments are still to come. Among those who quit and returned are Alan Whitehead – who returns to his job as a Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change and Christina Rees will return as a Shadow Justice Minister.
PATIENTS could be forced to show ID to prove they are entitled to free NHS care before being treated. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to save taxpayers £2billion a year by deterring health tourists. One hospital already plans to ask all pregnant women to show passports after it was identified as an “easy target”. St George’s University Hospitals Trust in Tooting, South London, says new national guidance is “likely to advocate routine presentation of proof of identity and eligibility”. It has proposed a pilot in which it denies “non-eligible” women free maternity care. Documents, first seen by the Health Service Journal, say health tourism costs the trust £5million a year. Bosses said they are aware fixers “offer paid assistance to women in Nigeria to have babies for free on the NHS ”.
Pregnant women will be forced to hand over passports before they give birth at NHS hospitals under controversial proposals to clamp down on health tourism. A pilot scheme backed by the Home Office will see every mother-to-be told to prove their right to use the health service when their labour is booked in. The London trust behind the scheme said all those seeking to give birth would be asked for photo identification, or proof of right to remain in this country. The trust board papers also say changes in the law will mean patients are charged for ambulance and A&E services if they cannot provide proof of identity, unless the situation is an emergency or matter of life and death.
THE EUROPEAN Union faced a new dire warning of collapse today. The EU could break apart if it fails to reform, according to the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. Jaroslaw Kaczynski said: “The continent is changing rapidly and, as I see it, not for the better.” European leaders, struggling to overcome the crisis following Britain’s vote to leave the EU, remain divided over migration and economic policy. After more than a half century of closer integration, some fear the bloc could implode. The rise of populist parties across the continent, such as the Alternative for Germany, the National Front in France and anti-European parties in the Netherlands among others could cause the EU to burst, Mr Kaczynski said. He warned: “Either we reform the EU or it collapses.”
Ireland’s government has confirmed that discussions are under way with Britain to try to reach an agreement on how to secure the two countries’ borders after Brexit, control immigration and counter terrorist threats. Irish and British immigration officials are already sharing intelligence about foreign visitors passing through airports and ferry ports by measures such as the personal information from biometric passports, the Department of Justice in Dublin said on Monday. It said the sharing of information from points of entry into both states was also part of a strategy to counter terrorism and organised crime. A spokesman for the department said: “Clearly it is in the best interests of both Ireland and the UK to cooperate as fully as possible on these matters and that has been the approach adopted by both jurisdictions going back many years, including the introduction earlier this year of new arrangements to allow for the sharing of advanced passenger information between Ireland and the UK in order to further enhance the integrity of the common travel area (CTA).
The Scots enjoy a better quality of life than the English, EU officials claimed yesterday. Brussels said Scotland was more tolerant of minorities and had a better education system and environment, while people living in England had fewer personal freedoms. However, the league table of the social progress of 272 EU regions also showed that life expectancy in Scotland was much lower than in England, and the Scots had the worst ratings for personal safety of anywhere in the UK, and the lowest score for ‘nutrition and basic medical care’. Published more than three months after the Brexit referendum, the European Commission’s report is meant to give European leaders ‘a roadmap that can be used to navigate the pressures and opportunities facing Europe’. Its researchers used EU regional statistics to assess ‘measures of health, safety, and access to education and personal rights’, and found ‘England trails behind both Scotland and Northern Ireland, beating only Wales among the home nations’. The report, which was funded by a US charity, the Social Progress Imperative, and is the first of its kind, gave England an overall quality-of-life score of 72.68 out of 100, compared with 73.18 for Northern Ireland and 74.01 for Scotland. Wales scored 72.04.