Ministers are drawing up plans to stop illegal immigrants from coming to Britain amid concerns that Emmanuel Macron could scrap UK border controls on French soil. Mr Macron, the newly-elected French President, vowed during his election campaign to renegotiate the Le Touquet agreement which enables British border officials to carry out checks in France. Theresa May yesterday appeared to concede that the agreement will have to be looked at again as she vowed to defend the border controls, arguing that they benefit France as much as the UK. The Telegraph understands that in the event the agreement is scrapped ferry companies will be made responsible for stopping illegal migrants from crossing the Channel.
Fears are being raised new French president Emmanuel Macron could scrap UK border controls and make ferry companies responsible for stopping migrants crossing the Channel. Mr Macron has pledged to renegotiate the agreement between France and Britain that allows UK officials to carry out border checks in Calais. Prime Minister Theresa May has defended the border controls but suggested the Le Touquet deal could be revisited. But it is understood should the agreement be abandoned, ferry companies will pick up the slack.
Emmanuel Macron does not favour a hard Brexit but will be a tough negotiator in the UK’s talks to leave the European Union, according to the French president-elect’s chief economic adviser. Jean Pisani-Ferry, who is tipped to play a leading role in Macron’s government, said the UK and Europe shared a mutual interest in maintaining economic prosperity. Macron, who won the second round of the French election on Sunday, has said Brexit will not be a walk in the park for the UK. In the past he has described the referendum result as a “crime” for which Britain should be punished by a “total exit”, and said the UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, was prone to making flamboyant speeches but had no strategic vision. In the run-up to the referendum, Macron also warned against the “Guernseyfication” of the UK, saying that by voting to leave the country would “isolate itself and become a trading post and arbitration place at Europe’s border”.
Theresa May yesterday vowed to block any attempts by the new French President Emmanuel Macron to scrap Britain’s border deal in Calais. Last month he said the so-called Le Touquet agreement “must be renegotiated” and yesterday Mrs May sparked fears by saying she would be “sitting down and talking to Monsier Macron” about how the system works. But her aides insisted she will make clear the crucial border deal is “not up for negotiation”. The treaty was signed in 2003 and lets British officials carry out border checks on the French side of the Channel.
The government are drawing up a back-up plan that would require ferry companies to tackle illegal migrants seeking to get to the UK. It comes as new French President-elect Emmanuel Macron has vowed to renegotiate the Le Touquet agreement that currently allows British border officials to operate in France. Though Macron said this during the heat of the election campaign, it really wouldn’t make sense. Any weakening of the French border would simply act as a magnet that would attract a large number of migrants and risk recreating the huge Jungle style camps that French officials have just dismantled. We do know of course that Macron’s real focus is on an EU approach and doing the bidding of Germany’s Angela Merkel. Though he is French President-elect, it is likely that whatever approach taken is likely to be with an EU agenda in mind. They wouldn’t be that stupid, would they?
Theresa May has conceded that a border agreement between Britain and France could be up for renegotiation following the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential contest. Le Touquet agreement, drawn up as part of a bilateral treaty between the two countries, allows the UK to operate its border controls on the French side of the channel, in Calais, rather than on British soil. But during the campaign for the keys of the Elysee Palace, Mr Macron said he wanted to put Le Touquet agreement “back on the table”. When asked about the decade-old agreement during a campaign rally, Ms May replied: “As for Le Touquet agreement, actually it works for the benefit of both the UK and France. “Obviously the government elected after 8 June will be sitting down and talking to Monsieur Macron and others about how that system we have works for the benefit of France as well as the benefit of the UK.”
Theresa May has confirmed that a pledge to cut net migration below 100,000 will be renewed in the Conservative manifesto, despite opposition from cabinet members. Amber Rudd, the home secretary, hinted on Sunday that the target could change, and is among those understood to have expressed scepticism in private. Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, said recently that immigration was “not about putting numbers on it”. Mrs May sought to end speculation. Visiting an Asian community centre in north London, she said: “I think it is important that we continue, and we will continue, to say that we do want to bring net migration down to sustainable levels.
