Customs partnership

Has the Prime Minister finally acknowledged that the proposed ‘customs partnership’ won’t work? The Mail reports:

Controversial plans for a ‘customs partnership’ with the  EU have been quietly dropped following opposition from Cabinet Brexiteers.
Theresa May set up a Cabinet group last month to revive the option after it was mauled by Eurosceptic ministers.
But Whitehall sources revealed last night that almost no work has been done on the plan, with Government efforts focused on an alternative favoured by Cabinet Brexiteers.
Sources said the working group of Mrs May’s deputy David Lidington
, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox had met just once.

And the Guardian reports that a proposal for a joint customs arrangement in Ireland has also been ditched.

Downing Street has dismissed a mooted idea for a post-Brexit customs deal where Northern Ireland  would have EU and UK status and a “buffer zone” along its border with Ireland, saying it could not accept plans that treated the region differently from the rest of the UK.
The No 10 statement follows reports that David Davis, the Brexit secretary, had devised the idea as a possible workaround for a maximum facilitation customs scheme, avoiding a delay for the necessary technology to be ready.
According to the Sun, Davis had proposed Northern Ireland have a joint regime of UK and EU customs regulations, allowing it to trade freely with both, and a 10-mile wide “special economic zone” on the border with Ireland, thus avoiding checks there.

The Times claims the Brexit secretary has backed down over the issue.

David Davis has conceded that surveillance technology cannot be used to police the Northern Ireland border in a major climbdown that leaves Brexiteers’ favoured customs plan in disarray.
Pressure from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and concerns over civil liberties mean that a key part of the Brexit secretary’s blueprint to deal with the border has had to go back to the drawing board — with a crucial EU summit less than four weeks away.
Mr Davis is understood to have indicated this week that he would not push for solutions that involved monitoring or surveillance to track goods.

And the Independent claims his suggestion has been mocked.

David Davis has been mocked for coming up with “fantastical” solutions to the Irish border row after it emerged the government is considering a “buffer zone” between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Pro-EU MPs accused the government of “making it up as they go along” as reports suggested the  Brexit secretary was drawing up plans for a 10-mile area around the 310-mile border, under which local traders could operate under both UK and EU rules at the same time.
The Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) declined to comment directly on the plans but confirmed that work was underway to refine post-Brexit customs options.

Brexit

In an exclusive report, the Sun claims there a plan to stop Brexit.

THE boss of a powerful group of global statesmen has been secretly helping anti-Brexit campaigners meet with Brussels, The Sun can reveal.
Bombshell emails reveal the former head of the United Nations Kofi Annan has been covertly lobbying the EU’s chief negotiator about the pro-EU “Best for Britain” campaign.
The Ghanaian diplomat — who now heads up a group of ex-international leaders called The Elders — briefed Michel Barnier on the foreign-backed campaign to try stop the UK leaving next year.
Last night Brexiteers accused the former UN Secretary General of trying to undermine Theresa May’s exit talks.

And the Express reports that Soros is backing a ‘stop Brexit’ group with a lot of money.

MEMBERS of parliament and peers will be sent a roadmap next week outlining how they could stop Brexit in the latest ploy by a lobbying group – backed by billionaire George Soros – which has a war chest of £2.3m to spend on persuading parliament to reverse Brexit.
The campaign group, Best for Britain, wants MPs to introduce amendments calling for a second referendum on the final deal secured by Theresa May.
They also want included on the second 
referendum ballot paper an option for remaining in the EU.

Abortion

The possibility of the province having a vote on abortion is covered by the Times.

Theresa May has been warned that she lacks the parliamentary numbers to prevent a vote on  liberalising abortion in Northern Ireland.
Two government sources said that they expected that up to 20 Conservative MPs would join opposition parties to liberalise abortion in a rebellion fuelled by Penny Mordaunt, the equalities minister, who tweeted her support last weekend.
The government faces a difficult week after the   
Republic of Ireland voted to overturn the abortion ban.
On Monday Karen Bradley, the Northern Ireland secretary, or Ms Mordaunt will face an urgent question on the issue, while a debate called by the Labour MP Stella Creasy could come on Tuesday.

Labour Party

The official parliamentary opposition is under pressure, says the Mail.

