Archive for the ‘EU’ Category

May-be

May-be

Now that our dear Prime Minister has come back from paying her respects to the journalist shot dead in Belfast, she must concentrate on her problems in the House of Commons.

There is talk of her bringing the WA back to Parliament for a fourth time.  But will Speaker Bercow allow it? After all, the rules say the same question can’t be asked twice. I would imagine he faced a lot of pressure before he allowed it to come back to MPs a third time. Will he capitulate again?

If he does allow it to be put again, is it likely to be passed? There is certainly some tedium creeping into the members of the House of Commons, as there is in the country. Many of them just ‘want to get on with it’ and have it finished one way or the other.

I’d like to think MPs are a sturdy lot and stick up for what they believe in, but perhaps that is being a bit naïve.  For sure, there are quite a few who are prepared to continue to vote against the capitulation within the WA (how does Mrs May get away with assuring the House and the country that it is a good deal for the UK when it obviously is not?).  MPs like Sir John Redwood and Sir Bill Cash should be applauded for their stoic resistance to the deal.

There are others like Jacob Rees-Mogg, for whom I had such great hopes but who we now find would be prepared to sell his soul to the devil.  After this has all died down, I expect an announcement that he has been appointed to a cosy and lucrative little post somewhere.

Because of the huge yet dwindling majority at the first three times the WA was presented to the house, I would imagine there is a very hard rump of members of both parties who would not vote for it under any circumstances.

So Mrs May’s only hope is to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to instruct his members to vote for it. What has government come to when a Prime Minister can’t get a law through the House of Commons using her own party and has to go cap-in-hand to the Leader of the Opposition?

Corbyn, of course, knows this. He has got her over a barrel, which is why the talks are going on so long. He can demand anything he wants in the knowledge that she is desperate. She’s holding out at the moment, but so is he. Will they ever reach a consensus? If they do, you can bet it’ll be a sell-out for the Conservative Party.

But what if May considers his demands to be beyond the pale? What if they both refuse to budge and the talks break down? What are her options then? She would be a fool to bring the WA back to the House without Corbyn’s agreement, so I would imagine that’s out of the window.

So we’ll go into next week’s local elections, and the Tories will be slaughtered. May must know this; she’s not an idiot. She will have been studying the polls and will realise that even if the local elections have very little to do with Brexit, grassroots Tories are pig-sick of what she’s doing.

She’s going to lose several councils to Labour, others to no overall control and I suggest Independents have a fighting chance. There’ll be voters who have voted the same way all their lives but would never vote for their party again. But they wouldn’t vote for the opposition party in a month of Sundays. Who do they vote for? They might just stay at home; I suggest the turnout will be remarkably low.

But May isn’t worried about the locals.  All she cares about is her place in Downing Street – which is precisely why she won’t call a General Election. She knows full well that she’d have to move out because the Tories won’t win the majority of seats, although I think Labour will do badly as well. Corbyn is no leader.

May isn’t concerned about the EU elections either, for the same reason.  Let all the Brexiteers like Farage win the seats! There’ll be chaos in Brussels, but it won’t be her problem.

But if she has failed to have her WA approved in Parliament, what’s her next step?  She could go for a second referendum, despite saying over and over again that she wouldn’t (remember “We’ll be leaving on 29 March 2019”?). That would take several months to organise and we can imagine the question will be loaded. If, having ignored the result of the last referendum, she goes down that route, how will the British public be able to trust anything she says ever again?

She could do nothing and leave the EU without a deal by default on May 22nd but although there are lots of us who would welcome that, at heart, she is a Remainer and thus unlikely to let that happen.

She could resign – and the peoples’ favourite at the moment is Boris Johnson, who would certainly see to it that we left the bloc on WTO rules. However, the leader/Prime Minister is chosen by the Parliamentary party and they are mostly Remainers. They will do their best to ensure Boris doesn’t get into the top spot, despite the prospect of his leading the party to electoral success.

She could ask Brussels for a renegotiation of the Withdrawal Agreement, although Barnier and co have said time and time again that it simply won’t happen.

There could be a no confidence vote in the Government which, if passed, would give May just 14 days to persuade enough MPs to vote for her in a second no confidence vote. If she lost the second vote there would be a General Election which many Tory MPs would want to avoid.

There could be a censure vote against the Prime Minister. If that were passed, although that would be humiliating for her, it would not necessarily force her to resign.

Alternatively, the government could decide to cancel Brexit altogether, although that would plunge the country into constitutional chaos. That may be the answer, and I would vote for it on the grounds that we the people could eventually get a Brexiteer into No.10 who would take us out without all this fuss.

However this situation pans out, both the country and the House of Commons seem to be polarised: one side fervently in favour of Brexit and the other side wanting to stay in the EU. I suggest that eventually, we will see two groups, each comprising current MPs from both the left and the right. This has already started with the launch of Change UK, a party that wants anything but change! MPs of all hues have joined the party whose specific aim is to stop the Brexit procedure and stay in the EU.

And Farage’s Brexit Party has received support from both Tories like Ann Widdecombe and Labour Brexiteers. When these two factions come face to face, there will be a constitutional battle like we have never seen before.

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News review – Friday 26 April 2019

News review – Friday 26 April 2019

Brexit

Independent
Britain should leave the EU without a deal if the only alternative is remaining in the bloc, Jeremy Hunt has said. The foreign secretary said he would be willing to deliver a no-deal Brexit if he is prime minister because the “democratic risk” of not leaving the EU is greater than the economic damage of leaving without an agreement. He insisted the UK would “make a success” of a no-deal outcome despite the “very significant” disruption it would cause.  Mr Hunt is tipped as a frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as prime minister. He backed Remain in 2016 but has since emphasised the need to deliver Brexit and often sided with Eurosceptic colleagues in cabinet. Asked if he would be willing as prime minister to take Britain out of the EU without a deal, the foreign secretary told a Westminster lunch: “If there was a binary choice between no deal or no Brexit I would choose no deal because I think the democratic risk of no Brexit ultimately is higher than the economic risk of no deal.”

Sky News
Pro-Brexit convert Jeremy Hunt has claimed no-deal would be better than no Brexit, as he all but confirmed he will run for Tory leader. In a speech to political journalists in Westminster, the formerly pro-Remain foreign secretary spelled out his new pro-Brexit credentials. Quizzed about the Tory succession, in which he is expected to be a candidate, he said the next leader should support Brexit, “as I do”, even if they failed to vote Leave in the past.

WA

Express
THERESA May is planning to give MPs another vote on the Withdrawal Bill as early as next week and will use the promise of her quitting even sooner than planned in a bid to get her deal passed by the House of Commons, it has been claimed. And she will attempt to take a definite answer on the Northern Ireland back-stop out of the bill in a bid to ease its path. This comes amid growing discontent at Mrs May’s leadership with MPs from the 1922 committee only narrowly voting against a rule change to allow an early confidence vote on the Prime Minister.

Mail
Ministers today piled pressure on Theresa May to bring back her Brexit deal within days as it was claimed she could tear out the Irish backstop torn out to swing the vote. The Prime Minister could decide to remove the controversial border clause in the hope MPs vote for it and send a new message to Brussels that it must be axed or changed if Britain is to leave the EU.

Sun
THE Tories’ most powerful backbencher has called on Theresa May to support a fresh Commons bid by Brexiteers to strip the Irish backstop from her EU deal. The Sun can reveal that senior Tory Eurosceptics are planning to table an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to remove the controversial insurance plan that keeps Britain tied to the EU indefinitely.

Independent
Theresa May is said to be considering forcing MPs to vote on her Brexit deal for a fourth time next week after she saw off the latest attempt to oust her from office. The prime minister is planning to bring forward a law to enact her withdrawal agreement, even though it has been rejected by MPs three times, reports suggest. The law is expected to include new guarantees that the government hopes will entice both Tory Eurosceptics and wavering Labour MPs to vote for the deal.

Theresa May

Mail
Theresa May‘s stay of execution is being seized on by enemies of Boris Johnson – but his supporters claim Tory MPs have ‘bottled it’, it was revealed today. The Prime Minister has been given some breathing space after senior Tories rejected plans that could have seen her forced from office within weeks. In a significant setback for Mrs May’s Brexiteer critics, the ruling executive of the 1922 Committee of MPs blocked a bid to change the leadership rules to allow a fresh vote of confidence in her.

Sun
TORY would-be leaders were today urged to get behind Theresa May’s Brexit plan – because it’s the best way to get her out. Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the country won’t be able to move on until Brexit is put to bed. And he blasted rebel MPs who refuse to back the PM – putting our EU departure at risk.

Express
THERESA MAY was spared a new no confidence vote by Tory backbenchers only to block the election of Boris Johnson as next leader of the Conservative Party, it has been claimed. The Prime Minister was given the chance to quit in a few weeks rather than being abruptly cast out by a vote called by the powerful 1922 Committee in an attempt by the former Foreign Secretary’s enemies to quash Mr Johnson’s rise to power, according to a source.

