Boris Johnson has started to share details of his Brexit blueprint with the EU as talks on a possible deal intensify, Government sources said last night. Downing Street yesterday hit back at claims by senior EU figures that the Prime Minister has yet to explain the changes he wants to see. Government sources said EU negotiators were being ‘shown pieces of paper’ giving the outline of Mr Johnson’s plans, including the removal of the controversial Irish backstop. The move came as No 10 revealed Brexit talks would step up from being twice a week to daily from next week as the UK searches for a deal. It also emerged that the PM will discuss his plans with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at next week’s UN general assembly in New York. But sources acknowledged that Mr Johnson’s full blueprint may not be published until next month because of fears EU members would leak it and risk a row at the Conservative Party conference.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiators have so far only presented the EU with a draft of the withdrawal agreement with the backstop scrubbed out, UK government sources have confirmed. In a move that has caused tensions with EU leaders, Johnson’s team are refusing to put forward a written proposal to Brussels at this stage for fear it will be rejected out of hand or publicly rubbished. Instead, they want to wait until almost the last minute before the October summit before presenting a plan to the EU, with just two weeks before the UK is due to leave the bloc.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit proposals have not been handed to Eurocrats over fears they will be leaked, it has emerged. Talks with Brussels to secure a new exit settlement will intensify next week with daily discussions between officials. Outlines of possible options to resolve the deadlock have been shown to the European Commission but officials have refused to leave copies of the documents behind. Government sources said they fear the Commission would “fire it at the 27” leaders of EU countries and they would no longer be “in control” of it.
The UK has put forward ideas to end the Brexit impasse, but is stopping Brussels from keeping hold of written details due to fears the proposals will be leaked, it is understood. As the clock ticks down to exit day on 31 October, the EU has so far said that no “concrete” proposals to replace the Irish backstop have been forthcoming. However, British sources cited by the Press Association have insisted that papers setting out Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s position have been shown to the European Union, even though they were taken back at the end of meetings.
A Cabinet minister has warned Boris Johnson his secret Brexit plans should not become “a hostage to fortune” as it emerged the Government is deliberately holding back papers from the EU. The Mirror understands that officials are refusing to leave written documents with their Brussels counterparts amid fears they could be leaked. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland alluded to the policy when he warned: “We have to deal with this very carefully, we mustn’t put up something which becomes unrealistic or a hostage to fortune. “Let’s be careful and considered in these negotiations”.
For the second time in as many years, Britain’s future was placed in the hands of 11 Supreme Court Justices on Tuesday as the extent of the Prime Minister’s powers were put to the ultimate test. In the room where Theresa May was humbled in 2017, the country’s most senior legal brains met to decide whether Boris Johnson acted lawfully in proroguing Parliament for five weeks, and, by implication, whether he lied to the Queen when he asked her permission to do so. It is a claim which the Prime Minister denies. If the Government loses the case, Mr Johnson could be forced to recall MPs to the Commons, giving Remainers the opportunity to find new ways of tying his hands over Brexit, and maybe thwarting Brexit altogether.
Boris Johnson has warned the country’s most senior judges that the courts have “no jurisdiction” over his decision to suspend parliament and they risk “entering the political arena”. The Supreme Court began on Tuesday to hear two appeals relating to the five-week prorogation of parliament, which has been ruled by Scotland’s highest civil court to be an unlawful attempt to dodge MPs’ scrutiny of Brexit. Accusing the Scottish judges of having a “fundamental misconception of how parliament operated”, the prime minister’s written submission said that it would be “constitutionally inappropriate” for the judiciary to intervene.
BORIS JOHNSON will ask the Queen to recall MPs to Westminster if judges rule his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal, the Supreme Court heard yesterday. Lord Keen QC, a lawyer representing the Government at a landmark court case, insisted the Prime Minister will “take the necessary steps” to comply with the law. He refused to rule out Mr Johnson requesting a second suspension in such circumstances, however. Lord Keen made his remark during the first day of the Supreme Court hearing of two claims from pro-Brussels campaigners that the Prime Minister broke the law by using the “prorogation” procedure to lengthen Parliament’s traditional break for the conference season.
The UK Supreme Court in London has heard its first day of submissions on the legality of the suspension of Parliament by the Prime Minister, which saw the government lawyer questioning whether the judges even had the authority to rule on the matter. This month has seen the suspension — or Prorogation, as it is known in Westminster jargon — of the longest Parliament in modern British history, allowing a new legislating term to begin, an essential development the government claims to bring forward a new domestic agenda.
BORIS JOHNSON today told the Supreme Court to butt out of the extraordinary legal row over Brexit – as 11 judges launched a historic hearing into whether he misled the Queen. The PM’s top QC insisted it was not for the highest court in the country to rule on whether he was right or wrong to suspend Parliament. Lord Keen said the Supreme Court would be guilty of “intrusion” in ruling on something that was “political convention”. And he stormed: “The courts are not to cross the boundaries and intrude upon the proceedings of Parliament.”
