Boris Johnson today warned Brussels that the UK will slash red tape and taxes to compete if it is forced to leave with No Deal. The Tory front runner delivered the threat as he insisted October 31 will not be a ‘fake’ deadline – saying he will make sure Britain is ‘match fit’ to leave by then. Meanwhile, the former top civil servant at the Brexit department has insisted planning for No Deal is in ‘good shape’ – while cautioning that there will be consequences for the economy.
Boris Johnson will have to embark on a whistlestop charm offensive meeting EU leaders over the summer to try to secure an emergency Brexit summit in September if he is serious about avoiding no deal, according to Whitehall sources who have been involved in negotiations. The senior sources said Johnson, if he becomes prime minister, would immediately need to pull out the stops over parliament’s summer holiday with a round of diplomacy with senior politicians in Europe.
Philip Hammond has told Theresa May that he will fund her legacy plans as a trade-off for her allowing Tory MPs free votes on efforts to stop a no-deal Brexit. The chancellor has been locked in a row with the prime minister over her attempt to push through £27 billion of funding for education before she steps down. After weeks of talks Mr Hammond is close to signing off an agreement to boost education funding by about £5 billion. However, he has suggested that his support is conditional on suspending the whip on a cross-party attempt to stop Britain leaving the European Union without a deal on October 31.
THE European Union will only agree to delay Brexit again if the UK has a general election in an attempt to solve the ongoing crisis, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has warned. The Taoiseach warned there would be “a great deal of reluctance” amongst European leaders to grant the UK an extension beyond the October 31 deadline. He said a many European countries have become increasingly frustrated at the rolling extensions in Britain’s long-running departure from the bloc.
There would be a “great deal of reluctance” amongst European leaders to grant the UK another Brexit extension, the Irish premier has warned. Leo Varadkar said a lot of European countries had become very frustrated at the rolling extensions in the Brexit process but he did not rule out the possibility entirely. It comes as Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney warned that the chances of a no-deal outcome have never been higher. The Irish Government will publish an updated Brexit preparedness plan on Tuesday in anticipation of the UK’s scheduled withdrawal from the EU on October 31.
The candidate put forward to become the new EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, is reportedly open to yet another Brexit delay. That’s according to former pro-EU MP Denis Macshane who has revealed a conversation he has had with von der Leyen, saying: “When we spoke last month I told her Boris Johnson would be Prime Minister but the Commons was unlikely to vote for a No Deal, or vote for May’s unworkable deal and that MPs of all parties were hostile to a new election.”
Boris Johnson would deliver a 40-seat majority for the Conservatives if a general election was held with him as Prime Minister, a new survey has shown. Meanwhile the Tory party led by Jeremy Hunt would leave Labour with the largest number of MPs – even though a larger number of people polled thought he would be the better Prime Minister. The ComRes poll, commissioned by the Telegraph, puts the Tories with 345 MPs with Labour at 207 and the Brexit Party at none if Mr Johnson were to win the race.
Boris Johnson would lead the Conservatives to a thumping 40 seat majority as Prime Minister, according to polling. The frontrunner would also skewer Nigel Farage’s hopes of securing any Brexit Party MPs. Rival Jeremy Hunt tonight promised a £27 billion boost for the economy if he wins the Tory leadership race. But the party would lose a general election if he was at the helm even though voters believe he would be a better Prime Minister, according to the ComRes poll. It put the Conservatives on 345 MPs, Labour 207 and the Brexit party at none if Mr Johnson replaced Theresa May.
Boris Johnson has promised to “fix” the pension cap that causes 90 per cent tax rates for some high earners and has led to doctors refusing to work. The Tory leadership candidate said he had “repeatedly” tried to persuade Chancellor Philip Hammond to address the £1.1m limit on pension pots that has caused chaos in the NHS. Speaking at a Telegraph Live hustings event on Monday night he said the current rule was “obviously wrong” and would be revised if he became Prime Minister.
Union chiefs have given the biggest hint yet that Labour will become the party of Remain after months of internal disputes. They have agreed a “common position” in favour of a second referendum and would back the campaign to stay in the EU. But the unions also want Labour to keep the option to Leave on the table after the next general election. Jeremy Corbyn is expected to make an announcement as early as Tuesday that Labour would now back Remain in a public vote.
The trade union leaders have this afternoon finally come to a united position as to what they want Labour’s Brexit policy to be. Key Corbyn ally Len McCluskey appears to have finally dropped his opposition. The Unions will now pressure Labour to officially argue that whatever deal is negotiated in the next few months (or No Deal if talks are abandoned) should go to a second referendum, up against Remain. And they’ve finally admitted they want Labour to campaign for Remain… But, crucially if there is a General Election, they have decided to back Labour attempting to negotiate a new Brexit deal, which would then go to a second referendum.