Express
THERESA MAY has set herself a new Brexit deadline of June 30 to ensure that British MEPs elected next month never take up their seats, Whitehall sources revealed last night. Government insiders say the Prime Minister given up hope of cancelling UK participation in the European Parliament poll by securing Commons approval for her withdrawal deal within the next three weeks.

TBP

Telegraph (by Nigel Farage)
If there is a more arrogant and dishonest national political figure at the moment than Lord Adonis of Camden Town, I am not aware of them.  This Labour peer and pro-EU obsessive (I do not use the term lightly) has spent the last 34 months lobbying for a second EU referendum because he doesn’t like the result of the first one.

Sun
THE Brexit Party is planning to take on the Tories and Labour in the next General Election, Sun Online can reveal. Nigel Farage has confirmed he wants to run candidates for Parliament in future to stop Remainer MPs blocking Brexit. His new party is on course to come top in next month’s EU elections just months after it was founded.

Express
NIGEL FARAGE’S Brexit Party could be heading for victory in the forthcoming European elections, the latest polls have revealed. Who will win the European Elections 2019? Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party could storm ahead of their opponents in the upcoming European Parliament elections next month. The elections will be held between May 23 and 26 where a total of 751 MEPs will be chosen to represent the EU’s member states.

Change UK

Westmonster
Just two days into the fledgling Change UK – The Independent Group – Remain Alliance Euro-election campaign and it is facing big teething problems. Beyond the confusing three names, bland managerial logo, and dismal poll numbers, two candidates have already been expelled from the list. Since then more comments have been emerging that have made it hard to tell the ChUKas apart from the pre-Batten Kippers… Now Guido can bring you the quiz we’ve all been waiting for… ‘Who Said It? ChUK 2019 or UKIP 2014?’ Can you guess which are comments from 2019 ChUK MEP candidates and which are from the heady days of UKIP councillors and candidates back in 2014..?

Tommy Robinson

Mirror
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has announced he is standing to be an MEP in the forthcoming EU elections. The far-right extremist, who calls himself Tommy Robinson, launched his website today, the final day of nominations to stand in the Europe-wide poll. Despite his role as an advisor to Ukip leader Gerard Batten, he’s still barred from joining the party, and will stand in the North West region as an independent. In a message on the website, he took a swipe at Nigel Farage, calling him “just another millionaire stockbroker who looks down at the working classes”.

BBC News
English Defence League (EDL) founder Tommy Robinson has announced he will stand in the upcoming European Parliament elections. Mr Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is expected to stand as an MEP candidate in the North West England constituency. He pledged to represent “the working class of England” if elected as an Independent MEP.

Sun
FORMER English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson is going to run to be an MEP in next month’s EU elections. The far-right hot head – known also as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – will stand as an independent in the North West, if they end up taking place. Bookies Paddy Power had his chances at 3/1 to be elected. He hit out at Brexit Party boss Nigel Farage, calling him “just another millionaire stockbroker who looks down at the working classes”.

EU

Independent
The government is facing a legal challenge over its preparations for the upcoming European parliament elections amid fears that millions of EU citizens in the UK could be deprived of their vote. Under current rules, EU citizens must register to vote and also sign a special form stating that they are not also voting in any other EU country, known as a “UC1”, by 7 May. But chaos surrounding the date of the UK’s departure from the EU means the form was only sent to 2 million European nationals on the electoral register a few weeks before the deadline – instead of the usual four-month period.

Breitbart
The European Parliament has approved a multi-billion euro EU Defence Fund described as “terrible and highly political” by a senior British Armed Forces veteran, as the bloc’s plans for a European Army — once dismissed as “fantasy” — plod forwards. The €13 billion EU Defence Fund was approved by 328 votes in favour to 231 against, according to Forbes, and helps move forward European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s agenda for a Defence Union.

Express
FRANCE is to elect ghost MEPs who will have absolutely no role because their seats will be occupied by British politicians hell-bent on causing EU chaos and quitting the very parliament they are part of. According to many pundits and polls, Britain is likely to elect anti-EU members of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the forthcoming farcical European elections on May 22.

Westmonster
The European Union have chosen to keep details of talks between an EU Commissioner, Tony Blair and George Soros a secret. Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, met with Blair and Soros at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The EU Observer report on the email summary that includes the line: “Soros and Blair: discussions with the two earliest backers of a ‘People’s Vote’”.

Scotland

Telegraph
Would the European Union allow a newly independent Scotland to rejoin the bloc after Brexit and what conditions would Brussels demand from Edinburgh? Nicola Sturgeon wants a Scottish independence referendum by 2021 if Brexit happens. “Independence,” she said on Wednesday in Holyrood, “would allow us to protect our place in Europe.” But as with so much to do with the European Union, things are nowhere near as simple as that.

Guardian
Nicola Sturgeon is to introduce new legislation to stage a second Scottish independence referendum, claiming one must be held by May 2021 if Brexit goes ahead. The first minister said Brexit would have such a catastrophic impact on Scotland’s economy and Westminster’s approach to it had been so chaotic that Scottish voters must have the option to choose independence. In a long-awaited statement to the Scottish parliament on her plans, Sturgeon said the proposed legislation would set out how a new referendum would be held if Holyrood were granted the powers to stage one.

Mail
Nicola Sturgeon could do a deal with Jeremy Corbyn and Labour if it secures a second referendum on Scottish independence, it was claimed today. Scotland’s First Minister said yesterday that Scots should be given the opportunity to vote again before the next Holyrood elections in 2021 – if Brexit goes ahead. Delaying a referendum for two years is a tacit admission that Theresa May will not let her have one while she is in power.

Crime

Mail
The number of killings on Britain’s streets is at its highest level in a decade, shocking crime figures revealed today. There were 732 police recorded homicides – which includes murders and manslaughter cases – in England and Wales last year, the highest since 2008 and the equivalent of two a day. The number of knife offences also rose by six per cent – with more 40,800 recorded crimes involving a blade.

Mirror
Tory Police Minister Nick Hurd has admitted that police cuts are a “factor” driving Britain’s rocketing knife crime. Less money for police forces since the Tories came to power has seen 21,000 officers taken off the beat. Labour said the admission that the government was failing it its “basic duty to keep the public safe”. It comes as official statistics revealed that 40,829 offences involving a knife or sharp object were recorded for 2018 in England and Wales – a 6% rise on the year before. Murder and manslaughter also spiked to 732 killings, up from 655 on the previous 12 months.

Sun
BRITAIN’S murder rate is at its highest level in a DECADE with two people being killed every day, shocking figures have revealed. And knife crime has soared to the highest levels in eight years too as Britain’s blade epidemic continues to spiral out of control. Cops recorded 732 homicides in 2018 – the highest since 2008 – 607 of which were murders.

Education

Times
Private schools are saving taxpayers billions of pounds a year, their head teachers have said in a forceful defence of the sector. The heads used their annual report yesterday to assert the financial benefits of fee-charging schools and the good they are doing for society. The schools bring economic benefits and taxpayer savings totalling more than £20 billion a year by educating pupils who would otherwise need state places and by providing employment, community facilities and tax contributions, an analysis for the Independent Schools Council (ISC) has found.

Huawei

Times
Jeremy Hunt and Gavin Williamson have denied leaking discussions at the National Security Council over Huawei as senior ministers refused to rule out a criminal investigation. The foreign secretary denounced as “utterly appalling” leaks from Tuesday’s most sensitive cabinet committee attended by Britain’s spy chiefs that has called into question future intelligence sharing in Whitehall. The account of the meeting that approved the Chinese telecom company’s role in a new 5G network was described as a “hit-job” by one senior figure who said it was “evidently briefed to make a leadership candidate look tough on China”.

Independent
Ministers “cannot exclude”  the possibility of a criminal investigation after an unprecedented leak of secret discussions over a decision to allow a Chinese telecommunications giant to work on the UK’s 5G mobile network. It follows demands from both Conservative MPs and the Labour Party for a full-blown leak inquiry over reports that Huawei‘s work had been approved at this week’s National Security Council (NSC) – despite opposition from some cabinet ministers.

Sky News
The culture secretary says he cannot rule out a criminal inquiry into the leak of secret talks between security chiefs and ministers about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. It comes after ministers attacked the “outrageous” leak that the National Security Council (NSC) had approved Huawei’s bid to help build Britain’s 5G network. Jeremy Wright told the Commons: “We cannot exclude the possibility of a criminal investigation”.

Guardian
Cabinet members who were at Tuesday’s National Security Council (NSC) have been sent an ultimatum by Whitehall’s most powerful official to confess or deny whether they leaked a controversial decision to allow Chinese telecoms firm Huawei to help build the UK’s 5G phone network. Cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill is understood to have written to those present and demanded that they tell him immediately whether they were involved.

