Posts Tagged ‘DUP’

News review – Monday 21 May 2018

News review – Monday 21 May 2018


The Democratic Unionist Party leader has reached out to nationalists in Northern Ireland as research revealed that most Catholics find customs checks on the border with the Republic after Brexit “almost impossible to accept”.
Arlene Foster writes on The Times website today that the people of Northern Ireland do not want to see different communities in conflict. “Unionists want to live in harmony with their nationalist neighbours. They want to grow our economy and share prosperity. They want the next generation to live in better times,” she writes. Mrs Foster will address a Policy Exchange conference on the Union in Westminster today.


HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds worth of donations to fast-track Brexit have allegedly been rejected in what donors have branded an “incompetent” plot by Theresa May to keep Briton shackled to Brussels.
Brexiteer Jeremy Hosking claimed one of Mrs May’s top aides blocked numerous attempts by the wealthy financier to donate hefty sums to quicken Britain’s departure from the EU under a campaign dubbed “Brexit Express”. Mr Hoskin alleges an aide made it as near-impossible to contact constituencies to hand over cash that would be used to fight remain-backing MPs in last year’s disastrous election.

Theresa May’s Brexit incompetence is actually a deliberate strategy to keep Britain shackled to the European Union, according to a top Conservative donor. Jeremy Hosking wrote for the Sunday Telegraph: “Those who think the government is vacillating or making a mess of Brexit due to incompetence are wrong. It is part of a strategy, it’s going to plan and the inference from experience of Brexit Express is that the Prime Minister herself is probably implicated. “Our intention was to build on the referendum result and donate £5,000 to each Conservative candidate facing a non-Tory Remainer opponent in every Leave-voting constituency. “There were 140 of them, all held by opposition MPs, all of which would be up for grabs to a party that was enthusiastic about Brexit.

Boris Johnson has told Eurosceptic Tory MPs to give the Prime Minister “time and space” to deliver Brexit but warned she must not betray the country by keeping Britain in the customs union.
Speaking in Peru, the Foreign Secretary said that Britain must be free to do “unhindered” trade deals as soon as the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019. He said that an Irish backstop, which would tie Britain to the customs union beyond 2021 if no solution to the Irish border issue can be found, must only be used as a last resort. The Prime Minister’s Cabinet is bitterly divided over future customs arrangements with the EU.

Boris Johnson has delivered a thinly-veiled warning to Theresa May that he and his fellow Brexiters still expect her to deliver a deal that avoids triggering the “backstop” that would keep Britain aligned to the customs union beyond 2020.
The foreign secretary lost the argument in last week’s Brexit inner cabinet, when senior ministers agreed the UK would retain key aspects of the customs union if a solution to the Irish border problem was not found. This backstop has been one of the sticking points in talks with the EU27 and some in Westminster believe it could become the post-Brexit norm if Brussels accepts the UK’s proposal. But Johnson insisted: “Brexiters fearing betrayal over the customs backstop must understand that the PM has been very clear that it is not an outcome we desire; we want a deal with the EU and she will deliver it.”

BORIS Johnson last night dramatically warned Theresa May her post-Brexit customs plan must not lead to a “betrayal” of the referendum vote to quit the EU.
In a fresh salvo in the Cabinet squabble over future ties to Brussels, the Foreign Secretary publicly signalled his lack of enthusiasm for the so-called “backstop” proposal being floated as a solution to the Northern Ireland border problem. He urged Tory Brexit supporters to give the Prime Minister the “time and space” needed to negotiate a trade deal with the EU. But the Foreign Secretary also insisted they will not accept any extension of the UK’s alignment with EU tariffs beyond 2020 that keeps Britain effectively in the bloc’s customs union indefinitely.


Nicola Sturgeon has announced she is to “restart” her campaign for Scottish independence ahead of a long-awaited revamp of her economic blueprint this week that could see her ditching the pound
The First Minister said the imminent publication of a report by the SNP’s Economic Growth Commission, set up in 2016, would be an “important moment” in her battle to break up the UK. It has been reported the 400-page document will recommend that the pound would be used in a transition period after independence, before moving to a new Scottish currency that would initially be pegged to sterling.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will “restart” the debate on   Scottish independence 
in the coming weeks. The comments from the SNP leader came as her party prepares to publish its economic growth commission, presenting its findings on economic policy options for an independent Scotland. She said the commission, set up in 2016 and chaired by the former SNP MSP Andrew Wilson, would offer the opportunity for a debate on Scotland’s future based on “ambition and hope”. Ms Sturgeon added that she would consider the timing of a second vote on independence in autumn, when the UK has some “clarity” about the Brexit outcome and the future UK-EU relationship.

