Boris Johnson has torn up the Northern Irish backstop and demanded new terms for the UK to leave the EU with a deal in 10 weeks’ time. In a letter to the EU on Monday he said the backstop was “anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK” and it risked “weakening the delicate balance embodied in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement”. He said: “The backstop cannot form part of an agreed Withdrawal Agreement. That is a fact that we must both acknowledge.” He proposed replacing the backstop with “flexible and creative” arrangements to manage a soft border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.
Boris Johnson has written to the EU suggesting the backstop could be replaced by some form of commitment to prevent a hard Irish border in his first major move to explain the UK government’s new position to Brussels. Ahead of talks with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, Johnson released a four-page letter setting out his position that the backstop is “anti-democratic and inconsistent with the sovereignty of the UK”, because it could keep the UK indefinitely in a customs union with no means of exit. He proposed that alternative customs arrangements could be put in place at the Irish border within the two-year transitional period after Brexit, but suggested some unspecified commitments could give confidence that there will be no hard border on the island if this system is not ready by that point.
Boris Johnson has told Brussels that the backstop must be scrapped because it is “anti-democratic” and would undermine the peace process in Northern Ireland. In a letter to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, the prime minister said that the backstop would jeopardise the Good Friday agreement and undermine Britain’s sovereignty. He called for it to be replaced with a commitment to “alternative arrangements” involving the use of technology to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
BORIS JOHNSON has sensationally ripped apart former Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial Brexit deal with the EU in a scathing letter to Donald Tusk. The abrupt letter outlined Mr Johnson demands on the Irish backstop as he brutally picks apart Mrs May’s deal, which suffered three humiliating defeats in the House of Commons before she was forced to stand down as Prime Minister. The letter, sent earlier, outlines the Prime Minister’s desire to secure a deal with the EU and draws attention to the “uniquely deep ties” the UK has with the Republic of Ireland. The letter read: “First, Ireland is the UK’s closest neighbour with whom we will continue to share uniquely deep ties, a land border, the Common Travel Area, and much else besides.
Voters would prefer a No Deal Brexit than for Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister and hold a second referendum, a survey has revealed. Some 48 per cent of people said they would rather the country left the EU without an agreement than for the Labour leader to get into Downing Street. Just over a third (35 cent) would rather Mr Corbyn became Prime Minister and held a second referendum. The remaining 17 per cent of respondents in the YouGov survey of 2,000 people did not give a preference.
A general election triggered by the Brexit crisis will provide a “once-in-a-generation chance” for a change of direction in politics, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The Labour leader used a speech in Northamptonshire to set out his vision to do “everything necessary” to prevent a no-deal exit and rebuild Britain. Mr Corbyn claimed a general election could lead to a change on the scale of 1945 or 1979 and warned that things “cannot go on as they were before”.
Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure from MPs to recall Parliament as fears continue to rise about the damage a No Deal Brexit could do to the UK economy. The Prime Minister has again asserted that he will deliver on his commitment to leave the European Union on October 31 as his allies sought to play down a confidential Whitehall dossier which detailed the problems posed by a No Deal scenario. But the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said it was impossible to be fully prepared for the disruption that would occur following the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.
Downing Street has rejected demands by MPs for a recall of parliament following the leak of damaging no-deal Brexit documents and will instead ask Michael Gove to brief the public on how to prepare over the coming weeks. Whitehall sources said Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal planning and Boris Johnson’s right-hand man in the Vote Leave campaign, will also address parliament about the UK’s readiness to leave the EU without a deal. A document leaked over the weekend detailing preparations under Operation Yellowhammer argued the most probable scenario was severe, protracted delays to medicine supplies and shortages of some fresh foods, along with price rises, if there were a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.
Boris Johnson has rejected demands for parliament to be recalled “within days” amid a row over a leaked Whitehall dossier warning that a no-deal Brexit would trigger months of chaos. Both Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell threw their weight behind a plea from more than 100 parliamentarians for MPs to cut short their summer break to tackle the looming threat of a disorderly exit from the EU in the autumn. It comes after Downing Street pushed back against a secret government document, which said Britain will be hit with a three-month “meltdown” at its ports, a hard Irish border and shortages of food and medicine if the UK leaves without an agreement.
Boris Johnson has rejected John McDonnell’s demand that he recall parliament from its summer break. The shadow chancellor said that Labour believed MPs should be reconvened “in the next few days” so that they can begin efforts to stop a no-deal Brexit. More than 100 MPs signed a letter at the weekend demanding the new prime minister bring them back before September 3. “There is a need now to bring MPs back together again because we need time now to really have a proper debate and discussion about this matter,” Mr McDonnell told Today on BBC Radio 4. Downing Street refused, pointing out that MPs had voted for the recess dates.
