Today’s political headlines include MPs urgin May to scrap tomorrow’s vote, EU to demand higher payments if UK requests extension, May battles to save Brexit deal and Gove calls on Tories to back Brexit deal.
MPs urge May to scrap tomorrow’s Brexit vote
The Times claims that ‘senior Conservative MPs’ are urging Theresa May to scrap tomorrow’s planned ‘meaningful vote’ on her Brexit deal unless she is able to secure ‘significant concessions’ from the EU. They used phone calls with the Prime Minister to warn her than she faces a further three-figure defeat, while negotiators continued to seek a last-minute compromise, with May ready to fly to Brussels should an amended deal be agreed. The BBC adds that Downing Street has said this morning that talks with the EU are deadlocked.
EU to demand higher payments if UK requests Brexit extension
The Daily Telegraph says that the EU will ‘impose punitive conditions’ should Theresa May be forced to request a Brexit extension. It claims that the bloc’s members’ attitudes are ‘hardening’ and would require ‘legal and financial conditions’, potentially including a payment of £13.5bn a year and losing its seat at the table when laws are being made.
Theresa May battles to save Brexit deal and premiership
The Guardian says that Theresa May is ‘battling’ both to save her Brexit deal and her premiership, with a risk that, if Parliament votes to delay Brexit, Eurosceptics could move against the Prime Minister. The paper claims ministers have been discussing whether the Prime Minister should name a date to quit in order to help the deal pass, while Chancellor Philip Hammond is preparing to offer billions to ‘end austerity’ in the Spring Statement.
Gove calls on Tories to back Brexit deal
Writing in the Daily Mail, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove has warned Conservative MPs that they have under 48 hours to save Brexit, claiming that ‘everyone who believes in democracy’ should back Theresa May’s deal which would ‘unite our country’ and that a no-deal Brexit wouldn’t ‘honour’ a commitment made to voters ahead of the referendum.
Hunt says he’s looking at ways to bring Isis fighters’ children back to UK
The Guardian reports that Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that the Government is looking at ways to bring the children of British fighters in Syria to the UK, adding that it had been too dangerous to send British officials to rescue Shamima Begum’s baby son from the camp in which she was living and that her decision to join Isis had ‘consequences’.
Almost 40 new schools to be created to tackle knife crime epidemic
The Daily Telegraph reports that Education Secretary Damian Hinds is to announce that 39 new free schools, representing 3,500 extra school places, are to be created, many for pupils expelled from mainstream schools and others for those with special educational needs, as part of the Government’s response to what the paper calls a ‘knife crime epidemic’.
Lenders increase holdings of liquid assets as Bank of England prepares for no-deal Brexit
The Financial Times says that the Bank of England has warned some British lenders that they need to triple their holdings of ‘easy-to-sell assets’ in order to cope with the consequences of a no-deal Brexit. Rules introduced by the Prudential Regulation Authority mean that some lenders now need to hold enough liquid assets to cope with a period when banks stop lending to each other of 100 days, rather than 30 as normal.
Labour won’t support second referendum this week
The Times reports that Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer has said that the party will not push for a second Brexit referendum this week, even in the event of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal being defeated, instead backing an extension to Article 50. People’s Vote supporters fear MPs voting on a referendum too early would lead to a big defeat.
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