Migrants

Today’s big story concerns the immigrants in small boats trying to get to the UK by crossing the Channel.  The Telegraph is one of the media reporting the Home Secretary’s decision to declare a major incident.

Sajid Javid is resisting calls for more patrol boats to be deployed to the Channel to tackle the migrant crisis despite last night declaring it a “major incident.”
The Home Secretary broke off from his holiday to “take control” of the situation as a further 12 migrants landed in Dover, bringing the number rescued since Christmas Day to 90.
Despite pressure from Tory colleagues, French politicians and the military Mr Javid is reluctant to order additional boats to the Channel for fear it could encourage more migrants to attempt the crossing.
A Home Office source said: “We believe we have enough boats operationally to deal with it.

The Times says he will not use extra resources.

Sajid Javid declared a “major incident” last night over the influx of migrants trying to reach Britain across the Channel but was poised to rule out extra resources to tackle the crisis.
Pressure was mounting on the home secretary from Labour and his Conservative colleagues to explain how the government would tackle the situation as fears grew that there may soon be fatalities.
The number of migrants saved in the Channel by British authorities since Christmas Day has reached 94.

Sky News says he has had talks with the French.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is facing calls to send in the Royal Navy after he declared the rising number of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel a “major incident”.
Mr Javid announced he was seeking an urgent call with his French counterpart, after holding talks with Border Force officials and the National Crime Agency, to address the problem following a spate of attempts by migrants to cross to the UK by boat.
Immigration minister Caroline Nokes will assess the situation during a visit to Border Force offices in Dover on Saturday.
She will be joined by the Kent port’s MP, Charlie Elphicke, who has called for more patrol boats in the Channel to tackle trafficking gangs.

BBC News reports he is concerned.

The rising number of migrants attempting to cross the Channel in small boats has been declared a “major incident” by the UK home secretary.
Sajid Javid has asked for an urgent call with his French counterpart about the situation.
The Home Office said there was “concern that it is only a matter of time before people lose their lives”.
It comes after at least 221 migrants have attempted to cross the Channel to England since the start of November.
Most recently, 12 people were detained off the coast of Dover in the early hours of Friday morning.

And Breitbart claims most of them are from Iran.

The UK’s Home Secretary has declared the illegal crossings across the English Channel from France a “major incident” after a sharp rise in boat migrants, mainly Iranian citizens, landing on Kent’s shores.
The Home Office said in a statement that Mr Javid has spoken to Border Force officials, Immigration Enforcement, and the National Crime Agency (NCA) and has asked for “an urgent call with his French counterpart over the weekend to reaffirm the continuing need for the UK and France to work closely together to tackle the problem.”
While migrant numbers arriving in boats from France have been rising since November, the past few days have seen unprecedented landings, with a total of 40 arriving in five vessels on Christmas day, at least three on Boxing day, 32 Iranians were intercepted in British waters on Thursday, and another 12 were detained off the coast of Dover on Friday.

Westmonster points out that they are coming from a safe country.

Concern is growing at the increasing number of migrants seeking to break into Britain illegally by boat, with the country coming across as a ‘soft touch’ and a former senior Home Office official urging the government to return migrants to France. Those seeking to enter Britain illegally are coming from a safe European country, they have no right to come to the UK.
40 migrants were discovered on 5 boats on Christmas Day alone, and all were brought to the UK. More migrants landed on a Kent beach yesterday, with another small boat discovered off Dover. Westmonster has asked the Home Office if any of those caught are being deported, but they have yet to confirm.

The Mail reports the Home Secretary will take ‘personal control’ of the situation.

Sajid Javid last night declared a ‘major incident’ over the surge in Channel boat migrants.
Amid mounting criticism of his handling of the crisis, the Home Secretary announced he was taking personal control of borders.
However he is still on holiday with his family in South Africa – 6,000 miles away. Aides refused to say whether he would curtail his  Christmas break.
Following a conference call with police and senior officials, Mr Javid appointed a ‘gold commander’ to oversee the response and asked for talks with his French counterpart.

The Guardian claims the migrants are desperate.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, has declared the rising number of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel a “major incident”, as campaigners and charities warned of increasing desperation among those attempting to make the journey.
Javid also appointed a gold commander to deal with the growing crisis and asked for an urgent call with his French counterpart to discuss the issue. MPs called for more patrols along the coast.
Two more inflatable boats carrying 12 men from Syria and Iran were intercepted on Friday, adding to the 82 migrants detained trying to cross the Channel since Christmas Day.

In an exclusive, the Sun claims he is being urged to bring in the Royal Navy to help.

