BRITAIN; ‘Vassal state’… ‘a betrayal’… Brexiteers react to May’s deal

Leading Brexiteers have launched ferocious attacks on Theresa May’s reported Brexit deal, accusing her of “a betrayal of the Union” and calling for a Cabinet mutiny.

|MATT WITHERS, THE NEW EUROPEAN|

AIWA! NO!|A deal has been reached by negotiators in Brussels and go before a crunch Cabinet meeting tomorrow.But the hardline Leavers in May’s party have already pounced on her before it has even been published, urging Cabinet members to reject it.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said he would vote against the deal, claiming it was “vassal state stuff” and urged the Cabinet to “chuck it out”.

He said he expected the deal to be “pretty much” what had been agreed a few week ago “we are going to stay in the customs union on this deal, we are going to stay effectively in large parts of the single market and that means it’s vassal state stuff”.

He told the BBC: “For the first time in a thousand years, this place, this Parliament, will not have a say over the laws that govern this country. It is a quite incredible state of affairs.”

He added “I don’t see how you can support it from a democratic point of view, I don’t see how unionists can support it, and I don’t see how you can support it if you believe in the economic and political freedom of this country.”

He claimed the deal was “making a nonsense of Brexit so I hope the Cabinet will do the right thing and I hope they chuck it out”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the pro-hard Brexit European Research Group of Tory MPs, said the reported deal represented a betrayal of Theresa May’s promise to maintain the integrity of the United Kingdom.

“White flags have gone up all over Whitehall. It is a betrayal of the Union,” he said.

“If what we have heard is true, this fails to meet the Conservative Party manifesto and it fails to meet many of the commitments that the prime minister makes.

“It would keep us in the customs union and de facto the single market. This is the vassal state.

“It is a failure of the government’s negotiating position, it is a failure to deliver on Brexit and it is potentially dividing up the United Kingdom.

“It is very hard to see any reason why the Cabinet should support Northern Ireland being ruled from Dublin.”

Former party leader and Brexit hardliner Iain Duncan Smith warned that if reports of the deal’s contents were true the Government was “breaking their own agreed position and will be bringing back something that is untenable”.

He added that “if the Cabinet agrees it, the party certainly won’t”.

Asked if the Government’s days were numbered he said: “If this is the case almost certainly, yes.

“Because they are in real trouble if they bring back something that is unacceptable to the party.

“The Government puts itself in an impossible position, because they are trying to promote something they themselves said they would never promote. And that makes it impossible.

“How can you ask the party to vote for something which you yourself as prime minister and the Cabinet said they would never ever allow?”

Brexit at last or is it?

brexit latest
Brexit latest: Boris Johnson has launched an astonishing attack on Theresa May(Image: GETTY )

Brexit: the storm makes land

|GARY GIBBON, CHANNEL 4 NEWS|

AIWA! NO!|We have two documents in Downing Street being read tonight: the Withdrawal Agreement (500 pages or so) and the outline political declaration (some four pages or so).
That tells you how much work is still to be done in working out the future relationship. The negotiators haven’t even been able to hand in half their homework. The EU always said it would be like this. Brexiteers sometimes suggested the whole thing – settling the past and mapping the future – could be set out and agreed by now.

There is talk that the plans laid out for the U.K. wide temporary customs arrangement could operate like a sliding scale. You want truly friction-less trade? You have to go for extra rules from Brussels which have a single market flavour. So if you don’t do that, the logic runs, and go for something a little more light touch, that leaves Northern Ireland more subject to checks with east/west trade across the Irish Sea. This might look to some Brexiteers like an EU plan to suck the U.K. into its magnetic and regulatory orbit. And it will look to the DUP, who are sounding very war-like this evening, like the kind of betrayal they were complaining about in the letter to Theresa May – which The Times got its hands on last week.

Ministers now have the challenge of making sense of the detail while not being allowed to take the documents away from No 10. If they choose to resign do they go big picture or hit on a detail? Or do they, as happened at Chequers, go along with sullenly only to walk out a couple of days later?

The storm that has been out at sea for months has started making land. Theresa May has decided this is as good as it gets in the time available. If she can bring the Cabinet onside without major casualties she will take it to the country and her MPs and the Commission will take it to the member states. There will be pained faces and arguments for changes to the text amongst the EU27. There will be much hotter discourse here and it started with a vengeance as the news flashed up of a “technical deal.”

The ERG leadership is deploying lines about betrayal that must box those using them into a rebellion if we get to a Commons vote you would think. And if the DUPs rhetoric is a guide to its actions, inflicting defeat would be like pushing over a house of cards.

But this is day one and the vote, if we get there, could be end of November or beginning of December under government plans.

