Brexit

The Express carries an exclusive comment from our former party leader.

NIGEL Farage has slammed Angela Merkel, saying she “can go jump” after she said Britain had an “obligation” to pay the Brexit bill.
MEP and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has slammed the German Chancellor saying she “can go jump” after she waded into the debate about the Brexit bill, saying Britain had an “obligation” to pay.
Mr Farage told Express.co.uk: “She can go jump. To ask the UK to pay a Brexit bill without agreement on a free trade deal is tantamount to blackmail.
“Their make-believe Brexit bill has not legal basis whatsoever and the EU knows it.”
The German Chancellor, who has no official role within the bloc, decided to weigh into the ongoing debate in her weekly podcast.
Acting as a mouthpiece for the EU, Mrs Merkel warned the disputed bill will need to be settled before Britain leaves the bloc. 

Westmonster is also reporting the call by the German Chancellor for us to pay our bill.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has talked up the bill that Brexit Britain will have to cough up as she campaigns in the German elections.
In a weekly podcast, Bloomberg report Merkel as saying: “This is about obligations that Great Britain has entered into and that naturally must remain on the books.
“It’s not about the cost of divorce – that makes it sound like fines. We’re still at the very start of these negotiations.”
Nigel Farage hit back, telling the Express: “She can go jump. To ask the UK to pay a Brexit bill without agreement on a free trade deal is tantamount to blackmail.
“Their make-believe Brexit bill has not legal basis whatsoever and the EU knows it.”

In another aspect of Brexit, ITV News reports that our negotiators will start getting tough with the EU when talks resume tomorrow.

The Brexit Secretary David Davis is set to demand Brussels show more “flexibility” and “imagination” in approaching the terms of divorce talks.
His call will set him on a collision course with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier as both sides prepare to begin a third round of talks on bank Holiday Monday.
It comes from growing UK frustration at the EU’s refusal to begin negotiations on the terms of the post-Brexit relationship.
Mr Barnier has insisted that progress must be made on key aspects of the withdrawal deal, including the UK’s “divorce bill”, ex-pat citizens’ rights and the Irish border, before there is any talk of future arrangements for crucial issues such as trade.
Leaders of the 27 remaining EU states will decide in October whether the divorce talks have got far enough to move on to the second phase.

The story is also reported by Reuters.

Britain will urge the European Union on Monday to show “imagination” in Brexit talks and help focus discussion on future ties rather than on a divorce settlement.
Brexit minister David Davis will call on the EU to be more flexible in its approach at the start of negotiations with the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday – the third round of talks which are likely to be largely technical.
A government source said Britain would point to the papers it has published over the past two weeks on both the future relationship and the divorce to show how officials have been working “diligently to inform the negotiations”.
“Now, both sides must be flexible and willing to compromise when it comes to solving areas where we disagree,” the source said. “As the EU itself has said, the clock is ticking so neither side should drag its feet.”

The Independent claims our exit from the EU is being controlled by business.

Brexit is being shaped by big business and banks while the interests of ordinary people are being drowned out, a damning new report has concluded.
The analysis of lobbyist activity exposes how big corporations and the finance sector are dominating back-room discussions with negotiators in both London and Brussels.
At the same time small business, labour groups and NGOs are being marginalised, leading campaigners to warn Brexit will be dictated according to a “corporate bias.”
The report passed to 
The Independent highlights how a single investment bank had more meetings with officials from the UK’s Department for Exiting the European Union, than Britain’s two biggest trade unions put together, representing millions of workers between them.

Labour

Today’s big news is that the Labour Party has performed an extraordinary U-turn. The Express reports:

JEREMY Corbyn’s Labour Party has vowed to force the UK to remain in the European Union’s single market and customs union during a transition period after Brexit.
In a dramatic policy shift, the party’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer announced a Labour government would abide by “the same basic terms” of Britain’s current EU membership during the transition, which some observers believe could last up to five years.
Sir Keir made clear the party is open to the possibility of negotiating new single market and customs union terms which the UK could sign up to on a permanent basis.

Westmonster calls it ‘backsliding’.

