Cabinet ministers are urging Theresa May to delay next Tuesday’s crucial Brexit vote amid fears that she is facing a defeat so catastrophic that it could bring down the government. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, is understood to be trying to persuade the prime minister to postpone the vote, which it is thought she could lose by 100 MPs or more. Others, including Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, and Alun Cairns, the Welsh secretary, say that she should continue to sell the Brexit deal but call off the vote on Monday if she is still facing defeat by more than 70.
Ministers are urging Theresa May to delay next week’s crunch Brexit vote – as the EU prepares to offer her the option of postponing Brexit beyond March. The Prime Minister is considering a range of measures designed to make the Irish ‘backstop’ more palatable to her mutinous backbenchers. Proposals include placing a parliamentary ‘lock’ on the backstop, which would give MPs the final say over whether to enter an arrangement which critics fear could keep the UK trapped in the customs union indefinitely. Downing Street is also considering a new law that would guarantee there could be no divergence of rules between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK during any backstop period.
THERESA May has been urged to POSTPONE next week’s crucial Brexit vote, with Cabinet ministers warning defeat could collapse the Government. It comes as EU leaders suggest the leave date could be pushed back beyond March if she loses. At least three Cabinet ministers are believed to be trying to persuade the PM to put the December 11 vote off. Labour plans to issue a vote of no confidence if May loses. According to the Daily Mail, one said: “We need to be creative and we need to get the DUP back on board. It can be done, but it can’t be done before next Tuesday.” Another said: “Marching people into the valley of death next Tuesday is a mistake.”
TORY officials have hinted at the prospect pushing through plans for a soft Brexit that will see the UK trapped in the customs union and single market. Theresa May is facing a huge battle to get her deal through parliament and now sources say there is enough cross-party support for an alternative to the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement from the EU. Former Downing Street fixer Sir Oliver Letwin told the Evening Standard: “I do believe there is a cross-party majority for that solution in the House of Commons.” Whilst Nicky Morgan added: “It has been clear for months now that a consensus in Parliament can be found around access to the single market and being part of a customs union, which points towards a Norway-plus solution.”
A group of Labour and Tory MPs are attempting to take control of the Brexit process if Theresa May’s deal is voted down next week. The move would be likely to result in a softer version of Brexit, with senior Conservatives claiming that there is a Commons majority for a permanent Norway-style customs deal. With the prime minister widely expected in Westminster to lose the vote on her deal on Tuesday, rival camps are jostling to be in position when she is forced to scramble together a Plan B. Cabinet ministers have begun discussing the idea of cross-party co-operation in the hope of bouncing Mrs May into accepting a softer Brexit deal next week.
Theresa May has been accused of “inadvertently misleading” parliament over Brexit in an angry prime minister’s questions clash, as the government was forced to publish the full legal advice on her deal. Her administration became the first in modern political history to be found in contempt of parliament over its refusal to hand over the advice on a bruising day in the Commons, where Ms May suffered three significant defeats. SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the advice had to “dragged out” of ministers and claimed Ms May had been misleading MPs, before he was rebuked by the Speaker.
THERESA May was accused of lying to Parliament yesterday as documents proved her deal risks splitting Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK “indefinitely”. Furious DUP MPs blasted the PM for “stabbing us in the back” as full legal advice from the Attorney General was revealed. It showed Britain will have to be treated as a “third country” by the province under the post-Brexit backstop. The DUP said confirmation that checks would be needed on goods crossing to and from Great Britain made a mockery of the PM’s vow to never accept a virtual border down the Irish Sea.
THERESA May is desperately trying to win over Tory Brexit rebels with an offer of a parliamentary veto on the most controversial part of her Brussels deal. In a series of private meetings with backbenchers, the Prime Minister suggested MPs could get a vote before the UK is allowed to enter the so-called Northern Ireland “backstop” which could keep the country tied into a customs union with the EU. Ministers were understood to be planning an amendment to the motion for next week’s crunch Commons vote on the deal to introduce the extra “parliamentary lock” on entering the backstop. Her offer was put forward on Tuesday following intensifying fears that her deal will be rejected by a margin of more than 100 MPs at Westminster on Tuesday.
Theresa May is making a desperate bid to buy off her Tory rebels by holding talks on giving Parliament a veto on entering into the controversial Irish backstop. The PM is facing overwhelming opposition to her divorce deal, which is widely expected to be voted down by MPs in next week’s crunch vote. But with just six days until the crucial vote, the PM is scrambling to try to broker a new compromise to pick off Brexit rebels threatening to derail her deal. Number Ten is discussing a plan to give MPs a vote at a later date on whether the UK enters the backstop or wants to tear up the entire Brexit deal altogether.
