BRITAIN’S divorce bill for leaving the European Union will be linked to talks on a future trading relationship, eurocrats revealed for the first time today in a boost to Theresa May. EU Commission guidelines show that the “schedule of payments” – the terms under which the UK will pay the Brexit fee – will not be thrashed out until the second phase of the talks. Eurocrats had previously insisted that the issue of Britain’s financial obligations must be done and dusted before they were prepared to move onto talking about future economic ties. Officials now appear to have slightly relaxed those criteria, although they are still taking a tough line by demanding the UK signs up to how much it will pay up front. Under the guidelines, published by eurocrats, Mrs May will be required to agree on a methodology for calculating the Brexit bill during the first phase of the negotiations, which will determine what the final amount is.
Theresa May will warn today that Brussels has adopted an “aggressive negotiating position” for talks that will begin just eleven days after the election. Ms May has long argued that only she, and not Jeremy Corbyn, is capable of leading Britain’s negotiations with Brussels, a point she will make again on Tuesday in a speech in the West Midlands. The Conservatives have highlighted the most recent EU negotiating guidelines released by the European Commission, including mention of the so-called “divorce bill” which calls for a “single financial settlement” covering all the UK’s outstanding liabilities.
BRITAIN will be forced to pay into the EU budget for several years after Brexit, a new Brussels document has revealed. A negotiation paper released today lays out the EU Commission’s hardline stance on the UK settling its “financial obligations”. The bloc wants Britain to keep lining its pockets until at least 2021, even though divorce talks are expected to be completed in 2019. The document fails to reveal the exact cost of the ‘Brexit bill’, suggesting it is willing to negotiate the eyewatering demand of £85billion (€100bn). But it does state: “The Union and the UK should both respect in full the financial obligations resulting from the whole period of the UK membership in the Union.” It includes a four-page appendix of EU organisations the UK is expected to keep funding once it leaves the bloc.
Labour has drawn up a secret plan to allow thousands of unskilled migrants to enter the UK after Brexit, leaked documents seen by the Daily Telegraph have revealed. Jeremy Corbyn’s party is considering bringing back a scrapped visa scheme which would allow unskilled labourers to move to the UK and compete with British workers for jobs – including seasonal work on farms and in factories. The policy paper also sets out plans for a green card scheme and admits Labour does not consider cutting net migration a priority. It is the first time the party’s immigration policy has been set out publicly after the manifesto set out aims but no detail on how Labour would develop a new visa system. After Brexit, EU nationals are likely to require a visa to live and work in the UK as both the Conservatives and Labour have vowed to end freedom of movement.
Labour has drawn up secret plans to throw open Britain’s doors to thousands of unskilled migrants after Brexit. An internal policy document leaked to the Daily Mail reveals the party is considering introducing a visa for migrants seeking ‘low-skilled, unskilled or seasonal work’. The document, drawn up this month by Jeremy Corbyn’s domestic policy adviser, Lachlan Stuart, also proposes axing rules which limit foreign spouses living here unless they can show they will not be a ‘burden’ on the taxpayer. Labour’s manifesto made no mention of a plan to allow in more unskilled migrants. Mr Corbyn has repeatedly refused to say whether he thinks immigration levels are too high.
SECRET Labour plans to hike immigration after Brexit were leaked last night. An internal policy paper reveals Jeremy Corbyn is plotting to bring back a ditched visa scheme that would allow thousands of unskilled migrants to enter Britain. It would allow them to compete with British workers for low-paid jobs such as fruit-picking and factory work. The Labour manifesto vowed to end EU freedom of movement, meaning a visa scheme is likely to be introduced. But under a document setting options for Labour’s post-Brexit policy Britain’s borders would be open to cheap migrant labour from all over the world – without the need for qualifications. It would allow migrants looking for “low-skilled, unskilled or seasonal” work to enter Britain after we leave the EU.
