An attempt to bring back a version of Theresa May’s Brexit deal by Hallowe’en was launched by a cross-party group of MPs yesterday. The group, nicknamed MPs for a Deal, is calling for a fresh vote on Mrs May’s deal as amended after cross-party talks. It includes Labour’s Stephen Kinnock and Caroline Flint, Sir Norman Lamb of the Liberal Democrats, and the former Tory leadership candidate Rory Stewart.
MPs looking to stop no deal are exploring ways to bring back a version of Theresa May’s Brexit deal plus a vote on a second referendum in the last two weeks of October, amid concerns Boris Johnson will still try to pursue a no-deal departure. Several sources told the Guardian that MPs will spend the next few weeks working on ways to bring back the deal – with added concessions to Labour – to the House of Commons via a backbencher or a temporary prime minister.
Boris Johnson is considering plans for a regulatory border in the Irish Sea as he seeks a new Brexit “divorce” deal with the EU. The Prime Minister wants an all-Ireland zone for checks on most goods crossing between the north and south of the island as part of a deal that would remove the need for a Northern Irish backstop. The idea, which does not cover tariffs on goods, was discussed with the DUP on Tuesday during talks in Downing Street.
Boris Johnson is examining a backstop deal with the European Union that could split Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom behind a new trade border. Senior EU officials and diplomats said yesterday that the “all-Ireland” option appeared to be the prime minister’s plan after preliminary talks over the past week. Phil Hogan, Ireland’s European commissioner who becomes the EU’s trade negotiator in November, said the penny was “finally dropping” in London that the only alternative to a whole-UK backstop was to come up with specific arrangements for Northern Ireland.
Arlene Foster has warned Boris Johnson that any attempt to solve the Brexit crisis by limiting the controversial backstop to apply only to Northern Ireland would be “doomed to failure”. Speaking after meeting the prime minister in Downing Street, the DUP leader said the idea, which is being mooted as a solution to the current impasse, was “undemocratic and unconstitutional”. She claimed Mr Johnson had “confirmed his rejection” of a Northern Ireland-only backstop, despite reports that the government is considering the option, which was first proposed by the EU two years ago but rejected by Theresa May.
Tom Watson has sparked fury by calling for a second EU referendum before a general election. In a bombshell intervention deepening Labour’s civil war over Europe, the deputy leader will today claim the 2016 vote was too long ago to be valid, and that a single-issue election would not break the Brexit deadlock. Speaking at Somerset House in central London, Mr Watson will say: ‘The only way to break the Brexit deadlock once and for all is a public vote in a referendum.
Two of Labour’s most senior figures are poised to trigger a furious new Brexit row within their own party claiming a second EU referendum is the only way to break the deadlock. In a move that will anger Labour MPs from Leave constituencies, deputy leader Tom Watson and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer will step up demands for a fresh public vote on Brexit. In a speech in London on Wednesday, Mr Watson – already a hate figure for many allies of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – will demand a referendum before a general election.
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson will call for the party to demand a second Brexit referendum and it must take place before a general election, in a fresh clash with Jeremy Corbyn. It comes as Mr Corbyn steps up planning for an autumn election, meeting union leaders to set out a manifesto policy which would see the party offer a referendum choice between “credible” Remain and Leave options without committing itself to backing either side.
LABOUR’S deputy leader will call for the party to block an election indefinitely and instead push for a Brexit betrayal referendum. Tom Watson will claim the result of the 2016 vote to Leave is “no longer a valid” because it took place nearly four years ago. He will say there is “no such thing as a good Brexit deal” and the Opposition’s top priority must be stopping the country leaving without a withdrawal agreement.
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson today demands a second Brexit referendum – before a general election. Party chief Jeremy Corbyn wants a general election when a withdrawal delay has been secured from Brussels. He would then use the ballot box run-in to fight for another EU vote. But Mr Watson, Mr Corbyn’s number two, calls for a different sequence of polls in a speech to the Creative Industries Federation on Wednesday.
Labour’s divisions over Brexit have burst into the open again with Jeremy Corbyn and his deputy publicly supporting different policies on a second referendum. Tom Watson will today call for a fresh referendum to take place before any general election, saying that going to the polls with Brexit unresolved would not be desirable. This is a different sequence of events from Mr Corbyn’s plan, reiterated yesterday, in which the party will back a general election once the UK and the EU have agreed a third Brexit delay and then seek to hold a referendum as the government.
Boris Johnson has conducted a mini reshuffle to his ministerial team following Brexit-induced resignations. Downing Street said international trade secretary Liz Truss has been given the women and equalities brief which became available after Amber Rudd quit the Cabinet at the weekend. In a devastating resignation letter, the former work and pensions secretary told the prime minister: “I no longer believe leaving with a deal is the government’s main objective.”