BRITAIN’S MI6 in urgent Jeremy Corbyn security meeting amid fears of snap ELECTION

JEREMY Corbyn has been called in to meet the head of MI6 as spooks fear Brexit talks may collapse and spark a snap election.

Corbyn
BRIEFING: Corbyn has been briefed by MI6 on the threats to the UK (Pic: REUTERS
Dan O’Donoghue , DAILY STAR|AIWA! NO!|The Labour leader is believed to have met Alex Younger, head of MI6 so he could be briefed on the agency’s work and the severity of the threats facing Britain.
Mr. Corbyn is reported to have met Mr. Younger at the organization’s headquarters in Vauxhall, south London, where he was told that “MI6 did not pursue its own agenda”.

Mr. Corbyn spent years as a backbench MP attacking the integrity of the intelligence services and in the aftermath of the Salisbury poisoning his spokesman provoked outrage after appearing to question British intelligence by saying: “There’s a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly.”

Trump warns he could pull other reporters’ White House access

The White House yanked CNN’s Jim Acosta’s ‘hard pass’ earlier this week.

U.S. President Donald Trump | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

|AIWA! NOWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday he does not know whether CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press access will be reinstated and said other reporters could have their security badges revoked too.

“As far as I’m concerned, I haven’t made that decision,” Trump said of restoring Acosta’s press pass. “But there could be others also.”

The White House yanked Acosta’s “hard pass,” a security badge that allows reporters to freely enter and exit the White House complex, following a contentious exchange with Trump during a press conference Wednesday.

“When you’re in the White House, this is a very sacred place to me, this is a very special place, you have to treat the White House with respect, you have to treat the presidency with respect,” Trump said Friday, adding that he thinks “it’s a disgrace” the way Acosta has interacted with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump did not say which other reporters were at risk of losing their White House badges, a step that was virtually unheard of before Wednesday and drew an outcry from White House correspondents. Trump also criticized April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, who has peppered administration officials with pointed questions.

“You talk about somebody that’s a loser,” Trump said of Ryan. “She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.”

Trump also defended video Sanders posted on Twitter of Acosta during the Wednesday press briefing. Sanders said Acosta’s press access was being revoked because of an interaction with a White House aide who tried to take his microphone when the reporter talked over the president. Sanders said Acosta inappropriately touched the aide. But CNN and others said the video she used to prove her point appeared to have been edited in a way that made Acosta seem more aggressive.

“No one manipulated it. Give me a break, see that’s just dishonest reporting,” Trump said. “All that is is a close-up. They made it close up, they showed it close up.”

Trump seemed to indicate, however, that the security badge was not pulled solely over that incident, which he said “wasn’t overly, you know, horrible.”

“I think Jim Acosta’s a very unprofessional man,” the president said. “Look, I don’t think he’s a smart person, but he’s got a loud voice.”

Yemen Girl Who Turned World’s Eyes On Country’s Famine And Conflict Dies Aged 7

Amal Hussain, who died at age 7. “My heart is broken,” her mother said.CreditCreditTyler Hicks/The New York Times

|Declan Walsh, The New York Times|AIWA! NO!|CAIRO — A haunted look in the eyes of Amal Hussain, an emaciated 7-year-old lying silently on a hospital bed in northern Yemen, seemed to sum up the dire circumstances of her war-torn country.

A searing portrait of the starving girl published in The New York Times last week drew an impassioned response from readers. They expressed heartbreak. They offered money for her family. They wrote in to ask if she was getting better.

A Yemeni child stands outside the family house which was destroyed several months ago in an air-strike by the Saudi-led coalition at a slum in the capital Sanaa, on March 12, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)
A Yemeni child stands outside the family house which was destroyed several months ago in an air-strike by the Saudi-led coalition at a slum in the capital Sanaa, on March 12, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed Huwais)

On Thursday, Amal’s family said she had died at a ragged refugee camp four miles from the hospital.

READ RELATED ARTICLE: THE TRAGEDY OF SAUDI ARABIA’S WAR: Amal Hussain, 7, is wasting away from hunger. The Saudi-led war in Yemen has pushed millions to the brink of starvation.

“My heart is broken,” said her mother, Mariam Ali, who wept during a phone interview. “Amal was always smiling. Now I’m worried for my other children.”

The Tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s War in Yemen

The Khashoggi killing has cast light on Saudi tactics in Yemen, where an economic war has pushed millions to the brink of starvation.

The grievous human cost of the Saudi-led war in Yemen has jumped to the top of the global agenda as the outcry over the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi prompts Western leaders to re-examine their support for the war.

