MPs attempting to block a no-deal Brexit may have run out of time and options to prevent Britain leaving the European Union on October 31, a respected think tank has said. The Institute for Government has claimed that “time is running out” for the Remainers who are attempting to delay Brexit, and that “simply voting against” no-deal cannot stop Boris Johnson. In a new paper, the think tank concludes that many of the previous avenues to stopping no-deal are no longer available to MPs, with Downing Street simply able to “ignore” their opposition in Parliament.
REMAINER MPs have little chance of sabotaging a no deal Brexit, according to analysis by respected constitutional experts. Boris Johnson is unlikely to be able to secure a new agreement from Brussels and push it through Parliament by October 31, the Institute for Government (IFG) said. But MPs who want to stop Britain leaving on that date if a settlement has not been reached have virtually run out of time and options, according to the think tank.
A no-deal Brexit appears increasingly likely on 31 October given the lack of time to secure a new agreement with the EU and the diminishing number of ways in which MPs could block such a process, an influential thinktank has said. In a report on the likely lead-up to the UK’s departure, the Institute for Government said that MPs merely expressing opposition to no deal would not necessarily be sufficient and that there were limited parliamentary manoeuvres open to them to force the issue.
MPs are drawing up plans to compel Boris Johnson to break his “do or die” pledge and force him to request an 11th-hour Brexit extension from the European Union. A leaked strategy document reveals that Mr Johnson’s opponents believe they can thwart his plans to push through a no-deal Brexit and compel him to hold an election with Britain still in the European Union. They also intend to launch a campaign accusing the prime minister of driving through an illegitimate “scorched earth (no-deal) policy on the British people” that has no democratic mandate.
Rebel MPs are plotting to rewrite the Commons rulebook to prevent Boris Johnson from forcing through a no-deal Brexit, The Independent has learnt. Secret talks are being held by cross-party MPs on a plan to rip up parliament’s standing orders to give the Commons powers to stop the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal. Senior figures involved in the conversations believe the most likely chance of success would be a bill compelling the prime minister to seek an extension from the EU if there is no deal in place by Halloween.
Final Say campaigners are urging supporters to regroup and focus attention on the democratic outrage of Boris Johnson attempting to impose the “scorched earth policy” of no-deal Brexit without consulting the British public. It comes as negotiations with the EU remain at an impasse, and widespread speculation Mr Johnson may seek to stay on as prime minister even if he loses a confidence vote in order to deliver Brexit on 31 October. In a strategy note circulated to 300 MPs, Margaret Beckett, the former Labour foreign secretary, and Tory MP Dominic Grieve, claim that unless Downing Street is playing an “extraordinary game of bluff” there is no intention to seek a renegotiated Brexit deal.
The head of the French channel ports has dismissed warnings of Brexit chaos on the Dover-Calais trade route as irresponsible scare-mongering by political agitators. “The British authorities have been doing a great deal to prepare. People say they are asleep but I can assure you that they are highly professional and they are ready,” said Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president of Port Boulogne Calais. “There are certain individuals in the UK who are whipping up this catastrophism for their own reasons. This has provoked a lot of concern but basically ‘c’est la bullsh**’.
The head of the French channel ports has rubbished warnings of Brexit chaos on the Dover to Calais trade route, saying: “C’est la bullshit.” Jean-Marc Puissesseau said: “The British authorities have been doing a great deal to prepare. “People say they are asleep but I can assure you that they are highly professional and they are ready. “There are certain individuals in the UK who are whipping up this catastrophism for their own reasons. This has provoked a lot of concern but basically ‘c’est la bullshit’. “Nothing is going to happen the day after Brexit,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
Labour MPs have been told to cancel all travel in early September in anticipation of Jeremy Corbyn tabling a motion of no confidence in the Government. The Telegraph has learned that Labour has suspended the process known as “slipping” for two weeks, which allows Labour MPs to be absent for votes, in order to maximise the chances of toppling Boris Johnson’s administration. The move appears to confirm that Labour will attempt to bring down the Government within days of MPs returning from their summer holidays, in order to provide enough time to try and block a no-deal Brexit.
THE Liberal Democrats are plotting to seize up to 70 mostly-Conservative seats in the next general election, including the one held by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, as they try to use the Brexit crisis to poach voters away from the ruling party. The Lib Dems, who elected their first female leader in July, have launched a drive to schmooze former Tory and Labour donors as they ready themselves for the next public poll. Tory former cabinet ministers have warned Boris Johnson’s entry into No 10 and his pro-hard Brexit stance could push many traditional Conservative voters towards voting for Jo Swinson’s party.
