Archive for the ‘May’ Category

Under fire

Under fire

So Mrs May is facing a barrage of criticism for the deal she has made with Michel Barnier to leave the EU. Hardly surprising, under the circumstances, but what I find amazing is that she has allowed herself to fall between two stools and managed to upset everybody.

The Brexiteers think the deal gives far too much away to Brussels and when it comes to the Remainers, they think she needs to be closer to the EU. There has been much written about it elsewhere but if you need to know what’s wrong with it, the Spectator has a good analysis.

The prospect of Mrs May getting this deal through the House of Commons is remote. Already those cleverer than I have done the sums; the Labour opposition has said it will vote down any such deal so although there could be a handful of Labour MPs who would be willing to vote with the Conservatives, the vast majority of them won’t. The LibDems will, of course, but they’re outnumbered by the DUP whose leader Arlene Foster has already said she won’t agree to the deal as it breaks up the UK.

There are many Conservatives who will also vote against the deal, even if she imposes a three-line whip, so she will not get the HoC to agree. She’s not stupid. She’s a consummate politician and, grudgingly, I have some respect for her in that regard. It was said of Maggie Thatcher that she had more balls than all of her cabinet put together and from her actions so far, I would like to grant the same compliment to Mrs May. She’s as nice as pie in front of the television cameras but I would imagine that behind closed doors she’s one tough cookie.

But her advisors must have told her that the deal won’t be agreed in the House, so what does she do now?

The Labour opposition will insist that she goes back to the EU and negotiates a better deal, but she will now how hard she fought for the deal that’s on the table now and she will also know that if she makes any more demands for concessions, Barnier will simply say ‘No!’.

Now we hear that he is likely to demand more from us. The Times says:

“A group of European countries rounded on Michel Barnier this week to demand that the chief EU negotiator squeeze more concessions out of Britain in talks next week.

Some EU nations believe that the UK would have an economic advantage after Brexit if it were able to diverge from European laws and regulations while still having access to the single market. They are also demanding greater powers for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and greater fishing rights in British waters.”

And Mrs May must know that if she gives anything more away her difficulties will increase here in the UK.

What happens if the EU parliament agrees the terms in the coming week and our own Parliament rejects them? Will we simply drift towards the end of March without a deal and at that time start trading under WTO? Perhaps this is the best option, but will May allow it to happen?

She has laid out the options clearly if MPs don’t agree to the plan: no deal or no Brexit, and she has already threatened that if the plan is not agreed, she could scrap Brexit completely. I don’t know if she has the authority to do that but she has said so very many, many times ‘Brexit means Brexit’, although not so much recently, and she knows that history will come down on her like a ton of bricks if she scraps the whole project now.

She could change her mind and go for another snap General Election, but to do so, under the fixed term rules the House of Commons must agree by a two-thirds majority, and after the fiasco of the last snap GE when the Tories lost their overall majority, that is unlikely.

Could she go for a second referendum or a People’s Vote? There is a growing movement for her to do just that but how would the question be decided? The last referendum voted to ‘Leave the EU’ so surely one of the questions if there is a second referendum could not be ‘Do you want to Leave the EU?’ as demanded by the LibDems. That has already been decided.

Could the question be simply binary – ‘Do you want to accept the current deal on the table or leave under World Trade Organisation rules?’ That would be the best option, as far as we Kippers are concerned; the answer is obvious.

She might face a leadership challenge if the 48 letters of no confidence go into the 1922 committee but even that isn’t a foregone conclusion. The rules state that although there has to be a leadership election, she is eligible to stand and might even be re-elected into the post, at which stage her authority can’t be challenged for another year, by which time it’ll be all over.

The Labour opposition could propose a motion of no confidence in the government which if passed, gives the government a further 14 days to overturn. If they can’t do this, a General Election has to be held immediately.

So what can WE do? If we don’t leave the EU fully and completely, with our borders intact, with our contributions ended, with our laws made in Westminster, with our fish – OUR fish – in our seas and no further problems in Northern Ireland, will this be enough to foment serious action against our government? And if so, what sort of action might be contemplated? Writing to our MP? Oh, perleease! Waving banners and chanting around the House of Commons? A little better but who thinks the Prime Minister is going to take a blind bit of notice of us?

Civil disobedience? That has to be organised. The use of our vehicles? We could snarl up roads in a concerted effort – not something that I would relish but when we Brits are really stirred up, watch out world! Climate change activists jammed up Central London yesterday in a pretty good demonstration which included a whole range of people who had been trained by the organisers to get themselves arrested. Can we do the same thing? It provoked a lot of publicity (see Sunday papers).

There can be only one answer – WTO rules. Yes, there’ll be some problems initially, perhaps some shortages, but these will be overcome in a very short space of time – after all, we’re British, and the EU will be suffering far more than us at loss of trade; with pressure from their businesses they’ll soon come begging for a deal. Doesn’t May know this? Hasn’t she been advised? How do we go about notifying her that we as a country are fed up to the back teeth with the way she has handled this withdrawal? Anyone any ideas?

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Sunday papers – 18 November 2018

Sunday papers – 18 November 2018

Conservative Party

Tories being asked for help in shoring up the Prime Minister’s position may have been misled, reports the Telegraph.

The Conservative Party Chairman has been accused of peddling “nonsense” to grassroots Tories in a conference call intended to win support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Brandon Lewis told local Conservative Association chairmen that the proposed deal contained a “very, very high legal bar” requiring the EU to agree a trade deal before there was any need for a Northern Ireland backstop.
Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement says the EU must use its “best endeavours” to agree a trade deal before the end of the transition period, but lawyers and Brexit-supporting MPs have argued that the phrase is legally worthless.

And the Tories’ own website, Conservative Home, reports the opinions of the membership.

Last month, 68 per cent of respondents to our survey wanted a Canada Plus Plus Plus-type Brexit, or else no deal at all – in other words, a quite hard to very hard Brexit.
And this month, we have 72 per cent against the Prime Minister’s draft deal and 23 per cent for it.
In other words, the bulk of our Party member panel respondents want a hardish or clean Brexit, and see Theresa May’s draft deal as not delivering it – a view that many will have taken without reading the best part of 600 pages of which it consists.

Tory leadership

Meanwhile, the party’s leadership is still under question. Sky News will interview the Prime Minister this morning:

Theresa May will come out fighting in a Sky News interview, hitting back at Tory MPs bidding to remove her and cabinet ministers demanding a better Brexit deal.
Under more scrutiny and pressure than ever before, the prime minister will be appear on Sophy Ridge On Sunday at the start of a week, which if it goes wrong for her, could see her lose her job.
Mrs May is under attack on three fronts:
Tory backbenchers led by the European Research Group’s Jacob Rees-Mogg claim they are close to securing the 48 MPs required to trigger a vote of no confidence.

The Express reports on a plot to replace her and a boost for UKIP.

SENIOR Brexiteers are in talks to decide who should replace Theresa May with a confidence vote expected this week.
Sources have told the Sunday Express that Boris Johnson and David Davis, who both quit the Cabinet in July over Mrs May’s Chequers plan, have held a mini-summit to try to agree which one should be the “Brexit candidate” in a leadership contest. The revelation came as two polls reveal the Tories are haemorrhaging support in the wake of criticism of the Prime Minister’s proposed deal with the EU. But allies of Mrs May have warned that if her deal is rejected, the Government will amend it to keep Britain under Brussels rule in the customs union – ending the chance for free trade deals with the rest of the world.

But what is the best time to make their move? The Mail reports:

Supporters of a Boris Johnson leadership bid are at war over whether to attempt to force Theresa May out now – or wait until she brings her Brexit deal to the Commons.
The former Foreign Secretary’s entourage has been debating furiously if they should join Jacob Rees-Mogg’s campaign to force a vote of no-confidence in the Tory leader.
Some influential figures warn that if a vote is held now and Mrs May wins it, she would be locked into the job for the next year. They say they should hold off from sending in letters to the 1922 Committee until after the Commons votes on the Brexit deal – believing that MPs will reject it and bring the Prime Minister down.

The former Brexit secretary, who sensationally quit last week, could be lining up to throw his hat into the ring, reports the Sun.

HIGH-flyer Dominic Raab is gearing up for a head-to-head battle with Boris Johnson for the Tory crown.
The former Brexit Secretary has emerged as front-runner to succeed Theresa May after quitting the Cabinet over the PM’s doomed deal for leaving the EU.
He is expected to run with the backing of David Davis, who also previously resigned from the Brexit role.
But they will face a tough challenge from ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

And the Telegraph also the reports the manoeuvring.

The campaign to unseat Theresa May neared tipping point tonight as the Conservatives’ former London mayoral candidate called on the Prime Minister to resign and a former Brexit minister told how members of the Government were hoodwinked over her deal.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Zac Goldsmith, a Brexiteer, says he would have voted Remain rather than choose Mrs May’s plan and that her departure will “give us the chance of a fresh start”.


The subject of all these shenanigans is covered in the Telegraph.

