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Politics | The Guardian



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



Published: Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:57:10 GMT2018-02-25T16:57:10Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2018
 



Labour backs staying in EU customs union, Keir Starmer confirms

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 10:46:54 GMT2018-02-25T10:46:54Z

Shadow Brexit secretary says his party wants to remain in customs union permanently

The shadow Brexit secretary has formally confirmed that Labour wants the UK to effectively remain permanently in the EU’s customs union.

Sir Keir Starmer told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One on Sunday the shadow cabinet had unanimous support for the new policy, which Jeremy Corbyn will flesh out in a speech in Coventry on Monday.

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Anti-Corbyn rightwing press attacks 'boost Momentum support'

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 14:29:53 GMT2018-02-25T14:29:53Z

Exclusive: Negative stories in Daily Mail often lead to spikes in membership, says group

Attacks on Jeremy Corbyn by the rightwing press are leading to large spikes in his support base immediately after negative newspaper articles, according to data seen by the Guardian.

Figures from Momentum come days after Labour went on the offensive over reports in the Daily Mail, the Sun and other newspapers that Corbyn met a Czechoslovakian spy in the 1980s.

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UK scientist says Britons in Europe 'utterly ignored' by government

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:25:27 GMT2018-02-25T16:25:27Z

Leading astrophysicist Mark McCaughrean, based in the Netherlands, says many may have to forgo British citizenship

One of the most senior British scientists in Europe has made an impassioned plea to the government to reconsider its implacable opposition to freedom of movement, saying it is a direct attack on around 1 million British nationals living on the continent.

Britons living in Europe will be left with fewer rights if free movement disappears, while European passport holders living in the UK will continue to have rights as EU citizens post-Brexit.

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Fire and Fury author and Tony Blair accuse each other of lying

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 12:53:32 GMT2018-02-25T12:53:32Z

Michael Wolff calls ex-PM ‘complete liar’ after he dismisses claims he was angling for job from Trump White House

The former prime minister Tony Blair and the American author Michael Wolff have accused each other of lying, as the row about Blair’s dealings with Donald Trump’s White House reignited.

Wolff, whose bestselling book Fire and Fury presents a remarkable and highly negative account of Trump’s first year in office, said on Sunday that Blair was a “complete liar” in the way he dismissed claims in the book. Blair responded by saying Wolff’s stories about him were made up.

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Labour faces new furore over return of Ken Livingstone

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 21:18:00 GMT2018-02-24T21:18:00Z

Party declares that Livingstone will probably be readmitted, then reverses decision just hours later

Labour’s National Executive Committee is planning to launch a new inquiry into allegations of antisemitism against Ken Livingstone after MPs reacted furiously to information from party insiders who said he was likely to be readmitted to the party within weeks.

After a day of confusion in the high command, Labour officials said that an NEC inquiry first announced ten months ago by Jeremy Corbyn, but never begun, would probably be opened next month – just weeks before the former London mayor’s two-year suspension is due to end on 27 April. The about-turn by Labour came after the Observer contacted party sources on Friday and was told in repeated exchanges that no further action was in the pipeline and that the former London mayor was likely be allowed back in as a full member. When this was reported on Guardian.co.uk there was a furious reaction from Labour MPs and members.

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Ben Bradley apologises unreservedly for Corbyn spy claims

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 14:59:53 GMT2018-02-24T14:59:53Z

Labour says Tory MP will tweet apology and has agreed to pay undisclosed sum to charity

The Conservative MP Ben Bradley has apologised unreservedly and will make a substantial donation to charity for a tweet making claims about Jeremy Corbyn’s links to cold war spies, the Labour party said.

Bradley, who has more than 4,000 followers on Twitter, alleged on Monday that Corbyn had “sold British secrets to communist spies”. The tweet, which has since been deleted, followed newspaper reports claiming that Corbyn gave information to a spy during the cold war.

