JEAN-CLAUDE Juncker has been warned he risks being responsible for causing a bloody civil war in Europe if he persists with his arrogant approach towards Britain. A political expert branded the Brussels chief’s actions “stupid and short-sighted” and said his Brexit negotiating stance makes him akin to “some latter day Nicolae Ceausescu”. In a blistering attack academic Sean Swan said the EU Commission boss is “doomed” because he is behaving like a “frustrated child” and not a statesman. Juncker has been widely derided across Europe for his antagonistic behaviour towards Britain following the Brexit vote, which has seen him hurl a series of empty threats and give petulant interviews. EU leaders are so worried about his erratic and inflammatory behaviour that they are trying to freeze him out of the exit negotiations with Britain and deal directly with Theresa May.
The European Union has become the most important issue facing the UK today for the first time, according to a new poll conducted after the EU referendum. The month of July saw the EU overtake immigration and healthcare as the top concern for voters, according to Ipsos Mori. The economy saw a big rise too, with over a third saying it was a major issue, up nearly 7%. The poll came before reports at the weekend that the planned timetable to leave the EU could be delayed. The Prime Minister, who is currently on holiday in Switzerland, has said this will not happen this year.
Leaked documents from the Open Society Foundations show the group to have actively trained socialist MEPs to combat populist parties and shut down free speech. A series of documents leaked from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations have revealed a number of startling revelations about the work of the NGO when it comes to combating what they refer to as “xenophobic parties” in countries around Europe. According to at least one document the foundations has been calling for the censorship of language in the European parliament they term as hateful and have been actively working with various socialist members of the European parliament to train them on how to combat “xenophobic populism.”
Patient safety could be at risk because doctors, dentists and nurses from the EU are not facing tough enough language tests, leading medics have said. In just one year, 29 medics from the European Economic Area (EEA) faced allegations of “inadequate knowledge of English language”, according to data obtained by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). By contrast, just 10 doctors from outside the EU faced the same accusations during 2014/15, the figures obtained by the RCS from the General Medical Council also show Brexit negotiations pose an “excellent opportunity” to ensure language checks are up to scratch, the RCS said.
Problems within the NHS are only going to get worse, the Patients Association has warned, after a study showed that tens of thousands of people are being forced to wait more than 18 weeks for routine surgery. A report entitled Feeling the Wait found that hospital trusts across England each cancelled an average of 753 operations on the day in 2015. Equipment shortages, a lack of beds and scheduling errors were the main reasons given to patients in such cases, the authors said. The total number of procedures cancelled by individual trusts ranged from eight to 3,269. The report said: “We have grown increasingly concerned at the waits patients are facing for surgery and the amount of patients who have had their operation cancelled on the day.
Patients are put at risk by EU rules that prevent officials properly testing the language skills of doctors, dentists and nurses, experts warn. The Royal College of Surgeons last night called on ministers to use Brexit negotiations to close the loophole. More than a quarter of European doctors applying to work in Britain are turned away because their English is not good enough. But experts say many with poor English slip through the net as EU ‘equality’ rules mean regulators are not allowed to directly test understanding of medical terms. Instead, health workers can produce a certificate that proves only general conversation ability. Professor Nigel Hunt, of the College’s faculty of dental surgery, said: ‘EU law makes it impossible to insist applicants demonstrate their English skills in a clinical setting … this could be putting patients at risk.’
It is seven weeks since the UK voted to leave the EU. What have we learned since then about the choice we made? Well not a great deal, other than Theresa May’s gloriously resonant and opaque “Brexit means Brexit” – which is why I have been digging around to get some sense of what the second “Brexit” in that aphorism of this new age represents. I am reliably told that Brexit, for May (and therefore for us), equals:
1. discretionary control over immigration policy;
2. discretionary control over lawmaking;
3. no compulsory contributions to the EU budget.
Why those three pillars of our new relationship with the EU? “It’s what the people voted for”, a senior government member tells me – with a certainty that suggests it would be pointless to raise doubts.
