Posts Tagged ‘DUP’

Saturday papers – 23 March 2019

Saturday papers – 23 March 2019

I make no apology for concentrating on Brexit today.

Parliament

The Express claims the majority of voters want a clean break next Friday.

PUBLIC frustration with the UK’s delayed withdrawal from the EU was laid bare last night by a poll showing voters overwhelmingly want Brexit to go ahead on time next week.
Nearly half of voters (48 percent) quizzed in the exclusive ComRes survey “just want Brexit sorted” and “don’t really care how”. Nearly eight out of ten (78 percent) blame Parliament for the postponement of the withdrawal date that had been set for this coming Friday. Almost four out of ten think Commons Speaker John Bercow, who intervened to block Theresa May’s plans this week, is trying to thwart Brexit.
And half of voters (50 percent) still want the UK to leave the EU while only 35 percent think the departure should be cancelled.

Westmonster warns that a series of ‘indicative votes’ could stop Brexit altogether.

After blocking a No Deal Brexit next week on 29th March, Theresa May could hand a Remain-dominated Parliament power through ‘indicative votes’ which would see MPs vote on the way forward. We are witnessing the total destruction of authority in government.
If Theresa May’s deal is rejected for a third time as expected, MPs would get to vote on a number of options including revoking Article 50 to stop Brexit, a second referendum, No Deal, and staying in the Customs Union/Single Market.

The Telegraph also reports the prospect.

Downing Street is considering offering MPs votes on different Brexit options in a move which Cabinet critics believe will lead to a softer divorce from the European Union.
Number 10 is set to offer MPs the chance to choose their preferred way forward from a list of seven choices next week in the hope one is backed by a Commons majority and breaks the Brexit impasse.

Sky News has a list of the options.

MPs could vote on a set of seven Brexit options next week, according to Sky sources.
The votes are being considered by Downing Street amid fears that Theresa May’s exit deal will not pass through the Commons.
Here are the options which have been put forward, and what they mean.

One of the options could be a customs union, reports the Telegraph.

Theresa May is considering plans to allow MPs a vote on keeping Britain in a Customs Union as she refuses to quit as Prime Minister despite MPs and ministers urging her to stand down.
After Brussels rejected her request for a three month delay, Mrs May returned to the UK yesterday and began drawing up new plans for Brexit.
Under the latest proposals MPs will be offered “indicative votes” on a range of Brexit alternatives if, as anticipated, the Prime Minister’s deal is defeated for a third time.

The Express is worried about a long delay if MPs get control of the process.

BREXIT could still be delayed for months as MPs plan to table an amendment which could see Parliament seize control of the Brexit process and seek a long extension to Article 50, as calls for the Prime Minister to quit grow louder.
MPs are expected to table amendments before Theresa May puts her savaged withdrawal agreement to a vote again next week. Among those to be presented to the Speaker of the House, MPs will put forward one on Monday that could lead to Parliament taking the reins of the Brexit process.

And the Mirror says MP will be allowed to vote according to their consciences.

Tory MPs will be given a FREE VOTE to plot Britain’s course out of the Brexit chaos, a Tory minister has suggested.
Brexit Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said he would “be surprised” if the Government did not allow MPs to vote without whipping if so-called “indicative votes” are brought forward.
The multiple-choice votes are expected in the coming weeks to weed out the least unpopular option after EU chiefs challenged the UK to either pass a deal, or come up with an alternative plan by April 12.

The Mail thinks the PM has declared war on Eurosceptics.

Theresa May was today accused of ‘declaring open war’ on her own Eurosceptic MPs by promising a free vote on a second referendum or revoking Article 50 if her Brexit deal is killed off next week.
Downing Street will ask MPs from all parties to help find her a Plan B as Tory rebels said their ‘isolated’ leader should ‘name a date’ for her resignation after failing to deliver Brexit for March 29.
Mrs May is expected to hold a vote to gauge support among MPs for the seven main paths for Brexit: The PM’s deal, No Deal, a second referendum, Labour’s preferred customs union deal, a Norway-plus EEA deal, a Canada-plus free trade deal or revoking Article 50 and staying in the EU.

The Sun calls her ‘desperate’.

DESPERATE Theresa May was last night fighting for her Premiership as hardline Tories vowed to avenge her Brexit delay and loyal ministers gave up hope of ever passing her deal.
The PM abandoned a Brussels summit early to rush back to London to try to whip up support for a third and final vote on her deal next week.
But after EU leaders forced her to agree to delay the UK’s exit date by two weeks until April 12 – and potentially pave the way for an even longer delay – diehard Tory MPs and the DUP showed no sign of switching to back her plan, and instead kept up their attacks on it.

The Labour Party could back her deal, says the Mirror.

Tom Watson will tomorrow offer to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal on the condition that there’s a second referendum.
The deputy Labour leader will take centre-stage at the ‘Put it to the People’ march in London, and will make the pledge in a keynote speech.
He’s expected to say: “Millions of people voted for Brexit and many more millions of people – their jobs, their livelihoods and their public services – are going to be directly affected by this crisis.

MVIII

But will the WA actually be brought before the House a third time?  The Mail speculates.

Theresa May’s Brexit deal suffered a potentially fatal blow last night after she wrote to MPs admitting she might not seek a third vote in Parliament next week if she does not think it will pass.
Her letter followed a decision by the DUP to rule out support for her deal and warnings from ministers that the Prime Minister could be gone within days if she presses ahead with a new plan for MPs to vote on alternative options, including a soft Brexit or second referendum.

The Independent says Mrs May has written to MPs.

Theresa May has hinted she might not go ahead with a third vote on her Brexit deal if there is not enough support for it.
The prime minister wrote a letter to MPs following her return from talks with European Union (EU) leaders in Brussels and outlined a “clear choice” made up of four options.
Ms May appeared to immediately rule out one of them – revoking Article 50 and remaining in the EU – as a “betrayal” of the referendum result.

DUP

But the DUP is still not happy, says the Independent.

The Democratic Unionist Party has appeared to read the last rites on Theresa May’s Brexit deal by saying “nothing has changed” ahead of a third and final meaningful vote.
The party propping up the Tories in power, and whose support is essential to any hopes the prime minister has of rescuing her agreement, scotched any prospect of it switching sides.

The Mirror reports the DUP leader’s comments.

Theresa May has already trundled off to Chequers for the weekend, far away from the Brexit nightmare she’s somehow still in charge of.
But the DUP have decided to tinge her getaway with creeping dread and anxiety with a Friday afternoon Brexit missive so furious it could turn her jam mouldy.
Attacking the Prime Minister’s performance in Brussels last night, the hardline Northern Irish party’s commons leader Nigel Dodds said she had “missed an opportunity” to “help unite the country” by improving her Brexit deal.

She has failed, reports Westmonster.

The DUP’s Westminster Nigel Dodds has slammed the increasingly hopeless Theresa May, describing her performance in Brussels as a “failure”.
In a statement today, Dodds says: “The Prime Minister missed an opportunity at the EU Council to put forward proposals which could have improved the prospects of an acceptable Withdrawal Agreement and help unite the country.”

EU

The bloc is still putting pressure on the PM, says the Times.

European leaders have urged MPs to rip up Theresa May’s Brexit red lines to secure a closer relationship with the bloc if they reject her deal next week.
In a move that will infuriate Downing Street, a number of member states yesterday broke ranks from the agreed EU position to call on parliament to consider remaining in the customs union and single market.
Even before she triggered the Article 50 process to leave the EU, Mrs May set two red lines for the negotiations — that Britain could not remain in the single market, or have a customs arrangement that ruled out signing comprehensive new free trade deals.

The EU is still trying to push the PM their way, reports the Mail.

EU leaders warned yesterday that Britain faces a choice between No Deal and a softer ‘Norway-style’ Brexit if Theresa May fails to win approval for her deal.
French president Emmanuel Macron was the first to throw down the gauntlet.
He said the first option would be to bring forward ‘new proposals’ – code for a softer Brexit. This would have to be done by April 12, the new exit date agreed by both sides if the deal is not approved. The second choice would be No Deal, he insisted.

One of the EU’s presidents has given the UK the opportunity to cancel Brexit, says the Independent.  Nice of him!

The agreement to extend Article 50 struck by EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday night means that “anything is possible” – even cancelling Brexit, Donald Tusk has said.
The president of the European Council said the UK would have time to change its strategy or even cancel Brexit, “which is the prerogative of the UK government”.

The Guardian claims we’ll still leave, even if it takes another couple of weeks.

The EU increasingly believes a no-deal Brexit on 12 April is the most likely outcome, senior EU officials have said, prompting Emmanuel Macron to privately ask the Irish prime minister if his country could cope.
The French president sought assurance from Leo Varadkar in the closing moments of a marathon session of talks on Thursday night, as the leaders looked to settle on mid-April as the new cliff-edge.

And Ireland’s PM is still baiting the UK, reports the Express.

IRELAND’S taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar has issued a not-so-subtle jibe to Brexiteers today, Tweeting his support at the fact EU and non-EU countries can share land borders without needing border patrol infrastructure and customs checks.
Mr Varadkar tweeted from Brussels on the 25th anniversary of the European Economic Area he had enjoyed meeting his counterparts from EEA members Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, who participate in the EU’s single market without being members.

But even its own citizens aren’t happy with the EU, reports Breitbart.

The majority of Europeans say that European Union (EU) leadership is “out of touch” with the real needs of citizens, according to a survey released this week by the Pew Research Center.
While most Europeans credit the EU for promoting peace, democratic values, and prosperity, opinions turn negative when considering the EU’s ability to efficiently deal with concrete problems such as immigration.

No deal

Perhaps MPs should be told what option is preferred by the voters.  Westmonster reports:

New polling from Opinium has shown that there is a clear increase in public support for a No Deal Brexit. Theresa May could have delivered that next Friday on 29th March as promised, but has chosen not to. It really is shameful.
As Opinium themselves say “in the past week there has been a shift towards No Deal amongst the public”.

But arrangement for no-deal have been shelved, says the Times.

The government has postponed activating its no-deal contingency plans until next month after agreeing a delay to Brexit with the EU.
The “command and control” structures of Operation Yellowhammer, the civil service’s worst-case Brexit planning unit, were set to be “enacted fully” on Monday, and Cobra, the government’s emergency committee, had taken control of the process.

A top Tory has backed a WTO Brexit, reports Breitbart.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Lizz Truss MP has backed a No Deal Brexit over a long extension to the Article 50 negotiations with the European Union — pushing Brexit day far into the future, and possibly preparing the way for its ultimate cancellation — indicating she does not believe the more lurid scare stories peddled by Project Fear.
Asked if she would prefer No Deal to an extension of Article 50 — presumably the very long extension favoured by the EU, rather than the short one Theresa May has sought to attempt to pass her Withdrawal Agreement with the bloc for a third time — Truss told The Sun, “God yes. No extension.”

Even the CBI is hoping for WTO rules, reports the Telegraph.

