Michel Barnier has cast doubt on reports that Brussels could offer the UK an escape route from the Irish backstop, an EU demand which could keep Britain in the bloc’s customs territory after Brexit. After reports that Brussels was preparing to back a compromise deal creating an independent mechanism that could give the UK a way out of a temporary customs arrangement with the EU after Brexit, the EU’s chief negotiator told reporters in Bratislava: “I don’t see what you’re speaking about, a review clause.
The European Union’s (EU) chief Brexit negotiator has said there can be no “time limit” on the UK staying locked in the bloc’s Customs Union if a trade deal is not struck before the end of the “transition period.” Hardliner Michel Barnier was characteristically belligerent, insisting that the “backstop means backstop” and there is “still a real point of divergence” on the Northern Ireland issue. He was speaking in Slovakia just hours after Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly proposed a “review mechanism” which would allow the UK to leave the backstop at some point.
A deal between Britain and the EU on the Irish border is not “close” despite hopes of a breakthrough, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has warned. Michel Barnier said there was “still a real point of divergence” on the Northern Ireland issue, after Theresa May called for a “review” mechanism to be attached to the EU’s planned backstop that would guarantee no hard border. The warning came as Theresa May told her Cabinet that a deal ”would not be done at any cost”.
Today an email was sent by a group of anti-Brexit UK MEPs to all European Parliament Members. The email calls on all MEPs to campaign to extend Article 50 beyond March 29, 2019. UKIP Leader Gerard Batten, who was sent the email responded with the following: “The anti-Brexit UK MEPs who put their name to the email asking for an extension to Article 50 have revealed themselves for what they are – a bunch of snivelling quislings who are desperate to keep their seats on the EU Parliamentary gravy train.
BRITAIN could REJOIN the EU after Brexit, leading Eurocrat Michel Barnier has claimed. Brussels’ Brexit envoy was blasted by Tory MPs – who warned there is no way the UK will ever want to return to the European Union. Speaking at a conference last night, Mr Barnier was asked whether Britain could change its mind about quitting the EU, according to Politico. He replied: “If the UK changes its red lines, then we will adapt immediately. “After [Brexit] it will be a third country, and like a third country it can ask to join the EU.”
MICHEL Barnier has revealed details of a frosty encounter with Nigel Farage, who warned the EU will “no longer exist” after Brexit. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator described the encounter as a “stimulating exchange” after disclosing the details during a speech at a Catholic conference in Brussels on Monday. Mr Barnier said: “I told him, ‘You led Brexit, you won and now we are delivering Brexit. Can I ask you how you see the relationship between the U.K. and the EU after Brexit?’ “And he said this ‘Mr. Barnier, after Brexit the EU will no longer exist.’ We cannot.” He added: “Allow Mr. Farage to be right, and this depends on us.”
The British government has taken the unprecedented step of refusing to endorse billions of pounds of EU spending on aid projects, as it accused the European commission of discriminating against UK-based organisations over Brexit. In a vote among the 28 member states on the latest allocation of the bloc’s £26.5bn development budget, the UK government declined to give its support for aid spending for the first time. It instead issued a statement accusing the commission of failing to offer the best value for money for European taxpayers by discriminating against British-based organisations that were seeking funding.
French President Emmanuel Macron has once again revealed the desire of EU true believers for the bloc to have full military capability, calling for a “real European army”. Worryingly, Macron is seemingly now setting out America as a potential enemy, telling Europe 1 Radio: “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.” Specifically on America, Macron has said: “When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security.
Emmanuel Macron has called for the creation of a “true European army” to allow the EU defend itself from threats ranging from Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin. The French president has pushed for closer EU defence union since coming to power last year but has been so far met with limited success amid foot-dragging by other member states. “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,” Mr Macron told France’s Europe 1 radio in an interview.
The BBC has seen a suggested detailed timetable of how the Government might try to sell a Brexit deal to the public and parliament. The notes passed to the BBC give a step-by-step timeline including a speech from the Prime Minister at the CBI conference later this month where it’s suggested she would say: ”We have delivered on the referendum.” A government spokesman said: “The misspelling and childish language in this document should be enough to make clear it doesn’t represent the government’s thinking.
Theresa May was tonight accused of secretly lining up a Brexit deal behind the backs of her Cabinet after a leaked memo revealed detailed plans for selling the deal to the public. A three-week strategy leading up to a parliamentary vote includes daily “themed” announcements, a major speech by the Prime Minister and a televised interview with David Dimbleby. The document, which was seen by the BBC and appears to have been written in the past week, proposes a vote on the deal on Nov 27, adding to suspicions from ministers that Mrs May, desperate for a deal before Christmas, was rushing into an agreement with Brussels.