Health

Times
More than half a million children in Britain have been left unprotected against measles in the past decade, according to a new estimate. The children’s charity Unicef has called for a renewed focus on immunisation to halve a global surge in measles cases that is killing thousands each year. An upsurge in anti-vaccine messages on social media has been blamed for promoting scepticism among parents, but Public Health England says that the bigger problem in this country is difficulty in getting a GP appointment to have the jabs.

Telegraph
Children who have not been given the MMR vaccine could be excluded from school to prevent the spread of disease, the Health Secretary has suggested. Matt Hancock said he could not “rule out” the possibility that unvaccinated children would be sent home if immunisation rates fail to improve. Teaching unions described the idea as a “non-starter”, saying it would be wrong to punish children for their parents’ decision not to vaccinate them, as well as being “unworkable”.

Mail
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to rule out children being kept out of schools if they aren’t vaccinated against measles. Speaking on talkRADIO this morning, Mr Hancock said he ‘wouldn’t rule out anything’ when asked if he would consider the drastic step. MMR vaccinations last year dropped for the fourth year in a row in the UK, while measles cases in England more than trebled in a year in 2018.

Mail
Lung cancer is on the rise among non-smokers as experts warn that GPs are missing the symptoms. Leading health officials said last night the issue received far too little attention – despite the fact 6,000 Britons who have never smoked die of lung cancer every year. Smoking remains by far the biggest cause of lung cancer, but one in seven victims is a non-smoker, and scientists predict that within a decade, people who have never smoked will overtake smokers among lung cancer patients.

ITV News
Lung cancer among people who have never smoked is “more common than most people think”, experts have warned. An estimated 6,000 “never-smokers” – those who have had less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime – die from the disease every year in the UK, higher than deaths from other cancer types, according to a paper in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Mail
Cancer drugs are not reaching the patients who need them, experts have warned. One in six people diagnosed with cancer have faced problems getting the drugs recommended by their doctors, according to a report by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London. NHS rationing, red tape and hold-ups mean 16 per cent of patients have either faced delays getting cancer treatments or been denied them altogether, polling by the organisation has found.

The post News review – Friday 26 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Thursday 25 April 2019

News review – Thursday 25 April 2019

EU

Telegraph
Michel Barnier fears that Nigel Farage and his Brexit party plan to destroy the EU after winning the European Parliament elections. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has issued a string of warnings about Mr Farage since the pair met in Brussels for a 2018 meeting. The European Commission refuses to be drawn into commenting on the seemingly inevitable European Parliament elections, which will be held in Britain next month unless the House of Commons finally backs the Brexit deal. Mr Barnier’s legacy and potential political future will be defined by whether the “orderly Brexit” of the withdrawal agreement prevails over a no deal Brexit.

Euro elections

Independent
The Conservative strategy for the European parliament elections is mired in confusion after No 10 refused to say it would involve a campaign launch – or even a manifesto. The UK will elect MEPs on 23 May, unless a Brexit deal can be ratified by that date, with Theresa May facing the humiliation of a historic defeat at the hands of a resurgent Nigel Farage. Asked when the Tories would respond, the prime minister’s spokesperson said there are “no plans” currently in place to launch the party’s own campaign.

Westmonster
Our very own Michael Heaver has announced he is running as a Brexit Party candidate for the European Parliament elections on May 23. The Westmonster co-owner confirmed his candidacy at the latest Brexit Party rally held this afternoon in Clacton. He will be running in his home region of the East of England. Heaver, an ex-aide to Nigel Farage has been campaigning for Brexit for over a decade and founded Westmonster to provide a much needed counter balance to the mainstream media’s anti-Brexit, tunnel-vision rhetoric.

Theresa May

Telegraph
Another Brexiteer coup against Theresa May fizzled out as the party’s senior backbenchers decided not to change the party’s rules to allow an early leadership challenge against her. However, Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s 1922 committee, said that it was time Mrs May set a date for her departure by giving a “clear roadmap” for her exit from 10 Downing Street. Under the party’s rules, Mrs May cannot be challenged until December after winning a no confidence vote last December by 200 votes to 117.

ITV News
Pressure is mounting on Theresa May to name a date to quit as Prime Minister, after an influential committee of backbenchers demanded “clarity” over what she will do if her EU withdrawal deal fails. The chair of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, said on Wednesday it would be “a surprising response” if Mrs May suggested she might stay on as late as December this year. The threat of an imminent challenge to Mrs May’s position as Conservative leader was lifted as the committee’s executive decided not to change party rules which protect her from a no-confidence vote until December.

Mirror
Tory MPs were left deadlocked on how to break the Brexit deadlock last night after they failed to agree on whether to sack Theresa May . A meeting between top Tories about whether to change party rules, forcing her out, ended without a deal. Senior Conservatives are now expected to hold further discussions today on whether to shake up the system. The row emerged after chiefs of the 1922 Committee – which represents backbenchers – said Theresa May should face a fresh vote of no confidence by Tory MPs.

Sun
THERESA May is safe from a Brexiteer challenge after Tory bosses refused to change party rules so she can be forced out. Conservative grandees tonight voted against allowing a fresh bid to oust the PM to take place within weeks. But Mrs May will have to lay out a “clear timetable” for leaving 10 Downing Street, backbench boss Sir Graham Brady warned. Under Tory party rules, the leader can’t be subjected to a no-confidence vote until December after seeing off the last bid to unseat her four months ago.

Mail
Theresa May is safe from a Tory leadership challenge until December after the backbench 1922 Committee rejected a rule change to force her out.  Furious Tory MPs had hoped to hold a fresh vote on the PM’s leadership only four months after she survived a confidence ballot on December 12.  Current party rules mean that MPs cannot trigger another leadership challenge for at least 12 months after the last one.  The committee rejected a rule change today but has demanded a ‘clear timetable’ from the PM, who has promised to stand down before the next phase of Brexit.

ITV News
The threat of a challenge to Theresa May’s position as Conservative leader has been lifted – at least until December. Senior Tory MPs on the executive of the backbench 1922 Committee rejected calls for changes to the party’s rules to allow a no-confidence vote in the Prime Minister in the coming weeks. But the Committee is to ask Mrs May for “clarity” on how long she plans to remain PM if her EU Withdrawal Agreement fails. Under the current rules of the 1922 committee, Conservative MPs cannot mount more than one vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister in the space of 12 months.

Guardian
Theresa May has survived an attempt to change Tory party rules to make it possible to oust her within weeks, but backbench MPs have demanded a “roadmap” for her departure, in a fresh blow to her authority. Amid a growing sense of political paralysis at Westminster, Brexit-backing members of the executive of the powerful 1922 Committee were keen to change the rules that insulate the prime minister from a fresh leadership challenge until December.

Independent
Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the committee, said the issue was now “settled” and that there was “not a mood to revisit this matter in the near future”. However, he said Ms May will be asked to provide “clarity” on when she plans to step down if she is unable to get a Brexit deal through parliament. The decision of the 1922 executive was announced at a meeting of Conservative MPs on Wednesday evening. Sir Graham told reporters afterwards that the committee had decided “there should not be a rule change to remove the 12-month period of grace rule”.

WA

Sky News
Theresa May is preparing for her next Brexit battle, with a plan to give MPs a vote on the key piece of legislation to take the UK out of the European Union as early as next week. Having just survived another attempted coup on the part of her angry parliamentary party on Wednesday night, the prime minister is now getting ready to ask MPs to ratify her Brexit deal by introducing the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB), which enshrines her Brexit plan into UK law, in the coming days.

Customs union

Express
BRITAIN could prosper post-Brexit by creating its own trading policy to stop getting trapped in the EU customs union, a mayor has claimed. Prime Minister Theresa May is holding talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to find a way forward for her Brexit deal, which has been rejected three times by MPs. Mrs May’s spokesman said working groups from both sides were pressing on with the talks this week, including holding a meeting to discuss financial services. But some Brexiteers are concerned about Mr Corbyn’s involvement, as the Labour Party is keen for a customs union arrangement with the EU, which would mean goods travelling across national borders inside it without paying tariffs.

Express
THERESA MAY is aiming to strike a compromise with Labour that would make a customs union arrangement with the European Union part of the UK’s future relationship with the bloc. The Prime Minister has always ruled out a full customs union with Brussels as it would prevent the UK from fully being able to strike its own trade deals with other countries. But in talks with the opposition, Labour has insisted on a customs union, and recently Theresa May has started to lower her guard on this matter, hinting the two parties might be able to find a compromise.

BBC News
The US Ambassador to the UK says negotiating a trade deal post-Brexit would be “much more difficult” if the UK is in a customs union with the EU. Woody Johnson also said it would be “more challenging” for the UK “to get control of [its] own trade policy”. But he said President Donald Trump is still hopeful doing a “robust, big, very generous trade deal” with the UK after Brexit. President Trump will come to the UK for a state visit in June. He and First Lady Melania Trump will be guests of the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to mark 75 years since the D-Day landings.

