BORIS Johnson’s plan for a pre-Christmas election was in doubt last night as EU leaders fell out over how long to delay Brexit. With Westminster paralysed after MPs voted down the timetable to pass his Brexit bill, the PM was told he must wait until Friday at the earliest for Europe’s decision. Countries were split over whether to grant a three-month extension or a much shorter one. France has given the PM a major boost by leading a push to keep it to just 15 days.
Now that MPs have rejected the government’s three-day timetable for getting the Brexit bill through Parliament, the legislation is officially in “limbo”. If the EU confirms a Brexit delay until the new year, the prime minister has said he will push for a general election. So how soon could an election happen and why does Boris Johnson want one? The next election isn’t due until 2022 – but the prime minister wants an early election to try to restore the Conservative Party’s ruling majority in the Commons. At the moment, if every opposition MP voted against the government, it would lose by 45 votes.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson could push for a snap election if the European Union backs a Brexit delay to January 31st, 2020. Last night, MPs got Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill over its first hurdle, voting to give it a second reading by 329 votes to 299. Mr Johnson succeeded where his predecessor had failed, with Theresa May’s withdrawal treaty having been voted down three times in the House of Commons. However, his bill is in limbo after MPs rejected his intensive timetable to get the legislation through the lower house in three days, thus scuppering the prime minister’s plans to have the UK out of the EU with a deal by his “do or die” pledged date of October 31st, 2019.
Boris Johnson could make a third attempt to trigger a general election as early as today, it is understood. The prime minister is preparing to challenge Jeremy Corbyn to send voters to the polls as soon as another Article 50 extension has been granted by the European Union, a decision that is expected tomorrow. He is likely to lay a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act either tonight or on Monday that would force MPs to decide before the October 31 deadline whether to allow an election. The EU is expected to grant a second extension to the Brexit deadline tomorrow.
Boris Johnson could call an election as soon as today amid a Downing Street split over going to the polls. It is thought the Prime Minister will lay down the gauntlet to Jeremy Corbyn as soon as the EU grant another Brexit extension, a decision expected tomorrow. Mr Johnson will put forward a motion under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act tonight or on Monday, according to The Times. But Mr Johnson is facing mounting Tory resistance, with some believing his chief adviser Dominic Cummings is driving him towards the polls, whereas the PM might be more inclined to plough on with Brexit.
Boris Johnson is preparing to push for a pre-Christmas general election after talks with Labour ended without a breakthrough on a timetable for parliament to pass his Brexit deal. Despite a humiliating defeat on Tuesday over his plans to force the 110-page Withdrawal Agreement Bill though the Commons in just three days, the prime minister told MPs that he still believes leaving the EU on 31 October with an agreement is in the country’s best interests and intends to “press ahead” with trying to get his deal passed. But aides made clear that the PM is ready to go for an election if the European Union offers a lengthy Brexit extension to the end of January.
LABOUR has signalled that it will back a general election this autumn if the EU allows Brexit to be delayed until 2020. Jeremy Corbyn met PM Boris Johnson today to discuss a new timetable for leaving the EU, but the pair did not come to an agreement. Instead Mr Johnson vowed to push for a general election if EU leaders sanction an extension to Article 50 up to the end of January. It comes after the accelerated timetable for Mr Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill to pass through Parliament by October 31 was rejected on Tuesday night in a Commons vote.
Emmanuel Macron is set to force an emergency EU summit by insisting that any delay to the October 31 Brexit deadline can last no longer than 15 days. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, has told EU leaders to support a three-month “flextension” until 31 January, 2020. The French President’s hardline stance, designed to exert maximum pressure on MPs in London to back the deal, has horrified diplomats in Brussels, who fear the short delay raises the risk of an accidental no deal Brexit. But it will be a boon to Boris Johnson who has called for any Brexit extension to be as short as possible.
Pressure for a pre-Christmas election was mounting as Boris Johnson faced an anxious wait over his Brexit extension request. All eyes were on whether Brussels would grant a fresh delay until January 31 – blocking the UK from leaving without a deal on Halloween . In a series of phone calls, the Prime Minister told EU Council President Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel there should be no delay – despite Mr Johnson being forced to send a letter asking for a three-month extension. EU ambassadors met tonight with the French said to be pushing for a shorter extension of just two weeks.
FRANCE has demanded a speedy “yes or no” from Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, after a parliamentary vote made ratification of the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement by the October 31 deadline almost impossible. The president of the EU Council Donald Tusk has asked member states to back a second extension, saying that it was the only way to avoid a messy no-deal divorce. “We have been waiting three years for this decision. The British need to tell us as quickly as possible whether it’s a yes or a no,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told politicians.
