The Government’s Supreme Court appeal against the High Court’s ruling that MPs must have a say before the Brexit starting gun is fired is set to begin. Last month, three judges unanimously ruled that Theresa May cannot invoke the European Union’s Article 50 clause to start the UK’s withdrawal without seeking parliamentary approval. Article 50 forms part of the Lisbon Treaty which was signed by all members of the EU in December 2007. It sets out the rules for the process of a member state leaving the union and starts a two-year negotiation period.
The Supreme Court will begin a landmark legal hearing on Monday into whether Parliament’s consent is required before official Brexit negotiations can begin. Its 11 justices will hear a government appeal against last month’s High Court ruling that only Parliament has the authority to trigger Article 50. The hearing, to be streamed live by the BBC, is expected to last four days, but the verdict is not due until next year. The outcome will have implications for Theresa May’s strategy for EU exit.
Opposition parties were yesterday accused of plotting to frustrate the will of the people over Brexit ahead of today’s crunch Supreme Court hearing. Attorney General Jeremy Wright has urged the court not to ‘stray’ into politics as he argues that it should reverse last month’s High Court ruling that Parliament must vote on starting the process of leaving the EU. If the Government loses, the Lib Dems, Labour and the SNP will all try to frustrate or even block Theresa May’s attempts to trigger Article 50 – which begins the two-year process of leaving the EU – by the end of March. Yesterday there were growing signs that ministers will face an almighty political battle to get a Bill through the Commons and the Lords. Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and his predecessor Nick Clegg said their party – which has only nine MPs but 100 peers – will block Article 50 unless the Bill includes provisions for a second referendum on the Brexit terms. On Saturday Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that, if the Supreme Court forces a vote in Parliament, Labour would try to amend the legislation to insert clauses on workers’ rights and the environment.
The supreme court judges who will decide whether the government has the right to trigger article 50 without a parliamentary vote have been disgracefully vilified, according to the lead claimant in the case. Gina Miller, whose dramatic victory in the high court led to accusations that she and the judiciary were trying to thwart the will of the people, also claimed newspaper coverage had incited violence against her. Speaking to the Guardian before the first day of the government’s appeal against the decision, she said she could no longer travel on public transport, work in her office, or even spend a normal weekend with her family. But she was most exercised about fresh attacks on the judges before the trial has begun. “I think it is such a dangerous road to be going down to be attacking the judges and their integrity and their independence,” she added, arguing that they had a right and duty to operate independently of politicians and the media. “They are being vilified and it is totally disgraceful.”
The Government will take its battle to start the process of leaving the EU to the Supreme Court today, in what is seen as one of the most significant constitutional battles in decades. Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC will argue that Theresa May can trigger Article 50 using so-called prerogative powers – meaning MPs do not have to vote on the matter in Parliament. The Government is appealing against an earlier decision by the High Court which ruled in favour of businesswoman Gina Miller and others who want to see Parliament decide.
British companies continued to grow modestly in the three months to November and are expected to keep up that pace into 2017, a survey showed on Sunday, chiming with a resilient picture for the British economy so far since June’s EU referendum vote. The survey by the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI)showed private sector growth gathered a little bit of speed compared with the three months to October. Retailers and consumer-facing firms said sale volumes edged higher, reflecting how many British households have continued to spend after the Brexit vote in June.
BUSINESS leaders today call on Theresa May to “get on with” Brexit as the Government prepares to defend her legal right to trigger the process as she chooses. Opponents were out in force threatening to derail Britain’s departure from the European Union amid fears the Supreme Court will stop the Government firing the starting gun on Brexit without a vote in Parliament. But the letter signed by 200 business leaders being delivered to Downing Street today urges the Prime Minister not to waiver on her plan to trigger up to two years of formal Brexit talks with the EU by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March next year at the latest. They tell her: “We … are confident that Britain can prosper outside the EU.
