Opposition leaders will meet on Monday to plot a way of forcing Boris Johnson to request a Brexit extension as early as this weekend. The Remain coalition will meet in Jeremy Corbyn’s office to discuss changing the law to bring forward the date when the Prime Minister legally has to ask Brussels to extend Article 50. They believe the current deadline of Oct 19 does not leave enough time for a court challenge to stop a no-deal Brexit on Oct 31 if Mr Johnson defies the law and refuses to ask for an extension. The Liberal Democrats want the deadline brought forward by two weeks to this Saturday, Oct 5. The opposition parties hope to seize control of parliamentary business while the Conservatives are in Manchester for their party conference.
Opposition party leaders will meet for further talks in Westminster today while the Conservatives are away at their conference in a bid to ensure Boris Johnson cannot push through a no-deal Brexit. The leaders are expected to discuss a plan by Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson to force the Prime Minister to go to Brussels to seek another Brexit delay as early as this weekend. Parliament has already passed the so-called Benn Act requiring him to request a further extension to the Article 50 withdrawal process if he cannot get a new agreement by October 19.
Plans for a parliamentary ambush to stop Boris Johnson’s Brexit plans risk running into the sand, after deep tactical differences emerged among the anti-no-deal parties ahead of a crunch meeting. Opposition parties are hoping to take advantage of the Conservatives’ absence from Westminster for their annual conference in Manchester by seizing control of events in the Commons. But as leaders of the so-called “rebel alliance” prepared to meet on Monday to discuss tactics, there was little consensus on the way forward.
REMAINER leaders will meet on Monday to hatch a plan to force Boris Johnson to request an extension to the Brexit deadline. The Opposition leaders will meet in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s office to discuss bringing forward the date when the Prime Minister can legally ask Brussels to extend Article 50, according to The Sunday Telegraph. The leaders believe the current date of October 19 will not leave enough time to stop a no deal Brexit on October 31. Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats want the deadline brought forward by two weeks to October 5.
Anti-Brexit MPs were last night dithering over whether to try to bring down Boris Johnson during this week’s Tory conference. Labour, the Scottish National Party, and the Lib Dems will hold emergency talks in London today with a rag-bag of independent MPs to decide on their next step in frustrating a No Deal Brexit. Ministers are on standby to travel back to London from the conference in Manchester if an attempt is made to topple the PM. They fear Speaker John Bercow will allow MPs free rein to try to hobble Mr Johnson’s efforts to get an EU deal in the hope of eventually cancelling Brexit altogether.
Michael Gove has raised the prospect of Boris Johnson being toppled if he fails to strike a Brexit deal, to be replaced by “a new Labour or other prime minister”. Asked about the fading prospects for an agreement, with a crucial EU summit just 17 days away, the cabinet office minister argued the EU must recognise “this process will involve compromise for everyone”. He then added: “I can’t believe that the EU would want a situation where we are continually negotiating a deal, with a new Labour or other prime minister, and this process is endlessly delayed.”
Boris Johnson has ramped up speculation that he is planning to bypass a law that stops the UK from crashing out of the EU without a deal. The prime minister told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show that Britain can still leave the bloc on 31 October despite the passing of the Benn Act, which aims to prevent a no-deal Brexit by forcing him to ask Brussels for a delay. He also failed to deny holding talks with EU heads of state to request they block any request for a Brexit extension. Despite outrage this week after he repeatedly labelled the Benn Act the “surrender bill”, Johnson described himself as a “model of restraint” in what has been described as an increasingly toxic political atmosphere.
Downing Street has launched a major investigation into alleged links between foreign governments and the MPs behind the ‘Surrender Act’ which could force Boris Johnson to delay Brexit, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Sources said No 10 took the unprecedented action after officials received intelligence that the MPs, including former Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin, had received help drafting the Bill from members of the French Government and the European Union. This newspaper has also learned that the rebel MPs have drawn up plans for a second Act which would allow Commons Speaker John Bercow to bypass the Prime Minister if he cannot strike a deal to leave the EU on October 31.
THE BRUTAL reality of EU fishing policy was laid bare today as British fishermen told of their fury at being forced to stand by and watch foreign boats haul tonne after tonne of fish from UK waters while being banned from landing anything. Elaine Whyte, executive secretary of Clyde Fishermen’s Association on the West coast of Scotland, said she has received early morning texts from local fishermen angered at the sight of EU boats overburdened with fish they have caught in UK fishing waters. She told Express.co.uk: “Quota is set by ministers in Brussels, many of whose countries don’t have a coastline, and to be honest it is annoying for some fishermen to see Spanish and French boats in UK waters.