Britain is staring down the barrel of another long Brexit delay today after EU leaders lined up behind a plan to keep the UK in the bloc until 2020. Despite desperate pleading from Boris Johnson, European leaders are signalling they will approve MPs’ request for a three-month extension until January 31. The only major hold-out appears to be French president Emmanuel Macron, who is thought to be pushing for a much shorter postponement of just days past the current October 31 deadline. In a fresh humiliation for the UK, it has emerged that the UK might not know its fate for days, throwing Mr Johnson’s plans to trigger a snap general election into turmoil.
Boris Johnson will be left waiting for the EU’s terms for a further Brexit extension until Friday, with signs of momentum building behind Donald Tusk’s plan for a delay up to 31 January. The French government has privately voiced its concerns about taking the pressure off MPs to vote for the deal, which they believe could be ratified in 15 days, but EU sources said the bloc was seeking a “solution that works for all” and avoids a no deal exit.
BREXIT has been thrown into uncertainty once more as the Prime Minister decided to suspend the debate on his bill. Here’s how the European Parliament could delay things even further. On Tuesday night, Boris Johnson lost a vote in the House of Commons on his proposed three-day timetable to scrutinise his Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB). Rather than push for a delay, the Prime Minister suspended the process, despite winning a vote to move it on to the next phase.
Britain should pay its £39bn Brexit “divorce bill” even if it leaves the EU without a deal, a new parliamentary report has said. A House of Lords committee said that failure to pay would risk trashing the UK’s international reputation and could block any future free trade deal with the rest of Europe. Hardline Brexiteers, including Nigel Farage, have long argued that the UK should withhold the cash settlement with Brussels in a no-deal scenario, citing a 2017 report by the Lords’ EU Financial Affairs sub-committee which said Britain would be under “no enforceable obligation” to pay. But the same committee said today that the UK “should honour its financial obligations”.
More than half of Labour MPs will defy Jeremy Corbyn if he backs an early election, his party whips have warned. Yesterday, as he waited for the EU to decide the terms of a third Brexit extension, Boris Johnson met Mr Corbyn just hours before prime minister’s questions to see whether there was room for compromise on a timetable for the government’s withdrawal agreement bill. The meeting, which Mr Corbyn attended with Nick Brown, his chief whip, and Seumas Milne, his communications chief, descended into bickering, leaving Labour more likely to face an imminent choice on whether to back an election before Christmas.
THE LABOUR PARTY have hinted they will back Boris Johnson’s calls for a general election, in fear that they will face a massive electoral backlash if they don’t. Jeremy Corbyn’s party would risk “damaging its electoral prospects” if it failed to back the Government’s calls for an early general election, Stephen Glover has claimed. The Daily Mail columnist warned the Labour Party “will inevitably suffer” if they shy away from a nationwide vote. But the opposition party looks set to back the early vote, with shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon backing a snap poll before Christmas.
Jeremy Corbyn was dithering over whether to back a pre-Christmas election last night – as Labour MPs warned him the party would get ‘smashed’ at the polls. Boris Johnson is poised to force a fresh vote on an election next week if the EU confirms another three-month Brexit delay. In the Commons yesterday, the Prime Minister urged Mr Corbyn and other Opposition leaders to ‘support a General Election to settle the matter’. Mr Corbyn, who turned down the chance of an election three times last month, claimed this month he was ‘champing at the bit’ to go to the polls as soon as a fresh Brexit delay was in place.
Jeremy Corbyn stepped up his demands for Britain to join a post-Brexit customs union with the European Union amid signs that Boris Johnson is heading for defeat on the issue if debate resumes on his withdrawal plans. The Prime Minister has repeatedly set his face against such a “soft Brexit” outcome on the basis that it would prevent the UK from negotiating trade deals around the world after the country has left the bloc. An amendment calling for a customs union was only rejected by three votes in April and supporters of the plan claim momentum has grown behind the idea in recent weeks.
JOHN BERCOW could be plotting to break his promise to resign as Speaker of the House of Commons at the end of the month, as it becomes increasingly likely the UK will not leave the EU on October 31. Last month John Bercow announced he was going to retire on October 31, the Brexit deadline, in order to steer the Commons through the final stages of Brexit. But with MPs thwarting the Government’s attempts to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in time for an October 31 departure, the Speaker could decide to back out of his promise to retire. There has been some speculation that Mr Bercow could renege on his promise to step down at the end of the month to see Brexit through and he even hinted as such during his resignation speech.
The government’s approach to aid spending risks undermining efforts to tackle poverty, a report from an official watchdog has warned. Ministers’ new focus on spending aid in ways that will deliver trade and investment benefits for the UK means attempts to alleviate poverty could be “diluted”, according to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), a government body responsible for scrutinising developing spending. The “mutual prosperity” approach adopted by ministers in recent years says that efforts to help people in developing countries should, where possible, also be used to help the UK.
