Brexit

It seems there are two reactions to the Brexit plans unveiled by former foreign secretary Boris Johnson. The Telegraph reports:

Prominent Conservative Eurosceptics have lined up behind Boris Johnson’s  Brexit vision, including Jacob Rees-Mogg and the party’s former Brexit minister who described it as a “pivotal” moment.
The former foreign secretary’s 4,600-word essay, entitled My plan for a better Brexit, sets out his proposal for a Canada-style free trade deal which he said would fulfill the British people’s demand to leave the European Union.
Mr Johnson’s essay represented a major intervention in the Brexit debate with the timing of its publication, coming as Tory activists prepare to head to Birmingham for the Conservative Party’s annual conference, likely to prompt controversy. 

The Mail also lauds the plans.

Brexiteers today hailed Boris Johnson’s furious attack on Theresa May’s Chequers plan – as she faces a make or break party conference where she will come under pressure to ditch it.
The ex foreign secretary savaged the plan as a ‘moral and intellectual humiliation’ and unveiled his own six-point proposal for a ‘super-Canada’ style free trade deal.
Leading Eurosceptics lined up to heap praise on his 4,500-word Brexit manifesto, published in his weekly newspaper column, and urged the PM to adopt his vision.

But the Prime Minister has rejected the plan, says the Telegraph.

Theresa May has launched a direct attack on Boris Johnson’s alternative Brexit vision as Government sources said it would “guarantee no deal and put jobs at risk”.
On the eve of the Conservative Party Conference, Mrs May refused to bow to Mr Johnson’s demands for a Canada-style deal as a Brexit plan B.
Downing Street pointed out that Mr Johnson, who has called on Mrs May to rip up the “backstop” agreement for Northern Ireland, was a member of the Cabinet that agreed the backstop in December.

The Mail also has a ‘contra’ story.

Downing Street rounded on Boris Johnson last night following his latest attack on Theresa May’s Chequers plan.
Insiders accused the former foreign secretary of putting jobs and national unity at risk.
In a 4,600-word article, he had claimed the Chequers proposals were a ‘moral and intellectual humiliation’ that would cheat the electorate. And in a series of interviews, he refused four times to rule out challenging Mrs May for the Tory leadership.

And the Guardian also reports on the attack on Boris’ plans.

Furious ministers rounded on Boris Johnson  for suggesting the UK could renege on its Brexit agreements over the Irish border, calling it unworkable and criticising the former foreign secretary for denouncing agreements made while he was a cabinet minister.
The Department for Exiting the European Union issued a defiant statement rejecting Johnson’s alternative, laid out in a 4,000-word Telegraph article, saying it was “not a workable or negotiable plan,” less that two days before the start of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham.

The Express reveals that ministers knew three decades ago that the UK would hand over sovereignty to Europe.

A SECRET document prepared for pro-Europe Tory Prime Minster Edward Heath shows how the Foreign Office knew EU membership would dismantle Britain as a sovereign nation.
More damningly, in line after line, the faceless Whitehall mandarins behind the astonishing briefing paper FCO 30/1048 actively welcome Britain’s decline and Europe’s predominance.
The briefing paper acknowledges that Britain would in time become little more than a puppet state of Brussels, after ceding judicial and executive powers to the fledgling EU – then called the EEC.

And, in a story reported by Reuters, a leading campaigner seems to have given up the fight.

Gina Miller, who took the British government to court over triggering Brexit, said if Britain leaves the European Union next year all sides must accept the result and the campaign to remain in the bloc should be abandoned.
More than two years since the 2016 EU referendum, the United Kingdom, its politicians and its business leaders remain deeply divided over Brexit while Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to clinch a divorce deal with the EU.

Ireland

The Sun reports that Ireland is being used as punishment.

