A group of MPs has launched a legal bid to block Boris Johnson from shutting down Parliament to ram through no deal Brexit . The cross-party group of politicians, including Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, SNP MP Joanna Cherry and independent MP Heidi Allen, lodged legal papers in Edinburgh today. The case could be heard within the next month. It’s thought the bid was launched in Scotland because the Court of Session continues to sit through the summer.
A group of politicians has started a legal action aimed at preventing Boris Johnson shutting down parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit. The group of 24 parliamentarians include Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, SNP MP Joanna Cherry and independent MP Heidi Allen. They have lodged legal papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Their petition is being considered by a judge who will decide whether to allow the case to proceed.
Remainers are plotting to drag the Queen into a political crisis by demanding that she sack Boris Johnson if he refuses to step down in the event he loses a confidence vote in Parliament. Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, was on Tuesday accused of being behind plans under which the monarch would be asked to remove the Prime Minister should he refuse to bend to the will of the Commons. Insiders said the MPs plan to use a parliamentary procedure known as a Humble Address, which would entail asking the Queen to write to Mr Johnson, dismissing him from office.
A TORTUOUS plot which would involve the Queen stepping in to block a no deal Brexit has been outlined by former Liberal Democrat MP David Howarth – with one Brexiteer MP describing it as “desperate measures”. Mr Howarth, now a Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, was responding to widespread reports suggesting Dominic Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s newly appointed special adviser, had told ministers it was now too late for Parliament to prevent Britain leaving the EU at the end of October.
BORIS JOHNSON could be allowed to ignore a parliamentary no-confidence vote and proceed with a no-deal Brexit followed by a general election, a former Supreme Court judge said today. Jonathan Sumption said that MPs could only prevent this from happening by forming an alternative government in the 14 days before an election would be automatically triggered. If this was not possible, Mr Johnson would have the power to set the date of the election for after October 31, the date on which Britain’s membership of the European Union is due to expire.
Remainers today warned the Queen will have to sack Boris Johnson if he refuses to quit after losing a Commons confidence vote over No Deal Brexit. Allies of the PM have made clear he will simply refuse to resign if rebel Tories join forces with Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and independents to pass a no confidence motion. Instead of going quietly, Mr Johnson would wait for an election to be triggered and use his executive powers to set the date of an election for after the Brexit date of October 31, so MPs cannot stop the process.
TORY Remainers can still block a No Deal Brexit, one of Britain’s top legal minds insists. Ex-Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption said they would have to choose between the “long shots” of rushing through a law against it or toppling Boris Johnson and forming an interim Government. He backed our story that the PM has the power to call an election for after the Halloween Brexit date if he loses a confidence vote so could force it through anyway.
MPs opposed to a no-deal exit from the EU are looking into forming a cross-party government to extend the Brexit deadline should Boris Johnson lose a confidence vote this autumn. Downing Street is steeling itself for a Labour bid to topple the Government in September, and hopes to avoid a general election before the UK leaves the EU on 31 October. But MPs from across the political spectrum are working together in an attempt to forge a government of national unity led by a veteran backbencher with the sole aim of extending the Brexit deadline.
EU OFFICIALS are convinced Boris Johnson cannot deliver Brexit and will fail to withdraw Britain from the European Union on October 31. Brussels chiefs believe the UK Parliament will block a no-deal exit or challenge him with a no-confidence vote before he can get a clean exit across the line. EU member states also view last week’s Brecon and Radnorshire by-election as proof the Tories have no mandate, with the Tory majority shrunk to just one.
The European Commission said it was ready to discuss Britain’s departure from the bloc with Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the coming weeks, while insisting that the Brexit withdrawal agreement could not be renegotiated. The offer to speak with Mr Johnson came as the tone escalated between Brussels and London, with Cabinet Minister Michael Gove claiming the EU was “refusing to negotiate with the UK” over a new Brexit deal that does not include the so-called Irish backstop. In turn, Commission officials said the government’s hardline stance – with its demand to renegotiate a deal that took two years to thrash out – shows the EU should expect the UK to crash out of the bloc without a deal.
The European Commission is willing to discuss Brexit with Britain over the coming weeks, a spokeswoman has confirmed. It comes after a period of relative silence between the negotiating parties – and a refusal by both sides to soften their negotiating positions. She warned that bloc’s executive is hoping to avoid a no-deal exit but is prepared if Boris Johnson crashes Britain out without a deal. “The Commission does remain available over the coming weeks should the United Kingdom wish to hold talks and clarify its position in more detail, whether by phone or in person,” a spokesperson has said. But European officials have been clear that they are unwilling to alter to key facets of the agreement negotiated with Theresa May .
