Brexit

Boris Johnson has set out his vision for post-Brexit vision in the Telegraph.

My friends, I must report that there are at least some people who are woefully underestimating this country. They think Brexit isn’t going to happen. There are some media observers – in this country and around the world – who think we are going to bottle it.
I detect scepticism about whether we have the stamina, the guts, the persistence to pull it off. They think that the Brexit Bill will get lost in a House of Commons crevasse or buried in some interminable Jarndyce and Jarndyce legal proceedings. They think that we will simply despair of finding the way out of the EU and sit down on the floor and cry – like some toddler lost in the maze at Hampton Court.
Well, in so far as they doubt our resolve, I believe they are wrong; and I am here to tell you that this country will succeed in our new national enterprise, and will succeed mightily. 

The Mail has picked up the story.

Boris Johnson threw down the gauntlet to Theresa May over Brexit last night, as he warned her against giving in to Remainers in the Cabinet.
In an extraordinary intervention, that will reignite speculation about his leadership ambitions, the Foreign Secretary published a 4,000-word essay setting out his personal manifesto for Brexit.
The move comes just days before Mrs May is due to make a pivotal speech on the issue and will be seen as an attempt to box her in.
Mr Johnson, who is angry at claims he lied during the referendum campaign, says the UK will claw back control of £350 million a week after leaving the EU, which could be spent on the NHS.
And, in an ominous move, he flatly rejects calls for Britain to pay billions for access to the single market during any transition period after Brexit – an idea being considered by Mrs May for inclusion in her speech next week.

The Sun also reports the foreign secretary’s words.

BORIS JOHNSON last night told Theresa May to forget paying vast sums to the EU after 2019 – insisting the cash be spent on the NHS instead.
In a huge challenge to the PM’s authority, the Foreign Secretary mapped out his vision of a “glorious” future for Brexit Britain.
And he said we must slash payments to Brussels as soon as we leave.
He insisted the Government had to make good the Vote Leave campaign pledge to increase spending on the NHS by £350 million a week.
He added that remaining in the single market or customs union after Brexit would make a “complete mockery” of the Referendum.
The revelation comes exactly one week to the day before Theresa May is set to map out her vision for Brexit in Florence, Italy and will send shockwaves through Westminster.

The Guardian reiterates Boris’ claim that the NHS will benefit.

Boris Johnson has insisted that Britain will still claw back £350m a week after leaving the EU, with much of that money preferably being spent on the NHS, as he warned critics of Brexit against treating 17.4 million voters as fools.
The foreign secretary repeated the controversial claim of the Vote Leave campaign in a 4,000-word article for the Daily Telegraph, in which he claimed that exiting the EU could be a catalyst for reforming the country’s tax system.
The leader of the campaign to take Britain out of the EU also accused Jeremy Corbyn of “chickening out” over the issue, citing Labour’s push to stay in the single market and within a customs union for a temporary period.
“He would make a complete mockery of Brexit and turn an opportunity into a national humiliation,” he said, hitting out at other remainers for “woefully underestimating this country”.
Johnson’s sudden intervention in the Brexit debate, after months of holding back on the issue, will be seen by many across the Conservative party as a sign that he still harbours leadership ambitions.

Westmonster calls his comments ‘sensational’.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has set out his pro-Brexit agenda in sensational form in The Telegraph, rallying against any ongoing membership of the single market/customs union, dismissing any payments to the EU and insisting that money recouped from Brussels should be pumped into the National Health Service.
His push for much fuller, cleaner Brexit than the likes of Chancellor Philip Hammond is believed to have come out of the blue, without authority from Number 10 and is sure to send shockwaves in Westminster.
BoJo hits out at those “people who are woefully underestimating this country” and think Britain what “bottle” Brexit.
The optimistic case for a full EU exit from Boris also makes the case that: “We would not expect to pay for access to their markets any more than they would expect to pay for access to ours”.
A prominent government figure massively optimistic and bullish about Brexit Britain’s prospects? That’s more like it. The Remoaners around the Cabinet won’t be amused…

The Times claims his vision is ‘glorious’.

