It seems that EU negotiators are to demand a ‘divorce settlement’ from the UK before they even agree to talks, says the Express

BRUSSELS bureaucrats have reportedly raised their demands for Britain to cough up a minimum cost of €100billion (£84billion) before they hammer out a Brexit divorce settlement on Monday.
The Brexit bill is set to rise as eurocrats revise their initial calculations to increase the liabilities the UK must pay for, following demands from bitter members including France and Poland.
The €100bn figure is set to be the minimum payment demanded by eurocrats who are keen to spare its budget from Britain’s momentous decision to sever ties with the bloc.
The EU has insisted Brussels will not bow to Theresa May’s demands to talk trade until “sufficient progress” is made over the divorce settlement.
New calculations include Britain’s pensions liabilities, as well as its €251bn in budget commitments approved by the UK before 2019, known as reste a liquider, according to the Financial Times.

The Telegraph reports that our chancellor is planning a soft Brexit.

Philip Hammond is drawing up detailed plans for a softer Brexit that will prioritise “protecting jobs” over Britain’s ability to strike free trade deals after Britain quits the EU.
Senior Whitehall sources have told The Daily Telegraph that Mr Hammond is pushing for a bespoke deal under which Britain would retain associate membership of the EU’s customs union, but retain the freedom to negotiate separate deals on trade services.
As he entered a meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg yesterday, the Chancellor made clear that he was not giving up his battle to resist a hard Brexit.
“My clear view, and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain, is we should prioritise protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity,” he said, in an apparently open challenge to hardline Brexiteers.

The move is also reported by Westmonster.

Theresa May’s Chancellor Philip Hammond is reportedly making some very suspect noises on wanting  Britain to go for a ‘softer Brexit’.
He has apparently bowed down to EU demands that divorce proceedings, including a potential Brussels billions bombshell, be sorted out before trade is discussed and he couldn’t even confirm if he wanted Britain to leave the single market.
There is no public support for Hammond’s kind of lily-livered Brexit sell out.
The majority of Brits want out of the single market and the customs union – and they expect to see that delivered.

But the DUP could help the negotiators holding out for a full Brexit, reports Breitbart.

Ulster’s Democratic Unionist Party, which is expected to prop up Theresa May’s minority government over the coming months, has spurned Tory Remainers who hoped they would force the Prime Minister to ask the EU for a so-called ‘Soft Brexit’.
According to ITV’s Robert Peston, a source within the DUP “was very keen to be quoted” as saying that his party “completely backs [May’s] vision of Brexit” – and not that of her Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.
While both May and Hammond campaigned for a Remain vote during the EU referendum, the Prime Minister has subsequently endorsed what supporters call a “Clean Brexit“, taking Britain out of the bloc’s Single Market and its associated Free Movement regime, as well as the Customs Union which precludes member-states from conducting an independent trade policy.

The Guardian also reports on the soft prospect.

The British government will prioritise the economy and jobs in the Brexit negotiations beginning next week, Philip Hammond has said, in remarks that will be seen as a clear signal of his desire for a soft Brexit.
The chancellor said the British negotiating team would be open to ideas from their counterparts in Brussels as to how best to maintain economic prosperity ahead of the opening of negotiations between the EU and the UK on Monday.
Hammond is reportedly campaigning within the cabinet for Theresa May to U-turn on her pledge to take the UK out of the customs union. The Treasury is said to be in “street-fighting mode” and confident that it will win support from Damian Green, the prime minister’s newly appointed deputy.
Speaking as he arrived in Brussels ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers, Hammond said the prime minister’s pledges to take the UK out of the single market and the customs union remained the “broad principles” of the government’s position going into the talks. He added, however, that the UK’s negotiating team would take “a pragmatic approach, trying to find a solution that works” both for the UK and remaining EU members.

Sky News claims the opening talks will also consider citizens’ rights.

