Archive for the ‘Foreign policy’ Category

Tom Watson: ‘Labour must not fail UK at crucial point in Brexit’

Deputy leader to call on party to show leadership and help break Brexit deadlock

Tom Watson is to issue a rallying cry to dispirited Labour centrists, calling on his party not to fail Britain at a “great moment of change”.

In a speech on Saturday likely to be read as a thinly veiled challenge to Jeremy Corbyn, the deputy leader will say: “The country needs the leadership that only we can give. Let’s make sure we do not fail them.”

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Theresa May appeasing hard-Brexit Tories, ministers warn

Key supporters of soft Brexit excluded from talks as PM seeks support for deal

Soft-Brexit cabinet ministers fear that Theresa May is determined to appease hardline leavers rather than reach out across the House of Commons, after key figures were excluded from discussions with other ministers.

May spoke to senior figures including the home secretary, Sajid Javid, the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, the leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, and the international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt.

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Mordaunt urges May to prepare for no-deal as PM consults cabinet

No 10 says May is meeting ministers throughout day to prepare for plan B statement

Theresa May will hold meetings with members of her cabinet in Downing Street to try to forge a route through the Brexit impasse, as one of her ministers suggested her withdrawal agreement could be improved if the UK was prepared properly to leave with no deal.

May was meeting a large number of cabinet ministers either individually or in small groups throughout the day, Downing Street said, adding that she did not intend to speak to any opposition or backbench Conservative MPs.

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Shocked diplomats suggest EU would extend Brexit deadline

European envoys in London say depth of UK turmoil has taken them by surprise

Phone lines and encrypted emails from EU embassies in London to their capitals have been red hot this week as diplomats seek to make sense of the chaos in the British parliament over Brexit.

Some diplomats admit their primary response has been sheer shock at the depth of the turmoil.

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‘Back in 2019, Britain was much larger’: what the history books will say | Jack Bernhardt

Using the latest technology, I’ve got my hands on a textbook from the year 2070. And it isn’t very complimentary

It’s always odd when politicians make an appeal to “the history books” – it’s like an actor making an appeal to reviewers midway through the film. But it took on a new surreal meaning on Monday, when Theresa May asked us to consider what the history books would say about the vote on her deal.

It takes truly great commitment to your own mediocrity to sort through a catalogue of your own mistakes, find the largest and most avoidable, and then tell the gods of history that yep, this national humiliation is the way you want future generations to remember you. It’s like calling up the Oxford English Dictionary and requesting that “to cock something up irrevocably, to the point that people feel a pang of despair when they hear your name” be for ever known as “doing a Theresa”.

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East of England local government agency to close Brussels office

Decision leaves region, which had received €450m of EU funds, with no voice in Europe

A Brussels office that acts as conduit for hundreds of millions of pounds worth of EU funds for the east of England is to shut because councillors have pulled the plug on the relatively small subsidy they give to it.

The closure of the Brussels office of the East of England Local Government Association (LGA) has been described as premature and “ideological” at a time when doubts still persist about the type of Brexit that will materialise.

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It was never about Europe. Brexit is Britain’s reckoning with itself | Fintan O’Toole

Brexit is just the vehicle by which a fractured state has come to realise that its politics are no longer fit for purpose

At least the Sun thrives on chaos. The savage parliamentary mauling of Britain’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union allowed Rupert Murdoch’s pet tabloid to unveil on Wednesday morning a front page of grandly gleeful malevolence. Under the headline Brextinct, it conjured a creepy chimera of Theresa May’s head pasted on to the body of a dodo. But the thing about such surreal pictures is that it is not easy to control their interpretation. From the outside, this one seemed to suggest much more than the immediately intended message that both May and her deal are politically dead. When, it prompted one to ask, did Brextinction really happen? Was this strange creature ever really alive or was it not always a grotesquely Photoshopped image of something else, a crisis of belonging that has attached itself to the wrong union? Do the events of this week point us, not towards the EU, but to the travails of a radically disunited kingdom?

Related: Theresa May’s survival is just a Tory confidence trick | Gary Younge

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