Boris Johnson set out his vision for a “glorious” Brexit last night in what will be seen as a challenge to Theresa May’s authority and the opening shots of a campaign to replace her.
The foreign secretary has broken from the emerging cabinet consensus, insisting that Britain should not have to pay to access the EU’s single market after its formal exit in March 2019.
He also insisted that the UK, after “settling our accounts”, would regain control of £350 million a week to help fund the NHS, one of the Leave campaign’s most controversial claims.

But the Sun claims we’ll still have to pay a huge ‘divorce’ bill.

MINISTERS plan to hand over £27billion to the EU in exchange for a transition deal, it was reported today.
The huge payout could come on top of the “divorce bill” being demanded by Brussels.
It was claimed that the Government has already set aside the cash hidden in its financial forecasts.
Theresa May is likely to request a transition deal of up to three years which will ease the impact of Brexit.
It is intended to give businesses time to adjust to life outside the EU while ministers strike trade deals around the world.
But Eurocrats plan to use the transition deal as a chance to squeeze even more money out of Britain.

Sky News puts a different figure on the bill.

Britain’s EU divorce bill is now presumed to be “£60bn and falling”, the Brexit Secretary told business leaders on Friday, as he offered reassurance about the UK’s future economic relationship with Europe.
Sky News has learnt that David Davis told a gathering of bosses at Chevening House that the UK would enjoy a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union after Brexit.
He is said to have told executives including Xavier Rolet of the London Stock Exchange Group, Steve Varley, who runs accountancy firm EY, and Vittorio Colao of Vodafone that negotiations with Europe had been “scratchy” but that they should not be concerned.
Mr Davis’s remarks about the divorce bill, confirmed by three people who attended Friday’s meeting, are likely to attract the greatest scrutiny.

In other Brexit news, the Independent claims an inquiry has been launched.

MPs have launched an inquiry into the state of Brexit negotiations after the latest round ended in recriminations about a lack of progress.
The Exiting the EU Select Committee will explore the strategy of the UK Government, as well as try to determine whether it has the capability to manage the process effectively.
The last round of talks ended with Brussels claiming Britain is “backtracking” on commitments, while the UK argued that the mandate given to the EU’s chief negotiator was preventing progress.
A further round of talks has been delayed by a week, with Theresa May  announcing she will give a major speech on Brexit in an apparent bid to break through the deadlock.

And the Express claims there could be two new jobs on offer in the Brexit department.

MINISTERS today revealed a key new strategy to help them gain the upper hand in the Brexit negotiations – in a job advert for two new Whitehall communications chiefs.
The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) is setting up two new crack teams to deliver intelligence on how the EU is thinking and help push its message across the bloc.
They will work over the next two years on creating a “long term grid of activity across EU Member States” which will keep British relations on the continent in good shape during and after Brexit.
However, the plans are likely to raise fears amongst some EU officials that the UK is once more trying to open up splits within the bloc in an attempt to undermine Michel Barnier’s negotiating position. 

The Telegraph suggests the government should be ready to walk away from the negotiations.

Theresa May took one thing in particular away from David Cameron’s dealings with Europe: the British Government must not just look ready, but be willing, to walk away from the table in order to avoid having to live with mere scraps.
As prime minister, he fouled up on both counts. First, he kicked off his renegotiation by declaring that no matter what was on offer, he would sell it as part of his campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. That drained all the power from his attempted threats to lead the country out if he didn’t get what he wanted.  And then he admitted that the civil service would not be doing any work on how Britain would leave the bloc, which left Whitehall running to catch up after the British people voted for exactly that.

Terror threat

Following yesterday’s terror attack at Parson’s Green station, the government has raised the terror threat level says the Star.

THE terror threat level for Britain has been raised from severe to critical, meaning a terror attack is imminent.
The move, announced tonight by Prime Minister Theresa May, comes as a major manhunt continues for the Parsons Green Tube bomber.
It means military officers will now be drafted in to replace police officers “on guard duties at certain protected sites which are not accessible to the public”.
May said: “The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) – that’s the independent organisation responsible for setting the threat level on the basis of available intelligence – has now decided to raise the national threat level from severe to critical.
“This means that their assessment is that a further attack may be imminent.

Sky News also reports the prospect of a further attack.

