Brexit

The Express reports on the petition to scrap the transition period.

SUPPORT for a petition demanding Britain leaves the EU without a transition has rocketed past 30,000 signatures in frustration of Brussels ordering the UK abides by its laws without having a say.
Under proposals from Brussels, Britain would be subject to all EU rules and regulations, including freedom of movement, but have no control on the bloc’s decision making until the two-year Brexit transition ends.
Brexiteers including Jacob Rees-Mogg have claimed the deal would make Britain a “vassal state” and have branded it an “ultimatum”.

The Express has a story about the head of the IMF.

ARCH Europhile Christine Lagarde issued an extraordinary snub to Theresa May yesterday by talking throughout her speech and then leaving half way through.
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who is a fierce critic of Brexit, was spotted chatting to a fellow delegate as Mrs May delivered her speech at the Munich Security Conference.
Even though Ms Lagarde was sitting in the front row, she refused to look at the British Prime Minister on the podium, preferring instead to watch the speech on a nearby screen.
Rolling her eyes and gesturing to her female companion, she then got up in the middle of the speech and walked out.

It seems the Prime Minister is sticking to her Brexit guns, says the Sun.

THERESA May yesterday insisted Britain is leaving the EU as Eurocrats begged her to reverse Brexit.
The PM was twice asked to explain why she was pushing ahead with the divorce when it was much easier to stay.
She had to hammer home why she will not over-rule the will of the British people during a security conference in Munich.
Mrs May also warned that lives would be put at risk if EU chiefs let their “deep-seated ideology” block a post-Brexit security deal.
In a keynote speech she called for a “deep and special” partnership to be struck before Brexit next year. But she was bemused that delegates would not accept Britain was leaving.

And the Mail reports Mrs May will not call a second Brexit referendum.

Theresa May sternly rebuked a former German Ambassador who told her to reverse Brexit as she shut down a delegate for saying it ‘wouldn’t be a matter of national shame’ if she called a second referendum.
Applause erupted at today’s Munich Security Conference after chairman Wolfgang Ischinger said ‘things would be much easier’ if Britain stayed in the EU.
The PM was also faced with another delegate who stood up and said it ‘wouldn’t be shameful’ to give Britain another chance to vote on Brexit.
Mrs May shot back immediately, insisting Britain is leaving Europe and politicians should respect the population’s decision.
Questions about why she was pressing ahead with Brexit won louder applause from delegates than Mrs May’s speech.
But in response to the pleas for a U-turn, Mrs May insisted that Britain’s democratic decision must be respected.

The Mirror reports Mrs May’s comments that Brexit talks could be stalled.

Theresa May risked a clash with European allies today by warning their “ideology” could stall crucial Brexit talks – and put millions at risk from terror.
In a major speech setting out a post-Brexit security partnership, the Prime Minister warned of “damaging real-world consequences” if the EU tries to “avoid co-operation” with nations outside the bloc.
Highlighting Britain’s role in fighting terror – including the “tragic massacre here at the 1972 Olympics” – she told the Munich Security Conference: “Those who threaten our security would like nothing more than to see us fractured.”
Mrs May has been attacked by her critics over her own red line – pulling out of the European Court of Justice, which oversees security measures. And her own Tory backbenchers have been accused of pushing her towards an ideological ‘Hard Brexit’.

And the Telegraph claims we may not be able to use the EU’s satellite network after Brexit.

British Armed Forces could be blocked from using the military applications of Europe’s Galileo satellite network after Brexit, The Telegraph has learnt.
EU legal concerns over whether a non-EU state can be granted access to the ultra-accurate encrypted satellite navigation data when it comes online in 2020, are behind exclusion plans being discussed in Brussels.
Military experts warn that British forces would be working with “less than the best” unless the UK can broker a deal to gain access to the network.

The Independent has a similar story.

