The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator has claimed the “chaos” of the UK’s exit from the bloc will stem the rise of populist Euroscepticism on the continent and make Europeans ‘attached’ to the Brussels bureaucracy once more. “If we do not care, [the European Union] will disappear. Nothing is forever,” Guy Verhofstadt said in an interview given Sunday. He also revealed he is seeking an alliance with French President Emmanuel Macron’s political party, La République en Marche, for the European elections in May in an effort to fight populist resistance to the bloc’s expansion.
THE EUROPEAN Union is preparing to throw Theresa May a Brexit lifeline by softening its position as part of a plan Brussels hopes will help her ride out attacks by Brexiteers and stay on as Prime Minister. Mrs May has come under increasing pressure from MPs on both sides of the Brexit debate who have warned her Chequers proposals will not deliver the sort of split sought by Leave voters and fails to address the concerns of Remainers.
Michel Barnier has said a Brexit deal is possible within six to eight weeks. The EU’s chief negotiator said if both sides are “realistic” there could be an agreement on the terms of the UK’s exit by early November. His comments come amid unconfirmed reports a one-off summit of EU leaders could be convened in the middle of November to sign off the agreement. The BBC’s Katya Adler said Mr Barnier’s tone may have changed but the substance of his arguments was still the same.
THE EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier yesterday suggested a Brexit deal between Britain and the EU could be signed in as little as six weeks. Striking an optimistic note, Mr Barnier said concluding an agreement on a future partnership between the UK and the bloc by the start of November was both “realistic” and “possible”. His remarks followed reports that the EU is poised to revise his instructions in the negotiations to allow more leeway to come to a compromise with Theresa May.
A Brexit deal with Brussels can be struck in less than two months’ time, Europe’s chief negotiator said yesterday, as Theresa May sent her ministers on a final drive to sell Chequers to her divided party. Amid signs of some optimism on both sides of the Channel, Michel Barnier said that a withdrawal deal was “possible” within six to eight weeks, causing a surge in the pound’s value. With claims yesterday, however, that up to 80 Tory MPs would be prepared to vote down a deal based on the Chequers agreement, Downing Street is to begin a concerted drive to reduce opposition.
Arch Remoaner Lord Mandelson has admitted the EU “don’t want to see Boris Johnson taking over” – as Brussels continue to dominate the Brexit negotiations. Speaking on BBC Politics Live, Mandelson admitted that “the negotiation which as we’ve seen throughout has been taking very much on the EU’s terms”. His comments come as Tory MPs are in open rebellion over the Chequers deal, with Steve Baker claiming 80 Tories could rebel against Theresa May in Parliament. Mandelson has let the cat out of the bag. The EU are terrified a proper Leader like Boris will stand up for Britain and not be walked over like May.
JACOB REES-MOGG insisted Britain “must say no” and prevent the European Union from wasting £40billion of British taxpayers’ money on a bad Brexit deal. During a passionate speech in the Commons on Monday, the European Research Group (ERG) chairman reminded British politicians that they do not “owe” the European Union any money for Brexit. In a debate in the Commons on legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement, Mr Rees-Mogg referenced a report produced by the House of Lords’ EU Committee and said: “The case that was explained in this very powerful document was, if we leave under the terms of Article 50 without a withdrawal agreement, we owe no money.”
A no-deal Brexit would boost the UK economy by £1.1 trillion over 15 years, Jacob Rees-Mogg will say, as he argues that crashing out of the EU is preferable to Theresa May’s Chequers plan. The leader of the 60-strong European Research Group of Conservative Eurosceptic MPs will say there is nothing to fear from a no deal Brexit, as Britain’s trade with World Trade Organisation countries has grown four times faster than trade with countries that have a deal with the EU.
Tommy Robinson believes UKIP can “electrify” the British working class and “cause a political revolution” if they allow him to join and embrace the free speech movement. Robinson made the comments in a video — his first since his release from prison after his contempt of court sentence was quashed by the Lord Chief Justice — addressed to the members of UKIP’s National Executive Committee (NEC), who decided on Sunday to put the question of whether his joining the party should be considered at its next members’ conference.
Theresa May faces a “catastrophic split” in the Conservative Party over Brexit , her former minister for Brexit declares today. Hard Brexiteer Steve Baker issued the threat with just 200 days to go before Britain formally leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. Along with Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg , Mr Baker is among right-wing MPs who want Mrs May to “chuck” the Brexit plan she drew up at Chequers. The plan would keep the UK closely aligned with the EU in a new “free trade area” for goods.
Theresa May faces “a tremendous amount of political crisis and rupture” if she does not ditch her Chequers plan for leaving the EU, a former Brexit minister has warned. Steve Baker, who quit the government in July in protest at the prime minister’s proposals, is warning Downing Street that around 80 Tory MPs are prepared to vote down the Chequers plan in the House of Commons. With just 200 days until Brexit, the Wycombe MP also put Mrs May on notice to ditch her Brexit blueprint before the Conservative Party conference later this month, warning of a “catastrophic split” in Tory ranks if she sticks to her current strategy.
