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WATCH: Nick Clegg RIPPED APART on Sky News for trying to DERAIL BREXIT

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NICK Clegg was told he was “in denial” as he desperately tried to defend the Liberal Democrats’ calls for a second referendum and rights to decide the Brexit deal.

The former deputy prime minister claimed the “British people should have their say” on how Britain leaves the EU and there was “no clear manifesto” on the move.

Speaking on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the former Lib Dem leader said there was a “huge question” on what type of Brexit the UK pursues over the next couple of years.

He joined Lib Dems leader Tim Farron on a Unite for Europe march yesterday, at which Mr Farron was asked “what is the point?” for going on the protest which was trying to derail Brexit despite Britain’s exiting of the EU already being put into law.

Ridge did not hold back today as she asked Mr Clegg: “The Lib Dems have been supporting a second referendum on the deal, you and your leader were at this march, the anti-Brexit march yesterday. The Lib Dems have amended the Brexit bill. Are you in denial that it’s going to happen?”

But the MP for Sheffield Hallam was resolute and said Brexit would “affect almost every aspect of our lives”.

He replied: “No, I think if the Brexiteers last summer had spelt out to the British people exactly what kind of Brexit they were pursuing, if there’d been agreement between your previous guest Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and the rest of them… I never got, you never got, no one looking at this programme got a clear manifesto from Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove on a cross-party basis saying we want you to leave the European Union and this is how we will do it.

“So, in other words, there’s a huge question now over the next two years about what kind of Brexit, hard or soft, inside or outside the single market, are we going to abide by the European Court of Justice, what kind of changes to freedom of movement, what kind of changes to our universities, what kind of changes to our farmers, our fishing and so on and so forth.

“All of that is going to affect almost every aspect of our lives. Once we know what it means in practice, rather than the utopian promises that all will be brilliant and all will be well, of course we think it is right, not a second referendum, that the British people should then have their say.

“Because there’s going to be a deal, right? Well at least we hope there is. There’s going to be a deal, who then has to decide upon that deal? Is it the politicians, is it Theresa May on her own, or is it the people and we think, quite rightly, in keeping with the decision last summer, it should be the people.”

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron told thousands of anti-Brexit demonstrators on Saturday that Theresa May “does not represent the 52 per cent” and called for Leavers and Remainers to unite for a final say on the Brexit deal.

Thousands of demonstrators joined Saturday’s Unite for Europe march, starting outside the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London.

From there the protestors marched through Trafalgar Square and down past Downing Street, ending with a rally in Parliament Square – where hundreds of floral tributes to the victims of Wednesday’s terror attack have been laid.

The march coincided with the EU’s 60th anniversary celebrations in Rome, where leaders of the other 27 member states gathered to discuss plans for the future of the union without the UK.

The Prime Minister will trigger Article 50 and begin Britain’s historic departure from the European Union on March 29.

The move will kick-start the beginning of the two-year countdown until Brexit is complete.

Read more in The Express

EMBARASSMENT for Sturgeon as Alex Salmond’s OWN ECONOMIST says ‘don’t join EU’

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A FORMER top banker who supports the Scottish National Party has warned an independent Scotland should not join the European Union, throwing Nicola Sturgeon’s entire argument into question.

Sir George Mathewson, the former chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland and an honorary vice-president of Yes Scotland, also suggested Nicola Sturgeon may have pulled the trigger on a second independence referendum too soon with Scotland’s economy slowing down.

Sir George called on the SNP to move its arguments for independence away from the economy and focus instead on achieving its goal over a longer timescale.

He said: ”I would prefer to see Scotland independent but how we get there, under what situation, is an issue.”

And in comments which will come as a blow to Ms Sturgeon, Sir George said he had sympathy with former SNP deputy leader Jim Sillars, who will refuse to back independence if it means rejoining the EU.

He told the Times: ”I’m not a great lover of the EU. The whole independence issue has got mixed up with Brexit, and I’m not sure I’m in favour of that.”

Sir George said Ms Sturgeon had staked her right to hold a second independence referendum by the spring of 2019 on the basis that Scotland voted to remain in the EU.

But he added: “Brexit has to be decided quickly and I think independence will happen over a longer period after that.”

He was speaking after former SNP minister Alex Neil called for Scottish independence and EU membership to be “decoupled”.

Mr Neil and a number of other SNP MSPs voted for Brexit despite their party’s commitment to the EU, after Brussels imposed austerity measures on Greece and Portugal in the wake of the financial crisis.

