Brexit

Support for Brexit is growing, according to the Telegraph.

A majority of Britons believe that the country was right to vote for Brexit for the first time in six months.
A new poll by YouGov found that 45 per cent of people think Britons were right to vote to leave the European Union, up three per cent.
The same poll found that 44 per cent of people think the UK is wrong to want to leave, down two per cent.
The YouGov tracking poll tests the will of the people with regularly survey.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested a way the Prime Minister can get the Brexit bill through the House of Lords in the Express.

THERESA May should create up to 200 new Tory peers if the House of Lords tries to sabotage her Brexit plans, a senior Tory MP said today.
Backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg, who took over the chairmanship of the Brexit-supporting European Reform Group of Tory parliamentarians earlier this week, urged the Prime Minister to stand up to Remainers in the upper house over her flagship EU Withdrawal Bill.
Labour and Lib Dem peers are expected to attempt to drastically alter the legislation when it goes to the Lords for scrutiny at the end of this month.
Mrs May is expected to appoint 10 more Tory peers soon to help steer the Bill through the chamber, where the overwhelming majority of members voted for Britain to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum.
Mr Rees-Mogg urged her to go much further in strengthening the Brexit-supporting side of the Lords however.

The Sun claims job losses in the City will be minimised through Brexit.

BRITAIN’S financial services industry will lose far fewer jobs because of Brexit than first feared, the City of London have declared.
The corporation that runs the Square Mile said yesterday the number of postings shifting overseas because of our EU exit is “now likely to be at the lower end of estimates”.
And their policy chief Catherine McGuinness suggested it could be possibly as few as 5,000 – down from doomsday referendum predictions of more than 75,000.
Crippling loses to the City of London and Britain’s finance sector – which accounts for about 12 percent of country’s economic output – were a central plank of the Government’s campaign to keep Britain in the EU, branded Project Fear.
The backtrack came as new City Minister met with London banks and firms to reassure them about Brexit.

And the Express has rejected claims by the French President that a trade deal is impossible.

THE City of London’s policy chief has hit back at Emmanuel Macron’s comments on the future of the UK’s financial centre and said a mutually beneficial trade deal is “absolutely possible”.
Speaking yesterday at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy after a summit with Theresa May, the French president rejected the idea of Britain having special access for its financial services industry after Brexit  unless it retained the country’s single market membership.
Asked why he was opposed to including Britain’s financial services in any future trade deal, he responded: “I want to make sure that the single market is preserved because that is very much the heart of the EU.
“The choice is on the British side, not on my side. But there can be no differentiated access for the financial services.
“If you want access to the single market — including the financial services — be my guest. But it means that you need to contribute to the budget and acknowledge European jurisdiction.”

The deal – when it finally emerges – could be dependent on our agreement to the ECJ, unlimited immigration and continuing payments, says Sky News.

French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested the UK could get a special trade deal with the EU after Brexit.
But he warned that Britain would not have full access to the single market without accepting its rules.
Speaking to Andrew Marr, he warned – as Brussels has already done – that the UK could not “cherry-pick” the elements it liked.
A deal might fall somewhere between the single market and a trade agreement, he said.
Mr Macron’s comments came during his first visit to the UK since becoming French president, where he held talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Breitbart also reports the Frenchman’s words.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said the UK must pay into the European Union’s (EU) budget if it wants to access the Single Market after Brexit, and there will be no “tailor-made” deal for the City.
Some had hoped Prime Minister Theresa May’s offer to pay tens of millions more towards controlling the border in Calais and to accept more migrants from Northern France would persuade the French leader to be generous in Brexit talks.
However, he announced the hard-line stance at the end of a joint press conference with Mrs. May at Sandhurst Military Academy on Thursday, warning Britain “can have no differentiated access to financial services” post-Brexit.
According to Open Europe, he continued: “If you want access to the Single Market, including the financial services, be my guest – but it means you have to contribute to the budget and accept European jurisdiction. It’s a situation that exists for Norway.”

