PREPARE for the barrage of hand-wringing outrage over the probable drone killing of terrorist Sally Jones. We will not join in.
It will be terrible if her young son has died with her, as is feared.
Terrorist Sally Jones has been killed by a drone, says the CIA[/caption]
But the fault will lie entirely with Jones. She took JoJo from his safe life here, exposed him to appalling danger, brainwashed him, allegedly let him be turned into a child executioner and routinely used him as a human shield.
Every day, she remained a threat to innocent lives in Britain and America.
Arrest, in that hellish war zone, is not an option. Jones had to be taken out.
It will be terrible if her young son, Joe, had also died, as is feared[/caption]
The Tories need to understand what a six-week delay in a payment means to someone with literally no money[/caption]
THERESA May needs to fix Universal Credit fast.
We back this system. It is much simpler than a bewildering array of handouts. And it incentivises work over dole.
But the Tories need to understand what a six-week delay in a payment means to someone with literally no money: hunger, eviction, food banks and loan sharks.
The Government must ensure every claimant can get cash within a day or two of switching to the new benefit.
And it must end the scandalous 55p-a-minute charge for the Universal Credit helpline. Who thought it a good idea to fleece our poorest as they call for help?
The idea behind Universal Credit is admirable. The execution, so far, is not.
Be ready, Phil
Philip Hammond doesn’t want to spend a penny he doesn’t have to[/caption]
FIRST the Chancellor says there’s no need yet to commit money to preparing for a “no deal” Brexit. Then he says it could ground all planes to and from the EU.
That strikes us as a disaster we should plan for now.
Theresa May was right to order him to free up funds. One sure way to focus EU minds on making a deal is being fully ready to walk away without one.
Philip Hammond doesn’t want to spend a penny he doesn’t have to. OK.
But he would be grossly negligent to leave it too late to prepare for the worst.
FOR proof Turkey has descended into dictatorship, consider its monstrous suppression of free speech and the jailing of journalists.
Ayla Albayrak of the Wall Street Journal quoted a Kurdish fighter in a balanced story about the ongoing civil war.
She got more than two years’ prison for “spreading propaganda”, joining 180 or so reporters similarly accused.
The world should, as one, condemn President Erdogan.
It is still incredible David Cameron and others lobbied for Turkey to join the EU.
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Donald Tusk says EU will prepare to talk trade in December and blasts downbeat Brexit envoy after talks with ‘optimistic and positive’ Theresa May
THERESA MAY is leaving Brussels “optimistic” about the future after EU boss Donald Tusk said the bloc will start preparing for Brexit trade talks in December. And in a double boost for the Prime Minister as she departs the two-day crunch EU summit – the Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has said he DOES expect a […]
THERESA MAY is leaving Brussels “optimistic” about the future after EU boss Donald Tusk said the bloc will start preparing for Brexit trade talks in December.
And in a double boost for the Prime Minister as she departs the two-day crunch EU summit – the Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has said he DOES expect a deal between Britain and the EU to go ahead in the end.
On a day expected to be filled with doom and gloom about Brexit, the Prime Minister was all smiles and feeling up-beat about how talks were progressing – despite reports of an impasse just last week.
Markets – who had priced in that talks would not move forward as hopes – remained stable.
In Brussels today:
- The EU said that not enough progress had been made to talk trade now, but internal talks will begin to prepare to start them in December
- Mrs May told reporters that she was “positive and optimistic” about Brexit talks
- Donald Tusk remained cheery, saying trust and good will had been restored between Britain and the UK, and rejecting his colleague Michel Barnier’s claims that talks were in “deadlock”
- Mr Juncker insisted that he “hated” the idea of no-deal, but risked fury by saying that the British had no idea what they voted for in opting for Brexit
- France’s President Macron was firm that we are “far from what is needed” to secure an agreement on the divorce bill – after reports that Mrs May had agreed in private to cough up more cash
EU Leaders took just 90 SECONDS to agree on their new Brexit position today – rejecting beginning trade talks now but saying they should move on “as soon as possible”.
The remaining 27 members “welcomed” the progress made so far on citizens rights and on Northern Ireland.
But they stood firm on noting that the UK’s financial offers have “not yet been translated into a firm and concrete commitment.”
Mr Tusk tweeted this morning: “Brexit conclusions adopted. Leaders green-light internal EU27 preparations for 2nd phase.
And Polish PM Beata Szydło said the EU should “very positively evaluate the proposition that May presented in Florence”.
