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?”

France tells Theresa May to FORGET backstop review clause – EU will DECIDE

French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau | Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, has warned the Prime Minister that MPs would not support any deal that would keep Britain locked in a backstop arrangement with Brussels.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live the UK “cannot be held against its will” in a possible customs union with the EU, adding: “It cannot be a decision that can be overturned by the European Union, it must be capable for the United Kingdom to decide to leave that customs arrangement.”

|AIWA! NO|French Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau said any decision taken to end the backstop arrangement cannot be made by the United Kingdom alone and must involve the remaining 27 European Union countries.
Brexiteers in Mrs May’s Cabinet have demanded the inclusion of the mechanism that would unilaterally trigger a UK exit from any customs union arrangement in the backstop, the insurance policy to prevent a hard border in Ireland.

EU negotiators rejected this and reportedly told their UK counterparts that the European Court of Justice would have to be involved in the arbitration of any potential mechanism.

Ahead of the meeting, Ms Loiseau rejected the possibility of an independent mechanism being included in the backstop to help the Prime Minister with her domestic negotiations.

The French Europe minister told reporters: “If we end any sort of temporary arrangement this is to be bilateral decision from the EU27 and from the UK at the same time and we have to know in that moment what sort of solution there is for the Irish border.”

Technical-level negotiations will continue between the British and EU teams as they move “closer and closer” to seal a Brexit deal, according to one EU diplomat.

A technical deal is once again within days of conclusion but Mrs May is struggling to win political backing from her Cabinet as further splits emerge in her Conservative Party.

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.

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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UNITED KINGDOM Extends e-Passport Gates To Key Countries, Signalling Post-Brexit Business Favourites

UK extends ePassport gates to key countries, signalling post-Brexit business favourites

The ePassport gates, which are currently installed at Heathrow airport, allow passengers to get through security quickly without needing to interact with a human border agent. They rely on facial recognition, which is checked against the passenger’s scanned passport.

Passengers at Gatwick Airport queue to have their passports checked upon entering the UK
Passengers at Gatwick Airport queue to have their passports checked upon entering the UK ( Getty )

At present the ePassport gates are available to UK, EU, EEA or Swiss holders of ‘chipped’ biometric passports only, meaning visitors from other nations face long queues.

Countries gaining ePassport gates access provides insight into post-Brexit ambitions

The countries being given access to the ePassport gates provide insight into which nations the UK is most keen to do business with following Brexit.

A child, covered by emergency blankets, reacts as she arrives, with other refugees and migrants, on the Greek island of Lesbos, At least five migrants including three children, died after four boats sank between Turkey and Greece, as rescue workers searched the sea for dozens more, the Greek coastguard said

This is because providing access will be of particular benefit to business travellers, for whom any delays at the border can signal significant problems, and in some cases may result in businesses opting to stay away altogether.

A general view of a shelter for migrants inside a hangar of the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin, Germany

Notably, five out of the six countries gaining access are primarily English-speaking, with Japan being the exception.

UK focusing on Trans-Pacific Partnership

Japan has been a key trading target for the UK as a powerhouse in Asia, with considerable efforts made to woo the country. This appears to be having some impact, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying earlier this month that Britain would be welcomed into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trading bloc with “open arms”.

Notably all of the other countries being given access to ePassport gates are also in the TPP, with the exception of the US, which withdrew in 2017 as an early act by US President Donald Trump.

The UK has previously indicated a desire to join the TPP, also known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), with Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox talking positively about the possibility earlier in the year.

United Kingdom – ‘Hero’ pilot killed in Leicester helicopter crash was ‘living the dream’

‘Hero’ pilot killed in Leicester helicopter crash ‘lived the dream’

Eric Swaffer died alongside his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

Image result for helicopter crash leicester
Evening StandardChampions: Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha celebrate the Premier League title in
Press Association|AIWA! NO!| The pilot who was killed in the helicopter crash outside Leicester City’s stadium was “living the dream” as he travelled the world with his soulmate, a friend has said.
Eric Swaffer died alongside his partner Izabela Roza Lechowicz in the crash which also claimed the lives of Leicester City Football Club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and two of his staff members, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare. Mr Swaffer was at the controls of the aircraft when it crashed in a car park just metres from the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.

Witnesses said he was a hero for guiding the spinning helicopter away from crowds on the ground.

Lucie Morris-Marr, who was friends with Mr Swaffer for 18 years, said he would have done all he could to prevent lives being lost in the incident.

Lucie Morris-Marr

@luciemorrismarr

Rest In Peace my dear and always smiling friend, pilot who died alongside his beloved girlfriend and co-pilot Izabela. They travelled the world together. Reports say he heroically steered the helicopter away from cars crowds outside the stadium.