A no-deal Brexit now is preferable to the uncertainty caused by a long delay to leaving the European Union entrepreneurs say today.
The views of the businesses – which typically employ hundreds of staff and are spread across the country – are at odds with large companies, which again yesterday said a long delay was better than Brexit.

An anti-Brexit leak has been lapped up by the Guardian.

The extent and range of the impact of a no-deal Brexit is revealed in a confidential Cabinet Office document that warns of a “critical three-month phase” after leaving the EU during which the whole planning operation could be overwhelmed.
The classified document, seen by the Guardian, sets out the command and control structures in Whitehall for coping with a no-deal departure and says government departments will have to firefight most problems for themselves – or risk a collapse of “Operation Yellowhammer”.

The Mail also covers the leaked document.

Three months of No Deal chaos are predicted in a secret Cabinet dossier, as Theresa May faces an embarrassing leak ahead of next week’s third meaningful vote.
Operation Yellowhammer reportedly sets out Whitehall’s plans for how ministers will meet at 7am for a sitrep (situation report) to tackle crucial risk areas.

Direct action

An action group has been working hard, says the Mail.

Furious Brexiteers caused motorway chaos across the UK as they organised a lorry go-slow at rush hour after the EU exit date was postponed.
Traffic mayhem could be seen in Devon, Cornwall, Lancashire, Stoke-on-Trent, Hull and north Wales.
Brexiteers of Brexit Direct Action are calling for similar ‘go slows’ across the country as they declare their fury at Theresa May‘s negotiations. They claim that they have hauliers prepared across the land.

The Independent claims some members of the group have been prosecuted.

Campaigners have been prosecuted for inconsiderate driving while trying to bring roads to a standstill as part of a pro-Brexit protest.
The demonstrations aimed to ensure the UK leaves the European Union on 29 March by causing gridlock on motorways and A roads using a convoy of slow-moving vehicles, organisers said.
The protesters were aiming to target between 30 and 40 locations over the weekend, including the M25, M6 and M1.

Bercow

There’s so much hostility towards the Speaker he could be outsted at the next election, reports the Times.

Buckingham is the constituency where they say votes don’t count, but it fails to follow that its residents lack an opinion on what John Bercow, their MP, did in parliament this week.
Westminster’s main political parties do not contest the Speaker’s seat in general elections in a nod to the impartiality meant to come with the role.

He won’t quit of his own volition, says the Mail.

John Bercow has infuriated Tory MPs by refusing to honour his promise to stand down – but now the decision over his future may be taken out of his hands.
Senior figures at Conservative Party headquarters have held detailed talks about fielding a candidate against the Commons Speaker at the next election.

Tory leadership

More pressure on the PM is reported in the Times.

Theresa May was under pressure to name a date for her departure last night after cabinet support drained away and the DUP made clear its lack of faith in her.
Senior figures in No 10 confirmed that discussions on a timetable for the prime minister to stand down were under way. A Downing Street source said that even her closest allies believed it was inevitable she would have to resign.

And potential successors are lining up, reports the Sun.

HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock is being urged to run for the Tory leadership as the donors’ favourite.
Conservative party donors believe he offers the party competence, with one MP describing the relatively young Cabinet minister as “a better version of Jeremy Hunt”, the Foreign Secretary.
Mr Hancock – who has been heavily involved in No Deal Brexit planning – replaced Mr Hunt as Health Secretary last year when Boris Johnson quit as Foreign Secretary.

The Telegraph reports his direct approach.

Jeremy Hunt will set out his vision for “compassionate Conservatism” at a dinner with Tory MPs as he seeks to shake off claims he is the “continuity May” candidate in an expected leadership contest.
In a direct pitch to MPs for their support, the Foreign Secretary will make a speech at an exclusive event organised by a think tank run by Iain Duncan Smith.

Conservative Home speaks of her continued premiership as ‘survival’.

Theresa May succeeded yesterday in achieving her aim.  Of the three Brexit outcomes that could have emerged from the EU summit, she has gained the one most likely to meet her core objective – survival as Prime Minister, at least for the moment.  There is not enough time to hold a leadership election before April 12, the deadline now agreed if her deal hasn’t passed the Commons by then.

And an illusionist thinks he can stop Brexit, says the Sun.

SPOON bending illusionist Uri Geller has vowed to use his psychic powers to stop Brexit.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, he said he felt “psychically and very strongly” that most Brits were anti-Brexit and vowed to stop the process “telepathically”.
Israeli-born Geller rose to prominence in the 1970s with his trademark spoon-bending trick, which he was the result of psychic power that had been tested by the CIA.

Apparently he loves the Prime Minister, says the Star.

ILLUSIONIST Uri Geller has vowed to “telepathically stop” Prime Minister Theresa May from pushing Brexit through.
The paranormal spoon-bender has penned an open letter to May warning he will use his powers to stop Britain leaving the EU.
He said in the bizarre note that he “psychically” feels very strongly that the “British people do not want Brexit”.

ISIS

Abroad, will destruction of the Islamic State group mean peace in Syria?  ITV News wonders.

The territorial defeat of so-called Islamic State in Syria might only be a few days away, but inside the global headquarters of Interpol in Lyon, more than two thousand miles from Baghouz, no one is celebrating.
“It’s not the end of the ideology, unfortunately,” says Jürgen Stock, the Secretary-General of the organisation and the world’s top cop.
He believes the collapse of the so-called caliphate in Syria will not end the threat from IS faced by police forces elsewhere, but increase it.

Yellow vests

And in Paris, the rioters could be fired upon, says the Telegraph.

Emmanuel Macron has been forced to wade into a snowballing row over claims French soldiers have been authorised to “open fire” if they come under life-threatening attack during Saturday’s 19th round of weekend “yellow vest” protests.
Preventing a repeat of last weekend’s violence, in which masked troublemakers wrecked dozens of stores and restaurants along the capital’s Champs-Elysées, is seen as a crucial test of the French president’s ability to restore order.

Waste collection

The collection of garden waste could go back to being free, says ITV News.

Moves to bring back free garden waste collections must be “fully funded”, town halls have warned as figures show two thirds of councils now charge for the service.
The Government’s new waste strategy has promised to consult on whether the millions of English households with gardens should have access to free collections of their grass cuttings, twigs, plant and hedge clippings.

The post Saturday papers – 23 March 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – Tuesday 19 March 2019

News review – Tuesday 19 March 2019

‘Constitutional crisis’

Telegraph
John Bercow has plunged Britain into a “major constitutional crisis” after banning Theresa May from holding a third vote on her Brexit deal, the Solicitor General has said. The Speaker – a Remain voter who has faced repeated accusations of anti-Brexit bias – invoked a convention last used 99 years ago to stop the vote taking place. His unexpected announcement was greeted with fury in the Commons, as ministers accused him of being “interventionalist” and failing to “respect” MPs. With just 10 days to go until Brexit day, Mrs May is weighing her options to get round the Speaker’s ruling.

Times
Britain faced a constitutional crisis last night as Downing Street accused John Bercow of sabotaging Theresa May’s efforts to rescue her Brexit deal. No 10 was stunned when the Commons Speaker told the prime minister not to bring back her plan for a third vote without substantial changes. The ambush wrecked Mrs May’s plans to confront MPs before an EU summit on Thursday with a choice between her agreement and a long Brexit delay.

Guardian
Theresa May’s government has been plunged into constitutional chaos after the Speaker blocked the prime minister from asking MPs to vote on her Brexit deal for a third time unless it had fundamentally changed. With 11 days to go until Britain is due to leave the EU, May was forced to pull her plans for another meaningful vote because John Bercow said she could not ask MPs to pass the same deal, after they rejected it twice by huge margins.

Mail
John Bercow was accused of trying to sabotage Brexit last night after he blocked another vote on Theresa May’s deal. In a dramatic intervention, the Commons Speaker ruled that the EU withdrawal agreement could not be put to a vote again without substantial changes. He gave Downing Street no notice of his announcement, which came just 24 hours before the Prime Minister was expected to ask the Commons to decide on the issue for a third time following two crushing defeats.

Brexit

Sun
HARDLINE Tory Brexiteers have threatened Theresa May they will go on strike if she carries out her vow to delay Brexit by a year. No10 on Monday set a deadline of late on Tuesday for MPs to agree the PM’s exit deal before Thursday’s European summit. But instead of buckling to the pressure, diehard Tory MP Leavers raised the stakes back on the PM with a pledge to withdraw their cooperation. As many as 20 members of the hardline European Research Group have told whips they will carry out “vote strikes” – a move that would push Mrs May’s minority government to the verge of collapse.

Telegraph
“Should MPs vote again on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, it would be anything but delivering on the Brexit vote from two years ago. How would I know? Because I work within the heart of government. As a civil servant I can tell you large parts of the Whitehall machine are systematically working against leaving the EU. I have met thousands of civil servants in the past few years: I can only recall five who voted for Brexit. At first, I thought they were perhaps just staying quiet given the political climate, but my worst fear was confirmed during the high-profile remainer Gina Miller’s successful court case to make sure Parliament has a say on the Brexit outcome.”

Times
MPs seeking a hard Brexit have welcomed the Speaker’s decision to block another identical vote on Theresa May’s deal and said that they would rather face a long delay in leaving the European Union than endorse it. Members of the European Research Group (ERG) stiffened their resolve to oppose the prime minister’s deal despite her warning them that she would seek the “longest extension possible” to Article 50 when she meets EU leaders this week. Senior figures in the ERG believe they stand more chance of dictating the direction of Brexit if the exit day is pushed back by nine months or more.

DUP

Sun
FRESH hopes that a Brexit breakthrough was on the cards were raised today as a top DUP MP said the party wants a deal and Theresa May is listening to them. Nigel Dodds told reporters this afternoon about crunch meetings at No10 that his party wanted to get a deal signed and there was a “renewed focus” on getting  them on board. The Chancellor was called into an emergency Brexit summit with the party earlier today – sparking rumours that more cash for the Northern Irish party could be on the cards. But he insisted he was “not discussing cash” today, and said: “it’s about Brexit”.

Independent
The Democratic Unionist party is unlikely to strike an agreement with Theresa May’s government to support the current withdrawal deal before Thursday’s crunch meeting with EU leaders, sources said on Monday. With 11 days before the UK is due to leave the EU, the prime minister has been trying to convince the pro-Brexit party’s 10 MPs, who prop up her minority government, to back the Brexit deal she has agreed with the European Union.

Sun
TWO thirds of Tory Brexit rebels have vowed to stay firm – in a major blow to Theresa May’s hopes of passing her beleaguered Brexit deal. In a Sun survey of all 75 rebels who voted against the deal last week, 46 responded. Of those who have made up their mind, 32 declared they would not back the PM’s deal if it was brought back to the Commons unchanged. A further five said their support was dependent on the Government winning the backing of the DUP. And another two Tory MPs said they would only back the deal if Mrs May announced her departure. That means that as things stand, 39 Tory rebels remain opposed to her deal.