Scotland is running a higher deficit than either of those countries and would face similar stringent cuts to its public spending to join the EU.

Sir George suggested Ms Sturgeon may have been better off delaying a referendum until her party could make a better case for running the economy, but added economics was not the most important issue for “Yes” voters.

He said: ”It’s true that the economics are different, but I’m not sure that the decision [to vote for independence] is ultimately made on an economic basis; whether it should be is another issue,” he said. “We’re in a different ball game politically as well as economically. The SNP can argue with a degree of truth that the 2014 referendum was won on the basis of the UK remaining in Europe.”

The latest snapshot of the Scottish economy predicts growth will continue to lag behind the wider UK for at least two years.

A report by consultancy PwC said the continuing downturn in the oil and gas sector and an increasing trend of weaker growth in Scotland’s financial services were the main drivers behind the downturn.

Read more in The Express

Britain forced to pay to help CHINESE CHILDREN STOP SMOKING as part of £50bn Brexit bill

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PART of the UK’s £50bn punishment ‘Brexit bill’ will be spent on far flung projects miles away from Europe – including supporting Tibetan yak herders and stopping Chinese children smoking.

Despite voting to leave the EU last year, the UK is still committed to a series of current and future European projects which it agreed to help fund before the vote on June 23.

That includes a multi-billion pound contrbitution to the European Development Fund (EDF) – the EU’s main instrument for providing development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACPs) and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs).

One such project is a three-year, €500,000 initiative to mitigate tobacco-related health risks for women and children in Yunnan, southwest China, which concludes in December.

The EDF has also allocated almost €7m to the Philippines over three and half years for a sustainable energy intitiative.

And a further £100,000 has reportedly been set aside to help yak herders in Tibet “strengthen civil society by improving dialogue and sustainable development”, according to The Sun.

Between 2014 and 2020, the UK has agreed to contribute more than £3bn to the EDF.

Conservative MP Peter Bone told the paper: “This organisation [the EU] just fritters away money. This is a classic case of it.

“We don’t want to give it to Europe to spend on projects in China and others thousads of miles away.”

The EDF was created under the 1957 under the Treaty of Rome, and was launched two years later.

According to the European Commission’s International Cooperation and Development website, “The EDF funds cooperation activities in the fields of economic development, social and human development as well as regional cooperation and integration.”

Last year, The Express reported how the EDF was bankrolling exotic Caribbean getaways including Aruba, Bora Bora and St Maarten through so-called ‘aid’ packages, to the tune of £500m.

Even though each territory is owned by one of four EU member states – the UK, France, the Netherlands or Denmark – the Commission has since pledged a further £287m to the remote destinations, to be spent between 2014 and 2020.

That adds up to a total spend of £512m over 12 years.

Read more in The Express

Nigel Farage vows to give Britain BEST POSSIBLE BREXIT

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UKIP yesterday vowed to be the “guard dog of Brexit” amid fears Theresa May will water down the hopes of the British people.

Nigel Farage and his successor as leader Paul Nuttall insisted the party’s purpose now Britain is leaving the European Union is to ensure the Prime Minister delivers a good deal for the country.

Mr Farage said reports that the Government may consider allowing EU migrants already here to continue claiming child benefit for offspring living abroad was an example of why UKIP was still needed.

The proposal to allow them to retain benefit rights emerged in a leaked document from the Department for Exiting the EU.

Although the idea has yet to be discussed by ministers, Mr Farage said that giving it the green light would dilute Brexit.

“Just today there’s talk that maybe children living in Warsaw will continue to qualify for child benefit. Yes, we’re leaving but UKIP’s role is to make sure we do it on the right terms,” he said.

“Winning a war is very important but also you have to win the peace and the peace is far from won.

“Already I can see with this Government concessions being made over fishing, the desire of the Prime Minister to stay part of the European Arrest Warrant. This is not over by a long shot.”

In a speech today Mr Nuttall will set out a list of key tests for Mrs May’s EU negotiation.

He is expected to say: “While we will be willing Mrs May to succeed in agreeing to a full Brexit on terms that keep faith with the intentions of the British people, we will also be letting her know that the political price she will pay for any backsliding will be very high indeed.

“I have described this role as being akin to being a guard dog of Brexit.”

A Government spokeswoman last night said the reports about EU citizens retaining benefit rights post Brexit were “speculation”.

Mr Farage and Mr Nuttall spoke out on the same day they threatened to force Douglas Carswell, into calling a by-election to hold on to his seat, after he quit as UKIP’s only MP.