Senior Conservatives are in talks with opposition MPs over a “fallback plan” for Brexit in the belief Theresa May’s deal will be voted down in the Commons.
Influential former ministers are drawing up plans to put a Norway-style deal with the EU to a Commons vote in an emergency motion days after an expected defeat in the “meaningful vote” on her plan.
The MPs claim their proposal, which is likely to be fiercely opposed by many Brexiteers, is the only one that could gain the support of a majority of MPs in a bitterly divided Parliament. They believe it would attract the support of up to 70 Labour rebels.

And there have been claims that the UK is being bullied by Brussels in the Times.

Dominic Raab today warns that Theresa May has allowed Britain to be “blackmailed and bullied” by Brussels and that she should toughen her stance on Brexit or face disaster.
In an interview with The Sunday Times the former Brexit secretary called on the prime minister to show greater “political will” and made a veiled pitch for her job, saying Britain would not look like it is — “frightened of its own shadow” — if he was running the negotiations.
He called on the prime minister to walk away from the talks rather than submit to the “predatory” behaviour of “dark forces” in Brussels.

Is there any will to continue the fight against the EU? BBC News reports one opinion.

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has criticised the government’s “lack of political will and resolve” in dealing with the European Union.
Mr Raab, who quit on Thursday over the Brexit deal, told the Sunday Times the UK should not allow itself to be “bullied”, and must be prepared to walk away from negotiations if necessary.
There has been widespread criticism of the PM’s draft withdrawal agreement.
However, Theresa May dismissed suggestions the deal could be amended.

The former Brexit secretary says we should make further demands from Brussels in the Sun.

DOMINIC Raab has blasted Theresa May, suggesting she has failed to stand up to a bullying European Union over the Brexit deal.
Raab stepped down as Brexit secretary on Thursday saying he could not accept the terms of the deal done by the Prime Minister.
He told the Sunday Times the UK should demand an agreement that allows it to unilaterally leave any customs union.

The Express also reports Raab’s words.

THE FORMER Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, has today fuelled the fire of Theresa May’s critics as he hit out at the Prime Minister for failing to stand up to a bullying European Union over the Brexit deal.
Mr Raab resigned from his position on Thursday in protest at the terms of the withdrawal agreement. His decision to quit came less than 24 hours after Mrs May said there was “collective agreement” in the Cabinet on the deal. He has now spoken out to criticise the Prime Minister’s negotiation strategy.

Gang of five’

Meanwhile, five senior Tories are ganging up against the PM over pizza, the Mail says.

Andrea Leadsom has told Theresa May there is ‘more to be done’ to her EU withdrawal deal as the Brexiteer ‘Gang of Five’ in the Cabinet turns up the pressure on the PM.
The Commons leader’s veiled threat to Number 10 came after she and four other leading Leave supporters agreed to stay in the Cabinet in a bid to rewrite the Brexit deal.
Mrs Leadsom and her allies Michael Gove, Penny Mourdaunt, Liam Fox and Chris Grayling have reportedly been holding ‘pizza nights’ at her home.

They are said to support Mrs May but disagree with her plan, says ITV News.

There is still time for “more to be done” and the Brexit deal “improved”, Andrea Leadsom has said as the Conservative Party continues to row over Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement with Brussels.
The Brexiteer Commons leader said she supports the Prime Minister but suggested there is an opportunity before a special European Council meeting on November 25 to get “the best possible deal for the UK”.

The Sun covers the deliberations of the Pizza Plotters.

BREXITEER plotter Andrea Leadsom has said there is “still time” to try and force Theresa May to change her deal.
The Commons leader is working with Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling to make the PM seal more promises on a future trade deal.
The so-called Pizza Plotters, named after a group who have held talks over takeaways in the past, will hold talks this weekend and early next week to try and pin down a Canada-style trade deal from the EU.

Labour Party

And the turmoil is handing support to the official opposition, says the Mail.

The Conservatives have lost ground to Labour in the polls after a chaotic week at Westminster.
Two surveys carried out at the height of the Tory civil war over Brexit saw the Conservatives fall between three and four points behind Jeremy Corbyn‘s party.
In one poll the Conservatives lost 10 points among Leave voters, reflecting deep divisions among Brexiteers about the PM’s withdrawal agreement. 

And an MP who was elected as a Conservative has backed the Labour leader, reports Westmonster.

Conservative Remoaner Anna Soubry has sparked anger after tweeting support for Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to back a second referendum.
Soubry’s tweet states: “Please sign and RT! Petition · Jeremy Corbyn: Labour must now lead on a People’s Vote”.
The petition was started by Labour MP Angela Smith and reads: “We call on Labour’s Leader Jeremy Corbyn to back a People’s Vote on Brexit at the earliest opportunity — and if he is successful in forcing a General Election then Labour’s manifesto must commit clearly to an immediate People’s Vote, in which Labour will campaign to Remain.”


Across the Channel, it seems that Brussels is still looking for the UK to yield further, reports the Express.

FRANCE is looking to turn the screw on Theresa May by pressurising EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to demand Britain makes even more concessions in next week’s talks to discuss the draft withdrawal agreement.
Meanwhile Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also sought to turn up the heat by claiming Britain faced economic disaster if the House of Commons fails to ratify the deal, with Mrs May forced into a u-turn weeks later.

And the Times reports that even as diplomats agreed not to change the plan before them, there were mutterings of discontent.

As EU diplomats gathered on Friday to examine the final withdrawal agreement, they resolved not to tinker with the 585-page exit deal that has been 20 months in the making.
Yet as they prepare for a meeting of Europe ministers in Brussels tomorrow to review a separate text on the future EU-UK relationship, several are finding the provisions of the backstop on fish too odorous to ignore.
“It has left a bit of a stink for some, but the attitude is that we’ve landed this thing so let’s just get on with it,” said one person familiar with the discussions.

And the Express claims the bloc will start making even further demands of us.

MICHEL Barnier is ready to twist the knife by locking Britain out of Europe’s internal security database after Brexit, telling member states the UK must face up to the consequences of leaving the bloc.
In a move which has echoes of the EU’s plan to exclude Britain from the Galileo satellite system, Mr Barnier said there would be “difficult negotiations” over the maintenance of access to parts of the EU’s database. A diplomatic note circulated to ambassadors of the remaining EU27 states, whom Brexit negotiator Mr Barnier met on Friday, paid tribute to UK Prime Minister Theresa May for sticking to the agreed withdrawal agreement despite fearsome domestic opposition which could see her face a no-confidence vote as Tory Party leader in the next few days.


Will our former leader return? The Sun speculates.

NIGEL Farage is poised for a return to frontline politics unless the PM drops her “Brexit betrayal” plan.
The former Ukip boss warned he will be unable to sit on the sidelines if Theresa May drives through her “half-baked” proposal.
He told The Sun on Sunday: “If I have to step back into the fray and do it all again I shall.
“But this time there would be no more Mr Nice Guy. I would knock their legs from underneath them.”
Mr Farage admits he can feel frustration welling up inside him and is already considering his options – either a return to run Ukip or launching a new party.

The Times reports on Farage’s relationship with his money man

Nigel Farage’s relationship with Arron Banks, who bankrolled the unofficial campaign to leave the European Union with the biggest donation in British political history, has cooled amid growing scrutiny of the businessman’s finances and links to Russia.
A source close to both men claimed they remained friends, but are speaking less after revelations about contacts between Banks and Russian officials in the run-up to the EU referendum, and a series of deals offered to him by Kremlin agents.


Away from front-line politics, the Times reports on primary schools.

Religious primary schools achieve better test results than other state and private schools, according to the latest rankings by The Sunday Times.
The success of faith schools, revealed in today’s Parent Power tables, means they account for almost half of the top 500 state primaries, with 48 in the top 100, made up of 25 Catholic, 19 Church of England, two Jewish, one Muslim and one Hindu school. Overall, faith schools account for 37% of all primaries.

And the Mail reports on schools failing boys.

Britain’s schools are failing to help boys who under perform at school out of fear it will be ridiculed by feminist and gender equality groups, ex-UCAS chief has warned.
Mary Curnock Cook, who was head of the university admissions service until last year, has stated her alarm that boys falling behind at school has become ‘normalised’, reports the Telegraph.
She added that it has become an unpopular topic of conversation because she believes feminist groups have made the issue ‘taboo’.

Universities could be ready to offer quick degrees, says the Sun.

UNIVERSITIES are to offer fast-track degrees which will leave students up to £25,000 better off.
New two-year courses will have the same qualification and quality as the standard three-year study.
Those who sign up for an “accelerated degree” will pay a fifth less in tuition fees, saving them £5,500 plus a year’s housing and living costs.

Climate change

A demo by climate change activists really snarled up London yesterday, reports the Times.

Environmental protesters paralysed central London yesterday after occupying five of its busiest bridges “in anger” at the lack of action on climate change.
At least 85 people were arrested for obstruction but the demonstrations remained largely peaceful even when the protesters occupied Parliament Square, blocked traffic in surrounding roads and dug holes to plant trees as “a symbol of life”.
“We closed Southwark, Waterloo, Westminster, Blackfriars and Lambeth bridges,” said the campaign group Extinction Rebellion, the organiser of the protest.

Reuters reports arrests.

British police said they arrested more than 70 people at an environmental protest on Saturday, after demonstrators blocked five bridges across the River Thames in central London.
Organizers of the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ event said they wanted to put pressure on Britain’s government to take greater action to slow climate change and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
The protest centered for several hours on Westminster Bridge, near Britain’s parliament, but there was also disruption to traffic on four other bridges.

