What a week! I know they say that a week is a long time in politics, but this week must be one of the most interesting in a long time.


The Telegraph is one of the papers covering the revolt to the Prime Minister’s plans.

Michael Gove and four other Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers will try to force Theresa May into a last-minute change to the Brexit deal as the price for withdrawing their threats to resign.
The “gang of five” believes it is not too late for Mrs May to go back to Brussels and demand a unilateral exit mechanism from the so-called “backstop” arrangement over Northern Ireland.
The Environment Secretary, who stepped back from the brink of resignation on Friday, will meet Andrea Leadsom, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox over the next two days to agree the terms of their ultimatum.

Westmonster claims the ‘gang of five’ will hope to change the PM’s mind.

Those Cabinet Brexiteers not resigning now plan to somehow re-write Theresa May’s Brexit plan.
That’s according to Bloomberg, who were told today that Andrea Leadsom will bring together the likes of Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling.
It is hard to see how this would be anything other than a gigantic waste of time given that May stood steadfastly by her plan despite months of warnings from the like of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg that she should change course.

The Times says the renegotiation is the price of their loyalty.

Theresa May’s remaining Brexiteer cabinet ministers are to demand that she pushes Brussels for further concessions as the price of their loyalty.
The Times understands that the ministers are to meet early next week in an attempt to agree a joint strategy. They intend to present it to the prime minister before a summit of EU leaders that is due to sign off on the deal.
The group includes Michael Gove, who handed the prime minister a lifeline yesterday by remaining as environment secretary. Other members include Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, and Liam Fox, the trade secretary.

And the Mail points out that these five will stay and fight from within the Cabinet.

Michael Gove and other leading Brexiteer ministers have today decided to stay in the Cabinet – but entered a pact to fight to change Theresa May’s controversial deal.
He had been put on resignation watch alongside Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling as the PM’s Brexit deal plunged the Tories into civil war.
Number Ten had been on red alert for any of them to walk the plank as they have all voiced major concerns about the PM’s hugely controversial Brexit plan.

BBC News covers the plotting.

A group of five ministers in Theresa May’s top team are hoping to persuade her to make changes to her draft Brexit deal, the BBC understands.
Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom is believed to be coordinating the group.
The five ministers include Michael Gove and Liam Fox – who on Friday publicly threw their support behind the PM – plus Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling.
Mrs May published her draft withdrawal agreement with the EU on Wednesday, and has vowed to “see it through”.

Westmonster claims WTO rules predominate among its readers.

An unscientific poll Westmonster carried out this morning, that saw more than 8,000 of Westmonster’s readers and followers vote, has shown significant support for a No Deal Brexit.
More than 90% of our followers now back a No Deal over what Theresa May has put on the table, flying in the face of claims from the Remainstream media that the British people didn’t vote for and don’t want to exit fully without a deal. As ever, they are massively out of touch.
As now former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has previously explained there would be short-term issues to overcome, but the benefits of a No Deal would be:
Immediate recovery of full legislative and regulatory control including over immigration policy; Lower tariffs to bring into effect new trade deals straight away; Swifter end to financial contributions to the EU.
No Deal? No problem.

The Telegraph claims business leaders have also slated the plan.

More than 200 chief executives and entrepreneurs have called on Conservative MPs to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, describing it as “the worst of all worlds”.
In a letter, seen by the Telegraph, business leaders who run medium sized companies say Mrs May’s deal represents “the greatest act of national humiliation in this proud nation’s recent history”.

The letter, organised by John Longworth, the former director general of the British Chamber of Commerce, is signed by members of the Alliance of British Entrepreneurs including Tim Martin, the boss of pub giant Wetherspoon and veteran venture capitalist John Moulton and will be delivered to all Tory MPs next week.


But the DUP will not support the plan, says the Mail.

The DUP could tear up their deal to prop the Tories up in No10 unless Theresa May is ousted as the party leader.
The party wields an enormous amount of power as its 10 MPs have agreed to support the Conservative Government in a confidence agreement.
But they are seething at the Brexit deal – accusing the PM of having ‘sold out’
Northern Ireland and breaking her own promises.

And the Mail points out that no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic could cause problems.

Ireland is set to become a gateway to the UK after Brexit, with citizens being able to move freely between the two countries.
The Emerald Isle would remain an open door to the UK under the withdrawal agreement and EU citizens not settled in the UK would be subject to immigration rules but would be able to travel to the UK via Ireland uninhibited.
This would mean no passport checks for EU citizens on flights or ferries between the two countries and would even ensure that EU citizens could travel to major cities such as Dublin or Belfast and take a flight or ferry over to the UK without the usual passport checks.


But it seems the bloc will demand more concessions on fishing and the customs union, says the Telegraph.

