The Brexit Department has been beefed up with the appointment of a leading Eurosceptic who says leaving the EU without a deal would be ‘great’ for Britain. Fareham MP Suella Fernandes, a former barrister, is chairman of the influential European Research Group of pro-Brexit backbench Tories. Her promotion to a junior ministerial post marks a meteoric rise for the 37-year-old, who was elected to Parliament in 2015. A daughter of immigrants from Kenya and Mauritius, she has previously declared her determination to make Britain a ‘fully sovereign trading nation’ once again after Brexit. She grew up in Wembley, North London. Her mother was a nurse who worked in the NHS for 45 years and her father worked for a housing association. She won a scholarship to an independent school and studied law at Cambridge where she was chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association.
Britain’s plan for a bespoke Brexit trade deal is at risk of being derailed by German opposition even before negotiations on the EU-UK future relationship begin later this year, the Telegraph can reveal. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is strongly opposed to a British plan for so-called “managed divergence” from the EU after Brexit, with senior EU officials and experts warning that the German leader considers the idea another ruse for Britain to “have its cake and eat it”. The staunch German opposition to UK thinking on Brexit emerged as Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, and David Davis, the Brexit secretary, were due to arrive in Germany on Wednesday for a joint charm offensive. The pair will travel to Berlin and Munich respectively to appeal for more pragmatism from Europe as a reward for the UK’s decision to agree to a €45billion Brexit bill last December.
The chancellor is going over the head of the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator and appealing directly to member states to agree a trade deal with Britain that includes financial services. In Berlin today Philip Hammond will argue the case for an economic partnership covering the “length and breadth” of British and European economies. The comments will be provocative, coming only a day after Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, explicitly ruled out a deal covering the City of London. The chancellor has also warned European governments that a failure to agree deep regulatory co-operation after Brexit could put Europe’s “hard-earned financial stability at risk”.
European leaders have been told to avoid creating “unnecessary barriers” to trade between the EU and the UK after Brexit. Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis have made a pitch to German business leaders, where they called for a bespoke post-Brexit trade deal with the EU which would be the “most ambitious in the world”. The Cabinet ministers launched a charm offensive with trips to Germany on Wednesday, which came after EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told European companies to start preparing for increased “friction” in trade with the UK. In a joint article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, Mr Hammond and Mr Davis said: “As two of Europe’s biggest economies, it makes no sense to either Germany or Britain to put in place unnecessary barriers to trade in goods and services that would only damage businesses and economic growth on both sides of the Channel.” German exports to Britain are worth €113bn per year – amounting to a quarter of all EU exports – while trade between the UK and EU 27 is worth €750bn a year.
The German public are being hit by a Brexit charm offensive from two top Cabinet ministers seeking to push back against the EU’s red lines. Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis – who sit at opposite ends of the divorce spectrum – have united to pen a column in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper. Writing as they travel to Berlin and Munich, the pair hope to win over Germans as the UK gears up for phase two talks with Brussels. They say the UK wants the most ambitious economic partnership with the EU “in the world”, but that will require a “bespoke solution”. Mr Hammond and Mr Davis wrote: “As Brexit talks now turn to trade, the UK will look to negotiate a new economic partnership with the EU – the most ambitious in the world – that recognises the extraordinary levels of interconnectedness and co-operation that already exist between us.
A delegation of Brexit supporters will present the EU’s chief negotiator with a hamper of English sparkling wine, cheddar cheese and Shakespeare plays at a meeting in Brussels today, as they warn him against under-estimating Britain’s global influence. The group, led by MEP Steven Woolfe, hopes to foster a more positive tone in the negotiations – but will also use the meeting with Michel Barnier to warn of “huge support” among voters for a “no deal” scenario where Britain reverts to WTO rules. Mr Woolfe will be joined this morning by former CBI head Lord Digby Jones, Labour Leave chairman John Mills, and former British Chamber of Commerce chief John Longworth as they discuss Brexit with Mr Barnier. A source said they planned to present the gifts to Mr Barnier in a Fortnum and Mason hamper which would also contain a jar of marmalade, a bottle of English cider.
Financial services are pivotal to the “bespoke” Brexit trade deal wanted by the UK, two senior ministers are to tell German business leaders. Chancellor Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis will call for the “most ambitious” economic partnership in the world during a trip to Berlin. They will stress the importance of supporting financial supervision and not allowing banking “fragmentation”. The EU has warned the UK cannot cherry-pick the kind of arrangement it wants. The second phase of Brexit negotiations, covering transitional arrangements after the UK leaves in March 2019 and future economic and security co-operation, are set to officially begin in March.
