BRUSSELS has charged the UK a staggering £6billion for Theresa May’s Brexit delay, as Boris Johnson and his new Government is forced to continue paying the costs of EU membership.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has said that Britain no longer owe £39billion to the EU, with the exact figure now around £33billion. This is because the UK delayed its departure from the original March date and has already paid some of the figure in membership contributions, though the EU has not made Britain aware of the lesser charge. The shocking change in figures comes as Mr Johnson today took office and vowed not to deliever the £39billion promised by Mrs May if the EU refused to give Britain anything of worth.
Mrs May sparked outrage among Brexiteers for delaying Brexit three times over a period of seven months in an attempt to force through her hated Withdrawal Agreement.
It failed to get enough backing during three meaningful votes. The initial Brexit date was March 29, then April 12 and now Halloween.
Mr Johnson yesterday gave a sensational speech on the steps of No10 after being sworn in by the Queen.
He pledged not to pay the £39billion divorce settlement, despite Mrs May saying Britain would pay it regardless of the UK leaving with or without a deal.
He today pledged to use the colossal amount to find a no deal Brexit.
The new Tory leader said that his team will get on delivering a fantastic new agenda for the country, despite early criticism from former Tory ministers who are anti-Mr Johnson’s hard stance.
One former minister said that Brexit looked like it would now mean a no-deal and that the new appointments are Theresa May’s ‘Brexit means Brexit’ promise on steroids.
Steve Baker has turned down a job in new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.
Mr Baker confirmed he rejected the job offer on Twitter. He said: “With regret, I have turned down a ministerial job. I cannot repeat my experience of powerlessness as a junior minister with the work done in the Cabinet Office. I have total confidence in Boris Johnson to take us out of the EU by 31 Oct. “Disaster awaits otherwise.”
Iain Duncan Smith told TalkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer Boris Johnson should conduct Brexit negotiations with Brussels on a quick “yes or no basis” to avoid new legislation is put before the House of Commons threatening a further extension to the Article 50 process after October 31.
Mr Duncan Smith warned the Government and the Conservative Party could risk going into “meltdown” unless the Brexit promise is delivered on time.
He said: “We have to get this done. Every single member of that Cabinet is now on notice, there’s no question about that.
“They’re on notice to deliver. And I say this genuinely and hopefully that they deliver.
“But the answer to the question ‘what if they don’t?’ is well, it doesn’t matter after that.
“Because, frankly, I think the government itself and the Party will jut simply go into meltdown.”
Jean-Claude Juncker refused to renegotiate the Brexit deal when he held crunch talks with Boris Johnson earlier today.
The European Commission president insisted on maintaining the bloc’s hardline stance but signalled he was ready to “analyse” Britain’s next offer.
He said Theresa May’s hated Brexit agreement remains the best and only offer on the table from Brussels.
The pair’s exchange was the first since Mr Johnson took up residence in Downing Street yesterday afternoon.
“President Juncker also underlined that the Commission remains at the disposal of the United Kingdom to add language to the political declaration in line with what the 27 EU leaders recalled when they met in April earlier this year, and to analyse any ideas put forward by the United Kingdom, providing they are compatible with the withdrawal agreement.”
European Parliament Vice President Mairead McGuinness clashed with Sky News host Adam Boulton as she failed to confirm the EU would be prepared to unilaterally guarantee the rights of UK citizens in the EU regardless of a Brexit deal being agreed with the UK.
The clash began as Sky News host Adam Boulton asked the EU chief whether Brussels would be as prepared, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed, to protect the rights of UK citizens living in the EU in the event of a no deal Brexit.
But, as Ms McGuinness claimed the EU would only consider the issue as part of the agreement negotiated with Theresa May’s Government, Mr Boulton snapped.
The Sky host said: “With all due respect, what you’re showing is what many people dislike about the European Union, which is creating a bureaucratic and inflexible complexity when actually, it would be possible to put the concerns of five million people, European and UK citizens, to rest if the European Union would look at this issue.
“Wouldn’t it? And the European Union, from what you’re saying, your approach is you’re not prepared to do it at this stage.”
Pro-EU Tory Stephen Hammond has quit his role as a health minister.
