BORIS JOHNSON last night warned that the UK will quit the EU without a deal at the end of the month unless Brussels offers Brexit concessions within days. The Prime Minister’s officials yesterday handed a new legal document to EU negotiators setting out full details of his “sensible and fair” blueprint for a divorce deal in a fresh attempt to break the Brexit deadlock. He told them: “It’s time for us to get together and really thrash this thing out.” But Whitehall insiders made clear he will walk out of the talks by the weekend if the bloc’s chiefs fail to respond with their own constructive proposals for a way forward. A Government source said: “We have gone a long way to try to find a compromise and yet the EU has not budged a single millimetre. It is now over to them.” Officials insisted definite progress needs to be made by the end of the week – in line with a deadline set by French President Emmanuel Macron over the weekend – or the talks will be over. Mr Johnson may even boycott next week’s crunch EU Council summit in Brussels.
Boris Johnson urged EU leaders to “thrash it out” as he sought to secure a Brexit deal in last chance talks. The Prime Minister claimed his Brexit proposal was “very fair, very reasonable” and respected the Good Friday Agreement. He made the comments as his chief negotiator David Frost entered talks with the EU Commission today in a race against time to secure a Brexit deal. It came after EU sources said his deal would fail unless he makes a “major shift” on its so-called red lines. The Prime Minister told Sky News: “We haven’t really heard the detail from them about what they think the problems are. It is time for us to get together and really thrash this thing out. I think we can.”
Boris Johnson’s claim that he will never write to the EU to request a Brexit delay is little more than theatre and should not be taken seriously, a court has ruled. A judge has dismissed an attempt to force the prime minister to ask for an extension, saying he has already promised the court “unequivocally” that he will do so should the law require it. Any attempt to go back on this pledge and circumvent the law would destroy the relationship between the Queen and the courts, Lord Pentland warned.
Boris Johnson’s last-ditch diplomatic offensive to convince EU capitals to back his Brexit plan has failed to garner support, ahead of a make-or-break Brussels summit next week. Mr Johnson got a frosty reception from Emmanuel Macron, who warned that the EU needed to see fresh plans by Friday, while the Dutch foreign minister warned that “more realism” was needed in British proposals. An anticipated meeting with Angela Merkel notably failed to materialise, prompting speculation that the German chancellor had declined to meet the British prime minister.
BORIS Johnson has issued a fresh plea to the EU to come to the Brexit negotiating table as Brussels warned him not to expect any counter offer. Cabinet ministers were preparing for EU chiefs to propose an alternative solution for an eleventh hour Brexit deal after rejecting the PM’s. But hopes for that were fading last night as the clock ticks down to a deadline for the outlines of an agreement by the end of this week. The EU have refused so far to enter full blown negotiations on Mr Johnson’s new ‘two borders’ offer to solve the Irish border dilemma, made last week. Dubbing his proposal as “very reasonable” yesterday, the PM insisted: “It’s a big compromise by the UK Government.
Is a Brexit deal agreed before October 31st a realistic possibility? Technically talks between the UK and EU are ongoing – with Emmanuel Macron saying the EU will decide by the end of the week whether a Brexit deal is possible. Meanwhile, the weekend papers have been filled with op-eds from government ministers on the need for both Brussels and MPs to get behind Boris Johnson’s proposed Brexit deal. However, while Johnson appears to have made some progress with the latter group (a mix of MPs from across the spectrum have suggested they could vote for the proposal), the mood music in Brussels is gloomy.
THE EUROPEAN UNION has delivered Boris Johnson a brutal list of reasons why his new Brexit proposals for the Irish border will be rejected by the bloc, leaked documents have shown. Mr Johnson said today he had not heard from the EU yet about their thoughts on the legal text tabled by Downing Street. The draft text, which has not been published in full yet, says Northern Ireland would stay in the EU’s single market for goods and electricity if Stormont agrees, as well as giving the DUP a veto before the arrangement comes into force and then every four years. But the Prime Minister’s chief negotiator David Frost, has secretly been handed a report explaining “multiple faults” the EU has found with the proposals, according to the Guardian.
The European Union’s full devastating point-by-point rejection of Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals for the Irish border has been revealed in documents obtained by the Guardian. Leaked papers lay bare the scale of the multiple faults highlighted to David Frost, the prime minister’s chief negotiator, during the most recent talks. The disclosure follows the prime minister’s claim on Monday that he had not yet heard the EU’s thoughts on the legal text tabled by Downing Street, under which a customs border would be reimposed on the island of Ireland. Under the draft text, which the UK has not published in full, Northern Ireland would stay in the EU’s single market for goods and electricity if Stormont consents, giving the DUP a veto before the arrangement comes into force and then every four years.