Times
The short-term benefits of Britain remaining in a customs union with the European Union as part of a Brexit deal would be “heavily outweighed” in the long term by higher prices and fewer opportunities on the global stage, according to a think tank. Research from the Institute of Economic Affairs warns ministers that while a customs union may help to preserve supply chains and reduce disruption after Brexit, it would leave the UK unable to strike trade deals with other markets and to develop policies in key areas such as agriculture and state aid.

Scotland

Mail
Scots should be given the opportunity to vote again on independence before the next Holyrood elections in 2021 – if Brexit goes ahead, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today.  The SNP leader said she would try to pass plans for a second referendum into law by the end of the year – and dared Theresa May to stop Scotland voting on it again.   Speaking in Edinburgh today Mrs Sturgeon argued the current Brexit deadlock at Westminster makes indyref2 necessary, five years after she lost the last one.

BBC News
Nicola Sturgeon has said she wants to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by 2021 if the country is taken out of the EU. The first minister told Holyrood that she would introduce legislation soon to set the rules for another vote. But she indicated that she would need the agreement of the UK government before actually holding a referendum. Downing Street has previously said it will not grant a new Section 30 order, which underpinned the 2014 referendum.

ITV News
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon vowed to hold another Scottish independence referendum before Holyrood’s elections in May 2021. In a 30-minute statement on Wednesday, the SNP leader said Brexit had changed the landscape of British politics and has paved the way to hold another vote, just years after Scots voted to remain as part of the UK. But why now, and what did she say? The “ongoing Brexit confusion” is said to be the deciding factor for Ms Sturgeon’s speech at Holyrood.

Express
NICOLA STURGEON has outlined her intentions to call a second Scottish independence referendum before the next Holyrood elections in 2021. The Scottish First Minister hit out at Theresa May’s handling of Brexit negotiations insisting it “does not serve Scotland’s interests” and “Westminster has failed”. In a fiery attack on Whitehall, Ms Sturgeon stated the “status quo is broken” and called on the Scottish people to be able to decide their own future relationship with Europe. In a statement to MSPs, she said: “A choice between Brexit and a future for Scotland as an independent European nation should be offered in the lifetime of this Parliament.

Reuters
Supporters of an independent Scotland will launch a new grassroots campaign on Thursday ahead of a possible second referendum on secession from the United Kingdom, hoping to harness Scottish voters’ anger over Brexit. Scots rejected independence in 2014 and support since then has remained stuck at around 45 percent, opinion polls suggest. But Scots also voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, in which England and Wales voted to leave.

Independent
Nicola Sturgeon has outlined plans for a fresh referendum on Scottish independence within the next two years. The Scottish first minister claimed independence was Scotland’s “route to avoiding the worst of the damage Brexit will do” and said another vote should be held “in the lifetime” of the current Scottish parliament, which is due to end in 2021. The last referendum took place in 2014 and delivered a vote against independence. The SNP leader said she would bring forward legislation this year to pave the way for another referendum.

Guardian
Nicola Sturgeon is to introduce new legislation to stage a second Scottish independence referendum, claiming one must be held by May 2021 if Brexit goes ahead. The first minister said Brexit would have such a catastrophic impact on Scotland’s economy and Westminster’s approach to it had been so chaotic that Scottish voters must have the option to choose independence. In a long-awaited statement to the Scottish parliament on her plans, Sturgeon said the proposed legislation would set out how a new referendum would be held if Holyrood were granted the powers to stage one.

Measles

Telegraph
More than half a million British children are unvaccinated against measles, new figures show, as the head of NHS England challenged social media giants to block “grossly irresponsible” anti-vax propaganda. Sites such as Instagram and YouTube should adopt “zero tolerance” regimes, Simon Stevens said as Unicef data revealed the UK to be among the worst high-income countries for uptake of the jab. The new data, which tallies children left unvaccinated between 2010 and 2017, follows a steep rise in measles cases in England last year. The hike is thought to be a direct result of the drop in vaccinations that followed the publication of fraudulent research linking the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) jab to autism by the disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield in 1998.

Mail
Half a million children in the UK have not been vaccinated against measles amid a rise in online ‘antivaxx’ scare stories. A global surge in the disease is being fuelled by plummeting vaccination rates, the charity Unicef has warned. Between 2010 and 2017, 527,000 children in the UK did not receive the potentially life-saving jab – with ‘fake news’ on social media partly to blame. The UK comes third in a global ranking showing the number of unvaccinated children in high-income countries.

Star
MORE than half a million children in the UK didn’t receive a crucial measles jab, putting them at risk of the deadly disease, experts have revealed. Between 2010 and 2017, hundreds of thousands of kids in Britain weren’t given the vaccine, according to an analysis by children’s charity Unicef. It comes as NHS boss Simon Stevens warned measles cases in England have quadrupled in the space of just one year. Globally, 169 million children weren’t given a first dose of the measles vaccine between 2010 and 2017, the report shows.

Sun
MORE than half a million kids have not had their measles jabs amid social media scare stories about vaccines. Cases of the deadly virus have increased almost four-fold in England over the past year following a fall in uptake. NHS boss Simon Stevens warned yesterday of a “public health timebomb”. And he called on  websites such as Facebook and YouTube to adopt a “zero tolerance” apprach to the fake posts about the dangers of vaccines.  He said users who spread the baseless content were “grossly irresponsible”. In 1998 Dr Andrew Wakefield claimed there was a link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism.

China

Telegraph
Theresa May’s decision to allow Huawei to supply technology for Britain’s new 5G network risks handing China a “loaded gun”, the US National Security Agency has warned. The Telegraph revealed on Tuesday that the National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, has agreed to allow the Chinese telecoms firm limited access to help build “non-core” parts of the network such as antennas. The decision came despite objections from some of her ministers including Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt, Gavin Williamson and Penny Mordaunt and stark warnings from the US.

Times
An unprecedented leak from highly confidential talks with senior ministers about the Chinese telecoms company Huawei has caused outrage among spy chiefs. There were calls for an inquiry after reports emerged of a meeting at which Theresa May was said to have given Huawei approval to supply technology for the next-generation 5G network despite warnings that it could compromise national security. Sajid Javid, the home secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the aid secretary, all raised concerns during a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday.

Mail
Theresa May was accused of risking links with the US last night with a decision to let a Chinese firm help build a 5G mobile network. The Prime Minister has reportedly approved Huawei’s involvement despite Cabinet ministers raising serious objections over security risks. Although it will relate only to ‘non-core’ equipment such as antennas, Tory MPs said the deal could harm the ‘special relationship’ and intelligence-sharing with Washington. It emerged last night that US officials are considering a late attempt to change the Mrs May’s mind. A source said: ‘We have our concerns and we continue to engage with UK government on the issue.’

Breitbart
Theresa May appears set to approve Chinese participation in “non-core” elements of Britain’s 5G network via Huawei, delivering a blow to the Five Eyes security alliance of Anglosphere nations, reports suggest. The British prime minister overrode the objections of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Trade Secretary Liam Fox, and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt at a meeting of the National Security Council to allow Huawei, an allegedly employee-owned Chinese telecoms giant, to develop “non-core” infrastructure for the 5G network,  according to The Telegraph.

Russia

Fox News
Russia has launched its new Belgorod submarine, which is designed to carry devastating underwater nuclear drones. Moscow’s development of nuclear-powered drones has been closely watched in recent years, amid concern that Russia could be adding a “doomsday” weapon capable of unleashing tidal waves to its arsenal. During Tuesday’s visit to a military shipyard in St. Petersburg, President Vladimir Putin viewed the departure of the Belgorod sub at the Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk in northwestern Russia via a teleconference.

The post News review – Thursday 25 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Thursday 25th April 2019

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Thursday 25th April 2019

This is hard to believe, but I feel vindicated by the BBC! As Ms May had recalled Parliament early, cutting short their Easter Recess because of Brexit, my hopes were high for some revealing ‘sources’ telling the MSM what is going on en coulisse. That, after all is how they try to shape public opinion.

After the first spate of ‘revelations’ on Tuesday, the returning MPs went silent. Were there orders from ‘the top’? PMQ yesterday was anodyne – here’s a “PMQ Sketch”-  and put the watchers to sleep.

So – look at this extraordinary complaint by a BBC journalist:

“BBC Radio 5 Live host Emma Barnett delivered a huge on-air rant about the “weird eerie silence” that has descended on Westminster with MPs not speaking about Brexit. The radio host said she had “zero” information to update her listeners and she claimed, “no one can find anything to say anymore”. She said: “The Prime Minister is still Theresa May and we still don’t know how we are leaving the European Union and even when.” (link)

She went on to say:

“Weirdly even though MPs are back after they Easter recess…there is a sort of weird eerie silence that has descended upon the place. I have zero to update you on about Brexit. […] What on earth is going on. It’s like there is this huge elephant in Westminster, and no one can find anything to say anymore. […] Given how much chaos and misery and division it’s caused do our politicians need to let us know what is going on with Brexit to keep up the pressure we have seen over the past three months.” (link)

That rant really is astonishing on so many levels. If our publicity-hungry MPs can’t even talk to the BBC, to dazzle us with their, ahem, erudition, then we ought to ask what is really going on here!

