Brexit

Times
MPs gave themselves the power to stop a no-deal Brexit yesterday as Theresa May suffered the worst series of Commons defeats on a single day for 40 years. Parliament passed two votes that will force the release of confidential legal advice given to the cabinet on the Brexit divorce. MPs then defeated the government to ensure that they have a say over what happens next if they reject Mrs May’s agreement with Brussels. The passing of the motion makes it less likely that Britain will crash out of the EU without a deal on March 29 next year.

Express
THERESA May has been humiliated after suffering three separate Brexit defeats in the House of Commons – including a damning amendment tabled by rebel Dominic Grieve which all but rules out a no-deal exit. By 321 votes to 299 the Government was defeated on the vote over Mr Grieve’s amendment, which will allow MPs to vote on amendments to the EU exit deal if it is defeated in next week’s meaningful vote. Mrs May’s Government had already been defeated in two shock votes in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening as an ongoing contempt row threatens to derail the start of five days of Brexit debate.

Sun
EIGHT former Cabinet ministers led a devastating revolt against Theresa May to wrestle back control of Brexit. A total of 26 Tory MPs allied with Labour, the SNP and Lib Dems to force the Government to take orders from the House of Commons if the PM’s deal is voted down in six days time, as ministers expect. Tabled by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, the rebel amendment was passed by 321 v 299, a majority of 22. It left shell-shocked Mrs May facing an all-or-nothing mighty showdown on Tuesday next week.

Mail
The future of Brexit was in the balance last night after Theresa May suffered a dramatic triple defeat in the Commons. Amid extraordinary scenes, 26 Tory rebels sided with Labour to push through an amendment that would let MPs step in if her deal is defeated next week. It could even halt the Brexit process completely. Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, led the rebellion which effectively takes a no-deal exit off the table. He claimed it could lead to a second referendum, adding: ‘MPs are tonight starting the process of taking back control.’

Art50

Mail
The UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50 without EU member states’ permission, an EU legal adviser said today in a significant boost to Remainers who say it paves the way for Brexit to be cancelled.  The most senior legal adviser at the European Court of Justice has concluded Britain would not need approval from the 27 other states to halt the process – and could retain the same membership terms.   The opinion from Advocate General Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona comes after months of legal wrangling – with both the EU and the UK government trying to kill the case off.

BBC News
The UK should be able to unilaterally cancel its withdrawal from the EU, according to a top European law officer. The non-binding opinion was delivered by an advocate general of the European Court of Justice. A group of Scottish politicians has asked the court whether the UK can call off Brexit without the consent of other member states. The Court of Justice (ECJ) will deliver its final ruling at a later date. The advice from advocate general Manuel Campos Sanchez-Bordona comes as the House of Commons begins five days of debates on Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal, with a vote due to be held next Tuesday.

Guardian
Remain campaigners have hailed a European legal opinion that the UK can unilaterally abandon Brexit, saying it greatly boosts their efforts to stop the process of exiting the EU. A senior legal adviser to the European court of justice (ECJ), Campos Sánchez-Bordona, told the court on Tuesday he believed the UK could revoke article 50 independently, without needing the permission of every other EU member state. Sánchez-Bordona, the court’s advocate general, said it was essential that MPs knew they could stop the Brexit process if they wished, dismissing the British government’s claims that the issue was hypothetical.

Breitbart
Supporters of the European Union in Britain have won an ironic victory at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which has ruled that the United Kingdom has the sovereign right to act with total independence to decide to continue to subject itself to European Union control by cancelling the Brexit process. Although petitioners, including a group of politicians and lawyer Jolyon Maugham QC, want the United Kingdom to remain subject to European Union control, they appealed for absolute freedom from the bloc for the UK to make one key decision alone — to stay in the European Union.

Legal advice

Times
Theresa May will publish the “final and full” confidential legal advice given to the cabinet on her Brexit deal after the government became the first to be found in contempt of parliament. The prime minister’s concession, after a vote of contempt was passed by 311 votes to 293, appeared to head off a constitutional stand-off between parliament and the government. However, Downing Street refused to say when the advice from the attorney-general, Geoffrey Cox, would be published or how comprehensive it would be.

Guardian
Theresa May’s parliamentary authority has been thrown into further doubt after MPs passed a historic motion to hold the government in contempt over its failure to release the cabinet legal advice on the Brexit deal. The Commons leader, Andrea Leadsom, said the government would comply and publish the advice in full on Wednesday. The vote is an unprecedented move in recent political history and comes at the start of five days of debate leading up to the final vote on May’s Brexit deal next week.

