Boris Johnson’s new Brexit Bill has been beefed up to stop campaigners trying to scupper its progress in the courts ahead of the UK’s expected exit from the European Union in six weeks’ time. Conservative MPs cheered yesterday as the House of Commons agreed to sit on Friday to consider legislation required to implement the Prime Minister‘s deal that he hammered out with EU leaders last October. The news came as the Government confirmed that the Department for Exiting the European Union will be disbanded at the end of next month as Brexit happens. The announcement prompted speculation that Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove will be given a new role running an enlarged Department for International Trade in February’s expected Cabinet reshuffle.
BORIS JOHNSON is “flexing his muscles” after his storming general election victory by stripping out three key clauses from his Brexit Bill in order to assert his Government’s dominance over Parliament, a political analyst has said. The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20 will go before the House of Commons tomorrow, and Graeme Cowie, a clerk at the House of Commons library who specialises in Brexit, was quick to highlight three important omissions – clauses 30, 31, and 34.
MPs are set to approve Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal on Friday, triggering the final stage of exiting the European Union three and a half years after the vote to Leave. The Commons will vote on the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which enshrines the deal in law, after Mr Johnson won a commanding majority in last week’s general election. The result means that the draft law is certain to pass its second reading before parliament disbands for Christmas.
Boris Johnson has returned fresh from his election gamble with a large majority of Tory MPs to help him push Brexit through next month. The prime minister will restart the process of passing all the relevant laws in time for 31 January – starting with the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. This is what will convert the EU divorce deal Mr Johnson partially re-negotiated with Brussels in October into UK law. But there are a number of significant differences from the version he was fighting to push through back when he had no majority, and was forced to offer concessions on to try to win over opposition MPs.
BORIS JOHNSON’S Brexit deal has been beefed up to stop campaigners such as Gina Miller trying to scupper its progress in the courts as the UK looks to leave the European Union by January 31. Today (Friday) could be yet another crunch day for Boris Johnson, with MP’s voting on whether to back his Brexit Bill to leave the bloc within the next six weeks. During an intense day of debates, MPs may also agree an accelerated timetable for the legislation which should see it pass through all of its stages in the House of Commons by January 9.
The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) will be “wound up” on the day the UK leaves the EU, the government has announced. On January 31 the government plans to shut the department, fronted by Brexit Secretary Steven Barclay, and several staff members are expected to be out of a job. A government spokesperson thanked all outgoing staff “for all their work” and said they will receive help finding new jobs.
Boris Johnson has ordered officials to drop the term “Brexit” after Britain leaves the EU on January 31, HuffPost UK has learnt. Downing Street will also refuse to refer to the UK-EU free trade agreement to be negotiated next year as a “deal”, arguing that the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement is the Brexit deal. Johnson is so keen to show Brexit will be “done”, as he promised in the election, that No.10’s Brexit press team will be renamed after January 31, with “Europe and economy” one new name being floated by officials.
Boris Johnson has scrapped powers for MPs to scrutinise future trade deals after Brexit amid the UK could be forced to accept lower standards as a price for a trade agreement with the US. The new Brexit deal, which was published on Thursday, has been stripped of a clause which would have given MPs oversight of negotiations for trade agreements once the UK leaves the EU next month. MPs will vote on the new EU withdrawal agreement bill on Friday, which has been redrafted by Downing Street to rule out extending the transition period beyond December 2020.
Boris Johnson’s timetable for agreeing a future trade deal with the EU is “extremely challenging” with “very little time” to conclude negotiations, the European Commission’s president has warned. Ursula von der Leyen cautioned that without a trade agreement being struck by London and Brussels, both sides will again face the “cliff-edge” of the UK leaving the bloc without a settled future relationship.
The UK is set to be thrown out of the European Arrest Warrant system after Brexit, the Queen’s Speech admits, triggering a warning it will become “a haven for Europe’s worst criminals”. Boris Johnson has unveiled plans for an extradition bill, to ensure “a person wanted by authorities in a trusted country for a serious crime is arrested quickly”. The measure will also give the police powers to arrest someone wanted for a serious crime in a non-EU country “without having to apply to a court for a warrant first”.
Boris Johnson has been accused of preparing his revenge on parliament and the courts for hampering his attempts to force through Brexit. Just days after a general election won on the back of a campaign blaming MPs and unelected judges for blocking the will of the people, Mr Johnson announced plans for reform of the UK’s constitution, democratic institutions and legal system in what he termed “the most radical Queen’s Speech in a generation”.