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Nigel Farage gets warm welcome at gathering of US right wing

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 23:03:16 GMT2018-02-23T23:03:16Z

CPAC attendees applaud Brexit and boo London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, amid growing European populist influence at event

Nigel Farage received a rousing reception from American conservatives on Friday, as the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) cheered Brexit and booed London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Related: Trump plays to the gallery at CPAC – and the gallery loves it

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UK's hopes for post-Brexit trade deal an illusion – Donald Tusk

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 19:19:47 GMT2018-02-23T19:19:47Z

EU leaders left incredulous by reports of Theresa May’s strategy following Chequers meeting

Theresa May’s reported agreement with her cabinet on a future trading relationship with the EU has been criticised as based on “pure illusion” by the European council president, Donald Tusk, as frustration with the UK erupted in Brussels.

Reports that May’s inner cabinet had agreed on a policy of “managed divergence” during eight hours of talks at an awayday in Chequers were met with incredulity by EU leaders.

Tusk told reporters on Friday: “I am glad the UK government seems to be moving towards a more detailed position.

“However, if the media reports are correct, I am afraid the UK position today is based on pure illusion. It looks like the cake [and eat it] philosophy is still alive.

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Labour party general secretary stands down from position

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 19:23:45 GMT2018-02-23T19:23:45Z

Iain McNicol’s departure signals further consolidation of power by Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters

Iain McNicol, Labour’s longstanding general secretary, has stepped down, in the latest sign that Jeremy Corbyn is consolidating his grip on party machinery. McNicol had become a controversial figure for those on the Labour left after a row over the rules for the 2016 leadership race.

He is now expected to be replaced with a leftwinger, consolidating the number of key Corbyn allies in senior party roles. At recent elections to Labour’s ruling NEC the left enjoyed a series of victories, including for Momentum founder Jon Lansman.

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Scottish Labour MSP withdraws invitation to US academic

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 19:15:53 GMT2018-02-23T19:15:53Z

Prof Priscilla Coleman authored highly criticised study into link between abortion and anxiety

A Scottish Labour MSP has withdrawn her invitation to speak at the Holyrood parliament from an academic who has linked abortion to mental health issues after fellow MSPs raised concerns about the event.

Elaine Smith, Scottish Labour’s spokesperson on poverty and inequality, invited colleagues to a meeting titled Abortion in Scotland: a solution or a problem? at which US professor Priscilla Coleman had been asked to speak. Coleman was the author of study that looked at the link between abortion and anxiety, mood and substance abuse disorders, which has been heavily criticised.

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Theresa May to set out Brexit plan after Chequers talks

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:36:04 GMT2018-02-23T12:36:04Z

PM will outline her vision for future relationship with EU in speech next Friday

Theresa May set out her vision for the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU in a speech next Friday, No 10 has announced, after she and senior cabinet members spent Thursday at Chequers hammering out a position.

In a sign that the prime minister’s agreed position is expected to face resistance from Brussels, Downing Street reiterated her aim that EU nationals entering the UK during a transition period would have fewer rights than those already in the country.

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Corbyn’s conversion is not to soft Brexit but a hard tilt at No 10 | Matthew d’Ancona

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:06:26 GMT2018-02-25T16:06:26Z

By aligning with Tory remainers in a Commons rebellion over the customs union, Labour could pave the way to power

“Crunch time is coming for the prime minister,” Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, tells the BBC’s Andrew Marr. But, then again, when isn’t it? Theresa May is more familiar with crunch time than an overworked gravel salesman.

What gives force to Starmer’s claim is that the ordeal now facing the prime minister is of a different order and character to the daily miseries that have afflicted her since the general election last June. Ostensibly a principled challenge by Jeremy Corbyn to her position on Brexit, it is really a ruthless political challenge to her position, full stop.

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A sci-fi-style dystopia? Brexit could be worse… | Stewart Lee

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 10:00:07 GMT2018-02-25T10:00:07Z

For many of the disenfranchised and disenchanted Britons who voted for Brexit, a Mad Max-style dystopia may be one of the few tangible benefits

For nearly 18 months now, the increasingly frustrated European liberal fat-cat elite has been asking for some clues as to what we brave British Brexiters imagine Brexit will be, the pastry edifice of Theresa May’s monumental “Brexit means Brexit” statement having already crumbled last year, when a moth’s tear fell near it.

