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Sunday papers – 20 January 2018

Sunday papers – 20 January 2018

‘The Brexit Party’

The papers are full of nothing but Brexit today.  The Sun has an exclusive report on our former leader’s decision to rejoin the Brexit fight.

NIGEL Farage is making a comeback to frontline politics ­— as head of a new Brexit Party.
The former Ukip leader has decided to end months in the ­wilderness to fight against the great referendum betrayal.
He admitted he is unable to sit on the sidelines and watch as Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is sabotaged. And he warned: “This time there will be no more Mr Nice Guy.”
Mr Farage, 54, was approached by ­former Ukip activists who applied to register the new party in the past few days. It has been set up ready to field candidates if Theresa May calls a snap General Election next month.
Organisers will also fight the European elections in May if the PM decides to extend Article 50 and keep Britain in the EU after the departure date of March 29.  Mr Farage predicts the party would be a rallying point for 17.4million disaffected Brexit voters — and would cause devastation to the Tories and Labour.
He told The Sun on Sunday: “There is huge demand for a party that’s got real clarity on this issue. You can see and hear the frustration welling up out there. It’s clear the political elite want to stop Brexit in its tracks and the Prime Minister doesn’t have the strength or inclination to see this through.
“I’ve been watching events with growing dismay — I’m not the only one. Now we are putting them on notice that if Brexit doesn’t happen on March 29 we are not prepared to stand by and do nothing.”
Former Ukip economics spokesman Catherine Blaiklock applied to register the new party on January 11. An Electoral Commission spokesman said: “I can confirm that The Brexit Party is applying to be registered.”

Although the other media haven’t picked up this story yet, the Mirror reports Farage’s ‘plot’ to form a new campaign group.

Nigel Farage is plotting a new campaign group to fight another Brexit  referendum.
The Ukip leader also says he’s so convinced Article 50 will be delayed that he’s planning his campaign for the European elections in May.
Mr Farage would need to be shortlisted by a political party to be re-elected to the European Parliament.
But he ruled out re-joining Ukip.

The Independent reports that Farage thinks there’s a second referendum on the way.

Nigel Farage has urged Leave campaigners to prepare for a second referendum as Britain’s Brexit deadlock continues.
The former Ukip leader spoke at a packed Leave Means Leave rally in London, alongside former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, MP Esther McVey and hotelier Rocco Forte.
Mr Farage said he believed “it is now quite possible that we will see an extension of Article 50”.

Brexit

In another exclusive, the Sun claims the Prime Minister could face a legal challenge.

BREXIT campaigners will mount a legal challenge if Theresa May tries to halt Britain’s departure from the EU.
They will seek a High Court ruling on any decision to extend or revoke Article 50 – and demand the right for Britain to retain our seats in the European Parliament.
The move raises the prospect of bitter, costly and long-running legal battle if defiant MPs wreck the process.
It also cranks up the pressure on the PM to deliver her pledge to take Britain out of the EU by March 29.
John Longworth, co-chairman of the pressure group Leave Means Leave, said: “We would challenge any move by the government to cancel Brexit.

The Express claims some members of the Cabinet will pull out all the stops to cancel Brexit.

A HARDCORE group of Remainers in the Cabinet will “do everything they can to stop Brexit”, a senior minister has warned.
It is part of a Remainer plot to betray Brexit and either trap Britain under EU rule in a customs union or force a second referendum. Tory Brexiteers have said they will vote or abstain to bring down the Government if there is a “betrayal” of the 2016 referendum result. However, a series of wrecking measures have been put in place by Remainers in cahoots with the Labour Party to force the Government to hold another vote on Britain’s membership of the EU.

But a senior minister claims there’ll be problems if they succeed, says the Telegraph.

MPs plotting to stop Brexit risk causing a “political tsunami”, Liam Fox has warned.
Writing for The Telegraph, the International Trade Secretary warns that failing to deliver on the 2016 referendum would open up a “yawning gap” between voters and Parliament.
Upping the ante in a Cabinet war over a no-deal outcome, he also attacked MPs and ministers attempting to remove the option entirely, saying that the “most stupid thing possible” in a negotiation is to “give away your strongest card”.