The Great Political Realignment
John McDonnell has declared that he would campaign to stay in the EU against a Brexit deal negotiated by Labour, piling more pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to support remaining in the bloc in all circumstances. The shadow chancellor said that a Labour government would put Brexit back to the people in a second referendum but that regardless of what might be the other option on the ballot paper he would back Remain. Labour’s present policy, if Mr Corbyn becomes prime minister before the UK has left the EU, is to hold a referendum between staying in the EU and a Leave option.
AT LEAST 40 Tory MPs are said to be backing with former Remainer cabinet ministers to prevent a no deal Brexit. Former chancellor Philip Hammond and ex-justice secretary David Gauke have recruited an extra 19 senior Conservative MPs after writing a letter to Boris Johnson last week. They demanded the Prime Minister vow to abolish the backstop “set the bar so high that there is no realistic probability of a deal being done”. Their letter also said they were “alarmed” by Mr Johnson’s negotiating “red lines”. This is because they “appear to eliminate the chance of reaching agreement with the EU”.
A group of Tory MPs aiming to block an EU exit on WTO terms at the end of October is apparently growing in numbers. Those said to be involved include former chancellor Philip Hammond along with the previous Business Secretary David Gauke. The Telegraph now report that as many as 40 Conservative MPs could be involved in a plot to try and kill off a clean break Brexit in October. Both have consistently criticised No Deal, with a letter from Hammond to Boris Johnson recently being leaked. In it, Hammond and 20 other Tory MPs said: “We are alarmed by the ‘Red Lines’ you have drawn which, on the face of it appear to eliminate the chance of reaching agreement with the EU.
The hard-left leader of Britain’s Labour party has called on a coalition of anti-freedom members of Parliament to back him in bringing down the government to prevent what he called a “Trump deal Brexit” from taking place later this year. The United Kingdom is due to withdraw from the European Union — as promised by the government for over three years — in October 2019, but the process has been persistently attacked and derailed by vehemently anti-Brexit members of Parliament. While the former Theresa May government survived for years while promising Brexit but doing little to deliver, the new Boris Johnson government has made the clearest promise yet to deliver Brexit by the end of October, and moves are underway to bring the administration down before it has even enjoyed one month in power.
JEREMY Corbyn will host a ‘stop No Deal summit’ with other MPs next week to plot how they will try and force Boris Johnson’s hand. The Labour boss is set to bring the opposition parties together next week for formal talks about different ways of stopping Britain leaving without an agreement on October 31. This week he’s going on a four-day fact-finding trip to Ghana, The Sun on Sunday revealed yesterday. But when he’s back he will bring Remainers back together to try and rally support to block a No Deal.
Plans to end freedom of movement for EU citizens immediately after a no-deal Brexit have caused anxiety and confusion among European nationals in the UK, with concerns they could be caught up in hostile environment policies. Downing Street confirmed rules allowing EU nationals to live and work freely in the UK would end abruptly if the UK leaves the bloc without an agreement at the end of October. In theory, the rights of EU citizens who have permanent residence in the UK should not be affected and they will continue to be allowed to apply for settled status – granted once they have lived in the UK for five years – until the end of December 2020.
The Prime Minister’s meetings with Chancellor Merkel on Wednesday and President Macron on Thursday will play as a precursor to a new ‘wider engagement strategy’ with European countries, Guido understands. Despite overzealous media interpretations of No Deal planning, it remains the UK’s intention to deliver a deal that can pass through Parliament, and to that end bilateral conversations will ramp up following this weekend’s G7 summit. The EU will still have to drop the Backstop for meaningful FTA engagement… While Michael Gove’s Cabinet Office is focused on No Deal planning domestically, Stephen Barclay’s DExEU is laying the groundwork for negotiations to reopen in four weeks’ time. The Government is not expecting the EU’s united front to crack until they see Remainer attempts to thwart the UK leaving on 31st October fail at the beginning of September. Ironically the people who are most jeopardising the chances of obtaining a fair deal and avoiding No Deal are the so-called ‘anti-No Deal rebels’…
ITALY’S political upheaval could spread its tentacles across the European Union, France has warned months after fighting broke out between Rome’s coalition partners. As the Italian government edges towards collapse, France’s EU adviser Sandro Gozi said Europe should brace itself for “further changes” as the bloc faces yet another challenge in the months leading up to Brexit. At a summit on Sunday, Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) attempted to set out its course for the future as the chances of reviving the coalition with the far-right League remains in tatters. The group ruled out working with interior minister and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, who is pushing for a snap general election as his popularity ratings soars.