Boris Johnson gathered Cabinet for crisis talks today as he frantically hunts for a way out of the Remainer trap. Senior ministers assembled in No10 after the PM suffered his latest disastrous defeat in the Commons – with MPs refusing his plea for a snap election. The huge setback came just hours before Parliament was suspended until mid-October in extraordinary scenes, with Remainers staging protests and the Speaker condemning the move.
Half of Conservative voters would like to see Boris Johnson flout the law by refusing to request a Brexit extension, according to a new poll. The survey by the pollsters YouGov follows the prime minister reiterating in the Commons he would under no circumstances request a Brexit delay beyond 31 October. The remarks came as legislation forcing the government to request an extension from Brussels until 2020, if a deal is in play by 19 October, received royal assent.
Liz Truss has been made women and equalities minister and Zac Goldsmith promoted to attending cabinet as Boris Johnson conducted a mini-reshuffle on the first day of parliament’s shutdown. Truss was given the portfolio on Tuesday following Amber Rudd’s resignation on Saturday from that role as well as from her seat in cabinet as work and pensions secretary along with the Conservative whip in protest at the direction of Johnson’s Brexit policy.
JOHN Bercow appeared to sprinkle drops of water under his eyes just before his tearful long goodbye to fawning Remainer MPs. The Remainer Speaker choked up during his resignation speech in the Commons – but eagle-eyed reporters said ‘not all’ his tears ‘came from within.’ In footage captured in the chamber, Bercow appeared to dip his fingers in a glass of water before wiping his face. Writing in today’s Times, Sun columnist Quentin Letts said: “Not all the moisture came from within. “At 3.35pm, a few seconds before he made his personal statement to the House, he took his drinking glass, dipped two fingers in it and sprinkled water on his eyes. “The crafty little coyote.”
Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson are ‘pulling the strings’ behind the Remainer alliance by giving proxy advice to Labour and Lib Dem MPs, it has been claimed. The former prime minister and his New Labour sidekick, once dubbed the ‘Prince of Darkness’, are understood to be at the centre of cross-party attempts to block Brexit, including last week’s passing of a Bill to prevent no-deal. A source told The Telegraph: “Blair and Mandelson are pulling the strings. Mandelson is the puppet master, he has had meetings via proxy with all the parties involved in the Remain alliance and sends emails with ideas.
Reports have revealed that the Labour Party is planning to vote down the Queen’s Speech next month and attempt to topple the Conservative government with a confidence vote, whilst the rabidly pro-Remain Liberal Democrats plan to rally behind revoking Article 50, cancelling Brexit altogether. The reports come after Parliament was prorogued last night for five weeks ahead of a new parliamentary session and Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost a second vote in the House of Commons calling for a mid-October election to clear out the lower house of Remainers and break the Brexit deadlock.
Jeremy Corbyn has announced plans to make it easier for workers to strike as business leaders on Tuesday accused him of “turning back the clock” to the Seventies. In a move that could open the floodgates to widespread industrial action, Mr Corbyn on Tuesday pledged to sweep aside anti-trade union laws and transfer power from the “born-to-rule establishment” to the “hands of workers”.
Jeremy Corbyn has promised the “biggest extension of workers’ rights” in British history under a Labour Government, strengthening Trade Unions and increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour. The Labour leader announced plans to establish a Ministry for Employment Rights, a new Whitehall department putting protections for workers at the heart of Government. The new Ministry would ban unpaid internships and zero hours contracts, give all workers the right to seek flexible hours and scrap loopholes which allow bosses to pay agency workers less than regular staff.
Labour was accused last night of trying to take Britain back to the 1970s with plans to massively boost union power. Jeremy Corbyn said he wanted to give state officials the right to enter workplaces and prosecute bosses. The worst offenders could even be sent to prison. The Labour leader told the TUC he would deliver the biggest extension of workers’ rights ever seen if he won the next general election.
NIGEL Farage has spelt out his price for an election deal with the Tories – to give his Brexit Party a free run in 80 to 90 parliamentary seats. In exchange, the anti-EU party chief has told No10 he would not to field any candidates against sitting Tory MPs and in the Conservatives’ target seats. The landmark offer has been relayed to Boris Johnson by senior Tory figures after discreet conversations with Mr Farage opened up, The Sun has been told.
Brexit will be ‘the beginning’ of the UK’s new relationship with the EU ‘should it happen’, the new head of the European Commission said today. In an implicit warning to Brexit supporters in the UK arguing for a so-called ‘clean break’ departure with no deal in place, incoming EC president Ursula von der Leyen said the two sides would have to work to build up ties anew.
The EU is pinning its hopes on British negotiators reverting to the Northern Ireland-only backstop previously rejected by Theresa May as a threat to the constitutional integrity of the UK. With Boris Johnson facing a choice between breaking his word and extending the UK’s membership of the EU beyond 31 October, or bringing back a tweaked deal for a last-gasp vote in parliament, officials and diplomats have expressed hope the prime minister will make a U-turn. EU sources insisted there was no other approach that could work and the negotiations were otherwise doomed to hit a “zombie stage” given the likelihood of an imminent general election.
