A no-deal Brexit will stay on the table if the Conservatives win the general election, Michael Gove says, admitting the UK could still crash out of the EU without a trade deal. Asked if a no-deal remained a threat at the end of 2020 – when the brief transition period will finish – Boris Johnson’s key ally replied: “It’s always the case that we need to prepare for every eventuality.” The admission will fuel criticism that leaving the EU’s political structures with the prime minister’s deal, at the end of January, leaves open the “trapdoor” of losing all economic and security ties less than a year later. Downing Street has insisted the transition period will not be extended – even though trade experts have ridiculed the claim of striking a complex deal within a year.
The Brexit Party
Nigel Farage is in secret talks with individual Eurosceptic Tory candidates about withdrawing Brexit Party opponents at the general election after Boris Johnson snubbed a nationwide pact. The Brexit Party leader said he was “open” to such deals but hinted that the price of any co-operation could be an agreement from the Tory candidate not to support Mr Johnson’s deal in Parliament. The news came after a Tory candidate in Portsmouth begged Mr Farage not to stand a candidate against her if “he really wants Brexit to happen” and another Brexit Party candidate jumped ship to the Conservatives. News of the putative talks will infuriate the Prime Minister who has insisted that the Tories will not agree to Mr Farage’s proposal of a “patriotic alliance” by combining the electoral resources of the Tory and Brexit Party.
NIGEL FARAGE is meeting in secret with individual pro-Brexit Tories to withdraw certain candidates from the upcoming general election. The Brexit Party leader has expressed his willingness to agree such deals, despite being snubbed for any nationwide arrangements. Furthermore, the price of such agreements seems to be heavily implied to hinge on not supporting Boris Johnson’s deal in parliament after the next election. The news comes after a Tory candidate begged Farage not to run in Portsmouth, “if he really wanted to see Brexit happen”. Donna Jones, the Tory candidate in Portsmouth South, on Tuesday begged Mr Farage not to stand a candidate against her.
Nigel Farage has denied that the Brexit Party will split the Tory vote at next month’s election, insisting that it stands to gain most from Labour-held seats. Speaking at a Brexit Party event today in Bolsover – a seat held by the so-called “Beast”, Dennis Skinner, Mr Farage said claims his party would allow Jeremy Corbyn into government were false. “As things stand, we are the only people offering Brexit because Boris’s deal is not Brexit,” he said. “Secondly, it is completely misunderstood… that when I last did this in 2015, and led Ukip, I was asked the same question.
Nigel Farage‘s Brexit Party has dented both the Tories and Labour after deciding to contest the general election in seats across the country, a new poll suggests. The eurosceptic upstart surged four per cent in a new YouGov survey of voting intentions. Boris Johnson‘s Tories were down one per cent at 38 per cent, while Labour had lost two per cent in falling to just 25 per cent. It comes after Mr Farage took aim at the two parties and revealed 600 candidates to stand across mainland Britain. The Brexit Party is now on 11 per cent, just five per cent behind the Liberal Democrats, who were unchanged on 16 per cent.
Jeremy Corbyn’s aim to introduce a four-day working week would cost the taxpayer at least £17 billion a year because of the impact on the public sector wage bill, a new analysis has shown. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, told the Labour conference in September that the party would reduce average full-time hours to 32 a week within a decade “with no loss of pay”. People should “work to live, not live to work”, he said. Research by the Centre for Policy Studies, a centre-right think tank, has found that reducing the hours of public sector employees, including doctors, nurses, teachers, firefighters and police officers, would impose a significant extra burden on the Treasury because the workforce would have to expand.
Jeremy Corbyn has told Leave voters that Nigel Farage has “nothing to offer” them, as he pledged a Labour government would deliver a new deal and a referendum on Brexit within six months. Mr Corbyn said that Mr Farage, whose Brexit Party is targeting Labour seats, was a “one trick pony” who is “going around the country saying all sorts of things”. The Labour leader said: “Farage is not offering to protect our NHS, in fact in the past he has made comments about privatising it. “He is not offering housing justice or to reduce inequality to this country.
Jeremy Corbyn will urge voters to judge a future Labour government on 10 central pledges, in a move that risks a repeat of Ed Miliband’s disastrous “Ed Stone”. Setting out his vision for the country, the Labour leader will promise to abolish in-work poverty, end food bank use and fix Britain’s social care crisis within just five years of taking office. Speaking in his home county of Shropshire, Mr Corbyn will ask voters to hold his party to account, should it win power, on the “real change” it delivers and “concrete improvements to the lives of millions”. However, the Conservatives claimed the pledges were “not worth the paper they are written on”, pointing out that Mr Corbyn had promised at the last election to respect the referendum result.