THE EU has “hijacked” Brexit and painted itself as the “innocent” party in exit negotiations but its main aim is to “humiliate and cheat” Britain, a British diplomat has blasted. Sir Peter Marshall, former UK representative to the UN in Geneva, has accused the Brussels bloc of being in “flagrant breach” of their obligations when it comes to the Article 50 treaty – the process for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. He said any hope the EU would negotiate Brexit in a “positive spirit” were “extinguished” when former Prime Minister Theresa triggered Article 50.
EUROPE’S largest economy Germany could crash into recession as car manufacturing growth plummets and Brexit cripples exports, its central bank has warned. Bundesbank said that lower consumer spending and softer overseas demand has caused the economic downturn. The bank said a slump in orders for cars in the second quarter of the year was likely to continue into the autumn. Blaming a drop in exports, it also said Brexit and the trade war between the US and China were among the factors that contributed to a 0.1 per cent drop in GDP from April to June.
Care homes could be forced to introduce rationing under a No Deal Brexit, leaked documents revealed last night. And schoolchildren could be fed lower quality meals at higher costs as legal nutrition standards are discarded. The warnings were delivered in local council internal planning documents for Brexit seen by the BBC. Bedford Council said care homes are ‘advised to hold four to six weeks supply of non-perishable foodstuffs’. Hastings Council in East Sussex even said in its Brexit risk document: ‘There might be the need for rationing. The severity would depend on what was available and particularly the duration of any shortages.’ It is understood this is a reference to the prevention of stockpiling, more than a return to wartime ration books.
Boris Johnson has insisted that potential food, fuel and medicine shortages, months of chaos at ports and possible recession under a no-deal Brexit are merely “bumps in the road”. The prime minister pushed back against concern over a secret Whitehall dossier – known as Operation Yellowhammer – which laid bare the “most likely aftershocks” for the UK in the event of a disorderly Brexit. The leaked document, which contains detailed no-deal contingency plans, has sparked concerns amongst MPs, but No 10 said the dossier was “out of date” and the UK was making all the “necessary preparations” for such a scenario.
The breakaway party launched as The Independent Group in a blaze of publicity six months ago now has “zero support”, a survey has found. The ambitious bid to remake British politics – now called The Independent Group for Change, after two chaotic name changes and a bitter split – fails to register in a poll of general election voting intentions. At 0 per cent, it is even below Ukip, which has been all but destroyed by multiple, scandal-hit leadership changes and the rise of the rival Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage, yet manages 1 per cent.
County lines gang bosses will have their property, luxury cars and watches seized by police under laws designed to tackle corrupt oligarchs, says the head of the National Crime Agency (NCA). In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Lynne Owens said NCA investigators already have a number of county lines gangs “in their sights” where they will issue orders forcing the crime bosses to account for the source of their wealth or have it seized by the court. The disclosure came as she warned that the Government’s focus on boosting bobbies on the beat could hamper the fight against the drugs gangs by “squeezing” funding to the NCA and other units. She said a failure to increase the capability to combat rising organised crime could result in continuing violence on the streets, more children being abused online and more cyber attacks against the UK.
About 120,000 five-year-old children are not fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella, health officials have revealed, leading the prime minister to tell parents to ignore “superstitious mumbo jumbo on the internet” about vaccinations. In the first quarter of the year 231 cases of measles were confirmed in the UK. The highly infectious viral illness can lead to brain damage and occasionally be fatal. The symptoms include fever and a rash. Public Health England (PHE) said that one in seven five-year-olds — about 90,000 children — about to start primary school may not have had both MMR vaccine doses, which are vital to protect against the illnesses. The rate is higher in London, where one in four five-year-olds has not had both doses.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ordering urgent action to ensure that children and young people in Britain are protected against measles. The disease can be stopped through two doses of the MMR vaccine, but immunisation rates have been falling for a number of reasons. And the UK has lost its measles-free status, three years after the virus was eliminated in the country. In the first quarter of 2019, there were 231 confirmed cases in the UK. The prime minister announced that, GPs are being asked to promote catch-up vaccinations for children who may have missed out on both doses Social media companies are being urged to quash misleading anti-vaccine messages; The firms will be invited to a summit to explore how they can better promote accurate vaccination information;
The era of dizzying rises in the price of property may be over but research suggests that owning a home still makes more financial sense than renting because of low mortgage interest rates. The monthly cost of paying the interest on a new mortgage is now 62 per cent lower than renting, according to Capital Economics, a research consultancy. It found that the average monthly rent for a property was £859, compared with the £323 average monthly interest on a new mortgage. In comparison, between 2010 and 2018, the average interest on a mortgage was 55 per cent lower than the average rent. Paying the interest on a mortgage in the 2000s was only 27 per cent cheaper than paying the rent.