Tory Eurosceptics claimed to have killed off Theresa May’s Chequers deal on Monday night by forcing her to make changes that will leave it “dead on arrival” in Brussels. The Prime Minister was forced to deny that her Brexit blueprint was fatally compromised after she caved in to four demands from Leave supporters in order to avoid a Commons rebellion over a key piece of Brexit legislation. Jubilant Brexiteers believe Brussels will now reject the Chequers plan, forcing Mrs May to think again. But with Tory divisions over Europe once again threatening to tear the party apart, Remain-supporting Conservatives, furious at Mrs May’s concessions, came close to inflicting a damaging defeat on the Government.
Theresa May has faced taunts that her Chequers deal is “dead in the water” after caving in to a series of changes to customs rules demanded by pro-hard Brexit Tories. Plans for the UK to collect duties for the EU – which lie at the heart of the prime minister’s hopes for a deal with Brussels – will only go forward if the EU in turn agrees to collect them for the UK. There appears to be no prospect of the EU bowing to such a request, apparently throwing the hard-fought Chequers proposals up in the air after just 10 days. In the Commons, Ms May was accused of “dancing to the tune of the European Research Group” – the 60-80 strong organisation of Brexiteer MPs led by Jacob Rees-Mogg.
THERESA May was tonight forced to toughen her Brexit negotiation offer to Brussels following the threat of a revolt by Eurosceptic Tory MPs. In a surprise climb down to avoid an embarrassing Commons vote, the Prime Minister accepted four amendments tabled by Tory backbenchers to her Customs Bill. Downing Street aides claimed the changes were “consistent” with her Brexit plans. But backbenchers insisted her retreat had effectively “killed” the blueprint for close customs links between the UK and the EU after Brexit. One delighted Tory Eurosceptic said the overhaul left the plan agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers earlier this month “dead on arrival”.
Theresa May has only just squeezed through a series of tight House of Commons votes on key legislation, after stirring up a Tory Remainer backlash by siding with her party’s Brexiteers. Although the final majority was fairly comfortable on the third reading of the customs bill, a series of amendments, demanded by Leave-supporting Conservatives on post-Brexit customs arrangements, only just scraped through. Mrs May also suffered another ministerial resignation as the other side of her fractious party reacted with anger. Hours before key votes on her government’s customs bill on Monday, the prime minister had sought to avoid a parliamentary showdown with the European Research Group (ERG) of Tory eurosceptics, by accepting their amendments to the legislation.
Theresa May has narrowly seen off a Commons rebellion from Conservative remainers unhappy that she had caved in to hardline Brexiters by accepting their amendments to the customs bill. The government majority was reduced to just three votes on the two most controversial amendments after leading Tory remainer Anna Soubry complained that the prime minister had lost control of events by making concessions to the rightwing European Research Group of MPs. The most important of the four amendments from the ERG, chaired by Jacob Rees-Mogg, had been designed to frustrate May’s compromise proposals over customs arrangements agreed at Chequers and had initially been opposed by the government, until Downing Street made a sudden U-turn in the afternoon.
Theresa May was severely weakened last night (mon) after a defence minister resigned in order to vote against the Government and with the Tory Remain rebels. The Prime Minister narrowly avoided a Commons humiliation by giving in to Brexiteer Tories. After fearing the Brexiteers led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, had the Parliamentary numbers to win amendments on the customs bill, Mrs May decided to adopt those clauses as part of the bill. This sparked a backlash from pro-EU MPs, who said the PM had “capitulated”. Her majority was slashed to just three as pro-European Tories protested about the Prime Minister’s concessions by voting against her.
Theresa May’s compromise deal on Brexit was on the brink of collapse last night after she capitulated to concessions designed by Leave-voting Conservatives to kill off the plan. The prime minister bowed to pressure from Brexiteers and accepted four amendments to a key piece of legislation, including one intended to scupper her proposal for a customs deal. No 10 disputed claims that the new amendment killed her plan, known as the facilitated customs agreement,and insisted that Mrs May was happy to make the change. The concession enraged Remain-supporting MPs and raised fears in Westminster and Brussels that Mrs May could no longer get her preferred plan though the Commons.
Theresa May narrowly saw off a backbench rebellion on a key piece of Brexit legislation during a dramatic night in the House of Commons. The government managed to get its customs bill passed by MPs despite knife-edge votes in which a number of pro-EU Conservatives voted against their party. Ms May suffered her biggest rebellion as prime minister as 14 Tories voted against the government. They included Guto Bebb, a defence minister, who effectively resigned his frontbench role by joining the rebels.
Britain has nothing to fear from leaving the EU without a deal, leading Brexiteers declared last night. After a weekend when Theresa May’s Chequers plan came under fire from Remainers and Leavers alike, a poll yesterday showed growing public support for walking away from the negotiations. It found twice as many voters now back leaving the EU without a deal. Senior Eurosceptic MPs said it was proof that the PM should accelerate contingency planning for a no-deal scenario. Remainers have long argued that the consequences of no deal would be catastrophic for the economy. But leading Brexiteers admitted yesterday that although it could be bumpy in the short term, Britain could thrive in the long run.
