MPs are plotting a fresh bid to block Brexit by claiming any deal that takes Britain out of the EU’s single market should be first voted on by Parliament. Remarkably, the cross-party group of pro-EU MPs – including senior Tories – claim that June’s Brexit vote was not a decision to leave the single market. Ed Miliband, who is leading the demands, says Parliament must not be overlooked because of ‘the importance of these decisions for the UK economy’. The former Labour leader said it would be an ‘outrage’ if Mrs May decided the terms of Brexit without first asking MPs. Sir Keir Starmer, the new Shadow Brexit Secretary, backed the move, demanding Theresa May holds a Commons vote on the terms of her opening hand in negotiations with the EU when she triggers Article 50, the formal process for cutting ties with Brussels.
Labour increased pressure on Theresa May yesterday to allow MPs a parliamentary vote on the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU. Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, demanded that the prime minister put her proposals for future access to the European single market to a Commons vote. His intervention came as cross-party efforts to force parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit negotiations appeared to be strengthening. The former Tory ministers Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry joined Nick Clegg, the former Liberal Democrat leader and EU spokesman, and Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, in demanding a Commons say.
MPs must get a vote in Parliament to stop Theresa May ramming through a disastrous ‘Hard Brexit ‘, Labour’s new EU chief demanded today. Sir Keir Starmer joined Ed Miliband and growing calls by Mrs May’s own Tory MPs to demand full scrutiny in the House of Commons. The Tory Prime Minister swung to the right at her party conference as she signalled a punishing Brexit deal and condemned MPs calling for a vote on its terms. She sneered last week: “They’re not standing up for democracy – they’re trying to subvert it.” But she risks a rebellion after her own MPs, including ex-ministers Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry, were named today as wanting a vote on the full deal.
THERESA May slapped down a pro-EU rebel group yesterday after they threatened to launch a fresh bid to derail Brexit. Remain cheerleaders including former Labour leader Ed Miliband, ex Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan all claimed there was “no mandate for a hard Brexit”. The cross-party group want to force a Commons vote on leaving the single market. Tonight, furious Brexiteers rounded on the Remainers accusing them of “pure hypocrisy” and promoting “Project Nasty” by fuelling fears on the economy. Downing St sources described it as a bid to “thwart the will of the British people”. And Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon weighed in yesterday declaring Britain was full steam ahead for a “full Brexit” – in a direct jibe to his doom-mongering Cabinet colleague Philip Hammond.
Ed Miliband has held talks with MPs in the hope of persuading Theresa May to allow a Commons vote on any move to leave the single market. The former Labour leader, along with Nick Clegg and a loose coalition of SNP, Green and Tory MPs, insists the electorate voted only to leave the EU and that Parliament should remain sovereign over the issue of the single market. It follows concerns among some MPs that – despite the Prime Minister’s statements to the contrary – the UK could be heading for a “hard Brexit” in which it pulls out of the single market to regain control over its borders. Concern over uncontrolled immigration was one of the primary reasons Britons voted to leave the EU, but German chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted Britain must accept free movement of people if it wants to stay in the single market.
When the attorney-general stands up next week to defend the government’s right to trigger Brexit, he will be ranged against up to 50 legal heavyweights. Jeremy Wright, QC, will be heavily outnumbered when he leads the government’s team in the constitutional challenge over Brexit against 16 QCs and junior barristers, plus at least another 20 to 30 solicitors. Mr Wright has stepped in to open the defence in the historic two-day challenge before the lord chief justice and another judge. He has gone in fighting, saying before the hearing: “We do not believe this case has legal merit.
Britain is seeking to shift the frontline of immigration controls to Ireland’s ports and airports to avoid having to introduce a “hard border” between north and south after the UK leaves the European Union , the Guardian has learned. The Northern Ireland secretary, James Brokenshire, has told the Guardian that London and Dublin will work to strengthen Ireland’s external borders in order to combat illegal migration into the UK once it leaves the European Union. In an interview, Brokenshire said there was now a “high level of collaboration on a joint programme of work” between the two states to control immigration. “We have put in place a range of measures to further combat illegal migration working closely with the Irish government,” Brokenshire said. “Our focus is to strengthen the external border of the common travel area [CTA], building on the strong collaboration with our Irish partners.”
