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Politics | The Guardian

Latest Politics news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Published: Thu, 24 Aug 2017 01:19:52 GMT2017-08-24T01:19:52Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017

EU nationals deportation letters an 'unfortunate error', says May

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:13:48 GMT2017-08-23T18:13:48Z

Home Office mistakenly sent up to 100 letters to EU citizens telling them to leave UK or face removal

Theresa May admitted the Home Office made an “unfortunate error” when it mistakenly sent up to 100 letters to EU nationals living in the UK ordering them to leave the country or face deportation.

The prime minister was forced into the statement after it emerged that a Finnish academic working in London had highlighted the warning letter she had received, which told her to leave the UK or risk being detained.

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Independent Scotland would need to cut deficit, says Sturgeon

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:25:12 GMT2017-08-23T13:25:12Z

Data shows country spent £13.5bn more than it raised in taxes last year, a gap of 8.3%, compared to UK’s 2.4%

Nicola Sturgeon has said an independent Scotland would face tough economic challenges after data showed the country spent £13.5bn more than it raised in taxes last year.

The first minister confirmed that if voters backed independence in the near future, Scotland would need a dramatic improvement in its finances to bring its current spending deficit of 8.3% down to 3%, the level most economists see as sustainable.

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Food and drink industry says EU staff exodus will damage economy

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 23:01:03 GMT2017-08-23T23:01:03Z

Brexit warnings from trade bodies come as businesses across UK struggle to recruit skilled labour

The food and drink industry has issued a warning of significant disruption and economic damage if the government fails to stem the flow of EU nationals leaving the UK.

Nearly a third of British food and drink businesses have had non-UK EU workers leave their employment since last summer’s Brexit vote, according to a survey of more than 600 businesses representing nearly a quarter of the food chain’s 4 million workforce. Almost half said more planned to leave because of uncertainty about their future.

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Britain 'could remain under direct control of European court for years'

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:02:17 GMT2017-08-23T19:02:17Z

Scale of Theresa May’s climbdown shown as Britain faces having to implement ECJ rulings on key issues such as immigration

Britain could remain under the direct control of the European court of justice for years after Brexit, it has emerged, and still be forced to implement the court’s rulings on vexed issues such as immigration.

The expanding scale of the prime minister’s climbdown over her promise to “take back control of British law” was revealed as the government published its latest position paper on dispute resolution before the next round of Brexit talks.

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Expert panel to assess impact of international students on UK jobs

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 23:01:03 GMT2017-08-23T23:01:03Z

Home Office’s migration advisory committee will crack down on abuse of visas by poor-quality institutions, says Amber Rudd

Migration experts will be asked to examine the impact of international students on the UK job market, in a Home Office review that campaigners warned may lead to tougher restrictions.

The migration advisory committee will be asked to examine the effect that both EU and non-EU students have on the labour market and economy while in the UK, the department said on Friday – though it will not report back until next September.

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6 million middle-aged people take no exercise

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 23:21:30 GMT2017-08-23T23:21:30Z

Public Health England’s research suggests large numbers of adults do not walk for 10 minutes at a time once a month

About 6 million middle-aged people in England are endangering their health by not taking so much as a brisk walk once a month, government advisers have said.

Clinicians said such a lack of exercise increases an individual’s risk of prematurely developing serious health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia and cancer.

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Number of EU citizens detained in UK up by 27%, figures show

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:19:52 GMT2017-08-23T15:19:52Z

Home Office statistics also show sixfold increase since 2009 in those held for suspected immigration offences

The number of EU citizens detained for suspected immigration offences has risen by 27% in the past year alone, Home Office figures have revealed.

The statistics emerge after the Home Office admitted mistakenly sending out 100 letters to a number of EU nationals living in the UK, telling them that they had to leave the country or face deportation.

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Judge condemns Amber Rudd for ignoring orders to release torture victim

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:49:38 GMT2017-08-23T15:49:38Z

Home secretary has failed to adequately explain delays in freeing asylum seeker from detention, says high court judge

A high court judge has said she is “deeply concerned” about the behaviour of Amber Rudd for failing to release a survivor of torture from detention despite repeated court orders requiring her to do so.

