UKIP

Most of the media cover the election, yesterday, of UKIP’s new leader Diane James, with many of them including a rather unfortunate picture of Nigel Farage moving in for a congrtulatory kiss with the new leder.

Reuters says:

The UK Independence Party picked a new leader on Friday to replace Nigel Farage, a key player in Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, with the incoming Diane James pledging to ensure Britain follows through with a full withdrawal from the bloc.

James, a former business analyst and the party’s deputy chairwoman, said she would work to ensure that the Conservative government did not negotiate a soft Brexit.

“The threats to the referendum outcome are increasing by the day,” she told around 1,000 delegates at the party’s annual conference in the southern English coastal town of Bournemouth.

“This is what I want you to believe in and work with me on: Yes to a true, 100 percent, European Union exit.”

A member of the European parliament with little public profile, James has the difficult task of succeeding one of the country’s most recognisable politicians after winning a ballot of UKIP’s 40,000 members with 47 percent of the vote.

Breitbart reports:

Diane James, favourite in the race to succeed Nigel Farage, has been elected to lead the UK Independence party (UKIP) following the historic Brexit vote in June.

The new party leader finished the race with 8,451 out of 17,970 votes cast in total — 47.6-per-cent.

Mrs. James is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Southeast England, Deputy Chairman of the party, and a seasoned media performer with experience out of politics, having trained as a business analyst before working in healthcare for more than 30 years.

ITV News reports:

Ukip deputy chairman Diane James has won the contest to replace Nigel Farage as the party’s leader.

The MEP, who was the frontrunner in the contest, took the top job with 8,451 votes.

The new leader said the party had “moved mountains on the political landscape” and was the “change movement of the United Kingdom”.

She also said the Government was stealing her party’s ideas, calling the prime minister “Magpie May”.

Nigel

There are also several reports of Nigel’s speech in which he called for a ‘hard Brexit’.

Reuters says:

Nigel Farage, the firebrand of Britain’s Brexit campaign, used his final speech as leader of the UK Independence Party on Friday to demand that his successor pushes for a “hard” EU exit that meets the demands of his party’s voters.

UKIP played a crucial role in the June 23 European Union referendum, tapping into anger at Brussels and rising anti-establishment sentiment to fuel a surprise 52-48 percent exit vote which rocked global financial markets.

But the party has suffered a series of bitter rows over its future direction since then and, with its main star Farage stepping down, faces a struggle to retain its influence over voters. His successor is due to be named later in the day.

Making his valedictory address at the UKIP annual conference in the southern English resort of Bournemouth, Farage said his party had “changed the centre of gravity” of British politics.

 

Brexit

But the media are also warning that Article 50, which is the start of the exit process, is not likely to be triggered this year. Reuters reports:

British Prime Minister Theresa May has signalled that she could be ready to launch formal Brexit negotiations in January or February next year, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Friday, citing a recent talk with May.

The prime minister herself has ruled out giving formal notification this year of Britain’s intention to leave the European Union under Article 50 of the EU treaty.

But beyond that, she has been vague about when her government might trigger the process, which would set in motion a two-year countdown to Britain’s exit.

“Prime Minister May was very open and honest with me,” Tusk said of his visit to London on Sept. 8.

“She declared it’s almost impossible to trigger Article 50 this year but it’s quite likely that they will be ready maybe in January, maybe in February next year.”

BBC News says:

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to trigger the formal process of leaving the European Union early next year, according to a top EU official.

European Council President Donald Tusk said Mrs May had told him the UK could be ready to begin talks by February.

The BBC’s Tom Bateman says this is the clearest sign yet of when the two-year withdrawal process may start.

Mrs May’s office said it would not be launched this year, but did not confirm Mr Tusk’s account.

Formal negotiations over the withdrawal cannot begin until the UK triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal mechanism for leaving the union.

Sky News reports:

Britain cannot expect access to the single market without accepting free movement of people, the European Commission president has claimed.

Jean-Claude Juncker, who is in Bratislava for the first summit of EU leaders without the UK, suggested there was no prospect of compromise between the two.

Mr Juncker said: “There is a clear interlink as we made clear at the very beginning between the access to the internal market and the basic principles of the internal market – namely the free movement of workers and we are sticking to that position.

“This is not a game between prime ministers leaving and prime ministers remaining, this is about people in Europe.

Describing Jean-Claude Junckers as ‘bitter’, the Express also reports his words.

BRUSSELS has wheeled out its big guns to tell Britain it will not be granted access to the EU single market unless it accepts freedom of movement.

Speaking after and EU summit in Slovakian capital Bratislava, the first since the UK’s historical decision to leave the bloc, top officials insisted their could be no compromise on the issue.

And they also warned Brexit talks would focus on protecting the interests of the remaining 27 member states.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “We want to have very good, very close relation with the UK.

The Mail says:

Theresa May will start Brexit negotiations with Brussels at the start of next year, EU leaders were told last night.

The Prime Minister has informed them it is ‘quite likely’ she will be ready to invoke Article 50 in either January or February. It would pave the way for Britain to have left by 2019.

European Council president Donald Tusk revealed the timetable for Brexit at a meeting yesterday in Bratislava of the leaders of the 27 countries that will remain EU members.

He said Mrs May, who was not at the summit, had informed him of her desire to start the two-year formal exit process in the new year when he met her in Downing Street a week ago.