Theresa May has stepped up last-ditch efforts to try to win over Brexit-backing MPs after government legal advice warned the Irish backstop could leave the UK trapped in “protracted and repeated rounds of negotiations” for years to come. But Brexiters immediately rejected one idea mooted by Downing Street, of promising a “parliamentary lock” – giving MPs a vote before the backstop could be implemented. The prime minister is holding a series of face-to-face meetings with groups of MPs, seeking to persuade them there is no viable alternative to her approach. With just six days to go until the vote on her controversial deal, which May is expected to lose heavily,
The government will not need to pass legislation in order to revoke Article 50 if the European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirm an initial opinion reached earlier today in Luxembourg, according to Sky sources. The Wightman case – referred by the Court of Session, the highest court in Scotland – was heard by the ECJ last week and one of its top legal officers – the advocate general Campos Sanchez-Bordona – has announced that the UK has the right to withdraw the clause and stay in the EU before its planned departure on 29 March. Sky News understands from senior government sources that – in pure legal terms – no legislation needs to be passed in order for any hypothetical revocation to take place.
The DUP has assured Brexiteers it will not bring down the Government if they reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal next week. Nigel Dodds, the DUP Westminster leader, told a meeting of Tory Brexiteers on Wednesday night that his party would support the Government in a confidence vote if the draft withdrawal agreement is thrown out by Parliament next week. However, it will withdraw its support if Mrs May’s deal goes through – wiping out her working majority in Parliament and raising the spectre of a general election. Mr Dodds warned the Prime Minister that there would be “implications” if her deal “squeaks” through Parliament next week.
DUP Westminster leader Nigel Dodds has indicated that his party would bring Theresa May’s government down if the Prime Minister got her Brexit deal through the House of Commons. DUP support for Mrs May’s administration in any confidence motion would depend on the deal being defeated or ditched by the Prime Minister. Mr Dodds told ITV’s Peston the DUP would not be voting for Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement “as things stand”, adding he could not see “much being changed that will be effective” before the meaningful vote on December 11.
The DUP have threatened to pull their support for Theresa May and send her premiership crashing down if her Brexit deal is passed next week. The party – who are propping the Tories up in No 10 in a confidence and supply deal – are furious at the Brexit deal and demanded the PM go back to the negotiating table. The have promised to back the PM in a confidence vote if the Brexit deal is rejected by the Commons next Tuesday. But they have effectively warned that they will not if her Brexit deal is passed by MPs next Tuesday.
The Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, has privately told Labour MPs the party should have severe reservations about backing a fresh Brexit referendum, saying voters could see it as a betrayal. The deep scepticism from one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest and most powerful supporters is likely to unnerve MPs and campaigners hoping the party is warming to the idea of a fresh Brexit vote. Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, hit back at McCluskey’s warning, laying bare the tensions in the party. “To suggest it represents a ‘betrayal’ grossly distorts Labour’s position and is deeply unhelpful to those seeking a solution to an an issue that is reaching crisis proportions,” he told the Guardian.
JEREMY Corbyn was mocked for failing to grill Theresa May on Brexit after she suffered three successive, humiliating defeats in just over an hour yesterday. The Labour leader was expected to quiz the Prime Minister over her decision to withhold the Attorney General’s Brexit legal advice, which she was forced to publish after the Commons voted to hold the Government in contempt of Parliament, but failed to press her on the issue. Yesterday’s historic Parliamentary session left Mrs May as the first Prime Minister to be defeated three times in one day for more than 40 years and she will stand at the despatch box today fighting not just to save her deal, which looks doomed to fail, but her whole government too.
Brexit betrayal rally
Ukip and former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson are staging a “Brexit Betrayal Rally” in London on Sunday 9 December. An opportunity for Brexiteers dissatisfied with prime minister Theresa May’s deal for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU to express their anger, the march is expected to attract thousands of Leave voters to the streets of the capital, many travelling long distances by coach to attend. The demonstration has been scheduled ahead of the “meaningful” parliamentary vote on Tuesday, in which members of the House of Commons will decide whether or not to accept the deal.
There could scarcely be a less auspicious time for Britain to return to Brussels and seek to restart the Brexit negotiations in the hope of a more attractive deal. With rioting on the streets of French cities, a looming stand-off over Italy’s debt and a weakened Angela Merkel preparing to cede control of her party, the European Union has neither the time nor the inclination to revisit the Irish border question. In crude terms, Europe’s problems stem from much the same source as Brexit: popular anger at liberal immigration policies, the rising cost of living and a political class that is struggling to sustain its democratic legitimacy.
Foreign hackers have attempted to access the genetic blueprints of thousands of NHS patients, officials have said as they revealed the data is being guarded at a high-security military base. Leaders of Genomics England said they had fought off multiple cyber attacks on a flagship project to map the genes of a million people. The new service aims to transform the chances of patients with cancer and rare diseases by comparing their genomes – the complete set of genetic material – against a growing library of others. It will enable doctors to better predict what treatments will work, and should increasingly allow patients to assess their chance of future disease and help them avoid it altogether.