Labour-affiliated trade unions have agreed the party should campaign for a second EU referendum and support Remain if the next Conservative prime minister negotiates a fresh Brexit deal. Labour should also campaign for another public vote – and support staying in the EU – if the UK is set for a no-deal Brexit, union leaders unanimously decided at a meeting. The discussions also saw an agreement that, in the event of a general election, Labour’s manifesto should include a promise to negotiate their own Brexit deal with the EU.
Labour-affiliated Trade Unions are now urging the party to back a second referendum and potentially even campaign against a Brexit deal that a Labour government negotiates. Bonkers. The new position from some Trade Unions is to demand a second referendum and campaign to Remain if the Conservative government negotiates a deal or goes for No Deal. But in the event of a General Election, they want Labour’s position to be that they would negotiate a deal with the EU but still have a referendum – with Labour possibly campaigning against their own deal and proposing to stay in the EU.
Labour is poised to declare it will campaign for remain in a second referendum on any deal put to parliament by a Conservative prime minister, after trade union leaders including Unite’s Len McCluskey backed a change of policy. The joint position agreed by the unions on Monday would not commit Labour to an explicitly pro-remain position in all circumstances: unions also agreed Labour should seek to deliver a Brexit deal if the party won an election before the UK left the EU.
Labour’s anti-Semitism row escalated on Monday as a non-disclosure agreement signed by the party’s former head of disputes was leaked to the media. A so-called “gagging clause” preventing Sam Matthews, a former Labour official, from speaking publicly about his past employment has been published. It was leaked 24 hours before BBC Panorama airs an in-depth investigation into Labour’s handling of anti-Semitism complaints, in which Mr Matthews and other ex-employees are believed to have broken their NDAs to discuss their experiences publicly for the first time.
THE Labour Party is being torn apart by infighting over a bombshell investigative TV programme which could bring down Jeremy Corbyn because of his role in antisemitism disciplinary cases. Several former Labour staffers are expected to appear on Wednesday’s BBC Panorama documentary and unveil the real extent of antisemitism in the party. But some Labour officials are trying to the use non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) signed by these sources to shut them down – which has infuriated leading personalities within the party.
Former staff members preparing to break their silence on Labour’s antisemitism crisis have received legal advice that the gagging orders designed to stop them are useless. Jeremy Corbyn has been trying to shut down a BBC documentary based in part on the testimony of officials who had worked handling complaints. Sam Matthews, the party’s former head of disputes, is among those said to have received warnings about breaching non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) from Labour’s lawyers, Carter-Ruck.
Labour last night pledged to crack down on toxic leaseholds and save homeowners thousands of pounds. The party set out radical plans to end leasehold ownership of houses and flats – and make it far easier and cheaper for people to buy the freehold of their homes. Ground rents would be scrapped for all new builds and would be set at a maximum of £250 a year for existing leaseholders.
Tenants will be given new powers to escape rip-off leases and soaring ground rents if Labour wins power, the party is promising. They would be able to buy freehold ownership of their home for just one per cent of the property value, instead of being charged tens of thousands of pounds. And ground rents for leaseholders would be capped at 0.1 per cent of the value of the home, up to a maximum of £250 a year, Labour said.
Labour has set out plans to ban the sale of new private leasehold houses and flats in an overhaul of property ownership rules that could slash the costs for homeowners of buying their freeholds. The shadow housing secretary, John Healey, said the proposals would end exploitative practices by freeholds, “from rip-off ground rents, to punitive fees to onerous contract conditions stating what they can and can’t do to their own homes”.
Dementia sufferers have spent almost £15 billion of their own money on social care while awaiting promised Government reforms – dwarfing state spending, research has found. The Alzheimer’s Society said families were being forced to plug large gaps in a “dreadfully broken system”. They highlighted families affected by the delays – including a woman who had to ask passers-by to come into her house to help her lift her husband, and another left stuck in hospital, after waiting a year for a care assessment.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, was in frantic talks with doctors last night to diffuse a growing pensions crisis which is lengthening waiting lists. GPs and consultants are cutting their hours and taking early retirement as changes mean many are worse off financially the more they work. Changes to pension rules mean anyone earning about £110,000 or more faces a limit on how much they can pay in each year. For those on more than £150,000, the allowance tapers down from £40,000 to as little as £10,000.
The fire brigade has warned four NHS trusts that they plan to shut down parts of their hospitals because they are so decrepit that they pose a threat to patients and staff. Fire chiefs have made plain to the trusts that they must make urgent improvements to the units concerned in order to improve safety or face legal action to close them down. The Care Quality Commission, the watchdog that inspects hospitals and GP surgeries, is also considering using its powers because it fears infrastructure problems risk affecting patients.
