THERESA May’s landmark Brexit proposal decided at her crunch summit at Chequers last week is likely to be rejected by the European Union as “cherry-picking”, a leading MEP has warned. The Prime Minister broke the deadlock within her Cabinet and resolved the Government’s policy in regards to trade and the UK’s post-Brexit customs arrangement with the EU. Mrs May has proposed a UK-EU free trade area which would establish a common rulebook for industrial goods and agricultural products. However, she has signalled that different arrangements would be made for services, which make up around 80 percent of the UK economy, where the Government is seeking a greater degree of flexibility.
THE EU’s chief Brexit negotiator claims it is becoming “clear, clear, crystal clear” that Britain would be better off in the EU. Michel Barnier said yesterday in New York that by the time Brexit arrives next March Britain will wish that it had remained under the control of Brussels. Mr Barnier said that the UK and EU had reached agreement on 80 per cent of Brexit but the “most difficult issues remain open”.
The legal text of a withdrawal treaty between Britain and the European Union is 80 per cent agreed, Michel Barnier, said yesterday. Speaking in New York before a new round of Brexit negotiations next week, Brussels’ lead negotiator tried to sound a positive note as the UK was hit by political turmoil and cabinet resignations. “Over the last few months we have made progress in the negotiations, as you can see in this draft withdrawal agreement which we have published, more or less 80 per cent,” he said.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has said a deal is 80 per cent agreed, in an apparent softening of tone as Theresa May faces down Tory rebels over the direction Britain should take in talks. Speaking on a visit to the United States, Michel Barnier said he was determined to negotiate the remaining 20 per cent of the deal, with the Brussels deadline for an agreement just around three months away. “After 12 months of negotiations we have agreed on 80 per cent of the negotiations,” he told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
Suspected criminals could avoid trial during the Brexit transition because EU states have been given the power to block their extradition to the UK, a House of Lords committee has said in a report. Under the terms of the draft withdrawal agreement, the 27 EU states can refuse to send their citizens to Britain for trial during the transition period after Brexit. The deal, agreed in March, extends the status quo of British participation in justice and home affairs measures with the exception of the European arrest warrant. A report from the House of Lords home affairs committee, to be published today, urges the government to make a contingency plan to deal with any disruption to the UK’s extradition arrangement with the EU.
Theresa May risks failing to get a Brexit agreement with the EU through the Commons because of Brexiteer anger at the Chequers deal, cabinet ministers have warned. As few as six Tory MPs voting against Mrs May’s final deal would defeat it in the autumn, assuming that the DUP voted with the government but the opposition is united in rejecting it. One cabinet minister told The Times: “I think that the Chequers compromise is going to be voted down in the Commons. I can’t see how Labour don’t reject it outright. I think there’s quite a good chance nobody gets what they want and it’s not clear where that leaves us.”
THERESA May yesterday told ministers to step up plans for a “no deal” Brexit. The order to be ready in case talks with Brussels collapse was a clear warning to the EU that Britain’s patience is running out. At the first gathering of her Cabinet since her forced reshuffle, the PM told her team every Whitehall department must now be on its mettle. Brexit-backing Tories hailed the move as “very good news” with former minister David Jones saying: “This should have been done many months ago but it will give a lot of reassurance to British businesses. “Given the challenges – particularly in respect of freedom of movement of labour – a ‘no deal’ outcome is very possible and it is important that we should be prepared.
MICHEL BARNIER has poured cold water over Theresa May’s attempts to secure a close trading relationship with the European Union after Brexit, insisting Britain will not be allowed any deal to rival membership to the Brussels bloc. Mr Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, said it is become clearer for UK citizens what they will miss out after their country leaves the EU. The EU official told an American audience the position remains “crystal clear” at the end of negotiations, that EU membership will be better than the UK deal. After the resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis, the Prime Minister has finally managed to secure collective responsibility from her previously divided Cabinet for her latest Brexit proposal.
Ministers have made clear that free movement in all but name is still possible after Brexit as it emerged that a new customs plan could take 18 months longer to implement than planned. Sajid Javid, the home secretary, told MPs yesterday that there would be a “complete, total end to freedom of movement” after Brexit. In private, however, senior government figures have accepted that the UK will offer work visas to the EU as part of negotiations. “It will be just like any other free trade deal,” said one. Any concession on the issue will anger Brexiteers.
Home secretary Sajid Javid has failed to endorse the government’s highly contentious target to bring net migration below 100,000. His comments came as he was grilled by Yvette Cooper, the chair of the home affairs select committee, on the eight-year-old aim to bring immigration down to the “tens of thousands” – one that has never been met by ministers. Asked whether the immigration target was a “massive chain around your neck” and whether he wanted to “ditch it”, Mr Javid smirked and simply replied: “next question”.