Mr Carswell said he made the move because last year’s referendum meant it was “job done” for him but it is well known that he has been at loggerheads with Mr Farage over aspects of the Brexit campaign.

Read more in The Express

Marine Le Pen predicts that European Union will DIE at election rally

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MARINE Le Pen told supporters the EU will die and be replaced by a “Europe of the people” at an election rally.

To loud applause the presidential hopeful said: “The European Union will die because the people do not want it anymore.

“We will change for another Europe, the European idea harmed by the federalists will re-energise itself, re-invigorate itself in the Europe of the people and ofthe nations.”

She earlier sought to reassure voters concerned over her plans to withdraw the country from the euro zone, saying it “wouldn’t be chaos” and she would seek “well-prepared” talks with other EU countries.

Opinion polls show the anti-EU, anti-immigrant Front National leader qualifying for the April 23 first round of the presidential election but losing the May 7 run-off to centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Leaving the euro is one of Ms Le Pen’s flagship policies, both a mark of its anti-establishment stance that attracts voters angry with globalisation, and a likely obstacle to its quest for power in a country where a majority oppose a return to the franc.

She told Le Parisien newspaper: “The euro triggered a very serious increase in prices and a very steep drop in purchasing power.

“It is also a serious hindrance to job creation because it triggered a loss in competitiveness for the French economy.”

However, 72 per cent of French voters oppose a return to the franc, according to an Ifop poll published in Le Figaro newspaper.

With previous opinion polls also showing such opposition, Ms Le Pen has said for months that she would not abruptly withdraw from the euro but instead hold a referendum after six months of negotiation with the rest of the EU on a range of issues including leaving the border-free Schengen agreement and reducing the EU to a loose cooperative of nations.

She specified in the Le Parisien interview that talks on the euro would come at the end of those negotiations, after Germany’s general election in September.

She said: ”It must be done in a rational, well-prepared way.

“I don’t want chaos. Within the negotiation calendar I want to carry out the euro would be the last step because I want to wait for the outcome of elections in Germany in the autumn before renegotiating it.”

The Ifop poll showed that, unlike voters overall, a majority of Front National voters back a euro exit.

Read more in The Express

BRITAIN’S SECRET BREXIT WEAPON: UK can secure 10-year TARIFF-FREE trade if no EU deal

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BRITAIN could carry on trading with the EU without any tariffs for 10 years if a free trade deal has not been reached after the Brexit negotiations.

Officials at the Department for International Trade are secretly exploring a little-known clause in the World Trade Organisation rules which would allow the UK to have a decade-long interim free trade arrangement with the EU, allowing more time for a bespoke deal to be stuck once Britain has left.

The provision, set out in Article 24 of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, has been described as a “secret weapon” in Britain’s free trade negotiations with Europe.

A worry has always been that Britain would not have any deal at the end of the two-year negotiation period, throwing trade rules into chaos.

But a source at the department said the 10-year cushion meant Britain would never be in the “desperate position of having to accept any old deal because of the time constraints”.

The source explained: “Many have asked what will happen if we reach a Brexit agreement with the EU but we haven’t finished the free trade agreement with Europe by the point we leave.

“What we have discovered is that we do have special dispensation under WTO rules to continue our current trading relationship with the EU, which is zero tariffs, until such time as that free trade agreement is finished and the precedent that has been set is that we would have 10 years to do that.”

The clause allows Britain, as a founder member of the WTO, to have a “reasonable amount of time” to agree a new free trade deal before trade law would force both sides to impose tariffs on each other.

The rules state that any interim agreement should “exceed 10 years only in exceptional cases”, suggesting Britain would have a decade to negotiate.

A transitional deal will allay fears that the economy will nosedive in March 2019 when Theresa May is set to pull Britain out of the single market.

In the absence of an immediate new free trade agreement, we could face steep EU tariffs on goods ranging from meat to cars.

Although Remainers are likely to argue that a zero tariff deal is unlikely to be agreed by the remaining EU countries without significant concessions from the UK on budget contributions and free movement, trade officials are said to be “quietly confident” about exploiting the grace period.

An insider said: “Of course it would require the agreement of both parties, but by not agreeing it the other EU member states would be imposing penalties on their own businesses, which is not a great idea. There’s a big global picture here and the EU can’t afford to disrupt that.

“The Germans totally grasp it. In private, banking officials are saying of Brexit, ‘We think you probably did the right thing for you and in your case we would probably have done the same. We just don’t think you did the right thing for us, which is why we’re cross.’