Smoking should be eradicated in England by 2030, ministers are set to urge. The Government will vow to get all smokers to either quit the habit entirely or switch to e-cigarettes within the next 11 years. Under leaked plans seen by the Daily Mail, tobacco firms would be forced to pay the cost of helping people stop smoking instead of over-stretched local health services. And leaflets giving advice on how to quit would have to be inserted into every cigarette packet. Ministers will also pledge a crackdown on cheap cigarettes sold on the black market.
JEREMY Hunt has confirmed officials are looking at whether a hostile state such as Russia hacked secret memos that branded Donald Trump “inept and incompetent”. A cyber attack to steal Sir Kim Darroch’s blunt assessments of the US President is now an official line of inquiry in a major leak investigation, the Foreign Secretary told The Sun. Initial suspicion over who handed over a jumbo tranche of the Washington Ambassador’s cables centred on a plotting Tory minister. But it emerged last night that some senior Foreign Office figures now believe an enemy government hoping to sow discord between the US and the UK is a more likely culprit.
DONALD Trump has slammed Theresa May over Brexit and said he will no longer deal with the British ambassador to Washington today. In a series of bombshell tweets, the US President accused the PM of creating a ‘mess’ over leaving the EU and said diplomat Sir Kim Darroch, who called Trump ‘inept’, was “not liked”. A dangerous rift has been torn in the ‘Special Relationship’ between the US and Britain since Sir Kim called Trump “inept”, “insecure” and “incompetent” in a series of leaked memos.
DONALD TRUMP has launched a scathing attack against Theresa May over her handling of Brexit by describing it as a “mess” – and added he will no longer deal with the UK’s ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch. Donald Trump criticised Theresa May for not listening to him about the best way to proceed with the UK’s exit from the European Union. In a thunderous tweet, he said it is “good news” the UK will soon have a new Prime Minister. In a further dig at Mrs May, he added “it was the Queen who I was most impressed with” during his state visit to the UK last month.
Donald Trump has excoriated the UK’s ambassador to Washington, saying he will “no longer deal with” the beleaguered diplomat. The US president also turned his fire on Theresa May, accusing her of making a “mess” of Brexit. Mr Trump added that the UK was “wonderful,” and the “good news” was that it would soon have a new leader. His intervention came after leaked diplomatic cables showed Sir Kim Darroch, the UK’s top diplomat in Washington, had described Mr Trump’s administration as “inept” and “incompetent”.
Donald Trump has savaged the UK Ambassador who penned a memo about the “inept” White House as Britain launches a full leak inquiry. Sir Kim Darroch – whose term is due to end this year – will now face pressure to step down early as envoy to Washington after being publicly disowned by the President. In leaked private cables from summer 2017 Sir Kim said “President Trump radiates insecurity” and could face “disgrace and downfall”. Sir Kim added at the time: “We really don’t believe that this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional, less unpredictable, less faction-riven, less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”
Donald Trump severed relations last night with Britain’s ambassador to the United States in an unprecedented move after the leak of diplomatic cables that called his administration “inept”. The US president tweeted that Sir Kim Darroch “is not well liked or well thought of within the US” after his confidential assessments of Mr Trump and his White House were exposed at the weekend. The ambassador’s position had already been described as “untenable” by one of his predecessors, despite efforts by the British government to limit the damage.
Downing Street has reiterated the UK’s ambassador to the US has Theresa May’s “full support”, despite Donald Trump saying he will no longer work with him. The US president was responding after leaked emails revealed Sir Kim Darroch had called his administration inept. In a series of tweets, Mr Trump also criticised Mrs May’s handling of Brexit saying she had created “a mess”. Number 10 called the leak “unfortunate” and said the UK and US still shared a “special and enduring” relationship.
Theresa May has expressed “full faith” in her ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, but rejected his description of Donald Trump as inept and insecure, as she launched an inquiry into the leak of his diplomatic memos. The prime minister’s spokesman said it was Darroch’s job to provide “an honest and unvarnished view” of the US administration but she did not necessarily have to agree with everything he had written. No 10 is scrambling to find the leaker after two years of memos emerged in the Mail on Sunday, causing Trump to condemn Darroch as someone who “has not served the UK well”.
Nigel Farage has responded to suggestions he could be the next ambassador to the US by claiming he “could be very useful”. The Brexit Party leader, who has boasted of his friendship with Donald Trump, claimed he would not accept the job when Sir Kim Darroch leaves Washington. But he said he would be well placed to forge a better relationship between the two countries. Mr Farage has called for Sir Kim to step down after leaked memos revealed he described the Trump administration as “inept”.
Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe was asked whether she thought Nigel Farage would be a good ambassador to the U.S., and in response said: “He’ll be too busy being prime minister.” Even if in jest, the response implies that the Brexit Party holds power over a potential future Conservative government; one Tory MP admitted that in the event of a General Election, the party would need to come to an “agreement” with Farage to win and ultimately deliver Brexit, with Andrew Bridgen MP describing Farage as the “kingmaker”.