Jeremy Corbyn is facing fresh pressure over  Brexit as his left-wing backers are poised to launch a major campaign to convince him to try to keep the UK in the EU.
Trade union leaders are joining forces with Labour MPs and members of the campaign group Momentum to launch a nationwide speaking tour this summer.
The Left Against Brexit tour wants to pile pressure on the Labour leader to radically change his policy and sign up to overturn Brexit.
But the campaign is likely to expose deep divisions within Labour, which is torn between its Brexit-backing heartland voters and Remain-backing southern activists.

The Express calls it a ‘rift’.

JEREMY Corbyn was facing a growing Labour rift over Europe last night after Left-wingers launched a grassroots anti-Brexit campaign. Former frontbencher Catherine West and MEP Julie Ward are among Labour figures expected to join a “Left Against Brexit” speaking tour of major cities this summer.
The organisation is seeking to pressure the hard-Left Labour leader into dropping his support for Britain’s departure from the EU.
It comes after 10 Labour MPs defied official party policy earlier this week by backing a campaign for a second EU referendum.

And the Mirror says the pressure is coming from the Labour left.

Jeremy Corbyn is facing further pressure from Labour MPs and leftwing activists to soften his stance on Brexit.
Ten Welsh Labour MPs have joined forces to campaign for a new referendum while a grassroots group is also hoping to persuade Corbyn and his allies of the leftwing case for a pro-EU position.
Campaign group Wales for Europe includes two shadow ministerial aides Anna McMorrin and Tonia Antoniazzi.

Despite reports in other media, the Independent claims it has an exclusive on the story.

Jeremy Corbyn faces mounting pressure to back a new referendum on Brexit  after a raft of London Labour MPs signed a letter calling for a vote on the final deal.
The open letter to 
The Independent signed by 18 MPs in total warns that a bad Brexit deal risks tearing the capital apart and concludes the public must vote on it themselves, a move that goes directly against Labour policy.
It comes after similar letters from Labour MPs in Wales, the Northeast and Merseyside and follows a new left-wing campaign to push the party to a more pro-EU position
.

And Sky News claims Labour and LibDem MPs have teamed up to try and force a second referendum.

A group of Labour MPs have joined the Liberal Democrats in calling for another referendum on Britain’s EU membership.
Eight Labour backbenchers, including four former shadow ministers, have signed an open letter calling for voters to be asked to choose between the final Brexit deal or remaining in the EU.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable and the party’s Brexit spokesman Tom Brake are also signatories, along with Labour MPs David Lammy, Tulip Siddiq, Wes Streeting, Mike Gapes, Neil Coyle, Rupa Huq, Virendra Sharma and Gareth Thomas.

EU

Meanwhile, trouble continues on the Continent, says Breitbart.

The European Union has been dealt a severe blow in Italy, with anti-establishment Five-Star and nationalist Lega forming a government including the eurosceptic Paolo Savona.
Italian president Sergio Matterella, an EU loyalist appointed by fellow politicians rather than elected by the people, used his usually ceremonial position to
block  the populist parties’ first attempt to form a government, claiming that Savona — their pick for economy minister — was unsuitable due to past criticism of the euro currency.

The Telegraph claims the new administration will print loads of money.

Italy’s new finance minister is an advocate of full-blown fiscal reflation and printed money to rescue Europe’s high-debt states, putting him on an inevitable collision course with Brussels and Germany’s policy elites.
After weeks of brinkmanship, the radical Five Star Movement and the anti-Lega nationalists have largely succeeded in forcing their own eurosceptic choice on the Italian political establishment. Professor Giovanni Tria is a soft-spoken but tenacious critic of the eurozone’s Fiscal Compact and the EMU apparatus of debt-deflation austerity.

Westmonster quotes the EU boss as telling Italians off.

Jean-Claude Juncker has just shows exactly what the EU is all about by telling the Italians to work harder, be less corrupt and stop blaming the EU for their problems…despite literally turning parts of the country into giant refugee camps.
The tone-deaf Europhile reportedly said: “Italians must take care of the poor regions of Italy, which means more work, less corruption, seriousness.
“We will help them as we have always done, but do not face the game of discharging responsibility with the EU: a country is a country, a nation is a nation, first countries, secondly Europe”.

And Order-Order reports the commission tried to deny Juncker’s words.

