Brexit

Tory and Labour MPs have teamed up to stop Brexit – even though their voters voted Leave, says the Sun.

A HUGE band of MPs are betraying voters by trying to thwart Brexit, angry colleagues have claimed.
They have formed an unholy alliance with politicians from rival parties to delay or stop Britain’s EU departure.
Between them they have backed a host of “killer” Commons amendments either to derail the process or force a second referendum.
Each gives a different reason for opposing Theresa May’s deal – but they all represent constituencies where the majority voted Leave.
Labour’s Yvette Cooper, who voted Remain, has spearheaded efforts to give Parliament control of the process to stop a “no deal” Brexit and postpone our departure date.
She insisted in her 2017 election leaflet: “I’m fighting to get the best Brexit deal for Yorkshire.”  But how many of the 69.26 per cent of her constituents who voted Leave would agree?

The Times reports ‘peace terms’ offered to the beleaguered Prime Minister.

Tory Brexiteers have delivered peace terms to Theresa May, outlining the price she must pay to secure their support for her Brexit deal in the crunch Commons showdown within days.
The European Research Group (ERG) of hardliners, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, have drawn up “three tests” the government must meet if the prime minister hopes to win the vote due as early as this week.
In a significant intervention, eight ERG lawyers, chaired by veteran Eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash, have drawn up a document spelling out their demands, the clearest sign yet that they are prepared to fall into line.

The Mirror claims Brexiteers are ready to make more concessions.

Tory Brexiteers are prepared to settle for what they call a “hop, skip and jump” Brexit – paving the way for a deal as early as this week so Britain leaves the EU on time.
The HOP is to reluctantly accept Theresa May ’s new deal with Brussels.
The SKIP is the transition to get a free trade deal in place while we are effectively still in the EU.
And the JUMP is to finally cut all EU ties by December 2022 at the latest.

Delay

Yahoo News reports more ‘should’, ’might’ and ‘maybe’ from the EU’s negotiator.

Brussels is ready to give the UK further “guarantees, assurances and clarifications” that the Irish backstop should only be temporary, Michel Barnier has said.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator insisted that the controversial measure, intended to avoid a hard border on Ireland, will not be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement.
While acknowledging Brexiteer concerns that the backstop is a trap that would keep the UK tied to the EU indefinitely, Mr Barnier insisted it is only “insurance” intended for the “worst-case scenario”.

And the Independent claims Barnier is ramping up the pressure on the PM.

Theresa May will have to delay Brexit even if she gets her exit plan through parliament this month, Michel Barnier has said.
The EU’s chief negotiator said there was now not enough time for the European Union to ratify the withdrawal agreement, even if MPs back the plan in a vote expected to be held on 12 March.
In a joint interview with several European newspapers, Mr Barnier also said the EU was willing to provide further assurances that the backstop  will be temporary.

ITV News reports Barnier saying the PM will have to delay Brexit.

Michel Barnier has indicated he does not believe the UK will have enough time to approve Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement by March 29.
The EU’s chief negotiator suggested a “technical extension” of up to two months may be needed.
MPs have been told that a “meaningful vote” on the prime minister’s deal will take place on March 12.
Asked if he thought it was possible to reach an agreement by March 29, even if Westminster gave the green light this month, Mr Barnier told Spain’s El Mundo newspaper: “No.”

The Mail reports it’s ‘unavoidable’.

A Brexit delay is now ‘unavoidable’ even if MPs back a deal next week, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned.
Barnier backed up the private positions of many of the Remainers in Theresa May’s Cabinet by saying she does not have time to make a deal.
Theresa May has threatened MPs in recent weeks to back her ‘meaningful vote’ on March 12 or risk further delaying Brexit or a no-deal scenario.
Barnier told Spain’s El Mundo that Brussels would not green light a Brexit deal on March 29 even if Parliament reached an agreement.

But the attorney general has a warning in the Sun.

BREXIT broker Geoffrey Cox has cranked up the pressure on EU chiefs by warning them: “The future of Europe is in both our hands.”
The dogged law chief has held nothing back in his bid to clinch a last-gasp deal that will win the backing of MPs.
He bluntly told chief Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier failure to deliver a clean departure would have devastating consequences for the whole continent.

And the Express claims the rest of the EU are worried about whether the PM can get the agreement through Parliament.

PANICKING European Union diplomats have revealed they are “very worried” about whether Theresa May will secure the legally binding changes to the controversial backstop demanded by Brexiteers.
Mrs May is currently battling with the EU’s top negotiators to get changes to the Withdrawal Agreement that will satisfy enough Brexiteers for it to pass through the House of Commons. However one EU source indicated the Prime Minister’s strategy is not working, raising the likelihood Britain will leave the bloc without a deal. The diplomat said: “I am very worried. What will she put to Parliament?

MP Daniel Hannan writes for the Telegraph on the PM’s Withdrawal Deal.

The deal that will come before Parliament next week represents a devastating failure of British statecraft. It would keep most of the costs of EU membership while junking most of the benefits. It would require Britain to cede part of its territory to foreign jurisdiction. It would allow Brussels to control our commerce with non-EU states even after we leave.
MPs who believe in parliamentary sovereignty should vote against it. MPs who believe in the Union should vote against it. MPs who believe in free trade should vote against it.

