Theresa May has signalled she will not compromise over Brexit despite growing demands for a change in approach in the wake of last week’s election result. The Prime Minister is understood still to be determined to enter talks in Brussels next week with a threat that Britain is prepared to leave the EU without a future trading deal. She also wishes to stick to the pre-election Conservative plan for this country to leave the single market and customs union to allow the UK to negotiate free-trade deals around the world, and control immigration. The Telegraph revealed on Monday that senior Conservative and Labour figures had begun private talks over a new cross-party plan to soften Brexit.
Philip Hammond is preparing to lead a battle within the government to soften Brexit by keeping Britain inside the EU customs union, The Times has learnt. The chancellor believes that ministers must rethink their decision to pursue an entirely independent trade policy, according to several sources. One said that the Treasury was in “street-fighting mode” and another predicted that Mr Hammond would win support for his position from Damian Green, the prime minister’s newly appointed deputy. A senior Tory Brexiteer added that there was a push by some in the cabinet to “secure a very different relationship with the EU” after the Tories’ disastrous election result, adding: “There is a great deal of concern that they are changing Brexit.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond will reportedly argue for the UK to stay in the European Union’s customs union in a bid to soften Brexit and alter Theresa May’s approach. Ms May outlined her vision of a hard break with the EU in January, saying she wanted Britain to be able to make its own trade deals while maintaining trade with Europe that was as “frictionless as possible”. But following the Prime Minister’s failure to win a majority in the General Election, Mr Hammond, who is seen as one of the most pro-EU members in the Cabinet, will attempt to change Ms May’s mind on leaving the customs union, according to The Times.
HARD-line Brexiteers reacted angrily today after Michael Gove called for a new cross-party to achieve the “maximum possible consensus” over Britain’s departure from the EU. The senior Tory, restored to the Cabinet in Theresa May’s reshuffle following the general election, confirmed that ministers were ready to work with Labour on a new approach to the exit process. His words triggered alarm that the loss of the Government’s majority could mean a less drastic severing of ties with Brussels than that promised before last week’s poll. And concern among Tory intensified when staunch Vote Leave campaigner David Jones was sacked as minister-of-state at the Department for Exiting the EU and replaced by Baroness Anelay, who backed Remain during the EU referendum.
David Cameron yesterday made a dramatic bid to hijack the PM’s Brexit plans – calling for her to talk to Labour about a ‘softer’ approach. As Theresa May prepares to begin Brussels negotiations, the former prime minister intervened to say she had to ‘listen to other parties’. It follows calls by Tory figures such as former leader William Hague for Mrs May to reach out to Labour, possibly through a cross-party commission. Yesterday, it also emerged Chancellor Philip Hammond had told his German counterpart that Britain’s Brexit policy could change following last week’s election setback.
The European Union’s chief negotiator has said “I can’t negotiate with myself”, as he warned Britain may be running out of time to reach a Brexit deal. Michel Barnier said Theresa May’s government must begin talks “very quickly” as he noted that in three months since Article 50 was triggered “we haven’t progressed” toward reaching a deal before the looming March 2019 deadline. The Prime Minister has talked up her plans to get on with negotiations, due to begin within days. She “has directed that the procedures for preparing the negotiations for the formal withdrawal from the European Union should start as soon as possible,” the Government told the European Commission on Friday. Mr Barnier told the Financial Times: “My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex.
GUY Verhofstadt has attacked Britain’s decision to leave the EU once again – this time insisting the divorce is an “internal dispute in the Tory party”. After joining chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in urging Mrs May not to “waste time” and begin talks, Mr Verhofstadt went one step further and attacked the Conservative party for Britain’s “unclear” Brexit position. He told reporters: “I continue to believe… [Brexit] started, and it’s still, an internal dispute in the Tory party. “And it’s time now to understand that it’s not about the Tories leaving the European Union, it’s about the UK leaving the European Union. “And to take into account our positions [as fast as] possible so we can start these negotiations, because that’s the will of the Europeans… the representatives of the European Union, to start [as fast] as possible these negotiations.”
