Cross-party talks

Theresa May last night made a ‘final offer’ to Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit, as she bowed to Cabinet demands to accelerate efforts to take Britain out of the EU. In a high risk move, Mrs May told the Cabinet that she would finally bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill legislation in the week beginning June 3 – with or without a deal with Labour – in the hope of getting a version of her deal through Parliament at the fourth attempt. That is the same week that President Trump is due to make a three-day state visit to the UK. It will also come just after the May 23 European elections in which the Tories are expected to take a huge battering from voters over delays to Brexit.


THERESA MAY will bring forward legislation in order to put a Brexit deal to Parliament for a fourth time on the week beginning June 3, a Downing Street spokesman has confirmed. The announcement follows on from further crunch Brexit talks between the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn tonight in order to break the Brexit impasse. Number 10 has stated the cross-party talks between Mrs May and Mr Corbyn were “useful and constructive” but stopped short in confirming if Labour would back the deal or if any changes had been made to the bill agreed with Brussels.

A majority of members of the European Research Group, a large eurosceptic faction in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, will vote against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal when it is brought back before parliament next month, a lawmaker said. Owen Paterson, a former minister, said he was concerned that her deal would leave Britain following EU laws.  He said the Democratic Unionist Party, which props up May’s party, is concerned it will align Northern Ireland more closely with the EU than the rest of the United Kingdom.

Dithering Theresa May set a fresh deadline of the summer recess for passing her Brexit deal. Ministers agreed to the latest timetable after an “extensive discussion” at a marathon Cabinet meeting lasting more than two hours. It comes after the Prime Minister missed the original March 29 date for taking the UK out of the EU. The Prime Minister said it was “imperative” the Withdrawal Agreement passes the Commons before Parliament rises for its six-week recess.

THERESA May was forced to promise a fresh showdown vote on her Brexit deal early next month in a bid to end months of crippling  deadlock.  Under heavy pressure from her frustrated Cabinet, the PM agreed to introduce the landmark Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning June 3. And she summoned Labour boss Jeremy Corbyn to a meeting to give him the key date too. The long-awaited decision – repeatedly postponed by nervous No10 – sets a deadline of the end May for the six week-long cross-party talks for a softer deal to pass Brexit through the Commons.

Evening Standard
Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement will come back to the House of Commons in the week beginning June 3, Downing Street has said. The government said it is seeking a “stable majority” for the bill to finally pass next month. MPs have defeated it three times so far this year. The latest development comes after Mrs May met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for an hour of negotiations on Tuesday night.

BBC News
Theresa May is giving MPs another chance to vote on Brexit in early June – whether or not the government and Labour have reached a deal by then. A vote on the bill that would pave the way for Brexit was “imperative” if the UK was to leave the EU before MPs’ summer recess, Downing Street said. Labour sources say they will not back the bill without a cross-party deal. If Mrs May’s deal is defeated, Number 10 said the UK is set for no deal or for Article 50 to be revoked.

Sky News
The government will bring forward a key piece of Brexit legislation at the start of next month, Downing Street has said. Number 10 said MPs will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which enshrines the prime minister’s Brexit plan into UK law, in the week beginning 3 June. The announcement came following what Downing Street said were “useful and constructive” talks between Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Theresa May will force a final showdown on her Brexit blueprint early next month, Downing Street announced on Tuesday evening. She effectively gave Jeremy Corbyn three weeks to reach a compromise over a form of Brexit which can be supported by a majority of MPs. If she succeeds in winning a Commons majority for her proposals, she is expected to resign in the summer. Equally, her fate could be sealed if her plans are rejected for the fourth time by MPs in June.

Theresa May will once again try and get her Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament after cross-party talks with Labour. This looks like a final, last desperate roll of the dice for the Prime Minister. The confirmation comes after a meeting between her and Jeremy Corbyn yesterday evening. In a statement, Downing Street said that May and Corbyn had met in the House of Commons. “We will therefore be bringing forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning the 3rd June.” Talks between May and the Labour Leader were described as “both useful and constructive”.

Theresa May will put her Brexit deal to the Commons next month in a vote that will determine her remaining time as prime minister. She told Jeremy Corbyn last night that in the week commencing June 3 she will bring in legislation implementing the divorce agreement with or without Labour’s support. “We are approaching the moment of truth,” a cabinet minister said of the prime minister’s decision, which effectively puts her premiership on the line.

Theresa May‘s cabinet has set a summer deadline for the UK finally to leave the EU, prompting speculation the prime minister could be ready to name her departure date. The decision suggests Ms May is ready to confirm she will quit within two months when she meets Tory backbench leaders on Thursday, after she promised to quit when the first phase of Brexit is complete. She will bring forward her withdrawal agreement bill in early June to ensure Brexit happens this summer, Downing Street said.

