Posts Tagged ‘Northern Ireland’

Across the water: personal and political reflections on holding dual British-Irish citizenship

richard graysonAfter the Brexit vote, Richard S Grayson (Goldsmiths, University of London) became an Irish citizen, meaning that he has dual British-Irish citizenship. This was partly from his desire to retain a European identity. More importantly, it reflected a Northern Irish ancestry which, before and after partition, was intimately bound up with the rest of the island. He suggests that for those with ties to Ulster, holding dual citizenship may help to break down barriers between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

Mid-morning on Christmas Eve 2016, I had what felt like a present in the post: my first Irish passport. I applied for citizenship of the Republic of Ireland in July 2016, like thousands of Britons, following the vote to leave the European Union. The first stage was obtaining my ‘foreign birth registration’, a document from the Irish authorities confirming my Irish citizenship on the basis of being born overseas to an Irish parent. When that appeared in November I rapidly applied for a passport.  The application was through my Grayson ancestry, using what is commonly thought of as a ‘grandparent rule’ (a grandparent born on the island of Ireland).  It is more accurately a ‘parent rule’: my Essex-born Dad was considered Irish by the Irish government since he had at least one Irish-born parent (actually both in his case).

My application came after the referendum, but was not only for that reason.  I did feel a profound sense of alienation from the majority opinion as reflected in the vote, and wanted to do something as an act of resistance against the Brexit vote. I also wanted to maintain a formal sense of being European, beyond the emotional one of cheering for Europe during the Ryder Cup. Many people have taken this step for pragmatic reasons, such as wanting shorter queues at airports. But I would have felt uneasy about applying for citizenship solely on those grounds. For me, taking dual citizenship had to mean being able to feel some sense of commitment to both states and their peoples.  In this case, I do. For the past seven years I have been working on a book about Dubliners involved in the First World War and the Irish Revolution. I have spent much time in the Republic of Ireland, feel a connection particularly to Dublin’s story and its people, and am at home in the city. But my legal connection makes the way I feel about all this more complicated.

lough neagh

Looking towards the north shore of Lough Neagh. Photo: Oisin Paternell via a CC-BY-SA .0 licence

The Grayson family roots are in Lurgan in Northern Ireland, not the state which issues the Irish passport.  The family story is of six Grayson brothers first going to Ireland as part of King William’s army over three centuries ago.  Family graves in Lurgan are more than two hundred years old, and we farmed the same land at Kinnego on the edge of Lough Neagh for nearly the same length of time. Grandfather Edward Grayson married Maud Powell, born in County Down, whose family claimed some Huguenot ancestry.  From then, it would scarcely be possible to construct a story covering more aspects of the Ulster Protestant narrative (though one Ulster great-grandmother was born into a Catholic family): mass family signing of the Ulster Covenant, a great-uncle in the 1913-14 Ulster Volunteer Force, and extensive service in the British military in the First World War, including on the Somme in 1916 in the iconic 36th (Ulster) Division.

So my personal identity is complicated. I am ‘from’ Hertfordshire: I was born there and have lived there most of my life. But there has long been an emotional connection in the family to Ulster and its link with Britain. Born in 1969, I was conscious at an early age of Ulster being unique, not only because of the Troubles. But my grandparents were pre-partition unionists and such people also had a wider connection to Ireland. My position was summed up by supporting England at cricket (note that England’s one-day team is now captained by a Dubliner) and Northern Ireland at football.  For a time, with a nod to my Mum’s family roots, I supported Scotland at rugby, but the anti-Englishness that sometimes involves was alarming, so I switched to Ireland years ago. My Dad died in 2009 so can’t give me his thoughts on all this, but he certainly had a multi-layered identity. One weekend during the Six Nations, I spoke to him on a Saturday when he said ‘We won’ of an Ireland match and then next day ‘We lost’ of England.

These complications raise significant cultural and political questions about someone from my family background holding dual British and Irish citizenship. If you support the Union and its continuation, is it plausible to be a citizen of two states, and show loyalty to both, when one was born out of rejection of the other?  If I couldn’t answer yes, I wouldn’t have applied for Irish citizenship because I was not fundamentally driven by the pragmatism which has driven many, even if Brexit prompted the timing. For me, some reference to the historic nature of unionism is necessary, whatever its contemporary tone might be. Just as Redmondite Irish nationalists sought devolution within the UK, not full independence, unionists historically recognised an all-Ireland dimension to their lives. Edward Carson did not seek partition at the outset of his campaign for the Union. In ways that are seen now most clearly seen in support for the all-Ireland rugby team (and other sports) and membership of the Church of Ireland, institutions intimately connected to pre-partition unionists were all-Ireland: from ‘Irish’ rather than ‘Ulster’ regiments of the British army, to Trinity College Dublin, and the Irish Times. Politically, some of this came back more than two decades ago, but said ever so softly. The Belfast or ‘Good Friday’ Agreement of 1998, for all the flaws of Stormont politics, deftly constructed greater all-Ireland cooperation on practical matters, accompanied by often underestimated changes to the Irish Republic’s constitution to reassure unionists.  So by having citizenship through my grandparents, I feel that I am regaining some kind of all-Ireland connection which they had, while not being any less British, nor signing up to a state which denies the legitimacy of Northern Ireland’s connection to Britain. Loyalty to two states is possible when those states are no longer in conflict in the way they once were.

The future political significance of unionists in Northern Ireland being willing to hold Irish passports (which is complicated, but is happening) can only be speculative. But surely the fact of embracing some formal connection with the Republic, even if only pragmatically, opens up the prospect of changes on the island. One is that the act of holding an Irish passport might open minds to useful practical cooperation on more matters of economy and society than is already the case, even if that might just mean deeper working on agriculture and tourism. Another, and arguably more important emotional change, is that if more and more people hold two passports, those doing so are less likely to see ‘British’ and ‘Irish’ as mutually exclusive. That view has dominated life for the past century but was not the case prior to the First World War. A change could have profound effects on how unionists view the place of the Irish language in Northern Ireland, becoming less inclined to see development of the language as a gain for the ‘other side’, and perhaps even increasing engagement with it.

None of this will happen quickly, but could be unintended consequences of Brexit. So while Brexit might erect barriers between the UK and the continent which I hoped never to see, it could do something to break them down within these islands.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Brexit blog, nor the LSE.

Richard S Grayson is Professor of Twentieth Century History at Goldsmiths, University of London. Dublin’s Great Wars: The First World War, the Easter Rising and the Irish Revolution is to be published by Cambridge University Press in the summer of 2018.