The door is still open for Britain to remain in the European Union, Emmanuel Macron has said after talks with Theresa May in Paris. At a joint press conference with the French president, Mrs May did not clarify if she was softening her position on Brexit. She said the timetable for negotiations “remains on course and will begin next week”. Mrs May said that following the election there is “a unity of purpose in the UK that the government gets on and delivers it. We want a deep and special partnership with a strong EU, in trade but also on defence and security. With willingness and intent on both sides we can get a deal in the interest of the UK and the EU 27.”
French President Emmanuel Macron says “the door remains open” for Britain to change its mind about Brexit, after talks with Theresa May in Paris. Mr Macron threw out the olive branch, even amid rising EU anger about the delays to the exit talks – which he said should be “launched as soon as possible”. “Of course the door remains open, always open until the Brexit negotiations come to an end,” the President said, when asked if Britain could yet stay in the EU.
Emmanuel Macron today said the ‘door remains open’ for Britain to change its mind over Brexit as EU officials gloated over the election turmoil. The French President said he ‘respected the sovereign decision’ of the British people to quit, but said everything was reversible. His comments come hours after German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble made the same offer. It suggests European politicians are hoping to seize upon Britain’s political upheaval to urge the UK reverse last year’s historic referendum and thwart Brexit. Speaking at a press conference with Theresa May in Paris tonight, Mr Macron said: ‘The door remains open until Brexit negotiations come to an end.’
French President Emmanuel Macron says the possibility of the UK remaining in the European Union is an option until Brexit negotiations have concluded. He was speaking at a joint news conference with UK PM Theresa May. But he said he acknowledged and respected that a decision to leave had been taken by the British people. He echoed the words of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who also said the UK could change its mind about Brexit. “If they want to change their decision, of course they would find open doors, but I think it’s not very likely,” Mr Schaeuble told Bloomberg Television.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has claimed the door to the EU will remain open to Britain during Brexit negotiations that get underway next week. In remarks that will be taken as an encouraging sign by opponents of a hard Brexit that there may be room for compromise, the newly elected French leader said the decision to leave the EU could still be reversed if the UK wished to do so. Speaking in the gardens of the Élysée Palace in Paris in a joint press conference with Theresa May, Macron made it clear that he respected the sovereign decision of the British people. However, he added: “Until negotiations come to an end there is always a chance to reopen the door.”
New French President Emmanuel Macron said tonight “the door remains open” for Britain to change its mind about Brexit until we finally leave the EU in 2019. Speaking alongside PM Theresa May at their first face-to-face summit, President Macron said he respected the will of the British people – but that it was not too late for the UK to stay. “Of course the door remains open, always open until talks come to the end,” he said. “But it was a sovereign decision taken by the people to come out of the EU.”
The influential German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has said the UK would find “open doors” in Brussels if it decided it did not want to leave the European Union. Mr Schäuble said “it’s up to the British Government to take their own decisions” and said he’d discussed the extraordinary result of the general election with Chancellor Philip Hammond. “It would not be helpful if we started speculation whether that will happen or not,” Mr Schäuble said, in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “The British Government has said we will stay with the Brexit. We take the decision as a matter of respect. But if they wanted to change their decision, of course, they would find open doors.
Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said Britain can rejoin the EU if it wants. He even hinted that Philip Hammond has discussed the process with him. Mr Shaeuble said: “It would not be helpful if we started speculation whether that will happen or not. “The British government has said we will stay with the Brexit. “We take the decision as a matter of respect. But if they wanted to change their decision, of course, they would find open doors. “There is a new opportunity to bring Europe forward. Philip Hammond and myself, we agreed from the first day that Brexit is a decision we have to accept by the British voters.” Was he asleep on June 23rd?