BREXIT Secretary Dominic Raab has accused EU chiefs of twisting the Irish dilemma and plotting to break up the UK as ­punishment for leaving.
Brussels proposals for a customs border  between Britain and Northern Ireland were rejected by Theresa May — sparking the current impasse.
But Mr Raab says that while some in the EU Commission see it as a genuine solution to keep the Irish border open, others are “using it for political purposes”.

And the Independent reports on the reaction by DUP MPs on Boris’ plans.

Adopting Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans would leave the Conservatives’ commons majority at risk of collapse after their Northern Irish  DUP  partners branded the proposals too “vague”.
The party’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said a Canada-style trade deal advocated by Mr Johnson and other Brexiteers was ‘not something we could support’.

Westmonster also reports comments by the DUP leader.

The Leader of the DUP in Westminster, Nigel Dodds, has slammed EU ‘intransigence’ as a block to negotiating a deal in the Brexit negotiations.
In a statement, the DUP MP said: “The Dublin government and the EU has weaponised the idea of an Irish backstop against the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland’s position within it.
“Their intransigence is now causing the real prospect of a no deal.”
Dodds continued, saying that his Northern Ireland party would support a deal if it respected the integrity of the United Kingdom: “We will judge any proposals about the way forward against the test of whether they preserve and respect the political, constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom.

EU

Meanwhile, over on the Continent, Mrs Merkel has been accused of trying to ensure Brexit fails, says the Sun.

ANGELA Merkel wants to stop Britain thriving after Brexit and Theresa May must not see her as the UK’s “champion”, David Davis blasts.
The former Brexit Secretary said only French president Emmanuel Macron is taking a harder line against the UK than the German Chancellor, accusing them of being ‘emphatic about us not being seen to succeed’.
Speaking to the Evening Standard on the eve of Tory conference, Mr Davis predicted the negotiations will “go the distance”, with any trade deal being clinched only at the last minute.

Westmonster claims Mrs Merkel’s people are getting fed up with Barnier.

German politicians in Angela Merkel’s own party are getting fed up with the hardline approach from Brussels in the negotiations.
Spiegel report Germany’s Norbert Rottegen, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, as saying: “You can not run the Brexit negotiations by constantly repeating EU beliefs.
“As regrettable as Brexit is, we should now try to make something sensible out of it.”

The former Brexit secretary has criticised Macron in the Express.

DAVID Davis has lashed out at Macron and accused the French leader of attempting to stop Britain getting a good Brexit deal.
The former Brexit Secretary also hit out at Germany’s Angela Merkel as he accused the duo of taking an anti-British line.
But he picked out France for the sternest criticism as Theresa May’s Chequers plan facing being scrapped leaving Britain heading for a no-deal scenario.

The Telegraph criticised EU leaders’ reaction to the PM’s Chequers proposals.

For Liam Fox, the rancour over Theresa May’s treatment at the hands of European leaders at  the disastrous Salzburg summit still lingers.
In an interview with The Telegraph he said her treatment by EU leaders at the meeting, which saw them unanimously reject her Chequers plan, went “beyond the pale”.
“I thought the behaviour was unacceptable,” the International Trade Secretary said. “To openly taunt the Prime Minister, when of all people she is one the most polite and well mannered, was way beyond the pale. 

The current foreign secretary has claims Russia would be happy with no-deal, says the Times.

President Putin would love a no-deal Brexit, Jeremy Hunt has claimed as he called for “deeply unreasonable” EU negotiators to change their approach.
The foreign secretary warned that a withdrawal from the bloc without a settlement would destabilise Europe, and that such an outcome would play into the hands of the Kremlin.
He laid the blame for the failure to make progress in the Brexit talks firmly at the door of European negotiators, claiming that Theresa May had shown “enormous flexibility”.

The Mail has a story about profligacy by a Conservative MEP.

A Tory Euro MP blew up to £30,000 of Brussels expenses on a Brexit-promoting banquet for 200 guests and an office which is now boarded up, it was claimed last night.
Amjad Bashir is said to have used the European Parliament allowance to splash out on fine wines and lavish meals to promote his political career – and pay for his son’s parking fines.
The MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, 66, who defected to the Tories from Ukip in 2015, held the £15,000 banquet in 2017 for guests including ex-Conservative Party chairman Patrick McLoughlin.

