Brexit

It seems the EU’s Brexit negotiators are digging in their heels, reports the Telegraph.

British negotiators offered to set up an ombudsman to independently monitor any potential breaches of the UK-EU ‘divorce agreement’ but were turned down by EU negotiators who were too hung up on EU ‘theology’, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
The British offer of an ombudsman chaired by a judge from an impartial third country such as Canada, was among the practical solutions that UK negotiators presented when discussing how to protect EU Citizens’ Rights after Brexit during negotiations last week.
But it was rejected by Brussels in order to comply with the demand that the so-called ‘divorce agreement’ between the EU and the UK be monitored by the European Commission, backed by the European Court of Justice – a position Britain says is wholly unacceptable.

And the Guardian says the problems of benefits for children living abroad can not be resolved.

The right of EU citizens working in Britain to send child benefits to their children living abroad, even if they are born after Brexit, has become the latest flashpoint in the clashes between London and Brussels over the UK’s withdrawal from Europe.
Brussels believes European citizens living in the UK should be left unaffected by the referendum result, and the EU’s negotiating team, led by Michel Barnier, raised the issue midway through last week’s negotiations in Brussels.
While the British are offering to guarantee the continued payment of child benefits to families abroad, if the children are born before the UK leaves the EU, the government is unwilling to do the same for the children of European nationals born after 29 March 2019.
The UK provides around £30m a year in benefits to about 34,000 children living across the EU, mostly in Poland. There have long been calls for the payments to be stopped for parents whose children do not live in the UK.

But it seems our team has conceded free movement for two years, says the Express.

SENIOR Tories have softened their approach to Brexit after backing a transitional offer that will allow EU citizens free movement to Britain for up to two years after the UK has left the bloc.
Philip Hammond is confident every cabinet minister is supportive of his plans for a transitional deal, with new immigration legislation set to be introduce two years after Brexit.
A group of prominent Brexiteers, including the new Environment Secretary Michael Gove, appear relaxed about the transition plan despite some previously calling for tighter immigration controls to be a key aspect of Brexit talks.
Speaking in Woking yesterday, Mr Gove refused to give away any details about a potential transition deal but said the Government wanted the process to be as smooth as possible.

Trade

Breitbart claims the EU can do nothing about any trade deals we do.

The European Union is powerless to stop Britain starting to strike up new relationships around the world, top European law academics have said days before Britain’s trade talks with the United States are due to begin.
Britain’s Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox made the announcement that a British delegation would be meeting with their United States counterparts from the 24th of July on live television last month.
But left wing commentators including British news publications were quick to point out that European Union rules prohibit the United Kingdom from conducting trade talks with external nations while the country is still an EU member state.
Yet new comments by academics including Cambridge Professor of European Union Law Catherine Barnard suggest that not only could Britain forge ahead with negotiations, but Brussels would be in no position to do anything about it.

And Westmonster claims we’re near a trade deal with Japan.

Britain is set to secure an “all singing, all dancing” free trade deal with Japan – this is absolute proof countries really are queuing up to do business with Britain after Brexit.
Boris Johnson, on a 3 day visit to Japan, has seemingly managed to secure the continuation of multi-billion pound Japanese interests in British business.
Boris said: “I have found a wide measure, or a growing measure, of understanding about what is involved.
“They see the possibilities of a great new free trade deal between the UK and the EU, and you can see the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Conservative Party

Back home, in an exclusive, the Telegraph claims the PM has been given an ultimatum.

Theresa May must consider quitting before Christmas, grassroots Tories have told The Sunday Telegraph amid concerns her leadership instability is undermining Brexit.
Leading voices among Tory activists have said the Prime Minister’s authority will never recover from the election flop and called for a swift leadership change.
They want Mrs May to spend her summer break, which starts this week, planning a transition that would see a colleague take over without a leadership race.
One activist group leader said Mrs May was politically “crippled”, while a cabinet minister’s local party chairman called on her to go within months.
It shows the precariousness of the Prime Minister’s position after making it to Parliament’s summer recess. MPs will closely consider her future in the coming weeks. 

And the Times has picked up the story.

At least 15 MPs have agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in the prime minister as part of a plot to oust her before the conference season.
The news will come as a blow to Theresa May, who last week tried to head off a leadership challenge by insisting it would trigger a general election that would give Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn the keys to Downing Street.
Her remarks came as the first letter of no confidence went into circulation among Tory MPs. Although the letter falls well short of the 48 names needed to trigger a leadership contest, the summer recess could prove critical for the prime minister’s future.

The Independent claims David Davis is a possible successor.

