Brexit

Well! Looks like Barnier is finally laying down the law to the Prime Minister says the Express.

EU BREXIT negotiator Michel Barnier warned Britain today to bow to Brussels supremacy or it is game over for an amicable divorce as far as Brussels bosses are concerned.
In one of the French politician’s most un-diplomatic speeches yet, he said if Theresa May failed to come up with a treaty which accepted the dominance of the EU Court there would be no treaty and no transition period.
Mr Barnier described British delays in spelling out what kind of trade relationship London wants as “a game of hide and seek” in remarks prepared for delivery to a gathering in Portugal of jurists specialised in EU law.
He attacked British criticism of EU positions as a “blame game” telling Mrs May to recognise the UK could not retain many elements of EU membership after Brexit.

The Independent reports the EU negotiator saying the UK simply can’t escape the clutches of the bloc.

Britain needs to “face the reality” of Brexit, the EU’s chief negotiator has said, as he warned Theresa May a withdrawal deal will not be possible unless she backs down over the future jurisdiction of European courts.
Michel Barnier said Britain should not play a “blame game” and try to claim Brussels is responsible for the “negative consequences” of leaving the European Union.
He urged government ministers to come forward with “more realistic proposals”, warning: “A negotiation cannot be a game of hide and seek.”
Mr Barnier said there would be no withdrawal agreement or transition period unless the UK agrees to a continued role for the European Court of Justice in determining disputes involving the UK after Brexit – something Ms May has repeatedly ruled out.

And BBC News claims Barnier is demanding an acceleration of talks.

Talks between the UK and the European Union need to “speed up” if a deal on a future relationship can be made in time for Brexit, the EU’s negotiator says.
Speaking in Lisbon, Michel Barnier said the UK needed to stop playing “hide and seek” and instead clarify its demands.
It comes as the EU Withdrawal Bill is due to return to the House of Commons, having suffered defeats in the Lords.
The PM faces a rebellion over her move to rule out any future membership of the customs union and single market.
The government fears MPs may follow suit and attempt to amend the bill.
Earlier this week, UK officials warned the EU that its approach to Brexit negotiations  risked damaging its security and economic relationship.

But here in the UK, it has been claimed that the EU is the side that is being difficult, says the Express.

THE EUROPEAN UNION needs to stop “posturing” and “get real” in Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom, a Conservative commentator claimed during a heated live TV debate.
Conservative commentator, Alex Deane, claimed the European Union were being difficult in  Brexit negotiations with the UK.
The Tory also dismissed warnings around the Irish border, which the Irish Prime Minister claimed could lead to Britain leaving the EU without a deal.
Mr Deane said: “Our friends the French inspect less than one percent of non-EU goods when they come into France.
“The idea that you would need to do more than that in Ireland, a country in which much of the trade going across the border in Northern Ireland and southern Ireland is between people you can identify and give preferential trade status to and recognise that their materials going across the border can be regulated with great ease, is a farce.

Our EU negotiator has also criticised the bloc for its negotiating strategy, says Westmonster.

David Davis has hit out at the EU, accusing them of ‘point-scoring’ and ‘public posturing’ about Brexit talks.
Davis was responding to the EU’s claim that the British government was ‘chasing a fantasy’ in negotiations.
He said: “This is not about public posturing and scoring points – we came to the table with a series of serious papers this week, with the intention of making progress towards resolving difficult issues because that is in our shared interests.
“Our proposals on security, for example, are not about bending rules or ‘membership-lite’ – they are about protecting people – nothing more, nothing less.
We face the same threats and have shared values – criminals and terrorists do not respect borders.
“We have made an unconditional offer which we believe provides the best way to do that,” he said. “The EU should not now be seeking to put conditions on this.”
It looks like Britain’s edging towards a No Deal – the EU aren’t budging. Fine, the British government will keep all its cash in its pocket and watch the EU come crawling back.

