THERESA May officially stripped the Brexit department of leading negotiations with Brussels – sparking claims of a Remainer “coup”. The Prime Minister announced she was taking personal control of the talks with the EU, boosting the role of her controversial Brexit guru Olly Robbins (pictured). And she confirmed The Sun’s revelation last week that Mr Robbins was to harvest almost 100 staff from the Department for the Exiting the EU and bring them under his command at the Cabinet Office’s secretive Europe Unit. Mr Robbins will have “overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations” leaving new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab in charge of getting the country ready for all exit scenarios – including No Deal.
INCENSED Brexiteers have hit out after Theresa May stripped the Brexit department of responsibility to negotiate with the European Union and handed total control of the process to her Remainer civil servant Olly Robbins. The decision, sneaked out in a written statement late on the last day before MPs went on holiday, officially means that Mrs May is not in charge of negotiations while new Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is her deputy but no longer has authority to make decisions. The effect of the decision is to put the power into the hands of cabinet office civil servant Mr Robbins.
Theresa May has downgraded the Brexit department and moved senior officials to a unit reporting to her in a move that formalised the prime minister’s control over EU negotiations. Eurosceptics claimed that the change undermined Dominic Raab, the new Brexit secretary. However, a senior government source said that it reflected the reality that had existed in Whitehall for many months. Mr Raab would actually have a greater role in the talks than David Davis, his predecessor, the source suggested. Mrs May announced that overall responsibility for the “preparation and conduct” of negotiations would move from the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) to the Cabinet Office.
Theresa May is taking personal control of Brexit talks with the EU, with Dominic Raab deputising for her. Mr Raab was drafted in as Brexit Secretary to replace David Davis, who quit in protest at the prime minister’s proposals for post-Brexit trade. A special unit in Mrs May’s office has played an increasing role in Brexit talks during recent months. Tuesday’s announcement, in a written statement by Mrs May, formalises that shift in responsibility. Labour’s Shadow Brexit Minister Jenny Chapman said: “Dominic Raab has been sidelined by the prime minister before he has even had the chance to get his feet under the table.”
The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) will officially no longer lead the Brexit negotiations with Brussels, with Downing Street and Civil Service bureaucrats taking control of talks. In a statement, published hours before MPs go on a six-week summer break and euphemistically called “Machinery of Government Change”, Prime Minister Theresa May revealed the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab had been effectively demoted, declaring: “I will lead the negotiations with the European Union… supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit,” which is largely led by Olly Robbins, the Prime Minister’s chief Brexit adviser.
Theresa May has announced today that she is seizing control of Brexit negotiations from Dominic Raab. May “will lead the negotiations with the European Union” in a move which will likely infuriate Brexiteers in government. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is no longer the lead negotiator in Brussels, and will now act on the Prime Minister’s “behalf”. A written statement published today by the Prime Minister sets out officially what has been true for a long time; Theresa May has sidelined Brexiteers within Government and taken back control of the negotiations.
Theresa May has taken back control of crucial negotiations with Brussels from her new Brexit secretary just hours after the government published its white paper on withdrawing from the European Union. The prime minister announced she would now lead the crunch talks with the EU while Dominic Raab, who was appointed two weeks ago, would be left in charge of domestic preparations, no-deal planning and legislation. The move was swiftly characterised as a “sidelining” of the Brexit secretary by No 10’s Europe unit, led by May’s chief Brexit adviser, Olly Robbins, with the prime minister also taking officials from his department.
Theresa May today stripped the Brexit Department of its job being in charge of Brexit talks – as she announced the UK will stay under EU laws for 21 more months. The double move by the Prime Minister risks enraging Tory MPs as it keeps Britain close to the EU – and means someone who voted Remain is negotiating Brexit. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab voted Leave and was appointed to the job two weeks ago. But confirming what many thought in Westminster, Mrs May has announced she’ll lead talks with Brussels herself, and Mr Raab will be her deputy.
The long overdue announcement of the reality that the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab is nothing more than a cypher of Mrs May’s civil service has made it very clear the Government’s priority over Brexit. Gerard Batten, the UKIP leader said: “It is hard to conceive of a better way of overturning the Referendum vote than the approach of this Government. If I were charitable I would accuse them of incompetence. But I cannot believe even this Prime Minister of this level of incompetence. If so, then it must be a deliberate attempt to put the UK in the only position worse than being a full member of the EU, a non-member constrained entirely by its rules.
Theresa May has risked the fury of Brexiteer MPs by announcing plans to keep the UK under EU laws for a further 21 months. The 1972 European Communities Act will not be fully repealed until the end of the planned transition period, at the end of 2020 – rather than on exit day next year. Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary told MPs the move was necessary to “ensure the statute book functions properly….in accordance with the agreement we have made with the EU”. But it is certain to enrage pro-Brexit MPs – who had been promised the 1972 Act, which took the UK into the then-common market, would be scrapped in March 2019.
