Archive for the ‘May’ Category

YOUR DAILY BREXIT – Tuesday 22nd January 2019

YOUR DAILY BREXIT – Tuesday 22nd January 2019

Yesterday Ms May did as she was told and presented her “Plan B” to the House. Remainer MPs then tabled their amendments, all to be debated next Tuesday.

Briefly, the May ‘Plan B’ is to talk to opposition MPs and at the same time negotiate about That Backstop with the EU. She kept warning the House that it was her WA, adjusted, or the “No Deal” – which is the legal alternative, voted for by Parliament in 2017 – and that she would not ask for an Extension of Article 50 or for a 2nd referendum.

The amendments, one from Mr Corbyn, demand in essence exactly this: an Extension and a 2nd referendum.

It has escaped the whole House that we the people voted for the “No Deal”, for Brexit on WTO rule! It has escaped the whole House that the majority of us, the people, want this clean Brexit, as the latest polls show. No matter – the House is gripped by doing it ‘their way’, thwarting our, the people’s, explicit will in the process.

It seems to me that the EU way of ‘doing things’ with utter disregard to the people has so infested the House so that even our centuries-old Parliamentary customs are now being thrashed.

The aim of the Remain House is to keep us in the EU, with more or less veiled “deals” and with the usual blatant threats by Remain ministers and the now customary ‘latest’ Project Fear wailing. If you want to check out what Corbyn & Co propose, please read the reports and sketches in The Express and the Daily Mail – neither of them are paywalled.

In an interesting aside, Ms May declared yesterday that no, she never talked or thought about an amendment to the Good Friday agreement as reported in the MSM yesterday and therefore by me in my column yesterday. “Fake News” for which all our MSM, ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’, fell, and which had even agitated Brussels? A bit unlikely, I’d have thought! But ‘Government by Leaks’ is another indicator for a failing Government …

So allow me to muddy those particular waters a bit further, by quoting from a paywalled report in the DT. According to that report, Ms May’s Chief Negotiator – not the DEUexit Minister, no, but Mr Olly Robbins himself – had listened in on that conference call. I’m sure the participants were delighted to learn that their utterances, presumably made in confidence, were heard by Mr Robbins, but never mind that. Olly R is alleged to have texted Phil Hammond during the call. Read and be amazed, I’m quoting extensively:

“Theresa May’s chief Brexit negotiator privately cast doubt on her ability to renegotiate the Irish backstop as part of her Brexit “plan B”, The Telegraph has been told. A source said Mr Robbins texted Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, during a Cabinet conference call raising concerns about the prospect of re-opening the EU withdrawal agreement.The Telegraph has been told that Mr Robbins, who was listening in on the call, sent the message to Mr Hammond as Mrs May was outlining plans to secure changes in a bid to win over Tory Eurosceptics and the DUP.” (my bold)

I’m tempted to call this ‘coaching from the sidelines’ … More:

“A Government source confirmed that Mr Robbins had sent the text to Mr Hammond during the call but claimed that what he said had been “misrepresented”.

The usual weaselling out when a fact cannot be disputed: it’s misrepresented or ‘taken out of context’. So far so blatant, but it gets even more interesting:

“Most ministers who were on the call were unaware that Mr Robbins was listening in. One source said that Mr Robbins speaks on a regular basis to Mr Hammond and Mr Clark but added: “His door is open to anyone that wants to speak to him. It’s just not that everyone does.” Another source said that the text from Mr Robbins had made clear that renegotiating the backstop was “for the birds”.” (my bold)

Doesn’t this give the impression that Mr Robbins is not supporting the PM but Mr Hammond and the rest of the arch remainers in her Cabinet? And here I thought, being somewhat naive, that civil servants are supposed to work for the PM, not her opponents, even those in her own government!

Who now can be certain that such ‘explanations’ by our remain civil serpents are not also given to the Opposition? After all, haven’t we learned during these months of ‘negotiating with the EU’ that Whitehall is actually Remain Central …

While the MSM write about a ‘shock plot’ to ‘wrest control’ from the PM (e.g. here), while the latest Project Fear harks on about ‘disaster’ for cross-channel traffic (here), with the ‘orrible prediction that the “No Deal” might cause ‘a six-month slump’ – six months? Blimey! How can we possibly survive! – here’s another interesting bit picked up by The Times (paywalled):

“MPs backing a soft Norway-style deal with the European Union have put aside their differences with supporters of a second referendum in a joint effort to wrest control of Brexit from Theresa May. The leaders of two rival amendments designed to give MPs the power to delay and direct the process have been working behind the scenes to co-ordinate tactics before a crunch vote next week. Representatives of both groups met Hilary Benn, chairman of the Commons Brexit committee, in private yesterday. They are understood also to have shared drafts of their amendments to ensure that they are compatible and therefore attract the greatest possible support across the Commons.” (my bold)

This is how far the Remainers are now willing to go in their effort to thwart Brexit: they are cooperating to make the PM do as they say, regardless of their Party affiliation and totally disregarding us for whom they work. Allegedly.

They are so stuck in their own bubble that they are content to damage the PM and her standing in world affairs. With their machinations they are doing untold damage to our proud, centuries-old system of parliamentary democracy, but what do they care about all that!

So why not adopt this proposal by Michael Fabricant who asks in the DT “If Remainers are happy to tear up the rule book, why shouldn’t Mrs May?”, concluding:

“So I urge the Prime Minister: in the event that Parliament tries to take control, she should take a leaf out of Speaker Bercow’s book. Defy convention, ignore any resolutions by this Remainer Parliament and turn a blind eye to unwritten rules. The PM should take her instruction from the British people, who were clear in 2016, […] The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 is on the statute book and unless changed by further legislation, the UK will leave the EU on March 29, with or without a deal.” (my bold)

Exactly! We did know what we were voting for! We have not forgotten – unlike the Remain MPs who are showing us with their shenanigans that they have forgotten what they voted for, that unlike us they have obviously not understood what they voted for, and that they are too thick, unlike us, to understand the consequences of their voting.

They do not see how the contempt they have for us is creating and increasing the far deeper contempt we have for them. The consequences of that contempt might well be a “People’s Project Fear” …


The post YOUR DAILY BREXIT – Tuesday 22nd January 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Brexit: an object lesson in elite betrayal – Part I

Brexit: an object lesson in elite betrayal – Part I

On 15  January, Theresa May suffered the greatest defeat of any British Prime Minister when she put the draft deal she has struck with the EU to a vote in the House of Commons. The deal was rejected by 432 votes against to 202 votes for, a colossal majority against accepting the deal of 230.

The bald figures are terrible enough, but they are even worse than they appear for the government’s “payroll vote” of MPs holding government office is around 140. These would be expected to vote with the Government. Hence, May will have only attracted around 60 backbenchers (who within reason can vote as they like) to support her draft deal.

This gives May and her government a tremendous problem because ever since she came back to Parliament with the draft deal, she has been saying it is her way or the highway as she has stubbornly insisted that no other deal is available and that a failure to accept it could mean no Brexit. The draft deal she has agreed offers Brexit in name only (Brino) and resembles the type of treaty a defeated enemy who had sued for peace might agree to.  Such is the subordination of the UK interests which according to many commentators would leave the UK as a vassal state. The Commons showed what they thought of the goods on offer and chose to reject them in the most spectacular fashion.

The problem is that May is still Prime Minister. The day after suffering the defeat over her deal a vote of No Confidence in the Government was defeated by 325 votes to 306.  This means that she stays as Prime Minister and the threat of an early General Election has receded.  Nor can she face another Tory leadership challenge for the better part of a year because she won a vote of No Confidence in her leadership just before Christmas.

The defeat of May’s deal is encouraging for Brexiteers inasmuch as the overwhelming result should have greatly lessened any thoughts May had of coming back with a few insignificant cosmetic changes made to the deal nearer the 29th March leaving date. However, that is still a possibility, and there are many other threats to thwart a true Brexit. If there is a serious breakdown of party discipline, there is nothing to stop remainer MPs doing anything they want because the house of Commons consists of a substantial majority of remainers.

There is one bright light amongst this gloom for Brexiteers, namely the fact that the date for the UK’s leaving is fixed in an Acct of Parliament.

Section 20 of  the European Union (Withdrawal ) Act  2018  states ‘“exit day” means 29 March 2019 at 11.00 p.m.’

To change the date of the UK leaving the EU requires either an amendment to or repeal of the Act.

While the Brexit leaving date remains unchanged, it does not matter what else happens because it places a legal obligation on the UK to leave. Consequently, a  second referendum cannot be held, an extension of Article 50 cannot be sought by the UK or granted by the EU and  Article 50 cannot be revoked. In addition remainers, however, aided and abetted by a remainer Speaker of the Commons, cannot ultimately stop the UK leaving the EU on 29 March.

However, the House of Commons is remainer dominated (around 6o%) and could vote to amend or repeal the leaving date, but there are serious obstacles to that happening.

To begin with, it would nakedly expose their anti-democratic partisanship.  Ever since the referendum, most remainers have constantly bleated the refrain that they honour the result whilst making it perfectly clear that they want to sabotage Brexit.  If they alter the leaving date that pretence would be unsupportable because once the date was altered or removed completely from the Act, the remainers would be forced to commit themselves to going down one of these paths:

  1. Extend the two-year Article 50 negotiating period, perhaps indefinitely.
  2. Revoke Article 50
  3. Announce that the UK is remaining in the EU.
  4. Legislate for another referendum on Brexit.