Unable to say what Brexit is, a strategically and heroically vague David Davis last week chose instead to tell Brussels what Brexit isn’t, promising, definitively, that Brexit will not be “a Mad Max-style world”, despite evidence to the contrary commissioned by his own department.

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A message to Labour: fight for the NHS. Fight Brexit

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 07:00:03 GMT2018-02-25T07:00:03Z

The prospective damage to the health service from leaving the EU is severe. How can the party of Attlee contemplate it?

Many years ago, I was outside the studio of the BBC’s Today programme waiting my turn to be interviewed about the latest sterling crisis. Alongside me were two gentlemen of a certain age who were keeping themselves to themselves and looked as though they would not hurt a fly. When my turn came, I said to the studio assistant: “As a matter of interest, who were those two gentlemen outside?” “Oh, them? They are the Militant Tendency.”

For younger readers, the Militant Tendency were an extreme leftwing group who came very close to capturing the Labour party. Not all of them were as harmless-looking as those two, and it is to the eternal credit of Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley that they fought them off.

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As if we didn’t have enough clowns in public life, here comes Charlie Mullins | Catherine Bennett

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:05:32 GMT2018-02-25T00:05:32Z

The boss of Pimlico Plumbers fancies being London mayor. This is a joke too far

‘I am the world’s best known plumber,” writes Charlie Mullins in his autobiography, Bog-Standard Business, published in 2015. If notoriety and the ability to replace a worn ballcock become, by 2020, key qualificiations for the next mayor of London, he is, without question, unrivalled.

Mr Mullins, Londoners will note, comes with the bonus of a signature look, involving a spiky bleached ’do and electric blue suits, which is quite as striking as anything Donald Trump or, indeed, Boris Johnson has come up with. It clearly impresses the BBC, where Mullins has become a respected authority on many non-faucet-related matters. We recently heard, for instance, the great plumber’s view of Jeremy Corbyn: “a twat”. That analysis so enchanted programme-makers that they invited him on Today, to scrutinise the Tory leadership: “She needs to go.”

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On the other hand... | Tim Adams

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:05:32 GMT2018-02-25T00:05:32Z

It’s never been easy for people to change their mind. But in a world of social media and polarised opinion, the stakes are now even higher. Time for a listening revolution

In the past week, the spectacle of the American gun lobby facing down the bereaved families of Parkland, Florida, has been difficult to watch. So close to the latest tragedy, the insistence on the sanctity of the right to bear arms has looked not only wrong-headed but wildly perverse. The weight of evidence, which grows shooting by shooting, goes a long way to proving that the second amendment has the diametrically opposite effect from that – keeping families safe – in which its proponents place their faith. The disconnect invites a question that seems increasingly insistent in our lives: on big issues, why is it so very hard for people to change their minds?

In the case of gun control, it is tempting to believe this is primarily a political question or even a financial one. In Wednesday’s emotive town hall debate in Miami, one young survivor of the shooting put that case directly to the Republican Florida senator Marco Rubio: the National Rifle Association had supported Rubio’s career to the tune of $3.3m; would he now refuse to take any more? For Donald Trump, intent on arming teachers, the monetary incentive looked even more telling: his campaign had benefited from a reported $21m of NRA funding.

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Carillion halted stupid, unthinking outsourcing. Now it’s time for reform

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:03:32 GMT2018-02-25T00:03:32Z

Serco boss Rupert Soames has come up with a plan to reform delivery of public services by private firms

Carillion is bust, leaving job losses, underfunded pension schemes and half-finished hospitals in its wake. The east coast mainline is a shambles – again. Interserve, a company with 25,000 staff in the UK supplying the public sector in health, education and defence, is being watched closely by the government in case the crisis in the outsourcing industry gets worse. Capita, which used to be seen as a source of stability, is trying to remove doubts about its own future by raising £700m via a rights issue. Its shares have collapsed from £13 to 175p in less than three years.

What happened? Is the outsourcing model now so broken that it is useless for both sides – government and providers? Is it time to return the delivery of public services to the public sector? Is Jeremy Corbyn right that Carillion’s failure was a watershed moment?