It looks like the government’s officials are planning to totally thwart Brexit, reports the Telegraph.

The Government is secretly planning to stay in the European Union, Eurosceptics fear, after it emerged that Whitehall officials have set aside hundreds of thousands of pounds to spend on European Parliament elections.
The electoral watchdog has been handed a budget of £829,000 to pay for its “activities relating to a European Parliamentary election in 2019”, The Telegraph can disclose.
The Electoral Commission said it had set aside the cash as a “precautionary measure, so that we have the necessary funds to deliver our functions at a European Parliamentary election, in the unlikely event that they do go ahead.” 

And the Times claims cash has been put aside to pay for the next European elections.

What do they know that is worth more than £800,000? Fears are rising of a plot to derail Brexit after it emerged that public money had been set aside for the next election to the European parliament.
The Electoral Commission, the election watchdog, is preparing to go ahead with the vote, even though it takes place eight weeks after the UK is due to leave the EU.
The Speaker’s committee on the commission, chaired by John Bercow — whose car sports a “remain” bumper sticker — has agreed to ring-fence £829,000, rousing suspicion among Brexit supporters who fear that the UK will never leave the EU.
The election watchdog says funding was approved in the “unlikely” event the poll happens.

EU

There are further problems elsewhere on the Continent, reports the Telegraph.

Italy’s political stand-off continued to deepen with all sides showing no signs of backing down over demands by populist parties to appoint a fiercely Eurosceptic finance minister, ringing alarm bells across EU financial markets.
President Sergio Mattarella’s refusal to accept the nomination of 81-year-old Paolo Savona as economy minister has infuriated the leadership of both the Five Star Movement and The League which received a mandate to form a government last week.
Matteo Salvini, the leader of the anti-immigration League said on Facebook on Saturday that he was “very angry” at the impasse over the appointment of Mr Savona
.

Conservative Party

Meanwhile, it seems that some Tories are unhappy with the current Prime Minister, reports the Mail.

Tory grandees want to ‘replace’ Prime Minister  Theresa May with first Michael Gove and then Ruth Davidson in the next three years.
It is understood as many as 30 MPs are trying to gather support for the ‘plot’ to force out Mrs May and install the Environment Secretary as a caretaker leader.
He would then step down in 2021 in favour of Ms Davidson in a plan called the ‘Gove-Davidson succession’.
Ms Davidson is already aiming to oust SNP  leader Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister in the Scottish Parliament in the next Holyrood elections in 2021.
And the politician, who announced she was pregnant last month, has previously hinted she would run for a Westminster seat if she fails in that bid.
According to The Sun, frustrated senior Tories want to replace Mrs May when Brexit is delivered over the difficulties in securing the divorce from the EU.
A former cabinet minister told the paper Ms Davidson is seen as the ‘messiah’ and the ‘answer to the party’s problems’, with Mr Gove able to ‘fill the gap’ during the Brexit transition period.

The fight has not finished in the party, says the Sun.

PRO-EU Tory MP rebels will be targeted by Leave voters to back Theresa May over vital Brexit votes.
The gang of a dozen pro-EU back-benchers will face a blitz of lobbying to get behind the PM. Leave supporters living in the group’s constituencies will demand their MPs to overturn efforts by Peers to “delay and obstruct” Brexit.
They will be asked to resign from the party if they backtrack on the Tories’ manifesto commitments to leave the single market and customs union.
Tory grandee and ex-Chancellor Ken Clarke is among the high-profile names on the list and ex-Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.
Activists are being asked be asked to write to their MP demanding they scrap Lords amendments when the legislation returns to the Commons next months.
The letter states: “Thankfully most Conservative MPs realise that they must deliver the result of the EU referendum and will seek to overturn the amendments of betrayal pushed by the Lords.”

NHS

Away from Parliament, there is still a tussle over how much more cash will be given to our health service, reports the Times.

