PRESIDENT of the European Union Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has launched a sneering attack on Donald Trump saying he must be taught how Europe works. Mr Juncker said the billionaire who stormed to victory in last week’s race to the White House does not know enough about the world and would squander his time in office finding in. Addressing a group of students in Luxembourg, Juncker took a swipe at the president-elect and said: “Mr. Trump, during his campaign, said that Belgium was a village somewhere in Europe. “We must teach the President-elect what Europe is and how it works. “I believe we’ll have two years of wasted time while Mr Trump tours a world he doesn’t know.” The EU chief said that Trump had called NATO into question, which could have “harmful consequences”.
European Union foreign ministers insisted on Sunday they expected good relations with Donald Trump, after a crisis meeting that Britain, France and Hungary snubbed in a move that exposed rifts over the US president-elect. The ministers said they wanted more details about Republican Trump’s plans following his shock election win, which has sparked anxiety in Europe due to his campaign-trail rhetoric questioning US commitment to the continent. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called the special dinner on the eve of a scheduled meeting of the ministers, but some capitals criticised the decision to have an emergency meeting on a democratic election result in a key ally. “We are looking forward to a very strong partnership with the next administration, we’ve decided together to engage with the incoming administration even from this very first week of transition,” Mogherini told reporters afterwards.
DONALD TRUMP’s election as US president and a rising “populist tide” could deliver a “hammer blow” to the European Union, a Tory peer has claimed. The Marquess of Salisbury suggested Brussels bosses “will soon find out” whether the bloc is equipped to survive a series of potential rejections at the ballot box as early as next month. Following President-elect Trump’s shock victory over Hillary Clinton last week, Lord Salisbury highlighted elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands in 2017 as “a huge year in the history of Europe and of the EU”. Far-right politicians, all sceptical of the EU, are currently riding high in polls in each of those three major European countries. French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders and Germany’s anti-migrant Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party have all hailed President-elect Trump’s success as a sign their far-right politics could sweep to success next year.
Whitehall is working on more than 500 Brexit-related projects and could need to hire 30,000 extra civil servants, according to a leaked memo prepared for the Cabinet Office. Splits within the cabinet also mean that the government may need another six months to decide on its priorities, according to the assessment by a consultant working for the department. The memo, dated November 7 and titled Brexit Update, says that “major players” in industry are expected to “point a gun at the government’s head” after ministers gave assurances that the carmaker Nissan would not suffer when Britain left the EU.
The British Government has no Brexit plan and very little understanding of what leaving the EU means for industries, according to a leaked memo for the Cabinet Office. The memo, dated November 7, which has been obtained by The Times, also suggests that splits between Cabinet members are delaying the Government’s ability to agree a negotiating strategy prior to triggering Article 50. Titled “Brexit update”, it criticises Theresa May for “drawing in decisions and details to settle matters herself”. It also warns that big firms will “point a gun at the government’s head” to get reassurances for better trading conditions after Brexit as car manufacturer Nissan did.
The government has no overall Brexit plan and a negotiating strategy may not be agreed by the cabinet for six months, a leaked memo has suggested. The memo – obtained by the Times and seen by the BBC – warns Whitehall is working on 500 Brexit-related projects and could need 30,000 extra staff. However, there is still no common exit strategy “because of divisions within the cabinet”, the leaked document adds. A government spokesman said it “didn’t recognise” the claims made in the memo. Prime Minister Theresa May hopes to invoke Article 50 – beginning the formal two-year process for leaving the EU – by the end of March next year. However, BBC political correspondent Chris Mason – who has seen the memo – says the document shows how “complex, fraught and challenging delivering Brexit will be”.
Whitehall is struggling to cope with the scale of work generated by the Brexit vote and the lack of a common strategy among cabinet ministers, according to a report about a leaked Cabinet Office memo. The note found that departments are working on more than 500 projects related to leaving the EU and may need to hire an extra 30,000 civil servants to deal with the additional burden of work. It identified a tendency by Theresa May to “draw in decisions and settle matters herself” as a strategy that cannot be sustained, and highlighted a split between the three Brexit ministers – Liam Fox, Boris Johnson and David Davis – and the chancellor, Philip Hammond, and his ally Greg Clark, the business secretary. The note, leaked to the Times and said to be dated 7 November, also claimed that “no common strategy has emerged” on Brexit between departments despite extended debate among the permanent secretaries who head Whitehall departments.
Theresa May’s Government has no Brexit plan and a poor understanding of what leaving the European Union means for industry, according to a leaked memo prepared for the Cabinet Office. The November 7 memo obtained by The Times also suggests that Cabinet splits are delaying the Government’s ability to agree a negotiating strategy ahead of its goal to begin the Brexit process by April. Titled “Brexit Update”, it criticises the Prime Minister for “drawing in decisions and details to settle matters herself”, and warns that big companies will “point a gun at the Government’s head” after Nissan was given assurances about trading conditions once Britain leaves the EU.