The Labour Party are now backsliding on Brexit, with their man Keir Starmer now talking up the prospect of continuing the UK’s single market membership after 2019.
That would mean open borders, European Courts continuing to rule over Britain and there have even been hints that the party could push for the UK to remain in the EU’s single market and customs union forever.
This slap in the face was unveiled in the Observer, with Starmer making clear that: “Labour would seek a transitional deal that maintains the same basic terms that we currently enjoy with the EU.
“That means we would seek to remain in a customs union with the EU and within the single market during this period. It means we would abide by the common rules of both.”

And the Guardian calls it ‘dramatic’.

Labour is to announce a dramatic policy shift by backing continued membership of the EU single market beyond March 2019, when Britain leaves the EU, establishing a clear dividing line with the Tories on Brexit for the first time.
In a move that positions it decisively as the party of “soft Brexit”, Labour will support full participation in the single market and customs union during a lengthy “transitional period” that it believes could last between two and four years after the day of departure, it is to announce on Sunday.
This will mean that under a Labour government the UK would continue to abide by the EU’s free movement rules, accept the jurisdiction of the European court of justice on trade and economic issues, and pay into the EU budget for a period of years after Brexit, in the hope of lessening the shock of leaving to the UK economy. In a further move that will delight many pro-EU Labour backers, Jeremy Corbyn’s party will also leave open the option of the UK remaining a member of the customs union and single market for good, beyond the end of the transitional period.

BBC News has picked up the story from the Observer.

Labour would keep the UK in the EU single market and customs union for a transitional period after leaving the EU, the party has said.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer clarified Labour’s position on leaving the EU in the Observer.
The proposal would mean accepting the free movement of labour beyond the official Brexit date of March 2019.

And Sky News reports the possibility of a new arrangement.

In a dramatic policy shift, Labour is pledging to continue UK membership of the EU single market and the customs union during a transitional period following Brexit in March 2019.
The party’s shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, has also not ruled out negotiating the possibility of a new single market and customs arrangement on a permanent basis.
Effectively, a Labour government would try to keep Britain inside an economic union while leaving the political union with the European Union.
At the election, Labour promised to seek to “retain the benefits” of the single market and customs union as part of a “jobs-first” Brexit.
But party leader Jeremy Corbyn has so far stopped short of committing to continued membership beyond the date of Brexit.

The Independent calls it a ‘major policy shift’.

Labour is to announce it supports continued membership of the single market when the UK leaves the EU  in a major policy shift over Brexit.
Tomorrow will see the party set out its stall as the party of “soft Brexit” in a move that will clearly differentiate Labour’s approach from the Government’s.
The new policy – likely to please many of the party’s supporters but certain to anger others  – was revealed by shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer in an interview with the 
Observer.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said there will be a “transition period” lasting at last two years after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 during which time the government aims to negotiate an interim arrangement with the customs union and the single market in order to avoid an economic “cliff edge” for businesses.
But Jeremy Corbyn’s party is to say it hopes permanent membership of the single market and the customs union might be possible through negotiations with the EU, which will be reduced to a 27 nation block once the UK takes its leave.

The Sun claims the move demonstrates the split between the party leader and the Shadow Brexit secretary.

LABOUR will today announce a major Brexit u-turn by vowing that Britain will stay in the single market after leaving the EU.
The move comes just two months after Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer broke with Jeremy Corbyn by refusing to publically back an end to freedom of movement and a clean break with Europe.
In a move designed to establish itself as the “soft Brexit” party, Labour will call for full participation in the single market and customs union during a two to four year “transitional period” after the day of departure.
The move could force Britain to abide with freedom of movement, accept EU jurisdiction over trade and justice, and maintain payments into the Brussels coffers for years to come.
Labour are also willing to consider permanent access to the single market in exchange for European concessions on immigration.

And the Times claims the party is now ‘soft Brexit’.

Labour is promoting itself as the party of “soft Brexit” with a new policy of keeping the UK in the EU single market and customs union, perhaps indefinitely.
The government has indicated it will seek a limited transitional arrangement with the EU after Britain leaves in March 2019.
The Labour shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, said last night that under a Labour government the UK could stay in the single market and the customs union if a deal could be struck with the EU over freedom of movement.
The new policy was immediately hailed as “significant” by Craig Oliver, who was head of communications at No 10 under David Cameron.

