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Defiant Theresa May offers NOTHING to Nicola Sturgeon in face-to-face Brexit talks


Theresa May flatly dismissed Nicola Sturgeon’s incendiary demands for a fresh independence referendum today as the leaders held talks.

After the tense talks broke up, Miss Sturgeon said the meeting was ‘business like’ but ‘cordial’. She claimed the PM had failed to offer any assurances about powers being transferred to Scotland after Brexit.

The SNP leader said the meeting with Mrs May confirmed her view the terms of Brexit would be clear within 18 to 24 months and repeated her demand for a re-run of the 2014 referendum.

While a beaming Miss Sturgeon left by the front exit of the hotel afterwards, Mrs May slipped out by the back door for an immediate return to London.

Just days before Brexit is formally triggered, the PM and the First Minister held a crucial showdown in Glasgow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Despite slightly awkward smiles for the sole photographer allowed in for the start of the hour-long meeting, the sparks are thought to have flown in private after a bitter slanging match over recent weeks.

Unusually there was no on-camera handshake – a routine pleasantry at most encounters between dignitaries.

Miss Sturgeon is furious that her Brexit demands – including staying in the single market – have been ignored in Westminster.

Speaking after the meeting, she said: ‘It was a business like meeting. I wished the Prime Minister well for the negotiations that will kick off when she triggers Article 50 on Wednesday.

‘I indicated the Scottish Government’s desire to be constructive and play a part in getting what is in everybody’s interests – the best possible deal for the UK.’

‘I had been under the impression we may be about to get some kind of offer from UK government around powers for the Scottish Government but nothing of that nature emerged.’

‘What was interesting though… was she is very clear the terms of Brexit, both the exit terms and the details of the future relationship on the trading between the UK and the EU will be clear before the UK exits.’

‘I put to her that will be in 18 months to two years, she said yes that was her expectation – of course that is the timescale I think the people of Scotland should have their ability make an informed choice.’

But immediately before the talks Mrs May made clear she is still determined that a referendum will not be held before our divorce from Brussels is complete.

In a speech to civil servants in East Kilbride, the premier said the UK was an ‘unstoppable force’ in the world and Brexit would make it ‘stronger’.

Miss Sturgeon triggered a huge constitutional row a fortnight ago by demanding a fresh referendum on breaking away from the UK as early as Autumn next year.

Mrs May has insisted ‘now is not the time’ for an independence vote, and made clear the Westminster government will ignore any requests for one at least until Brexit is completed in March 2019.

She has accused Miss Sturgeon of ‘playing politics’ with the country’s future and today insisted her position has not changed.

The Prime Minister and First Minister both arrived at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Glasgow for their talks this afternoon as Mrs May completed as the final stop on her pre-Article 50 tour.

But the SNP chief has accused the PM of ‘untenable’ behaviour and ‘running scared’ of the electorate.

In a speech to civil servants at the Department for International Development in East Kilbride, Mrs May pledged that she will ‘never allow our Union to become looser and weaker, or our people to drift apart’.

‘We stand on the threshold of a significant moment for Britain as we begin the negotiations that will lead us towards a new partnership with Europe,’ she said.

‘And I want to make it absolutely clear as we move through this process that this is not – in any sense – the moment that Britain steps back from the world.

‘Indeed, we are going to take this opportunity to forge a more Global Britain. The closest friend and ally with Europe, but also a country that looks beyond Europe to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike.

‘That is why the Plan for Britain I have set-out – a plan to get the right deal for Britain abroad as well as a better deal for ordinary, working people at home – has as its heart one over-arching goal: to build a more united nation. Because I believe when we work together, there is no limit to what we can do.’

There is a strict process that needs to be followed to hold a binding referendum:

The First Minister must first get the consent of the Scottish Parliament. While she does not have an overall majority, this will be straightforward.

In 2014, this was followed by a written agreement between London and Edinburgh known as the ‘Edinburgh Agreement’, setting the terms for the referendum taking place.

Westminster must then give permission as constitutional reform is not devolved to Scotland. This means a ‘section 30’ order must be agreed in Parliament under the Scotland Act.

If powers are passed to Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament will pass a law setting out the rules of the referendum – including the date, question and franchise.

The Premier continued: ‘Because, as you prove every day through the work you do and as some of the most vulnerable people in some of the most desperate conditions around the world can attest, this United Kingdom and the values at its heart is one of the greatest forces for good in the world today.

‘When we work together and set our sights on a task, we really are an unstoppable force.’
Mrs May hinted that Brexit could mean more powers being passed to devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

‘A more united nation means working actively to bring people and communities together by promoting policies which support integration and social cohesion.