The start of Brexit negotiations next week will focus on EU citizens’ rights, the UK’s divorce bill and Northern Ireland’s border.
Ahead of the 
first day of formal talks on Monday, the European Commission said discussions with Britain would begin with “separation issues”.
The Commission, which is leading Brexit negotiations on behalf of the EU, insisted the process would start in line with its “sequenced approach” to negotiating the UK’s departure.
Brussels has previously warned the UK Government it will only enter talks on a potential future trade deal with Britain once “significant progress” is made on divorce matters.


Elsewhere in the EU, it seems there is disquiet in other countries, says Westmonster.

Citizens across Europe want their own governments to have control over their country’s migration policy and not the EU.
An average of 74% of citizens from 9 EU countries think Brussels should butt out of migration policy relating to non-EU citizens.
It shows the level of opposition to the EU’s plan to force migrant quotas on the likes of Poland and Hungary.
Even when it comes to EU citizens, 66% of those surveyed want their own national government to be in control.
Looks like people would rather the EU’s open door migration policy was slammed shut.

Grenfell Tower

The terrible events of Wednesday evening are still being reported. There was an angry street protest yesterday, despite the Prime Minister’s announcement of a survivors’ fund, says the Independent.

Theresa May has announced a £5m fund for survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, as furious protests have gathered on the streets of Kensington and Westminster.
The Prime Minister met survivors of the fire at a church in Kensington, during which she announced the fund to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs.
The announcement came as protesters gathered outside the church, and outside Kensington Town Hall, to protest their anger over the government reaction to the tragedy, and what they see as the slow emergence of information with regard to people still missing. At the same time, other protesters marched past the entrance to Downing Street chanting “May Must Go!”.
As well as the £5m, the Government has committed itself to ensuring that residents who have lost their homes will be rehoused within three weeks, as close as possible to Grenfell Tower.

The Mail also reports the demo.

Frustrations over the fatal Grenfell Tower fire boiled over yesterday as victims, residents and protesters took to the streets of central London
demanding answers over the blaze.
Hundreds of people gathered outside Kensington town hall in west London wanting to know how the tragedy could have happened. 

The frustrated victims and family members then marched to the scene of the blaze at Grenfell Tower.
A separate march was held on Whitehall, where protesters were angry with the response from the Government following Wednesday’s disaster.

The Times reports that the Prime Minister was jeered.

Theresa May was jeered by an angry crowd last night as she hurried under heavy police guard from a meeting with survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
With the number missing and feared dead rising to 70 amid allegations of safety failings, the prime minister was met with shouts of “coward”, “out” and “shame on you” as she emerged from an unpublicised visit to St Clement’s Church near the west London tower.
Mrs May had faced criticism for failing to talk to local people on a visit to Kensington on Thursday and news of her return to the area — to announce a £5 million package of emergency measures — spread quickly.

And the Morning Star also runs the story.

HUNDREDS of angry residents stormed council offices yesterday as they demanded support, housing and answers over the Grenfell Tower disaster amid accusations of “mass murder.”
They had gathered outside the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea civic centre and entered the building in order to stage a sit-down protest but council leaders refused to meet them.
Council bosses were accused of “skulking out” to avoid crowds as they left by a side door while police riot vans and helicopters circled.
Residents held placards demanding “Justice for Grenfell” and chanted “come downstairs” as they presented a list of immediate demands to the council.

But the Sun claims the demo was hijacked by the hard left.

HARD-LEFT activists were blasted for “hijacking” the genuine outrage over the Grenfell tragedy.
Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn fan group Momentum were spotted during the invasion of Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall.
Hundreds of people with placards reading “we demand an inquest” gathered outside.
But a separate group broke away from the other protesters and gained access to the building — within them one activist was spotted wearing red Momentum t-shirt.

Apparently, there are a lot of other buildings in the country with the same kind of cladding, says the Times.

Thousands of buildings across Britain have been fitted with external cladding similar to the kind implicated in the unprecedented spread of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The public sector alone has spent £553 million on contracts to wrap such insulation round the outside of buildings including homes, schools, hospitals and leisure centres.
In the absence of any central record of which buildings have been fitted with cladding, or which type of insulation materials have been used, the government yesterday launched an emergency review of 4,000 tower blocks owned by councils and housing associations in England.