The UK should not have to pay “large” sums to the EU to trade with it after Brexit, Boris Johnson has said. The idea of the UK paying for tariff-free access to the EU’s internal market has been mooted in recent days. The foreign secretary told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that the question of whether the UK would pay anything at all was “pure speculation”, but if it did, any payments had to be “sensible”. Critics say leaving the single market would be an “act of self-harm”. Former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said remaining in the single market of 500 million customers was the “least economically disruptive form of Brexit”, and, in return for this, the UK should be granted powers for an “emergency brake” on migration from the EU.
Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi will resign following his loss in Italy’s constitutional referendum. The Euro has fallen to its lowest price since March 2015. As polls closed for the Italian referendum, initial indications suggested the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was set to lose. Just after midnight local time in Rome, the Prime Minister conceded defeat and signalled his intention to resign on Monday. The vote, if it had succeeded would have shifted the power of the Italian senate and concentrated more power in the parliament. It was a plan that has been described as “authoritarian” by critics from opposition parties. The populist 5 Star Movement (M5S) and their leader Beppe Grillo have been the most vocal and are expected to receive a boost from a “No” victory. A “No” result is likely to spark calls for a fresh national election in which many predict a possible victory for Mr. Grillo’s movement.
Europe was rocked again last night after the latest populist surge against Brussels. The Italian prime minister was swept from power after calling a referendum on constitutional reforms, which became a vote on confidence in his government. Matteo Renzi resigned shortly after exit polls indicated a clear defeat, saying: ‘I accept all responsibility for this loss. I’ll say it out loud.’ The result is a further landmark victory for populist movements, following Britain’s vote for Brexit and Donald Trump’s election win in the US. Mr Renzi’s opponent Beppe Grillo had urged voters to ‘go with your gut not your brain’ and had called for Italy to ditch the euro. The prospects of an Italian vote on leaving the single currency – and by extension the EU itself – now draw closer. Markets were braced for a turbulent day today, with the country already facing a major banking crisis.
Italian voters plunged Europe into turmoil last night after Matteo Renzi, the prime minister, lost his do-or-die referendum on constitutional reform and resigned. The global anti-establishment backlash claimed another scalp in a result that will send shock waves through financial markets and European capitals today. Early results showed about 59 per cent of voters had snubbed Mr Renzi’s plan to overhaul Italy’s system of government. “I assume full responsibility for this defeat,” Mr Renzi, 41, said. “The experience of my government ends here.” He said that he would hand in his resignation to President Mattarella today. The president may ask him to seek a vote of confidence in parliament and govern until new elections are held.
Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, resigned late on Sunday night after losing a constitutional referendum. Exit polls showed he was staring down the barrel of defeat by a wide margin, opening the door to renewed political instability in Italy. Renzi, who had promised to resign if his flagship project was defeated, quit during an address to the nation at around midnight. An exit poll by the Piepoli Institute/IPR for state television station RAI, estimated the ‘No’ vote at 54-58 percent against 42-46 percent for ‘Yes’. Two other polls gave ‘No’ a similar lead of at least 10 points. Voting ended at 11 p.m.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he intends to resign after being defeated in a referendum on constitutional reform. Exit polls suggested he had suffered a heavy defeat, having staked his career on winning the referendum. Mr Renzi said the “no” camp won “extraordinarily clearly” and that he took “full responsibility” for the defeat.
Public bodies in the UK have too often ignored or condoned divisive and harmful religious practices for fear of being labelled racist, a report says. A government-commissioned review into British social integration found ethnic segregation is growing in some places. More emphasis should be put on British values, law and history in schools, and immigrants should take an “integration oath”, author Dame Louise Casey said. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said he will study the findings “closely”. The year-long Casey Review into the integration of minorities was commissioned by former prime minister David Cameron as part of the government’s efforts to tackle extremism. The report – which sets out 12 recommendations – received more than 200 submissions from think tanks, community groups and academics. Dame Louise accused the government of falling short of an ambition – set out by then Home Secretary Theresa May five years ago – to do more than any other to promote integration.