Boris Johnson is facing claims that he plans to take revenge on the Supreme Court after Downing Street refused to rule out changing the way judges are appointed. In potentially one of the most controversial elements of the Queen’s Speech, No.10 repeatedly ducked questions on whether a planned “Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission” would look at the issue of US-style reforms for the senior judiciary.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to give more British courts the power to challenge and overturn decisions by European Union judges. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is the EU’s supreme court and rules on matters related to the EU’s legislation and ensures that those laws are applied across the bloc. It is part of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and covers areas including employment and environmental laws, taxation, trade, fisheries, and agriculture.
Having been drilled into electoral oblivion, the onus was on him to be the more magnanimous of the two. Yet in refusing to exchange a single word with Boris Johnson during Thursday’s State Opening of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn once again revealed himself to be the antithesis of the ‘gentler, kinder’ politician he once claimed to be. With his political obituary already resembling an inferior version of Michael Foot’s longest suicide note in history, the outgoing Labour leader could not even look at the Prime Minister as the pair awkwardly led the way to the House of Lords.
Labour’s Clive Lewis has formally launched his leadership bid as he pledged to take the party even further to the Left. The shadow Treasury minister insisted Labour lost the general election because it failed to convince voters it had made a decisive break with the Blair era. He suggested that the ‘legacy of the 2000s’ was more unpopular on the doorstep than Jeremy Corbyn and his eye-wateringly expensive policies. Mr Lewis becomes the second Labour MP to declare their candidacy for the top job after shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry announced her decision to run earlier this week.
The Independent Group For Change is being officially disbanded after all its MPs lost their seats in the general election. The party, founded in February by MPs who had defected from Labour and the Conservatives, said it had begun the “process for closing” and admitted it not been able to “cut through as a distinctive political force”. The group tweeted: “It was right to shine a spotlight on Britain’s broken politics.
The Independent Group for Change, the party established by centrist MPs defecting from the two main parties, is being closed down, with its leader saying it was “better to have fought and lost than never to have fought at all”. The party, started by disillusioned Labour MPs in February, unsuccessfully stood three candidates in the general election, with all losing out to their previous parties. In a letter to members on Thursday, the party’s leader, the former Tory MP Anna Soubry, said the group had been formed “in response to the broken state of British politics”.
SNP MP Pete Wishart has claimed that last week’s general election result has moved Scotland closer to independence. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Mr Wishart stated that the Scottish National Party’s sizeable gain in the election was a reflection of the Scottish population’s desire for another referendum. He said: “Obviously it’s massive for Westminster to give us a Section 30 order – but we’re getting there.”
BORIS Johnson savaged the SNP after they interrupted him during his speech on how he set out to help commuters by telling them that “even Sturgeon said it herself” when they slapped down his declaration the Scottish independence referendum was a once in a lifetime vote. Mr Johnson rattled off a list of “ambitious” new policies an hour after the Queen’s Speech, with the Prime Minister calling his plan “a blueprint for the future of Britain”.
The prime minister again raised the prospect of a bridge to link Britain and Northern Ireland after Brexit, telling MPs yesterday: “Watch this space.” Boris Johnson first touted the idea of the 20-mile-plus bridge last year and asked officials to investigate the logistics of building it when he entered Downing Street. Yesterday he was asked in the Commons by Ian Paisley, the DUP MP, whether the prospect of a “Boris bridge” spanning the Irish Sea between Scotland and Northern Ireland was still being considered.
Boris Johnson today delivered a fresh hint that he wants to press ahead with building a bridge between Northern Ireland and the British mainland. The Prime Minister previously raised the idea of the huge infrastructure project, saying it would show the commitment to keeping the Union together after Brexit. However, engineers are deeply sceptical over whether it would be feasible to build such a transport link. They have pointed out that the depth of the water and abandoned munitions in the area where the bridge would likely be placed would make it incredibly complex and astronomically expensive.
Bank of England
Andrew Bailey has been named as the next governor of the Bank of England. Mr Bailey, aged 60, is currently chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City watchdog. He will become the 121st governor of the Bank of England and will take over from Mark Carney, who steps down on 31 January. The search for the new governor began in April and Mr Bailey, who spent more than 30 years at the Bank, was seen as an early favourite for the job.
Britain’s archaic treason laws could be updated to enable the prosecution of those who leak secrets to “hostile states”. The move comes amid concern about the activities of Russia and China in the West. The government announced in the Queen’s Speech that it was “considering the case” for updating Britain’s 650-year-old treason laws as part of a new espionage bill. Revising the Treason Act of 1351, which has not been used since 1945, would enable the government to prosecute anyone who participates in “harmful activity” with a foreign state.
