Today’s Political Headlines include the rights of EU citizens in the UK during the Brexit transition, the benefits of EU migrants compared to a US trade deal, May’s talks with China’s Xi Jinping and water companies criticised by Gove.
May: EU citizens coming to UK during transition should not enjoy same rights
The Guardian says that Theresa May has ‘sparked a new clash’ with the EU, after she argued that EU citizens arriving in the UK during the transition period should not have the same rights as EU citizens arriving at present. The European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, told the paper ‘Citizens’ rights during the transition is not negotiable.’
Cost of cutting EU migration to UK revealed; EU strategy paper leaks
BuzzFeed News has released more details from the leaked Government Brexit impact analysis. The analysis reveals that the cost to the UK economy of cutting migration from the EU would be greater than the benefits of a trade deal with the US. The Government will now allow MPs and peers to view the document in a ‘secure reading room’. The Financial Times has obtained a leaked strategy paper, which shows the EU is threatening sanctions to stop the UK from undercutting the EU economy after Brexit.
May to hold talks with Chinese President
Theresa May is to hold talks with Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, later today. According to the BBC, the agenda will include trade and security issues, including the North Korean nuclear programme. The Prime Minister will also raise environmental concerns. Yesterday, May agreed a new trade and investment review with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The Guardian adds that Liam Fox admitted that a trade deal with China ‘may be some time away’, but that trade could be increased despite remaining in a customs union with the EU.
Water companies criticised by Gove
In a letter to Ofwat, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove has criticised water companies for using ‘opaque financial structures based in tax havens’ and making ‘excessive profits’, The Daily Telegraph reports. He has offered to give Ofwat new powers to reign in the companies.
MPs vote to move out of the Palace of Westminster to allow refurbishment
In what The Times calls a ‘surprise result’, MPs have voted to move out of the Palace of Westminster for at least six years to allow refurbishment work to go ahead. The ‘full decant’ is expected to start in 2025 at the earliest. A plan drawn up by Downing Street and Conservative whips to postpone the decision until 2022 failed, with an amendment by Meg Hillier succeeding. The move now needs the approval of the House of Lords.
Senior minister prepares to resign
In an exclusive, The Sun claims that a ‘senior minister’ is ‘close to resigning’, in a move which could lead to Theresa May’s ‘downfall’. The minister, who has been frustrated by the failure to promote younger MPs, would then call for a new direction from the backbenches.
‘Baby leave’ voting system for MPs likely to be approved
A system that allows MPs who have recently become parents to nominate a colleague to vote in Parliament on their behalf is likely to be approved today, The Guardian says. The proposal, put forward by Harriet Harman and Maria Miller, will be handed over to the Speaker, John Bercow, and the Procedure Committee to consider enacting, if it is approved.
£21bn hole in defence spending
The Ministry of Defence’s equipment plan is ‘not affordable’ according to a National Audit Office report, an article in The Times says. The department has a funding hole of £21bn over ten years, omitted the £1.3bn cost of five new frigates from the plan and experienced a £576m increase in the cost of four replacement Trident submarines.
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