But their French counterpart Emmanuel Macron was more pessimistic, saying that we are “far from what is needed” to move on and accused Britain of “bluffing” by preparing for no deal.
In a press conference today he said: “I can only underline how much work needs to be done.”
In a cheery news conference this morning Mrs May said: “I am ambitious and positive for Britain’s future, and for these negotiations.”
She promised to fight for a relationship based on the same “fundamental beliefs” of the EU – including free trade, fair competition, and strong consumer rights – but admitted that there was “some way to go”.
The PM said the summit was “an important moment to assess and reflect on how to make further progress” and she urged all sides to work together to get a good deal that “works for all our people”.
But she declined to comment on reports this morning that she has secretly agreed to pay the EU even more money that previously expected – up to €40billion.
Mrs May said that we wouldn’t get a final figure on how much we’ll pay until the final agreement was bashed out, but said the EU would not be out of pocket for the next few years.
Theresa May privately agrees to DOUBLE Brexit divorce bill to €40bn
THERESA MAY has had talks in private about what she is prepared to pay the EU to quit.
According to reports in The Times, she said she could be willing to give over an extra €20billion (£17bn) to the bloc – to cover future liabilities.
But that’s on top of the €20bn offer to pay in during a transition period of up to two years.
Last week the European Parliament boss Antonio Tajani said her offer so far was “peanuts” and that €50bn or €60bn (£63bn) was needed.
But we’re unlikely to know the final bill until the final deal is agreed, Mrs May has said.
Publically the PM has yet to speak about a figure, but has been clear that the EU will not be out of pocket for the next few years as a result of our decision to leave.
She has promised to pay up what we owe and potentially dish out more in future for projects we want to stay a part of, but has vowed to go through the demands from the EU “line by line” to ensure we get value for money.
And today the traditionally gloomy Mr Juncker said: “I hate the no-deal scenario… I am not in favour of no deal.
“I want to have a fair deal with Britain.”
But he risked aggravating Brexiteers by saying that “nobody explained in the first place to the British people what Brexit actually meant”.
He added that there would not be a “miracle” today but that “work is going on” to move things forward.
His colleague Donald Tusk was far more upbeat, insisting that reports of “deadlock” from the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has been “exaggerated”.
He said in a press conference: “While progress is not sufficient, it doesn’t mean there is no progress at all.”
Praising the “momentum” from the PM’s Florence speech, he said that there was “positive motivation” to make the progress needed in the coming six weeks.
Last night Mrs May warned EU leaders to soften their Brexit demands or she won’t be able to sell any deal to the British people.
Issuing a crucial pitch for progress to Europe’s bosses at a summit dinner, the Prime Minister called on them not to push her into a corner.
Mrs May told them: “We must work together to get to an outcome we can stand behind and defend to our people”.
And this morning Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat lavished praise on Mrs May’s after-dinner speech last night, saying it was her “best performance yet”.
He said that the speech was “constructive” and she conveyed a “warm, candid and sincere appeal that she wants progress to be made”.
The Maltese leader said that the wording of today’s conclusions from the council meeting “will show that there is willingness from the EU to move forward”.
The pair laughed during today’s breakfast meeting with other EU leaders.
The PM stuck to her guns on the major sticking point of the divorce bill – money.
During her late night address at the end of the three course dinner, she again refused to spell out any sum that the UK was prepared to pay, or details on how to calculate it.
Instead, she only repeated the “firm commitment” in her Florence speech last month that Britain would pay up what it owes.
No10 refused hard Brexiteers’ demand to walk out of the negotiations when the EU formally turns down the PM’s plea to move onto trade deal talks later today.
After refusing the PM’s plea to declare “sufficient progress”, the powerful German Chancellor said she thought it would be possible to “take the work forward and then reach the start of the second phase in December”.
And she said there was “no doubt” a Brexit deal would be secured in the end.
She added: “We are going to achieve a good outcome.
“As far as I am concerned, I don’t hear any reason to believe that we are not going to be successful.”
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David Davis accuses EU of dragging out Brexit talks to ‘pressure’ Britain into paying bigger divorce bill
VEXED David Davis has accused the EU of dragging out negotiations to “pressure” Britain into paying a bigger divorce bill. The Brexit Secretary said the UK had “reached the limit” of what talks could achieve without expanding to trade talks – as EU businesses demanded talks speed up. He told MPs: “They’re using time pressure […]
VEXED David Davis has accused the EU of dragging out negotiations to “pressure” Britain into paying a bigger divorce bill.