He said on Twitter he was “absolutely opposed to a no deal” Brexit.
Boris Johnson, the new PM, said he will not only pull the UK out of the EU without a deal but will also not pay the £39billion divorce bill if Brussels fails to offer Britain a decent agreement.
A Tory councillor defected to the Liberal Democrats, criticising new Prime Minister Boris Johnson as being “totally unsuitable for high office”.
Hamilton West & Earnock councillor Mark McGeever announced he was quitting the Tories on Mr Johnson’s first full day in office, arguing the party had “abandoned” the political centre ground and was looking for populist answers.
The former Scottish Conservative general election candidate in the 2017 campaign explained that his decision came after “months of soul searching”, but that the election of Mr Johnson “was the proverbial straw” which prompted his defection.
The 34-year-old said that Mr Johnson becoming Prime Minister “was an open declaration the party now has little regard for centrist views” and that “his use of racist, Islamophobic, misogynistic and homophobic language is deeply concerning”.
Boris Johnson’s new Foreign Secretary and Deputy PM Dominic Raab got to work immediately today and shared a tweet of his own speech at the Foreign Office, where he spoke of grasping opportunities that come with Brexit.
He said: “Great to be back at @foreignoffice where I first worked as a young lawyer and to address staff this afternoon.
“I made clear that we must be confident and grasp the opportunities ahead, as a free trading nation with a strong moral anchor.”
EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s letter to the EU27 has been revealed, and it features a warning to Boris Johnson, the UK’s new PM.
The Guardian reports the note hinted at the bloc’s belief Mr Johnson’s sensational speech outside No10 that saw him announce the UK would not pay the £39billion divorce bill unless the EU offered Britain a decent deal, would trigger a general election.
The letter tells of “many strong reactions to the speech.. in this context we must follow carefully the further political and economic reactions and developments in the UK”.
Great to be back at @foreignoffice where I first worked as a young lawyer and to address staff this afternoon. I made clear that we must be confident and grasp the opportunities ahead, as a free trading nation with a strong moral anchor pic.twitter.com/1qROWLwCRE
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) July 25, 2019
Boris Johnson’s new Leader of the House of the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has said Remainers may not be successful in any attempt to thwart a no deal Brexit.
The Brexiteer explained Parliament had already legislated for Britain to leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal.
He said this meant: “So, just for the status quo to be maintained means we leave without a deal unless a deal is passed.
“So when people say the House of Commons is going to stop it, they are forgetting the House of Commons has already agreed to it.”
Sterling traded below $1.25 today after new Prime Minister Boris Johnson filled his cabinet with Brexiteers and promised he would take Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a transition deal.
Johnson met his Brexiteer-dominated team of senior ministers for the first time on Thursday to plan how to persuade the EU to agree to a new withdrawal deal.
He told parliament that the Irish border backstop would have to be struck out of the divorce agreement if there was to be an orderly exit with a deal.
Britain has started sending a warship to accompany all British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, a change in policy announced on Thursday after the government previously said it did not have resources to do so.
Tensions have spiked between Iran and Britain since last Friday when Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in the world’s most important waterway for oil shipments.
That came two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accused of violating sanctions on Syria.
HMS Montrose, a British frigate now in the area, carried out the first mission under the new policy last night when new PM Boris Johnson took office.
“The Royal Navy has been tasked to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, either individually or in groups, should sufficient notice be given of their passage,” a government spokesman said.
France is ready to fight Boris Johnson to maintain access to UK waters as the threat of no deal Brexit rises. French Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume said there was no reason French fishermen should be blocked from UK waters, and laid the foundations for a battle with Mr Johnson.
In reference to the new Prime Minister’s promise to take the UK out of the bloc on October 31 with “no ifs or buts”, Mr Guillaume told French television channel Cnews: “It is possible that with Boris Johnson we will have a hard Brexit. What matters most, in my industry and in the event of a no-deal Brexit, is the impact on the fisheries sector and on French fishermen.
“There is no scenario in which French fishermen should be prevented, could be prevented, would be prevented by Boris Johnson, from fishing in British waters.