Theresa May

Independent
Moves to topple Theresa May are gaining momentum with a string of Tories signalling her resignation could be the only way to “move the dial” and ensure her Brexit deal is passed. Several backbenchers openly said it was time for the prime minister to quit after recent votes exposed irreconcilable divisions in the Conservative Party from the cabinet down. Others reported that the PM’s lieutenants have engaged with the idea, sounding out MPs over whether they would vote for Ms May’s Brexit plan if she gave a clearer schedule for her departure. Downing Street made no comment.

GE

Express
MPS have admitted a General Election could be around the corner following John Bercow’s announcement on the EU deal. This comes as a customs expert who has been advising Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group has said the EU “wants to teach the British a lesson” – and warned Prime Minister Theresa May has “no knowledge” about Brexit policies. After a recent invitation invited to Downing Street for tea, Dutchman Hans Maessen, 61, said: “Theresa May has no knowledge, her ministers don’t, and her advisers don’t. It is very serious.

EU

Times
Brussels politicians and officials are angry and dismayed at the latest obstacle thrown in the way of the ratification of the Brexit withdrawal treaty. Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, sounded the general note of despair across the EU after John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, ruled out a third Commons vote yesterday. “Yet another problem,” he said. Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s lead negotiator, was angry that the vote had been cancelled before Thursday’s EU summit, at which leaders were expecting to debate a British request to delay Brexit.

Independent
The EU is set to offer Theresa May a helping hand after her plan for a new meaningful vote was derailed, by formally agreeing on a new delayed Brexit date at this week’s summit and keeping it on offer until shortly before midnight on 29 March. A change of the UK’s departure date in the draft withdrawal agreement – potentially from 29 March until three months later on 1 July – might convince the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, that the deal before parliament has changed, sources in Brussels suggested.

Mail
Theresa May’s Brexit headache has been made worse by a senior Brussels politician who suggested the EU should not consider agreeing to delay Brexit without a fresh vote by MPs. After John Bercow staged a major intervention in the UK’s attempts to withdraw from the EU Guy Verhofstadt suggested it was time for ‘cross-party talks’ to end the deadlock. The former prime minister of Belgium and current European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator said on Twitter: ‘Why should the EU27 even consider a #Brexit extension this week, if the UK Parliament vote on the deal is cancelled?

Express
ARCH-EUROPHILE Guy Verhofstadt believes the generation of voters who will overturn Brexit “already exists” in the UK. Speaking in the European Parliament, the former Belgium Prime Minister predicted young Britons will grow up to realise Britain belongs inside the EU. Mr Verhofstadt, who has previously pleaded with the UK to rethink Brexit but last week warned Europe against extending Article 50 without a concrete plan from Theresa May, added he was “sure” the voters would “bring Britain back into the European family”.

Telegraph
Meanwhile, the EU’s other showdown with a democratic European state is going badly wrong. The Swiss are holding out against the hegemony of the European Court and an attempt to gut their national sovereignty. Switzerland is facing an excruciating squeeze. Its old bilateral accords with the EU are no longer deemed acceptable. Brussels wants to shut down the idiosyncratic “Swiss model” once and for all. The country has until the end of June to submit to the EU’s new framework agreement, or see its trading and financial access progressively cut off.

Mail
Furious Eurostar passengers have complained of seven-hour delays after strikes by French customs officials. The rail operator urged people to travel from Paris to London only if ‘absolutely necessary’ as the industrial action over pay and working conditions triggered delays to all its services. Four trains from Paris to London were cancelled on Sunday and another three were axed yesterday.  And Eurostar warned the disruption will last until Wednesday, with two services cancelled today and another three tomorrow.

Westmonster
France’s Prime Minister has this afternoon announced an indefinite ban on some Yellow Vest protests if they include violent groups after eighteen successive weekends of protest which have wreaked havoc in the country’s major cities. Following a meeting on Monday afternoon with Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared a ban on Paris’ Champs-Elysees avenue in addition to further bans in Bordeaux and Toulouse. It is understood that Paris’ police chief has also been sacked.

Fox News
France’s prime minister has announced a ban on yellow vest protests on Paris’ Champs-Elysees avenue and in two other French cities following riots on Saturday that left luxury stores ransacked and charred from arson fires. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the ban would apply for an unspecified period in the neighborhoods that have been “the most impacted” in the cities of Paris, Bordeaux and Toulouse where repeated destruction has occurred since the yellow vest protest movement began in November.

Mail
The French government has banned Yellow Vest protests from Paris after the movement rioted and caused millions of pounds worth of damage. In a high-risk move that may backfire, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said he wanted to avoid the scenes of chaos that saw high-shops, restaurants and other businesses looted and put to the torch last Saturday. The Champs Elysee, the most famous avenue in France, was the worst hit, as police used tear gas, batons and water canon to try and restrain a crowd of around 10,000.

Labour Party

Times
At least £67,000 of taxpayers’ money was used to pay two staff of a football club run by the Labour Party chairman, an audit has found. The money came from a Labour council’s regeneration wing, which had a “close relationship” with non-league Ashington, the auditors said. Ian Lavery, chairman of the Labour Party, was Ashington’s chairman until October. At one stage the club’s board included Mr Lavery’s parliamentary aide and election agent. The auditors looked into the running of Arch, a regeneration company owned by Northumberland county council.

Times
Labour’s official Jewish affiliate will debate a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn next month. The Jewish Labour Movement this month signalled its determination to fight antisemitism within the party rather than seceding. It has been formally tied to Labour since 1920. However, the final decision will be made at its annual meeting on April 7, when delegates will also debate the motion about Mr Corbyn. The motion notes “Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to adequately respond to the legitimate and reasonable demands from the JLM and the community’s representative bodies.

Mail
Jewish Labour members will debate a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn next month. The unprecedented motion, to be discussed at the Jewish Labour Movement’s annual meeting, claims the Labour leader has not been an ally against anti-Semitism. It says that Mr Corbyn’s leadership ‘combined with past actions and associations shows a complete disregard’ for British Jews. The motion goes on to say the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) believes ‘there is a culture of anti-Semitism from party members, an institutional culture enabling and sustaining it, and a culture of denial that such a problem even exists’.

Foreign aid

Guardian
The former international development secretary Priti Patel has joined calls for a radical shake-up of the aid budget rules, in a further sign that overseas funding could be a key issue in any post-Brexit Tory leadership race. She follows the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson in making calls for broadening the definition of British overseas aid. Patel, who resigned after she broke ministerial rules in her relations with the Israeli government, will on Monday back a pamphlet from the pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance calling for the international development budget to be reformed, and for the UK alone to decide what constitutes aid, rather than international organisations.

Trade

Express
THE UK’s Trade Secretary boosted no deal Brexit plans by announcing a new trade agreement with the two nations as the Government fights to replicate around 40 current EU trade deals before Brexit day. The new agreement means the UK will be able to trade freely with the two nations if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Dr Liam Fox tweeted on Monday evening: “BREAKING: Our negotiators have just initialled a trade agreement with Iceland & Norway for the European Economic Area.

Westmonster
International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox has announced a trade agreement in principle has been initialled between Brexit Britain and both Iceland and Norway. Further progress is being made on trade, good to see. Responding to the news, Fox tweeted: “Our negotiators have just initialled a trade agreement with Iceland & Norway for the European Economic Area. “This is the 2nd biggest agreement we’re rolling over and trade with EEA is worth nearly £30bn. This is on top of the agreement we’ve signed with Liechtenstein.”

Transport

Telegraph
Britain’s roads look set to be flooded with a host of new electric vehicles as the Government today announces a radical review of transport laws dating back 180 years.  Electric Scooters are just one of many battery-powered “micromobility” devices currently banned from roads, pavements and cycle lanes by legislation originally written in 1835 for the horse and carriage. Others include hoverboards, u-wheels and e-skateboards, some of which can reach 45mph. But pressure to reduce both car numbers and pollution on city streets has driven the Government to announce its biggest transport review for decades, which will also examine how cargo bikes and autonomous vehicles can reduce the burden of traffic in city centres.

Mail
Electric scooters could be allowed on roads for the first time in a major overhaul of transport laws. The Department for Transport is analysing what regulations need to be changed to keep up with the latest methods of getting around. The review will cover electric-powered scooters and cargo bicycles as well as self-driving cars and flexible bus services that alter their routes and stops in response to demand. Some of the laws under the microscope date back as far as the 19th century and the introduction of vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Education

Telegraph
One of the UK’s major exam boards has denied that their IGCSEs are “easier” GCSEs, arguing that the majority of entries are from private schools where attainment is generally higher.  Cambridge International said there is “no evidence” that IGCSEs are graded more leniently than GCSEs, as they dismiss such claims as mere “rumours”. The exam board said it is expected that a higher proportion of top grades are awarded to students who sit IGCSEs since the vast majority of entries are from private schools where “attainment tends to be higher”.

Healthcare

Telegraph
International donors are being urged to be more transparent about how corruption affects their aid programmes as a new report estimates that practices such as bribes, theft and embezzlement cost the world $500 billion a year. An analysis of the available data on corruption in health care, carried out by campaign group Transparency International, describes such practices as an “ignored pandemic”. The report focuses on corruption perpetrated by frontline health workers with practices including accepting bribes, stealing medicines to resell them and moonlighting in other jobs while being paid by public health services.

Star
DRUG-RESISTANT TB could take hold of Europe, WHO has warned. WHO has described TB as a major public health challenge in Europe which will only get worse unless dramatic steps are taken. TB is the leading cause of death from a single infections agent, making it more deadly than HIV and AIDS. And of the 275,000 new cases of TB, around 77,000 people are suffering from the “super” strain of the virus, immune to multi-drug treatments. The highest number of cases of drug-resistant TB were also found in Europe, leading to fears it could be spread across the continent.

NHS

Times
Breast cancer deaths are falling faster in Britain than in the rest of Europe as diagnosis and treatment improves, figures show. Death rates this year will be below the EU average after an 18 per cent drop in little more than half a decade, according to comparisons that suggest the NHS’s focus on better organisation, screening and care has paid dividends. A decline in the use of hormone replacement therapy, which studies more than ten years ago found increased the risk of breast cancer, could also be behind the improvements, scientists said.

The post News review – Tuesday 19 March 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

News review – 18 March 2019

News review – 18 March 2019

Withdrawal Agreement

Telegraph
Theresa May will cancel plans to hold a third vote on her Brexit deal this week if she does not believe she can win it, ministers revealed on Sunday. Instead, Downing Street is understood to be discussing an alternative strategy of holding the vote the week after, cranking up the pressure on MPs to back the deal or accept the blame for a lengthy delay. Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, said there would be “no point” in holding the vote “if we had no chance of winning”.

Mirror
Theresa May could pull this week’s planned Brexit vote if it looks like she is going to lose a third time, Cabinet Ministers warned. The Prime Minister wants to try for third time lucky this week before flying to a crunch Brussels summit on Thursday. Chancellor Philip Hammond admitted it was now “physically impossible” for the UK to Leave on March 29 as promised. Mrs May will ask EU chiefs to delay our departure until June, if MPs back her deal.