Yesterday, at the end of the day of talks in the Slovak capital, Mr Tusk stressed that they would ‘protect the interests of the 27, not the leaving country’ in negotiations.

I hope we will be effective and maybe even stronger than before the British referendum,’ he added.

 

Germany

In other news, Breitbart reports that another independent group will not be tolerted by Angela Merkel.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to fight the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Sunday’s Berlin election and was met with boos at her own rally.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking no chances ahead of Sunday’s election in Berlin. Merkel has vowed to fight the anti-mass migration AfD, getting directly involved in the regional campaign.

The Chancellor has called on her supporters to counter the “lies” spread online by AfD supporters, but may face significant challenges as she was met with boos at her own rally, reports B.Z. Berlin.

EU

The Express reports a swift transition to the United States of Europe.

JEAN-CLAUDE Juncker has unveiled a five-point federalist roadmap designed to move the EU further towards becoming a United States of Europe within nine months.

The Brussels boss advocates the creation of an EU army, coastguard and the merging of eurozone economies in the bombshell dossier presented to leaders at today’s summit in Bratislava.

Arch-federalist Mr Juncker wants all of his ambitious reforms carried out by June next year at the latest, meaning the bloc will have changed beyond all recognition long before Britain officially quits.

The Guardian claims the EU is in crisis.

The European Union is in a critical situation, Angela Merkel has said, as she arrived in Bratislava for a special summit – without the UK – that hopes to set a new course for a project battered by Brexit.

We have to show with our actions that we can get better,” the German chancellor said. The bloc had to improve “in the domain of security, internal and external security, the fight against terrorism, the cooperation in the field of defence”, as well as defence and jobs, she added.

Donald Tusk, the European council president who chairs EU leaders’ summits, hopes to cool tempers in Slovakia after Luxembourg’s foreign minister called for Hungary to be thrown out of the EU for allegedly treating asylum seekers “worse than wild animals”. Hungary counterattacked with stinging criticism of the grand duchy’s record in helping big corporations avoid tax .

The Independent says the EU’s problem is all our fault.

EU Council President Donald Tusk told European leaders Brexit resulted from the “failures” of British politicians, as he invited them to discuss the UK’s departure from the Union.

He said anti-EU politicians often launched attacks on Europe to cover up their own shortcomings, a sentiment echoed in stinging comments made by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

It comes as leaders of 27 EU member states gathered in Slovakia to discuss the future direction of the bloc at a summit excluding Britain.

And the Times claims the UK could block the proposed Euro-army.

Britain will veto measures to build an EU army for as long as it remains a member of the union, the defence secretary has warned.

Sir Michael Fallon’s comments came as it emerged that France and Germany had drawn up a timetable to create a “common military force” that would rival Nato in army capability.

According to a document discussed by EU leaders at a summit in Bratislava yesterday, the European Commission will put forward proposals in December for the common military force, with the aim of agreement by June next year.

Scotland

ITV News claims Nicola Sturgeon has been warned about her views on Brexit.

The UK government has accused the SNP of “doom-mongering” with “increasingly alarmist” rhetoric about Britain’s future outside the EU.

In a speech in Glasgow, Scottish Secretary David Mundell warned the party to cease growing talk of a second independence referendum and instead embrace the “opportunities” of leaving the European Union.

Brexit could herald “a phase full of opportunity for Scotland within the UK”, he added, calling for “a positive and responsible approach from those in positions of responsibility”.

 

Defence

BBC News is one of those media who report the words of a former top military man:

The armed forces are ill-prepared to defend the UK against a serious military attack, a senior commander has warned the defence secretary.

In a memo before he retired in April as head of Joint Forces Command, Gen Sir Richard Barrons said key capabilities had been stripped out to save money.

He said Whitehall was “preserving the shop window” with items like aircraft carriers, the Financial Times reports.

Defence officials said Sir Richard had backed the last defence review.

The FT said it had obtained the 10-page private memo, which had been sent to Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.

It followed the government’s decision to raise defence spending by nearly £5bn by 2020-21 and its pledge to meet Nato’s target to spend 2% of GDP on defence for the rest of the decade.

 

Brittania

The Telegraph reports calls to bring back the royal yacht.

The Royal Yacht Britannia should be recommissioned and used to secure trade deals after the Brexit vote, dozens of MPs, former ministers and a senior former aide to the Queen say.

The politicians back a campaign by the Telegraph and call for the return of the “incredible” vessel, which was put out of service in 1997 by Tony Blair’s government.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, is understood to be considering a detailed proposal to return the yacht to the seas.

Sources said he sees it as “a great symbol of global Britain”.

MPs in favour of the plans believe it would boost links with the Commonwealth.

 

Farage

And finally, the Daily Star reports that Nigel Farage went skinny-dipping in Bournemouth last night. UKIPDaily just quotes the paper; we do not confirm the incident!

FORMER UKIP leader Nigel Farage spent what could be his last night in politics with a cheeky skinny dipping session off Bournemouth pier, a top aide has revealed.

Mr Farage has never been one to avoid the limelight.

The eccentric Brexiteer downed his fair share of booze at the UKIP party conference on the south coast.

And – determined to go out with a bang – it seems he stripped down to his birthday suit and went for a late night swim off the pier.

That’s according to key financial backer Aaron Banks.

He said: “We had a few drinks, it was late at night and we went skinny dipping off the Bournemouth pier.

“So if ever a man was about to leave British politics – that’s it.”

Banks made the claims to a stunned Radio 4 Question Time audience on Friday night.

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