A European Court hearing to decide if Brexit can be halted will go ahead next week, after the government failed in a last-gasp bid to block it. The court will rule if the UK can withdraw the Article 50 trigger notice unilaterally, as argued by many experts including the author of the mechanism. A cross-party group of politicians secured the go ahead for the case from a Scottish court in September, which referred it to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU). With Theresa May’s Brexit deal seemingly doomed to defeat in a Commons vote next month, the controversy over whether Article 50 can be revoked is likely to become crucial. Now the Supreme Court has rejected the appeal by the government against the Scottish ruling because it did not “constitute a final judgment”.
The EU’s top court is set to rule on whether Brexit can be cancelled. The European Court of Justice will hold a session on the subject next week – after the UK government failed in a last-ditch bid to block it. Tory ministers hired five QCs in a bid to stop the ECJ hearing going ahead. But today the Supreme Court said it could happen, and it is due on November 27 – two days after EU leaders meet to sign off a draft Brexit deal. The bid by Scottish Labour, SNP and Green politicians is being led by the Good Law Project, which has crowdfunded more than £170,000.
The supreme court has dismissed an attempt by the Brexit secretary to derail a European court hearing into whether article 50 – which triggered the UK’s departure from the EU – could be reversed. In a decision released on Tuesday, the justices refused the government permission to challenge a ruling by Scotland’s highest court that the issue should be referred to the European court of justice in Luxembourg. The supreme court’s conclusion came after three justices, including the president of the court, Lady Hale, had considered the written request from the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Theresa May’s most outrageous lie is that she is ending European jurisdiction over Britain. You don’t need to read the nearly 600 pages of the draft agreement to work out that she is lying: just remember that she promises also that she will keep Britain tied to EU laws on customs, the environment, labour standards, social standards, and the fiscal costs thereof. Ask her this: how can she keep Britain tied to EU laws without being subject to EU jurisdiction? Please ask her, because journalists don’t ask her. Most journalists seem too lazy, ignorant, or biased to compare May’s lies against her draft agreement. So please allow me to reveal her agreement’s dirty secrets.
Theresa May will jet to Brussels today for a final crunch meeting on the Brexit talks – as her divorce deal faces a growing backlash abroad. The Prime Minister will hold talks with EU President Jean-Claude Juncker as she scrambles to close her Brexit divorce deal. Before she left the embattled PM was told the Government’s chief whip she needs to wring fresh concessions from Brussels this week if she is to get her Brexit deal through Parliament. A Tory source said Julian Smith has privately told the Prime Minister the deal risks being voted down unless she can extract new concessions in the final days of talks.
Theresa May heads to Brussels on Wednesday to meet Jean-Claude Juncker in a bid to hammer out the final details of the Brexit deal with the EU. The prime minister’s visit comes days ahead of a European summit to sign off the agreement, but amid a heated row in her own party over whether it should be backed. Ms May’s Northern Irish DUP partners in government, Labour,
LABOUR says it will give a larger quota of fish to smaller boats after Brexit to ensure the future quota “is not monopolised by the few” as the party condemned Michael Gove’s new Fisheries Policy and criticised the Environment Secretary. The opposition party claimed on Monday it was planning to bring forward its amendments to Michael Gove’s fisheries bill – which will govern the fishing sector after the UK leaves the EU – claiming not enough has been done to “protect” smaller industry.
BRITAIN has fired back after Spain’s prime minister insisted he would veto Theresa May’s Brexit deal because of a row over Gibraltar. Mrs May’s precariously poised Brexit is set to be demolished by Spain using Article 50 negotiations to cynically win concessions from Britain on the future of Gibraltar. Just hours after the Prime Minister appeared to have just about headed-off an internal coup spearheaded by Jacob Rees-Mogg and David Davis it emerged Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was intent on rejecting the draft Brexit deal without changes to text on Gibraltar’s status in talks. And unless all 27 EU nations agree on the Brexit deal the whole thing goes back to the drawing board.
The UK will be “frozen out” of EU decisions on no fewer than 182 new rules in the months after Brexit, a new analysis says, including over budget spending, road signs and drinking water. The full scale of fresh regulations in the pipeline – during Theresa May’s planned 21-month transition period – exposes the blunder of making Britain “a rule-taker, not a rule-maker”, it warns. During that transition, the UK will be bound by Brussels’ decisions but without any ministers in the EU council, or MEPs in the European parliament, to influence them.
France and Germany have vowed to push forward with plans to curb national sovereignty on financial matters in the eurozone, with ministers from the 19 countries set to enter talks in the coming days on creating a common budget. Bruno Le Maire, the economy minister of France, said discussions were “moving in the right direction” to see a common eurozone budget, to help “promote greater convergence” across the currency bloc, in place by 2021. The former diplomat, whose résumé includes positions in the governorship of several international banks as well as membership of the George Soros-backed European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), hailed a “major political breakthrough” following a meeting with European ministers on Monday.
