Project Fear

The EU is getting desperate.  Its plan to send us food aid is revealed in the Express.

THE EU is planning to send food aid to feed Britain’s poor in the event of a no deal Brexit, sources in Brussels have revealed.
The bizarre European Commission plan involves sending food parcels to British food banks for the needy from the EU’s wine lakes and food mountains of surpluses produced by the protective measures in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Tory Brexiteers last night branded the proposal “the last throw of the dice of Project Fear by EU blackmailers” hoping to scare Britons’ into changing their minds and remaining. There was also a warning that it indicates that the EU might try to illegally block food being sold to Britain if it leaves without a formal deal.
The revelation came as a major new report by leading economists has attacked the “misleading” UK Treasury economic models which are at the heart of many of the Project Fear claims.
Meanwhile, tourism chiefs pointed out the potential benefits of Brexit and said that the end of EU rules could provide the industry with a massive boost.
The revelation about food parcels from the EU emerged at an event in Brussels last week where EU bureaucrats working for the Commission’s international development department were present.

Deals in a number of areas post-Brexit have been agreed, reports the Mail.

BREXIT scaremongers were exposed as hoaxers last night after their warnings of No Deal chaos were finally demolished.
EU chiefs have secretly agreed measures to ensure transport links with Britain are maintained, The Sun on Sunday can reveal.
British planes will continue to fly into Europe and lorries can drive on the continent, even if we leave without an agreement on March 29.
Two announcements slipped out by Brussels late on Friday expose “Project Fear” predictions of pandemonium as myths.
One will allow UK-based airlines to continue providing scheduled flights. The other will let road hauliers, coach and bus firms carry goods and passengers across the EU.
The contingency plan drawn up by the European Commission is on the condition that the UK offers the same rights to the EU.
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said: “It is welcome that the EU wants to agree reciprocal arrangements for a No Deal.
“This pierces the Project Fear myths and shows that the UK and EU can work sensibly together.”

But civic serpents are still trying to overturn the referendum decision reports the Express.

TODAY, we see the efforts of supposedly neutral civil servants issuing anti-Brexit propaganda, still hoping to reverse the referendum decision.
We have had the Treasury and ‘Cross-Whitehall’ report, arguing that any Brexit at all, including the government’s proposed deal, would be worse than Remaining. Then the Bank released its ‘Brexit crisis scenario’, an implied forecast of how bad No Deal would be. It has since reiterated that No Deal would likely cause a recession. These are deceitful propaganda efforts and terrible economics.
Contrary to Project Fear, Brexit means big gains for the economy, from free trade with rest of the world, reducing prices and boosting competition; better regulation, in technology, energy, and financial services – all key to our future growth prospects; an end to subsidised unskilled immigration which costs £3500 pa for each unskilled worker; ending paying large amounts into the EU budget.
Together, these will add about 0.5 percent a year to our growth rate, totalling a 7 percent boost to GDP by 2035.

Even the neutral Reuters  is reporting there will be no problem with security following our withdrawal.

Britain’s exit from the European Union will not affect security cooperation with its NATO allies France and Germany, given the growing external threats to the continent’s stability, the intelligence chiefs of the three countries said on Friday.
“The chiefs … said that all three services would continue to be close allies in jointly protecting Europe from threats such as Islamism, terrorism, organised crime or cyber-attacks,” the heads of Germany’s BND, France’s DGSE and Britain’s MI6 said in a rare joint statement.
“This would also hold true… in view of Brexit,” they said after meeting at the Munich Security Conference.

EU

Meanwhile, it seems the bloc is facing problems when we leave.  The Telegraph says:

EU leaders are threatening their economies and risking defeats in forthcoming elections by edging the UK ­toward a no-deal Brexit, says Liam Fox.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the International Trade Secretary says the “very reasonable” change MPs had requested to Theresa May’s Brexit deal was a “strange thing on which to hang much of the economic well-being of the people of Europe”.
A rejection of Britain’s demands would risk recession across the continent, following the shrinking of Italy’s economy last year, he claims. Ministers warn a no-deal exit will cause disruption on both sides of the Channel.

And the Times says:

Dark economic clouds gathering over the EU are raising the stakes for European leaders as they prepare to negotiate with Britain over Brexit plans.
While Ireland and Holland have already reported an influx of companies relocating away from the UK, both are highly exposed to a no-deal Brexit that threatens to wipe out any gains from relocations.
The Dutch government unveiled a furry blue mascot dubbed the “Brexit Muppet” last week to inform businesses how to prepare for Brexit. Yet even with careful planning and information campaigns, Holland faces a €10bn decline in trade, according to an analysis by the country’s Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

Politically, Westmonster claims that Italy is on the verge of leaving the EU.

The Economic Spokesman of the governing Lega party has stated that Italy should quit the European Union unless it does not reform. An argument some Brits made for years, before realising the only way out is to exit the bloc. Anti-EU sentiment is rising across Europe.
Claudio Borghi, who is also Chairman of the Budget Committee, said of reform after May’s European Elections: “I think this is the last opportunity.”
He also said: “Either we succeed in changing (EU) now or we will have to Leave.”