An ex-Nato Secretary General has demanded European nations spend more on defence, warning that Donald Trump’s threatened withdrawal of US forces would see Vladimir Putin’s Russia “advance”. Anders Fogh Rasmussen said it was inevitable Mr Putin would adopt a more “assertive” approach in Eastern Europe if there is any US drawback and urged EU leaders to meet their commitment of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence. It comes after President-elect Trump threatened, while on the campaign trail, to withdraw support for nations enjoying US defence capabilities unless they paid their way. Mr Rasmussen urged Nato to send a signal soon that America’s commitment to defending allies “is unchanged”. Speaking to the BBC, he said “the Europeans should pay more”, before adding: “We have five out of 28 allies that fulfil the 2 per cent criteria right now, including the United States … we know that a lot of countries, not least in the East, have now decided to increase their investment and reach the 2 per cent within the next three, four, five years. “
Britain might not be able to use its two new aircraft carriers because of a lack of cash to replace power cables at their base. The Ministry of Defence is spending more than £6billion on the warships, the first of which will arrive in Portsmouth early next year. But in a scathing assessment of the UK’s crumbling military bases, the spending watchdog says failure to renew 80-year-old cabling could leave the vessels without power supplies. It is one of the most farcical examples in today’s National Audit Office report, which says the defence infrastructure is dangerously short of funds. The condition of many bases and depots has deteriorated so badly that the operational readiness of the armed forces is under threat, the report says. It found that the MoD has a £8.5billion shortfall in the cash needed to maintain and update rundown facilities over the next 30 years.
The French government is “definitely” going to close the UK border post in Calais after Brexit, a close ally of presidential election frontrunner Alain Juppe has told the BBC. Arnaud Danjean said France no longer wanted the “negative burden” of migrants aiming to cross the Channel being detained on its soil. The change would be an “uncomfortable consequence” of Brexit, he said. The UK government wants the post in Calais to remain in use. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Analysis programme, Mr Danjean, a member of the European Parliament for the Republicans, France’s main centre-right party, said most French voters felt “disappointed” by the Brexit referendum.
CHINA says there WILL be payback if Donald Trump takes a tougher stance against it. The President elect previously pledged a 45% tariff to force up the cost of Chinese imports to the US. But now Beijing has issued a stinging rebuke, warning the billionaire businessman that if he wants a trade war, he’ll get one. An editorial in the regime-run Global Times newspaper warned that China would hit the US hard if Trump enacted new tariffs. “A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback,” it said. “US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US”. The newspaper, quoted by CNBC, added that in 2009 Beijing had proved its willingness to respond to Barack Obama. It highlighted how a 35% tariff on Chinese tyres had been met with tariffs on US car parts and chicken.
BREXIT gives Britain the opportunity of a massive expansion of manufacturing and trade by creating American-style “free trade zones”, a new report has claimed. The initiative could create some 86,000 jobs if as successful in the UK as in the US, with a strong focus on the country’s most deprived areas, it calculated. The rules of European Union membership currently make such initiatives almost impossible as states are constrained from setting their own customs rates and regulations. The report was written for the Centre for Policy Studies by Rishi Sunak, the Conservative MP for the Yorkshire seat of Richmond. Free Trade Zones are also known as Free Ports, and he envisages focusing them around British harbours as the natural entry and exit point of goods and materials. Free Ports are within a country’s geographic boundary but are considered to be outside it for the purposes of customs duties. It means goods and parts can be imported, manufactured or re-exported from the zone without incurring the usual domestic import procedures or tariffs. Customs duties are payable on finished goods only when they reached the host economy for sale, and then often at reduced rates.
THE TRANSPORT SECRETARY will today brand HS2 the “greatest ever upgrade” to Britain’s railways as he confirms plans to extend the project to Manchester and Leeds. Chris Grayling will say that as well as slashing journey times, the high speed service will deliver a much needed boost to capacity on the lines. Once complete in 2033, the number of passengers between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds per hour could treble to 15,000. And there should be 48 commuter and intercity trains an hour between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds – a 65 per cent rise from the current 29. Speaking last night Mr Grayling said: “Our railways owe much to the Victorian engineers who pioneered them, but we cannot rest on their legacy when we face overcrowding and capacity problems.
Thousands of prison officers will hold a day of protest in a dispute over health and safety concerns, their union has said. The Prison Officers Association (POA) said as many as 10,000 prison workers across England and Wales will take part in the action, which have been called as negotiations with the government broke down. The action began at midnight and will last 24 hours. Steve Gillan, the POA’s general secretary, said officers will only provide emergency cover in what is effectively a strike. A spokesman for the union said: “The continued surge in violence and unprecedented levels of suicide and acts of self harm, coupled with the recent murder and escapes, demonstrate that the service is in meltdown.”
PRIVATISATION has led to worse conditions at Bedford Prison, according to a report by the riot-hit jail’s independent monitoring board issued yesterday. The board said the privatisation of maintenance and prisoner resettlement had led to “worse outcomes for prisoners” and a reduction of staff. It said it was “laughable” for Bedford to be designated a resettlement prison given the meagre resources available. Resettlement at Bedford has been taken over by outsourcing giant Sodexo — criticised in 2013 for its “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” of a female prisoner at HMP Bronzefield. The jail has outsourced its works contract to building firm Carillion, one of the companies forced to apologise and pay out compensation for its role in the blacklisting scandal.
Arron Banks, the UKIP donor and ally of Donald Trump, is planning to emulate the President-Elect’s plans on the other side of the Atlantic, by “draining the swamp” in Westminster of inefficient and corrupt establishment MPs. The close friend of interim UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who met with Mr. Trump over the weekend, is considering creating a movement that could stand 200 parliamentary candidates “against the 200 worst, most corrupt MPs”, he told The Times. Mr. Banks (pictured centre) wants to harness the anti-establishment sentiment demonstrated by the Trump and Brexit votes, and represented by the huge popularity of his Leave.EU movement, in the British general election. Explaining the plan, he said the new group would not side with any party, but field candidates standing on a single-term promise to push through fundamental change in Westminster.