Tom Watson last night accused Labour activists of attempting to force him out after he tried to clamp down on anti-Semitism in the party. The party’s deputy leader spoke out after it emerged that local constituency bodies had submitted motions to next week’s party conference censuring him for ‘undermining’ Jeremy Corbyn. Two of them criticise him for his role in efforts to deal with Labour anti-Semitism and go so far as to say he should stand down over his conduct
Jeremy Corbyn has given his strongest hint yet that Labour could remain neutral in a referendum on a new Brexit deal. He said Labour would put a “sensible” Leave option to voters in a new Brexit referendum and abide by the result. The comments come ahead of Labour’s annual conference, where Mr Corbyn is expected to come under increased pressure to explicitly back staying in the EU. The Labour leader said that the party would negotiate a new Leave agreement with the EU if it wins the next general election and then put that to the popular vote along with a Remain option.
Labour would “carry out whatever the people decide” in another referendum on Brexit, says Jeremy Corbyn. The party leader told the Guardian he would hold a fresh vote if he became PM – offering a Labour-negotiated deal and Remain on the ballot paper. Mr Corbyn said the pledge made Labour “the only UK-wide party ready to put our trust in the people of Britain”. It comes ahead of Labour’s party conference where he is expected to face increasing pressure to back Remain. According to campaign group Another Europe is Possible, more than 80 motions have been submitted by local Labour groups for debate at conference in Brighton calling for the party to back Remain in a future public vote.
LABOUR members will debate whether to restore the party’s historic clause four motion at their conference this weekend. Delegates will be able to vote on a rule change that would scrap the current clause four and reinstate to the old version, which commits to socialising the capitalist economy on behalf of workers. The Star understands that five Constituency Labour Parties voted to endorse the motion. Clause four was first introduced by the party in 1918, and was drafted by the leading Fabian Society member Sidney Webb. The clause committed the Labour Party to “secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.”
THE Liberal Democrats faced ridicule last night after announcing plans to introduce a “Minister for Happiness” and use people’s feelings to make spending decisions despite vowing to ruin Brexit for millions of Britons. If they win the next General Election a Lib Dem government would hold a “well-being budget” and policy decisions would be judged on how they would impact people’s emotions – not just how they would affect the economy. But it comes as the party’s annual conference has been overshadowed by its plan to scrap Brexit without a second referendum. New party leader Jo Swinson has spent much of this week denying claims her party is anti-democratic for ignoring voters who want to leave the EU.
Boris Johnson’s treatment at the hands of Luxembourg’s prime minister is a reminder of why the UK wants to leave the European Union, the US ambassador said on Tuesday night. In a show of solidarity, Woody Johnson said that having “built the greatest empire” and “held off the Nazis”, the British “didn’t need a lecture from anybody on how to run their country … and that includes Brussels”. He added: “We stand with the people of the UK and we always will.” It came after Xavier Bettel, the Luxembourg prime minister, was accused of “disrespecting” Britain after he tried to force Mr Johnson to hold a news conference in a street full of anti-Brexit protesters, leaving the Prime Minister no choice but to pull out.
Boris Johnson‘s humiliation at the hands of Luxembourg will make a Brexit deal harder to reach and could make a no-deal more likely, some on the EU side believe. Norbert Röttgen, chair of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee and a senior MP from Angela Merkel’s party, was among those to publicly criticise the Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel on Tuesday. Mr Bettel had strongly criticised Mr Johnson and the UK government and empty-chaired the British prime minister after he refused to take part in a planned press conference in Luxembourg on Monday. “Xavier Bettel’s speech yesterday did not serve the European cause,” Mr Röttgen, a former minister in Ms Merkel’s government warned.
EMMANUEL MACRON put on a friendly display with Xavier Bettel today, less than 24 hours after the Luxembourg Prime Minister ambushed Boris Johnson. The French President hugged Mr Bettel as he arrived at the Elysee Palace in Paris this morning. The pair also patted each other and shared a laugh as they posed for pictures. It comes after the Luxembourg leader sparked a row yesterday by going ahead with a joint press conference that Mr Johnson was forced to pull out of due to heckling anti-Brexit protesters. Mr Bettel stood next to an empty podium in an apparent bid to humiliate Mr Johnson before ranting about Brexit.
The leader of Ukip has been accused of a “complete insult” after he decided to boycott his own party conference due to low ticket sales. Richard Braine has pulled out of the conference after fewer than 450 tickets were sold for the two-day event. The party was hoping to attract double the amount of delegates to the event in Newport, south Wales, later this month. In the latest furore to engulf the party infamous for its public spats, the Ukip chair, Kirstan Herriot, wrote to all members stating new leader Braine had attempted to cancel the conference due to a potentially low turnout. In the email sent to all members, Herriot, backed by Ukip’s ruling national executive committee (NEC), said Braine’s stance had been a complete affront to “hard-working” party members. She confirmed the conference would go ahead despite Braine’s no-show. She wrote: “Both I and the NEC believe it is a complete insult to the membership to attempt to cancel conference because of a potentially low turn out.