A senior minister has warned the plot to topple Theresa May risks doing ‘historic’ damage to the Conservatives – as even Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted it had become like an episode of Dad’s Army. In a private letter, Sir Alan Duncan told Mr Rees-Mogg that his attempted coup at the height of the Brexit negotiations ‘amounted to a declaration of war’.
THE Tory plotters are just two letters away from calling a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, they claimed today. Brexiteers trying to oust the PM have so far been frustrated by failing to cross the crucial threshold of 48 letters. But today a leading rebel insisted there are 46 backbenchers who have demanded a leadership vote. That means only two more are needed to trigger a challenge – suggesting a vote could come later this week.
JACOB REES-MOGG made another desperate public plea today for Tory MPs to force a vote of no confidence in PM Theresa May by warning that they will be stuck with her as leader for the next general election unless they act now. The leader of the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERS), which is highly critical of Ms May’s plans for leaving the EU, claimed that there was little enthusiasm among Conservative MPs for her to take them into the next general election, due in 2022. His attempt last week to garner more support for a vote of no confidence was mocked as “a bit Dad’s Army,” as his plan to topple Ms May descended into farce.
THE Tory backbench chief risks being SUED by furious rebel MPs if he bungles a leadership vote, he was warned today. Sir Graham Brady is in charge of overseeing a possible vote of no confidence in Theresa May. But he has previously been accused of trying to protect the PM by hiding the true number of letters he’s received from angry backbenchers. Michael Spicer, who chaired the powerful 1922 Committee before Sir Graham, warned the process could end up in court. He told The Times Sir Graham needs to “play it straight” and not be seen to favour either side.
The Democratic Unionist Party ordered its MPs to ignore its agreement to vote with the Conservative party on Tuesday night, as it withdrew support for Budget votes for the second day running. In another blow to Theresa May’s authority, the party’s 10 MPs abstained from a series of votes on the Finance Bill, forcing the Government to cave in the face of defeat. The move, which risks rendering the confidence and supply agreement null and void, came as senior DUP figures said they would not be swayed by threats to withdraw funding earmarked for Northern Ireland.
Theresa May has told the cabinet that the country could still avoid a controversial Irish backstop after Brexit. The prime minister said she was open to exploring a technological solution to the Irish border issue because the wording of the draft deal held open this possibility. A technological plan proposed by Brexiteers would negate the need for a UK-wide customs arrangement, the present backstop proposal for avoiding a hard border. Mrs May promised Leave figures including Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson that she would consider their proposals in a meeting on Monday.
Theresa May is examining a last-minute plan to scrap the Irish backstop in a bid to win over mutinous Conservative Brexiteers and bring the DUP back onside. The prime minister told her cabinet that she was exploring “technological” solutions to maintain a soft border in Ireland in place of her backstop plan as she looked to appease her Brexiteers ahead of a critical vote in the Commons on her deal next month. The revival of “alternative arrangements” to keep the border open came after senior Brexiteers met with the prime minister in Number 10 on Monday to present their own plan.
Brexit could split apart the United Kingdom, according to Spain, as Madrid dropped its historic opposition to Scotland joining the EU as an independent country. Josep Borrell, the Spanish foreign minister, was accused of trying to stoke Scottish nationalism as he said he was worried for the future of the Union. Madrid also repeated its threats to sink the Brexit deal unless it won concessions over Gibraltar, before Theresa May heads to Brussels on Wednesday for a meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker which will present one of the last opportunities for her to improve the deal on offer.
Scotland should be allowed to rejoin the European Union if it gains independence from the UK, the Spanish foreign minister has said, after expressing concerns over Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Josep Borrell has said that Spain would not stand in the way of Scotland attempting to join the EU, only days after demanding that Brexit withdrawal agreement does not apply to Gibraltar. Spain had always said it would veto any attempt Scottish attempt to join the EU to prevent Catalonia gaining independence.
At the moment it runs to only seven pages and is low on detail and high on aspiration. Nevertheless, the bare bones future relationship declaration that was published alongside the withdrawal agreement last week provides important hints about the trade offs to come. Here we analyse what the agreement says — and what it really means. What it says: “Comprehensive arrangements creating a free-trade area combining deep regulatory and customs co-operation, underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition”.
CABINET Brexiteers have urged Theresa May to hold back billions of the UK’s Brexit divorce bill if the European Union does not grant Britain an acceptable trade deal, according to reports. Five senior ministers including Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox are also pushing for last-minute changes to the Irish border backstop outlined in the draft withdrawal agreement. In a series of meetings with the Prime Minister this week, the Cabinet rebels put forward amendments to make the controversial divorce deal more palatable to Leave supporters, according to BuzzFeed News.
