BRUSSELS will force Britain to continue to pay into its budget and accept free movement for several years as part of any transitional Brexit deal – or face the EU blocking a Brexit deal altogether. Senior EU officials gave the ultimatum as they warned a presumed bridging agreement to soften the blow to both the British and EU economies is no longer “inevitable”. Brussels has been secretly working on the basis a transitional deal with Britain was inevitable, believing it will be impossible to conclude the complex process of Brexit in the two years afforded by Article 50. One senior German official said Britain should ask to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) for some years, which would require it to accept free movement from EU countries and pay into the EU budget in return for continuing free trade. He said: “The risk is that the two years run out with no agreement.”

THERESA May will today promise a clean break with Brussels to build a “Global Britain” free to forge trading links around the world. In her long-awaited keynote speech on Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May will unequivocally reject any watered-down departure deal that leaves the UK “half in and half out” of the EU. And she will confirm that her top objectives for Britain’s future outside the EU include regaining full border controls to stop unlimited migration and ending the rule of European judges over British affairs. She is expected say: “We will seek a new and equal partnership between and independent, self-governing Global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU.”

Theresa May will set out a 12-point plan for Brexit as she vows that the UK will not have “partial” membership of the EU “that leaves us half-in, half-out”. Mrs May will make her most significant speech since becoming Prime Minister in July last year and confirm that Britain will leave the single market and customs union after Brexit. In remarks that will delight Conservative Eurosceptics, Mrs May will pledge that Britain outside the European Union will be a “great, global trading nation” that is “respected around the world and strong, confident and united at home”. The Prime Minister will make regaining control of Britain’s borders one of the central themes of her Brexit strategy and will also make clear that the rights of UK expats will be protected. She will make clear for the first time that Britain will not seek a watered down version of Brexit, something that Remain campaigners are still pushing for.

Theresa May will rule out Britain staying in the European single market today as she makes immigration controls a priority in Brexit talks. Britain should not be “half-in, half-out” of the EU or “hold on to bits of membership as we leave”, the prime minister will say in a speech laying out her negotiating objectives. She will be less definitive on whether Britain will seek to remain in the bloc’s customs union, which allows goods to move freely without customs checks. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, has been among cabinet ministers pressing her to commit to a “clean Brexit”, ruling out any chance of remaining in the customs union.

Theresa May will promise a clean break from the EU today – ruling out any deal that ‘leaves us half-in, half-out’. Setting out her detailed plan for Brexit, the Prime Minister will reject partial or associate membership in favour of a ‘brighter future’ outside the Brussels bloc. Her 12-point plan will see Britain regain full control over borders and quit both the single market and European Court of Justice. She will insist the UK can become a great, outward-looking trading nation. ‘We seek a new and equal partnership – between an independent, self-governing, global Britain and our friends and allies in the EU,’ she will say. ‘Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership of the European Union, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out.

Theresa May will finally try to kill criticism that her Brexit vision is too vague by setting out a list of her “negotiating priorities” for EU withdrawal talks. Downing Street sources said today’s long-anticipated speech from the Prime Minister will shed new light on the critical question of Britain’s single market membership and the EU customs union. But critics in her own party who have attacked Ms May’s ambiguous approach to date piled on the pressure by warning of “big problems” if she fails to give real detail of her approach ahead of an expected Commons vote on launching Brexit talks. The major speech also comes as an exclusive BMG Research poll for
The Independentrevealed more people believe Ms May is handling Brexit preparations badly than well.

Theresa May is expected to use the most important speech of her premiership to confirm that Britain will be leaving the single market while insisting that it wants to remain “the best friend” to European partners. In remarks that critics will cite as evidence that the government is pursuing a hard Brexit, the prime minister will set out 12 key priorities for the EU negotiations, with no compromise over the ability to control borders and regain sovereignty. Speaking to an audience at Lancaster House, Westminster, including ambassadors from across the world, May will stress her ambition to reach out beyond the continent to build new trading relationships in a move that suggests the UK will also leave the customs union. However, the prime minister is likely to restate an argument that she does not see it as an either/or choice and say that whatever final deal on trade and customs duties is struck, lorries will be able to pass through Dover and other ports unhindered, despite warnings from others on the issue.

Theresa May will signal Britain is to leave the EU single market as she sets out a 12-point plan for a Hard Brexit. During a speech in London, the PM will announce the UK will not seek to retain “partial membership” of the EU. And for the first time, Mrs May will set out 12 “negotiating priorities” for the crucial Brexit talks – with curbs on immigration at the heart of the plan. She will say: “We seek a new and equal partnership between an independent, self-governing, global Britain, and our friends and allies in the EU. “Not partial membership of the European Union, associate membership, or anything that leaves us half-in, half-out.” No10 sources claimed the speech at Lancaster House will be a riposte to critics who claim Mrs May has failed to give any clear indication of her plan for Brexit. The two-year negotiation process is due to start within weeks of the Prime Minister triggering Article 50 in March.


A TOP eurocrat today grilled Boris Johnson over a possible trade deal between Britain and the United States and told him there can be NO talks on an agreement until Brexit has been fully completed. In a series of blunt remarks, Brussels’ foreign minister Federica Mogherini said it was “absolutely clear” that the UK cannot negotiate with Donald Trump’s administration on even an informal basis until it has fully left the bloc. And she got in a sly dig at Theresa May over how long it has taken the Government to trigger Article 50, questioning why Britain was “still here” seven months after voters chose to quit the troubled bloc.