However, the BBC and the mostly Remain MSM have only got themselves to blame for the ‘chaos and misery and division’ which they created out of thin air – with the help of the Remainers in Whitehell who served up ‘Project Fear’ scenario after ‘Project Fear’ scenario, regurgitated by ministers who should have known better, and gleefully spread by the BBC and the MSM who simply were deaf to evidence to the contrary, even that coming from civil servants involved at the ground level.

While there are indeed no juicy ‘news’, here’s one item which the BBC of course hasn’t touched – too complicated, perhaps, or not supporting their Remain agenda? We read:

“According to a new think tank report published by the Independent Economic Forum (IEA), remaining in a customs union with the EU would leave the UK unable to establish an independent trade policy, and render “reclaiming policy areas such as agriculture and state aid an impossibility”. The new fiscal report predicts that while a permanent customs union would secure supply chains in the short term, the long-term sustainability of the agreement would see the loss of trade opportunities with other countries – and mean higher prices for UK consumers.” (link)

Some more details:

“The reports states how the UK would be unable to raise or lower tariffs according to its interests, which would rule out the opportunity of an independent UK trade policy.The customs union would also prevent the UK from controlling its agriculture and state aid policies. Trade defences would also be run by the EU, while the UK would not be able to offer improved market access for goods. The UK’s persuasiveness in trade negotiations would be materially diminished. Many of the points in the new IEA report suggested the “downsides will be acutely felt by small and medium enterprises that are less dependent on UK-EU supply chains and don’t have lobbying power in Brussels”. (link)

That begs the question why Corbyn and Labour, who allegedly ‘stand up for the little people and hard-working families’, are so bent on doing them such economic damage. Doesn’t this reveal Mr Corbyn’s and his handlers’ dreams of sitting in 10 Downing Street as nothing but a personal vanity project?

Since Brussels also is en vacances, there’s only one EU item on the screen of the combined political pundits of all colours: the EP elections. And of course there is now only one theme: Nigel Farage and TBP. We read for example that:

“Michel Barnier fears that Nigel Farage and his Brexit party plan to destroy the EU after winning the European Parliament elections. […] Mr Barnier has declared that the EU will not only have to face the threat of Mr Farage himself but also a Nigel Farage in every country. “This election will be tougher than ever before. We will have to fight against those who want to demolish Europe. With their fear. Their populist deceit. And their attacks against the European Project,” he said in December. (paywalled link)

What did M Barnier know in December last year that we didn’t know and that even Nigel Farage didn’t know? If my memory doesn’t deceive me, there was no Brexit Party at that time … and I double-checked the date of that linked report: it was indeed published yesterday afternoon.

In the absence of EU ‘news’ it is astonishing that the local elections, taking place next Thursday, aren’t mentioned anywhere in the MSM.

Of course, for our Westminster Bubble dwellers, these local elections are irrelevant: they’re only for us little people and not as interesting as the “Big EU – Brexit Game”. After all, neither CHUK-TIG – they had to throw out another MEP candidate for racism, btw (here) – nor TBP have candidates in those elections …

Interestingly, a former Tory spin doctor has made this extraordinary confession in today’s (paywalled) DT:

“At the 2015 election, I helped to run the Conservative campaign that stopped Nigel Farage getting into Parliament. Four years on, I wonder if we made a terrible mistake.”

Well! Since that spin doctor addresses some important issues I shall return to it elsewhere later, at length.

There’s one news item which at first glance seems to be unrelated to Brexit. However, it comes from the Treasury, that nest of arch remainers, and was presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that arch remainer Philip Hammond:

“Families face having to pay higher taxes to cover the cost of caring for Britain’s ageing population, Philip Hammond warned yesterday. The Chancellor said the tax burden would continue to rise in the coming years, having already hit the highest sustained level for half a century. He said taxes were rising across the 36 leading nations of the OECD as people lived longer into old age. He added: ‘The reason is fairly straightforward. We have to recognise that as the population ages, the pressure on public services and spending will increase.’ (link)

It would of course be a malicious insinuation to say that the Treasury and Mr Hammond are preparing us for the inevitable tax rises which ‘Remain’ through Ms May’s WA will lead to … That Danegeld due to the EU must come from somewhere … and why not surreptitiously blame the old, they voted Leave, didn’t they …

As we’re hurtling towards election days – local ones next Thursday, EP ones in exactly four week’s time – we’re still waiting for Brexit. Any ‘Brexit bombs’ will be delivered by two parties: the Tories and TBP. But while we wait we must not let the HoC and Ms May get away with their Brexit sell-out.

 

KBO

 

The post YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Thursday 25th April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Wednesday 24 April 2019

News review – Wednesday 24 April 2019

Cross party talks

Telegraph
Theresa May has been told by Cabinet ministers that she should end talks with Labour “immediately” and focus on overhauling her Brexit deal and winning round the DUP. Ministers including Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, and Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, are said to have warned that the talks are “damaging” the Government and the party. The Prime Minister defended the continuing talks with Labour, saying that while many in Cabinet disagreed with the ongoing discussions “we have to govern in the national interest” and “this course of action is what the country expects of us”.

Express
THERESA May yesterday accused Labour of deliberately dragging out cross-party talks being held to try to find a consensus on the way forward for Brexit. In a sign that the discussions have hit an impasse, the Prime Minister told her Cabinet that the timetable for the UK’s departure from the EU had become a key sticking point between the two sides. She is also understood to be concerned Labour will wreck crucial Brexit legislation in the Commons to block her EU withdrawal deal for a fourth time.

Times
Theresa May is preparing to challenge Labour to support the legislation needed to achieve Brexit if cross-party compromise talks break down. In a high-risk strategy, the prime minister is considering introducing the bill that would give effect to Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union within weeks. The move would effectively decouple the withdrawal agreement, which Labour largely supports, from the plan for a future relationship, to which it is demanding changes.

Independent
Theresa May has accused Labour of dragging its heels in the bid to find a cross-party compromise to deliver Brexit, even before the talks resumed after Easter. “The discussions with Labour have been serious but had also been difficult in some areas, such as in relation to the timetable for the negotiations,” the prime minister told her cabinet. No 10 fears Jeremy Corbyn does not share Ms May’s desire to avoid next month’s European parliament elections – which would require an agreement within days.

Express
THERESA MAY will return to Parliament today to kickstart talks with the Labour opposition in hopes to break the Brexit deadlock before the forthcoming European elections. The Prime Minister has struggled to reach an agreement in cross-party talks, and faces increasing pressure from MPs to secure a Brexit deal before the European elections on May 23.

EU

Express
EU COMMISSION President Jean-Claude Juncker warned of “fake news” around next month’s European elections as he revealed his fears for the upcoming vote. The EU boss claimed there were moves from member states and countries outside the bloc to manipulate the May elections where eurosceptics are expected to gain ground. Mr Juncker told German newspaper Funke Mediengruppe: “I can see an attempt to rig the European Parliament elections.

WA

Mail
Theresa May is planning to bring her Brexit deal back for another vote – even as Tory MPs plan to change the rules of their party’s leadership elections so they can oust her. The 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs met last night but discussions on whether a time limit banning successive leadership votes should be changed from a year to six months was said to be was ‘inconclusive’.

Sun
CABINET ministers are urging Theresa May to abandon Labour talks and force a fourth Commons showdown on her Brexit deal next week instead. Time is running out for the PM to avoid having to hold euro elections, with the poll to elect MEP on May 23 – four weeks tomorrow. As cross party talks to pass the EU agreement began again yesterday after the Easter break, frustrated Mrs May accused Labour of dragging its feet.

Guardian
Theresa May is preparing to give MPs a vote on the key piece of legislation enacting Britain’s exit from the European Union next week, as negotiations with Labour continue. The prime minister will discuss Brexit with her cabinet colleagues, with government sources suggesting one likely way forward is to table the withdrawal and implementation bill (WAB) in the next 10 days.

Theresa May

Sun
THERESA MAY ‘loyalists’ launched a fierce bid to save her from the sack yesterday as rebel Tory MPs called for her head. Livid Ministers tore into senior Tories on the powerful 1922 backbench committee over their demand to rip up party rules to force a new no confidence vote in the PM this June. The demand was due to be voted on at a crisis meeting of the 18-strong Committee late last night. Brexit-backing 1922 executive Nigel Evans said he would be “delighted” if the PM quit NOW given the Brexit chaos – and said there was a growing “clamour” for her  resignation.