ITV News also has the story.

Pro-Brexit International Trade Secretary Liam Fox warned of a “political tsunami” if the Government fails to deliver on the 2016 referendum vote.
His warning comes as two groups of rebel MPs made moves to rewrite the Commons rule book in an attempt to derail Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Downing Street also hit out at the moves by MPs who are said to be planning to table amendments to enable backbenchers to take control of the business of the House to frustrate Theresa May’s Brexit plans.

Minority government

There are plans afoot to take the decisions over Brexit away from the Government and give a minority of MPs the power to stop the process.  The Mail says:

Plans to stop a No Deal Brexit by introducing a new amendment that would allow parliament to take control of the process have been revealed.
Tory Dominic Grieve is working with a group of MPs, including Remain-supporting Labour rebels, to try and block a No Deal result.
Under his amendment, a motion to stop No Deal could be put to Parliament if it is backed by 300 MPs. Legislation to stop No Deal by extending or revoking Article 50 would then be subject to a vote and would be likely to pass because a majority of MPs are against leaving the EU without a deal, according to Buzzfeed.

The Express explains what the ex-attorney general is trying to do.

REMAINER Dominic Grieve has unveiled an amendment to give MPs the power to block a no-deal Brexit.
The plan will see a no-deal Brexit blocked by tearing up the Parliamentary rulebook by allowing a minority of MPs to seize control of the House of Commons. Former Conservative attorney general Mr Grieve is working with a group of cross-party MPs that consists of Remain-supporting Labour rebels to draw up the legislation to enable Parliament take over the Brexit process. Much to the dismay of Brexiteers, this would see a cluster of Remainers revoke Article 50 – or cancel Brexit altogether, BuzzFeed News reports.

Labour MPs may back the proposals, says the Independent.

Plans to hand parliament control of Brexit received a boost after senior Labour figures indicated the party could swing in behind them.
A shadow cabinet member told The Independent it was “possible” that Jeremy Corbyn’s party could back the move, while a string of Labour MPs also said they were more inclined to back it as it evolved.
One of the authors of the plan claimed on Friday that it is also backed by cabinet ministers, and that up to 20 more junior front benchers had said they would quit if Ms May whipped them to vote against it.

Breitbart claims a ‘scoop’ over the mainstream media with the wording of the plan.

Alex Wickham has scooped the Sundays by getting hold of Grieve’s Proposed Amendment to let a minority take control of the parliamentary legislative agenda:
PROPOSED AMENDMENT 1 TO SECTION 13(6) MOTION
As an Amendment to the Motion tabled for the purposes of section 13(6) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2017
Leave out from “House” to end and insert “believes that [INSERT DECLARATORY WORDS RELATING TO NEED TO PREVENT NO DEAL BREXIT), and orders accordingly that — (1) On [DATE OF SUBSEQUENT SITTING DAY TO BE INSERTED] —

No. 10 is worried, says BBC News.

Attempts by backbench MPs to remove the government’s power to deliver Brexit are “extremely concerning”, Downing Street has said.
On Monday one group of MPs will present a bill that could allow Brexit to be delayed if Parliament does not approve an EU withdrawal agreement.
According to the Sunday Times, another group led by Dominic Grieve wishes to pause Brexit by suspending Article 50.

And Sky News agrees.

Downing Street has described as “extremely concerning” reports that Conservative backbenchers will propose legislation to stop a no-deal Brexit or suspend the process altogether.
One group, led by former Tory minister Nick Boles and Labour MP Yvette Cooper, is said to be attempting to block the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement about a future relationship.
A second group, led by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, wants to go further and suspend the Article 50 withdrawal process, the legal means by which the UK would leave, The Sunday Times reports.

Conservative Party

It seems Brexit could split the Tories, claims the Mail.

