Theresa May’s Brexit wishlist – Politics Weekly podcast

Anushka Asthana is joined in Westminster by Hugo Dixon, Heather Stewart and Jonathan Isaby to discuss Theresa May’s list of negotiating positions ahead of Brexit talks with the EU. We hear from Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer and from two MPs on the Brexit committee: Labour’s Seema Malhotra and John Whittingdale of the Conservatives

Theresa May has set out what she calls a ‘plan for a global Britain’ in her most significant speech on Brexit yet. She announced that Britain would not seek to stay a member of the EU’s single market or of the customs union but acknowledged that a transition deal may be required. Despite this, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer tells us that this does not necessarily mean Britain is headed for a ‘hard Brexit’ but he is critical of threats to turn Britain into a ‘bargain basement’ tax haven.

Also this week: we hear from two members of the new Commons select committee on Brexit: Conservative MP John Whittingdale (a Brexit supporter) and Seema Malhotra, a Labour MP who supported Remain.

Continue reading…

Anushka Asthana is joined in Westminster by Hugo Dixon, Heather Stewart and Jonathan Isaby to discuss Theresa May’s list of negotiating positions ahead of Brexit talks with the EU. We hear from Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer and from two MPs on the Brexit committee: Labour’s Seema Malhotra and John Whittingdale of the Conservatives

Theresa May has set out what she calls a ‘plan for a global Britain’ in her most significant speech on Brexit yet. She announced that Britain would not seek to stay a member of the EU’s single market or of the customs union but acknowledged that a transition deal may be required. Despite this, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer tells us that this does not necessarily mean Britain is headed for a ‘hard Brexit’ but he is critical of threats to turn Britain into a ‘bargain basement’ tax haven.

Also this week: we hear from two members of the new Commons select committee on Brexit: Conservative MP John Whittingdale (a Brexit supporter) and Seema Malhotra, a Labour MP who supported Remain.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Corbyn’s white paper panic at PMQs gives May a Brexit breather

The PM discombobulated the Labour leader with her announcement but was on shakier ground about her Trump date

Some blinked. Some gasped. Cognitive dissonance takes on many forms. Conservative Chris Philp is best known in the Commons for never letting any bum go unkissed and certainly not as a man to put a point of principle before his career, yet here he was sounding every bit the voice of remain dissent as he urged the prime minister to publish a Brexit white paper. Then the prime minister spoke and all became clear. Philp was just a convenient stooge to allow Theresa May to casually declare that the government would be publishing a white paper after all.

You could forgive Jeremy Corbyn for being momentarily wrongfooted. Prime minister’s questions are usually no more than a playground for personality disorders and not the forum in which serious policy announcements are made. But once he’d recovered from the shock, he should have been punching the air.

Continue reading…

The PM discombobulated the Labour leader with her announcement but was on shakier ground about her Trump date

Some blinked. Some gasped. Cognitive dissonance takes on many forms. Conservative Chris Philp is best known in the Commons for never letting any bum go unkissed and certainly not as a man to put a point of principle before his career, yet here he was sounding every bit the voice of remain dissent as he urged the prime minister to publish a Brexit white paper. Then the prime minister spoke and all became clear. Philp was just a convenient stooge to allow Theresa May to casually declare that the government would be publishing a white paper after all.

You could forgive Jeremy Corbyn for being momentarily wrongfooted. Prime minister’s questions are usually no more than a playground for personality disorders and not the forum in which serious policy announcements are made. But once he’d recovered from the shock, he should have been punching the air.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Gina Miller: ‘I’ve been told that “as a coloured woman”, I’m not even human’

In an interview with the Guardian, the lead claimant in the supreme court case speaks about the price she has had to pay for taking on the government

Gina Miller, the woman behind the landmark article 50 legal case, has urged the government to forge a detailed plan for leaving the European Union, declaring that the abuse she endured after challenging against the government was “worth it”.

Related: As Gina Miller’s lawyers, we fought and won a victory for democracy | Emily Nicholson and Katy Colton

Continue reading…

In an interview with the Guardian, the lead claimant in the supreme court case speaks about the price she has had to pay for taking on the government

Gina Miller, the woman behind the landmark article 50 legal case, has urged the government to forge a detailed plan for leaving the European Union, declaring that the abuse she endured after challenging against the government was “worth it”.