Trade

Trade is blooming reports Breitbart.

EU loyalists predicting disaster for Britain in general and British carmakers in particular have been left with egg on their faces as new figures show the country growing faster than major EU economies, and Jaguar Land Rover signals huge investments in British manufacturing.
Anti-Brexit politicians and campaigners and Remain-leaning broadcast media outlets have given a great deal of prominence to the recent news that Honda will cut some jobs in Britain and that Nissan will build its new X-Trail SUV in Japan rather than its British facilities, framing the reports in the context of Brexit — despite the link being highly dubious, with problems in the Chinese market and the ongoing travails of the diesel sector appearing to be far more likely culprits for the carmakers’ problems.

Second referendum

Opposition front benchers are unhappy with their leader, reports the Telegraph.

Up to 17 members of Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench have indicated they could rebel against an attempt to call a second referendum.
An audit of remarks by shadow ministers reveals the scale of opposition to another poll, and the number of those who have issued warnings about the effects it could have on the country.
Some 13 Labour frontbenchers have made public comments signalling their opposition to a second referendum in the last six months alone, despite the party’s formal adoption of the move as an option at its conference in October.

But the Labour grassroots are very happy with the prospect, says the Independent.

Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to support a fresh Brexit referendum enjoys the overwhelming backing of Labour voters in Leave-voting areas, new research has found.
Only 21 per cent of those in the north and the midlands who voted Labour at the last election said they opposed the dramatic policy shift – a figure dwarfed by the 66 per cent in favour.
In a further boost for Mr Corbyn, 35 per cent said it made them feel more favourable towards Labour, compared with just 14 per cent who said it made them feel less positive.

Boris thinks a second referendum is not a good idea, reports Breitbart.

Britain’s Brexit champion Boris Johnson on Saturday hit out at mounting calls for a second referendum on European Union membership predicting it would arouse widespread “anger”.
The former foreign minister turned tormentor of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May also mocked the “bastards” who run the EU as he attacked the bloc.
Questioned at a conference in New Delhi about pressure for a repeat of the 2016 referendum in Britain, Johnson said “I don’t think that’s possible.”

Labour Party

The party is still fighting on the antisemitism front says Sky News.

The war of words within Labour over antisemitism is continuing as a left-wing Jewish group has confirmed it may split from the party.
Peter Mason, national secretary of the Jewish Labour Movement, told Sky News the group is looking at ending its 99-year affiliation with the party over a lack of action.

BBC News reports a clash.

Two of Labour’s most senior figures have clashed over how to handle anti-Semitism within the party.
General secretary Jennie Formby accused deputy leader Tom Watson of “completely unacceptable” behaviour for asking that complaints about anti-Semitism be forwarded to him for monitoring.
She said his approach would “undermine” and “pollute” existing party processes.

The Times says a top peer will help the situation.

The Labour peer drafted in to deal with the anti-semitism crisis in the party has admitted that “stone cold” cases of hatred have been brushed under the carpet and vowed to reopen them so the culprits can be kicked out.
Lord Falconer warned Jeremy Corbyn that he has no prospect of becoming prime minister unless he stamps out the conspiratorial world view that fuels Jewish hatred on the far left. He also said that non-disclosure agreements gagging former party staff from speaking out would be bypassed so that he can conduct his inquiry.

Conservative Party

The Prime Minister could be on her way out, reports the Times.

Several members of the cabinet believe that Theresa May will be gone by the end of the year, with those who backed Britain remaining in the EU being the most enthusiastic about her staying.
Many senior colleagues believe that Mrs May’s future could come to an end in November, when the one-year grace period that she secured after the vote of no confidence as Tory leader expires.
“There’s no way she’ll win that vote when it happens again,” a cabinet member told The Times. “That’s the view of lots of colleagues.”

And so could many of her MPs, says Westmonster.

The Brexiteer grassroots of the Conservative Party have had enough and are hitting back against hardline Remainer MPs who are refusing to back the UK leaving the European Union with or without a deal on 29th March 2019.
Anti-No Deal Dame Caroline Spelman and Dominic Grieve along with Mark Pawsey, are all facing local deselection bids in the coming weeks, as The Telegraph report.
Collin Boden, a Conservative Party who will submit a motion against Spelman said it was down to “her attempt to delay and to even kill off Brexit”.

The Sun claims a top Tory has blown her chances of becoming Prime Minister.

AMBER Rudd has killed off her chance of ever becoming PM after threatening to delay Brexit.
Senior Tories who were ready to back a leadership bid feel let down by her “treachery”.
They witnessed the fury of party activists after the Work and Pension Secretary publicly defied Theresa May.
A Cabinet minister told The Sun on Sunday: “Amber has completely blown her chances.

But a rugby star could join them in Parliament, reports the Telegraph.