Theresa May has been dealt an ultimatum by her divided cabinet as she attempts to find a new Brexit plan – with pro-Leave ministers warning her not to water-down the deal.
The Prime Minister has been told by Brexiteers she ‘risks splitting the Conservative party’ if she compromises and tries to gain Labour’s support for her plan.
Mrs May has also faced questions from pro-EU ministers who want to vote on legislation that would mean Brexit isn’t possible on March 29 without a deal.

Could the arch-Brexiteer save the PM?  The Mail reports:

Jacob Rees-Mogg emerged last night as Theresa May’s best hope to avert a snap General Election – or her forced departure from Downing Street by the spring.
In the wake of the Prime Minister’s crushing Commons defeat on her Brexit deal, a group of her most senior allies have ‘war-gamed’ a scenario in which Mrs May would sue for peace with her rebellious backbenchers by offering to resign by May – in exchange for them dropping their opposition.

Customs union

The PM’s ‘red lines’ could be broken.  The Express reports a warning,

THERESA May has been issued a stern warning by her Cabinet that she faces further dividing the Conservative party if she gives into pressure by opposition parties to remain in the customs union. The Prime Minister held crush talks with her inner-circle who urged Mrs May not to consider a “softer” Brexit by staying in the single market which is a position favoured by the Labour Party.
Following a crushing defeat in the ‘meaningful vote’ on January 15 by 230 votes – a record for any sitting government, the PM has been forced to make amendments to her withdrawal agreement with EU.

Art50

And attempts to delay or cancel Article 50 must not succeed, says Breitbart.

Chairman of the European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg has said that attempts to extend the deadline for the UK’s exit from the EU are a Remainer plot to stop Brexit.
Speaking on his LBC radio show Friday evening, the Tory MP for North East Somerset warned, “There are only ten weeks to go and the Remainers are getting desperate — the ones that never accepted the result, don’t think that the people who voted to leave are very bright, think that people like me should have gone back to school to learn the virtues of the EU.

Leave

Whatever happens next could cost money, but a Leave backer could help, says the Express.

A BREXITEER tycoon is ready to dip into his pockets again after donating £35,000 in 2016 to back Leave activists.
Jeremy Woolridge has said he is readying and willing to spend more money to fund another Brexit campaign if a second vote was held. He told The Times: “I’m sure the Government will rig the rules so it will be even more difficult for people like me and company to back Vote Leave II – but that won’t necessarily stop us.” He has previously said that another European referendum would be a “travesty of our democracy”.

Labour Party

The Times reports that the Labour Party’s membership is dropping.

The Labour Party is haemorrhaging members amid a growing backlash over Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on Brexit, according to party insiders.
At the height of Corbyn’s popularity following the general election in 2017, Labour was considered the “largest party in western Europe” with more than 500,000 members.
In recent months, however, it has lost up to 150,000 members, according to three sources within the party. It is estimated that up to 100,000 are not up to date with their subs and enrolment has slumped to around 385,000.

And the Independent claims the party will back a second referendum.

Senior Labour figures have pushed the party significantly closer to backing a fresh Brexit referendum, suggesting support is now inevitable unless Theresa May drops her “red lines”.
A trio of shadow cabinet members piled pressure on Jeremy Corbyn by saying the party must stick by its pledge to “campaign for a public vote” if the prime minister holds firm and Labour fails to force a general election.
Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, said backing for a Final Say referendum was the only “remaining option” if Labour’s own withdrawal plan is defeated, adding: “That is a very important commitment. And it is one we will keep.”

The Mail reports that it’s anti-Brexiteers who are deserting the party.

Jeremy Corbyn‘s ‘pro-Brexit’ approach is costing Labour tens of thousands of pro-EU supporters, party insiders claim.
They said the party has been ‘haemorrhaging’ support since the Labour leader said last month he would press ahead with Brexit even if he won a snap General Election.
One senior Labour figure is even privately telling colleagues that the party, which reportedly had 540,000 members last April, has shed more than 100,000 members in the past year – a figure disputed by party officials.

The Shadow Brexit secretary is urging the party to back a second vote, says Sky News.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has ramped up the pressure for Labour to move towards backing a second referendum.
The frontbencher argued the point had been reached where Labour had agreed that if a general election could not be secured then the party “must” consider all options on the table, including a further public vote.
Stressing the importance of the previously made commitment, he insisted it was “one we must keep”.