Express
EMBATTLED Theresa May was facing a triple assault on her leadership today amid growing dismay over her handling of Brexit. She is expected to be told she must step down as Prime Minister by the end of June or Conservative MPs will change the party rules and force her out. Mrs May could also be challenged with an unprecedented vote of confidence this week as Tory grassroots anger boils over.

Westmonster
Pro-Brexit Conservatives are continuing to up the pressure for Theresa May to go sooner rather than later. Though we’ve been hearing this for a while, surely she must go soon?  Dinah Glover, a Tory Chairman in the East End of London, has told ITV News: “She does need to go now. And we need to reset the negotiations, set a different course. We do have an extension until the end of October which actually could be used positively. “But I think with Mrs. May its not going to be used positively.”

Bercow

Express
A VOTE of no confidence has been tabled in Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, with MPs accusing him of not being impartial during the Brexit process. Furious Conservative MP Crispin Blunt tabled the motion after writing to all MPs asking for support, adding he would not publish the names of backers unless they hit three figures in order not to expose them to “retribution” by the Speaker.

Change UK

Telegraph
Rachel Johnson could become the fourth member of the Johnson family to become an elected politician after she was unveiled on Tuesday as a Change UK candidate at the European Parliament elections. The national newspaper columnist and former reality television personality could follow her Conservative MPs brothers Boris and Jo Johnson, as well as her father Stanley – a former Conservative MEP – into elected office.

Times
Boris Johnson’s sister, a former BBC broadcaster and John Major’s health secretary will all stand for Change UK in next month’s European elections, but the party’s launch yesterday was marred when one of its candidates was forced to stand down within hours over comments about Romanians. The pro-Remain party announced its MEP hopefuls from almost 4,000 applicants at a campaign launch in Bristol yesterday. Rachel Johnson, Gavin Esler, a former Newsnight presenter, and Stephen Dorrell, a cabinet minister from 1994 to 1997, were among dozens of candidates on the stage.

Mail
Boris Johnson‘s sister Rachel and ex-BBC star Gavin Esler today revealed they will stand for Britain’s new remain party in the European elections next month. Heidi Allen, interim leader of Change UK, set up by The Independent Group of MPs known as the TIGgers, launched their EU campaign in Bristol today.    Rachel Johnson will stand in the South West region – where Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister Annunziata will represent Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – and has already taken a veiled swipe at her Brexiteer brother, who wants to be the next Tory leader.

Independent
New centrist party Change UK could back the government in a no-confidence vote to avoid a damaging general election, its interim leader has said. Former Tory MP Heidi Allen said an election was “absolutely the last thing” the country needs during the Brexit chaos, as she launched the party’s campaign for the upcoming European Parliament elections, Her comments came as Theresa May faced pressure to name her departure date from frustrated Tory MPs after promising to resign once she had overseen the first stage of the Brexit process.

Morning Star
GAFFE-PRONE centre party Change UK has scuppered its claim to represent a new politics by choosing Boris Johnson’s sister as a candidate for the European elections, Labour MPs have said. Change UK – The Independent Group announced today that Rachel Johnson would stand for the party in south-west England next month. Ms Johnson cemented her super-posh credentials by editing The Lady, a women’s magazine popular with aristocrats, where she often wrote about her love of Agas – a brand of luxury cooker.

BBC News
Change UK has launched its campaign for the European Parliamentary elections, with 70 candidates including journalist Rachel Johnson – sister of Tory MP and leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson. The party – formerly known as The Independent Group – is made up of 11 MPs who quit Labour and the Tories. They are preparing for the European election as the latest Brexit delay means the UK may have to take part.

Guardian
The anti-Brexit party Change UK has launched its European elections campaign, revealing a slate of 70 candidates that includes Boris Johnson’s sister, seasoned politicians disillusioned with their parties, and people completely new to politics. Rachel Johnson said she was standing to make sure Brexit did not wreck the chances of a bright future for her children and other young people, and that her decision to stand was not an attack on her Brexiter brother.

Breitbart
Heidi Allen MP launched the “Remain alliance” Change UK (CUK) party Tuesday, heralding the string of MEP candidates “from every background” including a yoga instructor, a former BBC journalist, and top politician Boris Johnson’s sister. One notable member of the new MEP candidates for the anti-Brexit party is Jessica Simor QC, who worked in the legal team that forced the Government to seek Parliament’s permission to invoke Article 50, the mechanism for leaving the EU.

The Brexit Party

Times
Nigel Farage has seized on the words of a prominent Labour peer who wants to stop Brexit as he targets Labour heartlands with his new Brexit Party. The former Ukip leader said yesterday that he would repeat “every day” the words of Lord Adonis, a former cabinet minister and adviser to Tony Blair who is now standing for Labour in the European elections. Mr Farage pointed out that Lord Adonis had said: “If you’re a Brexiteer, I hope you won’t vote for the Labour Party”.

Mail
Ann Widdecombe has defected from the Conservatives to Nigel Farage‘s Brexit Party. The former minister has been a member of the Tory party for 55 years, but has been put her retirement on hold to ‘campaign vigorously’ for Farage’s party in the upcoming European elections in May. Widdecombe was earlier rumoured to be considering leaving the party after she campaigned hard for Brexit and was appalled by the failure to deliver on the Article 50 commitment to leave on March 29.

Mirror
Conservative Party stalwart Ann Widdecombe has sensationally quit – to rejoin frontline politics with the Brexit Party. The 71-year-old has been a staunch Tory for 55 years – serving as Shadow Health and Home secretary. But now she has joined Nigel Farage’s fledgling party on a mandate to hurry up and get Britain out of the EU. Ms Widdicombe told the Express: “The public needs to send a very clear message and that is we expect the vote to be respected so just get on with the job of getting us out of the EU. “If I am elected in Brussels my message to (Jean-Claude) Juncker and company will be very simple, very loud and very clear. Nous allons (we go).”

Breitbart
Nigel Farage sent another strong message to establishment Labour and Conservatives today as his new Brexit Party unveiled their latest candidates for the European Elections including a nurse, a veteran, and a businessman. Mr Farage spoke at the event, during which five new MEP candidates were announced, saying how much the Brexit Party has grown since its launch on Friday, April 12th. The party now reports having over 67,000 registered supporters, with a registration fee of £25-a-head meaning the party may now be holding as much as £1.5 million in membership subscriptions alone.

Sun
NIGEL Farage yesterday vowed to go after voters in the Labour heartlands as he unveiled his star line-up of MEP candidates. War hero James Glancy and former Tory aide and smoked salmon millionaire Lance Forman are among the five hopefuls running for the Brexit Party. Mr Farage tore into Britain’s MPs for “betraying” the referendum and warned his new party will rock Westminster, as he addressed the launch in London.

Independent
Nigel Farage has said his new Brexit Party could thwart a second referendum if it is successful in the upcoming European elections. The former Ukip leader made the threat as he unveiled a fresh slate of candidates for next month’s poll, which includes a former communist and an ex-commando, who has fought in Afghanistan. The leading Brexiteer also vowed to target Labour voters in the party’s heartlands in south Wales, the midlands and the north of England, where he hopes to capitalise on Jeremy Corbyn’s equivocation over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

More United

Times
More than 50 MPs from seven parties have formed a group to tackle issues “ignored” because of Brexit. The More United network includes Nicky Morgan, the Conservative former cabinet minister; Jo Swinson, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats; and David Lammy, a Labour former minister. It “is not and will not become a political party”, it said. The organisation was established after the EU referendum in 2016 with the backing of Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, the former Lib Dem leader, to support politicians regardless of affiliation.

Huffington Post
More than 50 MPs have launched a cross-party movement to work together on “issues ignored because of Brexit”. The ‘More United’ group, dubbed ‘politics for the Netflix generation’, features politicians from seven different political parties, including Labour, Tory, SNP, Lib Dem, Green, ChangeUK and Plaid Cymru. The new network, which includes leading MPs David Lammy, Nicky Morgan, Jo Swinson and Caroline Lucas, will help fund candidates who campaign on poverty and homelessness, responsible technology, mental health and urgent climate dangers.

St George’s Day

Times
Politicians from all sides dutifully wished the nation a happy St George’s Day yesterday, but there was one snag. They all got the date wrong. The Church of England has confirmed that the feast has been pushed back to next Monday because of a clash with Easter week. April 23 is the usual date each year for the feast of St George, the patron saint of England, but church rules state that no feast days should be marked during Easter week. If a saint’s day falls during Easter week, it is “translated” to the following week.

Breitbart
The Labour Party has been left red-faced after posting a St George’s Day message on the wrong date. The official Labour Party Twitter account posted “Happy St George’s Day! With the next Labour government, we’ll celebrate the patron saint with a bank holiday — and bank holidays for St Patrick, St David and St Andrew too” a day early, on April 22nd. Clearly realising their error it was soon taken down, only to be reposted earlier today.