Parts of the EU are slowly coming to the realisation that the UK is serious about No Deal – the Telegraph carries the headline “Brussels expects no deal” while the Guardian has “PM intent on hard Brexit and has no desire to renegotiate, EU told.” The EU’s previous calculations have centred around the assumption that Parliament will be able to block no deal, and failing that the UK Prime Minister will back down anyway. They are gradually waking up to the fact that this is no longer the case… EU officials are now putting out spikey quotes including: “It was clear UK does not have another plan. No intention to negotiate, which would require a plan. A no deal now appears to be the UK government’s central scenario.”
EU officials reportedly believe Boris Johnson and his team have “no intention” of negotiating and are intent on delivering a no-deal Brexit, it emerged. Cabinet minister Michael Gove responded on Tuesday by saying the EU “now seem to be refusing to negotiate with UK”. It came as MPs opposed to no deal accused the prime minister of acting like “Stuart monarchs and claiming a divine right to rule”, amid fears he is preparing to defy a potential vote of no confidence in parliament.
Michael Gove has accused the EU of refusing to negotiate over Brexit, dubbing the stalemate “wrong and sad”. In an escalating war of words between Westminster and Brussels, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who is in charge of no-deal preparations, said the EU’s position was “not in Europe’s interests”. The European Commission responded by insisting it was open to talks but made clear Theresa May’s Brexit agreement was “the best possible deal” Britain was going to get.
Michael Gove accused the European Union of blocking the chances of reaching a Brexit deal by refusing to give in to British demands to scrap the Irish backstop. Mr Gove, who has special cabinet responsibility for no-deal Brexit preparations, said yesterday he was “deeply saddened” that Brussels had rebuffed Boris Johnson’s request to reopen the withdrawal agreement, saying it was “not in Europe’s interests”. His comments came after the European Commission said it was open to talks with London but made clear that the backstop was not up for negotiation.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove says the EU “seem to be refusing to negotiate with the UK” over a new Brexit deal. Mr Gove, who is responsible for no-deal planning, said he was “deeply saddened” that Brussels was, in his words, saying “no, we don’t want to talk”. It comes after the EU said UK demands to remove the Irish backstop from Theresa May’s deal were unacceptable. Irish PM Leo Varadkar has reiterated that the withdrawal deal, including the backstop, cannot be renegotiated.
MICHAEL GOVE hit out at Brussels for refusing to reopen Brexit talks last night. The leading Cabinet minister said it was “wrong and sad” that the EU did not want to discuss a new deal with the UK. His comments came after European leaders finally realised that Boris is serious about leaving without an agreement – but still do not want to offer a new solution to the Irish border problem.
Michael Gove has attacked the EU for “refusing to negotiate” a new Brexit deal, calling the move “wrong and sad”. The minister in charge of preparing all departments for a no-deal divorce said “we do need a new approach” but added “the days of drift we’ve had in the past have ended”. He added the 31 October Brexit date was a “firm deadline”. It comes after EU leaders reportedly accepted Britain is leaving the bloc on Halloween without a withdrawal agreement.
Michael Gove has accused the European Union of intransigence over Brexit talks, calling it “wrong and sad”, as divisions between the UK and Brussels became further entrenched with the government seemingly intent on a no-deal departure. Gove, who is in charge of no-deal preparations, reiterated Boris Johnson’s position that the only route to progress would be the EU starting again with withdrawal negotiations, something Brussels has repeatedly and consistently ruled out.
The confidence of investors in the Eurozone has dropped to its lowest level since October 2014. The European Union has not been negotiating from a position of economic strength. August saw confidence levels fall to their lowest in nearly five years, according to survey data from Sentix. As they explain: “The Sentix economic index for Euroland drops by a whopping 7.9 points to -13.7 points. This is the lowest level since October 2014.
Labour and the SNP moved towards a pact last night that would seek to oust Boris Johnson as the parties prepared for an autumn election. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said that Labour would not block a second referendum on Scottish independence, in a significant shift of policy. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister and SNP leader, opened the door to a “progressive alliance” with Labour if the two parties were able to form a majority after a general election.
Nicola Sturgeon today called for a ‘progressive alliance’ with Jeremy Corbyn to stop Brexit. The Scottish First Minister said she would do a deal with Labour to ‘lock the Tories out of government’. But she warned that Mr Corbyn would have to take a ‘very firm anti-Brexit position’ in order for the parties to work together. She also did not rule out demanding a fresh independence referendum as the price of SNP support.
THERESA MAY infamously warned of a “coalition of chaos” under Jeremy Corbyn in the lead up to the 2017 general election. But ITV journalist Robert Peston has said the chances of blocking no deal and even having a potential second referendum may be undermined by a divided opposition. Though the Greens and Plaid Cmryu stood aside in the recent Brecon and Radnorshire by election to allow Jane Dodds of the Liberal Democrats to win the seat, Mr Peston said the parties appeared divided on a strategy to defeat Boris Johnson.