When Jeremy Corbyn stood for the Labour leadership in 2015 he never expected to win. His closest ally, John McDonnell, was so surprised when he made the shortlist that he burst into tears. Now a leader who has spent a lifetime protesting from the sidelines is contemplating the prospect of becoming prime minister, and a shadow chancellor who once described his hobby as fomenting the overthrow of capitalism is preparing to move into the Treasury. Mr Corbyn’s personal ratings are the lowest for any leader, and he is already said to be struggling under the pressure, but politics is so volatile and the party tribes so fractured that he could end up in No 10.
LABOUR will set the Brexit process back months – and threaten its very existence – if they win next month’s General Election, Keir Starmer has vowed. Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary has promised to “rip up” Boris Johnson’s hard-earned EU deal, restart negotiations with Brussels and finally call a second referendum. Mr Starmer laid out Labour’s Brexit plan – regularly condemned as being muddled and unclear – at an event in Harlow this morning. He said: “After three and a half years of Tory failure, there’s only one way now to solve this. “This has to go back to the people. So, we will first rip us Johnson’s deal.
The intelligence services and Foreign Office fear that national security would be put at risk if Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, The Times has been told. Senior Whitehall insiders say that the flow of information that Britain receives from the “Five Eyes” alliance, which includes the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, would dry up because of a lack of trust in the Labour leader. Five Eyes, which dates back to the Second World War, is one of the most comprehensive espionage alliances in history.
INTELLIGENCE services and the Foreign Office fear that Jeremy Corbyn would risk national security if he wins next month’s election, according to reports. Senior Whitehall insiders say the flow information Britain receives from the “Five Eyes” alliance would dry up because of a lack of trust in the Labour leader. Five Eyes is one of the most extensive espionage alliances in history. Currently, the alliance also includes the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Former foreign secretary Jack Straw said that other countries could “lessen intelligence co-operation with us” if Corbyn wins the election, reported The Times.
Sir Keir Starmer clashed with Susanna Reid on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme this morning (Tuesday) as he refused to say he would vote to overturn Brexit at a second referendum. The shadow Brexit secretary was repeatedly asked how he would personally vote at a second national ballot on the UK’s departure from the EU. But he would not say definitively as he insisted that what really mattered was that Brexit should be put back to the people. Labour is staying neutral on Brexit during the general election and if Jeremy Corbyn wins the snap poll on December 12 he will then facilitate a second referendum.
Boris Johnson has been accused by former Tory ministers of breaking a government pledge to MPs that they will be given a vote on extending the Brexit transition period to avoid a crash-out no-deal at the end of 2020. Ex-cabinet minister David Gauke branded the move “reckless”, warning that there was “no chance” of securing the Free Trade Agreement with Britain’s former EU partners sought by Mr Johnson within that timescale. The prime minister’s senior lieutenant Michael Gove this morning confirmed that a no-deal Brexit is a possibility if no free trade agreement can be negotiated with the EU by the end of the transition, saying that a Conservative government would be preparing for “every eventuality”.
BORIS Johnson sparked a fresh rift with Tory moderates after declaring MPs will not be given a vote on whether to extend the Brexit transition period. The PM binned a pledge from Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to ask the Commons if we should leave at the end of 2020 even without a trade deal in place. Asked if Parliament would get a say, his official spokesman said: “No, the simple answer is we are not extending the transition period. “There is no reason whatsoever to believe a trade agreement wouldn’t be ready by that date.” The remarks prompted a furious reaction from Tory rebels, who accused Mr Johnson of breaking a “clear promise”.
Downing Street has breached a “clear promise” by Boris Johnson’s government to give MPs a vote on extending the post-Brexit transition period to avoid no-deal, a former Tory cabinet minister has said. The prime minister’s official spokesman answered “a simple no” when asked on Tuesday if MPs would get a vote on prolonging the transition. He insisted there would be no need for an extension because the UK and the EU would have agreed a free trade deal by December 2020, in an attempt to reassure Brexiteer Tories. But ex-justice secretary David Gauke said this breaks a commitment made in the Commons by Justice Secretary Robert Buckland that the government would “abide by” MPs’ vote on the issue.
Philip Hammond today announced he is quitting as an MP and will not contest the general election, leaving just four of the 11 old Tories the Prime Minister stripped of the ship trying to cling on to their seats. The former chancellor was stripped of the Tory whip earlier this year after backing a bid to block a No Deal Brexit. Ten of the 21 former Tory rebels who supported the move at the start of September have been welcomed back into the Conservative fold by Boris Johnson. These are: Alistair Burt, Caroline Nokes, Greg Clark, Sir Nicholas Soames, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Richard Benyon, Stephen Hammond, Steve Brine and Richard Harrington. But 11 did not have it restored, namely: Ken Clarke, Philip Hammond, Guto Bebb, David Gauke, Justine Greening, Dominic Grieve, Sam Gyimah, Sir Oliver Letwin, Anne Milton, Antoinette Sandbach and Rory Stewart.
