Bank of England

Breitbart reports that the recent dire consequences of going to WTO rules were simply not true.

The Bank of England’s reputation has taken a severe hit as previously unreleased minutes reveal staff knew their dire “No Deal” Brexit predictions “could be misleading” and “against [the] public interest.”
The central bank has been under fire from Brexiteers since publishing a “No Deal” scenario in which GDP collapses by 8 per cent in a year, as has its Canadian governor, Mark Carney — a controversial former employee of the Goldman Sachs banking corporation which ploughed hundreds of thousands of pounds into the Remain campaign during the EU referendum, along with several other  multinational financial giants.
Even former members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) such as Andrew Sentance — a committed Remainer — stepped forward to say the prediction was not a “real-world scenario,” and suggested it was “undermining its credibility and independence” by publishing such “extreme scenarios and forecasts.”

Plan B

Plotters are working out what to do when the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan fails in the Commons, reports the Telegraph.

Eight Cabinet ministers have held secret talks about pivoting to a Norway-style “plan B” if the Prime Minister’s deal is voted down in the Commons, The Telegraph has learned.
A cross-Brexit alliance of ministers – equivalent to almost a third of the Cabinet – has held discussions about joining the European Free Trade Association amid concern there is “zero chance” of the Prime Minister’s deal surviving.

But the PM has rejected the potential agreement, says the Mail.

Defiant Theresa May today ruled out a Norway-style Brexit fudge as she stares down the barrel of a Commons defeat – with around 100 Tories vowing to oppose her deal.
The PM warned that her plan is the only option that ‘delivers on the referendum’ as she scrambles to win support ahead of a crunch Commons vote on December 11.
But the prospects are looking increasingly dire after the list of critics on her own benches hit three figures.

Polls

Meanwhile, polls taken show a disparity in their results, depending on whether they’re reported in pro-Brexit or anti-Brexit media.  The Mail claims:

A majority of voters prefer Theresa May’s deal to crashing out of the EU, a poll suggests.
Asked to choose between the PM’s proposal and no-deal, 42 per cent opted for the agreement, compared to 32 per cent who thought it should be rejected.
The poll also suggested there was growing momentum among the public for the negotiated deal, with support nearly doubling in a fortnight.
And despite the huge uncertainty around Brexit, voters still prefer the Tories to Labour. Some 40 per cent back the Conservatives while 35 per cent favour Jeremy Corbyn’s party, according to the latest YouGov research.

The Independent says the opposite.

More voters would opt to stay in the European Union if there was a fresh referendum than accept Theresa May’s Brexit deal, a new poll shows.
As the prime minister steps up efforts to sell her blueprint, a survey found that 46 per cent of people would prefer to remain in the bloc compared to 37 per cent who would choose Ms May’s deal, if asked to pick in a new public vote.
The Survation poll, for the Daily Mail, also found that half of voters would opt to stay in the EU  compared to 40 per cent who would support a no-deal, if those were the two options on the ballot paper.
Some 48 per cent would back offering the people a final say on the prime minister’s Brexit deal – which The Independent is campaigning for – while around a third of voters (34 per cent) would oppose a fresh vote, the snap poll on Tuesday found.

And a poll by Westmonster shows a third way is preferable.

A sensational new poll has revealed that the British people back a No Deal Brexit by the exact margin of the referendum: 52%.
Deltapoll have found that when you asked the public about a No Deal, World Trade Brexit vs. Remain, the result is 52-48.
The May Deal also wins by 56% vs. 44%, though MPs are set to vote this down.
As University of Oxford Professor Steve Fisher explains of a No Deal Brexit: “Would beat Remain 52:48 in a two-way competition according to the preference orderings above. This is because Deal supporters prefer No Deal to Remain by a large margin.”

Second referendum

Despite her protestations that she would not go for a second referendum, the Prime Minister is under further pressure says the Mail.

Theresa May is facing a dramatic bid to derail her Brexit plans altogether today after Remainers from across parties joined forces.
A group led by Tory rebel Dominic Grieve and Labour’s Hilary Benn have tabled an amendment to the PM’s deal that could give MPs power to direct the government.
The package thrashed out by Mrs May with Brussels is due to come before the Commons on December 11, in a showdown that could define the country’s future for generations.
But Mrs May is staring down the barrel of a catastrophic defeat as around 100 Tories have publicly signalled opposition, while Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems are also against.

And the Mirror claims there’s an official bid on the cards.

MPs have launched an official bid to block a No Deal Brexit – and seize control from Theresa May.
The new threat to the Prime Minister comes from a powerful cross-party group of MPs who include her own Tories.
They fear Mrs May will plunge Britain into a no deal situation in March if her 611-page Brexit deal is voted down.
Yesterday she told MPs she was not bluffing, and no doomsday would be rushed into action if – as expected – her deal is killed off in a Commons vote on December 11.

The Guardian also covers the new plan.