Despite the £45m Mrs May has promised, it seems the Eurocrats want even more, says Westmonster.

Theresa May suffered another humiliation at the hands of Emmanuel Macron after the French leader said Britain would have to pay to access the Single Market and be prepared to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
That’s what £44.5m gets you, apparently, a demand for even more cash.
It’s hardly surprising; if you’ve found it really easy to get everything you’ve asked for so far, why not ask for even more?
Macron said: “I’m here neither to punish nor to reward. I want to make sure that the Single Market is preserved because that’s very much the heart of the EU.
“If you want access to the Single Market, including financial services, be my guest. But it means you need to contribute to the budget and acknowledge the European jurisdiction.
“Such are the rules.”
So let’s be clear about this: Theresa May has forked out £44.5m to help the French with the migrant crisis at the Calais border, agreed to take in more migrants and in return has got a further demand to fill up the EU’s coffers. Ridiculous.

May

The answer might be because the Prime Minister is at heart a Remainer, says the Sun.

THERESA May has hinted she would still vote to stay in the EU – and boasts of being a “European”.
Speaking on French TV, the Prime Minister reiterated that she would have to “sit down and look carefully” at the evidence – but insisted there isn’t going to be another vote.
She told France 2: “What I am clear about as Prime Minister is that when I campaigned to stay in the European Union, I said that if we left the sky would not fall in.
“What I’m doing now is delivering on the vote of the British people.”
Mrs May – who voted Remain last time round – was criticised in October after ducking the question three times in a LBC radio phone-in.
Earlier in the interview Mrs May was asked “do you feel European?”.
She replied: “Yes. The United Kingdom is part of Europe and of course we will remain part of Europe.

EU

Meanwhile, some are suggesting that we could rejoin the EU eventually, says the Telegraph.

Britain could rejoin a reformed European Union within a generation, Theresa May’s de facto deputy prime minister has suggested, as he said it would be “something for future parliaments to consider”.
David Lidington, the Cabinet Office Minister who replaced Damian Green at Mrs May’s side in this month’s reshuffle, said it was impossible to predict what the EU will look like in “10 or 20 years’ time”.
Mr Lidington, who campaigned for Remain during the EU Referendum, said he had not changed his views on Brexit but as a democrat it was his job to implement the will of the people.
The former Europe minister, who is now arguably the country’s most powerful politician after Mrs May, chairs several key Cabinet sub-committees on Brexit after taking over Mr Green’s responsibilities.

if it’s still there, which is in doubt, says the Express.

EUROCRATS’ dreams of a European superstate are “breaking down” and another member state could follow Britain out of the bloc in the near future, a leading geopolitics consultancy has predicted.
The EU27 is faced with a series of long-term challenges which, combined with Brexit, are causing “a lot of friction beneath the surface”, experts from Stratfor warned.
And one of the geopolitcal firm’s specialists claimed the only way Brussels would realise its dream of a United States of Europe would be if the bloc “removed three-quarters of its members”.
Speaking during a rundown of the “top geopolitical risks for 2018”, expert Rodger Baker said the EU was moving towards “disintegration”, despite hopes from some of its key figures for closer cooperation between members.
Asked by 
Express.co.uk if the rise of Eurosceptic and anti-establishment parties in countries such as Italy, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic could destabilise the bloc, Mr Baker said the tension would not result in “the collapse of the EU”.

But even if we ever rejoin, the EU would have to be very different, says the Times.

Britain will never rejoin a European Union that “looks at all like” the organisation it voted to leave, Theresa May’s de facto deputy said yesterday.
David Lidington, one of the most pro-European members of the cabinet, said he could not see Britain wanting to return to an organisation that was on a drive towards closer integration.
However, he added that future generations of politicians would have to decide how the “exact nature” of the relationship between the UK and Europe developed, adding that there was always going to be a need for a “system of co-operation within . . . Europe”.