DOWNING Street has denied bombshell leaked government notes reveal Theresa May’s plan to sell Brexit to the British public. The notes are said to show the Prime Minister’s decision to give a speech to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) which would outline Britain’s Brexit path. The leaked timetable, seen by the BBC, also reveals how ministers are set to give high-profile media interviews. Number 10 claims the document’s “childish language” shows it does not represent the government’s Brexit strategy.
Theresa May was warned last night not to overplay her hand after leaked Whitehall notes suggested that her government would deploy foreign leaders and business figures to pressure sceptical Conservative MPs into backing her eventual Brexit deal. The prime minister was rebuked by Brexiteer cabinet sources after details emerged of a three-week round-Britain blitz to begin the moment agreement has been reached in cabinet. The notes, believed to have been drawn up by a Whitehall official and passed to MPs, suggest that Mrs May could be in a position to tell the CBI annual conference on November 19 that “we have delivered on the referendum”.
Downing Street has dismissed the accuracy of a leaked document suggesting the government is planning to give MPs a vote on the final Brexit deal within three weeks. The timetable, said to have been drawn up by officials at the Brexit department, sets out how Theresa May will win public support for the agreement she hopes to bring back from Brussels. It proposes that the Commons would hold a vote on the deal on 27 November after a week in which the government would line up business leaders, foreign politicians and Westminster insiders to publicly endorse Ms May’s plan.
As a PR plan it is certainly ambitious, featuring endorsements from world leaders and an interview with Theresa May by David Dimbleby. However, Downing Street insists a leaked “communications grid” supposedly intended to sell a Brexit strategy does not reflect its thinking. Details of the plan, seen by the Guardian among others, lay out an apparent timetable for the month, from a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to a House of Commons vote on the deal it says will take place on 27 November.
A Brexit deal will “not be done at any cost”, Theresa May proclaimed today as she summoned ministers for a three-hour Cabinet meeting. The Prime Minister is said to have emphasised a deal needs to be found in November – otherwise there will not be time to get it through Parliament before Brexit Day, 29 March 2019. But in today’s epic meeting – which did not make a single decision – she tried to bat away talk of compromise. Tory Brexiteers fear the UK will agree a “backstop” (backup plan) that keeps us tied to EU customs rules with no clear way of pulling out. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is said to have demanded the power to unilaterally quit the backstop – an idea Ireland branded unacceptable.
Theresa May has told the cabinet she will not agree a Brexit deal “at any cost” amid a fresh row over the vexed issue of the Irish border. The prime minister’s spokesman said there remains “a significant amount of work to do” and sought to reassure twitchy ministers that she would brief them before agreeing any deal. Addressing journalists at a briefing on Tuesday, Ms May’s spokesman said:“The prime minister said she was confident of reaching a deal.
Cabinet ministers could sign off a new proposal to break the Brexit deadlock within days following concessions from both sides. It came as a leaked Whitehall memo apparently revealed a plan to sell Theresa May’s eventual deal by touring the country and seeking endorsements from world leaders and business chiefs. At a tense meeting of the Cabinet yesterday, Mrs May briefed ministers on compromise plans aimed at resolving the Northern Ireland border issue – which has dogged negotiations with Brussels.
THE Cabinet was yesterday told a Brexit deal by Christmas is now within sight after a “major shift” by the EU. With just weeks left, Theresa May’s top table met for a mammoth three hours on Brexit in a bid to end deadlock over the Irish border. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox declared a climb down by Brussels this week to agree to look at a joint arbitration mechanism to decide when to end the backstop plan could be the basis to a compromise agreement. It would also answer Brexiteer Cabinet ministers’ demand to ensure the UK can escape an ongoing customs union instead of it turning into a permanent trap.
LABOUR’S Sir Keir Starmer will meet EU chiefs today to warn of the dangers of the UK and the bloc striking a loose deal on future relations as Theresa May stands firm and refuses to rush Brexit. Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir claims splits in the Conservative Party have stalled progress on trade links with the EU and will mean years of further negotiations.
John McDonnell last night blasted Theresa May‘s Brexit strategy – comparing it to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler. The shadow chancellor said the PM’s plan is the ‘worst of all worlds’ which would fail to provide stability for businesses or workers. And he confirmed Labour would be voting against the deal if a customs union with the EU is not permanent – despite the prospect of a revolt by backbenchers who have said they could back the PM. Mr McDonnell said Mrs May will come back hailing a deal, but it will be ‘more like Neville Chamberlain’ than Winston Churchill and will ‘disintegrate’ over time.
Labour will vote down any Brexit deal that does not contain details about what kind of trade deal Britain will have with the EU, Sir Keir Starmer has said. The party’s shadow Brexit secretary is travelling to Brussels on Wednesday for meetings with senior EU officials where he is expected to make clear that the opposition party is opposed to a so-called “blind Brexit”. Any Brexit deal will include two elements. Firstly, a withdrawal agreement – solving separation issues like Ireland, the divorce bill and citizens rights.
