With UKIPDaily down for scheduled maintenance over the weekend, we present a round up of the news media over the last two days.

Brexit

The Express reports the words of our former leader after the leaking of papers relating to a transitional deal.

NIGEL Farage has lashed out at the possible EU demands the bloc is expected to call for over agreeing a transitional deal, after papers were leaked.
The EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier wants to make giving the UK a good transition deal conditional on Britain’s “automatic” acceptance of new Brussels regulations during the likely two-year period after March 2019, leaked documents show.
This would mean Britain had no say over rules made during the transition period but would have to accept them.
The MEP and former leader of Ukip, Nigel Farage, told Express.co.uk: “Here is another set of unreasonable demands from Barnier making no deal seem more attractive.
“The European Commission are clearly not interested in genuine negotiations.
“It’s would better for us to walk away and save a lot of time.”

In what it claims is an exclusive, the Independent outlines the next set of EU demands.

EU negotiators are already laying the groundwork to hit the UK with demands in the next stage of  Brexit talks that are unacceptable to key figures in Theresa May’s Cabinet, The Independent can reveal.
Leaked documents show chief EU negotiator  Michel Barnier wants to make giving the UK a good transition deal conditional on Britain’s “automatic” acceptance of new Brussels regulations during the likely two-year period after March 2019.
The plan, set out to EU leaders behind closed doors, would leave the UK with no say over rules it accepts during the transition and is likely to enrage Brexiteers in the Cabinet like Boris JohnsonMichael Gove and Liam Fox, who are determined 2019 should be the last year Britain takes new rules from Brussels.
The move shows that it is once again EU negotiators who are setting the terms of Brexit discussions, while Ms May is still struggling to meet their initial demands relating to the first “withdrawal” stage of the talks.

But the Prime Minister is being warned not to dilute her demands, says the Telegraph.

Theresa May has been warned not to retreat from a pledge to “take back control of our laws” as she faced lobbying from at least one senior minister for a compromise with Brussels over the powers of European judges after Brexit.
Eurosceptic ministers and backbenchers have expressed alarm at a plan being pushed in the Cabinet’s Brexit sub-committee for the UK to agree to a system of “voluntary referral” of cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) following Britain’s departure from the EU.
Mrs May has previously made the jurisdiction of the ECJ a “red line” in Britain’s negotiations, saying that the British Supreme Court would be the “ultimate arbiter” after Brexit.

Several of the media report the EU’s demands for negotiating ‘progress’ with a deadline to do so.  The Telegraph says:

Theresa May has 10 days to resolve the issue of the Irish border if she wants to make a Brexit breakthrough at a key summit next month, Donald Tusk warned today.
The Prime Minister met Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, in Brussels as she signalled she is prepared to give ground on the Brexit divorce bill if the EU commits to trade talks.
Mr Tusk said that a breakthrough at the European Council summit on December 14 is “possible” but will still be a “huge challenge”. He added that progress must be made “on all issues, including on Ireland”.

And the Independent also reports a potential breakthrough.

Theresa May has been given 10 days to improve her offer to the EU if she wants its leaders to allow Brexit talks to move on to transition and trade.
After a meeting in Brussels, European Council President Donald Tusk said Ms May would have to finalise her deal by 4 December when she is expected to meet other key EU officials.
If Ms May’s offer on critical withdrawal issues including the “divorce bill”, EU citizens’ rights and the Irish border meets with approval, it will allow EU leaders to rule that “significant progress” has been made for negotiations to move forward at the European Council on 14 December.
The Prime Minister hopes the crunch summit in Brussels will give a boost to the whole Brexit process and to the credibility of her leadership, which hinges on making a success of EU withdrawal.

But the Guardian claims the negotiations will be a challenge.

Theresa May still faces a “huge challenge” in persuading the EU to move the Brexit negotiations on to discussions about trade and a transition period in December, the president of the European council, Donald Tusk, has said.
Following a face-to-face meeting with the British prime minister in Brussels on Friday, Tusk struck a sombre note just weeks from a crunch meeting of EU leaders which will decide whether sufficient progress has been made to allow Brexit talks to move on from the opening issues of citizens’ rights, the border on the island of Ireland and the financial settlement.
After an hour-long meeting with May on the margins of a summit, Tusk appeared to dash the prime minister’s hopes of a smooth move to wider talks.

The Express reports a former Conservative leader saying the other 27 states may not agree.