The European Commission attempted to delete footage of Jean-Claude Juncker insulting Italians from its video service and his spokesman has tried to deny he called the country workshy and corrupt.
Speaking at a Q&A yesterday, Juncker said: “Italians must take care of the poor regions of Italy, which means more work, less corruption, seriousness. We will help them as we have always done, but do not face the game of discharging responsibility with the EU: a country is a country, a nation is a nation, countries first, Europe second.”

Breitbart reports a call for the death of ‘populism’, which is defined as ‘support for the concerns or ordinary people’.

The establishment in Europe must unite to stop “rampant populism” ahead of European Union (EU) Parliament elections next year, Jean-Claude Juncker has said.
The Commission President, who earlier this month defied protest to speak at a lavish  ceremony  celebrating the “legacy” of  
Communist Manifesto  author Karl Marx, said that populist movements can be stopped as long as politicians stand up to “clearly and explicitly nail their [pro-EU] colours to the mast”.
“In a year’s time European citizens would have voted in a new European Parliament,” he told MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday, describing uncertainty over the political shape it will take as “a source of concern” for Eurocrats in Brussels.

Tommy

Following the jailing of activist Tommy Robinson, the Mail reports on the pro-Tommy protest.

Hundreds of demonstrators have assembled to protest Tommy Robinson’s arrest in a bid to secure the former English Defence League leader’s release from jail.
Around 500 protesters chanted ‘let Tommy out’ at police officers outside Leeds Crown Court on Friday.
The march saw Robinson’s supporters brand police officers a ‘disgrace’, as chants of ‘you ought to be ashamed of yourselves’ broke out.
The event was organised by the group Proud British, which claims on
Facebook  that its purpose is to ‘voice freedom of speech’ and ‘stop the strain on the NHS, schools and our public services’.

The Star also covered the demo.

ANGRY crowds have gathered in Leeds in support of jailed EDL founder Tommy Robinson.
One supporter threw a red flare on top of the court building and a bottle of Dr Pepper was thrown at a police officer.
A crowd of 500 gathered outside Leeds Crown Court to protest against Robinson’s 13-month sentence for contempt of court.
Demonstrators waved England flags and held placards in support of Robinson.
City centre traffic was brought to a standstill as the protestors make their way past Briggate.

Police

A hate campaign against the police has been launched by a High Street store, reports the Mail.

High Street cosmetics chain Lush was condemned yesterday after it launched an ‘anti-police hate campaign’.
The Home Secretary, crime chiefs and a police widow were among those ‘appalled’ by the company’s astonishing decision to put photos of police officers under the words ‘Paid to Lie’ in its shop windows to draw attention to the so-called ‘spy cops’ scandal.
They said the ‘crass and insensitive campaign’ – approved by the chain’s Jeremy Corbyn-supporting co-founder Mark Constantine – stereotypes all police officers as corrupt and ‘includes some fundamental misrepresentations of the facts’.

Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of ‘only wanting another referendum because she lost the first time’ says the Mail.

A Tory MP launched a scathing take down of  Nicola Sturgeon‘s bid to hold another independence referendum – saying she only wants one because she lost last time.
The SNP leader has vowed to relaunch her bid to tear Scotland away from the UK in the wake of the Brexit vote.
But Kwasi Kwarteng said the SNP promised the 2014 Scottish independence referendum was a once in a generation vote and should not go back on that.

Steel wars

Trade wars with the US are covered by several of the media. The Times reports:

Theresa May appealed to Donald Trump’s sense of fairness yesterday as she described as “unjustified” his decision to impose tariffs on EU steel and aluminium imports.
Adopting markedly more moderate language than other world leaders, the prime minister said that she was “disappointed” by the decision to impose a 25 per cent duty on European steel and a 10 per cent duty on aluminium, which both came into effect yesterday.
She avoided any mention of the need for retaliation, even as other EU figures
warned that tit-for-tat sanctions on goods such as Levi’s jeans and whiskey would come in on June 20. 

The Guardian also quotes the Prime Minister.

Theresa May has hit back at Donald Trump’s “unjustified” decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium producers, which has pushed the EU to the brink of a trade war with the US.
In her first direct intervention, more than 24 hours after the US announced the tariffs would be imposed on the EU, Canada and Mexico, May said the US should immediately rethink its decision, warning it would have ramifications for US defence projects.

Health

More care is needed for cancer patients, says the Times.

