Northern Irish lawmakers tell Prime Minister Theresa May: Don’t betray the United Kingdom

Northern Irish politicians tell PM May: Don’t betray the United Kingdom

LONDON (Reuters) – The Northern Irish party which props up Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on Friday cast her Brexit negotiation as a betrayal and cautioned it could not support a deal that divided the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Theresa May at the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Theresa May remembers ‘staunch to the end’ troops on Belgium Armistice visit
Prime Minister Theresa May at the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The warning underscores the travails that May faces in getting any Brexit divorce deal, which London and Brussels say is 95 percent done, approved by both her fractious party and by the Northern Irish lawmakers who keep her in power.

Less than five months before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, negotiators are still haggling over a backup plan for the land border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland should they fail to clinch a deal.

Boris Johnson Lays Out His Alternative Plan ‘For A Better Brexit’

He labelled May’s plan “a moral and intellectual humiliation for this country”

PA WIRE/PA IMAGES
Boris Johnson 

RACHEL MCGRATH(HuffPost UK)//Boris Johnson has laid out his plan “for a better Brexit”, labelling Theresa May’s current one – the Chequers plan – as “a moral and intellectual humiliation for this country”.

The former foreign secretary details his ideas in a 4,500-word article published in the Daily Telegraph, arguing for a free trade deal to be made as part of the UK’s exit from the EU, in order to “fulfil the instruction of the people”.

“Overall, the Chequers proposals represent the intellectual error of believing that we can be half-in, half-out: that it is somehow safer and easier for large parts of our national life to remain governed by the EU even though we are no longer in the EU,” he writes.

“They are in that sense a democratic disaster. There is nothing safe or ‘pragmatic’ in being bound by rules over which we have no say, interpreted by a federalist court.

“The Chequers proposals are the worst of both worlds. They are a moral and intellectual humiliation for this country. It is almost incredible that after two years this should be the opening bid of the British government.”

Johnson, who quit the cabinet in July, also argues for a new withdrawal agreement which states that the Irish border question will be settled as part of the deal on the future economic arrangements.

BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES
Theresa May’s Brexit plan was not received well by the EU 

His trade deal proposal is based on the agreement Canada has with the EU, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

CETA allows Canada to access the European market on improved terms while not being a member, so it does not have to pay into the EU budget, follow ECJ laws or adopt freedom of movement.

Nearly all tariffs are being eliminated on imports and exports between the countries, while there are increased opportunities for companies to do business and workers to move between the territories.

As a result, Johnson has christened his proposal “SuperCanada” and says the UK should spend the Brexit implementation period negotiating the agreement.

He adds: “This is the time to get it right. This is the approach that allows this country really to exploit the opportunities of Brexit, to diverge and legislate effectively for the new technologies and businesses in which the UK has such a lead.

“This is an opportunity for the UK to become more dynamic and more successful, and we should not be shy of saying that – and we should recognise that it is exactly this potential our EU partners seek to constrain.”

Johnson concludes with a rallying cry to the his fellow Conservative MPs, saying “this is the moment to change the course of the negotiations and do justice to the ambitions and potential of Brexit”, and warning “that future generations will not lightly forgive us if we fail”.

His comments come just two days before the start of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham where Brexit is expected to feature heavily.

Just days ago, the current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called for calm over the current Brexit impasse – claiming there was always going to come a point in negotiations “where everyone was looking into the abyss”.

Hunt also backed the prime minister’s resolve and warned the EU and doubters in the UK that “underestimating Theresa May is one of the biggest mistakes that you could make right now”.

May’s Chequers plan was publicly rejected by EU leaders in Salzburg last week and both Labour and Tory Eurosceptics said they would vote against any such proposal.

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EU workers should face same immigration rules as rest of world after Brexit, U.K. cabinet agrees

(AIWA! NO!Britain’s immigration system will stop giving preferential access to European Union citizens after Brexit, ministers agree. The agreement ensures post-Brexit migration overhaul ending  special treatment of EU workers which has been in place for decades.
UK border
The Cabinet backed the immigration overhaul despite reported objections from the Chancellor and Business Secretary.Credit: 
PA

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Cabinet agreed that, once free movement is brought to an end, the Government will be able to introduce a new system which works in the best interests of the UK – including helping boost productivity.”

The plans – which would kick in after the UK’s “implementation period” with the EU ends in December 2020 – were  approved despite objections from some Cabinet ministers.

Philip Hammond and Business Secretary Greg Clark are said to have raised concerns that the new system could cause disruption to businesses if it is introduced suddenly.

A Whitehall source told the Times: “Philip Hammond did not argue to continue free movement, nor did he argue against curbs to low-skilled migration.

“What Greg Clark pushed for yesterday — and Philip Hammond agreed with him — was to avoid a cliff-edge policy which involves a sudden big change for business. They lost that argument.”

That reportedly prompted a dig at Mr Hammond from Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey.

According to The Guardian, she told him: “On the one hand, we’re told that when we leave the EU we will go into a recession.

“On the other, we’re going to need mass migration. They can’t both be correct.”

