Today’s political headlines include the DUP’s threat to withdraw support from Government, May to launch plans for ethnicity pay gap reporting, Home Office guidelines may have been breached and Major compares Universal Credit to the poll tax.
DUP threatens to withdraw support from Government over Brexit plan
The Daily Telegraph says that Theresa May will today ask her Brexit ‘war cabinet’ to agree a plan under which the UK would stay in a customs union with the EU until a permanent trade deal is agreed, with UK and EU negotiators having agreed to an all-UK backstop in principle. However, the DUP has described this plan, under which Northern Ireland would remain in the single market for goods, as a ‘sell out’ and is threatening to vote against the Budget later this month, abstaining from a vote on the Agriculture Bill last night to show that it is serious. The Times adds that Brexiteer ministers including Penny Mordaunt, Esther McVey and Liam Fox will not be at the meeting, leaving some of them unhappy.
May to launch plans for ethnicity pay gap reporting
The BBC reports that Theresa May is to announce plans today to force companies to reveal their ethnicity pay gap, a comparison between the pay received by employees form ethnic minorities and their white counterparts. She will also launch a Race at Work Charter, committing firms to increasing recruitment and progression of ethnic minority employees.
Home Office guidelines on migrant detention may have been breached
The Guardian has published an investigation into migrants held in detention centres, finding that over half of its sample were either suicidal, seriously ill or victims of torture, with almost 56% defined as being an ‘adult at risk’. People in this category should only be held in extreme cases, so the paper suggests that Home Office guidelines have been breached.
Major compares Universal Credit to the poll tax
Speaking to the BBC, former Prime Minister Sir John Major has criticised the Government’s Universal Credit policy, warning that it risked encountering the same issues as the poll tax. While he described the theory behind the policy as ‘entirely logical’ he cautioned that it was being brought in ‘too soon and in the wrong circumstances’.
Corbyn to announce plans to teach children about UK’s role in slavery and colonialism
According to the Daily Mail, Jeremy Corbyn is to announce plans to teach about the UK’s role in slavery and colonialism in schools today, claiming that the Windrush scandal shows that this is ‘more important now than ever’. The paper adds that Education Secretary Damian Hinds will use a speech today to attack Labour’s plans for a ‘common rule book’, to abandon free schools and freeze the academies programme.
25 high-priority no-deal Brexit plans in trouble
The Times reports that 25 of the less than 100 high-priority no-deal Government workstreams are in trouble, with 13 ‘off-track’. Sir Amyas Morse, the head of the National Audit Office, warned that the Government had left business in a ‘very difficult position’ and said it was ‘not implausible’ that flights between the EU and the UK could be grounded.
Blair concerned about services sector after Brexit, following new research
The Financial Times says that Tony Blair has expressed concern about the future of the UK’s services sector post-Brexit, following the release of new research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research showing that if the UK traded with the EU on World Trade Organization terms, the lost trade would reduce the size of the economy by 2.1% by 2030.
Pro-remain Tories to form group to rival Rees-Mogg’s Eurosceptics
The Guardian claims that a group of up to 30 remain-backing Conservative MPs are planning to form a movement to rival Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group and vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal if she moves towards a Canada-style model, with a number of the MPs hoping that this will lead to a second referendum.
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