Britain will lose the benefits of the European single market and its financial sector will lose the “passporting” arrangements which allow them to operate in the remaining EU as a result of Brexit, Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said.

Mr Barnier told a conference in the Belgian capital that the EU wants to offer its “most ambitious free trade agreement” to the UK, but warned that there was no question of Britain “cherry picking” elements of the single market which it wanted to keep.

He warned that national parliaments in the remaining 27 states, as well as the European Parliament, could block any future trade deal if the UK indicated it was planning to move away from EU standards of regulation on issues like food safety, workplace protections and the environment.

With Theresa May and key Cabinet ministers due to meet later on Monday to discuss the UK’s Brexit “divorce bill”, Mr Barnier said that it remained his priority to “settle the accounts accurately” before moving on to trade talks.

And, in a speech to the Centre for European Reform thinktank, he said it was for the UK to “come forward with proposals” for how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, raising the possibility that different rules could be applied in Northern Ireland and the mainland.

Mr Barnier used Mrs May’s old catchphrase “Brexit means Brexit” as he dismissed the “contradictions” of Leave supporters who argue that Britain can continue to enjoy some of the benefits of the single market while ditching its core principle of freedom of movement.

Pointedly noting that “the UK knows the rules” because it had a part in drawing them up, he insisted that the principles of the market were “non-negotiable”. He added: “We take note of the UK decision to end free movement of people. This means, clearly, that the UK will close the benefits of the single market. This is a legal

Burma leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Burma leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said the world is facing instability and conflict in part because illegal immigration spreads terrorism.

Her remarks on Monday came as her country faces accusations of violently pushing out hundreds of thousands of unwanted Rohingya Muslims. Ms Suu Kyi did not directly mention the refugee exodus in a speech to European and Asian foreign ministers in Burma’s capital, Naypyitaw.

But her speech highlighted the views of many in the country who see the Rohingya as illegal immigrants and accuse them of terrorist acts. The ongoing Rohingya exodus is sure to be raised by the visitors at the meetings on Monday and on Tuesday.

Ms Suu Kyi said the world is in a new period of instability as conflicts around the world give rise to new threats and emergencies, citing “illegal immigration’s spread of terrorism and violent extremism, social disharmony and even the threat of nuclear war.

“Conflicts take away peace from societies, leaving behind underdevelopment and poverty, pushing peoples and even countries away from one another.” Burma has been widely criticised for the military crackdown that has driven more than 620,000 Rohingya to flee Rakhine state into neighbouring Bangladesh.

The United Nations has said the crackdown appears to be a campaign of “ethnic cleansing”, and some have called for re-imposing international sanctions that were lifted as Burma transitioned from military rule to elected government.

Foreign ministers and representatives of 51 countries are meeting in Naypyitaw in a forum that aims to further political and economic cooperation but takes place against the backdrop of the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis.

A flurry of diplomatic activity preceded Monday’s opening, with the foreign ministers of Germany and Sweden joining the EU’s foreign policy chief in a visit to the teeming refugee camps in Bangladesh. China’s Wang Yi was also in Bangladesh and met privately with Ms Suu Kyi on Sunday in Burma following that trip.

Ms Suu Kyi is Burma’s foreign minister and state councillor, a title created for the country’s once-leading voice for democracy since she is constitutionally banned from the presidency. She does not command the military and cannot direct its operations in northern Rakhine state, but her remarks in seeming support of the brutal crackdown have damaged her global reputation.

In her speech to the visiting foreign ministers, Ms Suu Kyi also cited natural disasters caused by climate change as compounding the world’s problems. She said mutual understanding of problems like terrorism would be crucial for peace and economic development.

“I believe that if policymakers develop a true understanding on each of those constraints and difficulties, the process of addressing global problems will become easier and more effective,” she said. “It is only through mutual understanding that strong bonds of partnership can be forged.”

Emmerson Mnangagwa,

Emmerson Mnangagwa, elected Sunday as the new leader of Zimbabwe’s ruling political party and positioned to take over as the country’s president, has engineered a remarkable comeback using skills he no doubt learned from his longtime mentor, President Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa served for decades as Mugabe’s enforcer, a role that gave him a reputation for being astute, ruthless and effective at manipulating the levers of power.
Among the population, he is more feared than popular, but he has strategically fostered a loyal support base within the military and security forces.

