EU

In his regular comment column for Breitbart, UKP leader Nigel Farage claims the bloc’s drive towards centralisation continues at break-neck speed.

This was illustrated just last night when a report – an ultimate EU wish list – was discussed in the European Parliament by the federalist fanatics in Brussels. The title of the report reads: “On improving the functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty”.

A working document, which will soon become a draft report, was drawn up by Elmar Brok. One of the most experienced and certainly the most powerful and well connected of MEPs who acted as co-rapporteur, he is Chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and regarded as Angela Merkel’s ‘Vicar on Earth’ in Brussels. When he makes a proposal you can be sure it is with the knowledge and approval of Germany’s Frau Merkel. And in the EU these days, what Angela wants, Angela gets.

None of the prevarication or double-dealing we hear from David Cameron is involved here – just the unvarnished truth of what, as she said, the majority of people in Brussels want.

This included the removal of all national vetoes at European Council level, a more binding framework for economic policy coordination, a fiscal union with a common Corporate Tax base and VAT system where the EU is funded by VAT raising powers, and a financial transaction tax. They want a banking and a capital markets union, as well as a European Energy agency to make sure there is no competition for cheaper energy.

They want the EU Border Agency, Frontex, to be strengthened and given the ability to enter states without being asked. At the same time they want to move towards a common EU army, and the creation of a permanent military operational headquarters. One of their wishes is to see an increasing use of EU military battlegroups as an “initial entry force” to enhance the EU’s defence capabilities.

Another columnist, Matthew Parris, claims the UK is locked in a loveless marriage to Europe in the Times.

For all our loathing of Brussels, voters aren’t ready to end the relationship. Cameron just has to exploit our timidity

The European Union is a pig’s ear of an organisation. Preening and incompetent, it’s in a mess and floundering. It may even be doomed. But Britain should probably string along for the time being. Why leave today when we could always leave tomorrow?

That paragraph voices the default opinion of about two thirds of the British population. Between now and a likely referendum this summer it’s the view to which – though the needle may swing about a bit – most of us will tend to revert.

Referendum

Several of the media quote the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s confidence that an acceptable deal can be reached.

The Times says:

David Cameron’s hopes of overhauling Britain’s membership of the European Union received a boost today as Jean-Claude Juncker declared he was “quite confident” that a deal will be done next month.

The prime minister wants to reach agreement with all 27 other member states at a summit on February 18, which would clear the way for an in-out referendum in the UK in June.

Mr Juncker, President of the European Commission, vowed to find a “permanent solution” that will keep Britain in the EU.

The Telegraph reports:

The president of the European Commission is “quite sure” that Britain’s new deal with the European Union will be agreed next month.

Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday he was confident that an agreement would be reached at a summit of the European Council in Brussels in a month’s time.

That opens the door to a referendum in June, regarded by Conservative sources as by far the most likely date.

Mr Juncker’s optimism about the progress of the negotiations is matched by senior British sources, who said that the stiff opposition to the British proposals had softened considerably since a summit in December.

ITV News claims the deal will be reached ‘within weeks’.

The leading figure in the EU has said he is confident that a deal can be reached over Britain’s calls for reform of the bloc within weeks.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said the UK’s demands were “very difficult issues” but he believed that a “permanent solution” could be found by the end of February.

“I’m quite sure that we’ll have not a compromise, a solution… a permanent solution in February,” Juncker told a news conference today.

David Cameron has been pushing for key reforms to Britain’s membership of the European bloc ahead of a national in/out referendum due to be held by the end of 2017.

The Guardian claims a special summit is being planned.

An extra European summit could be held in late February to finalise a deal on David Cameron’s EU reforms, which would allow the UK prime minister to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership in June.

Amid increasing optimism that a deal is within reach, sources familiar with the negotiations suggested that the European council president, Donald Tusk, may exercise his power to call a further EU summit if progress is insufficient at the next meeting due in mid-February.

“Donald Tusk has the power to call a special European council at any time,” one source familiar with the negotiations told the Guardian. “It is not necessary to wait a full month between the February and the March councils for EU leaders to meet.”

Earlier in the day, Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, said the negotiations were entering their final weeks when he said he was quite sure that “a permanent solution” would be reached next month. Speaking at a press conference, the Juncker said: “I am quite sure that we will have a deal. Not a compromise, [but] a solution, a permanent solution in February.”