A cross-party plot to stop fracking has been hatched by MPs, who will table an amendment to ban the extraction of shale gas during Thursday’s Queen’s Speech vote. Labour MP for Warrington South Faisal Rashid is calling for the practise to stop “with immediate effect”, by tacking his proposed ban on to Boris Johnson’s legislative agenda. The Government is facing a series of disruptive amendments on its Queen’s Speech vote on Thursday, ranging from refunding BBC licence fees to lowering the voting age to 16.
Scotland’s NHS is facing a £1.8bn financial black hole within five years unless sweeping reforms are pushed through more quickly, the nation’s public spending watchdog has warned. Ministers have cut capital funding by 63 per cent in the past decade leaving the health service with a maintenance bill of £914m, Audit Scotland says in a report published on Thursday. Its annual health check of the NHS also found that only two out of eight key waiting time targets were met in 2018-19 as staff struggled to meet rising demand for care. Doctors’ leaders said the report painted “a stark picture of the parlous state of our NHS” and warned ministers the situation “cannot go on” if the health service was to be kept free for patients.
Police are investigating a suspected Irish people-smuggling ring after 39 migrants were found frozen to death in the back of a refrigerated lorry. One of UK’s biggest murder inquiries was launched today after the bodies, including that of a teenager, were found dead in the truck on an Essex industrial estate. The container carrying the people arrived at Purfleet, close to Tilbury Docks, from Zeebrugge, in Belgium, at 12.30am on Wednesday morning. It left the docks at 1.05am on the back of the cab which had entered the UK via Holyhead from Dublin four days earlier. Just 35 minutes later the police were alerted that the truck was on an industrial estate in nearby Grays, Essex and the bodies had been found inside. The driver of the cab, named locally as Mo Robinson, 25, from County Armagh in Northern Ireland, was arrested on suspicion of murder.
The 39 migrants found in a lorry in Essex had frozen to death, it emerged last night, as the largest murder investigation since the 7/7 bombings began. The driver was arrested as a suspect shortly after the bodies — including that of at least one teenager — were discovered in the back of a refrigerated lorry parked on an industrial park in Grays. Mo Robinson, a self-employed haulier from Co Armagh, was in custody last night as detectives tried to identify the dead and piece together their journey to Britain.
THIRTY-nine migrants were last night feared to have frozen to death in their desperate bid to reach Britain. Driver Maurice ‘Mo’ Robinson, 25, who has been arrested on suspicion of murder, picked the trailer from Purfleet port about half an hour before the grim discovery at an industrial estate in nearby Grays yesterday morning. Robinson, from Northern Ireland, was arrested in one of Britain’s biggest-ever mass murder probes after Wednesday’s grisly discovery Essex. Police have confirmed he remains in custody. He had picked up the trailer after it arrived from Zeebrugge, Belgium at 12.30am yesterday.
The 39 migrants, locked inside a bitterly cold and airless shipping container, never stood a chance – their cries for help fading away with no one to hear them. The stowaways – 38 adults and one teenager – slowly froze to death in ‘absolutely horrendous’ conditions after they tried to reach the UK on a cargo ferry from Belgium, it is feared. Experts yesterday said the temperature inside the refrigerated trailer unit, which is said to usually carry biscuits, might have been as low as -25C (-13F). The migrants were huddled inside for at least 15 hours by the time the door was opened on an industrial estate in Essex at 1.40am yesterday
MIGRANT rights campaigners called for safer and legal routes into Britain to save refugees’ lives, following the horrific deaths of 39 people found in a container lorry in Essex today. The unidentified victims of a suspected mass murder — including a teenager — were found dead inside the refrigerated unit container at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex, in the early hours of this morning. A 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland who was driving the lorry from Bulgaria has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Police have searched two addresses in Northern Ireland as officers continue to question a Co Armagh man over the discovery of 39 bodies in a refrigerated lorry trailer. The searches in Co Armagh on Wednesday night are believed to be linked to the arrest of the driver, named in reports as 25-year-old Mo Robinson, from Portadown. He remains in custody for questioning by Essex Police on suspicion of murder. There was no answer at the Co Armagh home of Mr Robinson’s family. Detectives have said the trailer containing the victims arrived at Purfleet from Zeebrugge in Belgium at around 12.30am on Wednesday and the front section to which it was attached, known as the tractor, came from Northern Ireland.
New details about the gruesome discovery of 39 bodies inside the back of a semi-truck in England have begun to emerge as police try to piece together what led up to the tragedy. The 25-year-old driver from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder. While Essex police have not identified him, several U.K. media outlets have named him as Mo Robinson, from Portadown, County Armagh. A Facebook profile with a similar name identifies him as a lorry driver and includes pictures of him in a truck’s cab or next to hauling vehicles. Essex police corrected their earlier theories about how the truck entered the U.K., saying it traveled from Bulgaria to England, not from Ireland as they thought earlier.