Theresa May is facing a rebellion from at least 15 Conservative MPs who are threatening to block her plans for Brexit in Parliament. The group, which includes several former ministers, have informed senior party figures that they will join forces with Labour to block new measures that would enshrine the date of Brexit in law. All the disaffected members, with the exception of Kenneth Clarke, voted to invoke Article 50, which gives Britain two years to leave the EU. However, they are refusing legally to endorse the move – giving rise to accusations of a “mutiny” that threatens to wipe out the Prime Minister’s majority and plunge the party into crisis.
Tory Remainers were branded ‘collaborators’ last night as they threatened to side with Labour to frustrate Brexit in Parliament. As the EU Withdrawal Bill began its detailed scrutiny in the Commons, the rebel group said they were ready to inflict a series of damaging defeats on the Government. They served notice that they would join forces with Labour to oppose the Government on the detail of the legislation – including Theresa May’s bid to enshrine the Brexit date in law. It came after almost 20 Tory rebel MPs held a ‘stormy’ meeting with party whips at which they refused to back down – despite warnings they risked bringing Jeremy Corbyn to power.
THERESA May is facing a “mutiny” that could derail Brexit as a rebellion threatens her majority. At least 15 Tory MPs have announced their intentions to vote with Labour against locking the Brexit date in law. Tory MP Bernard Jenkin said: “Anyone who voted for Article 50, but then does not wish to fix the date, they are open to the charge that they do not actually want us to leave the European Union.” Every member of the group except staunch Remainer Kenneth Clarke originally voted to invoke Article 50 which started a two-year countdown to the UK ditching Brussels.
Ministers have seen off challenges to their authority on the first of eight days of scrutiny of a key Brexit bill. MPs backed plans to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which will end the supremacy of EU law in the UK, by 318 votes to 68. Calls for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to have a veto over the process were rejected by 318 votes to 52. But several Tories criticised plans to specify an exact date for Brexit and hinted they will rebel at a later date. The Daily Telegraph reported that up to 15 Conservative MPs could join forces with Labour on the issue when it is voted on next month, threatening defeat for the government.
UP to 18 Tory MPs have threatened to rebel against controversial plans to enshrine Britain’s Brexit day in law. Their stance threatens to wipe out PM Theresa May’s tiny majority and plunge the Government’s troubled EU Withdrawal Bill into chaos. Delighted Tory whips saw off the first challenge. A vote on whether the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies have to give consent to Brexit was defeated by 318 votes to 52. The amendment over our date to quit is not due to be discussed until next month.
Theresa May’s plan to write the date of the UK’s separation from the European Union into law has been dismissed as a “gimmick” and led to fresh warnings it could provoke a Tory revolt as MPs debated the Brexit legislation. The Prime Minister wants 11pm GMT on March 29, 2019 enshrined in law as the point that the UK breaks away from Brussels. But as the Commons began its first day of detailed scrutiny of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, the move was condemned by Labour and relations within the Tory party were described as “stormy” as a result of the Government’s handling of Brexit. In the Commons, the so-called repeal bill began eight days of detailed scrutiny, with key votes expected later in the process.
Theresa May could face a damaging defeat on her key Brexit legislation in a backlash against her vow to enshrine in law the date when Britain will leave the European Union. Nearly 20 Conservative MPs are threatening to vote down the plan, which Mrs May hoped would assuage Tory Eurosceptics eager to ensure that Brexit is not delayed. It has instead intensified opposition from MPs on her back benches. As MPs began the first of eight days scrutinising the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, Tories lined up to criticise the government’s promise last week to amend the bill to say that Britain will leave at 11pm on March 29, 2019.
A growing number of Conservative MPs are putting pressure on Theresa May to scrap her plan to enshrine an exact Brexit date in British law, despite it only being announced less than a week ago. At a “stormy” meeting, around 20 MPs confronted whips over the proposal which they fear will “tie the hands” of the UK, forcing the country out of Europe even if all necessary preparations have not been made. The Government has been told to rewrite the proposal or face a humiliating defeat if it comes to a vote, most likely in early December.
EUROPEAN Parliament president Antonio Tajani has said the Brexit divorce bill should be “at least €60billion” in a shock statement. The EU legislator said the British Government’s refusal to cough up tens of billions to placate the bloc during negotiations would hold back negotiations. Mr Tajani said if Britain offered anything less than €60billion (£53billion), other states would have to make up a shortfall in the current EU budget. He asked: “Why should Germans, Italians, Spaniards or the Dutch clear the bills of the British?” He also emphasised that Britain could only move on to trade talks in negotiations once it had settled its finances.