The Mail also reports the demo.

Hundreds of eco-activists barricaded bridges, blocked traffic and caused travel chaos during ‘a day of rebellion’ on the streets of London today in order to force the government to impose radical new laws on climate change.
Five bridges across the Thames – Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges – were blocked off during the day of havoc, and police claimed more than 70 people were arrested at the protests organised by Extinction Rebellion (ER).

The Sun says the capital came to a standstill.

PROTESTERS blocked five major bridges and brought London to a standstill yesterday.
Hundreds of activists urged Theresa May to tackle global warming while they staged a sit-in along the River Thames.
At least 85 were arrested as police struggled to clear Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges.
The rally, which continued outside Parliament last night, caused major traffic jams and blocked routes for emergency vehicles.


Has he truth about the high-speed rail line come out yet? The Telegraph reports:

The company behind the HS2 rail link is gagging local authorities with non-disclosure agreements that keep residents in the dark, a new report states.
The major review of England’s planning system warns HS2 Ltd is stoking resentment among communities who discover their councils are prevented from revealing details about the construction of the high-speed line.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that 26 local authorities across the country have signed NDAs with the company at the early planning stage.

And the Times reports on more delays.

The £56bn HS2 rail line is expected to be delayed by more than a year after it emerged in contract talks that the building project was at risk of soaring over budget.
Sources said costs for the “main works civil contracts” on the London-to-Birmingham stretch — including bridges, tunnels and embankments — had come in “several billion pounds” over the official budget of £6.6bn. That work is due to start next year.

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Saturday papers – 17 November 2018

Saturday papers – 17 November 2018

What a week! I know they say that a week is a long time in politics, but this week must be one of the most interesting in a long time.


The Telegraph is one of the papers covering the revolt to the Prime Minister’s plans.

Michael Gove and four other Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers will try to force Theresa May into a last-minute change to the Brexit deal as the price for withdrawing their threats to resign.
The “gang of five” believes it is not too late for Mrs May to go back to Brussels and demand a unilateral exit mechanism from the so-called “backstop” arrangement over Northern Ireland.
The Environment Secretary, who stepped back from the brink of resignation on Friday, will meet Andrea Leadsom, Chris Grayling, Penny Mordaunt and Liam Fox over the next two days to agree the terms of their ultimatum.

Westmonster claims the ‘gang of five’ will hope to change the PM’s mind.

Those Cabinet Brexiteers not resigning now plan to somehow re-write Theresa May’s Brexit plan.
That’s according to Bloomberg, who were told today that Andrea Leadsom will bring together the likes of Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling.
It is hard to see how this would be anything other than a gigantic waste of time given that May stood steadfastly by her plan despite months of warnings from the like of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg that she should change course.

The Times says the renegotiation is the price of their loyalty.

Theresa May’s remaining Brexiteer cabinet ministers are to demand that she pushes Brussels for further concessions as the price of their loyalty.
The Times understands that the ministers are to meet early next week in an attempt to agree a joint strategy. They intend to present it to the prime minister before a summit of EU leaders that is due to sign off on the deal.
The group includes Michael Gove, who handed the prime minister a lifeline yesterday by remaining as environment secretary. Other members include Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, and Liam Fox, the trade secretary.

And the Mail points out that these five will stay and fight from within the Cabinet.

Michael Gove and other leading Brexiteer ministers have today decided to stay in the Cabinet – but entered a pact to fight to change Theresa May’s controversial deal.
He had been put on resignation watch alongside Andrea Leadsom, Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling as the PM’s Brexit deal plunged the Tories into civil war.
Number Ten had been on red alert for any of them to walk the plank as they have all voiced major concerns about the PM’s hugely controversial Brexit plan.

BBC News covers the plotting.

A group of five ministers in Theresa May’s top team are hoping to persuade her to make changes to her draft Brexit deal, the BBC understands.
Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom is believed to be coordinating the group.
The five ministers include Michael Gove and Liam Fox – who on Friday publicly threw their support behind the PM – plus Penny Mordaunt and Chris Grayling.
Mrs May published her draft withdrawal agreement with the EU on Wednesday, and has vowed to “see it through”.

Westmonster claims WTO rules predominate among its readers.

An unscientific poll Westmonster carried out this morning, that saw more than 8,000 of Westmonster’s readers and followers vote, has shown significant support for a No Deal Brexit.
More than 90% of our followers now back a No Deal over what Theresa May has put on the table, flying in the face of claims from the Remainstream media that the British people didn’t vote for and don’t want to exit fully without a deal. As ever, they are massively out of touch.
As now former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has previously explained there would be short-term issues to overcome, but the benefits of a No Deal would be:
Immediate recovery of full legislative and regulatory control including over immigration policy; Lower tariffs to bring into effect new trade deals straight away; Swifter end to financial contributions to the EU.
No Deal? No problem.

The Telegraph claims business leaders have also slated the plan.

More than 200 chief executives and entrepreneurs have called on Conservative MPs to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, describing it as “the worst of all worlds”.
In a letter, seen by the Telegraph, business leaders who run medium sized companies say Mrs May’s deal represents “the greatest act of national humiliation in this proud nation’s recent history”.

The letter, organised by John Longworth, the former director general of the British Chamber of Commerce, is signed by members of the Alliance of British Entrepreneurs including Tim Martin, the boss of pub giant Wetherspoon and veteran venture capitalist John Moulton and will be delivered to all Tory MPs next week.


But the DUP will not support the plan, says the Mail.

The DUP could tear up their deal to prop the Tories up in No10 unless Theresa May is ousted as the party leader.
The party wields an enormous amount of power as its 10 MPs have agreed to support the Conservative Government in a confidence agreement.
But they are seething at the Brexit deal – accusing the PM of having ‘sold out’
Northern Ireland and breaking her own promises.

And the Mail points out that no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic could cause problems.

Ireland is set to become a gateway to the UK after Brexit, with citizens being able to move freely between the two countries.
The Emerald Isle would remain an open door to the UK under the withdrawal agreement and EU citizens not settled in the UK would be subject to immigration rules but would be able to travel to the UK via Ireland uninhibited.
This would mean no passport checks for EU citizens on flights or ferries between the two countries and would even ensure that EU citizens could travel to major cities such as Dublin or Belfast and take a flight or ferry over to the UK without the usual passport checks.


But it seems the bloc will demand more concessions on fishing and the customs union, says the Telegraph.

European Union governments will try to railroad Britain into a permanent customs union and extract more UK concessions in fishing, heaping yet more pressure on an embattled Theresa May.
The EU-27 is looking to hard-wire British commitments on fishing, tax, the environment, social standards, security, transport and foreign policy into the negotiating boundaries of the future UK-EU trade agreement.
EU-27 governments are seeking “dynamic alignment” on those standards to ensure they keep up with Brussels over time, ensuring the UK is shackled to its red tape and preventing it from being more competitive than the bloc.

The Times claims Barnier has been told to extract more from the UK.

A group of European countries rounded on Michel Barnier this week to demand that the chief EU negotiator squeeze more concessions out of Britain in talks next week.
Some EU nations believe that the UK would have an economic advantage after Brexit if it were able to diverge from European laws and regulations while still having access to the single market. They are also demanding greater powers for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and greater fishing rights in British waters.

The Guardian claims EU leaders will be asked to agree the deal.

European leaders have launched a campaign to sell the Brexit deal struck with Theresa May on a “take it or leave it” basis as EU ambassadors in Brussels collectively agreed it would be impossible to make major changes.
Putting aside the anxieties of some about the 585-page withdrawal text, the 27 member states collectively ruled out a redrafting of the agreement by either side during a meeting with Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator.
Barnier had told the EU ambassadors they should not engage in “bargaining”, despite the political situation in the UK. A number of British cabinet ministers are said to have chosen to stay in their posts purely to engineer a change in the agreement.

But Breitbart reports the German Chancellor’s views that no further negotiations will be held.

There is “no question” of renegotiating the super-soft Brexit deal agreed with Theresa May, Angela Merkel has warned, as Eurocrats voiced hope that the divorce could be called off altogether.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting in Potsdam, the German Chancellor said: “We have a document on the table that Britain and the remaining 27 EU states have agreed. There is, as far as I am concerned, no question of further bargaining at present.”
With German industry bodies set to be hit particularly hard in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Merkel stated this would be the “worst and most chaotic scenario”, but signalled there would be no room for compromise with Britain.


The Guardian claims there’s a possibility that Article 50 could be reversed.

The UK supreme court is to reconsider the terms of article 50 of the treaty on European Union, which formally triggered Brexit, amid mounting political pressure for the procedure to be reversed.
The government has applied for permission to appeal against a ruling by the Scottish courts that the question of whether the UK can reverse the clause should be referred to the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg.
A date has been set for 27 November for an emergency hearing by ECJ judges of an application brought by a cross-party group of six Scottish MPs, MEPs and MSPs, along with Jolyon Maugham QC, the director of the Good Law Project.

Conservative Party

But the PM is also facing a revolt from within her own party, says the Times.