BRUSSELS has admitted a bad Brexit deal will prompt a series of trade and job losses across the continent as the bloc struggles to cope with losing its relationship with Britain, a leaked EU document has revealed. The future looks bleak for town and cities across Europe which rely on good trade ties with Britain for trade and manufacturing, according to the report by the EU’s Committee of the Regions. The report will likely bolster the view of some leading Brexiteers that the EU’s alleged unified approach to the second phase of Brexit talks will be subject to increasing divisions and splits as member states try to safeguard their own national economies in the face of a potential no-deal scenario. The message has clearly reached influential leaders within the EU too – on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron warned the EU27 must present a “united front” or risk an outcome “unfavourable to the European Union and thus to each one of us.”
Czech President Miloš Zeman has warned the European Union (EU) that unless the bloc fortifies its external borders, up to 10 million Africans will illegally migrate to the continent in the next few years. Giving his weekly address on the Prague television station Barradov, President Zeman said: “If the European Union does not [gain] the courage to strengthen its external borders, for which it constantly chatters but does nothing, we will have 10 million refugees [from Africa] in the course of the [coming] years.” Noting that a high number of migrants coming from Africa and the Middle East are Muslim, the president added that the migrants’ culture “is not compatible with European culture, which is what immigrants themselves understand”. The Czech Republic, along with other Visegrád nations Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, have resisted the EU’s forced redistribution of migrants after German Chancellor Angela Merkel unilaterally suspended the bloc’s refugee rules and invited more than a million people from the Middle East and Africa to migrate to Europe in 2015.
European Union chief, Jean-Claude Juncker has admitted that the remaining EU 27 countries will inevitably have to pay more into EU coffers after Brexit, as there won’t be enough money to fund vast EU expansion without it! Speaking at a conference which outlined the blocs post-Brexit funding plans, Juncker said that without the UK, there will not be enough money “to fund the major ambitions of Europe, like the joint European defence policy”. “We need to find a means of reacting to a loss of significant billions of Euros when a net contributor goes,” he added. “Nobody wants to give more or lose out, but it’s very difficult when a net contributor leaves us.” Juncker also took aim at those fighting to overturn the referendum, telling the crowd: “Don’t believe those who say that Brexit is not going to happen and that people have realised their error in the UK. I don’t think that’s going to be the case.”
EUROPEAN countries are increasingly worried about how their economies are going to clobbered by the fallout from Brexit, a dynamite report reveals. The leaked Brussels dossier shows how regions of the bloc’s most powerful states are set to be drastically hit by Britain’s departure. Officials in cities and provinces across the continent are now begging Eurocrats to set up an emergency fund to help them through economic turmoil. The SOS call, issued in testimonies given by to the EU’s Committee of the Regions, and obtained by Politico, will heap more pressure on its negotiator Michel Barnier.
THE enlargement of the European Union is in the hands of Slovenia and Croatia, Jean-Claude Juncker has warned as he admitted the border dispute affects the entire bloc. The European Commission President said the ongoing issue between Slovenia and Croatia was not merely a bilateral problem but one that impacted all of the EU. Speaking at a press conference with the Slovenian President Borut Pahor, Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The future enlargement of the EU to Western Balkans states is in the hands of Slovenia and Croatia. “This is not only a bilateral problem, this is a problem that impacts the whole European Union.” He added the deadlock between the two EU member states was “impacting the perspective of Western Balkan states to become members of the European Union.”
SOME of Europe’s largest fishing ports have raised major concerns about the possibility of Britain leaving the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and potentially blocking access to the waters in its Exclusive Economic Zone after Brexit. The UK will regain control of its Exclusive Economic Zone – the area of coastal water that surrounds Britain’s shores – after Brexit and could block access to fishermen from Europe. The prospect is causing major anxiety in some parts of Europe, with job losses expected in northern European ports if access to UK waters is denied. Finistère, the French department in the extreme west of Brittany, is fearing a major hit to its fishermen. Nathalie Sarrabezolles, a local official, said: “The end of the access to the British fishing areas to the Finistère fishing boats is a real economic risk, 50 per cent of the fishing activity in Brittany region is made inside the British Exclusive Economic Zone.”
UKIP fisheries spokesman, Mike Hookem MEP, has blasted EU Commissioners for allowing Dutch fishers to use the “grotesque and highly destructive” electro-pulse fishing method on British fishing grounds; despite being warned by scientific advisors against a derogation from the EU’s ban on fishing with electricity. A seething Mr Hookem – who has campaigned against electro-pulse fishing for over two years – described the move as, “a blatant disregard of the environmental impacts and scientific evidence to assist an ailing Dutch fishing fleet through profit creation!” A new report by the Low Impact Fishers of Europe organisation (LIFE), today revealed that despite EU claims that Commissioners were advised “to allow” electro-pulse fishing in two sections of the North Sea; STECF – the EU’s own committee of experts on fisheries – actually advised against granting ‘experimental’ licences until the impacts of pulse trawl fisheries on non-target species and the potential impact on vertebrates and invertebrate species had been “resolved.”
