Brexit

Brexit negotiations are not going well, says the Guardian.

The EU and UK Brexit teams working on the future rights of EU citizens in the UK and Britons in Europe have failed to reach agreement on 22 of the 44 issues under negotiation, a joint working paper has revealed.
A detailed colour-coded document  reveals there is agreement on 22 “green areas” but fundamental disagreements on 14 “red” issues and a further eight “amber” areas that need further clarification.
Among the red-light issues in the document, which is dated 19 June, is the UK’s requirement for “self-sufficient” citizens such as stay-at-home parents and students to have private health insurance or comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI).
Theresa May said this would no longer be required in her official proposal to the EU in June, but it remains sticking point, according to the working paper.

But the Sun claims our negotiating team have won a ‘major victory’.

DAVID Davis’ Brexit officials claim to have won a major victory against the EU – as Brussels gives Britain more time to publish its position over a whopping £85 billion divorce bill.
Sources claim EU negotiating chief Michel Barnier modified his address at the Commission HQ on Thursday at the last minute – to include an acceptance that details on the financial settlement will not come in “incremental steps”.
Officials say that while a technical point it is the first time the EU has given ground on the divorce bill – the most highly charged political issue of the entire first phase of the divorce negotiation.
In his address, Mr Barnier slammed Britain for refusing to accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. And he also said more “clarity” was needed on the UK’s position on the financial settlement.

The UKIP party website claims we will be betrayed.

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s plans for ‘transitional arrangements’ – including extending our open borders for several years – will lead to a betrayal of the Brexit decision, says UKIP interim leader Steve Crowther.
“Extending freedom of movement for two, three or four years produces no obvious benefit to anyone”, he said. “It is an EU principle, so ending it in 2019 or 2023 makes no difference to them.
“Business wants certainty, and that comes from sticking to the timetable, negotiating robustly and introducing clear border control policies that enable us to access the skills we need.
“Since the election, Theresa May is badly holed and unseaworthy, and the Remainer Philip Hammond – who was on his way out of the door before June 8th – now sees an opportunity to fudge, delay and obfuscate until the end of the current Parliament, to try and get the decision reversed.

The Express also considers we might.

ANGRY warnings of a “Brexit betrayal” were growing today after ministers signalled that Britain’s borders will stay open to EU migrants for up to another five years.
Government sources suggested that a deal had been agreed within the Cabinet for a temporary “implementation period” following the UK’s official departure from the EU in March 2019 until full national sovereignty is achieved.
And Euro-sceptic ministers including Michael Gove and Liam Fox indicated acceptance of the proposed transitional arrangements which could mean EU single market rules including free movement for EU migrants staying in force until 2022.
But Tory backbenchers and anti-Brussels campaigners were alarmed that the move will effectively delay the country’s freedom from the bureaucracy and keep an open door to mass migration.

But the Sun is more positive.

BRITAIN will quit the single market and customs union on the day we leave the EU, Liam Fox said today.
The International Trade Secretary rejected the idea of signing up to the EU bodies for a transition period – as he vowed to make the EU leader of a global movement for free trade.
Dr Fox is visiting the World Trade Organisation today to emphasise that Britain is ready to strike deals around the world as soon as we quit the control of Brussels.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that we cannot stay in the single market or the customs union past the official Brexit day in March 2019.
The minister said: “You cannot leave the European Union and be in the single market and the customs union.”

Potential transitional arrangements are covered by Westmonster.

Michael Gove revealed the Cabinet seems to have succumbed Remainers who want a transitional Brexit – this could tie Britain to the EU’s free movement of people rules for five years.
And Liam Fox has now called it “common sense” – Boris Johnson is also reportedly in favour. So all the bastions of Brexit have backtracked.
Gove said: “I think when it comes to an implementation period it should be driven by a pragmatic judgement about what we need in the best interests of our economy and in the best interests of guaranteeing a smooth exit from the EU, in line with the result the British people voted for just over a year ago.
“Pragmatism is the watchword.”
No – Brexit is the watchword and that’s now been seriously undermined.

EU

Meanwhile, across the Channel, the German legal system is in trouble says the Mail.

Germany‘s civil legal system is teetering on the verge of collapse due to refugees appealing decisions to expel them from the country.
That is the verdict of a senior judge who said that asylum seeker cases are ‘overwhelming’ the system.
‘The situation is dramatic for administrative courts,’ said Robert Seegmüller, chairman of the Association of German Administrative Law Judges.
‘The number of people bringing legal challenges against their asylum request decisions has overwhelmed the administrative courts.
‘We are now completely stretched to our limits.’