Labour would not block a second Scottish referendum if the party wins power at a general election, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said. The remarks from Jeremy Corbyn’s close ally came after a shock poll – conducted in the wake of Boris Johnson’s visit to Scotland – showed a majority of voters would now back independence. It also appears to contradict the party’s leader in Scotland, Richard Leonard, who said earlier this year a Labour government would “not agree” to a second vote, as he outlined his firm opposition.
Labour MP and Brexiteer Kate Hoey has warned her party that “disillusioned” supporters who have been let down and taken for granted will turn to the Brexit Party. The Labour MP for Vauxhall told left-wing, pro-Brexit pressure group Labour Leave that the party can no longer take its supporters for granted, saying: “I think Labour needs to realise that many disillusioned Labour supporters now have somewhere to go to.” Reflecting on her 30 years serving her constituents, Ms Hoey recalled times when the Labour Party in government made “not really sensible” decisions that were criticised by voters, with her Labour colleagues “actually saying: ‘Well we may be unpopular, but [Labour voters] have got nowhere else to go.’”
Watchdogs will cut the energy price cap today, reducing typical annual gas and electricity bills by up to £80 a year. However, experts warn that the new tariff, which could fall to £1,174 a year for the average user, will still leave millions paying much more than they need to. The cap was introduced in January to protect customers struggling on a rip-off standard variable tariff (SVT). The measure forced the Big Six – British Gas, SSE, EDF, Eon, Npower and Scottish Power – to cut the cost of energy for the 15 million households on an SVT.
Iran unveiled what it described as three new precision guided missiles on Tuesday as President Hassan Rouhani warned of the ‘mother of all wars’ if the US attacks. Defence Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami said it proves Iran ‘will not hesitate for a moment to defend [itself]’ as he viewed the weapons in front of TV cameras. It comes after President Hassan Rouhani warned the US of the ‘mother of all wars’ if tensions in the Gulf spill over into conflict.
The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and the United States Navy are launching a joint task force to patrol the Strait of Hormuz, weeks after a British vessel was captured by Iranian gunboats in the strategic waterway. The embarrassment to Britain at their only warship in the region having been too far away to prevent the “act of state piracy” when Iran captured the Stena Impero oil tanker was compounded when, last month, it was revealed the United States had already offered naval support.
The Treasury is to review George Osborne’s controversial tax rules on pensions amid concerns they are stifling the delivery of public services and pushing up NHS waiting times. Higher earners are restricted from putting more than £10,000 annually into pensions without facing punitive taxes. The rules have been blamed for consultants and GPs turning down work, undermining patient treatment. It was also suggested the rules have led to entrepreneurs losing faith in corporate pension schemes, reducing the attractiveness of plans to employees.
Ministers are launching a review into controversial pension rules for high earners which are propelling thousands of doctors into early retirement. They will examine the annual allowance tax charges which were introduced three years ago and affect anyone on salaries of more than £110,000 a year. The Treasury has decided to review the pension rules following warnings they were penalising GPs and hospital consultants and encouraging them to cut back on their shifts.
Top doctors and surgeons will be able to treat more patients without losing out financially, the government has claimed as it overhauls complex pension rules for some of the highest earning NHS staff. It comes after Boris Johnson said the system of doctors facing “perverse incentives” to reduce hours will come to an end.
NHS pension rules blamed for senior doctors refusing to take on extra shifts to avoid hefty tax bills are to be overhauled. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the change would ensure senior doctors in England and Wales fully benefited from any extra work they took on. It fulfils a campaign pledge by Boris Johnson who made a promise during the Tory leadership contest to deal with the issue which was linked to a rise in waiting times as clinicians refused to work beyond their planned hours because of the impact on their finances.
Changes to pension tax rules that have created a staffing crisis in the NHS, with medical staff reducing their hours or retiring early, are being promised by the government. A move by former chancellor George Osborne in his 2015 summer Budget to strip higher earners of tax relief on pension contributions has led to NHS consultants turning down overtime. And with family doctors taking early retirement because they cannot save any more in their pension, the result has been longer waiting lists, backlogs for operations and delays in cancer treatment.
Rail passengers are facing a fresh round of inflation-busting fare increases in spite of warnings from the new transport secretary that commuters are being let down by a substandard service. Fares are expected to increase by about 3 per cent in the new year, leading to fresh claims that passengers are being priced off the network. The rise would add an average of £131 to the cost of an annual season ticket into London from many commuter towns in the South East.
The fight to make trains more reliable after years of declining punctuality is the new Transport Secretary’s ‘absolute priority’. Grant Shapps says he is determined to help rail commuters and is promising a ‘consumer-orientated revolution’ at his department. The former Tory party chairman has instructed officials to work with Network Rail on the main causes of delays and has asked Network Rail chief Andrew Haines to help him.