Evaluation of UK’s international obligations
According to figures from the DWP, the number of children and pensioners in absolute poverty increased in 2017-18 as inflation and accommodation costs took a bigger chunk out of household finances.
UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU
More than a million people joined the ‘Put it to the People’ march in London at the weekend. Meanwhile there are more than 5.5million signatures on the petition seeking for the Government to revoke art 50 and remain in the EU. However the Government has rejected the petition, stating that ‘it remains the Government’s firm policy not to revoke Article 50”.
The Guardian has reported that the Government has all but conceded it will lose control of Parliament this week and MPs will hold a series of indicative votes on different Brexit options, with ministers believing it would be ultimately pointless for Theresa May to offer the Government’s own plan. However, Liam Fox has indicated the Government could ignore MPs’ views from indicative Brexit votes if Parliament’s stated choice goes against the Conservative manifesto, insisting the real choice is still between Theresa May’s deal and no deal. Parliament has set out the sixteen proposals to be voted on and the Financial Times has set out how the indicative votes will work.
Theresa May summoned leading Brexiteers to a meeting in Chequers, fighting off attempts to force her to stand down and refusing to name her departure date. The Prime Minister has also told MPs that she might not hold a third Brexit vote if there is not enough support for her deal. Meanwhile the DUP has made clear its continuing opposition to her deal.
The Guardian has seen a leaked confidential Cabinet Office document, revealing the extent and range of the impact of a no-deal Brexit as it warns of a “critical three-month phase” after leaving the EU during which the whole planning operation could be overwhelmed.
The EU has reportedly pencilled in April Fools’ Day 2020 as a leading option for Britain’s first day outside the bloc, should the UK Government ask Brussels for a lengthy extension of art 50 in three weeks’ time.
Meanwhile, Jacob Rees-Mogg’s indication that he is ready to back Theresa Mays’ deal, has caused a split in the Eurosceptic faction of the Conservatives.
Following intense pressure, Theresa May has promised to resign before the second phase of Brexit talks, if the withdrawal agreement is passed. Ministers reportedly plan to hold the third meaningful vote on the Brexit deal on Friday. However the DUP announced they still did not support it.
Despite Theresa May splitting her deal and asking MPs only to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement, and not the Political Declaration, and Education Secretary Damian Hinds warning that the Government would have no choice but to apply for a lengthy extension to art 50 should the Withdrawal Agreement be voted down, MPs rejected the deal for the third time by 58 votes.