Archive for the ‘‘no deal’’ Category

News review – Tuesday 13 November 2018

News review – Tuesday 13 November 2018

WTO rules

Sun
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.

Brexit

Telegraph
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.

Sun
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.

Sun
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.

Times
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.

Express
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.

Mail
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.

Independent
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.

Mirror
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.

Guardian
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

Express
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.

Reuters
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.

Sun
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.

Guardian
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.

Fisheries

Sun
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

Telegraph
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.

Times
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.

EU

Westmonster
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.

Telegraph
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.

Independent
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

Reuters
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.

Education

Times
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.

Sun
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

Times
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.

Mail
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.

UFOs

Mail
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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News review – Monday 12 November 2018

News review – Monday 12 November 2018

Brexit

BBC News
Several cabinet ministers expressed significant doubts about the prime minister’s preferred Brexit plan from the start, the BBC has learned. Parts of Theresa May’s plan were described as “worrying”, “disappointing” and “concerning” by members of her top team back in July. Mrs May is struggling to broker an agreement on Brexit with ministers. Two ministers have told the BBC they believe there is little chance the deal would get Parliament’s backing. One of them said it was “self-harming” for the PM to keep pursuing the same strategy.

Sun
THERESA May was last night 48 HOURS from having to trigger hundreds of millions-worth of No Deal projects as Brexit talks entered deadlock. The UK’s Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins held yet another round of intense talks with the EU’s Sabine Weyand yesterday to try and solve a row over customs and the Irish border. But Whitehall sources warned the chances of a deal being ready to present to Cabinet meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday morning were drifting away. They admitted if the PM is unable to put a withdrawal agreement before the Cabinet in 48 hours the chances of a November summit with the EU are OFF.

Times
Downing Street was hoping last night for a deal with Brussels in the next 48 hours amid signs that cabinet unhappiness with the eventual package is growing. British and EU negotiators are closing in on a draft withdrawal agreement as early as tomorrow, possibly giving the green light to a leaders’ summit before the end of this month, but two crucial issues remain outstanding. The first is access to fishing rights during the backstop, the insurance plan to avoid a hard border in Ireland under which Britain would remain aligned with the EU customs union.

Independent
Theresa May has been forced to abandon plans for an emergency cabinet meeting to approve a Brexit deal, after fresh opposition at home and abroad plunged her timetable into turmoil. The prime minister shelved the meeting, pencilled in for Monday, slamming on the brakes after fierce resistance in her cabinet and in Brussels threatened to derail the path to an agreement. A government source conceded that an outline deal might not be ready by Tuesday – making it increasingly unlikely that a special EU summit to sign it off can be held in November, as hoped.

Telegraph
Theresa May’s Brexit plan will fail to get through Parliament if Britain is left “trapped” in a Customs Union with the EU against its will, the Leader of the Commons has warned.  Andrea Leadsom, a leading Eurosceptic Cabinet minister, warned that the EU cannot be allowed to stop Britain from leaving the Customs Union after Brexit.  She said that any arrangement which gave the EU a power of veto would “fail to fulfill the will of the people expressed at the referendum” and be voted down.  Her stark warning came as the EU rejected the Prime Minister’s plan for an “independent mechanism” to oversee how the UK might leave a temporary customs arrangements if Brexit talks collapsed.

Huffington Post
The UK must not agree to a Brexit deal which leaves it “trapped in a customs arrangement” with the EU, Andrea Leadsom has insisted. The leader of the Commons said she was “sticking in the government” to ensure the UK cannot be “held against its will” in a customs arrangement if a Brexit backstop deal is agreed. With the need to avoid a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland a major sticking point for Theresa May, the UK is likely to agree to a backstop while it negotiates its future relationship with the EU. This could see the whole of the UK effectively remain within the EU’s customs union.

