EU

Several of the papers report the arrogance of the Brussels boss who said there is no life for any country outside the bloc. The Express says:

TOP BRUSSELS bureaucrat Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted countries “will not exist” outside of the European Union (EU) as he hit out at those trying to “deconstruct” the bloc.
The European Commission president used the 25th anniversary of the EU’s founding treaty to take a dig at this summer’s historic Brexit vote and rising euroscepticism across the Continent.
He insisted those looking to breakaway from Brussels are “totally wrong” and suggested individual non-EU nations in Europe would be left to struggle over the next two decades.
At an event to mark the drafting of the Maastricht Treaty in 1991, Mr Juncker said: “We cannot explain the EU, the European project, simply by going back to history.

Breitbart reports:

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday warned countries not to go it alone in the wake of Brexit, as he marked the 25th anniversary of a summit that produced the Maastricht treaty.
Speaking in the Dutch town where EU leaders a quarter of a century hammered out a deal that gave birth to the euro, Juncker lashed out at those trying to “deconstruct” the crisis-hit bloc.
Those who think the time has come to deconstruct the EU, to put the EU in pieces, to subdivide us into national divisions are totally wrong,” former Luxembourg prime minister Juncker told an audience of students.
We won’t exist as single nations. We won’t exist as a single country… In 20 years from now not one single member state will be member of the G7. Any questions?” he warned, referring to the G7 group of the world’s richest nations.
Juncker said however that Britain’s shock referendum vote to leave the EU showed that it could be time to develop a two-speed Europe, divided between countries that want more integration and countries that want less.

The Mail also carries the story.

In the wake of Brexit and other nationalist and populist movements, European nations have been warned they will disappear unless they stay within the EU.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday that Europe’s economic and demographic weight in the world is diminishing, so EU countries must stand together.
Mr Juncker said the idea of the European Union is failing because some governments are not following the Commission’s quotas for taking in refugees.
At an event commemorating the EU’s landmark Maastricht Treaty, Mr Juncker warned that in ten years Europe’s share in the world economy would fall to 15 per cent from the current 25 per cent.
In 20 years, no European countries would be part of the G7 group of the world’s top seven economies.

Migration

The situation in Greece is examined in the Express

GREECE must resume taking in migrants after a five-year hiatus in a bid to lift border controls across the bloc, European Union (EU) chiefs are set to say.
Within a 17-page report to be released today, the Commission will demand Greece ensures all asylum seekers are treated with “respect” in accordance with European law as they force Greece to start taking back migrants from March next year.
For the last six years, Greece has been excused from the European Union’s “Dublin Agreement” created in 1990, forcing member countries who are the first point of entry for migrants seeking asylum to process their application.
The European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights allowed the treaty to be waived in 2011 in Greece as the country’s asylum facilities were in an unacceptable condition as Greek authorities struggled to cope with the massive influx.

Brexit

In Ireland, further moves are afoot to stop the UK exiting the EU, says Sky News

A second legal bid could soon be launched in a bid to derail Brexit, this time in the Irish courts.
Jolyon Maugham QC, a barrister who advised Ed Miliband on tax policy and is now campaigning for a second EU referendum, is attempting to raise £70,000 in public donations.
He aims to bring an action in the Irish High Court in which he hopes to establish whether an Article 50 notification sent by the UK to Brussels could be overturned at a future date.
He is taking on the Irish government, the European Council and the European Commission and he is hoping UK MEPs who want the UK to remain in the EU will spearhead his legal action.

BBC News has the same story.

A British lawyer has launched a drive to raise funds for a court case in Ireland to find out if the process of Britain leaving the EU could be halted.
Jolyon Maugham QC wants the case to go to the European Court of Justice for a ruling on whether British MPs could reject a Brexit deal after it is done.
He wants to raise £70,000 in donations to start proceedings.
The case will also raise the possibility that Article 50 has in fact been triggered already.
Mr Maugham says he anticipates that UK MEPs will be the plaintiffs in the court action against the Irish government and EU institutions for alleged breaches of Article 50.

And the Mail claims EU judges could be asked to rule on the legality of the referendum.

Embittered Remain campaigners are seeking to get EU judges to rule Brexit can be cancelled in a fresh attempt to defy the will of the people.
Europhile lawyers will today launch new proceedings in Ireland that could pave the way for Britain’s departure being abandoned after the two-year formal exit process has been started.
The pro-EU campaigners will bypass the British courts as they believe the Irish judiciary will be more likely to refer the case the European Court of Justice – putting key decisions on Britain’s withdrawal in the hands of judges in Luxembourg.
The action could lead to more drawn out court battles that see the divorce proceedings tangled up in EU courts for longer than a year.
Jolyon Maugham QC, a barrister who is leading the legal bid, said he wanted to give voters the opportunity to ‘change their minds’.