The Times also reports Starmer’s comments.

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, has ramped up the pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to back a second EU referendum by insisting that the option “remain on the table”.
Speaking at a Fabian Society conference in London, Starmer said that if the Labour Party was unable to force a general election then another vote should become a focus.

EU

The European Union thinks the PM is bluffing over Brexit, says the Times.

Theresa May’s threats to pursue a no-deal Brexit are not believed in Brussels and she should return only when she has a deal that can pass the House of Commons, EU officials have told The Sunday Times.
One senior figure compared May’s no-deal posturing to someone about to commit suicide warning a passer-by that their clothes might get soiled.
“None of us wants a cliff edge. None of us wants a no-deal, but the idea that you can threaten member states on the Continent with that is ridiculous,” the official said.

But if we stay in the bloc we could face economic sanctions if we don’t do as we’re told, says Breitbart.

Members of the European Parliament have voted in favour of introducing financial sanctions as punishment for patriotic countries that reject the bloc’s progressive “European values.”
MEPs voted Thursday in Strasbourg, France, to back the European Commission’s proposal to cut EU budgetary disbursements to member states deemed to have broken the so-called “rule of law,” with 397 MEPs voting in favour and 158 against (69 abstaining), reports Politico.

And Breitbart reports Mutti Merkel’s comments on further integration.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the European Union must deepen its defence cooperation, including developing shared weapons systems.
“It is good that after several decades we want to develop a common defense policy… We must develop weapons systems together,” Dr Merkel said in comments on Saturday reported by Reuters.

Ireland

The Times suggests there could be a way out of the ‘backstop’ problem.

British prime minister Theresa May wants to offer a bilateral treaty to Ireland in order to remove the “backstop” from the EU withdrawal treaty and prevent a hard border by other means.
The proposal is part of May’s plan B to salvage her Brexit deal. Aides think it would “decontaminate” the withdrawal agreement so it could be supported by the DUP and Tory Eurosceptics.

House of Lords

But it’s not just the House of Commons that the PM has to worry about, reports the Independent.

Theresa May hopes of avoiding a chaotic Brexit face another blow from a House of Lords ambush that would sabotage putting in place essential new trade rules.
The government is set to be defeated on Monday when peers rebel over ministers’ refusal to guarantee food safety, animal welfare and the power of parliament to block a free-for-all, The Independent has learned.
In an extremely rare move, the Lords is poised to vote to shelve the Trade Bill unless the government agrees to put flesh on the “skeleton” – something ministers have failed to do for 15 months.

Bercow

Following reports that Squeaker Bercow might not get a peerage when he retires, the Guardian claims he has said he might not resign after all.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, is considering abandoning his plans to step down this summer after cabinet ministers threatened to deny him a peerage because of his alleged “bias” against the government over Brexit.
Friends of the Speaker who have been in touch with him in the last 48 hours told the Observer that Bercow is now “seriously reflecting” on whether to stay on – possibly until 2022.

Scottish independence

Scotland is still planning its getaway, says the Times.

Nicola Sturgeon has been warned by senior colleagues it would be foolhardy to rush into another Scottish independence referendum as she prepares to set out a timetable for a fresh vote.
But as the first minister looks to exploit the Brexit crisis and unite activists split over her battle with predecessor Alex Salmond, The Sunday Times has learnt the prime minister is preparing to harden her line on any request for a new vote on separating from the UK.
Last week, following talks with SNP MPs, Sturgeon announced her intention to hold another public vote to help keep Scotland in the EU after Brexit.

And it seems young girls are still being mutilated north of the border, says the Times.

Campaigners against female genital mutilation (FGM) have welcomed a warning by the Scottish government that “breast ironing”, a form of abuse that involves flattening young girls’ chests, is taking place in parts of the country.
The painful practice, which originated in Cameroon, is typically carried out by mothers to protect their daughters from sexual harassment and rape. It is also used to prevent pregnancies that would bring shame to the family, or to stop the girls from further pursuing education.
Concerns about breast ironing were raised in a Scottish government consultation on FGM that closed last week. Those with further knowledge of the abuse, also known as “breast flattening”, have been urged to come forward.