BREXIT Secretary Dominic Raab has boosted preparations for a shock “no deal” departure from the EU in the wake of Theresa May’s Chequers meeting that saw Brexiteers David Davis and Boris Johnson sensationally quit the Cabinet. The Prime Minister’s remaining Brexit bulldogs have demanded no deal plans are published as a condition for supporting her controversial white paper. The plan would only be implemented should the EU reject her soft Bexit offer. A Whitehall official said: “Michael Gove was one of several ministers who accepted that the UK should try and reach a deal with Brussels on a plan for a softer Brexit.
BRITS would rather quit the EU and leave with no deal rather than back Theresa May’s controversial Brexit plans, a new poll revealed today. The Prime Minister’s plans are so hated that 40 per cent of Brits think we shouldn’t be afraid to cut all ties and go it alone. As Mrs May struggles to quell a rebellion in her party over her Chequers plans – which have been attacked by both Remainers and Leavers – it has emerged that the public aren’t behind her ideas. Last week she spelled out her plans for an EU-UK shared rulebook, which would keep us tied to the EU once we leave.
Double the number of voters want a clean exit from the European Union (EU) than those who want to follow the Prime Minister’s plan to keep the UK tied to the bloc’s rules, a shock poll has shown. The survey, by ComRes for The Mirror, showed a strong preference for leaving the EU on World Trade Organization rules – as the UK already trades with most of the world – over staying locked to goods and agriculture rules as Theresa May’s Chequers deal demands. It shows that 39 percent of people think the Prime Minister “should accept a no deal and the UK simply leave the EU”.
Brexit campaign group Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and referred to the police after an Electoral Commission probe said it broke electoral law. The investigation found “significant evidence of joint working” between the group and another organisation – BeLeave – leading to it exceeding its spending limit by almost £500,000. Vote Leave also returned an “incomplete and inaccurate spending report”, with almost £234,501 reported incorrectly, and invoices missing for £12,849.99 of spending, the watchdog said.
The Vote Leave campaign has been fined and referred to the police after being found guilty of busting spending limits for the Brexit referendum. The official Brexit organisation – fronted by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove – breached electoral law by co-ordinating illegally with another group, the Electoral Commission concluded. The watchdog has referred David Halsall, the “responsible person” for Vote Leave, to the Metropolitan Police for making false declarations of campaign spending. Darren Grimes, the head of a separate youth Brexit group called BeLeave – which received a £675,000 donation from Vote leave – has also been referred to the police.
David Davis has warned that Britain risks “giving up a real future” over Brexit in his first intervention since quitting the Cabinet over Theresa May’s Chequer’s compromise. The Brexit Secretary said that the EU is “slow and not very effective” and warned that Britain benefits the least from its current free trade with Brussels. He said that Britain will be “throwing away a power” if it remains a member of the Customs Union. The Government is today facing a revolt by pro-European Tory MPs who want staying in the Customs Union to be an “objective” of negotiations. The former Brexit Secretary urged MPs to back the customs bill and the trade bill this week.
Conservative association leaders have been summoned to Downing Street in an attempt to quell a grassroots backlash against Theresa May’s Brexit plan. The chairmen and women have been invited to briefings today and tomorrow after claims that MPs have been spooked by complaints from members and voters about the strategy agreed at Chequers. A government source said: “We don’t normally do this but this is the biggest single thing arguably since the Second World War . . . it is quite sensible to try to make sure we are getting people the information they need.”
Theresa May is planning to send MPs on their summer break early, prompting accusations she is panicking about a leadership challenge. MPs are expected to pass a motion on Tuesday to bring forward their six-week recess, so they would leave Westminster on Thursday – instead of next Tuesday. The move would kill off any hopes that hard Brexit-supporting Tories have of forcing an immediate vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservative party. The Brexiteers accept they would need several days for the contest to be staged – even if they succeed in collecting the 48 signatures required to trigger it.
REMOANER Nick Clegg has attacked Theresa May’s Government and branded it “internally paralysed”, as he raised fears over the likelihood of the Chequers Brexit deal being rejected in Brussels. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, the former deputy prime minister criticised the Government’s progress on the UK’s Brexit Customs Bill and warned that the proposed ‘facilitated customs arrangement’ would not be accepted by European Union negotiators. He said: “One shouldn’t devote too much energy and attention to all the endless twists and turns to these amendments, because this is a Government that now is in an outright state of degeneration.
