British and EU negotiators have reached a deal over the so-called Brexit bill, opening the door to a potential breakthrough in the talks this December, the Telegraph has learned. Sources on both sides confirmed that an agreement-in-principle has now been reached over the EU’s demand for a €60bn financial settlement ahead of a crucial lunch meeting next Monday between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president. Two sources confirmed that the terms were agreed at a meeting in Brussels late last week after intense back-channel discussions led by Oliver Robbins, the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator.
Britain will pay EU bills for decades after the government bowed to demands from Brussels to meet its long-term financial liabilities to the bloc. Theresa May will make an improved offer next week in which she will promise to pay the costs of all existing EU projects and pensions signed off while Britain was a member. The cost, likely to be between €40 billion and €50 billion in total, will not be settled as a lump sum but will be spread over a period of up to 40 years on a diminishing scale “when they [the bills] fall due”. EU diplomats expect the prime minister to use that language when she tables the offer at a meeting on Monday with Jean-Claude Juncker.
Theresa May’s Brexit bill gamble appeared to have paid off last night as EU sources indicated they were ready to strike a deal over money. The Prime Minister’s Brexit war cabinet agreed to raise the UK’s divorce offer last week in a bid to break the deadlock preventing the start of trade talks next month. The markets rallied following the news last night as sterling bounced back. Mrs May’s divorce offer was controversial, with some Conservative MPs urging Mrs May to walk away rather than pay a bill that could top £40 billion. But last night Brussels sources hinted that the offer would be enough to persuade the EU to sanction the start of trade talks at a crunch summit next month, provided agreement is also reached on citizens’ rights and the Northern Ireland border.
Looks like Theresa May will be handing over a hugely significant amount of money to Brussels. The Telegraph are reporting that a deal on the dosh has been reached, with the exact amount set to be buried but likely in excess of €45 billion. 71% of Brits asked recently said that a Brexit bill of £40 billion would be unacceptable. This giveaway is not a legal requirement but the British government are set to agree in return for trade talks. With police being cut, money for foreign aid being funnelled out of the country and a squeeze on the Armed Forces, this is a financial capitulation.
British and European Union negotiators have reached a deal in principle on the Brexit “divorce bill” that could see the UK paying some £45bn. Sources in Brussels suggested to The Independent that talks have seen the two sides’ stances begin to align over the “methodology” for calculating the settlement, with the outcome increasingly acceptable to both sides. If given the backing of Jean-Claude Juncker and the Prime Minister at a meeting on Monday the deal would help clear the way for EU leaders to agree to move Brexit talks on to trade at a crunch December council summit.
THERESA May is set to get tough with the EU next week and reject their demands for her to commit to a final divorce bill figure and lump sum payment. The Daily Express has learnt that senior Government figures have privately briefed key Brexit groups that the Prime Minister will insist that they move on to trade talks before any final divorce bill can be agreed. The revelation came as ministers played down claims emanating from the EU that the Government has privately committed to paying 45 to 55 billion euros (£40 billion to £49 billion). According to one report from Brussels, the UK Government has accepted that it has 90 billion euros of liabilities and will pay around half – 45 billion euros (£40 billion).
The UK has offered a larger potential “divorce bill” to the EU – which could be worth up to 50bn euros (£44bn), the BBC understands. There has been no final agreement on a number but the offer was given a “broad welcome” by Brussels, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said. No 10 has played down reports the final figure could be up to 55bn euros (£49bn). The offer was communicated to Brussels after last week’s cabinet meeting. The amount of money the UK will pay as part of Brexit has been one of the main sticking points in the first round of negotiations with the EU.
The full Cabinet on Tuesday approved the UK’s negotiating position for the first phase of Brexit negotiations – which the Prime Minister hopes will lead to agreement from the rest of the EU in just over a fortnight for talks to move on to trade and transition. The three elements to the UK’s offer are: A pledge to keep open the border with the Republic of Ireland; A formula for the so-called divorce bill that would see the UK paying more than £40bn and less than £60bn in divorce payments; A system for guaranteeing the rights of three million EU migrants resident in the UK that would allow Britain’s Supreme Court to refer issues “up” to the European Court of Justice, when it felt unqualified to adjudicate
Theresa May’s willingness to risk the wrath of Brexiteers by agreeing to the vast majority of the EU’s demands for a €60bn financial settlement is a testament to Downing Street’s determination to move the talks forward in December. While it is true that ‘nothing is agreed, until everything is agreed’ the UK’s decision to table a fulsome offer of €45bn to €55bn now unlocks one of the biggest obstacles to entering the next phase of the Brexit negotiations. As a tactical play, it also makes it potentially harder for the European side to hold up the other two legs of the negotiation – namely, guaranteeing the rights of 3.2m EU citizens’ rights and avoiding a hard border in Northern Ireland.
