NO-DEAL Brexit next month is becoming “increasingly likely,” the European Commission said today. Senior EU officials said they had completed their preparations for a possible no-deal Brexit if Britain leaves without an approved Withdrawal Agreement by April 12. Theresa May told the Commons that there was “still not sufficient support” among MPs to bring her Withdrawal Agreement back for a third “meaningful vote” this week before the original exit date of March 29 — this Friday.
The European Commission has announced that all of its preparatory work for a clean, No Deal Brexit is complete — four days before the United Kingdom was officially scheduled to leave the bloc. “As it is increasingly likely that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal on 12 April, the European Commission has today completed its ‘no-deal’ preparations,” the EU’s executive branch said in a statement on Monday. “While a ‘no-deal’ scenario is not desirable, the EU is prepared for it,” the statement added.
The European Commission and Ireland are in “intense talks” on how to avoid customs checks on the Irish border after a no deal Brexit, as it emerged that Brussels will demand Northern Ireland follows EU rules even if Britain crashes out of the bloc. Brussels will insist that the Irish border backstop, or a form of it, is imposed on Northern Ireland as the price for restarting trade talks with Britain after no deal, EU sources told The Telegraph. That will mean Belfast observing EU customs and some single market rules.
Brussels has said preparations for a no-deal Brexit have been completed and warned that it is “increasingly likely” the UK will crash out. In a statement released on Monday, the European Commission (EC) said “preparedness and contingency work”, which the EC has been conducting since December 2017, was now finished. The announcement comes days after EU leaders agreed to a request by Theresa May to extend the UK’s Brexit date – though not by as long as she had asked for.
European Union citizens are set to have their rights “stripped away” after Brexit unless ministers put legislative protections in place to guarantee those rights, an influential group of MPs has warned. The EU (Withdrawal) Act in its current form means the home secretary will be required to make secondary legislation in order to reinstate the rights of European Union nationals post-Brexit, according to the UK’s Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR).
Senior officers of the British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force have warned that the United Kingdom is being entangled in the European Union’s military integration schemes, and that Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal with the bloc will undermine national security long into the future. “At a time when [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel’s party successor is calling for an EU aircraft carrier, we encourage MPs to reflect more carefully on the wider consequences for national security of voting for Theresa May’s ‘deal’ now or in the future,” the retired veterans warn in their open letter, published by the Telegraph.
FAILING to get her own way by mendacity, Mrs May is now evading the law and the legislature. She is executing personal diktats and international agreements outside of consultation or ratification by Parliament, outside of consultation with even her own Cabinet, outside of precedent, without due process, and contrary to statutes. She is acting unconstitutionally and unlawfully. The law she is now evading is the EU Withdrawal Act of June 2018. It is an act of many parts, but more on those later.
THERESA May is locked in a Mexican stand-off with hardline Brexiteer chiefs after she dramatically opened the door to quitting as PM. The Sun can reveal that Mrs May has indicated for the first time that she would consider resigning in exchange for MPs passing her Brexit deal. The major admission came in a private conversation with senior Tory Eurosceptics at her Chequers country retreat on Sunday evening. But Mrs May also made it clear she would first need to know if the numbers were there for any resignation pact before she agrees to ponder it any further.
Theresa May is at the mercy of her mutinous cabinet once again as she attempts to rescue her Brexit strategy from disarray after MPs dramatically seized control of the agenda. The Cabinet is meeting for the second time in 24 hours after the Prime Minister suffered a humiliating Commons defeat which could lead to a “soft” Brexit that keeps the UK closer to Brussels. MPs voted by 329 to 302, a majority of 27, for a cross-party amendment proposing a series of “indicative votes” in the Commons on a range of options as well as the PM’s twice-rejected Brexit deal.
Politicians in Westminster have once again sought to seize control of Brexit from the government, voting for an amendment from anti-No Deal Tory MP Oliver Letwin to take control of business in the House of Commons on Wednesday. This will then be used for MPs to vote for a series of Brexit options, likely including revoking Article 50 and stopping Brexit altogether as well as a plot to lock the UK into a Customs Union and the Single Market, effectively killing off a proper Brexit and independence. The proposal passed by 329 to 302 votes in the House of Commons.
Rebel MPs seized control of the Commons from ministers tonight adding a new element of chaos to the Brexit endgame. A cross party group coordinated by Tory Oliver Letwin and Labour’s Yvette Cooper won a vote tonight that will mean MPs dictate what the Commons debates and votes on Wednesday. The move is constitutionally unprecedented and sets the stage for ‘indicative votes’ on the options for Brexit if MPs will not support the divorce deal negotiated by Theresa May.
The House of Commons has voted on a series of amendments to a Government motion, allowing Remain MPs to take control of the Brexit process from the Prime Minister. This came after Theresa May postponed a third vote on her Withdrawal Agreement — which might never be held at all now. The Government whipped Tory MPs to oppose the proposed power grabs, which they believe would set a dangerous and disruptive constitutional precedent.
