Tories publish plan to improve border security after Brexit: Brexit News for Monday 2 December

Tories publish plan to improve border security after Brexit: Brexit News for Monday 2 December
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Tories publish plan to improve border security after Brexit…

The Conservatives are publishing plans to improve the UK’s border security after Brexit. If the party wins the general election, it says it will introduce automated exit and entrance checks. It would also make it harder for people with serious criminal convictions to enter the UK from EU countries. Labour says the UK would no longer have access to EU databases or the European Arrest Warrant, undermining the fight against terror and organised crime.  Announcing the Conservatives’ plan, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “When people voted to leave in 2016, they were voting to take back control of our borders. “After Brexit we will introduce an Australian-style points based immigration system and take steps to strengthen our border and improve the security of the UK.” The party says introducing automated entry and exit checks and a requirement for biometric passports will enable to the government to “know who and how many people are in the country, and to identify individuals who have breached the terms of their visa and restrict illegal immigration”. – BBC News

…as Priti Patel announces that EU and Commonwealth visitors will have to apply for simple US-style electronic visas to enter the UK

Visitors to the UK from the European Union and the Commonwealth will have to comply with a US-style electronic visa system after Brexit, under plans set out today by Home Secretary Priti Patel. The plans for a new Electronic Travel Authorisation system (ETA) will make it easier for border guards to screen arrivals and block threats from entering the UK, the Tories say. It is part of a five-strong plan to secure the borders after Brexit and will be launched by Ms Patel and Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, at a border post today. Other measures include plans to count visitors into and out of the UK and to stop migrants using EU identity cards instead of the more secure passports. New powers will also be brought in to stop EU criminals at the border once the UK has left the EU and ended free movement of people. The renewed focus on immigration comes amid alarm in the Tory party about a tightening in Mr Johnson’s lead in the polls. Controlling immigration is seen as one of the areas where the Tories are strongest over Labour. – Telegraph (£)

Freedom of movement from the EU will be impossible to end after Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn claims

Open border immigration from the EU will be impossible to end after Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn claimed today. The Labour leader also revealed he WILL vote in a second referendum despite his pledge to stay neutral, but suggested he won’t tell the public which way he will cast his ballot. He plans to negotiate a new much closer deal with Brussels, including staying in the Customs Union, which would be put up against staying in the bloc. Mr Corbyn admitted that his agreement will include free movement – despite Labour previously pledging it would be ditched after Brexit. He told Sky: “I don’t think free movement totally could ever come to an end because of the relationship between families, between Britain and Europe, the needs of all of our services.” Asked whether Leavers would feel betrayed by him, he replied: “I don’t think they voted to have 40,000 nurse vacancies in Britain, I don’t think they voted to lose all those European doctors. We have to recognise the rights of those many EU nationals that have made their homes here and made a fantastic contribution to our country and actually helped us run our health service. At the moment all of that is under threat because of the uncertainty. Our whole process will bring uncertainty to an end.” Senior Tory Ben Bradley fumed: “This is yet another broken promise from Corbyn, showing you can’t trust a word he says. He used to promise freedom of movement would end, but now Labour wants uncontrolled and unlimited immigration, which would put more pressure on our public services.” – The Sun

> WATCH: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn discusses Brexit with Sophy Ridge

Leaders clash over Brexit in ITV debate…

Leading figures from the UK’s political parties have clashed on Brexit, the NHS and terror legislation in the latest televised general election debate. Labour’s Richard Burgon declined to say during the ITV programme which way he would vote in the EU referendum his party is promising, if it wins power. Tory Rishi Sunak was pushed to rule out a no-deal Brexit if the Conservatives won, but did not give a direct answer. The UK goes to the polls on 12 December. Labour’s shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon defended Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to remain neutral in the event of a second referendum, saying the Labour leader was “determined to bring the country together and heal divisions, not try to exploit them for votes”. Pressed by presenter Julie Etchingham on whether he would vote to stay in the EU or leave in another referendum, he said: “I want to speak to my local Labour Party members after a Labour government comes back with that deal and then we’ll decide how we approach that.” Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said being neutral showed Mr Corbyn was a “bystander not a leader”, but Mr Burgon said her party’s policy of cancelling Brexit was “not very liberal, not very democratic”. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, who also wants another referendum, added it was “dreadful” that the Conservatives want “Brexit at any cost” and Labour “can’t even decide what side they’re on”. She pushed Conservative minister Mr Sunak to rule out a no-deal Brexit at the end of next year if the Conservatives failed to negotiate a trade deal with the EU. The chief secretary to the Treasury insisted “we already have a deal”, prompting Ms Sturgeon to say that that was a withdrawal deal, not a trade deal. – BBC News