The UK’s terror threat level has been raised from severe to critical, indicating a further attack may be imminent.
Theresa May said the decision follows an explosion on a Tube train in west London, which injured 29 people.
Islamic State says a “detachment” of the terror group was behind the attack at Parsons Green station at the height of Friday morning’s rush hour.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has said police are “chasing down suspects” – but warned it is routine for IS to say they carried out attacks irrespective of whether they were involved or not.
This is the fourth time that the terror threat level has been placed at “critical” in the past 11 years – with Mr Rowley adding that the extra military support will free up 1,000 armed police officers.

Huffington Post also has the story.

The UK terror threat level has been raised from severe to critical following the Parsons Green Tube explosion, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday evening.
The measure means intelligence and security agencies have concluded another attack may be imminent.
May said: “For this period, military personnel will replace police officers on guard duties at certain protected sites that are not accessible to the public.”
Just before the announcement Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

ITV News says more police will be on the streets.

Armed police and military personnel will be deployed over the weekend with the public asked to remain vigilant in the wake of the Parsons Green bomb attack.
Britain is on the highest terror alert after Prime Minister Theresa May raised the threat level to critical, meaning another attack is expected imminently.
A manhunt is under way after the improvised explosive device (IED) sent a fireball through a packed London Underground train carriage in south west London, during the Friday morning rush-hour.
Parsons Green station re-opened in the early hours of Saturday.

EU

Over on the Continent there’s criticism of the EU’s refusal to talk trade says the Express.

THE EU 27 have been accused of adopting a “see no evil, hear no evil speak no evil” attitude because they are refusing to discuss post-Brexit trade despite huge pressure from European businesses.
David Thomas, the head of the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE), said fears raised by businesses in the EU have been ignored by some member states who would rather “sit back” and allow the European Commission to dictate the sequencing of the negotiations.
With frustrations growing about the slow pace of Brexit negotiations and the huge issues which remain unsettled, uncertainty is threatening the ties between European and British business.

Electoral fraud

Should voters be asked to provide identification when they cast their ballot? That question is explored in the Independent.

The use of photo identification at polling stations is to be trialled in a series of forthcoming council elections, as the Government considers making it a legal requirement in the fight against voter fraud.
The Electoral Commission watchdog recommended in 2014 that voters should be required to prove their identities before casting a ballot, in response to a review into electoral fraud by Sir Eric Pickles that came in the wake of widespread voter fraud in Tower Hamlets.
Critics of the plan say it solves an “almost non-existent” problem while potentially disenfranchising large numbers of people on low incomes who do not have photo ID.
There were 44 cases in 2016 elections of people trying to use another individual’s vote – known as “personation” – up from 21 in 2014.

Sky News also has the story.

Voters in some areas will have to show ID before they are allowed to cast their ballot in a trial next year aimed at countering electoral fraud.
The tests will mark the first time that English voters will have been asked to prove their identity to take part in the democratic process.
If deemed successful, the extra security measures could then be rolled out to the rest of the UK.
Only 44 people were caught trying to steal someone else’s vote in the 2016 elections, up slightly from 21 cases in 2014.
The Electoral Commission has said that more safeguards are needed to safeguard electoral security.

The recommendation from the electoral watchdog is also reported by the Sun.

VOTERS in five areas of England will have to show their ID to get a vote in next year’s local elections under pilot plans to combat electoral fraud.
The move comes after the elections watchdog recommended in 2014 that voters should be required to prove their identities before casting a ballot.
There were 44 cases in 2016 elections of people trying to use another individual’s vote – known as “personation” – up from 21 in 2014.
Pilots will be held in local elections in Woking, Gosport, Bromley, Watford and Slough in May 2018, with photo and non-photo forms of identification being trialled in different areas to see which is most effective and efficient.
The east London borough of Tower Hamlets will also run a separate pilot examining the security of postal votes.

Foreign aid

The vexed question of which foreign countries deserve our aid is examined in the Independent.

Ministers are attempting to overturn international rules preventing the UK from using its £13bn foreign aid budget to help British overseas territories lashed by Hurricane Irma.
Theresa May has made clear her frustration with Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regulations, which block aid cash from being used in Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, and the British Virgin Islands as the islands are deemed to be too wealthy.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel has written to the OECD calling for urgent reform to the rules to reflect the vulnerability of the Caribbean island states in the event of natural disasters.
She said: “These rules were first established over 40 years ago. The world has changed dramatically since then, and we will work constructively with international partners to ensure the rules remain relevant and up to date.”

