Boris Johnson risks a row with Conservative Brexiteers after Downing Street indicated that he may seek changes to the backstop but could leave the rest of the Withdrawal Agreement intact. Number 10 said the Prime Minister may only ask the EU to remove the controversial Northern Ireland backstop, which would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU if no other way was found to ensure the Northern Ireland border remained open after Brexit. Mr Johnson has said the withdrawal agreement, negotiated by Theresa May, is dead, but the suggestion that it could be retained will anger Brexiteers.
Boris Johnson is on course for a major row with Conservative Brexiteers after Downing Street admitted that he is only seeking changes to one part of the current Brexit deal. No10 said the prime minister was only asking the EU to remove the controversial Northern Ireland backstop, which would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU if no other way is found to keep the Northern Ireland border open after Brexit. In recent days Tory Eurosceptics have demanded that other parts of the withdrawal agreement also be amended, including the proposed £39bn divorce bill and the length of the transition period. Mr Johnson has said that the current deal, negotiated by Theresa May, is “dead”, but the admission that he is happy with the vast majority of the 585-page agreement will infuriate Brexiteers.
Boris Johnson is heading for a showdown with hardline Conservative Brexiteers after Downing Street confirmed he will rubber-stamp Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement if it is stripped of the Irish backstop plan. The so-called Spartans – who voted three times against the former prime minister’s Brexit blueprint – are pressing for more sweeping changes to the document she negotiated with Brussels last year. However, asked whether Mr Johnson was seeking any other amendments to the agreement, a spokeswoman replied: “We have been clear the changes we are seeking relate to the backstop.”
The Brexit Party’s Leader Nigel Farage has today reiterated that his party will stand in every constituency at the next General Election – if Boris Johnson proceeds with seeking to get Theresa May’s disaster Treaty through Parliament. Farage tweeted: “If he proceeds with the Mrs. May’s Treaty we will fight him in every single seat up and down the country.” Speaking at a rally with hundreds of prospective Brexit candidates on hand, Farage said that if Boris did go for a clean, No Deal Brexit then he may get support from the Brexit Party.
Measures proposed by Britain to replace the “backstop” in its European Union Withdrawal Agreement do not yet come close to what is needed and it is possible that no solution exists, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday. The backstop is designed to avoid new customs and other checks on the border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, an EU member, after Brexit. Britain says the backstop could trap it inside an indefinite customs union with the EU, or else drive a wedge between it and Northern Ireland.
Boris Johnson suspending parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit would be the “gravest abuse of power and attack on UK constitutional principle in living memory”, according to expert legal advice drawn up by Labour. Shami Chakrabarti, the shadow attorney general, said any attempt to prorogue parliament to stop MPs blocking no-deal faced being overruled by the courts.
High Court judges can block Boris Johnson from forcing through a no-deal Brexit , legal advice by Labour’s shadow attorney general declares today. The six-page advice says the courts could grant an “interim injunction” if the Prime Minister suspends Parliament to ram through no-deal on October 31. Written by lawyer Shami Chakrabarti, the internal document – handed to the Guardian – adds suspending Parliament would be the “gravest abuse of power and attack on UK constitutional principle in living memory”.
No deal block
Boris Johnson condemned a ‘coalition of anti-democrats’ last night after opposition parties banded together in a new attempt to block a No Deal Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn secured the support of five other parties yesterday in his bid to further delay Britain’s departure from the EU. The five other leaders had forced the Labour leader to drop his preferred option of tabling a vote of no confidence. Instead, the opposition groups agreed to prioritise passing a law to extend Article 50 again.
Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to join forces with Remainer MPs to try and force through legislation to block a no-deal Brexit. The Labour leader today met opposition leaders in his Parliamentary office, where they agreed to begin working on a coordinated effort to stop Boris Johnson taking the UK out of the European Union without a deal. He also appeared to admit that his plan to topple the Prime Minister in a confidence vote lacked the necessary support after he opened the discussion by reassuring those present that Labour would not table a motion prematurely.
Boris Johnson has been described as a threat to the “very nature” of British democracy at a cross-party meeting where MPs agreed to form an alternative parliament in the event of the prime minister shutting down the existing one to make a no-deal Brexit happen. In a symbolic gathering at Church House in Westminster, where MPs met during the second world war, Labour’s John McDonnell took to the stage alongside the former Conservative MP Anna Soubry as well as the Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, and Caroline Lucas of the Green party.
Westminster party leaders have reached agreement on their tactics to stop no-deal Brexit after crunch talks with Jeremy Corbyn. The opposition chiefs now plan to put forward legislation in the Commons next week in a bid to avoid Britain crashing out of the EU. Party leaders are due to hold further meetings in the coming days – and will flesh out their exact plans over the next 48 hours – after spending more than an hour in Mr Corbyn’s Commons office.