‘In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that means fully respecting, and indeed strengthening, the devolution settlements. But never allowing our Union to become looser and weaker, or our people to drift apart.

‘So in those policy areas where the UK Government holds responsibility, I am determined that we will put the interests of the Union – both the parts and the whole – at the heart of our decision-making.

‘So as Britain leaves the European Union, and we forge a new role for ourselves in the world, the strength and stability of our Union will become even more important.’

Mrs May repeated her rejection of Miss Sturgeon’s call for a referendum to be held between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019.

‘My position isn’t going to change, which is that now is not the time to be talking about a second independence referendum,’ she told reporters.

The talks between Mrs May and Miss Sturgeon this afternoon will be their last before Britain passes the point of no return in its EU divorce.

Read more – dailymail.co.uk


Sadiq Khan warns Brussels: Don’t punish Britain over Brexit


The EU should not try to “instil fear” by threatening to “punish” the UK for Brexit with a bad deal, the London Mayor has warned Brussels.

Sadiq Khan says the EU should not try to “secure its future by fear” and said a bad deal for Britain’s capital would hurt Europe too.

Mr Khan’s intervention, in a speech in Brussels, comes the day before Theresa May is to trigger Article 50 – the official two-year divorce process.

He said: “Now is the time to be confident in the European Union, and to act with confidence. There is no need – as some have suggested – for the EU to send a message, or to instil fear, by punishing the UK.

“Because a proud, optimistic and confident institution does not secure its future by fear.”

He added that a “bad Brexit deal that hurts London would hurt the European Union too”.

The mayor’s address set the scene for a series of high-level meetings with key EU figures to send the message that London wants EU trade and investment after Brexit.

He will be holding talks with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, and the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt.

When asked if he wanted Britain to face an EU punishment deal, Mr Verhofstadt said: “Not at all.”

However, the spectre of a $60bn (£52bn) Brexit bill indicates a potentially hostile start to negotiations.

EU negotiatior Michel Barnier wants to get the issue settled quickly so both sides can reach the outlines of a Brexit agreement within 18 months.

David Davis says the UK will not be handing over 52bn euros to leave the EU
Brexit Secretary David Davis said the UK would not be paying the EU that amount of money.

He said: “We will, of course, meet our international obligations be we expect also our rights to be respected too.

“I don’t think we are going to be seeing that sort of money change hands.”

Mr Khan also called on Mrs May to work to make an early deal on EU citizens living in the UK.

Speaking on Question Time on Monday, Mr Davis said that immigration levels might need to rise “from time to time” suggesting the Government could be looking to quotas in the wake of Brexit.

He said: “The first issue here is to bring this back under the control of the UK Government, the UK Parliament, to bring migration under control.

“I don’t think most people oppose migration, I think most people are in favour of migration so long as it’s managed. The point is, it will need to be managed.”

Read more on Sky News

Dyson ENORMOUSLY OPTIMISTIC about Brexit Britain


Sir James Dyson says that he is “enormously optimistic” about Britain’s Brexit future, given the UK’s new global focus and ability to negotiate trade deals free from the shackles of Brussels.

As Sir James points out, Europe is an economically declining part of the world, with huge opportunities elsewhere such as in the Far East. Our trade with the EU has shrunk 10% in the last 10 years alone.

Dyson’s company is investing £2.5 billion in a Brexit Britain soon to be outside of the EU and the single market in a huge mark of confidence in the nation’s economic prospects moving forward.

Sir James made clear that as a patriot he was looking forward to Britain re-engaging with the Commonwealth, with the UK once again able to represent its own national interest on the world stage.

The phenomenally successful businessman has also backed leaving the EU with no deal if necessary, explaining that his company currently trade with other countries under WTO rules successfully as his company expands and grows.

Will you be sticking with Dyson for your next vacuum cleaner purchase?


BREAKING: MPs STORM OUT of Parliament Brexit meeting


A number of Brexit-backing MPs walked out of a private meeting of the Commons Brexit Select Committee in protest at a report they claimed was “too gloomy”.

A source said Labour chairman Hilary Benn had tried to “bounce” members into agreeing a 155-page report into the government’s Brexit White Paper.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the source had told her the report could not be allowed to stand.

The committee’s press spokesman declined to comment on the claims.

The report, which has yet to be published, was into the White Paper which sets out the themes of the government’s goals for its negotiations with the EU.

