Second Brexit referendum
A couple of stories dominate the media today. The first is the news that the government has rejected calls for a second referendum on the question of Brexit.
The British government has rejected a petition signed by 4.1 million people calling for a second EU referendum.
The petition, which went viral on social media as distraught Remain-supporters sought to overturn the Brexit result, has been the most popular ever published on the government’s website – although there are doubts about the authenticity of many signatures.
However, in a reply issued today, the Foreign Office dashed the hopes of pro-EU activists, stating: “The European Union Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December 2015, receiving overwhelming support from Parliament. The Act did not set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout.”
The Mirror reports:
The Government has rejected a petition signed by more than 4.1 million people calling for a second referendum on Britain’s European Union membership.
The call marked the most-signed Government petition since the format was introduced in 2011.
Normally, petitions which reach more than 100,000 signatures must be considered for debate in parliament.
However, in an official reply, the Government said the decision by 33 million people – 52 per cent of voters – for Brexit must be upheld.
The reply said: “The European Union Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December 2015, receiving overwhelming support from Parliament. The Act did not set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout.
The Independent’s view is:
The Government has rejected a call for a second referendum on European Union membership in a petition that was signed by more than 4.1 million people following the Brexit vote.
It was the most-signed Government petition since the process was introduced in 2011.
However in an official reply, the Foreign Office said 33 million people had had their say and “the decision must be respected”.
“We must now prepare for the process to exit the EU,” it said.
The petition, which was set up by a Brexit supporter before the referendum was held, had called for the Government to annul the results if the Remain or Leave vote won by less than 60 per cent on a turnout of less than 75 per cent.
The other popular story is that the former deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, saying the war with Iraq was illegal. He makes the claim in his column in the Mirror.
John Prescott today turns on old boss Tony Blair to declare the Iraq War illegal.
And he makes a heartfelt apology to families of 179 dead UK soldiers for the part he played as Deputy PM.
Of UN chief Kofi Annan ’s assessment the invasion was illegal, Lord Prescott adds: “I now believe him to be right.”
He blames Mr Blair for not allowing Cabinet ministers sufficient documentary evidence to base decisions on.
Lord Prescott says there was no paperwork even when Attorney General Lord Goldsmith told the Cabinet the war was justified.
And this is reported in the Mail.
Lord Prescott made the admission in a newspaper column just days after Sir John Chilcot’s report into the lead-up to the war was published and savaged Blair.
The Labour heavyweight used his strongest language yet to condemn Blair’s decision to take party in the Iraq War, a decision he supported at the time.
And the Times.
The former Labour deputy prime minister John Prescott said last night he now believes the Iraq War was illegal.
Prescott, who voted in favour of the invasion in 2003, said: “I live with the decision of going to war and its catastrophic consequences for the rest of my life.
“In 2004, the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, said that as regime change was the prime aim of the Iraq War, it was illegal. With great sadness and anger, I now believe him to be right.”
The Guardian also covers the story.
Britain broke international law when it invaded Iraq in 2003, its deputy prime minister at the time, John Prescott, said on Sunday in the wake of the Chilcot report’s criticism of the decision.
A seven-year inquiry concluded on Wednesday that former British prime minister Tony Blair’s justification, planning and handling of the Iraq war involved a catalogue of failures, but did not rule whether the war was legal.
Eight months before the 2003 invasion, Blair told US president George W Bush: “I will be with you, whatever.”
Breitbart reports that Paul Nuttall has declared he will not fchallenge for the leadership of the party.
In a surprise announcement, Paul Nuttall has said he will not be standing in the race to succeed Nigel Farage as UKIP leader.
Speaking to the party’s North West conference, the UKIP deputy leader ruled himself out of the leadership race, leaving many present visibly shocked.
Mr Nuttall was widely seen as the frontrunner to replace Nigel Farage, and his announcement now leaves the party’s leadership race wide open. Other potential candidates including Steven Woolfe MEP, Diane James MEP, Peter Whittle and Breitbart London’s very own Raheem Kassam.
“I have had to do a lot of soul searching since Monday,” Mr Nuttall said. “And the conclusion I have come to is that it is not the right time for me to stand for the leadership of the party.”
The Express quotes the International Monetary Fund’s comment that the whole of the EU is in jeopardy.
THE FUTURE of euro currency and the entire EU project looks unsustainable without major change, according to a damning review by the International Monetary Fund and renowned economists.
IMF chiefs warned the UK’s decision to leave the EU would seriously hamper growth prospects in the region.
Before the Brexit vote, the IMF forecast a 1.7 per cent expansion for the eurozone.
However, post Brexit the organisation revised that down to 1.6 per cent this year and 1.4 per cent next year.
The IMF did warn of economic chaos in the event of a Leave victory and has urged for a “smooth transition” for post-EU Britain. The international organisation said: “The euro area is at a critical juncture. Muddling through is increasingly untenable.
Breitbart is the only news outlet quoting a report from the EU which details the number of immigrants in the bloc.
A new report from the European Union has revealed that over half a million migrants have entered Europe in 2016, 226,000 of them are in Germany.
The media and politicians across Europe have been downplaying the number of migrants coming into Germany and the European Union with many officials saying the numbers have slowed to a “trickle.” New information from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has destroyed any notion that the migrant crisis is coming to an end, claiming that the numbers for the first five months of 2016 exceed the first five months of 2015 Austria’sKronen Zeitung reports.
The EASO, in their newly released annual report Friday, say that while the number of migrants has slowed from the highs of last summer the migrant crisis shows no signs of going away. According to the report in 2015 there were around 350,000 migrants entering the European union from January to May. In 2016 that number has grown drastically to over half a million people as the Balkan route shows signs of activity and record numbers of migrants cross from North Africa into Italy on a daily basis.
The Prime Minister has said that Parliament will vote on the replacement for Trident, reports Sky News.
MPs will vote on the UK’s replacement for the aging Trident nuclear missile system on 18 July, the Prime Minister has announced.
David Cameron said he was determined to honour a Conservative manifesto pledge despite only having eight weeks remaining in office.
The vote will come at a time when his party are choosing his replacement and the leader of the official opposition is facing a leadership challenge.