Guardian
Theresa May’s Brexit plan is under siege from across the Tory party as she attempts to overcome the final sticking points with Brussels in time to push it through a critical meeting of her cabinet ministers on Tuesday. As time runs out, leading Brexiters have told the prime minister they remain deeply opposed to her version of an exit mechanism that would prevent the UK unilaterally quitting a temporary customs arrangement if Brexit talks collapse. Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader and a prominent Eurosceptic, said she was “sticking in government” to make sure the UK did not end up trapped in a customs arrangement.

Express
THERESA MAY’s “so-called Chequers proposals are in truth very far from dead” and the Brexit model will be “at the heart” of the deal she will “shortly and magically secure”, Boris Johnson has argued. The former Foreign Secretary used his weekly newspaper column to stage a dramatic Brexit intervention amid his brother’s bombshell resignation last week. Mr Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “The so-called Chequers proposals are in truth very far from dead. “The essence of the idea – that the UK should remain in the customs union and the single market for goods and agri-food – is what the backstop entails.”

Sky News
Boris Johnson is calling on his former cabinet colleagues to stage a mutiny over Theresa May’s Brexit plan – but he admits “it will make little difference”. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Johnson says the PM is “on the verge of total surrender” to Brussels and her proposals are “a recipe for continued strife”. “We are on the verge of signing up for something even worse than the current constitutional position. These are terms that might be enforced on a colony,” he adds. Mr Johnson’s stinging attack on Number 10 comes days after his brother,

Breitbart
Boris Johnson has once again laid into the government’s EU plan, insisting that he agreed with his resigning brother Jo’s criticism that it amounted to the “worst of both worlds” and that it “must be thrown out wholesale”. Writing for The Telegraph, BoJo claims that the “ambition of the government – as set out at Chequers and never yet repudiated by the Prime Minister – is to remain in captivity: to stay in our cell, even if we are given the theoretical key to escape”. Ouch. Further more he insists that “on the present plans we will be a vassal state, and in the Customs Union, until such time as our EU partners may feel moved to enter into fresh negotiations on a trade deal”.

Sun
BORIS Johnson has urged Theresa May’s Cabinet to stage a mutiny to thwart her Brexit plans. He said the PM is “on the verge of total surrender” and ready to make Britain “the punk of Brussels”. The former foreign secretary believes her “shameful” plans will leave the UK “trapped” in a customs union indefinitely. 
Mr Johnson hit out days after his brother Jo resigned as Transport Minister and called for another referendum. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: “As my brother Joseph rightly said when he resigned last week, we are already looking at the biggest failure of UK statecraft since Suez.”

Express
BORIS Johnson has warned the UK Government is on the verge of “total surrender” to Brussels as the Brexit talks enter their crucial final stage. In a scathing attack on Theresa May’s negotiating strategy, the former foreign secretary said Britain is about to sign up to something “even worse” than its current deal. Likening the divorce terms to those that “might be enforced on a colony”, Mr Johnson claimed the Prime Minister intends to keep the UK “in captivity” to the EU through its customs union. His latest criticism comes as Mrs May faces renewed pressure from Tories on both sides of the Brexit divide.

No deal plus

Express
JACOB Rees-Mogg has set out his new “no deal plus” vision for Brexit to break the deadlock between the UK and EU, urging Theresa May to finally abandon her unpopular Chequers blueprint. The leading Brexiteer has put forward his “compromise” as the Prime Minister faces major divisions within her party over her Brexit plans, as well as reports of opposition from the EU. Under Mr Rees-Mogg’s proposal, the UK would pay £20 billion to the EU, in what the chair of the influential European Research Group (ERG) has described as a “generous offer” to make Britain’s departure from the bloc as “amicable as possible”.

EU

Express
THERESA May is facing another crisis in her cabinet after the EU officials rejected her key Brexit proposal that would avoid the UK being trapped in the customs union. The Prime Minister had called for an “independent mechanism” that could allow the UK to quit a temporary customs arrangement if Brexit talks collapsed. The plan briefed to senior members of her cabinet including attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox aimed to finally solve the remaining issue of the “Irish backstop” with the bloc. A
Whitehall source told the Sunday Times, Mrs May’s plan is the governments “life-support machine” adding: “By rejecting the proposal, the EU has just turned off the oxygen.”