On Wednesday Mrs Justice Nicola Davies DBE presided over an emergency high court hearing to examine the home secretary’s delay in releasing an asylum seeker who had been tortured in a Libyan prison with electric shocks and falaka – beating on the soles of the feet.

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David Davis to avoid putting Brexit payment on table in Brussels

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 17:09:59 GMT2017-08-23T17:09:59Z

Secretary for exiting EU will refuse to disclose Britain’s financial obligations in next round of talks

David Davis will refuse to reveal any details about what Britain could pay towards a Brexit bill when European Union exit talks resume next week, it has emerged, a choice certain to inflame tensions with Brussels.

The Brexit secretary has conceded that Britain has “obligations” from its 44 years of EU membership, but will not say anything about what they might be when he meets the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Brussels next week, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

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'Labour is coming back in Scotland': party predicts revival as Corbyn heads north

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:00:05 GMT2017-08-23T05:00:05Z

Labour leader’s tour of 18 marginal seats offers chance to gauge whether electoral gains in June are a blip or the start of a comeback

Paul Sweeney, one of Labour’s new Scottish MPs, knows exactly when he first realised the party’s fortunes north of the border might be reviving.

He had been out canvassing a month before the June general election in the Scottish National party-held Glasgow North East constituency. “We were in Smithycroft Road, right in the shadow of the Bar-L [Barlinnie prison]. These lads were walking up from an off-sales on the opposite side of the road, maybe six or seven of them, with their carry-outs. They started shouting across the road,” he said.

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Grenfell Tower fire: May accepts Tory-led council did not help quickly enough

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 10:32:35 GMT2017-08-23T10:32:35Z

Tenant management organisation will be stripped of responsibility for estate, PM tells survivors in private meeting

Theresa May has privately told survivors and relatives of victims of the Grenfell Tower fire that the Conservative-led Kensington and Chelsea council’s response to the disaster was slow and flawed, and assured them that the tenant management organisation (TMO) would no longer be responsible for the rest of the estate.

The prime minister was invited to the meeting by residents to hear about the challenges they continue to face, amid anger that a public inquiry will only look at the practical causes of the fire and not wider issues around the quality of social housing.

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Chris Grayling accused of 'passing the buck' on northern transport

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:28:08 GMT2017-08-23T14:28:08Z

Minister’s call for region to sort out its own transport problems is an abdication of responsibility, northern leaders say

The transport secretary has been accused of an “abdication of responsibility” after telling the north of England to sort out its own transport problems.

Chris Grayling angered business and political leaders in the region by writing an article for the Yorkshire Post saying “the success of northern transport depends on the north itself”.

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Shadow minister faces backlash over women-only train carriage idea

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 11:25:10 GMT2017-08-23T11:25:10Z

Chris Williamson criticised for saying there is ‘merit’ in exploring idea as way of cutting number of sexual assaults on public transport

Shadow minister Chris Williamson has been criticised by female colleagues and union chiefs for suggesting there was “merit” in introducing women-only train carriages to help cut the number of sexual assaults on public transport.

Williamson, the shadow fire minister, said he was open to the idea first proposed by Jeremy Corbyn when he was running for the Labour leadership in 2016.

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Big UK firms face 2018 slowdown amid Brexit uncertainty, study finds

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 11:54:42 GMT2017-08-23T11:54:42Z

Profit growth at largest companies is expected to decline as some put plans on hold or move operations elsewhere in EU

The long-term effects of the Brexit vote on the economy will become clear next year when profit growth at some of the UK’s largest companies is expected to drop considerably, according to a new study.

An analysis of forecasts for 2018 gives a grim view on the future for some of the UK’s biggest companies, with expectations that there will be a marked slowdown.

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Britain sends £9m to Libya to fight terror threat and migrant crisis

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:34:24 GMT2017-08-23T18:34:24Z

Boris Johnson announces aid package, which includes £4m to remove improvised explosive devices, during trip to Tripoli

Boris Johnson has announced a £9m aid package for Libya to help deal with the problems of migrants risking their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean and a growing threat of terrorist groups from the war-stricken country.

The foreign secretary announced the extra funding as he made his second trip to Tripoli in just four months, where he visited UK naval officers training the Libyan coastguard in search and rescue.

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EU nationals: did you receive a letter threatening deportation?

