A MILLION public sector workers are to get wage hikes of up to 3.5 per cent as Theresa May bins the pay cap for good, The Sun can reveal. The PM will today announce the biggest increases for squaddies, teachers, doctors, police and prison officers for nearly a decade as Government breaks for the summer. Sources claimed the staff will get pay rises of between 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent for 2018-2019. Most are expected to see a 2 per cent boost. It marks the largest round of pay increases for the workers since ex-PM David Cameron introduced a pay freeze in 2010, followed by a 1 per cent cap two years later.
The Government is to end its five-year public sector pay cap with more than a million workers set to receive a salary increase, it has been reported. Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly set to announce pay rises of between 1% and 4% for public workers including teachers, armed forces personnel and doctors on the last day of the parliamentary term. The Government’s pay restraint policy has seen a two-year freeze after the Conservative-led coalition came to power in 2010, followed by a 1% annual limit from 2013. Unions and the Labour Party have repeated calls for the cap to be lifted, with Jeremy Corbyn urging the Government to “see sense” on the issue last September.
The government is set to announce wage increases for about one million workers in the public sector, the BBC understands. Last year the PM announced plans to lift the 1% cap – in place since 2013 – but deals were only confirmed for some NHS workers, prison staff and police. Other professions – including the armed forces, teachers and doctors – are now expected to see an increase. The rises will be announced in a series of written statements to Parliament. Sources told the Sun that staff will get pay rises of up 3.5% for 2018/19, although the BBC understands the average figure is likely to be lower.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned the EU a No Deal Brexit “will lead to a fissure” in relations between the EU and UK. On his first trip abroad as Britain’s new Foreign Secretary, Hunt told his German counterpart: “I think that many people in the EU are thinking that they just have to wait long enough and Britain will blink, and that’s not going to happen.” His warning comes as Amazon has claimed in the latest desperate attempt to scare Britain from a World Trade Brexit, that No Deal will lead to “civil unrest”. Project Fear is being ramped up again. Whilst giving a speech in Berlin, Hunt called for Brussels leaders to “show much more flexibility and creativity in negotiations if we are to avoid a ’No Deal by accident’ scenario”.
Jeremy Hunt has spent the last two years attempting to position himself as the next leader of the Conservative Party. Today he has declared war on Brexiteers, and indeed his government’s own official policy, by ridiculously claiming that Putin is the only winner in the event of a WTO Brexit. It shouldn’t be forgotten that in the days after the referendum, Hunt demanded that the UK stays in the single market, seeks a Norway-style ultra-soft Brexit -even softer than the Chequers fudge – and then called for a second referendum on the deal. Hunt wrote at the time: “The first part of the plan must be clarity that we will remain in the single market.
Jeremy Corbyn will today claim there has already been an economic “benefit” of Brexit, as he launches a campaign to boost British manufacturing. The Labour leader will suggest the crash in the pound that followed the 2016 referendum made sterling more competitive and should have helped UK exporters, had the government had a plan to let them capitalise on it. It will come in a “build it in Britain” speech, in which Mr Corbyn will also attack the use of “cheap labour from abroad” and demand government contracts are kept in Britain instead of being given to “companies outside the UK”.
The British public would blame Europe for a chaotic no-deal Brexit and it would damage relations with the country’s nearest neighbours for a generation, Jeremy Hunt has said. In a stark message on his first trip abroad since being appointed foreign secretary, Mr Hunt used a visit to Berlin to plead for Brussels to show more flexibility in negotiations. He said that the only person to benefit from the collapse of talks would be President Putin. “Without a real change in approach from the EU negotiators, we do now face a real risk of ‘no deal’ by accident,” Mr Hunt said.
The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said there is a risk of the UK leaving the EU without a deal because of stalling by Brussels negotiators and that British views of Europe could sour as a result. On his first overseas trip since replacing Boris Johnson, he claimed there was now a very real threat of ending up with no deal by accident, which could alter British public attitudes toward the EU for a generation. After talks in Berlin, Hunt told his German counterpart Heiko Maas: “This is because many people in the EU are thinking that they just have to wait long enough and Britain will blink.”
Vladimir Putin would “rejoice” at a No Deal Brexit, a Tory Cabinet minister declared today. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt made the devastating warning despite No Deal Brexit being a policy his own government is preparing for. It is a major slapdown from Mr Hunt – a Remainer – to Tory Brexiteers on his first official visit two weeks after he was promoted from the Department of Health. The government has ramped up backup plans for no deal as talks remain deadlocked with just 12 weeks to go to a deadline in October.