Conservative leadership

Mirror
Remain campaigners are lining-up a stalking horse candidate as they bid to oust Theresa May after next week’s Brexit vote. Pro-EU fanatics want a junior minister to challenge the Prime Minister if, as expected, she suffers a humiliating Commons defeat on her EU withdrawal plan. While they do not expect the candidate to beat Mrs May in any leadership contest, the PM’s opponents believe a candidate could further undermine her crumbling authority – potentially dealing a fatal blow to her premiership. They hope Mrs May would be so badly wounded that other challengers emerge, perhaps forcing her to quit.

TV debate

Telegraph
The BBC has abandoned its plans for a debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn on the draft Brexit deal after it failed to break an impasse over the proposed format. In a move that throws the head to head clash into doubt, the broadcaster said it was “disappointed” not to have reached an agreement after 10 days of intense negotiations with Downing Street and Labour. Last night it released a statement confirming that it had abandoned the proposal, stating it had been “clear throughout” that it intended to host political figures from all eight major political parties “to reflect the wide range of views the public and parliamentarians hold about Brexit.”

Times
The prospect of a live debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn receded last night after the BBC pulled out of talks. While the Conservatives had agreed to the broadcaster’s proposal to involve other parties and views, this was rejected by Labour. ITV is still in the running to host a debate, tentatively scheduled for Sunday night. But while Labour is happy with the format of a head-to-head, No 10 is insisting that other parties should be accommodated. Downing Street accused Mr Corbyn of “running scared”, while a Labour source said that the party’s message to Mrs May was “come and join us on ITV”.

Sky News
Downing Street says Jeremy Corbyn is “running scared” of a Brexit debate with Theresa May. The debate is due to happen on 9 December – two days before MPs vote on the deal Mrs May has secured with the EU – but there is still disagreement over the format.
Mr Corbyn has said he will go with the Tory preference for a BBC debate if it is a straight head-to-head after previously indicating a preference for a similar ITV proposal. But the BBC offer also involves leaders taking questions from a wider panel and a Number 10 spokesman said they are sticking with that plan.

BBC News
The BBC has dropped plans to hold a Brexit debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, saying it “could not reach an agreement” on its proposal. Both it and ITV offered to air a debate between the leaders on Sunday – two days before Parliament votes on Brexit. But Labour had said the BBC’s proposed format was a “mish-mash, with a lop-sided panel of other politicians and public figures” taking part. No 10 said Labour’s objections were “false and flimsy”. The BBC had wanted to include “a range of voices” in the programme, including members of other political parties, as well as a head-to-head between the leaders.

Express
THE much anticipated Brexit TV debate between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn has been cancelled after the BBC failed to agree terms over the format.
The head-to-head between the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition had been proposed for this Sunday December 9 just two days before MP’s vote on the Brexit deal in parliament. The broadcaster is “disappointed” an agreement could not be reached and cited issues over the format could not be finalised. It is understood the key stumbling block was their plan to have a further eight panelists along with Mrs May and Mr Corbyn so the debate was “fair and appropriate”.

Farage

Telegraph (by Nigel Farage)
At the Annual Ukip Conference held this year in Birmingham, I spoke at the Gala dinner. My message was very simple: one of the reasons for Ukip’s success was that we’d excluded extremists and focused on organising and fighting elections. I warned that any change to this policy would damage the party beyond repair. As I walked back to my seat, I was met by several angry young men, red in the face and mildly abusive, who all seemed to be obsessed with Islam and Tommy Robinson. I wondered at that time if I’d just given my last Ukip speech.

Times
Nigel Farage has resigned from Ukip, the party he has dominated for more than 20 years, declaring that it has become obsessed with far-right extremism and Islam. Mr Farage, one of the crucial faces of the Brexit campaign, criticised the present leader for reversing a ban on far-right activists and bringing in members of the British National Party and English Defence League (EDL). He said the party had squandered a chance to fight Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Writing in The Daily Telegraph he said that “under Gerard Batten’s leadership the party’s direction has changed fundamentally”.

Mail
Nigel Farage has quit Ukip after 25 years in protest over new leader Gerard Batten’s ‘obsession with Muslims’ and his appointment of Tommy Robinson as an adviser on ‘Muslim rape gangs’.  ‘And so, with a heavy heart, and after all my years of devotion to the party, I am leaving Ukip today,’ he wrote in The Telegraph. ‘There is a huge space for a Brexit party in British politics, but it won’t be filled by Ukip.’ Speaking later on LBC, Mr Farage accused Mr Batten of ‘turning a blind eye to extremism’ and attempting to turn the party from an ‘electoral’ force into a ‘party of street activism’.