European Union governments will try to railroad Britain into a permanent customs union and extract more UK concessions in fishing, heaping yet more pressure on an embattled Theresa May.
The EU-27 is looking to hard-wire British commitments on fishing, tax, the environment, social standards, security, transport and foreign policy into the negotiating boundaries of the future UK-EU trade agreement.
EU-27 governments are seeking “dynamic alignment” on those standards to ensure they keep up with Brussels over time, ensuring the UK is shackled to its red tape and preventing it from being more competitive than the bloc.

The Times claims Barnier has been told to extract more from the UK.

A group of European countries rounded on Michel Barnier this week to demand that the chief EU negotiator squeeze more concessions out of Britain in talks next week.
Some EU nations believe that the UK would have an economic advantage after Brexit if it were able to diverge from European laws and regulations while still having access to the single market. They are also demanding greater powers for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and greater fishing rights in British waters.

The Guardian claims EU leaders will be asked to agree the deal.

European leaders have launched a campaign to sell the Brexit deal struck with Theresa May on a “take it or leave it” basis as EU ambassadors in Brussels collectively agreed it would be impossible to make major changes.
Putting aside the anxieties of some about the 585-page withdrawal text, the 27 member states collectively ruled out a redrafting of the agreement by either side during a meeting with Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator.
Barnier had told the EU ambassadors they should not engage in “bargaining”, despite the political situation in the UK. A number of British cabinet ministers are said to have chosen to stay in their posts purely to engineer a change in the agreement.

But Breitbart reports the German Chancellor’s views that no further negotiations will be held.

There is “no question” of renegotiating the super-soft Brexit deal agreed with Theresa May, Angela Merkel has warned, as Eurocrats voiced hope that the divorce could be called off altogether.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting in Potsdam, the German Chancellor said: “We have a document on the table that Britain and the remaining 27 EU states have agreed. There is, as far as I am concerned, no question of further bargaining at present.”
With German industry bodies set to be hit particularly hard in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Merkel stated this would be the “worst and most chaotic scenario”, but signalled there would be no room for compromise with Britain.


The Guardian claims there’s a possibility that Article 50 could be reversed.

The UK supreme court is to reconsider the terms of article 50 of the treaty on European Union, which formally triggered Brexit, amid mounting political pressure for the procedure to be reversed.
The government has applied for permission to appeal against a ruling by the Scottish courts that the question of whether the UK can reverse the clause should be referred to the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg.
A date has been set for 27 November for an emergency hearing by ECJ judges of an application brought by a cross-party group of six Scottish MPs, MEPs and MSPs, along with Jolyon Maugham QC, the director of the Good Law Project.

Conservative Party

But the PM is also facing a revolt from within her own party, says the Times.

Pro-Brexit Conservative MPs have accused Theresa May of going over their heads to stave off the attempt to oust her through a vote of confidence.
A row erupted after Brexiteer MPs found that Mrs May had a conference call with local Conservative Party chairmen and women. MPs said that the prime minister should talk to her parliamentarians, not local associations, if she wanted them to back her Brexit plan.

Huffington Post turns its attention to the 48 letters of no confidence needed to trigger a leadership election.

Tory Brexiteer rebels have claimed they are “not far off” reaching the number of MPs needed to trigger a no confidence vote in Theresa May’s leadership.
Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, said on Friday afternoon it was “imminent”.
The leading member of the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteer Tory MPs told BBC’s Politics Live programme that by his count the number was “over 48 with another almost dozen probably on top”.

The Guardian says numbers are rising.

Theresa May is battling to halt a growing revolt from the Tory right after half a dozen more backbenchers came out in favour of a no-confidence vote and the organiser of the rebellion publicly predicted more MPs would follow next week.
The prime minister held a conference call with local association chairmen on Friday afternoon as she fought to head off a coup and sell her hard-won Brexit deal to a sceptical and partially hostile party.
Her efforts came after the number of backbenchers calling publicly for a no-confidence vote in May’s leadership increased to 23. Rebellious MPs said they were confident of reaching the required threshold of 48 letters to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee.

The latest Brexit secretary will not be able to negotiate with the EU, reports ITV News.

Theresa May has appointed former health minister Stephen Barclay as her new Brexit Secretary as Amber Rudd made a dramatic return to the Cabinet.
The appointments follow a backlash against Mrs May’s proposed
Brexit deal with the EU, including the resignations of several ministers and the threat of a leadership challenge.
The reshuffle came just hours after Mrs May was buoyed by declarations of support from pro-Leave ministers Michael Gove and Liam Fox.
Leave-supporting Mr Barclay will not have negotiation powers with the EU, which Mrs May will now take sole charge of.


Away from Westminster, the Telegraph reports on a surge in illegal immigration.