Theresa May has pledged to give MPs another opportunity to vote on Brexit early next month, with or without Labour’s backing, after Jeremy Corbyn raised concerns about her ability to deliver on a cross-party deal. The prime minister called a meeting with the Labour leader on Tuesday night to take stock of the Brexit negotiations, as the government sought to inject fresh urgency into the process. The pair held an hour-long meeting alongside the two parties’ chief whips. A Labour spokesperson said: “[Corbyn] set out the shadow cabinet’s concerns about the prime minister’s ability to deliver on any compromise agreement. In particular, he raised doubts over the credibility of government commitments, following statements by Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers seeking to replace the prime minister.”

Theresa May

Theresa May has tried to delay her resignation for almost three months by telling ministers she can get a Brexit deal done if she is allowed to stay as Prime Minister until the end of July. Mrs May met Jeremy Corbyn for cross-party talks on Tuesday night where she told him she will table a vote on a Brexit “divorce” bill next month with or without a deal with Labour. Mrs May earlier told her Cabinet it was “imperative” the Brexit legislation is passed before Parliament breaks for the summer.

Executive members of the 1922 Committee are preparing to ask Theresa May to step down immediately if she fails to set out a timetable for leaving Downing Street. Up to 10 members of the powerful group of senior Tory MPs have discussed telling the prime minister to name a date for the end of her premiership or face immediate demands to go, sources confirmed. May is due to appear before the committee on Thursday as the party struggles to contain widespread anger among its MPs and members at May’s failure to lead the UK through Brexit.

Conservative Party

A Eurosceptic Tory has said the party should do a deal with Nigel Farage if the current deadlock over quitting the EU results in a general election, warning that ‘otherwise Brexit doesn’t happen’. Crispin Blunt said that the Conservatives must make an ‘accommodation’ with the Brexit Party but stopped short of calling for a full coalition. He suggested they try to do a deal where the new anti-EU party ‘runs in the seats that we don’t hold’, in an interview on the BBC‘s Newsnight.

Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt floundered when asked why people should vote Conservative, as he acknowledged the party may be heading for “disastrous” European results and could be “crucified” at a general election if Brexit is not resolved. With Nigel Farage’s Brexit party riding high in the polls, the foreign secretary was questioned on why people should vote for his party but he initially could only come up with: “Because you believe in Conservative policies.”

Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn has drawn up plans to take control of Britain’s energy networks in a multi-billion pound power-grab modelled on the nationalisation of Northern Rock. A leaked Labour party document has revealed plans for a swift and sweeping renationalisation of the country’s £62bn energy networks at a price decided by Parliament. The blueprint, seen by the Telegraph, lays bare for the first time Mr Corbyn’s plan to bring all energy network companies under public ownership “immediately” following a Labour election win.

Britain’s power and gas networks would be nationalised under a Labour government and replaced with a complex system of national, regional and municipal energy agencies. Streets, villages and housing estates could be handed responsibility for operating and maintaining the electricity cables and meters that supply their homes, a leaked document showed. The plans, expected to be announced within days, suggest that shareholders in companies that own the networks would be unlikely to be paid the market value for their assets, estimated to be worth £64 billion.


Guido understands that four Welsh Assembly members will be defecting to the Brexit Party tomorrow (today) at a rally in Merthyr Tydfil, following Mark Reckless’ announcement that he has left the Conservative Group in the Assembly today. Three independents; Caroline Jones, Mandy Jones, and Mark Reckless are expected to join the Brexit Party along with UKIP AM David Rowlands. All four were originally elected as UKIP Assembly Members before the referendum. Brexit Party sources are playing down the story for now…

Nigel Farage hit back today after it emerged he and Brexit Party MEPs face being barred from getting coveted Parliamentary passes if they win looming European elections. All MEPs are currently able to apply for privileged access to Westminster, allowing them to use the exclusive facilities. But the House of Lords authorities have now recommended that the perk be stripped away – sparking claims that they are trying to shut out anti-establishment politicians.

The obituaries are being written, perhaps prematurely, for the Tiggers before they have even fought their first election. Guido’s hears that ChUK’s infighting is getting worse as their polling flat-lines. Chris Leslie and his wife Nicola Murphy are copping a lot of the flak. As you would expect from a party opposed to democracy, she was appointed as chief executive of the party without any pretence of a vote and he demanded she got a generous salary as well. This immediately annoyed other staff and activists hoping for jobs – in the main ex-councillors and even some council leaders knocking around looking work, who joined thinking they would get taken on.


Change UK has accused the leading second referendum campaign group of taking orders from Labour after an effort to select a single Remainer candidate for the Peterborough by-election collapsed. Anna Soubry, who quit the Tories to help to form Change UK this year, said that the attitude of People’s Vote to Labour was a farce and that the cross-party group was in dangerous territory.

