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TJ

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Re: News Capture - Todays News
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2016, 01:36:26 AM »

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Warning over 'teacher brain drain'
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2016, 07:02:19 PM »
Warning over 'teacher brain drain'


   

Warning over England's 'teacher brain drain'



       

        By Hannah Richardson
        BBC News education reporter
   

   
   

       


   

                                                                                                   

               
                Indian classroomImage copyright
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Image caption
               
                    Teachers are being tempted towards international schools in countries with growing economies
               

           

Thousands of teachers are being lured abroad with lucrative pay packages as England's schools grapple with a recruitment crisis, Ofsted warns.

Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw says elite public schools have been opening up branches abroad, leading to a boom in international schools.

Last year more people left to teach abroad (18,000) than trained (17,000) on post-graduate routes, he adds.

Ministers cited figures saying just a tiny fraction of teachers left the UK.

The Department for Education also said it was disingenuous to suggest its approach to teacher recruitment was not working.


           

   
Media captionTeacher Jadene Hall explains why she moved from England to work at a school in Dubai

But Sir Michael Wilshaw's claim comes after the government missed its teacher trainee recruitment targets for the past four years.

This has led to shortages of teachers in most subject areas, and many schools are finding it hard to recruit staff.

Sir Michael said it was not surprising that the demand for UK-trained teachers was soaring as English was the most common language used in the estimated 8,000 international schools, many of which follow a British-style curriculum.

He added that the demand for UK-trained teachers was only likely to increase as the number of international schools is projected to nearly double to over 15,000 by 2025.

He quoted International School Consultancy figures which suggested 18,000 people had left the UK to teach abroad in 2015, although he acknowledged not all of these would have been fully qualified teachers.

Recruitment agencies were actively targeting newly qualified teachers, he claimed, as well as more experienced classroom professionals - with "enticing offers of competitive, usually tax-free salaries, free accommodation and often the prospect of working in warmer, sunnier climes".

He added: "Shouldn't we also ask the question: at what cost to our own state education system?

"Are we in danger of overlooking one of the consequences of this expansion - a teacher 'brain drain' from this country just when the supply issue is reaching situation critical?

"At a time of well-documented shortages, should we not be putting more effort into holding on to those who have gone through their teacher training in England?"

And he called for policy makers to consider financial incentives, often referred to as "golden handcuffs", to retain teachers working in the UK state system.

Sir Michael also said there was a need to "talk up" the profession and highlight the "nobility of teaching" and how it can transform lives.

"The idea of 'golden handcuffs' to keep teachers in this country for a period of time is an interesting one which deserves more examination."


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Reuters
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    The Department for Education says there are more teachers overall
               

           

A Department for Education spokesman said: "Despite the challenge of a competitive jobs market, the proportion of trainee teachers with a top degree has grown faster than in the population as a whole, and there are more teachers overall.

"But we are determined to continue raising the status of the profession.

"That's why we're investing hundreds of millions in teacher recruitment, backing schemes like Teach First and the National Teaching Service to get great teachers where they are most needed, and why we've given schools unprecedented freedom over staff pay, to allow them to attract the brightest and the best.

"The number of former teachers returning to the classroom has increased year on year - further evidence of the popularity of the profession . Recent research shows that the number of teachers leaving the profession to work abroad is 1%."

'Punishing workloads'

This percentage is based on separate figures from research based on the Labour Force Survey.

Shadow education secretary Lucy Powell said: "Whilst Ministers continue to deny the crisis in teacher shortages, we are seeing more and more evidence that this serious issue is threatening standards. Sir Michael Wilshaw is right to highlight the detrimental impact this is having on schools right across the country."

Leora Cruddas, director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders,  said: "Our view is that more needs to be done to incentivise teaching as a career.

"We would suggest that government undertakes to write off, over a period of time, the undergraduate tuition fees of students who become teachers, as long as they remain in the state system in this country during that period.

"This would help with both the recruitment and retention of newly qualified teachers."

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said performance-related pay and an "utterly punishing" workload that leaves little time for family or friends is driving teachers out in droves. 

"Add to this the punitive and often pointless accountability system overseen by Sir Michael Wilshaw alongside his regular disparaging comments about the profession, it is no surprise teaching in England has become an unattractive option."


Are you a teacher who has left England to teach overseas? Are you considering applying for teaching jobs in other countries? Tell us why. Email [email protected] with your stories.

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Syria truce agreement takes effect
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2016, 07:02:07 PM »
Syria truce agreement takes effect


   

Syria conflict: Temporary truce comes into effect



   
   

       
  •    
    27 February 2016


  •            
  • From the section Middle East



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Syrian rebel fighter in the town of Arbin in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of capital Damascus. 26 February 2016Image copyright
                 AFP
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Syrian rebel positions around Damascus were heavily bombarded on Friday
               

           

The first major temporary truce in Syria's five-year civil war has come into effect.