Related: As Gina Miller’s lawyers, we fought and won a victory for democracy | Emily Nicholson and Katy Colton

Continue reading…

Read more…


May’s Brexit white paper U-turn wrongfoots Corbyn, and Labour

Concession by PM may boost shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer but underlines pitfalls for his divided party

As every parent knows, leadership sometimes means knowing when to give in. Theresa May opened Wednesday’s prime minister’s questions with an unexpected concession – yet she still emerged victorious from her weekly bout with Jeremy Corbyn.

Rebel backbenchers in the prime minister’s own party, led by troublemaker-in-chief Anna Soubry, had united around the demand for the government to publish a formal white paper, setting out its priorities for the forthcoming negotiations.

Continue reading…

Concession by PM may boost shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer but underlines pitfalls for his divided party

As every parent knows, leadership sometimes means knowing when to give in. Theresa May opened Wednesday’s prime minister’s questions with an unexpected concession – yet she still emerged victorious from her weekly bout with Jeremy Corbyn.

Rebel backbenchers in the prime minister’s own party, led by troublemaker-in-chief Anna Soubry, had united around the demand for the government to publish a formal white paper, setting out its priorities for the forthcoming negotiations.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Labour NEC asked to inquire into Newham mayoral ‘trigger ballot’

Nearly 50 party members in the east London borough want their national governing body to inquire into their claims that the process for reselecting Sir Robin Wales was flawed

Labour Party members in Newham have sent a 13-page letter to Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) asking it to establish a “full inquiry” into the “affirmative nomination” process that saw the borough’s directly-elected mayor Sir Robin Wales declared the narrow winner of a “trigger ballot” to decide whether he should automatically go forward as their party’s mayoral candidate next year. It claims that “many failures of process/propriety and procedural irregularities” took place on the way to the outcome and urges the party’s governing body to halt the confirmation of Sir Robin until such an inquiry is complete.

Signed by 47 members of the east London borough’s two constituency Labour parties (CLPs), including ten Newham councillors, the letter sets out at length its case that “a number of [individual] ballots should be declared void or held in abeyance” and that the conduct of the process, which ran from 25 October to 4 December 2016, “made a material difference to the result”, tipping it in favour of Sir Robin by 20 votes to 17.

Continue reading…

Nearly 50 party members in the east London borough want their national governing body to inquire into their claims that the process for reselecting Sir Robin Wales was flawed

Labour Party members in Newham have sent a 13-page letter to Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) asking it to establish a “full inquiry” into the “affirmative nomination” process that saw the borough’s directly-elected mayor Sir Robin Wales declared the narrow winner of a “trigger ballot” to decide whether he should automatically go forward as their party’s mayoral candidate next year. It claims that “many failures of process/propriety and procedural irregularities” took place on the way to the outcome and urges the party’s governing body to halt the confirmation of Sir Robin until such an inquiry is complete.

Signed by 47 members of the east London borough’s two constituency Labour parties (CLPs), including ten Newham councillors, the letter sets out at length its case that “a number of [individual] ballots should be declared void or held in abeyance” and that the conduct of the process, which ran from 25 October to 4 December 2016, “made a material difference to the result”, tipping it in favour of Sir Robin by 20 votes to 17.

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Final Brexit deal must not be Whitehall ‘stitch-up’, says Lib Dem leader

Tim Farron says he will join with MPs from other parties and use Lib Dems’ strength in Lords to maximise scrutiny of article 50 bill

The UK’s final Brexit deal must not be decided by “a stitch-up between Whitehall and Brussels”, the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, has said, promising his party will seek to hold Theresa May’s government to account over the process.

Calling Labour “the most ineffective official opposition in living memory”, Farron said the Lib Dems would seek to unite with MPs from other parties in the wake of Tuesday’s supreme court ruling forcing a parliamentary vote on Brexit so as to maximise scrutiny.

Continue reading…

Tim Farron says he will join with MPs from other parties and use Lib Dems’ strength in Lords to maximise scrutiny of article 50 bill

The UK’s final Brexit deal must not be decided by “a stitch-up between Whitehall and Brussels”, the Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, has said, promising his party will seek to hold Theresa May’s government to account over the process.

Calling Labour “the most ineffective official opposition in living memory”, Farron said the Lib Dems would seek to unite with MPs from other parties in the wake of Tuesday’s supreme court ruling forcing a parliamentary vote on Brexit so as to maximise scrutiny.