Sky News
Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to “restart a debate” about Scottish independence over the next couple of weeks.
Scotland’s first minister is planning to “consider” the timing of a second independence referendum once the UK government has agreed a Brexit deal with the EU later this year. Ahead of the launch this week of a new blueprint for Scottish independence – which will reportedly recommend the creation of a Scottish currency – Ms Sturgeon spoke of “an important moment” in the SNP’s case for breaking away from the rest of the UK. The SNP leader told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “Once we get some clarity, which hopefully we will in the autumn of this year, about the Brexit outcome and the future relationship between the UK and the EU then I will consider again this question of the timing of an independence referendum.


A new brand of young, well-organised and tech-savvy extremists are giving the far right a ‘more respectable’ appearance, an anti-fascist group has warned.
Tom Dupré, the 23-year-old co-leader of the extreme anti-immigration group Generation Identity, works as a City banker for Standard Chartered.  The British branch of GI, which spans across 13 countries, has become the ‘most active far-right group in Britain’, a report from the group Hope Not Hate has said.  The right-wing activists ‘consciously seek to portray an image of normality and respectability’ but support a policy of ‘remigration’ for ethnic minorities, the report said. Hope Not Hate’s 28-page report on GI, entitled ‘A New Threat’, said the far right had tried to distance itself from previous anti-migrant groups such as the English Defence League. 

Labour Party

John McDonnell has promised to pursue the overthrow of capitalism and legislate to force private companies to share profits if he becomes chancellor.
Mr McDonnell, an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, said he wanted to transform society “in a way that radically changes the system”. Asked if his job was the overthrow of capitalism, he replied: “Yes it is. It’s transforming the economy.” Pressed on whether there was a difference between transforming the economy and overthrowing capitalism, he said: “I don’t think there is . . . I want a socialist society.” Asked by the BBC what he would do to private businesses Mr McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, replied: “We’d follow France’s example: they legislate for profit sharing.

A KILLJOY Labour MP demanded the “jingoistic” National Anthem be axed – just hours after Harry and Meghan tied the knot.
Kensington politician Emma Dent Coad – who previously mocked Prince Harry’s military record – said the words to God Save the Queen were “very disturbing” when they were read, and called for a new national song. The ‘Corbynista’ then went on to shamelessly say that Prince Diana would have been unhappy at the amount the couple spent on their big day. And she slammed the Royals – claiming: “All they are allowed to do is wear beautiful clothes and be nice to people, which doesn’t work for me.” The backbencher was speaking at anti-monarchist group Republic’s national convention on Saturday, which took place as the nation tuned in en masse to watch the wedding.

Morning Star
LABOUR’S youth organisation Young Labour condemned attempts by its chair today to undermine the party’s policy on Brexit.
Young Labour national chair Miriam Mirwitch, an Owen Smith supporter, had co-signed a statement with Labour Students chair Melantha Chittenden demanding that party members be given a say in Labour’s Brexit policy. Both are party rightwingers and contributors to the Blairite magazine Progress. The letter, which said that “we deserve to have our voices heard by our own party,” included a link to LabourSay.EU, a website that is a data-collecting operation for Progress and fellow anti-Corbyn candidates in the party’s impending national executive committee elections.

Conservative Party

The Conservative Party should broaden its appeal beyond its core voters and show that it understands change, Michael Gove says in a speech to be given today.
The environment secretary will tell the launch of Onward, a think tank, that the party must go further to reach new communities. “The Conservative Party is at its best when it appeals beyond its core vote and puts forward a reforming, forward-looking agenda that responds to the concerns of the entire nation,” he says. “At last year’s election we proved that our values and policies resonate in places once thought impenetrable Labour strongholds, but we need to go further to convince more people that we understand the need for change.”

THE CONSERVATIVES will be “finished for a generation” if they don’t broaden their appeal – a group backed by Michael Gove claims.
A new think tank called ‘Onward’ said the Tory Party would “forfeit its political relevance” if it failed to act. The group is backed by both the Environment Secretary and Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader. Sources claimed their first project will be devising a way to solve the housing crisis. The launch comes amid claims Tory MPs are already preparing for a snap election this AUTUMN – given the deadlock on Brexit. Some MPs are said to have asked their local associations to be readopted as prospective parliamentary candidate in readiness.