Huffington Post
Theresa May’s hopes of securing a Brexit deal have suffered a major setback after the EU signalled it could not accept a key plank of the UK’s plans, HuffPost has been told.  The EU27 have rejected Britain’s proposed model for independent arbitration of a temporary customs partnership with the bloc, senior Whitehall sources have revealed. The fresh diplomatic roadblock emerged as rumours swirled that at least one Cabinet minister was on the edge of quitting in the wake of the resignation of transport minister Jo Johnson

Conservative Party

Sun
TORY ‘Remainers’ are preparing No Confidence letters in Theresa May as the UK edges towards a No Deal, the Sun can reveal. A furious senior Tory last night stormed “it’s now clear the Prime Minister is the problem” and it was time for a change in No 10. Another – who asked not to be named – said backbenchers were actively planning what to do as “we are staring into the abyss”. Until now it has been the Eurosceptic side of the Tory party that has submitted No Confidence letters in a bid to topple the PM – furious at her for a ‘sell out’ on Brexit. Today’s revelations that PRO-EU Tories are now minded to follow suit will terrify party big wigs. Just 48 letters are needed from Tory MPs to trigger a leadership election.

Express
THERESA May’s Cabinet remains deeply divided over Brexit as the Prime Minister prepares to sell plans for the Northern Irish border to her inner circle at a crunch meeting this week. Agreeing a safety net to avoid a hard border in Ireland is the final obstacle blocking a withdrawal agreement, but senior ministers are at odds over whether the UK can secure terms which allow it to break free from the ‘backstop’. Brexiteers have warned that the wording of the agreement could trap Britain in the EU’s customs union indefinitely. Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom yesterday insisted the UK must be able to leave any customs agreement. But her Cabinet colleague, Education Secretary Damian Hinds, said the EU would be “very, very unlikely” to agree to such terms.

Labour Party

Telegraph
Labour is facing a deepening split after Emily Thornberry insisted the party could back a second referendum despite Jeremy Corbyn insisting that Brexit could not be stopped. Divisions on the Labour frontbench appeared to widen on Sunday, after the shadow foreign secretary appeared to contradict an interview given by Mr Corbyn just days beforehand. Speaking to the German newspaper
Der Spiegel on Friday, the Labour leader said that Article 50 was irrevocable and that his party had to “recognise the reasons why people voted leave”.

Independent
Emily Thornberry has sought to calm Labour anger by saying the party could still back a Final Say referendum – just a day after Jeremy Corbyn rubbished the idea. The shadow foreign secretary said “all options remain on the table” if Labour fails to force a general election by voting against the Brexit deal Theresa May still hopes to strike within the next few days. Mr Corbyn has angered Labour MPs and supporters by arguing Brexit cannot be stopped – and by going on to reject the growing calls for a fresh public vote. But Ms Thornberry said: “If we don’t have a general election then, yes, of course all the options remain on the table.

Reuters
British Prime Minister Theresa May cannot expect the opposition Labour Party to save her in a parliamentary vote on any Brexit deal, Emily Thornberry, Labour’s foreign affairs policy chief, said on Sunday. “What we’ve said is that you cannot simply come to the House of Commons with a bit of nonsense … you cannot expect the Labour Party to save you from your own backbenchers,” Thornberry told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, saying Labour would vote against any deal that did not meet its tests. If May loses the vote in parliament, Thornberry said: “First stage is we demand a general election … if we don’t get a general election, then what we have said is all options remain on the table.”