EUROPEAN capitals have concluded that Boris Johnson’s backstop plan was “drafted to be rejected” and isn’t a serious effort to negotiate a deal. They believe his insistence the dossier be kept secret is an effort to disguise the fact it is designed to set up a “blame game” with Brussels. Officials and diplomats who have been briefed on the 44-page legal text tabled by the UK side said it contains a number of undeliverable demands. The Government has barred Michel Barnier’s team from sharing it with Member States to prevent leaks. But the move has angered EU countries and strengthened their suspicions the negotiations are a sham, according to a diplomatic note seen by The Sun.
A senior Downing Street source last night said that any attempts by European countries to support a delay to Brexit would be considered as ‘hostile interference’ in Britain’s politics. A Number 10 source told The Spectator they would make it clear in public and in private that the interference is not welcome, and any attempt to delay is pointless as Britain will leave regardless on 31 October. They said: ‘We will make clear privately and publicly that countries which oppose delay will go to the front of the queue for future cooperation… ‘Supporting the delay will be seen by this government as hostile interference in domestic politics, and over half of the public will agree with us.’
Ireland faces disruption of medical supplies, customs delays, the loss of fishing rights and a ban on the transport of horses to the UK in a no-deal Brexit, a Whitehall paper has warned. Michael Gove’s Brexit operations committee has compiled a list of potential issues that may affect the Republic of Ireland to be used as “leverage” if negotiations break down. The Times understands that problem areas raised by ministers include: The fact that 60 per cent of Ireland’s medicines come from the UK. Customs checks causing lengthy delays on Holyhead Bridge in Wales.
Boris Johnson’s hopes of breaking the Brexit deadlock are hanging by a thread after the European Union detailed its multiple objections to his withdrawal proposals. The lack of progress since he unveiled his plans has been so marked that doubts have been raised over whether he will even attend an EU leaders’ summit next week. Mr Johnson had been expected to spend much of this week travelling to European capitals to set out his thinking to EU leaders. Instead he appears to have been left in the cold with just days left to clinch agreement on a Brexit blueprint. The Prime Minister is proposing replacing the contentious Irish backstop by leaving Northern Ireland aligned with European single market regulations while pulling the entire United Kingdom out of the customs union. He also wants to give the Stormont assembly a veto every four years on the arrangement.
Boris Johnson‘s ‘war cabinet’ has drawn up a secret dossier of threats to Ireland under a No Deal Brexit to use as ‘leverage’ over Dublin if talks with the EU over the UK’s departure break down. Michael Gove’s Brexit operations committee drew up the document warning that the Republic could suffer a shortage of medicines, customs delays at the border with Northern Ireland and a loss of access to fishing grounds off Ulster. The document was leaked to the Times as Brexit talks appeared on the brink of collapse, with the EU goading Mr Johnson over what a ‘mess’ he is in.
THE UK will be able to cope with a no-deal Brexit after the last of 140,000 stranded Thomas Cook customers arrived back in the UK today, a Cabinet minister has claimed. Mr Johnson‘s government has reviewed the tariffs it plans to apply in the event the country leaves the European Union without a deal and will publish them shortly, junior trade minister Conor Burns said. He told Parliament: “The government has remained responsive to the concerns of business and has reviewed the tariffs that will come into effect if the UK left the EU without a deal. “The government will publish the final tariffs shortly.”
The credibility of “Project Fear” threats of a “chaotic” no-deal Brexit have taken yet another blow as a top ferry company confirms it is “sufficiently prepared”. Nigel Wonnacott, who leads on external communications at Brittany Ferries, suggested that claims up to 75 per cent of lorries arriving in Portsmouth could be turned away in a No Deal scenario were not credible, in comments to The News. “We don’t want to set too many hares running and terrify people that it will be inevitable that there will be chaos in Portsmouth,” Mr Wonnacott told the local press outlet. “There’s sufficient planning in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The latest opposition talks on how to avoid a no-deal Brexit have ended in acrimony, with a blame game breaking out between the parties involved. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the SNP’s Ian Blackford, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, the Greens’ Caroline Lucas, Anna Soubry of the Independent Group for Change and Plaid Cymru leader Liz Saville Roberts all met for discussions in Westminster on Monday. It comes in the wake of Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiling new proposals in a bid to strike a Brexit deal with Brussels before the current 31 October deadline.
The EU must have more troops and be prepared to use them across the globe, the bloc’s incoming foreign affairs chief has told the European Parliament. Josep Borrell, who is nominated to be the EU’s next chief diplomat, said that Europe could not allow itself to become “irrelevant” on a world stage dominated by superpowers such as the US and China. “We have the instruments to play power politics,” he said at a European Parliament hearing into his candidacy to head up the EU foreign affairs service, “The EU has to learn to use the language of power.” “
BORIS JOHNSON was last night facing a revolt by Tory MPs over fears that British troops could be dragooned into an EU defence force after Brexit. Members of the European Research Group of backbenchers will today meet senior figures from the Veterans for Britain pressure group that is campaigning against close military ties with Brussels. Both groups are expected to discuss tactics for putting pressure on the Prime Minister to scrap significant sections of his proposed EU divorce deal. The meeting in the Commons follows concerns that the Prime Minister’s revised offer to the EU contains a range of commitments that will leave the UK tied into the bloc’s Common Security and Defence Policy that some critics see as the beginning of an EU army.