Angela Merkel is pressing for a meeting with Donald Trump after he caused “astonishment and agitation” among European leaders with broadsides at Nato, the EU and the German chancellor herself. Mrs Merkel has been unable to arrange an appointment with Mr Trump in New York or Washington and has spoken to him only once. In an interview with The Times published yesterday the president-elect praised Brexit and predicted that other nations would follow suit. He criticised Mrs Merkel for the “catastrophic mistake” of letting in more than a million “illegals” over the past two years. He singled out the German car giant BMW, which is building a plant in Mexico, with a threat of 35 per cent tariffs on imports to the United States.

FORMER Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson has hammered “terrified” Eurocrats who he believes will not give the UK a preferential trade deal. Speaking to Sky News, the ex-Tory politician said the fear of “anti-establishment” parties rising in Europe would deter Brussels from entering into a “no strings attached” free trade deal with Britain. He said: “The main reason they won’t do a deal which is seen as a concession to us is that the establishment in France, where I live, and in Germany, in Holland, in Italy, are at the moment, terrified of these anti-establishment parties, like the Front National in France. “But there are others all over Europe who they think will gain support if we get a good deal out of Brexit so they’re not going to give it.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel led a sharp European response to US President-elect Donald Trump Monday after he branded NATO “obsolete” and said more countries would leave the EU after Britain. In a hard-hitting interview with two European newspapers, Trump unleashed a volley of verbal attacks on Europe and criticised Merkel’s “catastrophic” decision to open Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees. With fears growing in Europe over Trump’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance and over signs he will pivot towards Russia, Merkel warned that the continent now had to take responsibility for itself. “We Europeans have our fate in our own hands,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin when asked about Trump’s criticisms, adding that she will work towards getting the EU to strengthen the economy and fight terrorism.


Milk is confusing enough already, with full fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed, not to mention organic milk, goat’s milk and, if one goes to a farmer’s market, even raw, unpasteurised milk. It is about to get worse with the introduction of free range milk by two brands that cannot even agree on what free range means. The people behind Enjoy Milk, launched this month, say they want to transform the dairy industry in the same way that free range eggs helped a move away from battery hens. However, they have been criticised by Free Range Dairy, a network of farmers, that says their standards are not strict enough.


Patients will be told to show a utility bill and passport before routine operations as part of a new crackdown on health tourism. Staff in 20 hospital trusts are being ordered to carry out identity checks on patients having certain procedures. This will include women planning to give birth as well as anyone having hip or knee replacements, cataract surgery or kidney dialysis. The checks are part of a joint pilot which is being run by the Home Office and the hospital regulator, NHS Improvement. Anyone who fails to provide a utility bill or other proof of residency such as a bank statement, in addition to their passport, could be denied free healthcare. Currently most patients are not asked to provide identification unless they raise suspicions – for example if they have a strong foreign accent or can’t speak English. Even then, doctors rarely demand they pay for treatment beforehand and certainly won’t refuse to operate if they can’t.

Women giving birth in NHS maternity units are being treated like ‘cattle’ or ‘products on a conveyor belt’, a damning report warns today. Half are made to endure poor care including delays in pain relief or having vital observations during the labour. Some said they ended up having their births at home or on another ward after being told not to come to the maternity unit as it was ‘extremely busy.’ 
The report by the National Childbirth Trust warns that a desperate lack of midwives and cash has left labour wards in ‘crisis.’ Its findings come a day after a hospital revealed it was chasing a £350,000 bill from a Nigerian woman who flew over to give birth to twins.


BBC News
The former chairman of UKIP in Scotland has admitted making vulgar phone calls to 10 different women. Arthur ‘Misty’ Thackeray, who was chief of staff for the party’s MEP David Coburn, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court. He pleaded guilty to offences which occurred between October 2007 and December 2015. Sheriff Martin Jones QC deferred sentence until next month and continued bail. The court heard all of the calls took place at Thackeray’s home in Glasgow, at 1 Colme Street in Edinburgh and “elsewhere”. Thackeray admitted nine charges of intentionally sending, or directing “sexual verbal communication” between December 2010 and December 2015. One charge pre-dates the Sexual Offences Act introduced in 2009 and was a breach of the peace charge between October 2007 and February 2008.

Morning Star
BUDGET cuts have left “exhausted” and “undervalued” support staff in Scottish schools struggling to maintain standards for pupils, a public service union warned yesterday. In a report from Unison entitled Hard Lessons, staff reported increasing workloads, job cuts, a shortage of educational supplies and dirtier schools in the face of rising numbers of pupils, including those with educational support needs. Of the workers surveyed, more than half (54 per cent) said that budgets had been cut and more than a quarter (27 per cent) described those cuts as “severe.” Four out of five said workloads had increased and 40 per cent said they carried out unpaid work to fulfil their duties, often skipping breaks. Sixty per cent admitted that staff morale was low. Many reported stress as a result of a lack of training and support for tasks they carry out, such as administering medicines — including insulin injections, catheterisation and tube feeding — as well as caring for pupils with challenging behaviour.

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