BREXITEER Iain Duncan Smith said the European Union is in a “messy” position in the Brexit negotiations because member states are threatening to hamper a deal.
The former Tory Leader said the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is aware that Brexit talks cannot move onto the second stage because the Irish border issue will not be resolved without discussing trade elements.
EU leaders are refusing to progress to trade talks until progress is made on the key Brexit issues – including the financial settlement, the Irish border and citizens’ rights.
Speaking to Bloomberg News, Mr Duncan Smith said: “I think the EU has got itself in a messy position right now.
“Because in trying to say that these things have to be settled before you move on to trade, what they forget, and they know this by the way, that Mr Barnier wants to go to trade.
“I understand that the other countries are stopping him because he knows you can’t settle the Irish border until you settle what the trade arrangement is.”

The Times says we might nt know how much the PM is promising to pay.

Theresa May has agreed with Brussels that Britain will hand over more than £40bn when the UK leaves the EU — but keep the final bill secret from the public even when the final deal is done in 2019.
EU negotiators said the prime minister had provided a clear assurance to fellow leaders that her cabinet has agreed to pay more money after a crunch meeting last week — paving the way for formal talks on a new trade agreement to be approved at a summit in Brussels next month.
But insiders said the assurances would mean that the specific British commitments will not be placed in writing at the meeting in December of the European Council to avoid a political row.

Ireland

One of the main stumbling blocks is the question of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, says the Independent.

Downing Street has rowed back on claims that Northern Ireland’s membership of the customs union was up a “matter for negotiations” as rows over the Irish border threatened to derail Brexit talks.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman sparked confusion on Friday by saying it was up for discussion in Brexit negotiations, in remarks likely prompt concern among Theresa May’s allies in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who support the UK leaving the customs union and the single market.
The future of the Northern Ireland border remains a key issue in the talks with Brussels, as the UK leaving the European Union’s single market and customs unions would traditionally require a customs border on the island of Ireland.

The Independent also quotes the leader of the DUP on the matter.

The DUP leader Arlene Foster, whose party is propping up Theresa May’s minority government, has accused the Irish government of exploiting Brexit to attempt to unify Ireland.
Ms Foster, who will address her party’s annual conference tomorrow, told the 
Today programme: “The Irish government are actually using the negotiations in Europe to put forward their views on what they believe the island of Ireland should look like in the future.”
She added: “We’ve heard from the foreign minister of the Republic of Ireland just yesterday talking about his aspiration for a united Ireland. He is entitled to have that aspiration but he should not be using European Union negotiations to talk about those issues. What he should be talking about are trading relationships.”

The Guardian also reports Ms Fosters comments.

The DUP leader, Arlene Foster, has accused the Irish government of hijacking the Brexit negotiations to promote a united Ireland.
Speaking before her party’s annual conference, Foster expressed her alarm at comments from the Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, who told a parliamentary committee he wanted to see a united Ireland in his political lifetime.
Foster told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that such interventions were hampering efforts to move the stalled Brexit negotiations to discussions about trade.
She said: “The Irish government are actually using the negotiations in Europe to put forward their views on what they believe the island of Ireland  should look like in the future.”
She added: “We’ve heard from the foreign minister of the Republic of Ireland just yesterday talking about his aspiration for a united Ireland. He is entitled to have that aspiration but he should not be using European Union negotiations to talk about those issues. What he should be talking about are trading relationships.”

And the Independent claims Ms Foster has written to the other EU states telling them to butt out of the talks.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has written to the leaders of all 27 EU countries, telling them that Northern Ireland will not tolerate any difference in status between itself and the rest of the United Kingdom after the UK leaves the EU.
Earlier this week, it had been suggested that Northern Ireland might remain in the customs union after Brexit, to prevent a hard border between itself and the Irish Republic. But, speaking to the DUP annual conference in Belfast, Ms Foster made clear that Northern Ireland would leave the customs union.
She said: “We will not support any arrangements that create barriers to trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom or any suggestion that Northern Ireland, unlike the rest of the UK, will have to mirror European regulations.

BBC News reports tough negotiations ahead.

The Irish Republic’s EU commissioner has said Dublin will “play tough to the end” over its threat to veto Brexit talks moving on to discuss trade.
The European Union has said “sufficient progress” has to be made on the Irish border before negotiations on the UK and EU’s future relationship can begin.
Phil Hogan told the Observer staying in the customs union would avoid there being a hard border on the island.
The DUP said Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK must not be different.
Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, which is in a confidence-and-supply arrangement with the Conservative government, said she would not support “any suggestion that Northern Ireland, unlike the rest of the UK, will have to mirror European regulations”.
Downing Street has said the whole of the UK will leave both the customs union and the single market when it leaves the EU.

And the Guardian is urging the PM to change her mind.