THERESA May promised that leaving the EU will mean Britain can slash net migration to under 100,000 a year. The Prime Minister quashed speculation that the Tories are edging away from David Cameron’s target by confirming a pledge to reduce the figure to the “tens of thousands” will be included in the party’s general election manifesto. She also insisted that tighter border controls were urgently needed to ease the pressure on public services and the wage squeeze on the low paid. The Prime Minister said: “Once we leave the European Union we will have the opportunity to ensure that we will have control of our borders.” Mrs May gave an unequivocal commitment to keeping the annual migration target from the 2015 general election during a campaign visit to meet new Tory candidates yesterday.
French president-elect Emmanuel Macron will insist on tough Brexit negotiations – but won’t look to sever the UK from the EU, his economic adviser said this morning. Macron, 39, last night vowed to ‘defend Europe’ minutes after becoming France‘s youngest leader since Napoleon having beaten far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, 48. He has previously stated he will not give Britain an easy Brexit deal and even branded the UK’s departure from the EU ‘a crime’. But this morning, the former banker’s chief economic adviser Jean Pisani-Ferry denied Macron will look to punish Britain for its vote to leave the European Union. ‘Punish? Certainly not. But he believes that today that Europe is part of the solution to the problems we’re facing,’ Pisani-Ferry said.
May’s outlandish claim that European politicians want to rig Britain’s election, overshadowed a substantial slump in new car sales, a six-month low on mortgage approvals and a quiet slowdown in consumer credit. That so little attention was paid during an election period – when the economy should be front and centre – speaks to the Prime Minister’s success at framing 2017’s election as all about Brexit. She said in April it was the unacceptable challenge to Brexit from rivals in the months ahead that forced her to call the vote, in a speech that uttered not a single word about what the same period holds for the economy. Yet Tory insiders have admitted to The Independent that there can be little doubt May had one eye on the economic warning lights when she stepped out to announce her intention to take the country to the polls.
THERESA May’s hopes of a good EU exit deal were boosted when Emmanuel Macron’s close aides said he did not want a “hard Brexit”. The newly elected French leader will be “tough” in the talks about to start, they warned. But despite punishment threats during the campaign, the 39-year-old president wants close economic and defence links between Britain and France to continue. Mr Macron’s chief economic adviser Jean Pisani-Ferry said: “I don’t think anybody has an interest in a hard Brexit. I think we need to build a new relationship. “There is a mutual interest in keeping prosperity that exists, that has been built over the years from lots of economic and various relationships. “Also the security and defence relationship is extremely important in the kind of environment we are in and which is a very dangerous environment.”
EMMANUEL Macron’s emphatic victory against Marine Le Pen could boost Britain’s chances of a good Brexit deal, a senior Tory has declared. Although he is a staunch EU fan, choosing to appear in front of supporters to the Brussels anthem rather than La Marseillaise, Crispin Blunt said a Ms Le Pen victory would have caused an “existential crisis”, forcing Britain to become a secondary issue. Initial projections hint Mr Macron, 39, is set put forward a “tough” stance on Brexit negotiations after he vowed to “defend Europe” just minutes after becoming France’s youngest leader since Napoleon in the French election 2017.
Jeremy Corbyn will insist the issue of whether Brexit happens has been settled as he formally launches Labour’s campaign in Manchester. The Labour leader will say the country now needs to focus on “what sort of country do we want Britain to be after Brexit”. He will also say Labour will deliver a “jobs-first Brexit” and help the British people “take our wealth back” from rich and powerful vested interests if it wins the General Election. Mr Corbyn will insist “when Labour wins, the British people win”. The Labour leader has so far attempted to steer the campaign narrative away from Theresa May’s focus on upcoming Brexit negotiations, instead focusing on Tory cuts to public services and his party’s spending plans.