Philip Hammond has warned Theresa May that he will agree to billions more being poured into the NHS only if its bosses can show they will spend wisely and if other ministers accept there will be no funds for other services such as the police.
The chancellor is locked in tense talks with the prime minister and Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, over plans to hand the NHS a birthday boost to mark its 70th anniversary in July.
Senior government sources say he has imposed conditions on the handout, which ministers expect to be paid for from a tax rise in the budget this autumn.
Hammond is urging his colleagues to pile pressure on bosses.

And the Sun reports on the original claim that £350m more could be spent on the NHS.

THERESA May faces Brexiteers’ fury over a plan for a huge taxpayer-funded NHS budget hike.
The PM has asked MPs for cash-raising ideas ahead of the service’s 70th birthday in July.
She wants a three per cent deal in summer that would hit the target of £350million a week more by the next election — the sum Brexiteers said could go to the NHS once we quit the EU.
Ideas include a 1p tax rise or a pensions raid.
But it has angered Brexiteers who want to use the £350million weekly saving.
Ex-Cabinet minister Priti Patel said: “The PM said she would guarantee that when we take back control of our money, it would be spent on domestic priorities, including the NHS. That should be the priority.”

[Redacted]

There have been numerous comments on this site about a certain activist that now cannot be named. Breitbart does its best.

The Leeds Crown Court has issued a UK media ban following the arrest of well-known activist and citizen journalist [redacted] outside [redacted].
The reporting restriction, which requires on all publications within the United Kingdom to cease any mention of the details of the arrest or court proceedings of [redacted], was issued Friday afternoon
.
Shortly after the issuance of the press ban on the case, several media outlets, including Breitbart London, the Mirror, the Daily Record, Birmingham Mail, and the Russian state broadcaster Russia Today, complied with the restriction and removed articles concerning [redacted]’s case.
Several other media outlets have kept their coverage of the arrest and the subsequent court details up, despite potentially falling foul of the court-issued ban which is to be lifted following the conclusion of a separate case.

Labour Party

Anti-semitism in the Labour Party has not gone away, says the Mail.

Jeremy Corbyn was ‘too unemotional or too stupid’ to understand claims that he has failed to combat anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, it has been claimed.
The Labour leader is described as ‘bored, uninterested and condescending’ in a leaked account of his meeting with Jewish leaders last month to discuss the issue.
It suggests he lacks the ‘emotional or intellectual ability’ to comprehend their demands for more action to tackle the problem.
By contrast, he sprang into life with a ‘convulsion’ when told that his support for a ‘two state solution’ in the rift between Israel and Palestine  meant he was a ‘Zionist’.

But it seems the party’s left wing is putting pressure on the leadership, says the Guardian.

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn from the leftwing campaign group Momentum are piling pressure on the leadership this weekend to give members a debate and vote on Labour’s Brexit policy in a move that will further expose the party’s deep divisions over Europe.
Several prominent figures on the left have told the Observer that it will be unacceptable – and reminiscent of the worst elements of Tony Blair’s leadership – if policy is decided behind closed doors. They are demanding that Brexit is fully discussed and voted on by delegates at the Labour party conference in Liverpool in September. The gathering will take place before any vote by MPs in parliament on the outcome of negotiations between Theresa May and Brussels.

The Express explains more.

JEREMY Corbyn is being pressured by leftist campaign group Momentum to give members the chance to debate and vote on the Brexit policy of Labour – despite the move potentially exposing the division within the party and embarrassing its eurosceptic leader.
The demand for a greater democracy over the decision-making process on Brexit comes from the core movement behind the Labour leader, which has been deemed “unacceptable” in maintaining the debate on the withdrawal from the EU a matter reserved to the leadership.
Despite a spokesman for Momentum saying the hard-left group backed Mr Corbyn’s view on Brexit, it wants to see the right of voting on the important issue to both its delegates and trade unions.

The party has shown its lack of business acumen, says the Star.