A leading government figure since Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, he became vice president in 2014 and is so widely known as The Crocodile that his supporters are called Team Lacoste for the brand’s crocodile logo.

The 75-year-old “is smart and skillful, but will he be a panacea for Zimbabwe’s problems? Will he bring good governance and economic management? We’ll have to watch this space,” said Piers Pigou, southern Africa expert for the International Crisis Group.

Mugabe unwittingly set in motion the events that led to his own downfall, firing his vice president on November 6. Mnangagwa fled the country to avoid arrest while issuing a ringing statement saying he would return to lead Zimbabwe.

“Let us bury our differences and rebuild a new and prosperous Zimbabwe, a country that is tolerant to divergent views, a country that respects opinions of others, a country that does note isolate itself from the rest of the world because of one stubborn individual who believes he is entitled to rule this country until death,” he said in the November 8 statement.

He has not been seen in public but is believed to be back in Zimbabwe.
For weeks, Mnangagwa had been publicly demonised by Mugabe and his wife, Grace, so he had time to prepare his strategy.

Within days of the vice president’s dismissal, his supporters in the military put Mugabe and his wife under house arrest. When Mugabe refused to resign, a massive demonstration Saturday brought thousands of people into the streets of the capital, Harare.

It was not a spontaneous uprising. Thousands of professionally produced posters praising Mnangagwa and the military had been printed ahead of time.n”It was not a last-minute operation,” Pigou said. “The demonstration was orchestrated.”

At the same time, Mnangagwa’s allies in the ruling Zanu-PF party lobbied for the removal of Mugabe as the party leader. At a Central Committee meeting Sunday, Mnangagwa was voted in as the new leader of the party, which had been led by Mugabe since 1977.

In an interview with The Associated Press years ago, Mnangagwa was terse and stone-faced, backing up his reputation for saying little but acting decisively. Party insiders say that he can be charming and has friends of all colours.

Mnangagwa joined the fight against white minority rule in Rhodesia while still a teenager in the 1960s.
In 1963, he received military training in Egypt and China. As one of the earliest guerrilla fighters against Ian Smith’s Rhodesian regime, he was captured, tortured and convicted of blowing up a locomotive in 1965.

Sentenced to death by hanging, he was found to be under 21, and his punishment was commuted to 10 years in prison. He was jailed with other prominent nationalists including Mugabe. While imprisoned, Mnangagwa studied through a correspondence school.

After his release in 1975, he went to Zambia, where he completed a law degree and started practising.
Soon he went to newly independent Marxist Mozambique, where he became Mugabe’s assistant and bodyguard.
In 1979, he accompanied Mugabe to the Lancaster House talks in London that led to the end of Rhodesia and the birth of Zimbabwe.

“Our relationship has over the years blossomed beyond that of master and servant to father and son,” Mnangagwa wrote this month of his relationship with Mugabe.

When Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980, Mnangagwa was appointed minister of security. He directed the merger of the Rhodesian army with Mugabe’s guerrilla forces and the forces of rival nationalist leader Joshua Nkomo. Ever since, he has kept close ties with the military and security forces.

In 1983, Mugabe launched a brutal campaign against Nkomo’s supporters that became known as the Matabeleland massacres for the deaths of 10,000 to 20,000 Ndebele people in Zimbabwe’s southern provinces. Mnangagwa was widely blamed for planning the campaign of the army’s North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade on their deadly mission into the Matabeleland provinces. Mnangagwa denies this.

He also is reputed to have amassed a considerable fortune and was named in a United Nations investigation into exploitation of mineral resources in Congo and has been active in making Harare a significant diamond trading centre.

In 2008, he was Mugabe’s election agent in balloting that was marked by violence and allegations of vote-rigging. He also helped broker the creation of a coalition government that brought in opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

In recent years, Mnangagwa has promoted himself as an experienced leader who will bring stability to Zimbabwe. But his promises to return Zimbabwe to democracy and prosperity are viewed with scepticism by many experts.