Mirror
Nigel Farage has sensationally quit UKIP in protest at the party’s links to far-right activist Tommy Robinson. The former UKIP leader and co-founder blasted his successor Gerard Batten’s “obsession” with the convicted criminal and English Defence League founder, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. Mr Batten has come under fire for his association with Robinson – including making the EDL founder an adviser on grooming gangs and prisons, triggering fury among UKIP moderates.

Guardian
Nigel Farage has quit Ukip after 25 years, saying the party he led to its greatest election successes was now unrecognisable because of the “fixation” with the anti-Muslim policies of its leader, Gerard Batten. Farage, who took Ukip to third place by number of votes in the 2015 election and significantly shaped the ground for the Brexit referendum, said he was dismayed by Batten’s policies and his decision to appoint the far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson as an adviser. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Farage condemned Batten’s decision to throw Ukip’s support behind an anti-Brexit demonstration in London on Sunday organised by Robinson and his associates, saying it was likely to “inspire violence and thuggish behaviour”.

Order-Order
Above is the photo that was the last straw for Nigel Farage. Tommy Robinson can be seen seated beside Gerard Batten. Next to Robinson is a man called Daniel Thompson, a convicted armed kidnapper. There are other pretty unsavoury-looking characters dotted around the room. These are the people organising the ‘Brexit’ march that is now advertised on the UKIP website. My heart sinks as I reflect on the idea that they may be seen by some as representative of the cause for which I have campaigned for so much of my adult life. His Telegraph article lambasts Gerard Batten for being obsessed with Islam and Tommy Robinson. 

Migration compact

Westmonster
More than 80,000 people have signed a petition urging the British government to reject the UN’s Migration Compact. Westmonster has covered controversy surrounding the pact, with government after government rejecting it. The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “The Compact fails to adequately distinguish between people who enter Australia illegally and those who come to Australia the right way, particularly with respect to the provision of welfare and other benefits.” PM Morrison also wrote that: “The Compact would risk encouraging illegal entry to Australia and reverse Australia’s hard-won successes in combating the people smuggling trade.”

France

Mail
French President Emmanuel Macron has today caved in and suspended hated fuel tax hikes in a victory for the Yellow Vest protesters.  In a humiliating U-turn, the government said it was planning to freeze upcoming increases on regulated electricity and gas prices following emergency talks at the Elysee Palace.  Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told MPs that stricter vehicle emission controls set to kick in in January 2019 will also be suspended – one of the demands of the movement which erupted last month. Government sources say the planned six-month suspension will cost 2 billion euros (£1.78 billion) with the
role in public finances funded entirely by corresponding spending cuts.

Morning Star
FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to order a six-month suspension of fuel tax rises that have aroused massive “gilets jaunes” (yellow vest) street protests doesn’t mean he has seen reason. He will mobilise all state resources to have his way by next May, hoping to deflect and disorganise the forces ranged against his neoliberal government. Macron poses as an altogether different political phenomenon from his predecessors, a moderniser who transcends special interests and old-fashioned political parties — a virtual reincarnation of the smiling, glib populist Tony Blair who once seemed likely to rule for as long as he wanted.

Breitbart
Representatives from the Yellow Vest movement have said that a temporary suspension of a further tax increase by the government does not go far enough, maintaining the taxes should be cut altogether. The government of Emmanuel Macron will announce Tuesday morning a moratorium on the increase of the fuel tax, slated for January 1st, according to government sources speaking to franceinfo and confirmed by
Agence France-Presse (AFP). The freeze on taxes is believed to last several months, with Prime Minister Édouard Philippe also set to announce other measures in an attempt to appease protesters.

NHS

Times
NHS chiefs have drawn up a list of hospitals struggling with their waiting lists and sent it to private healthcare companies to make them aware of opportunities. The list of 54 trusts, which was leaked to the Health Service Journal (HSJ), has been given to companies including Spire Healthcare, Care UK and Nuffield Health. The leak comes amid deteriorating performance against the 18-week target for treatment for non-urgent procedures such as hip and knee replacements or cataract operations.

Times
Airport security queues could be cut by using new a scanner that checks passengers without them having to turn out their pockets or take off their belts and shoes. The technology is being tested at Cardiff airport this week to screen people “on the move” using sensors designed to detect astronomical activity in deep space. It will use the human body as a source of light to spot hidden objects and show them in detail on screens. According to scientists the technology is capable of “learning” the difference between items that can and cannot be taken on board, reducing the false alarms that slow the screening process. It is claimed the system could ultimately allow passengers to walk straight through security.

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