Britain “may well” leave the EU without a deal, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told Sky News. He insisted “we’ve got to get Brexit done” on 31 October, repeating the Conservatives’ key message at the start of their party conference in Manchester. The cabinet minister admitted changing his mind on the scenario, having previously said when he was running for the Tory leadership that it was “not a policy option available to the next prime minister”. Opposition MPs are sitting in parliament during the Conservative Party conference after the Supreme Court ruled its suspension was unlawful.
THE latest twist in the Brexit saga has come with a suggestion by the Foreign Secretary that Boris Johnson could bizarrely use the EU’s own laws to get around the hastily drawn-up Benn Act designed to stop a no deal Brexit. Dominic Raab said the Conservative Government may turn to legislation under Article 50 of the bloc’s Lisbon Treaty to veto the so-called “Surrender Act” passed into law earlier this month. His comments come after the prime minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings said the administration “will see what we do about the Benn Act” and spoke of “loopholes” in the law designed to stop a no-deal exit.
Boris Johnson will know the European Union’s verdict on his plans for a Brexit deal by the end of next week, The Times has learnt, as Labour prepares to force a snap election. The government will make its official offer to Brussels in the form of a “legal text” at the beginning of next week before any formal negotiations. The proposal is expected to include further concessions to address EU concerns over its plans for the Irish border. Sources said that they expected to enter into a “tunnel” of secret negotiations after the offers had been made if there was any likelihood of a deal.
BORIS JOHNSON has said the EU wants to see Brexit happen and is keen to avoid a situation where a “truculent and mutinous” Britain would be lingering within their ranks indefinitely. The Prime Minister refused to give an update on the ongoing Brexit negotiations between the UK and the bloc, saying “they are “extremely interesting but they are also very delicate”. Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Mr Johnson said his European counterparts share his strong feelings that negotiations should be wrapped up soon with a deal, but he declined to say if he would ask one of them to veto a delay.
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chosen representative in the Brexit negotiations, suggested Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg could end up “on the guillotine” in months before the current furore over claims their use of terms like “surrender” and “betrayal” is “inflammatory” and put the lives of anti-Brexit MPs in danger. The former Belgian prime minister, who was recently feted at the party conference of the EU loyalist Liberal Democrats, claimed that “I know that within the Tory party the hard Brexiteers are compared to the leaders of the French revolution” at a press conference in Strasbourg, France.
Boris Johnson has suggested that other EU nations might veto a Brexit delay because they do not want a “truculent” and “mutinous” UK to stay in. The prime minister was asked if he had spoken to other heads of EU states and asked them to block an extension if he is forced to request one. He said: “I am not going to go into discussions I have had with any other EU head of state about EU negotiations. They are interesting but also delicate. “It is certainly true that other EU countries also don’t want this thing to keep dragging on.
Arlene Foster has offered Boris Johnson a glimmer of hope on Brexit after she hinted the DUP could accept a time-limited version of the backstop. The leader of the unionist party said she was willing to ‘look at’ such a proposal should one come forward. However, she questioned whether the EU would ever agree to the move. Mr Johnson has repeatedly said that the Irish border insurance policy must be deleted and replaced with something else.
The DUP would consider voting for the current Brexit deal if Boris Johnson can secure a time-limit to the controversial Northern Ireland backstop, Arlene Foster has said. The Northern Irish party leader ruled out supporting any backstop that would apply only to Northern Ireland, but said the DUP would “look at” a time-limit if the EU were to offer one. Ms Foster also confirmed that the DUP will back Mr Johnson in any confidence vote, amid speculation that one could be called in the coming days.
Jeremy Corbyn has stressed that his party’s top priority should be to stop a No Deal Brexit rather than a General Election – but that he also wants to become a caretaker Prime Minister. Speaking to reporters at an announcement to scrap Universal Credit in Chingford, Essex, the Labour leader, 70, said ‘absolutely’ when asked if he was ready to lead the country, as a General Election is ‘getting more likely every single day’. His ambiguous statement comes after he had a ‘productive meeting’ with other opposition parties on Thursday about removing Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and what would unfold afterwards.
REMAINER MPs were branded “extremists” last night after a plot to ask Commons Speaker John Bercow to ask Brussels for a further Brexit delay was exposed. Supporters of the so-called Surrender Act aimed at forcing Boris Johnson to request an extension of the EU’s Article 50 departure procedure were revealed to be studying the potential for another law designed to seize control of the divorce negotiations. Their planned legislation could send the Speaker to Brussels to make the application if the Prime Minister refused to do so.
REMAINER John Bercow could be handed new powers to step in for the Prime Minister and send a “surrender letter” to the EU asking them to extend the Brexit deadline if Boris Johnson refuses to do so, it emerged today. MPs are plotting to introduce a new law which would enable Mr Bercow to bypass the prime minister and go straight to Brussels on behalf of the House of Commons to prevent a no-deal Brexit. The politicians want Parliament to sit on Saturday, October 19, to pass the Bill, according to the Mail on Sunday. A senior Commons source said: “The rebels say that, if Boris wants to play with nuclear weapons, then so will they”.