> WATCH: The opening Brexit statements from party representatives at the ITV Election Debate

…where Nigel Farage clashes with Nicola Sturgeon over ‘independence’

Nigel Farage stunned SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon during a heated Brexit row with the Brexit Party leader leaving some members of the ITV audience in hysterics as they burst out laughing before breaking into applause. Seven politicians, including five party leaders, joined the ITV debate on Sunday evening. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage left some members of the audience laughing, with others breaking into applause as he clashed with the SNP leader. Responding to the Scottish First Minister, Mr Farage said: “Brexit is going to be a great thing for the country Nicola, it is going to give us independence, I thought you liked independence? Some members of the audience started laughing as the SNP leader snapped back at Mr Farage. She said: “If Scotland was independent, we wouldn’t be getting dragged out of the European Union against our will.” – Express

> WATCH: Sparks fly between Nigel Farage and Nicola Sturgeon at the ITV debate

Dozens of Labour candidates vow to double-cross their own voters by fighting to stop Brexit

Dozens of Labour election candidates have vowed to double-cross their own voters — by fighting to stop Brexit. They have sworn a pledge to keep Britain in the EU after publicly insisting they would respect the referendum result. About 40 wannabe MPs are standing in seats where a majority of people voted to leave the EU. But despite previous vocal support for getting Brexit done, they have all signed the Remainer pledge to sell their prospective constituents down the river. The great betrayal will undermine leader Jeremy Corbyn’s big push to woo back Leave voters in Labour heartlands where support is crumbling. One worried party insider said: “These areas are overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit but those who want to be their Labour MPs are sworn to blocking it. Despite what some of them think, Leave voters aren’t stupid and will see through their attempts to hoodwink them.” Sixteen of the 40 are Labour MPs seeking re-election, having defied voters in the past three years by voting to block, delay and derail Brexit on numerous occasions. Eight are in very heavy Leave areas where up to 73 per cent backed Brexit. They include high-profile figures such as the former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, ex-minister Chris Bryant and former shadow Cabinet member Mary Creagh. – The Sun

Economic growth set to improve gradually ‘as Brexit headwinds are lifted’

Growth in the economy looks set to improve gradually as long as “Brexit headwinds” are lifted, according to a business group. The CBI forecast that economic growth over the next two years will remain “modest” at 1.3 per cent in 2019 and 1.2 per cent in 2020, picking up to 1.8 per cent in 2021. But this is based on the assumption that the UK leaves the EU by the end of January 2020 and has “clear line of sight” to an ambitious trade deal, involving alignment with EU rules, said the report. The main risk to the outlook remains continued Brexit uncertainty, particularly the threat of a no-deal, while a further escalation in US-China trade tensions would deliver further hits to world growth and trade, with knock-on impact on the UK economy, said the CBI. Chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “Business continues to show remarkable resilience after more than three years of crippling uncertainty. – Independent

Jeremy Corbyn closes poll gap on Tories with less than two weeks until the election

Labour is making big inroads into Boris Johnson’s lead thanks to a surge in support from Remainers, a new poll reveals today. Jeremy Corbyn’s party is now on 33 per cent and just nine points behind the Tories, according to the latest survey. The poll, carried out by Survation for ITV, showed the Lib Dem vote being squeezed further with half of Remainers now backing Labour – up by a tenth in just a fortnight. That means support for Mr Corbyn has grown by five per cent in two weeks, while Tory backing has remained static. The shock result came after four other polls over the weekend showed Mr Johnson is ceding ground to the left-winger. A survey by BMG Research for the Independent on Saturday had Labour jumping by five points to 33 per cent – closing the gap on the Tories to just six points. The firm’s head of polling Robert Struthers said: “The shifts we have witnessed in our headline voting intention figures take the Conservative lead from a likely majority into possible hung parliament territory.” Elsewhere, a YouGov survey for the Sunday Times had the Tories unchanged on 43 per cent but Labour gaining two points, up to 34 per cent. – The Sun

Gina Miller’s Remainer election plan comes under scrutiny by Sky’s Sophy Ridge

Sophy Ridge savaged Remain campaigner Gina Miller for trying to “stitch-up” the general election in a desperate bid to stop Brexit. Gina Miller told Sky News that Remainers still had a strong chance to achieve a hung parliament if they vote tactically. The Remain activist told Sophy Ridge that a drop in just two percent support for the Tories would lead to a stunning hung parliament. If this happens, she predicted a three-party coalition between Labour, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats, with Jeremy Corbyn in No 10. However, Sky News host Sophy Ridge took Ms Miller to task over the motives behind her tactical voting campaign. She said: “You are someone who campaigned for Remain, now you are talking about tactically voting. “Are you just trying to stitch up this election to stop Brexit?” Ms Miller said that the “other side” were tactically voting as well, with Brexit Party voters deciding to back the Tories to get Brext done. The Remainer revealed that 45 percent of Remainers and even soft Leavers intended to vote tactically against Boris Johnson. – Express