There is also the possibility of a snap General Election if no one could command a majority in the Commons.

Having their true feelings and intentions towards Brexit exposed will be more than embarrassing for many MPs because there are many constituencies – and especially ones filled by Labour MPs – which voted heavily to leave the EU while their MP voted to remain and has consistently opposed Brexit by fair means or foul. Consequently, leave voters might well punish remainer MPs in leave constituencies.

Ed: Part II of this essay will be published tomorrow here on INDEPENDENCE Daily

The post Brexit: an object lesson in elite betrayal – Part I appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Tuesday 22 January 2019

News review – Tuesday 22 January 2019


The Queen could be asked to block backbench legislation which could frustrate Theresa May’s Brexit plans.   A senior Government minister confirmed that one option was for the Queen to be asked not to give royal assent to any backbench legislation drawn up by Tory MPs Dominic Grieve or Nick Boles which is given debating time. Any veto would be the first time a Monarch has blocked Parliamentary legislation since Queen Anne vetoed the Scottish Militia Act in 1707 and would set the Queen against John Bercow, the Speaker, who has enabled Mr Grieve’s attempts to seize control of the Brexit process to go ahead.

There are now five competing Brexit plans which MPs will have to choose from in the coming weeks: The Prime Minister’s, Labour’s, Yvette Cooper’s, Dominic Grieve’s and the one backed by no-deal Brexiteers.  Below is a breakdown of each: What it is, who supports it and if it could work.

BBC News
MPs are putting forward plans to change the outcome of Brexit ahead of a vote next week on the PM’s amended deal. Theresa May said on Monday she was focused on altering the backstop – the “insurance policy” designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister was in denial about the level of opposition to her deal.

Up to 40 members of the government will resign next week if Conservative MPs are banned from voting for a plan to stop a no-deal Brexit, No 10 has been told. Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, has demanded that all Tory MPs are allowed a free vote on plans that would clear the path for extending Article 50 — the mechanism by which Britain leaves the European Union.

Theresa May today refused to rule out a no deal Brexit and blasted calls for a second referendum – as she unveiled her Brexit Plan B.  She vowed to go back to Brussels to try to win new concessions on the hated Irish backstop as she scrambles to win back the support of the DUP and Tory benches. And although this is the same strategy she tried to win support for her deal first time round, she hopes the added time pressure before Britain leaves the EU on March 29 will bring fresh concessions.

Theresa May faced protests from MPs of all parties and from business leaders after unveiling a “plan B” Brexit plan virtually identical to the one that crashed to a record defeat last week. The prime minister was accused of refusing to accept the reality of the crushing rejection of her plan, after vowing to again seek changes to the Irish border backstop – despite the EU repeatedly insisting it will not budge. Business leaders also warned the statement was “another bleak day”.

Brexit is a smouldering wreck after Theresa May’s deal suffered the worst defeat in House of Commons history. But out of the ashes, a string of radically different Plan B options are taking shape – and will wrestle for control in the Commons. The Prime Minister’s own Plan B will go head to head with plans from Remain-backing MPs that could delay Brexit or stop it altogether. Labour wants to leave with a customs union, while other Remainers want to force a second EU referendum.

Yahoo News
Theresa May’s Plan B was bluntly ruled out by European leaders today just hours before she stood up to announce it to MPs. Dublin delivered a firm “No” to Downing Street’s latest bid to go back to Brussels and ask for concessions on the backstop. And the vice-president of the European Parliament also flatly rejected two other ideas being hastily floated as ways of defusing the Brexit deal: one being to remove the backstop from the EU agreement and replace it with an Anglo-Irish treaty; the other being to rewrite the Good Friday agreement that underpins the peace process.

THERESA May for the first time raised the threat of street violence yesterday if Brexit is reversed. The PM also pleaded with Parliament to give her a mandate to go back to Brussels and toughen up her Brexit deal after signalling she had no Plan B. Meanwhile pro-EU Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd warned up to 40 ministers will resign unless they are allowed to join a cross-party bid to halt a No Deal scenario. Mrs May told MPs of her “deep concerns” about trying to halt Brexit with a second referendum.

THERESA MAY is readying for a Commons clash today when she sets out her backup Brexit plan in a bid to build a majority to vote for the deal. After the crushing defeat of her deal last week, the Prime Minister is unwilling to budge on her key demands and will be explaining how she intends to proceed in both oral and written statements to the House of Commons. She will also table a “neutral” motion to be debated and voted on – along with any amendments tabled by MPs – on Tuesday, January 29.

Second referendum

Jeremy Corbyn has endorsed a plan to force a second EU referendum as he bowed to pressure from Labour party members and MPs. Mr Corbyn wants the Government to give MPs the final say next week on a second referendum. If a majority back a referendum, Parliament could force Theresa May to hold a new in/out public vote that could lead to Brexit  being reversed. Supporters of the so-called “People’s Vote” were jubilant tonight, describing Labour’s new policy as a “momentous” move that brought a referendum a “massive” step closer.

ITV News
Fresh Commons clashes over launching a second Brexit referendum and blocking a no-deal EU withdrawal loom as Theresa May faces new challenges to her authority. Labour wants Parliament to be given the option to back a national poll on Brexit when MPs vote on the Government’s EU exit stance next week. An amendment to the Prime Minister’s Brexit motion calls for a vote on backing Labour’s plan for a customs union with the EU, and whether to legislate “to hold a public vote on a deal or a proposition” supported by a Commons majority.

Theresa May warned yesterday that a second Brexit referendum could damage social cohesion and undermine public trust in British democracy. The Prime Minister spoke out as Jeremy Corbyn opened the door to a second poll last night. In significant shift, the Labour leader tabled a Commons amendment that would require the Government to provide time for Parliament to legislate for ‘a public vote’ on the final Brexit deal. If successful this could result in a second referendum later this year.

THERESA May has warned a second EU referendum could trigger widespread civil disorder and unrest across Britain by destroying trust in Parliament – as well as the “break-up of our United Kingdom”. In her most ominous forecast yet about the dangers of stalling Brexit, the Prime Minister said a rerun of the 2016 national poll “could damage social cohesion by undermining faith in our democracy”. Such a vote would strengthen “the hand of those campaigning to break up our United Kingdom”, she feared – a nod to the growing confidence of the Irish reunification and Scottish independence campaigns.

Labour has said the Commons should be able to vote on whether to hold a second referendum in an amendment the party submitted on Monday night to Theresa May’s Brexit update. It is the first time the party has asked MPs to formally consider a second poll, although the carefully worded compromise amendment did not commit the party’s leadership to backing a referendum if such a vote were to take place. The wording called for May’s government to hold a vote on two options – its alternative Brexit plan and whether to legislate “to hold a public vote on a deal or a proposition” that is supported by a majority in the Commons.

JEREMY Corbyn has given his backing to Labour MPs’ plan for a second Brexit referendum. The Labour leader – who has long opposed UK membership of the EU – now wants the Government to give MPs the final say on whether there should be a second vote. If a majority back a referendum, Parliament in turn could force Theresa May to hold a new vote that could lead to Brexit being reversed, reports the Telegraph.

WTO rules

Whilst MPs in Westminster disgracefully try to hold up Brexit and Project Fear is whipped up around a No Deal Brexit, it is increasingly clear that the British public want out on 29th March on WTO terms. The Guardian  (bless them) have found themselves disturbed by an ICM poll they’ve seen that shows a WTO Brexit is now the most popular way forward. The 2,000-strong poll, carried out after Theresa May’s deal was rejected in Parliament, showed a No Deal exit to have the most support of any single option.

Peter Lilley has hit back at Project Fear stories that Britain will be worse off if it leaves the EU without a deal, saying the country will spend less on EU tariffs and goods would not be held up at ports. Lord Lilley, who helped establish the World Trade Organization (WTO), hit back at claims by industry minister Richard Harrington MP that WTO terms are “a last resort position” and not meant for trading with complex economies. “It is meant to provide the basic safe framework for countries where you can’t face retaliation.


A new ICM Poll alarmed the Guardian last night, with No Deal being the public’s leading option as to what should happen next. It’s also the legal default as long as Parliamentary deadlock continues… No Deal: 28%; Referendum: 24%; General Election: 11%; Withdrawal Agreement: 8%. Whilst a cleaner Brexit is comfortably popular among the public, according to  Election Maps UK, just 116 MPs support it.

Theresa May has not ruled out delaying the day that the UK leaves the EU beyond March 29. With the clock ticking a number of MPs have suggested an extension to try and find a solution parliament can agree on. She was forced to come and update the Commons on her plan B after suffering the worst ever defeat for a sitting Prime Minister on her Brexit  deal. Despite talks with opposition MPs – excluding the Labour  leader Jeremy Corbyn – Mrs May has so far failed to build a consensus. But despite talking down the benefits of an extension, she refused to rule it out.