Theresa May’s Conservatives must find new ways to broaden their appeal or risk forfeiting the party’s political relevance, a new think tank set up by a former aide to the prime minister has warned.
The plea for a change in direction comes ahead of the launch of  Onward, a centre-right think tank, on Monday, with the environment secretary, Michael Gove, and the Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson both expected to make appearances. It has been set up by Will Tanner, formerly deputy head of Ms May’s policy unit in Downing Street, and the Conservative MP Neil O’Brien, who both suggest the party could “be finished for at least a generation” unless it finds fresh ways to respond to ordinary voters’ concerns.

Michael Gove and Ruth Davidson have come together to back a new Tory thinktank with a warning that, without fresh ideas and a broader appeal, the party will be “be finished for at least a generation”.
Gove, the environment secretary, who has long been one of the party’s most influential thinkers, said: “The Conservative party is at its best when it appeals beyond its core vote and puts forward a reforming, forward-looking agenda that responds to the concerns of the entire nation.” Last week, a YouGov poll for another Tory thinktank, the Centre for Policy Studies, found that nearly half of 18- to24-year-olds said they would never vote Conservative. At the 2017 election, the tipping point when people were more likely to have voted Tory than Labour rose from 34 to 47.

General election

NOBODY tell Brenda from Bristol, but some MPs are worried that there could be another election – THIS autumn.
Some politicians think that a series of defeats in the Commons could infuriate hard-line Brexiteers into triggering a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister. Sources said that there was no Brexit compromise that would be acceptable for both Leavers and Remainers, and speculated that they would trigger a leadership battle and possibly another election.One MP told the  Sunday Times that they were already getting leaflets ready, and speculated that the poll could come “as early as the autumn”. They said: “The numbers are against us and if we face repeated defeats when the withdrawal bill returns to the Commons, the only alternative will be to kick over the table and trigger a vote of no confidence in the prime minister, which will likely lead to another general election.”


The Royal Air Force has taken control of military space operations and the number of staff employed on defending Britain’s interests outside the earth’s atmosphere will grow by a fifth to 600.
Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, revealed details of this emerging dimension of warfare as he said that a new space strategy would focus on developing a satellite navigation system separate to the EU project that Britain could be excluded from after Brexit. “We must make sure we are primed and ready to deter and counter the intensifying threats to our everyday life that are emerging in space,” Mr Williamson said before the country’s first defence space conference, which opens in London today.


Roman Abramovich’s visa to enter Britain has not been renewed, it was revealed yesterday, a move that is likely to raise tensions between Britain and Russia.
It meant that the Russian oligarch was unable to attend the FA Cup final on Saturday in which Chelsea, the team that he owns, beat Manchester United to lift the trophy. Sources at the club insisted that Mr Abramovich, 51, had not been denied a visa and there had merely been a delay to the renewal of his paperwork. However, the failure of the authorities to process the application of such a high-profile ally of President Putin will be seen by Moscow as another snub after Britain’s expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats. 

Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich has not yet had his visa renewed after it expired last month, it has been reported.
The billionaire, who did not attend yesterday’s FA cup final which his team won 1-0, is said to have returned to his homeland and can’t now enter Britain. Sources close to the oligarch said his request for a new visa had not been denied, but UK authorities were taking longer than usual to renew it without offering any explanation. It comes amid mounting diplomatic tensions between Britain and Russia after former spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned in Salisbury in March.

Sky News
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is yet to have his UK visa renewed after it expired last month.
The Russian billionaire did not attend Saturday’s FA Cup final, in which Chelsea beat Manchester United. A source close to the oligarch confirmed to Sky News that Mr Abramovich’s visa expired at the end of April. An application for it to be renewed is in process but taking longer than usual, they added. Mr Abramovich’s spokesman, John Mann, refused to comment. The oligarch owns property in London but has now returned to Russia, explaining his absence from Saturday’s football showpiece, according to website The Bell. Flight records show the businessman’s personal Boeing 767 airplane was last in London on 1 April, the publication added.

The government is endangering national security and undermining efforts to build a global response to the Salisbury poisoning because of a lack of political will to crack down on dirty Russian money flooding into London, a report by MPs has said.
Despite the rhetoric against Russia after the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal, President Putin’s cronies have continued “business as usual” by hiding corrupt assets in London that the Kremlin can call on in its campaign to undermine the West, the report by the foreign affairs committee says. The Russian embassy in London boasted of “business as usual” on Twitter when the energy company Gazprom raised €750 million (£656 million) in London a day after the expulsion of diplomats.