“He has successfully managed a palace coup that leaves Zanu-PF and the military in charge. He’s been Mugabe’s bag man for decades,” said Zimbabwean author and commentator Peter Godwin.
“I have low expectations about what he will achieve as president. I hope I will be proved wrong.”

Godwin, who has followed Mnangagwa for years, said he has little of Mugabe’s charisma or talent for public speaking. Todd Moss, Africa expert for the Centre for Global Development, also expressed reservations.

“Despite his claims to be a business-friendly reformer, Zimbabweans know Mnangagwa is the architect of the Matabeland massacres and that he abetted Mugabe’s looting of the country,” Moss said.

“Mnangagwa is part of its sad past, not its future.”


Millions of Yemenis face the risk of death as aid deliveries cannot get to those in need because of the continuing blockade of the war-ravaged country by the Saudi-led coalition, the head of the World Food Programme in the country has said.

Speaking by telephone from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, Stephen Anderson said it is “heartbreaking” that millions depended on sustained access to humanitarian aid. Of a population of 26 million, some 17 million Yemenis do not know where their next meal is coming from and seven million are totally dependent on food assistance.

Humanitarian flights to the northern, rebel-held parts of Yemen have been grounded amid the blockade imposed by the coalition in response to a rebel missile attack near the Saudi capital, Riyadh, earlier this month. The missile was struck down but it marked the closest that a rebel projectile had come to the kingdom’s capital.

After widespread international criticism of its blockade, Saudi Arabia said last week it would reverse its closure of Yemen’s sea ports and airports, though not those in the hands of the Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

On Sunday night, a coalition airstrike in the northern Yemeni province of Jawf killed 10 civilians, including four women and two children, according to security officials and tribal sources in the area.

The airstrike targeted a house amid intense fighting in the area between forces loyal to Yemen’s coalition-backed and internationally recognised government, and the Iran-backed Houthis, the officials said.
There was no immediate word from the coalition on the airstrike or its intended target.

The coalition, which began its war against the Houthis in 2015, claims the rebels often use civilians as human shields. The civil war in Yemen, an impoverished Arab nation in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula, has killed at least 10,000 civilians since it broke out in 2014.

British Gas

British Gas owner Centrica is scrapping standard gas and electricity tariffs (SVT) for new customers ahead of British Government plans to impose a price cap on the costly energy products.

The Big Six energy supplier also vowed to introduce simpler bills and a new fixed-term default tariff for British customers who do not shop around for the best deal once their contract finishes.
It said the reforms would be enforced by the end of March next year.

It came as the energy giant called on the Government and Ofgem to engage over the reforms to help create a fairer market without price controls. Centrica urged the energy watchdog to follow its lead and remove SVTs from the market to encourage more customers to switch tariffs.

While group chief executive Iain Conn recognised the need for the market to improve, he said price caps would only set the industry back. He said: “Today we have set out the unilateral actions we will take to improve the UK energy market for our customers.

“This starts with the withdrawal of the standard variable tariff which contributes to lower levels of customer engagement.

“We also believe that further measures by Ofgem and the Government are required so that together we can create a market that works for everyone, where there is improved transparency and a fairer allocation of costs currently included in the energy bill.

“We have long advocated that the end of the standard variable tariff is the best way to encourage customers to shop around for the best energy deal. “But we also need a fairer way to pay for the changing energy system by removing Government policy costs from energy bills.”

Britain’s Big Six are bracing for a raft of regulatory changes after the Government announced a price cap will be imposed on poor-value energy tariffs. It follows an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which found 70% of Big Six customers are on pricier SVTs and could save £300 by switching to cheaper deals.

Around 4.5 million of Centrica’s 8.3 million customers – or about 60% – are currently on SVTs, with 70% of profits coming from the company’s SVT customer base. Among the reforms, Centrica said it will provide customers with a range of competitive fixed-term tariffs, with no exit fees pinned to the default – or emergency – tariff.

It will also encourage SVT customers to switch by targeting them with better deals.


US military personnel in Okinawa have been restricted to base and banned from drinking alcohol after a Marine was arrested over a crash that killed a Japanese man.

