The British government is preparing legislation to trigger the procedure to leave the EU, Sky News reported on Monday, despite Prime Minister Theresa May saying she is confident of overturning a court decision that may delay Brexit. May’s plans to start the formal divorce procedure from the European Union by the end of March were dealt a blow last week when England’s High Court ruled that her government must seek parliamentary approval for triggering Article 50. May wants government, not parliament, to shape Britain’s approach to leaving the EU and has said she will appeal the ruling in Britain’s highest court – a stance her ministers and aides stuck to on Monday, avoiding any comment on the report.
Ministers are drawing up plans to fast-track a bill or motion through Parliament to trigger Article 50 if the Supreme Court rules MPs must vote on the matter. Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged by some to present a simple motion to Parliament that could be pushed through both the House of Commons and House of Lords in a single day, but others say that only a full bill would be legally acceptable. The Times reports that senior ministers want the government to present a motion to Parliament, with one telling the paper: “We are having a debate about this potential alternative. My own view is that it would very simple and straightforward to have a resolution.” However, others say that a resolution would be open to further legal challenges, and it would safer to pass a full Act of Parliament.
Brexit Secretary David Davis has insisted the Government remains on course to trigger the formal process for leaving the EU by the end of March, despite a legal fight over Parliament’s role. Mr Davis said the Supreme Court was likely to hear a Government appeal in early December after the High Court ruled that Parliament must approve the triggering of Article 50. It comes after a senior Government source revealed to Sky News Theresa May’s administration was preparing the first draft of a bill to invoke Article 50 in case it loses the appeal.
THERESA May will fast-track Brexit if she is forced by the courts to put her plans before MPs. The Prime Minister is set to draft a resolution, rather than a full bill, to ensure Parliament rubber-stamps her plans in a day. But she risks angering Remain voters who want scrutiny of the small print after three judges ruled that MPs and peers should vote on triggering the move. Ministers have refused to rule out claims they are preparing new laws to give Mrs May the power to formally begin Brexit by next April. A ministerial source said: “My own view is that it would be very simple and straightforward to have a resolution.” A No 10 spokesman said it was the “logical conclusion” from last week’s ruling. Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green claimed it is “impossible” to say how the Tories will move forward if it loses an appeal in the Supreme Court next month.
Theresa May could try to dodge detailed debate in Parliament on her Brexit plans by asking MPs to vote on a mere “resolution” to trigger EU talks, a cabinet minister has revealed. Damian Green refused to rule out the possibility, which could allow Ms May to ensure Brexit talks are triggered in a single day rather than the fuller amount of time for scrutiny that a new Bill would require. It comes after campaigners won a court ruling to prevent the Prime Minister unilaterally triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which officially launches Brexit talks. Judges instead concluded Parliament would have to vote on the matter.
Britain’s plans to leave the European Union will include a vote by parliament on legislation to translate EU law into British law, Brexit minister David Davis said on Monday. “European Union law will be transposed into UK law at the time we leave, providing certainty for workers, businesses and consumers,” Davis said. “This will be an act of parliament which we intend to have in place before the end of the Article 50 process.”
The justice system could be undermined if a ruling that only Parliament can trigger Brexit is overturned, a former lord chief justice has said. Lord Judge said it would be seen as a victory for pro-Brexit demonstrators should the Supreme Court reverse last week’s controversial High Court ruling. The government, he told BBC Newsnight, had been too slow to defend judges following press attacks over the case. Ministers say they support judicial independence but also a free press. In a Commons statement on Monday, Brexit Secretary David Davis said it was “perfectly proper” for people to respect the integrity of the judicial process while disagreeing with individual judgements. He condemned what he said were “deplorable” attacks on social media on Gina Miller, the woman who instigated the legal challenge against the government, but also defended a free press which he said was as much a guarantor of democracy as judicial independence.
Labour has toughened its stance on Brexit after days of confusion, siding with the SNP by demanding a special deal for Scotland. Sir Keir Starmer, the party’s spokesman on leaving the EU, also said Britain must stay in the customs union – which would rule out any separate trade deals with non-EU countries. However, Sir Keir also went further in insisting Labour will not block the triggering of the Article 50 notice, even if the Government refuses its demands. Labour has been under fire after Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement of ‘Brexit bottom lines’ – apparently threatening to hold up Article 50 – was contradicted by his deputy, Tom Watson, within 24 hours.
Every head teacher of a state secondary school in Surrey has signed a letter to the prime minister expressing their “vehement opposition” to plans for more grammar schools in England. The heads say this “unprecedented” coalition reflects the “confusion” caused by plans to increase selection. They say 95% of pupils in Surrey are already at good or outstanding schools. The government says that providing more grammar school places would give extra opportunities for poorer pupils. The letter sent to Theresa May and Education Secretary Justine Greening says that heads in Surrey are strongly opposed to creating a “selective, segregated, two-tier state funded system of education”. In a hard-hitting letter, they accuse ministers of creating “confusion and fragmentation” in England’s school system, with a policy based on a “nostalgic and unrealistic vision of society”.