Mr Javid meanwhile made clear that the proposals will include some leeway for low-skilled migration to avoid shortages in industries heavily dependent on migrant labour.

The Home Secretary also confirmed that regions that strike a free trade deal with the UK – including the EU itself – could be given preferential access to the UK labour market under the plans.

The proposals are set to be fleshed out in a new immigration white paper in the autumn – and could feature in Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative party conference next week.

BREXIT DEADLINE

Cabinet ministers meanwhile stepped back from urging the Prime Minister to ditch her Chequers Brexit plan in favour of a Canada-style free trade deal.

Mrs May’s proposals – which aim to agree a “common rulebook” with the EU on goods – were ridiculed by her European counterparts at a meeting in Salzburg last week.

But she told the Cabinet to “hold our nerve”, at a “critical point” in the talks.

Brexiteers in the Cabinet were reported to be swinging behind a Canada-style deal currently being talked up Tory Eurosceptics.

But senior ministers have now given the Prime Minister extra time to try and sell her plan to the EU.

A Cabinet minister told The Sun: “There was a feeling  that the PM did well on Friday with her No10 statement on Brexit, and she has earned some breathing space.

“But we are still left with the fact that the EU has said no to Chequers, and that is a problem that is not going to go away. So we will have to move on from Chequers if there is no movement from Barnier in two weeks.”

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab meanwhile told reporters the Cabinet had had “a good, healthy discussion”.

He added: “The Prime Minister made clear we are going to keep our calm and press the EU on some of the criticisms they have made. But also to be clear that there are no credible alternatives the EU has come up with.”

I have always said that no deal is better than a bad deal; British Prime Minister Theresa May

Against the euro, sterling was down 1% at 1.11.

MAY AFRICA

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//Prime Minister Theresa May has said that “no deal is better than a bad deal” but that the “best outcome” was to leave with a deal.

Mrs May speaking inside Downing Street said: “I have always said that no deal is better than a bad deal.

“But I have also been clear that the best outcome is for the UK to leave the EU with a deal.

EU nationals should be subject to the same rules as migrants from the rest of the world after free movement ceases to apply in the UK, according to a Government-commissioned report.

“That is why following months of intensive work and detailed discussions, we proposed a third option for our future economic relationship based on the frictionless trade of goods.

“That is the best way to protect jobs here and in the EU and to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, while respecting the referendum result and the integrity of the United Kingdom.”

‘Making a mockery’

She said: “I have always said that these negotiations would be tough, and they were always bound to be toughest in the final straight.

“While both sides want a deal, we have to face up to the fact that despite the progress we have made there are two big issues where we remain a long way apart.”

READ RELATED: The pound is on course for its biggest one-day fall in 2018 after Theresa May said Brexit negotiations with the EU have reached an ‘impasse’

Mrs May added that the EU had only given the UK two options, which included an option to stay within the European Economic Area.

The Prime Minister described this option as “making a mockery” of the EU referendum in June 2016.

‘I will not overturn the result of the referendum’

The Prime Minister concluded her statement by saying: “The EU should be clear, I will not overturn the result of the referendum, nor will I break up my country.

“We need serious engagement in resolving the two big issues in the negotiations and we stand ready.”

The pound plummeted following Mrs May’s speech, trading down 1.3% versus the US dollar at 1.31.

Against the euro, sterling was down 1% at 1.11.

 

Blow for Theresa May as ally declares Chequers Brexit plan ‘dead as a dodo’

Peers attack Theresa May’s post-Brexit customs plan over lack of clarity

Mike Penning
Mike Penning accused Theresa May of putting her critics on the “naughty step”Credit: PA

Matt Foster//Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan is “dead as a dodo”, according to one of her allies.

Sir Mike Penning – who worked with the Prime Minister at the Home Office and helped orchestrate her 2016 leadership campaign – accused the Prime Minister of a “massive insult” by asking Tory MPs to back it.

He told The Telegraph: “She is playing a game of Russian Roulette with the country which is frankly an insult to the referendum result and all those people who voted,  no matter how they voted.

READ RELATED: Peers attack Theresa May’s post-Brexit customs plan over lack of clarity
READ RELATED: Theresa May urges EU leaders to drop ‘unacceptable Brexit demands

“To say to the likes of myself: ‘It’s Chequers or a hard Brexit’. It’s like making us sit on the naughty step at school.”

His intervention is significant because he has previously resisted the temptation to publicly criticise Mrs May, despite being angered at her decision to sack him from the frontbench in a reshuffle last year.

The intervention from the previously-loyal backbencher – who also confirmed he was joining the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers – came as the Prime Minister tried to convince EU leaders to swing behind her proposals over dinner in Salzburg.

Dining on wiener schnitzel with potatoes ahead of sit-down meetings today, Mrs May called on the 27 EU leaders to “respond in kind” to what she called the “serious and workable” Chequers proposals.

Theresa May leaves Downing Street
The Prime Minister also heaped fresh scorn on calls for a second Brexit referendumCredit: 
PA

And she tried to scotch speculation in Brussels that the UK could hold a second referendum, saying: “We all recognise that time is short but delaying or extending these negotiations is not an option.