A LABOUR MP called on her fellow Remainers today to “respect” the Brexit result as “the people of Britain have spoken”. Rebecca Long Bailey, who campaigned to stay in the EU, also called on Prime Minister Theresa May to reveal a clear plan forward on Brexit. The Salford MP said it was time for the Government to go ahead with Brexit and secure the best deal for the people. Speaking on Sky News, Ms Bailey said: “The people of Britain have spoken and we have to respect their decision. “We now have to forge ahead and try and get the best deal possible out of this and make sure that we rebuild our economy in whatever the future holds for us so that we’re a world leader.” Ms Bailey told Dermot Murnaghan that communities are facing uncertainty ahead of Brexit. The MP said the Government has so far failed to send out a clear message on what the negotiations will entail.
The concerted response from Berlin, Paris and Brussels to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement last week of a March deadline to open divorce talks with the European Union made clear the bloc is not waiting idly for London to call. Statements from German, French and EU leaders show they have been working on maintaining a united front in anticipation of British attempts to play the other 27 members off against each other and have agreed some broad negotiating lines. Their firmly articulated, central aim is to nip in the bud British demands for free trade without open immigration – once pithily summed up by Brexit leader and now foreign minister Boris Johnson as “having cake and eating it”. Less audibly, cracks have appeared in the EU refusal to discuss options before May triggers a formal process that will launch Britain out the door in two years, with some diplomats suggesting such talks could mean a less radical split.
Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to decide where to allow new airport capacity near London this month, a long-awaited ruling that will help shape Britain’s economy and trading ties following its vote to leave the European Union. May will either support plans for a new runway west of London at Heathrow, the busiest airport in both Britain and Europe, or at Gatwick to the south. The decision has been debated for more than 25 years and any further delay could risk economic growth as both sites near full capacity. At $22 billion, Heathrow would be the more expensive project and face legal challenges over its environmental impact on densely populated west London. But its established trade links with emerging markets strengthen its case in the wake of Brexit. It also has the backing of the major airlines.
Gatwick Airport bosses claim Heathrow is “likely to fail” in building a third runway even if the project is given the go-ahead by the Government this week. As revealed in The Independent yesterday, the West Sussex airport insists it will remain “ready to deliver” a second runway even if its own proposal is rejected in favour of Heathrow’s bid. Concerns have been raised about the environmental impact of increasing capacity at Heathrow, as well as the cost of improving the airport’s road and rail links. In her keynote address to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that the Government would “shortly announce” a decision on airport expansion.
Hundreds of European GPs are to be brought to the UK to ease a national shortage of family doctors. Britain’s largest general practice recruitment firm is planning to hire up to 1,000 doctors over the next four years mainly from Romania, Hungary, Portugal and Spain. They will be loaned out to understaffed surgeries on long-term contracts and will cost far less than UK-trained Gps. Meanwhile, the NHS is launching a pilot scheme which will bring doctors from Poland, Romania, Spain and Italy to fill practices in Lincolnshire. Up to 25 GPs will arrive within the next six months and if the strategy is successful, neighbouring counties will adopt it. The NHS is in the grips of a recruitment crisis of family doctors and up to one in eight posts are currently unfilled. Older GPs are retiring early in their 50s and are not being replaced by younger trainees, because the career path is unpopular.
Union bosses who caused massive disruption to Southern rail commuters with a string of strikes have caved in. And they have cost their members £2,000 each by urging them to sign up to new working conditions a day after the cash offer was withdrawn by bosses. The staff will lose even more money because the union is insisting a three-day walkout goes ahead this week – bringing more misery to thousands of passengers. The Rail Maritime & Transport union had a deadline of midday last Thursday to accept reforms which will pass operation of train doors from guards to drivers. Southern bosses offered a one-off cash bonus of £2,000 to about 400 guards involved in the dispute if they agreed to the terms and stopped further strikes. They said guards would be sacked on New Year’s Eve if they refused to sign the new contract by November 4.
Two Labour MPs have resigned from the shadow whips’ office, just days after party leader Jeremy Corbyn reshuffled his front bench. His decision to replace chief whip Dame Rosie Winterton with Nick Brown, was met with some surprise last week. MPs Holly Lynch and Conor McGinn have resigned, it was confirmed on Sunday. Ms Lynch tweeted it was “time to focus” on her marginal constituency while Mr McGinn said it was the “right time” to concentrate on his seat and his family. A spokesman for Mr Corbyn thanked them for their service and said that their positions would be filled “in due course”.
Conor McGinn and Holly Lynch have resigned as Labour whips following leader Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle. It comes after Mr Corbyn was accused of abandoning plans to reunite the party after sacking moderate chief whip Rosie Winterton on Friday while appointing his allies to key front bench positions. Labour sources told Sky’s Darren McCaffrey that family reasons and constituency majorities played a role in the whips’ decision to stand down, though both MPs were considered close to Ms Winterton. McCaffrey was also told that Mr Corbyn would not lose sleep over Mr McGinn’s resignation because he had been “disloyal” – and that he was due to be sacked anyway.