Independent
Jeremy Corbyn has rejected growing calls for a Final Say referendum, despite a backlash from his own MPs for saying Brexit cannot be stopped. The Labour leader faced strong criticism – including from a shadow minister – after an interview in which he insisted the process of EU withdrawal could not be halted. Matthew Pennycook, a Brexit spokesman, took to Twitter to point out that Labour’s agreed policy is to leave the door open to “another referendum in which Remain cannot be ruled out as an option”. Pro-EU backbenchers accused Mr Corbyn of a “dereliction of duty” and warned he would never be forgiven for ignoring the overwhelming wishes of Labour members.

Breitbart
EU loyalist politicians have been left seething after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the German press it was too late to stop Brexit. Speaking to
Der Spiegel, the ageing socialist answered in the negative when his interviewer asked, “If you could stop Brexit, would you?” “We can’t stop it. The referendum took place. Article 50 has been triggered. What we can do is recognize the reasons why people voted Leave,” he said, adding that “a lot of people have been totally angered by the way in which their communities have been left behind.”

Fixed odds betting terminals

Sun
BORIS JOHNSON will this week lead a cross-party rebellion over delays to a crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), The Sun can reveal. Sources claimed he is one of SIXTY Tory, Labour, DUP and SNP MPs who will support an amendment demanding the Chancellor bring forward a cut in the maximum stake to £2 from October 2019. The amendment could be laid by former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith and Labour’s Carolyn Harris as early as Monday. 
And it will leave Theresa May and the Treasury facing a crushing defeat when the issue goes to a Commons debate on November 20th.

Health

Guardian
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, is to meet the French president, Emmanuel Macron, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, and other world leaders at a summit on new technologies that could revolutionise health and social care. 
The minister will champion the UK’s genomics, life sciences and artificial intelligence programmes as he addresses the GovTech summit in Paris on Monday about how innovation can transform patients’ lives. “I’ve said I’ll scour the world to find technology to improve the NHS.

Knife crime

Mail
Police chiefs want an expansion of stop and search powers to combat knife crime by lowering the level of suspicion an officer needs to take action. They want to scrap the requirement that ‘reasonable grounds’ are needed before a suspect can be frisked. It came as Home Secretary Sajid Javid was last night locked in a bitter war of words with the police over how to fight the violence epidemic which has seen 250 knife killings in Britain this year. Adrian Hanstock, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said talks had been held with Mr Javid over stepping up stop and search.

Guardian
The wave of knife crime may be linked directly to the police budget cuts instigated by the coalition government and continued under Theresa May, a former head of Scotland Yard has suggested. Speaking to the
Observer after a week in which five people were stabbed to death in London, Lord Blair said the fact that violent crime had risen alongside a reduction in police funding may not be a coincidence. In 2010, when the Conservatives came to power with the Liberal Democrats and began cutting spending, the capital had 4.1 officers per 1,000 Londoners, but by 2016-17 the ratio had dropped to 3.3 officers per 1,000, according to figures from city hall.

Sun
POLICE chiefs want to expand their stop and search powers to halt Britain’s knife crimewave. The current requirement of “reasonable grounds” for a search could be scrapped under the plans. It comes amid a crime surge that has seen at least 250 UK knife death victims this year. Senior officers have held talks with Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s advisers over the past fortnight to discuss the issue. Adrian Hanstock, British Transport Police’s deputy chief constable, said current requirements — from the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 — are out of date. He suggested officers should be able to carry out a search if they “are concerned a person may have something to cause harm”.

Antibiotics

Times
The World Health Organization has described increased antibiotic resistance as one of the greatest threats facing global public health. As disease-causing micro-organisms evolve and adapt, they naturally become more resistant to the antibiotics we have developed to destroy them, but the overuse and misuse of drugs is accelerating the process. A review commissioned by the UK government warned that the number of people dying worldwide every year from superbugs could increase from the 700,000 reported in 2016 to ten million by 2050.