The "cessation of hostilities" began at midnight (22:00 GMT Friday) with early reports saying front lines were silent.

UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said fighting had "calmed down" but one breach was being investigated.

In the run-up to the deadline, US President Barack Obama warned the Syrian government and its ally Russia "the world will be watching".

The truce involves government and rebel forces, but not the so-called Islamic State group or the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed in Syria's civil war and millions more have been forced from their homes.

A few hours after the deadline passed, a car bomb killed two people outside the government-held town of Salamiyeh, near Hama, Syrian state media reported. It is not clear who carried out the attack.

The temporary halt in fighting appeared to be holding on Saturday morning, said the BBC's Mark Lowen, who is in the Turkish town of Gaziantep near the Syrian border.

Monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said while some gunfire was heard in the northern city of Aleppo as the deadline passed, elsewhere it was quiet.

Mr de Mistura has said that peace talks will resume on 7 March if the truce "largely holds", adding that he had no doubt there would be "no shortage of attempts to undermine this process".

Russia said it would continue to bomb militant targets. Russian jets were reported to have intensified attacks on Syrian rebel positions on Friday.

In the run-up to the truce, heavy attacks around Damascus and Aleppo were blamed on Russian airstrikes, but denied by Moscow.


           

   
Media captionKey moments in the Syria conflict

The cessation was brokered by the US and Russia, and is backed by a UN resolution. Previous talks in Geneva collapsed in early February after making no progress.

One of the key aims of the cessation is to allow desperately needed aid to reach people trapped in besieged areas.

The UN resolution names about 30 areas in dire need of aid, including eastern and western rural Aleppo and the eastern city of Deir al-Zour, which is under siege by so-called Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

Almost 100 rebel factions have agreed to respect the truce, Syrian opposition umbrella group the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said.

However, the HNC warned the Syrian government and its allies not to use the "proposed text to continue the hostile operations against the opposition factions under the excuse of fighting terrorism".


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 EPA
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Civilians continue to be caught in the fighting
               

           

               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his forces are targeting IS, Nusra Front and other extremist groups designated as legitimate targets by the UN Security Council.

However, Russia is widely accused of also attacking more moderate rebel groups fighting President Assad, an ally of the Kremlin.

The battle for Syria and Iraq in maps

Syria's civil war explained


Syria's civil war

Why is there a war in Syria?

Anti-government protests developed into a civil war that four years on has ground to a stalemate, with the Assad government, Islamic State, an array of Syrian rebels and Kurdish fighters all holding territory.

What's the human cost?

More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed and a million injured. Some 11 million others have been forced from their homes, of whom four million have fled abroad - including growing numbers who are making the dangerous journey to Europe.

How has the world reacted?

Iran, Russia and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement are propping up the Alawite-led Assad government, while Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar back the more moderate Sunni-dominated opposition, along with the US, UK and France. Hezbollah and Iran have pro-Assad forces on the ground, while a Western-led coalition and Russia are carrying out air strikes.


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Hung parliament expected in Ireland
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2016, 07:02:26 PM »
Hung parliament expected in Ireland

Irish election: Results set to deliver hung parliament



   
   

       
  •    
    28 February 2016


  •            
  • From the section Europe



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Tired ballot countersImage copyright
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Image caption
               
                    Counting is expected to continue on Sunday and possibly into Monday
               

           

The general election in the Republic of Ireland is set to produce a hung parliament after the poor performance in the poll of the existing coalition.

Enda Kenny, Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) and leader of the largest coalition party, Fine Gael, said it was a disappointing election for his party.

It is likely Fine Gael will remain the largest party, but with a narrow lead over the main opposition, Fianna Fáil.

There is growing pressure on the two parties to provide a government.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Reuters
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Enda Kenny said the election was a 'disappointment' for Fine Gael
               

           

Before the election, both of them indicated that they would not go into coalition with each other.

Counting of ballots will continue on Sunday, with the possibility that some seats may not be declared until Monday.

While existing coalition partners Fine Gael and Labour have suffered heavy losses, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, smaller parties and Independents are doing well.


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

With 95 seats filled, Fine Gael has 28 seats; Labour four; Fianna Fáil 28; Sinn Féin 13; Anti-Austerity-Alliance-People Before Profit four; the Social Democrats three; the Green Party one; the Independent Alliance four and 10 seats have gone to Independents.