Britain will not be able to use its military might to win a more favourable trade deal with the EU after Brexit, the European Commission President has warned.
Jean-Claude Juncker said fears that Europe’s security will be undermined by the UK’s departure must not become tangled up in the negotiations to secure an economic agreement.
“I wouldn’t like to put security policy considerations with trade policy considerations in one hat. I understand why some would like to do that, but we don’t want to,” he told the Munich Security Conference.
The warning came after Theresa May used her speech to propose a new UK-EU treaty to maintain defence and security cooperation after Brexit to keep citizens safe.

The EU’s chief negotiator has claimed we’re stupid to want to leave the bloc, says the Express.

GUY Verhofstadt has continued to mock Brexiteers, describing the vote to exit the EU as “stupid” and boasting that Europe is now more popular and more united since the referendum took place.
The European Parliament’s chief Brexit  negotiator has regularly taunted Leave voters since the UK poll with a series of incendiary tweets.
And, in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, he stuck the boot in again.
During the conversation, to be broadcast tomorrow morning, he claimed predictions of a “domino effect” after the landmark vote had been proved wrong.
And he said, although there were some critics of the bloc, no one else would be “stupid” enough to leave. 

Bolton

Many of the media report yesterday’s big UKIP meeting . The Express says:

SENIOR Ukip figures have urged supporters to rally behind the party to push for “proper Brexit” after the ousting of its embattled leader Henry Bolton.
One senior figure hailed the move as “the rebirth of Ukip”.
Activists voted by 867 to 500 to give the former Army officer his marching orders after fewer than six months in the job at a crisis meeting in Birmingham.
His departure leaves Ukip having to hold its fourth leadership contest since the 2016 referendum.
It is an election the cash-strapped party can ill afford, already facing the threat of hefty legal costs over a defamation action brought by Rotherham’s three Labour MPs against MEP Jane Collins.

 The Telegraph reports threats made by Bolton.

Henry Bolton has been ousted as Ukip leader after members voted overwhelmingly to back a vote of no confidence in him.
The motion, which was issued against him by the party’s national executive last month, was backed by activists 867 votes to 500 at an extraordinary general meeting.
But in an act of defiance, Mr Bolton suggested that he could pursue legal action against individuals in the party over his treatment, having made similar threats to senior party figures on Friday evening.
His dismissal means that Ukip will be forced to appoint its sixth political leader in just 18 months. The party’s national executive committee announced Gerard Batten MEP as interim leader until a contest is held.

The Times says:

Ukip installed its seventh leader in less than two years yesterday after a vote of no confidence in Henry Bolton, whose reign descended into chaos after it emerged that his 25-year-old girlfriend had sent racist text messages about Prince Harry’s fiancée, Meghan Markle.
The party gathered for an emergency meeting in Birmingham yesterday to decide on the fate of the former army officer, with another former leader, Nigel Farage, signalling his support and saying the party faced “self-destruction” and “irrelevance” without Bolton.
A decisive majority of members voted to oust Bolton, however, making his 142 days the shortest tenure since Diane James quit after just over a fortnight in 2016. He was defeated by a margin of 876 votes to 500 (63% to 37%).

And the Mail also reports Bolton’s threat of legal action against the party.

Henry Bolton today threatened to sue Ukip after being ousted as leader – as his ex girlfriend Jo Marney hinted they are back together.
The former Army officer, 54, was toppled from the top job when party members decided to support a no confidence vote against him at a crunch meeting today.
His political career ended in scandal after his ex Ms Marney, a former glamour model 30 years his junior, was exposed for sending racist texts about Meghan Markle.
Speaking after today’s vote, Mr Bolton revealed he is considering launching legal action against against Ukip’s NEC over the way he has been treated.
Meanwhile, Ms Marney – a former glamour model – sent a series of tweets declaring her love for the father-of-three and hinting that they will pick their relationship back up. 

The Independent claims the party’s future is uncertain.