EU workers with British citizenship can bring in non-EU partners and other family members without meeting income restrictions, according to a court ruling. An advocate-general of the European Court of Justice said yesterday that an Algerian illegal migrant had the right to live in Britain with his wife, who has Spanish and British nationality. Yves Bot said in a non-binding opinion that the Home Office’s application of rules in the case was wrong. His opinion suggests that EU law gives greater rights to a dual EU-British national than a UK citizen on allowing their non-European family members to have the right to reside in the UK.
The Conservative Party could be in line to lose 20 seats and Labour gain nearly 30 in next week’s general election, according to new modelling by one of the country’s leading pollsters. YouGov’s first constituency-by- constituency estimate of the election result predicts that the Tories would fall short of an overall majority by 16 seats, leading to a hung parliament. The central projection of the model, which allows for a wide margin of error, would be a catastrophic outcome for Theresa May, who called the election when polls pointed to a landslide result. Her support appears to have plunged after the poor reception of the party manifesto, including plans to make more elderly voters pay for home care.
Theresa May could lose her overall majority in next week’s election, according to a shock new poll. The first constituency-by-constituency estimate of the result by YouGov suggests the Tories could lose 20 seats and Labour could gain 30. It would mean the Conservatives falling short of an overall majority by 16. This would be a catastrophic outcome for the Prime Minister, who called the election when the polls were massively in her favour. Last night YouGov stuck by its controversial new modelling technique which had produced the result. But sources in both main parties cast doubt on the findings. Mrs May has taken to repeatedly warning that if she loses just six seats, she would lose her majority – handing the keys of Number 10 to Jeremy Corbyn. The Conservatives’ poll rating has fallen in recent days thanks to the unpopularity of the plans in the manifesto for social care.
Britain could be on course for a hung parliament in nine days’ time, according to a new projection that suggests the Conservatives could fall 16 seats short of an overall majority. The seat-by-seat prediction by YouGov for The Times suggests that the Conservatives are on course to win 310 seats at the election – short of an absolute majority of 326 seats needed to form a Government. Such a result on 9 June would be calamitous for Theresa May, who called the snap election in April, claiming the country needed certainty, stability and strong leadership as it enters the negotiations to exit the European Union on 19 June.
A shock poll tonight claimed the Tories could lose 20 seats in the general election – falling short of an overall majority. If the eye-catching projection came true, Theresa May’s party would still win the most seats but could be narrowly defeated on key issues if Labour, the SNP and Lib Dems all voted against her in the Commons. Despite the Tory poll lead narrowing over recent weeks, no major survey has put Theresa May’s party fewer than five points ahead of Labour. An ICM poll today put the gap between the two parties at 12 points, with the Conservatives on 45% of the vote and Labour on 33%. YouGov produced the new model, its first seat-by-seat estimate of the 2017 general election, for The Times based on 50,000 interviews over a week.
The United Kingdom may be heading towards a hung parliament if a new poll of is to be believed. Theresa May’s Conservative Party entered the snap election campaign on a high, with pundits suggesting she could obtain a 100+ seat majority in the House of Commons. After a series of policy gaffes and an uninspiring campaign, Mrs. May could actually lose seats on her party’s 2015 General Election results, dealing a massive blow to her and her ability to negotiate on a Brexit deal in the immediate aftermath of the election. The result would leave the party 16 seats short of a working majority, effectively a “hung parliament”. A new poll by YouGov suggests the Conservative Party could drop 20 seats, from 330 before parliament was dissolved, to 310. The same data sees Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party picking up 28 seats, the Scottish National Party gaining 4, and the Liberal Democrats gaining just one seat in the lower chamber.
A sensational projection by pollsters YouGov today points to a hung Parliament in what would be a catastrophic result for Theresa May’s Conservatives. The Tories would fall short of a majority by 16 seats, a decline in the position they held before the election was called. Is this all hot air? Prime Minister Corbyn couldn’t happen. Could it?
UKIP will win seats at the general election, even though they had no MPs at the end of the last parliament, its leader Paul Nuttall has predicted. He told the BBC he was hopeful the party could get “over the line in a number of seats”. But he would not be drawn on how many seats, or in which constituencies. The party is standing in about half the number of seats contested in 2015. Its only MP in the last parliament, Douglas Carswell, defected in March. Mr Nuttall said UKIP was campaigning strongly in seats where it has local councillors. And he rejected suggestions the party was in decline, predicting that by the end of 2018, UKIP would be “bigger in terms of membership and higher in the polls than it’s ever been before”.