And the Yellow Vest movement is ready to start a revolution, says Breitbart.

Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement member Christophe Chalençon announced that the anti-establishment movement has “paramilitaries” ready to overthrow the French government.
Mr Chalençon made the claim following an interview with Italian media this week after being asked about his meeting with Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio earlier this month BFMTV reports.
Despite the interview being over, the cameras kept recording and published the remarks of Chalençon who said, “I know I’m risking a lot, I can get shot in the head anytime, but I’ll be at the end of my convictions, because if they put a bullet in my head, Macron will be placed in the guillotine.”
“We have come to such a point of confrontation, that if they kill me, he is dead too because the people come back to the Elysée and they will dismantle everything… There are many of us like that,” he said, and added: “We have paramilitaries who are ready to intervene because they also want to bring down the government.”

Ireland

In the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard claims he has heard whispers from Brussels about the Irish backstop.

The leaks from Brussels have begun. Unnamed EU “diplomats and officials” have floated the subject of a temporary opt-out for Ireland in a no-deal Brexit.
Dublin will not have to erect customs infrastructure or police the outer limits of the single market immediately. There will be a transition.
Officials told Reuters that Ireland will ultimately face checks on its own exports to Europe or face being kicked out of the EU customs union if it refuses to put up a trade border against Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal.
“If there is no physical border, the customs checks would have to take place on all goods coming from Ireland,” said one.

The economy

The Mail reports that the chancellor is preparing for talks with the EU to fail.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has set up a secret bailout fund in an operation codenamed Project Kingfisher – so the British economy can be jump-started if talks with Brussels collapse, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Plans seen by this newspaper disclose the establishment of a short-term fiscal stimulus package designed to prop up the UK’s manufacturing and industrial sectors in the event of a No Deal departure from the EU and the disruption that would follow.
Ministers have been ordered to draw up top-secret lists of specific firms and sectors they believe will most need the cash and submit them on paper to the Treasury to avoid embarrassing leaks.

And the retail market is strong, reports Westmonster.

Retail sales for January bounced back strongly in 2019, following a fall in December. As Westminster obsesses over Project Fear, businesses and the public are getting on with it.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that retail sales grew by 1%, which equates to year-on-year growth of 4.2%. This way above the 0.2% and 3.6% forecasts from a Reuters poll of economists.
Year-on-year prices also slowed to 0.4%, the slowest pace of growth since November 2016.
As Rhian Murphy, from the ONS, explains: “Clothing stores saw strong sales, luring consumers with price reductions, with food sales also growing after a slight dip after Christmas.
This follows on from inflation dipping down to 1.8% and the highest wage growth since 2008. What are hardline Remainers and many pundits so grumpy about?

The Brexit Party

Nigel’s new party claims an influx of members, reports the Mail.

NIGEL Farage’s new Brexit Party has signed up 100,000 members – just a week after it was formally registered.
The former Ukip leader admits to being astounded by the race to join before he has staged an official launch or opened an office.
More than 35,000 people applied for membership in the first 24 hours after the new organisation was recognised by the Electoral Commission. And about 10,000 people a day have been flocking to get involved ever since.
Mr Farage is ready to lead the party if Theresa May decides to delay Brexit by extending Article 50 beyond departure day on March 29.

Conservative Party

Theresa’s desperate, says the Times.

Theresa May made a desperate appeal for unity this weekend as a leader of the party’s hardline Eurosceptic wing warned that continuing with her Brexit deal risked splitting the Conservative Party.
The prime minister wrote to all 317 Tory MPs yesterday urging them to back her deal by sacrificing “personal preferences” to unite in the “higher service of the national interest”.
The letter was sent hours after The Sunday Times received leaked WhatsApp messages revealing that Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the 100-strong European Research Group (ERG), told colleagues that May’s Brexit negotiations with Brussels were a “complete waste of time”.

BBC News claims her letter says the hand of history will be on all their shoulders.

Theresa May has urged Conservative MPs to put aside “personal preferences” and support a Brexit deal in the Commons.
In a letter to all 317 Tory members of Parliament, the prime minister said “history will judge us all” over the handling of Brexit.
It comes after the government suffered a defeat in a vote on its strategy.
Mrs May says in the letter she will return to Brussels to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker next week.
She will also speak to the leaders of every EU member state over the coming days, she says.

The Sun calls the letter ‘desperate’.

THERESA May last night told her warring party to unite and deliver Brexit and warned: “History will judge us.”
The PM issued a dramatic appeal for Tories to bury their differences and put the national interest first.
She cautioned that the split in their ranks risked stopping Brexit  altogether or wrecking people’s lives with a “no deal” departure.
Mrs May’s plea for unity came in a letter sent to all 317 of her MPs as Britain’s future rests on a knife-edge.
In it, she admitted being disappointed at last week’s Commons defeat  but stressed she is determined to secure a deal that can win the day.