Continue reading…

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Brexit won’t kill the civil service – but if you use public services, be afraid

Despite cuts and fears over Brexit workloads, Whitehall is performing well, but services like social care, prisons, hospitals and the police all face challenges

Finding out how well the civil service is performing is an extremely difficult question, as the Institute for Government thinktank admits in its fourth annual assessment. But it’s a question that urgently needs answering for everyone involved in all the other public services for which government departments are responsible.

From education to social care, from prisons to the police, all public services face a huge challenge. Politically, the debate may be dominated by Brexit in Westminster, Whitehall and the devolved assemblies, but the civil service also runs the country – and that’s getting harder.

Continue reading…

Despite cuts and fears over Brexit workloads, Whitehall is performing well, but services like social care, prisons, hospitals and the police all face challenges

Finding out how well the civil service is performing is an extremely difficult question, as the Institute for Government thinktank admits in its fourth annual assessment. But it’s a question that urgently needs answering for everyone involved in all the other public services for which government departments are responsible.

From education to social care, from prisons to the police, all public services face a huge challenge. Politically, the debate may be dominated by Brexit in Westminster, Whitehall and the devolved assemblies, but the civil service also runs the country – and that’s getting harder.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Jeremy Corbyn criticised for Northern Ireland ‘dead’ police officer gaffe

Police and politicians round on Labour leader who offered condolences to family of officer he mistakenly said had died

Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for offering condolences to the family of a Northern Irish police officer “who lost his life over the weekend” when he is in fact alive.

The prime minister, Theresa May, opened weekly questions in the House of Commons by sending “thoughts” to a police officer shot in Belfast and praising the work of the Police Service in Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Continue reading…

Police and politicians round on Labour leader who offered condolences to family of officer he mistakenly said had died

Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for offering condolences to the family of a Northern Irish police officer “who lost his life over the weekend” when he is in fact alive.

The prime minister, Theresa May, opened weekly questions in the House of Commons by sending “thoughts” to a police officer shot in Belfast and praising the work of the Police Service in Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Continue reading…

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Brexit ‘turf wars’ between government offices hindering progress, report finds

Staff cuts and squabbles between departments are wasting time and energy as government attempts to implement Brexit plan, IfG report says

Theresa May’s government is facing inter-departmental squabbles, concerns over staffing levels and “big challenges” drawing up legislation as it attempts to implement a Brexit strategy, analysis by Whitehall’s leading thinktank has found.

“Turf wars” between key departments led by Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox have been a distraction, wasting time and energy, the Institute for Government (IfG) report said.

Continue reading…

Staff cuts and squabbles between departments are wasting time and energy as government attempts to implement Brexit plan, IfG report says

Theresa May’s government is facing inter-departmental squabbles, concerns over staffing levels and “big challenges” drawing up legislation as it attempts to implement a Brexit strategy, analysis by Whitehall’s leading thinktank has found.

“Turf wars” between key departments led by Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox have been a distraction, wasting time and energy, the Institute for Government (IfG) report said.

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Jeremy Hunt’s hospital food revolution has failed, campaigners say

Department of Health study shows almost half of hospitals in England have not implemented key improvements

Jeremy Hunt has been accused of failing to deliver his promised revolution in hospital food after the health secretary’s own department found that many hospitals have still not improved patient catering.

A Department of Health study shows that almost half of hospitals in England have failed to implement key improvements almost two and a half years after Hunt’s crackdown.

Continue reading…

Department of Health study shows almost half of hospitals in England have not implemented key improvements

Jeremy Hunt has been accused of failing to deliver his promised revolution in hospital food after the health secretary’s own department found that many hospitals have still not improved patient catering.

A Department of Health study shows that almost half of hospitals in England have failed to implement key improvements almost two and a half years after Hunt’s crackdown.

Continue reading…

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Pursuing trade pacts outside EU ‘could mean worse Brexit deal for UK’

Attempts to secure free-trade agreements before UK actually leaves EU could rapidly sour Brexit negotiations, officials warn

Britain’s apparent determination to pursue trade talks with countries outside the EU could significantly undermine its efforts to negotiate a favourable Brexit deal and may well be illegal, diplomats and officials have warned.

Theresa May meets Donald Trump on Friday to discuss a post-Brexit transatlantic trade deal the president has said he would like drawn up “quickly”, while Australia has said talks this week should “begin to lay the foundations” of a similar pact with the UK.

