British lawmakers on Tuesday narrowly approved a measure that could make it harder for the next prime minister to force through a no-deal Brexit by suspending parliament, although the move stopped short of an outright block. Boris Johnson, the favourite to take over as Conservative party leader and run Britain’s departure from the European Union, has argued the country should leave the EU on Oct. 31 even if no formal transition deal has been agreed. This has raised speculation that Johnson could suspend parliament to prevent lawmakers, a majority of whom have expressed their opposition to a no-deal Brexit, from thwarting his “do or die” exit plan. On Tuesday, lawmakers voted 294-293 in favour of a change to legislation passing through parliament which would require ministers to make fortnightly reports on progress towards re-establishing Northern Ireland’s collapsed executive.
DOMINIC Grieve’s latest plot to block a no-deal Brexit has failed after MP Eleanor Laing opted not to select his amendment to the Northern Ireland for debate. Meanwhile Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has thrown down the gauntlet by challenging the winner of the Tory leadership contest to put their Brexit plan to a second referendum. Mr Grieve’s new clause 14 had sought to keep government in the province running in the absence of the devolved institutions, requiring Parliament to come back to the issue in October.
MPs have delivered a warning shot to Boris Johnson by defeating the government on a vote that rebels hope will pave the way to blocking a no-deal Brexit. Mr Johnson, the frontrunner to be the next prime minister, has pledged that Britain will leave the EU on October 31 with or without an agreement with Brussels. Unlike his rival, Jeremy Hunt, he has refused to rule out suspending parliament to stop MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit. Last night MPs backed by a single vote an amendment by Dominic Grieve, the former attorney-general, designed to make it harder to prorogue parliament in the autumn by requiring ministers to give fortnightly statements on attempts to restart power-sharing in Northern Ireland.
Britain’s Brexit secretary has urged the EU to come back to the negotiating table on Brexit – warning that the UK would take Ireland’s economy down with it if went ahead with a no-deal. Stephen Barclay, who is backing Boris Johnson for leader, said EU chiefs should recognise the fact that British MPs had rejected the withdrawal agreement three times. Declaring that “no-deal is better than no Brexit” after a meeting with Michel Barnier and Ireland’s EU Commissioner Philip Hogan in Brussels, Mr Barclay said 40 per cent of Ireland’s exports went through Dover and would be caught up in the ensuing chaos.
THE UK leaving the EU without a deal would be disruptive to trade resulting in a £6 billion cost to the Irish economy and could leave 55,000 more people without a job, the Irish Government has warned. Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has presented ministers with a revised contingency action place in the case of a no deal Brexit becoming a reality.
Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, warned on Tuesday that a no deal exit would hurt Ireland more than Britain and that Brussels should listen to the UK’s demands to renegotiate the deal taking the country out of the EU. He risked enraging his European counterparts by threatening the Irish economy with disaster after meeting Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, and Phil Hogan, Ireland’s EU commissioner in Brussels.
A no-deal Brexit will require checks on trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic which will have a “significant” impact on the economy of the whole island, the Dublin government has warned. A new report on Ireland’s preparations for Brexit said that the consequences of the UK crashing out of the European Union on 31 October without a deal would be “profound”, posing risks for the Good Friday Agreement and political stability in the North.
The Irish Government has published a document this afternoon on the latest state of their Brexit planning. If there is no deal, they say that various checks on UK imports will be necessary “to preserve Ireland’s full participation in the Single Market and Customs Union”, but – surprise, surprise – these checks don’t need to happen at the border itself. Confirming what everybody knew at the very start of the negotiations before the issue was deliberately blown out of all proportion… Gives Ireland and the EU a pretty simple choice: agree a deal with these sorts of alternative arrangements in place of the backstop – or have no deal and have to put the arrangements in place anyway, with no cash from the UK and all the other complications it will bring. Not exactly a tricky decision…
IRELAND has been warned it must step up preparations for a referendum on a United Ireland in case the UK crashes out of the European Union with a no deal Brexit. Brexit talks have stalled over recent weeks as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt battle it out to replace Theresa May as the UK’s next Prime Minister. The Irish backstop has proved to be the stumbling block in negotiations, with Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement resoundingly defeated on three separate occasions in the House of Commons as MPs continue to vent their fury.
MPs have voted to legalise same-sex marriage and decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland, if a new devolved government isn’t formed at Stormont by 21 October. The House of Commons supported both measures via amendments to legislation designed to keep Northern Ireland running in the absence of a devolved executive. The amendments were passed overwhelmingly after MPs were given free votes on Tuesday afternoon, with same-sex marriage and abortion traditionally treated as matters of conscience in the Commons.
MPs have backed amendments which require the government to liberalise abortion and extend same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland if devolution is not restored. It was part of a Commons debate aimed at keeping NI running in the absence of devolved government. Its main purpose was to extend the government’s legal power to delay a fresh Stormont election.