And it seems our favourite EU president is worried about his image in the British media, says the Sun.

EU BOSS Jean Claude Juncker turned down wine at a Brexit negotiation lunch to avoid being mocked in The Sun.
The famously thirsty EU Commission President joked with Brexit Secretary David Davis that the British press had accused him of drinking “two cognacs for breakfast — but they are are wrong, I have four.”
Concerns about Mr Juncker’s drinking habits have been raised throughout his presidency and are a constant source of Brussels gossip.
An insider said: “Juncker popped into Davis and Michel Barnier’s lunch, when offered a glass of wine he said ‘non, the British papers will only say I was drunk’”.

The Express reports that the block is still making unreasonable demands of us.

BRUSSELS has demanded that European citizens living in Britain should be allowed to bring in their spouses of other nationalities.
British and European Union (EU) negotiators have laid out their disagreements after a first week of talks on a treaty to disentangle the country from the EU in 2019 while limiting disruption to the economy and people’s lives.
And one major point of disagreement is the rights of EU experts living in the UK.
The EU is demanding that its citizens living in Britain are able to marry non-EU citizens and bring those people to live with them in Britain without restriction.

Labour Party

In domestic politics, it seems there’s an impending coup, reports the Times.

Hard-left Labour supporters are plotting to depose the party’s deputy leader over what they see as disloyalty to Jeremy Corbyn.
The activists are pushing to replace Tom Watson, a centrist, with Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, who is close to the party leader.
Mr Watson is viewed by the Labour leader’s allies as an alternative power base and therefore a threat to Mr Corbyn’s control of the party. Grassroots supporters have accused the deputy leader of trying to place anti-Corbyn members on the party’s governing body.
He has also sparked anger among the left by branding Momentum, the leader’s network of supporters, a “rabble” and accusing “Trotsky entryists” of influencing its younger members.

The Sun also has the story.

LABOUR’S hard left are plotting to oust deputy leader Tom Watson, it emerged last night.
Jeremy Corbyn supporters want to replace the centrist long-standing MP with Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, a Corbyn ally.
Activists – angered by being called a “rabble” by Mr Watson – believe he is a threat to their growing power base.
Plotters are also considering creating a second deputy leadership role for a woman to clip Mr Watson’s wings, according to The Times. 

The far-left Morning Star claims the Labour leader will do his best to charm the Scots.

JEREMY CORBYN will take his summer campaign to Scotland next month, as Labour takes advantage of the squabbling among Tory frontbenchers and Theresa May’s plummeting popularity.
The Labour Party aims to build on successes in last month’s general election and be ready to form a government when Ms May’s lack of a majority leads the country to the polls again.
Mr Corbyn will spend five days speaking to supporters across Scotland, hitting 18 marginal seats currently held by the SNP. Labour needs to win 64 seats across Britain for a majority.
Target constituencies include Glasgow South West, Glasgow East, Airdrie and Shotts, Lanark and Hamilton East, Motherwell and Wishaw, Inverclyde and Dunfermline and West Fife, where swings of less than 1 per cent are required for Labour to win.

Immigration

Immigrant figures make stories today. The Times reports a huge rise in the UK population.

Net migration has added a quarter of a million people to the population each year for the past 12 years, according to official figures published yesterday.
The figures show the impact of the expansion of the EU when Britain’s job market was opened to eight east European countries including Poland and the Baltic states.
In recent years immigration has been the main driver of population growth rather than the number of births over deaths. “Natural change has seen an increase in the population but the main driver of the growing population, particularly since the 1990s can be attributed to net migration,” an Office for National Statistics overview of the population said.

Breitbart also carries the figures.

An overview of the British population has revealed it is at its highest ever level, with experts claiming it will rise from 65 to 77 million in the next 22 years, largely due to immigration.
The data, revealed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed a total of 588,000 people entered the UK in 2016, yet just 339,000 left. Net migration has added an average of 250,000 to the UK’s population each year since 2004.
Immigration has been higher than emigration since the 1990s, when Tony Blair’s Labour came to power, with net migration — the difference immigration between and emigration — peaking in 2014.

And BBC News reports that the means of measuring immigration just aren’t good enough.