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Worry less about the march of the robots, more about techno panic | Kenan Malik

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:01:32 GMT2018-02-25T00:01:32Z

An obsession with the threat of technology may well edge us closer to the dystopia we’re so fearful of

 A robot cleaner infiltrates Germany’s ministry of finance by blending in with the pool of legitimate machines. After initially performing routine cleaning tasks, the robot, using facial recognition, identifies the finance minister. It approaches her and detonates a concealed bomb.

That’s one of the scenarios sketched out in a new report called The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence. Produced by 26 researchers from universities, thinktanks and campaigning organisations in Europe and the US, it is the latest in a series of studies warning of the dangers of AI.

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Clarify Brexit now, Mrs May, so that the UK can get back to business

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 21:31:29 GMT2018-02-24T21:31:29Z

Losing EU workers undermines UK trading and we urgently need investment in training to bridge the looming skills gap

This Friday business will hopefully get more clarity on the government’s vision for the UK’s future trade relationship with the EU, when Theresa May reveals her plans. Evidence strongly suggests that a comprehensive customs union with the EU, alongside a deep relationship with the single market, is best for jobs, investment and living standards.

But it is equally urgent to get clarity about people. Firms and their employees need to know who can live and work in the UK, now and in the future. This is as important as trade.

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Speeding to Brexit oblivion - cartoon

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:05:32 GMT2018-02-25T00:05:32Z

Chris Riddell on David Davis’ claim that Britain won’t be ‘plunged into a Mad Max-style world’

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Labour's Brexit policy is 'evolving', says McDonnell ahead of key Corbyn speech next week - Politics live

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 18:02:58 GMT2018-02-22T18:02:58Z

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happenSummary of European scrutiny committee’s Brexit hearingAfternoon summary 5.20pm GMT 5.12pm GMT Journalists and colleagues have been paying tribute to Ian Aitken, the former Guardian political editor who has died. He was a huge figure in post-war political journalism, and also someone who was much admired and loved (the two don’t always go together). He was well before my time, but I met him a few times and interviewed him for my history of the lobby and parliamentary journalism and found him charming and inspiring. Although quite what he would make of live blogging - it was probably best not to ask."At some time between 7pm and 8pm, Ian would move to the telephone, assemble his notes, some of which had been made on torn-up cigarette packets, and dictate a story that was a model of its kind". A wonderful obituary of the Guardian's great Ian Aitken. https://t.co/QWu2gmkdVaA fine man, life lived well to the end ... Ian Aitken obituary https://t.co/sExtmV9V8ESad to hear about the death of Ian Aitken. I only got to know him in the last few years and I wish I had taped his recollections of political dramas and personalities from many decades-razor sharp on contemporary politics too.Ian was my 1st Guardian political editor.Never forgotten: "The Conservative Party yesterday shut its eyes, pinched its nose, and jumped into the deep end of the women's liberation movement with an overwhelming vote of confidence for Mrs Margaret Thatcher."https://t.co/RWjNTBZzyVRIP Guardian galactico Ian Aitken, 90. He was a great political editor and equally great fun. The obits will be worth readingThey really do not make journalists like this any more! The incomparable Ian Aitken RIP. https://t.co/mdZeRNmiD8Ian Aitken treated the first paragraph of a story as a favourite art form in which he liked to offer readers some great baroque construction foaming with exotic metaphor. Fine obit of this highly clubbable journalist by David McKie https://t.co/pPw7MMTRZ4So sad to hear ‘Uncle’ Ian Aitken my mentor at the Guardian has passed away. He taught me: ‘Some stories attract the truth - others repel it.’ A gent of the premier cruThinking of Ian Aitken's family today. A great friend of my Dad's, I knew him slightly, though only during the last few decades of his life. David McKie's obit portrays such a fascinating, bold and wonderful human. Inspiring. https://t.co/8gbNweGFUcIan was a lobby legend..this obit captures him brilliantly, but also the spirit of the press gallery in the analogue era of epic lunches, afternoons in the Strangers bar, phone calls in wooden booths and late night lobby dinnershttps://t.co/JCz2DDgSzJ Continue reading...[...]