Newly appointed foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned of the risk of a no-deal Brexit “by accident” if negotiators in Brussels waited too long for Britain to “blink”. Speaking in Berlin – his first overseas visit in the new role – Mr Hunt said crashing out of the bloc would also lead to a “fissure” in UK-EU relations for a generation. “Without a real change in approach from the EU negotiators, we do now face a real risk of no deal by accident,” the foreign secretary said at a news conference alongside his German counterpart Heiko Maas.
Jeremy Hunt today insisted only Vladimir Putin would celebrate a no-deal Brexit – as he warned the EU that failing to compromise will poison relations for a generation. The new Foreign Secretary used a visit to Germany to urge a redoubling of efforts to break the deadlock in negotiations. While admitting crashing out of the bloc would be damaging, he cautioned European leaders not to rely on the UK ‘blinking’ if they refused to offer an acceptable deal. He said the UK would learn how to thrive economically without a trade agreement – but suggested only the Russian president would be happy as the fallout would seriously weaken the West’s diplomatic ties.
Public safety and the fight against crime is being put at risk in Brexit talks because the EU and UK are putting politics before security considerations, a Commons report warns today. If the UK can no longer have access to EU databases providing alerts on suspects and offenders could not be extradited to face justice in Britain, it would be calamitous, the report claimed. Theresa May’s decision to rule out European Court of Justice jurisdiction and the “disappointingly rigid” approach by the European Commission could leave Britain locked out of access to EU databases, the European arrest warrant and with less influence in Europol.
A legal challenge against the Scottish Parliament’s Brexit bill is to begin at the Supreme Court in London. MSPs passed the bill, an alternative to Westminster’s EU Withdrawal Bill, in March amid a long-running row over post-Brexit powers and devolution. Holyrood’s presiding officer had raised questions over whether the legislation was within the parliament’s remit, and UK law officers challenged it in court. However the Scottish government insists the bill should be allowed to stand. The Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies will also be represented in the two-day hearing, having made submissions backing the Scottish government’s stance.
A TOP Tory MP has let loose at the European Union with a furious Brexit rant, accusing Brussels of attempting to keep Britain “prisoner”. Bernard Jenkin took to Twitter to hit out at the EU, accusing them of purposefully dragging their heels in Brexit talks in order to make the UK’s union exit a failure. The MP for Harwich and North Essex, who is also chair of the House of Commons’ Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee, said the EU wanted to “close every option”. And he said this was all a ploy to send a warning to other eurosceptic states in the bloc. Mr Jenkin said on Twitter: “EU appears utterly determined to close every option for the UK to leave the EU in substance rather than just as a legal technicality; to prove that no country can ever truly leave.
BRITAIN is set for a Brexit clash with the EU after Brussels shot down its bespoke plans for the City of London to have access to the European market, claiming it would rob the bloc of its autonomy. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told European affairs ministers that Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal could not be accepted as it threatens to water down the bloc’s “decision-making autonomy” when it comes to finance. Theresa May’s Brexit White Paper has called for “expanded” equivalence – where the UK must prove it is following laws to gain access to EU markets – which rejects the existing models as “not sufficient to deal with a third country whose financial markets are as deeply interconnected with the EU’s as those of the UK are”.
ITALY’S debt has ballooned to an eye-watering 133.4 percent of GDP, spelling trouble for the Eurozone as the nation’s coalition leader demands penny-pinching Brussels scrap its austerity measures. The country’s horrendous €2.1 trillion debt has risen by 1.6 points, making it the third highest debt-ridden state after Belgium, which has shown a 2.9 point increase, and Greece, up 1.8 point, according to figures from Eurostat. At the start of 2018, Italy’s debt was recorded at 131.8 percent GDP meaning the amount owed is creeping up since the appointments of Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio and Lega leader Matteo Salvini.
SPAIN’S conservative Popular Party have appointed a tough new leader who has pledged to make the party more right-wing in a direct challenge to the country’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez and the EU. Pablo Casado vowed to take a more confrontational stance on the country’s issues such as Catalonian separatists and abortion law compared to his predecessor Mariano Rajoy, who was ousted as prime minister in June following a vote of no confidence. This swayed the People’s Party to pick him over former Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría as their new leader.
PRESSURE is mounting on Theresa May to consider a new World Trade Deal after the EU rejected her Chequers plan for Brexit last week. The proposal for a bold new World Trade Deal would, according to leading economic experts, end austerity with a boost of £80 billion a year and guarantee that Britain is free of Brussels rule. The proposals have been exclusively unveiled in the Daily Express as new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has said he is “relaxed” about not having a trade deal with the EU. He has also made it clear that if Brussels bureaucrats continue to to refuse to see reason he will withhold the £39 billion divorce settlement promised in December.