Social care

There are still problems providing care for the elderly, says the Mirror.

One in four nursing homes is failing care quality inspections, data released by Labour shows.
The crisis is worse in the North of England, where one in three nursing homes inflicts the worst quality care on our most vulnerable older people.
Data from the Care Quality Commission shows that 1,122 nursing homes nationwide failed inspections.

Immigration

Those trying to cross the Med are still dying in their hundreds, reports the Mail.

Three survivors say up to 117 migrants may have died when their rubber dinghy capsized off Libya.
They were rescued from the vessel after it sank in the Mediterranean and flown by an Italian naval helicopter to Lampedusa.
The group left Libya on Thursday evening, with the survivors reporting around 120 people had been aboard, before disaster struck.
The rubber dinghy began taking on water within a few hours.

The post Sunday papers – 20 January 2018 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Tusk hints at Brexit cancellation, as UK government faces crisis

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has hinted that the UK should consider staying in the European Union after Prime Minister May's Conservative government experienced a calamitous defeat in the House of Commons on her Brexit deal last night (15 January).

Sunday papers – 13 January 2019

Sunday papers – 13 January 2019

Brexit

Brexit matters are getting pretty frantic.  The Times has what it calls an exclusive report that the government might be brought down this week.

Theresa May has been warned that her government “will lose its ability to govern” after Downing Street uncovered a bombshell plot by senior MPs to seize control of Brexit negotiations and sideline the prime minister.
A cross-party group of senior backbenchers — including former Tory ministers — plan what one senior figure branded a “very British coup” if May loses the crunch vote on her Brexit deal on Tuesday.
At least two groups of rebel MPs are plotting to change Commons rules so motions proposed by backbenchers take precedence over government business, upending the centuries-old relationship between executive and legislature.
Downing Street believes that would enable MPs to suspend article 50, putting Brexit on hold.

There’s a Remainer plot to take control of the Brexit process – and stop it, reports the Express.

THE UK could plunge into a full-blown constitutional crisis next week, with MPs plotting to take control of the Brexit process and potentially reverse the referendum result of 2016.
The conspirators are thought to be planning to seize control of the House of Commons timetable, allowing non-Government MPs to table motions. The move could see laws passed preventing a hard-Brexit, or indeed any departure from the EU. A majority of MPs are opposed to quitting the EU without a deal.

The Times has a column by David Davis.

The government’s defeat last week, which will force it to come back to the Commons with a plan B if the proposed withdrawal agreement is defeated, also presents an opportunity to go back to the EU with our best and final offer. We can clearly state to our European friends that we will let them sell German cars, Irish beef and French wine at no tariff but it has to work both ways. The EU will protest, obstruct and resist but it always makes agreements at the 11th hour.
From the beginning, I feared too much was being conceded with too little in return. Now it is time for the UK to call the shots. So what are the options?

And the Sun has a comment by Tony Parsons.

THE British people are starting to realise that the fix is in.
Brexit looks like it is never going to happen because the British establishment are simply not going to allow it. Brexit will be blocked by a majority in the House of Commons, our elected representatives, who smile, bow, scrape and promise us anything and lie through their teeth when they want our votes.
And it will be blocked by the House of Lords, the Civil Service and by every living ex-Prime Minister, including Tony Blair, the bottom of the sewer, whose treacherous collaboration with a hostile foreign force would have seen him banged up in wartime.

And even the Scottish government has stuck its oar in, reports ITV News.

The Scottish Government has written to all MPs in Westminster, urging them to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal when it is put to a vote on Tuesday.
In the letter, Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell described the coming week as “crucial” for the future of Scotland and outlined what steps the Scottish Government believe should be taken.
In addition to recommending that MPs reject both a no-deal Brexit and the Prime Minister’s deal, the letter states that the EU should be asked to extend Article 50 beyond the current March 29 deadline, with a view to then supporting a new referendum on EU membership.