A government minister has been asked to explain to the EU why we are still breaking the rules, reports the Independent.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has been asked to attend a meeting of the European Commission in Brussels, to explain why the UK still breaches legal air pollution limits.
Britain is one of the five member states that have  received a “final warning”  from the commission after persistently surpassing limits for nitrogen dioxide levels.
The meeting which is set to take place at the end of the month, will be an opportunity for Mr Gove and other European politicians to discuss air quality and how to protect “a basic quality of life” for European citizens.
Poor air quality resulting from pollutants including nitrogen dioxide have been linked with deadly health conditions such as heart disease and lung cancer.
Experts have estimated air pollution kills 50,000 people annually in the UK alone.
Last year the nation was warned it would face a  European Court of Justice case if the nitrogen dioxide problem was not dealt with.

And the Express reports that the EU has decided to remove a space data centre from the UK.

SPAIN is to become the new host of a space data centre which protects military information gathered by the EU’s satellite programme after Brussels decided to move the centre out of the UK because of Brexit.
Britain won the contract in 2010 to provide the backup monitoring centre for the Galileo satellite navigation system, and the centre in Swanwick is a backup for the main infrastructure in western Paris.
However, a committee of member states has voted “by a large majority” to approve the European Commission’s recommendation to make Madrid the Galileo Security Monitoring Centre’s (GSMC’s) new home.
A spokesperson for the European Commission confirmed: “Today the committee of the member states’ representatives met and we can confirm that the committee voted in favour, by a large majority, of our commission proposal to relocate the centre to Spain.” 

NHS

In other news, the Independent reports an MP’s call to reject privatisation of the NHS.

A senior Conservative MP has called on Jeremy Hunt to put the brakes on plans which campaigners have previously claimed could open the NHS to privatisation.
Sarah Wollaston, the chair of the Commons Health Committee, has written to the Health and Social Care Secretary urging him to delay a new contract for Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) – due to be implemented later this year.
She claims there is a “great deal of concern” over the plans which she considers “have not been well aired publicly up until now”.
According to the House of Commons Library, the little-known policy is a model of healthcare organisation where a provider or group of providers takes responsibility for the healthcare provision of a certain area. The providers are expected to take responsibility for a budget.

And the Times reports a shortage of aprons.

Doctors and nurses are having to leave sick patients while they search for disposable aprons because of a shortage caused by a pollution policy in China.
Hospitals buy 1.75 million plastic aprons each week from the NHS Supply Chain, which relied heavily on one Chinese factory that closed after manufacturers were ordered to convert from coal power to gas.
NHS staff report that aprons produced by alternative sites tear or cannot be tied around the body. One procurement professional told the Health Service Journal : “This issue has been going on for the last four to five months, and the implications have been widespread and serious.

The Morning Star concentrates on the money received by the service.

THE NHS crisis is so severe that the cash intended for investment to improve the service is instead being used meet the cost of the current problems.
A damning National Audit Office (NAO) report published today finds that £1.8 billion intended to help the NHS prepare for “significantly less funding” from 2017-18 onwards and “give it stability to improve performance and transform services, to achieve a sustainable health system” was being used instead to keep services ticking over.
It also found that £2.7bn of extra money was not genuine funding but loans from the Department of Health, which is charging the NHS interest, causing even more financial problems.

Patients are dying needlessly, says the Independent.

Forty people are thought to have died or been seriously injured as a result of lengthy delays at one ambulance trust which meant patients were left waiting hours for emergency responders, a whistleblower has said.
On Wednesday, Labour MP for Norwich South Clive Lewis told the House of Commons that a whistleblower in his constituency had warned there had been 20 deaths because of ambulance delays over Christmas.
But further details in a leaked dossier compiled by a senior source at East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EoE) reveal that at least the same number of patients in the region have been seriously harmed.
The final tally of cases of death and serious harm could be as high as 80, according to the whistleblower.

And the Mail highlights one patient’s experience.