                                                                                                   

On Saturday, Mr Kenny - who has been re-elected in Mayo - said it was clear the existing government would not regain power.

"This is a disappointment for the Fine Gael party," he said.

He said you can "argue about" the people's decision, but "you cannot argue with it".

"So clearly, the government of Fine Gael and Labour are not going to be returned to office."

He added that the "majority government option is gone" but he would wait for the full results and consider options on how to form a government "very carefully".


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Chris Radburn/PA
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said it was a 'good day' for his party
               

           

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described the election as an "extraordinary vote" and said he was "very pleased".

He said it would take time before it was clear what shape a new government would take.

"A lot will depend on the destination of the last seats in many constituencies. It's a bit too early to be definitive, but it's clear we're going to have a good day," he said.

Joan Burton said she was "very, very disappointed" that many Labour Party candidates would not be elected to parliament.

"All I can say is that the Labour Party is at the fight for justice and social justice in Ireland and we will continue that fight in the next Dáil, even if our numbers are diminished."

Among the other notable candidates elected so far are Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald and Fine Gael ministers Frances Fitzgerald, Charlie Flanagan and Leo Varadkar.

However, Fine Gael's former Justice Minister Alan Shatter lost his seat, as has Alex White, the Labour Party's communications minister.  Children's Minister James Reilly looks likely to lose his too.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Brian Lawless/PA
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Mary-Lou McDonald celebrates being elected in Dublin Central
               

           

Sinn Féin, another big winner, indicated it would not go into government.

The party's Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's deputy first minister, said it had been a hugely successful election for Sinn Féin.

"My sense is that a government will be formed, I don't think there will be a second election within weeks. How stable a government, that remains to be seen," he said.

Over three million people were entitled to vote in Friday's poll, which will return 157 members of parliament, known as TDs. The ceann comhairle (speaker) is automatically returned.

The campaign was fought mainly over economic issues, with the government parties asking voters for their support to keep the recovery going at a time when international storm clouds were gathering.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
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Image caption
               
                    Just over 550 candidates stood for election
               

           

But the opposition parties countered that not everyone, especially outside middle-class Dublin, had been benefiting from the up-turn.

The Republic of Ireland has had the fastest growing economy in the eurozone for the last two years.

TDs are being elected according to the single transferable vote (STV) system, in which candidates have to reach a quota, before their surplus votes are distributed to others.


                                                                                               

Source: Hung parliament expected in Ireland







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Thousands of NHS posts lie vacant
« Reply #44 on: February 29, 2016, 07:01:38 PM »
Thousands of NHS posts lie vacant

Thousands of NHS nursing and doctor posts lie vacant



       

        By Dominic Hughes and Vanessa Clarke
        BBC News
   

   
   

       
  •    
    29 February 2016


  •            
  • From the section Health



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Nurses walking in a hospitalImage copyright
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More than two-thirds of trusts and health boards in the UK are actively trying to recruit from abroad as they struggle to cope with a shortage of qualified staff, figures reveal.

Tens of thousands of NHS nursing and doctor posts are vacant.

The statistics, obtained by the BBC, show the scale of the NHS recruitment crisis.

Health unions blame poor workforce planning, but officials say the NHS has more staff than ever before.

Data from a BBC Freedom of Information request shows that on 1 December 2015, the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had more than 23,443 nursing vacancies - equivalent to 9% of the workforce.

Agency workers

In comparison, the average vacancy rate across the UK economy from November to January 2016 was 2.7%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures - which include 106 out of 166 trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - also revealed:

  • Between 2013 and 2015, there has been a 50% increase in nursing vacancies, from 12,513 to 18,714.

  • For doctors, the number of vacancies went from 2,907 to 4,669 - an increase of roughly 60%.

  • In England and Wales, there were 1,265 vacancies for registered nurses in emergency departments - about 11% of the total.

  • For consultants in emergency medicine there were 243 vacancies - again 11% of the total.

  • Paediatric consultants - specialists in the care of babies, children and young people - were also hard to recruit, with 221 vacancies - about 7% of the total.

Vacancy rates in Scotland are published quarterly and so comparable figures are not yet available.

                                                                                                   

In England, many hospitals are having to rely on expensive agency workers to make up the shortfall in staff.

That has been identified as a key factor driving a growing financial crisis within the health service.


   

       

           
                         

               


                  NHS recruitment crisis               


             
                             


           
                       
             

                                   

                     

69%


                     

of UK trusts are actively recruiting abroad for doctors or nurses


                 

                               

           
                       
           

  •                                          

    23,443 nursing vacancies in England, Wales & Northern Ireland


                                       

  •                                

  •                                          

    9% vacancy rate for nurses


                                       

  •                                

  •                                          

    6,207 doctor vacancies


                                       

  •                                

  •                                          

    7% vacancy rate for doctors


                                       

  •                            
Source: BBC Freedom of Information request

       
       

                   
Science Photo Library

           





               
               
               

               
               
           

           
       

One solution to the staff shortage adopted by many trusts is employing doctors and nurses from overseas.