Senior figures in Change UK have expressed concern that the People’s Vote campaign may fall foul of electoral law, accusing key staff at the non-partisan campaign of taking orders from Labour. Among those who have made complaints are the Change UK MPs Chuka Umunna, formerly of Labour, and Anna Soubry, a former Tory, both founding members of the campaign. The Guardian understands that other parties, including the Lib Dems, have also expressed concerns about how the campaign has portrayed Labour’s position on a second referendum.

Voter ID

The government has been told to ditch its controversial voter ID policy after new analysis found that it had stopped 800 people voting in local elections earlier this month. A total of 819 people were turned away from polling stations because they did not have formal identification and did not return, according to a study by the Local Government Chronicle (LGC). The policy of asking voters to show ID is being trialled in 10 areas of the country, despite opposition from charities, campaigners and opposition parties.


A record number of European Union nationals are working in Britain as the country’s jobs miracle continues. Nearly 2.4million people from the Continent were employed here in the first three months of 2019 – up by 107,000 on the previous quarter. It more than reverses a drop in numbers which began in late 2017. At the time, this was widely taken as a sign that foreigners from the Continent were leaving due to Brexit.

Wages are rising slower than expected despite unemployment falling to a 45-year low, according to the Office for National Statistics. The unemployment rate was 3.8 per cent during the first three months of the year — the lowest since 1974 and down from 3.9 per cent in the three months to February. The number unemployed from January to March was 1.3 million, 119,000 fewer than the same period a year ago.

Unemployment in the UK is now at the lowest level for 45 years and more people are in jobs than ever despite the current Brexit gloom, official figures revealed today. The Office for National Statistics has said the number of people out of work in the past three months has now been falling for five years and is now at 3.8 per cent – lower than at any time since the end of 1974. Employment also jumped by 99,000 in the three months to March, to 32.7 million with the number of people working now the highest on record at 76.1 per cent.


ITV News
Treatment which can prolong the lives of children with a rare genetic condition will be made available on the NHS. Nusinersen, also called Spinraza and made by Biogen, is the first treatment that targets the underlying cause of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). NHS England said it has successfully negotiated a deal with Biogen, describing it as “one of the most comprehensive deals in the world”.

Armed forces

Members of the Armed Forces are to be protected from prosecution for historical offences under plans to be unveiled by the new defence secretary – but not if the alleged offences took place in Northern Ireland.  Penny Mordaunt is to put forward legislation designed to ensure service personnel and veterans are not subjected to repeated investigations on historical operations, many years after the events in question. The proposals include introducing a statutory presumption against prosecution for current or former personnel for alleged offences committed in the course of duty abroad more than 10 years ago.

BBC News
British troops and veterans will be given stronger legal protections against prosecution, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt will announce. The new law would protect them from investigation over actions on the battlefield abroad after 10 years, except in “exceptional circumstances”. Ms Mordaunt said it would prevent “repeated or unfair investigations”. The protections, which will be put to a public consultation, would not apply to alleged offences in Northern Ireland.

Penny Mordaunt will propose new legal safeguards to protect present and former military personnel from historical allegations linked to wars overseas. The defence secretary will set out a plan this week for a statutory presumption against prosecution once ten years has passed since an alleged offence took place abroad. It would not apply to conduct at home and would not therefore halt legacy investigations into veterans who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

The new defence secretary has promised to introduce an amnesty on historical prosecutions for military veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and anywhere else around the world – with the exception of Northern Ireland. Penny Mordaunt will consult on proposals for a presumption against prosecution for offences committed more than 10 years ago and will say she supports plans to opt out of the European convention on human rights (ECHR) in future armed conflicts.

Troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan would be protected from legal ‘witch-hunts’ under plans announced last night. Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt unveiled proposals for a law that will stop soldiers being investigated over incidents more than ten years old unless compelling new evidence comes to light. The amnesty will include a ‘statutory presumption against prosecution’ that will say action after that time-scale is not in the public interest except in ‘exceptional circumstances’.


Anti-terrorist operations would be hampered if Theresa May bows to pressure to create an official definition of Islamophobia, the leader of Britain’s police chiefs has warned. Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said that the reform, proposed by backbench MPs and peers, risked exacerbating community tensions and undermining counterterrorist policing powers and tactics.


President Trump said he was prepared to deploy 120,000 troops or “a hell of a lot more” in the event of war with Iran amid warnings that Washington was in danger of stumbling towards a military confrontation in the Gulf. Mr Trump was responding to reports that the Pentagon had drawn up plans for an expeditionary force of that size at the behest of his hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, as tensions grow over the unravelling Iranian nuclear agreement.

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