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:06:59 GMT2017-08-23T14:06:59Z

The Home Office mistakenly sent out up to a hundred letters to EU nationals telling them to leave the country or face deportation

The Home Office apologised after it accidentally sent letters to EU nationals living in the UK telling them they could be deported.

A Finnish academic, Eva Johanna Holmberg, published one of the letters on social media. In response, the government admitted it had sent letters telling people to leave UK or face removal. It could not confirm how many went to EU nationals.

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The Guardian view on UK Brexit policy: this time the lady is for turning | Editorial

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:05:04 GMT2017-08-23T18:05:04Z

The government’s latest position paper abandons the fantasy that Britain can go it alone. Not before time, ministers are having a close encounter with reality

The orthodoxy says that few things are more humiliating for a leader than a U-turn. That’s especially true in the Conservative party, where the ghostly voice of Margaret Thatcher in 1980 – “You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning” – still echoes in the Central Office rafters. Sometimes, though, the orthodoxy is simply wrong. In some circumstances, a U-turn can be – and can even be publicly respected as – an act of common sense and even enlightenment. Mrs Thatcher might have survived longer if she had scrapped her delusional poll tax in 1989. Tony Blair’s reputation would be different if he had abandoned the Iraq invasion in the face of the public’s discontent. In Germany, Angela Merkel’s ratings grew stronger after the Fukushima incident persuaded her to phase out the nuclear power programme she had previously backed.

Theresa May’s U-turn on Britain’s relationship with the European court of justice after Brexit is one that should be warmly welcomed. Be in no doubt that a U-turn is what it is. In the past the prime minister’s language on the ECJ has been absolutist and without nuance. She has pledged that “the authority of EU law in Britain will end”, that a return to ECJ jurisdiction is “not going to happen”, and that the laws “will be interpreted by judges not in Luxembourg but in courts across this country”. With the publication of the government’s latest policy paper, on post-Brexit dispute resolution, none of those assertions is now true. Instead the paper sets out a range of ways in which the ECJ and its rulings will continue to play some part in the rule of UK law after Brexit.

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The Guardian view on the northern powerhouse: back on | Editorial

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:02:28 GMT2017-08-23T18:02:28Z

As Andy Burnham, the Greater Manchester mayor, convenes a northern council in Leeds, Theresa May heads to Teesside. It looks as if the battle for northern England has begun

Theresa May sped to Teesside on Wednesday afternoon to launch the South Tees Development Corporation, a 25-year regeneration project backed by Ben Houchen, the new Conservative mayor of Tees Valley. It cannot have been coincidence that hours earlier in Leeds there was a gathering of an embryonic northern council of regional politicians and business interests, angered by the government downgrade of the electrification of the Leeds-Manchester line announced last month. Called the northern transport summit, in fact its ambitions were much wider: to coordinate and amplify a regional identity. As Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester’s mayor, said earlier this week, unless the north finds its political voice, “we will be waiting for ever for a powerhouse”.

What had turbocharged the sense of grievance over the delay to the trans-Pennine electrification, and to other out-of-London rail improvements, was the confirmation that came only days later of government backing for Crossrail 2, the £31bn north-south London rail route. Transport for London had been in a standoff over who would pay, with the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, whose disastrous cost-cutting when he was justice secretary has now largely been reversed. The tension over the London-centric investment of scarce infrastructure spending was worsened by the publication of the thinktank IPPR North’s now annual estimate of relative funding between the south-east and the north, which showed that parity funding over the past 10 years would have meant £59bn more in investment for the north. The government angrily disputed the figures, as it does every year, claiming that the IPPR does not take into account infrastructure investment in one region that benefits a much wider area, like the improvements to the A14 linking the Midlands to the East Anglian port of Felixstowe. The IPPR points out that it assigns regional spending according to official Treasury figures.

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Motorist would not have landed cyclist's 'wanton and furious driving' charge

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 16:02:27 GMT2017-08-23T16:02:27Z

Charlie Alliston should have had a front brake but 18mph is a cautious speed and double standards are at work here

A heavy-handed prosecution against a cyclist for manslaughter has failed but a charge of “wanton and furious driving” has succeeded.

In 2016 more than 400 pedestrians were killed on UK roads. Each a terrible tragedy to those involved and almost all avoidable. One of these casualties, Kim Briggs, died after a collision between herself and a teenage cyclist, Charlie Alliston.