The Mail claims the letter speaks about the ‘national interest’.

Theresa May has issued a desperate plea to Conservative MPs to unite and deliver on Brexit, urging her party to ‘move beyond what divides us’ and sacrifice ‘personal preferences’ for the national interest.
The Prime Minister’s rallying cry follows another tumultuous week in Westminster which saw tensions in the party reach boiling point, with one minister accusing Eurosceptic colleagues of ‘treachery’.
Mrs May, in a letter to all 317 Conservative MPs after her Brexit plans suffered a humiliating Commons defeat on Valentine’s Day, said the result was ‘disappointing’ but vowed that the Government would continue its work to secure changes to the Irish border backstop.

The Telegraph reports that two ministers who might succeed Mrs May will be going to the US.

Two cabinet ministers touted as front runners to succeed Theresa May are planning a joint trip to the US, to attend a conference previously addressed by Margaret Thatcher.
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, and Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, are due to speak at the annual AEI World Forum, run by the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based group that champions free markets.
The trip has prompted colleagues to speculate that the pair have formed a new alliance ahead of Mrs May’s departure.
A Tory source said: “It’s curious that at a critical time for Brexit negotiations, two Cabinet Ministers are spending their time shmoozing with the US.

With the Telegraph’s ‘cash for access’ story, one wonders if the Tory Party is getting a bit short of money.

The Conservatives are ­facing new “cash-for-access” claims after offering ­business figures private meetings with the Chancellor and other finance ministers in return for substantial donations to the party.
Individuals working in the City were being offered membership of a “Chancellor’s Group” that Tories said had the “overt patronage of the Chancellor” and offered the chance to “discuss topical issues” with key finance ministers, go to post-budget briefings and get “monthly updates on the economy.”
The price of the donor club was set at £25,000 a year and came weeks after the party was reportedly placed on an election footing by its chief executive.

Labour Party

Corbyn is under fire in the Mail.

Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of betraying the party’s Brexit policy by the delegates who wrote it, as they demand he finally backs a Final Say referendum on Brexit.
The delegates from around the country have sent a letter to the Labour leader, directly charging him with failing to implement the plan carefully formed and approved by conference last year.
In a stinging rebuke they remind him that he promised “policy will be made by Labour members, not the leader”, but then go on to say, “the complete opposite now appears to be happening”.

Education

Private school fees could rise, reports the Telegraph.

Private schools are facing a £100million “stealth raid” by the Government to fund teacher pensions in a move which could lead to significant rises in fees.
The Department for Education has revealed that from September employer’s contribution for teachers’ pensions will rise from 16.48 per cent of their salaries to 23.6 per cent.
The change, which comes into force in September, will cost private schools an extra £110million from 2019-20 and nearly £200million the following year.
Private schools are now faced with either pulling out of the teachers’ pension scheme, making them less attractive to new teachers, or raising fees.

Waste collection

Monthly rubbish collections could be a thing of the past, reports the Times.

Every household in England is to benefit from a weekly food-waste collection, under government plans to be revealed this week. The proposals include plans for free collection of garden waste, which many families pay to have taken away.
The standard rubbish collection, the so-called “black bags”, will remain the same.
The move comes after a poll by the research company YouGov last year found that 69% of people in the UK supported the idea of councils offering a separate caddy for food waste to be collected weekly. At present, large amounts of the waste put into black bags is old food and vegetable peelings.

HS2

Properties compulsorily purchased for the high speed rail track may have been significantly undervalued, reports the Mail.

A couple who believe their home has been grossly undervalued by HS2 are launching a landmark legal case against the company running the controversial rail scheme.
Trevor and Justine Palin say their house is worth at least £60,000 more than HS2 has offered to pay for it under a compulsory purchase order for the proposed line.
The couple are planning to take the company to the High Court in a case which could pave the way for hundreds of other homeowners in a similar situation to take legal action.

Inheritance tax

ITV News reports on the prospect of changes to inheritance rules.

Ministers are considering a shake-up of inheritance rules to reflect changes in society, such as fewer marriages and an increase in step-families.
A consultation has been launched asking for the public’s view on how the law can be made fairer when it comes to dividing an estate on someone’s death.
It asks what rights cohabitants should have and whether step-children should have the same inheritance rights as biological or adopted children.
Opinions are also being sought on whether anyone convicted of murder should be removed as executor for their victim’s will.

Skripal

It seems the Russian who spied for the UK has not quite got over his poisoning, reports the Times.

The former MI6 spy who was poisoned in a botched assassination attempt by Russian agents in Salisbury has suffered a deterioration in his health and is being treated by doctors, The Sunday Times can reveal.
Sergei Skripal, 67, who along with his daughter, Yulia, 33, was poisoned with the nerve agent novichok last March, is under medical supervision amid concerns that he is unlikely ever to recover fully from the chemical attack which assaults the nervous system.
The former colonel in the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, and his daughter were in a critical condition when they were admitted to Salisbury District Hospital after the attack.

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