THE EU is plotting to punish Britain during the proposed brexit transition period, with the UK forced to obey regulations and face tariffs despite being shorn of any veto over its fishing waters. Legal documents relating to the transition period have been circulated in Brussels, with sources close to the negotiations revealing terms which leave Britain well and truly in the lurch. The EU has proposed “suspending certain benefits” of EU membership from the UK during the transition period, including voting and veto rights. This would allow Brussels to punish Britain during the transition period, which is expected to last just under two years from March 2019, with Westminster powerless to respond. All the while tariffs could be placed on UK goods and planes grounded due to suspension of aviation rights.
Brussels is demanding that Theresa May submit to powers allowing the European Union to ground flights, suspend single market access and impose trade tariffs on the UK during the Brexit transition period. Under the proposals, the EU would have unprecedented legal powers — without the oversight of European courts — to punish Britain unilaterally if it breached the terms of the transition. The prime minister has also been warned by Brussels that she must make a legal commitment to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland within weeks or the EU will “stall” Brexit trade and transition talks. Both issues are expected to be discussed by ministers today when the cabinet’s Brexit sub-committee meets to try to reach agreement on the next stage of negotiations.
The European Union wants to be able to restrict the UK’s access to the single market if there is a dispute after Brexit, a leaked document suggests. The power to suspend “certain benefits” would apply during the post-Brexit transition phase before the final arrangements come into force. It is revealed in a draft section of the UK and EU’s withdrawal agreement, which has yet to be finalised. The UK said the document simply reflected the EU’s “stated directives”. Theresa May is to chair the first of two key Brexit meetings with her senior ministers later as the government faces more calls to clarify the UK’s position. The first Brexit cabinet committee will focus on Northern Ireland and immigration, while trade will be discussed on Thursday.
THERESA May has been told she must allow Brussels to slap tariffs on UK goods, ground flights and suspend single market access during the Brexit transition period. The proposals would give the EU unprecedented legal powers — without needing to go through European courts — to punish Britain if it breaks the terms of the deal. Euurocrats also fear Britain could test limits of EU law in relation to immigration — knowing the European Court of Justice would not reach a verdict on any cases until after the transition is over. The terms heap pressure on the PM and her ministers, who face calls to stand up to Brussels’ demands. The four-page European Commission dossier, obtained by The Sun, also shows Britain is set to be denied a veto on fishing quotas during a transition period — sparking fears our trawler fleet could be wiped out. Eurocrats are insisting Britain stays in the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which has been blamed for decimating our coastal communities.
BRITAIN could be forced to accept dozens of new EU regulations during the expected two-year transition period after Brexit, a leaked Whitehall analysis suggested today. The document prepared by officials warned that 37 directives that are being drawn up by Brussels bureaucrats may be imposed in the so-called “implementation” phase after the UK quits the bloc in March 2019. One of the most controversial proposals would compel every household in the country to have four separate recycling bins in order to hit EU targets. Another could force people to insure all-off road vehicles including tractors, golf buggies and mobility scooters. Government insiders said Theresa May and her EU Exit Secretary David Davis were seeking to set up an arbitration mechanism so that any new EU laws introduced after Britain has left the bloc’s decision-making process are not imposed without discussion. But anti-Brussels campaigners last night insisted Britain should not be forced to accept the laws without a veto after Brexit.
Theresa May’s chief Brexit tormentor, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has stepped up his pressure on the Prime Minister after claims the EU plans to punish the UK during a transition period. According to a threat contained in a leaked Brussels document, the EU wants the power to restrict the UK’s access to the single market during a transition period if it feels it would take too long to launch legal action to settle a dispute. The five-page document is a draft treaty circulated in advance of EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s whistle-stop tour of all the 27 remaining EU countries. But Mr Rees-Mogg, speaking on the eve of the first of two crucial meetings of the so-called ‘Brexit war cabinet’ of senior ministers, told Sky News: “It’s not something we could accept.” And Brexit campaigners claimed that if the EU refused to back down on its latest threat, then Brexit Secretary David Davis should walk away from negotiations and insist on a “no-deal” Brexit. Even pro-Remain MPs hit out at the proposal, with leading Labour MP Chuka Umunna claiming a transition period was beginning to look “less like building a bridge and more like being made to walk the plank”.