Police on the southern Japanese island arrested 21-year-old Nicholas James-McLean late Sunday on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injury or death and driving under the influence of alcohol, said Kazuhiko Miyagi of the Okinawa police.

He confirmed that a breath test indicated James-McLean had an alcohol level that was three times the legal limit. The Marine was slightly injured, Miyagi said.

Hidemasa Taira, 61, who was driving a small truck, died in the Sunday morning crash in Naha, the main city in Okinawa. He was making a turn when his vehicle was hit by James-McLean’s truck, which was coming from the opposite direction, according to Japanese media.

The reports cited witnesses as saying the Japanese driver had the right of way when the crash happened and the Marine may have driven through a red light. The incident could fuel opposition to the US military presence on Okinawa, where about 25,000 American troops are stationed and where local residents have expressed concerns in the past about military crime and crowding on the island.

The US military said “alcohol may have been a factor” in the crash. Buying and drinking alcohol was banned for US military personnel all over Japan.

In addition, those on Okinawa were restricted to base and their residences, until further notice.
The military said commanders across Japan would immediately lead mandatory training on responsible alcohol use and acceptable behaviour.

“When our service members fail to live up to the high standards we set for them, it damages the bonds between bases and local communities and makes it harder for us to accomplish our mission,” US Forces, Japan, said in a statement posted on its website.

President Trump

Donald Trump has criticised the father of a man newly released from a Chinese jail, saying he is “very ungrateful” about the president interceding on his son’s behalf.

UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were arrested in China at the beginning of November for shoplifting sunglasses. Last week the three players were released and allowed to fly back to the US, but have been suspended by the team.

President Trump claims the trio’s freedom was down to a conversation he had with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

This version of events was countered by Ball’s father LaVar, who told ESPN on Saturday: “Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out. “A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there.”

Trump’s response to the comment was blistering. He took to Twitter on Sunday, saying he should have “left them in jail”. He went on to talk about the potential term the trio were facing.

LiAngelo Ball, flanked by Cody Riley, left, and Jalen Hill.

Ball’s father may have criticised Trump, but all three players thanked the president at a press conference upon their return. Trump’s response to the situation was met with ire by critics on social media.

Amir Khan

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! kicked off with a terrifying challenge that saw the contestants walking the plank hundreds of feet in the air.

Amir Khan, Vanessa White, Jack Maynard, Jennie McAlpine, Jamie Lomas and Georgia Toffolo were all chosen to brave a plank 334 feet up on the roof of a Gold Coast hotel. Failure meant going without a meal ticket – and just basic rations for the night.

While the task has been included in the ITV show before, this year there was a twist.
Host Dec Donnelly explained: “I think you’ve probably guessed why you’re up here, the plank is back and this year it’s twice as terrifying…”

His co-presenter Ant McPartlin chimed in to explain that this year there would be two planks, with two stars tackling them at the same time in a bid to win a meal ticket. Lomas and McAlpine were the first to go and managed to conquer their nerves.

But the next duo – Maynard and Toffolo – did not fare so well, with Maynard freezing in terror halfway along the platform. “Come on darling, I’m waiting for you, come to the yellow box, it’s lovely when you’re here,” said Toffolo.

“I’m a nervous wreck,” Maynard admitted, although he managed to inch his way to the safe zone and clinch himself a ticket. Khan and White were the last to go and boxer Khan confessed the challenge was “worse than going into a fight”.

At one point his plank started to wobble and White struggled to turn around, pleading: “Amir help me, please, please.” The rest of the contestants faced different challenges, with Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley braving a scary Wreck task.

The 77-year-old former MEP and father to the Foreign Secretary was dropped into the jungle alongside fellow contestant Rebekah Vardy during the launch show.

The pair were faced with an upturned boat with four “hell holes” in its hull, which they had to reach into to retrieve coloured tokens. When they found them all, they had to radio the colour with the most tokens to their buddies Shappi Khorsandi and Dennis Wise, who would set off corresponding flares.

Johnson gamely put his hand into the first hole, which was full of crabs, then declared: “I got bitten immediately. Bloody hell!” The next hole contained rats and another was full of toads.

“This is my worst nightmare,” moaned Vardy, but Johnson confessed: “I think my worst nightmare would be to do a maths exam.”