Boris Johnson will have to nominate a British European commissioner as part of the EU’s terms for a delay to Brexit in another embarrassment for the prime minister after his defeat by MPs. Ursula von der Leyen, who replaces Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission on November 1, said that naming a Briton to the Brussels EU executive would be legally required if the Brexit deadline were extended again.
Open borders activists have criticised the “fascist rhetoric” and “deeply worrying” new vice president commissioner role of “Protecting Our European Way of Life” — despite the role focusing on integrating migrants and working on a new EU asylum pact, not stopping mass migration. The next European Commission president and former German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has revealed nominations for a new college of eight vice presidents, naming Greek former Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas as the vice president for Protecting Our European Way of Life.
Police forces could need half a million people to apply to be officers to meet the 20,000 target if current recruitment rates continue, one of the country’s most senior officers has said. In a speech today, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council Martin Hewitt outlined the scale of task facing forces ahead of a plan to bring in thousands of new recruits in the next three and a half years. He said that up to 30,000 officers could leave the job in that time, meaning 50,000 would be needed to replace those leaving and add the required number on top.
Officials have been asked by Boris Johnson to look at ambitious proposals to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. Staff at the Treasury and Department for Transport (DfT) were ordered to advise on the costs and risks of such a project. The idea was put forward by Mr Johnson last year, when he was foreign secretary. The suggestion was to link the 28 miles between Larne in Ulster and Portpatrick in Scotland. Documents reveal that the PM wanted to know where money for the new scheme would come from and the risks, which appears to include ‘WW2 munitions in the Irish Sea’.
Boris Johnson has reportedly asked Government officials to look at the feasibility of building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister, who frequently speaks of his desire to strengthen the Union, first touted the idea when he was foreign secretary. The Treasury and the Department for Transport have both been asked about the costs of such a project, according to Channel 4. It reported that the DUP, the party which supports the Tory Government with its confidence and supply arrangement, thinks such a bridge could break the Brexit impasse.
BORIS JOHNSON is exploring plans to build a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland to fix the Brexit deadlock, it is claimed. The Prime Minister is said to have asked government officials to look at the costs and risks of a 28-mile bridge across the Irish Sea. Last year, DUP politicians in Northern Ireland backed Mr Johnson’s plan for a £15billion “Brexit bridge” linking south-west Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland. But unexploded World War Two bombs are believed to be one of the risks to the project, according to Channel 4 News.
Scores of UK-bound migrants have been intercepted by the Border Force as they attempted to cross the Channel in small boats. Some 86 men, women and ‘claimed minors’ attempted the perilous journey on Tuesday, with some managing to land on beaches before being detained, the Home Office said. These figures arrive off the back of an announcement that a gym in Dunkirk where up to 1000 migrants are living is expected to close.
SCORES of UK-bound migrants have been intercepted by the Border Force as they attempted to cross the Channel in small boats. Some 86 men, women and “claimed minors” attempted the perilous journey yesterday, with some managing to land on beaches before being detained, the Home Office said. It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel said urgent action was needed to put a stop to the wave of crossings, after she met French interior minister Christophe Castaner in Paris last month.
Nineteen new forms of potentially deadly superbugs have been found in the UK, a report has revealed. Officials said bacteria that cause common infections of the blood, bladder, kidney and bowels had evolved new variants that could defeat the last line of antibiotic defences, risking an untreatable illness pandemic. Announcing its new strategy to address the “urgent threats” of infectious diseases, Public Health England said its laboratories had identified the 19 “new genetic mechanisms of antibiotic resistance” over the past decade in 1,300 samples from patients across the UK.
Nineteen new forms of lethal superbugs have been found in the UK, a major report reveals today. Officials said germs which attack the blood, kidneys and bowels had evolved ways to breach the last line of antibiotic defences – threatening a pandemic of untreatable infections. Public Health England, which today announces a five-year strategy to address the ‘urgent threats’ of infectious diseases, said it had discovered 19 ‘new genetic mechanisms of antibiotic resistance’ in its labs in ten years.
NEARLY 20 new lethal superbugs have been identified in the UK, a major report reveals. Officials warn the steep rise in drug-resistant bacteria raises the real prospect of untreatable infections spreading across Britain. England’s top doc has already warned superbugs could kill ten million people a year unless drastic action is taken. Prof Dame Sally Davies, the nation’s chief medical officer, said the rise of drug-resistant infections is a bigger threat than climate change. Officials blame antibiotic overuse for 5,000 superbug deaths in the UK each year.
British Airways passengers are likely to face disruption for several more days despite the end of a 48-hour walkout by pilots. Dozens of flights are expected to be cancelled today because aircraft are now in the wrong location. The airline admitted that almost half its fleet of more than 300 aircraft would start today at the wrong airport — causing more cancellations and delays. The knock-on effect may last several days, it said.