Grassroots members of the Conservative Party have called for Theresa May to quit by Christmas as dissenters eye David Davis as a possible replacement for the Prime Minister.
A survey seen by 
The Observer  found the majority of Tory members either could not choose a successor to Ms May, supporting the belief of many commentators that a relative unknown could step out of the party’s shadows to become leader.
The majority of those surveyed do not want Ms May to stand down, with just 22 per cent calling on her to quit and 71 per cent saying she should stay on as leader, fearful of the possibility of a general election.

Sky News has the same story.

David Davis has come top in a survey asking Tory members who they would favour as a candidate to replace Theresa May.
The Brexit Secretary was favoured by 21% of respondents in the survey, with his nearest rival Boris Johnson on 17%.
But plans to oust the Conservatives’ beleaguered leader would be unlikely to command widespread support, it appears.
Although 22% of those surveyed said they wanted Mrs May to quit, the vast majority – 71% – said they did not want her to leave her post.

The Sun has an exclusive report claiming the Prime Minister has asked her predecessors for help.

THERESA May has turned to three former Tory leaders to help her keep her shaky grip on power.
The PM has held a string of private meetings with David Cameron, John Major and William Hague to seek comfort and advice.
She has brought the “Three Wise Men” into her newly expanded inner-circle of confidantes as she tries to rebuild her shattered image.
Mr Major has a wealth of experience of fighting off leadership plots and battling to hold the party together amid battles over Europe.
He famously saw off rivals by calling their bluff with a “back me or sack me” challenge.
Mr Hague led the party through its darkest days during the height of Tony Blair’s popularity while Mr Cameron tasted bitter defeat in last year’s EU referendum.

North of the border, the Scottish Conservatives have been talking tough, says the Times.

Ruth Davidson has warned Theresa May and her senior ministers to get out of their “defensive crouch”, stop fighting among themselves and start making the case for Conservatism or see Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister.
In a hard-hitting article published this weekend, the leader of the Scottish Tories said the government “has to actually lead” if it wants to survive.
Davidson called on ministers to tear up the planning laws and build more homes on greenfield land or risk losing to Labour for good the votes of a generation of young people who cannot get on the housing ladder.
Davidson said: “It is not enough for government to facilitate a discussion about where next for Britain, it has to actually lead.

The Mirror has a story about the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster.

Labour Party

Labour is also in disarray with the party lurching left, says the Times.

Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, is expected to become the next victim of the purge being led by Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left allies.
Activists are expected to push for a rule change at the party’s annual conference in September that will bring in elections for the post of general secretary in an effort to remove McNicol.
In an attempt to build on Corbyn’s acclaimed general election campaign, senior figures are pursuing their long-held ambition to depose McNicol, who was accused of seeking to keep Corbyn off the ballot during the 2016 leadership challenge.
The move is part of a wider attempt to shore up Corbyn’s power base as his supporters launch a fresh push to replace the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson.

And the Express has a story that a new breakaway party could be formed.

MILLIONAIRE Remainers have put plans to form a pro-EU political party on hold – but have warned they will bankroll a breakaway Labour party if Jeremy Corbyn lurches further to the left.
A number of high-profile names have been linked to a new centre-left party dedicated to blocking Brexit.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has reportedly held talks with a number of wealthy individuals including Hull City owner Dr Assem Allam, who donated £700,000 to Labour under Ed Miliband.
Last November, emails revealed than Virgin boss Branson was willing to bankroll a campaign to derail Brexit, which had also received the backing of a host of businesses, communications firms and celebrities including Bob Geldof.
Branson has donated to former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s pro-EU Open Reason think tank, which he founded with fellow Remainer and multi millionaire Innocent drinks boss Richard Reed. Billionaire businessman George Soros is also a donor.

It seems a plan to deselect Corbyn was thwarted, says the Independent.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair ruled out backing the deselection of Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP, a former party chief whip has said.
Baroness Armstrong, who served as chief whip from 2001 to 2006, said activists in Islington North had approach the Labour leadership during that time and hoped to deselect Mr Corbyn – but been rebuffed.
The then-Prime Minister was “very clear” that he would not support such a move to oust the MP, the Labour peer insisted.
She told BBC Radio 4’s 
Westminster Hour: “I had a couple of folks from Jeremy’s constituency come to see me and say, ‘People are a bit upset with Jeremy always being against the Labour government – what if we try to deselect him?’”
But she advised them: “You will get no support from the leadership, so don’t bother.”

Refugees

In other news, the Independent claims more refugee ‘children’ will be coming to the UK.

