Northern Ireland’s High Court is to begin hearing a legal challenge on Tuesday against British plans to leave the European Union without a vote in the Westminster parliament. The case is being brought by a cross-party group of politicians, including members of the province’s two largest Irish nationalist parties, who argue a vote in the Northern Ireland regional assembly should also be required. The British government has said its legal advice is that triggering Article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty, the formal process to start a two-year countdown to an exit, can be invoked under the royal prerogative, which does not require parliamentary approval.
This Tory conference is making clear quite how topsy-turvy politics has become over the past few months. David Davis is sweeping around with a ministerial entourage. The Cameroons are largely absent. Nicky Morgan, who started the year as an ultra-loyal Cabinet minister prepared to help the Prime Minister out and soothe any row, has become a vociferous critic of the government, the new Peter Bone of the Tory party (without the luminous green tie). Meanwhile, the former rebels on the eurosceptic right of the party such as Steve Baker and Bernard Jenkin are walking around in a sunny state of happiness. So the rebels are now happy. And the loyalists are now grumpy.
An extra 1,500 medical school places are to be announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a bid to tackle the NHS recruitment crisis. Mr Hunt will remove the current 6,000-a-year cap on training new doctors to help make NHS England “self-sufficient” by the middle of the next decade. “From September 2018, we will train up to 1,500 more doctors every year, increasing the number of medical school places by up to a quarter,” Mr Hunt will say in a speech at the Conservative conference in Birmingham. “Of course it will take a number of years before those doctors qualify, but by the end of the next Parliament we will make the NHS self-sufficient in doctors.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is pledging to train up to 1,500 more British doctors a year in a bid to tackle the recruitment crisis in the NHS. Speaking at the Tory conference in Birmingham, he will claim the move will make NHS England “self-sufficient” in doctors by the middle of the next decade. Mr Hunt is promising to reform the current 6,000-a-year cap on students at medical schools, allowing numbers to grow by as much as 25%. He says he will ensure all young people with the capability to train as a doctor have the chance to do so. There will also be a new requirement for all doctors trained on the NHS to work for it for a minimum of four years after graduation.
JEREMY Hunt is to unveil plans to train hundreds of extra new home-grown doctors every year as he lays out his vision for a seven-day NHS. The Health Secretary will use his Tory conference speech in Birmingham today to commit to funding of an extra 1,500 training places for doctors starting in 2018. However, Mr Hunt will also ensure that junior doctors, who cost the taxpayer £220,000 to train, will for the first time have to agree to work in the NHS for at least four years. It means that 6,000 student doctors will start training at medical schools to tackle with the problem of almost half of applicants being turned away each year. The announcement follows criticism during the EU referendum campaign that the NHS is too reliant on foreign doctors and is short of home-grown staff.
Jeremy Hunt is to pledge that the NHS in England will be “self sufficient” in doctors after Britain leaves the European Union as he sets out a package of measures aimed at reducing its reliance on foreign-trained medics. The health secretary will use his speech to the Conservative party conference on Tuesday to promise that medical schools in the UK will be allowed to offer up to 1,500 extra training places a year, and released figures that said that one in four NHS doctors have been trained abroad. Hunt will stress that foreign-trained doctors do a “fantastic job”, and say that “we want EU nationals who are already here to be able to stay post-Brexit” before adding: “Is it right to import doctors from poorer countries that need them while turning away bright home graduates desperate to study medicine?”
Doctors will be made to pay back the cost of their training if they leave the NHS too quickly under plans to end an over-reliance on foreign staff. The NHS will train thousands more medics and within a decade will no longer need to import overseas doctors, Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, will say today. Junior doctors will be tied to the NHS for four years after qualifying, meaning that they will be forced to repay the government’s contribution to the cost of medical school if they move abroad or into private practice. Training a doctor costs the taxpayer £220,000.
The NHS will be “self-sufficient” within 10 years and not have to rely on foreign doctors, Jeremy Hunt will say on Tuesday. The Health Secretary will use his speech to the Conservative Party conference to announce plans to train up to 1,500 more doctors a year in England. Mr Hunt will end the 6,000-a-year cap on medical school students, allowing numbers to grow by as much as a quarter in 2018 and ensuring all young people with the capability to train as a doctor have the chance to do so.