A powerful committee of MPs has warned that the government is putting national security at risk by allowing “kleptocrats and human rights abusers to use the City of London to launder their ill-gotten funds to circumvent sanctions”. 
The foreign affairs select committee said the government’s lax approach to tackling international money laundering is putting money “directly into the hands of regimes that would harm the UK, its interests and its allies”. In a hard-hitting report titled Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK, the committee said the government was failing to follow through on the prime minister’s “robust rhetoric” in the wake of the Skripals’ poisoning.

BBC News
The UK has been accused of turning a “blind eye” to Russia’s “dirty money”, putting national security at risk.
The Commons foreign affairs committee said London was being used to hide the “corrupt assets” of President Vladimir Putin and his allies. It said it was “business as usual” for the UK despite the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. This undermined the UK’s efforts to confront the full spectrum of President Putin’s offensive measures, it said. The UK’s “lethargic response is being taken as proof that we don’t dare stop them… London’s markets are enabling the Kremlin’s efforts,” committee chairman and Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat wrote in the Sunday Times, ahead of the publication of the report.

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Saturday papers – Saturday 19 May 2018

Saturday papers – Saturday 19 May 2018

UKIP Daily offers the Duke and Duchess of Sussex every good wish on their wedding day.

After that, this site becomes a wedding-free zone.


Tory MPs are getting tough with the Prime Minister, says the Express.

THERESA May has been told she needs to ditch the EU talks and go for a “quick no deal”.
Brexit MPs have warned the Prime Minister that patience is running out over the protracted negotiations with Brussels trying to exploit the Northern Ireland border to keep the UK tied to the customs union and single market.
After a series of meetings with MPs this week ahead of a summit in the Balkans, the Prime Minister has been warned that she needs to follow her own claim that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.
Walking out of talks and going to World Trade Organisation rules will also save Britain £40 billion in divorce fees which the UK agreed to if the 
EU makes a final deal.

Westmonster quotes a DUP spokesman.

Theresa May should ‘dig her heels in’ and play hardball with Brussels because EU big wigs will back down, says DUP’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson.
He told The Telegraph: “When the PM has stuck her heels in, as she did in December, they changed the agreement. As she did in March, when they said they wouldn’t accept the legal agreement, they backed down.
“She should learn from that. Stand up to them. They need the deal, they will back down. Do this kind of thing where you sway with the wind you will come off worse.”


Jacob Rees-Mogg should be the Conservatives’ next leader, says Westmonster in a column by Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham

Last Monday evening I had the pleasure of introducing Jacob Rees-Mogg at a Reignite event in London attended by around a hundred mainly students. The popularity of this event, notably that so many students would leave their revision books in the middle of exam season, has reinforced in my mind that there is only one person to succeed Theresa May as Party Leader and as Prime Minister – and that man is Jacob Rees-Mogg.
It is essential that, once the Brexit process has been completed, the Conservative Party must be led with someone who has a clear, concise view of what a post Brexit Britain should look like, has the support of both MPs and Party members and has the skills necessary to take the fight to the Labour Party.

Customs union

But Brexiteers are in for a fight over the customs union, says the Times.

Eurosceptics are preparing to fight to make sure Britain is tied to the EU’s customs union beyond the end of 2020 only on a short-term basis as it emerged that there are limits to the type of trade deals possible under the plan agreed by the cabinet this week.
Senior cabinet figures expect a series of difficult meetings of the Brexit war cabinet in the next three weeks about what kind of immigration system Britain will offer after Brexit and the level of divergence from the single market. These matters need to be settled before the European Council meeting at the end of June.


And the Irish Taoiseach has added to the pressure, says the Mail.

The Irish premier has warned Britain must keep some ties to the single market with Brexit in order to avoid a hard border with the Republic.
Theresa May has drawn up new plans to keep the whole of the UK aligned with the EU customs union after Brexit if no deal can be done to keep a soft Irish border.
The PM is expected to unveil the new details of the ‘fallback option’ to EU leaders in a fortnight’s time.

The Independent reiterates the rejection of a border in the Irish Sea.

The Irish government does not want a border down the Irish Sea separating Great Britain from Northern Ireland, a senior lawmaker from the country’s governing party has said.
Neale Richmond, the Fine Gael senator who chairs the body’s Brexit committee, said Brexiteers had mischaracterised the country’s approach to solving the border question.
His comments come a day after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met with Theresa May at a summit on Sofia, where he warned that there was a “serious” possibility of the UK quitting without a deal.
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said there would likely be customs checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland if the so-called “backstop” of keeping NI in the customs union and single market took effect.