THERESA May could face a wave of ministerial resignations unless Tory MPs are allowed to vote on a plan to block a no-deal Brexit by extending Article 50, Amber Rudd has warned. The work and pensions secretary is reportedly urging the Prime Minister to grant a free vote on an amendment tabled by Labour’s Yvette Cooper or risk up to 40 members of the Government quitting in protest. Ms Rudd, a close ally of Mrs May, is trying to convince Number 10 on behalf of dozens of Tory MPs who want to vote for the delay, The Times reports.

Irish backstop

Theresa May’s chief Brexit negotiator privately cast doubt on her ability to renegotiate the Irish backstop as part of her Brexit “plan B”, The Telegraph has been told. A source said Mr Robbins texted Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, during a Cabinet conference call raising concerns about the prospect of re-opening the EU withdrawal agreement. The Telegraph has been told that Mr Robbins, who was listening in on the call, sent the message to Mr Hammond as Mrs May was outlining plans to secure changes in a bid to win over Tory Eurosceptics and the DUP.


Up to 10,000 cross-Channel ferry passengers face disruption as part of contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit, it was revealed yesterday. Brittany Ferries has warned passengers that timetables have been amended in the weeks after Britain leaves the EU to create additional space to transport “critical goods” across the Channel. Passengers with bookings in the six weeks after Brexit — including over the Easter school holidays — have been told that they have been rebooked on to ferries with a different departure time.

Trade between Dover and Calais could drop by as much as 87 per cent if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal, a government analysis has concluded. Severe disruption to freight traffic of between 75 per cent and 87 per cent could last for six months and could remain at 50 per cent of the present levels for much longer, according to a contingency report by the Border Force.

Freight trade across the English Channel could plunge by between 75 and 87 per cent if Britain leaves the EU without a deal, the Border Force has warned.

And a business minister said No Deal would be ‘an absolute disaster’, adding that he feared both Jaguar and Mini could close their factories. An internal Border Force report on no-deal contingency plans found the slump in trade could last six months, Sky News reported.


THE EU wants Britain to be its “subjects” after Brexit, a leading Eurosceptic has claimed. Tory MEP Daniel Hannan believes Brussels has shown “denial, fury and contempt” towards Britain’s decision to leave the bloc. He is adamant the Commons should now vote to approve just 410 pages of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement. But it should refuse to back 175 pages of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal over the Northern Ireland backstop, Mr Hannan said.

In yet another embarrassing drubbing for the establishment’s increasingly bonkers Project Fear, the Portuguese government have revealed plans for British tourists to get ‘fast track’, UK-only lanes post-Brexit. British tourists are a huge financial asset, this is the type of common sense solution we’ll see plenty more of once the UK has left the European Union. Prime Minister Antonio Costa has announced the lanes will be running at Faro Airport in the Algarve and Funchal Airport on Madeira.

Germany’s government has floated the prospect of Britain remaining in the EU, suggesting the country might want to “think about it again” with a second referendum. The country’s Europe minister Michael Roth described Brexit as a “tragedy” worthy of Shakespeare, suggesting that it would have “pushed the limits” of the great playwright’s imagination. “The door to the EU always remains open – perhaps think about it again,” Mr Roth told German broadcaster ARD.

BBC News
The head of France’s main farmers’ union has warned that a no-deal Brexit could have a severe impact on French agricultural exports. Christiane Lambert of the FNSEA union said French wine and spirits producers would be hit hardest, as their sector had a €1.3bn (£1.1bn; $1.5bn) annual surplus in trade with the UK. Dairy goods and fruit are also major French exports. A UK no-deal exit from the EU would bring new customs checks and rules.

Michel Barnier has called on Theresa May to shift her focus from renegotiating the Irish backstop to one that embraced a closer relationship with the EU to secure cross-party support for the Brexit deal. While the prime minister stated her intention in parliament to plough on with seeking concessions on the withdrawal agreement, the EU’s chief negotiator suggested this was no longer a “key part of the debate” in the UK.

David Cameron never wanted to hold the EU referendum and hoped the Lib Dems would block it, Donald Tusk claimed today.  The EU council president has torn into the former PM for his ‘stupid’ policy in an interview for a new documentary. Mr Tusk said that Mr Cameron was relying on having coalition partners after the 2015 election who would stop the crucial vote going ahead. However, when the Tories unexpectedly emerged with a majority, he found himself having to renegotiate the membership package and go through it

DAVID Cameron’s belief that a Brexit referendum would never be held sensationally backfired, a new documentary will reveal. As the former Conservative Prime Minister attempted to get immigration concessions from the EU before the 2015 general election, he was warned by still-serving European Council president Donald Tusk not to promise the Brexit referendum. Mr Tusk labelled the vote “dangerous” and “stupid” after Mr Cameron confided he expected to go into another coalition government with the Liberal Democrats who he knew would veto the referendum.

The president of the European Council has revealed that he told David Cameron to “get real” over plans for the referendum that would see Britain vote to leave the EU and plunge the UK into political chaos. In an interview for a new BBC documentary Donald Tusk said he told the then prime minister that there was “no appetite” among other countries for changes to the EU just because the UK was going to hold a “stupid referendum”.


The taxman is to write and apologise for sending hundreds of taxpayers £100 penalty notices even though they had filed their self-assessment tax returns weeks before the deadline. Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) admitted the mistake after The Times revealed on Saturday that taxpayers who had filed online were sent letters telling them they were late and would have to pay a fine. The deadline for online returns is January 31.

Social care

Vulnerable people will be detained for years and care home managers who could profit will be involved in the decisions, charities and campaigners warn. Rushed government reforms designed to save money embed a “worrying conflict of interest” at the heart of rulings on depriving people with dementia, learning disabilities and mental illness of their liberty, it is feared. In a letter to The Times, 13 charities and rights groups say that hundreds of thousands of people risk “exploitation and abuse” by changes tripling the time they can be detained without review.

House prices

House prices in some of Britain’s most exclusive postcodes have fallen by a quarter over the past year as higher taxes and uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit dampens demand. Almost £500,000 has been wiped from the average value of homes in Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster in the year to November, according to Your Move. Other upmarket areas in the capital, such as Hammersmith & Fulham and Camden, have had falls of more than 10 per cent, the estate agency said.

The post News review – Tuesday 22 January 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Monday 21 January 2019

News review – Monday 21 January 2019


Sky News
Theresa May is expected to set out plans to axe the Irish backstop from her Brexit deal with the EU, as she shuns efforts to find a cross-party consensus and focuses on winning over the DUP and rebels in her own party. From her countryside retreat of Chequers on Sunday, the prime minister convened a conference call with her cabinet. She briefed them on her recent calls with EU leaders and how she plans to respond to the historic defeat of her Brexit deal in the Commons last week. Cabinet sources have told Sky News that Mrs May made clear she was ditching efforts to seek a cross-party compromise, because the level of support expected from Labour MPs was not deemed strong enough to pass the Withdrawal Agreement and the subsequent Brexit legislation required before the UK leaves the EU.

BBC News
Theresa May will try to convince Tory Brexiteers and DUP MPs to back her withdrawal deal by resolving Irish backstop concerns, cabinet sources say. Last week, Mrs May said she would focus on cross-party talks to get a Brexit deal accepted by Parliament. But it is understood she is now seeking to win approval from her own benches, with the government unlikely to win widespread Labour backing. Downing Street insisted that cross-party talks were continuing. Mrs May held a conference call with her cabinet on Sunday. It is understood she wants to show the EU that MPs could back a deal without a backstop, in the hope of encouraging Brussels to soften its position.

Theresa May is considering amending the Good Friday Agreement as part of a fresh attempt to unblock the Brexit logjam, The Daily Telegraph understands. The Prime Minister will on Monday update Parliament on her attempts to draw up a so-called “plan B” for Brexit following cross-party talks in Westminster – and discussions with other EU leaders. One of the proposals under consideration is rewriting the 1998 accord to assure Ireland that the UK is committed to no hard border on the island after the UK leaves the European Union in March.

Theresa May halted the cross-party approach to Brexit last night as she told her cabinet that she would focus on securing changes from Brussels designed to win over rebel Conservatives and the DUP. The prime minister used an evening conference call to announce that she would seek changes to the backstop, the Northern Ireland insurance policy to avoid a hard border, or its removal despite repeated refusals by the European Union to budge on the issue.

Theresa May will launch a fresh bid to win support for her rejected Brexit deal by trying to bypass the European Union and secure a bilateral Brexit treaty with Ireland, according to reports. The move, which comes as No 10 expresses extreme concern at a backbench bid to give parliament control of Brexit, would see the UK try to convince Ireland to agree a plan for keeping the Northern Ireland border open after Britain leaves the EU. Officials are said to believe that such an agreement could remove the need for the controversial backstop part of Ms May’s Brexit deal, which is the leading cause of Tory and DUP opposition to the plan and the main reason it was overwhelmingly rejected by MPs last week.

IRISH Government sources have said there is ‘not a hope’ that a bilateral treaty – with the UK omitting the need for a backstop and bypassing the EU during Brexit negotiations – could happen. Sky news reports Irish Government sources said on Sunday that there would be no hope of the UK removing the backstop and bypassing EU legislators in Brexit deal negotiations.  The latest updates to Theresa May’s Plan B agreement have been rejected by the Irish Government. The news comes as yet another blow to Mrs May, who is continuing to negotiate with cross-party leaders and seek new assurances from EU leaders. But it is becoming apparent that Ireland is likely to support Mrs May’s Plan B, which is due to be debated at the Commons on January 29.


