Brussels is seeking to bind the UK to the European court of human rights after Brexit in a move likely to infuriate those in the Conservative party championing a break with the Strasbourg court. A document outlining the European commission’s position on future judicial and police cooperation stipulates there will be a “guillotine clause” on any security deal should the UK leave the remit of the court.
THE EU is attempting to frustrate Brexit negotiations and waste time ahead of a key summit in Brussels next week in a bid to keep the UK shackled to the EU, an MEP has warned. The lawmaker said the chance of achieving progress at the summit, being held on Jun 28-29, was increasingly slim due to pro-European MEPs attempting to delay the process in a bid to keep the UK aligned with EU customs regulations. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, UKIP MEP Nathan Gill said: “The likelihood of any significant development at the June summit is slim.
The European commission is refusing to agree to any back-channel discussions between UK and EU aviation agencies to avert a crisis in the event of a “no-deal” outcome to Brexit. Attempts by the aerospace industry to persuade Brussels to start contingency talks to ensure Europe’s planes keep flying and the aerospace industry can function effectively have apparently been rebuffed by the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, according to industry sources. At the strike of midnight in Brussels on 29 March 2019, when Britain leaves the EU, UK-made parts for planes will no longer be legally valid and its pilot licences will be defunct in the eyes of international regulators acting under agreements with the bloc.
BRUSSELS sparked fury yesterday by telling Britain it must stick to European human rights laws if it wants a Brexit deal on security. Eurocrats said any treaty on tackling terror and cross-border crime would have a “guillotine clause” attached to our membership of the European Convention of Human Rights. Britain would also be automatically cut off from cooperation with the continue if it failed to implement any relevant judgement of the European Court of Human Rights. The move would effectively tie the UK to the Strasbourg-based court, which is independent of the EU, forever. It enraged Tory MPs, who accused the Commission of underhand negotiating tactics.
FRANCE and Germany will have “no agreement” on the eurozone budget unless every single detail is agreed on, an EU source involved in the negotiations revealed following a turbulent debate between French finance minister Bruno Le Maire and German finance minister Olaf Scholz this weekend. Speaking about the possibility of Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron finalising an agreement, the source said: “There will be no agreement if there isn’t a general agreement on all parts of the proposal.” However, the source added the two ministers had agreed on a eurozone budget focused on “convergence and stabilisation”.
House of Lords
Theresa May is facing a showdown with pro-European Tory MPs after the Lords overwhelmingly backed plans to give Parliament a “meaningful vote” on the Government’s final Brexit deal. The Government was defeated by 354 votes to 235 after a Conservative peer tabled an amendment that ministers believe will undermine Brexit by tying the Government’s hands during negotiations. The defeat sets up a clash between the Government and pro-European MPs led by Dominic Grieve, a former Attorney General, when the EU withdrawal bill returns to the Commons on Wednesday.
The government has again been defeated in the Lords over giving MPs a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal. Peers backed an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill by 354 to 235, a majority of 119. There were 22 Conservative rebels who voted in favour of the amendment, including Tory former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine and Conservative former ministers Lord Patten of Barnes, Lord Willetts and Baroness Warsi. A total of 588 peers voted, making it the fourth largest turnout in a single Lords division on record.
Theresa May faces a fresh Tory Brexit revolt this week as rebellious backbenchers bid to shape her EU withdrawal plan. Peers inflicted another embarrassing defeat on the Prime Minister’s flagship exit blueprint last night as party splits burst open in the House of Lords. Mrs May had hoped to win support for an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, aimed at quelling a Commons rebellion led by MP Dominic Grieve. But the House of Lords voted by 354 to 245, majority 119, to reject her plan to limit Parliament’s power if she cannot strike a deal with Brussels or MPs vote it down.
PRO-EU lords allied with Tory rebel MPs to force a fresh stand-off with the government over Brexit. Peers overwhelmingly backed a new bid by leading Commons rebel Dominic Grieve to give the Commons a ‘meaningful vote’ if there is no deal with the EU. The move allows Parliament to condemn any attempt by Theresa May to walk away from the stalled negotiations with Brussels. But the PM yesterday branded it a bid to “tie the Government’s hands” in the tense final few months of talks before a deal must be struck in October.
Peers have today inflicted a hugely damaging defeat on Theresa May‘s Brexit Bill by demanding Parliament is given a meaningful vote if no deal is reached with the EU. The House of Lords defied the PM’s pleas to ‘keep faith’ with the British public and fall into line on the EU Withdrawal Bill. Instead they backed the Hailsham amendment in a move which sets the stage for a crunch showdown between Mrs May and her Tory rebels on Wednesday when it returns to the Commons. In a fiery debate, Viscount Hailsham branded Brexit a ‘national calamity’ and said he was driven to act after ministers reneged on their promise to give Parliament a say if no deal is done by late January.
