More than 27,000 people have been arrested for illegally entering Britain in the last three years alone, new figures obtained from police departments have revealed. According to statistics gathered from 39 police forces in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland through a Freedom of Information request lodged by the BBC, 7,709 people were arrested for entering the country illegally in 2013. That figure rose slightly in 2014 to 7,913, and rose again more drastically the following year to 9,600, as Europe struggled to cope with the mass migration of over a million people northwards from Africa and the Middle East.
Tory and Labour MPs today warned Theresa May not to harm anti-terror advice to France over claims it could be threatened by the Calais Jungle camp spat. The row broke out after ‘government sources’ suggested Britain may stop co-operating over security if France tears up a 2003 border treaty in its bid to close the makeshift home for migrants and refugees. Politicians in France – which has Presidential elections next year – suggest the camp’s inhabitants should make UK asylum claims at “hotspots” near the French coast. Today a Home Office source called the idea a “non-starter” as Home Secretary Amber Rudd met her French counterpart for security talks. But it was the claim that Britain could hold back on security in retaliation, made by government sources to the Times, that prompted fresh anger.
The British government is refusing to budge on French calls to allow refugees in the Calais “jungle” camp to claim asylum in the UK. Home Secretary Amber Rudd is expected to stand firm on the issue in a visit to Paris on Tuesday, where she will meet her counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve for the first time. There have been calls from senior French politicians to revisit the so-called Le Touquet agreement, which allows the establishment of British border controls on the French side of the channel. The default arrangement when countries have a border is for controls to be located in a state’s own territory.
British and French interior ministers agreed on Tuesday to develop cooperation “now and when the United Kingdom leaves the EU” to address challenges posed by flows of migrants to the European Union. Britain’s new interior minister, Amber Rudd, came to Paris to meet her French counterpart, seeking assurances on a deal which allows Britain to make border checks in Calais and keep thousands of would-be migrants and asylum seekers in France. The meeting came days after French presidential contender Nicolas Sarkozy said Britain should deal on its own territory with migrants camped in the northern town, joining similar calls by Alain Juppe, also a conservative presidential candidate. Officials say there are about 7,000 migrants sprawled across the area known as the “Jungle” north of Calais, with the aim of many to reach Britain illegally through the Channel Tunnel. Non-governmental organisations put the number at over 9,000.
Two Afghans were stabbed yesterday in a clash between rival migrant gangs in Calais trying to board lorries bound for the UK. The men, in their early 20s, were part of a larger group confronted by Sudanese migrants in The Jungle camp. They are in a serious condition in hospital, one with a wound to an artery in his neck. Witnesses said fight was over positions the gangs occupy at the roadside during nightly attempts to leap on to lorries heading to Britain. Hundreds, many armed with chainsaws and knives, blockade the main road into the French port each night with burning tyres and trees, forcing drivers to stop. Aid workers say The Jungle is a ‘pressure cooker waiting to blow’. Its population has soared from 4,500 in June to almost 10,000, causing tensions between nationalities and meaning that food often runs out before everyone can get a meal.
THERESA May yesterday signalled her determination not to give Remain campaigners a chance to overturn the British people’s decision to leave the European Union. The Prime Minister ruled out holding a second referendum to back the Brexit deal she will strike with the rest of the EU. Her team also slapped down speculation she could hold a general election before the planned date of 2020, to give voters a chance to give their verdict on Britain’s exit deal. She also does not intend to give MPs in Parliament a decisive vote on when to kick-start formal exit talks by triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Downing Street said Parliament would get “a say” in the process.
Civil servants have been asked to assess the impact of a wide range of Brexit scenarios, from full membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) to a system under which some Europeans would need visas just to holiday in Britain. Theresa May gathers her cabinet at Chequers on Wednesday with Brexit at the top of the agenda, and the scenarios exercise has already started to expose potential divisions in government. The scenario planning is taking place across government with reports expected to be fed into the Brexit department run by David Davis . However, the findings are likely to remain internal. Some officials at the Foreign Office are pushing for “as much Europe as possible” while others in the Home Office are reluctant to consider full EEA membership or single market access because their priority is an immigration clampdown, according one Whitehall source.
The British government has no legal obligation to consult parliament on triggering the formal divorce procedure with the European Union, but lawmakers will have a say, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday. May has said she will not invoke Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, beginning the formal two-year process for leaving the bloc, before the end of the year to allow the government time to prepare an exit strategy. Some opponents of Brexit say that since the EU referendum result is not legally binding, elected lawmakers should review the vote before the process is started but the government has insisted the prime minister has the power to trigger an exit. On Saturday the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported May would not hold a parliamentary vote before invoking Article 50.
Theresa May is to host a meeting at her country retreat Chequers to brainstorm plans for Brexit. Mrs May has tasked her colleagues with setting out the opportunities that leaving the EU will create in each of their departments. The Cabinet will meet to discuss Brexit as it appears increasingly likely that Mrs May will not seek Parliament’s approval before formally triggering Article 50, which will kick off a two-year period of exit negotiations between the UK and the EU. Downing Street has said MPs will be given “a say” on the process for the UK’s departure from the EU.