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Three reasons remainers should stop calling for a second referendum on Brexit | Denis MacShane

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:35:46 GMT2017-08-23T15:35:46Z

Focusing on another vote means the real work of grassroots campaigning and persuasion hasn’t taken place

With a monotonous regularity, calls for a second referendum are now the default setting of those who oppose the Brexit line of the government, Ukip, and the official leadership of the Labour party. They began with a giant rally in London not long after the Brexit plebiscite. Since then, political leaders from Sadiq Khan to Vince Cable can always command a headline by calling for a second referendum. But right now, these calls are misplaced for three reasons.

The first is timing. Like calls for a second front invasion of France in 1942 and 1943, an early second referendum without proper planning and preparation could end up with the worst of all worlds for the anti-isolationist camp – namely, a confirmation of the June 2016 result.

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I know May is desperate. But prosecco parties for Tory MPs won’t save her | Peter Bradshaw

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 14:45:20 GMT2017-08-23T14:45:20Z

There is logic to the PM plying backbenchers with booze at Chequers. But once the democratic fizz dies down, they won’t remember anything she said

As our long, cold summer crawls off somewhere to expire, a Mike Leigh-style nightmare is unfolding at the highest reaches of the British political establishment. Theresa May is reportedly having a series of “prosecco and canapé” receptions at Chequers, the prime ministerial country retreat in Buckinghamshire, to schmooze backbenchers and bolster her leadership for the grim, bongless constitutional struggle ahead. In the BBC dramatisation, Alison Steadman can recreate a variant on her role from Leigh’s Abigail’s Party, with perhaps some digitally recreated cyber-performance from Richard Wattis as Philip. It is the only way of doing justice to what sounds like an excruciating social event. And there is something so horribly contemporary about prosecco itself. In the 1970s it was Liebfraumilch and Mateus rosé; in the 90s the leisured classes were getting hammered on New World chardonnay. Now it is all about the unpretentious non-champagneness of prosecco. It doesn’t say anything as naff or indulgent as “celebration”, just a bit of carefully willed effervescence. I was even offered some recently at a parent-teacher event, at the end of which we all comprehensively lost the plot amid the prosecco democratic fizz. Perhaps May and her guests will experience something similar.

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I resigned over vice-chancellors’ pay. Students in debt deserve a fairer deal | Darren Jones

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 11:24:40 GMT2017-08-23T11:24:40Z

I left the University of Bath’s advisory board because high executive salaries are driving inequality. The public sector must lead the way in tackling it

• Darren Jones is the Labour MP for Bristol North West

I have always thought that education should be free. For Britain to become the template of modernity in a fast-changing globalised world, we need a highly skilled and educated workforce. So asking young people to take on huge amounts of debt to help secure our collective future seems unfair. Asking them to take on huge amounts of debt to pay for the bloated pay of senior university staff is therefore entirely unacceptable.

Related: Andrew Adonis: a one-man tuition fee Twitter storm

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'Growth is slowing in the UK, but picking up elsewhere' – experts debate Brexit data

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:31:45 GMT2017-08-23T09:31:45Z

Two former members of Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee find consumers continuing to face a squeeze

Professor of economics at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee from June 2006 to May 2009

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‘Tory’ is a swearword in the north. Is George Osborne a strange exception? | Helen Pidd

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:41:47 GMT2017-08-22T14:41:47Z

I wasn’t sure about his northern powerhouse. But the former MP for Tatton is right to tell Theresa May that improving transport links is vital

Tempting though it is to tell George Osborne to butt out and stop interfering, now he edits a London newspaper instead of representing a northern seat, I must lightly applaud the former chancellor for still banging on about the north-south divide.

Related: Osborne calls for May to back 'northern powerhouse' rail plans

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Why England’s north is still waiting for its powerhouse | Andy Burnham

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 14:38:59 GMT2017-08-22T14:38:59Z

My experience in the Treasury taught me that the test for assessing projects is biased against poorer regions. The north must not be pushed to the back of the queue any more

I will start with a confession: I was the chief secretary to the Treasury who brought together the funding package for London’s £15bn Crossrail 1 project.