The Mail is one of the media reporting the Labour Party’s plans to bring down the Brexit process.

Jeremy Corbyn is plotting to use parliamentary guerrilla tactics to bring down the Government by ‘driving a wedge’ between No 10 and its DUP allies.
Labour Chief Whip Nick Brown plans to spring a series of ambushes to exploit the loss of Mrs May’s majority in her June Election disaster, including mounting surprise votes on Wednesdays and Thursdays when the Ulster MPs like to be returning to Northern Ireland.
But the plotting is being tracked by Brown’s Tory opposite number, Gavin Williamson, as MPs prepare to return to the Commons in a week’s time.
The two Chief Whips – whose job is to win votes at all costs by bullying and cajoling MPs through the division lobbies – could not be more different.

The story is also covered in the Express.

JEREMY Corbyn is plotting to force Theresa May into delivering a soft-Brexit by using parliamentary ‘guerrilla tactics’ to drive a wedge between the Tories and the DUP, it has been revealed.
Labour Chief Whip Nick Brown reportedly plans to launch a series of ambushes to exploit the Conservative’s lost majority in the Commons by calling surprise votes on Wednesdays and Thursdays – when the Ulster MPs are likely to be returning to Northern Ireland.
Mrs May’s Government lost 13 seats in June’s General Election, forcing her to strike a deal with the 10 DUP MPs to ensure a working majority.
With the Northern Irish party’s MPs absent, Mr Corbyn would only need to turn seven Tory rebel MPs to push through Labour’s agenda.

And the Independent notes that the Labour leader is now in Scotland,

Jeremy Corbyn is to conclude his tour of Scotland tomorrow telling supporters the Government should be fighting “for a society free from racism and discrimination”.
The Labour leader will pledge that his government would honour the UK’s international legal and moral obligations by taking its fair share of refugees.
He will also say a Labour government will immediately guarantee the rights of all EU nationals living in the UK and promise a zero tolerance approach to hate crime.
The tour is part of an effort to re-ignite Labour as an electoral force north of the border following the election, which indicated to strategists at Labour HQ that the SNP’s support was past its peak.
Mr Corbyn will meet activists in Musselburgh, East Lothian, on Sunday before attending an event at the Edinburgh Fringe and later speaking at the Rock Against Racism festival in Glasgow.
He is expected to say: “Tory cuts and austerity have affected everyone but have disproportionately hurt the poorest, the young, women, LGBT people and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

The Mail claims Corbyn’s Scottish tour is ‘confusing’.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has sparked confusion over his party’s benefit freeze on his tour of Scotland.
The party leader, who said his party is ready and able to win an election, omitted to mention a freeze on social security.
A briefing note handed to journalists ahead of his address at Coatbridge today said Mr Corbyn would say: ‘We will lift the freeze on social security, using part of the billions we set aside for reform in our costed manifesto.’
It has led to claims the Labour leader is attempting to distance himself from the controversial policy, Sky News reports, but the party has said it is still confident of delivering it.

And the Independent is reporting a potential federal Labour government.

Labour would consider implementing a federal government structure if it won power in Westminster, Jeremy Corbyn has said.
The party’s leader said his government would look at “all options around devolution” if he became Prime Minister and would look at handing more powers to English regions as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The party’s Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale has previously proposed radical constitutional reforms that would lead to replace the House of Lords with an elected federal senate.
The reforms, seen as an alternative to independence, were overwhelmingly supported at Scottish Labour’s conference in February.
Mr Corbyn was asked about the proposal as he visited Glasgow with Ms Dugdale earlier this week, as part of a five-day campaigning tour of marginal constituencies. 

Conservatives

The Mail reports that the Prime Minister will step down two years from now.

Theresa May is said to have revealed the date she will quit as Prime Minister – giving herself two years to see Brexit through first.
She has chosen Friday August 30th 2019 as the day she will step down from 10 Downing Street, it has been reported.
It comes amid a major charm offensive by Mrs May in a bid to win the support of her MPs and avoid an awkward leadership challenge.
The Prime Minister has been inviting groups of 15 Tories to her official Chequers country residence – handing them prosecco and homemade chocolates at the door as they arrive, according to the Mirror.