Henry Bolton has been ejected as the leader of Ukip at an emergency conference, throwing the future of the party into further uncertainty.
The decision at the crisis meeting of around 1,500 Ukip members gathered in Birmingham came after the party’s ruling body – the National Executive Body (NEC) – voted no confidence in the 54-year-old leadership last month.
After Mr Bolton refused to step down, he was forced to make his case to the membership on Saturday, but he lost the no confidence motion by 867 to 500 votes.
Following the announcement of the result Mr Bolton said he was “disappointed”, but added: “I have not finished in politics yet.”
The party now faces a fourth leadership contest in 18 months while Ukip MEP Gerard Batten will act as interim leader.

The Guardian reports:

Members of Ukip voted yesterday to sack Henry Bolton, who had been elected only last September as the crisis-hit party’s fourth leader in 18 months. Bolton had been clinging on to the leadership despite a revolt by senior figures after the press reported his relationship with Jo Marney, a model who sent offensive messages about Meghan Markle, the fiancee of Prince Harry.
Bolton was ousted on Saturday at an emergency meeting where an overwhelming majority of party members endorsed a motion of no confidence in his leadership passed by the party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC). Activists at the meeting in Birmingham voted by 867 to 500 in favour of a no-confidence motion on his ability to lead Ukip.
The party’s new interim leader is Gerard Batten, a Ukip MEP who sparked controversy last year when he said that non-Muslims should have a “perfectly rational fear” of Islam, which he described as a “death cult” steeped in violence.

The Mirror reports the jubilation at the vote.

UKIP leader Henry Bolton has LOST a no confidence vote at a packed meeting of 1,500 members in Birmingham.
There were cheers and shouts of protest as 63% of members at the dramatic summit – 867 to 500 – backed the motion to oust him today.
The result plunges the cash-strapped party into crisis after Mr Bolton was branded an MI6 plant by a member – and used his keynote speech to brand UKIP’s ruling body “the enemy within”.
Ex-Army officer Mr Bolton, 54 – who is refusing to rule out legal action against his own party – became leader just 141 days ago.

Labour Party

In an exclusive, the Sun claims top party officials were spies during the cold war.

JOHN McDonnell and Ken Livingstone were among at least 15 Labour politicians who sold information to the Communists during the Cold War, an ex-spy claims.
Lieutenant Jan Dymic alleged the shadow chancellor gave “valuable” pointers to the KGB.
Mr Livingstone was described as a “very good contact” for the Czech State Security (StB).
The Sun revealed on Thursday how secret documents revealed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met Dymic, real name Jan Sarkocy, a number of times in the mid-1980s.

The Mail has picked up the story.

Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Ken Livingstone were among a group of at least 15 Labour figures who passed information to the Soviet Union, a former Eastern-bloc agent has claimed.
Former Czechoslovak spy Jan Sarkocy said the hard-Left politicians were ‘great sources’ in the 1980s.
Mr Sarkocy, 64, claims there is ‘no question’ Mr Corbyn and his Labour colleagues knew he was a spy and said: ‘Everything was absolutely clear at the time.’
Mr Livingstone, then a Labour MP, was a ‘good boy’, the Czech agent told the Sunday Telegraph.

All schools would have sprinklers under a Labour government, says the Independent.

Labour government would ensure all new schools have sprinkler systems in place as fresh figures show less than one in three schools built or refurbished by central government since 2010 have them installed.
Party officials told 
The Independent that, if elected, Labour would remove a “loophole” in the existing legislation, which they claim allows a significant proportion of schools not to fit sprinklers.
The announcement comes after new figures were disclosed by schools minister Nick Gibb in a response to a written parliamentary question in the Commons this month.

And the Morning Star reports a Labour council’s plans to offer free school meals to children in low-income households.

A LABOUR-RUN local authority plans to offer year-round free school meals to children from low-income households, in what it described as “the most ambitious” proposal in Britain to tackle “holiday hunger.”
North Lanarkshire Council aims to expand its free meal entitlement to cover the 175 days of the year when pupils are not at school during weekends and school holidays.
The council said the “Food 365” programme, which will be discussed at an education committee meeting on Tuesday, would bring noticeable benefits for young people in the area.
If approved, the scheme will be piloted in Coatbridge over the spring break and, if successful, could be rolled out across the area in time for the summer holiday.