Nicola Sturgeon shied away from giving a firm timetable for holding a second Scottish independence referendum as she launched the SNP’s manifesto yesterday. The first minister has argued for the past two months that an independence vote should take place between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of 2019 when, she has claimed, the shape of the Brexit deal would be known but before the UK left the EU. When she launched the manifesto though, she admitted that the timescale was open to revision. She said that her team might have to “consider our timing” as Brexit progressed and wait until the process was over before another vote.
Nicola Sturgeon will use her stranglehold over Jeremy Corbyn in a ‘coalition of chaos’ to force up income tax across the whole of the UK, it was claimed last night. The SNP manifesto said the party wanted to see the additional rate of income tax rise from 45p to 50p throughout the country from 2018/19. It would hit those on more than £150,000 a year and the money would be used to fund an extra £118billion of public spending and a ‘plan to end Tory cuts’ by ditching austerity completely. Miss Sturgeon’s call for higher income tax will spark accusations of hypocrisy because she has refused to introduce a 50p rate in Scotland alone.
Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of “tricking” voters by watering down references to independence in her speech and manifesto. In the SNP manifesto, independence is only mentioned eight times, and the party promised to only hold another referendum once it had explained how Scotland could still remain part of the European Union. The fishing industry was the only specific concern to be named in the manifesto’s relatively small section – point number 10 – about independence and Scotland’s future role in the EU. In the whole document, “fishing” was mentioned more than 25 times while “independence” was only mentioned eight times. “Fishing” was also written about more than “schools”, “education” or “health care”.
BRUSSELS is attempting to block British taxpayers from reclaiming £35 billion in assets from a “politically motivated” investment bank in an attempt to shore up its credit rating. Eurocrats are insisting that the UK cannot withdraw cash from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which has been criticised over risky lending, despite the fact we are leaving the bloc. In a technical paper published yesterday the EU Commission said that instead Britain will only get its money back via a drip feed of repayments on loans handed out by the Luxembourg-based institution. Critics say much of that cash has been lent to hopelessly lost causes, such as more than £5.6 billion handed to Greece, and could now be lost to taxpayers forever.
Angela Merkel repeated her line that “we in Europe have to take our fate into our own hands” and went on to say it should step up as a diplomatic player on the international stage. The German Chancellor said her country’s relations with the United States are of “outstanding importance” but it must also engage with other key nations going forward. Donald Trump hit back at Ms Merkel’s recent comments about the unreliability of the US as a trading partner. In a tweet, the US President said America had a “massive trade deficit with Germany” and warned: “This will change.” Europe’s most powerful leader said it was up to the continent to become more “involved internationally,” citing conflicts in Ukraine and Libya and the pressing issue of mass migration.
BRUSSELS’ wide-ranging demands over the future rights of EU citizens after Brexit were today blasted as “absurdly inflated” by a group of independent experts. In an unusually scathing statement Migration Watch branded the bloc’s negotiating position unrealistic and amounted to an effective continuation of freedom of movement and asked: “Where does it end?” The respected think tank said an agreement based on Brussels’ current demands would be a “wide open door” for mass migration to continue to the UK for decades to come. Earlier today Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission published its most detailed yet proposals on how it wants to see EU citizens see protected during the Brexit negotiations. Eurocrats are demanding that current rights, including access to benefits, are kept for a huge number of people, some with dubious connections to the UK.
The European Union is going to try to have its cake and eat it when it comes to Brexit by trying to force Britain to foot the bill. Again. Jean-Claude Juncker’s Brexit man Michel Barnier released two documents – one seeking to protect the rights of EU nationals living in Britain and the other discussing the cost of Article 50. The Brussels approach to any UK deal is sounding, well, expensive. An unnamed EU diplomat said: “I think our priority is that the UK will pay for everything.” But then, in the same breath, rabid Europhile and French liberal Sylvie Goulard has the temerity to say “there is no feeling of revenge, we are absolutely convinced that we cannot put the single market in danger”. It wasn’t Brexit that damaged the single market, rather the creation of a substandard currency, swingeing austerity measures and uncontrolled mass migration.
