Today’s political headlines include Cameron urging the Tories to remain before they defected, May warning that time is running out on Brexit talks and Gove and Hammond clashing over Brexit preparations.
Cameron urged defecting Tories to remain
The Times reveals that David Cameron sent a text message to the three Conservative MPs who defected to the Independent Group yesterday urging them to stay. The MPs – Heidi Allen, Anna Soubry and Dr Sarah Wollaston – warned that the Conservatives had been taken over by hard Brexiteers. The new group will meet on Monday to decide their leadership and begin hiring staff, having already received ‘thousands of donations’ according to the paper.
May warns that time is running out in Brexit talks
The BBC reports that Theresa May claimed that progress had been made in Brexit talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday, but warned that ‘time is of the essence’. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the ‘critical thing’ was enabling Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to change his advice about the backstop to MPs.
Gove and Hammond clash over Brexit preparations
According to The Daily Telegraph, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove used a meeting of a Cabinet sub-committee yesterday to accuse Chancellor Philip Hammond of damaging preparations for a no-deal Brexit by not releasing funding early enough. Gove and Hammond are also currently disagreeing on whether to impose tariffs on agricultural goods in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Retailers warn of no-deal Brexit impact on food supplies
The Guardian says that bodies representing retailers in the UK and Ireland have warned that a no-deal Brexit could lead to tariffs of 40% or over being imposed on foods including beef and cheddar cheese, forcing up prices in shops. There could also be shortages of fresh produce caused by delays at borders.
Government’s climate advisors call for gas boilers and cookers to be banned
The Times reports that a new report by the Committee on Climate Change, which advises the Government, calls for gas boilers and cookers to be banned in new homes within six years so that the UK will meet legally-binding emissions targets. The proposals has been criticised by the Home Builders Federation, which warns that it would make homes harder to sell, adding that alternatives need to be ‘suitably attractive, available and efficient’.
Wright to warn Zuckerberg over online harms
The Daily Telegraph says that the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, Jeremy Wright, is to call on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to demand more action on online harms, warning him that ‘the era of self-regulation is over’. The paper adds that a white paper on new laws to regulate social media is ‘just weeks away’.
MPs call for reforms to save the high street
The Financial Times carries details of a new report by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee that recommends making ‘wide reforms’ to business rates and planning rules in order to allow high streets and town centres to succeed. It also recommends a levy on online retail sales and ‘green taxes’ on deliveries and packaging.
Bangladesh says Begum is not one of their citizens
The Guardian reports that Bangladesh has denied that Shamima Begum is a Bangladeshi citizen following the decision by Home Secretary Sajid Javid to remove the teenager’s British citizenship, claiming that there ‘is no question of her being allowed’ into the country. Javid continues to insist that he ‘would never make any decision that would make an individual stateless’, adding that his decision had not affected Begum’s baby son.
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