BBC News
Theresa May’s Brexit deal will not return to the Commons this week unless it has support from the DUP and Tory MPs, the chancellor says. The PM’s plan is expected to be voted on for a third time in the coming days. But Philip Hammond told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that it would only be put to MPs if “enough of our colleagues and the DUP are prepared to support it”. He did not rule out a financial settlement for Northern Ireland if the DUP backed the deal.

Telegraph
Boris Johnson has urged Eurosceptic MPs to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time if it is put to the vote this week as he warns it gives the EU “an indefinite means of blackmail” against the UK. In a major blow to the Prime Minister’s hopes of getting her deal through Parliament before Thursday’s EU summit, the former foreign secretary paints the Government as collaborators in “the final sabotage of Brexit” just 11 days before Britain is due to leave the EU.

Express
BORIS JOHNSON has warned the EU will use the Irish backstop arrangement as a means of blackmail throughout Brexit negotiations. The former Foreign Secretary who openly opposes Theresa’s May’s Brexit deal said it would be “detrimental” to the UK and risks the country becoming an “economic colony of Brussels”. He added the UK will be in a “weak” position if the Prime Minister’s deal is voted through. The Conservative MP highlighted taxpayers’ would hand over huge sums of money to the EU for “nothing in return”.

Mail
In yet another blow for the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has urged Theresa May to postpone the Brexit deal vote. Mr Johnson last night urged MPs to vote down Mrs May’s deal for a third time if it is put to a vote this week. But the under-pressure PM, also received a string of major endorsements that will give her fresh hope the deal could pass within days. Mr Johnson warned in his Daily Telegraph column that it gives the EU an ‘indefinite means of blackmail’ against the UK.

Times
Theresa May secured the backing of some staunch Brexiteers for her deal after personally lobbying MPs but last night remained significantly short of the number she needs to win a vote this week. Esther McVey, the former work and pensions secretary who quit over Brexit, confirmed her support yesterday after hinting late last week that she could back the deal. Charlie Elphicke, a member of the European Research Group and former whip, also suggested that he could vote for the deal but linked his support to Mrs May standing down before the next stage of EU negotiations.

Reuters
The British government does not yet have the support of enough lawmakers to win a parliamentary vote on its Brexit deal but a “significant number” of colleagues are coming around to back the plan, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday. Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to bring her deal back to parliament for a third vote this week, but Hammond said it would only go ahead if the government thought it could win.

Conservative Party

Independent
Tory leadership hopefuls have “stepped up a gear” in making their pitches to replace Theresa May as pressure mounts on the prime minister to set a date for leaving Downing Street. Rivals have undertaken a flurry of activity both behind the scenes and in the media as speculation grows that Ms May will announce her departure in the coming weeks. The expectation has been fuelled by signals that Conservative MPs whose votes the prime minister desperately needs to pass her Brexit deal would back her plan if she sets out her departure schedule.

Sun
HARDLINE Brexiteers could join forces with Labour MPs to try to topple Theresa May this week. Jeremy Corbyn yesterday revealed he will table another confidence motion in the PM if her Brexit deal is defeated again this week. Tory Brexiteers desperate to see her go could break ranks and back the explosive move. Mr Corbyn told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “The government is apparently going to bring its proposals once again to Parliament this week. “I suspect they’ll be defeated again.

Telegraph
Theresa May should make a “dignified departure,” says former Cabinet Minister Esther McVey, who confirmed she was prepared to stand for the leadership. The former Work and Pensions Secretary said the collapse in Cabinet discipline had made the Prime Minister’s position “very dubious” and she should consider setting out a timetable for her departure by the Summer in order to get her Brexit deal through Parliament

Independent
Moves to topple Theresa May are gaining momentum with a string of Tories signalling her resignation could be the only way to “move the dial” and ensure her Brexit deal is passed. Several backbenchers openly said it was time for the prime minister to quit after recent votes exposed irreconcilable divisions in the Conservative Party from the cabinet down. Others reported that the PM’s lieutenants have engaged with the idea, sounding out MPs over whether they would vote for Ms May’s Brexit plan if she gave a clearer schedule for her departure.

Express
DOWNING Street officials have ordered Conservative MEPs to begin preparations for the upcoming European elections amid growing concerns that Brexit will be delayed, sources revealed today. The Conservative delegation in Brussels have been asked to reflect on whether they wish to stand again as a British MEP. Express.co.uk has obtained a note from Ashley Fox, the leader of Tory MEPs, sent to his 17 colleagues after close consultation with Downing Street officials.

DUP

Guardian
Theresa May will embark on a final desperate scramble to win the Democratic Unionist party’s backing for her Brexit deal on Monday, in the hope that it could unlock parliament’s support at the third time of asking.  With several prominent Brexiters, including the former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey, now willing to switch their vote and support the deal, government sources said they hoped DUP backing could create “a sense of momentum”.

Westmonster
The DUP’s potentially critical support for Theresa May’s deal is going to be reliant on them having a big role in the negotiations moving forward. May needs the support of the 10 DUP MPs to have any chance of getting her deal through, especially as it would likely reassure Tory Brexiteer MPs on the backstop sufficiently, allowing them to back the deal as well. Jacob Rees-Mogg is one example of an influential figure who reportedly would back the deal if the DUP did so.

Independent
Philip Hammond has said he will review cash granted to Northern Ireland in the coming months, amid claims the government is trying to buy the support of DUP MPs for Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The chancellor said that current discussions with the DUP are not about money but “political assurances”, but highlighted funding for Northern Ireland would be looked at soon as part of a scheduled spending review.

Sun
ULSTER unionist MPs were yesterday given a St Patrick’s Day gift — the prospect of extra cash for Northern Ireland if they back Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Cabinet Ministers are locked in crunch talks with the DUP’s ten MPs. If they switch it would pave the way for Tory Brexiteers to finally support it too. In a dramatic intervention last night two architects of the Good Friday Agreement — Lord Trimble and Lord Bew — signalled they were ready to back the deal.

Labour Party

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he could launch a fresh bid to oust Theresa May if her Brexit deal is rejected by MPs for a third time. The Labour leader said it would be ‘appropriate’ to table another confidence motion in the Government at that point. Mr Corbyn also indicated that his party could back an amendment calling for a referendum on a Brexit deal, although he would not set out which side he would be on in another public vote.

Westmonster
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed that his party will be supporting an amendment by MPs for a truly dire referendum: Theresa May’s deal vs. not leaving the European Union at all. What an absolute disgrace. Corbyn told Ridge on Sunday that his party backs a “credible choice referendum” and will back an amendment put forward to put the bad deal against remaining in the EU in a second referendum.

Morning Star
JEREMY CORBYN is poised to launch a motion of no confidence in the government if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is rejected by MPs for a third time this week. The Labour leader said today that it would be “appropriate” to table another confidence motion in the government with the view to trigger a general election. A third vote on the Withdrawal Agreement could take place as soon as tomorrow evening. Last week the deal was rejected by a majority of 149 MPs. In January it was rejected by a majority of 230.

Independent
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he could vote to leave the EU if there is another Brexit referendum. Mr Corbyn said how he voted in any future referendum giving the British public a Final Say on Brexit would depend on the withdrawal deal which is on offer at the time. He gave a heavily caveated answer when asked if he was “enthusiastic” about the idea of a new referendum, and said that his party might back an amendment calling for one depending on its wording.

Local democracy

Times
Plans to use citizens’ assemblies and local polls to get voters more engaged with politics have been dismantled after the deadlock over Brexit prompted ministers to have second thoughts. The government came close to abandoning the scheme but instead dropped all proposals to put controversial issues to people and approved three schemes. The change of plan has caused dismay in Whitehall and angered campaigners who say that people should be given more opportunities to get involved in local decision-making.

EU

Telegraph
Italy is selling itself lock, stock, and barrel to the Chinese Communist Party, flouting the EU’s tough new line on Beijing and openly taunting the Franco-German axis. The techno-utopian Five Star Movement is chiefly responsible for this effusive embrace of Xi Jinping’s authoritarian model. Its leaders suppose there to be a pot of gold in the Middle Kingdom, available to buy Italy’s bonds and to pay for Rome’s unaffordable spending plans.   It is a way to take revenge against the EU policy elites for years of enforced austerity and their failure to deliver on ‘New Deal’ promises of an investment blitz.

Times
President Macron has faced criticism after a rampage of arson and looting at a yellow-vest protest in Paris took place while he was on a skiing break. Political opponents on both sides accused Mr Macron of weakness, the right accusing him of allowing rioting in order to strengthen his own hand after several hundred ultra-violent “wreckers” laid waste to a stretch of the Champs Elysées and hundreds of yellow-vest demonstrators smashed shops, cafés and banks.

Telegraph
Anti-government protesters hurled rocks and paving slabs at police, looted boutiques, smashed up a luxury restaurant on Paris’s famed Champs-Elysées and set a bank on fire on Saturday. A mother and her baby trapped on the second floor of the building, as flames surged up from the bank branch on the ground floor, were rescued by firefighters. The bank offices were gutted and 11 people were slightly injured, including two police officers. Smoke and tear gas shrouded the Champs-Elysées and at least 109 people were arrested in the worst outbreak of violence on the fringes of a “yellow vest” demonstration in Paris for several weeks.

Fox News
Paris is cleaning up one of the world’s most glamorous avenues after resurgent rioting by yellow vest protesters stunned the nation. Luxury stores, restaurants and banks on the Champs-Elysees assessed damage Sunday after they were ransacked or blackened by life-threatening fires.  Tourists took pictures as shop owners tried to repair broken windows and city workers scrubbed away graffiti.

Times
Germany is a prime target for Russian meddling in the European parliamentary elections in May, a spy agency has warned. The Kremlin is stirring up support for Eurosceptic parties such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the French National Rally in an effort to build a right-wing populist international bloc that would project its interests in Brussels, the Estonian foreign intelligence service (Efis) said.

Sun
EUROSTAR passengers face days more chaos as the firm warned passengers not to travel to Paris. Crowds queued for hours as four London-bound train were axed today – and another three will not run on Monday with more cancellations throughout the week. The cross-Channel chaos has now stretched into a third week as French customs officers demanding a Brexit pay rise are “working to rule” and imposing extra checks on passengers. Eurostar said on its website today: “We recommend not to travel unless absolutely necessary.”

Trade

Times
Plans to scrap tariffs on the bulk of UK imports would reduce the short-term damage of a disorderly no-deal Brexit by up to £10 billion, according to economists. Official estimates of the hit to GDP from leaving the EU without a deal or a transition have been calculated on the assumption that Britain mirrors the EU’s external tariff schedule. However, the government said last week that tariffs would be made zero on all but 5 per cent of imports.