Scotland

North of the border, it seems the Scottish government is not very good at its sums, says the Express

NICOLA Sturgeon faces embarrassment in Brussels after it was revealed the Scottish Government is set to lose £14million in EU funding due to a series of ‘errors’.
MSPs have demanded answers after the multi-million black hole in the accounts was uncovered.
The First Minister looks to be in for a turbulent time ahead as the eye watering sum – described as a “permanent loss” – had already been allocated to projects.
But the European Commission was reluctant to part with the cash after a series of errors with the schemes was uncovered.
Audit Scotland revealed the funding gap in the books in their 2015-16 report.

Associate citizenship’

Could British citizens retain a foothold in the EU? Reuters reports the plans.

The European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator will propose that Britons can have “associate citizenship” of the EU once their country leaves, but senior officials have dismissed the idea as an unworkable gimmick.
Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian prime minister, told a parliamentary committee on Thursday that he would push to include the proposal in a negotiating mandate that fellow lawmakers will give him in March before talks start.
“It’s a good idea,” Verhofstadt told the constitutional affairs committee of a suggestion by a fellow liberal lawmaker that Britons could opt to live on the continent as “associate citizens” and retain a vote in EU parliamentary elections.

And Breitbart claims the plan could work.

The European Union is fast-tracking plans that will see British citizens offered the option to remain as EU citizens even after Britain leaves the Union, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator has confirmed.
The deal would effectively give the British people the best of both worlds – a favourable political arrangement at the national level while retaining the personal benefits of EU membership such as the ability to live and work in Europe.
The plan had been considered as a long term aim by European Parliamentarians, but Guy Verhofstadt, who is taking the lead on thrashing out a deal, has confirmed that he plans to fast track the “very important” plans, which he said had “captured the imagination and hopes” of many British people.
Although the details are yet to be finalised, it is envisaged that the deal will allow British citizens to live and work freely in the remaining member states as well as grant them the right to vote in EU Parliamentary elections, the Independent has reported.

The option will be on the table during negotiations, says BBC News

The European Parliament’s top Brexit negotiator says he plans to fast-track a proposal to offer UK nationals “associate EU citizenship”.
The proposal “will be on the table of the upcoming Brexit negotiations”, liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt said.
UK nationals could have the option of paying a fee in order to keep rights such as freedom of movement in the EU and a vote in European elections.
Mr Verhofstadt said strong interest in the idea meant it could not be delayed.
Originally a liberal ALDE party colleague, Luxembourg MEP Charles Goerens, had included “associate EU citizenship” among reforms to be considered in the next EU treaty change.
But Mr Verhofstadt said “some things cannot wait until treaty change”.
The proposal will also be discussed by the European Parliament when it draws up a resolution on Brexit, “right after the triggering of Article 50 in March”, he said.

And the Independent also carries the story.

European Parliament chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt has put forward a proposal for British nationals to keep “associate” EU citizenship after Brexit if they individually want to.
Mr Verhofstadt says he says he will be putting the idea on the table in EU negotiations and including it in his mandate. Such a proposal, if enacted would allow Brits to keep some of the benefits of European Union citizenship.
What are the details? There aren’t really any, other than a few lines included in the original amendment by MEP Charles Goerens. That amendment suggested nationals of former EU member states could opt in, keep free movement rights and get a vote in the European Parliament elections.
Surely this is unworkable? Not necessarily – dual nationality already exists. Other countries have also granted citizenship en masse to citizens of other countries before: Russia has offered passports to Russian-speaking residents of eastern Ukraine and Georgia, for instance.

The Times claims the plans were first revealed in its pages.

Plans to allow British nationals to retain their EU citizenship after Brexit are to form part of the European parliament’s negotiating position.
The “associate citizenship” status, plans for which were first revealed in The Times, would give those who adopt it the right to freedom of movement and residence throughout the EU as well as the right to vote for a representative in the European parliament.
It would be made available to citizens of former member states who “feel and wish to be part of the European project”.
The proposal was put forward last month by the Luxembourg MEP Charles Goerens for inclusion in a future EU treaty.