Continue reading…

Attempts to secure free-trade agreements before UK actually leaves EU could rapidly sour Brexit negotiations, officials warn

Britain’s apparent determination to pursue trade talks with countries outside the EU could significantly undermine its efforts to negotiate a favourable Brexit deal and may well be illegal, diplomats and officials have warned.

Theresa May meets Donald Trump on Friday to discuss a post-Brexit transatlantic trade deal the president has said he would like drawn up “quickly”, while Australia has said talks this week should “begin to lay the foundations” of a similar pact with the UK.

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In pictures

Images of the historic day when millions of people across the UK voted in a referendum on whether the UK should remain in or leave the EU.Images of the historic day when millions of people across the UK voted in a referendum on whether the UK should remain in or leave the EU.

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‘Indyref 2’ being pushed online

As the EU referendum count turned decisively towards Leave, the online conversation in Scotland immediately turned to the possibility of another vote on independence.As the EU referendum count turned decisively towards Leave, the online conversation in Scotland immediately turned to the possibility of another vote on independence.

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Citigroup plans new operations away from London after Brexit

US bank in talks with Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Netherlands in search for new European base once UK leaves EU

Citigroup has set out 25 criteria to weigh up which financial centre in the European Union will house the new operation it expects to set up as a result of Brexit.

The US bank, which employs 9,000 people in the UK, has been in discussions with the authorities in Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands as potential locations for the new operation it is preparing in anticipation of losing access to the remaining 27 members of the EU once the UK leaves the trading bloc.

Continue reading…

US bank in talks with Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Netherlands in search for new European base once UK leaves EU

Citigroup has set out 25 criteria to weigh up which financial centre in the European Union will house the new operation it expects to set up as a result of Brexit.

The US bank, which employs 9,000 people in the UK, has been in discussions with the authorities in Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands as potential locations for the new operation it is preparing in anticipation of losing access to the remaining 27 members of the EU once the UK leaves the trading bloc.

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Brexit: government will introduce article 50 bill ‘within days’ following supreme court ruling – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the supreme court Brexit article 50 judgment, with reaction and analysis

5.31pm GMT

Source confirms govt plan is to introduce bill this Thursday, with plan to clear all three stages in Commons within a fortnight

5.18pm GMT

The Guido Fawkes blog has a useful table listing MPs from different parties who have indicated that they will vote against triggering article 50.

Continue reading…

Rolling coverage of the supreme court Brexit article 50 judgment, with reaction and analysis

5.31pm GMT

Source confirms govt plan is to introduce bill this Thursday, with plan to clear all three stages in Commons within a fortnight

5.18pm GMT

The Guido Fawkes blog has a useful table listing MPs from different parties who have indicated that they will vote against triggering article 50.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Brexit: government to publish white paper, Theresa May tells MPs

PM refuses to say when document will be published, with Labour insisting it must come before vote on triggering article 50

Theresa May has said her plan for Brexit will be set out in a white paper, in a move designed to see off a threatened rebellion by Conservative MPs.

Government ministers previously insisted May’s plan had been set out with sufficient clarity in her speech last week.

Continue reading…

PM refuses to say when document will be published, with Labour insisting it must come before vote on triggering article 50

Theresa May has said her plan for Brexit will be set out in a white paper, in a move designed to see off a threatened rebellion by Conservative MPs.

Government ministers previously insisted May’s plan had been set out with sufficient clarity in her speech last week.

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Gina Miller: ‘I’ve been told that “as a coloured woman”, I’m not even human’

In an interview with the Guardian, the lead claimant in the supreme court case speaks about the price she has had to pay for taking on the government

Gina Miller, the woman behind the landmark article 50 legal case, has urged the government to forge a detailed plan for leaving the European Union, declaring that the abuse she endured after challenging against the government was “worth it”.

Related: As Gina Miller’s lawyers, we fought and won a victory for democracy | Emily Nicholson and Katy Colton

Continue reading…

In an interview with the Guardian, the lead claimant in the supreme court case speaks about the price she has had to pay for taking on the government

Gina Miller, the woman behind the landmark article 50 legal case, has urged the government to forge a detailed plan for leaving the European Union, declaring that the abuse she endured after challenging against the government was “worth it”.