NHS

Mail
Language used on NHS websites is being made more understandable for patients. The word nausea has been replaced by feeling sick, while a haemorrhage is to be referred to as a very heavy bleed. The move is part of a drive to make NHS literature more user-friendly by September 2020. The writing guide was created based on feedback from more than 10,000 people who were polled on word use. In a blog post on the NHS Digital website, content designer Sara Wilcox argued that using simpler language could save lives.

Sun
POO will replace the words “stools” and “faeces” on NHS websites to stop patients getting confused. Other words deemed too technical and set to be axed from health service material include “urinate” and “nausea”. As part of a plain English drive, NHS literature will instead refer to “pee” and “feeling sick”. And the word “oral” will be replaced with “mouth” for easier understanding. Research by NHS.UK Standards – the team behind the official website – found words like poo were preferred by all patients, no matter their educational level.

Telegraph
NHS bodies are risking babies’ health by accepting money from milk formula companies in breach of World Health Organization rules, an investigation has found. Nearly a third of local commissioners responsible for allocating NHS cash have breached guidelines such as by accepting payments or sponsorship over the last five years, the survey revealed. The international code of practice is intended to protect breastfeeding and regulate the often aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Mail
A third of NHS health boards have broken guidelines by accepting payments or sponsorship from baby formula companies, an investigation has revealed. The marketing of infant formula is strictly regulated to try to halt plummeting rates of breastfeeding. Companies are not allowed to advertise or promote formula designed for infants under the age of six months, and the World Health Organisation code of practice says no medical organisation or doctor should accept payments from formula firms.

Air travel

Times
Airline passengers have been banned from drinking duty-free wine and spirits on flights because of growing concerns over alcohol-fuelled air rage, The Times has learnt. Rules have been introduced that require all duty-free alcohol to be placed in sealed bags to stop travellers opening bottles until well after their aircraft has landed. The system is being employed by World Duty Free, the sole provider of duty-free shops at most large airports in Britain, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.

Mail
Air passengers buying duty-free alcohol at Britain’s biggest airports will have it put in sealed bags to cut drink-fuelled violence. Beers, wine and spirits will be kept in carriers marked ‘do not open’ until holidaymakers have landed’, the Times reported. Opening bottles on flights is already against most airlines’ rules. The policy will be introduced by World Duty Free, which runs 22 stores in airports including Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.

Star
FLIGHT prices to EU countries are plummeting with the uncertainty over Brexit. So your Daily Star scoured the web for the best deal and discovered canny Brits can jet off to the French city of Toulouse for less than a tenner. Ryanair is offering the £9.99 deal, and a return trip stretches to just £35 on March 29 – the day Britain is due to leave the EU. Toulouse is in south-west France, a two hour flight from the UK, and has plenty to attract the thrifty Brit.

Tax scam

Mail
The conmen behind a scam robbing taxpayers of millions of pounds can be exposed by the Daily Mail today. Working from a ramshackle office in India, they pose as HMRC officials to terrorise up to 10,000 Britons a day. Victims are told they owe tax and face arrest and imprisonment if they do not pay up instantly. Some have lost as much as £20,000. HMRC staff dealt with 330 repayment fraud cases a day in the six months to January – 60,000 in all and 360 per cent up on the previous half-year.

The post News review – 18 March 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Monday 18th March 2019

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Monday 18th March 2019

If you needed proof to see how far removed  from us, the people, our so-called ‘great and good’ are, then the Brexit ‘news’ yesterday and this morning are ‘it’.

Yesterday the papers were full of exhortations to us – not the PM, us! – about Brexit and what to do:

Daniel Hannan MEP (T): This is the Tories’ last chance to reject May’s deal, press reset and undo her appalling mistakes

Gisela Stuart (L): The route out of this mess is a general election

Esther McVey MP (T, ERG): As a Brexiteer backed into a corner, I will now vote for this deal

David Blunkett (L): To solve this crisis, we need a second referendum

And of course, Top of the Pops, yesterday morning Theresa May (T, PM) wrote: The patriotic thing for MPs to do is vote for my Brexit deal

These articles are all paywalled, so don’t bother going there – the headlines speak for themselves

None of the authors grasp the fact that it’s not us they need to convince! We’ve told them what we want: the No Deal Brexit we’ve voted for! No more posturing, no more cave-ins: stand on your convictions and face the consequences of our anger! You had sufficient time!

The top ‘news’ this morning, with the Brexit clock ticking on,  is that Ms May may delay (hah – now that’s novel!) the vote on her WA this week. Someone has come up with this little abbreviation which I happily steal: MVIII, or “Meaningful Vote III”. As you recall, this MVIII was to take on Wednesday, so Ms May would be enabled to go to the EU Meeting on Thursday and ask for a ‘short extension’.

It is dawning on the mighty minds in the Tory Party that this might still not get through, some cave-ins from the ERG and DUP notwithstanding. So now they talk and write about not even letting Parliament have that MVIII:

“Theresa May will cancel plans to hold a third vote on her Brexit deal this week if she does not believe she can win it, ministers revealed on Sunday. Instead, Downing Street is understood to be discussing an alternative strategy of holding the vote the week after, cranking up the pressure on MPs to back the deal or accept the blame for a lengthy delay.” (paywalled link)

It’s fully-fledged “Parliamentary Project Fear”. You can recognise the various thumbscrews used by looking at some articles in this morning’s papers. They are, as usual, long on speculation and short on substance. Here’s a blatant instant:

“Liam Fox has warned his fellow Brexiteers that failing to back Theresa May’s deal would alienate voters because it would bring a lengthy delay to Britain’s departure from the European Union.” (paywalled link)

You should get out more, Liam Fox – voters will be thoroughly disgusted, not just alienated, if this May Abomination gets the nod! Even the shilly-shallying BoJo who has asked his own constituency party has ‘got it’:

“My constituents were strongly of the view that I should not compromise. They assured me that they would support whatever decision I took – but they believed I should continue to vote against the deal.” (paywalled link)

Note however that he’s left a little backdoor open to vote for whatever is expedient in the end. Still, according to the (remain) DM, at the moment BoJo stands firm against Ms May’s deal .. so far …

Since May needs the DUP to get MVIII through, the main issue is, again and of course, the backstop. The following will therefore come as no surprise:

“She will receive a significant boost today when Lord Trimble, who tried to take the government to court over her deal, says that she has secured substantive changes that would limit the impact of the Irish backstop.The intervention from one of the architects of the Good Friday agreement could help to bring on board Tory Brexiteers, who have used the threat to the integrity of the UK as a reason not to fall into line. It could also influence the DUP, whose failure to support the deal has been fatal.”(paywalled link)

A ‘breakthrough’ on the backstop? Lawyers for Britain don’t think so! Here’s the key quote, from Mr Howe QC:

“The consensus of the lawyers who have looked into this argument is that it is hopeless. Even if it weren’t hopeless it would have to be pursued through months or years of international arbitration proceedings with a very high risk of a damaging adverse verdict against the UK. I have been alarmed to see at least one major politician today who is apparently basing his views about whether we can get out of the backstop on one letter to The Times which clearly has failed to deal with a vital element of the argument, unforeseeability.  I think that politicians have a duty to base their decisions on vital national matters on a fuller and more careful review of the available legal advice.”

Exactly, Mr Howe QC! This advice is even more important when we read this speculation, according to which Lord Trimble has secured a ‘breakthrough’:

“But former Northern Ireland first minister Lord Trimble has hinted changes secured with the EU have improved its chances of getting through the Commons. He said the Tory government had “succeeded in securing substantive changes that will affect and limit the impact of the Irish backstop”. (link)

It’s not the courts then which have changed Lord Trimble’s mind – it’s the EU! Really! And of course we’re not told what this change is about. But we are told (in the same article) that people may vote for May’s abomination because of sheer weariness …  what a perfectly reasonable political argument!

The inevitable ‘Brussels Sources’ must also be rolled out:

“Brussels fears that Mrs May’s deal will be rejected yet again and are preparing for negotiations with a new British leader. [..] According to the minutes from a recent meeting, the European Commission’s secretary general, Martin Selmayr said: “Imagine that they have a new Brexit secretary or prime minister – what then? Article 50 has been agreed and the process has ended. It must be clear that the starting point is not a renegotiation of the withdrawal agreement.” With May’s position under serious threat, the EU is making provisions to stop the current withdrawal agreement being unpicked and altered. (source)

The incomparable Sir John Redwood has been writing about the ‘offers’ on the ‘table’ over the weekend. He deserves to have the last word this morning:

“So there we have it. An actual very expensive long delay which Parliament rejects, or a theoretical long delay which the 188 Conservative MPs who voted against delay could not accept. What a silly idea that we have to choose between a disaster and a phantom.The default option remains leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement, which remains the best option.” (link)

So it’s another week of shenanigans and manipulations by our Remain MSM and Remain  MPs and PM. When will these people get it that we want our WTO Brexit, no ifs and buts?

Keep emailing your MPs and MEPs, you constituency association chairmen and your local papers! We must be relentless now, it’s the endgame.

11 Days to Brexit

KBO!

The post YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Monday 18th March 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Sunday papers – 17 March 2019

Sunday papers – 17 March 2019

Brexit

Threats and blackmail are being touted by the Prime Minister over her Brexit deal.  The Mail says:

Theresa May has warned Tory MPs that if her Brexit deal fails to pass the Commons this week the UK will be stuck in the Brussels version of a ‘Hotel California’ – unable ever to leave the EU.
The Prime Minister has been advised that, if her troubled agreement is rejected again this week – forcing her to apply to the EU for a long extension to Article 50 – then the Commons would have the power to delay Brexit indefinitely.

More blackmail in the Express:

THERESA May last night warned MPs they have just three days to back her deal – or face Britain remaining under EU rule.
The Prime Minister’s plea came as senior Brexiteers began to switch their support to her deal amid suggestions up to 30 Labour MPs could back it, along with the DUP. However, a hardcore group of Tory Brexiteer MPs have vowed to hold out against supporting the proposal in the hope Britain will leave with no deal on March 29.

And the Times.

Theresa May will tell Conservative MPs this week to back her or risk never leaving the EU, after she was warned that if her Brexit deal falls, parliament would have the power to delay the UK’s departure indefinitely.
The prime minister will tell Brexiteers they have until Thursday to support her or risk a “collective political failure” in the form of a “Hotel California Brexit” where “you can check out, but you can never leave”.

But Westmonster says the Brexiteers will stand firm.

Conservative Brexiteer MPs are indicating that they still don’t plan to vote for Theresa May’s deal when it is brought back to the House of Commons for a third time.
Former DEFRA secretary of state and ardent Brexiteer, Owen Paterson, has announced he will not be voting for Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement when it comes back to the Commons for the third time on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister has written in the Telegraph to try and persuade her MPs to vote for her Withdrawal Agreement.

Amidst the Parliamentary drama at Westminster last week, a greater clarity emerged about the choices we face as a country.
In Strasbourg last Monday, I secured a package of legally-binding improvements to the Brexit deal that respond to the legitimate concerns of MPs about the Northern Ireland backstop.   I said that a failure to support that improved deal would open up a range of undesirable alternatives, from not leaving the EU as scheduled on March 29, to the risk of a second referendum, a general election or the increased possibility of leaving without a deal. So it proved.