“There is no reason for it. And on that point, I really want to fight. So I will keep telling Britain that our fishermen must be allowed to keep fishing in its waters.”
Boris Johnson could start his negotiations with the EU as early as this evening in a scheduled phone call with Jean-Claude Juncker.
The outgoing European Commission President will speak to the Prime Minister at around 4.45pm this afternoon, according to a commission spokesman.
Ursula von der Leyen will take over the role from 1 November and said that herself and Mr Johnson have many difficult topics to tackle together.
The Prime Minister finished his first address to Parliament a little over ten minutes ago.
Speaker John Bercow said that Mr Johnson answered 129 questions in his almost two-hour speech as he hinted at his upcoming Brexit strategy.
MPs are now adjourned for summer recess and return to the Commons on 3 September, just 58 days before the UK is set to drop out of the EU.
Theresa May is enjoying her first day out of office at Lord’s as she attends England’s Test match against Ireland.
Also in attendance are a string of former cabinet ministers, with Greg Clark and David Gauke sitting alongside the former Prime Minister.
Her visit to a cricket match echoes one of her predecessors as John Major hopped down to the Oval the day he resigned from office in 1997.
But the former leader will soon return to the Commons as she continues as a backbench MP for Maidenhead.
While all eyes have been focused on Commons speeches and cabinet reshuffles, Downing Street has been visited by a yellow removal van as Mr Johnson settles into his new home.
He will move into the luxurious four-bedroom flat above No.11 Downing Street with girlfriend Carrie Symonds, leaving Sajid Javid the keys to No.10.
The move is following precedent after Tony Blair moved his larger family into the bigger flat next door in 1997, but Sajid Javid is expected to stay at his home in Fulham which better accommodates his four children.
Boris Johnson’s father Stanley has said he will keep his head down now his son is Prime Minister, confirming he does believe the UK will now leave on time at the end of October.
But he admitted he does not have any extra influence over Boris, adding that both get on with their own things despite their family connection.
Speaking to ITV’s This Morning, he said: “I don’t see why anybody should think that I would have any influence at all. That would be a total mis-reading of the situation. I’m a grown up, he’s a grown up and we all get on with our things.”
The star of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and former MEP praised his sons determination, intelligence, humour and experience but admitted that he hadn’t seen him since becoming Prime Minister because Boris had been busy.
Labour MP Alison McGovern has stood up and declared Mr Johnson’s cabinet is now a Vote Leave government, before taking The Prime Minister back to some of his previous statements on Brexit.
She said that during the campaign Mr Johnson confirmed there would be no change on the Irish border and that by voting leave would not lead to a sudden change to the economy.
The Prime Minister said that the new government would not institute checks on the border in Northern Ireland.
Independent MP and former Conservative politician Nick Boles has said that new advisor, Dominic Cummings strategy is to reunite the Leave vote.
He also believes that the plan is to see off the Brexit Party threat that crippled the Tories in May’s European elections.
He said in a tweet: “Dom Cummings’ strategy is clear: to reunite the Leave vote, see off the Brexit Party and win an election against a Remain vote divided between Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP / Plaid Cymru / Greens. If Labour MPs don’t get rid of Corbyn, it will probably work.”
Questions are starting to filter in from other MPs. But first, the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, made a determined rally against no-deal which he claims could lead to a £30billion black hole to public finances.
He said that Mr Johnson could become the last leader of the United Kingdom, hinting at a wish for a second Scottish independence referendum
He added: “Scotland did not vote for Breixt, we did not vote for no-deal, and we most certainly did not vote for this Prime Minister.”
Jeremy Corbyn has slammed the Prime Minister, saying he will turn the UK into a vassal state of Trump’s America.
But Mr Johnson hit back, saying that under no circumstances will the country agree a trade deal involving the NHS.
Boris Johnson is now attacking Jeremy Corbyn, adding that only the Conservative Party are on the side of democracy and Leave voters.
The Prime Minister said: This long standing eurosceptic. He has been captured, jugulated , he has been reprogrammed by his right honourable friends and he has been turned now into a remainer.”
The PM jokingly swiped at Labour’s motto, adding that the Tories are now the party of the many, and Labour the party of the few.