Breitbart also reports the Irish call.

The Irish Premier called for the UK to remain tied to the European Union’s (EU) Customs Union, as Theresa May prepares new Brexit proposals that she says will keep the bloc happy and the Irish border open.
The Prime Minister reportedly wants to keep the UK aligned to the Customs Union, and claims that being locked to many of its rules will not hinder the UK’s ability to control trade policy and strike new deals.
She is expected to unveil the new details of the “backstop” option to EU leaders in two weeks’ time, 
The Times reports.
According to the plan, the UK would collect EU tariffs during the transition period, which has been agreed to last two years.


The Scottish first minister is also causing problems for Mrs May, says the Express.

THERESA May has slammed Nicola Sturgeon’s opposition to the Brexit Bill as she claims the SNP leader is only objecting to it so she can break up the United Kingdom and seek independence for Scotland.
Speaking at the Welsh Conservative conference, Mrs May called on all UK politicians to support her legislation if they believed in the “integrity” of Britain.
The Prime Minister criticised Nicola Sturgeon, saying: “And the only First Minister in the UK who still opposes the Withdrawal Bill is the only First Minister who wants to break up the United Kingdom – Nicola Sturgeon.


On the other side of the Channel, Barnier has his own ideas, says the Telegraph.

Brussels is likely to reject Theresa May’s plan to keep Britain tied to EU customs rules beyond 2021 because it believes the backstop clause to prevent a hard Irish border can only apply to Northern Ireland and not the whole UK.
“The European commission has always understood it as applying to Northern Ireland only,” an EU source told The Telegraph, “It has always said that Northern Ireland is a unique situation”.
Brussels is now waiting for a formal offer from Mrs May in writing but is likely to point to language agreed in December’s UK-EU joint report that says any Irish border deal cannot “pre-determine” any wider agreement on the future relationship between the two sides.

But the bloc has its own problems, says Westmonster.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has told Parliament that Central and Eastern European countries are Europe’s future because of Western Europe’s failure to get to grips with mass migration.
Orbán said that countries can only run when they have long-term plans, and in his view, the economic centre of Europe was shifting to the east, as eastern economies continued to show solid signs of strong growth.
“In 1990, Europe was our future and today we are Europe’s future,” he declared.
“We are the fastest growing region of the Union.”
Migration also played a part of this, according to the Hungarian firebrand, who said that Europe had been threatened by migration and mass migration for many years.

Westmonster also reports the surge in anti-Europeanism.

The number of Italians who would vote for the Eurosceptic, anti-mass migration Lega party has surged since the election.
Lega were backed by 17% at Italy’s General Election in March, which was already a big increase in support for the party.
But now a new poll has shown the party, led by Matteo Salvini, has surged to 25% as they negotiate with the Five Star Movement over a governing agreement that looks close to completion.
That makes Lega the second most popular party, with the anti-establishment Five Star on 32%.

Could Italy be the next country to leave the EU? The Sun reports.

BRUSSELS fears Italy will be the next to quit the EU — after two anti-union parties formed a Government.
The Five Star Movement and Northern League vowed to end austerity and blitz migration.
They also demanded a review of Brussels’ spending curbs that limit budget deficits to three per cent of GDP.
Italy’s new Government also wants to renegotiate its debt — the EU’s second highest after Greece — and increase public spending.


Back home, the Speaker of the House of Commons is still in the news, reports the Telegraph.

John Bercow allegedly accused Andrea Leadsom of being a liar in the Commons after she confronted him over claims he had described her as a “stupid woman”.
On Wednesday Mr Brecow allegedly described Mrs Leadsom, the Leader of the House of Commons, as a “stupid woman” and muttered that she was “f —— useless”.
The Telegraph has learned that Mrs Leadsom returned to the Chamber on Wednesday afternoon after being told by MPs about the alleged comments by Mr Bercow.
In an exchange overhead by MPs, she confronted Mr Bercow over his alleged comments and asked him for an explanation.
He allegedly responded by calling her a liar.

And there may now be an investigation, says the Times.

Theresa May has intensified pressure on John Bercow by calling for an investigation into claims that he called a female minister a “stupid woman”.
The Speaker of the House of Commons was accused of having made the disparaging remark about Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, under his breath in the chamber on Wednesday. He was also reportedly overheard calling her “f***ing useless”.
The prime minister’s official spokeswoman said: “We have seen the alleged remarks. Clearly they are unacceptable. If there is an official complaint made it should be properly investigated.”

