Today’s political headlines include the Queen’s call on people to seek out the common ground, Ministers speak out against no-deal Brexit, EU split over no-deal legislation and Gov to announce new food-labelling plans.
Queen in call to seek ‘common ground’
The Times reports that the Queen used a speech yesterday to call on people to ‘seek out the common ground’ and not to lose ‘sight of the bigger picture’, in remarks interpreted as a reference to the Brexit debate. The paper adds that other royals are expected to make similar interventions ‘in the coming days’.
Ministers speak out against no-deal Brexit
According to The Daily Telegraph, yesterday ‘Remain ministers went to war’ by raising their concerns about a no-deal Brexit. Business minister Richard Harrington warned that it would be ‘a disaster for business’, while Chancellor Philip Hammond used a speech at Davos to warn that a no-deal Brexit would be a ‘betrayal’ of the Brexit vote. Appearing on Newsnight Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd refused to rule out resigning in order to vote for Yvette Cooper’s amendment blocking a no-deal Brexit four times.
EU split over no-deal legislation
The BBC says that some EU countries are calling for the EU’s no-deal legislation to be made more generous, for example by giving UK hauliers the right to operate within the EU and allowing UK airlines to fly connecting flights within the bloc. However, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the BBC that his country’s ‘clear red line’ was that the UK could not get ‘the benefits of the single market’.
Gove to announce new food-labelling plans
The Daily Mail says that Michael Gove is to announce new plans to force food retailers to list all ingredients in their products, in response to the death of a 15-year-old girl after eating a Pret A Manger baguette which contained sesame seeds. Various options are being consulted on, ranging from listing all ingredients in their products (which the paper believes Gove backs) to insisting on labels reminding consumers to ask staff about allergens.
Government considers extending protection from redundancy for new mothers
The Guardian reports that the Government is launching a consultation on extending protection against redundancy for pregnant or new mothers so that it would continue for six months after they’ve given birth. The consultation will also consider extending the protection to those returning from adoption or shared parental leave.
Universities criticised over unconditional offers
The Sun says that universities have been warned by the Office for Students that if they continue to make unconditional offers which stipulate that students must make them their ‘firm choice’, they could be breaching consumer law. Education Secretary Damian Hinds said that the increase in unconditional offers is ‘disturbing’.
Salmond charged with attempted rape
The BBC reports that the former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond appeared in court yesterday. He has been charged on 14 counts – two of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault and one of breach of the peace. He said ‘I refute absolutely these allegations of criminality’.
Conservatives struggle to raise funds
The Financial Times claims that the Conservatives are struggling to attract money from large donors, with one former minister warning that the party is ‘facing emerging financial difficulties’. The paper claims that there are two sets of ‘disgruntled donors’: Brexiteers who oppose Theresa May’s Brexit plan and the network of businesses built up by David Cameron.
What is the common ground? Keep on top of the Brexit latest with Vuelio Political Services.