News review – Friday 16 February 2018

News review – Friday 16 February 2018

Brexit

Telegraph
Boris Johnson wanted to use Valentine’s Day to win over those worried about Brexit. Good on him for trying, but by letting his intentions be known in advance, zealous Remainers had time to work out how they’d spurn his advances. “Remember that Boris only loves Boris”, the continuity Remainers at Open Britain  quipped. “Usually people hope to be swept off their feet on Valentine’s day but this speech was a Valentine’s day disaster,” the Soros-backed anti-Brexit campaign Best for Britain crowed. Others couldn’t think of any Valentine-related witticisms, so resorted to frothing on Twitter about how “mendacious” and “evil” they thought he was.

Times
A “punishment clause” is set to be toned down in the proposals drawn up by the European Union detailing the terms of the UK’s transition period after Brexit. The European Commission published a draft text for the arrangements governing the phase last week which demanded that Theresa May accept powers allowing the EU to ground flights, suspend single market access and impose trade tariffs on Britain during the transition phase. It would have given the EU unprecedented legal powers to punish the UK if it breached the terms of the transition, without oversight by European courts.

Mail
Brussels has cancelled a controversial plan to punish Britain during the Brexit  transition if it breaks EU rules following a furious backlash. EU negotiator Michel Barnier included the clause in a draft transition agreement last week, setting out powers to penalise the UK during the two years after Brexit begins next March. Brexit Secretary David Davis accused Mr Barnier of acting in bad faith after he insisted it was necessary to enforce the divorce agreement and make sure Britain continues to follow all EU rules during the transition. The row had threatened to overshadow Theresa May’s visit to Germany for talks with Angela Merkel tomorrow, ahead of a speech in Munich on Saturday. 

Breitbart
The European Union has backed down from its plans to insert a ‘punishment clause’ into its Brexit deal with the United Kingdom, after leading Leave campaigners including Jacob Rees-Mogg said the country would not “roll over” for Brussels. The European Commission, led by President Jean-Claude Juncker, and chief negotiator Michel Barnier wanted Britain to agree to a sanctions mechanism throughout the so-called ‘transition’ period which will — assuming a deal is made — run for roughly two years after Britain’s formal exit from the EU in 2019. The Commission’s draft proposals instructed Britain to “abstain, during the transition period, from any action or initiative which is likely to be prejudicial to the [European] Union’s interests”, and provided for the bloc to suspend Britain’s trade access without reference to the European Court of Justice in the interests of saving time.

Express
THERESA May’s push for a Brexit deal was boosted when the EU dropped demands for sweeping powers to punish Britain. Brussels sources said a clause giving the European Commission the ability to block the UK’s access to the single market had been scrubbed from a draft agreement covering the planned Brexit transition period which could last up to two years. The humiliating climbdown followed fears among EU leaders that the Prime Minister would walk out of departure negotiations and cancel the promised £39billion divorce fee from British taxpayers.  Eurosceptics welcomed the retreat by Brussels last night.  Tory MP Peter Bone said: “This was a stupid thing to propose, and it does tell us what some European bureaucrats were thinking. “Fortunately, wiser heads are beginning to prevail in the EU at last.” 

Labour Party

Guardian
More than 16,000 people have emailed Labour over the past five days, urging the party to consult members on Brexit after MPs said the topic was being ignored by its most senior policy body. The emails from party members will be examined by the party’s national policy forum (NPF), which meets this weekend in Leeds, and whose members include the shadow cabinet and trade union leaders. Labour has set up eight policy commissions since last year’s general election, to consult members and develop policy, but none focus on Brexit. The party has said Brexit is covered under the international policy commission, involving Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, but that commission is not at the moment accepting submissions on Brexit. A leaked draft of the commission’s agenda for the meeting this weekend, seen by the Guardian, shows members will be asked for views on development goals, not on Brexit.

EU

Telegraph
Theresa May visits Germany Friday, for “crunch talks” with Angela Merkel. Embattled, wounded and clinging to power, the German Chancellor has much in common with her UK counterpart. Having led the world’s fourth largest economy since 2005, Mrs Merkel 
is a political giant. But her Christian Democrats (CDU) stumbled badly in last September’s election and “Mutti” could soon be out of office. Some Brexiteers, given the tough line Berlin has taken in our Article 50 talks, take pleasure in Germany’s political misfortune. There is no English word for schadenfreude, but most of us know what it is.

BBC News
Theresa May is due to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she seeks to make progress on negotiating Brexit. The PM will travel to Berlin for the meeting at the Chancellery. It comes a day ahead of a speech on Saturday in which she is expected to set out the “security partnership” she wants to maintain with the EU. The UK is under pressure to reveal more detail about the final relationship it wants with the EU. Mrs May and her ministers are setting out what has been dubbed “the road to Brexit” in a series of speeches.

Northern Ireland

Express
THE European Union will stubbornly refuse to change its position over the Irish border, according to Italy’s president, as the ongoing dispute threatens to derail Brexit talks. President Sergio Mattarella said the EU stands with the Republic of Ireland amid growing concerns about the post-Brexit future of the Irish border. The British and Irish governments have not yet agreed on a sustainable way to maintain an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic if the UK presses ahead with plans to quit the single market and customs union. Speaking last week, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said a hard Irish border was “inevitable” if Britain does not maintain the same trade relations with Ireland, which would effectively leave the UK in a ‘Brexit in name only’ scenario.

Sky News
Westminster involvement in Northern Ireland’s governance is now “inevitable” following the breakdown of power-sharing talks, according to a former Cabinet minister. Theresa Villiers, who was Northern Ireland secretary between 2012 and 2016, admitted the UK Parliament will need to set a budget for local authorities. It comes after the 
latest round of negotiations between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, aimed at restoring Northern Ireland’s executive at Stormont, failed to reach a deal. DUP leader Arlene Foster claimed on Wednesday there is “no current prospect” of discussions with Sinn Fein leading to the re-establishment of Northern Ireland’s government. The DUP, who prop up the minority Conservative government at Westminster, have also called the Prime Minister’s visit to Belfast on Monday as a “distraction” during power-sharing talks.

NHS

Mail
The number of GPs in England fell by 0.6% at the end of last year, with many leaving the profession as the ‘pressure has become too much’, their professional body has said. The Royal College of GPs said the latest NHS Digital figures show the number of family doctors fell to 33,872 in December from 34,091 in September. In September 2015 the number of full-time equivalent GPs was 34,592 – a drop of 3%. RCGP chairwoman Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said the workload in general practice has increased by at least 16% over the last seven years, but the number of GPs delivering care to patients has not risen in line with this. She warned that patients suffer from there being fewer family doctors and measures need to be taken to attract new GPs as well as retain existing ones.