These include:

Trade: The UK will withdraw from the single market and seek a new customs arrangement and a free trade agreement with the EU

Immigration: A new system to control EU migration will be introduced, and could be phased in to give businesses time to prepare. The new system will be designed to help fill skills shortages and welcome “genuine” students

Expats: The government wants to secure an agreement with European countries “at the earliest opportunity” on the rights of EU nationals in the UK and Britons living in Europe

Sovereignty: Britain will leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice but seek to set up separate resolution mechanisms for things like trade disputes

Border: Aiming for “as seamless and frictionless a border as possible between Northern Ireland and Ireland”

Devolution: Giving more powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as decision-making is brought back to the UK.

The Exiting the European Union Committee was appointed by the House of Commons to scrutinise the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Exiting the European Union.

It has a 21-strong membership, made up of MPs from all parties, including Labour, the Conservatives – including ex-cabinet ministers Michael Gove and John Whittingdale – the Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Democratic Unionist Party.

Mr Benn – a Remain supporter during the referendum – was elected to lead the new select committee last October, beating Leave campaigner and fellow Labour MP Kate Hoey to the job.

The role of select committees, which interview witnesses and produce reports to check the work of different areas of government, has increased in profile in recent years.

Committees are often split along party lines and in some cases have been known to publish “minority reports” where a faction disagree with the majority view on an issue.

It is not known yet whether those who disagree with the proposed report will produce their own one.

Read more – BBC.co.uk

BREAKING: ‘MARINE A’ could be FREED FROM JAIL in two weeks


A Royal Marine who shot and killed an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan could be released from prison in two weeks.

Alexander Blackman, 42, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for diminished responsibility manslaughter after his murder conviction was overturned.

The sentence means he could be released from prison next month, once the time he has already served for his original conviction in November 2013 is taken into account.

There were huge cheers from the Royal Marine’s supporters in the public gallery as the sentence was delivered.

Announcing the sentence, the panel of judges, led by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, said: “As with any person sentenced to a determinate term, his release will ordinarily be at the halfway point of the sentence.”

Blackman has already served almost three-and-a-half years in prison after originally being sentenced to life with a minimum term of 10 years by a court martial, a sentence which was reduced to eight years on appeal.

His legal team say he could be released from jail in around two weeks, with the exact date still to be determined by the Prison Service.

Speaking after the sentencing, Blackman’s wife Claire said: “We are overjoyed at the judges’ decision to significantly reduce Al’s sentence such that he can be released imminently.

“This is the moment we have all be fighting hard for. It is hard to believe that this day is finally here.”

Earlier this month, judges at the Court Martial Appeal Court decided the shooting, which took place in Helmand province in 2011, was the result of a mental illness.

The shooting was captured on a camera mounted on the helmet of another Royal Marine, who went with Blackman to find the Taliban fighter who had been wounded by an Apache helicopter.

In his original court martial, Blackman claimed he had thought the man was already dead, but in the video the body visibly twitches after the shot.

During sentencing the judges said that “this was a deliberate killing of a wounded man” and that Blackman “still retained a substantial responsibility” for the death.

Supporters of Alexander Blackman celebrate outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Supporters of Alexander Blackman celebrate outside the Royal Courts of Justice
Despite this they said Blackman had been “an exemplary soldier before his deployment to Afghanistan in March 2011”.

They said he “suffered from quite exceptional stressors” during that deployment and that his ability “to form a rational judgement” was “substantially impaired”.

Oliver Lee, Blackman’s former commanding officer in September 2011 and a former colonel of the Royal Marines, said he was “very pleased that Sergeant Blackman has now been dealt with justly and fairly.”

“My hope now is that the many lessons from this tragic case will be learned and the Royal Marines can look forward to another 350 years of highly distinguished service,” he said.

Read more – Sky News

Australia rejects hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian refugees due to security concerns


Should we be doing the same in Britain?

One country often cited as a successful example of how it is possible to control borders is Australia.

They are once again leading the way now, rejecting some 500 refugees from both Syria and Iraq on the grounds of national security.

It’s funny isn’t it (as Nigel Farage would say) that Australia can block refugees coming into the country no questions asked, but Trump wishes to do the same thing and the media comes crashing down on him.

That follows more than a year of vetting, with a screening process that encompassed security intelligence from the likes of the UK and the USA.

Australia has not shut the door. It has allowed in some refugees and of course allows migrants to go and work in the country.

But it does so with proper security, proper control and with a clear message that those who wish to get to the country illegally by boat or other means will not be welcomed.


EU warns Britain there will be SEVERE CONSEQUENCES if we leave without deal


THE EU’s chief Brexit negotiator provoked fury today by warning of “severe consequences” if Britain quits the EU without agreeing a departure deal with Brussels.