Gas

Times
Britain needs more gas storage sites to reduce the risk of a supply shortage that could lead to blackouts, a leading energy consultancy has warned. The country’s gas supply position is “precarious” and winter shortfalls could jeopardise fuel supplies for power stations, according to Wood Mackenzie. Graham Freedman, its principal analyst for European gas, accused the government of “taking its eye off the ball” after the closure of Britain’s main storage site and urged it to act to “get some more gas storage in place”. The question of gas security has risen up the agenda after the “Beast from the East” cold snap in the spring, when a supply scare led to prices surging to two-decade highs.

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Saturday papers – 10 November 2018

Saturday papers – 10 November 2018

Conservative Party

The Prime Minister is facing a further revolt within her party. The Telegraph says:

Theresa May’s hopes of getting a Brexit deal through Parliament were dealt a major blow on Friday after the transport minister Jo Johnson resigned so he can vote against the Prime Minister’s “terrible mistake”.
The Remain-supporting brother of Boris Johnson said Britain now “stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War” with Mrs May about to present MPs with a choice between “vassalage and chaos”.
He said he and Boris – who led the Leave campaign – were now “united in dismay”.

The Times reports:

Theresa May’s domestic woes deepened last night after Jo Johnson resigned as a transport minister, declaring her approach to Brexit a failure on a scale not seen since Suez.
Mr Johnson, who backed Remain in the 2016 referendum and is the brother of Boris Johnson, stunned colleagues by walking out of government while Mrs May’s plan was still being finalised.
In an uncompromising statement he called the proposed withdrawal agreement, which sets out the terms for Britain’s departure from the European Union, a “terrible mistake” that leaves the country in a far worse negotiating position than at present.

And the Guardian claims the resignation will damage the PM’s hopes of getting her deal through Parliament. 

Theresa May’s hopes of winning parliament’s backing for her Brexit deal have been plunged into fresh doubt after Jo Johnson resigned from the government and accused her of offering MPs a choice between “vassalage and chaos”.
Four months after his Brexiter brother Boris quit as foreign secretary, the remainer MP for Orpington, and erstwhile transport minister, said he could not vote for the deal that May is expected to bring back to parliament within weeks, and instead would throw his weight behind a second referendum.

The Mail reports a call for other Tories to follow suit.

Jo Johnson’s resignation as Theresa May tries to strike a Brexit deal tonight has sparked a call for other Tories to do the same. The Orpington MP, brother of Boris Johnson, said that the emerging package – which the PM hopes to finalise within days – was a massive failure in British statecraft on the scale of Suez.
It comes as the DUP said it won’t back Theresa May’s apparent advocacy of a Northern Ireland backstop measure to avoid a hard border on Ireland.
If the DUP and Mrs May fail to agree, her government – which relies on the Northern Irish party for a majority – could collapse. 

No deal

It seems some members of Mrs May’s cabinet have already drawn up plans for ‘no deal’, the Sun reports.

CABINET Ministers have drawn up a secret No Deal “Plan B” in case Parliament votes down Theresa May’s deal, The Sun can reveal.
The Prime Minister has been confronted with a plan that would see the UK leave with No Deal in March next year but pay £18billion to delay the pain by two years.
The alternative brainchild of Cabinet Brexiteers would see the UK continue to pay the same amount as membership fees up until 2021 and follow EU rules to avoid a cliff edge exit.
But crucially it would mean the UK would be able to negotiate with Brussels as a “third country” for two years, which they believe would make hammering out a new Free Trade agreement easier.

Sky News claims the plans are necessary because the deal will not get through the House.

Cabinet ministers have presented Theresa May with a detailed plan for a “no-deal” Brexit amid increasing fears MPs will vote down her deal in the House of Commons.
The plan emerged after Jo Johnson, a transport minister, resigned from the government over Brexit and vowed to vote against Mrs May’s deal in the Commons.
A group of senior ministers briefed the prime minister on the secret plan earlier this month.
It could be deployed in a bid to avoid a chaotic exit if no agreement can be reached or if a deal is voted down.

But we can expect a relaunch of fears that the UK could fall apart in the event of no deal says the Telegraph.