Labour says it would restore grants to help young people in England stay in further and higher education. This would mean a return for education maintenance allowances (EMA) scrapped by the coalition government in 2010. It would also mean reversing the decision to turn maintenance grants for poorer university students into repayable loans. Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said it showed a commitment to “investing in our young people”. Labour says it would pay for the support for 1.25 million poorer students by increasing corporation tax by up to 1.5%. It is proposing that the EMAs, a flagship policy of the previous Labour government, should be reinstated. They were means-tested payments of between £10 and £30 per week intended to encourage 16- to 18-year-olds to stay in sixth forms and further education colleges.
LABOUR will reverse the abolition of student grants and the education maintenance allowance (EMA) if it wins the next general election, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner announced last night. The Tories replaced maintenance grants for poor university students in England with repayable loans, while the EMA, a £30-a-week cash payment that helped 16 to 18-year-olds stay in education, was axed by the coalition government. Now Labour has vowed to reinstate the policies, which will support more than a million students, and says they will be paid for by increasing corporation tax by less than 1.5 per cent. Ms Rayner said: “While the Tories continue to burden our young people with debt, the Labour Party is committed to investing in our young people.
BRITAIN’S most prolific hate preacher Anjem Choudary is finally facing jail for drumming up support for ISIS. The twisted 49-year-old encouraged backing for the vile terrorist group in a series of talks posted on social media. Choudary stayed on the right side of the law for two decades before investigators were able to finally pin him down — as he put his name to an online video pledging allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The infamous leader figure in the banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun (ALM) now faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison. Choudary and co-defendant Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, 33, were found guilty at the Old Bailey of inviting support for IS between June 29, 2014 and March 6, 2015. The verdicts were delivered on July 28, but for legal reasons can only be reported for the first time today. As the unhinged pair were convicted, Mr Justice Holroyde warned the preachers they face lengthy spells in prison, and said they had only shown “a grudging compliance” to the court.
TERROR pied piper Anjem Choudary and his disciples are linked to atrocities ranging from 7/7 to the Paris massacre. Security sources say Britain’s most prolific jihadi recruiter either inspired or has close ties with up to 500 extremists. His outlawed organisation al-Muhajiroun was a breeding ground for terrorists including the four London bus and Tube bombers and Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale — the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby . The fanatical preacher also helped fund a Belgian Islamic terror group called Sharia4Belgium, which security services believe played a key role in November’s bomb and gun attacks in Paris. But despite his role as terror kingpin, Choudary was able to evade justice for two decades. Using the legal skills he gained from his training as a solicitor, he managed to stay just the right side of the law while inciting a generation of young Muslims to violence. But he slipped up in the summer of 2014 by taking an oath to ISIS and encouraging others to support the terror group.
For more than a decade Anjem Choudary has gleefully fulfilled the role of radical Islam’s pantomime villain, spouting a stream of controversial rhetoric deliberately designed to wind up his detractors. Jailed on Tuesday after police revealed he had links to 500 British jihadis currently fighting with Isil, Choudary has revelled in his role as Sharia Law’s agent provocateur, whether he was calling for the Queen to wear a burkha, or for drunks to receive 40 lashes. But behind the rabble rousing headlines, Choudary’s malign influence on disillusioned and impressionable young Muslim’s has had deadly consequences, with some experts claiming around half of all terror attacks carried out by Britons can be linked in some way to him or the Al-Muhajiroun organisation that he fronted.
Train fares will rise by 1.9% next year as rail union leaders and Labour renewed calls for the railways to be taken back into public ownership. The increase is linked to July’s Retail Price Index measure of inflation. Passengers will see 1.9% rises on regulated fares – which includes season tickets, some off-peak returns and Anytime tickets – around half of all tickets sold. Tory ministers had said that regulated fares would rise no more than the RPI figure during the 5-year term of Parliament. Rail union leaders were joined by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other campaigners at a protest outside London Bridge station. Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “Rail passengers are paying more and getting even less.
Commuters face chaos on Britain’s biggest rail network after unions voted for a huge strike over ticket office closures. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union backed new stoppages on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates a third of all passenger journeys every day. GTR runs the Southern network, which has already been at the centre of a series of strikes. The latest ballot will spread the action to other GTR operations — Thameslink, Great Northern and the Gatwick Express — with possible stoppages taking place in weeks.