But MPs and pundits have been lining up against her, also in the Telegraph. Owen Paterson says:

Despite the turbulence of last week’s votes, the law remains that the UK will leave the EU at 11pm on March 29. The Remainer plots – supported on some votes by certain unruly ministers – to seize control of the parliamentary timetable or force a second referendum were all defeated.
But the Commons did resolve that a short extension to June 30 2019 should be sought on the condition that “the House has passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement.” The Prime Minister will, therefore, present her deal to the Commons again. Without substantial changes, I will vote against it again.

Also in the Telegraph, Gisela Stuart adds:

Amid what looks like chaos, it can help to keep a clear head. Anyone looking at Westminster from the outside would be forgiven for being bemused, anxious and quite probably also angry. As a former MP, even I struggle to comprehend quite how our politicians have brought the country to this point.
We didn’t have to be where we are now. The problem started after the referendum where Leavers who had thought about what to do next found themselves outside government.

Grassroots Tories are also trying to get their message over to the PM.  The Telegraph reports:

Theresa May has been told by the leaders of dozens of local Conservative grassroots associations that she will be “personally” held responsible for any “betrayal” of Brexit.
Nearly 40 local party chairmen and longtime activists have told the Prime Minister that they are in an “absolute state of despair as to what is happening to democracy in this once great country of ours”.

And the Irish politicians are still unhappy with the Withdrawal Agreement, reports BBC News.

The Democratic Unionist Party has said there are “still issues to be discussed” with the government as Theresa May continues to try to win support for her Brexit deal.
Mrs May is expected to bring her withdrawal agreement back to the Commons next week for a third vote.
It comes after MPs this week rejected her deal and voted to delay Brexit.
The DUP, which has twice voted against the agreement, said it remained in discussions with the government.

The Sun claims the PM might even pull the vote if she is told it won’t go through.

THERESA May is ready to ditch her Brexit deal rather than face a third humiliating defeat.
The PM will not force a vote this week unless she is convinced she has the support to get it through.
Theresa May is ready to ditch her Brexit deal rather than face a third humiliating defeat – which could spark a two-year delay to leaving the EU.
In a stark message to dithering Tory MPs, she vowed there will be no fourth attempt if she fails this time.

ITV News’s Robert Peston agrees:

Although the prime minister wants to hold another “meaningful vote” on her Brexit plan next week, it is by no means certain that, when it comes to the crunch, she will choose to do so.
I am told by her close colleagues, that two conditions must be met for her to go ahead with the vote, probably on Tuesday.
First, Northern Ireland’s DUP must say on Monday that they have, at the last, changed their minds and have decided to vote with her.

EU

Meanwhile, across the Channel, the EU has realised Brexit could actually happen, reports the Express.

BREXIT crisis talks are underway in Brussels and the UK – but as time runs out to reach agreement on a deal, one political expert has warned all hope has nearly gone.
The UK remains split over Brexit following a series of Parliament votes this week. MPs voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal for a second time on Tuesday but backed an extension of the March 29 Brexit deadline on Thursday.

The Guardian calls it ‘war-gaming’.

The EU is war-gaming for the fall of Theresa May amid a complete collapse in confidence in the prime minister after a week of chaos over Brexit, a leaked document seen by the Observer reveals.
In the run-up to a crucial summit of EU leaders where May will ask for a delay to Brexit, Brussels fears there is little hope that she will succeed in passing her deal this week and is preparing itself for a change of the guard in Downing Street.
A diplomatic note of a meeting of EU ambassadors and senior officials reveals an attempt to ensure that any new prime minister cannot immediately unpick the withdrawal agreement should May be replaced in the months ahead.

Euro elections

It seems that our country’s politicians have been warned that the Euro Elections will take place, reports the Telegraph.

Britain’s political parties have been formally told by the electoral regulator to prepare to fight the European Parliament elections in two months’ time as fears of a lengthy delay to Brexit grow.
In a move that is likely to ignite anger among Brexiteers, fresh guidance running to 23 page booklet seen by the Sunday Telegraph has been made available to political parties by the Electoral Commission.

The Express also reports the Electoral Commission’s warning.

FEARS of a lengthy delay to Brexit continue to grow as the UK’s political parties prepare to fight the European Parliament elections in two months’ time.
A 23-page booklet has been made available to political parties by the Electoral Commission, according to the Sunday Telegraph. The document which is for parties hoping to stand as candidates stated “on 23 May 2019 voters in the United Kingdom will cast their ballot to elect 73 Members of the European Parliament.” In light of these elections, former Ukip leader Nigel Farage is likely to return to politics with his new Brexit party.

Labour Party

Labour are still working towards a second referendum, says the Telegraph.

Labour will this week back a cross-party amendment which would set Britain on course for a referendum on Theresa May’s deal.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the final text of the amendment by backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, which has been revised following input from Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary.
Labour plans to whip its MPs to vote for the amendment, which the two backbenchers will table on this week’s Meaningful Vote.

The Mail claims Labour has benefitted from the chaos.

Theresa May has performed a miracle. Her imploding premiership has allowed Jeremy Corbyn to undertake a skilful make-over.
Over the past days, the bedraggled Marxist fanatic has been morphing into an elegant statesman smoothly preaching goodwill to end the Brexit crisis.
If the Government’s meltdown continues and Corbyn’s astute transformation gains traction, Britain faces the prospect of sleepwalking into disaster – heralding the most extreme Left-wing government in the nation’s history.

Conservative Party

The country will not be kind to Europhiles, says the Telegraph.

Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid will be “remorselessly” target by Eurosceptics during the next Tory leadership campaign after voting to extend Article 50.
Mr Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, and Mr Javid, the Home Secretary, are seen as “centrist” prospects for the Tory leadership who have the potential to win the support of both Eurosceptics and Remainers.
However on Thursday evening they were among 18 Cabinet ministers who backed the Prime Minister’s motion to extend Article 50 until the end of June.

The Express reports the imminent resignation of the Prime Minister.

SENIOR aides have said Theresa May will be “gone in weeks” and told her she must quit in order to secure enough backing from Brexiters for her divorce deal.
Top advisers to the Prime Minister have secretly admitted they believe she is “finished” and should “fall on her sword” in the wake of this week’s further Commons defeats. Two of Mrs May’s closest confidants told the Daily Telegraph the PM should announce a timetable for her departure so she can “go with dignity” and one cabinet minister told The Sun: “I can’t see this continuing beyond the next few weeks.” The minister said Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful backbench 1922 Committee, would have to “tap her on the shoulder” and tell her she cannot continue.

Breitbart also reports May’s potential future.

Senior aides to Prime Minister Theresa May believe she is “finished” and want her to “fall on her sword” now and set a date for her departure, in hopes this will allow her to “go with dignity”.
The calls follow a second heavy defeat for the Withdrawal Agreement which Mrs May negotiated with the European Union, which is deeply unpopular with Brexiteer Tories as well as Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on which her minority government relies to achieve a parliamentary majority.

The Telegraph turns its attention to who might succeed May.

Former Cabinet ministers Dominic Raab and Esther McVey are being tipped by MPs to be the ‘Brexiteer’ candidate in a future Tory leadership election amid fears Boris Johnson’s chances may be waning.
Speculation is rife in Westminster that Theresa May will be asked to stand down by a group of senior Conservative MPs led by 1922 chairman Sir Graham Brady in April or May if Britain leaves the European Union in the next few months.

The Mail reports on the hopefuls.

Tory leadership hopefuls have “stepped up a gear” in making their pitches to replace Theresa May as pressure mounts on the prime minister to set a date for leaving Downing Street.
Rivals have undertaken a flurry of activity both behind the scenes and in the media as speculation grows that Ms May will announce her departure in the coming weeks.

And Boris is said by the Sun to be a leading contender.

BORIS Johnson has been urged to become a Brexit hero – and boost his hopes of becoming PM.
The former Foreign Secretary’s future rests on whether or not he backs Theresa May’s deal.
He has twice voted against it but admirers believe he must be on the winning side again to stand a chance of making it into Number 10.

Westmonster also claims Boris might just attain his dream of becoming Prime Minister.

When it comes to who should replace Theresa May as Prime Minister, there is still one clear successor in mind for Conservative voters: Boris Johnson.
Despite the chattering class dismissing the twice-elected Mayor of London, the staunch Brexiteer is remains top of the pile when Tory voters are asked who they want to see take over next.
A YouGov poll for The Times asked Conservative voters who they think would make a good Leader. 41% said Boris compared to 28% for Michael Gove, 27% for Jacob Rees-Mogg, 26% for David Davis, 25% for Sajid Javid and 24% for Jeremy Hunt.

And the Times reports the Leader of the House’s efforts to take the top job.

Cabinet ministers plotting to replace Theresa May dramatically stepped up their campaigning last week as her premiership faltered, amid a belief in the prime minister’s top team that she will be forced to resign before the summer.
Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, hosted a dinner party on Tuesday, shortly after May’s Brexit deal crashed to a second landslide defeat. “Leadership was the only topic of conversation,” one source said.

Overall, the country is fed up with Parliament, says the Times.

The number of voters who think Britain is facing a serious national crisis has soared after a week of Brexit chaos — and the public thinks the prime minister should resign, a new poll has found.
By a margin of 49% to 33%, voters think Theresa May should quit. Even 37% of Tory voters want her out, according to the YouGov survey commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign.

France

President Macron still has a big problem, reports the Mail.

French President Emmanuel Macron has cut short a skiing trip in the Pyrenees to return to Paris for a crisis meeting after ‘yellow vest’ protesters trashed shops and torched cars in the heart of Paris.
Businesses on the famed Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris were destroyed on Saturday, on the 18th weekend of French the protests, characterised by a sharp increase in violence after weeks of dwindling turnout.

ITV News also reports on the continuing riots.

French yellow vest protesters have clashed with riot police near the Arc de Triomphe as they kicked off their 18th straight weekend of demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron.
The violence started when protesters threw smoke bombs and other objects at officers along the Champs-Elysees — scene of repeated past rioting — and started hitting the windows of a police van. Riot police then retreated, with protesters kicking the side of the large truck.
Later, water cannon unleashed bursts from a side street to try to push back protesters clustered between a Cartier boutique and a Mont Blanc store.

And the Sun claims the protestors demanded Macron’s head.

BLOODY violence erupted in Paris today as marauding protesters calling for French President Emmanuel Macron’s head brought terror and carnage to the capital.
Teargas and baton charges were used by fired-up riot cops on a so-called ‘Act XVIII’ Day of Rage organised by the fearless Yellow Vest movement.
Fighting broke out on the Champs Elysee, the most famous avenue in the under-siege city, by 11am, when there had already been 25 arrests.

Foreign aid

The Sun quotes a report saying foreign aid is being squandered.