> WATCH: Remain campaigner Gina Miller discusses tactical voting to stop a majority government

French Senator admits Brexit will have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on France and the rest of EU

French Senator Christian Cambon conceded France is to suffer “catastrophic” consequences because of Brexit as Northern French fishermen risk being completely cut off from British waters. The French Senator, who serves as the co-chair of the Senate Brexit Committee, admitted several sectors would take a severe blow once the UK quits the European Union. Despite Emmanuel Macron having voiced his opposition to further delays to the Brexit deadline, Senator Cambon warned Brexit would have “catastrophic consequences” for France’s economy due to the close relationship Paris and London share. Speaking to Sénat in Action, the Senator said: “The departure of Great Britain is something catastrophic for a series of professions. “Our farmers, our fishermen, our businesses, and the regions of Normandy and Haute France. It will have consequences for all these areas and for the whole of the EU, it could even give other members some ideas.” – Express

Paul Goodman: The London Bridge horror. Now is the time to deliver on the other half of Taking Back Control

Rage, exasperation, contempt: the London Bridge attack will provoke all three, sometimes at the same time, among the mass of voters. Why was an Islamist terrorist invited as a guest to a Cambridge University conference at Fishmongers Hall – apparently to describe “his experiences as a prisoner”? How did it come about that this criminal, jailed for plotting to blow up the London Stock Exchange, was released after only eight years in the first place? Margaret Thatcher once said that “we have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at European level”. Have we rolled back the frontiers of European integration, taking back control from the European Union, only to see them reimposed by the European Court of Human Rights? To answer with a resounding No does not imply tearing up Britain’s membership of the convention. The Court is entitled to declare whether or not the Government is in breach of the latter. In 2011, the Commons voted by a majority of 212 against an ECHR ruling on prisoner votes. Davis and Jack Straw, working together, drove the result. The former said that “it’s for Parliament to stand up and say ‘no, this is our decision, not yours’ and then for the Government to go back and seek a solution.” In other words, elected MPs, not ECHR judges, should have the last word. The story of Khan is different, but the moral is the same. As we say, Johnson’s response to Friday’s murders may not satisfy voters, if only because nothing any politician says could do so: the sense of impotence and abandonment runs deep. But Corbyn is irredeemably weak on terror. And by standing back from the details of Khan’s case to see the big picture, and responding authentically, the Prime Minister could do what is right as well as what is now electorally necessary. Ensuring that sentences mean what they say – now Johnson’s law and order priority – will be impossible to effect without wider reform. Which means: reforming the Human Rights Act, curbing the abuse of judicial review, and getting the balance right between the ECHR and Parliament. The Conservative Manifesto leaves the door open to all three (see page 48). For Johnson, there must also be a sense in pursuing them of unfinished business. Asserting the rights of Parliament over the EU is half the European mission. Asserting it over the ECHR is the other half of – how shall we put it? – taking back control. – Paul Goodman for ConservativeHome

Gary Oliver: Labour’s cynical plot to cheat the Leavers

Labour’s bewildering stance on Brexit has for some time been ripe for ridicule. The manifesto stops short of stating that Labour will oppose its own ‘sensible leave option’ proposals (SLOPs). However, Labour might as well have written: ‘Within six months the Labour government will hold a rigged referendum between two versions of Remain. We will then immediately implement the people’s decision to abandon Brexit and pretend that we have upheld democracy.’ Corbyn does of course have an unsavoury history of being ‘present but not involved’. On his intention to stay aloof from a second vote, Andrew Neil pressed the putative prime minister: ‘Who would lead the campaign in favour of the Corbyn deal if not Jeremy Corbyn?’ That poser underlined the absurdity of his party’s position. However, by dwelling upon which politicians, if any, might recommend Labour’s SLOPs, Brillo overlooked a more fundamental question regarding Labour’s renegotiated deal: Why on earth would anyone vote for it? Labour has vowed that its ‘Leave’ option will include a permanent customs union, single market alignment, and ongoing import of low-paid workers; in short, a facsimile of EU membership. No self-respecting Brexiteer, even one who previously held his or her nose and supported the Conservatives’ concessions and compromises, could possibly stomach Labour’s SLOPs. – Gary Oliver for ConservativeWoman

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