Two MPs have quit Jeremy Corbyn’s top team in protest at his shadow cabinet reshuffle. Conor McGinn and Holly Lynch resigned as Labour whips today after their boss Rosie Winterton was sacked in Labour leader’s shake-up. Several MPs voiced their anger when Mr Corbyn ditched the ‘unifier’ chief whip and replaced her with former government whip Nick Brown. Allies of Mr Corbyn tried to play down today’s resignations, the first since he was re-elected as leader with 62% of the vote.
Religious leaders have called on Theresa May to allow nearly 400 children living in the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp in Calais to enter the UK. In an open letter to the Prime Minister organised by the charity Citizens UK, senior figures from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths label the camp a “stain” on the consciences of Britain and France. The letter says the child migrants, the youngest of whom is eight, have “fled conflict and persecution, are now stuck in Northern France, deeply traumatised and at great risk as well documented by the anti-slavery commissioner you yourself appointed while Home Secretary”.
RELIGIOUS leaders demanded yesterday that Prime Minister Theresa May live up to the law and immediately bring 400 unaccompanied child refugees over from France. In a letter to the PM, the clerics said leaving people to rot in the notorious Jungle camp in Calais was “a stain on the conscience of both France and Britain.” The religious leaders, including former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Muslim Council of Britain secretary-general Harun Rashid Khan and Movement of Reform Judaism Senior Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, demanded that the estimated 400 eligible youngsters be brought to Britain. And a new Red Cross report condemned Britain’s bureaucracy as hindering efforts to bring over the children.
Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit minister, has said immigration is too high and called for it to be reduced as Britain leaves the EU, despite Jeremy Corbyn ruling out any cap on arrivals. In his first interview since being recruited to the shadow cabinet on Friday, the former director of public prosecutions appeared to disclose a different approach to migration controls to that proposed by the Labour leader in recent weeks. The MP for Holborn and St Pancras, who has been touted as a future Labour leader, said the number of migrants should be reduced by tackling a skills shortage. “There has been a huge amount of immigration over the last 10 years and people are understandably concerned about it,” he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. “I think it should be reduced and it should be reduced by making sure we have the skills in this country that are needed for the jobs that need to be done.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday left for Mali, the first stop on a three-day Africa tour focused on security and stemming the migrant influx to Europe. Merkel later heads to Niger and then Ethiopia where she is to visit the African Union headquarters in the capital Addis Ababa. Her talks with leaders of all three countries are to focus on migration issues and the battle against terrorism. “I believe we must take a far greater interest in Africa’s destiny,” Merkel said in her weekly video podcast Saturday. “The well-being of Africa is in Germany’s interest.”
MORE Russian planes have been spotted over ANOTHER European country amid fears that Putin is planning an invasion. The Kremlin has already scrapped a nuke deal with the US limiting its production of weapons-grade plutonium. And numerous countries, including the UK, have accused Putin’s warplanes of violating their airspace. Just days ago, Finland said planes from Russia crossed its borders too , giving photos as proof. Now the Baltic republic of Estonia has added its voice to the claims, alleging a violation on Friday. Given Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, the increasingly assertive behaviour has sparked fears a war is brewing. In a remarkable coincidence, the latest allegations came as Ukraine’s defence minister visited Estonia. But Moscow has again denied any borders were crossed and that its planes were over neutral waters.
Steven Woolfe has been discharged from hospital in Strasbourg. The Ukip MEP was admitted to hospital following an altercation with Mike Hookem on Thursday. Mr Woolfe had claimed his colleague Mr Hookem “came at him” in a scuffle. Mr Hookem “absolutely” denies being responsible for Mr Woolfe’s injuries and claims he acted in self-defence. A party spokesman said: “Steven Woolfe has today been discharged from hospital in Strasbourg. He is focused on continuing his recovery and will not be making any further statements today.”
UKIP leadership contender Steven Woolfe has been discharged from a hospital in Strasbourg after collapsing following an altercation at a party meeting. Mr Woolfe left hospital on Sunday morning, with a UKIP spokesman saying he was now “focused on continuing his recovery”. He was taken to hospital on Thursday after an altercation at a meeting of UKIP MEPs at the European Parliament. The fracas is being investigated both by the party and the parliament. Alex Forsyth, BBC political correspondent, said Mr Woolfe left the hospital via a back entrance and was understood to heading out of Strasbourg. A party spokesman said Mr Woolfe would not be making any further statements on Sunday.