Today’s political headlines covers the latest Brexit developments including the EU’s agreed conditional delay and Corbyn to meet May for Brexit talks.
EU agrees Brexit delay
As the BBC reports, the EU last night agreed an extension to the Brexit process. If Theresa May’s deal is approved next week, the UK will leave the EU on 22 May. If MPs reject it again, the UK will have until 12 April to set out its next steps or it will leave without a deal. May said that this gave MPs a ‘clear choice’. The Times adds that divisions emerged between EU leaders as they struggled to reach consensus on the way forward.
Corbyn to meet May for Brexit talks next week
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gave the Daily Mirror an exclusive interview during his visit to Brussels yesterday, telling the paper that he will meet the Prime Minister on Monday, indicating Labour might back her deal if she shifted towards a softer Brexit. He said that Labour would ‘do everything we can to help’ Parliament come to a cross-party agreement.
No-deal plans activated
The Financial Times reports that the Government has activated various no-deal Brexit contingency plans. Ministers at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are now getting daily reports on potential food and water shortages, while the Ministry of Defence has activated a crisis management centre at its Whitehall nuclear bunker.
MPs tell May to quit over Brexit chaos
In an exclusive, The Daily Telegraph claims that Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, visited Theresa May on Monday to tell her that MPs want her to resign over her handling of the Brexit process. The Times says that Chief Whip Julian Smith has told Conservative MPs that May’s attempt to blame MPs for the Brexit chaos was ‘appalling’.
Johnson receives JCB donation
The Guardian reports that Boris Johnson has received £15,000 in donations from the Brexit-backing manufacturer JCB, bringing the total amount of support he has been given to nearly £140,000 since late 2018. Other Tory leadership contenders have also received donations from various sources, with Dominic Raab receiving over £50,000 this month.
MPs warn of Brexit abuse
The Daily Mirror reports that Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle has said that a Brexiteer tried to assault him while he was out in his constituency, bending his glasses. He accused Theresa May of having used her speech on Wednesday to whip up ‘fear and division’. The Daily Telegraph says that Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has advised MPs to travel home by cab to avoid ‘abuse and intimidation’.
MPs ‘clueless’ about technology
The Sun reports that Matthew Taylor, head of the RSA and the Government’s gig economy advisor, has warned that MPs are ‘clueless’ about the impact of technology on the workforce, with a survey finding that less than half of MPs felt they had the expertise to make judgements on tech policy. He has published a repot setting out a five point plan.
Labour launches local election campaign
The Guardian says that Labour’s deputy chair Ian Lavery used the launch of the party’s local election campaign, held in Stoke-on-Trent, to warn that the most deprived areas of the country were being worst affected by cuts to local government funding. Figures published by the party show that the ten most deprived councils have suffered above average cuts.
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