The BBC also asked trusts and health boards across the UK whether they were actively recruiting staff from abroad, and in this case Scottish hospitals were also able to answer.

The figures show more than two-thirds - 69% - of all NHS trusts and health boards are seeking staff overseas.

And in just England and Wales, the figure is nearly three-quarters of all trusts and health boards - 74%.

Some are travelling from as far afield as India and the Philippines.


'No opportunities back home'


               
               
               

               
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Maca Fernandez Carro said she liked working for the NHS
               

           

Maca Fernandez Carro is a nurse who is originally from Bilbao in Spain, but has worked at Royal Bolton Hospital since 2014.

She told BBC Radio 5 live: "There was no opportunities for us back home. The options were having a three-month contract [in Spain], or coming here with a permanent position.

"Nursing is so different back home. When we qualify [in Spain] we are expected to do all the techniques that over here you'd need extra training [for].

"So we do a four-year degree, instead of a three-year one, so we have an extra year in which we train the technical part of nursing.

"Even though we are really under pressure, and really, really stressed - I like working for the NHS."


Matthew Hopkins, who is the chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that employing more agency workers compromised patient safety and care.

"The difficulty with running a relatively high vacancy rate is it does inhibit the ability to provide the best care for our patients," he said.

"We have to supplement our staff with agency workers who are not part of the team on a regular basis and therefore the quality of teamwork, which we know has the biggest impact on patient care and patient safety, is compromised."

Ian Cummings, the chief executive Health Education England, told the same programme the nursing shortage in the NHS had been partly caused by "quality failings" - such as the Mid Staffs scandal.

"The quality failings in the NHS have caused our regulators and hospitals to look very carefully at how many nurses they need to deliver safe and high quality care.

"So the hospitals, for roughly the same number of beds compared to three years ago, now have a need for 24,000 more qualified nurses," he said.

Meanwhile, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association blame poor workforce planning for the problems hospitals are having in finding qualified staff.

Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Nursing posts are often the first target when savings need to be made, leading the NHS to find itself dangerously short and having to spend more on agency staff and recruitment from other countries."


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Science Photo Library
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Doctors and nurses are in demand in the NHS
               

           

A spokesman for the doctor's union the BMA - which is currently locked in a dispute with the government in England over a new contract for junior doctors - said: "Poor workforce planning means we aren't producing enough doctors and sending them to the right areas," he said.

However, in a statement, the Department of Health in England said: "Staffing is a priority — that's why there are already over 29,600 extra clinical staff, including more than 10,600 additional doctors and more than 10,600 additional nurses on our wards since May 2010."

But the statement also acknowledged that "much more needs to be done", and said the government was "changing student nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals funding to create up to 10,000 more training places by the end of this Parliament."

Viewers in England can see more on this story on Inside Out on BBC One at 19:30 GMT.


                                                                                               

Source: Thousands of NHS posts lie vacant







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TJ

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Re: News Capture - Todays News
« Reply #45 on: February 29, 2016, 11:41:38 PM »
Yes saw it on the news tonight - they were recruiting people from other countries

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Barclays restructures amid profits fall
« Reply #46 on: March 01, 2016, 07:01:31 PM »
Barclays restructures amid profits fall

Barclays restructures amid profits fall



   
   

       
  •    
    1 March 2016


  •            
  • From the section Business



   

                                                                                                   

               
                Barclays logoImage copyright
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Barclays has reported a drop in full-year profits and a restructuring, including a reduction of its stake in its Africa business.

Underlying annual profits for 2015 fell 2% to £5.4bn. The bank said it would cut its dividend by more than half to 3p per share in 2016 and 2017.

Barclays also announced a further £1.45bn provision for PPI mis-selling.

It said it wanted to slim down into two, main core divisions - Barclays UK and Barclays Corporate & International.

The bank said it would "sell down" its 62.3% stake in its Africa business in the next two to three years.

In early trading, Barclays shares fell 7%

"Barclays is fundamentally on the right path, and is, at its core, a very good business," said chief executive Jes Staley in the results statement.

"There is of course more we need to do and areas where I believe we can move much faster to deliver the high performing group that Barclays can and should be."

Pay

                                                                                                   

Barclays also said its bonus pool for staff in 2015 had shrunk 10% to £1.67bn.