Theresa May has lost control of Brexit after Parliament seized the reins in a landmark vote. MPs took control of the Parliamentary timetable by backing an amendment put forward by former Tory minister Sir Oliver Letwin which gives MPs the chance to have their say on a series of options. The government whipped MPs to vote against the plan by promising their own series of indicative votes. But the amendment was passed by 27 votes after a number of Tories defied the government whip.
MPs have inflicted a fresh humiliating defeat on Theresa May, voting to seize control of the parliamentary timetable to allow backbenchers to hold a series of votes on alternatives to her Brexit deal. An amendment tabled by former Tory minister Oliver Letwin passed, by 329 votes to 302 on Monday night, as MPs expressed their exasperation at the government’s failure to set out a fresh approach.
Most voters believe Parliament is determined to block Brexit in defiance of the electorate’s will, a poll reveals. Some 55 per cent believe Parliament is determined to thwart Brexit, including almost two in five (38 per cent) Remain voters and 87 per cent of Leavers. Fewer than one in five (19 per cent) of the public disagree. The ComRes online poll of 2,030 British adults found most voters (54 per cent) also felt Remain-supporting MPs and other Establishment figures trying to stop Brexit had damaged the UK’s negotiating position with the EU, against just 24 per cent who disagreed.
Parliament seized control of Brexit last night as three government ministers quit to give MPs the power to tear up Theresa May’s deal. The business minister Richard Harrington joined Alistair Burt and Steve Brine in effectively resigning as they joined 29 Tory MPs defying a three-line whip to defeat the government. The move means that MPs will take control of the Commons agenda tomorrow to begin a process that could result in parliament backing a softer Brexit.
As the crisis in Westminster deepens, the campaigners working to make sure Brexit never happens are surely feeling more bullish than at any time since the 2016 referendum. If you have managed to circumvent the mainstream media’s nefarious efforts to stop you from hearing about it, you will know that the insurgency is gaining momentum. A million people joined an anti-Brexit march in central London on Saturday, while a petition on the issue has received more than five million signatures in the last week.
Three ministers backed revoking Article 50 as MPs began another week of desperately searching for a way out of the parliamentary deadlock. Mark Field, a Foreign Office minister, became the first member of the government to speak openly in favour of aborting the Brexit process, telling BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour last night: “I would be happy to revoke Article 50.
A REMAINER petition to stop Brexit by revoking Article 50 is “irrelevant” and MPs should just get on with it, most Brits think. More than half of people think the millions who have demanded Britain Remain in the EU shouldn’t force the PM’s hand. 52 per cent – including 28 per cent of Remainers – reckoned that petitions calling for the UK to stay are irrelevant compared to the historic result of the EU referendum, fresh polling from ComRes for Leave Means Leave reveals that.
EUROPEAN Council president Donald Tusk hopes Britain will retract Article 50 and remain in the EU because he fears a competitive and unhappy relationship with the UK after Brexit, senior aides have claimed. Mr Tusk chaired last week’s European Council summit in which Brussels leaders agreed to delay Brexit, a move the former Polish Prime Minister personally hopes will lead towards Britain staying in the EU. Afterwards, he came out and told a UK reporter at the evening’s press conference “I am more pro-British than you, I think”.
Brexit is in limbo after Theresa May DUMPED plans for a third vote on her deal tomorrow – admitting there is still not “sufficient support”. The humiliated Prime Minister told MPs she cannot guarantee when they’ll vote on the twice-defeated, 585-page pact – or if they will at all. It leaves the Brexit process in chaos just four days before the UK was meant to leave – and 19 days before a new April 12 deadline set by the EU.
Theresa May is making last-ditch attempts to persuade MPs to back her EU withdrawal plan after Brussels agreed to delay Brexit to May 22 if she can secure support from the Commons for the deal this week. If MPs reject the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement for a third time, the UK will have until April 12 to set out its next steps, with a longer extension on offer only if Britain takes part in European Parliament elections in May.
MORE THAN 100 Tories currently “held prisoner” by Theresa May are ready to back a Norway style Brexit – its supporters claim. Labour’s Stephen Kinnock said he believed a large number of loyal Tories – including Ministers “on the payroll” will switch to backing the Norway option once her deal is defeated a third time. Mr Kinnock pointed out that 113 Tories voted for an extension to Brexit talks to avoid a No Deal. He said: “We have already had very productive conservations with the leader of the opposition.
Theresa May’s hopes that she can force her withdrawal deal through parliament faded on Monday after the Democratic Unionist party leader, Arlene Foster, rejected a personal plea for support. The prime minister then enraged the pro-leave party further by implying that preparations for a no-deal Brexit on the issue of the Irish border had not progressed because the Northern Ireland assembly had been suspended. Support from the DUP is critical to May’s hopes of getting parliament to approve her Brexit plan.