The Independent reports on the pressure on Bercow.

Theresa May has heaped pressure on speaker John Bercow following accusations that he referred to a female cabinet minister as a “stupid woman” in the Commons.
The prime minister’s official spokeswoman told reporters Ms May believes that if the words had been used, they are “unacceptable” and should be investigated.
The remark allegedly came after a debate on Wednesday, when Mr Bercow is said to have berated cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom.
It also comes after an inquiry was blocked by MPs, in the wake of other allegations that Mr Bercow bullied two former staff members from the Speaker’s Office.

The Mirror claims his words were ‘unacceptable’.

Theresa May yesterday piled pressure on Commons Speaker John Bercow as she blasted his “unacceptable” comments to senior minister Andrea Leadsom.
He was claimed to have muttered that she was a “stupid woman” and “f****** useless”.
The PM’s spokeswoman said: “We have seen the alleged remarks and clearly the Prime Minister thinks they are unacceptable and if an official complaint is made it should properly investigated.”
Asked if Mrs May had full confidence in the Speaker, she added: “The Speaker is elected by MPs so questions of confidence are for Parliament.”

Sky News also has the story.

Theresa May regards an alleged verbal attack on a senior minister by the speaker as “unacceptable”, Downing Street has said.
John Bercow is reported to have called Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom a “stupid woman” after launching a tirade against the government in the Commons on Wednesday.
A Number 10 spokeswoman said Downing Street was aware of the alleged remarks, adding: “Clearly the prime minister thinks they are unacceptable. If an official complaint is made it should be properly investigated.”
Sources close to Ms Leadsom have told Sky News she will not be making a formal complaint as she is “entirely focused on getting the bullying and harassment processes up and running”.

House of Lords

Looks like the PM has started to appoint more peers, says the Independent.

Theresa May has been accused of “hypocrisy” after appointing nine new Conservative peers to the House of Lords, including several ex-ministers, despite vowing to end the practice.
The prime minister sent six former MPs – three of whom sat in the cabinet – to the upper chamber, which flies in the face of her claims that senior politicians should not expect automatic ennoblement.
Announcing the appointments on the eve of the royal wedding was branded “frankly pathetic” by critics, who called the prime minister “cynical” for seeking to sneak out the news when it would receive little attention.
Controversial appointments on the Labour side  include Martha Osamor, who has been embroiled in the party’s antisemitism scandal, and also the DUP’s William McCrea, a Presbyterian minister who once called for airstrikes on the Republic of Ireland.

Sky News goes into detail.

Nine Conservatives are among 13 new peers appointed to the House of Lords in a move some have described as an attempt to boost the Government’s support for Brexit.
It comes after 15 recent defeats in the Lords over the Brexit withdrawal bill.
Among the life peerages are the former secretary of state for social security and vocal Leave campaigner, Peter Lilley, former communities secretary, Sir Eric Pickles and former chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie.
Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords, Dick Newby, said“This is a cynical response from Theresa May to losing a string of votes in the Lords in recent weeks, and is a desperate bid to quell opposition to the Conservatives’ reckless Brexit.

The Guardian points out the timing of the announcement.

Theresa May has on the eve of the royal wedding nominated nine new Tory peers, including the former cabinet ministers Sir Eric Pickles and Peter Lilley and handed one to Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party as she tries to bolster her party’s fragile position in the House of Lords.
Four other former Tory MPs are to be elevated to a chamber which has defied May’s government on 15 occasions over Brexit, in an afternoon announcement that has prompted accusations that No 10 was trying to use Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding to bury the news.
The full list of Tories includes Sir Edward Garnier, Sir John Randall, Sir Alan Haselhurst and Andrew Tyrie, all former MPs. May’s other nominees are Diana Barran, Catherine Meyer, the founder of Action Against Abduction who is married to former US ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, and Amanda Sater, a former party deputy chair.

BBC News claims it’s an attempt to get her policies through the House.

Downing Street has nominated nine new Conservative peers, including a number of former ministers, to sit in the House of Lords.
Among those put forward for a peerage are former communities secretary Sir Eric Pickles and former trade and industry secretary Peter Lilley.
The move follows a series of government defeats in the Lords, where Theresa May does not have a majority, over Brexit.
The Democratic Unionists will get one new peer while Labour will get three.
The Lib Dems, which have more than 100 peers in the unelected chamber, said it was a “desperate bid” by Theresa May to quell opposition to her Brexit policy.