“I know that for many of you Brexit is not something you want – but it is important to be clear there will be no second referendum.”

But Sir Mike urged the Prime Minister to call EU’s bluff, saying the bloc would “make a deal at the last minute – that’s how they’ve always operated”.

He said: “We’re just seeing this all from one end of a telescope and she needs to immediately now turn that telescope around. Because if she comes back with Chequers it’s dead as a dodo.”

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab last night conceded that the Chequers proposals – which have enraged Eurosceptics with calls for a free-trade area for goods governed by a “common rulebook” – were not “perfect”.

He told LBC: “It may not be perfect, but it’s the most credible plan.”

EU Council President Donald Tusk meanwhile called for Mrs May’s Brexit pitch to be “reworked and further negotiated” before a final deal can be agreed, but welcomed a “positive evolution” in the UK’s stance in recent months.

Announcing an emergency summit on the UK’s departure for mid-November, he warned: “There is more hope but there is surely less and less time, every day left we must use for talks.”

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UK Independence Party: “Theresa May’s ‘Deal or No Deal’ question has an easy answer…”

Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at Downing Street in London, Britain (EPA)

The impact of a no-deal Brexit could be as catastrophic as the financial crisis with house prices plummeting by a third, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers.

Breaking News17 September – 2018

In an interview with the BBC’s Panorama programme due to be broadcast tonight, Prime Minister Theresa May said that MPs will have a choice between her Brexit deal, or no deal.

In an interview with the BBC’s Panorama programme due to be broadcast tonight, Prime Minister Theresa May said that MPs will have a choice between her Brexit deal, or no deal.
The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and negotiations between the two sides are still taking place.
UKIP Leader Gerard Batten commented,

“After a summer of dripping Project Fear 2.0 into the public’s ears, Mrs May has put down an in or out option.

Theresa May’s ‘Deal or No Deal’ question has an easy answer “I call on all Leave MPs to reject the flimsy agreement Mrs May is putting together and support a full unencumbered exit from the EU under WTO rules.” – UKIP Leader @GerardBattenMEPwww.ukip.org/national-u…pic.twitter.com/d2kNFvT…

“UKIP has always said that no deal, which is really reverting to WTO terms, is better than a bad deal with the EU.  Mrs May’s deal, whatever the particulars, will not be what the British people voted for on June 23rd, 2016, it will be Brexit in name only.
“I call on all Leave MPs to reject the flimsy agreement Mrs May is putting together and support a full unencumbered exit from the EU under World Trade Organisation rules.”

Brexiteer MP blasts ‘ELITE ESTABLISHMENT’ urging May to hold new Brexit vote

BREXITEER MP Theresa Villiers issued a damning condemnation of second Brexit vote supporters, branding them “undemocratic” and urging the “establishment elite” to accept the results of the 2016 referendum.

Theresa Villiers: Second referendum would be undemocratic

By AURORA BOSOTTI//The Conservative MP delivered a brutal takedown of supporters of a second referendum, demanding campaigners shelve their demands to help the Government “get on” with the negotiations.

The harsh condemnation came after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan publicly came out in support of a new vote on the final terms of the deal Theresa May will strike with the European Union.

Speaking to BBC Sunday Politics London, Ms Villiers said: “It’s just so undemocratic to ask people to vote again on a question just because there’s an elite establishment who doesn’t like the answer they were given the first time.

“There’s a history of this across the EU. I think that’s wrong. I think we’ve got to listen to the result of the referendum and we need to implement it.”

The Tory politician, who served as an MEP for London before being elected MP for Chipping Barnet in 2005, also took a direct dig at Mr Khan as she pointed out he had received his mandate from fewer Londoners than had voted for Brexit.

She continued: “The issue has divided London as it has the rest of the country. We’ve got to remember there were more people who voted to leave in London than actually gave their first preference vote to Sadiq Khan in the Mayoral election.”There is a substantial body of opinion on both sides of this debate but I think a lot of people, whether they voted Leave or Remain, just want us to get on with it.” Ms Villiers added: “Having another referendum – what if Leave won the second referendum? Would the Remain side come and demand a third one? We’ve just got to accept the results of a democratic vote, get on with it and implement it.”

Brexit news - Theresa Villiers and Sadiq Khan
Brexit news: Theresa Villiers branded as “undemocratic” campaigners for a second vote (BBC)

It’s just so undemocratic to ask people to vote again on a question just because there’s an elite establishment who doesn’t like the answer

Theresa Villiers

Mr Khan pledged his support for a new vote on Brexit on Sunday, writing in The Observer that “irrefutable evidence” had shown leaving the bloc would harm the British economy and jeopardise jobs.

Discussing his decision on The Andrew Marr show, the  suggested remaining a full member of the EU should be considered as an option on the ballot paper of a potential People’s Vote.

He said: “I would like one of the options on the referendum to be an option to stay in the European Union.

“The British people have seen all the promises broken by the likes of Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox.”

Mr Khan added: “The referendum should be a choice between the deal done by this Government or staying in the European Union. The deal done by this Government – we can see what the consequences would be.

“Two years ago that was abstract, theoretical, we were told various things that didn’t turn out to be true.”