BORIS Johnson has taken the bold step of writing his massive NHS spending promise into law. It was among a bonanza of new laws to beef up Britain’s NHS packed into the Queen’s Speech. A triumphant Mr Johnson took the unprecedented step of enshrining his promise in law to shore up any doubters that he was determined to strengthen the health service. The move, announced last week, was a cornerstone of the policy promises made in the Queen’s Speech this morning.
NHS staff face being barred from work if they have not had flu jabs as ministers consider making them compulsory. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said it was wrong for staff not to be vaccinated and reacted angrily to figures showing that more than a third of frontline workers were not protected. The Department of Health is understood to be “actively considering” making vaccination a requirement of NHS employment as that flu season starts.
Healthcare workers could be forced to have flu jabs as new figures reveal that just 61% of NHS staff have received their injections. Data from Public Health England shows that four in 10 front line healthcare workers are not vaccinated despite the UK experiencing one of its worst flu outbreaks in years. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that it was unacceptable for the vaccination uptake of NHS staff to be so low.
HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has ordered all NHS staff to get the flu jab as it emerged two in five have yet to do so. The virus has killed 23 people so far this winter. And 2,092 in England have needed treatment for the virus this year. That is eight times higher than the 256 hospital admissions by this time last year. Mr Hancock said: “This is an essential measure to ensure patients and staff are protected.
Dementia rates are decreasing and will continue to fall across Europe and North America thanks to the ban on lead in petrol, scientists have suggested. Due to an expanding and ageing population, the total number of people with dementia has been rising, but a study from Harvard claimed that the dementia rate — the proportion of people who develop the disease — is falling by up to 15 per cent per decade. A new study has claimed that high dementia rates may have been caused by exposure to lead emitted in car exhaust fumes, suggesting that the gradual switch to unleaded petrol in the 1970s and 1980s, and the ban on lead in petrol about 20 years ago is starting to bring dementia rates down.
Child sexual exploitation
Four men have been jailed for more than 22 years in total after sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl who was ‘passed around like a piece of meat’, sold for sex and raped. The Asian grooming gang from Telford forced their victim to perform sex acts in a churchyard, raped her above a shop on a filthy mattress, and violently abused her when she tried to refuse their advances, a court heard. In all, five men went on trial at Birmingham Crown Court, leading to convictions for four of the defendants while another was cleared.
Sixteen men including a police officer have been charged with multiple offences related to three girls aged between 13 and 16 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. The men, almost all of whom have names indicating a South Asian background, are charged with a swathe of crimes, from multiple counts of rape to trafficking and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, which they allegedly carried out between 2006 and 2009. One of them, 35-year-old Amjad Ditta, also known as Amjad Hussain, is a police officer — currently suspended from duty — and confirmed by West Yorkshire Police to have been “a serving police officer at the time of [his] alleged offence in 2009”.
Ministers have revived plans to introduce no-fault divorce after a bill was scuppered by the general election and Boris Johnson’s unlawful suspension of parliament. Reformers and lawyers welcomed the government’s reintroduction of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill. The proposed legislation was drafted after a campaign by The Times and the Marriage Foundation. Campaigners argue that the present system creates unnecessary hostility between divorcing spouses by forcing them to apportion blame, which can have a negative effect on Children.
Police will be given the power to arrest travellers and seize their caravans if they set up illegal camps. In a law and order blitz announced yesterday, it will become a criminal offence to occupy land and try to set up home without permission. More than 1,000 traveller caravans are on unauthorised sites in England and Wales, according to official figures earlier this year. The Police Powers and Protections Bill, which pledges a ‘police covenant’ to protect officers, was among a string of proposed legal changes in the Queen’s Speech.
Donald Trump branded the Democratic party “anti-American” on Thursday as he attempted to turn being impeached into a political advantage. The US president released a fundraising drive within hours of the vote seeking $4 million (£3.1m) within 24 hours as he seized on the fact that not a single Republican voted to impeach him. As part of a concerted effort to shape the narrative, Mr Trump shared a picture of himself pointing at the camera saying: “In reality they’re not after me, they’re after you”.
President Donald Trump is “as mad as hell” after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Democrats would delay sending articles of impeachment to the Republican Senate. Mr Trump has seen a trial in the Senate – where he is likely to be acquitted by his fellow Republicans – as an opportunity for vindication. But Ms Pelosi’s decision to delay sending the articles approved by the House on Wednesday to the Senate until, she says, Republican leaders offer more details about how they will handle an expected trial, now puts Mr Trump’s “day in court” in limbo.
Donald Trump is demanding an ‘immediate trial’ after talks over the looming Senate showdown reached an ‘impasse’ last night and one Harvard law expert claimed the president has not yet been impeached. The House voted on Wednesday night to charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.