Cancer patients are being discharged from specialist care months or years before they are out of danger, research suggests.
A study by a team from the University of Texas used data on 2.3 million US cancer patients to determine for the first time how long after diagnosis they should be deemed at “high risk” of dying compared with the general population.
In some cases, including for lung and ovarian cancers, the calculated times were longer than the typical period during which NHS patients receive follow-up care.
UK patient representatives called for an urgent review into the findings’ relevance to NHS care.

The Sun also has the story.

CANCER survivors leave NHS care up to four years too early, a damning study suggests.
Ovarian cancer patients face a higher death risk for nine years after
diagnosis — seven years for lung and colon tumours.
But practice in NHS England sees medics stop monitoring them after five. It means returning tumours may not be caught until later when sufferers get more obvious symptoms. By then, survival chances are much lower.

And the Mail says cabinet members are not happy about the number of foreign doctors being allowed into the UK.

Theresa May is facing a Cabinet revolt over visa restrictions blamed for depriving the NHS of hundreds of foreign medics.
Jeremy Hunt is pushing for a temporary exemption for doctors and nurses to put a cap on skilled workers from outside the EU.
The Health Secretary says that while Britain is training more medical staff of its own, this process will take years – meaning more foreign staff are needed to fill NHS vacancies.

The Independent claims backbenchers are revolting.

Theresa May is facing a potential backbench revolt over the NHS‘ ability to fill vacant posts with  foreign workers, it has been reported.
A letter written by Heidi Allen, the MP for South Cambridgeshire, which has been signed by dozens of Tory MPs, has called on Ms May to relax immigration rules for NHS doctors and nurses.
Two-tier visas, which apply to skilled workers outside the EU, are currently capped at 20,700 a year. If the NHS wants to a hire skilled worker from outside of the EU, evidence must be provided that the position could not be filled by someone who is currently in the country. 

Development

We are losing our ‘green and pleasant land’ very quickly, says the Telegraph.

Greenfield land is being developed at the fastest rate for 25 years as campaigners warn that a Government drive to release land for houses means the countryside is being “concreted over”.
Farmland, forests and gardens are being swallowed up at an “alarming” rate, the Campaign to Protect Rural England said, with the acreage lost to property development soaring by 58 percent in the past four years, according to new research.
The CPRE has blamed a relaxation of planning rules for a surge in development in “wastefully low densities” in rural areas, which it blames on the Government’s “build more at any cost approach”.

Money

The problems hitting Visa are covered in several of the papers. The Telegraph reports:

Visa was thrown into chaos Friday evening when its payment system crashed across Europe, as thousands of people has their cards declined at supermarkets, major retailers and on public transport.
The card payments network, which can process up to 65,000 payments a second, said “service disruption” in Europe had stopped transactions from being processed.
In a statement early Saturday morning the company said its payment system was now operating at “full capacity” following a hardware failure.

The Times reports:

Shoppers across Europe struggled to make card payments yesterday when Visa’s payment systems went down.
Card users began experiencing problems in the middle of the afternoon, when chip and PIN and contactless transactions began to fail. Many were left stranded while travelling or unable to pay for groceries.
Users across the UK and the Continent were affected, although the problems were worse in some places than others. Some cash machines ran out of money as customers who were unable to pay by card withdrew cash.

The company has apologised, says the Mail.

Visa has apologised after a system failure prevented card payments across the UK and Europe.
The company said it ‘fell well short’ of its goal to ensure cards work reliably at all times, but assured customers that Visa is now operating at ‘close to normal levels’.
Visa users complained about the issue on social media on Friday evening, which was the result of a hardware failure.

Earthquake

London could be hit by an earthquake, says the Mail.

Scientists have found two fault lines running under London that could cause a magnitude 5 earthquake.
The faults move between 1mm and 2mm a year, with one running directly under central London and another under Canary Wharf.
While London is believed to be overdue a quake, researchers claim there is only a one-in-a-thousand-year chance of a magnitude 5 tremor occurring in the capital.
The last large earthquake to affect London occurred on the 6 April 1580 and was estimated to have been a relatively large magnitude 5.5. 

And the Star has also covered the story.

A SCIENTIST has warned London could suffer a massive 5.0 magnitude earthquake due to newly discovered fault lines.
The faults were found running below the capital and have the potential to cause damage.
Researchers from Imperial College discovered the fault lines – one running under central London and another below Canary Wharf.
Luckily, experts from the London university said there is only a one in a thousand year chance of an earthquake hitting.

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