SAJID Javid faces growing demands to call in the Royal Navy to stem the Channel migrant crisis as he declared it a major incident.
MPs from across the political divide united to call on the Home Secretary to swallow his pride and request the military’s help.
Anger erupted as it emerged the Border Force has just one of its five cutters available for service in the world’s busiest sea route.
At the same time, the number of illegals making crossings continued to spiral.
A further 12 men from Syria and Iran picked up in two more inflatable boats trying to reach beaches on the South Coast.
Their seizure brought the total to 92 in just four days since Christmas Day, and to 220 since November.

Almost a hundred people could have tried to get into the UK since Christmas, reports the Mirror.

The Home Secretary today declared a “major incident” as the number of desperate migrants intercepted in the English Channel hit almost 100 since Christmas Day.
Sajid Javid cut short his holiday as campaigners warned it was only a matter of time before people die in a mass tragedy in the cold, choppy waters between Dover and Calais – the world’s busiest shipping lane.
Two inflatable boats carrying 12 men from Syria and Iran were intercepted this morning, adding to 82 people detained since Christmas Day.
Border Force officials brought the men to shore at Dover and handed them over to immigration officials to be interviewed.

Brexit

As we edge nearer to ‘Independence Day’, the Telegraph has an exclusive report about governmental preparations.

The Government is failing to be “frank” with the public about the extent of no-deal preparations because it wants to shore up support for Theresa May’s “disastrous” Brexit deal, a civil servant says.
The official, who is involved in drawing up contingency plans, writes in The Telegraph that claims that Britain will “crash out” in the event of a no-deal Brexit are “absolutely untrue”.
Describing the claims as “Project Fear Mark III”, the civil servant says that “very detailed plans” have been made are now being executed to ensure that a cliff-edge Brexit is “simply not going to be an option”.

Without having to identify the civil servant who has made the comment, it is reproduced in the Telegraph.

Every day there is some fresh claim in the press – backed up by people who should (and perhaps really do) know better – that we must accept whatever outrageous terms we are offered by an intransigent EU because we are not prepared for no deal and it would be a disaster. This line is pushed by Remainer Cabinet ministers trying to scare us into swallowing the Withdrawal Agreement, and their friends campaigning for a second referendum – the Work & Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd’s brother Roland prominent among them.
This is Project Fear Mark (I think) III, which claims that we will all “crash out” over the white cliffs of Dover into the Channel at 11pm on 29 March 2019.

But the Prime Minister is not home and free yet, says the Express.

THERESA May is facing a new threat as a group of MPs threatened to topple her Government unless Britain gets a second vote on Brexit.
Pro-EU group Best for Britain is behind the scheme and has published a new report on the issue. The group wants British MPs to vote down Mrs May‘s Brexit deal when it finally arrives at Parliament in January. They then want a no deal outcome struck out.
MPs could also pass an amendment which stops the Government from collecting some taxes.
The report says: “The clearest opportunity for replacing no deal as the default option is through political pressure via the Finance Bill.

The Sun claims a second referendum is still a possibility.

REMAINER MPs have revealed a new push to force the Government into holding a second referendum on Brexit.
The House of Commons could bar ministers from raising taxes – bringing the state to a standstill.
The drastic step is proposed as a way of forcing Theresa May to carry out a dramatic U-turn and back a rerun of the 2016 vote.
Pro-EU campaign group Best for Britain has published a new report recommending the wrecking tactic.
It suggests MPs should vote down the PM’s deal next month, then vote to rule out a No Deal outcome.
The document says: “The clearest opportunity for replacing no deal as the default option is through political pressure via the Finance Bill.

And the BBC has come under fire for allowing its top presenter to spread propaganda, reports the Express.

LEFT-leaning Match of the Day host Gary Lineker is immune from strict guidelines on impartiality, the BBC admitted last night.
The former England footballer – the taxpayer-funded corporation’s highest paid presenter on £1.7million a year – uses Twitter to spread near daily anti-Brexit and pro-immigration messages. Many fellow broadcasters feel the 58-year-old’s political preaching breaches BBC guidelines.  But the broadcaster confirmed he was above the law because he is a sports presenter.
Lineker’s calls for a so-called People’s Vote to settle Brexit have irritated millions, not least because he uses his high-profile to spread his messages.

EU

In another exclusive, the Mirror claims the Prime Minister is hoping for more concessions from the EU.

Downing Street is pinning its Brexit hopes on Brussels chief Jean-Claude Juncker being able to successfully encourage EU leaders to agree to more concessions on Theresa May’s deal.
One senior aide to the Prime Minister told the Mirror the eurocrat was the UK’s “best hope” of reaching agreement with the EU, conceding that he was “put on this earth to negotiate”.
The Government is now hoping to get other EU leaders to sign up to a start date for the UK’s trading relationship with the bloc which could mean the controversial Irish border back stop could be avoided.
They believe this could be done without reopening the divorce deal, which Brussels has ruled out, but could nevertheless carry the legal force demanded by the PM’s Brexiteer critics.