Mirror
MPs have been urged by Britain’s leading doctors to “save hundreds of lives each year” by voting to change organ donor laws. Senior health figures spoke out after the Daily Mirror revealed 4,712 patients in 10 years died in England waiting for donor organs. Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association and ­Britain’s most senior doctor, said: “We believe that Opt Out organ donation is the best way to reduce the chronic shortage of organs available for transplantation and will save hundreds of lives each year. “It will maximise the number of donations from the majority happy for their organs to be used after their death, while permitting those who object to donating their organs to opt out quickly and easily.”

Halal

Mail
Britons are inadvertently eating meat from animals slaughtered while they are still conscious, a top vet has warned. Lord Trees, who is a former president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, said the meat would mainly be found in pies and ready meals. There has been a sharp rise in the number of sheep and poultry being killed without being stunned first. This has been attributed to religious practices. But Lord Trees, a crossbench peer, said it was highly probable that some unstunned meat was entering the ‘standard’ food chain as well. Writing in the journal Vet Record, he pointed out that many experts were calling for a law change so that all animals had to be stunned before being killed. 

Development

Independent
The number of homes that have not been built despite receiving planning permission has soared in the last year, new figures reveal, meaning sites for hundreds of thousands of new properties are being left undeveloped. More than 400,000 homes have been granted permission but are still waiting to be built, according to analysis published by the Local Government Association (LGA) – a rise of 16 per cent in the past year. The data also shows developers are taking significantly longer to build homes than they were four years ago. It now takes an average of 40 months from planning permission for a property to be completed – eight months longer than in 2013-14. The findings will probably raise questions over why developers are taking more than three years to complete homes, and in many cases failing to build them at all, at a time when the UK is building around 50,000 fewer properties per year than is needed to meet current demand.

UKIP

Telegraph by Nigel Farage
On Saturday, Ukip stages an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) over the continued leadership or otherwise of our present leader, Henry Bolton, at which the party’s future as a force in British politics could be determined for once and for all. This is not the first EGM to be held at which Ukip’s survival is on the line. Back in 2000, on a dramatic afternoon in Westminster’s Methodist Central Hall, the subject was also whether the leader of the time should continue in his role. On that occasion, one party member died of a heart attack and later people by the score streamed out of the doors.

Express
NIGEL Farage has admitted Ukip is close to “collapsing” as party members prepare to vote this weekend on whether current leader Henry Bolton should continue in his role. Less than two years after Ukip played a pivotal role in Britain’s decision to leave the EU, former leader Mr Farage believes the party’s days are numbered as fresh crises loom. Mr Bolton faces a battle to save his job on Saturday after the party’s ruling body triggered a vote on his continued leadership following a series of headlines about his private life. The 54-year-old left his wife for model Jo Marney, 25, shortly before Christmas. But Mr Bolton faced calls to resign after a string of highly offensive comments about Meghan Markle made by Ms Marney were leaked.

Mail
UKIP last night was on the verge of bankruptcy as it was ordered to pay up to £200,000 in legal fees after one of its MEPs was found guilty of libel. The latest crisis comes as party members will vote on Saturday on whether to get rid of its leader Henry Bolton.  Nigel Farage last night backed him, saying: ‘Whatever his flaws reforms may be, without reform Ukip will die.’ Jane Collins, an MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, last year was told to pay £162,000 in damages to three Labour MPs after she wrongly claimed they had known about child abuse in Rotherham and ignored it. The High Court yesterday ruled Ukip was liable to pay some of the trio’s £670,000 costs. Labour sources estimated the party’s share would be for around £200,000.

BBC News
UKIP “deliberately delayed” settlement of a libel case for “political advantage” ahead of the 2015 general election, the High Court has ruled. The case was brought by three Rotherham Labour MPs over comments made by UKIP MEP Jane Collins about the Rotherham child abuse scandal. Mr Justice Warby said the defamation action would have been “swiftly” settled had UKIP not interfered. 
He added the party should be held liable for some of the costs. In 2017, Ms Collins, the MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, was ordered to pay £54,000 in damages to each of the three MPs – Sir Kevin Barron, John Healey and Sarah Champion – who all represent Rotherham constituencies. She was also directed to pay costs of £196,000.

Guardian
Ukip has been edged closer to financial ruin after a judge ruled the party must contribute towards a £660,000 legal bill following a defamation action brought against one of its MEPs by three Labour MPs. Last year, Jane Collins was successfully sued by Sarah Champion, Sir Kevin Barron and John Healey, whom she had accused in 2014 of ignoring child sex abuse in Rotherham. At the time, Mr Justice Warby said Collins, the Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, should pay £54,000 in damages to each MP as well as paying their costs, with an interim payment of £120,000. Estimates suggest Ukip will have to pay at least £200,000 of a legal bill which stood at £660,000 before a further hearing on Thursday. None of the costs have so far been paid. Ukip’s financial troubles are well documented, with Henry Bolton, its embattled leader, warning recently that a new leadership election could be financially “unviable” and finish the party were he forced out.

Mirror
UKIP was facing financial disaster tonight after it was ordered to pay a legal bill – which it’s claimed could reach £200,000. The High Court ruled the cash-strapped party must fund part of the £670,000 costs of three Labour MPs who won a libel case against UKIP MEP Jane Collins. The ruling came just days after UKIP’s Treasurer John Bickley said it has been “living hand-to-mouth” since 2015 and its finances are under “great pressure”. In a leaked memo Mr Bickley told local party chiefs that three leadership contests in 18 months had “significantly impacted our income”. Despite the crisis UKIP could trigger a fourth leadership battle on Saturday when more than 1,000 members attend an emergency no confidence vote in leader Henry Bolton.

Morning Star
UKIP was hit with a six-figure legal bill at the High Court today for having prevented one of its MEPs from settling a libel case brought by three Labour MPs in order to gain “party political advantage.” Kevin Barron, Sarah Champion and John Healey were awarded £54,000 each in damages after Jane Collins claimed in her 2014 Ukip conference speech that they had known about child exploitation in Rotherham but failed to intervene. Ms Collins, who came second to Ms Champion in Rotherham at the 2015 general election, was also ordered to make a £120,000 interim payment on costs last February, before lawyers for the MPs sought costs from Ukip itself.