Huffington Post points out that the Labour leader has also made nominations.

Theresa May has appointed nine new Conservative members of the House of Lords and handed another peerage to her DUP allies.
Jeremy Corbyn has also given seats in the Lords to former Labour general secretary Iain McNicol and veteran anti-racism campaigner Martha Osamor.
With 244 members of the Lords, the Conservatives Party has the most peers.
However the government does not have a majority in the 780 member chamber and has suffered a series of damaging defeats on its Brexit legislation over the past few weeks.


In other news, Westmonster claims its easy to get a passport.

The BBC has produced an interesting report showing just how easy it is for migrants wanting to come to Europe illegally to obtain valid passports and identity cards.
A pair of reporters, posing as a Syrian couple, posted on several Facebook groups – some of which have over 5,000 active members, saying they were looking to buy illegal documentation to travel within the EU.

Within hours, the reporters had received almost a dozen responses with people offering to supply them with documents and travel papers. The fake couple then met with a broker in Istanbul who told them he had genuine passports, which he had purchased from refugees who had obtained them and subsequently left Europe.


It seems cancer could be treated with a combination of two widely available medications, says the Sun.

CANCER patients could stop it spreading by taking Viagra and having the flu jab, a study suggests.
The unusual mix slashed the disease’s escalation in mice by 91 per cent, researchers found.
It appeared to boost the immune system’s ability to mop up cancerous cells left behind after surgery to remove a tumour.
Tests found mice which only had surgery were left with 129 cancerous spreads.
But those that received Viagra and the flu jab Agriflu had just 11.

Train travel

Timetable changes are not being welcomed by passengers, says the Times.

Thousands of rail passengers risk being stranded in the biggest shake-up of train timetables in decades.
Passenger groups warned that some departure times would be altered by up to half an hour while other stations would lose services altogether during the overhaul of 100,000 rail services over the course of a week.
The changes, introduced from tomorrow, follow a number of major track upgrades and the introduction of hundreds of faster trains on to the network.

And the Mail claims disabled passengers may not be helped by staff.

Southern Rail’s parent company has been slammed for advising staff not to help disabled people on and off trains if it risks making them late.
A staff booklet issued by Govia Thameslink Railway instructs workers: ‘Do not attempt to place people of reduced mobility on a train if there is a possibility of delaying the service’.
It has sparked fury among rail union bosses who have branded it an ‘insult to disabled people’.


The Times reports ‘computer says no’.

Tens of thousands of victims of online fraud are having their cases dismissed by a computer algorithm, as police officers refuse to guarantee that a human being will investigate thefts of less than £100,000.
Figures obtained by The Times suggest that more than half of cases reported to the UK’s national reporting centre for online crime are deemed not worthy of further investigation by an “automated scoring matrix”.
The algorithm assesses factors such as whether bank details of scammers have been provided. Only crimes with a value of £100,000 are automatically passed to human investigators, who then decide whether the case should go to the local police.

Police cuts HAVE led to an increase in crime, says the Times.

The nation’s most senior police officer has said she is certain that government cuts to the force budgets have played a role in the soaring level of violent crime in the UK.
Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, said for the first time since taking office that cuts made during the prime minister’s tenure as home secretary had played a role in the rising levels of murder, knife and gun crime on Britain’s streets.
Ms Dick has been granted an extra £110 million, which she said she intends to plough into a recruitment drive that should bring in at least 500 extra officers.

The post Saturday papers – Saturday 19 May 2018 appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.

Theresa May is caught between the devil and the DUP

jon evershedThe path being pursued by the DUP in Brexit, says Jonathan Evershed (University College Cork), is not so far from the mainstream of Unionist opinion. 