Immigration

In an exclusive, The Sun claims there is a row brewing David Cameron and Theresa May.

A FRESH EU row is raging behind the scenes between Theresa May and David Cameron over a No10 bid to weaken a key immigration demand, The Sun can reveal.

The PM wants his proposed four year ban on benefits for new arrivals to be judged on how long they have been resident in the UK.

But the Home Secretary is insisting that it must instead be based on how long newcomers from Europe have been contributing into Britain’s coffers – a higher bar which she insists will deter thousands more coming to the UK.

Residency is also very hard to prove and wide open to fraud, Mrs May has told the PM, while the HMRC holds a full record of all tax and national insurance contributions that have been paid in.

And the Express claims the number of refugees arriving by boats has trebled in a year.

EUROPE’S borders crisis showed no signs of easing up as figures revealed that the number of migrants arriving daily by boat has trebled in just one year.

Only a fortnight into 2016, almost 25,000 refugees have reached the EU at a rate of over 1,700 every day.

The rate is three times the 570 who reached Italy or Greece by boat every day last January.

The first sailings of 2016 also brought the first deaths.

At least 59 men, women and children have tragically lost their lives – nine trying to reach Italy from Libya and the other 50 after their boats capsized in the Agean Sea.

Experts fear that the huge number of New Year arrivals means the total number coming to Europe in search of a better life in 2016 will far outstrip the 1.1million who arrived last year.

Grayling

The Commons leader has said the EU is ‘disastrous’ for Britain, says the Telegraph.

The European Union is “disastrous” for Britain, a Cabinet minister has warned in a clear warning to the Prime Minister that members of his top team are preparing to campaign to leave the EU.

In a Telegraph article (see below), Chris Grayling makes clear that he does not believe in staying in the EU “with our current terms of membership unchanged” and warns that Brussels is heading down “a path that the UK will not and should not follow”.

His article is carefully worded but effectively puts the Prime Minister on notice that he is preparing to play prominent role in the campaign to leave the EU.

But the Times claims he is ‘peddling EU myths’.

Chris Grayling, the Commons leader, has been accused of “peddling myths” about the EU by fellow Tories as the referendum question continues to split the party

Damian Green, the former immigration minister, publicly criticised Mr Grayling, who this week became the first cabinet member to signal that he would back the campaign the leave the EU.

In an article published in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Grayling claimed that membership of the EU in its current form would be “disastrous” for Britain.

Rubbish

In other news, the Mail claims that carefully-sorted rubbish is all being piled into either incinerators or landfill.

Hundreds of thousands of tons of recycling carefully sorted by homeowners is just being burned or dumped in a landfill.

The amount of waste which was buried in the ground or incinerated after being painstakingly divided between bins has nearly doubled over the past three years.

Figures have revealed that last year some councils rejected up to one in five recycling bins on the grounds that they had not been properly sorted.

Officials claim that despite the best efforts of the public, the recycling is ‘contaminated’ with unwanted items – and insist it is cheaper to bury the rubbish rather than filter them out.

A whole lorry’s worth of contents can be turned around at the gates of a re-processing plant because it contains scraps of food waste, plastic or fabric.

The figures, which were revealed by a Freedom of Information request carried out for the Daily Mail, show thousands of hours spent laboriously sorting rubbish into numerous bins are wasted every year.

German backlash

The Mail reports that Neo-Nazis are on the rampage in Germany following Angela Merkel’s invitation to refugees to settle in the country.

Sitting in his white-walled room on the second floor of an anonymous office block, the German politician talks from the heart.

He states emotionally that his country has changed for ever; that the European Union is finished and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s days are numbered.

‘Frau Merkel, she’s not right in the head,’ adds 46-year-old Siegbert Droese, pointing his finger at his temple.

‘She tells people from all over the Islamic world to come here to paradise. The numbers are mind-boggling and could reach ten million [when the migrants bring members of their families over to join them].

‘So many young men arriving every day with high testosterone and little respect for women mean the New Year sex attacks in Cologne will be repeated.

‘I am not alone in thinking this. The penny is dropping among ordinary Germans.’

What Herr Droese — president of the populist Eurosceptic party, Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) in the eastern city of Leipzig — says about German views on migrants is all too true.

According to a recent survey, half of the population is now sceptical that Mrs Merkel will cope with the huge influx.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email