LORD Heseltine has urged Theresa May to hold a second Brexit referendum as he declared the Prime Minister’s Chequers deal was “dead”. The Tory peer and arch-Remainer said Mrs May’s Cabinet agreement over Brexit had already been “disowned” by Eurosceptic Tories. In a furious rant in the House of Lords, he accused the Prime Minister of having “no plan” to lead Britain out of the EU. And he said holding a second referendum on the UK’s impeding exit was the only way to solve the issue.
Ministers are set to be handed greater powers to block or unwind overseas takeovers that pose a threat to national security. Draft proposals will be announced today by Greg Clark, the business secretary, in a national security investment white paper that will extend the government’s oversight of foreign mergers and takeovers to a wider range of industries. At present ministers can intercept takeovers across the economy only if there are concerns about competition.
Lives will be put at risk if the UK and EU ‘recklessly’ do not agree a post-Brexit security deal, MPs have warned. Failing to strike a deal would be ‘completely irresponsible’ and hamper the fight against terrorism and serious crime across the Continent, a damning report said. Both sides were putting ‘political red lines’ ahead of public safety, the Commons Home Select Affairs Committee said. In a strongly-worded report, MPs warned that treating the UK like an outsider on security co-operation after March 2019 would undermine tackling terrorists, killers and rapists.
The full extent of the Black Wednesday battering to Britain’s balance sheet was covered up by civil servants and John Major’s government, newly-released papers show today. The deception meant that the public was left in the dark for years about how much foreign currency had been sold off during the infamous day in 1992. One revealing memo between two Downing Street aides even acknowledges a cover-up – reading ‘the published figures have NOT revealed the scale of the intervention…’ On September 16, 1992, interest rates rose from ten per cent to 12 per cent and then 15 per cent as the Conservatives battled to prevent sterling crashing out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).
Labour MPs and peers appear likely to break with the party leadership and adopt a separate, tighter definition of antisemitism amid a row over tackling the problem. The party’s parliamentarians last night pushed forward an emergency motion at their weekly meeting that could lead to them adopting the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition and guidelines. Labour’s leadership has introduced a party-wide code of conduct that uses part of this internationally accepted definition but omits some of its official examples.
Labour MPs and peers have voted unanimously in favour of forcing the party’s parliamentarians to abide by the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism that is at the heart of a furious row gripping the party. The Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) used an emergency meeting to unanimously pass a motion to make MPs and peers “accept and abide by” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition, parts of which were controversially left out of Labour’s new code of conduct.
Labour MPs are heading for a new confrontation with Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism, after backing a move to endorse an internationally-accepted definition in full. At an emotionally-charged meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) on Monday night, an emergency motion proposed by veteran Jewish MP Louise Ellman was backed without a vote. Her proposal, to adopt the definition of anti-Semitism established by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), including all its examples, will now be put to a ballot of Labour MPs and peers on 5 September.
Labour was last night accused of trying to silence an MP who stood up to Jeremy Corbyn over his failure to tackle anti-Semitism in the party. Dame Margaret Hodge was threatened with disciplinary action last week for calling the Labour leader an anti-Semite and a racist. Now her lawyers have written to the party to describe the disciplinary threat as a ‘veiled attempt to silence’ a dissenting voice. And the MP stood by her criticism of her leader, saying she had always disagreed with those who called him an anti-Semite but ‘people have to be judged on what they do and not what they say’.
Labour averted a bitter showdown with MPs over its code of conduct on Monday, with a key vote on whether the party should adopt an international antisemitism definition deferred until parliament returns in September. Jeremy Corbyn was criticised by some MPs for not attending the crunch meeting of backbenchers of Monday, though the leader’s office said he had never been scheduled to attend. At the emotional PLP meeting, sources said numerous Labour MPs spoke strongly in favour of adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, though one objection was raised by the former deputy prime minister John Prescott.
Sir Vince Cable has denied that he was plotting to set up a new anti-Brexit centrist political party when he embarrassingly missed a knife-edge Commons vote last week. But other reports suggested that was indeed what he was up to, and during last year’s general election he predicted that such a party might emerge. For those who do want to create a new centrist party, it is easy to see why now could be the time to try it. Labour is stuck with Jeremy Corbyn, rows about anti-Semitism and a hard Left grip on its future.
Red light district
Britain’s first official red light district has been branded a failure by one of its key architects amid speculation that the controversial scheme maybe on the brink of collapse. The local politician who helped mastermind the zone in Leeds admitted the women working the streets were still at risk of violence and neighbouring residents had seen a surge in sex and drug-taking in their streets, parks and woods, sometimes in full view of children. Kerb-crawling men are meanwhile evading prosecution from the police’s “hands-off” approach. A crisis meeting to be held between residents and the council, police and health chiefs on Tuesday will hear strong calls for the ending of the scheme.