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U.K. BREXIT SECRETARY Dominic Raab: “The end is now firmly in sight” – BREXIT Deal By 21 November

RAAB BREXITBrexit deal in 21 days: End is in sight says Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab|MACER HALL, EXPRESS|AIWA! NO!|BRITAIN is expected to conclude a Brexit deal with the EU within the next three weeks, Theresa May’s chief negotiator has revealed. In a letter to MPs released last night, Dominic Raab predicted an agreement about the UK’s departure from the European bloc would be finalised before November 21.

Dominic Raab expects a Brexit deal within 21 days (Image: Getty)

“The end is now firmly in sight and, while obstacles remain, it cannot be beyond us to navigate them,” the EU Brexit Secretary said.

His optimistic remarks raised hopes that the two sides are close to breaking the deadlock in the stalled Brussels talks. And the value of the pound strengthened after his remarks were reported.

But officials admitted many issues needed to be resolved and insisted ministers wanted to inject urgency into the talks after months of foot dragging by Brussels.

One Whitehall insider said: “There’s plenty of stuff still to do.”

Mr Raab’s indication of a possible date came in an October 24 letter to the Commons Exiting the EU Committee which was released last night. In the letter, Mr Raab said he expected to be in a position to give details about a possible deal by the November date.

“I would be happy to give evidence to the committee when a deal is finalised, and currently expect 21 November to be suitable,” he said.

Downing Street sought to dampen expectations of an imminent deal last night. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We want to get a deal as soon as possible and that is what we are working to complete.”

Mr Raab’s signal came as talks continued yesterday to find a breakthrough in the row over the future of the Northern Ireland border.

Civil servant Oliver Robbins, the Government’s chief EU envoy, was holding discussions with his EU counterpart Sabine Weyand in Brussels. European ambassadors expected to be updated on progress last night.

EU officials were understood to be expecting a decision to be taken within days on whether to hold a special EU summit this month to conclude a draft deal.

A Whitehall source close to Mr Raab said achieving a deal by November 21 was an “ambition” rather than a definite expectation, saying: “There has not been some tectonic shift in the last few days.”

In his letter, Mr Raab struck an optimistic note on the chances for a deal. He wrote: “Despite our differences, we are not far from an agreement on this issue.

“We agree on the principle of a UK-wide customs backstop. An agreement on the details of that backstop should be possible.

“Both sides agree that this backstop cannot provide for a permanent UK/EU relationship and are committed to a future relationship that works for the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland.

“We are open to talking about ways to achieve this and committed to continuing discussions in order to reach an agreement.

The end is now firmly in sight

Dominic Raab, Brexit Secretary

“The end is now firmly in sight and, while obstacles remain, it cannot be beyond us to navigate them.

“We now need to acknowledge the progress that has been made and now work rapidly through the remaining issues and come to an agreement that works for both sides.”

In reply to Mr Raab’s letter, Labour MP and Exiting the EU Committee chairman Hilary Benn expressed disappointment at the Brexit Secretary’s failure to follow the pattern of regular appearances established by his predecessor David Davis. He also rejected Mr Raab’s proposal to update the committee by letter until the deal was agreed as “not sufficient or effective”.

He said: “You will know that this is not how committees undertake inquiries and is not conducive to scrutiny.”

With EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier meeting European Parliament officials “almost daily”, the Government was failing to live up to Mr Davis’s promise to match Mr Barnier for openness, Mr Benn said.

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said a deal by November 21 was “possible” but required more movement from the UK.

“It is up to the British side in particular to intensify negotiations towards a deal,” he said.

In a series of exchanges with MPs in the Commons yesterday, Theresa May insisted the Government was dedicated to getting “a good deal” for the UK in the Brexit negotiations.

After the rally by the pound last night, Hamish Muress, a currency analyst at financial firm OFX, said: “No Halloween scares today. Instead we finally have a concrete date from Raab regarding a Brexit deal being finalised, and the pound has jumped in response.”

A Department for Exiting the EU spokesman said last night: “There is no set date for the negotiations to conclude.

“The 21st November was the date offered by the chair of the Select Committee for the Secretary of State to give evidence.”

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British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt: Brexit deal by Nov 21 entirely possible

Hunt: Brexit deal by Nov 21 entirely possibleImage result for brexit

|LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters)|AIWA! NO!| – British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Wednesday it was entirely possible that there could be enough progress in Brexit talks for a deal with the European Union to be agreed by Nov. 21.

Brexit minister Dominic Raab said earlier in a letter to a lawmaker that he expected a deal to be finalised by Nov. 21, but his department said on Wednesday that there was no set date for EU negotiations to end.

“I think it is entirely possible that we could make enough progress by then,” Hunt said in response to a question about Raab’s letter following a speech at Policy Exchange in London, adding that outstanding issues could be resolved.

“I think that although there is a degree of doom and gloom about the Brexit talks at the moment, the fact that we have got to this stage… is broadly encouraging.”

 

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©(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by David Stamp)