Related: As Gina Miller’s lawyers, we fought and won a victory for democracy | Emily Nicholson and Katy Colton

Continue reading…

Read more…


Three-minute election: How did David Cameron and the Tories do it? And what happens now? – video

Columnists Jonathan Freedland and Matthew d’Ancona discuss the general election result: a bloody night for Labour and the Lib Dems and a stunning victory for David Cameron. How were the media and political class beguiled into believing that Labour could get away with being behind on the economy? And are the Conservatives as surprised at the result as everyone else? Continue reading…Columnists Jonathan Freedland and Matthew d’Ancona discuss the general election result: a bloody night for Labour and the Lib Dems and a stunning victory for David Cameron. How were the media and political class beguiled into believing that Labour could get away with being behind on the economy? And are the Conservatives as surprised at the result as everyone else? Continue reading…

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Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs – Politics live

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs

4.06pm GMT

This U-turn comes just 24 hours after David Davis seemed to rule out a white paper, and failed to answer repeated questions from MPs on all sides of the House. The prime minister now needs to confirm that this white paper will be published in time to inform the Article 50 process, and that it will clear up the inconsistencies, gaps and risks outlined in her speech.

.@theSNP is calling for UK govt to publish Brexit White Paper before committee stage of Art50 legislation #Brexit https://t.co/b7MBkITRN4

We are committed to taking forward the plans that have been already set out for increased support for helping people with dementia and tackling this vital issue.

One of the things I would like to see, and I know you are looking at it, is building on the experience of problem-solving courts. Those charged with sentencing offenders have the option, of course, of custody, but can also say to the offender concerned that if they commit to undertake either an appropriate course of mental health care, or they commit to dealing with their drug or alcohol addiction, or if they commit to dealing with their behaviour in a meaningful way, then they have the option of dealing with their sentence out of court.

From April, prison governors will be given new freedoms to drive forward the reforms I’ve been talking about. Cut free from Whitehall micro-management, they will have control over budgets, over education, over staffing structures, and they will be able to set their own prison regime.

At the moment we have a whole plethora of prison rules, including how big prisoners’ bath mats can be – and surely that is not the way to treat people who want to be leaders of some of our great institutions?

3.48pm GMT

One unlikely group that has welcomed the supreme court’s exclusion of the devolved assemblies from the article 50/Brexit triggering vote are the hardline Irish republican dissidents opposed to peace and power sharing in Northern Ireland.

Republican Sinn Fein – the political allies of the Continuity IRA – said today that the supreme court judges’ decision to give no room for the regional parliaments in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff to have a say was proof that real state power over Northern Ireland remained in London’s hands.

Firstly, it underlines the powerlessness of the various devolved assemblies. What this ruling reinforces is that all powers of national sovereignty are vested in the British imperial parliament at Westminster while the six-county state is regarded as merely another region of the so-called United Kingdom.

Secondly, the British supreme court ruling exposes the British government’s supposed concern for that the “will of the majority within Northern Ireland” be upheld as subservient to the interests of the imperial parliament at Westminster.

Continue reading…

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs

4.06pm GMT

This U-turn comes just 24 hours after David Davis seemed to rule out a white paper, and failed to answer repeated questions from MPs on all sides of the House. The prime minister now needs to confirm that this white paper will be published in time to inform the Article 50 process, and that it will clear up the inconsistencies, gaps and risks outlined in her speech.

.@theSNP is calling for UK govt to publish Brexit White Paper before committee stage of Art50 legislation #Brexit https://t.co/b7MBkITRN4

We are committed to taking forward the plans that have been already set out for increased support for helping people with dementia and tackling this vital issue.

One of the things I would like to see, and I know you are looking at it, is building on the experience of problem-solving courts. Those charged with sentencing offenders have the option, of course, of custody, but can also say to the offender concerned that if they commit to undertake either an appropriate course of mental health care, or they commit to dealing with their drug or alcohol addiction, or if they commit to dealing with their behaviour in a meaningful way, then they have the option of dealing with their sentence out of court.

From April, prison governors will be given new freedoms to drive forward the reforms I’ve been talking about. Cut free from Whitehall micro-management, they will have control over budgets, over education, over staffing structures, and they will be able to set their own prison regime.

At the moment we have a whole plethora of prison rules, including how big prisoners’ bath mats can be – and surely that is not the way to treat people who want to be leaders of some of our great institutions?