Diplomat Michel Barnier raised the spectre of chaos at airports and Dover should talks between Theresa May’s Government and EU bosses break down without agreement.

The Frenchman even claimed the UK’s energy supplies could be hit by “the suspension of the delivery of nuclear material” across the Channel.

And he insisted that Britain must agree to huge payments to Brussels before talks on a trade deal can begin.

His remarks dramatically raised diplomatic tensions last night ahead of the Prime Minister’s expected triggering of the EU’s Article 50 exit mechanism this Wednesday.

A hand-delivered letter from Mrs May to EU Council President Donald Tusk formally asking for the departure process to commence is to arrive at 12.30pm.

Anti-Brussels campaigners last night accused Mr Barnier of reviving the “Project Fear” scaremongering tactics used in the run up to last year’s EU referendum.

Richard Tice, co-chair of the pressure group Leave Means Leave, said: “This is another part of Project Fear Round Two, and Brussels is acting in a bully-boy manner.

“The truth is an unspoken fear in Brussels that Britain can walk away and do very nicely thank you under World Trade Organisation rules, like other great trading nations around the world.

“The British Government has made it very clear that it wants to do a deal with the EU and remain on friendly terms with our European neighbours.

“Everyone in business knows that no deal is better than a bad deal.

“The aggressive rhetoric that has been adopted by Barnier is unwelcome and should be ignored. Maturity is required by all as they go into these negotiations.”

Tory MP Gareth Johnson said: “Countries outside the EU manage to deal with these issues quite comfortably, so I don’t see why we should suffer any detrimental consequences from Brexit.

“This is another example of the people who regret our leaving the EU trying to find any reason at all to pour scorn on our prospects and to undermine the departure process.”

Maria Caulfield, another Tory MP and a member of the Commons EU Exit Committee, said: “The Prime Minister has been clear, the Government will achieve the best possible deal for the UK and its people as we leave the EU but a good deal for the UK will also be a good deal for the remaining EU members given our current trading relationship with them.

“It is in everybody’s interest to make this work and so I would urge Mr Barnier to be in listening mode as negotiations begin.

“Walking away with no deal is an option if the proposals on the table aren’t in the interests of the British people but I am sure with the negotiating skills of Mr Barnier a good deal for both sides can be achieved.”

Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, is today scheduled to deliver the Article 50 letter from the Prime Minister to Mr Tusk’s office in Brussels today.

The move will start a two-year negotiating period leading up to Britain’s expected withdrawal from the European bloc in March 2019.

Mrs May is due to make a statement to MPs at Westminster confirming the historic step minutes after the letter is handed over.

Mr Barnier is then set to go head-to-head with EU Exit Secretary David Davis in the negotiations on the terms of the UK’s future relationship with Brussels.

Ahead of the opening of their talks, the EU diplomat pledged to be “firm but fair” in defending the interests of the remaining 27 member states.

In an article in the Financial Times newspaper, the veteran French politician wrote: “It goes without saying that a no-deal scenario, while a distinct possibility, would have severe consequences for our people and our economies.

“It would undoubtedly leave the UK worse off.”

He added: “Severe disruption to air transport and long queues at the Channel port of Dover are just some of the many examples of the negative consequences of failing to reach a deal.

“Others include the disruption of supply chains, including the suspension of the delivery of nuclear material to the UK.”

Mr Barnier insisted it was in the interests of both sides in the negotiations to achieve an “orderly” British withdrawal from the EU.

Key priorities in the talks included the rights of 4.5million EU citizens, both migrants living in the UK and British expats living in other European countries, to remain where they currently live.

Britain will also face financial payments to Brussels, Mr Barnier insisted.

“Beneficiaries of programmes financed by the EU budget will need to know if they can continue relying on our support,” the Frenchman said.

He declined to put a figure on the payment, although Brussels sources have indicated the sum could be up to £60billion.

“There is no price to pay to leave the EU but we must settle our accounts,” Mr Barnier said.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman responded to Mr Barnier’s remarks by insisting the Government was approaching the forthcoming negotiations “in a spirit of goodwill”.

Read more in The Express

FORGET PROJECT FEAR! Gulf states are queuing up for Brexit trade deals


This deal could be the first of many to come as far as we are concerned!

The likes of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are all knocking on Brexit Britain’s door for a trade deal as soon as possible.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has reportedly discussed such a deal with the Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi.

Officials in Qatar reckon they can get something done and dusted as soon as the UK officially leaves the EU.

Another Gulf official was quoted as saying: “A free trade agreement with the UK… This is something we would like to encourage and support.”

There is an ethical question here of course.