Services are not yet running on Crossrail 1, but already the government is dropping heavy hints that it will give the green light to London’s £30bn Crossrail 2. Pretty galling for anyone in the north-east still waiting for a full motorway connection.

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UK is briefly in the black – but fixing the public finances will take time | Larry Elliott

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 12:21:30 GMT2017-08-22T12:21:30Z

Repairing the hole in the public finances after the financial crash is taking a lot longer than it did after previous recessions

The government was in the happy – and unusual – position of being in the black in July. To the surprise of the City, tax receipts were higher than public spending. Not by much, but a surplus is still a surplus even if in the context of a £1.8tn economy it is small change.

This, though, was a classic case of one swallow not making a summer. For a start, the deficit in the first four months of the financial year – a much better guide to the trend than a single month’s figures – was higher this year than last.

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Alone on his pedestal - cartoon

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:18:01 GMT2017-08-20T10:18:01Z

Chris Riddell on Donald Trump’s response to white supremacist violence in Charlotteville

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The ALP policy on reproductive rights for women on Nauru? Silence | First Dog on the Moon

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 07:08:19 GMT2017-08-23T07:08:19Z

I understood that abortion rights and women’s health were supposed to be important to at least some people in the Australian Labor party

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London must remain open to the world

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 11:55:27 GMT2017-01-31T11:55:27Z

The capital should have its own migration system to help it to help Britain survive leaving the EU

There are always exceptions. Since the nation voted to leave the European Union, the mayor of its capital city, Sadiq Khan, has declared that “London Is Open”, but he wouldn’t mind it being closed to Donald Trump. Hundreds of thousands of Londoners sympathise, judging by the map of signatories of the petition to stop the US president paying a state visit and making life difficult for the Queen.

This isn’t typical behaviour. In general, the capital welcomes foreigners, including those who, unlike Trump, plan to stick around and do something useful. About two million of the city’s work force of five million were born overseas, of which at least half come from elsewhere in the EU. London-haters find this frightening, a foretaste of foreignness eating the green and pleasant land. They hope Brexit will stem the alien tide, buttressing a fading Britannia of yore. They may not have yet grasped how damaging for them a cut in incomers from overseas could be.

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Panel discussion: How are gender equality victories won in 2017?

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 09:31:31 GMT2017-08-08T09:31:31Z

At the Guardian women seminar, panellists Karen Mattison (Timewise) Amanda Gardiner (Pearson), anti-FGM campaigner Leyla Hussein, Channel 4 News reporter Lindsey Hilsum and barrister Dexter Dias talk about the challenges for feminism in 2017

Subscribe and review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast & Stitcher and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter

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MPs farewell Big Ben's hourly chimes, not with a bong but a whimper | John Crace

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:36:11 GMT2017-08-21T15:36:11Z

As bell is silenced for four years of restoration, even Labour’s Steve Pound finds it hard to muster a melodromatic tear

In nomine Patris... Bong... et filii... Bong... et Spiritus Sancti... Bong. Shortly before midday, a small crowd of journalists had gathered outside the members’ entrance to the houses of parliament to observe a couple of MPs stand with heads bowed before Big Ben.

After the last rites of 12 final bongs, the bell would go quiet for four years while restoration work was done on the Elizabeth Tower.

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The Snap: Theresa May – still prime minister, but for how long?

Sat, 10 Jun 2017 05:48:17 GMT2017-06-10T05:48:17Z

Tories (and press) turn on May … Labour wins in Kensington …most diverse parliament ever … and can DUP deal survive questions over hardline beliefs?

Here we are, the morning after the morning after, with Theresa May still in No 10, still prime minister and still without a majority.

Related: General election 2017: chastened Theresa May to name her team – live

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UK will keep 'half an eye' on ECJ rulings after Brexit, says justice minister

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 07:59:15 GMT2017-08-23T07:59:15Z

Dominic Raab’s comment comes as policy paper appears to contradict red line laid out in Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech

Justice minister Dominic Raab has conceded the UK would keep “half an eye” on rulings by the European Union’s highest court after Brexit as the government appeared to soften its stance on how heavily the bloc would influence UK law.

However, Raab played down the idea that a government document ruling out the European court of justice holding “direct jurisdiction” on UK matters left room for the ECJ to exercise influence on British law.