Conservative Party

The Telegraph claims the Tories are about to split.

The Tories are on the brink of a historic split, senior Conservatives have warned, as Brexiteers and Remainers both threatened to torpedo the Government if they did not get their way on Brexit.
Pro-EU MPs claimed  a third of the Cabinet would resign if Theresa May pursued a no-deal Brexit in the face of almost certain defeat over her deal, as they threatened a walkout of backbenchers that would obliterate the Government’s Commons majority.

The Express has a column by the Prime Minister.

THE verdict of the referendum was clear – the people of the UK want our future to be outside the European Union. But behind the record number of votes cast lie many different views about exactly what that future should look like.
The same is true of Parliament. The vast majority of MPs want to respect the result of the referendum, which is why nearly all of us voted to trigger Article 50 two years ago. But there is far less of a consensus about the manner of our departure from the EU. This week, I have seen more than 200 MPs from different parties who want to rule out No Deal. I have debated with MPs who want a Second Referendum as well as those who want to pursue what they believe to be the perfect deal which for them means no deal at all.
And I have spoken with business and union leaders worried about jobs who want the certainty that comes from a smooth and orderly transition to our future relationship with the EU.

Extremism

A cabinet minister has claimed in the Express that if the PM’s vote is defeated on Tuesday, riots could ensue.

BREXITEER Cabinet minister Chris Grayling has warned MPs that blocking Britain’s departure from the EU could “open the door” to “extremist” populist political forces in the UK.
Ahead of Tuesday’s crunch vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the Transport Secretary said putting a stop to the split may end centuries of “moderate” politics in Britain. Urging Conservative colleagues to get behind the Prime Minister’s unpopular deal, he warned millions of Leave voters would feel “cheated” if Brexit is not delivered. His comments came just hours before pro-Brexit protestors and anti-Brexit demonstrators clashed in central London.

His comments are also reported in the Mail.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has been accused of engaging in ‘gutter politics’ after he warned that stopping Brexit from happening could lead to the rise of ‘extremist’ political forces in the UK.
The cabinet minister, who campaigned to leave the European Union, had claimed that putting a stop to Britain’s withdrawal could end the centuries of ‘moderate’ politics the UK has enjoyed since the English Civil War.

The Guardian has slated his comments.

Chris Grayling’s claim that blocking Brexit could lead to a rise in far-right extremism is dangerous scaremongering and a desperate attempt to shore up the prime minister’s  Brexit deal, campaigners and MPs have said.
The transport secretary told the Daily Mail that Britain would become a less tolerant and more nationalistic society if it failed to leave the EU. He said reversing the referendum result would result in the 17 million people who voted to leave feeling cheated and urged colleagues to support Theresa May’s deal.
“People should not underestimate this,” he said. “We would see a different tone in our politics. A less tolerant society, a more nationalistic nation. It will open the door to extremist populist political forces in this country of the kind we see in other countries in Europe.

The Independent reports a claim that it is ‘gutter politics’.

A cabinet minister has been accused of engaging in “gutter politics” after warning MPs that blocking Brexit could trigger a surge of far-right extremism.
Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, said that reversing the decision to leave the European Union would “open the door” to “extremist” populist political forces and lead to divisions not seen since the English Civil War.
Mr Grayling called on MPs to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal in a Commons showdown next week, as the prime minister braces for a historic defeat. Some estimates suggest she could lose by 200 votes.
His comments drew condemnation from Labour MP David Lammy, who described it as a “desperate attempt to use a tiny far-right minority to hold our democracy to ransom”.

Labour Party

It’s not only her own party that is hoping to get rid of the Prime Minister, says the Mail.   Could BoJo finally get to no, 10?