The Star claims all the buildings with this form of cladding could be demolished.

AN MP has claimed all council blocks could be torn down after the deadly Grenfell tower inferno.
Sajid David, a Conservative cabinet minister, said hundreds of tower blocks could be knocked down if they are found to be unsafe.
The Communities Secretary said today that the Government would conduct an emergency review into the safety of thousands of tower blocks.
He was asked on Radio 4 this morning whether he would “put his children to bed” thinking “I wonder if they will be safe tonight”.

And the Mirror claims the PM agrees.

Theresa May is prepared to order the mass evacuation of any tower block that is deemed to be unsafe in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, according to reports.
Government sources say the Prime Minister will not hesitate to act after at least 30 people were killed and dozens left injured in the small hours of Wednesday.
It comes amid a fierce backlash against Mrs May’s response to the tragedy – she was branded a “coward” by an angry crowd as she visited the scene for a second time today and was whisked away by police.
She announced a £5million emergency fund to help families left homeless by the fire and a review of safety at 4,000 old tower blocks across the country that house 100,000 people.

The Sun also reports the prospect.

THERESA MAY is prepared to order the evacuation of any tower block if they are deemed unsafe in the wake of the Grenfell Tower inferno, according to reports.
The reports come after the PM announced a £5million fund for those left homeless by the disaster.
The Government has ordered a review into the fire safety of 4,000 tower blocks from the 70s which do not have sprinklers or fire escapes. More than 100,000 people live in these towers.
Some of them also have the highly flammable cladding that caused flames to race up the side of the west London tower block.


In other news, the Independent reports the prospect of a wage rise for nurses.

Nurses have said they are “not getting their hopes up” after Jeremy Hunt offered to discuss a pay rise for NHS staff – with one campaigner saying she is “furious” action is only being considered now after years of real-terms pay cuts.
The Health Secretary said he is “sympathetic” to the idea of raising NHS staff pay and would personally bring up the case with the Chancellor.
Nurses raised the possibility of striking for the first time in history last month over low pay, which has been cut by 14 per cent in real terms since 2010, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

General Election

And it seems the Conservatives’ election guru tried to persuade the PM not to call the election, says the Mirror.

Tory campaign chief Sir Lynton Crosby “pleaded” with Theresa May not to call a snap election, according to reports.
The mastermind of David Cameron ‘s surprise victory in 2015 reportedly thought the “risks were too great” to hold another ballot so soon.
But the Australian spin doctor – dubbed the ‘Wizard of Oz’ due to his successes over the years – loyally returned to London to join Mrs May’s team after his advice was ignored.


There are still lots of terrorists on our streets, says Breitbart.

The latest EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) reveals the number of jihadist terrorists being arrested “sharply increased” in 2016 – but their prison terms are only getting shorter.
Prepared by Europol, the bloc’s supra-national law enforcement agency, the report says member-states logged 718 jihadist arrests in 2016; up from 687 in 2015 and 395 in 2014.
It claims that, “of 142 failed, foiled and completed attacks” reported by eight EU members, the greatest number were carried out by what it describes as “ethno-nationalist and separatist extremists” (99), with “left-wing violent extremists” in second-place (27).
However, it concedes that jihadist terrorism claimed the most actual victims, and the “vast majority” of court verdicts associated with terrorism “were pronounced in relation to jihadist terrorism” – suggesting that the threat from “ethno-nationalists” is overstated in the headline figures.

Flight strike

Going abroad early next month? The Telegraph reports on a cabin crew strike.

British Airways cabin crew are to stage a two-week strike in a long-running dispute over pay and travel concessions.
Members of Unite in the so-called mixed fleet will walk out from 00:01 on Saturday July 1 to 23:59 on Sunday July 16.
The union also announced it would “vigorously” pursue legal action against the airline on behalf of 1,400 cabin crew, who say they were “sanctioned” for taking previous strike action.
The union accused BA of drawing up a “blacklist” to impose sanctions on striking cabin crew, including cutting bonus payments and removing staff travel concessions.

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