SIX MILLION EU citizens will have more rights than Brits in the UK under Brussels’ “unacceptable” Brexit demands, a think tank declared last night. And Migration Watch said the position taken by the European Commission ahead of talks next week would see Britain remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice for another CENTURY. Migration Watch chair Lord Green said the demands were “clearly unacceptable”. Under guidelines unveiled by the Commission, EU citizens would be given full residency rights even if they have lived in the UK in the past. This would add 3million people onto the 3million EU citizens that currently live here, Migration Watch said. The Commission wants the EU citizens to be able to bring in spouses or family members without having to meet the income requirements that currently apply to British citizens.
BRUSSELS needs its own army so that European countries can intervene more regularly in areas of the world where NATO is not present, the German defence minister said today. Appearing before MEPs in Strasbourg, Ursula von der Leyen, revealed the bloc significantly wants to up its military presence in Africa in particular as it looks to assert itself on the world stage. She said EU leaders needed to press ahead with “ambitious” plans for a “European defence union” but denied that such a move would lead to the creation of a Brussels army. Amongst the proposals she put forward were for an EU medical corps, including a mobile field hospital, a centralised logistics operation for deploying troops and beefing up of the bloc’s battlegroups.
Boris Johnson has strengthened his grip over Whitehall by snatching greater control over Britain’s bloated aid ministry. Theresa May announced last night that two ministers would be shared between Mr Johnson’s Foreign Office and the Department for International Development. The move comes after allies of the Foreign Secretary said at the weekend that he was demanding control of the aid budget as the price of backing the Prime Minister. One government source said the appointment of the shared ministers showed Mr Johnson had increased his power over the ministry.
Tough new language tests have been blamed for the sharp drop in EU nurses arriving to work in the UK. The Mail revealed yesterday how the number of European nurses registering had fallen by 96 per cent in the past nine months. Nursing leaders warned the shortfall would have severe consequences for patients as the NHS is so dependent on staff from the Continent. The number registering fell from 1,306 in July 2016 to just 46 in April. Recruitment firms are blaming language tests introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) early last year although MPs and academics have also blamed the uncertainty over Brexit. The language tests have four components – speaking, listening, reading and writing – and nurses must score seven out of nine in each one.
Police reinforcements including at least 150 riot control officers have been drafted into Calais as UK-bound migrants set up burning roadblocks to stop lorries. They use the motorway obstructions to get lorries heading to England to stop, so they can climb aboard and hide until reaching their destination. The tactics have been used at least three times in as many weeks, with images shot in the early hours of June 9 showing rubble and branches piled up on the A16 in Calais. A Polish HGV driver who regularly travels between his home country and Britain posted a video of the incident online, and it shows gangs of mainly young men running along the busy road brandishing weapons and trying to climb into lorries.
The US has deployed several nuclear-capable strategic bombers to Britain for the first time as tensions with Russia continue to grow. Two B-2 stealth bombers, which cost more than half a billion each three B-52H Stratofortress aircraft and three B-1B Lancers are currently stationed at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. A spokesman for the base said the aircraft are being used ‘in support of exercises BALTOPS (Baltic operations), Saber Strike and Arctic Challenge taking place in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.’ He told the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: ‘The deployment of strategic bombers strengthens the effectiveness of RAF Fairford as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s forward operating bomber location’ and the deployment of the bombers provide: ‘important integration and interaction with our joint partners, UK and NATO allies.’
VLADIMIR PUTIN has deployed his “matchless” missile system to Kim Jong-un’s border defend against attacks as World War 3 looks imminent. The Buk-M3 is the most advanced anti-missile system in the world, according to Moscow. The move is seen as a deliberate effort to stem the tide of North Korean aggression which resulted in a number of successful nuke tests over the last few weeks. Putin has previously expressed “profound concern” over Kim’s recent missile launches. Reports said the deployment was “a precaution due to the situation in the Korean peninsula escalates”.