As well as insisting that the EU’s annual budget must be doubled to €280 billion per year, the EU Parliament’s President Antonio Tajani has his eyes set on a huge Brexit payout. He told Waz: “In my opinion, it should be at least €60 billion. If the EU accepted less, European citizens would have to pay for the difference. But why should the Germans, Italians, Spaniards or Dutch pay the British bill?” For too long the British taxpayer have footed the Brussels bill and that’s just one of the reasons why the country voted to Leave the European Union. The government must stand firm and refuse to give in to sky-high financial demands. As Sir James Dyson points out, the government could always walk away with No Deal and force the EU to come back to the table once they have dropped ridiculous such demands.
The European Parliament would block any Brexit deal that resulted in EU citizens living in Britain being deported when the UK leaves the EU, David Davis has been told. The Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt wrote to the UK’s Brexit Secretary on Tuesday to warn that EU citizens in Britain should have “exactly the same rights as they have today” after the UK leaves. The body, which has a veto on the final Brexit deal, warned last week that the UK and EU were still far from a deal on EU citizens’ rights. “I have today confirmed in a new letter to David Davis what in our point of view are the four elements that are needed for a good arrangement on the citizens’ rights for EU citizens and UK citizens,” Mr Verhofstadt told reporters at a press conference in Strasbourg.
GERMANY will “not allow” Theresa May to ignore the EU’s two-week Brexit divorce bill deadline and address leaders direct at next month’s summit, it has been claimed. Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned last week the UK had just a fortnight to set out its position on a financial settlement with the EU. Without that commitment, he claimed talks would not be able to move to the next phase and discuss future trade at next month’s EU summit. It has been suggested Mrs May could ignore the deadline and make the UK’s final offer direct to EU leaders at the December summit. But a Brussels diplomat told The Times Angela Merkel would never let that happen and only “fine-tuning” of the offer would be possible.
EU nationals who gain British citizenship retain their right to bring a spouse to the UK from overseas, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled, in a case that could have implications for people across the European Union. ECJ judges spent five months deliberating on the issue but have now ruled against the Home Office, which had argued that EU nationals who become British citizens lose their rights under EU freedom of movement laws and instead become subject to UK immigration rules. The case the judges were asked to consider involved an Algerian man, Toufik Lounes, who lives in the UK with his wife, a dual Spanish and British national, but was facing deportation after the Home Office refused his application for permanent residency.
EU nationals who become British citizens do not lose the right to bring a foreign-born spouse to the UK, the European Court of Justice has ruled. London’s High Court referred the case of an Algerian man, who lived in the UK with his wife, but who British authorities were trying to deport. His wife had dual Spanish and British nationality, which gave the man a “derived” residence right, judges said. The government said it was reviewing the ruling and considering its impact. The Home Office had argued that once she became a British citizen, Spanish-born Perla Nerea García Ormazabal became subject to UK immigration rules, rather than the freedom of movement directive which applies to EU nationals. That change, officials said, meant she should be treated like any other British national who would have to go through strict immigration procedures – in place since 2012 – to assess whether her husband qualified to be in the UK.
The timetable of Brexit talks now faces being pushed back again by another four months at a make-or-break EU summit in December, a key ally of Angela Merkel has said. Manfred Weber, the German group leader of the centre-right European People’s Party, said it looked increasingly unlikely the EU27 nations would judge Britain to have made “sufficient progress” in negotiations to open trade talks on the UK’s future relationship with Europe. Failure for the Prime Minister at the December summit – coming after a similar hiccup in October – would mean the next opportunity to move to trade talks would come at a Council meeting at the end of March next year, nearly a four month delay. With Article 50 pulling Britain out of the bloc automatically in March 2019 and the EU insisting any deal be finalsied six months in advance, rejection again in Brussels would dramatically heighten the prospect of a ‘no deal’.
A SECRET plot to keep Britain under Brussels rule has been revealed by Labour’s leader in the European Parliament Richard Corbett. The revelation came as Labour said it would oppose Government plans to put the Brexit date of 29 March 2019 into law, as MPs began debating the EU Withdrawal Bill clauses in the crucial committee stage in the Commons. In a column for the Labour List blog, Mr Corbett has suggested that Britain should remain a full member throughout the so-called transition period of at least two years. His comments have raised concerns that Jeremy Corbyn’s party hopes to ultimately keep Britain in the EU and reverse the historic Brexit vote. It is understood that Labour hope that Tory Remainer rebels led by Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve, Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry will help defeat the Government and force Britain to extend its stay in the EU.