MPs will be able to vote for Britain to rejoin the EU customs union after Brexit without further legislation, a minister has revealed. The surprise admission delighted pro-EU MPs, but will alarm Brexiteers who will view it as a back door to remaining within the trading rules, despite EU withdrawal. Ken Clarke, the former Conservative Cabinet minister and leading anti-Brexit rebel, said he was “considerably reassured” by what the Government was proposing. The admission came amid claims there is a majority in the Commons for staying in the customs union, because the fear of huge extra costs for businesses and chaos at Britain’s borders. Mel Stride, a Treasury minister, revealed the small print of the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill, which is needed for the Government to levy customs duties on goods traded with the EU after Brexit. He insisted the UK will leave the trade bloc when it withdraws from the EU in March next year, but acknowledged a clause in the legislation would allow it to re-enter.
A leading NHS hospital is delaying chemotherapy for cancer patients and those who are terminally ill face cuts to their treatment because of a chronic shortage of specialist nurses, according to a leaked memo. Andrew Weaver, head of chemotherapy at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, which treats thousands of patients from across the region, said in a memo to staff that treatment was being delayed. He also warned that the number of chemotherapy cycles offered to the terminally ill would have to be cut because of a lack of staff trained to deal with medication. The centre has a 40 per cent shortfall in nurses on the unit that administers chemotherapy. The proposals, seen by The Times, are believed to be unprecedented.
All small shops will be made to charge the 5p plastic bag levy under plans by Theresa May to tackle Britain’s “throwaway culture”. In a speech on the environment tomorrow, the prime minister will announce moves to close the exemption that excuses retailers with fewer than 250 employees from charging customers for single-use plastic bags. Mrs May and Michael Gove, the environment secretary, briefed ministers yesterday on a 25-year plan that is being described as a key moment in the government’s attempt to regain the green agenda. Mr Gove, who arrived for the cabinet meeting carrying a reusable coffee cup made with bamboo fibre after being criticised for using disposable cups, told colleagues that he was “determined to tackle the throwaway culture which plastic encapsulates”.
Theresa May is extending the 5p plastic bag charge to all small shops in the hope of ending Britain’s ‘profligate’ waste of natural resources and ‘throwaway culture’. The Prime Minister told Cabinet ministers that a new 25-year environment strategy to be unveiled tomorrow would ‘send a strong message to the public about the Government’s commitment to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than we inherited’. Corner shops and other retailers with fewer than 250 employees are currently exempted from the charge in England, but May and her Environment Secretary Michael Gove will set out plans for the levy to cover almost all plastic bags. Yesterday Mr Gove showed he was ready to practice what he preached, by turning up for the meeting clutching a reusable coffee mug.
The 5p charge on plastic bags is set to be enforced in corner shops and other small retailers, as the government extends its plans to tackle “throwaway culture”. Retailers with fewer than 250 employees are currently exempted from the charge in England, which was introduced in 2015. Theresa May and environment secretary Michael Gove will set out plans to expand the charge in a 25-year Environment Plan being published later this week. The plan will be unveiled on Thursday and Whitehall sources confirmed that a consultation on extending the plastic bag charge will form part of it. One option on the table would be for the charge to be extended on a voluntary basis, the source said. Michael Gove told colleagues the introduction of the 5p charge on single-use plastic bags had contributed to a reduction of nearly 90% in their use, in a clear demonstration of what can be achieved by targeted official action.
Beaches in the West Country have been left littered with a “tidal wave” of plastic rubbish brought ashore by Storm Eleanor. Teams of beach cleaners have been hard at work removing the debris and sending it to be recycled after last week’s weather churned up the seabed. Among those organising voluntary clean-ups is Martin Dorey, who set up the #2minutebeachclean campaign four years ago. “It is as bad as I have seen it since the storms of 2013-14,” Mr Dorey, from Bude in Cornwall, said. “It was the combination of strong onshore winds and a huge swell. The tide carried rubbish further up the beach than usual.”
Churned up in the ocean’s depths and swept ashore by Storm Eleanor, a tidal wave of plastic waste scars some of our most beautiful beaches. As the storm’s 100mph winds battered Britain, the ugly piles of plastic debris shown in these photographs were strewn across the coast. They are yet another stark reminder of just how much plastic is in the oceans – and why the Daily Mail’s tireless campaigning on the issue is so vital. With experts warning there will, at current rates, be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans by 2050, we have led calls to curb the billions of disposable coffee cups thrown away every year, and crack down on the use of plastic, campaigning for measures such as a deposit scheme for plastic bottles. Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University, explained how piles of waste from the seabed were brought to the surface by Storm Eleanor.