Trade barriers will bring exports grinding to a halt. Just-in-time supply chains will freeze up. Foreign investment will collapse, the pound will be turned into charred toast and we’ll lose access to the skilled European workers we need to keep the economy growing. When a new group called “Business For a People’s Vote” is launched later this week we can expect to hear a lot of arguments against leaving the European Union and for a referendum on the final deal that emerges.
A wide range of senior industrialists have already thrown their weight behind that and a lot more will be tempted to do so in the next few weeks. After all, most business leaders wanted to remain inside the EU.

GE

But could we have a second referendum or perhaps a General Election? In an exclusive report, the Telegraph claims the Labour leader has been meeting top spooks.

Jeremy Corbyn has met with the head of MI6 for the first time in anticipation of a snap election triggered by the collapse of the Brexit negotiations, The Telegraph has learnt.
The Labour leader recently met with Alex Younger, the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, during which the importance of the agency’s work and the severity of the threats facing Britain were made clear to him.
A Whitehall official with knowledge of the meeting said: “The feeling was that the time had come for Mr Corbyn to become acquainted with the workings of the intelligence establishment.”

The Mail also has the report.

Jeremy Corbyn has met the boss of MI6 for the first time amid concerns there could be another snap general election.
The Labour leader was given a briefing by the intelligence chief on potential threats to the nation.
It comes as the potential for another election has been predicted if Theresa May‘s Brexit negotiations fail.

Columnists

The columnists have been expounding their views. In the Telegraph Juliet Samuel says:

The whole map of Europe has been changed,” said Winston Churchill after the end of World War One, “but as the deluge subsides and the waters fall, we see the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and Tyrone emerging once again.”
When even supposed arch-loyalists like Jo Johnson are resigning, modern Tories will know how Churchill and his contemporaries felt. A hundred years after the Irish question threatened to tear British politics apart, it’s back, and, thanks to the almost incredible parliamentary maths generated by last year’s election, which handed the balance of power to the DUP, it’s as intractable as ever.

Matthew Paris in the Times says:

Who killed Cock Robin? Brexit has failed and the only question now is about the ownership of failure. Who wants the blame? In the end few will. Bravely, Jo Johnson yesterday joined those with the principle (and foresight) to say so. But the day is coming when it is those who did not jump ship who will look “brave”. That’s why I doubt Theresa May will get her deal through parliament.
Hands up who wants their names printed under aye in the division list in Hansard after the “meaningful vote” on her deal? Who in two years’ time, as we look back on Britain’s ignominious humbling by the European Union, and the battle rages on about our future relationship.

And the Mails Andrew Pierce lauds the retiring minister.

Jo Johnson, modest, reticent and something of a loner, has long been regarded by Westminster watchers as a paler version of his flamboyant older brother Boris.
He’s the Bobby Ewing to Boris’s ‘charismatic, naughty JR in Dallas’, according to one political commentator.
There was, however, nothing pale about the full-blooded assault Jo launched on the Prime Minister yesterday as he blatantly borrowed from his sibling’s playbook.

In the Mail, Peter Oborne says:

For the past two years, Brexit has advanced at a snail’s pace. There have been frequent reports that negotiations had broken down, and that Theresa May was finished.
I never gave them any credence. The truth, as I have reported regularly in this column, is that talks have advanced much more smoothly than was widely understood.
Hundreds of civil servants — the unsung heroes of the Brexit process — on both sides of the Channel have quietly been working to negotiate an outcome which they hope will succeed, both for Britain and Europe.

Ireland

But there are still questions over the Irish border. The Independent reports:

Theresa May has warned her DUP allies that a customs border in the Irish sea may be written into the UK’s Brexit divorce deal, according to reports.
In a leaked letter, the prime minister tells unionist leader Arlene Foster that Brussels is pushing for the measure as a so-called “backstop to the backstop” on Northern Ireland’s customs status in case negotiations break down.
Ms May wants a deal containing a backstop measure creating a temporary “joint customs territory” with the EU for the whole of the UK.
But the bloc appears to be insisting on a fallback proposal aimed at avoiding a hard border between Ireland and the UK.