Foreign hackers have made multiple attempts to steal the genetic details of thousands of NHS patients that are being guarded at a top-security military base. Officials overseeing the Genomics England project hope to map the genes of more than a million NHS patients so they can be informed if they have any rare diseases. They revealed the project had successfully fended off a number of well-documented cyber-attacks including some ‘from overseas’. Experts say it could be used to identify individual patients and potentially even blackmail them by exposing their sensitive health conditions health conditions.
Climate change made this year’s summer heatwave around 30 times more likely than it would be under natural conditions, the Met Office has said. This summer was the equal warmest in a series dating back to 1910, along with 2006, 2003 and 1976, with temperatures reaching a peak on July 27 when 35.6C (96F) was recorded at Felsham, Suffolk. New analysis from the Met Office has found that the record-breaking summer temperatures were about 30 times more likely as a result of climate change caused by human activities.
Climate change made this year’s summer heatwave around 30 times more likely than it would be under natural conditions, the Met Office has said. This year’s scorching summer was joint warmest overall with 2006, 2003, and 1976 – and its highest temperature hit 35.6C in Suffolk. New analysis from the Met Office has found that the record-breaking summer temperatures were about 30 times more likely as a result of climate change caused by human activities. The UK now has around a 12 per cent chance of summer average temperatures being as high as they were in 2018 every year.
GREENLAND’S melting is “off the charts” because of climate change and scientists are terrified it is about to go into “overdrive”, according to a shock study. The melting of Greenland’s ice sheet has accelerated to unprecedented rates because of rising temperatures, analysis of ice cores has found. Scientist found that increases in melting closely follow the start of industrial-era warming in the Arctic in the mid-1800s but the magnitude of the melt has exceeded natural variability in the past few decades.
A petition calling on the UK government to reject the United Nations’ controversial global Migration Compact has exceeded the 100,000 signatures necessary for it to be debated in Parliament. The petition, which has been promoted by Leave.EU among others, has gathered considerable pace in the last fortnight but is yet to receive a response from the government after surpassing 10,000 signatories 11 days ago. The United States and Australia, in addition to a multitude of European nations have confirmed they will not be agreeing to the compact which aims to confirm migration as a human right, conflating legal and illegal migration.
Huawei’s equipment is to be removed from the core of BT’s existing 3G and 4G mobile networks and would not use the Chinese company in next generation 5G. The chief of Britain’s foreign intelligence services MI6 said this week that reliance on Chinese technology for 5G was something Britain needed to discuss. New Zealand and Australia have stopped telecom operators using Huawei’s equipment in new 5G networks because they are concerned about possible Chinese government involvement in their communications infrastructure. Chinese firm Huawei, the world’s biggest network equipment maker ahead of Ericsson and Nokia, has said Beijing has no influence over its operations.
President Macron beat a retreat for the second time in two days as farmers, lorry drivers and students joined the tax revolt that is threatening to derail his presidency. After announcing a six-month freeze on fuel duties on Tuesday in an attempt to appease popular anger, Mr Macron backtracked again last night and scrapped next year’s rises altogether. The climbdown was a further humiliation for his government, which had repeatedly ruled out abandoning the planned fuel tax rises which prompted the yellow-vest movement.
French President Emmanuel Macron has given in to the initial demands of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement and permanently cancelled the proposed increase tax on fuel after a negative reaction to a six-month deferment. The Elysée Palace confirmed that the fuel tax hike slated for January, which sparked the Yellow Vest movement, would be cancelled entirely on late Wednesday following a massively negative reaction to Prime Minister Édouard Philippe’s proposal to simply defer the tax for another six months, franceinfo reports.
French President Emmanuel Macron has abandoned his hated fuel tax after weeks of violent protest and will considering buckling to another ‘yellow vest’ demand to tax the rich. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told lawmakers that ‘the tax is now abandoned’ in the 2019 budget, and the government is ‘ready for dialogue’ on Wednesday. Three weeks of carnage involving blocked roads and fuel depots have left four people dead. Ending the ISF ‘wealth tax’ on high earners was a key part of Macron’s pro-business presidential campaign, seen as a way of encouraging people to invest and hire in France.
HORRIFIC video of police attacking defenceless protestors during the Paris riots has emerged in France. The shocking images are the latest evidence of Republican Security Companies (CRS) acting with immense brutality. They show so-called Yellow Vest fuel price demonstrators caught inside a Burger King fast food restaurant in Avenue Wagram, close to the Arc de Triomphe, last Saturday. The men and women – who take their name from the high visibility jackets all motorists have to carry in France – cover their heads with their hands as blows rain down.