The Brexit Secretary said the UK had “reached the limit” of what talks could achieve without expanding to trade talks – as EU businesses demanded talks speed up.
He told MPs: “They’re using time pressure to see if they can get more money out of us, and bluntly, that’s what’s going on.”
Mr Davis was updating the Commons just hours after he travelled to Brussels with the Prime Minister for dinner with EU chiefs.
Both sides agreed to “accelerate” divorce talks ahead of a crunch meeting of all 28 EU leaders on Thursday.
But EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier hit back: “It takes two to accelerate.”
Officially announcing that he could not recommend that “sufficient progress” has been made on exit terms to allow trade talks to start, the Frenchman would only recommend the EU begin to prepare for them.
He added: “The clock is ticking very fast. We have a lot of work to do.”
Responding to the idea the EU was dragging their feet, Mr Barnier said the claims were “a bit odd” as it was not him “holding things up.”
Telling Britain to “look at the timetable”, Mr Barnier complained that the UK had waited for more than a year to trigger the official exit process, and then further delayed talks with an election.
He added the EU were “ready and wiling to speed up talks” as soon as Britain provided more detail over future payments into the EU budget promised in Mrs May’s Florence speech.
The 27 national bosses must decide later this week when to move on to Brexit transition talks and a trade deal.
It came as senior EU officials claimed they are fast losing confidence in the prospects of a Brexit breakthough before Christmas.
“We are not confident, we are hopeful,” one told The Sun.
Finding the breakthrough in time for the December summit “depends to a large extent on the UK side,” the EU official insisted.
Last night some of Europe’s leading employers also called for “rapid” talks, calling on the UK to “provide further concrete negotiating proposals”
BusinessEurope said “business is extremely concerned with the slow pace” of the talks.
The leading campaign group added the EU must then “constructively receive these proposals once they are presented.”
And they added: “We need transitional arrangements to allow companies enough time to prepare.”
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Theresa May sets off for crunch Brussels dinner after phoning EU leaders in desperate bid to break Brexit deadlock
THERESA May has set off for her crunch Brussels dinner after phoning round EU leaders in a desperate bid to break the Brexit deadlock this week. The Prime Minister called her Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar and French president Emmanuel Macron today in a last-ditch attempt to convince them to allow negotiations to move onto next […]
THERESA May has set off for her crunch Brussels dinner after phoning round EU leaders in a desperate bid to break the Brexit deadlock this week.
The Prime Minister called her Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar and French president Emmanuel Macron today in a last-ditch attempt to convince them to allow negotiations to move onto next stage later this week.
It comes after Mrs May spoke to German leader Angela Merkel yesterday ahead of the EU Council meeting on Thursday.
This afternoon she was seen leaving Downing Street with Brexit Secretary David Davis for dinner with Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier after last week’s talks were described as having a “disturbing” lack of progress.
Before she headed out Mrs May and Mr Macron “discussed progress” in exit talks and agreed to go over “next steps” on the margins of the crunch summit of all leaders in the bloc later this week, Downing Street said.
She also discussed “the importance of maintaining constructive progress” in negotiations with the Taoiseach Mr Varadkar and reiterated Britain’s commitment to maintaining a soft Irish border.
Number 10 said the dinner tonight, which is starting at around 5.30pm, had “been in the diary for weeks”.
But the announcement caused surprise in Westminster, and European officials said they were not certain when it was going to happen even as late as Friday last week.
A spokesman for the European Commission said the idea had been “on the agenda for a long time”, but the date ahead of a critical European Council meeting was not confirmed until the last few days.
The PM is only expected to spend 90 minutes in Brussels before returning to London ahead of a Cabinet meeting tomorrow morning.
She will hope the meal goes better than the last time she dined with EU chiefs Mr Juncker and Mr Barnier, which was heavily leaked to the press with the PM described as “deluded”.
Also attending the dinner are Number 10 Brexit adviser Olly Robbins and Mr Juncker's chief of staff Martin Selmayr, who was widely blamed for giving details to the press after the April summit in Downing Street.
She will hope to end the stalemate over withdrawal issues including the so-called "divorce bill" and the Irish border which are holding up talks on a post-Brexit trading relationship.
But the PM, whose flight to Belgium was not affected by Storm Ophelia, was not expected to make any new offers on the withdrawal issues tonight.
Her official spokesman told a Westminster briefing: "The PM set out our current position in Florence - as I have said many times we believe that did create momentum and has had a constructive response, that's our position."
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