Jeremy Corbyn is now speaking in the House of Commons, confirming that Labour would be prepared to back remain in a second referendum.
The Labour leader also demanded the Prime Minister take his final deal back to the people.
He said: “Labour will oppose any deal that fails to protect jobs, workers rights or environmental protections and if he has the confidence to put that decision back to the people, we would, in those circumstances, campaign to remain.”
Boris Johnson has now confirmed he will ask the Migration Advisory Committee to conduct a review into the adoption of an Australian style points system when Britain leaves the EU.
The Prime Minister said: “I am clear that our immigration system must change.
“For years politicians have promised the public an Australian style points system and today I will actually deliver on those promises.”
Further details are emerging about Mr Johnson’s plans for his premiership. He says the UK will leave by 31 October to grasp the opportunities of Brexit.
He has confirmed he will work towards policies that will boost the competitiveness of the economy when the UK is free of EU regulations.
The Prime Minister also received a cheer in the House when he announced that EU citizens would have certainty to remain and live in the country after Brexit.
The Prime Minister has begun by slamming Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, saying that the terms are unacceptable to Parliament and the country.
He has confirmed that his team is ready to negotiate a new deal in good faith, adding that a new deal is still possible.
Mr Johnson said: “I would prefer us to leave the EU with a deal. I believe it is possible even at this late stage and I will work flat out to make it happen.”
Boris Johnson has taken to the despatch box and immediately declared his ambition for Britain to leave the EU on time to restore trust in democracy.
He said: The first [step]is to restore trust in our democracy and fulfil the repeated promise of Parliament to the people by coming out of the European Union and doing so on October 31.
“I and all ministers are committed to leaving on this date whatever the circumstances.”
French MEP Nathalie Loiseau may have sent shockwaves through Boris Johnson’s new cabinet, confirming Europe does not want to change the withdrawal agreement despite the Prime Minister previously saying it was dead and twice voting against it.
The former minister added that Mr Johnson’s election does not change anything, with nothing set to disappear from the agreement which she claims represents common interests.
Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, she said: “You have changed Prime Minister, but we have not changed our minds.
“What is within the withdrawal agreement is consistent with priorities we have in common, the fate of our citizens, the need to protect the Good Friday agreement – that there is no hard border on the island of ireland, that we protect the single market and the fact that you have financial commitments that need to be settled.
“So nothing will disappear just because there is someone else in Downing Street.”
Former Tory ministers have promised to fight against a no-deal EU exit from the backbenches despite losing leading roles in government.
Former Scottish Secretary David Mundell has said he will hold Mr Johnson to account on the commitments he made to the union, while former Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he will fight against no-deal.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, another former minister said: “He’s got a majority of two and he’s just sacked 17 of us. I’m going to take the summer off and see what he does, but if I have to do my democratic duty to stop him doing something suicidal, then I will not hesitate.”
Last night, Labour’s John McDonnell said the party would only challenge the new government when Boris Johnson said something undeliverable around Brexit, just hours before the party would decline to back Jo Swinson’s proposed motion.
The Shadow Chancellor said that everyone was shocked at how far Mr Johnson had gone with his cabinet reshuffling and that to see a large number of angry Tories on the backbenches was helpful.
Speaking to ITV’s Peston, he added: “You judge it in the conversations you’ll have across the House about what’s feasible and what’s not.”
Many Scottish farmers are worried about the loss of workers from the European Union after Brexit, according to German TV station Deutsche Welle.
The station put together a news package looking at the effect leaving the EU could have on local farms who have relied upon EU workers to fill roles.
It has been previously reported that Breixt has cost farms around £130,000 each as less workers return and more food goes un-picked.
Some 30,000 seasonal fruit growers are employed each year but farmers were said to be 9,000 workers short last year.
Labour have confirmed it will not back Jo Swinson’s no confidence vote, despite warnings that time is running out to stop a no-deal Brexit.
The party also slammed the Liberal Democrats for attacking Labour, adding that they were playing a childish and irresponsible game.
Their statement said: “As Jo Swinson knows, a no confidence vote now will only strengthen Boris Johnson’s hand and further his march towards no-deal.
“This is childish and irresponsible game paying by the Lib Dems who are more interested in attacking Labour than stopping no-deal.”