Theresa May has agreed a Brexit bill of between 45 and 55 billion euros, according to reports. The Telegraph claims to have been informed by both British and EU sources that an agreement-in-principle has been reached over the bloc’s demand its departing member pay a “ransom” before engaging in trade talks. The newspaper says it “understands that the final figure, which is deliberately being left open to interpretation, will be between €45bn and €55bn, depending on how each side calculates the output from an agreed methodology”.
Britain has offered to pay much of what the European Union was demanding to settle a Brexit “divorce bill”, bringing the two sides close to agreement on a key obstacle to opening talks on a future free trade pact, EU sources said on Tuesday. The offer, which British newspapers valued at around 50 billion euros (44.3 billion pounds), reflected the bulk of outstanding EU demands that include London paying a share of post-Brexit EU spending on commitments made before Britain leaves in March 2019 as well as funding of EU staff pensions for decades to come. A British government official said they “do not recognise” this account of the talks going on ahead of a visit by Prime Minister Theresa May to Brussels this coming Monday.
Telegraph (by Nigel Farage)
The Telegraph exclusive revealing that the Government is prepared to pay over £40billion sterling is totally and utterly unacceptable. Recent opinion polling has showed that only 11 per cent of the British population would support a bill in that region. For a sum of this magnitude to be agreed in return for nothing more than a promise of a decent settlement on trade represents a complete and total sellout. From the very beginning, during the referendum itself, I argued that no deal is better than a bad deal, and make no mistake about it, this is a bad deal.
The UK could end up paying an EU “divorce bill” of up to £50bn, prompting the threat of a Brexit backlash against Theresa May. Officials close to the talks were reported as saying there was a broad agreement on a framework for the UK to settle liabilities expected to total around €45-55bn (£40-49bn). The reported deal was described by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage as a “sellout”. He said: “I have always argued that no deal is better than a bad deal. Make no mistake about it, €55bn to leave the EU is a very, very bad deal.” Other reports had put the figure at up to €100bn (£89bn), although the Financial Times reported that the actual payment may only be around half that, with Britain pushing for a figure of between €40-45bn (£35-40bn).
Ireland’s deputy prime minister has today resigned over the handling of a police whistleblower, according to reports. Frances Fitzgerald has told her Cabinet colleagues she will step down in a last-ditch bid to avoid a Christmas snap election. She had come under mounting pressure to quit after claims surfaced about her knowledge of an aggressive legal strategy against a respected Garda sergeant during a private inquiry. Announcing her resignation she said she has decided to ‘put the national interest ahead of my own personal reputation’. The Irish Parliament was tonight due to debate a motion of no confidence in her over the issue.
A LEADING customs expert has rejected Remainer and EU doom-mongering about the future of the Irish border, saying keeping it open after Brexit is “not rocket science”. Dr Lars Karlsson, who is president of consultancy firm KGH Border Services, said there are already international systems in place which can help avoid a return to a hard frontier. He said both sides need to accept that “there will be a border one way or another” as a result of Brexit and then get on with coming up with technical solutions to solve that challenge.
Any attempts to increase security around the Irish border because of Brexit could lead to civil disobedience, a Sinn Féin MP has said at a rare republican party press conference in Westminster. Chris Hazzard, the MP for South Down, said there could be a strong reaction from some local people to customs posts or other “hardware” being introduced after the UK leaves the European Union. If we see a situation where we are going to have border customs posts or any particular type of hardware, I would think that would be something people won’t want,” the MP said. “And I go even further. An awful lot of the focus has been on maybe dissident republican organisations and threats, but it is wider than that – it goes right down to a feeling of civil disobedience.
ACTIVE Christianity is widely deemed “dangerous” and “offensive”, according to former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. The devout Christian, 47, is due to deliver the annual lecture of the religious think tank Theos later today. Mr Farron will say: “If you actively hold a faith that is more than an expression of cultural identity … you are deemed to be far worse than eccentric. “You are dangerous. You are offensive.” Mr Farron stepped down as the Lib Dem leader after two years, saying he found it impossible to be both faithful to the Bible and a political leader. He resigned in July, saying: “To be a political leader and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible to me.”
People who are devout Christians are seen as “dangerous” and “offensive” in modern Britain, according to the former leader of the Liberal Democrats. Tim Farron said the idea that there was a “unifying set of British values” was a “myth”. Mr Farron quit as Lib Dem leader after June’s general election, saying that living as a Christian while fulfilling his political role “felt impossible”. He had faced repeated questions about his views on gay sex. In a speech to the Theos think tank in London on Tuesday evening, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale said: “If you actively hold a faith that is more than an expression of cultural identity… you are deemed to be far worse than eccentric. “You are dangerous. You are offensive.”
A SECRET document, which remained locked away for 30 years, advised the British Government to COVER-UP the realities of EU membership so that by the time the public realised what was happening it would be too late. Almost all of the shocking predictions – from the loss of British sovereignty, to monetary union and the over-arching powers of European courts – have come true. But damningly for Tory Prime Minister Edward Heath, and all those who kept quiet about the findings in the early 70s, the document, known as FCO30/1048, was locked away under Official Secrets Act rules for almost five decades.