CONSERVATIVE peer Lord Robathan prompted huge groans in the House of Lords after he quizzed Lord Hailsham over whether he was trying to “sabotage” Brexit. Viscount Hailsham declared his support for an amendment to the Brexit bill which would allow MPs a ‘meaningful vote’ on the final divorce deal. The Tory peer introduced a new change to the EU Withdrawal Bill, which he dubbed “Grieve Two”. The original amendment by Dominic Grieve was never voted on, Lord Hailsham said. It comes after Dominic Grieve warned the Prime Minister over the weekend the Government could collapse if she refuses to listen to Remain supporting MPs in her own party.
Theresa May has suffered a major defeat in the Lords, paving the way for a fresh Commons showdown with pro-EU Tory backbenchers over her Brexit plans. Peers voted by 354 to 235 – a majority of 119 – to give parliament a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal reached between the government and Brussels. The division list revealed there were 22 Tory rebels in the Lords who backed a new amendment, including the former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine and former ministers Lord Patten, Lord Willetts and Baroness Warsi. The decisive vote means the amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill will now be passed back to MPs for a vote when the legislation returns to the Commons on Wednesday.
The government has been defeated in a landslide Lords vote which will set up another Commons showdown over an amendment to give MPs a “meaningful vote” even if the government fails to reach a Brexit deal. The House of Lords voted in favour of a new amendment, devised by Tory MP and pro-EU rebel Dominic Grieve and tabled by Viscount Hailsham, by a significantly bigger margin than the last time the issue was debated. The amendment was passed by 354 votes to 235 – a majority of 119. Michael Heseltine, Chris Patten and Sayeeda Warsi were among the 22 Tory peers who rebelled and backed the amendment.
The House of Lords fails to represent broad swathes of the UK, the Electoral Reform Society has said. The ERS found that 54% of the 564 peers whose residence is known live in Greater London, the south-east or the east of England. The north-west of England, which accounts for 11% of the UK’s population, has only 5% representation in the Lords, it said. The ERS figures also showed that 235 of the 816 peers in the Lords were former politicians, 68 were political staffers and 13 were civil servants.
MPs are set for a fractious vote on Theresa May’s abandoned compromise with pro-EU rebels over a final vote on the Brexit deal after peers inserted it into her legislation. After two days of negotiations last week the government defied demands for parliament to be able to influence the direction of Brexit in case of no deal and instead published an amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that critics said would give MPs less control. Dominic Grieve, the former attorney-general, who has emerged as the effective leader of the rebels on the so-called meaningful vote issue, later accused ministers of bad faith and reneging on an earlier compromise amendment.
BREXIT could be stopped by a group of Tory rebels who are going against the decision of 17.4 million people to leave the European Union as Theresa May prepares for a Commons showdown. The EU Withdrawal Bill returns to the Commons on Wednesday with Theresa May facing a growing threat of MPs overturning the Government’s proposals for what should happen in the case of a no-deal Brexit. Last Tuesday, Mrs May persuaded potential rebels to back down before a vote to an amendment scheduled by Tory rebel Dominic Grieve, which was about measures being put in place so the UK would not leave the EU without a deal.
The creation of seven “supercharged free ports” in the North of England once Britain leaves the EU and regains power over trade policy could create 150,000 new jobs and add an extra £9 billion to the economy, according to new research. Modelling by former senior Treasury economist Chris Walker for Mace — the consultancy and construction firm responsible London’s Shard skyscraper, Dubai Expo 2020, and the 2019 Pan-American Games — suggests the establishment of free ports and special enterprise zones at Immingham and Grimsby, Hull Port, the Hull and Humber rivers, Tees and Hartlepool, Liverpool, the Tyne, and Manchester airport could boost annual trade by £12 billion, adding £9 billion to Britain’s GDP within 20 years. Free ports – independent zones where goods may be manufactured, imported, and exported free from customs and import tariffs – could have a profound effect on the North of England.
An emergency debate has been held at Westminster on how repatriated powers should be dealt with after Brexit. SNP MPs said the Sewel convention, which underpins the devolution settlement, is now unworkable. The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford accused the Conservatives of stabbing Scotland in the back with Brexit legislation. But Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said people want the UK’s governments to work together. He told MPs the government was adhering to the principles of devolution by pushing ahead with the withdrawal bill, despite Holyrood refusing its backing. Mr Lidington said the package was a compromise and balanced.
A group of young pro-European Labour members have stepped up their attack on Labour MPs who support the party’s ambivalent Brexit stance by unveiling posters and advertising vans accusing them of betraying the young. The ads are targeted at three shadow cabinet members, and at a shadow minister who had supported a further referendum but has since silenced herself after a warning by the Labour whips. The ads are the most personalised attacks so far from the campaign for a further referendum. The four ads were devised by young Labour members in a group called Our Future Our Choice and financed at a cost of £5,000 from crowdfunding.