Eurozone

The future prospects of the whole of the eurozone are bleak, reports Breitbart

Eurozone countries will compete to leave the single currency next year and this will lead to the euro collapsing, one of the leading candidates to become Italian Prime Minister has warned.
Luigi di Maio, a senior member of the populist Five Star Movement, said: “The first country to pull the plug will save itself and the others will be in trouble.
The first to go will have an exit strategy while the others will implode along with the euro.”
After emerging from nowhere, the party is currently running the governing Democratic Party a very close second in opinion polls. It received a huge boost on Sunday after leading a successful referendum campaign against Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reforms, forcing him to resign.
Observers now expect parliamentary elections as early as next spring, with Mr di Maio likely to be nominated as Five Star Movement’s candidate for Prime Minister in an online poll. His party has called for a referendum on Italy’s continued membership of the European single currency.

And the Express reports calls for Italy to follow the UK out of the zone.

A TOP Italian politician today branded Jean-Claude Juncker and his cronies “enemies of Europe” as he called for a referendum on pulling the country out of the catastrophic euro.
Alessandro Di Battista, the rising star of the Five Star Movement, said the single currency had brought nothing but “social disintegration and unemployment” in a stunning attack on the EU.
The youthful politician, who is tipped to fill a top post if the eurosceptic movement seizes power in Italy’s next general election, said voters should get the choice to ditch the disastrous economic project.
And in a scathing attack on the euro elite he said “technocrats” at the European Commission were the real cause of Europe’s woes, vowing to wage a “serious fight against corruption” in Brussels.

Overseas aid

The misuse of funds designed to aid the poor is examined in the Express.

MINISTERS were under pressure last night to hold an investigation into how hundreds of millions of pounds of British “aid” is used to fund online shopping, luxury malls, five star hotels, restaurant chains and gambling.
The revelation was condemned by senior Tory MPs and Ukip as “an absolute scandal” and has raised new questions over Britain’s commitment to spending 0.7 per cent of its GDP on foreign countries.
It comes just weeks after the National Audit Office condemned the spending of international aid warning that there was “no evidence it is improving lives.”
According to the Treasury book spending on international development will hit £9.3 billion in 2017/18.
For the first time it will outstrip the entire amount given to councils who spend most of their money helping the poor and vulnerable in British communities.
The questions markets have come on projects, which include a Pakistani version of the Amazon online shopping website, funded by the CDC Group – the government’s private equity division formerly known as the Commonwealth Development Corporation.

Libraries

The Morning Star reports the financial cut backs in our libraries.

FUNDING for public libraries has been cut by £25 million in the last year, amid mass closures of branches and job losses.
Library campaigners slammed the cuts yesterday as “iniquitous and a false economy” following the survey by accountancy body Cipfa.
Local council funding was slashed by 40 per cent under the Tories between 2015-16, the research revealed.
Sixty-seven libraries closed in England, Scotland and Wales, with visits to libraries dramatically decreasing by 15 million, in that time.
Cipfa, also revealed the impact of funding cuts on library jobs, as the number of full-time equivalent staff fell from 18,028 to 17,064 — a loss of 5.3 per cent.

Russian Olympians

It seems the 2012 London Olympics was not particularly ‘clean’, says ITV News

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will re-test all Russian anti-doping samples from the London 2012 Olympics after a damning report pointed to a “unprecedented” national conspiracy to help some 1,000 athletes.
Russian officials stand accused of a “systematic and centralised cover-up” to boost their athletes lasting at least four years between 2011 and 2015 and which “corrupted the London Games on an unprecedented scale”.
“The desire to win medals superseded their collective moral and ethical compass and Olympic values of fair play,” said the report’s author Dr Richard McLaren.
Among the athletes implicated in the scandal were five Russian medalists from London 2012 and a total of 78 of the country’s competitors at the Games.
Four medallists from the Sochi 2014 Olympics are also said to have had their lab test results covered up.

Pacific ‘ring of fire’

As ever, the Star has an apocalyptic story, this time rounding up all the recent earthquakes in the Pacific.

A MASSIVE earthquake measuring 6.9 magnitude has shaken the South Pacific, sparking a tsunami warning. The giant quake had a depth of 10km (6 miles) and its epicentre was 89km west of Kira Kira.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center officials confirmed that there was a tsunami threat of waves up to 3 metres.
They predicted that the Solomon Islands were most likely to bear the brunt of the waves.
The tsunami warning was later called off by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
It comes just one day after a powerful 7.8 quake hit the remote area and there are fears that the Big One is getting ready to shake the San Andreas fault.
The earthquake yesterday sent residents running into the hills as strong aftershocks hit the region.
Recent quakes are occurring on the deadly zone known as the Ring of Fire which may cause massive destruction.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email