MORALE among doctors is at an all-time low and thousands are considering quitting the NHS and practising overseas, researched by the British Medical Association (BMA) revealed yesterday. And more than 200 hospital consultants have signed a letter to NHS England expressing deep concern at the “uncosted, unevidenced” plans for a seven-day NHS. The letter, organised by the Junior Doctors’ Alliance, coincided with the publication of the BMA study showing that almost half of doctors are so disillusioned with the NHS, they hope to move abroad. The consultants said they were concerned by plans for a “truly seven-day NHS” — a phrase used by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt — “at a time when there is abundant evidence that we are struggling to provide a five-day NHS plus emergency cover 24/7.”
A LEADING Brexit campaigner today claimed there is “no point in leaving the EU” if powers are still left in the hands of European human rights judges. Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, who was a leading member of the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum, today hit out at “judicial activism” from the Continent. Mr Hannan highlighted interference from the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on issues such as prisoners’ right to vote, which MPs have strongly voted against. Although Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed Britain will unbind itself from the separate European Court of Justice once Brexit is complete, the UK will still have to follow the rulings of the ECHR as it is a non-EU institution.
Troops’ legal action
Veterans and their families have welcomed plans to give British troops protection against prosecutions arising from future conflicts. Theresa May is to introduce an automatic opt-out from certain aspects of human rights law during times of war. It comes after veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have been pursued through the courts over alleged mistreatment of combatants and prisoners. Under changes being announced at the Conservative conference, the prime minister said the move should end an “industry of vexatious claims” and reduce the burden on taxpayers, which has seen the Ministry of Defence spend more than £100 million on Iraq-related investigations, inquiries and compensation since 2004.
Soldiers could be shielded from legal action brought under the European Court of Human Rights in future conflicts, in a bid to protect troops from “vexatious” court claims. Ministers argue the step is needed because ECHR judgments in recent years have over-extended the court’s jurisdiction, making action against troops fighting in conflict zones too easy. Under the proposals, while British soldiers would be protected from action using ECHR law, they would still be subject to International Humanitarian Law, including the Geneva conventions and UK criminal law.
The government is to unveil a legal measure it says will protect UK troops from “vexatious” legal claims. The change in policy, to be announced at the Conservative conference, would mean parts of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) could be suspended during future conflicts. Much of the litigation faced by the Ministry of Defence comes from claims under the ECHR, the government says. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the legal system had been “abused”. “It has caused significant distress to people who risked their lives to protect us, it has cost the taxpayer millions and there is a real risk it will stop our armed forces doing their job,” he said.
Theresa May is to outlaw what she calls “vexatious” legal claims against British troops in conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan. The Prime Minister is vowing to end a “witch-hunt” against soldiers which has led to 1,500 investigations and could cost taxpayers £100m. In a move warmly welcomed by veterans’ families and MPs, she will pledge that the European Convention of Human Rights will no longer apply to troops serving in battle. “Our Armed Forces are the best in the world and the men and women who serve make huge sacrifices to keep us safe,” the Prime Minister will declare.
British soldiers will never again face a legal witch hunt , Theresa May will pledge as she says that European human rights laws will no longer apply on the battlefield. In a joint announcement with Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, the Prime Minister will say that UK troops will be protected from the “industry of vexatious claims that has pursued those who served in previous conflicts”. Mrs May and Sir Michael will say that in future conflicts Britain will opt out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), protecting our frontline forces from “spurious” legal claims. Their intervention is a major victory for soldiers, MPs and senior military figures who have fought against the hounding of troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan over allegations that date back as long ago as 2003.