Philip Hammond is offering billions of pounds of government guarantees for projects dependent on EU funding after Brexit day as part of “no deal” planning. The move means farmers, scientific research projects and new roads will not see their funding suddenly halt next April if Brexit negotiations break down. The chancellor’s decision was slipped out on the last day of the parliamentary term. The Treasury is not able to put a precise estimate on the amount of money involved.
It could be “illegal” to pay private pensions to many retired British expats if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, MPs have been told. The Association of British Insurers said pensioners who receive their payments into bank accounts in their adopted countries could be left without cash. “That is a perfectly plausible risk in the future if no agreement is reached in some countries of the EU,” said Huw Evans, the ABI’s director general. An alarmed Hilary Benn, the Brexit committee’s chairman, said: “They might find that they couldn’t be paid their pension – is that what you are saying?”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a media interview published on Wednesday that the British government needs to get moving in Brexit negotiations, including on the Northern Ireland border issue. On Tuesday Brexit minister Dominic Raab said Britain had put forward a “real offer” to a win a deal on leaving the European Union by October, suggesting the government would not shift much from its agreed negotiating stance. But Maas told the Funke group of newspapers: “In order for the departure to be carried out in as orderly a way as possible, the British government will need to move.”
Britain has put forward a “real offer” to a win a deal on leaving the European Union by October, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said on Tuesday, suggesting the government would not shift much from its agreed negotiating stance. With just under three months before Britain and the EU want to agree a deal to end over 40 years of union, Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to sell what she calls her business-friendly Brexit to her own party and across a divided country.
The £9.3 million pro-Brussels propaganda drive by David Cameron’s government ahead of the Brexit referendum gave the ‘Remain’ side an unfair advantage, a cross-party Independent Commission on Referendums has found. In a major report, the Independent Commission on Referendums called for such unfair spending to be banned and demanded curbs on government spending unlimited amounts of taxpayer cash before the last four weeks of campaigning.
Ex-cabinet minister Dominic Grieve has given his backing to a referendum on Britain’s future Brexit choices as “a sensible way forward” out of the UK’s current political crisis. Writing exclusively for The Independent, Mr Grieve said he has concluded that a referendum now offers a clear “democratic route” for resolving the uncertainty around Britain’s future. The ex-attorney general, who has led efforts to reshape Theresa May’s Brexit deal in parliament, argued that recent events have shown it is unclear whether any government proposal can now command a majority in the Commons.
Ministers are considering a so-called “retirement levy” which would see taxpayers pay a lump sum to the Government in order to meet the spiralling costs of residential and social care in old age. The proposals would see retirees make a one-off payment into a ‘national care fund’ which would go towards meeting the costs of funding their stay in residential homes, it is understood. Officials in the Treasury and the Department for Health are considering the scheme as an alternative to hiking taxes to pay for the country’s social care costs.
Middle class elderly people who pay for their care home places are charged £10,000 a year more than fellow residents whose bills are met by the taxpayer, a report said yesterday. Those who own their own homes or have savings typically pay £750 a week for a care home bed, it found. This is £195 a week more than councils pay for people without savings who have similar rooms and similar levels of help. The extra charges, £10,140 a year for someone living in an average residential care home, are demanded by care home operators from residents who pay privately because councils refuse to pay the full costs of looking after those whose bills are met by the taxpayer.
An MP who received death threats after condemning the sexual abuse of girls by groups of British Pakistani men has been given increased security amid fears that hard-left and Muslim opponents are trying to force her from office. Sarah Champion was accused by activists in her Rotherham constituency of “industrial-scale racism” for highlighting the “common ethnic heritage” of most of those implicated in the town’s sex-grooming scandal. Criticism of the former Labour frontbencher has been led by a racial justice charity that claims to speak on behalf of the local Pakistani community.
A LABOUR MP who condemned Asian child abuse gangs has been given boosted security amid fears she is being targeted by Muslim and hard-left opponents. Sarah Champion received death threats after warning in The Sun last year of “a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls” in her Rotherham constituency. Her comments triggered a major backlash from far left activists and Pakistani community groups in her constituency. They accused her of “industrial-scale racism” for pointing out that the sexual predators had a common “ethnic heritage”.
An MP has been given heightened security measures after receiving death threats for condemning the grooming of girls by Asian sex gangs. it was reported. Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham, was accused by activists of ‘industrial-scale racism’ for highlighting the ‘common ethnic heritage’ of those involved in the town’s sexual abuse scandal. The former shadow minister for Women and Equalities hit the headlines when she spoke out after 17 men from Asian backgrounds were convicted of or admitted offences in a series of trials related to child sexual exploitation.