JEREMY Corbyn is trying to win the support of former prime minister Theresa May and ex-chancellor Philip Hammond in a desperate bid to prevent the UK leaving the European Union without a deal on October 31. The Labour leader has written to 116 Tory and independent MPs, including Mrs May and Mr Hammond – who is on record as saying he will do “everything in my power” to prevent a no deal Brexit – asking them to support efforts to do just that.
A last-minute High Court legal injunction could be used to block Boris Johnson from proroguing parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit, MPs hope. Westminster leaders banding together to stop the UK from crashing out of the EU on October 31 have agreed a fresh attempt to seize control of the parliamentary timetable. But if a new bid to force the prime minister to seek an extension to the Article 50 deadline fails and Johnson looks set to ask the Queen to suspend parliament, MPs could ask a High Court judge to step in, HuffPost UK has learned.
Boris Johnson has accused opposition MPs of attempting to “sabotage” Britain’s negotiations with the European Union after they announced plans to thwart a no-deal Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn, backed by other opposition leaders, vowed yesterday to use legislation to bind the prime minister’s hands and stop him fulfilling his pledge to take Britain out of the EU at the end of October “come what may”.
Philip Hammond is preparing to spearhead efforts to block a no-deal Brexit, it emerged on Tuesday night, after Jeremy Corbyn appeared to shelve plans for a no confidence vote in the Government. Allies of the former chancellor have told The Daily Telegraph that he intends to become the “cheerleader” for a cross-party plan to force Boris Johnson to delay Brexit by several months. One said Mr Hammond wants to play “as full a role as possible” in efforts to force through backbench legislation ruling out no-deal, adding that he “wants to do what needs to be done.”
Senior Tory MPs can hardly contain their excitement at the forthcoming opportunity from a general election to scrap swathes of Theresa May’s nanny state legacy, Guido can reveal. As the Rt Hon. Peter Manion MP famously said, “we need to say boo to nanny”. One senior minister has said the party is going to use their next general election manifesto to “take Tippex” to the long list of the former PM’s interventionist policies, including the swathe of ‘sin taxes’ that have been recently introduced.
Nigel Farage says he will fight a general election as he warned the Prime Minister the Brexit party can be “his best friend or worst enemy”. Mr Farage, who was speaking at a rally in Westminster to announce the Brexit Party’s next wave of candidates, said his party would form a “non-aggression pact” with the Conservatives if the Prime Minister pursues a no-deal Brexit. The leader of the Brexit Party, which was founded at the beginning of this year, told the packed venue: “If Boris Johnson is prepared to do the right thing for the independence of this country, then we would put country before party and do the right thing.
Brexit leader Nigel Farage has invited British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be courageous and to do “the right thing” and deliver a full, World Trade Organisation-rules Brexit, promising his support in a “non-aggression pact” if he did so. In a speech where Mr Farage hailed the Brexit Party for having brought down “the worst and most duplicitous Prime Minister in British history”, the Brexit leader tore into Boris Johnson’s record but said there could be hope if Mr Johnson was willing to work in the interest of the nation.
A no-deal Brexit is now “the only acceptable deal”, says Nigel Farage. The Brexit Party leader said his party would fight in every seat at a general election if the government tried to pass the existing withdrawal agreement. But he said if Boris Johnson “summoned the courage” to pursue a no deal, The Brexit Party would work with him. He added: “A Johnson government committed to doing the right thing and The Brexit Party working in tandem would be unstoppable.”
Nigel Farage has insisted a no-deal Brexit is now ‘the only acceptable deal’. The Brexit Party leader said his party would fight in every seat at a general election if the government tried to pass the existing withdrawal agreement, but saying if Boris Johnson ‘summoned the courage’ to pursue No Deal, The Brexit Party would work with him. He added: ‘A Johnson government committed to doing the right thing and The Brexit Party working in tandem would be unstoppable.’
Nigel Farage has said that Boris Johnson cannot win a majority in Parliament at any snap election without the help of his Brexit Party. Mr Farage has said his party would form a “non-aggression pact” which would be “unstoppable” with the Conservative Party but only if the Tory PM promised to pursue a no-deal Brexit. But if Mr Johnson fails to crash out of the union without a deal then Mr Farage said the his party would stand against the Conservatives in every seat.
Nigel Farage has offered to work hand in hand with Boris Johnson at the next election as long as the prime minister unequivocally backs a no-deal Brexit. At a Brexit Party campaign launch yesterday Mr Farage said that he would be willing to consider signing a “non- aggression pact” with the Tories. Although he is selecting candidates in every seat, Mr Farage indicated some could step aside to support Tory Brexiteers.
Labour would ban trophy hunters from selling their spoils in the UK, end cruel fishing practices and consider ending the use of the whip in racing under plans for a radical overhaul of animal welfare laws. Under the party’s new manifesto, the controversial sale of souvenirs from wild animals such as lions, elephants and tigers would be made illegal, preventing wealthy hunters from profiting from trophies obtained abroad. Labour would also call for a review into the use of whips by jockeys, ban people from owning pet monkeys, outlaw the sale of snares and glue traps, and change the laws on animal cruelty to include wild animals as well domestic pets.