Passengers could face queues and extra checks when taking the Eurostar to Paris after Britain leaves the EU as France’s state rail operator bolsters border controls. SNCF this week unveiled plans to refit Paris’s Gare du Nord, stating that the redevelopment would address “the challenges of reinforced border controls due to Brexit”. Campaigners warned the need for the plan was “concrete evidence of the lengthy and costly delays” leaving the EU would cause, with the future of an existing special agreement that smooths the passport-checking process still uncertain.
Dover and Calais are facing “economic catastrophe” because of Brexit, and both the UK and the EU are allowing the two ports to drift towards disaster, a leading French politician has said. Xavier Bertrand, a former French minister and president of Hauts-de-France, has called on Emmanuel Macron to break the EU ban on bilateral talks to salvage the situation and asked Theresa May to discuss prospects. “The way things are going, we are going to be left standing staring at each like strangers. It’s madness, pure utter madness,” he said. Xavier Bertrand said the French parliament and President Macron must be pressed to talk to the UK directly.
Patients with hernia problems are being left in pain and at risk of needing emergency surgery, and even of death, because the NHS is increasingly rationing surgery to treat it. The number of NHS bodies across England that are restricting access to inguinal hernia surgery has doubled since 2014 as a result of cost cutting, surgeons have warned. Almost six in 10 (57%) NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) “are denying patients quick access to the procedure”, claimed the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) and the British Hernia Society.
Net migration to the UK rose to almost 300,000 in the first full calendar year after the Brexit referendum. The rise was driven partially by an increase in the number coming from outside the EU, which is at its highest level for 13 years, according to official figures published yesterday. Net migration from the EU fell to just over 100,000 in the year to December 2017, the lowest level in five years. Overall net migration, the difference between those arriving and those leaving the UK for a year or longer, was 282,000, up 33,000 in a year and almost three times the government’s target of reducing the number to under 100,000.
TENS of thousands of EU migrants could stay in UK illegally after Brexit as ministers “don’t know how many are here”, according to a damning report. It says ministers have no precise figures on how many EU citizens were currently living in the UK. So when the new “settled status” system comes in, the authorities will not know if people have or have not applied, and are therefore staying when they shouldn’t. They are urging the Government to come up with a new way of measuring how many EU citizens are currently in the UK before they launch the online application system for they stay once we exit the bloc. The paper from the Migration Observatory is warning without it many of them could inadvertently become illegal residents even if they meet the criteria to stay.
Facebook content moderators are instructed to leave videos of violent abuse on the site to improve user experience, an investigation has found. When dealing with a graphic violent post, moderators are told that they have three options — ignore it, delete it, or mark it as disturbing, which places restrictions on who can see the content. Clips showing the “repeated kicking, beating or slapping of a child or an animal by an adult”, “the inflicting of a burn or a cut wound by an adult” or “the tossing, rotating or shaking of an infant too young to stand by their wrists, ankles, legs, arms or neck” are not taken down.
The British government would be “happy” to back a bid to host the World Cup in 2030, a spokesman for Theresa May has said. Asked about a potential effort to bring a tournament to the UK – as suggested by Labour, the Downing Street spokesman said: “We are happy to sit down with football bodies and discuss any proposals they might have to bid for the World Cup in 2030, we have a superb track record for putting on major sporting events.” When asked whether the government would favour a UK-wide bid over one by England alone, the spokesman said: “We would wait for them to come forward with proposals and look at those in the context of our track record, UK-wide, of delivering these sorts of events.
Theresa May has caved in to pressure and agreed to back a bid for the World Cup in 2030. The PM gave her official backing to mounting calls for the country to finally bring football home by bidding to stage the tournament. It came after Labour Shadow Sports Minister Rosena Allin-Khan urged ministers to lend their “fullest support” to any FA bid. May said she would be “happy” to discuss proposals with FA chiefs to host the centenary World Cup in 2030, her spokesman revealed. He also said the Government was not ruling out a UK-wide bid, taking in all four home nations. The spokesman said: “We are happy to sit down with football bodies to discuss any proposals they might have to bid for the World Cup.
If, like President Trump or the singer Justin Bieber, you have a deep-seated fear of sharks, you may want to stop reading now. As many as ten species of shark found in warmer climates could be heading to UK waters as temperatures rise, an expert has predicted. By 2050, non-native species such as the great hammerhead and spotted ragged-tooth may be found swimming in British seas, according to the findings commissioned by Nat Geo Wild, a natural history and wildlife television channel. “It’s likely we will be seeing more sharks from warmer regions such as the Mediterranean Sea towards our waters in the UK over the next 30 years.”
New types of sharks could be heading to UK waters as a result of warming seas, experts have said. A new study has revealed 10 species of sharks currently found in warmer parts of the world, such as hammerheads and blacktip sharks, may be swimming in British seas within 30 years as the climate changes. And a new “shark map” reveals the places where the fish are already found in UK waters. It names Cornwall as the country’s shark capital with at least 20 species found off the coast, followed by the Scilly Isles and Devon. An estimated 10 million small and 100,000 larger sharks from 40 different species are found in the seas around the UK.