And the Express reports that the bloc should have worked harder during the referendum campaign.

THE EU should have made a “stay with us” campaign during the Brexit debate, a leading candidate for European Commission presidency claims.
Manfred Weber, the conservative candidate to take over from Jean-Claude Juncker, complains serious mistakes were made by the European Union in the Brexit debate. The candidate for the European People’s Party has said that Europeans should have countered the Brexit campaign with a “stay with us” initiative. Mr Weber said “our silence was a mistake,” when talking about the EU’s strategy in the run-up to the referendum in June 2016.
Mr Weber, deputy chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the regional conservative party, said to the Editorial Network Germany: “We should have interfered during the Brexit campaign.

Breitbart reports that Sharia law could be adopted in the EU.

French legal expert Gregor Puppinck has said that a recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling in Greece could open up the door for limited aspects of Islamic sharia law to be adopted in Europe.
Puppinck, who serves as director of the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ) and is a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Panel of Experts on Freedom of Conscience and Religion, said that the ECHR ruling in Greece earlier this month runs counter to a previous judgement in 2003 that found sharia incompatible with “the fundamental principles of democracy,” Le Figaro reports.
The new ruling followed a case in which a Muslim woman in the Greek region of Thrace was deprived of her inheritance of her dead husband’s estate due to an application of sharia law which has been allowed in the region since the 1920s, despite his will naming her as his beneficiary.

New party

With previous promises of a new party seeming to bite the dust, the Times reports on yet another group which hopes to launch soon.

A new centre party will be launched in the new year with a vow to win the next general election.
United for Change, founded by the millionaire entrepreneur Simon Franks, wants to create a “true grassroots movement” that will practise politics without tribalism, confrontation, “yelling and finger pointing”.
The party has been developed in secret for almost two years by businesspeople and political donors who want to take advantage of anti-political sentiment in Britain. In an 800-word message to early supporters sent before Christmas, the party declared: “It is as clear as ever that Britain can do better than this.”

Rail travel

Away from front-line politics, the Times looks at the cost of travelling by train.

Rail passengers in Britain pay at least twice as much to travel as those in major European countries, leading to renewed criticism over rising fares.
Analysis of commuter fares in 40 European countries suggests that prices in the UK are the highest. Passengers paid the equivalent of 55p a mile in the past year compared with 29p in France, 21p in Spain and only 19p in Italy.
ares in Switzerland, often considered the best rail system in Europe, were 28p a mile.
Fares in Britain were four times higher than the average (14p) across the whole of Europe, it was claimed.

And the Mail reports the prospect of more strikes next week.

Rail workers are threatening yet more misery for commuters as they plan strikes for the new year as part of a long-running dispute over guards on trains.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) is warning of further industrial action as the bitter row approaches its third year.
The warning comes before a 24-hour strike on Saturday by RMT members on Arriva Rail North (Northern) and on South Western Railway on New Year’s Eve.
Services on both days will be disrupted, with buses replacing trains on some routes.
It will be the 42nd strike on Northern, with stoppages planned on every Saturday in January.

Drugs

The Times reports on a growing trend for drug use.

The number of people aged above 50 receiving hospital treatment after taking drugs has more than quadrupled in the past decade, The Times can reveal.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that NHS services are struggling to cope with a huge increase in older drug users, particularly driven by baby boomers continuing the hedonistic lifestyles of their youth.
Last year 7,800 people aged above 55 were admitted to hospital with drug-related mental or behavioural disorders. A decade ago the figure was 1,380, meaning that there has been an increase of 465 per cent.
The number of people aged 55 and above seeking treatment for cannabis misuse rose by more than 250 per cent over the same period, from 700 to 2,500.

Snow

And if you don’t like this mild, grey weather, there is a possibility that things could change soon, reports the Sun .

UK weather forecast experts have warned another Beast from the East could be set to hit the UK as early as next week.
The Met Office says a phenomenon called a Sudden Stratospheric Warming might cause snow storms and chilling winds to sweep in from the East triggering a cold snap like the record-breaker earlier this year.
Recent mild temperatures are set to plummet next week to more familiar wintry weather.
Meanwhile, a sudden warming in the atmosphere over the North Pole could bring dramatic effects to the UK in the coming weeks.

The Star has picked up the warning.

A SPELL of bitterly cold weather nicknamed the “Beast from the East” could batter Britain with snow and sub-zero temperatures in January.
Britain could face weeks of savage “wintry conditions” in the New Year after a relatively mild period of weather in December and over Christmas.
Aside from freezing fog this week, for which severe weather warnings were issued by the Met Office, the weather has been calm and settled over the festive period.
But from next week, a weather phenomenon called Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) is threatening to usher in cold snaps reminiscent of the “Beast from the East” that crippled Britain last winter.

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