The Green MP, Caroline Lucas, has thrown down the gauntlet to 10 high-profile female politicians over blocking a no-deal Brexit, proposing a cabinet of national unity including Labour’s Emily Thornberry, the Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, and the former Conservative cabinet minister Justine Greening to seek legislation for a fresh referendum. In an extraordinary proposal that will be viewed with scepticism by rival parties, Lucas offered to broker a deal with female MPs from all the main political parties in Westminster, as well as the SNP’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon.
The leader of the Green Party is calling on leading female politicians to join her in a “cabinet of women” to “stop the dangerous pursuit of a crash-out Brexit”. Caroline Lucas has written to 10 female politicians opposed to no-deal inviting them to form an “emergency cabinet” that would “press the pause button” on Brexit and offer a new EU referendum. She said the aim would be to secure a Commons vote of no-confidence in Boris Johnson followed by the formation of a government of national unity.
GREEN Party leader Caroline Lucas called today for an all-women cabinet to assemble and prevent a “no-deal” Brexit. Ms Lucas asked 10 female MPs to join her in a “cabinet of women” to “stop the dangerous pursuit of a crash-out Brexit.” Such a cabinet would “press the pause button” on Brexit and offer a new EU referendum, she argued in The Guardian, with this proposing Remain versus the “latest government plan,” which she said would most likely be to leave without a withdrawal agreement.
CAROLINE Lucas has been blasted for proposing an all-female national unity government to stop a No Deal Brexit. The MP and former Green Party leader, who backs a second vote on Britain’s EU withdrawal, said the plan could be enacted in the event that Boris Johnson loses a no-confidence vote in parliament. Lucas made the proposal in a letter sent to ten senior female MPs from parties across the political spectrum and published in the Guardian. “I believe women have shown they can bring a different perspective to crises, are able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions,” she wrote.
Irish premier Leo Varadkar has struck down one of the cornerstones of Boris Johnson’s plan to leave the EU with a deal by 31 October ahead of a meeting between the two leaders next month. Last week the Irish Taoiseach invited Mr Johnson to visit him in Dublin to discuss Brexit and other issues between the two countries, but last night Mr Varadkar’s office insisted once again that there would be no movement on the Irish backstop – stating the point “has repeatedly been made clear”.
The Brexit stalemate looks set to continue after the Irish government said the backstop would not be up for renegotiation at a planned meeting between Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar. The two prime ministers will meet early next month but a spokesman for Varadkar said there was no prospect of a rethink on the most contentious part of the withdrawal agreement. Johnson has been invited by the taoiseach to Dublin with “no preconditions” but the Irish government is keen to avoid any ambiguity.
BORIS JOHNSON has accepted an invitation to meet with Irish leader Leo Varadkar to discuss Brexit and the Northern Ireland backstop. A spokesman for the Taoiseach confirmed that Boris Johnson was invited and said the pair will meeting “in the coming weeks” – but the exact date is yet to be confirmed. They added that “the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop are not up for negotiation”. But Mr Johnson will be looking to convince him against such a position, having repeatedly demanded for the backstop to be scrapped.
BREXIT supporting fishing group, Fishing for Leave, has lashed out at a leaked civil service email which claims Britain could not stop illegal fishing by EU vessels in the event of a no deal Brexit. The group scorned the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for their assessment on the UK’s ability to protect its waters after the leaked email was revealed. Defra claimed Britain’s 12 patrol boats could not fully protect the waters after the country leaves the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Courts will get new powers to jail violent criminals, rapists and prolific offenders for longer under plans by Boris Johnson for the biggest overhaul of sentencing laws for 16 years. He has ordered a review of the laws to end the scandal of “super-prolifics” who escape jail despite having as many as 50 convictions, increase sentences for serious and violent offenders and halt the automatic release of the vast majority of prisoners halfway through their sentences. He has postponed a decision on plans by the previous Justice Secretary David Gauke that would have scrapped sentences under six months but courts will continue to presume that short jail terms should only be used as a last resort.
BORIS Johnson has launched a review of sentences given to the most serious offenders as part of a wider promised crackdown on crime. The prime minister, who has pledged to make law and order a priority, said the review would look at whether the sentences being served by violent and sexual offenders reflected the severity of their crimes. He also plans to disqualify the most serious offenders from rules that see prisoners automatically freed on licence once they have served half their sentence.
Violent and sexual offenders could serve more of their sentences behind bars following an urgent review of sentencing policy ordered by Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister said dangerous criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments “truly fit the crime” if the public was to have confidence in the justice system. Also on Monday, Mr Johnson announced an extra £85 million for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to help it manage its caseload over the next two years.
Boris Johnson ordered a review into the sentencing of violent and sexual offenders yesterday as he attempts to rebuild the Tories’ reputation as the party of law and order before a possible early general election. In an attack on his predecessor’s policies to restrict prison numbers, the prime minister said the public wanted to see criminals serving the sentences they deserved and promised that the “punishment must truly fit the crime”.