Turkey’s push for visa-free travel with the European Union is set to soon become reality, with the EU’s Commissioner for Migration describing the deal as being in the “last level” of preparations. Dimitris Avramopoulos has confirmed: “We are working towards a common goal with Turkey and we want to give visa-free travel to the Turkish citizens with a biometric passport in a short period of time. “I am now in the last level…we work closely with Turkey, in close working relationship and trying to fulfill all the necessary needs. When the stay of the visions takes place, it will make people more contact and strengthen our partnership.”
The NHS has been slammed by MPs over its handling of a data loss scandal that ‘badly failed’ thousands of patients. A private firm working with the NHS mislaid almost 900,000 medical documents in the five years to 2016. These included test results and letters sent between GPs and hospitals, some saying that patients had cancer. Yet 18 months after the scandal first came to light, NHS officials still have no idea if any patients were harmed. Now a damning report by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee has criticised NHS England and the Department of Health for a ‘lack of grip’. The firm responsible, NHS Shared Business Services, had a contract to deliver documents between GPs and hospitals.
The government has triggered a row with NHS staff by unveiling plans to overhaul their pay, including how much they receive for working antisocial shifts. Health unions have warned Jeremy Hunt that he is risking a repeat of the acrimonious junior doctors’ dispute by seeking to reduce the extra amounts staff get for weekend and overnight working. The health secretary has also aroused anger by making it clear that he wants to change increments – extra cash staff receive that helps increase their take-home pay. Unions voiced their opposition after Hunt disclosed his intentions in an interview with the Health Service Journal, saying he wanted to change the way more than 1 million NHS personnel in England are paid by introducing a “more professional pay structure”.
The Government and NHS England have been heavily criticised by MPs for major “failures in oversight” which led to nearly a million letters, including care plans and test results, being undelivered. The failures in handling sensitive patient information by NHS Shared Business Services (SBS), which is part-owned by the Department of Health, are “staggering”, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said. A major report by the PAC said it is “deeply unimpressive” that the NHS has not yet been able to confirm whether patients came to harm because of the failings.
Two mothers have shared photos online of their measles-stricken babies who were both repeatedly misdiagnosed as a warning to other parents. One woman revealed doctors missed her nine-month-old son had the highly infectious viral illness even when the tell-tale rash had ‘spread like wild fire over his body’. Both mothers urge families to be vigilant explaining their children’s symptoms started off similar to those of a common cold. This comes just days after officials confirmed to MailOnline that an outbreak of deadly measles has spread from the north west to the Midlands. Last Friday, Public Health England (PHE) revealed there has been 17 confirmed cases in Leeds and eight in Liverpool, which also has three probable cases.
Rail line closed in the 1960s as part of the infamous Beeching cuts could be reopened, Chris Grayling said on Tuesday. The transport secretary said he would identify routes that could boost the economy and encourage house building, part of a government strategy to be published on Wednesday that will detail future plans for Britain’s rail network. Thousands of stations and hundreds of branch lines were closed between 1964 and 1970 on the recommendation of British Railways chairman Dr Richard Beeching. Among those due to be reopened is the link between Oxford and Cambridge, the Department of Transport said.
Railway lines and stations lost during the Beeching cuts could be reopened to drive housebuilding. The Transport Secretary said yesterday that reversing some of the 1960s closures would provide homes, boost the economy and ease overcrowding. Chris Grayling’s ministry will today announce it is to accelerate plans announced in the Budget to reopen a rail link between Oxford and Cambridge. Other lines in Bristol, Devon and the West Midlands could be reinstated, along with the building of four stations in West Yorkshire. Chancellor Philip Hammond hopes new infrastructure will allow him to deliver on his vow in the Budget last week to build 300,000 homes a year.
THE TRANSPORT Secretary is looking at reopening rail services axed in the Sixties – because the network is so congested. Chris Grayling said routes dumped in the Beeching Review 50 years ago could be brought back to ease pressure on commuter routes – and “unlock” jobs and growth. The Cabinet Minister admitted the rail network is “operating on the edge of what it can cope with” – affecting punctuality and reliability. Dr Richard Beeching sparked uproar in the 1960s by calling for the closure of 4,000 miles of railway line and 2,000 stations to save money. The cuts came amid a rapid growth in car ownership and the opening of the UK’s first motorways.
Rail lines which were closed during the notorious Beeching cuts in the 1960s could be reopened, the Transport Secretary has announced. Chris Grayling said he wants to open up routes which would encourage housebuilding, ease overcrowding and boost the economy. But Labour has dismissed the plans as “unambitious” – with transport campaigners warning it is “desperately difficult to reopen a rail line”. Thousands of stations and hundreds of local rail lines were closed down between 1964 and 1970 on the recommendation of the then British Railways chairman Dr Richard Beeching. The Government’s rail strategy, which includes restoring lost capacity, is being published on Wednesday.