Theresa May’s plans to get her Brexit deal through parliament ran into fresh difficulties on Friday as it emerged that a “no to no deal” amendment submitted by Labour’s Hilary Benn with the support of two Tories had won the backing of the SNP and Lib Dems.
Joanna Cherry, an SNP frontbench MP, said her party’s 35 MPs would support Benn’s “excellent” amendment, which rejects both May’s deal and a no-deal Brexit and gives parliament a say in what the government would do next.

EU

And the Sun claims the EU is also plotting how to derail Brexit.

EU leaders are plotting with other Remainers to delay Brexit for a second referendum, it’s revealed today.
Under plans discussed in European capitals, the EU could be prepared to extend Article 50 and put off Brexit until JULY next year to allow time for another vote, or to seal a Norway-style soft Brexit.
As deadlock in Parliament draws nearer, the EU has said it could act to give time for MPs to come to a conclusion about what they want from Brexit, The Times reported.
A source told the paper that Europe would also welcome a softer exit arrangement like Norway – saying it could be a “gamechanger”.

The President of the European Council is still issuing threats, says the Sun.

THE EU has threatened MPs that the UK would remain in the bloc or face No Deal at all if Theresa May’s Brexit plan is shot down.
Donald Tusk said today that the union would be prepared for “every scenario” in the event that the PM can’t get her deal passed in less than a fortnight’s time.
Speaking at the G20 summit in Argentina this lunchtime, the EU Council boss said: “A few days before the vote in the House of Commons it is becoming more and more clear that this deal is the best possible – in fact the only possible one.

And the Express also claims the PM’s plan is the only one on the table.

DONALD Tusk has insisted Theresa May’s Brexit terms are the best Britain can hope to achieve as he declared the only alternatives to her plan are either remaining in the European Union or leaving without a deal.
The European Council president said the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement is “the only possible” deal for the UK. Mrs May is desperately scrambling to win round MPs ahead of a crucial vote on her exit deal on December 11, though there are major doubts over whether she will secure the support needed. Some Brexiteers and the Democratic Unionist Party have vowed to vote against the divorce deal unless the terms are changed.

The Guardian claims the only alternatives to the current deal are to cancel Brexit or go on to WTO rules.

The European council president has said the UK is prepared to either cancel Brexit or to depart with no deal if MPs vote down the settlement secured by Theresa May with Brussels.
Speaking at the G20 summit in Argentina, Donald Tusk said there was no other deal on offer and the only options were to remain in the EU or leave with no deal.
“The European Union has just agreed an orderly divorce with the United Kingdom,” he said. “A few days before the vote in the House of Commons it is becoming more and more clear that this deal is the best possible, in fact the only possible one.

The Mirror claims the bloc is kindly offering us a chance to forget leaving.

Brussels is ready to offer Theresa May the chance to scrap Brexit, an EU chief signalled today.
Donald Tusk hailed the divorce pact Mrs May struck with Brussels as it faces a crunch Commons vote on December 11.
But, amid claims the Prime Minister’s deal is doomed to defeat, the EU Council President prominently repeated her claim that defeat could trigger “no Brexit at all”.

Westmonster says it was a threat.

The European Union’s Donald Tusk today stood side-by-side with Jean-Claude Juncker and delivered what was clearly meant to be a threat: back Theresa May’s deal or end up with No Deal or No Brexit.
Speaking at the G20 Summit in Argentina, Tusk insisted: “It is becoming more and more clear that this deal is the best possible, in fact the only possible one.”
And he warned that: “If this deal is rejected in the Commons we are left with…an alternative: No Deal or no Brexit at all.”
Someone clearly hasn’t told him that the British public, Leavers especially, prefer No Deal to the EU deal on the table anyway.
Not sure Brussels threatening the UK that there may be no Brexit is a good look either. We’ve had enough of the Brussels bully boys.

Conservative Party

Back home, a former Leaver seems to have changed sides, says the Mail.

Michael Gove today warns mutinous Tories they will put Brexit  at risk if they vote down Theresa May’s plan in ten days’ time.
In a powerful intervention, the former Vote Leave chief tells Eurosceptic MPs that Brexit is ‘under greater threat than at any time since the referendum’.
The Environment Secretary admits in an article in the Daily Mail that Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement is not ‘perfect’.
But he adds: ‘Does it deliver 100 per cent of what I wanted? No. But then we didn’t win 100 per cent of the vote on 23 June 2016. In politics, as in life, you can’t always get everything that you want.’

And the Guardian claims the party could be wiped out at the next election if plans go awry.

Theresa May’s Brexit deal could lead to electoral armageddon for the Conservative party, three leading Tory rebel MPs and former ministers have warned as they threw their weight behind a “people’s vote”.
In his first major speech since resigning as transport minister earlier this month, Jo Johnson joined David Willetts and Justine Greening to sketch out a future in which their party faced an existential crisis and would have its brand thrashed by the economic fallout from Brexit.
The package their party leader had agreed with the EU was described by Johnson as a “botched deal” that would put British firms at a competitive disadvantage and fail the services sector, which he said had been “scandalously” neglected during negotiations on Brexit.