Seven men are huddled, cold and wet, in a car park at Samphire Hoe near Dover talking to a Coastguard Search and Rescue officer. Four have turquoise blankets wrapped tightly around their shoulders by the time an ambulance arrives on Friday lunchtime to check if they have any injuries or hypothermia.
On the rocks of a beach below, a dinghy with a small engine is deflating. Two lifejackets and a red fuel tank float limply inside it. A black glove and coat have been abandoned nearby on the pebble beach, which is overlooked by Dover’s white cliffs.
The men are Iranian, and have travelled overnight in their inflatable craft through thick fog across the English Channel, the latest migrants to arrive during an unprecedented week which has seen 55 caught by border patrol, in what is thought to be a rush ahead of the March Brexit deadline.


And the Times reports on the UN ‘expert’ who has criticised the UK.

A United Nations expert has compared Britain’s benefits system to China’s former one-child policy because it punishes mothers for having children.
Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, accused the government of ignoring the “damage to the fabric of British society” caused by changes in benefits.
After a 12-day tour of Britain, the Australian-born academic said that the universal credit system had plunged people into misery and despair and condemned the government’s policy of restricting benefits to a family’s first two children.

His report is a scathing indictment on our benefits system says the Guardian.

The UK government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity, the United Nations poverty envoy has found.
Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, ended a two-week fact-finding mission to the UK with a stinging declaration that levels of child poverty were “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster”, even though the UK is the world’s fifth largest economy,

The report compares the UK to China in the Mail

The UN’s poverty envoy today blasted Britain as ‘mean-spirited and callous’ and compared its benefits rules to China’s cruel one-child policy.
Special rapporteur Philip Alston’s controversial new report follows a two-week ‘human rights fact-finding visit’ to the UK.
Today he said 14million people – a fifth of the UK population – now live in poverty and 1.5million of them are destitute because they are unable to afford basic essentials.

The Telegraph says the system is ‘sexist’.

Britain’s welfare system is so sexist it may as well have been compiled by “a group of misogynists in a room,” a UN expert has claimed.
Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, warned that poverty in the UK is a “political choice” and that compassion and concern had been “outsourced” in favour of tax cuts for the rich.
In a damning 24-page report he brands levels of child poverty “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster” and said that limiting benefit payments to two children was as “forced and physical” as China’s one-child policy.
Critics of the UN’s involvement in UK politics suggested that the organisation should spend its time and money studying poverty in third world countries rather than the world’s fifth largest economy.

And the Mirror claims it’s all the Tory government’s fault.

The Tory Government has inflicted “great misery” with its “punitive and mean-spirited” welfare reforms, the United Nations have said.
A damning report said ministers were “in denial” about how the Universal Credit
 had  pushed people into poverty.
“Government policies have inflicted great misery unnecessarily, especially on the working poor, on single mothers struggling against mighty odds, on people with disabilities who are already marginalised, and on millions of children who are locked into a cycle of poverty from which many will have great difficulty escaping,” the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said.

Child grooming

Still more men of Asian origin have been found guilty of sexually exploiting girls, reports the Mail.

A gang of six men has been jailed for a total of 101 years after sexually exploiting five vulnerable teenage girls in Rotherham.
The men targeted girls who were ‘easy to exploit because they wanted to be loved’ – sexually abusing them in parks, abandoned buildings and secluded locations.
The offences were committed against five girls under 16 in the Rotherham area between 1998 and 2005.
Their abusers – all Asian men from Sheffield and Rotherham – were convicted of offences including rape and indecent assault.
The girls said in statements how the men had ‘destroyed’ them and that their childhood had been taken from them.

Breitbart also has the story.

Six men of Pakistani heritage have been handed jail sentences for sexually abusing five underage girls in Rotherham following an eight-week trial, during which jurors heard the men had “destroyed” their victims’ childhoods.
Mohammed Imran Akhtar, Nabeel Kurshid, Asif Ali, Iqlak Yousaf, Salah El-Hakam, and Tanweer Ali were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday, after they were convicted at the end of last month of 22 child sexual exploitation (CSE) offences which took place in Rotherham between 1998 and 2005.
According to local media, the men failed to show any remorse for the string of offences they committed, which included indecent assault, rape, and false imprisonment.

The Sun has a personal story about the abuse.

A GROOMING victim has opened about the horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of an Asian sex gang in Rotherham as they were caged for 101 years.
The men – who were found guilty last month – lured the young girls into joining them, then plied them with alcohol and drugs before passing them around men in the town for sex.
Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar, 37, Nabeel Kurshid, 35, Iqlak Yousaf, 34, Tanweer Ali, 37, Salah Ahmed El-Hakam, 39, and Asif Ali, 33, were jailed for the string of sex offences.
The gang forced one girl to have sex with at least 100 Asian men before she turned 16 as the gang “perpetrated, facilitated and encouraged” the abuse of five “vulnerable” girls.

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