Rats

Mail
British households could be set for an invasion of super rats that are resistant to poison thanks to a genetic mutation dubbed L120Q. The mutation means toxins used to kill the rodents are ineffective and could potentially lead rats plaguing homes across the UK, with some scientists even fearing a population spike thanks to their immunity to poison.  Dee Ward-Thompson, from the British Pest Control Association, said: ‘There could be a significant risk to public health if left unchecked.’ The potentially explosive discovery was made by experts at the University of Reading who identified: ‘the massive extent of L120Q resistance across the whole of central southern England’. Data for the rest of the UK was not available though there are now genuine fears the deadly gene could spread to rat populations across the UK. Ms Ward-Thompson added: ‘Their study highlights that resistance is growing in rat species across a swathe of the country.’

Star
EXPERTS fear households across the UK are in danger of falling victim to a new generation of super rats. The mutant rodents are resistant to poison after developing a genetic mutation called L120Q, which renders many toxins useless. Scientists fear the rats’ immunity to poison will see the population explode. 
Dee Ward-Thompson, from the British Pest Control Association, said: “There could be a significant risk to public health if left unchecked.” The shock discovery was made in a study by University of Reading experts who identified “the massive extent of L120Q resistance across the whole of central southern England”. Data for the rest of the UK was not available.

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News review – Thursday 15 February 2018

News review – Thursday 15 February 2018

Brexit

Westmonster
Boris Johnson’s delivered a barnstorming Brexit speech in which he said reversing the will of the people “would lead to permanent and ineradicable feelings of betrayal – we cannot and will not let it happen”. He rubbished the assertion that Brexit is a ‘little Englanders’ mentality, tore into the EU’s lack of accountability and undemocratic nature and said it was important to take back control of the UK’s immigration system. He said: “Brexit is not nationalist, but internationalist. People fear the disruption they associate with change. It’s not un-British, but a manifestation of this country’s historic genius.” Boris said Brexit is an opportunity to make the most of the global economy instead of being ruled by the faceless Europhiles in Brussels. He said Brexit was a move for self-government, by the people, for the people. The very essence of taking back control. On immigration he said: “We will stop paying ever increasing sums to
Brussels we will be able to take back control of our borders not because I’m hostile to immigrants.

Times
Theresa May will seek to broker a cabinet deal on Britain’s future trade relationship with the European Union over dinner at Chequers a week today after her foreign secretary softened his stance. Boris Johnson said yesterday that he would support the UK aligning its regulations with the rest of the EU in some areas even after the two-year transition period following Brexit. The concession came as Mr Johnson took questions after what had been billed as his keynote address setting out the case for a “liberal” Brexit. He argued for Britain to diverge from the bloc on issues such as medical and financial innovation. “If you’re going to come out then you might as well take the advantages of difference,” he said.

Independent
A new student campaign group to stop Brexit is receiving praise after its co-founder appeared on Sky News outlining why a majority of young people want to remain in the European Union.  Femi Oluwole, a graduate who specialises in EU law, launched the pressure group Our Future, Our Choice, in an attempt to deliver the “will of the people” for “the under 55 population”.  Appearing on Sky News, the 27-year-old suggested the process of leaving the EU would still be ongoing in 2023, by which time he claimed there would be more Remain voters than Leave – suggesting enough older, pro-Brexit voters would have died to swing public opinion the other way. “It’s our (young people’s) future. Who’s going to be looking for a job in that economy?” he told presenter Adam Boulton. “Who’s going to be raising a family in that economy? Who’s going to be looking for a mortgage in that economy?”

Breitbart
Bloomberg has had to report that British factories are putting in their best showing in five years — hours after claiming Brexit Britain had fallen behind Greece to become the “Sick Man of Europe”. The initial report, which claimed Greece is “growing faster than Britain and is outperforming it in financial markets”, was embraced by the usual suspects in the so-called ‘Remain Resistance’, who have been eager to highlight any negative coverage of the post-referendum economy in order to claw back some of the credibility they lost after the “immediate and profound shock” they predicted before the Leave vote failed to materialise. The outlandish claims may have been a bridge too far, however, with even neutral commentators being prompted to come out and rubbish them.

EU

Telegraph
The European Union will demand the right to raid financial services firms in Britain after Brexit and hand its regulators sweeping new powers, as Brussels moves to shackle the City of London with red tape after the UK leaves the bloc. The three regulators, the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs), will be given extra resources, levied in large part from British-headquartered firms, under the plans to closely police enforcement and regulation of the City. Brussels will bestow the new powers on the ESAs during the Brexit transition period, when Britain will be stripped of EU voting rights and be powerless to stop the changes.

BBC News
EU diplomats have removed a so-called “punishment clause” from a draft text of the arrangement for the Brexit transition period, the BBC understands. A footnote published by the European Commission last week suggested that the UK would lose access to elements of the European single market if it broke EU rules during the transition period. But officials have now promised new wording that makes reference to the EU’s standard infringement procedures. Brexit is scheduled for 29 March 2019. The two sides are set to begin negotiations next month on the terms of transition period after the UK’s departure, which the EU has said should last until 31 December 2020. Theresa May has said a time-limited implementation period of about two years will allow businesses to adjust to changes arising from Brexit and enable the UK to negotiate its future relationship with the EU.

Westmonster
Following Boris Johnson’s speech this morning, the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker has desperately tried to scramble away from idea that there is a ‘United States of Europe’ in the offing. Juncker has been reported as saying: “I am strictly against a European super state. We are not the United States of America. We are the EU. This is total nonsense.” The EU President’s track record says different though of course. His ‘State of the Union’ featured a clear push for deeper integration including most notably when it came to the military. Indeed he insisted specifically that: “By 2025 we will need a functioning European Defence Union.” With others in the EU like Germany’s Martin Schulz also revealing their hand when it comes to a full United States of Europe, it seems like some in Brussels are getting a bit touchy…

Independent
The president of the European Commission should be directly elected by the voters of Europe, the position’s incumbent has said. Jean-Claude Juncker said his “dream” was that the position would become elected in the “foreseeable future” and that it could be combined with the role of the European Council president so that the EU had a single, directly elected figurehead. The proposal comes as the EU thinks about its future in light of the UK’s departure and brings forward constitutional reforms. The Commission on Wednesday also hinted that it would support new rules to withhold EU funding from countries that do not adhere to European values – such as Poland. Speaking after a meeting of commissioners in Brussels Mr Juncker told reporters: “We had a very useful debate on the future direction that the European Union is going to take.  
Whenever we talk about the EU institutions there is the problem that perhaps the EU citizens aren’t that interested by the word ‘institutions’. 

Sun
THERESA MAY and Michel Barnier hoodwinked Britain with financial “acrobatics” to mask a true Brexit bill of £90billion, smug EU chiefs boasted yesterday.  Brexit negotiators allegedly performed “math acrobatics” to keep the public figure as low as possible to help Theresa May stave off a rebellion back home. UK negotiators were stunned after eurocrats briefed German media that the tab will actually reach £90 billion. Senior EU officials boasted that they managed to pull the wool over British taxpayers’ eyes with “mathematical acrobatics”. But British sources told The Sun that the figure of  £35billion to 40billion agreed between the two sides before Christmas still stands. In a piece about EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier for German newspaper Die Welt – titled “smiling, he humiliates the British” – eurocrats gloated: “The EU has won 95 per cent of its financial demands.

Express
THE EUROPEAN Union’s next longterm budget should be bigger than the current one despite Britain’s departure according to Brussels’ budget chief setting the bloc on a collision course with remaining member states. Guenther Oettinger says the EU’s next budget, which will span between 2021 and 2027, should be increased from one percent of EU gross national income to between 1.1 and 1.2 percent. The current budget is between £124-133billion (€140-150billion) but the EU is facing a £11.5billion black hole once Britain leaves. European Commission Budget Commissioner Mr Oettinger has been tasked with drawing up the bloc’s next six-year budget minus the hefty contributions made by the UK. In a statement, the European Commission said: “The budget is vital at a time when Europe is in the midst of a fundamental debate on how the Union should evolve in the years to come.

Northern Ireland

Telegraph
Theresa May is facing a political crisis in Northern Ireland after the Democratic Unionist Party said that power-sharing talks had collapsed and suggested a form of direct rule should be introduced once again. The DUP, which props up the Conservative government in Westminster, refused to agree to Sinn Fein demands to introduce legal protections for the Irish language, and said there was “no prospect” of a deal. The crisis threatens to throw the Good Friday agreement into jeopardy and is a significant blow to Mrs May’s authority as she attempts to agree to a crucial Brexit deal over the Irish border.

Times
The Democratic Unionists blamed Theresa May for a collapse in efforts to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland as they walked out of talks and called for direct rule last night. A deal to restore power sharing to the province after a 13-month impasse was thought to be close this week, when the prime minister and Leo Varadkar, her Irish counterpart, visited Belfast. In an abrupt move, however, Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, said yesterday that there was “no prospect” of her party rejoining an executive with Sinn Fein and called for the government to impose rule from Westminster. On Monday Mrs May had urged the parties to make “one final push” to restore devolution and said she believed that a deal was imminent.

Mail
DUP leader Arlene Foster today ended talks on restoring devolution in Northern Ireland, accusing Sinn Fein of trying to hold her to ransom. Mrs Foster called on the Westminster government to intervene to set a budget and start making policy decisions held over during the 13-month stalemate. The decision to collapse the talks comes a day after Mrs Foster blasted Theresa May for making a ‘distracting’ intervention in a visit to Belfast on Monday.  The Prime Minister raised hopes of a deal by travelling to Stormont to meet the parties alongside Irish premier Leo Varadkar. But Mrs May left empty handed and Mrs Foster today said the latest round of talks had failed. Devolution has been on ice for more than a year after Sinn Fein collapsed the power-sharing executive and demanded Mrs Foster’s resignation. 

Independent
There is currently “no prospect” of an agreement to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster has said. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader called on the UK Government to reassert direct rule over the region after admitting there are still “serious and significant differences” between her party and Sinn Fein. Northern Ireland has now been without a regional government for more than a year. Ms Foster’s stark warning comes after weeks of talks aimed at breaking the impasse between the parties. It will be seen as a blow to Theresa May, who travelled to the region on Monday in an attempt to help seal a deal after it was widely reported that an agreement was close. The Prime Minister suggested at the time that only “one final push” was needed to reach a deal.

Education

Guardian
Tests to check whether eight- and nine-year-olds know their times tables will be trialled in some primary schools in England next month before being rolled out nationally. The test, which ministers hope will improve pupils’ numeracy, will become mandatory in 2020 for all year 4 students. The government says the on-screen test, which assesses knowledge of the times tables up to 12, will last no longer than five minutes and has been designed to avoid causing additional stress for children and teachers. The Department for Education sought to reassure teachers that the results would not be published and would not be used by the schools watchdog Ofsted to enforce any changes. Many teachers’ leaders remain opposed to the new test, which is being introduced just as Sats tests in maths and English for seven-year-olds are about to be phased out after complaints about the burden of stress on young children and their teachers.

Health

Telegraph
Eating too many highly-processed foods could significantly increase the risk of cancer, a major study suggests. The research on more than 100,000 adults found that every 10 per cent increase in consumption of ready meals, sugary cereals and salty snacks is linked to a 12 per cent rise in cancer risks. Such foods now make up more than half the British diet, on average, separate data shows – the highest proportion across European nations. The study warned that the “rapidly increasing” consumption of heavily processed foods seen in recent years could drive an increasing burden of cancer in coming decades. Scientists raised fears that the additives used to produce such foods could increase the risk of cancer. They urged consumers to try to eat more fresh or minimally processed foods as a “precautionary” principle. However, the research was observational – meaning it could not demonstrate whether it was the type of food itself that caused the increased risk of cancer.

Times
Eating factory-made food including cornflakes, pizza and chocolate bars every day increases the risk of cancer by a quarter, the first study of its kind suggests. Additives in ready meals, packaged snacks and shop-bought cakes may combine to trigger the disease, researchers warned last night. Cancer caused by highly processed food would be over and above the harmful effects of the sugar and fat it contains, scientists fear. The West’s increasing taste for packaged food on the go could fuel a further rise in cancer in the future, they say. French researchers studied the diets of 105,000 people, of whom 2,228 developed cancer over an eight-year period.

Mail
Eating processed food significantly raises the risk of cancer, experts warned last night. They said the disease was claiming more lives because of the popularity of ready meals, sugary cereals and fizzy drinks. The products put middle-aged women in particular danger from breast cancer, according to a study in the British Medical Journal. ‘Ultra-processed’ food – any product involving an industrial procedure – now makes up half of our diet. Packed with chemical additives, the foods bear little resemblance to home-cooked meals. And the more of them an individual eats, the higher their risk of cancer of any type. Experts believe this is because processed foods, which include packaged meat, pies, sweets and crisps, are higher in fat, salt and sugar. They also have less of the vitamins and fibre that ward off disease.

Pandemic

Mail
Humanity is ‘vulnerable’ to a pandemic that could kill millions, the chief of the World Health Organization has warned. Dr Tedros Adhanom, director general of the WHO, claims the next outbreak will have a ‘terrible toll’ on the population and economy. Fears of a pandemic have mounted lately, following the worst flu outbreak in recent years that has rocked the US, Australia, France and the UK. A plague outbreak in Madagascar last November also shook the medical community, and left them concerned it would spread across the world rapidly. While the most recent pandemic, mosquito-borne Zika virus, struck 70 countries in 2016 and took concerned scientists by surprise.  Speaking about the threat of another at the World Government Summit in Dubai earlier this week, Dr Tedros said: ‘This is not some future nightmare scenario. ‘A devastating epidemic could start in any country at any time and kill millions of people because we are still not prepared. The world remains vulnerable.’ He added: ‘We do not know where and when the next global pandemic will occur, but we know it will take a terrible toll both on human life and on the economy.’

The post News review – Thursday 15 February 2018 appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.

Northern Ireland talks collapse, London says deal still possible

Talks to restart Northern Ireland's power-sharing government broke down yet again on Wednesday, the province's main parties said, blaming each other, though Britain held out hope that a solution could still be reached.

The Guardian view of Boris Johnson’s Brexit vision: all about me | Editorial

It was billed as a Valentine’s Day letter to remainers. But the foreign secretary’s love affair with himself got in the way

The foreign secretary Boris Johnson made a speech on Wednesday in praise of optimism, confidence and a liberal Brexit. It was rich in rhetorical flourish and almost empty of detail. It was the speech of a politician whose only credibility is as the tribune of the leave campaign, a shameless piece of oration that fell back on his old journalistic trick of describing an EU that does not exist in order to justify his determination to get out. It was billed as an overture to the 48% who wanted to stay in the EU and a definitive speech about the shape of Britain’s future relationships outside it. But it was singularly free of the kind of irksome detail needed to understand a world beyond Europe.

It was rich in what Whitehall describes as optimism bias, “an estimate for a project’s costs, benefits and duration [made] in the absence of robust primary evidence”. It was a Valentine’s Day card to himself and his ambition to be the next Tory leader, an ambition he betrayed with his incoherent answer to a question about whether he would rule out resigning this year.

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News review – Tuesday 13 February 2018

News review – Tuesday 13 February 2018

Brexit

Mirror
Ministers are poised to accept the EU’s timetable for Brexit, it was claimed last night. Brussels’ Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier last month proposed a transition period after the official Brexit day to last until New Year’s Eve 2020. It would give us three fewer months to make our transition out of the EU than the two years Theresa May originally asked for. But the Government are thought to be gearing up to accept that date. A Whitehall source involved with Brexit planning told the Sun : “The EU timetable is the working assumption and no one seems too upset by that.” Number 10 said the matter was still up for negotiation. It’s thought the earlier date is intended to avoid Britain getting caught up in a new, seven year EU budget cycle.

Sun
BRITAIN will finally cut ties with Brussels three months earlier than planned on New Year’s Eve 2020, The Sun can reveal. UK Brexit negotiators are preparing to concede to a transition period shorter than the original two years asked for by Theresa May last year. The PM used her big speech in Florence last September to suggest at phased withdrawal of “around two years” to allow business time to adjust after Brexit. But the EU’s negotiating chief Michel Barnier has said it should cut off on 31 December 2020 – one year and nine months after exit day on 31 March 2019. Now the Government are gearing up to accept the exit timetabling suggested by Brussels rather than London. A Whitehall source directly involved with the UK’s exit planning told The Sun: “The EU timetable is the working assumption and no one seems too upset by that.”

Telegraph
Philip Hammond will today begin a Brexit charm offensive across Europe amid concerns that France is deliberately stalling negotiations in a bid to take business from the City. The Chancellor appears to have been sidelined from a series of major Brexit interventions by Cabinet ministers over the next fortnight. Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Mr Davis and Liam Fox will all give keynote speeches on the  “road to Brexit” but the Mr Hammond will not be giving an address. He will instead today visit Norway and Sweden, before heading to the Netherlands tomorrow, Spain on Thursday and Portugal on Friday as he appeals directly to European leaders in a bid to make a breakthrough in negotiations.

Express

BRITAIN is ready to launch a Brexit charm offensive in a bid to speak directly to EU member states and stop France’s plot to lure City bankers after the UK leaves the bloc. Philip Hammond will visit Sweden and the Netherlands before making his way to Spain and Portugal. He will also visit Norway. Although not an EU member, Oslo maintains close ties to the bloc, which could provide a blueprint for a future British deal.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer hopes to break the Brexit deadlock and appeal directly to EU member states amid fears France is blocking talks.  France has unveiled plans to lure City workers away from Britain after Brexit in a desperate attempt to make Paris, Europe’s financial centre.  London finances around 40 to 50 percent of the continent’s financial services and Mr Macron is hoping to take some of the spoils for France. The French President plans to lure global banks from the City of London to Paris after Brexit and his minister of finance and economy Bruno Le Maire said France’s sights are on JP Morgan, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, which all have offices in London. 

Breitbart
Britain will be plunged into its most acute constitutional crisis since the Second World War if Theresa May allows Brexit to be thwarted or watered down, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said. Mr. Farage – the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who did more than anyone else to bring about the Brexit referendum – said the establishment was working to keep the UK tied to the bloc. He specifically named the Hungarian-American banking billionaire and pro-open borders activists George Soros, who is funding efforts to overthrow the government and block the democratic will of the British people, calling for an “investigation” into his influence. Mr. Farage also slammed “Theresa the appeaser” for caving to almost all of the bloc’s demands during Brexit negotiations and claimed the EU was humiliating the UK during the process.

Westmonster
Brexiteers have more reasons to be worried about the direction the government are going in Theresa May now reportedly wants to keep Britain tied to EU-run police agreements that could see Brits shipped off abroad to face Mickey Mouse charges in foreign courts. May is reportedly going to announce on Saturday that she wants to keep the UK tied to the European Arrest Warrant as well as Europol membership. The likes of Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg have been critical of the dangers posed by the EAW before. This isn’t taking back control of the British legal system – UK nationals could still find themselves being sent abroad to face pathetic charges in court cases presided over by European judges. Theresa the Appeaser is so focused on buttering up Brussels that she’s forgotten to represent 17.4 million Brexiteers.

EU

Express
THE European Union is scrambling to find ways to plug an estimated £11.5bn (€13bn) budget black hole after Brexit, with ideas currently on the table ranging from cuts to its flagship policies to a bloc-wide plastic tax. EU finance bosses are considering a raft of new levies to drum up cash after Britain’s departure, including an increased tourist tax and asking member states to pay more in contributions – a controversial proposal which is likely to be an extremely tough sell. In addition to the forecasted deficit, Europe is also facing the prospect of needing to find an additional £8.85 billion (€10 billion) to fund border protection, tackling terrorism and defence projects. And although Britain has committed to honour its financial obligations until 2020, the EU is now facing the difficult challenge of drawing up a budget blueprint for the next seven years.

Mail
Brussels is preparing to improve its Brexit trade offer amid disarray at Michel Barnier’s hardline approach. EU chiefs said there was pressure from EU capitals to scrap its chief negotiator’s strategy. They want to ‘leave the door open’ to Theresa May but only if she reveals what she wants from a future relationship. Last week Mr Barnier claimed disagreements put the two-year Brexit transition period in doubt.  His threat of a ‘punishment clause’ on the UK during the transition period, which would allow the bloc to impose tariffs until 2021, has also left several EU states reeling. But EU diplomats and officials yesterday hinted Brussels was prepared to soften its stance. It would see the bloc offering the UK a ‘tailor-made’ trade deal, rather than a deal similar to the EU and Canada’s, which has been suggested and which Mrs May deems unacceptable. A senior EU official said: ‘Some member states are saying ‘we can’t prescribe what the UK should do’, others are saying ‘yes but we should leave the door open’.

Guardian
The founding fathers of the European Union did not create the common market to tear down barriers to trade but to pursue a political project, Boris Johnson will argue this week, in a speech setting out what he claims is a liberal vision for Brexit. The foreign secretary will call on remain and leave voters to unite, insisting that Britain can take advantage of the referendum vote for economic gain but only if it is ready to diverge on regulations. In the first of a series of speeches by senior cabinet ministers, Johnson wants to appeal to the instincts of those who voted remain, but his argument will be heavily criticised by those who see the EU as a major liberalising force. Sources revealed that an early draft of the speech echoed arguments that the cabinet minister made in a recent interview with the Guardian. “What I would like to see is this country taking advantage of the people’s decision, to get the best economic result from that decision, and do the best we can do,” said Johnson.

Customs union

Independent
Australia’s high commissioner to the UK has spoken out about the benefits of Britain leaving the customs union after its exit from the EU next year – saying that by negotiating unilateral trade agreements instead, the country would be able to retain control of its trade policy. Speaking to BBC radio, Alexander Downer said that Australia had experienced the “huge advantages of unilateral trade liberalisation” itself. “The fact is that it does lead to some economic restructuring – some redirection of investment. But it also contributes to economic reform, and you need a constant rate of economic reform to achieve high rates of economic growth,” he said. “It’s worked for us with 26 consecutive years of economic growth, partially because we’ve opened our market to the world,” he added. Continued membership of the customs union has represented a major subject of debate for politicians both in the UK and in Brussels. Staying in would be the only way Britain can guarantee continued tariff-free trade with the bloc, but both the Conservatives and Labour have ruled that option out. Leaving it, by contrast, would guarantee the ability to agree new free trade agreements with other nations.

Express
BRITAIN must quit the EU’s customs union to ensure trade with Australia and other powerhouse economies grows “substantially” after Brexit, a senior diplomat said today. Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer predicted that a bilateral trade deal between the UK and his nation could bring huge benefits for both countries including slashing the cost of food, clothing and other consumer goods. But he warned that such an agreement is only possible if Theresa May’s Government regains full control of trade policy through a clean break with Brussels. He said: “We want to build back our trade with the UK.  “We could build substantially more trade if we were able to negotiate a free trade agreement with the UK.”

Northern Ireland

Mail
Theresa May today urged the DUP and Sinn Fein to make ‘one final push’ to come to a powersharing deal – and said an agreement should be done ‘very soon’. The Prime Minister said she had ‘full and frank conversations’ with all five parties holding talks in Stormont and said ‘there is the basis of an agreement here’. 
And in her first visit to Belfast since powersharing collapsed 13 months ago, she said it was now for the main parties to thrash out the details of a deal. Speaking outside Stormont today, the PM said: ‘I believe it is possible to see the basis of an agreement here. ‘There is the basis of an agreement and it should be possible to see an executive up and running in Northern Ireland very soon.’  ‘We should be able to see an executive up and running very soon.’ Her comments came after Sinn Fein said ‘this is the week’ for a deal to be struck while DUP leader Arlene Foster had said the tone of talks had been good.  But hopes that a deal would be signed up to today – raised by the Prime Minister’s visit to Belfast – were dashed. 

Independent
Theresa May has urged Northern Ireland’s political leaders to make “one final push” as she said it is possible to see the power-sharing agreement restored “very soon”. It comes after the Prime Minister  travelled to Belfast amid mounting speculation that a deal could be on the horizon in Northern Ireland – ending a 13-month political stalemate.  While Ms May said “differences remain” between the  Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein at Stormont, she said: “I think there is a basis of an agreement here”. The Prime Minister continued: “It’s been 13 long months since we last saw devolved government here, and I think we are now at the point where it’s time for the local elected representatives to find a way to work together and to deal with, to tackle, the many pressing issues facing Northern Ireland. “I believe it should be possible to see an executive up and running very soon.” 

Oxfam

Times
Oxfam’s chief executive failed to act on allegations that a woman was coerced to have sex in return for aid in a disaster zone, a new whistleblower has claimed. Helen Evans, the charity’s global head of safeguarding from 2012-15, claimed that Mark Goldring and his leadership team cancelled a meeting to discuss her concerns about widespread abuse involving Oxfam workers. The alleged abuse included a female aid worker being raped by a colleague in South Sudan and a teenage volunteer being assaulted by an adult staff member in a high street charity shop in Britain. After leaving Oxfam Ms Evans took her complaints and documentary evidence to the Charity Commission and the Department for International Development.

Telegraph
The sexual misconduct scandal at Oxfam  deepened on Monday night as the charity’s former head of safeguarding revealed teenage volunteers at UK shops had been abused and overseas staff had traded aid for sex. In some of the most explosive allegations yet against the charity, Helen Evans accused her bosses of ignoring her evidence and her pleas for more resources, forcing her to quit in despair.  Ms Evans said that staff had been accused of rape and that sexual abuse by shop managers in UK stores against young volunteers was covered up. 
Ten per cent of staff in some countries had been sexually assaulted by colleagues or witnessed abuse, she added. Her allegations emerged just hours after Penny Lawrence, the charity’s deputy chief executive, quit over the scandal and the Government announced that it would be launching a unit to investigate sex abuse in the aid sector. 

Mail
The Oxfam scandal widened dramatically last night after claims of sex abuse spread to its charity shops. A whistle-blower revealed that the beleaguered charity has faced multiple allegations, including alleged abuse of children by its volunteers. And it emerged that Oxfam had not carried out criminal record checks on the 23,000 volunteers who staff its 650 shops. The Mail has seen figures showing that 123 alleged incidents of sexual harassment have been investigated in its stores in just nine years. Helen Evans, the charity’s former safeguarding chief, said she had begged senior staff, ministers and regulators to act on sexual abuse allegations she had uncovered. She also revealed that Oxfam staff had faced allegations of trading aid for sex, attempted rape, sexual exploitation, sexual coercion and abuse. A survey found more than one in ten staff from programmes in three separate countries had seen or experienced sexual assaults.

Commonwealth

Telegraph
The Commonwealth has begun secret deliberations to decide who will succeed the Queen as its head on her death, according to the BBC. Although Prince Charles will become King on the death of his mother, the head of the Commonwealth is not a hereditary position. On Monday night, the BBC reported that it had set up a “high level group” to consider the way ahead. It is due to meet in London to review how it is run by its secretariat and governors. A senior source said: “I imagine the question of the succession, however distasteful it may naturally be, will come up.” The Queen turns 92 in April. She was proclaimed head of the Commonwealth at her coronation when she became head of state in seven of its eight members.

NHS

Times
Thousands of elderly people are waiting too long in hospital before surgery for hip fractures, according to new NHS data. In some areas the national 36-hour target is met less than half of the time. The health service’s performance has dipped over the past two years after nearly a decade of improvements. The proportion of hip fracture patients over 60 treated within the national standard fell substantially in 2016 after a small drop the year before. According to data from NHS Digital, the proportion of patients treated within 36 hours after hospital admission fell by 2.6 percentage points, to 72 per cent. In 2015 it fell by 0.6 percentage points. The target recommended by leading national fracture experts is 85 per cent.

ITV News
Admissions to NHS hospital for eating disorders have nearly doubled in six years, figures have revealed. Data from NHS Digital show admissions for conditions including anorexia and bulimia reached 13,885 between April 2016 and 2017 – the highest levels in six years and almost double the 7,260 admissions for the year up to April 2011. The number of under-18 female admissions for anorexia have also jumped in the six-year period, from 961 in 2010-11, to almost 1,904 in the latest figures. The Government said it is aiming to provide treatment within one week for 95% of children and young people referred for urgent cases of an eating disorder by 2020. “We are committed to ensuring everyone with an eating disorder has access to timely treatment,” a Department of Health spokesman said: “We know the numbers seeking treatment are rising and it’s encouraging to see an increase in patients getting routine care within four weeks, as well as a significant improvement in treatment times compared to last year.

Dementia

Times
Anti-inflammatory arthritis drugs could halve the risk of developing dementia, a study suggests. Chronic inflammation has increasingly been linked to dementia, and experts said it was plausible that medicine to counter the problem could reduce patients’ risk. People taking drugs such as methotrexate were found to be significantly less likely to develop conditions such as Alzheimer’s. While the results are not conclusive and it is too soon for the drugs to be prescribed in this way, academics called for full trials to see whether they could be used eventually to ward off dementia. More than 850,000 people in Britain have dementia and there is no effective treatment to deal with the underlying brain damage that causes the disease.

Mail
More than a third of dementia patients are denied the best care, a charity said yesterday. They should all be given an individual treatment plan when they are diagnosed. But figures compiled by Age UK show that only 62 per cent of patients receive one. This means tens of thousands miss out on counselling sessions, home visits from specialist nurses and activities such as dance and art. Age UK said care provision varied widely across the country. In Norfolk patients in the later stages of dementia are given ‘admiral’ nurses trained to deal with their needs. More than a third of dementia patients are denied the best care, a charity said. Camden in north London offers weekly counselling sessions to help sufferers come to terms with their illness – but patients elsewhere say they are all but abandoned. ‘Our analysis suggests many people with dementia are losing out on the NHS follow-up support they need and are supposed always to be offered, once they have received their diagnosis,’ said Caroline Abrahams of Age UK.

UKIP

Mail
Ukip’s party chairman Paul Oakden dramatically quit his post tonight but insisted to party members it was not an effort to force out Henry Bolton as leader. In an email to members, Mr Oakden said he would go regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s extraordinary general meeting. He said he had resigned ‘voluntarily’ at the end of January and insisted he remained committed to Ukip, which has sunk in the polls and been mired in chaos since the referendum. The email is Mr Oakden’s second missive today after earlier having to assure members there had not been a ‘coup’ in Ukip after he was wrongly named as ‘interim leader’ in a message over the weekend.  Saturday’s gathering of party members in Birmingham will decide whether Mr Bolton keeps his job after he left wife and children for an affair with a 25-year-old glamour model. Mr Bolton lost a vote of no confidence among senior party figures last month despite warnings triggering another leadership contest could bankrupt Ukip. Despite saying he would leave his job regardless of the vote on Saturday, Mr Oakden hinted he could contest any future race for leader.

Independent
Ukip has been plunged into further chaos after the party’s chairman resigned. Paul Oakden said he would step down on Saturday after chairing an emergency general meeting (EGM) at which the party’s current leader, Henry Bolton, will face a vote of no confidence. Mr Oakden, who has been chairman since July 2016, said the role had been an “honour and a privilege” but that he was stepping down “entirely of my own volition”. He said he had voluntarily terminated his contract with Ukip at the end of January and on Monday informed the party’s national executive committee (NEC) that he would be standing down. His resignation comes hours after he was forced to email party members insisting there was “not a coup” following an email being sent out in his name that described him as “interim leader”.

Volcano

Telegraph
A lava dome discovered in the Pacific Ocean off southern Japan contains more than 7.5 cubic miles of volcanic magma and could kill as many as 100 million people if it erupts, according to Japanese scientists. In a paper published in Scientific Reports, researchers at the Kobe Ocean Bottom Exploration Centre reported that the lava dome – one of the largest ever discovered in the world – is expanding within the Kikai Caldera, an undersea volcano just over 30 miles from the southern tip of Kyushu, the most southerly of Japan’s main islands. The dome stands nearly 2,000 feet proud of the seabed and is now a mere 100 feet beneath the surface.

The post News review – Tuesday 13 February 2018 appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.

Irish PM to raise Brexit border concerns in talks with May

Dublin fears UK is trying to wriggle out of its commitments to an invisible border

Ireland’s taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, is expected to express concerns that the British government is trying to wriggle out of its commitments to an invisible border when he meets Theresa May in Belfast on Monday afternoon.

Dublin is concerned that Brexiters in the Conservative party are trying to persuade May to row back on her commitment to the deal agreed in December that allowed for “full regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

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