LABOUR MPs are “desperate” to reverse Brexit and keep us in the EU, Esther McVey blasted today. The top Brexiteer warned that moves by pro-Remain MPs to rule out No Deal would ruin Britain’s chances of getting a good deal from Brussels. And she said any delay to Brexit would mean “just not making any decisions” in a massive blow to UK businesses. Ms McVey’s blast came as the Commons is set to vote to take No Deal off the table. On Wednesday MPs are expected to vote for an amendment by Labour’s Yvette Cooper which would see Brexit delayed beyond March 29 if the UK is on track to leave without a deal. In a video made for her Get 2 Know WTO campaign, the former Work and Pensions Secretary warned: “If you delay Article 50, you delay coming out of the EU and what opportunities that could open up. “We will be procrastinating, delaying, prevaricating, just not making any decisions – maximising uncertainty for British businesses. “It would destroy the UK’s negotiating position, tie our negotiators’ hands behind their backs, and send the worst possible signal to Brussels. “It would give away all our leverage, emboldening the EU and ensuring Britain got the worst possible deal.”
It had been billed as the nightmare meeting that threatened to tear the Labour Party even further apart after the resignation of nine MPs. With a string of female Labour politicians lining up to confront Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism, the leader’s office was bracing itself for Monday night’s Parliamentary Labour Party meeting to turn into what one source described as “a bloodbath”. Which perhaps goes some way to explaining why – of all people, Corbyn’s top team appeared to take inspiration from Conservative campaign strategist Lynton Crosby by deploying what is known in political parlance as the “dead cat manoeuvre”.
Tom Watson issued a direct challenge to Jeremy Corbyn today as he set up his own group of moderate MPs inside Labour and called for evidence of anti-Semitism in the party to be sent directly to him. Labour’s deputy leader has become the focus of resistance to Mr Corbyn after nine MPs quit the party over anti-Semitism to set up the new Independent Group. Mr Watson has moved to create a new group inside Labour to promote the ‘social democrat’ tradition represented by many MPs who do not endorse Mr Corbyn’s far left-wing agenda.
The prime minister is preparing a dramatic shift in her Brexit policy, namely an announcement that if her reworked Brexit deal is not passed by MPs on or before 12 March she will shortly afterwards give MPs a binding vote on whether or not to go ahead with a no-deal Brexit on 29 March. This would be seen by many as a significant u-turn – because she will promise to abide by the will of Parliament, and thereby admit that a significant Brexit delay may be necessary.
Theresa May has secretly promised Remain rebels in the Government they will be able to vote against no deal in two weeks’ time, it was claimed today. The Prime Minister – who in public today defied EU calls to accept delaying Brexit was the ‘rational solution – is battling to stave off a Cabinet revolt on Wednesday. Mrs May has admitted a new vote on her deal could now come as late as March 12 as she scrambles to get new concessions on the Irish border backstop.
Theresa May is facing the threat of a revolt by Remain-supporting ministers ahead of a crucial cabinet meeting on her Brexit negotiations. Three say they will resign unless the PM agrees to take no-deal off the table, and there are suggestions that more are prepared to follow suit. The BBC’s Nick Watt says the feeling is Mrs May will “lean into” their demands and Brexiteers have been told to expect a “very difficult message”. No 10 would not comment on the reports. The government position is set to be thrashed out at cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, where Brexit is the only item on the agenda.
Conservatives pushing for Theresa May to categorically rule out a no-deal Brexit in parliament this week have urged their colleagues not to be bought off by vague promises of a future vote on whether to extend article 50. May is expected to make a last-ditch attempt to avoid a cabinet rebellion, before a vote on Wednesday on a cross-party amendment laid by the Tory Oliver Letwin and Labour’s Yvette Cooper that would in effect rule out a no-deal scenario.
Theresa May is ready to rule out a No Deal Brexit after an extraordinary mass revolt by ministers, the Daily Mail can reveal. A group of 23 dissidents met secretly at the Commons last night to discuss how to stop Britain leaving the EU without an agreement on March 29, with as many as 15 said to be ready to resign. In an article for the Mail on Monday, three of the ministers involved say they are prepared to back a Commons move by rebel MPs tomorrow to force the Prime Minister to seek a Brexit delay if her deal is voted down.
Theresa May could be set for an awkward climbdown to avoid a government walkout over Brexit. The prime minister could be forced to delay Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU, a suggestion she pushed back on yesterday, amid reports that several senior ministers are prepared to quit. Three cabinet ministers – Amber Rudd, Greg Clark and David Gauke – have publicly indicated that they could support a cross-party amendment to give parliament the power to stop the UK from leaving without a deal.