Heidi Allen has joined the Liberal Democrats as she claims at least 20 “one-nation Tories” are ready to follow suit. The former Conservative MP had quit the party early this year to form the Independent Group, later renamed Change UK, before sitting as an independent. On Monday night Ms Allen said the Conservative party had turned into “Ukip or Brexit Party Mark 2” adding: “The party I joined doesn’t exist any more.” She said: “Shifting to the extremes, the Conservatives and Labour have turned their backs on the liberal, progressive centre ground our country is crying out for.”
Former Conservative MP Heidi Allen has joined the Liberal Democrats, the party has said. The South Cambridgeshire MP, who has been sitting as an independent since quitting the Change UK group in June, takes the Lib Dem tally in the Commons to 19. Her move follows the recent arrivals of ex-Tories Sarah Wollaston, Sam Gyimah and Phillip Lee as well as former Labour MPs Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith and Luciana Berger. Ms Allen, a committed Remainer, said she was joining the Lib Dems as the other main parties had turned their backs on the ‘liberal progressive centre ground’.
Harriet Harman has urged MPs to vote for her to be Speaker to prove that women in their over 60s should not be “overlooked” and are not “past it”. The veteran Labour MP compared herself to the Queen, Helen Mirren and House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi and says that electing her would send “a powerful message” to women pensioners. Ms Harman – a former Cabinet minister and deputy Prime Minister – is the most experienced in a field of half a dozen MPs battling for the Speakership, replacing John Bercow who is standing down on October 31.
Nine in ten NHS bosses are worried that not enough money is being poured into social care, a survey reveals today. Nearly half – 46 per cent – said they were very concerned about the lack of such investment in their area. Only 2 per cent were confident that their local council was putting in enough funding to meet care needs. The survey, by NHS Providers which represents hospital, ambulance and community trusts, was completed by 131 NHS chief executives and chairmen. The results echo the concerns of Daily Mail readers. This paper will today hand in a petition at No 10 calling on the Prime Minister to end the social care crisis.
Boris Johnson has described climate change protesters as “crusties” who live in “hemp-smelling bivouacs”, following a day of action across the capital. Speaking at the book launch of Charles Moore’s final volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher on Monday evening, Mr Johnson said the former prime minister “took it [climate change] seriously long before Greta Thunberg”. His words came after more than 200 people were arrested as police took a hard line against those who tried to secure themselves to structures to call for the Government to take action on climate change. During his speech the prime minister said: “I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters littering the road.”
Extinction Rebellion protesters shut down the heart of Westminster yesterday even as police arrested 280 people. Despite efforts from officers to stop them getting equipment into central London, the climate change activists set up a dozen roadblocks. There were far fewer protesters than the 20,000 to 30,000 forecast, but traffic was halted all day on Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Millbank, the Mall, and Westminster and Lambeth bridges.
Eco-activists who left London in chaos today were branded ‘crusties’ and ‘importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters’ by Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister told Extinction Rebellion demonstrators to ‘stop blocking the traffic’ as the city centre ground to a halt despite a massive police presence. Officers arrested 280 protesters who closed bridges and major roads on the first day of a fortnight of action in London. Among activists in Trafalgar Square were celebrities including model Daisy Lowe, comedian Ruby Wax and actors Juliet Stevenson and Mark Rylance. But residents, commuters, hospital patients and paramedics reacted with fury at the protests, which brought the capital to a standstill for the second time this year.
CLIMATE CHANGE activists across Britain demanded urgent government action to rein in global warming and wildlife losses as they launched a fortnight of action today. Extinction Rebellion says its two-week programme of protest is part of an international rebellion, with action taking place in 72 major cities worldwide. Thousands of demonstrators brought Westminster to a standstill, as groups of activists blocked the roads surrounding Parliament and Whitehall. By 3pm, the Metropolitan Police said 148 people had been arrested in connection with the protests. Banners read: “Tell the truth” and “No coal mines, no fracking,” while among the musical performers was a steel band.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has committed to introducing a ‘Helen’s Law’ to keep killers who stay silent about where they concealed their victims’ bodies in prison for longer. Measures to hand out extra punishment could be outlined within days in a Queen’s Speech. This is a huge victory for Marie McCourt in her campaign – supported by the Daily Mail – for a new law following the brutal murder of her daughter Helen by Ian Simms in 1988. The remains of the 22-year-old insurance clerk have never been found after she vanished going home from work. Mr Buckland believes it is imperative that murderers who compound the grief of innocent families by refusing to disclose the location of their victims’ remains are held fully accountable.