No. 39 Saturday, May 25, 2019

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Jeremy Kyle Show suspended after guest death
13 May 2019

Jeremy Kyle Show suspended after guest death

Brexit: Cross-party deal must include confirmatory vote - Sir Keir Starmer
13 May 2019

Brexit: Cross-party deal must include confirmatory vote - Sir Keir Starmer

A cross-party Brexit deal will not get through Parliament unless it is subject to a fresh public vote, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer says. Talks between Labour and ministers over leaving the EU have been going on for a month with little sign of progress. Sir Keir told the Guardian that without a new referendum, up to 150 Labour MPs would vote against any agreement made. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was a "crunch week" for the talks ahead of European elections on 23 May. He said his view had not changed that another referendum would be a "betrayal" and everyone's focus should be on delivering on the result of the 2016 Brexit vote. The UK was due to leave the EU on 29 March, but the deadline was pushed back to 31 October after MPs rejected Theresa May's proposed deal three times. ◾Labour 'must back second Brexit vote' ◾Brexit: All you need to know ◾What happens next? Talks between the government and Labour aimed at finding a way out of the impasse will resume later with pressure growing on both sides to show meaningful progress. If there is no agreement, Theresa May has said she will return to Parliament and ask MPs to vote again on a range of possible options. Parliament failed to unite behind a way forward in a series of "indicative votes" in March, but the PM says the government would now be prepared to accept whatever commands a majority if Labour does so too. Sir Keir StarmerImage copyright AFP Image caption Sir Keir Starmer is leading Labour's negotiations with the government Sir Keir said he would not be afraid to end the talks as soon as this week if the prime minister did not budge on her so-called red lines - positions that she feels cannot be changed in the Brexit deal. He suggested a referendum on the final deal had become a red line of its own for many Labour MPs, saying "a significant number, probably 120 if not 150, would not back a deal if it hasn't got a confirmatory vote". Labour's stated policy is that it supports a further referendum on Brexit under certain circumstances. It has rejected the idea of campaigning for one in any event, but will demand a public vote if it cannot get changes to the government's deal or an election. ◾On this day: Labour leader John Smith dies at 55 ◾Pollwatch: Euro elections ◾European elections: What you need to know ◾Labour agrees a Brexit referendum position However, deputy leader Tom Watson agreed that with so many of his fellow MPs wanting to give the public the final say, it would be very difficult to "enforce" any Brexit agreement without another vote. "This will only work if two very strongly-held views are plugged together - Theresa May's deal and a confirmatory ballot," he told Radio 4's Today. "That is the way out of this." Asked whether Labour wanted to leave or remain in the EU, he replied: "We are a remain and reform party," but "when it comes to a deal people can form their own view". Media captionThe deputy Labour leader urges voters to reject "nationalism" and "populism" in the EU elections In a speech later marking the 25th anniversary of former Labour leader John Smith's death, Mr Watson will reflect on Mr Smith's pro-Europeanism and say he would have backed a "People's Vote". On the European elections, he will say: "There are only two forces that can win... that nasty nationalism of the Farage Brexit Party, or the tolerant, compassionate outward-looking patriotism of the Labour Party. "I can only plead with Labour supporters - don't stay at home, don't put that cross elsewhere, don't let them win." Can cross-party talks continue for much longer? Analysis box by Laura Kuenssberg, political editor The reality is these talks have been genuine, but very difficult. Neither side wanted to pull the plug before the local elections 10 days or so ago. But now, as time goes on, it may well be we are reaching the moment where they have to throw up their hands and say: "We just can't do it." Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May are both on lonely tightropes trying to get across the other side of this slow-moving crisis. I think they would both like it to be over with, maybe with a cross-party deal. But the prime minister doesn't want to put a huge compromise on the table, she doesn't want another referendum. Jeremy Corbyn doesn't want to help out the government unless he can get genuine changes. If neither of them feel they can really budge, well, the talks are not going to be able to succeed, and the government will then have to try to move on to votes in Parliament, the next part of the process. Speaking ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Mr Hunt said people voted in good faith in 2016 in the belief the result would be acted upon. "People have been pessimistic right from the outset that these negotiations were not going to get anywhere but they have continued," he said. "So we have to see what happens this week. This is a crunch week." Presentational grey line Labour's position on Brexit June 2017 - Labour's general election manifesto accepts referendum result March 2018 - Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith sacked for supporting second referendum on final deal September - Labour agrees if a general election cannot be achieved it "must support all options… including a public vote" 18 November - Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says a new referendum is "an option for the future" but "not an option for today" 28 November - Shadow chancellor John McDonnell says Labour will "inevitably" back a second referendum if unable to secure general election 16 January 2019 - 71 Labour MPs say they support a public vote 6 February - Mr Corbyn writes a letter to Mrs May outlining five changes with no mention of a "People's Vote" 28 February - Labour says it will back a public vote after its proposed Brexit deal is rejected 14 March - Five Labour MPs quit party roles to oppose a further referendum 27 March - The party backs a confirmatory public vote in Parliament's indicative votes on a way forward for Brexit 30 April - Party agrees to demand a public vote if it cannot get changes to the government's deal or an election, as it decides wording to EU election manifesto What do you want to know about Brexit? Use the form below to submit your question:

Scottish shops' footfall increases as they outpace UK
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Scottish shops' footfall increases as they outpace UK

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