The Mirror claims this is a betrayal.

Theresa May was accused of a “total betrayal” amid claims she is set to back a Brexit border in the Irish Sea.
The Prime Minister has written to the DUP , triggering fears she will cave into Brussels’ demands for a Northern Ireland-only “backstop to the backstop” in case of a no-deal exit.
In the letter, obtained by The Times, Mrs May said: “I am clear that I could not accept there being any circumstances or conditions in which that ‘backstop to the backstop’, which would break up the UK customs territory, could come in to force.”

The DUP leader is not happy, reports BBC News

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said her party will “not be able to support” Theresa May’s latest proposals aimed at resolving the Brexit deadlock.
The party accused the PM of breaking promises over plans to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The plans were revealed in a letter from Theresa May to Mrs Foster, leaked to the Times.
Downing Street reiterated the PM’s commitment to avoiding a hard border.

And the DUP leader has written for the Telegraph.

In any negotiation process all participants need to be conscious of an inherent risk, namely, that their own participation creates a sense of ownership and attachment.
The long hours, the focus on one new draft after another can cloud the original objective. The desire to produce the right deal can be superseded by the perceived need to produce a deal.
This is why all negotiations need measures to prevent this, a check mechanism and preferably multiple ones.

Former Ireland minister Peter Hain has written for the Guardian.

It comes as no surprise that the EU withdrawal negotiations are going to the wire on the Irish border. That’s because hardline Tories are actually demanding Theresa May ignore legal commitments she has already made – and that even they went along with. This issue has flared up again today because Democratic Unionist party leader Arlene Foster has claimed the prime minister is “wedded to a border down the Irish Sea”.
Neither Jacob Rees-Mogg nor the DUP have ever had a workable alternative plan for the Irish border.

The Sun says the plans are on the verge of failure due to the intransigence of the EU.

THERESA May’s hopes for a November Brexit deal were hanging by a thread last night after a fresh row with Brussels over how a temporary customs “backstop” with the EU will end.
The Sun can reveal stubborn Eurocrats are refusing to agree to a mechanism which would allow the UK to walk away from the pact if Brussels “acts in bad faith” during future trade talks.
UK negotiators have all but abandoned plans for a specific time limit on the backstop, but want the insurance plan to be automatically terminated if Brussels try to use it to keep Britain tied to their red tape forever.

EU

But even if May can get the deal through her own parliament, it seems the EU members may not be happy says the Huffington Post.

Theresa May’s hopes of securing a Brexit deal have suffered a major setback after the EU signalled it could not accept a key plank of the UK’s plans, HuffPost has been told.
The EU27 have rejected Britain’s proposed model for independent arbitration of a temporary customs partnership with the bloc, senior Whitehall sources have revealed.
The fresh diplomatic roadblock emerged as rumours swirled that at least one Cabinet minister was on the edge of quitting in the wake o
f the resignation of transport minister Jo Johnson.

Westmonster calls them ‘bullies’.

EU chiefs are continuing with their bully boy tactics, not only steadfastly refusing to negotiate over their ejection of the Italian government’s budget but also insisting that the country has “no future” outside of the Eurozone.
The EU’s Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has said that he is “concerned about the word compromise” and “there cannot be a sort of negotiation on this”.
Moscovici also warned against Quitaly exiting the Eurozone: “We would like Italy to remain what it is, a major country within the Eurozone, there is no future for Italy outside the Eurozone, there is no future for Europe without Italy.”

Fisheries

Yet another demand from Brussels could cause problems, says Sky News.

Theresa May could face fresh a fresh rebellion of Tory MPs over reported EU demands for access to UK fishing waters after Brexit.
Senior Brussels diplomats were quoted in The Telegraph saying EU fishing fleets must be granted access in exchange for a UK-wide customs union forming part of the backstop deal.
They reportedly want to “extract a high price” for the concession if a trade deal is not reached before the expected transition period ends in December 2020.