Ireland’s European commissioner has urged Theresa May to change her Brexit plans dramatically to prevent a mounting crisis over the Irish border from derailing her hopes of an EU trade deal.
The threat of a hard Irish border has emerged as the major obstacle to the prime minister’s aim of securing the green light for Brexit trade talks at a crucial summit only weeks away. She has effectively been handed just days to give stronger guarantees over the issue.
Phil Hogan, the EU’s agriculture commissioner, told the 
Observer that it was a “very simple fact” that remaining inside the single market and customs union, or allowing Northern Ireland to do so, would end the standoff.
Hogan warned there was “blind faith” from some UK ministers that Britain would secure a comprehensive Brexit free trade deal. He warned that Ireland would “continue to play tough to the end” over its threat to veto trade talks until it had guarantees over the border.

ECJ

In an exclusive story, the Sun claims the PM is considering including the European Court of Justice in the Brexit negotiations.

THERESA May is thinking of handing the European Court of Justice a role in post-Brexit Britain.
The Sun today reveals reports that she has held talks about a referral system to the ECJ for EU nationals who stay here.
UK judges would refer a case to Luxembourg if a query arose on a point of law that has not previously been addressed during our time as a member state.
The idea was debated during a meeting of Theresa May’s inner Brexit Cabinet on Monday, James Forsyth reveals in his column today.
A senior Government figure believes the solution is a “good compromise” that could represent a  major breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations.
The source claims it would be acceptable to Brexit-backers as the decision to refer would “still be a UK court decision” and the “numbers would be very small”.

The Express has picked up the story.

THERESA May is considering a move to allow the European Court of Justice to keep its role in the British judicial system post-Brexit.
The Prime Minister has held talks with EU officials about a referral system to the ECJ for EU nationals who remain in the UK.
Under the proposal UK judges would refer a case to Luxembourg if a query arose on a point of law that has not previously been addressed during our time as a member state.

Trade

Plans to introduce quotas for food imports have angered Australians, says the Independent.

UK trade plans to share out quotas for cheap food imports after Brexit have been condemned by Australia for imposing unacceptable restrictions on other nations.
Trade minister Steven Ciobo, who is in charge of talks over a UK-Australia trade deal, hit out at Government proposals to divide up with Brussels the numbers of goods that can be brought in on positive tariffs based roughly on current rates.
Mr Ciobo said the UK’s quota-splitting plan would hit other nations exporting to the European Union amid concerns from other countries including the United States, New Zealand, Canada and Brazil.
His comments are likely to concern ministers, as securing favourable trade deals with nations outside of Europe is a key plank of the Government’s Brexit strategy.

The Guardian also has the story.

Plans by the UK and European Union to share quotas for cheap food imports after Brexit have come under fire from Australia.
Restrictions on how many products can be imported into the EU on favourable rates are set across the bloc and concerns have been raised internationally that exporters could take a financial hit when the UK quits.
The government has agreed with Brussels to divide up the goods that can be brought in on low or zero tariffs based roughly on current rates. It would mean products imported into the UK in higher numbers than other parts of the bloc would continue to be traded in similar numbers.
But Australia’s trade minister, Steven Ciobo, said the move would impose unacceptable restrictions on nations exporting to the bloc. “The point is that you have a choice about where you place your quota at the moment,” he told the BBC.

Environment

In other areas of the ‘divorce’, the Express quotes the Environment Secretary’s opinions on environmental standards.

MICHAEL GOVE railed against Brexit doom-mongers insisting the UK can make better fisheries and other laws once it quits the European Union.
The Environment Secretary said Remainers who thought leaving the European Union would mean a “deterioration” in environmental standards were “precisely wrong”.
Speaking on the Today programme, on BBC Radio 4, Mr Gove said new UK legislation after  Brexit  was an opportunity to replace “poor” EU legislation.
He added it could lead to higher animal welfare standards.
Mr Gove said: “It’s better to have an absolutely well-designed piece of UK legislation rather than a poorly designed piece of EU legislation.
“I think one of the problems that some people have is they somehow believe that leaving the EU automatically means a deterioration in either animal welfare or environmental standards or in any other area and that, to my mind, gets things precisely wrong.

Labour Party

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at the Budget announcements in the Mirror.

The magic money tree is “doing really well”, Jeremy Corbyn has declared in a fiery post-Budget attack on tax avoiders.
The Labour leader laid into austerity cuts as he joined Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson and 1,500 backers at a rally tonight.
Turning the Tories’ slogan about his own spending plans on its head, he told the crowd in West Bromwich: “The magic money tree is doing really well!
“It’s in the Cayman Islands, it’s in the British Virgin Islands, it’s in the Isle of Man, it’s in the Channel Islands, and it’s absolutely fine”.
He added: “those people that are so witty and clever about how they’ve avoided taxation, I simply say this to them: sadly one day you may be old, sadly one day you may get a heart attack, sadly, one day your house might catch fire.

