Today’s political headlines covers Bercow ruling out a third meaningful vote, Brexiteers threaten strike, EU offers May helping hand and social media firms to be forced to hand over algorithms.
Bercow rules out another meaningful vote
The Guardian claims that the Government has been ‘plunged into constitutional chaos’ after Speaker John Bercow ruled that another meaningful vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal would fall foul of a parliamentary convention dating back to 1604 which prevents MPs from voting on the same deal twice, suggesting that for a further vote to be allowed, the EU would have to agree to changes to the deal and that May will be forced to request a long extension to the Brexit negotiations. However, the Commons could use a ‘paving vote’ to set aside the convention, if it did wish to vote for May’s deal, while Solicitor General Robert Buckland suggested that the Government could end the parliamentary session early and begin a new one in order to re-run the vote.
Brexiteers threaten strike over delay
The Sun claims that as many as twenty ‘hardline’ Brexiteers have threatened to go ‘on strike’ on key votes if Theresa May agrees a year-long Brexit delay with the EU, pushing the Government to the ‘verge of collapse’. The paper has also conducted a survey of Conservative MPs who voted against May’s deal, and two-thirds of those who responded confirmed they would not back it if it was brought back to the Commons unamended.
EU offers May ‘helping hand’
The Guardian says that the EU is to give Theresa May ‘a helping hand’ by formally agreeing the length of the Brexit extension at its summit on Thursday and keeping this on offer until just before midnight on 29 March, when the UK is currently due to leave. Changing the date that the UK leaves the EU might be sufficient for John Bercow to allow the Government to hold another meaningful vote.
Social media firms to be forced to hand over algorithms
The Daily Telegraph says that the Government’s forthcoming white paper on online harms will give a new regulator the power to force firms to hand over algorithms showing how people are targeted with content based on their personal details, which may ‘reveal their role in fuelling self-harm and suicides’.
Industrial strategy criticised by MPs
The Financial Times carries details of a critical report by the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on the Government’s industrial strategy. It warns that there is a risk that the strategy will fail in its efforts to improve productivity levels because it is focusing on innovative sectors but neglecting others, such as hospitality and retail, and is too focused on London and South East England.
Jewish Labour Movement to hold no confidence vote in Corbyn
The Times says the Jewish Labour Movement, the Jewish affiliate of the Labour Party will debate a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn at its annual meeting in April. The motion says the party has a ‘culture of antisemitism’ and that Corbyn ‘is directly responsible’ so a ‘Labour government led by him would not be in the interest of British Jews’.
Lord Forsyth criticises loan charge
Speaking to the Financial Times, Lord Forsyth, Chair of the Lords Economics Affairs Committee, calls on the Government to scrap the retrospective aspect of the loan charge because ‘ordinary people are being ruined’. He argued that it should instead pursue the developers of tax avoidance schemes and the employers who used them.
Electric scooters could be allowed on roads
The Times reports that the Government will launch a ‘wide-ranging review of traffic laws’ which could see electric scooters allowed on the roads for the first time and the speed limit for electric bicycles increased. The plans are contained in the Department for Transport’s Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, published today.
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