Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has described a “moment of truth” as Theresa May prepares to put forward her EU deal to the Cabinet and MPs in Parliament. The deal, set to keep the UK inside the EU Customs Union for years come and at the mercy of Brussels, has already been savaged by the likes of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, with the latter describing such an arrangement as a “slave state”. Davis has issued a rallying call, writing on Twitter: “This is the moment of truth. This is the fork in the road.
Theresa May has agreed a draft divorce agreement with the EU and will today present it to her Cabinet in a three-hour ‘make or break’ meeting. Last night, leaked details of the agreement included that EU chiefs have conceded Britons will not need visas to travel to Europe after Brexit. The other leaks surrounded the issue of the backstop, the terms Britain will automatically adopt if a trade deal is not agreed by 2020. The EU dropped its demand for Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union without the rest of the UK, which would create a border in the Irish Sea. Instead the customs union would apply indefinitely to the whole of the UK.
The Prime Minister has betrayed the principles of Brexit and is subjecting the United Kingdom to political slavery at the hands of Brussels, Brexiteers have said as the details of the Prime Minister’s deal leaked to Irish media Tuesday afternoon. Brexiteers within the Conservative party met Tuesday as the news emerged of a “technical level” agreement emerged — apparently leaked to Irish journalists sympathetic to the European Union but not to figures within the United Kingdom — and spoke of launching a “coup” against the Prime Minister, Britain’s The Times reported in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Theresa May will put her future in the hands of senior ministers today as she asks them to sign off a Brexit deal in the face of accusations of betrayal. The prime minister was trying to sell the divorce deal and pact on the future relationship with Europe last night to a reluctant cabinet, which is due to meet at 2pm to agree it. Leave-supporting cabinet ministers were coming under intense pressure to reject the deal as senior Brexiteers and the DUP launched a pre-emptive strike on what they claimed was an abject surrender.
IAIN Duncan Smith has said the government are in “real trouble” after Theresa May summoned her Cabinet to consider a draft following a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations. The UK and EU officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement with ministers currently meeting the Prime Minister for one-on-one talks. The Brexiteer warned that if reports of the deal’s contents were true the Government was “breaking their own agreed position and will be bringing back something that is untenable”.
Senior Eurosceptics have been tearing into Theresa May’s Brexit deal following reports that a draft text has been agreed, with Boris Johnson describing it as “vassal state stuff” and “utterly unacceptable”. Jacob Rees-Mogg has called it a “failure of the Government’s negotiating position and a failure to deliver on Brexit”. The DUP have warned May that there will be “consequences” if she does not keep her Brexit promises to them, with Sammy Wilson stressing that their confidence and supply deal is with the Conservative Party, not May herself. May is going to have some job getting this through Parliament…
Ministers have been summoned to Downing Street to go through the draft of a Brexit withdrawal agreement, as Leave-supporting MPs reacted with fury to reported details of the text. In what is a breakthrough in the Brexit process, an agreement on the terms of Britain’s EU exit has been reached at a “technical level” by negotiators in Brussels. But Theresa May now needs to win over her top team and get them to back the proposals. Ministers were seen coming and going on Tuesday evening, with the talks a chance for them to scrutinise the detail and for the PM to try and get them on side.
D-Day for Brexit has finally arrived after the UK agreed a draft deal with the EU. Tory Cabinet ministers were tonight hauled one-by-one into Downing Street to learn how negotiators won a dramatic race against time in Brussels. After they have been briefed, Theresa May will summon her Cabinet to an emergency meeting at 2pm tomorrow to sign off the deal – which was “agreed at a technical level” today. Tonight’s development, which sent the pound to a seven-month high, was a breakthrough for the PM just hours before the deadline to call a special EU summit – where 27 EU leaders would sign the deal off.
UK and EU officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement after months of negotiations. A cabinet source told the BBC that the document has been agreed at a technical level by officials from both sides after intensive discussions this week. A special cabinet meeting will be held at 14:00 GMT on Wednesday as Theresa May seeks ministers’ backing. The PM has been meeting ministers in Downing Street for one-to-one talks on the draft agreement. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the agreement contained a UK-wide customs “backstop” aimed at preventing new border checks in Northern Ireland.