ITV News
Theresa May is to set out her next steps to build a Commons majority for a Brexit deal amid signs she is still unwilling to give ground on her central demands. Following the crushing defeat last week of her agreement with Brussels, the Prime Minister will make oral and written statements to the House explaining how she intends to proceed. She will also table a “neutral” motion to be debated and voted on – along with any amendments tabled by MPs – on January 29. Government sources said she would be holding further talks with MPs, as well as business leaders and trade unionists, throughout the week in an attempt to find a way forward.

Senior ministers and No 10 condemned attempts by fellow Conservative MPs to rewrite the Commons rulebook as Tory infighting over Brexit  worsened yesterday. Liam Fox, the trade secretary, accused backbenchers such as Dominic Grieve and Nick Boles of trying to steal Brexit from the British people, and Downing Street said that moves to alter Commons standing orders were “extremely concerning”. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, a leading Brexiteer Tory MP, went further by calling the tactic “bitter, twisted and dangerous”, in a sharp escalation of party hostilities.


EX-Cabinet minister Esther McVey will lead a campaign to calm fears over No Deal this week — as the PM launches a desperate seven- day drive to save Brexit. The former Work and Pensions Secretary will appear in videos on social media to spell out how civil servants are getting the UK ready for leaving the EU with no agreement. The PM held an emergency conference call after Irish government sources said the backstop would not be compromised. She and other leading Brexiteers also plan question and answer session to ease public anxiety. Mrs May yesterday held an emergency Cabinet conference call after Irish government sources said there was “not a hope” of a compromise on the backstop.

Whilst MPs in Westminster disgracefully try to hold up Brexit and Project Fear is whipped up around a No Deal Brexit, it is increasingly clear that the British public want out on 29th March on WTO terms. The Guardian  (bless them) have found themselves disturbed by an ICM poll they’ve seen that shows a WTO Brexit is now the most popular way forward. The 2,000-strong poll, carried out after Theresa May’s deal was rejected in Parliament, showed a No Deal exit to have the most support of any single option. That’s despite the constant scaremongering from those who don’t want the UK to break away from the European Union. 28% backed a No Deal as the way forward, followed by 24% for a second referendum, 11% backing a General Election and only 8% who think the PM should continue to focus on getting her deal approved.


GUY Verhofstadt has sparked outrage after saying that Brexit may only be temporary and admitted there is “no doubt” the UK will return to the European Union “where it belongs”. The European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator said Britain’s departure from the bloc will have a “negative” affect on business, young people and EU citizens. The EU chief described Mrs May’s thumping loss in the House of Commons by 230 votes on January 15 as a “crushing defeat” but continued to defend the EU’s position as the “only possible one” available due to Mrs May’s “red lines”. With Brexit now thrust into doubt with several options remaining on the table, including even staying in the EU amid growing calls for a second referendum, which is something Mr Verhofstadt would welcome.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sounded the need for “compromise” in the Brexit negotiations, as German industry grows increasingly anxious at the prospect of the UK exiting the EU with No Deal. Just recently we’ve seen the Head of the German Federation Industry (BDI), Dieter Lempf, say: “A chaotic Brexit is now in dangerous proximity. Companies are looking into the abyss these weeks. “Leaving the UK without an agreement is not an option – neither for British companies nor for companies on the continent.” And the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s chief, Eric Schweitzer, warned: “More than 750,000 jobs in Germany depend on exports to Great Britain. Just-in-time production and supply chains are at risk.”

Labour Party

Labour will split in two unless Jeremy Corbyn backs a second vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union,  one of the party’s senior MPs has warned. David Lammy said that some MPs could quit the party in the same way that moderate Labour MPs left in the 1980s to set up the Social Democratic Party, which eventually merged with the Liberals five years later. The news came amid reports that as many as 150,000 Labour members could quit over Mr Corbyn’s refusal to commit to a second vote that could keep the UK in the EU. Mr Lammy, the MP for Tottenham since 2000, said that for Mr Corbyn “the moment has arrived for clarity and for leadership” on the issue of a second vote.

Labour’s membership has plunged by around 150,000 amid fury at Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit stance it was claimed today. Senior officials have dismissed the reports in today’s Sunday Times that the number of paid-up activists stands at around 385,000 – down from a peak of more 500,000 in 2017. Party membership is constantly evolving as subscriptions lapse and people join but members are continuing to walk away Brexit. Labour’s coffers have been hit by around £6million because of the sinking numbers of members.

Labour has denied reports that more than a quarter of its members have quit in protest at Jeremy Corbyn‘s Brexit policy. The party said suggestions that up to 150,000 people had left in recent months were “just wrong”. Newspaper reports claimed the total number of paying members had slumped from 540,000 last summer to around 385,000. Labour insiders quoted in the Sunday Times said the reported fall had cost the party around £6m. However, a senior Labour source said: “We are proud of our mass and vibrant membership and claims about this drop off are just wrong.”

Huffington Post
Jeremy Corbyn’s unwillingness to back a second referendum could lead to a near-fatal split in the Labour Party, David Lammy has warned. Calling for a so-called people’s vote to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament, the influential Labour backbencher accused Corbyn of “hedging” over a second referendum, saying he was “moving the goalpost”. “Now is the time for leadership,” Lammy told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme. “There are a small group in our party who are so frustrated, who have so much grievance, the fear is they are going to go off and form another party. “I personally reject that,” he continued. “But the danger is, just like 1983, a new party built around a relationship with Europe keeps the Labour Party out of power for a generation.”

The Brexit Party

Nigel Farage has endorsed a brand new pro-Brexit political party and warned Theresa May he will ‘step back into the fray’ if exit day is delayed from March 29. The ex-Ukip leader warned of ‘betrayal’ of the Leave vote from 2016 and stepped up his vow to return to front line politics to defend it.  Mr Farage has abandoned his old party as current leader Gerard Batten cosies up to far-right activist Tommy Robinson. But he endorsed a fledgling new party called ‘The Brexit Party’ set up by another former Ukip politician that has applied to the Electoral Commission.

Nigel Farage is being lined up as leader of a new pro-Brexit party if Britain’s departure from the European Union is delayed beyond 29 March. The former Ukip leader said he had offered his enthusiastic support to the Brexit party after being sounded out as its potential leader. Catherine Blaiklock, Ukip’s former economics spokeswoman, confirmed she had applied to register the party with the Electoral Commission on 11 January and that it would be ready to fight any snap general election or the local elections across England in May. She told the Guardian on Sunday: “I think people feel treason has been committed. It’s democracy. It wouldn’t matter whether leave had won by a single vote – it’s a first-past-the-post system.” Blaiklock said the party was aiming to attract the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU in June 2016 and to win over defectors from the Conservatives, Labour and Ukip.

NIGEL Farage has warned Prime Minister Theresa May he will “step back into the fray” and defend the Leave vote as he threw his weight behind a new Brexit Party. The former Ukip leader said he would “take no prisoners” as he warned he would step back into frontline politics to fight against what he described as a “Brexit betrayal”. After abandoning Ukip over its close ties with Tommy Robinson, Nigel Farage threw his weight behind the ‘Brexit Party’, set up by another former Ukip politician that has already applied to the Electoral Commission.  He said there was “huge demand” for a new party because of the “frustration welling up out there”.

Britain’s unofficial Brexit Leader, Nigel Farage, would come back with a new party if the British government delayed Brexit beyond March 29th this year.  urther evidence that they would be mad to do such a thing. Nigel has told the Sun on Sunday: “There is huge demand for a party that’s got real clarity on this issue. You can see and hear the frustration welling up out there. It’s clear the political elite want to stop Brexit in its tracks and the Prime Minister doesn’t have the strength or inclination to see this through. “I’ve been watching events with growing dismay – I’m not the only one. Now we are putting them on notice that if Brexit doesn’t happen on March 29th we are not prepared to stand by and do nothing.”


The Speaker of the Commons may abandon plans to step down this summer after warnings that ministers could deny him a peerage. Friends of John Bercow hit back at Tory briefing against him by revealing that he was “seriously reflecting” on whether to stay on, possibly until 2022. Last week a cabinet source told The Times: “It’s a good job that peerage nominations are in our gift — I’m sure we’ll be thinking carefully about which individuals we would choose to elevate . . . I can’t imagine we would look favourably on those who’ve cheated centuries of procedure.”

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow is considering abandoning plans to step down this summer after Cabinet ministers threatened to deny him a peerage because of his alleged Brexit ‘bias’.  Friends told The Observer that he was now ‘seriously reflecting’ on whether to stay on – possibly until 2022. It follows reported briefings last week by the government that someone who had ‘cheated centuries of procedure’ should not expect to be elevated to the House of Lords.


A total of 175,000 jobs are set to disappear from the High Street this year as the onslaught from online rivals continues. A slump in the value of retail property is expected to see 23,395 shops shut as customers shun town centres in favour of internet shopping, according to property experts. It marks a significant increase on last year when a string of retailers including Toys R Us, Poundworld and Maplin went bust, leading to the closure of 20,000 stores and the loss of 150,000 jobs.