Some of the leading figures in British business have told Sky News it is “impossible” to imagine a trade deal being done within the deadline for the UK to leave the European Union. Justin King, the former chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said he didn’t think “there’s any possibility at all” of a deal being done, “not to any level of detail or quality”. Frances O’Grady, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress, told Sky News it was “extremely optimistic” to think that a deal could be done by the end of March 2019, while Meurig Raymond, head of the farmers’ union, predicted that it could take until the end of the next Parliament for a deal to be done. Tim Martin, chairman of Wetherspoons pubs and an outspoken supporter of Brexit, was another to say that a deal was not feasible in the time-frame, suggesting it would be better to walk away from negotiations and instead switch to the terms of the World Trade Organisation.
The NHS could face a bill of £1 billion every year after Brexit due to retired British expats returning to the UK to use the NHS – unless a deal is done to let them keep receiving care in the EU, a new report suggests. If all the British pensioners who currently receive health care in other countries through European Union agreements had to return to the UK for health treatment, caring for them would double the current NHS spending on them from £500 million to £1 billion a year, according to a report from the Nuffield Trust. The agreement currently protects around 190,000 British pensioners, the health charity said.
Tens of thousands of expat pensioners may return to the UK to use the NHS after Brexit – unless a deal can be done to let them keep receiving care abroad, a think tank has warned. The Nuffield Trust estimates the cost of treating them – on home soil, rather than abroad – could double to £1bn. Currently, the UK gives about £500m a year to EU countries that care for Brits who have retired abroad. Last year, spending on the NHS in England was about £120 billion. The warning from the Nuffield Trust came as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the i newspaper that the NHS could suffer if Brexit “goes wrong”.
The Mercedes in which Princess Diana was driven to her death was a dangerous ‘rebuilt wreck’ but concerns about its safety were ignored, French TV claimed last night. One warning that the car was not fit to be on the road and ‘didn’t hold’ if driven at more than 37mph came only two months before the fatal high-speed accident in Paris on August 31, 1997. The Mercedes-Benz S280 pool car was provided by the Paris Ritz Hotel, owned by businessman Mohamed Fayed, whose son was Diana’s lover Dodi Fayed. The car was owned by Etoile Limousines, which provided chauffeurs and cars to the Ritz.
THE car in which Princess Diana died was a dangerous insurance write-off that flipped ten times in an earlier crash, it was claimed last night. The Mercedes was left unroadworthy to the point it lost control over 40mph, a chauffeur who had driven it told French TV. The Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed died in a 60mph crash in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997. A British inquest blamed paparazzi photographers chasing the car and driver Henri Paul, who was speeding and over the drink-driving limit. The Mercedes S-280 was previously owned by a marketing executive who told French journalists it was written off by his insurance company, a TV documentary claims. He said it had been stolen from him and crashed by joyriders and his insurers thought it was only fit for scrap. But the scrap merchant reconditioned it and sold it to a hire firm that supplied cars to the Ritz Hotel where Diana and Dodi were staying, the documentary on TV station M6 claimed.
A SPATE of UFO sightings is giving a British county a new name for itself – being one of the best places to spot an “alien”. The belief that aliens really are visiting Earth is strong in the West Midlands, where regional media have reported an upsurge in sightings. A local newspaper reports that there has been 13 UFO sightings in the past four years, including four in the UK’s second biggest city Birmingham. Ten of the alerts involve objects seen in the sky, mostly at night, while the other three reported seeing lights. But as Birmingham Mail reports: “The truth is out there – but don’t ask the police to investigate just yet. “The publication adds: “Because, perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the calls were investigated by officers.” Four of the 13 calls came from Birmingham, and the rest from Sandwell, Coventry, Dudley, Solihull and Walsall.