The Telegraph reports another death in the party.

A second Labour Party member has died suddenly following his suspension from the party over allegations of sexual misconduct.
It comes just two weeks after Welsh assembly cabinet member Carl Sargeant took his own life after being suspended over claims of sexual harassment.
The senior staff member, based at the Party’s headquarters in Victoria, passed away last week.
The man, in his 30s, had been suspended over allegations involving pornography, according to the Sunday Times.

The Times also reports the story.

A second member of the Labour Party has died after apparently taking his own life amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
The man, understood to be in his early thirties, died suddenly last week after being suspended from the party and his job at Labour headquarters after claims involving pornography.
The revelation plunged Labour into a fresh crisis and resulted last night in calls for an independent inquiry into the party’s handling of recent complaints about sexual harassment and wrongdoing.
The new death came two weeks after the apparent suicide of Carl Sargeant, the cabinet secretary for communities and children in the Welsh government.

Foreign aid

Another story of the money we are handing out abroad has surfaced in the Express.

BRITAIN gifted Pakistan £463million in foreign aid last year, equal to £1.2 million a day, new figures show.
The country is now the biggest recipient of UK handouts despite having its own space and nuclear weapons programmes.
Official documents also reveal Syria received £352 million, Ethiopia got £334 million, Nigeria was given £230 million and Afghanistan £235 million in 2016.
The spending scandals are revealed just days after Chancellor Philip Hammond made no moves to adjust Britain’s Official Development Assistance [ODA] commitment in his Budget.
It means the UK will continue to spend 0.7 per cent of its income on foreign aid, despite cash-starved frontline services like the NHS begging for more money.

Defence

Resignation threats have been made over defence cuts, says the Times.

A defence minister has threatened to resign if the military is forced to impose cuts that include reducing the army to below 70,000 soldiers, The Times has learnt.
Tobias Ellwood, veterans minister, has shared with colleagues his “deep discomfort” at a list of cost-saving options faced by the Ministry of Defence.
Gavin Williamson, the new defence secretary, was shocked at what one source described as the “completely awful” headline proposals drawn up by military chiefs.
Mr Williamson, who took charge of the department from Sir Michael Fallon three weeks ago, has signalled that he is ready to take on Philip Hammond, the chancellor, if necessary. “We are beginning to try and push back,” a Whitehall source said.

And Sky News also has the story.

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood is prepared to resign if massive cuts to the Army are given the go-ahead, according to a report.
The cuts would see the Army lose 12,000 soldiers, leaving its full-time strength at just 70,000.
Mr Ellwood shared his “deep discomfort” with colleagues about a list of cost-saving options facing the Ministry of Defence, according to a report in The Times.
The newspaper said that he had indicated he would step down if the military was not protected from the proposed cuts.
Mr Ellwood served in the Royal Green Jackets from 1991 to 1996 with tours in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Kuwait, Germany, Gibraltar and Bosnia.

Illegal migration

The Mail has a story about immigrants boasting how they’re going to get to the UK.

Brazen ‘stowaway selfies’ posted on Facebook  appear to graphically illustrate the extent of illegal Albanian migration into Britain.
Pictures of young people hidden in lorries are uploaded on pages including ‘Albanians in  London’, alongside the caption: ‘On the way.’
Other images offering fake IDs and charges to book a place with a smuggler expose how gangs of people-traffickers seem to be cashing in on social media.
Yesterday even Albania’s government branded Britain a soft touch compared with other nations, and urged the UK to send migrants back home more quickly.
Meanwhile families there openly admitted sending their children to sneak into Britain to find a better life. Many end up in foster care or at the mercy of criminals, a Daily Mail investigation reveals.

White Christmas?

With less than a month to go to the big day, Sky News opines on whether it’ll be a white one.

After our first taste of wintry weather, everyone is keen to know if we’ll get a White Christmas this year.
The bookies certainly think so, slashing their odds over the past few days. But what do the meteorologists reckon?
While most of the UK’s snow days happen between January and March, statistically the odds are pretty good for a White Christmas. Over the past 57 years, a snowflake has fallen somewhere in the UK on Christmas Day 38 times and that’s all you need for an official White Christmas.
Yes, believe it or not, the bookies will pay out for just a single flake of snow to be observed falling during the 24 hours of 25 December at a number of official locations across the UK, including Buckingham Palace, Edinburgh Castle, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and Manchester’s Coronation Street.

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