Theresa May summoned her cabinet to an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon to sign off her long awaited final Brexit deal, prompting hard-Brexit Tories to call for senior ministers to stand up and block it. The critical meeting is the culmination of months of negotiations and will see May’s senior ministers consider whether they can personally endorse the agreement that the prime minister has been able to reach. Ministers were summoned to No 10 in the early evening and some met individually with May or her chief of staff, Gavin Barwell. They were given the chance to read the key documents, although they were not trusted to take any papers home.
Theresa May is facing ‘judgment day’ on Brexit after securing a withdrawal agreement with Brussels. At an emergency three-hour Cabinet meeting on Wednesday afternoon, she will warn ministers it is now ‘make or break’ for avoiding a chaotic exit. Downing Street believes it has headed off plans that could have led to Northern Ireland being ‘annexed’ by the EU after Brexit and insists it has laid the groundwork for a ‘good deal’. But No 10 is on alert for possible resignations tomorrow, with Eurosceptic ministers under intense pressure from hardliners not to approve a ‘Brexit in name only’.
THE Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister’s Brexit agreement, threatening to vote it down and saying it crosses a “fundamental red line.” The Northern Ireland party props up the Conservative minority government and the Prime Minister will be relying on DUP support to get the deal she is presenting to ministers tonight through Parliament. However DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has said his party will not support the agreement “on constitutional grounds” as it would leave Northern Ireland subject to rules and regulations set “in Brussels with no democratic input” from Belfast.
DUP Leader Arlene Foster has insisted that the “desire for a deal will not be superseded by a willingness to accept any deal” as Theresa May gets set to reveal her plan. Without the support of the DUP’s 10 MPs, the deal has even less chance of getting through Parliament. In a statement, Foster has made clear that “an agreement which places new trade barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain will fundamentally undermine the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom. That is not acceptable”.
The government will be forced to publish the full legal advice on the final Brexit deal after it was defeated in the Commons by Labour, backed by the DUP. Ministers conceded defeat by ordering Conservative MPs to abstain in a Commons vote, after it became clear they would lose any attempt to stop the disclosure when the DUP said it would support the move. Ministers will now be required to to publish the advice covering the legally binding withdrawal agreement, including the Irish backstop plan, before any Brexit deal is put before parliament.
Ministers will publish up to 5,000 pieces of legal advice on the Brexit deal after losing a parliamentary battle. In a bad omen for Theresa May in getting the agreement through the Commons, Brexiteers and the DUP joined with Labour to force the concession. Labour used the niche parliamentary procedure of a “humble address” to force a vote on the Queen requiring ministers to let MPs see “any legal advice in full”. Despite last-ditch concessions from David Lidington, the prime minister’s effective deputy, the DUP made clear that they would vote against the government.
NICOLA Sturgeon has called on campaigners pushing to keep Britain tied to the EU through its single market and customs union to seize the opportunity if Theresa May is unable to get her Brexit deal through the Commons. The Scottish First Minister said MPs voting down Mrs May’s agreement would offer an opening “to get better options back on the table”. Ms Sturgeon, a staunch Remainer, has demanded Westminster negotiate terms which includes staying inside the EU’s single market and customs union – and warned the SNP will vote against any deal which does not offer this.
THERESA May will hold a special Cabinet meeting on Wednesday to approve the draft Brexit bill she has negotiated with the EU. So who could block the plan? Downing Street confirmed the news with a statement on Tuesday evening which said: “Cabinet will meet at 2pm tomorrow to consider the draft agreement the negotiating teams have reached in Brussels, and to decide on next steps. Cabinet ministers have been invited to read documentation ahead of that meeting.” No details of the withdrawal agreement have yet been released, but a cabinet source told the BBC the document has been agreed at a technical level by officials from both the EU and UK.