Pro-Brexit Conservative MPs have accused Theresa May of going over their heads to stave off the attempt to oust her through a vote of confidence.
A row erupted after Brexiteer MPs found that Mrs May had a conference call with local Conservative Party chairmen and women. MPs said that the prime minister should talk to her parliamentarians, not local associations, if she wanted them to back her Brexit plan.

Huffington Post turns its attention to the 48 letters of no confidence needed to trigger a leadership election.

Tory Brexiteer rebels have claimed they are “not far off” reaching the number of MPs needed to trigger a no confidence vote in Theresa May’s leadership.
Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister, said on Friday afternoon it was “imminent”.
The leading member of the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteer Tory MPs told BBC’s Politics Live programme that by his count the number was “over 48 with another almost dozen probably on top”.

The Guardian says numbers are rising.

Theresa May is battling to halt a growing revolt from the Tory right after half a dozen more backbenchers came out in favour of a no-confidence vote and the organiser of the rebellion publicly predicted more MPs would follow next week.
The prime minister held a conference call with local association chairmen on Friday afternoon as she fought to head off a coup and sell her hard-won Brexit deal to a sceptical and partially hostile party.
Her efforts came after the number of backbenchers calling publicly for a no-confidence vote in May’s leadership increased to 23. Rebellious MPs said they were confident of reaching the required threshold of 48 letters to Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee.

The latest Brexit secretary will not be able to negotiate with the EU, reports ITV News.

Theresa May has appointed former health minister Stephen Barclay as her new Brexit Secretary as Amber Rudd made a dramatic return to the Cabinet.
The appointments follow a backlash against Mrs May’s proposed
Brexit deal with the EU, including the resignations of several ministers and the threat of a leadership challenge.
The reshuffle came just hours after Mrs May was buoyed by declarations of support from pro-Leave ministers Michael Gove and Liam Fox.
Leave-supporting Mr Barclay will not have negotiation powers with the EU, which Mrs May will now take sole charge of.


Away from Westminster, the Telegraph reports on a surge in illegal immigration.

Seven men are huddled, cold and wet, in a car park at Samphire Hoe near Dover talking to a Coastguard Search and Rescue officer. Four have turquoise blankets wrapped tightly around their shoulders by the time an ambulance arrives on Friday lunchtime to check if they have any injuries or hypothermia.
On the rocks of a beach below, a dinghy with a small engine is deflating. Two lifejackets and a red fuel tank float limply inside it. A black glove and coat have been abandoned nearby on the pebble beach, which is overlooked by Dover’s white cliffs.
The men are Iranian, and have travelled overnight in their inflatable craft through thick fog across the English Channel, the latest migrants to arrive during an unprecedented week which has seen 55 caught by border patrol, in what is thought to be a rush ahead of the March Brexit deadline.


And the Times reports on the UN ‘expert’ who has criticised the UK.

A United Nations expert has compared Britain’s benefits system to China’s former one-child policy because it punishes mothers for having children.
Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, accused the government of ignoring the “damage to the fabric of British society” caused by changes in benefits.
After a 12-day tour of Britain, the Australian-born academic said that the universal credit system had plunged people into misery and despair and condemned the government’s policy of restricting benefits to a family’s first two children.

His report is a scathing indictment on our benefits system says the Guardian.

The UK government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity, the United Nations poverty envoy has found.
Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, ended a two-week fact-finding mission to the UK with a stinging declaration that levels of child poverty were “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster”, even though the UK is the world’s fifth largest economy,

The report compares the UK to China in the Mail

The UN’s poverty envoy today blasted Britain as ‘mean-spirited and callous’ and compared its benefits rules to China’s cruel one-child policy.
Special rapporteur Philip Alston’s controversial new report follows a two-week ‘human rights fact-finding visit’ to the UK.
Today he said 14million people – a fifth of the UK population – now live in poverty and 1.5million of them are destitute because they are unable to afford basic essentials.

The Telegraph says the system is ‘sexist’.

Britain’s welfare system is so sexist it may as well have been compiled by “a group of misogynists in a room,” a UN expert has claimed.
Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, warned that poverty in the UK is a “political choice” and that compassion and concern had been “outsourced” in favour of tax cuts for the rich.
In a damning 24-page report he brands levels of child poverty “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster” and said that limiting benefit payments to two children was as “forced and physical” as China’s one-child policy.
Critics of the UN’s involvement in UK politics suggested that the organisation should spend its time and money studying poverty in third world countries rather than the world’s fifth largest economy.

And the Mirror claims it’s all the Tory government’s fault.

The Tory Government has inflicted “great misery” with its “punitive and mean-spirited” welfare reforms, the United Nations have said.
A damning report said ministers were “in denial” about how the Universal Credit
 had  pushed people into poverty.
“Government policies have inflicted great misery unnecessarily, especially on the working poor, on single mothers struggling against mighty odds, on people with disabilities who are already marginalised, and on millions of children who are locked into a cycle of poverty from which many will have great difficulty escaping,” the UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said.

Child grooming

Still more men of Asian origin have been found guilty of sexually exploiting girls, reports the Mail.

A gang of six men has been jailed for a total of 101 years after sexually exploiting five vulnerable teenage girls in Rotherham.
The men targeted girls who were ‘easy to exploit because they wanted to be loved’ – sexually abusing them in parks, abandoned buildings and secluded locations.
The offences were committed against five girls under 16 in the Rotherham area between 1998 and 2005.
Their abusers – all Asian men from Sheffield and Rotherham – were convicted of offences including rape and indecent assault.
The girls said in statements how the men had ‘destroyed’ them and that their childhood had been taken from them.

Breitbart also has the story.

Six men of Pakistani heritage have been handed jail sentences for sexually abusing five underage girls in Rotherham following an eight-week trial, during which jurors heard the men had “destroyed” their victims’ childhoods.
Mohammed Imran Akhtar, Nabeel Kurshid, Asif Ali, Iqlak Yousaf, Salah El-Hakam, and Tanweer Ali were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday, after they were convicted at the end of last month of 22 child sexual exploitation (CSE) offences which took place in Rotherham between 1998 and 2005.
According to local media, the men failed to show any remorse for the string of offences they committed, which included indecent assault, rape, and false imprisonment.

The Sun has a personal story about the abuse.

A GROOMING victim has opened about the horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of an Asian sex gang in Rotherham as they were caged for 101 years.
The men – who were found guilty last month – lured the young girls into joining them, then plied them with alcohol and drugs before passing them around men in the town for sex.
Mohammed Imran Ali Akhtar, 37, Nabeel Kurshid, 35, Iqlak Yousaf, 34, Tanweer Ali, 37, Salah Ahmed El-Hakam, 39, and Asif Ali, 33, were jailed for the string of sex offences.
The gang forced one girl to have sex with at least 100 Asian men before she turned 16 as the gang “perpetrated, facilitated and encouraged” the abuse of five “vulnerable” girls.

The post Saturday papers – 17 November 2018 appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.



“One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” – 

That quote came to mind when I looked back at the presentation of the “Withdrawal agreement”. I was also reminded of the old footages of a nuclear explosion, after the mushroom cloud …

After the Cabinet meeting which lasted well into the night on Tuesday (13th Nov.); after the news trickled out that the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ was 568 pages long and that Cabinet ministers were only allowed to read it in 10 Downing Street, so having to make their decision ‘blind’; after it was released to the gasping public in the House of Commons; after the resignation of ministers and secretaries – we’re now watching the slow fall-out. It is not a pretty sight.

Any hope there was of a swift call for the Tories’ 1922 Committee to start proceedings for a no-confidence vote have vanished. 48 letters were needed to kick this off – and 48 letters have not been received according to the Committee chairman, Sir Graham Brady. Unsubstantiated rumours were swirling around that he may have ‘lost’ letters. More likely, some letters were withdrawn or even never written, the articles of Tory politicians in the MSm notwithstanding.

It seems that the mighty, principled Tory minds prefer to stick it out come what May, and not cause any disruption which might lead to a GE – keeping one’s seat being more important than the fate of the Party, than the fate of the Nation.

Watching Ms May present and defend this Brexit plan to the HoC was … illuminating. From the noise one could gain the impression that all the Remainer MPs were more interested in scoring points and out-shouting critics than actually engaging with the facts Ms May put before them. That she would not get the agreement of Parliament to this dogs’ dinner was obvious – but many, even in the Tory Party, used this occasion to clamour for a second referendum.

Now that more people have had time to take a look, the disaster that awaits us should this deal be accepted through skulduggery and plain expediency is becoming clear. I refer you to one excellent analysis which was published on Brexit Central on Thursday with the title There are some nasty surprises in the smallprint of Theresa May’s Brexit deal’. Nasty they are indeed. This point shows the extent of the sell-out:

“Now, a lot of eurosceptics could buy into this deal on the assumption, despite the flaws, that landfall is near. But this is predicated upon the assumption that a transition agreement does what it says on the label – it transits.That approach works for a time. Until you hit that most remarkable of paragraphs. It’s what you might call the Odysseus Clause. It’s Article 132 – where the drafters can barely commit to finally fully leaving the EU this century. Here’s what it says:

“Notwithstanding Article 126, the Joint Committee may, before 1 July 2020, adopt a single decision extending the transition period up to [31 December 20XX].”

