UK and the UN
Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, has published a statement finding that the UK Government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Theresa May has hit a fresh hurdle in the Brexit negotiations as individual EU states have demanded the chance to scrutinise any deal reached with Britain. The Prime Minister has also been rocked by the resignation of Jo Johnson who tore into her plans for leaving the EU and called for a second referendum in his resignation letter.
Britain has all but given up on a special Brexit summit at the end of November as there remain too many sticking points to complete the talks in the time originally hoped for. However, ministers have been told that “judgement day is coming” over Brexit as the UK and EU strive for a deal within 48 hours.
Contradicting Jeremy Corbyn, who stated that the only decisions remaining were on what sort of Brexit to implement and that politicians should focus on bringing the UK back together rather than having another EU referendum, Keir Starmer has stated that the UK’s departure from the EU still can be halted. However Jeremy Corbyn is amongst Westminster opposition party leaders who have written a joint letter urging Theresa May to guarantee that MPs will be given a “meaningful vote” on the terms of Brexit.
Andrea Leadsom has warned that a Brexit backstop plan that leaves Britain “trapped” in the EU’s customs orbit would not be “sellable” to Parliament.
John Whittingdale, vice-chair of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, has stated that Theresa May will have to resign as Prime Minister if her Brexit plan is “torn up” by Parliament, and she is reportedly under mounting pressure to change course on Brexit as Conservative Eurosceptics and the DUP issued a joint threat to vote down any deal she strikes with Brussels.
The EU is pushing Theresa May to accept far-reaching environmental targets and tough policing of state-aid rules as part of a Brexit ‘backstop’ plan for the Irish border.
UK and EU officials agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement in a significant breakthrough for the talks, with Theresa May calling a special Cabinet meeting to seek ministers’ backing. The Financial Times has discussed this, analysing the concessions involved, whilst The Guardian has broken it down.
Theresa May is warning her Cabinet that the UK will have to implement many of its contingencies for a no-deal Brexit on 1 Dec if it fails to sign a withdrawal treaty with the EU by the end of the month.
Theresa May made a statement after the crunch Brexit deal Cabinet meeting. However, following the Cabinet agreeing the draft, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and Esther McVey, as well as several junior ministers have resigned, a number of Conservative MPs have sent no-confidence letters to the 1922 Committee, and the DUP have warned that they cannot support the draft Brexit treaty. Nonetheless, Theresa May has given a statement and has vowed to fight for her deal.
The Guardian has discussed the six possible scenarios that may develop in light of Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Meanwhile The Telegraph has argued that Michael Gove has been left with Theresa May’s future in his hands.