AROUND 175,000 jobs are set to be be lost on the High Street this year, new research shows. More than 23,000 shops are expected to close in 2019, according to research by real estate adviser Altus Group. The numbers mark a significant increase on 2018, when store closures and company collapses axed nearly 20,000 stores and claimed 150,000 jobs. Among the casualties were Toys R Us and Maplin, who both sunk into the retail grave last year. Altus Group boss Guillaume Fiastre said retail “survivors” would emerge from the current crash. He said: ”Retail of the future will use bricks-and-mortar spaces in a very different way mixed in with leisure and lifestyle residential spaces, for example. “The most successful retailers – the survivors – are learning to draw in their customers with the promise of a personalised experience.


The ‘Big Six’ energy firms have been accused of punishing customers with poor service on top of sky high tariffs for heating and lighting. The companies all sit in the bottom third of a league table looking at customer satisfaction, which covers how they deal with inquiries, value for money, complaints handling and the accuracy of bills.  The table is based on a survey by the consumer group Which? of some 8,000 people who are signed to 30 companies supplying gas and electricity.


Sixteen suspected migrants on three separate vessels have been picked up by British authorities after crossing the English Channel on Sunday morning, as fears mount that more people will try to reach the UK this week. Two of the dinghies made landfall on the Kent coast, at Kingsdown and Warren, with a total of eight men presenting themselves as Iranian or Iraqi. A third boat, carrying eight men was intercepted by Border Force officials heading towards Dover and was escorted by CPV Speedwell into the port. All sixteen received a medical assessment and have now been transferred to immigration officials for interview. The crossings are understood to have frustrated officials on both sides of the Channel, who have bolstered their presence in the busy waterway this year.

Sajid Javid faced renewed criticism over his handling of the migrant crisis yesterday after three more boats crossed the Channel. At least 16 suspected migrants arrived in open dinghies – raising questions about how effective Britain’s response has been. The Home Secretary declared the crossings a ‘major incident’ last month after 139 migrants were caught over Christmas. He vowed to escalate patrols in the Channel, which has the world’s busiest shipping lanes. But last night there was still no sign of the two extra Border Force patrol boats he promised, three weeks after they were ordered back from the Mediterranean.

The post News review – Monday 21 January 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Brexit: an appeal to Remain voters – Part 2

Brexit: an appeal to Remain voters – Part 2

Ed: This article was first published on ‘Moraymint Chatter’ and we re-publish with the kind permission of the author. We published Part I here yesterday.


An appeal to Remain voters

The point is that if our politicians succeed in engineering EU Referendum II, what are we supposed to do? Regardless of which way you voted in the EU Referendum, how would you react to being invited to vote again? For you can be sure that EU Referendum II would be constructed to make a Remain outcome a racing certainty, either in the way that the question was framed, or how the debate was controlled (rigged), or both.

This is the way that the European Union works, bearing in mind that the overwhelming majorities of the British political class and the establishment are, to all intents and purposes, agents of the European Union; they make no secret of this fact for much of the time. If you throw in the state broadcaster’s bias towards the joys of EU membership (check out News-watch if you’re sceptical about the BBC’s pro-EU bias) then those of us who would like to see the UK leave the European Union would be heavily outgunned in EU Referendum II.

Reflecting the overall profile of voting in the EU Referendum, I would say that roughly half of my wider family and friends voted Leave, whilst the other half voted Remain. That said, recently a number of my Remain-voting acquaintances have let it be known to me that perhaps being in favour of having the UK governed by a foreign power wasn’t such a great idea after all. We’ve come to see the EU’s true colours over the past couple of years and we’ve discovered that those colours are more pirate-like Jolly Roger than United Colours of Benetton.

So, here’s my appeal. If you voted Remain in the EU Referendum and are invited to vote again in EU Referendum II, please give serious consideration to placing your cross in whichever box is most likely to result in the UK regaining its sovereignty.

Bear in mind that the power-brokers in the European Union are on an avowed mission to create a United States of Europe (‘ever closer union’); to emasculate member states and centralise EU power in the European Commission; to have EU foreign policy take precedence over member nations’ foreign policies and following on from that, to form a European Union Army to enforce EU foreign policy, inimical to NATO, the preserver of peace in Europe since it was formed in 1949; to set tax policies across all member states – a policy of taxation without representation and generally to convert sovereign nation states into regions of the United States of Europe. It was the Conservative MP Ken Clarke who said: ‘I look forward to the day when the Westminster Parliament is just a council chamber in Europe.’

Existential Crisis

I hope you can you see that the apparently simple question of whether or not the UK should be a member of what is purported to be a trading bloc, is now in fact an existential crisis for the British people. The European Union absolutely is not a trading bloc. That may have been the original, goodwill intention when the European Coal and Steel Community was formed in 1951. However, today the European Union is a nascent empire without a demos.

In other words, the 500 million people who make up the European Union have no allegiance to the European Union at all. They buy into it primarily, if not solely for economic reasons. That was always the intention of the founding fathers, led by the Frenchman Jean Monnet who said: “The fusion of economic functions [will] compel nations to fuse their sovereignty into that of a single European state.”

If you want your country, the United Kingdom, to become a region of a single European state governed by unelected, unaccountable people like Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk, then if EU Referendum II comes to pass by all means vote Remain. However, if you value everything that the United Kingdom stands for, I appeal to you to vote for the option which will ensure the recovery of our national sovereignty – a precious gem bequeathed to us by generations of blood, treasure and sacrifice.

In my next post I shall explain why we should not fear the impact of the UK leaving the European Union on World Trade Organisation terms.

If you agree or disagree with my opinion, please comment below.

In any case, thank you for reading my post above and thank goodness that we still have freedom of speech in the United Kingdom.

The post Brexit: an appeal to Remain voters – Part 2 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Sunday papers – 20 January 2018

Sunday papers – 20 January 2018

‘The Brexit Party’

The papers are full of nothing but Brexit today.  The Sun has an exclusive report on our former leader’s decision to rejoin the Brexit fight.

NIGEL Farage is making a comeback to frontline politics ­— as head of a new Brexit Party.
The former Ukip leader has decided to end months in the ­wilderness to fight against the great referendum betrayal.
He admitted he is unable to sit on the sidelines and watch as Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is sabotaged. And he warned: “This time there will be no more Mr Nice Guy.”
Mr Farage, 54, was approached by ­former Ukip activists who applied to register the new party in the past few days. It has been set up ready to field candidates if Theresa May calls a snap General Election next month.
Organisers will also fight the European elections in May if the PM decides to extend Article 50 and keep Britain in the EU after the departure date of March 29.  Mr Farage predicts the party would be a rallying point for 17.4million disaffected Brexit voters — and would cause devastation to the Tories and Labour.
He told The Sun on Sunday: “There is huge demand for a party that’s got real clarity on this issue. You can see and hear the frustration welling up out there. It’s clear the political elite want to stop Brexit in its tracks and the Prime Minister doesn’t have the strength or inclination to see this through.
“I’ve been watching events with growing dismay — I’m not the only one. Now we are putting them on notice that if Brexit doesn’t happen on March 29 we are not prepared to stand by and do nothing.”
Former Ukip economics spokesman Catherine Blaiklock applied to register the new party on January 11. An Electoral Commission spokesman said: “I can confirm that The Brexit Party is applying to be registered.”

Although the other media haven’t picked up this story yet, the Mirror reports Farage’s ‘plot’ to form a new campaign group.

Nigel Farage is plotting a new campaign group to fight another Brexit  referendum.
The Ukip leader also says he’s so convinced Article 50 will be delayed that he’s planning his campaign for the European elections in May.
Mr Farage would need to be shortlisted by a political party to be re-elected to the European Parliament.
But he ruled out re-joining Ukip.

The Independent reports that Farage thinks there’s a second referendum on the way.

Nigel Farage has urged Leave campaigners to prepare for a second referendum as Britain’s Brexit deadlock continues.
The former Ukip leader spoke at a packed Leave Means Leave rally in London, alongside former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, MP Esther McVey and hotelier Rocco Forte.
Mr Farage said he believed “it is now quite possible that we will see an extension of Article 50”.


In another exclusive, the Sun claims the Prime Minister could face a legal challenge.

BREXIT campaigners will mount a legal challenge if Theresa May tries to halt Britain’s departure from the EU.
They will seek a High Court ruling on any decision to extend or revoke Article 50 – and demand the right for Britain to retain our seats in the European Parliament.
The move raises the prospect of bitter, costly and long-running legal battle if defiant MPs wreck the process.
It also cranks up the pressure on the PM to deliver her pledge to take Britain out of the EU by March 29.
John Longworth, co-chairman of the pressure group Leave Means Leave, said: “We would challenge any move by the government to cancel Brexit.

The Express claims some members of the Cabinet will pull out all the stops to cancel Brexit.

A HARDCORE group of Remainers in the Cabinet will “do everything they can to stop Brexit”, a senior minister has warned.
It is part of a Remainer plot to betray Brexit and either trap Britain under EU rule in a customs union or force a second referendum. Tory Brexiteers have said they will vote or abstain to bring down the Government if there is a “betrayal” of the 2016 referendum result. However, a series of wrecking measures have been put in place by Remainers in cahoots with the Labour Party to force the Government to hold another vote on Britain’s membership of the EU.