She told the Press Association: “Having been lucky to have known him as a friend and flown with him a few times as a passenger, it doesn’t surprise me that he would have done all he could to save lives and do everything in his power to avoid a worse outcome in those final moments. He was an incredible person and very focused when flying.”

The 43-year-old said Mr Swaffer was experienced at flying several types of aircraft, but had a “passion” for helicopters.

Describing him as “extremely funny, charming and cheeky with a wicked sense of humour”, she added: “Everyone loved him. I’m not surprised the chairman hired him. He was always great company.

“I would always ask him about his famous clients but he was so discreet which is why they hired him, of course.

“He was so generous and kind to his friends – when I lived in London he once flew us in a helicopter to a country hotel for afternoon tea.

“He loved his life. And he seemed to be living the dream flying with his girlfriend. Which is why their sudden passing in this tragedy is so terribly, terribly sad.”

Mr Swaffer and Ms Lechowicz were both professional pilots and lived together in Camberley, Surrey. Ms Morris-Marr said the couple had been together for about 10 years.

She said: “In recent years they have been in high demand from private clients in particular and have been flying private jets and helicopters as a duo enabling them to travel to some amazing locations such as Greece, Thailand and Vienna.

“Recently, I was pleased to see from his Facebook posts that he had put down roots and bought a beautiful home with Izabela in Camberley. They were often having dinner parties with their many friends.”

Speaking to Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio 5 Live, Ms Morris-Marr described their romance as an “aviation love story”, adding: “Not many people get to work and travel with their soulmate, travelling the world going to glamorous places.”

Eric Swaffer with the Dalai Lama
Eric Swaffer (right) with the Dalai Lama (Facebook/PA)

Ms Lechowicz, who moved to the UK from Poland in 1997, was selected by her country’s London embassy as one of 18 exceptional Polish women who inspired the community in the UK for being a pilot.

Writing earlier this year about becoming a pilot as part of the project to celebrate women getting the vote in Poland in 1918, she said she was inspired by her partner.

She added: “Shortly after (coming to the UK) I also met my partner, who back then worked as an airline and helicopter pilot.

“He took me out for a few flights, and that is how it all started. I knew this is something I want to do from the moment I touched the controls for the first time.”

The Polish embassy described Ms Lechowicz as “a wonderful pilot” who “created a positive image of Poland in the UK”.

“It is with great sadness that we received news of the death of Izabela Lechowicz in the Leicester helicopter crash,” a statement said.

“Our deepest condolences to her family.”

BRITISH Borders MP Threatens to Quit Over Proposed Brexit Deal Compromises

|Paris Gourtsoyannis, The Southern Reporter|AIWA! NO!|Borders MP David Mundell has threatened to resign over a European Union exit deal set to be signed off by the UK Government as soon as next week. The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson have both issued a threat to quit over compromises to that Brexit deal over the Irish border ibeing proposed in a bid to get it agreed.

Ruth Davidson and David Mundell at last year's Royal Highland Show at Ingliston.
Ruth Davidson and David Mundell at last year’s Royal Highland Show at Ingliston.

UK prime minister Theresa May’s cabinet meets today, October 16, amid widespread disquiet among Conservatives and their allies in the Democratic Unionist Party about plans to keep Britain in the EU customs union and boost regulatory checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea between Britain and Northern Ireland. Downing Street has sought to calm speculation that the compromises will form the basis of a breakthrough on the UK’s Brexit withdrawal aMrs Maythe Prime Minister not to do a “dodgy deal” undermining Northern Ireland’s standing in the union.

A joint letter from Ms Davidson and Scottish Secretary Mr Mundell to Mrs May warns that the issue of special status in the EU single market for Northern Ireland would be a red line for both of them, it has emerged. Under existing treaties including the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland already has separate regulatory regimes shared with the Republic of Ireland over matters including electricity and animal health.

However, the EU says that under a commitment set to agreed by Mrs May to prevent a hard border being created on the island of Ireland, the north would have to effectively remain within the single market. Checks on goods travelling between the north and Britain would need to be enhanced, affecting all livestock and agricultural products, many of which come from Scotland.

“Having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations,” the letter from Ms Davidson and Mr Mundell states.

“Any deal that delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland beyond the differences that already exist on an all-Ireland basis – for example, agriculture – or can be brought under the provisions of the Belfast Agreement, would undermine the integrity of our UK internal market and this United Kingdom. “We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the union or leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the rest of the UK beyond what currently exists.”

As many as eight cabinet ministers are said to be considering their positions over plans to keep the UK in the customs union to ensure goods continue to be traded over the Irish land border whatever the future relationship between London and Brussels without a firm date for when that arrangement would end.

Read more at: https://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/borders-mp-threatens-to-quit-over-proposed-brexit-deal-compromises-1-4815446

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