Labour is plotting to unseat Theresa May within days, Tory MPs have been warned.
Jeremy Corbyn could call a no-confidence motion as early as Wednesday if Conservative rebels force a Government defeat over Brexit the previous night.
The Opposition leader was last night readying for a fight at the ballot box by setting out his ‘vision’ for Britain under a Labour Government.
Labour strategists have pounced on No 10’s warning to wavering Tories in marginal seats that they face ‘Armageddon’ if they vote down Mrs May’s deal with Brussels and their rebellion triggers a General Election.
If a no confidence vote is called on Wednesday, the DUP is threatening to join forces with Labour unless the Prime Minister is replaced by a Brexiteer such as Boris Johnson.

The Guardian claims Labour MPs are preparing for government.

Labour MPs have been told to prepare for Jeremy Corbyn to table a dramatic and immediate vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government as early as Tuesday evening in an attempt to force a general election if – as expected – she suffers a heavy defeat this week on her Brexit deal.
Messages have been sent to Labour MPs, even those who are unwell, to ensure their presence both for the “meaningful vote” on the prime minister’s Brexit blueprint on Tuesday and the following day. Labour whips have told MPs the no-confidence vote is likely to be tabled within hours of a government loss, with the actual vote taking place on Wednesday.

Second referendum

The LibDems are still pressing for a vote which will include an option to stay in the EU, reports the Times.

Sir Vince Cable has signalled that he is prepared to help install Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street if he backs a new EU referendum.
The Liberal Democrat leader today demands that Theresa May “seek an extension of article 50”, putting Brexit on hold, as the “first step to take to deliver a second referendum” rather than “scurrying back to Brussels”. Party sources said he was prepared to work with “anyone” who supported a new referendum.
A new poll shows the public would rather have another referendum than another Commons vote.

And the Independent says a second referendum is preferable to a General Election.

Giving the British public a Final Say on Brexit through a new referendum is the most popular path if Theresa May’s deal is rejected by MPs, a new poll has revealed.
An exclusive survey for The Independent shows that a fresh vote received more support than any of the four other options put to the public, including allowing the prime minister to go back to Brussels or a no-deal Brexit.
The survey by poling organisation BMG Research also suggests that more people oppose Ms May’s deal than back it, although the prime minister can take some comfort in the data showing a softening of opposition.

Huffington Post also reports the growing calls for a second referendum.

Campaigners for a second EU referendum are gearing up for a crucial 72 hours if Theresa May’s Brexit deal is voted down, in which they hope to “kill off” the alternative Norway-style ‘plan B’ floated by some MPs.
May has promised to “move quickly” if her deal is rejected by the Commons on Tuesday, but it is unclear in what direction, and battle lines are being drawn as MPs try to put together a majority for their preferred alternative.
One Whitehall source said preparations are already underway in Downing Street for Labour to call a vote of no confidence in the government as soon as Wednesday.

Bercow

It looks like the Commons Speaker has been plotting a power grab for years, says the Times.

Soon after he became Speaker in 2009, John Bercow asked his key advisers to identify ways in which he could use his position to strengthen the House of Commons and make life more difficult for the government.
One reform identified was to allow more urgent questions, dragging ministers to the chamber in a way his predecessors had never done. Many ministers hated it, but Bercow saw this as the greatest impact made by his speakership.
His actions last week and in the days ahead may turn out to mark an even more important shift in the relationship between the executive and the legislature.

And he met a leading Remainer just before deciding to arbitrarily change the rules, reports the Mail.

Commons Speaker John Bercow secretly met Tory rebel Dominic Grieve just hours before throwing out centuries of tradition to allow the MP to scupper Theresa May’s Brexit  plans.
The pair spoke in Mr Bercow’s grace-and-favour Commons apartment the day before the Speaker tore up the rule book to allow the former Attorney General to table an amendment to wrest control of Brexit from the Prime Minister, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Mr Grieve, who was last night accused of mounting a ‘stitch-up’ over the extraordinary events, refused to reveal what he had discussed with Mr Bercow but insisted: ‘Speakers make up their own minds.’