3.48pm GMT

One unlikely group that has welcomed the supreme court’s exclusion of the devolved assemblies from the article 50/Brexit triggering vote are the hardline Irish republican dissidents opposed to peace and power sharing in Northern Ireland.

Republican Sinn Fein – the political allies of the Continuity IRA – said today that the supreme court judges’ decision to give no room for the regional parliaments in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff to have a say was proof that real state power over Northern Ireland remained in London’s hands.

Firstly, it underlines the powerlessness of the various devolved assemblies. What this ruling reinforces is that all powers of national sovereignty are vested in the British imperial parliament at Westminster while the six-county state is regarded as merely another region of the so-called United Kingdom.

Secondly, the British supreme court ruling exposes the British government’s supposed concern for that the “will of the majority within Northern Ireland” be upheld as subservient to the interests of the imperial parliament at Westminster.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Theresa May’s Brexit wishlist – Politics Weekly podcast

Anushka Asthana is joined in Westminster by Hugo Dixon, Heather Stewart and Jonathan Isaby to discuss Theresa May’s list of negotiating positions ahead of Brexit talks with the EU. We hear from Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer and from two MPs on the Brexit committee: Labour’s Seema Malhotra and John Whittingdale of the Conservatives

Theresa May has set out what she calls a ‘plan for a global Britain’ in her most significant speech on Brexit yet. She announced that Britain would not seek to stay a member of the EU’s single market or of the customs union but acknowledged that a transition deal may be required. Despite this, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer tells us that this does not necessarily mean Britain is headed for a ‘hard Brexit’ but he is critical of threats to turn Britain into a ‘bargain basement’ tax haven.

Also this week: we hear from two members of the new Commons select committee on Brexit: Conservative MP John Whittingdale (a Brexit supporter) and Seema Malhotra, a Labour MP who supported Remain.

Continue reading…

Anushka Asthana is joined in Westminster by Hugo Dixon, Heather Stewart and Jonathan Isaby to discuss Theresa May’s list of negotiating positions ahead of Brexit talks with the EU. We hear from Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer and from two MPs on the Brexit committee: Labour’s Seema Malhotra and John Whittingdale of the Conservatives

Theresa May has set out what she calls a ‘plan for a global Britain’ in her most significant speech on Brexit yet. She announced that Britain would not seek to stay a member of the EU’s single market or of the customs union but acknowledged that a transition deal may be required. Despite this, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer tells us that this does not necessarily mean Britain is headed for a ‘hard Brexit’ but he is critical of threats to turn Britain into a ‘bargain basement’ tax haven.

Also this week: we hear from two members of the new Commons select committee on Brexit: Conservative MP John Whittingdale (a Brexit supporter) and Seema Malhotra, a Labour MP who supported Remain.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Corbyn’s white paper panic at PMQs gives May a Brexit breather

The PM discombobulated the Labour leader with her announcement but was on shakier ground about her Trump date

Some blinked. Some gasped. Cognitive dissonance takes on many forms. Conservative Chris Philp is best known in the Commons for never letting any bum go unkissed and certainly not as a man to put a point of principle before his career, yet here he was sounding every bit the voice of remain dissent as he urged the prime minister to publish a Brexit white paper. Then the prime minister spoke and all became clear. Philp was just a convenient stooge to allow Theresa May to casually declare that the government would be publishing a white paper after all.

You could forgive Jeremy Corbyn for being momentarily wrongfooted. Prime minister’s questions are usually no more than a playground for personality disorders and not the forum in which serious policy announcements are made. But once he’d recovered from the shock, he should have been punching the air.

Continue reading…

The PM discombobulated the Labour leader with her announcement but was on shakier ground about her Trump date

Some blinked. Some gasped. Cognitive dissonance takes on many forms. Conservative Chris Philp is best known in the Commons for never letting any bum go unkissed and certainly not as a man to put a point of principle before his career, yet here he was sounding every bit the voice of remain dissent as he urged the prime minister to publish a Brexit white paper. Then the prime minister spoke and all became clear. Philp was just a convenient stooge to allow Theresa May to casually declare that the government would be publishing a white paper after all.