Theresa May’s attempts to shore up her authority suffered a fresh blow after two vice-chairmen of the Conservative Party quit and warned her Brexit plan will lead directly to Jeremy Corbyn’s election. Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley stepped down over the Prime Minister’s Chequer’s compromise, describing it as the “worst of all Worlds” and warning that it will cost the party votes at the next election. It comes after Mrs May was hit by the resignation of both Boris Johnson and David Davis on Monday over the plans. Eurosceptics warned that there will be a “domino effect” after they quit.
Theresa May hailed her new look Cabinet today as she staggers from two bombshell resignations in the space of 24 hours. The Prime Minister praised the ‘productive’ first meeting with her reshaped team as she tries to draw a line under the shattering departures of David Davis and Boris Johnson in protest at her ‘weak’ Brexit trade plans. Mrs May scrambled to fill the holes in Cabinet last night with a series of radical moves – shifting Jeremy Hunt to Foreign Secretary and Dominic Raab into the key Brexit Secretary role. Matt Hancock has been promoted from the Culture department to Health Secretary as the premier digs in for an attritional battle with Eurosceptics.
Theresa May was hit by two further resignations yesterday as bitter splits emerged among Tory Brexiteers over her plans for leaving the European Union. In a further blow, President Trump said that he wanted to speak to his “friend” Boris Johnson during his three-day visit, which starts tomorrow. He declared Britain to be “in turmoil”. The prime minister’s team was openly criticised last night by the former chief of staff to David Davis. The Tory former MP Stewart Jackson said that Mrs May’s chief Europe adviser, Oliver Robbins, wanted a “Hotel California Brexit” where Britain checks out but never leaves.
THERESA May is looking to stabilise her leadership today when she meets with her reshuffled cabinet after fighting off a Brexit insurgency – by warning of a Jeremy Corbyn government. The PM clung onto her political life last night after leading Brexiteers David Davis and Boris Johnson were among five MPs to quit their roles in protest of her plan for leaving the EU. In a dramatic 24 hours, Johnson savaged her vision for EU departure by warning it would reduce Britain to the “status of colony” and would result in a “semi-Brexit”. Quitting as foreign secretary, Johnson warned Mrs May that the Brexit dream was “dying” and being “suffocated by needless self-doubt” in his explosive resignation letter.
There have been two more resignations over Theresa May’s Brexit strategy, with the pair who quit warning the prime minister her approach risks putting Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street. Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield left their roles as Conservative Party vice-chairs and hit out at Mrs May’s plan for close links with Europe once Britain’s EU exit is finalised. These latest departures came on a day which saw the PM chair the first meeting of her new cabinet following the bombshell resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson.
Two vice-chairs of the Conservative Party are quitting their posts in protest at Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit compromise plan. Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley warned the PM her plan would not capitalise on the opportunities of Brexit. “This policy will be bad for our country and bad for the party,” Ms Caulfield said. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis have already quit over the proposals. Ahead of his first visit to the country as US President on Thursday, Donald Trump said the UK was “somewhat in turmoil” and it was “up to the people” whether Theresa May stays as prime minister.
Prime Minister Theresa May has escaped the prospect of a ‘no confidence’ vote in her party after a series of high-profile Cabinet resignations, but a poll has found that just 22 percent of voters trust her to get the best deal for Brexit. Sources told media Monday night that Mrs May would not face a vote of no confidence after the 1922 committee failed to receive the 48 letters from Conservative MPs necessary to trigger a leadership contest. The 1922 Committee — which takes its name from a meeting of Conservative MPs in October 1922 which led to the end of the party’s coalition government with the Liberals — is comprised of MPs who do not hold office in government (known as ‘backbenchers’) but who hold the core control mechanism of the Conservative Party.
THE leader of the Tory Eurosceptic revolt has warned that the PM faces “guerilla warfare” over her Brexit plans. Theresa May has reportedly been threatened with a resignation every day until Parliament goes into recess in two weeks time. A source told The Daily Mail: “This is not going to stop, we want the Chequers plan killed, and we want it killed now. This is guerrilla war.” Another source added that some ministers are choosing to stay in Government “by the skin of their teeth”.
Theresa May is facing fresh turmoil today after two of her party vice chairs quit in protest at her Brexit plans – warning they will lead to ‘Prime Minister Corbyn’. Brexiteers Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield handed in their resignations just a day after Boris Johnson’s dramatic departure. Their coordinated departures are designed to inflict maximum damage on the PM who is battling for her political survival. And it comes just hours after Ms Caulfield complained Brexiteers have ‘overnight been turned into the enemy’ in a leaked WhatsApp message.
Theresa May has insisted she can achieve a “smooth and orderly Brexit”, at a press conference with Angela Merkel on a day when two Conservative party vice-chairs resigned in protest at her soft Brexit negotiating plan. The prime minister sought to reassert her authority over her party as she appeared with the German chancellor, but she also had to fend off questions about whether Donald Trump was right to suggest the UK was in “turmoil”. May looked uncomfortable as she addressed journalists at the press conference but she said the Brexit white paper expected on Thursday would keep “faith with the vote of the British people” and the UK would depart the EU in a “smooth and orderly” manner.