Brussels will demand the power to block Britain’s access to the single market during the post-Brexit transition period, according to leaked papers indicating a hardening of the EU’s negotiating stance. Draft legal documents show that EU leaders want a mechanism to “suspend certain benefits” including “participation in the internal market” if the UK does not abide by the bloc’s laws and regulations during the two-year transition period after it leaves. The five-page text, which have been leaked to media outlets, also seeks to prevent Britain from making challenges against the EU rules in the European Court of Justice. Demands for enforcement powers signal growing fears in Brussels that Britain will not abide by its rules during the two-year period, as suspension of single market access would hit financial services, trade of goods and even agreements with airline operators. The news will come as a blow to Theresa May as she gears up for two days of meetings of the Brexit ‘war Cabinet’, where her top team will hammer out plans for the future relationship with EU when Britain leaves the bloc.
Brussels will have the power to punish the UK at will during the Brexit transition period by closing off parts of the single market to British companies, according to a leaked legal document drawn up by the EU. The 27 remaining member states want to be able to act against the UK without having to go through the potentially lengthy process of bringing cases to the European court of Justice, should Brussels come to the judgment that Britain has infringed EU law. The use of focused sanctions to “suspend certain benefits … of the internal market”, would give the EU the freedom to punish the UK without prematurely terminating the transition period and risking damage to its economic interests. Sanctions the EU could feasibly impose include tariffs on goods, the enforcement of customs checks or the suspension of the single air aviation agreement, which gives UK carriers the right to fly between Britain and the continent. The document does not stipulate what acts by the UK would lead to sanctions, but the EU has made it clear it is concerned that the British government could infringe the rights of its nationals living in the UK after Brexit.
OFFICIALS in Gibraltar have warned Brussels they will not be forced to accept joint sovereignty between the UK and Spain during the Brexit transition period amid growing concerns over the Rock’s future. Joseph Garcia, Gibraltar’s deputy chief minister, admitted growing fears over Spain’s power to veto the Brexit deal because it could be used to force the Rock to accept joint sovereignty. While the demand has not been issued by Madrid many Gibraltarians fear it is inevitable, particularly after Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he viewed his government’s veto power as applying during the Brexit transition period too. A guideline document agreed between the bloc and the UK in May enshrined that “after the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom.” Mr Garcia, speaking to Politico in Brussels, said: “What we don’t want to be in a position of, is where Spain gives us a price of joint sovereignty for maintaining a relationship with the European Union.
Our latest highly unscientific Twitter poll has delivered an emphatic message: Westmonster followers do not trust Theresa May to deliver on Brexit. 8,487 voted, with just 14% trusting the Prime Minister to deliver the type of Brexit that the country voted for in such large numbers, with 86% saying that they do not trust May. With prominent Conservative Brexiteers questioning the government’s drift towards a ‘transition’ Brexit that won’t see anything really change until the 2020s, support for May is clearly on the decline.
THE EU is plotting to scupper Britain’s fishing fleet during the proposed transitional Brexit period and the UK will be powerless to stop it, an explosive dossier has revealed. When the UK leaves the EU, it will not have the ability to vote or veto on EU proposals. According to a leaked four-page dossier, the Brussels bloc will use this to “consult” the UK on fishing opportunities in that period which experts believe will leave Britain defenceless to stop the EU “culling” fishing fleets. Alan Hastings from the campaign group Fishing For Leave said: “Having no veto means the transition will present an existential threat to what is left of the British fishing industry and coastal communities. “The EU will have little charity as the UK will be locked into legal purgatory where the EU could cull the UK fleet and claim ‘surplus’ fish the UK no longer has the capacity to catch.
Senior Conservatives have launched a search for a “Stop BoMogg” candidate to prevent Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg becoming prime minister in a sudden leadership contest. One cabinet minister privately warned that there was a “whiff of death” about Theresa May’s premiership. Two Remain-supporting former ministers, Justine Greening and Anna Soubry, yesterday suggested they could not stay in a party led by Mr Rees-Mogg, who has emerged as a frontrunner to replace Mrs May. There is growing unease among the parliamentary party mainstream that the party could be “captured” by hard-right supporters of an extreme version of Brexit. While Mr Johnson and Mr Rees-Mogg have emerged as favourites to become Tory leader, their opponents have yet to identify a candidate.