The Lib Dems have been accused of selling the personal data of its members for £100,000 to an anti Brexit campaign group. The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) received claims the party sold the data to Britain Stronger in Europe, which campaigned for Remain, and a linked broker. The party strongly denies the claims they misused data during the 2016 referendum campaign. The Lib Dems insist they only shared electoral register data supplied by councils – not private membership information.
Guido can shed more light on the Information Commissioner’s Office investigation into the use of data by campaigns during the EU referendum. The report reveals that the ICO is “still looking” into breaches of data by BSE that may require further action. After the referendum, BSE became Open Britain, and this summer re-branded again as the ironically named People’s Vote campaign. All while the investigation was ongoing… The campaign’s re-branding leads to priceless tweets, but it doesn’t get them out of the serious ICO investigation.
The mother of a Huddersfield grooming gang victim said her daughter’s rapist told her the police “won’t touch me, they don’t like us P***s”. The mother of ‘Girl L’ told the Huddersfield Examiner that she had struggled to get West Yorkshire Police to take her complaints of grooming and abuse against her daughter seriously, and several times told the rapists to stay away from her daughter. On one occasion, she said she told Irfan Ahmed (also known as ‘Finny’, pictured above, left) on the telephone: “I’ve reported you to the police for child sexual exploitation.” To which, she said Ahmed replied: “Bring it on, they won’t touch me, they don’t like us P***s.”
Four in ten criminals caught more than once with a knife are spared prison. Nearly 5,000 repeat offenders avoided jail despite a ‘two strikes and you’re out’ rule. The shocking figures were revealed following the third fatal stabbing of a London teenager inside a week. Adults caught with a knife for the second time should be locked up for at least six months under laws rolled out by the Tories in 2015. But, of the 13,056 people convicted of a further knife offence over the past three years, 4,908 were given suspended sentences, community punishments, fines or cautions.
Reductions in police numbers and funding have “severely dented” public confidence in the service, MPs say. Financial pressures have left police struggling to provide an effective service, risking serious consequences for public safety, according to a report by the Commons public accounts committee to be published today. Officer numbers have fallen by 21,300 over the past decade; those remaining are taking longer to charge suspects and making fewer arrests. Forces are increasingly called on for non-criminal incidents amid cuts in other public services.
Public confidence and trust in police is “breaking down” as forces struggle to respond to crime because of government cuts, MPs have said. A report by the Public Accounts Committee found that funding for policing is down by almost one-fifth since 2010-11, and there are nearly one-fifth fewer officers and staff. It was released amid national calls for a crackdown on violence after five people were stabbed to death in London in just a week, and official statistics show knife crime at record levels.
One of the biggest home care providers in England may be on the brink of collapse, inspectors have warned. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has raised concerns that Allied Healthcare may not be able to continue to operate after November 30. The company offers home care services across 84 councils to around 9,300 people in England. It provides care to 13,500 in the UK, in total.
Specialist support provided to thousands of elderly and disabled people is at risk of being disrupted after a warning that the country’s biggest domestic care provider is struggling to survive. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has notified local authorities that Allied Healthcare, which provides care at home to 13,000 people across the United Kingdom, had been unable to confirm evidence of funding beyond the end of this month.
MORE than 13,000 vulnerable Brits face losing vital home care, with one of nation’s largest providers teetering on the brink. Allied Healthcare helps OAPs with basic tasks such as washing, dressing and managing medication. But watchdog the Care Quality Commission has taken the unprecedented step of writing to 84 councils raising fears the firm could soon go bust. It said there is a “credible risk of service disruption” after the end of this month – and warned local authorities must step in to help elderly and disabled users if needed. Charities and campaigners claim it is a “stark illustration” of a broken social care system “close to collapse”.
Tommy Robinson today presented a petition to Downing Street with nearly 200,000 signatures opposing a ‘political witch hunt’ against the Armed Forces. The English Defence League founder, who was formally released from bail yesterday, met a group of soldiers in camouflage at Watford Gap services on the M1 last month. One of the soldiers was allegedly discharged after pictures and videos emerged of the meeting, but Robinson said he had since started training again with the Army.
A cigar-shaped interstellar object that flew past the sun could be an alien spacecraft, researchers from Harvard University have said. Scientists have been trying to figure out what the 1,312ft (400m) object named Oumuamua might be after it was first spotted by a telescope in Hawaii in October 2017. the object’s flat, elongated shape and reddish colour is from outside our solar system, according to the researchers. It was moving at 59,030mph when it was first tracked by scientists. Oumuamua’s unusual trajectory and high speed sets it aside from other space objects such as asteroids and comets. Harvard researchers have now said it “may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilisation”.