Cecilia Laker will always remember with a shudder the aftermath of the operation on her knee at a busy English hospital two years ago.
Recovering from surgery, she was put in a packed six-woman NHS ward, where a seventh bed was squashed into the centre for an extra patient.
On the day she arrived for the operation at the hospital in Ashford, Kent, she was last on the list of five patients for knee surgery.
The others were all men, but some of them were told to go home because there were no beds available for them afterwards.
‘The men’s wards were full. I would have been angry if that had happened to me,’ she says. ‘As a result I was fast-tracked for my surgery. The nurses suddenly came to me and said, ‘We have to get you ready right now’.
It was rather unnerving.’ After three days in the crowded ward — when she could just manage to hobble to the bathroom — Cecilia was told it was time to go home because another person was waiting for her bed.
‘As each patient left, the nurses immediately wiped down the bed and then put in the next. It was one out and one in,’ she recalls.

Military

The Sun has a story about the cost of aircraft carriers.

THE Royal Navy’s new £6.2billion aircraft carriers are so expensive they have left the MoD financially exposed, MPs warn today.
The report by the Public Accounts Committee tells the Ministry of Defence that other equipment is under threat if it does not bring the project in on budget.
The MoD is already wrestling with a £20billion budget black hole which has triggered threats of more horror cuts.
Top Brass committed to the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers and £72million-a-piece Lightening II jets to fly from them as the lynchpin of UK defences.
But PAC chairwoman Meg Hillier said: “The project continues to leave the MoD exposed financially.

UKIP

The controversy over our leader continues, with an explosive story in Guido.

A critic of embattled UKIP chief Henry Bolton offered the troubled leader half the party chairman’s salary if he appointed him to the position, Guido can reveal.
Embattled Bolton received former leadership candidate Walker’s offer in an exchange of messages last month. Walker said: 
“I’m happy to do this job and split the money with you… you need a wage and I want to support you” (Bolton is famously doing the leader’s job unwaged). Bolton replied: “that sounds like bribery”…
Walker withdrew from the UKIP leadership election last August after he was promised the chairmanship on Jane Collins’ ticket; they came second to last with 4.4% of the vote. Sources have blamed Walker for launching a campaign to undermine Bolton and the party both internally and in the media, which he denies. Walker is on a ‘task force’ dedicated to ousting Bolton, and suggested this week UKIP should be  wound-up. Walker told Guido: “I have always been supportive of Henry until the affair broke. Lying to the membership is a big deal and he should go. I completely deny working to undermine him. There is no organised coup.”

And the Guardian reports the latest resignations.

Ukip has been rocked by two more resignations, including that of its former general secretary, Jonathan Arnott MEP, who quit saying the party’s leader, Henry Bolton, was “not up to the job”.
Arnott left hours after a former close aide to Bolton also resigned, citing the leader’s relationship with Jo Marney, who sent racist text messages about Prince Harry’s fiancee, Meghan Markle.
Bolton has faced multiple calls to resign over his relationship with the model, whom he met on Boxing Day and subsequently left his wife and children for. He has claimed to have ended his relationship with Marney though the pair were recently photographed together.
On Thursday, Bolton accused party members of plotting “an organised coup” against him after he was seen having dinner with his former girlfriend in Westminster.

The Telegraph has an interview with Mrs Bolton.

On December 23, as his wife and two young daughters were looking forward to spending Christmas together as a family, Henry Bolton walked out on them.
A few days earlier, the recently elected leader of Ukip had flown out to Vienna, where his wife had been working since July, having returned to her job of many years to help support his political ambitions and look after their young family.
But despite his family’s desperate entreaties to enjoy Christmas with them, Bolton flew back to the UK with little explanation.
“I was begging him to stay for the girls,” says Tatiana Smurova-Bolton through tears when we meet at a cafe in the Austrian capital this week. “Our eldest daughter [four-year-old Lucinda] was crying. She was very upset. She was saying: ‘Please don’t go, Papa! I don’t want Papa to go!’”
“Don’t be sad,” he told her. “Do you want me to phone you?” His daughter said yes.

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