That’s a bit of a variable.”

I should think so too! This is the passage which had several commentators declare that the EU didn’t even saw fit to limit the extension to 31 December 202X. It certainly looks like a ring to bind us forever and a day.

While the MSM are either loving this withdrawal Agreement because they think it will lead straight to a 2nd Referendum, business leaders are unhappy (see e.g. here and here). This quote from an article surveying the latest polls (here) is interesting:

When Survation and Sky Data asked voters which they preferred – no deal, Mrs May’s deal, or staying the EU – they both found that Mrs May’s deal is by far the least popular option. According to Survation, only 16 per cent would prefer the deal, while Sky put the figure at 14 per cent.”

Most of the MSM – under its new Remain Chief Editor, the Daily Mail has now nailed their colours to the Remain mast and the readers are outraged – and certainly the state broadcasting corporation are meanwhile doing their utmost to convince people that this Agreement either is wonderful or that we need a 2nd referendum, as e.g. promoted by a certain Tony Blair. 

Be in no doubt that in a 2nd Referendum Remain will likely win, not only because they are already strategising and because they have the money, but because we Brexiteers have splintered into too many small, competing groups. UKIP’s activists are doing their best out in the country, but when one reads how a call for a demo at 10 Downing Street (see the comment by Steve on this UKIP Daily article) fell flat as the proverbial pancake one may well become despondent.

The one item which is again buried under the avalanche of arguments about trade and customs, the economy and the City is the role the ECJ (European Court of Justice) will have on all of that and on all our future legislation. John Redwood gives it a brief mention (see here). I point you again to Lee Rotherham’s analysis on Brexit Central from which I quoted above. Scroll down to the part “Implementation” – and weep.

Napoleon called us a Nation of shopkeepers. Looking back on the last two years, culminating in this “Withdrawal Agreement”, I cannot help but think that he was right – our political caste have behaved like shopkeepers, eager to sell out and get a ‘good deal’ form themselves, trading away our assets to Leave in name only.

If we cannot now pull together and stop our infighting, get our UKIP grandees to stop aggrandising themselves and work with us grassroots; if we cannot make our argument against rejecting this horror for the sake of keeping our sovereignty then all our work since 2014 was for nothing.

That, dear friends, is the sad, stark reality on this grim November weekend. It’s not only because this agreement is a betrayal of the 17.4 million Leave voters, it’s also because this is a betrayal of us UKIP grassroots – of us who’ve given our all to get Brexit – if we don’t pull together now.

We’re in the Last Chance Saloon.


The post “THE DEAL” – A BRIEF LOOK BACK IN ANGER AT THE LAST FOUR DAYS appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.



We knew it, didn’t we …!

We knew that the Ministers in May’s Cabinet would cave in.

Personally, I didn’t even wait up until the bitter end to watch Ms May celebrate, live on TV,  her wonderful work, ‘with head and heart’. I knew, when the announcement came that her press conference would be delayed,  that we were facing a sell-out/

I knew it would be a sell-out when we learned that the document, the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, was 568 pages long and only presented to cabinet ministers to ‘have a look’ under strict secrecy conditions on Monday night in 10 Downing Street.

If anyone tells me the Cabinet in toto were capable of reading those 500+ pages during that cabinet meeting, I can tell you that yes, one can flick through it in a few hours, but one cannot make an in-depth analysis. So – the Cabinet voted to support buying a pig in a poke.

Voices from the EU are jubilant, M Barnier first and foremost. You can read his comments here on Breitbart (scroll down a bit). Mr Verhofstadt is quoted in a German paper as saying that they (the EU) worked so hard on this Withdrawal Agreement because they needed to ‘protect’ us, the British voters!

It seems in bad taste, after the Centenary Remembrance Sunday, to compare these negotiations with war, with both World Wars – but what else can one call it when this ‘Agreement’ reads like a document of unconditional surrender, like another Versailles Treaty?

What is it about the French that they get one Versailles after the other? There was the first one – we know how that ended! There was the second one, not so well know: the installation of the €uro, about which a French diplomat said that this was like a second Versailles for Germany and that the French got all they wanted. And yesterday we finally saw the third Versailles ‘Treaty’ …

At UKIP Daily we’ve been pointing out again and again that the politicians, especially Ms May, have given away their power to the Whitehall Mandarins. Some Tories, e.g. Mr Redwood and Lord Tebbit, have occasionally mentioned this, as have, belatedly,  some commentators. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that it is apparently open knowledge that all of the Whitehall civil serpents, not just those in the Treasury, are Remainers – see the remark by Andrew Bridgens MP as reported by Catherine Blaiklock in her latest article in UKIP Daily.

To use another historical parallel: we the people have been betrayed by that unholy alliance of Big Business, starting with the support for Cameron’s remain campaign by Big Banks, of the EU-paid former ministers and PMs and of our State Broadcaster and the Remain MSM. They are what the Vichy French were 70 years ago. To save their ‘lives’, i.e. to keep their lucrative, EU-financed lifestyle, they sold us out, with pious words about ‘will of the people’.

It is odd, though, isn’t it, how they only regard the Remainers as ‘people’ – we Brexiteers don’t count. That goes for all the MPs in ‘Leave’ constituencies, who have not been deselected and who can feel safe because Ms May and her Vichy supporters fear nothing as much as a new General Election. It’s not because they fear a Corbyn Government but because they would lose their seats and their cushy lifestyle.

Those who didn’t want to rock the boat and voted Tory in both 2015 and 2017 so as to prevent a Labour government should now rue their decision: voting from fear and for expediency rather than for a principled stand did not work. It will never work. Party Manifestos are wishlists, to be chucked once the Party is in power. Anyone who thinks Corbyn will deliver on our Brexit better think again: he’ll betray us as did May.

Well, it’s time for resistance. It’ll be hard, but we need to do it. If we fold now then we as well are betraying the 17.4 million Brexit voters. There’s no more time to waste on pet side issues – the sands in the Brexit hourglass are running out.

We’ve warned all along that, once we’re under the Brussels boots, we’ll be under those boots forever. This “Withdrawal Agreement” is the evidence. So let’s concentrate on Brexit now – remembering this word from Benjamin Franklin:

If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.

The EU will see to that if we let our Quisling, Ms May, and our MPs, the reincarnation of Vichyists, impose the agreement to deliver our country into EU bondage.


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News review – Wednesday 14 November 2018

News review – Wednesday 14 November 2018


Former Brexit Secretary David Davis has described a “moment of truth” as Theresa May prepares to put forward her EU deal to the Cabinet and MPs in Parliament. The deal, set to keep the UK inside the EU Customs Union for years come and at the mercy of Brussels, has already been savaged by the likes of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, with the latter describing such an arrangement as a “slave state”. Davis has issued a rallying call, writing on Twitter: “This is the moment of truth. This is the fork in the road.

Theresa May has agreed a draft divorce agreement with the EU and will today present it to her Cabinet in a three-hour ‘make or break’ meeting. Last night, leaked details of the agreement included that EU chiefs have conceded Britons will not need visas to travel to Europe after Brexit. The other leaks surrounded the issue of the backstop, the terms Britain will automatically adopt if a trade deal is not agreed by 2020. The EU dropped its demand for Northern Ireland to remain in the customs union without the rest of the UK, which would create a border in the Irish Sea. Instead the customs union would apply indefinitely to the whole of the UK.

The Prime Minister has betrayed the principles of Brexit and is subjecting the United Kingdom to political slavery at the hands of Brussels, Brexiteers have said as the details of the Prime Minister’s deal leaked to Irish media Tuesday afternoon. Brexiteers within the Conservative party met Tuesday as the news emerged of a “technical level” agreement emerged — apparently leaked to Irish journalists sympathetic to the European Union but not to figures within the United Kingdom — and spoke of launching a “coup” against the Prime Minister, Britain’s
The Times reported in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Theresa May will put her future in the hands of senior ministers today as she asks them to sign off a Brexit deal in the face of accusations of betrayal. The prime minister was trying to sell the divorce deal and pact on the future relationship with Europe last night to a reluctant cabinet, which is due to meet at 2pm to agree it. Leave-supporting cabinet ministers were coming under intense pressure to reject the deal as senior Brexiteers and the DUP launched a pre-emptive strike on what they claimed was an abject surrender.

IAIN Duncan Smith has said the government are in “real trouble” after Theresa May summoned her Cabinet to consider a draft following a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations. The UK and EU officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement with ministers currently meeting the Prime Minister for one-on-one talks. The Brexiteer warned that if reports of the deal’s contents were true the Government was “breaking their own agreed position and will be bringing back something that is untenable”.

Senior Eurosceptics have been tearing into Theresa May’s Brexit deal following reports that a draft text has been agreed, with Boris Johnson describing it as
“vassal state stuff” and “utterly unacceptable”. Jacob Rees-Mogg has called it a “failure of the Government’s negotiating position and a failure to deliver on Brexit”. The DUP have warned May that there will be “consequences” if she does not keep her Brexit promises to them, with Sammy Wilson stressing that their confidence and supply deal is with the Conservative Party, not May herself. May is going to have some job getting this through Parliament…

Sky News
Ministers have been summoned to Downing Street to go through the draft of a Brexit withdrawal agreement, as Leave-supporting MPs reacted with fury to reported details of the text. In what is a breakthrough in the Brexit process, an agreement on the terms of Britain’s EU exit has been reached at a “technical level” by negotiators in Brussels. But Theresa May now needs to win over her top team and get them to back the proposals. Ministers were seen coming and going on Tuesday evening, with the talks a chance for them to scrutinise the detail and for the PM to try and get them on side.