Immigration

Guardian
The home secretary, Sajid Javid, is under mounting pressure to head off an immigration scandal that MPs have warned could be “bigger than Windrush”. About 34,000 foreign students have had their visas cancelled or curtailed and more than 1,000 people were forcibly removed from the UK as a result of the English language testing scandal, which involved the government accusing tens of thousands of students who sat a Home Office-approved test of cheating. The Guardian understands that students who took the test of English for international communication (Toeic) five or more years ago are still being targeted by immigration enforcement officers and being taken to immigration detention centres ahead of enforced removal from the UK.

Security

Telegraph
Theresa May has given the green light to a Chinese telecoms giant to help build Britain’s new 5G network despite warnings from the US and some of her most senior ministers that it poses a risk to national security. The National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, agreed on Tuesday to allow Huawei limited access to help build parts of the network such as antennas and other “noncore” infrastructure.

Mail
Theresa May has defied security warnings from senior Government ministers and allowed controversial Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to help build Britain’s new 5G network. The National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, yesterday gave the green light to give Huawei limited access to help construct sections of the network such as antennas and non-essential infrastructure.

Roads

Times
One in ten road building schemes promised as part of the biggest upgrade of the network in a generation could be scrapped for financial reasons. Highways England said that plans to improve 11 main roads would be paused indefinitely because the investment could no longer be justified. A third of the upgrades would be delayed, possibly for five years, for fear of overloading the network with too many works at the same time.

Rail travel

Telegraph
Standing on long train journeys will be effectively banned under radical proposals by Virgin Trains to force all long-distance passengers to book a seat before boarding.  Train companies are currently often obliged to accept walk-up fares, meaning they have no control over the number of people getting on a particular train unless it is deemed unsafe. But under the plans for airline-style fares with one fare available at any given time for any one service, walk on tickets and open returns will be phased out.

Mail
Rail passengers should not be allowed to board long-distance trains without a reservation, according to Virgin Group.  The firm said inter-city services should use Eurostar’s model of requiring customers to book a ticket and a seat for a particular train.  Operators are often required to accept walk-on fares meaning they have little control over passenger numbers. Companies are also obliged to stick to rigid timetables which results in them running trains even when demand is low.

The post News review – Wednesday 24 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Report: Europeans Do Not Exclude War on the Old Continent

Europeans believe that war on the Old Continent is possible. The main reason - the tension between the West and Russia. The findings are from a report commissioned by a prestigious German foundation.

In the context of the dramatic challenges facing the European security architecture, the emergence of hot and cold conflicts, annexes and increasingly frequent cyber attacks, the aim of the report is to highlight two key factors that matter in decision making: public opinion and expert assessments security and the foreign policy situation in Europe.

This is the conclusion of the document, called the Security Radar 2019 - A Wake Up Alarm for Europe, commissioned by a prestigious German foundation and showing that millions of Europeans are expecting war conflicts in Europe.

The study was conducted in seven countries - Germany, France, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.

Almost half of the population of these countries - 47%, expects similar actions.

Apart from the tensions between the West and Moscow, the situation is compounded by the regrouping of four major security-related factors - the European Union, China, Russia and the United States.

Experts also recognize Europeans' very low trust in political institutions and the rule of law. Army and police have higher levels of approval.

News review – Tuesday 23 April 2019

News review – Tuesday 23 April 2019

HAPPY ST GEORGE’S DAY!

Tory leadership

Sun
THERESA MAY could be booted out as PM by furious Tory MPs in mid-June under radical plans to be considered by senior figures today. The Sun can reveal the Conservative 1922 committee is expected to vote on an extraordinary proposal to rewrite party rules to allow a new no confidence challenge just six months after the PM survived the last one in December. It would only be allowed if 92 Tories – or 30 per cent of MPs – submit a no confidence letter to backbench ‘kingpin’ Sir Graham Brady. Currently, the PM cannot endure a new challenge for 12 months – meaning she is ‘safe’ until the end of 2019.

Telegraph
Theresa May will be told by her own MPs to name the date of her departure or face being ousted in June after the Conservative Party’s patience with her finally ran out. Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, will tell the Prime Minister that the party is preparing to change its rules to make it easier to throw out unpopular leaders if they refuse to go. Backbenchers have already set June 12 as the date Mrs May will be forced out if she does not comply – exactly six months on from the day she fought off the last attempt to depose her through a confidence vote in her leadership.

Express
A TORY grassroots plot to force Theresa May into quitting has secured enough support to trigger an emergency party meeting for a no-confidence vote. The Prime Minister’s failure to secure Britain’s exit from the European Union has unleashed a furious uprising in the party. Last night the threshold needed to demand an extraordinary general meeting of the party’s national convention, the most powerful body representing the rank and file, was reached. Sources involved in the plot said the petition had been backed by at least 65 constituency association chairmen after the Prime Minister’s “spectacular failure to deliver” Brexit.

Mirror
A Tory plot to oust Theresa May over Brexit ramped up dramatically today after activists won a bid to trigger an emergency summit. The powerful National Conservative Convention is poised to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting within weeks after grassroots Brexiteers handed in a petition under party rules. Leave-backers – who are furious with Mrs May’s decision to delay Brexit to October 31 and enter ‘soft deal’ talks with Labour – had been pushing for the meeting so they can stage a vote of no confidence in the Tory leader. They used rules which say the Convention must call an EGM if at least 65 chairman of local constituency associations demand one in a petition.

Times
Conservative MPs are today launching a new move to oust Theresa May within weeks even if her Brexit deal has not been ratified by parliament. Members of the party’s backbench 1922 Committee will meet this afternoon for an emergency session to discuss the prime minister’s leadership. Last night Nigel Evans, the committee’s joint executive secretary, said that he would use the meeting to demand a date for Mrs May to go.

Sky News
MPs are returning to Westminster after an 11-day Easter break with Brexit still deadlocked and Theresa May facing a double threat to her leadership. Senior government ministers are resuming their talks with leading Labour figures in a bid to reach a deal, but the two sides remain a long way from a breakthrough. And the prime minister is facing two new moves to accelerate her removal from Downing Street, from senior Conservative MPs and from pro-Brexit party activists.

ITV News
Theresa May could face an unprecedented vote of confidence in her leadership after 70 local association chiefs signed a petition supporting one, according to reports. They have called for an extraordinary general meeting of the National Conservative Convention to discuss the Prime Minister’s leadership of the party. A non-binding vote is expected to be held at the meeting, which would – if it showed a lack of confidence – put pressure on the 1922 Committee of Tory MPs to find a way of forcibly removing the PM from office.

Breitbart
Theresa May is facing an unprecedented push to remove her as Tory leader, with a petition by local party chairmen having triggered an extraordinary general meeting for a vote of no confidence. The Conservative Party is very much a top-down organisation, with the mostly Remain-supporting Conservative Central Headquarters (CCHQ) having much more control over parliamentary candidate selection (and deselection) than local associations and ordinary members, and the parliamentary party having a similarly dominant role in appointing the party leader — and, in effect, the Prime Minister, in times when the Tories are in government.

Express
EMBATTLED Theresa May was facing a triple assault on her leadership today amid growing dismay over her handling of Brexit. She is expected to be told she must step down as Prime Minister by the end of June or Conservative MPs will change the party rules and force her out. Mrs May could also be challenged with an unprecedented vote of confidence this week as Tory grassroots anger boils over. Plans for a major Government re-shuffle also appear to have been abandoned, leaving the PM at the mercy of Remainer Cabinet members.

Telegraph
Boris Johnson is the Tory grassroots’ favourite to be the next Conservative Party leader and now has a 17 point lead over his closest rival, a new survey has shown. The former foreign secretary was backed by almost one in three Tory members to take over from Theresa May as support for him surged by 10 per cent in less than one month.   Support for Mr Johnson – now at 32 per cent – is at its highest level since last August as Eurosceptic activists appear to have swung in behind the leading Brexiteer, according to the work done by the ConservativeHome website.

Mail
Boris Johnson is streets ahead in the race to replace Theresa May as Tory leader and has an 18 point lead over his nearest rival Dominic Raab, a poll of party supporters revealed today. A survey on the influential Conservative Home website shows 33 per cent of people want Mr Johnson to take over as party chief. He enjoys twice the support of his nearest rival Dominic Raab on 15 per cent, followed by Michael Gove on eight per cent, Jeremy Hunt on six per cent and Sajid Javid on five per cent. The poll, published today, shows Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Davis, Matt Hancock, Esther McVey and Penny Mordaunt on just two per cent.

Westmonster
Theresa May’s mishandling of Brexit is damaging faith in her to such an extent that the majority of Conservative Party members not only want her gone, but are planning to vote for the Brexit Party at the EU Elections next month. At least that’s according to two surveys of Tory members conducted by ConservativeHome, who found that a whopping 79% of Conservatives now want Theresa May to resign. Just 219 in a survey of 1,132 were against May announcing her departure.