New arrivals to the UK will be required to understand and commit to British values at the beginning of the immigration process under a host of new measures to close growing ethnic divides. The long-awaited government report by Dame Louise Casey, its cohesion adviser, will today warn that ethnic segregation is increasing, with some areas simply not able to cope with the pace of change. Promoting the English language among immigrants will be highlighted as the “single most important thing we can do” to improve cohesion. The tone of the report is a marked departure from previous attempts to encourage cohesion between ethnic groups, which have largely put the onus on the native white population to accept and understand alternative cultural practices.
Migrants should swear an oath of allegiance as soon as they arrive in the UK, an official review has recommended as it warned that Muslims increasingly do not identify themselves as being British. An 18 month review by Dame Louise Casey has found that the “unprecedented pace and scale of recent immigration” has had a significant impact on many communities. It warns that parts of Birmingham, Blackburn, Burnley and Bradford up to 85 per cent of the local population is Muslim, with many holding “very socially Conservative views” about women and homosexuality. Muslims living in the UK are, it suggests, increasingly identifying with a global Islamic “Ummah”, or community, rather than with being British.
Migrants should swear an oath of allegiance to British values as soon as they arrive in the country, a major Government report says today. It warns that the pace and scale of immigration in recent years has been ‘too much’ for some communities. Rapid population change has also increased ethnic segregation and left communities more divided, report author Dame Louise Casey said. Warning of ‘escalating division and tensions in society’, she called for greater efforts at integration to ‘bind Britain together’. The report, commissioned by David Cameron to try to address how some Muslim communities are cut off from the rest of society, also:
– Recommends schoolchildren are taught ‘British values’ of tolerance, democracy and respect as well as the country’s laws, history and values;
– Warns that women are being held back by regressive cultural practices and face coercion, violence and abuse;
– Warns that children being taught at home or outside mainstream schools are being exposed to divisive practices;
– Calls on ministers to provide more English language classes for ‘isolated groups’.
The NHS remains Britain’s finest post-war achievement – so it is no surprise that we are sentimental about it. To be held in such affection by the nation is a comfort to the 1.2 million hard-pressed workers who keep the health service running – making it the world’s fifth largest employer behind the US Defense Department, the Chinese Army, Walmart and McDonald’s. But the British soft spot for the NHS has also been its undoing. It has stopped successive governments from doing more than tinker at its edges, when what is needed is radical reform. What worked when the NHS was founded by Labour ’s Nye Bevan in 1948 and life expectancy for men was 66 does not fare so well in 2016, when one in three babies will live to be 100. Advances in medical science and an ageing population with age-related diseases are outstripping its ability to cope. Cancer now causes 27 per cent of deaths, compared to 17 per cent in 1948, the Sunday People can reveal.
The Scottish parliament could provoke a constitutional crisis over Brexit, says former first minister Alex Salmond. Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: “The SNP is quite happy with constitutional upheaval so long as it forwards its separation goals.” Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said Mr Salmond’s comments prove the SNP “thrives” on constitutional crisis. Mr Salmond’s comments were made in the Sunday Politics Scotland programme on BBC One
“THE EU cannot and will not offer Scotland a fair or equal future,” Jim Sillars told the founding conference of Radical Options for Scotland and Europe (Rose) this weekend in Glasgow. The former deputy leader of the Scottish National Party cited the treatment of Greece and Portugal over recent months. First Minister “Nicola Sturgeon is deluding herself if she thinks Scotland would fare any better. Scotland will need its own economic powers of intervention if it is to address the urgent challenges of technological change and be able to rescue basic industries such as oil.” Chairing the conference, Eddie McGuire said that the objective of the new organisation was to unite all those on the left, whether they voted Remain and Leave, who wanted to campaign for a progressive outcome.