LABOUR looks set to lose a FORTUNE after apparently failing to sell tickets to its upcoming music festival.
‘Labour Live’ – dubbed ‘Jezfest’ – is reportedly struggling to turn a profit after selling just 2,500 of the 15,000 seats – with just three weeks to go.
Jeremy Corbyn’s team is said to blame party chairman Ian Lavery for not bagging any A-list acts for the line-up.
Despite praise from stars such as Lily Allen, Stormzy and Sleaford Mods, none of them are on the bill for the June 16 show.
Insiders last night told the Times ticket sales were still “dire”, suggesting the party could be looking at losses of more than £1 million.
They said: “We are fast approaching the moment when we will be giving them away.”

Abortion

Many have cheered the result of the historic vote in Ireland, reports the Mail.

Ireland’s prime minister has hailed the country’s decision to overturn a ban on abortion as the scale of the Yes campaign’s victory in the referendum became clear on Saturday.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who led the Yes campaign, has said the country is united and has voted ‘resoundingly’ in favour of the abortion reform, as official results showed almost two-thirds supporting the change.
He pledged to introduce new legislation by the end of the year and called the repeal campaign’s landslide victory ‘the culmination of a quiet revolution’.
Returning officer Barry Ryan confirmed the Yes campaign’s victory on Saturday evening, with 1,429,981 ballots in favour (66.4 per cent) and 723,632 against (33.6 per cent).

ITV News also reports the referendum result.

Yes campaigners hailed a “resounding” victory as Ireland voted overwhelmingly to change its restrictive abortion laws.
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that a “quiet revolution” had taken place, as voters chose to repeal the Eight Amendment.
He added that the outcome proves Ireland “trusts and respects women to make their own decision and choices.”
Shortly after counting begun on Saturday, a lead anti-abortion group, Save the 8th, conceded defeat.
Final results showed that 66.4% of voters backed reform, with 33.6% against.

That’s democracy in action, reports the Mirror.

Ireland’s decision to overturn its draconian abortion law was last night hailed as the result of “a quiet revolution” that led to a “great act of democracy”.
But campaigners are now urging the Government to extend the result of the historic referendum across the border into Northern Ireland.
There were jubilant scenes in capital city Dublin as Ireland voted overwhelmingly to change its strict abortion laws.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar tweeted: “Fantastic crowds at Dublin Castle. Remarkable day. A quiet ­revolution has taken place, a great act of democracy.”
The vote for change was carried by a majority of 706,349. The percentage of votes in favour was 66.4 per cent with 33.6 per cent against.

But the historic vote in Ireland has led to repercussions here, says the Times.

Theresa May is facing open revolt from senior Tory women over abortion after Ireland’s historic vote to lift a ban on terminations.
Penny Mordaunt, the women and equalities minister, and her four predecessors urged the prime minister to allow a free vote in parliament to reform Northern Ireland’s draconian abortion laws.
Mordaunt, the cabinet minister responsible, said yesterday that the landslide victory to legalise abortion in the Irish referendum should now bring change north of the border.
Downing Street fears that could destabilise the government by antagonising the socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which May depends on for a Commons majority.
Mordaunt tweeted: “A historic and great day for Ireland and a hopeful one for Northern Ireland. That hope must be met.”

Energy

The bad winter affected energy companies seriously, says the Telegraph.

Half of Britain’s energy suppliers face an existential risk after the “Beast from the East” tore through the balance sheets of the industry’s small players.
Thousands of energy customers could be left in limbo due to a high risk that around 10 of the most fragile suppliers are on the brink of going under.
Many hundreds of thousands more bill payers face the risk of sudden ­energy tariff hikes because almost 40 suppliers may be forced to squeeze their customers to survive.
The startling strain endured by the industry in the wake of the volatile winter energy market is laid bare in leaked proprietary data compiled by one of the City’s top analytics firms, Dun and Bradstreet.

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