D-Day for Brexit has finally arrived after the UK agreed a draft deal with the EU. Tory Cabinet ministers were tonight hauled one-by-one into Downing Street to learn how negotiators won a dramatic race against time in Brussels. After they have been briefed, Theresa May will summon her Cabinet to an emergency meeting at 2pm tomorrow to sign off the deal – which was “agreed at a technical level” today. Tonight’s development, which sent the pound to a seven-month high, was a breakthrough for the PM just hours before the deadline to call a special EU summit – where 27 EU leaders would sign the deal off.

BBC News
UK and EU officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement after months of negotiations. A cabinet source told the BBC that the document has been agreed at a technical level by officials from both sides after intensive discussions this week. A special cabinet meeting will be held at 14:00 GMT on Wednesday as Theresa May seeks ministers’ backing. The PM has been meeting ministers in Downing Street for one-to-one talks on the draft agreement. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the agreement contained a UK-wide customs “backstop” aimed at preventing new border checks in Northern Ireland.

Theresa May summoned her cabinet to an emergency meeting on Wednesday afternoon to sign off her long awaited final Brexit deal, prompting hard-Brexit Tories to call for senior ministers to stand up and block it. The critical meeting is the culmination of months of negotiations and will see May’s senior ministers consider whether they can personally endorse the agreement that the prime minister has been able to reach. Ministers were summoned to No 10 in the early evening and some met individually with May or her chief of staff, Gavin Barwell. They were given the chance to read the key documents, although they were not trusted to take any papers home.

Theresa May is facing ‘judgment day’ on Brexit after securing a withdrawal agreement with Brussels. At an emergency three-hour Cabinet meeting on Wednesday afternoon, she will warn ministers it is now ‘make or break’ for avoiding a chaotic exit. Downing Street believes it has headed off plans that could have led to Northern Ireland being ‘annexed’ by the EU after Brexit and insists it has laid the groundwork for a ‘good deal’. But No 10 is on alert for possible resignations tomorrow, with Eurosceptic ministers under intense pressure from hardliners not to approve a ‘Brexit in name only’.


THE Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister’s Brexit agreement, threatening to vote it down and saying it crosses a “fundamental red line.” The Northern Ireland party props up the Conservative minority government and the Prime Minister will be relying on DUP support to get the deal she is presenting to ministers tonight through Parliament. However DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has said his party will not support the agreement “on constitutional grounds” as it would leave Northern Ireland subject to rules and regulations set “in Brussels with no democratic input” from Belfast.

DUP Leader Arlene Foster has insisted that the “desire for a deal will not be superseded by a willingness to accept any deal” as Theresa May gets set to reveal her plan. Without the support of the DUP’s 10 MPs, the deal has even less chance of getting through Parliament. In a statement, Foster has made clear that “an agreement which places new trade barriers between Northern Ireland and Great Britain will fundamentally undermine the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom. That is not acceptable”.

Legal advice

The government will be forced to publish the full legal advice on the final Brexit deal after it was defeated in the Commons by Labour, backed by the DUP. Ministers conceded defeat by ordering Conservative MPs to abstain in a Commons vote, after it became clear they would lose any attempt to stop the disclosure when the DUP said it would support the move. Ministers will now be required to to publish the advice covering the legally binding withdrawal agreement, including the Irish backstop plan, before any Brexit deal is put before parliament.

Ministers will publish up to 5,000 pieces of legal advice on the Brexit deal after losing a parliamentary battle. In a bad omen for Theresa May in getting the agreement through the Commons, Brexiteers and the DUP joined with Labour to force the concession. Labour used the niche parliamentary procedure of a “humble address” to force a vote on the Queen requiring ministers to let MPs see “any legal advice in full”. Despite last-ditch concessions from David Lidington, the prime minister’s effective deputy, the DUP made clear that they would vote against the government.


NICOLA Sturgeon has called on campaigners pushing to keep Britain tied to the EU through its single market and customs union to seize the opportunity if Theresa May is unable to get her Brexit deal through the Commons. The Scottish First Minister said MPs voting down Mrs May’s agreement would offer an opening “to get better options back on the table”. Ms Sturgeon, a staunch Remainer, has demanded Westminster negotiate terms which includes staying inside the EU’s single market and customs union – and warned the SNP will vote against any deal which does not offer this.

Conservative Party

THERESA May will hold a special Cabinet meeting on Wednesday to approve the draft Brexit bill she has negotiated with the EU. So who could block the plan? Downing Street confirmed the news with a statement on Tuesday evening which said: “Cabinet will meet at 2pm tomorrow to consider the draft agreement the negotiating teams have reached in Brussels, and to decide on next steps. Cabinet ministers have been invited to read documentation ahead of that meeting.” No details of the withdrawal agreement have yet been released, but a cabinet source told the BBC the document has been agreed at a technical level by officials from both the EU and UK.

Former minister Jo Johnson said that the future of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party would be in peril if Prime Minister Theresa May proceeded with Brexit, hours after Britain agreed the draft text for leaving the European Union. The former junior transport minister, who is the younger brother of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, issued a searing critique of May’s Brexit deal last week when he unexpectedly quit and called for a second referendum. “The future of the Conservative Party will be gravely imperilled if we are held responsible for taking the country into this absurd new relationship with the EU where vast swathes of our economy will be governed by rules that we have no hand at all in shaping,” Jo Johnson told a political rally in London.

PENNY MORDAUNT has demanded Theresa May waive the fundamental Parliamentary convention of Collective Cabinet Responsibility so MPs can have a free vote on the draft Brexit deal thrashed out this week. The International Development Secretary staged the astonishing intervention on Tuesday. Ms Mordaunt is thought to have called for Tory MPs and ministers to act with their consciences when the deal is brought before the Commons. The constitutional convention of Collective Ministerial Responsibility is a cornerstone of the UK system.

Senior cabinet ministers led by Brexit secretary Dominic Raab will tell Theresa May that the current deal on offer from the EU is unacceptable and she should prepare for the UK to leave with no deal if she cannot secure further concessions. In a significant raising of the pressure on May from inside her own cabinet, the group of senior ministers will make clear to the prime minister that they could not support a deal that breaches their two red lines. They are doubling down on their demands that the EU drops its Northern Ireland-only “backstop to the backstop” and that the deal must include a “break clause” mechanism that would allow the UK to unilaterally leave a UK-wide customs arrangement.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has today echoed French President Macron’s call for an EU Army. Speaking in the European Parliament, she said: “This is really important…we have to work on a vision of one day creating a real, true European Army”. Going even further than that, Merkel called for the EU to develop its foreign policy including a European Security Council and a “European intervention force so that we can tackle issues immediately on the ground”. This is the disturbing direction the European Union is now heading in. Brexit Britain must leave – and fast.

GERMAN leader Angela Merkel has joined the French President in calling for a “real, true” European army. Merkel declared there should be an “integrated European Union military”, recalling the lessons of the First World War and the divisions that led to the conflict. Speaking to MEPs today about the future of Europe, Merkel said the continent should take its “fate fully into its own hands”. Echoing comments made by French leader Emmanuel Macron last week, she said: “We should work on a vision of one day establishing a real, true European army.”

Angela Merkel called for the creation of a ‘real, true’ European army during a speech to EU ministers on Tuesday in a rebuke to President Trump. The German Chancellor also called for a European Security Council that would be responsible for coordinating defence policy across the continent. Merkel spoke out after French President Emmanuel Macron floated the same idea last week, and hours after Donald Trump lambasted him for it on Twitter. Meanwhile, Trump joked that Parisians ‘were starting to learn German before the U.S. came along’ and liberated France during the Second World War – and told EU leaders to pay their fair share to NATO.

The EU has ratcheted up the pressure on Theresa May by publishing a fresh batch of no-deal plans including the warning that it will only allow UK nationals to make short visa-free visits to EU destinations if the policy is reciprocated by the British government. With the Brexit negotiations at their most intense, and Downing Street pushing to make make decisive progress within the next 24 hours to secure a November summit, the commission made public its emergency preparations. They range from residency and visa-related issues to financial services, air transport, customs, the transfer of personal data, and climate policy.

THE European Union has five years to overhaul the bloc’s financial system, the vice president of the European Banking Federation (EBF) has warned. José María Roldán said the EBF has made progress since it was set up but called on the bloc to step up efforts to make it “perfect.” The EBF, headquartered in Frankfurt, comprises all 19 eurozone countries who participate in the single supervisory mechanism (SSM) and the single resolution mechanism (SRM). Speaking to American financial news network CNBC, Mr Roldan said the system still has a lot of progress to make and he put a five year deadline on how long the European Union has to ensure it is “perfect.”