Former Brexit Minister Steve Baker has disclosed that around 80 Conservative MPs are willing to vote down Theresa May’s hated Chequers plan. Speaking to Sky News this morning, Baker said: “Almost 80 colleagues, something I’ve put on the record, who are willing to vote in the House of Commons to protest against Chequers. “And that’s why I’ve said on the record that there are those numbers. “People shouldn’t be under any illusions that the Conservative Party does face a catastrophic split if this plan is pushed through and in particular if its pushed through with Labour votes.
The revelation on the front page of yesterday’s Sunday Times that a “dodgy dossier”recounting some of the more colourful aspects of Boris Johnson’s private life was doing the rounds has sparked yet more bitter recriminations within the Tory Party, with Boris supporters accusing Downing Street and CCHQ of circulating it in an attempt to take down their biggest threat. Downing Street and CCHQ have strenuously denied being behind it. The Sunday Times named Nick Hargrave, the former deputy head of May’s policy unit, as the author of the dossier in 2016.
Jeremy Corbyn has been confronted by furious Labour MPs who accused him of failing to protect colleagues who are facing purges and threats of deselection by hard-left activists. Tensions between the Labour leader and his parliamentary party appeared to boil over on Monday night after he refused to come to the defence of a young MP who faces being censured for attending a demonstration against anti-Semitism. Among those expressing support for Rosie Duffield, Canterbury’s first ever Labour MP, was Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, who described her as a “superb MP”.
Labour’s anti-semitism row dramatically erupted again tonight, as Jeremy Corbyn was accused of failing to stand up for his own MPs. It comes as a string of Labour MPs came under attack from local activists, facing censure and no-confidence votes. Rosie Duffield won an astonishing victory in last year’s snap general election, winning the Canterbury seat for Labour for the first time since the seat was created in 1918. But she faces a “motion of censure” by members of her local party, after she attended a protest against anti-Semitism in the party.
Jeremy Corbyn has refused to intervene to stop the threatened deselection of some of his backbench critics, as fourth MP faced action. Some fellow Labour MPs reacted with anger after it emerged there will be a “motion of censure” against Rosie Duffield, who won Canterbury in shock victory last year. The move, to come on Wednesday night, follows comments she has made criticising Mr Corbyn’s handling of the antisemitism row which has gripped the party in recent months.
John McDonnell is to unveil a radical workers’ share plan in which employees would receive dividends to boost their income. The proposal, which will be part of a left-wing Labour manifesto, is being announced by the shadow chancellor in a speech to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Manchester on Tuesday. Under the plan, all private companies employing more than 250 people would have to set up “ownership funds” giving workers a financial stake in their company.
Trade unions will be handed back a swathe of workplace rights if Jeremy Corbyn wins the next general election, John McDonnell will pledge today. The shadow Chancellor will tell the TUC conference that a Labour Government will oversee the biggest overhaul of work place rights for 80 years. Under the plans all private companies employing more than 250 people would have to set up “ownership funds” giving workers financial stakes in their companies. This could see workers’ pay being topped up dividends from their company’s profits.
FURIOUS allies of Boris Johnson claimed he had been “screwed” as a Commons shake-up threatened his future as an MP. Theresa May backed independent plans to redraw the boundaries of MPs’ seats in a move that will cut Boris’ Uxbridge majority from 5,034 to about 500. It came as new snaps showed Carrie Symonds — at the centre of a storm over BoJo’s marriage break-up — cavorting in school uniform.
The Conservatives could have won an overall majority in the 2017 general election under a proposed shake-up of constituency boundaries, a report shows. Professors Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher who conducted the research say the Tories could have claimed a majority of 16 in a 600 seat House of Commons if these boundaries had been in place last year. Jeremy Corbyn’s seat would be axed and Boris Johnson’s majority challenged in the proposed changes.
Brexiteer Tory MPs have threatened to scupper Theresa May’s plans to force through changes to the make-up of the House of Commons amid fears that they will result in prominent Eurosceptics losing their seats. Yesterday the Boundary Commission published its final proposals, under which the Commons would shrink from 650 to 600 MPs and the electorate in each seat would be roughly equal. Early analysis suggested that if the new boundaries had been in place at the last election the Conservatives would have won an overall majority of 16.
PLANS for redrawing Britain’s political map that could boost Tory representation at Westminster while scrapping Jeremy Corbyn’s parliamentary seat were unveiled today. Details of the long-awaited shake up of constituency were released by the Cabinet Office after being drafted by the boundary commissions for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. They proposed drastic revisions to most electoral zones in a drive to equalise the number of voters in each and cut the cost of politics by reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
The latest plans for changing Parliamentary seat boundaries mean the Tories would have won an outright majority of 16 at the last election. Planned changes would see the numbers cut by 50 and pitching scores of MPs into a battle for political survival. Conservative MP Boris Johnson faces a challenge to his 5,034 majorithy in Uxbridge and Ruislip South, with the seat losing Tory-leaning Yiewsley and gaining Labour-leaning Northolt. Under the plans Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North seat would be axed to be replaced by one called Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington which would take some wards from Diane Abbott’s current Hackney North seat.