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Jacob Rees-Mogg involved in scuffle during university campus protest

Sat, 03 Feb 2018 10:41:14 GMT2018-02-03T10:41:14Z

Police investigate after Tory MP is filmed apparently trying to break up fight in Bristol

Police are investigating after Jacob Rees-Mogg was caught in the middle of a scuffle at a university campus when protesters disrupted a student event in Bristol.

Video footage posted on social media captured the scenes at the University of the West of England, which appeared to show Rees-Mogg attempting to break up a fracas between protesters and onlookers.

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As Corbyn shifts Labour towards soft Brexit, Tory jitters grow

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 21:31:29 GMT2018-02-24T21:31:29Z

Labour’s expected move on staying in a customs union will embolden its own MPs – and Tory rebels

“We are going at a snail’s pace, but at least the snail is moving,” was how one Labour frontbencher described the tortuously slow evolution of his party’s policy on Brexit last week. “The question now is, can we hurry the bloody thing along to where it needs to be before it is too late?”

After months of taking refuge in what has become known in Labour circles as “constructive ambiguity” – deliberately blurred positions that were designed to keep both Remainers and Leavers onside – party leader Jeremy Corbyn appears to be shifting (albeit relucantly) towards a more soft-Brexit position.

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The Brexit vision that reveals England’s perfidy over Ireland

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:05:32 GMT2018-02-25T00:05:32Z

Hardline Brexiters want to sacrifice the 1998 peace deal on the altar of their ambitions. But soon they will learn that the Belfast Agreement puts tight limits on Britain’s options

The culmination of the referendum campaign was the BBC’s live Great Debate from Wembley on the evening of 21 June 2016. It lasted for two hours. After an hour and a half, someone finally raised the question of Britain’s obligations under the Belfast Agreement of 1998 (often called the Good Friday Agreement) that brought an end to the longest and most vicious internal conflict in the history of the United Kingdom. Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, spoke passionately in a tone of pleading desperation: “Many trade unionists in Britain and Ireland worked together for many years to support the peace process in Northern Ireland and it took a lot of hard work. And we’ve supported the Good Friday Agreement ever since … The Irish prime minister has said that if we come out of the EU, there will have to be border controls and, let me tell you, the way that is seen in Belfast and Derry, I worry for our future.”

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Labour alliance piles pressure on Corbyn over Brexit stance

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 21:30:29 GMT2018-02-24T21:30:29Z

Senior Labour figures urge EU single market rethink as party leader prepares to set out new strategy

Labour’s divisions over Brexit are exposed today as an alliance of more than 80 senior figures from across the party warn Jeremy Corbyn that he will be unable to fund his promised investment in schools, hospitals and social care unless the UK stays in the EU single market.

In a statement issued exclusively to the Observer on the eve of a keynote Brexit speech by Corbyn, the group of MPs, MEPs, council leaders, peers and trade unionists say the pursuit of social justice and a leftwing anti-austerity agenda depends on avoiding the “multibillion-pound hit to the public finances that leaving the single market would entail”.

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Tory MP apologises to Corbyn for spy claim

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:04:32 GMT2018-02-25T00:04:32Z

Ben Bradley apologises for tweet accusing the Labour leader of ‘selling British secrets to communist spies’

A vice-chairman of the Conservative party has apologised to Jeremy Corbyn and will make a “substantial” donation to charity for a tweet he made about the Labour leader’s links to cold war spies.

The climbdown by Mansfield MP Ben Bradley raises questions as to whether other Tory MPs who made similar claims about Corbyn will also issue apologies.

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We must participate in the EU single market

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 21:31:29 GMT2018-02-24T21:31:29Z

Statement from the Labour Campaign for the Single Market

The government is almost half way through the negotiation of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. At this moment in our history, when the country needs leadership and a vision of the future, the Tory government provides neither. As Jeremy Corbyn said this week, with a prime minister held to ransom by the hard right of her party and unable to provide any direction, “they are on the road to nowhere,” because they cannot agree on our future relationship with the EU.

In the absence of any leadership from the government, our party has a historic opportunity and a duty to set out a clear direction for our country. Working in the national interest with elected representatives from other parties, our party can help marshal a majority for a different course which ends austerity, promotes equality, social justice and environmental sustainability.