Government plans to buy a “budget frigate” within five years have been thrown into chaos after a competition to build the warship was suspended amid a funding crisis. Sources warned last night that the Type 31e frigate may never materialise. It is a serious blow for the Royal Navy, which needs at least five of the ships to maintain the size of its surface fleet. Shipbuilders and yards in the running for the £1.25 billion contract were taken by surprise when the Ministry of Defence announced the freeze on Friday, just as they prepared to finalise their respective ship designs.
Plans for new Royal Navy warships were plunged into disarray today after defence chiefs were forced to ditch a high-profile project. The Type 31e light frigate was trumpeted by ministers as a cheap replacement for an ageing fleet of anti-submarine vessels. Thirteen, Type 23, Duke-class frigates are being retired and replaced by just eight Type 26 Global Combat Ships. Ministers hoped to make up the shortfall in the Senior Service with five, £250million smaller ships which they branded the Type 31e. The “e” highlighted their hope to export it to allies.
Up to 8,000 counsellors will be sent into schools as part of efforts to monitor children more closely for “unhealthy online behaviours”, the new Health Secretary says. Matt Hancock urged parents and technology companies to do more to protect the young from pressures of social media, as he announced a major expansion in children’s mental health services. The plans will see a doubling in the mental health workforce for children, amid warnings that the NHS has been left “picking up the pieces” of an epidemic of mental distress among the young.
Parents whose children are excluded from school are being abandoned to a “Wild West” of education, MPs say. The cross-party education committee said that there was a lack of moral accountability among many schools that had few incentives to keep challenging pupils on their rolls, and that the government’s focus on results had made the situation worse. In a highly critical report, MPs also said that there had been an alarming increase in “hidden” exclusions, when pupils are unofficially removed with the agreement of parents.
A rising number of students are “abandoned” after being excluded from school in what is a growing education “scandal”, MPs have warned. There is a “lack of moral accountability” among many schools which have no incentive to keep on “challenging” pupils, the Commons’ Education Committee said. Parents are forced to deal with an exclusion system like the “Wild West” with too many pupils moved to alternative provision who should not be there, the report noted.
Drivers are wasting £250 million a year on ‘rip-off’ MoT tests and unnecessary repairs, according to a prominent think-tank. The Adam Smith Institute is urging ministers to ditch the MoT test, describing it as ‘outdated’ and a ‘classic case of poor policy’. It wants the Government to ‘bring itself into the 21st century and focus on driver error’, which is by far the main cause of accidents. But the AA says abolishing the MoT would be a ‘dangerous’ move and result in more deaths and serious injuries.
Britain’s archaic treason laws should be updated and used to prosecute jihadis who have fought in Syria, a former Home Secretary, head of MI5, Lord Chief Justice and head of counter-terror policing have said. The Treason Act of 1351 has not been used since 1946 but should now be revised to prosecute terrorists amid growing fears that British laws are currently not tough enough to deal with returning jihadis. The recommendation, in a report by the Policy Exchange think tank, has been backed by some of the country’s leading experts including Amber Rudd, the former Home Secretary, and Lord Evans, the former head of MI5.
Britain’s ancient treason laws should be revived and brought up to date to allow terrorists to be jailed for life, MPs and academics recommend. A report whose authors include Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative chairman of the foreign affairs committee, and Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP, says that citizens who betray the country through acts of terrorism should be dealt with as traitors. The report from the Policy Exchange think tank suggests that a treason law would have made it easier to bring to justice members of the so-called Beatles group of Islamic State terrorists who the government wants to send to America for prosecution.
A former lord chief justice has joined an ex-counter terror chief and top MPs in calling for ancient treason laws to be updated in order to jail British jihadis for life. Amid an ongoing row over efforts to bring two members of an Islamic State (IS or ISIS) murder squad to justice, the senior figures have backed a think tank’s report on renewing legislation. In a new report, Policy Exchange claim a new offence would allow “suitable ground” on which to prosecute captured jihadists Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh, who were part of a quartet named “the Beatles”.
The role of climate change in the current global heatwaves has split some of the most eminent Met Office scientific advisers. Differences emerged yesterday about whether decades of dire predictions on the impact of global warming are “coming true before our eyes”, or if the Northern Hemisphere is simply experiencing a particularly hot summer – albeit one with tragic consequences. To one body of opinion, the sustained and searing temperatures currently hitting Britain, Africa, Canada, Japan and other regions cannot be a coincidence.
Dozens of children have been stung by jellyfish at a beach in Kent. Up to 30 children who had been swimming at Sunny Sands beach in Folkestone were treated after being stung by compass jellyfish on Sunday. Jellyfish are thought to have been attracted to the coast in increased numbers by the heatwave. A young girl was also treated for a minor reaction to a sting from a venomous weever fish.