Ireland is pushing for a settled “legal text” over the border question as early as next month in a move that threatens once again to derail the Brexit negotiations, The Daily Telegraph has learned. Simon Coveney, Ireland’s minister for foreign affairs and trade, is understood to have made Dublin’s uncompromising position clear to British counterparts, putting further pressure on Theresa May to make hard decisions on the future relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom. It comes as leaked European Commission documents show that Brussels intends to punish Britain if it refuses to submit to EU law during the Brexit transition period by stripping British businesses of their access to the single market.
The NHS will offer stronger flu jabs next year amid concern that this year’s vaccinations have failed to work effectively. Health officials said the public could expect “gold standard” protection from next winter, in a bid to cut death rates from flu. It follows the worst influenza season in seven years, and criticism of NHS decisions to offer jabs which have not protected against key strains in circulation, and those which have previously failed to protect the elderly. The NHS offers free vaccinations to pensioners, pregnant women children under nine, and adults suffering from health conditions such as diabetes and asthma. From next year, pensioners will receive a new type of jab designed to boost their immune response, after the vaccine last year was found to have zero effectiveness.
GPs have been told to use a pricier but more effective flu jab to prevent a repeat of this winter’s epidemic. The outbreak – the worst in seven years – was exacerbated as doctors had been strongly encouraged by health trusts to give patients a cheaper vaccine. This prevented three main strains of flu, despite the availability of a jab that offered protection against four but which was 50 per cent more expensive. The fourth strain became one of the most widespread this winter, which has affected millions. It comes amid reports of crisis conditions at NHS hospitals, with the number of confirmed deaths recorded in January from all causes so far reaching 55,964 – almost 13 per cent above average. According to the Office for National Statistics the majority of deaths were among the elderly, although it will be months before it is confirmed how many succumbed to flu. Now NHS England and Public Health England have told doctors and pharmacists to ensure that they use the four-strain vaccine to ensure patients get ‘gold standard protection’ next winter.
Hundreds of NHS patients die each year because of computer problems including bugs, viruses and design flaws, a report has claimed. Experts said that there was “not a word to describe how bad” the computers that hospitals relied upon were. These computers were used for vital tasks such as keeping records and delivering cancer drugs, academics from Oxford and Swansea universities said. While it was possible to write software that was “correct, safe and secure”, there was little incentive for manufacturers if it was not a precondition of the packages being bought by NHS bodies, they said. Martyn Thomas, a visiting professor in software engineering at Oxford, and Harold Thimbleby, a professor of computer science at Swansea, were speaking before a Gresham College lecture.
Councils have welcomed the government’s decision to give them an extra £150m in funding for social care over the next financial year, but warned it was a temporary measure that would not alleviate wider pressures. The cash injection was announced by Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, in a written ministerial statement outlining the local government finance settlement for 2018-19. After “listening to representations”, Javid said, he was committing an extra £150m over the year for social care, to be allocated on the basis of relative needs. The money will come from an expected underspend elsewhere in his department. It follows the decision last week by the Conservative-run Northamptonshire county council to signal it is near to effective bankruptcy after admitting “severe financial challenges”, particularly over social care. The council issued a section 114 notice imposing financial controls and banning spending on all services except statutory obligations to safeguard vulnerable people.
TREASURY chiefs only want to offer the MoD a loan to bail out their budget black hole, sparking fears of deep cuts in the future. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is leading a Whitehall fight for an annual increase in defence spending to fully equip the cash-strapped forces. Tory MPs have backed him, and threatened a major revolt unless defence chiefs get around £1billion a year more to afford a badly needed equipment overhaul. But instead of a permanent money hike, The Sun can reveal the Treasury is preparing to offer a loan to meet the shortfall over the next two years until the next spending review in 2020. Under the plan, the MoD would then have to repay it by either troop cuts or flogging assets, such as training grounds or barracks. The move would spark another major Cabinet row between Chancellor Philip Hammond and Mr Williamson. Having won a new six month long defence review two weeks ago, the Defence Secretary made it clear to MPs he must have more money for defence when he revealed it “isn’t aiming to be fiscally neutral”.