Conservative Party

The Labour Party are still having a go at the government, says the Independent.

Labour has accused Theresa May of leading “the most divided government ever” as it released a dossier claiming a third of Conservative MPs have publicly criticised either the government or a Tory colleague within the last year.
On the eve of the Conservatives’ annual conference, Labour said more than 100 Tory MPs have recently turned their fire on a colleague or on government policy.
The report said 80 per cent of the attacks were directed at Ms May or her government, with 83 MPs having criticised one of the two.

BORIS Johnson has refused four times to rule out standing against Theresa May if she won’t dump her Chequers plan for Brexit.
The former Foreign Secretary praised the Prime Minister but repeatedly dodged questions about whether he was gearing up for another Tory leadership bid.
It comes as he blasted Mrs May’s Brexit blueprint and outlined his own “Super Canada” arrangement in today’s Telegraph.

The Express also reports on Tory problems.

BORIS Johnson intensified the Tory infighting over Brexit tonight by repeatedly refusing to rule out a leadership challenge. In a fresh onslaught at Theresa May’s plans for an EU deal, the former Foreign Secretary insisted he would not be silenced in his campaign for an alternative vision of Britain’s future relationship with the bloc.
He also claimed the Prime Minister’s blueprint would be “a triumph for Brussels” if it was agreed and called instead for a “Super-Canada deal” instead.

Sky News points out that his comments come just before the Tory conference.

Boris Johnson is a politician that loves the spotlight but since he resigned from Theresa May’s cabinet in July in protest over the Chequers plan, he has kept away from the cameras.
And yet, on the eve of the party’s annual conference in Birmingham, the former foreign secretary is back on the small screen to send Theresa May a message that will delight grassroots members: You must chuck Chequers.

He has issued a warning reported by BBC News.

Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out challenging Theresa May for the Tory leadership as he warned of “political and economic disaster” if she stuck by her Brexit strategy.
Asked four times by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg to rule out a challenge, the ex-foreign secretary said: “My job is to speak up for what I believe in.”
Mrs May would stay in office “as long as she feels it necessary,” he said.

The Independent has picked up the story.

Boris Johnson has not ruled out challenging  Theresa May for the Tory leadership ahead of the party’s annual conference.
The ex-foreign secretary was twice asked whether he would rule out launching a bid against the prime minister, but would not do so.
Instead he again warned the prime minister there is time for her to ditch her Chequers  proposals for Brexit, having earlier in the day set out his own ideas in a sprawling newspaper article.

Cyber attack

Elsewhere, the Times reports on an attack on Facebook.

A cyberattack on Facebook exposed the personal data of 50 million users, potentially enabling hackers to take control of their accounts.
Only months ago, the social media network admitted failing to protect the information of 87 million users, which was sold to the data firm Cambridge Analytica without users’ knowledge or consent.
Facebook did not say whether British users were among those affected in the latest incident. It has notified the authorities in Ireland, where its European operations are based, indicating that European users were affected.

The Mail also reports the breach.

Facebook has discovered a massive security breach affecting 50 million user accounts – including those of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.
The social media giant said attackers exploited the site’s ‘View As’ feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to other users.
The unknown attackers took advantage of a feature in the code called ‘Access Tokens,’ to take over people’s accounts, potentially giving hackers access to private messages, photos and posts – although Facebook said there was no evidence that had been done.

ITV News claims the breach hit 50 million people.

Facebook has suffered a security breach affecting nearly 50 million users.
In a post on the social network’s news site, Facebook vice president of product management Guy Rosen said: “On the afternoon of Tuesday September 25, our engineering team discovered a security issue affecting almost 50 million accounts.
“We’re taking this incredibly seriously and wanted to let everyone know what’s happened and the immediate action we’ve taken to protect people’s security.
“Our investigation is still in its early stages.