Patients are waiting up to two weeks longer for routine operations than a year ago, an investigation has found. Some have been languishing on hospital waiting lists for more than two years when they are meant to be treated within 18 weeks. The average wait for a knee replacement in 2016/17 was 114 days – nearly four months – compared to 100 days in 2015/16. For hip replacements, the average wait was 108 days, a rise from 96 days the year before. Figures obtained through Freedom of Information laws show patients are routinely waiting more than a year for hip, knee, cataract, hernia, gallstone or tonsil procedures. In the worst example, a patient at Derby Teaching Hospitals waited 812 days to have their tonsils out – two years and three months.
Many of England’s most picturesque countryside areas are increasingly being built on, new statistics show. Despite having the highest level of protection, a loophole in planning law means councils have to let developers build new homes in beauty spots. Figures uncovered by the Campaign to Preserve Rural England (CPRE) reveal more than 15,000 applications have been made to build on protected sites. So far 4,369 in 2016-17 have received planning permission already, with decisions pending on a further 12,741 homes. On current rates of approval, CPRE expects around 8,000 will be built. This compares to just 2,396 being granted planning permission in 2012-2013.
The spiralling need for new homes is almost entirely a result of immigration, according to a report. It says eight out of ten of all new households over the past 15 years were made up of migrant families, which is the overwhelming reason for the pressure to build millions of new homes. The report from the Migration Watch UK think-tank accused ministers of misleading the public. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid told the Commons in February that ‘two-thirds of housing demand has nothing to do with immigration’ and was down to natural population growth. Migration Watch says this is ‘entirely false and misleading’. It says that according to the Labour Force Survey by the Office for National Statistics, 1.65 million of the two million new households needing homes in England between 2000 and 2015 were headed by someone who was an immigrant.
The Treasury’s carbon tax has propelled Britain into the top 10 of a global low-carbon electricity league table faster than any other country, igniting calls from the clean energy industry for the upcoming budget to keep the support in place. The fresh research shows that Britain has climbed from a 2012 ranking of 20th out of 33 industrialised countries to 7th on the low-carbon electricity league table. The top 3 include Norway and Sweden, which use vast amounts of hydropower, and France, which relies mainly on nuclear power generation. Britain’s 13 place leap in just four years is the fastest ascent of any country, according to Imperial College London, which authored the report.
Zimbabwe’s military has denied staging a coup against President Mugabe and issued a warning to figures around the embattled leader after seizing the state broadcaster. “We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president . . . and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed,” a spokesman said in a televised address. “We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes . . . As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.” Staff at ZBC, the government-run radio and TV station, said that they were manhandled when the troops burst in shortly before midnight. They ordered everyone to leave.
Zimbabwe’s military has stormed the country’s national broadcaster’s studios to declare it is ‘targeting criminals’ amid fears of a coup after reports of explosions and gunfire in the capital. The military read a statement on live TV claiming this not ‘a military takeover of government’ and President Robert Mugabe was safe. The US Embassy in Zimbabwe had ordered employees and US citizens in the African nation to take cover and seek shelter on Tuesday after gunfire was heard near the home of the 93-year-old president, sparking fears of an armed military takeover. Soldiers stormed the headquarters of state broadcaster ZBC in the early hours of Wednesday, two members of staff and a human rights worker told Reuters, as staff complained they were manhandled by the military members.
Zimbabwe’s army said President Robert Mugabe and his wife are “safe and sound” and it is securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster. The night’s action has triggered speculation of a coup. Armed soldiers in armoured personnel carriers stationed themselves at key points in Harare, while Zimbabweans formed long lines at banks in order to withdraw the limited cash available, a routine chore in the country’s ongoing financial crisis. In an address to the nation after taking control of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, an army spokesman said early on Wednesday that the military was targeting “criminals” around Mugabe, and sought to reassure the country that order would be restored.
Zimbabwe’s army denied it had carried out a coup after taking over the state broadcaster in the early hours of Wednesday, even as military vehicles took to the streets of the Zimbabwean capital and prolonged gunfire was heard near the presidential residence. Military officers read an address live on state TV, saying President Robert Mugabe was “safe” and his “security is guaranteed”. “It is not a military takeover of government,” an army spokesman said in a televised statement. “We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president… and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. “We are only targeting criminals around who him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.