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Corbyn, the spy and the cold war’s long shadow

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 06:00:02 GMT2018-02-25T06:00:02Z

The claims about the Labour leader’s meeting with a Czechoslovakian agent are rooted in the conflicted politics of the UK left in the 1980s – and in attitudes that persist today

It’s the mid-1980s and a group of Islington North Labour party activists are in a quandary. Some want to show support for Solidarity, the trade union movement that emerged from Poland’s shipyards in opposition to the hegemony of the USSR.

But one member of the group is fretting: “Solidarity is supported by the Catholic church and they’re reactionary.” Another member has an alternative reason for refusing support: “Don’t the Poles want to defend the gains of the revolution?”

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Theresa May at risk of Commons defeat as Labour shifts on Brexit

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 22:01:26 GMT2018-02-22T22:01:26Z

As PM prepares to unveil Brexit vision, Jeremy Corbyn may back rebel Tory amendment

Jeremy Corbyn could use a key Brexit speech on Monday to pave the way for Labour to inflict a Commons defeat on the government, by backing a rebel Tory amendment seeking to keep Britain in “a customs union”.

With Theresa May expected to unveil her vision for departure from the EU next week, following eight hours of talks with key ministers at the prime minister’s Chequers country retreat, she now faces the prospect of Labour sabotaging the carefully choreographed process.

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What happened at the Chequers Brexit awayday?

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 11:48:23 GMT2018-02-23T11:48:23Z

May and her ministerial troops headed to the country to thrash out a unified negotiating stance

It is most workers’ worst nightmare: not content with seeing them every day at the office, the boss summons them for an awayday, far from home. Worse than that, she then schedules an eight-hour meeting, with dinner thrown in.

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Spying row: how Corbyn seized chance to take on the Sun

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 19:26:32 GMT2018-02-21T19:26:32Z

Labour used to woo the rightwing press; the age of social media has changed all that

Labour felt it had little choice but to respond with increasing aggression this week to “hallucinogenic” stories about Jeremy Corbyn and cold war records kept about him by the Czech security service.

That decision saw the party leader go on the offensive, accusing rightwing papers of being controlled by billionaire tax exiles, with the party repeating that it planned to hold a media ownership review if it got into power, and sending a lawyer’s letter to a Tory MP over an ill-judged tweet.

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UK to lose EU rebate in 2021 'in extended Brexit transition'

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:26:23 GMT2018-02-22T17:26:23Z

No discount beyond end of 2020 owing to start of new EU budget, says senior Brussels source

The UK will lose its rebate from the EU at end of 2020 if it seeks to extend the Brexit transition beyond then, the Guardian has learned.

The loss of the rebate, which to some has been a symbol of British influence in Europe since Margaret Thatcher demanded “our money back”, is expected to fuel Tory Brexiters’ demands to keep the transition period as short as possible.

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Letter: Ian Aitken obituary

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:04:12 GMT2018-02-25T16:04:12Z

The first time I met Ian Aitken, in 1995, it was obvious how much affection and admiration he had for Michael Foot, the former leader of the Labour party. Ian was attending a preview of Michael’s polemical documentary Two Hours from London, made with his wife, Jill Craigie, to advocate intervention in former Yugoslavia.

We had given Michael a slot in our BBC2 series Open Space, and, introducing the film to the assembled journalists and friends, including the heavily protected Salman Rushdie, I appealed to everyone to do what they could to push the issue into the public arena.

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Theresa May sidesteps backing $900bn Silk Road project of China

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:07:52 GMT2018-01-31T15:07:52Z

‘Global standards and cyber security’ a concern says PM, amid doubts over political aims of Xi Jinping Belt and Road plan

Theresa May has sidestepped a Chinese push for a formal endorsement of its $900bn Silk Road strategy, suggesting Britain still has concerns about China’s political objectives for the huge infrastructure project.

Government sources confirmed that the UK did not sign a memorandum of understanding giving Britain’s official endorsement to the $900bn Belt and Road Initiative, a personal project of the president, Xi Jinping.

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