EU

It’s hardly surprising that members of the European Parliament have been begging the UK to stay in.  The Independent reports:

MEPs from nearly every country in the EU have signed a heartfelt joint letter to the British public asking them to reconsider their decision to leave the bloc to prevent an “unfolding Brexit disaster”.
The cross-party message, which was organised by an Austrian MEP and signed by 129 of his colleagues, says the continent is “looking with growing anxiety” across the Channel to events occurring in Britain.
“We are reluctant to intervene in your domestic politics, but we cannot help but notice that the opinion polls show a growing number of voters who want an opportunity to reconsider the Brexit decision, now that it is clear that Brexit is very different to the promises made by the Leave campaign nearly three years ago,” the MEPs say.

BBC

Despite plaudits for her first session on Question Time, Fiona Bruce has been accused of anti-Brexit bias, reports the Express.

FIONA Bruce has been accused of anti-Brexit bias for handing a Labour Remainer four more minutes of air-time than a pro-Brexit Tory during her first night hosting the BBC’s Question Time.
The presenter annoyed Brexiteers when she interrupted deputy chairman of the Conservative Party James Cleverly 20 times during Thursday evening’s debate show, while butting in on Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry only 11 times.
The 54-year-old allowed Ms Thornberry 10 minutes and 22 seconds to put her points across while Mr Cleverly was given six minutes and 32 seconds.
Viewers also noticed the difference between the amount of time given to anti-Brexit audience members as opposed to those in favour of the UK leaving the EU.

Knife crime

Elsewhere, the Mail reports that police officers will use metal detectors in an effort to cut stabbings.

Police will arm themselves with metal detectors in a bid to tackle a sharp rise in knife crime in the West Midlands.
It’s the first time officers have been issued with ‘wands’ as part of plans to use stop and search powers to take deadly weapons off the street.
West Midlands Police will be handed eighty knife wands following a recent Home Office report that showed the region has the highest level of knife crime outside London.
And half of all response cars will also carry the devices to make it more difficult for criminals to conceal weapons.

Education

And the Times reports the rise in crime by excluded pupils.

An epidemic of stabbings, drug crime and murders linked to children who have been excluded from school will be tackled this week in a crackdown on head teachers who expel struggling pupils.
Under a radical new Ofsted inspection framework to be unveiled on Wednesday by the chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, inspectors will be told to give the lowest possible mark of “inadequate” to heads who have been “off-rolling” pupils because they would not score highly in exams.
Ofsted has found that 19,000 pupils were removed from school rolls before taking their GCSEs in 2017.

NHS

Our National Health Service has also seen a rise in the results of knife and drug crimes, reports the Telegraph.

Torture wounds, machete slashes and packets of crack cocaine trapped inside tiny bodies. These are some of the severe injuries emergency departments are seeing as the country’s knife crime problem intensifies and spreads from big cities into rural areas.
In the week which saw 14-year-old Jayden Moodie stabbed and killed in London, those on the front line of the battle against knife crime have told of the disturbing scenes and life-changing injuries which they see every day, as the country’s trauma units are forced to develop a “military practice” in order to cope with extreme wounds.

Elderly care

The Times reports the success of a scheme which looks at the diets of elderly people.

Feeding elderly patients an extra meal a day halves their chances of dying in hospital and could save an average of more than £1,400 a patient, an NHS scheme has shown.
More than 4,000 elderly people a year die within a month of being admitted for a hip fracture, a problem often attributed to failing to eat enough food.
Under the pilot scheme, nutritional advisers plan the extra meal and sit with patients while it is eaten, while visitors are encouraged to bring snacks. At the five trusts in England and one in Scotland testing it since 2016, the mortality rate has dropped from 11% to 5.5%.
The extra calories, plus the morale boost of not eating alone, is making the difference, doctors believe.

HS2

The High Speed train project could be not so high speed, says the Sun.

A CABINET Minister has fired a stinging attack over the “viability” of the £56 billion high speed rail network – as the trains may be slower.
Andrea Leadsom has questioned whole business case of the Hs2 line if speeds are to be cut by more than 30mph to keep the project within budget.
Leadsom wrote to HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston saying new plans could undermine “speed, capacity and connectivity” if the number of trains are cut per hour.
Speeds could be cut for the trains – with a maximum speed of 225 mph – when they travel through tunnels between the capital and Birmingham to cut the construction budget.

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