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Brexit: UK retirees rushing to settle in Europe, say financial advisers

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 14:23:29 GMT2017-08-13T14:23:29Z

One company says monthly inquiries to its website have doubled in a year amid fears moving to Europe will become more difficult

British retirees are rushing to settle in European countries such as Spain, Portugal and France before the Brexit deadline, according to financial advisers, believing that such a move will become significantly more difficult in the future.

One company that supports those moving to mainland Europe after they finish working revealed that the number of monthly inquiries to its website had doubled in a year, while actual business was up by 25%.

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UK rail fare rise ‘will force key workers to quit city jobs’

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:05:27 GMT2017-08-19T23:05:27Z

Cost of commuting unfairly penalises public sector staff and part-time workers, warns union

Plans to hit rail commuters with the biggest fare rises in five years will force many key workers, including nurses and teaching assistants, to quit their jobs, the biggest public-sector union Unison warned on Saturday.

Anger at the 3.6% increase to regulated fares, including commuter fares and season tickets, spilled over last week after it was revealed that the rises would come into effect in January.

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Brexit trade talks may be reduced to as little as 10 months

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:32:47 GMT2017-08-17T12:32:47Z

UK ministers admit slow progress on negotiations over withdrawal may hinder move on to crucial second phase of talks

Britain may not start negotiating its future trade relationship with the EU until the end of the year, ministers are admitting privately.

Originally it was hoped that phase two of the Brexit talks – covering a future trade deal, not just the withdrawal arrangements – would start after October, but ministers involved in the talks now think this timetable could slip.

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Labour MP becomes first serving politician to be registered as lobbyist

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 06:00:41 GMT2017-07-31T06:00:41Z

Barry Sheerman chairs Policy Connect, a London-based firm that has held meetings attended by businesses and ministers

A veteran Labour MP has become the first serving politician to be officially registered as a lobbyist.

Barry Sheerman, who represents Huddersfield, is listed on the register of consultant lobbyists because of his chairmanship of Policy Connect, a not-for-profit company that has held meetings attended by paying businesses and ministers.

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Learner drivers to be allowed motorway lessons

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 21:30:03 GMT2017-08-12T21:30:03Z

A change to in the law will see L-plates on the UK’s motorways within months, in a move welcomed by road safety groups

Since the UK’s first motorway opened to traffic almost 60 years ago, the nation’s M-roads have been free of cars displaying the dreaded L-plate.

But learner drivers will finally be allowed to have lessons on motorways in a matter of months after a change in the road rules. The move follows years of pressure from road safety groups over what they argued was a long-running safety omission.

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Theresa May accused of U-turn over EU court’s role after Brexit

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:30:32 GMT2017-08-22T21:30:32Z

Latest Brexit policy paper leaves open possibility of European court of justice retaining say on UK law

Theresa May was accused of a climbdown over the future sovereignty of British courts after a newly published government paper appeared to leave open the possibility that the European court of justice would influence UK law after Brexit.

The latest of a flurry of Brexit policy papers, due to be published on Wednesday, will repeat the government’s insistence that the “direct jurisdiction” of the Luxembourg-based ECJ must end when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

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How has the Brexit vote affected the UK economy? August verdict

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:31:49 GMT2017-08-23T09:31:49Z

How has the economy reacted to the vote to leave the EU? Each month we look at key indicators to see what effect the Brexit process has on growth, prosperity and trade in the UK

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Dutch nationals taking UK citizenship 'will lose Netherlands passports'

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:29:28 GMT2017-07-17T16:29:28Z

Dutch PM tells people living in Britain who want to avoid problems after Brexit that dual nationality is not an option

Dutch nationals who take British citizenship to avoid having to leave the UK after Brexit will be stripped of their Netherlands passports due to existing limits on dual nationality, the Dutch prime minister has said.

About 100,000 Dutch nationals living in Britain face an uncertain future after March 2019. The UK and EU are yet to reconcile their differences on the citizens’ rights issue, with Brussels describing the British government’s initial offer as vague and inadequate.

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Airports call for urgent post-Brexit deal on UK-EU flights

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:07:10 GMT2017-08-22T17:07:10Z

Owners of five major UK airports say uncertainty over future of flights is hitting passenger numbers hard, in report submitted to ministers

Airports have joined forces to press the government to urgently strike a post-Brexit deal on flights between the UK and the EU, warning that the current uncertainty alone would be enough to see bookings drop by up to 41%.

