DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Reckless rebels who put Brexit in peril
When are the Brexit purists on the Tory backbenches going to come to their senses? The Mail asks because this week it became abundantly clear their plan was in ruins.
Hardliners in the European Research Group have long claimed that voting against Theresa May’s deal would do nothing to imperil Brexit. Indeed, they argued that no-deal would in all likelihood follow automatically (and to hell with the economic consequences).
How can they cling on to that claim now, after a week in which the cold, hard arithmetic of the Remainer-dominated Commons became so clear? Twice in as many days the Government lost votes to Labour MPs and Tory Remainers intent on stopping no-deal, aided and abetted by Commons speaker John Bercow.
The Government lost key votes to Labour MPs and Tory Remainers intent on stopping no-deal, aided and abetted by Commons speaker John Bercow
Evidently, he will do everything in his power to assist this emerging alliance, even if it means ignoring constitutional precedent and disgracing his office.
As Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt argued yesterday, the obvious conclusion is that rejecting the deal will not deliver no-deal but result in ‘Brexit paralysis’ – and could ultimately mean no Brexit at all.
Prime Minister has strained every sinew to satisfy the arch-Brexiteers, to no avail
But the Tory rebels don’t have to take his word for it. The bookmakers and the markets see both a softer Brexit – or none at all – as increasingly likely. And yesterday two of the biggest donors to the Leave campaign also predicted Britain would end up staying in the EU.
Under the circumstances, who could blame Mrs May for reaching out across the Commons to try to secure support from pro-Leave Labour MPs and trade unions? Yes, this is a path fraught with risk, and any concessions on the customs union would be painful indeed to swallow.
But the Prime Minister has strained every sinew to satisfy the arch-Brexiteers, to no avail. What choice does she have?
True, the deal is imperfect, but it is still the best on the table. With the Remainers in the ascendancy, the rebels must consider whether they prefer it to one redrawn to satisfy Labour. The Mail hopes that in the next two days at least some start to see the writing on the wall.
Punish the fraudsters
For too long, Britain’s hugely profitable banks have behaved with the utmost cynicism towards fraud victims and refused to pay out justified compensation. At the same time, they pushed more customers online by closing high street branches.
Thankfully, they may not get away with it for much longer, following a landmark ruling. One complainant has been refunded £12,000 by Santander because, the Financial Ombudsman found, they had fallen foul of a ‘sophisticated scam’ and had not been reckless with their personal data.
A landmark ruling has judged that Santander must refund £12,000 to a victim of a sophisticated scam who had not been reckless with their data
If there is any justice, the judgment will open the door for other fraud victims to claim their money back. It should also force the banks to tighten up protections and make more effort to recover their customers’ losses. But making banks financially liable is not enough.
Fraudsters know that even in the vanishingly unlikely event that they are caught by the police, the sentences handed down by the courts are often pitiful.
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So the Mail agrees wholeheartedly with Mick Gallagher, the head of Scotland Yard’s organised crime command, who today calls for tougher penalties which reflect the true impact on victims’ lives.
Fraudsters will never be deterred until the punishment fits the crime.
■ Who could fail to be moved by Andy Murray’s tearful announcement that injury will, in short order, bring his career to a premature close? He spoke yesterday, as he played, with his heart on his sleeve. He is unquestionably one of Britain’s greatest ever sportsmen and the Mail salutes him.
The Mail salutes Andy Murray – one of Britain’s greatest ever sportsmen who announced his retirement due to a debilitating hip injury
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