The Liberal Democrats have been accused of misleading voters after a number of candidates published leaflets featuring data from an obscure company that is not a member of the British Polling Council to suggest they are ahead of other parties in various constituencies. The election material citing data from Flavible has been criticised for using national polls and localising them to project the voting intention for certain constituencies. Lib Dem candidates have used Flavible projections in their leaflets in York Outer, Esher and Walton, the Islington North seat of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, Putney, Enfield Southgate, Woking, Oxford East, and Westminster and City, where Chuka Umunna is running.
Michel Barnier has raised the prospect of the Brexit transition period being extended until 2022, heaping pressure on one of the core messages of Boris Johnson’s election campaign. Speaking on Tuesday the EU’s chief negotiator warned that the prime minister would face a “moment of truth” in the summer of next year and suggested that talks might not be concluded by then. Cabinet minister Liz Truss had said on Monday night that “we will not be extending the Brexit transition period beyond 2020”, arguing that “the British people have waited long enough for Brexit”.
France is to introduce annual quotas for non-EU migrant workers in a taboo-breaking move seen as part of President Emmanuel Macron‘s attempt to toughen his stance on immigration to ward off the far-Right. Starting next year, authorities and bosses will earmark industries in need of qualified staff and make it easier to hire foreigners to fill the gap, said Labour minister Muriel Penicaud. “This is about France hiring based on its needs. It’s a new approach, similar to what is done in Canada or Australia,” Ms Penicaud told BFM TV.
Workers on South Western Railway are to strike for 27 days before the end of the year in the long-running dispute over guards on trains. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will walk out for 27 days between December 2 and New Year’s Day, threatening travel chaos for commuters and Christmas shoppers. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members have been left with no choice but to call a further 27 days of strike action on South Western Railway.
GRINCH train workers are due to cause travel chaos for millions over the Christmas period with 27 DAYS of strikes. Festive trips face being thrown into turmoil as South Western Railway workers plan to walk out between December 2 and New Year’s Day, while major stations are shut for engineering works. Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express and TfL Rail services will be affected as London Paddington closes between December 24 and 27. Network Rail is planning to carry out 386 projects over the festive period – causing chaos for millions of passengers travelling for Christmas.
Train commuters were today left fearing Christmas chaos after union bosses announced South Western Railway staff will go on strike for nearly a month. The RMT union has told its guards and driver members to avoid booking on for 27 days between December 2 and 11, December 13 to 24 and December 27 to January 1. The walkout over the long-running dispute over guards on trains threatens travel chaos for shoppers and commuters in London, Surrey, Hampshire and Dorset. The news is a second blow to rail commuters today after bosses also announced major engineering works this Christmas in London, the South East and Liverpool.
Rail passengers are facing chaos on one of the busiest networks after union leaders announced an unprecedented 27 days of strike action throughout December. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out on South Western Railway for all but four days next month as part of a long-running dispute over the role of guards on trains. The action threatens to cause major disruption on the network throughout the festive season, hitting commuters heading into the capital, shoppers, sports fans and people travelling to visit friends and family.
Staff members at 60 universities will go on strike for eight days from November 25 in a dispute over pay and pensions. The University and College Union has revealed that its members backed strike action in two separate legal disputes, one on pensions and one on pay and working conditions. The strike will last until December 4 and staff will supplement it with ‘action short of a strike’ when they return to work. This will see them refuse to cover for absent colleagues, refuse to reschedule lectures lost to strike action and work strictly to contract.
UNIVERSITY lecturers are to strike for eight days this month in a row over pay and pensioners. Workers are set to walkout between November 25 and December, the University and College Union said today. The strikes will hit 60 universities across the UK. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “The first wave of strikes will hit universities later this month unless the employers start talking to us seriously about how they are going to deal with rising pension costs and declining pay and conditions.
Thousands of the world’s greatest scientists have joined together to declare that ‘untold human suffering’ is unavoidable without deep and lasting shifts in human activities. An alliance of more than 11,000 scientists signed the paper which declared the climate emergency before providing a set of effective actions humans could take. To limit the damage caused by humans’ greenhouse gas emissions the paper calls for more control over the massively booming global population, currently increasing by over 200,000 people a day. Adding that population control would have to be approached with methods that ensured social and economic justice in order to sustain a morally and ecologically sound world.
More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have issued a stark warning of the “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” if there is no urgent action. “We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” the paper, published in the journal Bioscience, states. This unprecedented warning comes exactly 40 years since scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference in 1979. They say they “have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat”. Researchers set out indicators showing the impact of humans on the climate and have urged that “to secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live”. The paper describes “profoundly troubling” signs from activities including sustained increases in human populations, the amount of meat consumed per person, the number of air passengers carried and global tree cover loss, as well as carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption.