Stories about
Theresa May


Theresa Mary May (/təˈriːzə/; née Brasier /ˈbreɪʒər/; born 1 October 1956) is a British politician serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2016. She served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016. May was first elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Maidenhead in 1997. Ideologically, she identifies herself as a one-nation conservative.

spiegel

Published  4 weeks ago

Großbritanniens Finanzminister Philip Hammond wollte alles richtig machen. Schon im Herbst vergangenen Jahres kündigte er an, pünktlich zum Austritt des Landes aus der EU werde die königliche Münzprägeanstalt Royal Mint eine 50-Pence-Münze herstellen, auf der das Datum des Brexits vermerkt ist - der 29. März. Damit erfüllte er eine Forderung rechter Hardliner und der Boulevardpresse.

Nun ist die Münze da - nicht aber ein Zeitpunkt für den Brexit: Während zahlreiche Exemplare des siebeneckigen Geldstücks bereits aus der Presse gekommen sind, hat London die EU um Aufschub beim Austritt gebeten. Premierministerin Theresa May, ihre Minister und die Parlamentsabgeordneten ringen weiter um Form und Zeitpunkt des Austritts oder stellen ihn sogar infrage.

"Dieser Schnitzer ist eine große Peinlichkeit für das Finanzministerium", schreibt die Zeitung "Sun". Das Blatt hatte die Münze vor einigen Monaten als "Schub für den Brexit" bejubelt.

Diese in sie gesteckte Hoffnung hat die Münze offensichtlich nicht erfüllt. Inzwischen geht es um die Frage, ob die produzierten Exemplare eingeschmolzen werden müssen - was sicher ein fatales Symbol für Brexit-Fans wäre. Finanzminister Hammond ist offenbar dagegen und nimmt die Panne sportlich. "Diese Münzen werden einen großen Sammlerwert haben." Für den normalen Zahlungsverkehr seien sie ohnedies nicht vorgesehen gewesen.

Labour-Opposition spottet

Spöttisch reagierte die oppositionelle Labour-Partei auf die Posse. "Ist es das, was der Finanzminister meint, wenn er sagt, wir gewinnen mit dem Brexit die Kontrolle über unser Geld zurück?", sagte die Abgeordnete Mary Creagh. Der Vorfall stehe symbolisch für das Versagen der britischen Regierung beim Brexit.

Andere Briten nehmen die Sache mit Humor. Auf dem Kurznachrichtendienst Twitter kursieren inzwischen Spaßversionen der Münze, auf der sich Queen Elizabeth II. ratlos an den Kopf fasst.

Hammond hat bereits eine Münze mit dem richtigen Brexit-Datum in Aussicht gestellt. Wie lange Sammler darauf warten müssen, ist nicht abzusehen. Die kommende Woche könnte jedoch erneut weisen, ob die Geldstücke überhaupt jemals geprägt werden.

spiegel

Published  4 weeks ago

Das Verhalten britischer Politiker im Zusammenhang mit dem Brexit erinnert verblüffend an die Defizite, die gewisse Hirnschäden mit sich bringen. Hat man das einmal verstanden, ist offenkundig, was jetzt zu tun wäre.

spiegel

Published  4 weeks ago

Das Brexit-Desaster und die Gelbwesten-Bewegung zeigen: Demokratie braucht eine solide Faktenbasis, um vernünftige Entscheidungen treffen zu können. Wenn der Glaube an die Wahrheit bröckelt, droht Unheil.

Business Insider

Published  1 month ago

The European Union is poised to offer to delay Brexit until May 22 if the United Kingdom Parliament backs the Brexit deal next week.

The offer falls short of Prime Minister Theresa May's request for a delay until June 30.

A majority of British members of Parliament have yet to signal their support for the deal.

If MPs don't vote for May's deal, the extension will run until April 12.

EU leaders warn that Britain is heading toward a no-deal Brexit.

LONDON — The European Union is set to agree to give the United Kingdom a short delay to Brexit if members of the UK Parliament vote for Theresa May's deal next week.

For the past two years, The UK has been due to leave the EU in on March 29 —but on Thursday, leaders of the 27 other EU member states on Thursday agreed to extend the Article 50 withdrawal process to May 22 if MPs vote for the British Prime Minister's deal. If they do not, then there will be a shorter, two week delay, to April 12.

The date coincides with the start of the European Parliament elections. However, the offer falls some way short of the three-month extension ending on June 30 that Prime Minister May had asked for.

There was reportedly disagreement among EU member states about the length of the extension, causing the meeting in Brussels to overun, lasting late into the evening.

The EU remains pessimistic about the prospects of May's deal winning the support of the UK Parliament. One EU source told Business Insider: "[There is] no expectation here that the deal will pass after May's speech last night."

The EU is set to hold an emergency summit next week if May's deal is rejected for a third time.

Senior figures previously suggested that Brexit could be delayed for a much longer period of time if the UK can illustrate a clear purpose for doing so — possible options include a softer Brexit, or even a new referendum.

The council's decision came after the prime minister fielded questions from other EU leaders for well over an hour.

It followed French President Emmanuel Macron warning to UK MPs that voting down May's deal next week would "guide everybody" to a no-deal scenario, which is opposed by the UK government, the EU, and the vast majority of MPs in London.

He said a longer extension would be possible only if there was an offer of "deep political change" in the UK's Brexit plans.

MPs will attempt to take control of the Brexit process next week to avert a no-deal situation and push for a softer Brexit.

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.

Business Insider

Published  1 month ago

Britain is heading for a no-deal Brexit next week if MPs reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Thursday.

"In case of a 'no' vote or 'no,' directly it will guide everybody to a no-deal," Macron said at a summit of European Union leaders.

The EU has said May's request of a short Brexit delay until June will be granted only if Parliament approves the deal next week.

Leaders of the 27 other EU members could be willing to grant the UK a longer Brexit delay instead.

LONDON — Britain is heading for a no-deal Brexit if MPs reject Prime Minister Theresa May's withdrawal agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.

"In case of a 'no' vote or 'no,' directly it will guide everybody to a no-deal," he said at a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels.

Macron's comments were endorsed by other EU leaders, including Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who said a no-deal Brexit would become "more realistic" should Parliament reject the deal again next week.

MPs are due to vote for a third time on May's proposed Brexit plan — which they've rejected twice — early next week.

May has requested a short extension of Article 50 until the end of June to avoid leaving without a deal on March 29. The extension would need to be ratified by all EU leaders.

However, European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday indicated that a short extension would be conditional on MPs approving a deal, with a final decision expected from leaders of the other 27 EU member states on Thursday or Friday.

Macron, who held a bilateral meeting with May on Thursday afternoon, suggested that EU leaders might be open to a longer extension if May's government changed course in her Brexit strategy.

"There must be a deep political change for there to be anything else other than a technical extension," he said.

British business leaders on Thursday also urged the prime minister to change her approach on Brexit and avoid no-deal.

Frances O'Grady, the general secretary of the British Trades Union Congress, and Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, told the prime minister: "Our country is facing a national emergency. Decisions of recent days have caused the risk of no deal to soar. Firms and communities across the UK are not ready for this outcome. The shock to our economy would be felt by generations to come."

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.

christiantoday

Published  1 month ago

With just over a week to go before Britain's scheduled departure from the European Union, Christians across the nation are praying for the country's leaders and its future.

Business Insider

Published  1 month ago

A UK government webpage crashed after hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition calling for Brexit to be reversed.

At the time of writing, over 1 million people have signed an online petition urging Theresa May to revoke Article 50.

The petition went virtal on Thursday amid a growing political crisis in the UK.

The UK is set to leave the EU without a deal next week unless Westminster agrees to either May's deal or a long delay.

Over 1 million people have signed a petition demanding Article 50 is revoked as Theresa May was forced to beg EU leaders for a delay to Brexit.

An influx of people jumped to sign it following a night of political chaos as the Prime Minister turned on MPs in an impassioned speech to the nation on Wednesday night.

The 100,000-signature threshold for the petition to be debated in Parliament was quickly surpassed and the phrase "revoke Article 50" became a global trend on Twitter.

Just before midnight on Wednesday, the petition had received 300,000 signatures. It continued to build throughout the early hours on Thursday. By 10.30am it had amassed 700,000 signatures.

The website for the petition briefly appeared to have crashed shortly after 9am - showing only an error message but was later reinstated.

The petition read: "The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is 'the will of the people'.

"We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People's Vote may not happen — so vote now."

As of 8am on Thursday, the constituencies with the highest number of signatures - above a threshold of 2,801 - were Edinburgh North and Leith (represented by Deirdre Brock, SNP), Bristol West (Thangam Debbonaire, Lab), Cambridge (Daniel Zeichner, Lab), Hornsey and Wood Green (Catherine West, Lab) and Brighton Pavilion (Caroline Lucas, Green).

Mrs May had said that it was "a matter of great personal regret for me" that Brexit will not go ahead on March 29 after she had to ask the EU for a delay.

She blamed MPs for failing to agree a means to implement the result of the 2016 referendum and said she believes voters just want this stage of the Brexit process to be over.

Mrs May has asked the EU to allow the UK's withdrawal date to be delayed to June 30 and threatened to resign as Prime Minister if MPs demand a longer postponement.

European Council President Donald Tusk then said the EU would grant a "short extension" but only if MPs back the Prime Minister's deal in the Commons during a third meaningful vote next week.

In the Commons on Wednesday, Mrs May set out plans to prevent Speaker John Bercow blocking a third vote on her deal, which was rejected by MPs by 230 votes in January and 149 votes earlier this month.

Westminster was in turmoil with MPs, who were granted an emergency debate in the Commons by Mr Bercow, desperate to hear Mrs May's plans as to how she will seek to get the deal through after two staggering defeats.

On Thursday, Mrs May will travel to Brussels for a summit of the European Council, where she will make her case for a three-month extension to the two-year Article 50 negotiation process, putting Brexit back from March 29 to June 30.

View the petition here.

spiked-online

Published  1 month ago

Democracy is on the line

03/13 9:06 am

We cannot count on MPs to save it.

Operation Comeuppance

Published  1 month ago

When things go wrong in the kitchen i.e. someone burns the toast there may be domestic hard words. Adultery could lead to abuse or even violence. However when the wrong doers are MPs, elected by us to represent our interests, the consequences may be considerably more serious. Taking this to a National or International level leads to sanctions, rebellion or even wars. We need to hold these high profile wrong doers to account. To publically denounce this person and remove them from a position of power/influe

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

The government outlines tariff regime for no-deal Brexit ahead of Philip Hammond's Spring Statement.

the Guardian

Published  1 month ago

German leader told summit Berlin will not block Brexit delay, diplomatic sources claim

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

The PM's deal was overwhelmingly rejected on Tuesday - now MPs will have their say on a no-deal exit.

HuffPost UK

Published  1 month ago

Left-wing MEPs appeal to Labour leader to "find a concise position and stop Brexit".

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The government has revealed plans to scrap tariffs in the event of the UK crashing out of the European Union without a deal as MPs prepare to vote on a no-deal Brexit.

Under a temporary and unilateral regime, EU goods arriving from the Republic of Ireland and remaining in Northern Ireland will not be subject to tariffs - a prospect likely to increase the risk UK jobs would be lost.

Charges will however be payable on goods moving from the EU into the rest of the UK via Northern Ireland under a schedule of rates also released today.

Please allow a moment for the liveblog to load

The government has insisted this will not create a border down the Irish Sea, as there will be no checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The news comes as MPs prepare to vote on if the UK should leave the EU without a deal following another significant defeat for Theresa May’s Brexit proposals.

The prime minister was dealt a devastating blow after the House of Commons rejected her EU Withdrawal Agreement by an overwhelming majority for the second time.

MPs voted by 391 to 242 against the deal despite the prime minister’s assurance new agreements reached with Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasbourg would ensure the UK cannot be trapped in the controversial backstop arrangement indefinitely.

Although the 149 margin was reduced from the record 230-vote defeat of the first "meaningful vote" in January, Ms May was left far adrift from a majority with just 17 days to go to the scheduled date of Brexit on 29 March.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

MPs vote against the PM’s revised EU withdrawal deal by 391 to 242, throwing the UK’s Brexit plans into confusion

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

A damning new YouGov poll reveals that only around one in ten people think Theresa May’s proposed deal delivers on what 17.4 million Leave voters want to see delivered.

Just 12% of the public believe the deal delivers for Brexiteer, compared to 58% who say it does not. No wonder support for a WTO Brexit is increasing across the country.

The Brexit deal negotiated by Theresa May [X] deliver the type of Brexit those who voted leave in 2016 wanted:

Does not: 58%

via @YouGov

— Britain Elects (@britainelects) March 12, 2019

And these numbers are before Attorney General Geoffrey Cox confirmed that the backstop trap remains.

In his legal advice today, Cox has said: “The legal risk remains unchanged that if through no such demonstrable failure of either party, but simply because of intractable differences, that situation does arise, the United Kingdom would have, at least while the fundamental circumstances remained the same, no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement.”

It appears the majority of voters agree with Nigel Farage on the deal: “This is all words and twisted meanings.

“Nothing has changed. Reject. Reject. Reject.”

Westmonster will always stand up for Brexiteers. Please support us.

Sky News

Published  1 month ago

MPs await Attorney General Geoffrey Cox's legal opinion on the backstop which will have an impact on the fate of the PM's deal.

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

Brexit-backing MPs study updated legal advice after PM urges them to accept "legally binding" changes to deal.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Theresa May is expected to vote against Britain leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement in a Commons vote this evening.

The news was broken by Political Editor of the Sunday Times, Tim Shipman shortly after the Prime Minister had suffered her second humiliating defeat over her Brexit deal last night, losing by 149 votes.

I’m told the prime minister will tomorrow vote AGAINST leaving without a deal. That means she’ll be supporting an extension in all likelihood

— Tim Shipman (@ShippersUnbound) March 12, 2019

ITV’s Robert Peston has also suggested that May could well vote against No Deal, in what would be a truly astonishing (and bonkers) move. Many in the Cabinet could also back her. When did a bad deal become better than No Deal?

I am hearing that @theresa_may and most – but not all – cabinet will vote to cancel no deal on 29 March. Interestingly ministers think former Remainer @Jeremy_Hunt will vote in other direction, for the option of no deal on 29 March.

— Robert Peston (@Peston) March 12, 2019

In a week of crucial parliamentary votes determining the future of Brexit, the Prime Minister informed the House that the vote on No Deal will be a free vote for her Conservative colleagues. This will be the most significant free vote for the Tories since a parliamentary vote on gay marriage in 2013.

Her decision to vote against No Deal will spark outrage among grassroots Conservative members and voters alike, many of whom now back a clean break from Brussels on March 29th. Such a move suggests she will be backing an extension to Article 50 in the subsequent vote in Westminster on Thursday.

May stood on a Conservative manifesto pledge that “No Deal is better than a bad deal”. A vote against No Deal this evening would show her true colours and confirm the fears of many Eurosceptics that she was never prepared to genuinely support a clean Brexit or use such a position effectively as leverage in the negotiations with Brussels.

If Brussels know the British Prime Minister won’t walk away from the negotiating table, no wonder May has been left stuck selling a dreadful deal.

No Deal is better than a bad EU deal! Westmonster will go on fighting for 17.4 million Leave voters. Will you support us?

The Telegraph

Published  1 month ago

More than half of the British public does not think the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal delivers on the referendum result, according to a new poll.

The YouGov survey found only 12 per cent of adults think Theresa May's deal honours the leave vote compared to 58 per cent who claim it does not and 31 per cent who don’t know.

Labour voters are even more unhappy with Mrs May's deal than Tories, with 66 per cent opposed to the withdrawal agreement compared to 58 per cent of Conservatives.

Asked what would be their preferred option if a Brexit deal cannot be agreed by March 29, more than a third of adults (37 per cent) said Britain should leave without a deal compared to 33 per cent calling for a second...

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Brussels has washed its hands of trying to help Theresa May get her Brexit deal through parliament, warning that it is up to the UK to either pass the deal or not.

Immediately after MPs rejected the withdrawal agreement for the second time on Tuesday evening, a spokesperson for European Council president Donald Tusk said that the EU side had "done all that is possible to reach an agreement".

"Given the additional assurances provided by the EU in December, January, and yesterday, it is difficult to see what more we can do. If there is a solution to the current impasse it can only be found in London," he told reporters in Brussels.

More follows…

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

The Last Refuge

Published  1 month ago

Remember: “everyone has a plan until they get punched in he face.” ~ Mike Tyson The exploitation of Michael Cohen toward the launch of Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment effort backfire…

Medium

Published  1 month ago

Don’t Let Greedy Vultures Push You Over the Brexit Cliff

Will Black

Birds of prey were a particular interest of mine when I was a child. Of course, as a young child you are interested in the fastest and the biggest, so those I drew the most were the rapid peregrine falcon and huge condor.

But as I trawled through my book of birds of prey, I became fascinated by another vulture species. The Egyptian vulture wasn’t as majestic and massive as the condor, but my book told me about its crafty skills, such as tossing stones at larger bird’s eggs to get to the contents and dropping bones off ledges to access the marrow.

The Egyptian vulture wasn’t attractive enough for me to bother to draw — it looked rather disgusting compared to something like a golden eagle — but I was struck by its ruthless cunning. It has popped into my head a fair bit recently as I’ve observed the shrill desperation of Brexit extremists to ensure we go over the cliff in March.

As the UK teeters on the edge of a no-deal Brexit, there are only a few options left. One of those seems absurd to any rational person — unless that person happens to be someone who could profit from chaos and other people’s hardship. An Egyptian vulture of the world of politics.

The options are: extend Article 50 to have more time to ensure a satisfactory outcome, revoke Article 50 to stop Brexit, or be bullied by Brextremists and have our families and companies plunge headfirst onto the jagged rocks of a no-deal crash-out.

At this stage, after months of Theresa May sticking dogmatically to her unpopular deal — and thereby running down the clock — there isn’t time for a referendum on her deal (a so-called people’s vote). And so there would need to be an extension to Article 50 to be able to go back to the public and see what they want, from the unappetising options available.

Though there has been no change in May’s position, there have been changes in the tone of the Brextremists in parliament and beyond. Given that the UK is poised precariously on a cliff-edge, facing a huge drop onto the rocks, the increasingly shrill calls that we should just jump seem rather like the sinister bystanders who urge distressed people to jump from a building or distraught people online to harm themselves.

Some will react against the use of self-injury metaphors in relation to a no-deal Brexit. However, this is not to trivialise the experience of those struggling with suicidal ideation but to recognise that such a decision for the UK would be devastating for many individuals, families, and employers, and lead to avoidable hardship in a country where there are already a lot of children going hungry.

Furthermore, in mental health services, where I have spent much of my career, a large range of activities are seen by clinicians as self-injurious and self-destructive. From substance abuse to cycles of destructive relationships to driving while intoxicated, to participation in crime, to self-neglect, there is a myriad of choices people make that are harmful to them, and to those around them.

I would argue that the wealthy self-interested Brextremists trying to push the UK over a cliff are as bad as the sadistic braying mob who encourage individuals to harm or destroy themselves. Some might argue that they are actually worse because they are not only protected by their fortunes from the devastation a no-deal Brexit is likely to cause, but they are among a tiny group of people with the ability to profit from that carnage. Many are themselves or are strongly connected to, predatory capitalists — people who profit from chaos and the hardship of other people.

Let’s focus on some of the most vociferous ones — the ones who so shrilly demand that the UK plunges over a cliff, from the comfort of their mansions or the splendour of Westminster. There are some shadowy figures on the fringes of politics, such as Arron Banks and Steve Bannon, who have been pushing with every ounce they have for a hard Brexit, but the two most vociferous MPs driving the narrative have been John Redwood and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is a man who founded a hedge fund, where most of his fortune comes from, and is a backbench MP. One could plausibly suggest, having looked at his business and his political leanings, that Rees-Mogg is primarily a predatory capitalist who has been moonlighting as a junior MP to push the dogma of extreme neoliberalism, which he profits from.

Hedge funds bet on outcomes that are unsavoury in order to made money for their investors, as well as their owners and fund managers, who are among the wealthiest people in the world. During the credit crunch, when large numbers of people lost their homes, hedge fund managers inflated their own fortunes more than most. They arguably were also responsible for the crisis they profited from. It is hard to see them as anything but vultures. They would argue that they have an important role. I would argue that actual vultures have a more important role in nature.

Another vociferous Brextremist is John Redwood, a not especially notable politician of yesteryear (he failed to depose even John Major) but, it would seem, an effective hoarder of money. He was an investment analyst and director for Robert Fleming and the Rothschilds in the 1970s and 80s. He co-founded Evercore Pan-Asset Capital Management in 2007 and is currently Chief Global Strategist at Charles Stanley & Co, a £21 billion investment management company.

Redwood has been an MP throughout most of his lucrative financial career. In 2017, amid UK economic uncertainty — to a large degree caused by the forthcoming Brexit that he had been pushing — Redwood advised investors to take their money out of the UK and look further afield. Jacob Rees-Mogg hit the headlines in 2018 for moving money to an EU country (Ireland) amid Brexit uncertainty.

Some wonder if the desperation of Brextremists that the UK plunges over the Brexit cliff, despite the cost on companies, individuals and families, relates to an abhorrence of the EU’s efforts to tackle tax avoidance, as well as money laundering. If the UK gains an extension to Article 50 or even enters a transitional period, some rapacious vultures could have some of ‘their’ spoils taken away from them, as could their clients.

Beyond the aversion of some to pay their fair share of tax, there are always some who can add to their fortunes by exploiting market chaos and political uncertainty. If any of those people have the ability to add to market and political instability, perhaps because they are politicians with loud shrill voices, then we should strongly resist the narratives they push. If they are in a position to make huge gains from the UK plunging from a cliff, then we can reasonably ask if they are on the side of our society — or callous vultures hoping to devour flesh and marrow from the tragedy.

Mail Online

Published  1 month ago

Brussels will demand another £13.5billion in Brexit divorce payments if Theresa May seeks an extension to Article 50, it is claimed.

EU states are said to be 'hardening' their stance against a longer Brexit process and could force Britain to stay in a customs union as the price of agreeing a delay.

MPs could vote on a postponement this week if, as expected, Theresa May's deal is defeated again in the House of Commons tomorrow.

The PM has suggested a three-month delay but EU diplomats will demand more money if the extension is longer than a few weeks, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Theresa May, pictured outside church on Sunday, is facing another defeat on her Brexit deal which could force MPs to vote on an extension later this week

An EU source told the newspaper: 'Lines are hardening against extension... Anything more than a few weeks will come with legal and financial conditions attached.'

Brussels could ask Britain to pay an extra £13.5billion a year - £1bn a month - on top of the current £39bn divorce deal, it is reported.

The EU could also push for Britain to stay in a customs union, a move opposed by many Brexiteers who want the UK to strike new trade deals instead.

All 27 of the EU's remaining member states would have to agree an extension beyond March 29 if it is requested by Mrs May.

A plane was reported to be on standby at RAF Northolt to fly Mrs May to Brussels to clinch an agreement if there was any sign of a deal emerging from talks over the weekend.

But there has been no sign of a breakthrough and Mrs May will have to take her deal before Parliament on Tuesday with the controversial backstop still in place.

Michel Barnier attended the Ireland-France rugby match on Sunday, pictured, rather than remaining in Brussels in a sign of slow progress in Brexit talks

In an apparent indication of the lack of progress, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier chose to travel to Dublin to attend the Ireland v France rugby international rather than remain in the Belgian capital.

Tory Brexiteers have said a defeat for Mrs May was 'inevitable' unless the Prime Minister was able to secure significant changes to the arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Mrs May has said if she loses the vote on Tuesday, there will be further votes on Wednesday on whether the UK should leave with no-deal and on Thursday on whether they should seek an extension to Article 50.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Tory colleagues that they risked losing Brexit altogether if they did not back the PM.

He said there was 'wind in the sails' of the opponents of Brexit and that it would be 'devastating' for the Conservatives if they failed to deliver on their commitment to take Britain out of the EU.

Meanwhile former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan said Mrs May could be forced out of No 10 if her Brexit strategy was 'dismantled' by MPs this week.

Express.co.uk

Published  1 month ago

MPs will be given a vote on ruling out quitting the bloc unless an agreement is in place if Theresa May’s exit plan is rejected on Tuesday. But the pro-Leave Economists for Free Trade group has made a last push to keep the option on the table and accused Remainers of “Project Fear” hysteria about walking away. Its analysis found Britain will flourish if it leaves on March 29 on world trade rules.

"In its attempt to force through its EU Withdrawal Agreement, the Government is painting a no-deal Brexit as some sort of disaster,” the report states.

"It is, in fact, a recipe for economic success - free of the shackles of EU protectionism, budget costs, intrusive regulation and subsidisation of unskilled immigration."

According to the research, leaving the customs union and single market would increase national output by seven per cent over 15 years, a £140 billion boost.

The group said the benefits come from an increase in free trade with countries outside the EU that currently face high tariffs for doing business in the bloc.

Cutting red tape would lead to a two per cent boost for the economy and a lower benefits bill from curbing unskilled migration from the bloc was also factored into the calculations as well as the the annual £10 billion fee for EU membership.

The EFT said tariffs imposed by the EU push up the cost of food and goods in the UK by 10 per cent, so lowering prices would increase consumer spending.

It claims Treasury forecasts about the impact of leaving without a deal are based on false assumptions, including fears of extra paperwork for exports and imports.

Chairman Patrick Minford said EFT research had consistently shown that using World Trade Organisation rules that govern a significant amount of global commerce would be the best option.

He said: “Prices would fall, especially of food, clothing and footwear, and pressures for higher taxes would ease.

"Strangely, the public has got the message with no-deal being the favoured option, according to opinion polls. But the majority of MPs, who remain spectacularly out of touch with the good sense of their voters, are petrified of no deal.

“They have swallowed the propaganda of Project Fear Mark 2 even though apocalyptic warnings of lorries backed up at the ports, planes not flying, and empty supermarket shelves have already been shown to be myths propagated by fanatical Remainers.

"MPs from across the Commons have this week one last chance to come to their senses and recognise that they are in the grip of a collective establishment hysteria utterly unsupported by the facts or sound economic analysis. They are in danger of making Chicken Little look calm and composed.”

The Telegraph

Published  1 month ago

The EU is preparing to impose punitive conditions on Britain as its price for agreeing a Brexit delay if Theresa May is forced to ask for an extension this week.

Member states are “hardening” their attitudes towards a delay and will demand “legal and financial conditions” including a multi-billion pound increase to the £39bn divorce payment.

With no signs of a breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations to change the existing exit deal, Parliament is expected to reject the deal for a second time on Tuesday, before voting later in the week to extend Article 50.

EU sources suggested that the only way for Mrs May to win the vote is if she finds her “inner Churchill” and reaches out across the political...

Guido Fawkes

Published  1 month ago

On May 7, 2014 the Home Secretary Theresa May brought forward a bill to deprive those fighting with ISIS of their citizenship. The legislation would allow if

… the Secretary of State is satisfied that the deprivation is conducive to the public good because the person, while having that citizenship status, has conducted him or herself in a manner which is seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom

… them to be deprived of their citizenship, lose their passport and become stateless. Essentially exiling those fighting for ISIS.

The roll-call above shows who voted to allow terrorist fighters to return to Britain…

Sky News

Published  1 month ago

LIVE: Brexiteers prepare to defeat PM's deal

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Hardcore pornography and video games are contributing to the rise in violent crime by desensitising young people to vicious behaviour, Diane Abbott has said. The shadow home secretary said boys as

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Brexiteer Boris Johnson has set out stall very firmly this morning, making clear that he cannot vote for Theresa May’s unchanged deal as it includes the EU backstop trap and is demanding that the government whip against taking No Deal off the table or delaying Brexit.

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Boris has once again spoke up for the pro-Brexit majority, writing in the Daily Telegraph that: “It would be preposterous to take the option of No Deal off the table.

“If indeed that option is put to Parliament this week, the government must obviously whip against it, and the same goes for the absurd idea of extending Article 50.”

His intervention comes the day after new polling from ComRes revealed that an increasing number Brits are in favour of a No Deal Brexit if the EU fails to compromise on a UK deal, with less than one third of voters outright opposed to a WTO Brexit.

Boris has also dismissed the prospect of the UK not leaving on 29th March, saying: “We should come out on time, at the end of this month, but with a mutually agreed standstill in the existing arrangements, so that we can use the period to the end of 2021 (a very long time) to do a proper free trade deal.”

And he sets out what has gone wrong on the backstop, with British negotiators that may as well “have been talking to the wall”, leading to a EU laid trap that means “the UK will have less sovereign power to withdraw from the backstop than it has to leave the EU itself”.

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab also talked up No Deal as still being better than a bad deal yesterday, laying out how the UK could “manage the risks and that would free us to grasp the opportunities”.

Raab reminded his colleagues that “we should keep the promise that every Conservative made in the manifesto: that No Deal was better than a bad deal.”

Instead of talking up the prospect of No Deal to increase the UK’s negotiating leverage and force through changes, Theresa May has been reduced to vague threats of losing control if MPs reject her deal again. But she and those around her must take responsibility. Brussels don’t believe she will lead the UK out with No Deal and so have no incentive to give her any concessions.

Instead, just like David Cameron, she is left clinging on to a terrible deal with little support that could now end her premiership completely. Government sources are now being quoted as saying things about May such as: “I don’t believe there is a single one of us who thinks it’s a good idea for her to stay beyond June.”

This is a big week in British politics. Once again, Brexiteer MPs must stand up for the 17.4 million who want to see independence delivered. We simply cannot accept falling into a £39 billion trap that locks the UK into a situation that it can’t unilaterally break free from. That is not taking back control.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Former Prime Minister David Cameron has made a rare intervention in the Brexit debate that he played a large part in by holding the referendum before bailing, telling ITV that he supports Theresa May’s “partnership deal” with the European Union.

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He also told ITV News this morning that “I don’t think No Deal is a good idea at all”.

Former prime minister David Cameron has told ITV News he supports Theresa May, adding: 'I don't think no-deal is a good idea at all'https://t.co/5JYIDtoy2Z pic.twitter.com/pUQzn6AdaF

— ITV News (@itvnews) March 11, 2019

Cameron appears out of step with the nation. Only 30% of voters are outright against No Deal with an increasing number (44%) backing No Deal if the EU refuses to give concessions, according to the latest ComRes poll.

The Conservative grassroots also disagree with Cameron: a poll of Tory members found that 64% prefer an EU exit on WTO terms compared to May’s bad Brussels deal. David Cameron is another Remainer at odds with the Brexiteer Conservative grassroots and much of the country.

www.theepochtimes.com

Published  1 month ago

The highest levels of the British political establishment are being examined over allegations they failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

The London Economic

Published  1 month ago

The Conservative Party is under fire after it was revealed that the party illegally accepted over £1 million in funds from Brits who are actually based in tax havens in the run up to the last election.

The Political Parties and Elections Act of 2009 made donations of over £7,500 from people not based in the UK for tax purposes against the law.

An investigation in The Times newspaper has revealed people living in tax havens and their UK companies have made £5.5 million in political donations since July 2009, with the Conservative Party receiving £1,053,400 before the 2017 election.

A Conservative Party spokesman denied any illegality and told The London Economic:

“The Conservative Party does not accept foreign donations – as they are illegal. If a British citizen is able to vote in an election for a political party, they also have the democratic right to donate to a political party.

“All donations to the Conservative Party are received in good faith, after appropriate due diligence. Donations are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with the law.”

Earlier in the week we reported how Theresa May pulled a vote on a bill which is crucial to ensuring major financial institutions can continue to operate in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Financial Services Bill was pulled at the last minute when it became clear the government no longer had the majority it needed in the House of Commons with up to 22 Conservative MPs set to defy the government to vote for a cross-party amendment aimed at forcing new tax transparency rules on British Overseas Territories.

This week it was revealed that a third of British billionaires have moved to tax havens over the past ten years.

By becoming non-UK resident for tax purposes, wealthy people can avoid 38.1% in UK income tax on dividends and 20% in capital gains tax on the sale of shares.

The investigation was carried out by The Times newspaper, who found that 28 out of 93 British billionaires have moved to tax havens or are in the currently making plans to relocate.

They are said to be among 6,800 Britons running 12,000 UK firms from low-tax jurisdictions.

Many of those who left the UK have been awarded honours or hold titles.

The Times editorial wrote: “It is inequitable and unconscionable when the very wealthy can influence British public policy while not being subject to it in the same way as everyone else.”

Last year the Conservative Party came under intense questioning from the opposition for accepting £626,500 in political donations from Lubov Chernukhin, wife of ex-deputy finance minister and Putin crony Vladimir Chernukhin.

News of the final instalment came after the SKripal poisoning at a time of calls for greater scrutiny over foreign wealth and Russian funds behind the Conservative party.

The Chernukhins hit the headlines in 2014 paying £160,000 to play tennis with David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

“The real division in our country… is between the many who do the work, create the wealth and pay their taxes and the few, who make the rules, reap the rewards and often dodge their taxes,” said Labour MP Lesley Laird today.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

The British government have been put on notice by voters, with a striking new poll revealing that increasing numbers of Brits want Brexit delivered, even if it means leaving with No Deal.

New ComRes polling conducted for the Brexit Express and reported by The Sunday Telegraph reveal a rise in support for a No Deal Brexit, with 44% ‘agreeing that the UK should leave with No Deal if there are no more concessions from the EU’. The number of those in favour of No Deal has risen six points since January.

Jeremy Hosking, a major donor who founded the Brexit Express, has said: “No Deal ends the EU blackmail, and the EU’s bullying. It ends uncertainty. It ends our national humiliation in which some of our leaders are colluding.”

That compares to just 30% who disagree with such a notion, with a group of voters against No Deal that equates to less than a third of Brits. What a contrast the MPs in the ridiculously out of touch Remainer Parliament.

Meanwhile a clear majority of the 2,042 people polled (55%) agree that ‘they want Brexit to be sorted and don’t really care how’. The idea of an extension should be a non-starter for Ministers and MPs who have repeatedly promised that the referendum vote would finally be delivered on at the end of March.

The poll also reveals that the public think the British government have handled the negotiations badly, with an overwhelming 76% of voters holding that opinion compared to just 11% who disagree. That’s pretty dire.

It’s clear that the public want the government to deliver Brexit and increasingly support doing so without a deal if that is what is required. This is a matter of faith, trust and credibility in British democracy. Theresa May and her government must now deliver what 17.4 million people voted for. If they fail to do so, many voters will never forgive them.

You can help Westmonster fight for a proper Brexit by supporting us with a donation. Thank you!

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

The DUP’s Westminster Leader, Nigel Dodds, has savaged the European Union’s latest intervention. It is looking increasingly unlikely that Theresa May will get her unchanged deal through Parliament.

Responding to the EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, Dodds said: “Nothing new in what Barnier is offering. This is a retreat back to the proposal of an Northern Ireland only backstop previously rejected by all sides in the House of Commons.”

And in a statement Dodds was even more emphatic, insisting: “This is neither a realistic nor sensible proposal from Michel Barnier. It disrespects the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom. This is an attempt to get ahead of a possible blame game and appear positive when in reality it is going backwards to something rejected a year ago.

“As the Prime Minister has said, ‘no United Kingdom Prime Minister’ could sign up to an arrangement which annexes Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.

“Whilst the European Union has spoken often about their value of the peace process in Northern Ireland, this proposal demonstrates that they have a one-sided approach and a lack of understanding about the divisions in Northern Ireland. Just as nationalists and republicans oppose a new north-south border, unionists oppose any new east-west border which would place a new barrier between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

“We need to work for a sensible deal which can work for everyone in Northern Ireland. It is possible but there must be less intransigence in Brussels.”

The EU still don’t think the UK will leave with No Deal, meaning they have little incentive to shift. When will the British government reiterate to Brussels that No Deal is still better than a bad deal?

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

There is increasing talk of Theresa May being asked to step down as Prime Minister for the good of the country this weekend. Having attacked No Deal instead of using it as a Plan B, May has no negotiating leverage with the EU and has subsequently been left attempting to sell MPs the exact same rotten deal all over again.

Several senior government sources are quoted in the Sunday Times, with one Cabinet Minister saying: “I don’t believe there is a single one of us who thinks it’s a good idea for her to stay beyond June.”

And another has said of May: “She’s run out of road.”

There is talk of May resigning in return for MPs backing her deal and whether Ministers will collectively tell May that she must go.

This isn’t new. Bloomberg reported last month that “politicians at the highest levels of her own government” want her to go sometime in the next few months.

Things have got to the stage where the likes of Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt are reportedly preparing leadership bids.

No one is expecting May’s deal to get through when MPs vote again next week. One MP has said of the situation: “It’s bloody bad.

“It will be in the same sort of ballpark as January unless something changes. We are at Defcon 2.”

The current situation is not sustainable. The country badly needs fresh leadership. Will May go and make way for someone who actually believes in Brexit?

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

No majority of voters in any of the 632 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales want their MP to back Theresa May's deal, according to a fresh analysis released just three days before a major

Express.co.uk

Published  1 month ago

Senior figures in Parliament have confessed the Prime Minister has “run out of road”. A Cabinet minister told The Sunday Times: “I don’t believe there is a single one of us who thinks it’s a good idea for her to stay beyond June.” They revealed the four main contenders to succeed her — Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab are “ready to go”.

The resignation of the Prime Minister could be forced by Cabinet ministers next week after talks were held on when to ask her to step down.

While her aides are deciding whether to advise her to offer to leave after the deal passes to get MPs back on board, reports The Sunday Times.

Talks on the withdrawal agreement could “go down to the wire” as the paper reports Mrs May’s plane is on standby in case she needs to fly to Brussels and improve the deal.

May’s aides have predicted she could lose Tuesday’s meaningful vote by more than 230, the record-breaking majority against her at the beginning of the year.

One told the paper: “It’s bloody bad.

“It will be in the same sort of ballpark as January unless something changes. We are at Defcon 2.”

A further aide added if Labour attempted another vote of no confidence in Government: “Tories will vote for it”.

The news follows a report Philip Hammond will offer a £20billion Brexit “bribe” this week in the hope of ending austerity.

A no-deal scenario would cause Hammond to enforce a one-year emergency plan to keep all departments going.

The plan is reportedly likely to favour the police, schools and the justice system.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, said: “If Theresa May’s deal is rejected by parliament again, it will be another humiliation for her, her government and for our country too.

“By Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister could no longer be in control.”

The Telegraph

Published  1 month ago

Support for a no-deal Brexit is growing in the face of the EU's refusal to help salvage Theresa May's deal, according to a new poll.

A survey by ComRes found that 44 per cent of the public now believe the UK should leave without a deal if Brussels refuses to make any further concessions - a six point rise from January. Less than a third (30 per cent) disagreed.

It came as 74 senior Tory activists, including more than 50 association chairman, told Mrs May that Conservative voters "do not fear a no deal exit" and "just want Brexit delivered."

Today, Steve Baker, the senior Brexiteer, and Nigel Dodds, the DUP's Westminster leader, state that it is now "inevitable" that the "unchanged" deal will...

the Guardian

Published  1 month ago

Some 74% of people who were too young to cast a ballot in the 2016 Brexit referendum but have since reached voting age would back remain if a second public vote were called, according to a new poll.

The proportion of the new voters – an estimated 2 million young people – supporting remain rises to 87% among those who say they would “definitely” take part in the referendum.

The survey, carried out by BMG on behalf of the anti-Brexit youth groups Our Future, Our Choice and For Our Future’s Sake, suggests the youth vote would be crucial in any second remain campaign and could significantly boost its chances of overturning the 2016 leave result.

The survey polled two groups: those who were too young to vote in 2016 and those who were eligible to vote but chose not to. Some 72% of those too young to vote in the original referendum feel it would be unfair if Britain left the EU without them having been able to vote on the issue.

Only 3% of this demographic believe Britain’s standing in the world has increased since the referendum in June 2016.

Further figures from the survey reveal that only 4% of this age group have had contact with their local MPs regarding Brexit.

The proportion of young voters who would be angry if Britain left the EU without a public vote significantly outweighs those who would be happy – 55% to 9%.

Young people are rightly furious, watching older generations take our futures away from us

Kira Lewis, activist

Lara Spirit, co-founder of Our Future, Our Choice, said: “It’s great that we were able to poll a group that isn’t talked about enough in the Brexit debate – those who didn’t get a vote because they were too young.

“The government hasn’t done anything to address young people’s concerns around Brexit. That’s why we’re more united on the issue than on anything else.”

Kira Lewis, speaking on behalf of For Our Future’s Sake, said: “Young people are rightly furious, watching older generations take our futures away from us. We will be marching on 23 March to demand a people’s vote.”

Separately, constituency-by-constituency analysis by YouGov of more than 25,000 voters shows that in only two out of 632 constituencies do a majority of voters want their MP to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Commenting, Peter Kellner, a past president of YouGov, stated: “The coalition that produced a narrow majority for Brexit three years ago is falling apart. It brought together traditionalists in Conservative Britain who saw the EU as a threat to British values and sovereignty, with families in Labour’s heartlands who felt that ‘Brussels’ threatened their living standards and their children’s job prospects.

“The prime minister’s plan is unpopular essentially because few people in either group think it tackles the threat they face. The fact that only two constituencies in the entire country – not including her own – want their MP to support her deal shows just how risky it would be for the prime minister to force this deal on the people now.”

The Sun

Published  1 month ago

DESPERATE Theresa May will today tell EU chiefs their Brexit deal will be voted down by MPs next week unless they climb down. The PM’s last ditch plea comes as her high stakes stand-off with Europe…

Politicalite UK

Published  1 month ago

By John Petley.

With contributions from Dr Niall McCrae, John Ashworth, Ariane Loening and Lawyers for Britain.

Cast your mind back to summer last year. The Cabinet gathered at the Prime Minister’s country retreat of Chequers, on the sylvan Chiltern downs. There was very important business: Theresa May, flanked by senior civil servant Olly Robbins, presented the draft agreement for Britain’s departure from the EU. For the first time, ministers (including Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson) saw the proposed terms – and the extent to which May would abide by her pledge of ‘Brexit means Brexit’. The chief whip instructed that nobody could leave without consenting to the Withdrawal Agreement, unless they resigned – and must then find their way home without ministerial transport.

For Leavers in the Cabinet, it was a shocker. Scarcely anything appropriate for a renewed sovereign nation could be found in this document, which seemed an abject surrender to Messrs Barnier and Juncker. For Brexit voters, it was hard to believe that their government would consider such punitive clauses; their faith in Theresa May, until then buoyant, was shattered. And this document, we were told, was only the initial negotiating stance – it could get worse. In the morass since the referendum on 23rd June 2016, this has been the most significant subsequent event to date.

It was widely reported that Theresa May paid a visit to Angela Merkel in Berlin shortly before the Chequers meeting. What did they discuss? We weren’t told at the time. According to a confidential source who has seen a complete transcript of the meeting, the two leaders agreed to a plan that Mrs May allegedly told the Chancellor would “appease” Brexit voters while nonetheless enabling her to get rid of those Tories who were (in her words) “against progress and unity in the EU.” According to the transcript, Mrs May is also reported to have agreed “to keep as many EU laws and institutions in effect as she could despite the current groundswell of anti-EU hysteria in Britain” (again, apparently her words). It is claimed that both leaders agreed that the only realistic future for the UK was as a member of the EU, and that in the likely course of events Britain would re-join the EU in full at some time after the next general election.

The transcript also indicated that the Withdrawal Agreement was essentially a German production, with the original draft completed in May 2018 in Berlin. It was then sent to the Cabinet Office marked “Secret”. After much to-ing and fro-ing in the subsequent few weeks, including several telephone calls between Mrs May and the Chancellor the final draft was completed late in June, with the Chancellor telling Mrs May that she was happy with it. However, a few more small concessions by the UK would be needed later on, just to keep the EU happy.

David Davis was kept in the dark about this planning, as were other pro-Brexit ministers. The EU, by contrast, was happy to circulate the transcript of the final May/Merkel meeting to key EU and German embassies. What is more, Mrs May was probably unaware that the Chancellor had made a recording of this private meeting! Perhaps our Prime Minister would not have spoken so freely had she realised her words were being noted for posterity.

If this account of the meeting between the PM and the German Chancellor is accurate, this paints a very different picture of the Brexit process from that reported to the public by the BBC and other mainstream media. There is one obvious objection: these explosive claims are impossible to prove in the absence of a copy of the transcript of either the May/Merkel meetings or of the briefings given to EU embassies. My source, however, has been accurate in the past: several other tip-offs of EU intentions passed to me were revealed two or three days later by the press.

Furthermore, I believe that this account of the meeting has verisimilitude, because of the considerable amount of circumstantial evidence to support it. For example, John Ashworth, of the campaign group Fishing for Leave, has analysed many UK government and EU documents over the past twenty years. Familiar with the style of both, he has noted how the Withdrawal Agreement resembles an EU document rather than anything originating from the UK government. Lawyers for Britain has also noted examples in the Political Declaration accompanying the Withdrawal Agreement which sound more like a translation from a foreign language. Paragraph 6, for example, begins: “The Parties agree that the future relationship should be underpinned by shared values such as the respect for and safeguarding of human rights.” The final “the” before “respect” is totally superfluous. The next paragraph ends with a clumsy sentence. Paragraph 8 begins with an ugly construction:- “In view of the importance of data flows and exchanges across the future relationship…” No British civil servant would have written such gobbledygook.

There is much circumstantial evidence from the EU side. Martin Selmayr and Sabine Weyand, both Germans and deputies to Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier respectively, have spoken very positively about the Withdrawal Agreement. On 9th November last year, Weyand told The Times, “They must align their rules but the EU will retain all the controls. They apply the same rules. UK wants a lot more from future relationship, so EU retains its leverage.” Selmayr said that he wanted the Withdrawal Agreement to show that “Brexit doesn’t work” and he told a group of EU officials last November “The power is with us.” These statements have been widely reported in British media. Dan Hannan MEP recently quoted an interview with Michel Barnier in which he said, “I’ll have done my job if, in the end, the deal is so tough on the British that they’d prefer to stay in the EU”. In an article In an article in the Daily Telegraph published only yesterday (6th March), Igor Gräzin, an Estonian Eurosceptic MEP, claimed that “around Europe, Theresa May’s ‘deal’ is described as a capitulation.” Why, if the EU regards the Withdrawal Agreement as a victory for them, is Mrs May pushing so hard for us to agree to such a one-sided outcome while refusing to consider any alternative? The only plausible explanation is that she actually wants a deal that disempowers her own country.

The whole subject of defence integration also strongly hints at collaboration between the EU, Mrs May and pro-remain Civil Servants. Prior to the 2016 referendum, as an EU member state, the UK strongly opposed efforts by the EU to develop its own military capability independent of NATO. After 2016, however, the EU has pushed ahead with military integration. Astonishingly, since 2016 the Government has signed no fewer than five agreements with the EU on military matters. The excuse given to MPs at the time was that as the UK was leaving anyway, we didn’t want to be obstructive. The Withdrawal Agreement and accompanying Political Declaration, however, looks to create a longer-term relationship with military EU, beyond any transitional period. Particularly worrying are proposals in the Political Declaration pointing to an attempt to bypass Parliament in the shape of a future defence treaty, to be signed after Brexit Day using ministerial, or ‘prerogative’ powers delegated by the Crown.

There is absolutely no need for the UK to continue being involved with the EU’s military programme at all – even during any transition period. We will still be a member of NATO, the true guarantor of peace in Europe. Unlike trade, there would be no disruption for the UK if we simply cut off our involvement with military EU on the day we leave. Given the UK’s leading military role in Europe, the inclusion of a long-term military arrangement with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement when the EU has specifically stated that “third countries” cannot be involved in key decision making is extremely worrying. We would essentially be compromising our independent military and intelligence capability and handing over ultimate control of these areas to Brussels in a manner that would be extremely difficult to reverse. This only makes sense in the context of a plan for the UK to resume EU membership. Surely this cannot have happened behind the Prime Minister’s back?

Returning to the topic of fishing, why has our side thrown away one of the strongest cards in its hand? Surely our negotiators must have studied Greenland’s departure in the 1980s. Faced with a similar unsatisfactory deal from the EEC (as it was then), the Greenlanders issued an ultimatum: all EEC fishing boats must depart from their territorial waters on Independence Day. Brussels rapidly backed down and Greenland gained a satisfactory deal. By contrast, the UK caved in right at the start, agreeing in effect to a common fisheries policy in all but name during the transition period, and completely failing to use any leverage on access to rich fishing grounds. Indeed, under the proposed arrangements for the 21 months after Brexit, our fishermen will have a worse deal than before, with the discard ban likely to result in many small firms going out of business before the transition period is ended.

Lastly, why the reluctance to consider, even as a transitional arrangement, re-joining EFTA and following Norway’s example? At a stroke, on 29th March, we could have regained control over fishing, extricated ourselves from about 75% of the total acquis, solved most of the Irish border problems and ended the supervision of the ECJ. The “Norway Model” was never popular with the majority of Leavers, but it is infinitely superior to the arrangements which will be in place on 30th March if Mrs May’s deal goes through. What is more, for all its shortcomings, the Norwegians prefer their arrangement with the EU to membership. Even if we had left via this unpopular route, there is no reason to doubt that within a couple of years, the issue of EU membership would have died a natural death in the UK with travel and trade flowing smoothly and no one except a handful of incorrigible Remainers regretting our exclusion from the federalist project.

The EU has been accused of everything from persuading the Norwegians to discourage our following their example to dissuading the Chinese from starting trade negotiations with us. There is no doubt that they don’t like Brexit and have done nothing to help us leave. However, the repeated pattern of failing to stand up for the UK’s best interest and overlooking a given option in favour of a worse one leaves me in little doubt that the transcript of the May/Merkel meetings, as seen by my source, is trustworthy. Why, when Mrs May dismissed both “Canada” and “Norway” options in her Florence speech saying “We can do so much better than this” has she ended up with something far worse? Such an appalling exit deal for the UK could not have been obtained by accident or through sheer incompetence.

The absence of documentary corroboration for the transcript will inevitably lead to these claims being dismissed as conspiracy theory, but veracity is bolstered by contextual evidence. We know May met Merkel before Chequers – that is not disputed. My informant was shown the document but was not allowed to take it away, due to the risk of severe consequences for the exhibitor. However, it would be justifiable for a British parliamentarian, perhaps from the ERG or DUP, to request a copy of the minutes from the German administration. Of course, Berlin might refuse, but there is a strong moral case here. The British people have a right to know what was discussed about their future with a foreign power, and whether there is any truth in these scandalous allegations.

If this account of the meeting is true, the Withdrawal Agreement was written within the German administration, and our ministers and MPs are being bullied and cajoled into passing this into law by a Prime Minister who seems far more interested in pleasing Chancellor Merkel than the 17,410,742 voters who delivered their verdict on the EU in June 2016.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

It says something about the unknowability of history that, this late in the day, the nation is poised between two such different paths. In the past few weeks I have alternated between thinking

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to publicly urge the European Union for changes to a UK-EU deal, with a second vote by MPs due to take place next week and discussions on the backstop having reached deadlock.

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Making a speech from Leave-voting Grimsby today, May is expected to plea to Brussels: “Just as MPs will face a big choice next week, the EU has to make a choice too.

“We are both participants in this process. It is in the European interest for the UK to leave with a deal.

“We are working with them but the decisions that the EU makes over the next few days will have a big impact on the outcome of the vote.”

The big problem of course is that Theresa May has backed down to hardline Remainers in her Cabinet such as Amber Rudd and Greg Clark, granting MPs the ability to to vote against a No Deal Brexit and for a Brexit delay if her deal is rejected by Parliament for a second time.

That’s despite having consistently insisted that Article 50 would not be extended and that the UK would leave on 29th March, as promised. This is now a matter of trust and credibility.

Brussels know that a Remainer Parliament is likely to both vote down a WTO Brexit and vote for a delay. So where is the leverage? Brussels are quite happy to keep the UK hooked for as long as possible, keeping control over and money flowing from a country that voted to leave nearly three years ago now. It’s a shambles.

There is even now talk that May won’t even whip her own MPs in favour of a No Deal Brexit, further weakening the UK’s hand and giving the EU little incentive to back down and grant concessions.

It is obscene that the British government have backed themselves into this position of weakness. A recent report by a German economic institute found that a ‘hard but smart’ WTO Brexit that saw Britain slash trade tariffs would leave the UK and EU roughly in the same position, but would hit the Republic of Ireland ten times harder.

Yet the increasingly unpopular Varadkar doesn’t think such an outcome is likely, having recently said: “I don’t want to say too much about it at this stage but I think that the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union without a deal on March 29th is unlikely.”

Having the ability to walk away is critical. The EU currently don’t that that prospect seriously. No amount of last minute pleading from May is going to secure meaningful, legally-binding changes required unless Brussels regard a WTO Brexit as a serious possibility.

BrexitCentral

Published  1 month ago

As Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s attempts to procure a legally-binding change to the backstop appear to have proven futile, the last hope for Theresa May’s deal is slipping away. Reportedly, the

The Telegraph

Published  1 month ago

Stand back for a moment and ask why the EU won’t give Theresa May the tweak she is asking for.

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

PM has secured "legally binding" changes to Brexit deal, says Cabinet Office minister day ahead of MPs' vote

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

The prime minister will implore the EU to help her get her Brexit deal through the Commons, days before MPs vote.

Middle East Eye

Published  1 month ago

The reality of British military and intelligence support for Israel, and how this facilitates Israeli aggression, is being ignored in the British media

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

In the unlikely event that Jess Phillips hires me as her life coach, the first advice will be this: In the name of sanity, Jess, take a holiday. The moment the immediate Brexit crisis has passed,

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

Talks between UK and EU officials are due to resume after weekend negotiations fail to find breakthrough.

The Telegraph

Published  1 month ago

Ministers have been warned that MPs supporting an amendment to delay Brexit could “politicise the monarchy” and lead to a “full blown constitutional crisis” causing the Government to “lose its ability to govern” according to leaked documents seen by the Telegraph.

The explosive memo advising the cabinet as Theresa May battles to win Tuesday’s second meaningful vote - warns that supporting any amendment re-tabled by Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Tories Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles could pave the way for a bill to change the day of our EU exit and bind the Government into a permanent customs union.

It comes as at least five Cabinet ministers are poised to vote to block no deal next week if Mrs May's...

Time

Published  1 month ago

British Prime Minister Theresa May warned Friday that the U.K. may “never leave the E.U. at all” if lawmakers refuse to back her Brexit deal in a crucial vote next week.

With just three weeks to go until March 29, when Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc, the country still has no agreement with the E.U., and is set on a default course of a “no deal” Brexit, which economists have warned would be disastrous.

The last time lawmakers voted on May’s deal, in January, her government suffered the biggest defeat in modern parliamentary history, by 432 votes to 202, with scores of May’s own lawmakers defying her.

In the ensuing two months, May has attempted to secure modifications to her deal in order to appease those critical lawmakers. But the E.U. has stood firm and refused to change the most contentious aspect of the agreement, the so-called Irish backstop. Most analysts believe, therefore, that lawmakers will again reject May’s deal when it comes to a vote on Tuesday.

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May’s Friday warning, made in a speech in the northern seaside town of Grimsby (where 71% voted to leave the E.U. at the referendum in 2016), was intended to increase pressure on lawmakers in spite of the lack of movement, by raising the possibility of Brexit being delayed, or worse, cancelled.

“Next week, Members of Parliament in Westminster face a crucial choice,” May said. “Whether to back the Brexit deal – or to reject it. Back it and the U.K. will leave the European Union. Reject it and no one knows what will happen. We may not leave the E.U. for many months. We may leave without the protections that the deal provides. We may never leave at all.”

May also raised the possibility of a second Brexit referendum, which the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party recently adopted as its official policy. Taking that route would “take the U.K. right back to square one,” May said. Then, repeating her threat, she added: “If we go down that road, we might never leave the E.U. at all.”

If lawmakers do reject May’s deal again on Tuesday, she will be forced into another vote, where lawmakers decide whether to give their “explicit consent” to continue with a no-deal Brexit.

If lawmakers reject a no-deal Brexit, a third vote will be triggered, this time on whether to delay Brexit beyond March 29, by up to three months.

Write to Billy Perrigo at billy.perrigo@time.com.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Prime Minister Theresa May has today claimed that nobody knows what will happen next if MPs reject her deal. What happened to leaving on 29th March as promised, deal or No Deal?

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As she tries to put pressure on MPs to back her EU deal second time round, she said another rejection could lead to a delay “for many months”. She said that the “only certainty will be continued uncertainty”.

She even threatened that “we may never leave at all” and that “nothing is certain”. May also warned that the chances of a second referendum have increased due to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party now backing one.

Watch LIVE as Theresa May makes Brexit speech in Grimsby https://t.co/WBxLpy9UY0

— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 8, 2019

The huge problem of course is that May has brought back virtually the same deal that was heavily rejected by MPs last time. Why would Brexiteers vote through a £39 billion EU trap that they have already strongly rejected?

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

The prime minister is warned that pupils excluded from school are being "sucked into" violent crime.

The Sun

Published  1 month ago

SADIQ Khan today rolled his eyes and claimed he’s done all he can to tackle London’s spiralling crime wave – as he was confronted on his failure to get a grip on violent knife att…

the Guardian

Published  1 month ago

Department for International Trade says tech companies should have the right ‘cultural fit’ if they want to be hired

Breitbart

Published  1 month ago

British Prime Minister Theresa May has no intention of delivering meaningful Brexit; her June 2018 Withdrawal Agreement was drafted secretly in collusion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a view to keeping as many European Union (EU) laws and institutions as possible; May’s and Merkel’s ultimate game plan is for Britain to re-join the EU in full some time after the next general election…

These are the allegations of an extraordinary memo currently being circulated feverishly on social media.

To me, it smacks of a conspiracy theory to rank with those stories about the clandestine Establishment plot to murder Princess Diana.

But the fact that people seem ready to believe it speaks volumes about the state of distrust between May’s Remainer political establishment and the Brexit voting electorate. May and her Civil Servants have handled Brexit so very, very badly that for some Brexiteers the only plausible explanation is not cock-up but outright treachery.

The memo was originally published, briefly, at the website of the Eurosceptic Bruges Group. Then quickly taken down.

Now AltNews Media has re-published it here with a disclaimer that it cannot vouch for the memo’s accuracy.

It claims:

On Monday July 9th 2018, several leading French, German and Dutch senior managers were called by EU officials to an urgent meeting. The meeting was said to be private and those present were informed that Prime Minister May and Chancellor Merkel had reached an Agreement over Brexit. Knowledge of this was attained from the actual transcript of the meeting between May and Merkel. 1) The Agreement was couched in a way to ‘appease’ the Brexit voters. 2) The Agreement would enable May to get rid of those people in her party who were against progress and unity in the EU. 3) Both Merkel and May agreed that the likely course of events would be that UK would re-join the EU in full at some time after the next general election. 4) May agreed to keep as many EU laws and institutions as she could despite the current groundswell of ‘anti-EU hysteria’ in Britain (May’s own words, apparently.) 5) Merkel and May agreed that the only realistic future for the UK was within the EU. The original Agreement draft was completed in May 2018 in Berlin and then sent to the UK Government Cabinet Office marked ‘Secret’.

A spokesman for the Bruges Group told me that it still stands by the claims but that it had never meant to publish them in memo form. A fuller, better-supported version of the article will go up shortly, I am told.

The author of the memo is John Petley, who for many years worked for the small, cross-party Eurosceptic campaign group Campaign for Independent Britain.

Petley told me he had got the information from an impeccable source which had proved extremely reliable in the past about other matters. “I’m not a conspiracy theorist,” he said.

He said that there were a number things that appeared to back up the claims in his memo. Some of the wording in the Withdrawal Agreement – though he could not specify which – read as if it had been translated into English from German. He is also mystified by some of the concessions made in the Withdrawal Agreement, such as Britain’s support for an integrated European army – something which before 2016 it had opposed on the grounds that NATO already served this function.

“I think the backstop was just a smokescreen to distract us from the many worse problems within the Withdrawal Agreement,” Petley told me.

Me, I’m filing it under “Huge if true…”

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Unelected pro-EU Peers in the House of Lords have once again sought to interfere with Brexit, voting for an amendment last night that calls for the UK to negotiate a Customs Union with the European Union.

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Despite this having been ruled out by Prime Minister Theresa May, the out of control Lords are yet again seeking to hook the UK to the EU as closely as possible.

A Customs Union arrangement would kill off an independent UK trade policy, one of the promises made by Leave campaigners during the Brexit referendum.

But the Lords have ignored that and backed an amendment to the Trade Bill that calls for the UK to be in an EU Customs Union as part of any deal with Brussels.

Though MPs can overturn this ridiculous vote, with a Remainer Parliament and MPs now openly ignoring the referendum vote, who know if that will even happen.

The vote passed by 207 to 141, a majority of 66. This included tan absurdly high 75 Liberal Democrat Lords, plus former EU Commissioners such Lord Mandelson and Lord Kinnock.

Disgracefully, even 8 Conservative Peers voted for an EU Customs Union, in total contradiction to their own party’s stance.

Once again it demonstrates the huge detachment between the public and the political class. The House of Lords is now well passed its sell-by date. Time to abolish the unelected chamber.

Brexit is under attack by the pro-EU establishment. Please consider supporting Westmonster as we fight for the pro-Leave majority.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The UK armed forces “stand ready” to intervene in the knife crime epidemic, the defence secretary has said.

Gavin Williamson said military personnel “would always be ready to respond” to calls for help while the Ministry of Defence “always stands ready to help any government department”.

No request has yet been made, Mr Williamson said during a question-and-answer session on Tuesday night.

He added: “I know that the home secretary is looking very closely at how he can ensure that everything is done to tackle this problem at the moment.”

Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, had said she would be willing to bring in troops to support her officers as they battle a spate of stabbings.

Created with Sketch. UK news in pictures

Show all 50 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. UK news in pictures

The knife crime epidemic has sparked a furious debate about police numbers with Ms Dick clashing with Theresa May, who previously said a rise in violent crime was not directly correlated with falling staff levels.

The number of police officers in England and Wales has dropped by more than 20,000 since 2010.

On Wednesday the head of the National Police Chiefs Council said “we just don’t have enough officers”, and called for the government to put “emergency money” into policing that forces could use to pay overtime and juggle officers between themselves to target problem areas.

Ms May should also appoint a “senior minister holding all departments and agencies to account” for the crisis, Sarah Thornton said.

During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme on Wednesday, she added that while ministers’ serious violence strategy contained “all the right things”, it was not “being properly funded and it doesn’t appear as if anyone’s being held to account for delivering [it]”.

Chief Constable Thornton and other top officers were due to meet Sajid Javid on Wednesday for talks.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

British and American bombs have killed and maimed nearly 1000 civilians, including over 120 children in Yemen, since the start of war, a new report has revealed. The findings have sparked fresh calls

Mail Online

Published  1 month ago

Kyle Davis, 18, pictured yesterday outside Birmingham magistrates' court, was given a suspended jail sentence yesterday despite being caught with cocaine and a knife.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Labour has admitted it will not support a new referendum on Brexit in all circumstances, in a major blow to those in the party campaigning for one. Sources close to the Labour leadership confirmed

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

BBC Scotland understands the parliament's Edinburgh operation will stay open until at least the end of next year.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Belgium’s customs authority is advising companies that export to the UK to halt shipments after Brexit day to avoid customs chaos in the event of a no-deal.

Kristian Vanderwaeren, chief executive of Belgian customs, called for a “Brexitpauze” after 29 March and said firms should do as much of their exporting as they can before new controls have to come in.

“Who are we as customs to give the business world instructions? But we are still asking the SMEs and all other parties to wait. Do the necessary export to your customers before 29 March,” he told Belgian business newspaper De Tijd.

Mr Vanderwaeren said that larger industries “such as pharmaceutical companies and car manufacturers” had been "storing stock in the UK for months" to avoid having to get parts through after Brexit but that the vast majority of businesses were not well prepared with just weeks to go.

Belgium’s main port of Zeebrugge is expected to have to deal with around a million additional import declarations and 4.5 million extra export declarations once the UK leave leaves the single market and customs union.

The warning follows chaos and hours of delays at Calais and the Eurostar terminal in Paris after French customs officers carried out a trial of the sort of checks they would have to impose under a no-deal Brexit.

The customs chief also warned that many small businesses that dealt with the UK were simply not prepared to export and that it would be better for them to pause operations.

“Our customs authority has written letters to some 20,000 companies that trade with the UK telling them they have to apply for an EORI number, which is necessary to be able to import and export,” he told the newspaper.

“But today, three weeks before the Brexit, customs received only 4,700 positive answers. Customs has even set up a call centre that answers questions and calls companies to get them to register for customs licences.”

France, the Netherlands, and Belgium have all hired hundreds of extra customs officers to deal with potential disruption caused by the UK’s decision.

Unless Article 50 is extended or revoked, Britain is set to leave on 29 March, around three weeks. If Theresa May’s Brexit deal is approved by MPs the UK will enter a transition period and little will change immediately – but there are few signs the government has the numbers in the House of Commons to get it approved.

If there is no extension of revocation and no transition period, the UK will crash out and the expected chaos at ports and airports will materialise.

The UK government unveiled plans last month to wave through EU imports under a no-deal Brexit in a bid to head off disruption. Companies bringing products to the UK will not have to make a full customs declaration at the border and will be able to postpone paying import duties.

The so-called Transitional Simplified Procedures, which requires businesses to register in advance, will however not affect operations on the EU side.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

mirror

Published  1 month ago

We'll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Britain's most senior police officer has dismissed Theresa May's claim that there is no link between police budget cuts and rising violent crime.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

The British government could slash as many as 90% of trade tariffs if the UK leaves the European Union on WTO terms. Now this is taking back control!

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In what would be a radical step forward for a post-Brexit Britain, Sky News have been told that the the Department for International Trade are likely to seek a cut on between 80%-90% of tariffs on goods if the UK exits the EU without a deal, taking back full and immediate control of trade policy in the process.

The official plan on No Deal trade is set to be published only if Theresa May’s deal is voted down by MPs for a second time in Parliament.

Slashing tariffs means that consumers can purchase goods at lower prices, though the government will also apparently seek to protect some industry by retaining tariffs on cars, beef and textiles.

But some tariffs could be eliminated completely, including on finished food products and farm produce including cereals.

The Economics Editor for Sky News, Ed Conway, has said that the move “would represent biggest unilateral trade liberalisation in British history”.

The Department for International Trade have said that no final decision has yet been taken: “If we leave the European Union without an agreement, our tariffs will need to strike a balance between protecting consumers and businesses from possible price rises and avoiding the exposure of sensitive industries to competition.”

Whilst hardline Remainers seek to scupper a proper Brexit, this gives the public an idea of what taking back control really looks like. A British government making key decisions, unimpeded by Brussels. No wonder so many now want the UK to leave with a No Deal Brexit.

The UK must take back control. Help Westmonster keep the pressure up for a proper Brexit to be delivered.

Breitbart

Published  1 month ago

Children in high knife-crime areas are being taught how to deliver first aid to stab victims, details of the programme emerging less than a week after two teenagers were stabbed to death in separate attacks and a knife gang entered school grounds and threatened pupils.

Run by charity Street Doctors, school children are taught how to deliver first aid to stabbing victims through role play, and learn how to stem blood loss, reports The Times.

The scheme operates in 16 cities across the country including London, where less than 15 per cent of the population live but one-third of all stabbings occur, according to NHS data.

The charity said that they know of 14 cases where their training has helped in an emergency situation faced by youths, in one case in a shooting and seven after a stabbing.

Carl Ward, chief executive of City Learning Trust in Stoke, Staffordshire, told the newspaper that Street Doctors gives training at its secondary schools, explaining, “They come and show you what a knife can do to the body — it makes it very real.

“Children are usually in quite a lot of shock. Stoke on Trent is a tough area with lots of gang problems. We’ve had for a few years to prep the children up so they know what they’re getting into.

“Every child has lessons from StreetDoctors, including how to respond to a stabbing.”

On Monday morning, police were called to Runshaw College in Leyland, Lancashire, after administrators were informed a gang of youths travelling from Manchester, 30 miles away, were intending to enter school grounds bearing knives in what was suspected to have been a “targetted attack.”

UK: Child Stabbings Double in Five Years https://t.co/EIk6btnndu

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 4, 2019

Lancashire Police told the Evening Standard, “Officers were deployed and whilst at the college at shortly before 4pm, they have witnessed a group of males walking into the grounds whilst students were leaving.

“Some of the group were seen carrying knives and were making threats towards students.

“A 17-year-old boy was nicked on the arm during the incident and has been taken to Chorley Hospital. His injury is not thought to be serious.”

The group was said to number around 12 and police arrested six males aged 17 to 18, seizing a machete, knives, and crowbars from the suspects who were later bailed with strict conditions.

Later that evening Leyland Police Chief Inspector Gary Crowe said, “We believe this was a targeted attack in that we think the group have gone to find someone, and a separate student has received a minor injury. This was not a random attack.”

On Friday, 17-year-old girl scout Jodie Chesney was stabbed in the back in London while on Saturday, scholarship student at a top private school Yousef Ghaleb Makki , also 17, was stabbed to death in the affluent Greater Manchester village of Hale Barns.

Khan’s London: Police Issue Description of Male Suspect in Fatal Girl Scout Stabbing https://t.co/G8OvClBQFL

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 4, 2019

Data analysed by Channel 4 has found that the number of children being treated for stab wounds has nearly doubled in five years, while the number of under-18s committing murder or manslaughter has increased by 77 per cent since 2016.

Police chiefs have called for increased powers to stop and search those suspected of carrying weapons — powers restricted in 2013 by then-Home Secretary Theresa May on grounds that the policing technique was disproportionately used on young, black men.

Mail Online

Published  1 month ago

In his most ferocious attack on Brexit to date, the French President said Britain's withdrawal was peddled by 'anger mongers and fake news' and 'offers nothing'.

BrexitCentral

Published  1 month ago

What follows is an open letter from the authors to Theresa May...Dear Prime Minister,We understand the future of Northern Ireland weighed heavily in your decision to agree an Irish backstop i

the Guardian

Published  1 month ago

The government has revealed details of its £33m payout to Eurotunnel, confirming it will hand over three instalments of £11m over the next three years.

The first payment, due by 1 April 2019, is legally earmarked for expenditure on projects at the Folkestone terminal.

Details of the out-of-court settlement were published on the government’s website and confirm that none of the payments will be recoverable.

“Under the settlement agreement, the government is obliged to pay Eurotunnel £33m in equal instalments over the next three financial years, with the first payment to be made by 1 April 2019,” the statement says.

This confirms suspicions raised by the SNP’s justice and home affairs spokesperson, Joanna Cherry, on Monday that the £33m was a conventional out-of-court settlement with no exit clause in the event of Theresa May’s deal being voted through the Commons next week.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, who was dispatched to take questions in place of the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, told MPs that the £33m was a “maximum exposure”, hinting that some of the money could be recoverable.

Confirmation that the payments will be made whatever the outcome of Brexit negotiations will heap further embarrassment on Grayling.

Eurotunnel took the government to court for allegedly breaching procurement rules after Grayling awarded three contracts for transporting Brexit medical supplies to ferry companies, including one company that had no ships. The contract with Seaborne was cancelled last month after its backer revealed it had no contract with the port of Ramsgate.

The government statement on the settlement spells out clear conditions on how Eurotunnel can spend the money. “In order to achieve value for money for the taxpayer, the government has agreed with Eurotunnel that they will use this settlement sum only to fund certain categories of projects furthering the wider public interest,” it added.

Under the deal, Eurotunnel has undertaken not to spend the money on new trains or at its terminal in Calais unless it is related to counter-terrorism measures. It will instead use the money to “develop, enhance and upgrade the Channel tunnel site’s infrastructure” after Brexit. This will include counter-terrorism measures, improved access to the Folkestone terminal and the development of a freight yard at nearby Dollands Moor.

The £33m payout triggered fresh calls for Grayling’s resignation, which were first voiced last month after he was forced to scrap the £13.8m contract with Seaborne when its main backer withdrew support.

Cherry, a barrister, told MPs on Monday: “Not a penny will be recoverable because it’s not for a contract [with Eurotunnel] – it’s for an out-of-court settlement to avoid a finding that the government was in breach of the law.”

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Theresa May faces a fresh headache over her Brexit strategy after peers inflicted a defeat on the government in favour of keeping the UK in a customs union with the EU.

The House of Lords supported a cross-party bid to keep Britain in a tariff-free trade bloc with Brussels, which means the legislation will bounce back to the Commons for approval.

Supporters of the Labour-led amendment to the Trade Bill argued MPs should have the opportunity to "think again" on the issue.

But Tory frontbencher Lord Bates pointed out the elected Commons had already rejected such a proposal, adding: "It doesn't need a chance to think again."

Created with Sketch. Brexit deal vote: Opposing groups of protesters gather by parliament

Show all 20 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. Brexit deal vote: Opposing groups of protesters gather by parliament

It comes as Brexit progress appeared to have ground to a halt mired in deadlock after what both Downing Street and the European Commission admitted were "difficult" talks in Brussels on Tuesday.

The commission said there was still "no solution" to the Irish backstop impasse, despite a meeting between the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier and attorney general Geoffrey Cox and Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay.

The lack of progress ramps up pressure on the prime minister ahead of the critical Commons vote on her Brexit deal next week.

Ms May has consistently ruled out remaining in the customs union as it would prevent the UK from striking its own trade deals.

Speaking after the vote, opposition spokesman Lord Stevenson of Balmacara said: "The success of this cross-party Lords motion gives both the government and the House of Commons a chance to step back from the disaster of a no-deal, and to deliver an outcome which would satisfy the clear majority of people in the UK.

"Ministers must now drop their red lines on Brexit and embark on a fresh approach to the negotiations with the EU - based around a new customs union that protects jobs, secures opportunities for our industries, and removes the need for a hard border in Ireland."

Peers had already inflicted an earlier defeat on the government in seeking a powerful role for Westminster in future UK trade deals.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

The Telegraph

Published  1 month ago

The former head of MI6 and dozens of senior academics have said a no-deal Brexit would be far better for Britain than Theresa May’s “disastrous” deal.

Sir Richard Dearlove said there would be “no tangible benefits” from a Brexit conducted under Mrs May’s deal, which would merely “prolong the agony”.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, he is joined by 33 academics and business leaders who say that a no deal Brexit would offer “immediate opportunities”.

It came as the Governor of the Bank of England admitted his previous predictions of the impact of no deal had been too gloomy.

In November Mark Carney said no deal would result in a reduction of between 5 and 8 per cent of Britain’s gross domestic...

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Prime Minister Theresa May has been urged to whip Conservative MPs in favour of a WTO, No Deal Brexit.

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The vote on such an outcome is due to take place if May’s deal gets rejected a second time. If MPs vote for No Deal, the UK is due to leave on 29th March and become a fully independent country outside of EU control.

But if MPs vote No Deal down, it will destroy the UK’s hand in negotiations with the European Union and then allow MPs to vote for an extension of Article 50 and a delay to Brexit. This sequence of voting was brought in by May to placate hardline Remain Ministers like Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and David Gauke who wrote in the Daily Mail that a delay would be better than No Deal.

Former Tory Leader Iain Duncan Smith is now urging May to make it clear that she will demand her MPs to back No Deal if the vote takes place. He has told The Telegraph: “It is crystal clear that the government has to keep No Deal on the table and whip against an extension.

“That’s what she has said for two years. She has to oppose anyone trying to take it off the table and to reject an extension.

“That will make the EU sit up and understand that we are serious. It won’t give anything until these votes are done.”

And Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has said: “The government must whip for government policy and manifesto commitments. No Deal is specifically referred to in the manifesto.”

Former Brexit Minister Suella Braverman also recently told an audience of her constituents: “I am not afraid of a No Deal Brexit and wouldn’t it be great if our Prime Minister got up tomorrow and said to the EU ‘I am just going to walk away’.”

Sadly May has given a Remainer Parliament the chance to vote down No Deal. Why would Brussels give the UK any meaningful concessions if it doesn’t think the British government is willing or able to leave with No Deal?

No Deal is better than a bad deal! Help Westmonster keep the pressure up on the establishment.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Victims of the Windrush scandal are still homeless and being betrayed by the Home Office, MPs warn today – almost one year after Theresa May acknowledged their suffering. Ministers are accused of a

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The events of the last fortnight in UK politics has travelled at lightning speed. A group of rebel MPs have broken ranks to the form The Independent Group and Labour finally seem committed to backing a further Brexit referendum with an option to remain. Just as significant, but less widely reported, the Court of Appeal – which yesterday confirmed their oral decision in writing – have struck out a claim arguing that the prime minister’s decisions to trigger Article 50 and pursue the Brexit process are flawed in light of the corrupt and illegal practices in the 2016 referendum.

The crowdfunded legal challenge sought to establish that since the sole basis for the prime minister deciding to take the UK out of the EU was her view that it represented “the democratic will of the people”, it was unreasonable for her simply to ignore subsequent findings by the Electoral Commission of serious offences, including overspending, incorrect reporting and unlawful funding by Vote Leave and Leave.EU. On this basis, Jessica Simor QC for the lead claimant, Susan Wilson, submitted that the vote was not “free and fair” and thus, not capable of representing the “democratic will of the people”.

Lawyers for the prime minister did not dispute the findings made, but contended that Theresa May was aware of the multiple investigations into the referendum (including ongoing inquiries and cases yet to be finalised) and these did not make her decision making unlawful. The referendum was advisory and, as such, did not fall within the scope of legislation that might, in other circumstances, void an election by virtue of lawbreaking. Indeed, the Court of Appeal held that “an advisory referendum is a very different animal from a binding election". Though the case will not progress to full hearing, the arguments ventilated during it leave many questions hanging about the state of our democracy.

Stepping back, it is ironic that central to the prime minister’s justification for implementing Brexit was, and remains, the upholding of democracy. It is, at very best, puzzling and, at worst, deeply troubling that parliament agreed, when legislating for 2016 Brexit referendum, that no additional measures were necessary to deter any cheating during the campaign. Also alarming was that the legislation authorising the referendum was silent on whether the common law, of which there are numerous precedents on fraudulent elections, could apply.

Perhaps MPs thought that was a non-issue, assuming, because the referendum was advisory, that any corrupted result could be set aside.

Yet we are now in a tremendously uncomfortable position where the Electoral Commission has found a criminal standard of proof that electoral offences were committed by the official Leave campaign and a key unofficial Leave campaign and further, on the basis of “reasonable evidence” has referred both Vote Leave and Leave.EU to the Metropolitan Police and the National Crime Agency, which is investigating alleged Russian interference in to the activities of the latter campaign. Despite all this, a majority in Westminster appear to be impervious to its implications to our democracy.

Some will argue that financial overspend/malpractices and data breaches cannot be shown to have caused more people to vote Leave than Remain. The difficulty with this argument is that causation can never be shown (apart from in direct vote-rigging cases). How could it possibly be proved that the same result would, or would not, have occurred had there been no wrongdoing? That is why the case law has never required this to be established. The relevant question is whether it could reasonably be supposed that this was the case. That makes sense; people need to feel confident that the system was fair, such that their vote meant something. As it stands there is a real question as to whether people can be confident that the result was fair.

On the main substantive ground relating to the validity of the 2016 referendum, the permission judgment of the Court of Appeal found that any breach of election rules was insufficiently material to trigger the application of common law that might render the 2016 referendum invalid.

Firstly, that there was insufficient certainty and finality in the findings of misconduct and, secondly, the Court had no evidential basis to conclude that the referendum result would have been different. Thirdly, the Court concluded that the advisory nature of the referendum put its outcome beyond the remit of the court to quash. The decision to notify the UK departure from the EU was made by the prime minister under a discretionary power granted by parliament. It “did not require her to await the outcome of any and all future investigations into actual or potential irregularities in the EU referendum”.

So, beyond the courts, the critical question remains unanswered. It is not known whether the same 2016 referendum result would, or would not, have occurred had there been no wrongdoing. It is not possible to be confident that the 2016 referendum result was fair.

In any other scenario, be it an athlete competing in the Olympics or even a student in an exam, the mere act of cheating alone invalidates what follows – regardless of the impact it had on the outcome. Similarly, if evidence in a criminal trial is severely tainted or a witness commits perjury, there is no justice in permitting the conviction to stand without the availability of appeal.

So why is it any different when it comes to what the Brexiteers describe as the “biggest” electoral exercise in British history? Perhaps because politics is a special and unique arena of its own – and suggesting to the public a momentous electoral outcome was, among other things, brought about by significant breaches of electoral law, may not be politically palatable.

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As an American I know the last thing we need is chlorinated chicken

But all of this really does matter, indeed it is critical, because the rules governing our elections and referendums are the rules that maintain faith in our democracy – trust being a central element to a properly functioning state. Moreover, if, as in the 2016 referendum, there are no weighty repercussions for violating the rulebook, parties and campaign groups are incentivised to disregard the regulatory framework – safe in the knowledge the harshest sanction they could face is a financial slap on the wrist from a regulator – already described by one in committee as “the cost of doing business”. The threat to public trust and confidence in how we conduct our democracy is grave. Given the international picture of electoral interference and data abuse, including the investigations into the US elections, the dangers for our democracy cannot be underestimated.

The Court of Appeal made it clear that they do not want to “interfere” with the 2016 referendum. Now, more than ever, it is essential MPs protect the national interest and that of their constituents, above party politics. If a Final Say referendum crystallises, it is vital that parliament engages in a cold, rational debate about the imposition of robust legal safeguards. Firstly, to act as a deterrent to non-compliance with agreed rules and, secondly, to ensure that any poll in which corruption occurs may be invalidated. If democracy means anything to those in power, they cannot allow any further cheating to taint it.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

mirror

Published  1 month ago

Tonight's vote means millions of people's benefits will be frozen for the fourth year in a row - while MPs' pay rises 2.7% to almost £80,000

BrexitCentral

Published  1 month ago

Written by

Esther McVey has been Conservative MP for Tatton since 2017 and was briefly the Government Deputy Chief Whip before serving as Work and Pensions Secretary between January and November 2018, when she resigned in opposition to Theresa May’s Brexit deal. She was MP for Wirral West between 2005 and 2015, serving as a minister at the Department for Work and Pensions between 2012 and 2015.

Brexit gives us a chance to become a modern, outward-looking, free-trading nation once again.

17.4 million people asked the political class to take back control over our trade policy so that we could trade freely with other countries, determine our own trade policy and develop our industries and ports so that we can open our country to the world.

Whilst we must do everything we can to move seamlessly to a new trading relationship with our friends and allies in Europe after we leave, we should recognise that we have been guilty in the past of placing far too much emphasis on our relationship with the EU’s Single Market.

The report released yesterday by Global Britain – How the EU is a drag on UK prosperity economy – makes bleak reading and shows that the Single Market has never been central to UK prosperity.

The EU institutions are so focused on their political vanity projects, such as the euro, that they’ve forgotten why they were created in the first place: to look after the needs of the citizens and businesses of Europe.

The EU is failing the countries of Europe. Before the Single Market was formed in the early 1990s, the US and Eurozone each accounted for around a quarter of the global economy. Today, America’s proportion has largely remained untouched but the EU’s share of the world economy has almost halved. Had the Eurozone continued to grow at the same rate as the US the UK could have expected to have sold £82bn more in exports due to greater economic demand.

Unemployment is rife in the EU as well. Levels of unemployment are five times higher than ours in Greece, almost four times higher in Spain, more than double in France and over 17 per cent in much of the south of Italy. More than one in every three young Italians and Spaniards find themselves without a job and youth unemployment stands at a devastating 44 per cent in Greece.

Countries outside the EU will account for 90 per cent of global economic growth in the years ahead and Brexit will give us control over our trade policy so that we can adapt quickly, engage with the emerging global economic powerhouses and prioritise the interests of British consumers and businesses.

We will, at last, be able to look beyond the shores of the EU: to forge a free trade deal with countries like the US and to take up Japan’s invitation to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would link us to our Commonwealth partners and we would be the only non-Pacific country with preferential access to this huge market.

This doesn’t mean that we will be turning our backs on our close trading partners in Europe. We will continue to trade with, protect and work closely with our friends in Europe – but we shall do this as a sovereign nation, championing free trade around the world.

By unshackling ourselves from an organisation that is more concerned about super-state status than economic competence, there are no limits to what our country is capable of. And we can re-focus on raising the living standards and future opportunities of many generations to come.

the Guardian

Published  1 month ago

Much of the Stronger Towns Fund is to be allocated to leave-voting towns in the north of England and Midlands

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Labour will order its MPs to vote for a backbench motion that would trigger a fresh Brexit referendum, John McDonnell has said.

The shadow chancellor said the party would back an amendment being tabled by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, after it dramatically shifted its policy to support a fresh public poll.

The Labour leadership had asked for the original Kyle-Wilson amendment to be redrafted to allow the party's MPs to support another referendum without approving Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Mr McDonnell said he hadn’t seen the final text but added: ”We’re trying to ensure our members don’t have to vote for Theresa May’s deal to get to the stage.

“There doesn’t necessarily have to be a reference to Theresa May’s deal...We don’t want an explicit reference to Theresa May’s deal.”

Asked if Labour would order MPs to vote for the amendment, he said: “Yes. That’s the discussion that’s going on.”

More follows...

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The Independent Group of 11 MPs plans to meet on Monday to discuss its future. One of the questions they are bound to discuss is: who is going to be their leader? Our chief political commentator

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

One of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow ministers has admitted organising to stop a fresh Brexit referendum – despite Labour’s backing for the policy. Gloria De Piero refused to answer questions about how her

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

The only way that the UK will be able to get a good deal is if the European Union believe that Britain would be willing to walk away with a No Deal Brexit. With European economies in big trouble, including Germany, the ability to walk away is what should be driving a hard bargain from the UK side.

Sadly, Remainer MPs and weak leadership from Theresa May appear to have assured Brussels that this isn’t a real threat anymore. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told an audience that he believes that the UK walking away with No Deal is “unlikely”.

Varadkar has said: “We are entering quite a sensitive period over the next week or two in the run-up to the next set of votes in the House of Commons on March 12th and the European Council summit which happens the week after.

“I don’t want to say too much about it at this stage but I think that the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union without a deal on March 29th is unlikely.

“I think that we either will have a deal or we will have an extension but as is always the case, we have to work hard to achieve that withdrawal agreement, to get it ratified and also prepare for the worst-case scenario in case that arises.”

The UK isn’t going to secure any major concessions if the EU don’t think that Britain will walk. Perhaps Ministers should pay a bit more attention to the Donald Trump approach – always be prepared to walk away if you want to secure a good deal.

Breitbart

Published  1 month ago

To save Brexit, Theresa May must resign as Prime Minister.

The Sun

Published  1 month ago

A HUGE band of MPs are betraying voters by trying to thwart Brexit, angry colleagues have claimed. They have formed an unholy alliance with politicians from rival parties to delay or stop Britain’s…

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The "poison" of Islamophobia is "very widespread" in the Conservative Party but is being “ignored” by Tory leaders, a former co-chair of the party has said. Baroness Warsi said the problem was

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Theresa May will have to delay Brexit even if she gets her exit plan through Parliament this month, Michel Barnier has said. The EU's chief negotiator said there was now not enough time for the EU to

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The government’s controversial Right to Rent scheme is causing racial discrimination and violating human rights law, the High Court has found. The law, which requires private landlords to check the

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

It would be easy for MPs in other parties to mock The Independent Group (TIG) of 11 MPs who have quit Labour and the Conservatives. Today they have announced the equivalent of their frontbench responsibilities: with so few hands on deck, some of their MPs will shadow three government departments.

And yet no one at Westminster is laughing at TIG; the two main parties are rightly worried about them. The new group has passed its first test – credibility. In week one, it had a successful launch. In week two, it enjoyed remarkable influence over Labour and the Tories. Without their breakaway, Jeremy Corbyn would probably not have backed a Final Say referendum or suspended his MP ally Chris Williamson for saying Labour has been “too apologetic” about antisemitism. Corbyn knew that failure to act on both fronts would drive more MPs into TIG’s awaiting arms. TIG's very existence was a game-changer.

And the group undoubtedly added to the pressure on Theresa May applied by pro-EU cabinet ministers; other Tory MPs might have quit the party if she had not given the Commons a chance to block a no-deal exit on 29 March. Arguably, 11 MPs have been the catalyst for bigger changes on Brexit policy in two weeks than the remaining 639 MPs have won in two years.

Labour has most to fear. A survey for the Politico website found that 32 per cent of Labour voters say they are either likely or very likely to vote for a TIG candidate if they stood in their constituency. Younger voters and people living in London are most attracted to TIG.

Further recruits to the group from Labour’s ranks are likely when Brexit is finally resolved. Labour MPs are talking about forming “an independent wing” inside the party which might break away at a later stage, if its deputy leader Tom Watson cannot persuade Corbyn to change course. Watson, who is setting up a social democratic group of Labour MPs to discuss policy to try to keep them in the tent, holds the key to Labour’s future. There was a time when he would not do media interviews to avoid being asked: “Is Jeremy Corbyn fit to be prime minister?” – the £64,000 question for those Labour MPs wondering whether to jump ship.

Created with Sketch. Which MPs have defected from parties to join the Independent Group?

Show all 12 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. Which MPs have defected from parties to join the Independent Group?

Watson is not holding back now. He told Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday that Corbyn “could be” prime minister but Labour “could do without the antisemitism”. MPs not in the Corbyn fan club should rally behind Watson rather than argue about small differences over the right approach to the party’s crisis.

Ultimately, it will be Corbyn rather than Watson who determines how many Labour MPs eventually walk out. Team Corbyn will be tempted to ignore Watson; it has not forgiven him for his attempt to persuade Corbyn to stand down in 2016, a year before his remarkable general election performance. But Corbyn should listen to his deputy. If Corbyn fails to show real leadership in stamping out antisemitism, declines to give more centrist MPs shadow cabinet roles and influence on policy and allows 50 MPs to be deselected by their local parties, then TIG’s ranks will swell, and Labour’s election prospects diminish. Corbyn’s handling of Brexit will also be important. Although he is edging towards backing a public vote in return for allowing May’s deal to pass the Commons, he will be happy if anti-referendum Labour MPs defeat him. As one MP put it: “He will go into the division lobby with his fingers crossed behind his back.”

So it is quite possible to see circumstances in which another 50-70 Labour MPs join the group, whatever they say about “staying to fight” now.

TIG is showing that small fish can have big influence in the political pond. You don’t necessarily need vast numbers of MPs; the spectre of Ukip spooked David Cameron into calling his unnecessary, ill-fated referendum. The SDP forced Old Labour to become New Labour.

When TIG becomes a fully-fledged party, it will find it very hard to break through under our archaic first-past-the-post system. And for now, when the new group has no policies, it can be all things to all people; that will not last. However, politics is much more volatile and fluid than in the SDP’s day, so a breakthrough is not impossible.

Like the SDP, the TIG MPs may not reap the rewards of their dramatic act. But even if they do not break the mould, they have given our outdated two main parties some much-needed shock therapy. The 11 MPs have done the right thing, as this week's events prove, and are braver than the many Labour and Tory MPs who privately agree with them.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

The Chairman of the Sevenoaks Conservative Party has resigned in dissatisfaction with local Tory MP Michael Fallon.

Paulette Furse has told Kent Live that: “Michael Fallon is his own person and he wants to Remain within the EU. He believes it is in the interest of business and he is looking after their welfare – but he forgets that most of Sevenoaks is services and financial investment and they are not going to be affected in the way he seems to think they will be.

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“He is not backing the people of Sevenoaks and at the end of the day his members are not happy and are calling for him to resign.”

She also told them that local members are “getting angrier and angrier” over his stance.

Fallon has responded by appearing to knock back a No Deal Brexit once again: “I’m sorry she’s resigned but nobody silenced her. At the Executive Committee on Friday I thanked her for her work. Leaving without a deal is not our‎ policy: I support the government in trying to get a better deal.”

All over the country Conservative grassroot members are growing furious with Remainer MPs. 64% of Tory members prefer a WTO Brexit to Theresa May’s deal.

Grassroot Tories recently passed a motion at their convention that read: “The National Convention supports the commitments the Prime Minister has made to the country to honour the European Union referendum result of 2016, that having triggered Article 50 we will leave the European Union on the 29 March 2019.

“Another referendum, a delay beyond the European Elections, taking ‘No Deal’ off the table or not leaving at all would betray the 2016 People’s Vote and damage democracy and our party for a generation.”

When will politicians wake up and deliver what the people voted for? An EU exit, on time, deal or No Deal.

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

UK government pays £33m to Eurotunnel after accusation of "secretive" process over no-deal Brexit ferry contracts

BrexitCentral

Published  1 month ago

The most likely effect of Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement that Labour will support some form of second referendum is to increase the probability that the UK leave the EU without a formal trade deal.T

BrexitCentral

Published  1 month ago

Thank you Matthew for that introduction and thank you to Ørsted for hosting us today. Your work in off-shore wind does not just provide skilled jobs here in Grimsby, it makes a direct contribution

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Labour has claimed transport secretary Chris Grayling's political gaffes have cost the economy and taxpayers over £2.7bn during his time in government.  The analysis comes after Downing Street was

BrexitCentral

Published  1 month ago

Written by

On a Thursday afternoon that was otherwise relatively Brexit-free for Westminster-watchers, the calm has been dramatically broken by another brexit-related resignation from the Government – from junior agriculture minister, George Eustice.

He is quitting in opposition to the decision announced by Theresa May this week to “allow the postponement of our exit from the EU” and cited his desire to be able to “be free to participate in the critical debate that will take place in the weeks ahead”. He observes in his resignation letter to Theresa May:

“I have stuck with the government through a series of rather undignified retreats. However, I fear that developments this week will lead to a sequence of events culminating in the EU dictating the terms of any extension requested and the final humiliation of our country. I appreciate that you have been terribly undermined by those in Parliament who refuse to respect the referendum result. You have shown tenacity and resilience over the past year. However, what our country needs from all its political leaders at this critical juncture is courage, and we are about to find out whether Parliament has it.”

Countering the message of a number of ministers opposed to a no-deal Brexit who have given written various articles and given numerous interviews (yet not been willing to quit the Government to make their case), he makes clear that the Government and Parliament should be willing to countenance such a scenario:

“We cannot negotiate a successful Brexit unless we are prepared to walk through the door. We must therefore have the courage, if necessary, to reclaim our freedom first and talk afterwards.”

Eustice has a long-standing eurosceptic pedigree: the one-time strawberry farmer was drawn into politics after seeing the effects of the ERM on his family’s business in Cornwall in the early 1990s and went on to join UKIP later in the decade and unsuccessfully contested the 1999 European elections for the party in the South West of England. He then became Campaign Director of the No campaign and Business for Sterling, opposing UK membership of the euro, before joining the Conservative Party as Head of Press and then Press Secretary to David Cameron as Leader of the Opposition.

The full text of his resignation letter is as follows:

Dear Prime Minister,

It is with tremendous sadness that I have decided to resign from the government following the decision this week to allow the postponement of our exit from the EU. Since Parliament is now in direct control of events, I want to be free to participate in the critical debate that will take place in the weeks ahead.

It has been an honour to work alongside so many talented individuals at Defra over the past five years. Defra has phenomenal expertise and, more than any other government department, has embraced the opportunities posed by our exit from the EU. I have particularly welcomed the chance to craft two new Bills on farming and fisheries, which are the first for half a century, as we have prepared the ground to restore self-government in this country.

I will vote for your Withdrawal Agreement when it returns to the House and I very much hope that the Attorney General succeeds in securing final changes so that others might too. Although I campaigned to leave, I have always supported compromise to achieve a reconciliation in our country. Leaving the EU would represent an historic change and it is natural that some people will feel apprehensive. I have been open to the idea of using our existing membership of the EEA as an exit mechanism and I supported your approach outlined at Chequers when others did not. I have stuck with the government through a series of rather undignified retreats. However, I fear that developments this week will lead to a sequence of events culminating in the EU dictating the terms of any extension requested and the final humiliation of our country.

I appreciate that you have been terribly undermined by those in Parliament who refuse to respect the referendum result. You have shown tenacity and resilience over the past year. However, what our country needs from all its political leaders at this critical juncture is courage, and we are about to find out whether Parliament has it.

As a Defra Minister, I have enjoyed good relations with the European Commission and with Ministers from other member states. However, I do not believe that the Commission has behaved honourably during these negotiations. They have deliberately made progress slow and difficult. They have stated in terms that they will refuse to even hold substantive negotiations on a future partnership until after we leave. If the position of Parliament is now that we will refuse to leave without an agreement then we are somewhat stuck. This is uncomfortable for everyone, but we cannot negotiate a successful Brexit unless we are prepared to walk through the door.

We must therefore have the courage, if necessary, to reclaim our freedom first and talk afterwards. We must be ready to face down the European Union here and now. The absence of an agreement poses risks and costs for them too. We already know that in the event of “no deal” the EU will seek an informal transition period for nine months in many areas and settlement talks could continue within this window.

I will do what I can from the back benches to try to salvage this sorry situation and I hope that, when the moment comes, Parliament will not let our country down.

Yours sincerely,

George Eustice

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to support a fresh Brexit referendum enjoys the overwhelming backing of Labour voters in Leave-voting areas, new research has found. Only 21 per cent of those in the north

patribotics

Published  1 month ago

Multiple sources with links to UK intelligence report that Russian corruption of the Brexit vote is far worse than previously thought. The referendum on remaining part of the EU received so much illegal foreign money and influence from Russia, these sources say, that UK intelligence is minded to recommend to Theresa May’s government that the Brexit vote be redone, as it is not thought that the vote was ‘free and fair’. This term is often used in Great Britain to describe a legitimate election process.

Patribotics is very grateful for the support of our readers, which makes this effort possible. If you can help us please donate. There are buttons around the site, or you could make a contribution here.

It is illegal under UK electoral law for foreign nationals and entities to spend sums of money influencing domestic votes. The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, sources said, was quite clear on the illegality of such donations.

This reporter broke the story, last year, that the same Russian entities that were pushing botnets for Trump were pushing them for Brexit, and for Marine le Pen and Viktor Orban. The level of money and the reach of the fake bots and targeted data funded by Russia, using Cambridge Analytica, sources said, was so great that MI5 and MI6, the UK’s versions of the FBI and CIA, did not believe that the Brexit referendum could have been said to have been ‘free and fair’.

Sources cautioned, however, that an absolute decision had not yet been made and that the Prime Minister and her government opposed a revote. Reasons for this included both the public reaction, and the fact that it is thought that any second vote is likely to have the same final result as the first one. Sources with links to both UK and US intelligence also believed, however, that there was major anxiety within the British government – among all major parties – of politicians’ links to the Russian state being exposed.

The resulting scandal could be worse than the ‘MPs’ expenses’ scandal of 2009, which caught hundreds of MPs up in a corruption probe over petty larceny paid for by taxpayers, where British politicans charged personal items as ‘expenses’ necessary for their work to the public purse.

Sources were aware that Russian money had flowed into more UK electoral processes than just the Brexit vote. Russia piled into the Scottish independence referendum on behalf of the SNP; the former SNP leader, Alex Salmond, has just accepted a chat show on the UK version of Russia Today, Putin’s state propaganda channel. In America, Russia Today have been forced to register as foreign agents under FARA (the foreign agents’ registration act).

Russia has also backed Jeremy Corbyn, in an apparent fit of anger towards Theresa May for the UK’s assistance to the US intelligence community; and UKIP, the party led by Nigel Farage. UKIP’s leaders are under an active USIC investigation for colluding with Russia in the matter of Donald Trump’s election campaign. We plan a further report on Nigel Farage shortly. Sources speculated, without certainty, that any re-do of a corrupted Brexit vote might be announced after the arrest of Nigel Farage, which, separate sources assert, is a certainty.

Several sources with knowledge of the matter indicated that the intelligence community was not likely to be swayed by political considerations from making its recommendation. Analysis was not merely based on logging the amount of money and the number of social media profiles affected, they said, but on SIGINT, or signals intelligence – that is, recordings and other legal interceptions of politicians, Russian agents and assets, and of tracking laundered money, including by tracking the use of bitcoin, that flowed from Vladimir Putin into the Brexit referendum.

GCHQ, as we have previously reported, recorded Steve Mnuchin, Donald Trump and others at Trump Turnberry on June 24th, 2016, the day after Brexit. All attending that event and the weekend with Mr. Trump that followed it were under constant surveillance, sources said. At that weekend, the deal outlined at Trump Tower on June 9th, 2016, was finalized – Trump would alter policy in America, on both sanctions and Ukraine, in exchange for Russia’s help in hacking the election. Brexit and Cambridge Analytica were crucial to ‘proving’ to Trump that Putin and his assets could hand an election victory, against the odds, to the GOP’s candidate. Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer were crucial links in Putin’s twin assaults on the UK and US electoral systems; they were heavily involved with UKIP, Cambridge Analytica, Brexit and then the Trump campaign.

Our readers make Patribotics possible. Please donate to support our journalism.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Prime Minister Theresa May, who voted Remain, views the UK’s exit from the European Union as a “damage limitation exercise”.

That’s according to her former Chief of Staff Nick Timothy, who has told the BBC that: “I think one of the reasons we are where we are is that many Ministers, and I would include Theresa in this, struggle to see any economic upside to Brexit.

“They see it as a damage limitation exercise.

“If you see it in that way then inevitably you’re not going to be prepared to take the steps that would enable you to fully realise the economic opportunities of leaving.”

Sadly this will confirm the fears of millions of Brexiteers. Theresa May used to say that No Deal is better than a bad deal. Now she has been left, like David Cameron, trying to sell a terrible deal that has been strongly rejected.

The time has surely come for a Brexiteer to lead the country forward. Let’s hope that happens sooner rather than later.

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

George Eustice quits the government over Theresa May's promise of a vote on delaying Brexit.

the Guardian

Published  1 month ago

Transport secretary agrees deal with Eurotunnel, which was suing government

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

The PM appeals for help to end the impasse as MPs prepare to vote on what they want to happen next.

Express.co.uk

Published  1 month ago

A radio caller has insisted that Italy is ready to follow Brexit Britain out of the European Union. Speaking on talkRADIO, the caller, known as Geoff, whose wife is Italian, claimed the whole of Italy is “watching” what Britain is doing. He said: “We are very lucky, myself and my wife, to own a second home in Calabria in Italy, my wife is Italian.

“Her family also, the vast majority of it live between Milan or just over the border in Chiasso in Switzerland.

“We speak to these people all the time. I guarantee one thing. If we leave, Italy will follow instantly. The whole of Italy is watching what we do.

“They are primed and ready. Their newspaper headlines are absolutely stacked with ‘this could work for us too’.”

Radio host Mike Graham stepped in, claiming the crumbling of the Brussels bloc “is absolutely what the EU is terrified of”.

The radio caller added: “The Italians all know that. They are trying to make it difficult.

“I was talking to my wife’s brother the other day, he said he can’t believe how they have bullied us and bullied us to stop us leaving because they know if we leave it will be like the Pied Piper, they will all be going.

“The French are on the same boat, but my wife’s family in Chiasso, they think it is hilarious we ever joined in the first place.”

Earlier this month the Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini boasted that the EU faces a change after the European elections in May.

Claudio Borghi, chairman of the lower house budget committee, suggested that Italy should leave the European Union unless there is a decisive shift toward populist parties in European Parliament elections in May.

Italian 5 Star MP Manlio di Stefano backed the criticism of the bloc claiming the EU had to deal with its “hypocrisy” if Europe wanted to be “saved and protected”.

In an interview earlier this month, Mr Salvini said: “On May 26, Europe is going to change.”

But, Mr Salvini later played down these remarks, claiming that Italy wanted to “change and improve Europe, not abandon it”.

It comes as the UK is negotiating its exit from the European Union with concerns Article 50 could be extended and Brexit delayed if Theresa May’s deal is rejected next month.

MPs will get a chance to vote on Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement, and if it fails will also vote on whether they support a no deal, and then whether they wish to extend Article 50.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Brexiteer MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has sounded the alarm over a potential delay to Brexit beyond 29th March, saying: “My suspicion is that any delay to Brexit is a plot to stop Brexit. This would be the most grievous error that politicians could commit.”

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It comes as Theresa May yesterday announced that she would give MPs the chance to block a No Deal Brexit and vote for an extension of Article 50 if her deal is voted down.

Mogg responded by telling Sky News that: “If Brexit were to be delayed to change the backstop to the Malthouse Compromise that would be positive and to allow time for the legislation to get through, that would be perfectly acceptable.

“If it’s being delayed, which is my suspicion, as a plot to stop Brexit altogether, then I think that would be the most grievous error that politicians could commit.

“It would be overthrowing a referendum result, two General Elections – one to call for the referendum, one to endorse the referendum – and would undermine our democracy.”

My suspicion is that any delay to Brexit is a plot to stop Brexit. This would be the most grievous error that politicians could commit. pic.twitter.com/bVsQIT4Qke

— Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) February 26, 2019

In an interview with the Financial Times it has also been reported that Mogg may no longer demand the removal of the backstop entirely in return for supporting Theresa May’s deal, but instead call for legal changes to ensure the backstop trap can’t become permanent. Whether the government will deliver that or not is another story.

With the clock ticking, it is time that Brexiteer MPs stood up for the 17.4 million who want to see independence delivered, as promised. Brexit is now under threat both from Remain Ministers happy to delay the EU exit day and Labour who want a second referendum. The situation is now critical.

You can always rely on Westmonster to stand up for democracy. Please consider supporting us with a donation. Thank you!

the Guardian

Published  1 month ago

Theresa May and her circle of advisers did not understand how the European Union works, and consequently followed a negotiating strategy in 2016 that was doomed to fail, the former UK ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers has said.

Speaking to the Institute for Government on Monday, Rogers said the people around the prime minister at the start of the article 50 process “didn’t know very much about European councils or that much about the EU”.

Rogers, who resigned a year ago and has developed a reputation for producing some of the most caustic assessments of the misunderstandings between the UK and the EU, said the UK lived under the illusion that it could circumvent Brussels by making direct deals with the major capitals.

He said: “Capitals obviously matter, but I think having lived through this with a number of prime ministers, a number of different negotiations ... that reflex in the British system always to think that we can deal direct with the organ grinders and not the monkeys: it never works like that.

“It didn’t work like that in the Cameron renegotiation either. That stuff is not done in the way British politics works, leader to leader. It’s done via the bureaucrats, and the sherpas, and the people at the top of the institutions.”

Rogers also warned that the chances of a no-deal Brexit sticking for long were close to zero. “The UK and EU know there is no chance of no-deal Brexit being the long-term end state, as the UK would quickly come back to the negotiating table,” he said. “There is not a world where we are going to end up with no deal.”

He also warned the UK could face a legal challenge to the European court of justice if it sought to stay temporarily in the EU by extending article 50 for more than three months, but also tried to avoid participation in the May European parliamentary elections.

He said the only talks extension on offer to the UK from the EU may be as long as nine to 12 months, since the EU will not wish to grant an extension simply because the UK is in a state of political chaos. He added if unelected UK MEPs remained in the European parliament, it was possible that any newly appointed commission, endorsed by that parliament, would be struck down as illegal.

Rogers said the issue of whether the UK should contribute into the EU budget would come up in April. He also said there was no chance that the UK would be able to disentangle itself from the EU even if Brexit goes ahead.

He said: “These fantasies of release and liberation – they are fantasies. We are going to be negotiating on everything from aviation to farming for evermore with our biggest neighbour. We cannot live in glorious isolation. Talk to the Swiss and to the Norwegians – they live in a permanent state of negotiation with the EU.”

He also said he was deeply concerned that May had in the negotiations prioritised goods over services “even though it’s a modest proportion of the economy”.

Rogers predicted a huge blame game between the EU and May if she is unable to get an adjusted deal through the Commons, followed by a brutal row over the UK’s requirement to pay its outstanding negotiated payments to the EU.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer, according to official statistics dealing a heavy blow to Theresa May’s claim to be tackling “burning injustices”.

They showed the incomes of the richest fifth of households grew by 4.7 per cent last year – while the incomes of the poorest fifth of households fell by 1.6 per cent.

The respected Resolution Foundation think-tank blamed the controversial freeze on benefit levels, adding to problems caused by higher inflation following the Brexit referendum.

“The deeper income squeeze for poorer households has been driven by government policy,” said Adam Corlett, the organisation’s senior economic analyst.

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said: “Today’s evidence of surging income inequality shows that this Tory government is not creating an economy that works for the many.”

Overall, the figures for the financial year 2017-18 revealed disposable incomes to be stagnating at a median of £28,400, the same level as the previous year.

The office for national statistics (ONS) said that “despite the small increase, income inequality remains slightly lower than levels reached 11 years ago”.

Created with Sketch. UK news in pictures

Show all 50 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. UK news in pictures

In her first speech as prime minister, Ms May pledged to confront injustices and “do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you”.

However, the ONS figures showed the gap between rich and poor widening in what was the prime minister’s first year in Downing Street.

“Low-income households in particular have borne the brunt of a renewed living standards squeeze, driven by the freeze in the value of working-age benefits,” said Mr Corlett.

“The result is that inequality has increased, but remains below pre-crisis highs.”

The figures come on the back of warnings, including from the Resolution Foundation, that weak income growth and benefit cuts will send child poverty hit to record levels by 2022.

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Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer has showed just how little disregard the Labour Party now have for the British people, dismissing any option of a No Deal, WTO Brexit in a second referendum that no one wants.

Starmer said that the public would be made to vote again on a “credible Leave option” and remaining in the European Union. No Brexit or Brexit in name only, some choice.

He argued that if Theresa May gets her deal through Parliament then it would need to be subject to a referendum.

"The basic choice needs to be between a credible Leave option and Remain"

Shadow #Brexit secretary @Keir_Starmer says no deal would not be on the table in a Labour-backed second referendum.

More here: https://t.co/ZCSjX0Mame pic.twitter.com/TNBwKk5kmy

— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 26, 2019

Labour’s dismissal of a No Deal Brexit comes despite clear evidence, including from Labour MPs, of support for an EU exit on WTO terms in places like Doncaster, Stoke and Sunderland.

This is a total establishment stitch-up.

the Guardian

Published  1 month ago

Whisper it, but another EU referendum is the best way out of this mess, even for the DUP, says comedian Patrick Kielty

Middle East Monitor

Published  1 month ago

The thorny issue of foreign soldiers serving in the Israeli military is back in the headlines, triggered by the debate over the future of Shamima Begum, the British schoolgirl who ran away from home t...

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

Jeremy Corbyn says the party is prepared to support a new public vote as MPs seek to delay the UK's exit.

Business Insider

Published  1 month ago

The more familiar British people become with the details of Brexit, the less they like it, according to one of the UK's leading pollsters.

There is now a nine-point majority that believes leaving the European Union was "wrong," YouGov found. It's the biggest majority against Brexit since the poll was instigated.

A majority would vote "Remain" if a second referendum was held.

Morgan Stanley now predicts Brexit will be delayed, possibly opening a window to a second vote.

January marked the 18th straight month that a majority of British people, when asked by YouGov, responded that the 2016 vote to leave the European Union was "wrong." There is now a nine-point majority (i.e. 54-45, without "don't know") who believe the vote to leave the European Union was a mistake. It's the biggest majority against Brexit since the poll was instigated.

Pantheon Macroeconomics

At the same time, there is now a similarly solid majority who would vote "Remain," if a second referendum was held, according to data from a NatCen "poll of polls" and research from Morgan Stanley.

Morgan Stanley

This suggests that the UK is in an ironic position: the government is determined to exit the EU and Theresa May refuses to countenance letting the public revisit the question, even though the public is increasingly against Brexit.

The opposition Labour party refuses to support the deal which the prime minister has negotiated with Brussels, even though leader Jeremy Corbyn personally favours Brexit and the party's official position is to leave the EU.

The increasing majority of Brits who want to remain in Europe are unrepresented in parliament, except by a few dozen "rebel" Labour MPs, MPs in small anti-Brexit opposition parties, and the newly-formed Independent Group.

In that context, it is perhaps unsurprising that that voter preferences for both Conservative and Labour have fallen between three and five points over the past year, according to a running average of the last 10 polls collated by Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Pantheon Macroeconomics

Morgan Stanley analysts Jacob Nell and Bruna Skarica think Brexit will be delayed. "Brexit on March 29 [is] no longer plausible, we think," they told clients in a recent note seen by Business Insider.

"We see an extension to end-June as straightforward. Longer extensions are more complex, as they require a workaround to ensure UK representation in the new European Parliament which takes its seats on July 2. So, while a longer extension is possible, and likely in some circumstances, e.g., if the UK decides to hold a second referendum, which can take 21 weeks according to one respected thinktank, we have made a three-month extension our base case for now."

Our Brexit Insider Facebook group is the best place for up-to-date news and analysis about Britain's departure from the EU, direct from Business Insider's political reporters. Join here.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Theresa May could be set to infuriate 17.4 million Leave voters by proposing that she will rule out a WTO Brexit on 29th March in order to win over hardline Remainers threatening to quit the government.

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In a move that would destroy the UK’s hand in negotiations, the government could put a Brexit delay on the table as May tries to stop Remainer MPs backing an amendment by Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin to block No Deal.

A government source told The Sun that: “The decision for her now is how to avoid the worst case scenario, not what do we want to do.

“That worst case scenario is losing control of Brexit if Cooper-Letwin passes, and that would be catastrophic.

“There will be a very big row, but nobody can say the PM hasn’t tried her best to stop this.”

The Daily Mail also report that a group of around 20 pro-EU Remain Ministers have met to discuss how to stop an EU exit on WTO terms, despite it being an outcome many approve of.

Sky News found that 54% back a No Deal Brexit in Remain-voting Leeds – but MPs don’t seem to give a damn about what the people want in all of this.

‘@SkyNews audience poll finds 54% in favour of No Deal Brexit.

There is significant public support for leaving on 29th March on WTO terms. Let’s get on with it. pic.twitter.com/wvrrPBdYBg

— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) January 20, 2019

Meanwhile ITV’s Robert Peston reports that May will guarantee MPs a ‘binding vote’ on whether to rule out No Deal if her deal isn’t approved by 12th March. It all points to a government that is going to fail to deliver Brexit on 29th March as has been promised.

.@theresa_may is set to guarantee MPs a binding vote on whether to take no-deal Brexit off table if her own reworked Brexit deal isn’t approved by 12 March. This is huge shift by PM. It makes Brexit delay much more likely https://t.co/5jYC3QKx3P

— Robert Peston (@Peston) February 25, 2019

This all comes as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party disgracefully back a second referendum. Many working class Labour voters will be utterly disgusted, around a third of Labour supporters backed Brexit.

Politicians have lost the plot and forgotten about the instructions they were given by the people in 2016. Now they seek to fudge, delay and dither instead of implementing the referendum result. Bad for democracy and bleak for those who want to see an independent United Kingdom.

Brexit is under attack from the establishment! Westmonster will go on fighting. Can we count on your support?

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

UK PM Theresa May to propose Commons votes on no-deal Brexit and Brexit delay, if MPs reject her plan next month

The Telegraph

Published  1 month ago

Brexit will be delayed by two months under plans being considered by May

Boris Johnson: Brexiteers are not far-Right zealots. Just ask younger Blair

Watch: May plays pool with Italian President in Sharm el-Sheikh

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Donald Tusk has said an extension of Article 50 is the “rational solution” to avoid a no deal Brexit, as Theresa May refused to say whether she will sack ministers who vote for a delay.

The European Council President said it was now “absolutely clear” that there was “no majority” in the House of Commons for the withdrawal agreement, adding that Brussels and the UK now faced a “chaotic Brexit or extension”.

Speaking at...

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

Tory backbenchers propose a two-month postponement, as Theresa May prepares to meet EU leaders.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Theresa May has today announced that if MPs reject her deal, they will get the chance to block a No Deal Brexit and then vote for an extension of Article 50.

It is the latest disgraceful development as Remainer MPs do their best to delay and stop Brexit completely.

MPs will vote on May’s deal by 12th March. If they reject that, a vote on No Deal follows and if that is rejected, MPs then vote on whether to vote to delay Brexit.

The PM said that No Deal would require the “explicit consent for that outcome”.

This is a total establishment stitch-up that is a disgrace to the vote of 17.4 million Brits in 2016.

Brexit is being betrayed. Help Westmonster stand up for democracy.

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

It comes as Jeremy Corbyn says he will back another referendum if his own Brexit plan is rejected.

RT International

Published  1 month ago

Get short URL

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced that his party will either table or support an amendment backing a second Brexit referendum this week.

Corbyn said that he would support a new referendum to avoid a "damaging Tory Brexit" and accused May of "recklessly running down the clock" in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her "botched deal" or a "disastrous no deal" scenario.

Admission of failure? May postpones Brexit vote for 2 weeks, sparks resentment both in EU & at home

Corbyn had faced criticism in recent weeks and months from other opposition parties for not calling for a new referendum — but with less than a month to go before the UK is set to officially leave the EU, the Labour leader seems to have been convinced that another vote may be the only way out of the current impasse.

Asked earlier in the week about his opinion on a second referendum, Corbyn said his party was discussing it and that it was something they would "consider" doing.

Labour would campaign for the 'remain' side in any new referendum, but British Prime Minister Theresa May has so far ruled out calling another vote, saying that the 2016 result should be respected.

Supporters of a second vote say that given the current Brexit deadlock, putting the choice to the people again, this time with more information available to them, is the only way to determine if Britons still want to leave the EU.

The decision comes a week after nine Labour lawmkers quit the party citing its approach to Brexit as one of the reasons.

Other prominent pro-remain Labour figures are welcoming Corbyn's decision. MP David Lammy said that it would be "wrong" to force Brexit on the public in the current circumstances and that "any deal will be worse than the one we’ve already got inside the EU."

The UK Times reported last week that Corbyn was warned that he could face another spate of resignations from the party if he did not back plans to put the question of Brexit to the public again.

Corbyn said he would work to force May to adopt his party's approach to Brexit, which includes a permanent customs union with the EU (a major sticking point between the pro- and anti-Brexit sides), a close alignment with the single market and unambiguous agreements on future security arrangements. He also said Labour will support an amendment taking a 'no deal' outcome off the table.

Subscribe to RT newsletter to get stories the mainstream media won’t tell you.

Sky News

Published  1 month ago

Latest updates as Theresa May meets EU leaders at a summit in Egypt as she battles to win changes to her Brexit deal.

Sky News

Published  1 month ago

Labour have announced they will back a second referendum on Brexit.

Jeremy Corbyn will tell a meeting of Labour MPs that the party will support or put forward an amendment in favour of a public vote to "prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country".

"The prime minister is recklessly running down the clock, in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous no-deal," he is due to tell them.

"We cannot and will not accept."

It comes after Theresa May admitted she will not get a revised Brexit deal in time for MPs to hold a "meaningful vote" on it this week.

Instead, MPs will again get the chance to table amendments and affect the future course of Brexit, including attempts to extend Article 50 and rule out leaving without a deal.

More follows...

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party are to complete a disgraceful betrayal of Brexit by putting forward an amendment in favour of a second referendum.

Labour will “put forward or support an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit”.

According to The Guardian, Corbyn is set to tell Labour MPs:

“The Prime Minister is recklessly running down the clock, in an attempt to force MPs to choose between her botched deal and a disastrous no deal. We cannot and will not accept.

“Last week, after our visit to talk to EU officials and leaders in Brussels and Madrid, no one can be in any doubt Labour’s alternative Brexit plan is serious and credible. We are convinced our alternative, which puts jobs and living standards first, could command support in the House of Commons, bring people who voted leave and remain together, and be negotiated with the EU.

“That’s why we will be putting down an amendment in parliament this week setting out Labour’s plan: For a comprehensive customs union with a UK say; close alignment with the single market; guarantees on rights and standards; protection for Britain’s role in EU agencies; and a security agreement which guarantees access to the European arrest warrant and vital shared databases. And we will be calling for legislation to underpin this mandate.

“We will also be backing the Cooper-Letwin amendment to rule out a No Deal outcome. One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent No Deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May’s overwhelmingly rejected deal.”

“That’s why, in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country.”

What a disgusting insult to the 17.4 million Brits who voted for Brexit after being promised that politicians would respect the result.

The establishment are trying to overturn the referendum result. Help Westmonster fight for Brexit.

Brexitshambles

Published  1 month ago

A legal loophole – that has seemingly escaped the public purview in Britain - means that the UK is now caught in a legal lacuna, brought about by the illegal practices adopted by numerous Leave campaigns.

BBC News

Published  1 month ago

The environment secretary calls for unity as three ministers threaten to back a delay to leaving the EU.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

It sadly looks increasingly likely that Theresa May, despite her talk of No Deal being better than a bad deal and the promise of Brexit on time, could well push back the UK’s EU exit beyond 29th March. This will damage the government’s credibility more than they seem to appreciate at the moment.

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With Remainer MPs looking to push back the date and little public resistance to the likes of anti-No Deal Amber Rudd from Theresa May, it appears that the PM could buckle and push back the date of departure. This will shatter trust in what she has previously said and boost anti-Brexit forces. Once you delay Brexit once, the ‘stop Brexit’ hardcore fringe will try time and time again in order to stop the UK from leaving completely.

Now The Telegraph report that Theresa May is considering a delay of up to several months, with the vote on her deal having being pushed back until as late as 12th March.

If her deal isn’t passed by then, the British government could then request an extension of Article 50 to the European Union, effectively blocking the type of No Deal, WTO Brexit that many now want to see delivered.

Conservative MP Simon Hart is set to put forward an amendment that calls for an extension of EU membership that expires by May 23rd, avoiding European Elections. But once you extend once, Brussels and hardline Remainers are likely to try and scupper Brexit completely.

The European Union’s Donald Tusk, for example, apparently would favour a much longer extension of two years. In other words, extend, kick the can down the road, into the next street and hope that the 2016 result is eventually overturned.

This is critical now. Time and time again Theresa May and her Ministers have pledged to deliver Brexit on 29th March 2019. They have had years to sort this out and prepare the country to leave, deal or No Deal. A delay now will cause huge public anger, damage the Prime Minister’s credibility further and it isn’t hard to see why.

You can always rely on Westmonster to fight for Brexiteers day in, day out. If you share our values, please support our work. Thank you for your incredible support.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Independent Group MPs will bring contempt proceedings if the government fails to publish cabinet papers on the damage from a no-deal Brexit within 48 hours.

Both Chuka Umunna, a former Labour MP, and Anna Soubry, an-ex Conservative, warned Theresa May that the deadline – agreed in parliament two weeks ago – had to be met.

“If they don't do so, we will immediately move to institute contempt proceedings against them in the Commons for going back on their promises,” Mr Umunna said.

Ms Soubry added: “This minister, with the agreement of the government, said ‘We will give you these papers’. These papers are really, really important.”

The threat follows Ms Soubry’s decision to delay a showdown on extracting the papers when the prime minister suffered her last Brexit defeat a fortnight ago, but only because of the promise that they would be revealed.

They are expected to show a huge economic hit from crashing out of the EU without an agreement, which some economists believe could match the recession after the 2008 financial crash.

A previous government analysis forecast that GDP would slump by 9.3 per cent over 15 years, although all Brexit scenarios would leave Britain poorer.

Created with Sketch. Britain Before Brexit: Northern Ireland

Show all 12 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. Britain Before Brexit: Northern Ireland

Mr Umunna, writing in The Independent, added: “Anna did not put it to the vote because ministers - sensing our amendment would defeat them - relented and agreed at the dispatch box to publish the material before the votes this week.”

Ms Soubry, speaking on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show said: “What they show is an impartial, honest appraisal of the grave dangers to our country in trade and economic terms if we leave without a deal. We believe that the public have a right to see those papers.”

more to follow

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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The Sun

Published  1 month ago

EU chief Donald Tusk has called on Theresa May to delay Brexit for more talks instead of crashing out without a deal.

In the strongest signal from Brussels yet that it will grant an Article 50 extension, the EU Council President said “there is always the possibility of dragging the negotiations over in time”.

AFP or licensors

Leaving the EU a few months later would be better than “divorce without agreement which would be expensive for everyone — above all for London, but also for the other 27 partners”, Mr Tusk argued.

His declaration came as it was also revealed the EU powerbroker will meet the PM for Brexit talks tomorrow.

The pair will speak in the margins of the Sharm El-Sheikh summit of EU and Arab leaders.

Mr Tusk also claimed his controversial attack on the leaders of the EU referendum’s Leave campaign was a “deliberate exaggeration”.

The former Polish Premier said there was a “special place in hell” for the Brexiteers who had called for Britain’s EU exit without a plan.

Mr Tusk told Polish news channel TVN24: “My words were strong, but I deliberately used this exaggeration to get the attention of those who are really responsible for the fact that now all of us on both sides of the English Channel live in suspense when it comes to Brexit.

“Those who promoted Brexit, they did not in fact believe in their victory, so did not prepare themselves in the slightest degree for this victory.

Getty - Contributor

Furious Theresa May in icy showdown with Donald Tusk as she slaps him down over Brexit 'hell' row

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The Independent

Published  1 month ago

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has said his party will next week make a fresh drive to give MPs the chance to back a second Brexit referendum.

Sir Vince asked members of the new Independent Group for support as he sought backing for a motion aiming to lock a new public vote into law.

As it stands it is unclear whether any other group will try to bring forward or support a bid for a fresh referendum this Wednesday, when MPs will have another opportunity to table alternative proposals for the next steps in the Brexit process.

Some senior Labour figures have signalled their party might support a plan that would mean backing the prime minister’s Brexit deal in return for it being put to a referendum, but the idea may not be put to a vote in the commons till further down the line.

Talking ahead of his speech to his party’s Scottish conference, the Lib Dem leader said: “For the good of our country, we will cooperate on areas of shared values, not least stopping Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s chaotic and damaging Brexit.

“That is why I can announce Liberal Democrats will once again this week seek to secure cross-party support for an amendment in the House of Commons calling for a People’s Vote, with the option to stay in the EU.

“We cannot let Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn conspire to run down the clock. Liberal Democrats have led the campaign for a People’s Vote. We have campaigned for it, we have marched for it and we will vote for it.”

With dissatisfaction over Brexit having sparked several Tory and Labour MPs to quit their party and form the Independent Group, Sir Vince said he has been speaking to “many of these now independent MPs” and that they have “much in common” with his party.

Created with Sketch. Top politicians' Brexit tweets haven't aged well

Show all 18 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. Top politicians' Brexit tweets haven't aged well

The new group is set to meet on Monday to begin forming a policy platform, but despite many of its members having vocally backed a referendum, it is unclear whether they will back pushing for the commons to vote in support of one at this point.

Some Labour MPs who had previously given support to the People’s Vote campaign are now filing in behind a proposal put forward by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson – which could see them again pass on the opportunity to force a new referendum next week, and instead vote for Ms May’s withdrawal agreement later down the line as long as she agrees to put it to a public vote.

The Independent has campaigned for a new public vote through its Final Say campaign, with its petition gaining almost 1.5 million signatures.

There is also a new People’s Vote demonstration being planned for 23 March, with tens of thousands of individuals having already signed up to attend.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

A push by the European Union for the UK to extend membership and remain in the bloc has been wide out in the open today, with the EU’s Donald Tusk describing such a move as “rational”.

17.4 million Leave voters won’t find it logical at all, given the country has already waited years since voting to exit the EU and Theresa May has repeatedly promised to deliver on 29th March 2019.

Speaking at a summit in Egypt, Tusk said: “I believe that in the situation we are in, an extension would be a rational solution, but Prime Minister May believes she can avoid this scenario.”

It is rumoured that Tusk himself would like to see an extension of two years. It was only recently on 7th February that May stated: “I am going to deliver Brexit, I’m going to deliver it on time.”

This push by the EU and Remainer MPs to kick the can even further down the road is a stitch-up that Brexiteer MPs must stand up and fiercely resist.

The UK must Brexit on 29th March 2019. Support Westmonster and we’ll go on fighting for Brexiteers.

The Sun

Published  1 month ago

GRIEVING mums of servicemen killed battling terror declared war on Brit jihadi fighters and brides like Shamima Begum yesterday.

They backed Home Secretary Sajid Javid's plans for a new Treason Act to jail IS turncoats.

And they penned an open letter to PM Theresa May calling for the permanent exile of IS “enemies of the state” and cheerleaders like Begum.

Their fury was sparked by Begum, 19, and a dozen more UK-born terror brides begging to come home from camps after IS's collapse.

Forces mums Carol Valentine, Caroline Jane Munday-Baker, Karen Thornton, Monica Kershaw, Anne Hetherington, Caroline Whitaker, Julie Hall, Fran Chandler, Jeanie Skeet and Hazel Hunt wrote: “As mums whose sons died trying to protect their country, we fully support treason laws.

“This would honour our sons . . . IS members and supporters like Shamima Begum should never be allowed back to trample on our sons’ graves.”

SHAMIMA'S DAD BACKS UK

SHAMIMA Begum’s dad Ahmed Ali, 60, said he "does not have a problem" with the Government's stance.

Ali, who lives in Bangladesh, said: “If she admitted she made a mistake then I’d feel sorry for her but she does not accept her wrong."

BULLETPROOF MEDIA

BULLETPROOF MEDIA

BULLETPROOF MEDIA

BULLETPROOF MEDIA

BULLETPROOF MEDIA

BULLETPROOF MEDIA

Danny Dyer challenged to a FIGHT by ex-Marine over ISIS bride Shamima Begum comment

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Spectator USA

Published  1 month ago

I’m for Brexit. As a Young Conservative in Wadhurst, I wanted to leave the EU. When John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty, I saw it as a betrayal of such massive consequence I briefly joined the Labour party – and was later forced to confess this indiscretion to Tory associations up and down the country. As a student at Oxford, I joined the Campaign for an Independent Britain, and formed lasting friendships with like-minded undergraduates for whom sovereignty was the first principle of patriotism and politics; everything else depended on being able to govern our own affairs. I am one of those Conservatives who, like the grass roots, cannot understand why so many MPs are so wedded to the idea of the EU. It is everything the Conservative rank and file oppose in three-quarters of Conservative associations up and down the country. There was a hideously awkward moment in 2008 when, as a candidate in a ‘workshop’ (don’t ask), I listened to Jane Ellison, selected for Battersea, give an answer on the EU that seemed far too soft. ‘Oooh no,’ I said helpfully, ‘no don’t say it like that – you’ll sound like Ken Clarke.’ Her expression was icy. At the next tea break, an organizer pulled me aside. ‘She was Ken Clarke’s Chief of Staff,’ he said.

I campaigned fervently for Brexit on social media. I wrote my first New York Times op-ed in favor of Brexit, telling Americans Leavers were no racists. The night before the vote, I appeared on Channel Four’s debate with Jeremy Paxman, debating Yvette Cooper. It was a ratings success. Yet when I left (in a cab with Toby Young and Julia Hartley-Brewer) I was pessimistic; polls said we’d lose.

We didn’t lose. Even as gloating Remainers wrote us off I was on the phone to my friend Dan Hannan. ‘It’s not over yet,’ he said as I sat in a hotel in my pajamas. ‘There’s something good going on in Sunderland…Our people at the count think it’s looking good…’

I tried to sleep. I had a TV appearance for Fox News, the sister company of my employers, booked early in the morning. When I woke up after three hours sleep, the news was so glorious that I barely needed a cup of tea to keep me awake. My cab driver to the studio was an immigrant from Pakistan; he told me he’d voted for Brexit. As the sun rose over the Thames, I was suffused with joy. There is no other word for it.

So I will lay my pro-Brexit bona fides against those of any person. They are rock solid.

But we need to delay Brexit – urgently. To say this is not to abandon principle or surrender to Remain. Before the end of this parliament, Britain should have left the EU. But we should do so on our own terms, and in our own time. Being pro-Brexit was about taking back control; not lifting our hands from the wheel because of an arbitrary date.

Now is not the time for Britain to leave without a deal, when we would all prefer a deal – because some self-imposed clock has run out. That will not benefit Britain; it won’t benefit the EU; the only person it would please is Vladimir Putin. Over the last two months, Russia has been demanding that we leave immediately. ‘Theresa May must fulfill the will of the people,’ Putin has insisted. Russian TV channel Ruptly pushed a Tommy Robinson-led march for ‘immediate Brexit’. ‘Stock up on popcorn,’ one Russian paper said; ‘Theresa May’s troubles won’t make anyone sad in Moscow.’ The BBC’s Moscow correspondent noted their press welcoming the idea of an EU army: ‘it’s becoming clear Moscow sees it as a way of weakening NATO’. That’s right. Russia is openly cultivating its assets in the EU to weaken sanctions, and citing Brexit as a reason to do so.

Theresa May, and our partners in Brussels, need more time to see if a technical solution to the Irish border backstop is feasible, as various EU mandarins have hinted. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t; a delay in the leaving date, however, will allow the Treasury and other departments to implement and test procedures across government for leaving with or without a deal. We will be better prepared. It will allow the Prime Minister, and our allies in Europe, to negotiate without the arbitrary pressure of a random, unimportant date acting as emotional blackmail. It will let Britain negotiate deals outside the EU, whether we actually sign them now or later. It will mean small business has plenty of lead time and does not suffer an economic shock.

While we keep the economy calm and carry on, a delay will also allow Parliament to require the UK intelligence community to produce a report on Russian influence in Brexit. There are far too many claims and counter-claims; US intelligence produced a report for President Obama on the 2016 election with classified and unclassified versions. While light on detail, the unclassified version at least told the public, officially, that Russia had interfered with the purpose of helping Donald Trump. UK citizens on both sides deserve a similar explanation from our security services. Whatever the conclusions, such a report would allow Parliament legislate protections against foreign interference in a future UK-wide vote, such as the next General Election.

Britons are, by nature, pragmatists. We do not see ideology and facts as two opposing forces. Margaret Thatcher wanted to oppose what she saw as overarching trade union power, but she did not make a move immediately; she waited for years until she saw her moment. Churchill relied on correct weather conditions for Operation Dynamo, better known as Dunkirk; in the movie Zulu, surely close to every patriotic and conservative heart, Michael Caine (playing Lt. Gonville Bromhead, VC) shouts to his men ‘Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!’

The tactical pause has never been a surrender. At this moment, a chaotic exit from the EU simply because of a deadline would be madness. Luciana Berger, a wonderful woman and MP, and six others, have left the Labour party due to anti-Semitism; some Conservatives have quit our party too.

For Leavers, as well as for Remainers, this is bad timing. Theresa May, the grown-up in the room, should ask Brussels for a delay. As long as we leave the EU by the next election, I, and surely millions of Leave voters, will be content. If Brussels will not agree, we should simply revoke Article 50 and re-invoke it at the time of our own choosing.

Last year, Russia attempted to kill Sergei and Julia Skripal, who were both under British protection. Putin’s so-called ‘soldiers’ threw a perfume vial filled with Novichok into a charity bin, and killed Dawn Sturgess, a civilian, and a vulnerable British woman. Last week, trolls scaled Salisbury Cathedral and hung a Russian flag from it, and the Russian Embassy in London celebrated that aft on social media.

I am for Brexit. I was always for Brexit. I am still for Brexit. First and foremost I am for Britain, for her national security and her prosperity. We, as a nation, are not ready to leave the EU. We should do so in our own time and on our own terms, not those set in Moscow.

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

A national conference of Conservative activists has delivered a resounding message to MPs: get us out of the European Union on 29th March this year, as promised.

The National Conservative Convention voted on a motion that read: “The National Convention supports the commitments the Prime Minister has made to the country to honour the European Union referendum result of 2016, that having triggered Article 50 we will leave the European Union on the 29 March 2019.

“Another referendum, a delay beyond the European Elections, taking ‘No Deal’ off the table or not leaving at all would betray the 2016 People’s Vote and damage democracy and our party for a generation.”

The Tories in attendance voted 72-15 in favour of the motion, a clear message to those hardline Remainers still seeking to frustrate the process.

NEW: At the grassroots National Conservative Convention in Oxford – 80% of attendees have voted for there to be no delay to Brexit and for 'no deal' to be left on the table. Clear message there and totally the opposite of what the Rudd/Gauke/Clark piece today calls for #Brexit

— Rob Powell (@robpowellnews) February 23, 2019

The motion was submitted by the Chair of the Bethnal and Green Conservative Association, Dinah Glover, who told PoliticsHome: “It is important that no-deal has to remain on the table because that actually strengthens our negotiating position.”

She went further and said: “If MPs are working against a very significant part of the Conservative manifesto then they should build into their calculations that deselection procedures may be brought against them.

“But it is up to their individual associations whether that is a route they would like to go down.”

Theresa May told those in attendance that: “We must not, and I will not, frustrate what was the largest democratic exercise in this country’s history. In the very final stages of this process, the worst thing we could do is lose our focus.”

The clock is ticking and Theresa May has promised that the UK will leave on time. Time for politicians to deliver on what 17.4 million Brits voted for: independence from the European Union.

The UK must leave the EU, deal or No Deal, on 29th March 2019. Support Westmonster and help us keep the pressure up.

The Independent

Published  1 month ago

The new Independent Group of MPs has agreed to back Theresa May in any vote of no confidence, one of its most prominent members has said.

The Sun

Published  1 month ago

AMBER RUDD is facing calls from five Cabinet colleagues for her to be sacked after she threatened to delay Brexit, according to reports. The Work and Pensions Secretary, 55, is said to have been si…

Westmonster

Published  1 month ago

Former Brexit Minister Suella Braverman has told an audience in her constituency that she will not vote through a bad EU deal and that she would love to see Theresa May telling Brussels that the UK was leaving with No Deal.

In a local meeting in her Fareham constituency, Braverman was clear with the audience on her principled pro-Brexit stance: “I don’t want to be complicit in 10 years time to the biggest mistake our country has made.

“I am not afraid of a No Deal Brexit and wouldn’t it be great if our Prime Minister got up tomorrow and said to the EU ‘I am just going to walk away’.”

Braverman, who quit from the government in protest at Theresa May’s bad deal, said at the time: “It is with deep regret and after reflection that I have had to tender my resignation today as a Brexit Minister. Thank you for the opportunity. I look forward to working to support Brexit from the Backbenches. This has not been an easy decision.”

She now says of her decision to resign: “It was a significant day for me and it was not an easy decision. However, I want to be able to look people in Fareham in the eye and know that I have done right by them.”

And she told her constituents at the public meeting that: “I believe the UK should be sovereign in its law making and we should have the final say. We should not allow a court in Brussels to override us.”

Braverman also said that she believes the UK has become a “soft touch” on migration, something that local resident Colin Ponsford told the Portsmouth News he agrees with: “It was a good event and I agree with what Suella had to say.

“In terms of migration I have previously applied for visas in America and Australia and they were both rejected and I respected that decision. I don’t think that happens here and it needs to.”

What a shame that the government isn’t being led by principled Brexiteers like Suella Braverman who are willing to walk away from the European Union without a deal to secure this country’s independence.

BBC News

Published  2 months ago

Amber Rudd, David Gauke and Greg Clarke say extending Article 50 is better than "crashing out" of EU.

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

Even now, after all that’s happened over the past few days and with everything to come, Labour politicians and their aides cling to one of two excuses for their position on Brexit. The first will come most often from an MP for some kicked-about northern seat. “I voted remain, of course,” they generally begin, “but my constituents wanted Brexit.” And so, despite all misgivings, Brexit they shall have. Soft Brexit, naturally, as soft and as yielding as a goosedown pillow, because our clear-eyed, good-hearted representative looks at the tragedy at Honda and knows they want no more of that – but enough Brexit, they hope, to satisfy the voters’ appetite.

The second excuse usually comes from those closer to Jeremy Corbyn, by employment or inclination. For them, Brexit is something to be endured for the greater good of enabling Labour to kick out the Tories. So nail those six tests to the door even if they are, to use a technical term, “bollocks”; offer to help Theresa May with her deal; strike a tone both constructive and ambiguous.

The City may thrive despite Brexit, but the rest of us won’t | Simon Jenkins

Read more

In this way does a party that is overwhelmingly remain, from its voters to its members to its MPs to its frontbench, end up as the midwife to leave. True, there is a smaller number at each level who truly believe in a leftwing Brexit, or Lexit, but easily Labour’s biggest motive is a desire not to upset the electorate.

And I can see the logic. This will not be yet another column fantasising about how Labour is run by a cabal of revolutionary grandads all huddled together on some Kremlin-sponsored allotment to plot the downfall of capitalism. It plainly isn’t, although I would pay good money to see that film. Nevertheless, what may seem sensible tactics adds up to dangerous strategy. In its focus on the immediate demands of holding together a fragile political coalition – only heightened by the walkout last week of Chuka Umunna et al – it ignores this moment’s historic significance. It is all trees and no wood.

The jobs lost to Brexit and the havoc it is already wreaking in government are staples of the news, but only in the past week has there been serious talk about how it will reconfigure politics. Yet one of the greatest risks is that Labour will chuck away its position as the most interesting venture in mainstream European politics, merely to tie itself to the back bumper of a hard-right juggernaut.

Brexit was always a project driven by the right to enrich the right. That goes for its most fervent enthusiasts, Thatcherite throwbacks such as her former chancellor Nigel Lawson and Patrick Minford, the economist who in the run-up to the referendum blithely forecast that Brexit would “eliminate manufacturing … But this shouldn’t scare us. Britain is good at putting on a suit and selling to other nations.” It applies to the prizes the right seeks from leaving, such as scrapping paid holidays and other workers’ rights, as reportedly plotted by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. And just look at how it is already using this moment to change our notions of who gets to live here and on what terms. Does anyone think that home secretary Sajid Javid would make such a show of leaving a British teenager and her baby to rot in a refugee camp in a failed state were he not hoping to become the first prime minister of Brexitannia? This will be the country that feels no shame because it’s too busy being fuelled by hate.

When I voted remain in 2016, it was not out of love for such sorry characters as Jean-Claude Juncker, but because I didn’t want the UK to be remade in the image of Nigel Farage. Well, I lost and it’s no consolation that the only thing I got wrong was the former public schoolboy: my eyes should have been on a double-breasted jacket and a monocle. Unless something major changes, the end of next month will launch the Rees-Mogg revolution, a reconfiguration of British society as drastic as that begun by Margaret Thatcher.

Why would the British left so blithely enable a Tory project that seeks to cripple it all over again? Should you need a reminder of how disastrous it is for Labour to enshrine Tory arguments as orthodoxy, then just think back to 2010-2015, when no opposition politician could begin a TV interview without disclosing whether they were now, or had ever been, a deficit denier. Now imagine that happening on cutting immigration, on trade giveaways, on slashing taxes.

There are of course the aforementioned Lexiters, who just know 29 March will bring the death of neoliberalism, even though the neoliberals will be in charge. Who claim that cutting immigration from the EU will allow more people to come in from the Commonwealth, although there’s nothing to stop that happening today if May’s government wanted it (spoiler: it doesn’t). Who have never quite grasped that the origins of reactionary British politics lie not in Brussels, but in Britain. In its vaulting ambition and loose thinking, Lexitism most closely resembles gap-year self-indulgence – a flight of fantasy tried out by people secure in the knowledge they’ll never have to suffer the worst consequences.

Tory defectors are just getting involved in a Labour party tussle | John Redwood

Read more

I don’t believe Corbyn should have greeted the 2016 result by blowing a fat raspberry and pushing to remain, but as Brexit fails to get through parliament, he should stop pushing for a compromise deal. That would only allow the pinstriped mob to argue that we’re still taking EU rules but getting none of the voting rights. Instead, Labour should get behind a second referendum. Leave voters would not punish Labour at the next election anywhere near as badly as its remain base, according to polling from the TSSA transport workers’ union that has been presented to John McDonnell and others in the past three weeks. Just 36% of Labour leave voters rank Brexit in the top three topics they care about. For Labour remainers, that shoots up to 60%. The TSSA briefing notes: “If [Labour] fails to oppose Brexit … there is every indication that it will be far more damaging to the party’s electoral fortunes than the Iraq war.” Its Scottish MPs would face wipeout, while in London there would be heavy losses.

The threat that Brexit poses to the British left is aptly summed up by an essay published 40 years ago. In The Great Moving Right Show, the late Stuart Hall laid out the scale of the challenge he believed the left faced from Thatcher – months before she even moved into No 10, years before she began her scorched-earth economics. But Hall saw it all coming: the populism of Thatcher, the way she would target schools and policing. And he saw how Thatcherism would win mass support: “Its success and effectivity does not lie in its capacity to dupe unsuspecting folk but in the way it addresses real problems, real and lived experiences, real contradictions – and yet is able to represent them within a logic of discourse which pulls them systematically into line with policies and class strategies of the right.”

Just like Thatcher, the Brexiters are poised to define the present, rewrite the past and then shape the future. It would be folly for Labour to aid them.

• Aditya Chakrabortty is a Guardian columnist

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

MPs may have to wait until 12 March for a meaningful vote on the government’s final Brexit deal, Theresa May has said in an intervention that will deepen splits in her cabinet.

The prime minister confirmed on Sunday that she would not hold the vote this week as she flew to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, where she is due to discuss Brexit on the margins of an EU summit with Arab leaders.

It is a critical week for May, with many in the House of Commons having been expecting to vote on her deal.

Without a reworked withdrawal agreement to bring back to MPs, she has promised to table an amendable motion, which will allow backbenchers another chance to try to block a no-deal Brexit.

May said: “My team will be back in Brussels on Tuesday. As a result of that, we won’t bring a meaningful vote to parliament this week, but we will ensure that that happens by 12 March. But it’s still within our grasp to leave the EU by the 29 March and that is what we are planning to do.”

Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, is among three cabinet ministers who have publicly threatened to defy the prime minister by backing an effort to force the government to extend article 50 if no deal is agreed by mid-March.

Rudd published a public statement on Saturday with David Gauke, the justice secretary, and the business secretary, Greg Clark, warning about the risks of a no-deal Brexit.

May has imposed a 12 March deadline for a vote because it should be held before the chancellor’s spring statement on 13 March, Downing Street sources said.

May brushed off calls to change course. “What we see around the cabinet table are strong views on the issue of Europe. What we are doing as a government is ensuring we are doing everything we can to leave the Europe Union with a deal,” she said.

“People are talking about the extension of article 50 as if it solves the issue when of course it won’t. It defers the point of decision. There comes a point when we must make that decision.”

Asked what she would do if she lost the meaningful vote, she said: “Why is it that people are always trying to look for the next thing after the next thing after the next thing?

“It is pointless, we should focus on what we are doing now, which is working to get a deal and bring that deal to a meaningful vote, which I want to see passed by the House of Commons and leave on 29 March.”

Asked about the open defiance from the three cabinet ministers who have threatened to resign, she said: “I have recognised and others have recognised that there are strong views that are held on this issue. What we are collectively doing as a government and as a cabinet is working to get that deal.

“Parliament wants to see changes to the backstop. We have been working with the EU on that. Our focus is on leaving with a deal. My intention is to work with a deal.”

In a separate development, May pledged £200m to help victims of the war in Yemen as she arrived in Egypt. “We are playing our part and will continue to do so but there is still more that we as an international community can do,” she said.

“At the summit in Egypt, I will call on our partners in Europe and the region to continue to provide the aid that is so desperately needed.”

May is due to meet a Saudi delegation on Sunday and is expected to also raise the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Brexit will not be on the official agenda at the inaugural meeting of the EU-Arab League conference, but May is expected to hold meetings with the European council president, Donald Tusk, later on Sunday and Angela Merkel on Monday.

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

Justine Greening and Dominic Grieve say they would not be able to support government under no deal

BrexitCentral

Published  2 months ago

Written by

Fawzi Ibrahim is a retired lecturer and lifelong activist in the University and College Union. He is currently a national officer of Trade Unionists Against the EU.

The EU’s negotiating tactics are those of a bully: bullies are weak, hence the need to bully. Their approach is to take negotiations right to the wire and force the other side to give in by the shear fear of the consequences of not reaching an agreement in time.

They practised this on Greece to great effect. Bailouts were only agreed a few minutes before the deadline set by the previous bailout; Greece had to accept the terms laid out by the EU; they had no choice, for they had thrown away their strongest weapon – the threat of abandoning the euro and leaving the EU. They were the perfect hostages and the EU revelled in that and pressed their advantage. Greece had everything to lose, far more than the EU if a bailout was not agreed in time; the EU had little to fear from a collapsed Greek economy.

But the UK, the fifth largest economy in the world, is not Greece, the fifty-second in the economic league table. The EU has as much – if not more – to lose from a disorderly Brexit.

That’s why Theresa May’s call on Parliament to hold its nerve should be heeded. The Brexit negotiations will go to the wire. Fears that such a scenario would risk a chaotic exit by accident are part and parcel of Project Fear.

When Theresa May comes to Parliament next week, she may well not have much to report, no new developments on changes to the Withdrawal Agreement – something for which she is continually criticised – but changes will be coming and everyone must hold their nerve.

Her call will fall on deaf ears for those whose mission is to stop Brexit; they recite fear of a no-deal Brexit to try and make the Prime Minister bring forward a meaningful vote on a final deal prematurely in the hope that it will be voted down, forcing Parliament to seek an extension of Article 50. But for those MPs who wish to honour the decision of the people to leave the EU, holding their nerves is what they must do – not least Jeremy Corbyn.

The departure from the Labour Party of eight hard-line Remainer MPs last week is a testament to the success of Corbyn’s policies and a vindication of his approach to Brexit; they have one thing in common, their pathological hatred of Brexit and although they espoused several reasons for deciding to jump ship, had Corbyn supported a second referendum, none of them would have left. They saw the writing on the wall: Labour will respect the referendum result as promised in its manifesto and Corbyn is determined to ensure that it does. If they hoped that their departure and the threat of others following would force Corbyn to change his policies, they will be disappointed; far from weakening Corbyn, their departure has strengthened him.

Similarly for Theresa May, the resignation of three Tory MPs from her party, hard-line Remainers each one of them, is evidence of the success of the Prime Minister in honouring the result of the referendum. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, each in their own way, must hold their nerve in the face of opposition from their own ranks. Never have two people, political opponents tearing lumps off each other, week after week, had their paths so closely aligned as they are on Brexit. Their strength, their tenacity and determination to deliver Brexit on the specified date is derived from the British people who are calling on Parliament to get on with it; but the people, the rest of us, we, too must hold our nerve.

The EU is acting in a predictable way; they are refusing to countenance any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement that has been rejected by Parliament and they will continue to do so until the very last minute. The Prime Minister is right to dismiss their attestations and press on. The danger of accidentally overdoing the brinkmanship and stumbling over a cliff-edge is implausible.

As we get within touching distance of 29th March, a form of words will be arrived at, compromises will be made. It’s of course possible that such compromises are left to such a late stage as not to leave enough time for the necessary housekeeping activities such as the formal endorsement by relevant bodies or making necessary legislative arrangements. In such a case, the UK will leave the EU as planned on 29th March – that date is enshrined into the EU Withdrawal Act thanks to the foresight of David Davis when he was Brexit Secretary, and we’ll seamlessly slip into the two-year transition period.

Such a process will be at odds with EU rules, but it won’t be the first time that the EU turned a blind eye to breaches of its rules, like when France exceeded the deficit to GDP ratio specified in the stability and growth pact or Germany’s contravention of state aid rules.

Parliament will have its meaningful vote, although it may take place after the fact – after the fact that we have already left the EU.

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

Post-referendum Britain has defied the scaremongers to post its largest monthly budget surplus since records began, strengthening its hand against the ailing European Union as the Brexit deadline looms.

With Prime Minister Theresa May’s “Brexit in Name Only” agreement with the EU comprehensively rejected by Parliament and the bloc seemingly unwilling to make any concessions, the United Kingdom and the European Union are currently hurtling towards a so-called No Deal Brexit, or clean Brexit, on March 29th.

This would see the two parties revert to a relationship on standard World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms — although some minor agreements customs declarations, import duties etc. have already been struck, to minimise short-term disruption.

Remain campaigners had predicted that Britain would already have experienced hundreds of thousands of job losses and a technical recession by now, as a result of the “immediate and profound shock” of a Leave vote — but it is in fact the European Union which is in the doldrums, with the German economy stagnant, France in a state of low-level civil insurrection, and Italy in recession — to say nothing of the continuing plague of youth unemployment in Greece, Spain, and so on.

The UK ran a £14.9bn budget surplus in January, the largest since records began. We're a little over a month away from a clean WTO Brexit & the economy is going from strength to strength: record employment, wages rising, Project Fear busted!

— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) February 21, 2019

The £14.9 billion budget surplus is the biggest posted in January since records began in 1993, according to the Guardian, beating last year’s figure by £5.5 billion.

The European Union, meanwhile, faces a black hole in its budget if the United Kingdom leaves without a deal and keeps the estimated £39 billion Theresa May had agreed to hand over as a “divorce settlement” of sorts — despite the fact Britain has put far more into the EU budget than it has taken out over the last four decades — with member-states having to make arrangements for emergency payments.

The British government has suggested it will indeed withhold this money if the EU declines to agree a deal, with Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) junior minister stating simply, “If we’re not a member-state, then we don’t pay into the EU budget,” while on his way to a meeting in Brussels earlier in the week.

Brexit Boom: Wages Up, Skilled Jobs Expanding, Says Top Recruiter https://t.co/D93dKmIclR

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 13, 2019

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

The government’s use of controversial powers to remove British citizenship has soared by more than 600 per cent in a year. Shamima Begum is one of more than 150 people subjected to the measure since

thetimes

Published  2 months ago

The American fund manager that employs Theresa May’s husband has said that it intends to use market uncertainty after Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union as a “buying opportunity”, raising a potential conflict of interest.

Philip May, the prime minister’s husband of 36 years, is a client relationship manager at Capital International, part of Capital Group.

Rob Lovelace, president of Capital and grandson of its founder, has said that the referendum result is “the beginning of a process” rather than a “bimodal event” and that the uncertainty could create investment opportunities.

Capital primarily invests pension savings in companies quoted on stock exchanges and it is Mr May’s job to liaise with the pension funds that are Capital’s clients. He does not manage funds.

In a…

The Telegraph

Published  2 months ago

The Independent Group can no longer be dismissed as a home for disgruntled anti-Corbynite Labour MPs, as three Tories have joined them: Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston.

Brexit has driven them out, they confirmed in a joint statement, blaming Theresa May's "dismal failure to stand up to the hard-line ERG" and accusing the party of being "in the grip" of Jacob Rees-Mogg's group. Mr Rees-Mogg could only wish he and his fellow Tory Brexiteers had such control over the Prime Minister given the way she has handled Brexit.

Ironically, Ms Allen, Ms Soubry and Dr Wollaston's departure will help the ERG to tighten its grip. It also makes life easier for Tory Brexiteers in general. These three...

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has made yet another anti-Brexit intervention, describing some European Research Group MPs within the Conservative Party as being “extreme” and labelling them “zealots” whilst speaking out on former UKIP members joining the party. Just like Tony Blair, Sir John increasingly comes across as an out-of-touch figure trying to cling on to the past.

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Speaking at a lecture delivered in Glasgow yesterday, he said of the new influx of pro-Brexit members in the Tory Party: “The rationale for extremists joining mainstream parties is logical: from within them, they can influence policy; from without, they very rarely can.

“At the moment, there are people who – for now – may have their boots within the Conservative or Labour parties – but not in their minds, nor their hearts.

“The Conservative Party membership appears to be ‘hollowing out’ traditional Conservatives, while former UKIP members strengthen the anti-European Right of the party.”

When it comes to pro-Brexit MPs in Parliament such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker, Sir John clearly isn’t a fan: “In Parliament, the European Research Group has become a party within a party, with its own whips, its own funding and its own priorities.

“Some of its more extreme members have little or no affinity to moderate, pragmatic and tolerant Conservatism.

“The ERG does not represent a majority view but – with a minority government, as now – can determine policy simply by being intransigent: which is precisely what it is doing.

“Some – who can fairly be called zealots – seem incapable of looking beyond the one issue of Europe.

“It’s not just that it dominates their thinking – it seems to obsess them.”

And he spoke positively of the second referendum-supporting MPs who have quit Labour: “Yesterday, seven moderate MPs left the Labour Party. I admire their courage and their conviction. But I hope they have not cut themselves adrift forever.

“Labour needs moderate MPs, and the country needs a moderate Labour Party.”

The Conservative grassroots are not overwhelmingly pro-Brexit, with two-thirds preferring a WTO Brexit to the deal Theresa May brought back from the table.

Instead, Sir John Major spoke out in favour of revoking Article 50 completely. Popular Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has previously accused the former PM of making “cheap comments and propaganda”.

Most sensible Conservatives must surely be happy to have an influx of new members and MPs representing the mainstream pro-Brexit view. Sir John Major, as with Tony Blair, needs to accept that British politics has moved on.

You can rely on Westmonster to battle for Brexit day in, day out. If you support what we do, please help secure our future.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

European Union officials are expecting Theresa May to request an extension of Article 50 that pushes back Brexit by months.

The officials spoke to Bloomberg, with a rumoured delay set to span three months. One of the officials said that an even longer push back could be on the table. Brexiteers will be up in arms and rightly so.

The rumour comes as some Tory MPs are pushing for a WTO Brexit to be blocked, which would mean a delay.

It is expected that any delay would still seek to avoid the UK taking part in European Elections – which Nigel Farage has confirmed he would stand in under the banner of his new Brexit Party. The establishment would take an absolute drubbing.

Theresa May and the government have, time and time again, promised that the UK will leave on the 29th March 2019. For Brexit to be cancelled on that date would be shatter authority and trust in politicians. Deal or No Deal, it is time to leave.

You can help Westmonster keep the pressure up for Brexit to be delivered, on time, by supporting us.

Evening Standard

Published  2 months ago

John McDonnell today said Labour is “moving towards” a second referendum on Brexit that would give Britons the chance to stay in the European Union.

In an exclusive interview with the Evening Standard, the shadow chancellor also called on Labour to move “quicker and fiercer” against anti-Semitism, and expressed regret for “not enough action” in the past.

A ninth Labour MP quit the party today, citing disgust over the failure to crack down on anti-Semitism and intolerance” under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Ian Austin, a former close aide to Gordon Brown, said the party was being “tougher on the people complaining about anti-Semitism than it is on the anti-Semites”.

With Labour reeling from a week of turmoil, Mr McDonnell held out olive branches on the two big issues that the defectors complained about: Brexit and anti-Semitism.

He gave his strongest indication yet that Labour is close to backing a second public vote and said he would campaign for Remain if one is held.

“On the people’s vote, we’ve kept it on the table and we’re moving towards that,” he said.

He said an amendment calling for a public vote which is being tabled for debate next week by Labour MPs Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson “could be a solution”.

The amendment, which was reportedly endorsed by shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer at a planning meeting this week, would offer Theresa May’s deal an easy ride in the Commons if she put it to a binding yes-no vote of the public.

Mr McDonnell revealed the two backbenchers had been asked to redraft the amendment. And he said that if the Prime Minister’s deal was rejected by the public, Britain would remain in the EU by default.

“If we were going on a people’s vote based on a deal that has gone through Parliament in some form, if that got voted down then you’d have status quo, and that would be Remain,” he said.

His words clashed with those of Unite union leader Len McCluskey who said on Wednesday Remain should not be on the ballot paper as it was “not the best option for our nation”.

Mr Corbyn was reported in the Guardian to be edging closer to backing a referendum, while The Times said Labour faced mass defections to The Independent Group of former Labour and Tory MPs if he refused.

Mr McDonnell said Remain should be an option in a referendum and said Labour was “moving into implementation stages around our conference decision, around the People’s Vote”.

Asked how would he vote, he said firmly: “I’ve said all along if there was another one I’d campaign for Remain and I’d vote for Remain.”

In the same interview, Mr McDonnell criticised his party for moving too slowly and softly against anti-Semitism. “We’ve got to be quicker, and we’ve got to be fiercer,” he said. “I think there’s been a lot of listening but not enough action. That’s the problem.”

Speaking of the criticisms made by eight Labour MPs who formed The Independent Group this week, Mr McDonnell agreed that clear-cut cases of anti-Semitism had not led to enough swift punishment.

His response contrasts starkly with hostility from Mr Corbyn’s office which accused the eight defectors of defending “austerity [and] corporate tax cuts”, while Mr McCluskey dismissed the anti-Semitism row as “contrived”.

Mail Online

Published  2 months ago

The Labour leader said that the teenager, who gave birth to a baby boy in a refugee camp on Sunday, had 'a right to return' after fleeing the country to support IS.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has revealed that a lengthy delay to Brexit – and the UK participating in European Elections – cannot be ruled out.

In an interview with Stuttgarter Zeitung that Politico have picked up, Juncker said of a Brexit delay beyond May: “That to my mind would be an irony of history. Yet I cannot rule it out.”

He insists that “any decision to ask for more time lies with the UK. If such a request were to be made, no one in Europe would oppose it.”

The EU chief apparently has no deadline in mind if the can is kicked down the road: “If you are asking for how long the withdrawal can be postponed, I have no time frame in mind. With Brexit so many timetables have already gone by the wayside.”

And Juncker described the situation as “like being before the courts or on the high seas; we are in God’s hands. And we can never quite be sure when God will take the matter in hand”.

It would be beyond farcical for Brexit to not only be delayed beyond 29th March 2019 but for British voters to elect MEPs to the European Parliament. Time and time again Theresa May has pledged that the UK will leave on time and it is time for her government to deliver.

If the political class sell out the British people on this, they can expect an absolute thumping from Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party.

17.4 million Brits voted for independence and they expect it to be delivered on time. Help Westmonster fight for Brexiteers by supporting us with a donation. Thank you!

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

Speaking at NFU conference, Gove says tariffs would be put in place to protect UK farmers

openDemocracy

Published  2 months ago

As Tory MPs resign in protest at the malign influence of hardline Brexiters, documents show the “unfettered” access to ministers and senior politicians enjoyed by secretive think tanks such as the IEA that are “marching the country” to a no-deal Brexit.

BBC News

Published  2 months ago

Three MPs - Sarah Wollaston, Heidi Allen and Anna Soubry - leave the Tory party to join Labour breakaway group

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Three Conservative MPs have announced they are resigning from their party to join ex-Labour members in the new Independent Group in the House of Commons.

Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston and Anna Soubry left Theresa May's Tories after being heavily critical of her approach to Brexit and the growing influence of eurosceptics in the party.

It means the Independent Group now has eleven members, more than the Liberal Democrats, including the eight MPs who have walked out of Jeremy Corbyn's party in recent days.

More follows…

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Several Tory MPs who have pushed for a second referendum are facing a backlash from pro-Brexit local Conservatives across the country.

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The likes of Dominic Grieve, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston are all facing a local backlash with some members pushing for them to be ousted.

Pro-Brexit group Leave.EU have highlighted the absurd nature of some anti-Brexit MPs, many of whom have previously said they would honour the referendum result. So what changed?

WATCH | Remoaner MPs told voters they'd accept the referendum result. Now they're doing their best to subvert our vote and keep us chained to Brussels. Join our huge campaign to deselect them at https://t.co/B2MbfTNOkT@Anna_Soubry @NickBoles @heidiallen75 @sarahwollaston pic.twitter.com/eBDIrJE1VJ

— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) February 17, 2019

Described as a ‘purple Momentum’, Brexiteers are seeking to take back control. The Telegraph report that today a letter signed by more than 50 Tory members in Wollaston’s constituency will call for a meeting to deselect her.

The letter apparently hits out at her for having “reneged on the clear and unambiguous Conservative manifesto pledge to leave the EU: a manifesto on which she was elected”.

One of the local activists, Rupert Hanmer Grant, is quoted as saying: “We are calling for this vote of no-confidence in Dr. Wollaston because we feel she is playing fast and loose with our constitutional arrangements and making a nonsense of the democratic process simply because she didn’t like the result of the first referendum.”

Leave.EU’s Arron Banks has said: “In the coming weeks these new members will have a direct say in adoption of these MPs or not – stop Brexit and we will do everything to stop you, now or at the next General Election.”

The move has clearly rattled hardline Tory Remainers. Sarah Wollaston wrote: “Blukip has been busy taking over the Tory Party alongside the ERG. Soon there will be nothing left at all to appeal to moderate centre ground voters.”

She then added: “Tory leadership has taken zero interest in this blatant entryism & will only wake up to the reality of the ‘purple momentum’ destroying their Party when it’s too late.”

Whilst Heidi Allen hit back at Leave.EU by saying: “You’re not democratically elected, don’t represent my constituents, are not in a position to make informed economic assessments nor are responsible for the livelihoods and well being of every citizen in this country – get off my timeline.” Hit a nerve?

Two-thirds of Conservative members prefer No Deal to Theresa May’s rejected deal. Little wonder those seeking to frustrate a proper Brexit are facing anger from grassroots Conservatives.

Mail Online

Published  2 months ago

The 19-year-old, who left east London to marry an ISIS fighter in Syria, gave birth to a baby boy in a Syrian refugee camp yesterday. Today her family's lawyer Tasnime Akunjee appeared on TV.

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

Rep. Ilhan Omar is an antisemite and hating Jews is a perfectly acceptable position in today’s Democratic Party.

Sky News

Published  2 months ago

The Japanese car maker is expected to disclose plans to close its Swindon plant in 2022, Sky News can reveal.

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

Did you see the shocking BBC Panorama documentary about the bullying, Soros-funded, far-left, anti-free speech group? No. And you never will.

Express.co.uk

Published  2 months ago

Simon Birmingham has taken to preparing for all eventualities should the UK leave the EU without a trade deal in a bid to reduce disruption on both sides of the globe. He also sought to silence a cluster of groups Down Under that have registered their alarm at the prospect of a no-deal scenario with the EU. One such group includes IFM Investors, who warned they could “re-evaluate” their £500million investment into Stansted Airport should a no-deal take place. But Mr Birmingham told the Financial Times: “If we face a no-deal scenario then we would be urging and encouraging the UK to negotiate and finalise an agreement as quickly as possible.

“I would absolutely hope that we would conclude negotiations this year.”

The helping hand comes after news an informal British-Australian working group has been meeting in secret for around 18 months to bolster as much preparations for a Brexit no-deal in the weeks left before the March 29 deadline.

But insiders say a trade deal between Australia and the UK cannot be drawn up until Britain officially leaves the bloc.

A deal between the two allies could also prove tricky with regards to agriculture due to the Aussies wanting as much access to the British market as possible.

An Australia-UK trade deal would be the new beginning a post-Brexit Britain is seeking, but could also depend on what kind of relationship the UK is seeking with Brussels in the long term.

Mr Birmingham added: “Businesses around the world would like to know what is going to transpire for the future — especially those who use the UK as a hub for business into Europe.”

He did however warn that the UK’s ambition to sign up to the the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership could take longer than expected due to Britain’s distant geographical location.

The Partnership is a multilateral trade deal that involves 11 Pacific nations, including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam to name a few.

International trade secretary Liam Fox has often spoke of the UK’s goal to join the Partnership.

Mr Birmingham said: “Obviously it’s a statement of fact that the UK is not within the Pacific.

“Some of the other TPP members would think that there are some nations within the Asia Pacific region who might be earlier starters in terms of coming in.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May is scrambling to get an agreement with Brussels in place before the end of March deadline.

She has continually refused to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

Sky News

Published  2 months ago

Latest updates as the PM writes to all Conservative MPs ahead of fresh Brexit talks with the EU.

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

Campaigners against Theresa May’s “my deal or no deal” Brexit strategy are planning to mobilise the public and politicians for a showdown over the UK’s future in Europe in the final six days before Britain is due to leave the EU, the Observer can reveal.

The plans will involve a huge march in London on Saturday, 23 March, aimed at demonstrating the scale of public anxiety about the two Brexit options May is offering, which will conclude with speeches outside the Palace of Westminster. Hundreds of thousands are expected to attend. Then on 25 and 26 March, MPs of all parties say they will be ready to rally behind a “lethal” amendment that will allow May’s deal to be passed, but only on condition that it is first ratified and approved by the British people in a referendum. Such a referendum would require article 50 to be delayed.

If the British people reject May’s deal in that second public vote, the UK would in all probability stay in the EU on its current terms.

MPs who backed Remain in the 2016 referendum – and who are appalled by May’s attempts to “run down the clock” in the hope of forcing parliament to vote for her hugely unpopular deal – believe that the two-pronged approach of involving the public and politicians has a good chance of averting a disastrous Brexit outcome, albeit at the 11th hour.

While some at Westminster believe the chances of securing a second referendum have faded, supporters of the latest plans say the Commons will be most likely to back another public vote at the moment when a nervous nation will be on the brink of the biggest decision in its postwar history, one that will affect the futures of millions of British people. The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March.

On Saturday one of the strategists behind the planned amendment, the Labour MP Peter Kyle, said that the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, and the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, were enthusiastic about the plan and looking at whether Labour could whip for his amendment.

“I know they are both warm to the idea,” Kyle said. “In the next few days they will be testing how wide support for this amendment is in the party.”

Another senior Labour MP involved in talks about what is being called parliament’s “final showdown” said: “By that stage, at one minute before midnight, Labour will have no option but to back the Kyle amendment as a route to a second referendum, as they will have run out of alternatives. There should also be enough Tories who will see the sense in allowing the public either to sign off on, or reject, May’s deal. This is clearly the best way to end this argument for good.”

The shadow Scotland minister, Paul Sweeney, threw his support behind the strategy at a meeting of Labour MPs last week on Thursday entitled “Love Socialism, Hate Brexit”. He said: “It’s not about a people’s vote. It is not about overturning any view.”

Florists: Fresh blooms could become preserve of the rich in no-deal Brexit

Read more

Sweeney added that, if May was so confident her deal was the best one available, she should be willing to test it against public opinion, in the same way that the Irish peace process was subject to ratification by the people of Northern Ireland and the Republic in 1998. “If Theresa May is not willing to compromise on her deal, then if she’s that confident in it she should approach it the same way as the Good Friday agreement, so there was a ratification … We give the people a final say.”

Most MPs believe the prime minister will try to leave a final crucial Commons vote on her deal until the last possible moment, probably early in the week after she returns from an EU summit in Brussels on 21 and 22 March. But that eventual “meaningful vote” – likely on 25 or 26 March – would be amendable, giving those MPs who believe the issue must be put back to the people their opportunity to strike.

Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Conservative Oliver Letwin plan to table an amendment in the next fortnight that would force May to apply to the EU to extend article 50 for an unspecified period beyond 29 March if the prime minister has not secured parliamentary backing for a deal by the middle of March. But supporters of another referendum say the final piece of the jigsaw will be to get MPs to support another public vote during the extension period.

This week May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – both facing splits within their own parties and possible resignations over Brexit – will hold talks with European leaders in an attempt to find a breakthrough. But hopes that the two leaders can agree on a cross-party way forward are fading, not least because of the prime minister’s refusal to accept Labour’s central demand for a UK-wide customs union and her opposition to taking the option of no deal off the table.

In October an estimated 700,000 people from all over the UK marched peacefully on parliament to demand a second referendum on Brexit. The event was the biggest outpouring of public opposition to government policy since the anti-Iraq-war protest in 2003.

The event on 23 March will be entitled “Put It to the People”, and the organisers say it will be for all those people who want to stop a disastrous Brexit, not just dyed-in-the-wool Remainers who have always been wedded to the idea of reversing the referendum decision.

The Sun

Published  2 months ago

BREXIT scaremongers were exposed as hoaxers last night after their warnings of No Deal chaos were finally demolished. EU chiefs have secretly agreed measures to ensure transport links with Britain …

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

The DUP’s Westminster Leader, Nigel Dodds, has reiterated his party’s belief that No Deal is better than a bad EU deal. Brexiteer MPs are still refusing to roll over.

Speaking at the DUP’s Spring Conference on Saturday, Dodds was clear: “We want a Brexit deal, but we are very clear that a No Deal is better than a bad deal.”

He added that: “As we leave the EU – for us the guiding star is the union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“We will do nothing to undermine that Union.

Updating DUP members on the latest Brexit developments.

The Union of the United Kingdom remains non-negotiable. pic.twitter.com/mlglYBYm2I

— Nigel Dodds (@NigelDoddsDUP) February 16, 2019

“The only way to a majority in the House of Commons is with DUP votes. With necessary changes to the backstop, the Prime Minister will have our support.”

Theresa May either needs to get significant changes to her deal or the UK must leave with No Deal.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Anti-No Deal Conservative MP Nick Boles is clearly feeling the pressure as his local Association kicks off over his total opposition to a WTO Brexit, and he has accused pro-Brexit group Leave.EU of a cardinal sin: recruiting Leave voters into the Tory Party!

Westmonster has previously reported how local Tories in the Grantham and Stamford area were growing furious with the behaviour of Boles.

He has previously said: “If at any point between now and 29 March the government were to announce that No Deal Brexit had become its policy, I would immediately resign the Conservative whip and vote in any way necessary to stop it from happening.”

This led to local Tory Vice-Chairman, Councillor Adam Stokes, pointing out: “The constituency voted to Leave. He’s putting some blocks in the way by agreeing with the amendments. I’m extremely disappointed he’s taking this action.

“We are going to start the selection process. I am sure it’s going to be very tough for Nick to be reselected. My own personal view is I won’t vote for reselecting him.”

Councillor Robert Foulkes, Chairman of Stamford Welland Conservatives, said: “If I was the opposition, I would say ‘Can you trust the Tories?’ If they are going to renege on it (Brexit), what can be more fundamental?

“We need to make a show where we will not have Nick Boles and deselect him and re-establish the trust with the electorate.”

Boles has now claimed that the Tory Party is full of, shock horror, Brexiteers. He has told The Times: “There has been a systematic operation of infiltration of the Conservative Party by UKIP and UKIP sympathisers. I had 400 members until 12 months ago and I now have 500…hey have coalesced with those in my party who already had these views. Among the more right-wing and reactionary members there has never been a total acceptance of my brand of politics; they were quite grumpy about gay marriage.”

The Remainer MP claimed that others are being targeted as well: “What has happened to me and I think is in the process of happening to others like Dominic Grieve, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry, Mark Pawsey and George Freeman is a sudden influx of ex-UKIP members or ex-UKIP voters actively recruited by the organisations Leave.EU and Leave Means Leave.”

You would have thought most Tories would welcome new members and blood into the party to take the fight to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. 17.4 million Brexiteers voted Leave and now they expect the Conservative government to deliver. 64% of Tory members prefer No Deal to Theresa May’s deal – it is Nick Boles who now represents the fringe of his party.

If you want to help Westmonster fight for Brexit then please consider supporting the site with a donation. Thank you very much!

BBC News

Published  2 months ago

The prime minister tells Conservative parliamentarians "history will judge us all" over the handling of Britain's exit from the EU.

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

MPs have voted against including the European Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law after Brexit. A Labour amendment, tabled in the name of Jeremy Corbyn, sought to retain the provisions in the

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

The Manchester Arena attack was “justified” because of airstrikes that have killed civilians in Syria, Shamima Begum has claimed. The 19-year-old, who is pleading to be repatriated from a detention

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Britain could slash environmental and safety regulations on imported products after it leaves the EU, a Tory MP has suggested.

Jacob Rees-Mogg said regulations that were “good enough for India” could be good enough for the UK – arguing that the UK could go “a very long way” to rolling back high EU standards.

The idea, floated at a hearing of the Treasury Select Committee, was immediately rejected by an economist, who said such a move would likely cause “quite considerable” difficulties.

Government quietly privatises the NHS's in-house agency staff provider

“We could, if we wanted, accept emissions standards from India, America, and Europe. There’d be no contradiction with that,” Mr Rees-Mogg said.

“We could say, if it’s good enough in India, it’s good enough for here. There’s nothing to stop that.

“We could take it a very long way. American emission standards are fine – probably in some cases higher.

“I accept that we’re not going to allow dangerous toys to come in from China, we don’t want to see those kind of risks. But there’s a very long way you can go.”

The MP's comments came in the context of a discussion about trade deals with other countries following Brexit.

Jonathan Portes, a research fellow of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research however said the approach could cause “complications”.

Created with Sketch. Supreme Court Brexit Challenge

Show all 13 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. Supreme Court Brexit Challenge

“If we simply said we would not impose any regulatory constraints on any goods coming to this country I think the risk of negative spill-over that would reduce productivity as well as many other things that we care about would be very high,” he said.

“We could certainly go a fair way but I think we would find the complications and the difficulties that mounted up would quickly become quite considerable.”

The Government has said all EU regulations will be enshrined into British law by a Great Repeal Bill. Changes can then be made on a case-by-case basis after Brexit.

Ministers have declined to back a Labour bill that would enshrine workers' rights in to EU law, though Theresa May has said the rules protecting workers will be safe.

We’ll tell you what’s true.

You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Please support us and enjoy extra exclusives, events, ebooks – all with no ads.

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of betraying the party’s Brexit policy by the delegates who wrote it, as they demand he finally backs a Final Say referendum on Brexit. The delegates from around the

mirror

Published  2 months ago

Michael Gove's daughter went to today's school strike climate change protest.

The Environment Secretary's wife, Sarah Vine revealed their daughter was planning to attend the protest in a newspaper column yesterday.

The protest, which is currently blocking the road outside the Palace of Wesminster, has seen children chanting "F**k Theresa May " and "Where the f**k is the Government" as they protest against global warming.

In her Daily Mail column, Mrs Vine wrote: "Presumably, like 99.9 per cent of those taking part, they see it less as a political protest than as an excellent opportunity to get out of doing any work.

"That's how my daughter and her friends view it. I did point out that since her father is the actual Environment Secretary, she could theoretically petition him directly.

"'That's all right,' she said. 'I'd rather go to the park.'"

Theresa May slammed the youngsters who missed lessons today to take part in the demonstration.

She said: "Everybody wants young people to be engaged in the issues that affect them most so that we can build a brighter future for all of us.

"But it is important to emphasise that disruption increases teachers' workloads and wastes lesson time that teachers have carefully prepared for.

"That time is crucial for young people, precisely so that they can develop into the top scientists, engineers and advocates we need to help tackle this problem."

Mail Online

Published  2 months ago

Tasnime Akunjee first appeared in the public eye when he represented the families of three girls who fled to join ISIS in Syria in 2015.

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Theresa May must launch an independent investigation into “foreign influence and voter manipulation” in the Brexit vote, a committee of MPs says today, amid growing evidence of lawbreaking by Leave

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Campaigners for a fresh Brexit referendum will pour onto the streets for another huge demonstration next month, with the decision poised to “go down to the wire”. The Put It To The People march –

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Theresa May has left the door open for the greater involvement of US corporations in British healthcare as she arrives in America to lay the groundwork for a future trade deal.

Ms May would only say that she was committed to a health service that is free at the point of delivery, but made no comment on whether the NHS would be off the table in any future talks.

Trade and the UK’s economic relationship with the US will be one of the key pillars of the Prime Minister’s visit to Philadelphia and Washington DC.

Asked whether health services might form a part of a potential deal, she said: “We're at the start of the process of talking about a trade deal. We're both very clear that we want a trade deal.

“It will be in the interests of the UK from my point of view, that's what I'm going to be taking in, into the trade discussions that take place in due course.

“Obviously he will have the interests of the US. I believe we can come to an agreement that is in the interests of both.”

Created with Sketch. The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Show all 9 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Asked again whether the NHS would be off the table she said: “As regards the NHS, we're very clear as a Government that we're committed to an NHS that is free at the point of use.”

The statement left open the possibility of the greater involvement of US firms in healthcare, as long as people do not have to pay for the services they provide at the moment they are received.

A Number 10 spokesman said later: “The NHS will never be part of a trade deal and will always remain free at the point of delivery.”

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said: “The public were told Brexit would mean another £350m a week for the NHS, not that our health service would be opened up to US firms.

“Theresa May must immediately clarify that the NHS will not be up for sale in any future negotiations with Trump. Hollowing out our health service in the name of a trade deal with the US would be an utter betrayal of most of those who voted to leave the EU.”

One of the key factors that led to opposition to the TTIP trade deal between the US and EU was fear over whether it would open up the NHS to vast multi-national corporations who might put the profits ahead of patient care.

Ms May faced repeated questions in the Commons on Wednesday, with Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn urging her to rule out any deal that would give US giants a toehold in British healthcare.

The SNP also raised concerns that a deal could see UK supermarkets stocked with foods that do not meet current safety standards.

The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

The Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay has this morning described the prospect of a delay to Brexit as “very difficult” and “very odd” after a the UK’s Chief Negotiator Olly Robbins reportedly talked of a lengthy delay of MPs don’t back Theresa May’s deal.

Asked about such a delay this morning, Barclay told Sky News that it would send a “very odd message to say to the British public three years after they voted to leave they should consider voting for Members of the European Parliament”.

He added that: “I think that would go back on what many people voted for.

“It’s worth reminding ourselves this vote was the biggest vote in our country’s history.

“And that Parliament voted to trigger Article 50 and that both of the main parties stood on manifestos to deliver on that vote.”

Brexit Secretary @SteveBarclay is asked about the possibility of a long Article 50 extension.

It would send a "very odd message," he says.

For the latest on #Brexit go here: https://t.co/i5Wz56hOpB pic.twitter.com/hkjOMhvBQi

— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 13, 2019

Barclay also reiterated that the “default option” is that the UK will leave the EU with No Deal.

The clock is ticking towards the #Brexit deadline. @skysarahjane asked @SteveBarclay what the options are if a deal isn't agreed.

Meanwhile, MPs have revealed two plans to stop no-deal: https://t.co/sAfDhTP9cB pic.twitter.com/SikRR1Cj3b

— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 13, 2019

A delay beyond 29th March would shatter faith in the government. Voters have already waited years for the UK to exit the European Union and now just want it to be delivered.

BrexitCentral

Published  2 months ago

Written by

A few honourable MPs aside, the Labour Party has now dumped its manifesto commitment on Brexit to respect the referendum result. It is now calling for Britain to stay in the EU’s customs union forever – which would effectively mean being locked into the EU forever while having no say at all over how it works.

Say what you like about Theresa May’s negotiating skills, her task would anyway have been nigh on impossible given the continual attempts at sabotage from politicians and others in Britain.

One example: when May went to Brussels last week, she was told by Donald Tusk that Jeremy Corbyn’s proposals for a permanent customs union represented “a promising way out” of the current impasse on Brexit.

Another form of sabotage is the constant exhortations from the establishment calling for the EU to give no ground to the Government.

Brexit is in danger. A clean Brexit is still the default position, leaving on 29th March to trade on WTO terms. Yet despite the defeat in parliament on 29th January of every binding amendment to block or delay Brexit – including Labour’s permanent customs union – Theresa May’s so-called Withdrawal Agreement is still on the table.

Even though MPs voted against it on 24th January, May still wants MPs to vote again on it, once again using No Deal as a threat not as an opportunity.

Her current deal with the EU is not a Withdrawal Agreement – it is a Remainer Agreement, in every clause on every one of its 585 pages. It is No Brexit. It would bind us forever into a United States of Europe.

It is meant to be permanent, inescapable. The Attorney General told the Cabinet that there was no legal escape route from the backstop Protocol and that it would “endure indefinitely”.

Her deal would give the EU tariff-free access to our market and control of our trade policy, force us to fund the EU’s defence programme, give EU fishing vessels free access to our waters, give the EU control of our farms, and allow free movement of labour through clauses about “mobility”. In sum, it would bind us into the EU in perpetuity.

No surprise, then, that Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, boasted that the EU got “almost everything” it wanted with the deal.

MPs rejected May’s deal – almost the only thing they can agree on – then voted to tell her to go yet again to Brussels with her faithful lieutenant Oliver Robbins, to beg the EU to drop the Irish backstop.

But the EU will not give up the huge advantages they gain under the backstop. As Robbins observed, renegotiating the backstop with the EU is “for the birds”.

We do not need to beg the EU to change its position – that would be fruitless, as all experience from Harold Macmillan 50 years ago to David Cameron has proven. We do not need to beg the EU for a new deal, as Boris Johnson has suggested. We do not need to pay the EU £39 billion for the privilege of leaving, nor even the £20 billion that Johnson proposed.

We can and should just declare our policies on trade, fishing, the Irish border, immigration and everything else. We do not need to ask the EU’s permission. We declare our independence and then, if we wish, we can negotiate with the EU.

BrexitCentral

Published  2 months ago

Written by

A big row is brewing this morning over the motion that the Government has tabled for tomorrow’s full day of debate on Brexit in the Commons, which the eurosceptic MPs in the European Research Group have told government whips they cannot support.

With MPs having expected a neutral, anodyne (albeit amendable) motion to be tabled, instead the Government yesterday tabled a motion that endorses the approach to Brexit as agreed by amendments passed by the Commons on 29th January.

Whilst welcoming Theresa May’s statement delivered in the Commons yesterday and noting that “discussions between the UK and the EU on the Northern Ireland backstop are ongoing”, the motion states that the House:

“reiterates its support for the approach to leaving the EU expressed by this House on 29 January 2019”

Far from being neutral, this means that MPs are being called upon to back a motion that would not only be endorsing the demand of Sir Graham Brady’s amendment for the backstop to be replaced, but also the other successful amendment of two weeks ago – from Dame Caroline Spelman – that states opposition to leaving the EU without a deal.

I gather that there was a fiery meeting in the Government Whips’ Office yesterday involving leading lights of the ERG during which the Tory eurosceptics indicated that they could not support a motion that ruled out the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. The ERG suggested that it be pulled and a new version tabled today. But the government whips did not acquiesce to their entreaties and ministers therefore face the prospect of potentially losing the vote tomorrow if they refuse to table an alternative motion and Labour and other opposition parties then whip their MPs to oppose the motion as currently tabled.

While the motion would not be legally binding, its being voted down on Valentine’s Day would create embarrassing and unnecessary “Government defeated again on Brexit” headlines, spoiling the peace, love and unity that had broken out on the government benches over the successful Brady amendment last month.

A senior ERG source tells me:

“This is clearly not a neutral motion, as it effectively endorses the Spelman amendment – which ruled out No Deal – which is explicitly contrary to the Government’s own policy and which would completely destroy our leverage in the critical negotiations with the EU. If they supported this motion on Thursday, the Government would effectively be voting against their own expressed policy, as repeated in the House, including by the Prime Minister, on numerous occasions. This is utterly chaotic, bordering on farce.

“We told the Government very clearly last night that we will not support this motion and in fact we urged them, indeed pleaded with them at senior level, to withdraw it yesterday – but they took absolutely no notice. Frankly, we despair.”

BBC News

Published  2 months ago

The defeat by 45 votes has no legal force but No 10 had warned it would make the PM's EU talks more difficult.

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

I clearly remember pondering, on 24 June 2016, why there was not more public and political outrage at the idea of a British government putting itself above the law, and using the royal prerogative to execute the referendum result. I find myself in exactly the same mindset in terms of the potential undermining of our democracy, government and sovereignty by a hostile foreign power – Russia – in what appears to be a secretive coup.

As a transparency campaigner and a passionate believer in our British values, as well as political and democratic systems, I am worried. People were told that walking out of the EU would liberate us from the clutches of unaccountable bureaucrats and would allow us to “take back control”. Auberon Waugh’s “junta of Belgian ticket inspectors” would be sent packing, the British people would reclaim sovereignty and British courts would decide British law for British people. The fog of bureaucracy would be blown away by the accountability and transparency that we supposedly enjoyed in the days before 1973.

Who paid for the leave vote? Brexit should be halted until we know | George Monbiot

Read more

It is turning out very differently. Think of Brexit as a matryoshka, or a Russian nesting doll, with voting to leave the EU as the outer doll, representing all the various things we were sold: free trade, prosperity, sovereignty, transparency, increased control over borders, and less money sent to Brussels. Pulling off the outer doll reveals another doll that represents something much more worrying.

Over the last two months, on an almost weekly basis, we have heard allegations of unidentified sources of money being used in the leave campaigns, which may have circumvented rules designed to uphold the integrity of our democratic process, which said campaigns purported to want to reclaim. The mysterious Constitutional Research Council (CRC) is reported to have routed £425,000 into pro-Brexit ads in London via the Democratic Unionist party. Conveniently, Northern Irish political donations are treated as confidential, a legacy from the Troubles. The same CRC gave the Tory MP Steve Baker £6,500 in 2016. At the time Baker was chairman of a Tory hard-Brexit caucus, the European Research Group (ERG), which was behind the sinister Boris Johnson and Michael Gove letter exposed by the Mail on Sunday. And what is Baker doing now? He is junior minister in the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).

The Electoral Commission is investigating the funding of Leave.eu and its largest donor, Arron Banks. These allegations focus on whether donations were permissible and on whether Banks or his company acted as an agent for other donors. Banks denies all the allegations against him. Meanwhile, Vote Leave, the official campaign to quit the EU, last week also came under investigation for potentially breaching the rules by giving £625,000 to a 23-year-old fashion student in connection with his campaign to get young voters to back leave.

The third doll in the matryoshka, fittingly, is Russian. All 17 of the US intelligence agencies agree that the Kremlin interfered in the US presidential election – the only debate is to what extent the Trump campaign colluded. Now it seems that Russia weighed in on the Brexit referendum for exactly the same reasons: to divide the west by breaking up Nato and the EU – and excluding the effective and influential US and UK from continental European affairs as far as possible. We now know that thousands of Russian bots were active in pushing the Brexit message on social media, as were workers in the St Petersburg “troll factory”.

Russia’s free pass to undermine British democracy | Nick Cohen

Read more

The big question now is to what extent Russian money came into the leave campaigns, and is in effect funding a cold war. How deep does foreign interference from a hostile power go in undermining our democratic systems? When leave campaigners try to write off the foreign interference as a ploy by remainers, they fall into a trap set by the Russians, which is to set us against each other. In all of this, we should remember that we are all British citizens and even if we voted on different sides in June 2016, we all value our democracy and fear foreign corruption of our way of life and country. That means standing firm against foreign powers that wish to see our institutions undermined.

Which brings me to the innermost doll: illiberalism. Of the 52% who cast their vote for leave, how many were voting for Britain to become a deregulated, super-low-tax, small-state country? The Vote Leave bus message that told voters “We send the EU £350m a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead” has been widely discredited. But what if the people who have grabbed the Brexit steering wheel were hostile to the very idea of the NHS?

Gove and Johnson are pushing for hard deregulation under the cover of hard Brexit. With the ERG and the highly influential Legatum Institute on their side, the duo have demanded that the prime minister drop taxes and make a bonfire of the regulations that protect us. As Marie Antoinette said of the poor, “let them eat cake” – the modern equivalent being “let them eat chlorinated chicken”. The extremely successful vacuum-cleaner magnate James Dyson has been more open than Johnson and Gove in describing the post-Brexit country he wants: one that sees an end to corporation tax, and a slashing of protection for workers’ rights. In the secret “bullying” Gove and Johnson letter, for Theresa May’s eyes only, they talked about circumventing normal cabinet protocols, getting rid of moderate ministers and parachuting in a Brexit “implementation taskforce” to overrule Whitehall and our civil service.

There is every likelihood that this taskforce would involve Matthew Elliott, the lead Vote Leave campaigner who now works for the Legatum Institute, as well as other Legatum staff, none of them elected by anyone, or loyal to anything other than their employer. The Legatum Institute is a handsomely funded extreme free-market thinktank fuelled by offshore cash from the Caribbean and Dubai. Behind it stand the Chandler brothers, who made their billions in Russia’s most turbulent years, and once owned 4% of Gazprom.

DExEU, of all ministries, has not responded to multiple freedom of information requests about its relationship with Legatum. The Mail on Sunday now has photographic evidence of Shanker Singham, director of economic policy at Legatum, and Gove at a behind-closed-doors Commons seminar on Brexit last Friday, which was also attended by No 10 and officials from the US embassy.

The things being smuggled in under the cover of Brexit will damage so much of what we hold dear. A cabal of tycoons would see their wealth and influence turbocharged, while the mass of the population would see their prosperity, their security and, ultimately, their liberty dwindle away. And this is the dark nature of the inner doll: the end of the western model of capitalism married to liberal democracy. The turbulence caused by crashing out of the EU would just be another opportunity for these individuals.

The matryoshka dolls have only started to come apart and reveal the inner truths in the last six weeks. But this is just the beginning, not the end, of the process. The more people glimpse the inner doll, the more I am convinced that an overwhelming majority of the electorate – irrespective of how they voted in the referendum – will understand the deception that is being perpetrated. They will demand that our democracy be defended.

• Gina Miller was the lead claimant in the successful legal fight to allow parliament to vote on whether the UK could start the process of leaving the EU

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

The European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt has suggested that Tory Brexiteers who reject a soft Brexit deal will be sent to the guillotine like the leaders of the French revolution.

“Within the Tory Party, the hard Brexiteers are compared to the leaders of the French Revolution,” Mr Vehofstadt said during a press conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday.

“I think Gove is Brissot, Boris Johnson is Danton, and Rees-Mogg is compared to Robespierre.

“But we should not forget that the efforts of these men were not appreciated by the Common Man they claimed to represent because they all ended up on the guillotine.

“So that’s important to remind [them].”

https://twitter.com/Channel4News/status/1095283830234189825

The Europhile made the comparison ahead of a meeting with the UK’s Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, part of the minister’s tour to gain support for changes to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement after Conservative MPs said they would not back it unless the Irish backstop is removed.

Verhofstadt’s comments come a week after President of the European Council Donald Tusk said he wondered whether there was “a special place in hell” for Brexiteers who promoted leaving the European Union.

The threat of damnation for those daring to support leaving the EU was raised again on Tuesday by the staunch Remainer and Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) MP Stewart M. McDonald during the prime minister’s Brexit statement, when he asked whether Brexit campaigners would be sent to Dante’s Inferno.

“I’m sure, Mr Speaker, that the prime minister is ferociously well-read and would have read the 14th-century masterpiece Divine Comedy, which is home to Dante’s Inferno, the nine circles of hell,” Mr McDonald said in the House of Commons.

“The eighth circle was reserved for fraudsters. Is that where we will find those from the referendum campaign who broke electoral law, deployed all kinds of political sorcery and false promise in order to win the referendum and is where… her own Withdrawal Agreement is going?”

To which Mrs May returned to the Despatch Box and replied, “No.”

‘Devilish Euro Maniac’ Tusk Declares ‘Special Place in Hell’ for Brexiteers https://t.co/RSSWRDjMtq

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 6, 2019

TruePublica

Published  2 months ago

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox was forced into an embarrassing admission - his plan to quickly normalize the U.K.’s WTO commitments had failed

InFacts

Published  2 months ago

Again and again PM fails to take action on Brexit, preferring to run down clock in hope of a better hand. Meanwhile the country suffers.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Theresa May’s Chief Negotiator in Brussels, Olly Robbins, has embarrassingly been overheard talking about MPs having a choice ahead of backing a Brexit deal or there being a significant delay to the UK exiting the European Union.

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ITV News heard Robbins talking in a bar, apparently “speaking in such a manner that you didn’t have to listen hard to hear him”, Pretty Mickey Mouse stuff, unless the intention was for journalists to hear him of course.

Angus Walker, who was listening in, heard Robbins claim that the options set to be put on the table amount to either Theresa May’s deal being supported or talks being extended.

This effectively would mean the British government ruling out No Deal and destroying the UK’s hand in negotiations or the incentive for the European Union to grant concessions.

“In the end they will probably just give us an extension,” he was heard saying. This goes against what May has said publicly, promising time and time again that the UK will leave the EU on 29th March.

Robbins has been a controversial character, seen as being far too pro-EU. The Sunday Times reported in October that “Robbins appeared ready to sign the UK up to a deal that would have seen Britain agree to join a Customs Union with no end date”, What a joke.

Brexiteers responded last night, with Nigel Farage saying: “As I have said before, Olly Robbins represents the civil service fifth column in our country. He should be sacked immediately for a combination of treachery and incompetence.”

Former Brexit Minister Steve Baker had his say too: “As a consummate civil servant, Olly Robbins is likely to be appalled by this story. Officials advise. Ministers decide. What matters ultimately is the policy of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

“If the PM decides we are leaving on 29th March, deal or No Deal, that will happen.”

If May is to secure any significant changes to her deal, she must now make clear that she will oversee a WTO Brexit if Brussels refuse to budge. The clock is ticking and a delay to Brexit would shatter trust in what the Prime Minister and government have long promised: the UK leaving on 29th March.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

It has been claimed that the German government have been spoon-fed rubbish by anti-Brexit former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been briefing about a second referendum.

Yesterday on BBC’s Newsnight, Nick Watt explained the German position: “They think there are the signs of change in Berlin, because over there they’ve been listening to Tony Blair who’s been telling them ‘there will be a second referendum’.

“That is now much less likely, so they are now beginning to contemplate No Deal.”

He went on to say that Angela Merkel is clearly “absolutely decisive” when it comes to the EU side of negotiations but that when it comes to advice “they’ve basically been listening to Tony Blair and there’s a question mark about how credible he is”.

Is it any wonder the EU offered us such a bad deal, when Tony Blair has been telling EU leaders all along that Brexit would be stopped? pic.twitter.com/FsmoH6pMpA

— Change Britain (@Change_Britain) February 13, 2019

Most Brits would agree. The Birmingham Post’s Jonathan Walker responded by tweeting: “Fascinating and kind of scary from Nick Watt on Newsnight who says Berlin, and therefore Brussels, have based their Brexit negotiating strategy on the assumption we’ll have a second referendum, because that’s what Tony Blair told them.”

It has previously been reported that Blair has been telling EU leaders that another referendum is on the way. What a disgraceful way to behave from a former PM who is already totally discredited.

Theresa May has been enraged after reports Tony Blair has been saying to EU leaders that another referendum is on the way – says our political editor Nicholas Watt #newsnight | @Maitlis | @NicholasWatt pic.twitter.com/CBroA1zRzm

— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) January 21, 2019

Shameful that British politicians have been briefing against Brexit behind the scenes.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

The prospect of a No Deal Brexit is becoming more likely as the clock ticks down towards 29th March 2019 and the European Union refuse to make any substantial changes to Theresa May’s rejected the deal.

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In an interesting piece for the Huffington Post, Paul Waugh says that “internal party polling and warnings from her Chief Whip and Party Chairman have forced her to ‘think the unthinkable'”.

His tweet is even clearer: “Theresa May is now seriously contemplating a No Deal Brexit.”

Private polls apparently reflect what we’ve seen in numerous public versions, Brits now just want out: “The message from a large chunk of Leave voters is that they want a ‘clean Brexit’.”

Waugh also quotes a source as saying of Brexiteer MPs: “She’s been told – ‘You need to understand prime minister, it’s very simple maths – the ERG (European Research Group) will fuck you, fuck the Conservative Party and they will throw themselves over a cliff. Your Remainer colleagues will not’. It’s who’s got the biggest balls.”

ITV’s Robert Peston has also given his assessment: “Most MPs tell me they believe a No Deal Brexit is a remote prospect.

“They are wrong.

“I would argue it is the most likely outcome – unless evasive action is taken much sooner than anyone expects.”

Time and time again, Theresa May has insisted that she will deliver Brexit on time, come the 29th March. To fail in that duty now would damage public trust massively and mean the return of Nigel Farage with the new Brexit Party.

With Brussels still refusing to make any meaningful changes to her heavily rejected deal, the UK must be prepared to walk away. No Deal is still better than a bad deal and the UK can thrive after a WTO Brexit that delivers full independence.

If you would like to help Westmonster fight for Brexit please support us with a donation to help secure our future. Thank you!

HuffPost UK

Published  2 months ago

Internal party polling and warnings from her chief whip and party chairman have forced her to 'think the unthinkable'

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

In a dramatic intervention, Business Minister Richard Harrington has claimed that pro-Brexit Tory MPs that form the European Research Group should join Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party.

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Harrington, who is dead-set against a No Deal Brexit, has told PoliticsHome: “The Prime Minister has done a pretty good job of standing up to the ERG until now, but they were drinking champagne to celebrate her losing her deal and I regard that as being treachery.

“I read that Nigel Farage is setting up a new party called Brexit and if I were them I’d be looking at that, because that seems to reflect their views more than the Conservative Party. In my view, they’re not Conservatives.

“There are people who are very solid and stringent in their views and if I were them I would be looking at a party that seems designed for them – Nigel Farage’s party.”

The UK’s Brexit negotiator is talking about a long delay to Article 50. The establishment are betraying Brexit.

I am now sitting as an MEP for The Brexit Party in the European Parliament.

Sign up to https://t.co/ltkoaDnHUx below!

— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) February 13, 2019

It comes on the evening that many ERG MPs abstained on, with a few voting against, the government’s way forward on Brexit that included avoiding No Deal.

As senior ERG MP Mark Francois stated before the vote: “We cannot vote for this as it is currently configured because it rules out No Deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels.

“The Prime Minister, if she went through the lobbies for this tomorrow night, would be voting against the guarantees she has given in the Commons for months (No Deal still on table). It is madness.”

Why would a Conservative Minister urge pro-Brexit MPs to join another party? What the hell is going on at the top of Theresa May’s government?

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Pro-Brexit MPs are furious with the government, as they look set to rebel against a motion that would effectively go against the possibility of a No Deal Brexit.

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Theresa May looks set to back a motion that “reiterates its support for the approach to leaving the EU” endorsed by MPs, but this included an amendment that sought to rule out leaving the EU without a deal.

The European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs are therefore likely to abstain, with Labour voting against. That could mean a messy defeat for the government on Valentine’s Day evening.

Conservative Brexiteer Mark Francois has told The Telegraph: “We cannot vote for this as it is currently configured because it rules out No Deal and removes our negotiating leverage in Brussels.

“The Prime Minister, if she went through the lobbies for this tomorrow night, would be voting against the guarantees she has given in the Commons for months (No Deal still on table). It is madness.”

May’s Spokesman insists that walking away is still a possibility: “No Deal is an eventuality we wish to avoid, but one we continue to plan for. Does No Deal remain on the table? The answer is yes.”

Why is May herself so reluctant to say she is prepared to walk away from the EU without a deal?

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

Europe is sleepwalking into oblivion and its people need to wake up before it is too late. If they don’t, the European Union will go the way of the Soviet Union in 1991. Neither our leaders nor ordinary citizens seem to understand that we are experiencing a revolutionary moment, that the range of possibilities is very broad, and that the eventual outcome is thus highly uncertain.

Most of us assume the future will more or less resemble the present, but this is not necessarily so. In a long and eventful life, I have witnessed many periods of what I call radical disequilibrium. We are living in such a period today.

The next inflection point will be the elections for the European parliament, in May 2019. Unfortunately, anti-EU forces will enjoy a competitive advantage. There are several reasons for this, including the outdated party system in most European countries, the practical impossibility of treaty change and the lack of legal tools for disciplining member states that violate the principles on which the EU was founded. The EU can impose its laws on applicant countries but it lacks sufficient capacity to enforce member states’ compliance.

The antiquated party system hampers those who want to preserve the values on which the EU was founded, but it helps those who want to replace those values with something radically different. This is true in individual countries and even more so in trans-European alliances. The party system of individual states reflects the divisions that mattered in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the conflict between capital and labour. But the cleavage that matters most today is between pro- and anti-European forces.

The many voters who remain pro-European have no party to vote for

The EU’s dominant country is Germany, whose dominant political alliance – between the Christian Democratic Union and the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union – has become unsustainable. The alliance worked as long as there was no significant party in Bavaria to the right of the CSU. That changed with the rise of the extremist Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). In last September’s länder elections, the CSU’s result was its worst in more than six decades, and the AfD entered the Bavarian parliament for the first time.

The AfD’s rise removed the raison d’etre of the CDU-CSU alliance. But that alliance cannot be broken up without triggering new elections that neither Germany nor Europe can afford. And the ruling coalition cannot be robustly pro-European while facing the AfD threat.

The situation is far from hopeless. The German Greens have emerged as the only consistently pro-European party in the country, and they continue to rise in opinion polls, whereas the AfD seems to have reached its high point (except in the former East Germany). But now CDU/CSU voters are represented by a party whose commitment to European values is ambivalent.

In the United Kingdom too an antiquated party structure prevents the popular will from finding proper expression. Both Labour and the Conservatives are internally divided, but their leaders, Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, respectively, are determined to deliver Brexit. The situation is so complicated that most Britons just want to get it over with, although it will be the defining event for the country for decades to come.

Collusion between Corbyn and May has aroused opposition in both parties, which in the case of Labour is bordering on rebellion. May has announced a programme to aid impoverished pro-Brexit Labour constituencies in the north of England. And Corbyn is accused of betraying the pledge he made at Labour’s last party conference to back a second Brexit referendum if he can’t trigger a general election.

The chances that May’s deal will again be rejected by MPs are growing by the day. That could set in motion a groundswell of support for a referendum – or, even better, for revoking Britain’s article 50 notification.

Italy finds itself in a similar predicament. The EU made a fatal mistake in 2017 by strictly enforcing the Dublin agreement, which unfairly burdens countries, such as Italy, where migrants first enter the EU. This drove its predominantly pro-European and pro-immigration electorate into the arms of the anti-European League party and Five Star Movement in last year’s election. The previously dominant Democratic party is in disarray. As a result, the many voters who remain pro-European have no party to vote for. There is, however, an attempt to organise a united pro-European list. A similar reordering of party systems is happening in France, Poland and Sweden.

How rising populism could shake up European elections

Read more

When it comes to trans-European alliances, the situation is even worse. National parties at least have some roots in the past, but these alliances are entirely dictated by party leaders’ self-interest. The European People’s party (EPP) alliance is the worst offender – almost entirely devoid of principles, as demonstrated by its willingness to embrace Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party in order to preserve its majority and control the allocation of top EU jobs. Anti-European forces may look good in comparison: at least they have some principles, even if they are odious.

It is difficult to see how the pro-EU parties can emerge victorious from the May elections unless they put Europe’s interests ahead of their own. One can still make a case for preserving the EU in order radically to reinvent it. But that would require a change of heart within the EU. The current leadership is reminiscent of the politburo when the Soviet Union collapsed – continuing to issue edicts as if they were still relevant.

The first step to defending Europe from its enemies, both internal and external, is to recognise the magnitude of the threat they present. The second is to awaken the sleeping pro-European majority and mobilise it to defend the values on which the EU was founded. Otherwise, the dream of a united Europe could become a 21st-century nightmare.

• George Soros is the chairman of Soros Fund Management and of the Open Society Foundations

A version of this article has also appeared on Project Syndicate

The Sun

Published  2 months ago

THERESA May is preparing to resign as PM this summer so she can influence who succeeds her, Cabinet ministers now believe. Under the suspected plan, Mrs May would call time on her Premiership short…

BrexitCentral

Published  2 months ago

Written by

Let’s make no mistake – with the clock ticking down to 29th March, we have finally arrived at an existential turning point for both the United Kingdom and the European Union. Talk of compromises and cross-party consensus and some kind of semantic fudge that will make the Brexit-negating Withdrawal Agreement pass the Commons at the third attempt is a painful distraction from harsh political and historic realities.

Both the UK and the EU still face a stark binary choice, whether all parties acknowledge it or not. Leave or Remain. Double or quits. In or out. Sitting on the Brexit fence while making the right noises to the right people, in the hope that this decision can be delayed or permanently taken off the political agenda, is an abdication of responsibility that will soon no longer be an option.

For the UK, the choice can be summarised as one between democracy and permanent second-class statehood; freedom to hire and fire the people who make the laws we have to obey and pay for, or the triumph of pessimism due to the mistaken and craven belief that we aren’t mature and sensible enough to run our own affairs, and must cleave to a supranational body with minimal democratic legitimacy because we are too insignificant to defend our right to democratic self-government.

Remainers trying to subvert the referendum result by locking the UK into the EU, even as we are supposedly leaving it, have completely missed the point of the Leave vote. It was a vote of confidence in Great Britain and its institutions, flawed or otherwise. It was a vote by optimists, by people who believe in the regenerative, sometimes messy but always liberating, principle of democracy – which is that you make your own mistakes, and if you don’t like the way the ship of state is run, you chuck out the government and give someone else a turn at the wheel. There are ups and downs, but you always have a choice. And that choice is precious.

People across the world have died in countless wars to be able to have such a choice. It is sad indeed that many of the guardians of this ancient, disruptive, rambunctious democracy of ours are so afraid of it that they dare not stand up for it. Indeed, they would rather abolish it and have us ruled by an unelected European Commission, which continues to assume with Ancien Régime arrogance that the British people can be made to vote as many times as necessary until they sign up to the European Project. One might say when hell freezes over, but one hates to employ such clichés. Except when they are true.

Staying in a customs union with the EU, accepting close regulatory alignment with the EU, joining an EU army with imperial ambitions (as outlined recently by the French), allowing the EU to decide on vast areas of policy-making – as the Withdrawal Agreement does – is not only not Brexit and a failure to deliver on the referendum result. It is to collude in the death of functioning, open, plural democracy, which is the only safeguard against dictatorship.

So the choice is clear: a Brexit that restores supreme law-making powers to the UK, or the triumph of technocracy and the enforcement by a foreign court of perpetual protectionist mediocrity, to ensure that no member state of the EU is ever independent enough to question the power exercised by an unelected Politburo in Brussels, whose mission is to create the United States of Europe, by fair means or foul.

One country’s upsurge of democracy, of course, can be another’s constitutional catastrophe. For the EU, Brexit is no less of an existential issue. That the second largest financial contributor and the oldest democracy in the EU voted to leave is a damning indictment of the political failure that has marked the European Project in the last twenty years. The fury and insults heaped upon Britain after the referendum testify to the total incomprehension of the EU’s political class when confronted with legitimate dissent.

And that nothing has changed since 23rd June 2016 is evidenced by the ludicrous stories peddled by Project Fear in recent days… Apparently the Queen is to be evacuated if we leave the EU on WTO terms. Given that Her Majesty produces much of her own food on her own land, one wonders where she might go to avoid “the cliff-edge” if the Roquefort doesn’t show up in time for the cheese course.

We hear that a third of UK businesses are thinking of relocating to the EU, only to see that the poll conducted by the IoD was of a tiny percentage of its members. Another headline claims that a majority of Chief Finance Officers believe that the UK will be worse off after Brexit – a majority of just one hundred CFOs surveyed by Deloitte. None of these surveys takes into account that a sovereign Britain can take whatever legislative and fiscal measures it deems fit to ensure that goods flow into this country unfettered and that our economy continues not only to function normally, but to thrive.

This acceleration of Project Fear in the media strengthens the belief that there will be no meaningful concessions on the Withdrawal Agreement before the next debate in the Commons. Indeed, EU leaders have repeatedly said that they will not reopen the legal text. Michel Barnier therefore has no mandate other than to listen politely to the Prime Minister and say no.

The EU will try until the bitter end to ram its appalling deal down our throats, because the slightest sign that it is willing to agree a pragmatic, mutually beneficial trade relationship with a former member state will be seen as a green light for other eurosceptic members to flex their muscles and stand up to the Franco-German juggernaut that intends to sweep them up in its imperial embrace.

The ‘Malthouse Compromise’ recently floated by a group of Tory MPs is likely to be shot down in flames – if indeed it is even tabled for discussion by Theresa May. Whatever she may propose to break the impasse, negotiators in Brussels must cling to their position – that a centralised technocratic EU superstate is the ineluctable future.

It is, of course, the past: an attempt to create by red tape and judicial takeover what has not been possible to achieve through centuries of warfare. But it is hard-wired into the EU’s DNA, and it is a question of survival. For them a no-deal Brexit will be preferable to any ‘deal’ that fails to put Britain on the naughty step and keep it there until it begs to be let back into the nursery.

To EU or not to EU, that remains the question.

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

In a new book, Dangerous Hero, outlining the myriad ways in which Jeremy is unfit for office – cleverly flagged up by The Mail on Sunday’s screamer “UNFIT FOR OFFICE” – the charge list is so long

BBC News

Published  2 months ago

The Labour leader had written to the prime minister, setting out his conditions to supporting a deal.

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

The politicians pushing Brexit should be careful not follow in the footsteps of revolutionary leaders who “ended up on the guillotine”, the European Parliament’s Brexit chief has said.

At a press conference in Strasbourg Guy Verhofstadt compared Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg to Georges Danton and Maximilien Robespierre – leading figures in the French revolution who were ultimately executed by their former comrades.

He said it was “important to remind” the senior Conservatives that their historical counterparts had ended up losing their heads.

“I know that within the Tory party the hard Brexiteers are compared to the leaders of the French revolution. I think Gove is Brissot, and Boris Johnson is Danton, and Rees-Mogg is compared to Robespierre,” Mr Verhofstadt told a press conference in Strasbourg.

“We should not forget that the efforts of these men were not appreciated by the common man they claimed to represent – because they all ended up on the guillotine. So that’s important to remind [them].”

Created with Sketch. "Brexit betrayal" march in London

Show all 41 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. "Brexit betrayal" march in London

Mr Verhofstadt was speaking ahead of a meeting with Stephen Barclay at the European Parliament – part of the UK Brexit Secretary’s tour of the EU to gauge support for changes to the withdrawal agreement.

He urged Brexiteers to compromise, adding: “I think it’s completely irresponsible of the hardliners to reject such cross-party cooperation because a no-deal scenario is a disaster for everybody and especially for the UK.

“I hope that such cross party cooperation will now lead to a new proposal or in any way further proposals by the British side.”

The Brexit coordinator said that the government and opposition were not as far apart as some believed, adding: “In my opinion it would surprise me that a country that has shown so much political creativity in its long history would not be able to overcome these differences and find a broad majority in the House of Commons.”

Tory MPs have said they will not support the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May as long as it includes the Irish backstop she negotiated with Brussels to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.

Many Brexiteers are also opposed to a close economic relationship with the EU, preferring to be outside the customs union and not aligned with single market rules.

We’ll tell you what’s true.

You can form your own view.

At The Independent, no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Please support us and enjoy extra exclusives, events, ebooks – all with no ads.

Sky News

Published  2 months ago

A no-deal Brexit would lead to "potentially devastating" consequences for the peace process in Northern Ireland, according to former prime minister Tony Blair.

In a wide-ranging interview with Sky News' Sophy Ridge, the ex-Labour Party leader warned of a hard border if the UK leaves the EU without agreements in place for what the future relationship will look like.

He dismissed Brexiteer claims that leaving with no deal would not be detrimental to Britain's economy.

Mr Blair told Sky News: "No one could responsibly propose this [a no-deal Brexit]. It would be economically very, very dangerous for Britain and for the peace process in Northern Ireland, it would potentially be devastating.

"We would have a hard border, a very hard border, no-deal Brexit means a really hard border between the north and south of Ireland, contrary to the Good Friday Agreement and it would cause an enormous fissure within the United Kingdom."

He accused politicians of behaving recklessly over the issue of the Northern Ireland peace process.

He said: "They've been playing fast and loose with it from the beginning.

"There's people who cheerfully say you can put the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in a completely different relationship with Europe, in trading terms, and it makes no difference to the economy of Northern Ireland - I don't know on what basis they would possibly say that."

The former politician, who has called for a second referendum on Brexit, said the country needed to decide whether it wanted a soft or hard departure from the bloc.

"I've never thought you could get to another referendum going directly to it - you'll get to it when the people see what the true Brexit alternatives are and the truth is there are two," he said.

"You can have the soft Brexit, which is really what Jeremy Corbyn is suggesting, or you could have the hard Brexit that Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and other people want.

"And what I've really been saying all the way through this process is you've got to decide which of those Brexits you want before we leave - otherwise, we're going to leave without clarity."

He said leaving without clarity meant "no closure" for the country, leaving the argument to rage on long after the UK leaves the EU.

"By then you'll have left paid your money up front and you'll have given up your negotiating leverage," he said. "For the country to do that, as Theresa May wants to do - to leave without knowing what Brexit you get - this would be, in my view, an incredibly foolish thing for the country to do.

"It's got to know where we're heading before we leave."

He later turned to the issue of antisemitism in the Labour Party and admitted there were "parts of the left that do have a problem with antisemitism".

"You see this in their attitudes to the state of Israel," said Mr Blair. "You can make all sorts of criticisms about the state of Israel but with their continual focusing on Israel, all the time over a long period, you're left with the feeling that they're in a sense targeting it because it is a Jewish state."

He said Labour leadership had "not been robust enough on this".

"Can you imagine when I was leader of the Labour Party having a conversation with me about whether antisemitism was in the Labour Party or not?" he asked. "We wouldn't even have that conversation and there is, I'm afraid, a nascent alliance between what I would call bits of the sort of Islamist type of politics and the left.

"And you can see this not just here in the UK, you can see it across Europe and yes, it gives rise to antisemitism... it's not your traditional antisemitism of the right-wing nature but it's every bit as pernicious."

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Fresh off the back of the revelation yesterday that 15,000 people had subscribed to the Brexit Party in 24 hours, Nigel Farage has updated the numbers to 35,000 registrations in 48 hours.

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The architect of UKIP’s astonishing rise in British politics has warned that any Article 50 extension and delay to the UK’s EU exit would see him battling for the newly registered Brexit Party in May’s European Elections. The Conservatives and Labour would have to be insane to allow that to happen.

Tweeting this morning, Nigel revealed that: “An astonishing 35,000 people have registered as supporters of The Brexit Party in the first 48 hours, our politicians had better listen. Visit http://thebrexitparty.org to sign up.”

An astonishing 35,000 people have registered as supporters of The Brexit Party in the first 48 hours, our politicians had better listen.

Visit https://t.co/QXOkndZhtj to sign up.

— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) February 11, 2019

Theresa May better stick to her promise of an EU exit on 29th March…

You can help Westmonster battle for Brexit by supporting us with a donation. Thanks for your support!

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

If the establishment don't want Nigel Farage to return to the frontline, they need to deliver Brexit on 29th March as promised. In an absolute missile of

The Telegraph

Published  2 months ago

Theresa May is to urge MPs to give her another fortnight to seek changes to her Brexit agreement, as pro-Remain rebels prepare a second attempt to remove the option of leaving without a deal.

This week the Prime Minister is expected to pledge to MPs that she will return to the Commons later this month to update MPs on her plans and give them an opportunity to vote on what should happen next.

The move is intended to buy time to continue negotiating with EU leaders, who have so far refused to make any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement, after it was rejected by the Commons in its current form.

A Downing Street source said Mrs May and ministers were attempting to secure the "legally binding changes"...

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Theresa May suppressed up to nine studies that found immigration does not hit the wages or jobs of UK workers, Vince Cable has alleged.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly defended plans to impose tough curbs on EU workers after Brexit by arguing they are needed to protect Britons in lower-paid jobs.

But, the Liberal Democrat leader said: “When I was Business Secretary, there were up to nine studies that we looked at that took in all the academic evidence.

“It showed that immigration had very little impact on wages or employment. But this was suppressed by the Home Office under Theresa May, because the results were inconvenient.”

The claims come after the leak of draconian Home Office proposals for post-Brexit curbs on immigration, triggering a major political row.

The plans would strip all newly-arrived EU migrants of their rights to live permanently in Britain, imposing permits of between two and five years.

Last year, Ms May told the Conservative party conference: “I know a lot of people don't like to admit this. For someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesn't seem fair.”

But the claim was rejected by experts including at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which argued immigrants also create jobs, expanding the opportunities for British workers.

Business leaders, defending the need for immigration, have argued that employment is at record levels, creating shortages in the UK workforce.

Meanwhile, a Bank of England analysis of higher migration found there was some evidence of lower pay, but of less than two per cent over eight years.

This was widely seen as a tiny impact in comparison with the other reasons behind wage stagnation in the decade since the economic crash.

Sir Vince added: “I remember it vividly. Overwhelmingly it has been the case that overseas workers have been complementary rather than competitive to British workers.

“The exodus of trades people, NHS staff and tech industry workers shows the potential damage of an extreme Brexit.”

The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

A majority of the country want Theresa May to delay Brexit, according to a new poll released ahead of a fresh Commons showdown over her exit strategy. With less than seven weeks until exit day, the

BrexitCentral

Published  2 months ago

From various quarters, whispers or even open calls are growing for an extension to the UK’s Article 50 period which finishes, unless extended, on 29th March 2019. Most of those talking about an Arti

The Telegraph

Published  2 months ago

If Theresa May were given to Donald Tusk-style outbursts, she might have had a thing or two to say on Thursday when she came back from Brussels.

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

The young will “neither forget nor forgive” the politicians responsible for Brexit if they end up being its biggest victims, John Major has warned. The former Conservative prime minister issued a

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Theresa May is returning to Westminster facing ministerial resignations after she left talks with EU leaders over her Brexit deal empty-handed. With another vote in the Commons due next week, a

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

As the Brexit negotiations stagger on, a large swathe of Labour voters will be bitterly disappointed this week by the party leadership. In particular, younger voters who flocked to the party in 2017 in the expectation that the party would fight this Tory disaster will feel they have been sold down the river. Worse still, many think Labour is complicit.

Today, Richard Brooks, one of the co-founders of anti-Brexit youth group, For our Future’s Sake, spelt out how young Labour voters feel: “The Liberal Democrats went onto campuses and promised young people to not increase tuition fees. When they trebled them, only months later, young people and students mobilised – and in 2015 the Liberal Democrats were all but wiped out. The Labour Party now has the same existential threat before it. Does it enable a Tory Brexit, which will disproportionately harm young and working class people, or does Labour follow the wishes of hundreds of thousands of members like me, and support a People’s Vote.” He is absolutely right.

In a letter to Theresa May last night, Jeremy Corbyn said he would help facilitate Brexit and support her deal if May meets five key tests. One of Labour’s original tests, which demanded the exact same economic benefits outside the EU as we have within it, has been dropped. It was never realistic – at least he has realised this much. There was also the mantra that Labour would seek a “jobs first” Brexit. But Brexit, in the terms that the British people voted for originally, is impossible to deliver and there is no point pretending that anything short of keeping the current deal as an EU member is going to be good for the economy. In fact it will be the opposite, especially for jobs.

Whether May meets these five tests or not, they are not credible, nor do they take us any closer to a Final Say on the deal. Let’s go through them briefly.

“A permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union” with “a UK say on future EU trade deals” is the first demand. You cannot have a say on EU trade policy because EU treaties grant the EU sole competence over its common commercial policy. Seeking to participate in a customs union and expecting influence and a say on trade deals is not on the table – just ask Turkey which participates in the customs union but has no say over trade deals.

Created with Sketch. Brexit and travel: all you need to know

Show all 14 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. Brexit and travel: all you need to know

Second, Labour seeks “close alignment with the single market” which should be “underpinned by shared institutions and obligations”. This is a weakening of the Labour Party conference motion which talked about “full participation in the single market”, something which is only possible if you continue to participate in the single market through membership of the European Economic Area, which Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, made very clear in the House of Commons last July that the Labour front bench was opposed to.

Third, the letter demands a “dynamic alignment on rights and protections so that UK standards keep pace with evolving standards across Europe as a minimum”. How on earth can you expect that from a Conservative prime minister when she, a member of cabinet for the last eight years, has sponsored the weakening of unfair dismissal protections, imposed employment tribunal fees which were ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court and overseen the watering down of the statutory remit of the Equality and Human Rights Commission?

Finally, the fourth and fifth points ask for clear commitments on participation in EU agencies and funding programmes, as well as unambiguous agreements on the details of future security arrangements. The truth is that everything in the political declaration is an aspiration – all of it is ambiguous, whether on security arrangements or otherwise, because it is not binding and subject to a future trading agreement being signed off in several years’ time. The prime minister is unlikely still to be in place when the future trading arrangement is finalised, and neither will the main EU leaders. Any promises involving these people, therefore, aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, as others will be in charge when the time comes.

In short, these tests are nonsense and Labour’s policy is all over the place.

Above all, the letter makes no mention of referring this back to the people. The spirit of Labour’s conference policy was that if we couldn’t get an election, Labour would commit to referring this issue back to the people.

The leader and those around him have made it is clear they have no interest in going there at all. He has also tacitly given a green light to those who not only won’t support a people’s vote but are also happy to thwart the House of Commons’ ability to stop the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal in 50 days. That is the harsh reality of what we have learned these last couple of weeks and the party won’t be forgiven by the next generation.

Chuka Umunna is Labour MP for Streatham

The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

thetimes

Published  2 months ago

If anyone knows what Theresa May is going through it is Sir John Major. He fought the Eurosceptic “bastards” throughout his time at No 10, struggled with a small parliamentary majority and engaged...

The Telegraph

Published  2 months ago

It seems increasingly clear that Theresa May’s appalling Withdrawal Agreement, the worst deal in history, will not pass through the House of Commons. Perhaps the only way in which it could is if the Government repeats Edward Heath’s tactics in 1972, when he forced the original European Communities Act through with the support of Labour. Mrs May’s problem is that she knows doing the same now would irreparably split her own party.

I have thought for many months that the most likely outcome is the can getting kicked down the road. I still passionately hope and pray that we will leave the EU on March 29, but be in no doubt that, if Article 50 does get extended, I am ready to act.

That’s why the Electoral...

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Jeremy Corbyn’s personal approval ratings have gone through the floor. The bad news comes as he calls for a permanent EU Customs Union and ‘close alignment’ with the Single Market. That isn’t what 17.4 million voted for, Jezza.

An Ipsos Mori poll today finds that the Labour Leader has a -55 net satisfaction rating. That is astonishingly bad, with Theresa May on -25.

Just 17% of voters are now satisfied with Corbyn, and an incredible 72% of voters are dissatisfied with him. Only 44% of Labour voters are happy with him. Ouch.

This is a historically dire level of popularity and comes after Corbyn opportunistically sought to cause maximum disruption on Brexit rather than honouring the referendum result.

NEW @IpsosMORI: just 17% are now satisfied with Jeremy Corbyn – dangerously close to the 13% Michael Foot recorded in 1982 https://t.co/eL0RkQWuX5

— Simon Atkinson (@SimonMAtkinson) February 8, 2019

YouGov also recently found that his popularity has hit an all-time low. As they explain: “In most cases it wasn’t due to his position being too far towards Remain (just 3% thought this) or too far towards Leave (just 6% said this), but rather the fact that he doesn’t seem to have any position at all.”

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Florian Philippot is a French MEP and President of Les Patriotes.

A few weeks before Brexit, ‘Project Fear’ is at its highest. It is no surprise: the fake May deal has been rejected and only fear can now stop Brexit.

The risk is real because the fear is real. Oh yes, there is a fear. But what is it? They say Brexit will cause chaos and ruin. They lie. That’s not what they really fear. They shudder because they know the whole world – and all the people in Europe – will soon see you can leave the European Union and live on, and even live better. Nothing could worry more the Eurocrats.

They are willing to sacrifice trade, businesses, whole economic sectors, even people to save their European dream. They don’t care if their dream is a horrible nightmare for most. They don’t care if they destroy lives in a vain attempt to save the illusion. They don’t care if they use blackmail, intimidation, or fake news to scare. They are fanatics. Whatever power they have, they use it to serve the EU and not the people. This is literally anti-democratic. That’s why I fear them, not Brexit.

But my fear is overcome by a great hope and the trust I have in the British people. Solutions will be found, agreements will be made where they are needed. No one will let their own business go down when they can save it. The Eurocrats will be furious but common sense shall prevail. It is impossible to deal anything decent with the European Union, it will be easy and quick between States or between firms because common interests make them pragmatic.

In France, the “Gilets jaunes” (Yellow Vests) have just shown the strength of the people. In the United Kingdom, I know the people is as strong and resilient. They have chosen freedom and they will make a success of Brexit.

I want the same freedom for my own people. Almost every French politician is resigned to stay in the European Union. Even Marine Le Pen and the Front National have lost the will to defend national sovereignty and submitted to the requirements of the system.

I launched a new political movement, Les Patriotes, in 2017 in order to fight on, because I can not bring myself to give up the freedom of my country. We have a 40 years old ‘Project Fear’ to fight. It is not simple. It is not the easy way. But it is the right one. I will never deny my most intimate conviction in order to please the establishment.

Every day, I see how the single currency we share with Germany and other countries is destroying French industry. Every day, I see how my compatriots are suffering because of the austerity and the European rules. There is no European debate here. Politicians just say some things in Europe are dysfunctional and they propose to change the EU. I can’t bear anymore their false pretences of another Europe. There isn’t another Europe. Neither David Cameron nor Theresa May could obtain anything significant. The EU doesn’t give anything. It takes it all. You have to submit – or to leave.

When I look at history, I can see that no one has been able to change Europe. Even de Gaulle – whom I admire greatly – couldn’t change the little EEC in 1961. In the big EU with its 27 members, any promise of change is a pure lie.

Since 1979, all campaigns for the European Elections are absolutely identical. Some speak of a mythic social Europe, others want a strong Europe able to stand up to the US, China, and Russia, others are focused on one single subject such as environment or immigration. It’s a very bad play, with the same roles, the same text, and even sometimes the same actors, on stage for forty years. We have to break with this travesty of democracy.

My hope for the future is that our two peoples will help each other. The British are the first one to take back control and freedom, I think the French could be next. President Macron himself said to the BBC he believed the French could vote for the Frexit if they had the chance. And, of course, he doesn’t want to ask them, he doesn’t want a serious debate.

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In France, every talk about Europe is but hollow words without ever tackling the basic issues. The French just need some politicians brave enough to speak the truth. People are angry, they know things could be different and should be different. When they will see a way out, their anger will turn into a promising project. To fight 40 years of European propaganda, only reality can be efficient. Brexit will be a success and it will give courage and strength to all the people still locked in the European shackles. It’s no surprise the Eurocrats are living in fear!

And then, we will work together. Freed from the absurd red tape of the European administration, the British and the French will do great things. We already cooperate in the field of defence, space, energy, etc. We don’t need the EU and it would be foolish to let down these projects because of Brexit.

Brexit is a wonderful opportunity for the United Kingdom but I think Frexit will be even better for France. We are suffering from the Schengen agreements and the effects of the Euro, a currency unsuited to our economy. Our society is hit by mass unemployment, due in great part to the Posted Workers Directive and offshoring.

Our democracy is in shambles because the ones who really decide are not elected and the elected ones are but hot air merchants. We need Frexit as soon as possible and I won’t have a moment’s rest until my country is free again.

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

Letter offers Labour’s support if PM makes five binding commitments – including joining a customs union

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Labour has issued its first official call for Brexit to be delayed, with a request that Theresa May temporarily extends Article 50.

More follows…

The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

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BBC News

Published  2 months ago

The prime minister is returning to Brussels to press for legally binding changes to her Brexit deal.

BBC News

Published  2 months ago

The PM is due to promise MPs another vote if she has not secured a revised deal by the end of February.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Senior voices in the Tory Party are warning of the potential electoral damage that would be done if the Conservative government fails to deliver Brexit on time as promised.

With Theresa May this week having promised once again to deliver “on time” and less than 50 days to go, Conservative voices are warning against any delay to the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The seats up at the set of local elections to be held on 2nd May this year are largely Conservative: they won 5,521 last time compared to just 2,278 for Labour. A Brexit backlash in May could be catastrophic for thousands of local Conservatives.

The most senior Tory Councillor, Lord Porter, told The Sun: “If we’re not out by the time of the elections, we’re going to get kicked.

“It won’t be good for us.

“It will also hit turnout, as people will be put off politics altogether.

“Brandon Lewis (Party Chairman) has been made very aware of this.”

And when it comes to a delay that leads to European Elections, a Cabinet Minister is quoted as saying: “The new European Parliament takes it seats on July 2nd, so if we’re not out by then we’ll have to blow £100m on holding new elections here for it.

“Our Councillors are telling us that voters would punish us hard at the ballot box in May for this.

“So extending that long is untenable.”

With Nigel Farage promising a comeback if Brexit is delayed, minds should clearly be focused in Westminster. 29th March 2019 is the day that the UK must leave the EU.

We believe the UK must leave the EU on 29th March 2019, as promised. If you do too then please consider donating to Westmonster so that we can keep the pressure up. Thank you!

BBC News

Published  2 months ago

The European Council president slams "those who promoted Brexit" with no plan for it would be delivered.

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sounded less hardline than some in Brussels yesterday, talking of the need to be “creative” to reach an agreement with the UK as the Article 50 clock ticks down.

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With some in the European Union disgracefully refusing to even negotiate with Theresa May following votes in Parliament, Merkel said in Japan yesterday that: “There are definitely options for preserving the integrity of the Single Market even when Northern Ireland isn’t part of it because it is part of Britain while at the same time meeting the desire to have, if possible, no border controls.

“To solve this point you have to be creative and listen to each other, and such discussions can and must be conducted.”

And she said: “We can still use the time to perhaps reach an agreement if everyone shows good will.”

Merkel's call for 'creativity' at her presser in Tokyo will clinch all tomorrow's headlines, but I can't help thinking on reflection the first sentence is far more significant in the long run. She is suggesting you can leave the Single Market and still have a frictionless border. pic.twitter.com/pk0OG5EplR

— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) February 4, 2019

With German industry breathing down her neck, Merkel is facing increasing internal pressure for the EU to secure a trade deal with the UK. Last week, the German government slashed the country’s growth forecast for 2019 by almost half. With Italy now in recession, European economies are increasingly anxious and know that they need to secure a deal.

Express.co.uk

Published  2 months ago

Mlle Le Pen, head of the populist Rassemblement national (RN) party, told the news channel BFMTV: “The European Union, in truth, is looking to recreate a form of civil war in Ireland … to reignite the existing conflict there. “I can confirm this, I know this, and it is very dangerous and reveals the EU’s tactics.” Asked by her interviewer how a conflict-torn Ireland would serve the EU’s interests, she said: “Why would Europe do this? “Well, to punish the British people for Brexit. They need to be punished, and Brussels wants the divorce to be as painful as possible. “The divorce is likely to be very painful, but it will be a lot more painful for Europe than for the UK.” Once a fierce advocate for a “Frexit,” or French exit from the EU, Mlle Le Pen was forced to tone down her anti-Europe rhetoric after her crushing defeat to liberal europhile Emmanuel Macron in the May 2017 presidential elections.

With less than two months until Britain is due by law to leave the Brussels bloc on March 29, there is no agreement yet in London on how the UK will leave the world’s largest trading bloc after Parliament defeated Theresa May’s deal last month by a huge margin.

Lawmakers instructed her to return to Brussels to renegotiate the arrangements for the post-Brexit border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

The backstop is an insurance policy that aims to prevent the reintroduction of a hard border, a key part of a 1998 peace deal that ended decades of lethal sectarian conflict, and preserve frictionless trade.

The withdrawal agreement Mrs May struck in November with the bloc’s remaining 27 members says the UK will remain in a customs union “unless and until” “alternative arrangements” are found to avoid a hard border by the end of the transition period, which could last between 21 months and four years.

But critics and Brexiteers argue that the backstop mechanism could handcuff the UK to the EU’s customs union indefinitely and prevent Britain from striking its own international trade deals.

Lawmakers in Mrs May’s party want her to drop the backstop and replace it with something else, a request bluntly rejected by Brussels.

Speaking immediately after the vote, a spokesman for European Council President Donald Tusk said the backstop was part of the withdrawal deal and not up for negotiation.

Mr Tusk said via his spokesman: “The withdrawal agreement is and remains the best and only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.”

The bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, for his part, said that the backstop provision could not be time-limited, since that would defeat its purpose of guaranteeing there is no physical border between the two neighbours.

Mr Barnier told Germany’s DLF public radio: “We have to maintain the credibility of this reassurance.

“It cannot be time-limited. It’s not just about Ireland.”

The European stance was echoed by the Irish government.

Irish European Affairs minister Helen McEntee said: “This is a deal which was negotiated with the UK, signed off by the UK and the prime minister – and now it looks as though … there is a row-back and a reneging on the commitments that were made.”

Brussels said last month it would consider such a customs union to be a “suboptimal” trading relationship if it is triggered.

Should it come about, it pledged to have six-monthly summits to check on progress on an alternative arrangement to replace it, such as a comprehensive trade deal.

If Parliament cannot find a majority for a way forward, Britain will leave the EU without a deal, a scenario that could bring economic disorder and create chaos at the borders.

mirror

Published  2 months ago

A Tory who joined Theresa May on the campaign trail glassed a wedding guest, scarring him for life.

Cllr Jean-Jacques Ellis, 31, was handed a suspended prison sentence after admitting the unprovoked attack last August.

He was caught on CCTV swinging a punch and launching a glass at his victim on a packed dance floor.

Luke Drinkwater needed stitches to his face after the attacks.

Luc Chignell, prosecuting, told Derby crown court the motive for the attack at West Mill in Darley Abbey, Derby, is a mystery.

“It seemed there was some discussion and someone said something wrong,” he said. “The result was serious injury.”

Drea Becker, defending, said it was “out of character” for Ellis, of Reading, Berks.

Judge Myles Watkins said he had caused “significant injury”.

Ellis, a councillor in Woodley, Berks, admitted GBH. He has a previous conviction for battery.

Ellis has posted on social media a picture of him with PM Theresa May on the day of council elections last May near Reading.

In court he was given 12 months suspended and 200 hours unpaid work.

He was also told to pay his victim £1,500 in compensation and court costs of £425.

Woodley Town Council said it was not aware of the offence.

The Telegraph

Published  2 months ago

Hours after last week’s so-called ‘Brady Amendment’ passed through the House of Commons, I addressed the EU parliament in Brussels.

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

In Belfast, PM says changing Brexit agreement is only way to get it through Commons

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

The letter the Government sent to Nissan to convince it to stay in the UK, contained no figure relating to how much the company might be compensated, The Independent has learnt.

Whitehall sources revealed the controversial message which led the car manufacturer to commit to the UK, was based solely on reassurances that it would not lose out from Brexit.

It emerged as Nissan said it would review the competitiveness of its car plant in Sunderland once the final outcome of Brexit negotiations becomes clear, after stating last year that it was investing in new models at the factory.

A Whitehall source told The Independent: “There was no specific promise of money. It was a gentleman’s agreement, a case of doing whatever it took to keep Nissan happy.”

They denied that Theresa May offered a “blank cheque” from taxpayers to compensate the firm for Brexit-related costs, which could increase following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK will leave the single European market.

After Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, visited Tokyo for talks with Nissan bosses, the company announced in October that its Qashqai and X-Trail SUV ranges would be built at its Sunderland plant, a move that was in jeopardy after the referendum vote.

Ministers’ refusal to publish the letter for reasons of commercial sensitivity fuelled speculation that it included a specific pledge of public money for the private firm.

Sources insisted that taxpayers would not lose out overall. For example, if the Government compensated Nissan for any tariffs paid to the EU after Brexit, they could be outweighed by the tariffs paid by German car makers to the UK.

They suggested that Nissan could get Government aid “in kind”, possibly through grants for skills training and apprentices, and funding infrastructure projects, such as new roads.

A Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said: “As the Business Secretary told the House on 31 October, there were four reassurances that were important in securing this investment for Britain.

“That the Government would continue its longstanding programme of support for the competitiveness of the automotive sector; that the Government would continue to work with the automotive sector to ensure more of the supply chain can locate in the UK; that the Government will maintain a strong commitment to the research and development, and take up of ultra-low emission vehicles [and] that the Government in its negotiations to leave the EU will emphasise the common ground that exists between ourselves and EU member states to ensure that trade between us can be free and unencumbered.”

Speaking to reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said the company trusted the Prime Minister’s assurance, but added that the firm would want to “re-evaluate the situation” once the final Brexit deal is concluded.

According to Reuters, Mr Ghosn said: “Obviously when the package comes, you are going to have to re-evaluate the situation, and say, ‘Okay, is the competitiveness of your plant preserved or not?’

“We are going to have to make decisions on investment within the next two to three years, so obviously the faster the Brexit results come, the better it is.”

The Wall Street Journal reported him as adding: “In the meantime, we are going to continue to run Sunderland with the assumption that Sunderland will remain competitive no matter what is the outcome of Brexit.”

Ms May and Mr Clark may face questions over Nissan and other foreign manufacturers when they unveil the Government’s “modern industrial strategy” on Monday.

After the Prime Minister’s announcement on the single market, Toyota said it was considering “how to survive” in the UK.

Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of the company, said that his firm would have to ramp up its competitiveness in order to weather the effects of Brexit.

The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

Mail Online

Published  2 months ago

European human rights chiefs have told the British press it must not report when terrorists are Muslim.

The recommendations came as part of a list of 23 meddling demands to Theresa May’s government on how to run the media in an alarming threat to freedom speech.

The report, drawn up by the Council of Europe's human rights watchdog, blamed the recent increase in hate crimes and racism in the UK on the 'worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians', although the research was done before the EU referendum campaign had even begun.

The suggestions sent to Downing Street urging the UK Government to reform criminal law and freedom of the press and in a brutal criticism of the British press, the report recommends ministers 'give more rigorous training' to journalists.

But UK ministers firmly rebutted the remarkable demands, telling the body: 'The Government is committed to a free and open press and does not interfere with what the press does and does not publish, as long as the press abides by the law.'

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), chaired by Christian Ahlund (file picture) said discussions over immigration had caused increasing 'xenophobia'.

The report, from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) body, said there had been an increase in hate speech and racist violence in Britain between March 2009 and March 2016.

In an audacious move, the report recommends the British media be barred from reporting the Muslim background of terrorists.

And it comes after multiple terror atrocities by Muslim extremists across Paris, Brussels, Munich and other German cities over the last year.

Over the same period, there have been no major terror attacks in Britain.

The 83-page report states: 'ECRI considers that, in light of the fact that Muslims are increasingly under the spotlight as a result of recent ISIS-related terrorist acts around the world, fuelling prejudice against Muslims shows a reckless disregard, not only for the dignity of the great majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom, but also for their safety.

'In this context, it draws attention to a recent study by Teeside University suggesting that where the media stress the Muslim background of perpetrators of terrorist acts, and devote significant coverage to it, the violent backlash against Muslims is likely to be greater than in cases where the perpetrators' motivation is downplayed or rejected in favour of alternative explanations.'

Theresa May's government firmly rebutted the remarkable demands, telling Brussels: 'The Government is committed to a free and open press and does not interfere with what the press does and does not publish, as long as the press abides by the law'

The aftermath of the referendum has raised tensions on both sides of the divide but the report today warned of a rise of in racism

The ECRI regularly assesses incidents of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance across the EU's 28 member states.

It bases its analysis on 'a great deal of information gathered from a wide variety of sources'.

ECRI Chair Christian Ahlund, said: 'It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians.'

The report also claimed that June's Brexit vote 'seems to have led to a further rise in 'anti-foreigner' sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority.'

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

The launch of Turning Point UK, a youth movement for conservatism that started off in America, has caused left-wingers to go into a full meltdown in

thetimes

Published  2 months ago

A police chief who had to apologise for her role in one of the worst child sex slavery scandals in British history is set to be appointed the government’s new anti-slavery head.

Sara Thornton, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), will become Theresa May’s independent anti-slavery commissioner later this year. She will be charged with leading the fight against slavery and sex trafficking across the UK.

Thornton, 56, was chief constable of Thames Valley police in 2007 to 2015. The force failed to help up to 373 children, mostly girls, who were groomed, plied with drugs and alcohol and sexually abused in Oxford.

In 2013, seven men in a paedophile gang were convicted of offences including the rape, trafficking and prostitution of girls…

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

Former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine has warned the electoral base is dying off at a rate of 2 per cent a year and has called for a new party leader.

Lord Heseltine, who worked with Margaret Thatcher and was deputy to John Major, said the party needs to work hard to “restore its electoral forturnes” and that Theresa May should step down after a “matter of months”.

The 84-year-old’s comments come weeks after the Tory party failed to achieve an overall majority in Parliament while Labour enjoyed a gain of more than 30 seats, defying the polls and commentators.

“One thing which is just worth having in mind, and you can't do anything about it, 2 per cent of the older part of the electorate die every year - they are 70 per cent Conservative,” Lord Heseltine told Sky News.

”Another 2 per cent come in at the young end of the electorate - they are about 70 per cent Labour. That's about 2 per cent change each year. There isn't that much time.“

Lord Heseltine said it would be “dangerous” for the Conservatives if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn remained a “credible candidate” for prime minister.

Created with Sketch. UK Election Day 2017

Show all 38 Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch.

Created with Sketch. UK Election Day 2017

The Brexit sceptic claimed that Ms May could “do the party a service by holding on a little” but should ultimately step down to make way for a new leader and a new party policy in a few months.

Ms May is facing increasing pressure to resign after a bungled initial Brexit meeting with EU counterparts and is being criticised for her efforts to strike a deal with the DUP, a socially conservative Northern Irish party. Repeated terrorist attacks at London Bridge and Finsbury Park have pushed back the Queen’s speech as well as talks with the DUP.

The prime minister has also been accused of “hiding” from the electorate during the campaign, on the scene of terrorist incidents and during the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.

Days before a fire swept through a tower block, killing at least 79 people, Ms May’s government had vowed that “austerity was over” and that the electorate wanted to be offered hope and better living standards after years of cuts to public services.

It signalled a major U-turn after almost a decade of austerity and Conservative government since the financial crisis of 2008.

Another turnaround was witnessed with the opposition.

On 8 June, seven weeks after Ms May changed her mind and called for the snap election, Labour gained 34 seats, including Tory strongholds such as Canterbury and Kensington.

It was a coup for Mr Corbyn, whose MPs had fled his shadow cabinet and vowed he would not become a leader just months before.

Mr Corbyn was given a standing ovation by his party colleagues when Parliament resumed.

Fox News

Published  2 months ago

Continue Reading Below

A Cold War-era emergency plan to relocate the royal family has been revived in case riots break out in London in the event of a no-deal Brexit next month, two British newspapers reported Sunday.

The plans, originally intended to be used in case of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union, have since been "repurposed" in recent weeks, The Sunday Times reported. The newspaper quoted an unnamed source in the government’s Cabinet Office, which handles sensitive administrative issues.

“These emergency evacuation plans have been in existence since the Cold War, but have now been repurposed in the event of civil disorder following a no-deal Brexit,” the Cabinet Office source told The Sunday Times.

UK PARLIAMENT SHOOTS DOWN BID TO DELAY BREXIT, SAYS IT COULD BACK MAY’S DEAL WITH CHANGES

The plans would include Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh moved out of London to a secret location, which The Sunday Times said it has agreed not to disclose.

Continue Reading Below

The Mail on Sunday also reported on the plans for the "worst case" scenarios to move the Royals to safe locations outside of London.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative lawmaker and Brexiteer, told the Mail that the revival of the plan was a "wartime fantasy," adding that as senior royals had remained in London during the bombings of World War II.

"The over-excited officials who have dreamt up this nonsense are clearly more students of fantasy than of history," he told the Mail.

News of the reported plans for the royals comes amid uncertainty over Britain's looming departure from the European Union. Britain is scheduled to leave the E.U. on March 29, but U.K. politicians are divided over Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan.

U.K. lawmakers voted last week to seek changes to the agreement but the EU is adamant that it cannot be renegotiated. How to handle the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland is one of the Brexit dilemmas.

On Sunday, Nissan canceled plans to make its X-Trail SUV in the UK. Nissan's Europe division boss wrote to factory staff in the English city of Sunderland, telling them the model will continue to be made in Japan.

Gianluca de Ficchy said the decision was a mixture of investment needed for emissions regulations and reduced sales forecasts but added uncertainty over Brexit had also played a part, Sky News reported.

He said the announcement would be "interpreted by a lot of people as a decision related to Brexit" and that "uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future."

May’s withdrawal agreement, negotiated with Brussels last year, was overwhelmingly voted down last month by the House of Commons, leaving the U.K. on track to leave with no such deal and therefore revert to World Trade Organization terms -- something that those in favor of remaining in the E.U., business groups, and even some in May’s government have said would be unacceptable and lead to chaos throughout Britain.

Hardline Brexiteers, however, have dismissed predictions of long lines at borders and food and medicine shortages as exaggerated talk designed to delay and ultimately overturn the 2016 referendum, in which more than 17 million Brits voted to leave the bloc.

Fox News' Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Jewish Chronicle

Published  2 months ago

More than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic, according to polling carried out for the JC. A similar percentage believe there are significant levels of antisemitism at all levels of the Labour Party.

The survey, undertaken by polling company Survation between August 12 and September 4, shows that 85.9 per cent of British Jews regard the Labour leader as antisemitic, while just 8.3 per cent believe he is not.

In a recent Survation poll among the general public, 39 per cent said Mr Corbyn was antisemitic.

Among British Jews, only 1.7 per cent believe Prime Minister Theresa May to be antisemitic, with 89.9 per cent saying she is not. Just 6.1 per cent say that Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable is antisemitic.

Survation also asked British Jews for their views on the main parties. Respondents were asked to rank Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP on a scale of 1-5, where 1 corresponds to the statement hat “there are very low levels of antisemitism among the political party’s members and elected representatives”, 4 to the belief that “there are high levels of antisemitism with the party’s members and elected representatives” and 5 to “very high” levels.

According to the survey, 85.6 per cent of British Jews rated Labour at either 4 or 5, suggesting they see antisemitism as having significantly infiltrated all levels of the party.

A similar survey of British Jews by Survation in 2017 found that 69 per cent believed there were “high” to “very high” levels of antisemitism in the Labour Party, meaning there has been a marked increase over the past year in the number of British Jews who believe there are “high” to “very high” levels of antisemitism in Labour.

In this latest survey, only 6.1 per cent ranked the Conservatives at 4 or 5 on the same scale, with 11.2 per cent ranking the Liberal Democrats in one of these two categories. Only UKIP came anywhere close to Labour’s rating, with 56.9 per cent of Jews ranking the party at four or five on the scale.

In a poll earlier this month among the general public, 43 per cent said there were “high” to “very high” levels of antisemitism within Labour.

The poll was conducted after the Labour leader was at the centre of further rows. In July, photos of Mr Corbyn surfaced from a 2014 event in Tunis, where he laid a wreath commemorating the terrorists behind the Munich massacre of the Israeli Olympic team in 1972. In August, a video emerged of him speaking at a 2013 event, during which he said of British “Zionists”.

“They clearly have two problems. One is they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either.”

BBC News

Published  2 months ago

Brexiteers warn of potential for "extended uncertainty" ahead of a Commons vote on Theresa May's deal.

Breitbart

Published  2 months ago

Half of all knife crime in London is carried out by people aged 19 and under, and three quarters of offenders are from minority ethnic groups, the latest figures show.

Statistics from the London Metropolitan Police revealed that 49 per cent of knife crime perpetrators in the capital are teenaged or younger, with 41 per cent of offenders aged between 15 and 19 and eight per cent aged between ten and 14.

Chief Superintendent Ade Adelekan, head of the Met’s Violent Crime Task Force, said the figures illustrate how “more and more young” people were getting caught up in knife crime.

“Violence is top of the agenda for the Met and knife crime injury victims under 25 are 15 per cent down,” he said, telling an event held by policy debate forum Westminster Insight that figures were “heading in the right direction”.

“Part of our success around this has been down to increasing our use of stop and search,” he explained, reporting a “significant” boost in the use of the tactic in recent months.

The police chief admitted officers have needed to “re-educate” themselves on the correct way to conduct a stop and search, with many losing the “art and skill” in the years since Theresa May, then home secretary, demanded drastic cuts to their use of the power, which she alleged was “unfair, especially to young black men”.

Soros Group Brags About Pushing Racist Police Agenda In Europe, Undermining Stop And Search https://t.co/YOgdN50EYb pic.twitter.com/Myox4V14bG

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 16, 2016

Regarding the ethnic profile of people involved in knife crime, Mr Adelekan said that 73 per cent of offenders and 53 per cent of victims were from a black or ethnic minority background, the Evening Standard reports.

Knife crime in the capital reached a record high last year under London mayor Sadiq Khan, rising 15 per cent to reach 14,987 offences in total — a figure representing 38 per cent of all blade-related crime across England and Wales.

While the Labour mayor performed a U-turn on his campaign promise to slash the use of stop and search, other figures in his party remain fiercely opposed to the policing tactic, insisting the only solution to spiralling violence in the capital is further “investment” in youth activity centres and social work.

Other than his flip on stop and search, however, Mayor Khan has largely rejected pleas for a return to a law and order-style policing to tackle the problem, instead launching a “public health approach” to violent crime, which he continues to insist is a matter of insufficient funding from central government.

London Crime Wave: City Hiring Hundreds of £150 a Day ‘Anti-Racist Police Monitors’ to ‘Promote Diversity’ https://t.co/4QCdgvszii

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 29, 2018

the Guardian

Published  2 months ago

Norway’s government is advising its citizens against studying in the UK because of Brexit, in a warning that will fuel concerns from universities about falling enrolment from Europe.

In blunt comments, Iselin Nybø, Norway’s minister responsible for higher education, urged students to avoid British universities.

Speaking to state broadcaster NRK, she said: “There’s so much uncertainty because of Brexit. If you’re a student and plan to travel out of Norway to study this autumn, I recommend you look at other countries than Great Britain.”

Last week, the European commission set out measures to protect the Erasmus international study programme in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It said it would honour the overseas placements of UK and EU27 students who were abroad at the time of a no-deal exit.

But Nybø said there were still concerns about the future of Erasmus for Norwegians, as Norway is not a member of the EU. She said: “We’re hoping we can make sure Norwegian students can both obtain degrees and take part in foreign exchange programmes.”

The Norway-based News in English website reported her as saying that there were no guarantees that Norwegian students would be able to finish their studies or take exams.

Dag Rune Olsen, the rector of the University of Bergen, tweeted that Nybø’s concerns were realistic and were shared among his colleagues in the UK.

But Britain’s ambassador to Norway, Richard Wood, said Nybø’s remarks were unfounded.

He insisted that even if the UK left the EU without a deal, the UK would underwrite funding for Erasmus students and other exchange programmes. In a tweet, he said: “UK remains an attractive place for Norwegians to study. I hope it always will.”

Under Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement Norwegian residents in the UK and British residents in Norway will have the same rights after Brexit. But there are no such guarantees if there is a no-deal exit.

Last month, university leaders said a no-deal Brexit would constitute one of the biggest threats faced by the further education sector. At the same time, the Russell Group of universities revealed a 9% decrease in the number of EU postgraduate research students enrolling at its institutions this academic year, after a similar decline the year before.

Overall, the number of EU students who enrolled for the 2018-19 academic year at Russell Group universities fell by 3%. Last year, there was a 1% increase in overall EU student numbers, after years of steady growth.

An adviser in Nybø’s department, has since pointed out that she was directing her remarks to students going on exchange next autumn via the Erasmus programme.

She said: “The uncertainty associated with the Erasmus programme is great.”

On those studying for a full degree in the UK she said: “If someone wants to start on a degree programme now, that will probably work out fine, but there is still some uncertainty concerning how much bureaucracy it will entail.”

• This article was amended on 5 February 2019 to clarify that Iselin Nybø was discussing students going on exchange this coming autumn via the Erasmus programme.

The Sun

Published  2 months ago

THERESA MAY was facing a bitter Brexit backlash last night as Tory MPs claimed she’s breaking her word on axing the Irish “backstop”. A fragile truce with hardline Eurosceptics shattered as they sa…

Tablet Magazine

Published  2 months ago

On June 8, the United Kingdom will hold its general election. Today, the London Jewish Chronicle released its polling on the Jewish vote in the upcoming contest, and the numbers are stark. 77 percent of British Jews say they will vote for Theresa May’s Conservatives, with just 13 percent voting for the opposition Labour party. For comparison, the 2016 exit poll by the Council on American-Islamic Relations showed that Donald Trump received 13 percent of the Muslim vote.

What has driven British Jews to flee Labour like minorities who fled the Republican party under Trump? As in the United States, this exodus is significantly attributable to the party’s radical leader, in this case, Jeremy Corbyn. In fact, a whopping 54 percent of Jews surveyed said they would be more likely to vote for Labour if Corbyn were not in charge. Who then is Corbyn, and why are British Jews so repelled by him?

To begin with, Corbyn has a long history of unsavory associations with anti-Semites. Among other exploits, he has:

— Donated to the organization of Paul Eisen, a Holocaust denier, and appeared at his events. He later claimed he was unaware of Eisen’s unsavory views, despite 15 years of association.

— Defended vicar Stephen Sizer, who disseminated materials arguing the Mossad did 9/11, after he was banned from social media by the Church of England for posting anti-Semitic material.

— Praised preacher Raed Salah and invited him to parliament. Salah claims that Jews make their Passover matzoh with gentile blood, that Jews had foreknowledge of 9/11, and that homosexuality is “a great crime.” He has been banned from the U.K. for anti-Semitic incitement.

— Invited activist Dyab Abou Jahjah to parliament and spoke alongside him. Abou Jahjah had called the 9/11 attacks “sweet revenge,” said Europe made “the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshiping its alternative religion,” and called gays “Aids-spreading faggots.” He is now banned in the U.K.

— Campaigned for the release of Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami, who were convicted in Britain in 1996 for bombing the Israeli Embassy in London and one of the country’s largest Jewish charities.

Taken together, this pattern of behavior suggests a blind spot for anti-Jewish prejudice at best, and incredibly poor judgment in allies and associates at the very least. After all, it is entirely possible to campaign against imperialism and other Western ills without legitimizing anti-Jewish bigots in the halls of parliament. (Suffice to say, if Donald Trump had engaged in such conduct, it would be national news and rightly so.)

If British Jews have taken note of Corbyn’s dalliances with anti-Semites, so have British anti-Semites, many of whom have flocked to Corbyn’s banner. Under his leadership, scores of party officials have had to be suspended or expelled for anti-Semitic hate, in most cases only after media coverage forced the party’s hand. Some of these Corbyn supporters have been captured claiming Israel was behind ISIS or 9/11 or the Sandy Hook Massacre, or asserting that Jewish bankers control Britain.

Most damning for Corbyn, however, has been the anti-Jewish bigotry expressed by his key associates and backers. One such supporter is Jackie Walker, a leader of Momentum, the far-left activist group that forms the backbone of Corbyn’s base. Walker is a committed Corbyn backer. She also claims that Jews were the “chief financiers” of the African slave trade, a classic anti-Semitic canard long debunked by historians; has criticized Britain’s Holocaust Memorial Day; and said she hasn’t “heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with.” After her comment about the slave trade, she was suspended by the party, but by the end of the month, she was reinstated, even as she refused to apologize or retract her bigoted claim. Walker remained vice-chair of Momentum for months, until her remarks about anti-Semitism and Holocaust Memorial Day led her to be restricted to a less public role on the organization’s steering committee. If Corbyn has any problem with his support base being led by an anti-Semite, he has kept it to himself. He has not even criticized Walker’s slave trade slur. She remains a Labour party member in good standing.

Then there is former London mayor Ken Livingstone, whom Corbyn personally appointed to oversee a defense policy review. Livingstone had a long record of problematic entanglements with Jews, but this did not deter the Labour leader from selecting him. Predictably, Livingstone soon imploded in a blaze of anti-Semitic rhetoric and Holocaust revisionism, asserting on live TV that Hitler was a “Zionist,” that Zionist Jews collaborated with Hitler—gross distortions of the historical record—and that “a real anti-Semite doesn’t just hate the Jews in Israel.” Corbyn initially waffled on whether to suspend Livingstone from Labour, and was captured on video running away from a reporter asking him about it. Ultimately, Livingstone received a slap on the wrist from the party, which barred him from holding office for one year, but didn’t suspend or expel him from membership. This led 100 of Labour’s MPs to publicly denounce their own party for failing to combat anti-Semitism.

This conduct of Corbyn’s confidants and base, often with his tacit approval, has contributed to a toxic environment for Jewish politicians and journalists during his tenure. In one famous instance, Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was publicly accused of being part of a media conspiracy against Corbyn by a Momentum activist at a party event, while Corbyn stood by and said nothing. Smeeth walked out and later issued an emotional statement: “Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews.” The vitriol has extended to non-Jewish critics of Corbyn as well. After Labour’s Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, endorsed a challenger to Corbyn’s leadership, he was hit with anti-Semitic abuse on social media insinuating that he was under Jewish control. (Khan had previously criticized Corbyn for failing to adequately confront anti-Semitism in the party ranks.)

Journalists, and particularly Jewish ones, have similarly been targeted by Corbyn’s most zealous supporters, not unlike U.S. journalists who critically covered Donald Trump’s campaign. This anti-media direction comes from the top. Much like Trump, Corbyn has often had harsher words for those in the press who have covered racists in his base than he has had for the racists themselves. Thus, after leftist Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland, one of Britain’s most prominent Jewish journalists, criticized Corbyn’s associations with anti-Semitic individuals, Corbyn was caught on tape grousing, “The big negative today is Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian… Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism under Corbyn. Utterly disgusting subliminal nastiness, you know. He’s not a good guy at all. He seems kind of obsessed with me, you know?”

Just this week, Jewish journalist Emma Barnett was subject to a torrent of abuse on social media—anti-Semitic and otherwise—after she interviewed Corbyn about childcare on the BBC and he appeared unable to answer some of her questions. To his credit, Corbyn apologized for her treatment by his supporters. That he only publicly repudiated this conduct days before an impending election, however, does not inspire much confidence, though it is a testimony to how blatant the abuse has become that he was forced to do so.

— Jo Green (@jg_ccpress) May 30, 2017

Corbyn has thus left progressive Jews with a profoundly unpalatable choice, pinned between the party whose ideology they share and its disquieting leader and his most zealous supporters. One does not envy their decision.

Previous: ‘Not In My Name’: 100 Labour MPs Denounce Party For Failing to Confront Anti-SemitismJackie Walker Can’t Stop Saying Offensive Things About JewsJeremy Corbyn Slams Jewish Journalist for Writing About Anti-Semitism in Labour PartyLabour Officials Suspended After Claiming Jews Were Behind African Slave Trade, Israel Behind ISISLabour Party Suspends Three More Officials for Anti-Semitism

The Anti-Semitism Scandal Engulfing the Labour Party Was Entirely Predictable

Meet Jeremy Corbyn, the New Leader of Britain’s Labour Party

The Independent

Published  2 months ago

A police chief who was forced to apologise for her role in one of Britain’s worst child sex trafficking scandals is to lead the country’s fight against modern slavery.

Sara Thornton, who currently heads up the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), will become the Home Office’s independent anti-slavery commissioner later this year. Her appointment is set to be announced officially next week.

The senior officer was chief constable of Thames Valley police when the force failed to help up to 373 children, mostly female, who were groomed, given vast quantities of drugs and alcohol and sexually abused in Oxford.

Campaigners raised concerns that, having previously been described as David Cameron’s “favourite police officer”, Ms Thornton would lack independence from government.

The former Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, resigned from the post last May last year citing government interference in his work – saying independence was “vital” for the success of the role.

UK ‘lagging behind’ on efforts to tackle modern slavery, finds report

A former advisor to Mr Hyland, Emily Kenway, who is now a senior advisor at Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX), told The Independent this independence risked being diminished further after the job specification was updated to state that the commissioner would be “appraised” by the Home Office.

“As an ex adviser to the previous commissioner, I know first-hand that our attitude of independence wasn’t always appreciated by the Home Office,” she said.

“It is right that there will be concerns about how independent Ms Thornton will be able to be, particularly as she will now have her performance appraised by Home Office officials which seems to fly in the face of genuine scrutiny.”

The fact that a police officer is being appointed to the role also provoked criticism, as ministers have been accused of placing too much focus on law enforcement when dealing with modern slavery rather than looking at wider factors such as immigration.

In a recent hearing conducted by the Home Affairs Select Committe, Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police Shaun Sawyer said the UK was failing to transform its approach to modern slavery “other than in law enforcement”, adding: “To me that is not a transformation; that is a sticking plaster.”

Ms Kenway said it was “concerning” that Ms Thornoton was from a police background, adding: “Modern slavery is a crime but we cannot arrest and prosecute our way out of it.

“Its causes are systemic; we have an economy which relies on cheap exploitable labour and a hostile environment which makes undocumented people unable to work for anyone but those willing to flout the law, pushing them into abuse.

UK's anti-slavery commissioner resigns citing government interference

“I hope she will address these deeper causes, highlighting that a Britain without modern slavery means a country where people are put before profit and the wellbeing of all, regardless of immigration status, is put above anti-immigrant policy.“

The government is facing mounting criticism over its efforts to tackle modern slavery. It has taken ministers eight months to appoint a new commissioner, a delay campaigners say has hindered Theresa May's bid to become world leader in fighting the crime.

The High Court ruled in November that a government decision to slash weekly subsistence benefits for suspected trafficking victims was unlawful, and the Home Office this week admitted more than 1,200 inidviduals had been deprived of support.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Tackling human trafficking and modern slavery remains a top priority for this government and we are committed to stamping out this abhorrent crime.

“The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (IASC) plays a crucial role in providing scrutiny of the Government’s response to modern slavery.

“We are currently undertaking the recruitment process to appoint a candidate, which will be announced shortly.”

Westmonster

Published  2 months ago

Brexiteer Esther McVey yesterday reminded the country that leaving the European Union without a deal remains the default government policy if the EU fail to secure a deal with the UK.

Speaking to Nigel Farage on LBC McVey, who resigned from the Cabinet to oppose Theresa May’s deal, said: “The plan has always been to Leave, as we always said, without a deal if we cannot agree on a deal, and that is why it was so important that we did all the planning and preparations around it.”

Whilst the government have played down the prospect of No Deal, McVey revealed that “lots of planning has been done” by the civil service to prepare for such an outcome already.

She also pointed out that May is surrounded by Remainers and that the “make-up of the Cabinet” consisted of people who “all voted for Remain” including the likes of the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the PM’s deputy, David Lidington.

On top of that she highlighted out the influence of Olly Robbins, who she described as May’s “key adviser” who had been “very much about staying in”.

.@EstherMcVey1 explains we have a remainer Cabinet and Olly Robbins frustrating the negotiations.

It's time to leave with No Deal and walk away from the Brussels bullies.

Help save Brexit @ https://t.co/7va4JFnv8y pic.twitter.com/SIRlcfdecS

— Leave Means Leave (@LeaveMnsLeave) February 3, 2019

MPs voted to trigger Article 50 and the British people voted for Brexit. As May and others keep promising, that means Brexit on 29th March. Deal or No Deal, that must be delivered.