John Bercow has ‘damaged the standing’ of the House of Commons in the eyes of the public to ‘the lowest point in modern history’, Jacob Rees-Mogg said today in a visceral attack on the Speaker. The new Commons Leader used a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester to tear into Mr Bercow’s handling of Brexit. The Speaker has attracted criticism and support over a series of pro-Parliament decisions that have infuriated the governments of Boris Johnson and Theresa May.
John Bercow has “damaged the standing” of the House of Commons in the eyes of the public to “the lowest point in modern history”, Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said. In a speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Mr Rees-Mogg criticised the Speaker of the House of Commons over his handling of Brexit. He was greeted by cheers and a standing ovation as he walked on stage, but Tory activists started murmuring in discontent as he spoke about Mr Bercow. Mr Rees-Mogg said: “As a parliamentarian, no listen, listen, because I’m actually going to be nice about him. As a parliamentarian, I have been in many ways and remain a great admirer of the Speaker.
Jacob Rees-Mogg has launched an unprecedented attack on Commons Speaker John Bercow. And he praised Nigel Farage from the stage of the Conservative Party Conference. Mogg, a member of Boris Johnson’s cabinet and Leader of the House of Commons, said Bercow had “damaged the standing of the house in the eyes of the British public to its lowest point in modern history.”
Restrictions on the use of electric car chargers will be lifted under plans to accelerate the use of green vehicles on Britain’s roads. Several public chargepoint operators have agreed to allow motorists to power up their cars without taking out multiple subscriptions. It will open up thousands of roadside chargers to more drivers, giving them greater confidence to embark on lengthy journeys without the fear of their batteries running out. The announcement was welcomed by Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, who has himself announced £2.5 million for more than 1,000 new charge points.
Baby boomers are on course to overtake young people as the country’s problem drinkers, NHS statistics suggest. Hospital admissions for mental disorders linked to alcohol have surged by a fifth among the middle-aged in the past five years, according to figures compiled by NHS Digital. There has been a 21 per cent increase in the number of over-50s admitted for addiction, memory loss and dementia linked to drinking since 2013/14. Among younger groups – those aged 15 to 49 – admissions have fallen by 7 per cent in the same period. Experts say the figures highlight a growing generational gap in attitudes to alcohol.
Vaping has been linked with 200 health problems including heart disorders, chest pains and pneumonia, an official dossier has revealed. Health watchdog the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has recorded 74 reports of health problems suspected to have been caused by e-cigarettes since 2014. Of the 74 cases, 49 were classified as ‘serious’. Experts are now calling for a national system to record every problem associated with e-cigarettes amid increasing concern over their safety, according to The Sunday Times. They have already been banned in Brazil, India, Thailand and Singapore.
Matt Hancock has said vaccinations could be made compulsory for all children attending school in England. The Health Secretary is “looking very seriously” at the measure, adding that unvaccinated children were “putting other children at risk”. He said there is a “very strong argument” for schools requiring children to be vaccinated to avoid the re-emergence of diseases such as polio and measles. Speaking at an event at Tory Party Conference in Manchester, Mr Hancock said he has taken advice this week on how to go about it.
Vaccinations for children could be made compulsory to stop the dangerous fall in take-up, Matt Hancock said today. The Health Secretary said there was a ‘very strong argument’ for making inoculations mandatory to avoid the re-emergence of diseases such as polio and measles. There has been growing alarm about slumping immunisation levels, with an NHS report last week revealing that rates for all nine childhood jabs have dropped again in England. Rates for the six-in-one jab, which protects against illness such as polio and tetanus, fell to 92.1 per cent among one-year-olds – the lowest figure in at least 10 years.
Children face being banned from the classroom if they are not up to date with their vaccinations amid widespread concern about falling immunisation rates. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said there was a very strong argument for requiring pupils to receive certain vaccinations before they go to school. He said that parents must “take responsibility” as he revealed that he had taken the first formal steps towards mandatory jabs by commissioning legal advice from government lawyers. Any such move would face resistance from many doctors and public health experts who fear forcing children to have jabs could backfire by making parents resentful and suspicious of the NHS.
More than half of Labour voters disagree with the party’s new policy to abolish private schools, a poll shows. The survey of around 2,000 people found 56 per cent of Labour supporters believe parents should be allowed to pay for their child’s education, if they can afford it. Among Tory voters it was 83 per cent, while among Liberal Democrats it was 70 per cent. The poll, commissioned by The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), suggests Labour’s plan to do away with fee-paying schools may not be a vote-winner. Last week, at the party’s annual conference, Labour voted in favour of integrating private schools into the state sector, and redistributing their assets. Later on, leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared to play down the policy, saying the most important action was to remove private schools’ tax breaks.