THERESA MAY incensed her DUP partners by suggesting the paralysis in Northern Ireland was part of the reason for delaying Brexit. The PM told the Commons there was a limit to the decisions the civil service in the province can take in the event of a No Deal – given the Stormont Assembly is still suspended. DUP deputy Nigel Dodds immediately blasted Mrs May in a sign of the staggering breakdown in relations between the Ulster unionists and No.10.
A DUP spokesperson has confirmed that the party’s position on May’s Withdrawal Agreement “remains unchanged” following a telephone call between leader Arlene Foster and the prime minister this afternoon. The DUP have proven themselves to be a real stumbling block for the government, defending the integrity of the Union at each stage of the Brexit process. Their latest rejection of May’s deal will come as a significant blow for the government who had been considering holding a third Meaningful Vote in the Commons as soon as tomorrow.
BRITAIN is heading for a general election “disaster” if Theresa May’s deal cannot be agreed by Parliament, senior government sources warned. The caution came as the country’s bitter divisions were exposed yesterday with hundreds of thousands of Remainers descending on London demanding that Brexit is blocked. It came amid intense speculation that Mrs May is on the brink of being pushed out as Conservative leader and Prime Minister by her own Cabinet, with fears among even some closest allies that she has lost control in Parliament and the country.
Brexit chaos could plunge Britain into a general election in weeks, ministers said yesterday after rebel MPs voted to seize control of Brexit from the embattled Prime Minister. Three pro-EU ministers quit the Government to back a Commons amendment enabling MPs to take control of Commons business to stage a series of ‘indicative votes’ on alternatives to the Prime Minister’s deal. They were among 30 Conservative MPs to defy the whips and support the cross-party amendment which was passed by 392 to 302 – a majority of 27 – in another humiliating reverse for Theresa May.
Cabinet ministers yesterday “wargamed” how they might call a general election to break the Brexit deadlock. In an emergency meeting ministers debated whether they would have any choice other than to call an election if the UK were forced into a long Brexit delay or a softer Brexit. The debate came after Steve Barclay, the Brexit secretary, warned on Sunday that the risk of a general election was increasing.
Cabinet members have warned a new election is nearing as Theresa May lost grip on the Brexit process during another fraught night in the House of Commons. A series of top ministers raised the prospect of a third UK election in four years after MPs voted – by 329 votes to 302 – to take control of parliamentary process away from the prime minister so that they can set out how they think Britain should escape its political crisis. The loss saw three Remain-minded junior ministers quit their jobs so they could join forces with a cross-party drive that is now likely to push the government towards a longer delay to Britain’s departure and a much softer Brexit.
The Home Office secretly gave £30,000 to a group campaigning to legalise paedophilia in the late 1970s, a former civil servant has claimed. Tim Hulbert told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse that he had seen the payment on a spreadsheet. He said the money for the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) had been marked as a grant to another group. But the inquiry also heard that a review of his claims had failed to find documentary evidence to support them.
GPs are fuelling Britain’s poor cancer survival rates, with significantly better results seen in countries which allow patients to access hospitals directly, a study suggests. Researchers said the NHS system of “gatekeeping” – meaning that patients have to see a family doctor before being allowed to undergo tests or get a specialist assessment – was also linked with lower satisfaction among patients. The study by Imperial College London analysed 21 studies comparing different healthcare systems in both the US and 19 European countries.
More than 40,000 miles of Britain’s roads are at risk of crumbling within five years, a major potholes survey has found. Council figures show that a fifth of the country’s roads are in “poor condition” with less than “five years of life” remaining. The survey found, however, that the number of potholes repaired by councils in England and Wales rose by more than a fifth last year. Transport campaigners accused authorities of spending money on quick fix “patch and mend” repairs rather than resurfacing damaged roads.
Britain’s pothole-ridden roads need £10billion of repairs to bring them ‘up to scratch’, a report claims. Last year the number of potholes repaired in England and Wales rose by a fifth to 1.86million, following a £4million increase in councils’ average highway maintenance budgets to £24.5million. But the report warns much of this is being spent on ‘patch and mend’ work which does not improve resilience.
A major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth is growing again, a new NASA study finds. The Jakobshavn (YA-cob-shawv-en) glacier around 2012 was retreating about 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) and thinning nearly 130 feet (almost 40 meters) annually. But it started growing again at about the same rate in the past two years, according to a study in Monday’s Nature Geoscience. Study authors and outside scientists think this is temporary.
KILLER Asian hornets are set to invade Britain as the country faces a sizzling three-month heatwave. The pests can chew through protective clothing and their stings can cause anaphylactic shock. Nests have been found in New Alresford and Brockenhurst in Hampshire’s New Forest tourist hotspot, leading to fears that families could be attacked. The hornets have already killed five people in France and hibernating queens will soon be waking up in the UK.