Cabinet members leaving Downing Street have spoken of a positive cabinet meeting a Boris Johnson prepares to face the House of Commons.
Attorney General Geffrey Cox said the meeting was excellent, adding that discussions were positive.
Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg described his first cabinet meeting as very interesting, with Transport Secretary Grant Schapps saying the meeting was energised.
Mr Johnson is expected to address the Commons in one hours time to address his plans as Prime Minister.
MP’s will need to table a no-confidence motion imminently if they want to stop a no-deal Brexit, according to the BBC’s News Politcal Editor Laura Kuenssberg.
Ms Kuenssberg said: “So according to a source who knows their way around the machinations of Whitehall… if MPs want to be sure there is no chance of leaving without a deal they need to call and win a vote of no confidence today or the first day of recess.”
She later added that Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has put a no confidence motion down in just her third day in the job, adding the new leader has has written to Jeremy Corbyn urging him to back it.
Laura Kuenssberg shock revelation: MPs must win no confidence vote TODAY to block no deal
The Italian ambassador to the UK has said he hopes Britain will not leave the EU without a deal which could trigger a violent exit.
Raffaele Trombetta said the government and the embassy were gearing up for a possible no-deal scenario, with measures being taken in the customs, health and financial services sectors.
He added that the goal remains for the UK to leave in an orderly manner and that there was ample will in the British Parliament to ensure the maintenance of rights for Italians and Europeans in general.
Boris Johnson has concluded his first cabinet meeting as Prime Minister, saying he promises to deliver on the promises of the people.
He said: “We are not going to wait until October 31 to get on with a fantastic new agenda for our country and I mean delivering on the priorities of the people.”
Cabinet members have been seen leaving Downing Street and Mr Johnson will prepare for his address to the House of Commons this afternoon where he is expected to reveal details about his Brexit plan.
Boris Johnson’s new cabinet is Theresa May’s Brexit means Brexit on steroids, according to one former Tory minister.
The minister said that the new appointments suggest that the stance is that Brexit now means no deal as the fallout begins after a mass of changes to the Prime Minister’s top table.
Meanwhile a member of the Boris transition team said that the window of opportunity to get a new deal was incredibly thin in a range of damning comments to Politico.
Another member of the transition team also added: “Compared to the May era, this government is going to look not just overactive, but hyperactive.”
Boris Johnson is currently chairing his first Cabinet meeting as Prime Minister after last night’s mass clearout which promoted Brexiteers to starring roles.
The first meeting is set to discuss the new Parliamentary agenda, with some suggesting that discussions will also lead onto a new offer for EU citizens.
Some 17 of Theresa May’s senior ministers have left the Government, while 13 of Mr Johnson’s new team advocated for Vote Leave in the 2016 referendum.
Arch Brexiteer Jacob-Rees Mogg was said to be excited in his first day as a cabinet member as he took over as Leader of the House of Commons after a late announcement last night.
Meanwhile, Andrea Leadsom said she hoped the new cabinet could unite the UK as she entered Number 10 this morning.
One of Boris Johnson’s new cabinet ministers has confirmed that Europe would not see the £39billion withdrawal payments if Britain crashed out without a deal.
Rishi Sunak, the new chief secretary to the Treasury said that Mr Johnson’s hard-line approach includes the proposed EU payments and that the Government would show they were prepared to walk away from negotiations.
He said: “They can’t just cherry-pick they need and ignore the rest of the deal that we want so that also gives us quite a lot of extra firepower.”
Cabinet ministers have seen pouring into Downing Street throughout the morning as the new Prime Minister hosts his first talk with his new team this morning.
Nicola Sturgeon has written to Mr Johnson demanding a meeting and calling for an alternative Brexit option saying it should be “at the top of your in-tray”.
She added: “I urge you to study this analysis closely so that you understand the implications for Scotland of the policy you are pursuing on Brexit and why it is therefore imperative that you change course immediately to avoid causing lasting harm to the people of Scotland.
“However, given your public comments about leaving the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, ‘come what may’ and ‘do or die’, it is now – more than ever – essential that in Scotland we have an alternative option.”