Britain will make public its guidelines for talks on leaving the European Union by the time it triggers the exit process, Brexit minister David Davis said on Monday, in the first indication of when Britons will find out what the government hopes to achieve in the talks. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has warned it will reveal little about its strategy on key issues like immigration and trade as it prepares to negotiate Britain’s exit from the EU following the shock June 23 referendum vote to leave. But Davis, head of the newly created Department for Exiting the European Union, said the negotiating process itself would not be a “black box” and that details would begin to emerge once the legal exit procedure, known as ‘Article 50’ began. “It will start, I guess, at the point of triggering Article 50. We will at that point have a some clear public negotiating guidelines,” David told a committee of lawmakers investigating the role of parliament in the Brexit process.
The British government will not say much about how Brexit will unfold before it triggers Article 50, the formal step that will kick off negotiations on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU, Brexit minister David Davis said on Monday. Davis, whose formal title is secretary of state for exiting the European Union, said in remarks to parliament that this would be a “frustrating time”. The government has been pressed for detailed answers on how it intends to enact the decision to quit the bloc, made in a June 23 referendum, by everyone from business leaders to foreign allies. So far, little detail has emerged.
The diplomat nominated to take Britain’s vacant seat on the EU executive pledged on Monday to serve “only the European general interest” if EU lawmakers accept him as, probably, the last ever British commissioner. Julian King conceded he was in a “particular situation” that he “would probably not have believed” before the June 23 Brexit referendum when Britons voted to quit the European Union. However, nominated by London after predecessor Jonathan Hill resigned from the Commission following the vote, King told a confirmation hearing in the European Parliament for the new post of EU security commissioner that he would respect the Brexit verdict but also be loyal to the EU if he takes up the post. “I strongly advocated the position of the British government during the UK referendum campaign,” he said, noting he was the ambassador to France at the time, when then prime minister David Cameron was campaigning to keep Britain in the EU.
THE EUROPEAN Union is in “crisis” following the UK’s historic Brexit vote, one of the bloc’s fiercest supporters has admitted. Jacques Delors, the former president of the European Commission, confessed the British public’s majority decision to quit the EU on June 23 is a “warning signal” for the 27 other member states. The French economist pushed through greater European integration and laid the foundations for the ailing euro single currency during his ten-year spell as Brussels’ top unelected official. He was last year awarded the title Honorary Citizen of Europe for his lifelong contribution to the ‘European project’. But Mr Delors, who infamously clashed with former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the late 1980s and early 1990s, has acknowledged there is now growing euroscepticism across the continent.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituency is one of 50 to be abolished at the next general election, under proposals published by the Boundary Commission for England. A shake-up of seats in north London would see the constituency Corbyn has represented since 1983 split into two. Corbyn said he was “very unhappy” about the boundary changes, which could potentially pit him against two of his closest allies – Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry – in the race for selection as candidates for the new seats of Islington and Finsbury Park & Stoke Newington. The Labour leader said, however, that he was “very confident” about the future, adding: “I look forward to representing some parts of Islington.”
Several prominent MPs are facing reselection battles ahead of the next general election under new constituency boundary proposals in England and Wales. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and ex-chancellor George Osborne are among those whose seats would be abolished. Most constituencies are affected by the bid to cut the number of MPs in the Commons and create equal-sized seats. Labour – expected to be hit hardest – said the proposals were “undemocratic”. But the government said they would “ensure an equal say for each voter”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he is “very unhappy” that the Islington North constituency he has represented for 33 years could disappear as part of a shake-up of parliamentary boundaries. The political map of all four nations of the United Kingdom will be redrawn so each seat will contain an average of 75,000 voters – and the number of MPs will be reduced from 650 to 600. The constituencies earmarked for extinction will be absorbed by their neighbours to save £66m over five years, as well as giving equal weight to each seat. Constitution minister Chris Skidmore says the Government is “committed to ensuring fair and equal representation for the voting public across the UK”.
The plans to change the political boundaries could cost Labour 23 seats, including Jeremy Corbyn’s. Imagine if a Tory government brought in a law that automatically deducted 20 seats from Labour at every general election. There would be a public outcry. It would not just go against the British sense of fair play, it would be an affront to democracy. Yet this is what the Conservatives are doing. When David Cameron announced plans to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 he gave the spurious excuse he wanted to cut the cost of Parliament.