JEREMY Corbyn’s seat will be axed and Boris Johnson’s majority challenged under a proposed shake-up of constituency boundaries. Revised parliamentary maps have been set out by the UK’s four boundary commissions that would cut the number of MPs by 50. Labour’s leader is the most high profile casualty under the proposed reforms, with his Islington North seat being wiped out. Former foreign secretary Mr Johnson faces a challenge to his 5,034 majority in Uxbridge & Ruislip South, with the seat losing Tory-leaning Yiewsley and gaining Labour-leaning Northolt.
The government has laid out its final plans for redrawing House of Commons constituency boundaries under a new system that probably would have turned the hung parliament of the 2017 election into a safe Conservative majority, prompting claims from Labour of an “undemocratic power grab”. The plans from the separate boundary commissions for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the product of long and complex consultations that began in 2016 leading up to Monday’s publication. Under the proposals, the number of Commons seats would be reduced from 650 to 600 and the maps of many constituencies redrawn in an attempt to even up population levels.
Tory Party chiefs are facing a murtiny over plans to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 in a shake-up which would make Boris Johnson’s London seat a marginal constituency. Under the proposed shake-up of constituency boundaries revealed yesterday, the Conservatives would have won an overall majority of 16 at the last election instead of being eight seats short. However, many senior MPs would see their seats abolished, including Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey and former Cabinet ministers David Davis, Priti Patel and Kenneth Clarke.
Theresa May has shelved a Commons showdown over controversial plans to axe 50 MPs until next year, after a Tory backbench revolt. Up to ten Conservative MPs are thought to be ready to rebel over Boundary Commission proposals to cut number of parliamentary seats from 650 to 600 – enough to defeat the prime minister. The controversy also threatens to fuel the anger of pro-Brexit MPs, with several – including Boris Johnson and David Davis – likely to have their seats put at risk. Now a government minister has revealed that the original timetable for a vote this autumn has been abandoned, arguing it will “take months to prepare”.
A new Swedish government looked set to tighten rules on migrants after an insurgent populist right party emerged from elections as potential kingmakers. The country faces weeks of negotiations after the ruling Social Democrats and their coalition allies lost ground while the centre right failed to make enough gains to claim power. The Sweden Democrats emerged with 63 MPs, up from 49, leaving them in a strong position. The party, which has its roots in the white supremacist movement, said that it would not lend its support to any minority government unless it was able to influence it from the sidelines.
Italy’s Matteo Salvini has hailed the strong electoral performance of the populist Sweden Democrats over the weekend, and promised more gains in next year’s EU elections. “Sweden, the homeland of multiculturalism and model of the left, after years of wild immigration has finally decided to change,” observed Salvini, who became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior in Italy’s new League/Five-Star Movement populist coalition government after this year’s shock elections. “Now [the Swedes] say no to this Europe of bureaucrats and speculators, no to illegal immigrants, no to Islamic extremism,” he added.
Police are arresting fewer people and cutting patrols amid signs that forces are now struggling to deliver an effective service, a major report warns today. Whitehall’s spending watchdog today also highlights reductions in the percentage of crimes resulting in charges, and cuts to proactive work to tackle offences such as drug trafficking and drink driving. Publishing an in-depth review covering forces in England and Wales, the National Audit Office said it had found indications of “stress” in the system.
The Home Office is in the dark about whether cash-starved police forces are in danger of running out of money, a damning report warns today. Auditors raise the alarm about the impact of eight years of austerity, warning forces are “experiencing financial strain and struggling to deliver effective services to the public”. Their report paints a picture where more criminals are escaping injustice, while the police are forced to cut their targeting of speeding or drunk motorists. However, the National Audit Office (NAO) has also sharply criticised the Home Office for failing to effectively monitor the “financial sustainability” of forces.
A fleet of hybrid electro-diesel trains built for the east coast mainline will have to run on diesel alone on some tracks because they interfere with signals. The trains, introduced as part of the government’s £5.7 billion intercity express programme (IEP), cause electromagnetic interference to the oldest part of the line when run on electricity. Although they are supposed to be more efficient, punctual and greener than existing 40-year-old models, Network Rail said the trains would have to run on diesel in the north of England. It was claimed that this would make them slower and noisier than when running on electric power.
New high-speed ‘smart’ trains being introduced as part of a £5.7billion fleet on the East Coast Main Line are not fully compatible with existing infrastructure, it has been revealed. Azuma trains have been found in tests to not work properly with signalling equipment, causing electromagnetic interference to older signals and points in the north of England. It is understood that the trains are interfering with signalling – which acts as the railway’s traffic light system – resulting in it being put out of use or giving false readings. This means the electro-diesel trains can only run on diesel, travelling much more slowly than their promised speed.