The Mirror also reports the PM’s plans.

Theresa May has pencilled in Friday, August 30, 2019 as the day she will quit as Prime Minister.
That gives her exactly two years to see Britain through Brexit before handing over to her successor.
Mrs May is on a charm offensive with her MPs – entertaining small groups of 15 plus partners to a day out at her Chequers country retreat.
Each MP is emailed personal invitations until they accept.
She greets each guest in person at the door, offering them prosecco, canapés and homemade chocolates with husband Philip to persuade them to give her the time to complete the withdrawal from the EU.

As does the Sun.

THERESA May is said to have revealed the date she will quit as PM giving herself two years to see Brexit deal through.
The PM has pencilled in Friday August 30 2019 as the day she will step down, it has been reported.
The news comes amid a charm offensive by the Tory leader as she hopes to avoid an awkward leadership challenger before the UK leaves the European Union.
Mrs May has been inviting groups of 15 MPs and their partners to her country retreat Chequers where they are greeted with prosecco, canapés and homemade chocolates, reports the Sunday Mirror.
Husband Phillip is said to be on hand to help her convince them to give her the time to complete the Brexit process before she makes way for her successor.

Immigration

The Sun reports on the numbers of illegal immigrants getting into the UK.

ILLEGAL immigrants are making a mockery of Britain’s border controls, it was claimed last night.
At least 200 people are entering the country unlawfully every day, according to shock new figures.
And the government admits that most of those caught are allowed to stay – because it’s too much trouble to boot them out.
Home Office stats show illegal immigration has risen every year since 2012 and is on course for a further rise.
More than 74,300 enforcement papers were issued against migrants in 2015 – up from 48,727 in 2012.
But these are only the illegal entrants the authorities were able to track down and the real figure will be much higher.

Security

The Telegraph claims an exclusive story about security at Parliament.

A secret test conducted by police showed that terrorists could break into Parliament in under five minutes and stage a massacre of more than 100 MPs, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
In a simulated attack, which took place in the middle of the night, officers posing as extremists used a boat to gain access from the river. They then navigated the corridors and stormed the House of Commons chamber in an exercise that could have caused mass casualties if replicated in real life.
The drill took place when Parliament was in recess earlier this year, with the vast majority of MPs and peers being kept in the dark about the results.
But three sources familiar with the incident have given accounts to this newspaper after being shocked by the security weaknesses it revealed.

The Mail has picked up the story.

Police posing as terrorists managed to break into the House of Commons in less than five minutes during a late-night drill, it has been reported.
The mock attack exposed huge security flaws and showed that MPs are ‘sitting ducks’.
A group of officers gained access to Parliament by approaching on a boat before storming the Commons Chamber.
A source told The Sunday Telegraph that the simulation showed over 100 MPs could have been slaughtered during the exercise.
‘I remember thinking “Jesus Christ, if that’s where we are at and that can happen, then the public would be horrified”,’ one source said.

As does the Sun.

TERRORISTS could break into Parliament and stage a massacre in under five minutes, secret security checks have revealed.
Gaping holes in the building’s supposedly fortress-like perimeter were exposed in a simulated attack.
Anti-terror cops fear the lapse would give intruders enough time to kill at least 100 people – probably including the most powerful men and woman in Britain.
An urgent review of how the Palace of Westminster is protected has been ordered in the wake of the shock findings.
The building’s security was tested when officers posing as extremists used a boat to gain access in the middle of the night.

And the Times claims this weekend’s Notting Hill carnival will be under additional security.

Unprecedented security will be in place today and tomorrow at the Notting Hill carnival amid fears of a terrorist attack and concerns that anger about the Grenfell Tower fire could spill over into violence.
Concrete and metal barriers are being deployed for the first time, while drivers of floats in the carnival procession have been vetted and told to lock their cabs to safeguard against a jihadist hijacking a lorry and mowing down revellers.
Up to 8,000 police officers will patrol the carnival route in west London each day.
Some have been assigned to a protective cordon around the charred remains of Grenfell Tower and will discourage ghouls from taking selfies.

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