Prime Minister Theresa May appealed directly to fellow European Union leaders on Wednesday to drop “unacceptable” Brexit demands that she said could rip Britain apart, urging the bloc to respond in kind to her “serious and workable” plan. “I believe that I have put forward serious and workable proposals,” Prime Minister Theresa May told the summit, according to a senior British government source. “We will of course not agree on every detail, but I hope that you will respond in kind.
Donald Tusk: “The Brexit negotiations are entering their decisive phase. Various scenarios are still possible today but I’d like to stress that some of Prime Minister May’s proposals from Chequers indicated positive evolution in the UK’s approach. On other issues, such as the Irish question, or the framework for economic cooperation, the UK’s proposals will need to be reworked and further negotiated.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes a new immigration law will make it easier for foreign workers to find jobs in Germany, but her push to fill a record number of vacancies risks angering voters who still resent her open-door refugee policy. “Companies should not be leaving the country because they can’t find staff,” Merkel said, adding that many entrepreneurs were more concerned about hiring skilled workers than getting tax relief.
Prime Minister Theresa May told rebels in her divided party that if they torpedoed her Brexit deal then the United Kingdom would leave the EU without any agreement, a scenario the IMF said would make the country much poorer. The rival tipped by bookmakers to succeed May, Boris Johnson, attacked May’s Brexit plans, known as Chequers after the country house where they were hashed out in July.
“The whole thing is a constitutional abomination, and if Chequers were adopted it would mean that for the first time since 1066 our leaders were deliberately acquiescing in foreign rule,” Johnson said, referring to the 11th Century invasion which established Norman rule over England.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has called for another referendum on Britain’s European Union membership, saying the prime minister’s handling of Brexit negotiations had become “mired in confusion and deadlock” and was leading the country down a damaging path. “The government’s abject failure – and the huge risk we face of a bad deal or a no-deal Brexit – means that giving people a fresh say is now the right – and only – approach left for our country,” London mayor Sadiq Khan said.
An app operated as part of an Israeli government propaganda campaign issued a “mission” for social media users to make comments against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of anti-Semitism.
Be warned: Mainstream media which have fueled sensational and often baseless smears will falsely portray any combined exit of right-wing lawmakers and anti-Palestinian activists as an “exodus of Jews” from the Labour Party. And yes, columnists supporting them will probably even use the same hackneyed biblical allusion.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I get a little bit irritated, but this debate is not about my future. This debate is about the future of the people of the U.K. and the future of the United Kingdom. That’s what I’m focused on, and that’s what we should all be focused on.”
Theresa May criticized former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned in July to protest her plan to keep some close ties to the EU after Brexit.
Britain’s former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has said he supports Prime Minister Theresa May and his opposition was not to her but to her proposals for exiting the European Union, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday. “It’s not about the leadership. It’s about the policy. It’s not about changing prime minister. It’s about chucking Chequers,” Boris Johnson is reported to have told the newspaper at an event in Washington D.C. in the United States.
Britain is significantly stepping up efforts to tackle the dirty money funnelled by Russians and other “corrupt elites” into or through the United Kingdom, a senior police officer said on Friday. “We have significantly scaled up the work that we are doing,” said Donald Toon, Director of Prosperity at Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA). “We are absolutely looking at Russians … but we are not exclusively looking at Russians and Russian assets.”
A scandal over migrants being chased through the streets has exposed a rift between Angela Merkel and Germany’s security establishment that is dividing her coalition and hindering efforts to contain the fall-out from her “open door” refugee policy. Now, Merkel is caught between her Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), which backs Maassen, and her other coalition partner, the left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD), who say he has lost credibility and must go.
Opponents of Brexit fear that leaving the bloc will weaken what remains of Britain’s global influence, further undermine its reputation as a haven for investment and hurt the economy for years to come. A “no-deal” Brexit, the government cautioned, would make life for UK citizens and businesses more complicated, more expensive and more bureaucratic.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partners demanded the removal of Germany’s domestic intelligence chief on Thursday following much-criticized comments about recent far-right protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz. Hans-Georg Maassen’s future as the head of the BfV intelligence agency has created new strains in Merkel’s six-month-old coalition. The center-left Social Democrats, the junior governing party, called for him to go after Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told parliament Maassen still has his confidence. Merkel, Seehofer and Social Democrat leader Andrea Nahles met at the chancellery Thursday afternoon to discuss the spat, which comes only 2½ months after a crisis over migration policy that briefly threatened the coalition. News agency dpa, citing unidentified government sources, said they agreed to talk about the issue again on Tuesday. The killing late last month of a German man, for which an Iraqi and a Syrian have been arrested, prompted days of anti-migrant protests in Chemnitz that at times turned violent. In comments to the mass-circulation Bild daily last week, Maassen questioned the authenticity of a video showing protesters chasing down and attacking a foreigner. He also said his agency had no reliable evidence that foreigners were “hunted” in the streets — a term Merkel had used. Maassen told Seehofer, his immediate boss, about his doubts before going public but didn’t inform the chancellery. Although they are conservative allies, Seehofer and Merkel have sparred on and off about migrant policy for three years. A dispute between the pair in June briefly threatened to bring down
Turkey has stepped up arms supplies to Syrian rebels to help them stave off an expected offensive by the Syrian army and its Russian and Iran-backed allies in the northwest near the Turkish frontier, rebel sources told Reuters. The weapons, which have entered Syria in large quantities in recent days, include ammunition and GRAD rockets.
“These arms supplies and munitions will allow the battle to extend and ensure our supplies are not drained in a war of attrition,” the rebel commander said.
The European Union took a stance against “killer robots” on Wednesday when the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for an international ban on the development, production and use of weapons that kill without a human deciding to fire.
“I know that this might look like a debate about some distant future or about science fiction. It’s not,” Federica Mogherini, the EU chief of foreign and security policy, said during a debate in parliament on Tuesday.
“If we come out of conference with her hoping to get Chequers through on the back of Labour votes, I think the EU negotiators would probably understand that if that were done, the Tory party would suffer the catastrophic split which thus far we have managed to avoid,” Steve Baker, a former junior Brexit minister was quoted as saying.