Labour Party

Labour MPs are to be presented with personalised polling evidence showing that their constituents “silently” back a second Brexit referendum. In an attempt to shift Labour’s opposition to a second vote, each of the party’s MPs is being sent an individual breakdown of voter sentiment in their area based on a poll of 25,000 people. The survey by YouGov used the technique that correctly predicted the result of the 2017 general election while other polls indicated a Tory landslide. It found that of the 159 Leave constituencies that elected a Labour MP last year a majority of voters in every seat now supported a public vote on the outcome of the negotiations.


Morning Star
UNIONS and Labour warned today that the government is planning millions of pounds of “back door cuts” to colleges and universities. The University and College Union (UCU) has warned that workers are worried that possible cuts to pension funding could see institutions footing a £300 million bill. The concerns come from employers having to raise their contributions to the Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS) from 16.48 per cent to 23.6 per cent, following the government’s announcement that it would be reducing the rate which it pays.

ITV News
School buildings need to be properly maintained to protect children, the Scottish Conservatives have said. New figures reveal at least 150 building safety incidents were recorded at Scottish schools in the last two years. A freedom of information request was made to local authorities in Scotland asking them to detail incidents involving either the collapse or partial collapse of a wall or structure, or a child or teacher being struck by a falling object.

Rail travel

ITV News
Proposals to ensure disabled passengers can “travel with confidence consistently” have been published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). Planned measures include improving training for railway staff in how to deal with disabled passengers. Also, those who do not receive assistance that they have pre-booked as part of their journey will be eligible for compensation. Other proposals include introducing a new, standardised handover process for disabled passengers between stations and improving the information available to passengers about station facilities and what they should expect during their journey.


ITV News
The NHS will invest up to £46 million to help tens of thousands of people living with diabetes to receive life-changing treatment. NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has pledged to end the postcode lottery where type 1 in some parts of the country are not able to get glucose monitors. Mr Stevens said from April next year the NHS will ensure the Freestyle Libre devices are available on prescription for all patients who qualify for them. The wearable sensor scraps the need for inconvenient and sometimes painful finger prick blood tests by relaying glucose levels to a smartphone or e-reader, making it easier to notice when sugar levels are starting to rise or drop so action can be taken quicker.


Ministers are under pressure to impose cutbacks to HS2 after a report warned that it would cost more than double that of other high-speed rail projects. The scheme would cost £81 million per kilometre compared with £32 million for 20 comparable schemes elsewhere in Europe. The report, commissioned four years ago and focusing on the second phase of the line north of Birmingham, said that the project would be “at the high end of the range of costs” for any scheme worldwide. Total costs for the whole scheme stand at £55.7 billion.


Britain could be set for snow as the ‘Beast from the East’ dramatically slashes temperatures by 27F, bringing an end to a short lived warm spell. Forecasters predict a blizzard and very cold winds will hit the country next week, bringing with it a big freeze after temperatures briefly rise to 65F on Thursday during an ‘Indian Summer’. The warm spell will be short-lived, as the mercury is due to swing in the opposite direction next week – with the chance of areas across the UK seeing snowfall and lows of 35F (2C). Cold air from Russia will cause snow to fall across the country, leaving the UK feeling ‘more like Moscow than the Mediterranean’, says one meteorologist.

A FLURRY of snow set to sweep into Britain with “the Beast from the East” next week could be the start of a month of blizzards — meaning a White Christmas may be on the cards. Forecasters predict heavy snow and very cold winds will batter the country after temperatures rise to 17C during an “Indian Summer” on Thursday. But temperatures will plunge sharply next week as cold air from Russia causes snow to fall across the country, leaving the UK feeling “more like Moscow than the Mediterranean”.

SNOW and freezing temperatures is heading to Britain this month, it has been claimed. The so-called “mini ice-age” winter blast will see snow and sub-zero temperatures before the end of November. Much of the country will grind to a halt while violent storms threaten outbreaks of the weather phenomenon thundersnow. Then the freeze may be severe disruption to roads and transport networks through Christmas. This comes as Daily Star Online revealed that snow will blanket Britain in a White Christmas. While the freeze is forecast to come after warm weather this week which could even bring the hottest November day in 177 years.

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News review – Tuesday 13 November 2018

News review – Tuesday 13 November 2018

WTO rules

THE chances of a no-deal Brexit are looking increasingly likely after the EU threw out Theresa May’s compromise proposals on Northern Ireland. Some have warned of chaos if we crash out without an agreement – but just what does a no deal mean for the UK? A no-deal British departure from the European Union means leaving without formal arrangements for the future relationship. Currently Britain’s trade, customs and immigration rules are tied up with the single market and a host of EU regulatory bodies. Ministers are seeking a legal deal to replace these with looser arrangements so we are outside the single market and customs union but keeping close ties so cross-border trade is easy. Negotiations are ongoing under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty ahead of the UK’s exit on March 29, 2019. Some fear these talks could collapse without a deal agreed before the deadline. This could mean the UK being treated as a “third country” by the EU with commerce governed by World Trade Organisation rules.


Theresa May will be warned by senior Eurosceptic Cabinet ministers that leaving the EU without a deal will be better than giving in to Brussels’ demands on Brexit. Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, and leading Eurosceptics including Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox are expected to use a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday to warn the Prime Minister that the EU’s demands are “totally unacceptable”. On Monday night they were due to meet for eve-of-Cabinet drinks at Dr Fox’s office to discuss concerns that Brussels is refusing to back down over the issue of a customs “backstop” with the EU.

BREXIT-BACKING Cabinet ministers have vowed to force Theresa May into taking a tough stand on the EU amid fears she will sell out Leave voters. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt promised to be a “check” on the PM as she cuts a deal with Brussels. She said the Cabinet will only sign off on an agreement if it “delivers on the referendum result”. Ms Mordaunt is among four senior ministers who have threatened to quit if Mrs May refuses to enact a clean break with the EU.

THERESA May turned down a Brexit deal fudge with the EU because she fears Parliament would shoot it down, it has emerged. British and EU negotiators talked until 2.45am on Monday morning in a desperate bid to break deadlock over the Irish border backstop and hit tomorrow’s deadline. Brussels’ talks chief Michel Barnier yesterday claimed a deal was imminent by declaring that “the parameters are very largely defined”. But it has emerged that the PM refused to accept the deal’s latest draft because it still didn’t give the UK a clear escape from a custom union if the EU started acting in bad faith on talks about a future trade deal.

Theresa May publicly rebuked Brussels last night for forcing the pace of a divorce deal as negotiators worked frantically to conclude an agreement by tomorrow. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, angered Downing Street by claiming that today’s meeting of Mrs May’s cabinet would be shown the parameters of an agreement. In fact talks are still stuck on Britain’s demand for an exit mechanism from the so-called temporary customs union — the backstop under which it would remain aligned to EU rules to prevent a hard border in Ireland.

THERESA May last night dramatically warned Brussels that Britain will not accept a Brexit deal “at any cost”. In a curt riposte to claims from the EU that the two sides were nearing agreement, the Prime Minister insisted she will not buckle as the negotiations reach their final phase. She also signalled her readiness to walk away from the talks unless the deal returns control of laws, borders and money to the UK. “I will not compromise on what people voted for in the referendum. This will not be an agreement at any cost,” she said.

Theresa May has warned that she will not sign up to a Brexit agreement ‘at any cost’ as she said ‘significant’ issues continue to block the path to a deal with Brussels. The Prime Minister used a speech to City grandees in London to say she ‘will not compromise’ on what people had voted for in the 2016 referendum, telling them Britons ‘overwhelmingly’ wanted her to ‘get on’ with leaving the EU. Her comments in an address to the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet seemed to extinguish hopes that the Cabinet might sign off a deal when it meets on Tuesday.

ITV News
Theresa May has warned that she will not sign up to a Brexit “agreement at any cost” as she said “significant” issues continue to block the path to a deal with Brussels. The Prime Minister used a speech to City grandees in London to say she “will not compromise” on what people had voted for in the 2016 referendum, telling them Britons “overwhelmingly” wanted her to “get on” with leaving the EU. Her comments in an address to the annual Lord Mayor’s Banquet seemed to extinguish hopes that the Cabinet might sign off a deal when it meets on Tuesday.

Hopes are fading for an emergency summit to agree a Brexit deal this month as Downing Street admitted “substantial issues” are still to be overcome between London and Brussels. Senior British officials were locked in talks until 2.45am with their EU counterparts but failed to produce a decisive breakthrough on the remaining problems, including the vexed issue of the Irish border. The absence of progress has plunged Theresa May‘s plans into chaos, as she had hoped to reach an agreement with the EU by Wednesday – the deadline for arranging an emergency EU summit in November.

Sky News
Brexit negotiations with Brussels are now “in the endgame”, Theresa May has declared, amid predictions that a deal could be imminent. The prime minister said talks between UK and European negotiators have been going on through the night in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock. And, with Brexiteers in her cabinet and on the Tory backbenches threatening mutiny, the PM also promised no compromise on the 2016 referendum result or agreement at any cost.

BBC News
Negotiations over the UK’s departure from the EU are “now in the endgame”, Theresa May has said. Addressing the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in the City of London, the prime minister said talks were “immensely difficult”, but the sides would work “through the night” to make progress. Mrs May will address her cabinet on Tuesday, with some ministers believed to want a change of plan. 
The main sticking point is how to keep trade flowing at the Irish border.