MPs have voted in favour of legalising abortion in Northern Ireland in a landmark change. The Commons backed the cross-party proposal by 332 votes to 99. Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, lead efforts to extend access to abortion in Northern Ireland. She piggybacked off the Northern Ireland bill requiring the Northern Ireland Secretary to make regulations to give effect to recommendations from a report.
Labour will campaign to remain in the EU against any Brexit plans drawn up by the new prime minister, Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday. After months of public splits over the party’s strategy, he announced that he had “closed Labour’s Brexit consultation” with a “settled position” agreed at a meeting of the shadow cabinet. In a letter to party members Mr Corbyn said he would demand that Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt put their Brexit proposals to the country in a referendum and that if they did Labour would campaign to reverse the 2016 referendum result and stay in the EU.
Jeremy Corbyn has challenged the next Tory leader to hold another referendum before taking Britain out of the EU, saying Labour will campaign for Remain. Mr Corbyn says the party will take this position to stop “no deal or a damaging Tory Brexit”. But he does not say what he would do if he won a general election and was placed in charge of the Brexit process. Some senior members of his team want him to take a pro-Remain stance in all circumstances. In an interview with the BBC’s John Pienaar, Mr Corbyn said Labour was now the “party of choice” when it came to Brexit.
Jeremy Corbyn has sought to draw a line under Labour’s Brexit travails by announcing a “settled” policy of backing remain in any referendum called on a Conservative deal. The Labour leader has been under intense pressure to shift to an overtly anti-Brexit stance, but has insisted on consulting the party’s stakeholders in recent weeks, including the trade unions. In a statement emailed to party members on Tuesday, Corbyn made no reference to what stance Labour would take in the event of a general election in the near future, or whether Labour could enter such a contest saying it would still go ahead with leaving the European Union.
Jeremy Corbyn has said that the Labour Party would back Remain in a second referendum, rather than back a clean break or the Conservative Party’s soft-Brexit deal. The party leader wrote in a statement to party members on Tuesday: “Whoever becomes the new prime minister should have the confidence to put their deal, or no deal, back to the people in a public vote. “In those circumstances, I want to make it clear that Labour would campaign for remain against either no Deal or a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs.”
The Labour Party are now officially a hardline Remainer Party. After promising to respect the referendum result at the 2017 General Election, Jeremy Corbyn is now pursuing another referendum and a policy of stopping Brexit completely. Disgraceful. In an email to party members, Corbyn has said: “Whoever becomes the new Prime Minister should have the confidence to put their deal, or No Deal, back to the people in a public vote.
Jeremy Corbyn has challenged the next PM to put their Brexit deal or a no-deal exit to a second referendum, saying Labour would campaign for Remain in those scenarios. The Labour leader announced the shift following a meeting of his top team, having come under pressure from critics to rectify what they characterised as a lack of clarity from Mr Corbyn on the issue. Detractors attribute the party’s poor performance in May’s European elections, in which it finished third behind the Brexit Party and Liberal Democrats, to questions surrounding its Brexit stance.
Labour’s racism row escalated on Tuesday evening as three prominent peers resigned the whip over its handling of anti-Semitism, with at least one other indicating they could follow in the coming days. Lord Triesman, Labour’s former general secretary, has accused Jeremy Corbyn of presiding over a party that is no longer a “safe environment” for Jewish people and “very plainly institutionally anti-Semitic”. He was joined by former health minister Lord Darzi and Lord Turnberg, the former president of the Royal College of Physicians, who warned that anti-Jewish hatred now “permeates the Party machine”.
Three Labour lords walked out on the party with a furious broadside at its anti-Semitism crisis today, with one warning that it was no longer a safe place politically for Jews. Lord Triesman, a former general secretary of the party under Tony Blair, walked out today saying he felt ‘sickened’ by the party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Lord Triesman told Newsnight: ‘I’ve come to what I think is a very sad decision because I’ve been in the Labour party for a long time and served as its general secretary, that it is institutionally anti-Semitic, that its leadership is incapable of dealing with issues of anti-Semitism.
Fresh from threatening their whistleblowers over the weekend with heavy-handed legal letters from the attack dogs at Carter Ruck, Labour have responded in a similarly measured fashion to their three peers who resigned today in protest at Labour’s “institutional anti-Semitism”. Labour have opted to go strongly on the attack, saying “we completely reject these false and offensive claims”. Guido suspects that going aggressively after two Jewish peers who’ve just resigned from the party over it no longer being “a safe political environment for Jewish people or other opponents of anti-Semitism” is probably not going to down as well as Labour think it is. We’ll find out soon enough who’s in the right when the Panorama documentary airs on Wednesday…
Boris Johnson put the future of Britain’s ambassador in Washington in doubt last night after Donald Trump intensified his attack on the diplomat who criticised him in leaked cables. Mr Johnson, the frontrunner in the race for the Tory leadership, refused to say whether he would keep Sir Kim Darroch in his job if he became prime minister. Jeremy Hunt accused the US president of being “disrespectful and wrong” after Mr Trump described Sir Kim as “wacky”, a “very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool”.