But a senior minister claims there’ll be problems if they succeed, says the Telegraph.

MPs plotting to stop Brexit risk causing a “political tsunami”, Liam Fox has warned.
Writing for The Telegraph, the International Trade Secretary warns that failing to deliver on the 2016 referendum would open up a “yawning gap” between voters and Parliament.
Upping the ante in a Cabinet war over a no-deal outcome, he also attacked MPs and ministers attempting to remove the option entirely, saying that the “most stupid thing possible” in a negotiation is to “give away your strongest card”.

ITV News also has the story.

Pro-Brexit International Trade Secretary Liam Fox warned of a “political tsunami” if the Government fails to deliver on the 2016 referendum vote.
His warning comes as two groups of rebel MPs made moves to rewrite the Commons rule book in an attempt to derail Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Downing Street also hit out at the moves by MPs who are said to be planning to table amendments to enable backbenchers to take control of the business of the House to frustrate Theresa May’s Brexit plans.

Minority government

There are plans afoot to take the decisions over Brexit away from the Government and give a minority of MPs the power to stop the process.  The Mail says:

Plans to stop a No Deal Brexit by introducing a new amendment that would allow parliament to take control of the process have been revealed.
Tory Dominic Grieve is working with a group of MPs, including Remain-supporting Labour rebels, to try and block a No Deal result.
Under his amendment, a motion to stop No Deal could be put to Parliament if it is backed by 300 MPs. Legislation to stop No Deal by extending or revoking Article 50 would then be subject to a vote and would be likely to pass because a majority of MPs are against leaving the EU without a deal, according to Buzzfeed.

The Express explains what the ex-attorney general is trying to do.

REMAINER Dominic Grieve has unveiled an amendment to give MPs the power to block a no-deal Brexit.
The plan will see a no-deal Brexit blocked by tearing up the Parliamentary rulebook by allowing a minority of MPs to seize control of the House of Commons. Former Conservative attorney general Mr Grieve is working with a group of cross-party MPs that consists of Remain-supporting Labour rebels to draw up the legislation to enable Parliament take over the Brexit process. Much to the dismay of Brexiteers, this would see a cluster of Remainers revoke Article 50 – or cancel Brexit altogether, BuzzFeed News reports.

Labour MPs may back the proposals, says the Independent.

Plans to hand parliament control of Brexit received a boost after senior Labour figures indicated the party could swing in behind them.
A shadow cabinet member told The Independent it was “possible” that Jeremy Corbyn’s party could back the move, while a string of Labour MPs also said they were more inclined to back it as it evolved.
One of the authors of the plan claimed on Friday that it is also backed by cabinet ministers, and that up to 20 more junior front benchers had said they would quit if Ms May whipped them to vote against it.

Breitbart claims a ‘scoop’ over the mainstream media with the wording of the plan.

Alex Wickham has scooped the Sundays by getting hold of Grieve’s Proposed Amendment to let a minority take control of the parliamentary legislative agenda:
As an Amendment to the Motion tabled for the purposes of section 13(6) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2017
Leave out from “House” to end and insert “believes that [INSERT DECLARATORY WORDS RELATING TO NEED TO PREVENT NO DEAL BREXIT), and orders accordingly that — (1) On [DATE OF SUBSEQUENT SITTING DAY TO BE INSERTED] —

No. 10 is worried, says BBC News.

Attempts by backbench MPs to remove the government’s power to deliver Brexit are “extremely concerning”, Downing Street has said.
On Monday one group of MPs will present a bill that could allow Brexit to be delayed if Parliament does not approve an EU withdrawal agreement.
According to the Sunday Times, another group led by Dominic Grieve wishes to pause Brexit by suspending Article 50.

And Sky News agrees.

Downing Street has described as “extremely concerning” reports that Conservative backbenchers will propose legislation to stop a no-deal Brexit or suspend the process altogether.
One group, led by former Tory minister Nick Boles and Labour MP Yvette Cooper, is said to be attempting to block the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement about a future relationship.
A second group, led by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, wants to go further and suspend the Article 50 withdrawal process, the legal means by which the UK would leave, The Sunday Times reports.

Conservative Party

It seems Brexit could split the Tories, claims the Mail.

Theresa May has been dealt an ultimatum by her divided cabinet as she attempts to find a new Brexit plan – with pro-Leave ministers warning her not to water-down the deal.
The Prime Minister has been told by Brexiteers she ‘risks splitting the Conservative party’ if she compromises and tries to gain Labour’s support for her plan.
Mrs May has also faced questions from pro-EU ministers who want to vote on legislation that would mean Brexit isn’t possible on March 29 without a deal.

Could the arch-Brexiteer save the PM?  The Mail reports:

Jacob Rees-Mogg emerged last night as Theresa May’s best hope to avert a snap General Election – or her forced departure from Downing Street by the spring.
In the wake of the Prime Minister’s crushing Commons defeat on her Brexit deal, a group of her most senior allies have ‘war-gamed’ a scenario in which Mrs May would sue for peace with her rebellious backbenchers by offering to resign by May – in exchange for them dropping their opposition.

Customs union

The PM’s ‘red lines’ could be broken.  The Express reports a warning,

THERESA May has been issued a stern warning by her Cabinet that she faces further dividing the Conservative party if she gives into pressure by opposition parties to remain in the customs union. The Prime Minister held crush talks with her inner-circle who urged Mrs May not to consider a “softer” Brexit by staying in the single market which is a position favoured by the Labour Party.
Following a crushing defeat in the ‘meaningful vote’ on January 15 by 230 votes – a record for any sitting government, the PM has been forced to make amendments to her withdrawal agreement with EU.


And attempts to delay or cancel Article 50 must not succeed, says Breitbart.

Chairman of the European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that attempts to extend the deadline for the UK’s exit from the EU are a Remainer plot to stop Brexit.
Speaking on his LBC radio show Friday evening, the Tory MP for North East Somerset warned, “There are only ten weeks to go and the Remainers are getting desperate — the ones that never accepted the result, don’t think that the people who voted to leave are very bright, think that people like me should have gone back to school to learn the virtues of the EU.


Whatever happens next could cost money, but a Leave backer could help, says the Express.

A BREXITEER tycoon is ready to dip into his pockets again after donating £35,000 in 2016 to back Leave activists.
Jeremy Woolridge has said he is readying and willing to spend more money to fund another Brexit campaign if a second vote was held. He told The Times: “I’m sure the Government will rig the rules so it will be even more difficult for people like me and company to back Vote Leave II – but that won’t necessarily stop us.” He has previously said that another European referendum would be a “travesty of our democracy”.

Labour Party

The Times reports that the Labour Party’s membership is dropping.

The Labour Party is haemorrhaging members amid a growing backlash over Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on Brexit, according to party insiders.
At the height of Corbyn’s popularity following the general election in 2017, Labour was considered the “largest party in western Europe” with more than 500,000 members.
In recent months, however, it has lost up to 150,000 members, according to three sources within the party. It is estimated that up to 100,000 are not up to date with their subs and enrolment has slumped to around 385,000.

And the Independent claims the party will back a second referendum.

Senior Labour figures have pushed the party significantly closer to backing a fresh Brexit referendum, suggesting support is now inevitable unless Theresa May drops her “red lines”.
A trio of shadow cabinet members piled pressure on Jeremy Corbyn by saying the party must stick by its pledge to “campaign for a public vote” if the prime minister holds firm and Labour fails to force a general election.
Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said backing for a Final Say referendum was the only “remaining option” if Labour’s own withdrawal plan is defeated, adding: “That is a very important commitment. And it is one we will keep.”

The Mail reports that it’s anti-Brexiteers who are deserting the party.

Jeremy Corbyn‘s ‘pro-Brexit’ approach is costing Labour tens of thousands of pro-EU supporters, party insiders claim.
They said the party has been ‘haemorrhaging’ support since the Labour leader said last month he would press ahead with Brexit even if he won a snap General Election.
One senior Labour figure is even privately telling colleagues that the party, which reportedly had 540,000 members last April, has shed more than 100,000 members in the past year – a figure disputed by party officials.

The Shadow Brexit secretary is urging the party to back a second vote, says Sky News.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has ramped up the pressure for Labour to move towards backing a second referendum.
The frontbencher argued the point had been reached where Labour had agreed that if a general election could not be secured then the party “must” consider all options on the table, including a further public vote.
Stressing the importance of the previously made commitment, he insisted it was “one we must keep”.

The Times also reports Starmer’s comments.

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, has ramped up the pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to back a second EU referendum by insisting that the option “remain on the table”.
Speaking at a Fabian Society conference in London, Starmer said that if the Labour Party was unable to force a general election then another vote should become a focus.


The European Union thinks the PM is bluffing over Brexit, says the Times.

Theresa May’s threats to pursue a no-deal Brexit are not believed in Brussels and she should return only when she has a deal that can pass the House of Commons, EU officials have told The Sunday Times.
One senior figure compared May’s no-deal posturing to someone about to commit suicide warning a passer-by that their clothes might get soiled.
“None of us wants a cliff edge. None of us wants a no-deal, but the idea that you can threaten member states on the Continent with that is ridiculous,” the official said.