The UK is a step closer to a delayed Brexit after it emerged Theresa May has mooted the idea to win over Remainer rebels, while EU leaders also called for an extension to negotiations. The prime minister is said to have offered to make time for a vote in a fortnight allowing for a two-month delay beyond 29 March in return for rebels – including at least three cabinet ministers – calling off a revolt on Wednesday. Cabinet sources confirmed the idea had been put to rebels, but The Independent has also been told that Brexiteers on Ms May’s front bench would be furious if the plan was followed through.
THE European Union has warned Theresa May it will not offer concessions on her Brexit deal until she is able to get Parliamentary backing and prove she has majority support for the agreement. European Council President Donald Tusk fired the latest warning to Mrs May in a 30 minute private meeting at the inaugural European Union summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday after the Prime Minister revealed she would delay a House of Commons vote on her Brexit deal until March 12.
EU chiefs are drawing up a plan to delay Brexit until 2021 to do away with a need for any Irish backstop. Under the latest thinking in Brussels, Britain’s 21 month transition period after exit day on March 29 would be scrapped for continuing membership instead. The move would mean a trade deal could be agreed by the end of December 2020, leaving no need for a backstop that Brexiteers argue will trap the UK forever. The idea to break the current deadlock is favoured by EU Council President Donald Tusk, but would be bitterly opposed by Leave backing MPs.
BREXIT could be delayed until 2021, with EU officials are plotting to lock the UK in the European Union for a minimum of two more years. But is there a hidden reason behind the delay? EU officials are plotting to delay the UK’s exit from the European Union in a bid to make Britain stay until at least 2021, it has been revealed. Officials on both sides of the negotiations anticipate the March 29 deadline will be significantly delayed, with three EU insiders saying many are backing an extension of as much as 21 months.
Delaying Brexit with an extension to Article 50 would be a “rational” solution to the ongoing crisis, the president of the European Council has said. But speaking at an EU summit in Egypt Donald Tusk suggested Theresa May had been resistant to a delay in a meeting with him earlier at the gathering. “I believe that in the situation we are in, an extension would be a rational decision but prime minister May still believes she will be able to avoid this scenario,” Mr Tusk told reporters following his meeting with Ms May.
European Council president Donald Tusk believes delaying Brexit is a “rational solution” – although Theresa May has pushed back at suggestions the UK could seek an extension to Article 50. Speaking at an EU summit with Arab leaders on Monday, Mr Tusk revealed he and the prime minister have discussed “the legal and procedural context of a potential extension” to the UK’s period for negotiating its EU exit.
Ireland’s prime minister has backed a “long extension” to Article 50 to delay Brexit as EU leaders warn that the UK is hurtling towards a disastrous no-deal exit. Speaking at an EU summit in Egypt Leo Varadkar said any complications caused by Britain staying in the bloc – such as having to participate in EU elections – paled in comparison to the economic damage that could be caused. At the same meeting Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte warned that Britain was “sleep walking into no deal scenario” and that as the UK’s “best friends” EU countries were urging Britain to “wake up”.
The government is making plans to pay billions of euros to Brussels to settle large parts of the £39bn Brexit divorce bill even in the event of a ‘no deal’, the Telegraph can reveal. Ministers signed off the in-principle decision on Monday at a meeting of the Brexit ‘no deal’ preparedness cabinet committee, according to senior Whitehall sources. Under a plan agreed on Monday, the Government will table an executive order, or Statutory Instrument, in the final days of the Brexit negotiations to create the legal foundations for future payments to Brussels.
Jeremy Corbyn tonight backed a second referendum on Brexit warning it was better than the ‘damaging’ Tory deal. The Labour leader has bowed to months of pressure from activists and many of his MPs and promised to back a public vote in the Commons on Wednesday. Mr Corbyn will order his MPs to first vote in favour of Labour’s version of Brexit based on a permanent customs union with the EU. But if that is lost – and it will be – Labour will then vote in favour of blocking a no deal Brexit and a second referendum as ways to block Mrs May’s deal.
JEREMY Corbyn tonight announced he will back a second Brexit referendum which could betray 17.4million Leave voters. The leftie leader pledged to support moves for a “public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit” – after months of dithering. Mr Corbyn said he would throw Labour’s support behind a second referendum if MPs vote down his alternative plans, which propose keeping Britain in the EU’s customs union and tie the country close to the single market.
Jeremy Corbyn declared last night that he will support a second referendum if he cannot get the Brexit deal he wants, in an attempt to stem the exodus of MPs from Labour. Mr Corbyn’s surprise announcement, which triggered an instant backlash from Labour MPs who oppose a referendum, is the first time that his party has supported moves in parliament to hold a new vote. The decision came as a YouGov poll for The Times revealed a further surge in support for the breakaway Independent Group.
