Arab Times

Trust me on Brexit: May

Change is coming, Labour warns Conservati­ves


LONDON, May 13, (Agencies): British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday she could be trusted to deliver Brexit, but that it could not be done without compromise­s on all sides — a possible warning to cabinet ministers who are deeply split over future customs arrangemen­ts.

The divisions inside her government over the customs issue were laid bare on Tuesday when Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said proposals for a customs partnershi­p with the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc were “crazy”.

May’s decision to leave the EU’s customs union, which sets tariffs for goods imported into the bloc, has become one of the main flashpoint­s in the Brexit debate, pitting companies and pro-EU campaigner­s against a group of euroscepti­c lawmakers.

The issue has all but stalled Brexit discussion­s in Brussels and politics in Britain, where pro-Brexit lawmakers have lined up to denounce what is said to be May’s preferred plan.

The “customs partnershi­p” would see Britain essentiall­y collect tariffs on behalf of the EU in order to keep trade with the bloc flowing freely.

The Sunday Telegraph said at least a dozen of the 28 ministers in May’s cabinet were planning to block her proposal.

Change is coming,” a leading member of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party will warn the Conservati­ve government on Sunday, vowing to bring the power of a “few thousand super elite” to a “shuddering halt”.

Jon Trickett, Labour’s cabinet office spokesman, will pledge in a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank to overturn Britain’s “rigged economy” if his party forces out the Conservati­ves, who he will say are protecting it.

With no election due until 2022 and the two parties neck-and-neck in the polls, Labour is trying to gain an advantage by focusing on tackling inequality in Britain, promising to raise taxes on the super-rich and nationalis­ing key utilities.

Tessa Jowell, the former UK culture secretary who played a key role in securing the 2012 London Olympics and used her own cancer diagnosis to campaign for better treatment, has died. She was 70.

Jowell died peacefully at the family home in Warwickshi­re on Saturday evening, her family said in a statement released Sunday. Jowell, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year, had remained a member of the House of Lords and used that platform to deliver a memorable speech calling for improved informatio­n-sharing and better access to care that moved her fellow peers to tears.

“In the end, what gives a life meaning is not only how it is lived, but how it draws to a close,” she said in January, with a shawl around her shoulders and her head covered by a skull cap. “I hope that this debate will give hope to other cancer patients, like me, so we can live well together with cancer — not just dying of it. All of us — for longer.”

Dennis Nilsen, one of Britain’s most infamous serial killers, died in jail on Saturday aged 72, the Prison Service said.

He died at Full Sutton maximum security prison in east Yorkshire, northern England. It is thought he died of natural causes. Nilsen is believed to have killed as many as 15 young men in a murder spree in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

His victims were mostly homeless homosexual­s killed at his home in north London. He would lure them to their death, strangling them and sometimes drowning them too.

Nilsen would then typically bathe and dress the bodies and sit with them for days or weeks before dismemberi­ng them.

Britain’s foreign secretary says that two British tourists being held hostage in Congo have been released two days after being kidnapped.

Boris Johnson didn’t offer any further details in the statement released Sunday, but paid tribute to the authoritie­s from the African country and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservati­on “for their tireless help during this terrible case.”

He said that “my thoughts are now with the family of Virunga Park ranger Rachel Makissa Baraka who was killed during the kidnapping, and with the injured driver.”

The tourists and their driver were abducted in Virunga National Park in Congo.

Virunga is home to about one-quarter of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, and the work of protecting them has proven dangerous.

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