Boris Johnson has refused to say he would keep Sir Kim Darroch as Britain’s ambassador to the US if he became prime minister. During a live television debate between the two Tory candidates to become the next prime minister, the former foreign secretary initially evaded the question and refused to commit himself on Sir Kim’s fate, but when pressed said he wouldn’t be “presumptuous”. Jeremy Hunt, by contrast, said he would keep Sir Kim in place until he retires at the end of the year.
BREXITEERS and Donald Trump dislike the UK’s ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch, who has been branded a “self-important Europhile”. Sir Darroch has been shunned by Boris Johnson’s backers who want a “true believer” in his place post-Brexit, The Daily Telegraph reported. The 65-year-old, who was nicknamed Kimbo by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), has come under fire for labelling the US President “inept, insecure and incompetent” in a series of leaked memos.
Sir Kim Darroch was the victim of a plot to ensure that his replacement is a committed Brexiteer, senior Foreign Office staff believe. The choice of person to replace him as Britain’s ambassador to the United States will do more to identify the source of the hostile leak than the formal inquiry, they say. A political appointment will confirm suspicions that he was targeted because of a past that included a four-year stint as Britain’s most senior representative to the EU.
The Government has a ‘Dad’s Army’ approach to protecting the country from the impact of global warming, its climate advisers warned yesterday. Temperatures are predicted to rise by 4C (39F) by the end of the century, bringing more winter rain and summer heatwaves – which could kill off hosts of elderly people. But Lord Deben, chairman of the advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said there is a ‘shocking’ lack of Government preparation for the risks to the country from climate change.
Britain owes it to the world to take a lead on tackling climate change having “started the problem” with the industrial revolution, Sir David Attenborough has said. The world famous naturalist told MPs that Britain should feel responsible having forged ahead with the boom in industry in the 1800s, powered by coal. He said: “If we are now taking a lead in solving the problems then that’s only right and responsible.”
Naturalist David Attenborough told British lawmakers on Tuesday it would be essential to stick to a new target to decarbonise the economy, warning that failure to tackle climate change could lead to massive social unrest. Attenborough, one of the world’s most influential wildlife broadcasters, said Britain’s move last month to become the first G7 country to commit to a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 could help galvanise broader international action.
The UK government is facing a “get real” moment over global heating, its advisers have said. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said ministers were failing to cut emissions fast enough, and failing to adapt to rising temperatures. The committee chairman said ministers were acting like the hapless characters from the vintage comedy, Dad’s Army.
Nurses will be offered supermarket discounts and cheap gym membership as part of efforts to persuade workers stay in the NHS, health chiefs will say. Simon Stevens, head of the health service, will call for the wider rollout of schemes which have given staff savings of up to £1,000 a year on their shopping. The plans will see nurses, midwives and other clinical workers offered access to promotions and discounts, in a bid to encourage staff loyalty.
The last time Matt Hancock revealed his thoughts on the Amazon smart speaker Alexa he said that he would not want one “because I think there is an essential humanity that we have got to preserve”. Today, only a year after that proclamation, the health secretary is to announce a partnership between the NHS and Amazon that will let patients “ask Alexa” for medical advice. Questions such as “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?” or “Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?” will result in people receiving information from the NHS website instead of a variety of online sources.
Nearly 100 MPs have backed calls for an urgent reform of social care, after new figures revealed dementia patients have spent £15billion on their own care in just two years. Pressure is building on ministers to publish a long-awaited social care green paper, which was originally promised in March 2017. Some 93 MPs from across the political spectrum last night signed an open letter to Conservative leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, urging them to make the issue a priority of the new Government.
Police are being distracted from fighting crime by bureaucracy that means it can take an officer weeks to order a train ticket and at extra cost to the taxpayer, a Home Office review has found. The research, by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found officers burdened by “too much information gathering, over-recording and disproportionate administration requirements, which should be reduced.” Examples included officers having to write notes in a pocket notebook even though everything was also recorded on an IT system, writing up and reporting the same fraud twice and two officers being required to lock up seized property in a secure cupboard.
Star Wars-style weapons that can disable enemy vehicles from miles away are being developed by defence chiefs. Powerful electromagnetic waves will disrupt enemy computers and electronics in a new age of warfare, experts believe, while laser weapons can target drones and missiles. Travelling at the speed of light and activated instantaneously, the weapons will help troops react quicker to the changing face of warfare.