Stade de France, Stadio Olimpico, the Principality Stadium… Downing Street. Wales’s Grand Slam mission has taken in a meeting with Theresa May with Rob Evans claiming the Prime Minister wants him as “Brexit Secretary”.
The loosehead prop, who played an influential role in last weekend’s victory over England, attended No 10 on Wednesday as part of the St David’s Day celebrations and talked with May. He was invited by Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb, who was taught in school by Evans’ father, Graham.

The transport secretary is under even more pressure in the Times.

The embattled transport secretary, Chris Grayling, was fighting for his political life this weekend as Tory council bosses accused him of a “giant con” over Heathrow’s third runway.
Jet noise maps, published by the airport and analysed by local authorities, reveal the likely noise impact across huge swathes of London and southern England that were not previously overflown once the runway is complete.
In some areas of the capital and the home counties that have not previously suffered jet noise, the noise maps reveal that up to 47 flights an hour might pass overhead.

Sky News also reports the transport secretary’s woes.

The transport secretary is facing calls to quit after it was revealed £33m in taxpayers’ money was paid to Eurotunnel over controversial no-deal Brexit ferry contracts.
Chris Grayling is under pressure to resign over the move, which is the latest in a list of mishaps he has overseen.
In exchange for the cash, Eurotunnel dropped legal action brought against the “secretive” process used around the shipping deals.

EU

Industry across the Channel is dropping like a stone, reports the Telegraph.

Eurozone industry is sliding ever deeper into recession after a fresh plunge in both new orders and exports, raising the risk of a full-blown economic slump with few safety buffers left to cushion the shock.
The Markit IHS survey of manufacturing for Germany fell to a 74-month low of 47.6 in February, approaching levels last seen during the depths of the eurozone debt crisis.
The damage is pervasive and can no longer be blamed on temporary disruption caused by new vehicle standards last Autumn.
Italy saw the worst deterioration since May 2013. The country has no chance of averting a further contraction this quarter after tipping into its third recession in a decade late last year.

But Ireland’s PM is not worried about stirring up a fisheries row, says the Express.

IRELAND Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has dubbed a politically-charged fishing row between Britain and the EU an “anomaly” after the Irish Republic arrested British fishermen and seized their ships for trawling their territory.
Mr Varadkar told LMFM Radio the legislation that led to the Northern Irish owners of the two boats being hauled in front of a judge and later released without charge had been stuck in the upper house of Parliament, of which he has no control. He said: “I think we can have that law changed and that anomaly, if you like, corrected, and we can do that in the next couple of weeks.”

Education

Student loans may be blocked for poor-achieving students says the Telegraph.

Ministers are preparing to refuse student loans to individuals who are unable to attain even the lowest A-Level grades.
Whitehall sources said there was a “broad consensus” on the need for a national minimum threshold to help reduce the number of students taking “Mickey Mouse degrees” which cost more than £9,000 per year and do little to boost the salaries of graduates.

Students are being targeted by drugs dealers at university, says the Mail.

Ruthless drug dealers are targeting vulnerable young students at some of Britain’s top universities by brazenly handing out professional business cards on campuses – while police appear to turn a blind eye.
Students, many of whom are living away from home for the first time, are given instant access to Class A drugs – including cocaine, MDMA and ketamine – simply by calling mobile phone numbers printed on slick flyers.
A disturbing Mail on Sunday investigation at four of Britain’s leading universities found:
Shameless dealers offering free samples of drugs stapled to the back of business cards;
‘Buy One Get One Free’ deals on Class A drugs that have killed scores of students;
Claims that police take no action.

Army veterans

The Times reports a proposal to stop prosecuting soldiers for allegations of historic crimes.

Army veterans will be protected from prosecution for alleged historic abuses under plans to introduce a 10-year limit on new cases, The Sunday Times can reveal.
Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, is expected to bring forward the proposed legislation in this year’s Queen’s speech after growing pressure on the government to address the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Nazis

Wartime turncoats are receiving huge pensions in the UK, reports the Telegraph.

The German government is paying 34 “Nazi collaborators” living in the UK £12,000 in tax free pension payments each month, The Telegraph can reveal.
The lump sum handouts are part of a series of payments made to 2,000 former soldiers or collaborators wounded fighting for the Third Reich.
It is understood that just over a fifth of the pensioners are German, with the vast majority thought to be foreigners who collaborated with the Nazi regime.

Tax

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department is having a crackdown, reports the Telegraph.

Self-employed workers facing potential six-figure bills as part of a tax avoidance crackdown have said they feel they are being bullied into settling with the taxman. There is now just one month until the controversial “loan charge” – introduced in 2016 to tax those who used avoidance schemes dating back 20 years – comes into force.
The roughly 50,000 contractors affected made use of complex arrangements that involved being paid via loans from an offshore trust that were theoretically tax-free.

Rail travel

The violence at rail stations is being blamed on cancellations and delays in the Telegraph.

Commuter frustration over cancelled services, delays and lengthy refurbishments has been blamed for a huge increase in violent incidents at railway stations across the country.
Figures obtained under Freedom of Information revealed that some of Britain’s busiest stations have seen incidents almost double over the past four years.
London’s Victoria station was revealed to be the most dangerous in the UK, with 250 violent incidents reported to police by passengers over the past 12 months.

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