A landmark poll carried out in Wales has confirmed that Brexit is the defining issue for voters at this General Election, way ahead of other issues parties normally fight elections on. The survey carried out by YouGov for ITV shows that 59% of voters view the UK’s exit from the European Union as their their number one concern heading into the election, ahead of the NHS, the economy and welfare. Welsh voters also believe that the Tories are the best party to deliver Brexit, with a higher approval rating than all other parties combined, with the likes of Labour and UKIP having one hell of a fight on their hands. This is not a normal General Election. Expect Remainers to be ousted by a Brexit alliance as UKIP supports some principled pro-Leave MPs and Brexiteers more widely to vote tactically across the country.
Theresa May is considering tax breaks to help families meet the crippling cost of elderly care. As part of radical reforms to confront the social care crisis, middle-aged workers could be given rebates to ease the financial burden of looking after their parents. Sources said the measures, which would mirror childcare vouchers, were a ‘real option’ as the Prime Minister finalised her election manifesto. Mrs May yesterday set out more detail of her plans for what she said was the most important election this country had faced in her lifetime. Touring TV studios five weeks before polling day, she insisted the Tories were the only party that ‘believed in lower taxation’. She also: Pledged not to increase VAT after the election; Said her government would target tax cuts at middle and lower income working families; Refused to rule out income tax or national insurance rises; Insisted the state pension would increase each year of her premiership; Announced a major crackdown on bosses who make millions while wrecking pension schemes.
Energy companies have been accused of behaving in an unfair and unreasonable way after raising prices before a proposed government price cap is introduced. Centrica, the owner of British Gas, warned that Theresa May’s flagship policy would drive up prices even higher by reducing competition. However, the Conservatives will on Tuesday confirm that the energy price cap forms a key pledge in their forthcoming election manifesto. Energy suppliers were accused of “milking” their customers after they quietly raised the price of their cheapest gas and electricity deals by as much as 37 per cent since Mrs May first threatened to intervene last year.
Theresa May will press ahead today with a promise to cap energy prices for 17 million households despite warnings that the move could force up bills for other customers. The Conservative general election manifesto will include a pledge to regulate the maximum costs of standard variable tariffs, the default deals for the two thirds of customers who have not sought cheaper alternatives. The prime minister said that she expected the price cap to save families on poor-value tariffs as much as £100 a year. Introducing a cash limit is the most radical of options that had been under consideration by the government. It is arguably the most significant intervention in the market since privatisation.
Theresa May last night pledged to cap rip-off energy prices in a move expected to cut £100 from a typical bill. In the first major policy announcement of the Tory campaign, the Prime Minister said her manifesto would include a pledge to limit the standard tariffs paid by seven in ten families. The regulator Ofgem would be given powers to set maximum prices, making it harder for energy firms to punish loyal customers. Ofgem would review the market twice a year, keeping the cap in line with wholesale energy prices and stopping firms making excess profits. Around 17million families on standard variable tariffs could benefit by up to £100 a year, according to Tory sources.
Theresa May will promise a cap on rip-off energy bills in the Conservative manifesto, arguing that she is ready to intervene in markets if they are thought to be failing ordinary families. The prime minister will set out plans for an “absolute price cap” on standard variable tariffs to save households up to £100 a year after a government-backed study found customers had collectively been forced to pay £1.4bn a year in “excessive prices”. The rate would be set by the regulator Ofgem every six months in order to prevent it from limiting competition in the market. It would target people who are less likely to switch, including elderly and disabled customers, and who find themselves on over-priced rates as a result.
Maternity staff are making more than 1,400 mistakes in NHS wards every week, figures reveal. Midwives and nurses have recorded 305,019 errors in the last three years although the actual number is likely to be far higher. They range from records being lost and low-level injury in birth to the needless deaths of mothers and babies. Figures show that at least 259 women or babies died between 2013 and 2016 due to avoidable or unexpected circumstances. A third of hospitals failed to provide data, meaning the full picture is likely to be far worse. Midwives say the mistakes are happening because safety is being compromised in understaffed units. The figures do not give a breakdown of the number of errors by year so it is not possible to determine whether they are on the rise.