But if we stay in the bloc we could face economic sanctions if we don’t do as we’re told, says Breitbart.

Members of the European Parliament have voted in favour of introducing financial sanctions as punishment for patriotic countries that reject the bloc’s progressive “European values.”
MEPs voted Thursday in Strasbourg, France, to back the European Commission’s proposal to cut EU budgetary disbursements to member states deemed to have broken the so-called “rule of law,” with 397 MEPs voting in favour and 158 against (69 abstaining), reports Politico.

And Breitbart reports Mutti Merkel’s comments on further integration.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the European Union must deepen its defence cooperation, including developing shared weapons systems.
“It is good that after several decades we want to develop a common defense policy… We must develop weapons systems together,” Dr Merkel said in comments on Saturday reported by Reuters.


The Times suggests there could be a way out of the ‘backstop’ problem.

British prime minister Theresa May wants to offer a bilateral treaty to Ireland in order to remove the “backstop” from the EU withdrawal treaty and prevent a hard border by other means.
The proposal is part of May’s plan B to salvage her Brexit deal. Aides think it would “decontaminate” the withdrawal agreement so it could be supported by the DUP and Tory Eurosceptics.

House of Lords

But it’s not just the House of Commons that the PM has to worry about, reports the Independent.

Theresa May hopes of avoiding a chaotic Brexit face another blow from a House of Lords ambush that would sabotage putting in place essential new trade rules.
The government is set to be defeated on Monday when peers rebel over ministers’ refusal to guarantee food safety, animal welfare and the power of parliament to block a free-for-all, The Independent has learned.
In an extremely rare move, the Lords is poised to vote to shelve the Trade Bill unless the government agrees to put flesh on the “skeleton” – something ministers have failed to do for 15 months.


Following reports that Squeaker Bercow might not get a peerage when he retires, the Guardian claims he has said he might not resign after all.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, is considering abandoning his plans to step down this summer after cabinet ministers threatened to deny him a peerage because of his alleged “bias” against the government over Brexit.
Friends of the Speaker who have been in touch with him in the last 48 hours told the Observer that Bercow is now “seriously reflecting” on whether to stay on – possibly until 2022.

Scottish independence

Scotland is still planning its getaway, says the Times.

Nicola Sturgeon has been warned by senior colleagues it would be foolhardy to rush into another Scottish independence referendum as she prepares to set out a timetable for a fresh vote.
But as the first minister looks to exploit the Brexit crisis and unite activists split over her battle with predecessor Alex Salmond, The Sunday Times has learnt the prime minister is preparing to harden her line on any request for a new vote on separating from the UK.
Last week, following talks with SNP MPs, Sturgeon announced her intention to hold another public vote to help keep Scotland in the EU after Brexit.

And it seems young girls are still being mutilated north of the border, says the Times.

Campaigners against female genital mutilation (FGM) have welcomed a warning by the Scottish government that “breast ironing”, a form of abuse that involves flattening young girls’ chests, is taking place in parts of the country.
The painful practice, which originated in Cameroon, is typically carried out by mothers to protect their daughters from sexual harassment and rape. It is also used to prevent pregnancies that would bring shame to the family, or to stop the girls from further pursuing education.
Concerns about breast ironing were raised in a Scottish government consultation on FGM that closed last week. Those with further knowledge of the abuse, also known as “breast flattening”, have been urged to come forward.

Social care

There are still problems providing care for the elderly, says the Mirror.

One in four nursing homes is failing care quality inspections, data released by Labour shows.
The crisis is worse in the North of England, where one in three nursing homes inflicts the worst quality care on our most vulnerable older people.
Data from the Care Quality Commission shows that 1,122 nursing homes nationwide failed inspections.


Those trying to cross the Med are still dying in their hundreds, reports the Mail.

Three survivors say up to 117 migrants may have died when their rubber dinghy capsized off Libya.
They were rescued from the vessel after it sank in the Mediterranean and flown by an Italian naval helicopter to Lampedusa.
The group left Libya on Thursday evening, with the survivors reporting around 120 people had been aboard, before disaster struck.
The rubber dinghy began taking on water within a few hours.

The post Sunday papers – 20 January 2018 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Saturday papers – 19 January 2019

Saturday papers – 19 January 2019


Top Europeans have been left gobsmacked at the Prime Minister’s latest attempt at solving the Brexit problem, says the Telegraph.

Theresa May has left European diplomats in a state of “disbelief” following a series of phone calls to EU leaders in which she made no change to her demands despite her Brexit plan being voted down by a 230-vote margin this week.
Senior EU diplomatic sources said that Mrs May’s unchanged stance was “greeted with incredulity” following a call with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday night.
“It was the same old story – the same set of demands – all unchanged despite the defeat,” said the source with knowledge of the calls.
Mrs May is understood to have repeated the same performance in conversations with the French president Emmanuel Macron, the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte.

And the Guardian reports a lot of work being done by EU embassies in London.

Phone lines and encrypted emails from EU embassies in London to their capitals have been red hot this week as diplomats seek to make sense of the chaos in the British parliament over Brexit.
Some diplomats admit their primary response has been sheer shock at the depth of the turmoil.
But they seem keener on helping Britain delay article 50, which has set the 29 March deadline, than is sometimes thought.

It seems businesses on the Continent are getting worried, reports the Mail.

German business chiefs have warned that a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for their country.
The nation’s supply chains and trade links are closely intertwined with Britain – sparking fears that its vital manufacturing sector will be badly damaged if the UK crashes out of the European Union without an agreement.
More than 750,000 jobs in Germany depend on its trade with the UK.

Fox News reports that Germans are urging the UK to cancel Brexit.

Amid the ongoing Brexit impasse among British lawmakers, a group of prominent Germans including the woman in line to take over for Angela Merkel as chancellor is urging Britain to stay in the European Union, saying they would miss milk with tea and post-work beers.
The open letter sent to The Times – signed by businessmen, politicians, and others – argues that “from the bottom of our hearts” Britain should not leave the political and economic bloc.

The PM will be holding more talks with her European counterparts, claims the Express.

THERESA May is holding urgent talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker this afternoon as her Brexit crisis deepens.
Mrs May is facing a Brexit deadlock after MPs overwhelmingly rejected her withdrawal agreement in a crunch vote on Tuesday. The Prime Minister called on the Commons to come together for cross-party talks to find a way forward following the humiliating defeat.


Back home, Mrs May is trying to persuade her MPs to back her deal, says the Express.

THERESA May held face-to-face talks with a string of senior ministers yesterday as a fresh bout of squabbling over Brexit engulfed the Cabinet.
The Prime Minister summoned Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt, David Lidington, Chris Grayling and others to Downing Street in her attempt to thrash out a new Brexit plan following the overwhelming Commons rejection of her Withdrawal Agreement earlier this week. But public barbs between ministers with rival visions of Britain’s European future threatened to overshadow her attempt to build a consensus.

And their disagreements have burst out into the open, says the Times.

Ministers have clashed openly today over the future direction of Brexit as talks continued in Downing Street.
Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, suggested that many voters would favour a clean no-deal break if it was a choice between that and staying in the European Union. She also warned that only when the EU believed “no deal is better than a bad deal” could the UK maximise its chance of a deal.
“Not honouring the result of the referendum would be appalling,” she said.

Senior Tory Andrea Jenkyns has written a column for Westmonster.

The United Kingdom deserves better and it was right that Parliament voted down the Prime Minister’s deal this week. This was a bad deal and not one which the House of Commons could accept.
Following this defeat there have been continued calls by some Remain MPs to delay or worse reverse the result of the referendum. This is very distressing and I understand readers concerns that what they were promised is under threat by narrow-minded and undemocratic Remainers who want to keep us in the European Union against the British people’s wishes. This cannot be allowed to happen.

No deal

But there are signs that the PM is being urged to rule out WTO rules, reports the Times.

A defence minister has become the first member of Theresa May’s government to break ranks and publicly urge her to delay Brexit if no deal can be reached.
As Whitehall stepped up preparations for a possible snap election, Tobias Ellwood argued that extending Article 50 would be preferable to Britain leaving the European Union on March 29 without a deal.
Leaving with no agreement would “be an act of self harm with profound economic, security and reputational, consequences for the UK at the very time threats are increasing and diversifying,” he told The Times.

And some ministers think they know better than we the voters, reports the Telegraph.

Ministers trying to block a no deal Brexit wrongly “think they know better” than voters, Andrea Leadsom has said as the issue prompted a public split among the Cabinet.
Ms Leadsom, the Leader of the Commons, told The Telegraph that colleagues who want to stop no deal will “fail our country” and weaken the UK’s negotiating hand.

Of course, Labour’s Brexit secretary has weighed in with his comments, reported by the Independent.

Theresa May will fail if she tries to force her Brexit deal through parliament a second time, Labour‘s shadow Brexit secretary will warn today.
Sir Keir Starmer will use a speech in central London to tell the prime minister her proposed agreement has “no chance” of being passed by parliament.
Instead, he will call for MPs to have an “open and frank debate” about how to break the deadlock gripping the Commons.

