Today’s Political Headlines include Liam Fox’s attack on the customs union, Toby Young’s appointment criticised, a call for children to be removed from extremists and the EU’s demands for the ECJ to play a continued role in the UK.
Fox to attack customs union in speech today
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is to argue in a speech today that a customs union between the UK and the EU after Brexit would be a ‘complete sell out’, the BBC reports. He will argue that the UK must have the freedom to exploit the ‘opportunities of the future’. The Guardian reports that in a speech this evening, Sir Martin Donnelly, the former Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Trade, will warn that leaving the single market will cause ‘significant damage’. The Financial Times adds that pro-European Conservative MPs are to join forces with Labour in a vote on the customs union.
Toby Young appointment process criticised
An investigation by the Commissioner for Public Appointments into the appointment of Toby Young to the board of the Office for Students has criticised the regulator and the Department for Education. The Guardian says that the report found that the process ‘was flawed and rife with political interference’.
Top counterterrorism officer calls for children to be removed from extremists
The Times reports that Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner for special operations at Scotland Yard, has called for courts to remove children from extremist families. He said that exposing children to extremism was ‘equally wicked’ as exposing them to sexual abuse. In his speech, Rowley also said that far-right extremism was flourishing.
EU demands continued role for the European Court of Justice
The Financial Times claims that the EU will demand the UK remains subject to European Court of Justice rulings for an indefinite period as part of the Brexit divorce deal, backed up by sanctions to cut off market access. The paper expects Theresa May to reject this proposal outright. Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph says that France and Germany have blocked British plans to continue ‘fudging’ the Irish border issue, in what the paper calls an ‘outrageous attempt to turn Northern Ireland into EU province.’
Sturgeon rejects latest Brexit devolution proposals
Nicola Sturgeon has rejected the Government’s latest proposals for devolution after Brexit, the BBC reports. She said it is ‘very likely’ the Scottish Parliament will not give its consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill and rejected the idea that common systems of regulation could be imposed by Westminster without agreement.
Gove to announce £150m cut in funding for wealthy landowners
The Financial Times reports that Michael Gove is to announce that £150m could be saved by cutting support for wealthy landowners, which could instead be used to help farmers focus on ‘environmental enhancement and other public goods’. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary is to launch a consultation on an ‘agricultural transition’ period today.
Train companies ‘pocketing’ millions
According to The Daily Telegraph, train companies are accused of benefiting from transport chaos by ‘pocketing millions of pounds in compensation’ when services are delayed or cancelled. The paper says that there is ‘mounting anger’ from Conservative MPs and campaigners over automatic compensation payments to rail firms from Network Rail.
Government announces £1.5m funding for blades for amputee children
The Daily Telegraph hails the success of a campaign run by Sarah Hope, wife of the paper’s correspondent Christopher Hope, after the Government announced another £1.5m in funding for running and swimming blades for amputee children.
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