LABOUR would back a second referendum if Brexit becomes mired in a Parliamentary logjam, its deputy leader signalled yesterday. Plunging Labour’s Brexit policy into more chaos, Tom Watson said that while calling for a public vote was still “highly unlikely” it couldn’t be ruled out. He said the huge splits in the Tory Party meant it was now hard to see any majority in the Commons for any particular Brexit agreement. “Even though we’d prefer a meaningful vote in Parliament, and I have said many, many times it’s highly, highly, highly unlikely we will support a people’s vote, we haven’t taken that off the table.
A fresh referendum on Brexit will become necessary if increasingly divided MPs cannot agree on any departure plan, Labour’s deputy leader has suggested. Tom Watson said the current “chaos” – after the resignation of both Boris Johnson and David Davis in just 24 hours – raised the prospect of deadlock in parliament later in the year. “It is conceivable that there is no majority position for any deal in the current arrangements in parliament,” he said. “So, even though we’d prefer a meaningful vote in parliament – and I have said many, many times it’s highly, highly, highly unlikely we will support a people’s vote, and we have not called for it – we haven’t taken that off the table.
LABOUR is still open to holding another referendum and has not ruled it out if Parliament cannot make a decision on the Brexit deal, according to deputy leader Tom Watson. While Mr Watson claimed there was only a small chance of it happening, he said Labour could still support another referendum. He said it is conceivable there is “no majority in Parliament for any Brexit deal” and if this was the case then the party has to look at all options. Mr Watson said: “It is highly, highly, highly unlikely we would support a people’s vote but we haven’t taken that off the table because there are a rare set of circumstances where Parliament just can’t make a decision.
Theresa May is to commit 440 additional British troops to the Nato mission in Afghanistan amid pressure from Donald Trump for European allies to contribute more to their collective defence. The US president set the tone for his attendance at the two-day alliance summit starting on Wednesday in Brussels with a typically combative tweet reminding the Europeans that the US spent ‘many times more’ on their defence than any other alliance member. ‘Not fair to the US taxpayer,’ he wrote, ‘Nato countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!’ His intervention is likely to increase nervousness among European and Canadian leaders about Mr Trump’s commitment to the alliance and the wider international order following the acrimonious break-up of the G7 summit in Quebec in June.
THERESA May will today send a further 440 British troops to Afghanistan and back Donald Trump’s demand for other NATO countries to boost their defence commitments. The PM will unveil the major uplift as a symbolic gesture of solidarity on the first day of stormy summit of the alliance’s leaders in Brussels. It will take the UK’s total number of troops in the war-torn country back to 1,100. The extra soldiers will be used to bolster the ranks of the Kabul Security Force to protect the nation’s capital from a fresh Taliban and ISIS bombing onslaught. Mrs May will also back the President’s urgent calls for all 29 member nations to meet NATO’s target to spend 2% of their GDP on their militaries.
A SINGLE injection could cure obesity and type-2 diabetes, scientists say. The virus-based drug makes DNA produce more of a metabolism-controlling hormone, tests on fat mice showed. Skipping insulin injections is risky and could cause blindness, coma and even death. They lost weight and had less insulin resistance, which causes diabetes. It also saw them get old more healthily and prevented age-related weight gain. It will be tested on larger animals and then humans. Veronica Jimenez, head of the Barcelona study, said: “Results show it is safe and effective.”
TWO pharmaceutical giants have dragged the NHS to the High Court to prevent patients being given a cheaper sight-saving drug which could save millions. Twelve clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in north-east England want to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) — the leading cause of vision loss, which affects more than 600,000 in Britain — with an anti-cancer drug found to be “as clinically effective and safe,” as well as being significantly cheaper. They say using Avastin could save the region’s NHS nearly £50 million over five years, while the BMJ has reported estimates that a national switch to Avastin could save the NHS £500m a year.
Train companies have been threatened with legal action after selling tickets online for rail services that had already been cancelled or replaced by buses. The rail watchdog said there were “significant gaps” between what was shown on company websites and the official National Rail Enquiries site. In a report the Office of Rail and Road warned that passengers risked being sold tickets for trains that had been cancelled, replaced by buses or subjected to time changes. It levelled criticism at individual train companies and third-party retailers such as Trainline.
TSB customers have been left furious after once again being unable to access the bank accounts today. Users vented their frustration on Twitter over the IT problems which sparked fears of a repeat of an incident in April which locked 1.9million out of online banking. The bank said the issue, which followed an update to its mobile app, has now been resolved and apologised for the problems. One angry service user said ‘normal’ services at TSB mean ‘broken’ while another urged people to ‘clear their bank accounts’ following the announcement of the update.