Theresa May’s pact with the DUP has seen constitutional principle overtaken by electoral contingency and political expediency. On 26th June 2017, the spirit and, some have argued, even the letter of the Good Friday Agreement were undone by the Prime Minister with the stroke of a pen and not a moment’s hesitation. And it has brought the Northern Irish margin into the political centre in a manner not seen since IRA bombs in England focused minds on finding a resolution to the dirty little war across the Irish Sea, the history and legacies of which a majority on the ‘mainland’ remain comfortably ignorant. Neither the Union’s constitutional architecture nor its political culture are designed to accommodate this centripetal motion, and there is speculation that the Prime Minister may yet seek to stab her DUP allies in back to service the needs of an English nationalism which has little real understanding of (and even littler regard for) the hopes, fears and idiosyncrasies of its provincial fellow travellers.

arlene foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster in 2016. Photo: Allan Leonard via a CC-BY-NC 2.0 licence

The DUP’s torpedoing of the first draft of the Joint Agreement between the UK government and EU27 in December has therefore been described as both the peak and inevitable limit of their power. Some have suggested that after this flexing of the party’s muscles, the way has been cleared to the softer Brexit (at least for Northern Ireland) which its more ‘sensible’ members recognise as inevitable. It is alleged that there are some – whose business-friendly heads rule their historically Eurosceptic hearts – who may even prefer this option. In my experience (and I am not alone in claiming this) however, the suggested divergence in thinking on Brexit between two wings of the party – one softer and with its locus in Belfast; the other more hard-line and with its powerbase in Westminster – is not as stark or significant as those hoping for a soft Brexit might wish. Unlike within Theresa May’s own party there is, it seems, a remarkable unanimity of opinion on Brexit within the DUP, which sees it not as representing a divergence between economic self-interest and the demands of identity, but of a marriage between them.

While members of the party are aware that it is only a highly unlikely parliamentary arithmetic that allows them to wield a veto over any attempt to create a ‘special status’ for Northern Ireland after Brexit (other, of course, than on marriage equality, bodily autonomy for people who are or can be pregnant, corporation tax and the myriad other areas in which Northern Ireland diverges from the rest of the UK on the DUP’s terms) there is an overwhelming sense that, caught between Corbyn and her own back-benches, an embattled Theresa May continues to need the DUP more than the DUP need her. The party’s base has been buoyed by the £1bn of extra funding secured for Northern Ireland by hard-nosed DUP negotiators and a sense that Brexit (for which, it should be remembered, an overwhelming majority of them voted) is not – as I have become used to thinking of it – a risk, but an opportunity. At the very least, former DUP Minister Nelson McCausland’s pronouncement that he “wouldn’t care” what happened to Northern Ireland’s economy, society or its border with the Republic as long as it happens outside of the EU, is widely shared.

And in this, the DUP is, I think, more than broadly representative of wider Unionist opinion in Northern Ireland. While the third of Unionists who voted Remain, and this interesting poll conducted by Queen’s University Belfast’s John Garry and John Coakley (whose finding that a majority of Unionists would be open to a new East-West border arrangement between Northern Ireland and Great Britain after Brexit I find to be increasingly questionable) have provided some succour to those whose preferred outcome is as soft a Brexit in Northern Ireland and as invisible an Irish border as possible, I see little evidence of divergence within wider Unionism from the position adopted by the DUP, including among the minority of Unionists who voted Remain. Despite claims that the party favours a softer Brexit, the DUP’s is a relatively hard-line position. If the UK is to remain in the customs union (which, as an aside, is not sufficient to secure a soft border on the island of Ireland), it will not be at the behest of the DUP. And if it comes to a choice between the hardest of hard borders on the island of Ireland and even modest (further) regulatory divergence across the Irish Sea, I believe Unionists will overwhelmingly support the DUP in insisting on the former.

The Tory-DUP deal has reinforced what Brexit already was in Northern Ireland: a restatement of British sovereignty in and over the province, and a repudiation of the Good Friday Agreement’s experiments in fuzzy borders and hybrid citizenship. In bringing the war beneath Northern Ireland’s peace from the periphery into the constitutional centre, Theresa May has subjected the peace agreement and its institutions – already largely disliked by Unionists and facing mounting challenges to their endurability – to a full-frontal assault which they may not survive, and galvanised – in a way which will be difficult if not impossible to undo – a politics which sees a hard Brexit as synonymous with defending the integrity of the Union and Northern Ireland’s place within it. Whether or not she eventually tries to close it again, the Prime Minister has opened a Pandora’s box, unleashing, like her predecessor in Number 10, demons of which she knew not.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Brexit blog, nor the LSE. It first appeared at the Centre on Constitutional Change blog.

Jonathan Evershed is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Government and Politics, University College Cork, where his work on the ESRC-funded project ‘Brexit between Two Unions’ explores the consequences of Brexit for political relationships within and between Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain. He has a background in political anthropology, and completed his PhD at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast, where he is currently a Visiting Research Fellow. His research has examined the politics and culture of Ulster Loyalism during the present ‘Decade of Centenaries.

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