Brexit talks are in their “endgame”, Theresa May declared tonight as the deadline for striking a deal creeps closer. “Immensely difficult” negotiations were running through the night as teams from the UK and EU battle to thrash out a backstop for the Northern Ireland border, the Prime Minister told the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London. The Cabinet meets in No 10 this morning but it is understood a potential pact will not be ready to be shown to ministers. Mrs May told tonight’s glitzy bash in the City: “The negotiations for our departure are now in the endgame, and we are working extremely hard, through the night, to make progress on the remaining issues in the Withdrawal Agreement, which are significant.

Theresa May’s efforts to secure a Brexit deal by the end of March have suffered a serious setback after it emerged that UK and European Union negotiators were struggling to bridge the gap over the Irish border backstop in time for a November summit. The prime minister was forced to admit that “significant” issues remained despite talks that went on until the early hours of Monday morning. Unless there is dramatic progress by the end of Wednesday, the exit timetable will become increasingly squeezed.

Legal advice

LABOUR will seek to force Theresa May to release the Government’s legal advice on the Irish border backstop tomorrow as hopes of a Brexit breakthrough fade. Jeremy Corbyn’s party will use an arcane procedure known as a “humble address” during an opposition day debate in an attempt to make guidance by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox available to MPs once a Brexit deal is ready to be put before the Commons. The procedure, which seeks to make a Commons vote binding on the Government by presenting a motion asking the Queen to require ministers to comply, was used last year to force the publication of Brexit impact assessments.

The Labour Party said it would try to force the government in a special vote on Tuesday to publish its legal advice on leaving the European Union, including on how the deal will handle the sensitive issue of the Irish border. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to reach agreement with Brussels to end Britain’s four-decade relationship with the European Union. With opposition from within her own ranks as well as across parliament there is no certainty that any deal will be reached.

DOZENS of Tory MPs will today rebel against Theresa May to force her to publish the full legal advice about any Brexit deal. The hardline Brexiteer European Research Group tabled their own Commons bid late last night to supersede an attempt by Labour to defeat the Government.  Jeremy Corbyn’s party earlier pledged to use an ancient Parliamentary procedure, known as a humble address, to exact the promise from the Government. The PM has angered Cabinet ministers by only offering them a summary of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s legal verdict on any final exit deal.

Labour will launch an attempt to force ministers to publish the government’s legal advice on Theresa May’s Irish backstop plan before any Brexit deal is put before parliament. The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, will on Tuesday use the humble address – an ancient procedure used by the party last year to force the release of Brexit impact assessments – to demand the government produce the backstop papers for scrutiny. He said the party would be using its opposition day debate to stage a vote on the motion as it would be untenable to keep MPs “in the dark” on the legal advice before asking them to vote on the prime minister’s Brexit plan.

Lawyers for Britain
Many people are demanding to see the legal advice which the Attorney General gives to the Cabinet about the Irish border “backstop” arrangement. But much more important than seeing the Attorney’s advice is seeing
the actual legal text of the deal being negotiated in secret between the UK government and the EU. There is no valid diplomatic reason for keeping the text secret, since it is known to the other side in the negotiations. I fear that the real reason for this secrecy is to limit the ability of Parliamentarians, lawyers, experts and others to study the details of what is being agreed behind closed doors, and to identify problems and other issues which arise from the detailed provisions of the legal text which may not be apparent from what is in the public domain. Although important additional issues may arise from the legal text, enough is publicly known about the shape of the “backstop” deal for clear legal advice to be given on the salient points. So this is the advice I would give the Cabinet.


MICHEL Barnier is fighting a rebellion from furious EU countries who fear he is about to sell them out and grant Britain a vital reprieve on fishing. Capitals have been infuriated by the Commission’s “weak” plan to link access to our waters to a UK-wide backstop. Under a top secret blueprint being drawn up by both sides Britain could avoid letting EU vessels land catches simply by accepting tariffs on our fish. A diplomatic note, seen by The Sun, reveals angry Member States confronted Mr Barnier about the proposal at a meeting last Friday.

Border force

Britain’s borders have been left open to illegal immigrants because of chronic staff shortages at ports, the chief inspector of borders and immigration has revealed. David Bolt was told by Border Force officers it was “resourced to fail” with borders “not secured by any stretch of the imagination” due to the shortages at Dover, Portsmouth, Southampton and Poole. Officers at Portsmouth and Poole told his team of inspectors that they were “not remotely confident” they were preventing attempts by illegal immigrants to sneak into Britain.

Illegal migrants have better intelligence than Border Force officers as they adopt tactics to exploit understaffed checkpoints and ports, a watchdog warned yesterday. Officers at one south coast port admitted that the border was “not secured by any stretch of the imagination” in a report highlighting how understaffing is thwarting efforts to detect illegals entering the UK. The report by the chief inspector of borders and immigration also shows how tougher security measures at Calais and Dover have led migrants to move to other ports in France and Spain to try to reach Britain.


France’s Finance Minister has once again revealed the deep-held desire for a United States of Europe among large chunks of the EU establishment, demanding that the European Union becomes an “empire”. In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Bruno Le Maire pushes for the Germans to work with President Macron in ensuring a raft of measures go forward, including a Eurozone budget. He also backs the EU Commission’s blocking of Italy’s national budget.

France has launched a feverish campaign to shore up the euro before the next global downturn, warning that monetary union is not strong enough to withstand another crisis and faces disintegration without fiscal union. Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said there are just weeks left for Germany and the Dutch-led “Hanseatic League” to grasp the nettle on long-delayed reforms. “Either we get a eurozone budget or there will eventually be no euro at all,” he said.

EU member states have warned that a Brexit deal hinges on agreement in Theresa May’s cabinet, as they gathered in Brussels on Monday to be updated on the latest news in talks. Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders told reporters outside the council meeting the EU was “waiting for new news from London”, adding: “We have time, but not so much.” France’s EU affairs minister, Nathalie Loiseau echoed the sentiment, telling reporters on the way into the gathering: “The ball is in the British court. It is a question of a British political decision.”

Tommy Robinson

British far-right activist Tommy Robinson has not been granted a U.S. visa to meet with Republican lawmakers in Washington this week, an organizer of the meeting said on Monday. Robinson is the founder of the English Defence League, or EDL, which in the past has staged violent demonstrations against Islam. He was jailed by British authorities in 2013 for using a passport in someone else’s name to travel to the United States from Britain.


A proposed across-the-board cut in tuition fees to £6,500 in England would benefit wealthy graduates most and could close opportunities for students from the poorest backgrounds, university chiefs have argued. Dame Janet Beer, president of Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, said that less money at universities would result in fewer grants for poorer students. Graduates who went on to well paid jobs would be the big winners, she said.

SLASHING university tuition fees from £9,250 to £6,500 would hit the poorest students hardest and benefit the highest earners, uni chiefs insisted yesterday. 
Dame Janet Beer, president of Universities UK, said a cut in fees would mean institutions would be forced to limit places and mean graduates on the highest incomes paid less back. It comes amid fevered speculation of a fees shake up ahead of publication of a review into higher education funding in England.

Morning Star
UNIVERSITY tuition fees were introduced by a New Labour government and then trebled by the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition, making an unjust policy even worse. The educational crisis of students leaving their degree courses with debts of £50,000 or more was caused by government. It can be repaired by government. 
Apart from all but wiping out the Liberal Democrats in Parliament, including their deceitful leader Nick Clegg, tuition fees — effectively a tax on aspiration — have become a financial albatross around the necks of postgraduates.


NHS Digital has ended an agreement to share patients’ details with the Home Office to track down illegal migrants. Doctors, health charities and MPs had warned that the scheme was deterring some patients from seeking care. Ministers suspended the arrangement six months ago but allowed the Home Office to use data to trace people being considered for deportation for committing serious crimes. Facing a legal challenge from the charity Migrants’ Rights Network, NHS Digital has said that it will completely withdraw from the deal.

Huffington Post
The NHS has pulled out of a controversial data-sharing arrangement with the Home Office which saw confidential patients’ details passed on to immigration enforcers. In May, the government suspended the ‘memorandum of understanding’ agreement between the health service and the Home Office after MPs, doctors and health charities warned it was leaving seriously ill migrants too afraid to seek medical treatment. But on Tuesday, NHS Digital announced that it was cutting itself out of the agreement altogether.

Paramedics will be given self-defence lessons because over-stretched police no longer respond quickly enough to their calls for help. South Western Ambulance Service staff will be given the training after its boss revealed assistance from police has been ‘reduced’. Restraint training, known as safer holding training, has already been given to five per cent of staff at the service and will be rolled out to the rest over the next two years.


A UFO investigation is under way in Ireland after pilots flying BA and Virgin Airlines jets reported seeing mysterious bright lights as they crossed the country. The Irish Aviation Authority launched the probe after sightings on November 9 at around 7.40am. The pilot of British Airways flight BA94 from Montreal to London contacted Shannon Air Traffic Control after seeing the object on the left-hand side of her Boeing 787. She asked whether military exercises were taking place, according to Airlive. Air traffic control reportedly said nothing was showing on their radar systems, to which the unnamed pilot replied: ‘OK. It was moving so fast.’

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