And the Express reports a hard-left group’s plans to take over a council.

MOMENTUM is accused of plotting a council takeover in Leeds in what is being dubbed “the next Haringey” by Labour moderates.
Far-Left activists are fielding candidates in Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon’s Leeds East constituency, where an unprecedented number of Labour councillors in the city have stood down, fearing de-selection attempts.
The move echoes the Momentum takeover in the London borough of Haringey where moderate Labour leader Claire Kober quit, blaming “sexist, bullying and undemocratic” behaviour of socialists infiltrating the party.

Education

The Times reports on a review of student loans.

Universities will be ordered to offer students a new “value for money” deal, which will see tuition fees slashed for arts and social science courses that do little to boost their careers, the new education secretary has told The Sunday Times.
In his first big interview, Damian Hinds stamps his authority as a traditionalist with a pledge to expand grammar schools, unleash a wave of new faith schools and reaffirm the right of parents to take their children out of sex education classes.
He said a review of university finance to be unveiled tomorrow could also lead to a cut in the interest rate on student loans, a reduction in the number of years for which graduates are expected to repay money.

Earthquake

The Sun is one of the media reporting an earthquake in Wales.

BRITAIN has been hit by it’s biggest earthquake in a decade as ‘terrified’ homeowners felt tremors across several hundred miles.
The British Geological Society confirmed a 4.4-magnitude earthquake struck near Swansea at around 2.30pm this afternoon.
A spokesman said tremors had been felt as far away as Birmingham and Devon.
Hundreds of people across south-west England and Wales say they felt their homes and workplaces shake. The most serious tremors were felt in South Wales area.
It is the biggest earthquake to hit the UK since the 5.2-magnitude quake in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, in 2008.

The Express also reports the tremor.

AN earthquake has hit the UK with thousands of people reporting tremors across England from as far as Cornwall to Liverpool. Its epicentre fell about eight miles northeast of Swansea city centre, according to the US Geological Survey, sparking an evacuation at Swansea University.
The EMSC, an independent scientific organisation based in Paris, said it measured 4.7 on the Richter scale, at a depth of 10km.
Tremors were felt up to 300km, 190 miles, from the epicentre. It is the fifth biggest earthquake ever recorded in the UK and the biggest to rock Britain in ten years.

And ITV News says the quake was felt in other parts of the country.

An earthquake with a 4.4 magnitude has hit south Wales, with tremors felt in other parts of Wales and England.
It was the biggest earthquake to hit the UK in a decade, the British Geological Survey said.
The BGS said the earthquake hit at 2.31pm on Saturday, with the epicentre 20km north of Swansea. It had a depth of 7.4km.
It was felt across Wales, the Midlands, and the west and north west of England.
There have been no reports of injuries or serious damage.
The BGS said an earthquake happened in the UK every two to three years.
South Wales Police said the earthquake was “minor” and there is no need to call the emergency services unless people need to report damage or injuries.

The Sun claims there’s going to be a bigger earthquake in the ‘ring of fire’.

OVER the past few weeks earthquakes have hit Japan, Mexico and Taiwan and volcanoes have erupted around the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’.
Now scientists have warned the frequent seismic activity, which has already claimed lives, could mean a huge quake is on the way.
A new study from California says that the cluster of tremors around the planet’s so-called Ring of Fire- a horseshoe-shaped geological disaster zone – could indicate the “big one” is due to hit, the Mail Online reports.
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, involved analysis of 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire between 1990 and 2016.

The Star also reports the possibility.

WITH earthquakes hitting Japan, Taiwan and Guam in recent weeks, scientists now fear that a mega quake is imminent.
The planet’s “Ring of Fire” – a geological disaster zone in the Pacific – has seen a slew of activity recently that can cause aftershocks on the edges of the areas hit and can result in clusters of tremors.
A new study published in the journal Science Advances involved an analysis of 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire between 1990 and 2016.
It showed that most of the aftershock activity occurred on the edges of the areas where the faults slipped during the main earthquakes.

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