Violent and sexual offenders could serve more of their sentences behind bars following an urgent review of sentencing policy ordered by Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister said dangerous criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments ‘truly fit the crime’ if the public was to have confidence in the justice system. The move follows a series of announcements over the weekend in which Mr Johnson promised to ‘come down hard’ on crime.
Boris Johnson has ordered an urgent review of sentencing for dangerous offenders and vowed punishments will “truly fit the crime“. The PM announced the move as he continued his crackdown on crime, after enhancing stop and search powers as well as announcing 10,000 new prison places. Work on the sentencing review is set to start immediately and to report back to No 10 in the autumn.
Boris Johnson has set out a resoundingly tough stance on law and order ahead of a possible autumn general election, with a trio of announcements on extending jail terms, building new prisons and increasing police stop-and-search powers. Eschewing the more liberal approach to criminal justice briefly tried when Michael Gove was justice secretary, and prompting Labour criticism about choosing posturing over substance, Johnson said punishments “must truly fit the crime”.
NEWLY announced police powers that would enable officers to use stop-and-search more freely have been condemned as ineffectual, reactionary and divisive. More than 8,000 police inspectors will be able to authorise the use of stop-and-search — instead of just superintendents under the old rules — as part of the government’s strategy to “come down hard” on crime, PM Boris Johnson announced today. He also declared that there will be 10,000 more prison places, a new prison built, longer sentences, new laws regarding attacks with knives and acid, and 20,000 more police officers.
Patients are having to wait more than two weeks on average for a routine GP appointment for the first time, according to a survey. The survey of 901 GPs across the UK found that the average waiting time for routine appointments is now almost 15 days – the first time it has ever exceeded a fortnight, according to Pulse magazine who carried out the research. Some GPs responding to the survey warned that waiting times are increasing because they are not being given extra funding to cope with an influx of new patients when housing developments are built in their area.
DELAYS to see a GP have hit “crisis levels” with patients facing record waits of more than two weeks, research reveals. It shows sick Brits are “struggling to even get their foot in the door” to see a family doctor. A survey by GP magazine Pulse found average waiting times for non-urgent appointments of 14.8 days — the first time they have exceeded a fortnight. Delays are up from 13.9 days last year and 12.8 days in 2017 — a 16 per cent rise in two years.
Waiting times for GPs are at their longest ever – with some patients left without an appointment for up to six weeks. The average wait to see a family doctor has breached two weeks for the first time on record, a poll of GPs reveals today. It comes amid an NHS staffing crisis that has led to warnings that the entire GP system is ‘beginning to collapse’. One fifth of GPs said waiting lists have soared to over three weeks, while thousands more patients are unable to get an appointment within a month.
For the first time patients are waiting more than two weeks on average to see their family doctor, according to a survey of almost 1,000 GPs. The poll, conducted by the GP magazine Pulse, found that average waiting times for patients had reached almost 15 days. One in five said that their wait for a routine appointment was more than three weeks while six per cent said that it was longer than four weeks. Only 20 per cent of doctors said that their average wait time was less than a week.
Leading universities are setting aside thousands of degree places in Clearing for international students, a Times investigation has shown. Teenagers getting their A-level results on Thursday will find that almost 1,000 courses at Russell Group universities are not available to them, reserved for overseas students who pay higher fees than British undergraduates and those from the wider EU. At the end of last week the Ucas Clearing page showed 4,611 courses at the elite universities for applicants living in England, compared with 5,505 for international candidates.
Dozens of universities plan to admit students who don’t meet their criteria this year – and will put on an extra year’s tuition to help them catch up. An increasing number of institutions are setting aside places in clearing for those with sub-standard A-levels or good grades in the wrong subjects, in order to increase ‘diversity’ on courses. Students will do an extra ‘foundation year’ before their degree, to cover the material they should have learnt in sixth form. In some cases there are no minimum entry requirements – but students must show ‘potential’.
Drivers are being charged up to £4 to drop friends and family at UK airports, with most operators hiking fees this summer. Research published today found that eight in ten airports had increased drop-off and pick-up fees as they seek to push passengers on to environmentally friendly transport. The study by the RAC found that London Stansted had the highest fees with motorists being charged £4 for ten minutes while Luton charged the same for 13 minutes.
Four out of five UK airports have increased charges for drivers dropping off or collecting passengers this summer, a study found. Eighteen of the 22 airports analysed have introduced or raised drop-off or pick-up fees, the RAC investigation found. ‘Kiss and fly’ charges – typically levied for dropping off someone as close to the terminal as possible – have increased at eight airports compared with last year.