BILLIONS of pounds in foreign aid cash are at risk of being squandered, a report has said.
New measures are needed to prevent government departments from wasting cash, it says.
The warning comes as the aid budget has swelled to £14 billion – with nearly £4 billion spent outside the overseas aid department.
Calls for the changes come from the Taxpayers’ Alliance as they launch their First Aid report into development cash.

NHS

Opioids could be rationed, says the Times.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), the official health watchdog, is to develop guidelines for GPs on prescribing opioids and how to ease patients off the powerful painkillers.
The move comes after an investigation by The Sunday Times exposed a huge increase in prescriptions of super-strength painkillers, stark variations in GP prescribing patterns and soaring addiction rates, overdoses and deaths.
This newspaper revealed last month that growing numbers of Britons were being given the highly addictive drugs for chronic pain — despite evidence that they are mostly ineffective at treating the condition.

Social care

The cap on social care costs will not help the vast majority of pensioners, says the Times.

About 95% of pensioners will not benefit from a proposed cap of £100,000 on the cost of social care because it does not cover accommodation bills, experts warn.
A typical pensioner could have eight years of care before reaching the limit — but the average care home stay is less than 22 months, according to research by the accountancy firm Grant Thornton.
In a letter to the chancellor, Philip Hammond, last week, George McNamara, the director of policy at the charity Independent Age, said the proposed cap “would only benefit around 20,000 people — fewer than 5% of the 421,000 people in residential care”.

International weaponry

Ghost ships could take to the water, says the Sun.

THE US Navy is launching a fleet of ‘ghost’ battleships tasked with tracking and taking out Russia’s latest hypersonic nukes.
The 10 state-of-the-art drone vessels will carry a variety of sensors and deadly missiles – but not one member of crew.
The proliferation of supersonic and hypersonic missiles makes it paramount to detect threats from as far away as possible.
But – up until now – the curvature of the Earth has dramatically lowered the distance at which low-flying missiles can be detected before they hit.

The post Sunday papers – 17 March 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Saturday papers – 16 March 2019

Saturday papers – 16 March 2019

EU

Could it be that we’re relying on the EU to achieve Brexit?  The Express reports:

A NO DEAL BREXIT can still “prevail” if Britain doesn’t approve Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement or promotes a clear alternative plan by next week, an official at Emmanuel Macron’s office said.
France warned the UK yesterday’s vote in Parliament could change nothing as the EU27 need to approve an extension to Article 50. And the Elysee said it will only grant it to allow Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement to be implemented or if Britain brings forward a new Brexit plan. The official at Mr Macron’s office said: “Without clarity, an adoption of the withdrawal agreement or a clear alternative, a no-deal would prevail.”
On Thursday MPs overwhelmingly asked the Prime Minister to head to Brussels and seek a delay to the EU departure.
But the vote hasn’t changed the current British legislation, which still sees the UK leaving the bloc on March 29 with or without a deal until Brussels approves the delay.

Sky News reports that the EU has demanded a ‘clear plan’ before it agrees to an extension.

The UK must put forward a clear plan for what happens next if there is to be a delay to Brexit, EU leaders have warned.
Despite MPs voting in favour of extending the Article 50 negotiating period on Thursday night, the House of Commons has been told this does not necessarily rule out a no-deal Brexit.
Instead, MPs will either have to approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, which they have already rejected twice, or come up with another proposal for breaking the deadlock at Westminster.

And the Dutch prime minister, long thought of as an ally to the UK, also adds his voice in the Express.

BREXIT won’t be delayed unless Britain “explains” how to end the deadlock, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, joining the chorus of EU leaders casting doubts over the possibility to push forward the UK’s exit date.
Pro-EU Mr Rutte issued a stark warning to the UK hours after MPs gave Theresa May the mandate to seek in Brussels a delay to Britain’s exit date from the bloc.

The Guardian claims the EU with throw us out of the bloc if we haven’t held elections.

Brussels will have to terminate the UK’s extended membership of the European Union on 1 July if elections for British MEPs have not been held, a leaked legal document reveals.
A three-month delay to Brexit beyond 29 March will not carry any conditions, but anything longer than that requires Britain to have taken part in European parliamentary elections, ambassadors have been told.
EU law does not stand in the way of multiple extensions to the UK’s membership if requested, the document says. But if elections had not been held in May, and the UK subsequently sought to stay on as a member state to avoid a no-deal Brexit, for example, the EU would be bound to reject a request, the document seen by the Guardian says.

Breitbart claims the UK must cancel Brexit to get a delay.

Senior EU officials have reportedly said they would only accept a long delay to Brexit if the UK uses the time to decide between cancelling Brexit, agreeing a softer exit — staying in the Single Market and Customs Union — or calling a second referendum.
The report by The Times follows the House of Commons vote Thursday night to back applying to Brussels for a Brexit delay after having voted to rule out leaving without a deal on Wednesday.

The prospect of extension after extension is dismissed in the Guardian.

Ireland will want to avoid a series of “rolling cliff edges” if the UK requests a delay to its exit from the EU, the country’s finance minister has said.
Paschal Donohoe said London would need to convince the EU27 that an extension to article 50 would not further risk economic disruption.
“I believe it is highly important that we do all we can to avoid being in a scenario of rolling cliff edges … particularly from a financial market stability perspective and economic stability, we need to be aware of that,” he said.

DUP

Talks are progressing with the Democratic Unionist Party says the Express.

THERESA May was given new hope of securing her Brexit deal last night after fresh signs that Tory Eurosceptic and Democratic Unionist Party MPs are ready drop their opposition following fears the EU departure is under threat.
In a dramatic development in the effort to break the parliamentary deadlock, one of the Prime Minister’s fiercest Tory critics indicated that many of her Eurosceptic colleagues could vote for the Withdrawal Agreement in a third Commons “meaningful vote” expected on Tuesday.

The Times also has the story.

Senior DUP figures said that they held constructive Brexit talks with ministers yesterday, raising the prospect that they could back Mrs May’s deal in a crunch vote next week.
Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, is in Washington for the build-up to St Patrick’s Day but is due back in Britain today and could join further talks.
Negotiations between her party and Conservative ministers have intensified as Mrs May prepares to ask MPs to support her Brexit agreement with Brussels for a third time after two crushing defeats in the Commons.

The Mail reports the DUP’s denial that the part was offered a bribe.

The DUP’s top MP smiled today as he denied Chancellor Philip Hammond offered the party cash to back Theresa May’s Brexit divorce in the Commons next week but said: ‘We want to get a deal’.
Deputy leader Nigel Dodds also revealed the party remains ‘very disappointed’ with Geoffrey Cox’s legal advice on the Irish backstop as pressure was heaped on the Attorney General to tweak it.
Mr Hammond is leading negotiations with the Unionist party who previously grabbed an extra £1billion of funding for Northern Ireland in exchange for its 10 MPs propping up the Government for two years until this summer.

Independent news agency Reuters reports on the talks.

The Northern Irish party that is crucial to Prime Minister Theresa May’s hopes of getting her twice-defeated Brexit deal through parliament said it had good talks with British ministers on Friday but differences remained over the Irish border.
The United Kingdom’s divorce from the European Union has sown chaos throughout May’s premiership and the Brexit finale is still uncertain. Options include a long delay, exiting with May’s deal, leaving without a deal or even another referendum.

The Sun claims a breakthrough is near.

THERESA May was last night on the verge of winning the DUP’s support for her Brexit deal in a huge breakthrough.
One Cabinet Minister said the chances of the Ulster unionists finally backing her agreement with the EU were now at “60:40” after crunch talks on new legal guarantees.
Chancellor Philip Hammond was also drafted into the talks in Whitehall yesterday – sparking speculation of a new cash package for Northern Ireland.

BBC News puts a positive spin on the negotiations.

The DUP has welcomed the government’s “renewed focus” on addressing its objections to the Brexit deal ahead of next week’s third Commons vote.
The party has twice voted against the deal over concerns it would see Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK.
After talks with ministers in London, its Westminster leader Nigel Dodds said it was still seeking extra guarantees.
His party “wanted to get a deal but it had to be the right deal”, he said.

And ITV News calls the negotiations ‘constructive’.

The DUP had a “constructive dialogue” with Cabinet ministers over Brexit on Friday as the Prime Minister desperately seeks to build support for her deal after it suffered a fresh setback.
Backing from the DUP could lead to Mrs May’s deal being approved by the Commons next week, after it was defeated for the second time on Tuesday.
The talks come as European leaders consider whether to agree to UK calls for Britain’s departure to be delayed.

The Guardian reports the talks are continuing.

The Democratic Unionist party is to continue intensive talks to try to reach an agreement to allow it to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal, with discussions focusing on domestic legal guarantees that Northern Ireland will have no regulatory divergence with the rest of the UK.
Downing Street is hopeful that the support of the DUP is key to unlocking the backing of many Conservative Brexiters when May brings her deal to the House of Commons for the third time.

And the Independent has an exclusive report claiming that the Government is also talking to members of the Labour Party.

Theresa May’s team are in behind-closed-door talks in a bid to secure the support of up to 20 Labour MPs for the prime minister’s troubled Brexit deal.
Ministers are said to be negotiating with the MPs from Leave-backing seats, as pressure intensifies on Ms May to secure backing for her twice-defeated plan.
With just four days to go until the vote, the Labour Brexiteers have demanded that parliament’s right to shape Britain’s future relations with the EU be cemented into law.

Fisheries

Fishing boats have sailed up to Newcastle to demonstrate, reports the Guardian.

The battle for Brexit has taken to the waves again as a flotilla of fishing boats sailed up the Tyne in Newcastle to demand a no-deal departure from the EU.
The demonstration came the day before Nigel Farage was due to launch a 280-mile “Leave Means Leave” march from Sunderland to Westminster.
The former Ukip leader was expected to appear at the protest on the river but had not surfaced by early afternoon, instead appearing on the US television network Fox News.

Breitbart also reports.

A flotilla of fishing boats have sailed up the river Tyne to Newcastle in protest against what they called a Brexit betrayal underway.
The nautical protest came after a week of votes in Westminster which have all but made certain that the United Kingdom will not leave the European Union on March 29th as has been long promised as undeniable fact by the Prime Minister, and a day before Brexit leader Nigel Farage launched a protest march from nearby Sunderland to London.
Banners carried on the craft included messages such as “you promised to take back control, but you’ve betrayed us again”, “let’s flourish great and free”, and “save our country, no deal now!”.

WTO rules

It seems the Brexit secretary voted against a delay, reports the Times.

Stephen Barclay frayed cabinet collective responsibility still further yesterday by insisting that the UK should leave without a deal rather than endure a long Brexit delay.
He defended his decision to vote against a motion mandating the prime minister to seek a short delay to complete legislation minutes after telling MPs that it was in the national interest.
Mr Barclay said he had exercised his right to oppose the motion on a free vote because it had raised the prospect that the EU may force a longer delay.

The Brexit secretary says we shouldn’t fear WTO rules, reports Westmonster.

