The Brexit Bill will return to the House of Commons next week, after the Lords suggested 15 amendments to it. Tory chief whip Julian Smith sent a letter to his Conservative colleagues announcing the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will be coming back to the Commons on 12 June.
Theresa May has a week to forge a compromise with Tory rebels over Brexit after she tabled votes on key legislation for next Tuesday. The 12 backbenchers are threatening to inflict a defeat in a vote on future customs arrangements. They believe that the government will put forward its own compromise agreement within days but claim it is unlikely to be enough to buy them off. The Tories could team up with opposition MPs to inflict the defeat next week. The government has still failed to come up with its own customs plan because of divisions in the cabinet.The rebels believe there will be other opportunities to defeat the government in the coming week.
Theresa May will seek to overturn all 15 Lords defeats on her flagship Brexitlegislation in a single dramatic day next week, putting her authority on the line. MPs have been warned they will be voting into the early hours of Wednesday morning when the EU withdrawal bill finally returns to the Commons next Tuesday, after weeks of delay. Key controversies including leaving the EU customs union and single market, the Irish border and parliament’s power if the government’s exit deal is rejected will all be up for grabs. However, the decision to try to ram through 15 votes in a single sitting – on all the crucial Brexit issues – immediately drew fierce criticism from Labour.
AN MEP has accused Brussels of exacerbating the Irish border issue in order to “lock” the UK into the EU in a bid to gain an upper hand in trade negotiations and threaten the UK’s prosperity post-Brexit.Both the EU and British Government are committed to maintaining an open border following Brexit in order to avoid an escalation of tensions, but the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier recently rejected both of Theresa May’s proposed customs models, the ‘customs partnership’ and the ‘maximum facilitation’ option.
George Soros, the billionaire financier and champion of liberal values in Europe, has warned that the disintegration of the European Union is “no longer a figure of speech” but has become a “harsh reality”.With populist governments in Italy, Hungary and Poland now in open revolt against western EU values – not to mention the leading anti-immigration SDS party comfortably topping the polls in the Slovenian election over the weekend – there are fears that Brussels is now under siege.Here we look at the mounting political challenges facing Europe and ask if the centre can continue to hold.
BRUSSELS has warned Britain it will block it from ‘rolling over’ existing trade deals with other countries in the latest row to hit Brexit negotiations. The European Union has said it will not support the UK in maintaining the same trade terms unless there is a deal on the Irish border. The latest dramatic twist comes as pressure mounts on Theresa May to secure a breakthrough in the long-running negotiations before a crunch summit later this month.
Sajid Javid has warned the European Union that it would be “wrong and reckless” to weaken security ties with the UK after Brexit. Pointing to splits in the EU, the home secretary said most European ministers do not support the “hard line” approach taken by Brussels on security cooperation, as they rely heavily on British intelligence to thwart terror attacks. Mr Javid said the European Commission wanted to treat the UK as a “third country” but many of his counterparts have told him privately that they oppose such a move.Security has become a key factor in the Brexit talks, as questions marks hang over the UK’s future use of vital crime-fighting tools such as the European Arrest Warrant, and Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency, both of which have been highlighted by senior police and counter-terror figures.
John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, will not be investigated by the standards watchdog over allegations that he described the cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom as a “stupid woman”. The Conservative MP James Duddridge, a long-standing critic of Bercow, had called for the standards commissioner to secure video and audio footage of the alleged incident in the Commons chamber last month before it was destroyed. However, Kathryn Stone, the commissioner, is prevented from investigating the alleged conduct because under parliamentary rules it is the Speaker’s responsibility to rule on behaviour in the chamber. Bercow has sought to defuse the row by admitting he muttered the word “stupid” during a disagreement with the leader of the house about the timetabling of legislation, but denied insulting her personally. He offered no apology and insisted he would “continue to speak out firmly” for the interests of the Commons.
HUNDREDS of millions of pounds of British aid money is not necessarily focused enough on reducing poverty, MPs have warned. Schemes to boost China’s film industry and improve the superpower’s museums were highlighted by the House of Common’s International Development Committee as it called for a review of programmes. The Government has committed to spending increasing amounts of aid though other departments, to harness their expertise and networks.The MPs said there were doubts over the transparency and priorities of cross-government funds which spent £601million of the aid budget in 2016-17. Some charities suspect project choices are more driven by a desire to boost trade ahead of Brexit than to help the world’s poorest, they heard.
Details of plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport are expected to be set out later today. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will clarify plans for the west London hub at a meeting of the Cabinet’s economic sub-committee on Tuesday morning, Sky News understands. The details will then be discussed by Theresa May’s full Cabinet, which meets at 9.30am. If the plan receives the Cabinet’s backing, the transport secretary will likely update the House of Commons. MPs will then vote on the plan no later than 21 sitting days after its publication.
Senior ministers will gather in Downing Street this morning to approve what amounts to outline planning permission for a third runway at Heathrow Airport. The economic sub-committee, chaired by Theresa May, is expected to sign off the expansion plan, and then send it for approval by the full cabinet. If backed, MPs would then be asked to vote on the issue in the coming weeks. The government has backed expansion in principle despite opposition from key figures such as Boris Johnson. If the plan is backed by the cabinet, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling could come forward with the statement later this week, possibly immediately, the BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg said. It has to be voted upon no later than 21 sitting days after its publication.
Theresa May is under mounting pressure to lift Northern Ireland’s abortion ban after MPs were granted an emergency debate on the issue. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow approved Labour MP Stella Creasy‘s request for the debate, which will take place on Tuesday. It adds to pressure on the prime minister following calls from her own MPs for reform of the law. Around 30 Conservatives stood in support of Ms Creasy’s request, including ministers Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, who also holds the women and equalities brief, and Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley.
MPs will debate reforming abortion laws in Northern Ireland, where a termination is tantamount to murder. After the Republic of Ireland voted at the end of May to repeal lawsbanning abortion, Labour’s Stella Creasy called on Monday for an emergency debate over repealing a similar law north of the border. With hundreds of MPs from across the political spectrum showing their support on Monday evening, Speaker John Bercow granted the debate, which will happen on Tuesday lunchtime for three hours. From the Tory front bench, Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley, Women and Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt and Environment Secretary Michael Gove notably indicated their support for the debate.
A woman told she had terminal breast cancer has been “cured” by a groundbreaking treatment that used her white blood cells to destroy the tumours. Scientists extracted her T-cells to establish which were attacking the tumours, then grew billions more in a lab and put them back in her body. At the American Society for Clinical Oncology (Asco) annual conference in Chicago, the results, published in the journal Nature Medicine, were hailed as “a paradigm shift”. It is the first time the treatment has been successful for late-stage breast cancer, although the technique has been used for blood cancers and melanoma. Judy Perkins, 52, from Florida, was told she had weeks or months to live.
A woman given months to live after all treatments for her breast cancerfailed has been completely cured by a breakthrough injection. Judy Perkins had tumors the size of plums in her liver after cancer spread through her body, and had made a ‘bucket list’ of places to visit before she died. But, after seven types of chemotherapy failed, the 52-year-old’s tumors were totally destroyed by her own white blood cells. Perkins has now been cancer free for two years, thanks to a revolutionary immunotherapy treatment administered by the National Institutes of Health, a new study reveals. It is a world first in using the treatment, called adoptive cell transfer’, to successfully treat breast cancer and is hoped to be available for a wider group of patients within five years.