You could forgive Jeremy Corbyn for being momentarily wrongfooted. Prime minister’s questions are usually no more than a playground for personality disorders and not the forum in which serious policy announcements are made. But once he’d recovered from the shock, he should have been punching the air.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Labour NEC asked to inquire into Newham mayoral ‘trigger ballot’

Nearly 50 party members in the east London borough want their national governing body to inquire into their claims that the process for reselecting Sir Robin Wales was flawed

Labour Party members in Newham have sent a 13-page letter to Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) asking it to establish a “full inquiry” into the “affirmative nomination” process that saw the borough’s directly-elected mayor Sir Robin Wales declared the narrow winner of a “trigger ballot” to decide whether he should automatically go forward as their party’s mayoral candidate next year. It claims that “many failures of process/propriety and procedural irregularities” took place on the way to the outcome and urges the party’s governing body to halt the confirmation of Sir Robin until such an inquiry is complete.

Signed by 47 members of the east London borough’s two constituency Labour parties (CLPs), including ten Newham councillors, the letter sets out at length its case that “a number of [individual] ballots should be declared void or held in abeyance” and that the conduct of the process, which ran from 25 October to 4 December 2016, “made a material difference to the result”, tipping it in favour of Sir Robin by 20 votes to 17.

Continue reading…

Nearly 50 party members in the east London borough want their national governing body to inquire into their claims that the process for reselecting Sir Robin Wales was flawed

Labour Party members in Newham have sent a 13-page letter to Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) asking it to establish a “full inquiry” into the “affirmative nomination” process that saw the borough’s directly-elected mayor Sir Robin Wales declared the narrow winner of a “trigger ballot” to decide whether he should automatically go forward as their party’s mayoral candidate next year. It claims that “many failures of process/propriety and procedural irregularities” took place on the way to the outcome and urges the party’s governing body to halt the confirmation of Sir Robin until such an inquiry is complete.

Signed by 47 members of the east London borough’s two constituency Labour parties (CLPs), including ten Newham councillors, the letter sets out at length its case that “a number of [individual] ballots should be declared void or held in abeyance” and that the conduct of the process, which ran from 25 October to 4 December 2016, “made a material difference to the result”, tipping it in favour of Sir Robin by 20 votes to 17.

Continue reading…

Read more…


Brexit won’t kill the civil service – but if you use public services, be afraid

Despite cuts and fears over Brexit workloads, Whitehall is performing well, but services like social care, prisons, hospitals and the police all face challenges

Finding out how well the civil service is performing is an extremely difficult question, as the Institute for Government thinktank admits in its fourth annual assessment. But it’s a question that urgently needs answering for everyone involved in all the other public services for which government departments are responsible.

From education to social care, from prisons to the police, all public services face a huge challenge. Politically, the debate may be dominated by Brexit in Westminster, Whitehall and the devolved assemblies, but the civil service also runs the country – and that’s getting harder.

Continue reading…

Despite cuts and fears over Brexit workloads, Whitehall is performing well, but services like social care, prisons, hospitals and the police all face challenges

Finding out how well the civil service is performing is an extremely difficult question, as the Institute for Government thinktank admits in its fourth annual assessment. But it’s a question that urgently needs answering for everyone involved in all the other public services for which government departments are responsible.

From education to social care, from prisons to the police, all public services face a huge challenge. Politically, the debate may be dominated by Brexit in Westminster, Whitehall and the devolved assemblies, but the civil service also runs the country – and that’s getting harder.

Continue reading…

Read more…


May’s Brexit white paper U-turn wrongfoots Corbyn, and Labour

Concession by PM may boost shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer but underlines pitfalls for his divided party

As every parent knows, leadership sometimes means knowing when to give in. Theresa May opened Wednesday’s prime minister’s questions with an unexpected concession – yet she still emerged victorious from her weekly bout with Jeremy Corbyn.

Rebel backbenchers in the prime minister’s own party, led by troublemaker-in-chief Anna Soubry, had united around the demand for the government to publish a formal white paper, setting out its priorities for the forthcoming negotiations.

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Concession by PM may boost shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer but underlines pitfalls for his divided party

As every parent knows, leadership sometimes means knowing when to give in. Theresa May opened Wednesday’s prime minister’s questions with an unexpected concession – yet she still emerged victorious from her weekly bout with Jeremy Corbyn.

Rebel backbenchers in the prime minister’s own party, led by troublemaker-in-chief Anna Soubry, had united around the demand for the government to publish a formal white paper, setting out its priorities for the forthcoming negotiations.

Continue reading…

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