“Where we need to take that next is to say, we understand why you’re cross, but there’s a lot of mutual benefit we could get if we stay in a very open, expansive trading relationship.

“Deep down they know they’ll end up in a zero tariff trading arrangement, they just need to show they’re negotiating hard to get it.

“Britain doesn’t want the EU to fail. We want the EU to be a stable, prosperous and secure partner because that would be good for us.”

The source added that the mood in the City of London was positive, despite Remainers’ threats of an impending exodus to cities such as Paris and Frankfurt.

“Companies are not going to move to Frankfurt, why would they?” the source said.

“When CEOs ask why they should continue to invest in the UK, we say, ‘For the reasons you’ve always invested in the UK – a legal system you understand and our skilled workforce.

“We have the most advanced professional infrastructure and nobody else in the world is going to replicate that in the next 20 years. Equally, nobody’s going to be able to replicate the reputation the Bank of England has as a regulator.

“People across Europe are now saying, ‘If we harm the City of London we are just going to be harming ourselves because capital sits in New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore, it doesn’t sit in Paris or Frankfurt. People will continue to come to London because they can make money. We speak English and we’re in the right time zone, which is why we have not lost a single investor.

“When we think we might be getting close to losing one, we say, ‘So, you understand the German legal system?’ Or, ‘How many of your staff speak Portuguese?’ Or, ‘You trust Italian magistrates to protect your investments?’ by which point they have changed their mind about leaving London.”

Read more in The Express

Brussels chiefs plan to PUNISH BRITISH PEOPLE by charging them to enter EU after Brexit

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BRITISH tourists could have to PAY to get into Europe after Brexit if Brussels bosses get their way.

Holidaymakers and Channel-hopping booze-cruisers could face visa-waiver fees on top of their ticket price.

European Union ­ministers are in the process of finalising a visa-waiver scheme that will cost visitors from non-EU ­nations at least £4 each.

The scheme will be one of the many issues negotiators from London and Brussels will have to thrash out once Brexit talks get under way.

Theresa May will be trying to strike an opt-out deal which will mean UK travellers are exempt from the border charge.

On Wednesday the PM will trigger Article 50 , which begins the two-year process for the UK to leave the EU.

Pressure group Open Britain says the visa-waiver scheme will mean extra red tape and delays at airports, on cross-Channel ferries and Channel Tunnel services.

Labour MP Mary Creagh said: “The Government must negotiate an exemption for Brits. No one voted for a Brexit holiday tax.”

Brussels bigwigs believe Britain will have to pay £50 billion for a trade deal after Brexit.

EU leaders meeting in Rome to mark the bloc’s 60th anniversary have said they do not want to punish the UK for Brexit but insist it cannot be seen to be better of it once the ties are cut.

French president Francois Hollande said the UK could not be seen to benefit from leaving the EU.

He said: ”We will ensure that Brexit does not happen to the detriment of Europe, that Britain remains a partner of the union but that, necessarily, it will pay the consequences.”

Read more in The Express

ARROGANT Gina Miller calls herself ‘SUPERWOMAN’ and promises to DISRUPT BREXIT

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GINA Miller has promised to keep trying to disrupt the plans of Theresa May and her Government in hammering out a Brexit deal, declaring she is “superwoman”.

Gina Miller, who famously took the Government to the Supreme Court over the Brexit Bill, has pledged to become a nuisance to Brexiteers.

She told talkRadio Brexiteer MPs have not heard the last of her, as she promised to be active in negotiations to leave the European Union.

In an interview with the Badass Woman’s Hour evening programme, the anti-Brexit activist described herself as a “superwoman” who would stop at nothing to disrupt Brexit.

Last year, Gina Miller won a High Court battle last year, forcing the Government to get Parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50.

She told last night’s radio show that she will refuse to be silent just because Brexit is officially triggered.

Mrs Miller called on people up and down the country to “keep an eye” on the Government as they take Britain out of the European Union.

The activist told the show’s host that she was humble, but then added that she saw herself as someone who could save the world.

She said: “I have always been a troublemaker. I always saw myself as Superwoman, someone who could save the world!”

The businesswoman added: “I have a very disruptive investment business because I think the city’s not working.

“I do the same with charity. That is what I am doing in politics too.

“We have three things: our voice, our actions and our conscience, and we cannot lose that.”

However, she rejected the suggestion she would move into politics and possibility run as an MP.

She said: “I think you can be more powerful outside of politics.

“I am going to be pressuring the Government for the next two years and make my voice heard.”