Jeremy Corbyn has finally thrown his party’s weight behind a second EU referendum, backing moves for a fresh poll with remain on the ballot paper if Labour should fail to get its own version of a Brexit deal passed this week. The decision to give the party’s backing to a second referendum follows a concerted push by the shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, and deputy leader, Tom Watson, who fear any further delay could have led to more defections to the breakaway Independent Group (TIG), whose members all back a second referendum.
The campaign for a fresh Brexit referendum has received a major boost after Jeremy Corbyn dramatically swung Labour behind handing the decision back to the public. The Labour leader ended months of prevarication and criticism by announcing he would back another public vote if – as expected – his own softer Brexit plan is defeated this week. The move delighted referendum supporters, who hailed it potentially as a defining moment and said there was now no going back for Mr Corbyn.
Labour says it is committed to backing an amendment to deliver a fresh Brexit referendum, in a significant shift in the party’s much-criticised policy. Jeremy Corbyn will tell a meeting of the party’s MPs that the move would “prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country”. However, it was unclear – from the statement issued by the Labour leader – whether Mr Corbyn was pledging to back a referendum on Theresa May’s deal, or on its own Brexit proposals.
JEREMY Corbyn faced a furious backlash last night after finally committing to supporting a second EU referendum in a cynical attempt to cancel Brexit. In a desperate attempt to halt the defections of MPs from his party, the hard-Left Labour leader pledged his backing for “a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit”. His switch, after months of flip-flopping over Labour’s EU policy, threatened to open a new rift in party ranks given the overwhelming Leave support among millions of voters in the party’s heartlands.
Three cabinet ministers have warned Theresa May that they will resign tomorrow if she does not give a clear enough promise that MPs can delay Brexit if her deal is defeated once more. David Gauke, the justice secretary, Amber Rudd, the work and pensions secretary, and Greg Clark, the business secretary, will make their decision after the prime minister updates the Commons today on her Brexit strategy, before the key votes on how Brexit should proceed tomorrow.
EU leaders lashed out at hardline Tory Brexiteers to demand they “wake up” and back Theresa May’s deal. The PM held talks with six of Europe’s bosses in the margins of a summit with Arab leaders in Egypt. While there was no breakthrough on the changes needed to the Irish backstop, she insisted she had made “good progress”. Mrs May also won a powerful intervention from Dutch PM Mark Rutte. After a meeting with her, Mr Rutte blasted: “I will be straight forward. The Netherlands is one of your best friends. “We are sleep walking into no deal scenario.
Italy’s Five Star Movement, which forms one half of the governing coalition, suffered a fresh humiliation on Monday after winning an estimated 11 per cent of votes in Sardinia’s regional election. If confirmed once counting is completed, it would mark a precipitous decline from the 42 per cent of votes that the party won on the island during Italy’s general election less than a year ago. The dismal performance could inflame tensions with the hard-Right League, which has emerged as the more powerful of the two parties since they were sworn into government last summer.
Shamed MP Fiona Onasanya will walk free from prison today after less than a month behind bars. She was sentenced to three months in jail at the end of January for perverting the course of justice after lying about a speeding ticket, but it is understood she is being let out as part of an early-release scheme. Onasanya, 35, a solicitor, is expected to be released from HMP Bronzefield in Surrey early this morning after only 28 days in custody. The MP will be forced to wear an electronic tag and obey a curfew but will otherwise be at liberty. She could even come back to the House of Commons to speak – and vote – in the crunch Brexit debate tomorrow.
Labour’s support has fallen below the combined total for the new Independent Group and the Liberal Democrats. A YouGov poll for The Times asked people how they would vote if they could support the Independent Group (TIG) in their constituency. The poll found the Tories on 36 per cent, down two points from last week and Labour on 23 per cent, down three points. TIG received a four-point boost, at 18 per cent, with the Lib Dems on 6 per cent, down one. The result means that TIG and the Lib Dems, which support a second referendum, are on a combined 24 per cent, one point ahead of Labour, underlining the potential scale of the challenge to Labour from pro-referendum parties.
The government has created a logistics hub in Belgium where vital medical supplies will be stockpiled to stop the NHS running short of equipment if there is a no-deal Brexit. Stents, implants and other products needed to ensure that patient care is not disrupted will be stored at the hub, the exact location of which has not been disclosed. The Department of Health and Social Care has also arranged to get NHS supplies – including drugs – into Britain using seven new ferry routes, to bypass the chaos that is widely expected in and around Dover in the event of no deal.
A PLAGUE of false widow spiders resembling the deadly “Black Widow” is spreading out of control across the UK, experts warned. The Noble False Widow, native to the Canary Islands, has lived in small numbers in the south of England for a century. But it is now feared to have started spreading rapidly across the country thanks to the hot weather providing perfect breeding conditions. The venomous beasts have caused panic when they have been found in large clusters in schools and other public spaces. Although its bite is not deadly, it is painful like a bee or wasp sting and it can cause real trouble for those who suffer from allergic reactions.