Education

Head teachers marching in London are reported in the Times.

More than 1,000 head teachers marched to Downing Street yesterday to demand more money for schools.
The protest, organised by the campaign Worthless?, is calling for extra cash to tackle problems including overcrowded classrooms, a shortage of teachers and no money for school trips.
Many said that they had cut their services to the bone, with arts subjects and pastoral support most vulnerable. In July the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that total school spending per pupil had fallen by about 8 per cent in real terms in England between 2009-10 and 2017-18.

The Guardian puts the numbers higher.

An estimated 2,000 headteachers and senior school leaders converged on Downing Street to deliver what organisers called an unprecedented protest at the damaging effects of shrinking budgets on their schools and colleges.
After a rally at Parliament Square, the headteachers marched down Whitehall to hand in a letter to Philip Hammond, the chancellor, explaining that their school budgets were in danger after seven years of austerity.
The march was organised through WorthLess?, a grassroots campaign for improved school funding started by Jules White, the headteacher of Tanbridge House school in Horsham, West Sussex.

BBC News puts the numbers in the hundreds.

“Relentlessly reasonable” is an unusual rally cry – but this was no ordinary demonstration.
Hundreds of head teachers – the men in smart suits, the women in business wear – came to Westminster to make their point about school funding in England.
Ripples of applause filled Parliament Square – their meeting point and the scene of many a demonstration over the decades.
“Don’t be chaining yourselves to the railings now ladies,” someone joked.
It was clear that these protesters, passionate though they may be, would not have dreamt of it.

The Morning Star outlined the reasons for the demo.

THOUSANDS of head teachers gathered in central London today to demand extra funding for Britain’s broken schools.
The campaign group WorthLess? called for more money to tackle issues such as overcrowded classrooms, staff recruitment, problems of low staff retention and poor working conditions, which have been exacerbated by savage Tory cuts.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that per pupil, school budgets have been slashed by 8 per cent in real terms since 2010, while nearly 538,000 more pupils have joined state schools.

Rail travel

It’s autumn, so there must be leaves on the rail lines. The Times reports how the rail companies will cope.

Rail companies are preparing to run trains early and skip some station stops to overcome autumn leaves on the line.
New timetables will be introduced by some operators from Monday to give drivers more time to reach their destination. In some cases trains will leave three minutes early and quiet stations on busy routes will be skipped during off-peak times.

Air travel

And air passengers are not faring well either, says the Mail.

Thousands of passengers across Europe have been left stranded after Ryanair cancelled around 250 flights today due to strikes by staff.
A dispute over pay and conditions between the budget airline and staff in six European countries saw them walk out for 24 hours, affecting 35,000 flyers.
Among those affected was Danielle Breckenridge, who was hoping to be able to make it to her father’s wedding in eastern Europe with her baby daughter.

NHS

There are more problems with the NHS, says the Telegraph.

The country’s worst GP surgery has been revealed as a practice where nine in ten patients struggle to get through to a receptionist on the phone.
The study of every GP practice in England shows that overall, Church Lane Surgery in Braintree Essex fares worst for “overall experience”. In total, 45.3 per cent of patients polled described it as poor.
The same surgery is also ranked worst for getting through on the phone – with 92.6 per cent saying it was not easy to get hold of a receptionist.

But the obesity epidemic continues, reports the Times.

NHS spending on equipment designed to cope with obese patients has risen by two thirds in the past three years, analysis by The Times has revealed.
Extra-wide mortuary fridges, reinforced toilets, oversized nappies and special surgical dissecting equipment are among the items bought by hospitals and ambulance trusts to handle the heaviest patients.
A quarter of adults in England are obese, compared with a sixth in 1993, according to NHS Digital. The government has said that it will reduce rates of childhood obesity by half by 2030. In 2016-17 one in five children in year six and one in ten children in reception was classified as obese in England.

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