The woman who has led the fight against Brexit has always seen herself as superwoman
The pro-European activist described the Brexit negotiation process as unpicking an intricate tapestry bit by bit after 44 years of careful work.

She revealed that she feels “disappointment, regret about the way the whole Brexit campaign was fought and nervousness about what’s going to happen” when Article 50 is triggered.

Mrs Miller added: “I’m really worried about just letting the Government get on with it because they don’t have the time, the skills, or a plan.

“I will not let them just get on with it. The MPs have no backbone, I fought really hard for them and they voted against themselves.”

Read more in The Express

BREAKING: Petition to RETURN ALL UK FISHING WATERS TO BRITAIN approaches 50,000

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A new petition to return all UK fishing waters to Britain after Brexit is currently approaching 50,000 supporters.

As it has already passed 10,000 signatures, the government has issued a response, and it will be eligible for a debate in Parliament once it has passed 100,000 signatures.

You can READ and SIGN the petition here.

It reads: ‘In the 1970s Edward Heath betrayed our fisherman and our coastal communities with the Common Fisheries Policy. A leaked report now shows that the EU wants to retain control over the fish stocks in British waters.’

‘We call on Parliament to ensure these waters and fish stocks return to Britain.’Much of the EU referendum was based on the idea of reclaiming the fish stocks in British waters. It became a key aspect of sovereignty. It would be an absolute failure for the government and parliament to allow the CFP to continue when the chance to rebuild the coastal fishing communities of Britain

‘Much of the EU referendum was based on the idea of reclaiming the fish stocks in British waters. It became a key aspect of sovereignty.’

‘It would be an absolute failure for the government and parliament to allow the CFP to continue when the chance to rebuild the coastal fishing communities of Britain are so close.’

The initial government response reads: ‘

On leaving the EU, the UK will control fisheries access in its Exclusive Economic Zone and manage those waters in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

As a coastal state outside the EU, the UK will be responsible, under international law, for control of UK waters and the sustainable management of fisheries within the UK’s Exclusive economic Zone. The UK will negotiate as an independent coastal state.

We want to use this opportunity to create a resilient, competitive and ultimately more profitable UK Seafood sector, and deliver a cleaner, healthier and more productive marine environment. We will work to achieve the best possible deal for the whole of the UK fishing industry in negotiations.

info@yourbrexit.co.uk

Angela Merkel’s party facing CRUSHING DEFEAT in key German vote

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GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic (CDU) party is facing defeat in the state of Saarland – tipped as a key indicator in the national elections.

The German Chancellor is currently in Rome and met with the Pope on Friday ahead of the state election in Saarland today.

Saarland is a majority catholic German state and has been run by Mrs Merkel’s party for the last 18 years.

However voters are expected to reject the Chancellor’s policies amid claims former EU president Martin Schulz’s Social Democrats (SDP) will throw Mrs Merkel’s party out of power.

Polls are indicating a major defeat with the latest data on the national elections showing the majority of Germans would prefer Schulz’s to take over after Merkel’s 12 year reign.

A Deutschland poll found on Friday 45 per cent of interviewees want a new federal government formed by Mr Schulz.

Saarland is a forested, southwestern German state bordered by France and Luxembourg.

It is ruled by a coalition under Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and SPD, which mirrors the power sharing within the federal government in Berlin.

In 2014, the local government announced its “French strategy,” which is a plan to make the state bilingual in French and German by 2043.

The Saarland elections are regarded as a barometer of what is likely to happen at September’s national elections.

One of the smallest of Germany’s 18 states, it has 800,000 registered voters and the loss of power will be a major blow to Mrs Merkel’s party.

Mr Schulz is campaigning on a socialist ticket and is riding high in the polls with local media dubbing his apparent success as the “Schulz effect”.

Thomas Jäeger, politics professor at Cologne University, said: “This is the first election since the so-called Schulz effect so it will show us whether that really translates into votes for the Social Democrats.”

Mr Schulz, former European Parliament president, has vowed to extend benefits for the unemployed if he wins Germany’s general election later this year.

Angry campaigners held placards with slogans reading ‘Merkel not welcomed’ and ‘Merkel must go’ following a spate of terror attacks against Germany.

He recently told a party congress in Berlin: “Starting now the fight begins to take over the chancellory.

“It has been encouraging to see in the last few weeks that people are hopeful again that the Social Democrats have a shot.

“My intention is to pursue policies that make the lives of hard-working people a little better is apparently finding a lot of support.”

Read more in The Express