Former minister Jo Johnson said that the future of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party would be in peril if Prime Minister Theresa May proceeded with Brexit, hours after Britain agreed the draft text for leaving the European Union. The former junior transport minister, who is the younger brother of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, issued a searing critique of May’s Brexit deal last week when he unexpectedly quit and called for a second referendum. “The future of the Conservative Party will be gravely imperilled if we are held responsible for taking the country into this absurd new relationship with the EU where vast swathes of our economy will be governed by rules that we have no hand at all in shaping,” Jo Johnson told a political rally in London.
PENNY MORDAUNT has demanded Theresa May waive the fundamental Parliamentary convention of Collective Cabinet Responsibility so MPs can have a free vote on the draft Brexit deal thrashed out this week. The International Development Secretary staged the astonishing intervention on Tuesday. Ms Mordaunt is thought to have called for Tory MPs and ministers to act with their consciences when the deal is brought before the Commons. The constitutional convention of Collective Ministerial Responsibility is a cornerstone of the UK system.
Senior cabinet ministers led by Brexit secretary Dominic Raab will tell Theresa May that the current deal on offer from the EU is unacceptable and she should prepare for the UK to leave with no deal if she cannot secure further concessions. In a significant raising of the pressure on May from inside her own cabinet, the group of senior ministers will make clear to the prime minister that they could not support a deal that breaches their two red lines. They are doubling down on their demands that the EU drops its Northern Ireland-only “backstop to the backstop” and that the deal must include a “break clause” mechanism that would allow the UK to unilaterally leave a UK-wide customs arrangement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has today echoed French President Macron’s call for an EU Army. Speaking in the European Parliament, she said: “This is really important…we have to work on a vision of one day creating a real, true European Army”. Going even further than that, Merkel called for the EU to develop its foreign policy including a European Security Council and a “European intervention force so that we can tackle issues immediately on the ground”. This is the disturbing direction the European Union is now heading in. Brexit Britain must leave – and fast.
GERMAN leader Angela Merkel has joined the French President in calling for a “real, true” European army. Merkel declared there should be an “integrated European Union military”, recalling the lessons of the First World War and the divisions that led to the conflict. Speaking to MEPs today about the future of Europe, Merkel said the continent should take its “fate fully into its own hands”. Echoing comments made by French leader Emmanuel Macron last week, she said: “We should work on a vision of one day establishing a real, true European army.”
Angela Merkel called for the creation of a ‘real, true’ European army during a speech to EU ministers on Tuesday in a rebuke to President Trump. The German Chancellor also called for a European Security Council that would be responsible for coordinating defence policy across the continent. Merkel spoke out after French President Emmanuel Macron floated the same idea last week, and hours after Donald Trump lambasted him for it on Twitter. Meanwhile, Trump joked that Parisians ‘were starting to learn German before the U.S. came along’ and liberated France during the Second World War – and told EU leaders to pay their fair share to NATO.
The EU has ratcheted up the pressure on Theresa May by publishing a fresh batch of no-deal plans including the warning that it will only allow UK nationals to make short visa-free visits to EU destinations if the policy is reciprocated by the British government. With the Brexit negotiations at their most intense, and Downing Street pushing to make make decisive progress within the next 24 hours to secure a November summit, the commission made public its emergency preparations. They range from residency and visa-related issues to financial services, air transport, customs, the transfer of personal data, and climate policy.
THE European Union has five years to overhaul the bloc’s financial system, the vice president of the European Banking Federation (EBF) has warned. José María Roldán said the EBF has made progress since it was set up but called on the bloc to step up efforts to make it “perfect.” The EBF, headquartered in Frankfurt, comprises all 19 eurozone countries who participate in the single supervisory mechanism (SSM) and the single resolution mechanism (SRM). Speaking to American financial news network CNBC, Mr Roldan said the system still has a lot of progress to make and he put a five year deadline on how long the European Union has to ensure it is “perfect.”