Senior Labour MPs have been targeted by a pro-EU ad campaign, accusing them of “being in the pockets” of hardline Brexiteers. Campaign group Our Future Our Choice (OFOC) unveiled the billboards on Monday, which depicted shadow chancellor John McDonnell poking out of the pocket of Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg. Nia Griffiths, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, was also portrayed in a similar style, protruding from the pocket of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. The banners are a throwback to the Conservatives 2015 election campaign, which showed then-Labour leader Ed Miliband in the pocket of former SNP first minister Alex Salmond. The Conservatives launched a famous banner attacking Ed Miliband in 2015
Theresa May has found herself at odds with cabinet members over the government’s approach to medicinal cannabis, amid the growing row over a 12-year-old epileptic boy’s use of the drug. The prime minister poured cold water on the idea of a full scale review of laws, despite the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, having mooted one hours earlier. She was also reported to have cut off discussion on the issue at the morning’s cabinet, after the home secretary, Sajid Javid, attempted to raise it several times despite it not being on the agenda. Later in the day, ministers announced a new panel to consider the use of medicinal cannabis in individual cases, but it fell short of the full legal review being demanded by campaigners.
Theresa May appears at odds with senior cabinet ministers after playing down the prospect of a full-scale review into the medical use of cannabis oil, despite Jeremy Hunt admitting that the government had not got the law right. The health secretary said he backed the use of the substance and called for a swift legal review after an emergency licence was provided to Billy Caldwell, a boy with severe epilepsy whose medication had been confiscated. Cabinet sources revealed that the prime minister had overruled the home secretary, Sajid Javid, when he told her that it was “absolutely urgent” that the matter should be discussed at Monday’s cabinet meeting.
Former Conservative leader Lord Hague has called for a “decisive change” in the law on cannabis – suggesting that the Tories should consider legalising recreational use of the drug. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said “any war” has been “irreversibly lost”. Lord Hague goes further than senior Tories who have suggested a law change after a boy with epilepsy was given a special licence to use cannabis oil. The government is creating an expert panel to look into individual cases. Last week officials at Heathrow Airport confiscated Billy Caldwell’s cannabis oil, which the 12-year-old’s mother Charlotte had been attempting to bring into the UK from Canada.
Philip Hammond has warned the cabinet that he has no more money for other policies after being forced to find £25 billion for the NHS. The chancellor used a presentation to senior ministers before Theresa May’s speech on the health service yesterday to rule out extra spending on areas including schools, defence, prisons and police. He also made clear that, having fulfilled the Vote Leave pledge of paying for the NHS rise from a “Brexit dividend”, the government would need to find money to replace other funding provided at present by Brussels.
Two thirds of people who voted to leave the EU would be prepared to accept a hard border in Northern Ireland if it meant ditching the customs union after Brexit, a poll has suggested. Polling by Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative peer, found that six in 10 Leave voters would prefer to see Britain leave the European Union over keeping the Union together. Overall, only a third of voters in Britain said it would be completely unacceptable for Northern Ireland to have a different status in the EU from the rest of the UK.
Train bosses admitted today they had no idea until the ‘last minute’ their new timetables would collapse into chaos despite months of planning. Executives from rail firms responsible for the disastrous timetable overhaul were hauled in front of MPs today to explain why the changes had gone so wrong. Arriva Rail North Managing Director David Brown told MPs it was only at the ‘last minute’ before the timetable launched the problems emerged. And Charles Horton, the chief executive of GTR, said in hindsight a nationwide timetable change should never again be attempted over such a short schedule.
Rail bosses have apologised to MPs for the botched introduction of new train timetables last month. Charles Horton, outgoing chief executive of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and David Brown, managing director of Arriva Rail North, had been summoned to face the Transport Select Committee over the thousands of delayed and cancelled trains since 20 May. The rail industry had adopted a “big bang” approach to bringing in new schedules in southeast and northwest England. But within hours of the timetable change taking place, the plans unravelled – largely due to a shortage of drivers trained for the new working patterns. The RMT union summed up the rail chaos on the first working day of the new timetable as “Meltdown Monday”, while the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, demanded renationalisation.
France’s strike-prone and ill-equipped air traffic controllers are responsible for a third of all delays in the skies over Europe, a senate report concluded yesterday. The delays are costing airlines €300 million (£263m) per year it found. The damning report by the senate’s finance committee came after weeks of delays due to industrial action by Gallic controllers, forcing some planes to skirt the country to shorten flight times. According to the report, between 2004 and 2016, France’s air traffic controllers were on strike 254 days. That placed them far ahead of second-placed Greece, on only 46 days of stoppages.
THE holiday plans of thousands of Brits could be plunged into chaos after Spanish air traffic control workers reiterated their plans to strike. The group plans to strike in airports on the east coast of Spain and the Balearics, including at El Prat Airport in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca Airport, Ibiza Airport and Menorca Airport. Speaking exclusively to The Sun, a representative from an assembly representing workers, said that unless their demands were met, some would even plan to leave their posts from the end of this week.
BRUSSELS has banned aviation officials from holding back-stop talks with Britain to keep Europe’s planes flying in the event of a no-deal Brexit next March. The UK officially leaves the EU in 2019 – but in a move seen as an attempt to raise pressure on No.10, the European Commission has refused to discuss aviation contingency plans before March. Airlines, manufacturers and regulators across Europe claim that they would need around nine months to draw up adequate plans to minimise disruption if Brexit talks collapse. But the European Commission has banned the European Aviation Safety Industry (EASA) from holding talks with its UK counterpart, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).