Jeremy Corbyn has backed cross-party plans to delay a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson and prioritise rebel MPs’ attempts to use legislation to stop a no-deal Brexit, with plans set to be agreed by the end of the week. In a meeting with opposition parties convened by the Labour leader, Corbyn opened the discussion by reassuring MPs that Labour would not seek a premature vote of no confidence that might stymie legislative efforts to stop no deal.
LABOUR put plans to hold a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the back-burner following talks today with other opposition parties, agreeing instead to look at legislative options for stopping a no-deal Brexit. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other opposition leaders agreed to consider new legislation after Labour’s plan to install Mr Corbyn as a caretaker prime minister did not garner enough cross-party support. They have yet to agree on a methodology for how the legislation will be implemented.
Chancellor Sajid Javid has promised increased spending on priority areas of schools, police and health. Setting a 4 September date for the spending review, he said there would be no “blank cheque” for departments. Mr Javid said he would stick to the current borrowing rules, limiting the scope for extensive spending increases. Earlier, the government cancelled what would have been Mr Javid’s first major speech, on Wednesday, a decision described by Labour as a “panic” move.
The chancellor will announce the results next week of a fast-tracked Whitehall spending review expected to prepare the country for Brexit and benefit schools and police forces. Sajid Javid’s spending round on Wednesday — a day after MPs return from their summer break — will do little to dampen speculation about a general election. Funding is expected to prioritise areas that Boris Johnson addressed in his first speech as prime minister, including education, crime and healthcare.
The Chancellor has told Whitehall departments there will be ‘no blank cheques’ for government departments ahead of a spending review in which he is expected to announce extra cash for schools, the NHS and police recruitment. But despite his tough rhetoric one Labour MP said next Wednesday’s announcement would amount to an emergency general election Budget. Ahead of the September 4 statement Mr Javid said the Government could ‘afford to spend more on people’s priorities’ such as schools, hospitals and police after a decade of cutbacks.
The Government will not break its “fiscal rules” on public spending in the run-up to Brexit, the Chancellor will warn on Wednesday as he says there will not be “blank cheques” for Whitehall departments. In an article for The Telegraph, Sajid Javid discloses that he will announce the outcome of a one-year spending review next Wednesday which will increase expenditure on schools, the police and NHS.
First-time buyers will get a discount of up to 20 per cent on new homes in the area where they grew up, under plans being considered by ministers. Boris Johnson has identified getting young people on the housing ladder as “one of the great challenges of this generation”, in a marked shift from Theresa May’s focus on renters. Plans to overhaul shared ownership are being announced today but The Times understands that the government is also planning to offer price reductions on new developments, potentially as much as 20 per cent, to local residents.
A RADICAL shake-up to help low-income Brits move up the property ladder for just thousands of pounds is to be unveiled by Ministers. Communites Secretary Robert Jenrick plans to rip up existing rules around ‘shared ownership’ housing to make it far easier for people to own a greater chunk of their new home. Under existing rules, Brits have to a buy a minimum 25 per cent of a shared ownership property, rent the rest and then increase their equity in tranches of 10 per cent a time.
Teachers could be told to use ‘reasonable force’ when dealing with unruly pupils, leaked education papers reveal. The documents advocated a new wave of free schools in the country for the benefit of excluded students. Schools could also be given billions of pounds in new funding and more help to crack down on bad behaviour, according to the proposals leaked yesterday. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson wants to hand out an extra £3.5billion and also provide additional support for teachers to ban mobile phones and exclude poorly-behaved pupils.
A raft of dramatic and controversial education measures including billions of pounds in new funding, a crackdown on student behaviour and a further wave of free schools are to be announced by the government within days, according to a confidential briefing paper seen by the Guardian. The briefing document, dated 22 August and marked “Official-Sensitive”, details policy proposals for schools in England designed to be rolled out over the coming weeks in an attempt to seize the initiative on education before a possible autumn election.
A cyber strike similar to the computer hack that crippled NHS hospitals in 2017 could trigger a revenge attack from all Nato allies, its general secretary has warned. Jens Stoltenberg cited the WannaCry ransomware attack as an example of a “serious cyber attack” that would be viewed by Nato as requiring a response from all members of the alliance. The attack in May 2017, which exploited a weakness in some Microsoft Windows operating systems, forced the NHS to cancel non-emergency operations. It is estimated to have affected 70,000 devices including computers and MRI scanners.
Britain was last night branded the ‘drug capital of Europe’, with one in three of the continent’s overdose deaths happening here. Experts warn the country is in the midst of an addiction crisis as figures show drug abuse kills more people in the UK each year than knife crime and road accidents combined. Drug deaths are at their highest level since records began, with cocaine-related fatalities doubling in the past three years.