The Government’s boundary review will still leave an “in-built problem” in Britain’s voting system that can only be fixed by introducing proportional representation, a Conservative MP has warned. Ben Howlett said First Past the post was a “very unfair, undemocratic system” and that the Tories should consider advocating for PR as part of the party’s modernisation process. “Ideologically, Conservatives don’t like reform of that sort of nature – they’re quite conservative by nature – they’re a little bit less progressive than some other parties,” he told The Independent in an interview at Tory conference.“That has changed, and I’ve seen a sizable shift, I keep seeing that shift at conference. 2003 was my first conference – the idea that we would have been contemplating electoral reform at conference in 2003 was pie-in-the sky thinking.
More than half of Britons think having complete control over immigration policy is more important than access to the EU single market in Brexit negotiations, a Sky Data Snap Poll reveals. Some 52% prioritise controlling immigration while 40% think access to the single market is more important – 7% answered “don’t know”. The findings come as Theresa May hit the headlines with a conference speech seen as focusing on a “hard Brexit”, insisting “we will decide for ourselves how we control immigration”.
Controlling immigration does not necessarily mean Britain will lose access to the European Union’s single market following its exit from the bloc, Chancellor Philip Hammond said on Monday. Prime Minister Theresa May has said the June 23 vote to leave the EU was a message from British voters that they wanted curbs on immigration, but EU politicians have said that will mean Britain cannot retain single market access. “You put it to me that we know that if we control our borders, we will not be able to get access to the European Union market, I said we don’t know that at all,” Hammond said during an interview with ITV television.
Britain should “get on” with leaving the European Union (EU) and have a comprehensive free-trade with Australia ready for the day Brexit formally happens, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said. Mr Abbott told a business breakfast in London on Monday “there should be no tariffs or quotas whatsoever on any goods traded between our two countries — there should be no exceptions, no carve-outs, nothing.” He also urged the free movement of people between the UK and Australia, enforcing long-standing Commonwealth ties. “For the first time in a generation, Aussies shouldn’t face a passport queue at Heathrow,” he said. “Britons and Australians already have more than 200 years’ experience of each other, so why not allow them more freely to travel and work in each other’s country, provided no one’s bludging.”
British factories had their strongest month in more than two years in September, a survey showed, raising doubts about whether the central bank and finance ministry will announce more stimulus measures to offset the economic hit of the Brexit vote. The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed a surge in export orders, helped by the fall in the value of the pound after June’s referendum vote to leave the European Union. The manufacturing index reached its highest level since June 2014 in September, rising to 55.4 in September from 53.4 in August as it continued to rebound from a three-year low in July. Sterling erased some of its earlier losses made when it slumped to a three-year low against the euro following Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement of a March deadline for starting formal divorce talks with the EU.
The United States suspended talks with Russia over Syria last night, dropping an effort to revive a failed ceasefire and abandoning a push to establish a joint military force. “This is not a decision that was taken lightly,” said a state department spokesman, who accused Russia and the Assad regime of escalating attacks on civilian areas. US and Russian military forces will continue to communicate to avoid attacking each other. However, Washington recalled representatives who had been sent to Geneva to work with the Russians in planning co-ordinated strikes on jihadist groups.
VLADIMIR Putin has ordered every city in Russia to hold a drill in preparation for nuclear apocalypse TODAY. More than 40 million people – almost a third of the country – will take part in the unprecedented civil defence exercise from October 4 to 7. Paranoid state officials and the media have warned the US is about to launch an all-out attack after cutting ties with Russia over its bombing campaign in Syria . Putin’s ministers announced they have built nuclear bunkers capable of holding all of Moscow’s 12 million residents on Friday. Now the country appears to be readying citizens for an imminent strike.
THERE are fears that a huge volcano is about to spew hot molten lava after nearly 100 quakes shook the island of Tenerife in just four hours. The Volcanology Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) reported a spike in seismic activity on Sunday. A terrifying 92 micro quakes were recorded in Adele and Vilaflor on the popular holiday island in the space of four hours. One measured 1.5 on the Richter scale. Experts fear that because of their depth below the surface, they might cause 12,000ft Mount Teide to blow. Scientists have been sent to investigate the “abnormal” “seismic swarm”. They will measure the levels of carbon dioxide in the area – which is an early indicator of volcanic earthquake activity which comes before an eruption.