Theresa May refuses to guarantee medicine supply under ‘no-deal’ Brexit

From Sky News: Theresa May has refused to guarantee that the NHS will have enough medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The prime minister insisted she was working for a “good” divorce with the EU and that the government was making “responsible contingency decisions”.

But she refused to be drawn on reports that warehouses are being sought to stockpile six weeks of medicines in if talks with Brussels fail.

[Read full article on Sky News website…]

No-deal Brexit could result in Northern Ireland blackouts, leaks reveal

From The Guardian: Northern Ireland faces blackouts and drastic electricity price rises in the event of a no-deal Brexit, leaked government documents reveal.

The country would likely be cut off from electricity supplies from the Republic of Ireland and unable to use its sole electricity link to the UK mainland, according to an internal briefing.

Officials have been warning for months that Northern Ireland’s electricity market could collapse, triggering “unprecedented consequences” and forcing authorities to prepare to take energy infrastructure into public ownership to keep the lights on.

The government documents, shared widely across Whitehall and seen by the Guardian, show that in the event of a no-deal Brexit:

  • Householders in Northern Ireland could see electricity bills rise by up to £200.
  • Energy companies could collapse.
  • Diesel generators would be needed to keep power supplies running.
  • The UK government has not yet talked to power station operators in Northern Ireland.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Brexit: 80 Tory MPs will reject Chequers plan says former minister

From The Guardian: The Conservatives face a “catastrophic split” if Theresa May relies on Labour votes to push her Chequers plan through parliament, one of the prime minister’s most persistent critics has warned, as the conflict within the party over Brexit intensified.

The former junior Brexit minister Steve Baker used an interview to mark 200 days before departure to argue May must take a different approach.

Baker said at least 80 Conservative MPs would be willing to vote against the plan, which Eurosceptics argue ties the UK too closely to the EU on regulation and alignment, hampering future bilateral trade deals.

Baker told the Press Association: “We are reaching the point now where it is extremely difficult to see how we can rescue the Conservative party from a catastrophic split if the Chequers proposals are carried forward.

“It is absolutely no pleasure whatsoever to me to acknowledge that, but I look at the mood of colleagues and the mood of the Conservative party in the country and I am gravely concerned for the future of our party.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Theresa May on a no-deal Brexit…

#StrongAndStable #ToryBrexit #NoDealBrexit

Posted by Stop The Tories Channel on Friday, August 31, 2018

Cabinet anarchy over Brexit

From The Guardian: A middle-ranking Tory minister stopped on his way to a meeting in the House of Commons and offered the following observations about the government in which he serves. “There is no discipline at all. Everyone thinks they can say just what they want. It is not good for anyone or good for the country.” Crucial decisions on Brexit had to be made within days, and time was running out, he said. But within the cabinet, disagreements were widening as the moment of truth approached. Ministers were briefing against one another in public, giving an impression that the ship of state was heading for the rocks just when the national interest required those steering it to pull together.

“She has to lead,” the minister added. “The can has been kicked into the corner on Brexit. It can’t be kicked any farther.” He then headed off, turning back for a second, to sum it all up as “midsummer madness”.

Normally ministers and senior MPs will show some caution when having private conversations with journalists at Westminster. They will at least make efforts not to be overheard. But these days they brief without fear on every corner, in every cloister. Soon after the minister departed, a former cabinet minister who has worked for the Conservative party for several decades strolled by and was happy to talk. The atmosphere was dreadful, he said, and Theresa May’s position was becoming more perilous by the day.

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Brexit could wreck green agenda, says UN

From The Guardian: The United Nations has warned the government that Britain’s reputation is at risk over plans that would significantly weaken protections for the environment after Brexit.

In a stern intervention, Erik Solheim, executive director of the UN’s environment programme, called on the environment secretary Michael Gove to honour his promise to deliver a “green Brexit”, ensuring the environment would not suffer from Britain’s EU departure.

The warning comes after proposals to protect the climate after Brexit were dismissed as “toothless” by green campaigners. Under the plans, the new post-Brexit watchdog would not have the power to take the government to court over breaches of environmental standards. At the moment, the government is answerable at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which often forces ministers to act.

Campaigners have warned that the current plans would leave Britain with a weaker system for enforcing environmental safeguards than those maintained in the United States by Donald Trump.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Brexit: Liam Fox’s department signs deal to keep trade talks secret

From Unearthed: Liam Fox’s department for international trade has signed agreements with the US which will make it much more difficult to find out what is being discussed in early-stage US-UK trade talks.

Liam Fox’s department last week quietly released an exchange of letters between the UK and the office of the US trade representative agreeing to mark exchanged information, papers and discussions as either “sensitive” or “confidential”, with both sides also agreeing to keep the information “held in confidence” for four years after the conclusion of the talks.

This has led to concerns from politicians and campaign groups that the talks could pave the way for the UK to accept lower US standards on issues including animal welfare, chemical and pesticide usage, and other practices.

[Read full article on Unearthed…]

David Davis scrambles to salvage EU relations after ‘damaging trust’

From The Guardian: David Davis’s claim that the UK’s concessions in an agreement to move on the Brexit negotiations were merely a statement of intent has damaged trust and will see a hardening of positions in Brussels, the European parliament’s coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, has said.

The former Belgian prime minister claimed the Brexit secretary’s comments over the weekend were “unacceptable”, and undermined confidence in the British government’s trustworthiness.

The member states will now agree a tougher wording in their guidelines about the next stage of the talks, due to be signed off at a summit of leaders on Friday, Verhofstadt said.

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May’s weakness exposed as DUP derails Brexit progress

From The Guardian: Theresa May’s political weakness was brutally exposed to Brussels on Monday, as an agreement struck between Britain and the EU to solve the problem of the Irish border and move to the next phase of Brexit talks was torpedoed by a last-minute telephone call with the leader of the DUP.

Confidence early on Monday that an agreement was within reach came to nothing when, during a working lunch with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, May was forced to pause discussions to take a call from Arlene Foster.

The unionist leader, whose party currently provides the Tories with a working majority in the Commons, told the British prime minister that she could not support Downing Street’s planned commitment to keep Northern Ireland aligned with EU laws.

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Tory trade secretary wants chlorine-washed chicken in UK shops

fox chickens guardianFrom The Guardian: Tory trade secretary Liam Fox sees no problem with chicken being washed in chlorine before being sold to the public. He supports post-Brexit food standards being lowered to facilitate a trade deal with the US.

The practice has been banned in the EU, which believes it encourages farmers to relax overall hygiene standards and pursue industrial rearing practices such as battery farms that are bad for animal welfare.

“Some US abattoirs and processing plants rely heavily on chlorination because their other hygiene standards are so poor that they would be illegal in Europe,” said Simon Dawson, a lecturer in food safety at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

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