The Conservatives have been accused of trying to rig the UK’s electoral system after a Tory-commissioned review threatened to strip an estimated 23 seats from Labour. Jeremy Corbyn’s party branded the proposals “unfair, undemocratic and unacceptable”, while campaigners claimed they were based on flawed data and would “skew” democracy. The Labour Leader’s own North London seat is set to be axed, while leading moderates such as Yvette Cooper and Chuka Umunna faced changes that could leave them vulnerable to de-selection. But doubt has been cast over whether the plans will ever come into force, after they also put a higher-than-expected number of Tory seats at risk. Theresa May’s MPs were said to be “shocked” by potential Conservative losses which could rise to 17 – the exact number of her Commons majority.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Sunday there would be new attacks in France but proposals by former president Nicolas Sarkozy to boost security was not the right way to deal with threats. The French capital was put on high alert last week when French officials said they dismantled a “terrorist cell” that planned to attack a Paris railway station under the direction of Islamic State. “This week at least two attacks were foiled,” Manuel Valls said in an interview with Europe 1 radio and Itele television on Sunday. Valls said there were 15,000 people on the radar of police and intelligent services who were in the process of being radicalised. “There will be new attacks, there will be innocent victims…this is also my role to tell this truth to the French people,” Valls said.
Former prime minister David Cameron said on Monday he was resigning from his seat in parliament to avoid becoming a distraction for his successor, ending his political career just weeks after he lost a referendum to stay in the European Union. Cameron, who came to power in 2010, said he had told Prime Minister Theresa May of his decision to stop representing his constituency in Oxfordshire to make way for someone who could concentrate on the area in central England. “I’ve thought about this long and hard over the summer and I’ve decided the right thing to do is to stand down as the member of parliament for Witney,” he told BBC TV. “In my view with modern politics, with the circumstances of my resignation, it isn’t really possible to be a proper back bench MP (lawmaker) as a former prime minister. I think everything you do will become a big distraction and a big diversion from what the government needs to do for our country.”
David Cameron announced he will resign from the House of Commons with immediate effect this afternoon. Mr Cameron, who served as Prime Minister until July this year, has been Member of Parliament for Witney in Oxfordshire since 2001. He said it was time to “build a life outside of parliament” after quitting as Prime Minister in the wake of the Brexit vote, adding that he informed his successor Theresa May of his decision this afternoon. Mr Cameron also claimed it would be hard not be “an enormous diversion and distraction” from Mrs May if he remains in Parliament. His resignation will now trigger a by-election in Witney, which will serve as Mrs May’s first electoral test as Prime Minister. As the seat is considered very safe Conservative, however, it is highly unlikely there will be an upset.
Former UK PM David Cameron has stood down as an MP, triggering a by-election in his Oxfordshire seat of Witney. Mr Cameron, 49, who resigned as prime minister after June’s EU referendum, said he did not want to be a “distraction” for new PM Theresa May. He said Mrs May had “got off to a cracking start”, while she praised his “great strides” on social reform. Mr Cameron, 49, has represented Witney since 2001, becoming Conservative leader in 2005 and PM in 2010.
London’s Heathrow Airport, which is battling Gatwick for government approval for an extra runway, said it handled a record 7.34 million passengers in August, with more flying to the Middle East and Latin America. Heathrow operates at about 98 percent capacity and struggles to add new flights. The British government is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether to build a third runway at Heathrow or its rival Gatwick after a drawn-out process. Europe’s busiest airport said numbers grew by 0.1 percent on the previous year, showing there was no dip in traffic following Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union. Heathrow has argued that Britain’s vote to leave the EU makes it more important that it secures approval to expand, enabling it to build more routes with trading nations. Gatwick says it can build a new runway at a lower cost and with less environmental impact.
NOTHING would stop Scotland becoming independent if Westminster tries to stifle the country’s “aspirations”, Nicola Sturgeon has said. She warned of a furious backlash if the UK government attempts to halt a fresh wave of Scottish nationalist sentiment after Brexit . The shameless First Minister said “nothing ultimately” could stop Scots voting to leave the UK if Theresa May angers them. The comments are the clearest indication yet Mrs Sturgeon is intent on holding a second referendum on breaking up the UK. Speaking on BBC documentary Scotland and the Battle for Britain, Mrs Sturgeon suggested Tony Blair was responsible for the rise of the SNP. The nationalist claimed Mr Blair’s Labour government only devolved powers to Scotland because it wanted to “contain the aspirations” of Scots. She said: “Scotland wanted a Scottish Parliament. If it had been denied it by Labour, that sentiment would have found another direction.
World War III
THE US has flown B-1 Lancer strategic bombers over Korea in a clear threat to Kim Jong-un. America sent two of the aircraft – which are capable of carrying nuclear bombs – over South Korea in a show of force aimed at the country’s naughty neighbour. North Korea is ready to test another nuclear weapon – just days after it detonated a bomb so big it set off an earthquake . The two bombers conducted a low-altitude flight over Osan Air Base in South Korea – which is just 48 miles from the “Demilitarised Zone” border with the North. The bombers – capable of carrying the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the entire US Air Force – were escorted by South Korean and US fighter jets as they conducted the low speed flight over Osan. The flight was watched by General Vincent Brooks, commander of the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea, and the South’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Lee Sun-jin. General Brooks said: ”Today’s demonstration provides just one example of the full range of military capabilities in the deep resources of this strong alliance to provide and strengthen extended deterrence.”