The Mail reports another top Tory resignation.

Theresa May suffered another blow as universities and science minister became the latest minister to resign over her  Brexit  deal – and urged the Government not to rule out the possibility of a second referendum.
Mr Gyimah was scathing of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal and said he could not support the ‘naive’ agreement with Brussels which was ‘not in the national interest’.
The 42-year-old, who campaigned for Remain in the referendum, has left the Government hanging by a thread following a string of departures from the front bench since Mrs May announced her Brexit deal.

Galilieo

It seems Mrs May has conceded even more to the EU, reports the Mirror.

Theresa May tonight caved into Brussels again and abandoned attempts to stay part of the EU’s Galileo satellite system – without any guarantees of getting our money back.
Conceding defeat over Galileo is a major blow to the PM, who vowed to explore building our own satellite system that could help guide military drones, run energy networks and provide crucial services for smartphones.
Conservative estimates suggest a UK system – dubbed “Goldeneye” in Whitehall after the 1995 James Bond film – could cost up to £5billion.
The EU’s system is costing £9billion.

BBC News also has the story.

Britain has given up efforts to gain access to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system for defence and critical national infrastructure purposes, after being frozen out by Brussels because of Brexit.
It is unclear whether the UK will get back the £1.2 billion it sunk into the project, a rival to the US GPS system that will not only support mobile phones and satnavs but also provide vital location information for the military and businesses.
Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the UK will instead aim to build its own Global Navigation Satellite System, at a cost estimated by independent experts at £3-£5 billion.

Breitbart claims the UK is planning to launch a rival system.

The United Kingdom will create a GPS-like “sovereign” satellite system to rival the European Union’s Galileo programme, Theresa May revealed Friday evening as she met with world leaders in Buenos Aires at the G20 summit.
The majority of the satellites for the European Union’s own satellite navigation system programme — conceived in the 1990s as a European alternative to the United States, Russian, and Chinese satellite groups — have already been built in the United Kingdom, but the European Union has decided to block Britain from contributing to the project after Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May had wanted to keep Britain in the EU’s Galileo project, just as she has also worked to keep the UK tied into most aspects of the EU under the guise of negotiating a Brexit “deal”, but the Union has decided to “push” the UK out of the programme and go it alone.

Police

Away from front-line politics, the Times reports a potential hike in council tax.

Council tax is set to rise as part of a £700 million police funding boost to be announced within weeks. The cash injection comes after years of warnings from forces about an increase in violent crime and reductions in officer numbers across the country.
Bills could go up by as much as £24 a year for each household in England and Wales. The move was agreed after it emerged that Theresa May was facing a Tory rebellion over police funding, with MPs demanding action over violent crime.
The dispute prompted weeks of fraught negotiations between Philip Hammond, the chancellor, and Sajid Javid, the home secretary, with the spectre of up to 80 Tory MPs rebelling in a vote in the new year.

Education

And the Times claims violence in schools is growing.

Head teachers have complained of assaults by violent parents and pupils amid indications of a growing problem.
One head needs two hours a day of physiotherapy more than a year after a pupil broke her sternum in an attack.
Another, who suspended a child aged nine for threatening a teacher with a piece of broken glass, was forced by a tribunal to apologise to the child.
Heads say that they have been left battered and bruised, threatened with knives and had bones broken. A straw poll of 140 at a conference found that about three quarters had been physically assaulted in the past year by pupils or parents.

Rail travel

With the rise in rail fares just announced, the Times has the reaction.

Politicians and consumer groups have condemned an increase in rail fares that will add as much as £276 on some season tickets in the new year.
Prices will rise by an average of 3.1 per cent next year, the second highest since January 2013, the Rail Delivery Group announced.
The increase comes after a year of disruption and timetable chaos on some lines.

The Mail outlines the proposed increases.

Britain’s rail fares will increase by an average of 3.1 per cent on January 2, industry body the Rail Delivery Group announced today.
That means that some people face paying an extra £100 in 2019 despite complaints about delays and the biggest timetable change in living memory hitting rail bosses this year.
The price hike includes unregulated fares, which are set by train operators, and regulated fares such as season tickets, which are set by the Government in line with July’s Retail Prices Index (PRI) measure of inflation.
It means a season ticket for Blackburn to Manchester will rise by £58, Swindon to London Paddington by £270 and Brighton to London Victoria by £135.

And the Mirror claims the fares are a rip off.

Britain’s “rip-off” rail fares are set to soar by an average of 3.1 per cent on January 2 – the biggest hike in six years – despite falling services and growing anger from passengers.
Many long-distance commuters will see the annual cost of getting to their job increase by up to £150, as campaigners warn that people are being priced out of travelling to work.
The RMT union has described the rail fare increase as “another kick in the teeth for passengers on Britain’s rip-off railways”, while other groups said passengers deserve a “break”.
It claims Britons are paying “the highest fares in Europe” on “rammed-out and unreliable services”.

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