UK ministers say they are committed to resettling up to 3,000 children and families from the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Local authorities across the country are currently supporting more than 4,000 unaccompanied asylum seeking children, they said.
Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We are committed to fulfilling our commitment under the Dubs scheme as soon as possible and ensuring that children arrive in the UK safely. This is just one aspect of a much wider response. We have committed to resettling 23,000 people directly from regions of conflict and last year we granted protection, or another form of leave, to over 8,000 children.
“We are grateful for the support Scotland and Wales have provided and we have made clear our intention to extend the National Transfer Scheme to the rest of the UK so their local authorities can fully participate.

NHS

The pay gap in the BBC seems to have spread to the NHS, says the Telegraph.

Senior women in the NHS should be given pay rises while men should be passed over to close a widening gender gap, health officials have been told, as the “BBC effect” engulfs more of the public sector.
An official review of executive pay, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, found that, at the highest levels, female NHS managers are being paid almost 9 per cent less than male counterparts – an average gap of around £11,000 a year.
Meanwhile ministers have also ordered a review of judges’ pay. The recommendations, due to be published next year, follow a landmark legal case where 200 judges won claims for age, sex and race discrimination over their pension entitlements.

Trump

Fearful of the US president embarrassing the Queen, he will come to the UK for a dummy run later this year, says the Mail.

Donald Trump has been asked to make a ‘dummy’ State visit to Britain this year to show he can avoid embarrassing the Queen.
He has been invited to come for brief talks with Theresa May – but with none of the Royal pomp and circumstance he wanted.
The decision will be hailed as a victory by nearly two million people who signed a petition calling for the trip to be downgraded to spare the Queen’s blushes because of Trump’s ‘misogyny and vulgarity’.
As a face-saving measure, the US President will be offered a State visit next year – but it won’t take place unless the low-profile trip is a success.
The ‘trial’ visit is bound to lead to comparisons with Trump’s starring role in The Apprentice US reality TV show.

The Sun also has the story.

DONALD Trump has been invited to the UK for talks with Theresa May in a ‘trial run’ visit to see if he can avoid embarrassing the Queen, it has been reported.
This will be seen as a victory for the nearly two million people who signed a petition calling for his visit to be downgraded.
The President will then be offered an official visit next year providing this trip is a success, the Daily Mail reports.
There are fears that demonstrations – and Trump’s behaviour – could embarrass the Queen.
This dummy run will have none of the Royal fanfare that the President was said to want after his initial invitation to the UK, with reports that he demanded a carriage procession down the Mall.

Fox hunting

It seems Prince Charles took to writing letters to the government over the proposed ban on hunting with hounds, says the Mail.

Prince Charles wrote a series of confidential letters lobbying Tony Blair over the foxhunting ban before it became law, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The Prince is known to have been an opponent of the ban at the time of the secret correspondence in 2002, when Blair’s Labour Government was steering the legislation through Parliament.
The existence of the letters will add to the controversy over the Prince’s active role in politically contentious subjects.
He is known to have lobbied Government departments on a wide variety of issues, including global warming and architecture.

And the Mirror claims MPs want to tighten laws on hunting.

Fox hunters could face five years in jail if they kill animals illegally.
MPs want a vote on tightening existing laws – even though Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out bringing back hunting before 2019.
Prosecutions are difficult now because killing a fox by accident IS legal. So drag or trail hunters can claim their hounds scented a real fox and were uncontrollable.
Labour MP Stephen Pound is backing a change in the law to raise the current penalty of a fine or six months’ jail to a maximum five years. He said: “Killing foxes in this way is medieval barbarism which should be banned.”

Nazi gold

The Sun has a story about million pounds-worth of gold that was sunk on a cargo ship during the war.

A CHEST that could contain £100million of Nazi gold has been found in the wreck of a German cargo ship.
A Brit crew spotted the trove in the post room of the SS Minden, scuttled off Iceland.
The box contains up to four tons of valuable metal believed to be gold from South American banks that was being shipped to Germany in 1939.
UK-based Advanced Marine Services has applied to the Icelandic government for permission to cut a hole in the hull and remove the box.
The firm wants to bring it back to Britain, claiming the contents belong to the finder.

The Star has picked up the story.

A TREASURE chest believed to contain £100 million of Hitler’s gold has been uncovered by British crew.
The crew managed to spot the trove in the wreck of a Nazi gold ship, the SS Minden, marooned off Iceland.
Brits investigating the vessel, which sank off the coast of Iceland in 1939 after the beginning of World War 2, found the chest buried in the post room.
It is believed to contain valuable metal from South American banks that was in the process of being shipped to the Reich for their war machine.
The metal contained in the box is believed to weigh up to four tons.
The Brits now want to bring the chest back to the UK and reap the rewards.

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