Breitbart also has the story.

The European Union is demanding it retain control of Britain’s ravaged fisheries as the price of approving Theresa May’s plan to keep the country in the EU Customs Union, according to reports.
The Prime Minister’s proposals for Britain to duplicate EU rules and regulations through a ‘common rulebook’ managed by EU judges and to remain within the bloc’s Customs Union — effectively preventing the country from reestablishing an independent trade policy — were originally seen as heavy concessions, but there is now a sense in Westminster that entering into such an arrangement would be some sort of victory, as Brussels has been resisting it.

In an exclusive report that UKIP Daily does not entirely dismiss as fake news, the Sun claims the ‘final solution’ could be revived. Surely not.

A SECRET army of 200 elite soldiers planned to slaughter politicians and immigrants in Germany, it is revealed today.
Authorities have smashed the plot by serving and former neo-Nazi members of the country’s special forces to wreak havoc on “Day X”.
The sensational conspiracy is uncovered in a seven-page report by Berlin news weekly Focus.
The breakaway group of the Bundeswehr’s KSK — the equivalent to the SAS — aimed to kill Green Party leader Claudia Roth, foreign minister Heiko Mass and former president Joachim Gauck.
Death squads planned to lure them and other left-wingers to remote locations and assassinate them.
Leaders of asylum seeker groups blamed for terrorism, rapes and social unrest were also in their sights.

Police

Away from front line politics, the country’s top cop is criticised in the Telegraph.

Britain’s most senior police officer says the Government is leaving police “hamstrung” in the fight against violent crime.
Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, says the Home Office has “stepped back a lot” and needs to show “greater leadership”.
Ms Dick says the failure to introduce laws which allow officers to use facial recognition technology to catch “bad guys” has left her officers “hamstrung”. She adds that the battle against violent crime would be easier with funding for more officers.

The Mail says she is unable to control crime.

The nation’s top police officer has accused the Government of leaving police unable to stop violent crime.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said officers ‘hamstrung’ and called on the Home Office to show ‘greater leadership’.
She slammed a failure to introduce laws allowing police to use facial recognition and said more funding is needed.

NHS

Flu jabs have run out and there’s a blame game over who is responsible in the Mail.

NHS bosses and GPs are blaming each other for failing to provide enough flu jabs for the over-65s.
Thousands of elderly patients have not yet been vaccinated after surgeries and chemists ran out of stock.
One pharmacist in Bristol said he was turning away 15 elderly patients a day and shortages have also been reported in Surrey, Kent, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Bolton. The problems were triggered by the rollout of a new jab.

Train travel

Is HS2 worth the effort? The Times reports:

HS2 plans to eradicate delays caused by track failures by installing scanners on the front of trains to detect faults before they cause chaos for passengers.
Lasers, acoustic sensors and rapid-frame cameras would survey tracks and overhead cables at up to 225mph and the technology will give a real-time picture of the 140-mile line between London and Birmingham.
Up to 18 trains an hour running in each direction will survey the route, taking 300 frames a second to enable engineers to find faults when they develop.

ITV News claims there will be no delays on the new track.

There will be no unplanned delays due to HS2 track problems, the company building the high speed railway has claimed.
In a UK first, infrastructure monitoring equipment such as video, lasers and acoustic sensors will be fitted to passenger trains to assess the condition of rail and overhead power cables.
Engineers will analyse the data in real time, meaning they can identify any problems and carry out maintenance before a fault affects punctuality on the £55.7 billion railway, according to HS2 Ltd.

And train drivers have been told to reduce pollution, says the Telegraph.

Train operators have been told that their drivers must switch off diesel engines in major stations amid fears that passengers on platforms are exposed to dangerously high levels of pollution.
The Department for Transport says that companies will be expected to introduce technology to reduce pollution from “idling” diesel trains. This includes using engine “stop-start” systems at platforms and drawing power from trackside sources.

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