Nicola Sturgeon‘s plans to tear apart the UK were yesterday dealt a fresh blow by a bombshell poll. It revealed that the vast majority of Scots want to remain in the Union and are against destroying the 312-year-old partnership. As Miss Sturgeon steps up her bid to force Scotland to leave the United Kingdom, 59 per cent oppose ‘Scexit’ –a Scottish exit – from the Union. Meanwhile, only one in four Scots supports the First Minister’s bid to hold another referendum next year.
Westminster resistance to giving Scots a second vote on independence will be “washed away” after another SNP election victory, Nicola Sturgeon has predicted. Five years after people in Scotland voted to stay part of the UK, the country is facing the possibility of a snap general election. While successive prime ministers have rejected the First Minister’s calls for a second independence referendum, Ms Sturgeon said that would change if her party won again at the polls.
Squadrons of French riot police descended on a sprawling migrant centre near Dunkirk this morning to dismantle the camp that has become a launch-pad for illegal boat crossings to Britain. The clearing, ordered by local mayor Martial Beyaert, comes the day after another 38 migrants tried to make it to Britain. Armed with tear gas and heavy batons, the heavily-armed officers began clearing the 1,200-capacity encampment at Grande-Synthe near Dunkirk before dawn today. Bulldozers began tearing down the dozens of tents that migrants had erected in the sports field of the gym at Grande-Synthe.
Nearly 1,000 migrants, including pregnant women and families with young children, have been evicted from a makeshift camp in France. Around 100 French police surrounded the Espace Jeunes du Moulin in Grande Synthe – a town in Dunkirk. People living on the campsite, as well as aid workers were escorted off the grounds of the former sports stadium, where families had been living in the gym and camping in its grounds. A series of coaches took the migrants to other camps across France, where they have been told they can apply for assylum. The clearance took place after a court order was issued – reportedly in a bid to stop people smugglers coming into the gym and targeting vulnerable and desperate migrants. The closure of the camp has revived fears it could prompt another spike in attempts to cross the English Channel.
Cheating GP surgeries and dentists are fleecing the NHS out of £214million a year, a shocking report has revealed. They are claiming money for non-existent services and appointments – and submitting invoices for patients who have died. The scams come as the Health Service is losing £1.3billion to fraud a year or £3.5million a day, according to estimates from the NHS watchdog. This is equivalent to hiring 48,000 junior doctors or 52,000 nurses – or performing 108,000 hip replacements or 650,000 cataract procedures.
The subject of vaccinations is cropping up again and again – and some would say for good reason. Uptake of the second dose of the MMR vaccination is at an eight year low, currently it stands at 87 per cent, way below the 95 per cent target. That target is important because once it’s reached, the disease can’t spread through a community even if someone gets the disease. The reason I write about it today is because of research ITV News has done in conjunction with the Royal College of GPs. And the results are very interesting. I wanted to find out what doctors, on the ground, think about the anti-vaccination sentiment doing the rounds and whether they believed it was actually having a tangible effect on uptake. It appears they think it is.
Britain’s most senior police officer has been accused of lying to cover up failures in a £2.5 million investigation into a fantasist’s allegations that he had been the victim of an establishment paedophile ring. Dame Cressida Dick, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said yesterday that one of her senior officers had made a mistake under pressure from the media when he said that allegations made by Carl Beech, then known as Nick, were “credible and true”. Harvey Proctor, a former Conservative MP who was falsely accused by Beech of murdering three boys, broke a confidentiality agreement with the police to reveal that officers had agreed in advance they would say they believed Nick’s allegations.
The Met Police Commissioner has revealed she felt sorry for the officer who wrongly described the lies of VIP paedophile fantasist Nick as ‘credible and true’. Cressida Dick admitted that Operation Midland, which looked at invented claims against senior public figures by Carl Beech, had damaged the reputation of her force. But she defended the officer who described Beech’s claims as ‘credible and true’, insisting it was a mistake. The £2.5million investigation ruined the reputations of some of Britain’s most respected public servants, including former PM Edward Heath, ex-Home Secretary Leon Brittan and ex-Armed Forces chief Lord Bramall.
The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police has ruled out arming all frontline police in the capital with a Taser despite a rise in attacks on officers. Dame Cressida Dick said that she would not be following other forces in promising to give every officer a Taser if they requested one. Officers have asked for the weapons after years of rising violence and a recent spate of serious attacks, including two attempted murders and the killing of a serving constable.