Nigel Farage is set to lead a 100,000 strong march to the Supreme Court in a public show of support for Brexit, as judges rule on whether Parliament should have a say on invoking Brexit. Mr. Farage, the interim leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), will lead the march from Trafalgar Square along Whitehall to Parliament Square alongside other prominent Leave supporters, The Telegraph has reported . The event will end with a rally in Parliament Square, within sight of the court buildings where judges will listen to the government’s appeal over a recent ruling by the High Court which found that parliament should be given a vote on triggering Article 50 to begin the Brexit process. It is expected to take place on December 5, the first of four days cleared by the court for the hearing. A spokesman for the event said that Mr. Farage, along with Leave.eu backers Arron Banks and Richard Tice, had “secured support from thousands of Leave voters” for both the march and legal action.
A top European Union official says refugees cannot pick and choose where to be lodged in Europe and that they have a responsibility to go where space is available. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday that “it’s outrageous” and “not acceptable for refugees in Greece and Italy to refuse to take the plane for destinations other than Germany.” Juncker said some EU governments are willing to accept refugees from overwhelmed Greece and Italy, “but there are very few refugees who agree to be relocated.” The EU launched a relocation plan in September 2015 to redistribute among its members 160,000 refugees from the countries most impacted by the arrival of large numbers of refugees. More than a year later, only about 7,000 people have been moved.
THE SITUATION where refugees have refused to move to other countries under the European Union’s relocation plan has been described as “outrageous,” by the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Mr Juncker, 61, who has been president since 2014, said that refugees cannot pick and choose where they are housed in Europe and that they have a responsibility to go where there is space. He said it was “outrageous” and “not acceptable for refugees in Greece and Italy to refuse to take the plane for destinations other than Germany.” Mr Juncker added that EU governments are willing to accept refugees from Greece and Italy, who were struggling to cope with the influx, ”but there are very few refugees who agree to be relocated.”
THERESA May must refuse to sign any new trade deals in India this week until the Chennai Six forces heroes are freed, an MP has demanded. The PM begins her first visit to Delhi since taking power today to build post-Brexit bridges with the emerging Asian superpower. But one of the wrongly jailed ex-soldiers’ MPs, Chris Matheson, has written to Mrs May to urge her to make a show of defiance. Making money with India while the six are rotting in a Chennai jail after being wrongly convicted of gun running would be immoral, the Labour MP for Chester has insisted. In a letter to the PM before she left, he told her that “political pressure to find a solution can be exerted”.
Turkey on Monday slammed EU criticism of its crackdown following the July 15 coup bid and warned relations were increasingly fragile as the bloc crafts a report on its stalled membership bid. The European Union has strongly criticised Turkey over the arrests of nine MPs from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including its two co-leaders, as well as staff at the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper. The strains come as the EU’s powerful executive Commission prepares to publish a new scorecard on Wednesday on Turkey’s readiness for accession — a report said to be the most negative yet. “We made clear our alarm over the positions taken by the EU,” Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik said in televised comments after calling in all EU member state ambassadors for an exceptional meeting. “We are in a very fragile period in EU-Turkey relations… Constant opposition to Turkey is not a correct policy,” he said in Ankara.
GOVERNMENT cuts to funding for social care are so severe that councils are unable to meet their statutory obligations. Now families plan a legal challenge to “illegal” cuts because a £1.9 billion funding gap threatens care services even more. Charities the King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation said Chancellor Philip Hammond must address the funding shortfall in his Autumn Statement to avoid thousands more people being denied social care. Between 2009/10 and 2014/15, there was a 9 per cent real-terms cut in social care spending by councils, which meant 400,000 fewer people received the help they needed, the three organisations said.
The 10,000 children and young people a year who go into care should have their mental health assessed so they can be helped to recover from childhood trauma and abuse, ministers are being urged. Claire Tyler, a Liberal Democrat peer, will on Tuesday lead a parliamentary effort to persuade the government to agree the change through an amendment to the children and social work bill. Children’s campaigners believe that a mandatory assessment of the mental health of every infant or youngster going into a foster or children’s home would reduce poor school performance, suicide and offending by them. “It is well documented that children in care – who have often come from upsetting and chaotic environments – are more likely to develop mental health problems than those who grow up in stable family homes.
US Presidential election
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has called off its planned election night firework display, it emerged Monday, the day before America goes to the polls. Staffers were going to put on a two-minute show over the Hudson River after the results come in on Tuesday, but the proposal has been canned, TMZ reported on Monday. The campaign called the Coast Guard last week to tell them the event was off, three days after the New York Post reported it was planning the bash – although the cancellation was secret until Monday. It emerged as fresh projections of the electoral college showed she has lost the iron grip pollsters believed she had on the 270 college votes needed for victory. CNN has moved Ohio, Utah and one district of Maine from toss-up to leaning Republican, and New Hampshire from leaning Democratic to toss-up. That changes the math significantly for Clinton, putting her projected total at 268 and Trump’s at 204 – with the rest of the votes to be fought over.