UK methods of measuring immigration are “wholly inadequate” and must be improved if ministers are to take control of the issue, say peers.
“Flawed” sample surveys used to calculate net migration mean ministers risk formulating policy “in the dark”, the House of Lords report concludes.
The government has pledged to reduce net migration – estimated to be 248,000 in 2016 – to 100,000 or less.
It says it is working to improve statistics on EU nationals in the UK.
The pledge to reduce net annual migration – the difference in the number of people coming to the UK for a year or more and those leaving – to the tens of thousands was included in the 2010, 2015 and 2017 Conservative manifestos.

The Mail reports a court case in which people smugglers were jailed.

A British pilot and his accomplice were today sent to prison in France for trying to fly illegal migrants to the UK at a cost of £10,000 each.
In the first prosecution of its kind, David Green, 54, and Edward Buckley, 46, were accused of being members of ‘an extensive network of English people smugglers’.
Both were caught on Monday as they tried to take off from an airfield in Marck, near Calais, in a Cessna plane with four Albanians on board.
They were fast tracked for a criminal trial at Boulogne-sur-Mer Correctional Court, and each sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
Green – a professional architect – and Buckley, a carpenter, were found guilty of ‘assisting the movement of illegal immigrants in an organised gang’.

NHS

Mixed-sex wards are again in the news with the Mirror claiming numbers have soared.

The number of patients enduring the humiliation of mixed-sex hospital  wards has soared by almost 50% under Theresa May.
More than 8,500 patients were put in such wards during the Prime Minister  ’s  first year at No10, up on 5,700 the year before.
Hospitals are fined £250 per patient per day for breaching rules on keeping patients on single-sex wards.
But Labour said Tory cuts mean hospitals are “bursting at the seams” with no choice but to breach the rules.
MPs last night described it as a “scan­­dal”, saying mixed-sex wards are an “affront to basic human dignity”.

Education

The Mail reports that exam markers have got grades wrong.

Exam markers have admitted to a string of cases in which pupils originally given an E grade in their GCSEs or A-levels had the paper re-marked up to an A grade.
Newly released data reveals many pupils’ exam scores have been so wrong that they were bumped up two, three and even four grades when the papers were re-marked.
Details from the exams watchdog Ofqual have shown around 230,000 cases in the last three years in which poor marking was only uncovered when the papers were re-submitted.
Although these cases were all eventually put right, some education experts fear there could be many more incorrectly marked papers which have gone unchallenged.
For some students, an exam marking blunder could mean they lose their place at their chosen university.

Sturgeon

North of the border, it seems that the Scottish first minister has received a serious snub, says the Mail.

Nicola Sturgeon will no longer be granted access to Prime Minister Theresa May in a highly provocative move which is likely to cause a major row with the SNP.
From now on, the SNP leader will only get to deal with Scottish Secretary David Mundell because ministers believe ‘he is at the same level as her’.
Since she became Prime Minister, Mrs May has held several face to face meetings with Miss Sturgeon to discuss issues including Brexit and aspects of devolution.
The First Minister was the first major leader the Prime Minister met just days after she entered Downing Street for the first time.
But the doors of Number 10 will now be firmly closed to Miss Sturgeon in a deliberate attempt to downgrade her stature. 

The Express claims it’s a ‘slap-down’.

NICOLA Sturgeon has been told she can no longer have meetings with Theresa May in a Brexit slap down.
The Scottish National Party leader will only be allowed to speak to Scottish Secretary David Mundell.
Number 10 told Ms Sturgeon that Mr Mundell was the “same level as her”, which is likely to receive a backlash from the nationalist party.
The move comes after the SNP leader had a number of meetings with Mrs May to discuss the impact of Brexit on Scotland.
But following a poor showing in the general election Ms Sturgeon has become a less profile figure, reining in her demands for a new independence referendum.

Environment

The problem of microbeads is being addressed by the government, says the Independent.

The Government is to go ahead with a ban on “rinse-off” plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products following a public consultation, it has announced.
The proposal comes amid increasing evidence that tiny plastic particles are damaging marine life and could even pose a serious risk to human health.
Exfoliating scrubs, shower gels and toothpaste are among the products to be affected.
The cosmetics industry resisted calls for “leave-on” products like make-up and sunscreen to be included in the ban, saying they would have to reformulate up to 90 per cent of their products, which would be “difficult” and “expensive”.
The Government, which will introduce the necessary legislation later this year, said an expert committee would consider whether other products should be included in the ban, which would be enforced by warnings and fines.

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