Mr Staley, who took up his post in December, told the BBC that the bank was competing on an international level: "In the last four years Barclays bonus pool has been cut in half... this is a dramatic move but we need to pay competitively whether its a bank manager in Manchester or a banker in New York, we need to pay our people competitively for Barclays to be competitive."

The annual report shows the former chief executive, Antony Jenkins, who was sacked in July, was paid £3.4m last year, of which half a million pounds was a bonus payment.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Barclays handout
               
           

           
           
Image caption
               
                    Barclays Boss Jes Staley
               

           

Africa

Mr Staley said that the bank's decision on Africa, where it has had a presence for over a hundred years, had been "very difficult".

"The reality is, in this new regulatory environment, we carry 100% of the liabilities but we only own 62% of Barclays Africa.

"It truncated possible returns from investing in Africa. "

Barclays has more than 12 million customers across 12 nations in Africa.

"You go to places like Uganda and Kenya and the brand of Barclays is as strong there as it is in the UK," he said.

"But we have to make some very difficult decisions if we are going to get Barclays into focused, clear, compelling business model that generates returns for our shareholders."


                                                                                               

Source: Barclays restructures amid profits fall







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UK weaker outside EU, government to warn
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2016, 07:08:42 PM »
UK weaker outside EU, government to warn

EU referendum: UK weaker outside EU, government to warn



   
   

       
  •    
    2 March 2016


  •            
  • From the section EU Referendum



   

                                                                                                   

               
                David CameronImage copyright
                 PA
               
           

           
       

The UK would be "weaker, less safe and worse off" outside the European Union, government analysis is set to conclude.

The assessment, to be published later, comes as the campaign to remain in the EU seeks to shift voters' focus to what would happen if the UK left the EU.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said a Leave victory in the 23 June vote would see a "messy" divorce from the EU.

Pro-exit Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has accused ministers of producing a "dodgy dossier".

Cabinet ministers are allowed to campaign freely on either side of the debate, but the official government position is in favour of staying in a reformed EU.

The official government analysis of UK membership of the EU is required by law under the EU Referendum Act, which paved the way for the in-out referendum on EU membership.

The paper looks at possible alternative arrangements for relations with the EU if the UK voted to leave, including those adopted by Norway, Switzerland and Canada, as well as the option of reverting to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

The government paper is expected to say each alternative arrangement outside of the EU would carry serious risks, threatening the UK economy and hitting business with higher costs through new tariffs on UK exports.

                                                                                                   

Meanwhile, former Conservative Chancellor Lord Lamont has come out in favour of an EU exit, saying the vote is a "once-in-a-generation opportunity".

Writing in the Telegraph, the peer insisted the UK could succeed economically outside of the EU, and argued that a vote to leave would give Britain control of immigration.


Analysis


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
                 Reuters
               
           

           
       

By BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins

It is a central question in this referendum debate: what would be the practical, long-term consequences if Britain voted to leave the EU?

An assessment from the government, whose position is to remain in the union, will highlight what pro-EU ministers consider to be flaws in the alternatives.

The Remain campaign wants to put pressure on its opponents to explain what they think life after membership would look like.

Those campaigning to leave say these arguments ignore the fact the UK would negotiate its own free trade arrangement, not copy one settled by smaller economies. The EU - they argue - would need an agreement as much as Britain.


The government document will say Norway and Switzerland's trading arrangements outside the EU require them to make financial contributions, accept the EU principle of free movement of people and be subject to other EU laws.

Meanwhile, Switzerland and Canada's arrangements provide only limited access to the single market, it will add.

Mr Hammond said analysis showed that "every alternative to remaining in a reformed EU would leave Britain weaker, less safe and worse off".

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he added: "This is going to be a divorce, if we decide to leave, and as with any divorce it is likely to get messy. It will take a long time to sort out the disentanglement of our affairs."

He said British businesses, consumers and jobs would then be "left in limbo", and called on pro-exit campaigners to set-out a "model" for how the UK would negotiate with the EU in the event of it leaving the union.


               
               
               

               
               
                 Image copyright
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Image caption
               
                    Five cabinet ministers, including Mr Duncan Smith, are campaigning against the government in favour of an EU exit
               

           

But Mr Duncan Smith - one of five cabinet ministers campaigning in favour of a vote to leave the EU - said the government was "in denial" about the risk of remaining a member.

"This dodgy dossier won't fool anyone," he said, adding that the "real uncertainty is the future of the EU project.

"The truth is, we won't copy any other country's deal.

"We will have a settlement on our own terms - and one that will return control of our borders, and money to Britain. That's the safer choice."


                                                                                               

Source: UK weaker outside EU, government to warn







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