Up to 30 Tory MPs are set to learn if they will be charged with electoral fraud this week, the Mirror has learned. Prosecutors are due to make an announcement on files they have received from 15 police forces before Thursday’s deadline for candidates to declare whether they will stand in the upcoming election. A Mirror investigation revealed last March that two dozen Conservative MPs received help from battlebuses packed with party activists during the 2015 general election but failed to declare the cost. In a follow-up report a six weeks later, Channel 4 News identified a further handful of Tory candidates accused of similar failings. All deny wrongdoing but face up to a year in jail and an unlimited fine if found guilty of offences under the Representation of the People Act. The Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed that it received files from a string of police forces but not the number of individual MPs facing possible charges.
The Crown Prosecution Service is expected to announce before the General election whether a number of Tory MPs will be criminally charged over the alleged 2015 election expenses scandal. More than 30 people were accused of labelling expenses incorrectly as national rather than local spending two years ago. This number includes as many as 20 Conservative MPs and a raft of election agents. Exact numbers are yet to be confirmed by the CPS. Now the CPS is expected to decide if it will take action over these claims, and will inform the former MPs before the June 8 vote. If it decides to launch criminal proceedings, the investigation could have a dramatic impact on a snap election which was called by Theresa May last month when she was top of the polls.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is expected to announce if a raft of Tory MPs will be criminally charged over the alleged 2015 election expenses scandal, before the general election. Up to 20 former Conservative MPs standing for re-election are vulnerable, after a Channel 4 News investigation found a battle bus campaigning in marginal seats was charged to national rather than local campaigns. The MPs facing such accusations have strongly denied any suggestion of wrongdoing. After Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly called the snap election last month, some Labour MPs and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage speculated that Mrs. May was seeking to avoid a series of embarrassing by-elections in the seats.
CRIMINAL charges against dozens of Tories for fraudulent 2015 election expenses could be announced by prosecutors before the June 8 general election. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said yesterday it would reveal whether more than 30 people who are accused of labelling expenses incorrectly in 2015 to take advantage of higher spending limits will face the charges. This includes as many as 20 Conservative MPs, most of whom are seeking re-election. The party has denied intentionally breaking the limits. The CPS told the Star that the announcements were expected between the end of May and the beginning of June, but that they would vary slightly between police forces. Fifteen forces applied for a 12-month extension for their investigations last year — varying from late May to early June.
Pro-fox hunting campaigners are plotting to use a predicted Conservative landslide at the general election to repeal a 2004 ban of the blood sport, according to a report. Tory Lord Mancroft, chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations, described the 8 June vote as “the chance we have been waiting for” to overturn the ban, according to an email seen by the Daily Mirror. He said a sizeable majority for Theresa May could usher in a new era for fox hunting and a vote on the issue could be scheduled for as early as this year.
Fox hunt masters are secretly “mobilising” support for Theresa May and believe the general election “is the chance we have been waiting for” to repeal the hunting ban. A leaked email from the chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations, Lord Mancroft, urges hunt masters to “mobilise supporters” and campaign for pro-hunting Tories in marginal seats. Lord Mancroft, himself a Tory peer, told supporters that Mrs May’s huge lead in the opinion polls presents a “seminal moment” for their campaign to bring back the cruel sport of fox-hunting after a 12-year ban. He said a Tory majority of 50 or more MPs should be enough to secure a repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act in a Parliamentary vote later this year. “This is the chance we have been waiting for,” Lord Mancroft wrote.
HACKING activists Anonymous have released a new video in which they lay out a chilling prophecy predicting the start of another world war. The faceless anti-establishment organisation uploaded the six-minute clip to YouTube over the weekend which has been met with horror by many who fear the worst could be on the horizon. As tensions rise between the nuclear powers of the world – with North Korea, Russia, China and the US all trading barbs on the global political stage – Anonymous fear a world war is becoming an inevitability. “All the signs of a looming war on the Korean peninsula are surfacing,” the group’s iconic Guy Fawkes character says. “Watching as each country moves strategic pieces into place but unlike past world wars, although there will be ground troops, the battle is likely to be fierce, brutal and quick.