NHS

The Independent reports a call for a pay hike for nurses.

Unions are calling for a pay rise of almost four per cent for around a million NHS workers – plus a one-off payment of £800 to compensate for money they lost out on during the austerity era.
Pressure is growing on Theresa May to lift the contentious one per cent cap on annual pay rises for NHS workers now that the Government has removed the restriction for police officers and prison staff.
The call for the increase was made in a letter co-written by 14 different unions on behalf of over a million workers to Chancellor Philip Hammond ahead of his autumn budget statement.
They are asking him to make funds available in the November budget for a pay rise in line with the retail price index (RPI) level of inflation, currently 3.9 per cent and a percentage point higher than the consumer price index, which has just risen to 2.9 per cent.

The Sun also reports the call.

UNIONS have demand the government stump up a 3.9 per cent AND an extra £800 for every member of the million-strong NHS workforce.
A total of 14 unions have called on Philip Hammond to end years of wage austerity to give workers an above inflation pay rise.
Members of Unison, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Unite and the GMB have written to the Chancellor asking him to earmark funds in the November Budget for a pay rise in line with RPI inflation.
The unions said NHS workers including cleaners, nurses, radiographers, pharmacists, midwives, paramedics, therapists, dental technicians, caterers and porters have suffered real terms pay cuts of around 15 per cent in recent years because of the Government’s “harsh pay policies”.

And the Morning Star.

FOURTEEN unions representing NHS workers came together yesterday to demand an above-inflation wage rise from the government and an end to the public-sector pay squeeze.
The unions, including GMB, Unison, Unite, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), wrote to the government calling for a 3.9 per cent rise, along with £800 per worker to make up for the fall in real-terms wages since the 1 per cent public-sector pay cap was imposed in 2010.
Wages are usually determined by the NHS Pay Review Body, which was established by 1986, but the unions said the government had consistently undermined its role and “severely restricted” its ability to make recommendations.
They said they were “seizing the initiative” and going directly to the government to demand an end to public-sector austerity.

The Mirror points out the years of austerity.

After seven years of austerity that has plunged many into poverty, the patience of NHS staff snapped as they hit Theresa May with a massive pay rise demand.
A million health workers asked for a 3.9% increase, just a day after the PM insulted them by axing the 1% cap but offering only police and prison warders more cash.
They demanded the modest rise in line with RPI inflation plus an £800 lump sum “to make up for the years of lost pay”.
The £3billion claim came in a letter from 14 health unions, led by Unison, to Chancellor Philip Hammond that was leaked to the Mirror.
They ­sidestepped the pay review body for the first time in NHS history.

British jobs

The Times has a story about ‘British jobs for British workers’.

Theresa May has abandoned plans to make British companies prove that they cannot hire native workers before they take on foreign staff after Brexit.
Amber Rudd, the home secretary, and Philip Hammond, the chancellor, said that the proposed test should be scrapped as part of efforts to make the new system more business-friendly.
They have accepted, however, that EU citizens — including those living in the UK already and coming to the country to work — must be registered during any transition period after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.
The first draft of an immigration white paper, leaked last week, alarmed industry leaders by including a number of hardline policies designed to limit lower-skilled migration.

Potential problems at the port of Dover are examined by the Telegraph.

The UK shipping industry could avoid a post-Brexit “Armageddon scenario” by diverting sea cargo from Dover to eastern ports such as Felixstowe, Britain’s  largest port operator has said.
In a policy paper presented to the government this week, Associated British Ports (ABP) called for the UK to reduce its dependency on Dover and instead invest in ports on the Thames, East Anglia and the Humber, among others.
The operator said this would reduce disruption to trade by removing the risk of a bottleneck of traffic in Dover, which handles £120bn in imports and exports per year.
It comes after Tim Waggott, the head of the port of Dover, warned it was facing a possible “Armageddon scenario” of chronic delays and traffic congestion due to the risk of lengthy customs checks after Brexit.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email