British negotiators are attempting to fend off attempts by European governments to insert tough new conditions into the blueprint for the future trading relationship. No 10 sources said that the talks in Brussels had reached a critical point before the summit on Sunday. Eastern European countries have demanded a clause guaranteeing that Britain would not treat different EU nationals seeking work differently after Brexit. “They are worried that well-heeled French bankers moving to Kensington will be more welcome than less middle-class or skilled Bulgarian, Romanian or Polish workers,” a source close to the talks said.
When Theresa May goes to Brussels for tea with Jean Claude Juncker on Wednesday afternoon, the two leaders will have in front of them a metaphorical Christmas tree of a political declaration. “And every member state has put a bauble on it”, an EU diplomat said. A seven-page document published last week, offering some heads of terms on the future relationship, is set to more than double to some 20 pages. Calls for more ambitious language around the trade elements have been made. Demands for a Spanish veto over any deal covering Gibraltar have been tabled.
The SNP should work with Conservative MPs to secure a soft Brexit deal that can get through the Commons, Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday. The Scottish first minister indicated that she was actively interested in a plan being drawn up by Nick Boles, a former Tory minister who has been holding discussions with MPs from all parties. His proposal would keep the UK in the single market and customs union possibly indefinitely if Mrs May’s blueprint fails to win the necessary support in the Commons next month.
Conservative remainer MPs have a “role to play” in building a coalition to drive a soft Brexit through the Commons, Nicola Sturgeon has said as opposition parties seek to find common ground with unhappy Tory backbenchers. In comments which gave the first indication of a Labour-SNP alliance, the Scottish National party leader suggested opposition parties would look at the Norway model, proposed by senior Tory backbenchers including former ministers Nick Boles, Nicky Morgan and George Freeman. The Scottish first minister stressed that there was some way to go until they collectively decided which option to agree on, with a second referendum and membership of the customs union and single market all still “on the table”.
Nicola Sturgeon as vowed to work with MPs from all political parties, including Conservative rebels, to build a Commons “coalition” against Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Speaking after meeting Jeremy Corbyn and other opposition party leaders in Westminster, the Scottish first minister said there was a “unity of purpose” and an agreement that “the PM’s deal was a bad deal”. She said that, while all options remain on the table, she hoped to convince the Labour leader to join with other parties in pushing for a fresh Brexit referendum.
A town with a population of 90,000 has had its ‘streets abandoned by police’ and been left with just ten officers on duty at a time. Residents of Hartlepool, County Durham, band together to patrol their neighbourhoods after police failed to respond to a spate of thefts and burglaries. Locals have taken to solving their own crimes on Facebook after budget cuts saw the number of frontline officers at Cleveland Police slashed by 500 in the past eight years.
ONE in five NHS hospitals are continually missing all crucial waiting targets, an investigation reveals. It shows 29 out of 157 trusts and boards failed to meet key time standards for A&E, cancer and routine operations throughout the past year. Health bosses warn stretched services are already facing “significant strain” ahead of winter. The damning performance figures obtained by the BBC include hospitals in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Separate analysis by the Royal College of Nursing shows rocketing number of patients are stuck on trolleys in corridors unable to get a bed. There were 154,000 sick Brits waiting more than four hours for a ward place this summer – up from 65,000 in 2014.
The leader of 100 travellers who illegally occupied a brewery told its bosses: “Twenty grand or the place is ours,” a court has been told. In May a convoy of more than 25 vehicles, including 17 caravans, entered Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn, Lancashire, after one of the gang used a chainsaw to cut a lock on a gate on the evening of May 26. Thomas Ward, 43, from Leigh, Greater Manchester, initially demanded £20,000 from Thwaites to leave within the hour but settled on a handshake to take payment the following day as long as no damage was caused, Preston crown court was told.
The leader of a group of travellers attempted to blackmail a brewery boss for £20,000 before ordering a 100-strong gang to destroy the building when demands were not met, a court was told. A convoy of more than 25 vehicles – including 17 caravans – entered Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn after one of the group used a chainsaw to cut a lock on a pedestrian entrance and then opened the main gates on the evening of May 26. A spokesman for the travellers allegedly told brewery bosses: “Twenty grand or the place is ours”. Thomas Ward, 43, of Aspull Common, Leigh, Greater Manchester, initially demanded £20,000 from Thwaites to leave within the hour before he settled on a handshake to take payment at noon the following day provided no damage was caused, jurors at Preston Court were told.
Britain’s child obesity crisis cannot be blamed on parents, who wage a losing battle at the dinner table to keep their children from becoming overweight, genetic research suggests. A study that looked at 4,500 pairs of twins born in England and Wales between 1994 and 1996 suggests that parents make efforts to restrict the diets of children who are genetically predisposed to become overweight, limiting how much and what they are allowed to eat. Offspring genetically predisposed to be skinny were urged to clear their plates.