Theresa May is to chair a meeting of her cabinet at Chequers to discuss the UK’s approach to leaving the EU and its objectives in future negotiations. The prime minister and senior ministers will gather together to debate the way forward amid reports of tensions and diverging priorities among key figures. Those present will include David Davis, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox, each of whose departments is focused on Brexit. Mrs May has said talks with the rest of the EU will not begin this year. BBC political correspondent Tom Bateman said Mrs May had asked every Cabinet minister before the summer break to identify what were described as the “opportunities” for their departments and she will now expect them to report back.
Brexit will dominate a special Cabinet away day at Chequers as Theresa May and her ministers meet for the first time since their summer break. The Prime Minister will use the meeting to attempt to resolve a bitter split between senior Cabinet ministers over the deal Britain wants to leave the European Union. It has been claimed she intends to “bang a few heads together” to halt feuding between the so-called “Three Brexiteers”: Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson. Chancellor Philip Hammond is also at odds with Dr Fox and Mr Davis because he wants the Government to try to retain its membership of Europe’s single market after Brexit.
A senior German lawmaker, an adviser to the French prime minister and a former deputy head of the Bank of England have proposed that a post-Brexit Britain forms a new “continental partnership” with the EU. In a paper published on Monday by the Brussels-based Bruegel think-tank, five experts argue that Britain be given a say in the affairs of a more closely integrated European Union in return for contributing to shared security and budgets as well as accepting a degree of easy immigration for European workers. A key aim would be to avoid a rancorous split following the British vote to quit the Union on June 23, further diminishing the clout the continent will have in the world.
A SENIOR German politician has called on Theresa May to immediately start the process of leaving the European Union (EU), saying the “economic effects” of Brexit are already becoming evident. Berlin’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier described Britain’s vote to leave the Brussels bloc as “bitter” but called for a new relationship between the pair based on “fair and binding” rules. Speaking at a conference of more than 1,000 German diplomats and business executives this morning, he admitted nobody knew what the consequences of Brexit would be, but added that they would be “long-term” and wide-ranging for Britain and the EU.
With Theresa May now back to business after the summer the big question is when she will trigger Article 50 – the legal mechanism for exiting the EU. But many are questioning if she even has the power to do so. In the coming months the British courts will have to decide. Legal challenges have been mounted to stop the government starting the process without full parliamentary approval and a British father and son living in France are at the centre of the action. Expat Grahame Pigney and his son Rob confess the battle to remain in the EU and now the battle to stop Mrs May acting unilaterally have consumed their lives in Southern France for months.
A FEDERALIST blueprint to turn Europe into a superstate with its own government, army and paramilitary police force has been unveiled by a top Brussels politician. The sinister plot involves sidelining individual countries by removing them from the decision-making process and banning member states from opting out of unpopular policies like the Schengen zone and the Euro. It comes as federalists in Brussels look to take advantage of Brexit to force home their long-cherished dream of a United States of Europe, in which the continent’s distinct and unique countries will cease to exist. Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the liberals in the European parliament, has launched the six point plan which he hopes to start implementing within six months. Under his proposal individual member states would be scrapped and Europe would move towards a republican form of governance based on the system used in the United States.
Junior doctors are plotting week-long strikes every month for the rest of the year. They would walk out from 8am to 5pm for five straight days, according to leaked papers. The first strike could start on September 12 – causing unprecedented havoc and the loss of thousands of scheduled operations. Since January junior doctors have been locked in a bitter row with ministers over a new contract that will see them paid less for weekend work.
The five strikes they have staged so far were limited to 24 or 48 hours and week-long walkouts would be much more disruptive. Hospitals will be overstretched in the run-up to winter and the strikers might forfeit any remaining public sympathy. Drawn up by the British Medical Association’s committee of junior doctors, the plan will be put to a vote of senior officials today. The leaked papers reveal the committee wants a ‘rolling programme of escalated action’ this autumn. Junior doctors would probably abandon A&E, intensive care and maternity units. Tens of thousands of routine operations and appointments would need to be cancelled.
A Nobel prize-winning economist says Scotland’s plans for a currency union with the UK during the independence campaign may have been a “mistake”. Joseph Stiglitz is part of First Minster Nicola Sturgeon’s council of economic advisors, and advised Alex Salmond when he was in office. He said Scotland should have looked at proposals for a “Scottish pound” as a transitional measure. Ms Sturgeon has insisted that “the pound is Scotland’s currency“. Mr Salmond, who was first minister at the time of the 2014 referendum, has also called for a fresh look at the currency options for an independent Scotland. He said the Yes side had been “gazumped” on the issue, although he too said “sterling is the right currency”.
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Or was it a 95-year-old Mayday message from an alien radio ham? A flash of microwave radiation registered on a Russian telescope has become the new focus of the hunt for intelligent life outside our solar system. The violent burst, which lasted about two seconds on May 15 last year, appeared to have come from a star in the Hercules constellation. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Seti) institute is to turn its most powerful telescopes on HD 164595, a star similar to the Sun but nearly 100 light years from the Earth