Archive for the ‘UK news’ Category

No 10 and rebels stand firm in row over Brexit ‘meaningful vote’

Both sides say they will not back down in latest Commons clash on EU withdrawal bill

Theresa May faces a nail-biting parliamentary clash with Conservative rebels on Wednesday as the government seeks to defeat an attempt to give MPs a “meaningful vote” before Britain could leave the EU without a deal.

The EU withdrawal bill, the government’s flagship piece of Brexit legislation, returns to the House of Commons on Wednesday against a backdrop of increasing anxiety about the risk of negotiations with the EU27 failing to yield an agreement.

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British fruit-growers say they are short of pickers this summer

Trade body fears fruit will rot due to government’s failure to entice seasonal workers

Strawberry and other soft fruit farmers are warning of potential shortages because they are struggling to find enough workers to pick fruit.

The British Summer Fruits (BSF) trade body said its members were 10% to 15% short of labour and expect to be more than 30% short by the autumn as the government drags its feet on a seasonal agricultural workers scheme.

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Enough Brexit fairytales. In the real world spending must increase | Phil McDuff

Leaving the EU won’t result in a bonanza for public services but neither will it plunge them into renewed austerity

Theresa May has spent the weekend trying to convince people that there is such a thing as a “Brexit dividend” with the dead-eyed look of a minimum-wage sales assistant trying to get you to sign up for the extended warranty. It’s obvious nonsense even she doesn’t believe in, but her job depends on going through the motions, so go through them she will.

May’s newly announced NHS spending promises come with the vaguest funding plans possible. She announced yesterday that “as a country taxpayers will need to contribute a bit more, but we will do that in a fair and balanced way,” which could mean almost anything. Mostly, though, she is relying on the notion that money we used to send to the EU will be freed up for other things. This claim has been comprehensively, utterly debunked ever since it first appeared on the side of Boris Johnson’s infamous bus. The Office for Budget Responsibility and the Institute for Fiscal Studies have both pointed out, again, that it won’t happen and has no relationship to reality. It’s a lie, and at this stage it’s not even a very good one.

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No UK access to EU-only police databases after Brexit, says Barnier – Politics live

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen

The Labour MP Chuka Umunna has put out this statement about the Michel Barnier speech (see 11.09am) on behalf of the People’s Vote campaign, which is demanding a referendum on the final Brexit deal. Umunna said:

It is now plain that Theresa May’s Red Lines – which were never discussed in the referendum campaign – now threaten the safety and security of Britain.

Refusing to participate in a cross-European court is going to mean our police and security services are going to be weakened.

Sir Christopher Chope, the Conservative MP who blocked the private member’s bill banning upskirting, is on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show.

Chope says that this has been a difficult period for him. But that is a reasonable price to pay for standing up for principle, he says.

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Brexit: No 10 will not accept ‘meaningful vote’ amendment

Final showdown with Tory rebels likely after No 10 says it cannot accept peers’ version

The government “cannot accept” a Lords amendment giving parliament a “meaningful vote” on a Brexit deal, and will re-table its rejected version, Downing Street has said, setting up a likely final showdown with Tory rebels on the issue this week.

Theresa May put off a likely Commons defeat last week by promising rebels a compromise on the issue in the EU withdrawal bill. However, the eventual government amendment did not go as far as one drafted by Dominic Grieve, the Tory former attorney general.

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Barnier: UK will lose access to EU security databases after Brexit

Chief Brexit negotiator says UK cannot leave key EU bodies but keep benefits of cooperation

Michel Barnier has told Theresa May that “trust does not fall from the sky”, in response to Britain’s attempt to maintain access to the European Union’s security databases while leaving the institutions that provide checks and balances to prevent their misuse.

The British prime minister’s security requests were given short shrift by the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, who said that after the UK left the union it would not be involved in the European arrest warrant or the decision-making boards of Europol, or have access to EU databases.

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May’s imaginary NHS dividend is farcical – Brexit has broken the Tories | Gaby Hinsliff

We are witnessing the absurd spectacle of fiscally responsible Tories having to back up financially reckless Brexiters who overpromised

There’s no more money. That was the essence of the lecture the cabinet got on Monday, eight years after Labour’s Liam Byrne left a note for the incoming Conservative government saying much the same thing: the cupboard is bare, so forget it. This time the chancellor, Philip Hammond, was presumably firing a warning shot over cabinet ministers tempted to pull the same trick as Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, widely suspected of having threatened to resign if the NHS didn’t get its cash, but it could also be read as a howl of frustration at the extent to which Brexit has broken the Tories.

Related: May's NHS 'Brexit dividend' claim draws scepticism and doubt

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