Cross party talks

Times
Talks on a cross-party Brexit deal between Labour and the Conservatives will resume today, amid pessimism that substantive progress can be made. The two sides are due to meet face to face for the first time since MPs broke for the Easter recess ten days ago. The talks are expected to involve David Lidington, Theresa May’s deputy, and Gavin Barwell, her chief of staff. For Labour Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s strategy and communications director, is also understood to be taking part with Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary.

Mirror
The Brexit crisis will gasp back into life on Tuesday as the Tories plunge head-first back into talks with Labour to find a way forward. Theresa May finally enjoyed a tiny break from months of turmoil last week, munching on packed lunches while she walked in Snowdonia. But her Easter truce will shudder to a halt as her warring Cabinet meets on Tuesday morning – followed by her deputy, chief of staff and Chief Whip all descend on the Cabinet Office for a summit with Labour.

BBC News
The government will resume Brexit talks with the Labour Party as MPs return to Westminster following the Easter break. Cabinet ministers, including the PM’s de facto deputy, David Lidington, will meet senior opposition figures in an attempt to solve the Brexit impasse. But the resumption of talks has provoked anger among a number of Tory MPs, with senior backbenchers meeting later to discuss their next move. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a cabinet meeting.

Independent
Brexit negotiations between the government and Labour will resume on Tuesday as Theresa May launches a fresh bid to break the deadlock in parliament and quash new attempts to oust her from office. The prime minister’s deputy, David Lidington, and the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay, will lead talks with Labour shadow ministers, including shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, in a new effort to find a cross-party solution to the current crisis. They will be joined by government chief whip Julian Smith and Ms May’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell.

Guardian
Brexit talks between government ministers and Labour are due to resume on Tuesday amid distinctly limited expectations of a breakthrough, with the political focus likely instead to shift on to renewed Conservative efforts to oust Theresa May from Downing Street. The executive of the 1922 Committee, which represents Conservative backbenchers, is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, with its chair, Graham Brady, reportedly planning to tell the prime minister she must depart before the end of June. In the Brexit talks, a government team including David Lidington, May’s de facto deputy, and the Brexit secretary, Steve Barclay, is to meet Barclay’s Labour shadow, Keir Starmer, the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, and others at the Cabinet Office.

Irish backstop

Sun
THERESA May has asked officials to look again at a rival plan by Tory MPs for the Irish border to escape the disastrous Brexit deadlock. Senior Tory Brexiteers are lobbying the PM to use the new six month delay to mount a fresh push on the EU to adopt their ‘alternative arrangements’ model. The development comes as Theresa May will today come under renewed pressure to call time on stalled talks with Labour for a cross-party exit deal. But replacing the controversial Irish backstop to keep the border open with the ‘Malthouse Compromise’ formula of stand off customs declarations and checks is still the only way she can win a Commons majority for one, the group insist.

Elections

Guardian
The UK’s first-past-the-post (FPTP) parliamentary election system is broken and outdated and can no longer be relied upon to keep out extreme elements and encourage moderate, consensual politics, a thinktank has said. A report by the Constitution Society said an increased concentration of support for the two main parties into defined geographical areas meant there was less and less direct competition between Labour and the Conservatives, negating a need to appeal to the middle ground. Instead, the report said, the dominant voice of members and the limited viability of smaller parties meant both the Conservatives and Labour had moved away from the centre and were dominated by internal arguments such as Brexit.

EU

Breitbart
Any kind of Brexit will hurt the British people, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has claimed, in an interview in which he also praised Angela Merkel as a “lovable work of art” and recommended her for a top EU job once she steps down as the Chancellor of Germany. “Nobody knows how Brexit will end,” the European Commission chief remarked, telling the German Funke Media Group there was still a possibility of Britain having a clean, No Deal exit from the bloc, despite Theresa May agreeing another delay of up to six months before Article 50 negotiations expire and the country actually leaves the bloc.

Independent
EU unity has been one of the great surprises of Brexit: the bloc’s 27 remaining member states have managed to hold a united front in public in a way the UK – a single country – could only dream of.  But with the UK’s departure delayed until October – crucially, after the EU elections – that unity is being tested as never before, and the results are surfacing in the European parliament itself.  Guy Verhofstadt, long adored by British Remainers for mocking Brexiteers and championing citizens’ rights, surprised a few of those campaigners when he stood up in the European parliament on Wednesday.

Star
BRITS have filled nine out of 10 new jobs created in the UK since the Brexit referendum, the Government announced. The number of EU nationals seeking work in Britain has plummeted to fewer than 35,000 following the vote to leave the bloc in 2016. And there are more than one million extra people in work. In the two years before the referendum more than 410,000 EU citizens joined the workforce. Since then they are responsible for just 5%. Businesses are “clearly adjusting” to lower European immigration, said Employment Minister Alok Sharma.

Breitbart
Nearly all new jobs created in the United Kingdom since the 2016 European Union (EU) membership referendum have gone to British workers, a distinct change from the period before the vote when nearly half went to EU migrants. The number of EU nationals who joined the British workforce — either getting a job in Britain for the first time, or returning to work after a period of absence — was 35,000 since the 2016 Brexit referendum. This is less than a tenth of the number who joined in the two years running up to the vote, when the figure stood at 410,000.

Four day week

Mirror
The poorest 50% of households could see 13% boost in income by 2030 with 4-day week and higher minimum wage. It is part of a radical plan to solve the UK’s ongoing productivity crisis devised by thinktank the New Economics Foundation who are in favour of gradually reducing time spent working while raising minimum wages faster than planned. Britain is now in its tenth year of feeble labour productivity growth and politicians have so far failed to tackle the crisis. Their research shows that moving to a 4-day week by 2030 while lifting the national living wage to around £19 per hour rather than an expected level of £12 per hour would result in a rise of disposable income for the poorest 50% of households by 13% on average.

NHS

Mail
The NHS spent more than £13million helping thousands of women from abroad give birth last year. So far less than half of that money has been claimed back after it was spent on health tourists giving birth on maternity wards in England. And one hospital trust, Barts Health, racked up a bill of £1.7million caring for 232 women who had their children in its hospitals, The Sun revealed. Critics called the expenditure ‘ludicrous’ after it was revealed less than half the money has been claimed back. It can cost thousands of pounds for a woman to have her baby delivered in an NHS hospital if she isn’t a UK resident, and extra care costs even more.

Telegraph
More than a quarter of NHS doctors suffer from mental health conditions, a survey indicates, as leading medics say many refuse to seek help for fear it will ruin their career. The British Medical Association (BMA) today warns of a mental health “crisis” among the workforce, with 27 per cent having received a psychiatric diagnosis. The union says long hours and heavy workloads fuelled by rota gaps and increasing patient demand are pushing thousands of doctors towards “burnout”.

Mail
A quarter of doctors and medical students have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, it was revealed yesterday. Stresses of the job have pushed many into depression, anxiety and problem drinking. A survey of more than 4,300 medics found 27 per cent have been diagnosed with a mental health condition. Two in five are facing psychological and emotional problems, including stress, depression, anxiety and emotional distress. Women struggle more than men, while consultants, GP partners and those working more than 51 hours a week are most likely to blame their job for their health problems.

Telegraph
Gagging orders for whistleblowers will be banished from the NHS, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has promised, after a radiographer had her non-disclosure agreement overturned. Mr Hancock said he was “determined to end” the injustice of making health service staff choose between speaking out to protect patients or keeping their job. “Whistleblowers perform a vital and courageous service for the NHS and I want more people to feel they can put their head above the parapet,” he told The Telegraph.

Guardian
The health secretary has vowed to end the use of non-disclosure agreements that prevent would-be NHS whistleblowers speaking out. Matt Hancock said he wants more people to feel they can “put their head above the parapet”, and described settlement agreements that infringe on people’s rights to voice concerns as “completely inappropriate”. “We stand with whistleblowers,” Hancock said. “Making someone choose between the job they love and speaking the truth to keep patients safe is an injustice I am determined to end. “Settlement agreements that infringe on an individual’s right to speak out for the benefit of patients are completely inappropriate. Whistleblowers perform a vital and courageous service for the NHS and I want more people to feel they can put their head above the parapet.

Times
Gagging orders for NHS whistleblowers will be banned to encourage more staff “to put their head above the parapet”, the health secretary has pledged. Matt Hancock said that he wanted to outlaw non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that silence staff who raise safety concerns or complaints of sexual harassment or workplace bullying. Sue Allison, 57, a radiographer, successfully argued that she had been asked to sign an NDA without legal advice after raising concerns at Morecambe Bay NHS foundation trust.

Dementia

Telegraph
The government should support and fund choirs to help dementia sufferers cope with their fading memories, Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure has said, as she speaks of caring for her grandmother. McClure is hosting new television show Our Dementia Choir, which offers those with dementia music therapy as they train to perform as a choir in front of an audience of 1,000 people. The Line Of Duty star joins forces with specialists from the fields of medicine, music therapy and performance for the BBC One two part series.

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