Labour MPs are to be presented with personalised polling evidence showing that their constituents “silently” back a second Brexit referendum. In an attempt to shift Labour’s opposition to a second vote, each of the party’s MPs is being sent an individual breakdown of voter sentiment in their area based on a poll of 25,000 people. The survey by YouGov used the technique that correctly predicted the result of the 2017 general election while other polls indicated a Tory landslide. It found that of the 159 Leave constituencies that elected a Labour MP last year a majority of voters in every seat now supported a public vote on the outcome of the negotiations.
UNIONS and Labour warned today that the government is planning millions of pounds of “back door cuts” to colleges and universities. The University and College Union (UCU) has warned that workers are worried that possible cuts to pension funding could see institutions footing a £300 million bill. The concerns come from employers having to raise their contributions to the Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS) from 16.48 per cent to 23.6 per cent, following the government’s announcement that it would be reducing the rate which it pays.
School buildings need to be properly maintained to protect children, the Scottish Conservatives have said. New figures reveal at least 150 building safety incidents were recorded at Scottish schools in the last two years. A freedom of information request was made to local authorities in Scotland asking them to detail incidents involving either the collapse or partial collapse of a wall or structure, or a child or teacher being struck by a falling object.
Proposals to ensure disabled passengers can “travel with confidence consistently” have been published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Planned measures include improving training for railway staff in how to deal with disabled passengers. Also, those who do not receive assistance that they have pre-booked as part of their journey will be eligible for compensation. Other proposals include introducing a new, standardised handover process for disabled passengers between stations and improving the information available to passengers about station facilities and what they should expect during their journey.
The NHS will invest up to £46 million to help tens of thousands of people living with diabetes to receive life-changing treatment. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has pledged to end the postcode lottery where type 1 in some parts of the country are not able to get glucose monitors. Mr Stevens said from April next year the NHS will ensure the Freestyle Libre devices are available on prescription for all patients who qualify for them. The wearable sensor scraps the need for inconvenient and sometimes painful finger prick blood tests by relaying glucose levels to a smartphone or e-reader, making it easier to notice when sugar levels are starting to rise or drop so action can be taken quicker.
Ministers are under pressure to impose cutbacks to HS2 after a report warned that it would cost more than double that of other high-speed rail projects. The scheme would cost £81 million per kilometre compared with £32 million for 20 comparable schemes elsewhere in Europe. The report, commissioned four years ago and focusing on the second phase of the line north of Birmingham, said that the project would be “at the high end of the range of costs” for any scheme worldwide. Total costs for the whole scheme stand at £55.7 billion.
Britain could be set for snow as the ‘Beast from the East’ dramatically slashes temperatures by 27F, bringing an end to a short lived warm spell. Forecasters predict a blizzard and very cold winds will hit the country next week, bringing with it a big freeze after temperatures briefly rise to 65F on Thursday during an ‘Indian Summer’. The warm spell will be short-lived, as the mercury is due to swing in the opposite direction next week – with the chance of areas across the UK seeing snowfall and lows of 35F (2C). Cold air from Russia will cause snow to fall across the country, leaving the UK feeling ‘more like Moscow than the Mediterranean’, says one meteorologist.
A FLURRY of snow set to sweep into Britain with “the Beast from the East” next week could be the start of a month of blizzards — meaning a White Christmas may be on the cards. Forecasters predict heavy snow and very cold winds will batter the country after temperatures rise to 17C during an “Indian Summer” on Thursday. But temperatures will plunge sharply next week as cold air from Russia causes snow to fall across the country, leaving the UK feeling “more like Moscow than the Mediterranean”.
SNOW and freezing temperatures is heading to Britain this month, it has been claimed. The so-called “mini ice-age” winter blast will see snow and sub-zero temperatures before the end of November. Much of the country will grind to a halt while violent storms threaten outbreaks of the weather phenomenon thundersnow. Then the freeze may be severe disruption to roads and transport networks through Christmas. This comes as Daily Star Online revealed that snow will blanket Britain in a White Christmas. While the freeze is forecast to come after warm weather this week which could even bring the hottest November day in 177 years.