May to reject Barnier’s Irish border proposals as ‘unacceptable’ | Politics

Theresa May will reject Michel Barnier’s revised Irish backstop border proposals at the Salzburg summit because the European Union is still insisting on customs checks down the Irish Sea if the two sides cannot strike a free trade agreement after Brexit. The prime minister foreshadowed the argument she will make to the other EU leaders …

Brexit: Mervyn King blasts ‘incompetence’ of preparations | Politics

The former Bank of England governor Mervyn King has blasted the government over Brexit, saying it has been left without a credible bargaining position. In damning comments to the BBC, Lord King said it “beggars belief” that Britain, one of the world’s leading economies, had found itself in a situation where the country was being …

No-deal Brexit: study warns of severe short-term impact on UK | Politics

The short-term impact of a no-deal Brexit on Britain’s economy would be “chaotic and severe”, jeopardising jobs and disrupting trade links, warn experts from the thinktank UK in a Changing Europe. The Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, has said he believes 80% of the work on completing an exit deal with the EU27 is already done, …

Theresa May signs security partnership with Nigeria’s president | Politics

Theresa May has signed a security pact with Nigeria’s president aimed at helping the country combat the militant group Boko Haram through better military training and anti-terrorist propaganda techniques developed in the UK. The British prime minister’s agreement with Muhammadu Buhari was announced at a summit between the pair in Abuja and billed by the …

No-deal Brexit will break up UK, warns Van Rompuy | Politics

Crashing out of the EU without a deal would risk breaking up the United Kingdom, the former president of the European council has warned. Herman Van Rompuy, the former Belgian prime minister who was council president until 2014, told the Observer that he believed the threat of a no-deal Brexit was a new “operation fear” …

We like to mock Trump, but Britain’s Russia stance is even worse | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion

There are not many laughs to be had from international diplomacy, but US foreign policy in the age of Donald Trump provides a grim kind of comedy all the same. This week the world’s diplomats allowed themselves a chuckle at the risibly inconsistent US approach to Russia, in which the State Department whacks Moscow with …

May prepares for talks with Macron that could make or break Brexit plan | Politics

Theresa May’s hopes of prising away Emmanuel Macron from the rest of the European Union to sign up to her Chequers vision for Brexit looked tenuous on the eve of the pair’s crunch talks. But while senior Whitehall sources warned that the French president would be tough to win over, they suggested that if May …

Hunt urges France and Germany to force ‘sensible’ Brexit deal | Politics

The foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has appealed over the heads of EU negotiators directly to France and Germany to try to force the European commission to strike a “sensible and pragmatic” Brexit deal. Ahead of talks with his opposite number in Paris, Hunt accused Brussels of waiting for Britain “to blink” in negotiations as he …

No one else wants a Brexit car crash, but only Britain can steer itself to safety | John Kerr | Opinion

The crash feels inevitable. We’re in a long slow skid, steering locked, traction lost, ravine looming. Workable deals like Norway’s are still blocked by the red lines drawn in Mrs May’s party conference speech two years ago. Her “bespoke” Chequers proposals won’t fly in Brussels or with her hardline ERG/DUP supporters, who forced amendments before …

Dominic Raab: the face that says, ‘I need to take back control of my sphincter’ | Marina Hyde | Opinion

Even for those who’ve been stockpiling I-told-you-sos for two years, there really is zero satisfaction in watching Brexit secretary Dominic Raab wanly assure a parliamentary committee that, post-Brexit, “there will be adequate food”. Just like the al-Qaida number three job used to be, the DExEU gig really is dead men’s shoes. Give it a year …