But it seems there’s a plot to hand the question over to a Remain-majority committee of backbench MPs, reports the Mail.

Ministers in Theresa May‘s Government are prepared to defy her and to vote for a backbench plan to give MPs power to block a no-deal Brexit, a Tory MP has warned.
Nick Boles told the BBC that some non-Cabinet ministers had told him directly they would quit if whipped against a bill allowing parliamentarians to demand Article 50 be extended for fresh talks with Brussels.
Speaking to the Radio 4 podcast Political Thinking the Grantham and Stamford MP also said members of his local Tory party in Lincolnshire may try to deselect him.


The International Trade Secretary hasn’t finalised all the necessary deals yet, reports BBC News.

The UK has yet to finalise agreements to replace existing free trade deals the EU has with 40 big economies if there is a no-deal Brexit.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said he “hoped” they would but it depended on whether other countries were “willing to put the work in”.
He said more deals were coming, after signing one with Australia.

But economist Ruth Lea, who has written for Conservative Woman, says we shouldn’t worry about WTO rules.

AS BREXIT day approaches (we hope) the debate on the pros and cons of a No Deal WTO Brexit seems to grow ever more shrill. Project Fear Mark 2, the direct descendant of the wholly discredited pre-referendum Project Fear Mark 1, has been ramped up, to scare us all.
Doubtless, there would be some disruption in the event of a WTO Brexit as businesses adapt to the new set of circumstances. But businesses are good at adapting, otherwise they do not survive. And I would expect such disruption to have broadly dissipated within six months. Moreover, we know that both the British civil service and the European Commission are stepping up their No Deal preparations, as they are more than aware that such an outcome is quite possible. The scaremongering is not just absurd, it is highly irresponsible.


Our former leader is still considering a return to front-line politics, says the Mail.

Nigel Farage has today revealed he will launch a new political party if Brexit is delayed.
The former Ukip leader accused Remainer MPs of plotting to try to overturn the result of the EU referendum.
He said he expects Article 50, which starts the two-year clock on Brexit, to be extended – meaning the UK will not leave the EU as planned on March 29.
Mr Farage said he will make a dramatic come back to frontline politics with a new party with could run in EU elections this May if Brexit is delayed.

And BBC News reports his claim he will run in the European elections if we’re not out by then.

Nigel Farage says he is ready to fight the European elections in May if Brexit is delayed.
The former UKIP leader, who quit his party in December, said he was seeking “the right political vehicle”.
As things stand, the European Parliament is axing most of the UK’s seats, with a small number to be re-allocated to other countries.
The UK can delay Brexit without holding European elections, EU officials have told the Financial Times.

But could he run as a Tory?  Westmonster speculates.

There was a very interesting discussion on the airwaves this morning between pro-Brexit Tory MP Shailesh Vara and a currently partyless Nigel Farage, with Sky’s Adam Boulton suggesting Nigel could join the Tories.
Labour will not like the prospect of that at all. A united Brexiteer front would spell big trouble for Jeremy Corbyn’s party and Nigel can undoubtedly reach voters few others can.
Vara, who quit as Northern Ireland Minister to oppose Theresa May’s EU deal, said that he agreed “with much of what Nigel said” on Brexit: “It was made actually clear, as Nigel says, by all the leaders of the referendum campaign that this was a one-off and the result would be binding.”
When pressed if Nigel would fit into the Conservative Party, Vara responded by saying: “I’m happy to put Nigel in the right direction, he’s a seasoned politician and if he fulfils our criteria we’d be happy to have him on board.”

Yahoo News reports his suggestion that there might be a second referendum.

Nigel Farage has urged Leave campaigners to prepare for a second referendum as the Brexit deadlock continues.
The former Ukip leader spoke at a packed Leave Means Leave rally in London, telling Brexiteers they must “face reality in the face”.
The MEP spoke alongside former Conservative leader Iain Duncan-Smith, MP Esther McVey and Hotelier Rocco Forte.


Breitbart reports Boris’ call for a better Brexit deal.

Former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson has urged Prime Minister Theresa May to use her crushing parliamentary defeat as leverage to get a better Brexit deal from European Union leaders.
Johnson said Friday that May would be able to persuade EU leaders to substantially modify the withdrawal plan if she shows enough “gumption” in crisis EU talks.
He says the scope of her historic defeat in Parliament means EU leaders will know they have to make concessions in order to come up with an agreement that would win parliamentary approval.

General Election

Some say we’re just about to go for a new GE, sys the Express.

CIVIL servants have been warned to get ready for a snap poll to break the Brexit deadlock.
They have been advised to draw up contingency plans for the poll in case an election is needed. The meetings have been taking place amid concerns the fraught situation in Westminster regarding Brexit will lead to chaos. It was also reported official guidance has been drawn up on a possible timeline for a second referendum.

Westmonster echoes the possibilities.

General Election could be about to take place.
Three Cabinet Ministers and a further six junior Ministers have instructed their local Associations to prepare for a snap election, according to the New Statesman.
They report that four of them have named 28th February as a possible date. This could move fast.
This coincides with a separate report in the Daily Mail, that the civil service have been told to get ready and draw up plans for a sudden election. Both reports came within hours of each other, is something up?
The government are denying of course. For now.

The Mail says warnings have gone out.

Three Cabinet ministers have warned their local activists to prepare for an election, it was claimed today despite Theresa May ruling out a snap poll.
A further six junior ministers have alerted their constituency associations to the risk of a new general election as Westminster is deadlocked by Brexit.
Mrs May has insisted she will not call an election for fear of causing even more chaos if the result is indecisive.

The Sun claims it’s inevitable.

ANOTHER General Election is “inevitable” Cabinet Ministers warned – amid rumours a poll is earmarked for February 28.
One Tory told The Sun they believed Theresa May would have to go back to the nation as she was “running out of road”.
They claimed an updated version of her Brexit deal would form the core of the Election manifesto – with voters told to choose between this or two more years of EU negotiations under Jeremy Corbyn.


The high-speed rail line is in further trouble, reports the Times.

The HS2 high-speed rail project is facing a £500 million lawsuit over allegations that it undervalued central London property that was compulsorily purchased to make way for the line.
Sydney & London Properties, which was forced to sell four office buildings and land in front of HS2’s terminal at Euston station, said the government-controlled company failed to take into account the area’s redevelopment potential when purchasing the land.
HS2 said the land was worth £200 million but Sydney & London believes it was worth at least £700 million, the Financial Times reported.

Human rights

The Independent reports that the government could axe the Human Rights Act.

Theresa May will consider axeing the Human Rights Act  after Brexit, despite promising she is “committed” to its protections, a minister has revealed.
The government will decide on the future of the landmark legislation once “the process of leaving the EU concludes”, a letter to a parliamentary inquiry says.
The wording was described as “troubling” by the Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee, which warned the letter casts doubt on repeated pledges to protect the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).


It could be that islamists have targeted the scout movement, reports the Telegraph.

A scout group run from a mosque is being investigated by police after a Telegraph investigation linked it to an Islamic extremist and a man associated with Holocaust denial.
The Scout Association raised the alarm after the Telegraph found the Lewisham Islamic Centre had been segregating groups by gender, despite the Scout’s own commitment to mixed-sex groups.
The investigation also found girls as young as five in the group have been encouraged to record videos advocating wearing the hijab and that contrary to the Scouts own commitment to ‘British Values’, the group’s leader Ahammed Hussain has admitted to encouraging the members to be ‘Muslims first’.

The Times has picked up the story.

A scout group for 10 to 14-year-olds run from a mosque is being investigated by police after it was linked to Islamic extremism and Holocaust denial.
The Scout Association found that the Lewisham Islamic Centre segregated boys and girls, breaking the Scouts’ commitment to mixed sex groups.
Ahammed Hussain, the group’s leader, allegedly encouraged the children to be “Muslims first”, The Daily Telegraph reported. It also claimed that girls as young as five had been encouraged to record videos encouraging Muslim women to wear the hijab.


GPs are having to work harder these days, says the Times.

The average GP is responsible for almost 200 more patients than a decade ago, with staff shortages and longer waiting times creating a “perfect storm”, doctors’ leaders say.
The number of patients over 65 is increasing at twice the rate of patients as a whole, and surgeries in some parts of the country are twice as crowded as better staffed areas.
The resulting overwork is driving GPs out of the NHS, increasing shortages that could scupper the health service’s £20 billion ten-year plan.

Rail travel

Looks like we could be in for more rail strikes, says the Mail.

Unions heaped yet more misery on rail passengers yesterday by ordering a fresh wave of industrial action – extending their disruption of services to the 49th strike in a row.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) working on Northern Rail routes across England had already planned to down tools tomorrow and next Saturday, as part of their long-running dispute over driver-only trains.
Yesterday they announced further 24-hour strikes to be held on the first three Saturdays of February – adding the 47th, 48th and 49th days.

Fake news

Facebook faces accusations in the Telegraph.

Facebook has been accused of “pumping out fake news” after running political adverts claiming endangered animals were being threatened – by Brexit.
The social media giant has been paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by Britain’s two most prominent Remain campaign groups to stir up support for a second referendum.

The post Saturday papers – 19 January 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

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