Britain’s Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay has spoken out today, insisting that the UK “should not be afraid to leave with No Deal”. What a contrast to many in government who have sought to oppose a WTO Brexit despite it having a 14-point lead in a recent ComRes poll.
Barclay was one of many Cabinet Ministers to vote against an Article 50 extension in Parliament last night, though it sadly passed.
Speaking to the BBC’s Tom Barton today, Barclay said that “there will now need to be a short technical extension” for a UK-EU deal.

The report must have been difficult for the pro-EU Independent.

It would be better for Britain to leave the EU without a deal than to seek a long delay to its departure, the Brexit secretary has said.
Stephen Barclay said the UK “shouldn’t be afraid” of a no-deal outcome, even after parliament to take the option off the table.
The Brexit secretary was one of seven cabinet ministers who on Thursday voted against a government motion proposing a delay to Brexit, despite the fact he had wrapped up the debate for the government and urged MPs to support the proposal.

Tory leadership

The Prime Minister is ‘finished’ reports the Telegraph.

Senior aides of Theresa May privately believe she is “finished” and may be forced to set out a timetable for her departure if she is to win the meaningful vote on her Brexit deal.
The Telegraph understands that two senior Downing Street figures believe that the Prime Minister should “fall on her sword” and announce she will quit to ensure she is able to “go with dignity”.
They believe she has permanently “lost the trust of Eurosceptics” and will have to make way for a new leader after the Conservative Party conference in October.

The Sun claims last week was her worst week.

CABINET Ministers believe Theresa May will be “gone in weeks” after the worst week of her three-year premiership.
One told The Sun they believed senior Tory Sir Graham Brady – head of the powerful 1992 backbench committee – would have to go and “tap her on the shoulder” because the chaos couldn’t continue.
Cabinet Ministers believe Theresa May will be ‘gone in weeks’ after the worst week of her three-year leadership.

The Mail calls her week ‘disastrous’.

Theresa May‘s cabinet ministers believe the Prime Minister will be ‘gone in weeks’, after another disastrous week that saw her Brexit deal rejected for a second time.
Mrs May’s deal lost by 149 votes on Tuesday, with 75 rebels from her own party as well as the 10 DUP MPs breaking ranks.
The following night, 13 ministers broke ranks and voted to take No Deal off the table.

Who would succeed her?  The Times says:

Boris Johnson would be the most popular choice among Tory voters to replace Theresa May as leader, according to a YouGov poll for The Times.
The proportion of voters who want Mrs May to stand down as leader has not changed since this time last year despite the Brexit chaos. However, when respondents were asked to choose, the former foreign secretary, who has the highest name recognition of potential contenders, came out on top.
The YouGov poll of 1,756 British voters on Thursday and Friday suggested that Mrs May is likely to be replaced by a Brexiteer and that Mr Johnson is more liked by the Tory ranks than by the country as a whole, though he tops the list for both.

The Sun also comes out in favour of Boris.

BORIS Johnson is the Tories’ favourite to be the next Prime Minister after Brexit.
The ex-Foreign Secretary and Brexiteer tops yet another poll of members who say he’s best placed to take over from Theresa May.
This month Boris was the favourite in a poll from Conservative Home, which has him on 24 per cent of the vote – 319 votes.
Ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was second but miles behind him on 12 per cent. And Michael Gove was third on ten per cent.

HS2

Away from front-line politics, the Times reports on cheap heating.

The roar of a train exiting a tunnel will be a welcome sound for residents of a housing estate that is due to be built beside Britain’s new high-speed rail line.
The train will produce a whoosh of warm air which will be captured and used to supply their homes with cheap, low-carbon heating and hot water.
HS2 Ltd, the company building the £56 billion high-speed line, has produced plans to recycle waste heat from the electric motors and brakes of trains approaching and departing from a £1 billion “super hub” station at Old Oak Common, near Willesden, northwest London.

Driving

Road tolls could be introduced, says the Times.

A national system of road tolls costing motorists more than £700 a year should be introduced to make up for a sharp drop in fuel taxes, research suggests.
Ministers have been told to consider new charges, eventually reaching 9p a mile for each vehicle, to counter a looming shortfall due to the shift towards electric cars.

New Zealand terror attack

We can’t ignore the terrible attacks in New Zealand.  The Morning Star reports:

NEW ZEALAND is in mourning after a self-styled white supremacist shot dead 49 Muslim worshippers and injured dozens in terror attacks at two mosques in capital city Christchurch.
Lead suspect Brenton Tarrant will appear in court tomorrow charged with murder. During Friday prayers, Tarrant shot dead a man who had greeted him with “welcome brother” at Al Noor Mosque.

The Mail says the world has condemned the attacks.

Thousands of people across the globe have come together to take part in vigils in order to pay tribute to the victims of the New Zealand terror attack.
Tributes in places such as London, Helsinki and Brussels lead the way with moving services where mourners gathered to pay the respects for the 49 worshipers who were killed at a mosque on Friday.
In London’s Hyde Park, flowers and candles were laid as night fell on the peaceful gathering at the New Zealand memorial.

The Sun says police are investigating a British connection.

MI5 was last night investigating Brenton Tarrant over possible links to far-right extremists in Britain.
Spies are reviewing the Australian’s 74-page manifesto, a Whitehall source told The Times.
Tarrant said he was inspired by Darren Osborne, who drove into worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque in North London in 2017.
Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of counterterrorism, said there was “no intelligence linking these appalling events to the UK”.

BBC News says social media will be prevented from streaming the shootings.

Social media companies have been told to “clean up their platforms” or be prepared to face the “force of the law” by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
The warning comes after a gunman who killed 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand filmed the attack and live-streamed it directly to Facebook.
Writing in the Daily Express, Mr Javid said: “Tech companies must do more to stop his messages being broadcast.”

The post Saturday papers – 16 March 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Saturday 16th March 2019

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Saturday 16th March 2019

Politician at work

 

Has the fat lady sung? Is it really now all done and dusted? Is the Brexit we voted for and wanted – No Deal, just OUT – now finished? If you believe that the MSM pundits are as infallible in their political predictions as our MPs, then yes. If not – not. Let me explain …

Our MSM, the BBC first and foremost, are Remainers, with a couple of honourable exceptions. Thus  it won’t surprise you that, having achieved the removal of ‘No Deal’ and the parliamentary ‘permission’ of asking the EU for an extension, the MSM are now training their opinion-making guns on Ms May’s attempt to get her despicable WA ‘deal’ through Parliament for the third (!) time of asking. Of course, no-one is pointing out that demanding repeat voting on the same issue until the result is correct is an old, tried-and-truste EU technique …

You might also recall that, ever since Tony Blair, ‘briefing against’ is a tried and trusted mechanism of Party insiders and officials to discredit their perceived opponents. The MSM are now gleefully using this technique. You can recognise which way they want the debate to go by noting their description of the ERG as ‘hard-core’ while fixing the blame for the mess we’re in exclusively on them.

You don’t need to be a pundit yourself to see what these Remain pundits want us to think when you read the articles across the board about cabinet ministers and especially Mr Phil Hammond having visited the DUP yesterday. The spin is: hurrah, the DUP will fold because Mr Hammond has bribed them! See here and here and (paywalled) here and here. Thus, over the weekend and on the Sunday TV ‘mememe’ shows, pundits and politicians will keep the May-pot boiling.

The other ‘item’ our MSM pundits and politicians are focussing on is the Tory Party/Tory MPs. Who will give in to May’s ‘last chance’ WA vote? Who is plotting to have her ‘removed’? Will she discipline her delinquent cabinet ministers? Fat chance: they are all Remainers!

It’s a delicious subject and means that TV time and space and pixels can be filled without having to address the reason why those so-called ‘Brexit rebels’ reject that May deal: the actual abomination that is the WA. Read here and here and (paywalled) here, if you like: more reports on gossip by ‘informed’ insiders.

Of course, the speculation about who should replace Ms May if she goes, if she is made to go and if so, when, are also getting an airing (paywalled articles here and here). That question is being given importance because getting May to leave is a most useful token in the horse-trading to get her dreadful WA ‘over the line’ next week. For the third (!) time of asking …

For good measure, dear Jeremy Corbyn is also added into this weekend brew (link). He is apparently going to ‘hold a summit’ with the SNP and the other opposition parties to work out a way to get his beloved 2nd Referendum back on the parliamentary table … after Labour had declined to vote for the relevant amendment on Thursday. You really couldn’t make it up …

Having read this far, you’ll have noticed that two items are missing in today’s MSM. One is the EU and what they’re doing. I think they are talking to each other behind firmly closed doors, no leaks allowed. Thus the one article this morning is just about what “a BBC Correspondent” has picked up from somewhere, namely that Ms Merkel has now ‘had enough’ … how perfectly awful!

The other missing item is a debate on the content of the WA (this is why the ‘hard-core’ EUsceptics are against it) and the backstop. Talk about the backstop has now descended into ‘my lawyer is bigger than your lawyer’. If the horestrading and backroom dealings are successful and Ms May’s WA is dragged over the deadline next week  – for the third (!) time of asking! – then all that legal advice matters nought anyway.

Looking back on this “septem horribilis” (that’s ‘orrible week in Latin), the verdict of the DT editors (paywalled) is spot on:

“If in 2016 the British people voted to return lost powers to Parliament, Thursday was the day that Parliament voted to hand power straight back to the EU. […] The Commons was simply doing what it is meant to do by scrutinising the Agreement before voting it down. But instead of sending Mrs May back to the table to thrash out a better deal backed by a committed political establishment, Remainers seized the chance to undermine the withdrawal process entirely.”

The article concludes:

“[The Remainers’] next goal will be to push for a permanent customs union, which would turn Britain into a backwater market of the European project. This is the debate Remainers want us all to have: is Brexit worth doing under any circumstances? The rational answer is no. Therefore, Remainers are trying to ensure that the Brexit offered to us is as rotten as possible. […] The two main parties are splitting apart. The more Brexit is visibly frustrated, the more intense the arguments will become, the greater the public anger will be – and the more likely it is that both Labour and the Tories face a reckoning at the ballot box.”

To be sure – but when they do face that reckoning, the damage to Brexit, by consenting to the WA, will have been done! Remember – we were told that we cannot escape the EU because the Vienna Convention does not apply, as reported in yesterday’s article.

Well, it’s the weekend, the weather is awful – so you have time to read! For startersI heartily recommend reading this coruscating article by Dominic Sandbrook in the DM. He is laying into the MPs, both Remain and Leave. It is a true joy, the ‘ouch’ of his hits on Leave notwithstanding.  

If you crave an uplift and want your sanity restored, you must read the two latest items in the Diary of the unsurpassed Sir John Redwood.  And to give you good cheer, here’s the last article you ought to read today, published yesterday in BrexitCentral: “Ignore the nay-sayers …”

Having read all that, email your constituency MPs and tell them what you really think! Don’t mince your words!

 

13 days to Brexit if we work hard this weekend – so:

KBO!

The post YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Saturday 16th March 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

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