UK in Strasbourg
The Times has reported that the UK accounts for 0.2% of the human rights cases before the ECtHR, which hears claims from 47 nations.
Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
For The Times, Alex Bailin QC has argued, against the Society of Conservative Lawyers’ pamphlet calling for the executive’s powers to be strengthened regarding military action abroad, that Parliament must have a say when forces are deployed in our name.
The Times reports that Britain has dropped to 11th place on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, losing ground for the first time since 2012, meaning the UK is no longer one of the world’s ten least corrupt countries.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
Boris Johnson has written in The Telegraph that Theresa May could fix her Brexit deal, if she fights back against Brussels. However, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has stated that there will be no change to the Brexit backstop and it cannot be replaced with an “aspirational” hope or commitment to avoid the return of a hard Border in Ireland. Meanwhile Downing Street has refused to say which Brexit amendments it could support in a series of votes, as it increasingly appears Theresa May believes it is up to the EU to deliver a departure agreement by giving ground on the Irish backstop.
The Financial Times has considered how the EU will respond to a request to delay Brexit. Meanwhile Andrea Leadsom has suggested that Brussels could grant the UK a “couple of extra weeks” to prepare the country before Brexit without extending the official timetable.
Justice Secretary David Gauke has called for a free vote on Brexit, and has suggested that he could quit the Government if a no-deal Brexit is an option. Meanwhile The Telegraph has reported that remain-backing ministers have held a conference call, stating that Theresa May must secure her Brexit deal within a fortnight to retain their support.
The Sunday Times has reported that the UK is ready to declare martial law to avert no-deal Brexit chaos.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner has warned against a second referendum, stating that the public ‘don’t want’ an art 50 extension.
The Exiting the European Union Committee has published a report stating that a no deal ‘cannot be allowed to happen’ and that MPs ‘must’ be given the chance to vote on extending art 50. Meanwhile the EU has rejected a plan suggested by rival Conservative MPs which would have involved paying the £39bn EU divorce bill, redrafting the backstop arrangements over the Irish border and extending the implementation period until December 2021.
The Guardian has compiled a list of the amendments tabled prior to the Brexit bill debate on Tuesday. A major amendment was tabled by Yvette Cooper to allow backbenchers to seize control of the parliamentary timetable in a bid to delay Brexit, though this ultimately was not passed. The Brady amendment, aimed at replacing the backstop with ‘alternative arrangements’ and backed by Theresa May, did pass the Commons but was rejected immediately by the EU.
Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May have discussed whether a post-Brexit customs union could deal with the unpopular Irish backstop in a ‘serious and engaged’ hour-long meeting at the prime minister’s office in the House of Commons.
Senior Tory officials are reportedly to tell Theresa May that they will accept a two month Brexit delay, but warn that a hold up beyond that would be a ‘betrayal’ of the EU referendum result. Sir Graham Brady has accepted that Brexit may need to be delayed. However, the Prime Minister is facing fresh fury from her backbenchers amid claims she is stalling on a promise to shake up her Brexit negotiating team and Olly Robbins has remained in post.
Parliament’s half-term recess has been cancelled so that MPs can work through Brexit legislation.
Labour MPs are angry that Jeremy Corbyn has no plans to discipline the eight shadow ministers who failed to back an amendment to block a no-deal Brexit.
Theresa May is putting together a package of measures aimed at wooing Labour MPs in leave-supporting constituencies, offering greater protection for workers’ rights after Brexit and, extra spending for more deprived regions. However, this offer of a cash injection has incensed some Labour MPs.