The likes of Saudi Arabia implement an extreme form of Islam that treats women as second-class citizens, whilst the Saudis have exported their highly-conservative, damaging form of Islam across the world.

Great Britain should be careful here, we need to play our cards right.


WATCH Nigel Farage HUMILIATE Alistair Campbell after he says ‘we can stop Brexit’


THERE were heated scenes on Good Morning Britain today after Alastair Campbell and Nigel Farage nearly came to blows on the programme during a debate on Brexit.

Farage was left furious after the former Labour spin doctor was heard telling the MEP that Brexit could still be prevented, despite the fact that Prime Minister Theresa May will be invoking Article 50 for Britain to leave the European Union.

“The British people in a democracy have expressed their will but they have the right to change their mind,” Campbell, 59, said.

He continued: “All of the things they [Brexit supporters] promised, they’ve all gone. When you boil it down, it’s a little bit of immigration control but not much.”

However, Farage, 52, was not having any of it and slammed his rival: “The war is over. Come out of your fox hole. You’re right about one thing, people have changed their mind and they are [allowed to]. Millions have realised the pack of lies [told by Remain], the stock market is down.”

Campbell lashed out and asked whether the money promised to the NHS would be given. But Farage was not backing down as he barked: “When are you going to be held to account for the pack of lies?” as he blasted the Remain campaign’s scaremongering.

“Brexit can be stopped,” Campbell insisted as he said that Britain leaving its biggest trading partner did not make sense.

He said that Brexit was “economic and political suicide” and much like Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, he would not be giving up on trying to prevent Brexit.

“We’re going to be a laughing stock,” Campbell told Farage, who exclaimed: “We’re going global.”

The former UKIP leader explained that Britain was regaining control of its trading and economy by leaving. He went on to champion British manufacturing, exaplaining: “We’ll start making more things.”

At one point, Farage even offered to take Campbell to lunch, so that the two men could discuss Brexit further but the latter dismissed it.

Good Morning Britain hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid talk politics with Theresa May, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump and more.

Host Susanna Reid was left concerned after she feared that a fight might break out between the two in the studio as the debate got more tense.

Their discussion comes as May, 60, is set to write to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and invoke the two-year process of leaving the EU.

Read more in The Express

Jeremy Corbyn accused of trying to WRECK BREXIT by demanding ‘IMPOSSIBLE DEAL’


Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of trying to “sabotage” Brexit talks that begin this week by setting Theresa May a near-impossible target if she wants Labour’s support for the final deal.

The Leader of the Opposition said Labour MPs would only vote for a deal if it guaranteed “unfettered access” to the European market – something that has already been ruled out by the EU.

By raising the prospect of a Parliamentary rebellion against the deal Mrs May secures, the Labour leader has given EU member states a stick with which to beat the Prime Minister as she tries to get the best deal for Britain.

On Wednesday Mrs May will open the way for two years of negotiations with the EU when she invokes Article 50, the formal process of withdrawing from the EU.

In a letter to the European Council, Mrs May will set out in general terms her key demands for the deal.

Mr Corbyn told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “We’re very clear that there has to be unfettered access to the European market, otherwise the threat to jobs in this country is absolutely huge.

“Most of our manufacturing industries have a European sale and European supply chain in them. And if we don’t maintain this unfettered access to the European market then quite clearly those industries are very much at risk.”

When it was pointed out to him that European leaders had ruled out access to the single market for post-Brexit Britain, he was asked if he was “basically committing Labour to voting against Brexit”.

Mr Corbyn replied: “No we’re not…we’re not at the position of knowing what the deal is yet.”

If Labour voted against the Brexit deal and persuaded enough Tory rebels to join them, it is possible that Mrs May could be defeated in Parliament when she presents the deal in two years’ time, meaning Britain would have to crash out of the EU with no deal at all.

Tory MP Philip Davies said: “He may be trying sabotage but it would be futile sabotage as we are either leaving with a deal or leaving without a deal. If he wants to leave without a deal then clearly he would be voting for the hardest possible Brexit. Is that what he is advocating?”

Mr Corbyn’s comments echoed the stance of the shadow Brexit minister Sir Keir Starmer, who told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Labour expected the Government to negotiate the “exact same benefits as the single market and the customs union”.

He said he was simply quoting an undertaking given by David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, to Parliament.

Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, said Mr Corbyn’s demands were “absurd” and would simply be ignored by Mrs May and EU leaders.

He said: “What they are trying to do is sound like they have a view. They are being heavily criticised by their own party for having no line, and he is trying to give them something to hang onto.”

Read more in The Telegraph