A report submitted to ministers by the owners of Manchester, Stansted, Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports concludes that even if flights are not interrupted in March 2019 when Britain leaves the EU passenger numbers are likely to be hit hard without early assurances.

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What is the European court of justice and why does it matter?

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 12:35:17 GMT2017-08-23T12:35:17Z

Brexit policy paper leaves open possibility of Europe’s highest court retaining say on UK law. What does this mean for Britain?

The Luxembourg-based court of justice of the European Union is the highest court in Europe. Panels of judges from member states sit to interpret whether EU law is being fairly applied and can issue binding rulings over national courts.

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Britons in Europe 'face huge loss' if EU and UK cannot agree on rights

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 16:42:26 GMT2017-07-20T16:42:26Z

UK citizens in EU react with dismay as Brussels threatens to withdraw offer on free movement unless Britain matches it

British citizens living in the European Union say they will suffer “a huge loss” if negotiators from the UK and Brussels do not settle their differences over the rights of citizens to live and work across the continent after Brexit.

The EU had offered to allow the 1.2 million Britons living in Europe before Brexit to continue to have the right to freedom of movement, so they could live, work, study and enjoy visa-free travel in any EU country.

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Britons living in Europe could lose right to live in another EU country

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:00:06 GMT2017-07-20T13:00:06Z

Threat of potential restriction on UK citizens after Brexit emerges at end of intense technical talks in Brussels

British people living in the European Union could lose the right to live in another EU member state after Brexit, it emerged at the end of talks in Brussels.

British officials raised the issue with their European counterparts during three-and-a-half days of intense technical talks. The EU made clear it would not move without a reciprocal offer for European nationals living in Britain that would allow them to move to another EU country and return to the UK.

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Britons' rights in Europe 'must not surpass rights of EU citizens in UK'

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 18:08:59 GMT2017-07-13T18:08:59Z

Swedish minister Ann Linde says lack of reciprocity would be unfair and demands ‘concrete negotiating positions’ from UK

The Swedish minister for EU affairs has said it would be “unfair” for Britons to have more rights in Europe than EU citizens in the UK, as currently proposed by Theresa May.

Ann Linde warned that the UK must offer the EU reciprocity in its approach to citizens’ rights, and said Theresa May’s government was putting the final Brexit deal at risk if it did not engage in detail with the EU negotiating team soon.

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Ex-legal chief attacks Theresa May’s ‘foolish’ claim on European court of justice

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 20:29:23 GMT2017-08-19T20:29:23Z

Doubts cast over Brexit red line as cabinet prepares to reveal more of its thinking this week

Theresa May’s Brexit strategy has been thrown into new doubt as a former head of the government’s legal services ridicules the prime minister’s claim that the UK can break free of all European laws while continuing to reap the economic benefits of the EU’s single market.

Sir Paul Jenkins, who was the government’s most senior legal official for eight years until 2014, told the Observer that the prime minister’s policy on the legal implications of Brexit was “foolish”. He insisted that if the UK wants to retain close links with the single market and customs union it will have no option but to observe EU law “in all but name”.

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Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:00:26 GMT2017-02-26T09:00:26Z

With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network

Just over a week ago, Donald Trump gathered members of the world’s press before him and told them they were liars. “The press, honestly, is out of control,” he said. “The public doesn’t believe you any more.” CNN was described as “very fake news… story after story is bad”. The BBC was “another beauty”.

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Gay Britain: what do the statistics say?

Thu, 03 Oct 2013 11:41:00 GMT2013-10-03T11:41:00Z

How many people in the UK are gay, lesbian or bisexual? The Office for National Statistics reckons it's 1.5% while the Kinsey report says it's 10%. Who's right?

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For every 100 people in Britain, just 1 will identify themselves as gay or lesbian according to the latest government statistics. The numbers (which include gender, location and age) may come as a surprise - but why?

Continue reading...We've got the numbers on sexuality in the UK but are they reliable? Photograph: David Poller/CorbisWe've got the numbers on sexuality in the UK but are they reliable? Photograph: David Poller/Corbis

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